Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bush the War Crimminal - America's Use of Torture

Andrew Sullivan has some excellent post today that look at the disgusting level of depravity this nation has come to under Chimperator Bush (See: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/12/what-torture-is.html and .http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/12/the-witnessing.html) I recommend you read both of them in full. It is extremely upsetting that the President has reduced the standard of conduct to that of convicted war criminals and much of the public either doesn't care or is oblivious. Of those who are aware of the true state of things, those on the far right, including many alleged "conservative Christians" condone and endorse it. Just look at the GOP presidential candidates behavior on this issue. Here are a few highlights:

You've heard all the euphemisms by now: "enhanced interrogation"; "coercive interrogation"; "aggressive questioning"; "harsh interrogation." Not only have leading politicians and torture apologists used these terms but the mainstream media have adopted them as well, as if writing news stories in which the United States is described as practicing torture is so unimaginable a concept that it requires obfuscating. That it doesn't leave physical marks is immaterial. That argument is one the Nazis used in defending the use of sleep deprivation and hypothermia. What matters is the severity of the suffering (see the Nazi memo above).

I wish these were not the facts. But they are. We now have a direct witness to the torture - and one who inflicted it - describing it as torture; we have all the legal precedents that do not begin to question whether waterboarding is torture; we know the president directly authorized it; we know the epidemic of torture that ensued. These are crimes, committed by the executive branch in full awareness of the law and with premeditation. They place the United States in violation of the Geneva Conventions. And the president bears the final responsibility. I hate to ask the inevitable question: Who will now hold him criminally responsible?

President Bush personally authorized the torture of a prisoner, via the Deputy Director for Operations of the CIA. This was not free-lancing:

BRIAN ROSS: And did you know the CIA officers feel without a doubt you had the legal right to do what you were doing? JOHN: Absolutely. Absolutely. I remember - I remember being told when - the President signed the - the authorities that they had been approved - not just by the National Security Counsel, but by the - but by the Justice Department as well, I remember people being surprised that the authorities were granted.

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