RSS

Category Archives: Torture

Enhanced Interrogation?

While I whole heartedly agree with many of my conservative friends who question the validity of countries like Cuba, North Korea & China lecturing anyone on human rights, I wonder how it looks to others when we do the same, or when we – United States – broach the subject of the treatment of prisoners.

Fact is we – the United States – tortured prisoners, how many is irrelevant, we did it. And we did it with Presidential approval. Up until Bush/Cheney allowed it, I – as an American soldier – could proudly say the U.S. didn’t do “those things”; now I can only say “we don’t do it any longer”.

In May 2009 I asked the question “Did the United States of America Torture Prisoners? (http://thelibertytree.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/did-the-united-states-of-america-torture-prisoners/) and showed various images that showed U.S. military personnel doing just that. It wasn’t “enhanced interrogation”, it was torture.

“Enhanced interrogation”, the enlightened euphemism of the right, is in reality a failed administration’s attempts to cover up; under the Geneva Convention – of which we are a signatory – we committed an act of torture; we mistreated prisoners. Can’t repaint facts; we violated international law.

In spite of what misinformed talking heads like Limbaugh say, the United States didn’t use “enhanced interrogations” during WWII, Korea or Vietnam, it wasn’t until the Katz and Jammer kids got elected.

Additionally, no matter what Cheney tries to say in his book, we did not gather one speck of useful or credible Intel from the use of “enhanced interrogation”. Senator McCain and others, who know a lot more about this subject than the likes of Sean Hannity and the cast of Fox and Friends has so testified.

It is a dark stain on our nation’s honor, and it will take a long time for it to be removed.

It’s not something any real American should be proud of.

Bush/Cheney – and all of their cohorts – were wrong, and should be forever thankful President Obama wouldn’t authorize a full investigation and prosecution on the basis of war crimes having been committed.

I’m sorry, but as someone who has served for more than 21 years in the service, our treatment of prisoners during the previous administration was a willful violation; and IT WAS WRONG! “If we adopt the ways of the Nazis, we’re as bad as the Nazis.”

Another conservative justification is that we use many of the same “techniques” on our own troops during their training. Regarding the use of “those techniques” in the training of our own personnel; our personnel know they’re not going to die when they’re undergoing that training; it’s far different for a prisoner subjected to it. That’s a straw man argument waiting for a match.

Conservatives continue to amaze as they attempt to justify what the country did, saying it wasn’t “torture”; fortunately the United States Department of Defense doesn’t agree and defines Torture, “as an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incident to lawful sanctions) upon another person within the actor’s custody or physical control.

“Severe mental pain or suffering” is defined as the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from:

“the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical
pain or suffering;

“the administration or application, or threatened administration or
application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt
profoundly the senses or the personality;

“the threat of imminent death; or

“the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death,
severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.”

Tea Party darling Congressman Allen West was forced into early retirement from the Army because he violated these definitions when he intentionally discharged his weapon next to a prisoner’s head.

Additionally, President Reagan signed the “United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”; not some bleeding heart liberal, RONALD WILSON FRACKIN REAGAN!!!!

Its past time for conservatives to accept the fact Bush and Cheney screwed this up, and placed American service personnel – as Senator McCain has said – in real jeopardy because of it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Torture

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Cheney’s Still Justifying Torture V 2.0?

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Former Vice President Dick Cheney says there’s no contradiction in advocating harsh interrogation tactics against suspected U.S. enemies and opposing those practices when used against American citizens.

Excuse me? Cheney is insane; anyone who thinks the United States can torture prisoners and then complain when someone tortures Americans is certifiable. This is one of the biggest reasons – up until the dip stick brothers took office aka Bush/Cheney – why American personnel didn’t torture prisoners, along with the fact it’s in violation of U.S. and International laws; such as the Geneva Convention, of which the U.S. is a signatory. Plus, WE’RE THE GOOD GUYS! We don’t torture people!

Cheney was asked about a hypothetical case in which Iran would decide to use water boarding on an American suspected of spying.

Cheney replies, “I think we would object on the grounds that we have obligations to our citizens.”

And how far would any of our complaints go now? Absolutely no where because Cheney and Company thought it was a great idea; of course what would you expect from someone who was too busy collecting deferments to ever serve in uniform?
Cheney was asked on NBC’s “Today” show if he was embracing a double-standard, he said, “These are not American citizens.”

Again, Cheney has proven he’s insane. IT’S IN VIOLATION OF THE FRICKING GENEVA CONVENTION MORON! I – and countless others who currently wear, or have worn, our country’s uniforms – used to be able to proudly say, “American soldiers don’t torture,” but we can’t say it anymore. Now the best we can say is, “Currently, American soldiers don’t torture”.

In the interview, Cheney also conceded he’d been a lightning rod for criticism during the Bush administration. “I’m Darth Vader,” he said.

News flash Skippy, Darth Vader wasn’t the hero, he brought countless suffering upon millions and was the epitome of evil – oh wait, that describes you perfectly; but hold on; you can’t be Darth Vader because he served in uniform, and actually fought for his country, he didn’t seek countless deferments; maybe you can be Darth Obtusus?

It’s understood this is probably Obtusus’ last go round, his last attempt to set the record straight, to try to justify why he was “evil”; I know, “it’s all because he loves his country so darned much”. Unfortunately for Lord Obtusus, I don’t think his explanation is playing very well to anyone who doesn’t watch FOX – and I’m pretty sure that channel isn’t watched in heaven.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 7, 2011 in Torture

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cheney’s Still Justifying Torture?

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Former Vice President Dick Cheney says there’s no contradiction in advocating harsh interrogation tactics against suspected U.S. enemies and opposing those practices when used against American citizens.

Excuse me? Cheney is insane; anyone who thinks the United States can torture prisoners and then complain when someone tortures Americans is certifiable. This is one of the biggest reasons why – up until the dip stick brothers took office aka Bush/Cheney – why American personnel didn’t torture prisoners, along with the fact it’s in violation of US and International laws; such as the Geneva Convention, of which the US is a signatory.

Cheney was asked about a hypothetical case in which Iran would decide to use waterboarding on an American suspected of spying.

Cheney replies, “I think we would object on the grounds that we have obligations to our citizens.”

And how far would any of our complaints go now? Absolutely no where because Cheney and Company thought it was a great idea; of course what would expect from someone who was too busy collecting deferments to ever serve in uniform?

Cheney was asked on NBC’s “Today” show if he was embracing a double-standard, he said, “These are not American citizens.”

Again, Cheney has proven he’s insane. IT’S IN VIOLATION OF THE FRICKING GENEVA CONVENTION MORON! I – and countless others who currently wear, or have worn, our country’s uniforms – used to be able to proudly say, “American soldiers don’t torture,” but we can’t say it anymore.

In the interview, Cheney also conceded he’d been a lightning rod for criticism during the Bush administration. “I’m Darth Vader,” he said.

News flash Skippy, Darth Vader wasn’t the hero, he brought countless suffering upon millions and was the epitome of evil – oh wait, that describes you perfectly, please just go away. Oh, and by-the-by, I don’t think your explanation is playing very well to anyone who doesn’t watch FOX – and I’m pretty sure, I mean it’s just a guess, God doesn’t watch FOX; the whole concept of a Rupert Murdoch news agency flies in the face of that whole bearing false witness thing …

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Torture

 

Tags: , ,

Torture is wrong

Article 27, Fourth Geneva Convention – of which the United States of America is a signatory …

“Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall, at all times, be humanely treated, and shall be protected, especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity. Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault. Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion. However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war. ”

“Protected persons” are prisoners … that’s all. That’s anyone we’ve taken prisoner … anyone …

My 18-year-old uncle – S1C John William Lambert – was brutally tortured, murdered and hacked to pieces by members of the Imperial Army of Japan … we – the United States – were able to sentence those responsible for his death for war crimes because we did not treat prisoners in the same manner that his captors treated him. The US took the high road … it stood for something …

If bothers me deeply when Americans talk so lightly about how “enhanced interrogation” is OK, because the ends justify the means.

It bothers me that Floridians elected a man to Congress in 2010 who was forced to retire from the US Army for threatening to kill a prisoner, and then firing his side arm next to the prisoner’s head – in violation of of both UCMJ and the Geneva Conventions.

It bothers me when the justification is that the enemy torture our soldiers if they’re taken prisoner …

“If we adopt the ways of the Nazis, we’re as bad as the Nazis” or for Americans who think it’s justified, “If we adopt the ways of Al Queda, we’re as bad as Al Queda”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Torture

 

Tags:

McCain doesn’t understand interrogation?

So, GOTP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum actually said Tuesday that John McCain, the man who spent 5 1/2 years enduring incredible torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors in the Hanoi Hilton, doesn’t know how effective waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques can be?

Really, is it possible there can be anyone more ignorant than Rick Santorum?

Of course Santorum’s ignorance doesn’t end with simply saying absurdly stupid things about John McCain, he also insists “enhanced interrogation” (torture) led the United States to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

McCain has repudiated any such nonsense and said in a speech last week that waterboarding al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not provide information that led to bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

McCain said he asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and that the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, never came from Sheikh Mohammed, but from a different detainee held in another country.

“Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information,” McCain said.

In an interview with far right-wing evangelical radio host Hugh Hewitt Santorum said McCain was wrong.

“Everything I’ve read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation,” Santorum said. “And so this idea that we didn’t ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he (McCain) doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works.

“I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative. And that’s when we got this information. And one thing led to another, and led to another, and that’s how we ended up with bin Laden,” said Santorum.

He added: “Maybe McCain has better information than I do, but from what I’ve seen, it seems pretty clear that but for these cooperative witnesses who were cooperative as a result of enhanced interrogations, we would not have gotten bin Laden.”

Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for McCain, said Tuesday she would not dignify Santorum’s comments with a response.

Well, that’s OK Ms. Buchanan I will. Santorum is another in a long line of right-wing conservatives who have never served one day in uniform, but who claim to love their country. Like other so-called “great Americans” he was too busy. But he will claim someone like John McCain, “doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works.” Santorum needs to have his head extracted from his fourth point of contact, and he needs to shut up.

So-called “enhanced interrogation” is illegal and immoral. There is no defense of its use and anyone who supports it, or who advocates it, does not understand what it is, and does not understand that American personnel should not, and must not ever torture prisoners; those who would torture, or who would want others to do so, in order to be safe do not deserve to be safe, and are not worthy of the liberties they claim to cherish.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Torture

 

McCain Says Torture Did Not Lead To Osama Bin Laden?

Former POW, and the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” – aka TORTURE – were not a factor in the discovery of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts and he condemned the use of any form of torture.

In a speech on the Senate floor, John McCain said waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques are not necessary in any kind of interrogation conducted by United States personnel.

“It was not torture, or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden,” he said.

The former Presidential candidate said former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey was wrong when he claimed harsh interrogation had led to bin Laden. McCain said he had spoken to CIA Director Leon Panetta and got “the facts” on what really led to bin Laden’s demise. And guess what? The facts contradicted Mukasey’s claim.

“I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.

“In fact, the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ on Khalid Sheik Mohammed produced false and misleading information. He specifically told his interrogators that Abu Ahmed had moved to Peshawar, got married and ceased his role as an al-Qaeda facilitator — none of which was true. According to the staff of the Senate intelligence committee, the best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee — information describing Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti’s real role in al-Qaeda and his true relationship to bin Laden — was obtained through standard, noncoercive means.”

McCain, prisoner of war for five and a half years in North Vietnam, said the U.S. should not compromise its deepest values by using torture.

It’s gratifying to see someone as senior and experienced as John McCain speaking out on torture, and how it has no place in interrogation used by the United States. Hopefully this will to silence those on the far right who think it’s perfectly OK for our country to violate international law, and our own laws. But, that’s probably just wishful thinking.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Torture

 

Tags: , , ,

Did the United States of America Torture Prisoners?

During the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror” did United States personnel torture, or abuse, prisoners in violation of international treaties prohibiting such torture or abuse?

torture1

This prisoner had electric wires attached to his genitals, and was forced to stand like this for hours. If he dropped his arms or moved from the box, he was shocked.

torture2

Why would American soldiers take a prisoner, strip him of his clothes, and then threaten him with guard dogs?

torture3

Stripping a prisoner; forcing woman’s underwear on his head, and tying him to a metal bunk. The purpose of this interrogation technique would be?

torture4

Forcing prisoners to lie on top of each other naked. This would be necessary because?

torture6

And here we have an example of the non-torture technique known as waterboarding.

torture5

Forcing an injured prisoner to lie naked on the cement floor. This is humane treatment of the wounded?

torture7

And the purpose of tying a prisoner, naked and upside from a metal bunk would be?

The above images point out quite clearly that American personnel, under the Bush Administration, committed criminal acts in violation of international treaties regarding the humane treatment of prisoners. There is no valid reason for this. Someone ordered our country off of this cliff, and the only way to place the United States back on the moral high ground is to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 19, 2009 in Torture

 

Tags: , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 232 other followers