Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Torture Report is a Tool

Torture creates exemplars--for the purpose of quietly extorting obedience from the collegial cohort, and power--and silence--from officials. It is never for info-gathering. 

Torture is never about gathering information; it is about controlling a large system, a large group of people, by beating a few, with impunity. It is profoundly about controlling your own audience and keeping them in line.

It is about covert power.

In such a system, a confession is *not* about cleansing and renewal; it is about conserving covert power from exposure and destruction.

Confession occurs at the time the system is about to rupture, at the time it is threatened either internally or externally with rebellion, exposure and housecleaning.

The confession elicits empathy, averts further inspection and creates delay -- delay during which the system can regroup, consolidate...and avoid additional losses.

The CIA never wants to see another housecleaning like that imposed upon it by Ford, in 1974, after Watergate.

With the Torture Report, they have accomplished that goal.

Pragmatically, no matter the rhetoric, the reality is that the Torture Report confesses nothing. It didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. We knew waterboarding was torture. We knew justice had been subverted at the very top to make way for it. What the Torture Report doesn't tell us is how the CIA subverted the judiciary in order to make it legal and how it kept the President, and others, from challenging the miscarriage? Why did so many people capitulate? Why was everyone frozen?

See the opening sentences, above, and then read the article below.

"Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change."