Archive for the ‘Torture’ Category

Abuse of Power

April 17, 2009

This is probably one of the hottest topics on the Net this moment. Of course I am speaking of The Bush Administration’s Secret Legal Memos and the criticism about the lack of prosecution of the CIA torturers, who it would seem are now protected by the Obama Administrations latest decision not to prosecute them.

Human and civil rights groups in the US have expressed dismay at news that CIA agents will not face prosecution over interrogation tactics in the Bush era.

Here is what I was able to find at the ACLU. Org

Abuse of Power:

The Bush Administration’s Secret Legal Memos

A 18-page memo, dated August 1, 2002, from Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. Pdf

A 46-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. Pdf

A 20-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. Pdf

A 40-page memo, dated May 30, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. Pdf

There is a lot more literature at the site.

You might want to take a look at this entry right here on WordPress:

The Truth Is a Terrible Thing to Reveal

At the Corner, NRO’s Andy McCarthy calls the release of the CIA torture interrogation memos “a terrible decision”. At the risk of having my head explode, might I ask what the frack makes it so terrible?

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Aid and Comfort for Torturers?

December 13, 2007

Since the issue of the missing CIA interrogation tapes first surfaced and every intelligence agency is scrambling to conduct damage control and get expensive legal representation I have wondered as to what could have been on those tapes?

Since they have been destroyed ( and I wonder at this ) we can only imagine what their content was, or can we? It made me think of the tortured individuals and their ordeal but even more so it made me wonder as to the nature of the torturers themselves.
What kind of individuals are these that can inflict pain on another human being and live with their conscience? Do the families of these individuals know what their spouses do? In view of the fact that the majority of torturers are male there must be a number of women who unknowingly lay down to sleep with these individuals not knowing (?) what their husbands do. Could it be that they don’t want to know.

While not all who serve in Guantánamo are directly involved in the process of torture, the ones who do serve there have a good idea as to the identities of these individuals. I wonder how they live with it. I spent a night thinking about this article and how I would approach it and I couldn’t sleep just thinking about it. When I finally gave up trying to sleep I got out of bed and began doing some research across the Net to see what I could dig up. Obviously a lot of material regarding torture at the infamous Guantánamo is classified. There are however some documents that have been declassified and have come to light.

It might shock some to know that not all who are involved in the practice of torture are all pathological sadist. On the contrary, from what I have read some of the individuals are actually in the medical profession. Imagine American Mengele’s , right out of some Freudian nightmare! As to their involvement in the actual process who can tell? Everything is kept under a cloak of secrecy and will probably not be known for years to come.

I can go on to describe some of the horrific techniques used to extract information from these torture victims but I don’t have the stomach for it. Instead I will direct you to the various links where you can read in-depth accounts and articles regarding this heinous of ancient practices in our modern times.

Be warned, some of the descriptions are graphic.  

Let us begin our journey into a Freudian Nightmare.

Torturers R’ Us

President Bush denies reality
By Kristian Williams

The national debate on torture reached a new level in October when the Senate voted 90 to nine to restrict Defense Department interrogation techniques and prohibit the “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. custody. The vote came as a major rebuke to President George Bush, who threatened to veto the military spending bill if the proposals were included. More…

 

Aid and Comfort for Torturers: Psychology and Coercive Interrogations in Historical Perspective

By Stephen Soldz
Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 03:02:32 PM PST

On January 24, 2003, National Guardsman Sean Baker, stationed as a military policeman at Guantánamo detention center, volunteered to be a mock prisoner , donning an orange suit and refusing to leave his cell as part of a training exercise. As planned, an Immediate Reaction Force team of MPs attempted to extract him from the cell. When he uttered the code word, “red,” indicating that this was a drill and that he’d had enough, one of the MPs “forced my head down against the steel floor and was sort of just grinding it into the floor. More…

Middle East

America’s tortuous road to Abu Ghraib

By Alfred W McCoy

 

From ancient Rome’s red-hot irons and lacerating hooks to medieval Europe’s thumbscrews, rack and wheel, for more than 2,000 years anyone interrogated in a court of law could expect to suffer unspeakable tortures. More…

 

Torture was taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted

By Gary Cohn, Ginger Thompson, and Mark Matthews, The Baltimore Sun, Monday 27 January 1997, Final Edition

WASHINGTON — A newly declassified CIA training manual details torture methods used against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s, refuting claims by the agency that no such methods were taught there. More…

 

 Medical Ethics and the Interrogation

of Guantanamo 063

Steven H. Miles, University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics

This one is a PDF. 

Guantánamo’s lost souls

 Brent Mickum

The abuse of British residents Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna in US detention is an outrage of justice we must bring to an end.
January 8, 2007 8:45 PM
January 11 2007 marks the confluence of two ignominious anniversaries. The first is the five-year anniversary of the opening of the notorious prison camps run by the United States at the Guantánamo Naval Air Station in Cuba. In the five years since the United States started shipping prisoners from around the world to Guantánamo, approximately 99% of the prisoners have never been charged with any transgression, much less a crime.

More…

Bush Censure, Continued

July 24, 2007

I listened to the words of  Sen. Russ Feingold  in High Crimes? Go here.
the video at Youtube and believe me he had a lot to say that was very sobering and right to the point. I noted down a number of things below.
Interview on Meet The Press:
Britt Humes from FOX stated that his guess was that there will be noticeable progress in the War in Iraq when the September Report is released. He also said that we may now be winning the war.

I asked myself what is the magic with September? Is there something going on, that we don’t know. Some magical event that is supposed to occur at that specific time. Think back over all the latest news broadcast and you will realize that every time President
Bush speaks lately it’s always with reference to September. I hope its not another “ Surge” like the last one. Has anybody bothered asking the troops what they thought of that “ Surge “? There are a few soldiers from Apache Company who have some choice words about that event. Go here.

Juan Williams contends that we are not winning the War in Iraq.
The points Sen. Feingold made were
of The Bush Administrations outrageous attacks on the rule of law.
From the illegal terrorist surveillance program.
The administrations attitude about torture.

Frances Townsend, WH Homeland Security Advisor said on CNN:
“ We have not, we do not and will not ever use torture ”.
Ironically this statement may very well be true when she says “ we “. The question I asked myself here is have other countries used torture on the behalf of the U.S., for the U.S. and if so on who’s orders, by who’s authority, and on who’s behalf? It is quite obvious from all the reports throughout the past years that this in fact was the case with the Secret prisons abroad and clandestine flights with prisoners to foreign countries.
I ask myself this question,” of the prisoners that have been released has anyone bothered to question them and find out what really happened during their incarceration? Does the U.S. government, through foreign governments exert some sort of control to keep them from disclosing their experiences in Guantanimo Bay or other prisons? It would be interesting to track down some of these former prisoners and ask this very question regarding their treatment while incarcerated, be it in the U.S. or on foreign soil.

When asked if we were being limited by the new limits on interrogation Frances Townsend said ( on FOX )“ we looked at it over a period of time and asked what we needed for it to be legal ( implying that it had not been legal? )”
On CNN she said that ,“ it’s a different program that we have today ” when asked by Wolf Blitzer if some of the techniques used earlier were no longer being used? Again the implication that in fact torture was being used when she had categorically denied its use on an earlier interview! Right away one has to ask well what is the story, were prisoners being tortured or not?
In one interview she denies its use in another she says the techniques are different!

I can understand Sen. Feingolds concerns especially with the ambiguous nature of the answers given where nothing is explicit, concrete and sounds more like political rhetoric than an answers.
Then again we all are familiar with the Lies! You have only to check out the multitude of archive video that is on the net for verification the majority of which are news archives!

In the interview with Mike McConnell, Director of National Security, on Meet The Press he said, “ I can report to you it is not torture, the techniques work. You are not subjected to heat or cold. Yet he admitted that he would not want a U.S. citizen to go through the enhanced process” . This reminds me of a comment I once heard where an individual said of a woman that she was slightly pregnant. Come on! There is no such thing. She is either pregnant or not! The same applies here. Either they were tortured or they were not tortured, period!  Again the usual realm of plausible deniability, technicality with words, political rhetoric, unclear debatable responses!

Sen. Feingold went on to say,” That what he is proposing is a moderate course so as not to tie up the Senate and the House in an impeachment trial. He would want resolutions that would make sure that the historical records show how the administration has weakened our country militarily and against Al Qaeda.

Sen Dick Durbin, Majority Speaker (D) Illinois , said “ No “ when asked by Wolf Blitzer on CNN if he has confidence in Frances Townsends and the administrations handling of Homeland Security. He said that significant steps forward have been made but that we have recommendations from the 911 commission to do specific things to make America safer and they have given a report card, to this administration, year after year , a failing report card. The administration has failed to enact the laws to enact the appropriations necessary to make these recommendations the law.
Now that was refreshing, no minced words there! Right to the point.
Frances Townsend insist that it is true that the United States is safer today than it was in 911. REALLY!

Sen. Feingold went on to say that, ”this administration has assaulted the constitution. We need to have on historical records some kind of indication that what has happened here, is in the words of Director McConnell, disastrous”. This administration has done the greatest assault on our constitution, perhaps in American history. The American People are outraged at the way they have been treated. They are outraged at the dishonesty that they have been subjected to. We deserve better than the way we have been treated “.

As for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) here are a few of his words.
“The President has done a lot of things that are very, very  negative. The President already has the mark of the American people that he is the worse President that we have ever had.”

Boy, talk about a mouth full! The burning question now is, Will the Censure take place?
If you ask me the only ones who would go against the censure are those that have a vested, profitable interest in the continuance of both wars.

World powers agree on new Iran sanctions

March 15, 2007

Here are todays news links:

World powers agree on new Iran sanctions

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer 22 minutes ago

UNITED NATIONS – U.N. ambassadors from six world powers agreed in principle Wednesday on a proposed new package of sanctions against Iran and were expected to introduce a resolution to the Security Council on Thursday if their governments approve it, the U.S. ambassador said. Click here for article: News Yahoo.com

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USING FALSE FLAGS TO START A WAR
Former Top-Level Carter Advisor Warns Neo-Cons May Stage Terror & Blame Iran
By Mark Glenn
Once thought to be solely the domain of America-first, patriot types, now it seems that even well-educated leftists are willing to put political differences aside and join ranks with their rival “conspiracy theorists” on the right in suggesting there is something rotten in Washington.

What’s more, some of these individuals are even willing to go so far as to hint that interested parties at the highest levels of the U.S. government would be willing to perpetrate acts of terror on American soil to justify the more insidious agenda of widening the present war in the Middle East to include Iran.
Click here for article: American Free Press


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GOP set to derail troop withdrawal bill
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent Wed Mar 14, 4:11 PM ET
WASHINGTON – Democratic-backed legislation to withdraw U.S. combat troops from
Iraq cleared an initial Senate hurdle Wednesday, but Republicans confidently predicted they had the votes to defeat it. President Bush backed them up with a veto threat.
The legislation, calling for combat troops to return home over the next 12 months, “would hobble American commanders in the field and substantially endanger America’s strategic objective of a unified federal democratic Iraq,” the White House said in a written statement. Click here for article: News Yahoo.com
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Pentagon Releases 9/11 Mastermind’s Confession
Posted on Mar 14, 2007

The military has released a confession attributed to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of 9/11. According to the partially redacted transcript of his secret hearing , Mohammed claimed responsibility for 28 attacks, including 9/11, the Bali bombing, a number of operations that were never carried out and some that were not thought to be closely related to al-Qaida.
At one point during his hearing, the presiding officer asked whether Mohammed was speaking under duress. His response was blacked out, although he appeared to suggest the CIA had tortured him.
The military has refused to allow outside observers to attend the hearing.
Click here for article: Truth Dig. com