Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Torture

People have been tortured in our names. That is a fact. If you disagree, what do you know that the Red Cross doesn’t?: The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. ...

People have been tortured in our names. That is a fact. If you disagree, what do you know that the Red Cross doesn't?:

The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill-treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

This makes me think more than ever that we need a truth and reconciliation commission -- not to punish the low-level guys who inflicted torture, but to set the record straight on who thought it was a good idea to make the use of torture U.S. national policy. Those are the people who dragged this country's name through the mud, and who also didn't understand that we can't win a war for our values by undermining them.

People have been tortured in our names. That is a fact. If you disagree, what do you know that the Red Cross doesn’t?:

The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill-treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

This makes me think more than ever that we need a truth and reconciliation commission — not to punish the low-level guys who inflicted torture, but to set the record straight on who thought it was a good idea to make the use of torture U.S. national policy. Those are the people who dragged this country’s name through the mud, and who also didn’t understand that we can’t win a war for our values by undermining them.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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