April 17, 2009

Now We Know
It’s official. We now know what the torturers did in our name. I, for one, can’t live with what I know. I just can’t.

I’m not sure where to go from here with this post. What can I say?

People were deprived of sleep.

People were slapped.

People had their heads banged into walls.

People were manacled in body-cramping positions for hours on end.

People had their faces “walled”. I’m not sure what “walling” is—but I can guess.

People were locked in boxes filled with insects.

People were deprived of food. Physicians were on tap to advise the torturers about how few calories people could be given for extended periods before they starved to death.

People were kept in very cold conditions. If they covered themselves with their prayer rugs, the rugs were taken away. The justification? They were being ‘uncooperative’.

Waterboarding was justified by saying that we didn’t mean to harm people. We proved it by having a doctor in attendance while it was going on. Scratch that. We had medical personnel available.
What does ‘medical personnel’ mean?
What does ‘available’ mean?
And why does that matter?

If you watched Rachel last night you were treated to a demonstration of just what waterboarding is.
I wanted to turn away. I forced myself to watch. After all, this was done in my name. It was done to ‘make me safe.’

I don't feel safe.
And, yesterday, Obama said, "We must move forward."

What he is really saying is this:
We must not prosecute the people who did this in our names.
We must set a precedent so that any future president or CIA director can, without fear, disappear anyone s/he wishes to take off the street. Any president can lock people up indefinitely without access to counsel. Any president can dispense with Habeas Corpus whenever it becomes inconvenient to uphold. Any future president can order the torture of human beings without fear of prosecution.
Any president [including this one] can choose not to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States' if it is inconvenient to do so.
Any president can simply refuse to honor his oath of office as it benefits him personally or politically.

So, I ask you: Do you feel safe?


Dave Dubya said...

Olbermann did a great Special Comment on this.

Time will tell, but as of now, Obama looks like an appeaser of torture and war crimes with his failure to advance justice.

There's pitiful lack of dignity when we hear Obama say "We don't torture". That's what Bush said too.

an average patriot said...

The justice departments release of the brutal techniques used routinely at Guantanamo under Bush and Cheney will only work against us. What the hell are they thinking. This will please no one on the right or the left not to speak of the Islamists, terrorists, or whatever you call them.

Okay lets talk torture! Water boarding we have discussed many times. That most definitely is torture and there is no gray area there. However sleep deprivation? I can handle that. If that is torture I guess that is a kinder gentler version. I will take that to having my finger and toe nails pulled out any day. We knew about the water boarding and sleep deprivation for quite a while but throwing people against walls what the heck is that? Slapping? Nudity, confinement with insects, sleeping in coffins, that is torture?

Stress positioning, throwing cold water on you? Beats the hell out of hot water. As I said, I do not know if that is torture. Maybe in one set of eyes but not another but any way you look at it I can not see putting this information out there as being good for us. We could have told the CIA and the world there is a new cop in town and what was done in the past will not be done again end of discussion.

Obama said he wanted this information out so we could get it all behind us. I am not sure it was not to make Bush look bad and make him look good. He also said no one will be prosecuted which I do agree with. They were only torturing. They were only doing what they were told seriously. Bush and Cheney should be held accountable and tried. Obama said they were only keeping us safe. That I take issue with. It was not their fault but I do not think torture kept us safe but endangered all of us exponentially both civilian and military!

Releasing this information sounds like a bad idea to me and not because of what I hear proponents say. They say so called terrorists now know how far we can go and will train accordingly. BS I say! They have learned first hand that an American President will do whatever it takes to keep America safe. At least that is what we are led to believe. I think if they just look at Obama the man they know he is no Bush and there will be no torture. This does get the left off his back and I disagree with most of what was done but it seems like "just say no" would have sufficed.

This will now weaken us in many ways! Detailing the CIA tactics under Bush makes him look bad and Obama good, that seems like the only motivation. It will really help in forming Bush's image and legacy. That I like! I like that more of Bush's brutal policies have been laid bare. All in all I like this for that reason and nothing else.

two crows said...

hi Dave--
yeah, Rachel did too.

and that is exactly what Bush said.
how can Obama stoop to parroting Bush?

two crows said...

sorry, Jim--
sleep deprivation is known to bring on thought processes that are the exact duplicates of schizophrenia.
the only difference is the fact that sleep will solve the problem.

believe me -- inducing schizophrenia in a person IS torture.
we're not talking about getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night, here. they went days and days with no sleep at all.

believe me, everything you have listed here IS torture, Jim.
if you don't believe it, have a friend punch you, slap you, slam your face into a wall, throw cold water at you -- while the room you're sitting in is kept at a steady 40 degrees day and night and you're dressed in a light, woman's nightgown.
have your friend shut you in a confinement box and stick a few wasps in there with you and shut the lid.
oh, and ask your friend to handcuff your hands to the ceiling and leave you hanging until your shoulders dislocate. And leave you there even after that.

and, have your friend do it day after day, week after week, month after month.

then, come back and tell me that's not torture. ok?
they were only doing what they were told?
are you serious?

at Nuremberg we SPECIFICALLY said that was not a defense! we hanged people who defended themselves by saying they were just following orders.

and, I imagine, the consequences of refusing to follow orders in Nazi Germany would have been much, much worse than refusing to torture here.
and, not all those people were killing people. many were torturing.
As to keeping us safe -- THAT is BS. We cultivated how many new terrorists over the last 6 years? we will never know -- but people who had done NOTHING WRONG were 'disappeared' and tortured.

suppose that happened to you? do you think you might want revenge?
the problem is -- Obama doesn't look good at this point.
many, many people are up in arms over this.
the conservatives are mad at him for telling the truth.
the liberals are mad at him for doing nothing about it.

he has put himself in a lose/lose situation. and he has put US there, too.

libhom said...

I am truly disgusted by Obama's policy on this.

an average patriot said...

I know two crows! Two of my sons have endured that and worse in their advanced training as they both go behind enemy lines and have to be prepared for capture and escape. You have to believe we have set a dangerous example but I believe most other countries would do much worse anyway!

two crows said...

hi, Libhom--
you and me both.

two crows said...

hi again, Jim--
again, I have to disagree with you on this.

1] MOST countries don't do worse. some do, of course.

but, Holland? Switzerland? France? Iceland? Spain [which has put out 6 warrants so far]? Norway? Sweden and Denmark [which protected Jews during WWII while we were turning them away]?
I could go on and on.

most countries don't torture.
we now have, tho, joined the minority that do.
and, if we don't prosecute the criminals, we will just keep on.

and, even if ALL other countries tortured. does that mean we should?

furthermore, we hold ourselves up as some moral beacon for the world. and, now, the world is laughing.
how can we go to China and tell them to clean up their human rights act, now?
we can't. they simply won't listen. why should they?