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"The issue isn't whether we are the same as the Nazis. The issue is, we aren't different enough"
--Israeli historian Avi Schlaim

In this case, it's not the Nazis, but the Khymer Rouge.

David Corn posted these pictures from photographer and writer Jonah Blank. Blank explains in an e-mail the significance of the pictures.

The similarity between practices used by the Khymer Rouge and those currently being debated by Congress isn't a coincidence. As has been amply documented ("The New Yorker" had an excellent piece, and there have been others), many of the "enhanced techniques" came to the CIA and military interrogators via the SERE [Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape] schools, where US military personnel are trained to resist torture if they are captured by the enemy. The specific types of abuse they're taught to withstand are those that were used by our Cold War adversaries. Why is this relevant to the current debate? Because the torture techniques of North Korea, North Vietnam, the Soviet Union and its proxies--the states where US military personnel might have faced torture--were NOT designed to elicit truthful information. These techniques were designed to elicit CONFESSIONS. That's what the Khymer Rouge et al were after with their waterboarding, not truthful information.

This is what the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress and a handful of feckless Democrats, led by John McCain, just enacted in the Bush/McCain Pro-Torture Bill.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is sick. (3+ / 0-)

    But while we were paying attention to the Senate today, the House was up to more evil, diaried here.

    Please recommend it.

  •  We convicted Japanese war criminals for this. (24+ / 0-)

    After WWII, we prosecuted the Japenese for it, as a war crime.

    Hat tip to our good friend Skippy:

    if waterboarding isn't torture...


    according to the wall street journal and bushco, why then was waterboarding one of the "tortures" cited in convicting the japanese for war crimes committed during ww2?

    so...is waterboarding torture?

       interestingly, the united states has long since answered that question. following the end of the second world war we prosecuted a number of japanese military and civilian officials for war crimes. including the torture of captured allied personnel. at one of those trials, united states v. sawada, here’s how captain chase nielsen, a crew member in the 1942 doolittle raid on japan, described his treatment, when he was captured, (and later tried for alleged war crimes by a japanese military commission):


       q: what other physical treatment was administered to you at that time?


       a: well, i was given what they call the water cure.

       q: explain to the commission what that was.

       a: wthey poured water on this towel until i was almost unconscious from strangulation, then they would let me up until I'd get my breath, then they'd start over again.

       q: when you regained consciousness would they keep asking you questions?

       a: yes sir they did.

       q: how long did this treatment continue?


       a: bout twenty minutes.

       q: what was your sensation when they were pouring water on the towel, what did you physically feel?

       a: well, i felt more or less like i was drowning, just gasping between life and death.

       the prosecutor in that case was vehement in arguing that the captured doolittle fliers had been wrongfully convicted by the japanese tribunal, in part because they were convicted based on evidence obtained through torture. "the untrustworthiness of any admissions or confessions made under torture," he said, "would clearly vitiate a conviction based thereon." - lawofwar.org

    i'd say yes.
    •  And Under Universal Jurisdiction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiesandmilk

      ....the fascist-friendly fucks who voted for this will now be pursued until the end of their days.

      Note to the Senate: check the extradition treaties before you travel abroad.

      Don't believe me? Ask General Pinochet.

      He's not in jail yet.

      As for him, there are only two ways out of the dock of justice for these Senators.

      •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

        The U.S. has some great work-arounds for this stuff.  Congress has given the U.S. the right not to accept ICJ jurisdiction and the right to use force to remove American prisoners from the Hague.  Splendidly, in turn, this means that any country we bring to the ICJ has the right to deny ICJ jurisdiction.  So the U.S. has effectively neutered its own ability to use the ICJ.  So no, our government will never be held accountable to any other government for this behavior.

        That is why it is absolutely up to us to change the government from within!  Don't let them continue to destroy us.

    •  Sen. Kennedy spoke at length about this (2+ / 0-)

      in today's vote. Mentioning all of the instances where we've imprisoned and/or executed people for similar offenses.

      Passionately I might add.

      If I had morals I would have been swayed.

      And 63 (or was it 64) people said:  Morality is not relevant to the conduct of this administration or the reputation of America.

      Boy o boy.

      Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

      by m00nchild on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:48:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  shame. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trix, Carnacki, rasbobbo, begone

    shame, shame, shame.

    "joke about the rapture here"

    send NYBri to the NY state senate!

    by lipris on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:07:28 PM PDT

  •  Old hawks, (0+ / 0-)

    trained in cold wars, embittered by jungle futility and their father's stories of giving up half of Berlin to the Commies, are the fathers of our current policies.

    Who could have expected anything different?

    Keeping felons well-read since 2001

    -6.13, -7.90 (now that I know what these numbers mean)

    by TheBookPolice on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:07:30 PM PDT

  •  Just call it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiesandmilk, soyinkafan

    the Bush Torture Bill.  There's nothing pro about it.  When the incumbent Dirty Dozen next come up for re-election, instead of a donation to ActBlue, the money's going to the ACLU.

    Torture is the ultimate desecration of the American flag.

    by newhorizon on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:07:38 PM PDT

  •  Chilling (5+ / 0-)

    Horrible but invaluable post.

    Sherrod Brown, Harold Ford, Bob Menendez, Debbie Stabenow, and all the rest, this is what you voted for.

    Are you not ashamed? I am.

  •  re (11+ / 0-)

    Hmm..

    I look at these pics and strangely I do not want to "calm the fuck down"...

    Odd.

    "Steve Holt does not torture." - Steve Holt

    by cookiesandmilk on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:10:47 PM PDT

  •  they should have to feel it to vote on it (0+ / 0-)

    i say if a senator or rep wants to authorize it, they should first be subjected to it...

    "Other than that, life goes on even though the world is going to hell right now...." --- Mom

    by kubla000 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:12:24 PM PDT

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    fyi -- the correct spelling is 'khmer'

  •  We have debased ourselves and our heritage (4+ / 0-)

    Shame on Congress.  Shame on them.  I am sick with rage.

    1-20-09 the darkness ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora

    by noweasels on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:14:00 PM PDT

  •  I'm so nauseous. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiesandmilk

    Just sent Gordon Smith an email telling him I hope his children can forgive him. But I don't feel any better.

  •  seeing it with my own eyes (5+ / 0-)

    When I was in Cambodia in 1993 I visited the Tuol Sleng and the killing fields outside Phnom Penh.

    When the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia they wanted to make the case that the Khmer Rouge were bad for Cambodia.

    The Vietnamese and their puppet government dug up the bodies buried. To get an accurate count they collected the skulls and then turned them into a memorial.

    What was left was pits about three meters deep. Each pit had a sign with the number of skulls excavated. To examine the pits one walked on the piles of dirt, bone and clothing of the people who were buried there.

    The skulls were important enough to memorialize, but the rest of the bodies weren't.

    If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

    by Carl Nyberg on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:14:23 PM PDT

    •  Tuol Sleng (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carl Nyberg, truong son traveler

      I've read Voices from S-21, a book by a historian who researched Tuol Sleng. The book contains this passage:  "When combined with other kinds of pressure, including torture, a skillful interrogator at S-21 could often induce memories that had little or no relation to historical truth.  In some cases the prisoner concocted them to please the interrogator and to validate the latter's insistence that they were true."

      Of course, no matter what was "remembered," the prisoner was always killed.  I believe the statistic is that only seven prisoners are known to have left Tuol Sleng alive.

    •  I just saw this painting in Phnom Penh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      varro, Coherent Viewpoint

      And I have just a quibble with the account above.  These techniques weren't designed to elicit truthful information, but they weren't really designed to elicit confessions either.  They weren't really even designed to break one's enemies.  When you hear the stories of what went on there and who the people were behind it, it becomes clear that the torture really had no other purpose than sadism.  It produced no useful outcome (just shooting them would have been much easier) except, apparently, that those doing it like it.  It's hard to understand the psychology, but it's clear that there was no practical upshot whatsoever, not even fake confessions.  1984 had it right.

  •  according to Rumsfeldian logic... (0+ / 0-)

    we're just adapting* to the techniques employed by our enemies.

    <sub>*the Constitution</sub>

  •  I need a good dose of "feel good" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, cookiesandmilk, newhorizon

    After three days of calling the jerks in congress, writing letters, and haunting these pages, I realize that the next right thing to do is to fucking go back to work.  Despair, rage, and anger is a real no win place to be.  I will put these pic's in my storage and you can bet your ass they will come out later with barbs on.  To nite I needed the incredibly positive messages found in the Diaries of Kid Okland, and the wonderful diary about the Lamont campaign that is found in this nights diary list. Boots on the ground folks! Let's kick some ass!

  •  But mcjoan (7+ / 0-)
    I'm being told that it's no big deal and those of us angry about this aren't in the fight. So why are you still writing about torture? /snark.

    We can but try. Sherlock Holmes.

    by Carnacki on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:16:31 PM PDT

  •  So long as you don;t blame BushCorp... (0+ / 0-)

    everything is swell in their eyes. The confessions then become just a suspension of disbelief toll of the governance failure trade...

    don't block my tubes...

    by a lynn on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:17:43 PM PDT

  •  Hey THAT is NOT waterboarding (0+ / 0-)

    You could find more realistic depictions of what was really done. Honestly, this looks like a silly garden party with the watering can. IT IS NOT what water-boarding really looks like.

    •  I Know Waterboarding and you're not Waterboarding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zericm

      This is waterboarding

      The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt. 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 over two minutes before begging to confess.[2]

  •  An idea on how to push back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiesandmilk

    against the torture bill and those that voted for it:

    Spirit of 76 Movement

  •  They were only interested in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missreporter

    'confessions' in Orwell's 1984. You may remember - it destroys trust between people, and leaves everyone ashamed.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:22:40 PM PDT

  •  Democrats: Not Different Enough (3+ / 0-)

    I am just so so so sickened and saddened that not a single Democrat if only on a matter of pure personal principal took it upon him or herself to stand up, take the floor, and refuse to shut up until a few drops of basic human (and what I used to think of as "American") civility and sense of justice was evoked from a few fellow senators.  They made all their little statements and everything but in the end it was just business as usual, vote-upon-party-lines.

    My hope for this country just fell another peg. or two. or twenty.

    Of all the fundamental things they are supposed to be protecting...

    And not one of them had the cajones to say "you'll have to drag me away kicking and screaming.  Never ever ever will I allow this atrocity to be lettered into American Law."

    Sickening.  Saddening.

  •  I have a dream (0+ / 0-)

    To be said by any Democratic leader:

    George W. Bush is a fake cowboy and a worse President. After 9/11, after Katrina, after lying us into a needless war, after squandering our national treasure, after caring only about power and not the people, on making us, the light of the world, hated, and for now, finally, this disgraceful torture bill, I am forced to demand the resignation of George W. Bush. Those who were worried that Mr. Bush was unqualified for the job were right. For the good of the United States of America, President Bush, step aside. And take Dick with you.

    The pet goat drowned in New Orleans.

    by thinkdouble on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:29:06 PM PDT

  •  Voting for torture is brilliant strategy! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carl Nyberg

    That's what this MSNBC.com article says.

    I fucking kid you not.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    Headline:

    The smart politics of the detainee vote

    Did adroit Democratic candidates take away one of the GOP's best issues?

    So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

    by MJB on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:30:21 PM PDT

  •  T'would be (0+ / 0-)

    sweet justice to see each and every member of congress who voted for this be subjected to it just as anyone who went through Basic Training was subject to the "gas chamber".

    Unfortunately it is way too obvious that our government is no longer by, for, or of the people for if it was we would not be where we are today.

    This would have been unthinkable not more than a decade ago. Indeed I can remember still thinking how greast my country was just a decade ago.

    Well I want it to be great again and the only way to do so is to get off our collective backsides and make it that way. For too long we relied on the good sense of those we elected to govern and obviously they lacked a lot of sense and what little they had was not good.

    If they do not have the intestinal fortitude necessary to challenge and thwart this administration and their lackies within both chambers then it is up to the people do do so.

    This is not about democrats, republicans, greens, indies, libertarians or any other party or screed this about the one thing we all share and that is being American.

    George Bush squandered the unity we all had in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and as a result we lost it. It is high time we reclaimed it to deal with a new "clear and present danger".

    Our Government.

    - Dreggas

  •  It's Khmer (4+ / 0-)

    kh-m-e-r (the final r is silent in Khmer. h is pronounced as aspiration on the k. kh and k are two different phonemes in Khmer (actually four if you count the two "registers". Pronounce like English "C'mere" (come here) with the vowel as in "air". Cambodians pronounce the vowel differently, but the trsxitional English spelling is Khmer. No vowdl sound between kh- and m.

    That's more than you probably ever wanted to know about Khmer, which was the language I worked on for my Ph.D..

    I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

    by MakeChessNotWar on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:33:19 PM PDT

    •  Also (0+ / 0-)

      Another clarification: my understanding is that the Khmer Rouge weren't really proxies of the Soviets but of the Chinese.  That was, in fact, the reason we supported reseating the Khmer Rouge at the UN after the Vietnamese (who were Soviet proxies) invaded Cambodia to depose them.  We wanted to curry favor with the Chinese and drive another wedge between them and the Soviets.

      This in no way changes the facts about these techniques or their ineffectuality or their immorality, but it's something we should remember.

  •  Alas (0+ / 0-)

    Good post, though I'm just waiting for the inevitable "is Kos a hotbed of anti-semitism?" backlash from the right wing bobbleheads. In today's America, fascism is swell but pointing out fascism is "political hate speech".

  •  But wait, (3+ / 0-)

    It can't be all bad because 12 fucking Democrats voted for it in the Senate. Why would they do that unless there was some merit to it?

    Yeah I'm still pissed. 20 years ago I was deeply involved in Amnesty International, and wrote many letters in campaigns around the world against the inhumane treatment of prisoners of conscience and for upholding general human rights. I'm sickened that my own goddamn government, with the approval of way too many people who should know better, are now wanting to legalize and legitimize the same things that I worked so hard to oppose back then.

    I want this insanity to stop. It's obvious that no Republicans are going to work to that end, so it's up to the Democrats, or else it's nobody, and down the tubes goes our country. So when I see 12 Demos casually agreeing to this atrocity, I have to wonder, where the hell is the integrity?

  •  Ahh Shit (2+ / 0-)

    I have been keeping my peace because I just really don't know what to say anymore.

    It is so surreal.

    When humanity doesn't just debate torture but methods of torture... splitting straws on how we can debase and violate mankind?  This alone is dispicable.

    My thought process:  According to our government we can draw a precendent:  I beat my wife/child/person  - they looked like a terrorist threat - but there are no bruises and they have not gone into organ failure so it's ok.

    Think of that in the common court of law today, it is considered UNACCEPTABLE.  

    Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps.

    by Sleeps in Trees on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:37:04 PM PDT

  •  "waterboarding" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Coherent Viewpoint

    Let's stop using the term and call this practice what it is: a mock execution. "Waterboarding" sounds like something that could happen in a kiddie theme park. Instead, it is the act of convincing someone that he is about to die, no different than forcing a person to kneel and holding a gun to his head. To call something a mock execution makes it clear that this, in fact, is torture.

  •  torture DNA (0+ / 0-)

    If we could sample the DNA of all Republicans, would we find a common gene for the expression of sadism?How else could you explain how this bill could have passed?

    And has anyone noticed the invountary twitching in GWB  whenever he is angry and talking about torture?

  •  I know this will not be accepted well... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kingofthehill

    But really. Compare this picture to say... the USS Cole burning. Or for heavens sakes... 9/11. Is this evil? What is evil? I mean, I know this is wrong, but yet, evil? To me, the people who plot terror are evil.  It's kind of like voting for republican or democrat? Who is the lesser of two evils? Why do people say that? What makes the distinction?

    Is getting information out of someone who, in the first place, does not show himself as an enemy until you see the bomb in his belt as he grabs your hand to shake, evil? How to you fight that? How do you question that? I don't know anymore really. The lines are blurred to the point of stupidity.

    I think torture is not the best way to go. Any sane person would admit as much. But when you are fighting an enemy who does not show his face until it's blown thirty feet into the air from the bomb he was carrying, I think there could be some lines that can be crossed.

    I know this sounds crass. But how can you honestly think the US and any other nation has not done this sort of thing before in a time of war? "where is the enemy? where are they moving their troops? where is the ark? where are the secret plans?"

    Every nation is guilty. Every nation has done the unthinkable. All for it's own "furtherance of existence." I know this does not excuse it, and we are supposed to be above it. But the enemy does not care, and neither do our leaders or other world leaders. Torture of any kind will still go on, in every country, in every war.

    So am i wrong in thinking these things? And don't tell me because "torture is wrong" to begin with. Of course it's wrong. But also, this whole conflict is wrong. This whole war is WRONG. Human strife is WRONG. People killing each other is WRONG. But how are we going to stop it?

    Ever hear of the hundred year war? That was wrong. As an American, why cant i feel like we should be able to protect ourselves?

    Anyway, i am blabbering. Whatever. I am still not going to vote for either dem or reb. I just don't know who to trust anymore.

    •  Stop blabbering (4+ / 0-)

      Seriously, you sound like Joe Lieberman.

      You want that done in your name? I don't.

    •  No, it won't be "well received" (7+ / 0-)

      Listen, idiot. These tortures and infinite secret imprisonments are not being applied to people with bombs on their belts. They are, now with the blessing of the US Congress, being applied to anyone who the President takes it into his air-filled skull to designate as an "illegal combatant."

      Have you got that, shithead? Congress has just given this arrogant vainglorious nincompoop the authority to detain anyone on the planet Earth forever and torture them as he sees fit. No one gets to tell him he's wrong. No one gets to show that the wrong guy got detained. It's just him -- The Decider. After the The Decider decides, that's it. All over. No courts, no appeals, no judge, no jury, no evidence, no nothing. Just torture until the torturers get bored with you.

      Do you know what the English word for this is, asswipe? It's "tyranny."

    •  Shut up, fool. (4+ / 0-)

      By saying that there's no alternative to torture in a war, you not only sabotage real intelligence-gatherers, but you give aid and comfort to the war criminals in power.

      Does the FBI waterboard Mafioso or members of drug rings or gangs?  NO.  They cajole and reward them for good information, and resettle them in the Witness Protection Program.  That's how you defeat criminal organizations, whether they're organized crime or terrorists - by earning the trust of people willing to give information in exchange for leniency or freedom.

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:59:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting... (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        gkn

        I love how you people claim to be champions on human rights, but yet have no problem being downright nasty and hateful in your speech. But ok Varro. I guess I will shut up.

        I mean, you dont want to hear what I have to say about it right? Oh well, i guess I am not going to shut up. So, Varro, where are all the turncoats in the terrorist camps that want to give us information in return for the witness protection program? Hmmm? Where are they lining up? Or could you say they are already dead from being found out?

  •  Revolution Calling.... (0+ / 0-)

    Queensryche...

    For a price I'd do about anything
    Except pull the trigger
    For that I'd need a pretty good cause
    Then I heard of Dr. X
    The man with the cure
    Just watch the television
    Yeah, you'll see there's something going on

    Got no love for politicians
    Or that crazy scene in D.C.
    It's just a power mad town
    But the time is ripe for changes
    There's a growing feeling
    That taking a chance on a new kind of vision is due

    I used to trust the media
    To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
    But now I've seen the payoffs
    Everywhere I look
    Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?

    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling you
    (There's a) Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Gotta make a change
    Gotta push, gotta push it on through

    I'm tired of all this bullshit
    They keep selling me on T.V.
    About the communist plan
    And all the shady preachers
    Begging for my cash
    Swiss bank accounts while giving their
    Secretaries the slam

    They're all in Penthouse now
    Or Playboy magazine, million dollar stories to tell
    I guess Warhol wasn't wrong
    Fame fifteen minutes long
    Everyone's using everybody, making the sale

    I used to think
    That only America's way, way was right
    But now the holy dollar rules everybody's lives
    Gotta make a million doesn't matter who dies

    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling you
    (There's a) Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Gotta make a change
    Gotta push, gotta push it on through

    I used to trust the media
    To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
    But now I've seen the payoffs
    Everywhere I look
    Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?

    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling you
    (There's a) Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Gotta make a change
    Gotta push, gotta push it on through

  •  Sinced Forced Confessions Are Now Admissable ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carl Nyberg, varro, Joe B, whytwolf

    ... I guess Mr. McCain will now be turning himself in for war crimes that he "confessed" to while in Vietnam after being "aggressively interrogated".

    On the third night, as McCain would later write in "Faith of My Fathers," he was beaten so badly he almost committed suicide before "confessing" his war crimes:
    I lay in my own blood and waste, so tired and hurt that I could not move. The Prick [another captor] came in with two other guards, lifted me to my feet, and gave me the worst beating I had yet experienced ... Despairing of any relief from pain and further torture, and fearing the close reproach of my moment of dishonor, I tried to take my life. I doubt I really intended to kill myself. But I couldn't fight anymore, and I remember deciding that the last thing I could do to make them believe I was still resisting, that I wouldn't break, was to attempt suicide.
    McCain took off his shirt. He turned over the waste bucket and stepped on it. He looped his shirt through a shutter. But before he could act, the Prick ran in and beat him up.
    One day later, McCain signed a confession admitting to war crimes. He would remain a POW for almost five more years, until March 15, 1973. His injuries are still with him; he cannot raise his arms above his shoulders; he still has a slight limp.

    Interesting the in his book McCain put the word confessing in quotes. Now I guess he can remove the quotes as forced confessions are now officially part of the US "justice" system.  

    God forgive America

    All men want to be rich. Rich men want to be king. And the king ain't satisfied till he rules everything. Springsteen

    by howd on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08:54:47 PM PDT

    •  Turn him back over to the Vietnamese government. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      howd

      Obviously, he wasn't put in the sort of pain similar to organ failure or death, so Abu Gonzales, John Yoo, and Jay Bybee say it's a-OK. /snark

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:03:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... but the brain is an organ and we know how it has failed for J.McCain.

        All men want to be rich. Rich men want to be king. And the king ain't satisfied till he rules everything. Springsteen

        by howd on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:58:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One Freaking day? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhupp, mcartri

    Looking at those pictures, knowing what has been happening, seeing Abu Ghraib and knowing full well what is most likely on the horizon and people want to do something only on the 5th?

    I mean I know these things take time but were civil rights marches one day and one day only? No they were constant. That's how they stayed in the news.

    Let's face it one day of protest is just one day but day after day after day and people begin to notice, the momentum grows, you aren't out of the news YOU ARE THE NEWS and as the movement grows their power diminishes.

    Gods I wish I could be more eloquent on this but leave it at this.

    The 5th should only be the beginning.

  •  Of course it's not meant to get good intel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    Since when has this regime EVER been interested in the truth? All they really want is to get the detainees to tell them what they want to hear. To reinforce what they already believe. Torture that is designed to get "confessions" from both the innocent and guilty suits their needs PERFECTLY!

    "Action displaces anxiety"

    by darthnul on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:14:47 PM PDT

  •  Shame (0+ / 0-)

    I know many of the posters here are angry and I can't blame them.  But I'm not angry... I'm ashamed.  Yes, our country is being attacked by an evil enemy but that does not mean that we have to be evil to fight them.  GWB has made me ashamed of my country.  We invade other nations, kill innocent civilians including children, and now we will torture those we suspect of being terrorists.  This is a sad day in our history... a day that will be discussed in future histure history classes as a day that the US lost its sense.  Only one Republican stood up against the President.  The moral collapse of the GOP is almost complete. 12 Democrats joined with the Repubicans to make torture our national policy. No one stood up and said, "NO!"  Instead it passes and MSNBC pats the Dems on their backs for disarming the GOP.  Who cares that men and women will be beaten, threatened, and no doubt die under American torture.  Shame!

  •  This nation's press and sites like this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcartri

    ... need to get in the face of Tony Snow at the next presser (and every presser thereafter) and Bush's, and Condi's, Shooter's, Abu's face, et all... and ask these people exactly what torture interrogations are now permitted by this Bush/Repub sponsered bill.  Make them comment on these practices, even if its a "no comment".  Dont talk in the abstract.  Show these pictures.  Make the Khymer Rouge comparisions.  Interview the innocent Canadian who was flown to Syria courtesy of Bush's policies. Tie the Repub's association to this bill not in the abstract, but to pictures like those shown above.  Show America what it really means.

  •  This is no longer the USA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe B, mcartri

    that I grew up in.

    Better teach my wife and son Oh Canada!

    -6.5, -7.59. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

    by DrWolfy on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:35:21 PM PDT

  •  America Is A Christian Nation? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe B, Coherent Viewpoint, MO Blue

    If there was ever the slightest doubt America is not a Christian nation, our fine, so-called Congress of "good Christians" has ended any possible debate. Mohandas Ghandi understood our elected torturer enablers. He said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ". God forgive us...

  •  Make postcards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcartri

    And send them to the Democrats who voted for torture, with the message: "I won't forget that you voted for this."

  •  I'm speechless (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    varro, Joe B

    If that is not torture then I haven't seen any.

    This Republican led Senate torture law makes Abu-Gharib look like a playground.

  •  The problem..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    I got into a debate on this topic with some of the people I work with who are pretty diehard Republicans; they aren't even big fans of Bush anymore, per se, but still definitely support just about anything done in the name of "fighting terror".

    What I found out pretty quickly is that these arguments about what is and isn't torture don't necessarily seem to be even relevant.  One of my co-workers quoted Bill O'Reilly, saying that basically they are fine with torture if it saves one American life.  They then went on to say that waterboarding wasn't so bad because it didn't leave any marks or permanent physical damage.  

    But aside from that, their attitude is basically that terrorists deserve anything we want to do to them.  And not only that, innocent people who might get caught and tortured accidentally apparently deserve it too, because it was their fault for being in the wrong place.  

    I mean, this is what we're dealing with here.  Arguments about what is and isn't torture or how effective it is or whatever don't seem to matter, since I think there are a lot of people like my co-workers who feel that we can and should do anything (and when they bring up the "I would do anything to save an american life" argument, I don't even know what the response is that would convince them otherwise).

    I even tried to bring up the basic argument that we are compromising our principals, and that we shouldn't treat any human like this, and that we should respect  human rights and the Geneva Convention; but their response was "The people who flew those planes into the WTC didn't respect that.  The people who cut off heads don't respect that. Why should we?".  It seems obvious to me that we shouldn't sink to the level of our enemies, but I don't think it does to the people that support it.

    And any historical argument doesn't work on them either, since they  basically just say that the world changed after 9/11, which apparently means anything goes now.  

    -Zadillo

  •  And then there's "stress positioning" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, sabishi

    Sometimes I believe the American people are divided into two classes ... those who understand nothing whatever about torture  ... and those who relish it as an art form, like Girl's Gymnastics -- not everyone is sexually aroused by watching it.

    Part of the problem with waterboarding is that people can be trained to resist and survive it.  Having been so trained, an intelligence operative can easily decide that partial suffocation is nothing more than 'rough horseplay'

    But lost in the discussion was the casual acceptance of 'stress positioning'.  Here too, the torturers are trained in the technque by having it applied to them; and eight or ten hours chained in a squatting position is a manageable ordeal.  The 'victim' may wet himself. Big deal.

    But we heard Senate testimony to the effect that Guantanimo detainees SHIT themselves while in 'wrist to ankle' stress position.  That tells us two things: that the torture had been prolonged from hours to days ... and that the victim had 'broken'.

    (What dear reader, would it take to persuade you to void your bowels into your britches?  Toilet trained people simply don't unless they're delerious, unconcious, or beyond all caring.)

    Now, what about stress positions could cause that?  The standing position is bad enough: there's the sleeplessness of course ... then the fatigue of the leg muscles which refuse to hold the body's weight, which transfers the weight to the arms, which constricts breathing until the victim finds his legs again, and so on ... It is a form of slow crusifixion ... and it will kill by asphxiation in 4 or 5 days -- assuming the victim is kept hydrated.  But the 'saving grace' of the standing position is that,except for the hands and wrists, it doesn't obstruct blood circulation -- no risk of gangrene, muscle necrosis, or deep vein thrombois.

    The crouched and curled positions cause cramping as well as fatigue. Most athletes have experienced a large muscle cramp lasting several minutes: very painful.  But the prisioner can neither move, nor massage the spasmed muscle  -- the cramp lasts until the muscle actually dies. That releases potentially lethal toxins into the blood.   But, before that happens, the victim generally shits himself.  The smell is the clue it's time to call a time out so the process can be repeated.

    In a dark cell.  With threats of worse.  For as long as neccessary.

    And this was discussed in the Well of the Senate, as if this 'stress positioning' was 'no big deal.'

    Senator McCain, at the very least, knew better -- but did not choose to share the details.

  •  Put them on the front pages (0+ / 0-)

    These pictures need to be put on the front pages of all our newspapers.  They are horrifying.  Perfect fare for the Sundays just before an election.

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