So now the process can be fully diagrammed, and the cast of characters is stunning. The torture system involves the operations division of the CIA on the implementation side. They rely heavily on contractors, it seems, in torturing people. And a special role is apparently played by a couple of psychologists. (Time used to be that healthcare professionals had an oath. It started “first, do no harm.” But, just like the Bible and the Constitution, that’s so pre-9/11. And with the American Psychological Association providing full cover, what’s the worry.)
We know that the Justice Department is right in the thick of it. Who precisely? The answer is most likely the Office of Legal Counsel—which has now emerged as what George Orwell called the “Ministry of Love” (remember: in Nineteen Eighty-Four that’s the ministry that picked and approved torture practices). But it doesn’t end with the opinion lawyers. The National Security Division is also in the thick of things, apparently. Alberto Gonzales, before he became attorney general, played station master for the initial series of torture memos. Once he landed at Justice, he kept a close watch on all torture issues and lied to Congress about it. With the attorney general’s office staking out a close interest in torture, it’s unlikely that others in the Department would have substituted their judgment for his. Thus the ball would seem to be squarely in Michael Mukasey’s court.
And finally the White House. David Addington, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley—these are all name we can now link directly to the torture system. Not just as a matter of theory. As a matter of practical application. They decided who would be tortured and how. And John B. Bellinger III, the man who keeps making a laughing-stock of himself with speeches on international law (as, for instance, when he tells us he can’t raise a legal objection to the idea of the Iranians waterboarding some captured American airman), who was legal counsel at NSC and continues now to hold that role with Condi Rice at State. He constantly issued assurances “off the record” to human rights groups and bar groups that we certainly don’t torture. And now it’s reasonably clear that he was right in the thick of the torture approval process all along.
There seems to be some question as to whether or not America tortures. I can think of a few ways to get to the bottom of the matter; Cheney, Rice, etc. for 18 months at a black site, which I understand is an intense hotel-resort-spa (at least according to Rush Limbaugh), and I’m sure we’d get to the bottom of the matter.
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.
Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.
“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.
This is how they (those wretched unter menschen we affectionately refer to as AmeriKKKans) treat their own. Imagine what these scum do to Iraqis. Try to imagine how many others have disappeared into that container, shared that same bed…
Doubtless, in some quarters, the incident will be likened to hazing, or the kind of hi-jinks found at college frat parties; “it was all good clean fun”. Our disgust will be condemned as being unsupportive of the troops, and putting them in harms way, and besides, we don’t have all the details…
Or maybe she’ll be declared a whore by the liberal media (she was asking for it).
It’s the American way, gawd demmit!
[EDIT] the genius of Jon Swift.
Hoi! You charcoal hag! Read this why don’t you. To get you started;
Think it couldn’t happen here? It’s happening right now! This is exactly how it happened in Nazi Germany. First, burn the Reichstag and blame it on the “enemy.” Pass new police state laws. Disarm the people. Spread fear. Erect secret prisons and secret police. Call anyone who disagrees with you a “traitor.” Control the mainstream media. Sound familiar? This is all happening right now in the United States of Amerika, and if we don’t work to stop it, this nation will rapidly devolve into a fascist police state where no one is truly free.
Then why not watch this;
Are we sitting comfortably America?
This guy is truly amazing. Truly truly amazing. And now a transcript (from here);
There are few choices more terrifying than the one Mr.. Bush has left us with tonight.
We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.
A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.
After Ms Perino’s announcement from the White House late last night, the timeline is inescapable and clear.
In August the President was told by his hand-picked Major Domo of intelligence Mike McConnell, a flinty, high-strung-looking, worrying-warrior who will always see more clouds than silver linings, that what “everybody thought” about Iran might be, in essence, crap.
Yet on October 17th the President said of Iran and its president Ahmadinejad:
“I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon.”
And as he said that, Mr.. Bush knew that at bare minimum there was a strong chance that his rhetoric was nothing more than words with which to scare the Iranians.
Or was it, Sir, to scare the Americans?
Does Iran not really fit into the equation here? Have you just scribbled it into the fill-in-the-blank on the same template you used, to scare us about Iraq?
In August, any commander-in-chief still able-minded or uncorrupted or both, Sir, would have invoked the quality the job most requires: mental flexibility.
A bright man, or an honest man, would have realized no later than the McConnell briefing that the only true danger about Iran was the damage that could be done by an unhinged, irrational Chicken Little of a president, shooting his mouth off, backed up by only his own hysteria and his own delusions of omniscience.
Not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Bush.
The Chicken Little of presidents is the one, Sir, that you see in the mirror.
And the mind reels at the thought of a Vice President fully briefed on the revised Intel as long as two weeks ago — briefed on the fact that Iran abandoned its pursuit of this imminent threat four years ago — who never bothered to mention it to his boss.
It is nearly forgotten today, but throughout much of Ronald Reagan’s presidency it was widely believed that he was little more than a front-man for some never-viewed, behind-the-scenes, string-puller.
Today, as evidenced by this latest remarkable, historic malfeasance, it is inescapable, that Dick Cheney is either this president’s evil ventriloquist, or he thinks he is.
What servant of any of the 42 previous presidents could possibly withhold information of this urgency and gravity, and wind up back at his desk the next morning, instead of winding up before a Congressional investigation — or a criminal one?
Mr. Bush — if you can still hear us — if you did not previously agree to this scenario in which Dick Cheney is the actual detective and you’re Remington Steele — you must disenthrall yourself: Mr. Cheney has usurped your constitutional powers, cut you out of the information loop, and led you down the path to an unprecedented presidency in which the facts are optional, the Intel is valued less than the hunch, and the assistant runs the store.
The problem is, Sir, your assistant is robbing you — and your country — blind.
Not merely in monetary terms, Mr.. Bush, but more importantly of the traditions and righteousness for which we have stood, at great risk, for centuries: Honesty, Law, Moral Force.
Mr.. Cheney has helped, Sir, to make your Administration into the kind our ancestors saw in the 1860’s and 1870’s and 1880’s — the ones that abandoned Reconstruction, and sent this country marching backwards into the pit of American Apartheid.
Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland…
Presidents who will be remembered only in a blur of failure, Mr.. Bush.
Presidents who will be remembered only as functions of those who opposed them — the opponents whom history proved right.
Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland… Bush.
Would that we could let this President off the hook by seeing him only as marionette or moron.
But a study of the mutation of his language about Iran proves that though he may not be very good at it, he is, himself, still a manipulative, Machiavellian, snake-oil salesman.
The Bushian etymology was tracked by Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post’s website.
It is staggering.
March 31st: “Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon…”
June 5th: Iran’s “pursuit of nuclear weapons…”
June 19th: “consequences to the Iranian government if they continue to pursue a nuclear weapon…”
July 12th: “the same regime in Iran that is pursuing nuclear weapons…”
August 6th: “this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon…”
Notice a pattern?
Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.
Then, sometime between August 6th and August 9th, those terms are suddenly swapped out, so subtly that only in retrospect can we see that somebody has warned the President, not only that he has gone out too far on the limb of terror — but there may not even be a tree there…
McConnell, or someone, must have briefed him then.
August 9th: “They have expressed their desire to be able to enrich uranium, which we believe is a step toward having a nuclear weapons program…”
August 28th: “Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons…”
October 4th: “you should not have the know-how on how to make a (nuclear) weapon…”
October 17th: “until they suspend and/or make it clear that they, that their statements aren’t real, yeah, I believe they want to have the **capacity**, the **knowledge**, in order to make a nuclear weapon.”
Before August 9th, it’s: Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.
After August 9th, it’s: Desire, pursuit, want…knowledge technology know-how to enrich uranium.
And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that the National Intelligence Estimate this week talks of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program in 2003…
And you talked of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program on October 17th…
And that’s just a coincidence?
And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that nobody told you any of this until last week?
Your insistence that you were not briefed on the NIE until last week might be legally true — something like “what the definition of is is — but with the subject matter being not interns but the threat of nuclear war.
Legally, it might save you from some war crimes trial… but ethically, it is a lie.
It is indefensible.
You have been yelling threats into a phone for nearly four months, after the guy on the other end had already hung up.
You, Mr.. Bush, are a bald-faced liar.
And more over, you have just revealed that John Bolton, and Norman Podhoretz, and the Wall Street Journal Editorial board, are also bald-faced liars.
We are to believe that the Intel Community, or maybe the State Department, cooked the raw intelligence about Iran, falsely diminished the Iranian nuclear threat, to make you look bad?
And you proceeded to let them make you look bad?
You not only knew all of this about Iran, in early August…
But you also knew… it was… accurate.
And instead of sharing this good news with the people you have obviously forgotten you represent…
You merely fine-tuned your terrorizing of those people, to legally cover your own backside…
While you filled the factual gap with sadistic visions of — as you phrased it on August 28th: a quote “nuclear holocaust” — and, as you phrased it on October 17th, quote: “World War Three.”
My comments, Mr. Bush, are often dismissed as simple repetitions of the phrase “George Bush has no business being president.”
Well, guess what?
Tonight: hanged by your own words… convicted by your own deliberate lies…
You, sir, have no business… being president.
Good night, and good luck.
Q: what do you get when you cross a disgusting greedy grasping American-style capitalist with a sociopath? A: a member of the CIA.
“We haven’t seen anything like this since the 18-minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon,” said Senator Edward Kennedy who accused the CIA of “a cover-up.” He called on the Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate.
Good idea Mr. Kennedy! Let’s get a Bush appointee to investigate this. That should assuage the concerns of the few who think that there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans, based on the performance of the Democratic Majority in the 110th congress.
“The tapes posed a serious security risk,” the CIA’s director, Michael Hayden, told agency employees in a statement yesterday. “Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the programme, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al-Qaida and its sympathisers.”
And what’s wrong with a little retaliation? After all, they have tortured people.
“They start by slapping the prisoner around, putting him in stress positions and finally strapping him on the waterboard where he is bound down and has water poured into his lungs,” he continued. “It’s very hard to watch people going through this form of torture,” he said. “They get hysterical and whatever they say is of no value anyway. Typically a camera is focused on the detainee’s face to watch for signs that he is cracking; another camera shows the interrogation team in operation,” he said.
I can only imagine how difficult it would be to watch people going through this form of torture, because I am not inhuman scum. I am not an American capitalist. I cannot justify the torture, or murder, of anyone for the sake of profit. Just as a reminder (courtesy of the BBC), the techniques employed in information gathering include;
- Water boarding: prisoner bound to a board with feet raised, and cellophane wrapped round his head. Water is poured onto his face and is said to produce a fear of drowning
- Cold cell: prisoner made to stand naked in a cold, though not freezing, cell and doused with water
- Standing: Prisoners stand for 40 hours and more, shackled to the floor
- Belly slap: a hard slap to the stomach with an open hand. This is designed to be painful but not to cause injury
What a wonderful collection of atrocities. Bravo America! Your industry and invention is the envy of the civilized world.
The US justice department and the CIA are launching a joint inquiry into the CIA’s destruction of two videotapes of interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects.
I can’t wait to hear the result of that inquiry.
CIA chief General Mike Hayden said the agency would co-operate fully with the inquiry, which will decide whether a full investigation is necessary.
Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride, From every mountainside Let freedom ring!
President George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2005 after being chosen by the majority of citizens in America to be president.
Yet in 2007 he is generally despised, with many citizens of Western civilization expressing contempt for his person and his policies, sentiments which now abound on the Internet. This rage at President Bush is an inevitable result of the system of government demanded by the people, which is Democracy.
The inadequacy of Democracy, rule by the majority, is undeniable – for it demands adopting ideas because they are popular, rather than because they are wise. This means that any man chosen to act as an agent of the people is placed in an invidious position: if he commits folly because it is popular, then he will be held responsible for the inevitable result. If he refuses to commit folly, then he will be detested by most citizens because he is frustrating their demands.
When faced with the possible threat that the Iraqis might be amassing terrible weapons that could be used to slay millions of citizens of Western Civilization, President Bush took the only action prudence demanded and the electorate allowed: he conquered Iraq with an army.
This dangerous and expensive act did destroy the Iraqi regime, but left an American army without any clear purpose in a hostile country and subject to attack. If the Army merely returns to its home, then the threat it ended would simply return.
The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead. Then there would be little risk or expense and no American army would be left exposed. But if he did this, his cowardly electorate would have instantly ended his term of office, if not his freedom or his life.
The simple truth that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide. Israel provides the perfect example. If the Israelis do not raze Iran, the Iranians will fulfill their boast and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Yet Israel is not popular, and so is denied permission to defend itself. In the same vein, President Bush cannot do what is necessary for the survival of Americans. He cannot use the nation’s powerful weapons. All he can do is try and discover a result that will be popular with Americans.
As there appears to be no sensible result of the invasion of Iraq that will be popular with his countrymen other than retreat, President Bush is reviled; he has become another victim of Democracy.
By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government.
However, President Bush has a valuable historical example that he could choose to follow.
When the ancient Roman general Julius Caesar was struggling to conquer ancient Gaul, he not only had to defeat the Gauls, but he also had to defeat his political enemies in Rome who would destroy him the moment his tenure as consul (president) ended.
Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome – thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.
If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestiege while terrifying American enemies.
He could then follow Caesar’s example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.
President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.
Holy phuqueing shit!