Torture Is Also Big Government Reply

Stating the obvious.

By W. James Antle III

The American Conservative

Many conservatives weren’t happy with the release of the Senate CIA torture report. They described its release as reckless endangerment at worst, an attempt to distract from the House’s Jonathan Gruber hearings at best.

But it was fitting to question Gruber and publicize some of the uglier interrogation practices the same day. Both events illustrated the role deceit has played in two of the federal government’s biggest undertakings of the past few years—the remaking of our healthcare system at home and the War on Terror abroad. Both congressional inquiries were attempts, however partisan and imperfect, to arrive at some level of transparency and accountability.

Since when do Republicans believe a congressional investigation is automatically discredited because one party participated while the other stonewalled in defense of a president? Not since Barack Obama has been in office, at least. And John McCain—lest we forget, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee—defended the report’s release by saying “the truth is a hard pill to swallow” but “the American people are entitled to it.”

Fighting terrorism is a tough business, and people who would commit heinous acts certainly cannot be treated with kid gloves. Nevertheless, many of the methods described in the report fit generally accepted definitions of torture. Evidence that “enhanced interrogation” actually enhanced national security is scant.

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