December 15th, 2014
05:20 PM ET

Zakaria: What the torture report says about American system

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

America was at a disadvantage compared to the Soviet Union, it was said, because it had to operate with its hands tied behind its back, with Congressional interference, media exposure and all the other trappings of a democracy. Moscow, on the other hand, could act speedily, effectively, lethally and in secret.

In fact, the Soviet Union pursued an utterly disastrous foreign policy. It so brutally suppressed its "allies" that by the 1980s, it was encircled by a group of countries in Eastern Europe that had become deeply hostile to it. It pursued an arms race with the United States that by some estimates consumed 10 to 20 percent of its GDP. It invaded Afghanistan and bled itself dry in a war it could not admit it had lost.

All these flaws were the product of a closed system with no checks and balances.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column

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soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Leftcoastrocky

    Is Putin similarly pursuing an utterly disastrous foreign policy?

    December 15, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  2. Leftcoastrocky

    Our propping up a slew of dictators (some very brutal) in the Middle East for the past generation or so has come back to haunt us.

    December 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  3. rupert

    Our checks and balances worked very well after 9.11. The Bush administration took advantage of our anger and got congressional approval for war.
    I still think G.W. Bush is the worst stupi.dest president we have ever had.

    December 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • dazzle

      @rupert, I agree on this. If Jeb runs we are going to have another Bush in office if he is elected. Sigh.

      December 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • Blue Sapphire

      Your mother just got rhaped in India

      December 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        WHAT THE "FREEDOM FIGHTERS"
        BLUE SAFFRON AND HIS "FOLLOWERS" ARE UP TO:

        Why aren’t you chastising your name-stealing cohorts for the filthy abuse they are heaping on those whose names have been stolen/insulted when they post in the first place?

        After all, they all worship you. One word from you and they will stop.

        Right?

        Your goal is to “clean up these forums”, correct? Think you can start with your “followers”?

        December 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
  4. rupert

    Philip is crazy.

    December 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  5. rupert

    Hi nice lady. Sigh too. But I doubt Jed will be half as bad as George. Jed seems more level headed.

    December 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • dazzle

      Jeb just released a lot of emails when he was the governor of Florida.

      December 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  6. justin cawthon

    only that unlike 1980 soviet foreign policy, we DO have a system of checks and balances. I hate to break this to you guys but every one of those hypocrites in the house and senate knew what was going on over ten years ago and all signed off on it.
    only now that the democrats lost the midterms and the all star president has become like a cancer to their party are they so eager to publish this report to remind us how bad Bush was.

    December 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      I agree that much truth was available in Washington. How could it not have been?
      When I first met Germans who had lived through World War II in that country, the told me that they knew about the concentration camps' purpose.
      "We could smell it." A woman told me.

      December 15, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Reply
      • Blue Saffron☼

        So did Gandhi, the man of peace (laughter).

        December 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
      • Oskar Schindler

        Everyone knew about the camps.

        December 16, 2014 at 12:21 am |
  7. Blue Saffron☼

    Two things need to happen. Plebiscite in Kashmir and dragging Modi to The Hague to face criminal trial for genocide.

    December 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • Hillbilly Blue Saffeon

      The things need to happen. And Michelle Obama needs to shave her legs.

      December 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Reply
      • Blue Sapphire

        You wanna suck my bollz

        December 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
    • Hillbilly Blue Saffeon

      Nope. Never did touch my maw nor live with her past the age of 15. Had a cousin or two, though. If that counts.

      December 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  8. Philip

    So by the same token, flaws of an open system with checks and balances. Both systems flawed.
    "Oh. Come up with a better system then" say the riff Raff. Men simply cannot govern themselves. History proves this time and again. Every single form of government has failed/is failing.

    December 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  9. Hillbilly Blue Saffeon

    Am a thinkin' whar gubments went wrong is when's they stopped so much a lookin' after peoples needs 'n started making large armies to go out and bring back stuff that peoples desired. Longed for. Yea, craved.

    December 15, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • Hillbilly Blue Saffeon

      Ye know. Stuff like 'n slaves and oil. 'N diamonds 'n gold. And ruby red sapphires I reckon. Maybe a couple of pairs of tennis shoes.

      December 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Reply
    • Blue Sapphire

      Shut up muther f ukker

      December 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Reply
      • croiky

        jew mother focjer?

        December 15, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
      • Ko Sher

        Zgew muhzgha fusha.

        December 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
      • Willy J. ClintOn

        Huh? I didn't know Monica had children.

        December 15, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        "Sapphire" is sufficient identification for blue corundum.
        If it's another color (other than red), it is "fancy," and the color may be specified.
        Red corundum is ruby.
        Pink corundum is pink sapphire, although you will be told that a lot of pink corundum is ruby.
        You really don't have to call yourself "Blue Sapphire," unless you're compelled to work in "BS."
        Why don't you just call yourself "Sapphire."

        December 16, 2014 at 8:46 am |
  10. Philip

    I'm guessing mauve, banasy. Oh she/t. Lol

    December 15, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  11. Joan Rivers RIP

    Michelle Obama has man hairs growing in her legs. And an Adam's apple bigger than the one Eve ate.

    December 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      Are these the children Barack carried, you ignorant ass?

      December 16, 2014 at 12:26 am | Reply
      • banasy©
        December 16, 2014 at 12:27 am |
      • banasy©

        It won't post the link.
        Pity.
        It was a photo of Michelle pregnant, and another photo of the newborn Sasha with her big sister Malik; the latter looking so much like Michelle it is clear they are mother and daughter.

        Whatever your endgame is, it is as sick as you are.

        December 16, 2014 at 12:33 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Sadly, fund raisers have sent out more photographs of Mrs. Obama's legs than we needed to see. I would have donated to their campaigns anyway.
      However, I have not seen any photograph of the First Lady in which she is not well groomed.

      December 16, 2014 at 8:53 am | Reply
      • banasy©

        The FLOTUS is a lovely, well-spoken and well-groomed lady.

        December 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  12. Mr. banasy®

    Now see here, Phildo. Thanks for keeping her busy while I watch the game. If you're ever in Chicago, gtf out. This city sucks.

    December 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      The Bears suck.

      So do you.

      You cannot exit this planet soon enough.

      December 16, 2014 at 12:24 am | Reply
      • Mr. Banasy™

        Shut up and make me another sammich. And dis da Bears one more time and I cut your internet off.

        December 16, 2014 at 12:39 am |
      • banasy©

        Your notions of a healthy husband and wife relationship are flawed; I put this down as you having no experience in that.

        I am certainly not surprised that you would lower yourself to attacking one's spouse and family to try and score points in your internal game of one up-upmanship. It's what a twelve year old troll mentality does.

        December 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      When I moved from Mississippi to Chicago in 1957, the Windy City was a wonderful place to live.
      When I moved to New York City in 1961, I preferred Chiccago on the basis of citizens' behavior, but I needed to be in New York for my work.
      Every time I returned to Chicago, the city had declined. Now it is dangerous.
      So is New York.
      I see absolutely no reason to think that either city will ever regain its former pleasantness.
      Paris is still pretty nice.

      December 16, 2014 at 7:26 am | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        If you want to show your grandchildren the USA's future, show them Detroit and say, "one day, all of this will be yours."

        December 16, 2014 at 7:34 am |
      • banasy©

        The urban blight landscape is the abandoned buildings that formerly housed the many manufacturing jobs that citizens of those cities used to posess.

        Of course, most of the US's large cities are on the decline. I really cannot think of one that crime isn't endemic.

        December 16, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
  13. Joan Collins

    Yowza yowza. 🙂

    December 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  14. Joan of Ark

    Bang me you're dead.

    December 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  15. Gilda Radner RIP

    No, John

    December 15, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  16. Sandy Duncan

    Who?

    December 15, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  17. chri§§y

    Modi from India goes to the doctor and says, "I feel terrible."

    Doctor says, "go home, get a bucket, p iss and s hit in it for a week. Throw in dead rats and rotting fish. Put a towel over your head and sniff the fumes for three days."

    Week later Modi goes back and says, "Doc, I feel wonderful, what was the problem?"

    Doctor, "you were homesick!"

    December 16, 2014 at 4:02 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Multiple pages of one sick man's urolagnia, coprophagia, and violent rape fantasies.

      WAIT WAIT WAIT!
      WHAT THE "FREEDOM FIGHTERS"
      BLUE SAFFRON AND HIS "FOLLOWERS" ARE UP TO:

      Why aren’t you chastising your name-stealing cohorts for the filthy abuse they are heaping on those whose names have been stolen/insulted when they post in the first place?

      After all, they all worship you. One word from you and they will stop.

      Right?

      Your goal is to “clean up these forums”, correct? Think you can start with your “followers”?

      December 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  18. banasy©

    @chrissy hiya doin. Guess what.

    What did the Alabama sherriff call the Hinddoou who had been shot 15 times?

    Worst case of suicide he had ever seen.

    December 16, 2014 at 4:05 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Like I'm up in the middle of the night posting this nonsense.

      WHAT THE "FREEDOM FIGHTERS"
      BLUE SAFFRON AND HIS "FOLLOWERS" ARE UP TO:

      Why aren’t you chastising your name-stealing cohorts for the filthy abuse they are heaping on those whose names have been stolen/insulted when they post in the first place?

      After all, they all worship you. One word from you and they will stop.

      Right?

      Your goal is to “clean up these forums”, correct? Think you can start with your “followers”?

      December 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  19. banasy©

    Just came back from a gang raiping club meeting in Bombay. We have decided to go raiping in teams of 4 in future for our safety.

    December 16, 2014 at 4:14 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Multiple pages of one sick man's urolagnia, coprophagia, and violent rape fantasies.

      Get help. Shutting down these blogs should be secondary to being committed for your crimes. How long is Daddy going to pay off everyone before he decides you aren't worth the trouble?

      December 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  20. banasy©

    I just raiped Philip's wife as she was making curry.

    December 16, 2014 at 4:16 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Multiple pages of one sick man's urolagnia, coprophagia, and violent rape fantasies.

      WAIT WAIT WAIT!
      WHAT THE "FREEDOM FIGHTERS"
      BLUE SAFFRON AND HIS "FOLLOWERS" ARE UP TO:

      Why aren’t you chastising your name-stealing cohorts for the filthy abuse they are heaping on those whose names have been stolen/insulted when they post in the first place?

      After all, they all worship you. One word from you and they will stop.

      Right?

      Your goal is to “clean up these forums”, correct? Think you can start with your “followers”?

      December 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  21. chri§§y

    I love to take a big hard moslem d ikk in my p uzzy. Only after I s ukk it first.

    December 16, 2014 at 4:30 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Multiple pages of one sick man's urolagnia, coprophagia, and violent rape fantasies.

      WAIT WAIT WAIT!
      WHAT THE "FREEDOM FIGHTERS"
      BLUE SAFFRON AND HIS "FOLLOWERS" ARE UP TO:

      Why aren’t you chastising your name-stealing cohorts for the filthy abuse they are heaping on those whose names have been stolen/insulted when they post in the first place?

      After all, they all worship you. One word from you and they will stop.

      Right?

      Your goal is to “clean up these forums”, correct? Think you can start with your “followers”?

      December 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  22. Blue Saffron

    I su ck rupert's di ck
    he us from India

    December 16, 2014 at 6:16 am | Reply
  23. Blue Saffron

    Rupert torchered me. He rammed his big long juicy ...di ck up my a.s.s.hole.
    I am from India

    December 16, 2014 at 6:18 am | Reply
    • rupert

      I did no such thing, troll

      December 16, 2014 at 6:57 am | Reply
  24. Blue Saffron

    I was in India. I saw 30 indian men inside the bus. They were so handsome that my Muslim mother and I got on our knees and su ck big India di ck.
    mmmmmmmm good

    December 16, 2014 at 6:21 am | Reply
  25. Blue Saffron

    Somebody please shove a plebiscite up my a.s.s
    I love India

    December 16, 2014 at 6:24 am | Reply
  26. Chrissy

    RAIPE DURGA MAA DAY
    F UKK MODI DAY IN. INDIA
    S UKK A PAKISTANI D IKK DAY IN INDIA

    :::60% or 420 million men in India think that raiping and burning wife alive for dowry by spraying kerosene and lighting her up is acceptable

    :::20% or 140 million women have been gang raiped in India

    :::There is a raipe every 2 seconds in India

    :::95% of hindus don’t have toilets in India

    ::: 85% of women in India are raiped on train tracks where they go to s hit

    ::: 90% of Hindu women in India prefer Pakistani d ikks. Big and hard.

    December 16, 2014 at 6:51 am | Reply
  27. rupert

    So many trolls out this day. Santa may have to cancel Christmas. Lol

    December 16, 2014 at 6:55 am | Reply
  28. Blue Saffron

    Rupert is sooooo nasty and fun.
    Rupert. Please fu ck my Muslim tight little Islamic a.s.s
    fu ck Mohamed

    December 16, 2014 at 7:45 am | Reply
  29. trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby

    * poot *

    December 16, 2014 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • palintwit

      " Get back in your cage trigtwit ! "

      -Sarah Palin-

      December 16, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply
  30. chri§§y

    FYI @ Joey...Detroit is comming back quite nicely thanks!

    December 16, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • palintwit

      Sarah Palin is going to hold a big tea party patriot rally at Bell Isle.

      December 16, 2014 at 11:58 am | Reply
      • palintwit

        Fake palintwit @ 11:58 am ^

        December 16, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • banasy©

        Really? Same icon. Hmmm.

        December 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
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