Sunday, December 16, 2007

How....umm...."Quaint"

In a recent piece that was published on December 13 on AlterNet, Ray McGovern (No relation to George, honest!) asked the musical question, "Should the United States of America be using forms of torture dating back to the Spanish Inquisition?"

And you thought that the only thing George W. Bush had been torturing all of these years was the English language!!

And now we're finding out that the CIA destroyed videotapes which clearly showed suspects (innocent until proven guilty) receiving "harsh" (read: torturous) interrogations and that the tapes were destroyed in November 0f 2005 - a full five months after a federal judge ordered the White House to to preserve any and all material related to the case. What you have here is a criminal conspiracy so immense, It makes the Watergate affair look like, well, a third-rate burglary.

From CBS NEWS On-line:
"President Bush said he didn't know about the tapes or their destruction until last week...The CIA has not described exactly what was shown on all the tapes. However, among the harsh interrogation techniques the White House approved in 2002 was waterboarding."

Waterboarding is prohibited by the Geneva Convention and is a clear violation of international law. These are the same laws that then White House Council Alberto Gonzalez once described as, "quaint". Isn't that sweet? Here is the question that no politician in his or her right mind dares to answer: If it is perfectly legal for the United States to waterboard their "enemies" (whomever they may be at any particular moment), is it also legal when our American soldiers receive the same treatment? It is a question they won't address because it can not be rationally answered. .

For the record: "Waterboarding" involves strapping some poor bastard down, taping a piece of cloth over his face and pouring torrents of water over him. He then gets the overwhelming sensation that he is drowning. When an investigator asked the CIA to perform the procedure on him, even though he knew he was in no danger of dying, he found the duration of the ordeal extremely unbearable and frightening. His conclusion? Waterboarding is torture. Period. Sixty years ago, several Japanese military commanders were sent to prison for many years for committing the same crime. Some were even executed! You see where I'm headed here, don't you? OK, I'll stop.
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After a three hour, private meeting with CIA Director, Air Force General Michael Hayden (a meeting that left the lawmakers attending it "stunned") Rep. Sylvestre Reyes said that the meeting was "just the first step in what we feel is going to be a long term investigation." The probe will include calling other witnesses including Porter Goss, George "SLAM DUNK" Tenet and John Negroponte, the former Director of National Intelligence who now serves as Deputy Secretary of State. But the one person that Congress is most eager to talk to is Jose Rodriguez, the man who ordered the destruction of the tapes. They expect to meet with him "possibly before Christmas" according to CBS. The official reason for the destruction of the tapes? Rodriguez says that he was concerned for the safety of the interrogators and their families. Please! With all of the video technology available that can easily alter the faces - and even the voices - of anyone? Do they really expect us to believe such nonsense??? Did you ever see an episode of COPS? Did you ever see a late night commercial for Girls Gone Wild? I rest my case.
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Senator Joe Biden has called for an independent investigation into the destruction of the tapes. Unfortunately, he has gotten very little support for his proposal - even from his own party. That's because it appears that key members of the Democratic leadership - Nancy Pelosi included - were briefed on the Bush Mob's interrogation techniques as early as 2002. Many of them are saying that an independent investigation would be "expensive and time consuming" and that Congress should be in charge of the investigation. As the great Bill Cosby once said, "RIGHT!" They're just covering their asses, folks. This is a scandal that is going to take down not just a whole lot of Republicans, but more than a few Democrats as well. As was said in an excellent editorial which appeared this week in the Albany Times Union: "Congress comes with more than a little baggage to this issue. A special prosecutor would not." Let the chips fall where ever they may. Fuck the Democrats.
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The big question is: What did the president know and when did he know it? (Thank you, Howard Baker). According to spokespersons for the First Fool, White House Council Harriot Miers warned Rodriguez not to destroy the tapes. They're saying that Rodriguez "acted on his own". Of course he did. You see what there doing here, don't you? They're giving Bush something called "plausible deniability", an old and treasured chestnut from the Nixon years. In an article that was published in Tuesday's New York Times, officials from CIA (speaking under condition of anonymity) said that the White House (presumably Miers) declined to order them to preserve the tapes. According to one source, "They never told us, 'Hell, no'....If somebody had said, 'You can't destroy them', we would not have destroyed them."
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Here's what's going to happen, campers: Rodriguez will be brought up on charges of criminally destroying evidence. He will be tried, convicted, sentenced and pardoned. Take it to the bank.
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Only a fool could be oblivious to the reasons as to why these videotapes were obliterated: Theses suspects were being tortured. Torture is a war crime. The reason Attorney General Michael Mukasey was unable to define waterboarding as torture during his conformation hearings a couple of months ago was because he knew that by doing so, he would be acknowledging that the President of the United States is a criminal; something that every thinking American (all twelve of us) has known for years. When the chain of command is finally investigated upward, the order to torture these suspects (and remember that's all they are: Suspects) will lead straight to the offices of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney. When that happens, be prepared to face the nasty reality that Bush will be remembered as the first former US president in history to die in federal prison. NOTE TO THE SECRET SERVICE: Of natural causes, of course, dear boys. Heaven forbid!
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UN Human Rights expert, Martin Scheinin, told the news organization, AFP (No, I've never heard of them either) that the destruction of the tapes, "is one more argument that supports the contention that the CIA has been involved in and continues to be involved in the use of interrogation techniques that violate the absolute prohibition against torture." He then went on to say that the behavior of CIA officials during his interview with them only added to his concerns:
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"They were participants in one of my meetings but they failed to answer any single question in a substantive, meaningful way, which only confirmed the suspicions that they have much to hide."
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This week, the Congress put forth a bill that would make waterboardng illegal but on Friday, that bill was stopped in the Senate. Would someone please be kind enough to explain to these assholes that waterboarding is already illegal! It's been illegal for over seventy years now! - Since the nineteen freaking thirties! It was part of an international treaty that the United States signed off on and is constitutionally obligated to obey!
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It's kind of funny, is it not? While water is the essential ingredient to sustain life on this planet, when it comes to the American presidency it is poison. Think about it! Watergate; Whitewater; Waterboarding...It really is a scream when you think about it!
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Every day - in every way - it's getting worse and worse for the disgusting, half-witted little frat boy that so huge a segment of the electorate were foolish enough to send to the White House seven years ago last month. For the relatively few people who sounded the alarm bells from the day he announced his candidacy way back in 1999, these are indeed days of vindication. Have the American people finally learned a lesson that they should have learned a long, long time ago? Don't bet on it.
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Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net
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AFTERTHOUGHT:
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"I'm gonna restore honor and integrity to the White House."
George W. Bush 2000
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Don'cha just love it?

5 Comments:

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every day in every way it's getting better and better.

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

I'll have more to say on this later, but I hope Nancy pelosi gets her butt in a sling. I cannot abide that woman.

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Jo_reside@yahoo.com said...

Tom,

I love to think that Cheney and Bush will face charges of War Crimes and rot in Federal Prison, but it will not happen. I have read that the Bush Family is building a compound on an island off of Paraguay, and will flee there the minute the charges or bombs start flying. Not sure if this rumor is true, but I do not doubt it. They are cowards all!

Peace to you!
Jo

 
At 4:57 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

Judge Henry Kennedy, Jr. has ordered a hearing concerning the destruction of the CIA tapes showing "enhanced interrogation"(aka torture). There had been 2 previous court orders that specified that any evidence of that sort not be destroyed. Basically, the Bush administration has given the finger to the federal courts. Now, the judge may be conservative, but judges dont like their orders to be taken lightly. We can but hope that it riles up this one's territorial instincts. If it does, the Bushies tangled web of deceit may ensnare them. Wouldnt that be lovely? It certainly would make my day. I hope this scandal casts some very long shadows. Bush has attempted to shred the Constitution. With the help of a rogue Congress, he has very nearly gotten it done. Spineless wimps, like Pelosi and Reid have been in awe of Bush's chutzpah. Pelosi has kissed ass so many times her lips are puckered. Reid runs his mouth, but runs away at the slightest hint of an uphill battle. If there is any justice left in this world, this judge will put the fear of God into the criminal enterprise aka the Bush administration and Dimwit Dubya, himself. I wont get my hopes up too high, but it would be sooooo sweet to see these liars, thugs and wannabee dictators sweat bullets.

 
At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Teddy Throckmorton said...

If el Qaida had had a plan to discredit America and garner strength in numbers throughout the world they could not have imagined a better ally than in G.W. Bush. His folly has eroded the credibility, respect, and legitmacy of America. Islamic fascism is constantly fueled by Bush's foolish rhetoric and fumbling leadership. The sooner Bush is back in Crawford the sooner the country can start to recover from his horrible legacy of incompetence.

 

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