Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bush Torture Memos To Be Declassified

Torture, MemosReports surfaced today that memos on the torture of detainees considered to be of "high value" at U.S. prison camps will be declassified soon. These memos are said to reveal disturbing practices by the CIA during the Bush Administration. (Image: Newsweek) This news comes a week after former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on CNN's State of the Union with John King, claiming that Obama's anti-torture policies hurt the security of the United States. So, what's at stake here?

Well, first and foremost is the image of the United States. No matter who the state is torturing, it reflects badly on the morals of the country. Performing barbaric torture is not taking the high road, which is what the United States should do. America views itself as the leader of the free word, but this type of behaviour could seriously discredit that image.

Also affected by the coming declassification of these memos is the movement to investigate the Bush Administration. A commission, being referred to as the truth commission, has been demanded by a growing number of legislators to investigate the practices of the CIA and other agencies between 2000 and 2008.

The goal of this commission is to reveal what went wrong in order to move forward correctly. However, despite these commendable goals, the end result will likely be an embarrassing report on the damaging practices of intelligence agencies under Bush. As mentioned earlier, Obama has already ordered the stop of torture practices. Legislators close to his administration support the cries for a truth commission and, as evidenced by these memo declassifications, Obama does as well.

Moving forward, I believe a commission is important. It may hurt the U.S. image in the short-term, but it will improve the country in the long-term. These memos will likely be enough to get the commission going.