Tuesday, April 01, 2008

EMPEROR BUSH BOOED and Another Innocent Ex-Detainee Talks About Years of Torture and Abuse

From My Lai to Haditha & the Rape of Fallujah

The My Lai Massacre, was the mass murder of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), mostly civilians and the majority of them women and children, conducted by U.S. Army forces on March 16, 1968. Before being killed some of the victims were raped and sexually molested, beaten, tortured, or maimed. Some of the dead bodies were also mutilated. The massacre took place in the hamlets of Mỹ Lai and My Khe of Sơn Mỹ village during the Vietnam War. Lt. William Calley was the officer in charge. Many believed Calley to be a true American hero who did his duty . Do they also include rape and mutilation as being the acts of brave heroic soldiers . And now it has been carried on as an American tradition in The occupation of Iraq & Afghanistan. Are these representative of the superior values of Western Civilization. If so then maybe we are doomed.

Bush Met with Boos at Washington Baseball Game
The YouTube user of this video Criticizes people for Booing but what else are people to do- Their votes don't mean much or are not counted or they are turned away at the polling stations- in two rigged elections. The Media in America is not interested in the truth or questioning Bush's policies or actions. So the Media is defacto pro-Bush and the Status Quo.
Note the announcer ignores the booing , goes on to praise Bush and then mentions 9/11
RULE FOR AMERICAN MEDIA : never miss a chance to invoke 9/11

And once again we hear the story of another ex-detainee who was and is innocent but was turned over to American authorities probably just for the bounty ( $3000 ). Millions of Westerners will discount his story since his parents were Turkish and he was studying to be a Muslim. Being Muslim according to many people in our bigoted paranoid society means you are a liar and by nature a terrorists and are devious and cunning . These stereotypes have been applied to various groups over the centuries from Jews to blacks to Gypsies to all Asians or Native Americans .

As I have said before since it is no longer acceptable to be anti-semitic or to be anti-black or anti-Asian people in our society needed a group to replace these various peoples as the " outsiders" or " Scapegoats " and so have found a new group to foist their hatred upon . Anti-Semitism was always reprehensible as are all forms of racism and bigotry.

But now according to those in power it is ok to hate all Muslims and all Arabs or all Iranians or Syrians etc. In the United States it is even ok to hate all the citizens of France since the French wouldn't join the US in fighting in Iraq. It is even seen as acceptable to try to undermine Barack Obama's campaign by accusing him of secretly being a Muslim . That such a labeling of Obama is to be taken seriously and even denied shows how far this form of bigotry and racism has come.Of course this accusation came it appears from the cynical and dirty campaign of Hillary Clinton.Would the tactic work as well if they discovered he was brought up as a practicing Jew or Hindu, or Buddhist etc.

It appears that Americans really do need as Obama has suggested to take a long look at themselves and at their racist and bigoted history and whether or not they wish to go beyond it and begin forging a new more tolerant and open society where there is justice for all and not just for white Middle Class and rich Americans. When it comes to the super-rich the racial lines do sometimes blur a bit. Though even wealthy black Americans tell stories of being pulled over while driving by the police for no particular reason and being treated a bit roughly and without any respect. But it is difficult for White Middle Class Americans to come to terms with such realities since they see themselves as representing the best that there is in America and therefore by extension in the world . Again like the Romans and the British and a hundred other Empires before them they see themselves as superior to all other peoples and nations.

As this report below from 60 minutes about another wrongfully accused detainee once again shows is that some one's innocence means nothing in our present climate of fear and paranoia. In the so-called War on Terror anything goes. Our society seems to have accepted torture as an acceptable practice. The TV show '24 ' has helped to convince millions that torture is effective and that one can get credible intelligence by the use of torture. The experts other than Dick Cheney and George Bush argue torture is not an effective tool for gaining information. The only reason for torture is to terrorize individuals and to send a message to one's enemies that they will be treated with no regard to human dignity or according to international law and agreed upon standards . What one wonders is what are these supposed ideals we are supposed be fighting for.

We should also remember that if we take a look at the end of the nineteenth century we see that the big fear that governments especially in Europe were warning everyone about were the Anarchists, the Communists, the Socialists, the evil Feminists and evil Pro-Labor groups and the Anti-Monarchists etc. The belief of the ruling class was that all of these people whether they were fighting for a woman's right to vote or to pass laws preventing the exploitation of child labor or that workers be paid a decent wage and that workers be permitted to join labor unions or that orphans not be treated as criminals or as a source of cheap labor etc. But this is the world which many conservatives long for believing that it was an ideal age where the rich and the middle class were able to live as they should and that the lower classes kept their opinions to themselves .

One of the issues is that of the ethics of the participation in the torture process by a doctor , a physician an MD . But isn't A physician supposed to be one who heals or at least does no harm . Doesn't torture go against the Hippocratic Oath of a doctor to do no harm or is that another ideal which people once believed in which is now characterized as an old fashioned quaint notion . Shouldn't that doctor be ashamed of himself . Will that doctor like those at the Nuremberg Trials merely claim that he was just following orders .

But seriously shouldn't the American Medical Association or other organizations representing American Physicians condemn any physician who takes part in torture. This should also go for other professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists or Nurses or paramedics etc. But of course when one is a citizen of the United States then the laws applicable to other nations are not applicable to you. As we are told again and again Americans are exceptional and therefore the rules which are applied to average human beings do not apply to them. They are like the Romans a race set apart or more like the Spartans a militaristic savage race who believe in duty and following orders who believe not in justice but in revenge and that Might is Right.

Its like Lt. Calley at My Lai in Vietnam who claimed he was just following orders. But of course many Americans at the time of Calley's trial saw him as a hero. What a hero he was he didn't hesitate as he could look into the eyes of a 90 year old Vietnamese woman or a two year old child and then use his M16 to blow a hole through their skulls because they supposedly had given aid or comfort to the enemy . When those soldiers who took part in this " ACTION "( term used by Nazis) were they raping and mutilating bodies in the name of the USA and their all loving merciful God or their blood thirsty God. Ah well it led to the deaths of approximately 2,000,000 ( two million ) human beings though to those who supported the war these were not people " Just Gooks" undeserving of life as it were.

As for My Lai see link above -

Now we have American soldiers committing such atrocities against the Iraqi people on an almost daily basis and American are proud when an American soldier rapes and kills ,As George Bush Sr. said that he would " not apologize for what America/ or Americans has done no matter what the facts are " and as Arundhati Roy has further pointed out that ). So Americans are allowed to do whatever the Hell they want and no one on earth has right to judge them and God they believe has given them permission to do as they see fit .

And who were the enemy well it seems by the end of the Vietnam War almost all South Vietnamese were America's enemies. Well of course they were for how can a people regard an invading force that destroy thousands of hamlets, villages and towns who carpet bomb whole areas of your country back into the stone age while murdering innocent men women, and children . At the same time America backed an unpopular corrupt puppet regime in South Vietnam. Sounds a lot like Iraq . All Iraqis it appears have become the enemy and the American people just see the Iraqis as ungrateful. But over a million Iraqis are dead and most of their towns, villages and cities and their suburbs have been decimated - they look as bad as London after the Blitz but no matter . The propagandists at Fox News and CNN etc. and the New York Times and the Washington Post have convinced most Americans that most Iraqis lived in mud huts and rode camels and never heard of Television or Telephones or Computers. So when some reasonable reporter tries to explain to Americans how the basic infrastructure (i.e. schools, hospitals, highways, water and sewage treatment plants were destroyed during " SHOCK AND AWE ") had been destroyed the average American pays little attention and that's exactly how Bush, Cheney , Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice and even Hillary Clinton want Americans to think. That is to say that Iraqis are a primitive people who never heard of flush toilets let alone computers who ride around on camels .

So here's the story of German Citizen Murat Kurnaz who caught tangled up in America's world wide sweep for Terrorists.

Ex-Terror Detainee Says US Tortured Him/CBS News/ Sunday 30 March 2008

Tells "60 Minutes" he was held underwater, shocked and suspended from the ceiling.

At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America's shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.

The story Kurnaz told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley is a rare look inside that clandestine system of justice, where the government's own secret files reveal that an innocent man lost his liberty, his dignity, his identity, and ultimately five years of his life.
Kurnaz told 60 Minutes his story using the English that he learned from his American guards. If he seems a little distant, reserved, you'll understand why as his story unfolds. It begins in 2001, when he was at the end of that trip to Pakistan. He was headed to the airport to fly home to Germany when his bus was stopped at a routine checkpoint.

"They stopped the bus and because of my color, I'm much more different than Pakistani guys," says Kurnaz, who is lighter-skinned. "He looked into the bus and he knocked on my window."

"He" was a Pakistani cop who pulled Kurnaz off the bus. The reason Kurnaz was singled out may always be a mystery. But at the time, the U.S. was paying bounties for suspicious foreigners. Kurnaz, who'd been rambling across Pakistan with Islamic pilgrims, seemed to fit the bill. Kurnaz says that he was told that U.S. intelligence paid $3,000 for him. He ended up bound and shackled on an American military plane.

"I was sure soon as they would find out I'm not a terrorist, they will apologize for it and let me go back home," he says.

But the plane flew him out of Pakistan and to a U.S. base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was mixed with prisoners fresh off the battlefield. His new identity was "number 53." He was kept in an outdoor pen, in sub-freezing weather and interrogated daily.

"They asked me, 'Where is Osama bin Laden,' and if I am from al Qaeda or from Taliban. Questions like that. I told them, 'I don't know where is Osama bin Laden, I never saw him and I don't know anything about al Qaeda. I don't know what it is.' And I spent all my time in Pakistan," he says.

Asked what happened next, Kurnaz says, "I told them just they can call Germany to ask who I am and they can ask anybody in Germany who I am."

...And Kurnaz claims his interrogations at Kandahar turned to torture. He told 60 Minutes that American troops held his head underwater.

"They used to beat me when my head is underwater. They beat me into my stomach and everything," he says.

"They were hitting you in the stomach while you're head was underwater so that you'd have to take a breath?" Pelley asks,

"Right. I had to drink. I had to ... how you say it?" Kurnaz replies.

"Inhale. Inhale the water," Pelley says.

"I had to inhale the water. Right," Kurnaz says.

Kurnaz says the Americans used a device to shock him with electricity that made his body go numb. And he says he was hoisted up on chains suspended by his arms from the ceiling of an aircraft hangar for five days.

"Every five or six hours they came and pulled me back down. And the doctor came to watch if I can still survive to not. He looked into my eyes. He checked my heart. And when he said okay, then they pulled me back up," Kurnaz says.

"The point of the doctor's visit was not to treat you. It was to see if you could take another six hours hanging from the ceiling?" Pelley asks.

"Right," Kurnaz says.

"I suspect you know that the U.S. military will deny this happened. The U.S. military will deny that you were shocked. It will deny your head was held in a bucket of water. It will deny that you hung from a ceiling for days at a time," Pelley remarks.

"Doesn't matter whatever they will say. The truth will not change," Kurnaz says.

After six weeks in Afghanistan, Kurnaz was loaded onto another plane, this time bound for Guantanamo. The Pentagon labeled the prisoners "unlawful enemy combatants." They didn't have the rights of prisoners of war and were beyond the reach of any court.

At Guantanamo Kurnaz says he endured endless months of interrogations, beatings at the hands of soldiers in riot gear, and physical cruelty which included going without sleep for weeks and solitary confinement for up to a month in cells that were sealed without ventilation or were set up to punish him with extreme conditions.

"It's dark inside. No lights. And they can punish you in isolation by coldness or by the heat. They have special air conditioners over there. Very strong. They can turn it very cold or very hot," Kurnaz says.

He says it went on year after year, always the same questions about al Qaeda, and the endless effort to break his will. He heard nothing from the outside and wondered whether anyone knew that he was there.

" and so it goes " as Mr. Vonnegut would say.


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