Discussion:
[OT] "Why Do They Hate Us?"
(too old to reply)
Chris
2004-05-10 19:11:07 UTC
Permalink
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating that
such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report cites abuses
- some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality, hooding, humiliation
and threats of "imminent execution."

US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.

"Sometimes they arrested all adult males present in a house,
including elderly, handicapped or sick people," it said. "Treatment often
included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with rifles,
punching and kicking and striking with rifles." This is the sort of
behavior which the founding fathers of American correctly identified as
"tyranny." It was wrong when King George III's henchmen did it in the
18th century and it is wrong when we do it in the 21st century.

The report also stated that prisoners were stripped naked and kept
in completely dark concrete cells. At other times they would be forced to
parade around in women's underwear.

Pierre Kraehenbuehl, ICRC director of operations, said Friday the
report had been given to U.S. officials in February, but it only
summarized what the agency had been telling U.S. officials in detail
between March and November 2003 "either in direct face-to-face
conversations or in written interventions." So the U.S. government cannot
feign surprise at these findings. The ICRC has been keeping them informed
since the war began in March of last year.

Kraehenbuehl said the abuse of prisoners represented more than
isolated acts, and that the problems were not limited to Abu Ghraib. "We
were dealing here with a broad pattern, not individual acts. There was a
pattern and a system," Kraehenbuehl was quoted as saying. The report
"suggested the use of ill-treatment against persons deprived of their
liberty went beyond exceptional cases and might be considered a practice
tolerated by" coalition forces.

These outrageous human rights abuses by the USA need to stop now.
As long as they continue, every American woman and man, myself included,
shares the shame and disgrace of our government's lawless, rogue behavior.
I urge every American of conscience to write to their elected
representatives and local newspapers today, and on a regular basis,
demanding an end to arbitrary detention and abuse in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay,
and elsewhere.

Source:
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040510/ap_on_re_eu/red_cross_prisoner_abuse_5

Chris, USA
TimePixDC
2004-05-10 20:21:25 UTC
Permalink
Subject: [OT] "Why Do They Hate Us?"
Date: Mon, May 10, 2004 2:11 PM
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
Sounds like your average American police raid.
GregD
2004-05-10 20:25:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by TimePixDC
Subject: [OT] "Why Do They Hate Us?"
Date: Mon, May 10, 2004 2:11 PM
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family
members into one room under military guard while searching the rest of
the house and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property,"
the report said.
Sounds like your average American police raid.
And with men parading around in women's panties, an average Friday night in
San Francsico.
TimePixDC
2004-05-11 14:56:45 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: [OT] "Why Do They Hate Us?"
Date: Mon, May 10, 2004 3:25 PM
And with men parading around in women's panties, an average Friday night
in San Francsico.
Or Denver.
Marc Mulay
2004-05-10 23:18:52 UTC
Permalink
Oh it depends on which "america". True.
Post by TimePixDC
Subject: [OT] "Why Do They Hate Us?"
Date: Mon, May 10, 2004 2:11 PM
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
Sounds like your average American police raid.
El Kabong
2004-05-11 15:15:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by TimePixDC
Subject: [OT] "Why Do They Hate Us?"
Date: Mon, May 10, 2004 2:11 PM
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
Sounds like your average American police raid.
Yep, drug raid at 4AM.
Ooops. Wrong house. sorry...
GregD
2004-05-10 20:32:56 UTC
Permalink
Chris,

If I knew this to be true, I would agree 100%. Time will soon tell.

With what we do know already, I am sickened me to hear the things these
soldiers did in my nation's name. The Arab world will hate us no matter
what we do or don't do because of our backing for Israel (which I
support), but sexual humiliation of prisoners is sickening and
intolerable. I can only hope that heads roll up the chain of command.

We need to use other methods of interrogation, which could include
minimal food and water, constant bright lights in cells, constant
clanging outside cell doors, high volume rap music, and other related
activities meant to wear down prisoners, but to videotape rapes or pose
people in sexually auggestive poses... nope, can't agree to that.

Greg, also of the USA
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating
that such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report
cites abuses - some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality,
hooding, humiliation and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family
members into one room under military guard while searching the rest of
the house and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property,"
the report said.
"Sometimes they arrested all adult males present in a house,
including elderly, handicapped or sick people," it said. "Treatment
often included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with
rifles, punching and kicking and striking with rifles." This is the
sort of behavior which the founding fathers of American correctly
identified as "tyranny." It was wrong when King George III's henchmen
did it in the 18th century and it is wrong when we do it in the 21st
century.
The report also stated that prisoners were stripped naked and kept
in completely dark concrete cells. At other times they would be
forced to parade around in women's underwear.
Pierre Kraehenbuehl, ICRC director of operations, said Friday the
report had been given to U.S. officials in February, but it only
summarized what the agency had been telling U.S. officials in detail
between March and November 2003 "either in direct face-to-face
conversations or in written interventions." So the U.S. government
cannot feign surprise at these findings. The ICRC has been keeping
them informed since the war began in March of last year.
Kraehenbuehl said the abuse of prisoners represented more than
isolated acts, and that the problems were not limited to Abu Ghraib.
"We were dealing here with a broad pattern, not individual acts. There
was a pattern and a system," Kraehenbuehl was quoted as saying. The
report "suggested the use of ill-treatment against persons deprived of
their liberty went beyond exceptional cases and might be considered a
practice tolerated by" coalition forces.
These outrageous human rights abuses by the USA need to stop now.
As long as they continue, every American woman and man, myself
included, shares the shame and disgrace of our government's lawless,
rogue behavior. I urge every American of conscience to write to their
elected representatives and local newspapers today, and on a regular
basis, demanding an end to arbitrary detention and abuse in Iraq,
Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040510/ap_on_re_eu/red_cr
oss_prisoner_abuse_5
Chris, USA
TPS
2004-05-10 22:18:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris
Chris,
If I knew this to be true, I would agree 100%. Time will soon tell.
With what we do know already, I am sickened me to hear the things these
soldiers did in my nation's name. The Arab world will hate us no matter
what we do or don't do because of our backing for Israel (which I
support), but sexual humiliation of prisoners is sickening and
intolerable. I can only hope that heads roll up the chain of command.
We need to use other methods of interrogation, which could include
minimal food and water, constant bright lights in cells, constant
clanging outside cell doors, high volume rap music, and other related
activities meant to wear down prisoners, but to videotape rapes or pose
people in sexually auggestive poses... nope, can't agree to that.
Greg, also of the USA
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating
that such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report
cites abuses - some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality,
hooding, humiliation and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family
members into one room under military guard while searching the rest of
the house and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property,"
the report said.
"Sometimes they arrested all adult males present in a house,
including elderly, handicapped or sick people," it said. "Treatment
often included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with
rifles, punching and kicking and striking with rifles." This is the
sort of behavior which the founding fathers of American correctly
identified as "tyranny." It was wrong when King George III's henchmen
did it in the 18th century and it is wrong when we do it in the 21st
century.
The report also stated that prisoners were stripped naked and kept
in completely dark concrete cells. At other times they would be
forced to parade around in women's underwear.
Pierre Kraehenbuehl, ICRC director of operations, said Friday the
report had been given to U.S. officials in February, but it only
summarized what the agency had been telling U.S. officials in detail
between March and November 2003 "either in direct face-to-face
conversations or in written interventions." So the U.S. government
cannot feign surprise at these findings. The ICRC has been keeping
them informed since the war began in March of last year.
Kraehenbuehl said the abuse of prisoners represented more than
isolated acts, and that the problems were not limited to Abu Ghraib.
"We were dealing here with a broad pattern, not individual acts. There
was a pattern and a system," Kraehenbuehl was quoted as saying. The
report "suggested the use of ill-treatment against persons deprived of
their liberty went beyond exceptional cases and might be considered a
practice tolerated by" coalition forces.
These outrageous human rights abuses by the USA need to stop now.
As long as they continue, every American woman and man, myself
included, shares the shame and disgrace of our government's lawless,
rogue behavior. I urge every American of conscience to write to their
elected representatives and local newspapers today, and on a regular
basis, demanding an end to arbitrary detention and abuse in Iraq,
Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040510/ap_on_re_eu/red_cr
oss_prisoner_abuse_5
Chris, USA
The problem with using even the coercive interrogation methods that you
suggest (bright lights, constant noise) is that when you put prisoners in a
situation that will be intolerable unless they confess to something, they'll
make up something to confess.
Some might argue that if we KNOW they have information that they aren't
sharing, then coercion is legitimate, but I'd venture to say that if we KNOW
they have the information (i.e. we have proof of what they're witholding)
then we have the info we need, and the interrogation is unnecessary. The
Dirty Harry situation, in which a perpetrator CLEARLY has information that
could save lives, that is otherwise unavailable, is rare in police
situations, and I bet it's rare in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo as well.
steve eaton
2004-05-12 22:22:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by TPS
Post by Chris
Chris,
If I knew this to be true, I would agree 100%. Time will soon tell.
With what we do know already, I am sickened me to hear the things these
soldiers did in my nation's name. The Arab world will hate us no matter
what we do or don't do because of our backing for Israel (which I
support), but sexual humiliation of prisoners is sickening and
intolerable. I can only hope that heads roll up the chain of command.
We need to use other methods of interrogation, which could include
minimal food and water, constant bright lights in cells, constant
clanging outside cell doors, high volume rap music, and other related
activities meant to wear down prisoners, but to videotape rapes or pose
people in sexually auggestive poses... nope, can't agree to that.
Greg, also of the USA
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating
that such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report
cites abuses - some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality,
hooding, humiliation and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family
members into one room under military guard while searching the rest of
the house and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property,"
the report said.
"Sometimes they arrested all adult males present in a house,
including elderly, handicapped or sick people," it said. "Treatment
often included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with
rifles, punching and kicking and striking with rifles." This is the
sort of behavior which the founding fathers of American correctly
identified as "tyranny." It was wrong when King George III's henchmen
did it in the 18th century and it is wrong when we do it in the 21st
century.
The report also stated that prisoners were stripped naked and kept
in completely dark concrete cells. At other times they would be
forced to parade around in women's underwear.
Pierre Kraehenbuehl, ICRC director of operations, said Friday the
report had been given to U.S. officials in February, but it only
summarized what the agency had been telling U.S. officials in detail
between March and November 2003 "either in direct face-to-face
conversations or in written interventions." So the U.S. government
cannot feign surprise at these findings. The ICRC has been keeping
them informed since the war began in March of last year.
Kraehenbuehl said the abuse of prisoners represented more than
isolated acts, and that the problems were not limited to Abu Ghraib.
"We were dealing here with a broad pattern, not individual acts. There
was a pattern and a system," Kraehenbuehl was quoted as saying. The
report "suggested the use of ill-treatment against persons deprived of
their liberty went beyond exceptional cases and might be considered a
practice tolerated by" coalition forces.
These outrageous human rights abuses by the USA need to stop now.
As long as they continue, every American woman and man, myself
included, shares the shame and disgrace of our government's lawless,
rogue behavior. I urge every American of conscience to write to their
elected representatives and local newspapers today, and on a regular
basis, demanding an end to arbitrary detention and abuse in Iraq,
Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040510/ap_on_re_eu/red_cr
Post by TPS
Post by Chris
Post by Chris
oss_prisoner_abuse_5
Chris, USA
The problem with using even the coercive interrogation methods that you
suggest (bright lights, constant noise) is that when you put prisoners in a
situation that will be intolerable unless they confess to something, they'll
make up something to confess.
Some might argue that if we KNOW they have information that they aren't
sharing, then coercion is legitimate, but I'd venture to say that if we KNOW
they have the information (i.e. we have proof of what they're witholding)
then we have the info we need, and the interrogation is unnecessary. The
Dirty Harry situation, in which a perpetrator CLEARLY has information that
could save lives, that is otherwise unavailable, is rare in police
situations, and I bet it's rare in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo as well.
Yup, I agree.

Pure physical torture works well, but it goes without saying that
such is out of bounds for us. Giving them over to Egyptian
interrogators/torturers
may get us around the legal obstacles but morally would be the same as doing
it ourselves.

The best method is to make the individual think that telling is
a matter of honor,or in his best interest by making him believe the
situation is such that telling is the reasonable choice.

For example a
cop who is looking for an accomplice's name might set up a situation
where the interviewee comes to the conclusion that said accomplice
is already known, in custody and in the process of blaming him.

Out smarting the suspect usually gets better info than does forcing it.
It just takes some time, and requires that the people doing the
interrogating
actually BE smarter than the subject.

Most people WANT to spill their knowledge, it's human nature. It is a matter
of being able to assess what the subject would see as a situation conductive
of him doing so and providing it for them.

Torture does this in a very rapid manner, but the immediate negative
feedback
extremes and the brute insistence often, as TPS said, leads to a suspect
being willing to say most anything. If you torture enough, and you have
enough
background info to integrate with you WILL eventually get the truth,
but you'll probably kill the subject in doing so.
That (obviously) is not an acceptable method for us.
M.a.r.k P.r.o.b.e.r.t-May 10, 2004
2004-05-10 21:00:20 UTC
Permalink
"Chris" <***@ouray.cudenver.edu> wrote in message news:c7ok4b$m9$***@news.cudenver.edu...

Please delete alt.support.attn-deficit when reply to Chris. Support groups
do not appreciate being cluttered by messages from people who take perverse
delight in how long a thread they create.

thank you for your cooperation.
Chris
2004-05-11 04:36:27 UTC
Permalink
In alt.parenting.spanking M.a.r.k P.r.o.b.e.r.t-May 10, 2004 <M.a.r.k P.r.o.b.e.r.t 05-10-***@limbercartel.com> wrote:

: "Chris" <***@ouray.cudenver.edu> wrote in message
: news:c7ok4b$m9$***@news.cudenver.edu...

: Please delete alt.support.attn-deficit when reply to Chris. Support groups
: do not appreciate being cluttered by messages from people who take perverse
: delight in how long a thread they create.

: thank you for your cooperation.

The "what is terrorism?" thread was a renamed continuation of a
thread originally started by someone in alt.support.attn-deficit back in
2001. You, Mark, posted hundreds of responses to that thread in an
unsuccessful attempt to argue that certain actions of the USA do not
constitute terrorism. It is a bit late for you to be taking the position
you just took in your above note. You are now behaving like a bad sport
after having attempted to refute me and repeatedly making a hash of it.

The title of this thread is new because I feel the old topic has
been run in to the ground. There is not, in fact, any definition of the
word "terrorism" which encompasses every act which apologists for the
USA's conduct in foreign policy would wish to label "terrorism" in others,
which does not simultaneously encompass actions of which the USA itself is
also guilty. This failure has been amply demonstrated in the lengthy
"what is terrorism?" thread.

I have had some interesting exchanges with certain members of
alt.support.attn-deficit in the past and would like that to continue if
there is any interest, as I suspect there will be. In compliance with
netiquette, I have clearly labeled this new thread title as off topic
("OT") and will consistently use exactly the same title henceforth so that
those who do not wish to see this thread may killfile the title and
exclude it from their view. Those who do reply from
alt.support.attn-deficit are encouraged to ignore Mark and leave the
newsgroup on their follow-up line. I am interested in the views of
members of alt.support.attn-deficit and encourage your participation.

The world is entering a crisis period and never has world opinion
been so overwhelmingly negative towards the USA as now. Why is this? I
believe this issue needs to be discussed and that the internet is an ideal
medium for such a discussion to occur.

Chris, USA
M.a.r.k P.r.o.b.e.r.t-May 10, 2004
2004-05-11 13:12:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris
In alt.parenting.spanking M.a.r.k P.r.o.b.e.r.t-May 10, 2004 <M.a.r.k
: Please delete alt.support.attn-deficit when reply to Chris. Support groups
: do not appreciate being cluttered by messages from people who take perverse
: delight in how long a thread they create.
: thank you for your cooperation.
The "what is terrorism?" thread was a renamed continuation of a
thread originally started by someone in alt.support.attn-deficit back in
2001. You, Mark, posted hundreds of responses to that thread in an
unsuccessful attempt to argue that certain actions of the USA do not
constitute terrorism.
Chris, I was wrong to try to refute your greatness. You are wonderful. You
are the most knowledgeable.

Now, kindly FOAD and quit spamming off topic newsgroups.
M.a.r.k P.r.o.b.e.r.t-May 11, 2004
2004-05-11 13:12:11 UTC
Permalink
"Chris" <***@ouray.cudenver.edu> wrote in message news:c7pl8b$2iu$***@news.cudenver.edu...

Chris obviously does not entertain polite reuqests to not post off topic to
newsgroups.

The only way to end these threads is to never respond to him.
Marc Mulay
2004-05-12 02:13:35 UTC
Permalink
Truth is, this where the completely powerless flap jaws (typing) to "vent" and are 110% ignored by the powerful.

Marc Mulay
Laguna Hills, CA
Post by Chris
The world is entering a crisis period and never has world opinion
been so overwhelmingly negative towards the USA as now. Why is this? I
believe this issue needs to be discussed and that the internet is an ideal
medium for such a discussion to occur.
Chris, USA
fishhead
2004-05-10 21:55:35 UTC
Permalink
Chris wrote:

Why the crossposting?

Just say what you want to say.

No problem there.

But this crossposting is stupid.

Don't be stupid.
W.T. Hatch
2004-05-10 23:47:12 UTC
Permalink
On 10 May 2004 19:11:07 GMT, Chris <***@ouray.cudenver.edu> wrote:

Could you possibly keep this rubbish out of these newsgroups where it is not
appropriate? I am sure you could find some sort of audience in a more
appropriate venue than alt.support.attn-deficit and alt.guitar.amps.

Perhaps you are afraid to post in those newsgroups where people actually know
what they are talking about.

But in any case, please do have the courtesy to find more appropriate newsgroups
for your rants.

Most sincerely,
W.T. Hatch
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating that
such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report cites abuses
- some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality, hooding, humiliation
and threats of "imminent execution."
Chris
2004-05-11 07:38:32 UTC
Permalink
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A7139-2004May6?language=printer

U.S. Faces Lasting Damage Abroad
By Robin Wright
The Washington Post

Friday 07 May 2004

Moral High Ground Lost, Experts Say.

The United States faces the prospect of a severe and enduring backlash
not just in the Middle East but also among strategic allies, putting in
question the Bush administration's ability to make serious headway on a
range of foreign policy goals for the rest of this presidential term,
according to U.S. officials and foreign policy experts.

The White House damage-control campaign, including the long-awaited
apology from President Bush yesterday, is likely to have only limited, if
any, success in the near term, administration officials said yesterday.

The White House is so gloomy about the repercussions that senior adviser
Karl Rove suggested this week that the consequences of the graphic
photographs documenting the U.S. abuse of Iraqi detainees are so enormous
that it will take decades for the United States to recover, according to a
Bush adviser.

"It's a blinding glimpse of the obvious to say we're in a hole,"
conceded Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage. He said the
backlash in Europe is even greater than in the 22-nation Arab world.

"For many of our European friends, what they saw on those horrible
pictures is tantamount to torture, and there are very strong views about
that," he said yesterday on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" show. "In the Arab
world, there is general dismay and disgust, but in some places we were not
real popular to start with. So I think I'm actually seeing a European
reaction quite strong -- quite a bit stronger."

In public and private communications, European officials have become
critical or disdainful of the United States. France's foreign ministry
said in a statement that the abuse is "totally unacceptable" and, if
confirmed, "constitute clear and unacceptable violations of international
conventions."

The issue for Arabs and other allies extends beyond the treatment of
detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison, which is seen as a metaphor for a
stubborn and often defiant U.S. foreign policy under the Bush
administration.

Washington first justified military intervention to oust Saddam Hussein,
without U.N. support, by asserting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
were a real and imminent threat -- but then found none.

The administration has since shifted gears, arguing that its primary
goal has instead been to create a democracy that would inspire Arabs and
the wider Islamic world -- only to delay for several months
acknowledgement or action on the chronic abuse of Iraqi detainees,
analysts note.

As a result, the United States has lost the moral high ground in Iraq,
putting its credibility on the line. Now, its broader goals for the region
-- including an ambitious project to promote democracy, set to be unveiled
by Bush at three international summits next month -- are in jeopardy,
foreign policy and Middle East analysts say.

"The mask of civility has fallen. It used to be that Americans just
don't do that. Now you hear Arabs say, 'Don't lecture us about democracy
and respect for human rights,' " said Raghida Dergham, senior diplomatic
correspondent for the London-based al Hayat newspaper. "No quick fix is
going to reverse the current antagonism toward American policies."

The pictures -- and the global reaction -- will also complicate efforts
by U.S. institutions, including private humanitarian and human rights
groups, to promote greater respect for democratic reforms, added Mark
Schneider, vice president of International Crisis Group.

Bush's attempt to invoke historic U.S. values to counter the
international fallout is unlikely to ameliorate the foreign backlash.
"Bush's moral confidence in the ultimate goodness of American culture and
justice will not convince people who are hopping mad today, and who are
chronically cynical about the words of politicians and leaders," said
Ellen Laipson, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council
and now president of the Stimson Center, a foreign policy think tank.

The tragic irony, Arab and foreign policy analysts note, is that the
third justification for the intervention in Iraq was the war on terrorism
-- which they say the pictures of the abuse of Iraqi detainees will
instead fuel.

"If you want recruitment tools, these are the best anyone could imagine.
They are a big blow and a stimulant to spur people to act against the
United States. The real kicker for terrorism is indignity and humiliation,
and that's what these pictures are about," said Moises Naim, editor of
Foreign Policy magazine.

The haunting pictures will serve as "manna from heaven" for al Qaeda and
other extremist groups, increasing the dangers to U.S. national security,
said Hisham Melham, Washington correspondent for al-Arabiya, an Arab
television network.

The United States, for now, may also find allies reluctant to engage on
other priorities.

"There are a slew of issues -- from drug trafficking and the environment
-- that the United States won't make much progress on by acting alone. It
needs the help of international countries, and it's going to be very hard
for many politicians, not only Muslims, to be a friend of the United
States," Naim said.

State Department officials are sanguine about the need for additional
and dramatic overtures. "We know there is outrage and it's going to be
around for a long time -- until it's clear we've cleaned it up and it will
never happen again. We have to make sure we meet our promises to do that,"
said a senior State Department official who spoke on the condition of
anonymity.

Yet Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, who once worked for Vice
President Dan Quayle, suggested that Washington will be able to turn
around global public opinion by showing that abuse is not tolerated.

"It's terrible and it's made life difficult for awhile," Kristol said.
"But if it becomes clear that this is the exception and [the troops
involved] are held accountable, it could end up being an impressive
demonstration to countries where torture is routine."
Chris
2004-05-12 15:08:10 UTC
Permalink
Lord Valve <***@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

: Fuck you, Dugan.

Ah Lord Valve, I see you are still around. How have you been, old
chum? You haven't changed, I see - still dazzling us with scintillating
logic and facts as always. :-)

: You're a leftist creep

As you already know, I am a registered Republican and a supporter of
the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

: who roots for the enemy. You've been doing it for years.

This perennial claim that I "root for the enemy" is nonsense, of
course. If there were any truth to this sort of empty charge you would
post links to previous notes of mine in which I have expressed support for
bin Laden and his goals. No such notes exist, so you must resort to empty
smears like the above.

: You're no better
: than Levin - an anti-American loser who provides soundbites
: for Al Jazeera. Drag your lame ass outta that communist
: "institution of higher learning" you're hiding in and try
: spouting your defeatist bullshit in a room full of *regular*
: Americans. See if they don't hand you your fucking ass.

In other words, it frustrates you that on the internet, Americans may
express views which are domestically unpopular without being physically
beaten up for it. I quite understand. It must be very frustrating for
you to be emotionally attached to views which you are unable to defend in
any more cogent manner.

I think your problem is that you get all your "news" from a silly right
wing opinion website, WorldNetDaily.com, while dismissing virtually the
entire mainstream media, both in the USA and out, as "bullshit."

On July 21st you said that CBSNEWS.com "= Bullshit." This was in
response to a CBS report I reposted which detailed serious allegations
about abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US forces in the Abu Ghraib prison.
Your entire response to early news of this serious scandal which is now
shaking the world was to post cut the entire report except for the words
"CBSNEWS.com" and then add the phrase "= Bullshit."

On July 26th you said that the entire Public Broadcasting System in
America "= bullshit," The Independent (UK) "= bullshit," The Washington
Post "= MAJOR bullshit," The Boston Globe "= bullshit," United Press
International "= bullshit," and Reuters News Service "= bullshit."

On August 9th you said The Guardian (UK) "= communist bullshit.

On August 8th you said that The Agence France Presse "= frog bullshit."

On August 2nd you said Al-Ahram Weekly "= ARAB bullshit," and the
United Nations "= bullshit."

On July 28th you said that The Economist "= bullshit," The New York
Times "= bullshit" and The Financial Times "= bullshit."

You, Lord Valve, live in a world of your own. And in this respect, you
are very much like many other of my fellow Americans. I do hope you will
continue to post on this thread. When you do so, you illustrate an
important facet of why America has come so far down the wrong path, and do
so more vividly than I ever could.

Having said all of this, I shall now return to ignoring you as I
generally do 99% of the time. ;-)


Chris, USA
TPS
2004-05-12 16:18:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris
: Fuck you, Dugan.
Ah Lord Valve, I see you are still around. How have you been, old
chum? You haven't changed, I see - still dazzling us with scintillating
logic and facts as always. :-)
: You're a leftist creep
As you already know, I am a registered Republican and a supporter of
the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
: who roots for the enemy. You've been doing it for years.
This perennial claim that I "root for the enemy" is nonsense, of
course. If there were any truth to this sort of empty charge you would
post links to previous notes of mine in which I have expressed support for
bin Laden and his goals. No such notes exist, so you must resort to empty
smears like the above.
: You're no better
: than Levin - an anti-American loser who provides soundbites
: for Al Jazeera. Drag your lame ass outta that communist
: "institution of higher learning" you're hiding in and try
: spouting your defeatist bullshit in a room full of *regular*
: Americans. See if they don't hand you your fucking ass.
In other words, it frustrates you that on the internet, Americans may
express views which are domestically unpopular without being physically
beaten up for it. I quite understand. It must be very frustrating for
you to be emotionally attached to views which you are unable to defend in
any more cogent manner.
I think your problem is that you get all your "news" from a silly right
wing opinion website, WorldNetDaily.com, while dismissing virtually the
entire mainstream media, both in the USA and out, as "bullshit."
On July 21st you said that CBSNEWS.com "= Bullshit." This was in
response to a CBS report I reposted which detailed serious allegations
about abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US forces in the Abu Ghraib prison.
Your entire response to early news of this serious scandal which is now
shaking the world was to post cut the entire report except for the words
"CBSNEWS.com" and then add the phrase "= Bullshit."
On July 26th you said that the entire Public Broadcasting System in
America "= bullshit," The Independent (UK) "= bullshit," The Washington
Post "= MAJOR bullshit," The Boston Globe "= bullshit," United Press
International "= bullshit," and Reuters News Service "= bullshit."
On August 9th you said The Guardian (UK) "= communist bullshit.
On August 8th you said that The Agence France Presse "= frog bullshit."
On August 2nd you said Al-Ahram Weekly "= ARAB bullshit," and the
United Nations "= bullshit."
On July 28th you said that The Economist "= bullshit," The New York
Times "= bullshit" and The Financial Times "= bullshit."
You, Lord Valve, live in a world of your own. And in this respect, you
are very much like many other of my fellow Americans. I do hope you will
continue to post on this thread. When you do so, you illustrate an
important facet of why America has come so far down the wrong path, and do
so more vividly than I ever could.
Having said all of this, I shall now return to ignoring you as I
generally do 99% of the time. ;-)
Chris, USA
Bravo!
That was brilliant!
Marc Mulay
2004-05-12 21:45:57 UTC
Permalink
It's the sort response effective at sending Load-in AssValve into on-line
hibernation. Nice job. Marc
Post by TPS
Post by Chris
: Fuck you, Dugan.
Ah Lord Valve, I see you are still around. How have you been, old
chum? You haven't changed, I see - still dazzling us with scintillating
logic and facts as always. :-)
: You're a leftist creep
As you already know, I am a registered Republican and a supporter of
the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
: who roots for the enemy. You've been doing it for years.
This perennial claim that I "root for the enemy" is nonsense, of
course. If there were any truth to this sort of empty charge you would
post links to previous notes of mine in which I have expressed support for
bin Laden and his goals. No such notes exist, so you must resort to empty
smears like the above.
: You're no better
: than Levin - an anti-American loser who provides soundbites
: for Al Jazeera. Drag your lame ass outta that communist
: "institution of higher learning" you're hiding in and try
: spouting your defeatist bullshit in a room full of *regular*
: Americans. See if they don't hand you your fucking ass.
In other words, it frustrates you that on the internet, Americans may
express views which are domestically unpopular without being physically
beaten up for it. I quite understand. It must be very frustrating for
you to be emotionally attached to views which you are unable to defend in
any more cogent manner.
I think your problem is that you get all your "news" from a silly right
wing opinion website, WorldNetDaily.com, while dismissing virtually the
entire mainstream media, both in the USA and out, as "bullshit."
On July 21st you said that CBSNEWS.com "= Bullshit." This was in
response to a CBS report I reposted which detailed serious allegations
about abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US forces in the Abu Ghraib prison.
Your entire response to early news of this serious scandal which is now
shaking the world was to post cut the entire report except for the words
"CBSNEWS.com" and then add the phrase "= Bullshit."
On July 26th you said that the entire Public Broadcasting System in
America "= bullshit," The Independent (UK) "= bullshit," The Washington
Post "= MAJOR bullshit," The Boston Globe "= bullshit," United Press
International "= bullshit," and Reuters News Service "= bullshit."
On August 9th you said The Guardian (UK) "= communist bullshit.
On August 8th you said that The Agence France Presse "= frog bullshit."
On August 2nd you said Al-Ahram Weekly "= ARAB bullshit," and the
United Nations "= bullshit."
On July 28th you said that The Economist "= bullshit," The New York
Times "= bullshit" and The Financial Times "= bullshit."
You, Lord Valve, live in a world of your own. And in this respect, you
are very much like many other of my fellow Americans. I do hope you will
continue to post on this thread. When you do so, you illustrate an
important facet of why America has come so far down the wrong path, and do
so more vividly than I ever could.
Having said all of this, I shall now return to ignoring you as I
generally do 99% of the time. ;-)
Chris, USA
Bravo!
That was brilliant!
cddugan
2004-05-15 13:14:20 UTC
Permalink
The maltreatment of Iraqi detainees is not the only war crime of which
the USA stands accused. There is also the matter of the use of
cluster bombs in civilian areas. Cluster bombs are antipersonnel
devices intended to clear an area of humans. Each cluster bomb
explodes to release numerous bomblets which scatter over a wide area
and then explode after a brief delay, sending sprays of deadly
shrapnel in every direction. A fraction of the bomblets do not
explode and remain on the ground as antipersonnel mines which explode
later when disturbed.

The bomblets which do not explode immediately and remain on the
ground as mines are responsible for a disproportionate number of child
maimings and deaths since children at play discover them later and
pick them up.

Every American taxpayer should look at the images at the url below,
whether they like to or not, because every American taxpayer helped
purchase the cluster bombs which dismembered, mutilated, blinded and
killed the child victims in these photos.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3462.htm

I would like to invite every American parent to imagine sending
their child outside to play and then having something like this happen
to him or her, all because an invading foreign country ignored
international standards and dropped cluster bombs right into the
middle of their neighborhood. I would like to ask every American: how
would WE feel about a country which came from halfway around the world
and did this to OUR children?

And we wonder "why do they hate us?"...


Chris, USA
El Kabong
2004-05-15 15:18:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by cddugan
The maltreatment of Iraqi detainees is not the only war crime of which
the USA stands accused. There is also the matter of the use of
cluster bombs in civilian areas. Cluster bombs are antipersonnel
devices intended to clear an area of humans. Each cluster bomb
explodes to release numerous bomblets which scatter over a wide area
and then explode after a brief delay, sending sprays of deadly
shrapnel in every direction. A fraction of the bomblets do not
explode and remain on the ground as antipersonnel mines which explode
later when disturbed.
The bomblets which do not explode immediately and remain on the
ground as mines are responsible for a disproportionate number of child
maimings and deaths since children at play discover them later and
pick them up.
Every American taxpayer should look at the images at the url below,
whether they like to or not, because every American taxpayer helped
purchase the cluster bombs which dismembered, mutilated, blinded and
killed the child victims in these photos.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3462.htm
I would like to invite every American parent to imagine sending
their child outside to play and then having something like this happen
to him or her, all because an invading foreign country ignored
international standards and dropped cluster bombs right into the
middle of their neighborhood. I would like to ask every American: how
would WE feel about a country which came from halfway around the world
and did this to OUR children?
And we wonder "why do they hate us?"...
Chris, USA
Amen, brother.

Kabong!~!~!~!
Chris
2004-05-11 07:53:09 UTC
Permalink
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/05/08/MNG0G6IFJN1.DTL

Rumsfeld Warns of Photos Depicting Worse Abuses
By Marc Sandalow
The San Francisco Chronicle

Saturday 08 May 2004

Washington -- Not since the Vietnam War a generation ago has the
credibility of top U.S. military commanders been challenged as
aggressively and openly as it was Friday on Capitol Hill.

For more than six hours and with television cameras broadcasting the
event around the world, members of both parties -- those who support the
U.S. war in Iraq and those who don't -- expressed alarm over the
Pentagon's seemingly snail-paced response to the gut-wrenching photographs
that one Republican House member characterized as the public relations
equivalent of Pearl Harbor.

As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned that he had personally
previewed more pictures, and that the worst is yet to come, many fear that
the nation may be reaching a tipping point in its tolerance for what
already has been the deadliest U.S. military conflict since Vietnam.

"I'm gravely concerned that many Americans will have the same impulse as
I did when I saw (these) pictures, and that's to turn away from them,"
said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a strong supporter of President Bush's
policy in Iraq.

"We risk losing public support for this conflict. As Americans turned
away from the Vietnam War, they may turn away from this one unless this
issue is quickly resolved," McCain said.

With no weapons of mass destruction found, few signs of democracy
blossoming and now graphic evidence that the abuse of Iraqi civilians --
at least in isolated incidences -- did not end with the ouster of Saddam
Hussein, "the whole logic of the war is gone," said former Sen. Gary Hart.

Often, certain moments galvanize American opinion in times of war. The
attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Tet Offensive in 1968, the dragging of
American corpses through the streets of Somalia in 1994 and the attacks on
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001 had profound effects on
America's resolve for battle.

For many, the pictures of U.S. soldiers seeming to derive pleasure from
brutalizing Iraqi detainees has shaken the widely held belief that the
U.S. cause in Iraq is just and that Americans -- even in times of war --
rise above such blatant cruelty.

"People are not confident that we are winning. Nor are they confident
that we are doing the right thing," said Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion
expert with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

Public opinion on the war has reached an all-time low. The latest polls,
conducted earlier this week, find Americans evenly divided over whether it
was a mistake to have started the war in Iraq, and support has eroded
steadily since the war began last year, when an overwhelming majority said
it was the right thing to do. The numbers today are nearly identical to
what they were in 1968, shortly after the Tet Offensive, as public opinion
began to turn against the Vietnam War.

Americans typically are reluctant to say going to war was a mistake. A
majority supported the Persian Gulf War in 1991 through its conclusion,
and it took until 1968, several years after heavy U.S. involvement in
Vietnam, for a majority to turn against that war. It was not until 1973,
after President Richard Nixon had withdrawn nearly all the troops, that as
many as 70 percent of Americans said the Vietnam War was a mistake.

But as casualties mount in Iraq and the rationale of the war has eroded,
so has public support.

Just last week, Bush said that as a result of removing Hussein, "there
are no longer torture chambers or rape rooms or mass graves in Iraq."

Yet even if Hussein's oppression was incomparable by its order of
magnitude, there are now pictures of mass graves in a soccer field in
Fallujah, of torture at the hands of U.S. captors and, as Republican Sen.
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina warned Friday, videos that may contain
images of rape and murder.

Rumsfeld repeatedly drew contrasts between the American occupiers and
Hussein, noting that no apologies or investigations ever sprang from his
dictatorship.

"People do bad things to other people," Rumsfeld said, "(but) we have a
free, open system. We're not an evil society. America is not what's wrong
with the world."

Yet some members of Congress openly challenged Rumsfeld's willingness to
cooperate with them.

"I see arrogance and a disdain for Congress," said Democratic Sen.
Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

"I see misplaced bravado and an unwillingness to admit mistakes. I see
finger-pointing and excuses. Given the catastrophic impact that this
scandal has had on the world community, how can the United States ever
repair its credibility? How are we supposed to convince not only the Iraqi
people, but also the rest of the world, that America is, indeed, a
liberator and not a conqueror, not an arrogant power?" Byrd asked.

As in the Vietnam era, the credibility of the Pentagon has been
jeopardized. Members of Congress were incredulous that after months of
internal investigations and months of warning from such agencies as the
International Red Cross, Rumsfeld said he didn't have enough information
to take to Congress.

"Mr. Secretary, there was no other way for you to find this out? You
were not aware of concerns offered by the Red Cross?" asked Rep. Ellen
Tauscher, D- Walnut Creek.

The political consequences for the Bush administration are uncertain.

"If Mr. Bush fires Mr. Rumsfeld, the voters may well conclude it is time
to fire him," warned an editorial in Friday's Wall Street Journal.

What seems more certain is that the revelations of the prison abuse and
the questions they raise will hurt the U.S. mission in Iraq.

"Do you think this incident will have any effect?" Democratic Rep.
Madeleine Bordallo, the House delegate from Guam, asked Rumsfeld.

"Of course," Rumsfeld said.

"In what way?" she inquired.

"Harmful," he responded.
sam ende
2004-05-11 09:44:56 UTC
Permalink
Chris wrote:

this is really boring, go away.
i can't belive there's a newsgroup called alt.parent.spanking.
god that's sad.
i've cut it out.

sammi
Chris
2004-05-11 07:40:05 UTC
Permalink
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/chitribts/20040508/ts_chicagotrib/formanyiraqisabusesettlesopinionofus&cid=2027&ncid=1480

For Many Iraqis, Abuse Settles Opinion of U.S.

By Evan Osnos and Deborah Horan
The Chicago Tribune

Saturday 08 May 2004

The crowd outside the prison walls seethes, demanding to visit the
thousands inside.

Sunni and Shiite Muslims, engineers and farmers, mothers, uncles and
militants are gathered on this scorching Friday. Each frantically waves
the name and prisoner number of a brother, a father or a son, scribbled on
a shred of paper, a scrap of a cigarette box, or typed on a crumpled bit
of stationery.

"They will only let 30 people inside today," the Iraqi official from Abu
Ghraib prison shouts as the angry cluster of roughly 100 visitors erupts
in jeers. "Whoever is here without an appointment must come back next
week."

More than a week into the fallout of abuse disclosures at Abu Ghraib
prison, Iraqi outrage has swelled far beyond just photos of cruelty and
torture and has seized on a much broader target: the entire U.S. system of
raids, captures and detention. The human toll from a year of mounting
confinements has emerged as an essential factor darkening Iraqi
perceptions of the occupation and the United States.

Abu Ghraib, in short, has become the symbol of a deep sense of
humiliation and frustration that crosses sectarian and class lines--a
feeling that many argue is fueling the very insurgency the prisons are
intended to contain.

"This will be a turning point," Ismael Zayer, editor in chief of the
daily Al-Sabah Al-Jadid newspaper, said of the prison scandal.

Facing that realization, U.S. officials acknowledge they are scrambling
to sharply reduce the size of Iraq's prison population, hoping to shrug
off a costly project they never planned to manage on this scale. At its
peak population early this year, Abu Ghraib prison held 8,000
people--nearly double its capacity--with all but several hundred prisoners
living in basic canvas tents. The average detainee stayed more than four
months.

"We recognized that is it is a bone of contention with the people we are
supposed to be helping," a senior coalition official said. "We are really
pushing the accelerator pedal to reduce the prisoner population for
obvious reasons."

The Army never planned to be so enmeshed in the prison business in Iraq.
But U.S. forces had barely settled in Baghdad in April 2003 before the
bloodshed from a growing insurgency demonstrated that detaining civilian
insurgents would fast become a part of the occupation.

Detention Duty a Struggle

From the beginning, the captures were presented by U.S. officials as
steps toward peace. For months, U.S. military spokesmen stood before
reporters in Baghdad and announced how many dozens of coalition opponents
had been captured in raids each day. Thousands were being sent to Abu
Ghraib and 15 other U.S.-run detention facilities throughout Iraq.

Yet military forces struggled to handle them. An internal Army report on
the prison-abuse scandal prepared by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba found that
the military police unit at Abu Ghraib at the time had received no
training in running a prison before setting foot in Iraq. In fact, neither
of the Army's two battalions trained in confinement have ever been
assigned to Iraq, the report notes. One is in Afghanistan , and the other
is in Kuwait.

By comparison, says Detlev Vagts, a Harvard international law professor
and expert on the , Allied occupation of Germany after World War II, the
U.S. planned far in advance for assuming a role as prison masters if
needed.

"They had already started preparation of American troops to take control
of Germans by the summer of 1942," two years before the Allied invasion of
Western Europe, Vagts said. "We trained interpreters. We had specialist
teams who came in early and immediately began sorting out arrangements
with police forces [for detention facilities]."

The prison abuse case has triggered an investigation into military
intelligence practices and the training of military police who work in
jails. The newly appointed chief of U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, Maj. Gen.
Geoffrey Miller, says he is considering restricting the use of certain
"particularly aggressive" interrogation techniques. President Bush ,
meanwhile, and other top U.S. officials have offered apologies to the
Iraqi people.

Apologies Too Late

But to many Iraqis, the apologies and declarations are too late to
bridge a widening gap in the U.S.-Iraqi relationship. Despite U.S.
officials' insistence that abusive practices are not widespread, many on
the streets of Baghdad see the photos of men being forced into humiliating
sexual positions as another illustration of the U.S. attitude toward Iraq.

People feel their dignity has been insulted," said Ahmad al-Samaree, the
imam of a large Sunni mosque in Baghdad. "What will a father tell his son
when an American soldier comes and handcuffs him, then makes him lay down
and then a female soldier comes and steps on his head?"

U.S. officials argue that the insurgency is confined largely to
loyalists to the former regime and foreign extremists. But to al-Samaree,
who has close ties to rebels in Fallujah and Baghdad, that argument
overlooks the effect that a year of building national frustration may have
had in enabling rebels to operate.

"That's why we hear them on their way to the cemetery saying, `Revenge,
revenge,'" he said.

That pervasive feeling of dishonor is voiced by a wide array of Iraqis,
far beyond the ranks of those who have been arrested or detained. Zayer,
the newspaper editor, is a prominent journalist and longtime U.S. ally who
headed al-Sabah, a popular coalition-funded newspaper, until American
"arrogance" recently drove him to quit, he said.

"They refused to recognize our independence," Zayer said of coalition
officials. "The whole newspaper resigned. We walked out."

Many Allegations Credible

In the days since the abuse cases gained wide public notice with the
publication of shocking photos, a flood of allegations have poured forth
from former detainees--most of them impossible to confirm. Some are
dubious, but many others are credible, including shared experiences of
sleep deprivation, long hours forced into "stress positions," and naked
interrogations, among others.

The validity of those anecdotes was buttressed Thursday when the
International Committee of the Red Cross announced it had reported
precisely such allegations to U.S. authorities months before the abuse
cases came to light.

But to the scores of Iraqis who flow into this bleak prison parking lot
each day from around Iraq, the international spotlight does not mend the
damage from a bitter year.

Mohammed Ahmed al-Samarai, 48, arrived April 6 for a scheduled visit
with his uncle at Abu Ghraib, as he had several times since the arrest
last May. But when he arrived, he was told that his uncle, Saadan Hassan
had died, days earlier, in a rebel mortar attack on the prison. Instead of
a visit, officials told al-Samarai to retrieve the body, he recalls. The
uncle, he says, was 80 years old.

U.S. officials say they are working to accelerate the review board
process that decides who gets a trial and who gets released.

But in the meantime, the problem for 30-year-old Fawzia Waharbia is more
practical than matters of justice. Her husband, a clerk in a Baghdad
court, was arrested 10 months ago, on charges that he was a captain in
Saddam Hussein 's Fedayeen Saddam.

Waharbia says she soon ran out of money for her five children. She works
now cleaning a school in the mornings and sells some of her
government-supplied food rations for the bus ticket to the prison every
day.

From a pocket deep inside her black abaya, the tiny woman pulls out a
slip of paper scrawled with internee no. 15024065.

"Can you help me?" she pleaded, her eyes filling with tears. "I need him
out."
steve eaton
2004-05-12 22:38:36 UTC
Permalink
"Chris" <***@ouray.cudenver.edu> wrote in message news:c7q00l$kju$***@news.cudenver.edu...
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/chitribts/20040508/ts_chicagotrib/formanyiraqisabusesettlesopinionofus&cid=2027&ncid=1480
Post by Chris
For Many Iraqis, Abuse Settles Opinion of U.S.
By Evan Osnos and Deborah Horan
The Chicago Tribune
Saturday 08 May 2004
(snip yet another cut and paste job)

If you have something to say just say it, it might be interesting.
You're obviously a bright intellect. That said, Please stop posting wave
after
wave of cut and paste news articles. You are not charged with providing
me, or as far as I know, anyone else with a reading list. I am, and most
others are,
fully capable of deciding what news we wish to read.

I for one am usually willing to discuss things of this nature, but you are
not enticing me to discuss, instead you are annoying me to the point
where I am just about to killfile you permanently. Your choice Bucko,
But I will have you note that it is difficult to make one's point from the
darkness
of an empty room.

Speak for yourself and quit spamming a.g.a. with your cut and paste BS.
Marc Mulay
2004-05-12 22:42:27 UTC
Permalink
As little as I generally think of eaton's usual neocon line, the point he makes in this post is quite sound, in my opinion.
Post by steve eaton
(snip yet another cut and paste job)
If you have something to say just say it, it might be interesting.
You're obviously a bright intellect. That said, Please stop posting wave after wave of cut and paste news articles. You are not charged
with providing me, or as far as I know, anyone else with a reading list. I am, and most others are, fully capable of deciding what news we
wish to read.
I for one am usually willing to discuss things of this nature, but you are not enticing me to discuss, instead you are annoying me to the
point
where I am just about to killfile you permanently. Your choice Bucko, But I will have you note that it is difficult to make one's point
from the
darkness of an empty room.
Speak for yourself and quit spamming a.g.a. with your cut and paste BS.
cddugan
2004-05-13 19:50:25 UTC
Permalink
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/chitribts/20040508/ts_chicagotrib/formanyiraqisabusesettlesopinionofus&cid=2027&ncid=1480
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
For Many Iraqis, Abuse Settles Opinion of U.S.
By Evan Osnos and Deborah Horan
The Chicago Tribune
Saturday 08 May 2004
(snip yet another cut and paste job)
If you have something to say just say it, it might be interesting.
You're obviously a bright intellect. That said, Please stop posting wave
after
wave of cut and paste news articles. You are not charged with providing
me, or as far as I know, anyone else with a reading list. I am, and most
others are,
fully capable of deciding what news we wish to read.
I don't see this as forcing reading materials on others, but as
sharing articles of interest and relevance with those who want to read
and comment on them. Posting the entire text rather than just the url
encourages others to critique and respond to the articles. In some
cases, others will counter by posting articles of their own as Lord
Valve recently did. I have found this useful in the past in
stimulating discussion and helping keep it on track. Lurkers can also
read the "dueling articles" and come away with a sense of whose
position is on firmer footing.
Post by steve eaton
I for one am usually willing to discuss things of this nature, but you are
not enticing me to discuss, instead you are annoying me to the point
where I am just about to killfile you permanently.
I am sorry you feel that way. Nothing personal but I have every
intention of posting more articles in the future so it might be best
if you killfiled me now. I would only add that others have killfiled
me in the past only to later unkillfile me because they ended up
reading things I said in the attributions of posts by others and
couldn't stand not being able to get their two cents in directly.
Post by steve eaton
Your choice Bucko
Yes indeed! :-)


Chris, USA
Chris
2004-05-11 08:16:44 UTC
Permalink
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E416%257E,00.html

Tear down Abu Ghraib prison

The Denver Post
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
By Chris Dugan

The resignation or firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz will be an essential first step
for the U.S. to regain face in the wake of the revelations about torture
and maltreatment of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison.

But the prison itself needs to be torn down. This should have been done
immediately after the U.S. took control of Iraq in last year's war. It had
long been a symbol of Saddam Hussein's tyranny and cruelty. Demolishing
the structure would have sent the message that the U.S. was serious about
"liberating" the Iraqi people from dictatorship and torture. Instead, we
moved into the prison and continue to use it for essentially the same
purposes as Hussein. Now it has become an international symbol of American
arrogance, corruption, hypocrisy and disregard for established
international standards of human rights.

It is time for the wrecking ball.
Chris
2004-05-11 08:01:12 UTC
Permalink
Keep in mind that according to CIA operative Abdulrahman Khadr, who
infiltrated the Guantanamo Bay prison population for several months under
deep cover, most of the detainees there were never al-Qaeda or Taliban and
don't belong there. Also keep in mind that the report from the
International Committee of the Red Cross which was leaked yesterday stated
that some coalition intelligence officials have stated that 70-90% of the
detainees in US custody in Iraq are probably innocent.

This is the predictable result when one abandons established standards
of evidence and due process. How can the USA lecture the rest of the
world about "basic human rights" while holding thousands of people, most
of them innocent, incommunicado without habeus corpus rights, without
trial etc.?

Chris


http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1212197,00.html

U.K. Forces Taught Torture Methods
By David Leigh
The Guardian U.K.

Saturday 08 May 2004

The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not
an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and
degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated
among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing,
according to British military sources.

The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to
interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the
Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

One former British special forces officer who returned last week from
Iraq, said: "It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in
Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn't
know what they were doing."

He said British and US military intelligence soldiers were trained in
these techniques, which were taught at the joint services interrogation
centre in Ashford, Kent, now transferred to the former US base at
Chicksands.

"There is a reservoir of knowledge about these interrogation techniques
which is retained by former special forces soldiers who are being rehired
as private contractors in Iraq. Contractors are bringing in their old
friends".

Using sexual jibes and degradation, along with stripping naked, is one
of the methods taught on both sides of the Atlantic under the slogan
"prolong the shock of capture", he said.

Female guards were used to taunt male prisoners sexually and at British
training sessions when female candidates were undergoing resistance
training they would be subject to lesbian jibes.

"Most people just laugh that off during mock training exercises, but the
whole experience is horrible. Two of my colleagues couldn't cope with the
training at the time. One walked out saying 'I've had enough', and the
other had a breakdown. It's exceedingly disturbing," said the former
Special Boat Squadron officer, who asked that his identity be withheld for
security reasons.

Many British and US special forces soldiers learn about the degradation
techniques because they are subjected to them to help them resist if
captured. They include soldiers from the SAS, SBS, most air pilots,
paratroopers and members of pathfinder platoons.

A number of commercial firms which have been supplying interrogators to
the US army in Iraq boast of hiring former US special forces soldiers,
such as Navy Seals.

"The crucial difference from Iraq is that frontline soldiers who are
made to experience R2I techniques themselves develop empathy. They realise
the suffering they are causing. But people who haven't undergone this
don't realise what they are doing to people. It's a shambles in Iraq".

The British former officer said the dissemination of R2I techniques
inside Iraq was all the more dangerous because of the general mood among
American troops.

"The feeling among US soldiers I've spoken to in the last week is also
that 'the gloves are off'. Many of them still think they are dealing with
people responsible for 9/11".

When the interrogation techniques are used on British soldiers for
training purposes, they are subject to a strict 48-hour time limit, and a
supervisor and a psychologist are always present. It is recognised that in
inexperienced hands, prisoners can be plunged into psychosis.

The spectrum of R2I techniques also includes keeping prisoners naked
most of the time. This is what the Abu Ghraib photographs show, along with
inmates being forced to crawl on a leash; forced to masturbate in front of
a female soldier; mimic oral sex with other male prisoners; and form piles
of naked, hooded men.

The full battery of methods includes hooding, sleep deprivation, time
disorientation and depriving prisoners not only of dignity, but of
fundamental human needs, such as warmth, water and food.

The US commander in charge of military jails in Iraq, Major General
Geoffrey Miller, has confirmed that a battery of 50-odd special "coercive
techniques" can be used against enemy detainees. The general, who
previously ran the prison camp at Guant?mo Bay, said his main role was to
extract as much intelligence as possible.

Interrogation experts at Abu Ghraib prison were there to help make the
prison staff "more able to garner intelligence as rapidly as possible".

Sleep deprivation and stripping naked were techniques that could now
only be authorised at general officer level, he said.
fishhead
2004-05-12 00:46:47 UTC
Permalink
Keep in mind tha<snip>
OK. So you insist on being stupid.

Join the your friends.

*plonk*
Chris
2004-05-12 05:50:30 UTC
Permalink
While posturing as the "land of the free," the USA has the largest per
capita prison population of any country in the world, including the
so-called "axis of evil" countries. And the kinds of abuses depicted in
the recent photos from Abu Ghraib prison are far from rare in the US
prison system. But try to get anyone to care!

Chris


http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&u=/nm/20040506/ts_nm/iraq_abuse_prisons_dc_2&printer=1

Abuse Common in U.S. Prisons, Activists Say

Thursday May 6,
By Alan Elsner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Horrific abuses, some similar to those revealed in
Iraq, regularly occur in U.S. prisons with little national attention or
public outrage, human rights activists said on Thursday.

"We certainly see many of the same kinds of things here in the United
States, including sexual assaults and the abuse of prisoners, against both
men and women," said Kara Gotsch, public policy coordinator for the
national prison project of the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web
sites).

"This office has been involved in cases in which prisoners have been raped
by guards and humiliated but we don't talk about it much in America and we
certainly don't hear the president expressing outrage," she said.

President Bush has said he was disgusted by the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
Yet, there were many cases of abuse in Texas when he served as governor
from 1995 to 2000.

For example, in September 1996, guards at the Brazoria County jail in
Texas staged a drug raid on inmates that was videotaped for training
purposes.

The tape showed several inmates forced to strip and lie on the ground. A
police dog attacked several prisoners; the tape clearly showed one being
bitten on the leg. Guards prodded prisoners with stun guns and forced them
to crawl along the ground. Then they dragged injured inmates face down
back to their cells.

In a 1999 opinion, federal Judge William Wayne Justice wrote of the
situation in Texas state prisons: "Many inmates credibly testified to the
existence of violence, rape and extortion in the prison system and about
their own suffering from such abysmal conditions."

Judy Greene of Justice Strategies, a New York City consultancy, said:
"When I saw Bush's interview on Arab TV stations, I was thinking, had he
ever stepped inside a Texas prison when he was governor?"

PRISON GUARDS INVOLVED

Two of those allegedly involved in the abuse of Iraqis were U.S. prison
guards. Spc. Charles Graner, who appears in some of the most lurid
photographs, was a guard at Greene County State Correctional Institution,
one of Pennsylvania's top security death row prisons. Two years after he
arrived at Greene, the prison was at the center of an abuse scandal in
which guards routinely beat and humiliated prisoners.

Prison officials have declined to say whether Graner had been disciplined
in that case.

Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick was a corrections officer at Buckingham
Correctional Center in Virginia. In a statement published by the Richmond
Times Dispatch on Thursday, Frederick compared his role at Abu Ghraib in
Iraq with his job as a guard in Buckingham, where he said he had "very
strict policies and procedures as to how to handle any given situation."

In Iraq, he said, there were no such policies.

Jenni Gainsborough of Penal Reform International said: "I don't think we
routinely torture prisoners in the United States but abuse and humiliation
regularly occur. They may have been trying to get information out of the
Iraqis but some of those photographs look to me as if the U.S. personnel
were enjoying inflicting the humiliation."

BRUTALITY DOCUMENTED

In Cook County Jail in Chicago, the elite Special Operations Response Team
has been implicated in scores of incidents of racially motivated violence
and brutality in recent years.

One of the most dramatic took place on Feb. 4, 1999, when SORT members
accompanied by four guard dogs without muzzles ordered 400 prisoners to
leave their cells in response to a gang-related stabbing three days
earlier.

According to a 50-page report by the sheriff's Internal Affairs Division,
the guards ransacked cells, then herded inmates into common areas where
they were forced to strip and face the wall with hands behind their head.
Anyone who looked away from the wall was struck with a wooden baton.

Some prisoners were forced to lie on the floor, where they were stomped
and kicked. One inmate, who did not leave a cell fast enough said he was
beaten with fists and batons until he urinated on himself and went into
convulsions. At least 49 inmates told investigators they had been beaten.
After the beatings, guards prevented inmates from receiving immediate
medical care.

Corrections officer Roger Fairley testified in a deposition last year that
guards were afraid to come forward to tell of what they had seen in case
their colleagues took revenge.

"On many and many occasions I witnessed excessive force, abuse of power,
intimidation," he said.
Chris
2004-05-12 14:08:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris
Chris,
If I knew this to be true, I would agree 100%. Time will soon tell.
Greg I really wish I could share your optimism that "time will soon
tell." The reason I do not share it is that this is actually not a "new
story" at all. Serious allegations of widespread systemic prisoner abuse
in Iraq have been public for well over a year now, from credible sources
such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty
International. I know I was aware of them back in March of 2003 when the
current Iraq war first began because I recently did a search of my own
postings and found that I started posting about it back then. I learned
of these allegations simply by reading Reuters News Service and CBS.com.
As far back as July I was posting specifically about Abu Ghraib prison and
abuses there. Somehow, I was able to learn all this just from reading the
mainstream news, yet the President of the United States claims he knew
nothing about any of this until last week when the shocking photos first
appeared on television and became a political liability for him during an
election year.

There has already been plenty of "time" but it has yet to "tell."
Note that the International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked on Monday which said that 70-90% of Iraqi detainees were mistakenly
imprisoned has been in circulation for months behind the scenes. It is
only "new" to you and me because of the recent leak which made it public.
Post by Chris
With what we do know already, I am sickened me to hear the things these
soldiers did in my nation's name. The Arab world will hate us no matter
what we do or don't do because of our backing for Israel (which I
support), but sexual humiliation of prisoners is sickening and
intolerable. I can only hope that heads roll up the chain of command.
I must disagree that the Arab world will always hate the USA no
matter what. In the not so distant past, America was quite popular with
the average Arab on the street despite frustrations with the USA's support
of Israel's rejectionist stance and noncompliance with various key UN
resolutions. Watergate created the impression that America is a place
where there is so much democracy that the president has to resign just for
telling a single lie. And American pop culture and music was well
received and created a favorable impression of America and Americans.
The near-universal loathing of the USA which has emerged in the Arab world
under Mr. Bush's watch is something quite new. If I were a conspiracy
theorist (which I am not) I might suspect that Bush was secretly working
for al-Qaeda, because he certainly is helping them recruit new members and
mobilize the muslim world in their favor while causing more American
deaths than any al-Qaeda action aside from 9-11. Under Saddam, al-Qaeda
members were imprisoned and killed in Iraq. Now Iraq is a shining
opportunity for them to advance their agenda, all thanks to the actions of
the Bush administration.
Post by Chris
We need to use other methods of interrogation, which could include
minimal food and water, constant bright lights in cells, constant
clanging outside cell doors, high volume rap music, and other related
activities meant to wear down prisoners, but to videotape rapes or pose
people in sexually auggestive poses... nope, can't agree to that.
I respectfully opine that even this goes too far. When American
detainees in unfriendly countries are forced to endure days of
sleeplessness and deprived of adequate food and water, the USA quite
correctly denounces this as a violation of basic human rights. It is
equally wrong when American forces do the same things to detainees in
their custody.

Chris
steve eaton
2004-05-12 21:58:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating that
such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report cites abuses
- some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality, hooding, humiliation
and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
How rude is that?
They didn't call before coming over and they didn't bring wine either?
Barbarians!
Bruce Morgen
2004-05-12 22:16:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating that
such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report cites abuses
- some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality, hooding, humiliation
and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
How rude is that?
They didn't call before coming over and they didn't bring wine either?
Barbarians!
More like Gestapo -- and
the exact reason NRA
Second Amendment
enthusiasts cite for the
right to bear arms.
Which part of most the
detainees being snatched
from their own homes
without cause or due
process don't you
understand, Steve? I'm
here to help my fellow
citizens in that regard.



................................................................
Posted via TITANnews - Uncensored Newsgroups Access
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
at http://www.TitanNews.com <<<<
-=Every Newsgroup - Anonymous, UNCENSORED, BROADBAND Downloads=-
Marc Mulay
2004-05-12 22:24:55 UTC
Permalink
"...More like Gestapo -- ..."

Precisely. Like the Gestapo, Savak, KGB.

The mass of American people WANT to believe in the gruel our national PR machine
feeds them. Germans felt no different under Hitler, Soviets under the parade of
USSR psychos or Chinese under their "order". Other capitols have always done this
as well, and as long as man is organized under nation-states, divided by
religions, colors, sizes, etc. this will always be.

Man is merely another animal infesting this particular planet. God is an
anthromorphized concept employed by politicians and other con-artists from the
Pope, to Televangilists, in order to squeeze "heaven" for THEM from the "hell" of
the mass of people.

At the end of the day, truth is forever lost to the fool, and since the vast
majority are fools, it's usually lost.

A few other thingsI've written for you all to hate :-)

1.] The incipient sadism w/in the exploitive side of capitalism from the
perspective of one who has navigated its Sales tentacle
(Humor): http://www.spark-online.com/may00/trends/marc_v_mulay.html

2.] China is just awakening to how much faster it can build an American-style
first rate, technologically superior military (such as
the U.S. has enjoyed throughout the 20th century) by "playing ball" in world
economics. They are in the process of rising to
replace every nation on Earth as THE economic powerhouse. We have screwed up
enormously by becoming almost a pure
"service economy" and farming out our industrial production. Worse, WHAT a
colossal screw up in letting China into the
World Trade Organization! To think, this was done within 2 days (AFTER) the
attacks of 9/11/01. China is America's next
major, WWII scale war. They'll wait until they are strong enough, which may be as
early as 2010-2012. (Geopolitics/War)
http://www.spark-online.com/issue20/mulay.html

3.] Even people who drool, walk backwards and can't effectively count change know
that the long vaunted "War on Drugs" is a
total bust...the U.S. has always spent ALL official effort pointing the finger at
SUPPLY. To me at least, that's four fingers
pointed back at DEMAND. If all were always so rosy and wonderful on the home
front, why are so many of our people
seeking the temporary escape drugs provide (to Hell on Earth)
http://www.spark-online.com/july00/esociety/mulay.htm

4.] The newspapers and TV news are so owned by so few, concentrated corporate
interests that only a narrow-minded sub IQ
thinks that's "the story". Now post 9/11/01, perhaps some intelligence can return
to "news" programming -until the government
censors step in. http://www.spark-online.com/issue19/mulay.html

5.] Everybody has her or his own spiritual belief system, for some it's
televangilism, for others it's drinking goats milk, sleep
facing Mecca and the stray sheep best be nervous. For me, my "spirituality" rests
with the development of my musicianship and
mental/physical health in conjunction with working through life to understand my
basic honest nature and staying true to it. All
this, not within the confines of some forced-inheritance of an organized
religion; I freely choose Pantheism/Stoicism. Just as you
have your placebo (prayer), I have mine; quiet, deeply personal amusement in
observing humans as they persist in completely
misinterpreting the intent of the worlds organized religions, yet fundamental
sorrow at the deception and damage done on a
moral level to billions through time.
http://www.spark-online.com/april00/esociety/mulay.html

Regards,

Marc Mulay
Post by Bruce Morgen
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating that
such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report cites abuses
- some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality, hooding, humiliation
and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
How rude is that?
They didn't call before coming over and they didn't bring wine either?
Barbarians!
More like Gestapo -- and
the exact reason NRA
Second Amendment
enthusiasts cite for the
right to bear arms.
Which part of most the
detainees being snatched
from their own homes
without cause or due
process don't you
understand, Steve? I'm
here to help my fellow
citizens in that regard.
................................................................
Posted via TITANnews - Uncensored Newsgroups Access
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
at http://www.TitanNews.com <<<<
-=Every Newsgroup - Anonymous, UNCENSORED, BROADBAND Downloads=-
cddugan
2004-05-13 20:42:15 UTC
Permalink
Marc Mulay <***@cox.net> wrote in message news:<***@cox.net>...
[snip]
Post by Marc Mulay
Even people who drool, walk backwards and can't effectively count change know
that the long vaunted "War on Drugs" is a total bust.
I disagree. I think the War On Drugs has been a resounding
success! Just look at the long list of proven accomplishments of the
triumphant War On Drugs:

* Lots of new prisons have been built. Now the USA has a
greater percentage of its citizens under lock and key than any other
country on Earth. We're number one!

* Huge numbers of blacks and latinos and low income whites have
been imprisoned and disenfranchized as a result of drug related felony
records. So they will never vote again. Now, thank goodness, we can
just politically ignore them - except to throw them back into those
new prisons if they get tired of being ignored and begin to turn
restive.

* Racist harassment of citizens of color has found a new
legalistic justification in the form of drug-crime-related "profiling.

* Troublesome civil liberties have thankfully been eroded to the
point where police can confiscate someone's cash simply because they
have a lot of it on their person, and never return it, and never have
to prove any wrongdoing on the part of the person, and never have to
charge them with anything.

* Troublesome privacy rights have been diminished to the point
where in order to get a job and provide for their families workers
must submit to a degrading search of their bodily fluids. This sets a
very useful precedent for all sorts of other humiliating and intrusive
future invasions of privacy just a little further down the road.

* Thanks to the War On Drugs we can carry on vicious
counterinsurgency campaigns against the poor in Columbia and elsewhere
for political reasons while pretending that it is all just about coca.
First we use our IMF/WTO influence to pressure developing countries
into making neoliberal reforms and removing trade barriers and price
supports for legal commodities. Then we subsidize American farmers
with price supports of our own and undercut the unsubsidized foreign
competition so that they are left with no other way to support their
families except to grow coca. Then we send in the helicopter gunships
to do what the USA does best around the world nowadays: use military
force to prop up rich minorities against poor majorities. Oh yes, and
when the survivors of our counterinsurgency campaign get driven off
the land and wind up in shanty towns surrounding their capital city.
This gives us a vast reserve of abjectly poor workers for the
sweatshops of US-based multinational corporations - workers who will
be willing to do for $.50/hour what American workers used to do for a
decent living wage before their job got moved overseas.

Drug use in America continues just as before, of course. But
putting a stop to drug use was never the point. The fact that the War
On Drugs doesn't actually stop drug abuse is the sheer beauty of it.
The drug use pretext continues and continues, which enables the War to
continue and continue thus creating more and more of the sorts postive
gains listed above.

Chris, USA
who dat
2004-05-14 09:42:14 UTC
Permalink
A former DEA agent described the war on drugs as "a big bag of money
with a lot of hands in it"... referring to all the agencies that get a
fat budget...
Post by cddugan
[snip]
Post by Marc Mulay
Even people who drool, walk backwards and can't effectively count change know
that the long vaunted "War on Drugs" is a total bust.
I disagree. I think the War On Drugs has been a resounding
success! Just look at the long list of proven accomplishments of the
* Lots of new prisons have been built. Now the USA has a
greater percentage of its citizens under lock and key than any other
country on Earth. We're number one!
* Huge numbers of blacks and latinos and low income whites have
been imprisoned and disenfranchized as a result of drug related felony
records. So they will never vote again. Now, thank goodness, we can
just politically ignore them - except to throw them back into those
new prisons if they get tired of being ignored and begin to turn
restive.
* Racist harassment of citizens of color has found a new
legalistic justification in the form of drug-crime-related "profiling.
* Troublesome civil liberties have thankfully been eroded to the
point where police can confiscate someone's cash simply because they
have a lot of it on their person, and never return it, and never have
to prove any wrongdoing on the part of the person, and never have to
charge them with anything.
* Troublesome privacy rights have been diminished to the point
where in order to get a job and provide for their families workers
must submit to a degrading search of their bodily fluids. This sets a
very useful precedent for all sorts of other humiliating and intrusive
future invasions of privacy just a little further down the road.
* Thanks to the War On Drugs we can carry on vicious
counterinsurgency campaigns against the poor in Columbia and elsewhere
for political reasons while pretending that it is all just about coca.
First we use our IMF/WTO influence to pressure developing countries
into making neoliberal reforms and removing trade barriers and price
supports for legal commodities. Then we subsidize American farmers
with price supports of our own and undercut the unsubsidized foreign
competition so that they are left with no other way to support their
families except to grow coca. Then we send in the helicopter gunships
to do what the USA does best around the world nowadays: use military
force to prop up rich minorities against poor majorities. Oh yes, and
when the survivors of our counterinsurgency campaign get driven off
the land and wind up in shanty towns surrounding their capital city.
This gives us a vast reserve of abjectly poor workers for the
sweatshops of US-based multinational corporations - workers who will
be willing to do for $.50/hour what American workers used to do for a
decent living wage before their job got moved overseas.
Drug use in America continues just as before, of course. But
putting a stop to drug use was never the point. The fact that the War
On Drugs doesn't actually stop drug abuse is the sheer beauty of it.
The drug use pretext continues and continues, which enables the War to
continue and continue thus creating more and more of the sorts postive
gains listed above.
Chris, USA
steve eaton
2004-05-15 11:16:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by cddugan
[snip]
Post by Marc Mulay
Even people who drool, walk backwards and can't effectively count change know
that the long vaunted "War on Drugs" is a total bust.
I disagree. I think the War On Drugs has been a resounding
success! Just look at the long list of proven accomplishments of the
* Lots of new prisons have been built. Now the USA has a
greater percentage of its citizens under lock and key than any other
country on Earth. We're number one!
* Huge numbers of blacks and latinos and low income whites have
been imprisoned and disenfranchized as a result of drug related felony
records. So they will never vote again. Now, thank goodness, we can
just politically ignore them - except to throw them back into those
new prisons if they get tired of being ignored and begin to turn
restive.
* Racist harassment of citizens of color has found a new
legalistic justification in the form of drug-crime-related "profiling.
* Troublesome civil liberties have thankfully been eroded to the
point where police can confiscate someone's cash simply because they
have a lot of it on their person, and never return it, and never have
to prove any wrongdoing on the part of the person, and never have to
charge them with anything.
* Troublesome privacy rights have been diminished to the point
where in order to get a job and provide for their families workers
must submit to a degrading search of their bodily fluids. This sets a
very useful precedent for all sorts of other humiliating and intrusive
future invasions of privacy just a little further down the road.
* Thanks to the War On Drugs we can carry on vicious
counterinsurgency campaigns against the poor in Columbia and elsewhere
for political reasons while pretending that it is all just about coca.
First we use our IMF/WTO influence to pressure developing countries
into making neoliberal reforms and removing trade barriers and price
supports for legal commodities. Then we subsidize American farmers
with price supports of our own and undercut the unsubsidized foreign
competition so that they are left with no other way to support their
families except to grow coca. Then we send in the helicopter gunships
to do what the USA does best around the world nowadays: use military
force to prop up rich minorities against poor majorities. Oh yes, and
when the survivors of our counterinsurgency campaign get driven off
the land and wind up in shanty towns surrounding their capital city.
This gives us a vast reserve of abjectly poor workers for the
sweatshops of US-based multinational corporations - workers who will
be willing to do for $.50/hour what American workers used to do for a
decent living wage before their job got moved overseas.
Drug use in America continues just as before, of course. But
putting a stop to drug use was never the point. The fact that the War
On Drugs doesn't actually stop drug abuse is the sheer beauty of it.
The drug use pretext continues and continues, which enables the War to
continue and continue thus creating more and more of the sorts postive
gains listed above.
Chris, USA
That pretty much sums it up IMO.
Marc Mulay
2004-05-18 08:30:19 UTC
Permalink
"low income whites". Oh goodness, dear, did you mean impoverished? Ack ack ack.

Ha-WATT TAR-ash ? ack ack ack.

Study THE reason FNMA is dragging down the DJIA.

Hint: Tornado Magnets in "Parks"
Post by cddugan
[snip]
Post by Marc Mulay
Even people who drool, walk backwards and can't effectively count change know
that the long vaunted "War on Drugs" is a total bust.
I disagree. I think the War On Drugs has been a resounding
success! Just look at the long list of proven accomplishments of the
* Lots of new prisons have been built. Now the USA has a
greater percentage of its citizens under lock and key than any other
country on Earth. We're number one!
* Huge numbers of blacks and latinos and low income whites have
been imprisoned and disenfranchized as a result of drug related felony
records. So they will never vote again. Now, thank goodness, we can
just politically ignore them - except to throw them back into those
new prisons if they get tired of being ignored and begin to turn
restive.
* Racist harassment of citizens of color has found a new
legalistic justification in the form of drug-crime-related "profiling.
* Troublesome civil liberties have thankfully been eroded to the
point where police can confiscate someone's cash simply because they
have a lot of it on their person, and never return it, and never have
to prove any wrongdoing on the part of the person, and never have to
charge them with anything.
* Troublesome privacy rights have been diminished to the point
where in order to get a job and provide for their families workers
must submit to a degrading search of their bodily fluids. This sets a
very useful precedent for all sorts of other humiliating and intrusive
future invasions of privacy just a little further down the road.
* Thanks to the War On Drugs we can carry on vicious
counterinsurgency campaigns against the poor in Columbia and elsewhere
for political reasons while pretending that it is all just about coca.
First we use our IMF/WTO influence to pressure developing countries
into making neoliberal reforms and removing trade barriers and price
supports for legal commodities. Then we subsidize American farmers
with price supports of our own and undercut the unsubsidized foreign
competition so that they are left with no other way to support their
families except to grow coca. Then we send in the helicopter gunships
to do what the USA does best around the world nowadays: use military
force to prop up rich minorities against poor majorities. Oh yes, and
when the survivors of our counterinsurgency campaign get driven off
the land and wind up in shanty towns surrounding their capital city.
This gives us a vast reserve of abjectly poor workers for the
sweatshops of US-based multinational corporations - workers who will
be willing to do for $.50/hour what American workers used to do for a
decent living wage before their job got moved overseas.
Drug use in America continues just as before, of course. But
putting a stop to drug use was never the point. The fact that the War
On Drugs doesn't actually stop drug abuse is the sheer beauty of it.
The drug use pretext continues and continues, which enables the War to
continue and continue thus creating more and more of the sorts postive
gains listed above.
Chris, USA
Anonymouse Unbeknownst
2004-05-18 10:32:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc Mulay
"low income whites". Oh goodness, dear, did you mean impoverished? Ack ack ack.
Ha-WATT TAR-ash ? ack ack ack.
Study THE reason FNMA is dragging down the DJIA.
Hint: Tornado Magnets in "Parks"
And your point is..............................................?
cddugan
2004-05-13 19:36:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce Morgen
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
How rude is that?
They didn't call before coming over and they didn't bring wine either?
Barbarians!
More like Gestapo -- and
the exact reason NRA
Second Amendment
enthusiasts cite for the
right to bear arms.
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help preserve
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented. I would challenge anyone to cite a single example of a
repressive dictatorship which permitted its citizens to keep and bear
arms for private use. There are none. And when a totalitarian
faction takes over a country in which there are numerous guns in
private hands, the first thing it does is confiscate them.

A case in point is the regime of Ferdinand Marcos in the
Philippines. Originally he was elected in 1965, but his government
was corrupt and as his popularity fell his reelection looked
increasingly unlikely. So he got a gun registration law passed. Then
once every gun in private hands was registered he declared martial law
and banned ownership of guns with the death penalty for anyone who
disobeyed. The guns were rounded up. Then followed two decades of
nightmare for the Philippine people as the Marcos dictatorship
distinguished itself as one of the worlds worst torturers and human
rights violators. Anyone who critized the regime or advocated
democracy would have police kicking down their door in the middle of
the night and hauling them away for torture and sometimes execution
without trial. Meanwhile Ferdinand and his wife Imelda (famous for
her vast collection of shoes) lived in opulent decadence while
emassing a vast fortune at public expense. Marcos understood what the
framers of the Second Amendment also understood: that the freedom to
keep and bear firearms is incompatible with repressive dicatorship.

What I can't understand are liberals who will bemoan the erosion
of civil liberties in the USA and the current administration's
contempt for international law and then turn around and ridicule
pro-gun arguments like the above because such arguments are "paranoid"
because repressive government "couldn't happen here." It is already
happening here! Torture is technically illegal in the USA but abuses
in police stations and prisons are widespread. US citizens such as
Jose Padilla have been thrown in prison with no habeus corpus rights,
no access to lawyers or visitors, and held indefinitely without trial.
All the US government has to do now is label a citizen an "enemy
combatant" and suddenly that citizen has no due process rights
anymore; and the government doesn't even have to prove anything, they
just have to say it. Repressive government in America is already
happening right now and it will get worse and worse until and unless
the American people wake up and start climbing back up the slippery
slope we are already on.
Post by Bruce Morgen
Which part of most the
detainees being snatched
from their own homes
without cause or due
process don't you
understand, Steve?
The fact that so many Americans can watch as their tax dollars
pay for such brazen acts of tyranny abroad, and just laugh it all off
as if it were a joke, is a sad testimony to the state of the country.
Breaking people's doors down without a warrant and hauling people off
to dungeons without trial is exactly the sort of thing King George III
used to do. This was exactly the sort of abuse for which the framers
of the US Constitution wrote the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution
in the new nation of America, which states that no person may be
deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Now, over two centuries later, it is the USA itself playing George
III in far flung lands (including its new Iraqi colony) and there is
nothing the least bit funny about it. Americans rose up against
George III and overthrew his rule. To him, Sam Adams and Tom Paine
were terrorist insurgents while his empire represented civilization,
order and the rule of law. Well, we all know who won that one, don't
we...
Post by Bruce Morgen
I'm
here to help my fellow
citizens in that regard.
So Bruce, I take it you are an American too? I certainly hope
so because our fellow citizens need a great deal of your kind of help
at present.

Chris "don't tread on me" Dugan, USA
El Kabong
2004-05-14 02:18:24 UTC
Permalink
Excellent post, Chris.

[more comments below]
Post by cddugan
Post by Bruce Morgen
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
How rude is that?
They didn't call before coming over and they didn't bring wine either?
Barbarians!
More like Gestapo -- and
the exact reason NRA
Second Amendment
enthusiasts cite for the
right to bear arms.
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help preserve
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented. I would challenge anyone to cite a single example of a
repressive dictatorship which permitted its citizens to keep and bear
arms for private use. There are none. And when a totalitarian
faction takes over a country in which there are numerous guns in
private hands, the first thing it does is confiscate them.
I've been called a liberal, but I'm a registered independent with
liberal leanings, but regarding the 2nd Amendment, you are
absolutely correct. Which is why Kerry should never do anything
about gun registration which would evolve into gun confiscation.
Even some NRA members expressing their distaste for Bush wish
the Democratic Party would stop trying to abridge the the
2nd Amendment so they can return to the Democratic Party,
vote against Bush and still be able to keep their guns.
Post by cddugan
A case in point is the regime of Ferdinand Marcos in the
Philippines. Originally he was elected in 1965, but his government
was corrupt and as his popularity fell his reelection looked
increasingly unlikely. So he got a gun registration law passed. Then
once every gun in private hands was registered he declared martial law
and banned ownership of guns with the death penalty for anyone who
disobeyed. The guns were rounded up. Then followed two decades of
nightmare for the Philippine people as the Marcos dictatorship
distinguished itself as one of the worlds worst torturers and human
rights violators. Anyone who critized the regime or advocated
democracy would have police kicking down their door in the middle of
the night and hauling them away for torture and sometimes execution
without trial. Meanwhile Ferdinand and his wife Imelda (famous for
her vast collection of shoes) lived in opulent decadence while
emassing a vast fortune at public expense. Marcos understood what the
framers of the Second Amendment also understood: that the freedom to
keep and bear firearms is incompatible with repressive dicatorship.
What I can't understand are liberals who will bemoan the erosion
of civil liberties in the USA and the current administration's
contempt for international law and then turn around and ridicule
pro-gun arguments like the above because such arguments are "paranoid"
because repressive government "couldn't happen here." It is already
happening here! Torture is technically illegal in the USA but abuses
in police stations and prisons are widespread. US citizens such as
Jose Padilla have been thrown in prison with no habeus corpus rights,
no access to lawyers or visitors, and held indefinitely without trial.
All the US government has to do now is label a citizen an "enemy
combatant" and suddenly that citizen has no due process rights
anymore; and the government doesn't even have to prove anything, they
just have to say it. Repressive government in America is already
happening right now and it will get worse and worse until and unless
the American people wake up and start climbing back up the slippery
slope we are already on.
Post by Bruce Morgen
Which part of most the
detainees being snatched
from their own homes
without cause or due
process don't you
understand, Steve?
The fact that so many Americans can watch as their tax dollars
pay for such brazen acts of tyranny abroad, and just laugh it all off
as if it were a joke, is a sad testimony to the state of the country.
Breaking people's doors down without a warrant and hauling people off
to dungeons without trial is exactly the sort of thing King George III
used to do. This was exactly the sort of abuse for which the framers
of the US Constitution wrote the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution
in the new nation of America, which states that no person may be
deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
Now, over two centuries later, it is the USA itself playing George
III in far flung lands (including its new Iraqi colony) and there is
nothing the least bit funny about it. Americans rose up against
George III and overthrew his rule. To him, Sam Adams and Tom Paine
were terrorist insurgents while his empire represented civilization,
order and the rule of law. Well, we all know who won that one, don't
we...
Well do we know that for sure? For all we know, the Tories may be
still running the US government, in covert fashion though. It's
obvious we have a plutocratic oligarchy in control, right?
Ed Cregger is right - we sure as shit don't have a true democracy,
do we?

Kabong!~!~!~!
Post by cddugan
Post by Bruce Morgen
I'm
here to help my fellow
citizens in that regard.
So Bruce, I take it you are an American too? I certainly hope
so because our fellow citizens need a great deal of your kind of help
at present.
Chris "don't tread on me" Dugan, USA
who dat
2004-05-14 09:40:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by cddugan
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help preserve
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented.
Right, just look at all the tyranny in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc
etc. It's shocking.
El Kabong
2004-05-14 16:11:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by who dat
Post by cddugan
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help preserve
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented.
Right, just look at all the tyranny in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc
etc. It's shocking.
I know you're being sarcastic, but from what I hear,
Big Brother is EVERYWHERE in those countries.

Kabong!~!~!~!
cddugan
2004-05-14 19:09:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by who dat
Post by cddugan
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help preserve
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented.
Right, just look at all the tyranny in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc
etc. It's shocking.
Your attempted rebuttal is logically unsound. My assertion was
that tyrannies always have severe restrictions or outright bans on gun
ownership. A therefore B. Your rebuttal, on the other hand, assumes B
therefore A: if gun restrictions exist, therefore a tyranny must
exist. This does not logically follow from my assertion. Just
because A implies B does not necessarily mean B implies A. Logic
simply doesn't work that way. Hence, your counterexample is
irrelevant, and my assertion still stands.

Once again I repeat my challenge. Show me one documented example
of a tyranny which permitted its citizens to freely keep and bear
firearms and you will have falsified my argument. You can't do this.
No one can. There are no such examples.

I don't like guns, personally. I view them with distaste. But
unfortunately as long as there are tyrannts and would-be tyrannts then
guns in private hands will remain a distasteful necessity in the
defense of freedom.

Incidently, note that the "pro-gun" Bush administration practices
draconian gun restrictions in Iraq. Simply possessing a firearm is
enough to land an Iraqi in one of the USA's local gulags. Shop owners
who have a gun to protect their property from looters have been hauled
away. Wedding goers who fire guns into the air as part of the
traditional celebration have been thrown into detention. If we had
treated these people with real respect from Day One instead of like an
inferior race, if we had taken immediate and direct steps to allow
real democracy to take hold rather than look for ways to give big
republican contributors such as Halliburton and Bechtel lucrative
deals in the name of "privatization" of Iraq's industry and resources,
we wouldn't need to be so afraid now of any Iraqi citizen with a
firearm. But in Iraq, the USA is the tyranny, and, like all tyrannies
it must enforce an iron fisted gun ban for its own protection.

Chris, USA
Marc Mulay
2004-05-14 19:12:07 UTC
Permalink
Cuz war wat. Thatz wah. Ah hait say-and nee-gars.
Post by cddugan
Post by who dat
Post by cddugan
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help preserve
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented.
Right, just look at all the tyranny in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc
etc. It's shocking.
Your attempted rebuttal is logically unsound. My assertion was
that tyrannies always have severe restrictions or outright bans on gun
ownership. A therefore B. Your rebuttal, on the other hand, assumes B
therefore A: if gun restrictions exist, therefore a tyranny must
exist. This does not logically follow from my assertion. Just
because A implies B does not necessarily mean B implies A. Logic
simply doesn't work that way. Hence, your counterexample is
irrelevant, and my assertion still stands.
Once again I repeat my challenge. Show me one documented example
of a tyranny which permitted its citizens to freely keep and bear
firearms and you will have falsified my argument. You can't do this.
No one can. There are no such examples.
I don't like guns, personally. I view them with distaste. But
unfortunately as long as there are tyrannts and would-be tyrannts then
guns in private hands will remain a distasteful necessity in the
defense of freedom.
Incidently, note that the "pro-gun" Bush administration practices
draconian gun restrictions in Iraq. Simply possessing a firearm is
enough to land an Iraqi in one of the USA's local gulags. Shop owners
who have a gun to protect their property from looters have been hauled
away. Wedding goers who fire guns into the air as part of the
traditional celebration have been thrown into detention. If we had
treated these people with real respect from Day One instead of like an
inferior race, if we had taken immediate and direct steps to allow
real democracy to take hold rather than look for ways to give big
republican contributors such as Halliburton and Bechtel lucrative
deals in the name of "privatization" of Iraq's industry and resources,
we wouldn't need to be so afraid now of any Iraqi citizen with a
firearm. But in Iraq, the USA is the tyranny, and, like all tyrannies
it must enforce an iron fisted gun ban for its own protection.
Chris, USA
TPS
2004-05-14 20:16:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by cddugan
Post by who dat
Post by cddugan
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help preserve
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented.
Right, just look at all the tyranny in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc
etc. It's shocking.
Your attempted rebuttal is logically unsound. My assertion was
that tyrannies always have severe restrictions or outright bans on gun
ownership. A therefore B. Your rebuttal, on the other hand, assumes B
therefore A: if gun restrictions exist, therefore a tyranny must
exist. This does not logically follow from my assertion. Just
because A implies B does not necessarily mean B implies A. Logic
simply doesn't work that way. Hence, your counterexample is
irrelevant, and my assertion still stands.
Once again I repeat my challenge. Show me one documented example
of a tyranny which permitted its citizens to freely keep and bear
firearms and you will have falsified my argument. You can't do this.
No one can. There are no such examples.
I don't like guns, personally. I view them with distaste. But
unfortunately as long as there are tyrannts and would-be tyrannts then
guns in private hands will remain a distasteful necessity in the
defense of freedom.
Incidently, note that the "pro-gun" Bush administration practices
draconian gun restrictions in Iraq. Simply possessing a firearm is
enough to land an Iraqi in one of the USA's local gulags. Shop owners
who have a gun to protect their property from looters have been hauled
away. Wedding goers who fire guns into the air as part of the
traditional celebration have been thrown into detention. If we had
treated these people with real respect from Day One instead of like an
inferior race, if we had taken immediate and direct steps to allow
real democracy to take hold rather than look for ways to give big
republican contributors such as Halliburton and Bechtel lucrative
deals in the name of "privatization" of Iraq's industry and resources,
we wouldn't need to be so afraid now of any Iraqi citizen with a
firearm. But in Iraq, the USA is the tyranny, and, like all tyrannies
it must enforce an iron fisted gun ban for its own protection.
Chris, USA
Chris -
While I keep an open ear to the gun-rights argument (much, if not most
of it makes sense to me), I have to point out that the same logical flaw
that you attribute to who dat can be applied to you. If I'm not mistaken,
your argument is that we shouldn't outlaw guns (A) because tyrannical
governments outlaw them (B). That does not add up to "A therefore B".
In other words, just because tyrannical governments outlaw guns, it
doesn't mean that outlawing guns leads to tyrannical governments, or that
maintaining gun rights prevents tyrannical governments.
I think the gun-rights argument must either present a more nuanced
argument, or leave behind the "gun-control leads to tyrants" equation.
cddugan
2004-05-15 04:16:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by TPS
Chris -
While I keep an open ear to the gun-rights argument (much, if not most
of it makes sense to me), I have to point out that the same logical flaw
that you attribute to who dat can be applied to you. If I'm not mistaken,
your argument is that we shouldn't outlaw guns (A) because tyrannical
governments outlaw them (B). That does not add up to "A therefore B".
Actually, no, that wasn't my argument. My argument was that
repressive dicatorships and the freedom of private citizens to keep
and bear firearms are incompatible, because firearm possession among
widespread elements of a population creates instability for a
repressive dictatorship. Hence, keeping the right to keep and bear
firearms constitutes a check against tendencies towards repressive
government.
Post by TPS
In other words, just because tyrannical governments outlaw guns, it
doesn't mean that outlawing guns leads to tyrannical governments,
I didn't make that argument. I would argue that it makes
tyrannical government more possible, but I wouldn't argue that it
leads to tyrannical government in and of itself. And indeed, if I had
made such an argument, the counterexamples of European countries with
strict gun laws would have been a valid rebuttal.
Post by TPS
or that
maintaining gun rights prevents tyrannical governments.
This is the argument I have made. I believe it does just this.

If you can find a tyrannical regime which lasted an appreciable
period of time anywhere in the world at any time in history which
permitted all its citizens to freely keep and bear firearms, that will
constitute a refutation of my assertion. I don't believe such a
counterexample exists.

Chris, USA
Kane
2004-05-15 03:15:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by who dat
Post by cddugan
My liberal friends are appalled at my support for the 2nd
Amendment. Anyone who argues that guns in private hands help
preserve
Post by who dat
Post by cddugan
liberty is dismissed as a "gun nut." But gun control and gun bans
have accompanied every tyranny of the Left or Right since guns were
invented.
Right, just look at all the tyranny in Europe,
You really have to be kidding about this one, or you are way to young
for a memory of WWII.
Post by who dat
Australia,
Well, there are a number of Aussies that agree with Chris
wholeheartedly. And they are experiencing more than just a tyranny.
Their crime rates are sky rocketing...guess which kind?

GUN CRIME AGAINST UNARMED CITIZENS.
Post by who dat
Canada, etc
etc. It's shocking.
You might want to do just a tad bit of research before you spout off.
Ask a french Canadian about this issue.

Not that they are the only Canadians more than a little pissed.

You need to look at more than one issue and more than one side to an
issue before you babble you bs.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%22gun+control%22+australia+canada

And you miss badly on logic as well. Chris didn't claim that gun
control is followed by tyranny...though there is some support for that
position based on one's interpretation of tyranny, but that tyrants
move to control guns in the hands of citizens.

Try again, doofi.

Kane
TPS
2004-05-12 22:18:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating that
such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report cites abuses
- some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality, hooding, humiliation
and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said.
How rude is that?
They didn't call before coming over and they didn't bring wine either?
Barbarians!
Yeah, you'd be that cavalier if it was YOUR house!
steve eaton
2004-05-15 11:05:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
An International Committee of the Red Cross report which was
leaked today said some coalition intelligence officers estimated that
70-90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake. The report
also directly contradicted Bush administration assertions that abusive
treatment of Iraqi detainees was the work of an isolated few, stating
that
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
such abuse was in fact widespread and systematic. The report cites
abuses
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
- some "tantamount to torture" - including brutality, hooding,
humiliation
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
and threats of "imminent execution."
US soldiers "entered houses usually after dark, breaking down
doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family
members
Post by steve eaton
Post by Chris
into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house
and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report
said.
Post by steve eaton
How rude is that?
They didn't call before coming over and they didn't bring wine either?
Barbarians!
Yeah, you'd be that cavalier if it was YOUR house!
As if I could be this cynical otherwise?
Tom Adams
2004-05-14 02:17:53 UTC
Permalink
well, before 911 the top two reasons were:

1. US troops in Saudi Arabia

2. the Israeli bombing of the Qana

source: goog "Osama Bin Laden interview"

But deez days they have new reasons.
cddugan
2004-05-14 18:30:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Adams
1. US troops in Saudi Arabia
In interviews, when asked why he is making war on the USA, bin
Laden always mentions this issue first.
Post by Tom Adams
2. the Israeli bombing of the Qana
Also the massacres at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps have
long been a source of hatred towards the USA, which is seen as
Israel's military supplier. funder, and source of pro-Israel vetos in
the UN security council.

The third reason bin Laden generally always offered back before
the invasion of Iraq was the US-backed economic sanctions on Iraq,
which according to UN figures were responsible for half a million
additional child deaths above and beyond what would otherwise have
been expected based on extrapolations from previous periods.

To put that figure in perspective, it would be as if the twin
towers were full of children and collapsed, killing them all, only to
be filled with children again, only to collapse again killing them
all... over a hundred and sixty times.

When Bush and Rumsfeld were confidently predicting back in late
2002 and early 2003 that the Iraqi people would be delerious with joy
when the US tanks rolled in, I wondered if they actually believed what
they were saying. I know if I were an Iraqi I would have been glad to
see Saddam go but I certainly would not have felt any love for the USA
after the devastation that the US backed sanctions had wrought on my
country and its most innocent inhabitants. Virtually everyone in Iraq
must have either had a child relative die as a result of the sanctions
or know someone whose child had died as a result of the sanctions.
And indeed, the welcome was so lukewarm at best that the USA had to
create a staged media event in the form of the pulling down of the
Saddam statue for the benefit of the television viewers back home.
US Tanks sealed off the square, which was chosen because it was in
full view from the windows of the Palestine Hotel where all the
unembedded foreign journalists were staying. Newly arrived Iraqi
exiles helped play the part of "grateful Iraqis" waving American flags
and saying "Thank you Mister Bush!" in front of the camera lenses.

For evidence that the pulling down of the statue was a staged media
event, see:
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/NYI304A.html

Chris
cddugan
2004-05-15 11:45:37 UTC
Permalink
It just doesn't stop. Once again my country talks and acts like a
rogue superpower insisting on its right to rule the world by force, do
whatever it likes to whomever it likes, and be accountable to no one
except itself.

And before anyone starts requoting the unnamed "senior US official"
in the news story below stating that the USA will deal with its war
criminals internally, please explain why mass murder, torturer, and
one time CIA asset Emmanuel Constant is still living in the USA as a
free man years after the government of Haiti unsuccessfully tried to
extradite him for murders he committed in their country while on the
CIA's payroll. The USA is quite capable of "harboring terrorists"
when they are "our" terrorists; and the other 94% of the world's
population knows this full well even if the average American on the
street probably doesn't.

The USA has a solemn extradition agreement with Haiti dating back
generations under which Mr. Constant's extradition is clearly and
unambiguously required. But the USA won't extradite him to Haiti for
prosecution and won't prosecute him itself. The USA's legal basis for
declining to extradite him? None that I have ever been able to
discern. The USA simply won't do it even though we are legally
"obligated" to do so under the US-Haiti extradition agreement. And no
one can make us do it because we are the USA. Oh how we love to
lecture the rest of the world about human rights and the rule of law
even while behaving in a completely hypocritical manner ourselves.

And this is the same USA which now, in the midst of an
international prisoner abuse scandal involving multiple and widespread
violations of the Geneva Accords, to which it is a signatory, demands
to be exempt from the International Criminal Court to which most of
the rest of the world, even including military ally Britain, has
already signed on. Why should the words of some "senior US official"
who won't even speak on the record reassure anyone who cares about
bringing human rights violators of all nations to justice? Why should
anyone believe that the US will take care of its own human rights
violators on its own soil when a monster like Mr. Constant walks free
within its borders?

Chris, USA

US Pushes World Court Immunity Amid Iraq Scandal

Fri May 14th

By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is pursuing its
campaign to protect Americans from International Criminal Court
jurisdiction even as it deals with the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal
that may involve some of the very war crimes the court was created to
handle.

So far 89 countries have signed agreements with Washington promising
that Americans accused of grave international offenses, including
soldiers charged with war crimes, will be returned to U.S.
jurisdiction so their cases can be decided by fellow Americans rather
than international jurists.

Other states may soon be added, officials said this week.

"It's never been our argument that Americans are angels," one senior
U.S. official told Reuters.

"Our argument has been if Americans commit war crimes or human rights
violations, we will handle them. And we will," he added.

The permanent court was established in 2002 after ad hoc institutions
dealt with war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

But President Bush opposed it and insisted on so-called Article 98
agreements under which countries guaranteed not to surrender Americans
to ICC prosecution.

With military and civilians on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions
in 100 countries, Washington must preserve its independence to defend
its national interests worldwide, U.S. officials said.

This position is coming under new scrutiny following publication of
photographs showing U.S. army soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis
at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

The photos have fueled international outrage and severely damaged U.S.
credibility. U.S. officials promise the guilty will be punished but
rights experts worry prosecutions will focus on lower-ranking
soldiers, not their superiors.

WAR CRIMES PROSECUTION

"The political reality is that its going to be harder now to persuade
democratically elected leaders to immunize the U.S. military from war
crimes prosecution," said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director
for Human Rights Watch.

While some states may be more reluctant to sign the bilateral immunity
agreements, it is unclear they can avoid it, said Anthony Dworkin,
London-based editor of the Crimes of War Project Web site .

U.S. law prohibits military aid to countries that do not sign immunity
accords and Washington has used this lever to exert "enormous
pressure" on countries to sign, he said.

Some legal experts disagree with the use of Article 98 agreements and
question government insistence that U.S. military interrogation rules
in Iraq and elsewhere comply with the Geneva Convention.

Washington "is reluctant to test its interpretation" before
international jurists, Dworkin said.

"All of us are appalled by those prisoner abuse photos and we need to
address them," a U.S. official said.

"But the idea that the ICC would come in and judge whether we did
enough ... that's where the politicization comes and where those who
might have opposed the Iraq war in the first place could use that as
an opportunity to whack us," he said.

Another official said: "You can't get out of these things by having
somebody go to trial in international court. The only way to repair
our authority and reputation is to show that we find the behavior
abhorrent and are going to punish it."

Europe has resisted U.S. pressure and countries with major
concentrations of U.S. forces, like Germany, Japan and South Korea,
have not signed immunity pacts with the United States.
El Kabong
2004-05-15 15:19:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by cddugan
It just doesn't stop. Once again my country talks and acts like a
rogue superpower insisting on its right to rule the world by force, do
whatever it likes to whomever it likes, and be accountable to no one
except itself.
And before anyone starts requoting the unnamed "senior US official"
in the news story below stating that the USA will deal with its war
criminals internally, please explain why mass murder, torturer, and
one time CIA asset Emmanuel Constant is still living in the USA as a
free man years after the government of Haiti unsuccessfully tried to
extradite him for murders he committed in their country while on the
CIA's payroll. The USA is quite capable of "harboring terrorists"
when they are "our" terrorists; and the other 94% of the world's
population knows this full well even if the average American on the
street probably doesn't.
The USA has a solemn extradition agreement with Haiti dating back
generations under which Mr. Constant's extradition is clearly and
unambiguously required. But the USA won't extradite him to Haiti for
prosecution and won't prosecute him itself. The USA's legal basis for
declining to extradite him? None that I have ever been able to
discern. The USA simply won't do it even though we are legally
"obligated" to do so under the US-Haiti extradition agreement. And no
one can make us do it because we are the USA. Oh how we love to
lecture the rest of the world about human rights and the rule of law
even while behaving in a completely hypocritical manner ourselves.
"Although tyranny, because it needs no consent, may successfully rule over
foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the
national institutions of its own people."
~Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Kabong!~!~!~!
Post by cddugan
And this is the same USA which now, in the midst of an
international prisoner abuse scandal involving multiple and widespread
violations of the Geneva Accords, to which it is a signatory, demands
to be exempt from the International Criminal Court to which most of
the rest of the world, even including military ally Britain, has
already signed on. Why should the words of some "senior US official"
who won't even speak on the record reassure anyone who cares about
bringing human rights violators of all nations to justice? Why should
anyone believe that the US will take care of its own human rights
violators on its own soil when a monster like Mr. Constant walks free
within its borders?
Chris, USA
US Pushes World Court Immunity Amid Iraq Scandal
Fri May 14th
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is pursuing its
campaign to protect Americans from International Criminal Court
jurisdiction even as it deals with the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal
that may involve some of the very war crimes the court was created to
handle.
So far 89 countries have signed agreements with Washington promising
that Americans accused of grave international offenses, including
soldiers charged with war crimes, will be returned to U.S.
jurisdiction so their cases can be decided by fellow Americans rather
than international jurists.
Other states may soon be added, officials said this week.
"It's never been our argument that Americans are angels," one senior
U.S. official told Reuters.
"Our argument has been if Americans commit war crimes or human rights
violations, we will handle them. And we will," he added.
The permanent court was established in 2002 after ad hoc institutions
dealt with war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
But President Bush opposed it and insisted on so-called Article 98
agreements under which countries guaranteed not to surrender Americans
to ICC prosecution.
With military and civilians on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions
in 100 countries, Washington must preserve its independence to defend
its national interests worldwide, U.S. officials said.
This position is coming under new scrutiny following publication of
photographs showing U.S. army soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis
at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
The photos have fueled international outrage and severely damaged U.S.
credibility. U.S. officials promise the guilty will be punished but
rights experts worry prosecutions will focus on lower-ranking
soldiers, not their superiors.
WAR CRIMES PROSECUTION
"The political reality is that its going to be harder now to persuade
democratically elected leaders to immunize the U.S. military from war
crimes prosecution," said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director
for Human Rights Watch.
While some states may be more reluctant to sign the bilateral immunity
agreements, it is unclear they can avoid it, said Anthony Dworkin,
London-based editor of the Crimes of War Project Web site .
U.S. law prohibits military aid to countries that do not sign immunity
accords and Washington has used this lever to exert "enormous
pressure" on countries to sign, he said.
Some legal experts disagree with the use of Article 98 agreements and
question government insistence that U.S. military interrogation rules
in Iraq and elsewhere comply with the Geneva Convention.
Washington "is reluctant to test its interpretation" before
international jurists, Dworkin said.
"All of us are appalled by those prisoner abuse photos and we need to
address them," a U.S. official said.
"But the idea that the ICC would come in and judge whether we did
enough ... that's where the politicization comes and where those who
might have opposed the Iraq war in the first place could use that as
an opportunity to whack us," he said.
Another official said: "You can't get out of these things by having
somebody go to trial in international court. The only way to repair
our authority and reputation is to show that we find the behavior
abhorrent and are going to punish it."
Europe has resisted U.S. pressure and countries with major
concentrations of U.S. forces, like Germany, Japan and South Korea,
have not signed immunity pacts with the United States.
cddugan
2004-05-15 18:21:20 UTC
Permalink
It isn't just in Abu Ghraib Prison, and it isn't just in Iraq. The
USA is building a network of gulags to the globe - from Guantanamo
Bay, to Abu Graib, to Asadabad. Prisoners aren't entitled to any
semblence of due process, and are subject to abuses, possibly
including fatal beatings such as the one which killed Mr. Dilawar as
described in today's wireservice story below. The U.S. military has
for the past 18 months been "investigating" his death while in US
custody, without turning up anything definite just yet. I certainly
hope his friends and loved ones weren't holding their collective
breaths waiting for swift American justice to come down on the person
or persons responsible for his brutal death while in US detention.

Chris, USA


http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&u=/nm/20040515/ts_nm/afghan_usa_abuses_dc&printer=1

U.S. Military Hit by Another Afghan Abuse Charge

By Mike Collett-White
Sat, May 15, 2004

KABUL (Reuters) - The U.S. military in Afghanistan has launched its
second investigation into prisoner abuse in a week, as the scandal
over the treatment of Iraqi detainees threatens to spread.

U.S. spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Tucker Mansager told reporters on
Saturday that fresh allegations of mistreatment were relayed to the
military on Thursday, days after a former detainee said he had been
sexually abused in 2003.

"Upon notification, coalition forces launched an immediate
investigation into this matter," he said. "Coalition forces are
committed to ensuring that all detainees are treated humanely and
consistent with international law."

He added that such allegations threatened the military's interests in
Afghanistan.

"Our investigation is proof that we are concerned about these things,"
Mansager said. "Our center of gravity is the Afghan people. When
allegations like this come to light, that can affect that center of
gravity and we take that very seriously."

In a tiny, remote village in the east of the country, the family and
friends of one of three Afghans who have died while in U.S. custody
expressed anger at American abuses.

"We ask the Americans: 'Why are you arresting and killing innocent
people?' We don't know how he was killed," said Ibrahim, best friend
of Dilawar who died in December, 2002, at Bagram air base, the main
U.S. detention center north of Kabul.

Eighteen months later, the U.S. military has yet to conclude its
investigation into the death, which according to reports was caused by
"blunt force injuries" to the legs. Ibrahim said Dilawar, 22, was
accused of being an al Qaeda supporter, but his brothers told Reuters
in Yaqubi, 87 miles southeast of Kabul, that he was a taxi driver.

"We don't want the Americans in our country. They should leave it for
us," Ibrahim added.

FEW DETAILS

There were few details of the latest complaint, except that it was
made to the military via a third party and the person involved was
held by Americans last year and later released.

Earlier this week, the Americans launched an investigation into
allegations made by former policeman Sayed Nabi Siddiqui that he had
been subjected to beating, sleep deprivation, taunts and sexual abuse
during about 40 days in U.S. custody last year.

The complaints, following prisoner abuse in Iraq that sparked rage
across the Arab world, have led to new calls for human rights groups
to be given access to Afghan detention centers.

But Mansager said that only the International Committee of the Red
Cross would be allowed access to Bagram.

"There will be no change in that policy, as we view the ICRC as the
sole international organization charged with looking after the rights
of persons under control."

Some of the most serious allegations by detainees in Afghanistan, made
since the U.S. waged a war that toppled the Taliban in 2001, concern
Asadabad in the east, Kandahar in the south and Gardez, south of
Kabul.

An ICRC spokeswoman in Kabul said the group visited Bagram about once
every two weeks but did not go to other centers. She did not comment
on an informal request by the ICRC to visit one of the other sites,
which Mansager said had been made on Friday.

Human Rights Watch has complained of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan
before, and this week called the problem "systemic."

Hundreds of Islamic militant suspects are in detention centers around
the country. Some are sent on to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where many
are kept incommunicado for months.

The U.S. military leads a force of around 20,000 soldiers in
Afghanistan hunting down militants from the al Qaeda network and the
ousted Taliban regime. (Additional reporting by Samar Zwak in YAQUBI)
cddugan
2004-05-15 18:49:26 UTC
Permalink
Could it be that the interminable 18-months-and-counting
"investigation" of the "blunt force injuries" death of an Afghan man
while in US custody (which I posted about in my previous note on this
thread) is like the "investigation" of the Shu'ale marketplace bombing
on March 28, 2003 by a US missile which left scores of innocent
civilians dead and many others injured? (A fragment of the missile
bearing a unique serial number identifying it as a product of the
Raytheon plant in McKinney, Texas was recovered from the scene.) To
deflect questions from journalists, that "investigation" was invoked
repeatedly by high level military spokespersons in the days following
the tragedy. News of the recovery of the serial number was ignored in
the US domestic media although the rest of the world heard all about
it.

But as fast moving events of the war continued to unfold,
journalists asked fewer and fewer questions about the Shu'ale, and
those who did ask got the same answer: no comment now, details to come
once the "investigation" is completed, please be patient, these
"investigations" take time, etc. Then, on June 11th, the Associated
Press quoted Central Command spokesperson Captain John Morgan finally
admitting that there had never been any investigation to begin with.

High level spokespersons who lied on record about this nonexistent
"investigation" include Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, the deputy
director of operations for Central Command, and his superior officer,
Major General Victor Renuart. And now, over a year later, the victims
and families of victims of this Raytheon "smart" missile gone haywire
have yet to receive even a prefunctory apology from anyone in any
official US capacity, much less a single dime in compensation.

And we wonder... why do they hate us...


Chris, USA
http://www.unknownnews.net/marketbombing.html
cddugan
2004-05-16 00:25:52 UTC
Permalink
The lies which the Bush administration told during the months leading
up to the war may tie in to with the deplorable treatment of Iraqi
detainees which has now become a worldwide scandal. Getting the
American people to support this war required lots of bogus scare
stories about aluminum tubes, uranium from Niger, "intelligence" (much
of it from such dubious sources as Iraqi National Congress leader and
Pentagon darling, Ahmed Chalabi) indicating that Saddam had hundreds
of tons of nerve gas and vast stockpiles of anthrax, and even more
ridiculous reports of Saddam supposedly working hand in hand with his
arch enemies in al Qaeda to arm them with those vast stockpiles of WMD
we were assured he had.

My hunch is that the big focus was getting the Congress and the
American people frightened and cowed enough to at least passively
accept the Administration's war plans so that the invasion could
proceed and the Iraqi oil resources could fall under US control.
Then, while setting up a puppet government the USA could control, and
"privatizing" Iraq's resources by divvying them up among big
Republican campaign contributors with close ties to senior
administration officials, especially Halliburton and Bechtel, the
administration figured it could retroactively dredge up justifications
for the invasion after the fact.

But as the WMDs stubbornly refused to turn up and the alleged links
between Saddam and al-Qaeda turned out not to exist, the pressure was
on to find something which would vindicate the administration's
pre-war scare campaign propaganda. This, I suspect, is when the
pressure commenced from the highest levels to break Iraqi detainees no
matter what it took - to find absolutely anything about WMDs or al
Qaeda links which could possibly be found. And if the Geneva
Conventions got violated in the process, so be it. And of course,
once the Iraqi insurgency heated up, this provided yet another
motivation for ruthless methods of interrogation regardless of
standards of international law.

Now the dirt from Abu Ghraib prison is already beginning to stick
to Mr. Rumsfeld, as the wireservice article below indicates. The
administration's attempt to paint this whole scandal as the work of a
few sadistic "bad apples" at the lowest level of the heirarchy isn't
fooling anyone, not even those who are pretending to be fooled in the
interests of defending the Bush administration for its culpability in
this appalling international disgrace for America and shame upon every
American citizen (myself included).

If Bush is reelected in November, this will send a message to the
world that the American people approve of human rights violations,
"torture lite," and even worse abuses depicted in the 1800+ pictures
which we aren't allowed to see, carried out in their name. Every
American citizen has lost face in the world as a result of the
arrogant, unilateralist, lawlessness and ruthlessness of the unelected
Bush administration. To begin to regain face, the first thing we need
to do is vote Bush and his faction out of office in November. This
would be a good start, but to make an even better international
statement I think we need to George McGovern the man: that is, see to
it that he carries his home state and nowhere else in the general
election, just as McGovern did in '72. To show the world that this
administration's behavior and attitude do not reflect what Americans
are really about, we need to make Mr. Bush lose and lose big!

Chris



http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&u=/nm/20040515/ts_nm/iraq_abuse_pentagon_dc_5&printer=1
Rumsfeld Approved Iraq Interrogation Plan -Report

By Jeremy Pelofsky
Reuters News Service
Saturday May 15, 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved a
plan that brought unconventional interrogation methods to Iraq to gain
intelligence about the growing insurgency, ultimately leading to the
abuse of Iraqi prisoners, the New Yorker magazine reported on
Saturday.

Rumsfeld, who has been under fire for the prisoner abuse scandal, gave
the green light to methods previously used in Afghanistan for
gathering intelligence on members of al Qaeda, which the United States
blames for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the magazine reported on its
Web site.

Pentagon spokesman Jim Turner said he had not seen the story and could
not comment. The article hits newsstands on Monday.

U.S. interrogation techniques have come under scrutiny amid
revelations that prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad
were kept naked, stacked on top of one another, forced to engage in
sex acts and photographed in humiliating poses.

Rumsfeld, who has rejected calls by some Democrats and a number of
major newspapers to resign, returned on Friday from a surprise trip to
Iraq and Abu Ghraib prison, calling the scandal a "body blow." Seven
soldiers have been charged.

The abuse prompted worldwide outrage and has shaken U.S. global
prestige as President Bush seeks re-election in November. Bush has
backed Rumsfeld and said the abuse was abhorrent but the wrongful
actions of only a few soldiers.

The U.S. military has now prohibited several interrogation methods
from being used in Iraq, including sleep and sensory deprivation and
body "stress positions," defense officials said on Friday.

SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAM

The New Yorker said the interrogation plan was a highly classified
"special access program," or SAP, that gave advance approval to kill,
capture or interrogate so-called high-value targets in the battle
against terror.

Such secret methods were used extensively in Afghanistan but more
sparingly in Iraq -- only in the search for former President Saddam
Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. As the Iraqi insurgency grew
and more U.S. soldiers died, Rumsfeld and Defense Undersecretary for
Intelligence Stephen Cambone expanded the scope to bring the
interrogation tactics to Abu Ghraib, the article said.

The magazine, which based its article on interviews with several past
and present American intelligence officials, reported the plan was
approved and carried out last year after deadly bombings in August at
the U.N. headquarters and Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad.

A former intelligence official quoted in the article said Rumsfeld and
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, approved
the program but may not have known about the abuse.

'DO WHAT YOU WANT'

The rules governing the secret operation were "grab whom you must. Do
what you want," the unidentified former intelligence official told the
New Yorker.

Rumsfeld left the details of the interrogations to Cambone, the
article quoted a Pentagon consultant as saying.

"This is Cambone's deal, but Rumsfeld and Myers approved the program,"
said the Pentagon consultant in the article.

U.S. officials have admitted the abuse may have violated the Geneva
Convention, which governs treatment of prisoners of war.

The New Yorker said the CIA, which approved using high-pressure
interrogation tactics against senior al Qaeda leaders after the 2001
attacks, balked at extending them to Iraq and refused to participate

After initiating the secret techniques, the U.S. military began
learning useful intelligence about the insurgency, the former
intelligence official was quoted as saying.
cddugan
2004-05-16 20:57:53 UTC
Permalink
Senior neoconservative ideologue, Richard Perle, last year referred to
New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh as "the closest thing American
journalism has to a terrorist." This shrill outburst came in response
to an article by Hersh identifying apparent conflicts of interest in
Perle's business dealings which stood to benefit from an Iraq war.
Since Perle was advising the administration on policy towards Iraq,
this would constitute about as clear cut a case of conflict of
interest as anyone could imagine. Bringing such matters to light is
part of the proper role of a free press, of course. But Mr. Perle,
like Mr. Bush, apparently sees all opposition to himself and his
neoconservative faction as the work of evil doers, even if it is
simply the media telling the truth about how an administration insider
parlays his high level connections and influence into personal profit.

Now in today's edition of The New Yorker, Mr. Hersh is at it again,
engaging in investigative reporting even when so doing embarrasses
senior administration officials. Clearly the man is a menace to
national security. Shall we send Mr. Hersh to Guantanamo Bay now?

Chris, USA

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040524fa_fact

The Gray Zone
By Seymour M. Hersh
The New Yorker

Saturday 15 May 2004

How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib.

The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal
inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last
year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly
secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to
the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld's decision embittered
the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of
élite combat units, and hurt America's prospects in the war on terror.

According to interviews with several past and present American
intelligence officials, the Pentagon's operation, known inside the
intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green,
encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners
in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing
insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the
details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed
from Rumsfeld's long-standing desire to wrest control of America's
clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A.

Rumsfeld, during appearances last week before Congress to testify
about Abu Ghraib, was precluded by law from explicitly mentioning
highly secret matters in an unclassified session. But he conveyed the
message that he was telling the public all that he knew about the
story. He said, "Any suggestion that there is not a full, deep
awareness of what has happened, and the damage it has done, I think,
would be a misunderstanding." The senior C.I.A. official, asked about
Rumsfeld's testimony and that of Stephen Cambone, his Under-Secretary
for Intelligence, said, "Some people think you can bullshit anyone."

The Abu Ghraib story began, in a sense, just weeks after the
September 11, 2001, attacks, with the American bombing of Afghanistan.
Almost from the start, the Administration's search for Al Qaeda
members in the war zone, and its worldwide search for terrorists, came
up against major command-and-control problems. For example, combat
forces that had Al Qaeda targets in sight had to obtain legal
clearance before firing on them. On October 7th, the night the bombing
began, an unmanned Predator aircraft tracked an automobile convoy
that, American intelligence believed, contained Mullah Muhammad Omar,
the Taliban leader. A lawyer on duty at the United States Central
Command headquarters, in Tampa, Florida, refused to authorize a
strike. By the time an attack was approved, the target was out of
reach. Rumsfeld was apoplectic over what he saw as a self-defeating
hesitation to attack that was due to political correctness. One
officer described him to me that fall as "kicking a lot of glass and
breaking doors." In November, the Washington Post reported that, as
many as ten times since early October, Air Force pilots believed
they'd had senior Al Qaeda and Taliban members in their sights but had
been unable to act in time because of legalistic hurdles. There were
similar problems throughout the world, as American Special Forces
units seeking to move quickly against suspected terrorist cells were
compelled to get prior approval from local American ambassadors and
brief their superiors in the chain of command.

Rumsfeld reacted in his usual direct fashion: he authorized the
establishment of a highly secret program that was given blanket
advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate
"high value" targets in the Bush Administration's war on terror. A
special-access program, or sap-subject to the Defense Department's
most stringent level of security-was set up, with an office in a
secure area of the Pentagon. The program would recruit operatives and
acquire the necessary equipment, including aircraft, and would keep
its activities under wraps. America's most successful intelligence
operations during the Cold War had been saps, including the Navy's
submarine penetration of underwater cables used by the Soviet high
command and construction of the Air Force's stealth bomber. All the
so-called "black" programs had one element in common: the Secretary of
Defense, or his deputy, had to conclude that the normal military
classification restraints did not provide enough security.

"Rumsfeld's goal was to get a capability in place to take on a
high-value target-a standup group to hit quickly," a former high-level
intelligence official told me. "He got all the agencies together-the
C.I.A. and the N.S.A.-to get pre-approval in place. Just say the code
word and go." The operation had across-the-board approval from
Rumsfeld and from Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser.
President Bush was informed of the existence of the program, the
former intelligence official said.

The people assigned to the program worked by the book, the former
intelligence official told me. They created code words, and recruited,
after careful screening, highly trained commandos and operatives from
America's élite forces-Navy seals, the Army's Delta Force, and the
C.I.A.'s paramilitary experts. They also asked some basic questions:
"Do the people working the problem have to use aliases? Yes. Do we
need dead drops for the mail? Yes. No traceability and no budget. And
some special-access programs are never fully briefed to Congress."

In theory, the operation enabled the Bush Administration to respond
immediately to time-sensitive intelligence: commandos crossed borders
without visas and could interrogate terrorism suspects deemed too
important for transfer to the military's facilities at Guantánamo,
Cuba. They carried out instant interrogations-using force if
necessary-at secret C.I.A. detention centers scattered around the
world. The intelligence would be relayed to the sap command center in
the Pentagon in real time, and sifted for those pieces of information
critical to the "white," or overt, world.

Fewer than two hundred operatives and officials, including Rumsfeld
and General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were
"completely read into the program," the former intelligence official
said. The goal was to keep the operation protected. "We're not going
to read more people than necessary into our heart of darkness," he
said. "The rules are 'Grab whom you must. Do what you want.'"

One Pentagon official who was deeply involved in the program was
Stephen Cambone, who was named Under-Secretary of Defense for
Intelligence in March, 2003. The office was new; it was created as
part of Rumsfeld's reorganization of the Pentagon. Cambone was
unpopular among military and civilian intelligence bureaucrats in the
Pentagon, essentially because he had little experience in running
intelligence programs, though in 1998 he had served as staff director
for a committee, headed by Rumsfeld, that warned of an emerging
ballistic-missile threat to the United States. He was known instead
for his closeness to Rumsfeld. "Remember Henry II-'Who will rid me of
this meddlesome priest?'" the senior C.I.A. official said to me, with
a laugh, last week. "Whatever Rumsfeld whimsically says, Cambone will
do ten times that much."

Cambone was a strong advocate for war against Iraq. He shared
Rumsfeld's disdain for the analysis and assessments proffered by the
C.I.A., viewing them as too cautious, and chafed, as did Rumsfeld, at
the C.I.A.'s inability, before the Iraq war, to state conclusively
that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction. Cambone's
military assistant, Army Lieutenant General William G. (Jerry) Boykin,
was also controversial. Last fall, he generated unwanted headlines
after it was reported that, in a speech at an Oregon church, he
equated the Muslim world with Satan.

Early in his tenure, Cambone provoked a bureaucratic battle within
the Pentagon by insisting that he be given control of all
special-access programs that were relevant to the war on terror. Those
programs, which had been viewed by many in the Pentagon as sacrosanct,
were monitored by Kenneth deGraffenreid, who had experience in
counter-intelligence programs. Cambone got control, and deGraffenreid
subsequently left the Pentagon. Asked for comment on this story, a
Pentagon spokesman said, "I will not discuss any covert programs;
however, Dr. Cambone did not assume his position as the
Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence until March 7, 2003, and
had no involvement in the decision-making process regarding
interrogation procedures in Iraq or anywhere else."

In mid-2003, the special-access program was regarded in the Pentagon
as one of the success stories of the war on terror. "It was an active
program," the former intelligence official told me. "It's been the
most important capability we have for dealing with an imminent threat.
If we discover where Osama bin Laden is, we can get him. And we can
remove an existing threat with a real capability to hit the United
States-and do so without visibility." Some of its methods were
troubling and could not bear close scrutiny, however.

By then, the war in Iraq had begun. The sap was involved in some
assignments in Iraq, the former official said. C.I.A. and other
American Special Forces operatives secretly teamed up to hunt for
Saddam Hussein and-without success-for Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction. But they weren't able to stop the evolving insurgency.

In the first months after the fall of Baghdad, Rumsfeld and his
aides still had a limited view of the insurgency, seeing it as little
more than the work of Baathist "dead-enders," criminal gangs, and
foreign terrorists who were Al Qaeda followers. The Administration
measured its success in the war by how many of those on its list of
the fifty-five most wanted members of the old regime-reproduced on
playing cards-had been captured. Then, in August, 2003, terror
bombings in Baghdad hit the Jordanian Embassy, killing nineteen
people, and the United Nations headquarters, killing twenty-three
people, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the head of the U.N.
mission. On August 25th, less than a week after the U.N. bombing,
Rumsfeld acknowledged, in a talk before the Veterans of Foreign Wars,
that "the dead-enders are still with us." He went on, "There are some
today who are surprised that there are still pockets of resistance in
Iraq, and they suggest that this represents some sort of failure on
the part of the Coalition. But this is not the case." Rumsfeld
compared the insurgents with those true believers who "fought on
during and after the defeat of the Nazi regime in Germany." A few
weeks later-and five months after the fall of Baghdad-the Defense
Secretary declared,"It is, in my view, better to be dealing with
terrorists in Iraq than in the United States."

Inside the Pentagon, there was a growing realization that the war
was going badly. The increasingly beleaguered and baffled Army
leadership was telling reporters that the insurgents consisted of five
thousand Baathists loyal to Saddam Hussein. "When you understand that
they're organized in a cellular structure," General John Abizaid, the
head of the Central Command, declared, "that . . . they have access to
a lot of money and a lot of ammunition, you'll understand how
dangerous they are."

The American military and intelligence communities were having
little success in penetrating the insurgency. One internal report
prepared for the U.S. military, made available to me, concluded that
the insurgents'"strategic and operational intelligence has proven to
be quite good." According to the study:

"Their ability to attack convoys, other vulnerable targets and
particular individuals has been the result of painstaking surveillance
and reconnaissance. Inside information has been passed on to insurgent
cells about convoy/troop movements and daily habits of Iraqis working
with coalition from within the Iraqi security services, primarily the
Iraqi Police force which is rife with sympathy for the insurgents,
Iraqi ministries and from within pro-insurgent individuals working
with the CPA's so-called Green Zone."

The study concluded, "Politically, the U.S. has failed to date.
Insurgencies can be fixed or ameliorated by dealing with what caused
them in the first place. The disaster that is the reconstruction of
Iraq has been the key cause of the insurgency. There is no legitimate
government, and it behooves the Coalition Provisional Authority to
absorb the sad but unvarnished fact that most Iraqis do not see the
Governing Council"-the Iraqi body appointed by the C.P.A.-"as the
legitimate authority. Indeed, they know that the true power is the
CPA."

By the fall, a military analyst told me, the extent of the
Pentagon's political and military misjudgments was clear. Donald
Rumsfeld's "dead-enders" now included not only Baathists but many
marginal figures as well-thugs and criminals who were among the tens
of thousands of prisoners freed the previous fall by Saddam as part of
a prewar general amnesty. Their desperation was not driving the
insurgency; it simply made them easy recruits for those who were. The
analyst said, "We'd killed and captured guys who had been given two or
three hundred dollars to 'pray and spray'"-that is, shoot randomly and
hope for the best. "They weren't really insurgents but down-and-outers
who were paid by wealthy individuals sympathetic to the insurgency."
In many cases, the paymasters were Sunnis who had been members of the
Baath Party. The analyst said that the insurgents "spent three or four
months figuring out how we operated and developing their own
countermeasures. If that meant putting up a hapless guy to go and
attack a convoy and see how the American troops responded, they'd do
it." Then, the analyst said, "the clever ones began to get in on the
action."

By contrast, according to the military report, the American and
Coalition forces knew little about the insurgency: "Human intelligence
is poor or lacking . . . due to the dearth of competence and
expertise. . . . The intelligence effort is not coördinated since
either too many groups are involved in gathering intelligence or the
final product does not get to the troops in the field in a timely
manner." The success of the war was at risk; something had to be done
to change the dynamic.

The solution, endorsed by Rumsfeld and carried out by Stephen
Cambone, was to get tough with those Iraqis in the Army prison system
who were suspected of being insurgents. A key player was Major General
Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the detention and interrogation
center at Guantánamo, who had been summoned to Baghdad in late August
to review prison interrogation procedures. The internal Army report on
the abuse charges, written by Major General Antonio Taguba in
February, revealed that Miller urged that the commanders in Baghdad
change policy and place military intelligence in charge of the prison.
The report quoted Miller as recommending that "detention operations
must act as an enabler for interrogation."

Miller's concept, as it emerged in recent Senate hearings, was to
"Gitmoize" the prison system in Iraq-to make it more focussed on
interrogation. He also briefed military commanders in Iraq on the
interrogation methods used in Cuba-methods that could, with special
approval, include sleep deprivation, exposure to extremes of cold and
heat, and placing prisoners in "stress positions" for agonizing
lengths of time. (The Bush Administration had unilaterally declared Al
Qaeda and other captured members of international terrorist networks
to be illegal combatants, and not eligible for the protection of the
Geneva Conventions.)

Rumsfeld and Cambone went a step further, however: they expanded the
scope of the sap, bringing its unconventional methods to Abu Ghraib.
The commandos were to operate in Iraq as they had in Afghanistan. The
male prisoners could be treated roughly, and exposed to sexual
humiliation.

"They weren't getting anything substantive from the detainees in
Iraq," the former intelligence official told me. "No names. Nothing
that they could hang their hat on. Cambone says, I've got to crack
this thing and I'm tired of working through the normal chain of
command. I've got this apparatus set up-the black special-access
program-and I'm going in hot. So he pulls the switch, and the
electricity begins flowing last summer. And it's working. We're
getting a picture of the insurgency in Iraq and the intelligence is
flowing into the white world. We're getting good stuff. But we've got
more targets"-prisoners in Iraqi jails-"than people who can handle
them."

Cambone then made another crucial decision, the former intelligence
official told me: not only would he bring the sap's rules into the
prisons; he would bring some of the Army military-intelligence
officers working inside the Iraqi prisons under the sap'sauspices. "So
here are fundamentally good soldiers-military-intelligence guys-being
told that no rules apply," the former official, who has extensive
knowledge of the special-access programs, added. "And, as far as
they're concerned, this is a covert operation, and it's to be kept
within Defense Department channels."

The military-police prison guards, the former official said,
included "recycled hillbillies from Cumberland, Maryland." He was
referring to members of the 372nd Military Police Company. Seven
members of the company are now facing charges for their role in the
abuse at Abu Ghraib. "How are these guys from Cumberland going to know
anything? The Army Reserve doesn't know what it's doing."

Who was in charge of Abu Ghraib-whether military police or military
intelligence-was no longer the only question that mattered. Hard-core
special operatives, some of them with aliases, were working in the
prison. The military police assigned to guard the prisoners wore
uniforms, but many others-military intelligence officers, contract
interpreters, C.I.A. officers, and the men from the special-access
program-wore civilian clothes. It was not clear who was who, even to
Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, then the commander of the 800th
Military Police Brigade, and the officer ostensibly in charge. "I
thought most of the civilians there were interpreters, but there were
some civilians that I didn't know," Karpinski told me. "I called them
the disappearing ghosts. I'd seen them once in a while at Abu Ghraib
and then I'd see them months later. They were nice-they'd always call
out to me and say, 'Hey, remember me? How are you doing?'" The
mysterious civilians, she said, were "always bringing in somebody for
interrogation or waiting to collect somebody going out." Karpinski
added that she had no idea who was operating in her prison system.
(General Taguba found that Karpinski's leadership failures contributed
to the abuses.)

By fall, according to the former intelligence official, the senior
leadership of the C.I.A. had had enough. "They said, 'No way. We
signed up for the core program in Afghanistan-pre-approved for
operations against high-value terrorist targets-and now you want to
use it for cabdrivers, brothers-in-law, and people pulled off the
streets'"-the sort of prisoners who populate the Iraqi jails. "The
C.I.A.'s legal people objected," and the agency ended its sap
involvement in Abu Ghraib, the former official said.

The C.I.A.'s complaints were echoed throughout the intelligence
community. There was fear that the situation at Abu Ghraib would lead
to the exposure of the secret sap, and thereby bring an end to what
had been, before Iraq, a valuable cover operation. "This was
stupidity," a government consultant told me. "You're taking a program
that was operating in the chaos of Afghanistan against Al Qaeda, a
stateless terror group, and bringing it into a structured, traditional
war zone. Sooner or later, the commandos would bump into the legal and
moral procedures of a conventional war with an Army of a hundred and
thirty-five thousand soldiers."

The former senior intelligence official blamed hubris for the Abu
Ghraib disaster. "There's nothing more exhilarating for a pissant
Pentagon civilian than dealing with an important national security
issue without dealing with military planners, who are always worried
about risk," he told me. "What could be more boring than needing the
coöperation of logistical planners?" The only difficulty, the former
official added, is that, "as soon as you enlarge the secret program
beyond the oversight capability of experienced people, you lose
control. We've never had a case where a special-access program went
sour-and this goes back to the Cold War."

In a separate interview, a Pentagon consultant, who spent much of
his career directly involved with special-access programs, spread the
blame. "The White House subcontracted this to the Pentagon, and the
Pentagon subcontracted it to Cambone," he said. "This is Cambone's
deal, but Rumsfeld and Myers approved the program." When it came to
the interrogation operation at Abu Ghraib, he said, Rumsfeld left the
details to Cambone. Rumsfeld may not be personally culpable, the
consultant added, "but he's responsible for the checks and balances.
The issue is that, since 9/11, we've changed the rules on how we deal
with terrorism, and created conditions where the ends justify the
means."

Last week, statements made by one of the seven accused M.P.s,
Specialist Jeremy Sivits, who is expected to plead guilty, were
released. In them, he claimed that senior commanders in his unit would
have stopped the abuse had they witnessed it. One of the questions
that will be explored at any trial, however, is why a group of Army
Reserve military policemen, most of them from small towns, tormented
their prisoners as they did, in a manner that was especially
humiliating for Iraqi men.

The notion that Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual
humiliation became a talking point among pro-war Washington
conservatives in the months before the March, 2003, invasion of Iraq.
One book that was frequently cited was "The Arab Mind," a study of
Arab culture and psychology, first published in 1973, by Raphael
Patai, a cultural anthropologist who taught at, among other
universities, Columbia and Princeton, and who died in 1996. The book
includes a twenty-five-page chapter on Arabs and sex, depicting sex as
a taboo vested with shame and repression. "The segregation of the
sexes, the veiling of the women . . . and all the other minute rules
that govern and restrict contact between men and women, have the
effect of making sex a prime mental preoccupation in the Arab world,"
Patai wrote. Homosexual activity, "or any indication of homosexual
leanings, as with all other expressions of sexuality, is never given
any publicity. These are private affairs and remain in private." The
Patai book, an academic told me, was "the bible of the neocons on Arab
behavior." In their discussions, he said, two themes emerged-"one,
that Arabs only understand force and, two, that the biggest weakness
of Arabs is shame and humiliation."

The government consultant said that there may have been a serious
goal, in the beginning, behind the sexual humiliation and the posed
photographs. It was thought that some prisoners would do
anything-including spying on their associates-to avoid dissemination
of the shameful photos to family and friends. The government
consultant said, "I was told that the purpose of the photographs was
to create an army of informants, people you could insert back in the
population." The idea was that they would be motivated by fear of
exposure, and gather information about pending insurgency action, the
consultant said. If so, it wasn't effective; the insurgency continued
to grow.

"This shit has been brewing for months," the Pentagon consultant who
has dealt with saps told me. "You don't keep prisoners naked in their
cell and then let them get bitten by dogs. This is sick." The
consultant explained that he and his colleagues, all of whom had
served for years on active duty in the military, had been appalled by
the misuse of Army guard dogs inside Abu Ghraib. "We don't raise kids
to do things like that. When you go after Mullah Omar, that's one
thing. But when you give the authority to kids who don't know the
rules, that's another."

In 2003, Rumsfeld's apparent disregard for the requirements of the
Geneva Conventions while carrying out the war on terror had led a
group of senior military legal officers from the Judge Advocate
General's (jag) Corps to pay two surprise visits within five months to
Scott Horton, who was then chairman of the New York City Bar
Association's Committee on International Human Rights. "They wanted us
to challenge the Bush Administration about its standards for
detentions and interrogation," Horton told me. "They were urging us to
get involved and speak in a very loud voice. It came pretty much out
of the blue. The message was that conditions are ripe for abuse, and
it's going to occur." The military officials were most alarmed about
the growing use of civilian contractors in the interrogation process,
Horton recalled. "They said there was an atmosphere of legal ambiguity
being created as a result of a policy decision at the highest levels
in the Pentagon. The jag officers were being cut out of the policy
formulation process." They told him that, with the war on terror, a
fifty-year history of exemplary application of the Geneva Conventions
had come to an end.

The abuses at Abu Ghraib were exposed on January 13th, when Joseph
Darby, a young military policeman assigned to Abu Ghraib, reported the
wrongdoing to the Army's Criminal Investigations Division. He also
turned over a CD full of photographs. Within three days, a report made
its way to Donald Rumsfeld, who informed President Bush.

The inquiry presented a dilemma for the Pentagon. The C.I.D. had to
be allowed to continue, the former intelligence official said. "You
can't cover it up. You have to prosecute these guys for being off the
reservation. But how do you prosecute them when they were covered by
the special-access program? So you hope that maybe it'll go away." The
Pentagon's attitude last January, he said, was "Somebody got caught
with some photos. What's the big deal? Take care of it." Rumsfeld's
explanation to the White House, the official added, was reassuring:
"'We've got a glitch in the program. We'll prosecute it.' The cover
story was that some kids got out of control."

In their testimony before Congress last week, Rumsfeld and Cambone
struggled to convince the legislators that Miller's visit to Baghdad
in late August had nothing to do with the subsequent abuse. Cambone
sought to assure the Senate Armed Services Committee that the
interplay between Miller and Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the
top U.S. commander in Iraq, had only a casual connection to his
office. Miller's recommendations, Cambone said, were made to Sanchez.
His own role, he said, was mainly to insure that the "flow of
intelligence back to the commands" was "efficient and effective." He
added that Miller's goal was "to provide a safe, secure and humane
environment that supports the expeditious collection of intelligence."

It was a hard sell. Senator Hillary Clinton, Democrat of New York,
posed the essential question facing the senators:

"If, indeed, General Miller was sent from Guantánamo to Iraq for
the purpose of acquiring more actionable intelligence from detainees,
then it is fair to conclude that the actions that are at point here in
your report [on abuses at Abu Ghraib] are in some way connected to
General Miller's arrival and his specific orders, however they were
interpreted, by those MPs and the military intelligence that were
involved.... Therefore, I for one don't believe I yet have adequate
information from Mr. Cambone and the Defense Department as to exactly
what General Miller's orders were . . . how he carried out those
orders, and the connection between his arrival in the fall of '03 and
the intensity of the abuses that occurred afterward."

Sometime before the Abu Ghraib abuses became public, the former
intelligence official told me, Miller was "read in"-that is,
briefed-on the special-access operation. In April, Miller returned to
Baghdad to assume control of the Iraqi prisons; once the scandal hit,
with its glaring headlines, General Sanchez presented him to the
American and international media as the general who would clean up the
Iraqi prison system and instill respect for the Geneva Conventions.
"His job is to save what he can," the former official said. "He's
there to protect the program while limiting any loss of core
capability." As for Antonio Taguba, the former intelligence official
added, "He goes into it not knowing shit. And then: 'Holy cow! What's
going on?'"

If General Miller had been summoned by Congress to testify, he, like
Rumsfeld and Cambone, would not have been able to mention the
special-access program. "If you give away the fact that a
special-access program exists,"the former intelligence official told
me, "you blow the whole quick-reaction program."

One puzzling aspect of Rumsfeld's account of his initial reaction to
news of the Abu Ghraib investigation was his lack of alarm and lack of
curiosity. One factor may have been recent history: there had been
many previous complaints of prisoner abuse from organization like
Human Rights Watch and the International Red Cross, and the Pentagon
had weathered them with ease. Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services
Committee that he had not been provided with details of alleged abuses
until late March, when he read the specific charges. "You read it, as
I say, it's one thing. You see these photographs and it's just
unbelievable. . . . It wasn't three-dimensional. It wasn't video. It
wasn't color. It was quite a different thing." The former intelligence
official said that, in his view, Rumsfeld and other senior Pentagon
officials had not studied the photographs because "they thought what
was in there was permitted under the rules of engagement," as applied
to the sap. "The photos," he added, "turned out to be the result of
the program run amok."

The former intelligence official made it clear that he was not
alleging that Rumsfeld or General Myers knew that atrocities were
committed. But, he said, "it was their permission granted to do the
sap, generically, and there was enough ambiguity, which permitted the
abuses."

This official went on, "The black guys"-those in the Pentagon's
secret program-"say we've got to accept the prosecution. They're
vaccinated from the reality." The sap is still active, and "the United
States is picking up guys for interrogation. The question is, how do
they protect the quick-reaction force without blowing its cover?" The
program was protected by the fact that no one on the outside was
allowed to know of its existence. "If you even give a hint that you're
aware of a black program that you're not read into, you lose your
clearances," the former official said. "Nobody will talk. So the only
people left to prosecute are those who are undefended-the poor kids at
the end of the food chain."

The most vulnerable senior official is Cambone. "The Pentagon is
trying now to protect Cambone, and doesn't know how to do it," the
former intelligence official said.

Last week, the government consultant, who has close ties to many
conservatives, defended the Administration's continued secrecy about
the special-access program in Abu Ghraib. "Why keep it black?" the
consultant asked. "Because the process is unpleasant. It's like making
sausage-you like the result but you don't want to know how it was
made. Also, you don't want the Iraqi public, and the Arab world, to
know. Remember, we went to Iraq to democratize the Middle East. The
last thing you want to do is let the Arab world know how you treat
Arab males in prison."

The former intelligence official told me he feared that one of the
disastrous effects of the prison-abuse scandal would be the
undermining of legitimate operations in the war on terror, which had
already suffered from the draining of resources into Iraq. He
portrayed Abu Ghraib as "a tumor" on the war on terror. He said, "As
long as it's benign and contained, the Pentagon can deal with the
photo crisis without jeopardizing the secret program. As soon as it
begins to grow, with nobody to diagnose it-it becomes a malignant
tumor."

The Pentagon consultant made a similar point. Cambone and his
superiors, the consultant said, "created the conditions that allowed
transgressions to take place. And now we're going to end up with
another Church Commission"-the 1975 Senate committee on intelligence,
headed by Senator Frank Church, of Idaho, which investigated C.I.A.
abuses during the previous two decades. Abu Ghraib had sent the
message that the Pentagon leadership was unable to handle its
discretionary power. "When the shit hits the fan, as it did on 9/11,
how do you push the pedal?" the consultant asked. "You do it
selectively and with intelligence."

"Congress is going to get to the bottom of this," the Pentagon
consultant said. "You have to demonstrate that there are checks and
balances in the system." He added, "When you live in a world of gray
zones, you have to have very clear red lines."

Senator John McCain, of Arizona, said, "If this is true, it
certainly increases the dimension of this issue and deserves
significant scrutiny. I will do all possible to get to the bottom of
this, and all other allegations."

"In an odd way," Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human
Rights Watch, said, "the sexual abuses at Abu Ghraib have become a
diversion for the prisoner abuse and the violation of the Geneva
Conventions that is authorized." Since September 11th, Roth added, the
military has systematically used third-degree techniques around the
world on detainees. "Some jags hate this and are horrified that the
tolerance of mistreatment will come back and haunt us in the next
war," Roth told me. "We're giving the world a ready-made excuse to
ignore the Geneva Conventions. Rumsfeld has lowered the bar."
cddugan
2004-05-17 16:56:03 UTC
Permalink
How do spanking and harsh discipline of children relate to abuse of
prisoners? Psychologist, Michael Milburn, connects the dots.

Chris

http://nospank.net/n-m05r.htm

See No Evil -- A political psychologist explains the roles denial,
emotion and childhood punishment play in politics

Michael Milburn interviewed by Brian Braiker
Newsweek, May 13, 2004

May 13 - As details of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu
Ghraib became known, not everyone was shocked. A caller on Rush
Limbaugh's show likened the torture of prisoners to "a college
fraternity prank." The host picked up on the cue and started riffing.
"Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull
and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it
and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going
to really hammer them because they had a good time."

During the Senate investigation into the abuse, Sen. James
Inhofe of Oklahoma opined that "I'm probably not the only one up at
this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the
treatment." Meanwhile every day at least a handful of NEWSWEEK readers
write in to say that they are tired of images of the abuse or to say
that they don't want to see photographs of coffins bearing the remains
of U.S. soldiers.

What's going on here? Is it unpatriotic to question the
behavior of American soldiers, to publish photos of their caskets? Or
is there a sort of willful denial at play here? Michael Milburn
believes the latter is the case. Milburn, a psychologist at the
University of Massachusetts and coauthor of "The Politics of Denial"
(MIT Press), has extensively explored what determines political
attitudes, the role of emotion in public opinion and the effects of
the mass media on political attitudes and social behavior. He recently
spoke with NEWSWEEK's Brian Braiker about political denial—what it is,
what causes it and when, if ever, it can be a positive thing.
Excerpts:

Political Pyschologist
Michael Milburn

NEWSWEEK: What are the politics of denial?
Michael Milburn: We found that, particularly for males who had
never had any psychotherapy, when they reported a high level of
childhood punishment, they were significantly more likely to endorse a
range of punitive public policies like support for the death penalty,
opposition to abortion, support for the use of military force. We used
a notion of therapy as a general indicator of denial or lack of
denial. Well, the extent to which emotion connected to childhood
punishment was driving their political attitudes, when they had an
opportunity to sort of reflect on that and [have a] short-term
catharsis experience, that sort of energy disappears.

So are you saying that [Secretary of Defense] Donald Rumsfeld
could use a little therapy?
[Laughs] Well, bottom line, yes. What we have found, really
broadly, is the higher level of punitiveness among political
conservatives is really strongly associated with experiences,
generally, of harsh punishment from childhood. It's not just going to
be that they were spanked; there's a whole family climate, and
punishment is just going to be one of those indicators of that. We
have a whole chapter on the religious right. In our research we also
found that when we gave people the statement "the amount of physical
and sexual abuse in this country is greatly exaggerated by the mass
media," conservatives were significantly more likely to agree with
that.

That echoes the Inhofe comment that he was more "outraged by
the outrage." I think it has a lot of direct relevance for seeing
what's going on in the reaction to these Iraqi prison [photos]. You
know, Rush Limbaugh calling it a fraternity prank. You have Trent Lott
yesterday [saying] that these are all exaggerated.

Is that a form of denial, though, or is that spin and
interpretation?
Oh, absolutely. There's outright denial, but it's more subtle
form is just minimization. There is a difficulty sometimes in being
able to separate with public figures how much is actual denial in
terms of their own belief and how much of it is political motivation
in terms of spinning it and trying to alter people's perceptions. I
can't say anything definitively that Rumsfeld is in denial or these
guys are all in denial. We get a lot of reader mail telling us to stop
showing photos of the prison abuses and that they don't want to see
pictures of coffins coming home. Is that another form of denial on the
part of the public?
I would think absolutely. It's important to note that there is
a positive dimension to denial. Denial is a defense mechanism that
typically develops in childhood as a method of survival, of denying
powerful, unpleasant emotions. The problem is a lot of people learn
this as a way of dealing with life. The coffins and the pictures of
abuse are sickening, disgusting, so there are some real powerful
emotions there that people want to avoid. But I think also there's an
issue of loss going on. There's a really powerful political myth about
the United States; we're the land of the free, the home of the brave.
We go out with honor to bring freedom to Iraq, and so on. These kinds
of photographs really threaten the validity of that myth. That's a
real loss.

Whether or not that myth is true or whether Abu Ghraib is an
anomaly, people never like having their assumptions challenged.
Absolutely. I think there's a lot of [people saying] "If I
don't see it, it doesn't exist." You saw that with Gen. [Richard]
Myers, head of the Joint Chiefs, he got this report in January, and he
never read it. Rumsfeld had the report, and he didn't read it. It's
like, psychologically, "If I don't read it, maybe it will go away."
The parallels to the [Roman] Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal are
[right there]. Again, it's protecting the institution, throwing up a
few underlings but protecting the chain of command, which is obviously
what the Catholic church did, big time.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am guessing you lean
politically a little more to the left?
Yeah, I'd probably have to say that. I have voted for
Republicans, however.

Just not Republicans you felt were in denial?
[Laughs] Well, not always. Politics is always a matter of
choice.

What about the Democrats, though, they lean more toward the
social welfare side of things, bigger government, with a few notable
exceptions.
Well, you have to be careful about that too because the
biggest spenders in the last 20 years have been Reagan, Bush I and
Bush II, compared to Bill Clinton. But it's a matter of priorities. Is
it going to be education and health care or is it going to be tax cuts
for the rich and the military?

What do those two sets of priorities say about their political
psychologies?
[Psychologist] Sylvan Tompkins speculated that when people
move into adulthood, they are attracted to political ideologies whose
emotional basis is consistent with the emotional script that they grew
up with. That's a really general process, and you can see that in
terms of the religions that people are attracted to as well as the
political ideology—you know in Christianity, people will find in the
Bible teachings that resonate with their particular emotional
experience. Is it hellfire and damnation or is it the uplifting
qualities that Jesus talked about? The attitudes that we found
associated with these childhood punishment experiences were attitudes
with a large symbolic component of power and toughness and
retribution. You see that in Inhofe, who's talking about "Hey, these
guys are guys with blood on their hands; they're not in there for
traffic violations"—of course disregarding the Red Cross report that
70 to 90 percent of the people were picked up by mistake.

What does Bush's upbringing and conservativism tell you about
the way he sees the world? Bush is really fascinating. There was a
televised interview with Barbara Bush during the [2000] campaign. She
was talking about her son and relating this one incident where he had
come home drunk and his father was walking out to talk to him. W was
saying, "OK Dad, right now, let's do it." Clearly there's a tremendous
amount of anger there. Not that this explains everything that's going
on, but it's clearly, to me, a factor in his
I'm-gonna-get-the-guy-who-threatened-my-dad-but-I'm-also-going-to-show-my-dad-that-
I-can-do-stuff-that-he-couldn't-do [attitude]. How do you explain the
behavior and the psychology of the soldiers who committed the Abu
Ghraib abuses? They almost seem to be enjoying themselves.
It's the process of what's called "moral exclusion." This is a
process that happens in wartime a lot where you dehumanize your enemy.
Phillip Zimbardo ran the Stanford prison study back in 1971 where he
set up a simulation of a prison in the basement of the Stanford
psychology building. He randomly recruited 18 people—nine guards and
nine prisoners—and randomly assigned them to be either guards or
prisoners. He was going to run his experiment for two weeks. He had to
abandon it after six days. The guys who were guards ended up really
sadistically humiliating and abusing the prisoners, locking them in a
closet for hours and hours in solitary confinement, having them clean
toilets with their bare hands. The prisoners became demoralized and
went along with this. It became an actual prison. The guards were
having the prisoners simulate sodomy with each other.

Can you relate that to Abu Ghraib?
The role of a prison guard really dehumanizes the people who
occupy it and comes with it the ultimate aphrodisiac of power. There's
no coincidence that a lot of the abuse becomes sexualized. There has
always been a fusion of sexuality and power—it's a way of getting off;
it's a high to exercise that power.
cddugan
2004-05-18 07:17:15 UTC
Permalink
Is there anyone on this thread who still seriously believes that the
torture in Abu Ghraib prison was all the work of a few low level
grunts who thought up all those abuse techniques on their own and
acted entirely without the knowledge or authorization of anyone higher
up? If so, please read this article, and if you still hold to those
views, I would be very interested in discussing with you how you
manage rationalize them.

Chris, USA


http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4989481/

The Roots of Torture

By John Barry, Michael Hirsh and Michael Isikoff
Newsweek International

May 24 Issue

The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new
rules to fight a new kind of war.

It's not easy to get a member of Congress to stop talking. Much
less a room full of them. But as a small group of legislators watched
the images flash by in a small, darkened hearing room in the Rayburn
Building last week, a sickened silence descended. There were 1,800
slides and several videos, and the show went on for three hours. The
nightmarish images showed American soldiers at Abu Ghraib Prison
forcing Iraqis to masturbate. American soldiers sexually assaulting
Iraqis with chemical light sticks. American soldiers laughing over
dead Iraqis whose bodies had been abused and mutilated. There was
simply nothing to say. "It was a very subdued walk back to the House
floor," said Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House
Intelligence Committee. "People were ashen."

The White House put up three soldiers for court-martial, saying
the pictures were all the work of a few bad-apple MPs who were poorly
supervised. But evidence was mounting that the furor was only going to
grow and probably sink some prominent careers in the process. Senate
Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner declared the pictures
were the worst "military misconduct" he'd seen in 60 years, and he
planned more hearings. Republicans on Capitol Hill were notably
reluctant to back Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. And NEWSWEEK has
learned that U.S. soldiers and CIA operatives could be accused of war
crimes. Among the possible charges: homicide involving deaths during
interrogations. "The photos clearly demonstrate to me the level of
prisoner abuse and mistreatment went far beyond what I expected, and
certainly involved more than six or seven MPs," said GOP Sen. Lindsey
Graham, a former military prosecutor. He added: "It seems to have been
planned."

Indeed, the single most iconic image to come out of the abuse
scandal - that of a hooded man standing naked on a box, arms
outspread, with wires dangling from his fingers, toes and penis - may
do a lot to undercut the administration's case that this was the work
of a few criminal MPs. That's because the practice shown in that photo
is an arcane torture method known only to veterans of the
interrogation trade. "Was that something that [an MP] dreamed up by
herself? Think again," says Darius Rejali, an expert on the use of
torture by democracies. "That's a standard torture. It's called 'the
Vietnam.' But it's not common knowledge. Ordinary American soldiers
did this, but someone taught them."

Who might have taught them? Almost certainly it was their
superiors up the line. Some of the images from Abu Ghraib, like those
of naked prisoners terrified by attack dogs or humiliated before
grinning female guards, actually portray "stress and duress"
techniques officially approved at the highest levels of the government
for use against terrorist suspects. It is unlikely that President
George W. Bush or senior officials ever knew of these specific
techniques, and late last - week Defense spokesman Larry DiRita said
that "no responsible official of the Department of Defense approved
any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in
such abuses." But a NEWSWEEK investigation shows that, as a means of
pre-empting a repeat of 9/11, Bush, along with Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft, signed off on a secret
system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such
methods. It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the
historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the
rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode
the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America's top
military lawyers - and they left underlings to sweat the details of
what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While no
one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques
entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation,
privations, insults, threats and humiliation - methods that the Red
Cross concluded were "tantamount to torture."

The Bush administration created a bold legal framework to justify
this system of interrogation, according to internal government memos
obtained by NEWSWEEK. What started as a carefully thought-out, if
aggressive, policy of interrogation in a covert war - designed mainly
for use by a handful of CIA professionals - evolved into ever-more
ungoverned tactics that ended up in the hands of untrained MPs in a
big, hot war. Originally, Geneva Conventions protections were stripped
only from Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. But later Rumsfeld himself,
impressed by the success of techniques used against Qaeda suspects at
Guantanamo Bay, seemingly set in motion a process that led to their
use in Iraq, even though that war was supposed to have been governed
by the Geneva Conventions. Ultimately, reservist MPs, like those at
Abu Ghraib, were drawn into a system in which fear and humiliation
were used to break prisoners' resistance to interrogation.

"There was a before-9/11 and an after-9/11," as Cofer Black, the
onetime director of the CIA's counterterrorist unit, put it in
testimony to Congress in early 2002. "After 9/11 the gloves came off."
Many Americans thrilled to the martial rhetoric at the time, and
agreed that Al Qaeda could not be fought according to traditional
rules. But it is only now that we are learning what, precisely, it
meant to take the gloves off.

The story begins in the months after September 11, when a small
band of conservative lawyers within the Bush administration staked out
a forward-leaning legal position. The attacks by Al Qaeda on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon, these lawyers said, had plunged the
country into a new kind of war. It was a conflict against a vast,
outlaw, international enemy in which the rules of war, international
treaties and even the Geneva Conventions did not apply. These
positions were laid out in secret legal opinions drafted by lawyers
from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and then
endorsed by the Department of Defense and ultimately by White House
counsel Alberto Gonzales, according to copies of the opinions and
other internal legal memos obtained by NEWSWEEK.

The Bush administration's emerging approach was that America's
enemies in this war were "unlawful" combatants without rights. One
Justice Department memo, written for the CIA late in the fall of 2001,
put an extremely narrow interpretation on the international
anti-torture convention, allowing the agency to use a whole range of
techniques - including sleep deprivation, the use of phobias and the
deployment of "stress factors" - in interrogating Qaeda suspects. The
only clear prohibition was "causing severe physical or mental pain" -
a subjective judgment that allowed for "a whole range of things in
between," said one former administration official familiar with the
opinion. On Dec. 28, 2001, the Justice Department Office of Legal
Counsel weighed in with another opinion, arguing that U.S. courts had
no jurisdiction to review the treatment of foreign prisoners at
Guantanamo Bay. The appeal of Gitmo from the start was that, in the
view of administration lawyers, the base existed in a legal twilight
zone - or "the legal equivalent of outer space," as one former
administration lawyer described it. And on Jan. 9, 2002, John Yoo of
Justice's Office of Legal Counsel coauthored a sweeping 42-page memo
concluding that neither the Geneva Conventions nor any of the laws of
war applied to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Cut out of the process, as usual, was Colin Powell's State
Department. So were military lawyers for the uniformed services. When
State Department lawyers first saw the Yoo memo, "we were horrified,"
said one. As State saw it, the Justice position would place the United
States outside the orbit of international treaties it had championed
for years. Two days after the Yoo memo circulated, the State
Department's chief legal adviser, William Howard Taft IV, fired a memo
to Yoo calling his analysis "seriously flawed." State's most immediate
concern was the unilateral conclusion that all captured Taliban were
not covered by the Geneva Conventions. "In previous conflicts, the
United States has dealt with tens of thousands of detainees without
repudiating its obligations under the Conventions," Taft wrote. "I
have no doubt we can do so here, where a relative handful of persons
is involved."

The White House was undeterred. By Jan. 25, 2002, according to a
memo obtained by NEWSWEEK, it was clear that Bush had already decided
that the Geneva Conventions did not apply at all, either to the
Taliban or Al Qaeda. In the memo, which was written to Bush by
Gonzales, the White House legal counsel told the president that Powell
had "requested that you reconsider that decision." Gonzales then laid
out startlingly broad arguments that anticipated any objections to the
conduct of U.S. soldiers or CIA interrogators in the future. "As you
have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Gonzales
wrote to Bush. "The nature of the new war places a - high premium on
other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from
captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further
atrocities against American civilians." Gonzales concluded in stark
terms: "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's
strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders
quaint some of its provisions."

Gonzales also argued that dropping Geneva would allow the
president to "preserve his flexibility" in the war on terror. His
reasoning? That U.S. officials might otherwise be subject to
war-crimes prosecutions under the Geneva Conventions. Gonzales said he
feared "prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future
decide to pursue unwarranted charges" based on a 1996 U.S. law that
bars "war crimes," which were defined to include "any grave breach" of
the Geneva Conventions. As to arguments that U.S. soldiers might
suffer abuses themselves if Washington did not observe the
conventions, Gonzales argued wishfully to Bush that "your policy of
providing humane treatment to enemy detainees gives us the credibility
to insist on like treatment for our soldiers."

When Powell read the Gonzales memo, he "hit the roof," says a
State source. Desperately seeking to change Bush's mind, Powell fired
off his own blistering response the next day, Jan. 26, and sought an
immediate meeting with the president. The proposed anti-Geneva
Convention declaration, he warned, "will reverse over a century of
U.S. policy and practice" and have "a high cost in terms of negative
international reaction." Powell won a partial victory: On Feb. 7,
2002, the White House announced that the United States would indeed
apply the Geneva Conventions to the Afghan war - but that Taliban and
Qaeda detainees would still not be afforded prisoner-of-war status.
The White House's halfway retreat was, in the eyes of State Department
lawyers, a "hollow" victory for Powell that did not fundamentally
change the administration's position. It also set the stage for the
new interrogation procedures ungoverned by international law.

What Bush seemed to have in mind was applying his broad doctrine
of pre-emption to interrogations: to get information that could help
stop terrorist acts before they could be carried out. This was
justified by what is known in counter terror circles as the "ticking
time bomb" theory - the idea that when faced with an imminent threat
by a terrorist, almost any method is justified, even torture.

With the legal groundwork laid, Bush began to act. First, he
signed a secret order granting new powers to the CIA. According to
knowledgeable sources, the president's directive authorized the CIA to
set up a series of secret detention facilities outside the United
States, and to question those held in them with unprecedented
harshness. Washington then negotiated novel "status of forces
agreements" with foreign governments for the secret sites. These
agreements gave immunity not merely to U.S. government personnel but
also to private contractors. (Asked about the directive last week, a
senior administration official said, "We cannot comment on purported
intelligence activities.")

The administration also began "rendering" - or delivering terror
suspects to foreign governments for interrogation. Why? At a
classified briefing for senators not long after 9/11, CIA Director
George Tenet was asked whether Washington was going to get governments
known for their brutality to turn over Qaeda suspects to the United
States. Congressional sources told NEWSWEEK that Tenet suggested it
might be better sometimes for such suspects to remain in the hands of
foreign authorities, who might be able to use more aggressive
interrogation methods. By 2004, the United States was running a covert
charter airline moving CIA prisoners from one secret facility to
another, sources say. The reason? It was judged impolitic (and too
traceable) to use the U.S. Air Force.

At first - in the autumn of 2001 - the Pentagon was less inclined
than the CIA to jump into the business of handling terror suspects.
Rumsfeld himself was initially opposed to having detainees sent into
DOD custody at Guantanamo, according to a DOD source intimately
involved in the Gitmo issue. "I don't want to be jailer to the
goddammed world," said Rumsfeld. But he was finally persuaded. Those
sent to Gitmo would be hard-core Qaeda or other terrorists who might
be liable for war-crimes prosecutions, and who would likely, if freed,
"go back and hit us again," as the source put it.

In mid-January 2002 the first plane-load of prisoners landed at
Gitmo's Camp X-Ray. Still, not everyone was getting the message that
this was a new kind of war. The first commander of the MPs at Gitmo
was a one-star from the Rhode Island National Guard, Brig. Gen. Rick
Baccus, who, a Defense source recalled, mainly "wanted to keep the
prisoners happy." Baccus began giving copies of the Qur'an to
detainees, and he organized a special meal schedule for Ramadan. "He
was even handing out printed 'rights cards'," the Defense source
recalled. The upshot was that the prisoners were soon telling the
interrogators, "Go f - - - yourself, I know my rights." Baccus was
relieved in October 2002, and Rumsfeld gave military intelligence
control of all aspects of the Gitmo camp, including the MPs.

Pentagon officials now insist that they flatly ruled out using
some of the harsher interrogation techniques authorized for the CIA.
That included one practice - reported last week by The New York Times
- whereby a suspect is pushed underwater and made to think he will be
drowned. While the CIA could do pretty much what it liked in its own
secret centers, the Pentagon was bound by the Uniform Code of Military
Justice. Military officers were routinely trained to observe the
Geneva Conventions. According to one source, both military and
civilian officials at the Pentagon ultimately determined that such CIA
techniques were "not something we believed the military should be
involved in."

But in practical terms those distinctions began to matter less.
The Pentagon's resistance to rougher techniques eroded month by month.
In part this was because CIA interrogators were increasingly in the
same room as their military-intelligence counterparts. But there was
also a deliberate effort by top Pentagon officials to loosen the rules
binding the military.

Toward the end of 2002, orders came down the political chain at
DOD that the Geneva Conventions were to be reinterpreted to allow
tougher methods of interrogation. "There was almost a revolt" by the
service judge advocates general, or JAGs, the top military lawyers who
had originally allied with Powell against the new rules, says a
knowledgeable source. The JAGs, including the lawyers in the office of
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Richard Myers, fought their
civilian bosses for months - but finally lost. In April 2003, new and
tougher interrogation techniques were approved. Covertly, though, the
JAGs made a final effort. They went to see Scott Horton, a specialist
in international human-rights law and a major player in the New York
City Bar Association's human-rights work. The JAGs told Horton they
could only talk obliquely about practices that were classified. But
they said the U.S. military's 50-year history of observing the demands
of the Geneva Conventions was now being overturned. "There is a
calculated effort to create an atmosphere of legal ambiguity" about
how the conventions should be interpreted and applied, they told
Horton. And the prime movers in this effort, they told him, were DOD
Under Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith and DOD general counsel
William Haynes. There was, they warned, "a real risk of a disaster"
for U.S. interests.

The approach at Gitmo soon reflected these changes. Under the
leadership of an aggressive, self-assured major general named Geoffrey
Miller, a new set of interrogation rules became doctrine. Ultimately
what was developed at Gitmo was a "72-point matrix for stress and
duress," which laid out types of coercion and the escalating levels at
which they could be applied. These included the use of harsh heat or
cold; - withholding food; hooding for days at a time; naked isolation
in cold, dark cells for more than 30 days, and threatening (but not
biting) by dogs. It also permitted limited use of "stress positions"
designed to subject detainees to rising levels of pain.

While the interrogators at Gitmo were refining their techniques,
by the summer of 2003 the "postwar" insurgency in Iraq was raging. And
Rumsfeld was getting impatient about the poor quality of the
intelligence coming out of there. He wanted to know: Where was Saddam?
Where were the WMD? Most immediately: Why weren't U.S. troops catching
or forestalling the gangs planting improvised explosive devices by the
roads? Rumsfeld pointed out that Gitmo was producing good intel. So he
directed Steve Cambone, his under secretary for intelligence, to send
Gitmo commandant Miller to Iraq to improve what they were doing out
there. Cambone in turn dispatched his deputy, Lt. Gen. William (Jerry)
Boykin - later to gain notoriety for his harsh comments about Islam -
down to Gitmo to talk with Miller and organize the trip. In Baghdad in
September 2003, Miller delivered a blunt message to Brig. Gen. Janis
Karpinski, who was then in charge of the 800th Military Police Brigade
running Iraqi detentions. According to Karpinski, Miller told her that
the prison would thenceforth be dedicated to gathering intel. (Miller
says he simply recommended that detention and intelligence commands be
integrated.) On Nov. 19, Abu Ghraib was formally handed over to
tactical control of military-intelligence units.

By the time Gitmo's techniques were exported to Abu Ghraib, the
CIA was already fully involved. On a daily basis at Abu Ghraib, says
Paul Wayne Bergrin, a lawyer for MP defendant Sgt. Javal Davis, the
CIA and other intel officials "would interrogate, interview prisoners
exhaustively, use the approved measures of food and sleep deprivation,
solitary confinement with no light coming into cell 24 hours a day.
Consequently, they set a poor example for young soldiers but it went
even further than that."

Today there is no telling where the scandal will bottom out. But
it is growing harder for top Pentagon officials, including Rumsfeld
himself, to absolve themselves of all responsibility. Evidence is
growing that the Pentagon has not been forthright on exactly when it
was first warned of the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib. U.S. officials
continued to say they didn't know until mid-January. But Red Cross
officials had alerted the U.S. military command in Baghdad at the
start of November. The Red Cross warned explicitly of MPs' conducting
"acts of humiliation such as [detainees'] being made to stand naked...
with women's underwear over the head, while being laughed at by
guards, including female guards, and sometimes photographed in this
position." Karpinski recounts that the military-intel officials there
regarded this criticism as funny. She says: "The MI officers said, 'We
warned the [commanding officer] about giving those detainees the
Victoria's Secret catalog, but he wouldn't listen'." The Coalition
commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, and his Iraq command
didn't begin an investigation until two months later, when it was
clear the pictures were about to leak.

Now more charges are coming. Intelligence officials have confirmed
that the CIA inspector general is conducting an investigation into the
death of at least one person at Abu Ghraib who had been subject to
questioning by CIA interrogators. The Justice Department is likely to
open full-scale criminal investigations into this CIA-related death
and two other CIA interrogation-related fatalities.

As his other reasons for war have fallen away, President Bush has
justified his ouster of Saddam Hussein by saying he's a "torturer and
murderer." Now the American forces arrayed against the terrorists are
being tarred with the same epithet. That's unfair: what Saddam did at
Abu Ghraib during his regime was more horrible, and on a much vaster
scale, than anything seen in those images on Capitol Hill. But if
America is going to live up to its promise to bring justice and
democracy to Iraq, it needs to get to the bottom of what happened at
Abu Ghraib.
steve eaton
2004-05-19 21:26:47 UTC
Permalink
Is there anyone on this thread ...
I seriously doubt it.
You've, as usual, taken it over with mountains of your indictment and rant.
My news reader shows more or less a looong string of unsolicited
and largely unanswered posts by you and only you.
Of course you probably figure that the reason that no one answers is
because your arguments are unassailable. Here in a.g.a that is known as
the "Mulay Syndrome".

Maybe you should instead consider that you are boring with these waves
of diatribe, so that few read them, and those that do have no desire to
discuss with a guy who blathers forth 50 screeds before the discussion
even starts.

How's the reverb in that nearly empty room?
who still seriously believes that the
torture in Abu Ghraib prison was all the work of a few low level
grunts who thought up all those abuse techniques on their own and
acted entirely without the knowledge or authorization of anyone higher
up? If so, please read this article, and if you still hold to those
views, I would be very interested in discussing with you how you
manage rationalize them.
Chris, USA
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4989481/
The Roots of Torture
By John Barry, Michael Hirsh and Michael Isikoff
Newsweek International
May 24 Issue
The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new
rules to fight a new kind of war.
It's not easy to get a member of Congress to stop talking. Much
less a room full of them. But as a small group of legislators watched
the images flash by in a small, darkened hearing room in the Rayburn
Building last week, a sickened silence descended. There were 1,800
slides and several videos, and the show went on for three hours. The
nightmarish images showed American soldiers at Abu Ghraib Prison
forcing Iraqis to masturbate. American soldiers sexually assaulting
Iraqis with chemical light sticks. American soldiers laughing over
dead Iraqis whose bodies had been abused and mutilated. There was
simply nothing to say. "It was a very subdued walk back to the House
floor," said Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House
Intelligence Committee. "People were ashen."
The White House put up three soldiers for court-martial, saying
the pictures were all the work of a few bad-apple MPs who were poorly
supervised. But evidence was mounting that the furor was only going to
grow and probably sink some prominent careers in the process. Senate
Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner declared the pictures
were the worst "military misconduct" he'd seen in 60 years, and he
planned more hearings. Republicans on Capitol Hill were notably
reluctant to back Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. And NEWSWEEK has
learned that U.S. soldiers and CIA operatives could be accused of war
crimes. Among the possible charges: homicide involving deaths during
interrogations. "The photos clearly demonstrate to me the level of
prisoner abuse and mistreatment went far beyond what I expected, and
certainly involved more than six or seven MPs," said GOP Sen. Lindsey
Graham, a former military prosecutor. He added: "It seems to have been
planned."
Indeed, the single most iconic image to come out of the abuse
scandal - that of a hooded man standing naked on a box, arms
outspread, with wires dangling from his fingers, toes and penis - may
do a lot to undercut the administration's case that this was the work
of a few criminal MPs. That's because the practice shown in that photo
is an arcane torture method known only to veterans of the
interrogation trade. "Was that something that [an MP] dreamed up by
herself? Think again," says Darius Rejali, an expert on the use of
torture by democracies. "That's a standard torture. It's called 'the
Vietnam.' But it's not common knowledge. Ordinary American soldiers
did this, but someone taught them."
Who might have taught them? Almost certainly it was their
superiors up the line. Some of the images from Abu Ghraib, like those
of naked prisoners terrified by attack dogs or humiliated before
grinning female guards, actually portray "stress and duress"
techniques officially approved at the highest levels of the government
for use against terrorist suspects. It is unlikely that President
George W. Bush or senior officials ever knew of these specific
techniques, and late last - week Defense spokesman Larry DiRita said
that "no responsible official of the Department of Defense approved
any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in
such abuses." But a NEWSWEEK investigation shows that, as a means of
pre-empting a repeat of 9/11, Bush, along with Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft, signed off on a secret
system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such
methods. It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the
historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the
rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode
the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America's top
military lawyers - and they left underlings to sweat the details of
what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While no
one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques
entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation,
privations, insults, threats and humiliation - methods that the Red
Cross concluded were "tantamount to torture."
The Bush administration created a bold legal framework to justify
this system of interrogation, according to internal government memos
obtained by NEWSWEEK. What started as a carefully thought-out, if
aggressive, policy of interrogation in a covert war - designed mainly
for use by a handful of CIA professionals - evolved into ever-more
ungoverned tactics that ended up in the hands of untrained MPs in a
big, hot war. Originally, Geneva Conventions protections were stripped
only from Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. But later Rumsfeld himself,
impressed by the success of techniques used against Qaeda suspects at
Guantanamo Bay, seemingly set in motion a process that led to their
use in Iraq, even though that war was supposed to have been governed
by the Geneva Conventions. Ultimately, reservist MPs, like those at
Abu Ghraib, were drawn into a system in which fear and humiliation
were used to break prisoners' resistance to interrogation.
"There was a before-9/11 and an after-9/11," as Cofer Black, the
onetime director of the CIA's counterterrorist unit, put it in
testimony to Congress in early 2002. "After 9/11 the gloves came off."
Many Americans thrilled to the martial rhetoric at the time, and
agreed that Al Qaeda could not be fought according to traditional
rules. But it is only now that we are learning what, precisely, it
meant to take the gloves off.
The story begins in the months after September 11, when a small
band of conservative lawyers within the Bush administration staked out
a forward-leaning legal position. The attacks by Al Qaeda on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon, these lawyers said, had plunged the
country into a new kind of war. It was a conflict against a vast,
outlaw, international enemy in which the rules of war, international
treaties and even the Geneva Conventions did not apply. These
positions were laid out in secret legal opinions drafted by lawyers
from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and then
endorsed by the Department of Defense and ultimately by White House
counsel Alberto Gonzales, according to copies of the opinions and
other internal legal memos obtained by NEWSWEEK.
The Bush administration's emerging approach was that America's
enemies in this war were "unlawful" combatants without rights. One
Justice Department memo, written for the CIA late in the fall of 2001,
put an extremely narrow interpretation on the international
anti-torture convention, allowing the agency to use a whole range of
techniques - including sleep deprivation, the use of phobias and the
deployment of "stress factors" - in interrogating Qaeda suspects. The
only clear prohibition was "causing severe physical or mental pain" -
a subjective judgment that allowed for "a whole range of things in
between," said one former administration official familiar with the
opinion. On Dec. 28, 2001, the Justice Department Office of Legal
Counsel weighed in with another opinion, arguing that U.S. courts had
no jurisdiction to review the treatment of foreign prisoners at
Guantanamo Bay. The appeal of Gitmo from the start was that, in the
view of administration lawyers, the base existed in a legal twilight
zone - or "the legal equivalent of outer space," as one former
administration lawyer described it. And on Jan. 9, 2002, John Yoo of
Justice's Office of Legal Counsel coauthored a sweeping 42-page memo
concluding that neither the Geneva Conventions nor any of the laws of
war applied to the conflict in Afghanistan.
Cut out of the process, as usual, was Colin Powell's State
Department. So were military lawyers for the uniformed services. When
State Department lawyers first saw the Yoo memo, "we were horrified,"
said one. As State saw it, the Justice position would place the United
States outside the orbit of international treaties it had championed
for years. Two days after the Yoo memo circulated, the State
Department's chief legal adviser, William Howard Taft IV, fired a memo
to Yoo calling his analysis "seriously flawed." State's most immediate
concern was the unilateral conclusion that all captured Taliban were
not covered by the Geneva Conventions. "In previous conflicts, the
United States has dealt with tens of thousands of detainees without
repudiating its obligations under the Conventions," Taft wrote. "I
have no doubt we can do so here, where a relative handful of persons
is involved."
The White House was undeterred. By Jan. 25, 2002, according to a
memo obtained by NEWSWEEK, it was clear that Bush had already decided
that the Geneva Conventions did not apply at all, either to the
Taliban or Al Qaeda. In the memo, which was written to Bush by
Gonzales, the White House legal counsel told the president that Powell
had "requested that you reconsider that decision." Gonzales then laid
out startlingly broad arguments that anticipated any objections to the
conduct of U.S. soldiers or CIA interrogators in the future. "As you
have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Gonzales
wrote to Bush. "The nature of the new war places a - high premium on
other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from
captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further
atrocities against American civilians." Gonzales concluded in stark
terms: "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's
strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders
quaint some of its provisions."
Gonzales also argued that dropping Geneva would allow the
president to "preserve his flexibility" in the war on terror. His
reasoning? That U.S. officials might otherwise be subject to
war-crimes prosecutions under the Geneva Conventions. Gonzales said he
feared "prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future
decide to pursue unwarranted charges" based on a 1996 U.S. law that
bars "war crimes," which were defined to include "any grave breach" of
the Geneva Conventions. As to arguments that U.S. soldiers might
suffer abuses themselves if Washington did not observe the
conventions, Gonzales argued wishfully to Bush that "your policy of
providing humane treatment to enemy detainees gives us the credibility
to insist on like treatment for our soldiers."
When Powell read the Gonzales memo, he "hit the roof," says a
State source. Desperately seeking to change Bush's mind, Powell fired
off his own blistering response the next day, Jan. 26, and sought an
immediate meeting with the president. The proposed anti-Geneva
Convention declaration, he warned, "will reverse over a century of
U.S. policy and practice" and have "a high cost in terms of negative
international reaction." Powell won a partial victory: On Feb. 7,
2002, the White House announced that the United States would indeed
apply the Geneva Conventions to the Afghan war - but that Taliban and
Qaeda detainees would still not be afforded prisoner-of-war status.
The White House's halfway retreat was, in the eyes of State Department
lawyers, a "hollow" victory for Powell that did not fundamentally
change the administration's position. It also set the stage for the
new interrogation procedures ungoverned by international law.
What Bush seemed to have in mind was applying his broad doctrine
of pre-emption to interrogations: to get information that could help
stop terrorist acts before they could be carried out. This was
justified by what is known in counter terror circles as the "ticking
time bomb" theory - the idea that when faced with an imminent threat
by a terrorist, almost any method is justified, even torture.
With the legal groundwork laid, Bush began to act. First, he
signed a secret order granting new powers to the CIA. According to
knowledgeable sources, the president's directive authorized the CIA to
set up a series of secret detention facilities outside the United
States, and to question those held in them with unprecedented
harshness. Washington then negotiated novel "status of forces
agreements" with foreign governments for the secret sites. These
agreements gave immunity not merely to U.S. government personnel but
also to private contractors. (Asked about the directive last week, a
senior administration official said, "We cannot comment on purported
intelligence activities.")
The administration also began "rendering" - or delivering terror
suspects to foreign governments for interrogation. Why? At a
classified briefing for senators not long after 9/11, CIA Director
George Tenet was asked whether Washington was going to get governments
known for their brutality to turn over Qaeda suspects to the United
States. Congressional sources told NEWSWEEK that Tenet suggested it
might be better sometimes for such suspects to remain in the hands of
foreign authorities, who might be able to use more aggressive
interrogation methods. By 2004, the United States was running a covert
charter airline moving CIA prisoners from one secret facility to
another, sources say. The reason? It was judged impolitic (and too
traceable) to use the U.S. Air Force.
At first - in the autumn of 2001 - the Pentagon was less inclined
than the CIA to jump into the business of handling terror suspects.
Rumsfeld himself was initially opposed to having detainees sent into
DOD custody at Guantanamo, according to a DOD source intimately
involved in the Gitmo issue. "I don't want to be jailer to the
goddammed world," said Rumsfeld. But he was finally persuaded. Those
sent to Gitmo would be hard-core Qaeda or other terrorists who might
be liable for war-crimes prosecutions, and who would likely, if freed,
"go back and hit us again," as the source put it.
In mid-January 2002 the first plane-load of prisoners landed at
Gitmo's Camp X-Ray. Still, not everyone was getting the message that
this was a new kind of war. The first commander of the MPs at Gitmo
was a one-star from the Rhode Island National Guard, Brig. Gen. Rick
Baccus, who, a Defense source recalled, mainly "wanted to keep the
prisoners happy." Baccus began giving copies of the Qur'an to
detainees, and he organized a special meal schedule for Ramadan. "He
was even handing out printed 'rights cards'," the Defense source
recalled. The upshot was that the prisoners were soon telling the
interrogators, "Go f - - - yourself, I know my rights." Baccus was
relieved in October 2002, and Rumsfeld gave military intelligence
control of all aspects of the Gitmo camp, including the MPs.
Pentagon officials now insist that they flatly ruled out using
some of the harsher interrogation techniques authorized for the CIA.
That included one practice - reported last week by The New York Times
- whereby a suspect is pushed underwater and made to think he will be
drowned. While the CIA could do pretty much what it liked in its own
secret centers, the Pentagon was bound by the Uniform Code of Military
Justice. Military officers were routinely trained to observe the
Geneva Conventions. According to one source, both military and
civilian officials at the Pentagon ultimately determined that such CIA
techniques were "not something we believed the military should be
involved in."
But in practical terms those distinctions began to matter less.
The Pentagon's resistance to rougher techniques eroded month by month.
In part this was because CIA interrogators were increasingly in the
same room as their military-intelligence counterparts. But there was
also a deliberate effort by top Pentagon officials to loosen the rules
binding the military.
Toward the end of 2002, orders came down the political chain at
DOD that the Geneva Conventions were to be reinterpreted to allow
tougher methods of interrogation. "There was almost a revolt" by the
service judge advocates general, or JAGs, the top military lawyers who
had originally allied with Powell against the new rules, says a
knowledgeable source. The JAGs, including the lawyers in the office of
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Richard Myers, fought their
civilian bosses for months - but finally lost. In April 2003, new and
tougher interrogation techniques were approved. Covertly, though, the
JAGs made a final effort. They went to see Scott Horton, a specialist
in international human-rights law and a major player in the New York
City Bar Association's human-rights work. The JAGs told Horton they
could only talk obliquely about practices that were classified. But
they said the U.S. military's 50-year history of observing the demands
of the Geneva Conventions was now being overturned. "There is a
calculated effort to create an atmosphere of legal ambiguity" about
how the conventions should be interpreted and applied, they told
Horton. And the prime movers in this effort, they told him, were DOD
Under Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith and DOD general counsel
William Haynes. There was, they warned, "a real risk of a disaster"
for U.S. interests.
The approach at Gitmo soon reflected these changes. Under the
leadership of an aggressive, self-assured major general named Geoffrey
Miller, a new set of interrogation rules became doctrine. Ultimately
what was developed at Gitmo was a "72-point matrix for stress and
duress," which laid out types of coercion and the escalating levels at
which they could be applied. These included the use of harsh heat or
cold; - withholding food; hooding for days at a time; naked isolation
in cold, dark cells for more than 30 days, and threatening (but not
biting) by dogs. It also permitted limited use of "stress positions"
designed to subject detainees to rising levels of pain.
While the interrogators at Gitmo were refining their techniques,
by the summer of 2003 the "postwar" insurgency in Iraq was raging. And
Rumsfeld was getting impatient about the poor quality of the
intelligence coming out of there. He wanted to know: Where was Saddam?
Where were the WMD? Most immediately: Why weren't U.S. troops catching
or forestalling the gangs planting improvised explosive devices by the
roads? Rumsfeld pointed out that Gitmo was producing good intel. So he
directed Steve Cambone, his under secretary for intelligence, to send
Gitmo commandant Miller to Iraq to improve what they were doing out
there. Cambone in turn dispatched his deputy, Lt. Gen. William (Jerry)
Boykin - later to gain notoriety for his harsh comments about Islam -
down to Gitmo to talk with Miller and organize the trip. In Baghdad in
September 2003, Miller delivered a blunt message to Brig. Gen. Janis
Karpinski, who was then in charge of the 800th Military Police Brigade
running Iraqi detentions. According to Karpinski, Miller told her that
the prison would thenceforth be dedicated to gathering intel. (Miller
says he simply recommended that detention and intelligence commands be
integrated.) On Nov. 19, Abu Ghraib was formally handed over to
tactical control of military-intelligence units.
By the time Gitmo's techniques were exported to Abu Ghraib, the
CIA was already fully involved. On a daily basis at Abu Ghraib, says
Paul Wayne Bergrin, a lawyer for MP defendant Sgt. Javal Davis, the
CIA and other intel officials "would interrogate, interview prisoners
exhaustively, use the approved measures of food and sleep deprivation,
solitary confinement with no light coming into cell 24 hours a day.
Consequently, they set a poor example for young soldiers but it went
even further than that."
Today there is no telling where the scandal will bottom out. But
it is growing harder for top Pentagon officials, including Rumsfeld
himself, to absolve themselves of all responsibility. Evidence is
growing that the Pentagon has not been forthright on exactly when it
was first warned of the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib. U.S. officials
continued to say they didn't know until mid-January. But Red Cross
officials had alerted the U.S. military command in Baghdad at the
start of November. The Red Cross warned explicitly of MPs' conducting
"acts of humiliation such as [detainees'] being made to stand naked...
with women's underwear over the head, while being laughed at by
guards, including female guards, and sometimes photographed in this
position." Karpinski recounts that the military-intel officials there
regarded this criticism as funny. She says: "The MI officers said, 'We
warned the [commanding officer] about giving those detainees the
Victoria's Secret catalog, but he wouldn't listen'." The Coalition
commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, and his Iraq command
didn't begin an investigation until two months later, when it was
clear the pictures were about to leak.
Now more charges are coming. Intelligence officials have confirmed
that the CIA inspector general is conducting an investigation into the
death of at least one person at Abu Ghraib who had been subject to
questioning by CIA interrogators. The Justice Department is likely to
open full-scale criminal investigations into this CIA-related death
and two other CIA interrogation-related fatalities.
As his other reasons for war have fallen away, President Bush has
justified his ouster of Saddam Hussein by saying he's a "torturer and
murderer." Now the American forces arrayed against the terrorists are
being tarred with the same epithet. That's unfair: what Saddam did at
Abu Ghraib during his regime was more horrible, and on a much vaster
scale, than anything seen in those images on Capitol Hill. But if
America is going to live up to its promise to bring justice and
democracy to Iraq, it needs to get to the bottom of what happened at
Abu Ghraib.
cddugan
2004-05-18 07:54:35 UTC
Permalink
This takes my breath away. The Republican-dominated Senate Armed
Services Committee stands poised to investigate the prisoner abuse
scandal, even if it means taking the investigation to the senior
levels of the Bush administration, despite the fact that this is an
election year.

Due to the near silence of Iraq War apologists on this thread, I
dropped by the American Spectator's website to see what the pro-Bush
take was on all of this. Back in their August-September issue, the
American Spectator brushed aside reports of abuse of detainees as just
a bunch total lies coming from "anti-American" elements. No evidence
was given, the reports were simply brushed aside as fabrications and
the subject was changed. No mention was made of the fact that the
allegedly "anti-American" elements consisted of reputable human rights
groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross. That was last
summer. Now the American Spectator is dismissively calling the whole
thing a "micro-scandal" which a few pathetic liberals are laughably
trying to turn into some sort of issue, but with little success.
Meanwhile back in the real world, this is in fact a mega-scandal which
has rocked the world and shaken America's self-image to its
foundations. It is not going to go away tomorrow, or next week, or
next month... or next November.

Chris, USA

P.S. Current bumpersticker: "Re-defeat Bush."

http://www.latimes.com/la-na-congress17may17,1,2356770.story

Senators to Press Scandal

By Richard Simon and Elizabeth Shogren
The Los Angeles Times

Monday 17 May 2004

A GOP-controlled panel, feeling slighted by the administration and
obliged to look at abuse of prisoners, has no plan to drop the issue
soon.

Washington - As the White House struggles to get beyond the
prisoner abuse scandal, it faces an unsettling fact: The Senate Armed
Services Committee - controlled by Republicans - plans to keep the
issue alive for weeks to come.

That promises more headaches for the White House and once
undreamed-of opportunities for Democrats on the committee, such as
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and other critics of President
Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

The Armed Services Committee, led by 77-year-old Senate veteran
John W. Warner of Virginia, has served noticed that it would not pull
back, as the House Armed Services Committee has done. Instead, Warner
plans extended hearings to call on the carpet such high-profile
officials as Army Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq,
and L. Paul Bremer III, head of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional
Authority.

More disturbing still for the White House, Democrats and
Republicans on the Senate committee say they will shift the focus from
the misdeeds of a handful of guards at Abu Ghraib prison outside
Baghdad. What they want to dig into instead is how senior Pentagon
officials loosened the rules protecting prisoners during
interrogation.

The rules, changed to speed the flow of intelligence on terrorism,
complied with the Geneva Convention, the officials say. But critics
say the changes may have contributed to a climate in which abuses
could occur.

In a report on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the New
Yorker magazine says this week that Defense Secretary Donald H.
Rumsfeld secretly approved a plan to use harsh interrogation
techniques on prisoners in Iraq - a contention the CIA and the
Pentagon deny.

In addition, the current issue of Newsweek says that a memo from
White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, issued shortly after the
Sept. 11 attacks, may have established the legal foundation for the
abusive treatment of prisoners.

For congressional leaders to get into such questions when a
president from their party faces a tough reelection campaign isn't the
way the game is meant to be played in Washington.

These days, politicians tend to march in lock-step with their
party leadership, always "on message" and quick to deny their
opponents even the smallest opportunity to exploit a weakness. That's
partly because the political climate is highly polarized and partly
because elected officials have become dependent on ideological
constituencies that demand total loyalty.

In the prisoner abuse scandal, however, circumstances have
conspired to create an exception to the current rules of political
warfare.

One of those circumstances is the sheer magnitude of the scandal,
which has triggered indignation around the world, inflamed public
opinion in Iraq and other Muslim nations, and threatened to undermine
U.S. foreign policy on a wide front.

"The Republican strategists would love for this story to die, but
no one knows how to kill it," University of Wisconsin political
scientist Donald F. Kettl said. "They know they can't take a
dump-it-and-run approach, and they know they can't keep it bottled up.
It's an impossible dilemma."

There are other factors at work, too, factors unique to this
Senate committee.

For one thing, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
is not a typical modern-day politician. With courtly manners and an
excellent tailor, Warner is a member of Virginia's "hunt country"
aristocracy. His military service began in World War II, when he
joined the Navy at 17; during the Korean War, he served in the Marine
Corps.

Warner was Navy secretary under President Nixon and has been in
the Senate for 25 years.

That background gives Warner deep roots and a sense of
independence that are increasingly rare in a Congress marked by
relatively rapid turnover.

He represents a state that combines conservative rural
communities, the headquarters of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Christian
right organization, large military installations - including the
Pentagon itself - and moderate-to-liberal Washington suburbs. To
satisfy that political mix, Warner has been a moderate but loyal
Republican most of the time, while shrewdly picking opportunities to
display his independence.

"He is not one who has hewed the party line," said Robert D.
Holsworth, an expert on state politics at Virginia Commonwealth
University in Richmond. "He has on a number of occasions broken with
party orthodoxy."

As a senator, Warner is also a child of an earlier era. He grew up
when chairmen and senior members of the Senate Armed Services
Committee, such as former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), were powerful players
in military affairs, courted and consulted by presidents and senior
defense officials regardless of party.

"Warner is a man of the Senate. He revels in the institution's
traditions, and he knows that oversight is an essential part of the
Senate's work," said a veteran congressional analyst.

Warner and his committee believe they have been treated cavalierly
by Rumsfeld and his senior aides, which they find personally and
institutionally offensive. For example, committee members are quick to
recall that Rumsfeld appeared before Armed Services the day CBS News
reported on the Abu Ghraib scandal - without notifying any of them.

"The entire Senate was shocked that they were not given any notice
or even a whiff of this imploding scandal," a Senate GOP aide said.

"The textbooks that members of this administration had when they
were young just had two branches of government - the executive and the
judicial," the aide said. "The Senate's oversight role has been
completely ignored by this administration."

"Congress does not like to be surprised," said Sen. Jeff Sessions
(R-Ala.), a member of the committee. And Warner made his feelings
clear at the outset of the panel's first hearing. With Rumsfeld facing
him in the witness chair, Warner said:

"In my 25 years on this committee, I've received hundreds of
calls, day and night, from … all levels, uniform and civilian, from
the Department of Defense when they, in their judgment, felt it was
necessary, and I daresay other members on this committee have
experienced the same courtesy.

"I did not receive such a call in this case, and yet I think the
situation was absolutely clear and required it - not only to me, but
my distinguished ranking member and other members of this committee."

Warner is not the only Republican who seems determined to keep the
feet of the administration to the fire. At least three other GOP
senators on Armed Services questioned administration witnesses
aggressively during the opening round of hearings last week: John
McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey O. Graham of
South Carolina.

Collins, representing a swing state, is often independent. Graham
spent 6 1/2 years as an Air Force lawyer on active duty and, according
to his biography, is the only U.S. senator currently serving in the
National Guard or Reserves. He is a colonel, assigned as a reserve
judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

Beyond political stakes or resentment at the Pentagon's failure to
show deference to the Armed Services Committee, many committee members
consider the prisoner abuse scandal - and their role in dealing with
it - unusually serious.

"The role of the Senate at moments like this is to provide an
educational role for the American people," said Michael Franc of the
Heritage Foundation. "The senators can help frame what happened and
help explain why."

Both chambers have been inattentive to oversight of the war in
Iraq, said Thomas E. Mann, a congressional scholar at the Brookings
Institution, "reflecting a strong incentive among congressional
Republicans not to damage in any way the president's political
standing."

"But the vividness of the detainee abuses and the failure of the
administration to give senators a heads up has finally broken the
logjam in the Senate, where there is a greater sense of institutional
responsibility," he said.

"Every once in a while, members of Congress simply decide to do
the right thing". Members could not look themselves in the mirror if
they didn't get to the bottom of these horrible acts," said John J.
Pitney Jr., a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

Joe Garecht, a GOP political strategist, agreed.

"Lawmakers like John Warner, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and
others are truly angry that this situation existed, and believe that
it is the Congress' duty to reestablish America's moral credibility
abroad," he said.

Echoing that sentiment, Collins of Maine said in an interview last
week, "I believe that the Armed Services Committee should continue its
investigation. There are still many unanswered questions….

"I don't see this as a partisan issue," she said. "It's far too
important."
RonSonic
2004-05-19 00:04:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by cddugan
This takes my breath away. The Republican-dominated Senate Armed
Services Committee stands poised to investigate the prisoner abuse
scandal, even if it means taking the investigation to the senior
levels of the Bush administration, despite the fact that this is an
election year.
Due to the near silence of Iraq War apologists on this thread,
You are a cross posting jackass, not worth a personal reply or a public
rebuttal.

Didn't want you to go on thinking there was more to it. Go read my other posts.

Ron




I
Post by cddugan
dropped by the American Spectator's website to see what the pro-Bush
take was on all of this. Back in their August-September issue, the
American Spectator brushed aside reports of abuse of detainees as just
a bunch total lies coming from "anti-American" elements. No evidence
was given, the reports were simply brushed aside as fabrications and
the subject was changed. No mention was made of the fact that the
allegedly "anti-American" elements consisted of reputable human rights
groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross. That was last
summer. Now the American Spectator is dismissively calling the whole
thing a "micro-scandal" which a few pathetic liberals are laughably
trying to turn into some sort of issue, but with little success.
Meanwhile back in the real world, this is in fact a mega-scandal which
has rocked the world and shaken America's self-image to its
foundations. It is not going to go away tomorrow, or next week, or
next month... or next November.
Chris, USA
P.S. Current bumpersticker: "Re-defeat Bush."
http://www.latimes.com/la-na-congress17may17,1,2356770.story
Senators to Press Scandal
By Richard Simon and Elizabeth Shogren
The Los Angeles Times
Monday 17 May 2004
A GOP-controlled panel, feeling slighted by the administration and
obliged to look at abuse of prisoners, has no plan to drop the issue
soon.
Washington - As the White House struggles to get beyond the
prisoner abuse scandal, it faces an unsettling fact: The Senate Armed
Services Committee - controlled by Republicans - plans to keep the
issue alive for weeks to come.
That promises more headaches for the White House and once
undreamed-of opportunities for Democrats on the committee, such as
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and other critics of President
Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.
The Armed Services Committee, led by 77-year-old Senate veteran
John W. Warner of Virginia, has served noticed that it would not pull
back, as the House Armed Services Committee has done. Instead, Warner
plans extended hearings to call on the carpet such high-profile
officials as Army Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq,
and L. Paul Bremer III, head of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional
Authority.
More disturbing still for the White House, Democrats and
Republicans on the Senate committee say they will shift the focus from
the misdeeds of a handful of guards at Abu Ghraib prison outside
Baghdad. What they want to dig into instead is how senior Pentagon
officials loosened the rules protecting prisoners during
interrogation.
The rules, changed to speed the flow of intelligence on terrorism,
complied with the Geneva Convention, the officials say. But critics
say the changes may have contributed to a climate in which abuses
could occur.
In a report on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the New
Yorker magazine says this week that Defense Secretary Donald H.
Rumsfeld secretly approved a plan to use harsh interrogation
techniques on prisoners in Iraq - a contention the CIA and the
Pentagon deny.
In addition, the current issue of Newsweek says that a memo from
White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, issued shortly after the
Sept. 11 attacks, may have established the legal foundation for the
abusive treatment of prisoners.
For congressional leaders to get into such questions when a
president from their party faces a tough reelection campaign isn't the
way the game is meant to be played in Washington.
These days, politicians tend to march in lock-step with their
party leadership, always "on message" and quick to deny their
opponents even the smallest opportunity to exploit a weakness. That's
partly because the political climate is highly polarized and partly
because elected officials have become dependent on ideological
constituencies that demand total loyalty.
In the prisoner abuse scandal, however, circumstances have
conspired to create an exception to the current rules of political
warfare.
One of those circumstances is the sheer magnitude of the scandal,
which has triggered indignation around the world, inflamed public
opinion in Iraq and other Muslim nations, and threatened to undermine
U.S. foreign policy on a wide front.
"The Republican strategists would love for this story to die, but
no one knows how to kill it," University of Wisconsin political
scientist Donald F. Kettl said. "They know they can't take a
dump-it-and-run approach, and they know they can't keep it bottled up.
It's an impossible dilemma."
There are other factors at work, too, factors unique to this
Senate committee.
For one thing, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
is not a typical modern-day politician. With courtly manners and an
excellent tailor, Warner is a member of Virginia's "hunt country"
aristocracy. His military service began in World War II, when he
joined the Navy at 17; during the Korean War, he served in the Marine
Corps.
Warner was Navy secretary under President Nixon and has been in
the Senate for 25 years.
That background gives Warner deep roots and a sense of
independence that are increasingly rare in a Congress marked by
relatively rapid turnover.
He represents a state that combines conservative rural
communities, the headquarters of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Christian
right organization, large military installations - including the
Pentagon itself - and moderate-to-liberal Washington suburbs. To
satisfy that political mix, Warner has been a moderate but loyal
Republican most of the time, while shrewdly picking opportunities to
display his independence.
"He is not one who has hewed the party line," said Robert D.
Holsworth, an expert on state politics at Virginia Commonwealth
University in Richmond. "He has on a number of occasions broken with
party orthodoxy."
As a senator, Warner is also a child of an earlier era. He grew up
when chairmen and senior members of the Senate Armed Services
Committee, such as former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), were powerful players
in military affairs, courted and consulted by presidents and senior
defense officials regardless of party.
"Warner is a man of the Senate. He revels in the institution's
traditions, and he knows that oversight is an essential part of the
Senate's work," said a veteran congressional analyst.
Warner and his committee believe they have been treated cavalierly
by Rumsfeld and his senior aides, which they find personally and
institutionally offensive. For example, committee members are quick to
recall that Rumsfeld appeared before Armed Services the day CBS News
reported on the Abu Ghraib scandal - without notifying any of them.
"The entire Senate was shocked that they were not given any notice
or even a whiff of this imploding scandal," a Senate GOP aide said.
"The textbooks that members of this administration had when they
were young just had two branches of government - the executive and the
judicial," the aide said. "The Senate's oversight role has been
completely ignored by this administration."
"Congress does not like to be surprised," said Sen. Jeff Sessions
(R-Ala.), a member of the committee. And Warner made his feelings
clear at the outset of the panel's first hearing. With Rumsfeld facing
"In my 25 years on this committee, I've received hundreds of
calls, day and night, from … all levels, uniform and civilian, from
the Department of Defense when they, in their judgment, felt it was
necessary, and I daresay other members on this committee have
experienced the same courtesy.
"I did not receive such a call in this case, and yet I think the
situation was absolutely clear and required it - not only to me, but
my distinguished ranking member and other members of this committee."
Warner is not the only Republican who seems determined to keep the
feet of the administration to the fire. At least three other GOP
senators on Armed Services questioned administration witnesses
aggressively during the opening round of hearings last week: John
McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey O. Graham of
South Carolina.
Collins, representing a swing state, is often independent. Graham
spent 6 1/2 years as an Air Force lawyer on active duty and, according
to his biography, is the only U.S. senator currently serving in the
National Guard or Reserves. He is a colonel, assigned as a reserve
judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.
Beyond political stakes or resentment at the Pentagon's failure to
show deference to the Armed Services Committee, many committee members
consider the prisoner abuse scandal - and their role in dealing with
it - unusually serious.
"The role of the Senate at moments like this is to provide an
educational role for the American people," said Michael Franc of the
Heritage Foundation. "The senators can help frame what happened and
help explain why."
Both chambers have been inattentive to oversight of the war in
Iraq, said Thomas E. Mann, a congressional scholar at the Brookings
Institution, "reflecting a strong incentive among congressional
Republicans not to damage in any way the president's political
standing."
"But the vividness of the detainee abuses and the failure of the
administration to give senators a heads up has finally broken the
logjam in the Senate, where there is a greater sense of institutional
responsibility," he said.
"Every once in a while, members of Congress simply decide to do
the right thing". Members could not look themselves in the mirror if
they didn't get to the bottom of these horrible acts," said John J.
Pitney Jr., a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.
Joe Garecht, a GOP political strategist, agreed.
"Lawmakers like John Warner, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and
others are truly angry that this situation existed, and believe that
it is the Congress' duty to reestablish America's moral credibility
abroad," he said.
Echoing that sentiment, Collins of Maine said in an interview last
week, "I believe that the Armed Services Committee should continue its
investigation. There are still many unanswered questions….
"I don't see this as a partisan issue," she said. "It's far too
important."
cddugan
2004-05-18 08:01:22 UTC
Permalink
Here is an interview with Jimmy Massey, a former career marine
noncomissioned officer who cut short his military career because he
couldn't stand the atrocities against innocent Iraqi civilians which
he witnessed, and in some cases participated in, during his recent
tour of duty in Iraq.

I implore everyone who reads this interview to imagine how you
would feel if a foreign country came into your neighborhood and spread
cluster bombs in areas where children play, contaminated large areas
with toxic radioactive uranium from depleted uranium rounds, gunned
down unarmed civilians with their hands raised, and shot unarmed
teenagers for demonstrating. Mowing down unarmed demonstrators with
machine guns is what brutal tyrants do. Saddam is gone. Now America
is the brutal tyrant in Iraq. This has GOT to stop!

"Why do they hate us?" Read this interview, imagine these events
taking place in your neighborhood, and the question answers itself.

Chris, USA


http://www.sacbee.com/content/opinion/story/9316830p-10241546c.html

Atrocities in Iraq: 'I Killed Innocent People for Our Government'

By Paul Rockwell
The Sacramento Bee

Sunday 16 May 2004

"We forget what war is about, what it does to those who wage it
and those who suffer from it. Those who hate war the most, I have
often found, are veterans who know it."
- Chris Hedges, New York Times reporter and author of "War Is a
Force That Gives Us Meaning"

For nearly 12 years, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey was a hard-core, some
say gung-ho, Marine. For three years he trained fellow Marines in one
of the most grueling indoctrination rituals in military life - Marine
boot camp.

The Iraq war changed Massey. The brutality, the sheer carnage of
the U.S. invasion, touched his conscience and transformed him forever.
He was honorably discharged with full severance last Dec. 31 and is
now back in his hometown, Waynsville, N.C.

When I talked with Massey last week, he expressed his remorse at
the civilian loss of life in incidents in which he himself was
involved.

Q: You spent 12 years in the Marines. When were you sent to Iraq?

A: I went to Kuwait around Jan. 17. I was in Iraq from the get-go.
And I was involved in the initial invasion.

Q: What does the public need to know about your experiences as a
Marine?

A: The cause of the Iraqi revolt against the American occupation.
What they need to know is we killed a lot of innocent people. I think
at first the Iraqis had the understanding that casualties are a part
of war. But over the course of time, the occupation hurt the Iraqis.
And I didn't see any humanitarian support.

Q: What experiences turned you against the war and made you leave
the Marines?

A: I was in charge of a platoon that consists of machine gunners
and missile men. Our job was to go into certain areas of the towns and
secure the roadways. There was this one particular incident - and
there's many more - the one that really pushed me over the edge. It
involved a car with Iraqi civilians. From all the intelligence reports
we were getting, the cars were loaded down with suicide bombs or
material. That's the rhetoric we received from intelligence. They came
upon our checkpoint. We fired some warning shots. They didn't slow
down. So we lit them up.

Q: Lit up? You mean you fired machine guns?

A: Right. Every car that we lit up we were expecting ammunition to
go off. But we never heard any. Well, this particular vehicle we
didn't destroy completely, and one gentleman looked up at me and said:
"Why did you kill my brother? We didn't do anything wrong." That hit
me like a ton of bricks.

Q: He spoke English?

A: Oh, yeah.

Q: Baghdad was being bombed. The civilians were trying to get out,
right?

A: Yes. They received pamphlets, propaganda we dropped on them. It
said, "Just throw up your hands, lay down weapons." That's what they
were doing, but we were still lighting them up. They weren't in
uniform. We never found any weapons.

Q: You got to see the bodies and casualties?

A: Yeah, firsthand. I helped throw them in a ditch.

Q: Over what period did all this take place?

A: During the invasion of Baghdad.

'We Lit Him up Pretty Good'
Q: How many times were you involved in checkpoint "light-ups"?

A: Five times. There was [the city of] Rekha. The gentleman was
driving a stolen work utility van. He didn't stop. With us being
trigger happy, we didn't really give this guy much of a chance. We lit
him up pretty good. Then we inspected the back of the van. We found
nothing. No explosives.

Q: The reports said the cars were loaded with explosives. In all
the incidents did you find that to be the case?

A: Never. Not once. There were no secondary explosions. As a
matter of fact, we lit up a rally after we heard a stray gunshot.

Q: A demonstration? Where?

A: On the outskirts of Baghdad. Near a military compound. There
were demonstrators at the end of the street. They were young and they
had no weapons. And when we rolled onto the scene, there was already a
tank that was parked on the side of the road. If the Iraqis wanted to
do something, they could have blown up the tank. But they didn't. They
were only holding a demonstration. Down at the end of the road, we saw
some RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) lined up against the wall. That
put us at ease because we thought: "Wow, if they were going to blow us
up, they would have done it."

Q: Were the protest signs in English or Arabic?

A: Both.

Q: Who gave the order to wipe the demonstrators out?

A: Higher command. We were told to be on the lookout for the
civilians because a lot of the Fedayeen and the Republican Guards had
tossed away uniforms and put on civilian clothes and were mounting
terrorist attacks on American soldiers. The intelligence reports that
were given to us were basically known by every member of the chain of
command. The rank structure that was implemented in Iraq by the chain
of command was evident to every Marine in Iraq. The order to shoot the
demonstrators, I believe, came from senior government officials,
including intelligence communities within the military and the U.S.
government.

Q: What kind of firepower was employed?

A: M-16s, 50-cal. machine guns.

Q: You fired into six or ten kids? Were they all taken out?

A: Oh, yeah. Well, I had a "mercy" on one guy. When we rolled up,
he was hiding behind a concrete pillar. I saw him and raised my weapon
up, and he put up his hands. He ran off. I told everybody, "Don't
shoot." Half of his foot was trailing behind him. So he was running
with half of his foot cut off.

Q: After you lit up the demonstration, how long before the next
incident?

A: Probably about one or two hours. This is another thing, too. I
am so glad I am talking with you, because I suppressed all of this.

Q: Well, I appreciate you giving me the information, as hard as it
must be to recall the painful details.

A: That's all right. It's kind of therapy for me. Because it's
something that I had repressed for a long time.

Q: And the incident?

A: There was an incident with one of the cars. We shot an
individual with his hands up. He got out of the car. He was badly
shot. We lit him up. I don't know who started shooting first. One of
the Marines came running over to where we were and said: "You all just
shot a guy with his hands up." Man, I forgot about this.

Depleted Uranium and Cluster Bombs
Q: You mention machine guns. What can you tell me about cluster
bombs, or depleted uranium?

A: Depleted uranium. I know what it does. It's basically like
leaving plutonium rods around. I'm 32 years old. I have 80 percent of
my lung capacity. I ache all the time. I don't feel like a healthy
32-year-old.

Q: Were you in the vicinity of depleted uranium?

A: Oh, yeah. It's everywhere. DU is everywhere on the battlefield.
If you hit a tank, there's dust.

Q: Did you breath any dust?

A: Yeah.

Q: And if DU is affecting you or our troops, it's impacting Iraqi
civilians.

A: Oh, yeah. They got a big wasteland problem.

Q: Do Marines have any precautions about dealing with DU?

A: Not that I know of. Well, if a tank gets hit, crews are
detained for a little while to make sure there are no signs or
symptoms. American tanks have depleted uranium on the sides, and the
projectiles have DU in them. If an enemy vehicle gets hit, the area
gets contaminated. Dead rounds are in the ground. The civilian
populace is just now starting to learn about it. Hell, I didn't even
know about DU until two years ago. You know how I found out about it?
I read an article in Rolling Stone magazine. I just started inquiring
about it, and I said "Holy s---!"

Q: Cluster bombs are also controversial. U.N. commissions have
called for a ban. Were you acquainted with cluster bombs?

A: I had one of my Marines in my battalion who lost his leg from
an ICBM.

Q: What's an ICBM?

A: A multi-purpose cluster bomb.

Q: What happened?

A: He stepped on it. We didn't get to training about clusters
until about a month before I left.

Q: What kind of training?

A: They told us what they looked like, and not to step on them.

Q: Were you in any areas where they were dropped?

A: Oh, yeah. They were everywhere.

Q: Dropped from the air?

A: From the air as well as artillery.

Q: Are they dropped far away from cities, or inside the cities?

A: They are used everywhere. Now if you talked to a Marine
artillery officer, he would give you the runaround, the politically
correct answer. But for an average grunt, they're everywhere.

Q: Including inside the towns and cities?

A: Yes, if you were going into a city, you knew there were going
to be ICBMs.

Q: Cluster bombs are anti-personnel weapons. They are not precise.
They don't injure buildings, or hurt tanks. Only people and living
things. There are a lot of undetonated duds and they go off after the
battles are over.

A: Once the round leaves the tube, the cluster bomb has a mind of
its own. There's always human error. I'm going to tell you: The armed
forces are in a tight spot over there. It's starting to leak out about
the civilian casualties that are taking place. The Iraqis know. I keep
hearing reports from my Marine buddies inside that there were
200-something civilians killed in Fallujah. The military is scrambling
right now to keep the raps on that. My understanding is Fallujah is
just littered with civilian bodies.

Embedded Reporters
Q: How are the embedded reporters responding?

A: I had embedded reporters in my unit, not my platoon. One we had
was a South African reporter. He was scared s--less. We had an
incident where one of them wanted to go home.

Q: Why?

A: It was when we started going into Baghdad. When he started
seeing the civilian casualties, he started wigging out a little bit.
It didn't start until we got on the outskirts of Baghdad and started
taking civilian casualties.

Q: I would like to go back to the first incident, when the
survivor asked why did you kill his brother. Was that the incident
that pushed you over the edge, as you put it?

A: Oh, yeah. Later on I found out that was a typical day. I talked
with my commanding officer after the incident. He came up to me and
says: "Are you OK?" I said: "No, today is not a good day. We killed a
bunch of civilians." He goes: "No, today was a good day." And when he
said that, I said "Oh, my goodness, what the hell am I into?"

Q: Your feelings changed during the invasion. What was your state
of mind before the invasion?

A: I was like every other troop. My president told me they got
weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam threatened the free world,
that he had all this might and could reach us anywhere. I just bought
into the whole thing.

Q: What changed you?

A: The civilian casualties taking place. That was what made the
difference. That was when I changed.

Q: Did the revelations that the government fabricated the evidence
for war affect the troops?

A: Yes. I killed innocent people for our government. For what?
What did I do? Where is the good coming out of it? I feel like I've
had a hand in some sort of evil lie at the hands of our government. I
just feel embarrassed, ashamed about it.

Showdown with Superiors
Q: I understand that all the incidents - killing civilians at
checkpoints, itchy fingers at the rally - weigh on you. What happened
with your commanding officers? How did you deal with them?

A: There was an incident. It was right after the fall of Baghdad,
when we went back down south. On the outskirts of Karbala, we had a
morning meeting on the battle plan. I was not in a good mindset. All
these things were going through my head - about what we were doing
over there. About some of the things my troops were asking. I was
holding it all inside. My lieutenant and I got into a conversation.
The conversation was striking me wrong. And I lashed out. I looked at
him and told him: "You know, I honestly feel that what we're doing is
wrong over here. We're committing genocide."

He asked me something and I said that with the killing of
civilians and the depleted uranium we're leaving over here, we're not
going to have to worry about terrorists. He didn't like that. He got
up and stormed off. And I knew right then and there that my career was
over. I was talking to my commanding officer.

Q: What happened then?

A: After I talked to the top commander, I was kind of scurried
away. I was basically put on house arrest. I didn't talk to other
troops. I didn't want to hurt them. I didn't want to jeopardize them.

I want to help people. I felt strongly about it. I had to say
something. When I was sent back to stateside, I went in front of the
sergeant major. He's in charge of 3,500-plus Marines. "Sir," I told
him, "I don't want your money. I don't want your benefits. What you
did was wrong."

It was just a personal conviction with me. I've had an impeccable
career. I chose to get out. And you know who I blame? I blame the
president of the U.S. It's not the grunt. I blame the president
because he said they had weapons of mass destruction. It was a lie.
cddugan
2004-05-18 16:26:47 UTC
Permalink
Mr. Chalabi and his faction is widely suspected to have been the
"credibile source" for much of the bogus "intelligence" about WMDs
which was "stovepiped" directly to senior administration officials
without the usual filtering processes. This was done by the
Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz "Office of Special Plans" in the Pentagon, now
allegedly disbanded. Mr. Chalabi is a convicted felon and fugitive
from a multicount fraud conviction in Jordan. He is also an
opportunist par excellence and it would be a mistake to write him off
at this time, simply because his largesse at the expense of the
American taxpayer is being cut off. The US has already put him in
control of recovered files from Saddam's security forces, which
enables him to gain power in Iraq by means of blackmail.

Chris, USA


http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&u=/nm/20040518/ts_nm/iraq_usa_chalabi_dc&printer=1

Pentagon Plans to Stop Funding Iraq's Chalabi

By Arshad Mohammed
May 18, 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon plans to stop funding Ahmad
Chalabi, the Iraqi exile it once hoped might help lead Iraq but whose
intelligence reports and motives were doubted elsewhere in Washington,
U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The officials, who asked not to be named, said the Pentagon would stop
giving Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress roughly $340,000 a month as
of June 30, when the United States plans to give some authority to a
still unnamed interim government.

U.S. officials have for weeks said the U.S. government was debating
cutting off the INC, saying they had questions about the intelligence
it provided as well as about whether Chalabi was motivated chiefly by
a desire for power.

The Pentagon, however, defended the INC's information and a U.S.
defense official echoed that, saying: "They have provided decent
information, especially in regards to force protection issues and the
whereabouts of folks (Iraqi fugitives)."

Chalabi, a member of the Iraqi National Council, has pressed recently
for full Iraq control over the country's security forces and
criticized some U.S. actions.

INC spokesman Entifadh Qanbar declined comment on the funds or on
intelligence the group may have provided, saying "I cannot talk about
this confidential issue ... INC personnel are risking their lives
every day in Iraq to save American lives."

Qanbar also demanded the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency stop funding
any Iraqi groups after the June 30 hand-over.

"Iraq is a strategic ally to the United States of America and it would
be inappropriate and unacceptable that the U.S. intelligence agencies
fund anybody inside Iraq," he said. "We expect the CIA to cease
funding to any of their groups or individuals inside Iraq after
sovereignty."

One U.S. official, who asked not to be named and who said he was not
directly briefed on the Pentagon's decision to stop funding,
speculated that the funds were being cut off because "we weren't
getting what we were paying for."

PENTAGON FAVORITE

A Defense official painted the decision as tied to the June 30
handover. "It has run its course, with the turnover of the
government," the official said, adding that a formal announcement was
expected in Baghdad later on Tuesday.

An exile who lived abroad for more than four decades, Chalabi has been
a favorite of the Pentagon, which flew him into Iraq as the U.S.-led
invasion was winding up last year to give him a head start to
establish a political base.

But Chalabi has had many critics in the U.S. government, notably at
the CIA, which suspected his group may have been penetrated by Saddam
Hussein (news - web sites)'s agents before the war and which
questioned the intelligence information it provided.

The State Department also had its doubts and resented the Pentagon's
support for Chalabi. State Department officials questioned whether he
could emerge as a national leader because he had lived outside the
country for so long.

In its prewar role, Chalabi's INC directed numerous Iraqi defectors to
the U.S. government to provide intelligence that critics now say was
largely spun to prod the United States into taking action against
Baghdad.

Included in the questionable intelligence was information about
purported biological weapons labs, the source of which was described
by U.S. officials as a fabricator promoted by Chalabi's group.

No stockpiles of banned unconventional weapons have been found in
Iraq.
cddugan
2004-05-19 04:10:50 UTC
Permalink
Sgt. Samuel Provance is a hero.

He disobeyed orders to keep silent to the media about the ongoing
cover-up of the widespread nature of detainee abuses, and the
involvement and approval of higher ups in those abuses.

Chris, USA

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/Investigation/abu_ghraib_cover_up_040518-1.html

'Definitely a Cover-Up'
By Brian Ross and Alexandra Salomon
ABCNEWS.com

Tuesday 18 May 2004

Former Abu Ghraib Intel Staffer Says Army Concealed Involvement in
Abuse Scandal

Dozens of soldiers - other than the seven military police
reservists who have been charged - were involved in the abuse at
Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and there is an effort under way in the Army
to hide it, a key witness in the investigation told ABCNEWS.

"There's definitely a cover-up," the witness, Sgt. Samuel
Provance, said. "People are either telling themselves or being told to
be quiet."

Provance, 30, was part of the 302nd Military Intelligence
Battalion stationed at Abu Ghraib last September. He spoke to ABCNEWS
despite orders from his commanders not to.

"What I was surprised at was the silence," said Provance. "The
collective silence by so many people that had to be involved, that had
to have seen something or heard something."

Provance, now stationed in Germany, ran the top secret computer
network used by military intelligence at the prison.

He said that while he did not see the actual abuse take place, the
interrogators with whom he worked freely admitted they directed the
MPs' rough treatment of prisoners.

"Anything [the MPs] were to do legally or otherwise, they were to
take those commands from the interrogators," he said.

Top military officials have claimed the abuse seen in the photos
at Abu Ghraib was limited to a few MPs, but Provance says the sexual
humiliation of prisoners began as a technique ordered by the
interrogators from military intelligence.

"One interrogator told me about how commonly the detainees were
stripped naked, and in some occasions, wearing women's underwear,"
Provance said. "If it's your job to strip people naked, yell at them,
scream at them, humiliate them, it's not going to be too hard to move
from that to another level."

According to Provance, some of the physical abuse that took place
at Abu Ghraib included U.S. soldiers "striking [prisoners] on the neck
area somewhere and the person being knocked out. Then [the soldier]
would go to the next detainee, who would be very fearful and voicing
their fear, and the MP would calm him down and say, 'We're not going
to do that. It's OK. Everything's fine,' and then do the exact same
thing to him." Provance also described an incident when two drunken
interrogators took a female Iraqi prisoner from her cell in the middle
of the night and stripped her naked to the waist. The men were later
restrained by another MP.

Pentagon Sanctions Investigation

Maj. Gen. George Fay, the Army's deputy chief of staff for
intelligence, was assigned by the Pentagon to investigate the role of
military intelligence in the abuse at the Iraq prison.

Fay started his probe on April 23, but Provance said when Fay
interviewed him, the general seemed interested only in the military
police, not the interrogators, and seemed to discourage him from
testifying.

Provance said Fay threatened to take action against him for
failing to report what he saw sooner, and the sergeant fears he will
be ostracized for speaking out.

"I feel like I'm being punished for being honest," Provance told
ABCNEWS. "You know, it was almost as if I actually felt if all my
statements were shredded and I said, like most everybody else, 'I
didn't hear anything, I didn't see anything. I don't know what you're
talking about,' then my life would be just fine right now."

In response, Army officials said it is "routine procedure to
advise military personnel under investigative review" not to comment.

The officials said, however, that Fay and the military were
committed to an honest, in-depth investigation of what happened at the
prison.

But Provance believes many involved may not be as forthcoming with
information.

"I would say many people are probably hiding and wishing to God
that this storm passes without them having to be investigated [or]
personally looked at."
cddugan
2004-05-19 04:41:56 UTC
Permalink
This is not about the Kerry campaign, or "leftists," saying that
senior figures in the Bush administration could be put on trial for
war crimes. This is the White House's own legal counsel, Alberto
Gonzales, expressing that view in an internal memo which has now
become public for the first time. The invention of the legalistic
limbo term "enemy combatant" to circumvent the Geneva Conventions
seems more understandable in light of the legal advice the Bush
administration received.

However, the detainees in Abu Ghraib prison are not "enemy
combatants" and are indeed covered under the Geneva Convention, to
which the USA is a signatory. If Kerry wins the November election,
could senior Bush administration officials then be put on trial under
the 1996 War Crimes Act for prisoner abuses in Iraq? The Bush
administration may not want to find out. If Bush is trailing in the
polls in late October, that might be an opportune time to declare
martial law on one pretext or another and cancel elections
indefinitely.

Chris, USA

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4999734/

Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings
By Michael Isikoff
Newsweek

Monday 17 May 2004

Could Bush administration officials be prosecuted for 'war crimes'
as a result of new measures used in the war on terror? The White
House's top lawyer thought so.

Read the White House Council Memo
http://www.truthout.org/mm_01/4.gonzales_memo.pdf
Read Colin Powell's Response
http://www.truthout.org/mm_01/4.powell_memo.pdf


May 17 - The White House's top lawyer warned more than two years
ago that U.S. officials could be prosecuted for "war crimes" as a
result of new and unorthodox measures used by the Bush administration
in the war on terrorism, according to an internal White House memo and
interviews with participants in the debate over the issue.

The concern about possible future prosecution for war crimes - and
that it might even apply to Bush administration officials themselves -
is contained in a crucial portion of an internal January 25, 2002,
memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales obtained by NEWSWEEK. It
urges President George Bush declare the war in Afghanistan, including
the detention of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, exempt from the
provisions of the Geneva Convention.

In the memo, the White House lawyer focused on a little known 1996
law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that banned any
Americans from committing war crimes-defined in part as "grave
breaches" of the Geneva Conventions. Noting that the law applies to
"U.S. officials" and that punishments for violators "include the death
penalty," Gonzales told Bush that "it was difficult to predict with
confidence" how Justice Department prosecutors might apply the law in
the future. This was especially the case given that some of the
language in the Geneva Conventions - such as that outlawing "outrages
upon personal dignity" and "inhuman treatment" of prisoners - was
"undefined."

One key advantage of declaring that Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters
did not have Geneva Convention protections is that it "substantially
reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War
Crimes Act," Gonzales wrote.

"It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and
independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue
unwarranted charges based on Section 2441 [the War Crimes Act],"
Gonzales wrote.

The best way to guard against such "unwarranted charges," the
White House lawyer concluded, would be for President Bush to stick to
his decision - then being strongly challenged by Secretary of State
Powell - to exempt the treatment of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban
fighters from Geneva convention provisions.

"Your determination would create a reasonable basis in law that
(the War Crimes Act) does not apply which would provide a solid
defense to any future prosecution," Gonzales wrote.

The memo-and strong dissents by Secretary of State Colin Powell
and his chief legal advisor, William Howard Taft IV-are among hundreds
of pages of internal administration documents on the Geneva Convention
and related issues that have been obtained by NEWSWEEK and are
reported for the first time in this week's issue.

The memos provide fresh insights into a fierce internal
administration debate over whether the United States should conform to
international treaty obligations in pursuing the war on terror.
Administration critics have charged that key legal decisions made in
the months after Sept. 11, including the White House's February 2002
declaration not to grant any Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters prisoners
of war status under the Geneva Convention, laid the groundwork for the
interrogation abuses that have recently been revealed in the Abu
Ghraib prison in Iraq.

A copy of the Gonzales memo and the response to it by Secretary of
State Colin Powell are being posted today on NEWSWEEK's web site
accompanying this article.

As reported in this week's magazine edition, the Gonzales memo
urged Bush to declare all aspects of the war in Afghanistan -
including the detention of both Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters - exempt
from the strictures of the Geneva Convention. In the memo, Gonzales
described the war against terrorism as a "new kind of war" and then
added: "The nature of the new war places a high premium on other
factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from
captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further
atrocities against American civilians, and the need to try terrorists
for war crimes such as wantonly killing civilians."

But while top White House officials publicly talked about trying
Al Qaeda leaders for war crimes, the internal memos show that
administration lawyers were privately concerned that they could tried
for war crimes themselves based on actions the administration were
taking, and might have to take in the future, to combat the terrorist
threat.

The issue first arises in a January 9, 2002, draft memorandum
written by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)
concluding that "neither the War Crimes Act nor the Geneva
Conventions" would apply to the detention conditions of Al Qaeda or
Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. The memo includes a lengthy
discussion of the War Crimes Act, which it concludes has no binding
effect on the president because it would interfere with his Commander
in Chief powers to determine "how best to deploy troops in the field."
(The memo, by Justice lawyers John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, also
concludes - in response to a question by the Pentagon - that U.S.
soldiers could not be tried for violations of the laws of war in
Afghanistan because such international laws have "no binding legal
effect on either the President or the military.")

But while the discussion in the Justice memo revolves around the
possible application of the War Crimes Act to members of the U.S.
military, there is some reason to believe that administration lawyers
were worried that the law could even be used in the future against
senior administration officials.

One lawyer involved in the interagency debates over the Geneva
Conventions issue recalled a meeting in early 2002 in which
participants challenged Yoo, a primary architect of the
administration's legal strategy, when he raised the possibility of
Justice Department war crimes prosecutions unless there was a clear
presidential direction proclaiming the Geneva Conventions did not
apply to the war in Afghanistan. The concern seemed misplaced, Yoo was
told, given that loyal Bush appointees were in charge of the Justice
Department.

"Well, the political climate could change," Yoo replied, according
to the lawyer who attended the meeting. "The implication was that a
new president would come into office and start potential prosecutions
of a bunch of ex-Bush officials," the lawyer said. (Yoo declined
comment.)

This appears to be precisely the concern in Gonzales's memo dated
January 25, 2002, in which he strongly urges Bush to stick to his
decision to exempt the treatment of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters from
the provisions of the Geneva Conventions. (Powell and the State
Department had wanted the U.S. to at least have individual reviews of
Taliban fighters before concluding that they did not qualify for
Geneva Convention provisions.)

One reason to do so, Gonzales wrote, is that it "substantially
reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War
Crimes Act." He added that "it is difficult to predict with confidence
what actions might be deemed to constitute violations" of the War
Crimes Act just as it was "difficult to predict the needs and
circumstances that could arise in the course of the war on terrorism."
Such uncertainties, Gonzales wrote, argued for the President to uphold
his exclusion of Geneva Convention provisions to the Taliban and Al
Qaeda detainees who, he concluded, would still be treated "humanely
and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity,
in a manner consistent with the principles" of the Geneva Convention
on the treatment of prisoners of war.

In the end, after strong protests from Powell, the White House
retreated slightly. In February 2002, it proclaimed that, while the
United States would adhere to the Geneva Conventions in the conduct of
the war in Afghanistan, captured Taliban and Qaeda fighters would not
be given prisoner of war status under the conventions. It is a
rendering that Administration lawyers believed would protect U.S.
interrogators or their superiors in Washington from being subjected to
prosecutions under the War Crimes Act based on their treatment of the
prisoners.
cddugan
2004-05-19 04:57:36 UTC
Permalink
The flimsy cover-up is already coming unraveled and major faultlines
within the US government itself now become clearer than ever: the
White House and neoconservative civilian leadership of the Pentagon on
one side of the divide, the Army brass, Intelligence bureaucracy, and
some members of Bush's own party (including members of the Senate
Armed Services Committee) on the other. And as United Press
International's senior news analyst Martin Sieff warns in the article
below, "there is no end in sight."

Chris, USA

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040518-064124-9605r

Army, CIA Want Torture Truths Exposed
By Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst

Tuesday 18 May 2004

Washington - Efforts at the top level of the Bush administration
and the civilian echelon of the Department of Defense to contain the
Iraq prison torture scandal and limit the blame to a handful of
enlisted soldiers and immediate senior officers have already failed:
The scandal continues to metastasize by the day.

Over the past weekend and into this week, devastating new
allegations have emerged putting Stephen Cambone, the first
Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, firmly in the crosshairs
and bringing a new wave of allegations cascading down on the head of
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when he scarcely had time to catch
his breath from the previous ones.

Even worse for Rumsfeld and his coterie of neo-conservative true
believers who have run the Pentagon for the past 3 1/2 years, three
major institutions in the Washington power structure have decided that
after almost a full presidential term of being treated with contempt
and abuse by them, it's payback time.

Those three institutions are: The United States Army, the Central
Intelligence Agency and the old, relatively moderate but highly
experienced Republican leadership in the United States Senate.

None of those groups is chopped liver: Taken together they
comprise a devastating Grand Slam.

The spearhead for the new wave of revelations and allegations -
but by no means the only source of them - is veteran investigative
journalist Seymour Hersh. In a major article published in the New
Yorker this week and posted on to its Web-site Saturday, Hersh
revealed that a high-level Pentagon operation code-named Copper Green
"encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation" of Iraqi
prisoners. He also cited Pentagon sources and consultants as saying
that photographing the victims of such abuse was an explicit part of
the program meant to force the victims into becoming blackmailed
reliable informants.

Hersh further claimed in his article that Rumsfeld himself
approved the program and that one of his four or five top aides,
Cambone, set it up in Baghdad and ran it.

These allegations of course are anathema to the White House,
Rumsfeld and their media allies. In a highly unusual step for any
newspaper, the editorially neo-conservative tabloid New York Post ran
an editorial Monday seeking to ridicule and discredit Hersh. However,
it presented absolutely no evidence to query, let alone discredit the
substance of his article and allegations.

Instead, the New York Post editorial inadvertently pointed out
one, but by no means all, of the major sources for Hersh's
information. The editorial alleged that Hersh had received much of his
material from the CIA.

Based on the material Hersh quoted, his legendary intelligence
community contacts were probably sources for some of his information.
However, Hersh has also enjoyed close personal relations with many now
high-ranking officers in the United States Army, going all the way
back to his prize-winning coverage and scoops in Vietnam more than 30
years ago.

Indeed, intelligence and regular Army sources have told UPI that
senior officers and officials in both communities are sickened and
outraged by the revelations of mass torture and abuse, and also by the
incompetence involved, in the Abu Ghraib prison revelations. These
sources also said that officials all the way up to the highest level
in both the Army and the Agency are determined not to be scapegoated,
or allow very junior soldiers or officials to take the full blame for
the excesses.

President George W. Bush in his weekly radio address Saturday
claimed that the Abu Ghraib abuses were only "the actions of a few"
and that they did not "reflect the true character of the Untied States
armed forces."

But what enrages many serving senior Army generals and U.S.
top-level intelligence community professionals is that the "few" in
this case were not primarily the serving soldiers who were actually
encouraged to carry out the abuses and even then take photos of the
victims, but that they were encouraged to do so, with the Army's
well-established safeguards against such abuses deliberately removed
by high-level Pentagon civilian officials.

Abuse and even torture of prisoners happens in almost every war on
every side. But well-run professional armies, and the U.S. Army has
always been one, take great pains to guard against it and limit it as
much as possible. Even in cases where torture excesses are regarded as
essential to extract tactical information and save lives, commanders
in most modern armies have taken care to limit such "dirty work" to
very small units, usually from special forces, and to keep it as
secret as possible.

For senior Army professionals know that allowing patterns of abuse
and torture to metastasize in any army is annihilating to its morale
and tactical effectiveness. Torturers usually make lousy combat
soldiers, which is why combat soldiers in every major army hold them
in contempt.

Therefore, several U.S. military officers told UPI, the idea of
using regular Army soldiers, including some even just from the Army
Reserve or National Guard, and encouraging them to inflict such abuses
ran contrary to received military wisdom and to the ingrained
standards and traditions of the U.S. Army.

The widespread taking of photographs of the victims of such
abuses, they said, clearly revealed that civilian "amateurs" and not
regular Army or intelligence community professionals were the driving
force in shaping and running the programs under which these abuses
occurred.

Hersh has spearheaded the waves of revelations of shocking abuse.
But other major U.S. media organizations are now charging in behind
him to confirm and extend his reports. They are able to do so because
many senior veteran professionals in both the CIA and the Army were
disgusted by the revelations of the torture excesses. Now they are
being listened to with suddenly receptive ears on Capitol Hill.

Republican members in the House of Representatives have kept
discipline and silence on the revelations. But with the exception of
the increasingly isolated and embarrassed Senate Republican Leader,
Bill Frist of Tennessee, other senior mainstream figures in the GOP
Senate majority have refused to go along with any cover-up.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah,
Richard Lugar of Indiana, Pat Roberts of Kansas and John Warner of
Virginia have all been outspoken in their condemnation of the torture
excesses. And they did so even before the latest, most far-reaching
and worst of the allegations and reports surfaced. Warner, chairman of
the Senate Armed Services Committee, lost no time in hauling Rumsfeld
before it to testify.

The pattern of the latest wave of revelations is clear: They are
coming from significant numbers of senior figures in both the U.S.
military and intelligence services. They reflect the disgust and
contempt widely felt in both communities at the excesses; and at long
last, they are being listened to seriously by senior Republican, as
well as Democratic, senators on Capitol Hill.

Rumsfeld and his team of top lieutenants have therefore now lost
the confidence, trust and respect of both the Army and intelligence
establishments. Key elements of the political establishment even of
the ruling GOP now recognize this.

Yet Rumsfeld and his lieutenants remain determined to hang on to
power, and so far President Bush has shown every sign of wanting to
keep them there. The scandal, therefore, is far from over. The
revelations will continue. The cost of the abuses to the American
people and the U.S. national interest is already incalculable: And
there is no end in sight.
cddugan
2004-05-16 21:21:23 UTC
Permalink
In my previous message on this thread, I mentioned senior
neoconservative ideologue, Richard Perle. Recently Perle coauthored a
book, with David Frumyou, laying out the neoconservative program for
winning the "war on terrorism." The unstated premise of their book -
"An End to Evil: Strategies For Victory in the War on Terror" - is
that "terrorism" is only something which other people do to the USA
and its allies, never something the USA or its allies perpetrate
themselves, and that the USA possesses the moral stature to preach
about ridding the world of "terrorism" and to back up such sermons
with military force at its whim.

However, the USA, under both Democratic and Republican
administrations, has a long history of perpetrating acts, either
directly or through proxies, which fit the US Department of Defense's
own definition of "terrorism": "the calculated use of violence or the
threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to
intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are
generally political, religious, or ideological."

The USA is the only country to have been convicted of terrorism by
the World Court. This criminal conviction related to the US backing
of the Nicaraguan "contras," a classic state sponsored terrorist
organization whose behavior plainly matched the US Defense
Department's definition quoted above. Its goal was the
destabilization of a democratically elected government. This
US-backed terrorist campaign took place under the Reagan
administration, which at that time included Richard Perle as Assistant
Secretary of Defense.

During Perle's 1981-87 tenure in the Defense Department, the
administration organized, funded, armed and trained the contras as
well as providing transportation and logistical support for their
attacks on "soft" civilian targets such as farm cooperatives and
health clinics. US fighter jets completely controlled Nicaraguan
airspace during these atrocities, and US pilots in radio communication
with contras on the ground kept them continually appraised of
Nicaraguan Army troop movements. Tens of thousands of Nicaraguan
people died as a result of the state sponsored terrorist campaign
carried on by an Administration in which Perle was a senior figure.
The USA has never apologized to Nicaragua for the devastation
inflicted on its civilian population or economy, nor has it paid so
much as a dime in compensation to any of the victims or their
families.

In a truly rational world, would an individual such as Richard
Perle be in any position to posture as a "hardliner" against
"terrorism?"

Chris, USA
cddugan
2004-05-16 21:49:26 UTC
Permalink
Still more testimony emerges consistent with the prison abuse in Abu
Ghraib not being merely the isolated acts of a few "bad apples" among
the bottommost ranks, but part of a widespread policy.

Chris, USA

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1216645,00.html

Guantanamo Abuse Same as Abu Ghraib, say Britons

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Tania Branigan and Vikram Dodd
The Guardian U.K.

Friday 14 May 2004

Two British men who were held at Guantanamo Bay claimed that their
US guards subjected them to abuse similar to that perpetrated at the
notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

In an open letter to President George Bush, Britons Shafiq Rasul and
Asif Iqbal accused US military officials of deliberately misleading
the public about procedures at Guantanamo.

Mr Rasul and Mr Iqbal, who were freed in March after being arrested
in Afghanistan and held without charge for more than two years, allege
that heavy-handed treatment was systematic.

"From the moment of our arrival in Guantanamo Bay (and indeed from
long before) we were deliberately humiliated and degraded by methods
we now read US officials denying," the men write.

The men describe a regime that included assaults on prisoners,
prolonged shackling in uncomfortable positions, strobe lights, loud
music and being threatened with dogs.

At times, detainees would be taken to the interrogation room and
chained naked on the floor, the letter says. Women would be brought to
the room to "inappropriately provoke and indeed molest them. It was
completely clear to all the detainees that this was happening to
particularly vulnerable prisoners, especially those who had come from
the strictest of Islamic backgrounds," the letter says.

Mr Iqbal and Mr Rasul have issued repeated allegations of abuse at
the camp since their release last March. Previous allegations were
dismissed by the US embassy in London, but after two weeks in which
America has been convulsed by images of torture and humiliation, their
latest challenge looked set to receive a more serious hearing.

The spotlight has shifted from Abu Ghraib to other detention
facilities in America's war on terror as reports emerge from
Afghanistan, as well as Iraq.

Shortly before their release last March, the two men say a new
practice was instituted in what became known as the "Romeo" block.
Prisoners were stripped completely. "After three days they would be
given underwear. After another three days they would be given a top,
and then after another three days given trouser bottoms," the letter
says.

That account stands in direct contradiction to denials this week
from a Pentagon spokesman, Colonel David McWilliams, that nudity and
embarrassment were never used to break down prisoners. "We have no
protocol that allows us to disrobe a detainee whatsoever," Col
McWilliams told the Washington Post.

Clive Stafford Smith, the lawyer who acted for Mr Rasul and Mr Iqbal
in a supreme court case in the US, said: "These guys had been trying
to put it all behind them, but they have been reading the stuff this
week and getting really angry that the US is lying again."

The Guardian has learned that some of the British detainees released
from Guantanamo Bay have reported that they were sexually abused.
There is no way to independently verify these details.

According to a source, who has interviewed them in secret since
their release, they were initially too ashamed to talk about it, and
are only now starting to give details. The source said: "They are
embarrassed about talking about it because they feel humiliated. We
have had an account that their religion was used against them, that a
copy of the Koran was brought in front of them and pages torn out."
Marc Mulay
2004-05-24 01:05:18 UTC
Permalink
Chris, and fellow non-neocons, I urge you to read George Soros latest
book, "The Bubble of American Supremecy".

I am entirely confident that the destructive cabal of ideological
dinosaurs now incompentently running (out of time in) the executive branch
of the U.S. Government, will go down as a footnote in history. The
remarkable resiliance of the U.S. Constitution over time has merely been
undergoing a test. It is a crime that so much pain and death came of it in
terms of economics and military adventurism.

The entire neoconservative agenda is crumbling just as surely as the
U.S.S.R did.

After they're scattered, bitter heads will type ignorance in completely
inconsequential forums such as this, but NAFTA, the WTO, etc. will all
undergo treaty revisions. Jobs will return to America, the IRS will get
new marching orders and our mild version of Stalin will be exposed for
what he was.

Regards,

Marc Mulay
Post by cddugan
It just doesn't stop. Once again my country talks and acts like a
rogue superpower insisting on its right to rule the world by force, do
whatever it likes to whomever it likes, and be accountable to no one
except itself.
And before anyone starts requoting the unnamed "senior US official"
in the news story below stating that the USA will deal with its war
criminals internally, please explain why mass murder, torturer, and
one time CIA asset Emmanuel Constant is still living in the USA as a
free man years after the government of Haiti unsuccessfully tried to
extradite him for murders he committed in their country while on the
CIA's payroll. The USA is quite capable of "harboring terrorists"
when they are "our" terrorists; and the other 94% of the world's
population knows this full well even if the average American on the
street probably doesn't.
The USA has a solemn extradition agreement with Haiti dating back
generations under which Mr. Constant's extradition is clearly and
unambiguously required. But the USA won't extradite him to Haiti for
prosecution and won't prosecute him itself. The USA's legal basis for
declining to extradite him? None that I have ever been able to
discern. The USA simply won't do it even though we are legally
"obligated" to do so under the US-Haiti extradition agreement. And no
one can make us do it because we are the USA. Oh how we love to
lecture the rest of the world about human rights and the rule of law
even while behaving in a completely hypocritical manner ourselves.
And this is the same USA which now, in the midst of an
international prisoner abuse scandal involving multiple and widespread
violations of the Geneva Accords, to which it is a signatory, demands
to be exempt from the International Criminal Court to which most of
the rest of the world, even including military ally Britain, has
already signed on. Why should the words of some "senior US official"
who won't even speak on the record reassure anyone who cares about
bringing human rights violators of all nations to justice? Why should
anyone believe that the US will take care of its own human rights
violators on its own soil when a monster like Mr. Constant walks free
within its borders?
Chris, USA
US Pushes World Court Immunity Amid Iraq Scandal
Fri May 14th
By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is pursuing its
campaign to protect Americans from International Criminal Court
jurisdiction even as it deals with the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal
that may involve some of the very war crimes the court was created to
handle.
So far 89 countries have signed agreements with Washington promising
that Americans accused of grave international offenses, including
soldiers charged with war crimes, will be returned to U.S.
jurisdiction so their cases can be decided by fellow Americans rather
than international jurists.
Other states may soon be added, officials said this week.
"It's never been our argument that Americans are angels," one senior
U.S. official told Reuters.
"Our argument has been if Americans commit war crimes or human rights
violations, we will handle them. And we will," he added.
The permanent court was established in 2002 after ad hoc institutions
dealt with war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
But President Bush opposed it and insisted on so-called Article 98
agreements under which countries guaranteed not to surrender Americans
to ICC prosecution.
With military and civilians on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions
in 100 countries, Washington must preserve its independence to defend
its national interests worldwide, U.S. officials said.
This position is coming under new scrutiny following publication of
photographs showing U.S. army soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis
at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
The photos have fueled international outrage and severely damaged U.S.
credibility. U.S. officials promise the guilty will be punished but
rights experts worry prosecutions will focus on lower-ranking
soldiers, not their superiors.
WAR CRIMES PROSECUTION
"The political reality is that its going to be harder now to persuade
democratically elected leaders to immunize the U.S. military from war
crimes prosecution," said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director
for Human Rights Watch.
While some states may be more reluctant to sign the bilateral immunity
agreements, it is unclear they can avoid it, said Anthony Dworkin,
London-based editor of the Crimes of War Project Web site .
U.S. law prohibits military aid to countries that do not sign immunity
accords and Washington has used this lever to exert "enormous
pressure" on countries to sign, he said.
Some legal experts disagree with the use of Article 98 agreements and
question government insistence that U.S. military interrogation rules
in Iraq and elsewhere comply with the Geneva Convention.
Washington "is reluctant to test its interpretation" before
international jurists, Dworkin said.
"All of us are appalled by those prisoner abuse photos and we need to
address them," a U.S. official said.
"But the idea that the ICC would come in and judge whether we did
enough ... that's where the politicization comes and where those who
might have opposed the Iraq war in the first place could use that as
an opportunity to whack us," he said.
Another official said: "You can't get out of these things by having
somebody go to trial in international court. The only way to repair
our authority and reputation is to show that we find the behavior
abhorrent and are going to punish it."
Europe has resisted U.S. pressure and countries with major
concentrations of U.S. forces, like Germany, Japan and South Korea,
have not signed immunity pacts with the United States.
cddugan
2004-05-24 18:09:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marc Mulay
Chris, and fellow non-neocons, I urge you to read George Soros latest
book, "The Bubble of American Supremecy".
Thank you for recommending this book. I hadn't heard of it
before, although I am familiar with the author. George Soros is
perhaps a unique individual: a multi-billionaire retired international
currency speculator with a social conscience. Few people understand
the 21st century international financial system better than he does.
So when Soros talks, people listen.

I just put a hold on the book at the local Libary. All six
copies are checked out and there are sixteen people in line ahead of
me to borrow copies.
Post by Marc Mulay
I am entirely confident that the destructive cabal of ideological
dinosaurs now incompentently running (out of time in) the executive branch
of the U.S. Government, will go down as a footnote in history. The
remarkable resiliance of the U.S. Constitution over time has merely been
undergoing a test. It is a crime that so much pain and death came of it in
terms of economics and military adventurism.
I wish I were as confident as you, Marc. Perhaps Mr. Soros will
convince me once I finally get to the front of the library line and
read his book.

I hope that the November US election will be a national vote of
no confidence in the neoconservative faction and their arrogant,
unilateralist imperial vision of a unipolar world controlled by
military force by the US ultra rich elite. With luck they will be so
soundly repudiated that they won't be able to exert any influence in
government for at least a generation.
Post by Marc Mulay
The entire neoconservative agenda is crumbling just as surely as the
U.S.S.R did.
Domestically, they have been successful though. They have turned
a national surplus into a staggering deficit while pushing through a
series of tax cuts which help the very rich become even richer. The
deficits provide the excuse to gut social programs and essentially
roll back the entire New Deal. Once this has been accomplished, the
debt can be erased by the government inflating its way out of it. This
will render working people's pensions (those who will even have
pensions to begin with) unlivable and force workers to essentially
continue in the workforce until they die or become too ill to work (at
which point they will be out of luck because there will be no national
health plan or medicare for them). Meanwhile the richest fraction of
a percent of the population will have become so much richer that they
will be able to buy whatever government policies and media coverage
they choose. Vast wealth will "sweep all before it" as Kevin Phillips
said in his recent book "Wealth and Democracy" regarding the threat an
emerging mega-wealthy class poses to democracy in America. To prevent
the population from rebelling against these obviously unpopular
policies, the plan is to frighten people with endless terrorist
boogiemen and orange alerts while getting the country into one foreign
war after another. Then anyone who points out that the
neoconservative program is devastating the lives and savings of the
majority of people can be shouted down as unpatriotic for causing
domestic division in a time of war.

Chris, USA
Marc Mulay
2004-05-24 22:33:21 UTC
Permalink
Chris,

It was a communication error on my part to recommend the book "The Bubble of
American Supremecy" and then go on with my personal sanguine opinion about the
near future. The two are unrelated.

Mr. Soros does a highly credible job of articulating structures, causes and
suggested improvements. That's all. Enjoy the book.

Separately, I alone am confident in the conclusions posted, re; the end of the
neocon era (for now) and America's brush with such disastrously, monstrously
stupid ideology-driven policy from the the White House and Pentagon. The
parallels drawn between the foundation of Germany's nationalist socialist
movement in the 1930's and America's brush with neoconservatives using an idiot
lacking normal human introspection and capacity for self-doubt to force an
unworkable agenda upon Earth, are what gives rise to "the left" calling the
"right" "Nazis". The difference? Hitler posessed far more personal intellectual
capacity than George Bush, he was a speed freak dying of Addison's disease and
he rushed a military agenda causing his own doom. Bush is "dying" of U.S.
Constitutional strength. As long as he doesn't do something desparate before he
too vanishes into history, things will improve for a while.

The US Constitution and its impact as a rudder upon a relatively large and
diverse population is strong enough to deflect this temporary aberation in U.S.
history, created by the Neocons. History will bury them.

Kerry will take over a sullen bunch in the Senate and House though. They'll do
everything possible to sabotage his initiatives. Also a $500,000,000,000 budget
deficit will simultaneously wreak havoc upon the domestic economy due to
interest rate escalation. It's effects upon the U.S. economy, thus the world of
international capital flow will choke Democratic efforts every step of the way.
China will not wait forever to take back Taiwan. Back door, they will use the
Bush years as pretext to cut deals with the Iranians, Egyptians, Syrians...and
Saudis.

THAT'S the problem. Not 2004. 2010-2015 and beyond.

Regards,

Marc Mulay

cddugan
2004-05-15 13:36:40 UTC
Permalink
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-scheer11may11,1,2673474.column?coll=la-home-utilities

Thread of Abuse Runs to the Oval Office
By Robert Scheer
The Los Angeles Times

Tuesday 11 May 2004

Phony justifications for war led to brutal intelligence-gathering.

Someone's lying — big-time — and neither Congress nor the media have
begun to scratch the surface. Clearly we now know enough to stipulate
that the several low-ranking alleged sadists charged in the Iraq
torture scandal did not control the wing of the prison in which they
openly and proudly did the devil's work.

That power was in the hands of high-ranking U.S. military
intelligence officers who established abusive conditions that were
condemned by the Red Cross in a complaint to U.S. authorities well
before the horrid incidents that recently shocked the nation.

The Red Cross complaint — and a follow-up report that was made
available to the administration in February and obtained by the Wall
Street Journal this week — raises the sobering possibility that these
low-level members of the military police in Iraq may be right in
claiming that they were just following orders of their superiors.

According to the report, the organization's delegates visited Abu
Ghraib in October 2003 and witnessed "the practice of keeping persons
deprived of their liberty completely naked in totally empty concrete
cells and in total darkness" for days.

"Upon witnessing such cases, the [Red Cross] interrupted its visits
and requested an explanation from the authorities. The military
intelligence officer in charge of interrogation explained that this
practice was 'part of the process.' " The report said that what Red
Cross representatives saw "went beyond exceptional cases" and was "in
some cases tantamount to torture."

The Red Cross complained directly to the authorities at that time,
two months before the now-infamous photographs were taken.

The White House and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have for
months stubbornly ignored and kept from the public the conclusions of
both the Red Cross report and the even more damning internal report
done by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba for the Pentagon in March.

The Taguba report clearly stated that the MPs had been instructed to
"set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of
witnesses" and were using sexual humiliation, attack dogs and beatings
to break prisoners.

It would appear that the Pentagon still doesn't want to admit the
seriousness of the problem, having now assigned Maj. Gen. Geoffrey
Miller to run Abu Ghraib despite the fact that it was Miller who last
summer officially reported on conditions in Abu Ghraib and seems to
have enabled, if not authorized, the torture that ensued in the
autumn.

According to Taguba's report, Miller "stated that detention
operations must act as an enabler for interrogation" and "it is
essential that the guard force be actively engaged in setting the
conditions for successful exploitation of the internees."

That would seem to support the contention of the accused MPs that
they were just doing their duty. The Washington Post quotes an e-mail
from Spc. Sabrina Harman in which she wrote: "If the prisoner was
cooperating, then the prisoner was allowed to keep his jumpsuit,
mattress, and was allowed cigarettes on request or even hot food. But
if the prisoner didn't give what they wanted, it was all taken away
until [military intelligence] decided. The job of the MP was to keep
them awake, make it hell so they would talk."

On Monday, President Bush reiterated his unyielding support for
Rumsfeld, even as the influential Army Times newspaper called for
heads to roll "even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a
time of war." The abuses of Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad are "a failure
that ran straight to the top," argued the newspaper.

And all of this does flow from the top. With the occupation itself
built on a web of lies — that invading Iraq was part of the war on
terror, that Iraq had threatening weapons of mass destruction, that
anybody who resisted the occupation was a "terrorist" or "thug" — it
can only be assumed that those interrogators dealing with the nearly
50,000 Iraqi detainees in the last year were under enormous pressure
to produce statements that fit these phony "facts."

"I'd like to know who was the one that was giving instructions to
the military intelligence personnel to turn up the heat," Brig. Gen.
Janis Karpinski, the nominal head of Abu Ghraib during the time in
question, said in an interview on NBC. Unfortunately, that question
needs to be addressed to the president of the United States.

The big lie that the United States is merely a selfless battler
against terrorists, with no other agendas, opens the door for
brutality against any who dare resist. Bush has exercised an arrogance
unmatched by any U.S. president in a century and brandished God's will
as his carte blanche. His unilateral, preemptive "nation-building" —
and the settling of old scores in the name of fighting terror — grants
license to treat anybody, including U.S. citizens, in a barbaric
manner that cavalierly sweeps aside all standards of due process.

-------

Robert Scheer writes a weekly column for The Times and is coauthor
of "The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq" (Seven Stories
Press/Akashic Books, 2003).
cddugan
2004-05-15 19:37:58 UTC
Permalink
A handful of low level individuals have been designated by the US
government as scapegoats for the prisoner abuse scandal. The low
level scapegoats argue that they were following orders from higher ups
in Military Intelligence. This tier of officers will point their
fingers at the upper ranks. And as the article below might suggest,
the upper ranks are poised to point fingers at their superiors, the
civilian leadership in the Pentagon. This means Donald Rumsfeld and
Paul Wolfowitz.

Chris, USA


http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1215613,00.html

America's Military Coup
By Sidney Blumenthal
The Guardian U.K.

Thursday 13 May 2004

Donald Rumsfeld has a new war on his hands - the U.S. officer
corps has turned on the government

Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, told George Bush in
February about torture at Abu Ghraib prison. From the limited detail
Rumsfeld recalled of that meeting, it can be deduced that Bush gave no
orders, insisted on no responsibility, did not ask to see the already
commissioned Taguba report. If there are exculpatory facts, Rumsfeld
has failed to mention them.

For decades, Rumsfeld has had a reputation as a great white shark
of the bureaucratic seas: sleek, fast-moving and voracious. As
counsellor to Richard Nixon during the impeachment crisis, his deputy
was the young Dick Cheney, and together they helped to right the ship
of state under Gerald Ford.

Here they were given a misleading gloss as moderates; competence
at handling power was confused with pragmatism. Cheney became the most
hardline of congressmen, and Rumsfeld informed acquaintances that he
was always more conservative than they imagined. One lesson they seem
to have learned from the Nixon debacle was ruthlessness. His collapse
confirmed in them a belief in the imperial presidency based on
executive secrecy. One gets the impression that, unlike Nixon, they
would have burned the White House tapes.

Under Bush, the team of Cheney and Rumsfeld spread across the top
rungs of government, drawing staff from the neoconservative cabal and
infusing their rightwing temperaments with ideological imperatives.
The unvarnished will to power took on a veneer of ideas and idealism.
Iraq was not a case of vengeance or power, but the cause of democracy
and human rights.

The fate of the neoconservative project depends on Rumsfeld's job.
If he were to go, so would his deputy, the neoconservative
Robespierre, Paul Wolfowitz. Also threatened would be the cadres who
stovepiped the disinformation that neoconservative darling Ahmed
Chalabi used to manipulate public opinion before the war. In his
Senate testimony last week, Rumsfeld explained that the government
asking the press not to report Abu Ghraib "is not against our
principles. It is not suppression of the news." War is peace.

Six National Guard soldiers from a West Virginia unit who treated
Abu Ghraib as a playpen of pornographic torture have been designated
as scapegoats. Will the show trials of these working-class antiheroes
put an end to any inquiries about the chain of command? In an
extraordinary editorial, the Army Times, which had not previously
ventured into such controversy, declared that "the folks in the
Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons ... This was not just a
failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure
that ran straight to the top. Accountabilty here is essential - even
if that means relieving leaders from duty in a time of war."

William Odom, a retired general and former member of the National
Security Council who is now at the Hudson Institute, a conservative
thinktank, reflects a wide swath of opinion in the upper ranks of the
military. "It was never in our interest to go into Iraq," he told me.
It is a "diversion" from the war on terrorism; the rationale for the
Iraq war (finding WMD) is "phoney"; the US army is overstretched and
being driven "into the ground"; and the prospect of building a
democracy is "zero". In Iraqi politics, he says, "legitimacy is going
to be tied to expelling us. Wisdom in military affairs dictates
withdrawal in this situation. We can't afford to fail, that's
mindless. The issue is how we stop failing more. I am arguing a
strategic decision."

One high-level military strategist told me that Rumsfeld is
"detested", and that "if there's a sentiment in the army it is:
Support Our Troops, Impeach Rumsfeld".

The Council on Foreign Relations has been showing old movies with
renewed relevance to its members. The Battle of Algiers, depicting the
nature and costs of a struggle with terrorism, is the latest feature.
The seething in the military against Bush and Rumsfeld might prompt a
showing of Seven Days in May, about a coup staged by a rightwing
general against a weak liberal president, an artifact of the
conservative hatred directed at President Kennedy in the early 60s.

In 1992, General Colin Powell, chairman of the joint chiefs,
awarded the prize for his strategy essay competition at the National
Defence University to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Dunlap for The
Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012. His cautionary tale
imagined an incapable civilian government creating a vacuum that drew
a competent military into a coup disastrous for democracy. The
military, of course, is bound to uphold the constitution. But Dunlap
wrote: "The catastrophe that occurred on our watch took place because
we failed to speak out against policies we knew were wrong. It's too
late for me to do any more. But it's not for you."

The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 is today
circulating among top US military strategists.




Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton,
is Washington bureau chief of Salon.com
cddugan
2004-05-17 06:18:15 UTC
Permalink
==>A handful of low level individuals have been designated by the US
==>government as scapegoats for the prisoner abuse scandal. The low
==>level scapegoats argue that they were following orders from higher ups
==>in Military Intelligence. This tier of officers will point their
==>fingers at the upper ranks. And as the article below might suggest,
==>the upper ranks are poised to point fingers at their superiors, the
==>civilian leadership in the Pentagon. This means Donald Rumsfeld and
==>Paul Wolfowitz.
Absolutely.
And it gets worse.
It's now clear that Rumsfeld himself gave the order
to U.S. interrogators to "do what you want" to anyone
they thought might be a source of intelligence.
According to a current Newsweek poll, only 36% of Americans think
the low level MPs were acting on their own without directions from
higher up. That number is bound to shrink as more evidence like this
emerges.

Now we learn that the alleged beatings and abuse at the Guantanamo
Bay gulag were videotaped as a matter of routine and the videotapes
are all catalogued and stored there. A British former prisoner in the
article below describes horrific experiences at the hands of the USA
and insists that the videotapes will vindicate him. Senator Patrick
Leahy and others in Congress are demanding that the tapes be released,
at least to members of Congress.

Chris, USA

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/waronterrorism/story/0,1373,1218014,00.html

'They Tied Me Up Like a Beast and Began Kicking Me'
By David Rose
The Observer U.K.

Sunday 16 May 2004

As America struggles to come to terms with military abuse in Iraq,
similar stories are emerging from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Tarek Dergoul,
a Briton released from the camp in March, talks here for the first
time about his two-year ordeal.

'I was in extreme pain and so weak that I could barely stand. It was
freezing cold and I was shaking like a washing machine. They
questioned me at gunpoint and told me that if I confessed I could go
home.

'They had already searched me and my cell twice that day, gone
through my stuff, touched my Koran, felt my body around my private
parts. And now they wanted to do it again, just to provoke me, but I
said no, because if you submit to everything you turn into a zombie.

'I heard a guard talking into his radio, "ERF, ERF, ERF," and I knew
what was coming - the Extreme Reaction Force. The five cowards, I
called them - five guys running in with riot gear. They pepper-sprayed
me in the face and I started vomiting; in all I must have brought up
five cupfuls. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their
fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and
flushed. They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on
me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in
chains, into the rec yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.'

Tarek Dergoul, a British citizen born and brought up in east London
and released without charge after almost two years at Guantanamo Bay,
was describing one of many alleged assaults he says he suffered in
American custody. With the world still reeling from the photographs of
prisoner abuse and torture at the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, Dergoul's
testimony suggests that Guantanamo hides another terrible secret -
proof, in the shape of hundreds of videos shot by US guards, that
here, too, America's war against terror has led to wanton brutality
against helpless detainees.

Dergoul, 26, was released at the same time as four other Britons in
March, but was too traumatised by his experiences to tell his story
until now. While it is shocking, it is also credible: his description
of his interrogations and the 'ERF' squad's violent reprisals closely
matches that from other released prisoners, including his fellow
Britons, while possibly his most important claim, that the ERF was
always filmed, has been confirmed by the US military.

'Much of his story is consistent with other accounts of detention
conditions in both Afghanistan and Guantanamo,' said John Sifton, a
New York-based official from Human Rights Watch who has interviewed
numerous former Guantanamo prisoners in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 'It
is now clear that there is a systemic problem of abuse throughout the
US military's detention facilities - not merely misbehaviour by a few
bad apples.'

Dergoul also disclosed personal experience of the techniques
pioneered by the former Guantanamo commandant, General Geoffrey
Miller, to 'set the conditions' for detainees' interrogation, which
Miller then took to Iraq.

He said they included humiliation, prolonged exposure to intense
heat and cold, sleep deprivation, being kept chained in painful
positions, and the threat of 'rendition' to an Arab country where, his
interrogators said, he would be subjected to full-blown torture.

On Friday Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, from Tipton in the West
Midlands, who told their stories to The Observer when they were
released, wrote an open letter to President George Bush, alleging they
suffered very similar abusive treatment at Guantanamo. Within hours US
military spokesmen denied their allegations, saying they were 'simply
false'.

Now, however, Dergoul has revealed a means of proving the claims of
violence at Guantanamo, potentially as dramatic as the Abu Ghraib
photographs. Every time an ERF squad was deployed, he said, the entire
process was recorded on digital video: 'There was always this guy
behind the squad, filming everything that happened.'

Last night Lieutenant Colonel Leon Sumpter, the Guantanamo Joint
Task Force spokesman, confirmed the videos existed, saying that all
ERF actions were filmed so that they could 'be reviewed by the camp
commander and the commanding general'.

All of them, he said , were kept in an archive at Guantanamo. He
refused to say how many times the ERF squads had been used and would
not discuss their training or composition, saying: 'We do not discuss
operational aspects of the Joint Task Force mission.'

Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat deputy leader, said the
government must demand 'that these videos be delivered up and the
truth of these very serious allegations properly determined once and
for all. The videos provide an unequalled opportunity to check the
veracity of what Mr Dergoul and the other former detainees are
saying.'

In Washington, Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the
Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded that the videos be shown to
Congress. 'If evidence exists that can establish whether there has
been mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, it should be
provided without delay,' he said. 'That must include any tapes or
photos of the activities of the Extreme Reaction Force.'

The effects on Dergoul of his ordeal in Afghanistan and Guantanamo
are very visible. A slight, slim man, he has difficulty walking: for
weeks his American captors failed to treat his frostbitten feet, until
a big toe turned gangrenous and had to be amputated. He has also lost
most of his left arm, the result of a shrapnel wound. Two months after
regaining his freedom he has nightmares and flashbacks, especially of
his many beatings, and is about to begin treatment at the Medical
Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.

'I get migraines, I'm depressed and I suffer from memory loss.
There's stuff that happened, embedded in my head, that I can't
remember.'

He has nothing to live on because the Benefits Agency, wrongly
believing he is not a British citizen, says he has lost his
entitlement because he was out of the country, though a prisoner, for
more than two years.

Born to Moroccan parents in Mile End in December 1977, Dergoul was
once in trouble for stealing a computer chip, for which he was
sentenced to community service. After leaving school at 15 he worked
in a succession of jobs: selling double glazing, office cleaning,
driving a minicab and as a carer at an old people's home in Suffolk.
Living in east London, many of his friends were from Pakistan and he
decided to visit the country for an extended holiday in July 2001.

'Before I went I'd never even heard of Osama bin Laden or the
Taliban and I didn't know where Afghanistan was,' he said. 'I was not
political and I didn't read the papers. My parents are religious but I
never went to the mosque.'

After the 11 September attacks, he and two Pakistani friends had an
idea for what, in hindsight, was one of the worst-judged business
ventures of all time. With war looming, they thought many Afghans
would want to flee their homes. Dergoul had ?5,000 in cash, which he
pooled with his friends' savings. 'The plan was to buy some property
away from where the bombing was. We thought we could buy it very
cheap, then sell it at a profit after the war.'

They travelled to Jalalabad and looked at several empty homes. On
the verge of signing a deal, Dergoul and his friends spent the night
in a villa. While they were asleep, he said, a bomb landed on it -
killing his friends. He went outside and was hit by another bomb,
sustaining shrapnel wounds.

For at least a week, unable to walk, he lay among the ruins,
drinking from a tap that still worked, and living on biscuits and
raisins he had in his pocket. Exposed to the freezing weather, his
toes turned black from frostbite. At last he was found by troops loyal
to the Northern Alliance. They treated him well, taking him to a
hospital where he was given food and three operations. However, after
five weeks he was driven to an airfield and handed over to Americans,
who arrived by helicopter. Dergoul said the Americans paid $5,000 for
him - according to Human Rights Watch, this was the standard fee for a
'terrorist' suspect. They flew him to the US detention camp at Bagram
airbase, near Kabul.

As at Abu Ghraib, Dergoul said, violence and sexual humiliation
appeared to be routine. 'When I arrived, with a bag over my head, I
was stripped naked and taken to a big room with 15 or 20 MPs [military
police]. They started taking photos and then they did a full cavity
search. As they were doing that they were taking close-ups,
concentrating on my private parts.'

Possibly because he was British, Dergoul said he was spared the
beatings he saw being administered to others in neighbouring cages.
'Guards with guns and baseball bats would make the detainees squat for
hours, and if they fell over from exhaustion, they'd beat them until
they lost consciousness. They called it "beat down".'

His interrogators accused him of fighting with al-Qaeda in the Tora
Bora mountains towards the end of the main Afghan war. At the time, he
insisted, he had no idea of Tora Bora's significance and never went
there. But in the course of 20 to 25 interrogations at Bagram -
including one session with a British team from MI5 - he was told his
family's assets would be seized.

'I was in extreme pain from the frostbite and other injuries and I
was so weak I could barely stand. It was freezing cold and I was
shaking and shivering like a washing machine. The interrogators - who
questioned me at gunpoint - said if I confessed I'd be going home.
Finally I agreed I'd been at Tora Bora - though I still wouldn't admit
I'd ever met bin Laden.'

After about a month, in February 2002, Dergoul was taken south to
another camp at Kandahar. His memories of this time are hazy: it was
there that his feet, left untreated, went septic and, as the infection
spread, he underwent a further amputation.

In three months there, he said, he had only two showers. Finally, on
1 May, he was dressed in goggles and an orange jump suit, injected
with a sedative and flown to Guantanamo Bay.

For more than a year of the 22 months Dergoul spent at Camp Delta,
he said, he was held in the isolation block, on the worst 'level four'
regime - deprived of all stimulation or 'comfort items,' and sometimes
allowed only a blanket between 11.30pm and 5.30am.

For the first time, he was becoming religious 'and my faith in Allah
was giving me the strength to resist them'. One way in which he
infuriated the guards was by translating their conversations into
Arabic for the benefit of other detainees, and he also helped organise
a series of hunger and non-co-operation strikes when the prisoners
would refuse to go to interrogation or their twice-weekly shower and
15-minute exercise period.

No doubt, he agreed, this made him more of a target for the ERF. But
he was never violent, he said, and unlike other prisoners he never
tried to use his own excrement as a missile.

The report by General Antonio Taguba into Abu Ghraib states that
abuse there began when Miller arrived there with 30 colleagues for a
visit last September and instituted the system he had already created
at Camp Delta - turning the guards into an interrogation tool by using
them to 'set the conditions' or soften up prisoners before they were
questioned.

Last week, General Lance Smith, deputy chief of the US Central
Command, told a Senate hearing that some of the 20 techniques Miller
authorised were banned in Iraq, because there, unlike Guantanamo,
prisoners were supposedly protected by the Geneva Conventions.

So what are these 20 techniques? A US military spokeswoman said:
'They come from a classified document and we don't discuss its
contents.' But the Senate has heard they include sleep deprivation,
binding in uncomfortable positions and the use of excessive cold or
heat. Dergoul said he experienced and witnessed all of them.

For one period of about a month last year, he said, guards would
take him every day to an interrogation room in chains, seat him, chain
him to a ring in the floor and then leave him alone for eight hours at
a time.

'The air conditioning would really be blowing - it was freezing,
which was incredibly painful on my amputation stumps. Eventually I'd
need to urinate and in the end I would try to tilt my chair and go on
the floor. They were watching through a one-way mirror. As soon as I
wet myself, a woman MP would come in yelling, "Look what you've done!
You're disgusting." '

Afterwards he would be taken back to his cell for about three hours.
Then the guards would reappear and in Guantanamo slang tell him he was
returning to the interrogation room: 'You have a reservation.' The
process would begin again.

Dergoul also described the use of what was known as the 'short
shackle' - steel bonds pulled tight to keep the subject bunched up,
while chained to the floor. 'After a while, it was agony. You could
hear the guards behind the mirror, making jokes, eating and drinking,
knocking on the walls. It was not about trying to get information. It
was just about trying to break you.' In their letter to Bush, Rasul
and Iqbal also said they endured this procedure.

Another technique, applied in periods when Dergoul was being heavily
interrogated, was to deny him clean clothes or bedding for up to three
weeks, or to provide clothes which were several sizes too small.

Sometimes, Dergoul said, as with the 'attacks' by the ERF squads,
interrogation sessions were videoed. Sumpter, the Guantanamo
spokesman, said he could not confirm this claim.

Every four or five months, Dergoul said, he was visited by British
diplomats and officials from MI5. Each time he complained bitterly
about his treatment: 'I told them everything: about the stress
positions, the interrogations, the ERF.'

Less than a month after he arrived, the Foreign Office sent a letter
to his brother, Halid, which suggested they knew a lot about
conditions at Guantanamo: although written in careful language, it
described how he had been denied 'comfort items' and reported he felt
as if he was 'living in the twilight zone'.

It also said he had lost a toe because he had not been treated with
antibiotics. In public, however, the British government continued to
defend the Americans' right to hold Dergoul and others at Guantanamo -
as it still continues to do.

Dergoul's experiences have changed him forever, turning him into a
devout and intensely political Muslim. 'I now look on America as a
terrorist state because that's what they have done - terrorised us -
and I condemn Britain as well for contributing to it. Half the people
I met in Cuba had been purchased. If they really had been captured on
the battlefield, as the Americans are always saying, maybe I could
understand it.

'But maybe now they'll get their comeuppance. After what's happened
at Abu Ghraib, if I'd been the Americans I would have destroyed those
videos. Let them be shown. Then the world will know I'm telling the
truth.'
cddugan
2004-05-17 06:21:19 UTC
Permalink
==>A handful of low level individuals have been designated by the US
==>government as scapegoats for the prisoner abuse scandal. The low
==>level scapegoats argue that they were following orders from higher ups
==>in Military Intelligence. This tier of officers will point their
==>fingers at the upper ranks. And as the article below might suggest,
==>the upper ranks are poised to point fingers at their superiors, the
==>civilian leadership in the Pentagon. This means Donald Rumsfeld and
==>Paul Wolfowitz.
Absolutely.
And it gets worse.
It's now clear that Rumsfeld himself gave the order
to U.S. interrogators to "do what you want" to anyone
they thought might be a source of intelligence.
According to a current Newsweek poll, only 36% of Americans think
the low level MPs were acting on their own without directions from
higher up. That number is bound to shrink as more evidence like this
emerges.

Now we learn that the alleged beatings and abuse at the Guantanamo
Bay gulag were videotaped as a matter of routine and the videotapes
are all catalogued and stored there. A British former prisoner in the
article below describes horrific experiences at the hands of the USA
and insists that the videotapes will vindicate him. Senator Patrick
Leahy and others in Congress are demanding that the tapes be released,
at least to members of Congress.

Chris, USA

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/waronterrorism/story/0,1373,1218014,00.html

'They Tied Me Up Like a Beast and Began Kicking Me'
By David Rose
The Observer U.K.

Sunday 16 May 2004

As America struggles to come to terms with military abuse in Iraq,
similar stories are emerging from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Tarek Dergoul,
a Briton released from the camp in March, talks here for the first
time about his two-year ordeal.

'I was in extreme pain and so weak that I could barely stand. It was
freezing cold and I was shaking like a washing machine. They
questioned me at gunpoint and told me that if I confessed I could go
home.

'They had already searched me and my cell twice that day, gone
through my stuff, touched my Koran, felt my body around my private
parts. And now they wanted to do it again, just to provoke me, but I
said no, because if you submit to everything you turn into a zombie.

'I heard a guard talking into his radio, "ERF, ERF, ERF," and I knew
what was coming - the Extreme Reaction Force. The five cowards, I
called them - five guys running in with riot gear. They pepper-sprayed
me in the face and I started vomiting; in all I must have brought up
five cupfuls. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their
fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and
flushed. They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on
me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in
chains, into the rec yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.'

Tarek Dergoul, a British citizen born and brought up in east London
and released without charge after almost two years at Guantanamo Bay,
was describing one of many alleged assaults he says he suffered in
American custody. With the world still reeling from the photographs of
prisoner abuse and torture at the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, Dergoul's
testimony suggests that Guantanamo hides another terrible secret -
proof, in the shape of hundreds of videos shot by US guards, that
here, too, America's war against terror has led to wanton brutality
against helpless detainees.

Dergoul, 26, was released at the same time as four other Britons in
March, but was too traumatised by his experiences to tell his story
until now. While it is shocking, it is also credible: his description
of his interrogations and the 'ERF' squad's violent reprisals closely
matches that from other released prisoners, including his fellow
Britons, while possibly his most important claim, that the ERF was
always filmed, has been confirmed by the US military.

'Much of his story is consistent with other accounts of detention
conditions in both Afghanistan and Guantanamo,' said John Sifton, a
New York-based official from Human Rights Watch who has interviewed
numerous former Guantanamo prisoners in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 'It
is now clear that there is a systemic problem of abuse throughout the
US military's detention facilities - not merely misbehaviour by a few
bad apples.'

Dergoul also disclosed personal experience of the techniques
pioneered by the former Guantanamo commandant, General Geoffrey
Miller, to 'set the conditions' for detainees' interrogation, which
Miller then took to Iraq.

He said they included humiliation, prolonged exposure to intense
heat and cold, sleep deprivation, being kept chained in painful
positions, and the threat of 'rendition' to an Arab country where, his
interrogators said, he would be subjected to full-blown torture.

On Friday Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, from Tipton in the West
Midlands, who told their stories to The Observer when they were
released, wrote an open letter to President George Bush, alleging they
suffered very similar abusive treatment at Guantanamo. Within hours US
military spokesmen denied their allegations, saying they were 'simply
false'.

Now, however, Dergoul has revealed a means of proving the claims of
violence at Guantanamo, potentially as dramatic as the Abu Ghraib
photographs. Every time an ERF squad was deployed, he said, the entire
process was recorded on digital video: 'There was always this guy
behind the squad, filming everything that happened.'

Last night Lieutenant Colonel Leon Sumpter, the Guantanamo Joint
Task Force spokesman, confirmed the videos existed, saying that all
ERF actions were filmed so that they could 'be reviewed by the camp
commander and the commanding general'.

All of them, he said , were kept in an archive at Guantanamo. He
refused to say how many times the ERF squads had been used and would
not discuss their training or composition, saying: 'We do not discuss
operational aspects of the Joint Task Force mission.'

Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat deputy leader, said the
government must demand 'that these videos be delivered up and the
truth of these very serious allegations properly determined once and
for all. The videos provide an unequalled opportunity to check the
veracity of what Mr Dergoul and the other former detainees are
saying.'

In Washington, Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the
Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded that the videos be shown to
Congress. 'If evidence exists that can establish whether there has
been mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, it should be
provided without delay,' he said. 'That must include any tapes or
photos of the activities of the Extreme Reaction Force.'

The effects on Dergoul of his ordeal in Afghanistan and Guantanamo
are very visible. A slight, slim man, he has difficulty walking: for
weeks his American captors failed to treat his frostbitten feet, until
a big toe turned gangrenous and had to be amputated. He has also lost
most of his left arm, the result of a shrapnel wound. Two months after
regaining his freedom he has nightmares and flashbacks, especially of
his many beatings, and is about to begin treatment at the Medical
Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.

'I get migraines, I'm depressed and I suffer from memory loss.
There's stuff that happened, embedded in my head, that I can't
remember.'

He has nothing to live on because the Benefits Agency, wrongly
believing he is not a British citizen, says he has lost his
entitlement because he was out of the country, though a prisoner, for
more than two years.

Born to Moroccan parents in Mile End in December 1977, Dergoul was
once in trouble for stealing a computer chip, for which he was
sentenced to community service. After leaving school at 15 he worked
in a succession of jobs: selling double glazing, office cleaning,
driving a minicab and as a carer at an old people's home in Suffolk.
Living in east London, many of his friends were from Pakistan and he
decided to visit the country for an extended holiday in July 2001.

'Before I went I'd never even heard of Osama bin Laden or the
Taliban and I didn't know where Afghanistan was,' he said. 'I was not
political and I didn't read the papers. My parents are religious but I
never went to the mosque.'

After the 11 September attacks, he and two Pakistani friends had an
idea for what, in hindsight, was one of the worst-judged business
ventures of all time. With war looming, they thought many Afghans
would want to flee their homes. Dergoul had ?5,000 in cash, which he
pooled with his friends' savings. 'The plan was to buy some property
away from where the bombing was. We thought we could buy it very
cheap, then sell it at a profit after the war.'

They travelled to Jalalabad and looked at several empty homes. On
the verge of signing a deal, Dergoul and his friends spent the night
in a villa. While they were asleep, he said, a bomb landed on it -
killing his friends. He went outside and was hit by another bomb,
sustaining shrapnel wounds.

For at least a week, unable to walk, he lay among the ruins,
drinking from a tap that still worked, and living on biscuits and
raisins he had in his pocket. Exposed to the freezing weather, his
toes turned black from frostbite. At last he was found by troops loyal
to the Northern Alliance. They treated him well, taking him to a
hospital where he was given food and three operations. However, after
five weeks he was driven to an airfield and handed over to Americans,
who arrived by helicopter. Dergoul said the Americans paid $5,000 for
him - according to Human Rights Watch, this was the standard fee for a
'terrorist' suspect. They flew him to the US detention camp at Bagram
airbase, near Kabul.

As at Abu Ghraib, Dergoul said, violence and sexual humiliation
appeared to be routine. 'When I arrived, with a bag over my head, I
was stripped naked and taken to a big room with 15 or 20 MPs [military
police]. They started taking photos and then they did a full cavity
search. As they were doing that they were taking close-ups,
concentrating on my private parts.'

Possibly because he was British, Dergoul said he was spared the
beatings he saw being administered to others in neighbouring cages.
'Guards with guns and baseball bats would make the detainees squat for
hours, and if they fell over from exhaustion, they'd beat them until
they lost consciousness. They called it "beat down".'

His interrogators accused him of fighting with al-Qaeda in the Tora
Bora mountains towards the end of the main Afghan war. At the time, he
insisted, he had no idea of Tora Bora's significance and never went
there. But in the course of 20 to 25 interrogations at Bagram -
including one session with a British team from MI5 - he was told his
family's assets would be seized.

'I was in extreme pain from the frostbite and other injuries and I
was so weak I could barely stand. It was freezing cold and I was
shaking and shivering like a washing machine. The interrogators - who
questioned me at gunpoint - said if I confessed I'd be going home.
Finally I agreed I'd been at Tora Bora - though I still wouldn't admit
I'd ever met bin Laden.'

After about a month, in February 2002, Dergoul was taken south to
another camp at Kandahar. His memories of this time are hazy: it was
there that his feet, left untreated, went septic and, as the infection
spread, he underwent a further amputation.

In three months there, he said, he had only two showers. Finally, on
1 May, he was dressed in goggles and an orange jump suit, injected
with a sedative and flown to Guantanamo Bay.

For more than a year of the 22 months Dergoul spent at Camp Delta,
he said, he was held in the isolation block, on the worst 'level four'
regime - deprived of all stimulation or 'comfort items,' and sometimes
allowed only a blanket between 11.30pm and 5.30am.

For the first time, he was becoming religious 'and my faith in Allah
was giving me the strength to resist them'. One way in which he
infuriated the guards was by translating their conversations into
Arabic for the benefit of other detainees, and he also helped organise
a series of hunger and non-co-operation strikes when the prisoners
would refuse to go to interrogation or their twice-weekly shower and
15-minute exercise period.

No doubt, he agreed, this made him more of a target for the ERF. But
he was never violent, he said, and unlike other prisoners he never
tried to use his own excrement as a missile.

The report by General Antonio Taguba into Abu Ghraib states that
abuse there began when Miller arrived there with 30 colleagues for a
visit last September and instituted the system he had already created
at Camp Delta - turning the guards into an interrogation tool by using
them to 'set the conditions' or soften up prisoners before they were
questioned.

Last week, General Lance Smith, deputy chief of the US Central
Command, told a Senate hearing that some of the 20 techniques Miller
authorised were banned in Iraq, because there, unlike Guantanamo,
prisoners were supposedly protected by the Geneva Conventions.

So what are these 20 techniques? A US military spokeswoman said:
'They come from a classified document and we don't discuss its
contents.' But the Senate has heard they include sleep deprivation,
binding in uncomfortable positions and the use of excessive cold or
heat. Dergoul said he experienced and witnessed all of them.

For one period of about a month last year, he said, guards would
take him every day to an interrogation room in chains, seat him, chain
him to a ring in the floor and then leave him alone for eight hours at
a time.

'The air conditioning would really be blowing - it was freezing,
which was incredibly painful on my amputation stumps. Eventually I'd
need to urinate and in the end I would try to tilt my chair and go on
the floor. They were watching through a one-way mirror. As soon as I
wet myself, a woman MP would come in yelling, "Look what you've done!
You're disgusting." '

Afterwards he would be taken back to his cell for about three hours.
Then the guards would reappear and in Guantanamo slang tell him he was
returning to the interrogation room: 'You have a reservation.' The
process would begin again.

Dergoul also described the use of what was known as the 'short
shackle' - steel bonds pulled tight to keep the subject bunched up,
while chained to the floor. 'After a while, it was agony. You could
hear the guards behind the mirror, making jokes, eating and drinking,
knocking on the walls. It was not about trying to get information. It
was just about trying to break you.' In their letter to Bush, Rasul
and Iqbal also said they endured this procedure.

Another technique, applied in periods when Dergoul was being heavily
interrogated, was to deny him clean clothes or bedding for up to three
weeks, or to provide clothes which were several sizes too small.

Sometimes, Dergoul said, as with the 'attacks' by the ERF squads,
interrogation sessions were videoed. Sumpter, the Guantanamo
spokesman, said he could not confirm this claim.

Every four or five months, Dergoul said, he was visited by British
diplomats and officials from MI5. Each time he complained bitterly
about his treatment: 'I told them everything: about the stress
positions, the interrogations, the ERF.'

Less than a month after he arrived, the Foreign Office sent a letter
to his brother, Halid, which suggested they knew a lot about
conditions at Guantanamo: although written in careful language, it
described how he had been denied 'comfort items' and reported he felt
as if he was 'living in the twilight zone'.

It also said he had lost a toe because he had not been treated with
antibiotics. In public, however, the British government continued to
defend the Americans' right to hold Dergoul and others at Guantanamo -
as it still continues to do.

Dergoul's experiences have changed him forever, turning him into a
devout and intensely political Muslim. 'I now look on America as a
terrorist state because that's what they have done - terrorised us -
and I condemn Britain as well for contributing to it. Half the people
I met in Cuba had been purchased. If they really had been captured on
the battlefield, as the Americans are always saying, maybe I could
understand it.

'But maybe now they'll get their comeuppance. After what's happened
at Abu Ghraib, if I'd been the Americans I would have destroyed those
videos. Let them be shown. Then the world will know I'm telling the
truth.'
cddugan
2004-05-17 16:21:56 UTC
Permalink
The irony of the USA's insistence that it be exempt from prosecution
by the International Criminal Court is not lost on commentators
abroad.

Chris

http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=204877

No One Accountable for War Crimes
By Pierre Hazan
Liberation (Paris)

Wednesday 12 May 2004

The revelations about the tortures inflicted on Iraqi prisoners by
the American forces that detained them for interrogation have provoked
a shock wave that is far from being over. Among jurists, the
characterization of these tortures is virtually unanimous: "We're
talking about war crimes. The occupation forces have violated the
third and fourth Geneva conventions," asserts the UN's reporter on
torture, Theo Van Boven, to Liberation.

For Marco Sassoli, a specialist in international humanitarian law
at the University of Geneva, "the war crime label is exact. Moreover,
the Americans don't seem to deny it. The question is to know who,
beyond the simple perpetrators, is legally responsible?" A question
that bears a strong political charge. The Washington thesis,
reaffirmed Monday by President Bush, is simple: it's a question of a
few black sheep only who committed vile acts for which the American
command itself bears no responsibility. Meanwhile, the ICRC report
revealed by the Wall Street Journal demolishes this approach: it
appeared there that prisoners considered "high value added" in
intelligence terms were systematically subjected to tortures: "The
methods of psychological and physical violence used during
interrogations seemed to be part of standard procedures to obtain
information from prisoners. Superior officers confirmed to the Red
Cross that these measures were part of normal procedures, to keep the
prisoner naked, in the complete dark, in isolation for extended
periods and to subject them to inhuman and degrading treatment..." the
report indicates.

Resort

Given the ICRC information, it becomes difficult, in view of the
principles of international humanitarian law, to punish only a few
delinquent underlings. "It appears that these tortures do not reflect
isolated cases, but a generalized system," notes Theo Van Boven. "The
commanders and the political power bear responsibility for failing to
suppress the illegal acts as soon as they knew about them. Moreover,
American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has acknowledged that, in
the last resort, he is responsible, even if he refuses to accept the
consequences of that. I would find it bizarre for the courts martial
to judge only the perpetrators." Louis Joinet, former United Nations'
human rights expert, emphasizes: "Rumsfeld is personally responsible
if it proves that he had information about the tortures, that the
tortures were generalized, that he did not take every measure to put a
stop to them, and, if, on top of all of that, he hid that information
from President Bush." In retrospect, the Bush administration's radical
hostility to the International Criminal Court (the United States has
not ratified the ICC) competent since July 2002, is illuminated in a
new light by the abuses committed at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, in Iraq
and Afghanistan. For the ICC could have prosecuted the authors of
these war crimes, even if the United States didn't punish them. A
scathing trial for a country that depicts itself as the champion of
democracy.

Ethical

On the other hand, the Blair government is not safe from eventual
prosecution by the ICC, all the more as Amnesty International has just
launched new accusations about the behavior of British soldiers. The
British government has signed and ratified the ICC statutes, Great
Britain priding itself on conducting an "ethical" foreign policy.
London finds itself obligated to punish the soldiers who have
committed reprehensible acts, for fear of finding itself prosecuted
one day before the Hague tribunal.
cddugan
2004-05-17 16:24:00 UTC
Permalink
The irony of the USA's insistence that it be exempt from prosecution
by the International Criminal Court is not lost on commentators
abroad.

Chris

http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=204877

No One Accountable for War Crimes
By Pierre Hazan
Liberation (Paris)

Wednesday 12 May 2004

The revelations about the tortures inflicted on Iraqi prisoners by
the American forces that detained them for interrogation have provoked
a shock wave that is far from being over. Among jurists, the
characterization of these tortures is virtually unanimous: "We're
talking about war crimes. The occupation forces have violated the
third and fourth Geneva conventions," asserts the UN's reporter on
torture, Theo Van Boven, to Liberation.

For Marco Sassoli, a specialist in international humanitarian law
at the University of Geneva, "the war crime label is exact. Moreover,
the Americans don't seem to deny it. The question is to know who,
beyond the simple perpetrators, is legally responsible?" A question
that bears a strong political charge. The Washington thesis,
reaffirmed Monday by President Bush, is simple: it's a question of a
few black sheep only who committed vile acts for which the American
command itself bears no responsibility. Meanwhile, the ICRC report
revealed by the Wall Street Journal demolishes this approach: it
appeared there that prisoners considered "high value added" in
intelligence terms were systematically subjected to tortures: "The
methods of psychological and physical violence used during
interrogations seemed to be part of standard procedures to obtain
information from prisoners. Superior officers confirmed to the Red
Cross that these measures were part of normal procedures, to keep the
prisoner naked, in the complete dark, in isolation for extended
periods and to subject them to inhuman and degrading treatment..." the
report indicates.

Resort

Given the ICRC information, it becomes difficult, in view of the
principles of international humanitarian law, to punish only a few
delinquent underlings. "It appears that these tortures do not reflect
isolated cases, but a generalized system," notes Theo Van Boven. "The
commanders and the political power bear responsibility for failing to
suppress the illegal acts as soon as they knew about them. Moreover,
American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has acknowledged that, in
the last resort, he is responsible, even if he refuses to accept the
consequences of that. I would find it bizarre for the courts martial
to judge only the perpetrators." Louis Joinet, former United Nations'
human rights expert, emphasizes: "Rumsfeld is personally responsible
if it proves that he had information about the tortures, that the
tortures were generalized, that he did not take every measure to put a
stop to them, and, if, on top of all of that, he hid that information
from President Bush." In retrospect, the Bush administration's radical
hostility to the International Criminal Court (the United States has
not ratified the ICC) competent since July 2002, is illuminated in a
new light by the abuses committed at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, in Iraq
and Afghanistan. For the ICC could have prosecuted the authors of
these war crimes, even if the United States didn't punish them. A
scathing trial for a country that depicts itself as the champion of
democracy.

Ethical

On the other hand, the Blair government is not safe from eventual
prosecution by the ICC, all the more as Amnesty International has just
launched new accusations about the behavior of British soldiers. The
British government has signed and ratified the ICC statutes, Great
Britain priding itself on conducting an "ethical" foreign policy.
London finds itself obligated to punish the soldiers who have
committed reprehensible acts, for fear of finding itself prosecuted
one day before the Hague tribunal.
cddugan
2004-05-17 16:25:47 UTC
Permalink
The irony of the USA's insistence that it be exempt from prosecution
by the International Criminal Court is not lost on commentators
abroad.

Chris

http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=204877

No One Accountable for War Crimes
By Pierre Hazan
Liberation (Paris)

Wednesday 12 May 2004

The revelations about the tortures inflicted on Iraqi prisoners by
the American forces that detained them for interrogation have provoked
a shock wave that is far from being over. Among jurists, the
characterization of these tortures is virtually unanimous: "We're
talking about war crimes. The occupation forces have violated the
third and fourth Geneva conventions," asserts the UN's reporter on
torture, Theo Van Boven, to Liberation.

For Marco Sassoli, a specialist in international humanitarian law
at the University of Geneva, "the war crime label is exact. Moreover,
the Americans don't seem to deny it. The question is to know who,
beyond the simple perpetrators, is legally responsible?" A question
that bears a strong political charge. The Washington thesis,
reaffirmed Monday by President Bush, is simple: it's a question of a
few black sheep only who committed vile acts for which the American
command itself bears no responsibility. Meanwhile, the ICRC report
revealed by the Wall Street Journal demolishes this approach: it
appeared there that prisoners considered "high value added" in
intelligence terms were systematically subjected to tortures: "The
methods of psychological and physical violence used during
interrogations seemed to be part of standard procedures to obtain
information from prisoners. Superior officers confirmed to the Red
Cross that these measures were part of normal procedures, to keep the
prisoner naked, in the complete dark, in isolation for extended
periods and to subject them to inhuman and degrading treatment..." the
report indicates.

Resort

Given the ICRC information, it becomes difficult, in view of the
principles of international humanitarian law, to punish only a few
delinquent underlings. "It appears that these tortures do not reflect
isolated cases, but a generalized system," notes Theo Van Boven. "The
commanders and the political power bear responsibility for failing to
suppress the illegal acts as soon as they knew about them. Moreover,
American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has acknowledged that, in
the last resort, he is responsible, even if he refuses to accept the
consequences of that. I would find it bizarre for the courts martial
to judge only the perpetrators." Louis Joinet, former United Nations'
human rights expert, emphasizes: "Rumsfeld is personally responsible
if it proves that he had information about the tortures, that the
tortures were generalized, that he did not take every measure to put a
stop to them, and, if, on top of all of that, he hid that information
from President Bush." In retrospect, the Bush administration's radical
hostility to the International Criminal Court (the United States has
not ratified the ICC) competent since July 2002, is illuminated in a
new light by the abuses committed at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, in Iraq
and Afghanistan. For the ICC could have prosecuted the authors of
these war crimes, even if the United States didn't punish them. A
scathing trial for a country that depicts itself as the champion of
democracy.

Ethical

On the other hand, the Blair government is not safe from eventual
prosecution by the ICC, all the more as Amnesty International has just
launched new accusations about the behavior of British soldiers. The
British government has signed and ratified the ICC statutes, Great
Britain priding itself on conducting an "ethical" foreign policy.
London finds itself obligated to punish the soldiers who have
committed reprehensible acts, for fear of finding itself prosecuted
one day before the Hague tribunal.
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...