The C.I.A.’s interrogation program is remarkable for its mechanistic aura. 'It’s one of the most sophisticated, refined programs of torture ever,' an outside expert familiar with the protocol said. 'At every stage, there was a rigid attention to detail. Procedure was adhered to almost to the letter. There was top-down quality control, and such a set routine that you get to the point where you know what each detainee is going to say, because you’ve heard it before. It was almost automated. People were utterly dehumanized. People fell apart. It was the intentional and systematic infliction of great suffering masquerading as a legal process. It is just chilling.'No one should be the least bit surprised by this disclosure.
I predict that the president elected in 2008, a Democrat, will not take the steps necessary to reasonably ensure that such torture no longer takes place. Rather, he or she will take only token measures, without teeth, without criminal accountability, and without protection for those who witness or expose torture, ensuring that torture again becomes hidden.
I make this prediction because the two leading Democratic contenders are sitting Senators—in the majority party—and they have done nothing whatsoever to expose the torture that has been known for years to exist, done nothing whatsoever to identify those responsible and hold them criminally or even politically accountable, and, by not opposing the Military Commissions Act with sufficient vigor (when they were at the time in the minority party), and not attempting to repeal the MCA in the majority, colluded in the legalization of torture.