Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's Time To Prosecute Torturers, And The People Who Ordered it.

In a surprisingly stunning New York Times editorial, the NYT calls for an investigation into the Bush Administrations', 2002-2006, treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, specifically, the use of torture. Outlawed techniques designed to inflict physical and psychological affliction of which in the context of torture is just that, torture. Prosecuting the Bush Administration hypothetically ensures the practices of outlawed  tactics such as waterboarding (simulated drowning) remain in the past. Earlier this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a rather damning five year long investigation report. The report did come from a Democratic-led Senate, headed by Sen Dianne Feinstein, but the release gained bipartisan support. In as much as, they approved of the release of the redacted version of the torture report. The committee agreed to release an overly redacted summarized version of the report, around 524 pages worth of documents.

After reading the report, I thought this cannot be true. This report details the level of depravity human beings possess. Torture says more about us, who we are than it does about the people we torture. Not to mention the fact, torture doesn't work. Wrap your mind around this thought, if we torture people they will eventually say whatever it is they think you want to hear. Often misleading, inaccurate of flat out lies that CIA took to be the truth. Of course, this misinformation leads to wasted time. The information contained therein disturbs the conscious of nearly everyone. Now whether or not they want to admit it, is another question. Meaning, some of the tactics the Bush Administration used weren't only torture and 'war crimes' but they were also disgustingly sadistic. For example, waterboarding is simulated drowning it makes one feel they're drowning, over a prolonged period can result in death. The CIA held mock executions, telling the prisoners they wouldn't see their families again, and saying they were going to rape their wife and children. They also enacted rectal l feeding. Of which  disturbed even some in the medical community, whereby the personnel claim there wasn't a medical need for such practice. Furthermore, let's be real, it was torture, it's degrading, humiliated, and  sexual assault. The CIA also had prisoners stand on broken limbs, wear diapers, arms above suspending hanging from the ceiling for hours and sometimes

The United States has always been a member of the Geneva Convention and the United Nations Torture Treaty. Which in clear terms explicitly deems torture war crimes. In early 2002, the CIA lawyers started looking for ways around the 'torture' clause in the Geneva Conventions' and United Nations torture treaty seeking to  torture people with the promise of immunity. Prior to getting a single prisoner in custody, the tone already set for torture, stained America's honour.

You know the phrase mom uses when you act guilty, if you have nothing to hide, why are you acting guilty?
Well, the CIA clearly knew torture violated not only U.S. law but international law too. Therefore, immunity cannot apply, according to the treaties America is responsible for bearing exemplary valour. Torture stained the United States' standing in the international community.

"The term “inhuman treatment” is defined in the Elements of Crimes for the International Criminal Court as the infliction of “severe physical or mental pain or suffering”.[22]  The element that distinguishes inhuman treatment from torture is the absence of the requirement that the treatment be inflicted for a specific purpose. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has used a wider definition determining that inhuman treatment is that which “causes serious mental or physical suffering or injury or constitutes a serious attack on human dignity”.[23]  The element of “a serious attack on human dignity” was not included in the definition of inhuman treatment under the Elements of Crimes for the International Criminal Court because the war crime of “outrages upon personal dignity” covers such attacks.[24]

The notion of “outrages upon personal dignity” is defined in the Elements of Crimes for the International Criminal Court as acts which humiliate, degrade or otherwise violate the dignity of a person to such a degree “as to be generally recognized as an outrage upon personal dignity”. The Elements of Crimes further specifies that degrading treatment can apply to dead persons and that the victim need not be personally aware of the humiliation.[28]  The last point was made in order to cover the deliberate humiliation of unconscious or mentally handicapped persons. The Elements of Crimes adds that the cultural background of the person needs to be taken into account, thereby covering treatment that is humiliating to someone of a particular nationality or religion, for example. (1)."

By anyone's definition of torture clearly the prisoners at Gitmo Bay, Cuba received torture some of which incomprehensible. However, conservatives attempt to stand up for the torturers who are clear war criminals. The following is a redacted list of torture methods used by the CIA:

*Sleep deprivation.
*Rectal feeding.
*Threats of violence.
*Depriving them of access to basic human rights such as using the bathroom,
*Conducting mock executions.
*Nailing detainees in coffin-like boxes.
*Making them stand on broken limbs.
*Sense deprivation

But the rectal feeding is one that I find truly disturbing because it's not only, torture, humiliating, it's sexual assault. For all of these so-called conservatives against homosexuality, you should question the support you have for torture. You cannot have it both ways; you cannot claim you hate homosexuality but find pleasure in what the CIA did to prisoners of war, half of which were innocent. In other words, not only did we torture people but we tortured the wrong people. Imagine what these men thought when they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, essentially kidnapped and tortured all the while professing your innocence, that'd be mindbogglingly. For the sake of humanity, humility and everything good, we need to prosecute these folks. Also, please understand the FBI has the skills and there are techniques they use to interrogate, so it's not either we treat them like kings or we torture prisoners to death. The FBI should have been the ones interrogating. In fact, the FBI got information out of the detainees without torturing them. What the Bush Administration did, allowed, new about but did nothing about should fined something. At the very least, they should officially be classified as 'war criminals.'

[suggest corrections] driownu2@gmail.com]


1). Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. Customary IHL.https://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule90

2). Editorial Board. (21 December 2014). Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses. New York Times.http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/opinion/prosecute-torturers-and-their-bosses.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

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