Tuesday, January 25, 2011


--Bill Mauldin, 1940's

We have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will ...
it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal,

basically, to achieve our objective

--Vice President Dick Cheney

[E]very one of these dead noncombatants represents

an alienated family, a new desire for revenge,

and more recruits for a militant movement

that has grown exponentially

even as drone strikes have increased

--Death from Above

Don't just stand there, kill something!



In the previous post (Connecting the Dots) we speculated about the impending U.S. torture civil suits to come, in the vein of the Marcos' victims' suit.

Cheney's statement above got the torture ball rolling, with few raising any serious objectives to the criminal behavior to follow.

We wonder what Cheney's "objective" defined. Was it the defeat of terrorism, or the subversion of the American concepts of legality. If the former, that is a goal more ridiculous than Neville Chamberlain's "Peace in Our Time", for at least somewhere there is peace; for terrorism to be defeated, it must exist nowhere, and that menace will never be eradicated until humans in unequal positions with grudges are eradicated.

The books
The Dark Side, by Jane Mayer, and Torture Team, by Philippe Sands address the U.S. approach to achieving Cheney's objective:

  • Lawyers worked for a government led by reactors rather than leaders. They used tortuous legal logic to justify a democracy to use torture
  • Torture was a top-down affair, contrary to the propaganda which portrayed torture as a bottom-up development
  • Torture did not lead to significant counter-terrorism. Nothing of strategic or even tactical significance was gained through torture, contrary to the claims of George W. Bush or Cheney
  • The civilian leadership of the Department of Defense bypassed the military, rendering its chain of command irrelevant with regards to torture. The paper trail resides on Rumsfeld's desk
  • Whether the military chain preferred to be hoodwinked, bypassed and rendered ineffectual will never be known without careful historical analysis
  • Torture was policy at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, Bagram and all of the undisclosed CIA secret dark sites.
  • SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, escape) training was perverted to facilitate "breaking" prisoners. Medical and mental health professionals facilitated torture techniques. Torture became nothing but vengeance.

The U.S. courts have failed in their legal responsibilities to address crimes that violated U.S. and International torture statutes. This sidestepping has been achieved by invoking "national security" issues as superseding the law. However, at least one court in Italy has tried U.S. agents in absentia, finding them guilty of kidnapping and illegal renditions.

At some point, a court will address U.S. leaders and followers for their role in these illegal acts.
The argument that the U.S. President may order illegal tactics to secure the U.S.'s well-being does not wash, as even the POTUS is subject to the rule of law.

Unless the courts address the issue, presidents can create endless wars via murkily defined and assumed spurious wartime powers.

NOTE: Today's NYT
calls for "some measure of accountability" from the Bush administration, this time regarding the C.I.A.’s decision to destroy torture tapes in 2005 "rather than submit them to the judge for a decision on whether to order their public release ... a serious affront to the court and the rule of law" (A Case for Accountability).

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Blogger jo6pac said...

I for one would be schocked if any one does time except so low level operative with no connections and can’t tell on others because they don’t know were the orders came from. If fact I’ll be stunned if they even open a case on any of the gwb or o dealings. Hell they can’t find anything on Manning and he is still locked down. I think o well release pollard in the next year and he should have been locked away for ever.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 4:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jo,

Aside fr. this post:

Jim said he saw your moniker on the Daewoo website yesterday. I know you are also a wine aficionado after stumbling upon you @ the Grey Report.

You are an eclectic person :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 12:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea who Daewoo is, please help. Yes I do wonder around the web some are thought provoking sites such as this one and many others. Then there are some that are just plain fun. I listen to this station http://www.kozt.com/default.html and came to the area for the crab cake/ wine feed. Then there was an ad on the same station for this a week later http://www.littleriverinn.com/dining/crab-and-sake.php so I’m going there tomorrow. Gray always talks about the different taste of sake and since I’ve never indulged in this vice, it should be fun.
If you ever get to this area this place has some really good beer. http://www.northcoastbrewing.com/
Oh and the weather has been sunny and in the mid 60s very rare at this time of year. At home in the Central Valley foggy and cold, but nothing like the rest of the nation is seeing right now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 11:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Daewoo is a weapon site.
Specifically Korean rifles/pistols.

Friday, January 28, 2011 at 11:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jo,

I'm glad the weather is so obliging for you. Someone has your handle @ Daewoo -- must be lots o' beer connoisseurs :)

Friday, January 28, 2011 at 12:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, I own a weapon but haven't visited any sites like that.
Have safe weekend and may be on Monday Egypt will have a new leader.

Friday, January 28, 2011 at 4:26:00 PM GMT-5  

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