Sunday, December 11, 2011

#OWS: Feinstein: Senate Panel's Probe of CIA Torture Program Concludes It Was "Far More Widespread and Systematic Than We Thought" | Truthout

It seems that torture should be a concern for #OWS movement. A government should not endorse the use of torture on anyone. Yet President Obama and the Mainstream corporate media eith don't understand the issue and what it says about defending human rights and civil rights. But torture is unethical and immoral. as much as Lynching is immoral and not merely illegal, The justice system in America and its Constitution must be actively insisting on the rights of all citizens even those suspected of a crime or found guilty of a crime. It is uncivilized , barbaric - its as if we have turned the clock back a couple of centuries.

Torture was wrong when it was used by the Church on heretics and alleged witches and it is wrong when used by oppressive brutal regimes whether they are to the right or the left.
It was wrong of Pinochet or Mubarak or Saddam to use as much as it was wrong for Hitler, Mussolini, Franco or Stalin to use. The basic arguments against torture are not overturned just because some nation ie USA or Israel, or Egypt or Saudi Arabia use it for national defense and security. So when George W. Bush was torturing alleged terrorists it was wrong as it is now when approved of by president Obama. Nor is torture acceptable by merely re-branding as " Enhanced Interrogation Techniques " as found in the US Army field Manual.

for instance a recent example of this return to 18th or 19th century thinking would be that of would be president Newt Gingrich talking about reinstituting child labor and then debtors prisons or work houses and more. Next Gingrich and other uberconservatives will attack gains made by workers over the last hundred years such as the 40 hour week or minimum wage or having weekends off or repealing laws protecting visible minorities or women or those who are not Christians .

One of the most important lies about the use of torture is that President Obama outlawed all forms of torture as defined by International Law. Obama claims these techniques which are included in the Military field manual for use in interrogations or just to break the detainee to make him more compliant and noting to do with intel . But still the media and millions of people either erroneously agree that these techniques are acceptable or they are unfamiliar with these techniques.

Feinstein: Senate Panel's Probe of CIA Torture Program Concludes It Was "Far More Widespread and Systematic Than We Thought" | Truthout

"...Lies that facilitate torture – Case-in-point: the Army Field Manual

One reason for the lulled non-murmur over torture is the outrageous lie that Obama, after coming into office, “ended torture.” He enshrined the Army Field Manual as the supposedly humane alternative to the Bush torture regime of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Feinstein, who certainly knows better, is an exemplary model for such myth-making — “myth” because the Army Field Manual actually uses torture of various sorts, and even though about half-a-dozen human rights and legal organizations, and a number of prominent government interrogators have said so (see this Nov. 2010 letter signed by 14 well-known interrogators to then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates) — as her following comments on the Army Field Manual (AFM) demonstrate.

Here, Sen. Feinstein is polemicizing against the Ayotte amendment, which was ignominiously dismissed via a parliamentary maneuver, along with a few dozen other amendments, after an ostentatious Senate “colloquy” on the matter by Senators Ayotte and Lieberman (with Lindsay Graham chiming in at the very end). The amendment awaits its resurrection, seeking passage attached like an obligate parasite to another bill some months down the line. (The authorization bill is currently “in conference,” as a final version is worked out that reconciles both House and Senate versions. It is not unknown for provisions to be slipped in under such circumstances, and I wouldn’t count out yet Ayotte/Lieberman/Graham’s attempt to insert a new secret annex to the AFM, not until, like the undead, a stake is driven through its heart.)"

It is not just those who do the torturing who are guilty but also those who silently stand by or those who gave the orders or created a legal veneer for these actions to take place. This also includes those who helped to facilitate the torture such as those in the medical professions from medics to nurses or doctors or psychologists or psychiatrists. They too are guilty and should be charged for criminal offences and be imprisoned while losing their licence to practice their profession.
Of course in America the Rule of law or Justice is just more empty rhetoric since the US believes that it can do as it pleases and that the rule of law only applies to other nations and not to America. As even Obama admits America will do whatever it feels is necessary to do in the Name of " National Security ".

Healers, Torture and National Security by Stephen N. Xenakis, Truthout, december 10, 2011

...The incessant drumbeat of political rhetoric that "the war on terror is a war like no other" and that "we must take all measures possible to stop the enemy" made it somehow easier for psychiatrists to apply their skills and training to exploit the vulnerabilities of prisoners. To this day, former government officials justify cruel and inhuman treatment of detainees at Bagram and Guantanamo with unsubstantiated assertions that their confessions led to the trail of Osama bin Laden. The public supported such conduct and the television show "24" gained wide popularity as viewers were captivated by threats of violence and new gimmicks for bringing the bad guys down. Even the presidential candidates in 2008 were ambushed by questions that judged their fitness to be commander in chief by their willingness to torture a suspect who planted a "ticking bomb."

But, there is no evidence to confirm the assertions that torture of prisoners has helped the war effort at all.

The plain fact is that nothing that has been claimed in the name of defending our country can justify cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of another man or woman. Torture, in any form - light or heavy - is not a tool of interrogation or useful for gathering good intelligence. It is a propaganda tool and degrades the perpetrator as well as the victim. This is not just the rhetoric of bleeding heart progressives. It is the opinion of over fifty retired admirals, generals(1) and senior government officials convened by Human Rights First to discuss this issue, and our conclusions can be stated simply:

Torture Is Un-American. Gen. George Washington laid down the directive that American soldiers will treat the enemy humanely and conform to high moral & ethical principles on the battlefield.

Torture Is Ineffective. Experienced interrogators acknowledge that information extracted by the use of torture is unreliable.

Torture Is Unnecessary. Veteran FBI agents and military interrogators have spoken out publicly against the use of physical pressure in interrogation.

Torture Is Damaging. "... a person who is tortured is damaged, but so are the torturer, the nation and the military."
Torture has long been associated with political repression and with regimes without any semblance of an independent judiciary or media. The Soviet Union's imprisonment of dissenters and forced use of psychotropic medication on them, the Khmer Rouge's torture of thousands of people in Cambodia and the Augusto Pinochet regime's brutality against prisoners in Chile all bear witness to the association between totalitarian or authoritarian regimes and their use of torture...

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