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Mark Danner has scooped the NY Times, the Washington Post and other papers by publishing in the current New York Review of Books an essay quoting long excerpts of a leaked International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report on "high-value" prisoners held in CIA black site prisons. The interviews took prior to their release in late 2006, and the report itself is dated February 2007, and likely was sent originally to then CIA Acting General Counsel, John Rizzo.

The prisoners interviewed by ICRC personnel included Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Walid Bin Attash, and eleven others, all of whom, the ICRC concluded, were submitted to torture. From the report"s conclusion:

The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill-treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Mark Danner, who obviously has seen the entire 43 page report, calls the report "a document for its time, literally "impossible to put down," from its opening page." He reproduces a portion of its chilling Table of Contents. This is no bedtime reading:

Contents
Introduction

  1. Main Elements of the CIA Detention Program

1.1 Arrest and Transfer
1.2 Continuous Solitary Confinement and Incommunicado Detention
1.3 Other Methods of Ill-treatment
1.3.1 Suffocation by water
1.3.2 Prolonged Stress Standing
1.3.3 Beatings by use of a collar
1.3.4 Beating and kicking
1.3.5 Confinement in a box
1.3.6 Prolonged nudity
1.3.7 Sleep deprivation and use of loud music
1.3.8 Exposure to cold temperature/cold water
1.3.9 Prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles
1.3.10 Threats
1.3.11 Forced shaving
1.3.12 Deprivation/restricted provision of solid food
1.4 Further elements of the detention regime....

As one follows the narratives of the various prisoners, Danner notes that one can see the construction of the CIA-Bush torture program unfold in all its brutalizing variety before one's eyes. Even, as caught Emptywheel's eye in her reading of Danner's article, prisoner Abu Zubaydah can notice that the torturers are experimenting on the type and effects of various torture methods upon him. From Zubaydah's narrative (emphasis added):

   After the beating I was then placed in the small box. They placed a cloth or cover over the box to cut out all light and restrict my air supply. As it was not high enough even to sit upright, I had to crouch down. It was very difficult because of my wounds.... I don't know how long I remained in the small box, I think I may have slept or maybe fainted....

A black cloth was then placed over my face and the interrogators used a mineral water bottle to pour water on the cloth so that I could not breathe. After a few minutes the cloth was removed and the bed was rotated into an upright position. The pressure of the straps on my wounds was very painful. I vomited. The bed was then again lowered to horizontal position and the same torture carried out again with the black cloth over my face and water poured on from a bottle. On this occasion my head was in a more backward, downwards position and the water was poured on for a longer time. I struggled against the straps, trying to breathe, but it was hopeless. I thought I was going to die. I lost control of my urine. Since then I still lose control of my urine when under stress.

   I was then placed again in the tall box. While I was inside the box loud music was played again and somebody kept banging repeatedly on the box from the outside. I tried to sit down on the floor, but because of the small space the bucket with urine tipped over and spilt over me.... I was then taken out and again a towel was wrapped around my neck and I was smashed into the wall with the plywood covering and repeatedly slapped in the face by the same two interrogators as before....

   This went on for approximately one week. During this time the whole procedure was repeated five times....

   I collapsed and lost consciousness on several occasions. Eventually the torture was stopped by the intervention of the doctor....

I was told during this period that I was one of the first to receive these interrogation techniques, so no rules applied. It felt like they were experimenting and trying out techniques to be used later on other people.

Indeed, as Danner points out, there were changes to the interrogation-torture procedures. Since all the prisoners were kept isolated and out of contact with each other, the overall similarity of the treatment appears valid, and the differences and changes accurate. Danner reports:

Some techniques are discarded. The coffin-like black boxes, for example, barely large enough to contain a man, one six feet tall and the other scarcely more than three feet, which seem to recall the sensory-deprivation tanks used in early CIA-sponsored experiments, do not reappear. Neither does the "long-time sitting" -— the weeks shackled to a chair—that Abu Zubaydah endured in his first few months.

Nudity, on the other hand, is a constant in the ICRC report, as are permanent shackling, the "cold cell," and the unceasing loud music or noise. Sometimes there is twenty-four-hour light, sometimes constant darkness. Beatings, also, and smashing against the walls seem to be favored procedures; often, the interrogators wear gloves.

In later interrogations new techniques emerge, of which "long-time standing" and the use of cold water are notable....

A clear method emerges from these accounts, based on forced nudity, isolation, bombardment with noise and light, deprivation of sleep and food, and repeated beatings and "smashings"—though from this basic model one can see the method evolve, from forced sitting to forced standing, for example, and acquire new elements, like immersion in cold water.

Danner makes the connections which I and others have made between these techniques and the study of torture and "brainwashing" undertaken by the CIA and the military over 50 years ago, which culminated in the codification of such procedures in the CIA counterintelligence interrogation KUBARK manual of the early 1960s.

The NY Review article also confirms the ABC news report of approximately a year ago that reported how each variation and application of the torture techniques was vetted by the White House:

Shortly after Abu Zubaydah was captured, according to ABC News, CIA officers "briefed high-level officials in the National Security Council's Principals Committee," including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Attorney General John Ashcroft, who "then signed off on the [interrogation] plan." At the time, the spring and summer of 2002, the administration was devising what some referred to as a "golden shield" from the Justice Department -— the legal rationale that was embodied in the infamous "torture memorandum," written by John Yoo and signed by Jay Bybee in August 2002... Still, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet regularly brought directly to the attention of the highest officials of the government specific procedures to be used on specific detainees —- "whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subject to simulated drowning" -- in order to seek reassurance that they were legal. According to the ABC report, the briefings of principals were so detailed and frequent that "some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed." At one such meeting, John Ashcroft, then attorney general, reportedly demanded of his colleagues, "Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."

The Danner article, if one hasn't noticed yet, is must reading. He leaves nary a stone unturned: the complicity of some Congressional Democrats, the disaster which was the cover-up inspired Military Commissions Act of 2006, and the lies told by Bush and other administration officials to hide the truth of what was being done.

But, Danner also notes that, strangely, and for anyone who cared to read, there has been plenty of notice of what was happening in the "dark" crevices of U.S. foreign policy, even back to those dismal early months in 2002, when the torture gulag was fired up. "'Stress and Duress' Tactics Used on Terrorism Suspects Held in Secret Overseas Facilities" reads one headline from a Washington Post article from December 26, 2002.

Danner fails to make mention of the codification of many of these CIA procedures in the current version of the Army Field Manual (isolation, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation), nor is there any discussion of the use of drugs on prisoners, which has surfaced in other prisoners' narratives of their incarceration. But what Danner does capture is the sense of psychic numbing that occurs as one reads over and over of how the CIA's "alternative set of procedures" was used on this prisoner and that prisoner, as one become inured to the brutality.

After a long discussion about the relative intelligence "value" of torture, Danner settles into a discussion about what we must do now. He certainly understands that there is a very important need to educate the public about what must be done. He is a little less certain that prosecutions should or can take place, but can see how hobbled the Obama administration is by this legacy, and how, despite Obama's wish to not look back and move forward, "he and his Department of Justice will be haunted by what his predecessor did."

Many officials of human rights organizations, who have fought long and valiantly to bring attention and law to bear on these issues, strongly reject any proposal that includes widespread grants of immunity. They urge investigations and prosecutions of Bush administration officials. The choices are complicated and painful. From what we know, officials acted with the legal sanction of the US government and under orders from the highest political authority, the elected president of the United States. Political decisions, made by elected officials, led to these crimes. But political opinion, within the government and increasingly, as time passed, without, to some extent allowed those crimes to persist. If there is a need for prosecution there is also a vital need for education. Only a credible investigation into what was done and what information was gained can begin to alter the political calculus around torture by replacing the public's attachment to the ticking bomb with an understanding of what torture is and what is gained, and lost, when the United States reverts to it.

I am one of those voices who speak loudly for prosecutions. But the more I read and understand, I see that the issue goes much farther than simply torture qua torture, or whether there should be a Truth Commission or prosecutions.

The corruption of government and the inability of the governmental ruling classes to interrupt or terminate the program of state-sanctioned torture, or stop the black propaganda fed, and well-plotted campaign to go to war in Iraq, or take command of an economic bubble and unregulated set of bogus financial schemes until they ballooned out of control and sought to bankrupt the entire country, this corruption and moral-political bankruptcy implicates immensely wide swaths of the government and ruling classes.

We are in a very tight spot, historically speaking. It is true that a significant section of civil society, located primarily among some human rights and civil liberties organizations, but with some links as well even into layers of the military (particularly military attorneys), are seeking some kind of change, some way in which a system of accountability can be secured. But they are laboring under the collective weight of a political system that cannot even look at itself in the mirror. Danner notes Obama and Holder's play to keep some of this information secure under "state secrets privilege" by the Executive Branch. The very leaking of the ICRC document shows what he thinks of that.

I don't have any simple answers. I know that we must only try and move towards the light. Our compass must be the dictates of justice and mercy, and also truth. We wish to build a better world. We know there are those who have... well, different ideas. We must be able to combat ignorance, and be smart ourselves. Learn from the past, prepare for the future. We must not flinch from what we need to do. We cannot go backwards. The world is already slipping backwards at an alarming rate. The ICRC report itself is documentary proof of that.

Let us move forward.

Update, roughly 11 pm, PDT:

Commenters have made a number of excellent points and other analysts in other posts around the net have also contributed.

The Washington Post has just put up their article covering the story. It has a nice tidbit for those who like to track down thing or speculate about who leaked the ICRC report, and why? (H/T  ericlwis0)

At least five copies of the report were shared with the CIA and top White House officials in 2007 but barred from public release by ICRC guidelines intended to preserve the humanitarian group's strict policy of neutrality in conflicts. A copy of the report was obtained by Mark Danner, a journalism professor and author who published extensive excerpts in the April 9 edition of the New York Review of Books, released yesterday. He did not say how he obtained the report.

The New York Times has posted a shortened version of the Mark Danner article on their Op-Ed page. (Double H/T to out of left field and to Stephen Soldz)

Speaking of Stephen Soldz, his remarks about the actions of military and CIA psychologists in the torture, made at a listserv for anti-torture psychologists, are worth repeating here (I've added the link within):

   We must remember that the techniques detailed in these documents were designed by psychologists. These psychologists were present at the APA-CIA-Rand conference on the Science of Deception. APA [American Psychological Association] has never explained why these torturers were invited or what they said or what was said to them. Nor have the APA leaders who invited and participated with these torturers expressed any remorse that they may have aided their torture. Rather, they tried to hide the attendance at this conference, even claimed to have "misplaced" it. And they have tried to change the subject to whether or not these torturers were "APA members", as if its fine to aid torturers if they aren't members.

   Accountability for US torture MUST include accountability for those who aided the torturers, including those in the APA leadership who contributed. Continued silence is not acceptable. The truth must come out. We must pressure any Truth Commission or other accountability process to explore the role of the APA, other psychologists, and other health professionals, in the US torture program.

Well put, Stephen. And many thanks to all those for helping push this diary, with its important anti-torture news and commentary to the top of the recommended list. I won't be happy, though, until the issue is pushed to the top of the nation's agenda, and a history-making review and prosecution of these crimes begins.

Also posted at Invictus

Originally posted to Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:24 PM PDT.

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    They were hoping we would look away, that these testimonies would never see the light of day.

    They were wrong.

    Now we must do what we need to do. Are we, as a society, up to such a task? Ask yourselves, are you?

    War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

    by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:25:48 PM PDT

      •  The CIA can still keep prisoners (87+ / 0-)

        "short-term", per the Obama administration's E.O. We don't know what "short-term" means. But also, Obama banned the so-called "alternative interrogation methods" of the CIA, and said the Army Field Manual rules must be followed.

        But the AFM rules include use of partial sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, use of fears and phobias, no prohibition on stress positions, and allowance of the use of drugs on prisoners, as long as they don't cause "permanent harm".

        See my articleson the AFM for more information.

        Unfortunately, it's not all over yet.

        War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

        by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:42:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cheney & Bush must be held accountable (74+ / 0-)

          This is part of a large growing body of evidence that Bush Cheney Rumsfeld and other high level Bush administration officials committed war crimes.

          If the laws against war crimes are not enforced they become unenforceable. Trial at the Hague is needed to stop the repetition of crimes like these.

          Editorial comment on a great diary:

          As one follows the narratives of the various prisoners, Danner notes that one can see the construction of the CIA-Bush torture program unfold in all its brutalizing variety before one's eyes. Even, as caught Emptywheel's eye in her reading of Danner's article, prisoner Abu Zubaydah can notice that the torturer's are experimenting on the type and effects of various torture methods upon him. From Zubaydah's narrative (emphasis added):

          torture's should be a simple plural: torturers.

          "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:52:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bush and Cheney WON'T be held accountable. (26+ / 0-)

            Obama has no desire to hold them to account. Why do you think he's been at best--at best--ambivalent toward even that watered-down Leahy Commission (which would offer immunity in exchange for testimony)?

            Obama has had a taste of the unitary executive and clearly likes it.

            •  You may be right (57+ / 0-)

              But let's not make that determination final, and assume we can yet change the situation. Such pessimism leads to a defeatist position. Also, the jury has not concluded its determination on what Obama will do. That DoD redacted memo last month, where Binyam Mohamed's attorneys were not allowed to write to Obama and tell him precisely what tortures Mohamed had endured still hangs out there as some kind of anomaly.

              Certainly Obama has taken bad positions on state secrets and on Bagram.

              He also voted against the Military Commissions Act a few years back. In any case, he's the only game in town, president-wise, and we must do our best to convince him.

              War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

              by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:06:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Then Obama should be impeached. (3+ / 0-)

              I voted for the guy, I gave the guy money, I canvassed for him.

              WTF?

              "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

              by bobdevo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:24:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll tell you. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Heart of the Rockies, vox humana

                You've been had. You've been took.

                •  Jury is still out. I still have hope (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Valtin, Lady Libertine

                  they will do the right thing.

                  "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                  by bobdevo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:32:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The common plaint (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  417els, felldestroyed

                  of Trollus Concernus. It's not a pretty sound.

                  There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight - Lon Chaney

                  by MnplsLiberal on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:22:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Before the elections, (11+ / 0-)

                    people were assured it would be called "holding his feet to the fire."

                    Pointing out what some knew all along, that this Administration would be like all preceding administrations, happy enough to use all powers at its disposal and discounting any evidence that might suggest giving some up or prosecuting predecessors who might have misused powers one may wish to keep for oneself... is not trolling. It is merely observation.

                    Some voted with eyes wide open about what they were getting. Others were, indeed, "had."

                    Between the powers that would be threatened by full investigation of this issue, and the amount of American debt held by countries with even worse human rights records than our own, there is unlikely to be much action on these issues unless the public makes it so by protesting loudly.

                    And calling people "concern trolls" for pointing that out will not help, I'm afraid.

                    The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

                    by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:06:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You've been had. You've been took. Calling (0+ / 0-)

                      Glenny B.  It's all over...I am all understanding and the country is doomed after less than two long months!

                      This place is brimming with the US Immediate Gratification mentality and a total lack of realizing that many things are happening behind the scenes.

                      Knee-jerk proclamations of failure and betrayal, if not trollish, are childish and shrill.

                      Glenn flew East
                      Glenn flew West...dropped some splats in the DKos nest.

                      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

                      by 417els on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:26:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, thank you. (8+ / 0-)

                        I am not into the media references so much.

                        I do know when "enemy combatant" is simply eliminated as a term to assure people it no longer exists, that is much more of an issue than claiming "instant gratification." Orwellian tactics are disturbing no matter who employs them, regardless of whether they occur in the first hundred days or after eight years.

                        By your estimation, how long should the tortured and unjustly accused need to wait for justice?

                        And if you could please direct your answers to me instead of some person outside the conversation, I will be better able to respond and your argument will carry more force.

                        The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

                        by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:34:40 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Actually, my comment wasn't directed at you (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          snakelass

                          personally.  Rather, an observation of a pervasive attitude around here lately which was hinted at in your post.

                          No one, including a POTUS with integrity in office for less than 2 months, can right the horrific wrongs that have been done with the stroke of a pen.

                          Unfortunately, with the multitude of crimes committed and illegalities embedded by BushCo against this country and others, it is going to take careful, precise legal maneuvering to put it right and establish permanence.  This is where I see demands for Immediate Gratification and declarations of betrayal as being self-defeating.

                          Torture is infinitely repulsive and irreversible.  While the accused/abused may be exonerated (or found guilty) there can be no true justice for the individual, ever.    

                          "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

                          by 417els on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:26:34 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  And some were made complicit by being given (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bobdevo, Clio2

                      "special" information and now they feel guilty and ashamed and impotent.  Which was, of course, the intent of the secrecy.  
                      There's no point keeping secrets from the people on the ground.  They know what's going down.  They know who belongs and who doesn't and who's a spook and who's not.

                      They're not all atomized, like Americans.

                      Americans are easy to keep in the dark because they don't talk to each other.  Think of exceptions like the Amish.

                      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

                      by hannah on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 01:52:28 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Uhh - no. (0+ / 0-)

                    Wrong.  More and more people are realizing that all the speeches and fair-pay legislation in the world won't make up for what Obama's doing and not doing with regard to the worst of the Bush administration.  Obama is not some super human who can do no wrong.  I believed in him and voted for him too - but there just comes a point where you have to accept the truth.  As time goes by, Obama's looking like just more of what we were trying to vote out.

            •  Maybe he has no ability (0+ / 0-)

              to hold them to account?

              There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight - Lon Chaney

              by MnplsLiberal on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:37:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, he has PLENTY of ability (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Valtin, Chacounne

                Let's just hope he has the courage and the sense of justice. He has NOOOOO excuse NOT to investigate/prosecute, if you ask me.

                "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                by ratmach on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:18:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How do you know? (0+ / 0-)

                  Do you really think that the president holds ALL power in the land?

                  There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight - Lon Chaney

                  by MnplsLiberal on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:24:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How 'bout this (7+ / 0-)

                    He holds a primetime "address to the nation". In it, he lays out what he believes are the crimes (or "misdeeds" or "questionable actions" or whatever) of Bush, Cheney, and others. He announces the formation of a special office in the Justice Dept. to investigate. He lays out, in explicit detail, what matters that office will investigate.

                    Yeah, politically I could see virtually everyone on the Right, and even some Dems freaking out. But that's about ALL they can do... scream, cry, and kick their widdle feets in anger.

                    Yeah... Obama CAN do something, and there's virtually nothing anyone can do to stop him. It IS up to him. Oh, I realize that once the process gets going, there'll be a bunch of people trying to short-circuit it. But as for getting the process started in the first place? EASY.

                    "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                    by ratmach on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:34:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How about this (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      snakelass, ratmach

                      The day before his address a dirty nuclear bomb goes off in New York?

                      Or suddenly all the dirty sexual proclivities, some highly illegal, the Democratic leadership engage in are front page news.

                      Or Democrats that were directly involved in our torture program are outed.

                      Or small planes fall out of the sky.

                      Or US gov military grade anthrax shows up in Democratic mailboxes just like it did last time.

                      Or a bullet finds a target.

                      There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight - Lon Chaney

                      by MnplsLiberal on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:44:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How about this? (10+ / 0-)

                        The President protects and defends the Constitution of the United States to the best of his ability?

                        And Patrick Henry returns to the soul of America saying "give me Liberty, or..." well... never mind. Give me a nice cozy safe house. People are scary. Give them Liberty. I'll take safety.

                        The military take oaths to this Constitution, do they not? What are they willing to face for that? And the people who would send them to face that should themselves be exempt? Because....

                        The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

                        by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:10:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I get your point... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        snakelass

                        ... and you may not be too far off. But the key word in your comment was "before". As in "The day before his address..."  That implies that Obama would make it known WHAT the address was gonna be concerning before he gave it. I say he should NOT. In fact, he might say it's gonna be about something else altogether. He can first talk about whatever that issue is, and THEN say, "But there's something else I need to talk with you all about..."

                        And yeah, I realize that your comment could still be perfectly relevant, by just changing the word "before" to "after". But it would be WAY more difficult for someone to pull off something in a way that it wasn't totally obvious WHY that something had been pulled off.

                        "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                        by ratmach on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:10:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Indirectly (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        vox humana, ratmach

                        You are speaking to the kind of country you believe we live in. If that's the case, then who cares if its sent into a tizzy by prosecutions. Do you really want to live in such a totalitarian nightmare?

                        War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                        by Valtin on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:20:02 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My sentiments exactly (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Valtin

                          If a good percentage of the people in this country are hardcore followers of Bush and the others, and if they're willing and able to make the rest of our lives miserable... then some kind of a major confrontation between us and them is NOT the worst thing that could happen.

                          "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

                          by ratmach on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:11:39 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  As we have seen before (12+ / 0-)

              he is very deliberate and usually waits for the right time before he goes after someone.  Evidence is mounting...this is all a very good sign.  

              •  That's my hope (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Gustogirl, Agathena, JuliaAnn, Valtin, CKendall

                though it is increasingly difficult to hold onto.

                Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some... farcical aquatic ceremony!

                by imatlas on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:06:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Could have to do with the budget & stimulus bills (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Gustogirl, joynow, snakelass, bartman

                Obama needed every vote and an investigation will turn a number of Dems against him. This is my best excuse for him, in addition to his DOJ needing some time to sort through the facts.

                I'm willing to give him a little time to pass a couple of imperative bills first, but this leaked report is forcing his hand. He must now show himself either to honor the law or to be a Dem version of Bush.

                Anyway, I'm working on this from the other end by regularly reminding my congress people that the world knows even if we stick our heads in the sand. I tell them that the terrorists know and use it as a recruiting tool.

                •  For Obama to maintain (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Gustogirl, maxzj05

                  his popularity and unite the American people this will have to be instigated by Congress...more of them will have to be on board.  It is necessary, don't get me wrong, and I think Obama knows this, but has the potential to really, really destabilize our country. I am as much for throwing those bastards into jail as anyone, but you have to handle these things delicately.  As you said, writing your senators is the best thing to do at this point.

                  •  I'll admit I'm squeamish (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clio2, Mrs M, blage

                    A minority of American citizens have any idea of what has been going on.  We know, and talk about it - but I'll admit that when we do, I sometimes cannot bear to read the details of the suffering.  It makes me ashamed to be an American.

                    Those on the other side of the issue (the "24" fans) don't go into the details, but loudly couch the argument into abstracts.  Abstracts are a welcome thing to many when squeamishness and shame are the alternative.

                    So it's a hard thing to bring to the American table.  The proper approach is worth discussion, analysis and requires surgical delicacy if it is to result in the will of Americans to right a great wrong.  I agree it cannot be brought to our already heavily laden table of troubles lightly.  It deserves and demands an unwavering light, not the strobe that flickers "economy, global warming, unemployment, war, war, pollution, etc".  

                    The good news is that Americans are in the mood to call for justice.  The economic screwing we've taken has us as close to pitchforks as we've been in a generation.  Unfortunately, the justice we are calling for in the case of the economy strikes much closer to our own self interest.  Can a humanitarian outcry be any louder?  Not at the moment, IMHO.

                    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gustogirl

                      It makes me ashamed to be an American.

                      What makes me just as ashamed is that our politicians, and many of us, are unwilling to investigate and prosecute. They act even more "in our name" than BushCo did, especially Congress.

            •  I haven't given up on him yet (4+ / 0-)

              You're right, that so far it ain't looking good. But Obama has made a few slick moves before... moves that most of us didn't see coming till he pulled the trigger. So I'm hoping that's the case here.

              But if not, if he just lets Bush and the others ride happily off into the sunset, then I'm THROUGH with him. Come the 2012 campaign, I'll be working 24/7 to help nominate some other Dem in the primaries.

              "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

              by ratmach on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:15:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ummmm. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skrekk, bartman, blage

                Obama has made a few slick moves before... moves that most of us didn't see coming till he pulled the trigger

                A FEW?  There have been too many to list.  Our President is a chess player.

                It's hard to get used to after having 8 years of leadership that could only win a hand of euchre by cheating.

                "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

                by 417els on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:40:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Obama is a pragmatist (11+ / 0-)

              Not a wild-eyed idealist of the Jefferson mold.  His political role model drew the scorn of abolitionists for years until the moment came when it was politically feasible to terminate slavery.  And yet for all the frustration Lincoln caused the abolitionists, it is very unlikely that a radical like Joshua Giddings or Charles Sumner could have won the presidency, much less led a hesitant (and extremely racist) nation to victory over the southern insurgency.

              I'm not saying we should just kick back and have faith that Obama will handle it.  Quite the opposite; he must feel political heat from the left on the question of war crimes.  But in turning up the heat, we should keep Lincoln's example in mind, and aim for constructive pressure on all democrats to enforce the rule of law.  

              Unfortunately, simply pointing out that Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the GOP elicits howls of indignant outrage from Fox and the wingnut right.  I'm scared of what they may do if democrats actually tried a Bush administration official for war crimes.  Any pursuit of justice must include plans for neutralizing a potentially violent uprising fomented by right wing demagogues.  Bringing the Bush administration to justice is not as simple and easy as many seem to think.

              "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

              by Subterranean on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:52:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  These are of course good points, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                snakelass, Valtin

                and the abolitionists did indeed feel intense frustration toward pragmatic politicians and their deliberations.

                I wonder how the slaves felt those eighty-seven years....

                Maybe in the long run it was good to wait.... But how many lives in the meantime? How many lives?

                We are now two months into this Administration, and these policies are at least in part continued, though some under different names. Why worry about prosecuting Bush and Cheney? It's about changing laws and preventing this now that is highest priority.

                The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

                by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:15:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  People didn't wait those 87 years (8+ / 0-)

                  Abolitionists did everything in their power to end slavery, up to and including violence.  It's not like people just waited around and finally Lincoln came along with is pragmatic approach.  People tried everything, and ultimately it was Lincoln's approach that dealt the final blow to slavery.  Yet the final blow would never have come without the toil and blood of generations of abolitionists.

                  87 years is a bit off, too.  African slaves were first kidnapped and brought to America in 1619.  They had to wait about 246 years until slavery was officially abolished, and 346 years until slavery was abolished in spirit.

                  "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                  by Subterranean on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:42:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course 87 years (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    snakelass

                    was going from the founding of the country. Yes, slavery was around much, much longer. And there were protests even before the strict definition of "abolitionism" (cf. John Woolman)

                    I disagree that Lincoln had what it took in spite of all that had happened before, if that is what you are saying. He had the wisdom to take advantage of the moment, but that was not an "ultimate" justification for his moderation. As he himself had said, could the war have been won without emancipation he would have done it. That is indeed the position of a moderate.

                    He should receive credit for the wisdom to discern the action that needed to be taken at the moment to achieve the goals he himself set, but he should most assuredly not receive credit for the work others put into the cause he used for his own ends.

                    That is not to say he did not have inclinations toward freedom for slaves: merely that he did not see it as a necessity for his actual goals. In that sense I think you have hit on a good parallel, though maybe not exactly in the sense you may have intended?

                    The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

                    by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:10:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  An example (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                snakelass, testvet6778, Clio2, JesseCW

                would be the attempted coup against De Gaulle in the early 60s when the latter moved to neutralize the French/Algerian torturers, not to bring them to justice, just to bring an end to the Algerian War.

                War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:49:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  They WILL be held to account by someone (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              just sayin' that I would not want to be on their secret service detail.  As to those involved that do not have 24 hour bodyguard protection?  They are the low hanging fruit, it may take awhile but I would suspect that many of them are going to have mysterious accidents over the years or just flat out get gunned down like dogs.

              And if it goes that far, which I suspect it will, the target list will expand beyond the Bush administration pretty quickly amongst the more extreme elements doing it.

              So it would be in the best interests of everyone if these people are held legally to account for the actions so that the wound of it is not ripped open again and again over the next few decades.

              NOTE:  I am not endorsing this as a means of handling the accountability issue. I am merely commenting on a probability of future actions based on previous actions undertaken against other political figures in similar situations.

            •  Senator Whitehouse (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neon Mama

              is determined to follow this all the way to procecution of ALL the people who put this blot on our country - on US.  He is a formidable attorney on both the judiciary committee and the intelligence committee, so he has access to all the details.  And he is filled with anger and determination.  Let him know we are with him.

          •  Thanks (7+ / 0-)

            will fix.

            Boy, do I love my proofreaders and editors. The best a diarist could hope for.

            War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

            by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:01:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Do they constitute "war crimes" or just "crimes?" (10+ / 0-)

            I ask this in all seriousness.  Shouldn't torture be illegal, whether or not it is conducted under the guise of war?

          •  DREAM ON>>> (9+ / 0-)

            hate to flog the horse again-- Pelosi TOOK IMPEACHMENT OFF THE TABLE IN 2006.

            must I translate the meaning of that action for you?

            "The most dangerous thing in any economic crisis is denial". Simon Johnson, MIT

            by Superpole on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:07:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and what would Congress have used... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote, truong son traveler

              ..in the way of evidence of their charges?  The Bush administration blocked all avenues by classifying information, effectively constructing a blockade to congressional inquiry.  Then they told all their coherts to ignore congressional subpoenas, cloaking them in executive privilege.

              Congress challenged these legal theories in court before a judiciary hell-bent on slow walking such cases.  Our nation's attorney generals were no help either as they saw their job as protecting the executive branch rather than representing the interests of our nation and its people.

              What little information congressional leaders did get in those security briefings, which was by no means exhaustive or detailed, was covered by rules/laws governing national security.  Pelosi explained all this to Rachel Maddow in this interview.

              Getting back to the question of impeachment, do you really think a government transition -- a major undertaking of itself -- made any sense in the difficult environment where our nation was under the burden of terrorist threats (real or imagined, the big unknown)?  

              Flip a coin.  The Bushies were telling the truth, and our nation was still quite vulnerable to attacks; or Bushies were lying.

              Would you have taken this bet?  Would you have attempted a dramatic political action and placed our country at further risk?

              And which one of these clowns would you have impeached first?  The one holding the actual office?  Or the acting president holding the office of vice-presidency.

              Look at the massive work it took by the Obama team to go through the transition.  Now look at his incomplete cabinet and sub-cabinet vacancies 50 days after he took office!  

              Impeachment would have been a logistical nightmare.  I am convinced Pelosi and the Democratic leadership in Congress made the best decision at the time.

              •  Bush and Cheney (9+ / 0-)

                both admitted in public interviews a while ago that they had approved waterboarding. Since the US has found waterboarding to be torture since at least the period just after World War II, when Japanese soldiers were executed for having waterboarded US troops, that is admitting a war crime, at least my perspective. War crimes are "high crimes." It should have been easy, relatively speaking, to impeach and convict both of them.

                       Just my two cents,
                           Heather

                •  I agree with prosecutions for war crimes.. (4+ / 0-)

                  That is now left up to our new attorney general and the justice department, who are still wading through the debris left behind by the previous obstructionists masquerading as AGs.

                •  Yes, the Evidence is Overwhelming (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Valtin

                  Our Treasury has been massively looted over an eight year period, two illegal wars still ongoing, torture and rendition, an active CIA agent outed by vengeful
                  members of the bu$hco administration-- there is plenty of evidence for prosecution and impeachment; IF congress is UP TO THE JOB.

                  clearly they are not.

                  "The most dangerous thing in any economic crisis is denial". Simon Johnson, MIT

                  by Superpole on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:24:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it's not up to Congress at this point... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Valtin

                    Congress is not the agency for law enforcement.  Never has been, never will be.  The most Congress can do is check processes to see if they're functioning. They discharged their responsibility of advisery role admirably with the work of Conyers and Waxman during difficult years.

                    Now it's up to the justice department to prosecute or not prosecute.  There will be civil cases blooming all over the place in response to the destruction of civil rights during the last eight years.  

                    So these issues are not going away anytime soon.  

              •  This is one of the problems we have (13+ / 0-)

                in this country -- this tendency to create excuses for the decisions made by government officials. America still vulnerable to attack in the days after 9/11 you say? Do you remember how quickly the hijackers were identified and what their nationalities were? Do you remember how quickly Osama bin Laden was identified as the leader of al Qaeda, the man who'd given the highjackers their go-ahead to carry out those 9/11 hijackings?

                Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and bin Laden himself is Saudi, although the Saudis swear he'd been stripped of his citizenship.
                The mystery of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was solved in rapid fashion. The problem was that we never really tried to capture bin Laden, and Saudi Arabia was never held accountable for its nationals carrying out those attacks on US soil.

                So we had the answers. Any "vulnerablity factor" with respect to further attacks on the US was something the Bush administration used to keep fear levels high as they made their bogus case to go to war with a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.

                Congress has abdicated its authority to the Executive Branch in such an egregious fashion, that the Executive Branch under George W. Bush felt powerful enough to grant Bush absolute authority over this country for eight years. As in most dictatorships, the gloves come off, the rules go out the windows and the absolute power determines what is torture and what is not and who is an enemy combatant and who is not.

                Anyone who is not sickened by the crimes of the Bush administration and does not think these crimes warrant prosecutions in a court of law are still living under the hypnosis of Bush's dictatorship. And if president Obama, whom I voted for, and argued for, and supported in every way possible can look at this kind of evidence and move on, then yes, I'd have to agree with those who argue that he wants to preserve as much of Bush's unitary executive power as he can.

                •  I agree with everything you say... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Valtin, gzodik, Mrs M, Lady Libertine

                  What action do you want to see now and by whom?  

                  I guess I'm looking for some clues, some signs that get me out of my uncertainty about what actions the Obama administration will/will not take.

                  I don't have enough information presently to support the idea that the Obama administration is trying to weasel out of its responsibility to raise the standard of law against lawbreakers.

                  I've heard President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both say at various times that no one is above the law.  I can project my expectations into that statement, but I have no way to evaluate what they mean when they make that statement.

                •  EXACTLY (0+ / 0-)

                  the 9/11 fiasco is so hideous one doesn't know where to start. the fact that numerous bin Laden family members, and likely other Saudi "royals"(agents) were flown out of the U.S. within 48 hours of the attack, before the FBI even knew they were here/could question them is in itself an impeachable offense.

                  as the old saying goes, "he who takes the money is the servant of the Master". it's a sweet deal for the Kingdom.. they sort of do what they can to keep the price of crude reasonable, they then use their petrodollar profits to buy a massive amount of overpriced weapons/fighter aircraft made in the U.S., then proceed to sit on all of that and never use it.

                  WE, our people had to go into Iraq and clean up the mess. we did it as a favor to both the Kingdom and Israel-- both are more than capable of cleaning up mideast messes, as Israel demonstrated so well when they took out Hussein's French-built nuclear power plant years ago.

                  and yes, Obama's "moving on" without indictments and jail terms for members of bu$hco is a large indicator of both his and congress' continuation of the unitary executive.

                  "The most dangerous thing in any economic crisis is denial". Simon Johnson, MIT

                  by Superpole on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:33:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well, Darth Cheney would disagree with your... (0+ / 0-)

                    ..opinion about Obama and the unitary executive theories.  He told John King yesterday that Obama is making this country vulnerable to attack because he has dismantled the unitary executive programs that made us safe during the last seven years.

              •  During an impeachment investigation (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Superpole, Valtin

                executive privilege can't be claimed.  That's the real reason for doing it, regardless of the outcome.

                Pelosi violated her oath of office for political reasons.

                Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

                by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 12:07:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes, that's true... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Creosote

                  But securing the evidence to impeach comes from where?  Who has control over it?  Is is hiding behind layers and layers of national security protocol, rules, laws?  Would the House have to go to court to try to compel testimony and records for every step they took?  The cases they did take to the bench are still undecided or on appeal.

                  I don't believe Speaker Nancy Pelosi violated her oath.  I think she took one good look at the mountain of obstacles and bushie legal landmines and figured out their efforts to impeach Bush and/or Cheney would take a hell of a lot longer time than was left on the clock.

                  They're rolling out legislation they've been working on for a couple of years rather quickly right now.  It was probably the most efficient use of their time.

                  Until Eric Holder, all we've had for attorney generals were Bushie obstructionists.

                  Now if you would like to lay out a flowchart of viable processes that would have led to the outcome we all hoped for and prove that impeachment and prosecution could have been accomplished from 2007-2008, I'll read it.  

                  Dems weren't in control of Congress until the 110th and 111th.  Even then, they didn't have the votes in the Senate to convict.

                  Our country was in far worse shape than many know or could imagine.  Legitimate processes were flat-lined, dead.  Expecting our legislators to accomplish such a task would be similar to asking a patient on life support to get up and run a foot race.

                  •  What cases "are still undecided or on appeal"? (0+ / 0-)

                    All impeachment related cases like the Watergate investigation - which didn't even go as far as impeachment and resulted in an 8-0 SCOTUS ruling which severely limits executive privilege during a criminal investigation - have supported the House's investigative powers.

                    Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

                    by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:25:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Pelosi mentioned one of those cases... (0+ / 0-)

                      ..in her interview with Rachel Maddow.

                      That one was related to executive privilege being extended to Rove and Miers, IIRC.  While there was a decision, it was then appealed.

                      Timing is everything.  By the time they waded through the maze of a fixed and politicized judiciary, time would have expired on their efforts.

              •  62 FEDERAL INDICTMENTS (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Valtin, LaFajita

                STOP the lame excuses.

                as per the U.S. Constitution, Congress has more power than the executive- read it sometime.

                Evidence? how about IAEA inspectors' info indicating Hussein had NO WMD's? that info was NOT "blocked", nor was smirky's confession Hussein had no WMD's!!

                I can only conclude you are a lame apologist for the gross inaction/complicity of congress with a corrupt and greedy administration.

                it's unfortunate, because that means the complete breakdown of the checks and balances built into our political system and the end of our democratic republic.

                BTW, if you seek an example of a congress with BALLS, please look to the congress in office during the reagan administration- 62 federal indictments were handed down to various members of reagan's administration.

                I seriously doubt that congress stood around waiting to "get all the evidence".

                "The most dangerous thing in any economic crisis is denial". Simon Johnson, MIT

                by Superpole on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:21:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think you have a persuasive... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...argument, especially given the tone with which you have replied.

                  I have set forth what I honestly believe were the circumstances that foreclosed the possibility of a successful impeachment.

                  Spewing invectives my way is not persuasive.  Nor is the argument that since the republicans bend/bent legitimate processes for political reasons that Democrats should adopt these methods.  

                  As for the prosecution for criminal behaviors of the Bush administration, I believe there are only two choices:  prosecute the lawbreakers so that the law remains whole; or let the lawbreakers leave behind them broken laws.

                  I don't see a middle ground here.  The proper venue for this action is with AG Eric Holder and the justice department.

            •  Translated (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Valtin

              That she is complicit in the commitment and coverup of torture?

              I'm assuming that's what you mean, anyway.

            •  And then there is this, quoted above: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superpole

              the administration was devising what some referred to as a "golden shield" from the Justice Department -— the legal rationale that was embodied in the infamous "torture memorandum," written by John Yoo and signed by Jay Bybee in August 2002

              That is unsconcionable.

        •  That's quite a bit of leeway by a Cheney/Bush DOD (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler

          under Obama will Robert Gates move to make some changes there?

          nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it. - Barack Obama

          by Lefty Coaster on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:58:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Permanent Harm" (11+ / 0-)

          Do I take this too personally when this enrages me ? How would they know what causes permanent harm ? Have they talked to you, or others who actually treat the survivors of torture ? Have they talked with the actual survivors ? Have talked with survivors families ? My guess is not, but I could be wrong about that. I certainly don't think they understand it in their bones.

                     Just my take,
                        Heather

          •  No, not too personally (12+ / 0-)

            It is offensive to humankind. It is a crime against humanity. These bastards must be held to account. I know that some of the people they tortured were most likely bad guys themselves, but that's no excuse at all. How many innocent were also tortured, lives destroyed? How many U.S. soldiers were blown up or shot by an "enemy" that felt it was defending its country against an invading enemy that would humiliate and torture the citizens of their land?

            What a sick joke on our army and soldiers. With one hand they were told to go in and fight for "freedom" and "democracy". With the other hand, the worst barbarisms were inflicted upon the citizenry of the foreign land, feeding the resistance of the latter, who saw the U.S. soldiers as evil, because of the evil their government did. But the evil was kept secret from the soldiers and their families back home, who didn't know why their brothers and sisters and husbands and wives were killed. Not really.

            Now they do. Will they hide their heads in shame, or will they rise up and claim what is theirs? -- a true accounting, and a bringing to justice of those who sent their spouses and children to the slaughter for the worst of lies.

            And let them shout down the GOP pundits and the mealy-mouthed Democratic Party wimps who protest now is not the time for such justice. Shout them down, America, and let's make this country do what it should have done years ago.

            War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

            by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:08:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Deal with this? (6+ / 0-)

        Lefty Coaster, "deal with this"  leaves a lot of room for discussion.  For example:

        We can deal with it in our minds in various ways from ignoring it to obsessing to revulsion.  

        We can deal with it as a country by ignoring, covering up, demanding investigation, punishment or restitution for the victims.

        In my view, "dealing with" must include action.  At the very least, we must publicly acknowledge, investigate, and act to prevent these atrocities from being repeated by our government.  

        Otherwise, we are accepting and passively approving of the horrific and evil deeds that have been committed by our government.

        Bush hijacked the US with lies about 9/11 and crashed it into Iraq, killing over 500,000 human beings. So far, he's avoided arrest and prosecution.

        by Zydekos on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:33:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I meant deal with what was done in our name (5+ / 0-)

          as a nation, and as a military superpower.

          nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it. - Barack Obama

          by Lefty Coaster on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:41:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Positive corrective action and prevention needed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lefty Coaster

            I think we're in agreement on this, Lefty.  

            Who gets punished and how severely is less important to me than correction and prevention.

            But a significant amount of punishment for evil deeds will probably help in prevention.  

            Bush hijacked the US with lies about 9/11 and crashed it into Iraq, killing over 500,000 human beings. So far, he's avoided arrest and prosecution.

            by Zydekos on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:06:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The murder of a million Iraqis is worse. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neon Mama

        How the American public reacts to this will probably determine how much they are told about that.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 01:41:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Abu Zubaydah's testimony reminds me (17+ / 0-)

      so much of Murat Kurnaz', the same pervasive cruelty. To me, it forms part of the pattern.

      They were VERY wrong.
      Bit by bit, testimony after testimony, report after report, the truth is coming out. It cannot and will not be ignored.

         Standing, as always, with you,
         for justice and accountability,
                 For Dan,
                 Heather

      •  Yes (21+ / 0-)

        It's nice to have a major exhibit before us for any upcoming commission or prosecution. Of course, we can't see the full document.

        I wonder who leaked it. Not the ICRC itself, certainly, as they are sworn to secrecy and keep to it, because they want to maintain their access to prisoners.

        When I released a transcript of the Guantanamo torturers meeting of October 2, 2002, they were very worried about ICRC reports leaking out. They knew that sooner or later the news from the reports would surface. They never implicated the ICRC. I think they knew it always came from within, from disgruntled members of the military or intelligence services.

        If one reads the Danner article carefully, you can get the idea that the leak of this report came from with the CIA itself. Not as an official leak, but from someone in or close to the agency. Someone who could read what the General Counsel could read. Danner makes it clear the report was very, very secret.

        War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

        by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:12:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A couple of things strike me : (14+ / 0-)

          First of all, that whoever leaked it is a hero.

          Secondly, that it was a brilliant move of Danner's to release some of it by writing and publishing a book review.

          Thirdly, it makes a mockery of Diane Beaver's testimony that her office had a good relationship with the ICRC, unless the ICRC are/were VERY good actors in front of them.

               We WILL win, because we MUST.

               Standing, as always, with you,
               for justice and accountability,
                        For Dan,
                        Heather

        •  re the ICRC (10+ / 0-)

          Excellent Valtin -thanks for this diary.  Can you explain more about why the ICRC had to keep this secret... How does it help the prisoners if they can't make the report public?  

          Quote from the article below - they provided the report to the CIA in 2007.  I don't really see the point of that either.  As if the CIA didn't already know that the torture was going on?  And wouldn't that put the prisoners in more danger of retaliation?  

          As the ICRC interviewers informed the detainees, their report was not intended to be released to the public but, "to the extent that each detainee agreed for it to be transmitted to the authorities," to be given in strictest secrecy to officials of the government agency that had been in charge of holding them—in this case the Central Intelligence Agency, to whose acting general counsel, John Rizzo, the report was sent on February 14, 2007.

          Anyway, I'm glad this is being exposed at long last.  I skimmed the Danner piece - will read further tonight.  Or maybe tomorrow to keep the nightmares away!  

          •  It's a long story, On the Bus (9+ / 0-)

            suffice it to say that they need to be trusted by the governments that allow them access. If Cheney, for instance, thought the ICRC itself would spill the beans, there would have been no access.

            Here's the ICRC's own explanation:

            The pledge of discretion

            The effectiveness and success of ICRC action depends on the establishment of a relationship of trust with the authorities and the people in the country. Trust guarantees direct and lasting access to the victims of the conflict. It makes humanitarian activities more readily acceptable and heightens their credibility.

            In order to establish that relationship of trust, the ICRC has chosen a working method based on discretion. The rule of discretion, which is strictly defined, consists in the reserved attitude that the ICRC adopts in its public communications. The organization refrains, for example, from talking about what its staff observe in the field. The ICRC is authorized to work in certain contexts precisely because it has pledged to observe discretion. Discretion is an essential part of its operations.

            Respect for the pledge of discretion is one of the conditions of working for the ICRC. Everyone must consider himself or herself bound by that pledge, which is akin to one of professional secrecy. The pledge of discretion extends beyond the end of the employer-employee relationship with the ICRC.

            War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

            by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:12:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  wow (6+ / 0-)

              that makes sense.  It must be really tough for the ICRC staff to keep their mouth shut about this, especially while Bush/Cheney were/are lying their asses off.  

              I was just reading emptywheel's post and there was an interesting comment about the ICRC that also helped answer my question.  Like you mentioned above, scribe seems to think someone at CIA leaked it too.  

              How bad must it have been for a copy of the ICRC report to leak to a reporter?

              The ICRC is adamant about keeping its reports confidential and sharing them only with the power-brokers and policy-makers who have the power to change the practices involved. As the article makes clear, in regard to the CIA’s torture operations the person to whom the ICRC report was directed was ... at CIA. Therefore, a strong argument can be made that the leaked report would have come either from the ICRC or CIA.

              A leak from the ICRC seems highly unlikely. That is not the way they operate.

              A leak from CIA? They do it all the time but, in this case, one has to ask both "why?" and "why now?". Who benefits from this leak, and why now?

              My immediate reaction is that it may be directed at Judge Hellerstein in NYC, regarding the ACLU’s FOIA suit. Another might be to preclude further planned document/information destruction. There may be other explanations, but those are the ones that come first to mind.

              A leak from elsewhere in the government? This is entirely possible, but we would have to know the distribution list for the ICRC report, i.e., to whom it was circulated after being received at CIA. I think we can safely surmise that the Director of CIA got to read it. Whether he shared it with the DNI, the NSC, Cheney’s office, Bush’s office or anyone else is a good question whose answers we do not know. On the one hand, if it was shared with any of the people on that list, it could have been shared in an effort to have them joined in the culpability for the torture. On the other, it could have been shared to help - as a sort of feedback mechanism - to design further propaganda for their torture program, or for some other purpose even I cannot think of.

              I think we can safely assume - at least for now - that no one in DoJ and no one at FBI was on the distribution list. Cheney’s office was quite adept at working the compartmentalization of information and programs and I can see no good reason for those people letting the police read a report that indicates those people have committed grave crimes.

              ~ from Comment #2 by scribe March 15th, 2009 at 8:23 am  

              •  Re tough to keep their mouths shut (4+ / 0-)

                Some years ago the ICRC, to quell some long-time criticism, helped finance a study to look at ICRC policies re the Holocaust. The researcher, Jean-Claude Favez, wrote a measured but scathing report, later published at The Red Cross and the Holocaust (not in print, Cambridge Univ. Press).

                I've been slowly reading it, and the truth is, as one might suspect, more complex than one would think. But the Holocaust did present the International Red Cross with a dilemma. They did try and get the word out to some, but felt bound in many cases not to. And they gave some credit to the 3rd reich when they went to a few camps as part of a Nazi show. When I'm done reading it, I intend to write a review of it.

                Should be essential reading for anyone in the human rights field.

                War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:03:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  The ICRC also makes a report to the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              snakelass

              Committee Against Torture, not just to the state responsible for the deed.

              Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

              by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 12:12:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Complicit deceit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills, ibonewits

      makes fools and criminals of us all.
      Cheney/Bushcos lie to us, the media beats the same drum and is a forum to disseminate their deceit. Obama and Holder knows it is a lie, we know it is a lie. If we accept the Cheney/Bush original sin, and we do if we refuse to prosecute, we are the fools we appear to be in the eyes of whoever is running the government. The spineless electorate will be forever the fools Bush referred to in recalling that famous "Texas saying" which turned out to be the jumbled words of a popular song many a pothead and alchoholic swore(while high) would never happen again, the "fool part".

      We all felt the moral bankruptcy which defined the 8 years of Bush, and we all know that methadone, no matter if it is administered by the Obama administration can ever mask the previous administration's harm.

    •  I just watched the movie "Rendition" today (5+ / 0-)

      I am sorry that I did. This is not what our country stands for -- at least it wasn't before Bush came into office. It was a horrible movie, and my immediate reaction was "not in my name."  

      I do not know what weapons World War III will be fought with. World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -- Albert Einstein

      by elveta on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:07:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good on you for being outraged. Sadly similar (0+ / 0-)

        stuff has been done in our name ---  long before Bushco.  

        All of us must be outraged. Prosecutions must happen. And major changes need to be made or such horrors will continue to escalate our collective guilt.

        We oldsters were painted as nuts and conspiracy whackos when we protested Iran/Contra, and all other leaks and peeks at the evil black ops done to "keep us safe from communism."  If you doubt this, start maybe with reading why there is a yearly protest march for decades against the "School of the Americas" (renamed but same game) which trained South American military/police who were often tied to death squads, the disappeared, tortures, and terrorizing their own citizens.  

        Iran/Contra was just one example of illegal govt. ugly. Domestic illegal spying on citizens and domestic illegal propaganda have happened before. It wasn't thoroughly punished nor were the mechanism totally dismatled. WE MUST end it by carefully exposing it all and repudiating these tactics forever.  Cut this cancer out by exposing it all until everyone feels like puking.  

        De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

        by Neon Mama on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:45:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Where's Obama's compass pointing? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin, felldestroyed, Remain calm

      "Our compass must be the dictates of justice and mercy, and also truth."

      Yep.

      At first I was really encouraged... but I'm becoming more and more sceptical of where Obama stands on all this. To paraphrase a quote from Slime Bush:

      President Obama, when it comes to torture and what you're gonna do about the criminals who ordered it, you're either with US or you're with the torturers.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:11:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was happy to hear a story about this on NPR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin, Eloise

      tonight.  Every now and then they do live up to their potential.

      If you've got time to comment here, you've got time to email a Letter to the Editor and counteract republican framing of issues. DO IT!

      by lineatus on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:44:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And they say that Obama taking his coat off (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, vacantlook, corvo, Valtin, cbyoung

      in the white house is a 'disgrace'? The people who approved all of this think taking your jacket off is the problem?

      WTF?

      *resist the urge to be popular.

      by coolhappyMax on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:02:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's unclear to me is how much of this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, Clio2, Chacounne

      initially was driven directly from the top (by Cheney and the NSC), and how much is the result of the CIA asking permission to use torture in order to respond to the demand for more information.  We know from its history that the CIA hasn't been adverse to tightening a thumbscrew or two, and that other entities like the State Department have been cognizant if not directly engaged in torture or its cover up.  This isn't exactly novel behavior for the US.

      I really hope this leak forces Holder to appoint a special investigator.

      Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

      by skrekk on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:25:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Someone should Barack Obama whether (0+ / 0-)

      we torture or not!

      Can we stick to the issues? Please!

      by AnthonyMason2k6 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:37:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good catch, Valtin... (0+ / 0-)

      A cloud of infamy will hang over this country until the day those who ordered these heinous crimes against humanity are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      Spare no one.

      "If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem." -- Abraham Lincoln

      by markthshark on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:56:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes I am ready, This cannot stand. (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you Valtin, for carrying this banner for all of us. Our new administration must Now stand up for all of us.

      We are up to it, each and every one of us, who ache and become ill with shame, upon hearing of these abuses, all done in our name. This cannot stand.

      The law forbids rich and poor alike to steal food and sleep under bridges.

      by allenjo on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:57:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, Valtin! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin

      Thank you for your tireless and unceasing efforts to expose all the horrors we have visited upon mostly innocent souls* via our heinous torture methods and all the surrounding "politics."  It is a blight upon our nation that was carried out, initially, without our knowledge and never with our consent.  Each day seems to bring even more news of what was done in our names.

      Increasingly, it should be obvious to our government that we must, as is the legal doctrine of the International and national laws, investigate and prosecute the high-level officials of the Bush Administration for their war crimes.

      It is a legal and moral imperative that we face and address these war crimes NOW, for ourselves and for the world.

      *(other than a few high-profile individuals involved with actual terrorist activities)  

      "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by tahoebasha2 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 12:31:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been severely weakened recently by illness, (42+ / 0-)

    but that won't keep me from the task at hand.  Keep shining a light, and I'll help you follow the trail, wherever it leads.  I have to, for my grandchildren.

    Calling bullshit on "bracing rhetorical thrusters" since Fall 2006....

    by Got a Grip on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:34:34 PM PDT

  •  Our Colletive Shame... (22+ / 0-)

    Our Collective Opportunity to right horrible wrongs.  We must and I only hope we have the 'guts' to walk the principled pathway back to our founding ideals.  

    Demographics do not equal destiny.

    by dr fatman on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:34:43 PM PDT

  •  Obama must act (35+ / 0-)

    No more handing off responsibility. I am one of his most ardent supporters, but I will not support anything less than a complete and thorough criminal investigation. This torture was authorized at the highest levels. Its prosecution must come from that same level.

    "It is often pleasant to stone a martyr, no matter how much we admire him"...John Barth

    by Giles Goat Boy on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:49:49 PM PDT

    •  DREAM ON>>>>> (4+ / 0-)

      see my take slightly upstream.

      many of you are clearly headed for disappointment.

      "The most dangerous thing in any economic crisis is denial". Simon Johnson, MIT

      by Superpole on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:08:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for your concern (20+ / 0-)

        for our well being.

        Perhaps your energy in warning us of something we are already painfully aware of can be better used, though.

        Such as not giving up?

        •  Well Put, Except... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not going to do it alone, because that
          is folly.

          I believe only in collective actions done by
          large masses of people. that is the only thing
          which has worked in the past (the Labor
          movement, ending the Vietnam "war") and it's the
          only method which will work now.

          Benito's comment about the "chattering masses"
          is accurate. why? because you obviously assume
          we actually have a competent, just congress in
          office-- and that is soooo obviously wrong.

          but hey, go ahead-- keep assuming we're going
          to get justice and progressive change with
          the current corrupt buffoons in congress-- and IF
          we are still around in five years, I can guarantee
          you most of the large issues will still be
          unresolved by congress.

          "The most dangerous thing in any economic crisis is denial". Simon Johnson, MIT

          by Superpole on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:42:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Superpole, Onomastic

        We had another young president shake up the security establishment many years ago. He lasted 1,000 days. There are far too many powerful people vested in this never, ever, ever coming to light.

        Back, and to the left....

        Back, and to the left...

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:21:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It has come to the light already. (7+ / 0-)

          Benito wrote:

          We had another young president shake up the security establishment many years ago. He lasted 1,000 days. There are far too many powerful people vested in this never, ever, ever coming to light.

          This is a bad analogy.  If articles detailing the Red Cross report appearing in the New York Times and the New York Review of Books are not "coming to light", then what is?  

          The more important question is, what do we do about the truth that has been laid before us?  No one can say anymore that we do not know.  It is time for as many of us as possible to stand up and say that we do not want to live in a country that does these kind of things.  Obama can join us or not as he pleases, but it is really up to us to set this right.

          •  coming to light (8+ / 0-)

            This is a bad analogy.  If articles detailing the Red Cross report appearing in the New York Times and the New York Review of Books are not "coming to light", then what is?

            This is not coming to light. This is exposure amongst an intellectual set that is politically impotent. And, frankly high-minded talk on torture throughout the progressive chattering classes does next to nothing to change the status quo. 'Coming to light' is 24/7 coverage on every major broadcast and cable news outlet in the country. I'm sorry folks, but, despite the power of 'the tubes' - if it doesn't get on the idiot box or the drive-time radio it isn't 'news'.

            If you ask the average person in this country about torture, do you think they will know anything about it? Do you think they will care?

            The rot in this country goes much, much further than most will admit.  

            Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

            by Benito on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:54:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I tend to agree more with "out of left field" (4+ / 0-)

              but I certainly understand your point. I think you're both talking past each other, and probably don't really disagree. I think the main point is that you, benito, are totally disgusted by the impotence and seeming uncaring of much of the intellectual class in this country, and I couldn't agree more. Also, the rot does go very, very far, and the complicity of the main media, like the cable networks, is part of it.

              But, I disagree that the average person is either ignorant or uncaring. My take -- and my job allows me to speak with a very wide spectrum of people -- is that people do care, are afraid and uncertain how to proceed, are cynical, are hopeful, and like all of us, thirsty for real leadership.

              War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

              by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:16:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think you are fooling yourself (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                felldestroyed

                But, I disagree that the average person is either ignorant or uncaring. My take -- and my job allows me to speak with a very wide spectrum of people -- is that people do care, are afraid and uncertain how to proceed, are cynical, are hopeful, and like all of us, thirsty for real leadership.

                As we discuss this, I'm sitting here at home watching the rebroadcast of Comedy Central's roast of 'Larry the Cable Guy.' Which do you think are better known in our culture? The New York Review of Books, or Larry the Cable Guy?

                Be honest with yourself.

                I think the main point is that you, benito, are totally disgusted by the impotence and seeming uncaring of much of the intellectual class in this country, and I couldn't agree more.

                Intellectual class? Where is this intelligentsia of which you speak? Busy organizing feminist teach-ins, readings of Foucault, or ineffectual boycotts of non-organic produce no doubt. The Left in this country destroyed itself in the '60s and '70s - and we are still recovering from the idiocy of that era's leadership. No small part of the catastrophes we've seen played out today stem from the left's self immolation a generation or so ago. Disgust? No, more like contempt.

                Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

                by Benito on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:53:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree with your comment about The Left (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Creosote, Superpole, Valtin

                  You (Benito) wrote:

                  The Left in this country destroyed itself in the '60s and '70s - and we are still recovering from the idiocy of that era's leadership. No small part of the catastrophes we've seen played out today stem from the left's self immolation a generation or so ago. Disgust? No, more like contempt.

                  I think you are blaming the victim here.  In the 1960's and 1970's, the major mass media, then as now, were corporate owned.  As you know, this is a huge hurdle to overcome in educating the general populace, and at that time there was no internet to help the spread of contrary ideas.  Further, the government and other elements of the ruling class actively sought to disrupt any mass movement for social change.  In the mid-1970's, it was revealed that the FBI ran what was called the "Cointelpro" program, which was directed at leftist activists, often using flatly illegal means, including infiltration of peaceful groups with agitators who would encourage violent tactics, burglaries of offices, political smears and dirty tricks, etc.  

                  I think it is more accurate to say, the Left in the U.S. in the 60's and 70's did not destroy itself, rather it was marginalized and crushed by hostile forces.  

                  •  PO-TAY-TOE / PO-TAH-TOE (0+ / 0-)

                    I think it is more accurate to say, the Left in the U.S. in the 60's and 70's did not destroy itself, rather it was marginalized and crushed by hostile forces.

                    Excuses, excuses. Really. And Cointelpro? Duh - that's to be expected. Corporate media? Did they expect it to be anything else? The left in this country actually believed the hogwash it spewed but didn't take up the hard task of learning how to actually manipulate the media, or win elections. In fact, it rebelled against the big-city machines that actually new HOW to win elections. It allowed itself to be branded by the right as out of the cultural mainstream.

                    Blame the victim? Bullshit. Let's call it what it was - rank incompetence of the highest order. They got played - badly - and lost. Better to recognize that fact, learn from the mistakes, and move on.  

                    Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

                    by Benito on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:49:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Re: PO-TAY-TOH / PO-TAH-TOE (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Valtin, Clio2

                      Benito, it would be better if you could be more specific about some things:

                      "The left in this country..."

                      Who are you referring to?  Left wing Democrats?  Socialists? Communists?  Anti-Vietnam war activists?  SDS?  Black Panthers?  Right here we can see the root of the problem--there was no organized, mass, left movement.  Without a true mass movement, how do you manipulate media or win elections?

                      And you should not dismiss Cointelpro and its offshoots.  Among the leaders spied on and sabotaged by the FBI were Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.  Dr. King did not get played, he got killed.  Same for Malcolm X.  

                      Big city machines: Daly in Chicago?  The guy whose police beat up demonstrators at the 1968 Democratic convention?  I suppose the Left was going to make an alliance with him?  Right.  

                      You seem to have no sense of how violent the 1960's were and how high the stakes.  We had cities going up in flames, with the National Guard being called in to restore order.  I stand by my comments about hostile forces crushing the left.  It really happened.  I happen to be old enough to remember it.

                      •  I'm sorry for being harsh... (0+ / 0-)

                        Who are you referring to?  Left wing Democrats?  Socialists? Communists?  Anti-Vietnam war activists?  SDS?  Black Panthers?  Right here we can see the root of the problem--there was no organized, mass, left movement.  Without a true mass movement, how do you manipulate media or win elections?

                        That's the problem - for too many in America they couldn't tell the difference. Ultimately, whose fault is that? Politics, in the end, is marketing. Say what you will, but Nixon, Reagan, and that ilk knew marketing.  

                        And you should not dismiss Cointelpro and its offshoots.  Among the leaders spied on and sabotaged by the FBI were Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.  Dr. King did not get played, he got killed.  Same for Malcolm X.

                        And yet, did not King ultimately succeed? 'Racist' is the worst thing you can accuse someone of in this country. The violence used against them were signs of a reactionary political order trying to stay in power. Non-violence, taking on the role of the martyr in the end made the system even more illegitimate. The Civil Rights movement in the South ultimately succeeded because Americans of good will across the country tuned in and saw peaceful protesters being beaten, hosed, and attacked by dogs. It disgusted them.

                        It failed in the north largely because Daley and his ilk didn't take that approach. Maybe King and the rest, realizing the different political context, should have instead cut a deal? Instead, his successors took a more militant approach that scared away those who were supportive of the CR movement's larger goals of equality and economic opportunity. It went from a movement about making America a better place for all to making off with as big a piece of the pie as possible.    

                        Did the campus protests, the fringe groups, and the rest really add to the cause or did they help marginalize it? I think the evidence is clear - they helped marginalize it. Were the conditions under which they were operating unfair? You betcha. Life ain't fair and politics ain't beanbag. They should have understood and adapted. They didn't... and failed.  

                        Big city machines: Daly in Chicago?  The guy whose police beat up demonstrators at the 1968 Democratic convention?  I suppose the Left was going to make an alliance with him?  Right.  

                        And who, pray tell, did polling at the time suggest the majority of American's supported? Guess what, it wasn't the protesters. The protest movement, like naive children thought protests and marches would solve things as opposed to making them look stupid and childish - which the right was able to paint them as quite easily. They didn't understand the social and cultural context they existed in and, like all failed revolutionaries, blamed society for their failure rather than their complete lack of political realism or skill.

                        Were the Daley-type machines corrupt? Yup. Was it racist? Double Yup. Was it the foundation upon which Democratic majorities had been won since the New Deal realignment? Yup. Did ignoring that fact damage the left for a generation? Yup. Sometimes politics is about making hard compromises - shaking hands with the devil in order to make progress. The left at that time was led by ideologues who believed in romantic gestures over practical political gains.    

                        You seem to have no sense of how violent the 1960's were and how high the stakes.  We had cities going up in flames, with the National Guard being called in to restore order.  I stand by my comments about hostile forces crushing the left.  It really happened.  I happen to be old enough to remember it.

                        And I happen to be young enough to have read fairly extensively about the era in order to understand our current political context... which gives me the perspective of distance from those events. Yes. It was extremely violent. The America of that era was near irredeemably racist and all that. It was not fertile ground.. and Cold War nationalism and an ongoing war made the emergence of cultural post-modernity even trickier than it was elsewhere...

                        But, my take is that while the goals of 'the left' at that time were noble - the boomer leadership at that time, especially of the protest movement, would ultimately act as a cancer on the left for a generation. Their ultimate mistake was not so much that they opposed the war or that they wanted change - but they did so in a way that made them appear to be sympathetic to America's Cold War opponents... something politically incompetent and, frankly, morally repugnant given what we knew and know about those regimes both then and now. This allowed the right to paint them as unpatriotic or worse. Was it untrue and unfair? Yup. But then again, politics ain't beanbag.    

                        The counter-culture left was led by a bunch of incompetent, romantic, amateur idealists who were great at playing the role of the radical or impish provocateur, but who fundamentally did not know how to foster meaningful political change through electoral politics.    

                        Maybe things had to work out the way they did. Perhaps the cultural change the left wanted to pull off was just too ambitious given the context of the times - in fact, I think it probably was. And Cold War nationalism infected everything... But, I also think that if the left had more competent leadership during that era the national reaction against it that began in '68 would not have lasted forty years. Bush II was a product of Reagan - Reagan was a product of Nixon - and Nixon's success was a product of the '60s culture war. If that culture war had been more competently fought and culture change better managed, I don't think that we would be where we are at today.  

                        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

                        by Benito on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:11:55 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  20/20 hindsight is great (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Benito, Valtin

                          when you can look back and see the whole landscape.  I think we agree that there were elements of the counter-cultural left that were naive and were exploited by the powers that be.  However, the counter-cultural left was only one part of a varied political landscape during the 1960's.  

                          The two most powerful forces for change in the '60s were the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam war movement.  I'll tell you what I personally know about: in the summer of 1967, inner city Detroit experienced serious riots.  The response of the authorities was to shut the city down, under martial law.  My father, who worked downtown, was not able to go into work for a few days.  And some years later I spoke with a musician I knew who had been playing a show on tour at the Fisher Theatre in downtown Detroit at the time.  He told me how the show had been shut down and they basically had nothing to do and nowhere to go.  So he went up to the roof of the nearby hotel where they were staying, to see what was going on.  He witnessed National Guard units using tanks and fighter planes doing bombing runs on certain neighborhoods.  We were later told that the rioters themselves had burned out their own blocks in those neighborhoods, but it was actually the Guard, using heavy weapons to put down what amounted to an insurrection.

                          There was years of pent-up rage at the defacto Jim Crow conditions in our major cities that came out in the late 1960's.  FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote, in a memo about the Cointelpro program, that he was most concerned about "the rise of a black messiah" and the revolutionary movement that might follow such a person.  His constant harassment and surveillance of Dr. King and Malcolm X flowed naturally from that concern.  The White House was in on it too--Hoover played surveillance tapes made in Dr. King's hotel room for LBJ, tapes that depicted the civil rights leader having trysts with lovers.  An attempt was made to blackmail King with these tapes, in the hope that he would commit suicide.

                          Compared to the civil rights struggle, or the huge anti-war demonstrations that were organized, the counter-culture, Abbie Hoffman and the like, were just a sideshow, that the media liked to glom onto for the usual reasons.  

                          I think there were some very competent political leaders on the left, or left of center during the 1960's.  Malcolm X evolved from the one-note anti-white tune of the black muslims to become a leader for black liberation who understood the value of forming alliances.  And right as his new direction appeared ready to bear fruit, he was killed.  

                          Dr. King, while favoring different tactics than Malcolm X, was no dope himself.  By 1968 he had realized that the struggle for civil rights, the anti-war movement and the struggles of the poor and working class in America were all linked, and that by making common cause they could accomplish far more than by working separately.  Again, just as he was turning emphatically towards creating such a coalition, he was killed.  

                          Robert Kennedy was the major party political candidate of 1968 who seemed to have the best understanding of the social currents roiling the country.  His candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination attracted great enthusiasm, especially as he appeared ready to win the California primary.  He did win that primary, and was killed that evening.  

                          I know that the above reads like some kind of conspiracy theory, but I have done nothing more than recite the bare historical facts of the period.  The most prominent left-leaning leaders of the 1960's were all killed off.  The leadership of what could have been a left mass movement was beheaded.  In this context, arguing about the niceties of political tactics on the left probably misses the point.  Given this context, what would a "more competent leadership" have done?  The lesson seems to be, don't stick your neck out, because your head will be chopped off if you do.

                          What lessons do the 1960's struggles hold for today?  One perhaps, is that the movement for social change should not be dependent on charismatic leaders.  It's OK to have charismatic leaders--I'm very pleased that we have one in the White House now--but the strength of the movement for social change has to come from below, from you and me and our neighbors.  If this is truly the case, than the movement cannot be stopped by beheading it--it's easy to kill one or two people, but you can't kill off an entire movement of millions of people.  As history has shown, this is a serious consideration.

                          •  20/20 hindsight (0+ / 0-)

                            Good comment. I guess I am engaging in Monday morning quarterbacking - as an academic, that's what I do. I try to understand what happened and draw lessons therein. Were these things discernible at the time? Probably not. Thanks for making this clear - folks like you who lived through those crazy times... thanks for doing what you did, remembering what happened, and keeping the flame alive.

                            As you note above... the assassination of RJK was a bitter blow. Not only was he inspiring... not only was he the left's best hope during that era... he was one mean SOB who knew how to goddamn fight. RFK would have been able to out dirty trick Tricky Dick - of that I've little doubt. Once he and MLK were gone.. 'the movement' as such descended into petty squabbling and theatrics. It focused on identity... and in the process lost the working class. Perhaps it had to happen that way.

                            The problem also, I think, was the context of the times and the institutions the left faced at the time too. Plus, the content of what 'the left' stood for was being debated. Was it economic populism? Anti-militarism? Cultural liberalization? Ecological sensitivity? It's hard to build a plane while it's in the middle of taking off. Probably it was doomed from the very beginning.

                            Europe had a similar 60's rebellion, but their left seemed to weather the reaction to it far easier than ours did. I know too little about post-war European politics to say for sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that beyond defense of their own countries, the European left did not have to contend with Cold War nationalism to the same extent that we did. Plus, they did not have to deal with desegregation, they had built large welfare states after the war and, probably most importantly, the remnants of the old Western European right had been discredited by Depression and World War. Plus, their electoral rules have generally allows for a wider range of ideologically based parties to be seated in their parliaments. Their left, in comparison, had a lot less to deal with.  

                            And that bastard Hoover. Fucking American Gestapo is what that self-hating, fascist cross-dresser ran. Ignored the mob but thought citizens standing up for their rights in South was an incipient communist rebellion.

                            The whole Jim Crow South (not that the North was much better, but at least it wasn't formally institutionalized as it was here)... let's just say I'm a recent arrival to the Deep South (moved here about a year and a half ago) and I say every one of those old time bastards that supported that hideous system should be hanged for treason and other high crimes against the constitution. Round 'em up, put 'em on trial, and hang 'em.

                            Conservative white folks of a certain age who are from down here I have little but contempt for. I would compare it to Germany after the war - i.e. what did Grandpa/Dad/Uncle Bob do during the war/Jim Crow. No one says anything, ever. You see some glimmer of questioning by younger folks. It'll probably take another generation for this part of the country to come to terms with its past. Mississippi (where I'm at) only became a democracy some 44 years ago.  

                            Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

                            by Benito on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:03:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Reading a lot of history (0+ / 0-)

                          in hopes of understanding where we've come from is incompatible with the judgmental attitude you display. If you looked a little more dispassionately at the past with less of a desire to find perpetrators to blame you would understand the times better. IMO.

                          "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

                          by denise b on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:39:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  If we don't judge, how do we learn? (0+ / 0-)

                            in hopes of understanding where we've come from is incompatible with the judgmental attitude you display.

                            No - it is part and parcel. I suppose I should 'understand' and not judge at all? Sorry, but this is a cop out.

                            Was I harsh? Perhaps overly so. But the left, after the death of RJK and MLK, was run by incompetents. Sure, they faced problems. Maybe the problems were too big. But I will maintain that that generation's leadership was not up to the tasks they confronted.  

                            Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

                            by Benito on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:13:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  To whom are you referring? (0+ / 0-)

                            What left? What leaders? The left was fractured in a hundred pieces; no one was running it. Also, which generation did you mean? You mentioned boomers, but we were still kids; there weren't any boomer leaders except on college campuses.

                            I do find a lot of fault with the Democratic Party in the 1970s. They seemed to be focused on identity politics to the exclusion of everything else, and they might as well have walked the white working class to the door and waved goodbye. The Party became the party of minorities. They offered nothing to white men except the idea that they were guilty and should shut up about their own interests and concerns - and this at a time when the economy was very bad and the loss of manufacturing jobs was becoming painfully apparent. The situation cried out for someone to bring working people together, but I don't think anyone could have done it. People were still nursing their wounds - from the failure to stop the war (lots of old activists like to think they stopped the war, but they didn't), the ejection of whites from the civil rights movement, the anger of women, the defection of labor to the other side, the re-election of Nixon, the southern realignment, the insanity of the far left. There just really wasn't any Left, only a lot of demoralized people; but I don't think it makes sense to blame anyone for it. Like everything else, it was the outcome of what came before.

                            "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

                            by denise b on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:21:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Holder may need time to make his case (40+ / 0-)

    but the evidence is becoming stronger by the day. If Holder and Obama fail to prosecute Bush Cheney and high level officials for systematic war crimes they will lose moral authority and will enable the continuing decline of American leadership.

    The cancer must be removed from America's body politic. Torture, war crimes and rule by force, not by law are a cancer that will destroy democracy if they are allowed to continue.

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:57:31 PM PDT

  •  Why is Dick Cheney being called onto (33+ / 0-)

    talk shows and punditry panels as though he had some sort of superior credibility or insight into anything having to do with contemporary politics?  It's obscene and immoral to have that man on as a paid guest and to grant him some sort of normalcy by asking him questions as though he were now just another wonky DC insider.  

    •  Sorry for being a broken record (18+ / 0-)

      but it's because the corporate media slants hard right.

      They won the media ownership battle and what the right wing wants to see, the right wing puts forward onto broadcast media.

      This could prove to be the slow, poisonous drip that makes everything we do more difficult.

      How do we re-regulate the media?

      Change the media ownership laws - break up the corporate media monopoly!

      by moosely2006 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:07:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seconded (19+ / 0-)

      But then, the same kinds of talk-shows also traipse on war criminals like Henry Kissinger, or right-wing felons like Oliver North.

      But Cheney openly brags of the most felonious crimes, crimes against humanity. The sooner he's arrested, the better.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:17:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  maybe I"m nuts, but I think (9+ / 0-)

      Cheney is worried.  He is pulling his "keep America safe" crap as a way to deflect attention and blame.  He's no fool; he must have read Danner's article.   As for Obama, I think he wants to let others in the administration handle it, until the facts become so damning that the general public demands an accounting and punishment.  Between now and then, I think he's trying to get as much of his agenda through as he can.

      It's okay to love our country again.

      by SottoVoce on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:45:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cheney's not worried. (0+ / 0-)

        He's confident. He knows that he's not gonna be prosecuted, because any efforts at prosecution will be hopelessly stonewalled.

        •  Luckily for us (8+ / 0-)

          Cheney is not omniscient. He is not God. He may be in for a big shock. The King of France thought no one would dare touch his person. So did Czar Nicolas. So have a thousand years of tyrants and villains.

          Many of them were right, unfortunately for humanity. But a certain amount were wrong, and neither they -- nor we -- can predict when the day of reckoning (non-religious, non-Rapture version) will come.

          War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

          by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:19:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think so, if he were confident (4+ / 0-)

          he wouldn't engage in his "pre-emptive" media propaganda tour in defense of his past actions and policies. His confidence is a tactical tool to shield him from future accusations, which he knows are valid, so that he can shut down critical voices and incite enough right-wing support, before the evil and dangerous left-of-Obama folks have even been heard. The guy is not confident, he is just dead serious of lying himself out of potential future prosecutions.

      •  The public's been demanding and demanding (4+ / 0-)

        62% has been demanding. What does he want, a march on Washington equivalent to the attendance of his Inauguartion? If he doesn't act, he might just get it, because if America shows no will, the pressure will come from outside of the US and Americans will have to act. With everyday that passes, the more information that comes to light, the little respect America gained after Obama's election, will go down the tubes and the cry for justice from the international community of nations will grow stronger.

        We will hold no sway with countries such as N. Korea, or China on human rights issues that's for sure. Susan Rice, Obama's UN Ambassador heard chuckles in the Security Council when she called for an investigation of Israel for war crimes in Gaza.

        Already the world is laughing at our nation's duplicity.

        •  You know, a march is not a bad idea (4+ / 0-)

          I think one could get a pretty good turnout for such a march. But to make it a success, one would need the whole-hearted participation of the churches, labor, and civil rights groups... you know, those who know how to get people out.

          A march on Washington with even 50000 people -- if the subject were torture and prosecutions -- would be a standout moment. If we got 100,000, that would be a moment for the history books.

          Am I dreaming? The real question is, why isn't this happening?

          War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

          by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:08:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, when the weather settles, maybe it will.n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Valtin, Chacounne

            "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

            by 417els on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:01:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think June or August would be great. (0+ / 0-)

              See my reply to Valtin just above or below you. Email at address in my profile if you have ideas or contacts or organizations to add to my list :)

                     Hugs,
                     Heather

              •  The best times for marches in Washington (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                417els

                are May and October. August is heat stroke city.

                However, I do not agree that marching would be productive. I believe it would be useless at best and and more likely, harmful.  

                Useless: In the 1960's, mass marches were a new tactic, at least one that had not been seen since the Great Depression. The sight of thousands of people walking together made a powerful impression. Today, it does not. Mass marches are utterly routinized in their organizztion and in the authorities' response. Marches for women's rights. Anti-abortion marches. Marches to try to stop an incipient war on Iraq. The "Million Man March." Pro-Palestinian marches. Anti-globalism marches. Farmers' marches. Truckers' marches. This city has seen it all. The routine of the city on a march day hardly skips a beat. For some time now, such marches are hardly noticed in the D.C. or national media.  The president typically goes to Camp David or somewhere and doesn't see or hear a thing. Nor does any of it change politicians' minds.

                Potentially harmful: Of course, even a few hundred marching against Obama for any reason whatever, at this point, would probably get plenty of attention in the "center-right" traditional media. It would provide a foundation for thousands of hours of bloviating on how the Obama coalition is already coming apart. It would undercut Obama just when he is trying to accomplish a number of things we do very much want and agree with, whatever we think of his present slow pace on the abuses we are discussing.

                What politicians do still listen to is an overwhelming, long-term buildup of undramatic things like consitutuent phone calls and e-mails; journalistic investigations; reasoned research; and making them feel that the way they come down ultimately will affect them in their home districts.

                Obama is leading in so many things. On this issue, at present, I think it remains up to us to lead him and all the rest of Washington through a thorough investigation that can leave room for criminal charges where warranted. It is going to take some time. Most realy important things in politics--like ending slavery, getting the vote for women, gaining labor unions the right to exist, ending the Vietnam War--take a lot of time, patience, energy and determination. (Sometimes they also lead to violence. I hope not in this case.) To demand exactly what we want this minute, or to to throw up our hands and declare hopelessness, would in either case be way, way premature.

          •  I'm VERY up for helping to organize a (0+ / 0-)

            March for Accountability. What I need are names of organizations and contacts for people to help.

                Hugs,
                Heather

  •  The CIA engaged in torture? (5+ / 0-)

    Really?

    I'm shocked.

  •  I'm skeptical that prosecutions will do much (12+ / 0-)

    to "restore rule of law" or deter torture in the future.  IMO, it's politicized (or would be) by Republicans in order to ensure that their third of the country would forever consider any legal action "illegitimate."  

    However, I think prosecution is necessary for the well-being of our own souls.

    So we can know that we did our duty.

    Republicans are liars, by deed or proxy. There is no such thing as an honest Republican. Just those who do the dirty work and those who don't.

    by chicago jeff on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:00:06 PM PDT

  •  And Dick Cheney this very day (22+ / 0-)

    accused President Obama of making this country more vulnerable to terrorist attack because he wants to end these sort of "interrogation techniques."

    Evil, thy name is Cheney.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:01:22 PM PDT

  •  No action will be taken now... (0+ / 0-)

    with the country on its knees and 700,000 people losing their jobs in 1 month and the ranks of the homeless swelling.  It's a moral imperative, but so is taking care of those whose lives are falling apart.

    Once the economy rebounds [....if the economy rebounds] the time will come.  To do this now would be a distraction from the task at hand.  It must stop immediately, and the time ine the interim can be used to build an airtight case. I don't think there's a statute of limitations on torture.

  •  I think I'll go buy a copy of the NYRB... (18+ / 0-)

    ...photocopy this article, and then fax it to the White House.  Continually.  DOJ too.  Maybe I'll make fifty copies and mail it to them.

    Maybe we all should.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:03:04 PM PDT

    •  Build a large 'Balance of Justice' in the DC Mall (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS, Calfacon, whoknu

      about 25 feet tall.  Then put the books and all the other evidence in one bowl, and put effigies of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Feith, etc. in the other.  

      Add a sign, "How long must we wait for the evidence to be weighed?"

      Maybe add a statue of Lady Justice, not only blinded, but water-boarded.

      Could be hard for Congress, DoJ, and the media to ignore this.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:32:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats Collaborated? (21+ / 0-)

    He [Danner] leaves nary a stone unturned: the complicity of some Congressional Democrats

    That complicity, according to Danner, is that they were too afraid of being called "soft on terrorism" in 2006 campaign ads:

    Democrats, who could have filibustered the bill, declined to do so—a decision that had much to do with the proximity of the midterm elections, in the run-up to which, they feared, the President and his Republican allies might gain advantage by accusing them of "coddling terrorists." One senator summarized the politics of the Military Commissions Act with admirable forthrightness:

       Soon, we will adjourn for the fall, and the campaigning will begin in earnest. And there will be 30-second attack ads and negative mail pieces, and we will be criticized as caring more about the rights of terrorists than the protection of Americans. And I know that the vote before us was specifically designed and timed to add more fuel to that fire.[16]

    Senator Barack Obama

    That is of course inexcusable. Especially since the 2006 elections saw Americans swinging to Democrats as more trustworthy on every issue, and Republicans defeated even more soundly than they were again in 2008.

    But it's not the same as the collaboration so many of us suspect Democrats engaged in, like being part of those briefings Danner describes at the White House, or just one step removed. Pelosi has recently denied that meetings in which these torture techniques and subjects were the agenda ever said they were actually being used.

    It's long past time we found out whether we're giving more and more power to Democrats who were part of torturing all these people. Increasingly we don't see confirmation of that, and we see little bits of info that do show Democrats basically trying to ignore torture, rather than actually accepting it. Still a morally unacceptable position, but not the same as the Republicans'. It's time to clear the air, and prosecute those who did torture. If Democrats were merely too weak to stand up, but weren't actually partners in crime, they should be as anxious to get the facts out there, and the actual criminals brought to justice.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:04:17 PM PDT

    •  Disgusting. It's all about politics. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley, sc kitty, ibonewits

      They have no shame.  

      Still this is on Bush, Cheney and Co.  Maybe the Dems thought that they could do more with more seats, than making this an issue and losing elections.  What went on between 2006 and 2008 would be important in this regard.

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by Jonze on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:37:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  all this done in our name (13+ / 0-)

    sick

    from Think Progress:

    Torture made Americans — both at home and those serving overseas — less safe. In fact, former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan testified that the Bush-Cheney policies had convinced him that "revenge in the form of a catastrophic attack on the homeland is coming."

  •  My weird logic tells me that torture (7+ / 0-)

    happened before Bush and Cheney, it's apparently happening right now under Obama, therefore, this is not going to get a true accounting.  I hope I'm wrong, but I'll save this comment just in case.

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:07:45 PM PDT

  •  I read Danner's article today (23+ / 0-)

    I think this mention form Marcy Wheeler bears repeating:

    Understand what this means: the torturers were conducting their experiments on Abu Zubaydah before John Yoo wrote up an OLC memo authorizing torture (hell--Yoo may have excluded those methods they had decided were ineffective and that my be why they told Abu Zubaydah there were no rules).

    This is a disgrace. Using the state secrets doctrine here is also a disgrace.

    Obama's administration needs to stand off and let the day of reckoning come on ahead in its proper setting - the court of law.  

    •  That was an important point by Marcy (10+ / 0-)

      And there are many instances of the after-the-fact CYA nature of these memos, not least the torture of John Walker Lindh, and the overture to SERE for torture instruction in Dec. 2001 before any memo on interrogation of prisoners was ever written.

      Danner puts the timeline on the torture to early 2002, following most reporting (NY Times, Salon.com, etc.). Hopefully, when the Senate Armed Services Report releases their declassified version of their investigation into DoD torture we will get to see some this info. -- But SASC, I'm getting impatient. Where's the report??

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:27:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is our problem (13+ / 0-)

    The corruption of government and the inability of the governmental ruling classes to interrupt or terminate the program of state-sanctioned torture, or stop the black propaganda fed, and well-plotted campaign to go to war in Iraq, or take command of an economic bubble and unregulated set of bogus financial schemes until they ballooned out of control and sought to bankrupt the entire country, this corruption and moral-political bankruptcy implicates immensely wide swaths of the government and ruling classes.

    We are in a very tight spot, historically speaking. It is true that a significant section of civil society, located primarily among some human rights and civil liberties organizations, but with some links as well even into layers of the military (particularly military attorneys), are seeking some kind of change, some way in which a system of accountability can be secured. But they are laboring under the collective weight of a political system that cannot even look at itself in the mirror.

    From top to bottom, our system of government is broken. This is the end result of 60 years of militarization after the Second World War.

    Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

    by Benito on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:16:17 PM PDT

    •  This is succintly put (12+ / 0-)

      From top to bottom, our system of government is broken. This is the end result of 60 years of militarization after the Second World War.

      Just as the Soviet Union had to look at its decades of misrule and the full implications of its history after the fall of Stalinism (a process that was never fully completed), the U.S. must look back and understand what a world-changing struggle the battle against fascism was, and how it left the U.S. with a bloated, distorted militarist structure.

      Eisenhower, after eight years of the presidency, tried to warn the public about this in his famous farewell address.

      Kennedy spoke of it at times.

      Since then, no president has dared to face down the truth, nor the Pentagon and the CIA.

      Is this the time for that to change? If not Obama, then it must come from the people itself, either from its elected officials, or in some form that I can't predict that rises from political necessity from within the bowels of civil society itself.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:31:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Empire or Democracy (6+ / 0-)

        That is now our choice.

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:01:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That train left the station long ago (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Benito, corvo, Valtin, felldestroyed

          We ARE an empire.  Kennedy was the last president who had any hope of subduing our military.  His death removed the last obstacle to unrestrained military power over our civilian government.  No president has challenged the military since then, and we've been subjugated to a deluge of militaristic propaganda that, within a decade of Kennedy's death, turned "liberals" or anyone who didn't uncritically support military power into un-American traitors.

          It is always the same now.  A candidate with sane views of military power, once elected, begins delivering the same script on all matters military, as every other post-Kennedy president.  To be a fly on the wall in the room with a new president meeting with the joint cheifs of staff for the first time!  My strong suspicion is that the joint cheifs explain policy to new presidents, not the other way around.  I'd love to be proven wrong some day.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:23:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley, corvo, Valtin

      This is the end result of 60 years of militarization after the Second World War.

      It begs the question, is our current American culture capable of self-government?  If not, we'll inevitably end up with some variant of an authoritarian government to establish order.  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:10:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, Creosote, corvo

        But our current boomer-built Cold War political culture is dying - transforming into something else. Look at young people today. They are far less religious. Much more informed. Globalized. The internet is a fabulous tool that pumps information into any who browses it. Climate change, resource depletion.

        The times, they are a changing... and the culture with it. As with any cultural shift, there will always be those who try to strangle the new born in the crib because doing so preserves their power. They will try. They are trying. But, as King said, the arc of history bends towards justice... and they will fail. We will get over this era of reaction to the emergence of globalist post-modernity and emerge into something...new. And hopefully better.  

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:27:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I share your optimism for the newer generation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Benito, corvo

          and the internets facilitating active engagement (versus passive TeeVee zombie nation).  

          I do wonder at times if it is already too late.  But then I'm a glass is half empty with bitter swill sort of guy.  

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:47:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not only should they have been impeached... (7+ / 0-)

    they should be arrested and the keys thrown away!
    When will retribution be served?
    So much has been known for so long and still nothing meaningful has been done!

  •  It's sad how one bad Administration (15+ / 0-)

    could in such a short span of time utterly ruin everything you grew up believing about what your country is supposed to stand for.

    This Cheney and his accomplices have wrought more damage on this country than a thousand terrorists could have ever accomplished.

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:21:01 PM PDT

  •  This part of the article ... (22+ / 0-)

    ... really leaped out at me:

    In the case of men who have committed great crimes, this seems to mark perhaps the most important and consequential sense in which "torture doesn't work." The use of torture deprives the society whose laws have been so egregiously violated of the possibility of rendering justice. Torture destroys justice. Torture in effect relinquishes this sacred right in exchange for speculative benefits whose value is, at the least, much disputed.

    Haven't read the whole thing yet but what I have read will probably give me nightmares.

    Thank you for this, Valtin.  I agree with buhdy that your concluding remarks are brilliant.

  •  Where are the goddam prosecutions? (8+ / 0-)

    Obama has been president for two months.  These are prosecutions a first year law student could successfully conduct.  

    There is NO excuse for the delay.  Take 3 attorneys and 5 paralegals off of prosecuting medical marijuana cases and put them on the Torture Taskforce.

    Duh.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:23:31 PM PDT

    •  What was done was an affront to justice (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin, ibonewits, Chacounne

      but the last thing you want to do is to put "a first year law student" or even "3 attorneys and 5 paralegals" on the case.  The very justice - the absence of which we all decry - would result in an incredibly complex and long-drawn out legal battle - unless of course you wanted to waterboard confessions out of the torturers and their bosses....

      •  They've already confessed. (6+ / 0-)

        They've admitted ordering "enhanced interrogations".  The only question for the trier of fact is whether or not the acts constituted torture.

        And, according to Susan Crawford, the former judge hand-selected by the Bush Administration as convening authority for the Military Commissions, has already stated torture was used.

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:44:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lets see (12+ / 0-)

    The economy is in the tank, run by corrupt self dealers, and running on debt. The military and intelligence services torture enemies of the state. Unemployment is rampant. Right wing fringe groups are concocting conspiracy schemes you wouldn't accept from a cheesy scifi movie, and are even considering armed rebellion.

    How did we so quickly take on all of the trappings of a 3rd world country?

  •  why do some progressives not support prosecution? (20+ / 0-)

    or at least an investigation by a special prosecutor? obama could focus on the economy,health care and global warming while the special prosecutor probes.

    thanks valtin for another excellent report.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:27:10 PM PDT

  •  Can they at least subpeona (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, Chacounne

    some of the interrogators who may have been involved?  

  •  Excellent and much needed diary. (20+ / 0-)

    I will just note that a short version of Danner's article has appeared in today's New York Times, with links (in the web version) to his longer article in the New York Review of Books.  

    I remember in the 1970's reading Alexander Solzhenitsen's book about the Stalinist political prison system, "The Gulag Archipelago", and being thankful that I lived in a country that did not descend to such depths of depravity.  I have suspected for some time that I could no longer think that, and the public release of the Red Cross report, as described by Danner confirms that suspicion.

    I think we have just had this generation's version of the revelation of the Pentagon Papers, which told the truth about the government's secret plans for the Vietnam war in the 1960's.  Even just reading Danner's New York Times article brings home the truth about the Bush torture policies in a way that cannot be ignored.  We need to educate everyone we know about this.  

    •  From the Stalinist Gulag to the American Gulag (11+ / 0-)

      Here's the link to the New York Times article. I got it from Stephen Soldz, who in a letter to members of the withholdapadues website (of dissident psychologists who have opposed APA's policy of supporting members who work with the government, at least until a change made recently), said:

      We must remember that the techniques detailed in these documents were designed by psychologists. These psychologists were present at the APA-CIA-Rand conference on the Science of Deception. APA has never explained why these torturers were invited or what they said or what was said to them. Nor have the APA leaders who invited and participated with these torturers expressed any remorse that they may have aided their torture. Rather, they tried to hide the attendance at this conference, even claimed to have "misplaced" it. And they have tried to change the subject to whether or not these torturers were "APA members", as if its fine to aid torturers if they aren't members.

      Accountability for US torture MUST include accountability for those who aided the torturers, including those in the APA leadership who contributed. Continued silence is not acceptable. The truth must come out. We must pressure any Truth Commission or other accountability process to explore the role of the APA, other psychologists, and other health professionals, in the US torture program.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:44:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the CIA used to be against torture (5+ / 0-)

    "In general, direct physical brutality creates only resentment, hostility and further defiance," the manual said.

    Intense pain, interrogators were taught, "is quite likely to produce false confessions concocted as a means of escaping from distress."

    golly, looks like the CIA did a flip-flop.

    Live without dead time-Anoymynous Paris graffiti from 1968

    by greenpunx on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:45:08 PM PDT

  •  Goddammit (9+ / 0-)

    People need to hang for this.

    To call this an outrage doesn't come close. We will never, ever be able to make this right. This is one of our greatest national shames.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:45:24 PM PDT

  •  Bush is on the talk circuit in Canada (4+ / 0-)

    Calgary on the 17th. He needs money for his library for the book.

    Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

    by ohcanada on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:45:55 PM PDT

  •  Leon Panetta in his confirmation hearing (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Valtin, Clytemnestra, ibonewits, jayden

    said that the CIA does not torture,reversing his previous stated position, and agreed not to seek prosecutions against individual agents.
    Rendition by the CIA has also been deemed acceptable practice by the Obama administration.

    Sadly, I don't foresee a change in CIA practices, going forward, from what has been in the past 8 years.

    The Shape Of Things "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

    by notquitedelilah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:45:56 PM PDT

    •  Clever little scam they have going there (12+ / 0-)

      See, the people who did the torturing did so on orders from above and after being repeatedly reassured that what they were doing was lawful.

      The people who did the ordering and told them that it was lawful claimed to have done so based on the advice of OLC.

      The people at OLC who issued this advice did so because they were told to do so by higher-ups, and to find a legal argument for supporting it, and to this day claim that such arguments exist and are valid, so the advice was valid.

      The higher-ups who told OLC to come up with such advice and the legal arguments to support them claim that they did no such thing, but rather merely asked OLC IF they could come up with such advice and arguments, not to manufacture them, and that when they were issued, assumed that they were valid.

      See, due to some mixups, misunderstandings, misrememberings, and perhaps some well-intentioned mistakes, no one did anything wrong, and everyone's innocent.

      Isn't that just super!

      He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding. (Proverbs 12:11)

      by kovie on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:10:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fortunately, an order from a superior is not (5+ / 0-)

        a defense under the CAT or under US law.  However, the MCA complicates things with its retroactive grant of immunity (itself illegal under the CAT).

        Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

        by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 12:31:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CAT? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          notquitedelilah

          In any case, while I believe that being ordered to do something illegal can mitigate guilt in some cases, it also depends on the nature of the order and how obviously illegal and serious it is. And I would think that torture is pretty open and shut.

          We're not exactly talking about being "ordered" to "liberate" the other platoon's snack food provisions in a friendly display of base rivalry during peacetime.

          Plus, the MCA has been found to be unconstitutional on at least one of its provisions, its suspension of habeas corpus, in Boumedienne, so I'm guessing that its usefulness as a defense on other matters has been severely compromised.

          They built an evil house of cards, and the only thing really holding it up at this point is Obama's decision to let them off the hook. If he does so, he will literally be no better than them, no matter how good a president he is on other matters.

          Oh, wait, you meant the UN Convention Against Torture, right?

          He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding. (Proverbs 12:11)

          by kovie on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 01:25:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  CAT = Convention Against Torture (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure we're disagreeing here, but not only can't one be ordered to torture, it's considered an illegal order under any US military training.

            Regarding the MCA, almost all laws contain a severability clause, so the remainder is likely still intact.  Only Obama is holding it back - and he should try to get legislation passed to repeal it once he's decided how to deal with the detainees.

            Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

            by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:35:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Plausible moral deniability! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie

        Why does it always seem like Evil can be halfway around the world in the time it takes Good to get its pants on?

        The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the children of the world a happy holiday season!

        by lotlizard on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 01:24:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The CIA and other intelligence agencies ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, lotlizard, skrekk, notquitedelilah

      ... have been torturing since WWII.

      Why are we all pretending that this began with Bush and Cheney? There have always been psychopaths working for the Power Elite.

      The only difference Bush and Cheney made was bringing it out into the open and inventing "legal" justifications for it.

      Isn't it nice to have a SMART President?

      by ibonewits on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:25:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Torture for the sake of practice (11+ / 0-)

    on humans is a level of depravity that they didn't even recognize the boundaries.  That includes the Democrats that authorized this horrifying war in the first place, then acquiesced every step of the way as well.  It is a shame and a stain they should have to acknowledge and bear.

    This was very hard to read, but necessary.  It bothers me that I am horrified that many people who pledged oaths to the Constitution did not lose sleep over the horrors unleashed.

    Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up... Mind Sorbet

    by Pithy Cherub on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:57:47 PM PDT

  •  Thom Hartman suggests that the torture has been (9+ / 0-)

    made known to us, we the citizens, to frighten us into submission for the next phase of whatever the so called corporate powers have in store for us and the rest of the world.  Who knows, perhaps he is correct, because we don't see people protesting in the streets here like they do in other countries, particularly during the economic meltdown.

    People have been silenced by being targeted for ridicule, like Dan Rather or Phil Donahue to name a couple of people off the top of my head.

  •  In the right hands, with the right intentions (8+ / 0-)

    documents such as this could easily be used to bury a whole slew of Bushies for years and years and so thoroughly discredit what little credibility they had on even national security as to destroy the neoconservative movement for decades.

    But are they in the right hands, and do they have the right intentions?

    Actions taken and words spoken so far are not very encouraging in that respect.

    He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding. (Proverbs 12:11)

    by kovie on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:03:48 PM PDT

  •  The Bush Administartion (0+ / 0-)

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:42:38 PM PDT

  •  When we were London we went to the Tower of Londo (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Creosote, Valtin, m00finsan

    London.

    There they had an exhibit on torture with impliments that had been actually used in torture.  You looked at this things and you know a person had been strapped into this, compressed into that.  

    Torture was no longer an abstract concept, it was there in front of me - the tools in front of me.  Shaken I could no longer stay in the room and left quickly.

    I have always opposed torture, shaken all I could do was weep for what we had done.

    The shining city on the hill, the beacon not only for human rights but with the power to make human rights a concern has had a cataclysmic event and now sits in the muck.

    I am feeling less and less that we will recover.  The terrorist, Al-Qeada, will have won, better than maybe they ever dreamed.  We inflicted this wound unto ourselves-and we are bleeding.

    They need not attack us again.

    "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by Clytemnestra on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:48:18 PM PDT

  •  This has all been done in our name (9+ / 0-)

    It makes me sick just to think about it.

  •  Thank you for this diary, Valtin (6+ / 0-)

    I wish I could comment further, but it has all basically been said already.  I feel like my soul has drained out my toes.  If there is no prosecution I truly believe I will have lost the last ounce of faith in this country.

    You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. - G.B. Shaw, "Misalliance"

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 08:49:36 PM PDT

  •  We don't torture. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, hulagirl, Chacounne

    Send 'em to the Hague.

    NOW!

    With leaders like Reid and Pelosi, who needs enemies?

    by SpiffPeters on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:03:07 PM PDT

  •  ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trevzb, Creosote, Valtin, jayden, shenderson

    But they are laboring under the collective weight of a political system that cannot even look at itself in the mirror.

    it is the legislative branch which is the problem. congress could flush this all this crap, just like it could have flushed the bush administration way back when it held closed-door meetings with private energy corporations.

    bush and the cia are not the problem, the u.s. congress is the problem.

  •  I guess I'm not as liberal as you guys (0+ / 0-)

    I don't really care if Abu Zubaydah was tortured. The only unfortunate consequence of this policy with regard to Mr. Zubaydah is that he is still living. If he had been tried in a criminal court, he could have been tried, sentenced and executed already.

    •  So why not do that: (14+ / 0-)

      try him and sentence him (maybe without the execution part) in accordance with the rule of law we tout as essential for others - instead of torturing, a tactic many terrorist organizations espouse?

      Who are we?

      The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

      by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:19:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vox humana

        But my complaint is not that he was tortured. It's that we haven't executed him yet. If I was running the show, it'd be criminal trials, expedited appeals and swift execution.

        Mr. Zubaydah would've killed me if given the chance. I have no sympathy for him.

      •  If we tried to try him, now, would we have to let (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dauphin, vox humana

        him go since he was tortured?  

        "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

        by bkamr on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:34:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Personally speaking, (5+ / 0-)

          I would hope so. He couldn't be monitored?

          If you were tortured while in police custody, should you be let go?

          Why was he tortured anyway? Guilty until proven innocent? Wouldn't indefinite incarceration with no hope of trial be bad enough?

          These past eight years have been even worse for our country than I thought. Now that Mr. Obama appears to endorse some of these positions, they are okay?

          The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

          by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:43:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's what I thought, too. If someone was (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Creosote, Valtin, Dauphin, vox humana

            tortured in police custody, it's my understanding that they would need to be released.  

            I wonder who leaked the memo.  It seems interesting that it wasn't leaked until, now. I wonder if President Obama had it leaked to build public outcry in support of the Truth Commission, leading to prosecutions.  

            IMHO I don't think Obama agrees with or condones torture, at all.  I'd have to see some more serious evidence to the contrary before I could go with that.  I do think he's trying to give himself some room and time to figure out what to do about this mess he inherited, while he's also faced with trying to keep our and the worlds' economies from imploding uncontrollably. I don't think he is doing this out of a desire to keep torture as an optional tool for his own administration or out of love for Cheney or Bush.

            He has inherited an absolutely perfect storm of disasters from the BushCo criminals. IMHO he's having to weigh pushing for prosecution against the political capital it would require and counter firestorm that could create -- Frankly, I could see about 40% of the country actually coming out in support of the torturers!  He could do the right thing in this situation and in so doing, potentially forfeit his ability to get his larger agenda through.

            I'm still going to trust in President Obama, and wait to see if that trust has been betrayed.  And, my anger remains directed squarely at Cheney, Bush and now, Tenet.  

            "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

            by bkamr on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:32:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not released per se, but no western legal system (6+ / 0-)

              allows any evidence extracted under torture.  Not a single one...except the perverse MCA system.

              The complication with trials now is that much of the evidence is tainted or otherwise inadmissible, and case files weren't kept or are fragmented and disorganized, since prosecution was never the intent.  It might not be possible to build a parallel case.

              Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

              by skrekk on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:08:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  and Rumsfeld ? (0+ / 0-)

                Just asking,
                Heather

              •  Possibly. My understanding is that this was CIA (0+ / 0-)

                though who knows what the co-operation and communication lines were, at this point.

                "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                by bkamr on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:55:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I mean your anger is not also directed (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Valtin, vox humana

                  at Rumsfeld, who approved the memo that sanctioned the use of many types of torture, even to the point of handwriting a note on it stating that he stood for eight - ten hours a day, so why were the detainees being limited to four hours a day in the memo?

                       Standing for justice and accountability,
                                   For Dan,
                                   Heather

                  •  We're in agreement about anger at Rumsfeld for (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Valtin, vox humana, Chacounne

                    a world of pain and what I consider to be war crimes at Gitmo etc.  I'm just referring to the possibility of his direct involvement in THIS specific situation referred to in THIS leaked report by IRC, which seems to have been under the auspices of the CIA.

                    In total support for justice and accountability for the ENTIRE criminal crew!

                    "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                    by bkamr on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:27:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  None of the information obtained by torture (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Valtin

          can be used in court.  So it is not only worthless, it makes prosecution vastly more difficult.

    •  What crime did he commit? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo
    •  You're not smart either. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo
    •  Ignoring the legalities for a moment, carefully (10+ / 0-)

      consider what you're saying.  Are you willing to torture the innocent?  Over 2/3rds of those held at Guantanamo (the "worst of the worst") have been released without charge, and yet many of those were likely abused or tortured.  Some of those may now be fighting against the US as a result of that abuse.  Other innocents have been driven insane, and still others like Binyam Mohammed who had his penis sliced with a scalpel at our request.  That's you & me - we did that.

      Also, the lead negotiator in Iraq who helped locate and kill al-Zarqawi, has said that torture is counter-productive, and:

      It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.

      In the specific case of Abu Zubaydah, the best information we have is from the reporting of Ron Suskind:

      Investigating his diary, analysts found entries in the voices of three people -- a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego -- which recorded in numbing detail, over the course of ten years, "what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said." Dan Coleman, the FBI's senior expert on al-Qaeda, explained to one of his superiors, "This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality." According to Suskind, the officials also confirmed that Zubaydah appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations, and was, instead, a minor logistician.

      And yet, as Suskind also reports, so misplaced was the CIA’s belief in Zubaydah’s importance that when they subjected him to waterboarding and other forms of torture, and he "confessed" to all manner of supposed plots -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty -- "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each target ... The United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

      So the CIA and FBI wasted critical resources chasing unreliable nonsense that was tortured out of a mentally ill man.  And note that the FBI has stated that they were getting Zubaydah’s cooperation before the CIA started torturing him, at which point he stopped making sense.

      Does torture work?  Sure, sometimes it does.  But it's also well known that people will say anything to make the torture stop, so you can't rely on the information...ultimately you just waste your time.  Moreover, professional interrogators are uniformly opposed to its use.  The famous WWII interrogator Sherwood Moran (who literally wrote the book on successful interrogations) was absolutely opposed to torture.

      The reason this happened is that we had inept, evil people in charge who only believed in the rule of law when it was convenient.  Institutionally we had forgotten the lessons of WWII, we had expelled many qualified linguists from the military, and we had no active interrogation programs in the relevant languages at the time of 9/11.  There was a scramble for information, and morality and legality were irrelevant...as apparently were efficacy and long term costs.  The willingness to violate the Convention Against Torture (which we wrote!) has done our country long-term damage, both in reputation and in actual national security.

      Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

      by skrekk on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:10:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I recommend this comment in spite (5+ / 0-)

        of this part:

        Does torture work?  Sure, sometimes it does.

        When would you say that is true?

        I liked the rest of what you said.

        The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

        by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:24:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I said that because I'm honest. (5+ / 0-)

          If you torture someone they may tell you what you want to know.  Or they may tell you something just to get you to stop (regardless of whether they know anything).  However, that torture might sometimes work doesn't relate to the wisdom or propriety of its use.

          Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

          by skrekk on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:34:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Vox humana (8+ / 0-)

          I think we can hung up on the word "works". Works for what, we might ask.

          In an individual case where an interrogation uses torture, there are times when accurate information is elicited. There were various cases during World War II of successful torture interrogations by the Gestapo. Alfred McCoy has verified that sometimes torture "works" in an individual case.

          I can verify from my own clinical experience, working with a very guilty man who under torture gave the names of some of his comrades (in a Central American state I will not mention), that such occurs.

          But does it work very often? And how often? Such grisly statistics are unknown to us. But so far as we can tell, it produces far too many false confessions, for well-known reasons, i.e., to make the torture stop, that whatever "accurate" information is produced cannot really be trusted.

          Torture poisons the well of information with doubt and unreliablity.

          Torture is not primarily about getting information. If we remember that, and get away from such ways of thinking, the controversy suddenly disappears.

          Torture is about spreading terror in a population, used as a method of social control, to turn a subjugated population into subhumans. This serves many purposes. It allows an occupying army to kill with impunity and without guilt the "gooks", "chinks", "camel-jockeys", etc. It also cows possible political opposition. When used in interrogations, it is more likely about producing a false confession or getting a victim to corroborate a fake government conspiracy story than anything else. Real interrogators know this, and oppose torture.

          Torturers also know for what torture "works". And that's why they advocate it.

          War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

          by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:47:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for your answer. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Creosote, Valtin, skrekk, Chacounne

            I had a feeling that that might be what shrekk meant, but I think you can see how it might have been misunderstood.

            Thanks to all for clarifying! It might be important some day.

            And thanks for all these diaries. I'm not here as much as I used to be, but I do love reading your stuff when I am here! Keep it up - and maybe someday I'll see you here, too!

            The law is slacked and judgment doth never go forth: the wicked compass about the righteous and wrong judgment proceedeth - Habakkuk 1:4

            by vox humana on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:57:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the link (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote, vox humana, Chacounne

              Looks very much worth checking out.

              War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

              by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:20:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's exactly what I meant. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Valtin, vox humana, Chacounne

              Regarding the varying motives for torture, terrorism of a larger population seems to be preeminent (McCoy documents this pretty well).  Since this was supposed to be a secret program, I doubt that was the motive here - nor was punishment, except perhaps by individual agents.  I think the intent really was about information gathering - which is not a defense under the treaty (in fact it's one of the definitions of torture).  Due to its ineptitude and disregard for the law, the administration chose the most ineffective, strategically unwise and most illegal strategy possible.

              Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

              by skrekk on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:50:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think we'll see (0+ / 0-)

                that there were other agendas going on here, and these agendas have a long history, and involve the use of experiments on human beings. I think we'll see more about this in the next few months. One major book explaining this, by well regarded researcher and physician Stephen Miles, will be coming out next month.

                It's like a bad 24 episode, where you keep finding out the bad guys you were after were really a cover for the even badder guys. In this case, the country is still facing its showdown with the MKULTRA program, which never really ended.

                That's where this is all headed, IMHO. And MKULTRA points to decisions made about the direction of this country that were made in the first years after the end of World War II. I don't know if it's too late to really confront this, but I don't see a way out unless we do.

                War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                by Valtin on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:23:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  To elaborate on what Valtin said above, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Valtin, vox humana

              confessions are another primary motive for torture (apart from terrorism).  The truth of the confession is irrelevant - that the government has captured someone who has confessed is all that matters.

              At the pre-intel field level in Afghanistan during the early stages of the war I can see that being a factor, especially since bounties were involved.  But it fucks up your real intel.

              Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

              by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:55:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Since you obviously haven't read Danner's (7+ / 0-)

      article, I'll quote this part:

      The political damage to the United States' reputation, and to the "soft power" of its constitutional and democratic ideals, has been, though difficult to quantify, vast and enduring. In a war that is essentially an insurgency fought on a worldwide scale — which is to say, a political war, in which the attitudes and allegiances of young Muslims are the critical target of opportunity — the United States' decision to use torture has resulted in an enormous self-administered defeat, undermining liberal sympathizers of the United States and convincing others that the country is exactly as its enemies paint it: a ruthless imperial power determined to suppress and abuse Muslims. By choosing to torture, we freely chose to become the caricature they made of us.

      Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

      by skrekk on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:00:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, lotlizard, vox humana

      You do believe in innocent until proven guilty?

      You don't believe in the rule of law?

      Abu Zubaydah may be a bad guy, although it hasn't been proven in a court of law yet, but here's the thing, the 7 and 9 year old children of one of his supposed comrades, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were kidnapped and given to the CIA in 2002/2003. We don't know if they are even alive or dead today. I hope you would agree that regardless what their father did, children should not have to pay for their parent's crime.

        Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is doing it to whom.

        Standing for justice and accountability,
                 For Dan,
                 Heather

    •  No one is crying for Zubaydah. We're upset (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsSpentyouth, allenjo

      that our government descended into a pathology of methodological torture such as we would expect from Saddam's regime.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:15:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have found the devil, and it is America. (6+ / 0-)

    Reading this account, who among us can say they are proud to be an American. America/we will pay a price for this behavior, but what will be the price and how long America/we will pay, has yet to be determined, but you can be assured, history will record a price.    

    Dreams have a way of betraying you when you use them to escape. Ask yourself why you dream what you dream.

    by brjzn on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:27:08 PM PDT

  •  There's only one word to describe this .......... (7+ / 0-)

    ........... and that word is depraved.    

  •  Prosecutions: Where to start (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Valtin, jayden, Chacounne, m00finsan

    From what we know, officials acted with the legal sanction of the US government and under orders from the highest political authority, the elected president of the United States.

    If this is provable, this should be the first prosecution.  Nothing else will begin the healing and reestablish American credibility as a force for Human Rights.

    •  It's essentially already been proven: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, Valtin, Chacounne

      the NSC principals committee directed the torture program.  By law, the President has to formally approve of any NSC action.  There is no plausible deniability.

      Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

      by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 12:36:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It should also be noted that Colin Powell (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valtin, skrekk

        was a member of the Principal's Group during the time of the authorizations to torture. When I asked him about that on June 12th last year, in a small press conference before a larger event, his answer went on for about ten minutes, like a little boy who was trying to argue his way out of something he knew was wrong. He, in my opinion, should be on the list of those to prosecute.

             Standing for justice and accountability,
                      For Dan,
                      Heather

      •  Proven in a court of law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valtin

        by the rules of evidence.  I'm not doubting that it happened this way (in fact it is probably worse than we know), but being certain of guilt and being able to prove it in court are two different animals.  It is very important that we follow evidentiary rules - it's one of the things that will separate US from THEM.

        •  Here's a link: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Valtin

          link
          Obviously it would need to be proven in court, but you already have public statements on record by Cheney, Rice, Ashcroft and others on the NSC about what was approved.  And you can be damn sure that the CIA kept the memos authorizing their actions - that was their only get out of jail free card.

          Dubya's legacy: 25 million really pissed Iraqis...50 million shoes

          by skrekk on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:11:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  As I've been saying for years, (6+ / 0-)

    and the reason I am no longer a registered Democrat, the political failure of our country during the last 30 years has been a sordid and bi-partisan affair.

    The corruption of government and the inability of the governmental ruling classes to interrupt or terminate the program of state-sanctioned torture, or stop the black propaganda fed, and well-plotted campaign to go to war in Iraq, or take command of an economic bubble and unregulated set of bogus financial schemes until they ballooned out of control and sought to bankrupt the entire country, this corruption and moral-political bankruptcy implicates immensely wide swaths of the government and ruling classes.

    Never were more true words written, Valtin.

    "Tight spot" indeed. Sad and frustrating that it confronts Obama's WH.  I actually had some honest hope this time...

    Thanks for this and all your work

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:00:08 PM PDT

    •  And they're trying to do it again with Iran. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin

      Witness all the bipartisan blather about Iran's non-existent nuclear weapons program.

      Whereby there is a country in the region that does have a nuclear weapons program, and Iran ain't it.

      The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the children of the world a happy holiday season!

      by lotlizard on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:18:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even selfishly, we need to face these matters (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, corvo, Valtin, lotlizard, Chacounne

    You mention the desensitization that occurred over time with the torturers.  The same thing has happened in our society.  We have moved from being repulsed by torture, associating it only with something our enemies do, to debating its merits.  We have lost our way.

    The issue of looking at ourselves is fundamental.  Can we face the fact that our system of education is flawed at its core, that we cannot continue to support so many people in the structure who are not directly involved in teaching?  Can we face the immense loss of jobs entailed in dismantling a defense industry which does not serve our security needs?  Probably most difficult, can we take away power from an intelligence industry which swallows over a trillion dollars a year, operates free of oversight, and serves the purposes of corporate empire rather than the security needs of a republic?  It seems very, very difficult.

    These are practical questions of survival.  We cannot afford to continue on our current path either fiscally or politically.  We will not survive long with much of the world as our enemy, borrowing trillions from a country with a political system antagonistic to ours.

    In short, aside from the moral implications, even a completely selfish appraisal tells us we must either look in the mirror or fall.

    We have to face the frustrating fact that reform cannot avoid hurting a lot of people and a lot of powerful interests... John Gatto

    by geomoo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:01:17 PM PDT

  •  You'd think thie would be enough for them who (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, lotlizard, Chacounne

    supported torture to KNOW that it is wrong

    "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by Clytemnestra on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:22:03 PM PDT

  •  Didn't the Abu Ghrab expose tell us this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, Chacounne

    When I read this all those photos from Abu Ghrab come to mind. We knew that the treatment there was sanctioned from above. We knew that there were torture conferences in the White House with Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rumsfeld.

    There were also torture stories years ago from the US prison in Afghanistan. There was a story about a contractor who created his own torture prison camp there.

    This is all deja vu.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:22:03 PM PDT

  •  story now up on Washingtom Post (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, Valtin, jwinIL14, Chacounne

    friend good, fire bad.

    by ericlewis0 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:43:40 PM PDT

    •  From the article, and re who leaked the report (5+ / 0-)

      At least five copies of the report were shared with the CIA and top White House officials in 2007 but barred from public release by ICRC guidelines intended to preserve the humanitarian group's strict policy of neutrality in conflicts. A copy of the report was obtained by Mark Danner, a journalism professor and author who published extensive excerpts in the April 9 edition of the New York Review of Books, released yesterday. He did not say how he obtained the report.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 10:52:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so ... here we go ? (5+ / 0-)

        about 6 or 7 graphs down:

        The CIA declined to comment. A U.S. official familiar with the report said, "It is important to bear in mind that the report lays out claims made by the terrorists themselves."

        Does make you think twice about the timing of Cheney's "exclusive" this morning on CNN.

        Thanks Valtin for another great diary.

        "But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." ~Matthew 19:30

        by Lady Libertine on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:06:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The last paragraph of WaPo article worth noting: (7+ / 0-)

      "These reports are from an impeccable source," said Geneve Mantri, a counterterrorism specialist at Amnesty International. "It's clear that senior officials were warned from the very beginning that the treatment that detainees were subjected to amounted to torture. This story goes even further and deeper than many us of suspected. The more details we find out, the more shocking this becomes."

      When Amnesty International says it's worse than they guessed, you know it's bad.

      "It's always something." -- Roseanne Roseannadanna

      by jwinIL14 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:08:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Condoleeza Rice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, Valtin, Chacounne

    Condoleeza Rice was asked about this point blank a few years ago and casually answered that extraordinary rendition was perfectly normal, just standard operating procedure.  She was perfectly deadpan.  I never hear her name mentioned as a co-conspirator in all this, but I'd like to.

  •  The Obama Administration is going to have to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, Chacounne

    launch an investigation in order to preserve American credibility with our allies.  It will be difficult for any foreign leader to do business with America without insisting on an accounting for what appears to be flagrant violations of international law.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:09:32 PM PDT

  •  WaPo Story Needs Comments (6+ / 0-)

    The Bush supporters are out in force on the Washington Post article about this story. I hope some of you will post comments on the Post's website to educate them. lol

    "The liberty of speaking and writing guards our other liberties." - Thomas Jefferson

    by pmorlan on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:22:20 PM PDT

  •  I propose to immortalize Yoo by naming... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, lotlizard, misreal

    ...the "unit of pain" the Yoo.

    Pain equal to that generated by "organ failure".

    What I would really like is to test all the methods listed in this diary on Yoo himself.  But I'll settle for an indictment and a trial.

    Behold the mother#%^$&%!

    John Yoo

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 11:24:18 PM PDT

    •  I think I suffered half a Yoo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, Creosote

      just looking at that guy's mug again. He's become a symbol for self-satisfied obeisance to power.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 12:02:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, I just can't (5+ / 0-)

      ever say that torturing anyone is acceptable. EVER.

      I also would have a really hard time with calling a unit of pain equal to "organ failure" a Yoo, because my husband, Dan, survived torture and died while on dialysis.

      I only only want John Yoo's name mentioned in the context of pushing to have him disbarred and indicted and then the process that follows. Once incarcerated, he should be sent to Coventry and never talked about again, but to warn future generations.

            Just my two cents,
                For Dan,
                Heather

  •  Mahalo for this diary. (7+ / 0-)

    I've been wondering whether anyone would pursue the torture.  As much as I stand behind Obama, I've been wondering whether he would have the Justice Department pursue the torture question.  

    It's not enough to say, "the torture will stop."  We must investigate and prosecute those responsible for this despicable misuse of our national power.  

  •  Just one more note of thanks Valtin (6+ / 0-)

    among many, for all of the work you have done on this.

    Every time I read one of your diaries, in my minds eye I picture Condolezza Rice clearly making the statement: "America. Does Not. Torture." It was just one of many lies we were fed during the Cheney-Bush years.

    I hope to live to see justice rendered to all who participated, though really I am not very optimistic that it will happen.

  •  While I agree with the premise of this diary, I (0+ / 0-)

    don't agree with the timing of this.

    I won't be happy, though, until the issue is pushed to the top of the nation's agenda, and a history-making review and prosecution of these crimes begins.

    Given the dire economic situation (let's face it, hungry stomachs don't fuel thinking brains), pushing the prosecution of these perpetrators (which I agree with wholeheartedly) to the top of the nation's agenda ain't happening. Au contraire, pushing this meme right now may backfire and inure people to the very idea of prosecution.

    I think concentrating on the economy right now (along with fingering the obstructionist repugs' hypocritical stand on this recovery plan and their role in precipitating this crisis in the first place) will pave the way for the people's support for prosecution when the economy picks up.

    Right now, the idea of prosecution of torturers, however justified, won't fly.

    My two cents. Ok. flame away.

    From Alabama to Obama - You've come a long way baby. ***Rush, Jindal and Steele - The Axis of Drivel***

    by amk for obama on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 12:23:12 AM PDT

    •  Well. actually, a bit of hunger does sharpen (0+ / 0-)

      the senses.  We're not talking persistent near-starvation here.  Indeed, the habit of eating that results in obesity may be as intellectually stultifying as persistent mal-nutrition.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:04:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We don't torture others (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsSpentyouth, Creosote

    so that others won't torture us...

    (at least that was the general idea as I understood it)

    When Bushco gave the go ahead to torture others,
    they made our people more likely to be tortured by others.

    What's next? Wanna bring back Mustard Gas?

    Nice going Bushco... dickheads.

    Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

    by SoCalHobbit on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 01:38:14 AM PDT

    •  No. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      londubh, SoCalHobbit

      We don't torture because

      1. We're better than that
      1. We don't want our own tortured
      1. We want to hold ourselves up as a model
      1. YOU DON'T GET LEGITIMATE FUCKING INFORMATION FROM TORTURE. YOU ONLY GET WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR.
      •  Torture is about the exercise of power (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalHobbit

        It's about sending a message to our enemies and allies: "This is what we will do to you and there is nothing you can do about it. Do what we say." There is no other reason for torture.

        To inflict pain and suffering upon another individual without fear of reprisal is the ultimate expression of power. It is a drug. It is intoxicating. When the Cheney/Bush administration headed down that path they could only increase their dosage by inflicting more and more pain on others.

        We don't know how deeply ingrained the culture of torture is in our military and intelligence services. We don't know what the political and social consequences of prosecuting them are. We do know what the consequences are of not prosecuting them. It will not be easy and the stability of our union may be in jeopardy if they are prosecuted. But prosecute we must.

        One last related question: If their is a kernel of truth to the Cheney "death squads" and they were only accountable to him, are they still operating?

        "You know what's more refreshing than having a President who speaks in complete sentences? A President who behaves like a responsible adult."

        by londubh on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:33:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am tremendously relieved (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floande

    that Obama was elected president, and I did much to accomplish it.

    But on all issues, I'll continue to hold him to the same standards that I held Bush to while he was president.  

    What we've done is evident not only to us, but to the whole world.  If citizens of this country are to regain our trust in government, then that trust must rest in our institutions of government and their unfaltering ability to endure beyond any particular president.  Our trust must not rest in the president but rather in the knowledge that our institutions of government will always securely define his actions in keeping with those institutions.  In that sense, it should be of relatively little importance whether a president is of high or low character because he does not have the power to manipulate and redefine those institutions in accordance with his or her character.  

    It's our institutions of government that determine our course of action in regard to the commission of torture.  Why are we struggling with this important principle?  It's not up to a president to decide.  Like I say, the standards should be consistent.  Unless we really want to make that leap from allegiance to a form of government to allegiance to a president.

  •  Torture happened. Those who did it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsSpentyouth, allenjo

    think they were right to to it.

    Cheney is currently on a propaganda campaign trying to undermine the Obama Administration for stopping it.

    Think of it as an obscene form of civil disobedience. They thought the laws against torture were wrong, so they went ahead and tortured anyway, in protest of what they see as the injustice inherent in the laws.

    The thing is, someone who engages in civil disobedience must do so with the willingness to be arrested, prosecuted, and punished to the full extent of the law with which they disagree, and deliberately broke.

    The fact that, given certain circumstances, the law they deliberately broke is a capital crime is irrelevant.

    It is now their job to work to get the laws off the books as inappropriate (that is, get the USA to openly acknowledge that torture is not a crime). It is our job, as people who think the laws against torture are appropriate, to see that they suffer the full measure of punishment for their actions.

    If they cannot convince Congress and the President to repeal the laws against torture, they must be willing to suffer the consequences of their actions.  All the way up the chain of command.

    "When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?"--Eleanor Roosevelt

    by KJC MD on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:51:39 AM PDT

  •  Is this the new Pentagon Papers? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Lady Libertine

    May it lead to prosecutions, or at least some form of investigation of what these bastards did in our name.

    Harry Reid: An idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing (HT Shakespeare)

    by DrWolfy on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:47:24 AM PDT

  •  Detainee statements are the source of the 9/11 (0+ / 0-)

    Commission's account of the operational details of 9/11.  If some at least of those detainees were tortured, how much is that account worth?

    You don't torture people if the truth is what you want to get out of them.  But torture is a very good way to get them to confirm a predetermined story.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:35:17 AM PDT

  •  Some of us have clean hands (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jerseyjo, londubh, misreal, allenjo

    Many of us knew long before 9/11 that the Neocons and the Bush puppet were planning astonishingly destructive things.  I do not hold any security clearance now, though I did have a Top Secret clearance many years ago while serving in the USAF.  I am a Political Scientist and I know the Law (Constitutional and some Criminal Law - enough to teach some lower level classes).  I am online constantly and I paid attention and did research especially when Cheney chose himself as the GOP VP candidate.  That was the first giant red flag to me.  Needless to say, many of us wrote articles and diaries that were posted all over the net.  Many of us cried and went to our Senators and Congresspersons before the invasion of Iraq began and begged them to do everything in their power to stop the madness.  Many of us knew there was going to be an horrific disaster under the Bush regime.  Incompetence was a bright flashing yellow light.  Then, when that combined with arrogance and disregard for the constitution and the rule of law, as well as the everlasting campaign mode of the Bush White House - when all of that came together under rove - we as a nation were at the brink of falling apart.

    War Crimes and Crimes against humanity were no doubt ordered by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush.  The military leaders who cooperated with these crimes are also guilty.  Condi Rice is an accomplice and needs to face charges.  There are others.  The US needs to purge itself of these insects by charging them and trying them and punishing them for what they have done..  Then, we can move on

  •  I think this is one reason Cheney is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, blage

    constantly on the talk shows criticizing Obama about security. He is on the offensive trying to discredit prosecution in advance. In other words if an investigation is pursued Cheney will then say it is political payback for his criticism of Obama's security policy.

    "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" Aristotle

    by polticoscott on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:23:55 AM PDT

  •  I am so ashamed and so sad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misreal, allenjo

    knowing that so many Americans don't care.

  •  Bush & Cheney are war criminals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Wizard

    When are they going to be treated as such?  I don't want to see one more interview with criminal thugs such as Rove, Cheney and the biggest of them all - Bush!

  •  This is what the political right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    called for. I blame political conservatives and their policies for all of this. They were all over the intenet egging people on to torture those who were in our custody. They busted a gut laughing about torture! They were positively laughing about it-all over the 'net. It was disgusting.
       They considered the Geneva Conventions to be "quaint." As their chief flunky and torturer John Yoo referrd to them. They made a mockery of everything this country is supposed to stand for. They acted without conscience-they violated international law and they enthusiastially encouraged others to do the same. The people who actually made this possible, and the people who committed these heinous acts, require a full and vigorous prosecution. We will never be free of any of this until the debt that is owed to society is payed in full and these poor suffering souls are compensated (as if they ever really could be) for what they have endured at our hands-under a criminal administration.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:15:07 AM PDT

  •  The Washington Post's email blast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin

    had the word torture in [air] quotes this morning...

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:01:36 AM PDT

  •  Bush and Cheney probably drowned kittens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdmorg

    when they were 8 years old. Psychotics at play.

    15,000 CA diabetic school kids in danger due to recent court decision.Shame on the ANA,CNA,CSNO. Info http://tiny.cc/uVmZF

    by foggycity on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:55:07 AM PDT

  •  For people who claimed to be Christian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdmorg

    I wonder how they did not fear for their souls.

    "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

    by Pandoras Box on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:02:25 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary, Valtin. Nice job. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tahoebasha2

    This may have been said many times over (haven't had a chance to get through all the comments), but the any psychologist who participated in overseeing torture should be immediately stripped of their professional credentials to practice, as well as their membership in APA. Immediately. In that group, I include all officers of the APA.

    They have violated, by their complicity in torture, their own Principle E.

    Principle E: Respect for People's Rights and Dignity
    Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.

    My hunch is that there is no power to enforce such. However, as a psych major and chaplain, any individual in a "caring" profession who participates in acts like torture should have whatever stripes they have on their sleeves immediately removed.

    I knew about the psychologists' involvement before, but it raises my shackles everytime I'm reminded. Fury would not be a sufficiently descriptive word to describe how I feel.

    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:03:55 AM PDT

  •  OMG, I am so ashamed of the prior War Criminals.. (0+ / 0-)

    Bush & Cheney.  What is wrong with Congress?  Why isn't this all over the cable news and why aren't these bastards taken down?  This shows what sick fucks that Administration was.  All that knew need to go to prison.  End.of.story.

  •  The issue of prosecutions is secondary (0+ / 0-)

    to getting a full public account of the process by which the U.S. developed these processes and concocted their legal justifications.  

    Let the full prosecutions be from international or extra-national sources, if that's what's necessary to have the torturers' plots revealed.  And in fact,  grants of immunity from criminal prosecution don't preclude the pursuit of civil actions by the tortured, as good a way of pursuing justice as any, in my opinion.

  •  You will never convince me that beating the (0+ / 0-)

    shit out of someone, or using anything else as a substitute is going to get quality intel. I think 90% of the "tips" they pried out of that motherfucker who planned it all turned out to be bogus, according to an ex-CIA operative.

    I think a post over at Eschaton sums it all up, as far as where Cheney belongs, but for me throw in Frum, Kristol, Woo, bush, Rumsfeld, and all the other suits and bullshit artists who sent off our children, mothers and fathers off to fight a war over oil:

    "...breaking rocks to make graves for Iraqi children in the burning sun with the world's best pacemaker but no clothes, water or food."

    Thanks

    A is A. Reality is real. Michael Shermer

    by gereiztkind on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:05:06 AM PDT

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