Based on a leaked International Committee of the Red Cross report, containing testimonies by 14 “High Value Detainees” captured during the course of 2002 by US forces, Mark Danner reports about the “the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program” which “either singly or in combination, constituted torture” and “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
We think time and elections will cleanse our fallen world but they will not. Since November, George W. Bush and his administration have seemed to be rushing away from us at accelerating speed, a dark comet hurtling toward the ends of the universe. The phrase “War on Terror”—the signal slogan of that administration, so cherished by the man who took pride in proclaiming that he was “a wartime president”—has acquired in its pronouncement a permanent pair of quotation marks, suggesting something questionable, something mildly embarrassing: something past. And yet the decisions that that president made, especially the monumental decisions taken after the attacks of September 11, 2001—decisions about rendition, surveillance, interrogation—lie strewn about us still, unclaimed and unburied, like corpses freshly dead.