Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Torture Investigation to Go Ahead Given New Information

UPDATE: 1:36 AM Aug. 26-2009

Whatever keeps America secure is by definition permissible
Or the ends justify the means

Morality & Ethics are for LOSERS!!!

Winners do as they please...
& then find a passage in the Bible as their defense

While Obama tells Liberals & Progressive to stop talking about torture or the need for health care reform and just "DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY!!!"

In Disney World or ObamaWorld -The Pollyanna Syndrome just wish the bad stuff away

If we follow Obama's logic then there should not have been investigations into Watergate, or Iran/Contra affair or about America's illegal involvement in the Coup in Chile which overthrew Salvadore Allende or maybe even the Nuremberg Trials since they just upset a lot of people.

Crimes committed by the super-wealthy and the powerful are to be pardoned or just forgotten while some poor youth is given 7 years in jail for possession of a few grams of marijuana or breaks some other ridiculous law. The American Justice like the Canadian justice system is made up of a lot of outdated laws based upon prejudices & superstition.

Tony Blankley and other fanatical Pro-Bush Neocons see nothing wrong with the abuse and torture of detainees in fact they seem to relish and get off on the very thought of torture and see it as pay back for 9/11 as they blame not just the hijackers and Al Qaeda but in their blind desire for revenge all Arabs, Afghans, Iraqis, & Muslims. Blankley , Cheney, and others want to teach these upstarts not to screw around with the Mighty God Blessed American Empire which is above any man made laws .

Even Obama seems to agree since he is insisting the investigations be narrow and reveal as little publicly as possible to defend his friends in high places or to insure in the future he won't be held accountable.
Then again is all this just another sign that America is fast becoming a failed state in which there is violent rhetoric tossed around dealing with a host of issues while the country is in an already lost war and is in the midst of an economic melt-down and is a debtor nation to China and where corporations if at all possible are taking their companies to other nations and keeping their profits in Swiss Bank accounts or some of shore island.

New Torture Horrors From the Bush Administration.
Mock Executions threatened by a Power Drill
Rachel Maddow reveals new torture horrors that will be in a CIA report to be released monday. She is joined by guest Michael Isikoff.

Kudos to Maddow for taking on this story dealing with Bush era torrure. Of course I have a caveat which is that once again Maddow and others are talking about torture being a rare event rather than as those on the ground as it were allege it was a widespread policy applied to a majority of detainees at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, & other facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan .

The other issue I and others have is that there is evidence that abuse & torture is still taking place in American run facilities or by America's allies including the Iraqi puppet regime and the puppet regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan etc. plus in the dozens of secret prisons run by the Americans in other countries. So it is doubtful that Obama is going to pursue this matter in an open and dilligent manner and putting a stop to abuse by Americans or their allies or the continuing practice of handing detainees over to foreign governments of whom it is know that they use torture routinely not for intel but as a terror tactic.

Note: Of interest is that the so called Iraqi death squads used power drills on their victims in supposedly sectarian violence. Bodies were found every day over the course of the war in Baghdad and other cities sometimes up to one hundred naked mutilated corpses were found tossed into the streets. So did the CIA help train these Death Squads or were they on "a ride-along program" or was it all the work of the CIA. The CIA did help the death Squads over a decade or more in El Salvadore and other Latin American countries to fight off those evil antiAmerican Catholic Priests and Nuns and school teachers and social workers and lawyers and Union organizers and members of the press and media and University students etc. America is always out to defend against "democracy breaking out" in Latin America or Africa or the Middle East or Asia etc.

Tony Blankley "Responsibility (For Torture) Is At The Top!" The Fish Rots From The Head! Chris Mathews August 25, 2009 MSNBC HARDBALL

Accountability, How High Up the Chain of Command?
There was an atmosphere which gave the Green Light for CIA and military personnel to take whater action they wanted to-
Torturing became just a matter of routine practices used on numerous detainees at Gitmo, in Iraq & Afghanistan

Does Obama believe that Americans are above not only American law but also International Law which he is also ignoring.
When detainees are held indefintely this is contrary to law
When detainees are denied legal counsil this goes against the law
Denying detainees any communication to their families this is also contrary to the law
Keeping detainees in isolation for extended periods of time is contrary to the law & human rights
Sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, stress positions, sexual abuse, intimidation, humiliation are torture techniques- threatening to kill members of ones family or raping someones wife or child are also abuses and torture techniques

The International Community on these issues should not leave this matter up to President Obama because there is for him a conflict of interests & if the International community refuse to do anything then there best bet is to shut down the World Court and vacate the United Nations headquarters in New York- The UN like the League of Nations is a paper tiger when it comes to the US or other major powers. It is therefore up to the smaller nations to cooperate so that the United States or other powerful nations such as China or Britain etc. are no longer athreat to them.

We Finally See The Rule Of Law Being Brought Forward! Sen Whitehouse On CIA Torture Report

CIA Documents Provide Little Cover for Cheney Claims
Documents Fail to Exonerate 'Enhanced Interrogation' Techniques by Spencer Ackerman

For months, former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that two documents prepared by the CIA, one from 2004 and the other from 2005, would refute critics of the Bush administration's torture program.

...Those documents were obtained today by The Washington Independent and are available here. Strikingly, they provide little evidence for Cheney's claims that the "enhanced interrogation" program run by the CIA provided valuable information. In fact, throughout both documents, many passages - though several are incomplete and circumstantial, actually suggest the opposite of Cheney's contention: that non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information the documents cite in defending the value of the CIA's interrogations.

For Example;

The first document, issued by the CIA in July 2004 is about the interrogation of 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and whom, the newly released CIA Inspector General report on torture details, had his children's lives threatened by an interrogator. None of that abuse is referred to in the publicly released version of the July 2004 document. Instead, we learn from the July 2004 document that not only did the man known as "KSM" largely provide intelligence about "historical plots" pulled off from al-Qaeda, a fair amount of the knowledge he imparted to his interrogators came from his "rolodex" - that is, what intelligence experts call "pocket litter," or the telling documentation found on someone's person when captured. As well, traditional intelligence work appears to have done wonders - including a fair amount of blundering on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's part:

In response to questions about [al-Qaeda's] efforts to acquire [weapons of mass destruction], [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] revealed that he had met three individuals involved in [al-Qaeda's] program to produce anthrax. He appears to have calculated, incorrectly, that we had this information already, given that one of the three - Yazid Sufaat - had been in foreign custody for several months.

This is a far cry from torturing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed into revealing such information. It would be tendentious to believe that the torture didn't have any impact on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - he himself said that he lied to interrogators in order to get the torture to stop - but the document itself doesn't attempt to present a case that the "enhanced interrogation" program was a factor, let alone the determinant factor, in the intelligence bounty the document says he provided.

and concludes:

Again, perhaps the blacked-out lines of the memos specifically claim and document that torture and only torture yielded this information. But what's released within them does not remotely make that case. Cheney's public account of these documents have conflated the difference between information acquired from detainees, which the documents present, and information acquired from detainees through the enhanced interrogation program, which they don't.

In a statement, Tom Parker, the policy director of Amnesty International's American branch, said, "Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Vice President Cheney's track record, the two CIA memos released today are hardly the slam dunk we had been led to expect. There is little or no supporting evidence in either memo to give substance to the specific claims about impending attacks made by Khaled Shaik Mohammed in highly coercive circumstances."

Cheney's dilemma the documents released do not vindicate Cheney but give more proof traditional non-torture forms of interrogation worked better than enhanced techniques.

Washinton Independent has finally obtained the documents on torture which Cheney said would vindicate his assertion that the use of torture techniques produced actionable intel better than more traditional interrogation methods- well not so much

Obtained: The CIA Documents Dick Cheney Says Vindicate Torture By Spencer Ackerman 8/24/09 Washington Independent

Cheney Calls for Release of Memos Showing Results of Interrogation Efforts , April 20, 2009

Former Vice President Cheney says he knows how successful the interrogation techniques were in collecting intelligence for the United States and wants that information to be released to the public as well as the legal memos explaining the decision to allow the heavily criticized methods.

And the CIA is adept as Dick Cheney at clouding the issue of torture:

Here’s How the CIA Can Fudge the Question of Whether Torture ‘Worked’By Spencer Ackerman 8/24/09 The Washington Independent

For those, like former Vice President Dick Cheney, who want to argue that CIA torture “worked,” a footnote on page six of the 2004 CIA inspector general’s report on torture provides a blueprint for muddying the waters. Rarely if ever, according to the report, did torture occur by itself. The CIA also used the rapport-building techniques that trained interrogators like the FBI’s Ali Soufan have urged, for a combination approach that might be called Good Cop/Psychotic Cop.

International Committee of the Red Cross:
The Geneva Conventions: the core of international humanitarian law

The third Geneva Convention applies to prisoners of war.

This Convention replaced the Prisoners of War Convention of 1929. It contains 143 articles whereas the 1929 Convention had only 97. The categories of persons entitled to prisoner of war status were broadened in accordance with Conventions I and II. The conditions and places of captivity were more precisely defined, particularly with regard to the labour of prisoners of war, their financial resources, the relief they receive, and the judicial proceedings instituted against them. The Convention establishes the principle that prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. The Convention has five annexes containing various model regulations and identity and other cards.

The fourth Geneva Convention affords protection to civilians, including in occupied territory.

The Geneva Conventions, which were adopted before 1949. were concerned with combatants only, not with civilians. The events of World War II showed the disastrous consequences of the absence of a convention for the protection of civilians in wartime. The Convention adopted in 1949 takes account of the experiences of World War II. It is composed of 159 articles. It contains a short section concerning the general protection of populations against certain consequences of war, without addressing the conduct of hostilities, as such, which was later examined in the Additional Protocols of 1977. The bulk of the Convention deals with the status and treatment of protected persons, distinguishing between the situation of foreigners on the territory of one of the parties to the conflict and that of civilians in occupied territory. It spells out the obligations of the Occupying Power vis-à-vis the civilian population and contains detailed provisions on humanitarian relief for populations in occupied territory. It also contains a specific regime for the treatment of civilian internees. It has three annexes containing a model agreement on hospital and safety zones, model regulations on humanitarian relief and model cards.

For further reading see:

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:entered into force June 26, 1987.

and so it goes,

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