Historical Horror of the Shame

August 26, 2009

In my eighth-grade history class (circa 1962), we would have studied a historical document similar to the one released on Monday, and although content might have been far less graphic, one thing was for sure –  it would not be anywhere, anyhow at all connected to the US; most-likely from centuries past, in some more cruel and violent age.
The Spanish Inquisition, maybe.

No great gut surprises in the at-long-last release of a May 2004 CIA IG report on “Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogations Activities,” which finally found the light of day after nearly five years — torture is still torture and the US government was making ugly in the name of ALL US peoples.

Just a little sample of the back-ass-wards approach of the arrogant madness of George Jr.’s tenure in power and how they knew what they were doing was way-wrong: “This looks like the kind of stuff Congressional hearings are made of.” Waterboarding, for example, would “shock the conscience of any legal body looking at the results of the interrogations or possibly even the interrogators. Somebody needs to be considering how history will look back at this.”

(Illustration found here).

History is in the now, not tomorrow, or even yesterday.
Intelligence isn’t the central word with the CIA — the sledgehammer approach is its historical mainstay and have been using torture, threatening to use torture and teaching how to torture for a long, long time, as the big difference here this week (and really since Abu Ghraib) is the secret has become way-more exposed.
The naked truth, so to speak — and it runs in the face of eighth-grade history of the US being the light of the planet, the best place on earth to live, where freedom and “doing the right thing” the centerpiece of American society.
Although the US did practice genocide, did screw around with governments in South America (and in the Middle East, i.e., Iran) and did drop a bomb on a Japanese city that started the whole world crying, never before in public has the nastiness been so revealed — the emperor has no clothes.
Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish has the near-perfect prose:

Notice the shift from the standards of the past.
In the past, the US was known for being a country whose soldiers would never mistreat prisoners; now, the US wants the world to know that US custody is something to be dreaded.
That’s what Cheney did to America.
He’s proud of it.
If you are ever captured by a US soldier, and suspected of terrorism, you know that torture will be coming soon.
The values of Washington and Eisenhower and Reagan are inverted.
The reputation of the US as a defender of human rights is reversed.
The point is that America must be feared for its willingness to abandon all human rights.

And the point, therefore, has already been made.
There’s no putting the torture genie back in the bottle.
The IG’s report released this week has been very-heavily pre-marked — the word, redacted, has become synonymous with all of George Jr.’s misdeeds from his entire time in office, and among the word’s numerous definitions, to make ready for publication; edit or revise, also includes, black out – suppress by censorship as for political reasons — and only in time will the full, ugly story be exposed.
Maybe.

The report: “Though heavily redacted, the version of the report made public this week documents stomach-turning practices, apart from the hundreds of waterboardings, which we already knew had occurred. There was emotional torture: One detainee was told that if another attack occurred, his children would be killed, and another was told that, if he didn’t cooperate, the interrogators would “get your mother in here.” There were near-strangulations, mock executions and threats to maim prisoners with power drills.”

Also on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced John Durham, the Connecticut-based prosecutor who is already investigating the destruction of videotapes of CIA interrogations, will conduct a widening exam into all this torture mess, but will only go after the fall guys and not George Jr., Dick Cheney or any of those young shithead-lawyers who wrote all those infamous “torture memos” released earlier this year.
Not everybody wants any kind of CIA investigation.
Reportedly, CIA Director Leon Panetta pitched a bitch-fit, “profanity-laced screaming match,” at the White House over investigations into agency misdeeds, even threatening to quit.
ABC News:

Amid reports that Panetta had threatened to quit just seven months after taking over at the spy agency, other insiders tell ABCNews.com that senior White House staff members are already discussing a possible shake-up of top national security officials.
“You can expect a larger than normal turnover in the next year,” a senior adviser to Obama on intelligence matters told ABCNews.com.
Since 9/11, the CIA has had five directors or acting directors.

Panetta should quit or be replaced — making it a quick six in eight years.

Supposedly, the CIA works for the US peoples, and the spy agency should let their bosses in on whatever is going bad or wrong in the organization — the CIA most-likely needs an ass-whipping.

Glenn Greenwald has really been covering this mess like a fly on some real-bad shit.
First, his post Monday on the IG report itself, found here — he breaks down the ugly and even title’s the piece, “What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report.”
And on Tuesday, Greenwald launches into those defenders of torture — that post is found here.
Must reads.

The earth and all those dwell upon it are living in an extreme-interesting period of history — great economic and climate changes are not only a-coming, but are here now, not to mention the horror of wars and beyond-rumors of wars waging all over the globe — and for US peoples, a time to witness how a constitutionally-mandated democracy could end up so shamefully deep in the toilet over such a short space.

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