Torture must not stand for the USBy Fancy Pants Elitist at 9:09 PM
(edited at 9:45 am on Jan. 28, 2005)
When I first heard the stories of the torture in Abu Ghraib, it physically hurt. I couldn't believe we had done this. Not my country. I'm the daughter of a military judge, this just can't happen. Not against innocent people that we were there to liberate from the very practices of the tyrant that ruled their country. We were told before the war, that he would boil alive people in oil, that he had "rape rooms", etc, all kind of atrocities, that really turned the stomach of our nation. Now we know that not only did we not stop those practices in Abu Ghraib and in other places around the world (Guantanamo and Afghanistan and outsourced prisons) we are CONTINUING it.
And now, on this 60th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, the man being considered for the top law enforcement officer in the US government, that of Attorney General, is none other than the author of the memos that have left a deep stain on the collective soul of our country, Alberto Gonzales. Our very own modern day Himmler. What on EARTH have we become?
Today, yet another hideous story reached our newswires. This is a more mild form of torture and coercion that we have inflicted on people who've not been charged with any crime, but it still breeds further contempt for America, and endangers our soldiers and our standing in the world. We can thank Roberto Gonzales for this travesty of justice, who was nominated for Attorney General by our own Fredo Corleone, George W. Bush. And today, I became aware of yet another story of abuses from the Los Angeles Times
The argument that torture endangers our troops and wrecks our position in the world, are very valid points, but really, TORTURE is just ethically wrong. None of us would want our fingers cut off, would want to be raped, would want electrodes placed on our genitals, would want to hang for hours in tight fitting handcuffs, etc. For that matter would want our children or wives to be raped before our eyes, or to see our father die of heart failure due to torture. To know that the "Rapture Right" is actively advocating Gonzales' confirmation means that these people haven't gotten the message of their own savior, to treat others as they want to treated. I'm surprised it even has to be pointed out that this is wrong.
90% of the victims of our torture were innocent people, in fact the infamous photo of the man in the hood was revealed to me in the magazine "The Week", who gathered their information from Vanity Fair. He was picked up by our soldiers on the street because he had a bandage on his hand and they suspected him of doing roadside bombings. He was a mosque administrator. His pseudonym is Haj Ali, he is afraid of harassment by our military to go public.
Our behavior at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere is not just torture, but murder according to legal briefs:
On 11-04-2003, the Iraqi detainee Manadal Al-Jamadi died in Abu Ghraib during questioning by officers from the CIA. His death was caused by a brain hemorrhage, hich resulted from injuries he had received when a Marine hit him with the barrel of his shotgun during detention. The picture of his corpse, wrapped in plastic, went all around the world. (cf. Bob Drogin, op cit.)
Manadel al-Jamadi, an Iraqi prisoner in CIA custody, died in Abu Ghraib on November 4, 2003. He had originally been taken captive by Navy SEALS and hit on the head with shotgun barrels. Two CIA agents then secretly took Jamadi to Abu Ghraib without going through the normal admittance procedure there, which includes a medical examination. The agents placed Jamadi in a shower with a sandbag on his head. Three-quarters of an hour later he was dead. A CIA superior ordered Jamadi’s corpse to be left in the prison for another day, saying he would ring Washington. There are photos showing Jamadi’s battered corpse in a body-bag filled with ice. (Hersh, Chain of Command, p. 45) The next day US officials secretly removed the man’s corpse from the prison, putting him on a stretcher so that it looked as if he were ill and not dead. At least three SEALS have been accused of his maltreatment, but no officer from the CIA has been yet. (Fay/Jones report, pp. 87, 89, 109, 110, Jamadi is identified in the report as PRISONER 28)
There are more examples of this at The Center for Constitutional Rights. It's a discouraging accounting of the atrocities we've committed at Abu Ghraib, and quite depressing to realize our own people are doing this.
The US made a HUGE issue about the mistreatment of women in Afghanistan when we were going over there. And personally, at the time, I wanted to see the Women of Afghanistan to be freed of their Tali Ban oppressors. But now, according to Tara Mckelvey, a senior editor of the American Prospect
our soldiers have probably raped Iraqi women at Abu Ghraib, and probably elsewhere.
There is so much more to share and to explain, but I will conclude with this... we join Daily Kos in their objection to the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales. We cannot condone or support an appointment to the highest law enforcement in the land of a man who has advocated this treatment of the helpless and innocent victims of our war. This also sets a precedent for American citizens to suffer the same abuse in our own nation. We object strongly to the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as the Attorney General of this United States. He will do nothing except destroy any credibility we have and further darken the stain that is already on our soul.
P.S. The ACLU has Action Alerts on this and other critical issues at their website. Join with me today in contacting your Senators to let them know you object to torture and those who would encourage it.
And supported by blogger: SteveL