During my recent convalescence, I’ve been reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog a lot. In this appearance on Anderson Cooper’s show in September, Sullivan gives an impassioned plea for caution and an attempt to bring attention to the radical consolidation of executive power, permanent suspension of habeas corpus and embrace of torture in the recently passed U.S. Detainee Bill. It’s intelligent, thoughtful punditry:
COOPER: Why do you think, though, this story, this — what is happening really hasn’t gotten much traction? I mean, people don’t want to hear about it. I mean, I know the ratings for this segment are going to go down because people turn this stuff off.
SULLIVAN: That’s how it always happens. People always, when these things occur, look the other way. People think it’s always going to happen to someone else or they think that these people are somehow all terrorists. They’re terror suspects. 90 percent of the people we detained in Abu Ghraib were innocent, it turned out, as the U.S. admitted. Dozens of people in Guantanamo were completely innocent, as the Army and military subsequently admitted. So, there is no process to determine who is innocent or guilty in these matters. They’re being detained without charges.
This video clip goes on to describe the case of Canadian Maher Arar as evidence of the risks of this path.
And now to add evidence as to why torture is a flawed intelligence tool, we find out that some of the faulty intelligence used by Colin Powell at the UN (to make the argument that Sadaam was working with al Qaeda as justification for the Iraq invasion), was evidence extracted by torture.
A dangerous new chapter begins.