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The CIA Will Not Obey Future Presidential Orders to Torture

April 11, 2016

Washington (AP) — The director of the CIA says his spy agency will not engage in waterboarding or other so-called enhanced interrogation techniques even if ordered to by a future president.

CIA chief John Brennan tells NBC News that he will not agree to carry out such techniques because “this institution needs to endure.”

(I pulled this quote from Bloomberg.com; go there for the rest of the article. Also, Brennan is now the former director of the CIA.)

The practical side of this is that torture doesn’t seem to be all that effective, and does not give its practitioners more information than less repugnant interrogation methods would. Most of the information I’ve seen of torture since 9-11 shows that it doesn’t work. There are some who claim otherwise, but none that I would consider credible. Trump thinks it works just fine, and says he plans to order the practice reinstated if he is voted into office. Since I think the he’s an idiot of the first order with all the common sense and leadership skills of a stunned squirrel on speed, his statements only should be seen as more proof. Torture doesn’t work.

The political side is that the folks at the CIA don’t want to be thrown under the bus again. After 9-11 they were ordered to play dirty and do whatever it took to keep America safe and to hunt down our enemies, specifically the ones thought responsible for the attacks. Once things calmed down again, as was inevitable, some of us started to rethink a few things, the use of torture included.

Who took the rap for that one? Was it the political types who had given the orders? Nope, most of the blame has been with the CIA and military personnel who carried out these orders. And by military personnel I mean low ranking troops, otherwise known as scapegoats. The General who was blamed for the crimes at the Abu Ghraib military prison was likely thrown out as a sacrifice. A soldier I knew who had worked for Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told me that the general had been the target of harassment and abuse from her peers. My friend seemed to think that this abuse was because the general was a woman. Two colonels were relieved of command, but most of the folks who got actual jail time were enlisted personnel, sergeants and specialists.

The politicians who ordered and sanctioned the abuse of prisoners didn’t get any jail time. I should add that generals and admirals are often among the political class, and that their jobs come with a strong political component.

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