cia-torture-report-carousel-20140805A summary report released Tuesday of the Senate’s investigation into CIA torture, is a portrait of immorality that’s hard to comprehend.

Of course there are defenders. There are those who claim releasing such information will do more harm than good. Sean Hannity quipped as much:

Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths.”

Likewise, House Intelligence Chairman Mike J. Rogers said the release of the CIA’s interrogation techniques will be used by terrorists to incite violence.

Like those passing a point in history, one could say the evidence of extreme brutality and lawlessness demands accountability, both as a moral and a national security imperative. However, in today’s world, there’s no appetite for holding anyone accountable. It’s almost impossible to interview any of the tortured prisoners. Dick Cheney, President Bush or Donald Rumsfeld (i.e., Chief of War) will neither see a Senate subcommittee, a trial nor a nun with a ruler.

How would I know? Well, for years in worked in the government. And like New York Times Op-Ed Contributor Eric Fair, I too look into blank faces. And I realize I could let myself feel a powerful sense of relief, for my crimes of some 30 years ago will fade. My transgressions will be forgotten. Unfortunately, I live with the faces of those whom I’ve lied, cheated and stole.

For service members in my job set, military bells toll loudly and requires much. Those bells require your soul. At first the bell percolates through your veins as you sell your body and your life. Thirty years later, your knees are shot, eye sight sucks and your heart slowly beats to a stop.

I can see my past, present and future, so I understand how I became the man I am. Born poor and friendless, I made his way through the world with tenacity. But as I focused upon my job, the rest of my life, my ethics and morale fell to the wayside.  In particular, my covetousness cost me the love of my life.

Deep inside, I’m scared. I’m alone. I’ve never been able to shake the faces. They remain vigilent, ever present. Always. Thus, I never absorbed the world surrounding me. And until Ms. K, I rarely understood the joy in it.

As Buddhist, I argue violence is incompatible with Buddhism’s message of peace. So as I move toward my next life, I ask each of you to cultivate compassion, respect, and reverence for all life. I understand the unfortunate necessity of military action despite its negative karmic consequences. A righteous war may have merit. Yet in the early morning hours, when others dream, I speak their names. I see their faces. I hear the terror.

Death in the name of national security, without a fair trial or any other mechanism still counts. God sees it. The witnesses of truth comes from the deceased.

Non-conditional forgiveness is something like a ‘gift’ from the God.  Therefore forgiveness has to be attached with ‘repentance and transformation.’ Thus, real transformation must take place in many spheres: ‘law, history, politics, and existence itself.’ Therefore, the challenge is to create conditions for forgiveness. As a nation, we must progress and prepare to forgive and ask for forgiveness. In both our world, as in life, our most daunting political challenge is to create a discourse of forgiveness that takes as long as required. This form of communication, those loving exchanges of the heart, between people would benefit all.