Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Bush administration's "torturous" road downhill

[Photo is of Iraqi being tortured at the Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad]

The following is excerpted from an article titled, "Inhuman Resources," appearing in the September 2008 issue of Harper's magazine, pp. 23-25.

("From the minutes of a Counter Resistance Strategy Meeting, held October 2, 2002, at Guantanamo Bay. ... Jonathan M. Fredman was a CIA lawyer. ... Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver was a staff judge advocate for the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay. The other participants, whom the Defense Department declined to identify specifically, were members of the Guantanamo general staff.")

LTC. PHIFER: Harsh techniques used on our service members have worked and will work on some. What about those?

MAJ. LESO: Force is risky and may be ineffective due to the detainees' frame of reference. They are used to seeing much more barbaric treatment.

COL. CUMMINGS: We can't do sleep deprivation.

LTC. DIANE BEAVER: Yes, we can--with approval. We may need to curb the harsher operations while the Red Cross is around. It's better not to expose them to any controversial techniques. We must have the support of the Department of Defense.

JONATHAN M. FREDMAN: The CIA is not held to the same rules as the military. In the past, when the Red Cross has made a big deal about certain detainees, the DOD has 'moved' them away from the attention of the Red Cross. Upon questioning as to their whereabouts from the Red Cross, the DOD has repeatedly responded that the detainee merited no status under the Geneva Convention. The CIA has employed aggressive techniques on less than a handful of suspects since 9/11. Under the Torture Convention, torture has been prohibited by international law, but the language of the statutes is written vaguely. Severe mental and physical pain is prohibited. The mental part is explained as poorly as the physical. Severe physical pain is described as anything leading to permanent, profound damage to major organs or body parts. Mental torture is described as anything leading to permanent, profound damage to the senses or personality. It is basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong. Any of the techniques that lie on the harshest end of the spectrum must be performed by a highly trained individual. Medical personnel should be present to treat any possible accidents. The CIA operates without military intervention. When the CIA has wanted to use aggressive techniques in the past, the FBI has pulled its personnel from the theater. In those rare instances, aggressive techniques have proven very helpful.

BEAVER: We need documentation to protect us.

FREDMAN: Yes, if someone dies while aggressive techniques are being used, regardless of cause of death, the backlash would be severely detrimental. Everything must be approved and documented.

("At this point a discussion ensued about whether or not to videotape the aggressive sessions, or any interrogations at all.")

'Tis a slippery slope we travel. The above does not represent the United States in which I was raised and came to love. The above represents the banality of evil, and all that I loathe and detest about totalitarian governments that hold themselves above the law and the need to behave morally and ethically.

The above could occur only with the approval of the Bush administration and the criminals that sit in the seats of power. It represents the Party which, with mind-blowing hypocrisy, claims to be the Party of God, family values, and morality.

John McCain voted to continue the use of torture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

McCain also has voted against torture. Most experts seem to agree that the subject being tortured will say anything to stop the pain. How do we then accept the words as valuable? We should have better methods of finding the information we seek so that it is reliable. We should not be approving torture. It goes against everything we stand for and is in violation of our laws.
Bob Poris

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