Wednesday, March 23, 2005

fwd: Where's the outrage on torture?

Yes, where is it? Is anyone listening? RLC

Forwarded Message:
From: mab
Subject: Where's the outrage on torture?
Date: Mar 20, 2005

> Where's the outrage on torture?
> By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | March 17, 2005
> IN AUGUST 2003, when he was commander of the military base at
> Guantanamo Bay, Major General Geoffrey Miller visited Baghdad with some
> advice for US interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison. As Brigadier General
> Janis Karpinski, the military police commander in Iraq, later recalled
> it, Miller's bottom line was blunt: Abu Ghraib should be ''Gitmo-ized"
> -- Iraqi detainees should be exposed to the same aggressive techniques
> being used to extract information from prisoners in Guantanamo.
> ''You have to have full control," Karpinski quoted Miller as saying.
> There can be ''no mistake about who's in charge. You have to treat
> these detainees like dogs."
> Whether or not Miller actually spoke those words, it is clear that
> harsh techniques authorized for a time in Guantanamo -- forced nudity,
> hooding, shackling men in ''stress positions," the use of dogs -- were
> taken up in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they sometimes degenerated into
> outright viciousness and even torture. Did the injunction to ''treat
> these detainees like dogs" give rise to a prison culture that winked at
> barbarism? Should Miller be held responsible for what Abu Ghraib
> became?
> The latest Pentagon report on the abuse of captives, delivered to
> Congress last week by Vice Admiral Albert Church III, doesn't point a
> finger of blame at Miller or any other high-ranking official. It
> concludes that while detainees in Iraq, Guantanamo, and elsewhere were
> brutalized by military or CIA interrogators, there was no formal policy
> authorizing such abuse. (On occasion it was even condemned -- in
> December 2002, for example, some Navy officials denounced the
> Guantanamo techniques as ''unlawful and unworthy of the military
> services.")
> But surely, Church was asked at a congressional hearing, someone should
> be held accountable for the scores of abuses that even the government
> admits to? ''Not in my charter," the admiral replied.
> So the buck stops nowhere. And fresh revelations of horror keep seeping
> out.
> Afghanistan, 2002: A detainee in the ''Salt Pit" -- a secret,
> CIA-funded prison north of Kabul -- is stripped naked, dragged across a
> concrete floor, then chained in a cell and left overnight. By morning,
> he has frozen to death. According to The Washington Post, which sourced
> the story to four US government officials, the dead man was buried in
> an unmarked grave, and his family was never notified. What had the
> Afghan done to merit such lethal handling? ''He was probably associated
> with people who were associated with Al Qaeda," a US official told the
> Post.
> Iraq, 2003: Manadel al-Jamadi, arrested after a terrorist bombing in
> Baghdad, is brought in handcuffs to a shower room in Abu Ghraib.
> Shackles are connected from his cuffs to a barred window, hoisting his
> arms painfully behind his back -- a position so unnatural, Sergeant
> Jeffrey Frost later tells investigators, that he is surprised the man's
> arms ''didn't pop out of their sockets." Frost and other guards are
> summoned when an interrogator complains that al-Jamadi isn't
> cooperating. They find him slumped forward, motionless. When they
> remove the chains and attempt to stand him on his feet, blood gushes
> from his mouth. His ribs are broken. He is dead.
> Then there is the government's use of ''extraordinary rendition," a
> euphemism for sending terror suspects to be interrogated by other
> countries -- including some where respect for human rights is
> nonexistent and interrogation can involve beatings, electric shock, and
> other torture. The CIA says it always gets an assurance in advance that
> a prisoner will be treated humanely. But of what value are such
> assurances when they come from places like Syria and Saudi Arabia?
> Of course the United States must hunt down terrorists and find out what
> they know. Better intelligence means more lives saved, more atrocities
> prevented, and a more likely victory in the war against radical
> Islamist fascism. Those are crucial ends, and they justify tough means.
> But they don't justify means that betray core American values.
> Interrogation techniques that flirt with torture -- to say nothing of
> those that end in death -- cross the moral line that separates us from
> the enemy we are trying to defeat.
> The Bush administration and the military insist that any abuse of
> detainees is a violation of policy and that abusers are being punished.
> If so, why does it refuse to allow a genuinely independent commission
> to investigate without fear or favor? Why do Republican leaders on
> Capitol Hill refuse to launch a proper congressional investigation? And
> why do my fellow conservatives -- those who support the war for all the
> right reasons -- continue to keep silent about a scandal that should
> have them up in arms?
> 03/17/wheres_the_outrage_on_torture?mode=PF
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