This article, though archived already, about sums up the way things have got in US politically. I must add, however, that the US is most certainly not the only country who has been complicit in this, other countries - UK, Canada and others must also admit their part in this. I don't want to be seen to be picking on America, but I really don't think America can "move on" as a nation until this is, at least, faced up to.http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis145.html
Nations that use torture disgrace themselves. Armed forces and police that torture inevitably become brutalized and corrupted. "Limited" use of torture quickly becomes generalized. "Information" obtained by torture is mostly unreliable.
I learned these truths over fifty years covering dirty "pacification" wars, from Algeria to Indochina, Central and South America, southern Africa, the Mideast, Afghanistan, and Kashmir in which torture was commonly used.
In spite of all the historical evidence that torture is counterproductive, the Bush administration encouraged torture of anti-American militants (aka "terrorists") after the 9/11 attacks. The full story has not yet been revealed, but what we know so far is revolting and shameful. Britain and Canada were also complicit as they used information derived from torture and handed suspects over to be tortured.
Many Americans and human rights groups are now demanding that the Bush administration officials who employed and sanctioned torture face justice. President Barack Obama hinted his new attorney general, Eric Holder, might investigate this whole ugly business. But the Obama White House clearly wants to dodge this issue.
Republicans, who have become America’s champion of war and torture, are fiercely resisting any investigation, and lauding torture’s benefits. Just when it seemed impossible for the dumbed-down Republican redneck party to sink any lower, it has by endorsing torture as the American way.
So, too, some senior intelligence and Pentagon officials including, dismayingly, Obama’s new CIA chief, Leon Panetta. He should know better. Many senior Congressional Democrats who sanctioned torture, or did nothing to stop it, are equally reluctant that the torture scandal be further investigated.
Torture is a crime under US law. It is a crime under the Third Geneva Convention, and the UN’s Anti-Torture Convention, both of which the US signed. Kidnapping and moving suspects to be tortured in third countries is a crime. Torture violates core American values.
In 1945, the US hanged Japanese officers for inflicting "water-boarding" (near-drowning) on US prisoners, which were deemed war crimes. Yet this is exactly what the CIA inflicted on its Muslim captives. FBI agents rightly refused to participate in the torture of al-Qaeda suspects, warning that it violated US law and could make them subject to future prosecution.
(snip - go to link)
One thing worth noting is: "President Obama actually told CIA personnel that he does not want to prosecute the torturers because they were only following proper legal advice and orders. So did Nazi officials who killed millions".
So with that mindset ............................