The United States has tortured human beings. Some of them had done nasty things. Some of them were innocent. It doesn’t really matter, because torture in any form is evil. It doesn’t matter what the victim of the torture has done. It doesn’t matter how noble the cause that brought the torture about. Torture is pure evil and the torturers deserve scorn in this life and hell in any possible afterlife.
It is a well known fact that torture does not produce information of any reliable quality. I was taught this during my compulsory militay service, some 35 years ago, in very convincing ways. We had instruction films recorded with victims of nazi Germany telling their tales. We were also taught about how to elicit useful information through various interrogation techniques. At any rate, knowledge that was taught to sargents of the Swedish Army Supply Corps some decades ago can’t have gone away from the intelligence field.
The acts of torture were done because some people wanted them to be done and some people wanted to carry them out. Their motives can’t by any reasonable standards have been to elicit information to protect others. They must have done it because it felt good to do harm to some people they thought were bastards. They thought it was ok to inflict pain on other human beings, some of whom were totally innocent of anything.
That is evil.
The fact that IS is doing the same thing and are inflicting pain on human beings does not excuse the behaviour of the United States. IS is just as evil as the United States.
There are different levels in hell, and the different parties involved should go to different depths. At the deepest level we should have Donald RUmsfeldt, Dick Cheney, George W Bush and all the top brass who actively condoned the practice of torture. As elected officials they should exercise the moral judgement of the nation and apply it to the agencies of the government. They did not just fail at preventing acts of evil - they actively promoted them. Their acts are deeply evil and there is no forgiveness for their sins.
Second, we have the CIA agents and the hired henchmen, who tortured people for money or for their own curiosity or pleasure. While their acts of evil are great, they may repent and have their sins forgiven.
At yet another level are the American people. You elected the government that carried out torture. It is up to you to decry or condone the acts that were done in your names. If you condone them, you have selected to be evil. If you decry them, you have declared for the good side. If you bring the responsible to justice, you have acted for the good. The choice is yours.