Sunday, December 21, 2014

Torture Mid-Crisis Review: American Hypocrisy and Arrogance

“We got cha' ....”  So, now what do we Do???

The subject of this post probably has already, or shortly will, offend and piss off some folks as they speak out about it, e.g., "How dare he post such inflammatory assumptions. Who does he think he is? He is un-American. He should know better. Shame on him, yada yada, yap, yap, etc." I've heard it all before and long before the Senate torture report hit the streets, and most-certainly since all the "experts" have been chattering and speaking out (as emphasized by their 'expert" Dark Dick Cheney and most of FOX network crew - top to bottom as it were).

The "pro-Cheney/I'd do it again" crowd has been loud and vocal, and honestly, way off the mark about 99.9999 percent of the time. I say that as someone with knowledge and training and experience in art and science of interrogation, and one who has done it professionally and legally and lawfully, which eliminates about 9/10th of this blog's reading audience (my hunch). Why do I say that? 

Because professionals know the rules, the law, and effective techniques about what torture is and isn't. Those who think otherwise or think they know have been watching too much “24” on TV (and in all fairness, 24 is my fav show). Sadly, they have fallen for the GOP-FOX-Rightwing Talk Radio fear mongering and hype and in most cases, flat out lies about what they think torture achieves.

So, that's where I come from: I was a skilled and highly trained interrogator, both on active duty in the Marine Corps and then later as a DOD civilian. I know the value of interrogation and for a fact I know what torture is: it is illegal, unlawful, and a war crime and has been for decades.  

I know what proper handling and treatment of detainees in our custody during time of war is, too and that does not matter their category, whether it's the legal definition or some fancy temporary term that a slick lawyer comes up with in a top secret memo and sold it to the President (Bush) as an “Okay, run with the program. It is not torture. All that brings us here with the latest in this ugly saga. 

Every thing that follows on this page and below is as factual as humanly possible - and in these cases the facts should stand above any opinion or innuendo, political or otherwise.   

This headline caught my eye and triggered this post for today:

Germany Files War Crimes Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other CIA Officials

Introduction and key points from this headline follow:

Key point that should matter, but will it -- we are about to see the utter arrogance of a helluva lot of Americans on this issue.

Calls for an immediate investigation by the German human rights group was started after outrage ensued on the case of a German citizen, Khalid El-Masri, who had been captured by CIA agents in 2004 because of a mistaken identity mix-up and was tortured at a secret prison in Afghanistan.

Wolfgang Kaleck, the general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, said: “By investigating members of the Bush administration, Germany can help to ensure that those responsible for abduction, abuse and illegal detention do not go unpunished.”

In an interview with “Democracy Now,”
 Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and chairman of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, said that he believes Cheney, among others, have no defense for torturous actions and should be indicted:

FYI for Mr. Cheney and others - it would be wise to recall the Nuremberg defense, which did not work:

“Befehl ist befehl”
... (that is German for: “Orders are orders”). Then they might want to check the history of Army 1st Lt. William Calley and his model used at My Lai in VN in 1968. Both are weak defenses and excuses and always will be. Pros have to follow orders, for sure, but lawful and legal ones!!

Here is the bottom line, if there is ever one in this age of massive and 24/7 opinion on TV, radio, and in forums that avoid the facts and deal in raw red meat that we have seen since the Senate report was released, and that campaign is simple and direct, and yes, it may even be working with some people. Why I truly can't understand, but according to a few polls, more Americans now appear to support the Cheney view: it worked and I'd do it again. 

Folks ... torture of any kind does not work, and it never will.

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