Friday, April 24, 2009


I just finished reading the Senate Armed Services Committee report on detainee treatment, and the more I read, the angrier I got: Page after page of military and law enforcement interrogation experts saying this stuff is illegal, immoral, doesn't work, is counter-productive, will screw up prosecutions, etc.; the SERE techniques are not applicable to interrogations; are used to harden our trainees, not loosen them up; the SERE trainers are not interrogators nor trained nor qualified in it. Yet page after page of pressure to keep pursuing these tactics from the top (political) ranks in the Pentagon and the Executive Branch: Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Yoo, Bradbury, Bybee. President Bush’s February 7, 2002 memorandum that terror suspects were not entitled to prisoner of war status under the Third Geneva Convention opened the door for it, and where do you think he got that idea? The fish rots from the head.

The tactics filtered down through the military from Guantanamo to Afghanistan to Iraq and Abu Ghraib.

One asks why, in the face of overwhelming expert advice to the contrary, top government officials were devoting so much time, money and manpower to deciding just how much pain and suffering they could inflict on prisoners in their custody, and how we could twist U.S. and international law in such a way that they could pretend it was all legal?

What the Villagers don't seem to get is this isn't about partisan politics. It's about our American identity, and goddamn it, we peasants don't like what we're seeing in the mirror. This is not who we are. It violates everything we tell ourselves we stand for, going back to childhood. These morons think it's about circling the wagons and defending Club Beltway. Bullshit.

This is outrageous.

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