Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Opinion

The U.S. Should Stop Patting Itself on the Back Over the Torture Report

The Obama administration, however, has not been able to take the same position on the report as Democrats in congress, because the administration continued to cover for the CIA after coming to power in 2009. Instead, the administration has taken the view that while torture is bad, the report itself is a reflection on the strength and health of American democracy. Vice President Joseph Biden said of the report “I think it’s a badge of honor…Think about it, name me another country that’s prepared to stand and say, ‘This was a mistake, we should not have done what we’ve done and we will not do it again.’ That will strengthen us worldwide.” Secretary of State John Kerry has struck a similar tone. “Release of this report affirms again that one of America’s strengths is our democratic system’s ability to recognize and wrestle with our own history, acknowledge mistakes and correct course.” Comments like those of Biden and Kerry make it clear that whatever damage this report might have done to the U.S., the American capacity for self-righteousness and self-deception is still remarkably strong.

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