“We need to read the page before we turn the page.”

Our colleague David Danzig has a new blog up at Huffington Post. In his post, he calls for the establishment of a truth commission on torture, arguing that senior Bush Administration officials, like former Vice President Cheney – who continue to insist that the use of abusive interrogation techniques like waterboarding has saved American lives – can and should be proven inaccurate. There is still a lot we don’t know about torture, and a truth commission would provide clarity and a way forward.

A thorough review of all information obtained through torture is warranted.

A truth commission could also perform a sophisticated cost-benefit analysis which would assess the damage done to U.S. interests due to the use of torture against the gains made in the interrogation room when these methods were employed. My guess is that the unintended consequences of employing these techniques far outweighs the benefits.

Definitive answers to these questions – rendered by a non-partisan commission with unimpeachable integrity – would help end the public debate in this country about the use of torture.

As Senator Leahy has said, “we need to read the page before we turn the page.”

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Published on February 12, 2009

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