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Enhanced Interrogation Methods? No, The Word Is "Torture"

by BobHiggins Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 03:36:13 AM EST

I am sick to death of all the pussyfooting around the subject that has occupied the media for the duration of this premeditated, illegal war of terror that we the people of the United States have allowed to be waged against the people of Iraq, in our name, for the last several years.

No matter how much lipstick and rouge we smear on the face of this war no matter how we attempt to  dress up the evil and bestial acts that have been performed in its unholy name, it still has the hideous countenance of an evil swine from hell.

It is an illegal war, begun and conducted under false pretenses, by a group of criminal liars and thieves in the United States Government, abetted by a cowardly congress who abrogated their constitutional duties in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign funds and furthered by a complaisant press that ignored their obligation to remain independent from government, from their sponsors and report the facts. 

Another necessary rant written from the heart — diary rescue by Migeru


The members of the completely rogue executive department acted in their own self interest in a quest for personal power and wealth, in concert with the usual domestic and international corporate pirates who, in the depths of their insatiable greed, continually amplify human conflict to their own ends and bring poverty, war, suffering and death down upon the world.

There is no such animal as extraordinary rendition, nor do I know of the existence of any beasts called enhanced interrogation methods.

The first is kidnapping, it is illegal, a felony and the second word is torture, its meaning is clear:


NOUN:

  1. Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
  2. An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain.
  2. Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony: the torture of waiting in suspense.
  3. Something causing severe pain or anguish.

Torture is illegal in this country, a felonious act, it is illegal in the world at large, according to several conventions that we are legally bound by. Anyone committing torture, causing it to be committed, directing its commission, or training others in its techniques is guilty, guilty of war crimes, of crimes against humanity and crimes against "Nature's God.

The people who lied us into this war are not statesmen, nor are they patriots acting out of a misguided love of country, as I have heard in some quarters. They are murderers, murderers, modern day Nazis or Fascists if you prefer, cold dispassionate sociopaths, heinous criminals, without conscience, without mercy, without humanity.

I read in the press and heard in the media yesterday and this morning of the "murky legal territory" in which the "private contractors" operate in Iraq and the murky area of law in which our dedicated public servants must operate as they determine just how far they can go in the extreme physical abuse of human beings before they stray in to a "gray area."

Bullshit, I think that when a lying pig of a lawyer like David Addington describes a "murky legal area" it means that he thinks he can get away with it. The legal situation in Iraq was intentionally  designed to protect the mercenary scum that we send there to perform high priced serial murders as they fulfill bloated contracts to protect our criminal leadership, thieving diplomats and cowardly congressmen.


I believe that the actions of following people must be investigated and, if warranted by the evidence, tried in criminal courts, and if convicted, face the full consequences of both US and International law:

George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Eliot Abrams, Scooter Libby, John Hannah, David Wurmser, Andrew Natsios, Dan Bartlett, Mitch Daniels, George Tenet, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, David Addington

There are more, in every corner of the executive, the congress, among the highest levels of the military as well as the intelligence community, various think tanks, news organizations, public and private corporations and other NGOs.


This is a cancer that must be quickly, loudly and publicly removed from the heart of America.


Enough.

Bob Higgins


Worldwide Sawdust

Related stories,sources and links:


The Architects of War


Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War


Convention Against Torture


Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations


Red, white and mercenary in Iraq


Yet More Impeachable Revelations


Bush's Fascist, Private Army of Paid Cutthroats, Murderers and Mercenaries

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Well the interesting quote is the following

Article 2

   1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
   2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
   3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

and of course from article 1

For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

and in case you want to take any action

Article 8

   1. The offences referred to in article 4 shall be deemed to be included as extraditable offences in any extradition treaty existing between States Parties. States Parties undertake to include such offences as extraditable offences in every extradition treaty to be concluded between them.

does Iraq have an extradition treaty with the USA? if not how about some other country whose nationals have been held in Guantanamo?


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2007 at 06:16:06 PM EST
and to answer my own question

www.state.gov treatys in force list as 2000 (PDF Warning

EXTRADITION
Extradition treaty. Signed at Baghdad June 7,
1934; entered into force April 23, 1936.
49 Stat. 3380; TS 907; 9 Bevans 1; 170 LNTS
267.

still 9/11 changed everything. </snark>

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2007 at 07:01:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep it up and you'll have done the advance legwork for a lawsuit that I would love to see tried.

Bob

http://bobhiggins.wordpress.com/

by BobHiggins (rlh974@yahoo.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2007 at 09:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure John Ashcroft would view this as "quaint".

What can one say ? To save civilisation it is necessary to use uncivilised methods. The difficulty is that the US and others have always played down and dirty but, to use Coman's phrase, we usually had the dignity to pretend we did so reluctantly. These guys enjoy it and are unashamed of that enjoyment.

But let's not make any mistake about this. This is not a break with the past, this is an acknowledgement that what was once a minority sport is preferred policy.

We have not been civilised since the beginning of the Cold War. We've just been very good at fooling ourselves that we're the good guys and have arrived in hell on a path strewn with rose-petalled delusions

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 7th, 2007 at 11:20:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure that's true, Although he appeared to be a religious lunatic when in power. the Justice department appears to have avoided the excesses that have occurred since under Gonzales.

for example  there's the Ashcroft Hospital story. I'm not saying all was sweetness and light under him, but he does seem to have shown an unhealthy respect for the law for someone in the heart of the Bush cabal.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2007 at 03:28:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
United States law prohibits torture. I would imagine it would not be a defence for a US citizen involved in torture to claim it was done outside US territory, if it took place in a US government (military or CIA) facility.

Surely a test prosecution could be undertaken against someone low down the foodchain, with a view to encouraging co-operation in prosecuting more significant offenders?

Is it possible to bring a private criminal prosecution before a US federal court, or will this strategy have to wait for a Democratic administration?

by Gary J on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 10:40:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem, as far as I've been able to determine, is that the US has not actually ratified the protocols that define torture. So while it's illegal to torture people in the US, it's not technically illegal under US law for the Bush regime to redefine what's torture to exclude torture by waterboarding... None of which would matter if the Hague had some teeth and a proper, global jurisdiction.

Disclaimer: IANAL

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 11:23:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Article 1 of the treaty, which the US has ratified in full, details a definition of torture. The protocol to the treaty dosn't cover definitions as far as I can see, it only covers the makeup of torture prevention comittees.

it's not technically illegal under US law for the Bush regime to redefine what's torture to exclude torture by waterboarding.

You'd have to say that it is the most transparent sophistry. However there is case law that has come to light. Sleep deprivation, waterboarding etc have been convicted as war crimes after World War 2

AmericanHeritage.com / Blog: Waterboarding

In 1947 the United States convicted and imprisoned a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, for abuses of an American civilian that included a version of waterboarding, and included charges of what would now be called waterboarding in other cases against Japanese accused of torture. The United Kingdom executed Japanese who carried out versions of waterboarding during World War II, and Norway tried Germans for similar activities.

I am also not a lawyer, but I do know bullshit when I see it.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 11:54:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I get for relying on newsies to sort out what's propaganda and what's for real. I should've known better. Then again, the newsies who reported it were actually good ones... Guess they can screw up too.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 12:29:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Article 5

    1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in article 4 in the following cases:

        (a) When the offences are committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;

        (b) When the alleged offender is a national of that State;

        (c) When the victim is a national of that State if that State considers it appropriate.

    2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction and it does not extradite him pursuant to article 8 to any of the States mentioned in paragraph I of this article.

    3. This Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised in accordance with internal law.

well under the torture convention it is a requirement that the law  covers US citizens who torture abroad.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 11:26:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
HAve you read Lawless world

just reading it and might write a review afterwards.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 6th, 2007 at 06:23:46 PM EST
Bob, your diaries leave me breathless, as I get a rush of adrenaline connecting to my own anger.  I started posting about the "amoral monsters" over 4 years ago and I won´t stop now.

One of these days, all the people´s anger should gel into one and the monsters will really wish it was the rapture, as they sit in solitary confinement under 24-hour video surveillance...  Not just in the US, but everywhere they exist.

I wish the EU would start indicting them so they cannot travel freely.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Oct 7th, 2007 at 03:03:03 PM EST
I wish the EU would start indicting them so they cannot travel freely.

I fondly envision the day where Bush and his cabal are sitting in a cell the Hague, swapping stories with Tony Bliar and whatever ex-Yugoslav war criminals are still around by that time.

Sadly, a more realistic part of me realizes that that will not happen short of a complete overthrow of several current European regimes... And if that happens, it's unlikely that Bush will see any reason to go to Europe anyway...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 06:20:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're probably right that Europe is late already, so we need to get Paraguay and Dubai on board!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 01:09:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about firing a warning shot by requesting the extradition of Donald Rumsfeld. He's no longer in the administration, and was in charge of Guantanamo in his role as secretary of state for defence.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 01:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Figured this was fitting here:

Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » Dana's Big Press Conference

You may have read about this, but you really do have to see it to believe it:

Do go see it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 7th, 2007 at 06:40:29 PM EST
Thanks, Bob, for posting this, and thanks to Migeru for bringing it up again. It's too important to just let it lie.
Anyone who has read my diaries knows how passionately I feel on this issue, so I won't belabor that.
But the key missing link in all discussions of this area ins the question of why we tolerate this behavior.
As an American, I must admit, WE torture. It's our
government, n'est pas?--or it's all just a game of democracy charade.

So--Why do we?

We all know that as a means to get good information it fails. Yet we still do it.

The blogosphere talks endlessly about just how many crimes Bush has to commit before we will impeach him, and it would appear, from Pelosi's and Reed's comments of today that there is no limit to the criminal, barbaric behavior that they will tolerate from Bush. Torture has failed to qualify as an impeachable offense. But they work for us, do they not?

So, --that's it, folks. Move along. Don't block the sidewalk. Read it and weep.

It's not THEM. It's us. Wherever we live, we fail in our obligation to humanity when we sit silently.
Here's a link to the story of someone who did not fail that obligation. Read it and cheer.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071029/brecher_smith

Then get off the butt and do something.

I have my own small things I do. I am a rolling advertisement for Ehrin Watada's courage and eloquence. Posted on the back of my battery scooter is this:

      Who Is Ehrin Watada?

      Qui Est Ehrin Watada?

Lieutenant Ehrin Watada is an American Hero.
He is on trial for refusing an illegal order to go to Iraq, and participate in an atrocity.
His reasons for believing the order to be illegal were and are very good ones.
I am proud of Ehrin, and I ask you to support him, to learn his story, and to tell it. The world needs men like him.

Lieutenant Ehrin Watada c'est un heros americain.
Il va passer jugement pour se refuser une commande illegal d'aller a Iraq, et de participer dans une atrocite.
Ses raisons pour croire que le commande etait illegal etaint et sont bonnes.
Je suis fier d'Ehrin, et je vous demande de lui appuyer, d'apprendre son histoire, et de la raconter.
Le monde a besoin de gents comme lui.

http://www.thankyoult.org/

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071029/brecher_smith

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 06:04:13 AM EST
I am sick to death of all the pussyfooting around the subject that has occupied the media for the duration of this premeditated, illegal war of terror that we the people of the United States have allowed to be waged against the people of Iraq, in our name, for the last several years.

This
CNN.com - Dershowitz: Torture could be justified - Mar. 3, 2003

BLITZER: Alan Dershowitz, a lot of our viewers will be surprised to hear that you think there are right times for torture. Is this one of those moments?

DERSHOWITZ: I don't think so. This is not the ticking-bomb terrorist case, at least so far as we know. Of course, the difficult question is the chicken-egg question: We won't know if he is a ticking-bomb terrorist unless he provides us information, and he's not likely to provide information unless we use certain extreme measures.

My basic point, though, is we should never under any circumstances allow low-level people to administer torture. If torture is going to be administered as a last resort in the ticking-bomb case, to save enormous numbers of lives, it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice. I don't think we're in that situation in this case.

is not PussyFooting. The "ticking bomb" scenario is a contrived excuse to make apology for torture a legitimate subject for political debate.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 06:55:36 AM EST
well lets just remind people of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The USA signed and ratified this on the 20 November 1994 (pdf warning)

and from article 2 of the treaty

2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 08:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Dershowitz will culminate his career as a defence lawyer in high-profile criminal cases by defending himself and the Bush Administration in a trial for Crimes Against Humanity.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 08:38:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
either that or he's pitching a new tv series, now 24 has softened the audience up for that.

it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 08:47:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Dershowitz - Torture Czar".

Where's Sven to write the pitch?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 08:50:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what response youd get if you actually did pitch something like that to a US tv network? ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 08:53:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Will there be titties?", to channel Bill Hicks for a moment.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 08:56:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
only to destract from the cleaners mopping up the blood if one of the questioners answers at an inapropriate time for an ad break

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 08:59:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about if a politician agrees a technique is not torture, then the Sunday chat  shows and senate inquiries are quite at liberty to use that technique to get information out of said politician. Too many politicians just dont give straight answers on tv nowadays.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 09:21:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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