Last night in a thread over on Dkos about Holder actually praising Gitmo, a long time Kossak, and thus presumably one of the most informed people in the country, expressed the following thought…
“I had not read several of the links in the comments. Despicable crimes were committed routinely.”
Which brought home a fact that we have been alluding to a bit lately. That if the American people knew what had been done in their names, they would be far more angry and thus more eager for justice to be served. For those who tortured in their name. Routinely and despicably.
It seems that through the woefully inadequate coverage of what has actually happened under the formalized Bush Torture Network, most folks have very little appreciation of the scope and horror of what took place. It occurs to me that with the coverage we have gotten, most Americans…if they are aware of torture at all….could easily think that the Bush torturers were only guilty of waterboarding the three high profile Al Qaeda members that they have admitted torturing.
I think it is safe to say that most Americans do not have any idea as to what has taken place. And that they have not connected the dots among the few things they have been allowed to know. For instance that the routine torture at Abu Ghraib was not the work of a few bad apples, but part of an organized campaign of torture that was purposefully and systematically exported to Iraq and Afghanistan after being tested at Gitmo.
Or that sexual torture and sodomy with objects was routine.
Or that women and children have almost certainly been tortured.
Or that perhaps hundreds of ‘detainees’ have been tortured to death.
Maybe they have forgotten what the Toguba report on torture at Abu Ghraib outlined regarding the sytematic, routine and approved torture regimen there.
…Intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:
a. Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;
b. Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;
c. Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;
d. Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;
e. Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;
f. Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;
g. Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;
h. Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture; …
j. Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female soldier pose for a picture;
k. A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;
l. Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee …
These findings are amply supported by written confessions provided by several of the suspects, written statements provided by detainees, and witness statements. …
In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses (ANNEX 26):
a. Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;
b. Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;
c. Pouring cold water on naked detainees;
d. Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;
e. Threatening male detainees with rape; …
g. Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.”
And if they have, have they made the connection that this was NOT an aberration, but part of a thoroughly thought out, planned, tested, an approved standard operating procedure of institutionalized torture? That this was not just done at Abu Ghraib, but also at Gitmo and at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan? For years and years and years.
And do they know that when the Bush torturers wanted to do something even WORSE than what occurred at Gitmo they would fly them to one of the MANY Black Sites that the Organized Torture Network had established around the world, for even more secrecy?
Do they know that the shocking and horrifying pictures that we all saw from Abu Ghraib were actually the mildest and least shocking of the documented evidence? And that the ‘really bad stuff’ of what their government did to their fellow human beings there has been withheld after sickening the Senators and Congressmen who were allowed to view them? That the really bad stuff included the pictures of Muslim women and children being tortured, and almost certainly sexually tortured?
Do they know that Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s two young children were seized …by the United States Government…. and used to threaten him? Do they know that the whereabouts of these children are still unknown?
Have they read the testimony of the Gitmo prison guard?
Do they know that the recently released detainee Binyam Mohammed was genitally mutilated as part of his torture? The same Binyam Mohammed that was just released after seven years of illegal detention and torture with no charges ever being filed against him? As has been the case with hundreds of other torture victims? That there is no legal proof that these living breathing human beings ever did anything wrong at all….and yet they were locked away and tortured for year after year. Even though by all civilized standards of law, they were innocent of any crime.
Do they know how many people involved in the United States organized, planned and authorized torture program have resigned in protest?
Do they know that perhaps hundreds of young men and women who volunteered to serve their country were trained to be torturers? Were MADE INTO torturers and accessories to torture by their own government?
Do they know the damage that being made into torturers has been done to those people? Do they know the damage that has been done to the thousands of people the United States has tortured? To their families? Do they care about the victims of torture under the planned, authorized and systematic policy of torture under George Bush?
And do they know that the number one cause of young Muslim men taking up arms against the United States is the planned, authorized and systematic policy of torture under George Bush?
And do they know that there are even more shocking things that even the few of us who do have the publicly available facts don’t know, but that Senator Whitehouse, as a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, “is
privy to information about interrogations he can’t yet share…”
And do they know that we have only the word of the very people who have run this program for nearly a decade now that it has stopped, despite what Obama may say from the podium about America torturing?
I don’t think they do.
And without investigations, they never will.
Oh, and do they know that so far each and every Bush policy in the Global War of Terror that has come up in the courts so far has been supported by Eric Holder’s DOJ?