Monday, November 07, 2005

Bush Lied about Torture

Today (November 7th, 2005) Bush declared, "We do not torture."

Unfortunately, saying it doesn't make it so. And if he believes it's true, why all the secrecy? Why deny human rights groups access? Why fight the congressional ban on torture?

The 'Abu Graib scandal' was just one chapter in this ongoing saga. It's not the only 'scandal' but, like others, torture and abuse was only admitted when evidence leaked out. And then the abuse was blamed on a few "individuals." I wish I had time to compile a list of all allegations, but the news from just the last few weeks should prove how big Bush's lie is.


Five American soldiers in Iraq alleged to have punched and kicked Iraqi detainees and hit them with a broomstick have been charged with assault, the U.S. military said on Monday.
Army spokesman Paul Boyce said the five Army Rangers had been charged with assault and maltreatment of prisoners and dereliction of duty in the incident, which occurred on September 7 in Baghdad.

Now this abuse will again be explained as the actions of a few 'indiviudals.' But even if this is true, those individuals are part of the collective 'we' that Bush spoke of. That is assuming Bush meant 'we' as 'The United States" and not "Laura and I."

Congressional Ban on Torture

A ban on torture was approved by a 90-9 vote last month in the Senate and added to a defense spending bill. The White House has threatened a veto.

Vice President Dick Cheney has lobbied Republican senators to allow an exemption for those held by the CIA if preventing an attack is at stake.

"I think the administration is making a terrible mistake in opposing John McCain's amendment on detainees and torture,'' Hagel, R-Neb., said on "This Week'' on ABC. "Why in the world they're doing that, I don't know.''

Secret Camps in Eastern Europe

The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.
The CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held. Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long. -Washington Post

Opposition to Human Rights Groups

In a letter to Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, six religious and human rights groups, including Amnesty International, called on the Justice Department and the Pentagon to take specific steps, including permitting access to the detainees by independent investigators as well as to the federal courts “to bring torture, abuse, and inhumane treatment to an end at Guantanamo.” -FPIF

UN Denied Access to Detainee Camps

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the U.S. government is not inclined to grant United Nations special rapporteurs access to prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The investigators have made such access a condition for accepting the secretary's invitation to visit the facility. -Spero News

Hunger Strike

The Pentagon has engaged in a new form of medical abuse at Guantanamo Bay by force-feeding detainees on a hunger strike in ways that are deliberately painful and cause life-threatening vomiting and weight loss, defense lawyers say.The gruesome allegations include complaints that doctors and guards intentionally thrust feeding tubes covered in blood and bile from one detainee's nose into another inmate's nose and denied prisoners anesthesia.
"The allegations are deeply troubling," U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler said in her ruling from Washington, D.C. "If true ... they describe conduct of which the United States can hardly be proud." -Newsday


Remember, neither the Nazis nor the Japanese followed the Geneva Conventions during World War II. Yet the US and our allies did and that gave us the moral high ground.


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