Kerry On Torture: It Weakened Our National Security

Via Steve Clemons, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote:

I and many others believe that the use of torture and indefinite detention have not only tarnished our honor but also diminished our security. In this global counterinsurgency effort against al Qaeda and its allies, too often our means have undercut our efforts by wasting one of our best weapons: the legitimacy that comes from our moral authority.

. . . Torture elicits lies -- not just from those experiencing it, but from those who seek to conceal it. After years of Orwellian denials and legalistic parsing, what a relief it was to hear our new attorney general-designee finally acknowledge what we know to be true: that yes, "waterboarding is torture."

As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Kerry seems well positioned to investigate and document these hard truths. It should be part of his work now.

Speaking for me only

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    It should have been (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:27:31 AM EST
    part of his (and others') work earlier than now. I hope there are investigations, and Kerry is known for his investigatory bent more than his legislative accomplishments so maybe there is a chance with him as head of this committee. But the spinelessness of so many over the last eight years is stunning to me.  I know it shouldn't be, but it is.

    I was reading Charles Homans (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:38:08 AM EST
    and he discussed the political consequences of leading a Church committee type investigation here.  Unlike Church, Kerry probably has no interest in running for President, and I think his seat would be safe in Mass.  So why the hell shouldn't he spearhead an investigation?  On the other hand, his having run against Bush might make people distrust him on this matter.  I don't know.

    Kerry: Torture weakened our national security . . (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Doc Rock on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:35:43 AM EST
    Duh!  How to win firends and influence people:  torture their kith and kin?

    Very well said Senator Kerry (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:36:42 AM EST
    Almost causes me to remember how I used to feel about my origins and where I was headed to.  Why couldn't Kerry have been this well spoken in 2004?

    Who care what Kerry says (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by koshembos on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:12:33 AM EST
    You would think that a result of a complete show of ineptness (2004) means that Kerry will go far away and hide. Oh No, we have to listen to him as if he is someone.

    I am against torture and against Kerry.

    Better late than never (none / 0) (#5)
    by No Blood for Hubris on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:38:48 AM EST
    I suppose.

    John (none / 0) (#6)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:00:02 AM EST
    How come you didn't deliver on your promise to defend election integrity at all cost in 04?

    Answer. Integrity? (none / 0) (#7)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:04:07 AM EST
    It's unhip, unscientific, archaic, politically incorrect and guaranteed to hurt earnings.

    Just sell Ketchup John (none / 0) (#8)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:07:35 AM EST
    Your not helping any of us.

    Could someone explain how this weakened (none / 0) (#10)
    by Green26 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:19:13 AM EST
    our national security?

    Several Ways (none / 0) (#11)
    by jsj20002 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:09:52 PM EST
    1. The pictures of the abuse at Abu Ghraib are used throughout the Muslim world as Al Qaida recruitment posters.
    2. We must rely on foreigners to gather intelligence and help capture suspected Al Qaida members.  We will get more cooperation if we promise to treat our captives according to civilized norms.
    3. Some of the false information obtained by torture has probably lead to investigative dead ends that waste our resources.
    I am sure there are other reasons that torture has made us less secure.  

    Let's see (none / 0) (#12)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:51:30 PM EST
    1. While probably true to a limited sense, I suppose one can say that a few people may have been scared off by the torture and the means the U.S. is willing to go.

    2. Why would someone who is willing to be an informant care if person they are turning in is tortured. They are already willing to put the person in prison for the rest of their life - or maybe even death?

    3. I completely agree with you.

    I think the best argument would have to do with our allies willingness to assist.

    abu ghraib??? (none / 0) (#15)
    by diogenes on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:00:46 PM EST
    1. What kind of revisionism is this--that Abu Ghraib was an organized plan for highly trained CIA people to torture selected subjects for essential information?

    Thanks for the responses, but (none / 0) (#13)
    by Green26 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:45:23 PM EST
    I don't see any of those things as weakening our national security.

    I agree that no. 1 hurt the U.S significantly.

    Ummmmmm...... (none / 0) (#16)
    by dutchfox on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 02:21:40 AM EST
    How about it's just plain wrong?

    Didn't notice the allies willingness to assist (none / 0) (#14)
    by Green26 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:48:54 PM EST
    comment. While I doubt that allegations of torture uncut our allies willingness to assist, I can see this one would undercut security, if true.