Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bush Never Has And Never Will

Key congressional lawmakers thought they have made waterboarding forbidden. Waterboarding, a form of interrogation used by the CIA to extract information from suspected terrorist, is considered to be torture by most, including many former military leaders and politicians. While McCain, Warner and Graham held out against the presidents plan to make torture legal under his interpretation of the Geneva convention, they later sold out our military and American moral standards by allowing the president to interpret Article 3 of the Geneva convention. The one thing that they all had done though, was to ban waterboarding.

Apparently the president doesn't think so. He has not ruled out the use of waterboarding and says, "it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face."

How can so many people assigned the task of running this country be so freaking stupid. The goal was not to tell the terrorist what practices we will and will not use!

It is to tell the rest of the world who we are asking to back us in our fight against terrorism what practices we will and will not use!

The world views us as having lost our moral compass. We used to be the guy everyone looked up to. Now we are the guy everyone looks down upon.

The president had an opportunity to tell the world, "We are better than the terrorist. We hold firm to the belief that torture is wrong. We hold firm to the commitment to uphold international law."

At this point, Bush keeps trying to frame the conflict as one between good and evil. The rest of the world is sitting around, scratching their heads saying, "Ok, on this side, we have a bunch of guys who fly planes into buildings and kill innocent people... On the other side you have a bunch of guys who attach electrodes to people's genitalia, operate KGB style prisons, and invade countries that had nothing to do with the people who flew airplanes into buildings... Who are the good guys supposed to be? This looks like a battle between evil and evil."

What the president thought he said was, "we want the terrorist to be uncertain of what techniques we will use to extract questionable information."

Instead, the rest of world hears is, "Well, is being the moral superior really all that important? Rummy Dick and I don't think so. Now excuse me while I take a short trip down to Gitmo to kick around some towel heads while they are chained to a fence."

Waterboarding Historically Controversial
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 5, 2006; Page A17

Key senators say Congress has outlawed one of the most notorious detainee interrogation techniques -- "waterboarding," in which a prisoner feels near drowning. But the White House will not go that far, saying it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face.

Inside the CIA, waterboarding is cited as the technique that got Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the prime plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to begin to talk and provide information -- though "not all of it reliable," a former senior intelligence official said.

Waterboarding is variously characterized as a powerful tool and a symbol of excess in the nation's fight against terrorists. But just what is waterboarding, and where does it fit in the arsenal of coercive interrogation techniques?

On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post published a front-page photograph of a U.S. soldier supervising the questioning of a captured North Vietnamese soldier who is being held down as water was poured on his face while his nose and mouth were covered by a cloth. The picture, taken four days earlier near Da Nang, had a caption that said the technique induced "a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk."

The article said the practice was "fairly common" in part because "those who practice it say it combines the advantages of being unpleasant enough to make people talk while still not causing permanent injury."

The picture reportedly led to an Army investigation.

Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.

(Full Story)

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