The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Just don't call it torture

Sometimes you have to almost feel sorry for the evil hacks who have sold their souls to be a part of this monstrous regime. Last week, an article in the New York Times revealed that Bush had re-authorized torturing prisoners.


After the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the Geneva Conventions applied to prisoners who belonged to Al Qaeda, President Bush for the first time acknowledged the C.I.A.’s secret jails and ordered their inmates moved to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The C.I.A. halted its use of waterboarding, or pouring water over a bound prisoner’s cloth-covered face to induce fear of suffocation.

But in July, after a monthlong debate inside the administration, President Bush signed a new executive order authorizing the use of what the administration calls “enhanced” interrogation techniques — the details remain secret — and officials say the C.I.A. again is holding prisoners in “black sites” overseas. The executive order was reviewed and approved by Mr. Bradbury and the Office of Legal Counsel.


This has produced, as you might imagine, some delightfully depressing interviews, with Bush and some of his lower-level toadies having to answer questions about what constitutes torture and whether “we” do it in some of the best Newspeak ever. Their message can best be summed up as: “The United States doesn’t torture (this is repeated over and over so that the mouth-breathers know to repeat it). What the U.S. does do is enhanced interrogation techniques, but only until our victims guests cooperate. And they’ve given us really useful information! And we can’t possibly talk about this”.

Among your choices of embarrassing, Porky Pig-like, stammering interviews of Bush administration officials trying to explain how they are only torturing people for our good, just like a Daddy keeping us safe at night, is this one with Bush:


There's been a lot of talk in the newspapers and on TV about a program that I put in motion to detain and question terrorists and extremists. I have put this program in place for a reason, and that is to better protect the American people. And when we find somebody who may have information regarding an -- a potential attack on America, you bet we're going to detain them, and you bet we're going to question them -- because the American people expect us to find out information -- actionable intelligence so we can help protect them. That's our job.

Secondly, this government does not torture people. You know, we stick to U.S. law and our international obligations.

Thirdly, there are highly trained professionals questioning these extremists and terrorists. In other words, we got professionals who are trained in this kind of work to get information that will protect the American people. And by the way, we have gotten information from these high-value detainees that have helped protect you.


And finally, the techniques that we use have been fully disclosed to appropriate members of the United States Congress. The American people expect their government to take action to protect them from further attack. And that's exactly what this government is doing, and that's exactly what we'll continue to do.

Also, here’s Fran Townsend, a Whitehouse Homeland Security Advisor, trying to “explain” the policy on CNN (her segment starts at about the 5 minute mark):


TOWNSEND: Now, Wolf, obviously I'm not going to talk about each individual and specific technique that we used. The director of Central Intelligence has talked to members of both Intelligence Committees in the House and the Senate. He -- what he did was he understood this was not just a legal question, but there was a policy issue and there's a political willingness question.Frankly, Wolf, if Americans are killed because we fail to do the hard things, the American people would have the absolute right to ask us why.

BLITZER: Well, let me -- let me rephrase the question. Without confirming that you are actually doing those things, but those things, as described in the "New York Times" today, if someone were doing those things, would that be torture?

TOWNSEND: Wolf, we adhere to the -- to the law. And the president has made clear his expectation that we will do that. No one has ever suggested that, say, Miranda or the Army field manual went to the limits that were legally permissible. The constitution does that, which is why we seek legal opinions from the office of legal counsel.But we don't talk about the specific techniques...


Finally, two performances by Dana Perino, being questioned more and more pointedly by the whitehouse press corpse, as they try to follow the illogic of the administration’s position.

Q Dana, I went back and read the 2004 memo --
MS. PERINO: Did you get through the whole thing?
Q -- or tried to get through it. I was looking for a definition of "torture," because we know that in 2002 you defined it a certain way, and then the 2004 memo was intended to redefine it, or to, I believe, broaden the definition of "torture." And I wasn't sure if I came up with the definition. I saw language that said, "specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering." Is that the definition from --
MS. PERINO: I don't have the document with me, so let me decline on that. But what I will tell you is that -- you might not have gotten to the parts -- the footnotes of that document, in which it says that it's their legal conclusion that in the analysis in looking at the earlier memo that their legal justification that the -- that it would have been the same, that there wasn't anything going on between 2002 and 2004 that they would have considered to be outside of the bounds of U.S. law. That's one part of it. As to the -- I would just have to refer you to the Department of Justice. It's a very complicated legal matter.


All righty then!

What has become plainly obvious from all of this hemming and hawing is that 1) the United States does torture, 2) we don’t do it to get information 3) we do do it to intimidate people by letting it be known that it can be done to them (e.g. Jose Padilla) 4) our methods are illegal and the administration knows they are illegal and 5) they are doing everything in their power to keep them under wraps.

America. Smell the Freedom.

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