ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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CIA Torture: A Mere Rogue Op?

CIA Torture: A Mere Rogue Op?

The culpability of the highest offices of the US state cannot be denied.

Much has been written on the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s (SSCI) foreword, findings and conclusions, and executive summary of its “Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s [CIA] Detention and Interrogation Program” that were declassified in a heavily redacted form, on 9 December 2014; unfortunately, not much in the Indian media. At the core of this CIA programme has been the torture of detainees in the “war on terror” at secret sites in different parts of the world during the two terms of office (2001-09) of George W Bush. The techniques of torture include the sadistic “rectal feeding”, “waterboarding”, being hung by the wrists for many hours, being ­confined to a coffin, etc.

At the least, the SSCI’s findings should have undermined the legitimacy of US foreign policy, for the defence of human rights is the principal official justification of such policy and practice. Indeed, current CIA director, John Brennan, who was himself an important functionary in the CIA’s apparatus of ­torture when Bush was in the Oval Office of the White House, was promoted to his current post by Barack Obama. The ­principal question which needs to be posed is this: Was the ­“enhanced interrogation program”, i e, torture, about a rogue CIA taking all the other branches of the executive of the US state, including the White House, for a ride, or should the ­highest and mightiest in the then executive of the US state be held responsible?

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