Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Sermons Defending The Rich & War & Torture Meanwhile Documentary "Torturing Democracy " is A Must See

Anyway here's a funny bit about war from Richard Attenborough's Anit-War film "Oh What A Lovely War " which is set during the First World War which was a completely unnecessary war.Note of course the hypocrisy of the Christian Churches as they promote war in the name of Jesus.That must be the part of the New Testament I missed in which Jesus says how he loves a good war & " Blessed are The War Mongers".

24 What a Friend We Have in Jesus (parody)-Oh What A Lovely War

Sunday Sermons From Rich Hypocrites
O'Reilly, Beck, Robertson Participate in Blatant WINGNUTTERY

So is Raping young boys now an official American value as long as the boy is suspected of terrorists activity or if it is alleged that he knows something about the Iraq Insurgency or whatever rationalization a soldier or his or her commander or the Vice President or President can come up with.

Sadly Obama's administration appears to be heading in the same direction as it too muddies the waters on what is & what is not torture. Gibbs this week found stories of boys being raped funny.One could always come up with reasons for using torture but the sign of a civilized nation is that it refuses to torture or abuse prisoners even in a time of crisis.

Dick Cheney once again claims erroneously that only a handful of prisoners were tortured- but of course he is using the term "Torture" according to his rather special & narrow definition. If it is not "life-threatening" or "leads to organ failure" it is not torture. But that's not the definition of torture used by his predecessors or by Human Rights groups or by the United Nations or by the Geneva Conventions. Of course he has created his own alternative reality where everyday there is another "Ticking Bomb " scenario which must be met by all and any means necessary. Yet the experts say such "ticking Bomb " scenarios are rare & using torture is an ineffective or useless way of getting reliable intel in such a situation. If you abuse & torture someone they will tell you whatever they think will stop the torture so if necessary they will make up lies about WMDs in Iraq or an imaginary connection between Al Qaeda & Saddam & 9/11. On the other hand a person who is guilty & has valuable intel if a " true Believer " will not reveal that information but would risk dying as a martyr to their cause or will simply give a mixture of good & bad intel none of which could be relied upon.

If the aim is just to get false confessions to be used in a propaganda war then torture in fact does work as the North Koreans, the North Vietnamese, the Communist Chinese & the Soviet Union proved this over and over again as did Saddam when he was still in power at some of his "Show Trials".And this it appears was what Cheney , Rumsfeld & Condoleezza Rice wanted to use torture for to cook up some false confessions to support their going to war with Saddam & to justify holding thousands of people many of whom were innocent. Because if you could get a confession & one detainee accusing another then you could claim they were all guilty of whatever the interrogators could get the prisoners to falsely confess to. Rather circular logic but the American people then & now couldn't care less if these people were innocent or not since they wanted their "pound of flesh".

Cheney lies once again about detainee torture and abuse

Naomi Wolf comments on how these latest revelations on sexual abuse are not so new since Human Rights organizations & journalists who have spent time examining the evidence & conducting numerous interviews have know about these allegations for years & have concluded that there is over whelming evidence to support the allegations of wide spread abuse in at least a dozen US run facilities in Iraq & Afghanistan & Gitmo.

Busted, Pentagon: Why The Photos Probably Do Show Detainees Sodomized and Raped by Naomi Wolf Huff Post May 29, 2009

As I wrote last year in my piece on sex crime against detainees, 'Sex Crimes in the White House," highly perverse, systematic sexual torture and sexual humiliation was, original documents reveal, directed from the top; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice were present in meetings where sexual humiliation was discussed as policy; the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 was written specifically to allow certain kinds of sexual abuse, such as forced nakedness, which is completely illegal and understood by domestic and international law to be a form of sexual assault; Rumsfeld is in print and on the record consulting with subordinates about the policy and practice of sexual humiliation, in a collection of documents obtained by the ACLU by a Freedom of Information Act filing, compiled in Jameel Jaffer's important book, The Torture Administration.

The image of the female, probably Iraqi, prisoner being sexually assaulted? That image, or a similar one, has been widely viewed in the Muslim world. Reports of the rape scenes described have also appeared in rights organizations' summaries since 2004.

And scores of detainees who have told their stories to rights organizations have told independently confirming accounts of a highly consistent practice of sexual torture at US-held prisons, including having their genitals slashed with razors; electrodes placed on genitals; and being told US military would find and rape their mothers.

Is systemic sex crime practiced by the US in a consequence of the lawlessness of `the war on terror' surprising to those of us who work on issues of sexual abuse and war? It is totally predictable: when you give soldiers anywhere in the world the power, let alone the mandate, to hold women or men helpless, without recourse to law, kidnap them as a matter of policy - as US military kidnapped the wives of `insurgents' in order to compel them to turn themselves in - strip them naked, and threaten them, you have a completely predictable recipe for mass sexual assault. The magisterial study of rape in war, Susan Brownmiller's Men, Women and Rape, proves that.

Also see the detailed & disturbing documentary "Torturing Democracy" which as this article points out is a must see by all Americans & Canadians to see how far the Bush Regime stretched & manipulated the law to suit their purposes. Torture became an acceptable means for treating Prisoners or POWS . What the Bush Regime first did was to deny these prisoners their basic rights under US law or under International Law by refusing to call them POWs or "Enemy Combatants " but rather designated them as "Terrorist Detainees" . When the US troops went into Afghanistan to crush the Taliban & Al Qaeda they offered large financial awards that is "bounty" for each person turned into the US forces. So the War Lords and individuals turned innocent people in claiming that they were "terrorists" in order to get the money. So many of the people detained by the US at Gitmo were in fact innocent and had nothing to do with the "terrorists" or the Taliban. Anyone who has been paying attention has known this for years that many of those held were innocent of any criminal acts. Even now Cheney & his cronies & Fox News & CNN & The New York Times & The Washington Post are still reluctant to face the facts. Cheney & his media friends took control of the information so they could rationalize and justify their activities. If the US press & media had any integrity they would have delved deeper into this story & maybe they would have discovered that there were many people in the military & intelligence community & in the department of justice who did not agree with what was being proposed and with what was then done. Within a few months after 9/11 Bush & Cheney & Rumsfeld & Condoleezza Rice et al were warned by the Department of Justice by some in the Pentagon & by the ACLU that what they were doing would constitute War Crimes. So they knew they were operating outside the law even though they had their five main lawyers who wrote up memos & opinions to support the use of Torture though rebranded as "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques ".

Everyone Should See "Torturing Democracy" By Bill Moyers & Michael Winship at Truthout Perspective May 30, 2009

In all the recent debate over torture, many of our Beltway pundits and politicians have twisted themselves into verbal contortions to avoid using the word at all.

During his speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute last week - immediately on the heels of President Obama's address at the National Archives - former Vice President Dick Cheney used the euphemism "enhanced interrogation" a full dozen times.

Smothering the reality of torture in euphemism, of course, has a political value, enabling its defenders to diminish the horror and possible illegality. It also gives partisans the opening they need to divert our attention by turning the future of the prison at Guantanamo Bay into a "wedge issue," as noted on the front page of Sunday's New York Times.

According to the Times, "Armed with polling data that show a narrow majority of support for keeping the prison open and deep fear about the detainees, Republicans in Congress started laying plans even before the inauguration to make the debate over Guantanamo Bay a question of local community safety instead of one about national character and principles."

No political party would dare make torture a cornerstone of its rejuvenation if people really understood what it is. And lest we forget, we're not just talking about waterboarding, itself a trivializing euphemism for drowning.

If we want to know what torture is, and what it does to human beings, we have to look at it squarely, without flinching. That's just what a powerful and important film, seen by far too few Americans, does. "Torturing Democracy" was written and produced by one of America's outstanding documentary reporters, Sherry Jones. (Excerpts from the film are being shown on the current edition of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS - check local listings, or go to the program's web site at, where you can be linked to the entire 90-minute documentary.)

PBS documentary at Torturing Democracy

and so it goes,

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