Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama Sides With Cheney et al : Refuses to Release Photos of Prisoner Abuse & Torture

UPDATE: 12:21 PM May 14, 2009

Anyway President Obama has reversed his decision to release more photos of " detainee Abuse & torture" by US personnel. Obama claims the release of the photos would endanger US soldiers and be detrimental to national security. So much for an open government and accountability.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks does a scathing analysis of Obama's decision and is of the opinion that Obama has caved into Dick Cheney & others who are pro-torture.
As Cenk argues it is not the photos of abuse that is damaging to American security but rather the acts themselves which were authorized by the White House.

Obama Makes Terrible Decision - Will Not Release Torture Pics

So the White House is now trying to defend its decision not to release more photos of the abuse & torture of detainees. The White House in a somewhat questionable statement defending its decision makes the dubious claim that the people responsible for the abuse and torture of prisoners have all been charged and action taken.Therefore they claim there is no reason to release these photos.

This is only true if one believes that those responsible acted on their own without being instructed to do what they did by those higher up in the chain of command including those in the White House and Pentagon and the C.I.A. This is just part of the Cheney/Bush narrative of the abuse that in the case of Abu Ghraib and other facilities was a matter of "a few bad apples". But this version of the story was part of the coverup in which the abuse and torture of prisoners was blamed on "a few bad apples" but that was a lie.

The orders we know came directly from Bush and Cheney and relayed to the C.I.A. and the Us military & Private Contractors.It is possible that things did get out of hand at some point but the seeds were sown for the abuse and torture of detainees at the highest levels.But according to what we know at Abu Ghraib even during the most outrageous actions on the part of the guards there were private contractors and or C.I.A. personnel and senior officers who directed and or knew what was going on. The narrative we now know according to the evidence released in the last month is that there was pressure put on those in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan to by any means necessary to get information on Al Qaeda's connection to Saddam and on his WMDs . The pressure was not coming from or originating from the guards or the commanders in the field but was coming from the White House from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld , Condoleezza Rice and Karl Rove etc. What is disturbing now is whether Obama is also going to insist on the "few bad apples " scenario and thereby exonerate the Bush administration

Robert Gibbs and the New York Times would prefer "the bad apples" narrative since the New York Times was a cheerleader for the Bush Regime and for the use of torture and for the unnecessary war with Iraq. The New York Times like other members of the US Media would prefer that Americans and the world to forget that they too have blood on their hands. The US mainstream media 's job supposedly if they see themselves as serious journalists rather than merely acting as as an Echo Chamber for the White House was to seek out the truth and not merely accept everything and anything the government told them whether it was George Bush or now President Obama .

Is this notion of the few bad apples narrative going to be part of the Obama administration's way of dealing with the issue of abuse and torture of prisoners in order to try to prevent any serious investigations into these crimes . We know Cheney was involved in the issuing of orders to abuse and torture prisoners in order to get information about Al Qaeda & the connections with Saddam and about Saddam's WMDs etc. and on the so called insurgency.

The abuse and torture of detainees was first of all immoral but morality had no place in the decision making of the Bush Regime when it came to abuse of detainees or in invading unnecessarily Iraq- morality only came into play on issues such as "stem cell research" or the Right to Life issues ie terry Schiavo.The deaths of half million Iraqis and the creation two million Iraqi refugees and the use of Napalm -White Phosphorus on the people of Fallujah didn't bother the Bush White House or most Americans. The American people for the most part sat around for six years watching the War in Iraq as if it were a video game .

The American people along with Obama are unable to identify or sympathize or empathize with the people of Iraq or Afghanistan. They are seen merely as background characters in America's Cosmic Drama. We see this being played out more and more in Afghanistan and Pakistan as Americans and its media once again is sounding triumphal with every drone attack and the attitude is that America must act tough and do what is necessary to eliminate its enemies who are not seen as people but rather as Evil Doers and therefore all actions are thereby justified including what Americans refer to as Collateral Damage ie Murdered civilians about whom Americans could care less . Even Obama now seems to have decided to suppress his all too human response to the mass killings by his own military. To empathize with these non-combatants is seen as a weakness.

The other issue with the abuse and torture of detainees is that according to Bush & Cheney et al torture works yet there is no evidence of this though this lie has become pervasive in the Mainstream Media and among a majority of Americans.

"Obama Tries to Block Release of Detainee Photos "by Jeff Zeleny at The New York Times, May 13, 2009 at Common Dreams

President Obama is seeking to block the release of photographs depicting American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, an administration official said Wednesday.

The president's decision marks a sharp reversal from a decision made last month by the Pentagon, which reached a deal with the American Civil Liberties Union to release photographs showing incidents at Abu Gharib and a half-dozen other prisons.

"Last week, the president met with his legal team and told them that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the D.O.D. photos because he believes their release would endanger our troops," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And because he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court."

Mr. Obama advised his top military commanders about his decision in a meeting on Tuesday at the White House. Several military officials had argued against the immediate release of the photographs, saying such action could harm American troops in the field.

"The president strongly believes that the release of these photos, particularly at this time, would only serve the purpose of inflaming the theaters of war, jeopardizing US forces," the official said, "and making our job more difficult in places like Iraq and Afghanistan."

A senior administration official said that the president met last week with his legal team and reached the conclusion that the interests of the military and the U.S. government would not be served by releasing the photos.

"The president would be the last to excuse the actions depicted in these photos," the administration official said. "That is why the Department of Defense investigated these cases, and why individuals have been punished through prison sentences, discharges, and a range of other punitive measures."

Eidelson argues that the reason a majority believe in the use of torture is the result of the Bush Propaganda machine and enabling Mass Media .

How Americans Came to Support Torture, in Five Steps By Roy Eidelson, Posted May 12, 2009.

Stats show a sizable majority of Americans refuse to rule out torture entirely. This is no accident; it's the result of a mass persuasion campaign.

...In sum, this seemingly successful campaign of mass persuasion depended upon convincing the public to believe five things: (1) our country is in great danger, (2) torture is the only thing that can keep us safe, (3) the people we torture are monstrous wrongdoers, (4) our decision to torture is moral and for the greater good, and (5) critics of our torture policy should not be trusted. And all the while, the marketers painstakingly avoided using the actual word "torture"-and contested the word's use by anyone else. Of course, this strategy is by no means unique to the selling of torture. A similar approach, designed for hawking war, was used with devastating and tragic effect in building public support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Admittedly, we cannot be sure that torture would be less popular with Americans today if the Bush administration had not worked so hard to promote it. But there is good reason to think this might be the case. After all, the combination of an outsized public relations budget, an overly accommodating mainstream media, and an unwary audience of millions is every marketer's dream. In similar fashion, we cannot really know whether there would now be even greater public support for torture if not for the efforts of those who have steadfastly spoken out against our country's interrogation abuses

also see:

Was Tortured CIA "Ghost Prisoner" Murdered? By Andy Worthington, Andy Worthington's Blog. Posted May 13, 2009.

The suspicious death of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who was tortured into lying about an Iraq-al Qaeda connection, raises a series of troubling questions.

and so it goes,

No comments: