Steffanie Rivers

Steffanie Rivers

*Ten-year-old top-secret files that became unclassified confirm the CIA tortured suspected terrorists in their custody.

These interrogation techniques were supposed to force prisoners to spill secret plots against the United States.

The trouble is it’s against CIA policy to torture prisoners. And what’s worse, no worthwhile information was obtained through the torture tactics. Maybe the suspects weren’t terrorists after all.

Now the United States’ principal intelligence agency will be seen as bullies in the eyes of the world. It’s that image – before it was imagined, now it’s confirmed – that has contributed to America being the target of said terrorist plots.

From Afghanistan to Ukraine, U.S. troops have a history of staging interventions at the slightest sign of international discontent. When opposing Islamic extremists fought each other and threatened the democratic efforts in Iraq, U.S. troops jumped in that conflict. And when Russia sent its military into bordering Ukraine, U.S. troops got involved there too. How did either of those issues directly affect America? They didn’t. Political busy-bodies, the United States government is. The American slogan should be “Do as I say, not as I do.”

From the CIA down to local law enforcement, people in authority create protocol de jure, but operate under de facto rules of engagement. Why else would CIA agents abuse prisoners under their authority in direct opposition to their own policies? Why else would a gang of police officers videotaped jumping an unarmed man, choking him and restricting his breathing until he dies be allowed to walk away without being held criminally liable for his death? Because they explain away their actions as being for the good of the cause. These last two weeks of protests won’t do much – if anything – to improve interaction between the police and the black and brown citizens they are sworn to protect. You can change unfair laws, but you can’t legislate hearts.

No, white people don’t care what we think. White people only care what other white people think. When other world leaders start to question the civil unrest they see going on in America and hold the United States accountable, Only then will American leaders see the need to make a change.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Email her at [email protected] to send comments, questions or speaking inquiries.