Posts Tagged ‘Convention Against Torture’

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The top ten recipients of U.S. foreign assistance this year all practice torture and are responsible for major human rights abuses, according to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other leading human rights organisations.

Financial support for these regimes could stand in violation of existing U.S. law, which requires that little or no aid be provided to a country which “engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture.”

report released by the Congressional Research Service lists the following countries as the largest beneficiaries of U.S. government-provided aid planned for 2014:

1. Israel – $3.1bn

2. Afghanistan – $2.2bn

3. Egypt – $1.6bn

4. Pakistan – $1.2bn

5. Nigeria – $693m

6. Jordan – $671m

7. Iraq – $573m

8. Kenya – $564m

9. Tanzania – $553m

10. Uganda -$456m

 

Zero Dark Thirty failed to take home any of the big awards at Oscars 2013.

“Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.”  —Senate Intelligence Committee Letter to Sony Pictures

Articles on the torture scandal:
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Academy member, actor David Clennon, has spoken out against Zero Dark Thirty, urges boycott.

“At the risk of being expelled [from the Academy] for disclosing my intentions, I will not be voting for Zero Dark Thirty – in any Academy Awards category. Everyone who contributes skill and energy to a motion picture – including actors – shares responsibility for the impressions the picture makes and the ideas it expresses. If I had played the role that was offered to me on Fox’s 24 (Season 7), I would have been guilty of promoting torture, and I couldn’t have evaded my own responsibility by blaming the writers and directors.”

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Ed Asner and Martin Sheen also protesting the film, urge other actors to speak out.

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“Co-Chair” of Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal, had the brass balls to type:

“We fully support Kathryn Bigelow and [screenwriter] Mark Boal and stand behind this extraordinary movie. We are outraged that any responsible member of the Academy would use their voting status in Ampas as a platform to advance their own political agenda. … This film should be judged free of partisanship. To punish an artist’s right of expression is abhorrent.”

Torture is a partisan political issue now?

Amy Pascal is a frothing fount of idiocy.

Sony used special insider access to create a pro-torture film, probably fed lies by the tortuers themselves at CIA.  They created scenes, most likely as all-too willing dupes of their CIA sources, which showed information extracted via torture, that never happened in real life.  The real Osama bin Laden location was determined “through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.” (Senate Intelligence Committee Letter)

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Learning to Love Torture, Zero Dark Thirty-Style
Seven Easy, Onscreen Steps to Making U.S. Torture and Detention Policies Once Again Palatable

By Karen J. Greenberg

On January 11th, 11 years to the day after the Bush administration opened its notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s deeply flawed movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, opens nationwide. The filmmakers and distributors are evidently ignorant of the significance of the date — a perfect indication of the carelessness and thoughtlessness of the film, which will unfortunately substitute for actual history in the minds of many Americans.

The sad fact is that Zero Dark Thirty could have been written by the tight circle of national security advisors who counseled President George W. Bush to create the post-9/11 policies that led to Guantanamo, the global network of borrowed “black sites” that added up to an offshore universe of injustice, and the grim torture practices — euphemistically known as “enhanced interrogation techniques” — that went with them. It’s also a film that those in the Obama administration who have championed non-accountability for such shameful policies could and (evidently did) get behind. It might as well be called Back to the Future, Part IV, for the film, like the country it speaks to, seems stuck forever in that time warp moment of revenge and hubris that swept the country just after 9/11.

As its core, Bigelow’s film makes the bald-faced assertion that torture did help the United States track down the perpetrator of 9/11. Zero Dark Thirty — for anyone who doesn’t know by now — is the story of Maya (Jessica Chastain), a young CIA agent who believes that information from a detainee named Ammar will lead to bin Laden. After weeks, maybe months of torture, he does indeed provide a key bit of information that leads to another piece of information that leads… well, you get the idea. Eventually, the name of bin Laden’s courier is revealed. From the first mention of his name, Maya dedicates herself to finding him, and he finally leads the CIA to the compound where bin Laden is hiding. Of course, you know how it all ends.

However compelling the heroine’s determination to find bin Laden may be, the fact is that Bigelow has bought in, hook, line, and sinker, to the ethos of the Bush administration and its apologists. It’s as if she had followed an old government memo and decided to offer in fictional form step-by-step instructions for the creation, implementation, and selling of Bush-era torture and detention policies.

Here, then, are the seven steps that bring back the Bush administration and should help Americans learn how to love torture, Bigelow-style.

First, Rouse Fear. From its opening scene, Zero Dark Thirty equates our post-9/11 fears with the need for torture. The movie begins in darkness with the actual heartbreaking cries and screams for help of people trapped inside the towers of the World Trade Center: “I’m going to die, aren’t I?… It’s so hot. I’m burning up…” a female voice cries out. As those voices fade, the black screen yields to a full view of Ammar being roughed up by men in black ski masks and then strung up, arms wide apart.

The sounds of torture replace the desperate pleas of the victims. “Is he ever getting out?” Maya asks. “Never,” her close CIA associate Dan (Jason Clarke) answers. These are meant to be words of reassurance in response to the horrors of 9/11. Bigelow’s first step, then, is to echo former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s mantra from that now-distant moment in which he claimed the nation needed to go to “the dark side.” That was part of his impassioned demand that, given the immense threat posed by al-Qaeda, going beyond the law was the only way to seek retribution and security.

Bigelow also follows Cheney’s lead into a world of fear. The Bush administration understood that, for their global dreams, including a future invasion of Iraq, to become reality, fear was their best ally. From Terre Haute to El Paso, Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, Americans were to be regularly reminded that they were deeply and eternally endangered by terrorists.

Bigelow similarly keeps the fear monitor bleeping whenever she can. Interspersed with the narrative of the bin Laden chase, she provides often blood-filled footage from terrorist attacks around the globe in the decade after 9/11: the 2004 bombings of oil installations in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, that killed 22; the 2005 suicide bombings in London that killed 56; the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad that killed 54 people; and the thwarted Times Square bombing of May, 2010. We are in constant jeopardy, she wants us to remember, and uses Maya to remind us of this throughout.

Second, Undermine the Law. Torture is illegal under both American and international law. It was only pronounced “legal” in a series of secret memorandums produced by the Bush Justice Department and approved at the highest levels of the administration. (Top officials, including Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, evidently even had torture techniques demonstrated for them in the White House before green-lighting them.) Maintaining that there was no way Americans could be kept safe via purely legal methods, they asked for and were given secret legal authority to make torture the go-to option in their Global War on Terror. Yet Bigelow never even nods toward this striking rethinking of the law. She assumes the legality of the acts she portrays up close and personal, only hedging her bets toward the movie’s end when she indicates in passing that the legal system was a potential impediment to getting bin Laden. “Who the hell am I supposed to ask [for confirmation about the courier], some guy at Gitmo who’s all lawyered up?” asks Obama’s national security advisor in the filmic run-up to the raid.

Just as new policies were put in place to legalize torture, so the detention of terror suspects without charges or trials (including people who, we now know, were treated horrifically despite being innocent of anything) became a foundational act of the administration. Specifically, government lawyers were employed to create particularly tortured (if you’ll excuse the word) legal documents exempting detainees from the Geneva Conventions, thus enabling their interrogation under conditions that blatantly violated domestic and international laws.

Zero Dark Thirty accepts without hesitation or question the importance of this unconstitutional detention policy as crucial to the torture program. From the very first days of the war on terror, the U.S. government rounded up individuals globally and began to question them brutally. Whether they actually had information to reveal, whether the government had any concrete evidence against them, they held hundreds — in the end, thousands — of detainees in U.S. custody at secret CIA black sites worldwide, in the prisons of allied states known for their own torture policies, at Bagram Detention Center in Afghanistan, and of course at Guantanamo, which was the crown jewel of the Bush administration’s offshore detention system.

Dan and Maya themselves not only travel to secret black sites to obtain valuable information from detainees, but to the cages and interrogation booths at Bagram where men in those now-familiar orange jumpsuits are shown awaiting a nightmare experience. Bigelow’s film repeatedly suggests that it was crucially important for national security to keep a pool of potential information sources — those detainees — available just in case they might one day turn out to have information.

Third, Indulge in the Horror: Torture is displayed onscreen in what can only be called pornographic detail for nearly the film’s first hour. In this way, Zero Dark Thirty eerily mimics the obsessive, essentially fetishistic approach of Bush’s top officials to the subject. Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Cheney’s former Chief of Staff David Addington, and John Yoo from the Office of Legal Counsel, among others, plunged into the minutiae of “enhanced interrogation” tactics, micro-managing just what levels of abuse should and should not apply, would and would not constitute torture after 9/11.

In black site after black site, on victim after victim, the movie shows acts of torture in exquisite detail, Bigelow’s camera seeming to relish its gruesomeness: waterboarding, stress positions, beatings, sleep deprivation resulting in memory loss and severe disorientation, sexual humiliation, containment in a small box, and more. Whenever she gets the chance, Bigelow seems to take the opportunity to suggest that this mangling of human flesh and immersion in brutality on the part of Americans is at least understandable and probably worthwhile. The film’s almost subliminal message on the subject of torture should remind us of the way in which a form of sadism-as-patriotic-duty filtered down to the troops on the ground, as evidenced by the now infamous 2004 photos from Abu Ghraib of smiling American soldiers offering thumbs-up responses to their ability to humiliate and hurt captives in dog collars.

Fourth, Dehumanize the Victims. Like the national security establishment that promoted torture policies, Bigelow dehumanizes her victims. Despite repeated beatings, humiliations, and aggressive torture techniques of various sorts, Ammar never becomes even a faintly sympathetic character to anyone in the film. As a result, there is never anyone for the audience to identify with who becomes emotionally distraught over the abuses. Dehumanization was a necessary tool in promoting torture; now, it is a necessary tool in promoting Zero Dark Thirty, which desensitizes its audience in ways that should be frightening to us and make us wonder who exactly we have become in the years since 9/11.

Fifth, Never Doubt That Torture Works. Given all this, it’s a small step to touting the effectiveness of torture in eliciting the truth. “In the end, everybody breaks, bro’: it’s biology,” Dan says to his victim. He also repeats over and over, “If you lie to me, I hurt you” — meaning, “If I hurt you, you won’t lie to me.” Maya concurs, telling Ammar, bruised, bloodied, and begging for her help, that he can stop his pain by telling the truth.

How many times does the American public need to be told that torture did not yield the results the government promised? How many times does it need to be said that waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, 183 times obviously didn’t work? How many times does it need to be pointed out that torture can — and did — produce misleading or false information, notably in the torture of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the Libyan who ran an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and who confessed under torture that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Sixth, Hold No One Accountable. The Obama administration made the determination that holding Bush administration figures, CIA officials, or the actual torturers responsible for what they did in a court of law was far more trouble than it might ever be worth. Instead, the president chose to move on and officially never look back. Bigelow takes advantage of this passivity to suggest to her audience that the only downside of torture is the fear of accountability. As he prepares to leave Pakistan, Dan tells Maya, “You gotta be real careful with the detainees now. Politics are changing and you don’t want to be the last one holding the dog collar when the oversight committee comes…”

The sad truth is that Zero Dark Thirty could not have been produced in its present form if any of the officials who created and implemented U.S. torture policy had been held accountable for what happened, or any genuine sunshine had been thrown upon it. With scant public debate and no public record of accountability, Bigelow feels free to leave out even a scintilla of criticism of that torture program. Her film is thus one more example of the fact that without accountability, the pernicious narrative continues, possibly gaining traction as it does.

Seventh, Employ the Media. While the Bush administration had the Fox television series 24 as a weekly reminder that torture keeps us safe, the current administration, bent on its no-accountability policy, has Bigelow’s film on its side. It’s the perfect piece of propaganda, with all the appeal that naked brutality, fear, and revenge can bring.

Hollywood and most of its critics have embraced the film. It has already been named among the best films of the year, and is considered a shoe-in for Oscar nominations. Hollywood, that one-time bastion of liberalism, has provided the final piece in the perfect blueprint for the whitewashing of torture policy. If that isn’t a happily-ever-after ending, what is?

Karen J. Greenberg, a TomDispatch regular, is the Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School. She is the author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days and the co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib.

Copyright 2013 Karen J. Greenberg (used with permission)

 

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Zero Dark Thirty: Torturing the Facts

by Marjorie Cohn

On January 11, eleven years to the day after George W. Bush sent the first detainees to Guantanamo, the Oscar-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty is making its national debut. Zero Dark Thirty is disturbing for two reasons. First and foremost, it leaves the viewer with the erroneous impression that torture helped the CIA find bin Laden’s hiding place in Pakistan. Secondarily, it ignores both the illegality and immorality of using torture as an interrogation tool.

The thriller opens with the words “based on first-hand accounts of actual events.” After showing footage of the horrific 9/11 attacks, it moves into a graphic and lengthy depiction of torture. The detainee “Ammar” is subjected to waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation, and confined in a small box. Responding to the torture, he divulges the name of the courier who ultimately leads the CIA to bin Laden’s location and assassination. It may be good theater, but it is inaccurate and misleading.

The statement “based on first-hand accounts of actual events” is deceptive because it causes the viewer think the story is accurate. All it really means, however, is that the CIA provided Hollywood with information about events depicted in the movie. Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell wrote a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in which he admitted the CIA engaged extensively with the filmmakers. After receiving his letter, Senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin requested information and documents related to the CIA’s cooperation.

The senators sent a letter to Morrell saying they were “concerned by the film’s clear implication that information obtained during or after the use of the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques played a critical role in locating Usama Bin Laden (UBL).” They noted, “the film depicts CIA officers repeatedly torturing detainees. The film then credits CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques as providing critical lead information on the courier that led to the UBL compound.” They state categorically: “this information is incorrect.”

The letter explains that after a review of more than six million pages of CIA records, Feinstein and Levin made the following determination: “The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier’s identity from CIA detainees subjected to coercive techniques. No CIA detainee reported on the courier’s full name or specific whereabouts, and no detainee identified the compound in which UBL was hidden. Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name, and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.”

In a speech on the Senate floor, McCain declared, “It was not torture, or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden.” McCain added: “In fact, not only did the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ on Khalid Sheik Mohammed not provide us with the key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed; it actually produced false and misleading information.”

Many high-level interrogators, including Glenn L. Carle, Ali Soufan and Matthew Alexander, report that torture is actually ineffective and often interferes with the securing of actual intelligence. A 2006 study by the National Defense Intelligence College concluded that traditional, rapport-building interrogation techniques are very effective even with the most recalcitrant detainees, but coercive tactics create resistance.

Moreover, torture is counter-productive. An interrogator serving in Afghanistan told Forbes, “I cannot even count the amount of times that I personally have come face to face with detainees, who told me they were primarily motivated to do what they did, because of hearing that we committed torture . . . Torture committed by Americans in the past continues to kill Americans today.”

Torture is also illegal and immoral – important points that are ignored in Zero Dark Thirty. After witnessing the savage beating of a detainee at the beginning of the film, the beautiful heroine “Maya” says “I’m fine.” As he’s leaving Pakistan, Maya’s colleague Dan tells her, “You gotta be real careful with the detainees now. Politics are changing and you don’t want to be the last one holding the dog collar when the oversight committee comes.”

Torture is illegal in all circumstances. The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a treaty the United States ratified which makes it part of U.S. law, states unequivocally: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” The prohibition of torture is absolute and unequivocal. Torture is never lawful.

Yet despite copious evidence of widespread torture and abuse during the Bush administration, and the Constitution’s mandate that the President enforce the laws, Obama refuses to hold the Bush officials and lawyers accountable for their law breaking.

Granting impunity to the torturers combined with propaganda films like Zero Dark Thirty, which may well win multiple Oscars, dilutes any meaningful public opposition to our government’s cruel interrogation techniques. Armed with full and accurate information, we must engage in an honest discourse about torture and abuse, and hold those who commit those illegal acts fully accountable.

[Editor’s Note: Please contact the Motion Picture Academy at contact@oscars.org to voice your opposition to this film receiving its awards.  More info.]

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Arrest All Torturers

Joe Giambrone

“We are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law. Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right.”
–George W. Bush, June 26, 2003

Is this a nation of laws, or of unaccountable men – and women?

I’ve actually looked up the torture statutes while people like Joe Scarborough pontificate about whether the blatant lies of Zero Dark Thirty count as evidence that torture works.  It matters not a whit if torture “works” in some cases or not.  Torture is a felony crime Mr. Scarborough.  Those who commit it can receive 20 years in federal prison and the death penalty if their victim dies.  You see we have laws in this nation that aren’t subject to alteration by morons writing secret memos.

Some interesting tidbits from the US Criminal Code 18 USC Chapter 113C:

Sec. 2340A. Torture

-STATUTE-

(a) Offense. – Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to    any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

(b) Jurisdiction. – There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if –

(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or

(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

(c) Conspiracy. – A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

A faction within the Central Intelligence Agency has convinced Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal that torture is actually a good thing, whether it is a blatant felony crime and international war crime in violation of the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture, or not.  These dutiful filmmakers have splattered it up on the screen, and the bedazzled critics salivate over the idea that torture (by glorious Americans) leads to results, despite centuries of evidence to the contrary.  And despite the facts of the bin Laden case, as disclosed by a Senate investigation.

Senators Feinstein and Levin debunk the central lie of Zero Dark Thirty, that the CIA allegedly tortured the information about bin Laden’s courier out of detainees:

“Feinstein and Levin wrote that the CIA didn’t first learn about the courier who led the U.S. to bin Laden’s hideout from detainees who were ‘subjected to coercive techniques.’ The techniques didn’t help identify the courier by name or the location of bin Laden’s compound, the senators said.

Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program,’ wrote Feinstein and Levin in the statement.”

I’m still waiting for one of these pro-torture people to actually read the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

No conventions required, this nation’s founding document outlawed the kidnapping of victims to “black sites” to be tortured.  This barbarism is obviously cruel AND unusual.  It is unconstitutional and has always been, since day one.

FBI Agents recommended that CIA interrogators be arrested.  However, the protection of these individuals by higher-ups in the Bush regime, making their torture atrocities unaccountable, has now won the day.  This grey area status quo, where felony crimes are simply not prosecuted, persists under Obama.  It will likely remain a most shameful, despicable, unlawful state of the nation until someone finally ARRESTS THE TORTURERS.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

One such individual possibly destined for a torture trial under the US Code sec. 2340A is the star character of Zero Dark Thirty, named as “Maya,” but in real life apparently a CIA analyst by the name of Alfreda Frances Bikowsky (link updated 12/21/12).  While Kathryn Bigelow champions a “strong woman” character, as if strength in ordering kidnapping, torture and murder is something positive, this real life person has a rap sheet, which invites some scrutiny.

Some readers will have put the pieces together by now and heard about Bikowsky’s flight over to a “black site” in Poland to witness the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.  This was detailed in Jane Mayer’s investigation, The Dark Side.  Similarly, Bikowsky was responsible and at the heart of a “rendition” fiasco, where a German tourist named Khaled El-Masri was kidnapped, sodomized, beaten and confined to inhuman conditions for 5 months in another “black site” in Afghanistan.  When Ms. Bikowsky was informed by the German government that Mr. Masri was a legitimate tourist and that his passport was just fine and in order, she refused to allow his release.  She fought to keep an innocent man in a torture cell until other CIA personnel made an issue of it and brought it up to the CIA Director’s office.

That Mr. Obama takes a person like this and promotes her to the top of the chain is shocking on its face.  Bikowsky is reportedly now the head of the “Global Jihad Unit” within the CIA.  Barack Obama has indicated his explicit protection of torturer criminals by refusing to prosecute known felonies, and instead promotes the perpetrators to positions of even greater authority and power.  Is this a Fourth Reich?

Much of the progressive sphere is livid at Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden murder thriller, with its obvious jingoistic propaganda core.  The film expectedly ignores who this bin Laden person was and what he did, and whether he actually had any connection to the 9/11 attacks, which never actually appeared on his FBI Most Wanted page.  Isn’t anyone concerned about that?

Some doubt that bin Laden was even there that night, due to the extreme clampdown on evidence.  As in there is none proving Osama bin Laden was even alive at the time of the raid.  With no photographic evidence or forensic identification of the body, who knows?  Certainly not the public, who must take the government’s proclamations on faith.  A public reliant on the good faith of secretive, supreme, armed, dangerous and unaccountable rulers can’t seriously qualify as informed citizens of a democracy.

I’ve asked some far deeper questions about this bin Laden affair than the nuts and bolts of how bullets left chambers to enter his body.  The bin Laden network was used by America and its proxies, its puppet regimes in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for many years.  Since Osama is said to have been living in Pakistan for nearly a decade, just half a mile from the Pakistani military academy in Abbotabad, we must explore the possibility that Pakistani intelligence wanted him there.  Knew he was there.  Protected him.  Worked with him.

Well, that’s odd seeing how United States taxpayers sent over at least $20.7 Billion since the 9/11 attacks, a substantial portion going directly to Pakistan’s military and intelligence arms (ISI).  Are we allowed to even ask obvious, glaring, questions like:  What is wrong with this picture?

CBS News and Dan Rather reported that Osama bin Laden was being treated at the Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10th of 2001.  Are we to assume that the Central Intelligence Agency missed that report?

Are we to assume that the CIA/ISI cozy relationship dating back to the war on the Soviet Union in the 1980s somehow disappeared one day?  The largest CIA operation in its history, funneling arms, terrorists – excuse me, “freedom fighters” – and planeloads of money to the Afghan Mujahadeen, served to expand the Pakistani intelligence arm ISI to gargantuan proportions, such that it controls the nation of Pakistan.  This CIA/Pakistan relationship suddenly had no meaning after 9/11/01?

The US “war on terrorism” would be far more credible if the US didn’t partner with terrorists every chance it had.  From Cubans in the 1960s, to Contras in the 1980s as well as the Mujahadeen Jihadis, to present-day relationships with MEK on the Iranian border, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whom the US/NATO just installed in power there, to the Free Syrian Army which is terrorizing and rampaging that nation daily and engaging in ethnic cleansing and mass murder, the US foreign policy record is one of supporting terrorist networks.  It plays dirty, ugly games “in the shadows” and most of the world outside its borders knows this full well.

That’s a story worth telling.  Not this self-serving CIA jingoistic propaganda about the white man’s burden to torture all comers for the alleged good of the world.  What would Osama bin Laden have revealed at a trial?  What relationships and contacts would have come to light?  Who protected him all those years?  We will never know, but can dance around like chimpanzees that he was murdered in cold blood, and his secrets neatly wrapped up and disposed of.

Torture is a felony.  It also produces bogus information.  Sometimes that’s the intent.  Oftentimes that’s the intent.  When people say what you tell them to say, it’s quite useful.  Saddam Hussein ordered the 9/11 attacks, don’t you know?

The practice of torture also implicates the torturers in crimes, creating a conspiracy of silence – yes real conspiracy, conspiracy fact, not “theory.”  Check the statute.  The conspiracy reaches all the way to the top, and today that means right to the desk of one Barack Hussein Obama.  By protecting torturers, Obama becomes part of the conspiracy to torture.  That is how the law works – for the little people anyway.  A two-tiered system of laws is what this exposes, one law for the political masters, and one law for everyone else.  That is conspiracy.  It violates the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, as well as the Convention Against Torture, the Geneva Conventions and the US Code section 2340A above.

It’s long past time to restore the rule of law in this country, and to impeach those who commit ongoing crimes, including cover-up, hiding crimes from the congress, and conspiracy to torture prisoners of war.  A lot of honorable individuals in the FBI, the military and even inside the CIA itself have protested this criminal activity in the strongest possible terms.  Not everyone is on board this highway to hell, this descent to medieval barbarism championed by some criminal elements who should be prosecuted a.s.a.p.

I’m not a religious person, but I am a member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (nrcat.org).  They organize lobbying campaigns to remind the people in charge that we are watching.  It’s easy to join.  It’s harder to get through the thick skulls of the pro-torture faction in this country, the propagandists and apologists who intend to deceive and degrade us all.  I am sickened by this torture fad that civilized people must stand up and reject vociferously.

Torture of Brinvilliers, 17th Century

Reject along with it the Hollywood propaganda that promotes it, including Zero Dark Thirty, and Fox’s 24.  Torture is presented by Hollywood as a good thing nine times out of ten, and producers and screenwriters are morally and ethically responsible for these heinous lies that they tell their viewers.  Hold them accountable too.  Call out their sadism and criminality.

Arrest all torturers, lest we become a nation of depraved psychopaths.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
-Edmund Burke