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View Diary: Sanchez Approved Torture; White House May Be Linked to Decision (169 comments)

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  •  Is this new? (none)
    approved letting senior officials at a Baghdad jail use military dogs, temperature extremes, reversed sleep patterns, sensory deprivation, and diets of bread and water on detainees whenever they wished

    The items listed were common knowledge, were they not?  Apart from the use of dogs, open discussion on network television discussed the use of tactics such as these to deal with detainees and "terrorists".  I have heard the sensory and sleep deprivation cited in calm tones by military officials since Guantanamo opened.  If I was privy to this information, is that really the scandal?
    The real horror, apart from these other known horrors, is the pictures which show techniques that were previously secret.  The smoking gun is to link these methods to the upper brass, in my view that is where heads will roll.  The good news is the utter shame and disgust may cloud the whole issue and any form of "torture", whether previously known or not, may be enough to bring key people down.  Im just not shocked that Sanchez okayed these quoted methods, it was all open fodder for the talk shows since before the war.  Having said that, shocked or not, I am not speaking to the ethics of these methods.  These tactics were viewed with acceptance by the media, maybe the story is why the issue wasn't pressed prior to the release of the photos, the slippery slope might have had a more humble gradient.

    Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail- Emerson

    by Stevo on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 04:40:10 PM PDT

    •  The Issue is the Difference Between Gitmo... (4.00)
      ...and prisions holding supposed enemy combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Mark Danner article I linked is very good on the implications of using the Gitmo methods on run-of-the-mill enemy combatants in a war zone.  (BTW, Danner is a hell of a journalist; he did to the El Mozote massacre in Guatamala what Hersh did with My Lai.)  In short, military and Pentagon officials have been justifying the extreme measures used at Gitmo by the supposedly extraordinary circumstances that pertain to the captives housed there.  The problem is that by transfering to Abu Ghraib and Baghram methods they the administration argued were extraordinary because of what they asserted were extraodinary circumstances became ordinary.  While there's plenty of doubt that these methods are beyond the pale when used on "terrorists," there is no doubt among any but the most Federalist Society-addled ideologues that these methods are beyond the scope and authorization of any international standards for prisoners of war or civillian detainees.  
      •  Sure (none)
        The administration has constantly cited the Iraq war as part of the war on terror, it has also called the combatants "terrorists" since the outset.  Why then would we expect Gitmo to have different rules, as compared to Afghanistan and Iraq.  The war was always fought under the "terrorism" banner, I am just expressing my lack of surprise that the above mentioned tactics were used.  Who defines a terrorist or combatant, the administration apparently.  Once again, not arguing the horror, just the outcry and surprise.  The pictures go beyond any known "torture" methods, we need to link the brass to these undisclosed tactics to break this issue wide open.

        Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail- Emerson

        by Stevo on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 05:00:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your Point is Logically Sound (4.00)
          I think, though, that it was the administration that essentially argued that Gitmo was the exception, and the brass has been arguing all along that what happened at Abu Ghraib could not be construed as an extension of policy directives from any higher up than the handful of non-coms and maybe an officer or two at Abu Ghraib.  The Sanchez memos show that to be complete rubish.  

          Also, while the outrage is understandably more focused on the sexual humiliation, the tactics initially approved by Sanchez, immediately after Miller's visit in September, include plenty of other offenses not as easily captured in a snapshot but nonetheless completely beyond the bounds of acceptable methods of interrogation or conditions for incarceration, such as withholding prisoners' religious paraphenalia, exposing them to extreme heat, and denying them a diet that wouldn't prevent weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.  Again, these methods are dubious at best when used on the population housed at Gitmo, but they are beyond any standard measures used in "normal" military prisons.  The military knows that, which is why these memos showing that Sanchez approved measures he later denyed condolning could very well, in regards to not just the brass but also the civillian leadership, "break this issue wide open."

          •  Not only did the "administration" (none)
            insist that Gitmo (and Afghanistan?) was the exception.  Or, rather, that Iraq was the exception: there the GCs applied.  Of course, they applied there, because it was only a "few bad apples" who did the torture, and (politically) we are for the rule of law, so we're gonna try their asses off and give 'em a year in jail.

            They also crossed themselves in another way: they asserted to the world and the SC that Gitmo is outside US jurisdiction, therefore outside US obligations under GC, treaties, and Federal War Crimes Act.  

            But in the memo/es they asserted that those who did torture in Gitmo were also exempt from the rule of law because Gitmo is under American jurisdiction and rule of law.

            "Oh what a tangled web" they've woven.  Parts of it look like hangman's nooses.

            A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

            by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:52:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny thing about Gitmo. (none)
              But isn't Gitmo and american military base, and therefore entirely within the wider american jurisdiction. Cuban law does not operate within its walls and wire fences. If fact, the American military state that they were given an "indefinite" lease by the legal goverment of the Cuba (which was a protectorate of the U.S. at the time and like Iraq today, had no real soveriengty!) and since U.S. does not reconize the Castro's goverment authority over Gitmo, then whose laws/jurisdiction applies there?

              "It is not for honour nor riches, nor glory that we fight but for liberty alone, which no true man lays down except with his life." Declaration of Arbroath, 13

              by Ralfast on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:46:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's under US jurisdiction, (none)
                therefore it's under US law -- exactly as admitted in the memo/es as means to protect torturers in Gitmo who are operating under US law.

                The claim to the SC is the opposite -- and part of the more extreme position: the a president is beyond the constraints of the Constitution.

                Even though, of course <wink, wink, nudge, nudge> the administration doesn't use torture.

                Which we learned several hours later was a lie.

                A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

                by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 05:41:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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