The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled against Poland, charging our ally with human rights violations for helping the CIA operate an 'extraordinary rendition' program in which two persons suspected of terrorism were delivered to a "black site" in 2002-2003, for detention, interrogation and torture -- in the attempt to extract bogus confessions.
Court documents provide insight into the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques": Hooding, handcuffing, chambering a bullet, putting the gun to the suspect's head while cocking the trigger; threatening a hooded, naked suspect with a power drill; threatening to apprehend the suspect's mother or female relative, bring them before him to be sexually assaulted; various stress positions which could force dislocation of limbs; using a stiff brush on a suspect's naked body to induce pain; suspending the suspect on a bar or a hook for two to three days at a time; water boarding; electric shock; threatening to sodomize the suspect and to infect the suspect with the HIV virus.
The torture program has resulted in deaths of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. One Guantanamo inmate who was tortured will soon go on trial before a US military tribunal. No one at the CIA has been prosecuted for torturing suspects. But one CIA agent who blew the whistle on an agency practitioner of torture was sentenced to two years in federal prison.
This year America will observe the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, a tragedy that should never have been appropriated to advance a foreign policy agenda that included war against innocent people, torture and murder of terror "suspects" abroad, and the destruction of dearly held US Constitutional values here at home.
It is time to take truth off the torture rack. America needs a full accounting of those dark days through a process of Truth and Reconciliation.