Immediate claims by supporters of the Bush administration's torture program that Osama bin Laden was found and killed based on information obtained through torture leaves one almost breathless.
Disregarding the absence of clear facts, and overeager to justify an illegal operation, Bush-era officials and others are already claiming that the use of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" led to finding and killing bin Laden.
But let's be clear: Reality is always more complicated than the news cycle. We still don't know what, exactly, led to finding bin Laden, and shouting is often more bluster than truth.
The use of torture by the U.S. after 9/11 hurt us significantly. Just as photos of abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were used as a major recruiting tool by al-Qaida, revelations of U.S.-sanctioned torture have cost us the good will of people who could have helped us locate bin Laden years earlier.
It took the United States almost 10 years and at least $1 trillion to locate bin Laden. Imagine if we hadn't made the terrible mistake of turning to torture, and how much sooner we might have found him if we had squandered our support with countries across the Islamic world.
Torture has many consequences, and all of them are self-defeating. First, of course, it dehumanizes the individual--both the tortured and the torturer. It also creates enemies--passionate enemies--who feel compelled to respond to the degradation and pain inflicted upon them.
Torture also stains the soul of the torturing nation. In the case of the United States, our embrace of torture placed us in the same league as the countries we disdain for their failure on human rights.
It also results in unreliable information that can cause terrible damage. Just recall the statement by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, that information that Saddam Hussein was working with al-Qaida was obtained through torture and ended up being wrong; it's part of what led us to launch a war against Iraq.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details