The despicably teleological former U.S President George Bush once told the American people, “We do not torture“. Now, we know that America under Bush, did torture. Whether you mask the word “torture” behind “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” or not, torture is torture. It is a step too far. For example, according to an official memo a man named “Abu Kenami“, died whilst in an American detention facility in Iraq.
The memo states:
“on the day he died, Kenami had been punished with ups and downs several times . . . and had his hands flex cuffed behind his back (1285). He was also hooded, with a sandbag placed over [his] head. (1284).Ups and downs are apparently a correctional technique of having a detainee stand up and then sit-down rapidly, always keeping them in constant motion(1284). He was found dead in the morning after having been placed in his bed cuffed and hooded.”
If that had been the description of how an American soldier had died in the hands of a nation such as Iran, wouldn’t the American public be outraged, rather than a useless GOP keeping quiet and playing politics by choosing to shift the spot light onto Pelosi?
Torture does not combat terrorism, in fact, it pretty much does the opposite. It encourages negative feeling toward America to sweep the Planet. In the same way that destroying a Middle Eastern Country, displacing millions of people, creating thousands of orphans and killing thousands more, whilst shouting “Mission Complete” does not endear an entire destroyed culture to your cause. Combating Terrorism, by using Terrorism, will never work. Bypassing international laws and human rights laws, will never keep a country safe.
It does not matter how many times Dick Cheney insists that torture has helped to keep America safe, because as it turns out, the worst terror attack in American history took place on his watch, along with the deaths of thousands of troops. His tactics didn’t save American lives, it ended American lives. Dick Cheney is not Jack Bauer.
It’s quite obvious that these techniques amount to torture. For those who suggest that it isn’t torture, then hopefully I can count on your support when I try to suggest it be used in schools to deal with uncontrollable children? What if these techniques were used against American soldiers? I’m guessing the American Right would be insisting how terrible it is. But these people are Arabs, and so whether or not they’re terrorist, is usually beyond the point, they’re Arab, and so they’re not Christian! Or American! (See: BritishRepublican)
Philip Zelikow, advisor to Condoleeza Rice, sent a memo to his boss setting out his objections to the legal backing for
torture “Enhanced interrogation techniques” way back in 2002. The use of these techniques is quite clearly cruel and unusual, which exists as a bullet in the brain of the Eigth Amendment of the U.S Constitution (Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted). Zelikow tried to point this out to the Secretary of State, having himself studied Constitutional Law. The memos he claims, were rounded up and destroyed by the Bush administration who were at the time trying to inflate the importance of strict interrogation techniques against high valued prisoners such as Abu Zubaydah, who happens to have been waterboarded 83 times without any further information being extracted from him. They did not want Zelikow’s memo gaining too much support or influencing the minds of too many people.
Retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell Lawrence Wilkerson, who was in charge of reviewing the information and evidence for War, in preparation of Colin Powell’s speech to the U.N in 2003, was not told the evidence was obtained via interrogation. Wilkerson has since stated that the use of torture for intelligence “was not aimed at preempting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al Qaeda“. Suddenly, what Pelosi knew and when she knew it, seems irrelevant.
U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, investigators in 2006, that interrogators at Guantanamo were under pressure to produce a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Burney is quoted as saying “While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq,” Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. “The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.” And yet the GOP want to focus on what Pelosi might have been told?
Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could very well be lying (as could the CIA) to some extent, as to how informed she was over the Bush Administration’s use of torture. Last month she claimed that in a 2002 briefing with intelligence experts, whilst she was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, that she had not been informed of waterboarding, stating “In that or any other briefing…we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used”. However this month, a report from the Director of National Intelligence’s office, appears to suggest otherwise. The same 2002 meeting was described as a “Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of particular EITs that had been employed.” Clearly contradicting Pelosi.
The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, DemocratBob Graham was among many other leading Democrats to be briefed on Waterboarding and various other techniques, according to ABC. President Obama was right to release the memos, and he was right to refer to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques as torture. Regardless of the political problems it may cause the Democrats, they only have themselves to blame. Obama was right.
And so whilst it seems obvious that the Democrats in Congress who appear to be taking he moral high ground, are actually nothing more than pawns in the Bush Administrations ruthless oil game, it should detract from the fact that the three who actually plotted and authorised such criminal and anti-Constitutional acts of barbarism and terrorism, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, are just being left to live a happy quiet life, whilst their crimes and the cover ups taking place behind close door, go largely unpunished. The suggestion appears to be that the Bush Administration effectively legalised torture, to gain “confessions” and “evidence” linking Iraq to Al Qaeda and 9/11, in preparation for war. And so if it becomes clear that war was waged, lives were lost, countries destroyed, and billions of dollars wasted, on the basis of dodgy evidence obtained via torture, then Republicans should really back off Pelosi (The Democrats answer to Sarah Palin?), because she’s going to be the least of their worries if all out investigation is to take place. It’s a little odd that the GOP appears to be attacking the morality of Pelosi for what she knew….. about what they were doing. They appear to be more concerned about whether a Democrat was briefed on torture, rather than who actually ordered torture, effectively pissing on the Geneva Convention.
Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner (whose tan is just wonderful!), stated that Pelosi should either provide evidence that the CIA had lied to her over use of waterboarding, or apologise to the CIA for accusing them of lying. Firstly, as if we’re all under an illusion that the CIA has never lied to the World. Of course they have. Secondly, If that’s what Boehner wants, then I want Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Rove to publicly apologise for a war based on lies, four thousands U.S deaths, thousands of Iraqi deaths, and a destroyed economy.
Boehner also claimed stated this weekend that “Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime“. Clearly lying to the American people, leading to thousands of deaths, isn’t. Otherwise the claims made by George Bush, that “We do not torture” and the claim that “The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.” or the claim to the UN in 2002 that “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.” would have been punished, long ago.
Nothing short of a full, de-ontological investigation into the actions of the Bush Administration over the past eight years, the decisions and intelligence gained leading up to the war, who ordered the use of torture, who knew and did not object to the use of torture, and whether or not the Geneva Convention and/or Constitutional Law was broken, will do.