SocraticGadfly: We tortured people, not "folks" — a foreign yin to domestic yang

December 09, 2014

We tortured people, not "folks" — a foreign yin to domestic yang

And, for nothing valuable on intelligence, because just about anybody will say anything to captors to end torture.

Anthony Romero, ACLU
Ex Dir/Wikipedia photo
But, the head of the nation's "premier" organization on "civil liberties" (sorry, scare quotes is the only way I can write) thinks we should pardon the torturers. See below for details on a new low from the ACLU.

The ACLU, the same folks who said last month that Citizens United is good, now think we should pardon the torturers.

And torturers they are.

And, if not torturers, orderers of torture, which, by law, means they were torturers too.


And, that's not all from an executive summary of the Senate report on the CIA's torture.

We killed one person (that we know of) from hypothermia. Waterboarding, aka simulated drowning, almost did the real thing to at least one person.

For all, that, though, most of the details, such as abu-Zubaydah's death and Gul Rahman's near drowning, have been known for years.

They were known to the general public and to President Obama before he made his pseudo-jocular "we tortured some folks" comment.

And, yet, the Dick Cheneys of the world continue to lie about what this achieved, even as the George Bushes of the world talk about "a few bad apples" and the Barack Obamas of the world refuse to prosecute either one.

Arguably, and connected with it due to salvage sale of surplus hardware, this is the flip side of domestic police violence.

While we're not all bad apples, either in foreign intelligence gathering or domestic policing, we're more than "a few."

And, here, as in a lot of places, power corrupts.


Back to the ACLU and Romero's very-pun-intented tortured reasoning.

Folks, if you want to donate to a civil liberties charity, there's one clear choice.

And, it's NOT the American Civil Liberties Union. It's the Center for Constitutional Rights.

A month after the group, in a press release, said Citizens United was good, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero has said we ought to pardon all the torturers for the torture they ordered to be committed.

This is the same Romero who, in conjunction with then-board president Nadine Strossen, engaged in a purge of "dissident" board members several years ago. I've got more on the purge, with links to extended pieces by Wendy Kaminer, on this blog. (Click the "ACLU" tag.)

Do NOT support the ACLU Nationwide. Period.

And, for a lawyer, Romero's reasoning to justify the pardons is incredibly stupid:
I have come to think that President Obama should issue pardons, after all — because it may be the only way to establish, once and for all, that torture is illegal.
So, we should pardon people we believe to have committed manslaughter or robbery, both of which, like torture, are on the books as defined crimes, because somebody else won’t prosecute?

More stupidity follows:
What is the difference between this — essentially granting tacit pardons for torture — and formally pardoning those who authorized torture? In both cases, those who tortured avoid accountability. 
 But with the tacit pardons, the president leaves open the very real possibility that officials will resurrect the torture policies in the future.
Really? And, they wouldn’t do the same with actual instead of tacit pardons?

A liar, a thug and an idiot, all three.

Besides, per Ben Emmerson of the United Nations, torture as a crime against humanity falls under international law, not just US law.


More UGH:

The two psychologists behind reversing the military's SERE training made $80 million for their pains. Let's also not forget that the American Psychological Association has never formally renounced or denounced psychologists participating in torture sessions. (The American Psychiatric Association, on the other hand, has been against it from the start.

That said, this too is nothing new; basic information about this, like most of the rest of the stuff in the Senate's executive summary, came out in 2009. Read this NYT piece.

And, as far as Folks Torturer? He named one of those unapologetic psychologists — the head one at Gitmo — to head up a task force on the health of military families.


Finally, let's not forget that I don't recall the racist, ultra-Zionist New Republic, now thankfully half-dead, ever criticizing this.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Yet a majority of Americans support it to save American lives. Somewhat similar to 65% of Australian's supporting harsher treatment of asylum seekers.