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Epitome22
05-12-2004, 04:42 PM
Lawmakers Say New Abuse Photos Disturbing
By KEN GUGGENHEIM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Members of Congress viewed fresh photos and videos of Iraqi prisoner abuse on Wednesday, and said they included disturbing images of torture and humiliation.

``The whole thing is disgusting and it's hard to believe that this actually is taking place in a military facility,'' said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

``I expected that these pictures would be very hard on the stomach lining and it was significantly worse than anything that I had anticipated,'' said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. ``Take the worse case and multiply it several times over.''

Several senators, speaking on condition of anonymity, said photos of sexual intercourse were among the images that Pentagon officials screened for lawmakers in a top-secret room in the Capitol. At least some of them appeared to depict consensual sex involving U.S. military personnel, they added.

Others showed military dogs snarling at cowering prisoners, as well as shots of Iraqi women commanded to expose their breasts, these senators said.

The private screening marked the latest turn in a scandal that has rocked the Bush administration and apparently led to the beheading of an American in Iraq by Islamic militants who said they were avenging the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison.

``I don't know how the hell these people got into our army,'' said Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., after viewing the images.

``There were several pictures of Iraqi women who were disrobed or putting their shirts up,'' he said. ``They were not smiling in the pictures, that's for sure. But it didn't look like they had been beaten or hurt.''

He also said there were several pictures with dogs. ``Iraqis were against the wall and you could see that the dogs were pretty much terrorizing them because the dogs were snarling and crouching like they were about to attack,'' he added.

The Pentagon and Congress have already begun investigating the abuse, and one of the early questions has revolved around who bears responsibility: the relatively small number of lower-ranking military personnel seen in some of the photos or officers higher up the chain of command.

``In one particular still photo among troops that are in a hallway, where you've seen the clump of people tied together on the floor, we counted seven or eight troops,'' said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. ``Now you can't tell me all of this is going with seven or eight Army privates. ... Where did that failure of the command and control occur?''

Officials said Pentagon officials carried three discs with them to the Capitol, containing about 1,800 still images as well as an undisclosed number of videos. Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who conducted the Army's first investigation into the abuse, told Congress on Tuesday that he believed the pictures were taken by military personnel using their personal digital cameras.

MavKikiNYC
05-12-2004, 07:42 PM
Idle thought: I wonder how many of the detainees in the photographs would have had the capacity to decapitate a Jewish-American civilian, with hands bound behind his back, while being videoed for broadcast to the world.

MavKikiNYC
05-13-2004, 09:03 AM
Am I opposed to these types of interrogation techniques being used against Al Quaeda operatives?

<Deciding, deciding, deciding.............> (with theme from Jeopardy playing in background)


Harsh C.I.A. Methods Cited in Top Qaeda Interrogations
By JAMES RISEN, DAVID JOHNSTON and NEIL A. LEWIS

Published: May 13, 2004


WASHINGTON, May 12 The Central Intelligence Agency has used coercive interrogation methods against a select group of high-level leaders and operatives of Al Qaeda that have produced growing concerns inside the agency about abuses, according to current and former counterterrorism officials.

At least one agency employee has been disciplined for threatening a detainee with a gun during questioning, they said.

In the case of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a high-level detainee who is believed to have helped plan the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, C.I.A. interrogators used graduated levels of force, including a technique known as "water boarding," in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown.

These techniques were authorized by a set of secret rules for the interrogation of high-level Qaeda prisoners, none known to be housed in Iraq, that were endorsed by the Justice Department and the C.I.A. The rules were among the first adopted by the Bush administration after the Sept. 11 attacks for handling detainees and may have helped establish a new understanding throughout the government that officials would have greater freedom to deal harshly with detainees.

Defenders of the operation said the methods stopped short of torture, did not violate American anti-torture statutes, and were necessary to fight a war against a nebulous enemy whose strength and intentions could only be gleaned by extracting information from often uncooperative detainees. Interrogators were trying to find out whether there might be another attack planned against the United States.

The methods employed by the C.I.A. are so severe that senior officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have directed its agents to stay out of many of the interviews of the high-level detainees, counterterrorism officials said. The F.B.I. officials have advised the bureau's director, Robert S. Mueller III, that the interrogation techniques, which would be prohibited in criminal cases, could compromise their agents in future criminal cases, the counterterrorism officials said.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, President Bush signed a series of directives authorizing the C.I.A. to conduct a covert war against Osama bin Laden's Qaeda network. The directives empowered the C.I.A. to kill or capture Qaeda leaders, but it is not clear whether the White House approved the specific rules for the interrogations.

The White House and the C.I.A. declined to comment on the matter.

The C.I.A. detention program for Qaeda leaders is the most secretive component of an extensive regime of detention and interrogation put into place by the United States government after the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan that includes the detention facilities run by the military in Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

There is now concern at the agency that the Congressional and criminal inquiries into abuses at Pentagon-run prisons and other detention centers in Iraq and Afghanistan may lead to examinations of the C.I.A's handling of the Qaeda detainees. That, in turn, could expose agency officers and operations to the same kind of public exposure as the military now faces because of the Iraq prison abuses.

So far, the agency has refused to grant any independent observer or human rights group access to the high-level detainees, who have been held in strict secrecy. Their whereabouts are such closely guarded secrets that one official said he had been told that Mr. Bush had informed the C.I.A. that he did not want to know where they were.

The authorized tactics are primarily those methods used in the training of American Special Operations soldiers to prepare them for the possibility of being captured and taken prisoners of war. The tactics simulate torture, but officials say they are supposed to stop short of serious injury.

Counterrorism officials say detainees have also been sent to third countries, where they are convinced that they might be executed, or tricked into believing they were being sent to such places. Some have been hooded, roughed up, soaked with water and deprived of food, light and medications.

Many authorities contend that torture and coercive treatment is as likely to provide information that is unreliable as information that is helpful.

Concerns are mounting among C.I.A. officers about the potential consequences of their actions. "Some people involved in this have been concerned for quite a while that eventually there would be a new president, or the mood in the country would change, and they would be held accountable," one intelligence source said. "Now that's happening faster than anybody expected."

The C.I.A.'s inspector general has begun an investigation into the deaths of three lower-level detainees held by the C.I.A in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Justice Department is also examining the deaths.

The secret detention system houses a group of 12 to 20 prisoners, government officials said, some under direct American control, others ostensibly under the supervision of foreign governments.

The C.I.A. high-level interrogation program seemed to show early results with the capture of Abu Zubaida in April 2002. Mr. Zubaida was a close associate of Mr. bin Laden's and had run Al Qaeda's recruiting, in which young men were brought from other countries to training camps in Afghanistan.

Under such intensive questioning, Mr. Zubaida provided useful information identifying Jose Padilla, a low-level Qaeda convert who was arrested in May 2002 in connection with an effort to build a dirty bomb. Mr. Zubaida also helped identify Mr. Mohammed as a crucial figure in the 9/11 plot, counterterrorism officials said.

A few other detainees have been identified by the Bush administration, like Ramzi bin al-Shibh, another 9/11 plotter and Walid Ba'Attash, who helped plan the East Africa embassy bombings in 1998 and the attack on the Navy destroyer Cole in October 2000.

Some of the prisoners have never been identified by the government. Some may have only peripheral ties to Al Qaeda. One Middle Eastern man, who had been identified by intelligence officials as a money launderer for Mr. bin Laden, was captured in the United Arab Emirates. He traveled there when some of the emirates' banks froze his accounts. When the U.A.E. government alerted the the C.I.A. that he was in the country, the man was arrested and subsequently disappeared into the secret detention program.

In the interrogation of Mr. Mohammed, C.I.A. officials became convinced that he was not being fully cooperative about his knowledge of the whereabouts of Mr. bin Laden. Mr. Mohammed was carrying a letter written by Mr. bin Laden to a family member when he was captured in Pakistan early in 2003. The C.I.A. officials then authorized even harsher techniques, according to officials familiar with the interrogation.

The C.I.A. has been operating its Qaeda detention system under a series of secret legal opinions by the agency's and Justice Department lawyers. Those rules have provided a legal basis for the use of harsh interrogation techniques, including the water-boarding tactic used against Mr. Mohammed.

One set of legal memorandums, the officials said, advises government officials that if they are contemplating procedures that may put them in violation of American statutes that prohibit torture, degrading treatment or the Geneva Conventions, they will not be responsible if it can be argued that the detainees are formally in the custody of another country.

The Geneva Conventions prohibit "violence to life and person, in particular . . . cruel treatment and torture" and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment."

Regarding American anti-torture laws, one administration figure involved in discussions about the memorandums said: "The criminal statutes only apply to American officials. The question is how involved are the American officials."

The official said the legal opinions say restrictions on procedures would not apply if the detainee could be deemed to be in the custody of a different country, even though American officials were getting the benefit of the interrogation. "It would be the responsibility of the other country," the official said. "It depends on the level of involvement."

Like the more numerous detainees at Guantánamo Bay, the high-level Qaeda prisoners have also been defined as unlawful combatants, not as prisoners of war. Those prisoners have no standing in American civilian or military courts.

The Bush administration began the program when intelligence agencies realized that a few detainees captured in Afghanistan had such a high intelligence value that they should be separated from the lower-level figures who had been sent to a military installation at Guantánamo Bay, which officials felt was not suitable.

There was little long-term planning. The agency initially had few interrogators and no facilities to house the top detainees. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the agency began to search for remote sites in friendly countries around the world where Qaeda operatives could be kept quietly and securely.

"There was a debate after 9/11 about how to make people disappear," a former intelligence official said.

The result was a series of secret agreements allowing the C.I.A. to use sites overseas without outside scrutiny.

So far, the Bush administration has not said what it intends to do over the long term with any of the high-level detainees, leaving them subject to being imprisoned indefinitely without any access to lawyers, courts or any form of due process.

Some officials have suggested that some of the high-level detainees may be tried in military tribunals or officially turned over to other countries, but counterterrorism officials have complained about the Bush administration's failure to have an "endgame" for these detainees. One official said they could also be imprisoned indefinitely at a new long-term prison being built at Guantánamo.

dude1394
05-13-2004, 09:14 AM
This is becoming quickly the left's "vietnam" trials. Very eerie that US vets are being accused of war-crimes just like Kerry lied about them 30 years ago.

Here is a very interesting link to someone who has studied it and is finding many parrallels to the left's tactics.

democrat tactics (http://junkyardblog.transfinitum.net/archives/week_2004_05_09.html#003122)

Mavdog
05-13-2004, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by: dude1394
This is becoming quickly the left's "vietnam" trials. Very eerie that US vets are being accused of war-crimes just like Kerry lied about them 30 years ago.

Here is a very interesting link to someone who has studied it and is finding many parrallels to the left's tactics.

democrat tactics (http://junkyardblog.transfinitum.net/archives/week_2004_05_09.html#003122)

There were violations of the Geneva Convention by US forces in Vietnam. This is a fact.

Those revisionist who believe that the Vietnam War was lost due to opposition domestically are fooling themselves. The Vietnamese rejected the South Vietnamese leaders due to their graft and greed. Gen Giap was right, a war cannot be won if you don't have the support of the population who you are fighting the war for, which is an anology to Iraq that we need to take to heart.

LRB
05-13-2004, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by: Mavdog

Originally posted by: dude1394
This is becoming quickly the left's "vietnam" trials. Very eerie that US vets are being accused of war-crimes just like Kerry lied about them 30 years ago.

Here is a very interesting link to someone who has studied it and is finding many parrallels to the left's tactics.

democrat tactics (http://junkyardblog.transfinitum.net/archives/week_2004_05_09.html#003122)

There were violations of the Geneva Convention by US forces in Vietnam. This is a fact.

Those revisionist who believe that the Vietnam War was lost due to opposition domestically are fooling themselves. The Vietnamese rejected the South Vietnamese leaders due to their graft and greed. Gen Giap was right, a war cannot be won if you don't have the support of the population who you are fighting the war for, which is an anology to Iraq that we need to take to heart.

So I guess that the Kurds just wanted Saddam Hussein to rule over them and actively supported him. i/expressions/rolleye.gif

If we had fought Vietnam without having 2 hands tied behind our backs by domestic politics, then we would have won and won easily. The people may not have supported the South Vietnam government, but they liked the opposition no more. Most just wanted to be left the hell alone. If we could have surpressed the North Vietmanese we could have dedicated ourselves to instilling more human rights in the South Vietnam government. We lost only because we quit.

Mavdog
05-13-2004, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by: LRB
[quote]
So I guess that the Kurds just wanted Saddam Hussein to rule over them and actively supported him. i/expressions/rolleye.gif

Very inane.


If we had fought Vietnam without having 2 hands tied behind our backs by domestic politics, then we would have won and won easily. The people may not have supported the South Vietnam government, but they liked the opposition no more.

The fact is that the people of Vietnam NEVER supported the governments of the South. The fact that hundereds of thousands of South Vietnamese DID support the North (remember the "Viet Cong"?) subverts your premise.


Most just wanted to be left the hell alone. If we could have surpressed the North Vietmanese we could have dedicated ourselves to instilling more human rights in the South Vietnam government. We lost only because we quit.

Yeah, they did want "to be left alone" and that included American intervention.
We lost because the people of Vietnam didn't want us and they didn't want the leadership we installed in the South.

LRB
05-13-2004, 02:02 PM
The fact is that the people of Vietnam NEVER supported the governments of the South. The fact that hundereds of thousands of South Vietnamese DID support the North (remember the "Viet Cong"?) subverts your premise.


The Viet Cong lost the war. They were mosty destroyed by the Tet offensive which proved an absolute disaster for them and a major military victory for us. However the press reported it as a great defeat. This was a calculated move to remove the Viet Cong as a coherent unit and was a great success. The North Vietmanese assumed the power vacum left and never relinguished it.

A lot of the support that the North Vietmanese recieved was coerced support. Threats to the individual or in many cases the individuals family provided the support. There were still hundreds of thousands who supported the South Vietnam government. But by and large most of the population just wanted to live in peace. Many switched sides to whichever one they thought they'd be safest supporting.

Had we go ahead to invade North Vietnam, I'd be willing to be that we'd have had at leat an equal percentage of North Vietmanese support us as did South Vietmanese support North Vietnam. It was domestic politics pure and simple that prevented this. We had a rules of war book several feet thick that we were supposed to obey. The other side adhered to no rules.



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So I guess that the Kurds just wanted Saddam Hussein to rule over them and actively supported him.
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Very inane.


Actually it was a sarcastic statement which is no more inane than your statement that "a war cannot be won if you don't have the support of the population who you are fighting the war for"

Throughout history peoples have consistently been conquered even with steadfast resistance. Yes it makes it much more difficult without support of the people, but it can be done.


Yeah, they did want "to be left alone" and that included American intervention.
We lost because the people of Vietnam didn't want us and they didn't want the leadership we installed in the South.


This statement makes absolutely no sense because the people equally rejected the North Vietnam intrusion. In fact of the 3 governments, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the US, we were probably the most preferred. Many did not want to see us leave, and a large part of those paid for our leaving with their lives or imprisonment.

The people truely didn't really want either the North or the South governments. So at best this was a draw. Our said had more manpower, more technology, and more resources, but were totally hamstrung in using them because of domestic politics. It was the Hanoi Jane's of American and her liberal cohearts who caused the downfall of South Vietnam.

Mavdog
05-13-2004, 02:41 PM
LRB, I would suggest that you go and dig out "The Pentagon Papers". You will find it very illuminating.

The VC were hurt by Tet but not destroyed. Many VC were part of the new Vietnam that emerged after we left.


Throughout history peoples have consistently been conquered even with steadfast resistance. Yes it makes it much more difficult without support of the people, but it can be done

"conquered" or occupied? Giap is right, an army cannot win without the people's support. That is the lesson we must apply to be successful in Iraq.

LRB
05-13-2004, 03:26 PM
I assume from your limited description that you're referring to the book entitled "The Pentagon Papers" by George C. Herring. If you're not, please refer to what source in detail that you are referring to as "The Pentagon Papers".

Now if you are referring to this book, then I have not read it. I have read dozens of books on the history of the Vietnam war and have seen several documentaries with interviews of surving Viet Cong and North Vietmanese leaders as well as American commanders. Overwhelming these sources point to the fact that the Viet Cong were eliminated as an organization of any real consequence by the Tet offensive by strategy of the North Vietmanese.


"conquered" or occupied? Giap is right, an army cannot win without the people's support. That is the lesson we must apply to be successful in Iraq.

It appears that you are using an extemely narrow definition of win. Could you please define exactly what you mean. Because I remember countless examples where a foreign army won without the support of the native people. I can't come up with examples to overcome your objections while complying to a set of unpublished standards.

dude1394
05-13-2004, 07:24 PM
The US never lost a battle in 'nam. And to make matters worse the anti-americans in congress canceled funding for the south vietnames even after we cut and ran. Kerry legacy, trying to repeat.

dude1394
05-13-2004, 07:26 PM
Hmmmm Germany conquered, japan conquered. Of course they had to be damn near completey decimated, but still conquered AND occupied.