Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Sometimes the political side of my blog is written for me.

On Dec 11, the bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Carl Levin and a little unknown dovish senator from Arizona, John McCain, published their report on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. Take some time and read it.

I will cite below from the executive summary.

But first let me ask you this: If all major parties in some faraway country would have come together to conclude that their President and Secretary of Defense, who started a war for no known reason, repeatedly and knowingly and by executive order violated the Geneva Convention, opening the door (in fact, it seems, the floodgates) to detainee abuse-until-death-follows and to random acts of torture -- shouldn't the USA, beacon of democracy and warden of all that is Good condemn the leaders of said nation? With vigor, even?

Oh right, no, oops, wait a minute, that faraway country, that IS the USA, that is... us.

Find shovel.

Apply head to sand.

I have still to see or hear something on the major news media about this story*.

Again, this is OUR president, governing in OUR name, happily abandoning the Geneva Convention.

Because he can.

And because -- face it -- he will get away with it.

Because the media are -- face it -- much more interested in floppy footwear right now.

A hundred thousand (or so) Iraqis dead because of this man's lie, and the assclown still wonders why he deserves the boot.

Deep cleansing breath, y'all.

Here it is, from the summary:

Conclusion 1 of the Committee’s report states:

“On February 7, 2002, President George W. Bush made a written determination that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. Following the President’s determination, techniques such as waterboarding, nudity, and stress positions, used in SERE training to simulate tactics used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions, were authorized for use in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody.”

Conclusion 13 states:

“Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there. Secretary Rumsfeld’s December 2, 2002 approval of Mr. Haynes’s recommendation that most of the techniques contained in GTMO’s October 11, 2002 request be authorized, influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity, and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

And the Committee’s 19th and final conclusion states:

“The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own. Interrogation techniques such as stripping detainees of their clothes, placing them in stress positions, and using military working dogs to intimidate them appeared in Iraq only after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and at GTMO. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s December 2, 2002 authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by senior military and civilian officials conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody. What followed was an erosion in standards dictating that detainees be treated humanely."

*Please tell me I'm wrong.

1 comment:

MBR said...

Maddow had a good segment about it: