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The CIA naked photos scandal is a wake-up call

By       Message Trevor Timm     Permalink
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Reprinted from The Guardian

Guardian revelations about the degrading treatment of prisoners should matter to all Americans. They're doing this in our name


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Just as the ugly spectre of torture has reared its head once again in the US presidential race, the Guardian has revealed shocking new details of the US government's brutality during the Bush era.

As the Guardian's Spencer Ackerman reported today, the CIA took photographs of its prisoners while they were naked, bound and some bruised, just before they were to be shipped off to some of the world's worst dictators at the time -- which included Assad, Mubarak and Gaddafi -- for torture. The photos were described by a former US official as "very gruesome."

The report is a stark reminder that the US continues to keep secret, to this day, some of the worst actions of the Bush administration. And it's all the more relevant given that after the tragic terrorist attack in Brussels, torture has once again become central to the US political debate. On national television immediately following the attacks, the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump again called for waterboarding -- a war crime Japanese soldiers were prosecuted for after the second world war. Trump has also repeatedly claimed he would do "much worse" than waterboarding to captives as president.

Almost worse is the fact that the US media is again feeding into the idea that this should even be up for debate. Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie, in an interview with Trump, said "some people think that kind of harsh interrogation technique" -- the GOP's cowardly euphemism for illegal torture -- "works ... and others say that it doesn't work." Really? Can she -- or anyone -- point to a single interrogation expert who thinks torture "works," besides Bush administration hacks who have never interrogated anyone in their lives?

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But let's put aside the immoral question of "does torture work" for a minute, because it's essentially like asking "does slavery work." Waterboarding and other forms of torture used by the US during the Bush administration are blatantly illegal -- by statute, by treaty and by the constitution.

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http://pressfreedomfoundation.org

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)
 

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