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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:36 pm
 


<strong>Written By:</strong> Reverend Blair
<strong>Date:</strong> 2005-11-13 12:36:00
<a href="/article/193634595-rogues">Article Link</a>

<p>I know that there are claims that the war was legal and that there is no such thing as international law. Those claims never were valid and become less valid each time they are repeated to defend a White House that has become indefensible. There is such a thing as international law and the US invokes it whenever it suits the purposes of the White House. The war was one of aggression according to the laws the US helped to frame and articulate.</p> <p>When Seymour Hersch broke the Abu Ghraib story, there was already a move to cover it up. <a href="http://counterpunch.org/peterson05042004.html">CBS had agreed not to air a segment on 60 Minutes</a> at the request of the US military. It is not clear exactly when, or if, CBS would have aired that story had Hersch not have had the same story coming out in the New Yorker. </p> <p>When the story broke the right-wing pundits were clear. The apologists and propagandists for the Bush regime were in full swing. The spin was everywhere. Being anally raped with a broom handle was not torture, they told us. Being beaten to death was no worse than the normal college football team hazing. It was just kids having fun.</p> <p>When the political spin didn't work, the tune changed. It was just a few bad apples. Some sadists that slipped into the US military despite the best efforts of those in charge. They would be made to pay for their crimes. Torture is not something that is approved of by the White House, after all. Not publicly.</p> <p>Hersch and others have recently reported the rape and torture of women and children at Abu Ghraib. There are allegedly videotapes and photographs that have not been released. The White House doesn't approve of torture, does it?</p> <p>The White House is trying to keep these images out of the public eye, ostensibly for national security reasons. They are, they say, likely to cause a backlash against the US in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Perhaps a suggestion is in order: If you don't want to suffer a backlash because you've been committing rape and torture, then perhaps you shouldn't have committed those acts in the first place.</p> <p><a href="http://haw.yachana.org/resources/torture/cox.html">Historians Against the War</a> provides a fairly detailed report of US torture in Iraq. Written by John Cox, it tells of rape, torture and abuse not just at Abu Ghraib, but throughout Iraq. The International Red Cross has issued a <a href="http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2004/icrc_report_iraq_feb2004.htm">damning report on Abu Ghraib</a>. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have expressed extreme concern over the US treatment of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere.</p> <p>There have been credible stories of the US sending prisoners to be interrogated in countries that torture as a matter of course. There have been prisoners beaten to death in Afghanistan and the reports from Guantanamo Bay are of mistreatment if not outright torture. Reports of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are credible. Charges of the US government committing the secret rendition of alleged suspects from third countries, apparently without always having the approval of those countries, point to even more abuse and torture.</p> <p>Torture is not the only breach of international law the US has engaged in. They continue to use <a href="http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm">depleted uranium,</a> phosphorus, and <a href="http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/030810-napalm-iraq01.htm">napalm</a> in spite of these weapons being banned under international law.</p> <p>They have also backed out of longstanding nuclear treaties. The Bush administration has talked openly about developing a nuclear first strike capability and about <a href="http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2004_11/Krepon.asp">weaponising space</a> through its Ballistic Missile Defense initiative. They have also embarked on the development of so-called field and <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3126141.stm">mini-nukes</a>. . ..small nuclear weapons designed for use in battlefield scenarios. </p> <p>US attempts to protect civilians, infrastructure, and antiquities during the war in Iraq have also been severely lacking. The failure to stop the looting during the invasion was covered fairly extensively. Guarding the Ministry of Oil, an office building full of paperwork, while chaos reigned on the streets of Baghdad was unconscionable. The ongoing negligence in protecting antiquities and archaeological sites is reminiscent of the Taliban destroying Buddha statues in Afghanistan. The bombing of and failure to protect and repair infrastructure that provides fresh water and electricity to the Iraqi people shows a callous disregard both for the well-being of the Iraqi people and the rule of international law. The bombing of civilians is a war crime that may have killed as many as 100,000 Iraqis and there is no reasonable justification for it.</p> <p>Breaches of international law that widespread are not caused by a few individuals at the bottom of the command structure. They are an indication of a systemic problem. If the problem is due to negligence and poor training that is bad enough, but the Bush administration's statements about there being no such thing as international law, their refusal to participate in the International Criminal Court, their attempts to undermine the authority of the United Nations, their refusal to honour the sovereignty of other nations, their unilateral withdrawal from treaties, their continued use of banned weapons, and the rhetoric that they use to justify their actions all point to the United States systematically ignoring international law.</p> <p>The issue of torture has become the weak spot of the Bush administration. They cannot both deny that they support torture and refuse to make it illegal. The schizophrenic nature of such a stance does not meet any standards of common sense. Such attempts to justify a disregard for the rule of law are one of the hallmarks of a rogue state and it is far past time that the international community stood up to the United States.</p> <p>Under international agreements that Canada has signed, we are required to arrest and prosecute those who are suspected of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Many other countries have signed the same agreements. If we cannot prosecute them, they can be turned over to the international courts. George Bush and senior members of his cabinet are suspected by many of breaching the laws governing this area of international law, and much evidence has already been presented.</p> <p>While it is not practical to arrest these people because of the power of the United States wields both militarily and economically, our leaders could, at the very least, quit aiding and abetting the Bush administration in their crimes. Canada and the rest of the international community have not only been reluctant to say no to the American flaunting of international law, we have cooperated with them.</p> <p>As George Galloway recently pointed out, “Your ships in the Gulf and your soldiers in Afghanistan are doing the dirty work of George W. Bush and Tony Blair. They are freeing American ships and soldiers to go to Fallujah and massacre the people of Iraq.” What Galloway didn't point out is that Canadian security services are complicit in much more than that. CSIS and the RCMP have cooperated in having Canadian citizens tortured by third countries and have cooperated with US spy agencies. These US spy agencies have targeted political activists while supporting brutal regimes in places like Uzbekistan and trying to undermine and depose democratically elected governments in places like Venezuela. We are supporting not only the commission of questionable acts by dealing with these agencies, but aiding in the commission of what are undoubtedly gross human rights abuses. By supporting the US government in its crimes, we are acting as criminals ourselves.</p> <p>By not vocally criticising the illegal acts of the United States we are doing the world a disservice. By cooperating with them we are encouraging them to continue their criminality. Through our tacit support of a rogue nation, we are becoming rogues.</p> [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 14, 2005]


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:27 pm
 


Good post and well researched Reverend Blair.

---
Perception is two thirds of what we perceive reality to be.

Difficult decisions are a privilege of rank.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:29 pm
 


Very good article. You basically said it all and stated the facts really good. It is amazing though how many people still refuse to see the truth about what is going on though.





PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:25 pm
 


That is not torture. Ask Concentration Camp survivors and those who were POW's under the Japanese in WWII.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:45 pm
 


See above for why 35% of Bush zombies still support this crap.

Torture is torture no matter who has done it. Dozens (that we know of) have died in US jails mr anon. Tortured to death. You may spin spin spin all you want, but those that think for themselves know you don't draw lines when it comes to torture. So if you are wanting to look at case studies look at Senator John McCain - a US citizen tortured who happens to be a Republican calling for an outright ban of US torture. Sorry to say but you appeasers make me sick.

Moving on - notice the latest Bush spin - to claim to have told no lies because Democrats voted for the war using the intel supplied to them. It is an arguement that goes perfect for the poster above who refuses to think and question, but falls utterly flat to anyone with half a brain. First, so what if they voted to sanction war on Iraq (which they didn't really vote for war, but Bush went anyways, but that is a different post) using cooked and twisted intelligence? When you are presented cherry picked evidence that is all false and told repeatidly that it is true, yes some would fall for it. I say some because not all Democrats voted for the war. But that still makes zero difference when you couple in the fact that not all intelligence was shared with the Democrats, and that they are now questioning the information given to them.

That is the main point - they are now questioning the lies told to them. But to Bush zombies, falling for lies covers over the reason for giving the lie in the first place. It is incredible thinking, and has worked on the weak-minded.

I say, Bush has gone to his last ace in the hole - blame your problem on your enemies, tarnish them, and above all question their patriotism. It is the last act of a cornered man with nowhere else to go. To have trotted out his latest speach on Nov 11 talking about "revising history" is pathetic and a smear on all those that actually fought and did not protect Houston from Vietcong attack while being AWOL.

The only revising of history going on is in the republican camp. You remember right?

First it was wmds, then it was connections to Osama, then it was because he was a bad man, then it was to bring them freedom, then it was to fight "them over there instead of here", and next week who knows? That is revising history like no other. I don't expect Bush zombies to follow the bouncing ball because they refuse to remember the false pretenses of the war to begin with.

---
If there was ever a time for Canadians to become pushy - now is the time - for time is running out on this nation called Canada.



If there was ever a time for Canadians to become pushy - now is the time - for time is running out on this nation called Canada.





PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:50 pm
 


I didn't vote for Bush Mr. Whyte. I think Whyte stands for the white lines you seem to be snorting.





PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:10 am
 


What's with this stupid bouncing ball. It must be completly a Candaian thing.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:52 am
 


Well good for you Mr. Anon, that still doesn't change a thing, as you clearly still think Americans are not currently "torturing" people because it is not your narrow classical view of torture. Or is it... <a href="http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx/2005/11/13/afx2333394.html">http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx/2005/11/13/afx2333394.html</a><br />
<br />
Well well, CIA hiding evidence of a prisoner beaten to death within a couple hours of arriving at Saddam's fav torture bin. Dare I say I am not surprised? As time goes by, evidence will come to light that these cases are far more common then those that have slowly so far come to the public realm of knowledge.<br />
<br />
America tortures people - there is no denying that anymore. Their claim to be land of freedom blah blah blah is no longer valid as long as Bush and cabal inhabit the halls of power. War crimes charges are not coming fast enough.<br />
<br />
The evil man they created in Saddam is gone, the Iranian Mullahs all but control Iraq so chalk up a victory Mr. Bush and get the hell out! Pat yourself on the back, and for all of us in the reality based world, please at your earliest pleasure take a sightseeing trip to the Hague. Pack alot of clothes...<p>---<br>If there was ever a time for Canadians to become pushy - now is the time - for time is running out on this nation called Canada.



If there was ever a time for Canadians to become pushy - now is the time - for time is running out on this nation called Canada.





PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:10 am
 


All done with the silent approval of your government.Can anyone say 'Arar'?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:31 am
 


Like millions of European women, my mother was gangraped by Soviet troops after the fall of Budapest and my grandparents died of the effects of starvation. When the communist secret police found out in 1948 that I was in England, my mother was arrested four times and tortured, to find out how I got there and what I was doing, when somebody went to them and claimed that I was a lieutenant in the British Army? Of course she had no idea and finally they let her go. In any case, I never was in the British Army and only a 17 year old private in the Hungarian.

Now, perhaps these red hot American patriots, hiding behind anonymity, would be kind to tell us what's the difference between the actions of the Soviet and US secret polices and interrogation techniques ?

The Soviets declared their political prisoners as "non-persons", who could be tortured and killed at will. Now the US is doing the same. Both claiming that they did and do it in the "defence of freedom and democracy"

Some "freedom".

Ed Deak, Big Lake, BC.





PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:11 am
 


Would you have rather lived there, under their system, or in the west?





PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:33 am
 


That's a bit of a dishonest question. By escaping, Ed Deak made a choice. Many others did the same, but after many years, they now see the "democratic west" (on both sides of the Atlantic and on both sides of the 49th parallel) going the wrong way. In his autobiography, Cardinal Mindzenty quotes the leader of the Hungarian Peasant Party who saidf at one time about the situation in Hungary: "Everything is going the wrong way" and this is what is happening in so many places.





PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:57 am
 


I respect Ed, even though I only know him from his articles and comments, and I am sorry for the tragedy in his life, but there is no moral equivalency between then and now. I had relatives and also worked with people who fought hand to hand, with Japanese and Germans in WWII. I knew people(now deceased) who were in concentration camps run by both countries. Putting underwear on someone's head is not the same thing as putting someone out in the freezing weather, pouring water on their bodies, and leaving them out all night to freeze to death. Taking off someones clothes and taking their picture is not the same as taking off their clothes for a one way trip to the showers. There is more, but I think I made my point. I just hate the whole situation and there are two sides to every story, but that doesn't mean I agree with any of it.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:01 pm
 


I friend in Switzerland just sent me the following. Even after 40 years of reading military history, this is the first time I've heard of this. <br />
<br />
Ed Deak. <br />
===================================================<br />
<br />
<br />
And don't forget the Brits...<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1640958,00.html">http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1640958,00.html</a><br />
<br />
<br />
Revealed: UK wartime torture camp<br />
<br />
<br />
Ian Cobain<br />
Saturday November 12 2005<br />
The Guardian<br />
<br />
<br />
The British government operated a secret torture centre during the second<br />
world war to extract information and confessions from German prisoners,<br />
according to official papers which have been unearthed by the Guardian.<br />
<br />
<br />
More than 3,000 prisoners passed through the centre, where many were<br />
systematically beaten, deprived of sleep, forced to stand still for more<br />
than 24 hours at a time and threatened with execution or unnecessary<br />
surgery.<br />
<br />
<br />
Some are also alleged to have been starved and subjected to extremes of<br />
temperature in specially built showers, while others later complained that<br />
they had been threatened with electric shock torture or menaced by<br />
interrogators brandishing red-hot pokers.<br />
<br />
<br />
The centre, which was housed in a row of mansions in one of London's most<br />
affluent neighbourhoods, was carefully concealed from the Red Cross, the<br />
papers show. It continued to operate for three years after the war, during<br />
which time a number of German civilians were also tortured.<br />
<br />
<br />
A subsequent assessment by MI5, the Security Service, concluded that the<br />
commanding officer had been guilty of "clear breaches" of the Geneva<br />
convention and that some interrogation methods "completely contradicted"<br />
international law.<br />
<br />
<br />
On at least one occasion, an MI5 officer noted in a newly declassified<br />
report, a German prisoner was convicted of war crimes and hanged on the<br />
basis of a confession which he had signed after he was, at the very least,<br />
"worked on psychologically". A number of people who appeared as prosecution<br />
witnesses at war crimes trials are also alleged to have been tortured.<br />
<br />
<br />
The official papers, discovered in the National Archives, depict the centre<br />
as a dark, brutal place which caused great unease among senior British<br />
officers. They appear to have turned a blind eye partly because of the<br />
usefulness of the information extracted, and partly because the detainees<br />
were thought to deserve ill treatment.<br />
<br />
<br />
Not all the torture centre's secrets have yet emerged, however: the<br />
Ministry of Defence is continuing to withhold some of the papers almost 60<br />
years after it was closed down.<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />





PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:06 pm
 


Ed, you know what would have happened if Germany, Japan, & Italy would have won WWII. How can anyone see black & white films of camp atrocities and see it any other way?


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