Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Looking forward, not back

It turns out that tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon. For any not-olds who may read this the act was greeted with widespread outrage at the time, but now we're all supposed to believe that it helped bind up the nation's wounds and let us move forward yadda yadda yadda.

Well, while we're on the subject of looking ahead and not back, there has been almost no attention paid so I may need to remind you that the Senate Intelligence Committee has prepared a report on the CIA torture program which has yet to be released to the public because the administration is trying to censor the nasty bits. For some reason, a British newspaper, the Telegraph, has to do the journalistic enterprise to tell us what they are. This came out last night but I have not found a single U.S. media outlet that has covered it. Take it away, Peter Foster:

The CIA brought top al-Qaeda suspects close “to the point of death” by drowning them in water-filled baths during interrogation sessions in the years that followed the September 11 attacks, a security source has told The Telegraph. The description of the torture meted out to at least two leading al-Qaeda suspects, including the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, far exceeds the conventional understanding of waterboarding, or “simulated drowning” so far admitted by the CIA.
“They weren’t just pouring water over their heads or over a cloth,” said the source who has first-hand knowledge of the period. “They were holding them under water until the point of death. . ."

Despite the destruction of video evidence, however, a third source familiar with the still-classified accounts of the most severe of the CIA interrogations, said that the practices were much more brutal than is widely understood. “They got medieval on his ass, and far more so than people realise,” the source told The Telegraph referring to the treatment of Mohammed and Nashiri, but declined to provide further details because of the still-classified nature of the material.
The destruction of video evidence refers to destruction of video tapes of the torture sessions by CIA Officer Jose Rodriguez, who was severely punished by a sternly worded letter. B. Hussein Obama has already promised not to prosecute anybody for torturing prisoners. Congress did impeach Bill Clinton for receiving fellatio, however, so there is still a spirit of accountability in the land.