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View Diary: Bush Administration Pushed Torture In Attempt To Find Iraq-al Qaida Links (335 comments)

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  •  Some of the methods came (17+ / 0-)

    from Chinese techniques to torture "confessions" from American POWs during the Korean War. That is, the techniques were known to, and used for, obtaining false confessions.  

    "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

    by TomP on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:26:21 AM PDT

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    •  And I bet we didn't have a problem with... (8+ / 0-)

      ...calling the Chinese interrogators' techniques "torture" and "war crimes" back then.

      End the gerrymandering; stand for fairness in Florida: FairDistrictsFlorida.org

      by boofdah on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:31:18 AM PDT

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      •  US prosecuted it as war crime after WWII. (12+ / 0-)

        Senator Ted Kennedy, in opposing the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General, made the following statement on the Senate floor on November 8, 2007.

        "It is illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit 'outrages upon personal dignity,' including cruel, humiliating, and degrading treatment. It is illegal under the Torture Act, which prohibits acts 'specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.' It is illegal under the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits 'cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment,' and it violates the Constitution. The Nation's top military lawyers and legal experts across the political spectrum have condemned waterboarding as illegal. After World War II, the United States prosecuted Japanese officers for using waterboarding. What more does this nominee need to enforce existing laws?"

        [4]

        snip

        Former British POW of the Japanese, Eric Lomax, who was waterboarded by the Japanese military police, the Kempeitai, during World War II, wrote about his ordeal for the Times of London on March 4, 2008. A lieutenant in the Royal Signals, Lomax was caught with his fellow POWs and interrogated about their secretly assembled radio.

        "The whole operation was a long and agonising sequence of near-drowning, choking, vomiting and muscular struggling with the water flowing with ever-changing force. . . . How long the torture lasted, I do not know. It covered a period of some days, with periods of unconsciousness and semi-consciousness. Eventually I was dumped in my cell, which was so small it offered little scope for movement. At about this time two of my colleagues were beaten to death. Their bodies were dumped in a latrine where they may well remain to this day."[7]

        Gustavo Ingles was tortured mercilessly by the Japanese military when he was captured as a guerrilla in the Philippines. In 1992, he published a book entitled, "Memoirs of Pain", where he described various types of waterboarding, including ones he was subjected to. [8] Illustrations of waterboarding he received and witnessed were included in his book.

        The experience of witnessing waterboarding also remains etched in the memories of those who saw it firsthand. Lester Tenney, a Bataan Death March survivor, wrote in his memoir, My Hitch in Hell, about witnessing his fellow American soldier waterboarded while he himself was being tortured. It happened after Tenney was recaptured by the Japanese soldiers following his escape from Camp O'Donnell and a brief stay with guerrillas. The Japanese wanted to extract information about the guerrillas from Tenney.

        "For what seemed like an eternity, I just stood and waited for them to say something. At last the commander gave the interpreter instruction. A few minutes later, a guard came into the room, raised his rifle, flipped it around so that the stock of the gun was facing me, and with one swift movement hit me with the butt squarely in the face. With one fell swoop, I started to bleed from each and every part of my face. I knew that my nose was broken, that a few teeth were missing, and that it hurt like hell. Blood was gushing down my shirt to my pants. Everything was getting wet from the flowing blood. All the while the Japanese were having themselves a good laugh. I guess I was truly the butt of the joke.

        "While I was trying to straighten up, one of the guards hit me across the back with a piece of bamboo filled with dirt or gravel, and once again I fell to my knees. I got up as fast as I was able and stood at attention in front of the guards. I was left standing there for about an hour, then three guards came in and dragged me out to the parade ground, which had been the playground of the school.

        "Once outside, I saw they had another American spread-eagled on a large board. His head was about ten inches lower than his feet, and his arms and feet were outstretched and tied to the board. A Japanese soldier was holding the American's nose closed while another soldier poured what I later found out was salt water from a tea kettle into the prisoner's mouth. In a minute or two, the American started coughing and throwing up water. The Japanese were simulating a drowning situation while the victim was on land. Every few seconds an officer would lean over and ask the prisoner a question. If he did not receive an immediate answer he would order that more water be forced into the prisoner's mouth.

        Waterboarding: The Meaning for Japan

        "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

        by TomP on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:38:43 AM PDT

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    •  Yet the slime advocating torture didn't even know (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linkage, TomP, Amber6541, OrangeMike

      NYT

      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

      Immoral AND ignorant...

    •  I believe even that is a bit of historical ... (5+ / 0-)

      ... sleight of hand. From a review of Darius Rejali's opus and Torture and Democracy:

      Furthermore, these and many other clean tortures did not originate with the Soviets or with the Nazis.  Rather, many contemporary clean tortures are traceable to British military punishments and the practices of American slave traders.  Slave traders had strong incentive to avoid scarring slaves in that scars might indicate to a potential buy that the slave was a disciplinary problem.

      If torture is OK in retrospect, it is OK in prospect as well. That is who we now are.

      by Yellow Canary on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:57:55 AM PDT

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