Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obama Administration Does Not Take the Torture Issue Seiously Enough

Anyway this post is a little late as it did not upload properly.
Yes more on torture and the Bush Legacy
Obama inherited this issue and must take it seriously and proceed with investigations and indictments if Obama is to be seen as actually doing the right thing

Professor of International Law Philippe Sands tells the story of a memo. Sent in December 2002 to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, it requested the approval of a number of coercive techniques of interrogation. As Sands tells Anna Funder, with his acceding signature, Rumsfeld pushed the United States beyond the pale of international law and directly towards the abuses of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay - Melbourne Writers Festival

Philippe Sands joined the Faculty at University College London in January 2002. He is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals in the Faculty, and a key member of staff in the Centre for Law and the Environment. His teaching areas include public international law, the settlement of international disputes (including arbitration), and environmental and natural resources law.

And here is a more recent accusation being leveled at the US government in regards to a witness's mental competence who testified at various trials of fellow detainees giving evidence leading to their convictions. As we see the Bush Regime was desperate to prove that the inmates at Guantanamo were all guilty of some crime no matter how far fetched. This attempt to fabricate evidence is just further evidence how corrupted the Bush Regime was in its belief that getting confessions and convictions was more important than the actual facts of any particular case. Part of what they felt they had to justify was the arrests and detention of detainees for extended periods of time from one year to seven years or so . They were not then nor are they now willing to accept that a large proportion of those arrested in Afghanistan or Iraq were innocent . Unfortunately much of the Media in the US has bought into the notion that if someone was detained by US personnel those who were detained must be guilty of taking part in some terrorist action against the United States.

U.S. Hid Witness's Mental Illness in Guantanamo Cases
April 15, 2009
A federal judge has concluded the Justice Department improperly withheld important psychiatric records of a government witness who was used in a "significant" number of Guantanamo cases.

Abu Ghraib covered up, Congress misled by Rumsfeld-June 17, 2007

Seymour Hersh exposes the cover-up of Abu Ghraib by Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and potentially George W. Bush, who knew about and DID NOTHING to stop the criminal prisoner abuse for months, until it was exposed in the press.

The Obama administration and the US Media and the American public need to revisit the whole Abu Ghraib scandal to take a fresh look at it given the detailed information now available which shows that the abuses of detainees was a result of policies and orders coming directly from the Whitehouse or the Pentagon and the CIA. The guards and interrogators at Abu Ghraib and across Iraq and in Afghanistan were given the GREEN LIGHT to do whatever was necessary to retrieve intel from the detainees with no regard to their legal rights under the Geneva Conventions.

Innocent Iraqis who should have been released or treated differently from so-called Insurgents and terrorists were kept in Abu Ghraib and all prisoners were then treated the same and underwent the abusive and harsh Interrogation Techniques which are now defined as constituting Torture.

Most Prisoners at Abu Ghraib should not have been there

Janis Karpinski- Former US Brigadier General, Commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade in Iraq, the unit responsible for Abu Ghraib: Justifying Torture, and Distorting the Truth

also see:

Obama Administration Considers Hiding Details of CIA Torture Posted by Emptywheel, Firedoglake April 15, 2009.

Obama continues to waver on what parts of the 2005 Bradbury torture memos to reveal.
We know that Abu Zubaydah now has mental injuries and--apparently--cannot stand trial.

The WSJ quotes intelligence officials claiming that, if these details are made public, it'll be a propaganda tool for the terrorists.

Intelligence officials also believe that making the techniques public would give al Qaeda a propaganda tool just as the administration is stepping up its fight against the terrorist group in Afghanistan and Pakistan

But these details have already been made public, in the ICRC report and elsewhere. What the intelligence officials want to hide is that--even after they did this damage to Abu Zubadaydah (though before the ICRC called it torture in 2007)--Steven Bradbury wrote an OLC memo declaring this treatment legal.

and Does The Obama administration find Torture Funny - The issue of torture and abuse of detainees is a serious matter which the Obama administration need to deal with and not just make jokes about it.

Another part of the problem for Obama is that there are those who took part in these abusive and illegal programs who are still employed at various agencies,. So at some point Obama has to take a stand and clean house as it were. These bureaucrats or CIA agents or military personnel should at the least lose their jobs if Obama refuses to prosecute them.

Why Are Robert Gibbs and the White House Press Corps Laughing About a Torture Investigation? Posted by Liliana Segura, AlterNet April 15, 2009.

The White House press briefing is often a laughable exercise. But that doesn't mean reporters should let crucial topics be mocked and trivialized.

and so it goes,

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