Your front-page article, "Senate report finds brutal questioning by CIA didn't work," appeared on a memorable day — December 10 — the same day on which, in 1948, the United Nations adopted and published the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also on December 10, in 1984, the United Nations adopted the U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Though they shared a calendar day, the contrast in content between the Universal Declaration and the account of The Senate Intelligence Committee's report could not be more stark. The Universal Declaration begins, "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world ...." Contrastingly, the Senate report "accused the CIA of misleading its political masters about what it was doing with its 'black site' captives and deceiving the nation about the effectiveness of its techniques," and "it described far harsher actions than had been known."
That these reports happened on the same day of the month is remarkable. The important truth about them, however, is crucial: their contrast indicates a contempt for humane law. Let us hope such contempt is neither widespread, long lasting, nor contagious.