Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Why Iraq is Becoming More Like Vietnam Every Day

Will the Torture at Abu Ghraib (Finally) Open Americans' Eyes?
Why Iraq is Becoming More Like Vietnam Every Day


by Maureen Farrell at BuzzFlash.com
May 11, 2004
From: http://www.buzzflash.com/farrell/04/05/far04016.html

"The reports have been emerging only slowly, but they are chilling. American intelligence agents have been torturing terrorist suspects, or engaging in practices pretty close to torture." -- The Economist, Jan. 11, 2003

"The unreleased images show American soldiers beating one prisoner almost to death, apparently raping a female prisoner, acting inappropriately with a dead body, and taping Iraqi guards raping young boys, according to NBC News." – The Boston Herald, May 8, 2004

"Because we acted, torture rooms are closed, rape rooms no longer exist, mass graves are no longer a possibility in Iraq." -- President Bush, at an event in Michigan, May 3, 2004

* * *

In December, 2002, the Washington Post ran back-to-back articles on America’s alleged use of torture to interrogate detainees at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. Describing allegations that captives were often "softened up" by less than legal means, the Post explained: "The picture that emerges is of a brass-knuckled quest for information, often in concert with allies of dubious human rights reputation, in which the traditional lines between right and wrong, legal and inhumane, are evolving and blurred." Or, as one official bluntly put it: "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job." [Washington Post]

The next day, in an op-ed entitled "Torture Is Not An Option," the Post explained: "There are certain things democracies don't do, even under duress, and torture is high on the list . . . The critical first step is for the administration to clarify what [interrogation] tactics it is using and which are still off limits. If administration officials have decided that moderate physical pressure -- once an abuse -- is now to be the norm in terrorism cases, the American people ought to know. . .It shouldn't be the administration's unilateral call." [Washington Post]

Months later, in June, 2003, President Bush attempted to ease concerns. "I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture. And we are leading this fight by example," he said. Yet, as we all now know, the U.S. has not exactly been a role model. And, as the legendary journalist Seymour Hersh has said, the torture at Abu Ghraib was the result of a "decision made somewhere up high up in the line." "This is such a deep problem," Hersh said during a May 3, 2004 PBS interview. "The problems began in Afghanistan. . . what you're seeing is the result of a decision made somewhere up high up in the line that we're going to turn our prisons essentially into all of them into Guantanamos." [PBS]

In the meantime, according to a report by Joe Conason, senior officers in the military's legal division, the Judge Advocate General [JAG] Corps, sought out prominent New York attorney Scott Horton and expressed concerns over the military's detention and interrogation procedures. Specifically, they charged that Douglas J. Feith, the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, had "significantly weakened the military's rules and regulations governing prisoners of war" and, along with Defense Department's general counsel, William J. Haynes II, was "creating ‘an atmosphere of legal ambiguity’ that would allow mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan." [Salon.com]

Whether or not all roads lead to the DOD, Hersh says that the CIA and private contractors were "directly and indirectly responsible for everything that happened inside that prison." Referring to the now famous 53 page report by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, he told Hardball's Chris Matthews that the Taguba report "suggests that we have a systematic problem inside the military, that it's not just a question of a few kids doing one or two acts that were photographed. It suggests that this is widespread."

FOR MUCH MUCH MORE SEE…
From: http://www.buzzflash.com/farrell/04/05/far04016.html

Maureen Farrell is a writer and media consultant who specializes in helping other writers get television and radio exposure.

© Copyright 2004, Maureen Farrell

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news