A sure sign that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is planning to do more than just "explore" a run for the White House in 2016 is the fact that he is severing ties, erasing connections and extricating himself from alliances and relationships that could "complicate" a presidential campaign.
The CIA was never among the world's most trusted global brands, even among U.S. allies, but torture revelations have diminished U.S. claims to moral leadership and reduced its "soft power."
As we end another year of endless war in Washington, it might be the perfect time to reflect on the War That Started All Wars -- or at least the war that started all of Washington's post-Cold War wars: the invasion of Panama.
All the hullaballoo over the United States government's' use of torture as an officially-sanctioned intelligence gathering process was bad enough. It brought back memories of a shameful period in American history. But when Dick Cheney reappeared to defend the practice of torture, it was the worst specter of Christmas past.
Mr. Obama, in ruling out prosecution for torture, may have thought he spared us bother, but actually he did us harm. By casting accountability into limbo, he makes possible government-sponsored torture in the future and prevents America from recovering the thing most precious: our good name.
As we prepare for the end of The Colbert Report, it is time to reflect on exactly what we are losing as Stephen Colbert retires his character and moves on to host The Late Show.
Ali Soufan is a former FBI agent who's spent a decade speaking out against torture. He helped expose CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques," and left the Bureau partly because of the agency's excessive use of it.
We are not only implying a lack of humanity for the tortured, but for the torturer as well. Why should we condone any act that strips someone of his or her humanity, especially if we create a system in which one can slip from the grasp of personhood and never regain it?
Despite the fact that he's not been to Iowa in two years, and that his political team consists of just four people, Bush has big Republican donors salivating on the sidelines.
If Jeb does run, he may face Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. Now, a "Clinton vs. Bush" contest doesn't exactly thrill many people who are looking for perhaps a little more variety (and a little less dynasty) in our presidential choices, but it is indeed worth contemplating at this point, at least if Jeb is serious about running.
The issue is not whether torture works or does not. I believe it does not work. But any cruel and unusual punishment is destructive to the legitimacy and credibility of American values. The Bush 43 White House should have known better.
As to who played the scorpion and who played the crocodile, I'd give the first title "Scorpion" to Dick Cheney and share the second, "Crocodile" between Bush Jr. and Obama. Cheney injected the venom and Bush and Obama have been drowning in it ever since.
Former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney was surprisingly persuasive in an emotionally charged Meet the Press appearance Sunday morning. All those Howar...
Allowing CIA career employees or contractors to get away with torturing people free from legal accountability telegraphs to the rest of the world that the United States reserves unto itself the right to commit war crimes.
The torture program was a failure in all respects except one -- helping our global competitors. Bush's program helped undermine American leadership in the world.
If US officials tortured people, and we know torture is, was and always has been illegal, why isn't the government prosecuting them? Maybe there's some complicated legal reason that isn't obvious to most of us why the evidence wouldn't hold up in court. If so, it's in the government's interest to explain what that is.