Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April 18th, 2009

Report: Bush-era torture orders enforced by top officials

Agence France-Presse
Published: Saturday April 18, 2009

The first use of waterboarding and other harsh treatment against suspected Al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah was ordered by senior Central Intelligence Agency officials over objections from his interrogators, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Citing unnamed former intelligence officials and a footnote in a newly released legal memorandum, the newspaper said the harsh interrogation techniques had been ordered despite the belief of interrogators that the prisoner had already told them all he knew.

Former president George W. Bush had publicly described Zubaidah, who was captured in 2002, as Al-Qaeda’s chief of operations while other top officials called him a “trusted associate” of Osama bin Laden and a major figure in the planning of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The especially brutal interrogation tactics against Zubaydah, including confining him in boxes and slamming him against the wall, was ordered by officials at CIA headquarters based on a highly inflated assessment of his importance, the paper said.

According to The Times, Zubaydah provided much valuable information under less severe treatment, and the harsher handling produced no breakthroughs.

Instead, watching his torment caused great distress to his captors, the paper said.

Even for those who believed that brutal treatment could produce results, one of the officials is quoted as saying, “seeing these depths of human misery and degradation has a traumatic effect.”

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

By Dahr Jamail | Foreign Policy In Focus, April 18, 2009

“[W]hat lengths men will go in order to carry out, to their extreme limit, the rites of a collective self-worship which fills them with a sense of righteousness and complacent satisfaction in the midst of the most shocking injustices and crimes.”
-Love and Living, by Thomas Merton

On Wednesday, March 25, Major General David Perkins of the U.S. military, referring to how often the U.S. military was being attacked in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad, “Attacks are at their lowest since August 2003.” Perkins added, “There were 1,250 attacks a week at the height of the violence; now sometimes there are less than 100 a week.”

While his rhetoric made headlines in some U.S. mainstream media outlets, it was little consolation for the families of 28 Iraqis killed in attacks across Iraq the following day. Nor did it bring solace to the relatives of the 27 Iraqis slain in a March 23 suicide attack, or those who survived a bomb attack at a bus terminal in Baghdad on the same day that killed nine Iraqis.

Having recently returned from Iraq, I experienced living in Baghdad where people were dying violent deaths on a daily basis. Nearly every day of the month I spent there saw a car bomb attack somewhere in the capital city. Nearly every day the so-called Green Zone was mortared. Every day there were kidnappings. On good days there were four hours of electricity on the national grid, in a country now into its seventh year of being occupied by the U.S. military, and where there are now over 200,000 private contractors.

Continued >>

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 507 other followers

%d bloggers like this: