Commentary

North Carolina’s senior senator embarrasses himself and the state

Richard Burr 2It’s nothing new for Senator Richard Burr to express embarrassing views or to engage in inexplicable political behavior, but the senator’s comments yesterday on the horrific findings in the new report on the CIA’s un-American torture program hit a new low.

As you can read for yourself here and here, the torture report details a long, disturbing (and ineffective!) list of disgraceful actions taken in the name of the American people. Raleigh’s News & Observer rightfully described the actions of the CIA and its contractors in this morning’s lead editorial as “brutal and illegal.”

Sadly, however, Burr, the soon-to-be chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, opted to turn the findings into partisan political fodder by describing them as “a blatant smear on the Bush administration,” and unnecessary because  the information was “already known by the vast majority of Americans.”

You got that? People acting in our name did this:

“CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families—to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to “cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.”

and this:

“(1) the attention grasp, (2) walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap, (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress positions, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) waterboard, (10) use of diapers, (11) use of insects, and (12) mock burial.”

but according to Richard Burr, it’s no biggie and shining the light of day on such horrific information is “political.”

One shudders to imagine what kind of behavior Burr would be outraged by. It’s a sad state of affairs that a man with such an off-kilter moral compass now stands near the top of the American foreign policy establishment.

4 Comments


  1. Alex

    December 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I’ve always wondered why we get in a stew about harsh interrogations, but say nothing at all about all of the drone strikes ordered by Obama that have killed innocent women, children, and bystanders. I would call these “instant” interrogations that tried,sentenced, and executed many innocent people without recourse. Why no bruha about this ?

  2. ML

    December 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

    This report is ten years after the fact. There have been numerous reports about the drone strikes. Everyone that condemns the use of torture is most assuredly against the drone strikes as well. Nice try deflecting the issue at hand but your concerns are unwarranted as I’ve explained. However in 10 years if nothing has been done regarding the use of drone strikes and the killing of innocent people then you and I will both have some serious gripes with the Obama administration. This is not partisan it is a moral issue and we are all on the same side.

  3. Arthur

    December 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    All I can saw is “Wow”! Fox News is not brain food!

  4. david esmay

    December 11, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Alex you forgot to mention the million plus Iraqis Bush and Cheney killed under the ruse of WMDs.

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