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He Was For It Before He Was Against It

The BBC reports on the Obama U-turn on abuse photographs.

The only people who don’t know what those photographs are going to show are the American people. A major portion of what the Hedgemony classified was solely to hide the truth of what they were up to from the American people.

The claim that this will endanger the troops, is unadulterated bovine excrement, as the only “troops” who will be endangered by the release of these photos are those with stars on their shoulders who lied to Congress and the American people about what was going on in their name.

Let people see exactly what “enhanced interrogation techniques” means in human terms. These are crimes, and crimes need to be prosecuted. Low ranking soldiers have been convicted and sent to prison for engaging in conduct that was approved in the Justice Department and White House, so don’t try to say it wasn’t a crime. If it wasn’t crime why were charges filed against these “few bad apples”.

It is time to end the cover-up and come clean. Prosecute the people at the top who approved these crimes and let everyone see what those leaders approved.

6 comments

1 Badtux { 05.14.09 at 12:14 am }

I have a vid on my web site where Jesse Ventura blasts Obama for not prosecuting those responsible for torture, though he saves most of his ire for Cheney and everybody responsible for Gitmo and torture. I find it interesting that everybody I’ve ever encountered who actually has been waterboarded (like Jesse was when he was training to be a Seal) practically froths at the mouth about prosecuting every person involved in ordering, perpetrating, or encouraging the practice and wants them put into jail. It’s only shithead chickenhawks like the Bigus Dickus who defend that kinda shit. (Sorry about the language, the whole notion of the U.S. running its own torture gulag does that to me).

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2 Bryan { 05.14.09 at 12:47 am }

I saw it at my Mother’s [she watches TV when she crochets], and he’s absolutely right, that you have no guarantee that no one is going to screw-up during the training. I came out of SERE with third degree phosphorous burns on my left hand because of a munitions misfire.

The thing people miss is that there are two things going on: if you are even a tiny bit claustrophobic, the damp rag over your face will set you off; and drowning is not an upper brain function, it is brain stem.

The “diving reflex”, which is present at birth and the reason infants can swim, alters your heart rate, the blood vessels, all kinds of systems automatically. You don’t get to say “No Sweat, it’s a training exercise” because your “lizard brain” takes control. You will probably have a panic attack.

It’s torture, and by the way, if they do it too often, the restriction of blood flow to your arms and legs can create serious permanent circulatory problems.

It is a crime. It is assault and the program has lead to nearly 100 deaths that have been documented, and no one knows how many undocumented deaths.

The “contractors” who did it, aren’t trained interrogators, they are torturers. Their training was how to torture people, not how to ask questions, or judge the truth of the answers.

The torturers are the ones who should be in Gitmo.

Given the physiological reaction to the procedure and Cheney’s cardiac problems, it would probably be a death sentence to waterboard him.

3 Kryten42 { 05.14.09 at 1:35 am }

As you know, I agree of course. You are both quite correct.

Given the physiological reaction to the procedure and Cheney’s cardiac problems, it would probably be a death sentence to waterboard him.

That would be giving him an easy out. I hope Spain successfully prosecutes him. They have a very long history of keeping people alive a long time to feel the pain. Maybe we could resurrect Tomás de Torquemada for this gang of perverts. THAT would be Justice!

4 Kryten42 { 05.14.09 at 11:16 am }

Well… Here’s yet another nail in the whole ‘Torture Works!’ coffin of Bushco and the Bushlovers. 😉

The Senate Judiciary Committee hears testimony from former lead FBI counterterrorism agent Ali Soufan. Soufan calls “enhanced interrogation techniques” “ineffective, slow, unreliable” and therefore harmful, “aside from the important considerations that they are un-American and harmful to our case and reputation.” Soufan describes the successful non-coercive interrogation of Al Qaeda terrorist Abu Jandal, who “identified many terrorists who we later successfully apprehended.” Soufan describes an interrogation method he calls the “Informed Interrogation Approach,” which seeks to capitalize on the natural fear that a detainee feels as a result of his custody by adopting a posture of openness and respect.

Soufan presents an interesting challenge to the Ticking Time Bomb Scenario. Noting that it took 83 waterboardings to force Khalid Shake Mohammed to cough up information, he describes that technique as “slow” and therefore unreliable when information needs to be obtained quickly. Soufan also provides an unclassified chronology of the joint FBI-CIA efforts to question Abu Zubaydah. He says that his early efforts to coax information out of the Al Qaeda operate were successful, and CIA director George Tenet prepared a congratulatory telegram. As soon as Tenet learned that FBI agents — not his CIA team — had taken the lead role in the interrogation, he withdrew the congratulations and sent a team from the CIA’s counterterrorism center to the interrogation site. That team was assisted by a contractor who “instructed” the new CIA operatives in tougher interrogation techniques. According to Soufan, the new team began to use the EITs. Zubaydah stopped cooperating. Soon, the FBI was brought back in. Zubaydah opened up like a book.

Of course, all the wingnuts and torture lovers are already attacking Soufan as expected. They can’t dispute the message, so attack the messenger. A typical fool and liar’s tactic.

FBI Interrogator Ali Soufan, who questioned Zubaydah, testifies that torture didn’t work!

5 Bryan { 05.14.09 at 1:03 pm }

The best they can come up with is an anonymous “senior official” saying that Soufan on had experience with Zubaydah and didn’t know about all the “successes”.

If you don’t have the guts to put your name on it, it doesn’t mean anything. The last guy to claim it worked had to retract the statement after the truth about the Zubaydah interrogation came out, and ABC had to retract its story.

We know that Soufan is telling the truth because we picked up Padilla and KSM before the torture procedure was started based on what Zubaydah told Soufan.

Torture supporters can’t point to a single success. They can’t document a single case where it worked and provided actionable intel.

Cheney has always interfered with professionals and tried to tell them how to do their job. He tried to get General Schwartzkopf to change his plans for the first Gulf War based on having watched the Ken Burns mini-series The Civil War. So this time he watches the TV show, 24 and decides that he knows how to interrogate people.

The only thing Dick Cheney has ever shown any proficiency at is transferring tax dollars to corporations.

Torture is illegal, immoral, and ineffective, and the people who support its use for any purpose are cowardly sadistic bastards. Anyone who fails to understand that if torture could actually be shown to produce real results, it wouldn’t be illegal, it would be labeled for “restricted use”. Governments never willingly surrender anything that is actually effective, but they surrendered torture.

Torture is used to obtain false confessions and to punish people. It is very effective in those limited areas of use. That is why it is prohibited by the US Constitution. We knew this 200 years ago, but people have apparently forgotten about it.

6 Kryten42 { 05.15.09 at 11:35 am }

I was reading the Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Yale Law School. Very interesting. 🙂

II. JURISDICTION AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Article 6.

The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to m Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.

The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

(c)CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

Seems to me that the Bushmoron/Darth Cheney crowd have hit the trifecta. I think the above document would certainly do as a precedent in any court in the World.

Obama is running out of time, people are running out of patience.

As Sheldon Whitehouse said about ex-Powell Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson’s statements about the previous administration’s use of torture during an interview:

Sanchez: We’re hearing from ex-Powell Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson and he’s making the argument that he believes that what the Bush administration was doing with enhanced interrogations was trying to make a case for the invasion of Iraq and trying to justify what happened in Iraq. So you believe that is actually what enhanced interrogation, “so called” torture was being used for?

Whitehouse: I’ve heard that to be true. There is some further evidence of that in Chairman Levin’s Armed Services Committee report. There is not a great deal of evidence that came out in our hearing one way or the other about that. The one thing I will say about that is that if that is true, then it takes the application of these techniques out of the protected scope of the Office of Legal Counsel opinion.

Sanchez: And it makes this them political. It’s not about we were scared, we wanted to defend the country any more. Now it’s about we needed to have some political justification or something we wanted to do. (crosstalk)

Whitehouse: And that raises the prospect of there being a criminal prosecution that could justifiably emerge from these facts if that were in fact the motivation.

Sanchez: One quick thing before I let you go…Am I hearing you say that if there was evidence, enough evidence on this particular subject, that it was being used to try and get or boost the reason for the war in Iraq, that you would be more likely to push for criminal prosecution?

Whitehouse: Torture is criminal. If it’s not justified by the OLC opinion. If there aren’t any defenses that that raises because you’ve gone outside of it then it exposes people to that. That’s a decision that should be made by the Attorney General, by an appropriate prosecutor or official…

Sanchez: But will you say on the record that if you find evidence of that you’re more apt to want to push for a prosecution? Yes or no.

Whitehouse: One is more apt to do that–correct.

War crimes, anyone?