Wednesday, April 22, 2009
266! According to recently released CIA memos, that's how many times CIA operatives waterboarded two Al Qaeda suspects over the course of two months. Abu Zubaydah 83 times in August of 2002. Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times in March of 2003.
Let's be clear about something at the outset, these are bad guys. Mohammed is the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. I have no love for them - indeed what I feel is much closer to hate - but those emotions do not justify torture. As I've said before, we are suppose to be better than that. We are suppose to be an example of freedom and respect for human rights. We are not suppose to torture.
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, The House of the Dead
Let's recap a little.
John McCain, a man who knows something about torture, says waterboarding is torture. (Although he does disagree with releasing the torture memos.)
Very high ranking Bush officials admit to authorizing the waterboarding of Mohammed.
When can we get down to prosecuting these people?
At least President Obama opened the door to torture prosecutions this week when he said Attorney General Holder is free to investigate people who authorized torture.
Let's hope this AG has more independence from the White House than the last one. Let's also hope he does what's right instead of what's politically expedient.