Thursday, April 10, 2008

Torture Yoo

ABCNews is reporting how intimately involved The White House was with regard to the torture of detainees
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.
The so-called Principals who participated in the meetings also approved the use of "combined" interrogation techniques -- using different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time -- on terrorist suspects who proved difficult to break, sources said.
At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Then-National Security Advisor Rice, sources said, was decisive. Despite growing policy concerns -- shared by Powell -- that the program was harming the image of the United States abroad, sources say she did not back down, telling the CIA: "This is your baby. Go do it."

In disbarment news, The National Lawyers Guild has asked Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley's law school to dismiss John Yoo.
"John Yoo's complicity in establishing the policy that led to the torture of prisoners constitutes a war crime under the US War Crimes Act," said National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn.

via Think Progress

If John Yoo should be tried as a war criminal, and he should, then so should Bush, Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Powel and Ashcroft.

To call what happened on September 11 a "game changer" is simply reactionary thinking. The thought processes of small minds with no knowledge of history. The United State is torturing people. For 200 years torture has been verboten. George Washington said this during the infancy of our country,
"Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause... for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country."

-- George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

John Adams in a 1777 letter to his wife, "I know of no policy, God is my witness, but this — Piety, Humanity and Honesty are the best Policy. Blasphemy, Cruelty and Villainy have prevailed and may again. But they won't prevail against America, in this Contest, because I find the more of them are employed, the less they succeed."

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln "forbade any form of torture or cruelty" his 1863 letter was used as a model for the 1929 Geneva Convention.

Unfortunately, we have a simpleton in The White House that sees torture as a legitimate war strategy. For all the bluster of Bush, what he is doing is in our name. Bush's short-sighted, simple view of this war is not making us safer, not making us any friends. In the end, Bush's policies will harm us even more than they already have.

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