More Bush Administration Attempts to Cover Up Waterboarding and Other Torture Techniques
Andrew Sullivan writes today in The Daily Dish, his Time Magazine blog:
“From today’s Washington Post:
The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the “alternative interrogation methods” that their captors used to get them to talk.
The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation’s most sensitive national security secrets and that their release — even to the detainees’ own attorneys — “could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage.”
It couldn’t be because they would reveal the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld policy of torture and abuse, would it? I’ve said it before but the possibility that these three men will one day face charges of war crimes is a distinct possibility. Their desperate attempts now to hide what they have done in our name is predictable. If you re-elect them, their abuse of power will only metastasize, as torture always does.” [Andrew Sullivan]
From an Earlier Article of My Own:
VIDEO DESCRIPTION: CIA APPROVED ENHANCED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES
The first video below is a dramatization of a “waterboarding.” Since I have only read descriptions, I cannot verify its accuracy in detail – but it certainly captures the essence of this technique directly authorized by the president, and used by the CIA at the behest of the president and vice-president. The clip lasts a little more than 30 seconds. Most victims apparently do not last that long. If you believe that what you are watching is “severe mental or physical pain,” then it is torture under U.S. law, and the U.N. Treaty. It is undeniably a violation of the Geneva Convention. If it is torture, according to the president himself, then it should stopped. At this moment in history, let us at least look at what is being done by the government and call it by its proper name.
UPDATE: The video described above has been made unavailable at YouTube. In its place, a video against the use of torture from Amnesty International is presented. Broadcast of this video was banned at one time, allegedly due to what was claimed to be its excessively violent nature.
Amnesty International Video
A WATERBOARDING DRAMATIZATION
Sullivan recently noted another waterboarding demonstration:
“The video presented below is an actual waterboarding demonstration by a Fox News Television Reporter. It’s important to remember that psychologically, he’s in a very different space than prisoners who have no autonomy, and who are not aware that they can stop this at any time. Even so, his conclusion is inescapable:
“As far as torture goes, at least in this controlled experiment, to me this seemed like a pretty efficient mechanism.”
It is indeed a pretty efficient torture technique that triggers involuntary extreme panic and fear in order to get information – any information – in order to have it stopped. The legal definition of torture is the infliction of “severe mental or physical pain or suffering” to extract information. The reporter essentially cops to “severe mental suffering” at the very least. I am grateful to Fox for not mincing words. This is torture. That a prisoner can survive it with minimal outward signs of physical harm is one of its benefits for torturers, because they can repeat it endlessly until a human being is still alive but reduced to an empty shell. And that is why the Khmer Rouge used it. And the Soviets. And the Nazis. And George W. Bush.”
Waterboarding Demonstration by a Fox News Television Reporter