Wingnut Week In Review: A Tortured Response To The Torture Report

Terrance Heath

Only the worst kind of wingnut could conclude that America is “awesome” in spite of — or because of — “forced anal feeding and re-hydration” of detainees. But that’s what we heard this week.

Well, now we know. America did a whole lot more than “torture some folks.” The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA’s torture program this week. The 525-page report is a stomach-turning read, but those with enough courage to read about some — but probably not all — that was done in our names during the “war on terror” can find it here.

Otherwise, here are the basics you need to know.

The most gruesome details of the report include:

  • “Rectal Feeding” and “Rectal Re-hydration”: It’s exactly what it sounds like, folks. The archaic practice was once used on patients in desperate need of nutrition, but who couldn’t feed themselves. It has zero nutritional value. Thus, medical officials in the torture program deemed it “a means of behavior control.“ One inmate was rectally inserted with ”a pureed cocktail of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins.” The rectal exams were administered with such “excessive force,” that one detainee experienced chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and a “symptomatic rectal prolapse.”
  • “Well Worn” Waterboards: The CIA previously swore it only waterboarded three guys, ever. The Senate report, however, describes a photograph of a “well worn” waterboard, surrounded by buckets of water, at a site where the CIA said nobody was ever waterboarded. The CIA still hasn’t explained that one. Maybe that’s because they/we waterboarded way more then three guys.
  • “Near Drowning”: During one waterboarding session, Abu Zubaydah became “completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open full mouth.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s 183 waterboardings escalated into a “series of near drownings.”
  • Standing on Broken Legs: Some detainees who had broken feet or legs were forced to stand in stress-inducing positions, even though the CIA pledge not to subject wounded detainees to positions that might worsen their injuries.

Oh, and none of it produced any useful intelligence. Yes, we saw “Zero Dark Thirty.” No, torture did not help us find and kill Osama Bin Laden, or stop any terrorist attacks.

So, any red-blooded American would be shocked, horrified, and deeply ashamed of what the Senate report details. Right? Well, not the wingnut brigade.

The worst right-wing response to the Senate report was when Fox News host Andrea Tantaros all but broke out the pompoms and cheered, “We are awesome.”

Didja catch that? Tantaros wants it both ways. She claims that “we are awesome” because “We’ve closed the book” on torture, and “we’ve stopped doing it.” Yet she also seems to say torture was the right thing to do.

The Bush administration did what the American public wanted, and that was do whatever it takes to keep us safe. These terror tactics have been stopped because as a country, we decided we are better than this.

Torture was the right thing to do when America did it. Stopping torture was the right thing to do when America stopped doing it. But the Senate and the media are wrong to tell us exactly what we did. That’s the wingnuts’ tortured response to the Senate torture report.

Only one Republican stood up against torture, and it was John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Finally, one of our favorite wingnuts is leaving Congress. But before we say goodbye to Rep. Michele Bachmann, let’s take a walk down Memory Lane.

Here’s the rest of the best of the worst in wingnuttia this week:

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