You say abuse, I say torture

U.S. report cites 'degrading' Guantanamo treatment

I know, duh, right. But the bottom line is, we are now advocating torture openly. From the article:

A military report presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee stated the Saudi man, described as the "20th hijacker" slated to have participated in the September 11, 2001, attacks on America, was forced by interrogators to wear a bra and had women's thong underwear placed on his head.

U.S. interrogators also told him he was a homosexual, forced him to dance with a male interrogator, told him his mother and sister were whores, forced him to wear a leash and perform dog tricks, menaced him with a dog and subjected him to interrogations up to 20 hours a day for about two months, the report said.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, who headed the probe into FBI accounts of abuse of Guantanamo prisoners by Defense Department personnel, concluded that the man was subjected to "abusive and degrading treatment" due to "the cumulative effect of creative, persistent and lengthy interrogations." The techniques used were authorized by the Pentagon, he said.

"As the bottom line, though, we found no torture. Detention and interrogation operations were safe, secure and humane," Schmidt said of the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Army Gen. Bantz Craddock, who as head of Southern Command oversees Guantanamo, said he rejected the recommendation by Schmidt and his fellow investigator Army Brig. Gen. John Furlow that Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the prison's commander at the time, be formally admonished for failing to properly monitor and limit the interrogation of that prisoner.

Craddock said the interrogation "did not result in any violation of a U.S. law or policy," and thus "there's nothing for which to hold him accountable." Miller would have been the highest-ranking U.S. officer punished in connection with the abuse of prisoners in the custody of the U.S. military.

It certainly violates the third Geneva Convention, which the U.S. signed and helped craft. Pertaining to prisoners of war, Article 13 states:
""Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated...Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."

And Article 17:
"No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

Is any of this ringing a bell? Intimidation? Insults? Mental torture? Heck, the ruling requires pleasant treatment?! Why did these values seem to be worth seeking just after the Holocaust and not now?

We can't forget this "20th hijacker" hasn't been found guilty of anything. He hasn't even been formally charged. In truth, he and his fellow inmates aren't granted the Prisoner of War status afforded by the Geneva Conventions. It seems we are at war only when it's convenient to us.

Maybe you still agree with this method of instilling "freedom." I don't give a shit. I'm merely keeping you informed of where our country is headed. I'm merely passing on tiny little stories that are in fact a big deal elsewhere in the world. This way, when bombs start going off here, you don't foolishly say, 'Why would anyone attack us?! We're the very model of liberty and the most civil of societies!"

Walk the walk.