Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Continuing Scars of Torture

Thank you to Matt Apuzzo, Sheri Fink, and James Risen of the New York Times for traveling around the world to interview former CIA prisoners at secret locations and prisoners of the US base in Guantanamo Bay, many of them now released without charges after years of torture.

Their series of articles, titled Lasting Scars, examines the American legacy of brutal interrogations in secret CIA prisons and at Guantanamo.

Today's article reveals the continuing impact on an innocent bystander, Suleiman Abdullah Salim, of imprisonment and torture by the US.  It's heart-breaking.

Part 1 came out Sunday, titled "U.S. Torture Leaves a Legacy of Detainees with Damaged Minds."

The Senate Torture Report approved in 2012 was the starting point for much of the research and interviewing by these reporters.

"The 6,000-page report details actions by CIA officials and findings of the study of the Detention and Interrogation Program. On December 9, 2014—eight months after voting to release parts of the report—the SSCI released a 525-page portion that consisted of key findings and an executive summary of the full report. It took five years and $40 million to compile the report.[4] The rest of it remains classified.[5][6][7]"  -- from the Wikipedia summary

You and I aren't likely ever to read this report, but we at least we need to know what it covers:
"the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)'s Detention and Interrogation Program and its use of various forms of torture ("enhanced interrogation techniques") in U.S. government communiqu├ęs) on detainees between 2001 and 2006 during the 'War on Terror.'" 

I read and think, "Why wasn't I out there demonstrating in front of the White House against the use of torture?"

If we do not speak out, we share in the blame for our government's actions, as Gloria Killian explained to me ten years ago.  

She had been falsely imprisoned for a murder she knew nothing about; she only knew one of the defendants, who found a way to avoid imprisonment by getting a plea bargain for falsely accusing Gloria.  She was sentenced to 32 years.  

When I heard Gloria's story after her release, I murmured something supportive to her, but she would have none of it.  "My case was Gloria Killian vs. the People of California, and you are one of those people.  You are responsible for what your government does."

Listen to Sheri Fink's interview with Khkaled al-Sharif, former prisoner:

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