Monday, September 14, 2009

The Generals Take Off the Gloves

There's a must-read piece on the Miami Herald op-ed page today, written by two retired USMC generals, Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar about Darth Cheney. It's called Fear Was No Excuse to Condone Torture, and it pulls no punches in its criticism of the former VP:

[W]e never imagined that we would feel duty-bound to publicly denounce a vice president of the United States, a man who has served our country for many years. In light of the irresponsible statements recently made by former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, we feel we must repudiate his dangerous ideas -- and his scare tactics.
We have seen how ill-conceived policies that ignored military law on the treatment of enemy prisoners hindered our ability to defeat al Qaeda. We have seen American troops die at the hands of foreign fighters recruited with stories about tortured Muslim detainees at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. And yet Cheney and others who orchestrated America's disastrous trip to "the dark side'' continue to assert -- against all evidence -- that torture "worked'' and that our country is better off for having gone there.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Cheney applauded the "enhanced interrogation techniques'' -- what we used to call "war crimes'' because they violated the Geneva Conventions, which the United States instigated and has followed for 60 years. Cheney insisted the abusive techniques were "absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives and preventing further attacks against the United States.'' He claimed they were "directly responsible for the fact that for eight years, we had no further mass casualty attacks against the United States. It was good policy . . . It worked very, very well.''
Repeating these assertions doesn't make them true. We now see that the best intelligence, which led to the capture of Saddam Hussein and the elimination of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was produced by professional interrogations using non-coercive techniques. When the abuse began, prisoners told interrogators whatever they thought would make it stop.
Torture is as likely to produce lies as the truth. And it did.
There's a lot more to this opinion piece, and it's worth reading the whole thing.

So who are these two Bin-Laden-loving Al Qaeda-enabling America-hating cowardly disgraces to their uniforms? Only a former commandant of the Marine Corps and a former commander-in-chief of the US Central Command.

It's going to be interesting to see if Clusterfox News even covers this, and if they do, what tactics they will take to discredit these two highly-decorated general officers, e.g., "Why do the generals hate America so much?"


Dr Doc dlcs said...

i am a vietnam era veteran. i now am crippled with parkinsons disease.
here is my blog if you wish to visit:

Dr Doc dlcs said...

i forgot to tell you my friend, you have a very nice blog.


As a retired U.S. Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman(79'-94') I'm appalled that cheney/bush got so many Military/Medical Personnel to break their oaths to defend the Constitution from ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC. All military personnel are taught in "Boot Camp" what they can and cannot do to EPW, POW and Detainees period, no if's, and's or but's about it. So, I don't buy this just following orders CRAP. All military personnel who were involved in the abuse of any EPW, POW or Detainee should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice(UCMJ). All civilian personnel who were involved, from the Lowest sub-contractor all the way up to and including the President of the United States, should be fully investigated. When criminal activity is found, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Only in dictatorships and banana republics do government officials and military generals get away with torturing their oponents and get away with it. I've served this country in Peace and in war, I have shed blood and bled for this country. I will not stand-by and watch my country, that I love, turned into some kind of right-wing, fascist state where the rich and well-connected pour their support behind dicey politicians and then make "Mad Profits" off the Blood of Patriots with no decernable consequences.

The cheney/bush admininstration is probably guilty of a lot of things but, they are certainly guilty of Multiple violations of U.S. Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 113C para. 2340a - Torture:

(a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

(b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—

(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or

(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

(c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

This is what cheney/bush/rumsfeld/addington/rove/gonzales/libby/yoo/bybee/mitchell/rice etc. should be worried about. What about the International Convention Against Torture signed by President Ronald Reagan.

Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune notes, the International Convention Against Torture was signed into American law by President Ronald Reagan. That document states, in part:

“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

Chapman notes:

“Reagan undoubtedly knew what modern conservatives forget — that once you rationalize torture, there is no logical place to stop. If threatening a prisoner with a power drill is permissible, why not drilling holes in him? If choking is OK, why not strangulation? If threatening to kill a detainee’s children passes muster, why not actually killing them? If 30 wall slams don’t do the job, why not 100?.”

Why not?

Well, “because we’re the United States of America” used to be a good enough reason, and it ought to be again.

No truer words have ever been spoken.