Monday, May 11, 2009

Dick Cheney Still Lying & Fear Mongering- so What's New

Dick Cheney in an interview on Sunday on Face The Nation maintained his steely composure as he continued with his defense of his own actions and of others in the Bush Regime. And of course he rather slyly criticizes and condemns the Obama administration of being soft on terrorism and of possibly engaging in unpatriotic actions.

Dick Cheney is still fear mongering about the detainees held at Gitmo. Cheney still claims these are the worst of the worst-

Cheney claims if they are taken to U.S. prisons they will have all of these legal rights And doesn't believe they should have such rights - but of course many Neocons , Conservatives and members of the Religious Right don't believe that even most criminals in the U.S. should be given all those wussy liberal endorsed legal rights- first the C.I.A. or FBI or even local police should be able to rough them up a bit ala Dirty Harry or Jack Bauer to get a confession and then and only then should they be given any legal rights ie to see an attorney to have a fair trial, to contact their families, to know what they are charged with etc. - why should they if they have confessed and we know them to be guilty- so toss out any notion of Innocent til proven Guilty- why should someone accused of certain criminal activities be not allowed certain legal rights as guaranteed by the US Constitution and the various amendments when in fact it should be up to a juge or up to the local police- ie a pedophile who rapes and murders children why should he be guranteed any legal rights.

Dick Cheney and the Gang were wrong to insist that these suspects had no legal rights and that there was no obligation to even treat them humanely just because these prisoners were being held in US run detention centres located outside the continental United States ie Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram.

Dick Cheney on Gitmo Terrorists Coming to USA Obama Style

This is absolutely incredible - the arrogance and Chutzpah is amazing- Cheney the Father of Lies himself says only he knows what is or is not true and only he knows what is justified and what is not- only he knows what is good for America and all those who disagree are just peddling anti-Bush propaganda or are disloyal & unpatriotic Americans who should not be listened to- If Obama does not take action against Cheney & Bush etc. they will go on preaching about the notion that everything they did was necessary - it s like having Torquemada defending the Inquisition or General Custer defending his massacre of whole Indian villages including men , women & children- but of course most American still see nothing wrong about killing innocent Native Americans because those Natives were all evil and were not even Christians so to most White Americans a few million dead Indians has never had any real meaning for them since this would require "Empathy" and Obama has since learned that Americans in general see " Empathy " not as a virtue but as a weakness.

So everybody else who is critical about or questions the necessity of the abuse and torture of detainees or questions the reasons for the Invasion of Iraq are lying to the American people and the world. How can Obama stay silent over these issues as the pro-Cheney Pro-Bush pro-Torture and cheerleaders for the Iraq war once again fill the air waves with their spin, lies and propaganda.

CHENEY: If I don't speak out, who will "tell the truth"?-May 10, 2009

Dick Cheney makes dubious claim that the use of torture and abuse of Detainees led to valuable intel which gave the government more information on Al Qaeda on the one hand and intel which prevented more planned attacks on the United States. No one has been able to provide evidence to prove Cheney's point. In fact we know that what valuable and reliable intel that was gathered was the result of more traditional interrogation methods without the use of torture. Those involved have further claimed that information gathered through the use of torture and abusive or harsh techniques prove to be unreliable and ended up wasting the time and resources of the various agencies involved.

Of course the Pro-Bush Neocons & Religious Right who are Pro-Torture will never be convinced by actual facts or evidence that torture did not work and in the end led to a disastrous public relations problem for the United States.

On the other hand there are those whether they admit to it or not who felt reassured by the use of abuse and torture of detainees because it appeared to them that the government was taking all means necessary to safe-guard the United States. But this was a case of self-delusion on their part and a case of cynical form of propaganda on the part of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove and George W. Bush et al.

For some Americans they felt good about the fact that these suspects were being made to suffer for what they had done to the United States on 9/11 - the more these detainees suffered then or who suffer now the better they feel.

Dick Cheney: "I Have No Regrets On Interrogation Policy"- May 10, 2009

Cheney is of course unapologetic about the lies and propaganda his administration was engaged in as it bombarded the Media and made them into co-conspirators in getting Americans to erroneously believe that Saddam had some connection with Al Qaeda and with the 9/11 attacks so that the Bush Regime could invade and kill a half-million to one million Iraqis. The war was unnecessary since Saddam was not involved with Al Qaeda or 9/11 and he no longer had any Weapons of Mass Destruction and so was not part of some conspiracy to destroy America .

Saddam further was not an imminent threat to his neighbors or to the United States . But again many Americans after 9/11 were seeking revenge and they wanted someone to suffer and pay for those attacks and Saddam they thought was as good a choice as any. So the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis made many Americans feel good and that this would send a signal to the rest of the Arab and Muslim world not to take on the United States.

Cheney and Bush and their gang didn't bother to inform Americans that Saddam ran a basically secular government and was not interested in establishing Sharia- Islamic law. They also didn't bother telling the American people that Al Qaeda saw Saddam as an enemy of their cause . But truth means nothing to most Americans who believe that all Arabs or all Muslims throughout the Middle East and the world are in their paranoid fantasy out to destroy America and Democracy and Christianity. Unfortunately this hatred of Islam is still prevalent among many average Americans and this attitude influences many in the American government from the executive branch to the Pentagon to the C.I.A. and F.B.I. and Homeland Security and the diplomatic corps.

At times one wonders if the Obama administration is any better when it comes to the so-called War on Terror no matter how Obama tries to re-brand it. If he really rejects the Mind-Set of the previous administration he would take issues such as the Abuse and torture of detainees more seriously. First he would apologize to all those who have been mistreated.

Then he would set up a commission in which those so abused who are the real victims could speak publicly about their abuse at the hands of their American guards & interrogators etc. Next he would off these victims some form of compensations and help for them to get on with their lives or the families of the victims who died in custody.

Then Obama's administration would turn the matter over to the judiciary to investigate and indict all those involved in the abuse and torture of detainees . This would include the former president and vice president along with others in their inner circle and include the corrupt lawyers who tried to give a legal veneer to these abuses. The judiciary no matter what Obama has claimed or promised would then go after the interrogators and guards who carried out the abuse and torture of thousands of inmates from Guantanamo to AbuGhraib to Bagram and all the other facilities run by or authorized by US personnel. Just because the abuse and torture took place in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere the laws of the United States and International Laws were broken - it wouldn't matter if the torture and abuse took place in outer-space or on the moon - the United States government was directly responsible for these crimes. One is reminded of the penal colonies set up in Australia or by the British or the penal colonies set up by other nations over the passed few centuries- ultimately what happened in those penal colonies was the responsibility of the Home Government ie England or France etc.

But Obama is after all an American who no matter what he says believes in American Exceptionalism & in Manifest Destiny and that the United States is God's Chosen Nation and the New Israel and so cannot be judged by mere mortals and especially not by non-Christians and those who are not real Americans.

" Past Masters at Torture "By Iftekhar A. Khan May 09, 2009 "The Nation" May 7, 2009 at ICH -

Legal and human rights groups applauded Barack Obama for deciding to shut down the Guantanamo torture centre for 'illegal combatants'. Many even commended him for his noble act without realising that when Gitmo in Cuba shut down Bagram in Afghanistan turned more active. Officials of US department of justice recently informed the federal court that there was no departure from Bush's policy of torturing detainees at Bagram. American propensity for using innocuous acronyms to cover heinous crimes is unsurpassed. Bagram torture centre renamed Bagram Theatre Internment Facility (BTIF) reportedly is to extend by investing $60 million. So torture as US state policy will continue and BTIF will be the ultimate hellhole.

...The gambit used by a torturer is that he was merely carrying out orders. American doctors, who without pangs of conscience, supervised torture at Gitmo could well say they were under orders to do so. But what about Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice, who were mainly responsible for torture? Water-boarding, a torturous method that simulates drowning was Cheney's favourite 'sport'. Respected columnist Eric Margolis wrote: "Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was water-boarded 183 times - six times daily for a month; and Abu Zubaydah, 83 times in August 2003. Use a power drill (a favourite `investigative' tool of America's Iraqi allies) on Dick Cheney, and it would take only minutes to get him to admit he's Osama bin Laden." Thus, innocent tortured for years are likely to revolt when they get a chance to avenge their suffering and abuse, patriotism or no patriotism.

Gitmo is a festering blister on the reputation of American nation that claims to practice rule of law, which is farthest from truth. When atrocities at Abu Gharaib emerged, US administration shifted the blame on Blackwater, a notorious mercenary organisation which kills people for money, but Gitmo is different. It is under the direct control and supervision of the US military, therefore, US administration has no choice but to own its illegal and inhuman dark side. It has to own torturing inmates by sleep-deprivation, profanity and humiliation by chaining them naked, and sacrilegious verbal attacks, which speak of the ugly face of the civilised world.

Some argue that all Americans are in part also guilty in allowing and knowingly allowing torture to take place and so the argument goes it is therefore useless or unfair to investigate & or indict a few of the perpetrators and the legal staff who created a legal loophole for committing crimes or those at the top including Bush ,Cheney etc. This is just another ploy on the part of some Neocons and their spokespersons in the media to try to prevent exhaustive investigation combined with criminal trials to take place. What those who make this argument are basically worried about is their own culpability being tossed into the spotlight and their belief in maintaining the status quo. They may even believe that such actions would be to the detriment of America's reputation abroad but this is not true and in fact is the opposite of what other nations and peoples really believe. By acting responsibly even though it will cause pain for Americans it will help to restore America's reputation abroad. But America has never been able to face up to its ugly side as it has done as it pleases for the last eight years but for the last six decades at the least if not for the last two centuries. The time of reckoning has come for America to be stripped of its pretense as morally superior to all other nations.

" Complicity -- and Accountability -- on Torture "By Dan Froomkin May 09, 2009 "Washington Post"at Information Clearing House

As torture chronicler extraordinaire Mark Danner has pointed out, one of the great paradoxes of the torture scandal "is that it is not about things we didn't know but about things we did know and did nothing about."

It was, for instance, in December 2002 that Dana Priest and Barton Gellman first reported on the front page of the Washington Post that American interrogators were subjecting detainees to "stress and duress" techniques. James Risen, David Johnston and Neil A. Lewis first told the world about waterboarding in May 2004.

But that doesn't mean that the rest of us are as guilty as the people who committed the crimes -- or that those who ordered those crimes should avoid accountability.

... While it's true that the public's outrage over torture has been a long time coming, one reason for that is the media's sporadic and listless coverage of the issue. Yes, there were some extraordinary examples of investigative reporting we can point to, but other news outlets generally didn't pick up these exclusives. Nobody set up a torture beat, to hammer away daily at what history I think will show was one of the major stories of the decade. Heck, as Weisberg himself points out, some of his colleagues were actually cheerleaders for torture. By failing to return to the story again and again -- with palpable outrage -- I think the media actually normalized torture. We had an obligation to shout this story from the rooftops, day and night. But instead we lulled the public into complacency.

and: Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience, argues that given the statute of limitations on the alleged crimes committed by the Bush Regime indictments could still be legally achied up til 2014 to as late as 2017 so there is no need to panic just yet.

" Prosecuting Torture: Is Time Really Running Out?"> by Elizabeth de la Vega at, May 10, 2009

When the highest officials of our nation flung open the gates of law and morality and let the wild dogs of torture run, they set in motion a constellation of potentially-indictable federal crimes. While I do not think a grand jury investigation into those violations should be publicly initiated right now, (for strategic reasons discussed here), I do agree entirely with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that the Attorney General must not rule out prosecutions for these violations...So - regardless of what the prognosis for prosecution appears to be on any given day - it is critical to keep those revelations coming, as well as to support proposals for a non-partisan commission that will publicly air all the facts, and, most important, not give up on eventual indictments.

...The Bottom Line

Am I emphasizing that there is time to indict in order to suggest that anyone should lay low, or hold back in seeking justice? No. Quite the opposite. I'm trying to emphasize that people should not throw in the towel prematurely. Keep up the pressure, absolutely, but brace yourselves for the long haul.

Most important, in the near-term, think twice about fueling the inaccurate impression that it's game-over in eighteen months in order to create a sense of urgency, when it is the gravity of these crimes that should be paramount. And gravity and urgency are not the same thing. Many powerful people from across the political spectrum would be utterly delighted if the millions of Americans now pushing for accountability gave up in despair in a year or two because they mistakenly believed that prosecutions were no longer possible. But it is self-defeating in the extreme for those who want Bush, Cheney et. al. held responsible for their actions to foster this misconception. A widespread false belief that prosecutions are a limited-time offer provides a ready excuse for ultimate inaction to any and all who wish to "move on" as if eight years of torture were merely an unpleasant incident on the sidewalk. At the same time, people who don't know options still remain will be helpless to argue otherwise. In the world of criminal prosecutions, this is not a short story; it's a sprawling Icelandic saga. And - as any attorney who has prosecuted complex federal cases could tell you - it will be many years, if ever, before legal time limits will bar the hearing of this horrific epic in a US criminal court.

" After the Latest U.S. Airstrike, Can Anyone Wonder Why Do 'They' Hate Us? "Posted by Liliana Segura, AlterNet ,May 8, 2009.

In the eyes of the children whose families die in U.S. led wars, the Americans are the terrorists.

Even in the face of an official apology from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reports that villagers collected "two tractor trailers full of pieces of human bodies" and remarks from Afghan president Hamid Karzai that the U.S. forces must operate from a "higher platform of morality," the Pentagon has tried to claim that the civilian victims of this week's deadly airstrikes in Farah were actually killed by the Taliban, who staged the massacre in order to pin the blame on the U.S. For those who see the fight against the Taliban as a battle of good versus evil, this might seem plausible.

But six years into the bloody war on Iraq, almost eight years into the war in Afghanistan, five years after the release of the photographs of torture at Abu Ghraib, weeks after the release of the grisly CIA torture memos, and one day after a U.S. soldier was found guilty of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then killing her family it is hard to imagine that people around the world still have much faith in the infallibility -- let alone moral superiority -- of the U.S. military, even over the murderous Taliban. As more civilians die by U.S. hands in the escalating war on Afghanistan -- including children and their families -- the less convincing such cynical claims and cover-ups will be.

and so it goes,

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