President Obama deserves credit for his candor. He admits that we tortured people after 9/11, and that our actions violate our highest ideals as a nation. But apologies are hollow if they are not followed by attempts to make amends. "Sorry" is a lie if it is only a word. President Obama needs to prosecute.
Walter Ruiz, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi's lawyer and a former Navy commander, told the court that Hawsawi's treatment needs stem from injuries he sustained under U.S.-sponsored torture. Ruiz wants to interview his client's doctors to learn more about the "ongoing bleeding" and "colorectal issues that stem from his time in captivity...."
2014 was the year the United States began to wake up to the problems in our criminal justice system. Let's make 2015 the year we take the steps toward fixing them. While some may believe that the tactics used in the U.S. are necessary to keep peace, Europe presents a stark counterpoint to that argument.
It is hard to imagine what might stir America's political class, especially the elite members of it, out of their timid escapism. Here is an actual story that beats any Hollywood or TV script hands down. The country's top spy agency breaks the law at White House command in a fit of post-9/11 rage by engaging in systematic torture -- of innocents and suspects alike. They lie about it for years; destroy evidence; concoct false narratives about what vital national ends were served by it. The American people are living in the grip of a psychosis. We have become divorced from reality, and thereby divorced from our better selves, consumed by an extreme and irrational fear rooted in the trauma of 9/11. It has been stoked by our leaders who themselves share in it. So, in short, nothing will change. A lawless, incompetent CIA will continue to act with impunity to the detriment of the nation's security and foreign interests.