Journalist and author Jeremy Scahill ripped into Republicans Thursday on Democracy Now over their support for so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.
At a Senate hearing on the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison held Wednesday, conservative activist Frank Gaffney had criticized President Barack Obama’s use of drones to kill suspected terrorists. Gaffney said Obama’s approach to terrorism was “less humane” than locking suspects up indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay and force-feeding them.
Scahill, perhaps the most prominent critic of drone strikes, said Republicans would be doing the exact same thing as Obama and secretly loved the President’s national security policies.
“Frank Gaffney is a notorious, discredited neocon,” he said. “The fact that he was even testifying, you know, talks about the seriousness of that hearing. But let’s be clear here: The Republicans, during their administration, their sort of reign of terror, were Murder Incorporated, where torture was the official policy. They didn’t even pretend to act like it was some abomination that happened once in a while. They were killing people in massive numbers in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, all around the world. So the fact that these guys are now trying to say, ‘Well, the Obama administration, because he dismantled the interrogation program, is somehow less humane than we were,’ is just a sick joke.”
Scahill said Obama had continued many of the worst counterterrorism policies started under the Bush administration. He was likely referring to extraordinary rendition, secret prisons overseas, domestic surveillance programs, and targeted drone strikes — controversial policies Scahill has previously criticized.
“They’re just attacking him because he’s Obama,” he added. “But they love his so-called national security policy. At the end of the day, they’re being motivated more by their own partisan agenda. And it’s an attempt to argue — and it’s an insidious argument — that torture is actually a policy that the United States should fully embrace once again.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Democracy Now, below: