Speaking with PBS’s Bill Moyers on Friday, Sands noted that these architects of torture refuse to acknowledge they were “complicit in the commission of a crime.” “There was not a hint of recognition that anything had gone wrong, nor a hint of recognition of individual responsibility,” he said of his interviews with key torture advocates.
Sands cited former Pentagon official Doug Feith, who was instrumental in shredding the Geneva Conventions, as an example:
When you read my account with Doug Feith and with others, you will see the sort of weaseling out of individual responsibility, the total and abject failure to accept involvement. Read Mr. Feith’s book. on how to fight the so-called war on terror. And it’s as though the man had no involvement in the decisions relating to interrogation of detainees. And yet, as I describe in the book, the man was deeply involved in the decision making from step one. So it’s about individual responsibility. And there’s been an abject failure on that account.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently argued that torture is not unconstitutional. Speaking with Moyers, Sands slammed Scalia for being “foolish” and not considering the implications of his words:
I’ve listened, for example, to Justice Antonin Scalia saying, if the president wants to authorize torture, there’s nothing in our constitution which stops it. Now, pause for a moment. That is such a foolish thing to say. If the United States president can do that, then why can’t the Iranian president do that, or the British prime minister do that, or the Egyptian president do that?
“You open the door in that way, to all sorts of abuses, and you expose the American military to real dangers,” Sands concluded.