Thursday, April 17, 2008

The T Squad: Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Torquemada

“Why are we talking about this in theWhite House?
History will not judge this kindly.”*

*John Ashcroft over some beers and a pizza with the White House's official TS (Torture Squad)

One week ago, the folks at ABC News let loose with a potential bombshell of a story:

(ABC News) In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News.

On the right: an appropriate George W. Bush portrait - composite of pictures of the soldiers killed in Iraq

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, Rough Interrogation and Alternative Set of Procedures are terms that the Bush Administration uses to describe methodsof aggressively extracting information from which is purportedly necessary in the War on Terror despite the alternate name, the United Nations, the Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights First (HRF) and Physicians for Human Rights (PFH) Elizabeth de la Vega, and many other experts consider this to be torture, and also consider the techniques ineffective. For its use on Canadian citizen Omar Khadr Canada listed the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on a watch list for torture.

But that's kind of a tradition in Washington isn't ? Keeping things secret so that the American people won't find out about them? What I hate most about American politics: it's making a conspiracy theorist out of me! And what's even worse: I don't care! I'll grab onto any 'ole conspiracy you give me and I'll believe it just to spite any Washington politician. (Well maybe not just any politician, but some Democrats and a great deal of Republicans.) So Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft, Cheney and Powell decided how to torture, how many times to use the same torture and who to torture. And they knew that if their secret meetings and the subject matter ever got out, careers - not heads - would roll.

Torquemada to the rescue!

But they did have those meetings and they did approve torture methods. And where was Torquemada during all of this? Certainly not in their brains. How prescient was Ashcroft when he made the remark about history? Did they think that no one would find out before they could cash in on those post-administration lecture tours?

While reading about our beloved administration, I happened across information about MKULTRA. Never heard of it? Now THERE'S a conspiracy! It was the CIA's attempted research into - mind control. The only problem with their research lay in the fact that most of the time, THEY DIDNT TELL ANYONE - NOT EVEN THE SUBJECTS OF THE EXPERIMENTS:

Frank Olson, a United States Army biochemist and biological weapons researcher, was given LSD without his knowledge or consent in 1953 as part of a CIA experiment, and mysteriously committed suicide a week later following a severe psychotic episode. A CIA doctor assigned to monitor Olson's recovery claimed to be asleep in another bed in a New York City hotel room when Olson jumped through the window to fall ten stories to his death.

Olson's son disputes this version of events, and maintains that his father was murdered due to his knowledge of the often-lethal interrogation techniques employed by the CIA in Europe, used on Cold War prisoners. Frank Olson's body was exhumed in 1994, and cranial injuries indicated Olson had been knocked unconscious before exiting the window.

Just how extensive was the CIA's research? It encompassed:

44 American colleges or universities, 15 research foundations or chemical or pharmaceutical companies and the like, 12 hospitals or clinics (in addition to those associated with universities), and 3 prisons are known to have participated in MKULTRA.

And I'll leave you with this conspiracy: John Wilkes Booth was not acting alone when he shot Abraham Lincoln. On that same day, Secretary of State Seward, along with his family were attacked in their home./ Several people were hanged for conspiracy. One such person was Lewis Thornton Powell:

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