The practice of torture was carried out at Abu Ghraib, GITMO, and various US gulags and hell-holes throughout Eastern Europe. By any Orwellian name given it by Bush or his minions, it is torture.
Recent ACLU-compelled disclosures of previously concealed DOJ documents reveal many of the details of what has been long known: that the highest levels of the Bush administration secretly implemented an illegal torture regime. But while those torture programs began in secret, we have gradually learned more and more about them. The more time that goes by and the more we learn — particularly if we do nothing meaningful to stop it — the more the responsibility for these policies shifts from the administration to all of us collectively.--Glenn Greenwald: Growing Responsibility for the Bush Torture RegimeTorture is a crime which if it results in death, the penalty is death. That law applies to the architects and defenders of the policy of torture. It applies to Bush --its chief architect, defender and practitioner.
The disclosure that the Justice Department advised the White House in 2002 that the torture of al Qaeda terrorist suspects might be legally defensible has focused new attention on the role President Bush played in setting the rules for interrogations in the war on terrorism.... An Aug. 1, 2002, memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, addressed to Gonzales, said that torturing suspected al Qaeda members abroad "may be justified" and that international laws against torture "may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogation" conducted against suspected terrorists.The document provided legal guidance for the CIA, which crafted new, more aggressive techniques for its operatives in the field. McClellan called the memo a historic or scholarly review of laws and conventions concerning torture. "The memo was not prepared to provide advice on specific methods or techniques," he said. "It was analytical."Attorney General John D. Ashcroft yesterday refused senators' requests to make public the memo, which is not classified, and would not discuss any possible involvement of the president.In the view expressed by the Justice Department memo, which differs from the view of the Army, physical torture "must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." For a cruel or inhuman psychological technique to rise to the level of mental torture, the Justice Department argued, the psychological harm must last "months or even years."A former senior administration official involved in discussions about CIA interrogation techniques said Bush's aides knew he wanted them to take an aggressive approach. --Memo on Torture Draws Focus to BushBush himself took center stage to defend practices which he had denied took place.
Bush 'justifies' torture
Although the president adamantly denied that the U.S. government uses torture, the United States has used practices such as waterboarding that can only be called torture.--Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, Bush Justifies CIA Detainee Abuse; Proposed Military Commissions Deeply FlawedLike Hitler's minions at Wannsee, Bush partisans Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo were tasked with putting lipstick on the pig, making 'legal' Bush's various capital crimes, crimes for which Nazis hanged following the famous trials at Nuremberg.
- The war against Iraq was begun upon a pack of lies and is, itself, a violation of the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Conventions, and numerous treaties; moreover, there is no language in UN Resolution 1441 authorizing the use of force by the United States against Iraq.
- Nothing said by Bush about the reasons for the war on Iraq have been in any way true. See any one of numerous Downing Street Memos which prove that intelligence was cherry picked to support the war —though Bush knew that there was more credible evidence to the contrary. Colin Powell's presentation to the UN, for example, consisted of a plagiarized student paper and ten year old black and white satellite photos. It was fraud from start to finish and Powell has since recognized that and apologized.
- Bush and Blair conspired to begin the war of aggression against Iraq though both men knew —before hand —that Saddam did not have WMD. Later, Bush would puke up a similar lie about Katrina in New Orleans.
US 'torturers' have invented creative rationalizations to justify their crimes after the fact or to make legal the crimes already committed! But, in the end, their every 'rationalization' is either a lie, a fallacy, or a delusion. McCain for example, distinguishes between the US 'torture' of, say, a French citizen vs that of the US 'torture' of an Iraqi.
He holds himself out as a principled torture opponent but is, in fact, the single greatest enabler of legalizing torture in this country, from his 2005 bill which exempted the CIA from torture prohibitions to his 2006 leadership in enacting the Military Commissions Act to his opposition this year to the waterboard ban."
McCain denies that waterboarding is torture --but it is. McCain opposes it when it is used against Americans, but supports its use by Americans upon anyone of any other nationality. The US, we are to suppose, is, like our 'President', above the laws --even those treaties and other obligations that we signed and affirmed. Despite what McCain and other GOP partisans may say, those obligations are just that: obligations. By law, they have become in the 'law of the land'. I had this argument with an aid to my Congressman. He lost! McCain differs insubstantially from Bush who believes that the US torture of anyone --US or foreign -- is legal 'if the President does it!' I work assiduously to give Bush an opportunity to use that line of defense at a war crimes trial considering the capital charges against him. Let him bet his very life upon his stupid, fallacious and flawed argument. Even if the war against Iraq, and likewise the phony 'war on terrorism', were not frauds, the practice of torture still violates the various treaties to which the US is obliged. Hence, Bush's Hitlerian efforts to make legal --after the fact --the various and numerous capital crimes that he had already committed in the name of our once great nation. Considering the failed 'wars on terrorism' waged by Ronald Reagan as well as Bush, one should not be surprised to learn that GOP policies are counter-productive. [See: Terrorism is Always Worse Under GOP Regimes].
I’ve made it very clear, I’ve made it very clear in my statements and in my support of the Detainee Treatment Act, the Geneva Conventions, etc., that there may be some additional techniques to be used, but none of those would violate the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act… And we cannot ever, in my view, torture any American, that includes waterboarding.John McCain, quoted by Associated Press
Administration lawyers argued that since al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies were not a state party to the Geneva Conventions they were not covered by its ban on torture and other maltreatment. True, America had ratified (in 1988) the Convention against Torture, but that applied only to acts carried out on American soil, they said. And though America's own 1994 federal statute against torture did cover acts by Americans abroad, this applied only to full-blown torture, not lesser abuses.In the notorious “torture memos” drawn up by the Department of Justice and the Pentagon in 2002 and 2003, the same lawyers sought to restrict the normal definition of torture—“severe pain or suffering”—to extreme acts equivalent to “serious physical injury, organ failure, or even death”. Furthermore, as a wartime commander in chief whose main duty was to protect the American people, the president had the power to override both domestic and international law, they argued. After being leaked in 2004 most of these memos were “withdrawn”, though not the one on the president's wartime powers.Mr Bush and his colleagues have always said that America neither authorises nor condones torture. “We don't do torture,” the president famously said. But Mr Bush has been vaguer about the grey area between torture and more moderate pressure. Soon after suspected terrorists were first sent to Guantánamo in January 2002 he said that America's armed forces would treat the detainees “humanely” in a manner “consistent with the Geneva Conventions”—but only “to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity”.Not until the Supreme Court's ruling in Hamdan in 2006 did the administration accept that all detainees, wherever held, were protected by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which bans all forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as well as torture. The 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, incorporating an amendment by Senator John McCain, already prohibited such treatment by American soldiers anywhere in the world. But it did not apply to the CIA.--Is torture ever justified?, The Economist
So, why do Republicans adhere to a policy that even a cursory reading of real world stats thoroughly discredits? Reaganites themselves provide a clue: "...Reagan made us feel good about ourselves"! Michael Shermer, who has lately proven himself incapable of practicing what he preaches, posits that false beliefs are based on and drive from prejudice. But that just puts a label on it. It does not explain prejudice itself just as Bush's wild, outlandish, conspiracy theories fail to explain or even address a series of incredible events conveniently labeled: 911!
Lies are not believed randomly. Lies are purposefully disseminated and are likewise believed. Lies thus play a dual role --one for the liar and another for the gullible believer. Hitler, for example, openly boasted of his 'war against the Jew".
"Against the Jews I fought open-eyed and in view of the whole world...I made it plain that they, this parasitic vermin in Europe, will be finally exterminated."Hitler's lies derived from his flawed psychology for whom 'Jews' became a convenient scapegoat! An individual in Hitler's adoring audience would find in Hitler's lies his/her own 'reason to believe'. Clearly --millions were victimized by punitive reparations following World War I. Economic chaos, wild inflation, the ensuing hardships made fertile soil upon which to sow the seeds of hate and prejudice. The US was likewise deceived by Ronald Reagan whose campaign made of Jimmy Carter a scapegoat. Carter was conveniently blamed for the siege of the US Embassy in Iran and an 'oil' crisis that inconvenienced Americans and raised the price of gasoline at the pump. It no longer mattered that Carter was among the top two or three Presidents in job creation, productivity, and overall economic performance. He was tagged with a 'label' that stuck! Hitler made it clear that he intended to wipe out the Jewish "race". Goring acted upon his Fuhrer's wishes. Goring's order was, in turn, followed by Heydrich who organized the apparatus of the Final Solution as one would organize a corporate division, a department, a cabinet post. Such is the Banality of Evil.
Millions felt better about themselves, conveniently blaming Jews for their miserable, desperate lives in pre-war Germany. Hitler made them feel good about being bigots just as Reagan later made people feel good about being bigots, self-absorbed materialists, greedy yuppies, and latter day militarists with Nazi leanings and connections.Bush is a proven liar —caught red handed beyond any reasonable doubt. One is hard pressed to name a single time he's ever told the truth about anything! Does it make sense to acquiesce to his claims of absolute, dictatorial powers?Even as Bush assumes dictatorial powers, a majority of Americans say that they cannot believe Bush. Certainly, that incredulity must reasonably extend to Bush's rationalizations for a dictatorship.Most of those polled say that they find Bush dishonest and untrustworthy —certainly not qualities you want in a dictator. Can a liar be trusted with absolute powers? Who but a liar and a blackguard would want to be a dictator? Bush has summoned up a team of toadies to rationalize, to 'make legal' his various crimes. We know Bush is a liar and his various machinations intended to make legal his crimes are widely known. His entire life is a lie, a facade designed to defraud the world. Beneath the grandoise stage paint and props, is an evil, frightened dwarf. Bush is right to be afraid! He can't handle the truth about himself.
“A lie would make no sense, unless the truth were felt to be dangerous.”--Carl G. Jung