What shocks me is how shocked my professional community suddenly seems to be, since much of the information in the Hoffman report has been available to the public for many years, thanks to the ceaseless work of activist psychologists like Steven Reisner, Stephen Soldz, and Jean Maria Arrigo, who first blew the whistle on the APA's cover up back in 2006.
Judith Miller recently popped out of the Fox News bubble for a quick jaunt to the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the home base for John Bolton, Max Boot, and other neo-con hawks, to give her forthcoming book a little free advertising. In the process she attempts to whitewash her role as an influential pro-war voice in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
So what's left for the country's torture apologists? Continue to claim that the program saved lives and discredit the report for relying too much on the CIA's own emails and cables, rather than interviews. What they likely won't do is admit and defend the version of waterboarding described by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
I truly pray that the release of this report will be a turning point, an opportunity not only to look at what happened during the Bush Administration, but also to take a hard look at ourselves today. We as Americans must reject the corrupting logic of torture and work hard to see every other person as a human being first.
Should Guantánamo close prior to the end of Obama's second term, it will prove merely a symbolic gesture. Obama's policy has served the President's interests. Where will individual rights stand if individuals remain complicit in the policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial that will remain?
Neocons and elite media personalities who got everything wrong on Iraq now darken my TV screen telling me to ignore the invasion, the eight-year occupation, the lies about weapons of mass destruction, "mushroom clouds" becoming "smoking guns," the torture at Abu Ghraib prison and everything else, and pretend the war started with General David Petraeus's miraculous "surge" where everything was wonderful in Iraq until the "dove" Obama pulled the plug. It's a nice narrative if your goal is partisan advantage, but like so much else we've heard from policy elites regarding Iraq, it has nothing to do with reality.
The legacy of America's Iraq is essentially an oil-producing wreck of a state with another autocrat in power, a Shiite government allied to Iran in Baghdad, and a Sunni population in revolt. That, in short, is the upshot of Washington's multi-trillion-dollar war. It might be worth a painting by George W. Bush.