Friday, May 07, 2004

Guardian: UK forces taught torture methods

....The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.
The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

One former British special forces officer who returned last week from Iraq, said: "It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn't know what they were doing."

"The spirit of liberty is the spirit of not being too sure you are right."

-- Learned Hand

Meet Me at the Rumsfeld Grill

Muslim on a string......................Job on the line

I'll be watching Senators Warner, McCain, Inhofe, Roberts, Allard, Sessions, Cornyn, Talent, Chambliss, Dole, Graham, Ensign, and Collins in their questioning of Donald Rumsfeld today. If none suggest his resignation, I'll understand that the GOP side of the Congress no longer cares for the healing of this nation, instead preferring to sup from the slimy plate of politics. Will they act in the best interests of America today? Are they patriots or partisans? We'll all be watching.

*Hearings on Capitol Hill today
Senate Armed Services Committee at 11:45 am ET
House Armed Services Committee at 3:00 pm ET

The Taguba report on prisoner abuse is HERE.

Will there be even more revelation of horrors yet to come?

Slate / William Saletan- Rape Rooms: A Chronology / What Bush said as the Iraq prison scandal unfolded.

Guardian / Julian Borger- 'Cooks and drivers were working as interrogators': Witness: private contractor lifts the lid on systematic failures at Abu Ghraib jail

About Private Lynndie England

Mother of Lynndie England speaks:
"My daughter was just following orders. I think there's a conspiracy."

"....she told me nothing happened which wasn't ordered by higher up."

"Oh my God. I can't get over this. She wanted to see the world and go to college. Now the government turned their back on her, and everything's a big joke."

--- Terrie England


A young American soldier called Lynndie England appears on more news pages than anyone else on Friday.


Who taught Lynndie and her boyfriend and the other American sadists of Abu Ghraib prison to do this?


Fort Ashby, West Virginia is suddenly thrust into the worldwide spotlight.


The Faces in the Photos-Lynndie was only one of them.


Today in History..

1915- Lusitania Sinks

1945- Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies at Reims
Who do you think you're fooling, Bush-Cheney crybabies?

"This political line of attack is offensive and should be stopped."

--Marc Racicot, Bush-Cheney campaign chairman

Do they think we don't pay attention?

One short week ago:

"I must admit that I was surprised and disappointed that Mr. Cheney chose to step off the high ground and resort to Kerry-bashing for a large portion of his speech."

--Fletcher Lamkin, President of Westminster College, Fulton, MO, who was disgusted by Cheney's offensive attacks on John Kerry in a speech given at the college
Hitching A Ride 'Round the Blogs

Thanks to the Duchess for leading me to this beauty:

Center For American Progress:
100 Mistakes for the President to Choose From

Anonymoses led me to a couple of articles I wanted to share with you. The first is by Joseph Wilson titled The Cult That's Running the Country . of this writing, the senior administration officials who took it upon themselves to protect a political agenda by exposing a national security asset are still in place. They still occupy positions of trust; they continue to hold full national security clearances. The breach of trust between the administration and its clandestine service will not be healed until they are exposed and appropriately punished.

That no real outrage has been expressed by either the president or Republicans in Congress raises the question of whether our secrets are safe in this administration's hands. By the end of February 2004, efforts to launch congressional inquiries had been voted down in three House committees. Henry Hyde, Republican chairman of the International Relations panel, claimed, "It would be irresponsible for the committee to ... jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation." On the contrary, according to congressional sources of mine, Republicans, pressured by the White House, have simply refused to exercise oversight responsibility on this national security matter.

....At a time when all experts on national security agree that we need to strengthen our ability to collect human intelligence, the unwillingness of some to seriously address this act of betrayal is surely damaging that effort.

But as with all cover-ups, such as Watergate and Iran-Contra, the revelation of the whole truth in this matter will likely be a long time coming, and have repercussions none of us can anticipate.

The second article is from a speech given by William Rivers Pitt on the Kent State campus at a ceremony to mark the 34th anniversary of the Kent State Shootings. It's titled "Tin Soldiers and We are Coming":

The truth is that it is all too convenient to use tricks of language to blame Iraqi 'terrorist insurgents' for the deaths of all those Americans. Trade places with them, however, and face an invading army commanded by leaders whose goals and motives are fully criminal, face an invading army that would kill and torture and humiliate, and think about what you would do. Language is a funny thing. It can be used to reveal, and to disguise. Even today, 34 years later, you can find a similar argument right here. Were the people shot down here insurgents? Were they terrorists? Were they patriots?

.... We have gathered here today to mourn the loss and celebrate the lives of those who fell here 34 years ago. This is sacred ground. 34 years ago, some very ordinary Americans rose up to strike a blow against a disastrous war, and the price paid for this decision to speak up and speak out was fearful and mortal. The wheel has rolled, and has come around once more.

....We must rise again on this sacred ground, we must enter again into the valley of the shadow of death, and we must fear no evil, because this must be stopped, and we must be the ones to stop it. Patriots once marched here, and must march here again. We. Must. Learn.

This is your wake up call, Mr. Bush. Your 15 minutes are just about over. Tin soldiers and we are coming.

I was reading Desolation Row and caught a ride (via link) to Akim at Empty Days. He's morally clear, I believe, in his thinking that we are taught, from the time we're children, "to believe [our nation] is superior to everybody else" and now we're told we're "fighting some rabid terrorists that are not even human", so why are we surprised when some GIs get "confused and start treating everybody as subhuman scum"? I think it runs along the same thinking of my own when I first learned about the photos. It also goes along with Marie Cocco's thinking in her latest column titled "Prison debacle shouldn't surprise us".