Thursday, April 30, 2009

America's War Crimes and its Crimes Against Humanity Are A Global Issue and Not As Obama Thinks A Private Affair

UPDATE: 12:21,April 30, 2009

POWS - Detainees Abused & tortured
C.I.A & others Granted Immunity
The Victims Need Justice

America's Shame- But 51% of Americans Defend Torture as Necessary

Victims Abused & discarded by Bush and Obama
American hypocrisy

Even Bush was against War Crimes until He became the Perpetrator-

"War Crimes Will Be Prosecuted" Bush

"It Will Be No Defense To Say, I Was Just Following Orders" Says Bush

Sky News With US Torturer Tony Lagouranis( author of the book FEAR UP HARSH) Exposed
U.S. Military treated all Iraqis as if they were guilty or Knew who the insurgents were.
Torture just added to the anger of Iraqis against the U.S. Occupation

" The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America’s prospects in the war on terror.

According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon’s operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A."

From article by Seymour Hersh on U.S. use of torture:"The Gray Zone:How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib." by Seymour M. Hersh at The New Yorker,May 24,2004

Many of the prisoners abused at the Abu Ghraib prison were innocent Iraqis, picked up at random by US troops and incarcerated by underqualified intelligence officers, a former US interrogator from the jail told the Guardian.

He claimed many of the detainees are "innocent of any acts against the coalition".

"One case in point is a detainee whom I recommended for release and months later was still sitting in the same tent with no change in his status."

Mr Nelson said that the same systemic problems were also responsible for large numbers of Afghans being mistakenly swept into Guantánamo Bay. He estimated that a third or more of the inmates at the controversial prison camp had no connection to terrorism.

From:Photos of US Torture of Iraqi Prisoners At The Abu Ghraib Prison In Iraq, April 30, 2004

Note: the reporting of widespread abuses and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan of prisoners held by the U.S. and the U.K. go back as far as 2004 and so this news has been known for over five years. The information released in the last month or so just adds more evidence to these allegations. Yet the American people for the most part couldn't care less. As quoted above 51% of Americans approve of the use of torture not so much to get information but to punish anyone involved in 9/11 .
Obama and Eric Holder are more concerned with their political careers and fear upsetting conservative Americans and the Republican party to actually insist on pursuing truth and justice. One wonders if they fear that the military and C.I.A. would stage a coup against them or just make life extremely difficult for them ?
Do they fear that America could not survive a full blown investigation accompanied by indictments of those who ordered that these crimes be committed and those who wrote the legal memos to add a legal veneer to these Crimes and those who did the actual torturing .

As I have argued before most of these people were not acting in GOOD FAITH- they knew torture did not work; they knew these enhanced interrogation techniques were in fact torture; they knew that much of the information the Bush/Cheney Regime hoped to get was in fact bogus i.e, there was no connection between Al Qaeda & Saddam & 9/11, they had been informed again and again that Saddam had no WMDS or WMDS program and after a decade of sanctions Iraq was not an imminent threat to its neighbors or to the United States- but these are just mere facts and so have little weight for the average American who were sold these lies as if they were FACTS-

Even President Obama is uninterested in the Victims of America's Torture Policy- Obama may be able to forget what happened to the hundreds if not thousands of prisoners who were abused and or tortured by U.S. Personnel but the Victims will never forget . The peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan and of other countries who were captured and abused by the Americans or the British deserve to know the truth and they deserve justice.

Those who abused, humiliated, degraded and tortured "detainees " must be held accountable if not by the U.S. government then by other governments and international bodies.

This issue is not merely a domestic problem for the United States but is a global issue.Obama may want to forget this whole dark era but the victims of America's War Crimes will not forget . And these victims and their fellow citizens in Iraq or Afghanistan and other countries now know that America does not believe in justice or accountability not when it comes to its own War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.

The excuse the Americans use for their War Crimes is that they were attacked on 9/11 and so are to be given carte blanche in their actions whether it is the unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq or the abuse of thousands of prisoners. So for how long is America going to use this excuse to terrorize the rest of the world.

Obama is wrong about the issue of detainee abuse it is not just an American issue. The brutal and barbaric treatment of thousands of prisoners by the United States or by any of its allies is an international issue. Odd that one who claims to be an expert on international law appears like many Americans to be dismissive of international laws such as The Geneva Conventions or the International Convention on the ban on torture & other cruel and inhumane or degrading treatment.

A large percentage of the thousands of these so called detainees captured in Iraq or Afghanistan were in fact not guilty or had little usable intel to give to their sadistic revenge-seeking captors . Over and over again we are reminded that because of the Bush Propaganda Machine the average American soldier believed that many of those captured were in some way or other involved or knew about the 9/11 attack . Otherwise the belief was that all Iraqis and Afghans had important information about the Taliban, Al Qaeda or other terrorist organization or knew about the insurgency or knew where Saddam was hiding his mythical WMDS and his Atomic Weapons .

But mainly the average soldier had been told that they were permitted to treat Iraqis and Afghan prisoners and citizens in any fashion they wished since all were guilty of crimes to a lesser or greater extent against the United States in the eyes of the Bush Administration and the American people .

We now know that the Bush Regime in its use of abusive interrogation techniques more commonly know outside America as torture was used in a fishing expedition one to get intel on the connection between Al Qaeda , Saddam and 9/11 which early on the Americans and the C.I.A. knew did not exist. So the Bush torturers were to get false confessions if necessary from those captured to help justify the Bush invasion of Iraq. They were also pressuring the C.I.A. , the U.S. military and private contractors to produce one way or another as much fabricated evidence as possible about Saddam's Non-existent WMDs or at least WMD programs which the White House had been informed before invading Iraq did not exist.

Many of the prisoners abused at the Abu Ghraib prison were innocent Iraqis, picked up at random by US troops and incarcerated by underqualified intelligence officers, a former US interrogator from the jail told the Guardian.


When it comes to America's War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity Obama is sort of Dr. Feelgood who wants to look to the future . But he is in good company it appears since a recent poll reports that 51% of Americans approve of the use of torture on any Al Qaeda suspects or insurgents in Iraq or Afghanistan. America wanted to exact revenge and it has done so and continues to do so in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan .

Obama like most Americans is uninterested in justice. Justice would mean he fears digging up the past & going through some rather negative emotions. And who wants to have to deal with Negative Emotions when it is better to just look away or just walk on by who cares those abused and tortured after all are not Americans they are not even Christians so who cares? So why bother since justice is more or less meaningless. But Obama like most Americans doesn't really care about those tortured , abused, degraded , humiliated by U.S. personnel in order supposedly to get information but it appears mainly to make all those people who are considered by Americans as not being human to pay for 9/11 attacks and for each and every American soldier killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
True News 35: Bush, Obama and the Torture of Morality
Believe it or not, this is what we call 'progress.' http://www.freedomainradio....

"Report vindicates soldiers prosecuted over Abu Ghraib abuses, lawyers say" by Daniel Nasaw,,April22,2009

• Lawyer for Charles Graner to seek presidential pardon
• Report a 'great opportunity,' says Lynndie England's attorney
• Senator Carl Levin says abuse was systematic

A newly unclassified Senate report on the US government's treatment of terrorism suspects vindicates enlisted soldiers prosecuted for the abuse of inmates of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, lawyers for two of the soldiers and a US senator said today.

Texas-based lawyer Guy Womack, who defended specialist Charles Graner, said he plans to seek a presidential pardon for his client. Graner was in 2005 sentenced to 10 years in a military prison on charges of conspiracy, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees and other counts.

Interrogation techniques such as the use of dogs and "stress positions" were "a direct cause of detainee abuse and influenced interrogation policies at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq", states the 232-page Senate armed services committee report, the most detailed investigation into abuse of terrorism suspects and war prisoners yet.

"If the government had admitted that at the time, then they would have been obligated to dismiss the case against Graner because he was following orders, just as we had said at that time," Womack said.

"They perpetrated a fraud on the court by successfully concealing that this was government policy and it was approved by higher government authorities than those poor MPs on the ground at Abu Ghraib."

In finding Graner guilty, the military panel rejected Womack's arguments that the practices, which included stripping prisoners naked and threatening them with dogs, had been sanctioned higher up on the chain of command. Critics of George Bush have long claimed the soldiers who were punished in connection with the detainee abuses were just following orders.

on Outsourcing & privatizing Torture see: "US: Pentagon Spends Billions to Outsource Torture" by Joshua Holland, Alternet September 14th, 2006

Abu Ghraib was a perfect storm, destined to result in torture and murder. The Department of Justice was redefining torture to be "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure," 90 percent of U.S. troops believed they were in Iraq for "retaliation for Saddam's role in 9/11" and, according to the Army, brigade leaders "failed to supervise or provide direct oversight, to properly discipline their soldiers ... and to provide continued mission-specific training." The results were those all-too-familiar images of grinning soldiers posed next to brutalized corpses on ice, stacks of naked prisoners, hooded prisoners in "stress positions" trussed in electrical cords and all the rest. The only winners -- beside Al Qaeda recruiters -- were CACI's shareholders -- its invoices were duly processed.

Amnesty notes that contractors "neither fall under the Military Code of Justice, nor are they answerable to Iraqi law, having been specifically excluded under a decree issued by Paul Bremer, the head of the U.S.-run administration in Iraq." Theoretically, a recent law, the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, could be used to prosecute contractors, but the administration has not tried it out yet. According to the Legal Times, it's "narrowly crafted and ... may not cover some of the abuses -- and abusers -- involved in the torture of Iraqi detainees at U.S.-run prisons." It doesn't cover intelligence contractors working for the CIA.

That may be the whole point; critics have argued that one reason the United States has employed so many contractors to handle prisoners is to shield members of the military high command and their civilian leadership from culpability for war crimes or other violations of international and domestic laws.


UK forces taught torture methods" by David Leigh, The Guardian, May 8, 2004

The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.

The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

One former British special forces officer who returned last week from Iraq, said: "It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn't know what they were doing."

He said British and US military intelligence soldiers were trained in these techniques, which were taught at the joint services interrogation centre in Ashford, Kent, now transferred to the former US base at Chicksands.

"There is a reservoir of knowledge about these interrogation techniques which is retained by former special forces soldiers who are being rehired as private contractors in Iraq. Contractors are bringing in their old friends"

...The spectrum of R2I techniques also includes keeping prisoners naked most of the time. This is what the Abu Ghraib photographs show, along with inmates being forced to crawl on a leash; forced to masturbate in front of a female soldier; mimic oral sex with other male prisoners; and form piles of naked, hooded men.

The full battery of methods includes hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation and depriving prisoners not only of dignity, but of fundamental human needs, such as warmth, water and food.

The US commander in charge of military jails in Iraq, Major General Geoffrey Miller, has confirmed that a battery of 50-odd special "coercive techniques" can be used against enemy detainees. The general, who previously ran the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, said his main role was to extract as much intelligence as possible.

Interrogation experts at Abu Ghraib prison were there to help make the prison staff "more able to garner intelligence as rapidly as possible". ..

British judges air Guantanamo details U.S. wanted kept secret, By julie Sell, McClatchy Newspapers,March 23, 2009

LONDON — Two British High Court judges revealed Monday that U.S. military prosecutors tried to pressure a former detainee at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into a plea bargain — on charges that hadn't been specified — that would have resulted in a 10-year sentence in addition to the years he'd already been detained.

In a previously secret annex to a ruling they made last autumn, Lord Justice Thomas and Justice Lloyd Jones, who had access to classified U.S. documents, also revealed that American prosecutors had tried to pressure Binyam Mohamed into signing a statement that said he hadn't been tortured and wouldn't sue the U.S. government or its allies over his treatment in captivity.

The Obama administration freed Mohamed last month and returned him to Britain after holding him for seven years without charges, after the High Court's initial statements provoked a public furor in Britain.
...The British judges said they released the annex to their judgment partly because Mohamed "wanted it to be made clear to the world what had happened and how he had been treated by the United States government." Mohamed lived in Britain for a number of years before he traveled to Pakistan in 2001 and was arrested. U.S. officials alleged that he was training with al Qaida.

Mohamed's U.S. and British lawyers on Monday condemned the reported attempt to pressure and silence their client while he was in captivity. They said that in addition to requiring Mohamed to deny that he was tortured, the U.S. military prosecutor wanted Mohamed to agree not to speak to the news media after he was freed.

"My reaction to this is shock and shame," said Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley, Mohamed's U.S.-assigned military lawyer, who was involved in the plea-bargain talks with U.S. prosecutors. "All these things have been done behind closed doors and in dark corners of U.S. prisons."

The revelations of Mohamed's treatment in U.S. captivity are "the tip of the iceberg," Bradley said. "I think he will be breaking ground for other detainees."

"The facts revealed today reflect the way the U.S. government has consistently tried to cover up the truth of Binyam Mohamed's torture," said Clive Stafford Smith, a member of Mohamed's legal team and the director of the legal-aid charity Reprieve.

"He was being told he would never leave Guantanamo Bay unless he promised never to discuss his torture, and never sue either the Americans or the British to force disclosure of his mistreatment," Stafford Smith said. "Gradually, the truth is leaking out, and the governments on both sides of the Atlantic should pause to consider whether they should continue to fight to keep this torture evidence secret."

UK High Court demands U.S. torture documents by Julie Sell ,McClatchy Newspapers, April 22, 2009

LONDON — The chief justice of the British High Court on Wednesday gave the British government one week to obtain the U.S. release of classified information about the alleged torture of a British resident who'd been detained at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba .

The court indicated that it would issue its own order if the government doesn't respond or justify why continued secrecy is warranted.

Noting that President Barack Obama had released highly sensitive documents tracing the decisions on torture during the Bush administration's war on terror, the high court judges voiced exasperation that the British government hasn't acted in what they said was the British public interest in being similarly open.

The hearing illustrated how Obama's decision to be more transparent about his predecessor's detainee policies is having ripple effects abroad, but it also threw the ball back to the Obama administration to approve release of the contested information.

also see: "Guantanamo Bay: Recent Developments "AloysiaB, Amnesty International, 20 March 2009

also see: " The Torture Timeline " By Annie Lowrey, Foreign, April 2009

Check out and sign ACLU Petition at Stand with the ACLU. Ask Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the interrogation of detainees in the war on terror.

Bush Memos aka The Torture Memos read memos at ACLU RELEASED: The Bush Administration's Secret Legal Memos: On April 16, 2009, the Department of Justice released four secret memos used by the Bush administration to justify torture.


also see the five part series by McClatchy Newspapers Report on Prisoners at Guantanamo : Guantanamo Beyond The Law June 2008

and The Green Light by Philippe Sands at Vanity Fair May 2008

"The Bush White House's Appalling and Evil Legacy: Now We Know the Whole Story" By Frank Rich, The New York Times. April 27, 2009.

and so it goes,

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