|we don't torture but we know a man who does
||[Dec. 13th, 2005|09:51 am]
8 or so bees in my bonnet
|||||lemonheads-paid to smile||]|
using another classic example of american militaryspeak
(on a par with 'collateral damage')
a somewhat embarrassed conalezza rice was prodded out
to explain 'extraordinary rendition'
spearheading the PR damage limitation exercise
to say that the US follows the rule of law on torture
but the geneva convention has been thown out the window
and US law re-interpreted so far as to be meaningless to
cheney, ashcroft, rumsfeld and their cronies
'In the new collections of memos and reports, the American will to inflict pain on captives and the conviction that the 9/11 killing of civilians was unique in history is spelled out. In January 2002 the senior White House lawyer, Alberto Gonzales - now attorney general - writes to Bush claiming that there have never been wars before in which civilians are "wantonly" killed, or where it has been necessary to "quickly obtain information" from prisoners. The Geneva Convention, he argues, is a quaint relic. "In my judgement," he tells the president, "this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners."
In October 2002 the commander of the interrogation teams at Guantánamo, Lt-Col Jerald Phifer, pleads to be allowed to inflict more suffering on the prisoners there. "The current guidelines ... limit the ability of interrogators to counter advanced resistance," he writes. He asks for his people to be able to force prisoners to stand for up to four hours, put prisoners in solitary for 30 days or more, hood them, interrogate them continuously for up to 20 hours, subject them to sensory deprivation, take away their Korans, strip them naked, forcibly shave them, frighten them with dogs, deceive them into thinking they or members of their family are about to be killed or savagely tortured, "expose them" to cold temperatures or cold water, grab them, poke them, push them, and use the "waterboarding" technique, which involves covering the prisoner's mouth and nose with a cloth and pouring water into it so it forces itself down his throat and makes him believe he is about to drown. Phifer's memo makes it plain that a torture school exists in the US. "Any of these techniques that require more than light grabbing, poking, or pushing, will be administered only by individuals specifically trained in their safe application," he writes. Phifer's request worked its way up to the US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who works at a lectern-style desk in his office. He scribbled on one of the memos in December 2002: "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?"
if we lose our commitment to human rights the terrorists have won a major victory on the disturbingly easy road to fascism.
we lose hearts and minds
we invite more terrorism and create more terrorists
"Never strike a man," wrote Robin "Tin-Eye" Stephens, the monocled commander of Camp 020, in his secret advice to interrogators. "For one thing it is the act of a coward. For another, it is unintelligent, for the spy will give an answer to please, an answer to escape punishment.
And having given a false answer, all else depends upon the false premise."