This is not the first post I've made on torture. Torture doesn't work (doesn't produce valid information) and it destroys the torturer as well as cementing opposition from the tortured.
Washington's Blog today has a troubling post on torture arguing that it continues under Obama:
I recommend the post.
It has increased relevance for me today because after watching the film, The Power of Nightmares (see previous post for link) I have been thinking about all of those innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq who ended up being incarcerated and tortured by American forces, contractors, and locals empowered to "police."
The Power of Nightmares explains that the "vast terrorist network" of al-Qaeda was literally manufactured in order to prosecute Bin Laden using U.S. criminal conspiracy laws that allow prosecution without habeas corpus.
Ideas have consequences. The belief in al-Qaeda let to the incarceration and torture of innocents, who then became enemies of the US. US abuses produce more enemies. It is a sick and completely self-defeating circuit.
A sample from today's Washington's Blog:
"At least two men died during imprisonment. One of them, a 22-year-old taxi driver named Dilawar, was suspended by his hands from the ceiling for four days, during which US military personnel repeatedly beat his legs. Dilawar died on Dec. 10, 2002. In the autopsy report, a military doctor wrote that the tissue on his legs had basically been "pulpified." As it happens, his interrogators had already known -- and later testified -- that there was no evidence against Dilawar... "