Excellent piece in the NY Times by Morris Davis back on February 17th. Definitely worth a look:
Twenty-seven years ago, in the final days of the Iran hostage crisis, the C.I.A.’s Tehran station chief, Tom Ahern, faced his principal interrogator for the last time. The interrogator said the abuse Mr. Ahern had suffered was inconsistent with his own personal values and with the values of Islam and, as if to wipe the slate clean, he offered Mr. Ahern a chance to abuse him just as he had abused the hostages. Mr. Ahern looked the interrogator in the eyes and said, “We don’t do stuff like that.”
Those were the days.
After humiliating prisoners at Abu Ghraib by forcing them to strip naked and lie in a pile like a stack of firewood or simulating the drowning of detainees to persuade them to talk, we can no longer say we “don’t do stuff like that” — and we do not have to look far to see the damage. The disclosure last month of a manual for Canadian diplomats listing the United States as a country where prisoners might face torture, referring specifically to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was an embarrassment on both sides of the border.
…we need to come to grips with the practice known as waterboarding, the simulated drowning of a person to persuade him to talk.
It has done enormous damage to our national image, eroded our standing in the world and provided motivation and justification for those who would do us harm. In short, it was a very bad idea.
…Why a few others in positions of power still find it so difficult to admit the obvious about waterboarding is astounding. We can never retake the moral high ground when we claim the right to do unto others that which we would vehemently condemn if done to us.
Read it here: www.nytimes.comby