I was sickened today in reading the Washington Post front page article “CIA Played Larger Role in Advising Pentagon.” The article states that a CIA “counterterrorism lawyer” named Jonathan Fredman had counseled the military authorities running Guantanamo that torture is basically “subject to perception” noting that CIA had “well trained individuals” to “perform this technique,” and warning only that “if the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong.” Fredman expanded on the theme, noting that if someone dies “the backlash of attention would be severely detrimental.” A CIA spokesman commenting on Fredman’s remarks added the “far more important point that…the CIA’s terrorist interrogation program has operated on the basis of measured, detailed legal guidance…” The spokesman, appropriately named George Little, concluded with the usual nonsense about how torture has “disprupted terrorist plots and saved innocent lives.”
I am not sure if I am particularly revolted by all of the above because I once worked for the CIA and believed that it was at that time an honorable institution staffed by officers with a moral compass, which makes me ask where the intelligence community leadership has found the low life reprobates who both torture and defend the practice. Where do they find a “counterterrorism lawyer” like Fredman? How many pills does he have to take to sleep at night? What kind of university trained him in law? Or I might just be reacting to the fact that the arguments being made could just as easily come from some hack defending the enlightened policies of Stalin’s Soviet Union or Hitler’s Third Reich. I can believe that there are lawyers working for the Bush administration who are willing to justify any atrocity against anyone based on bogus claims of national security and “counterterrorism.” Sick, sick, sick.