Carol Platt Liebau: This Is "Torture"?

Monday, September 18, 2006

This Is "Torture"?

According to a piece in England's Guardian, the interrogation techniques the CIA is seeking permission to use are the following:

[I]nduced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called "the attention grab" where a suspect's shirt is forcefully seized; the "attention slap" or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the "belly slap"; and sound and light manipulation.

And there are Americans, like John McCain (who knows what real torture is), John Warner and Lindsay Graham who would rather put American lives at risk by being unable to extract useful information from terrorist suspects than see them subjected to "sleep deprivation" and similar uncomfortable, but hardly dangerous, discomforts.

Amazing.

27 Comments:

Blogger Cliff said...

Whatever it takes!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

The nonsense never ends. Here is what Scott Horton really had to say….

SCOTT HORTON: Here we’re talking about not what’s going on in Washington D.C. We’re talking about what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places around the world, and we’re talking about murder, homicide, serious assault, torture. These are the most serious sorts of crimes that exist, and the United States took a very aggressive posture about this sort of criminality at the end of Second World War. We repeated that again during the Yugoslav campaign and following the genocide in Rwanda, taking a principled position that there must be prosecutions, including of political figures. It cannot be the case from the U.S. perspective that this is true for subequatorial African dictatorships and for the Yugoslavia regime, for the Germans and the Japanese, but not for the United States. That's not possible.


http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/27/1451229

8:20 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Like I said, whatever it takes!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

How about this.

Tortured screams ring out as Iraqis take over Abu Ghraib

By Ali Saber in Baghdad and Gethin Chamberlain


(Filed: 10/09/2006)



The notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors.


US soldier Lynndie England was convicted on six charges of abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib
Staff at the jail say the Iraqi authorities have moved dozens of terrorist suspects into Abu Ghraib from the controversial Interior Ministry detention centre in Jadriyah, where United States troops last year discovered 169 prisoners who had been tortured and starved.

An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

"The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better," said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

This is important to repeat.

"Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards."

"The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better," said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.

Who's doing the torture here?

8:43 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Editor, If you think America is so evil, why don't you be an example to all of us and turn yourself
over to the terrorists, hang your head in shame so they can chop it off!

Got it?

P.S. you're right, this nonsence never ends.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

In practice, the techniques that article describes can be absolutely hellish. Here's one description of these harsher interrogation practices from a former interrogator at Abu Ghraib, full article linked below.

When the Navy SEALS. Would interrogate people, they were using ice water to lower the body temperature of the prisoner and they would take his rectal temperature in order to make sure that he didn't die. I didn't see this, but that's what many, many prisoners told me who came out of the SEAL Compound, and I also heard that from a guard who was working in our detention facility, who was present during an interrogation that the SEAL had done.

Interestingly enough, this same guy said that the harsher practices never worked.

Sometimes. Pretty rarely, honestly. I did more than 300 interrogations in Iraq, and I'm guessing like 20 people, I got any like real intel out of. And when I did it was when I would sort of form a rapport with the person and get them to trust me. Nothing ever came out of the harsh interrogation sessions.

Just one man's experience, but interesting nonetheless.

These practices are considered abuse by both the Army Field Manual and the Geneva Conventions. Also, bear in mind that these techniques are often used against men who have not been found guilty of being terrorists by even a hearing.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Josh, why are you, Editor and others soooooo eager to TRASH our country and find ANYTHING, exaggerated or not, and use it to throw
like mud? What's with all the hate and rage?

I know, I know, others on this blog have told me to leave it alone but some things need to be addressed
once in a while.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

"These practices are considered abuse by both the Army Field Manual and the Geneva Conventions."

I read the Geneva Conventions and they DO NOT mention any of these practices. Here is a link, maybe you can find them.
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/deploymentsconflicts/l/blgenevaconv.htm
All of us on this topic should read them before commenting.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

I don't think America is evil. I do think you, Carol, Bush, Cheney and others that condone or conduct torture are evil. The allegations and evidence of torture are widely reported by Red Cross, Amnesty International, UN committee on human rights and many other credible sources.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

What's with all the hate and rage?

What hate and rage? I'm not "trashing our country." Stop spewing this nonsense.

Me: I think we should treat detainees humanely.

You: OMG WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA SO MUCH!?!?!?!?!?

I read the Geneva Conventions and they DO NOT mention any of these practices. Here is a link, maybe you can find them.
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/deploymentsconflicts/l/blgenevaconv.htm
All of us on this topic should read them before commenting.


I'm pretty sure "induced hypothermia" falls under inhumane, champ. At least, that's what those human rights organization pinkos say.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Josh, did you or Editor read ANY of the Geneva Conventions? I suppose not because you would have talked about them rather than offering your constant
dodging of the issues. Both of you are great at throwing mud and trashing everything, but when it comes to actually ingaging in a real dialogue, both of you cower away weasel out.

All blather but no guts.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Cliff has become confused by the torturer's spin.

9:40 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

McCain, Warner and Lindsay, good name, it fits him, need some divine intervention. McCain says his conscience drives him. Another word for emotion. Leave your emotions behind, guys, especially when they mislead you.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Editor, here is a list of some of those "allegations"

subject to [unspecified] "mental stress and pressure"

"willfully misdirected ... to pray north"

deprived of "comfort items"

subjected to an [apparently failed] "attempt to withdraw Qur'an"

able to hear two guards having sex, while they "assumed he was asleep"

distracted from his prayer by the "sharp intake of breath" of a female MP who'd been "sexually fondled".

offered a plate of pork
the object of a conspiracy "to keep detainee ignorant of detainee's allotted Tuesday recreation"

subjected to a "partially successful" attempt to administer injections "under the guise of immunisation", designed to "unhinge detainee's mental and emotional stability"

had his peanut butter eaten by a guard "right in front of him".

Is this the,"torture" you are referring to?

9:43 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

I gave you some sources to research earlier. You obviously haven't done your homework and therefore are not serious.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Whatever.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

Do you realize how little sense your "But the Geneva Conventions don't apply!" line of reasoning makes? If the Geneva Conventions don't forbid Bush's harsh interrogation practices then why is he trying to push through a bill reinterpreting them?

This is all from www.genevaconventions.org

Prisoners of war are entitled to the same treatment given to a country’s own forces, including total surface and cubic space of dormitories, fire protection, adequate heating and lighting, and separate dormitories for women.

Do you see how chaining someone naked in a near-freezing cell and routinely pouring water on them may just violate this?

And don't bring out the "BUT THEY AREN'T TECHNICALLY PRISONERS OF WAR," because that's a stupid dodge. We should treat all suspects within our custody according to international standards as set out in the Geneva Conventions. And it isn't just us loonie lefties who feel this way. Colin Powell and other former generals advocate the same.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

You, and people like you are going to get us all killed!

12:39 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Oh, ok. Care to support that statement by proving to me that not torturing people is going "get us all killed?"

2:25 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

No, I don't care to waste any more time with someone I thought might engage in a meaningful dialogue. You're no different than the rest on your side of the isle. I was wrong to think so, but I was hopeful though. I gave it my best shot.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

Hey Cliff,

Your son or daughter is captured, never tried but subjected to crimes against humanity and die after months of torture of the most disgusting nature. Will this lead you to surrender or fight? That is right Bush the torturer is bin Ladens best recruiting tool and makes us less safe.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

You're the one making claims and then refusing to support them. You said that the Geneva do not forbid Bush's interrogation policies, and though I showed where they did you have yet to respond. You make the claim that not torturing people is going to "get us all killed" and you have yet to back that up, either.

If by "meaningful dialogue" you mean that I take all of your talking points at face value, then no, I don't think we can have a dialogue.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

eddy's last was a peach. Suppose your son or daughter, blah blah. Guess what, sparky? The people we fight do not abide any of our notions of civility. Sorry to break the news to you.

Bush's attempt to seek clarification is due to ambiguities in Geneva. In order to allow our people to do their jobs in the face of growing weeping and gnashing of teeth regarding the "inhumane" or "undignified" treatment of prisoners and to protect them from prosection whilst obtaining useful info from those who will no longer fear them thanks to people like eddy.

There is a dilemna born of this misplaced regard for those who wish us dead. We, of course, do not wish to lower ourselves to a point anywhere near those we have captured. But to outlaw anything that would cause a prisoner to reasonably fear for his well being is to render interrogations that much more difficult. Josh spoke of one fellow describing a building of rappot with a prisoner. It's not too detailed, but it would seem that by being the one guy that would NOT cause pain would be a good rapport builder. A "good cop" in effect. Could he have built that rapport without a fear already in place? This is an important question.

Josh also intimates that prisoners who were not terrorists suffered abuses. Well. It seems natural that such strict interrogation techniques WOULD NOT work on such a person since he knows nothing to begin with. The problem is not the technique here, but upon whom it was applied.

Josh also mentions "adequate heating and lighting..." Does it say anything about fluffy pillows and downy blankets? What you mentioned sounds like their normal accomodations, but not what would constitute true torture during interrogation. In other words, after interrogation, they'd be sent back to their Waldorf Astoria settings, where they'd enjoy the adequate heating and lighting.

Truth to tell, when I hear you guys complain about the methods used by our guys, I wonder if what we see on cop shows like "Homicide: Life In The Streets" or "NYPD Blue" during their interrogations would be allowed. Frankly, I don't much care about the dignity of someone involved with the people who hack off heads. And there's a lot of humiliation and indignity that I would have no problem visiting on one of these if the chance of preventing more head chopping or plane crashing or suicide murders can be accomplished. Come up with a better way that you can support as being workable with these types, and I'll gladly give a listen.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Marshall sounds more and more like bin Laden.

12:56 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

If the Geneva Conventions don't forbid Bush's harsh interrogation practices then why is he trying to push through a bill reinterpreting them?

Because Bush has elected not to tell SCOTUS, inre Hamdan, "you have ruled, now try to enforce it." Rather, he's trying to go along with it.

That's why.

As for information gathered from the likes of KSM, I would put forth that it has saved lives already.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Again, we all need to read the Geneva Conventions, especally Article 3, which this topic is referring to.
It is a little lengthy, but Article 3, DOES NOT mention or give a definition of torture or of interrogation techniques. Read it for yourself, if you haven't already. I posted a link to it above. It needs to be read for us to continue this conversation, and I strongly recommend it.

9:32 AM  

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