From the ABC
"We do not torture" terrorism suspects: Bush
The US Government is aggressively taking action to protect Americans from terrorism but "we do not torture," President George W Bush says, responding to criticism of reported secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prisons and the handling of terrorism suspects.
Mr Bush defended his administration's efforts to stop the US Congress from imposing rules on the handling of terrorism suspects.
Etc etc... blah blah blah...
‘At the end of a secluded cul-de-sac, in a fast-growing Virginia suburb favoured by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, is a handsome replica of an old-fashioned farmhouse, with a white-railed front porch. The large back yard has a swimming pool, which, on a recent October afternoon, was neatly covered. In the driveway were two cars, a late-model truck, and an all-terrain vehicle. The sole discordant note was struck by a faded American flag on the porch - instead of fluttering in the autumn breeze, it was folded on a heap of old Christmas ornaments.
The house belongs to Mark Swanner, a forty-six-year-old C.I.A. officer who has performed interrogations and polygraph tests for the agency, which has employed him at least since the nineteen-nineties. (He is not a covert operative.)
Two years ago, at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad, an Iraqi prisoner in Swanner’s custody, Manadel al-Jamadi, died during an interrogation. His head had been covered with a plastic bag, and he was shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that inhibited his ability to breathe; according to forensic pathologists who have examined the case, he asphyxiated. In a subsequent internal investigation, United States government authorities classified Jamadi’s death as a “homicide,
PROHIBITED AREAS- 07//11/2005
Shujaat on Aljazeera,com
Did Voltaire live his life in vain?
Wednesday, November 9, 2005. 7:12am (AEDT)
US directive forbids torture
The US Defence Department has issued a broad policy directive prohibiting physical or mental torture during military interrogations, a spokesman says.
The policy release comes amid controversy over the alleged treatment of detainees from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says the directive calls for humane treatment but does not define it, leaving the issue to a separate directive that is still being debated.
He says the directive - signed by acting Deputy Defence Secretary Gordon England on November 5 - sets a broad policy on which a new army field manual on interrogations and other rules will be based.
It applies to all US military personnel, civilian defence contractors and other government agencies conducting interrogations of prisoners under US military control, the document says.
From Gus blab:
Can you see a loophole in this? Prisoners that are NOT under military control... say, prisoners that have been "passed on" to the CIA can still have their chest hair singed for a song. But let's not haggle too much it's a step in the right direction.
‘Here's an idea, and I can't believe I'm the first to come up with this modest proposal, but why doesn't the U.S. government just go ahead and torture Lewis "Scooter" Libby? And not just for that ridiculous name.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has laid five charges against Libby related to the investigation into how an undercover CIA operative's identity was leaked to the press. One can only imagine how long it's going to take for Fitzgerald to lay out the evidence, to put witnesses on the stand, to build a case against Libby, and find out whether he lied to cover up for his actions or those of others at the White House.
Who knows how many other CIA agents may be outed while this case works its way through the courts?
Now, couldn't the whole process be expedited if Fitzgerald could attach a few electrodes to Libby's chest and then crank up the volts?
Some of you might find this position a bit extreme, but unless I'm reading the situation all wrong, this is exactly the sort of thing that Libby's boss, vice-president Dick Cheney, could get behind.’
If Cheney's For Torture, Why Not Use It On Scooter?
From the RAI (Italy's television network) via the Moscow Times on the US destruction of Fallujah.... Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre"
"""""""""In military jargon, it's known as Willy Pete. Phosphorus burns bodies; in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone. ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 meters is done for."
Yet this highly credible, pro-American official of a pro-occupation government confirmed, through medical examinations and the eyewitness testimony of survivors -- including many civilians who had opposed the heavy-handed insurgent presence in the town -- that "burning chemicals" had been used in the attack, in direct violation of international and U.S. law. "All forms of nature were wiped out" by the substances unleashed in the assault, including animals that had been killed by gas or chemical fire, said ash-Shaykhli. But apparently this kind of thing is not considered news anymore by the corporate gatekeepers of media "truth.""""""""""
From Gus brains :
The only honorable thing left now for the peddlers of the war is to resign from their bunkers. but commit suicide might be a way for them to let the world forgive their sins.. This include George, ducky and Condi.... But they believe too much in their own importance as if they owned rateous right...... Sad...
The world has suffered enough. Enough is enough. Should they carry on at the helm of the greatest civilization on Zurf, they will take it with them in the black holes of history. Johnnee will also be dead in history.
""""""""""US and British occupation of Iraq is regarded as the reemergence of the old colonialist practices of the western empires in some quarters. The real ambitions underlying the brutal onslaught are still highly questionable - and then there are the blatant lies over weapons of mass destruction originally used to justify the war. There were no great victory marches by the occupiers, nor were they thrown garlands of flowers and greeted in triumph. More US soldiers have died in Iraq since George Bush declared an end to the war on 1 May 2003 prompting the question: Will Iraq turn into a new Vietnam eventually bringing the US to its senses ... or perhaps to its knees?
Iraq's history, and along with it that of the Arab Muslim world, speaks of several similar encounters. In the past, enemies attacked from East and West before they were swallowed by the moving sands of the region, or forced to retreat, leaving behind a phoenix-like people who adore life and still accept to die for their freedom.
The escalating Iraqi resistance seems to be setting the stage for another act which might usher in a new Arab World or set the clock ticking for the end of yet another empire.""""""""""""""
Do you think "our mob" can win this stupid Iraq war soon? Or do you thing we ought to tough it out even if takes one hundred years?
Yes yes I know! we can hope! but I mean do you THINK we'll ever win? Or are we going in a spin?
‘George's response to 9II?
He invades Afghanistan to terminate with extreme prejudice bin Laden & punish the Taliban.
Bin who? He hasn't bin seen lately.
The Taliban? They've withdrawn a few kilometres & the warlords, whose brutality & corruption made the Taliban welcome in the first place, are now back in the saddle.
They're showing their gratitude to George by once more producing 80 per cent of the world's heroin.
Confusing Iraq with Iran (or possibly Syria) & confusing Saddam Hussein with bin Laden, George demolishes pretty much an entire nation. In further confusion, he mistakes palm trees for nuclear missiles & camels & donkeys for biological & chemical weapons.
This leads to the deaths of 100,000 innocent Iraqis, who had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks on the World Trade Centre.
George's war also involves the deaths of 2000 young Americans & tips the Iraqis into a civil war that will go on & bloodily on for decades.
George further destabilises the world's most dangerous region & persuades a new generation to choose suicide bombing as a career.
And while his offsider Dick Cheney promises the invasion of Iraq would see oil drop to just 20 bucks a barrel, the Iraqis are now importing petrol & the price has nudged $US70.
While the war makes the Bushes best friends with the Blairs & the Howards, it turns the rest of the world against him. From being surrounded with goodwill & sympathy after 911, the Americans find themselves feared & isolated. And that's for starters.
Checklist: Bush maintains Saddam's policies at the local jail, tears up the Geneva Convention at Guantanamo Bay, threatens to veto John McCain's bill condemning the US's cruel & degrading treatment of prisoners – which also forbids further use of torture in interrogation. He reverses the US's proud progress on human rights under the guise of "homeland defence" & thumbs-downs the International War Crimes Tribunal.
Obedient to his allies in the coal industry, Bush refuses to sign Kyoto, demolishes legislation that gave some protection to America's air & water, ignores reports urging the urgent repair of the wetlands around New Orleans, makes a fool of the administration by buckling to Bible-belt bigotry on issues from Terri Schiavo to stem cell research, threatens UN agencies & NGOs with cessation of funding if they breathe a word about abortion or contraception to desperate women in Third World countries & agrees with the Pentecostal/Vatican lobby in opposing condoms for millions of Africans doomed by the AIDS pandemic.
Yet George has the nerve to condemn Islamic fundamentalism.
Then there are small problems such as his ongoing attacks on the American poor, combined with his endless generosity to the top 1 per cent of income earners. Bush is in the process of ending capital gains tax, which will lead to the biggest transfer of wealth to the wealthy in US history. This amounts to a bigger drain on the nation's kitty than the Iraq fiasco & it will go on every day forever.
Kindest personal regards,
Ray The Travellin' Man.....
Devious minds may have been wondering whether there is any kind of plan behind the Bushite strategy, lately given a cut 'n polish with the 'we don't do torture' posture. I pass over the seditious suggestion that they should have chosen Our Lex to deliver that line, then burst into a fit of the giggles, to give more effect to the imperial trend. Instead, let me lay it out, and dismiss all the doubts about efficacy.
The intent is, surely, to create the impression that the US can do whatever it likes, and all opposition can be treated as worthless. But, the game is incomplete. There have been no real atrocities from those untermensch. Swift executions and murders, with gun, knife and bomb, are not pretty, but they have not been preceded by the kinds of physical torment that were in the inventory of King Charles II.
Until the reprobate Islamists do the decent thing, and respond with a verifiable atrocity (a half-good rumour, put around by Fox, would do), the US will be unable to exhibit its full-metal storm and fury.
This stalemate cannot go on. Either Cheney and Rumsfeld, themselves, will have to apply the electrodes and brag about it, or there will need to be an useful incident of, say, torture - by the enemy. A pretext to rail about a 'vile, reprehensible crime against humanity, perpetrated by evil persons who will face the full force of American justice'.
Is the global terrorist network up to it, though?
Just visit Ted Rall at
‘If it weren't tragic it would be a New Yorker cartoon. The president of the United States, in the final stop of his forlorn Latin America tour last week, told the world, "We do not torture." Even as he spoke, the administration's flagrant embrace of torture was as hard to escape as publicity for Anderson Cooper.
The vice president, not satisfied that the C.I.A. had already been implicated in four detainee deaths, was busy lobbying Congress to give the agency a green light to commit torture in the future. Dana Priest of The Washington Post, having first uncovered secret C.I.A. prisons two years ago, was uncovering new "black sites" in Eastern Europe, where ghost detainees are subjected to unknown interrogation methods redolent of the region's Stalinist past.
Before heading south, Mr. Bush had been doing his own bit for torture by threatening to cast the first veto of his presidency if Congress didn't scrap a spending bill amendment, written by John McCain and passed 90 to 9 by the Senate, banning the "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of prisoners.
So when you watch the president stand there with a straight face and say, "We do not torture" - a full year and a half after the first photos from Abu Ghraib - you have to wonder how we arrived at this ludicrous moment. The answer is not complicated.
When people in power get away with telling bigger and bigger lies, they naturally think they can keep getting away with it. And for a long time, Mr. Bush and his cronies did.
'We Do Not Torture' & Other Funny Stories
‘Baghdad - Iraq's prime minister disclosed Tuesday that more than 170 malnourished Iraqi detainees were found at an Interior Ministry detention center and that some appeared to have been tortured.
US and Iraqi forces discovered the inmates when they went into the facility suspecting that individuals there may have been mistreated, the Pentagon said.
A Sunni politician said the prisoners were Sunni Arabs and accused the Shiite-led government of long ignoring the abuse.
Iraq Prime Minister Orders Torture Investigation
"They took us to a cage - an animal cage that had lions in it within the Republican Palace," he said. "And they threatened us that if we did not confess, they would put us inside the cage with the lions in it. It scared me a lot when they got me close to the cage, and they threatened me.
And they opened the door and they threatened that if I did not confess, that they were going to throw me inside the cage.
And as the lion was coming closer, they would pull me back out and shut the door, and tell me, 'We will give you one more chance to confess.'
And I would say, 'Confess to what?'"
US Troops Used Lions in Torture
We Don't Torture
‘Spc. Tony Lagouranis (Ret.) was a U.S. Army interrogator from 2001 to 2005, and served a tour of duty in Iraq from January 2004 to January 2005. He was first stationed at Abu Ghraib; in the spring he joined a special intelligence gathering task force that moved among detention facilities around the country. Here, he talks about how he found a "culture of abuse" permeating interrogations throughout Iraq.
"The worst stuff I saw was from the detaining units who would torture people in their homes," he tells FRONTLINE. "… They would smash people's feet with the back of an axe-head. They would break bones, ribs, you know. That was serious stuff."
He says he sent reports of the abuse he saw up the chain of command, but he does not believe his claims were followed up on. Lagouranis also talks about the confusion on the ground over whether Iraqi prisoners were subject to the Geneva Conventions. "I mean, there's just no way that what we were doing and what was sanctioned by the Pentagon through the IRE, the interrogation rules of engagement - there's no way that fit in within the Geneva Conventions," he says. And he describes his own use of military working dogs to intimidate prisoners.
This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Sept. 25, 2005.’
The Torture Question
From Global Security Newswire,
Report Alleges Missing Plutonium at Los Alamos
... The institute culled data from five publicly available reports and
Los Alamos and Energy Department documents. While there is no
indication that the missing plutonium has been stolen or is being used
illegally, the missing material raises “a vast security issue,
This Steve Bell cartoon is massive....
We all learn from each others.
When I drew my first cartoons at school, my targeted subjects were the men in uniforms who acted as if they knew best but often had no idea or were crooks. My father who had taught me to draw often said so. I believed him. And I believe him more than ever.
There were also tragedies that did not make sense. Like my Croatian cousin whose father was killed by the Serbians of the SAME political party: ethnicity before beliefs. Tragic.
When I landed in this country, I really liked a couple of cartoonist: one was Benier for his sharp to the point illustrations of funny situations and Molnar who had a very refined view of quirkiness. Of course on the political front one could not go pass Pickering for his jungle series and nude calendars. These days one cannot go pass Moir, Cathy Wilcox and a few others, including Ted Rall (USA)..
In Europe, there had been some “serious
From the NY Times
Read more at the NY Times
Challenge for U.S.: Iraq's Handling of Detainees
By EDWARD WONG
Published: March 24, 2006
CAMP JUSTICE, Iraq — The blindfolded detainees in the dingy hallway line up in groups of five for their turn to see a judge, like schoolchildren outside the principal's office.
Each meeting lasts a few minutes. The judge rules whether the detainee will go free, face trial or be held longer at this Iraqi base in northern Baghdad. But Firas Sabri Ali, squeezed into a fetid cell just hundreds of yards from the judge's office, has watched the inmates come and go for four months without his name ever being called.
He is jailed, along with two brothers and his father, solely as collateral, he says. The Iraqi forces are hunting another brother, suspected of being an insurgent. The chief American medic here says that he believes Mr. Ali to be innocent but that it is up to the Iraqi police to decide whether to free him. The Iraqis acknowledged that they were holding Mr. Ali until they captured his brother.
"I hope they catch him, because then I'll be released," said Mr. Ali, 38, a soft-spoken man who until his arrest worked for a British security company to support his wife and three sons. "They said, 'You must wait.' I told them: 'There's no law. This is injustice.' "
Such is the challenge facing the American military as it tries to train the Iraqi security forces to respect the rule of law. Three years after the invasion of Iraq, American troops are no longer simply teaching counterinsurgency techniques; they are trying to school the Iraqis in battling a Sunni-led rebellion without resorting to the tactics of a "dirty war," involving abductions, torture and murder.
Russia told Iraq of US war plans: report
Russia's ambassador in Baghdad gave intelligence on US military movements to Iraq's government in the opening days of the 2003 US-led invasion, a Pentagon report says.
The unclassified 210-page report by the US military's Joint Forces Command cites an April 2, 2003, document from the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs to then-president Saddam Hussein.
It says the document states the Russian ambassador to Baghdad had funneled strategic intelligence on US plans to Saddam's government.
The document was written about two weeks after the invasion but before US soldiers and Marines entered the capital.
Another Iraqi document, dated March 24, 2003, refers to Russian "sources" inside the US military's Central Command headquarters in Qatar.
The allegations about the actions of Russia are based on captured documents from an Iraqi government on the verge of being toppled.
The report does not present any further documentation of the allegations.
It helped Saddam win the war didn't it? It's more likely Saddam's government knew they were going to be rooted and the info helped them find the shortest escape route to melt in the countryside...
And who was these Russian "sources" inside the US military's Central Command headquarters in Qatar? US generals? The genitor at the canteen? Hum very interesting... Unless it's one of these dis-information manufactured by Saddam's propaganda channel to help improve the good relations between the US and the Ruskies...
From the Moscow Times
By Chris Floyd
Published: March 24, 2006
What happened in the village of Isahaqi, north of Baghdad, on the Ides of March? The murk of war -- the natural blur of unbuckled event, and its artificial augmentation by professional massagers -- shrouds the details of the actual operation. But here is what we know.
We know that U.S. forces conducted a raid on a house in the village on March 15. We know that the Pentagon said the troops were "targeting an individual suspected of supporting foreign fighters for the al-Qaida in Iraq terror network," when their team came under fire, and that the troops "returned fire, utilizing both air and ground assets," as the Army Times reports. We know the Pentagon said that "only" one man, two women and one child were killed in the raid.
We know from photographic evidence that the corpses of two men, four shrouded figures (women, according to the villagers), and five children -- all of them apparently under the age of five, one as young as seven months -- were pulled from the rubble of the house and laid out for burial beneath the desert sky. We know that an Associated Press reporter on the scene saw the ruined house, and a photographer for Agence France-Presse took the pictures of the bodies.
We know that two Iraqi police officials, employed by the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, told Reuters that the 11 occupants of the house, including the five children, had been bound and shot in the head before the house was blown up. We know that the U.S.-backed Iraqi police said that an autopsy performed on the bodies found that "all the victims had gunshot wounds to the head."
Read more at the Moscow Times...
And we are aligned with these crap artists? Our association with the US has turned us into murderers... But the sleeping majority of us see it as "fight for freedom and justice"... When was the last time that justice was served by murders? When was the time that you felt freedom when you were dead?
The world needs more compassion, more understanding. It's more difficult to negotiate than bombs but it's the only way...
Unfortunately, under Howard, Blair and Bush we have lost many years of hard won goodwill... Now, with these warmongers at the helm, the world order is not a matter of freedom to live but of submission by being scared of dying.
From the BBC
Russia denies Iraq secrets claim
Saddam Hussein's role proved disastrous, the report says
Russia has denied providing Saddam Hussein with intelligence on US military moves in the opening days of the US-led invasion in 2003.
"Similar, baseless accusations concerning Russia's intelligence have been made more than once," a Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman said.
A US Pentagon report said Russia passed details through its Baghdad ambassador.
One piece of intelligence passed on was false, and in fact helped a key US deception effort, the report said
Yes, it seems that as questioned "who was the sources".... things did had up...
One could sense already the "Double-Cross" of Saddam, the US and every body else by manipulation of information at all levels including the furphy of WMDs...
And the bunny is... the general public for being caught in the headlights of propaganda...
This morning, a certain opinion writer in the Telegraph writes about how clever Tony Blair is by saying that terrorism is not about a clash of civilisastion but about civilisation... Puerile argument that hides many misunderstandings, prejudices and ingrained beliefs... war furphies and an argument that can only inflame the problem... If more deaths and tragedy the result we want, then go ahead...
‘Since August 2002, nearly 100 detainees have died while in
the hands of U.S. officials in the global “war on terror.” According to the
U.S. military’s own classifications, 34 of these cases are suspected or
confirmed homicides; Human Rights First has identified another 11 in which the
facts suggest death as a result of physical abuse or harsh conditions of
detention. In close to half the deaths Human Rights First surveyed, the cause
of death remains officially undetermined or unannounced. Overall, eight people
in US custody were tortured to death.
Despite these numbers, four years since the first known
death in U.S. custody, only 12 detainee deaths have resulted in punishment of
any kind for any U.S. official. Of the 34 homicide cases so far identified by
the military, investigators recommended criminal charges in fewer than two
thirds, and charges were actually brought (based on decisions made by command)
in less than half.
While the CIA has been implicated in several deaths, not one
CIA agent has faced a criminal charge. Crucially, among the worst cases in this
list – those of detainees tortured to death – only half have resulted in
punishment; the steepest sentence for anyone involved in a torture-related
death: five months in jail.’
Responsibility: Comprehensive Report On Detainee Deaths in US Custody
‘Torture-approving bastards like
Donald Rumsfeld may come and go, but apparently those who have been detained in
secret prisons are there to stay, no matter who is in charge of what. TalkLeft pointed out
this story from Time
Magazine, where CIA Chief John Negroponte is the first administration
official to admit the existence of secret U.S.-run prisons in Europe, where
suspects from Aghanistan, Iraq, and around the world are sent.’
Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter
Gees, I'm impressed. Our Primordial grocer is not alone in wearing dancing shoes and tutus... or was it army boots and bullet proof vest at the Cole inquiry? The mind boggles...
From the Washingtom Post
Inspectors Find More Torture at Iraqi Jails
Top General's Pledge To Protect Prisoners 'Not Being Followed'
By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 24, 2006; Page A01
BAGHDAD -- Last Nov. 13, U.S. soldiers found 173 incarcerated men, some of them emaciated and showing signs of torture, in a secret bunker in an Interior Ministry compound in central Baghdad. The soldiers immediately transferred the men to a separate detention facility to protect them from further abuse, the U.S. military reported.
Since then, there have been at least six joint U.S.-Iraqi inspections of detention centers, most of them run by Iraq's Shiite Muslim-dominated Interior Ministry. Two sources involved with the inspections, one Iraqi official and one U.S. official, said abuse of prisoners was found at all the sites visited through February. U.S. military authorities confirmed that signs of severe abuse were observed at two of the detention centers.
But U.S. troops have not responded by removing all the detainees, as they did in November. Instead, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials, only a handful of the most severely abused detainees at a single site were removed for medical treatment. Prisoners at two other sites were removed to alleviate overcrowding. U.S. and Iraqi authorities left the rest where they were.
Read more at the Washington Post
From the new York Times...
U.S. Says It Fears Detainee Abuse in Repatriation
By TIM GOLDEN
Published: April 30, 2006
A long-running effort by the Bush administration to send home many of the terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has been stymied in part because of concern among United States officials that the prisoners may not be treated humanely by their own governments, officials said.
read more at the NYT
Gus: no bloody comment here just laughter...
From Al Jazeera
Amnesty: Torture by US widespread
Thursday 04 May 2006, 0:03 Makka Time, 21:03 GMT
There is still widespread torture of prisoners held by the US in its war on terrorism, despite outcry over Abu Ghraib and other scandals, Amnesty International has said.
The human rights organisation made its criticism on Wednesday in a report to the UN Committee Against Torture, which will start meeting in Geneva this week to consider American compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture and other cruel forms of punishment.
"Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees held in US custody in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Iraq and other locations," the report said.
The report alleged that no senior American officials have been held accountable for incidents of torture or ill-treatment and said legislation passed by Congress in 2005 has "serious limitations".
One section of that law, it said, refers to "cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment" banned under the US constitution as defined by a series of reservations the US has expressed regarding the UN Convention Against Torture.
Union Calendar No. 409
2D SESSION H. R. 6054
[Report No. 109–664, Parts I and II]
To amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize trial by military
commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
Mr. HUNTER (for himself, Mr. BOEHNER, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. CALVERT,
Mrs. MILLER of Michigan, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mr. SHUSTER,
Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. SAXTON,
Mr. PORTER, Mr. KLINE, Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. HAYES, Mr. SWEENEY, Mr.
CHOCOLA, and Mr. LOBIONDO) introduced the following bill; which was
referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the
Committees on the Judiciary and International Relations, for a period to
be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration
of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee
SEPTEMBER 15, 2006
Reported from the Committee on Armed Services with amendments
[Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic]
SEPTEMBER 15, 2006
Referral to the Committees on the Judiciary and International Relations
extended for a period ending not later than September 18, 2006
SEPTEMBER 18, 2006
The Committee on International Relations discharged
SEPTEMBER 18, 2006
Referral to the Committee on the Judiciary extended for a period ending not
later than September 25, 2006
SEPTEMBER 25, 2006
Additional sponsors: Mr. RENZI, Ms. GRANGER, and Mrs. SCHMIDT
VerDate Aug 31 2005 02:41 Sep 26, 2006 Jkt 049200 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6652 E:\BILLS\H6054.RH H6054 bajohnson on PROD1PC77 with BILLS
•HR 6054 RH
SEPTEMBER 25, 2006
Reported from the Committee on the Judiciary with amendments, committed
to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and
ordered to be printed
[Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic]
To amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize trial
by military commission for violations of the law of war,
and for other purposes.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2
tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
4 (a) SHORT TITLE.—This Act may be cited as the
5 ‘‘Military Commissions Act of 2006’’.
6 (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.—The table of contents for
7 this Act is as follows:
1. Short title; table of contents.
2. Construction of Presidential authority to establish military commissions.
3. Military commissions.
4. Clarification of conduct constituting war crime offense under Federal Criminal
5. Judicial review.
6. Satisfaction of treaty obligations.
7. Revisions to Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 relating to protection of certain
United States Government personnel.
8. Retroactive applicability.
8 SEC. 2. CONSTRUCTION OF PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO
9 ESTABLISH MILITARY COMMISSION
Started browsing page 19 line 18 of that awful document that enshrines injustice (see blog above)... All lines are numbered...
18 ‘‘§ 949b. Unlawfully influencing action of military
20 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—(1) No authority convening a
21 military commission under this chapter may censure, rep
22 rimand, or admonish the military commission, or any
23 member, military judge, or counsel thereof, with respect
24 to the findings or sentence adjudged by the military com
page 20•HR 6054 RH
1 mission, or with respect to any other exercises of its or
2 his functions in the conduct of the proceedings.
3 ‘‘(2) No person may attempt to coerce or, by any un
4 authorized means, influence the action of a military com
5 mission under this chapter, or any member thereof, in
6 reaching the findings or sentence in any case, or the action
7 of any convening, approving, or reviewing authority with
8 respect to his judicial acts.
From the Independent
In the hugely popular television series 24, federal agent Jack Bauer always gets his man, even if he has to play a little rough. Suffocating, electrocuting or drugging a suspect are all in a day's work. As Bauer - played by the Emmy Award winner Kiefer Sutherland - tells one baddie: " You are going to tell me what I want to know - it's just a matter of how much you want it to hurt."
But while 24 draws millions of viewers, it appears some people are becoming a little squeamish. The US military has appealed to the producers of 24 to tone down the torture scenes because of the impact they are having both on troops in the field and America's reputation abroad. Forget about Abu Ghraib, forget about Guantanamo Bay, forget even that the White House has authorised interrogation techniques that some classify as torture, that damned Jack Bauer is giving us a bad name.
But now that the evidence of torture is out, the President and the Vice President are recruiting the practice of torture into their definition of morality. The argument goes like this: Yes, we tortured. There have been no more domestic terror attacks like 9/11. The practice of torture must have worked to keep America safe. Therefore torture is good because it has kept America safe. Of course, that's a complete logical fallacy. Every student learns that in a basic Humanities course. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc. In other words, just because we tortured and no domestic terror attacks followed, that doesn't prove torture is the cause. Just because you put on your hat this morning and then it rained doesn't mean putting on your hat caused the rain.
Many experienced military and clandestine services operators also don't think torture works to get good information and thus keep the nation safer. In fact, some of the clearest condemnation of torture comes from those who have interrogated and who have seen what torture does, and not just to the tortured. Daniel Coleman, an ex-FBI agent who worked closely with the CIA, argued in vain for traditional methods of interrogation including gaining the subject's trust and affording them due process. The latter was especially effective, argued Coleman. "The lawyer's show these guys there's a way out...It's human nature. People don't' cooperate with you unless they have some reason to." But after 9/11 Coleman saw that everything, including legality, had changed and that whatever they did, including extraordinary brutality, was not only legal, it was alright. Coleman knew differently. "Brutalization doesn't work. We know that. Besides, you lose your soul."
see toon at top and read more of "moraliz(s)ationing" on this site and of bogus morality anywhere else from Mr Bush — the liar and fibber extraordinary soon to be pasturized...
Ministers 'misled' judges over torture evidenceBy Robert Verkaik and Nigel MorrisFriday, 6 February 2009Evidence that a British resident was tortured before being flown to Guantanamo Bay may yet see the light of day after senior judges hearing the case were told yesterday they had been misled by the Government.The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, argued on Wednesday that national security could be compromised if secret CIA documents detailing the interrogation of Binyam Mohamed were placed in the public domain. His comments came after the High Court refused to order the disclosure of a CIA dossier referring to the treatment of Mr Mohamed, 31, who was arrested as a terrorism suspect. It said that to do so would put the British public at risk because America had threatened to withdraw co-operation in terror cases.
Gus: Aussie Tony, while UK Prime Minister, would have been aware of the torture, yet his christian faith was overruled by lying about the rigmarole. Let's be frank about the crap we do one day — including war which is entirely unchristian — with the intention to do redeem ourselves the next: progression of the highest despicable intent. And making a few bucks on the way, Tony?
See toon at top...
This morning (17/03/09) in Hagar the Horrible cartoon strip of the SMH, here was the master himself being informed about torture techniques with the local hangman who was complaining that these days they were allowed to use feathers to tickle the prisoners, only... see toon at top...
And, as is said in the suspense industry, this serendipitous report came also on the same day...:
CIA interrogation techniques used on al-Qaeda suspects "constituted torture", according to a leaked report by the international Red Cross.
The findings were based on testimonies by 14 so-called "high-value" detainees who were held in secret CIA prisons.
They were interviewed after being transferred to Guantanamo Bay in 2006.
President George W Bush denied torture had happened and President Barack Obama has banned US agents from carrying out such practices.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has an international role in monitoring standards for prisoners and trying to ensure compliance by governments with the Geneva Conventions.
But all in all, president Bush always denied there was torture under his regime, although he might have admitted to a bit of roughing about that did not constitute "real" torture... I still think the man played the bumbling buffoon card so he could get away with murder... and he did so... He was lying through his teeth, of course, helped by a complicit media led by a willing Mr Murdoch... Yankees, we Aussies apologize profusely for the guy polluting the US psyche or what's left of it. Rupe used to be one of us until he decided the pond, he was swimming in, was too small. So he went to America.
If my memory is correct, when Mr Murdoch was not allowed to have a TV licence in Aussie cities where he already owned a newspaper, under Aussie laws, he thus bought a piddly TV station south of Sydney (in Woolongong?) and from there bought all the rights to all the popular shows out of America with cold hard cash. He thus cornered the sitcom market and on-sold the massive catch to the other bidders who were screaming for US made programs to put on their major commercial TV stations... I believe he made a few bucks out of this sting... But he moved on from this one quickly — as his biographer puts it, Mr Murdoch lives day to day...
But this is another story away from torture, although some of his more popular papers are torture to the intellect... mind you he's not the only one... Sure some mistake can be made, but not repeated...
see toon at top.
From the New York Times
WASHINGTON — After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations.
American officials had been reluctant to pursue an investigation — sought by officials from the F.B.I., the State Department, the Red Cross and human rights groups — because the warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, was on the payroll of the C.I.A. and his militia worked closely with United States Special Forces in 2001, several officials said. They said the United States also worried about undermining the American-supported government of President Hamid Karzai, in which General Dostum had served as a defense official.
read more at the NYT... see old tired toon at top...
Mad Men: The Psychopaths of Power Play the Insanity Card Written by Chris Floyd Friday, 03 September 2010For your consideration: two stories, from opposite sides of the world, concerning the attitude of Power toward those who would question its wisdom:GI's mental health questioned in WikiLeaks case (AP)China accused of holding woman in mental hospital for challenging officials (Guardian)The GI in question is, of course, Bradley Manning, the young soldier charged with leaking the video of American gunships killing civilians in Iraq, and suspected of involvement in passing thousands of war-related secret documents to Wikileaks..."In the last few years you have been seeing more and more cases involving petitioners and whistle blowers – 'the awkward squad' – [often when] the authorities have tried other punishments or sanctions to make them stop and nothing else has worked," said Robin Munro, author of China's Psychiatric Inquisition and a research associate at SOAS law school. "Finally they really try to scare them to hell by putting them in mental hospitals."......Manning will perhaps escape the extremities of torture doled out to Padilla; he has at least been formally charged and has access to legal counsel -- something denied to Padilla for years during this torment. But make no mistake: the depraved minds in charge of our morally insane empire seek to break him, one way or another -- as an example to us all.
see toon at top...
A new batch of secret US military records being released by Wikileaks shows commanders did not investigate torture by the Iraqi authorities.
The documents also suggest "hundreds" of civilians were killed at US military checkpoints after the invasion in 2003.
And the files show the US kept records of civilian deaths, despite previously denying it. The death toll was put at 109,000, of whom 66,081 were civilians.
The US criticised the largest leak of classified documents in its history.
Speaking to reporters in Washington earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she condemned "in the most clear terms the disclosure of any information by individuals and or organisations which puts the lives of United States and its partners' service members and civilians at risk".
The documents describe Iraqis torturing Iraqi detainees, sometimes using electrocution, electric drills and in some cases even executing detainees, says the BBC's Adam Brookes, who has spent several hours examining some of the files.
The US military knew of the abuses, the documents suggest, but reports were sent up the chain of command marked "no further investigation", our correspondent adds.
Continue reading the main story
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has cast doubt on Britain's public stance that countries should not torture British citizens on its behalf.
He said he was never told that was the policy and this may have been "tacit approval of whatever we were doing".
His comments raise questions about how much MI5 knew about torture being used in the fight against al-Qaeda.
Former MI5 director general Elizabeth Manningham-Buller denied that "a blind eye had been turned."
Claims that Britain was complicit in the torture of terror suspects in other countries including Pakistan are to be examined by an independent investigation.
The inquiry, chaired by former appeal court judge Sir Peter Gibson, is expected to start within the next two months.
Mr Musharraf was president of Pakistan from 1999 until 2008 and was a key US ally in its conflict with al-Qaeda.
"We are dealing with vicious people and you have to get information," he told BBC Two programme The Secret War on Terror.
"Now if you are extremely decent, we then don't get any information… We need to allow leeway to the intelligence operatives, the people who interrogate," says Mr Musharraf.
When asked does the end justify the means to extract information from suspected terrorists who are reluctant to talk, former President Musharraf responds: "To an extent yes."
The British government has admitted that the colonial administration in Kenya tortured and abused of detainees during the Mau Mau uprising that led to the country's independence.
The admission in the High Court in London came as three elderly Kenyans, who were tortured in detention under British orders in the 1950s, took to the witness stand in poignant scenes that conjured up the darkest days of the end of empire.
They are seeking damages from the British government, which has been trying for three years to block their legal action for fear that it could encourage countless other former colonial subjects to come forward with similar claims.
Tens of thousands of rebels were killed during the British crackdown and about 150,000 Kenyans, many of them unconnected to the Mau Mau, were detained in brutal camps referred to as "Britain's Gulag" by Harvard historian Caroline Elkins.
WikiLeaks has begun releasing the ’Detainee Policies’: more than 100 classified or otherwise restricted files from the United States Department of Defense covering the rules and procedures for detainees in U.S. military custody. Over the next month, WikiLeaks will release in chronological order the United States’ military detention policies followed for more than a decade. The documents include the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of detention camps in Iraq and Cuba, interrogation manuals and Fragmentary Orders (FRAGOs) of changes to detainee policies and procedures. A number of the ’Detainee Policies’ relate to Camp Bucca in Iraq, but there are also Department of Defense-wide policies and documents relating to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and European U.S. Army Prison facilities.
CIA rendition: more than a quarter of countries 'offered covert support'
Report finds at least 54 countries co-operated with global kidnap, detention and torture operation mounted after 9/11 attacks
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