Monday, April 27, 2009

Perhaps they just didn't know what they were doing?

Not a chance.

Rice, Cheney and others personally gave the go-ahead for torture on behalf of the United States of America. It is really that simple.

Waterboarding was considered torture in the middle ages, when it was developed. It was torture in the Nuremberg trials, as prosecuted by the US an the Allies. It was torture when the US was conditioning their pilots to prepare for the technique. It is considered torture by any human being that has been subjected to it. It is also an effective technique for getting false confessions out of prisoners - which was the entire reason the practice was invented and implemented throughout history.

That's right, it IS torture. When the US and the Allies found enemy soldiers guilty of waterboarding, we EXECUTED them for torturing our soldiers.

It does NOT produce factual intelligence. It DOES coerce a person into saying what the torturer wants them to say.

Guess this helps explain Condie Rice's promotion, even though as National Security Advisor, she oversaw the worst disaster ever in advising the President of a threat to National Security.

Somehow this is overtaxing the rich?

Interesting graphic. Especially considering some facts that go with it

Conservative and deregulation policies of the 20's caused the Great Depression. Liberal and regulatory policies, coupled with the tax changes of the 30's led to the long era of prosperity that followed for half of a century.

Conservative and deregulation policies that started in 1980 led to the current financial crisis.

So, wouldn't logic dictate that the tax policies for the very wealthy should not merely mimic 1992, but should mimic 1940-1964?

What did torture accomplish

Bush and company did not want to extract truths to stop terrorist attacks. They STOPPED that extraction process in order to switch to obtaining false confessions for political purposes - to "justify" war against Iraq


What you're describing is taking techniques that U.S. military personnel had been trained to resist ... [and] using those very techniques on the people the U.S. was detaining in Iraq?

Exactly, and I think a key point that your listeners need to understand, so they can grasp the gravity of the situation, is that the primary objective of that approach to interrogation was not truth … but somebody's political truth. In the Korean War, they actually compelled some of our pilots to admit to dropping chemical weapons on cities and so forth, when in fact that didn't happen. Now, that stands in stark contrast to intelligence interrogation, where the overriding objective is provide timely, accurate, reliable, comprehensive intelligence.

So, what does this all mean?
What was really accomplished by Bush/Cheney's go-ahead to torture prisoners? US lost access to terror suspects which hampered the war against terrorism, captured US soldiers faced increased probability of being tortured, and they got false confessions to use as political propaganda. In "Republican World", that desirable outcome completely justifies the consequences.

Washington Post

One of those present said that when asked, the CIA officers acknowledged that some foreign intelligence agencies had refused, for example, to share information about the location of terrorism suspects for fear of becoming implicated in any eventual torture of those suspects. Sources said that Jones shared these concerns and that, as a former military officer, he worried that any use of harsh interrogations by the United States could make it more likely that American soldiers in captivity would be subjected to similar tactics.

So, to recap
The FBI was getting actionable intelligence from Zubaydah by using legal interrogation techniques. The Bush Administration ordered illegal torture, because they wanted immediate propaganda. At this point, Zubaydah stopped giving actionable intelligence - which is consistent with what is known about the value of torturing human beings. After that, torture was stopped, legal interrogation resumed, and Zubaydah returned to giving up actionable intelligence.

Bush's quest for good propaganda hampered the quest for actionable intelligence to stop terror attacks. And was illegal, to complement the immorality of it.

FireDogLake post

NY Times article

Torture - then and now

GWB in 2003
"War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will
be no defense to say, 'I was just following orders.'"
CNN replay

GOP in 2009
Investigating war crimes is simply partisan politics, harms America and
makes us more vulnerable to terrorist attack. War crimes happened in the
past, and we must look forward. Torturers were just following orders, and
those giving the orders are above prosecution. Therefore, just sweep it
under the rug and forget about them.

Bush on Abu Ghraib

So George, how come there was no investigation, no transparency and no justice being served under your watch? Guess you were just spouting words with no meaning.

If Bush and company wanted real intelligence information to actually prevent future terrorist attacks, they could have done it. Instead, they chose torture to get false confessions for political gain.

Let them die in a flu pandemic

Same old GOP - cut government spending that actually would HELP the people, in order to have tax dollars transferred to the wealthiest. This time, they fought against pandemic preparedness, AND ARE STILL BRAGGING ABOUT IT as we face the possibility of an outbreak of swine flu.