I think that I understand what torture is. I have read many books about the middle ages and the inquisition. I have lived through World War Two and the Korean War. I have read about the depraved and inhuman things that some people are willing to do to their fellow man. Let us just say that people that do these things, no matter what their reason, are sub-human sadists.
There is a world of difference between torture and enhanced interrogation. And yes, I include waterboarding. In enhanced interrogation, no bones are broken, no blood is shed, All fingers and teeth stay where they belong, no electricity is used, and no one is left in a steel box under the hot sun. Enhanced interrogation generally goes in one of two directions. Sensory deprivation or sensory overload. Things from which people recover.
During WWII, FDR realized the need for a strong intelligence agency. He charged his friend William Donovan to take on the task. Thus was born the OSS. The Office of Strategic Services. Some very famous people became part of the organization, such as Julia Child and Ralph Bunche. They were integral in winning the war.
Harry Truman was not a fan of the OSS and shut them down. He then formed the CIA. As no government agency is perfect, so also is the CIA not perfect. But on balance they have been exceptional. They recruit very bright people right out of college and train them like very few agencies in the world. Then they send them out to glean information and perform acts that keep us all safer. This requires an exceptional degree of courage, patriotism, and loyalty.
After the destruction of the twin towers we found our country faced with an enemy we knew little about, and whose future plans we knew nothing about. The CIA was charged with correcting that situation quickly and efficiently. They took the bit in their teeth and ran with it.
Remember we had just had three thousand of our fellow citizens murdered. Yes they used enhanced interrogation. Who wouldn't have at that time? No one was maimed at American hands. Actionable intelligence was gathered. And, above all the proper people in Congress knew everything and approved of it.
Now Dianne Feinstein, who was one of the Congress members who knew, wants to publish a one sided biased report castigating those that should be treated as heroes. Beyond that, it will be putting Americans abroad in grave danger and causing further distrust among those who used to be our great allies.
Why would Ms. Feinstein do this and why would President Obama not put a stop to it? Why? For political reasons, of course. With them it is always politics. Look at the polls. The Democrat party has been brought low in the past six years. Time is running out. In one month they lose control of the Senate. Since much of the enhanced interrogation was done under the Bush Presidency this is the last spasm of their six year "Blame Bush" campaign.
The people of the CIA are patriots and great Americans. They take on tasks for their country that most cannot or would be in fear to try to do. They deserve respect and protection of their personal privacy and safety. Likewise, our loyal allies also deserve our unrestrained protection. Anything else is beyond the pale. Even for politicians.