Monday, June 01, 2009

Torture: The Justification

"Our aim is to put you in hell so you will tell the truth. These are the orders we have from our superiors, to turn your lives into hell." --- US soldier to Abu Ghraib detainee [1]

Coming out of the woodwork ... as if from the woodcut of waterboarding in the Spanish Inquisition, stepping out, into our lives, assuming three dimensional features, taking on flesh tones, inhaling and exhaling... figures who declare with serious faces that ... torture .... Works.

They tell us:
  • We will extract confessions from you.
  • We know that you know what we want.
  • We will tell you what we know about you and your co-conspirators and what we know that you know.
  • We will tell you again and again and again and again until you tell us what we have told you so that we may know the truth. [2]
  • We will pour jugs of water onto your face till you choke and struggle against your binds, to purify you.
  • We will tell you that if you don't talk that you will surely die.
  • We will put you in coffin-sized boxes for hours.
  • We will throw you against the walls. Repeatedly.
  • We will strip you naked and set dogs upon you.
  • We will deny you sleep for days upon days.
  • We will tell you that we will not ever stop until you have made your peace with us and confess freely and fully.
  • We will slap you and beat you until you tell us what we want.
  • We are, you must know, a merciful people, a kind people, a just, and a moral people.
  • There are no more merciful, more kind, more just, more moral people than us.
  • We are so just and moral that we can do these things to you and not be sullied by it.
  • We remain moral and righteous as we beat you because our intentions are so pure. [3]
  • We are protecting Americans' lives and if we have to suffocate you or beat you to death, we do so in the name of the American people, whose lives are more precious than your pitiful lying life.
  • Our morality and justice is so great – Lord Be Praised - that you envy us this righteous life that we live, which is why you hate us so.
  • But we are stronger and mightier than you.
  • For we have God on our side.
  • And you, you have nothing but superstition.
  • We spit on your Quran.
  • We are God's soldiers. [4]
  • We will put your heads on sticks and rock your world. [5]
  • We will demonstrate the superiority of our All Mighty compared to your pitiful heathen beliefs.
  • We shall turn your life into a living hell.
  • We shall teach you a lesson that you will not forget, nor your family, nor your neighbors, nor your mosque, nor your countrymen.
  • In the Middle East, in Asia, in the world as a whole, we are the One.
  • For you have no power. We have it all.
  1. From Andy Worthington, 'Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed tells his story'.
  2. "Understandably unable to resist the effects of the torture, Binyam proceeded to confess to whatever wild theories were put to him by his torturers. 'They had fed me enough through their questions for me to make up what they wanted to hear,' he said. 'I confessed to it all. There was the plot to build a dirty nuclear bomb, and another to blow up apartments in New York with their gas pipes.' As Rose noted, 'This - supposedly the brainchild of the 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - always sounded improbable: it was never quite clear how gas pipes might become weapons.'"Binyam added, 'I said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had given me a false passport after I was stopped the first time in Karachi and that I had met Osama bin Laden 30 times. None of it was true. The British could have stopped the torture because they knew I had tried to use the same passport at Karachi both times. That should have told them that what I was saying under torture wasn't true. But so far as I know, they did nothing.'" From Worthington, 'Seven Years of Torture'.
  3. "Obama credited not Mr. Bush but the former Central Intelligence Agency director Michael V. Hayden and the former director of national intelligence Mike McConnell, who 'really had America's security interests in mind when they acted, and I think were mindful of American values and ideals.'" (From Helene Cooper and Stolberg Gay Stolberg, 'Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of Taliban', New York Times, March 7, 2009.
  4. "'You are the sovereign. Your name is holy. You are the pure spotless lamb,' a female voice cried out on the loudspeakers as the marines clapped their hands and closed their eyes, reflecting on what lay ahead for them." The scene was reported by Agence France-Presse on Nov. 6, 2004" (From Mark Crispin Miller, 'Bush and Cheney's War on the Enlightenment', in Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips (eds.), Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006) 193. - And, "At Fallujah, the Marines used napalm and white phosphorous - weapons banned by international law - to immolate the people living there, and saw that it was good; for in King David they thought they could see themselves, Agence France-Presse observed: "'The marines drew parallels from the verse with their present situation, where they perceive themselves as warriors fighting barbaric men opposed to all that is good in the world.'" Miller, 'Bush and Cheney's War', 194.
  5. "With regret," the Russian official said, "I have to say that you are going to get the hell kicked out of you [in Afghanistan]." One of the Americans responded... "We're going to kill them," the U.S. official asserted. "We're going to put their heads on sticks. We're going to rock their world." From Bob Woodward, Bush at War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002), 103.
Source: Dennis Loo

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