Saturday, October 28, 2006
What pathetic creatures these Bushites be. Loathsome beyond the power of language or imagination, they are pitiable, and absolutely beneath the contempt of normal human beings. Not only are they drunk with power and eaten up with greed, they are utterly without moral constraint or the merest glimmer of human decency. These cold and soulless men are entirely lacking in that most sublime and redeeming human trait, compassion - and what are men without compassion, but monsters?
Since the 60s I have watched the selfishness and greediness of the Republicans and suspected that it had no bounds. I've observed their penchant for dirty tricks and cheating, listened to their lies, and born witness to their traitorous instincts. I've long seen them for the immoral scum that they are, still I was woefully underestimating the depths of their depravity. Though I have fought them and railed against them for most of my life, and though I suffered through Nixon, Reagan, and Bush number 1, it took George W. and his band of lying-assed knuckle-dragging neocon demon spawn to make the true evil of the far rightwing fully manifest. This administration is the full-blown absolute worst nightmare of my generation. We knew these bastards were fascists back in Nixon's day, we just didn't realize how truly fucking evil they really were. Our present crop of rightwing fascists make Nixon look like a cub scout - and. brothers and sisters, that's saying plenty.
And of course, as you know, these assholes descend directly from the Nixon and Reagan administrations. There are books out now accusing Bush of betraying the `Reagan Revolution,' as if Reagan was a revolutionary - or even sane. Fuckin' cracks me up. The only thing that happy asshole left us with is a dysfunctional government, Dick Cheney, and trickle-down economics. Thanks bunches. Named a fuckin' airport after the sorry rat bastard. They credit him with `defeating communism' for crying out loud, when all he did is cheerlead its demise from the sidelines. They don't want to talk about the thousands of innocent poor people he had murdered throughout Central and South America, including nuns and priests. They never mention the death squads he ran, the illegal arms deals he was up to his neck in, his diabolical deal with the Ayatollah, or his devastating blows to the poor. No, fuck, he was a hero. And now Bush has betrayed his illustrious legacy. If only `real' conservatives had been running this country for the last six years, we'd be in fine shape and Ronnie Reagan would be smiling down on us all. Yeah right.
These guys are bad news and always have been. As if to dispel any lingering doubts, VP Cheney recently opened his big mouth - which by now he should really know better. Nevertheless...
Cheney confirms waterboarding
By Jonathan S. Landay
WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called waterboarding, which creates a sensation of drowning.
Cheney indicated the Bush administration doesn't regard waterboarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said.
And now Tony Snow and his ilk are spinning like little tops trying to persuade us all that what Cheney said is not what he meant. What torture? We're just talkin' a little dunk in the water. When pressed for details of course, it's `we won't give away methods.' How very fucking convenient.
"We don't torture," they'll come out and say every so often. Shut your fucking pie holes is all I can say to that. "We don't torture. We've never been about `stay the course." When did it become perfectly okay to just brazenly lie your ass off in front of God and everybody? That's another thing these guys don't have a smidgeon of - shame.
Check out this video, Getting Waterboarded.
We do torture. Our government is full of torturers, and torturers are nefarious, which is defined as unspeakably evil. These are our `leaders', our `public servants'. Not only do they practice torture, they teach it, spreading it around the world. Torture is what they've spread around the world in the name of the American people - not democracy. Here's where they have done all of this and more, the School of the Americas.
Now the lying bastards are trying to claim we don't waterboard people.
History of an Interrogation Technique: Water Boarding
Nov. 29, 2005 -- CIA Director Porter Goss maintained this week that the CIA does not employ methods of torture. In doing so, he opened a new debate over exactly what constitutes torture -- especially when it comes to the harshest of the CIA's six secret interrogation techniques, known as "water boarding."
The water board technique dates back to the 1500s during the Italian Inquisition. A prisoner, who is bound and gagged, has water poured over him to make him think he is about to drown.
Current and former CIA officers tell ABC News that they were trained to handcuff the prisoner and cover his face with cellophane to enhance the distress. According to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., himself a torture victim during the Vietnam War, the water board technique is a "very exquisite torture" that should be outlawed.
"Torture is defined under the federal criminal code as the intentional infliction of severe mental pain or suffering," said John Sifton, an attorney and researcher with the organization Human Rights Watch. "That would include water boarding."
Or if we do, it's not really torture.
Memo on Torture Draws Focus to Bush
Aide Says President Set Guidelines for Interrogations, Not Specific Techniques
An Aug. 1, 2002, memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, addressed to Gonzales, said that torturing suspected al Qaeda members abroad "may be justified" and that international laws against torture "may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogation" conducted against suspected terrorists.
The document provided legal guidance for the CIA, which crafted new, more aggressive techniques for its operatives in the field. McClellan called the memo a historic or scholarly review of laws and conventions concerning torture. "The memo was not prepared to provide advice on specific methods or techniques," he said. "It was analytical."
Attorney General John D. Ashcroft yesterday refused senators' requests to make public the memo, which is not classified, and would not discuss any possible involvement of the president.
In the view expressed by the Justice Department memo, which differs from the view of the Army, physical torture "must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." For a cruel or inhuman psychological technique to rise to the level of mental torture, the Justice Department argued, the psychological harm must last "months or even years."
So as long as they don't cause organ failure, and as long as their cruel or inhuman techniques don't last `months or even years'...it's not torture. Any reasonable human being can buy that, right?
And now they've put out the big spin that the reason they wanted the Military Commissions Act passed was to protect the CIA agents from prosecution for the war crimes they ordered them to commit. I've heard this echoed throughout the MSM, when any person of any discernment knows full well that they were trying to cover THEIR asses for ordering it in the first place. That's not going to work though. The constitution bans the passage of ex post facto laws. You can't pardon yourself with legislation after the fact. They can't just sign their go-free papers into law - and get away with it. Some activist judge is going to have to smack these bastards down. I'd love to have that privilege myself. I imagine some lawyer type has informed them of this, thus prompting Bush's massive land purchase in Paraguay.
Bush Fears War Crimes Prosecution and Impeachment
As the election season rolls around, Bush is doing everything he can to avoid a Dem sweep in the House of Congress - or else he might be impeached.
The Court also determined that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies to al Qaeda detainees. That provision of Geneva prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity" and "humiliating and degrading treatment."
Bush called on Congress to define these "vague and undefined" terms in Common Article 3 because "our military and intelligence personnel" involved in capture and interrogation "could now be at risk of prosecution under the War Crimes Act."
Congress enacted the War Crimes Act in 1996. That act defines violations of Geneva's Common Article 3 as war crimes. Those convicted face life imprisonment or even the death penalty if the victim dies.
The President is undoubtedly familiar with the doctrine of command responsibility, where commanders, all the way up the chain of command to the commander in chief, can be held liable for war crimes their inferiors commit if the commander knew or should have known they might be committed and did nothing to stop or prevent them.
Bush defensively denied that the United States engages in torture and foreswore authorizing it. But it has been well-documented that policies set at the highest levels of our government have resulted in the torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of U.S. prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo.
Bush loves to deny that we torture or that he ordered it. But good old DICK Cheney admitted that waterboarding was to him a `no-brainer', though lying little weasels like Tony Snow are busily trying to deny it. But it's been documented time and time again that waterboarding was used on Khalid Sheik Mohammed and many others.
According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.
"The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.
But is waterboarding torture? Does it constitute a crime?
Waterboarding Historically Controversial
In 1947, the U.S. Called It a War Crime; in 1968, It Reportedly Caused an Investigation
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 5, 2006; Page A17
Key senators say Congress has outlawed one of the most notorious detainee interrogation techniques -- "waterboarding," in which a prisoner feels near drowning. But the White House will not go that far, saying it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face.
...in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.
"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.
15 years of hard labor for waterboarding. I suppose that sounds reasonable. So Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, et al have at least that coming. But waterboarding may well be among the least of their crimes against humanity.
How I wish that waterboarding was the worst of what they've done in our names, but it's not - not even close. Recently a judge ordered the release of more of the infamous Abu Ghraib photos - and it ain't pretty.
Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Child Rape Photos
NEW YORK A federal judge ruled today that graphic pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image. Last year a Republican senator conceded that they contained scenes of "rape and murder" and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said they included acts that were "blatantly sadistic."
"Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."
So they can sodomize children, rape and murder prisoners - but as long as it doesn't last for weeks or months, it's not torture. Right? Right.
These despicable people are beyond the pale of civilized behavior. What's worse, they have committed these unspeakable and inhuman acts in the name of the people of the United States of America. We were once the country where people sought asylum from such terror and brutality. Now we are famous all over the world for the worst forms of human conduct. We are now regarded as a nation of torturers, rapists, and murderers. Once the champion of human rights, we are now the horror of horrors, the abomination of desolation, a veritable black hole of human evil.
This is not the America we were taught to love and revere. This is not an America in which anyone can take pride.
We owe it to ourselves and to the entire world to bring these despicable and loathsome creatures to justice. They must be tried for their horrendous crimes against humanity and they must be punished. And this, brothers and sisters, is truly a no-brainer. Amen.
(cross-posted at MyLeftWing and NeverInOurNames)