The Torture Report summary has been released, showing the unconscionable treatment of detainees in Guantanamo Bay (among other locations). People are howling for the heads of the Bush-era officials that sanctioned the use of torture, the ACLU is calling for “blanket amnesty” (fuckingwhat?), and Twitter is abuzz with a combination of shock, horror, and a coterie of “If u don’t want to b tortured than don’t b a terrorist”s. Someone has been indicted for all of this, though– the CIA whistleblower who called attention to it– for allegedly violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and three counts of violating the Espionage Act.
Eric Garner was killed, and the officer who did it received no punishment. This is true despite the medical examiner’s determination that it was a homicide, and despite the fact that the entire incident was caught on film by an onlooker. Someone did get indicted for it– the person who did the filming— for third-degree criminal weapon possession and criminal firearm possession, charges he claims are false. His wife was even arrested for an alleged assault a week later.
Regardless of whether or not these men are guilty of what they’ve been charged with, this is a situation that looks suspect at best. There’s a trend here. The police and the CIA are, whether they know and intend it or not, answering the question, “Who watches the watchers?”
These indictments may be unfortunate coincidences. These men may be guilty of breaking laws that are in place for good reason, and should remain so. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a stunning discrepancy between how they have been treated and the treatment of those who they’ve exposed.
Torture doesn’t work. It only strengthens an enemy’s resolve.
How can you trust “enhanced interrogation” techniques in the hands of an organization that accidentally tortured their own informants?
It is good to care about how the police do their jobs.
It is good to care about how detainees are treated.
It’s even good to care about how convicted criminals are treated.
Maybe what you’re doing just isn’t illegal yet.