Monday, December 8, 2014

What is Torture: Blocking Senate Torture Report for Starters

Keep Things Polished — Not a Speck of Dirt
(That which the public might read about)

Most-Basic Factual Message

He Bragged About Water Boarding and Said: "It's not torture"
(I'd Do It Again - It Kept Us Safe)

FLASH UPDATE (late today) from here:

The White House has backed the release of a long-anticipated report on the CIA's interrogation techniques, despite warnings from within the administration and from lawmakers that it could lead to a backlash against Americans around the world. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the administration has been preparing for months for the release, which is expected late Tuesday (December 9, 2014) morning. 

In the release, the White House says: “There are some indications ... that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world, so the administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at U.S. facilities around the globe.” Earnest went on to say that the administration still “… strongly supports the release of this declassified summary of the [Senate] report.”

Meanwhile from the GOP worrywart fear-mongering side of Town this snippet: “I think this is a terrible idea. Foreign leaders have approached us and have said, “[If] you do this, this will cause violence and deaths.” And, our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause “violence and deaths,” said GOP House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) this past Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  

Thus, based on this breaking news, I suspect Rep. Issa (R-CA) or someone like him will be cranking up the old GOP "got cha' machine" or look alike “Benghazi Panel” thingy and get it all prepped for the fall out and another way to blast Mr. Obama (that they so much want) and anyway possible. So, stay tuned. I am sure it will get very nasty and very bumpy, and for goodness sake, hang on tight.

Major update on the following recent post (with two major links) (following this update):

First, this reminder about what former President George Walker Bush said about torture: In his recently released memoir Decision Points, Mr. Bush admitted that he enthusiastically authorized that certain detainees be water boarded – or tortured, which is a crime under domestic and international law. When asked if he would authorize the torture of detainees, the former president declared “Damn right!”

The release of his memoir coincides with reports that no one will face criminal charges for the destruction of CIA videotapes which contained interrogations using water boarding (since President Obama said, “We need to look forward, not backward.” (sic) here on Youtube - his words.

The Bush clip is here on Youtube and also is in his own words about why he said okay to water boarding ... it is perhaps the weakest excuse in American history ranking up there with former Army Lt. William Calley who said about his ordering of the My Lai massacre, “I was just following orders.” (Mr. Bush apparently was just following his lawyers). 

Now the First Major Link on the following story about blocking the Senate Torture Report which as I said, follows this update. It comes from the NY Times here: Noteworthy is that former intelligence officials (all under Bush) are seeking allies against the potentially damaging Senate report. They have privately reassured the Bush team recently that they did not deceive them and have lobbied the former president’s advisers to speak out publicly on their behalf. The defense of the program has been organized by former: CIA leaders like George J. Tenet and Gen. Michael V. Hayden (two former directors), and John E. McLaughlin, a former deputy CIA director who also served as acting director.

The Second Major Link relating the same subject is this 2009 reminder from Think Progress re: “Why Bush's Enhanced Interrogation Program Failed.” There are numerous and excellent links therein with easy-to-understand and valid, legal points. Check it out.

Keep in mind as you read more on this topic that it is very complex and an extremely legally-entangled subject dating back to Abu Ghraib right up until today.

The overreaching tactic and trick remains: to prolong the subject by talking it to death, bash it whenever possible, oppose it as at all costs, try to justify it anyway possible, and then hope it just goes away and that the public will simply be sick and tired of the word “torture.”

Perhaps it will go away as an issue on the front pages, but the stain on America will last forever.

The truth of the matter must come out however painful it surely is while keeping in mind what Mr. Bush said, “Yes, water boarding was legal 'cause the lawyers told me it was and I trusted them.”  

Further, and naturally as both Mr. Bush and Dark Dick Cheney have said numerous times: “Enhanced interrogation is not torture.”

As a former Marine interrogator and highly skilled and professional I can say with absolute certainty that water boarding is torture and that there is nothing legal about the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” either.

Torture has but one single purpose (dating back thousands of years): “to inflict pain and agony and gain a false confession about a crime…”

The purpose of legal, lawful, and skillful interrogation is to glean valuable military or intelligence information that actually saves lives. 

Enjoy the rest of your reading on this subject. I have many links at this blog below. Thanks for stopping by; come again.

The original post starts from here.

New wrinkle in this saga from this headlines: 
            "John Kerry is Trying to Stall the Release of the CIA Torture Report"
Secretary of State John Kerry is pleading with the Senate to delay its imminent release of a landmark investigation into the George W. Bush administration's controversial torture and rendition practices.

Kerry called the Senate Intelligence Committee's chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Friday morning (December 5, 2014) with his concerns that the report could jeopardize fragile U.S. security interests in the Middle East (Bloomberg View) first reported.

Kerry is not seeking to block the report's release indefinitely, according to the Bloomberg report, but wants to wait because he says the timing could pose threaten U.S. personnel and facilities abroad.

My view: that “reason (which is important, but no under this long period of time)” is shallow now. That line of “reasoning (if one could call it that)” could be used forever to stall release of that report.

Then this angle comes from the New York Times:

Ms. Feinstein had planned to make the report public next week, but it is uncertain whether the call from Mr. Kerry would affect that timetable.

The exchange between Mr. Kerry and Ms. Feinstein is just the latest turn in the protracted dispute over the Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the detention and interrogation of C.I.A. prisoners during the Bush administration, an investigation that set out to examine the efficacy of the brutal interrogation methods.

The committee voted this year to release the 6,000-page report’s executive summary, but the release has been held up for months because of tense negotiations between the committee and the Obama administration over how much of the report would be declassified.

It is unclear why Mr. Kerry waited until just before the report was scheduled to be released to sound alarms, since there has long been concern within the American intelligence agencies about the potential global impact of the report’s findings.

Finally, a real concern that should not be, but probably will be:

With control of the Senate about to change hands, there has been rising concern among Democrats that the report’s Republican opponents could move to shelve it once they gain control of the Intelligence Committee in January. This has given new urgency to the push by Ms. Feinstein and other Democrats to finish negotiations with the Obama administration and make the report public. 

Stay tuned.

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