Two U.S. Senators, Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), wrote an article in the Washington Post on the 11th April entitled, “Why the Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program should be made public”. Sen. Dianne Feinstein chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that issued the report, which, she said previously, “exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen.”
The writers declare: “We believe that public release is the best way to ensure that this program of secret detention and coercive interrogation never happens again. It will also serve to uphold America’s practice of admitting wrongdoing and learning from its mistakes.”
Man cannot live on publicity alone. Torture was justified during the Bush administration as being beneficial to U.S. interests and no one seriously believed that what was done was humane; they just thought that it might save American lives. This report has been publicised as proving that the brutal practices of the C.I.A. did not actually work and that the C.I.A. lied to government officials about the true nature of its activities. The obvious implication then is that if torture had been effective and if elected officials had been made to feel more in control of it then it would not have been called a “mistake”.
What then will become of America’s “values as a nation” when some new form of torture or other brutality appears to be expedient again under a future administration? In fact, we don’t have to wait, we may ask now about other barbaric practices that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence does support, such as spying at home and abroad on an epic and indiscriminate scale or the use of lethal drones to murder people in foreign countries who are considered to be a possible threat to U.S. interests.
American democracy has set up an open space where some people can talk about values, while others abuse these values. Everyone has some part to play. Edward Snowden blew the whistle on N.S.A. spying and was driven into exile, and it was John Kiriakou who exposed C.I.A. torture, not the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, but he is now serving a 30 month prison sentence. The citizens of a democratic society are told that they can be players for change, but democracy makes them actors in an endless cycle of theatre that does not secure moral values.
The only hope for ridding the world of the evil of torture is the return of the noble Islamic Khilafah, and it is this goal that America fights with all the evil she can muster. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the victims of torture were Muslims. They were detained, tortured and abused; sometimes for years. They were passed around the world’s torture centers, manacled in chains and blind-folded. Some survived, others disappeared without a trace, but the last word will be theirs; not as victims in a report, but as believers whose example of patience and hope under oppression inspired some of their captors to turn to Islam, which enshrined fixed and non-negotiable values for humanity 1435 years ago.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Abdullah Robin