Tuesday, December 23, 2014

necropolitics: torture definitely killed many times more americans than it hypothetically saved...,


nuclearrisk |  The release yesterday of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the use of what the CIA has called “enhanced interrogation techniques” drew predictable partisan responses, with many Democrats condemning the use of torture and Republicans saying that extraordinary times necessitated extraordinary means to protect American lives. But lost in the noise is an important question: Did these enhanced interrogation techniques play a role in killing thousands of Americans? Here’s why I believe that happened:

Colin Powell’s February 2003 speech to the UN was a key element in the Bush administration’s building public support for its invasion of Iraq. There was just one problem. Powell’s contention that “Iraq provided training in these weapons [of mass destruction] to al Qaeda,” was based on false information obtained by torture. Two years later, in a Barbara Walters interview, when Powell was asked if that speech will tarnish his record, he replied:
Of course it will. It’s a blot. I’m the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and [it] will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell’s chief of staff at the time, sees his own participation in crafting that speech in even harsher terms:
My participation in that presentation at the UN constitutes the lowest point in my professional life. I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council. How do you think that makes me feel? Thirty-one years in the United States Army and I more or less end my career with that kind of a blot on my record? That’s not a very comforting thing.