The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture under the Bush administration has generated outrage and calls for those responsible to be bought to justice from within the US and internationally. Mehdi Abdullah, spokesperson for the ISIS Council for Foreign Relations, called a press conference in Raqqa to discuss the report.
“We’ve looked over the report and we do find much of it disturbing, but both the senior leadership and members of the Council for foreign affairs are in agreement that this is no time to rush to judgement,” said Mr Abdullah.
“We have to acknowledge that this is a minefield of complex legal and moral issues. Internationally the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is regarded as the yardstick. And in that document a key phrase is ‘severe pain’. I’m no lawyer but I know quite a few who could have a field day with the qualification ‘severe’. So, when you remember that these edicts and decisions were promulgated in the aftermath of the glorious attack’s of September 11, 2001 it’s understandable that the Bush administration, the CIA and the Pentagon didn’t get everything right. I for one wouldn’t want all the decisions we have made here in the Islamic State scrutinised to the nth degree.”
“And another thing,” he said, “we haven’t had a chance to hear a response from those involved. While I don’t doubt the qualifications of the Senate Intelligence Committee, much of the report is their opinion and interpretation of the facts. I think it’s important that we hear what the CIA, for instance, has to say. It may be that they will release further information that changes the current view. Really only time will tell.”
The reaction caught many by surprise. Mr Abdullah handled the barrage of questions from the international press corp with the grace and good humour he’s been known for since stepping into the public eye. When pressed for a firmer response by Fleur Goodchild of the Huffington Post he explained,
“While we appreciate all the moral equivalency and dithering over an appropriate response that’s been thrown our way by the Western left, and we’re certainly not seeking to burn any bridges there, you have to remember that we are after all a conservative movement and there is such a thing as a fellowship of like minded thinkers. I’m not saying we didn’t have – and in fact don’t still have – our differences with the conservative side of politics in the US, but we take no pleasure seeing fellow conservatives hauled over the coals. Particularly when it’s for taking a hardline stance against those with whom they disagree.”