Why America will torture again

The Senate's torture report is meant to teach us a lesson. But with no real accountability, what's to stop the CIA from repeating its mistakes?

Guantanamo Bay
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Tomas van Houtryve))

After years of research and investigation, followed by more years of delays and roadblocks, the Senate report on the CIA torture program has finally been released. As I've been writing for months, the basic outline of the results were known in advance: the CIA tortured a lot of people, accomplished nothing by it, and lied through its teeth to defend itself and the program.

However, the sheer weight of all the horrifying details contained in the report, coupled with the credibility of its presentation, gives it a new and devastating impact. In particular, the grotesque and lawless incompetence of it all puts what's at stake here in stark relief: the rule of law, and the security of American democracy. And, unfortunately, the report does little to change the fact that both these things will remain under threat well into the future.

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