The following is the comment posted by Ralph Lopez at the Washington Post's recent op-ed "Crimes That Deserve Punishment," the most promising sign yet that the major media is getting onboard with prosecutions for torture.�� It appeared on page A17.�� The online comments are still flying, and the discussion is hot.�� This strikes major fear into the right and so they are busy with their usual stupid counter-arguments.�� Save this so you can use the quotes and links included as evidence that those held and tortured were innocent, over and over in the many discussions which are bound to follow.�� Here are the facts to counter the argument that Bush was only torturing terrorists�� who knew something.�� Also, please jump into the discussion at the WaPo editorial here:
The big story is that many, probably most, of the tortured were
innocent, knew nothing. Bush gave the orders to torture first,
determine innocence later. Most Americans are in favor of torture as
long as the commander in chief knows what he is doing. Bush didn't, and
now it is a stain on US honor and our reputation in the world which
must be fixed.
This is Pelosi's only defense when the righties say "Pelosi was
briefed, so you've got to prosecute her too!" She can say, we were only
briefed that you were torturing people who knew something. I don't like
Pelosi, but the question of her complicity and that of the "gang of 8"
or 4 or whatever is one thing holding up prosecutions, and she can
solve her political problem this way though I'd love to see her go down
FROM A MCCLATCHY REPORT:
"The majority of the detainees taken to Guantanamo came into U.S.
custody indirectly, from Afghan troops, warlords, mercenaries and
Pakistani police who often were paid cash by the number and alleged
importance of the men they handed over."
FROM THE NATIONAL JOURNAL. (An American officer at Gitmo got suspicious
that his client (Tumani) was innocent and started digging):
"Tumani's enterprising representative looked at the classified
evidence against the [Tumani] and found that just one man -- the
aforementioned accuser -- had placed Tumani at the terrorist training
camp. And he had placed Tumani there three months before the teenager
had even entered Afghanistan. The curious U.S. officer pulled the
classified file of the accuser, saw that he had accused 60 men, and,
suddenly skeptical, pulled the files of every detainee the accuser had
placed at the one training camp. None of the men had been in
Afghanistan at the time the accuser said he saw them at the camp. The
tribunal declared Tumani an enemy combatant anyway."
Then of course most recently Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell's chief of staff, wrote in an article:
"largely unreported is that several in the U.S. leadership became
aware of the reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any
substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be
But to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on
their leadership from virtually day one of the so-called Global War on
Terror and these leaders already had black marks enough: the dead in a
field in Pennsylvania, in the ashes of the Pentagon, and in the ruins
of the World Trade Towers. They were not about to admit to their
further errors at Guantanamo Bay. Better to claim that everyone there
was a hardcore terrorist, was of enduring intelligence value, and would
return to jihad if released."
The torture is worse than everyone thought. The Justice Jackson Center,
which is working an a criminal complaint against Bush officials, cites:
�� Savage Beatings. Prisoners were severely and regularly beaten
with clubs, rifles and fists. They were beaten to the point that bones
were broken, ribs were fractured, and prisoners sometimes were killed.
�� Peroneal Strikes. Peroneal strikes are a specific form of savage
beating, consisting of blows to the soft tissue and nerves just above
the knee. The falsely accused prisoner beaten to death at Bagram had
been given so many peroneal strikes that a coroner testified that his
leg tissue had ���"basically been pulpified.���"
�� Hanging By The Arms. A highly excruciating "stress position"
torture used on many prisoners, sometimes every day for two to three
months, is hanging them by their arms, often or usually on tiptoe.
�� Slamming A Prisoner���s Head Into Concrete Walls. In this torture
a towel is wrapped around a prisoner���s neck and is then used to propel
the prisoner head first into a concrete wall. This torture was so
fraught with risk of serious injury to or death of a prisoner that the
CIA kept a doctor on hand at all times to guard against death or
�� Additional "Stress Positions" And Electric Shocks. "Palestinian
hangings," they were hung by the arms with their feet on a drum through
which electric shocks were applied to their feet; the shocks would
cause the feet to "dance."
��Susan C. Serpa�� �� www.neimpeach.org