“One of the darkest chapters in the U.S. government’s history”

This afternoon I’ve been reading excerpts from the just released report which gives a blow by blow account of the horrible actions this government took in the name of “safety”. I won’t be posting any excerpts at this blog. Frankly I had a hard time just skimming through a small portion of the released information. It’s not easy reading folks…

See: Senate Report Says Torture Program Was More Gruesome, Widespread Than CIA Claimed

I was interested in the President’s response;

Throughout our history, the United States of America has done more than any other nation to stand up for freedom, democracy, and the inherent dignity and human rights of people around the world. As Americans, we owe a profound debt of gratitude to our fellow citizens who serve to keep us safe, among them the dedicated men and women of our intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency. Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, these public servants have worked tirelessly to devastate core al Qaeda, deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, disrupt terrorist operations and thwart terrorist attacks. Solemn rows of stars on the Memorial Wall at the CIA honor those who have given their lives to protect ours. Our intelligence professionals are patriots, and we are safer because of their heroic service and sacrifices.

In the years after 9/11, with legitimate fears of further attacks and with the responsibility to prevent more catastrophic loss of life, the previous administration faced agonizing choices about how to pursue al Qaeda and prevent additional terrorist attacks against our country. As I have said before, our nation did many things right in those difficult years. At the same time, some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values. That is why I unequivocally banned torture when I took office, because one of our most effective tools in fighting terrorism and keeping Americans safe is staying true to our ideals at home and abroad.

Today’s report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence details one element of our nation’s response to 9/11—the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which I formally ended on one of my first days in office. The report documents a troubling program involving enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in secret facilities outside the United States, and it reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests. Moreover, these techniques did significant damage to America’s standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners. That is why I will continue to use my authority as President to make sure we never resort to those methods again.

As Commander in Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the safety and security of the American people. We will therefore continue to be relentless in our fight against al Qaeda, its affiliates and other violent extremists. We will rely on all elements of our national power, including the power and example of our founding ideals. That is why I have consistently supported the declassification of today’s report. No nation is perfect. But one of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better. Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past. Today is also a reminder that upholding the values we profess doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us stronger and that the United States of America will remain the greatest force for freedom and human dignity that the world has ever known.

Obama Responds To CIA Torture Report: Enhanced Interrogation ‘Contrary To Our Values’

What are your thoughts as a Christian, concerning what the previous administration sanctioned folks…I ask for the simple reason most Evangelicals came out in support of torture during (and after) the Bush/Cheney years. Will those same Evangelicals continue to support torture now they can read exactly what it entailed? 

After what I have read today I can agree to this being “One of the darkest chapters in the U.S. government’s history”.

And the world has known about this all-along.   


4 comments on ““One of the darkest chapters in the U.S. government’s history”

  1. Well worth reading: Does this come as a surprise? Not in the least.

    See: CIA cites Israeli court ruling to “justify” torture program

    • I read/skimmed that “Electronice Intifada” article, and it’s definitely worth looking at, as is this one (the first link in that article):


      The final statement in that article seems very true: “If the interpretation of international law were up to the US and Israel, there would scarcely be any law left.”

      I remember very well how many Christians I knew promoted George W. Bush as a born-again Christian who was being led by God to make the decisions he made. (Disclaimer: It sounds like the CIA made some decisions on their own.) I lost at least a couple of Facebook friends when I spoke out against the torture at that time.

      In some ways, this dark chapter isn’t over yet, from what I can see. The present administration did call for an end to the torture program, but it has greatly escalated “extrajudicial killings,” deadly drone attacks on several nations (Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, etc.) that have killed and wounded many civilians.

      One encouraging sign is the increase of disclosure, revealing of secret things, and calls for accountability even of the powerful. The revelations can be difficult to bear, but I see God’s hand in it.

    • Glad you brought up the article at Electronic Intifada. Its a disturbing article Adam. Just in the past couple days i found myself pondering on what the connection was between the two nations–the thing which continues to keep America at Israel’s beck and call and what keeps the relationship vital for both sides. This article really spells it out. They are two-peas in the same pod. I can recall an israeli coming to Israel’s defense on a board after someone commented on how Israel stole the land. This guy came back using as a defense our actions with in stealing land from the Indians–and frankly, he made a good argument. I’ve started to see Israel as a mini-America. They seem to be copying many of our actions of the last 200+ years. So it should come as no surprise that Obama cited the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to justify al-Awlaki’s execution.

      Know i keep saying it, but judgment is at the door. For both America and Israel.

      One encouraging sign is the increase of disclosure, revealing of secret things, and calls for accountability even of the powerful. The revelations can be difficult to bear, but I see God’s hand in it.

      Amen. I’m glad what really occurred has been disclosed. But frankly i believe the only people surprised are Americans.

      “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” – luke 8

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