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Tuesday, December 13, 2005
"The U.S. is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the U.S. and the community of law abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating and prosecuting all acts of torture."
- George W. Bush, U.N. Torture Victims Recognition Day, June 26, 2003
PHOTO POSTED BY PICASA
This statement of George W. Bush would be funny if the truth were not so disturbing but there you go - whoops... he lied again. Since he was well aware at that time that U.S. personnel were engaged in torturing "detainees " after 9/11.
But as he & other members of his administration argue that " it's okay to torture terrorist suspects since The Geneva Convention doesn't apply to terrorist. But of course they miss the point of why most nations have agreed that torture is wrong because it is not how a civilized society should treat people no matter what they are accused of doing or what they have actually done. The moral standards by which a society has agreed to abide by are to apply to everyone & not just certain groups.
Of course President Bush & his circle of friends have at times denied committing torture or have said that the " special techniques " they have used on " detainees " were or are not torture as they have redefined " torture " to fit their needs.
But as was reported in a Washington Post editorial last March which raised concerns over the use of torture on " detainees ":
" Abuse in Secret "
Saturday, March 5, 2005;
“ the most serious and systematic violations of human rights standards by the Bush administration...have occurred -- and are still occurring -- in the secret global detention network maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency. In clandestine prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and in detention facilities maintained by authoritarian allies such as Egypt, the CIA is holding dozens of detainees without any legal process, outside review, family notification or monitoring by the Red Cross and other human rights groups. In effect, these prisoners have "disappeared," like the domestic opponents of dictatorships that the State Department annually critiques in its human rights report. Many may have been tortured. As Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales confirmed in January, the administration has authorized CIA interrogators to subject these detainees to "cruel, inhumane and degrading" treatment banned by an international treaty that has been ratified by the United States.
The Post's Dana Priest reported the previously unpublicized case of an Afghan detainee held in a secret facility known as the Salt Pit. The detainee died in 2002 after a CIA officer allegedly ordered Afghan guards to strip him naked, chain him to a concrete floor and leave him overnight without protection from severe cold. The prisoner was buried in an unmarked grave, without notice to his family; the CIA officer was promoted. Not a single regular CIA employee has been charged in an abuse case, nor has the agency offered Congress or the public any accounting of its behavior. "
Since that editorial was written more proof of torture & " renditions " have come to light as commented upon in a number of Blogs & news editorials.
For instance the writer of the website/ Blog TOMSDISPATCH.COM discusses the issue in reference to the U.S.'s Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's recent trip to Europe:
" Our Secretary of State, on the eve of her departure, finally offered an administration response to the recent revelation that the CIA had sent 437 flights (assumedly on various rendition tasks) through German airspace since 2001 -- some certainly carrying captured or kidnapped "ghost detainees" to secret prisons elsewhere on Earth. She essentially said: "Trust us…"; offered implicit threats to release information on what European officials may have known about our illegal activities to their angry publics ("It is up to those governments and their citizens to decide if they wish to work with us to prevent terrorist attacks against their own country or other countries, and decide how much sensitive information they can make public. They have a sovereign right to make that choice."); and emphasized that this administration always acts within the law and, as our President insists, simply does not torture -- even while our Vice President and other top officials lobby vigorously against Senator John McCain's anti-torture amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill reiterating that it is the law of the land not to offer those in our custody "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment."
And she admitted that the administration had approved the use of " renditions " but qualifies or , at least , obscures what it means & then goes on to say :
"Torture," she added, "is a term that is defined by law. We rely on our law to govern our operations. The United States does not permit, tolerate, or condone torture under any circumstances… The United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture. The United States does not use the airspace or the airports of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee to a country where he or she will be tortured."
a regular antidote to the mainstream media
Tomgram: Brecher and Smith on the Imperial Presidency
DECEMBER 6, 2005
And as Dana Priest reports in a recent Washinton Post article concerning torture & "renditions" & the ongoing problem of having the various agencies investigating themselves as if they were actually going to do something about it besides offering up a few " scape-goats " to appease the public :
" The CIA, working with other intelligence agencies, has captured an estimated 3,000 people, including several key leaders of al Qaeda, in its campaign to dismantle terrorist networks. It is impossible to know, however, how many mistakes the CIA and its foreign partners have made.
. The same bureaucracy that decides to capture and transfer a suspect for interrogation-- a process called "rendition" -- is also responsible for policing itself for errors.
The CIA inspector general is investigating a growing number of what it calls "erroneous renditions," according to several former and current intelligence officials.
Members of the Rendition Group follow a simple but standard procedure: Dressed head to toe in black, including masks, they blindfold and cut the clothes off their new captives, then administer an enema and sleeping drugs. They outfit detainees in a diaper and jumpsuit for what can be a day-long trip. Their destinations: either a detention facility operated by cooperative countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, or one of the CIA's own covert prisons -- referred to in classified documents as "black sites," which at various times have been operated in eight countries, including several in Eastern Europe.
In the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the CTC was the place to be for CIA officers wanting in on the fight. The staff ballooned from 300 to 1,200 nearly overnight.
"It was the Camelot of counterterrorism," a former counterterrorism official said. "We didn't have to mess with others -- and it was fun."
Thousands of tips and allegations about potential threats poured in after the attacks. Stung by the failure to detect the plot, CIA officers passed along every tidbit. The process of vetting and evaluating information suffered greatly, former and current intelligence officials said. "Whatever quality control mechanisms were in play on September 10th were eliminated on September 11th," a former senior intelligence official said. "
By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 4, 2005
And for more on the Bush Administration's attitudes & how he & his inner circle are changing the role & power of the Presidency which they believe has been allowed ,in their view, to have been diminished & so they have used events since 9/11 to create a more powerful Presidency which can act unilaterally ignoring the Judicial & other branches of government.
And here are some excerpts from an article by Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith " War Crimes Made Easy
How the Bush Administration Legalized Intelligence Deceptions, Assassinations, and Aggressive War " . As they & others have argued it is this concentration of power in the Executive branch which is most disturbing as it leads to a more authoritarian & dictatorial form of government. It is ,in fact, at odds with the U.S. Constitution & with the basic concept of the Separation of Powers & checks & balances of the different branches of government. What President Bush wants is to have " Supreme Power " to do whatever he & his cronies wish to do without having to justify it to anyone .
As Brecher & Smith put it ...
" The Bush administration, . Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Advisor in 2002, put it this way: "As a matter of common sense, the United States must be prepared to take action, when necessary, before threats have fully materialized." As Senator Robert Byrd pointed out in a speech to Congress on January 25, 2005, this doctrine of preventive war "takes the checks and balances established in the Constitution that limit the President's ability to use our military at his pleasure, and throws them out the window… This doctrine of preemptive strikes places the sole decision of war and peace in the hand of the President and undermines the Constitutional power of Congress to declare war."
On one issue after another, it is clear that vast new powers have been swept into the presidency on the heels of this "permanent crisis," where that institution claims for itself alone this line-drawing authority, resulting in the diminution of the ability of the other two branches to hold the executive accountable.
This expanded executive authority, born out of crisis, has dovetailed seamlessly with an administration that has made no secret of its preference for unilateralism as an operative governing principle: executive branch primacy in the domestic sphere and the eschewing of traditional allies and international organizations and rules in the foreign policy arena. Driving this desire for enhanced executive power, at least in the domestic field, is the belief offered by Vice President Cheney that recent past presidents were too quick to relinquish some presidential prerogatives (e.g., executive privilege), and he considers it the responsibility of the current administration to reclaim those lost powers for the institution of the presidency (Bettelheim 2002). This administration has been candid in its frustration and criticism of congressional "micromanagement," and foreign policy making is an area in which presidents have always been protective, if not possessive, of their powers, even when there was no specific concern for congressional meddling. A wartime environment is the ideal setting (and timing) for such a strategy of fostering executive dominance, where there is already a natural tendency for power to concentrate in that branch. "
( Brendan Smith and Jeremy Brecher are the editors, with Jill Cutler, of In the Name of Democracy, American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond (Metropolitan, 2005).
on American use of torture see :
Michael Rivero’s What Really Happened
and see the site ONE THOUSAND REASONS
Documenting the Failures of the Bush Administration
The site describes itself as;
( One Thousand Reasons is dedicated to documenting the many failures of the Bush administration. His policies represent the far-right wing of his party, which if left unchecked will send America into a new Dark Age of intolerance and mistrust of science. This radical faction, which consists of an unlikely coalition of war hawks, born again Christians, and corporations has been responsible for degrading the environment, sending us into a thoroughly unnecessary war, plunging us into debt, and reducing our individual liberties.
Bush's second term promises to be even worse. He wants to make his tax cuts permanent, pass an amendment against gay marriage, drill for oil in the Alaska wilderness, and continue to spread "democracy" about the globe at the point of a gun.)
Also check out:
and its mission statement reads as follows :
Global News Matrix was founded in 2005 as an independent media outlet. GNM has a large number of news sources which its members browse every day for articles they feel are important to our global readership, and that are being brushed aside by current mainstream outlets. Our mission is to bring you accurate and up-to-date information on politics and current events, along with 'alternative' topics such as Big Brother and the New World Order.
Global News Matrix is exactly that, a matrix for the news that matters. Our sources include personal research and reader submissions, along with reputable media outlets (both mainstream and non) spanning across the globe.
Anyway that ‘s all for now,