What You Should Say About the Torture Report

Libertarians have long argued that an aggressive U.S. foreign policy results in blowback — acts of terrorism designed to avenge real or perceived assaults by the U.S.

The political class has long sneered at this argument. Your friends may even have accused you of hating America whenever you’ve used this line of reasoning. But now, the tables are turning.

Politicians are responding to the recent CIA torture report in ways that justify the blowback theory. This gives you a powerful new argument to defend your position. The article below explains this development. Read it, and if you like it, do three things…

Do politicians now agree that an aggressive U.S. foreign policy causes blowback?

By Jim Babka

The recently released CIA torture report has caused the WARfare statists to contradict themselves.

In the previous decade, if you said that blowback explained
911, then you were accused of justifying or even siding with terrorists. Here’s Rudy Guiliani, in 2007, so-accusing Ron Paul and garnering wild applause:


After the release of the CIA torture memo, we learn that blowback is very REAL. Dick Cheney and his pals are claiming that these reports increase the danger of a response by al Qaeda or ISIS or whoever the fear-based flavor of the week may be. In other words…


The torture report also informed us that the CIA torture architects didn’t even read their own agency history on this subject. So this might come as a surprise to them and their fans…

The CIA actually coined the term blowback.

Blowback means an unintended consequence rebounding from a covert act. It’s simply a fancy word for revenge. But…

Because so many of the acts that lead to blowback are covert, U.S. citizens are often confused about why the U.S. has been targeted. Here’s an example…

When Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. embassy in 1979, most Americans had no idea why our embassy had been targeted. But every Iranian citizen knew. Our embassy had been used to stage a CIA coup against Iran’s democratic government in 1953. The infamous Iranian hostage crisis was simply blowback for that previous act of covert aggression by U.S. agents.

This is the kind of history that most libertarians know, but most other Americans don’t know. Now…

It must become widely known that the idea of blowback was NOT invented by libertarians. It was a word coined by the CIA itself, to name a very REAL problem.

And the risk of blowback is growing! That’s what happens when you torture people. Their allies and loved ones tend to want revenge. And the warfare statists, like Dick Cheney, are now making it clear that they understand this too. You can further judge this by the CIA’s own actions…

If torture actually protected America, if it brought no risk of blowback, then the CIA should be PROUD of its work. It should be willing to trumpet what it did and what was gained from it. They should use it as a “deterrent” to would-be terrorists. Instead…

Jose Rodriguez, the former Chief of the CIA’s Clandestine Service — the man who created the torture program — destroyed the video tapes of the torture proceedings, rather than share them with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Why? Wasn’t he proud of his work? Didn’t he want Congress to see what he had done to protect America?

Rodriguez explained his action to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday (12/14). He destroyed the videos because…

“My intention… was to protect the people who work for me and whose faces were shown all over those tapes. I was concerned for their safety. I knew the tapes would leak some day and I was concerned that al Qaeda would try to go after them and their families. That was the reason that I destroyed the tapes.”

BLOWBACK! Then, he went on to say…

“There was a second reason, and that was that I was concerned about the survivability of the clandestine service because I knew that once the tapes leaked, the mainstream media would not make a distinction between a legal program as the one that we had, and programs like Abu Ghraib.”

In other words, there was nothing to celebrate. Rodriquez is admitting that his work wouldn’t survive the scrutiny of natural human empathy. Nearly all of us recognize each other’s humanity. It might take a bit of time, but eventually, we even recognize the humanity of our enemies. Rodriquez clearly understood what would happen if you and your neighbors had a chance to see
his work. You would’ve been revolted. You would have wanted a more American approach.

Worse, in a slap to so-called “representative government,” Rodriguez looked at the Senate Intelligence Committee and did his best Colonel Jessup imitation, “You can’t handle the truth!”

It would be more appropriate to say that Mr. Rodrigues can’t handle YOU knowing the truth.

And now the warfare establishment, which claimed NOT to believe in blowback before, is telling us that we risk blowback. Why? Because the torture report was shared with the American people.

In other words, the warfare establishment is admitting that blowback is real, and that our aggressive actions do lead to retaliation. Well…

We libertarians knew that all along. And we’ve long promoted the proper solution to this problem…

  • If you don’t want people to tread on you, then don’t tread on others.

  • Don’t initiate force against people.

  • Reserve force for defensive purposes only, but even then, don’t defend yourself in a way that creates new enemies.

So here’s the takeaway…

  • The CIA invented the term blowback and Dick Cheney now admits blowback is a real danger.

  • That means, when we do bad things to others, others do bad things to us.

  • Specifically, in this case, when our so-called “government” tortures non-Americans, those non-Americans may someday return the favor or gain revenge in some other way. As we judge, so shall we be judged.

  • Encourage a Golden Rule foreign policy, where we treat others the way we want to be treated.

If you like these arguments, do the following…


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