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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:43 PM
Original message
The Bush Administration on Torture
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 06:48 PM by Time for change
Of all the things that scare me about the Bush administration and cause me to believe that they are similar to the Nazis whom we tried and sentenced to death at Nuremburg 60 years ago, its approach to the torture of so-called unlawful enemy combatants stands out more than anything else.

Some will say that that statement is over the top, and theyll make the point that Hitlers Final Solution was targeted at innocents. True enough, but it appears that neither does the Bush administration care much about the guilt or innocence of its victims in its War on Terror. For example, Major General Antonio Taguba, charged with investigating the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, said that A lack of proper screening meant that many innocent Iraqis were being detained (in some cases indefinitely) and that 60% of civilian prisoners at Abu Ghraib were deemed not to be a threat to society. And the International Red Cross said that between 70 percent and 90 percent of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake. And why isnt our national news media asking about and outraged over the fact that the great majority of our terrorist suspects are held indefinitely and neither convicted of nor even charged with a crime?

Others will say that my opening statement is over the top because the Nazis killed millions of people purposely. True enough, but as ex-President Jimmy Carter noted, At least 108 prisoners have died in American custody in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other secret locations just since 2002, with homicide acknowledged as the cause of death in at least 28 cases. Because of the high levels of secrecy surrounding our treatment of detainees nobody knows the actual death total but neither could many people approximate the Nazi victim count in its early years of power, which paled in comparison to the Nazi genocide carried out under cover of World War II.

In order to fully appreciate the Bush administrations stand on the torture of its detainees, one must consider three things: 1) Its public pronouncements on the subject; 2) official pronouncements that are not meant for widespread public consumption; and 3) actual evidence of torture of its detainees:

Bush administration public pronouncements on torture of our detainees

We do not torture and our treatment of terrorism suspects is lawful.

Official Bush administration pronouncements on torture and actions in response to torture that are not meant for widespread public consumption

Consider the following:

Bushs February 7, 2002 memo describing the limits of its right to torture
 The U.S. must treat prisoners humanely only to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity.
 The CIA and other non-military personnel are exempt even from the above limitation concerning military necessity.
 Limitations on torture do not apply at all to non- U.S. citizens outside the U.S.

Executive Branch memo of August 1, 2002, describing the limits of its right to torture
 To constitute torture, pain must be akin to that accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.
 Limitations on torture dont apply to the War on Terror
 Limitations on torture dont apply to the presidents role as Commander-in-Chief
 It is not torture if it was not the precise objective of the action, even if it was certain or reasonably likely to result.

Use of information gained through torture
One solid sign of an administrations stance towards torture is what use it makes of information gained through torture. Prohibition of such information would be a good sign that an administration was serious about limiting the use of torture. The Bush administration is adamant on this point. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), as described in their new book, Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has asked the United States not to permit such statements to be used in proceedings, in accordance with international law. To date the U.S. has disregarded the Commission's recommendations, despite the fact that information obtained through torture is not only recognized as not credible, but using information obtained through torture in legal proceedings is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

Testimony by former Brigadier General and Commander of Abu Ghraib Prison, Janis Karpinski, on the role of high level officials

Testifying before the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration, Karpinski said that: General (Ricardo) Sanchez (commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq) himself signed the eight-page memorandum authorizing literally a laundry list of harsher techniques in interrogations to include specific use of dogs and muzzled dogs with his specific permission.

She also testified that Major General Geoffrey was dispatched to Iraq by the Bush administration to work with the military intelligence personnel to teach them new and improved interrogation techniques. Miller told Karpinski that It is my opinion that you are treating the prisoners too well. At Guantanamo Bay, the prisoners know that we are in charge and they know that from the very beginning. You have to treat the prisoners like dogs. And if they think or feel any differently you have effectively lost control of the interrogation. Miller also told Karpinski that military police guarding the prisons were following orders in a memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, approving harsher interrogation techniques.

Use of secrecy
Another good sign that something is seriously amiss is the refusal of a government to allow adequate inspections by human rights organizations. A group of five UN Special Rapporteurs were forced to cancel an inspection visit to Guantanamo Bay scheduled for December 2005, after the U.S. refused to agree to allow private contact with prisoners. One has to wonder why George Bush felt the need to disallow private contact with the prisoners. Even more ominous is the Bush administrations covert program of sending prisoners to secret prisons in countries known for torturing, which is estimated to have victimized anywhere from 150 to thousands of men.

Use of signing statement to make U.S. law worthless
After Congress passed a complete ban on torture, attached to the 2006 National Defense Authorization bill, Bush signed the bill and then proceeded to issue a signing statement expressing his opinion that he can essentially disregard the prohibition in order to prevent terrorist attacks., and furthermore that victims of torture had no right to sue for violations of their right not to be tortured.

Willingness to pursue violators of the prohibitions against torture in international law and the U.S. law and Constitution
As summarized by CCR:

Despite overwhelming evidence of torture, and the fact that public high-level legal memoranda have essentially condoned torture, the Bush administration has failed to investigate, much less prosecute higher-level officials, and has attempted to conceal their responsibility and limited investigations to lower-level officials. The president has instead promoted high level officials responsible for the torture and ill treatment of detainees.

Documented examples of torture of prisoners detained by the Bush administration

In this section I detail numerous examples of the torture of our detainees under the Bush administration. It is a truly disgusting litany of abuses, and it is not worth reading by anyone who already understands that it is extremely important to the goal of a peaceful and civilized world that those responsible for these policies be tried by an international tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In other words, my primary intended audience for this section is not DUers per se, but friends, family and acquaintances of DUers who are not aware that current actions by the Bush administration are cruel and inhumane, constitute crimes against humanity, are ruining the reputation of our country in the eyes of the world, and risk uniting large portions of the world against us and yet who are decent people who are capable of being moved by this knowledge to change their opinions and to recognize the desperate need to stop the Bush administration from perpetrating further damage and gaining more power.

With that in mind, I have provided documented examples from several different sources of torture perpetrated under the auspices of the Bush administration since September 11, 2001:

Senator Richard Durbins speech on the Senate floor of a first hand account by an FBI agent
Senator Durbin explained in his Senate speech that he was hesitant to put these graphic descriptions into the Senate record yet he was compelled to do so because Americans must recognize what is happening so that we can change our course. Here is Senator Durbins account of eye witness testimony from an FBI agent:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food, or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for eighteen to twenty-four hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold On another occasion, the air conditioner had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion. with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

Durbin concludes by noting that if someone had heard such a report without having the source of it cited you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in the gulags, or some mad regime Pol Pot or others that had no concern for human beings. Though he took a great deal of abuse for that statement, I dont see how anyone can honestly argue against its validity.

First hand account by Captain James Yee, U.S. Army Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay
As U.S. Army Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay for several months, Captain Yee observed quite a lot. He writes a detailed account of his observations in his book, For God and Country, which I summarize in a DU post. Here is Yees account of the physical conditions he observed:

I couldnt believe I was looking at a place where humans were once held. There were hundreds of cages. Four feet by six feet. The only protection from the blistering sun and heat was a flimsy tin roof that covered the cages. The prisoners were made to sleep on a thin mat on the dirty ground and a plastic bucket was placed in each cell for use as a toilet. Nothing about the scene was anything I would expect from an American prison.

And here is Yees account of a common practice encouraged by the camp Commander, Major General Jeoffrey Miller:

General Miller had a saying. The fight is on! This was a subtle way of saying that rules regarding the treatment of detainees were relaxed. The soldiers would get pumped up, and many came to work looking for trouble. Guards retaliated in whatever way was most convenient at the moment. Punishment often meant physical force. The troopers called it IRFing. Carried out by a group of six to eight guards called the Initial Response Force. put on riot protection gear. Then they rushed the block, one behind the other, where the offending detainee was. It sounded like a stampede. drenched the prisoner with pepper spray and then opened the cell door. The others charged in and rushed the detainee. tied the detainees wrists behind his back and then his ankles. then dragged the detainee from his cell and down the corridor. to solitary confinement. When it was over. The guards were pumped. They high-fived each other and slammed their chests together.

Amnesty international reports
Here is an account by the Center for Constitutional Rights based on an Amnesty International report:

To protest their detentions and mistreatment, detainees have undertaken hunger strikes, to which the Bush administration has responded by involuntarily and violently force feeding the detainees through nasal tubes... forcibly shoved up a detainee's nose, up his throat, and into his stomach. Guards have removed tubes by stepping on one end of the tube and pulling the detainee's head back by his hair. The tubes are inserted and removed twice daily, causing profuse bleeding from the nose, severe throat lesions and vomiting of blood. Dirty equipment is used in an un-sterile environment, and sometimes tubes are removed from one detainee and inserted into another without cleaning the blood and stomach bile that remains after removal.

Here is a compilation of the testimony of five different accounts by prisoners, obtained by Amnesty International:

claims to have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including beatings, rape and death threats, prolonged isolation, exposure to extreme cold, sexual assaults and having his body smeared with menstrual blood during the course of an interrogation. He is believed to have attempted suicide at least nine times.

spoken of his time in an underground cell in Egypt, where he never saw the sun and where he was tortured until he confessed to working with Osama bin Laden. Saad had also reportedly recalled how he was interrogated by both Egyptian and US agents in Egypt and that he was blindfolded, tortured with electric shocks, beaten and hung from the ceiling. Rustam Akhmiarov also recalls hearing US officials tell Saad during his Guantnamo detention that we will let you go if you tell the world everything was fine here.

We arrived with our heads covered in plastic bags, legs shackled and hands cuffed - to a flood of insults, swear words, kicks and sexual abuseThe US jailers used to let loose their dogs to intimidate and provoke us, taking delight in seeing us gripped with fear. They also forced us to take off our clothes and stand in a way Im ashamed to describe. We regularly underwent anus checks

He was kicked and beaten while hooded, stripped naked and beaten with batons. He told Amnesty International that in Kandahar he and a group of other detainees were stripped and piled on top of each other naked, whilst the US officials, in full military uniform laughed at them and took photographs of the pile of naked bodies. He also said that he was threatened with electric shocks and later, on the flight from Afghanistan to Guantnamo handcuffed so tightly that, when the handcuffs were removed, some of his flesh was also torn off.

beat him before transferring him to a solitary cell where he was held for 25 days, naked. He said that he was only taken to use the toilet and shower once in this entire period and that he ate no solid food in order to avoid having to defecate in his cell.

The Amnesty report sums up:

Four years since the first transfers to Guantnamo, approximately 500 men of around 35 nationalities remain held at the detention facility unlawfully. Reports from the detainees and their lawyers suggest that many have been subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment in Guantnamo or in other US detention centres There have been numerous suicide attempts and fears for the physical and psychological welfare of the detainees increase as each day of indefinite detention passes.

Seymour Hersh
In his book, Chain of Command, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh sums up the problem, based on extensive research and interviews with eye witnesses:

Public interest groups such as Human Rights Watch and the ACLU continue to churn out report after report demonstrating that systematic military abuse of American prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo, Cuba, is widespread and tolerated..

Thus, we are confronted with a gap between what we read and hear about what is really going on from prisoners and human rights groups and what the official inquiries tell us We have a President who assures us that there is no American policy condoning or abetting torture when, as we can see with our eyes, the opposite is true

Ex-President Jimmy Carter
Carter discusses the situation in his book, Our Endangered Values. Though his descriptions are based on other sources, Carters accounts should be considered highly credible because of his long experience, expertise, and world-wide leadership in the human rights movement. Here is some of what Carter has to say on the subject:

Children have been denied the right to see their parents, a lawyer, or anyone else Pentagon spokesman told Mr. Hersh that age is not a determining factor in detention

Physicians for Human Rights reported in April 2005 that at least since 2002, the United States has been engaged in systematic psychological torture of Guantanamo detainees that has led to devastating health consequences for the individuals subjected to it the Secretary of Defense declared that most of them would not be released even if they were someday tried and found to be innocent

It is an embarrassing tragedy to see a departure from our nations historic leadership as a champion of human rights, with the abandonment defended legally by top officials. Only the American people can redirect our governments legal, religious, and political commitments to these ancient and unchanging moral principles.

Center for Constitutional Rights
As noted above, the Center for Constitutional Rights has written a book called Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush. One of the four articles of impeachment recommended in the book deals with human rights abuses, including torture. Numerous examples and sources are cited in the book. Here is a partial list:

 Isolated in constantly lit cells about 5 x 10 feet, let out for 10-20 minutes per week to exercise, with virtually no contact with family or outside world
 Often held in solitary confinement, some for more than a year
 Punched and kneed, shackled and repeatedly picked up and dropped, resulting in serious injuries.
 Strangled and had lit cigarettes put in their ears.
 Beaten, deprived of sleep, exposed to temperature extremes, and subject to sexual and religious humiliation.
 Threatened with rape and other torture, execution, and harm to their families.
 Suffered debilitating psychological effects.
 Prisoners were regularly beaten; one was beaten with a chair until it broke, and was kicked and choked until he lost consciousness.
 Beaten with a broom, had liquid chemical poured all over him, and sodomized with a police stick while female MPs threw a ball at his genitals.
 One detainee witnessed the rape of a teenage prisoner.
 Detainees were left naked, hooded, and chained to the doors of their cells.
 Boys were stripped and cuffed together facing each other.
 Detainees being placed in a pile and told to masturbate, then being ridden like animals.
 Prisoners were placed in solitary confinement with poor air quality and extreme temperatures.
 Electrical wires placed on his fingers, toes and penis and being threatened with electrocution.
 Being urinated on.
 Dogs were placed in the cell of juvenile prisoners and permitted to go nuts.
 Continuously shackled, held naked, and intentionally kept awake for extended periods of time.
 Being forced to kneel or stand in painful positions for extended periods.
 Doused with freezing water in the winter.
 Interrogators can also play on their prisoners phobias, such as fear of rats or dogs

Concluding thoughts

When the world learned of the Nazi Holocaust, millions promised that such a tragedy would never be permitted to happen again. The Nuremberg trials were held as a lesson to the world that such horrendous crimes would never again be tolerated. The United Nations and a system of international law were created partially as a safeguard against repeat occurrences. The perpetrators of the Holocaust were tracked down and brought to justice over several decades. And museums and memorials were built all over the world as a reminder of what we must fight against whenever we see its ugly head begin to rise.

But all these reminders are worthless as long as people refuse to see what is right in front of them. And the sad fact is that many millions of Americans either refuse to see what is happening in their country or simply dont care. Senator Durbin was widely castigated for his heroic efforts. Karl Rove virtually insinuated that Durbins Senate speech was treasonous, blaming him, the messenger, rather than the perpetrators, for widespread hostility against the United States.

There are many reasons why so many Americans dont want to see or admit what is happening. Some feel that it is patriotic to believe that their country is always right, or to deflect and attack criticism against their country, no matter what the circumstances. But those German followers of Hitler were not patriots. They were cowards and fools and simple ordinary people who just didnt care enough about their country to stand up and be counted when it was being led over the cliff. The heroes were the ones who resisted the Nazis, some simply by refusing to go along, and others by actually trying to get rid of Hitler.

There is a common belief in this country that such a thing as the Holocaust, or loss of our democracy which would likely be a precursor to such an event could never happen here. But history teaches us that nations fall into the hands of tyrants when their people get too complacent. People who believe that it could never happen here should become familiar with history and open their eyes and their minds to what is going on around them.

The United States of America claims to be fighting a war against terror. But in the eyes of most of the rest of the world, we are the greatest spreaders of terror on the planet.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. sorta like "this is your brain on drugs" only without a fried egg nt
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. This issue makes me shameful to be an American. How dare these
chickenhawks put our military lives in jeopardy by abusing our laws and treaties. Not in our name!

Thanks, TFC. rec'd.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thank you mod mom - Your statement reminded me of this: /

Great name for an organization in these times.
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Cobalt-60 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. Me too
I lived through Nixon, Reagan, and Old Bush, but this is the first time I was ever actually ashamed to be an American.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #12
16.  I think that Nixon and Reagan were pretty damn bad - and Bush Sr. was
pretty bad too.

But this it totally beyond the limits of decency. Our national news media is a disgrace for not covering this and many other Bush actions as the major shameful scandals that they are.
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. The American Psychological Assoc is also involved in this debate
They have annual meeting this weekend in New Orleans.

Salon article

Psychological warfare
by Mark Benjamin

July 26, 2006 | WASHINGTON -- The 150,000-member American Psychological Association is facing an internal revolt over its year-old policy that condones the participation of psychologists in the interrogations of prisoners during the Bush administration's "war on terror."

Last summer, the APA adopted new ethical principles drafted by a task force of 10 psychologists, who were selected by the organization's leadership. That controversial task-force report, which is now official APA policy, stated that psychologists participating in terror-related interrogations are fulfilling "a valuable and ethical role to assist in protecting our nation, other nations, and innocent civilians from harm." But Salon has learned that six of the 10 psychologists on the task force have close ties to the military.

Critics of the APA's interrogation policy are planning an all-out assault during the organization's annual meeting Aug. 10-13 in New Orleans, using tactics that include taking out a full-page advertisement in the local newspaper.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Very interesting -- I think that those psychologists should be ashamed of

I'm not saying that I am unalterably opposed to psychologists ever participating in an interrogation of a suspected terrorist.

But I think that they ought to have enough knowledge of the Bush administration to know that their abuse of their prisoners has little if anything to do with fighting terrorism, and everything to do with politics, sadism, cruelty, power hunger, and ego. They should have enough intelligence to know that by participating in this they are simply abetting one of the greatest mass crimes of the century.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. These facts have kept me awake nights.
I have cried contemplating that these obscenities are done in my name, as an American. I send money to ACLU, and fund and sign cards for Amnesty International. I harangue near strangers about those shameful "signing statements" and I continue to fight.

It is this behavior that I most want to see punished. I long for them to stand in the Hague and answer for their "technically legal" treatment of helpless human beings. I would define torture by what they can stand to see practiced on their children.

This, more than anything, is what fuels my white hot hatred of this criminal administration. When they have been brought to account for this, then we can talk about their dismantling of the Constitution.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Yeah, I feel much the same way
But I would rather define torture by what they could stand to see practiced on themselves rather than on their children. I suspect that the former would be a great deal lower than the latter.

If anyone ever deserved to be brought to trial by an international criminal court, this gang certainly does.

Keep up the good fight anna.
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. After all of the torture and abuse
we have committed against those we viewed as enemies, one thing stands out clearly to me. We have allowed the Bush administration to so corrupt our government, that we have come to accept inhumane practices as somehow protecting us from terrorism. What we are doing will not only not stop terrorism, but will only create a thousand men wanting vengeance for every one we kill.

We have become less than human in our responses to other people. We go around the world, stomping on other's rights and beliefs, and congratulate ourselves that we are doing this in the name of peace. We have apparently become so blinded to the venom that spews constantly from the Bushistas, that we no longer are able to clearly evaluate what is really happening.

I have no desire to live in a world where my country, because of it's strength, feels free to impose our beliefs and value on others. As far as the war on terror, I can only quote this from the OP "The United States of America claims to be fighting a war against terror. But in the eyes of most of the rest of the world, we are the greatest spreaders of terror on the planet. "

As Americans, we can wish this were not true, but our wishing will not make it any less true. We are, to millions of people worldwide, the ultimate terrorist country. This is not a legacy most of us want to inherit. Our only hope lies in fair elections this fall, and another change in 2008. God help us til then.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. "As Americans, we can wish this were not true, but our wishing will not
make it any less true".

Yes, that is the bottom line. Too many Americans are too willing to believe what they want to believe and what their so-called "leaders" tell them.

World War III is around the corner if we don't find a way to limit the power of these cowards before too long.

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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. History will deal very harshly with this administration's actions.
Torture may, above the Iraq war, be a greater source of infamy.

Thank you for this comprehensive look at the topic. Sometimes it's hard to step back and keep things of such enormity in perspective.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 05:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Thank you Bleever - I certainly hope you are right about that
I think that the history books of most other nations throughout the world are already judging this administration very harshly.

And there are numerous independent authors in this country for whom the same thing can be said.

But before official U.S. history books will do the same, I think that this country will have to emerge from its current tyranny - not only the tyranny of our current administration, but the control of our political process by money and the control of our news media by corporations that have no respect for the idea of an independent news media.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. I was expecting a photo of the shrub and darth strapped to waterboards...
THIS was soo much better!

Bookmarked, kicked, and rec'd!

Please help me spread the below petition.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. I signed the petition -- Thanks for posting it
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
15. Fantastic post!
No issue with the Bush administration upsets me personally more than this - the attempt to move abhorrent, universally rejected concepts of torture that are in conflict with basic human dignity, and well, HUMANITY, into the mainstream of our society. It is depravity, it is degradation. They have tarnished the American soul. (Tell me again how religious and devout they are). The legacy of the Bush administration is shame.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Thank you - yeah, I feel the same way about it.
THIS is the issue that our national news media ought to be covering, on a very frequent basis, as the scandal that it is. But they barely touch it. They had to cover Abu Ghraib because there were pictures. But most of the American people don't even know that nothing has changed since the Abu Ghraib scandal broke.
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
17. Good post
Though I don't think our government's torture is at the scale of the Nazi's, I do think the underlying pathology is the same. The absolute unfeeling attitude about pain and suffering and death inflicted on people. There have to be strict controls on ways prisoners are treated, and this government has tried to tear down all restrictions.

It does seem strange sometimes, to have grown up and watched some of those chilling movies about the Nuremberg trials or Hitler, or even Vietnam, and to realize similar things are happening in real time. There is a moral vaccum going on today, probably related to 911 and our not being at all familiar with the middle east.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I agree with almost all of that
The torture carried out by our government is not on the scale of the Nazis (at least, not after WW II started -- perhaps though it is on a similar scale of Nazi atrocities from the early 1930s until WW II got under way). And yes, the underlying pathology is very similar, which is the main point I wanted to make. This government has no respect for either domestic or international law, and it has no morals.

I disagree with one thing that you said -- that the moral vacuum going on today is probably related to 9-11.

I feel that the moral vacuum (or perhaps what you meant to say was total lack of morals on the part of our government) is part and parcel of the Bush administration and was well in place at the moment the Bush administration took office, several months prior to 9-11.

In fact -- and this is the important part -- I feel quite confident that the Bush administration perpetrated the 9-11 attacks, the main purpose being to consolidate their power. There is a great deal of evidence for this, starting with what I describe here:

Also, I highly recommend the video which was posted by one of the readers of the above post. It was posted by sunnystar, and it's called "loose change", but I can't access it right now.

I believe that until people understand what 9-11 was really about they can't understand the Bush administration.

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. We actually have no way of knowing at what scale our govenment... using torture. There are no checks and balances for this kind of thing that I am aware of.

Anyway to say we aren't as bad as the Nazis gives me no solace.


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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Well, the checks and balances are written into our Constitution, but
our leaders don't seem to care that much about them any more. The Constitution is just a piece of paper if our representatives don't care enough about it to enforce it.

But you're right - as it is now we don't really know just how bad it is. I think it's fair to say that it's at least as bad as I described it in this OP.

And it doesn't give me much solace either to say that we aren't as bad as the Nazis. I just thought that the comparison was worth making, however, because I believe that most Americans just don't take this issue seriously enough. Not by a long shot.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
20. We're more alike than you think
Some will say that that statement is over the top, and theyll make the point that Hitlers Final Solution was targeted at innocents.

The salient point to remember here is that the Nazis didn't see the Jews as innocent, any more than we see Arabic peoples that way. They thought they were defending themselves from a vital threat too.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Yes, I agree -- The whole thing is so sick that it staggers my imagination
Edited on Sat Aug-12-06 04:43 PM by Time for change
to think about it -- in both cases.

On the other hand, if you believe in MIHOP, as I most definitely do, then it's hard to see why our administration wouldn't see the Muslims as innocent, right? If you believe in MIHOP you really have to look at the whole thing from a very different angle.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. True
But for the average American/German on the street, the Arabs/Jews are the embodiment of evil.
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