First, there is much talk about the impact that the release of this report will have on our allies, interests, and agents here and overseas. Secretary of State John Kerry, Republicans, and various intelligence officials have all registered their concern: this will inflame, incite, and encourage attacks against Americans and our allies.
Does anyone really think ISIS, al Qaeda, etc. are actually paying such close attention?
If so, then we have a question for Secretary of State Kerry and all the others: Why haven't you considered the potential impact of a completely different kind of message -- the kind of message that would be sent by actually holding accountable all those named in this Torture Report?
Wouldn't prosecuting all those named and identified in this report including Bush, Cheney, Addington, Tenet, Mueller, Pavitt, McLaughlin, Rizzo, and Rodriguez have the very real and substantial effect of actually quelling hostilities against us?
Wouldn't hauling these men into a court of law for all the world to see go a very long way in restoring our name and reputation as being a nation of laws?
Because merely denouncing these heinous acts (a la President Obama) is meaningless; what truly matters is illustrating and carrying out genuine accountability.
President Obama should show true leadership and genuine courage by demanding that these individuals be brought to account for their actions and directives. Doing so would prove to the world that no American citizen is above the law; and that no American President will stand for such evil, sadistic behavior being carried out in the name of U.S. national security.
Second, there seems to be a lot of concern about potential retribution against the individuals named or made potentially identifiable in this report.
Frankly, we're more concerned about knowing where these individuals are today because when someone carries out these kinds of brutal, sociopathic acts in civilian life, they are removed from society -- not rewarded with a get out of jail free card and/or accolades. We certainly hope none of them remain in positions of power and that all of them have been given psychological counseling and/or debriefing. It is difficult to imagine individuals carrying out such heinous acts for years against human beings so easily and peacefully assimilating back into a normal life.
Third, one need only a cursory understanding of the 9/11 Commission Report to know that a large portion of the report regarding the planning and carrying out of the 9/11 attacks was collected and based upon Khalid Sheikh Mohammed interrogations. If we now know that these interrogations produced bogus, erroneous information, dare we ask how much of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report is based on total bullshit? Yet something tells us that asking former staff director Philip Zelikow or former Commission Chair Lee Hamilton for a new 9/11 Commission Report, won't get us very far.
If we as a nation do not demand accountability for the truth revealed in this report, then how can we ever make sure that such immoral, illegal, evil acts (or worse) will not be repeated in the future? Accountability sets a strong and undeniable deterrence factor. You commit torture, you go to jail. You go rogue, you go to jail. Simple as that. No gray area. No legalese. No exoneration. No pardon. J A I L.
Thirteen long years later, it's time we find our moral compass and our conscience again. Because the United States of America--is and should always be a nation of laws.
(Monica Gabrielle, 9/11 widow, co-wrote this with me)