Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rape and Murder for Democracy

Whoops; looks like the cat's out of the proverbial bag. From General Taguba's report to the Pentagon:

"I saw [name redacted] fucking a kid; his age would be about 15 - 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad, and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then, when I heard the screaming, I climbed the door, because on top it wasn't covered, and I saw [name redacted], who was wearing the military uniform, putting his dick in the little kid's ass.... And the female soldier was taking pictures."
And among the 87 Abu Ghraib photographs and four videos the White House blocked from release, even worse abuses were recorded; as Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina explained it, "The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We're talking about rape and murder -- and some very serious charges."

At the ACLU 2004 America At A Crossroads conference, Pulitzer laureate Seymour Hersh, who helped uncover the scandal, got a little more specific:

"I can tell you it was much worse, and the government knows it was much worse....

"Some of the worse that happened that you don't know about, ok? Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men....The women were passing messages saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened.'

"Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."
But Donald Rumsfeld's 2004 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee makes the Bush Administration's view on the matter abundantly clear: "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse."

He was patently not speaking of matters getting worse for the PRISONERS -- after all, it's impossible to do worse than imprisoning, torturing, raping and murdering. It thus becomes transparently obvious that he was referring to a public backlash against the Administration and the senior military officers involved.

Which is why, as the New York Times reported two days ago, the White House is doing everything it can to prevent Americans from seeing what is in those photos and videos, arguing absurdly that by not showing the prisoners in the act of being raped and murdered, they are "protecting them from humiliation".

In response to his horror at the content of the images, Senator Graham, along with torture survivor Senator John McCain and Virginia Senator John W. Warner, is drafting new laws to prevent the White House from engaging in further war atrocities.

Their legislation would prohibit hiding prisoners from the Red Cross; prohibit cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners; and allow the use of only a very limited and specific set of approved Army interrogation techniques.

According to officials, the draft legislation covers four specific topics, including standards for military interrogations. It would prohibit not just physical abuse but mental torture and humiliation, such as forcing male Muslims to wear womens's underwear or engage in simulated (or real) homosexual rape.

A second provision would require all detainees to be registered with the International Committee of the Red Cross, to prevent holding "ghost detainees", the military euphemism for undocumented prisoners.

The Senators are also considering how to prohibit "rendering", the sending of prisoners for interrogation to countries known to practice torture, a practice which has caused mounting criticism across the globe, including among American allies.

They are reportedly also considering an independent commission to examine POW abuse, to more clearly define the term "enemy combatant" and to regulate the upcoming Guantanamo Bay military tribunals.

The senators planned to attach the legislation to the $442 billion Pentagon authorization bill for fiscal 2006, due to be debated in the Senate next week.

True to form, the White House has stepped in to prevent any hindrance of their asserted right to anally rape little boys and beat shackled, hooded prisoners to death -- even if 70% to 90% of them are known to have been ARRESTED BY MISTAKE and INNOCENT -- as admitted by senior American military officers.

"Dick" Cheney has taken control of the effort to hamstring the anti-torture legislation before it's even out of the gate. In a moment that smacks of Omerta, the vice-rat-bastard-in-chief held a closed-door meeting with the three senior Republicans, reportedly warning "...their legislation would interfere with the president's authority and his ability to protect Americans against terrorist attacks", and that the White House would respond to any Senate approval of such an amendment with a veto.

What are the consequences likely to be for OUR side's POWs if we continue to engage in this horrific, ineffective, soldier-endangering and illegal activity?

Well, it won't be pretty. Just ask Senator McCain.

Quote of the Day: "From my experience as a physician, the Abu Ghraib images are not an exception to the rules. They represent the rules, I believe, by which the U.S. government and military exercise power over a non-servile population to optimize the economic and political interests of an elite few in the U.S. and abroad. What is not the norm, what is exceptional, is the graphic revelation to the world of these horrors. In his book A Miracle, A Universe, New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler crystallizes the torturer's message to the tortured: 'Scream. Scream as much as you like. It doesn't matter. No one is listening. No one will ever hear you. No one will ever know.' The torturer, like the state sponsoring him, depends on the obscurity of the victim and silence of witnesses to continue his crimes.

We are all witnesses now."

Dr. Miles Schuman, documentarian, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture.

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