Disrupting the torture narrative

At the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal site, Heather Mac Donald takes a look at the how the recent revelation of torture in Iraqi-run Baghdad prisons disrupts the “torture narrative” propounded by anti-war critics: “Baghdad’s real torturers.” In her conclusion, Mac Donald disputes Andrew Sullivan’s assertion that the America “led by example” in practicing torture:

Actually, we didn’t. Whereas the Baghdad detainees appeared to have been starved and were covered with lacerations and bruises, terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have bulked up from their three square Halal meals a day and are receiving sophisticated medical care—often the first medical care they have received in their lives. The Baghdad prison contained instruments of torture, like a medieval-style mace; the American rules for interrogation in every theater of conflict required that the detainees be treated humanely, and the authorities have investigated and punished any deviation from that standard.

When the history of the war on terror is written, the strangest chapter will address why so many American intellectuals were so determined to believe the absolute worst about U.S. behavior. Unfortunately, their willful self-delusion has influenced American intelligence policy more than has the truth.


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