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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue May 05th 2009, 07:04 PM
This is an article by Katha Pollitt of The Nation. These guys who designed our plans for torture are suffering no consequences apparently. Most of the country, according to polls, seems willing to forget and move on. The creators of the policy have fared well.

Better Living Through Torture

I should have been a torturer. You too, reader. Well, maybe not an actual physical torturer, because then there'd be a small chance I'd go to prison like Lynndie England or Charles Graner. My picture might be in the paper doing nasty things to naked men with a goony smile and a thumbs-up. I might even have disturbing memories and bad dreams, because surely, unless one is a sociopath, throwing people into walls and hanging them from the ceiling all day is likely to have its troubling moments. What I mean is, I should have been a member of the torture creative class--a conceptual torturer, a facilitator of torture, perhaps an inventor of torture law, an architect of the torture archipelago, a dissimulator, concealer, denier, rationalizer, minimizer and pooh-pooher of torture. As a word person, I could have come up with circumlocutions to confuse the media, bureaucratic phrases like "special methods of questioning" and "enhanced interrogation techniques." According to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt, just figuring out whether to call a given action "harsh" or "brutal" has kept editors busy for years! Or I could have written copy for the CIA. For example, I could have suggested they call putting people in coffinlike boxes full of insects "studio picnics," because studio apartments are small and picnics have bugs, and I could have nicknamed waterboarding "drinking tea with Vice President Cheney," although come to think of it, waterboarding is a euphemism already. Maybe that's why people didn't catch on that it was the same thing we prosecuted Japanese interrogators for doing in World War II. In the Tokyo trials it was called "the water treatment," or "the water cure," or just plain "water torture." Calling it "water torture" was probably what got those Japanese into trouble. That, and losing the war.

Why should I have joined the torture creative class? Because now I would be having a great life.

She mentions several people who have benefited and suffered no pain because they made intricate plans on how to inflict pain on others.

This one infuriates me.

John Yoo. In 2002, while working for the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Yoo wrote a crucial memo saying that terror suspects weren't covered by US commitments to treaties and agreements banning torture. Now Yoo is a tenured professor of law at Berkeley. Eat your heart out, Ward Churchill! And he isn't hiding away in his office, either. This semester Yoo's a visiting prof at Chapman University School of Law, where he spoke at a public forum and defended torture as necessary to protect the country. "Was it worth it?" he asked, according to the Los Angeles Times. For John Yoo, definitely.

Then there is Rummy.

Donald Rumsfeld. The former secretary of defense, who famously encouraged interrogators to force prisoners to stand for long periods of time ("I stand for eight or ten hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?"), got a one-year appointment in 2007 to the Hoover Institution at Stanford. In his announcement Hoover's director, John Raisian, said "Don" would "pursue new insights on the direction of thinking that the United States might consider going forward."

Douglas Feith fared especially well.

Douglas Feith. Remember him? His hand was in those torture memos, too. He now divides his time between the Hudson Institute and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he's a Belfer Center adjunct visiting scholar. Good times!

And lastly to not misuse copyright rules, there is Paul Wolfowitz.

Paul Wolfowitz. The former deputy defense secretary was keen on harsher methods of interrogation to extract more "intelligence" from detainees in the run-up to the Iraq War. Today Wolfowitz runs the US-Taiwan Business Council, which sounds rather lucrative, and is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, along with John Yoo, Lynne Cheney, Charles Murray, Newt Gingrich and similar. Can't somebody give Ayaan Hirsi Ali a job and get her out of there?

They were the ones along with Rumsfeld who wanted to try to justify what they did by getting doctors to observe the torture and monitor it. I remember when that happened in 1940s Germany.

Medical personnel watching as pain is inflicted....a Rumsfeld legacy?

One of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's first instructions for military interrogations outside the Geneva Conventions was that military doctors should be involved in monitoring torture. It was a fateful decision and we learn much more about its consequences in a new book based on 35,000 pages of government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The book is called Oath Betrayed (to be published June 27) by medical ethicist Dr. Stephen Miles, and it is a harrowing documentation of how the military medical profession has been corrupted by the Bush-Rumsfeld interrogation rules.

They will suffer no consequence likely. They will be given access to the media. They will only have their consciences with which to live, and for some reason I doubt that will bother them at all.
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