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View Full Version : My Fellow Americans - Have We Truly Sunk This Low?


Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 06:44 AM
This isn't me talking. This is Major General Antonio Taguba. Here's an edited copy of the report the Bush administration was willing to release. The unedited version is reputed to include far worse.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4894001/

We rape prisoners as a form or interrogation.

We murder prisoners.

We torture prisoners and then hide them from the Red Cross.

We take people for whom nudity is a highest taboo, and strip them naked for days.

We force people for whom homosexuality is a religious taboo to perform homosexual acts at gunpoint.

And all this is in the limited report the American government was willing to make public.

We call this liberation.

We invade a country, occupy it, rape the women and the men, our soldiers ride aged grandmothers around like donkeys, CALLING them donkeys, and yet, our political leadership actually professes to be greeted as liberators.

Exactly how stupid are we?

We take innocent people off the street, keep them incommunicado for YEARS, torturing them, and then return them to their homes, and talk about 'winning the heart and minds of Iraqis'.

How the HELL are we supposed to do that?

How does a rapist win the heart and mind of the woman or man he just raped?

How does a murderer 'win the hearts and minds' of the victims family?

We don't just do this at Abu Ghraib. We do this at at least eight other prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in Guantanamo Bay. This isn't six renegade soldiers. This is an explicit matter of policy used at US prisons across the world.

We use people who have admitted to torturing and killing Black South Africans as interrogators, and cover up their murders of Iraqi prisoners.
And then, the government who installed this policy promises to investigate and prosecute the crimes. How can they be trusted to do that? Is George Bush going to actually say "of course I knew we were hiring war criminals to torture Iraqis. I authorized it."? I rather think not.

And remember, in Iraq, we're doing this to people who DID NOT attack us, DID NOT have the means (WMD) to attack us. These are NOT the people who attacked us on 9/11! These people were guilty of NOTHING, except living over too much oil.

Have you noticed, BTW, how much effort the American media is putting into pretending this is a couple of renegade soldiers? In spite of YEARS of reports from the Red Cross, for prisoners released from Gitmo, from Iraq, from Afghanistan of systematic torture?

You know what one noted conservative media taking head called all this?
Fraternity pranks.

(He IS a drug addict, which might explain the comment.)

At what point do you run a way and hide. This isn't going to stop people. Some of this is how American Blacks are treated in prisons for centuries. George Bush is wrong. This IS America. When these people highjacked the last presidential election, we let them.

Well, at least now we don't have anyone here asking 'why do they hate us?' That's pretty fucking obvious now.

hingis-seles
May 8th, 2004, 06:52 AM
It's such behavior that leads to atrocities such as September 11th.

And it will keep on happening. What sucks is that only the innocent will suffer.

PointBlank
May 8th, 2004, 06:59 AM
:sad: Just regular people :saad:

:mad: Just regular Americans :rolleyes:

PointBlank
May 8th, 2004, 07:00 AM
I dont mean that all Americans are like that but err how can people not notice this :rolleyes: all this because what country there from

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:00 AM
It's such behavior that leads to atrocities such as September 11th.
We don't know that. As far as I can tell, bin Laden is a psycho, and every bit as bad as the commanders of American torturers in Iraq.

And it will keep on happening. What sucks is that only the innocent will suffer.
No. The guilty suffer too. The worst of this is that the innocent suffer WITH them. A lot of very bad people are in American prisons too. Not that I avocate rape or murder even in those cases, but some of these people would do the same to us.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:02 AM
I dont mean that all Americans are like that but err how can people not notice this :rolleyes: all this because what country there from
Because it happens in prisons outside the continental United States, for the most part.
Because 'we were only following orders'.
Because American soldiers are told that they can't follow an illegal order, but they are prosecuted and jailed themsleves if they fail to follow an order.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:06 AM
One other thing. There is not one country in the 'Coalition of the Willing' who can hold themsleves above this. The Brits are in it with us. The Austalians also. The Poles, the Italians, and on and on. Reports are coming out now that American went to Israel last year to leanr interogation and torture techniques. There's an awful lot of blood on an awful lot of hands, and an awful lot of people looked the other way.

We're all gonna dragged into this cesspool, either as perpetrators, funders of perpetrators (youtax money at work), or victims.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:13 AM
Watch as the people who ordered this dump it onthe lowest ranking soldiers

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4928006/

hingis-seles
May 8th, 2004, 07:16 AM
We don't know that. As far as I can tell, bin Laden is a psycho, and every bit as bad as the commanders of American torturers in Iraq.
But you've got to admit the man has a point when he says that all his acts are responses to what the US government has done. When all is said and done, Geroge Bush is no better than bin Laden. He is a terrorist as well. A psycho as well. So, when the US does get attacked, for what are correctly viewed as terrorist acts, its hardly surprising.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:33 AM
volcana, let me ask you. the above statement. what are you trying to say? did you just mention it to mention it? or are is there a message you're trying to put across here about israel? care to answer that?That Israel, like Britain, Australia, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy and quite a few other countries, have supported us as we did these things. They support us in different ways. By providing training, troops, tactical support, and some just UN votes. We are more guilty than they, except possibly the Brits who have their own torture scandal, but we've had help.

It that clear enough for you?

And to the supporters of Britain, Australia, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy, etc, please, don't ask me the question the last Israel supporter did. Just cross out 'Israel' and put the name of whatever country you like there. Somebody gave torturers from South Africa a place to live and a new job torturing people. Somebody polices cities, rounds people up and send them to our prisons to torture. We don't do all these things ourselves. We order them. We are ultimately responsible for them. But we have help. And some of that help knows exactly what we do.

Don't like it? Do me a favor. Stop helping.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:37 AM
Ouch. That last post was kinda hostile. I'm sorry. I feel guilty, ashamed of my country and frustrated by my inability to affect change today. And I expect this feeling is going to last. But there's no need to take it out on you. By and large, WE are the problem.

harloo
May 8th, 2004, 07:42 AM
Watch as the people who ordered this dump it onthe lowest ranking soldiers

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4928006/
This is exactly what disturbs me about the whole abuse scandal. The administration is attempting to dump it on a few low ranking soldiers. From what I read these soldiers were not properly trained. And I suspect that all these orders to carry out the abuse came from the chain of command.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:50 AM
This article will appear in tomorrow's New York times, but I'l violate copyright law and post it here. You'll notice that the many of the same techniques of torture and humilation are used here in the States. But here inthe home of porno, we don't have nearly the nudity taboo that Islam dictates.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/08/national/08PRIS.html?hp

Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S.
By FOX BUTTERFIELD
Published: May 8, 2004
Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates.
In Pennsylvania and some other states, inmates are routinely stripped in front of other inmates before being moved to a new prison or a new unit within their prison. In Arizona, male inmates at the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix are made to wear women's pink underwear as a form of humiliation.
At Virginia's Wallens Ridge maximum security prison, new inmates have reported being forced to wear black hoods, in theory to keep them from spitting on guards, and said they were often beaten and cursed at by guards and made to crawl.
The corrections experts say that some of the worst abuses have occurred in Texas, whose prisons were under a federal consent decree during much of the time President Bush was governor because of crowding and violence by guards against inmates. Judge William Wayne Justice of Federal District Court imposed the decree after finding that guards were allowing inmate gang leaders to buy and sell other inmates as slaves for sex.
The experts also point out that the man who directed the reopening of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last year and trained the guards there resigned under pressure as director of the Utah Department of Corrections in 1997 after an inmate died while shackled to a restraining chair for 16 hours. The inmate, who suffered from schizophrenia, was kept naked the whole time.
The Utah official, Lane McCotter, later became an executive of a private prison company, one of whose jails was under investigation by the Justice Department when he was sent to Iraq as part of a team of prison officials, judges, prosecutors and police chiefs picked by Attorney General John Ashcroft to rebuild the country's criminal justice system.
Mr. McCotter, 63, is director of business development for Management & Training Corporation, a Utah-based firm that says it is the third-largest private prison company, operating 13 prisons. In 2003, the company's operation of the Santa Fe jail was criticized by the Justice Department and the New Mexico Department of Corrections for unsafe conditions and lack of medical care for inmates. No further action was taken.
In response to a request for an interview on Friday, Mr. McCotter said in a written statement that he had left Iraq last September, just after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Abu Ghraib.
"I was not involved in any aspect of the facility's operation after that time," he said.
Nationwide, during the last quarter century, over 40 state prison systems were under some form of court order, for brutality, crowding, poor food or lack of medical care, said Marc Mauer, assistant director of the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group in Washington that calls for alternatives to incarceration.
In a 1999 opinion, Judge Justice wrote of the situation in Texas, "Many inmates credibly testified to the existence of violence, rape and extortion in the prison system and about their own suffering from such abysmal conditions."
In a case that began in 2000, a prisoner at the Allred Unit in Wichita Falls, Tex., said he was repeatedly raped by other inmates, even after he appealed to guards for help, and was allowed by prison staff to be treated like a slave, being bought and sold by various prison gangs in different parts of the prison. The inmate, Roderick Johnson, has filed suit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the case is now before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, said Kara Gotsch, public policy coordinator for the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Mr. Johnson.
Asked what Mr. Bush knew about abuse in Texas prisons while he was governor, Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, said the problems in American prisons were not comparable to the abuses exposed at Abu Ghraib.
The corrections experts are careful to say they do not know to what extent the brutality and humiliation at Abu Ghraib were intended to break the prisoners for interrogation or were just random acts.
But Chase Riveland, a former secretary of corrections in Washington State and Colorado and now a prison consultant based near Seattle, said, "In some jurisdictions in the United States there is a prison culture that tolerates violence, and it's been there a long time."
This culture has been made worse by the quadrupling of the number of prison and jail inmates to 2.1 million over the last 25 years, which has often resulted in crowding, he said. The problems have been compounded by the need to hire large numbers of inexperienced and often undertrained guards, Mr. Riveland said.
Some states have a hard time recruiting enough guards, Mr. Riveland said, particularly Arizona, where the pay is very low. "Retention in these states is a big problem and so unqualified people get promoted to be lieutenants or captains in a few months," he said.
Something like this process may have happened in Iraq, where the Americans tried to start a new prison system with undertrained military police officers from Army reserve units, Mr. Riveland suggested.
When Mr. Ashcroft announced the appointment of the team to restore Iraq's criminal justice system last year, including Mr. McCotter, he said, "Now all Iraqis can taste liberty in their native land, and we will help make that freedom permanent by assisting them to establish an equitable criminal justice system based on the rule of law and standards of basic human rights."
A Justice Department spokeswoman, Monica Goodling, did not return phone calls on Friday asking why Mr. Ashcroft had chosen Mr. McCotter even though his firm's operation of the Santa Fe jail had been criticized by the Justice Department.
Mr. McCotter has a long background in prisons. He had been a military police officer in Vietnam and had risen to be a colonel in the Army. His last post was as warden of the Army prison at Fort Leavenworth.
After retiring from the Army, Mr. Cotter was head of the corrections departments in New Mexico and Texas before taking the job in Utah.
In Utah, in addition to the death of the mentally ill inmate, Mr. McCotter also came under criticism for hiring a prison psychiatrist whose medical license was on probation and who was accused of Medicaid fraud and writing prescriptions for drug addicts.
In an interview with an online magazine, Corrections.com, last January, Mr. McCotter recalled that of all the prisons in Iraq, Abu Ghraib "is the only place we agreed as a team was truly closest to an American prison. They had cell housing and segregation."
But 80 to 90 percent of the prison had been destroyed, so Mr. McCotter set about rebuilding it, everything from walls and toilets to handcuffs and soap. He employed 100 Iraqis who had worked in the prison under Saddam Hussein, and paid for everything with wads of cash, up to $3 million, that he carried with him.
Another problem, Mr. McCotter quickly discovered, was that the Iraqi staff, despite some American training, quickly reverted to their old ways, "shaking down families, shaking down inmates, letting prisoners buy their way out of prison."
So the American team fired the guards and went with former Iraqi military personnel. "They didn't have any bad habits and did things exactly the way we trained them."
Mr. McCotter said he worked closely with American military police officers at the prison, but he did not give any names.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 07:56 AM
is this clear enough for you?

get off your high horse and stop whining about something that apparently (by your won definition) everyone is guilty of doing. an accessory is just as guilty as the party in question.

no one is saying that these things are great to do. or that they are not horrific in nature. but to come on a posting board and ask the question "americans, have we really sunken this low?" is just about as stupid as you getting in the midst of a bunch of klanners and asking the question "black people, are we really all that bad?" what kind of responses do you expect from this place in regard to a question like that about america?

if you don't like your country, put yourself in a position to change things and make those changes where it counts. in your community. in your neighborhood. in your state. in your region. but don't come here asking a dumb ass question like that. who is going to say that these things are acceptable? they are not! the only thing you'll get is negativity from....yes...non-americans. you say you're from a military family. if that is so...then you should know the drill.

it's easier to come on a message board and spew off like that. be a man about it and if your passion for change is that strong...do something about it. where it really matters. not where your rhetorical questions are meaningless.Gee, last I checked, people read posts on message boards. Talking to people IS doing something about it. And I addressed thread to 'My Fellow Americans' some of whom are presumably voters, who's opinions may count in the upcoming presidential election. And maybe, just maybe, people in other countries wouldn't mind knowing that some Americans aren't sweeping this under the rug as the actions of a renegade few..

Sorry, but this is a REAL good place to write my thoughts. They get stored, I can copy them and write them to newspapers and magazines, as I've already started doing. And send ideas to the political opposition in this country, as I've already started doing. And can communicate with like-minded and opposition-minded people. Convicne the opposed, I hope, or get help from supporters.

Surely, spreading as much information as possible to as many places as possible about just what's going on is the very BEST thing I can do.

Why are you so opposed to that? What is gained by silence? Posting here can only help.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 08:02 AM
an accessory is just as guilty as the party in question.If there was ever a case of the all the accessories NOT being as guilty as the party in question, this is it. Some of these countries are just providing the transports and drivers that take prisoners to the jails. I can't call the truck driver who was ordered there by his government equally guilty.

I have to go to sleep now, which I don't want to do. This is giving me nightmares.

~ The Leopard ~
May 8th, 2004, 09:52 AM
I'm just so dismayed by all this. I didn't support going into Iraq in the particular circumstances but was prepared to back the idea of staying there. In fact, I still think we should probably stay there and finish the job...but not like this. I'm at a loss as to how anyone thought this kind of despicable behavior was going to help in the larger game of defending civilization against religious fanaticism (not that going into Iraq against a secular dictator, however nasty, was the right way to do that; the resources could have been spent on the real war: against Al-Qaeda).

Well, maybe the kind of hatred shown by scared, angry low-level soldiers is understandable, but this behavior must have had some kind of authorisation, whether explicit or tacit, from higher up where wiser and more humane heads should have prevailed.

I do feel helpless right now. I have enough cachet to get pieces published here and there, perhaps more so than Volcana, but that's not the point. The issues have become so confused (yet so unnecessarily) that it has become just about impossible to come up with a sensible policy for the future or a simple, clear message to try to get across.

*joui bangs head against wall*

All I can say is that Bush and his administration have to go. They did a reasonably good job for a few months in late 2001 and early 2002, and it's a pity to lose the undoubted abiliities of Powell and Rice, but they are too deeply compromised by now, and it's time for someone else to have a go at sorting it all out.

"Sluggy"
May 8th, 2004, 10:36 AM
Ben laden = George Bush = A lot of horsecrap. To equate them on the same terms in ridiculous.

~ The Leopard ~
May 8th, 2004, 12:25 PM
^True. But this sort of thing is making it a lot harder to explain the difference.

"Sluggy"
May 8th, 2004, 12:48 PM
It's such behavior that leads to atrocities such as September 11th.

And it will keep on happening. What sucks is that only the innocent will suffer.


Perhaps. But it sounds like you are saying that the atrocity of 9/11 is there fore justified?

The Leopard - I agree basically with your statement and would prefer to on the moral high ground. We may no longer be at I am comforted at least with who has the military 'high ground.' the illegal and dispicable acts committed by American Soldiers certainly deligitimize the US.

I am attaching part of an article i read on Aish.com. I think it is relevant and interesting but LONG. if you have the time, give it a read:

IT'S ALL OUR FAULT

There's only one thing worse than excusing evil by explaining its motivation -- and that's denying there's anything wrong with it in the first place because the victims deserved it.

Anti-Americanism has become very popular around the world. Coming from other countries, it serves as a cover for envy. Success invariably breeds covetous hatred. Struggling nations can't bear to see the United States prospering. So when America comes under attack, they gleefully rush to proclaim that we had it coming to us. Compassion for victims is muted by understanding for those seen as merely responding to the excesses of a super power. Terrorist guilt becomes less significant than America's responsibility for planting the seeds of its own misfortune.

A Hamas leader, approvingly quoted in state sponsored newspapers of the Arab world, has no problem in summarily declaring, "America is the problem that lies behind all other problems." Historian Eric Foner, writing in the London Review of Books, isn't embarrassed to admit that he can't decide "which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House." Surely we have to sympathize with an academician who can't see the moral distinction between terrorists who knowingly murder thousands of innocent civilians and the stern response of the United States President expressing his resolve to seek justice!

CONFUSION ON THE CAMPUS

Scapegoating America has unfortunately found disciples even in our own midst. Self-hatred is a condition best left for psychologists to explain. But there seem to be no lack of prominent spokespersons for the view that our response to the twin tower tragedy has to be self-flagellation. College campuses were quick to demonstrate their compassion -- not for the victims but for the perpetrators. A speaker at a University of North Carolina Chapel Hill teach-in called for an apology to "the tortured and the impoverished and all the millions of other victims of American imperialism." Georgetown University speedily scheduled a debate on the semantically loaded topic, "Resolved: America's Policies And Past Actions Invited The Recent Attacks."


College campuses were quick to demonstrate their compassion -- not for the victims but for the perpetrators.

A Yale University panel of professors felt compelled to focus on the "underlying causes" of the September 11th attack, with special emphasis on America's failings, illustrated by our on-going "offensive cultural messages."

Harvard University, not to be outdone, allowed us to wonder about the intellectual caliber of its students who carried signs that declared, "War Is Also Terrorism."

It seems George Orwell wasn't far off the mark in his trenchant observation that "Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them."

The best-attended and most vociferous rally in years at the University of California Berkeley was a protest against a campus newspaper that carried a cartoon showing Muslim suicide bombers in hell. Apparently it is unacceptable for anyone to express the view that suicide bombers are going to suffer divine punishment instead of eternally partying with 70 virgins. This, of course, at a University famous for its unqualified commitment to freedom of speech. But then again moral relativism has no problem distinguishing right from wrong according to its own skewed standards.

Perhaps even more striking is what Paul Hollander, Prof. Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, pointed out in an article published in The Washington Post on October 28th, 2001:


America's homegrown critics hold the peculiar conviction that if hatred of the sort that led to the destruction of the World Trade Center is directed at the United States, there must be good and justifiable reason for it. Yet these same critics never seem to take such a position in regard to victims of other hate crimes. Many of those habitually critical of this society (and claiming a desire to "understand" why it is hated while simultaneously believing that such a hatred is fully justified) support severe punishment for hate crimes without seeking to understand the grievances and resentments that produce them. They do not ask what battered women have done to justify their mistreatment, or what it is in the behavior of homosexuals or blacks that stimulates virulent hatred. Nor do they seek to "understand" or to plumb the "root causes" behind the actions of the wife beater or those who assault or murder gays... It is only when people have some sympathy with the violent act and its perpetrator that they start looking for root causes, to understand the aggressor and something in the behavior or attitude of the victim that shifts at least some of the responsibility from victimizer to victim.

THE ERROR OF MORAL RELATIVISM

Moral relativism deserves to be held in contempt not only because it refuses to call evil by its real name. It fails on a more profound level by virtue of its admitted emphasis on "relativism."

Righteous indignation, for its disciples, is "relative" to the extent that it's only reserved for what its followers believe is worthy of hating. It begins by denying legitimacy to any moral preference -- only to conclude by condemning the ethical choices of those who differ from their outlook. Terrorists can't be condemned, but America can. Suicide bombers have to be understood but politically incorrect transgressors have to be sued, fired from their jobs and completely ostracized. Anyone who says a word against gays has overstepped his right to free speech but all those who vilify the United States while taking advantage of its blessings merit uncritical approval and applause.

Moral relativism claims it can't make up its mind and then goes right ahead and worships its own version of the Ten Commandments. But the principles of moral relativism don't come from divine revelation. They're just another form of prejudice parading as higher wisdom.

HOW A GENERATION WENT WRONG

What makes moral relativism so popular? Why does it seem to be the philosophy that is so attractive to today's youth?

A recent My Turn column in Newsweek magazine (December 17th, 2001) by Alison Hornstein offers us a fascinating look into the mind of a contemporary college student. Alison writes she was deeply troubled to note that just one day after September 11th her classmates seemed to be incapable of expressing any anger or even indignation at what had been the most successful terrorist attack of her lifetime.


"Being taught to think within a framework of moral relativity has created a deficiency in my generation's ability to make moral judgments."

She struggled to explain to herself why her generation appears to be so uncomfortable "assessing, or even asking, whether a moral wrong has taken place." And the answer didn't take long in coming to her. She realized that throughout her formative years her teachers were guided by a non-directive approach that consciously avoided presenting students with any ethical judgments. People were never bad; they were just different. Practices of other cultures could never be criticized; they could only be contrasted with our own as a valid and different life style. When her class learned that in some countries females were forcibly circumcised in a painful way that left them maimed for life, they were told they had no right to make a judgment on its morality just because it seemed abhorrent to them. "Different strokes for different folks" was the self-understood code by which to evaluate other people's behavior.

Alison understands now that "being taught to think within a framework of moral and cultural relativity without learning its boundaries has seemingly created a deficiency in my generation's ability to make moral judgments." For her, September 11th was a watershed moment that opened her eyes to the realization that "Some actions are objectively bad, despite differences in cultural standards and values."

But Alison admits at the conclusion of the article that her views are far from popular on her campus. The idea that we might all agree to call the murder of thousands of innocents an evil act is obviously still too daring for the generation that is destined to replace us!

THE NON-JUDGMENTAL MEDIA

This approach of our schools in the past decades has managed to impact not only our young but also our media. Even as America has gone to war, network executives pride themselves on remaining "fair and balanced" at all times.

Executives at the Reuters news agency cautioned their writers and editors against ever using the word terrorist. You see, they explain, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. To use the word terrorist is to make a moral judgment. We can't possibly waive our commitment to total neutrality. David Westin, president of ABC News, didn't hesitate to define the role of journalism as incompatible with the advocacy of any side in the conflict.



Can you just imagine how today's anchormen would have reported the discovery of crematoria and concentration camps in World War II?

Can you just imagine how today's anchormen would have reported the discovery of crematoria and concentration camps in World War II? Do you understand how barbaric this approach is in light of Elie Wiesel's profound observation that "the greatest evil is not man's inhumanity to man, but rather man's indifference to his fellow human beings"? To be fair, balanced and neutral in the face of genocide boggles the mind. To believe that American reporters aren't expected or even allowed to openly side with their own soldiers seems to me almost treasonous.

David Westin eventually "changed his mind" when the public fallout that followed publication of his remarks proved too damning. Fox News, sensing the steep rise in American patriotism, decided that its mantra would be "Be accurate, be fair, be American." Fox executives felt that a nation at war deserves support from its media, especially when its cause is so clearly just. But that didn't stop Alex S. Jones, the director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University from hotly criticizing Fox News for its failure "to explain the evolution of the other side's motivation against the United States."

Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman, may not have been very diplomatic in his response but I have to respect his directness: "Look, we understand the enemy -- they've made themselves clear. They want to murder us. We don't sit around and get all gooey and wonder if these people have been misunderstood in their childhood. If they're going to try to kill us, that's bad!"



OK, here it is. Most of it agree with. i find it well written and interesting. Although i admit id have to give it several rereads to fully understand a couple issues, including his comments regarding homosexuals. I think he could have avoided the issue. I do not share the same views on homosexuality as the website from which the article originated. I am 100% Pro homosexual rights!!!!!!! Again, im not saying i agree with everything but his arguments are excellent and clear. your comments pls.

GoSandrine
May 8th, 2004, 01:08 PM
I'm just so dismayed by all this. I didn't support going into Iraq in the particular circumstances but was prepared to back the idea of staying there. In fact, I still think we should probably stay there and finish the job...but not like this. I'm at a loss as to how anyone thought this kind of despicable behavior was going to help in the larger game of defending civilization against religious fanaticism (not that going into Iraq against a secular dictator, however nasty, was the right way to do that; the resources could have been spent on the real war: against Al-Qaeda).

Well, maybe the kind of hatred shown by scared, angry low-level soldiers is understandable, but this behavior must have had some kind of authorisation, whether explicit or tacit, from higher up where wiser and more humane heads should have prevailed.

I do feel helpless right now. I have enough cachet to get pieces published here and there, perhaps more so than Volcana, but that's not the point. The issues have become so confused (yet so unnecessarily) that it has become just about impossible to come up with a sensible policy for the future or a simple, clear message to try to get across.

*joui bangs head against wall*

All I can say is that Bush and his administration have to go. They did a reasonably good job for a few months in late 2001 and early 2002, and it's a pity to lose the undoubted abiliities of Powell and Rice, but they are too deeply compromised by now, and it's time for someone else to have a go at sorting it all out.agreed! :yeah:

I thought Bush did a very good job keeping our morale high immediately after 9/11 (not knowing he was already conspiring against Iraq) and agreed with his decision to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. However all that has changed.

We can send a very powerful message to the world by voting against Bush in November. We had the much of the world on our side after 9/11 but Bush and many of his henchmen (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc) have downright lied (Iraq = Al Qaeda), stolen (Haliburton), and attempted to cover up the latest atrocities (this wouldnt have all come out if the photos weren't made public).

Thanks for letting me vent. http://smileys.******************/cat/4/4_2_205.gif (http://www.******************/?partner=ZSzeb001)

:wavey:

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 02:03 PM
Perhaps. But it sounds like you are saying that the atrocity of 9/11 is there fore justified?
There is a significant difference between 'justified' and 'provoked by previous criminal actions'.

If, for example, a man's family is murderer, and he takes revenge by burning down the home of his killer, ending the lives of the murder's children in the process, I do not consider either the arson or death of the children 'justified'. In understanding the provocation for the actions of the arsonist, I seek to punish him for his crimes with no less effort.

However, I do also acknowledge the original murder, and if possible, I also bring THAT murderer to justice.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 02:11 PM
Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman, may not have been very diplomatic in his response but I have to respect his directness: "Look, we understand the enemy -- they've made themselves clear. They want to murder us. We don't sit around and get all gooey and wonder if these people have been misunderstood in their childhood. If they're going to try to kill us, that's bad!"
The poeple in Iraq are NOT the people who attacked us on 9/11!

This point cannot be made strongly enough. The poeple in Iraq are NOT the people who attacked us on 9/11. The people in Iraq did NOT want to murder us. Any understanding we have that those people are the 'enemy' is WRONG. WE attacked THEM. THEY are defending themselves from US.

We claimed we'd end the torture chamabers but now, according to our own generals, WE run the torture chambers. We claimed to end the rape rooms, but now, OUR soldiers are the rapists. So no, I don't 'around and get all gooey and wonder if' THE AMERICAN COMMANDERS who ordered torture and rape as interrogation techniques 'have been misunderstood in their childhood'. They are criminals. They are war criminals. And it would be vastly better if they were turned over to the Hague for trial, becasue this government is certainly neither honest enough nor competent enough to try them.

ptkten
May 8th, 2004, 02:35 PM
I am in no means a supporter of Bush, and hopes he loses re-election, but to equate him and his actions to Osama bin Laden is ludicrous and lacks any basis in fact.

In this situation, Bush had no idea what was going on in the prison camps, now that's scary for other reasons, but to blame these problems on him is completely not justified.

Think about the situation: poor, uneducated Americans get sent over to do the fighting in Iraq, a couple of their friends get blown up by a suicide bomber earlier in the day, and they want to take revenge somehow and because they're uneducated, they think all Iraqis and Arabs are the same and that by torturing one of the friends of someone who did it, they think they are justified.

I'm not in anyway justifying it, but to equate the actions of a few idiots doing bad things, to an entire organization sponsoring terrorism such as al Qaeda is just wrong. In a country like the United States, as soon as we hear about the atrocities, we don't continue to commit more (despite the fact that Iraqis will continuously try to kill and torture our troops), we hold hearings to try and find out who is accountable for the actions, and bring them to justice and get them out of Iraq so the problems don't continue.

Some people are just blinded by their hatred of the U.S. and their policies that they are not thinking rationally anymore. Yes, the U.S. has done bad things but we're certainly not as terrible as some people want to make you believe.

GoSandrine
May 8th, 2004, 02:45 PM
Ptkten, I agree with you to a point but consider the following...

There have been almost 10,000 Iraqi lives lost for a war which was based on Iraq having weapons of mass destruction which were never found. I don't consider Bush "evil" along the lines of Osama but he surrounded himself with war hawks and now we are paying a price in terms of international legitimacy and respect. This war is breeding more hatred for us and he continues to deny responsibility for anything that goes wrong. I believes Rumsfeld bears the weight of the latest firestorm but her reports to Bush so he needs to take ownership also. Why didn;t he ask more questions when he first learned of this? Furthermore, we should never have been over there in the first place!

:wavey:

Colin B
May 8th, 2004, 02:49 PM
And it would be vastly better if they were turned over to the Hague for trial, becasue this government is certainly neither honest enough nor competent enough to try them.
I agree with this, at least, wholeheartedly!!

This is an international situation of huge proportions. Way too big for an American, British, or any other internal tribunal, military or otherwise, to handle without any bias.

*

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 03:18 PM
Ptkten, I agree with you to a point but consider the following...

There have been almost 10,000 Iraqi lives lost for a war which was based on Iraq having weapons of mass destruction which were never found. I don't consider Bush "evil" along the lines of Osama but he surrounded himself with war hawks and now we are paying a price in terms of international legitimacy and respect.
And of course, those Iraqis paid with their lives. Who is to be punished for THEIR deaths?

GoSandrine
May 8th, 2004, 03:28 PM
Volcana, Bush justifies this by pointing to Saddam's mass graves which is a point well taken. However, his arrogance and complete disregard for public opinion especially the international world is distasteful and is breeding anti-Americanism to the highest extreme.

Your argument that this be turned over to an International Tribunal is debatable. After all, as DeuceDiva pointed out, everyone hates us so what makes us think any American will be given a fair trial overseas?

hingis-seles
May 8th, 2004, 03:42 PM
The poeple in Iraq are NOT the people who attacked us on 9/11!

This point cannot be made strongly enough. The poeple in Iraq are NOT the people who attacked us on 9/11. The people in Iraq did NOT want to murder us. Any understanding we have that those people are the 'enemy' is WRONG. WE attacked THEM. THEY are defending themselves from US.

We claimed we'd end the torture chamabers but now, according to our own generals, WE run the torture chambers. We claimed to end the rape rooms, but now, OUR soldiers are the rapists. So no, I don't 'around and get all gooey and wonder if' THE AMERICAN COMMANDERS who ordered torture and rape as interrogation techniques 'have been misunderstood in their childhood'. They are criminals. They are war criminals. And it would be vastly better if they were turned over to the Hague for trial, becasue this government is certainly neither honest enough nor competent enough to try them.
EXACTLY!!!

Blame the organisation that conducted the attacks not every Muslim or every Arab.

I personally despise George Bush because he is just as bad as Osama bin Laden if not worse, but I do not harbor any ill will towards the US or it's people. I have a problem with the government and its policies, not with the nation or its people.

As a Pakistani, who has been living in this volatile region all his life, let me just say that when you keep on attacking someone the way George Bush has been attacking and threatening countries in the Middle East since 9/11, it would be very foolish for Americans to then ask "Why do they hate us?" and nor should it be any surprise if, God forbid, another attack took place. Bush is doing a terrible injustice by creating further hate for his nation in this region.

It's pathetic that its literally becoming more and more like the dark ages.

GoSandrine, I have a feeling that the Hague would be less biased in its decision-making than someone directly involved, say.....the Bush administration?

Tratree
May 8th, 2004, 04:22 PM
You know what, I couldn't be more repulsed by those photos and the stories that accompany them, but I'm not about to let that tarnish the entire military or especially all Americans. That is bullcrap. I think everyone involved at EVERY level should be punished, but if you think this kind of stuff started magically when Bush took over as President in 2000, then you are extremely naive. This kind of crap goes on all the time, just this time we are seeing pictures and hearing about it. Like DD said, in one way or another it happens all over the world. I didn't see the public outrage when our people were dismembered and burnt and dragged through the streets. Oh, but now we are all outraged and it just isn't right. And everyone wants the Americans to apologize and resign. Like Sen. Lieberman said yesterday...where was the outrage for the 9/11 terrorists to apologize...where was the outcry for the Madrid terrorists to apologize....where is the chastizement of Palestinian suicide bombers or Israelis who bomb Gaza?

Furthermore, am I the ony one bothered by a lot of information on this coming from the New York Times, that beacon of journalistic integrity? I wouldn't let my dog pee on that piece of junk.

Lastly, DeuceDiva, awesome post upthread on the "we"-isms and Paul123, thanks for that great article on moral relativism.

GoSandrine
May 8th, 2004, 05:22 PM
Tratree, you make several excellent points...

Much more help is needed to combat international terrorism. America can't do it alone. If the Europeans and so called US allies don't step it up and cooperate they will be victims such as the US and Spain were. Terrorism is the world's problem.

Your point about suicide bombers is also well taken. The International Community appears to be one-sided when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When it comes to denouncing Israel the UN doesn't hesitate. However they refuse to admonish Palestinian suicide bombers at the same time.

I also agree with you that this type of prisoner treatment is not all that uncommon. And the terrorists, including those Iraqis who dismembered and pillaged those poor American contractors, are barbarians - there's no discounting these facts. BTW, I was all for going into Fallujah, finding the cold blooded killers and kicking their asses.

America needs to continue to clamor for the support of the international community. But it's difficult to get respect when the current administration continues to be arrogant, distort the truth for its own gain and thumb their noses at everyone else. We can't just look at the other side and claim they're worse. Obviously they are! But we are losing respect for the way we go about things. Bush and the current administration are going about things the wrong way IMO.

http://smileys.******************/cat/23/23_6_20.gif (http://www.******************/?partner=ZSzeb001)

*JR*
May 8th, 2004, 05:57 PM
Reports are coming out now that American went to Israel last year to leanr interogation and torture techniques.
I don't support the present Israeli government re. its wanting to keep any of the land siezed in 1967 (except for a "safe corridor" to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and for the Druze in the Golan Heights to have some form of sovereignty, not rule by Syria). I reject ANYONE'S claims to "God-Given" land, and the idea of ANY group as "The Chosen People".

HOWEVER, lets be honest: there are many extremists who'd love to kill ALL Jews without pre-1897 (start of the Zionist movement) "continuous lineage" there. So for Israel to use torture when there are LITERALLY "bombs waiting to explode" is different than "Soldiers of Fortune" (the contractors running the Iraq scandal) plus the CIA guys and ill-trained soldiers on a power trip.

Volcana
May 8th, 2004, 05:57 PM
This kind of crap goes on all the time, just this time we are seeing pictures and hearing about it. Like DD said, in one way or another it happens all over the world. The major difference is power. Anywhere else in the world. if things get bad enough, there's a more pwoerful force to bring the perpetrator to task. Witness Saddam Hussien's government. They committed atrocities, and were overthrown. When the United States commits atrocities, who's going to stop us?

I didn't see the public outrage when our people were dismembered and burnt and dragged through the streets.Mercenaries don't generally get the same level of sympathy civilians. 'Contractors' is a nice word, but those for people were mercenaries. The United States govbernemtn like to use the word 'contractors' now, because saying we hired 15.000 mercenaries to make war on other coutnries doesn't sound as nice. Their profession is facilitating war, for profit. They aren't their defending thier country. They are there to make money by helping kill people.

Why SHOULD there be public outrage? Or rather, perhaps the 'public outrage' was being expressed, by the Iraqi people, at the presence of mercenaries killing and torturing their family members.

JustineTime
May 8th, 2004, 06:21 PM
War is a dirty business, interrogation no less.

What amazes me is how few people posting here, if any, seem to remember that the so-called "victims" were IN PRISON! :rolleyes: They were not innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did! :rolleyes: They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands. But even if true, you certainly won't hear that on CNN! :rolleyes:

Oh, and say hey, and by the way, did anyone notice that none of the victims were burned alive, shot in cold blood, or dangled off bridges? In fact, abused as they were, they're all still alive today, n'est-ce pas? But no doubt we could reasonably expect the same "humane" treatment were the shoe on the other foot, yes?

Personally, I think we've done the job, such as it is, i.e. getting rid of Saddam, and should pull out so the civilized Iraqis can "democratically" choose the proper strongman to "preside" over them! :) Then they can join peacefully in the community of all the other democratic Arab nations...

Errr...:scratch: :confused:

:shrug:

BigTennisFan
May 8th, 2004, 06:36 PM
College campuses were quick to demonstrate their compassion -- not for the victims but for the perpetrators.

A Yale University panel of professors felt compelled to focus on the "underlying causes" of the September 11th attack, with special emphasis on America's failings, illustrated by our on-going "offensive cultural messages."

Harvard University, not to be outdone, allowed us to wonder about the intellectual caliber of its students who carried signs that declared, "War Is Also Terrorism."

It seems George Orwell wasn't far off the mark in his trenchant observation that "Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them."This is nothing new. The most left wing places in the country are on college campuses. Much of that has to do with the fact that the radicals who wanted to destroy America in the 1960s are now tenured professors on many of the campuses. Orwell was right.

BigTennisFan
May 8th, 2004, 06:39 PM
War is a dirty business, interrogation no less.

What amazes me is how few people posting here, if any, seem to remember that the so-called "victims" were IN PRISON! :rolleyes: They were not innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did! :rolleyes: They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands. But even if true, you certainly won't hear that on CNN! :rolleyes:

Oh, and say hey, and by the way, did anyone notice that none of the victims were burned alive, shot in cold blood, or dangled off bridges? In fact, abused as they were, they're all still alive today, n'est-ce pas? But no doubt we could reasonably expect the same "humane" treatment were the shoe on the other foot, yes?

Personally, I think we've done the job, such as it is, i.e. getting rid of Saddam, and should pull out so the civilized Iraqis can "democratically" choose the proper strongman to "preside" over them! :) Then they can join peacefully in the community of all the other democratic Arab nations...

Errr...:scratch: :confused:

:shrug:
:worship: :worship: :worship:

*JR*
May 8th, 2004, 08:49 PM
This is nothing new. The most left wing places in the country are on college campuses. Much of that has to do with the fact that the radicals who wanted to destroy America in the 1960s are now tenured professors on many of the campuses. Orwell was right.
I've found the left 2B full of hypocrisy on certain things, where even some "major" organizations seem more interested in self-glorification than achieving results. But I hardly think opposing a war against a "Communist of convenience" looking to rid his country of foreign occupation equals wanting to destroy America. Nor does many of those same radicals having risked their lives so blacks could, OMG.... vote!

njguido11
May 8th, 2004, 10:09 PM
Great post Justinetime. i cant believe some of the ignorant statements people actually make in hear. THe comparison of george bush to bin laden is a fuckin ignorant statement to make

BigTennisFan
May 8th, 2004, 10:17 PM
I've found the left 2B full of hypocrisy on certain things, where even some "major" organizations seem more interested in self-glorification than achieving results. But I hardly think opposing a war against a "Communist of convenience" looking to rid his country of foreign occupation equals wanting to destroy America. Nor does many of those same radicals having risked their lives so blacks could, OMG.... vote!
What the hell does this "Communist of convenience" stuff mean?
While some did risk their lives they weren't necessarily the radicals I'm talking about. And in case you didn't know, blacks were the ones most at risk of life and limb.
Fortunately it was the Republicans of that era who put the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act over the top.

JustineTime
May 8th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Fortunately it was the Republicans of that era who put the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act over the top.
Took da woids right outta my mouth, BTF! :)

*JR*
May 8th, 2004, 11:38 PM
What the hell does this "Communist of convenience" stuff mean?

It means that young Ho Chi Minh had avidly read one Thomas Jefferson. He Traveled To Versailles for the May 1919 conference that followed WWI, and earnestly sought the help of Pres. Woodrow Wilson's emissary in persuading France to give up then Indochina (now Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos). He was rebuffed.

After WWII, the now middle-aged Ho Chi Minh Again Appealed for help To Those who had saved France's derriere. Again, no luck. But now, Stalin was in an expansionist mood (see "Warsaw Pact") And Armed The Then "Viet Minh" rebels. (By 1949, Mao had won the Chinese Civil War, And Aided him as well).

Naturally, their price included rigid adherence to Communist doctrine. Ho Honored His promise on that Score. So after the French departed in 1954 with Vietnam divided in half, we "rescued" the corrupt but non-Communist south. 58,000 American deaths later, we departed in 1973, and Ho's Successors Swept into Saigon in 1975.

Of course the whole "domino theory" was BS, as Vietnam even toppled the Khmer Rouge Communists in Cambodia in '78, and fought a border War With China in '79. (Today, They're An Avid supplier of sweatshop labor to multinational companies). Had we Told The French "Non" after EITHER World War, Ho wouldn't have needed the Communists.

Colin B
May 9th, 2004, 12:15 AM
Fortunately it was the Republicans of that era who put the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act over the top.And presumably it was those left-wing, pinko, do-gooder Democrats who were swanning around the south in pointy hats?

:confused:

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 12:41 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A11017-2004May8_2.html

Pentagon Interrogation Guidelines Eyed in Prison Scandal
U.S. Officials OK'ed Rules in 2003 for Guantanamo Bay Detainees
By Dana Priest and Joe Stephens
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, May 8, 2004; 6:45 PM

In April 2003, the Defense Department approved a list of interrogation techniques for use at the Guantanamo Bay prison that permits making a detainee disrobe entirely for questioning, reversing normal sleep patterns and exposing them to heat, cold and "sensory assault," including loud music and bright lights, according to defense officials.

The more aggressive techniques require approval from senior Pentagon officials, and in some cases, the secretary of defense. Interrogators must justify that harshest treatment is "militarily necessary," according to the document, parts of which were cited by an official who possessed the document. Once approved, harsher treatment must be accompanied by "appropriate medical monitoring."

"We wanted to find a legal way to jack up the pressure," said one lawyer who helped write the guidelines. "We wanted a little more freedom than in a U.S. prison, but not torture."

The classified list of roughly 20 techniques was approved at the highest levels of the Pentagon and Justice Department and represents the first known documentation of an official policy permitting interrogators to use physically and mentally stressful methods during questioning.

Defense and intelligence officials said similar guidelines have been approved for use on so-called "high-value detainees" in Iraq, those suspected of terrorism or of having knowledge of insurgency operations, and for prisoners detained in CIA-run detention centers.

It could not be learned whether similar guidelines were in effect at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad that has been the focus of controversy in recent days. But lawmakers have said they want to know whether the misconduct reported at Abu Ghraib -- which included sexual humiliation -- was an aberration or whether it reflected an aggressive policy taken to inhumane extremes.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment for the record. Several officials interviewed for this article, including two lawyers who helped formulate the guidelines, declined to be unidentified because the subject matter is so sensitive.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. military and CIA have detained thousands of foreign nationals at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, facilities in Iraq and elsewhere as part of an effort to crack down on suspected terrorists and quell the insurgency in Iraq. The Pentagon guidelines for Guantanamo Bay were designed to give interrogators the authority to get uncooperative detainees to provide information, though experts on interrogation say information submitted under such conditions is often unreliable.

The United States has stated publicly that it does not engage in to torture or cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners. Defense officials said today that the techniques on the list were consistent with international law and contained appropriate safeguards such as legal and medical monitoring. "The high-level approval is done with forethought by people in responsibility, and layers removed from the people actually doing these things, so you can have an objective approach," said one senior defense official familiar with the guidelines.

But Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said the tactics outlined in the U.S. document amount to cruel and inhumane treatment. "If it's illegal here under the U.S. Constitution, it's illegal abroad," he said. "This isn't even close."

With the proper permission, the guidelines allow detainees to be subjected to psychological techniques meant to open up, disorient or put them under stress. These include "invoking feelings of futility" and using female interrogators to question male detainees.

Some prisoners could be made to stand for four hours at a time. Questioning a prisoner without clothes was permitted if he were alone in his cell. Ruled out were such techniques as physical contact -- even poking a finger in the chest -- and the "washboard technique" of smothering a detainee with towels to threaten suffocation. Placing electrodes on detainees' body "wasn't even evaluated, it was such a no-go," said one of the officials involved in the drawing up the list.

During the Pentagon debates, one participant drew on his memory of a scene from the movie "The Untouchables," in which a police officer played by actor Sean Connery bent the rules to convince mobsters that they should provide evidence against Mafia kingpin Al Capone. Much like the cop, the participant suggested, interrogators could shoot a dead body in front of a detainee, then suggest to him that's what they did to people who refused to talk.

Pentagon lawyers declared the technique out of bounds, and it was discarded.

The guidelines were the product of three months of discussion between military lawyers, medical personnel and psychologists, and followed several incidents of abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo. In late 2002, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, until recently commander of the detention operation at Guantanamo Bay, asked the Pentagon for more explicit rules for interrogation, four people involved in the process said.

"They don't want to be in the situation were we are making things up as we go along," said one lawyer involved in the sessions.

"We wanted to outline under what circumstances we could make them feel uncomfortable, a little distressed," another lawyer involved said. During the discussions "the political people [at the Pentagon] were inclined toward aggressive techniques," the official said. Military lawyers, in contrast, were more conservative in their approach, mindful of how they would want U.S. military personnel held as prisoners to be treated by foreign powers, the official said.

Mark Jacobson, a former Defense Department official who worked on detainee issues while at the Pentagon, said that at Guantanamo and the Bagram facility in Afghanistan, military interrogators have never used torture or extreme stress techniques. "It's the fear of being tortured that might get someone to talk, not the torture," Jacobson said. "We were so strict."

Interrogation teams routinely draw up detailed plans, which list all techniques they hope to use. These plans are passed to superior officers for discussion and pre-approval, Jacobson said.

"I actually think we are not aggressive enough [at times in interrogation techniques]," he said. "I think we are too timid."

In a March 11 interview at his office at the Guantanamo Bay naval base -- one of his last interviews before leaving to take over detention facilities in Iraq -- Miller said his interrogators treated prisoners humanely and that the operation had yielded important intelligence.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military acknowledged that two Guantanamo Bay guards had been disciplined in connection with cases of prisoner abuse, although few details have been made public. Detainees released from the facility so far have given disparate accounts of their stay there, some praising the food and free schooling, others claiming guards roughed them up.

Two Afghans have died in U.S. custody in Afghanistan in December 2002, both deaths ruled homicides by U.S. military doctors who performed autopsies. Another Afghan died in June 2003, at a detention site near Asadabad, in Konar province. The final resolution of the cases has never been made public.

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 01:20 AM
War is a dirty business, interrogation no less.

What amazes me is how few people posting here, if any, seem to remember that the so-called "victims" were IN PRISON! :rolleyes: They were not innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did! :rolleyes: They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands.

NOTE: Under the fourth Geneva convention, an occupying power can jail civilians who pose an “imperative” security threat, but it must establish a regular procedure for insuring that only civilians who remain a genuine security threat be kept imprisoned. Prisoners have the right to appeal any internment decision and have their cases reviewed. Human Rights Watch complained to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that civilians in Iraq remained in custody month after month with no charges brought against them.

If fact, according to the general in charge of Abu Ghraib, we now intend to release prisoners by the hundreds.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4855930/

300 were released last week, and they plan to release another 350 this week. We are NOT releasing terrorists, so your whole arguement that 'They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands.' is so much horseshit. These are people that caught up in random sweeps. We had no way f telling the civilians from actual terrorists, so they kept almost everybody.


Someone who's held in prison WITHOUT charge, and then released is NOT a criminal! Check out the following link to how a 67 year old grandmother was treated. And never charged.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040505/ap_on_re_eu/britain_iraq_us_prisoner_abuse_1

"She was held for about six weeks without charge. During that time she was insulted and told she was a donkey. A harness was put on her, and an American rode on her back."

How would you feel YOUR grandmother was imprison for weeks, her jewlery and papers stolen, then she's saddled and ridden like a donkey, insulted, assualted, and then, all is considered fine because she was eventually released and now, almost a year later, still is without her jewelry. And this case is considered satisfactority CLOSED.

Link to the Sy Hersch New Yorker article that broke this story

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/
Some excerpts

Taguba’s report listed some of the wrongdoing:
Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

The 372nd’s abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine—a fact of Army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide. On April 9th, at an Article 32 hearing (the military equivalent of a grand jury) in the case against Sergeant Frederick, at Camp Victory, near Baghdad, one of the witnesses, Specialist Matthew Wisdom, an M.P., told the courtroom what happened when he and other soldiers delivered seven prisoners, hooded and bound, to the so-called “hard site” at Abu Ghraib—seven tiers of cells where the inmates who were considered the most dangerous were housed. The men had been accused of starting a riot in another section of the prison. Wisdom said:

SFC Snider grabbed my prisoner and threw him into a pile. . . . I do not think it was right to put them in a pile. I saw SSG Frederic, SGT Davis and CPL Graner walking around the pile hitting the prisoners. I remember SSG Frederick hitting one prisoner in the side of its [sic] ribcage. The prisoner was no danger to SSG Frederick. . . . I left after that.


When he returned later, Wisdom testified:

I saw two naked detainees, one masturbating to another kneeling with its mouth open. I thought I should just get out of there. I didn’t think it was right . . . I saw SSG Frederick walking towards me, and he said, “Look what these animals do when you leave them alone for two seconds.” I heard PFC England shout out, “He’s getting hard.”


Wisdom testified that he told his superiors what had happened, and assumed that “the issue was taken care of.” He said, “I just didn’t want to be part of anything that looked criminal.”
Oh, and say hey, and by the way, did anyone notice that none of the victims were burned alive, shot in cold blood, or dangled off bridges?
As a matter of fact, the general's report notes FOURTEEN open investigations into murdres of prisoners, and an undisclosed number of closed ones. In addition, guards at Abu Ghraib noted several occasions where prisoners were killed during interogation, and had their bodies dumped.

You should really read General Taguba's report. He cites instances of rape, murder, amputation and denial of medical care, just to name a few things.

But first, explain why not okay for Saddam Hussien's soldiers to do those things, but it's so okay with you that OUR soldiers do those things.

X-Lurker
May 9th, 2004, 01:23 AM
And presumably it was those left-wing, pinko, do-gooder Democrats who were swanning around the south in pointy hats?

Yes. (Though I wouldn't describe southern Democrats pre-1970 as pinko or do-gooders.)

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 01:28 AM
And presumably it was those left-wing, pinko, do-gooder Democrats who were swanning around the south in pointy hats?



:confused:
Well, Byrds of a feather...;)

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 01:28 AM
Great post Justinetime. i cant believe some of the ignorant statements people actually make in hear.
I just posted an admitted lengthy response to Justinetime's post. I linked all my sources. But I should point out that Justinetime is wrong that all these people were terrorists, and wrong that we weren't killing prisoners. And I linked all my sources, so feel free to read. If you lack time, just read Major General Taguba's report on Abu Ghraib.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4894001/

Or, if youREALLY lack time, read this nice set of excerpts supplied by the nice folks at MSNBC

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4894033/


Key excerpts from the Taguba report


Updated: 6:20 p.m. ET May 03, 2004

The following are some of the key excerpts from the report prepared by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba on alleged abuse of prisoners by members of the 800th Military Police Brigade at the Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad. The report was ordered by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of Joint Task Force-7, the senior U.S. military official in Iraq, following persistent allegations of human rights abuses at the prison.

advertisement
(B)etween October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated byseveral members of the military police guard force (372nd Military Police Company, 320thMilitary Police Battalion, 800th MP Brigade), in Tier (section) 1-A of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF).

In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses

a. Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

b. Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

c. Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

d. Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

e. Threatening male detainees with rape;

f. Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

g. Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

h. Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.


(T)he intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

a. Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;

b. Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

c. Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

d. Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

e. Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

f. Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

g. Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;

h. Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;

i. Writing “I am a Rapest” (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked;

j. Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture;

k. A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;

l. Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee;

m. Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.


These findings are amply supported by written confessions provided by several of the suspects, written statements provided by detainees, and witness statements.

The various detention facilities operated by the 800th MP Brigade have routinely held persons brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs) without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention. The Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib called these detainees “ghost detainees.” On at least one occasion, the 320th MP Battalion at Abu Ghraib held a handful of “ghost detainees” (6-8) for OGAs that they moved around within the facility to hide them from a visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey team. This maneuver was deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine, and in violation of international law.

I'm sure getting my answer to the thread title from some of these responses. We HAVE sunk pretty damn low, if defending treating human beings like this.

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 01:31 AM
Well, Byrds of a feather...;)Well, if it Miss "isn't rape and murder and tortue of the prisoners is fine with me cause they were terrorists Oops they weren't well it's STILL okay"

How ya doin'? truns out, some of those people WERE
.... innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did!
And held in the same prison used by

....oh, I don't know, SADDAM did!
people were killed, rather like

....oh, I don't know, SADDAM did!
people were raped like

....oh, I don't know, SADDAM did!
But its all fine with YOU.

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 01:38 AM
But first, explain why not okay for Saddam Hussien's soldiers to do those things, but it's so okay with you that OUR soldiers do those things.
Never said it was OK. Did I? :confused:

My main beef is with the media and their cohorts on the left who scream from the rooftops about our soldiers' misbehavior, but seem curiously mute about the atrocities visited upon our troops. They refused to show the pictures of the contractors dangling off the bridge and the barbarians who celebrated it like the Palestinians on 9/11(which, BTW, was ALSO immediately squelched by our domestic enemies) but they just can't seem to get enough of the cigarette-smoking dyke and her Iraqi dog! :rolleyes:

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 01:46 AM
I'd say more, Volcana, but, heck, you're on a roll!

Please continue! :hatoff: ;)

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 01:59 AM
Never said it was OK. Did I? :confused:Actually, you pretty much did. You certainly attempted to justify what happened to them.

War is a dirty business, interrogation no less.

What amazes me is how few people posting here, if any, seem to remember that the so-called "victims" were IN PRISON! http://wtaworld.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif They were not innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did! http://wtaworld.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands.But when I posted evidence form source after source, including the American military itslef, saying that they WEREN'T terrorists, and that some of them WERE innocent women and children, and that they DIDN'T have 'American blood on their hands', not ONE WORD did you retract.

My main beef is with the media and their cohorts on the left who scream from the rooftops about our soldiers' misbehavior, but seem curiously mute about the atrocities visited upon our troops. Perhaps they have expectations that our soldiers will adher to our standards. And WHAT atrocities visited on our troops?

They refused to show the pictures of the contractors dangling off the bridge and the barbarians who celebrated itThe 'contractors' were mercenaries, who were paid to go to Iraq and torture and kill Iraqis. Why on earth SHOULDN'T the Iraqis celebrate their deaths. They were their to kill them. And they do it for no other reason than money. And the mercenaries are NOT, 'our troops', They are very specifically exempt from US law. That was, in fact, the rational given for why the Army couldn't take action against a 'civilian contractor' who raped a prisoner. THEY AREN'T OUR TROOPS. We have no jurisdiction over them. The CPA has no juridiction over them.

like the Palestinians on 9/11(which, BTW, was ALSO immediately squelched by our domestic enemies)'domestic enemies'? Well, be sure to include me in THAT group. Those would be the people in the news media who chose to focus on who attacked us, rather than the reaction of bystanders?

but they just can't seem to get enough of the cigarette-smoking dyke and her Iraqi dog! :rolleyes:You words seem to indicate you don't think much of lesbians, since you use being one as an insult. I'll certainly take that personally. And you think Iraqi prisoners who've been tortured are animals. 'Non-humans'

Okay, now I understand why you didn't retract anything you wrote previously. If they're animals, who cares besides those liberal pinkos from PETA?

You LITERALLY write like a Nazi. I have no idea of your politics. I'm specifically NOT calling you a Nazi. I going completely from the words you use.

'domestic enemies' 'Iraqi dog'

If you want to convince people that your view on this is correct, a good start would be to stop confirming our REAL enemy's contention that we think they all Iraqis are animals! Wake up slick! With every word like that YOU bring the next 9/11 that much closer!

~ The Leopard ~
May 9th, 2004, 02:18 AM
Point 1.: Yes, Saddam did a lot worse. So did Osama's henchmen. Bush is not actually as bad as Saddam or Osama.

Point 2.: So? Is that how people in advanced Western democracies now make judgments about themselves? :scratch:

BigTennisFan
May 9th, 2004, 02:51 AM
And presumably it was those left-wing, pinko, do-gooder Democrats who were swanning around the south in pointy hats?



:confused:

Well, Colin, at the time it was primarily the Democrats who were the sheet wearers in the south. Good old Robert "Sheets" Byrd was one of them.

BigTennisFan
May 9th, 2004, 02:53 AM
Well, Byrds of a feather...;)

:lol:

Since Colin is British ( I think, :confused: ) he might not get it. But that's funny. :D

Colin B
May 9th, 2004, 02:57 AM
Well, Colin, at the time it was primarily the Democrats who were the sheet wearers in the south. Good old Robert "Sheets" Byrd was one of them.Hmmm. I'm surprised. I suppose it's another example of your 'liberals' being the equivalent of our 'conservatives.

:)

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 03:02 AM
The United States vs The Entire Rest of the World is a 'conventional war' the United States would probably win. If Britain, Australia and Israel stay on our side, we'd CERTAINLY win. If the planet wasn't left a smoking ruin.

'Terrorists' by definition, don't fight conventional wars. All referring to people we need to help us defeat those 'unconventional warriors' as 'animals' does is given them more support, and us less.

If enough of the world decides that Americans are a bunch of right-wing, racist, white Christians supremacist religious zealots, we wil get NO help. And how are we going to win the 'War on Terrorism then? How are we even going to FIND,the terrorists. Invade enough countries that the othe nuclear powers feel they have no chioce but to fight AGAINST us?

Yet, read the words our unelected sorry: cheap shot) President, quotes by one of his staunchest supporters.

Appearing Friday in the Rose Garden with Canada's prime minister, President Bush was answering a reporter's question about Canada's role in Iraq when suddenly he swerved into this extraneous thought:

"There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern."

What does such careless talk say about the mind of this administration? Note that the clearly implied antecedent of the pronoun "ours" is "Americans." So the president seemed to be saying that white is, and brown is not, the color of Americans' skin.

- George Will:
Time for Bush to See The Realities of Iraq
(washingtonpost.com).
Even his own supporters instantly focus on the fact that to Bush, American equals white. What do you think America's enemies focus on?

This is NOT the Last Crusade.

Ultimately, we have to convince terrorists to abandon targeting civilians as a form of warfare. Killing everyone who does IS an acceptable way of handling this, IMHO. But if we are going to dehunaize anyone who isn't white, Christian and blindly obedient, we aren't even going to FIND the terrorists.

Hell, we haven't exactly found bin Laden, and we've had three years and 180,000 troops (counting all 'Coalition forces') available to us to find him. Of course, we're wasting 150,000 or so of those those troops in Iraq.

BigTennisFan
May 9th, 2004, 03:03 AM
Hmmm. I'm surprised. I suppose it's another example of your 'liberals' being the equivalent of our 'conservatives.



:)

Probably so, Colin. But in all fairness, there was a big flip flop during the Goldwater run at the presidency. Eventually, most of the out and out segregationists switched to the Republican party (can you say Strom Thurmond :lol: ). But not all, George Wallace ostensibly left both parties when he ran for president. Wallace, the man who stood in the door of the University of Alabama eventually became a favorite of the black electorate in Alabama.

But back to Strom. I'll bet Trent Lott is having a fit nowadays. I can just imagine him saying: "That damn Strom. Sum'bitch had me lose my job and here he was creeping over to the other side of the tracks all the time." :banghead: :explode:
:lol:

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 04:06 AM
Actually, you pretty much did. You certainly attempted to justify what happened to them.

But when I posted evidence form source after source, including the American military itslef, saying that they WEREN'T terrorists, and that some of them WERE innocent women and children, and that they DIDN'T have 'American blood on their hands', not ONE WORD did you retract.

Perhaps they have expectations that our soldiers will adher to our standards. And WHAT atrocities visited on our troops?

The 'contractors' were mercenaries, who were paid to go to Iraq and torture and kill Iraqis. Why on earth SHOULDN'T the Iraqis celebrate their deaths. They were their to kill them. And they do it for no other reason than money. And the mercenaries are NOT, 'our troops', They are very specifically exempt from US law. That was, in fact, the rational given for why the Army couldn't take action against a 'civilian contractor' who raped a prisoner. THEY AREN'T OUR TROOPS. We have no jurisdiction over them. The CPA has no juridiction over them.

'domestic enemies'? Well, be sure to include me in THAT group. Those would be the people in the news media who chose to focus on who attacked us, rather than the reaction of bystanders?

You words seem to indicate you don't think much of lesbians, since you use being one as an insult. I'll certainly take that personally. And you think Iraqi prisoners who've been tortured are animals. 'Non-humans'

Okay, now I understand why you didn't retract anything you wrote previously. If they're animals, who cares besides those liberal pinkos from PETA?

You LITERALLY write like a Nazi. I have no idea of your politics. I'm specifically NOT calling you a Nazi. I going completely from the words you use.

'domestic enemies' 'Iraqi dog'

If you want to convince people that your view on this is correct, a good start would be to stop confirming our REAL enemy's contention that we think they all Iraqis are animals! Wake up slick! With every word like that YOU bring the next 9/11 that much closer!
You take everything I write entirely too literally and tragically seem to lack any semblance of a sense of humor.

I apologize for my "dyke" remark. :o Most lesbians I have met would have laughed along with me. As for "Iraqi dog", that was a reference to the leash, not a characterization of the Iraqi people in general, and I'd wager everyone else who read that post took it as such.

To be honest, I had neither the time nor the inclination to read your lengthy posts about the report in question, but as I said, war is a dirty business and I was already aware that supposed murders of prisoners had occurred. My sympathies and allegiance lie with my compatriots and under no circumstances will I apologize for or retreat from that stance.

Your defense of the deliberate and marked censorship of the liberal media of events that paint a picture counter to their marxist agenda makes you more a nazi than I. So as per your request, I do count you among our domestic enemies. :sad:

In these troublesome times, I find nothing more infuriating than those who purport to be patriotic Americans, yet have little or no idea what the United States of America actually stand for, or used to. When a man who should be tried for high treason and admitted war crimes can run as a legitimate candidate for President, a man who is little short of a card-carrying communist and a clear adversary to the Constitution, God help us all! :tears: But since we have all but succeeded in eradicating Him as the God of our nation, it looks like we're pretty much on our own anyway. Wear this shoe if it fits, Volcana, but it's a general statement and not aimed specifically at you.

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 05:29 AM
You take everything I write entirely too literally and tragically seem to lack any semblance of a sense of humor.I don't find the situation humorous. At all.

As for "Iraqi dog", that was a reference to the leash, not a characterization of the Iraqi people in general, and I'd wager everyone else who read that post took it as such.I wil take that wager.

To be honest, I had neither the time nor the inclination to read your lengthy posts about the report in question, but as I said, war is a dirty business and I was already aware that supposed murders of prisoners had occurred. My sympathies and allegiance lie with my compatriots and under no circumstances will I apologize for or retreat from that stance.When the facts don't back your position, best to ignore them?

Your defense of the deliberate and marked censorship of the liberal media of events that paint a picture counter to their marxist agenda makes you more a nazi than I. So as per your request, I do count you among our domestic enemies. :sad: Thank you.

When a man who should be tried for high treason and admitted war crimes can run as a legitimate candidate for President, a man who is little short of a card-carrying communist and a clear adversary to the Constitution, God help us all! :tears: But since we have all but succeeded in eradicating Him as the God of our nation, it looks like we're pretty much on our own anyway. Wear this shoe if it fits, Volcana, but it's a general statement and not aimed specifically at you.A man who lied to the American people to get us into a war that as already cost the lives of hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis is running for President. George Bush should be tried for high treason and war crimes.

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 05:41 AM
More joyful news. Camp Bucca May 12, 2003. This was a YEAR ago, a completely different camp, and completely different soldiers.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4933741/

"On May 12, four soldiers from the 320th Military Police Battalion, based in Ashley, Pa., were charged with beating prisoners after transporting them to Camp Bucca. MPs from a different unit reported the incident, saying the legs of prisoners were held apart while soldiers kicked them in the groin"

Oh just read the whole article. The abuse and torture of prisoners is so widespread, and has been going on for so long, it almost makes any attempt to retina our honor and protect the Iraq people from the horrors we've brought on them pointless. Yes, I know we also SAVED them from horrors. But the country wasn't full of terrorists before we got there, and car didn't blow up on random street corners. Ordinary Iraqis used to be able to go to market. NOw if they leave their homes, they don't know it the Occupation or the Resistance will kill them. And we've managed, through our own actions, to confirm every bad things they've ever been told about Americans. The whole thing seem hopeless.

This isn't a 'liberation'. It's a royal fuck up. Predicated on lies, executed with incompetence, managed by political expediency.

ys
May 9th, 2004, 06:05 AM
We rape prisoners as a form or interrogation.all of them? Or is it the case that SOME wardens rape SOME inmates, which is probably the case in a similar system of any country in the world.

We murder prisoners.I haven't seen any charred bodies of Arabs hanging on the birdges..

We torture prisoners and then hide them from the Red Cross.That is bad. Torturing is prohibited by Geneva convention. Yeah, I would rather respect some fanatic's unwimllingness to talk about how my comrades are goingt o be killed by his comrades.. Or would I?

We force people for whom homosexuality is a religious taboo to perform homosexual acts at gunpoint.Was it the same people who boasted during the first days of the war that they are going to rape every American POW that they are going to capture during the war?

And all this is in the limited report the American government was willing to make public.It doesn't mean that it hasn't been done by armies of othe countries. It just means that that was American government who dared to admit it..


I can keep on answering the rest of the rant of original post.. Just don't have as much time on my hands as the thread originator.

And it is not that I like what happened. It's just that I think that every single occupational force in the history has done that to some extent.

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 06:10 AM
A man who lied to the American people to get us into a war that as already cost the lives of hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis is running for President. George Bush should be tried for high treason and war crimes."Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution

Please cite George Bush's lies, using quotes and providing links to your sources. I promise to read them in their entirety! As for treason, your claim is groundless! :rolleyes:

As for my "position", my approach to this war would be neither rational nor humane. I would ruthlessly decimate my enemy using every weapon at my disposal and not seek approval from any who did not share my basic fealty to America and its citizens.

However, if you had read my posts on another thread, you would realize that I do not espouse the imposition of our form of government on other nations. Personally, I think we should clean up our own house, morally speaking, and let the other nations of the earth follow! Or not.

BigB08822
May 9th, 2004, 06:17 AM
I dont mean that all Americans are like that but err how can people not notice this :rolleyes: all this because what country there from
We don't notice because most of use are not there participating!

How can we stop something if we aren't over in Iraq or at the prisons where we hold these people? We can only hear about it in the news like you do. Now that we do know we can voice our opinions, and people are.

harloo
May 9th, 2004, 07:38 AM
I am dissapointed that the actions of these independent contractors has undermined the job the soldiers are doing. However, I for one minute don't believe that these contractors acted alone, the Pentagon encouraged this behaviour. I may detest Bush and his administration for waging an unecessary war in Iraq, but I realize that alot of Americans have lost their lives during this conflict. We must not forget about those who has sacrificed their lives and served honorably under the Bush "REGIME".

After 9/11, Bush was given unprecedented power and the other branches of power were simply reacting to fear. It simply was a mistake going into Iraq, and projections of the outcome indicated instability. Colin Powell even warned Bush of the possible dangers of waging a war in Iraq, telling him it would be disaterous.

I was not suprised when the abuse photos came out, because if you have enough knowledge about the American Prison system which is an industrial complex of it's own you can only imagine how a supposed terriorist is treated.
The military even suggested a change in methods used in American systems which was more intense and as we can see now violations of the geneva convention.

Bush stated that the Geneva convention were not applied to those members of Al-Queida, but too the Taliban. Wasn't that an indication that touture, sexual abuse, intimidation, and humilitation was a part of interogation?
None of those in the Bush administration expected those pictures to be releashed to the public, but they knew of the atrocities being committed on a daily basis. I am not one to believe that this was the work of the contractors alone.

I do realize that in order to get information from certain soldiers, interrogation is an effective method. However, how can we preach about human rights when we don't follow international law? We as Americans were all upset after 9/11, but does that justify this type of abuse? Those on the far right say of course. You know the Rush Limbaughs of the world. I am not saying that someone linked too terrorism is beyond interrogation, but I am saying that does that makes us any better. Their is a way to get needed info without abuse.

This scandal is disaster either way you look at it, whether you support Bush or despise him. Of course, THEY HATE US. We all know that is a fact that cannot be denied, however the pictures will only destroy our credibility in Middle East especially.

Regardless of how many interviews Bush does on Arab networks, they will still think we are evil. So, how then will Iraqis be able to goven themselves in the name of democracy on a deadline? It's impossible, but I'm afraid that the pictures made a bad situation even worser.

treufreund
May 9th, 2004, 08:12 AM
JustineTime, how can you try to justify these horrible acts or rationalize in any way, shape or form and still pretend to worship Jesus?

Jesus would never have condoned such unspeakable cruelty. Jesus believed in pacifism and loved all. I cannot believe how little THE TRUTH about the atrocities or the basic tenets of your beliefs seem to matter to you. :eek:

njguido11
May 9th, 2004, 09:08 AM
the same people who didnt give a fuck when saddam was torturing his citizens are all of a sudden so concerned about the rights of the iraqi prisoners who are in jail. give me a break if you think the pentagon really was encouraging these actions. the pictures suck those military officers that participated in these are complete asses but what percentage of the military was actually doing this. A few dumb asses shouldnt give reason to judge all americans.

rand
May 9th, 2004, 09:39 AM
War is a dirty business, interrogation no less.

What amazes me is how few people posting here, if any, seem to remember that the so-called "victims" were IN PRISON! :rolleyes: They were not innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did! :rolleyes: They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands. But even if true, you certainly won't hear that on CNN! :rolleyes:

Oh, and say hey, and by the way, did anyone notice that none of the victims were burned alive, shot in cold blood, or dangled off bridges? In fact, abused as they were, they're all still alive today, n'est-ce pas? But no doubt we could reasonably expect the same "humane" treatment were the shoe on the other foot, yes?

Personally, I think we've done the job, such as it is, i.e. getting rid of Saddam, and should pull out so the civilized Iraqis can "democratically" choose the proper strongman to "preside" over them! :) Then they can join peacefully in the community of all the other democratic Arab nations...

Errr...:scratch: :confused:

:shrug:
O you're completely right, if somebody puts you in jail, certainly in a complete lawless territory, by an occupational army, that's necesseraly because you've got blood on your hands! How could I NOTthink about this? :roll:

rand
May 9th, 2004, 09:41 AM
the same people who didnt give a fuck when saddam was torturing his citizens are all of a sudden so concerned about the rights of the iraqi prisoners who are in jail. give me a break if you think the pentagon really was encouraging these actions. the pictures suck those military officers that participated in these are complete asses but what percentage of the military was actually doing this. A few dumb asses shouldnt give reason to judge all americans.
who ever said they didn't care about Saddam's tortures?
In every discussion I've seenabout the war the people aginst it definitely took a stance about that :roll:
but at least Saddam didn't get in Iraq "to stop the torture", well, to get the WMD, but let's forget about those, O wait, wasn't it against 9/11? ah well, whatever reasons helps you sleep at night I guess....

X-Lurker
May 9th, 2004, 11:09 AM
Wow, you've done a lot of research and obviously care passionately about what occurred. I'm always concerned about "tone" when I write on these boards, so please accept this as friendly questioning:

If the abuses were American policy, then why was General Taguba's investigation initiated in the first place?

Why were the soldiers involved charged? Why were the officers reprimanded? Why have criminal proceedings been initiated?

This was done months ago, before the photos were published.

A couple questions about a few details:

This isn't me talking. This is Major General Antonio Taguba. Here's an edited copy of the report the Bush administration was willing to release. The unedited version is reputed to include far worse.

The MSNBC report says that the report is the full executive summary, minus the names of some witnesses. Where did you get the information about the "unedited version"? I'm not saying you're wrong, I just may have missed it.

In reference to the four Americans killed in Fallujah you wrote:

The 'contractors' were mercenaries, who were paid to go to Iraq and torture and kill Iraqis.

What was your basis for this claim? Not saying you're wrong, just that there's no link or supporting evidence of any kind. All I can remember from news reports is that they were supposed to be guarding food shipments or something.

Ending note:

I'm Canadian and this scandal is highly reminiscent of our Somalia affair. Canadian Airborne soldiers, sent to assist the anti-famine operation, tortured and murdered a young Somali male they said was breaking into their camp to steal stuff; they took photos.

There was a huge uproar, of course. Nobody could possibly defend the actions of those soldiers...but does it mean that what they did was a matter of approved policy?

There are numerous incidents of male American soldiers sexually assaulting female American soldiers. Is that approved policy?

Reading the Taguba report, I didn't get the impression that what this unit was doing was the norm for American soldiers in Iraq; quite the opposite, in fact.

Rumsfeld says there are other photos that are far worse. I don't know if these photos are from other units, and if so, how many other units. Maybe that will change things.

Could be that I'm totally wrong...

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 02:51 PM
This is only the first half of the article. Follow like for complete.

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/World/Iraq_abuse_death_040507-1.html

Death in Detention
Marine Reservists Face Charges in Iraqi Prisoner Death
By Brian Ross


May 7, 2004 — As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld faces questioning on Capitol Hill over the abuse and humiliation of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, ABCNEWS has obtained new photographs in a case in which an Iraqi prisoner died at a makeshift prison camp run by U.S. Marines in southern Iraq.

The photographs show a 52-year-old former Baath Party official, Nadem Sadoon Hatab, who died at the detention center last June after a three-day period in which he was allegedly subjected to beatings and karate kicks to the chest and left to die naked in his own feces.

Abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Camp White Horse was allegedly carried out by U.S. Marine reservists. The accused reservists have told their lawyers they were given orders to "soften up" the men in their custody for interrogation by what were known as human exploitation teams from military intelligence.

After the prisoners were allegedly softened up, "the interrogations were conducted by these human exploitation teams that as far as we can tell didn't report to anybody in the normal chain of command," according to Don Rehkopf, an attorney for one of the accused reservists.

According to the military autopsy report obtained by ABCNEWS, Hatab's death was ruled a homicide, caused by strangulation, the result of a fracture of a bone in his throat. The medical examiner testified it took him hours to die.

"He was … covered in sweat and feces. It was a little hard to get a grip on him so he was moved by essentially hauling him backward by his jaw, kind of holding him onto his lower jar and upper part of his head," said Jane Siegel, attorney for the former officer in charge at Camp White Horse, against whom charges have been dismissed.

Marine Reserve Cpl. William Scott Roy, a deputy sheriff in Rensselaer County, N.Y., has admitted his involvement and agreed to testify against fellow reservist Sgt. Gary Pittman, also from New York.

Pittman is accused of karate-kicking Hatab in the chest when the prisoner allegedly refused to follow orders.

Lawyers say none of the Marines spoke Arabic, nor were there any translators assigned to the camp.

{Follow above link for complete article)

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 03:10 PM
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution

Please cite George Bush's lies, using quotes and providing links to your sources. I promise to read them in their entirety!That was you earlier saying you wouldn't waste you time reading everything I posted and all THOSE sources, right? Your 'promises' to read things this time aren't much of a motivation.

As for Bush's lies.
"Iraq has weapons of mass destruction"
"Iraq was involved in 9/11"

As for 'aid and comfort' - Allowing members of his administration to reveal the names of our CIA agents would count as 'aid'. For that matter, torturing innocent Iraqi citizens, which is surely adding to the ranks of terrorists, is 'aid'. Degrading our military capability by invading countires that pose no threat to us, would count as 'aid'. Being a blundering incompetent fool who makes policy driven by 'voices from God' from God in his head is just scary.

If the abuses were American policy, then why was General Taguba's investigation initiated in the first place?

Why were the soldiers involved charged? Why were the officers reprimanded? Why have criminal proceedings been initiated?Because OTHER people in the government realized it was a counterproductive illegal policy. If a policy starts with the president of USA, it's 'American policy'. If it starts with the American general running the prison, it's STILL American policy. We're legally an 'Occupying Power'. The nation, not the individual gets responsiblity for crimes committed in the ocuupied country. None of these soliders is subject to Iraqi law.

And, as more and more information comes out, it will become increasingly clear that General Taguba's report only covered a limited period of time and one prison. As Donald Rumsfeld said before the Senate Armed Services Committee two days ago. There's more and worse to come.

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 03:58 PM
[QUOTE=X-Lurker]If the abuses were American policy ....[/QUOTE}

This link (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4934213/) goes to a current MSNBC article that answers, partially at least, why I treat these as matters of policy. THe initial paragraph ....

"May 17 issue - Donald Rumsfeld likes to be in total control. He wants to know all the details, including the precise interrogation techniques used on enemy prisoners. Since 9/11 he has insisted on personally signing off on the harsher methods used to squeeze suspected terrorists held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

... Is something I've seen noted by other sources. The most extreme interrogation techniques were authorized by Dept of Defense. I'm quite sure they did not intend them to be used on innocent bystanders accidentally caught up in neighborhood sweeps. But woefully insufficient personnel, the authorization of brutal techniques on SOME prisoners, and the use of mercenaries (pardon me, 'civilian contractors', but what IS the difference?) in conducting interrogations was a virtual guarantee of the tortue of innocent people.

THe mercenary part comes into play becasue they are subject to Iraqi law, OR American law, becasue they aren't part of the chain of command. They can do anything to a prisoner, and not be prosecuted. once a untrained reservist sees that happening, and his command approving it, why on earth woould he not do it as well.

These weren't renegades. These were sodiers doing their job the way their command ordered them to, and demonstrated it waslegal FOR them to do. That's policy.

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 04:26 PM
That was you earlier saying you wouldn't waste you time reading everything I posted and all THOSE sources, right? Your 'promises' to read things this time aren't much of a motivation.

As for Bush's lies.
"Iraq has weapons of mass destruction"
"Iraq was involved in 9/11"

As for 'aid and comfort' - Allowing members of his administration to reveal the names of our CIA agents would count as 'aid'. For that matter, torturing innocent Iraqi citizens, which is surely adding to the ranks of terrorists, is 'aid'. Degrading our military capability by invading countires that pose no threat to us, would count as 'aid'. Being a blundering incompetent fool who makes policy driven by 'voices from God' from God in his head is just scary.

Because OTHER people in the government realized it was a counterproductive illegal policy. If a policy starts with the president of USA, it's 'American policy'. If it starts with the American general running the prison, it's STILL American policy. We're legally an 'Occupying Power'. The nation, not the individual gets responsiblity for crimes committed in the ocuupied country. None of these soliders is subject to Iraqi law.

And, as more and more information comes out, it will become increasingly clear that General Taguba's report only covered a limited period of time and one prison. As Donald Rumsfeld said before the Senate Armed Services Committee two days ago. There's more and worse to come.
I'm certainly no Bush apologist, but your case for treason against him is swiss cheese. Saddam Hussein was a known supporter of international terrorism, so taking him down was in keeping with our "nations who harbor and support them" policy adopted after 9/11. As for WMD's, please, Saddam used them in the past and Bush's wasn't the first administration to believe he had them. I think taking Saddam down was the right thing to do.

Obviously, you're a believer in the UN, so there isn't much chance you and I will agree on matters of foreign policy.

Peace.

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 04:44 PM
(Just some background info on the use of people who fight wars for money, how many of them we're using, what they do, and how we keep track. It's by no means a complete account, and I don't argue it is.)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4923442/


Pentagon was warned in 2002 of contractors
Abuse scandal includes use of private interrogators
The Associated Press
Updated: 8:07 a.m. ET May 07, 2004
WASHINGTON - A year before the Iraq invasion, the then-Army secretary warned his Pentagon bosses that there was inadequate control of private military contractors, which are now at the heart of controversies over misspending and prisoner abuse.


The author of that memo, retired Army chief Thomas White, told The Associated Press that the recent events show the Pentagon has a long way to go to fix the problems he identified in March 2002.

“Clearly, there was a lot of work that had to be done and still needs to be done,” White said Thursday.

In a sign of continued problems with the tracking of contracts, Pentagon officials on Thursday acknowledged they have yet to identify which Army entity manages the multimillion-dollar contract for interrogators like the one accused in the Iraq prisoner abuse probe.

20,000 contractors in Iraq
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also acknowledged his department hasn’t completed rules to govern the 20,000 or so private security guards watching over U.S. officials, installations and private workers in Iraq.

No single Pentagon office tracks how many people — Americans, Iraqis or others — are on the department’s payroll in Iraq.

“You’ve got thousands of people running around on taxpayer dollars that the Pentagon can’t account for in any way,” said Dan Guttman, a lawyer and government contracting expert at Johns Hopkins University. “Contractors are invisible, even at the highest level of the Pentagon.”

The problem has been known at the Pentagon for years.

In his March 2002 memo, White complained to three Pentagon undersecretaries that “credible information on contract labor does not exist internal to the (Army) Department.” The Army could not get rid of “unnecessary, costly or unsuitable contracted work” without full details of all the contracts, White wrote.

White’s memo was first disclosed in April 2002 by the GovExec.com Web site, a trade publication for federal employees. It was provided to AP this week by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit government watchdog group.

Spokesmen for Rumsfeld and the Coalition Provisional Authority did not return messages seeking comment Thursday.

Other issues
The prison abuse controversy that erupted last week is not the first example from the Iraq war of contracting problems.

Investigators from Congress’ General Accounting Office and the Defense Contract Audit Agency say lax oversight contributed to problems with several contracts in Iraq with Halliburton Co. The government is investigating allegations of kickbacks and inflated charges on several contracts with Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company.

Guttman said the Pentagon in the past decades has significantly cut its contract management work force while increasing its number of contracts with private companies.

The contract with CACI International Inc. is one example. An Army report on alleged abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad says a CACI interrogator lied to investigators and ordered soldiers to abuse prisoners.

Military can't track contract
Pentagon officials said Thursday they have not determined which agency oversees the contract, which originally was with the Premier Technology Group, a smaller company providing contract interrogators that CACI bought last May.

“We haven’t been able to find anyone who knows what contract that was,” said Deborah Parker, a spokeswoman for the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command. Parker said her agency did not hire any contract interrogators.

CACI in March landed an $11.9 million contract with the Army’s European Command for “intelligence analyst support services,” which includes providing intelligence operatives for the global war on terrorism.

Pentagon officials said they did not know whether the CACI workers in Iraq were under a predecessor to that contract, which was not in effect at the time of the alleged abuse last fall.

CACI chairman J.P. “Jack” London, in a conference call with investment analysts Wednesday, did not identify the Army agency that managed the Iraq interrogator contract. London said the Pentagon had not told CACI about any problems.

Investigation includes contractors
The lack of oversight extended all the way down to the Abu Ghraib prison itself, said the report by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba. The contractors “do not appear to be properly supervised within the detention facility,” the report said.

“During our on-site inspection, they wandered about with too much unsupervised free access in the detainee area,” the report said. Pentagon officials refused to release the report but said copies posted on the Internet by MSNBC and other news organizations are accurate.

White said contractors should not be in charge of interrogating prisoners.

“You can hire translators and people that would support the interrogation or the intelligence gathering efforts, certainly, but I would not think it would be wise to give up control of that process,” said White, a Vietnam veteran and retired brigadier general.

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 04:59 PM
Saddam Hussein was a known supporter of international terrorism
The United States presented no evidence in justifying the invasion of Iraq that 'Saddam Hussein was a known supporter of international terrorism'. Therefore, I respectfully submit that it was NOT in keeping with our policy of attacking "nations who harbor and support" terrorists, adopted after 9/11. And no evidence of any support of terrorists by Saddam Hussein has surface since the Occupation started.

Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do IF youcould insure that what took his place was a) supported by the Iraqi people as a whole b) wouldn't destroy the country, and c) wasn't worse and more repressive.

So far, we haven't met that standard. There is worse than Saddam Hussein. North Korea comes to mind. But of course, they don't have oil.

Obviously, you're a believer in the UN, so there isn't much chance you and I will agree on matters of foreign policy.
'Obviously'. More to the point, I'm a believer in WINNING, and a student of assymetrical warfare. If the the purpose of the War on Terror (so called) is to eliminate terrorism, then we're losing.

If we torture one prisoner, and 100 others see it, and then we release those hundred, they don't go home and say, 'I wasn't tortured'. They go home and say 'I saw how they torture their prisoners. The Americans are every bit as bad as everyone says'.

What does that produce except more people willing to attack us by any means, fair or foul. We're INCREASING the number of opponents to the United States, not decreasing it.

A foreign policy that increases the number of enemies you have is, at best, counterproductive. A less generous person would call it evidence of stupidity, incompetence, and short-sightedness of the highest order.

Of course, I'm one of the 'domestic enemies'. When it is our turn in Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib?

Volcana
May 9th, 2004, 05:06 PM
(More background info on 'civilian contractors'. Note that virtually every jobthey do used to done by a uniformed soldier. Up til 1990 or so, we universally referred people accepted money to replaced uniformed military personal in a war zone as 'mercenaries')

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10163-2004May8.html
What Are Those Contractors Doing in Iraq?

By Deborah Avant
Sunday, May 9, 2004; Page B01

The alleged U.S. abuses at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, and the suggestion that contract employees may have been among those responsible, has cast a spotlight on the military's extraordinary reliance on civilian contractors to perform even the most sensitive jobs. Consider this: During the first Gulf War, U.S. forces employed one civilian contractor in Iraq for every 60 active-duty personnel. At the start of the current Iraq war, that figure was about one in 10.

Contractors, in Iraq and elsewhere, are doing a lot more than building and maintaining camps, preparing food and doing laundry for troops. They support M1 tanks and Apache helicopters on the battlefield; they train American forces, Army ROTC units and even foreign militaries under contract to the United States. And they have flooded into Iraq to provide the military with security and crime prevention services. Having closely followed this explosion of military contracting since the end of the Cold War, I thought I knew the extent of it. But I have to admit that I did not know the government was also outsourcing the interrogation of military prisoners.

The information was far from secret. Indeed, CACI International, a defense firm based in Arlington whose employees were implicated in an Army investigation in February and in a subsequent report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, had advertised on its Web site for interrogators in Iraq. Thousands of such contracts are issued by a long list of offices within the Pentagon, and even by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad, to a wide range of companies for innocuous-sounding services. (The prisoner interrogators were hired under an "intelligence services" category.) This illustrates some of the difficulties in tracking what has become a vast web of military contracting.

When the United States deploys its military forces, the process is easily understood: Active or reserve officers, who report up the chain of command to the president according to rules set by Congress and governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, go overseas. The media cover deployments and the public is informed. But there are no standard procedures for deploying private security workers under military contracts, which makes it far more difficult to gather information about who they are, what they're doing and for whom. They are not part of the military command; they are not covered by the code of military justice.

The events of the last few days illustrate those differences well. When reports of abuses at Abu Ghraib surfaced, it was clear that the 800th Military Police Brigade (which includes the 372nd Military Police Company, home to many of the accused) was in charge of the prison; prisoner interrogations were run by the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. But Taguba's report also mentions four civilian contractors, all of whom were assigned to the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade. Two of those civilians, Steven Stephanowicz and John Israel, were "either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses" at Abu Ghraib, the report says. A third contractor, Adel Nakhla, is named as a translator -- and a suspect. A fourth, Torin Nelson, was said to be a witness. Both Nakhla and Nelson are listed as employees of Titan Corp., a security contractor based in San Diego.

The report identified Stephanowicz as an interrogator working for CACI; Israel, an interpreter, was also said to be working for CACI, although the company has denied that. Some news reports have identified Israel as an employee of Titan, which in turn has said he works for one of its subcontractors.

So, we are not even sure for whom these contractors work or worked. Nor do we know how many other contract employees were -- and may still be -- working at the prison. (In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld put the number of contract interrogators and linguists at Abu Ghraib at about 40; other Pentagon officials cited different figures in their testimony.) We do not know precisely what roles these contract employees had at the prison or to which group or agency they were accountable. To trace that, we would need to know the contracting agent -- someone representing a group within the Army, probably, but which one? Military Intelligence? The Iraqi Survey Group (a Defense Intelligence Agency unit responsible for investigating weapons of mass destruction and reportedly in charge of the most important Iraqi prisoners)?

And how would civilians such as Stephanowicz and Israel have become such a dominant force at a military facility? To whom did they answer on a daily basis? We cannot simply consider where they sat in the chain of command (as we can with military forces). We need to know who issued the contract and what it said. And that is not easy information to obtain.

A General Accounting Office review of contracted military services last year cited problems stemming from this lack of information. The agency's report, which focused on services delivered in the Balkans and Southwest Asia, found that Department of Defense management of contractors varied widely. Smooth operations require that commanders in the field be able to oversee contractors, but in fact the officer who is expected to ensure that a company meets the terms of its contract may be back in the United States. Field commanders have no easy way to find out what exactly a contractor has been sent to do. All of this makes oversight difficult even among the executive agencies that hire private security.

These problems with oversight in Iraq are not limited to Abu Ghraib prison. While we know how many military forces are in the country, even the federal government doesn't seem to know how many contractors are there. In an April 2 letter to Rumsfeld, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) requested information about the number of private security personnel and their role in Iraq. In a May 4 letter in response, L. Paul Bremer, head of the CPA, put that number at "approximately 20,000," most of whom, he said, were under contract to Iraqi companies or foreign private companies -- not to American forces. His list of the private security companies working in Iraq, though, included neither CACI nor Titan, which suggests that the real number may be far higher.

The uncertainties extend to the handling of suspected crimes. In the wake of allegations of abuse at the prison, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, commander of the 800th MP Brigade, was admonished and suspended; six others have been reprimanded; one has been admonished; and six additional soldiers face more serious charges. We can argue about whether this is an adequate response, but at least we know what the response is.

Months after Taguba issued his report to the Pentagon's central command, we still don't know what legal action, if any, the civilian contractors may face. CACI claims that it has not been contacted formally by the Army on this matter, and its employees are still working in Iraq. The Pentagon now says that it began an investigation of the Military Intelligence Brigade, civilian contractors and the Iraqi Survey Group -- but not until April 24. What accounts for the delay? And where are these civilian contractors in the meantime? Are they still working in the prison?

It is also hard to gauge how individuals employed by contracting companies might be prosecuted. (See the article below.) The government could prosecute the company or companies that employed them under the Federal Acquisition Regulations for material breach, which includes criminal behavior by employees. The companies could also be prevented from bidding on future U.S. contracts.

Congress is justifiably concerned about the abuses that may have been committed by American forces. Congressional questions about the role of contractors, though, also illustrate the high hurdle Congress faces in overseeing contracts. While Congress has access to the ins and outs of the military -- indeed, it passes the laws under which the military is regulated -- its access to information about contracts (in Iraq and elsewhere) is more circumscribed.

For example, the United States often hires contractors to train foreign militaries, but the annual consolidated report on military assistance and sales, which informs Congress about foreign training efforts, does not include information on which companies are conducting the training or what precisely they are being paid to do. This is simply the nature of contracting. Indeed, while some critics say that Congress should increase its oversight, keeping track of contracts and subcontracts among many agencies and from countless companies would be a huge job and require a dramatic (and costly) change in congressional oversight.

Individual citizens have even less access to such information. Government reporting (and media coverage) on the war in Iraq focuses on military forces. The word "soldier" evokes a set of common understandings. It is harder to comprehend the structure of military contractors, their relationship with other contractors and their involvement in so many different military jobs. Even the language is confusing. When four private security contractors were brutally killed and mutilated in Fallujah, some Americans heard "contractors" and imagined that they were construction workers, not armed guards.

The alleged Abu Ghraib abuses raise central questions about the training of U.S. forces and the chain of command, questions that rightly dominate the current national discussion. Yet the role of military contractors adds an important new dimension that should encourage more searching questions about this march toward privatizing military services and its implications for what is knowable about how sensitive military jobs are being performed -- and whether adequate controls are in place for the innumerable private contractors who are now doing a soldier's job.

ys
May 9th, 2004, 05:26 PM
Volcana, sometimes I wonder whether you even read all that or you are just functioning as cut&paste machine..

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 05:38 PM
The United States presented no evidence in justifying the invasion of Iraq that 'Saddam Hussein was a known supporter of international terrorism'. Therefore, I respectfully submit that it was NOT in keeping with our policy of attacking "nations who harbor and support" terrorists, adopted after 9/11. And no evidence of any support of terrorists by Saddam Hussein has surface since the Occupation started.
Yes, there is/was.

Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do IF you could insure that what took his place was a) supported by the Iraqi people as a whole b) wouldn't destroy the country, and c) wasn't worse and more repressive.
I agree to a point, but there's a limit to what we can control.

So far, we haven't met that standard. There is worse than Saddam Hussein. North Korea comes to mind. But of course, they don't have oil.
But they DO have nukes. And they're next to China. And I don't think anyone doubts that Kim Mentally-ill would push the button in a heartbeat if he felt threatened.


'Obviously'. More to the point, I'm a believer in WINNING, and a student of assymetrical warfare. If the the purpose of the War on Terror (so called) is to eliminate terrorism, then we're losing.
A matter of opinion. The number of international terror incidents has gone DOWN not up in the last couple of years, so I don't believe your opinion is supported by the facts.

If we torture one prisoner, and 100 others see it, and then we release those hundred, they don't go home and say, 'I wasn't tortured'. They go home and say 'I saw how they torture their prisoners. The Americans are every bit as bad as everyone says'.
Rumsfeld has condemned the torture, as has the President. I know a number of people here (yourself, Rand, treufreund...) think I'm just " :woohoo: we're torturing Iraqis! :bounce: ", but that's simply not the case. Again, my point was the transparent one-sided agenda-driven reporting in the leftist media. THEY are giving aid and comfort to our enemies, and I would dearly like to see them as well as a number of members of Congress brought up on charges, but I'm not holding my breath.

What does that produce except more people willing to attack us by any means, fair or foul. We're INCREASING the number of opponents to the United States, not decreasing it.

A foreign policy that increases the number of enemies you have is, at best, counterproductive. A less generous person would call it evidence of stupidity, incompetence, and short-sightedness of the highest order.
These Islamo-fascist wackos are on the move all over the globe. "Convert or die" is their motto. Maybe we're adding fuel to the fire, but I doubt it. If anything, we've got them on the run, and IMO that's a good thing. Bush is certainly doing more against terrorism than Clinton ever did, but in all fairness to Slick Willie, he didn't have a post-9/11 mandate. OTOH, though, Bush wasn't in the oval orifice with Monica Lewinsky when the planes hit...:scratch:

Of course, I'm one of the 'domestic enemies'. When it is our turn in Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib?
Get in line! :lol: Seriously, I support your right to free speech and dissent. What I do NOT support is the media and members of Congress deliberately undermining the war effort and putting our troops at greater risk just to further their political agenda. They're despicable, IMO.

I do agree that President Bush may well have dug us into a hole that it's getting harder and harder to crawl out of; creating a free Iraq looked great on paper, but in practice one wonders if they can deal with freedom. But the deliberate refusal of Bush's political opponents to show the world a united front in time of war certainly isn't helping! :rolleyes:

BigTennisFan
May 9th, 2004, 06:56 PM
These Islamo-fascist wackos are on the move all over the globe. "Convert or die" is their motto.Thank you. The ostriches simply will not acknowledge this. They believe that they are commanded by their religion to bring the entire world under Islam. :tape:


I do agree that President Bush may well have dug us into a hole that it's getting harder and harder to crawl out of; creating a free Iraq looked great on paper, but in practice one wonders if they can deal with freedom.
I don't know why anyone wonders. Of course they can't. Islam is simply not compatible with freedom. If you don't believe it, try sending some of these folks who think it is, to live over in one of those countries for the rest of their lives. They'll cut you from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. :lol:

BigTennisFan
May 9th, 2004, 07:07 PM
Obviously, you're a believer in the UN, so there isn't much chance you and I will agree on matters of foreign policy.
Ah, the UN. That most upright and incorruptible of organizations. That group that ran the Iraqi Food for Oil program in the most honest way imaginable. That bastion of human rights and freedom that places the Sudan on its Human Rights Commission.
All hail the UN. That group of brave decisive peacekeepers who did not even attempt to intervene to stop Hutus from hacking to death a young Tutsi girl with machetes in their presence. Yes the wonderful UN. What would we do without them? :tape:

Mercury Rising
May 9th, 2004, 07:36 PM
JustineTime you are scary, I'm sure Jesus is ashamed of you and your hatred. He turned his other cheek, you punch them in the nose.

JustineTime
May 9th, 2004, 08:36 PM
JustineTime you are scary, I'm sure Jesus is ashamed of you and your hatred. He turned his other cheek, you punch them in the nose.
What hatred? :confused:

Like many, you are obviously laboring under a gross misapprehension of what it means to be a Christian. But I'm sure you think the same way about me. :shrug:

disposablehero
May 9th, 2004, 08:47 PM
The Americans have well and truly blown this one. The Islamic world wants to see people hanged, and they seem to be working on dishonourable discharges. Granted, hanging is too much, but these people need to do HARD time, maybe 10-15 years in some cases. Bushy and his myopic advisors seem to think "We don't want out boys and girls in uniform to feel put upon, or like we are not behind them". Well I've got news, they are paid and trained to go over there and do a job, they are paid and trained to do it RIGHT. Accidentally shooting civilians is another matter entirely. You are in a war zone, and trying your best. But this prisoner abuse thing is different. There can be no claim of error, people just did wrong, and need to pay harsh penalty.

Eddie
May 9th, 2004, 09:34 PM
Yes, there is/was.
Do you have a proof for this claim??
Or was it just another one of countless lies that came out of your leader's mouth!:rolleyes:

prr_rrp
May 10th, 2004, 12:50 AM
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/08/torture/story.jpg
A photo composite of a U.S. soldier walking through the Abu Ghraib prison, and an Al-Jazeera logo.

"Sometimes they pretended to kill me"
An Al-Jazeera cameraman detained and tortured at Abu Ghraib recalls beatings, threats and photos of torture victims used as screen savers on military PCs.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Phillip Robertson

[/url][url="http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/08/torture/email.html"] (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/08/torture/print.html)

May 8, 2004 | BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Last Saturday, Suhaib Badr al Baz, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera, sat in the lobby of the Swan Lake Hotel and calmly described his experience being tortured by U.S. military personnel. The soft-spoken journalist's account of his 74 days in U.S. custody was deeply disturbing, and his story not only supports what is now coming to light about human rights violations in Abu Ghraib, but also adds interesting new details. Al Baz said that much of his mistreatment took place in a building at the Baghdad airport, a place where he heard the sounds of prisoners screaming for long periods of time. If his account is accurate, it means that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq is not limited to Abu Ghraib prison or a single military unit. It may well be, as military critics argue, more widespread.

Like many other prisoners of Abu Ghraib, al Baz was never charged with a crime and did not have the opportunity to defend himself before any court. As soon as he was arrested, he found himself plunged into a secretive network of American detention facilities with little connection to the outside world, a zone where human and civil rights were completely ignored. As a civilian in occupied Iraq, he should have been protected by the Geneva Conventions, but instead, al Baz became the victim of a war crime perpetrated by U.S. soldiers. Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: "Willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment ... Unlawful confinement of a protected person ... willfully depriving protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial."

Al Baz, who is a single man of medium build and a slight belly, hardly presents the image of an insurgent. There is nothing threatening about him. He is not dramatic, choosing instead to make his points in a straightforward way. Al Baz never raised his voice while he was talking, and over the three days of our meetings he did not seem angry about his incarceration. In a country of furious people, al Baz did not make a political speech. We sought him out to tell his story; he did not seek the attention.

Al Baz was not an ordinary Iraqi as far as the soldiers were concerned. He works for Al-Jazeera, the Arab media network with few fans in the administration. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently excoriated Al-Jazeera's coverage of Fallujah, saying, "I can definitively say that what Al-Jazeera is doing is vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable." These comments reflect the bitter feelings the administration has toward producers of negative news about the occupation. But this bitterness is not confined to words -- the U.S. military hit Al-Jazeera buildings in both Baghdad and Kabul, Afghanistan, strikes that the network believes were intentional, though the military denies it. As Baghdad fell to American forces on April 8 last year, a bomb struck the office of the network and killed Tariq Ayoub, an Al-Jazeera cameraman. Many journalists who have covered the war for the past year believe there is a clear pattern of intimidation toward the network by the coalition. Al Baz himself believes he was singled out because of his employer. "They knew me, they had stopped me before," he said of the soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division, who arrested him.

http://images.salon.com/src/shim.gif

Al-Jazeera, finding itself walking on increasingly thin ice in Iraq, had a crisis on its hands with an arrested cameraman. "We believe that Suhaib was not treated in accordance with his status as a journalist in a war zone. He was released from Abu Ghraib from a period of confinement without being charged," said Jihad Ballout, a spokesman for the network in Qatar. Officials at the Coalition Press Information Center said they could not confirm al Baz's detention. When given al Baz's prison I.D. number late this week, officials said that requests for such information are taking several days to process. Capt. Mark Doggett, an Australian officer, said that the office was inundated with requests.

Al Baz was able to describe his abusers and in several cases provide names of the most brutal. These names matched the independent accounts of other prisoners who had also spent time in the prison. It also appears that some of the military personnel involved in the torture used aliases to conceal their identities from the Iraqis. A man some of the former Abu Ghraib prisoners called "Joiner" was identified in one of the published photographs as Spc. Charles A. Graner in the New York Times. Al Baz also mentioned a man called "Joiner" when talking about the worst abuses he saw at Abu Ghraib.


The cameraman's ordeal began Nov. 13 last year, when al Baz arrived at the site of a convoy attack in Samarra with his camera. U.S. soldiers stopped him and began to search his car. Al Baz said that when they found his Al-Jazeera I.D. badge, the soldiers asked him how he knew about the attack in advance, and then tied his hands behind his back. Al Baz says he arrived at the site four hours after the attack, and by that time, the entire city knew about it. Following his arrest, al Baz says that soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division took him to a U.S. military base in Samarra and interrogated him for two days.


"At the base I first saw a tall heavy man who put a black hood over my head," he recalls. "Then he forced me to stand in front of a wall for three or four hours. I was treated very roughly, then taken to a room and interrogated. When the tall man was not satisfied with my answers, he hit me in the face. They asked questions in a way that showed they were not interested in the truth." Al Baz says at first he was not given food or water, or allowed to pray. On the second day, he was given foul-smelling food. Immediately after his arrest, colleagues from the network and friends began to pressure the coalition for information but were told by Gen. Kimmit's staff that there was no information available. This is a common reply for people seeking information about recently detained people. Al Baz said it took a week for the military to issue him a prison I.D. number.

"I asked them if I could contact my family because they would be worried about me. The tall man told me to forget it, that my destiny was in Guantánamo Bay." Al Baz said that during his time at the base, soldiers came into his cell spitting on him and screaming in his ear to keep him awake. "I didn't know if it was day or night. They tied my hands so tightly my wrists started bleeding, but at this stage I was still allowed to keep my clothes. This was a wonderful period compared to my time in Abu Ghraib."

Al Baz says that he was taken from the base in Samarra to the airport in Baghdad, where his treatment took a sharp turn for the worse. "In there I heard some horrible noises, many people screaming. They told me to sit on the floor and I went numb from the cold. If I moved my head even a little bit, a soldier would grab my hood and slam my head into the wall. Sometimes they pretended to kill me by pulling the trigger of their rifles. I found out later that they were punishing other people there." Al Baz says that he heard screams, men shouting "Good Bush, bad Saddam!" and crying out to God for help. "But it didn't do anything to decrease the punishment they were going through."


http://images.salon.com/src/shim.gif

When al Baz moved to Abu Ghraib in late November, he said he was asked to strip naked at one point but was never forced to take part in staged scenes like the others. "It didn't happen like that to me," he said. But he did say that he witnessed a disturbing episode involving a father and son. From his cell, al Baz said he watched through the small window and saw two men stripped naked. "The boy was only about 16 years old, and then a soldier poured cold water over them. Their cell was directly across from mine." Al Baz says that the father and son were made to stand naked in front of other prisoners for days.

Torturers often keep careful records; that is one of the odd but persistent features of the trade. It is never enough to destroy the captive -- there must also be proof of the victory over him, a souvenir. It is the prideful documentary urge that has undone the torturers of Abu Ghraib, although it is unlikely that the officers who sanctioned the abuse appear in the pictures. In any case, the Abu Ghraib prisoners were well aware that they were being photographed.

"I first knew that they were taking pictures when I saw that one of the computers had a picture of some prisoners as its desktop background. One of the prisoners had a black hood over his head and he was covered in cold water. I personally witnessed this event take place. The man was screaming, "I'm innocent!" until he got sick and his body got swollen from all the punishment," al Baz said. Cold water, solitary confinement, swollen bodies and constant psychological abuse are recurring images for the Al-Jazeera cameraman, who also credits his tormentors with ingenuity. "They had all different kinds of punishments and they changed them all the time. I begged them to interrogate me again so they would know that I was innocent, but they said no, that's it. All we know is that you're staying here."

The cameraman was released from Abu Ghraib in late January of this year. Since then he has returned to work for Al-Jazeera. On Friday afternoon, al Baz said, "I have one request, please don't concentrate so much on my story. There are still many people left in Abu Ghraib."

The day before I interviewed Suhaib al Baz, I drove out to Abu Ghraib prison and found a small crowd of people waiting to talk to their relatives. A year earlier, I visited the prison (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/05/01/abu_ghraib/) with a poet named Hamid al Mokhtar who spent eight years there under Saddam. When we walked out the front gates, there were still half-buried bodies in the ground. I asked him what should be done with the place and Mokhtar replied, "They should tear it down and not leave a single brick." I returned to find that it had been reincarnated -- it was a gulag again.


I saw a crowd standing outside in the furnace heat of the sun, holding slips of paper with numbers written on them. One old man, Hardan Soud, had a slip of paper with seven numbers written on it, and he wanted to know when the Americans would release his sons. "They came to my house in Thuluaya at 2 a.m., pushing down the door to enter my house. They didn't speak or ask any questions, and they took away my sons. I still don't know why."

Hardan Soud was waiting by the prison to see if the soldiers would allow him to visit the men. We stood there with him for a few hours and like many others he was not allowed inside. A translator eventually came out and said there would be no visits for a week and that everyone must leave. The crowd roiled when it heard the news, because the hope was kicked out of them. Eventually, they drifted back to battered taxis and drove away.

Abu Ghraib is a strange new place in its rebirth, but there is still the same feeling of dread and anguish that emanates from the walls. Even when it is empty, this is true. I remember this from the last visit a year ago, which ended in a room with a row of nooses. It was a vile place, and one condemned man had written, "Please God give me mercy because I didn't get mercy from Saddam." The U.S. military has not been able to erase the radiation of accumulated suffering; they have only made the place more modern, cleaner looking. But we know that is only an appearance. It is the same place it always was.


http://images.salon.com/src/shim.gif
After speaking to the relatives of the imprisoned men, we walked to the Marines guarding the checkpoint for the prison and they turned us away. I asked to speak to a public affairs officer. The Marines refused.

It was nearly a week later when I first heard American soldiers talking about the pictures coming out of the prison. I had flown with an air ambulance crew to the 421st Medevac Battalion from Baghdad in one of their helicopters, a Black Hawk with four stretchers inside. During the day, we flew two missions over the tan expanse north of Baghdad, which quickly turns into wide palm groves where fighters hide with their rocket launchers. When the crews weren't flying, they went back up to Taji, a base about eight minutes north of the Green Zone by Black Hawk.

The pilots and medics of the 421st were watching the news in Taji on Tuesday and the pictures everyone has seen by now were up on the screen, and the crews were sickened by them. On a long couch, a row of six men watched the TV in silence until 1st Lt. Jerry Murphy said, "It is so sad to be betrayed like this, because when someone's fundamental dignity is taken from them, there's nothing left." Lt. Murphy seemed to feel betrayed by the soldiers involved in the abuse at the prison, that they had betrayed the good things they were trying to do in Iraq. The medevac crews are working the other side of the war, the human side, which is perfectly OK with them. The 421st flies wounded people to the combat support hospital in Baghdad from wherever the accident or shooting went down. Everyone at the 421st explained their job in the same way: "It doesn't matter who they are. We don't care. The deal is that we pick up patients and take care of them." The pilots will land their Black Hawks on roadsides to pick up wounded soldiers; they land in firefights. The crews take civilians and people from both sides of the war.

Insurgents shoot them down despite the red cross clearly painted on the undercarriage of the aircraft. They respond to medical emergencies at the prison all the time because Abu Ghraib is in their territory. I wanted to know what sort of injuries they had seen, whether they had taken out patients who were the victims of abuse and possibly torture. I didn't get the details. Instead we sat and watched the news reports on the medevac TV, sullen and hypnotized, saying nothing.

As I write, Rumsfeld is before Congress trying to explain how U.S. forces could do such things. Many of the journalists in Baghdad think that this will surely finish him off, that it's only a matter of time. I watched Bush give his apology last night, but it all seems too late. The revelations of torture in Iraq by U.S. soldiers have pushed the country through a bloody and bruised event horizon. There is no apology that can bring us back.


salon.com

decemberlove
May 10th, 2004, 06:17 AM
we have always been this low.

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 03:00 PM
Rumsfeld has condemned the torture, as has the President.
Bush SAYS he condemns the torture. Just like he's been running around the country saying "the torture chambers are closed." Only now we know they WEREN'T closed. Until the military intelligence officers and mercenaries who gave the orders for the torture are tried publicly, not just the reservists, any Bush 'condemnation' is a sham. It's just one more George Bush lie.

What I do NOT support is the media and members of Congress deliberately undermining the war effort and putting our troops at greater risk just to further their political agenda. They're despicable, IMO.
George Bush is the one who put our troops at risk. HE'S despicable. The best thing we could do now is take all the money we're spending in Iraq and pay somebody else to handle the rebuilding of Iraq. Don't trust the UN? Put American accounting firms in charge of the audits. Arthur Andersen needs the work.:) Pull out troops out, let the UN put their troops in, and we control the pursestrings. That'll take care of any UN 'corruption', and will remove ANY risk to our troops, if that's your actual concern.

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 03:16 PM
we have always been this low.
Technically, that's probably true. A lot of the things we're doing in Iraq are things we do in American prisons. In fact, there's an article earlier in this thread about that, I believe. And of course, this isn't chattel slavery.

But 'always'?

They had to CHANGE the way Americans were running Abu Ghraib to come to this. They had to 'gitmo-ized it, as Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who now runs Ab Ghraib, was quoted as saying. So at some point BEFORE that, the level of torture apparently wasn't as bad.

I started this thread, and I guess you can tell I'm pretty appalled by what's happening. But I'm NOT condemning the entriety of the people of the United States. When the 'rebellions' started in the cities in the United States in the 1950's and 60's, it was not ever going to be a militarily successful strategy. American Blacks were just out of options. The Civil Rights movement was NOT succeeding. We were being killed via lynching and having whole communites burnt down anyway. So thousands and thousands of American Blacks turned to what is now called 'Intifada'. And died. Our political leaders were assassinated. (Gee sounds familiar)

BUT... things improved. It's actually possible for a white police officer who assaults an innocent Black man to go to prison now. It's still rare, but it used to be impossible. Don't make the mistake of thinking the UNited States is some kind unchanging, eternally evil entity. Americans were terrified after 9/11, and there's been some moral backsliding.

BUt we can recover ourselves, if not our standing in the world.

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 08:14 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4944094/

Red Cross: Iraq abuse ‘tantamount to torture’
Agency says U.S. was given frequently details of mistreatment

The Associated Press
Updated: 2:52 p.m. ET May 10, 2004GENEVA - Intelligence officers of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq estimated that 70 percent to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake, the Red Cross said in a report that was disclosed Monday.

War is a dirty business, interrogation no less.

What amazes me is how few people posting here, if any, seem to remember that the so-called "victims" were IN PRISON! :rolleyes: They were not innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did! :rolleyes: They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands. But even if true, you certainly won't hear that on CNN! :rolleyes:

"Intelligence officers of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq estimated that 70 percent to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake."

JustineTime vs Red Cross. Hmmmm who to believe?

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 08:15 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4944094/

Red Cross: Iraq abuse ‘tantamount to torture’
Agency says U.S. was given frequently details of mistreatment

The Associated Press
Updated: 2:52 p.m. ET May 10, 2004GENEVA - Intelligence officers of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq estimated that 70 percent to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake, the Red Cross said in a report that was disclosed Monday.

(Follow the link for the reat of the article)

War is a dirty business, interrogation no less.

What amazes me is how few people posting here, if any, seem to remember that the so-called "victims" were IN PRISON! :rolleyes: They were not innocent women and children dragged off the street like, oh, I don't know, SADDAM did! :rolleyes: They were most likely terrorists, and possibly had American blood on their hands. But even if true, you certainly won't hear that on CNN! :rolleyes:

"Intelligence officers of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq estimated that 70 percent to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake."

JustineTime vs Red Cross. Hmmmm who to believe?

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 08:24 PM
Volcana, sometimes I wonder whether you even read all that or you are just functioning as cut&paste machine..
I read every word, and a lot more I don't post. Everyday I check war news on MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, LeMonde, TalkingPointsMemo.com, Al Jazeera, Asia Times, the Boston Globe, sfgate.com, Informed Comment, and a couple times a week the BBC, NYNewsday and the Guardian. I also check Stars and Stripes and San Jose Mercury News and the Christian Science Monitor.

And of course, I use google to check if there are any other things I need to read on some source I don't normally check. I also check Fox News, just to see what they are avoiding covering, and Rush Limbaugh, to see if he's saying anything stupid, like comparing torturing prisoners in Iraq to 'fraternity pranks' (yes he said that).

The internet is a truly wonderful invention and I take full advantage of it.

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 08:40 PM
volcana- I ask- what are YOU doing to change America- and I'm not being fecitious or sarcastic.I vote.

I send suggestions on campaign issues to people running for office.

Getting as much news about what's going on with the two wars out to people, both by writing on boards like this, and talking to people.

I write 'Letters to the Editor' to regional newspapers.

I am reminding my friends and relatives that a national election IS coming up, and they need to inform themselves about the issues now. And register.

I attend my local land-use planning meetings, and make sure that environmental issues are being considered, but that we also leave ourselves a tax base.

It's not much, I know, but it's not nothing either.

I'm also starting a blog, but since I haven't yet, that doesn't count.

I also recycle.

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 09:06 PM
glad to hear because there is nothing more annoying than someone whining about things and doing nothing about it.
There are people who define ALL of those things as 'doing nothing'. And it is true that a lot of people find me annoying.

decemberlove
May 10th, 2004, 09:46 PM
oh, we've changed. that doesnt mean that what goes on beneath the scenes has changed thou. there will always be some shady, dark side of human nature type operations happening that we dont hear about ... its just this time, it has come to the surface. i dont understand how anyone can be surprised. i know so many fucked up kids in the military... just like cops... they are there JUST for the power trip.

Technically, that's probably true. A lot of the things we're doing in Iraq are things we do in American prisons. In fact, there's an article earlier in this thread about that, I believe. And of course, this isn't chattel slavery.

But 'always'?

They had to CHANGE the way Americans were running Abu Ghraib to come to this. They had to 'gitmo-ized it, as Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who now runs Ab Ghraib, was quoted as saying. So at some point BEFORE that, the level of torture apparently wasn't as bad.

I started this thread, and I guess you can tell I'm pretty appalled by what's happening. But I'm NOT condemning the entriety of the people of the United States. When the 'rebellions' started in the cities in the United States in the 1950's and 60's, it was not ever going to be a militarily successful strategy. American Blacks were just out of options. The Civil Rights movement was NOT succeeding. We were being killed via lynching and having whole communites burnt down anyway. So thousands and thousands of American Blacks turned to what is now called 'Intifada'. And died. Our political leaders were assassinated. (Gee sounds familiar)

BUT... things improved. It's actually possible for a white police officer who assaults an innocent Black man to go to prison now. It's still rare, but it used to be impossible. Don't make the mistake of thinking the UNited States is some kind unchanging, eternally evil entity. Americans were terrified after 9/11, and there's been some moral backsliding.

BUt we can recover ourselves, if not our standing in the world.

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 09:49 PM
lol- you should get a gold star for picking up on my sarcasm in that post;)
What sarcasm?

*JR*
May 10th, 2004, 11:20 PM
these are your typical leftist ideas of making the world a better place. i'm shocked that you wouldn't be embarrassed by this list. how utterly, utterly simplistic.
Were Volcana's ideas "rightist" would you still find the methods of communicating them described above so devoid of any merit?
:confused:

Volcana
May 10th, 2004, 11:33 PM
these are your typical leftist ideas of making the world a better place. i'm shocked that you wouldn't be embarrassed by this list.
I'm sure you are, but you'll get over it. And I'm sure you do far better things to make the world a better place. I'm not embarassed at all. I do the best I can. I am, of course, overawed by the long list of things you've posted so far that YOU do to make the world a better place. I could never equal them, and I don't try.

*JR*
May 10th, 2004, 11:38 PM
devoid of merit? oh, they have some merit, roger. but the merit they have is more along the lines of "feel good" merits. what makes you feel good about your place in the world and your portion of it and how much effort you're putting into making it seem as if you are a good citizen. but all in all...where the big picture is concerned, they make no difference whatsoever.
OK, Bri. My own methods involve lobbying "mid-level" (primarily) Government staffers (and lobbyists who lobby ones higher than I personally deal with). But it took me years to learn "who and how". So if Volcana agreed with your views, what methods would you advise to advance them?

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 12:02 AM
it is clear that we will never agree on things politic. nothing more needs to be said about any hypothetical parallel advances that can never be.
long list? wasn't aware there was one. but those that do, do. those that don't can't.
That would be, you don't do jack-shit, casue you can't. Except try unsuccessful to put down people making an effort.

You said it yourself, those who can do, do. I do. People have DIED to get the vote, and it does make a difference. If ONE congressman writes back to say my letter helped change his mind on an issue, if his vote in turn changes legislation, I personally made a difference. If his opinion changes a governmental policy, I've made a bigger difference.

I remember well the day my boss called me in to ask about a particularly inflammatory (to him) letter to the editor I'd written. I'd called the United States a 'white supremacist country'. I figured I'd be out of a job. Instead, it actually changed how he reviewed his staff. That had a positive effect on 50 other people.

Every little change that improves someone's life is a success. I make no apologies for putting forth the effort. If I make the effort and you don't, in most cases, things are gonna go my way.

Bush is sitting in the Oval office because the right wing fought like hell to reverse what they viewed as decades of things going the wrong way. More power to 'em for trying. And the effort of every Christian Conservative who made one phone call in a 'get out the vote' effort is having an effect on a citizen in Iraq right now.

Sit on the sidelines. That's probably the best place for you.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 12:12 AM
volcana...this post is absolutely hilarious! all i know of you is that you are from a military family with a historian father. the rest? that you suck up to euro's in an attempt to make it seem as if you're the only "sensible" american on the board. talk about sidelines! now...i have nothing against euro's. but there's no need to bend over and get reamed up the behind in order to get their approval....as you seem to enjoy doing.

another thing. you don't know me. so don't talk about sitting on the sidelines when you talk to people on this board whom you don't know well. at least i don't depend on recycling ten pounds of aluminum a year in order to feel good about myself.
Just sit on the sidelines and heckle. That's all you're good for. That's all you know. It's okay. Like I said, we all do the best we can. That's the best YOU can.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 12:26 AM
i heckle because you're a joke. that can be done from the sidelines and also when you're smack dab in the middle of things. sorry but you make it very easy to do.No problem. I've gotten a couple of days of discussion on the war going on the bord. Made sure a lot of people articles I thought were important, and still have time for a conversation with a non-participant like you. Having nothing to do but sit on the sidelines, hacking is something you have time for.

When this thread started, JustineTime was saying that the detainees were in prison for a reason, and probably had American bllod on their hands. Maybe some folks here agreed. By now, the Red Cross has come out witha report saying American Military Intelligence estimates that 70-90% of the detainees were arrested by mistake. So anyone on the board who happened to have the same misconceptions as JustineTime has, and who happened to read the thread, has now seen evidence to the contrary.

I'm sure that's a joke to you to, so laugh twice. But to me, everytime somebody's mind gets cracked open even a little, it's a win.

I guess that's the diffirence between and idealist and a sideline dweller. Order a beer and have some popcorn. The show goes on.

667 views of the thread so far. 667 chance to change someone's mind.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 12:30 AM
Gotta go, but I'll be back in a couple hours. Too much more stuff coming out about the war not to. Too many chances to change people's minds. While you're sitting on the sidelines, try the nachos. I hear they're terrif.

njguido11
May 11th, 2004, 01:36 AM
I cant wait for BUSH to win the election again

ys
May 11th, 2004, 01:47 AM
I cant wait for BUSH to win the election again
You might have to wait another 8 years fo that.

ys
May 11th, 2004, 01:52 AM
And anyone that denies that most people do charity or anything else other than to feel good about themselves, is full of shit.
Too many generalizations in this statement.

What is "most" people? 51%? 99%?

What is "to feel good about themselves"? Do you want people to do something "to feel bad about themselves"? All we normally is what we think is right thing to do - if it is what you call "to feel good about themselves"

JustineTime
May 11th, 2004, 02:02 AM
:banana: Go Bri-Bri :banana:
:banana: Go Bri-Bri :banana:

:lol:

JustineTime
May 11th, 2004, 02:15 AM
Feeling good about oneself is the only real measure of whether we're doing right or wrong.

Believe it or not, Bajangurl, there are those who actually perform charitable acts out of a sense of obedience to their God. Does it make them feel good? Sure. Does that lessen the worth of the act? Not a whit, IMO(and I'm not saying you said so, just making a point)!

Feeling good about oneself is part of the human condition and one needn't apologize for it, and feeling guilty for feeling good about doing good is lunacy! :crazy:

Come to think of it, isn't that the leftist motto? "If it feels bad to feel good, do it!" ;)

harloo
May 11th, 2004, 02:27 AM
OMG, Volcana and Deuce are boxing like prize fighters:lol:

Volcana has seemed to counter every attack with information from credible sources so looks like he is winning.:lol: ;)

Crazy Canuck
May 11th, 2004, 02:29 AM
And anyone that denies that most people do charity or anything else like doing things to make a difference , for any other reason than to feel good about themselves, is full of shit. I am not saying there is anything wrong with doing for oneself but don't deny it.

Agreed. Even people who have made a life of helping others are doing it because they choose to, because that is the life they want to lead, because it makes them feel good.

Altruism shmaltruism :p

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 02:32 AM
i am not jit. don't get people confused. jit and i agree on most things, but we also disagree on things as well. "everytime somebody's mind gets cracked open a little?" so what are you? the self-appointed board mind cracker or something?

btw..i don't find anything that is going on in the middle east to be worthy of laughter. it's a serious issue, no doubt. but discussing them with someone who has no influence for change (yet gets on here and acts like he's some kind of authority on this issue when in fact he's all about cnn and the new york times) is a waste of time to me because then it all becomes nothing but hot air and something to stress about each morning upon waking as you do.

we don't run in the same races, volcana. for where you are...you're doing just fine if it makes you feel better. :) :wavey:
Hope you enjoyed the nachos.

njguido11
May 11th, 2004, 02:36 AM
When will we benefit from bushs supposed war for OIL. Im sick of the rising gas prices its at insanely high levels. dont u think we should start seeing some benefit from all this soon. i personally cant wait

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 02:38 AM
And anyone that denies that most people do charity or anything else like doing things to make a difference , for any other reason than to feel good about themselves, is full of shit. I am not saying there is anything wrong with doing for oneself but don't deny it.
Who's denying it? The very definition of 'a better place' is subjective. The ultimate measure of 'a better place', is that I feel better in it! I'm not out aving the world out of some misguided sense of altruism. I'm not trying to save it at all. I'm just trying to improve it. Measured by MY definition of 'improve'.

It very definitely IS about making me feel better.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 02:41 AM
OMG, Volcana and Deuce are boxing like prize fighters:lol:

Volcana has seemed to counter every attack with information from credible sources so looks like he is winning.:lol: ;)
Deuce is a sideliner harloo. We CAN'T have a boxing match.

harloo
May 11th, 2004, 02:51 AM
lmao:lol: looks like you need the West Side connect.


Hi joy!:wavey:

Where is the crew?..............................






Or shall I say the trinity.;)

harloo
May 11th, 2004, 02:57 AM
Deuce is a sideliner harloo. We CAN'T have a boxing match.
Volcana why don't you run for congress? I mean you have handled Deuce who is a tough customer when she spews right wing rhetoric. She really is a friendly poster when you are not criticizing Bush, Limbaugh, or Fox News. She will even give you a kiss.:kiss:

I read through most of this thread over the past 2 days and it was really informative.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 03:06 AM
:banana: hi volcana! have another article to post? :banana:
Yes indeed! Here's a link of the PDF to the entire Red Cross report.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/News/International%20News/Mideast%20and%20N.%20Africa/Iraq%20conflict/Red%20Cross%20report.pdf

The part about the military intelligence telling them that 70 to 90% of those detanied were arrested by mistake is on page 8 of the PDF. An description of how some of the actual arrests were done appears on page 7 of the PDF.

Ona slightly different matter, the washingpost is reporting that the Untied is planning on releasing 6000 of the 8000 people currently being detained.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15492-2004May10.html

We will, of course, have to wait and see if this actually happens. But it seems odd they'd release 6000 people who were actually guilty of something. And of course, they'll have their own stories to tell to their friends and families.

THe Washington Paost also reports that of the 43,000 Iraqi detained at some point during the invasion and occupation, only 600 have been refered to authorities for prosecution. Of course, a lot of those people may have only been held overnight, which, during wartime, might even have been safest for them. But it's not very efficient.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 03:08 AM
Volcana why don't you run for congress? I mean you have handled Deuce who is a tough customer when she spews right wing rhetoric. She really is a friendly poster when you are not criticizing Bush, Limbaugh, or Fox News. She will even give you a kiss.:kiss:

I read through most of this thread over the past 2 days and it was really informative.Why thanks harloo. If it was informative then I got what I wanted out of it. As for running for office, I am thinking about it, but I'm planning on starting at the school board. You know what they say. "All politics is local.'

*JR*
May 11th, 2004, 03:12 AM
Seeing ppl I know mean well turned against eachother like this (IRL, too) is another reason the war sux, I guess. :( (Yes, I know this dust-up was about political activism, but it was still based on the war). The '01 invasion of Afghanistan united the US (plus much of the world) after 9/11. The '03 "and counting" Iraq quagmire tore it apart like nothing since Vietnam. :sad:

"Topaz"
May 11th, 2004, 03:40 AM
Huh! How did I miss this thread? I think I need to visit Non-Tennis more often. I just read the first few posts and I feel I've got a full load of reading to do. Interesting stuff, though. Already, I feel Canada has been spared any sort of blame. But are we really blameless?

TP went back to reading more posts of this thread.

JustineTime
May 11th, 2004, 04:07 AM
Seeing ppl I know mean well turned against eachother like this (IRL, too) is another reason the war sux, I guess. :( (Yes, I know this dust-up was about political activism, but it was still based on the war). The '01 invasion of Afghanistan united the US (plus much of the world) after 9/11. The '03 "and counting" Iraq quagmire tore it apart like nothing since Vietnam. :sad:
There goes another lefty with that "Vietnam" schmegma again! :rolleyes: :p

Hey, Rog, can ya sing Imagine too? I'll bet Mao & Marx could! :lol:

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 05:21 AM
:lol: spoken like a true politician:wavey: what would YOUR agenda be:DIt's the school board.

You know, get parents more involved in the school, get homework assignments posted on a central website so parents can easily check what their kid's homework is, get old computers into the hands of families that don't have one, healthy lunches, detailed budgets so folks don't feel their tax money is wasted, you know, the usual mundane stuff.

The only thing even vaguely out of the ordinary i trying to get districts to hire music and art teachers regionally, cause some districts near me are having to cut it out altogether, and my district didn't pass the budget this year, so it'll be our turn soon if we don't do something. 'Regional' is not how we usually do things, so that may be a tough sell. But hey, 'nothing ventured ...' right?

Remember, politicians aren't evil. Opposing politicians are evil.:)

ys
May 11th, 2004, 05:35 AM
What still puzzles me plenty is how did they suddenly manage to get those hundreds if not thousands of pictures and records of "prisoners abuse"? I would not have been surprised if _some_ pictures of that kind made by some idiot would have suddenly surfaced. But we seem to have some massive amounts of evidence, flood of it. Are they over there all complete morons to make so many records of that kind? I just can't figure it out.Two weeks ago there was nothing. Now it looks like there are hundreds if not thousands of them. Can anyone try to explain that?

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 05:43 AM
What still puzzles me plenty is how did they suddenly manage to get those hundreds if not thousands of pictures and records of "prisoners abuse"? I would not have been surprised if _some_ pictures of that kind made by some idiot would have suddenly surfaced. But we seem to have some massive amounts of evidence, flood of it. Are they over there all complete morons to make so many records of that kind? I just can't figure it out.Two weeks ago there was nothing. Now it looks like there are hundreds if not thousands of them. Can anyone try to explain that?
THis is known. They went through Abu Ghraib and asked eveybody stationed there to turn over anything they'd photographed or filmed. A LOT of people had made film or taken pictures. A lot had already been sent back to the United States. There wasn't 'nothing' two weeks ago. The news organizations just didn't have hold of it.

Remember what technology is now. Half the GIs over there have digital cameras and digital video. And they all email home. That's why everybody assumes it's all going to come out, They CAN'T confiscate every picture. It's too late for that.

BTW, have you noticed how CLEAN Abu Ghraib is in all the pictures of US officials there NOW, and how filthy and garbage strewn it is in the older torture photos? The PR department has been working overtime.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 05:47 AM
I'm not sure what to say about the following article except, bear in mind that 70-90% of Iraqi detainees are arrested by mistake, and that the US governemtn has announced plans to release as many as three quarters of the people they currently hold. That's a lot of innocent people caught in the system you're about to read the description of.

Notice also that they keep saying 'everything's legal' That's under US law, meaning no one who does these things is subject to prosecution. A number of the techniques used ARE against international law. You can't take ANYTHING inthis issue at face value. You've got to measure all the information and articles against each other, and remember that every officer involved, plus a lot of politicians in quite a few countries, are trying to cover their asses.


Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4947667/

Secret world of U.S. interrogation
Long history of tactics in overseas prisons is coming to lightBy Dana Priest and Joe Stephens

Updated: 12:03 a.m. ET May 11, 2004

Last of three articles

In Afghanistan, the CIA's secret U.S. interrogation center in Kabul is known as "The Pit," named for its despairing conditions. In Iraq, the most important prisoners are kept in a huge hangar near the runway at Baghdad International Airport, say U.S. government officials, counterterrorism experts and others. In Qatar, U.S. forces have been ferrying some Iraqi prisoners to a remote jail on the gigantic U.S. air base in the desert.

The Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where a unit of U.S. soldiers abused prisoners, is just the largest and suddenly most notorious in a worldwide constellation of detention centers -- many of them secret and all off-limits to public scrutiny -- that the U.S. military and CIA have operated in the name of counterterrorism or counterinsurgency operations since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

These prisons and jails are sometimes as small as shipping containers and as large as the sprawling Guantanamo Bay complex in Cuba. They are part of an elaborate CIA and military infrastructure whose purpose is to hold suspected terrorists or insurgents for interrogation and safe-keeping while avoiding U.S. or international court systems, where proceedings and evidence against the accused would be aired in public. Some are even held by foreign governments at the informal request of the United States.

"The number of people who have been detained in the Arab world for the sake of America is much more than in Guantanamo Bay. Really, thousands," said Najeeb Nuaimi, a former justice minister of Qatar who is representing the families of dozens of prisoners.

The largely hidden array includes three systems that only rarely overlap: the Pentagon-run network of prisons, jails and holding facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and elsewhere; small and secret CIA-run facilities where top al Qaeda and other figures are kept; and interrogation rooms of foreign intelligence services -- some with documented records of torture -- to which the U.S. government delivers or "renders" mid- or low-level terrorism suspects for questioning.

All told, more than 9,000 people are held by U.S. authorities overseas, according to Pentagon figures and estimates by intelligence experts, the vast majority under military control. The detainees have no conventional legal rights: no access to a lawyer; no chance for an impartial hearing; and at least in the case of prisoners held in cellblock 1A at Abu Ghraib, no apparent guarantee of humane treatment accorded prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions or civilians in U.S. jails.

Although some of those held by the military in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo have had visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross, some of the CIA's detainees have, in effect, disappeared, according to interviews with former and current national security officials and to the Army's report of abuses at Abu Ghraib.

The CIA's "ghost detainees," as they were called by members of the 800th MP Brigade, were routinely held by the soldier-guards at Abu Ghraib "without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention," the report says. These phantom captives were "moved around within the facility to hide them" from Red Cross teams, a tactic that was "deceptive, contrary to Army doctrine, and in violation of international law."

CIA employees are under investigation by the Justice Department and the CIA inspector general's office in connection with the death of three captives in the past six months, two who died while under interrogation in Iraq, and a third who was being questioned by a CIA contract interrogator in Afghanistan. A CIA spokesman said the hiding of detainees was inappropriate. He declined to comment further.

None of the arrangements that permit U.S. personnel to kidnap, transport, interrogate and hold foreigners are ad hoc or unauthorized, including the so-called renditions. "People tend to regard it as an extra-judicial kidnapping; it's not," former CIA officer Peter Probst said. "There is a long history of this. It has been done for decades. It's absolutely legal."

In fact, every aspect of this new universe -- including maintenance of covert airlines to fly prisoners from place to place, interrogation rules and the legal justification for holding foreigners without due process afforded most U.S. citizens -- has been developed by military or CIA lawyers, vetted by Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and, depending on the particular issue, approved by White House General Counsel's Office or the president himself.

In some cases, such as determining whether a U.S. citizen should be designated an enemy combatant who can be held without charges, the president makes the final decision, said Alberto R. Gonzales, counsel to the president, in a Feb. 24 speech to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

Critics of this kind of detention and treatment, Gonzales said, "assumed that there was little or no analysis -- legal or otherwise -- behind the decision to detain a particular person as enemy combatant."

On the contrary, the administration has applied the law of war, he said. "Under these rules, captured enemy combatants, whether soldiers or saboteurs, may be detained for the duration of hostilities."

Because most of the directives and guidelines on these issues are classified, former and current military and intelligence officials who described them to The Washington Post would do so only on the condition that they not be named.

Along with other CIA and military efforts to disrupt terrorist plots and break up al Qaeda's financial networks, administration officials argue that the interrogations are a key component of their global counterterrorism strategy and counterinsurgency operations in Iraq. As the CIA's deputy director, John McLaughlin, recently told the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks: "The country, with all its capabilities, is now much more orchestrated into an offensive mix that is relentless."

Military jails and prisons
Abu Ghraib prison -- where photographs were taken that have enraged the Arab world and rocked U.S. political and military leadership -- held 6,000 to 7,000 detainees at the time of the documented abuse. Today, it and other sites in Iraq hold more than 8,000 prisoners, U.S. and coalition officials said. They range from those believed to have played key roles in the insurgency to some who are held on suspicion of petty crimes.

Until the current scandal cast some hazy light, little has been publicly known about the Iraqi detention sites, their locations and who was being held there. That has been a source of continuing frustration for international monitoring groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch, which has repeatedly sought to visit the facilities. Even the military's investigative report on abuses at Abu Ghraib remains classified, despite having become public through leaks.

Far better known has been the Defense Department's facility at Guantanamo Bay. The open-air camps there house about 600 detainees, flown in from around the world over the past two years. Secrecy there remains tight, with detainees and most of the facilities off-limits to visitors.

The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether detainees held there, whom the Pentagon has declared "enemy combatants" in the war against terrorism, should have access to U.S. courts.

Last week, the U.S. military acknowledged that two Guantanamo Bay guards had been disciplined in connection with use of excessive force against detainees. And U.S. defense officials confirmed the existence of a list of approved interrogation techniques, dating to April 2003, that included reversing sleep patterns, exposing prisoners to hot and cold, and "sensory assault," including use of bright lights and loud music.

The treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan has received less public attention.

The U.S. military holds 300 or so people at Bagram, north of the capital of Kabul, and in Kandahar, Jalalabad and Asadabad. Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 700 people had been released from those sites, most of them held a few weeks or less. Special Forces units also have holding centers at their firebases, including at Gardez and Khost.

In December 2002, two Afghans died in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. The U.S. military classified both as homicides. Another Afghan died in June 2003 at a detention site near Asadabad.

"Afghans detained at Bagram airbase in 2002 have described being held in detention for weeks, continuously shackled, intentionally kept awake for extended periods of time, and forced to kneel or stand in painful positions for extended periods," according to a report in March by Human Rights Watch. "Some say they were kicked and beaten when arrested, or later as part of efforts to keep them awake. Some say they were doused with freezing water in the winter."

CIA detention
Before the U.S. military was imprisoning and interrogating people in Afghanistan and Iraq, the CIA was scooping up suspected al Qaeda leaders in such far-off places as Pakistan, Yemen and Sudan. Today, the CIA probably holds two to three dozen captives around the world, according to knowledgeable current and former officials. Among them are al Qaeda leaders Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh in Pakistan and Abu Zubaida. The CIA is also in charge of interrogating Saddam Hussein, who is believed to be in Baghdad.

The location of CIA interrogation centers is so sensitive that even the four leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, who are briefed on all covert operations, do not know them, congressional sources said. These members are given periodic reports about the captives, but several members said they do not receive information about conditions under which prisoners are held, and members have not insisted on this information. The CIA has told Congress that it does not engage in torture as a tactic of interrogation.

"There's a black hole on certain information such as location, condition under which they are held," said one congressional official who asked not to be named. "They are told it's too sensitive."

In Afghanistan, the CIA used to conduct some interrogations in a cluster of metal shipping containers on Bagram air base protected by three layers of concertina wire. It is unclear whether that center is still open, but the CIA's main interrogation center now appears to be in Kabul, at a location nicknamed "The Pit" by agency and Special Forces operators.

"Prisoner abuse is nothing new," said one military officer who has been working closely with CIA interrogators in Afghanistan. A dozen former and current national security officials interviewed by The Washington Post in 2002, including several who had witnessed interrogations, defended the use of stressful interrogation tactics and the use of violence against detainees as just and necessary.

The CIA general counsel's office developed a new set of interrogation rules of engagement in after the Sept. 11 attacks. It was vetted by the Justice Department and approved by the National Security Council's general counsel, according to U.S. intelligence officials and other U.S. officials familiar with the process. "There are very specific guidelines that are thoroughly vetted," said one U.S. official who helps oversee the process. "Everyone is on board. It's legal."

The rules call for field operators to seek approval from Washington to use "enhanced measures," methods that could cause temporary physical or mental pain.

U.S. intelligence officials say the CIA, contrary to the glamorized view from movies and novels, had no real interrogation specialists on hand to deal with the number of valuable suspects it captured after Sept. 11. The agency relied on analysts, psychologists and profilers. "Two and a half years later," one CIA veteran said, "we have put together a very professional, controlled, deliberate and legally rationalized approach to dealing with the Abu Zubaidas of the world."

U.S. intelligence officials say their strongest suit is not harsh interrogation techniques, but time and patience.

'Renditions'
Much larger than the group of prisoners held by the CIA are those who have been captured and transported around the world by the CIA and other agencies of the U.S. government for interrogation by foreign intelligence services. This transnational transfer of people is a key tactic in U.S. counterterrorism operations on five continents, one that often raises the ire of foreign publics when individual cases come to light.

For example, on Jan. 17, 2000, a few hours before Bosnia's Human Rights Chamber was to order the release of five Algerians and a Yemeni for lack of evidence, Bosnian police handed them over to U.S. authorities who flew them to Guantanamo Bay.

The Bosnian government, faced with public outcry, said it would compensate the families of the men, who were suspected of having made threats to the U.S. and British embassies in Bosnia.

The same month, in Indonesia, Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni, suspected of helping Richard C. Reid, the Briton charged with trying to detonate explosives in his shoe on an American Airlines flight, was detained by Indonesian intelligence agents based on information the CIA provided them. On Jan. 11, without a court hearing or a lawyer, he was hustled aboard an unmarked U.S.-registered Gulfstream V jet parked at a military airport in Jakarta and flown to Egypt.

It was no coincidence Madni ended up in Egypt. Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are well-known destinations for suspected terrorists.

"A lot of people they [the U.S.] are taking to Jordan, third-country nationals," a senior Saudi official said. "They can do anything they want with them, and the U.S. can say, 'We don't have them.' "

In the past year, an unusual country joined that list of destinations: Syria.

Last year U.S. immigration authorities, with the approval of then-Acting Attorney General Larry Thompson, authorized the expedited removal of Maher Arar to Syria, a country the U.S. government has long condemned as a chronic human-rights abuser. Maher, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen, was detained at JFK International Airport in New York as he was transferring to the final leg of his flight home to Canada.

U.S. authorities say Arar has links to al Qaeda. Not wanting to return him to Canada for fear he would not be adequately followed, immigration officials took him, in chains and shackles, to a New Jersey airfield, where he was "placed on a small private jet, and flown to Washington D.C.," according to a lawsuit filed recently against the U.S. government. He was flown to Jordan, interrogated and beaten by Jordanian authorities who then turned him over to Syria, according to the lawsuit.

Arar said that for the 10 months he was in prison, he was beaten, tortured and kept in a shallow grave. After much pressure from the Canadian government and human rights activists, he was freed and has returned to Canada.

CIA Director George J. Tenet, testifying earlier this year before the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, said the agency participated in more than 70 renditions in the years before the attacks. In 1999 and 2000 alone, congressional testimony shows, the CIA and FBI participated in two dozen renditions.

Christopher Kojm, a former State Department intelligence official and a staff member of the commission, explained the rendition procedure at a recent hearing: "If a terrorist suspect is outside of the United States, the CIA helps to catch and send him to the United States or a third country," he testified. "Though the FBI is often part of the process, the CIA is usually the main player, building and defining the relationships with the foreign government intelligence agencies and internal security services."

The Saudis currently are detaining and interrogating about 800 terrorism suspects, said a senior Saudi official. Their fate is largely controlled by Saudi-based joint intelligence task forces, whose members include officers from the CIA, FBI and other U.S. law-enforcement agencies.

The Saudi official said his country does not participate in renditions and today holds no more than one or two people at the request of the United States. Yet much can hinge on terminology.

In some interrogations, for example, specialists from the United States and Saudi Arabia develop questions and an interrogation strategy before questioning begins, according to one person knowledgeable about the process. During interrogation, U.S. task force members watch through a two-way mirror, he said.

"Technically, the questioning is done by a Saudi citizen. But, for all practical purposes, it is done live," he said. The United States and Saudis "are not 'cooperating' anymore; we're doing it together."

He said the CIA sometimes prefers Saudi interrogation sites and other places in the Arab world because their interrogators speak a detainee's language and can exploit his religion and customs.

"As hard as it is to believe, you can't physically abuse prisoners in Saudi Arabia," the Saudi official said. "You can't beat them; you can't electrocute them."

Instead, he said, the Saudis bring radical imams to the sessions to build a rapport with detainees, who are later passed on to more moderate imams. Working in tandem with relatives of the detainees, the clerics try to convince the subjects over days or weeks that terrorism violates tenets of the Koran and could bar them from heaven.

"According to our guys, almost all of them turn," the Saudi official said. "It's like deprogramming them. There is absolutely no need to put them through stress. It's more of a therapy."

The Saudis don't want or need to be directed by American intelligence specialists, who have difficulty understanding Arab culture and tribal relations, he said. "We know where they grew up," he said of the detainees. "We know their families. We know the furniture in their home."

ys
May 11th, 2004, 05:49 AM
That's not the point. Why do you think rapists almost never take picture or videos of their rapes? Why do murderers never take pictures or videos of their murders? Because with all their vicious mind they know that they are doing something wrong and they don't want extra evidence. These folks, it seems, didn't even realise that they are doing something wrong.. How can it be..

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 06:10 AM
That's not the point. Why do you think rapists almost never take picture or videos of their rapes? Why do murderers never take pictures or videos of their murders? Because with all their vicious mind they know that they are doing something wrong and they don't want extra evidence. These folks, it seems, didn't even realise that they are doing something wrong.. How can it be..
Oh sorry. I DID miss your point. How is it they seem to have no sense of right and wrong?

You know, I'd written about twenty sentences after this, and deleted them all. I don't know the answer to that question.

The best I can say is, those soldiers were lied to by their Commander in Chief. They were told before going over there that the Iraqis attacked us on 9/11. So when they got there, they treated Iraqi prisoners like they had attacked us on 9/11. In other words, it wasn't 'wrong', because these pepole attacked us.
That's one possibility.

However, I also have to admit that during the 1st War on Iraq, according to both news reports and my fighting instructor who was over there, the term American solideirs used for Iraqis was 'Sand ******s'. So it's possible that it's all out and out bigotry. A complete lack of respect for Iraqis as human being on the part of a large number of American soldiers. In other words, it wasn't 'wrong', because these aren't really people. They're 'lesser'.
That's another possibility.

One thing I can tell you is that most Americans HAVE a sense of right and wrong. And that war can do sick things to anybody. Even the people who are 'winning'.

kiwifan
May 11th, 2004, 09:49 AM
lmao:lol: looks like you need the West Side connect.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:For this weak ass thread?:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

This is just self-righteous bullshit.

An Ego trip Eruption. :devil:

"How low can we go?"

Have we enslaved these assholes yet (at least 200 years of free labor)?

Have we rounded them all up and moved them onto reservations yet (I'm leaving out smallpocks laden blankets, murder, general swindling and other neat things we did to a certain group)?

Have we nuked them yet?

So Blacks, Indians and the Japanese (among others) should all agree that the USA can indeed go lower.

Now Volcana claims an intelligence that rises above her impressive ability to cut and paste. :tape: Yet somehow in the effort to put forth an asinine agenda completely disregards obvious history. So what does that mean for the purposes of this thread?

That makes this stupid thread just more of Volcana's attention seeking Euro ass kissing which seems to be epidemic both here and in GM. :lol:

Volcana, how low can you go? :devil: Using international scandal just to boost your "status" with the Euros on a message board. :tape:

I was in favor of the war, don't give a fuck about rebuilding the place.

Humiliation, asskickings and other shit happen during war.

Iraqi cowards hide amongst the civilian population, so blame them for civilians getting rounded up. Heck I also blame the civilians since they let the fuckers hide amongst them. If a soldier rapes someone, court martial him; pretty fucking simple - not a vast right wing conspiracy. ;) I wouldn't let a "International Tribune" in Euroland try a US soldier for jaywalking - you see from the boards how much they hate us (when we aren't saving their asses or rebuilding their asses, wasting our tourism dollars on their crappy old buildings etc.).

If Iraqis don't want us there fine, we'll be handing over a three way Civil War (I'll be rooting for the Kurds). When the dust clears, if they don't behave we just kick their asses again. :banana:

In the meantime we should be looking for WMD in...

...other countries. :devil: :devil: :devil:

Finally, I'm happy that Volcana will start dedicating time to making sure our kids have nutritous school lunches, instead of our national defense. I feel safer already; don't be one of those losers that makes the kids eat tofu instead of red meat okay? :p










Cheers - :cool:

*JR*
May 11th, 2004, 12:09 PM
JiT, the Vietnam War Was indeed started to "protect Freedom From those Commies" etc. (Though I was referring ITT To This war's effect @ home becoming similar). BTW, yes I can sing "Imagine". :p

Kiwi, your points about historic abuse of ppl here as in slavery and the massacres and "quarantine" of Native Americans Are true. (And indeed worse). But it still doesn't justify these crimes; if anything, we should have LEARNED something from Our Own baggage, IMO. And re. Volcana, a huge # of Americans feel the same as those Europeans, BTW.

Re. Our Obligations to rebuild Iraq, etc. we started the whole sequence of events by reinstalling the Shah of Iran in 1953, but I'll connect those dominoes in some other post. Sure we can "root for the Kurds" but that doesn't guarantee a thing. How this has changed history none of us know, but its kinda hard to "put The Toothpaste back in the tube".

Colin B
May 11th, 2004, 12:34 PM
:rolleyes: :rolleyes:For this weak ass thread?:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

This is just self-righteous bullshit.

An Ego trip Eruption. :devil:

"How low can we go?"

Have we enslaved these assholes yet (at least 200 years of free labor)?

Have we rounded them all up and moved them onto reservations yet (I'm leaving out smallpocks laden blankets, murder, general swindling and other neat things we did to a certain group)?

Have we nuked them yet?

So Blacks, Indians and the Japanese (among others) should all agree that the USA can indeed go lower.


That makes this stupid thread just more of Volcana's attention seeking Euro ass kissing which seems to be epidemic both here and in GM. :lol:

Volcana, how low can you go? :devil: Using international scandal just to boost your "status" with the Euros on a message board. :tape: I find this thread intriguing. Not so much the facts, we all seem to be in agreement there. It's the way they are being presented!

You know, Kiwifan; if the current US administration exercised a little less of your defiance and a little more of Volcana's humility in it's international dealings, it would have a lot more friends in the world. You'll probably say that you don't need any friends to achieve your goals and that's certainly true but hey; "a problem shared........."

BTW - You call it 'ass kissing', the rest of us call it 'diplomacy'.

;)

If a soldier rapes someone, court martial him; pretty fucking simple - not a vast right wing conspiracy. ;) I wouldn't let a "International Tribune" in Euroland try a US soldier for jaywalking - you see from the boards how much they hate us (when we aren't saving their asses or rebuilding their asses, wasting our tourism dollars on their crappy old buildings etc.).Where ever the case is heard, it needs to be more transparent than a court martial and why does the idea of an impartial international tribunal worry you so much? Aren't us 'Euros' liberal enough to see that justice is done?

:angel:


In the meantime we should be looking for WMD in...

...other countries. :devil: :devil: :devil:
Yeah? Where should we look first? :unsure:



:)

*JR*
May 11th, 2004, 01:25 PM
the ONLY difference in this case is that it is documented with photos. that is the ONLY difference. i spoke to a colleague earlier who is in the israeli army who said "bri? this type of thing is never documented this stupidly. only in america!"
This Too may be changing:

Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 May, 2004, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK (BBC)

Israeli troops die in Gaza blast

Analysts say the incident is a serious blow to Israeli forces
Six Israeli soldiers were killed when their armoured personnel carrier was blown up during a Gaza City raid. Palestinian militant group Hamas says it placed the bomb that destroyed the vehicle.

It is thought to be the highest death toll for the Israeli Army in a single operation in nearly two years. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called an emergency meeting of his inner Cabinet to discuss how to respond to the soldiers' deaths. On Tuesday afternoon, an Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile at a Palestinian car in Gaza City causing casualties - though it was unclear if anyone in the car was killed.

Israeli troops backed by tanks and helicopters had earlier moved into Gaza City for, what they said, was a security operation, killing at least three Palestinians. Hamas said it had drawn the vehicle into an area where it had several bombs waiting, and filmed the explosion.

BBC Middle East analyst Roger Hardy says this is a serious blow to Israeli forces. He says Hamas supporters will see it as proof that the organisation has the ability to strike back to avenge the killing of two of its top leaders by the Israelis in March and April. The latest violence comes as Mr Sharon struggles to keep alive his plan for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

The BBC's Alan Johnston reports from Gaza City that fighting raged there from midnight, when Israeli troops moved in. At least 20 militants were wounded in addition to those who died. The troops had entered the Zeitoun district on a "pinpoint operation against the terrorist infrastructure", an army source said.

Israeli troops in jeeps spearheaded the incursion, quickly backed up by tanks, witnesses said, while gunmen rushed to the area from across the city. The Israelis used loudspeakers to order the inhabitants of the densely populated district to stay inside their houses or risk being shot, as army snipers took up positions at the top of the highest building in the area.

The Israelis said they had found more than 30 machines used for making weapons. The Palestinians say four workshops were hit. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed to crush Palestinian militants who regularly launch mortar and other attacks out of the Gaza Strip into Israel.

About 130 Palestinian homes have been destroyed this month in what the UN agency for Palestinian refugees says is one of the most intense periods of destruction for years. The group says Israel is meting out illegal collective punishment after the killing of a settler and her four daughters in Gaza last week.

The Israeli army has described the UN figures as exaggerated. It said the demolitions were only carried out on buildings they knew to have been used by militants to attack Israeli targets. Israeli forces backed by tanks and bulldozers also entered the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday and tore down a structure.

The latest Israeli deaths are the worst single blow to the army since November 2002, when eight Israeli soldiers, along with a border patrol officer and three civilian guards, were killed in an ambush in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Halardfan
May 11th, 2004, 02:45 PM
There are crucial questions to be answered...at first I thought/hoped the incident would turn out to be the work, as some have suggested, of a few bad apples...but increasingly reports are coming through that the orders for these acts came from high up, that the methods used were common place. If that is so, then Rumsfeld must go. As should his British counterpart Geoff Hoon...the British Army has a case to answer in all this as well.

The news gets worse, what with the reports that many of the prisoners were totally innocent in the first place, and with news that there are hundreds of supposedly WORSE pictures still to come and talk of video footage too...

Im genuinely suprised that some people still seek to justify the behaviour...as the British army leaders have said, if we lose the fabled battle for hearts and minds in Iraq, then we are finished and the war lost. The acts of soliders like these and perhaps their superiors have put the enitre mission and our whole reputation in jeopardy.

Colin B
May 11th, 2004, 03:47 PM
There are crucial questions to be answered...at first I thought/hoped the incident would turn out to be the work, as some have suggested, of a few bad apples...but increasingly reports are coming through that the orders for these acts came from high up, that the methods used were common place. If that is so, then Rumsfeld must go. As should his British counterpart Geoff Hoon...the British Army has a case to answer in all this as well.

The news gets worse, what with the reports that many of the prisoners were totally innocent in the first place, and with news that there are hundreds of supposedly WORSE pictures still to come and talk of video footage too...

Im genuinely suprised that some people still seek to justify the behaviour...as the British army leaders have said, if we lose the fabled battle for hearts and minds in Iraq, then we are finished and the war lost. The acts of soliders like these and perhaps their superiors have put the enitre mission and our whole reputation in jeopardy.Quite right! What's more, it has emerged that a British soldier shot an eight year old Iraqi girl last year. I hope he and the other disgraced members of the armed forces are all tried, preferably by an international tribunal in a public, civillian court and recieve the harshest possible sentences.

Like a policeman who is guilty of corrupt or criminal behaviour, soldiers are in a position of authority and when they transgress their power, they deserve no special trials or immunities.

:rolleyes:

*JR*
May 11th, 2004, 04:37 PM
it's this type of display that makes torture (the kind that we are discussing in this thread) a very easy thing to do....an extremely easy thing to do.
The Israeli's @ least target actual militants who may well provide valuable intelligence. Our "aces" In Iraq were grabbing "anybody and everybody" in a fit of desperation, leading to them Getting "GIGO" level information, though.

kiwifan
May 11th, 2004, 07:04 PM
here's my understanding of it, ys. when soldiers are at war (and most especially if they have lost fellow soldiers in that war) they do not have, for the most part, the same frame of mind that they would have if they were shopping on madison avenue for a pair of shoes. they are more gripped by a need for revenge than your average citizen on the street. this by no means excuses their actions. it merely explains it.
Memo: Iraq abuse was 'vigilante justice'

BAGHDAD (AP) — A female soldier in the Army's 320th Military Police Battalion took "vigilante justice" on Iraqi prisoners who she believed had raped Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, according to a letter from the battalion's commander obtained by The Associated Press.
Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum, commander of 320th Military Police Battalion, leveled the allegation in a rebuttal to charges against his leadership of the 320th, some of whose soldiers were also charged with abusing prisoners last fall at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison.

Phillabaum made the allegation in an April 12 memo to Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, deputy commander of coalition forces in Iraq. He provided a copy to The Associated Press.

In the document, Phillabaum said Master Sgt. Lisa Girman, 35, and three other MPs from the same battalion abused the prisoners at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq on May 12, 2003.

"When Master Sgt. Lisa Girman returned to Camp Bucca shortly before midnight, she took 'vigilante justice' against EPW (enemy prisoners of war) that she believed had raped Pfc. Jessica Lynch," he said. "Four out of the 10 320th MP Battalion soldiers abused some of the EPWs; a clear indication that the abuse was the responsibility of those individuals acting alone and was not condoned by myself or any leader at Camp Bucca."

Lynch was captured and injured in the early days of the Iraq invasion. She was later rescued by U.S. troops. According to medical records cited in her biography, she was also sodomized, apparently during a three-hour gap that she cannot recall.

The four Army reservists from the 320th Military Police Battalion are accused of punching and kicking several Iraqis, breaking one man's nose, while escorting prisoners to a POW processing center.

Military officials have declined to name the reservists, but relatives identified them as Staff Sgt. Scott McKenzie, 37; Sgt. Shawna Edmondson, 24; and Spc. Tim Canjar, 21. All are from Pennsylvania.

All four denied they did anything wrong and said the force they used was necessary to subdue unruly prisoners.

Phillabaum, who was reprimanded in connection with the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, mentioned the previous abuse at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq in a rebuttal to charges leveled against him in an April report of an Army investigation.

Phillabaum said Girman and the other soldiers who allegedly beat prisoners at Camp Bucca had no authorization for heavy-handed tactics from their commanders.

__________________________________________________ ___
Ps. Did Man Man Slick order 4 hamburgers and make them into 2 hamburgers yet? :devil:


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 10:20 PM
[This is the MSNBC report on the Testimony of Maj General Antonio Taguba before the Senate Armed Services Committee.]

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4855930/

[Others also appeared. Couple of noteworthy items. Witnesses differred on who actually comtrolled the prison. Tagiba said Military Intelligence. The Undersecretary for Military Intelligence also appreared, and said they didn't, the Army control it. Army says MI. MI says Army. standard CYA behaviour. Taguba also implication MI and the CIA in the torture, but specifically stated that there were no orders from higher up the chain of command. A number of memebr of the Senate armed Services Committee expresed skepticism at this. Complete article follows.]


General saw ‘failure of leadership’ at Iraq prison
Report's author says intel officers, contractors involved in abuse
NBC, MSNBC and news services
Updated: 3:28 p.m. ET May 11, 2004WASHINGTON - The general who first investigated allegations that U.S. soldiers abused prisoners in Iraq told Congress on Tuesday that the mistreatment resulted from a “failure of leadership from the brigade commander on down, a lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and no supervision.”

Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba’s testimony pointed to Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski of the 800th Military Police Brigade. Karpinski, an officer in the Army Reserve who commanded military prisons in Iraq, has been suspended and was issued an official letter of admonishment. She has not been charged.

Taguba also left open the possibility that members of the CIA, as well as armed forces personnel and civilian contractors, were culpable in the abuse at the Abu Ghraib outside Baghdad.

Taguba told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that witnesses he interviewed at the prison “gave us names of those who are uniformed MI [military intelligence] personnel in the U.S. Army.”

He also said that his investigators had been told about participation by “other government agencies — a euphemism for the CIA — or contractors” in the abuse.


A conspiracy of ‘a few’
Taguba also said the mistreatment apparently was the work of a relative few low-level military personnel and civilian contractors at the prison. So far, all seven soldiers charged in connection with the case are members of the 372nd Military Police Company, a unit of reservists based in Cresaptown, Md.
A few soldiers and civilians conspired to abuse and conduct egregious acts of violence against detainees and other civilians outside the bounds of international laws and the Geneva Convention,” Taguba testified.

“I did not find any evidence of a policy or a direct order given to these soldiers to conduct what they did,” he added later. “I believe that they did it on their own volition. I believe that they collaborated with several MI interrogators at the lower level.”

It was Taguba’s first public elaboration on the findings of his report, the executive summary was obtained last week by NBC News.

He was joined in testifying by Stephen Cambone, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command. Three other military officers were to testify before the committee in the afternoon.

In an opening statement, Cambone apologized to Iraqis who were mistreated at Abu Ghraib and told committee members that the Army could not yet make a full accounting of how the abuse occurred.

“We do not have yet all the facts related to this case,” he said. “There are at least five other investigations ongoing.”

Cambone was asked whether he had any knowledge of CIA involvement in the abuse at Abu Ghraib.

“There were people brought by agency personnel to that place,” he said. “... There may have been interrogations conducted by the agency personnel while they were there.”

General, Pentagon official disagree
Cambone disagreed with Taguba on several points in his report, particularly his conclusion that control of the prison had been turned over to military intelligence officials.

Cambone said that was incorrect, stating that while the commander of the military intelligence unit at the prison was responsible for the facility, authority over prisoners remained with the military police, or MPs.

In another area of disagreement, Taguba said it was against Army rules for intelligence troops to involve MPs in setting conditions for interrogations. But Cambone said he believed it was appropriate for the two groups to collaborate.

Cambone and Smith rejected charges that the MPs had been directed by senior military intelligence officers to break down the resistance of Iraqi prisoners before their questioning, stressing that troops in Iraq were under orders to abide by the Geneva Conventions, which dictate terms for humane treatment of prisoners.

“An order to soften up a detainee would not be a legal order, would it?” asked Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas.

“No, sir,” Smith replied.

‘Not spontaneous actions’
Several Democrats on the committee were not convinced that the MPs and a few others acted on their own.
“These acts of abuse were not the spontaneous actions of lower enlisted personnel,” said Carl Levin of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel. They were “clearly planned and suggested by others.”

“All of those up and down the chain of command must be held accountable ... for the brutality and dishonor they brought” on the troops, Levin said.

But some Republicans charged that the prisoner abuse scandal was being exploited for partisan gain.

“I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said during the hearing.

“These prisoners, you know, they’re not there for traffic violations,” he said. “If they’re in cellblock 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they’re murderers, they’re terrorists, they’re insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands, and here we’re so concerned about the treatment of those individuals.”

The hearing, which was set up Monday after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified Friday, took place while Senate leaders sought access to photographs and video clips of abuse that have not yet been made public. Officials said the plan was for all senators to have access to the material.

Any viewing by senators would be restricted to a secure room in the Capitol to protect against leaks that might violate the privacy of prisoners or endanger any prosecutions, according to several officials.

Up to 1,000 photos depicting abuse
Rumsfeld disclosed last week that there were scores of other photos, as well as video clips, depicting abuses at Abu Ghraib that he said could only be described as “sadistic.” Defense officials told NBC News that there were as many as 1,000 photos depicting prisoner abuse.

President Bush reviewed about a dozen of the photographs and still images from digital video clips Monday during a visit to the Pentagon.

“The president’s reaction was one of deep disgust and disbelief that anyone who wears our uniform would engage in such shameful and appalling acts,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters.

Previously released photos depicting the torture and sexual humiliation of prisoners led to worldwide condemnation and led to calls for Rumsfeld’s resignation.

But Bush on Monday issued a strong endorsement of Rumsfeld, who many in Congress said was ultimately responsible for the behavior of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Seven soldiers face criminal charges after photos of the abuse were published throughout the world. A trial date has been set for one: Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits of Hyndman, Pa., a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, who will face a military court in Baghdad on May 19.

In other developments:

A videotape posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed the beheading of a U.S. civilian in Iraq and said the execution was carried out by an al-Qaida-affiliated group to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
The Associated Press reported that it had obtained a letter in which Lt. Col. Jerry L. Phillabaum, the commander of the 320th MP Battalion alleged that a female soldier took “vigilante justice” on Iraqi prisoners at another camp who she believed had raped Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch. The AP said the letter, whose charges the soldier denied, was written to rebut charges against his leadership of the battalion.
The U.S. military has cut the amount of time prisoners spend at holding facilities at bases in Afghanistan while authorities investigate allegations of abuse, including two deaths, the top general in the country said Tuesday.
Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said the military had looked into “challenges and problems” at holding facilities in Afghanistan. He did not say what the allegations were or whether any had proved true.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a report that was disclosed Monday that its workers saw U.S. military intelligence officers mistreating prisoners under interrogation and heard allegations of abuses during arrests of Iraqis, as many as 90 percent of whom were detained by mistake.
NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski, Andrea Mitchell, Norah O’Donnell and Chip Reid; MSNBC.com’s Mike Brunker and Alex Johnson; The Associated Press; and Reuters contributed to this report.

Volcana
May 11th, 2004, 10:25 PM
:rolleyes: :rolleyes:For this weak ass thread?:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

This is just self-righteous bullshit. There's been 1003 views of the thread so far, and we're on the 5th page. I get a discussion of a subject I think is important. (Some people have even said they learned some things from it.) You get a chance to rant in helpless rage. Everybody wins.:)

Colin B
May 11th, 2004, 11:50 PM
When will we benefit from bushs supposed war for OIL. Im sick of the rising gas prices its at insanely high levels. dont u think we should start seeing some benefit from all this soon. i personally cant waitI just spotted this interesting little aside.

I don't think you're meant to feel the benefit for many years.
The thing about oil is that it is a finite resource. There may be enough to keep us going for 25, 50, 100 years (depending on which scientist/conspiracy theorist you believe) but one day, it will run out!

The thing is, industrialised nations (like yours and mine) are so totally reliant on oil that most of the time, they daren't even think about what might happen when this precious commodity starts to dry up. Wars over oil will be a definite possibility, with everyone determined to soak up every last drop.

That's where Iraq (which just happens to be sitting on one of the largest oil reservoirs on the planet) comes in. For once, the politicians and armed service chiefs have been far-sighted enough to plan ahead and make sure that they have a foot in the door (to mix metaphors) when the shit hits the fan.

So there you are. You may not benefit from all that oil for a long time, but when you do, you'll realise it was the best thing ol' Dubya ever did!



:)

*JR*
May 11th, 2004, 11:59 PM
Actually Colin, Bush and Blair have a solution for this one. Remember that highly enriched uranium from Niger that Saddam bought, or didn't, or put a down payment on for Christmas, or... ? :p You and us actually have it, and will start generating electricity with it next week.
:devil:

Colin B
May 12th, 2004, 12:14 AM
Actually Colin, Bush and Blair have a solution for this one. Remember that highly enriched uranium from Niger that Saddam bought, or didn't, or put a down payment on for Christmas, or... ? :p You and us actually have it, and will start generating electricity with it next week.
:devil:
I vaguely remember something about that during the build-up to GWII. Wasn't there something about a briefcase going missing? That probably contained Britains share of the uranium! ;)

It's all going to be OK though. Grab your pan - we's about t'go prospectin' on Mars! GWB was such a huge success as an oil man, he's sure to find something there to keep us going!

:bolt:

Volcana
May 12th, 2004, 12:38 AM
I have to go away for a couple days for memorial service for an uncle who recently passed away. He'd have loved this thread. He was a cantankerous Irishman who loved a good fight and never backed down from one. Threads being what they are, this one will have sunk out of sight by the time I get back. So I'm taking the chance now to say thanks to everybody who participated.

To the people who disagreed and were insulting when that didn't work. You gave me the heads up on the arguements that others of your ilk will use, and gave me a chance to refine my counter-arguements, and download relevant supporting articles. So thanks.

To people who agreed, thanks for the support.

And to people who learned something they didn't know, thanks for being open-minded.

The world being what it is, I'll be back with some more informative, insightful, and highly useful information. Or maybe, that's useless, liberal, euro-sucking bullshit. Depends on your point view I guess.

I happened to find an opinion piece that's worth a read to you more literate types. No new facts, just one woman's reaction. Here's the link.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4953817/

I post the whole thing in the next post.

So long for now.

And to all you sideline sitters .... ;)

.... enjoy the nachos.

Volcana
May 12th, 2004, 12:39 AM
The Horror

The abuse of Iraqi detainees brings to mind the central metaphor of Joseph Conrad's classic novella

By Patti Davis
Updated: 3:33 p.m. ET May 11, 2004

The unforgettable images of smiling American soldiers humiliating and abusing naked Iraqis sent me to my bookshelf to pull out my tattered high school copy of Joseph Conrad’s "Heart of Darkness" (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/ConDark.html). It seems an appropriate reference at the moment, and I’m tempted to suggest that President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and many others take a look at it… except they seem to be having a problem with reading material these days.

There in the margins of the book, I had written in my careful high school penmanship notes about the descent into darkness, the way it consumes, closes over one’s head, seduces and conquers until all that’s left is “the horror, the horror.” My notes were the musings of a too-earnest 16-year-old, but the book itself and its cautionary tale made an indelible mark on my psyche.

President Bush and his administration took us into a war with dishonest claims, murky information, shadowy intentions. What does it say about us when, to topple a ruthless and cruel dictator, we use the darkness of deceit to accomplish that task? And why should we be surprised that so much darkness has followed? I don’t think anyone believes that only a handful of soldiers lost control, snapped, and began abusing prisoners. The word “systemic” is being tossed around. The word “climate” is as well. The climate—starting with the way we got into this conflict in the first place—was one of darkness, a suspension of conscience, a shuffling of ethics.

This president has said openly that he talks to God. One has to wonder what his conversations are like these days, now that photographic evidence of American abuses overseas have been burned into our collective mind. For that matter, what were the conversations like before? I don’t think there is any problem with talking to God; the problem is, I doubt Mr. Bush has been listening to the answers.

It’s hard to believe that God would say, “Sure, go invade Iraq. Forget the United Nations. Forget the hesitation of other countries. And while you’re at it, forget the truth. Just say whatever you need to and send a bunch of young boys and girls over there with a lot of weapons and tell them it will make the world safer.”

Here is a spiritual concept the president might want to consider: Darkness begets darkness. Or, taking a cue from Ecclesiastes (http://www.bartleby.com/108/21/), we could word it this way: Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

We will probably never know how the soldiers shown in these photographs would have behaved had they never gone to Iraq in the first place. Friends and family members are coming forward with prom pictures and rebuttals for what is clearly evident in the photos. I would probably do the same if someone I knew and cared about were shown abusing other human beings in such a degrading and cruel way. I would want to believe they had been coerced, that they were simply following orders. But the smiles and the apparent enjoyment on the faces of the abusers tell a different story.

It’s actually not that hard to cross over to the dark side. It’s much harder to leave the darkness and return to the clear light of truth and kindness and humanity, which invites the question: What is the future of our country now that we have shown such depravity toward other people, who by the way never asked us to invade their land? What is the future of the soldiers who learned how seductive cruelty can be? What will it be like for the men who were stripped and taunted and humiliated, and who will never forget?

Perhaps the next time President Bush talks to God, he should try to listen to the answer. He might just hear God weeping.

ys
May 12th, 2004, 01:49 AM
here's my understanding of it, ys. when soldiers are at war (and most especially if they have lost fellow soldiers in that war) they do not have, for the most part, the same frame of mind that they would have if they were shopping on madison avenue for a pair of shoes. they are more gripped by a need for revenge than your average citizen on the street. this by no means excuses their actions. it merely explains it.You know, it could be somewhat true, but I have problems buying it.. Remember, most of those folks are reportedly from an army police unit, not from combat units.

I remember similar reports from Chechnya. Combat troops are sometimes involved in that kind stuff. Like I remember one of Russian soldiers telling the story that once they caught a Chechenian sniper - a woman, who just shot few of their comrades - so, he said, we just took a hand grenade and shoved it into the woman and took the grenade's safety pin off it. It was brutal, but that was an obvious revenge. And he talked about that on TV like it is something completely normal. But that's Russia, no one would even consider that a crime. At the same time they would very rarely do something to a prisioner. That was more a business of bored army police units or wardens.

now, as i said in another thread, there is no way that this type of behavior could take place without some type of approval (be it verbal or physical) from above. no way! there is a certain amount of bloodlust amongst your lower rank privates that takes place in these situations and oftentimes, commanders take advantage of it in order to boost morale amongst their troops...to give them some measure of power or victory over the enemy.
I am sure that some kind of approval was there.


you asked "how can this happen?" easy, really. wars don't create the most humane of environments...and the people who fight them are often caught up in the maelstrom of madness that war entails. You have to experience it from the inside. otherwise there's no true way of understanding it. but by and large we are not talking about monsters here. just average joe/jane blows who wouldn't dream of doing this in any normal situation whatsoever.
Again, it does not seem to be the case. This seemed to be done in cold blood.
At the same time I agree, inhumane environment can be really blamed. I've never been in a war situation, but I once worked in a rescue team after one of the big earthquakes in former Soviet Union, and the environment in the area was, as you can guess, pretty close to wartime stuff, far from humane. And I can tell that the same guys who worked round-a-clock during the first few days, while there was still a hope to dig out someone alive, those very guys would be digging the rubble desperately trying to find some alcohol just few days later or would dig some stuff out for money or a for a bottle of cognac. That was an amazing transformation.

disposablehero
May 12th, 2004, 03:40 AM
What still puzzles me plenty is how did they suddenly manage to get those hundreds if not thousands of pictures and records of "prisoners abuse"? I would not have been surprised if _some_ pictures of that kind made by some idiot would have suddenly surfaced. But we seem to have some massive amounts of evidence, flood of it. Are they over there all complete morons to make so many records of that kind? I just can't figure it out.Two weeks ago there was nothing. Now it looks like there are hundreds if not thousands of them. Can anyone try to explain that?
The idiots took digital pictures and burned them onto CD's to share with each other for a good laugh. People have a knack for self-incrimination. Nixon kept the tapes. Here in Canada, we had a couple named Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka who used to kidnap teenage girls, rape them, and kill them. They kept the videotapes of the rapes in their house.

ys
May 12th, 2004, 03:51 AM
The idiots took digital pictures and burned them onto CD's to share with each other for a good laugh. People have a knack for self-incrimination. Nixon kept the tapes. Here in Canada, we had a couple named Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka who used to kidnap teenage girls, rape them, and kill them. They kept the videotapes of the rapes in their house.
OK, those are insane. In Iraq's case, would you completely rule out that that could have been someone's conspiracy? As unlikely as it sounds, the scales of the disaster suggests that it might have been skillfully orchestrated.

Monique
May 12th, 2004, 04:50 AM
the same ideas and convictions... the same challenging rhetoric and aggressive style... and on top of all, the deep general knowledge to back everything up consistently and effectively; it cannot be a coincidence... I think I discovered one of WTAWorld's best kept secrets: I think I know DeuceDiva's true secret identity :eek: :p ;) !!
and she is....... Frida Ghitis!! :angel: :) just look at the amazing tangibles:


Where was indignation during Hussein's regime?

http://www.miami.com/images/common/spacer.gif
BY FRIDA GHITIS
http://www.miami.com/images/common/spacer.gif

Revulsion at the revelations of prisoner abuse by U.S. forces in Iraq has spread faster than hot sand in the desert wind. No one has expressed the outrage with more horror than the American people. No one, that is, except the leaders of the Arab world.

Nothing will ever justify the actions of those charged with watching over the prisoners, and both Americans and Arabs are fully justified in their disgust. If the deeds of the jailers were not so sickening and its consequences not so disastrous, however, the reaction of some Arab leaders would qualify as humorous.

Among those expressing shock and horror at the very thought of prisoner mistreatment are governments whose use of torture is routine, in countries where human-rights organizations have repeatedly reported the torture of prisoners is ''endemic'' and ``widespread.''

Should the United States be held to a higher standard? You bet. This is one case where the double standard is justified, because U.S. forces entered Iraq on a mission deliberately hued with high moral goals.

And yet, when dictatorships that have stayed in power for decades show themselves shocked -- shocked! -- at the mere idea that a prisoner might be mistreated, there is little question that the hollow outrage is little more than a pantomime.

Throughout the Arab world -- from Saudi Arabia to Egypt and Syria, countries where a call for democracy can land you in jail -- government officials and regime-controlled newspapers have spoken of their deep disgust at what they have seen.

Amr Mousa, the secretary general of the Arab League and former foreign minister of Egypt, declared his ''shock and disgust'' at the ''shameful images'' of the naked prisoners. Yet, somehow, the shock and disgust eluded him during his many years in the service of a government that to this day, according to major international human-rights organizations, tortures opponents.

Perhaps it was the nakedness, which we are repeatedly told has brought so much consternation to the sensitivities of the Arab people. There are, to be sure, cultural differences between the Arab world and the West. According to Human Rights Watch, for example, homosexual men have been entrapped, arrested and tortured by Egyptian security forces.

Syrian government newspapers, reporting on the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners also expressed horror, if not shock, because they already expected the worst from Americans. That from a country with a decades-old dictatorship that has killed thousands upon thousands of its own citizens and where just three months ago a local group reported that political prisoners in government custody suffer unspeakable treatment that often leads to serious injury or death.

Torture of prisoners is hardly shocking in many Arab countries, no matter what leaders with a newfound love for human rights now proclaim. In fact, the same governments that today so deeply feel the suffering of Iraqi prisoners found little to complain about in the grotesque abuses of Saddam Hussein's regime. The techniques that left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in mass graves and kept torture chambers stained with human blood did not cause much consternation among Arab leaders.

We hold Western democracies to humanitarian and democratic principles, as we should. But regimes that use torture as a normal part of their efforts to keep their stranglehold in power, as do many in the Middle East, are highlighting their own violations by speaking out against the outrages at Abu Ghraib.

Frida Ghitis writes about world affairs.

so, DD, do you think the Mossad will accept my application?;) :D

dudester
May 12th, 2004, 10:09 AM
did someone say nachos?? "i sure am hungry" :drool: