Interrogation and Torture: False Equivalence

Jim has commented on Obamination: National Insecurity.

If waterboarding is not torture than why did we treat those who did it to our troops as war criminals in WWII? All your reasoning is in fact anti-law and anti-American. I suggest you re-consider your stand on this.

The “waterboarding” performed by convicted Japanese took two forms. One form was similar to that used by the CIA, but had two significant differences. The Japanese continued the treatment until their victim had a belly full of water, then they beat him or stomped his belly. Did the CIA fill Khalid Sheikh Mohammad with water? Did they beat him? Did they stomp him?

The second form involved tieing the victim to a ladder, with his throat up against a rung and his head hanging below the ladder. In that position he was dunked in a tub of water, submerged until he passed out. The victim was then revived and immersed again.

My source for that information is a post at Investor’s Hub. In this Times Online article, linked in that forum post, a British officer who survived the water torture describes his experience. If you would like to know more about the torture performed by the Japanese who were convicted and hung, summon up all your intestinal fortitude and click this link.

Critical elements of the Japanese torture are missing from the CIA waterboarding, which was carried out with medical supervision and monitoring and did not involve saturation, beating or other physical injuries.

Jim is comparing interrogation to torture, ignoring the details which differentiate the two practices. It is obvious that he is ignorantly or maliciously repeating enemy propaganda. The moralistic tone of his comment leads me to conclude that he acts out of malice, not ignorance.

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Obamanation: National Insecurity

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY COMMENCEMENT

Two excerpts from that commencement address stand out below the rest; I quote them here.


In a culture where so many chase the outward markers of success that can so often lead us astray — the titles and status, the materialism and money, the fame and popularity — these Americans have embraced the virtues that we need most right now: self-discipline over self-interest; work over comfort; and character over celebrity.

Sometimes a con man, in his conceit, will effectively confess his crimes to his victims, firm in the belief that they are too dull to fully comprehend what he is saying. I view that first quote as a prime example of that hubris. President Obama expected that the graduates were too excited and we were too lazy to plumb the depth of his words. The following outline may help you to observe how those words apply to the man who spoke them.

  • outward markers of success
  • titles and status
  • Senator
  • President
  • materialism and money
    • Presidential salary
    • book royalties
    • expensive Chicago real estate
  • fame and popularity
  • character over celebrity
  • Yesterday I visited the National Archives and the halls that holds our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence, and our Bill of Rights. I went there because, as our national debate on how to deal with the security challenge that we face proceeds, we must remember this enduring truth: The values and ideals in those documents are not simply words written into aging parchment, they are the bedrock of our liberty and our security. We uphold our fundamental principles and values not just because we choose to, but because we swear to; not because they feel good, but because they help keep us safe and keep us true to who we are.

    What principle is more fundamental to this nation than individual liberty? What safeguards it more than strict limits on the power of governments? Have we so soon forgotten his egregious remarks about the Constitution’s charter of “negative rights” which supposedly prevent the federal government from doing what it should for us?

    Because when America strays from our values, it not only undermines the rule of law, it alienates us from our allies, it energizes our adversaries, and it endangers our national security and the lives of our troops. So as Americans, we reject the false choice between our security and our ideals. We can and we must and we will protect both.

    That last quote packs broad meaning into a few words. Lets take a closer look.

    • when America strays from our values

    It is clear, from the context, that that phrase is a reference to water boarding. The value alluded to is justice. Our system of justice seeks to determine fact and law by investigation, inquiry and reasoned debate. It assumes innocence until guilt is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Torture may be an interrogation technique, but it is also a punishment; we don’t punish the innocent. This points to two deadly assumptions.

    1. Waterboarding is torture.
    2. Enemy combatants are innocent.

    Both of those assumptions are obviously false. While waterboarding inflicts fear, if done properly it neither causes undue pain nor inflicts permanent injury. It is not equivalent to drills, knives, pliers or hot irons. Anyone who graduates from a terrorist training camp and carries a weapon on the battlefield is not innocent. Khalid Sheik Mohammad planned the abomination of 9-11-01. Not being a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien, he has no Miranda rights. He has no right to the presumption of innocence. He is action was not a misdemeanor, it was an attack carried out as part of a war.

    • it alienates us from our allies

    Those who are alienated are not and were not our allies, they were fair weather friends. Our weakness; our failure to seek and obtain clear victories in Korea & Vietnam emboldened our enemies and distanced broke the links with our allies.

    • it energizes our adversaries

    The photos of prisoner abuse and stories of ‘torture’ are grist for propaganda mills, but they are not the cause of enmity. The act of resisting Islamic aggressions supplies all the energizing they need.

    • it endangers our national security and the lives of our troops

    Our security is endangered by failure to recognize, identify & accurately classify the enemy. The lives of our troops are endangered by sending them to invade where we should have sent tactical nuclear missiles. Wisdom dictates swift, total destruction of wasp nests, not poking them with sticks.

    • false choice between our security and our ideals

    Real Americans reject it; President Obama, a self proclaimed ‘citizen of the world’, embraces and nurtures it, exploiting it for political gain at the expense of our national security.

    To witness the difference between a demagogue and a statesman, read the transcript of former Vice President Richard B. Cheney’s remarks to the American Enterprise Institute.

    Give Me a FREAKING Break!


    Here we go with the torture bullshit again. Wah, wah, freakin’ wah.

    I was cruising through the headlines, looking for something decent to watch tonight (I am SO SICK of reality TV, hollyweird–who gives a flying crap about Brittany’s meltdown in VEGAS?, game shows with the blatant and obvious defeatist twist–ever watched the “Power of 10”?) and I came across this headline:

    “Guantanamo Detainees Tell of Abuses”.
    Ok. What now?

    I start reading the story, wondering just what horrible atrocities the defeatocrats suffering from cranial rectal inversion are going to accuse our troops of next.

    You know…LIBERALS:


    And I find out.

    Oh the horrors! These poor, benighted detainees are being tortured by…….

    Wait for it……wait…….wait…….

    Being interrupted during their prayers and allegedly having medications withheld.

    Yep. That’s torture, all right. Horrible. Depraved. Barbaric. Uncivilized even.

    And note I use the word “allegedly” regarding the medication issue. Why would I choose that word? Because the interviewee admits he lies to get whatever he wants…uh huh. The medical records don’t show medications being withheld, but we’re supposed to believe an admitted liar because he says so.

    Ahem.

    They consider this torture? These demons disguised in human skin, who delight in finding new and unique ways of torture themselves, consider this, THIS torture???

    Allow me to direct your attention to something I posted May 26, 2007, entitled, “So, YOU Think We Torture Gitmo Detainees?” which can be found here.

    A quick recap of that article mentions something found called the al`Quaida Torture Manual which advocates things like limb amputation, eye gouging and removal, drilling through hands, heads in vises, regular beatings….and was found by Coalition Forces in a padlocked room in Karmah. Of course the manual was graphically illustrated, with the “torturers” being shown smiling and generally enjoying themselves as if they’d just cleaned up on Wall Street. The full torture manual can be viewed at The Smoking Gun website here.

    So back to today and our poor Gitmo detainees.

    Here’s the article: I’ll bold the relevant passages and switch color over to red.


    Guantanamo Detainees Tell of Abuses

    Email this Story

    Sep 11, 9:42 PM (ET)

    By ANDREW O. SELSKY

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Detainees flinging body waste at guards. Guards interrupting detainees at prayer. Interrogators withholding medicine. Hostility and tension between inmates and their keepers at the Guantanamo Bay prison are evident in transcripts obtained by The Associated Press.

    These rare detainee accounts of life inside the razor wire at the remote U.S. military base in Cuba emerged during Administrative Review Board hearings aimed at deciding whether prisoners suspected of links with the Taliban or al-Qaida should continue to be held or be sent away from Guantanamo.

    The Pentagon gave the AP transcripts of hearings held last year in a trailer at Guantanamo after the news agency sought the material under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Amid the tensions, the transcripts also show a few relaxed encounters between detainees and their guards and interrogators.

    The military has said Guantanamo is relatively calm compared to last year. But a report released by the detention center last month shows mass disturbances are up sharply over 2006 and forced removal of prisoners from cells and assaults with bodily fluids are on pace to match or exceed last year’s total.

    The transcripts, obtained by the AP on Friday, illustrate the friction.

    A Yemeni detainee, Mohammed Ali Em al-Zarnuki, warned his panel of three U.S. military officers that inmates would attempt suicide unless guards stop interrupting prayers, moving detainees during prayer time and whistling and creating other distractions.

    Four detainees have committed suicide at Guantanamo – three last year and one on May 30. Several other detainees have tried to kill themselves, including by overdosing on hoarded medicine.

    “I want you to be aware of it because I don’t want you to face a big problem,” al-Zarnuki said. “The problem happened before. The detainees took medication before because of this. So if you do not put a stop to this, it is going to be worse than before.”

    The hearing’s presiding officer assured the detainee he would pass the complaint on, but added: “We do not make the camp rules and we have nothing to do with the camp rules.”

    Commanders at Guantanamo had no comment Tuesday on the allegations. Guards have been trained to be sensitive about religious matters at Guantanamo, where wailing calls to prayer blare from loudspeakers while traffic cones are placed next to cells during prayer time, reminding guards not to interrupt.

    In determining whether a detainee should remain at Guantanamo, the Administrative Review Boards consider whether he poses a security threat or has intelligence value. But detainees told the panels that lying to interrogators is common, calling into question the validity of the intelligence interrogators extract.

    Some prisoners said their enemies inside the prison have lied to gain favor with interrogators or settle old scores.

    One detainee bluntly informed his panel that he lies to interrogators and that others do as well.

    “Why do you feel you have the right to lie to the interrogators?” a surprised panel member asked the detainee, Abdennour Sameur, an Algerian who was a resident of Britain.

    “I was lying so that I can get my medical (treatment),” Sameur said. “Every interrogation that I have gone to I had to lie, because that was the only way I could get medical attention. … They were giving me some kind of medical pills, but the interrogators stopped it. Every time they get a new interrogator the interrogator stops it.”

    Responding to questions from AP, military officers denied that detainees were deprived of medicine.

    A Guantanamo spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Edward Bush, said no officials at Guantanamo had ever heard of a detainee being prevented from taking medicine.

    Navy Capt. Bruce Menele, commander of the Joint Medical Group at Guantanamo, said that “interrogators have no authority over medical personnel administering medicine, or over any other aspect of detainee medical care.”

    “I would be highly disturbed and feel obligated to take significant actions if I discovered that this had ever occurred,” Menele added.

    Asked whether prayers are being interrupted and whether interrogators have withheld medicine, Bush said he was checking with appropriate commands at the base.

    A letter signed by physicians and published Friday in the British medical journal Lancet compared the role of doctors at Guantanamo to the South African doctors involved in the case of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, who was beaten and tortured to death in 1977 in police custody.

    The letter, signed by some 260 people from 16 countries – most of them doctors – accused the U.S. medical establishment of turning a blind eye to the role of military doctors at Guantanamo.

    It did not allege doctors were involved in withholding any medicine from detainees, but took serious issue with the involvement of medical personnel in force-feeding hunger strikers at Guantanamo.

    The detainees’ accounts also described a few lighter moments in the prison, set on an arid bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

    “There was a time when the guards opened my cell by mistake and I joked with them by asking ‘Can I help you?'” said Abdul Aziz Alsuwedy. “They laughed and apologized. The same guard thanked me later for not causing any problems.”

    Alsuwedy, whose account was contained in a statement sent to his Administrative Review Board, did not say whether the guards belonged to the Immediate Reaction Force that carries out forced cell extractions and suppresses disturbances.

    Another detainee described how interrogators said he resembled Cuba Gooding Jr., and later brought him photos of the star because the detainee had never heard of the actor.

    Several detainees said some guards and interrogators treat them with respect, while others do not.

    “Who treats me good, I treat them good,” said Sameur, the Algerian detainee. “Who treats me like a dog, I give them the same treatment.”

    Sameur then described what he did to guards he doesn’t get along with: “I threw feces and I have spit on them.”

    ********************

    So again I say–give me a FREAKING BREAK…this is NOT torture…this is spoiled children rebelling against parents–children who would have no compunction about murdering countless innocents just for the hell of it, in the most heinous manner possible.

    I also find the timing of this little tidbit to be significant–during the Petraeus/Crocker testimony before Congress, when two of the most honorable MEN this country has
    are being slandered by MoveOn.org.

    Yeah…THESE ASSHOLES:


    Make no mistake…the defeatocrats, leftinistra, democrat cabal have no compunctions about how low they will go to achieve their agenda of destroying this country.

    You want atrocities? Here’s some real atrocities:

    Remember Nick Berg? Take a GOOD LOOK.

    And how about our soldiers bodies mutilated and dragged through the streets–REMEMBER THAT? You ASSHOLE LIBERALS BETTER REMEMBER AND TAKE A GOOD FUCKING LOOK.


    And let’s not forget advocating mutilation and death before birth–the liberal cry for the death culture, partial birth abortion and, dammit, they want it ON DEMAND.

    Have a brain and be smart enough to see through this bullshit.

    Give Me a FREAKING Break!


    Here we go with the torture bullshit again. Wah, wah, freakin’ wah.

    I was cruising through the headlines, looking for something decent to watch tonight (I am SO SICK of reality TV, hollyweird–who gives a flying crap about Brittany’s meltdown in VEGAS?, game shows with the blatant and obvious defeatist twist–ever watched the “Power of 10”?) and I came across this headline:

    “Guantanamo Detainees Tell of Abuses”.
    Ok. What now?

    I start reading the story, wondering just what horrible atrocities the defeatocrats suffering from cranial rectal inversion are going to accuse our troops of next.

    You know…LIBERALS:


    And I find out.

    Oh the horrors! These poor, benighted detainees are being tortured by…….

    Wait for it……wait…….wait…….

    Being interrupted during their prayers and allegedly having medications withheld.

    Yep. That’s torture, all right. Horrible. Depraved. Barbaric. Uncivilized even.

    And note I use the word “allegedly” regarding the medication issue. Why would I choose that word? Because the interviewee admits he lies to get whatever he wants…uh huh. The medical records don’t show medications being withheld, but we’re supposed to believe an admitted liar because he says so.

    Ahem.

    They consider this torture? These demons disguised in human skin, who delight in finding new and unique ways of torture themselves, consider this, THIS torture???

    Allow me to direct your attention to something I posted May 26, 2007, entitled, “So, YOU Think We Torture Gitmo Detainees?” which can be found here.

    A quick recap of that article mentions something found called the al`Quaida Torture Manual which advocates things like limb amputation, eye gouging and removal, drilling through hands, heads in vises, regular beatings….and was found by Coalition Forces in a padlocked room in Karmah. Of course the manual was graphically illustrated, with the “torturers” being shown smiling and generally enjoying themselves as if they’d just cleaned up on Wall Street. The full torture manual can be viewed at The Smoking Gun website here.

    So back to today and our poor Gitmo detainees.

    Here’s the article: I’ll bold the relevant passages and switch color over to red.


    Guantanamo Detainees Tell of Abuses

    Email this Story

    Sep 11, 9:42 PM (ET)

    By ANDREW O. SELSKY

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Detainees flinging body waste at guards. Guards interrupting detainees at prayer. Interrogators withholding medicine. Hostility and tension between inmates and their keepers at the Guantanamo Bay prison are evident in transcripts obtained by The Associated Press.

    These rare detainee accounts of life inside the razor wire at the remote U.S. military base in Cuba emerged during Administrative Review Board hearings aimed at deciding whether prisoners suspected of links with the Taliban or al-Qaida should continue to be held or be sent away from Guantanamo.

    The Pentagon gave the AP transcripts of hearings held last year in a trailer at Guantanamo after the news agency sought the material under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Amid the tensions, the transcripts also show a few relaxed encounters between detainees and their guards and interrogators.

    The military has said Guantanamo is relatively calm compared to last year. But a report released by the detention center last month shows mass disturbances are up sharply over 2006 and forced removal of prisoners from cells and assaults with bodily fluids are on pace to match or exceed last year’s total.

    The transcripts, obtained by the AP on Friday, illustrate the friction.

    A Yemeni detainee, Mohammed Ali Em al-Zarnuki, warned his panel of three U.S. military officers that inmates would attempt suicide unless guards stop interrupting prayers, moving detainees during prayer time and whistling and creating other distractions.

    Four detainees have committed suicide at Guantanamo – three last year and one on May 30. Several other detainees have tried to kill themselves, including by overdosing on hoarded medicine.

    “I want you to be aware of it because I don’t want you to face a big problem,” al-Zarnuki said. “The problem happened before. The detainees took medication before because of this. So if you do not put a stop to this, it is going to be worse than before.”

    The hearing’s presiding officer assured the detainee he would pass the complaint on, but added: “We do not make the camp rules and we have nothing to do with the camp rules.”

    Commanders at Guantanamo had no comment Tuesday on the allegations. Guards have been trained to be sensitive about religious matters at Guantanamo, where wailing calls to prayer blare from loudspeakers while traffic cones are placed next to cells during prayer time, reminding guards not to interrupt.

    In determining whether a detainee should remain at Guantanamo, the Administrative Review Boards consider whether he poses a security threat or has intelligence value. But detainees told the panels that lying to interrogators is common, calling into question the validity of the intelligence interrogators extract.

    Some prisoners said their enemies inside the prison have lied to gain favor with interrogators or settle old scores.

    One detainee bluntly informed his panel that he lies to interrogators and that others do as well.

    “Why do you feel you have the right to lie to the interrogators?” a surprised panel member asked the detainee, Abdennour Sameur, an Algerian who was a resident of Britain.

    “I was lying so that I can get my medical (treatment),” Sameur said. “Every interrogation that I have gone to I had to lie, because that was the only way I could get medical attention. … They were giving me some kind of medical pills, but the interrogators stopped it. Every time they get a new interrogator the interrogator stops it.”

    Responding to questions from AP, military officers denied that detainees were deprived of medicine.

    A Guantanamo spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Edward Bush, said no officials at Guantanamo had ever heard of a detainee being prevented from taking medicine.

    Navy Capt. Bruce Menele, commander of the Joint Medical Group at Guantanamo, said that “interrogators have no authority over medical personnel administering medicine, or over any other aspect of detainee medical care.”

    “I would be highly disturbed and feel obligated to take significant actions if I discovered that this had ever occurred,” Menele added.

    Asked whether prayers are being interrupted and whether interrogators have withheld medicine, Bush said he was checking with appropriate commands at the base.

    A letter signed by physicians and published Friday in the British medical journal Lancet compared the role of doctors at Guantanamo to the South African doctors involved in the case of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, who was beaten and tortured to death in 1977 in police custody.

    The letter, signed by some 260 people from 16 countries – most of them doctors – accused the U.S. medical establishment of turning a blind eye to the role of military doctors at Guantanamo.

    It did not allege doctors were involved in withholding any medicine from detainees, but took serious issue with the involvement of medical personnel in force-feeding hunger strikers at Guantanamo.

    The detainees’ accounts also described a few lighter moments in the prison, set on an arid bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

    “There was a time when the guards opened my cell by mistake and I joked with them by asking ‘Can I help you?'” said Abdul Aziz Alsuwedy. “They laughed and apologized. The same guard thanked me later for not causing any problems.”

    Alsuwedy, whose account was contained in a statement sent to his Administrative Review Board, did not say whether the guards belonged to the Immediate Reaction Force that carries out forced cell extractions and suppresses disturbances.

    Another detainee described how interrogators said he resembled Cuba Gooding Jr., and later brought him photos of the star because the detainee had never heard of the actor.

    Several detainees said some guards and interrogators treat them with respect, while others do not.

    “Who treats me good, I treat them good,” said Sameur, the Algerian detainee. “Who treats me like a dog, I give them the same treatment.”

    Sameur then described what he did to guards he doesn’t get along with: “I threw feces and I have spit on them.”

    ********************

    So again I say–give me a FREAKING BREAK…this is NOT torture…this is spoiled children rebelling against parents–children who would have no compunction about murdering countless innocents just for the hell of it, in the most heinous manner possible.

    I also find the timing of this little tidbit to be significant–during the Petraeus/Crocker testimony before Congress, when two of the most honorable MEN this country has
    are being slandered by MoveOn.org.

    Yeah…THESE ASSHOLES:


    Make no mistake…the defeatocrats, leftinistra, democrat cabal have no compunctions about how low they will go to achieve their agenda of destroying this country.

    You want atrocities? Here’s some real atrocities:

    Remember Nick Berg? Take a GOOD LOOK.

    And how about our soldiers bodies mutilated and dragged through the streets–REMEMBER THAT? You ASSHOLE LIBERALS BETTER REMEMBER AND TAKE A GOOD FUCKING LOOK.


    And let’s not forget advocating mutilation and death before birth–the liberal cry for the death culture, partial birth abortion and, dammit, they want it ON DEMAND.

    Have a brain and be smart enough to see through this bullshit.

    So, YOU Think We Torture the Gitmo Detainees….


    I’m on the mailing list for updates at both Snopes and The Smoking Gun.

    This update from TSG came in my email yesterday. It’s the al-Q`aida Torture Manual. For some reason, loud hip hop music, bad rock music or waterboarding aren’t listed. What IS listed is drilling hands, severing limbs, heads in vises, eye removal, etc. What’s really disturbing about the pictures is the “torturers” depicted are all smiling and happy, just another day at the “torture chamber office”.

    An excerpt from the article:

    It was there, during an April 24 raid, that soldiers found a man suspended from the ceiling by a chain. According to the military, he had been abducted from his job and was being beaten daily by his captors. In a raid earlier this week, Coalition Forces freed five Iraqis who were found in a padlocked room in Karmah. The group, which included a boy, were reportedly beaten with chains, cables, and hoses. Photos showing injuries sustained by those captives can be found here. (12 pages).

    Read the article; review the manual and the pictures of the true victims and the real torture chamber and then I f****** DARE YOU to say we are torturing our detainees at Gitmo with special foods, prayer mats, and special accomodations.

    Which of you lefties out there have the balls to take me up on my dare?

    So, YOU Think We Torture the Gitmo Detainees….


    I’m on the mailing list for updates at both Snopes and The Smoking Gun.

    This update from TSG came in my email yesterday. It’s the al-Q`aida Torture Manual. For some reason, loud hip hop music, bad rock music or waterboarding aren’t listed. What IS listed is drilling hands, severing limbs, heads in vises, eye removal, etc. What’s really disturbing about the pictures is the “torturers” depicted are all smiling and happy, just another day at the “torture chamber office”.

    An excerpt from the article:

    It was there, during an April 24 raid, that soldiers found a man suspended from the ceiling by a chain. According to the military, he had been abducted from his job and was being beaten daily by his captors. In a raid earlier this week, Coalition Forces freed five Iraqis who were found in a padlocked room in Karmah. The group, which included a boy, were reportedly beaten with chains, cables, and hoses. Photos showing injuries sustained by those captives can be found here. (12 pages).

    Read the article; review the manual and the pictures of the true victims and the real torture chamber and then I f****** DARE YOU to say we are torturing our detainees at Gitmo with special foods, prayer mats, and special accomodations.

    Which of you lefties out there have the balls to take me up on my dare?