All of the evil thugs who tortured captured prisoners in the name of the nameless, formless War On Terror should be prosecuted and hounded from polite society. I include the Bush Administration thugs, but also their enablers from both sides of our oligarchy, i.e. Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate plus their various lackeys on K Street and elsewhere. All should pay for sullying our country’s name, for allowing our government to be mentioned in future history books on the same page as Pol Pot and the Spanish Inquisition. Sickens and disgusts me that powerful, educated public servants would be so cavalier with the civil rights of others. I am not surprised, but sickened nonetheless.
Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti write, in part:
In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.
This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.
According to several former top officials involved in the discussions seven years ago, they did not know that the military training program, called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, had been created decades earlier to give American pilots and soldiers a sample of the torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War, methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans.
Even George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director who insisted that the agency had thoroughly researched its proposal and pressed it on other officials, did not examine the history of the most shocking method, the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding.
The top officials he briefed did not learn that waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was a well-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia.
They did not know that some veteran trainers from the SERE program itself had warned in internal memorandums that, morality aside, the methods were ineffective. Nor were most of the officials aware that the former military psychologist who played a central role in persuading C.I.A. officials to use the harsh methods had never conducted a real interrogation, or that the Justice Department lawyer most responsible for declaring the methods legal had idiosyncratic ideas that even the Bush Justice Department would later renounce.
[Click to continue reading In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry Into Past Use – NYTimes.com]
Now that the details of these crimes are being made public, the various participants are all furiously trying to point fingers at each other, evade responsibility for their actions. I wish I was a religious man, at least then I could take slight comfort in the thought of these scum burning in hell.
Like these scum populating a Tony Auth cartoon from a while ago1:
This Reuters report gives me a little bit of hope: perhaps the international outrage will be so fierce, Obama will be forced to conduct a full, detailed investigation into the details of the US torture program. Make an example of a few mid-level functionaries
President Barack Obama opened the door on Tuesday to possible prosecutions of U.S. officials who laid the legal groundwork for harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects during the Bush administration.
Obama also said he would not necessarily oppose an effort to pursue a “further accounting” or investigation into the Bush-era interrogation program that included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, shoving people into walls and other methods.
That marked a shift for the Obama administration, which has emphasized it does not want to dwell on the past with lengthy probes into policies put in place by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
But pressure in the U.S. Congress is growing for a full-blown investigation of the CIA interrogation program.
Controversy has erupted across the political spectrum over last week’s release by the Obama administration of classified memos detailing the program to question al Qaeda suspects.