It is remarkable how Jeb Bush, despite his claims that he is “his own man”, can’t stop following in his brother’s footsteps. From his flip-flops on whether or not he would have invaded Iraq in the first place, to his recent announcement at a defense contractor fundraiser that the invasion Iraq was a “great deal,” to his continuous attempts to blame the ensuing chaos on President Obama, all signs point to a Jeb Bush presidency making the same disastrous decisions that his brother’s did.
One of the most abhorrent parts of George W’s “war on terror” was the secret CIA torture program- which Jeb Bush announced today he is willing to bring back. In Iowa, when questioned about the “enhanced interrogation program, he said that “I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement…but now we’re in a different environment” and refused to rule it out. He also said that “he believed the techniques were effective in producing intelligence”- even though in 1988, the CIA itself announced that “the use of inhumane physical or psychological techniques are counterproductive because they do not produce intelligence and will probably result in false answers.”
To add insult to horrific injury, the torture program was put into action with the same inherent flaws that would doom the occupation of Iraq- an astonishing lack of oversight, over reliance on well-connected but unqualified contractors, the extravagant misuse of government funds, the exploitation of the goodwill of allied nations, and blinding ideological zealotry.
President Obama banned the use of torture with an executive order in 2009. Unfortunately, any successive president can override that order and allow our intelligence services to use treaty-violating and morally repugnant interrogation techniques. It goes without saying that a war-hawk like Lindsey Graham would certainly have no second thoughts about overturning the ban; it just goes to show how fake Jeb Bush’s attempts to pass himself off as a “moderate” really are.
The CIA’s torture program was one of the lowest, most despicable things our nation has ever been responsible for. It made our entire nation an international hypocrite without our knowledge. We cannot elect a president who is willing to defile our moral integrity by using barbaric methods to extract generally useless “intelligence.”
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.