"...Five years after the Abu Ghraib revelations, we must acknowledge that our government methodically authorized torture and lied about it. But we also must contemplate the possibility that it did so not just out of a sincere, if criminally misguided, desire to "protect" us but also to promote an unnecessary and catastrophic war. Instead of saving us from "another 9/11," torture was a tool in the campaign to falsify and exploit 9/11 so that fearful Americans would be bamboozled into a mission that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. The lying about Iraq remains the original sin from which flows much of the Bush White House's illegality".
From: "The Bush White House's Appalling and Evil Legacy: Now We Know the Whole Story" By Frank Rich, The New York Times. April 27, 2009.
... The U.S. is obligated by a United Nations convention to prosecute Bush administration lawyers who allegedly drafted policies that approved the use of harsh interrogation tactics against terrorism suspects, the U.N.'s top anti-torture envoy said Friday.
Manfred Nowak, who serves as a U.N. special rapporteur in Geneva, said Washington is obligated under the U.N. Convention against Torture to prosecute U.S. Justice Department officials who wrote memos that defined torture in the narrowest way in order to justify and legitimize it, and who assured CIA officials that their use of questionable tactics was legal.
"If it should turn out ... that the (U.S.) government and its authorities are not willing to prosecute those where we have enough evidence that they instigated or committed torture, then there is also an obligation on all other 145 states" party to the convention to exercise universal jurisdiction, Nowak said.
That means countries would have an obligation to arrest the individuals in question if they were on their soil and extradite them to the U.S. if Washington gave clear assurances they would bring them to justice. In the absence of such assurances, it would fall upon the respective country to take the individuals to court.
From:US Must Prosecute Bush Torture Memo Lawyers: UN Torture Envoy by Veronika Oleksyn, at Huffington Post, April 25, 2009
and it appears an FBI agent was able to gain more useful intel from a detainee by NOT USING TORTURE:
...Mr Obama yesterday visited the FBI headquarters to address and praise staff there, the day after a former agent claimed that he had gained valuable information, including the identity of the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, from an al-Qaeda suspect without resorting to harsh interrogation tactics.
Ali Soufan said he was appalled by tactics used by the CIA at a secret prison in Thailand in 2002 on Abu Zubaydah, a senior al-Qaeda operative, after he had spent time questioning him. One day, he told Newsweek, he found Abu Zubaydah stripped naked next to a "confinement box" that looked like a coffin.
After the CIA took over the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, they used techniques that Mr Soufan called "borderline torture". He said he told the CIA agents: "We're the United States of America. We don't do that kind of thing."
From: Pressure grows to impeach Judge Jay Bybee over 'torture memos' by Tim Reid at Times ONLINE, April 29, 2009
UPDATE: 11:55 AM & 1:30 PM April 29, 2009
Keith Olbermann Finds Man To Waterboard Sean Hannity for Charity
April 27, 2009
Doctors were standing by during waterboarding ready to cut the throats of the victims if they were unable to breathe by performing a Tracheotomy. The Pro-Torture Lobby claim since there was a doctor present ( Mengele) this interrogation technique could not possibly be considered torture. As Ann Coulter has pointed out we have had a long and illustrious history of the use of torture and it always proved effective whether on those nasty evil witches in Salem or who had infested Europe and those other evil characters such as Heretics & Infidels who refused to bow down to this church leader or that or who didn't accept Church policies or claimed the Earth was Round or that the Earth revolved around the Sun - note the Bible clearly states God stopped the Sun from moving to allow a particular battle to take place & rainbows are a miracle created by God after the flood - those who believe otherwise should be tortured into telling the truth-many witches revealed they had copulated with Satan himself - Ah well as Coulter says those were the good old days - **see articles below on Witchcraft & the Efficacy of torture-
Turley taunts Bush: If GOP SO Confident Waterboarding NOT Torture Allow Special Prosecutor!
April 27, 2009
INQUIRY INTO THE TREATMENT OF DETAINEES IN U.S. CUSTODY REPORT Of The COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES UNITED STATES SENATE November 20, 2008
Check out and sign ACLU Petition at Stand with the ACLU. Ask Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the interrogation of detainees in the war on terror.
Bush Memos aka The Torture Memos read memos at ACLU RELEASED: The Bush Administration's Secret Legal Memos: On April 16, 2009, the Department of Justice released four secret memos used by the Bush administration to justify torture.
and read the recently released Red Cross Report " ICRC REPORT ON THE TREATMENT OF FOURTEEN “HIGH VALUE DETAINEES” IN CIA CUSTODY
also see the five part series by " McClatchy Newspapers Report on Prisoners at Guantanamo : Guantanamo Beyond The Law " June 2008
and The Green Light by Philippe Sands at Vanity Fair May 2008
And see article by Seymour Hersh on U.S. use of torture:"The Gray Zone:How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib." by Seymour M. Hersh at The New Yorker,May 24,2004
also see: " The Torture Timeline " By Annie Lowrey, Foreign Policy.com, April 2009
And see PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Report:
Broken Laws & Broken Lives:Medical Evidence of Torture by the US Report by Physicians For Human Rights
PHR: After Senate Report, Psychologists Who Tortured Must Be Held to Account April 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
jhutson [at] phrusa [dot] org
Tel: (617) 301-4210
Cell: (857) 919-5130
In the wake of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s (SASC) report on detainee abuse, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is calling for the psychologists who justified, designed, and implemented torture for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Defense (DoD), to lose their professional licenses and to face criminal prosecution.
“Long before Justice Department lawyers were tasked to justify torture, US psychologists were busy actually perpetrating it,” said Steven Reisner, PhD, Advisor on Psychological Ethics at PHR. “These individuals must not only face prosecution for breaking the law, they must lose their licenses for shaming their profession’s ethics.”
The SASC report is the latest and most comprehensive account of the Bush Administration’s regime of torture and the central role health professionals played. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chair of SASC, is calling for the Department of Justice to review the report and pursue any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, a move that PHR supports.
“The Senate Armed Services Committee confirms what we have long known—health professionals were the agents that spread the virus of torture,” said Nathaniel Raymond, Director of PHR’s Campaign Against Torture which brings together thousands of health professionals who oppose torture in all circumstances. “Now is the time for those who violated our laws and our values to be held to account.”
PHR is renewing its call to Congress and the White House to immediately create a non-partisan commission to investigate the Bush Administration’s use of torture, with a specific focus on the role that psychologists and medical professionals played in its design, justification, supervision, and use.
“A non-partisan commission is required if the American people are to know the truth about our nation’s descent into torture,” said John Bradshaw, JD, PHR’s Washington Director. “Congress must move quickly and show the world that we are serious about restoring our reputation as a nation that defends human rights and the rule of law.”
PHR urges human rights supporters to sign its online petition calling for the establishment of a commission to investigate US torture and hold health professionals accountable.
Since 2005, PHR has documented the systematic use of psychological and physical torture by US personnel against detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Bagram airbase, and elsewhere in its groundbreaking reports, Break Them Down, Leave No Marks, and Broken Laws, Broken Lives. The Senate report confirms the use of abusive and illegal interrogation techniques documented in these PHR reports. These techniques include:
* sexual and cultural humiliation
* forced nakedness
* exposure to extreme temperatures
* exploitation of phobias
* sleep deprivation
* sensory deprivation and sensory overload
* prolonged isolation
* threats of imminent harm
Physicians for Human Rights has repeatedly called for an end to the use of Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) interrogation tactics by US personnel, an end to the use of Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCT) teams, and called for a non-partisan commission to investigate the US government’s use of torture. Additionally, PHR has worked to mobilize the health professional community, particularly the professional associations, to adopt strong ethical prohibitions against direct participation in interrogations.
[Editors, please note: PHR has four leading experts on torture—physicians and psychologists who have investigated torture by US forces, studied the physical and psychological consequences, and advocated to hold health professionals accountable. To arrange an interview, please contact Jonathan Hutson, jhutson[at]phrusa[dot]org or 857-919-5130.]
Posted by Ben Greenberg on Apr 21.09
: McClatchy Newspapers Investigative Report Of Detainees Held By The U.S.:
" America's prison for terrorists often held the wrong men " By Tom Lasseter | McClatchy Newspapers, June 15, 2008
Mohammed Akhtiar was among the more than 770 terrorism suspects imprisoned at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They are the men the Bush administration described as "the worst of the worst."
But Akhtiar was no terrorist. American troops had dragged him out of his Afghanistan home in 2003 and held him in Guantanamo for three years in the belief that he was an insurgent involved in rocket attacks on U.S. forces. But they had the wrong guy. Local anti-government insurgents had fed false information to U.S. troops.
An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens of men — and, according to several officials, perhaps hundreds — whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.
McClatchy interviewed 66 released detainees, more than a dozen local officials — primarily in Afghanistan — and U.S. officials with intimate knowledge of the detention program. The investigation also reviewed thousands of pages of U.S. military tribunal documents and other records.
This unprecedented compilation shows that most of the 66 were low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary criminals. At least seven had been working for the U.S.-backed Afghan government and had no ties to militants, according to Afghan local officials. In effect, many of the detainees posed no danger to the United States or its allies.
The investigation also found that despite the uncertainty about whom they were holding, U.S. soldiers beat and abused many prisoners.
Prisoner mistreatment became a regular feature in cellblocks and interrogation rooms at Bagram and Kandahar air bases, the two main way stations in Afghanistan en route to Guantanamo.
...But because the Bush administration set up Guantanamo under special rules that allowed indefinite detention without charges or federal court challenge, it's impossible to know how many of the 770 men who've been held there were terrorists.
A series of White House directives placed "suspected enemy combatants" beyond the reach of U.S. law or the 1949 Geneva Conventions' protections for prisoners of war. President Bush and Congress then passed legislation that protected those detention rules.
...LITTLE INTELLIGENCE VALUE
The McClatchy investigation found that top Bush administration officials knew within months of opening the Guantanamo detention center that many of the prisoners there weren't "the worst of the worst." From the moment that Guantanamo opened in early 2002, former Secretary of the Army Thomas White said, it was obvious that at least a third of the population didn't belong there.
Of the 66 detainees whom McClatchy interviewed, the evidence indicates that 34 of them, about 52 percent, had connections with militant groups or activities. At least 23 of those 34, however, were Taliban foot soldiers, conscripts, low-level volunteers or adventure-seekers who knew nothing about global terrorism.
Only seven of the 66 were in positions to have had any ties to al Qaida's leadership, and it isn't clear that any of them knew any terrorists of consequence.
Ann Coulter , Sean Hannity , Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld , Condi Rice, Gonzales etc. believe that torture or "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques work- in fact Coulter claims this is a truism going back thousands of years.
Also see On the debate over the efficacy of torture some articles on the Witch Hunts in the U.S. & Europe.
Under Torture, Accused Witches Would Confess to Almost Anything ;Getting Accused Witches to Confess From Austin Cline, About.com
Confessions of witchcraft, extracted under torture or threat of torture, commonly came attached to denouncements of other possible witches, keeping the Inquisitors in business. In Spain, church records tell the story of Maria of Ituren admitting under torture that she and sister witches turned themselves into horses and galloped through the sky. In a district of France, 600 women admitted to copulating with demons. Some entire villages in Europe were may have been exterminated.
Torture: It's not just for witches anymore!
2007-05-17 By Baron Earl at Pigdog Journal, pigdog.org
During the second Republican Presidential Debate each of the candidates was given a hypothetical "impending doom from terrorists" scenario and asked if they would use torture to extract information from prisoners who might have some information about a possible imminent attack. The answers ranged from "yes" to "absolutely yes" to Mitt Romney's "yes, as long as we refer to torture as 'enhanced interrogation techniques'." John McCain was the lone dissenter stating categorically "no". Too bad John McCain doesn't know his history. Torture was used to stop terrorism here before there was a USA. In 1692 the town of Salem, Massachusetts was being terrorized, and they successfully used torture to stop the terror.
The people of Salem weren't being terrorized by some low-rent Al-Qaeda operatives either, they were being terrorized by Satan himself. Originally the town of Salem thought that there were only a few young girls who were possessed by the devil, but upon questioning them they named others in the town. After being tortured and threatened with death, the accused named other witches, which led to more and more witches being discovered in the township.
Of course it's not a good idea to question the policy of torturing and killing witches, as John Proctor found out. He was openly skeptical of the witch trials, but as it turned out, he was skeptical because he was a witch himself! Several people testified that ghosts had told them John Proctor was a murderer, and that was good enough for the courts -- John Proctor was hung by the neck until dead. When President Bush says that you're with the terrorists if you question his tactics, just remember what happened to John Proctor -- and you'll support the President 110%!
Thanks to torture, the people of Salem managed to uncover the devil's terrorists.
* The people of Salem hanged nineteen witches
* They pressed Giles Corey to death under a pile of stones (he didn't confess and wouldn't consent to a trial, so he was pressed rather than hanged)
* They killed two dogs (the dogs were accomplices of the witches)
* At least 4 accused witches died in jail awaiting trial (the exact number is unknown)
* Somewhere between one and two hundred other persons were arrested and imprisoned on witchcraft charges. They were later released due to the work of meddling liberals such as Increase Mather.
Without the use of torture these witches would never have been unmasked. So when someone asks you if you support torture, just say "Hell yes!" It worked in Salem to uncover witches that no one ever suspected were witches, and it can work in Guantanamo to find terrorists that no one ever suspected were terrorists.
Torture -- it's not just for witch hunts anymore!
Witchcraft Documents [15th Century]
Real or not, witches and witchcraft, were very real phenomena to the writers of the fifteenth century and later. Their writing tell us much about their thought worlds, and also their attitudes towards women. There can be no doubt that, whether of not there were real groups of witches, many women and a few men, suffered intense persecution and death as a result of intolerance. As Arthur Miller showed in his play The Crucible, set in Massachusetts at the time of the Salem witch trials but about McCarthyism, irrational prejudice and state action based on such, is hardly a medieval, or even a religious, phenomenon.
and so it goes,