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ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody
April 8, 2009 10:32 AM   Subscribe

From the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody - This is the report in its entirety. [pdf]

From Mark Danner: US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites and The Red Cross Torture Report: What It Means
...It is the most damning and credible indictment of the American government to appear in years - more damning because it was prepared in the usual secrecy and not intended as a public document; more damning because it comes not from Jane Mayer or Mark Danner or Dana Priest or this blog, but from the most credible and respected human rights watchdog in the world: the International Committee for the Red Cross. It is broad, meticulous evidence of pre-meditated, illegal, and immoral war crimes that were then subject to cover-up and lies at the highest levels. It makes Nixon's crimes look petty. You no longer have any excuse to look away or move on. Either America deals with this or it does not. It is a test of character and integrity for the country and for the political elite. It is a test for the new president.
Andrew Sullivan, among many others...
posted by y2karl (59 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Glenn Greenwald: Obama, the ICRC Report and ongoing suppression
posted by homunculus at 10:37 AM on April 8, 2009


I like how people who don't trust the government to administer a health care system will wholeheartedly trust the government to imprison people without a fair trial.
posted by mullingitover at 10:38 AM on April 8, 2009 [17 favorites]


We need to let these things be defined as regular crimes, regular criminal activity, not war crimes. War crimes are ones that allow for special pleading--I was trying to help my country.

Regular crimes are ones committed by criminals for their own benefit. "I wanted a promotion" rather than "I wanted to protect my country and I was only following orders."
posted by Ironmouth at 10:40 AM on April 8, 2009


the most credible and respected human rights watchdog in the world: the International Committee for the Red Cross

Didn't they have a tiny little scandal about 10 years ago or so in which the President or CEO or CFO of Red Cross was embezzling a shit ton of money? Did their credibility and respect level recover from that? Or is it the Salvation Army I'm thinking of?
posted by spicynuts at 10:46 AM on April 8, 2009


Either America deals with this or it does not.

I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. - Barack Obama
posted by Joe Beese at 10:49 AM on April 8, 2009


Oh yes..post 9/11...they were re-directing funds for 9/11 families/relief workers to other Red Cross organizations. That was the American Red Cross though so maybe doesn't relate. I thought there was some other huge scandal with them as well.
posted by spicynuts at 10:49 AM on April 8, 2009


I like how people who don't trust the government to administer a health care system will wholeheartedly trust the government to imprison people without a fair trial.

For reals.

Saw a bit about this on Rachel Maddow's show last evening, but didn't have time to jot down the specifics - thanks muchly for posting this.
posted by arachnid at 10:51 AM on April 8, 2009


Previously
posted by lullaby at 10:55 AM on April 8, 2009


Didn't they have a tiny little scandal

You may be thinking of the United Way and former CEO William Aramony. On April 3, 1995, after a three week trial, Aramony was convicted in the U.S. District Court on 25 counts including conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, transportation of fraudulently acquired property, engaging in monetary transactions in unlawful activity, filing false tax returns and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.
posted by netbros at 10:56 AM on April 8, 2009


Hm. That report says "Strictly Confidential" right at the cover. Is this a leak or what? Can you add a warning for people who don't want to access leaked "strictly confidential stuff" from work?
posted by qvantamon at 11:00 AM on April 8, 2009


Oh yes..post 9/11...they were re-directing funds for 9/11 families/relief workers to other Red Cross organizations.

That wasn't a particularly scandalous scandal. From the perspective of the Red Cross, the 9/11 victims' survivors must have looked pretty far down on the "need" scale (the government, after all, quickly moved to shower money on them, and private donors were also quick to respond). It's not like they took that money and used it for their personal benefit; they took it and used it for people in far greater need of it than the 9/11 survivors. Arguably incorrect (although IIRC there was some ambiguity about whether they had offered any guarantees to donors that money donated to Red Cross in the aftermath of 9/11 would go exclusively to 9/11 victims) yes, but "scandalous"?
posted by yoink at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Rugs and brooms baby!
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2009


The American Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross are only loosely related entities.
posted by octothorpe at 11:04 AM on April 8, 2009


It is a test for the new president.

You can't fail a test that you ignore.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:05 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


You may be thinking of the United Way and former CEO William Aramony.

Yes you are correct. Thanks! My bad.
posted by spicynuts at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2009


It's interesting that so much of this stuff is coming out now. Obviously a lot of people feared retribution under the bush administration.

Forget the question of why these people aren't in jail, why in the hell is anyone involved in this stuff still in government? And using their positions to try to keep a lid on it. Why the hell should John Brennan, for example, be allowed to be in the government and obstruct the release of more internal documents?

Didn't they have a tiny little scandal about 10 years ago or so in which the President or CEO or CFO of Red Cross was embezzling a shit ton of money? Did their credibility and respect level recover from that? Or is it the Salvation Army I'm thinking of?

Uh, there's a pretty big difference between the red cross and the Salvation Army.
posted by delmoi at 11:08 AM on April 8, 2009


Perhaps, if the US government will not hold the torturers accountable, then citizen's arrests may be necessary.
posted by jonp72 at 11:10 AM on April 8, 2009


the most credible and respected human rights watchdog in the world: the International Committee for the Red Cross.

Not just credible and respected, but aren't they in fact the arbiters of when torture has or has not occurred? If the Red Cross says the US tortured, aren't we (technically) in deep doo-doo?
posted by DU at 11:11 AM on April 8, 2009


Didn't they have a tiny little scandal about 10 years ago or so in which the President or CEO or CFO of Red Cross was embezzling a shit ton of money? Did their credibility and respect level recover from that? Or is it the Salvation Army I'm thinking of?

I believe you're thinking of the American Red Cross, which focuses on disaster preparedness and relief in the USA. It periodically undergoes boutsof corruption mostly on a local/chapter basis, but sometimes with wider outbreaks.

The ICRC is the international humanitarian organization that, among other things, verifies compliance with the Geneva conventions.

On preview, yes, you have it.
posted by Verdant at 11:14 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Either America deals with this or it does not.

I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. - Barack Obama


No, fuck that. Stop the DOJ lawyers from pursuing the same bullshit secrecy and immunity claims that your predecessor followed. Then make sure what happened in the past cannot happen again. Then we can talk about looking forward.
posted by naju at 11:14 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


"President or CEO or CFO of Red Cross"

US Red Cross, which is mostly a blood banking and charitable organization. (Which makes a lot of money from contributoions, and lost from blood donations, and helped cover up HIV tainted blood, and pays execs too well.)

This is the international Committee of the Red Cross. Totally different organization.
posted by orthogonality at 11:19 AM on April 8, 2009


Er, lots, not lost.
posted by orthogonality at 11:20 AM on April 8, 2009


How about a constitutional amendment that NOBODY gets immunity from ANYTHING if the government is involved in any way.

Whatever happened to checks and balances? Democracy? Freedom? Justice?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:29 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


OK GUYS...sorry for the derail..I'm straight on the scandal I was thinking of. Red Cross is not United Way, etc etc. Carry on.
posted by spicynuts at 11:31 AM on April 8, 2009


You can't fail a test that you ignore.

See, in my day you got a "0" on tests you ignored...
posted by LordSludge at 11:40 AM on April 8, 2009


No, fuck that. Stop the DOJ lawyers from pursuing the same bullshit secrecy and immunity claims that your predecessor followed.

How about: stop following the same policies as your predecessor. Just to clear, for anyone with your head still in the sand:

Barack Obama supports and condones extraordinary rendition. He plans to close Guantanamo but not the hellhole prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He has played some semantic games with eliminating the term "enemy combatant," but has done nothing of substance to give prisoners of the 'war" on terror their rights.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:45 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


NPR's Michael Krasny interviewed Mark Danner last month.

Michelle Norris Interview with Danner.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:45 AM on April 8, 2009


"We need to let these things be defined as regular crimes, regular criminal activity, not war crimes. War crimes are ones that allow for special pleading--I was trying to help my country."

Wouldn't it be possible to do both? I mean, we could prosecute for crimes under the US code and an international court could prosecute for war crimes. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, but you're the law talking guy ...

Anyway, yes, Obama has to deal with this. His reticence is understandable but not ultimately acceptable as a solution. We will never fully move past this until we let it play out legally, and we must face it to move past it.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:47 AM on April 8, 2009


Not just credible and respected, but aren't they in fact the arbiters of when torture has or has not occurred?

Yes. From the "what it means" link:
And then the Red Cross investigators, as members of the body designated by the Geneva Conventions to supervise treatment of prisoners of war and to judge that treatment's legality, were called on to pronounce whether or not the techniques conformed to the conventions in the first place.
All of the people who tortured, all of the people who ordered it, and all of the people who authorized it belong in jail. All of the people who excused it should be shunned, and their voices ignored for the rest of their lives.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:52 AM on April 8, 2009


This is not good. The report should have never been leaked. Now the ICRC will likely have trouble obtaining access to prisoners and detainees in the future.
posted by angrybeaver at 11:56 AM on April 8, 2009


Torture and Fool’s Gold
posted by telstar at 11:57 AM on April 8, 2009


Now the ICRC will likely have trouble obtaining access to prisoners and detainees in the future.


Is it a cake walk now? Or were you being sarcastic?
posted by spicynuts at 12:04 PM on April 8, 2009


No, I'm serious. The ICRC very rarely breaks their vow of silence in order to obtain access to detainees.

“The ICRC is active in over 70 countries worldwide and we visit more than 460,000 detainees. If we were to make public what we discuss with prisoners and what we see in prisons, we would no longer be granted access [to them]"

posted by angrybeaver at 12:08 PM on April 8, 2009


And the fact that Americans tortured repeatedly is hardly a secret.
posted by angrybeaver at 12:10 PM on April 8, 2009


Right but I meant is it relatively easy for them now? I can't imagine they can just walk right up to any place they want and be like "Yo, lemme see da prisoners". Probably always extremely difficult, no?
posted by spicynuts at 12:11 PM on April 8, 2009


The report should have never been leaked. Now the ICRC will likely have trouble obtaining access to prisoners and detainees in the future.
That seems to be the rationale for much of our media's behavior this decade. I therefore have trouble fairly evaluating any argument for non-disclosure based on potential future access, and suspect others will too.

But this is different from the media's argument, in that the mere access, even without disclosure, does help those in need.
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:11 PM on April 8, 2009


Anyway, yes, Obama has to deal with this. His reticence is understandable but not ultimately acceptable as a solution. We will never fully move past this until we let it play out legally, and we must face it to move past it.

I agree, and I think, over the long term, and the administration does, too. If not, we may eventually have to hold them accountable and find better replacements. But the fact that anyone at all still supports the Republican party is a complete mystery to me, considering how deeply implicated the party was and how its leaders in congress are still actively using their minority position to sabotage core congressional functions to protect the previous administration, as Scott Horton wrote about recently:

"Senate Republicans are now privately threatening to derail the confirmation of key Obama administration nominees for top legal positions by linking the votes to suppressing critical torture memos from the Bush era."

And right now, the administration still isn't even fully in place because Republicans have managed to derail or stall so many appointments through their tactic of creating infighting, confusion, and chaos, and with so much scorn being heaped on the new administration lately you'd think Obama had ordered Bush's atrocities himself. Meanwhile, without unified, positive political support for the drastic steps needed (in its place, just storms of half-cocked criticism left and right over every overblown legal brief filing), the system's not just going to change itself, and no one political leader has the power to make it all happen him or herself.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:17 PM on April 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


That third link is pretty damning and gut-wrenching. Key excerpt:
Consider, for example, the "crude but effective" methods of the Soviet State Political Directorate (GPU):
They consisted usually of tying the victim in a strait-jacket to an iron bunk. The strait-jacket was his only clothing; he had no blanket, no food and was unable to go to the lavatory. With a gag in his mouth and a stopper in his rectum he would be given periodic beatings with rubber poles.[10]
.... In the "black sites," the same end was achieved by forced nudity and what the Red Cross terms, in its chapter of the same name, "prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles." One of the fourteen detainees, for example, tells the Red Cross investigators that
he was kept for four and a half months continuously handcuffed and seven months with the ankles continuously shackled while detained in Kabul in 2003/4. On two occasions, his shackles had to be cut off his ankles as the locking mechanism had ceased to function, allegedly due to rust.
This technique, like other of the "alternative set of procedures" detailed by the Red Cross, seems to have been consistently applied to many of the fourteen "high-value" detainees. Walid bin Attash told the Red Cross investigators that
he was kept permanently handcuffed and shackled throughout his first six months of detention. During the four months he was held in his third place of detention, when not kept in the prolonged stress standing position [with his hands shackled to the ceiling], his ankle shackles were allegedly kept attached by a one meter long chain to a pin fixed in the corner of the room where he was held.
As with the GPU set of procedures, prisoners were kept naked, deprived of blankets, mattresses, and other necessities, and deprived of food. As for "the stopper in the rectum," it was supplied by the GPU to deal with the practical if unpleasant problem of how to cope, in the case of a person who is naked and entirely under restraint and at the same time experiencing prolonged and extreme pain, with the inevitable consequences of his bodily functions. The Americans at the "black sites," who had also to face this unpleasant necessity, particularly when holding detainees in "stress positions," for example, forcing them for many days to stand naked with their hands shackled to a bolt in the ceiling and their ankles shackled to a bolt in the floor, developed their own equivalent:

While being held in this position some of the detainees were allowed to defecate in a bucket. A guard would come to release their hands from the bar or hook in the ceiling so that they could sit on the bucket. None of them, however, were allowed to clean themselves afterwards. Others were made to wear a garment that resembled a diaper. This was the case for Mr. Bin Attash in his fourth place of detention. However, he commented that on several occasions the diaper was not replaced so he had to urinate and defecate on himself while shackled in the prolonged stress standing position. Indeed, in addition to Mr. Bin Attash, three other detainees specified that they had to defecate and urinate on themselves and remain standing in their own bodily fluids....

...Where the GPU responded by developing rubber poles, the CIA created its plastic collar, "an improvised thick collar or neck roll," as the Red Cross investigators describe it in Chapter 1.3.3 ("Beating by use of a collar"), that "was placed around their necks and used by their interrogators to slam them against the walls." Though six of the fourteen detainees report the use of the "thick plastic collar," which, according to Khaled Shaik Mohammed, would then be "held at the two ends by a guard who would use it to slam me repeatedly against the wall," it is plain that this particular technique was perfected through experimentation.
I don't understand how Obama can let this issue hang around his collar for long. America needs to play it out in the arena and every last soul responsible for this saga of horror should be dished the same inhuman treatment they gave out to prisoners. Everyone who voted for change should hold Obama's feet to this fire. YES, WE SHOULD!
posted by forwebsites at 12:18 PM on April 8, 2009


Frequently the ICRC is the only outside organization that is allowed access to prisoners. And yes, it is probably a little bit more complex than "Yo, lemme see da prisoners".
posted by angrybeaver at 12:21 PM on April 8, 2009


Anyway, yes, Obama has to deal with this. His reticence is understandable but not ultimately acceptable as a solution. We will never fully move past this until we let it play out legally, and we must face it to move past it.

You really think that a Democratic administration working to put large numbers of actors from a preceding Republican administration (and their minions) in jail is going to help the nation "move past" this? If I had a magic "you're in jail now" button that could whisk all these bastards into jail I'd be happy to push it. I'm not sure, though, that if I were Obama I'd choose the path of plunging the nation into what would undoubtedly be decades of highly contentious and politically polarizing legal theater, with at best dubious prospects of any serious sentences for the people who really drove this process.

What I think would probably be a better option would be some sort of "truth and reconciliation" process, whereby people testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Even that will be politically ugly, but it has at least the possibility of forcing some degree of national recognition of the appalling ugliness of Bush's "war on terror."
posted by yoink at 12:24 PM on April 8, 2009


America needs to play it out in the arena and every last soul responsible for this saga of horror should be dished the same inhuman treatment they gave out to prisoners.

Really?
posted by yoink at 12:26 PM on April 8, 2009


YES, WE SHOULD!

No, we should not - nor should anyone else. That's regressive behavior, and is destructive.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:31 PM on April 8, 2009


America needs to play it out in the arena and every last soul responsible for this saga of horror should be dished the same inhuman treatment they gave out to prisoners.

Seems to me that is the same slippery slope of revenge logic that is used to justify the torture in the first place: THEY BOMBED US! THEY ARE SCUM THAT HAVE NO RESPECT FOR LIFE! DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO THEM TO MAKE THEM STOP!

Where does that circle end?
posted by spicynuts at 12:46 PM on April 8, 2009


"What I think would probably be a better option would be some sort of 'truth and reconciliation' process, whereby people testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Even that will be politically ugly, but it has at least the possibility of forcing some degree of national recognition of the appalling ugliness of Bush's 'war on terror.'"

Why is this so delicate? I mean, we brought people to justice at Nuremberg.

I get the feeling that Obama's "nation of laws" bit is only applicable when expedient. We tortured, sure, but we don't want to rock the boat and actually bring people to justice. Unless we allow the legal system to address the issue properly, we are a nation of men who can get away with the most abhorrent criminal acts, as long as they are highly placed politically.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:30 PM on April 8, 2009


"No, we should not - nor should anyone else. That's regressive behavior, and is destructive."

Pressuring Obama to deal with the problem is regressive and destructive?
posted by krinklyfig at 1:31 PM on April 8, 2009


forwebsites: "America needs to play it out in the arena and every last soul responsible for this saga of horror should be dished the same inhuman treatment they gave out to prisoners. Everyone who voted for change should hold Obama's feet to this fire. YES, WE SHOULD!"

We should torture them, to show that torturing is wrong? What? You are missing the point entirely. Torturing them would just be validating their methods.

No, they should be tried, served justice, and shamed in history books. Children born 100 years from now should read about them in history books under a chapter called, "Outcasts and pariahs of the 21st-century United States."
posted by mullingitover at 1:36 PM on April 8, 2009


further proof that a soldier is just a terrorist from a wealthy country.
posted by kitchenrat at 1:37 PM on April 8, 2009


Why is this so delicate? I mean, we brought people to justice at Nuremberg.

Well, precisely. Treating a defeated political party like people you've just defeated in war is exactly what the problem would be. I'm not saying it's not "just" in some abstract sense. I'm saying it would lead to profound political resentment: a permanent source of grievance and paranoia (on one side) and partisan triumphalism (on the other) that would negate any wider meaning to the actions. You wouldn't have any feeling that the verdict of history had been handed in, you'd only have the right feeling that the left was using the institutions of the state to perpetrate a witchhunt.

That, again, is why I think a "truth and reconciliation" process is a better option. There is at least a chance that the stories that would emerge would genuinely become something like a "consensus version" of that historical moment, one that would in fact stand as a mark of national shame sufficient to deter future administrations from undertaking similar measures. Prosecution is going to make heroes (to the right) of these bastards by making them into martyrs, like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. A truth and reconciliation commission has at least a chance of making them into social pariahs.
posted by yoink at 1:42 PM on April 8, 2009


Pressuring Obama to deal with the problem is regressive and destructive?

I think he's referring to the call to inflict torture on the torturers.
posted by yoink at 1:43 PM on April 8, 2009


"Prosecution is going to make heroes (to the right) of these bastards by making them into martyrs, like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men."

Who? The 15-20% or so who support Bush no matter what? Why are we pandering to them?
posted by krinklyfig at 1:57 PM on April 8, 2009


Obama to Bush Administration, "Nobody is above the Law"
posted by adamvasco at 2:04 PM on April 8, 2009


Is it a cake walk now? Or were you being sarcastic?

My sister is a delegate with the ICRC. They are the ones that arrive first and leave last when a conflict takes place. The ICRC, together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (of which the American Red Cross is one), makes up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

ICRC has several areas of operation, based around their mission of protecting victims of international and internal armed conflicts and disasters.

They do tracing (reuniting families that have been ripped apart by conflict or disaster, sometimes years after the conflict has ended, like the case of chield soldiers in Liberia), protection of civilians in armed conflicts (like in Darfur), relief (clean water, vaccination, ...) and they are mandated by the international community to verify the treatment of detainees in accordance with the Geneva conventions. They are the ones who visited Saddam, who witnessed (and reported) the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, who help facilitate prisoner swaps between Israel and Palestine, ...

Getting access to all these detainees is not a cake walk, that's for sure.
Getting the authorities to listen to them afterwards, and rectify situations where people aren't treated fairly is even harder.

Their mandate from the international community and their principles are what gives them access Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and others (who also do very important work in their own way, don't get me wrong!) don't have.

The only thing that protects them is their discretion, neutrality, and their symbol, known around the globe, that represents these principles. This is the main reason why the misuse of the ICRC emblem during the rescue of Ingrid Betancourt from the FARC can be considered a war crime. This is the reason why the American Red Cross is so agressive in protecting the trademark of the Red Cross symbol. It's the only thing that protects my little sister when she's out there in Darfur, Baghdad, Gaza, Liberia, Yemen, ... It's what was supposed to protect their Iraqi driver who was coming to pick them up after a three day visit to Abu Ghraib in Januari 2005.

This approach works, generally. It's why they've won three Nobel Peace Prizes. (Well, 2,5 at least, as the last one was shared with the IFRC.

Their "silence" is often misinterpreted as "doing nothing". Very occasionally reports like these are leaked that -hopefully- prove otherwise. The point I was trying to make before I derailed on my lecture was that this "silence" is what gives them access, and what protects their people, most of the time.
posted by lodev at 2:15 PM on April 8, 2009 [9 favorites]


One more reason why the U.S. needs more than two parties - so that illegal acts can be tried without the appearance of partisan 'revenge'.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:14 PM on April 8, 2009


Guards amusing themselves with private jokes:
One detainee who did not wish his name to be transmitted to the authorities alleged that loud music played for twenty-four hours a day throughout the one year period he believed he was held in Afghanistan. He reported that during the last month it changed to sounds of wind, waves, and birds.
posted by stammer at 5:58 PM on April 8, 2009


The New Yorker did a small bit about the Bush Administration and torture this week. I was thinking about trying to flesh it out with more links and make an FPP, but then I saw this, which is much better.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:54 PM on April 8, 2009


krinklyfig: Pressuring Obama to deal with the problem is regressive and destructive?
yoink: I think he's referring to the call to inflict torture on the torturers.


Sorry folks, it was late night here yesterday when I posted it and I was seething with rage having just read that report, (moreover I went to bed after posting, never a good idea) and made some the wrong choice of words.

Let me clarify:
what I wrote: America needs to play it out in the arena and every last soul responsible for this saga of horror should be dished the same inhuman treatment they gave out to prisoners.

misleading words: arena, dished, inhuman treatment.

what I meant: America needs to play it out transparently in the legal arena for the world to see - as opposed to some opaque closed-door military tribunal where usually its just some suspensions, demotions, conviction for deriliction of duty and dishonorable discharges (give me a fucking break!) potential parole in future etc - and harsh punishments given out to everyone involved, with full force of the law brought upon them. I am talking 15-20 year and life imprisonments in the blackest of black prisons operated legally on American soil.

I wrote: Everyone who voted for change should hold Obama's feet to this fire. YES, WE SHOULD!
I didn't mean we should force Obama to inflict torture on tortures. I meant we should hold Obama responsible and force him to oversee the above kind of trial and shame.
In short what
mullingitover said: No, they should be tried, served justice, and shamed in history books. Children born 100 years from now should read about them in history books under a chapter called, "Outcasts and pariahs of the 21st-century United States."

Let's not forget that a majority of Obama's supporters in America and outside, approved of him because he promised that he'd do exactly this. The outside world is not bothered about whether he'd approve gay-marriage, what kind of economic policies he would usher in ..etc.etc..(even though they are legit and big issues by themselves, and I'm not denying it). The world and people like me supported him mostly because he promised a u-turn from Bush's foreign policy, he promised that he'd close down all illegal detentions, he promised that America would not look down upon other countries as subservient chickens. But off-late the more I read Glenn Greenwald the more depressing it is. Here is what Glenn wrote about this ICRC report.
posted by forwebsites at 12:08 AM on April 9, 2009


Well, OK then.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:10 AM on April 9, 2009


I wrote: Everyone who voted for change should hold Obama's feet to this fire. YES, WE SHOULD!
I didn't mean we should force Obama to inflict torture on tortures.


Just to be clear, when I talked about "inflicting torture on torturers" the part of your post that I was referring to was not the obvious metaphor of "holding feet to the fire" it was the bit immediately before that:

every last soul responsible for this saga of horror should be dished the same inhuman treatment they gave out to prisoners.
posted by yoink at 1:42 PM on April 9, 2009




It seems we all are kinda doing a 'group introspection' thing on the ICRC report. I read it last night, finished at 2 am. Its now 3pm the next day. I couldn't sleep. I needed helpers. And somehow I found this site an hour ago..paid my 5 bucks..and Help!! I only hope that in seeking help, I also offer some kind of inspiration..and even some guidance. I'm having difficulty at this New beginning. The report stunned me. My wish that all Americans read this report, is of course fantasy. Only 15,000 hits on Google a few hours ago made clear that most Americans will not digest this insane, shameful, dispicable, hateful, heartless, spineless, and in the End..Powerless...Crime. Ya know? For 'in the end'..real terrorist cannot be prosecuted because of our Crime. And yeah, its kinda Our crime. Huh? The words 'Union'..and 'Divide'..are So in the mentality of most Americans these days. We all experience this...constantly in all relations. But really, there ain't no dualism here!! For example..ok. Torture is ok. Torture is not ok. Divide, or dualism, cannot exist because there exists a higher body of Persons in Authority...ie..International Law..Geneva Convention..U.S. Army Field Manual..heheh.etc. Anyway, my point is we must be Led by this Higher Authority....and Good is had. If that positon is abandoned..and we stand united with..mmmm say Bush and Cheney...Bad..or Evil is had. So..I dunno..guess I'm searching..and Jesus..I was just telling a friend the other day that for the 2nd time in my life, I've felt proud to be an American. I see that to be able to Separate and to Unite will maybe allow me to my place in this. We'll see. And thanks to all..you've helped. I needed to get this out . Reading all the loggings on this link ..helped me attain some form of guidance i rekon. a

posted by Inchoate_yep at 1:51 PM on April 12, 2009


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