By condoning the use of torture we inflict more
damage on our institutions than on our enemies.
I’m still awed that some columnists in the US continue to be surprised about the US condoning torture. One of these columnists is Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post.
How the United States became associated with torture is not just a matter of historical interest. And that’s all the more clear today, with the publication of a major New York Times story describing the Bush administration’s ongoing circumvention of national and international prohibitions against barbaric interrogation practices.
In other words: It continues.
It still continues?! Yes, and for many decades under many US administrations.
One has only to look south of the border. Some of the outlandish matters that the CIA taught security forces in Latin America was training and the infrastructure for torture.
When we look at the colossal mistake by the US for invading and remaining in Iraq, why doesn’t anyone mention what happened to the Shah of Iran?
The autocratic leader, who was put in power by the CIA in 1941, was ousted in 1979 by a zealous anti-Western religious cleric called Ayatollah Khomeini.
Many of the torture measures used throughout Latin America were encouraged by the US and executed by the CIA. In Argentina “waterboarding” is known as el submarino, the submarine. There are many other torture methods as well: the electric prod, simulated executions with chalk bullets, deprivations of the unimaginable kind.
The US must not look at only this disgraceful period under President George W. Bush as the blackest in our history, it must take a closer look at the administrations of presidents like Richard Nixon, which used the CIA like a private army to topple democratically elected governments and instill a reign of terror and coercion through torture methods mastered at Langley, Virgina.
Torture condoned by the US has happened a long time ago. It’s not something that the Bush administration invented.