Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cheney 's Lies & Paranoid Delusions & Obama Favors Indefinite Detentions

Cheney keeps watering down his Iraq War justifications from specifics that Saddam had WMDS & helped Al Qaeda with the 9/11 attacks to Saddam had the potential, or the capacity for developing WMDs & was involved with some nebulous Mid East terrorists.

Maddow Dissects Cheney's National Security Speech-may 21, 2009
May 21, 2009 MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show

Olberman exposes Dick Cheney's fabrications & lies in his speech about the use of so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques which just code or a rebranding of "torture techniques" .
Olbermann points out what should have been obvious to Americans after the 9/11 commission that Cheney & others were negligent in their duty by not addressing warnings by the intelligence community about Al Qaeda planning a major attack on US soil.
Cheney makes the erroneous claim once again that Torture saved American lives though there is no proof of this.
Cheney erroneously claims that the War on Terror did not go as well as it shouldhave because the "liberal Media" like the New York Times undermined the Bush Regimes efforts by publishing stories about the use of torture.
Cheny claims that the techniques used were legal but that is only in the sense that hand-picked lawyers gave Cheney back the veener of legality which he saught.

Cheney also like Obama likes to characterize what happened at Abu Ghraib as an isolated incident which it was not and that the actions of a few bad apples which we know is not true since those US personnel got their orders from the Whitehouse.
Olbermann calls these policies as going against the very principles upon which America was founded . I agree with Olbermann but the unfortunate facts so far are evidence that President Obama is also buying into this load of crap & equivocation. Well maybe water boarding is torture but sleep deprivation keeping someone chained to the bars of a cell or hanging them from the ceiling or threatening to sodomize them or kill them or kill and abuse their families or urinating on them or smearing them with human feces etc. these are torture according to most people outside the United States. But in America it seems the average citizen or even professionals such as doctors, medics, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers etc. seem to think these techniques may or may not be torture. But this I feel is just typical of the American view of the world they are the ones who know what is right or wrong or what is permissible and every one else ie those who are not American their views & opinions no matter how well grounded in research & reality don't matter.

Keith Olbermann Special Comment on Dick Cheney-May 21,2009

Cheney Intervened in CIA Inspector General's Torture Probe by jason Leopold, May 22, 2009

Former Vice President Dick Cheney intervened in CIA Inspector General John Helgerson's investigation into the agency's use of torture against "high-value" detainees, but the watchdog was still able to prepare a report that concluded the interrogation program violated some provisions of the International Convention Against Torture.

The report, which the Obama administration may soon declassify, was completed in May 2004 and implicated CIA interrogators in at least three detainee deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq and referred eight criminal cases of alleged homicide, abuse and misconduct to the Justice Department for further investigation, reporter Jane Mayer wrote in her book, "The Dark Side," and in an investigative report published in The New Yorker in November 2005.

In "The Dark Side," Mayer described the report as being "as thick as two Manhattan phone books" and contained information, according to an unnamed source, "that was simply sickening."

"The behavior it described, another knowledgeable source said, raised concerns not just about the detainees but also about the Americans who had inflicted the abuse, one of whom seemed to have become frighteningly dehumanized," Mayer wrote. "The source said, 'You couldn't read the documents without wondering, "Why didn't someone say, 'Stop!'""

Mayer added that Cheney routinely "summoned" Inspector General Helgerson to meet with him privately about his investigation, launched in 2003, and soon thereafter the probe "was stopped in its tracks." Mayer characterized Cheney's interaction with Helgerson as highly unusual

Cheney's "reaction to this first, carefully documented in-house study concluding that the CIA's secret program was most likely criminal was to summon the Inspector General to his office for a private chat," Mayer wrote. "The Inspector General is supposed to function as an independent overseer, free from political pressure, but Cheney summoned the CIA Inspector General more than once to his office."

"Cheney loomed over everything," the former CIA officer told Mayer. "The whole IG's office was completely politicized. They were working hand in glove with the White House."

...News reports have suggested that when Helgerson's report is declassified it will seriously undercut claims made by Cheney in numerous interviews that the systematic torture of "high-value" detainees produced valuable intelligence, thwarted pending terrorist plots against the United States and saved "hundreds of thousands of lives."

In addition to showing the inconclusive nature of the value of intelligence gleaned through torture, the report will likely show that Helgerson warned top CIA officials that the interrogation techniques administered to detainees "might violate some provisions of the International Convention Against Torture."

Obama wants to keep Preventive Detention as a tool in his War On Terror but doing so is not much of a change in policy from that of Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld. Obama is merely trying to rationalize why prisoners should be held indefinitely without trial. He is applying this to those already held at Gitmo or elsewhere. The idea that if someone has been arrested they therefore must be guilty of something is a dangerous policy open as we have seen under Bush & Cheney to a great deal of abuse. The fear Obama has is the same as the former regime that many of those held are actually innocent and those who may be guilty have been treated so unfairly & have been in many cases abused and tortures so Obama doesn't want the public to know how bad things were or are in Guantanamo or other US run prisons in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Anyone who was very critical of American policies in its war on terror might be seen as a threat to US security so is Obama's proposal a sort of "Police State Lite ". But for anyone who expresses their hatred of America because for instance the US & NATO forces have just bombed their town or village & killed some of their family or a couple of hundred civilians in order to try to kill or capture some so-called terrorist suspects. So all those Iraqis who rose up to fight against what they believed was an illegal & criminal invasion & occupation of their country would be considered " terrorists" or in Obama's rebranding "combatants" and so deserving of indefinite detention without any legal rights or even human rights as guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions.

Eventually in Iraq as is happening now in Afghanistan anyone who dares challenge the American & NATO occupiers is by definition a "terrorist" . Every time more innocent people are blown to pieces by US & NATO forces more Iraqis or Afghans join the " insurgents" or the " Resistance Movement" in those countries . Obama like many Americans seems to show little regard for other nation's Sovereignty.

Why is it that Americans & NATO believe that the people of Iraq or Afghanistan have no right to defend themselves against an illegal invasion & occupation of their countries.

Of course Obama claims that these Combatant prisoners would at some point be tried in his " Kangaroo Courts " or "Show Trials" at some future date a year from now five years or twenty five years since they are to be held indefinitely.

Facts and Myths about Obama's Preventive Detention Proposal By Glenn Greenwald May 22, 2009 ""

(1) What does "preventive detention" allow?

It's important to be clear about what "preventive detention" authorizes. It does not merely allow the U.S. Government to imprison people alleged to have committed Terrorist acts yet who are unable to be convicted in a civilian court proceeding. That class is merely a subset, perhaps a small subset, of who the Government can detain. Far more significant, "preventive detention" allows indefinite imprisonment not based on proven crimes or past violations of law, but of those deemed generally "dangerous" by the Government for various reasons (such as, as Obama put it yesterday, they "expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden" or "otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans"). That's what "preventive" means: imprisoning people because the Government claims they are likely to engage in violent acts in the future because they are alleged to be "combatants."

Once known, the details of the proposal could -- and likely will -- make this even more extreme by extending the "preventive detention" power beyond a handful of Guantanamo detainees to anyone, anywhere in the world, alleged to be a "combatant." After all, once you accept the rationale on which this proposal is based -- namely, that the U.S. Government must, in order to keep us safe, preventively detain "dangerous" people even when they can't prove they violated any laws -- there's no coherent reason whatsoever to limit that power to people already at Guantanamo, as opposed to indefinitely imprisoning with no trials all allegedly "dangerous" combatants, whether located in Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Western countries and even the U.S.

...As I said yesterday, there were some positive aspects to Obama's speech. His resolve to close Guantanamo in the face of all the fear-mongering, like his release of the OLC memos, is commendable. But the fact that a Democratic President who ran on a platform of restoring America's standing and returning to our core principles is now advocating the creation of a new system of indefinite preventive detention -- something that is now sure to become a standard view of Democratic politicians and hordes of Obama supporters -- is by far the most consequential event yet in the formation of Obama's civil liberties policies.

also see at The Washington Post : " Obama Endorses Indefinite Detention Without Trial for Some " By Peter Finn Washington Post,May 22, 2009

President Obama acknowledged publicly for the first time yesterday that some detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have to be held without trial indefinitely, siding with conservative national security advocates on one of the most contentious issues raised by the closing of the military prison in Cuba.

"We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country," Obama said. "But even when this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States."

Some human rights advocates criticized Obama for adopting the idea that some detainees are not entitled to a trial. Others said the president was boxed in by cases inherited from the Bush administration in which possible prosecution had been irretrievably compromised by coercive interrogation.

...Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said employing preventive detention simply because some cases at Guantanamo are too difficult to prosecute would involve the kind of legal expediency that Obama said was a hallmark of his predecessor's policies.

"My question is not only what happens to those people who may be perpetually in prison but what kind of precedent does that set for the future?" Ratner said. "It's not one I find constitutional or acceptable. Opening that door even for a few Guantanamo detainees is anathema. He is closing Guantanamo physically, but he's repackaging it with a little more legal gloss."

Obama did not lay out the legal underpinnings of preventive detention yesterday, speaking only of "a system that involves judicial and congressional oversight." He could hold detainees under a law-of-war theory that they are combatants or, more radically, create a national security court under domestic legislation to back such a detention system. The Supreme Court has already ruled that detainees are entitled to a judicial review of their detention.

also see detailed account in article in McClatchy Newspapers pointing out the lies & misinformation in Cheney's speech:

Cheney's speech ignored some inconvenient truths by Jonathan S. Landay & Warren P. Strobel at McClatchy Newspapers , May 21, 2009

and so it goes,

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