|Subject: The Bush legacy: Torture|
Posted Apr 22, 2009 by Baron Grim
This morning I'm reading several stories concerning the Bush administration's promotion of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and their justifications for them.
First I read this article, originally in the New York Times, that shows the origins of the techniques approved and promoted by the CIA and the Bush administration. These techniques were well established by brutal regimes in the past and were implemented by the US because they were used on military personnel as part of their SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) training. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30338039/
Then I read this article about how these policies lead to harsh treatments of Iraqi prisoners and captured "suspects" by military personnel at Abu Graib and Gitmo and how some military personnel were basically scapegoated by being portrayed as if they were isolated individuals acting on their own and not following the direct policies they were now obviously instructed to use. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30343776/
And now I read this article that cites a senate report that shows that the Bush administration specifically requested that torture be used to specifically find evidence to link al Qa'ida to Saddam Hussein's regime even though, "“Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people were told repeatedly, by CIA … and by others, that there wasn’t any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Hussein, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies." http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6385484.html
Some officials are insisting that they did get valid and useful information from some of the detainees that were tortured (I'm not going to use their euphemisms). That may be true, it probably is. It doesn't ing matter. They may have been able to get that same information and probably a whole lot more if they had NOT used torture. How many false confessions and information did they get during the 266 instances of water boarding of only two prisoners did they elicit?
The purpose of SERE training is to show our personnel how to resist these techniques and resist giving the enemy useful information. The SERE trainers who consulted on these techniques insisted that they were NOT reliable methods of getting information!!! (yes, three exclamations)
We are now getting confirmation of what we suspected all along. George W. Bush and that dick, Cheney would stop at nothing to start a war with Iraq and to justify it once they did regardless of all the evidence that proved he was WRONG.
They abolished habeas corpus and institutionalized kidnapping and torture. By doing these things they did more damage to this nation than any terrorist ever could.
These people MUST be prosecuted. I have little doubt that they may never be punished, but they must be prosecuted. The rule of law and basic tenets of the constitution of this nation are at stake!
Not to mention that the war has cost this country (and the others that took part in this shameful war) billions upon billions of dollars, plus several thousand lives of many nationalities - but mostly innocent Iraqi citizens - all unnecessarily. I wish the enough people would have stood up to them at the time and asked the right questions instead of timidly falling into line and singing God Bless America at every opportunity, just to make sure no-one thought them unpatriotic.
Just began reading this, but looks quite interesting.
First time I went to that link I got a short film called Green Porno with Isabella Rossellini pretending to be an angler fish. Second time I got the article.
I actually have seen some clips of that series... very, very strange.
S'okay, I can deal with stuff far more lurid
Brilliant. 2003, Bush statement to the U.N.
"I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential part of their diplomacy."
That comment from roidubouloi has to be written by Ann Coulter
On second thoughts, no - it's far too nice.
Yea... when I was reading it I thought it was being satirical and kept waiting for the punchline.
‘We Could Have Done This the Right Way’
How Ali Soufan, an FBI agent, got Abu Zubaydah to talk without torture.
From the article -
Soufan became a teacher for other interrogators. McFadden says that in early 2002, Soufan flew to Guantánamo to conduct a training course. He gave a powerful talk, preaching the virtues of the FBI's traditional rapport-building techniques. Not only were such methods the most effective, Soufan explained that day, they were critical to maintaining America's image in the Middle East. "The whole world is watching what we do here," Soufan said. "We're going to win or lose this war depending on how we do this." As he made these comments, about half the interrogators in the room—those from the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies—were "nodding their heads" in agreement, recalls McFadden. But the other half— military intelligence officers—sat there "with blank stares. It's like they were thinking, This is bullcrap. Their attitude was, 'You guys are cops; we don't have time for this'."
Boris Johnson has an excellent essay on this subject in the Telegraph.
"...if your end is the spread of freedom and the rule of law, you cannot hope to achieve that end by means that are patently vile and illegal."
The people who support these actions justify them because they claim that they save lives. That's debatable, but read this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11486219
Dubya sacrificed principles and authorised torture to supposedly get information that would supposedly safeguard the lives of thousands. Did Churchill sacrifice an entire city in order to save countless British and Allied lives by keeping information from a) the British people (the Germans are going to bomb your city) and b) the Germans (we know your secret codes)? Both actions are utilitarian in essence, so what's the difference between the two?
Under the rules established for these military tribunals, no discussion of torture is allowed.
There will be no criminal or civil court hearings.
The official policy is that we didn't torture because we changed the definition and you can't ask us about it anyway.
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