Putsch looked the camera straight in the eye and
declared, "I did not authorize torture. I would
never authorize torture," I thought of Nixon.
Nixon, who never did say "I am not a crook," nevertheless
became famous for it. Had he been honest, the
expression wouldn't have stuck in the public consciousness;
after all, reasonable honesty is one of the job
requirements. But he was a crook, and so his actual
words ("People need to know that their president
is not a crook") led to his best known catchphrase.
wonder if Putsch will be misquoted on late night
TV shows as saying "I didn't order torture." It
would serve him right.
may never know if he ordered torture or not, but
when he claimed that he never even considered
torture, we have proof that he was lying through
memo that crossed his desk, and which he signed
off on, had the addendum that he understands that
prisoner "treatment" including sleep deprivation,
forced nakedness, temperature fluctuations, standing
for extended periods, and pain that fell short
of mortal pain associated with major organ failure
were not torture and thus did not violate the
Geneva accords. "Only pain like that accompanying
death, organ failure or the permanent impairment
of a significant body function" qualified.
you are wondering what vile little Heyrich type
wrote the memo, his name was Jay S. Bybee, and
a few months after he wrote the memo, he was nominated
by Putsch to the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals,
and his nomination was confirmed by the Senate
last year. A man who should not be trusted around
small children or pets is now one of the highest
judges in America.
Judge, do you mind if we ram a broomstick up your
ass? I promise not to cause organ failure, and
I promise to try to avoid permanent impairment
of a significant body function. Sure, it will
hurt, and it will humiliate you and maybe, just
for shits and giggles, we'll coerce a confession
from you for a crime you didn't commit, but I
promise: no torture.
of course, Putsch did sign off on the memo, even
though he claims not to remember it. Well, that's
possible, assuming the man really is a completely
for a great campaign slogan, doesn't it? "George
didn't authorize torture -- he was too stupid to
know what he was signing!"
torture of prisoners is widespread in America
-- not just among the grubby little sadists at
Abu Ghraib, but at Guantanamo, in Afghanistan
(where the government is now investigating five
prisoner deaths considered to be homicide at the
hands of soldiers in addition to the 31 in Iraq)
and of course, in most American prisons.
Rumsfeld also saw the memo, and in response to
the part saying it was ok to make prisoners stand
for four hours, wrote in the margin "Why only
four hours! I'm often standing for six or eight
hours." In the words of your illustrious vice
president, "Go fuck yourself, Donald."
you what, Donny: let's have you try the four hours
standing that they have in mind when they talk
about "stress positions." You're a pretty old
fart, and obviously life's lessons were wasted
on you. I'm betting your heart will give out in
the third hour. What say we try it, Donny?
for George, I have a modest proposal: resign as
President, and subject yourself to the exact same
conditions that the prisoners at Abu Ghraib have
been subjected to. If you can go a certain amount
of time (how long? Well, you don't get to know
that, since the prisoners don't know if they'll
ever be released either, so just say "indefinite")
without confessing to planning and carrying out
the attacks on the towers on 9/11, then you get
your job back. How good a deal is that?
if you would never consider torture, what the
fuck did you need a memo saying what sorts of
abuse didn't rise to the level of torture for,
would think the sadistic little creep who wrote
the memo justifying torture ending up as a federal
judge was bad enough, but there were a couple
of other stories in the news that really show
that not only does this administration not mind
torture, but they avidly embrace it as a policy.
there is the matter of Iraq's new prime minister,
who took power (well, power in the sense that
he wears a big target on his chest in the hopes
it will distract some Iraqis from shooting at
Americans) unexpectedly and in secret, two days
before the "transfer of sovereignty" was to take
guy, our bright, shiny, freshly minted symbol
of peace, freedom and democracy in Iraq, is Iyad
Allawi, a former hit man for Saddam Hussein, a
"neurologist" (with a phony degree bestowed upon
him, not by a medical college, but by the Ba'athist
Party) who used his title to perform "experiments"
on prisoners not unlike those done by Doctor Mengele
at the death camps in Europe in World War II.
George's fair-haired boy, and for the sake of
the Iraqi people, let's hope someone assassinates
the son-of-a-bitch quickly.
light of all this, I was less than thrilled to
read a story in the Sacramento Bee about a weapon
the army is working on called the "Active Denial
System" According to the Bee article, "When the
beam hits an individual, it penetrates 1/64th
of an inch beneath the skin and heats water molecules
to 130 degrees in less than a second. îIt tricks
the pain sensors into thinking they're on fire,'
said Rich Garcia, a spokesman for the Air Force
Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base
in Albuquerque, N.M." The Bee article relates
that the beam creates instant, unendurable pain,
but causes no injury or marks. It's years from
deployment, and the current version weighs four
tons. They hope to miniaturize it, so folks like
soldiers, police, and prison guards can carry
them on their waist.
see. We have a regime that redefined torture nearly
out of existence in order to use it against people
being held without charges and without trial.
The dirtbag who did the redefining got awarded
a federal judgeship position. The Secretary of
Defense thinks the torture allowed by the memo
is too lenient. The president claims it was so
unimportant to him that he doesn't remember signing
it. And we have one of Saddam's worst thugs as
the new head of Iraq, just to show our commitment
to human decency and rights.
now they are working on a weapon that causes incredible
pain, but leaves no marks and causes no direct
injury. If you survive, it's only your word against
Posted: July 1, 2004