Surprise! Neocons Defend Torture

In the realm of predictability, it was a sure bet: The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture released today was vigorously rejected by the coterie of neocon armchair warriors whose lives are a constant loop of the television program “24.”

As the rest of us retch at the horrors of forced rectal hydration and feeding — including the forced “wrong-way” ingestion of such items as pureed “hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins.” (Auschwitz guards must be smiling up from hell). As the rest of us are outraged that the report ultimately means very little because President Obama already granted immunity to the CIA torturers back in 2012. As the rest of us see that the main argument of what Judge Andrew Napolitano calls the “torture lobby” — that torture may not be nice but it is necessary to save lives — has been decimated by the report’s conclusion that torture is totally useless. As all of this blows the neocon position out of the water, the shameless neocons remain on their well-padded ramparts, lobbing back their turgid rhetoric and ignoring incoming.

Witness the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka, who takes to the pages of the New York Times to tell us that “[m]any of the ‘revelations’ of C.I.A. techniques and black sites are old hat to most.” Yes, nothing to see here.

Pletka grasps at the news of the day to draw a comparison between the Senate report on the CIA and the recently discredited Rolling Stone report of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house. She writes:

It has become the norm to act based on false reports; to close fraternities because of rapes that may or may not have happened; to release terrorists because it is inconvenient to keep them. Rather, the next step should be to consign Feinstein’s partisan screed to the ashbin of history…

Ignore it, in other words, and, as she advises, re-focus on America’s “real enemies from Yemen to Mali, from Iraq to Syria, from Sinai to Gaza and beyond.”

Enough talk of torture! We have more wars to fight and more Muslims to kill!

The Weekly Standard’s Stephen “Case Closed” Hayes, reprises his piece from earlier this year claiming that, based on reports by the torturers, “enhanced techniques work.” Hayes cites testimony he received from an alleged “enhanced interrogation practitioner” who wrote under a pseudonym to claim that torture works. Oh well then, case closed!

Neocon blowhard masquerading as torture opponent, Sen. John McCain, plays a different game. Positioning himself as the “conscience of the Senate,” he railed against torture on the Senate Floor today. But as the Institute for Public Accuracy’s Sam Husseini pointedly asks, “[h]as anyone produced a list of times McCain used ‘information’ obtained from torture he allegedly objects to?”

Indeed, as Husseini discovers in the report, it was the very torture McCain claims to reject that produced the bogus intelligence used by the Bush Administration (and repeated by people like McCain) to make the case for the 2002 US war on Iraq. Doesn’t like torture, loves the lies that come from torture if they lead to more wars. That is neocon morality.

They are all there, playing their familiar roles. As I suppose are we: Shut down the CIA, end torture, seek justice, discontinue the empire.

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6:31 pm on December 9, 2014

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