Seymour Hersh revealed shocking new details of Abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraib was more than just a few people getting carried away. It was a failure of the system, and gives an indication of the types of abuses that could be taking place at other like facilities such as Guantanamo Bay.
Abu Ghraib was an affront to many of the ideas on which this country was founded. Quoting from our declaration of independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Notice how no mention is made country of origin or citizenship. When we arrest a person suspected of a crime, we are forcefully imposing our governing of that person. Therefore, it is our duty to guarantee some basic human rights. The fact that our enemies may not is the buttress to our belief that we are right, more enlightened, and better than them.
The first thing to understand about torture as governance is that it is a self-perpetuating bureaucracy. When torture is applied, everyone eventually talks. They will accuse anyone they know of a crime, and the bureaucracy is sustained because now it brings in new people to torture, which further implicates more people, sustaining it. Torture at its base is very dehumanizing bringing out the worse in racism, cruelty, and indifference in the torturers and breeds seething hatred in the torturees. The other concerning thing how many people with go along with it if there is sanction from an authority to take responsibility as demonstrated by the Milgram experiments. The fault lies firmly on the leaders for perpetuation and at best, it is a dereliction of duty, at worst it is an intentional policy. Either way, it can not be labeled a mistake that can be forgiven. The fact that the Bush administration intentionally uses a loop-hole to prevent a balance check from the judiciary branch at Guantanamo lends more support that the later is actually the case.
This is nothing less than attack, more effective and dangerous than any terrorist concoction to effectively destroy a liberal democracy based on a balance of power. Destruction of rights abroad will lead to their destruction at home, because the government will see less of a threat abroad than it sees to its power at home, leading to the use of tactics used in foreign lands implemented domestically. The first natural step would be to build facilities.
Human rights and international law should be the basis of U.S. foreign policy. The fact that many intellectual elites act like the notion is absurd is an example of how far opinions need to change before true peace and security can be reached.
Note: I do not trust everything that Seymour Hersh or WorldNetDaily say. But, I do trust that they get some of the facts right, but not necessarily the conclusions they draw.