Tag: torture investigations

What Are We Gonna Do?

What are we gonna do when  we don’t get true health care reform/out of Iraq and Afghanistan/torture investigations/financial reform/job creation/restored civil liberties/audit of the Fed/repeal of the Patriot Act?   I voted for Obama, admittedly getting a bit caught up in the whole spectacle.  But the reasons I disliked Bush and his cohorts, are the same reasons I am exasperated with Obama and his cohorts.   We aren’t getting any change.  Spare change maybe, but not change “you can believe in”.  As it’s going, Obama will go down in history as the most dishonest President we’ve ever had.  Much like Bush trying to make colonizing through occupation and torture legal, Obama has transformed the “chicken in every pot” political promising propaganda to a whole new level.  

I’ve thought since shortly after the election we wouldn’t get torture investigations.  We won’t “leave” Iraq by 2011.  We won’t get out of Afghanistan and in fact will escalate there and in Pakistan.  We won’t get single payer, which turned out to be a major understatement.  We won’t get financial reform as evidenced by the casinos open for business bonuses and financial gains made by the banks and Wall Street.   We won’t “recover” from this financial catastrophe because there is no plan for creating the millions of jobs that have been lost.  

Why have I been thinking that?  I’m like a jack of all trades, master of none.  I’m not an expert in geopolitics, realpolitik, or the machinations of the political system in the halls of Congress and the Senate.   But I’ve read stuff man.  Lots of stuff.  Stuff written by the experts.  Isn’t that how one learns?  Certainly contrarian views from the MSM and the Obamabots, but stuff that I believe speaks the truth.  Stuff from Antiwar.com, Counterpunch, Common Dreams, Real News Network, Truthdig, Salon, Asia Times, and on and on.  

Progressives complain about the MSM and the lack of true reporting.  Well, there is true reporting going on and it is coming from people who have spent the better parts of lives studying, analyzing and living the issues.  These are people that take honest looks at the serious issues regardless of what political party or administration is in charge.  They are consistent and look at the facts, not the promises from the speechmaker.    

AG Holder Gives Us Half A Loaf On Accountablity

Well, it looks as though we will be getting half a loaf today in regards to torture accountability. The Washington Post is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder is going to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate about 12 instances where intelligence agents and contractors appear to have exceeded the guidance of the spurious Bybee and Yoo Torture Memo’s. While this is a good thing in and of itself, it is not really a good thing for long term torture accountability. Come on below the flip and the Dog will lay out why we should not get too excited about this.  

Tell Me How This Ends

On the way to Baghdad in 2003, in the aftermath of “prolonged, ferocious combat” in the Euphrates Valley around Najaf, General David Petraeus talked about the invasion with journalist and historian Rick Atkinson.  When the interview was over, Petraeus hooked his thumbs into his flak vest and adjusted the weight on his shoulders.  “Tell me how this ends,” he said.

The English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley could have told him how it ends.  It ends in death and desolation, it ends in ruin.  No ruler, no matter how powerful, no matter how arrogant, can escape the judgment of history.  It does not redeem tyrants, it exposes them as posturing frauds . . .  

I met a traveler from an antique land,

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone,

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay,

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away.  

Round the decay of that colossal wreck Dick Cheney, the boundless crimes of his torturers are being exposed and laid bare.  But with a sneer of cold command  . . .

Dick Cheney Scowl Pictures, Images and Photos

he has told America to look upon his mighty works, and despair that Obama will not keep America “safe” like Dick Cheney did, with rape and sodomy and torture.


We tortured and it’s illegal.

(Cross posted from over at teh kos)

“But it’s enhanced interrogation…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But investigations would be a witch-hunt…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But prosecutions of Republicans would be bad politically…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But most Americans don’t support torture investigations…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But Pelosi lied…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But the CIA SAYS Pelosi lied…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But Democrats knew too…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But the lawyers were just giving legal opinions…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But the Bush administration really thought they were protecting America…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But a ticking time bomb…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But it would be bad for terrorists to know our tactics…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But President Obama is unAme-”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But John McCain doesn’t think we should prosecute and he was tortured.”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But how bad were these techniques really?”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But they’re terrorists…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But dunking them in the water…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But prosecuting a policy decision…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But Democrats and Republicans BOTH…”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

“But this might get some high ranking people currently serving in trouble in both parties.”

We tortured and it’s illegal.

It’s illegal. It’s torture. It’s not allowed. We prosecute torturers.


Tortured to death

I posted this over at DailyKos and it was my first rec-listed diary there.

There was a front-page post the other day on DailyKos about the detainees that have died in US custody since 2002 after being tortured and abused, so I’m following up on that post with more information I’ve found.

In 2005, the ACLU released findings from autopsy reports of detainees held by the US in Afghanistan and Iraq. Twenty one of the autopsies were ruled homicides. Something the ACLU notes that’s interesting (ugh, I hate using that word for this seriously sick finding) is that while at the time CIA abuse was being widely reported in the media, their autopsies revealed a problem with abuse by Navy Seals and military intelligence too.

Some things the report found… and I have to warn you this whole post is graphic:

A detainee at Abu Ghraib Prison, captured by Navy Seal Team number seven, died on November 4, 2003, during an interrogation by Navy Seals and “”OGA.””  A previously released autopsy report, that appears to be of Manadel Al Jamadi, shows that the cause of his death was “”blunt force injury complicated by compromised respiration.””  New documents specifically record the circumstances of death as “”Q by OGA and NSWT died during interrogation.””

A detainee was smothered to death during an interrogation by Military Intelligence on November 26, 2003, in Al Qaim, Iraq.  A previously released autopsy report, that appears to be of General Mowhoush, lists “”asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression”” as the cause of death and cites bruises from the impact with a blunt object.  New documents specifically record the circumstances of death as “”Q by MI, died during interrogation.””

The documents were obtained from the Department of Defense from a Freedom of Information Act request and a judge also ordered that more Abu Ghraib photos should be released, but as of this article the decision was stayed. Are those the ones due to be released this year?

Torture, backwards logic and catch-22

(I just posted a version of this over at DailyKos and I thought it might be appreciated here.)

This is interesting. I don’t know how much relevance it actually has at this point but I end up researching odd things throughout the day and I found this.

There have been a few instances of soldiers going AWOL and fleeing into Canada instead of fighting in Iraq. At the time this was happening, a lot of people were saying horrible things about these soldiers. That was stupid to say even without knowing what we know now but still, it’s worth talking about.

When these soldiers were tried, they used the defense that it’s an illegal war and violates international law. And still others used the defense that soldiers who would’ve gone to war would’ve been forced to participate in illegal acts.

One of the judges, in a ruling against one of these soldiers, in 2007 said there’s no evidence the US “as a matter of deliberate policy or official indifference, required or allowed its combatants to engage in widespread actions in violation of humanitarian law.”

So, maybe these cases are worth another look? We can argue that a lot of these people were using legal defenses and weren’t actually able to see the future, or whatever. But they were, you know, right.