Tag Archives: waterboarding

American Politics, Circa 2010-Who Is The Tough Guy!

Imagine two boys confronting themselves in a playground and each daring the other to take a punch. This scenario is all too common among children, and now is equally becoming so among members of American political parties. Vice President Joe Biden came out swinging at former vice president Dick Cheney who claimed President Obama was weak on terrorism. In response, Biden emphasized: “we’ve eliminated 12 of al-Qaeda’s top 20 people. We have taken out 100 of their associates.. They are on the run. I don’t know where Dick Cheney has been.” Of course Dick has been where he always has been –slinging mud at anyone who challenges the Bush/Cheney version of reality. Dickie was upset at a claim there was no likelihood of another 9/11 attack. He was also upset at the arrest of a young Nigerian who tried to blow up a plane because the young man was not waterboarded and tortured to get information.

According to Cheney, weakling Obama has taken waterboarding off the table. “I think that’s a mistake” according to the man who wants the world to know we Americans are leaders in torture and can even show those damn Chinese a few things about how to manhandle a prisoner. On the other hand, maybe Dick has a point. How about America becoming the leading exporter of torture.

UK Used Water Torture In Ireland

Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and George Bush can heave a sigh of relief now that news has come of use of waterboarding by British forces in Ireland during the 1970s. It proves the dynamic trio were simply using the same techniques of interrogation as used by British police against the Irish. Liam Holden in 1973 was convicted of shooting a soldier and the jury refused to believe his claim of being water tortured to get a confession. The Criminal Cases Review Commission has now referred the Holden case to the Belfast Court of Appeal after uncovering new evidence that might suggest Holden was tortured into a confession. During the trial a sergeant and a captain told the jury Holden confessed during an “interview.” Of course, they did not specify the nature of what British troops in Ireland term the content of an “interview.”

I wonder how many Americans of Irish descent now support the use of waterboarding as a method of obtaining information. When such torture is done to non-Muslims does it raise new questions in the minds of Americans? I wonder?

Scotland Yard Accused Of Waterboarding

The legacy of George Bush and his group of inept followers like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney continues to leave in its wake the horror of abuse of prisoners. America exports many products, but the export of how to waterboard a suspect is certainly not listed in the stock exchange. Charges have been raised about a recent incident in which Scotland Yard officers arrested five suspects and decided to allow them an opportunity to enjoy the benefit of having their faces washed by shoving them into pails of water. Scotland Yard refuses to respond to inquiries about this incident except to state there is an investigation and if anyone is found guilty they will be punished.

Just about every expert on the subject of interrogation of prisoners believes torture is an ineffective method of securing information. But, the Bush legacy lives on in many parts of the world.

Condi Rice Said OK To Torture

Former Secretary of State spent years in the world of academia where she was part of an intellectual community of scholars. But, the trappings of power were more attractive than sitting in an office dealing with students. A new Senate report indicates Rice gave permission to the CIA as early as July, 2002 to use waterboarding techniques of obtaining information. Most probably she was swayed by concerns that physical abuse might be contrary to the Geneva Conventions by a remark from Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld who said: “I stand 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”

Last autumn, Rice insisted she had only attended meetings where there was discussion about torture, but could not recall details of these sessions. Senator Carl Levin of the armed services committee, says bluntly, “the paper trail on abuse leads to top civilian leaders” and that includes the former scholar from Stanford University.

Perhaps, the best punishment for Condi Rice would compel her to return to Stanford and teach students and face them every day knowing they understand what she did in her quest for power and glory.

Bush Says No Torture–Pentagon Says Yes Torture

President Bush has insisted throughout his presidency that use of torture was never employed against any foreign terrorist who was captured. A Pentagon official, Susan Crawford, a retired judge, admitted that Mohammed al-Qahtani, was subjected to severe torture during his interrogation process by CIA officials. “We tortured Qahtani,”admitted the judge who in May dismissed charges against him because torture rendered invalid any confession. Qahtani’s lawyer, Lt. Col. Bryan Broyles, argued in death sentence cases a confession could not be offered as evidence if there was the slightest possibility it had been obtained due to torture. Mr. Qahtani was subjected to waterboarding, threatened by dogs and made to stay in freezing conditions.

President Clinton was subjected to an impeachment process for lying about sex. Does this mean President Bush should be subjected to an impeachment process for lying about violating international agreements such as the Geneva Convention?

US Expert On Torture-Waterboarding Is Torture!

Malcolm Nance, an expert on torture techniques who has trained hundreds of American servicemen and women to resist interrogation by puttting them through “waterboarding” exercises, denounced this techique as an example of torture and insisted it immediately be ended as a method used by members of the American armed forces. He sharply attacked the Bush administration for supporting such interrogation methods. “They seem to think it is worth throwing the honor of 220 years of American decency in war out of the window. Waterboarding is out-and-out torture, and I’m deeply ashamed President Bush has authorized its use and dragged the US’s reputation into the mud.” Mr. Nance pointed out that waterboarding as an interrogation technique is worthless because a person subject to it will say anything in order to end the experience.

Amnesty International is leading the campaign to end such brutality and is releasing a film which depicts the horror of the use of waterboarding. The film will be released today and can also be seen on: www.unsubscribe-me.org

Bush: America On High Moral Ground- We Torture!

In an interview with BBC, President Bush said waterboarding was not torture. “To the critics, I ask them this: when we, within the law, interrogate and get information that protects ourselves and possibly others in other nations to prevent attacks, which attack would they have hoped that we wouldn’t have prevented? And so, the United Stsates will act within the law. We’ll make sure professionals have the tools necessary to do their job within the law.” Even as he spoke, Steven Bradbury of the Justice Department was saying: “There has been no detmination by the Justic eDepartment that the use of waterboading, under any circumstances, would be lawful under current law.” Perhaps, the president has seen too many episodes of the TV program, “24” in which ticking bombs allow use of torture.

The President said America was a defender of human rights and had established the Guantanamo Bay prison as part of its moral crusade to spread democracy to the world. “Now, there’s great concern …that these people be given rights. They’re not willing to grant the same rights to others. They’ll murder. but, you gotta understand, they’re getting their rights. And, I’m comfortable with the decisons we’ve made.” His comments on Guantanamo undoubtedly will earn him a page in history for the most distorted anti-legal expression by an American president about the nature of our judicial process. To hold people for years without charging them with anything and to refuse them a day in court is NOT the American constitutional manner of conducting trials.

President Bush boasted about “being the first president to propose a two-state solution on Israel and Palestine.” He apparently forgot that President Clinton, shortly before leaving office, had been working with Arafat and Israel leaders on a proposal to create two states. As always, the Bush conception of freedom, democracy and morality would most readily be accepted by al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations as an expression of their own distorted view of the world.

Given the Justice Department has publicly stated waterboarding is illegal and the President has publicly stated it can be used, will the Justice Department institute criminal prosecution proceedings against George Bush for violating the law?

Is He The Real McCoy Or The Real McCain?

Stephen Brady, head of the Justice Department Office Of Legal Coounsel, caused a stir by reserving the right to restore use of waterboard techniques on terrorist suspects. His comments came as Congress passed new legislation which prevents the CIA from using a litany of harsh interrogation methods. In typical George Bush confusing language, Brady insisted there is no “determination by the Justice Department that the use of waterboarding, under any circumstances, would be lawful under current law.” Brady in a 2004 memo said waterboarding was illegal and then in 2005 sent another memo which contradicted the first one.

John McCain has long been a critic of the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique, but for some reason, when the vote to pass legislation which would make such strategies to be illegal, he voted against it. “I’ve made it clear that I believe that waterboarding is torture and illegal. “But, I will not restrict the CIA to only the Army field manual.” Of course, Senator McCain will not, because to do so, would alienate some of his right wing Republican supporters. John McCain has been going around the nation claiming to be a man who will not sell out to interest groups. I guess that only applies to those who oppose right wing conservatives. Senator McCain sold his soul for a handful of votes by people, who if living in Communist Vietnam, would have supported and endorsed the torture of John McCain. Senator McCain is not the real McCoy when it comes to standing up for principles.

Thailand Source Of Waterboard Torture

The Bankgkok Post reported Thai authorities have long known of the existence of a prison in their nation which has been used to subject prisoners to waterboard torture. They were aware American agents took prisoners captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan to secret hideaways in Thailand where the suspects were tortured. The CIA has continually denied there was a base or facility in Thailand where interrogation of prisoners took place. “Foreign sources have told the Bangkok Post that the denials were technically correct.” The CIA, like others in the Bush administration, are excellent at using “technicalities” to cover up abuse.

Sources in Thailand confirmed to the Bangkok Post the following interrogations:

Abu Zubaida, captured on March 28, 2002, was brought to Thailand where the interrogation took place in a wharehouse. He was subjected to waterboarding and after 0.31 seconds begged for mercy and agreed to cooperate.
Khaled Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Pakistan on September 11, 2002. He was actively involved in planning the suicide bomb attacks on September 11, 2001. Within two seconds after being waterboarded, he confessed and agreed to cooperate.
Ramzi bin-al-Shibh, another 9/11 planner was captured in Pakistan. it is uncertain what happened during his interrogation.

According to the Washington Post, in 2005, the retiring CIA station chief in Bangkok asked permission to destroy videotapes because he was leaving. Jose A. Rodriguez, then the CIA’s director of clandestine operations, allowed tapes to be destroyed despite warnings from CIA and White House officials to avoid such action.

Supporters of torture will point to confessions and cooperation due to waterboarding. They ignore the possibility such cooperation could have been attained by employing standard operating procedures for interrogation of prisoners. No bomb was ready to go off, there was sufficient time to employ methods that have worked in other wars. The destruction of the tapes despite alleged orders from the White House not to employ such action speaks volumes about leadership in the Bush administration.

US Army Bans Waterboarding

The United States army reiterated that it would not allow the use of waterboarding interrogation techniques used on prisoners. “The U.S. Armyu strictly prohibits the use of waterboarding during intelligence investigations by any of its members. It is specifically prohibited by Field Manual 2-22-3 and is not a sanctioned interrogation technique in any training manual or any instructions to soldiers in the field.” During hearings into the nomination of Michael Muskasey he continually refused to respond to questions concerning use of waterboarding on grounds it might result in punishment for those who used such approaches. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates when asked if such techniques could be construed as “torture” responded, “I am not going to wander into that legal thicket.”

It is rather confusing why Gates claims he does not wish to “wander into that legal thicket” when the American armed forces have already stated waterboarding is NOT an acceptable technique. Obviously, the American military regards waterboarding as illegal because it constitutes torturing of prisoners.