The Supreme Court speaks not only through its rulings in cases argued before it, but also through its choice not to hear certain cases -- the ones denied certiorari, in legal lingo. By refusing to hear claims brought by victims of Bush-era torture and detention practices, and failing to decisively reject the government's array of bad excuses for denying them a modicum of justice, the Court in recent years has sent an appalling message of indifference and impunity. These missing cases constitute a profound stain on the court's record, and they are worth recalling on this week's tenth anniversary of John Roberts's swearing-in as Chief Justice.
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.
At this point we all know that, in President Obama's words, "We tortured some folks." The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report on the CIA's rendition, detention, and interrogation program revealed shocking abuses that went far beyond even the torture that the administration had authorized.
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.
We tried to sound the alarm about what harm torture could bring. The Bush administration didn't listen. Had they, we simply wouldn't be here today. If there is any positive to come out of the release of this report, and turmoil that may come as a result of facts being released, let it be, finally, a wake-up call. Let it lead to the American people immediately disqualifying any candidate for president, in 2016, who won't clearly and definitively rule out the use of torture by intelligence or military under their administration. Let it serve as a reminder of our duty to hold our elected officials accountable for what they do, or plan to do, in our name. And let it remind us that the reasons against torture are more than just moral ones. They're quite practical, too.
The U.S. Department of Justice now has sufficient information to warrant a criminal investigation of those who commissioned and approved policies that resulted in torture and illegal treatment of detainees. There is indeed a moral imperative to get to the bottom of this dark chapter in American history.
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. counterterrorism practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were quietly moved to secret prisons abroad and o...