Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary, America!! 10 years ago, America sanctified TORTURE (Just Another Day In Paradise)

Iraqi Prisoner at Abu Ghraib

On August 1, 2002, The infamous “Torture Memos” were released by then Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez - Four memos written for the sole purpose of justifying some of the most heinous crimes against other humans that a sick mind and black heart can devise. Those 4 memos written by and approved by two attorneys in well salaried administration positions that supposedly mean they are to be respected – then Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States, John Choon Yoo, now a professor at University of California – Berkeley, and then Assistant Attorney General, Jay Scott Bybee, hand-picked to serve as judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Sure, we Americans have been torturing our prey ; our victims; “the enemy” since our inception - but those “Torture Memos” set out to contrive a legal and acceptable basis, with all the spin and twist and misapplication of law Gonzo’s boys could contrive, for the sole purpose of justifying OUR commission of inhumane and horrific acts against other humans on a continued basis. A POLICY stance starting with the redefinition of the word “torture” to “the infliction of physical pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death,” or the infliction of mental pain which “result[s] in significant psychological harm of significant duration e.g. lasting for months or even years.” Then proceeded to justify it in a manner to address each issue arising from the use of such inhumane acts.

Those up and coming legal “wonder boys,” Yoo and Bybee, did their bosses proud. They came up with the legalese to convince themselves and the less than genius “I’m the Decider,” George “We do not torture” Bush, that the law didn’t matter. They wrote that opinion trying to skirt the issue of our “acceptance” and ratified UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, that states:

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

…………as well as to manipulate our way out of our own laws:

2340-2340A of title 18 of the United States Code, which defines torture as any act committed by an individual that is “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering … upon another person within his custody of physical control.”

As used in this chapter—

(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;

(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—

      (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
   (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering  substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
      (C) the threat of imminent death; or
      (D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and

(3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.

(a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

(b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—

         (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or

      (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

(c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

The “golden shield” (The “Torture Memos”) for the Bush Administration, and therefore the CIA, the US military and even its contractors, attempted to fully excuse and justify the continued and even escalated use of torture on prisoners currently held, “captured,” kidnapped, bought, and found.

The US and its government unleashed these now sanctified acts of torture on the world:

  • Abu Ghraib – the “few bad apples” that were no more than patsies for those protocols of systematic abuse and torture, acknowledged, accepted and sanctified all the way up to the White House
For more information on Abu Ghraib:
American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go?” by Seymour M. Hersh May 10, 2004 , “The New Yorker”

"The Abu Ghraib Pictures", May 3, 2004, "The New Yorker"

  • Black sites throughout the world on land and sea - Secret US CIA prisons used for the purpose of “interrogation” (and torture) located in Europe, Africa, Asia and even at sea (Navy ships being used as floating prisons). Some have been revealed; Others are just being found out. Some reports indicate 100 plus throughout the world that were to have all been closed down upon Barack Obama’s take over of the presidency. There are reports that the UK had involvement in these “interrogations” at Black Sites as well.

For more information on Black Sites:

“This Is What a CIA Black Site Looks Like”, by The Associated Press' Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, “The Gawker”,
“CIA Secret Prison: Polish Leaders Break Silence About Black Site“ By Vanessa Gera, 03/31/12, “The Huffington Post”

Transport to Interrogation - Guantanamo Camp X-Ray

  • Guantanamo, Bagram and other US held/managed prisons in foreign nations as part of the "War On Terror" - Guantanamo Naval Base was chosen by the Bush Administration for his “off site” detention program and Guantanamo Detention Center was born.

Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo "Detention Center" - Evening prayers

………….while Bagram was originally a prison set on a former soviet air base in Afghanistan, taken over by the US upon bringing Bush’s “War on Terror” to that beaten and bloodied nation.

Since Bush left office, it has been expanded and moved and used consistently by the US.

Bagram - new facility ain't no country club. 
Group "cage" with armed guards to go with the prayer rugs

Even as other prisons are to be turned over to the Afghan officials, Bagram will continue to be held by the US for “detention”.

For more on Guantanamo, as well as Bagram, and the detainees there:

Andy Worthington, author, film producer and activist, has created one of the most extensive libraries on the prison, detainees (prisoners) and former detainees (prisoners). He has started a 2nd site, Close Guantanamo, for the sole purpose pf educating and and increasing awareness of the issues, the people and the state of Guantanamo Prison (though called a "Detention Center," do not doubt that it is a prison)

Jason Leopold, lead investigative reporter of Truthout, the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, News Junkie, a memoir; The Public Record, and his most recent investigative report, "From Hopeful Immigrant to FBI Informant: The Inside Story of the Other Abu Zubaidah," now available as an ebook.

And Jeffrey Kaye, a psychologist living in Northern California, writes regularly on torture and other subjects for Truthout, The Public Record and Firedoglake. He also maintains a personal blog, Invictus. His email address is

One has to wonder what kind of depravity thinks repeatedly drowning someone just to the point of no return over 180 times in order to SET intel is proper way to treat another human being; Or sodomizing someone; or forcing tubes down someone’s throat and forcing them to eat until they begin vomiting and aspirating then doing it again; Or stripping someone, beating them unconscious, until their skin is raw, all so they can coat them with pepper spray; Or sticking them in a total darkness chained to the floor for days and days while playing Barney tunes alternating with “America The Beautiful” at high decibels….

How can ANYONE possibly think treating ANYONE in this manner could be construed as legal, humane and “patriotic”?

And HOW can WE THE PEOPLE accept this behavior, ignore this behavior, even SUPPORT this behavior without SCREAMING for ACCOUNTABILITY for those who committed these heinous acts, justified these heinous acts and excused these heinous acts?

Special "Thank you" to Andy Worthington and his GREAT memory as well as resources.

For more information:


  • to avoid geneva conven tion
  • - In 2002, Military Agency Warned Against 'Torture'

  • - Extreme Duress Could Yield Unreliable Information, It Said

  • “A Tortured History,” December 19, 2005, Updated: December 20, 2005

Related NPR Stories

  • Waterboarding Puts Mukasey's Nomination in Peril Nov. 2, 2007

  • Expert Sheds Light on Waterboarding Nov. 1, 2007

  • Mukasey's Torture Comments Give Panel Pause Oct. 31, 2007

  • Mukasey Calls Waterboarding 'Repugnant' Oct. 31, 2007

  • Waterboarding: A Tortured History

Cross-post from

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