Senator Leahy introduced legislation for a Truth Commission on the U.S.’s role in torture, and the commission’s startling and historically significant Torture Report just came out today.
Huffington Post has a good summary of the report.
Truth Commission…not crazy, right? I mean, we all saw the black hoods, electric cables, dogs, stress positions, read about rendition, about torture, about inmate deaths, about sexual abuse, read about how people were getting sent to Syria by our government, for torturing, read interviews of a Canadian engineer who was taken from Kennedy Airport and tortured for several months…
A truth commission makes sense and is certainly logical for the world’s leading democracy to put together. Guatemala had a successful Truth Commission dealing, largely, with US funded genocide in the highlands. I am writing a longer article on our involvement in Guatemala and the war crimes of its current President that I hope to post soon.
South Africa had a truth and reconciliation commission.
Not a new idea.
President Obama opposed the concept of a Truth Commission focused on US-detainee abuse, which is almost a living political cartoon act in and of itself. The White House’s stance on the Truth Commission was scandalous. The White House preferred to “look forward”. Our President wanted to “…avoid a witch hunt“.
That move told you all you needed to know about how our President would handle human rights.
The Torture Report was issued today by the Truth Commission. The group includes 2 members of the House of representatives, former head of FBI, Former head of DEA, law professors, General Claudia Kennedy, America’s first female 3-star general, and others.
The Report found that American forces tortured, that the accountability went to the highest levels of our Government, and that the torture produced no reliable evidence.
Because we are the most powerful military nation in the world, no action will be taken under international law, although we clearly broke the laws and conventions.
Because our President chose moral collapse over truth, no action will be taken under National law.
Looks like it is up to citizens to act. We are all that is left.
We need to speak up. We need to organize around these topics. We protect torturers with our collective silence and make it inevitable that this ghastly practice returns, if it’s ever actually stopped.
Our Senate Intelligence Committee did have a truth commission, and its 6,000 page report came out this past December….but…SHHHHH don’t tell anyone…it is highly classified and will not be shown to the citizens in any relevant time frame, if ever.