The CIA officer who tortured people after 9/11 had previously helped torture people in Latin America.
The techniques used against Nosenko were taken from the CIA’s “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual” drawn up by the CIA in 1963, which served as the basis of the so-called 'torture manuals' that were provided by the CIA to at least seven Latin American countries in the 1980s.
According to the report, the agent who would become the CIA's chief of interrogations beginning in 2002 "was involved in training and conducted interrogations" in Latin America during that era. The report goes on to say that "the CIA inspector general later recommended that he be orally admonished for inappropriate use of interrogation techniques."
This shouldn't surprise us, though it should sadden us. We're using the same language and rationale as brutal Latin American dictatorships, which is shameful. They claimed to be fighting an existential war against subversion, a black and white struggle between good and evil. With stakes so high, they said, torture was sometimes necessary. The people they were torturing were practically animals anyway, so why were all these do-gooder liberals complaining? They should be glad we're protecting them!
These leaders committed criminal acts. That's why Rafael Videla was sentenced to life. That's why Efraín Ríos Montt was convicted, even Guatemalan courts are too weak to make it stand. That's why Augusto Pinochet was arrested, even though he wiggled out of it. And we've been doing the same thing for years.
We even hear the same rationale for stifling this information. Truth will strengthen our enemies, we're told. This is similar to the argument that the truth in Latin America (or overturning amnesties) would only rile up the military, so we should stifle it.
How does this make us a beacon of democracy?