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Monday, March 10, 2003

The BushReich Orders Torture For You, Your Wife, Your Children

And The Depraved Curs Of Both, "Left" And, "Right" Rejoice


From: Katherine Albrecht
To: kma
Subject: Torture
Date sent: 10 Mar 2003 06:26:12 -0500

Pat Buchanan -- arch conservative, former presidential hopeful, and
supposed Christian -- today endorsed torture as an interrogation tool,
accusing those who would oppose it of "fuzzy liberal thinking":

The quote, "while the instant recoiling that decent people exhibit to the
idea of torturing [a terrorism suspect] may mark them as progressive, it
may also be a sign of fuzzy liberal thinking" was part of a longer column,
penned by Buchanan himself and published today at this website:

I have to wonder who put him up to this statement, and if it has
anything to do with last week's revelations that two inmates died under
interrogation while in US custody in Afghanistan.

Here is that story:

"American military officials acknowledged yesterday that two
prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while
under interrogation at Bagram air base north of Kabul -- reviving
concerns that the US is resorting to torture in its treatment of
Taliban fighters and suspected al-Qa'ida operatives." The deaths were
ruled as blunt trauma homicides in a coroner's report.

Death by torture would fit in with a worrisome picture of US
interrogation tactics emerging over the last year. In January, the UK's
Guardian newspaper revealed that the US was engaging in various forms of
torture forbidden by the Geneva convention:

"The United States is condoning the torture and illegal interrogation of
prisoners held in the wake of September 11, in defiance of international
law and its own constitution, according to lawyers, former US intelligence
officers and human rights groups."

Source: US interrogators turn to 'torture lite'...investigation finds
America bending the rules in the wake of September 11" Duncan Campbell,
The Guardian (UK); Saturday January 25, 2003,12469,882001,00.html (worth
reading in its entirety)

Not only is it likely that the US is endorsing torture around the world
and engaging torture of its own, but it appears to be lifting methods
straight from the evil dictator handbook. For example, just today we
learned that the CIA has kidnapped the young children (boys aged 9 and 7)
of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and is using them to get their father to talk.
Is there anything more despicable than this?

"Two young sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind
of the September 11 attacks, are being used by the CIA to force their
father to talk. ... He has been told that his sons are being held and is
being urged to divulge future attacks against the West and reveal the
whereabouts of Osama bin Laden." (03/10/03)

In all of these stories, the subtext is a sniggering "we know torture is
not strictly permitted, but *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge" it sure works,
and hey, if it will get our man to talk then laws be damned, right?"

Here are excerpts reflecting that attitude in yet another story:

"With potentially thousands of lives at stake, Mohammed's rights are not
high on the list of priorities for those holding him.

In September, the then head of the CIA Counterterrorism Centre, Cofer
Black, was said to have testified that interrogators had been given
greater leeway in interpreting the law because of the importance of the
information they were seeking.

"This is a very highly classified area," he was quoted as saying. "But I
have to say to you, all you need to know: there was a before-9/11 and
there was an after-9/11. After 9/11, the gloves came off....

Former CIA officer Larry Johnson said a "sleep deprivation and a reward
system" would be used to toy with Mohammed. "I don't see a constitutional
right to have eight hours of sleep," he said."

Source: Gloves off, the screws go on 9/11 suspect, March 6 2003
By Toby Harnden,

The pro-torture attitude is spreading from the CIA and the military into
mainstream culture. Not only has Pat Buchanan now thrown in his two cents
for torture, but commentators ranging from liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz
and National Public Radio to conservative William F. Buckley have also
endorsed it:
(This article is worth reading)

What does all this mean for American citizens? If these stories had a
megaphone, it would be clearly shouting, "Wake up Americans, you can no
longer count on 'decency' or 'respect for human rights' to stay your
government's hand. All bets are off."

The time to stand against this is NOW, before a pro-torture attitude,
billed as a "progressive" strategy for an "enlightened" nation, filters
down through our media into our schools, infecting the next generation
with poisonous filth.

If anyone is still ignorant enough to say, "It couldn't happen here," (no
matter what "it" is they are referring to), America's "evolving" stand on
torture should be a cold-water-in-the-face wakeup call. The United
States' moral superiority to the rest of the world is all but gone.
Sadly, we will not be the exception to history's relentless law about
excessive government power. It corrupts. Every time. Always,

If you still believe we are a shining beacon of freedom for the rest of
the world, read the linked stories above, slowly, one-by-one. A nation
that can endorse torture can endorse anything.

Katherine Albrecht
March 10, 2003

posted by Vetzine


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