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Kafka-esque doesn't do it justice. This is 'Alice in Wonderland.'
November 4, 2006 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods that their captors used to get them to talk...the government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public."

Previously: (1) (2)
posted by StopMakingSense (53 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Bush is a third world dictator born in the wrong country.
posted by delmoi at 9:47 AM on November 4, 2006


I'm glad Max Brod disregarded the wishes of his dying friend. The word "Kafkaesque," admittedly overused, applies to my country more and more.
posted by kozad at 9:50 AM on November 4, 2006


Seriously screwed up -- but also not that surprising.
posted by bhouston at 9:52 AM on November 4, 2006


Not surprising at all.

To turn around the typical arguments for the efforts he's made to curtail liberties: If you don't have anything to hide, why worry?
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:55 AM on November 4, 2006


Bush is a third world dictator born in the wrong country.

He got elected twice and has generally had the support of the senate and the house for his entire run. Doesn't sound like the wrong country to me.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:59 AM on November 4, 2006


I can't understand how a government can mandate so many secrets.
posted by furtive at 10:03 AM on November 4, 2006


The US kind of sucks.
posted by chunking express at 10:05 AM on November 4, 2006


has generally had the support of the senate and the house for his entire run

Not too hard, considering both senate and house are in republican hands... sheesh
posted by slater at 10:06 AM on November 4, 2006


He got elected twice and has generally had the support of the senate and the house for his entire run. Doesn't sound like the wrong country to me.

Yeah. "Elected".
posted by interrobang at 10:06 AM on November 4, 2006


Wait, I thought the whole point was to loosen their tongues?
posted by hermitosis at 10:10 AM on November 4, 2006


The government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public.
posted by taosbat at 10:14 AM on November 4, 2006


He got elected twice and has generally had the support of the senate and the house for his entire run. Doesn't sound like the wrong country to me.

Your right, I was confusing the American ideal I was taught in school with the actual country. I keep doing that.
posted by delmoi at 10:15 AM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


If the lawyers see them it'll be hard not to notice acid burns, cigarette marks, gouged eyes and missing fingernails.
posted by clevershark at 10:16 AM on November 4, 2006


Sarcasm filter on, folks.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:18 AM on November 4, 2006


Canned anti-Bush response #12.
posted by smackfu at 10:25 AM on November 4, 2006


Dude, 1-12, 13, 15, and 17-26! And I'm omitting 14 and 16 only because I'm not sure how to spell them.
posted by Richard Daly at 10:31 AM on November 4, 2006


Actually, it's canned anti torture response #2, with a sprinkle of of canned transparency-in-government response #15, and just a smidgen of eat shit, smackfu.
posted by interrobang at 10:32 AM on November 4, 2006 [4 favorites]


This administration is the gift that keeps on giving, at this point I'm officially a fan, for real

one can only imagine what they'll dream up in the next two years, finally unburdened by crippling middle-of-the-road electoral strategies! bring it on!
posted by matteo at 10:33 AM on November 4, 2006


(and I can't wait for Sen McCain to support this thing -- then he'll have to erase a few chapters of his own autobiography, with all that illegal talk about the "alternative interrogation methods" he witnessed in Vietnam!!!)
posted by matteo at 10:36 AM on November 4, 2006


He got elected twice ...

You should check your facts.
posted by odinsdream at 10:43 AM on November 4, 2006


i think terry gilliam pegged the next step 20 years ago: charging suspects for their interrogation.

"Don't fight it son, confess quickly. If you hold out too long, you could jeopardize your credit rating."
posted by bruceo at 10:52 AM on November 4, 2006


Before I even read the link, my guess was that they would be using the argument that if it became public how we were interrogating these prisoners, the enemy would use that knowledge to train themselves to endure it. Then I read the article and sure enough.

This is, of course, bullshit. No one is going to train themselves to endure water-boarding or electrodes to the testicles. Not that it wouldn't be possible that someone could be trained to endure that (the human body is an amazing thing), but the more I think about it, the more I'm sure that isn't why they need this stuff kept secret.

These are the prisoners that, under the new system have no rights. They aren't going to be speaking to lawyers from inside the prison walls. In fact, as long as their in our prisons, they might as well not exist.

No, the reason they don't want the detainees talking is that one day, we are going to have to release them. And those made the decisions on exactly what kind of tortures to use don't want to get sued.

If a gag-order law is put in place, no one who is released from one of these jails will be able to testify in court, this helps to ensure that the people who made the decision can't be held responsible criminally or financially.

The people who drafted this legislation live in a very litigious world and they are probably thinking about what is going to happen when the winds of power shift. The last thing they want is some former tortured prisoner, who has been found innocent and released, bringing them into court for a multi-billion dollar settlement.
posted by quin at 10:59 AM on November 4, 2006


"The last thing they want is some former tortured prisoner, who has been found innocent and released, bringing them into court for a multi-billion dollar settlement."

No. The last thing they want is for a Democrat administration to bring the USA under the jurisdiction of the UN International Court of Justice and we never see or hear of those fuckers again.

(Unlikely, I know).

/dreams
posted by Shave at 11:09 AM on November 4, 2006


If the lawyers see them it'll be hard not to notice acid burns, cigarette marks, gouged eyes and missing fingernails

or maybe he's just clumsy.
posted by arialblack at 11:20 AM on November 4, 2006


Your right, I was confusing the American ideal I was taught in school with the actual country.
posted by delmoi at 10:15 AM PST


Schools do that.

Now, where did that copy of the history paper on hte founding fathers go where the killing of the male hemp plants to grow the female ones to make rope go?

Ahh, under the copy of 'War is a racket' and the putch of Rosevelt.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:30 AM on November 4, 2006


He got elected twice ...

Or not.
posted by homunculus at 11:35 AM on November 4, 2006


clevershark: "If the lawyers see them it'll be hard not to notice acid burns, cigarette marks, gouged eyes and missing fingernails."

That's so old-fashioned...
Sleep deprivation leaves no trace except in the sanity of the victim. New high-tech weapons for "crowd control" are being designed right now; an interesting comment in that slashdot discussion:
Actually, I've had such a system (millimeter wave emitter) tested on me. I volunteered myself, as did the people in charge of the project. The thing hurts like you're being cooked alive, and stops immediately once you're out of the way, but leaves no physical trace of injury.

I work for Raytheon.
Sounds ideal for undetectable torture, don't you think?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 11:50 AM on November 4, 2006


has generally had the support of the senate and the house for his entire run

Not too hard, considering both senate and house are in republican hands... sheesh
posted by slater at 10:06 AM PST on November 4


That was kind of the point slater... sheesh
posted by Stauf at 12:28 PM on November 4, 2006


yea, bush sucks and so do we
posted by growabrain at 1:31 PM on November 4, 2006


He got elected twice and has generally had the support of the senate and the house for his entire run. Doesn't sound like the wrong country to me.

Right on doctor_negative. Them be the facts.

But a country that would elect a king twice doesn't sound like America to me.
posted by three blind mice at 2:37 PM on November 4, 2006


How low can they go.
posted by caddis at 3:13 PM on November 4, 2006


i think terry gilliam pegged the next step 20 years ago: charging suspects for their interrogation.
'Illegal non-citizens' (mostly boat people) who spend years in privately run prison camps in the middle of the Australian desert while they wait for their immigration status to be determined get charged for their detention. It's a lot of money, I think a couple of hundred dollars a day.

Needless to say they never actually pay it, but isn't the principle nice? (and if someone has a huge debt to the Commonwealth they aren't going to get back into the country legally without paying it off).
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:17 PM on November 4, 2006


The government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public.

Carrying this argument a step further, it appears that Bush & Co. are revealing important secrets to the detainees. This is treason, yes?
posted by Wet Spot at 3:24 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


So assuming that a group of Democrats somewhat resembling adults finds themselves in a position of power next Tuesday, what next? What sort of American Truth & Reconciliation Commission could ever be put together that would have some sense of legitimacy to weave the broken threads of our democracy back together?
posted by scalefree at 3:27 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


scalefree: --what next?

Judging from Watergate: next come the congressional investigations.
posted by russilwvong at 3:38 PM on November 4, 2006


What really scares, frustrates, and angers me, is approximately half of the active voters in this country are no longer interested in protecting the fundamental ideals that make this country what it was. They are now more interested in selfishly defending outmoded and ancient ideals that were the foundations of the Judeo-Christian church.

Or more specifically, modern-day bastardized misimpressions of what the Judeo-Christian theolog(ies) were at one time.

Whether the dems or the reps get the ball next quarter, it doesn't effing matter. If the reps get it, we'll still have gridlock. If the dems get it, we'll have gridlock with a buttload of investigations and hearings and committees and the threat of impeachment... pretty much what we had eight years ago only only slightly more sound legal grounds. I mean, high treason is a slightly more legitimate reason to impeach a president than lying about wick dipping.

However, again, about half the country doesn't believe that jeopardizing the security and freedom of this country by investing billions of dollars of resources into an unjust war is grounds for treason. Bush could literally single-handedly slaughter the first born of every family in this country, and the religious right would still be singing his praises.

It's really sick, when you think about it. How these poor people are brainwashed. Gotta be ready for judgement day. Gotta be able to face your maker and tell him which side of the battle you fought on.

If God really is what the religious right believes he is? I'll find a comfy hole in hell, thank you very much. I don't want to be in that particular number when those "saints" come marching in.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:42 PM on November 4, 2006


The government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public.

Carrying this argument a step further, it appears that Bush & Co. are revealing important secrets to the detainees. This is treason, yes?
posted by Wet Spot


Well, since BushCo is creating the experiences they don't want the detainees to reveal, I'm starting to think it's just Bonesmen who don't the n00bs to squawk about a little hazing.
posted by taosbat at 4:11 PM on November 4, 2006


'Illegal non-citizens' (mostly boat people) who spend years in privately run prison camps in the middle of the Australian desert while they wait for their immigration status to be determined get charged for their detention. It's a lot of money, I think a couple of hundred dollars a day.

It's a pretty common practice.
posted by delmoi at 4:17 PM on November 4, 2006


scalefree, assuming the Dems win, do what I am planning to do: write to every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to initiate impeachment hearings against George W. Bush. And get everyone you know to do the same. Perhaps it won't do any good, but at least you tried.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:43 PM on November 4, 2006


'Illegal non-citizens' (mostly boat people) who spend years in privately run prison camps in the middle of the Australian desert while they wait for their immigration status to be determined get charged for their detention. It's a lot of money, I think a couple of hundred dollars a day.

Congratulations, Australia, you just took a leaf out of the Spanish Inquisition's book!
posted by Skeptic at 5:03 PM on November 4, 2006


Skeptic writes "Congratulations, Australia, you just took a leaf out of the Spanish Inquisition's book!"

I'll bet nobody expected that!
posted by clevershark at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2006


fingers_of_fire, you need to start in the House of Representatives, not the Senate.
posted by taosbat at 5:07 PM on November 4, 2006


They never actually incur the fee. It's just a scummy little disincentive to ever try and come back to the country legally. The condition is that if they ever try to settle legitimately, then they have to pay any previous debts to the government with can add up to tens of thousands.
posted by Jenga at 5:21 PM on November 4, 2006


Well, they incur it but never actually pay. In fact, the government along with the people who voted them in would rather forgo the money if it means they never have to accept them into the country. This kind of stuff mostly only happens to boat people though. American and European backpackers who overstay their various visas never face that amount of bullshit.
posted by Jenga at 5:26 PM on November 4, 2006


the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public

Forever is a long time. Are they going to kill them? detain them all for life? Or just until the Prez publishes the details on a gov't website?
posted by Twang at 6:58 PM on November 4, 2006


If the dems take the house and senate, they could begin the process of giving these people trials that do not violate our constitution. Of course, they must pass through impeachments first.
posted by taosbat at 7:31 PM on November 4, 2006


a very relevant Inspirational Poster
posted by amberglow at 8:32 PM on November 4, 2006


taosbat, thanks for the clarification.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:47 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm from Alabama. Wanna hear a racist joke? OK, here goes: "Q: How many Birmingham cops does it take to kick a black guy down a flight of stairs? A: None. He fell."

The current administration is despicable, obscene, and setting us up to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of China, Inc. I like the USA, it's what I know. But these guys need to be swaying in the breeze.

(I am not advocating violent action against anyone for anything at anytime, please don't come take my (legally acquired and registered) guns away.)

And amberglow, your "inspirational poster" link gives me a 403 Forbidden error, which is somehow enticing.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:41 PM on November 4, 2006


And amberglow, your "inspirational poster" link gives me a 403 Forbidden error, which is somehow enticing.

Sorry--try this (it's from tbogg)
posted by amberglow at 11:01 PM on November 4, 2006


Twang wrote: Forever is a long time. Are they going to kill them?

Of course. That's why these prisons are secret. A federal supermax facility in Illinois would be hell of a lot more secure than some converted building on a foreign military base, not to mention cheaper. But these prisoners aren't going to a federal prison; they're going to a camp in Afghanistan. And the military isn't planning on staffing these camps for 50 years. Instead, these prisoners will be shot.
posted by ryanrs at 1:37 AM on November 5, 2006


I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people in the house, but on first glance, even without knowing the details of Mr Khan's imprisonment, it appears that we already could have a human rights violation on our hands: according to Wikipedia, forced disappearances have been considered a crime against humanity since 2002.

In fact, looking at the other entry for the respective Statute, I'm struck by the fact that Asia has a surprisingly low participation.
posted by the cydonian at 6:12 AM on November 5, 2006


Do more than vote.
posted by salvia at 9:21 AM on November 6, 2006


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