This week the US Senate released a report detailing CIA abuses related to torture and other mistreatment of detainees.
Partisan lines are drawn around the issue of the disclosure of the report where some suggest that disclosure is un-American and aiding the enemy.
Suddenly it’s patriotic to be pro-torture and anti-truth.
Tim McVeigh would be saying “I told you so.”
The far right militia cry aboutÂ the fedsÂ sending in the “black helicopters” is that the government lies and cheats.
Uh, they are right.
Facebook, Retribution and Lying
Facebook is full of Â images of desperate 9/11 jumpers imperiled by the fire with captions suggesting torture is fair game as a form of retribution.
Many Christians believe that their religion is morally superior to Islam but this is just one more instance where they cancel each other out with dueling messages of hate and revenge.
These same folks that deploy Christianity so selectively do the same thing with the truth.
They are apoplectic over the assertion that Hillary lied over Benghazi and that the IRS lied over emails.
Where is the outrage over the CIA lying to Americans?
It should matter that 17 of the detainees were tortured without permission.
It should also matter that over 20% of them were wrongfully held.
Never a Good Time
There is never a good time to admit that you have been caught lying to congress, the president, and the citizens.
The same is true for having to admit not that you engaged in torture per se, but rather that you couldn’t even do it right.
The CIA’s own staff complained about mismanagement and poor quality personnel.
The FBI repeatedly said that the methods used were over the top and doomed to be ineffective.
They hid the truth from Secretary of State Colin Powell, saying that if he found out he would “blow his top.”
Jihadi Field Day?
There is bound to be a world-wide reaction not only to the torture but to our bungling and lying about it.
How do we expect western prisoners in captivity to be treated?
Better yet, just what is our justification for moral outrage?
Perhaps they will hurl a little scripture our way in the form of Galatians 6:7, “for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
The Proof is in the Telling
I saw a Facebook comment the other day from someone outraged that we were disclosing our crimes when it will make us vulnerable.
What utter bullshit.
What usually separates the United States of America from many countries isn’t that we don’t do bad things but rather that here the truth will eventually be known.
Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.”
Our post 9/11 search for a sense of collective national safety led us to perpetrate acts of terror under the guise of justice.
There are no doubt some ugly days ahead but they are tempered by the fact that we have divulged our transgressions as a first step in proving that we are better than that.