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Exposing the Maw of Bush's Gulag - Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

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dutchdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:42 AM
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Exposing the Maw of Bush's Gulag - Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
Notes From Underground: Exposing the Maw of Bush's Gulag

Friday, 30 September 2005

This is a slightly expanded version of the column published in the Sept. 30 edition of The Moscow Times, where you will find full annotations and links to sources for this piece. For more, see the earlier posts on this issue: The Good Captain and Dark as a Dungeon. The illustration is by the incomporable Bogorad, the artist for The Moscow Times.

Quietly, firmly, relentlessly, the good captain laid out the list of atrocities committed at the order of the enemies of freedom: "Death threats, beatings, broken bones, murder, exposure to elements, extreme forced physical exertion, hostage-taking, stripping, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment."

A catalogue of depravity, all of it designed with diabolical sophistry by self-exalted men cloaking their violent perversions with sham piety and righteous sputum. This was terrorism on a grand scale, chewing up the innocent and guilty alike.

The good man in question is of course Captain Ian Fishback, the born-again U.S. Army officer who has blown the whistle on the systematic abuse of captives rounded up in George W. Bush's Terror War. Fishback, frustrated after 17 months of trying to get the above atrocities investigated through official channels, finally turned to Human Rights Watch and top Republican senators seeking redress for the bloody dishonor that Bush has brought upon America.

In one sense, Fishback's revelations corroborated by other soldiers, now lying low to ward off the inevitable reprisals by Bush minions are not news. For example, I've been writing in Counterpunch and elsewhere about the use of torture in Bush's global gulag since January 2002. It was no secret; at first, the Bushists even bragged about it. "The gloves are coming off" was a favorite phrase of the deskbound tough guys cracking foxy to an enthralled media.

They also boasted of "unleashing" the CIA, which set up its own "shadow army" of non-uniformed combatants operating outside the law i.e., "terrorists," in Bush's own definition while creating secret prisons all over the world. As one CIA op enthused to the Boston Globe: "'We are doing things I never believed we would do and I mean killing people!" A senior Bush official proudly pointed to the ultimate authority for this deadly system: "If the commander-in-chief didn't think it was appropriate, we wouldn't be doing it." (continued)

We now know that in the very first weeks of the Terror War, White House legal lackeys began concocting weasel-worded "findings" to justify a range of Torquemadaean techniques while shielding Bush honchos from prosecution for the clear breaches of American and international law they were already planning. Bush and his top officials signed off on very specific torture parameters, including savage physical assault and psychological torment; even beating a captive to death was countenanced, as long the killer proclaimed that he had no murder in his heart when he commenced to whupping, the New York Review reports. Indeed, the lackeys went so far as to establish a new principle of Executive Transcendence: the president, they claimed, could not be constrained by any law whatsoever in his conduct of the Terror War.

Fishback saw the fruits of this vile labor in the vast Bushist holding pens in Iraq, where thousands upon thousands of Iraqis were herded, beaten, and tortured even though 70 to 90 percent of them were innocent of any crime, the International Red Cross reported in 2004. The incidents he and the other soldiers detailed took place before, during and after the photographic revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib. The mayhem "happened every day," said the soldiers and was committed "under orders from military intelligence personnel to soften up detainees."

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