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.