Tuesday, May 05, 2009

UAE Torture Tape & US Media Hypocrisy On Bush Era Torture & US Military Evangelizing in Afghanistan

" The sentence ‘millions of Iraqis now live free of oppression’ is pure public relations " Robert Fisk May 04, 2009 "The Independent" --

"The U.S. is a very tolerant nation, but the one thing we simply cannot abide is when a government fails adequately to investigate allegations of torture on the part of key officials and fails to hold them accountable. That's where we draw the line."
Quote from Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com, May 3, 2009

"The Special Forces guys, they hunt men. Basically, we do the same things as Christians. We hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down. Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the Kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business," he says.
quote from Ryan Grim at Huffington Post May 4, 2009

Bush , Cheney & now Obama cries out : "Deus vult! Deus vult!" ("God wills it")

U.A.E. torture tape & Mainstream Media hypocrisy

Robert Fisk on Iraq War Propaganda

U.S. soldiers proselytizing in Afghanistan - the Crusades continue

US asylum seekers out of luck due to broad definition of "Terrorists"

So the so-called War on Terror is at least in part just a continuation of the Christian Crusade which has continued since 1087 to the present. This newest chapter in the Crusades was ushered in by the God Fearing Bush & Co.Given their religious views it is no wonder that they and their supporters believe in the efficacy and necessity of torture since their Mindset is that of the Medieval period .

American duplicity & hypocrisy - get out of Afghanistan Now - Stop the Crusade

Is Obama as a Christian also supporting this old fashioned form of Western colonialism & Evangelizing. The British and the French and the Spanish all did it when they were expanding their Empires so I guess why shouldn't America bring its own brand of Fanatical Evangelical Christian Fundamentalism to the so called heathens and barbarians who dare to believe in a different God or Gods.

US troops urged to share faith in Afghanistan - 04 May 09

US soldiers in Afghanistan have been filmed with local language Bibles and urged to be "witnesses for Jesus" despite anti-proselytizing rules.

U.S. soldiers hunting people for jesus american troops evangelizing.

Soldiers In Afghanistan Given Bibles, Told To "Hunt People For Jesus" (VIDEO) by Ryan Grim at Huffington Post May 4, 2009

A U.S. church raised money to send Bibles, printed in the Pashtu and Dari languages, to American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, a report on Al Jazeera documented Sunday night.

It is against military rules to proselytize -- a regulation one of the soldiers filmed by the network readily acknowledged. "You cannot proselytize, but you can give gifts," says the soldier. It is a crime in Afghanistan to attempt to convert anyone from Islam to any other religion. "I also want to praise God because my church collected some money to get Bibles for Afghanistan. They came and sent the money out." The footage is said to be roughly a year old.

The Al Jazeera report also shows a military preacher urging army parishioners to "hunt people for Jesus."

"The Special Forces guys, they hunt men. Basically, we do the same things as Christians. We hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down. Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the Kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business," he says.

A White House spokesman referred questions to the Department of Defense, which did not immediately return a call. A military spokesman did tell Reuters, however, that none of the Bibles were, as far as she knew, ever actually distributed.

"That specific case involved a soldier who brought in a donation of translated Bibles that were sent to his personal address by his home church. He showed them to the group and the chaplain explained that he cannot distribute them," said Major Jennifer Willis.

This story may not be seen as an important story to the mainstream Media in the U.S. or Canada but it may lead to some serious problems in the relationship between NATO forces and the peoples of Afghanistan . To the Afghans having Christian Evangelicals proselytizing in their country is a breach of trust and will be seen as an insult to their religious beliefs. It also further adds evidence to charges made against the NATO & American forces that they have no respect for Islam and are in Afghanistan to convert their people to Christianity.

" US Soldiers in Afghanistan Told to "Hunt People for Jesus... So We Get Them into The Kingdom" Military officials at Bagram are caught on tape urging US soldiers to evangelize in the Muslim country." by Jeremy Scahill at Rebel Reports & Common Dreams.org May 4, 2009

...Trying to convert Muslims to any other faith is a crime in Afghanistan. The fact that the video footage is being broadcast on Al Jazeera guarantees that it will be seen throughout the Muslim world. It is likely to add more credence to the perception that the US is engaging in a war on Islam with neo-crusader forces invading Muslim lands.

...The broadcast of this video comes just days after a new poll of White Americans found that, in the US, church going Christians are more likely to support the use of torture than other segments of the population. The Pew Research Center poll found: "White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified - more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did."

This is certainly not the first scandal where US military forces or officials have been caught on tape promoting an evangelical Christian agenda. Perhaps the most high-profile case involved Lieut. Gen. William Boykin, who was a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under Bush. Boykin was part of Donald Rumsfeld's inner circle at the Pentagon where he was placed in charge of hunting "high-value targets." Boykin was one of the key U.S. officials in establishing what critics alleged was death-squad-type activity in Iraq.

In October 2003, Boykin was revealed to have gone on several anti-Muslim rants, in public speeches, many of which he delivered in military uniform. Since January 2002, Boykin had spoken at twenty-three religious-oriented events, wearing his uniform at all but two. Among Boykin's statements, he said he knew the U.S. would prevail over a Muslim adversary in Somalia because "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." Boykin also charged that Islamic radicals want to destroy America "because we're a Christian nation" that "will never abandon Israel." Our "spiritual enemy," Boykin declared, "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus."

As for President Bush, Boykin said, "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this." In another speech, Boykin said other countries "have lost their morals, lost their values. But America is still a Christian nation." He told a church group in Oregon that special operations forces were victorious in Iraq because of their faith in God. "Ladies and gentlemen, I want to impress upon you that the battle that we're in is a spiritual battle," he said. "Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army."

US hypocrisy on torture - ok when they torture but not when others torture.
UAE torture tape from ABC news.

FOX NEWS is upset about torture in UAE- though Fox News has been going nuts lately defending the torture approved under the Bush Regime. Is this just another roadside distraction so Americans can feel better about themselves. FOX NEWS is just

How dare they use torture when only the US and its allies are permitted to use torture. Anyway its just a lot of PR and propaganda by the US mainstream media and the Pro-torture Lobby in the US. The pro-Bush Cheney faction believe that America needs to use torture in its so-called War On Terror. But all other countries and organizations are not to use torture. I guess because of American Exceptionalism & the Divine Right of it's King- I mean President America is permitted to use torture because it has God on its side. Many are still hoping President Obama will help change such attitudes.

And so Glenn Greenwald writes about this in a rather sarcastic fashion .

UAE 'Torture' Scandal and Cover-up Sparks Outrage in the US by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com, May 3, 2009

As more videotapes emerge documenting the torture inflicted on numerous victims by Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a prince of the United Arab Emirates, the controversy is beginning to jeopardize the UAE's relationship with the United States, a country that absolutely loathes torture and demands real accountability for those who do it:

"I have more than two hours of video footage showing Sheikh Issa's involvement in the torture of more than 25 people," wrote Texas-based lawyer Anthony Buzbee in a letter obtained by the Observer.

The news of more torture videos involving Issa is another huge blow to the international image of the UAE . . . . The fresh revelations about Issa's actions will add further doubt to a pending nuclear energy deal between the UAE and the US. The deal, signed in the final days of George W Bush, is seen as vital for the UAE. It will see the US share nuclear energy expertise, fuel and technology in return for a promise to abide by non-proliferation agreements. But the deal needs to be recertified by the Obama administration and there is growing outrage in America over the tapes. Congressman James McGovern, a senior Democrat, has demanded that Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, investigate the matter and find out why US officials initially appeared to play down its significance.

The U.S. is a very tolerant nation, but the one thing we simply cannot abide is when a government fails adequately to investigate allegations of torture on the part of key officials and fails to hold them accountable. That's where we draw the line.

The UAE royal family claimed that they had investigated and resolved the matter and made sure that it would not happen again -- but when it comes to torture, we have made clear that such a "look-forward-not-backwards/reflection-not-retribution" mentality is morally outrageous and unacceptable -- from the UAE:

The authorities in the UAE have certainly mishandled the emergence of the initial torture tape. The 2004 tape was obtained by ABC News and shown on television in the US. The UAE at first said that the matter had been privately settled between Sheikh Issa and his victim. They also added that UAE police had followed all their rules and regulations properly.

But that position did not last long in the face of a wave of international revulsion at the brutality on display. The fierceness of the criticism eventually forced the UAE government to both condemn the tape and announce a new investigation. The government "unequivocally condemns the actions depicted on the video", the state-run news agency said last week. It added that a government human rights group in the Judicial Department would also now review the matter. . . .

Buzbee welcomed the developments, but expressed scepticism that the investigation was genuinely motivated, because the authorities had known about the tapes for several years. "I am sceptical about whether there will be a genuine investigation, given that various officials have been aware of these issues for many years and given the fact that members of the government were actually involved in, or covered up, the torture," he said.

Indeed. What kind of primitive, brutal country knows for years that its own powerful government officials participated in torture and then fails even to investigate what happened, let alone impose meaningful accountability on the torturers? The international community simply cannot tolerate acquiescence to that sort of evil. Note that the UAE apparently compensated the victims of the prince's torture, whereas the U.S. blocked -- and continues to try to block -- its own torture victims from even having a day in court.

Had Issa -- who ordered these torture sessions recorded -- only looked to the U.S. for civilized and moral leadership on such matters, he almost certainly could have avoided this trouble:

U.S. Says C.I.A. Destroyed 92 Tapes of Interrogations

The government on Monday revealed for the first time the extent of the destruction of videotapes in 2005 by the Central Intelligence Agency, saying that agency officers destroyed 92 videotapes documenting the harsh interrogations of two Qaeda suspects in C.I.A. detention. . . .

It had been previously known that officials of the agency had destroyed hundreds of hours of videotaped interrogations, but the documents filed Monday reveal the number of tapes. . . . The destroyed videotapes are thought to have depicted some of the harshest interrogation techniques used by the C.I.A.

Only monsters and barbarians fail to destroy their own torture tapes. The New York Times previously reported that the highest-level White House officials -- including David Addington and Alberto Gonzales -- participated in discussions about whether to destroy those videotapes (acts which the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission have called "obstruction of justice"), though because we need to Look Forward, Not Back, and this all happened in The Past, we don't know what was said and don't need to. Knowing that might disrupt our moment of quiet, contemplative reflection.

Cheney & the Republicans claim there are two sides to the issue of torture. So does this mean they accept that there are two sides to the abortion issue, and gun ownership, and to the separation of religion and state or to the Iraq War or the War on Terror , or on Global Warming or on evolution versus creationism , or on women's rights - they claim there are two sides when they fear they are losing the argument and so claim there side deserves equal time. Yet if legislators talk about equal time in the media they are against it.

On the abortion issue or gun ownership they claim there is only one side to these issues ie abortion is wrong and gun ownership is a right so if people want to purchase rocket launchers that's their right but they have no right to an abortion and they have no right to receive responsible sex education at an appropriate age- remember they believe that condoms kill potential babies as does the birth control pill and people who engage in sex before marriage should be put in Jail or in the stocks or stoned to death.

" Don't Let Cheney Pick the Battlefield " by David Quigg at huffington Post, April 23, 2009

We cannot let Dick Cheney set the terms of America's debate about torture.

The former vice president is calling on President Obama to release more secret documents. Cheney claims Obama is hiding proof that waterboarding and other disgraceful interrogation techniques were "enormously valuable in terms of saving lives and preventing another mass-casualty attack on the U.S."

Now, there are any number of ways of responding to this claim. The editorial board of the New York Times went with this response:

"Mr. Cheney claims that the waterboarding saved thousands of lives. Most accounts that don't come from officials involved in the formation of those policies suggest that that is not the case. The question needs to be answered so Americans can decide if they want to buy into Mr. Cheney's view that the ends always justify such barbaric means."

Wrong. Totally wrong.

This is not a question that "needs to be answered." Cheney had eight years in power to press this question if it is so damn important. But it is not important. It's a question as relevant to American democracy as appointing a blue-ribbon commission to study what advantages and efficiencies we might achieve by repudiating the Declaration of Independence and rejoining the British Empire.

Here. Just watch a man talk some sense. The man is Shepard Smith of Fox News. Seriously. As Andrew Sullivan put it, Smith "sums up in remarkable clarity what I sometimes use too many words to say." (Now, be forewarned. You are about to hear a very passionate, patriotic Shep Smith accidentally say a word that starts with an "F" and ends with an "UCKING." But trust me when I say it's for a good cause.

Shep Smith of FOX, "America Doesn't F*cking Torture!"

Meanwhile Robert Fisk comments on the British pull out from Iraq that even now the British government and its military continue to lie about the Iraq War fiasco & or debacle. Even now the invaders of Iraq refuse to take responsibility for the chaos and death & destruction they caused in Iraq and are now leaving behind. The British and Americans still blame the Iraqi people for the half million to one million killed Iraqis .

Right to the very end in Iraq, our masters denied us the truth by Robert Fisk at The Independent , May 4, 2009

The sentence ‘millions of Iraqis now live free of oppression’ is pure public relations

By Robert Fisk

May 04, 2009 "The Independent" -- 'We acknowledge," the letter says, "that violence has claimed the lives of many thousands of Iraqi civilians over the last five years, either through terrorism or sectarian violence. Any loss of innocent lives is tragic and the Government is committed to ensuring that civilian casualties are avoided. Insurgents and terrorists are not, I regret to say, so scrupulous."

This quotation comes from the Ministry of Defence's "Iraq Operations Team, Directorate of Operations" and is signed by someone whose initials may be "SM" or "SW" or even "SWe". Unusually (but understandably), it does not carry a typed version of the author's name. Its obvious anonymity – given the fact that not a single reference is made to the civilians slaughtered by the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq – is no surprise. I, too, would not want to be personally associated with such Blair-like mendacity. What is astonishing, however, is that this outrageous letter should have been written this year.

I should say at once that I owe this revelatory text (actually dated 20 January) to a very un-anonymous Independent reader, Tom Geddes, who thought I would find its "economy with the truth" interesting. I certainly do. We are now, are we not, supposed to be in the age of Brown-like truth, as we finally haul down the flag in Basra, of near-certainty of an official inquiry into the whole Iraq catastrophe, a time of reckoning for the men who sent us off to war under false pretences. I suspect that this – like the Obama pretensions to change – is a falsehood. Well, we shall see.


America breaks its promises to take in refugees due to the wide definition of "Terrorists" under the Patriot Act. Even someone who gives money to terrorist organization at gun-point is considered a terrorist or who who supports humanitarian aid group which later is found to have links to terrorists coercion or ignorance no excuse.

US Allies Losing Asylum Bids Over Definition of "Terrorist" by Marisa Taylor at McClatchy Newspapers, may 2, 2009

...6,000 immigrants who've tried to find refuge in the U.S. only to be told that they don't qualify because the Patriot Act and other post-9/11 laws label members of armed groups terrorists, even if they supported pro-democracy efforts and opposed despots and dictators. Others who gave money to terrorists under threat of death are considered terrorist sympathizers.

As a result, a wide range of immigrants, from Iraqis who worked for the U.S. government despite death threats to child soldiers who fled their African countries so they'd no longer be forced to kill, are trapped in legal limbo.

Their cases help fuel a growing perception internationally that the U.S., which still accepts the most refugees in the world, has become much less welcoming - even to those who champion democratic ideals.

"It's like Alice in Wonderland: Everything is upside down," said Bereket Selassie, Bahta's U.S. citizen uncle who's a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "These are people who have fought for freedom and democracy and who were recognized by the American government for their efforts. Now, they're terrorists? It doesn't make any sense."

Some immigrants have been told that they can't receive asylum status and could be deported.

Others received asylum before the government began relying on the broader interpretation of post-9/11 anti-terrorism laws. Now, they can't get permanent residency or "green cards."

Without green cards, their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens go unfulfilled. Some can't get jobs because of the stigma. Although their lawyers try to reassure them otherwise, they live in fear that the U.S. will take their asylum status away and send them home.

Many of them feel betrayed, especially since the trauma and persecution they experienced in the native lands are now being held against them.

and so it goes,

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