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Torture Torture Everywhere

Publié le 24 avril, 2009 | Pas de commentaires

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A lie told often enough becomes the truth. – Lenin

With the GOP in bizarro-Washington, however, it’s the truth repeated over and over again that Dick Cheney wants to turn into a lie. The truth is, the United States DID torture, waterboarding IS torture, and he is guilty of authorizing torture. Donald Rumsfeld mandated torture. Condoleeza Rice signed on, Alberto Gonzalez, David Addington and John Yoo provided illegal loopholes for the CIA to jump through, and I have a hard time doubting that George W. Bush didn’t know all about it.

Last year in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Addington and Yoo just avoided perjuring themselves by not actually answering any questions. “Yoo, at one point, was asked several times by Cmte. Chairman John Conyers whether or not the President had the authority to bury a detainee alive. Yoo was unable to offer an answer.”

And they were allowed to get away with this. Which is why today, when the memos they were originally able to suppress under the Bush Administration have now come to light, proving that as early as 2002 the Administration had intended to use torture techniques against unconvicted detainees, there must be not only prosecutions but a full housecleaning at the Justice Department as well as at the CIA.

As of yesterday, what did President Obama have to say?

“…President Obama told Congressional leaders that he did not want a special inquiry, which he said would potentially steal time and energy from his ambitious policy priorities, and could mushroom into a wider distraction by looking back at other aspects of the Bush years.”

A “wider distraction”? Mr President, there is no spectacle like the repeated, systematic torture of human beings, to rivet the eyes of the world on Washington. We were distracted by images of a mushroom by Ms Rice, and are finding out piece by piece how the entire war was a neocon construct devised to make them rich beyond dreams of avarice. It is not your choice, Mr Obama, it’s the law: listen to Speaker Pelosi and allow an independent panel to indict whomever broke it. We know – there is undisputable evidence – that the US tortured. Do.Not.FAIL.

In Iraq this week, there has been a huge spike in suicide bombing deaths, the current situation resembling pure chaos. In Pakistan, the loss of control to Taliban extremists has so far exceeded the ability of any Western forces to stop its expansion; “…it was another indication of the gathering strength of the insurgency and it raised new alarm about the ability of the government to fend off an unrelenting Taliban advance toward the heart of Pakistan.”

“The takeover of Buner [a strategically important district just 70 miles from the capital]… is particularly significant because the people there have tried in the past year to stand up to the Taliban by establishing small private armies to fight the militants… But with a beachhead in neighboring Swat [a formerly westernized area recently lost to extremists], and a number of training camps for fresh recruits, the Taliban were able to carry out what amounted to an invasion of Buner.
The training camps will provide waves of men coming into Buner,” the senior law enforcement official said.

What is filling those training camps with waves of fresh recruits, while subjecting more innocent people to the hopeless oppression of fundamentalist Taliban guerillas? Could it be that they don’t see change they can believe in? Though President Obama is making a brilliant attempt to lead the world out of the financial crisis that has engulfed us, he cannot return the US to being a world-leader until those responsible are prosecuted and punished. Today he said « he could support a congressional investigation into the Bush-era terrorist detainee program, but only under certain conditions, such as if it were done on a bipartisan basis. »

I submit that the Republican Party, in its present incarnation, is not worth the candle. This dithering over some mythical bipartisanship must stop if Mr Obama wants to lead the nation out of the torture-quagmire.


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