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.
Eleven years ago, government lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee "redefined the law" to provide distorted legal justifications -- where none exist -- to torture detainees held in U.S. custody. The public release of the 6,000 page Senate report on the CIA torture program would be a significant step in the right direction.
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.