Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

Welcome to our community

Take a moment to sign up and join the discussion! It's simple and free.

CaryP

Senior Member
Messages
1,438
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

We haven't talked about this much, but war crimes have been committed by our military in Guantonamo, Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan. I'm not here to knock our men and women in the military. Apparently, the nominee for Atty. General to replace John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, requested and helped prepare a memo authorizing the use of torture ignoring Geneva Conventions, US laws and international treaties preventing it. Gonzales prepared this memo as lead legal counsel to the White House and at the request of the White House. The investigation so far has sacrificed some low level "grunts," but no high ranking officers have been punished in the scandal. Of course the White House has made an abrupt about face and has expanded what is considered torture and now condemns rather than condones it. I'll post some links and excerpts from articles in main stream news about the sordid affair. I'm interested in what other members think about this.

Cary

From an article in the New York Times.

Newly Released Reports Show Early Concern on Prison Abuse

In late 2002, more than a year before a whistle-blower slipped military investigators the graphic photographs that would set off the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, an F.B.I. agent at the American detention center in Guant?namo Bay, Cuba, sent a colleague an e-mail message complaining about the military's \"coercive tactics\" with detainees, documents released yesterday show.

\"You won't believe it!\" the agent wrote.

Two years later, the frustration among F.B.I. agents had grown. Another agent sent a colleague an e-mail message saying he had seen reports that a general from Guant?namo had gone to Abu Ghraib to \"Gitmo-ize\" it. \"If this refers to intell gathering as I suspect,\" he wrote, according to the documents, \"it suggests he has continued to support interrogation strategies we not only advised against, but questioned in terms of effectiveness.\"

When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke last spring, officials characterized the abuse as the aberrant acts of a small group of low-ranking reservists, limited to a few weeks in late 2003. But thousands of pages in military reports and documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to the American Civil Liberties Union in the past few months have demonstrated that the abuse involved multiple service branches in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba, beginning in 2002 and continuing after Congress and the military had begun investigating Abu Ghraib.

An article in today's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine says that military medical personnel violated the Geneva Conventions by helping design coercive interrogation techniques based on detainee medical information. Some doctors told the journal that the military had instructed them not to discuss the deaths that occurred in detention.

No one predicted the acts that showed up in snapshots from Abu Ghraib - naked detainees piled in a pyramid or leashed and crawling - but the documents showed many warnings of mistreatment, most explicitly from the F.B.I.

\"Basically, it appears that the lawyer worked hard to write a legal justification for the type of interviews they (the Army) want to conduct here,\" one agent said in an e-mail message from Guant?namo in December 2002.

\"When you see the same thing happening in three different places, you see abuses being committed with impunity, then it ceases to be the sole responsibility of the individual soldiers,\" Reed Brody, special counsel to Human Rights Watch, said. \"At a certain point, it becomes so widespread that it makes it look like a policy.\"

Officials have defended some cases of harsh treatment by saying it was simply the cost of the so-called global war on terror. The Special Operations task force was assigned to track down terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. But many of the detainees were not terrorists. In Iraq, 70 percent to 90 percent of those detained, according to military intelligence estimates reported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, \"had been arrested by mistake.\" A military report on Iraqi prisons said that many detainees were held for several months for things like expressing \"displeasure or ill will\" toward the American occupying forces.

The Bush administration decided in February 2002 that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to members of Al Qaeda and that while they did apply to the Taliban, prisoners taken in Afghanistan were not entitled to the protections of the conventions. Many detainees were taken to Guant?namo, held indefinitely and interrogated with harsh techniques approved for by Mr. Rumsfeld in April 2003. The administration said detainees in Iraq were covered by the conventions, which should have protected them from threats or harassment in interrogations, or from physical or mental torture.

But a military report by a former defense secretary, James R. Schlesinger, which was released in August, concluded that harsh tactics intended for use only at Guant?namo - threatening detainees with dogs, leaving them naked in extreme heat or cold, shackling them upright to keep them awake - \"migrated\" improperly to Afghanistan and then to Iraq.

\"The AC had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room probably well over 100 degrees,\" one F.B.I. agent reported from Guant?namo in August. \"The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night.\"

The earliest abuses on record in Iraq apparently came in May 2003. On May 15, two marines in Karbala held a 9-millimeter pistol to the head of a bound detainee while a third took a picture. One marine, according to military records, then poured a glass of water on the detainee's head. In June 2003, according to records, a marine ordered four Iraqi children who had been detained for looting to stand next to a shallow ditch, then fired a pistol in a mock execution.

In August, a marine put a match to a puddle of hand sanitizer that had spilled in front of an Iraqi detainee, igniting a flame that severely burned the detainee's hands.

In April of 2004, marines shocked detainees with wires from an electric transformer - \"the detainee 'danced' as he was shocked,\" an investigative report said. And in June, Defense Intelligence agents reported members of a military Special Operations task force repeatedly punching a detainee in the face. The agents also reported finding prisoners with burn marks on their backs and complaining of kidney pain.

The F.B.I. complaints began in December 2002, according to the documents. A year later, an agent complained that \"these tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralization nature to date.\"

But agents struggled with what they could complain about, believing that, in some cases, tactics they considered harsh or abusive had high-level approval.

\"This technique and all of those used in the scenarios was approved by the dep sec def,\" or deputy secretary of defense, one agent wrote from Guant?namo in January 2004.

An agent in Iraq reported seeing military interrogators yelling at detainees, covering them with hoods and subjecting them to loud music. That went beyond acceptable F.B.I. practice, the agent wrote, but had been \"authorized by the president under his executive order.\" An e-mail message from the agent made several references to President Bush's signing of an order allowing such techniques.

The Pentagon and the White House say that no executive order existed. Yeah, right.

Most of the 137 people who have been charged or disciplined, were members of the Army. Of those, 46 resulted in nonjudicial or administrative punishments, which generally mean fines or reductions in rank.

Fourteen marines have been convicted by courts-martial, including one who shocked a detainee with electrical wires. That marine was sentenced to one year's confinement. The marine who conducted the mock execution received a reduction in rank, 30 days' hard labor and 6 months' forfeiture of pay.

One Special Operations member, the Pentagon said, admitted using a stun gun on detainees.


Why aren't Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Bush being tried for war crimes? Seems pretty obvious to me that they were behind the authorization of torture. I think we all know why not.

An article from the Assoc. Press on Gonzales' approval process follows.

Gonzales Torture Memo Controversy Builds

Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales' confirmation hearing this week may become more contentious because the White House has refused to provide copies of his memos on the questioning of terror suspects.

\"We go into the hearing with some knowledge of what has occurred because of press reports or leaks but without the hard evidence that will either exonerate or implicate Judge Gonzales in this policy,\" complained Sen. Richard Durbin (news, bio, voting record) of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, on Monday.

Still, the issue probably won't be enough to stop Republicans from confirming Gonzales as the first Hispanic attorney general.

Republicans hold 55 seats in the new Senate, while Democrats control 44 seats and there is a Democratic-leaning independent. The Democrats have not yet decided whether to try to block Gonzales' confirmation.

The Justice Department in 2002 asserted that President Bush (news - web sites)'s wartime powers superseded anti-torture laws and treaties like the Geneva Conventions. Gonzales, while at the White House, also wrote a memo to President Bush on January 25, 2002, arguing that the war on terrorism \"renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.\"

Gonzales also received several memos on the subject, including one from then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee arguing that the president has the power to issue orders that violate the Geneva Conventions as well as international and U.S. laws prohibiting torture.

The Justice memos have since been disavowed and the White House says the United States has always operated under the spirit of the Geneva Conventions that prohibit violence, torture and humiliating treatment.

But critics say the original documents set up a legal framework that led to abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (news - web sites), in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and at the U.S. prison camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

On New Year's Eve, the Justice Department made public a new policy backing off those memos.

\"The fact that officials in this administration's own Justice Department felt compelled to repudiate an earlier torture memo approved by Mr. Gonzales should itself be sufficient to persuade the senators that he is not fit to be the top law enforcement official in the land,\" said Ron Daniels, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

And this bozo, war criminal, ass clown will be confirmed as Atty. General. The hell has gone wrong with this country?

Yeah, I know it's a long assed post, but this is what I would consider "important" to our future. Chime in if you give a rat's ass.

Cary
 

StarLord

Senior Member
Messages
3,187
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

So, in all the wars that have been on this planet, and in all the POW camps that have ever been, are we to believe that this is the very first time peoples rights have been violated?

I seem to recall the Japanese had methods that make this look pretty tame. Also, let's not forget the hospitality extended to our forces in Viet Namese POW camps where ministrations approached a form of art due to the zeal and effort above and beyond the call of torture. It would behove us to research our own POW's stories from that era before we jump the gun on this.
 

Judge Bean

Senior Member
Messages
1,257
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

Originally posted by StarLord@Jan 6 2005, 04:28 PM
So, in all the wars that have been on this planet, and in all the POW camps that have ever been, are we to believe that this is the very first time peoples rights have been violated?

I seem to recall the Japanese had methods that make this look pretty tame. Also, let's not forget the hospitality extended to our forces in Viet Namese POW camps where ministrations approached a form of art due to the zeal and effort above and beyond the call of torture. It would behove us to research our own POW's stories from that era before we jump the gun on this.


I'd like to believe that Americans would hold themselves, civilian or military, to a higher standard of treatment of those who have been deprived of their liberty. The Japanese army in some cases actually cannibalized POWs, and the catalog of atrocities in that war has a copious U.S. section. I would like to consider myself part of a culture that is able to overcome the past.

Some of those in Vietnam camps never made it home. Certainly you aren't suggesting that it's now OK to make that true of our own "camps."

The very fact that we have such camps in which the fate of prisoners is in the hands of the military operating under secret orders reminds me of another aspect of WWII that I wish could not be attributed to my country.
 

StarLord

Senior Member
Messages
3,187
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

Some of those in Vietnam camps never made it home. Certainly you aren't suggesting that it's now OK to make that true of our own "camps."
[snapback]19674[/snapback]​
[/quote]
Certainly not Paul. If anything, being the ambassadors of Fair Play that we are, only the best of behavior would suit us. And most certainly we would refrain from having our troups wearing masks as we film prisoners both military AND civilian background plead with the audience to pull out forces and or quit fighting and then execute them.

We would also refrain from filming beheadings and broadcasting those along with the occasional pictures of mutilated and burnt bodies strung up of soliders that may or may not have been alive to taunt opposing forces.
 

ZeoEmeraude

Active Member
Messages
965
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

Well, once again folks we have another puppet for <span style='color:blue'>"The Man" taking the blame for the real idiotz in D.C . It comes as no surprise to me that this kat was in on it tho. Let's face it ppl, "W" needs lackeys to cover his ass. The real issue is wether or not we can get the "W" outta office. This guy is power hungry, and only cares for his own ends. Of course the "Powers that Be" use him like the rest of 'em. It is a sad day when laws such as the Geneva Conv. are misused. If our boys and gals who are fightin' wars get into a situation where these laws are needed can't find refuge, then what the heck are these laws there for? While I admit that these POW's were mistreated by soldiers......they are still prisioners. Given the chance, they'd kill ya in your sleep and dance over your corpse. It makes Clinton's little love fest seem small in retrospect. </span>
 

sosuemetoo

Active Member
Messages
723
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

I've been watching this situation for a while, and you all might not like or agree with my opinion.

The prisoners being held in Abu Ghraib and in GiTMO are not low level candy thieves. They are high level and have knowledge.

While I don't believe in torture, I (preparing for a flame war) do not agree with the Geneva Convention guidelines of interrogation.

Now you might not agree that BinLaden was behind 9/11 or that we should be in Iraq in the first place. I respect the opinions of everyone on this matter. However, I want you all to consider this hypothetical:

You are a soldier interrogating a high level prisoner. This prisoner has information regarding a future bombing that could kill several of your soldiers, your buddies, friends, comrades if you will. You know you have very little time to get this info and this enemy is simply smirking at you.

Geneva convention doesn't allow for this prisoner to be interrogated for a great length of time, you cannot deprive him of sleep, food, clothes, or bathroom breaks. You cannot shame them or threaten them. What will coerce this prisoner to give over the information that will save your buddies? Nothing!

I was told once that if you were interrogated according the Geneva Convention, it would be like being interrogated by Barny the Purple Dinosaur. " I love you, you love me"

Now, all past wars put aside here, do you really think that American Soldiers are the only ones doing this? Do you think that our government has the only one that has questionable documents/opinions regarding the treatment of prisoners in these prisons? I doubt it. The world is blowing the whistle to make America look bad and of course make Bush look bad.

I don't deny that things are happening in the prisons. I just want you to think about why they are, and American soldiers and the American gov't are not alone here. If you do, then you may be suffering from a bit of tunnel vision.
 

CaryP

Senior Member
Messages
1,438
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

Originally posted by StarLord@Jan 6 2005, 11:28 AM
So, in all the wars that have been on this planet, and in all the POW camps that have ever been, are we to believe that this is the very first time peoples rights have been violated?

I seem to recall the Japanese had methods that make this look pretty tame. Also, let's not forget the hospitality extended to our forces in Viet Namese POW camps where ministrations approached a form of art due to the zeal and effort above and beyond the call of torture. It would behove us to research our own POW's stories from that era before we jump the gun on this.


I'm not so naive as to believe that this was the first time that torture has been used in a prisoner camp, StarLord. The fact that it was "pre-meditated" by the current gang in the White House is what bothers the bejezus out of me. I can see how some soldiers in the field would go over the edge under severe stress and the loss of buddies. This is different. This was a policy of torture in a systemic fashion at several locations. This was not a case of "a few bad apples" spoiling the whole barrel. A general from Gitmo went over to Abu Ghraib to "Guantonamize" the place. That's from the top down, not some low IQ gorillas getting overly zealous. Did you read the quotes I put up? Just because other countries and/or groups have committed war crimes and atrocities in the treatment of prisoners doesn't mean we have to follow suit. Shame on the current administration for fostering this kind of enviroment. Shame on the American people for not riding these bozos out on a rail. There'll be hell to pay for this at some point. Saying, "but the other guys did it" will be no excuse. I hope heads roll from the top down. (No, that is NOT a death wish/threat against anyone in the current administration.) Think Nueremberg - didn't work for the Nazis much did it?

In Iraq, 70 percent to 90 percent of those detained, according to military intelligence estimates reported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, \"had been arrested by mistake.\" A military report on Iraqi prisons said that many detainees were held for several months for things like expressing \"displeasure or ill will\" toward the American occupying forces.


Sosue, that's for you. No, these weren't "candy thieves" they just voiced their displeasure with the U.S. occupation. They didn't even qualify as "candy thieves" but that ain't what you're gonna hear on Fox News. This is according to military intelligence estimates. You don't believe in the Geneva conventions, that's your opinion. I sure hope neither of your kids gets drafted and finds themselves prisoners of war and their captors share your beliefs. You'll be eating those words knowing that either or both of your kids are going through what these peopel were put through. There's a reason that things like the Geneva Convention even came up, and has been agreed upon by the world at large. It has been because of the cruelty and inhumanity practised in the hell that war must be. Cruelty/torture is not justified for any reason. Yeah, we're fighting some bad guys. Recent reports from the military brass in Iraq says that the insurgents have grown to about 200,000. Not all of them are full time, but a minority of our troops are full combat. Most of our troops are there in support of the combat units. So now we've stirred up the hornets nest, and managed to ###### enough people locally off to the extent that they outnumber our troops. I've read articles on reports from the CIA and the Pentagon that say Iraq is not win-able. Hello, Viet Nam II. Keep watching Fox and listening to Rush. You'll feel better, but that won't make the real world in the "happy talk" they spout about the glory of the American "liberation of the poor Iraqi people."

Dado, good sight. Thanks pal.

Paul, or we the only sane or insane people on this issue? Or is it just me that's insane? I'm no bed-wetting, left wing, pinko, communist, Democrat, socialist, radical. I've been politically conservative all of my life. But this ain't conservative politics. This is the beginnings of a facist state IMO. Way past the conservative end for my tastes. Maybe I'm just the dumbass, but this whole thing has tilted toward the surreal. Somebody shoot me before reality sets in.

Cary
 

sosuemetoo

Active Member
Messages
723
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

I wanted to add that I don't agree with torture, okay?

I was simply stating my displeasure with the limitations the Geneva convention gives on interrogation. For instance, having less than 7 hours of sleep is not torture.

I am very bothered by the proof shown that American sanctioned the extreme measures taken. I don't wish that prisoners be electricuted, having fingers cut off or some such thing.

I should have said all of this in my earlier posts, and I apologize for not pointing this out.
 

CaryP

Senior Member
Messages
1,438
Torture Condoned by the US Govt.

Seems are "to be approved" AG nominee had some amount of questioning on his involvement with the torture memorandum on Capital Hill today during his confirmation hearing. Of course the White House refused to give the committee what it really wanted. Oh yeah, the White House has sent some "stuff" but not the "meat" that puts Gonzales in the heart of the torture scandal. More power to 'em - for now. I'm sure it's in the interests of "national security" and our "liberty, safety and way of life." What a crock. The boy should be on trial for war crimes and he's sitting there like he's all apple pie, baseball and the American way.

White House Won't Release Gonzales Papers

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House refused Thursday to provide senators additional documents on attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales' role in the decision to allow aggressive interrogations of terrorism detainees. The top Democrat at Gonzales' Senate confirmation hearing said that questioning was ``tantamount to torture.''

``I hope things will be different if you are confirmed, Judge Gonzales,'' Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told the former Texas Supreme Court justice.

Gonzales, who served as President Bush's White House counsel, pledged to abide by treaties that ban torture of prisoners, if he is confirmed by the Senate as the first Hispanic attorney general, while saying the foremost duty of the Justice Department is to protect the nation from terror attacks.

Wait, isn't it the job of the Justice Dept. to prosecute those who've been arrested by those who are supposed to protect us from terror attacks? When did Justice get the job of protecting the nation from terror attacks? Of course, this is just what the Bushco regime uses to keep everybody scared. Booga, booga, look at the terrorist (while we torture and humiliate mostly innocent people that don't even qualify as "candy thieves"). Un-freakin'-believable.

``You know there are going to be times when the attorney general of the United States has to enforce the law of the United States. He can't be worried about friends or colleagues at the White House. His duty is to all Americans,'' Leahy said as Gonzales watched impassively.

With Republicans controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, ``I worry that our system of checks and balances may become short-circuited by too few checks on the executive branch,'' Leahy said.

Still, Leahy told the son of Mexican immigrants: ``I want to make clear how inspiring your life story is.''

``The road you traveled....all the way to the White House is a tribute to you and your family,'' Leahy said.

Ah, how sweet. This goober managed to claw his way out of the barrio into the White House by orchestrating memorandums authorizing torture. I know I'm impressed. Some of Hitler's best goons came from the "wrong side of the tracks" too.

`Senior officials in the Bush White House, the Ashcroft Justice Department, the Rumsfeld Pentagon set in motion a systematic effort to minimize, distort and even ignore our laws, our policies and international agreements on torture and treatment of prisoners,'' he said.

He said the hearing provides an ``opportunity for some accountability for the meltodown on longstanding U.S. policy on torture.''

``Harsh treatment is tantamount to torture,'' Leahy said.

Despite the contentious statements by Leahy and other committee Democrats, Gonzales' nomination was expected to be confirmed by the GOP-led Senate.

Oh, great, they're confirming that big boy was involved in the whole torture scandal, but his "nomination was expected to be confirmed by the GOP-led Senate." Outstanding.

``It appears that legal positions that you have supported have been used by the administration, the military and the CIA to justify torture and Geneva Convention violations by military and civilian personnel,'' said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., in a statement prepared for the hearing.

``Memos you solicited, endorsed, approved or acquiesced in undermined longstanding traditions in our military and weakened important protections for our own troops serving abroad by violating the military's golden rule: that we treat captured enemy forces as we would want our own prisoners of war to be treated,'' Kennedy's statement said.

Who the hell woke Ted Kennedy up and took his drink away long enough for him to make such a lucid statement? But the idiot was right on the money. Can't fault him for that.

There's more, but this would turn into one long assed post. Thank God the Brits are reporting on this, 'cause the U.S. press damned sure isn't. Hooray for the U.S. Too eff'g much.

Cary
 

Top