"Army, CIA want torture truths exposed" [WARNING: IT'S DIRTY LAUNDRY TIME]
Five thoughts about the enclosed (at bottom) UPI article:
1) IS TORTURE EFFECTIVE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS? This article implies that torture is sometimes both effective and necessary. But, soon after 9-11, when the Bushites first started floating the idea of openly carrying out torture (particularly their defense of torture because supposedly it would force terrorists to quickly confess to their future plans and thus help prevent the death of more innocents), scientific reports and studies were re-published showing five fundamental flaws with torture:
a) RELIABLE INFO?: There was almost no way to know if the information extracted was even true (the victim might say anything due to the pain or to deliberately mislead her/his interrogators.);
b) NOT ENOUGH TIME: It was almost impossible to extract enough good information quick enough - it would take at least some time to break people, the more important they are, the longer it might take (if ever), and, the longer the delay in obtaining the information, the less reliable & useful it became (due to the victim forgetting or "being out of the loop" too long; or due to adjustments made by the "enemy" either due to the disappearance/capture of the victim or just because time has passed and inevitable adjustments have been made.);
c) TIT-FOR-TAT: When the truth came out, U.S. military personnel (as "enemy combatants" or terrorists themselves) would be increasingly subject to the same treatment from the "other side";
d) TORTURE IS UNIVERSALLY CONDEMNED AND ILLEGAL: Despite its wide-spread usage (particularly by the U.S. Government and its multitude of puppet regimes - some 80 U.S. companies mass-manufacture torture devices, virtually all 100++ of the U.S. puppet governments around the world employ torture, usually under tight U.S. supervision), torture ("light" or heavy) is universally condemned and illegal; and
e) TORTURE EVENTUALLY BACKFIRES: Sooner or later word of the torture would get out, producing a very powerful back-lash against the government carrying it out, and seriously undermining that people's faith in that system of government.
2) TORTURE IS A WMD, A MASS-TERROR TACTIC: One could say that the two truly effective aspects of the use of torture are that:
a) In the short term, it does terrorize the masses of innocent people (suffering over current victims, wondering if they might be future victims); and
b) In the longer term, in response, the masses cast away more of their illusions of "democracy" under capitalism, and fight back ever-more heroically, producing ever-greater numbers of fighters, hastening the final destruction of world-wide capitalist-imperialism..
3) DIRTY LAUNDRY IN PUBLIC - U.S. RULING CLASS SPLIT ON IRAQ? This article doesn't even raise perhaps the most important point - are these Army and CIA exposers acting completely out of "self-defense" of their organizations and their personal beliefs? Whenever a major scandal breaks out in the mass disinformation media, this almost inevitably means that one part of the ruling class is both so opposed to some current policy and so unable to force its reversal, that they feel they have to go public - not with their real gripe, but with the "dirty laundry" of the part of the ruling class that is calling shots. In this way, they hope to so discredit their opponents as to now/soon be able to force the change. These current expose's have all the hallmark signs of such a dirty-laundry campaign. Afterall, these same individuals and organizations long-ago knew about the torture and abuses and said and did nothing publicly.
4) SHOW A LITTLE TO HIDE A LOT: Regardless of the forces involved, the key thing to keep in mind about all their expose's is that they are not opponents of the system itself; just the opposite, their aim is to show a little of the truth to hide "a lot" - just as the Bushites have spoken of a few bad bottom-level "bad apples" not being reflective of the whole military and the whole U.S. government, these exposers try to argue that the "bad apples" include the Bushites, but that there is nothing bad and everything good about the general purpose and function of the U.S. Government and its military and spy organizations. In this way, they hope to once again clean up U.S. capitalism's image, so that things can return to their normal WRD's of: War, Repression and Depression, i.e., monopoly-capitalist imperialist "business as usual". Their problems are two fold:
a) The Bushites (both Bush & Co, AND the majority of U.S. monopoly capitalists, who have benefited no end from their policies, and who, until now have had no good-enough reason to go against them) seem willing to risk ever-greater damage to the image of the system (and to "their own" troops and agents) in their effort to hold onto power, protect their own, and "stay the course". The exposers knew this was going to be a major problem for them from the beginning; so, because they haven't yet come close to forcing the course-change they must have, they won't stop exposing now - but instead, must continuously escalate "till victory";
b) The "2nd Superpower" - the U.S. and world's people - are being tremendously politicized in this process. "At home" and abroad, key illusions of democracy and about the "goodness" of the U.S. are being rapidly, deeply, and, perhaps, permanently eroded. With the heroic Iraqi revolutionary resistance movement manning the front lines, it's the 1968-1975 Vietnam era all over again, if not worse for the imperialists.
5) HOW WILL IT WASH OUT? OCTOBER SURPRISE(S)? Short-term: There will be no peace in the short-term in Iraq, because the U.S. will: not allow democracy there, will not remove its troops and especially its (14? planned) "permanent" bases there, will not give up on its attempt to control the oil and through it outmaneuver their more oil-dependent major capitalist rivals (the bases and the Bushite "fall-back" plans all are about protecting U.S. control of the oil), will not give up on its attempt to cash in on Iraqi "reconstruction". The slaughter of the Iraqis will continue; the death of Americans there will continue, a bogus "free" Iraq will be set up, mean nothing and fool few. The Bushites will try to reduce the number of American deaths and the coverage of those deaths to election-winning levels. Kerry, equally as pro-Iraq-war, if not more so, as the Bushites, will either flip-flop (and lose big-time on the credibility issue) or become, like the Bushites, a minority candidate. Nader's numbers will soar - perhaps, without an "October Surprise", there might be about a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 vote - in which case, expect the Bushites and Bushite Kerry-ites to tactically "unite" so that one or the other "defeats" Nader and becomes the next president.
The Bushites have another MAJOR PROBLEM: 9-11. There is a definite race against time between those struggling to force the truth out about what 9-11 was really all about (the Bushites' "New Pearl Harbor" to use to whip the world up in "support" of totally undemocratic moves at home and abroad) VS the Bushites attempts to stop them, or at least postpone the exposure until such a time as it won't prevent their re-election AND, if such an exposure seems inevitable, to "pre-empt" it with an "October Surprise". Thus, the Bushites face a host of major problems: the Iraqi resistance, the Torture-Abuse Scandal, the 9-11 "Truth-Out", myriad major economic corruption scandals, Kerry, Nader and the people. But the Bushites are not out of cards. They stole the last election (in Florida and the Supreme Court); no one should have any illusions about whether, faced with defeat, they would make another attempt. If anything, unless their poll-numbers have sunk so low that they see absolutely no possibility of manipulating things to the point of "winning"; it is more likely that they WILL do something, and there ARE some things one might "expect" from them.
"OCTOBER SURPRISES": Some time before the elections they could:
a) "CAPTURE" BIN LADEN: They may already have him, but are waiting for, in their own language, the best time "to sell" it - like they did with the Afghan War;
b) "DISCOVER" WMDs IN IRAQ: They have already attempted to smuggle some in; they probably already have more WMDs already in place - the recent "Sarin" bomb may have been a "trial balloon" to test the waters, to help them figure out the best way for them to spring this "discovery" on the world;
c) "REVISIT" 9-11: They probably already have in place the next terrorist attack - they certainly have the means (unlimited $ and agents), motive (remain in power, continue to rape and plunder "at will") and opportunity (targets and time) ). A top general has recently commented that a second "9-11" in the U.S. would result in a military take over of the country and a suspension of the Constitution - part of which might be the cancellation of elections (if the Bushites felt they couldn't "win" the elections, despite the "rallying of support" for them in the face of that terror attack). Articles have started to appear that the pre-election U.S. is supposedly more "ripe" for another terrorist attack than at any time in the recent past. True, this tactic has already been tried, in Spain, just prior to their elections - but it backfired. This does NOT mean that the Bushites won't try it again; there is no end to the dirty tricks of the representatives of the super-rich; if they feel they need another 9-11, they will just try to "learn the lessons" from that failure, carrying this attack out in such a way that, they hope, will ensure that the (voting) public itself "learns the 'proper' lessons".
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Army, CIA want torture truths exposed
By Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Published 5/18/2004 7:16 AM
WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- Efforts at the top level of the Bush administration and the civilian echelon of the Department of Defense to contain the Iraq prison torture scandal and limit the blame to a handful of enlisted soldiers and immediate senior officers have already failed: The scandal continues to metastasize by the day.
Over the past weekend and into this week, devastating new allegations have emerged putting Stephen Cambone, the first Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, firmly in the crosshairs and bringing a new wave of allegations cascading down on the head of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when he scarcely had time to catch his breath from the previous ones.
Even worse for Rumsfeld and his coterie of neo-conservative true believers who have run the Pentagon for the past 3½ years, three major institutions in the Washington power structure have decided that after almost a full presidential term of being treated with contempt and abuse by them, it's payback time.
Those three institutions are: The United States Army, the Central Intelligence Agency and the old, relatively moderate but highly experienced Republican leadership in the United States Senate.
None of those groups is chopped liver: Taken together they comprise a devastating Grand Slam.
The spearhead for the new wave of revelations and allegations - but by no means the only source of them - is veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. In a major article published in the New Yorker this week and posted on to its Web-site Saturday, Hersh revealed that a high-level Pentagon operation code-named Copper Green "encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation" of Iraqi prisoners. He also cited Pentagon sources and consultants as saying that photographing the victims of such abuse was an explicit part of the program meant to force the victims into becoming blackmailed reliable informants.
Hersh further claimed in his article that Rumsfeld himself approved the program and that one of his four or five top aides, Cambone, set it up in Baghdad and ran it.
These allegations of course are anathema to the White House, Rumsfeld and their media allies. In a highly unusual step for any newspaper, the editorially neo-conservative tabloid New York Post ran an editorial Monday seeking to ridicule and discredit Hersh. However, it presented absolutely no evidence to query, let alone discredit the substance of his article and allegations.
Instead, the New York Post editorial inadvertently pointed out one, but by no means all, of the major sources for Hersh's information. The editorial alleged that Hersh had received much of his material from the CIA.
Based on the material Hersh quoted, his legendary intelligence community contacts were probably sources for some of his information. However, Hersh has also enjoyed close personal relations with many now high-ranking officers in the United States Army, going all the way back to his prize-winning coverage and scoops in Vietnam more than 30 years ago.
Indeed, intelligence and regular Army sources have told UPI that senior officers and officials in both communities are sickened and outraged by the revelations of mass torture and abuse, and also by the incompetence involved, in the Abu Ghraib prison revelations. These sources also said that officials all the way up to the highest level in both the Army and the Agency are determined not to be scapegoated, or allow very junior soldiers or officials to take the full blame for the excesses.
President George W. Bush in his weekly radio address Saturday claimed that the Abu Ghraib abuses were only "the actions of a few" and that they did not "reflect the true character of the Untied States armed forces."
But what enrages many serving senior Army generals and U.S. top-level intelligence community professionals is that the "few" in this case were not primarily the serving soldiers who were actually encouraged to carry out the abuses and even then take photos of the victims, but that they were encouraged to do so, with the Army's well-established safeguards against such abuses deliberately removed by high-level Pentagon civilian officials.
Abuse and even torture of prisoners happens in almost every war on every side. But well-run professional armies, and the U.S. Army has always been one, take great pains to guard against it and limit it as much as possible. Even in cases where torture excesses are regarded as essential to extract tactical information and save lives, commanders in most modern armies have taken care to limit such "dirty work" to very small units, usually from special forces, and to keep it as secret as possible.
For senior Army professionals know that allowing patterns of abuse and torture to metastasize in any army is annihilating to its morale and tactical effectiveness. Torturers usually make lousy combat soldiers, which is why combat soldiers in every major army hold them in contempt.
Therefore, several U.S. military officers told UPI, the idea of using regular Army soldiers, including some even just from the Army Reserve or National Guard, and encouraging them to inflict such abuses ran contrary to received military wisdom and to the ingrained standards and traditions of the U.S. Army.
The widespread taking of photographs of the victims of such abuses, they said, clearly revealed that civilian "amateurs" and not regular Army or intelligence community professionals were the driving force in shaping and running the programs under which these abuses occurred.
Hersh has spearheaded the waves of revelations of shocking abuse. But other major U.S. media organizations are now charging in behind him to confirm and extend his reports. They are able to do so because many senior veteran professionals in both the CIA and the Army were disgusted by the revelations of the torture excesses. Now they are being listened to with suddenly receptive ears on Capitol Hill.
Republican members in the House of Representatives have kept discipline and silence on the revelations. But with the exception of the increasingly isolated and embarrassed Senate Republican Leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee, other senior mainstream figures in the GOP Senate majority have refused to go along with any cover-up.
Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Pat Roberts of Kansas and John Warner of Virginia have all been outspoken in their condemnation of the torture excesses. And they did so even before the latest, most far-reaching and worst of the allegations and reports surfaced. Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, lost no time in hauling Rumsfeld before it to testify.
The pattern of the latest wave of revelations is clear: They are coming from significant numbers of senior figures in both the U.S. military and intelligence services. They reflect the disgust and contempt widely felt in both communities at the excesses; and at long last, they are being listened to seriously by senior Republican, as well as Democratic, senators on Capitol Hill.
Rumsfeld and his team of top lieutenants have therefore now lost the confidence, trust and respect of both the Army and intelligence establishments. Key elements of the political establishment even of the ruling GOP now recognize this.
Yet Rumsfeld and his lieutenants remain determined to hang on to power, and so far President Bush has shown every sign of wanting to keep them there. The scandal, therefore, is far from over. The revelations will continue. The cost of the abuses to the American people and the U.S. national interest is already incalculable: And there is no end in sight.Copyright © 2001-2004 United Press International