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SkinWalker 03-19-2009 06:33 PM

Bush Administration Responsible for Widespread Torture in CIA Jails

If the article isn't to your liking, that is to say, if you don't like the information it's alleging, I'm sure you can wish it away with a magic wave and incantation of liberal media bias then ceremonially stick your head in the sand. But that's only if you really can't stand what it says.

Basically, the International Red Cross filed a report in 2007 (reminder: this was the Bush Administration) which claimed that "the Bush administration's treatment of al-Qaeda captives "constituted torture," a finding that strongly implied that CIA interrogation methods violated international law" and details the kind of mistreatment and torture that is expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.

The findings were based on an investigation by ICRC officials, who were granted exclusive access to the CIA's "high-value" detainees after they were transferred in 2006 to the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 14 detainees, who had been kept in isolation in CIA prisons overseas, gave remarkably uniform accounts of abuse that included beatings, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and, in some cases, waterboarding, or simulating drowning.
The obvious criticism is that the report relies frequently upon the words of detainees themselves, but and indicator of truth-value when conducting an interrogation (I was trained in military police interrogations) is getting consistent stories. Ideally the subjects are segregated to avoid consolidating stories. In CIA and military detention, segregation is standard operating procedure, so it seems that there is more reason to believe their stories than not. At the very least, it what is demonstrated is neglect and incompetence on the part of the Bush administration and its appointed CIA officials for not maintaining transparency.

One of the things that was instilled on me as a soldier was to treat detainees with respect regardless of their past actions and to avoid any mistreatment at all costs. This was so as not to give our enemies any excuse for mistreatment of our own soldiers, sailors and service members captured in future wars.

Not only is the Bush Administration responsible for its actions up to and through 2008, but it may also be responsible for the torture and mistreatment of my fellow comrades and friends who still serve (or my own daughter should she decide to one day serve) and who are captured in armed conflict.

Should Bush administration officials, including Bush, face any legal charges?

Tommycat 03-20-2009 12:07 AM

Terrorists wouldn't lie about torture would they? Maybe if they were trained to do it(linky) Not that I'm justifying torture. Far from it. It's just that when you are relying on alleged victim's testimony, then you have to consider the possibility they were lieing.

SkinWalker 03-20-2009 12:40 AM

If you discount the possibility that the torture happened (and the Bush admin has all but stated it did), then the Bush admin is guilty of neglect and incompetence for not making the situation transparent enough to negate the accusations in the first place.

"Maybe" they were trained to lie isn't good enough. Knowing that this doctrine of lying exists within Al Qaeda training should have prompted counters to it through careful documentation of all contacts which could easily be made available to IRC representatives when allegations are made. This would be no issue to national security if the subject hasn't revealed information. Careful redaction could ensure national security issues where necessary (i.e. blurring faces of interrogators, muting audio/blurring mouths & documents) -this would all have been sufficient to dispel accusations. This is already standard operating procedure. The fact that it wasn't apparently done is indicative of at least some truth-value to the IRC reports.

Moreover, not all of the IRC report is based on subject testimony. Of that which is based on subject testimony, not all of the subjects would have received the Al Qaeda training mentioned in your link and additional SOP is to keep subjects segregated to prevent consolidation of stories. Therefore, it is fair to accept that at least a portion of the subject testimony has legitimate truth value.

Tommycat 03-20-2009 01:54 AM

I think you misunderstand me. Probably because you haven't read me stating it elsewhere. I do not doubt that torture happened. I am also not one to give torture a free pass in the interest of "preventing Terrorism" in any way. Maybe I'm just skeptical of verbal accounts of torture. Unless I see video of subjects being tortured, I'll still call it alleged. Asking us to prove there is no torture is like asking you to prove no god exists. Keep in mind these are "High Value" detainees. Not Joe Detainee. The likelihood of them having been trained in how to respond to questions about their treatment are very high.

Don't get me wrong, I do not doubt that it may have occurred. How much proof would be adequate for the world that torture is not happening? 24/7 live web cam? Follow your favorite detainee through his normal day. Hey that's actually not a bad idea. Charge $50 a month per user.

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