Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Commit a Crime, Brag, Write Book, Get Rich: New America

John A. Rizzo, lawyer at the CIA for 34 years

"Yes, we water boarded, it kept us safe..."

First some background from here back in 2009: “We tortured Mohammed al-Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case for prosecution,” said Susan J. Crawford in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates back in February 2007.  

That torture Judge Crawford mentioned: water boarding. And, yes, my friends, water boarding is a crime. It is unlawful, illegal, and a war crime. Proof - recall this story from a torture expert, Sen. John McCain. 

This update from the John Rizzo story with this introduction (my emphasis is added):

WASHINGTON — The decision to water board Al Qaeda prisoners in 2002 was made by CIA managers and government lawyers, and was not initially approved by President George W. Bush, according to a new account by a former CIA lawyer that revises the history of America's response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

A memoir by John Rizzo, longtime acting general counsel for the CIA, says Bush was not initially informed about the use of water boarding and other harsh interrogation techniques that critics later called torture, despite Bush's claim to the contrary in his 2010 book.

Bush later signed on, and Rizzo repeats previous CIA claims that key members of Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), were fully briefed on what the CIA called “enhanced interrogation techniques” and did not object, something that Pelosi has denied.

Even with this “truth” coming out, what does it mean? Obviously no prosecution will be pursued for the approving parties (i.e., Bush-Cheney, et al), or for those who actually committed the crimes since Mr. Obama already said as much (they were following orders and policies it seems – sounds like the My Lai excuse to me).

However, all that aside, we must ask ourselves, “is this the kind of country we are or have become all the while calling ourselves a nation of laws, not men; a country that stands for democracy, liberty, justice and the values we profess so often that we peddle around the globe?” The answer to me is clear: I guess we have become that kind of nation. 

This whole chapter is ugly and a permanent stain on our country. What happened is beyond comprehension for me and I am sure for millions of others, too. But, you know what? It doesn't matter. Voices like mine and perhaps yours, too, are only voices barking in the wilderness – appear empty with no substance and no one in authority listens. What we say, know, or believe to be true, even in light of the admissions of criminal actions (and yes, torture is a crime) does not matter. We have no power, and no one else will pursue the issue. People talk about it, and write about it, and opine about it, but it doesn't matter. 

Welcome to the new American way of business. Hypocrisy is our middle name. It makes me sick. What about you?

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