Friday, January 10, 2014

Is torture ever justified?

Back in the dark days of the Cold War, John le Carre published The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.
It cast a light, as only fiction sometimes can, on covert actions that are not a clear choice between good and evil, but one where the methods that western intelligence would use, disturbingly resembled those used by their opponents. The distance between us and them became blurred. It exposed the Cold War not as a battle between light and darkness, but a place where both sides meandered in the twilight of moral ambiguity.

In the days following 9/11 we as a nation, our policies and our intelligence service, the CIA, would again begin to blur those lines.

At the same time, the actions that the President would arguably take, were reminiscent of Richard Nixon's comments in his famous interview with the late David Frost where he said, talking about Watergate at the time, "if the President does it, it means it's not illegal."

John Rizzo as CIA General Council, was at the center as that post 9/11 storm, as he was at the center of everything the CIA did for 34 years. He takes us through the history in Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA.

My conversation with John Rizzo:

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