Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How Bush's Torture Helped al-Qaeda

By Robert Parry
April 23, 2009

Captured al-Qaeda operatives, facing the threat or reality of torture, appear to have fed the Bush administration’s obsession about Iraq, buying Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders time to rebuild their organization inside nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Read on.


Michael A. said...


One of the things we all need, especially at this moment, is to understand what our Constitution tells us about torture
and power. So little attention has been paid to that fine old document lately that I wonder if we still use it or if we use it at all except to employ a pair of scissors to cut out the parts we no longer favor. But, so far, the meaning has remained intact. That meaning is clear to me: it is the diffusion of power among the elected gentlemen who would govern us, which protects us FROM the government. All of our military personnel, as I did when I was young, swore an oath on it upon entering the military: " protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."
Those words still ring in my ears and mind some 50 years ago.
Some people in the White House seem to enjoy bending the rules of many key word's definitions thereby changing, carving and gutting the heart out of the meaning within our laws.
Would torture by any other name smell as foul or-"Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?" How about torture is, "enhanced interrogation techniques"? A CIA code phrase; a euphemism for torture. This Administration is trying to be "cute" with us, i.e. to pull the wool over our eyes. When you confront them they deny, equivocate, or you are met with total silence. Have our former servants become our present Masters?

"1984", is not just a fun movie to see or a grand book to read. Orwell very well throws on the mind a hypothetical
British society which tells us who we are, where we are and in what stage of societal evolution. Among many others you may find, "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, Rex Warner's "The Aerodrome", Sir Thomas More's "Utopia", "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, and the witty movie, "Brazil ", with which to compare. Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here".
Again, on torture, our Bill of Rights says: " cruel or unusual punishment...", of which torture is a part. Gen. Geo. Washington during the Revolutionary War advised his men "to treat them [prisoners] with humanity." Since that time we have always done so. Not any more! Nazism, American style, now!
Two of Mr. Bush's "yes" men, as Attorneys General knew and know the law-at least the letter of it, but they do not understand its spirit. What they totally misread was the Constitution: They have been loyal to the man but not to it. And THAT is an open door and highway to Nuremberg, Nazi Germany. In the early days of Nazism all the officers in their army swore oaths to Mr. Hitler, making Hitler the sole authority and power! No one would or could disobey his orders.
I remember my Instructor's voice in Philosophy class at Jr. College exclaiming that torture corrupts the soul like an infectious disease and spreads to infect the entire society. Creeping slowly along, invisible to sight, silent to hearing, taste, touch, smell, balance, this insidious disease doesn't kill or leave a mark on the body. But it corrupts and rots your minds, hearts, souls and our society in America. I don't think most Americans want to go down that garden path.

This Constitution was made for American citizens. But we extend our rights to those who are not citizens with whom we come in contact for the express purpose of treating them as gentlemen when doing business. By treating people well we show them respect. For the moment you do not show respect but rather contempt for your enemy then, when he has captured one of your own in war he will do with him as he pleases. If we had treated Muslim families and Arabic individuals with an ounce of respect in the first place our fighting soldiers would have had a fairly good chance of being treated with respect by the enemy, but, now it's too late, our terrible reputation has been fixed. Had we done this in the beginning this war would have gone a lot easier, perhaps, not lost. Generally speaking, people whom we treat well usually behave well, "Do unto others ...". It-is-so-simple! People without character, without a sense or drop of morality in their blood will not understand this dictum.
Recently, here in North Idaho we had a group of amateur neo-Nazis of whom we made it so uncomfortable to live here, they left. But now a different group at the highest levels of our Government confronts the public with extreme contempt. So, we have reached torture on the goal post. Where do we go from here!? Internment camps for Americans!? Osama bin Laden must be laughing his backsides off thinking of all the things we've done to ourselves, which is far worse, in one sense, than what he has done to us. The so called neo-conservatives and their bed fellows; some of these men would have you believe that America is a Great Empire, has a fantastic Destiny and, by the way, who is going to pay for this expensive war?, are getting nervous. In mid-term elections on November 7/06, many politicians will try to become reelected by the public and find out who they've really been working for; for the public-is waking up!

Our President's obsessive secrecy; his FBI's spying on the public; his instigation of spying on a grand scale; gagging of people's mouths through the PATRIOT ACT. His abuse of presidential signing statements; his seizures of power; his lies, deceptions and deceits; his ability by fiat to determine that I as a citizen am guilty of a trumped up charge; torture has now quietly begun to slip into our laws, he actually believes that having others tortured he would gain the truth and acted on it, as if believing that tortured confessions could be justified in a court of law and all other obnoxious elements in the so-called "'Patriot' Act (s) I & 2". It seems to me as if our Chief Executive only wants revenge rather than justice.

Michael Arno Bender, Civil Libertarian, 1/31/06.
1520 E. Davis Ave, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815-6422

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety".
Benjamin Franklin, (1759)

Like Pandora's Box we have now lifted the lid. What this means in its extreme form:
During WWII the SS on Hitler's direct orders arrested, tied and hung up on giant fish hooks by the chin, people still quite alive, though badly tortured from The 'White Rose' , a secret society, which tried to and surreptitiously did annoy the Nazi regime for a short time. Filmed in Feb. 1943 by the Gestapo for the ineluctable pleasures of Mr. Adolf Hitler.

The professional sadistic torturer is never sure of what he has or is satisfied for he is paranoid and that is one price of and consequence for revenge. Surely, that American presence at Abu Gharib, was not created nor maintained by "...a few bad apples", as parroted by the President, no no, torture1 was and is endemic throughout our military and civilian systems all the way up to and through our political and civilian policy makers as a matter of semi-secret policy. But it failed as it always does. The hardened sadist doesn't want the truth, there is no fun in that. He wouldn't know the truth if it was handed to him on a silver platter. He just wants his ripped out fingernails! It follows, then, that from the very first instance of the slapping of an unbound prisoner will ultimately lead to the last heavy handed use of torture, death! "Torture gives unreliable and false information."2 It is degrading, demeaning, decadent, it is the lazy man's way of accomplishing an act when other ways may be found. It is the coward's way. It is the way to a lower moral ground.

The Government documents as evidence from the (FOIA) through the ACLU, now on the Internet: , including "Has [the] military lost its humanity?" by Dr. Brian Moench,,1249/650209037,00.html-11/22/06-2007 Deseret News Publishing Co.

It is time we seriously thought about impeachment of the President, and Vice-President in the coming new year.
Or perhaps it will be the U.S. Supreme Court which takes up the case but if this does not work, then it will be up to the People of the United States to begin large scale massive but peaceful demonstrations aimed directly at the White House.


The Legal Significance of Presidential Signing Statements:
'Many Presidents have used (Presidential) signing statements to make substantive legal, constitutional, or administrative pronouncements on the bill being signed. Although the recent practice of issuing signing statements to create "legislative history" remains controversial, the other uses of Presidential signing statements generally serve legitimate and defensible purposes.'

1("tortour, tortor, torture from the Fr., 12th century. Twisting, wreathing, torment, torture; f. torquere, tort- to twist, torment.
1. The infliction of excruciating pain as practiced by cruel tyrants, savages, brigands, etc. from a delight in watching the agony of a victim in hatred or revenge, or as a means of extortion. spec, judicial torture , inflicted by a judicial or quasi-judicial authority, for the purpose of forcing an accused or suspected person to confess, or an unwilling witness to give evidence or information.")
1The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, Vol. II, P-Z, Oxford University Press, 1971, p. 3357.
The underlines in the above and in italics, including the dictionary's word, my bold.

2 Chap. 4, What can be done: The Law, pps. 305-43, in "Truth, Torture, and the American Way: The History and Consequences of U.S. Involvement in Torture" by Jennifer K. Harbury, Beacon Press, Boston, 2005.

Sent to:
The White House,; Sens. Craig, Crapo, Rep. Otter, all Con. Reps. of Idaho; sent individually to all other members of the Senate of the United States of America; New York Times,, attn: editor; Wall Street Journal, attn: editor; Spokesman-Review,, attn: editor; Coeur d'Alene Press,; Lawrence Wilkerson, (Col. ret.),; American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU,; Karen J. Mathis, president, American Bar Association, ABA, attn: President ABA; William A. Niskanen, Chairman, Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., N. W., Wash, D. C. 20001-5403; U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court Bldg. Wash, D.C.20543.

Michael A. Bender, August 25/06, p.2.

Anonymous said...


James Young said...

Actually, it sounds a lot like those who hold an "obsession about Iraq" are you moonbats on the far Left.

1stProtestinTheStreet said...

If you do nothing else for your Country today,

SIGN THE PETITION To Prosecute Them For Torture

Sign The Petitions To Prosecute Them For Torture at: