In his early February column, John Kiriakou, associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote that presidential candidate Donald Trump endorsed forms of torture, saying: “I would bring back waterboarding. and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
According to the column, former presidential candidate John McCain, who suffered some five years of torture, said resorting to torture sacrifices respect for human dignity. McCain reminded Trump and other Republican candidates that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s examination of CIA documents determined “… that the torture techniques employed by the Bush administration after 9/11 were unreliable. They produced no actionable intelligence, disrupted no terrorist attacks, and saved no American lives.”
Now I realize former Vice-President Dick Cheney publicly disagrees with the committee’s findings, but whose private company owns and operates the Guantanamo prison, collecting unaccountable millions of our tax dollars yearly?
How politically powerful are the economically powerful corporations that profit from campaign contribution influence? Former CIA employee Kiriakou, who wrote the column, “… served time for blowing the whistle on the agency’s use of torture.” Although stooping to torture in violation of the Geneva agreement opens the dangerous door to torture of captured American troops, I can understand why Republican candidates would oppose the closing of Guantanamo and endorse torture. After all, how much of the millions of our tax dollars squandered on Guantanamo come back in campaign contributions to political candidates who will vote to keep the useless prison open if they win? They know that due to political power purchased by their economic power, none of their families, associates or friends will ever risk reciprocal torture from enemies by serving in our military, at least in harm’s way.
And in their heart of hearts, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, they really believe torture is effective. Why? Because they know that if they ever faced torture personally, they would sell our nation out at the first hint of physical pain, now wouldn’t they?
Think about it, please.
Robert C. Currie Jr.