US President Barack Obama says CIA agents who used harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects during the Bush era will not be prosecuted.
Rights groups have criticised his decision to protect CIA agents involved in the interrogation procedures.
Amnesty International said the Department of Justice appeared to be offering a “get-out-of-jail-free card” to individuals who were involved in acts of torture.
(Source: BBC News)
At the same time as saying that the US won’t use torture in future interrogations, Obama lets the torturers off scot-free.
Another victim of USA-style freedom and democracy, i.e. kidnap and torture
Let’s unpack the message this sends.
Firstly, it says that torture isn’t really a crime when the US carries it out. After all, doesn’t a civilised country prosecute criminals? Hell, the UK just locked up 114 people for planning a protest at a power station. These CIA agents, psychologists and soldiers have tortured innocent people and nothing will be done, they will face no justice for their crimes.
Secondly, it makes torture in the future fine too. If Obama had done the right thing and started criminal proceedings against these criminals, maybe in the future, when Americans were about to torture more innocents, they would have thought twice. Their self-interest might have whispered to them, “Hold on – if I torture this 14-year-old boy we’ve kidnapped from Iraq, maybe, one day, I’ll get arrested for this war crime.”
Now, torturers will assume any future US government will cover up their crimes in exactly the same way that Obama is now.
Obama’s message is simple: the USA approves of all the torture it’s carried out at Guantanamo and will torture people in the future as and when it deems it necessary.