Thursday, July 3, 2008

Incompetence and Coincidence at GITMO

Kudos to Scott Shane, reporter from the New York Times for revealing what is one of the most unbelievable stories to come out of the sad sad saga of GITMO. In his article yesterday, Scott reveals that the torture methods, or "interrogation" methods (sorry about that George and Dick, don't want to besmirch your reputations) came from a chart developed by a program called SERE. I'll let Scott tell it, he writes better than I do:

The military trainers who came to Guantanamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure". "What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

The recycled chart is the latest and most vivid evidence of the way Communist interrogation methods that the United States long described as torture became the basis for interrogations both by the military at the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and by the CIA.

Let's just call this the latest chapter of "you can't make this stuff up" from the battle front on the fake "War on Terror" that seems to be the only mission of the United States of America. Clearly, this represents a level of incompetence to a degree never imagined before and is so hilariously stupid that to actually conceive of this level of incompetence is almost unimaginable. All the while, Addington and Cheney and their crew are visiting GITMO regularly for the past 7 years and watching and lovingly adoring their brand new war and running roughshod over the laws of our land and international law.

OK, let's take short look at this one more time... the military created this chart used by Chinese Communists to gain false confessions from American Soldiers and used it as a training guide to prepare American Soldiers for what was to happen to them in the event they were tortured, and train them to deal effectively with these techniques. Then it was recycled as an AMERICAN interrogation guide for AMERICAN captors to be used on prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the secret CIA prisons strewn throughout the world to get the TRUTH about their terror plans.

As this new set of revelations begins to reverberate and get digested by those who are paying attention, it just adds to the long list of atrocities perpetrated by our military and intelligence services. As more and more information comes out about GITMO... such as the incarceration of five men known as Uighurs most of whom are Muslims, and have fought a low-level insurgency against Beijing’s rule for years. They were captured in Afghanistan and the U.S. had no case against them. So after holding them for 6 years at GITMO, they were sent to live in Albania in a deal cut with the Chinese Government. SHAMEFUL!!!

It just gets worse and worse for this sordid tale of an illegal prison paid for by American tax dollars and implemented by this administration. As Scott Shane reports, charges against Mohammed al-Qahtani, suspected of being part of the 9/11 plot were dropped last May (no doubt because he was coerced into false confessions) and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a SUPPOSED Qaeda member accused of playing a major role in the bombing of the American destroyer Cole in Yemen in 2000, was charged with murder and other crimes last Monday. But Mr. Nashiri was subjected to waterboarding, and has said he confessed to participating in the bombing falsely only because he was tortured.

Why is it that the rest of the world knows full well that torture produces false confessions, but we don't seem to know this? The British learned this 30 years ago when they used torture on the IRA only to receive no good information that led to further British troop deaths. Why are we so ignorant?

I can already see the hearings coming in Congress. Once again we'll hear the same story... didn't know, incompetence, lack of oversight, coincidence.

I see this a bit differently.

Each time we hear the coincidence/incompetence defense by government officials it causes changes that are FAVORABLE to the ones who perpetrated the crime. Over and over again... with each seeming blunder, "reform" is made and the end result is that more money and resources flow into the military and intelligence communities to fix the problem.

I will also argue, that this was done very much on purpose. Hiding behind the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts approved by our elected officials, these tactics and the destruction of our laws and morality as a nation have created an environment where false confessions are garnered as standard operation procedure and can be done in complete secrecy to innocent people branded "enemy combatants". Then, the "terrorists" or "enemy combatants" are sent away and the full story never gets told. And what is the full story?

There is no organized "worldwide terror network" and that this state of permanent war that is draining the resources of our society benefits those in power by keeping our incredibly ill informed citizenry in a state of constant fear of attack. It then forever justifies the need for a bloated military that builds weapons systems costing billions and billions of dollars in order to fight NO ONE. (How many nuclear subs does it take to destroy Al Queda's Navy, or B2 bombers to fight of Al Queda's Air Force?) Why doesn't anyone get this? All the money goes to weapons systems... not fighting Al Queda!! 20 minutes of basic research into the Pentagon budget and any idiot can easily see this to be true.

Our military industrial complex NEEDS FALSE CONFESSIONS to provide the necessary framework for proof of a worldwide conspiracy to attack us. The methods which we employ to garner these confessions does not matter to them... it is a means to an end. THEY NEED A WAR!! And once the confession is made, the confessor can no longer prove they were lying.

Whether or not we are our own worst enemy is not the story here... the story is that no matter what comes out of the awful recent history of our shameful behavior, the "WAR ON TERROR" will continue unabated as the propaganda machine has burnt into 300 million brains that this war actually exists. This "war" shapes every aspect of public discourse and the idea that it does not exist is not even discussed, nor the incredible sums of money spent on weapons systems to fight enemies that also don't exist. NOT EVER DISCUSSED.

I'll let you in on an open secret... we created this war and will continue to foster it, feed it and nurture it. A lot of money can be made.

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