Much has been made of the failure of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture to include any recommendations. One possibility is that as its critics have charged the report is solely a partisan exercise. I don’t think that’s the case. There is plenty of daylight between “partisan exercise” and “solely a partisan exercise”.
The report is clearly a partisan exercise. Considering its source it could hardly be anything else. However, I think it does contain a kernel of truth and we should heed that.
Shouldn’t there be consequences for crimes on the scale being alleged? IMO the most likely explanations are that the critics are right or social. It would make for pretty uncomfortable cocktail parties and PTA meetings when you’ve put the family members and friends of your neighbors and people you socialize in jail.
Pat Lang has six recommendations. I’ll quote the first three here:
– Brennan has made himself an accomplice in what amounts to a criminal conspiracy to violate federal law. He should be fired and should be prosecuted for that crime.
– The Obama Justice Department should reverse its stated position and re-open investigations that may lead to the indictment of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rodriguez, and all those who participated in this criminal violation of US and international law. For the president and Holder to fail to do this would make them be in violation of their oaths of office. They swore to see that the law of the US would be upheld and enforced.
– All interested readers of SST should press their governments abroad to have their courts indict all those guilty of crimes against the Torture Convention in international law.
There are more.
Without excusing the torture, my greatest concern is the repeated lying under oath to Congress. It is impossible for Congress to exercise its oversight function when officials lie under oath systematically. In a civil system like ours that is rebellion against the civil authorities and it should be dealt with very seriously. Failing to do so makes the Congress complicit in the acts about which they’ve been lied to.
I might add that the very fact that the CIA officials felt that they need to lie suggests that they knew that what they were doing was wrong and illegal.
Something I’d intended to put out in the post was an idea that Pat Lang has promoted from time to time: officials who have clearly perjored themselves in testimony before Congress should be shunned. I’d go a step farther than that and suggest an administrative form of shunning: they should lose their security clearances.