Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Last Nail in the Bush Administration's Coffin: Waterboarding WAS Torture.

And It Proudly Held The Cheney Seal Of Approval!
(His fingerprints must have been all over the memos!)

For those who have lived in a cave for the past weeks, the subject yesterday, today and tomorrow has been, is and will be: waterboarding.

From wikipedia - Effects of Waterboarding:
The technique does not inevitably cause lasting physical damage. It can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, ultimately, death. Adverse physical consequences can start manifesting months after the event; psychological effects can last for years.

From the 2005 Bradbury memo:

The CIA used the waterboard "at least 83 times during August 2002" in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.

Releasing previously classified memos is always a situation fraught with dangerous consequences. In the case of the "Torture memos" (as they're sure to become known) concerning torture of Al Qaeda detainees/suspects, their release has broken America into two main factions facing each other and screaming: "We torture!" "We do not torture!" But as each day goes by, the "We torture" side has gotten louder, while the dissenters' has gotten weaker. The memos, the testimonies - EVIDENCE - has come to the fore and it's all damaging: to the Bush Administration, to Dick Cheney in particular (as the foremost champion of torture), but most of all, to the The United States of America.

We will be labeled hypocrits - and rightly so. We will be called sinister and evil. But - worst of all - the world will laugh at us for impeaching a President who lied about getting a "Lewinsky" from an intern and not impeaching a President who said "We do not torture, " when we did. The amount of humiliation we will receive may become so great we may never recover from it. President Obama will have to make an urgent request to the nation along these lines: "Every citizen of the United States MUST at all times be a roving ambassador' of good will. If you cannot convince the world that we were deceived as much as everyone, we will never have ANY stature in the world!" There are so many people who's frustration took hold with Abu Ghraib and ascended to the heights of anger with these memos:

From: Pros Before Hos - Word of the Day:

What kind of fucking country do you live in where you have to debate whether torturing someone is a crime? What kind of country do you live in when you can spend 3 years prosecuting the President for a consensual sexual act but won’t prosecute a President for authorizing illegal wiretaps and torturing people? What kind of country do you live in where the supposed ’spiritual’ and ‘religious’ leaders think it’s OK to torture non-Christians?
In a previous post, I presented a picture of U.S. and Vietnamese troops waterboarding a Viet Cong soldier. Does it make waterboarding right? Let's look back a bit further in history.

From Crooks and Liars:
On November 29, 2007, Sen. McCain, while campaigning in St. Petersburg, Florida, said, "Following World War II war crime trials were convened. The Japanese were tried and convicted and hung for war crimes committed against American POWs. Among those charges for which they were convicted was waterboarding."
The problem we have now is: who do we hang?

Just a thought.

P.S.: Below is a little video clip of an interview with King Abdullah of Jordan (who might know a thing or two about torture)