Why won't the CIA even say the word "torture"?

The spooks are spooked. Not by anything that foreign enemies might do to America – but by what our CIA spooks and their political overseers did to America.

The spooks are spooked. Not by anything that foreign enemies might do to America – but by what our CIA spooks and their political overseers did to America.

By “America,” I mean the essence of our country, our ideals and the moral values we hold up as a beacon to the world. That beacon shines less brightly today because of one word: Torture. Even as the Bush-Cheney regime was professing that, “America does not torture,” Bush himself authorized secret torture sites, the National Security Council approved the CIA’s request to torture prisoners we held, and the Justice Department crafted secret memos to rationalize the torture.

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Now, the officialdom and spooks of that day are spooked – not because of what they did and then lied about – but because they got caught. The gruesome, nauseating details of their brutal torture of fellow human beings has just been documented in an in-depth investigative report by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

So spooked is the whole hierarchy by the shamefulness of this – and so intense is their culture of denial – that even today’s officials cannot bring themselves to say the word “torture.” John Brennan, the current CIA director, dodged the blunt truth of the word by saying, “I will leave to others how they might want to label those activities.”

Activities? Do they think they can paper over the depravity of torturing people by calling it an activity? That only heightens the shame of what the hierarchy did in America’s name. Brennan then tried to bury the horror by saying he hopes “we can put aside this debate and move forward.”

Toward what? If today’s officials can’t even call it what it is and simply move forward without holding anyone accountable for their criminal and immoral acts of torture, then future officials are free to do it again. And you can bet they will.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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