Saturday 13 December 2014

"We tortured some folks." - a folksy admission by President Barack Obama

1.  "The Senate Report on the brutal interrogation methods employed by the CIA after  9/11 not only makes shocking reading: another dark day for an agency, and an ugly stain on the global reputation of the US."     Rupert Cornwell, The Independent 9 December 2014.

Read :

2.   It wasn't that bad, we've been told, over and over again for more than a decade,  "We only water boarded three people".  

The man himself - President Obama - admitted recently, "We tortured some folks."

Read :

3.  American Language for camouflaging torture.

       American Language                                                            Real Language 

       1. waterboarding                                                              simulated drownings

       2.  exploiting individual phobias                                     setting Alsatian dogs to sniff
                                                                                                genitals of suspects.

       3.  adjusting temperature                                                 subjected to sub-zero freezing.

       4.  dietary manipulation and behaviour control               rectal feeding and rectal rehydration

       5.  stress positions                                                            hanging suspect in shackles for 180 hours

       6.  degrading treatment                                                     torture

       7.  enhanced technique                                                     another word for 'torture'

       8.  serious mistakes                                                          there was no torture - just serious
                                                                                                 mistakes BUT countless lives have
                                                                                                 been saved and our Homeland is
                                                                                                 more secure.


4.  Why torture is bad according to many western pundits: it did not produce the crucial intelligence. According to the Report  "none of what the CIA perpetrated actually procured information that stopped any plots against the US or its allies."

Dear,dear, what a shame.  All that torture and it did not stop the "Muslim Terrorists".

There's no moral indignation about the means and methods applied in this War of Terror, only the disgust  that the ends were not achieved.

5.   However, according to Patrick Cockburn :  The CIA's real failure?  It pursued the wrong targets.


Cockburn's article makes two points: Firstly, he saw the CIA as an agency fighting the War of Terror and it had failed because it did not prevent  the expansion of ISIS.

Secondly, two countries who were  'complicit' in 9/11 (Pakistan and Saudi Arabia) were not
targeted.  Well, if they had been, Saudi Arabia would not be 'complicit' with  Obama today in pushing down the  price of petroleum so as to target Putin (Russia) over the issue of  Ukraine and Iran over its nuclear programme.
As for those blighted  people of Pakistan, didn't their leaders allow the US to walk all over its sovereignty so that American hit-men could assassinate Osama Bin Laden in his bedroom in
in front of his wife?

Furthermore, despite their nation being an ally of the USA, Pakistani civilians were not spared from being murdered by drones.


Hence in Patrick Cockburn's reckoning,  "Guilty the CIA may have been of torturing but this was one episode in a far greater failure. (my underline)  for which it had never been held to account."

6.   Obama oh Obama !!!
I recall that when this heartthrob President visited Malaysia, we were ticked off for failing to apply American-style democracy, values and morality.
Read :

But do people remember when, in January 2009, the newly-elected President Obama pledged to close Guantanamo Bay within 12 months?  Do people remember that he reneged on that promise?
In the US inquiry into 9/11, Bush censored 28 pages of the Report which included the role of Saudi Arabia.  Obama promised to allow the pages to be published, but he has never done so.

7.   Those who are enamoured with America and all things American ( and there is no shortage of them here in Malaysia)  will probably extol the fact that the American Government under Obama is willing to reveal all - in this US Senate Intelligence Committee Report.  This, they will say, would never happen in their homeland!!   Well, read on......
The torture of Muslim prisoners and  'terror suspects by the CIA had been well documented by those who have studied the goings-on in American politics and policy.  " Torture and the Violence of Organized Forgetting"  (Henry Giroux's words)  are not an aberration or a new phenomenon in US domestic and foreign policy.

Read :

"The maiming and breaking of bodies and the forms of unimaginable pain inflicted by the Bush           administration on so-called 'enemy combatants' was no longer seen in violation of either                       international human rights or a constitutional commitment to democratic ideals."

 " ......... Frank Rich once argued and the Senate Intelligence Report confirms,  ' torture was a pre-meditated policy approved at our government's highest levels ...... psychologists and physicians were enlisted as collaborators in inflicting pain."                

Two psychologists - Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen - who developed the CIA's torture programme formed a company called Mitchell, Jessen and Associates.  They were paid more than USD80 million for their services.

It was reported:  after an X-ray of one prisoner's foot, another doctor 'recommended'  that the prisoner  'could be made to stand for 52 hours'.  As for waterboarding, doctors allowed up to three sessions per day.

     Read ;

CIA suspect Abu Zubaydah (AP)

 Abu Zubaydah, a Pakistani 'terror suspect' was transferred to Thailand and left in isolation for 47 days,  he was "squeezed into tiny boxes for 300 hours and waterboarded no fewer than 80 times ......   The water-boarding left Abu Zubaydah  'completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open full mouth.'  He was left in a state of 'involuntary spasms.' "

Abu Zubaydah was a broken man after his extensive interrogations.  Remember  Pavlov's experiment (by using dogs) on conditioning human behaviour?  Well, it worked on Abu Zubaydah.  "In CIA documents he is described as having become so compliant that  'when the interrogator raised his eyebrows', he would walk to the 'water table' and sit down.  The interrogator only had to snap his fingers twice for Abu Zubaydah to lie down, ready for water-boarding, the report says."                

So what is waterboarding?  An individual is "bound securely to an inclined bench, which is approximately four feet by seven feet.  The feet .. are generally elevated.  A cloth is placed over the forehead and eyes.  Water is then applied to the cloth in a controlled manner ..... and produces the perception of 'suffocation and incipient panic' "                

Well, for those of us who have abandoned their rose-coloured glasses about the West, they will realise that  Obama's Democrat administration published this Report mainly to expose the Republican administration of George Bush.  CIA's use of torture had been known even before Obama                 came to power.  But it's useful to publicise it now because next month the Senate will be run by the Republicans.

Furthermore, only 500 pages of the 6,000 page Report were published: 5,500 pages remain unpublished - that is, over 90 percent of the report - supposedly  to protect  the allies of US, including the United Kingdom, and to hide the 'black site' prisons where suspects were sent for 'rendition'  that is, to be tortured.

"Global"  At its height, the CIA program included secret prisons in countries including Poland, Afghanistan, Thailand, Romania and Lithuania - locations that are referred to only by color-themed codes in the report"
(from the Daily Mail)

While HRH Prince Charles of the United Kingdom is still wringing his hands and bemoaning the victimisation of Christians in the Middle East by extremist Muslims, we await his verdict on the atrocity committed by his fellow white Christian ally the US on these 'terror suspects.'  I wonder if he could see the connection between what Judaeo-Christian countries inflict on the Middle East and the flight and plight of Middle Eastern Christians.

It is a relief to know that in the case of  the years of torture of Muslims by the CIA,  President Barack Obama has responded by saying (this time it's not 'promising') he "will  continue to make sure we never resort to those methods again" .  After all, the CIA's behaviour  was merely "contrary to our values"!!

The Free World  now depend  on drones to rid the world of the menace of Islamists, terrorists, Jihadists, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Gazans and Palestinians, etc, etc.  In this way, the US and her allies can decimate and maim their enemies without bringing home their boys in body-bags.  Also their hands, unlike Lady Macbeth's, will not carry the stench of foreign blood.

The following cartoon says it all.
" How dare they?!   That's against International Law"


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