Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Luke 12:2-3 (English Standard Version)
I know everyone got quite the Holiday surprise when the (US) Senate Intelligence Committee released information on the CIAs use of torture and interrogation against post 9/11 detainees for information. I have not read the report, however I know what the Committee has discovered (and Americans are finding out) is not Holiday family reading.
In the days and weeks ahead, we’re going to see both accusations and denials fly throughout Washington. The American public, leery of how its government’s been acting since 9/11/2001, will have more to be leery about. We’ll also hear it from other corners of the world as this news is broadcast.
As a member of the Boardinghouse of Faith, I cannot help but wonder why we-as a “Christian” nation sat idly by and let this happen? Why have we stooped to-and operated from-a place that’s sub-human against fellow human beings? Now many would be quick to bring up the 9/11 attacks as justification: “We had to do it. We needed to know who did it, and if any future attacks were planned.” However, according to the report, no hard information was ever gathered. Plus, such interrogation/torture didn’t prevent the Madrid train and London Underground (subway) bombings a few years later; along with other attacks in the interim years.
Taking a cursory glance at the Committee’s report, I hope it opens up dialog amongst Americans outside and inside the Beltway. We can start to take a long hard look at shit we’ve endorsed (or condoned) over the year. This report is just another piece of evidence of how much a violent culture America’s become. Torture and interrogation have been used against (usually innocent) people-from the police interrogation room up to Guantanamo Bay. We forget that we have international laws like the Geneva Convention that governs how we treat prisoners.
Also, this reveals the deep-seated prejudices in American society, yes even in American Christianity. Think about it: the victims were brown-skinned Muslims from Asia-“those” people as we would call them-whose only crime was their faith. Now, had it been a bunch of White Christians from America or Europe, we’d be beating down the doors of the UN screaming “human rights” at the top of our lungs.
I don’t know how far the impact of the Committee’s report will go, although from what I’ve cursorily read, it’s already made quite a splash. I think it will be a big embarrassment to both the US and its Government; and expose us for the nation we’ve been all along. As I stated earlier, I hope this will start having us ask honest and hard questions about how we conduct intelligence here in America (and abroad), our complicity in violating human rights, and where can we go from here.
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, what are we going to do?