Whether or not the former Attorney General believes America is actually torturing detainees, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, a man who certainly encountered his fair share or torture after penning these words, has some harsh words for us regarding the use of this practice:
“Torture is, in any case, generally an ineffectual means for discovering the truth; though, of course, this argument can have force only in cases where it is really the truth that is being sought for. But, quite apart from that, any physical torture inflicts the most extreme dishonour on the human being, and consequently engenders an intense hatred and the natural bodily impulse to restore this wounded honour by the application of bodily force. Bodily dishonour seeks to avenge itself on the body of the infamous tormentor. In this way the violation of man’s bodily freedom once again destroys the foundations of society” (Ethics 183).
In other words, the use of the torture by the CIA, Justice Department, and any other branch of the US government actually undermines the premise under which such barbarity is justified: we are making America safe. In actuality, we are simply feeding the fire, fanning the flames, and justifying morally reprehensible actions.
May we repent.
May God forgive us.