America’s Shame, UN to Investgate Torture While DOJ Devolves

A bit of a reprint, but new material below the fold….and simul-posted at Dkos

It comes down to this. If America doesn’t wash it’s own incredibly stained laundry, the rest of the civilized world will do it for us.

From the BBC

The UN is to investigate the use of secret detention centres allegedly used by the CIA and other groups as part of US counter-terrorism efforts.

The decision follows a UN report which uncovered what it said were serious abuses by the intelligence services.

The report said secret prisons were “one of the most horrendous practises” adopted by intelligence services.

Martin Scheinin, UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said that in many cases states receiving detainees had “reportedly engaged in torture and other forms of ill-treatment”.

From Reuters

“Australian, British and United States intelligence personnel have themselves interviewed detainees who were held incommunicado by the Pakistani ISI in so-called safe houses, where they were being tortured,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s spy agency.

Scheinin later told reporters that such “wrongful acts” violated international law.

The system, put in place by the Bush administration following the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States, had reflected a “dark page” in U.S. history, he said. But “it was only possible through collaboration from many other states.”

“Now that the witch hunt is hopefully over, it is time for the law to step in,” Scheinin told the Council.

From McClatchy

Scheinin cites “consistent, credible reports” that countries involved in facilitating extraordinary renditions in various ways included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Britain, Canada, Croatia, Georgia, Indonesia, Kenya, Macedonia and Pakistan. Suspects then were transferred to “mostly unacknowledged” detention sites in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan “or to one of the CIA covert detention centers, often referred to as ‘black sites,’ ” according to the human rights report.

Al Jazeera

Nowak and his colleague Martin Scheinin, the special rapporteur on human rights while countering terrorism, hailed Obama’s changes to US policy, but said that they would “not let the United States off the hook simply because of the change in administration”.


 The yearlong investigation is aimed not only to clarify facts, but also to ensure that such secret jails would not be used in the future, according to Manfred Nowak, UN envoy for torture, and Martin Scheinin, UN envoy for human rights and counter-terrorism.

   Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, the two experts described secret jails as “one of the most horrendous practices” adopted by intelligence services.

The Tehran Times

The detention and interrogation program of the Central Intelligence Agency was authorized under a classified September 17, 2001 presidential order.

After years of refusing to deny or confirm the existence of the Presidential Order on Detention Facilities Abroad, in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the U.S. government acknowledged its existence in 2006.

It has refused to make the document public, however, or even provide it to members of Congress.

Get the picture? The whole world IS watching. And waiting for America to clean up its own garbage. Which we aren’t.

So far every action our own Department of Justice has taken has been in the opposite direction, away from justice…invoking the state secrets doctrine, seeking to have Bagram declared outside the bounds of the Geneva Conventions, and carefully avoiding a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of illegal detention.


Particularly of interest is the article in Xinhua, the Chinese Press, in light of the fact that some Americans expressed displeasure recently at SoS Clinton for not pushing CHINA harder on Human Rights. Irony. What right does an America that tortures have to lecture the rest of the world on Human Rights abuses?

This is just another indication of the planetarily despised American Exceptionalism that has, in light of an organized State Torture Program, and Illegal Invasion lost us ALL credibility on the subjects of peace, justice and any right at all to claim moral high ground or human rights or nearly any other issue, of Foreign Policy.

We don’t get to lecture anybody on much of anything….until we clean our own house.

And as is being made increasingly clear, if we don’t clean it, the United Nations will. Is that what America wants? To prove to the world that we are too cowardly to prosecute our own War Criminals? Is that what you want President Obama? Is that what you want Attorney General Holder?

An American President, Vice-President, and Secretary of Defense on trial in the Hague? “Foreigners” presenting evidence against them because we don’t have the moral fiber to do it ourselves? “Foreigners” convicting America of War crimes?

Remember how badly we have abused the United Nations. Even now.. White House Slaps UN Secretary-General on ‘Deadbeat’ Comments

Let alone under Bush, Rice and John “there is no such thing as the United Nations” Bolton.

They DO have the will to put justice over politics, if we choose to put politics over justice. And that is all the reluctance to hold The Bush Torture Conspiracy accountable is, politics. Politics and the thought that our exceptionalism somehow puts our president above the Rule of Law. Even with what we already know about torture. Let alone the revelations that are now starting to unravel, such as … Sy Hersh says Cheney oversaw “executive assassination team”

Foreign leaders tend to frown on rogue assassination squads under the control of rogue American officials, for some reason. Given the CIA’s history and all. That it admits, even.

We have arrogantly overthrown governments, assassinated or attempted to assassinate foreign leaders, started illegal wars and snatched innocent people off the street and tortured them. The world is losing patience with us.

Add up all that America has done since WW2, and believe me, the world has the motivation to go after us. For the best of reasons, truthfully. America’s worst excesses must be stopped. And the best way to stop ‘us’ is to prosecute the simply outrageous Bush Torture Conspiracy. If the world does it, we are ALL tarred with Bush’s brush.

If we do it, we repudiate Bush and regain our standing as a civilized nation under the Rule of Law.

“We” may wish to sweep the horrid inhuman crimes of the Bush Torture Conspiracy under the rug and “Move Forward,” But the rest of the world is NOT going to let us get away with it. Period.

So we have a choice, wash our own filthy laundry, or watch as the world does it for us. In humiliating fashion.

Which do you prefer America? Which do you prefer Attorney General Holder? Which do you prefer President Obama?

Please sign the Petition for a Special Prosecutor for Bush War Crimes

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And join clammyc’s Facebook group to call for a special prosecutor for war crimes and illegal spying.


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  1. Photobucket

  2. when I am right.

  3. it is a refreshing breath of reality…..

    yet when I watch the rest of the world through the lens of the msm I am convinced that we are not a civilized people…..

    throughout this economic meltdown there has almost no attention given to the poor…..

    only the remanants of the middle class, which in its complicit gluttony helped create this debacle…..

    we as a people(present company excluded) are not civilized only avaricious……..

    we will not prosecute, as a matter of pragmatism O will avoid this issue as long as he can……

    our guys won and nothing has really changed……


    it is my belief that the capital class is laughing at us even now……

    after all they plundered around 7 trillion dollars and got away with it……

    they killed and tortured indiscrimantly and they got away with it…….

    and all the american people want is their comfort and sense of security restored…….

    we truely deserve what is coming and nothing can keep our karma from us all……….

  4. “excesses.”   Yes, of course, what we have done is excessive by any stretch of the imagination.  But we are REALLY talking about our country’s globally criminal behavior, affecting the multitude of human lives and livelihoods — WE are the terrorists!  And when any group or segment, here or there, try to fight back against it, they are then called the “terrorists.” the “insurgents,” the “al Qaeda of _________.”  And, from there, WE must round them up, incarcerate them, torture them, rendition them, “ghost” prison them, etc., and then appeal to the world on the basis of our on-going “war on terror,” (which has been force-fed the multitudes), and by that means try to “internationally” explain our “rationale” for our behavior — this was the Bush Administration, and remnants of that Administration are still with us.

    As to making a choice as to who does what?  You already know my feelings about that — the humbling and humiliation of it all.  On the other side of the coin, I do worry about if and how we will achieve an honest investigation of any kind, given the various factors involved with our government.  

    So, I guess what I’m saying is that, although, it would be a “black mark” on us as a nation (as though there isn’t one already?), I sometimes think the ONLY way we could get something truly HONEST going on is with the International forces that be.  And there is truly an advantage there (vis-a-vis a distinct issue of pride in the advantage of our doing it), in that it would serve as a lesson to the world, not just us, but the world, that this behavior cannot be permitted by ANY nation, not just ours!


  5. in your diary of March 6th Obama’s ICC Move …

    And, as you know, Obama had a meeting with Ban, yesterday, to discuss Sudan, among other issues:  

    WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moo Tuesday called on the Sudanese government to allow in aid workers.

    The Sudanese government has expelled relief workers from the African country’s Darfur region.

    After meeting with Ban, Obama said the Sudanese expulsion of aid workers has a “potential crisis of even greater dimensions.”

    The president said the international community must send message to the Sudanese government “that it’s not acceptable to put that many people’s lives at risk.”

    On the upcoming G20 summit of world leaders, Ban said industrial powers ought not “lose sight of the challenges and plight of hundreds of hundreds of millions of poorest people of the developing countries who have been impacted by this economic crisis.”

    He also urged leaders to keep true to their commitments of development assistance and help developing countries to overcome their food shortages. . . .

    Well, as you can gather, uh hummmm!, the subject of “disenfranchisement of the poor” is not a NEW issue (heh!), nor is the issue of “human rights.”


    The Bush-Cheney Administration is the greatest threat to our democracy that we’ve had. It is an ongoing threat because it is an internal threat, the precedents are there, and have not been denounced by Congress or Obama in any effective way.

    Hersh added: “Eight or nine neoconservatives took over our country.”

    Mondale said that the precedents of abuse of vice presidential power by Cheney would remain “like a loaded pistol that you leave on the dining room table.”

    “Top editors

    passed the message to investigative reporters not to “pick holes” in what Bush was doing.

    Violations of the Bill of Rights happened in the plain sight of the public. It was not only tolerated, but Bush was re-elected.”

    WE Cannot Wait For The National Media

    To Do This For Us.

    It is up to us as individuals to get justice for Bush, Cheney and their co-conspirators.




    Sign The Petition To Prosecute those in the Bush Administration that violated Federal Laws. Have your organization pass this url to members with a recommendation to sign.


    Endorse the Joint Letter To Attorney General Holder asking him to appoint a Special Prosecutor for Bush, Cheney and appointees who approved TORTURE and violated other Federal Laws

    SIGN THE PETITION…. Pass it on.


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