One reason why torture matters

Amidst this fantastic New York Times report on the conditions under which James Foley and his fellow Daesh captives were held, we learn that not only did the extremist group torture its prisoners, but that it did so in ways that explicitly echoed American treatment of suspected terrorist detainees:

At one point, their jailers arrived with a collection of orange jumpsuits.

In a video, they lined up the French hostages in their brightly colored uniforms, mimicking those worn by prisoners at the United States’ facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

They also began waterboarding a select few, just as C.I.A. interrogators had treated Muslim prisoners at so-called black sites during the George W. Bush administration, former hostages and witnesses said.

This is one of many reasons why the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report, whose release is shamefully being blocked by the White House and the CIA, matters. By what moral authority can the United States condemn these despicable acts by Daesh unless we reckon with the similarly despicable acts that we’ve committed?


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