How did George W. Bush’s war on terror validate the depraved sadism authorized at the highest levels of his administration? That long-overlooked question was raised by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which compiled (and controversially made public) an exhaustive report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program.
The committee’s findings include sicko instances of rectal rape and other types of violent sexual assault on helpless prisoners. Clearly the violation of a captive body was pursued not as a means of obtaining pivotal information, but as a pleasurable end in itself.
Enhanced interrogation techniques, the CIA’s bland euphemism for some of the most horrid practices concocted in human history, has everything to do with humiliation and nothing to do with legitimate interrogation. After five years of sifting through millions of pages of CIA files, the committee could not find a single instance where torture produced critically useful information. That fact in no way, however, mitigated the appetites of the brutal inquisitors.