If an enterprising Washington Post reporter gets a good un-American scoop that the CIA has been using the headquarters of Jordan’s General Intelligence Department to torture people, the editors can’t really bury it. If it must get front-page treatment (just on merit), then it will be a Saturday front-page when the fewest people will read it and it has the least chance of getting picked up by the cable news programs.

The problem is that people throughout the rest of the world are reading about this.

Sharqawi said he was threatened with sexual abuse and electrocution while in Jordan. He also said he was hidden from officials of the International Committee for the Red Cross during their visits to inspect Jordanian prisons…

“I was told that if I wanted to leave with permanent disability both mental and physical, that that could be arranged,” Sharqawi said in his April 2006 statement, which was released by a London-based attorney, Clive Stafford Smith, who represents Guantanamo inmates. “They said they had all the facilities of Jordan to achieve that. I was told that I had to talk, I had to tell them everything.”

…Independent monitors have become increasingly critical of Jordan’s record. Since 2006, the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued reports on abuses in Jordan, often singling out the General Intelligence Department.

Former prisoners have reported that their captors were expert in two practices in particular: falaqa, or beating suspects on the soles of their feet with a truncheon and then, often, forcing them to walk barefoot and bloodied across a salt-covered floor; and farruj, or the “grilled chicken,” in which prisoners are handcuffed behind their legs, hung upside down by a rod placed behind their knees, and beaten.

To be fair, one reason we have sent prisoners to Jordan is because they are the best informed friendly intelligence service in the world on the issue of Islamic radical groups. It isn’t all about torture. But that doesn’t excuse what we’ve done. It’s a national stain on our honor. And I’m glad the Post put it on the front-page so we can all wallow in our reputation for torture.

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