Massimo Calabresi frames the debate over the report:
What effect will assigning blame have? The CIA says it is so burned by the EIT program that it is permanently out of the business of interrogation and Dianne Feinstein, the hawkish head of the Senate Intelligence committee, says that’s fine. The purpose of her report, she says, is to ensure such a program is never again acceptable to Americans.
But plenty of others, from ex-CIA officer Jose Rodriguez, to former Vice President Dick Cheney, to former CIA chief Michael Hayden, say the program should be available for use if there is another major attack on the U.S. Even Obama’s CIA chief says only that the EIT program is not now “appropriate,” suggesting it might be in other circumstances.
Ultimately, the report’s value lies in answering that simple question: should we ever do it again?
Republicans are for torture. That is what they are saying when they attack the release of the report while at the same time defending the actions of the torturers employed by the US government on the orders of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. And their answer to that question from Mr. Calabresi is “Absolutely.” And that is because they have no morals. No conscience.
The truly disturbing thing about this report is not the revelations of what they did in our name, but how many Americans will just shrug, or join the Republican critics.