Saturday, May 02, 2009

Obama Joins Bush & Cheney in Declaring Human Rights Meaningless As he Refuses to Prosecute U.S. War Crimes

UPDATE: 10:50 AM,May 2, 2009

"...There followed a familiar story. The British occupation force was opposed by an Iraqi resistance – "terrorists", of course – and the British destroyed a town called Fallujah and demanded the surrender of a Shiite cleric and British intelligence in Baghdad claimed that "terrorists" were crossing the border from Syria, and Lloyd George – the Blair-Brown of his age – then stood up in the House of Commons and said that there would be "anarchy" in Iraq if British troops left. Oh dear.

Even repeating these words is deeply embarrassing. Here, for example, is a letter written by Nijris ibn Qu'ud to a British intelligence agent in 1920: "You cannot treat us like sheep... it is we Iraqi who are the brains of the Arab nation... You are given a short time to clear out of Mesopotamia. If you don't go you will be driven out."

So let us turn at last to T E Lawrence. Yes, Lawrence of Arabia. In The Sunday Times on 22 August 1920, he wrote of Iraq that the people of England "had been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information... Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows." Even more presciently, Lawrence had written that the Iraqis had not risked their lives in battle to become British subjects. "Whether they are fit for independence or not remains to be tried. Merit is no justification for freedom."

Quote from Robert Fisk, The Independent, May 1, 2009

Bush Regime and the death of Human Rights
Is Obama by not prosecuting U.S. War Crimes rendering human rights and Justice meaningless
Has Obama no sympathy for the 600,000 to 1,300,000 dead Iraqis killed in an Unnecessary barbaric war against a defenseless people who had to improvise to fight America's Mighty War Machine- Like the Romans they call it Peace but the Conquered call it a wasteland.

Macho Jack Bauer -Media influence on viewers who are now convinced that torture does work
those who refuse to use torture are now depicted as Unpatriotic & pro-Terrorists
or as Ann Coulter characterizes such people as Wusses

So here's a clip from a film dealing with the media and the public's misconceptions about torture.
How Hollywood Gets It Wrong on Torture and Interrogation: P1

Primetime Torture is a 14-minute film produced by Human Rights First that explores the way torture and interrogation are portrayed on TV. The film features scenes from some of TV's most popular shows and interviews with seasoned interrogators, military educators and Hollywood screenwriters.

Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity laugh about torture. This is what Obama is helping to promote by not being more specific oabout the torture techniques used by U.S. personnel. Once again these Neocons prove they have no idea what is considered torture. Their idea of torture is hacking off of limbs.

Hannity & Coulter & their ilk at Fox News believe that these techniques helped keep America safe. Their main agenda though no matter what the issue is to defend the former Bush/Cheney administration. Coulter has said over and over that the U.S. did find WMDs and programs for WMDS in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. She and Hannity believe that America never does anything wrong and should be praised for its actions.

Torture With Tools By Fisher Price! Ann Coulter-May 1, 2009

Christians Favor Torture from

Churchgoers more likely to back torture, survey finds The CNN Wire April 30, 2009

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new analysis.

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than 6 in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only 4 in 10 of them did.

Fearmongering from the Right in the U.S. The 2008 campaign still hasn't ended it appears as Republicans and conservatives in the U.S. continue to attack Obama as being dangerous for America.They claim that by trying to shut down Guantanamo Prison and by releasing the "Torture Memos" he is helping to destroy America's security and its reputation. One has to remember that Hannity and Coulter and other pro-Bush Pro-torture crowd believe that international laws such as the Geneva Conventions should have no power over America's actions. They believe such international agreements are just what they refer to as "Transnationalism "& " the New World Order "at work trying to undermine America's sovereignty.

In other words the United Nations , the World Court or UNESCO etc. are part of a larger conspiracy to create a one world government headed possibly by some evil socialist dictator such as "The Anti-Christ " . Their solution unilateralism and America making its own laws as it sees fit. And of course a return to Laissez Faire , rapacious Capitalism so they and their rich friends can get richer and those who fall by the wayside just bury them in a ditch since why should tax payers help out anyone who is unemployed or is mentally or physically unfit just let them die and be done with it. As Scrooge said " are there no work houses".

As for Human Rights that is just part of anti-God anti-American one-worlder propaganda to rob rich people of their inalienable right to do as they please and to own as much as they can and everyone else can go to hell. One can understand rich conservatives preaching this nonsense but it is often surprising the number of the working poor often fall for this insane unfettered Capitalist crap which in the end only hurts their financial circumstances.

Feel Safer? From John Boehner House republican Leader
April 29, 2009

Ah yes Bush and his thugs said the war in Iraq would be over in a few weeks and here we are six years later with the deadliest week in Iraq in the last year. And there have been more massive anti-American protest in Iraq recently though that news is muted in the U.S. media. The right in America like to blame the Iraqis or Obama for the mess in Iraq and not the fact that the Americans showed no respect for the Iraqi people and instead treated them all as the ENEMY who had to be subdued through force and through the use of Torture on thousands of Iraqis to show them you don't F**K with America after all Iraq belonged to America not Iraqis and now the Americans under Obama are going back to Afghanistan in greater force to teach them a similar lesson. How much innocent blood does Obama want on his hands?

Is President Obama really too afraid to take on the U.S. armed forces , the Pentagon and the Military Industrial Complex so he can put America on a different and more reasonable course. As he has shown he caved into the C.I.A. and the former Bush Regime and to the Ultraconservatives and the Republican Party which in fact is still doing everything they can to undermine his authority they have even called for armed insurrection as a possibility for instance gun sales have increased in the U.S. as the right prepares itself .

We thought Obama wanted to change things and put a halt to expanding the American Empire but it appears he too believes America has a right to force its will on the rest of the world. Unfortunately for Canada our country for reasons I don't understand is still part of NATO( NATO was set up to fight the Soviet Union but there is no Soviet Union da!) and so has forces in Afghanistan and eventually the Afghans and other peoples in that region will no longer make a distinction between Americans & Canadians and other foreign armies in Afghanistan who appear to want to destroy the country and its religions and its culture. Why so they can buy more Coca-Cola or American built gadgets or European gadgets or so we can build more pipe-lines through Afghanistan to ensure our oil needs.

Deadliest week in Iraq over the past year
What is America's role in Afghanistan ?
The government in Afghanistan is considered a corrupt puppet government propped up by the U.S. and NATO.

Retired U.S. General Douglas MacGregor compares the government in Afghanistan to that of the corrupt government propped up by America in Saigon, Vietnam. America he believes needs to back off otherwise things will get worse. There is no way to win in Afghnaistan, Too much blood of the Afghanistan people has already been spilled by Americans and the abuses meted out to prisoners by the C.I.A, private contractors and even the military in their wanton widespread use of torture has made the Americans or NATO few friends. As far as the Afghans , the Pakistanis and the Pashtuns & others are concerned anyone who helps the Americans are their enemies.

Rachel Maddow and the War Round-Up

On The Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel discusses the situation in Afghanistan with retired colonel Douglas MacGregor, including the day's testimony before Congress from General Petraeus about the deteriorating situation in region. 4/24/09

As for Human Rights & torture it has become for the US merely a matter of Semantics and Public Relations- calling these torture techniques Enhanced Interrogation Techniques creates more positive perception as in the calling Prisoners of War -POWS "detainees" sounds less provocative and allows the U.S. government to treat prisoners differently if they are referred to as " detainees" as if they were merely being detained for a short period of time for questioning as one would a material witness to a crime or even a car accident- that way certain legal protections do not automatically kick i ie Habaes Corpus or one's rights after being charged with a crime- most detainees are not charged with any specific crime and are held mostly on hearsay evidence or circumstantial evidenc ie owning a cell phone and having a shovel in the trunk of one's car or having been in proximity to an IED explosion or attack on U.S. soldiers-

also see Robert Fisk taking the U.K. government & military to task for its abominable treatment of Iraqis about whom the British like the Americans could care less.

"A Historic Day For Iraq;But not in the way the British want to believe" By Robert Fisk

May 01, 2009 "The Independent" -- One hundred and seventy-nine dead soldiers. For what? 179,000 dead Iraqis? Or is the real figure closer to a million? We don't know. And we don't care. We never cared about the Iraqis. That's why we don't know the figure. That's why we left Basra yesterday.

I remember going to the famous Basra air base to ask how a poor Iraqi boy, a hotel receptionist called Bahr Moussa, had died. He was kicked to death in British military custody. His father was an Iraqi policeman. I talked to him in the company of a young Muslim woman. The British public relations man at the airport was laughing. "I don't believe this," my Muslim companion said. "He doesn't care." She did. So did I. I had reported from Northern Ireland. I had heard this laughter before. Which is why yesterday's departure should have been called the Day of Bahr Moussa. Yesterday, his country was set free from his murderer. At last.

Human Rights in the Dust by Karen Greenberg at TomsDispatch and Kiss the Era of Human Rights Goodbye What Bush Willed to Obama and the World
By Karen J. Greenberg April 30, 2009

Introduction: Tom Engelhardt

Recently, in a Washington Post op-ed, Mark Danner wrote: "However much we would like the [torture] scandal to be confined to the story of what was done in those isolated rooms on the other side of the world where interrogators plied their arts, and in the air-conditioned government offices where officials devised 'legal' rationales, the story includes a second narrative that tells of a society that knew about these things and chose to do nothing." Danner, who did as much as anyone to help uncover what the Bush administration was up to in its secret prisons abroad, should know.

According to the latest Gallup Poll, a bare majority (51%) of Americans now favor some kind of major investigation "into the use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects during the Bush administration." On the other hand, 55% "still believe in retrospect that the use of the interrogation techniques was justified." Of course, who knows what those percentages might have been if Gallup's pollsters, in their questions, had used the word "torture," rather than -- like most of the mainstream -- skittering away from it in favor of a variation on the chosen phrase of the Bush administration, "enhanced interrogation techniques."

While Americans remain deeply divided on the use of, investigation of, and prosecution of Bush-era torture practices, at least the subject has now burst into the center of political discussion and debate. In the wake of the Obama administration's release of yet more documents from a seemingly bottomless archive of Justice Department "torture memos," writing on the subject has been fiery, argumentative, provocative, despairing, or some combination of the above. More important, though, it's been pouring out in all its variety to remind us that what was done in our name can still be repudiated in a variety of ways.


Kiss the Era of Human Rights Goodbye
What Bush Willed to Obama and the World
By Karen J. Greenberg

...These days, it's virtually impossible to escape the world of torture the Bush administration constructed. Whether we like it or not, almost every day we learn ever more about the full range of its shameful policies, about who the culprits were, and just which crimes they might be prosecuted for. But in the morass of memos, testimony, op-eds, punditry, whistle-blowing, documents, and who knows what else, with all the blaming, evasion, and denial going on, somehow we've overlooked the most significant victim of all. One casualty of the Bush torture policies -- certainly, at least equal in damage to those who were tortured and the country whose laws were twisted and perverted in the process -- has been human rights itself. And no one even seems to notice.

So let's be utterly clear: The policies of the Bush administration were not just horrific in themselves or to others, they may also have brought to an end the human rights movement as we know it.

One need only glance at the recently released Justice Department memos, which have caused such a media storm of late, for the story of what has happened to human rights in American hands to become clearer. It is not just, as New York Times columnist Frank Rich recently wrote, that "our government methodically authorized torture and lied about it." No less important, though hardly commented upon, is this fact: the United States succumbed to the exact patterns of abusive state action that the human rights movement was created to outlaw forever. What the Bush administration pursued, after all, was a policy of state-sponsored, legally codified dehumanization designed to torture (and in some cases destroy) individuals, which was to be systematically and bureaucratically implemented in the name of the greater good of the country, however defined.

... Creating American-style Torture Techniques and Manuals

Just as the U.S. military at Guantanamo was instructed in January 2002 never to refer to that detention facility as a "prison" and never to call the inmates "prisoners," so the infamous OLC August 1, 2002 "torture memo" that came out of the Justice Department, and was made public in 2004, officially banished torture to the dust heap of history when it came to American actions. It was now to be considered only physical pain of "an intensity akin to that which accompanies serious physical injury such as death or organ failure," or mental pain which produced "lasting psychological harm."

Now, that memo's twin has just been released, providing more detailed reasoning about the redefinition of torture. This second August 1, 2002 memo gives us an even more comprehensive picture of the rationale behind the insistence of the Justice Department that the techniques being applied to detainees in the War on Terror in no way amounted to torture.

Examining specific techniques of coercive interrogation, all of which would technically violate the U.S. Anti-Torture Statute [18 U.S.C. ßß 2340-2340A], Justice Department officials craftily reasoned their way out of old, well-accepted definitions of universally agreed-upon acts of torture. Thanks to creatively worded explanations, this new August 1, 2002 memo declared that neither "the waterboard," "walling," nor being placed in a box amounted to torture. In situation after grim situation, torture, it was explained, just wasn't the right word.

A Special Place in Hell For Pro-Torture Journalist - unfortunately they are still promoting torture and mass murder of people they don't like or who insist on not being good Christians or speaking some gibberish like language and wearing funny clothes. Besides Americans approve of torture and mass murder of foreigners - that's how you get to be NO> 1 and to be an Empire of Winners and not Losers.

What About the Journalists Who Sold Torture? By Rory O'Connor, May 1, 2009.

Hell should reserve a special place for the journalists who supported torture in exchange for access and exaltation.

“more than 100 detainees died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, with up to 27 of those declared homicides by the military. They were allegedly kicked to death, shot, suffocated or drowned. Look, our people killed detainees, and only a handful of those deaths have resulted in any punishment of U.S. officials.” Nevertheless, he justified the “Obama compromise” and failure to prosecute by offering two reasons not to go after the evildoers: “the first is that because justice taken to its logical end here would likely require bringing George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and other senior officials to trial, which would rip our country apart; and the other is that Al Qaeda truly was a unique enemy, and the post-9/11 era a deeply confounding war in a variety of ways.”

Why Friedman and his ilk fear that prosecuting senior officials who break the law will “rip our country apart” more than their having ignored the law, the Constitution and any conceivable standard of basic morality is best left to him, his shrink and his God. But Friedman's apologia - which recognizes that, “yes, people among us who went over the line may go unpunished” but concludes, “because we still have enemies who respect no lines at all,” Obama is doing his “best” in an “ugly war” by letting the torturers go unpunished - is but the latest in a long line of journalistic defenses of torture by well-paid, prize-winning and access-granted mainstream journalists.

and the writer Rory O'Connor gives an example of the Pro-Torture Media Machine which seemed to be working not as independent journalists but for the Dick Cheney and the Neocon agenda and yet he still pretends to be a "Real Journalists " :

Consider, for example, Newsweek Senior Editor and NBC News correspondent Jonathan Alter, who wrote shortly after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 that:

“In this autumn of anger, even a liberal can find his thoughts turning to... torture. OK, not cattle prods or rubber hoses, at least not here in the United States, but something to jump-start the stalled investigation of the greatest crime in American history. Right now, four key hijacking suspects aren't talking at all. Couldn't we at least subject them to psychological torture, like tapes of dying rabbits or high-decibel rap? (The military has done that in Panama and elsewhere.) How about truth serum, administered with a mandatory IV? Or deportation to Saudi Arabia, land of beheadings? (As the frustrated FBI has been threatening.) Some people still argue that we needn't rethink any of our old assumptions about law enforcement, but they're hopelessly "Sept. 10"--living in a country that no longer exists.”

For more on Media Complicity in the use of torture also see Pro-Pain Pundits :Torture advocates defy U.S., international law "by Steve randall at FAIR, Jan./Feb. 2002

and so it goes,

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