Opinion piece by Glenn L. Carle in the Boston Globe
It was the fall of 2002. I was about to participate in the interrogation of a top-level member of Al Qaeda. At my CIA briefing, I was told “to do whatever was necessary” to get the man to talk, as he could very well lead us to Osama Bin Laden himself.
I immediately went to see one of the CIA’s lawyers for I feared I knew what was meant by “whatever was necessary.” The lawyer’s guidance was clear: The administration redefined torture to mean only “serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” I was stunned. This undermined 800 years of Western law, from the Magna Carta to the Geneva Conventions.