Already there are those (including former VP and war criminal “Dick” Cheney) who are trying to push the debate on torture to “is it effective or not.” There is nothing to debate here. It is ineffective. The Bush & Co authorized torture for one and only one purpose: to coerce people to provide false information connecting 9/11 to Iraq. Torture is quite effective in generating false information. Listen to this New Yorker podcast for a serious and intelligent discussion on the topic.
It’s effective to assassinate people. They’re dead and they’re no longer a problem. The effectiveness debate is a false debate.… And I think slowly what’s changing is that we are starting to realize that when we commit torture, it’s something we are doing to us. When you look back five years ago at the Abu Ghraib pictures, everybody said, why are our soldiers doing that to those people? But the important question, too, is why are we doing that to our solders, turning them into torturers? Why are we doing that to our nation? Why are we doing this to our laws? Why is this what we are doing to our political institutions and to our standing in the world? And I think that that’s a debate that Dick Cheney knows perfectly well he’s lost catastrophically and cannot win on any grounds.
Here is an interview with a former CIA agent on the Bill Maher show. Maher can be annoying, but it’s still worth viewing: