Friday, May 01, 2009

Obama Afraid to Use the Word " TORTURE" Calls it "Techniques" & The " Imperial Presidency " or " Presidential Infallibility "

UPDATE: 12:12, May 1,2009

First a Public Service Announcement!!!

Impeach Jay Bybee-MOVEON.ORG!!! Jay Bybee is responsible for some of the worst of the Bush torture memos. And now? He's a federal judge. Jay Bybee showed no respect for our laws and isn't fit to be a judge. Can you sign our petition to Congress calling for the impeachment of Jay Bybee?

GLOBAL PULSE: Politics and Torture (4/24/2009)

(April 24, 2009) Media worldwide presents the brutality of torture, while U.S media debates the political ramifications of the torture memos. When Obama declassifies Bush administration documents that detail what some have called torture techniques, news worldwide pointed the finger of blame directly at Bush.

SOURCES: FOX, CBS, ABC, CNN, The Daily Show, U.S; TV5, France; Press TV, Iran; TVN, Chile; Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Global Pulse is a fast-moving and informative television and web series that helps you navigate the news of the world by comparing and contrasting TV news reports. See all the episodes of Global Pulse at -

" Rice Channels Nixon: Since the President Authorized Torture, That Makes It Legal " by Ali Frick, Think Progress April 30, 2009.Watch Rice attempt to hide her central role in approving torture.

Condoleeza Rice now claims she had nothing to do with the authorization of torture

the young Turks Cenk Uygur- Condi Only Following Orders from Pharaoh or Caeser or the Emperor of America

George W. Bush Blames Torture Policy on U.S. Troops- he refuses to acknowledge that the techniques used at Abu Ghraib , Bagram etc. had been officially approved by the White House & implemented as a result of these orders.

US Congress and the Senate are to blame for the abuse and torture. It was all just a matter of of out of control soldiers at abu ghraib but we now know this is not true the Bush narrative of a few bad apples etc. no longer has any validity. The soldiers and private contracors and C.I.A. agents etc. were implementing a policy that came straight out of the White House.

Obama reverts to Orwellian Newspeak in describing Torture as " Techniques "
Rachell Maddow & Jonathan Turley
Disturbing for Obama to call torture a techniquelaw-
Yet Obama claims that these techniques resulted in useful information

Judge Bybee proud of his involvememt in permitting the use of "Torture"
April 30, 2009

European Nations May Investigate Bush Officials-April 29, 2009
U.N. officials and human rights lawyers say European prosecutors are likely to investigate CIA and Bush administration officials on suspicion of violating an international ban on torture if they are not held legally accountable at home.

Did Condoleeza Rice ever read the Geneva Conventions or the International Convention Ban on Torture or Cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners. Why are so many of these lawyers so lacking in knowledge of US law, the US Constituion or international agreements signed unto by the United States. They are either the most incompetent lawyers aroud or just lie about what they know or do not know as it suits their needsBut it is like Condoleeza Rice's lapses in memory. She doesn't remember the daily report about an imminent attack planned by Al Qaeda on the U.S. or she doesn't know what was discussed in meetings with the president or vice president.

Obama also seems to have little knowledge of these laws as well.Odd since he taught international law but i guess he no longer remembers the specific of these laws or whether they are ever binding on the United States as many conservatives and Republicans claim. The right believes that no other nation or groups of nations or the United Nations has any say over the actions of the United States.

Obama has before any real investigations have begun also pardoned almost everyone involved in the abuse and torture of detainees - Why one wonders does Obama feel the need to protect all these people. Does he fear they will make his life difficult . Those who are not still working for the U.S. government should have little or no say about whether he decides to go ahead with a full blown investigation into the crimes committed during the Bush era. Those who are still working under his administration should have no more protection than anyone else if they took part in the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration. Is Obama so concerned with hurting peoles feelings is he in so in need of being liked. Those who were loyal to Bush and Cheney to the extent that even though they knew certain actions were illegal and immoral took part in these crimes or fearing for their jobs did not speak up or take what they knew to the media surely are not the sort of sychophants and quizzlings Obama would want as part of his administration.

Is the reason Obama does not want to investigate these crimes is that he too buys into the notion of the Imperial Presidency. I had thought that the president of the United States was not supposed to act like a King or Monarch but had to operate within the law and according to the criteria set out in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and within the architecture of the Separation of Powers. I thought that the United States was supposed to be a democratic country and not a Monarch with Supreme Power vested in the Monarch. But it appears that Presient Obama has bought into Bush and Cheney's notion of the Imperial Presidency .

So is this the reason Obama is reluctant to proceed with a criminal invetigation of the Bush administration because he of the sanctity of the Presidency which is in fact not man-made but is a result of Divine Providence. Why because he believes it appears in the Imperial God Ordained Presidency which says that the President is the supreme leader in America who can decide on his own which laws to obey and which not to obey given his own inclinations or by claiming " NATIONAL SECURITY "- in the end the President whatever his choices can not be second guessed- he was not merely chosen by the American people in a democratic election to be president but was chosen by the American Deity - God most high who is superior to the God or Gods of all other nations-

And President Bush had little concern for the enemy combatants or insurgents or terrorists he was dealing with because they were America's enemies and therefore the enemies of God's Chosen Nation and God's chosen King. This may sound extreme but when one considers that America's founding mythos is that it was founded as a matter of divine providence which is then combined with such notions as Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism this leads Americans to having an overinflated view of their country and its role in the future of Human Kind.

Let's take it one step further which is that of the notion of " Presidential Infallibility " which states that whatever an American President does once it is decided upon and acted upon it must therefore be God's Will.( Catholic Encyclopedia: Infallibility Bush claimed it was God who directed his actions by Inspiration or by Revelation and so his decisions come about as it were in the same way that the Pope as head of the Catholic Church also comes to his decisions on important matters.The President like the Pope always acts in Good Faith even it his decisions appear flawed. If the President is " Infallible "then how can Obama or anyone else question the actions of a president.His decisons might seem mistaken but this does not take into account " the birds-eye view of GOD ". From that perspective all actions are part of God's mysterious plans unfolding before us but we may not completely comprehend it . Once a person becomes president of the United States he or she according to this argument is no longer a mere human. I fear that millions of Americans believe in such a notion to a greater or lesser extent. If one looks at the Monarchies in Europe it took a long time for the average person to accept that the King or Queen had no Divine Right to rule. There are many Brits and people in the British Commonwealth who still believe that Queen Elizabeth is Queen due to some form of Divine Providence so such notions take a long time to die.

If we accept " Presidential Infallibility " then Obama could not question President Bush's motives or his actions. But surely this is all a lot of nonsense since Bush is just a man and it was men and women of flesh and blood who put him into power and not some Archangel or God Himself as it were. So Obama should stop treating the Presidency as if it were a " Holy Office " but rather just an office created by human beings and not saints.

President Bush and VP Cheney ignored all of these rules of governance of the U.S. Constitution , the U.S. Bill of Rights and the architecture of the Separation of Powers first conceived by the Founding Fathers who were not Saints but mere men trying to work out a system which would take into account all of the failings of men in general and thereby create a more equitable and just system of government. Bush and Cheney tried to redefine the powers of the presidency so that they could act unilaterally ignoring the Judiciary, the Congress and Senate if they needed to in order to do as they saw fit ; that is to ignore the laws of the land in order to accomplish their goals and agenda. If necessary they would lie and equivocate and distort facts to get compliance from the other brances of the government including the Pentagon and the Military and the C.I.A.

Bush and Cheney acted without much concern it seems to me about what was good for the American people or America's interests.

Bush and Cheney confused what was in their interests and what was good for them or what was good for their inner circle and their friends and what was good for the corporations they were associated with the good of the country.

So if it would require the torture of so called detainees to provide them with the false confessions they needed to add weight to their publicly stated reasons for invading Iraq then that's what they would do and the laws of the land or international laws or common decency be damned.

For instance if they believed that the government should not be in charge of certain functions and that the privatization of these functions would fit into their neoconservative agenda then that's what they would do. Of course if this led to big over-inflated contracts for the corporations they or their friends were involved in all the better. It did not matter to them if by privatizing was less efficient or in fact there was little oversight of budget over-runs or of quality control that was something they didn't care about. So instead of military personnel taking care of the soldiers needs from food & water to laundry this was all contracted out . The costs became enormous and the quality of the work was either haphazard or poor. So what if the soldiers didn't have the proper equipment on the battlefield or that large numbers were getting ill from drinking water that had not been purified properly or that a load of laundry was costing $99 or that hundreds of members of the Army Core of Engineers had their jobs outsourced and so their training and experience was not utilized. But it didn't matter Kellog, Brown & Root & Halliburton and a hundreds of other companies made out like bandists Odd how those on the right who are so concerned with the bottom line didn't say a word about all the chicanery of the Bush/Cheney administration was it because they too had investments in many of these same corporations. Ah well War Profiteering has been an American Core Value at least going back to World War II- so it is a tradition as it were.

Anyway this takes us back to the issue of contracting out to organizations such as Blackwater. in part because the U.S. Military did not have enough troops in Iraq because enlistment was down . But having private contractors provided another legal cover for Bush and Cheney since these mercenaries were in a sort of legal limbo which Bush himself admitted to in public . These mercenaries ie Blackwater could not be held accountable by the Iraqi government according to an agreement the Bush Regime forced on the Iraqi government ( so much for Iraq's sovereignty) and these contractors were not answerable to the U.S. military or to U.S. law except in terms of Corporate law. So they could operate at Guantanamo, or Abu Ghraib or Bagram or a hundred other facilities without bothering with considering what they were doing was legal or not.

So part of what the Bush Regime did early on was to use these private contractors who were not qualified to either do the interrogating of detainees themselves or to oversee the interrogations done by U.S. soldiers.

The C.I.A. was operating alongside these private contractors in some cases or operating on thier own while both groups were passing on these technique to military personnel from commanders to regular soldiers or even army reservists. So we have C.I.A. agents and private contractors and military personnel taking part in the systematic torture of prisoners . All were under orders to produce results. Results meant an increase in information or intel but there was little concern with the quality of the intel what mattered was quantity. As the quantity increased more people innocent or guilty were rounded up who were then fed into the American run torture mill. From the point of view the private contractors the more information they got the more people they arrested the longer and more lucrative their jobs became- so some soldiers having witnessed this who had finished their period of service would then be hired on by these private contractors and thereby make ten to a hundred times more than the average soldier.

So why is it that President Obama wants to protect these people who tortured prisoners and probably knew the whole thing was a scam and a sham- it was like a Ponzi Scheme. The C.I.A. knew this was all a sham from the beginning and yet took part in it. No matter what their rationalizations they knowingly committed War Crimes by torturing hundreds or thousands of human beings. The private Contractors did it for profit not patriotism : they were merely paid goons or thugs- the foot soldiers of Cheney's Mafia. As for the soldiers it is more complicated. Had they been instructed on the U.S. laws regarding prisoners or on the international laws regarding thee treatment of prisoners or were they simply told that in this conflict after 9/11 all laws had been tossed into the trash heap of history. .But what about their commanders many of them must have realized that what was going on in Gitmo and all across Iraq and Afghanistan was wrong and amounted to War Crimes. These are the things to be sorted out by a legal investigation.

Spain Launches Wide-Ranging Criminal Investigation Into U.S. Torture. When Will Obama? by Jeremy Scahill, Rebel Reports , April 29, 2009.

Spain is doing what should be done in the U.S.: Treating these severe crimes as crimes. Human rights lawyers say Obama should follow suit.

Despite rhetoric coming from the White House that Americans should look "forward not backwards" when it comes to pursuing those responsible for torture, Spain doesn’t seem to be listening. Judge Balthazar Garzon, who has been pursuing a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials for torture, has now authorized a wide-ranging criminal investigation into the US torture program at Guantanamo. The recently released torture memos and declassified Senate reports, Garzon said, show that at Guantanamo there is "an authorized and systematic plan for torture and harsh treatment of people deprived of their freedom without any charges and without the most basic elemental rights for detainees, set forth and demanded by international treaties."

...CCR’s executive director, Vince Warren cited the Spanish case in pressing for action in the US justice system: "The Obama administration should not need pressure from abroad to uphold our own laws and initiate a criminal investigation in the U.S., but I hope the Spanish cases will impress on the president and Attorney General Eric Holder how seriously the rest of the world takes these crimes and show them the issue will not go away."

Spanish Court Opens Investigation of Guantánamo Torture Allegations Allegations include 'sexual abuse' and 'beating' By Giles Tremlett ,April 29, 2009 "The Guardian" --

- A court in Spain has today opened an investigation into torture allegations against US military personnel at the Guantánamo detention centre.

Meanwhile in Berlin, Barack Obama's attorney general Eric Holder said that about 30 Guantánamo detainees have been cleared for release and urged European allies to take some of them. Holder also signalled the Obama administration might cooperate with the Spanish investigation.

Judge Baltasar Garzón, an investigating magistrate at the National Court in Madrid, said he would investigate allegations made by four detainees who were held at the centre and later released without charges, according to a court document quoted by the Spanish press.

The torture allegations include "sexual abuse", "beating" and the throwing of fluids into prisoners' eyes.

A recent decision by the Obama administration to release documents about Guantánamo helped the judge conclude that a police investigation, which could lead to criminal charges, was necessary.

...The Spanish investigation was sparked by torture complaints from former Guantánamo detainees Hamed Abderrahman Ahmed, Lahcen Ikassrien, Jamiel Abdul Latif al Banna and Omar Deghayes.

The four men, who had terrorism allegations made against them in Spain dropped by the courts, told the judge that they had been tortured "under the authority of personnel from the US Army".

Judge Garzón reportedly cited "documents declassified by the US administration" as giving evidence "of what previously could be intuited: an official plan of approved torture and abuse of people being held in custody while facing no charges and without the most basic rights of people who have been detained."

He said he would now formally request copies of the documents from the United States.

He also pointed to the possible use of the Bagram military base in Afghanistan as a torture centre involved in "a coordinated system to perpetrate numerous torture crimes against people deprived of their liberty in Guantánamo and other prisons."

There was evidence that the torture allegations could bring criminal proceedings against "the different structures [involved in] the execution, command, design and authorisation of this systematic plan of torture".

Garzón's investigation is parallel to a separate case in which a fellow magistrate, Eloy Velasco, must decide whether the National Court can pursue a criminal investigation against six senior US officials, including former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, for allegedly approving the use of torture.

Garzón has previously used international human rights laws to bring torturers from the Argentinian military dictatorships to trial in Madrid, with military officers from Argentina being found guilty and sent to Spanish jails.

He also tried to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from Britain on charges of torture and genocide.

and so it goes,

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