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Billy Ahmed: The Grey Zone

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    Rumsfeld approved torture techniques: top brass: Donald Rumsfeld personally approved four special interrogation techniques used on two al-Qaeda operatives held
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2004
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      Rumsfeld approved torture techniques: top brass:

      Donald Rumsfeld personally approved four special interrogation
      techniques used on two al-Qaeda operatives held at Guantanamo Bay,
      Cuba, who then talked about the terrorist network and its plans, the
      commander of US forces in Latin America said today.
      http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/04/1086203599711.html

      ======================
      Hiding the gulag:

      Things have gotten so bad, the Bush administration is lying even to
      its own lawyers
      http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/other_stories/multi-
      page/documents/03866773.asp

      =============
      "The Grey Zone" reveals Rumy's torture policy
      Posted by: Submit_News on May 23, 2004 - 08:28 AM

      http://whitecivilrights.org/modules.php?
      op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=756&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

      Seymour Hersh's article, "The Gray Zone," published on May 15 by the
      New Yorker, divulges how Rumsfeld, assisted by his Undersecretary for
      Intelligence Stephen Cambone, set up a secret program to assassinate
      targeted individuals in the Bush administration's "war on terror."
      This program was later extended to the interrogation of prisoners
      captured in Afghanistan and Iraq and, according to Hersh, "encouraged
      physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an
      effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in
      Iraq."

      "The Grey Zone," reveals Rummy's torture policy
      Seymour Hersh's article, "The Gray Zone," published on May 15 by the
      New Yorker, divulges how Rumsfeld, assisted by his Undersecretary for
      Intelligence Stephen Cambone, set up a secret program to assassinate
      targeted individuals in the Bush administration's "war on terror."
      This program was later extended to the interrogation of prisoners
      captured in Afghanistan and Iraq and, according to Hersh, "encouraged
      physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an
      effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in
      Iraq."

      In the opening paragraph Hersh writes, "The roots of the Abu Ghraib
      prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army
      reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of
      Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which
      had been focused on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of
      prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld's decision embittered the American
      intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of elite combat
      units, and hurt America's prospects in the war on terror."
      To order to carry out rapid US assassinations of terrorism suspects,
      a Special Access Program (SAP) was incipiently set up weeks after
      September 11, 2001, On October 7, 2001, a military lawyer refused to
      grant permission for a missile strike on an automobile convoy which
      US officials thought might have been carrying Taliban leader Mullah
      Omar. Rumsfeld was furious and by passed the refusal ordering the set-
      up of the SAP to oversee such assassinations. In the said article
      Hersh mentions, an interview with a former senior intelligence
      official who said, the program had the full approval of top Bush
      administration officials, including National Security Adviser
      Condoleezza Rice. President Bush and General Richard Myers, chairman
      of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were notified of the SAP's existence.
      The Grey Zone is Hersh's exhaustive account of the program—his
      article covers over 5,000 words long—repeatedly cites conversations
      and decisions at the highest levels of the Bush administration and
      the Pentagon.

      The US military establishment was well aware that its intelligence-
      gathering abilities in Iraq were far outmatched by those of the
      resistance. Therefore, these programs were brought to Iraq as US
      forces there confronted a pertinacious and growing insurgency in the
      summer and fall of 2003. A Defense Department study quoted by Hersh
      notes: "[Insurgents'] ability to attack convoys, other vulnerable
      targets and particular individuals has been the result of painstaking
      surveillance and reconnaissance." It ascribes insurgents'
      intelligence gathering to widespread sympathy for the resistance in
      the Iraqi police and security forces, Iraqi government offices, and
      amongst Iraqi workers inside the US Coalition Provisional Authority
      (CPA), which runs Iraq.

      It further noted: "Politically, the US has failed to date. [...] The
      disaster is that the reconstruction of Iraq has been the key cause of
      the insurgency. There is no legitimate government, and it behooves
      the Coalition Provisional Authority to absorb the sad but unvarnished
      fact that most Iraqis do not see the [US-appointed Iraqi] Governing
      Council as the legitimate authority. Indeed, they know that the true
      power is the CPA."

      In view of the obvious fact that US forces were facing massive
      resistance in imposing an occupation regime on Iraq, the study
      deplored the fact that US "intelligence is poor or lacking ... due to
      the dearth of competence and expertise."

      Hersh describes the solution as, "endorsed by Rumsfeld and carried
      out by Stephen Cambone," was to turn US prisons in Iraq into torture
      camps to extract enough information about the resistance to drown it
      in blood. Cambone incorporated military intelligence officers and
      mercenaries carrying out interrogations into the SAP, removing them
      from the authority of the normal military chain of command. This
      matches claims by Abu Ghraib commander General Janice Karpinski that
      she did not exert effective control over the interrogations taking
      place at Abu Ghraib, which were run by military intelligence officers
      and civilian contractors not acting under her orders.

      There was another objective for the methods employed at Abu Ghraib.
      Hersh reveals evidence that faced with popular resistance; US forces
      pursued a volitive policy of sexual torture in the hopes of
      blackmailing ordinary Iraqis into becoming informants for US troops.
      He quotes a government consultant who was told that the goal was
      to "create an army of informants" by threatening released detainees
      who refused to cooperate with US forces with sexual humiliation, by
      releasing explicit pictures taken during their stays in prison.
      Considering what Hersh mention above it would explain US forces'
      willingness to torture thousands of detainees, most of whom (70-90%,
      according to Red Cross estimates) are wrongly detained. US forces are
      not trying to apprehend and interrogate resistance fighters, but
      rather to set up a large-scale spy network within a hostile
      population. It also explains comments by Israel's Shin Bet domestic
      security service, which routinely uses torture against Arab
      detainees, that it viewed sexual humiliation as an unreliable form of
      interrogation, since it risks breaking a victim to the point where
      he "will say anything. That information is worthless." If US forces
      were using sexual humiliation to torture Iraqi detainees, it was
      rigorous because they had no particular interest in what the Iraqis
      were going to say thereafter.

      The Pentagon denies the Hersh's story. Defense Department spokesman
      Lawrence DiRita, in a formal statement to the press, declared, "The
      abuse evidenced in the videos and photos, and any similar abuse that
      may come to light in any of the ongoing half dozen investigations
      into this matter, has no basis in any sanctioned program, training
      manual, instruction, or order in the Department of Defense."
      Hersh's article grapples, however, that the torture was the outcome
      of a special "black operation," a program which would not have
      been "sanctioned" but would rather have been kept "off-the-books" to
      preserve deniability. In response to press questions, DiRita simply
      refused to address whether such a program existed.

      The mounting evidence of a deliberate Bush administration policy to
      torture Guantanamo Bay—and subsequently Iraqi—detainees underscores
      the case for war crimes charges against all of the American high
      officials, civilian and military, responsible for the invasion and
      conquest of Afghanistan and Iraq. "The Grey Zone"- article can be
      read in the website:

      http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040524fa_fact

      Billy I Ahmed
      Columnist & Researcher
      e-mail: thewritingtable@...

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