We may have made a few terrorists uncomfortable for a short period of time in order to get information that we felt was essential to protecting the United States. Deputy Director of the CIA, John McLaughlin.

There really weren’t many surprises in the Senate Torture Report. When it was reported that Lynndie England, Ivan Frederick  – who his friends affectionately called Chip – Megan Ambuhl, et al, posted pictures of their torturing prisoners sometime in 2003-2004, I didn’t believe that they were Lone Wolves. To me, and everybody I talked to who had been in the military, they were just too far down the ladder to have made that decision and then blithely photograph it. I thought that the decision had been made much higher up and, when the Privates and Spec 4s had been caught, they were scapegoated.

It really didn’t surprise me that the CIA was lying, anybody who read about the CIA fighting and redacting the Senate Report. Speaking of which, I was surprised that Senator Feinstein took such a strong stance. Pleasantly surprised.

What also surprised me was that the CIA paid something like 80 million dollars – EIGHTY MILLION – to a couple of consultants to torture people.

Peter Kuhlman, on facebook, linked to an article in The American Conservative that makes as much sense as anything I have read. As Peter said,  Money quote:”Willingness to torture became, first within elite government and opinion-making circles, then in the culture generally, and finally as a partisan GOP talking point, a litmus test of seriousness with respect to the fight against terrorism. That – proving one’s seriousness in the fight – was its primary purpose from the beginning, in my view. It was only secondarily about extracting intelligence. …It was never about “them” at all. It was about us. It was our psychological security blanket, our best evidence that we were “all-in” in this war, the thing that proved to us that we were fierce enough to win.”

In the meantime, Michele and I are heading south to see a special show on the art of the Bugatti brothers at the Mullin. We will try to not think about torture.Mullin-0452



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