Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama Refuses to Grant Legal Rights to Thousands of Prisoners in Afghanistan or Elsewhere : " Giving Meat to The Enemy "

Update: 3:20 PM,& 4:31 PM Feb. 25

Obama and the War on Terror
Going to the Darkside with Cheney
Will Obama Continue with the cover up and the lies and Propaganda
appeasing the Republican Party and Ultra -Conservative Americans
Obama defending the Establishment and the Status Quo
Does he fear the CIA and Pentagon

First a song about America's favorite Torturer Jack Bauer. Since 9/11 there are millions of Americans who suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) feel comforted by "Torture Fantasies" such as those of Jack Bauers or by the more realistic images from Abu Ghraib and they don't see why Americans shouldn't be allowed to blow off a bit a steam by torturing Iraqi or Afghan Prisoners just for the Hell of it.
Hey There Jack Bauer - He Loves A Killing Spree
Is the song writer sincere or is he taking a Mick or just taking a Piss ? Or Just Delusional?

And the right wing claims Jack Bauer as America's Real Hero and claim Bauer's argument before a Committee or Inquiry ( On an episode of "24 ")clinching the argument in favor of torture.

With New Season Of 24, Right-Wing Falls In Love With Torture All Over Again-Jan. 13 2009

Omar Khadr at Guantanamo- How the US Government treats Child Soldiers contrary to International Law and The Geneva Conventions- What have we in the West become- or have we always been this ruthless and hypocritical. Will Obama help to change that or is it bred in the bone of all of us.

Canadians like Americans don't want to know what their governments are doing because they might have to think about it and it might ruin their day. The less they know the better they feel.

Here's how Canadian officials treat child soldier Omar Khadr- They accuse Khadr of lying and making stuff up because the official doesn't want to tell the truth to the Americans or to the Canadian Government. Americans and Canadians just see Khadr as an evil terrorists who deserved the beatings and torture he has received. And President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper appear to agree. This they inform us is the Christian and Western way of doing things. Unless we really change the way we treat prisoners of war then how are we better than those we claim to be fighting.
Guantanamo Bay child soldier CSIS interrogation - Omar Khadr

Guantanamo Bay child soldier CSIS interrogation - Omar Khadr

A teenage Omar Khadr sobs uncontrollably as Canadian spy agents question him at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a brief video excerpt released via the internet early Tuesday morning.

and check out: Torture Lover John Yoo Excoriates Obama For Banning Torture By Ali Frick at Think Progress on Jan 29th, 2009

Yes even supposedly intelligent American pundits or media stars like Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter ,Glenn Beck & Sean Hannity use the example of Jack Bauer of the show " 24 " as a great American hero who does what they believe needs to be done in the name of National Security. Don't they know its a tv show. They do confuse reality with fantasy a lot it seems. Jack Bauer is really just another Heroic Fantasy created by Americans in the same way that they have molded the stories of real life characters to fit in with a national myth as in the case of Daniel Boone who's life had little relation to the Myth of David Crockett or Daniel Boone . (see: Faludi: Terror Dream) But even intelligent and supposedly well educated patriotic Americans have become defenders of the Myth making and lies surrounding the life of Daniel Boone. So Jack Bauer a few years from now will be turned into a real life person or they will claim that his character is based on a real life person but of a different name. So if Jack Bauer approves of torture than that's good enough for many Americans to approve of torture.

Laura Ingraham Jack Bauer and Torture Fox News Sept. 2008

Is 24's Jack Bauer Teaching Torture to U.S. Soldiers? March 8, 2007

Republicans, Torture and '24'

We constantly need to remind Obama and the American people that what happened at Abu Ghraib is not an isolated incident but had become and is still the policy of the US Military . Thousands have been abused in this way and are bein abused in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Even President Obama refuses to allow the results of investigatin in Bagram Afghanistan released to the public . Only reports which are favorable are ever made public. But now thousands of pages of documents which provide evidence that the crimes were committed and were part of official policy. The criminals such as Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Gonzales, Condoleeza Rice, John Yoo etc. all should be put on trial for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.

Inside Abu Ghraib Pt.1 (Iraq prison camp, CBC)

There is something disturbing about President Obama's policies concerning the Middle East, Israel and the so called "War on Terror".

When it comes to Israel Obama and members of his administration including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry etc. all believe that they should support Israel unconditionally.This attitude is not going to win hearts and minds in Arab and Muslim countries. It is also not going to help with the War on Terror if only the acts of Arabs and Muslims are characterized as terrorism while Israel or some other country which is seen as an ally or a friendly nation to Israel or America can commit actions which could be defined as terrorism or War Crimes or Crimes against Humanity are not chastised or punished in some way for their activities. So according to Obama Arabs and Muslims commit acts of terrorism but Israel no matter how egregious its actions must instead be defended and even applauded for needlessly killing large number of civilians or carrying out assassinations or kidnappings or of abusing and torturing people whom the Israelis have arrested.

So if Israel is permitted to do these things in the name of National Security then do all nations have the same right. So much for the rule of law. We like the Americans and Israelis just make it up as we go along . So our world is now governed by Nietzsche's principle that " All is Permissible"

But then again we need to remind ourselves that the US has committed "War Crimes " and Crimes Against Humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan but they tell us that's OK because GOD is on their side. Whereas the Muslims and Arabs are Evil and the Spawn of Satan or the Anti-Christ. Will we ever get beyond this mentality of us versus them. Must we always have an enemy which is about to destroy the West completely and utterly. And if there were no enemy I'm sure those in power would oblige the public at large by creating one.

Another important issue in this regard is the treatment of prisoners in US custody in overseas detention centers such as Bagram in Afghanistan and the prisons in Iraq which hold some 27, 000 prisoners. Is it Obama's position that since these are prisons outside US territories that the prisoners should be denied their rights . Obama is like Bush attempting to hide behind some sort of legal technicality so that the US will not be held responsible for the treatment of theses prisoners The past and on-going abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere is a continuing blight on America's reputation and has far reaching consequences. Further to hand over prisoners to another country while knowing they will torture these prisoners is still against international law. Maybe Obama believes that the Geneva Conventions only apply to prisoners being held on US soil or within US territories if he does he is wrong. Nor is the US permitted to use other countries as proxies to abuse and torture prisoners .

So is Obama only concerned about those cases of abuse and torture which the general public might be aware of and so all those other cases as long as they are kept secret or get little attention then its business as usual. This explained why the Bush people were in a tizzy over Abu Ghraib they didn't realy care it was just a Public Relations problem and they solved it by blaming " a few bad apples" though we now know it was all part of official policy to abuse and torture prisoners to get information or just to see them suffer. Americans wanted not justice for 9/11 but revenge and their pound of flesh .

Torture and abuse of prisoners does not produce reliable intelligence. Obama by now as every American also shoud know this no matter what Cheney or Alberto Gonzales or Condi Rice or John Yoo claim. They are all either lying or deluding themselves. But many Americans including those in positions of power seem to get their positive views about torture from Jack Bauer of the TV series " 24 ". Is Obama afraid that if he grants legal rights and basic human rights to prisoners being held by the US government and the US military or other US agencies that he will be accused of being soft on terrorism. Does he actually believe that each and everyone of these thousands of prisoners are all guilty. From the evidence gathered over the last eight years or so it is rather the opposite that is that most of the people arrested have been wrongly accused.

Is it that Obama is afraid of allowing independent rigorous investigations into these facilities because it may turn out that many were abused and tortured and that many of them are innocent and that this would embarrass the US even further.Obama shouldn't worry so much since if these facts were to be proven most Americans would not bother to read about them since most Americans don't really care about torturing and abusing people whom they have been told are the "Enemy" who are "Evil incarnate" and therefore agents of Satan and Anti-God and Anti-American that is all Arabs and Muslims.

The propaganda of the Bush Regime in this matter has been quite successful in dehumanizing those who are imprisoned and who are accused of being terrorists by American officials and personnel. And since Obama is determined to ratchet up the war in Afghanistan he may feel he has to be able to deal with a few thousand more prisoners soon to be rounded up in Afghanistan. And even he seems to have little interest in silly old fashioned or " Quaint " notions such as human rights or the Geneva Conventions or other International Laws governing how wars are conducted . As we have seen in Obama's raids on Pakistan once again the deaths of innocent civilians is meaningless. Like Bush and Cheney he appears to believe that it is better to kill 99 innocent people than to allow one guilty person get away. It is no wonder that the Obama administration has no problem supporting Israel when it commits mass murder or punishes a whole people for the actions of a few.

As AlterNet laments that Obama is not granting full rights to all prisoners being held whether in Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere " Bad News Bears; Obama: Prisoners Have No Rights " by Don Hazen, AlterNet Feb. 22,2009

Yesterday we ran: 5 Great Progressive Moves by Obama That You Might Have Missed, by Alexander Zaitchik, drawing attention to a handful of the Obama decisions that we should be grateful about in the post-Bush era. But wouldn't you know it. As soon as you give the guy some props, he whacks you in the face with something considerably more evil. Salon's Joan Walsh has it down when she notes she was spooked by Charlie Savage's disturbing piece on signs the new president might ultimately back Bush-Cheney terror policies like extraordinary rendition and indefinite detention of terror suspects in the New York Times. But she was trying to give Obama the benefit of the doubt since it was still theoretical. Well it ain't theory any more. As of late Friday, the Obama administration has now taken action, and it's appalling. He's backed the Bush administration claim that terror suspects held at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights, according to the Associated Press.

In a two-sentence court filing, the Justice Department said it agreed that detainees at Bagram Airfield cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detention. The filing shocked human rights attorneys.

"The hope we all had in President Obama to lead us on a different path has not turned out as we'd hoped," said Tina Monshipour Foster, a human rights attorney representing a detainee at the Bagram Airfield. "We all expected better."

Freed Guantanamo Detainee Says US Behind His Torture by reuters, at Feb. 23, 2009

LONDON - Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held at Guantanamo Bay for more than four years, was released and put on a plane to Britain on Monday and accused the U.S. government of orchestrating his torture.

Mohamed, 30, was due to arrive back in Britain shortly following his release from the U.S. prison camp on Cuba. His statement was issued via his lawyers after his release.

"I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares," said Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen who has British residency.

"Before this ordeal, 'torture' was an abstract word for me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim. It is difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways -- all orchestrated by the United States government."

...Mohamed has been accused of receiving al Qaeda training in Afghanistan and Pakistan and of plotting to detonate a "dirty bomb" on the U.S. transport network, but all charges brought against him have been dropped and he has never been tried.

There are more accusations that Britain and the US are complicit in torture and the contracting out of torture. They have become as ruthless and as immoral as the enemy they claim they are fighting. If these countries and others in the West do the same or are silent then what are these values we in the West are supposed to be fighting for. Torture INC. has become our standard bearer as the US and Britain have been involved in the use of torture and abuse of prisoners long before 9/11.What was the excuse then oh yes we were fighting the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union so Americans hired people like Osama Bin Laden or a Pinochet or the Shah of Iran etc. to do their dirty work. The US helped to create Al Qaeda and for their trouble they got Blow Back on 9/11 but even now the American Spin Meisters and their Public Relations firms claim it is not really so . And I guess the US didn't help engineer all those coups in various countries around the world from Chile to Guatemala to Indonesia to Haiti to Iran . The US has pillaged, plundered and raped one nation after another and then expects the nations to be grateful and become good obedient puppets for the US government and its multinational corporations. If countries do obey or make no trouble it is not out of gratefulness or gratitude but out of fear and self-preservation.

A Depressing Saga of Secrets, Lies and Medieval Horrors
The US and UK pay others to do what Saddam used to do to his jailed adversaries by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown The independent UK Feb. 23, 2009

Those lies and horrors are now part of the essential toolkit for an ambitious minister. Power corrodes, flushing away honour and wisdom and, it seems, personal memory too. Obama promised to shut down Guantanamo Bay and he delivered. For that he deserves immense respect. However, this is not the end of the US- and UK-endorsed use of extreme pain to break people in custody. Ever since the fateful attacks on 11 September 2001 and in truth, long before that in covert operations, these two states have outsourced torture to some of the most lawless regions in the world or to regimes which commonly use physical and psychological coercion in exchange for influence or cash. There is no sign yet that Obama means to outlaw renditions, secret abductions by the CIA, or the unrecorded movement of prisoners. The fear is that these clandestine activities will continue. Shutting down the - always provocative - Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre is possibly a way to placate protesters and carry on regardless. I hope Obama has more moral sense than that.

The US and UK pay others to do what Saddam used to do to his adversaries in custody. This facility is procured by, and makes perfect sense to, those who believe the end justifies anything. Just this week President Obama met Michael Ignatieff, the leader of the Canadian opposition who wrote The Lesser Evil, a book which defended torture when used to protect the interests of the US. Then we wonder why the world accuses the West of perfidy.

This week Human Rights Watch publishes a report alleging that the British state is implicated in the torture of captured Muslims in Pakistan. UK intelligence and Foreign Office officials have questioned the prisoners whilst they were being processed says Pakistan's feared Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). Ali Dayan Hasan, who directed this study, claims there was "systemic" cooperation. Some had nails pulled out and others went through much worse. In 2004, three British Muslim men, Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed were released without charge from Guantanamo. They had done the multi-destination tour that is popular with those waging war on terror by reproducing terror. Captured in Afghanistan they were tortured and allegedly interrogated by our SAS. And there is now a growing suspicion that our government has devised policies for this murky business. The countries that oblige us by taking and sorting out the troublesome ones include Pakistan and Afghanistan of course, and also other very good friends - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Israel - others too I am sure. And these special relationships go back a very long way.

In his disturbing and clearly evidenced book, The War on Truth, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed traces the unholy games played with Islamicist terrorists by the US, and through acquiescence by the UK, flirting with them when it suited and then turning against them. Al-Qa'ida has been used as an instrument of western statecraft and for now is the enemy. Well, not quite. Pakistan's ISI is quite chummy with the Bin Laden groupies and, well, we have to keep Pakistan on side as they know so many of our secrets. So it goes on.

...But what of those countries that tender for torture? Who calls them to account? The expert interrogators abroad practice on their own citizens. Egypt does this par excellence. Factories somewhere make the instruments too. Again there is little information of where these job opportunities are. And so torture spreads, endorsed by messianic democrats and activated by barbarians whose services are essential to keep us civilised. It works for both sides. The US and the UK can claim ignorance of what goes on in those dark cells pierced by screams; and obliging nations can do their business efficiently in countries without any transparency. There is a long history of such mutuality in evil. Apartheid had willing black operators; the transatlantic slave trade depended on black suppliers. These colluders always get away with it.

The UN Convention against Torture states: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture."

That absolute injunction still stands whatever happens to us in the West, including further terror attacks. And if we don't hold its principle precious all is lost and there can be nothing left for any of us to live and die for.

And more demands that Americans and the Briish and Canadians and the rest of NATO do the right thing and not just make up the rules as they go along.Yes we Canadians are also involved in this nasty business though Canadians also don't want to hear about it . When a Canadian soldier or soldiers treat a prisoner in ways which are against the Geneva Conventions or other International Laws if that soldier or soldiers are not dealt with properly then the Canadian Military is guilty of breaking international Laws and therefore the Canadian Government is also guilty if it had any knowledge of the acts committed or if it merely didn't bother to get to know the facts. This is typical of many governments who by their silence and willful ignorance avoid culpability and responsibility for illegal actions . The other substantiated claim against Canadian forces has been the handing over of prisoners in Afghanistan to agencies of other governments such as the US who we know abuse and torture prisoners. (Or see the case of Omar Khadr or the cases involving White Supremacists in the Canadian military in which officials refuse to do anything til the Press forced them to) But we are not supposed to talk about this because our military and government never do wrong and besides we are not permitted to make accusations against the US military or the US government because we might offend them or hurt their feelings. One can be assured the Americans have rarely cared about offending or hurting the feelings of other nations whenever they wished to do so.Besides as Americans such as Media Star Ann Coulter like to remind Canadians " that Canada is lucky that we allow it to exist" or as one American conservative pundit Tucker Carlson described Canada as " our retarded cousin" and that we do a lot of dog sledding . see YOUTUBE Ann Coulter/Tucker Carlson on Canadians

" Treat U.S.-Held Prisoners Like Gitmo Detainees, Afghans Urge " by Globe and Mail Canada (at Feb. 23, 2009

KABUL - The word "Guantanamo" serves as shorthand among some Afghans for all the reasons they hate foreign troops, but the impending closing of the notorious prison has gotten surprisingly little attention in this country.

Nothing changed with last month's U.S. presidential order to close Guantanamo, many people here say, because another prison inspires even greater fear: Bagram.

Even a man who could be expected to feel the most joy about Guantanamo closing, a former detainee who spent more than six years in the camp, quickly turns the conversation to the detention facility north of Kabul, inside the U.S. military base at Bagram.

..."It's silly to think closing Guantanamo as a symbolic gesture will achieve legitimacy for the new administration, while the same practices continue at Bagram," said Tina M. Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, a New York-based rights group.

Her group has been representing Bagram detainees in court since 2006, but she feels the question of their rights has gained momentum in recent weeks.

...A United Nations report last week singled out the Bagram facility for criticism. While the Red Cross was allowed to visit detainees, the report said, the Red Cross findings are kept secret and the U.S. military has denied UN requests for similar visits.

"There are reports that some persons have been in detention at Bagram for as long as five years," the report says. "Some ex-detainees allege being subjected to severe torture, even sexual abuse. Ex-detainees also allege that they were held in cages containing between 15 to 20 men and that two detainees died in questionable circumstances while in custody."

...Despite the hundreds released so far, Mr. Mirhazar said only eight have been re-captured - and three of those were later re-released as authorities realized they had been wrongly imprisoned twice.

While acknowledging that his records may be incomplete, the Afghan official suggested the numbers show a high percentage of people swept up in military operations are innocent. This feeds anger among the local population, he said, and gives a propaganda victory to the insurgents.

"You must not give meat to your enemies," he said.

also see on the rationalization of torture :

John Yoo's advice on the legality of torture reviewed by new DOJ
Feb 17,2009

also see: # Faludi, Susan The TerrorDream : Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America, pub. 2007
# Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey Through Iraq By Tony Lagouranis & Allen Mikaelian, pub. 2007

* spinmeister - a public relations person who tries to forestall negative publicity by publicizing a favorable interpretation of the words or actions of a company or political party or famous person; "his title is Director of Communications but he is just a spin doctor"

and so it goes,

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