We are America! We do not fucking torture!

by twit

With thanks to the Daily What, and by way of FOX News:

it’s about thirty seconds in…

and it is helpful to remember in the context of the kool-aid that the Politico has been sucking down lately:

That leaves a top Obama administration official appearing to validate claims by former Vice President Dick Cheney that waterboarding and other techniques the White House regards as torture were effective in preventing terrorist attacks. And the press release created the impression the administration was trying to suppress this conclusion.

It’s not that the Obama Administration is trying to suppress something that damages the case against torture.  Whether torture ever yielded valuable intelligence is not the point.  Of course it did, it’s torture.  But like Shep Smith says, “We are America! We do not fucking torture!”

Besides, according to the New York Times today:

A little research on the origin of those methods would have given reason for doubt. Government studies in the 1950s found that Chinese Communist interrogators had produced false confessions from captured American pilots not with some kind of sinister “brainwashing” but with crude tactics: shackling the Americans to force them to stand for hours, keeping them in cold cells, disrupting their sleep and limiting access to food and hygiene.

“The Communists do not look upon these assaults as ‘torture,’ ” one 1956 study concluded. “But all of them produce great discomfort, and lead to serious disturbances of many bodily processes; there is no reason to differentiate them from any other form of torture.”

Worse, the study found that under such abusive treatment, a prisoner became “malleable and suggestible, and in some instances he may confabulate.”

Besides, according to the Washington Post on April 21, 2009, they were warned:

The findings are contained in a Senate Armed Services Committee report scheduled for release today that also documents multiple warnings — from legal and trained interrogation experts — that the techniques could backfire and might violate U.S. and international law.

and according to the New York Times on April 22, 2009, the Bush Administration was warned so much it pissed off then-Attorney General John Ashcroft:

Mr. Tenet’s descriptions of each proposed interrogation method was so clinical and specific that at one briefing Mr. Ashcroft objected, saying that cabinet officials should approve broad outlines of important policies, not the fine details, according to someone present. The attorney general later complained that he thought Mr. Tenet was looking for cover in case controversy erupted, the person said.

According to McClatchy on Aprill 22, 2009, the fun has just begun…

WASHINGTON — A newly declassified narrative of the Bush administration’s advice to the CIA on harsh interrogations shows that the small group of Justice Department lawyers who wrote memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques were operating not on their own but with direction from top administration officials, including then-Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

updatede ja vu all over again, via  McClatchy on July 24, 2009:

In a hearing last week, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled that Mohammed Jawad’s confession to Afghan officials was inadmissible because it had been extracted through torture.

and from the AP on July 26, 2009:

When the American-born al-Qaida recruit Bryant Neal Vinas was captured in Pakistan late last year, he wasn’t whisked off to a military prison or a secret CIA facility in another country to be interrogated.

Instead, the itinerant terrorist landed in the hands of the FBI and was flown back to New York to face justice.

Months before President Barack Obama took office with a pledge to change U.S. counterterrorism policies, the Bush administration gave Vinas all the rights of American criminal suspects.

And he talked.

While an American citizen captured in Pakistan certainly presents a unique case, the circumstances of Vinas’ treatment may point to a new emphasis in the fight against terror, one that relies more on FBI crimefighters and the civilian justice system than on CIA interrogators and military detention.

“This was by the numbers. It was a law enforcement operation and it worked,” said a senior law enforcement official, one of several authorities who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

The official said Vinas provided “an intelligence gold mine” to U.S. officials, including possible information about a suspected militant who was killed in a Predator drone strike last November.

Related:

The high-level White House

The Bush Administration works hard to set the terrorists free

the united states of canada

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