Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Tangled Web

Torquemada Would Be Proud

The Red Cross full report (pdf) is available. Medical personnel aided the torturers in their systematic abuse of helpless prisoners.

Professor Mark Denbeaux of Seton Hall Law School and his students report that the top brass at the Pentagon knew, and knew it all. Some excerpts:

Who knew about the torture at GTMO? Turns out they all did. It's not news that the interrogators were torturing and abusing detainees. We've got FBI reports attesting to this. But now we've discovered that the highest levels knew about the torture and abuse, and covered it up.

Abu Ghraib was the flashpoint and provoked the FBI to formally hand its reports to the DOD, which in turn forced the DOD to respond with what became known as the Schmidt Report. Schmidt's investigation was essentially a whitewash, but, ironically, the abuse was so pervasive that his team turned up still more incidents. To conceal the problems documented by both the FBI and the military, the DOD published an incomplete, sanitized report, culminating in Schmidt testifying before Congress that there was no torture or abuse at GTMO.

A whole parade of Generals went before the Congress, knowing full well that the abuses were systematic and widespread, and they lied. Then, they lied some more.

They try to hide the torture, it keeps peeking through. This is far, far past something which we can "move forward" from. Spain has already begun to investigate using the same legal reasoning which allowed Israel to prosecute Eichmann, the same legal standing which allowed the U.S. to prosecute Chuckie Taylor. They have jurisdiction because we have known about these tortures and we have done nothing but continue to hide, continue to lie, continue, probably, to abuse and torture.

If the Obama administration keeps turning a blind eye to these clear and obvious crimes against humanity, these crimes against decency itself, then the Obama administration will be complicit in these acts.

The applicable tenet of the law, in place since the courts of Cicero and Cato the Censor is "qui tacet, consentere." Or, "silence, gives consent." If Obama does not loudly, and emphatically say "No," to these acts, and the people who committed them, then, in a line of law that goes back nearly three thousand years, he is saying "Yes."

Had the fruit of the dungeon produced one item of intelligence that was viable, one bit of talking between the screams which produced something that saved a life the torturers would have proclaimed it from the rooftops as proof of the efficacy of their criminal behaviors.

I am by no means a torture moralist. I know in my heart and what's left of my soul that if torture really was an effective battlefield and intelligence tool that I would have made Torquemada himself look like a pussy. I did not torture for the simple and pragmatic reason that it does not, and has not ever, worked.

If torture is an effective path to the truth then the American rebels who were tortured with red hot bayonets by the Hessians really were "in league with the devil in rebellion against divinely appointed authority," every serviceman in Korea who collaborated with the torturers there to "confess" to crimes, every prisoner of the Nazi regime who worked with the captors for an extra mouthful of food, every woman who confessed to "dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight,' every "witch" who was hung, or pressed to death at Salem, all of them, really did commit those crimes.

Torture, is, and always will be, more about the torturers themselves. The pervasive and sick sexual aspects tell us all we need to know about these motherfuckers.

They are cowards. They are criminals. They are sadistic, murdering monsters.

We cannot continue to tolerate them walking free among us.

If we do. Then we are just like them.