The United Nations adopted the convention against torture 60 years ago. In the year 2015 we read the “torture report” which documents the CIA´s atrocities since 2001 on 600 pages. The fact that the CIA (probably like many other secret services) still uses methods of torture is bad although not very surprising for a few people. The degree of cruelty however is shocking and so is the reaction of many US-citizens. According to a survey of the polling institute Pew 51% of the Americans approve of torture practices. 43% don´t oppose the methods described in the “torture report” but it´s publication. 56% of the Americans think that because of torture practices further attacks could be prevented. This is simply not true. The authorities themselves confirmed that the torture practices mostly led to misinformation (Spiegel).
How does the government react? Obama approved of the publication of the report and apparently is deeply disappointed. When he got in charge of power he prohibited a few of the “enhanced interrogation techniques”. To refer to torture practices as “enhanced interrogation techniques” is against humanity itself. At the same time this means that until 2009 certain “enhanced interrogation techniques” were still legal and who knows which ones are still today.
We are talking about the USA. The country that fights several wars in the name of democracy. The country that has to justify itself for a torture report in the 21st century. How the USA are planning to keep on justifying their self-proclaimed role as the world´s police for morality and democracy is to be awaited for with suspense.
Michael Knigge (editor of Deutsche Welle) calls attentions to the failure of media aswell. Only the people responsible for the actions are heard in the media (for example Ex-Vice-President Cheney who doesn´t regret and would handle the situation the same way again). The victims of torture don´t have a voice. We listen to the justifications and excuses of the people in charge and not to the stories of the people who suffered.
The rest of the world also has to take responsibility. Keeping in mind the spying scandals of recent years it is hard to believe that the governments of other countries had no clue about what was going on.
Gregor Gysi (party leader of the left wing German party die Linke) files charges against the Ex-Bush-Administration. So does the human rights organisation European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) (Zeit).
What some people describe as „enhanced interrogation techniques“ international law refers to as war crimes.