The author of this article, Peter Van Buren, is a 24-year veteran Foreign Service Officer at the State Department, and spent a year in Iraq.
By Peter Van Buren [Source]
If you look backward you see a nightmare. If you look forward you become the nightmare.
There’s one particular nightmare that citizens of the United States need to face: in the first decade of the 21st century we tortured people as national policy. One day, we’re going to have to confront the reality of what that meant, of what effect it had on its victims and on us, too, we who condoned, supported, or at least allowed it to happen, either passively or with guilty (or guiltless) gusto.
If not, torture won’t go away. It can’t be disappeared like the body of a political prisoner, or conveniently deep-sixed simply by wishing it elsewhere or pretending it never happened or closing our bureaucratic eyes. After the fact, torture can only be dealt with by staring directly into the nightmare that changed us – that…
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