Senator Whitehouse Prepares the Nation for Torture Horrors

Senator Whitehouse is on both the Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee. Thus he perhaps more than anyone else has access to ALL of the available information on the Bush Torture Network. Including the remaining pictures and videotapes from Abu Ghraib that were concealed from the public view. Pictures and videotapes that even Rumsfeld was shocked by, even though, as has become apparent since, he authorized them….or at least the programs that led to them.. Before he was implicated he had this to say…

What is shown on the photographs and videos from Abu Ghraib prison that the Pentagon has blocked from release? One clue: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Congress last year, after viewing a large cache of unreleased images, “I mean, I looked at them last night, and they’re hard to believe.” They show acts “that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane,” he added.

A Republican Senator suggested the same day they contained scenes of “rape and murder.” Rumsfeld then commented, “If these are released to the public, obviously it’s going to make matters worse.”

And that is only one of the horrifying aspects of what has occurred in the Bush Torture Network. Thus Senator Whitehouse’s warning to the nation.

H/T tahoebasha!

Whitehouse starts at about 50 seconds in. And here is the most relevant text, thanks to Greenwald.

As we work toward a brighter future ahead, to days when jobs return to our cities, capital to our businesses, and security to our lives, we cannot set aside our responsibility to take an accounting of where we are, what was done, and what must now be repaired.

We also have to brace ourselves for the realistic possibility that as some of this conduct is exposed, we and the world will find it shameful, revolting. We may have to face the prospect of looking with horror at our own country’s deeds. We are optimists, we Americans; we are proud of our country. Contrition comes hard to us.

But the path back from the dark side may lead us down some unfamiliar valleys of remorse and repugnance before we can return to the light. We may have to face our fellow Americans saying to us, “No, please, tell us that we did not do that, tell us that Americans did not do that” – and we will have to explain, somehow. This is no small thing, and not easy; this will not be comfortable or proud; but somehow it must be done.

IF the full story of the Bush Torture Network is ever told out loud, on televison, it will shock the nation…and perhaps even the jaded and inattentive conscience of a nation that has been buried under eight years of horror upon Bush horror. None worse than what was done to our fellow human beings, in our names.


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  1. Photobucket

    • Edger on February 27, 2009 at 20:11

    When is he going to have it?

    Can we get these people prosecuted for torture first?

  2. From the video Leahy said the Judiciary committee meeting is next Wednesday.   I found the announcement on their website:  Getting to the Truth Through a Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry

    Look at the witness list … who are these people? The only name vaguely familiar to me is Pickering.

    Senate Judiciary Committee – Full Committee

    DATE: March 4, 2009

    TIME: 10:00 AM

    ROOM: Dirksen-226


    Thomas Pickering

    Vice Chairman

    Hills & Company, International Consultants

    Washington, D.C.

    Retired Vice Admiral Lee Gunn


    Institute of Public Research at The CNA Corporation

    Arlington, VA

    John Farmer


    Arsenault, Whipple, Farmer, Fasset and Azzarello

    Chatham, NJ

    It will be worth researching ahead of time to figure out what they might say and who they will point the finger(s) at.  We can start alerting people to date & time with our sig lines and essays.  Will we do a live blog here?    I can make a badge for our FP to announce the hearing.   The Committee has a Webcast link on their page so it will be available there if not on C-SPAN.

  3. Jonathan Turley?  (Ha, ha, at least a dozen times, no?)

    Here, Turley sums it up as to exactly where we are — this is a defining moment as to WHO WE ARE!

  4. the have two initiatives up for us to act on:

    Send Your Email to Congress: Indict Bush Now!

    Senate to Investigate CIA’s Actions Under Bush

    From the Los Angeles Times today:

    “The Senate Intelligence Committee is preparing to launch an investigation of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs under President Bush, setting the stage for a sweeping examination of some of most secretive and controversial operations in recent agency history.

    “The probe is aimed at uncovering new information on the origins of the programs as well as scrutinizing how they were executed — from the conditions at clandestine CIA prison sites to the interrogation regimens used…

    ‘The last administration justified torture, presided over the abuses at Abu Ghraib, destroyed tapes of harsh interrogations,’ said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of [the Senate Judiciary] committee. “How can we restore our moral leadership and ensure transparent government if we ignore what has happened?'”

    Demand action from Congress We are urging all IndictBushNow members to send an email immediately to your elected officials (it only takes a second), telling them that Bush administration officials broke the law when they promoted a system of torture, secret prisons, and extraordinary renditions. Like millions of other people in the United States, we insist that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other high officials be indicted and prosecuted for their criminal actions.

    Please take a moment right now and click here to use our easy-to-use mechanism to send a letter to your elected officials.

    People all around the country are insisting that Bush & Co. be held accountable. No one is above the law. Please make a donation today to help us keep building the pressure from the grassroots.

    — All of us at


  5. heh. Ive been at dKos since about September 2008. I was in the Facebook 1Million Strong Obama group for  a few months before that. And before January 2008, I was mostly in la la land.

    These past few weeks, and now Im just getting worse, I have less and less patience for … stupid trivial shit.

    Do you have the air dates of these videos?

    So, Whitehouse is amazing there.  But… how many people actually watch C-Span?

  6. I have been closed minded about anything to do with the damn legislature, too much c-span I guess or impatience. Whitehouse is compelling. I think the case is mounting in the public sector, as polls are running 63% for an investigation. Perhaps Leahy’s commission would help. The truth would but the reconciliation bit worries me. Maybe if people saw what was done in their name torture could stop being debated as an effective tool, or bad for the image PR issue and like the Germans had to face what we did for our ‘security’, what we empowered. Meanwhile why can’t the laws that the legislature passed which enabled and legalized it be repealed, secrecy and executive power breed these horrors. I still am waiting for habeus corpus to be reinstated.      

  7. of the words of International officials, such as Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture who said, unequivocally,

    . . . The incoming American President Barack Obama is legally obligated to prosecute Bush and Rumsfeld because the US has ratified the UN Convention on Torture and has also recognized it as legally binding, he said.

    “Therefore they must do everything they can that persons who are accused of torture, are put on trial,” added Nowak who published a UN report in 2006 on the situation in Guantanamo.

    Nowak charged the US in the report with violating international human rights standards. . . .

    • robodd on February 27, 2009 at 21:56

    Watch the Whitehouse.  No, not that one.  This one.

  8. Today, I received a plea from Senator Leahy to sign on to his call for a Truth Commission and another one from Democracy for America, on behalf of Leahy’s proposal.  I have not signed on to either, as yet.  However, I was spurred on to other action.  I was going to go on a quest to find out if such a Truth Commission would preclude us from appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the war crimes of the Bush Administration.  

    I called Sen. Wexler’s office (202) 225-3001) — who didn’t have the answer and suggested I call the Senate Judiciary.  But, at the same time, I pointed out that Americans are sick and tired of go-nowhere commissions, such as the 9/11 Commission, and that if the Truth Commission precluded a Special Prosecutor, then we are not interested.  And, particularly, a Commission that would serve to let criminals off the hook. That this has been going on for over eight years now and it’s time to get down to brass tacks and enough of this pussy-footing around. And that we are in violation of International laws that have said that we are legally obligated to investigate these war crimes.

    I called the Senate Judiciary Committee’s office (202-224-7703) and explained the reason for my call.  She, the staffer did not have an answer, but said that ALL answers to everything would be forthcoming next Wednesday, March 4, 2009, at l0:00 a.m., in Room 106 of the Dirksen Bldg., and that if we miss it on C-Span, they will have an announcement on the Internet.  Of course, March 4th is just one week away from the wire-tapping statute of limitations and others running out. I gave her the same rant as I did Wexler’s office.

    I then called Cong. Nadler’s office (202-225-5635) to try to get some information, but the person I needed to speak with is out until Monday.  But I expressed my sentiments there, too.

    I then called Sen. Durbin’s office (202-224-2152) and delivered the same strong message there.

    Then, I called Cong. Jackson’s office (202-225-0773) and gave the same message.

    Next, I called Sen. Burris (202-224-2854) and gave the same spiel.

    I don’t understand why I couldn’t have been told then and there what a Truth Commission would mean vis-a-vis a Special Prosecutor.  Why do we have to wait until next Wednesday?  I hope we’re not going to be forced, once again, into a compromising position.    

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