More Evidence the Regime Authorized Torture

A Washington Post report today says in part:

“The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency’s use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects — documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public.

“The classified memos, which have not been previously disclosed, were requested by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet more than a year after the start of the secret interrogations, according to four administration and intelligence officials familiar with the documents.”  Read the full article here.

In a press release dated Oct. 15, the ACLU says:”The memos, which show that senior Bush administration officials expressly endorsed the CIA’s abusive practices, should have been turned over in response to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking information on the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.

“The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

“‘This new report supplies further evidence that the decision to endorse torture was made by the administration’s most senior officials. The report also underscores once again how much information is still being withheld by this administration. The government is not permitted to withhold records in order to shield officials from embarrassment or to conceal evidence of illegal activity, but this administration continues to use the classification power to suppress information for precisely those ends.’

“To date, more than 100,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the ACLU’s lawsuit. They are available on [the ACLU website.]”  You can read the ACLU press release here as well.

 

Also there is an article in the Guardian by a professor of economics at the University of London in which he says in part:

“Buried away in this testimony lies the most dangerous material of all: evidence which may establish that abuses on detainees in Iraq in September 2003, in the period perhaps including the events at Abu Ghraib, were the result of decisions taken at the highest levels of the administration. The administration has long proclaimed it did not allow aggressive interrogations in Iraq, since the Geneva conventions applied. Last month we learned this was false: not everyone had protection under Geneva. If you were considered to be a terrorist, you had no protection at all. A senior US intelligence officer visited Iraq in September 2003. He witnessed abusive interrogation techniques that violated Geneva and complained. The response? He was told the techniques “were pre-approved by DoD GC or higher”. DoD GC is the general counsel at the department of defence, Jim Haynes. Who could be higher? His boss: Rumsfeld.

“I have testified before Congress on these issues, and have been asked if there should be criminal investigations and prosecutions. At the very least, the next US president must ensure the full facts are established. It will then be for others to decide what follows. But if the US doesn’t get its own house in order and restore its reputation for the rule of law, others will surely step in.”  Read the full article here.

According to the Geneva Conventions, and thus to US law, it is illegal to humiliate prisoners or prevent them from contacting their families.   The US tortures prisoners some of whom were sold to it by warlords and were never combatants much less enemies of the US.

Why is this not part of the dialogue in this country before elections?  Why is this not front page news in every major media organ?  What are we doing to stop these heinous crimes against humanity?  When will we have to pay for them?

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Prisoners in Quantanamo

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Is this the way a democracy treats any human being?

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One Response to “More Evidence the Regime Authorized Torture”

  1. nancy Says:

    The ACLU is working hard to get to the truth about the torture and who is responsible for it. In a press release dated 7 November, they say:

    The Bush administration petitioned a full appeals court late Thursday to reconsider a decision ordering the Defense Department to release photographs showing detainee abuse by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In September, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered the government to release the photos as part of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking information on the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.

    “This petition is a transparent attempt to delay accountability for the widespread abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody abroad by keeping the public in the dark,” said Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU. “These photographs demonstrate that the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody abroad was not aberrational and not confined to Abu Ghraib, but the result of policies adopted by the highest-ranking officials in the administration. The immediate release of these photos is critical to bringing an end to the Bush administration’s torture policies and for preventing prisoner abuse in the future.”

    Read the full press release here:

    http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/37721prs20081107.html

    and look at all the documents that the ACLU has collected under the Freedom of Information Act.

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