A non-governmental, bipartisan task force recently completed a two-year investigation into the U.S. government's treatment of 9/11 detainees, concluding indisputably that the United States government engaged in illegal torture.
Granting impunity to the torturers combined with propaganda films like Zero Dark Thirty, which may well win multiple Oscars, dilutes any meaningful public opposition to our government's cruel interrogation techniques.
By letting American officials, lawyers and interrogators get away with torture - and indeed, murder - the United States sacrifices any right to scold or punish other countries for their human rights violations.
As a nation founded on religious and moral values, we cannot begin to move past the shameful use of torture until we ensure that U.S. government-sponsored torture never occurs again. Justifications for the use of torture impede us from this important task.
It is disappointing to those who believed Obama's election marked the beginning of a reckoning with America's descent into torture. Rather than drawing a bead on impunity, the president has lowered his bow and let it go.
John McCain's latest war gospel hangs an alarming tale. The rule of law has been dethroned and the president has been endowed with absolute power as the American Empire has eclipsed the American Republic.
Obama's new Orders are a bold start, but more detail is required, dangerous loopholes must be shut off permanently, and other parts of the Bush administration's dark legacy need to be swiftly addressed.
Imagine after six and a half years of this imprisonment -- in which, unlike convicted criminals on the US mainland, you have never been charged or tried, and have not been allowed a single visit from your loved ones.