Blue Blog
The Washington Monthly
Categories: Politics

The Washington Monthly
.Majid Khan, currently being held as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay, is not being allowed to speak to his lawyer. Why? Because previously he was detained in one the CIA’s secret overseas prisons and “he may have come into possession of information, including…alternative interrogation techniques.”

“May have come into possession.” Indeed he may have. That’s a very nice use of the passive voice, isn’t it?

Now, Khan may be a cold-blooded killer whose main goal in life is to commit the mass murder of innocent Americans. Then again, he may be guilty of nothing more than yelling “Death to America” on crowded street corners in Karachi. We’ll never know for sure, though, because once you’ve been the subject of government-sanctioned torture alternative interrogation techniques, you’re automatically forbidden to defend yourself because you might tell people about the very alternative interrogation techniques that were employed against you.

This highlights the fundamental corruption of the human soul that torture causes. We know it’s wrong, so not only do we torture prisoners, but we then do what we must to conceal what we’ve done. And then we try to conceal even that. Torture and secrecy, secrecy and torture, world without end.

That’s not America. At least, it shouldn’t be.

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