As the world awaits the release of a Senate report on the torture used by the Bush Administration post-9/11, conservative “Christian” hypocrite Pat Robertson defended the use of torture on Monday.
During his 700 Club program, Robertson took a minute to talk about torturing other human beings and how it was “brutal” but necessary to learn more information that could lead to the capture of more terrorists before they struck.
“You may be shocked at some of that, but the truth is we didn’t have another incident after 9/11 and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he was caught, he was the mastermind, and they were rather rough with him but they learned invaluable information. So I know it seems brutal but that’s the way it was.”
Here’s the video via Right Wing Watch.
Robertson is peddling an oft-repeated right-wing claim that torture works as a technique to gain information, and that it was completely justifiable to protect America from another terrorist attack.
The problem for them and for everyone else is that torture doesn’t work and is illegal. The United Nations and the Geneva Conventions have both condemned torture.
The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and it was adopted by the US Senate in 1994. In addition, torture is an illegal act under US lawas well. Therefore, the Bush Administration officials who knew or approved of torture should prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as war criminals.
Furthermore, torture did not result in any useful information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden or any other terrorist, nor did it help prevent other attacks.
Anyone who has a problem with that fact should take it up with former POW and current US Senator John McCain, who was tortured during the Vietnam War. McCain himself wrote a column for the Washington Post in 2011 condemning the use of torture and debunking conservative claims that it helped interrogators gain valuable intelligence. In the op-ed, McCain wrote;
Former attorney general Michael Mukasey recently claimed that “the intelligence that led to bin Laden . . . began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information — including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.” That is false.
I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.
In fact, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Khalid Sheik Mohammed produced false and misleading information… because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering. Often, information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading.
The fact is, torture is illegal and is useless as an interrogation technique. Defending torture is an affront to human rights and proves how hypocritical Pat Robertson is. He’s supposed to be a Christian pastor, not a cheerleader for violence and suffering. He should be ashamed.