Morning Must-Read: Dylan Scott: Sorry, Haters: Here's Another Big Way Obamacare Is Working As Planned
Afternoon Must-Read: Daniel Strauss: Sen. Warren Tears Into Defenders Of Poetry-Loving Obama Treasury Nominee Antonio Weiss

Morning Must-Read: Andrew Sullivan: Darkness Visible: Live-Blogging the Torture Report: Daily Focus


Morning Must-Read: Andrew Sullivan: Darkness Visible: Live-Blogging The Torture Report: "I want to end on a positive note...

Everything that happened in this damning report is because of Americans. But the report itself is a function of other Americans determined to push back against evil done in this country’s name. Those Americans have been heroes in exposing this horror from the get-go, and they include many CIA agents who knew full well what this foul program was doing to their and America’s reputation. But they also include the dogged staff of the Select Committee....

Dan Jones... was the key figure in putting this together. He was handed with literally millions of pages of often incomprehensible and weirdly filed documents, and somehow had to pull them all together.... There were many early mornings when he carried on, not knowing if any of this would ever see the light of day--and, of course, both the CIA and the Obama administration did all they could to stop its release.

It’s so easy to dismiss them many people working in government in Washington.... This report is arguably the most important act of public service in holding our government accountable in modern times. The great achievement of this report, moreover, is its meticulousness. No one can now claim that these torture sessions gave us anything of any worth.... They will still claim torture worked – but they will be lying or rather desperately repeating talking points that the CIA’s own documents have now categorically refuted.

So the last word goes to Feinstein:

All of us owe them our deepest thanks. Even on this darkest of days, they give me hope....

Ambers notes that this is not an act of interrogation:

Over and over, the CIA justified ratcheting up the techniques based not on any intelligence or evidence that the detainees did know more than they were sharing, but instead to increase their own confidence that the detainees had shared everything they knew. In other words, the thinking was: "We’ll enhance his interrogations until it’s not possible that he could withhold actionable information from us." "Our assumption is the objective of this operation is to achieve a high degree of confidence that [Abu Zubaydah is not holding back actionable information concerning threats to the United States," was how Zubaydah’s top interrogator put it in a cable to headquarters. Even though the CIA was telling the executive branch that the prisoner was holding back information and that they needed to rough him up to get it out of him, the operational order for the torture itself said otherwise.

If this is the rationale for torture, then every person in interrogation should be tortured. You’ve got to prove they don’t have anything else to tell us. I guess that was the kind of decision made when pondering whether to do the 151st near-drowning, after the 150th. All I want you to do is imagine if you were witnessing this scene in a movie. The interrogators would be Nazis, wouldn’t they? And now they are us.