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.
“We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement of Donald Rumsfeld…”
“The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously…”
“I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defence in history…”
Compare with comments made last November, when Rummy stepped down;
“While Secretary Rumsfeld and I have had our differences, he deserves Americans’ respect and gratitude for his many years of public service…”
The above is an example of a flip-flop;
A “flip-flop“… is a sudden real or apparent change of policy or opinion. Usually it will occur during the period prior to an election in order to maximize the candidate’s popularity.
Another recent example of McCain flip-flopping can be found here.
It seems to me that, in the context of US politics, the ability to flip-flop is not only de rigeur, it is an essential attribute, and in order to gain any sort of credibility as a politician, one must be prepared to ditch one’s opinions and convictions. In the land of short-term memories, political consistency means nothing, and variability would seem to equate with integrity.
To be fair though, McCain is by no means unique.
Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging for “the killing of 148 people in the mainly Shia town of Dujail following an assassination attempt on him in 1982”. He was executed today. Unfortunately this means we’re not going to get to hear about the US and UK involvement / complicity in the far worse atrocities he committed.
I’m sure some people in Washington (cough cough Donald, Dick cough cough) and London are breathing a sigh of relief this morning. I wonder which (possibly former, or maybe even current) US puppet is next…