Dishonor, Blood and Treasure - By The Numbers
April 27, 2006 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Two years after the Abu Ghraib scandal, new research shows that abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantánamo Bay has been widespread, and that the United States has taken only limited steps to investigate and punish implicated personnel. A briefing paper issued today, 'By the Numbers,' presents findings of the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project... the first comprehensive accounting of credible allegations of torture and abuse in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo. The project has collected hundreds of allegations of detainee abuse and torture occurring since late 2001 – allegations implicating more than 600 U.S. military and civilian personnel and involving more than 460 detainees.
U.S.: More Than 600 Implicated in Detainee Abuse

See also Projected Iraq War Costs Soar, See also The Trillion Dolllar War.
posted by y2karl (110 comments total)

 
I wish they would stop calling it detainee abuse.

It's torturing prisoners.
posted by empath at 12:15 PM on April 27, 2006


Surely this will ah forget it.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:20 PM on April 27, 2006


I wonder how much health care we could have provided to uninsured, low income citizens in our country with that trillion dollars?
posted by caddis at 12:22 PM on April 27, 2006


See also EU lawmakers say CIA conducted 1,000 secret flights over Europe and Secrets Flights Investigation Raises the Veil.
posted by y2karl at 12:24 PM on April 27, 2006


or we culd just bring the troops home. I wonder which one would save more money?
posted by caddis at 12:27 PM on April 27, 2006


It is also completely expected behavior, as shown by one rather nasty experiment called The Stanford Prison Experiment.

If you are not familiar with the research, you have no clue as to how bad things can get. There's also a very awesome movie (fictional) based on it, Das Experiment.

Torture was expected. Ignorance of the known outcome does not excuse those who created the situation. Intentions and all those fine horse apples.
posted by daq at 12:27 PM on April 27, 2006


Good post, y2karl. [paying no mind...]
posted by 327.ca at 12:37 PM on April 27, 2006


Having to live with the horrible things that we have done is one of the costs of this war.
posted by ND¢ at 12:39 PM on April 27, 2006


I RTFA article in the post. Tell me what the costs of war has to do with detainee abuse.
posted by dios at 12:35 PM PST on April 27 [!]


Jesus bloody christ. I should've known better than to get involved with a troll this early in the morning. Now he's trying to get me to tell him how an article about prisoner abuse relates to an article about prisoner abuse.
posted by wakko at 12:41 PM on April 27, 2006


That's a great post, y2karl. The desperate noises of certain denizens are a certain sign that you nailed it.

Question is, of course, what the fuck do we do now?
posted by Malor at 12:41 PM on April 27, 2006


I'ts going to cost *#@*!?! ...I thought the king already said "mission accomplished"
posted by Raoul.Duke at 12:42 PM on April 27, 2006


Relax and come to the Jupiter Room tonight Raoul.Duke
posted by jon_kill at 12:50 PM on April 27, 2006


/waits patiently for the dios martini party to show up and enamor him with a shower of manhugs
/same shit different day

As always, great post. I have a profound respect for any individual who strives for the truth, but you have gone above and beyond holding a passing interest in the subject. I think it's long past time I make a donation to the y2karl "Save Our Future by Paying Attention Now" fund.
posted by prostyle at 12:54 PM on April 27, 2006


What I don't understand is how all of this could've been going on, for so long, and be so widespread, without any coverage whatsoever.
posted by wakko at 12:57 PM on April 27, 2006


FYI: this thread has been cleaned up. Nice work, mods!
posted by delmoi at 12:59 PM on April 27, 2006


What I don't understand is how all of this could've been going on, for so long, and be so widespread, without any coverage whatsoever.

"rendition" has been in the news for a long time, though it's been a bit of a mystery as to how common it was. The numbers in the new study don't surprise me at all, given the coverage that was present in the international press.

I'm deeply saddened when I remember my Cold War childhood, and think about all the reasons that America was supposed to be better than the USSR. But today, America is guilty of almost all the same crimes.

It's absolutely shocking how fast a fall from grace can occur.
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:02 PM on April 27, 2006


(and equally shocking to find out how big the bill is, to pay for that fall from grace.)
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:02 PM on April 27, 2006


I feel forced towards the view that the torture was not just the work of a few bad apples, nor simply interrogation that got out of hand, but was indeed policy. The extent, time span, and apparent coverup do not seem indicative of just one or two centers that went off the farm.

I cannot understand why, though. But in matters like torture or preventive nuclear war (still can't believe it's "on the table"), there may not be a rational justification, just the opposite.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:05 PM on April 27, 2006


Question is, of course, what the fuck do we do now?

In order to remedy the serious problems documented here, the DAA Project makes the following recommendations...
posted by y2karl at 1:05 PM on April 27, 2006


Tacos, it kind of reminds me of the old Sting song, "I Hope the Russians Love Their Children Too". It was a bit daring at the time to posit that the root of all evil, the Communists, could be that human.

Less than twenty years ago, we were spitting about how evil the Russians were and how good we were in comparison... and now we're doing the exact same stuff and nobody minds. I am frustrated beyond belief that so few people are paying any attention at all. If they do hear about it, they don't care.
posted by Malor at 1:10 PM on April 27, 2006


Relax and come to the Jupiter Room tonight Raoul.Duke

Oh I'd love to.. but I've made it a personal rule not to leave the house when the Terror-Alert level is yellow, orange, or red.
posted by Raoul.Duke at 1:27 PM on April 27, 2006


From the washington post article:
“That larger cost applies to military, diplomatic and foreign aid operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, enhanced security efforts begun after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks...”

“Such questions are highly unusual for a congressional research agency report, congressional budget aides said yesterday, and they point to growing frustration in Congress with a Pentagon that has held war-cost information close to the vest.”

I don’t think there is any question that abuses/torture, etc run costs up. It’s obtuse to suggest otherwise. It’s obvious.

Personally I find the idea that we could save costs by not investigating such allegations extremely offensive.
Particularly considered in context of the recent “Torture on Tennessee Soil” post.
If we find domestic law enforcement abusing power, funding and citizen’s rights, how can we expect to avoid corruption in situations further removed from oversight?

It is precisely in matters such as these that it is so easy to gloss over the abject horror of the situation in part because of the perception of authority that is involved (the Milgram experiment) but also because of the surface perceptions.

There is no howling dictatorial madman, there are no Hollywood villians here. Just good clean looking folks doing their job. When in fact that facade hides a far deeper evil than a brutish exterior could ever belie.
It’s the same facade that hides child molesters, embezzlers, the fraudulent, the traitors.
That same “Me? I’m a man you can trust” thing.

It is those that cloak themselves in societal niceties and make about themselves the facade of authority that we must direct most of the resources of investigation and discovery.

We all know this. We know the bad guy isn’t some Snidely Whiplash type tying a woman to railroad tracks. We all know that the real criminals hide in the shadows or in the heights of authority. We know that (say) John Dillinger was a bad guy, but he was no Joe Kennedy or Ken Lay or Albert B. Fall (or Charles Forbes) or what have you.

We need thorough and honest investigation of every allegation of torture as a matter of course, because the alternative is far worse.

The fact alone that congress isn’t getting the answers it wants should be a gigantic red flag that SOMETHING is wrong.
All that remains is an investigation into the particulars. You can easily spot the wrong doers. They’re the ones opposed.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:39 PM on April 27, 2006


I feel forced towards the view that the torture was not just the work of a few bad apples

I certainly don't want to cast aspersions on the entire armed forces of the USA, but did you ever notice the sorts of people who volunteer for service?

There are untold numbers of honest, hard working decent people in the ranks but there are also no damn shortage of psychopaths who get a real kick out of the killing part of the job.

The latter group I think will emerge as willing perpetrators of these crimes - regardless of what official policy is, and it appears that policy is itself is criminal.
posted by crowman at 1:44 PM on April 27, 2006


Lots to think about in this excellent post. Fairly far down my own list, but what I keep coming back to, is (eegads) Reagan. He did a lot of stupid things. But at least the deep, dark motivation was American self-interest. In everything after the invasion of Afghanistan, I see the exact opposite--a race to burn as much financial and political capital as quickly as possible. The cognitive dissonance makes me want to throw up. It's a national race to the bottom now on all fronts now, and honestly, Bush has nothing--nothing--to lose. It's scary.
posted by bardic at 1:45 PM on April 27, 2006


[...] there are also no damn shortage of psychopaths who get a real kick out of the killing part of the job.

No kidding.
posted by 327.ca at 1:55 PM on April 27, 2006


The worst President in US history. He really is. I don't know how you would spin it that he wasn't.
posted by Nicholas West at 1:56 PM on April 27, 2006


bardic writes "Fairly far down my own list, but what I keep coming back to, is (eegads) Reagan. "

You know, Reagan is an interesting contrast, and I think one of the things that most distinguishes his administration from the current administration was his Secretary of Defense. Say what you will about Weinberger: he was a military man. A soldier, and an officer. As such, he put a great value on the lives and safety of the men and women in the American military; he used force conservatively and carefully. Now, I have no doubt that if the US faced an all-out war, he would have responded with vigor, but he never chose force unless the result was obvious and absolute (e.g. Grenada). Contrast this with the actions of the cast of lifetime civilians in the current administration and their haphazard disregard for the lives of American soldiers.

Nicholas West writes "I don't know how you would spin it that he wasn't."

Buchannan basically just let the civil war happen...
posted by mr_roboto at 2:10 PM on April 27, 2006


“...no damn shortage of psychopaths who get a real kick out of the killing part of the job.
The latter group I think will emerge as willing perpetrators of these crimes...” -posted by crowman

See the weird thing crowman, I’d place myself in the “psychopath” column. Some people do enjoy a righteous kill. Mattis is apparently one too.
I understand there are surgeons who enjoy cutting people and the tactile feel of viscera. This can all be put to productive uses.
I have no problem killing an enemy and enjoying it.
But I can see no situation where I would torture someone much less enjoy it (personal situations and extreme mental states or illness aside of course).

I don’t see the two as analogous perspectives.

I would say a torturer is more akin to someone who enjoys rape rather than killing or murder.

Not all forms of violence are equal to each other. Some is about power and self-perception or identity.

Just taking issue with a nuance in your point, the overall point itself - that there are plenty of sadists/power freaks/persons of that type in the military, I’d agree to.

People like that should either have had that drilled out of them or they should be weeded out and not trained.
But that’s ‘should’.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:27 PM on April 27, 2006


"The worst President in US history. He really is. I don't know how you would spin it that he wasn't."

He wasn't. And isn't. One of the better ones, I think.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:30 PM on April 27, 2006


"There are untold numbers of honest, hard working decent people in the ranks but there are also no damn shortage of psychopaths who get a real kick out of the killing part of the job."

Yes, and only the psychopaths support the war, right? Nice truism.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:31 PM on April 27, 2006


"He wasn't. And isn't. One of the better ones, I think."

What's interesting about George Bush is that he actually does things. Quickly. And you can see them happen. That's very different than the average politician who talks for years and nothing ever happens.

However, what he does is so dangerous and screwy and illegal that the only conclusion you can come to is that he is a partially insane loose cannon that needs to be made to step away from the directive-signing pen.
posted by Nicholas West at 2:38 PM on April 27, 2006


Well put mr_roboto. Reminds of me anecdotes regarding Reagan's delusional moments when he would tell people how he'd been personally involved in the liberation of death-camps. I mean, he was a loon, but he honestly admired military men.

IMO, Bush and Cheney and many of their buddies look at those who serve and/or have served as suckers whose parents weren't rich enough to get them deferments. I honestly, honestly believe this. Which is pretty sick of me I guess, but I can't help it.
posted by bardic at 2:45 PM on April 27, 2006


Yes, and only the psychopaths support the war, right? Nice truism.

Didn't say or imply that. Put your logic dictionary away and read again.

Only said certain nutbars accepted by the military get thrills via violence and this is surely a big part of the problem.
posted by crowman at 2:49 PM on April 27, 2006


ParisParamus writes "One of the better ones, I think."

And a million flowers bloom in the desert....
posted by mr_roboto at 2:50 PM on April 27, 2006


"He wasn't and isn't one of the better ones, I think."

There, fixed that right up for ya. Minor punctuation and capitalization issues, really.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:51 PM on April 27, 2006


If Bush is one of the best Presidents, then there has to be some accomplishment you could point to that was of benefit to most Americans.... right?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:59 PM on April 27, 2006


I'd just accept some accomplishment, if you could point one out.
posted by Raoul.Duke at 3:04 PM on April 27, 2006


No, you have to mention "of benefit to most Americans" when you talk to the fanatics, or they'll go on about how Bush's great accomplishment has been to destroy the liberals.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:07 PM on April 27, 2006


tax cuts! that benefitted all of us! i bought a new cardboard box to live in with my refund!
posted by wakko at 3:11 PM on April 27, 2006


Does it not nauseate you that the government's "solution" to the gas problem is to pass a bill to pay all Americans $100 for gas?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:18 PM on April 27, 2006


Cardboard box? Luxury. I live in New York and for my $100, I could only get a position under the seat in a Porto-San...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:18 PM on April 27, 2006


Well, Paris -- if we don't get a response from you we'll just have to mention it the next time you post.

Sorry to put your feet to the fire, but as a Severely Disruptive Influence I think it's important to keep you as honest as possible.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:26 PM on April 27, 2006


How could any president make up for not preventing the deaths of 3,000 civilians on 9/11?

Short of planting trees that grow money, not much.
posted by bardic at 3:28 PM on April 27, 2006


Oh, if Bush committed ritual suicide after admitting his responsibility and incriminating the rest of his staff, I'd be willing to forgive him in a moment!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:37 PM on April 27, 2006


You know, this discussion did bring about an interesting thought..

Despite his utter incompetence, he has accomplished one thing: Bush has somehow managed, through various methods of instilling fear, to tie a string to this country and toy with it like a puppet. The average Joe is but a consciousness dominated by this fear, and when confronted with the realities of today, can only manage to sputter the words of Dubbya's last speech...
posted by Raoul.Duke at 3:41 PM on April 27, 2006


Personally I find the idea that we could save costs by not investigating such allegations extremely offensive.

Dude, we have to save our tax dollars for the important investigations, like the seven-year Whitewater investigation that cost $70 million, not trivial matters like starting a war under false pretense or breaking silly wiretapping laws.


I feel forced towards the view that the torture was not just the work of a few bad apples.

Of course it wasn't. In late 2002 Rumsfeld was directly involved in establishing the interrogation procedures that led to the abuse at Guantanamo. Rumsfeld communicated weekly with Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who took command at Guantanamo Bay in November 2002. Fourteeen prisoners at Guantanamo tried to kill themselves between January and March 2003. Miller went to Iraq in August 2003 to Gitmoize the detention operation. As Seymour Hersh reported, the abuse at Abu Ghraib took place between October and December of 2003. Slate did a chain of command chart from President Bush down to the soldiers who abused the prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:41 PM on April 27, 2006


"If Bush is one of the best Presidents, then there has to be some accomplishment you could point to that was of benefit to most Americans.... right?"

Not necessarily, or obviously. First, he isn't a dictator (despite what you read here on Metafilter). Second, Ask the same question for as many other Presidents as you would like.

Third: I think the Iraq War is an accomplishment, as is dealing with the Taliban, as is generally marshalling a foreign policy that is putting major pressure on other parts of the Mideast. Bolton at the UN is also a great, courageous act. Domestically, the tax cuts have been very good for the economy.

Beyond that? I'm not sure what you are expecting from a President of the United States. Yes, too much pandering to big business and the energy sector, and demerits on environmental policy.

But overall, a good-very good presidency given that we are at war.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:42 PM on April 27, 2006


PS: how many of your complaints about President Bush are as well directed, or better directed at your feckless Democrat Senators and Representatives, and/or state elected officials? It's just that, with a Republican in office, there's no disincentive to blame the President; remeber: there was a whole lot of Democratic support for the Iraq War. And John Kerry was yelling with all his politcal might about Iraqi WMDs--until he decided to run from President.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:55 PM on April 27, 2006


"You know, this discussion did bring about an interesting thought..

Despite his utter incompetence, he has accomplished one thing: Bush has somehow managed, through various methods of instilling fear, to tie a string to this country and toy with it like a puppet. The average Joe is but a consciousness dominated by this fear, and when confronted with the realities of today, can only manage to sputter the words of Dubbya's last speech...
posted by Raoul.Duke at 6:41 PM EST on April 27 [!][↑] Other comments (4/4): « ·"

Sounds paranoid delusional to me...
posted by ParisParamus at 3:58 PM on April 27, 2006


But overall, a good-very good presidency given that we are at war.

Ahh.. of course.. the war he deemed necessary?

I would concede that removing Saddam from power was an accomplishment, but considering the sheer amount of resources it took (is taking/will take), and considering the very, very questionable aims of the war itself, I can hardly admit it an accomplishment.

And, beyond that, I expect a president of the United States to uphold the presidential oath.. Unless that's too much to ask for.
posted by Raoul.Duke at 3:59 PM on April 27, 2006


PP, do you think that after you pass away they'll avoid burying to avoid creating a crack-induced ecological disaster?

Ok, I'm a little offside saying this, I admit.

But seriously: are you on medication that makes you exceptionally gullible? You say Bush has done "too much pandering to big business and the energy sector, and [he gets] demerits on environmental policy"...you think those domestic issues affecting millions upon millions of Americans aren't just a little more important than tossing a non-threat like Saddam out on his ass?

I'm ordinarily not one of the psycho-left ranters on this board. I'm a "Canadian conservative" who voted for the Can. federal conservatives, and the BC Liberals (who are not 'liberal'), and I'm left reading your posts, shaking my head, and wondering if you are just doing some (effective) (kinda loony) trolling on MeFi or you actually believe the foolishness you spout.

Perhaps not the worst President ever. Perhaps not in the bottom 5. But not anywhere near the top 10.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:01 PM on April 27, 2006


First, he isn't a dictator (despite what you read here on Metafilter).

This administration has claimed that Presidential authority 'in a time of war' is unlimited. He has issued 'signing statements' that Congress has no ability to limit his behavior. How is this functionally different from dictatorship?

I think the Iraq War is an accomplishment

Just what, exactly, do you think it has accomplished? I don't think you'd like to hear my list.

as is generally marshalling a foreign policy that is putting major pressure on other parts of the Mideast

So, just exactly what has that accomplished? In real terms? Iran is now pushing hard for nuclear technology, possibly weapons, when they weren't doing that before. It doesn't look to me that this 'pressure' is doing much good. Syria may have eased up marginally, but I'd say trading a less-belligerent Syria for a nuclear-armed Iraq would be a very poor bargain.

Bolton at the UN is also a great, courageous act.

*snort* Like anyone's going to pay attention to him, when the Republican Congress couldn't even stomach him, and with the President's approval ratings in the mid-30s. Right. He obviously speaks for America. They'll pay very close attention to what he thinks.

Domestically, the tax cuts have been very good for the economy.

The only thing propping up the economy has been the massive bubbles in housing and debt, propped up by constant money injection by the Fed. It looks like the housing ATM is drying up, and I think in a year, you're not going to be quite so sanguine.

It's just been more of the same stuff we started under Slick Willie.... the equivalent of methamphetamine to stimulate personal productivity. It works very well for awhile, possibly a long while, if you were very healthy when you started.
posted by Malor at 4:06 PM on April 27, 2006


"I think in a year, you're not going to be quite so sanguine."

"It's just been more of the same stuff we started under Slick Willie.... the equivalent of methamphetamine to stimulate personal productivity. It works very well for awhile, possibly a long while, if you were very healthy when you started."

So, lets see. How many times has the US economy been just about to fall into depression because of economic policies you don't like? Or conversely, when has it not been in this state? I'm still waiting to be taken over by the more non-primitive Europe, socialism, Japan, et cetera, et cetera. Are you one of the geniuses who thinks that foreign investment in the US, including the purchase of tresury bills and notes is a bad thing?

Good luck with your delusions of imminent economic depression.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:15 PM on April 27, 2006


Second, Ask the same question for as many other Presidents as you would like

I do, and have, especially when I was teaching US history. Off the top of my head in chronological order:

Teddy Roosevelt: arguably established environmentalism in the US, brutally put-down Caribbean and Central American movements that didn't want to play ball with the US but managed to put America on the map as a global power comparable with any European one.

Woodrow Wilson: again, a mixed legacy hampered by someone who suffered from perhaps too much cerebrality, but created the template for a world forum in which to peacefully diffuse potential wars, saw America as having a stake in global matters
got a chec
FDR: do I even have to bother? Yes he had flaws (packing the SCOTUS), but victory in two theaters of war, implementing policies that got the US out of the Great Depression, serving as a genial figurehead Americans could rally around during two great crises ("fireside chats"), an amazing wife

Eisenhower: stood tall to Soviet aggression, not a huge fan of Civil Rights movement but didn't cave to pressure from his party to go backwards (Little Rock), warned famously of the "military industrial complex"

JFK: actually, he should take the piss a lot more often than he does (his approval never dropped below 50%, even with a disaster like the Bay of Pigs). If raw charisma is an ingredient for presidential greatness, he and Clinton would win hands-down, although they shouldn't IMHO

LBJ: tough one. Great Society programs, like Eisenhower not a true friend of blacks but didn't backslide on Civil Rights when it would have been the easy thing to do.

Nixon (yes, Nixon): again, didn't stifle growing rights for blacks, created the EPA

Reagan: end of the Soviet Union, but gets far too much credit for helping the economy--he did, but by raising taxes

Bush I: sensible foreign policy, Iraq I, fall of the Berlin Wall

Clinton: insane economic growth, more Americans investing their own money into stock market, rise of "new economy," sound intervention in Yugoslavia, not so much in Somalia though

Bush II?: 9/11 happened, no one lost their job although 3,000 lost their lives. Erosion, if not disappearance of American foreign policy clout. Squandered a huge budget surplus. Lowest approval rating since Nixon threatened with impeachment. My children and their children will be paying off the Iraq war for decades. Iran becomes a nuclear power and central player in middle east thanks to the support of a pro-Iran, pro-Shia Iraq. No progress on de-militarizing and/or de-nuking the Korean Peninsula. Multiple members of his cabinet under indictment and/or threat of indictment. Illegal warrantless wire-tapping of American citizens, cancelling their 4th amendment rights.

Oh, but I got a check for $300. Yay! Bush II is greatest preznit evar!

Paris, were you saying something?
posted by bardic at 4:26 PM on April 27, 2006


The thing about your delusional statements, PP, is that you never even attempt to back them up with anything vaguely resembling facts. You think that repeating lies over and over will simply make them true, that emotion is somehow a replacement for logic.

It goes to show that even relatively intelligent people (like yourself - I've seen postings of yours where it's clear that you're not a moron), can convince themselves of the morality of the most heinous, vile shit. The German people, through fear and intimidation, convinced themselves that Hitler was somehow good for the future of Germany, and allowed insanely terrible things to happen without raising a serious objection, until it was too late.

You are one of those Germans, PP, and the neo-fascists rely on you and your ilk to prop up their immoral, destructive behaviour. You won't accept facts, you don't need them, you have your feelings. And your bank account.

But one day you'll realize what you've done - or more appropriately stated, not done - but it will be too late for you. And all of us.

Sleep tight, PP.
posted by dbiedny at 4:39 PM on April 27, 2006


So, yeah, how's the derail going?

Well done!
posted by disclaimer at 4:40 PM on April 27, 2006


What I don't understand is how all of this could've been going on, for so long, and be so widespread, without any coverage whatsoever.
posted by wakko at 12:57 PM PST on April 27 [!]


You seem to be laboring under the illusion that the media somehow has the job to provide coverage critical of government.

Media has to make a profit to satisify shareholders.
If any one media outlet does not "play ball", the government can use labor laws, tax laws, environmental laws, building codes, remvoe access of reporters and I'm sure other menthods to convince said media outlet to not do such in the future.

Given the above sets of forces, why would a media outlet not "play ball"?


Good luck with your delusions of imminent economic depression.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:15 PM PST on April 27 [!]


Yes, not 'imminent' but such will come if the world doesn't use US Dollars for oil, or China and others start dumping the US Dollar reserves they have.


My children and their children will be paying off the Iraq war for decades.......Paris, were you saying something?

In the past ParisParamus was claiming that sticking the kids with the bills didn't matter.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:40 PM on April 27, 2006


"Third: I think the Iraq War is an accomplishment"

Um. A trillion pissed away.... a hundred thousand dead... and no end in sight... this is a bad accomplishment. How has it helped a single American?

"as is dealing with the Taliban"

Ah yes, our other war... billions pissed away, tens of thousands dead, no end in sight... but most important... where's Bin Laden? How has this helped a single American?

"as is generally marshalling a foreign policy that is putting major pressure on other parts of the Mideast."

Um, the results have been extremely poor. We have the election of Hamas; we have the election of strongly anti-American people in Iran; we have the Iranian nuclear build-up, at a time when the United States cannot afford to fight a third war.

How has this helped one, solitary American?

"Bolton at the UN is also a great, courageous act."

No, I said, "beneficial" not "foolhardy".

How has this helped one American?


"Domestically, the tax cuts have been very good for the economy."

Right, they've totally counteracted the effect of the $3 gallon of gas!


So you really think that people will look back at Bush and say, "Wow, he put that Bolton guy into the UN! He gave us back $300 each in taxes! What a great President!" and never remember losing the WTC, losing New Orleans, losing Iraq (and wiretapping, Enron, etc)?

Do you really believe that?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:43 PM on April 27, 2006


(Not that PP is capable of providing non-LGF supporting links, but ya know, invading Afghanistan was a good idea IMO. Problem is, Bush II is fucking that up as well--just ask any (pleasantly surprised) heroin junkie.)
posted by bardic at 4:43 PM on April 27, 2006


(Or ObL, as lupus points out.)
posted by bardic at 4:44 PM on April 27, 2006


So, yeah, how's the derail going?

Not bad.. but..it's eeeerily similar to a group of reasonable conversants trying to get the fool to shut up.
posted by Raoul.Duke at 4:48 PM on April 27, 2006


Invading Afghanistan might have been a good idea. The wholesale slaughter of the pathetic Afghanis (who've been a political football for over a century) was not.

We weren't able to get Bin Laden, nor to stabilize the country so we could leave, nor get control of the heroin trade, nor stamp out the Taliban, so that we're still there five years later with Americans dying and our tax dollars going up in smoke...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:49 PM on April 27, 2006


But overall, a good-very good presidency given that we are at war.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:42 PM PST on April 27 [!]


Given you are claiming a 'war' status, can you be so kind as to point me to the actual declaration of War that the Congress drew up and passed for the 'war' you claim?

The Constitution has a process for declaring a war. Perhaps the Constitution is just a god-damn piece of paper, and going through the process to declare a war doesn't matter?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:00 PM on April 27, 2006


It's not an accident that Bin Laden has not been "gotten". It's not a failure of our forces. Matter of fact, it would not surprise me in the slightest if "we" knew exactly where he is.

No, Bin Laden is the bogey man necessary to maintain the rationale for the ongoing "war on terror". If we captured him then we'd be expected to pack up our toys and go home. We captured Saddam real quick didn't we? (and he had far more resources available to him to keep him hidden and moving). That's 'cause Americans were not frightened of Saddam in the first place, so he was of no use to this administration

No, we could have captured Bin Laden years ago. Our administration made the decision (it has Cheney written all over it) not to do it. On purpose. So Bin Laden could continue to frighten imbecilic Americans and we could push on with the "war on terror".
posted by Nicholas West at 5:11 PM on April 27, 2006


Tangent...

"I will leave it to the reader to decide if the greatest threat is Osama bin Laden or the Open Borders Lobby."
posted by jaronson at 5:23 PM on April 27, 2006


Moscow Times has a related article, It reads like that Aristocrats joke,
The plan is the culmination and codification of an ad hoc array of progams and powers that Bush has doled out to Rumsfeld over the years, including a series of executive orders signed after the 2004 election that essentially turned the world into a "global free-fire zone" for the Pentagon's secret armies and proxy foreign militias, as a top Pentagon official told The New Yorker. "We're going to be riding with the bad boys," another Bush insider said. Yet another courtier compared it to the glory days of the Reagan-Bush years: "Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador? We founded them and we financed them. The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren't going to tell Congress about it." The overriding ethos of the plan is brutally simple: "The rules are, 'Grab whom you must. Do what you want,'" an intelligence official told The New Yorker.
posted by hortense at 6:41 PM on April 27, 2006


I am disturbed that I am no longer in the slightest bit surprised, shocked, or outraged by these allegations, but just see torture as a natural & normal part of the way that America does business.

In fact, torture - in itself - is relatively palatable in comparison with the overall system of "illegal combatants" held indefinitely in legal limbo, extraordinary renditions, kidnappings, black sites, disappearances...

Disclaimer: that disappearances bit was extrapolated, but I can see absolutely no reason to assume or believe that they don't happen.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:52 PM on April 27, 2006


The ACLU just released a report, Enduring Abuse: Torture and Cruel Treatment by the United States at Home and Abroad, that "reveal a systemic and pervasive pattern of torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody." They also released a searchable database of the documents they've received via the Freedom of Information Act.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:54 PM on April 27, 2006


"A rule-based international society" may seem a lackluster phrase, but it describes, for those who wish organized life on this planet to survive in a decent form, the most important of all the long-term international objectives mankind can have. That international law has already been formulated to deal with a wide range of human activities is one of the great, if often unappreciated, achievements of the years since World War II. Yet the obstacles to its being effective are enormous. We all know that international law is often challenged by the caprices and diverging interests of national politics and that it still lacks the authority of national law. With a few important exceptions, international law remains unenforceable; when it collides with the sovereign interests or the ambitions of states, it is often ignored or rejected. It is still far from being the respected foundation of a reliable international system.

In the first years of the new millennium, and especially after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the development of international law has encountered an unexpected and formidable obstacle—the ideological opposition of the Bush administration, both to vital treaties and to international institutions. This attitude culminated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq without the specific authorization of the UN Security Council, and without allowing UN inspectors to complete their work. Prisoners captured by the US were denied the protection of the Geneva Conventions and were often treated brutally. It is therefore no surprise that the three very different books under review all end by deploring the United States' war for regime change in Iraq and the illegal abuses that have accompanied it...

Sands is particularly good at picking, from an amazing wealth of material, quotations that capture the eerie atmosphere of the Bush administration in the midst of a war of choice and an unprecedented assault on international law. On the Guantánamo inmates, for example, he quotes Cheney as saying, "They're living in the tropics. They're well fed. They've got everything they could possibly want."
From The Outlaw World, a review of Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules from FDR's Atlantic Charter to George W. Bush's Illegal War by Philippe Sands, War Law: Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict by Michael Byers and Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer.
posted by y2karl at 7:30 PM on April 27, 2006


jaronson- That's truly scary. I'll get around to being afraid of immigrants right after I'm done being afraid of ecoterrorists with FAX machines.
posted by swell at 7:57 PM on April 27, 2006


Consider this.

From an institutional standpoint...Career professionals at CIA do not want torture, the NSA and FISA court do not want warrantless wiretapping, the FBI does not want to bury investigations into terror cells, the EPA does not want relaxed standards, NASA does not want to sugarcoat or delete the SCIENCE on global warming, the CDC does not want to rely on abstinence only policies to stem the tide of AIDS, the Comptroller does not want Bush's tax cuts, the State Department does not want Defense to be the face of American diplomacy, the Generals do not want to continue the farce in Iraq...

Only Bush and Cheney, and their sick cabal want these things. The agencies don't. The people don't, either.

That should tell you something. When Cheney lobbied Congress to allow torture...the CIA said they didn't want it!

You know what all those policies have in common? They don't work. The career professionals at each of these agencies whom you trained with your tax dollars, know that these policies are ineffective at best and suicidal at worst.

Waist deep in the big muddy and all that.
posted by edverb at 8:01 PM on April 27, 2006


U.S.: More Than 600 Implicated in Detainee Abuse

Well, hell. Hard to believe the 101st Fighting Keyboarding C-Hawks were wrong about all the prisoner abuse just being done by "a few bad apples".

'Course, those geniuses haven't been right about anything regarding Iraq, as more than a few of us have been trying to warn for years.

Violence corrupts. Absolutely. It corrupts whether you're packing your favorite box cutters for your next flight, manufacturing your latest roadside IDE, or merely shining up the brass and aligning the ribbon-trinkets on your U.S. of A-est class A boy scout outfit.

It goes without saying our current leaders are cretins. But a certain segment of our society glorifies the tool-like errand-kinder we call "soldiers" -- when they should be pitied at best.

Hooah.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:26 PM on April 27, 2006


merely shining up the brass and aligning the ribbon-trinkets on your U.S. of A-est class A boy scout outfit.

What's wrong with Boy Scouts?

And I should be pitied, Fold_and_mutilate?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:02 PM on April 27, 2006


"I am disturbed that I am no longer in the slightest bit surprised, shocked, or outraged by these allegations, but just see torture as a natural & normal part of the way that America does business."

LOL!
posted by ParisParamus at 9:11 PM on April 27, 2006


So it's come to this. Some people are so jealous and unable to deal with the greatness and power of the United States that they attempt to negate such by attributing it all to torture--EXCELLENT.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:17 PM on April 27, 2006


So, Paris... does abusing prisoners contribute to the greatness of the United States?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:45 PM on April 27, 2006


No, but taking prisoners does.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:47 PM on April 27, 2006


So we agree that abusing prisoners is bad.

From the article:

The vast majority of the courts-martial cases detailed here (95 percent) involved enlisted personnel, not officers.

Under the doctrine of command responsibility, a long-recognized principle of U.S. domestic and international law, commanders can be held criminally liable as principals for the criminal acts of their subordinates, if they knew or should have known about criminal activity, but did not take steps to prevent it or to punish the perpetrators. For example, if prosecutors demonstrate that commanders knew their troops were committing abuses, but failed to stop them, the commanders can be charged as though they committed the crimes themselves.

Not a single U.S. military officer serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Guantánamo Bay has been criminally charged under the doctrine of command responsibility for detainee abuses committed by his or her subordinates. The DAA Project found no evidence that the military has even sought to prosecute officers under the doctrine of command responsibility.


Paris, do you think that U.S. Military Officers who condoned abusing prisoners should be criminally charged?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:58 PM on April 27, 2006


So it's come to this. Some people are so jealous and unable to deal with the greatness and power of the United States that they attempt to negate such by attributing it all to torture--EXCELLENT.

If there are still any doubts that PP is anything less than a master troll, this should set them to rest. Hell, he should probably get a medal.
posted by homunculus at 11:14 PM on April 27, 2006


Why is he still posting here? Why is he still allowed to post here? It's not like Matt et al have some vaunted free speech principle that's inviolable- after all, the mods delete comments all the time.
posted by hincandenza at 11:53 PM on April 27, 2006


thanks for the post, y2karl

and thanks for the cleanup, matt/jessamyn
posted by matteo at 12:43 AM on April 28, 2006


thanks for the post!!!
posted by xammerboy at 1:53 AM on April 28, 2006


Why is he still posting here? Why is he still allowed to post here? It's not like Matt et al have some vaunted free speech principle that's inviolable- after all, the mods delete comments all the time.

I have asked myself this question many times, and my current favorite theory is that he is known to mathowie in real life, and that there would be some unpleasant real-life consequence to follow from flicking the ParisParamus booger off from MetaFilter's finger into the wastebasket of permaban by IP. Perhaps he is a retarded cousin, and Matt will be cut from Grandma's will, if failure to indulge PP comes to her attention.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:58 AM on April 28, 2006


To get somewhat MeTa here, if PP is such a huge troll, why does everyone run after the bait? 3/4 of this thread are responses to his comments. If you acknowledge he's a troll, why do you even point it out? Aren't you suppose to just roll with thread, ignoring him and not responding to anything in his comments?

And as for PP, yeah, I find his opinions rather far-fetched. Certainly, I have very little common ground (if any) policy-wise, and I feel that he logic and argumentative skills leave something to be desired (at least in the online realm which is all we have to work with), but he performs an issue of balance here. What would this thread be if everyone agreed about how to take it? Even ill-advised opinions are necessary for making this site more than an intellectual whack-shack.

To clarify, torture bad, m'kay. Better to lose with honor than win dirty. Most DO know this, most people don't like hurting unarmed people, and even those that like to fight (people are allowed to take some pleasure from their jobs) should not enjoy inflicting pain.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:00 AM on April 28, 2006


Report Says Iraq Becoming Terrorist Safe Haven

feeling any safer yet?
posted by caddis at 4:55 AM on April 28, 2006


You (some of you) just can't handle opinions that deviate from your own. Why do my opinions bother you so much? I don't think the Bush Administration is half-bad; I don't think the Iraq War is going poorly, especially considering the scope of what we are trying to do. I do think torture and abuse is an aberration.

There, said it all again.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:31 AM on April 28, 2006


Paris, do you think that U.S. Military Officers who condoned abusing prisoners should be criminally charged?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:58 AM on April 28, 2006


YES.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:30 AM on April 28, 2006


Also, DUH.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:49 AM on April 28, 2006


The United States is at a fateful crossroads, both in its relations with the international community and in the relationship between its own executive and judicial branches. In its aggressive defense of presidential prerogatives over “unlawful combatants,” exemplified by its handling of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the hundreds of habeas corpus cases in federal courts, the Bush White House seeks to exempt its actions from any judicial oversight. And just last February, the actions of our executive branch have earned an unprecedented rebuke from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who called for the closure of Guantanamo.

In the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib scandal, the White House has defended torture as a presidential prerogative and blocked reform efforts. By contrast, a loose coalition of civil-liberties lawyers and human rights groups has mobilized to stop the abuse. In June 2004 the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case, Rasul v. Bush, that Guantanamo detainees were, in fact, on territory leased to the United States and thus deserved access to U.S. courts. Leading U.S. law firms responded by filing 160 habeas corpus cases for 300 detainees.

Since 9/11, the White House and its media allies have shaped the debate over detainees as a false choice between tortured intelligence and no intelligence at all. Yet there are, in fact, alternatives to torture such as an approach we might call empathetic interrogation—first used by the U.S. Marine Corps to extract accurate intelligence from Japanese prisoners during World War II and practiced by the FBI with great success in the decades since. After the East Africa bombings of U.S. embassies in 1998, for example, the FBI employed this method to gain some of our best intelligence on Al Qaeda and won convictions of all the accused in U.S. courts.

For the human rights community, the first steps to reform are surprisingly simple: call upon our legislators to heed Kofi Anan’s call for closure of Guantanamo and transfer the detainees to the US courts for trial. More ambitiously, the human rights community can press Congress to amend the Detainee Treatment Act 2005, banning torture without reservations, loopholes, or qualifications. Yet even if we close Guantanmo and prohibit abuse by U.S. authorities, the CIA can still elude the force of this prohibition, as it has done so often over the past 40 years, by outsourcing torture to foreign allies like Morocco, Egypt, or Uzbekistan. For real reform, Congress must close the ultimate loophole: the rendition of detainees to foreign security services that torture systematically and savagely.
Invisible in Plain Sight: CIA Torture Techniques Go Mainstream
posted by y2karl at 7:17 AM on April 28, 2006


I don't think the Iraq War is going poorly, especially considering the scope of what we are trying to do.

Yeah, 'cause there still might be some WMDs in that there country.
posted by NationalKato at 8:01 AM on April 28, 2006


Paris, thank you for answering my question.

I agree with you. The leaders who sit by and allow torture and prisoner abuse to continue should be criminally prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

y2karl: nice post. Informative as always.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:24 AM on April 28, 2006


Yeah, 'cause there still might be some WMDs in that there country.

No, silly. We are building a shining beacon of democracy in Iraq, one that will allow its people to elect the repressive religious theocracy they've always desired. Oh, and wreck vengence upon a few Sunnis and Kurds, too.

Things are progressing quite well, as Paris stated.
posted by solipse at 9:27 AM on April 28, 2006


ParisParamus: You (some of you) just can't handle opinions that deviate from your own. Why do my opinions bother you so much?

Because you do not appear to have "opinions" as such. You make extremely short and extremely vicious remarks to disrupt debate and annoy MetaFilter members. These aren't opinions, they're the written equivalent of farting. You are not "balance" for our political bias, you are a nuisance. It is clear that what passes for your mind is well-frozen into a memorized set of prejudices that represent grotesque economic and historical naivety added to a major hard-on for the callous and brutal use of state power. This makes you nothing more than a dirty little freeper, one of many, showing all their posting habits, and you have not improved one bit in the years you have infested this site. You are MetaFilter's freeper, and we do not want one.

To put it another way, you cannot be engaged with as one would an intelligent debater. At the end of a proper debate, such as is found many times on MetaFilter, especially in threads which escape your spoilage, opponents part more enlightened, having given each other ideas and fresh points of view. You, on the other hand, are a intellectual write-off. Discussion with you ends in frustration and despair at your idiot malice, or (as in my case) intense anger at you, hatred of you, and a strong desire to see you gone from the website and preferably suffer great harm as well.

In the course of any discussion you have a simple pattern: you indulge in self-congratulatory snickering, you bring up pointless nonsense, you make some stupid pro-Bush statement with nothing to back it up (usually in the middle of plenty of argument that tears it down), or else as above you crap out some whining bullshit about how we're all so "unfair" to you and can't tolerate "dissent". You don't rate as dissent, PP. You're not smart enough to come up with dissent yourself, you're not diligent enough to research any dissent from others, you're too impatient to post anything long enough to display a chain of thought, and even if you could do these things, you're not honest enough to analyze your arguments for consistency and address your errors.

For someone with such a hate for "liberals" you show a mile-wide streak of the peculiar vice of a liberal society: the mistaken idea that any god-damned fool is entitled to blurt out his opinion, and may keep on blurting it out despite rational argument and good evidence. You don't have a shred of intellectual integrity, which is the responsibility that comes with the "freedom of speech" you so widely abuse.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 9:29 AM on April 28, 2006


allegations implicating more than 600 U.S. military and civilian personnel and involving more than 460 detainees.

On the other hand, check out that superb torturer to detainee ration, less than two detainees per torturer. It really spotlights the kind of "high touch not high tech" approach that sets this administration apart, you know what I mean? So personal.

So, all these things, I can't keep it straight anymore: at this point am I supposed to shit? Or go blind?
posted by nanojath at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2006


“And I should be pitied, Fold_and_mutilate?” -posted by Lord Chancellor

Ever notice the “soldiers bad” crowd tends to paint all forms of violence with the same brush and then runs out of the debate?

There are certain people I’d take that from. Amish folks or Quakers for example who have a deep belief in pacifism at all costs. That, I at least, can respect.

I stated plainly: I enjoy killing. But it was PP that got all the attention.
At some level most folks must realize that not all forms of violence are the same and soldiering - while an odious task we can all agree (‘Ill omen’ and all that), is not the moral equivalent of Torquemada’s work.

I agree with Thoreau that troops are tools of tools. But that is the sacrifice. For that at least some measure of respect is warrented. How service members comport themselves can certainly eliminate that measure of respect.

But until enough people’s force of conviction becomes strong enough to make the same sacrifices for pacifism, warfighters will be necessary.

Believe me, I’d rather have it that way. I’d rather not have my brothers die in combat.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:46 AM on April 28, 2006


"aeschenkarnos" The bottom line is that there aren't enough people here who aren't Bush Haters to have a serious dialog on the subject (at least not very often). So about the most I can do is state that I disagree. Saying so has value in itself.

And don't give me the "you don't site any facts" BS. That's BS. The bottom line is that I believe several thousand US soldier deaths are worth keeping the world out of the hands of Islamic monsters.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:07 AM on April 28, 2006


ParisParamus writes "The bottom line is that I believe several thousand US soldier deaths [although certainly not my own] are worth keeping the world out of the hands of Islamic monsters."

There, fixed that for you.
posted by Fezboy! at 10:20 AM on April 28, 2006


The bottom line is that I believe several thousand US soldier deaths are worth keeping the world out of the hands of Islamic monsters.

God will punish your hatred.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2006



“The bottom line is that there aren't enough people here who aren't Bush Haters to have a serious dialog on the subject”

What’s one thing have to do with the other? If Teddy Rooseveldt were doing this I’d be putting my boot in his ass.
If Abraham Lincoln did this I’d pick up a broadsword and kick his ass in a pit.
I’d saw my own goddamned leg off for my brother if he asked me to, but if he were perpetrating this, I’d want it stopped.

Loving or hating a particular individual has nothing to do with what is morally upright and honorable behavior.

You can say that perhaps some of the arguments are facile, or knee jerk in favor of or opposed to whatever, but that’s true anywhere on the net on any subject.

There is no reason to be deliberately contrary simply because you are not politically aligned with someone on another topic.
The Iraq war might be swell or it might be crummy, but that has nothing to do with whether or not we are torturing prisoners.
Which, if it is true, makes US the monsters.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the Abyss, the Abyss gazes also into you.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 AM on April 28, 2006


More Nietzsche: One loves ultimately one's desires, not the thing desired.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:26 AM on April 28, 2006


y2karl, nice post. What bothers me most about this is what all that money could have gone to. I imagine we could have made the entire country energy independent for that amount. No more oil wars needed, ever.

Even PP gives Bush "demerits on environmental policy." Too bad the environment is like, the foundation of life itself.
posted by salvia at 11:38 AM on April 28, 2006


It's not what bothers me most, sorry. Forgot the original post while reading the argument about Bush. The detainee abuse and people killed are much worse than wasted money.
posted by salvia at 11:40 AM on April 28, 2006


"There is no reason to be deliberately contrary simply because you are not politically aligned with someone on another topic."

But who said I am doing this? I am not being contrarian.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:50 AM on April 28, 2006


Are too.
posted by Floydd at 12:20 PM on April 28, 2006


“But who said I am doing this? I am not being contrarian.”

I said you are doing this. And I didn’t say you were being a contrarian.

ParisParamus either you are deliberately insulting my intellect or you have no perception of conversation. Either way, it’s both ultimately disruptive and insulting.
Your first two posts concern Bush being one of the better presidents and arguing through sarcasm that only psychopaths support the war, your next one concerned Bush again, the Iraq war and tax cuts, the next a sarcastic rebuttle to a Bush comment, the next concerned the economy, the next was an LOL at something that concerned the topic at hand - and so forth. The pattern is obvious.

The topic you are arguing has nothing to do with the topic at hand. You are either deliberately or through sheer stupidity misreading other comments and asserting your own broader topic.

In essence - you are not arguing the point.
You aren’t being a contrarian, it is exactly that you are not taking up a contrary position on the topic at hand that is the problem.
You’ve conceded that officers who condoned torture should be criminally charged - if that is the case the argument isn’t that Bush is bad or good on the environment or whether he is a bad or good president but whether his administration is culpable.

You yourself brought up the issue of Bush being good or bad or whatever and later you argue that it’s impossible to have a serious dialog on the subject because so many people don’t like him.
Well, the subject isn’t Bush or whether people like him. The only connection Bush has to this topic is whether he and/or people in his administration had anything to do with torture in this case.

The issue isn’t whether you believe ‘X’ number of US troops dying is worth “keeping the world out of the hands of Islamic monsters” - whatever the hell that means.

The issue is whether torture occured, if so what ends it serves or defeats, what should be done about it, and other implications.

One could infer by the “Islamic monsters” comment that you condone torture if it serves that end.

But really, I can’t see any point you are attempting to make that concerns anything beyond your own personal political agenda or disrupting discourse on metafilter for the sake of disruption because of all the people who hold beliefs contrary to yours.
And we’ve been through all that before.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:55 PM on April 28, 2006


conception, should be. ugh. Pointless anyway.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:57 PM on April 28, 2006


"Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, the former head of the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib, was charged today with cruelty and maltreatment, dereliction of duty and other criminal offenses for his alleged involvement in the abuse of detainees at the notorious prison in 2003."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 3:34 PM on April 28, 2006


..This state of unwitting confession to monstrous crime has been the default mode of the American Establishment for many years now. Government officials routinely detail policies that in a healthy atmosphere would shake the nation to its core, stand out like a gaping wound, a rank betrayal of every hope, ideal and sacrifice of generations past. Yet in the degraded sensibility of these times, such confessions go unnoticed, their evil unrecognized – or even lauded as savvy ploys or noble endeavors. Inured to moral horror by half a century of outrages committed by the "National Security" complex, the Establishment – along with the media and vast swathes of the population – can no longer discern the poison in the air they breathe. It just seems normal.

And so it was again this week when the Washington Post outlined the Pentagon's plan to put dirty war – by death squad, by snatch squad, by secret armies, subversion, torture and terrorism– at the very heart of America's military philosophy. Not defense against declared enemies, not deterrence of potential foes, but conducting "continuous" covert military operations in countries "where the United States is not at war" is now the Pentagon's "highest priority," according to the new "campaign plan for the global war on terror" issued by Donald Rumsfeld..
Hideous Kinky: Moral Nullity as Normality in Pentagon Plans
posted by y2karl at 4:41 PM on April 28, 2006


Amnesty International today made public a report detailing its concerns about torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners and detainees both in the US and in US detention sites around the world.

The report has already been sent to members of the UN Committee Against Torture, who will be examining the US compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 5 and 8 May in Geneva. The Convention against Torture prohibits the use of torture in all circumstances and requires states to take effective legal and other measures to prevent torture and to provide appropriate punishment for those who commit torture.

The US is reportedly sending a 30-strong delegation to Geneva to defend its record. In its written report to the Committee, the US government asserted its unequivocal opposition to the use or practice of torture under any circumstances -- including war or public emergency.

"Although the US government continues to assert its condemnation of torture and ill-treatment, these statements contradict what is happening in practice," said Curt Goering, Senior Deputy Executive Director Of Amnesty International USA. "The US government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish -- including by trying to narrow the definition of torture."

The Amnesty International report describes how measures taken by the US government in response to widespread torture and ill-treatment of detainees held in US military custody in the context of the "war on terror" have been far from adequate. This is despite evidence that much of the ill-treatment stemmed directly from official policy and practice.

The report reviews several cases where detainees held in US custody in Afghanistan and Iraq have died under torture. To this day, no US agent has been prosecuted for "torture" or "war crimes".
US: Government creating "climate of torture" - Amnesty International

USA: Amnesty International's supplementary briefing to the UN Committee against Torture - Amnesty International
posted by y2karl at 7:09 PM on May 3, 2006


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