Archive for Torture

More Mush From the Wimp

Boy, if that isn’t a standing headline:

President Barack Obama acknowledged Friday that the United States “crossed a line” and tortured al Qaeda detainees after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The comments at a White House news conference were the President’s strongest on the controversial subject since he came into office denouncing what he described as the Bush years of torturing alleged terrorists, also known as “enhanced interrogation.”

“When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line,” Obama said. “And that needs to be … understood and accepted. And we have to, as a country, take responsibility for that so that hopefully we don’t do it again in the future.”

Well, this fair-minded person doesn’t believe water-boarding or sleep deprivation constitute torture. I don’t think any training method we use on our own special ops trainees constitutes torture. We can disdain them, we can elect not to use them, but shame on he who demagogues over them:

“After I took office, one of the first things I did was to ban some of the extraordinary interrogation techniques that are the subject of that report,” Obama said Friday. “And my hope is that this report reminds us once again that, you know, the character of our country has to be measured in part not by what we do when things are easy, but what we do when things are hard.”

In April 2009, Obama reiterated his position that waterboarding amounted to torture and “violates our ideals and our values.”

I’ve already stated my position. KSM ought to have been waterboarded. I’m proud that we did so. I’m not privy to the intelligence we gained, but I expect we got plenty. And that lives were saved because of it. That doesn’t violate my ideals or values in the least. And KSM is still alive and kicking.

PS: We all know Obama’s preferred expression of our ideals and values: summary execution by Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone.

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Talk About Torture!

I’m very sorry this man suffered cruelty at the hands of Al Qaeda, but is that supposed to make him some kind of expert?

Last month’s assault and massacre at the In-Amenas gas plant in Algeria by an al Qaeda battalion led by Moktar Belmoktar put into sharp focus the growing threat of Islamist jihadists in north and west Africa. It also brought back vivid memories of my own 130-day kidnap ordeal also at the hands of Belmoktar’s al Qaeda group in Niger and Mali in 2008/09. Here is an extract from my book… A Season in Hell

With some ceremony, a DVD was produced and inserted into the laptop drive and we were maneuvered around to have pride of place in front of the screen. The others pressed around, the younger ones in front. There were three or four pre-pubescent boys among them, their faces rapt with anticipation as their screen-lit faces excitedly tried to watch us and the laptop simultaneously.

Soon we heard a loud pulsing, urgent, musical beat and the screen was filled with a black flag, the lower half of which was covered with white Arabic script and in the upper portion, there was a globe surmounted by an AK-47 assault rifle; the Al Qaeda banner. Using the traditional and mandatory Islamic opening, a voice intoned in Arabic, “In the name of Allah the most merciful…” and the centre of the screen began to fill with images and vignettes of all kinds of horrors: those aircraft slamming into the twin towers. US and allied vehicles being destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices); video cameras slaved to the sights of Dragunov sniper rifles blasting the heads off GIs and then murdering those who came to their assistance; suicide bombers driving explosive-laden trucks through fences and into buildings or crowds immediately followed by massive explosions. Sometimes such scenes would carry sub-titles giving the date and location of the horror. In other instances, there would be clips of the happy, excited suicide bomber explaining his joy at the prospect of martyring himself for such a noble purpose.

There would also be clips of their “Great Emir”, Bin Laden, uttering in his quiet and reasonable sounding voice his latest threats to tear the heart out of the degenerate West. Then some stocky, heavily bearded, white robed and turbaned American, who we were told was Adam Gadahn, a Jewish Californian convert to Islam and Al Qaeda, made his first of many appearances. Gadahn was ridiculing — in English, with Arabic sub-titles — the American President and issuing dire warnings aimed at US audiences of the disasters that would befall America if the USA and her allies did not quit “Muslim lands”.

Okay, that’s pretty bad, I have to admit. Jihadist snuff films, Bin Laden, and that fat f**k Gadahn (“stocky” my a**) is more than any man should have to take.

But there was something even worse than watching thousands of people perish in fireballs or dropping singly to the ground from 100 stories up, bursting like pumpkins on the pavement below, worse even than seeing Daniel Pearl get his throat slit (most likely by Khalid Sheik Mohammed).

Are you sitting down?

[T]he scenes that elicited the strongest emotion were the all-too-familiar images of black-hooded, orange-clad figures, chained hand and foot, shuffling around those tiny cages in Guantanamo. These were indignities perpetrated by my side — the ‘good guys’. Those scenes of German Shepherds, fangs bared, straining to get at broken men cowering in corners and those piles of horrified naked bodies forced into obscene intimacy and, always, the iconic black-hooded figure, mutely perched barefoot on a box in a short black poncho with wires dangling from his outstretched fingers in the disgraceful Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, made me, in the midst of my own mental anguish, feel deep shame.

Again, with all due respect for his ordeal, he should get the [bleep] over himself. The sight of captured enemy combatants growing fat in the Caribbean sun was too much for him? Club Gitmo forfeited our our right to be the “good guys”? I’ll give him Abu Ghraib, but even the worst alleged abuse there was better than the best day in Al Qaeda’s custody. Of course, I wasn’t there—but neither was he!

And he goes on in this vein for some time, believe me. We were worse than Bin Laden, KSM, Zarqawi, Zawahiri, and Alladin combined. What utter nonsense.

His captivity ended four years ago, he has nothing to offer but the grimy details of Al Qaeda-inflicted indignities, he has no insight or perspective on the intelligence assets we held and the information we gained—and he’s Canadian. Who is he to judge America, and why should any American listen to him?

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You Can Take Qaddafi Out of Libya…

But you can’t take Libya out of Libya:

Several people have died after being tortured by militias in Libyan detention centres, human rights group Amnesty International has said.

It claimed to have seen patients in Tripoli, Misrata and Gheryan with open wounds to their head, limbs and back.

Meanwhile, charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has suspended operations in Misrata after treating 115 patients with torture-related wounds.

The UN says it is concerned about the conditions in which patients are held.

“The torture is being carried out by officially recognised military and security entities as well as by a multitude of armed militias operating outside any legal framework,” a spokesman for London-based Amnesty said.

More than 8,500 detainees, most of them accused of being loyal to former Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, are being held by militia groups in about 60 centres, according to UN human rights chief Navi Pillay.

“The lack of oversight by the central authority creates an environment conducive to torture and ill treatment,” she said.

Wow, that’s almost as bad as Jews living in Judea and Samaria!

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Representative Peter King On How Waterboarding KSM Led To Bin Laden

I couldn’t embed the video, but the link is here.

So, I ask again: Do any of the Leftists out there wish to revise their stance on waterboarding?

- Aggie

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Harsh Interrogations Led To Bin Laden

I wonder if those that are pleased that Osama bin Laden is gone, but wanted enhanced interrogation ended, can reconcile the two stances and come to a comfortable closure?

The trail that led to the doorstep of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan began years earlier with aggressive interrogations of al-Qaida detainees at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black site” prisons overseas, according to U.S. officials.

It was those sometimes controversial interrogations that first produced descriptions of members of bin Laden’s courier network, including one critical Middle Eastern courier who along with his brother was protecting bin Laden at his heavily fortified compound in Abbottabad on Sunday. Both the courier and his brother were among those killed, along with bin Laden, in the dramatic raid by U.S. special forces.

The behind-the-scenes story of how bin Laden was finally located is yet to be fully told, but emerging details seem likely to reignite the debate over whether “enhanced interrogation” techniques and other aggressive methods that have been widely criticized by human rights groups provided useful – or timely — intelligence about al-Qaida. While some current and former U.S. officials credited those interrogations Monday with producing the big break in the case, others countered that they failed to produce what turned out to be the most crucial piece of intelligence of all: the identity and whereabouts of the most important figure in bin Laden courier’s network.

“Multiple sources of intelligence led us to where we are,” one senior U.S. intelligence official, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters on Monday. “Key information was gleaned from detainees (and) that detainee reporting provided insight into the (bin Laden) courier network.”

’20th hijacker’ may have fingered courier
The identity of at least one of the detainees who provided early information about the courier who led to bin Laden could be politically explosive. According to a U.S. official, that detainee was notorious Saudi al-Qaida operative and accused 9/11 conspirator Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was subjected to some of the most humiliating interrogations at Guantanamo. Among the enhanced interrogation techniques used on him were being forced to wear a woman’s bra, being led around on a leash and forced to perform dog tricks and being subjected to cold temperatures that twice required his hospitalization, according to a later U.S. military report.

An official in the Bush administration told the Washington Post that they could not prosecute him, because his treatment met the legal definition of torture.

Question for Progressives: Was it worth it? Because this sounds a lot like what went on at Abu Ghraib. If it turns out that it eventually led us to bin Laden, was it worth it? Or would it have been better never to have known where he was?

- Aggie

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A Short Roundup Of Useful Idiots

I read some of the comments on the Jerusalem Post article about the Jew hating Italian “peace activist” who was tortured and murdered by his Palestinian friends.

There have been other Italian “peace activists” murdered by their friends.

This guy was stabbed to death by a Palestinian who wanted to murder a Jew.

An Italian named Angelo Frammartino, 25, espoused the typical anti-Israel views of a far-leftist, as he expressed in a letter to a newspaper in 2006:

We must face the fact that a situation of no violence is a luxury in many parts of the world, but we do not seek to avoid legitimate acts of defense. … I never dreamed of condemning resistance, the blood of the Vietnamese, the blood of the people who were under colonialist occupation or the blood of the young Palestinians from the first intifada.

Angelo Frammartino
Actively to forward his beliefs, Frammartino went to Israel in early August 2006 to serve as a volunteer with ARCI, a far-leftist NGO, working with Palestinian children at the Burj al-Luqluq community center in eastern Jerusalem.

But on August 10, he was stabbed in a terrorist assault at Sultan Suleiman Street, near Herod’s Gate in Jerusalem, twice in the back and once in the neck. He died shortly after, only two days before his planned return to Italy. The killer, soon identified as Ashraf Hanaisha, 24, turned out to be a Palestinian affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A resident of the village of Qabatiya in the Jenin area, Hanaisha apparently planned to attack a Jewish Israeli but made a mistake.

Damage control soon followed. The Palestinian Authority’s news agency, WAFA, carried a statement by the Burj al Luqluq community center condemning the murder in no uncertain terms: “Nothing could describe our emotions for what happened. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Angelo, they have our deepest sympathy.” Several Palestinian NGOs then organized a vigil in Frammartino’s memory. For her part, Hanaisha’s mother launched an appeal, via the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, for the forgiveness of her son.

In response to this outpouring, Frammartino’s parents did forgive Hanaisha. From the family home in Monterotondo, the father, Michelangelo, said that “he welcomes and appreciates, despite the undeletable sorrow, the plea for forgiveness made by the murderer’s mother” and he expressed a hope that the parents’ gesture “will bring to an end this extremely sad story.” The father went further, telling the Corriere della Sera newspaper that he felt no hatred toward his son’s murderer:

Angelo was working to promote peace. The message he sought to convey is greater than anything else. … the circumstances confirm that Angelo was a victim of the war, of the injustice in the world. When we are talking about a situation of tension, absence of common sense dominates. I do not feel hatred because Angelo’s thought, the principles that always motivated him, were definitely not of hatred or revenge.

So, in other words: Israel’s fault.

Then there is this extremely strange tale of performance artist, Pippa Bacca:

I can’t wait to read what Buck has to say about this. If you’re reading Buck, please give us your wisdom.

Pippa Bacca, an Italian performance artist who was hitchhiking from Milan to Israel to promote world peace and trust in other people, was found dead in Turkey after only three weeks on the road. Turkish authorities stated that she had been raped and strangled by a driver who had offered her a ride. Bacca and her friend and fellow artist, Silvia Moro, came up with the idea of hitchhiking from Italy to the Balkans to the Middle East while wearing wedding dresses, to send a message of peace and “marriage between different peoples and nations.”

- Aggie

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Are We Allowing Waterboarding To Happen In Pakistan?

Robert Gibbs is certainly being coy

From the Comments section:

Later when pressed privately Bagdad Bob Gibbs was quoted as saying “Look…Uhhh.. We are in the uhhh.. [inaudible]process of uhh walking back our whole thinking about uhhh.. waterboarding and uhhh civilian trials for terrorists and uhhh.. closing Gitmo. So.. uhh I didn’t want to give you an opening to ..uhhh say that Bush had it..uhh ..right all ..uhhlong.”

Where is The Left? Why are they so quiet about this?

- Aggie

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John Murtha (RIP) Predicted This

Finally, some Jack Bauer-like details on how we cracked prisoners down Guantanamo way. How bad did it get, I wonder? Knuckle sandwiches? Hertz donuts? Hawaiian punches? Swirlies, wedgies, towel-snapping, Indian burn, nipple cripple?

I’m glad John Murtha is dead (for his sake, you understand!) and doesn’t have to hear this:

The Associated Press reports that the British government lost its attempt to keep sensitive intelligence involving former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed secret despite pleas that it would damage cooperation with the US, and the courts have published a summary of what Mohamed’s advocates claim was torture at Gitmo.

v) It was reported that at some stage during that further interview process by the United States authorities, BM had been intentionally subjected to continuous sleep deprivation. The effects of the sleep deprivation were carefully observed.

vi) It was reported that combined with the sleep deprivation, threats and inducements were made to him. His fears of being removed from United States custody and “disappearing” were played upon.

vii) It was reported that the stress brought about by these deliberate tactics was increased by him being shackled in his interviews

viii) It was clear not only from the reports of the content of the interviews but also from the report that he was being kept under self-harm observation, that the inter views were having a marked effect upon him and causing him significant mental stress and suffering.

OMG The horror of it all: this is stuff we’ve already copped to!!!

It’s not new, and it’s certainly not torture. In fact, it sounds more like college.

Didn’t we do anything that remotely can be considered torture?

He says he was tortured … and that interrogators … beat him, deprived him of sleep and sliced his genitals with a scalpel.

Owww!!! Sorry I asked. Just one small clarification:

He says he was tortured in Pakistan, and that interrogators in Morocco beat him, deprived him of sleep and sliced his genitals with a scalpel.

But that’s how Muslims treat each other, unfortunately. I wish that they didn’t, but by all available evidence (in Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Palestinians—plus Pakistan and Morocco) they do.

We just put them on suicide watch.

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Ha! Who’s the Torturer Now?

Nearly three out of five of us:

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% oppose the use of such techniques, and another 12% are not sure.

Men and younger voters are more strongly supportive of the aggressive interrogation techniques than women and those who are older.

Well, real men are, anyway. The rest of you might as well be women. (Excuse me while I scratch myself.)

And what’s the matter with you 12% who “are not sure”? Someone’s getting water poured down his gullet, thinks he’s drowning (though he’s fine actually), and you’re scratching your head, scrunching up your face, and going hummana-hummana? Take a [bleeping] stand, why don’t ya? Honest to God.

I’m happy to see I’m solidly in the majority on this one, although I’d probably waterboard the entire nation of Nigeria and their dogs to get information (well, maybe not their dogs). So maybe I am still an outlier.

Anyhow, more interesting stuff at the link, very little of it showing confidence in President Pantywaist.

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The Meaning of Is

While guest-hosting for Rush yesterday, Mark Steyn interviewed Connie Hair of Human Events, and they recalled this interesting exchange between Eric Holder and members of the House Judiciary Committee from last may, which I had quite forgotten:

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) then switched gears to a line of questioning aimed at clarifying the Obama Justice Department’s definition of torture. In one of the rare times he gave a straight answer, Holder stated at the hearing that in his view water-boarding is torture. Lundgren asked if it was the Justice Department’s position that Navy SEALS subjected to waterboarding as part of their training were being tortured.

Holder: No, it’s not torture in the legal sense because you’re not doing it with the intention of harming these people physically or mentally, all we’re trying to do is train them —

Lungren: So it’s the question of intent?

Holder: Intent is a huge part.

Lungren: So if the intent was to solicit information but not do permanent harm, how is that torture?

Holder: Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah…

I’m sorry, would you repeat that?

Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah…

I see. Can you elaborate?

Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah…

Yes, I got that part, General Holder. Anything else?

Well, it… uh… it… one has to look at… ah… it comes out to question of fact as one is determining the intention of the person who is administering the waterboarding. When the Communist Chinese did it, when the Japanese did it, when they did it in the Spanish Inquisition we knew then that was not a training exercise they were engaging in. They were doing it in a way that was violative of all of the statutes recognizing what torture is. What we are doing to our own troops to equip them to deal with any illegal act — that is not torture.

So, if “it comes out to question of fact as one is determining the intention of the person who is administering the waterboarding”, as you so eloquently put it—leaving aside the Spanish Inquisition for moment, if that’s okay—waterboarding with the intent of discovering plots of mass murder is torture, is that right? Training Navy SEALS, no problem; saving hundreds or thousands of lives, no way. Do we understand that to be your position?

Holder: The intent is in the person who would be charged with the offense, the actor, as determined by a trier of fact looking at all of the circumstances. That is ultimately how one decides whether or not that person has the requisite intent.

Thank you, that’s much clearer now.

I think I’d be safer driving after midnight on New Years’ Eve than flying under the watchful gaze of these criminal buffoons.

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The Messiah or the Metrosexual?

Go ahead, twist my arm:

torture.jpg

Often/sometimes is up 10 points since Obama became president and five points since he and Cheney started tangling over this, with support at a clear majority for the first time since Pew began polling it.

What’s more, the increase has been stronger among Independents than Republicans—most of whom already had the electrodes charged, it must be admitted—and strongest of all among Democrats!

The cherry on top: the number of people who think President Obama is a pansy (not their word, mine) is equal to the number who think he’s either too tough or just right.

We thought we elected a Messiah, but we got a metrosexual.

Cheney/Palin ’12!

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Inside a CIA Torture Chamber

Cue the evil laughter:

The CIA built one of its secret European prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania, a current Lithuanian government official and a former U.S. intelligence official told ABC News this week.

Where affluent Lithuanians once rode show horses and sipped coffee at a café, the CIA installed a concrete structure where it could use harsh tactics to interrogate up to eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists at a time.

“The activities in that prison were illegal,” said human rights researcher John Sifton. “They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions.”

Standing? The horror! Stress positions? Oh, the humanity!

What part of “suspected al-Qaeda terrorists” do these people not get?

Besides:

The prison pods inside the barn were not visible to locals.

So for all we know, the CIA could have been riding English and sipping tea. This story is as empty as Al Capone’s vault.

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