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English Secret service says torture works.

FPF-fwd.: former UK ambassador Craig Murray | 21.10.2005 12:56 | Globalisation | Repression | Social Struggles

As Britain's outspoken Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray helped expose vicious human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of Islam Karimov. He is now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region.


by Craig Murray

October 21, 2005 - Before the House of Lords this week the government has been arguing for the right to act on intelligence obtained by torture abroad. Channel 4 has obtained the statement to the Law Lords by the head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Butler. In effect she argues that torture works. It foiled the famous ricin plot.

She omits to mention that no more ricin was found than is the naturally occurring base level in your house or mine – or indeed that no poison of any kind was found. Nor does she recall that there has never been a successful large scale poisoning with ricin. But let us leave that for now.

She argues, in effect, that we need to get intelligence from foreign security services, to fight terrorism. And if they torture, so what? Her chief falsehood is our pretence that we don’t know what happens in their dungeons. We do. And it is a dreadful story. Manningham-Butler is so fastidious she even avoids using the word “Torture” at all in her evidence. Let alone the reality to which she turns such a carefully blind eye.


Uzbekistan is one of those security services from whose “friendly liaison” services we obtained information. And I will tell you what torture means. It means the woman who was raped with a broken bottle in both vagina and anus, and who died after ten days of agony. It means the old man suspended by wrist shackles from the ceiling while his children were beaten to a pulp before his eyes. It means the man whose fingernails were pulled before his face was beaten and he was immersed to his armpits in boiling liquid. It means the eighteen year old whose knees and elbows were smashed, his hand immersed in boiling liquid until the skin came away and the flesh started to peel from the bone, before the back of his skull was stove in.

These are all real cases from the Uzbek security services which we viewed as friendly liaison, and from which we obtained regular intelligence, in the Uzbek case via the CIA. A month ago that liaison relationship was stopped – not by us, but by the Uzbeks. But as Manningham-Buller sets out, we continue to maintain our position as customer to torturers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and many other places.


The key point is that none of the above Uzbek victims were terrorists at all. The great majority of those who suffer torture at the hands of these regimes are not terrorists, but political opponents. And the scale of this torture is vast. In Uzbekistan alone thousands, not hundreds, of innocent men, women and children suffer torture every year. Across Manningham-Buller’s web of friendly intelligence agencies, the number may reach tens of thousands. Can our security really be based on such widespread inhumanity, or is that not part of the grievance that feeds terrorism? Every year the Uzbek government kills many times more innocent people than would realistically have died, even if someone had been able to scrape ricin out of their saucepan. Do those deaths not matter?


These other governments know that our security services lap up information from their torture chambers. This practical condoning more than cancels out any weasel words on human rights which the Foreign Office may issue.

In fact, the case for the efficacy of torture intelligence is not nearly as clear-cut as Manningham-Buller makes out. Much dross comes out of the torture chambers. History should tell us that under torture people would choke out an admission that they had joined their neighbours in flying on broomsticks with cats. The narrative we get is the precise narrative that the foreign intelligence agency wishes us to hear. They often have their own agenda to plug.

A final thought. Manningham-Buller is arguing from the efficiency of torture in preventing a terrorist plot. If that argument is accepted, then in logic there is no reason to rely on foreign intermediaries. Why don’t we do our own torturing at home? James VI and I abolished torture – New Labour are making the first attempt in English courts to justify Government use of torture information. Why stop there? Why can’t the agencies work over terrorist suspects?

I seem to recall that we tried that approach with the Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4, and look where that got us.


That should come as no surprise. From Sir Thomas Walsingham on, the profession attracts people not squeamish about the smell of seared flesh from the branding iron.

That is why we have a judiciary to protect us.

I pray that they do.


Web log - Url.:

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Another sensitive story - FT + US 'cabal' - Url.:

Fwd. by:

Editor : Henk Ruyssenaars
The Netherlands

* *The Dutch author this far has worked abroad for international media for more than 4 decades, as a fully independent foreign correspondent, of which 10 years - also during Gulf War I - in the Arab World and the Middle East. Seeing worldwide that every bullet and every bomb breeds more terrorism.

* The Nuremberg principles: "Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment." - Url.:

* ''The Lancet'' and the ''Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health'' report: ''Over 100.000 killed in the illegal Iraq war''-Url.:

* Bush interview. ABC: No WMD's but many killed: "It was worth it" - Url.:

* Former Secr. of State Madeleine Albright in her comment on half a million dead children in Iraq: "We think it's worth it" On CBS 60' Minutes - Url.:

* The must-see three-part BBC Documentary, "The Power of Nightmares," puts it bluntly: "Al-Qaeda is a (neocon) myth." - See Url.:,12780,1327904,00.html

* Are their Corporate News Media Incompetent, Criminally Negligent or Complicit? - Url.:

* Brainwashed? - Take the free 'Gullibility Factor' test to find out if you're really a mind slave, or not - Url.:

* Help all the troops of whatever nationality to come back from abroad! We need them badly at home in many countries - AND WITH ALL THEIR WEAPONS, WHICH WE PAID FOR BY TAXES - to fight with us against our so called 'governments' and their malignant managers - Url.:

* The World Can't Wait! - Drive out the neocons and their 'Bush Regime' - Mobilize for November 2, 2005! - Url.:

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Hide the following 5 comments

Does our future really have to be the same as our past?

21.10.2005 17:14

How did the Third Reich take Germany from the position of having the most extensive and humane hospital system in the world treating mentally ill people (whose vast numbers were a consequence of certain events in WW1), to a position where Nazi medicine is forever associated with Josef Mengele???

How does any person or regime get from (A)ngelic to (B)arbaric???

Let me make a suggestion. We have a moral understanding to allow us to resist changes that move us in the wrong moral direction. This suggests that while the majority of us are 'good' people, the ideas of 'bad' people will be constantly, and actively rejected.

However, the idea that a person is willing to hold others to the standards to which he/she holds himself/herself is just not true in a simple sense.

Take Craig Murray. Be in no doubt that he was a member of MI6 (all senior British government personel in key countries are directly connected to MI6 in one way or another). This very fact impossibly compromised ANY values Murray claimed for his own. But Murray thought that by being pragmatic, he could do 'enough' good by his own standards to compensate for the 'dark' side of his job.

But what was the 'dark' element??? Simple- getting the vile regime of Uzbekistan to provide military resources to the West so that the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and other Muslim nations could be more easily murdered. Basically, Murray was directly involved in the worst Crime Against Humanity of all, deliberate instigation of aggressive wars (for which people were hung at Nuremberg).

None of this should come as any surprise. Many of Hitler's associates were sqeamish about methods that they had close knowledge of, but actively supported Hitler's overall intentions. The same is true of Blair's New Reich. Be in no doubt at all that many of Blair's associates are in desperate need to salve their consciences in order that they may continue as proud members of the New Reich However, some will find a fly in their ointment, leading to a crisis of conscience that will, for entirely selfish reasons, make them a public critic of Blair, and his works.

David Shayler and Craig Murray are examples of such people (no more come to my mind). Exactly how threatened do you think Blair is by these two?

This issue of torture is interesting. For most of human existence (ASIDE: ever use google to check spelling- it's extremely interesting to see the popularity of different common mistakes) TORTURE has been common practice. Funny thing about this is that the ARGUMENT for torture is basically this fact. Funny because HUMAN SLAVERY has also been acceptable for most of the past as well.

Think about this for a moment. TORTURE and HUMAN SLAVERY have always gone hand in hand. When did humanity last see slavery on a large scale. Yes it's our old favourite, the THIRD REICH (and wartime Japan). But you know what, even the most anti-Blair types amongst those of you that read this think it is crazy to suggest that Balir's New Reich will lead to the reintroduction of Human Slavery.

Blair wins EXACTLY because humans are this fallible when it comes to logical thinking based on available evidence. In Human History, torture is almost always found where slavery is found. The wartime regimes of Germany and Japan reintroduced both horrific practices on a massive scale. Blair is actively following the methods that led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. But no-one wants to extrapolate where this will take us in our future.

Everything we have in the West exists as the tiniest island in the total sea of history. We are abnormal in the scheme of things. We disagree at the most fundamental level with the societies of almost all of our ancestors. However, we are arrogant enough to think that OUR VALUES will persist. WHY??? If we are so certain that for the first time in the timeline of our race, we have got things so very right, why are we not fighting as hard as we possibly can to maintain and improve these values?

Instead, we have simply built a sandcastle of the edge of the sea, well below the high tide of history. Yes, the castle is grand in scale, tall and imposing, but it is still made from sand. Now the tide is coming in, and lapping around the foundations of our edifice, eroding all the fine detail, but the mass of the structure is still clearly there. The children amongst us KNOW that something so imposing WILL survive, and rise as a mountain peak from the surrounding sea. However, the adults sadly await the inevitable crumbling and collapse, the moment when the sea rules supreme once again, and even the tallest sandcastle disappears beneath the waters.

The metaphor is only prophetic if the glories of recent Western Civilisation are no more enduring than a pile of sand, and this is where we have a choice. Our most important creations are in reality mental constructs. Thus, the material we use is as strong or as weak as we choose to think it. Life is a mental game far more than it is a physical one.

THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. To most this is just a meaningless phrase. Why? Because those that depend of this 'will' must never reveal to those that give it just how important they are. How is history taught in school? Always bullsh*t about king and queens, popes and emperors. Anything to distract from the REAL TRUTH, that all real power is assigned by the mental consent of majorities, and that the leaders of Men lose their power when that consent is lost.

Will we consent to Blair's plan to reintroduce TORTURE to humanity? The weight of history, sadly, says YES! If we consent to TORTURE, have we really also consented to the return of SLAVERY? The facts of history are unequivocal on this subject- you already know what the answer is. So much for the evolution of the human conscience :(


Twilight - long on speculation, short on facts

21.10.2005 19:18


Bit puzzled at your continuing failure to come up with the challenges put to you on other threads regarding your evidence. Just for ease of reference you may want to look at:

A theory unsupported by evidence or proof is no more than a theory. Put up or shut up.



The true purpose of torture

21.10.2005 19:49

So then, does that mean that it was okay for former US-Puppet Dictator, Saddam Hussein, to torture his opponents? I thought the whole case for the illegal war in Iraq (at least, since the LIES about "WMD" have been exposed ...) was that the US/UK was removing a terrible man and his Regime, who used (CIA-taught) torture as a tool of repression.

Torture’s Dirty Secret: It Works
by Naomi Klein

I recently caught a glimpse of the effects of torture in action at an event honoring Maher Arar. The Syrian-born Canadian is the world’s most famous victim of “rendition,” the process by which US officials outsource torture to foreign countries. Arar was switching planes in New York when US interrogators detained him and “rendered” him to Syria, where he was held for ten months in a cell slightly larger than a grave and taken out periodically for beatings.

Arar was being honored for his courage by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, a mainstream advocacy organization. The audience gave him a heartfelt standing ovation, but there was fear mixed in with the celebration. Many of the prominent community leaders kept their distance from Arar, responding to him only tentatively. Some speakers were unable even to mention the honored guest by name, as if he had something they could catch. And perhaps they were right: The tenuous “evidence”—later discredited—that landed Arar in a rat-infested cell was guilt by association. And if that could happen to Arar, a successful software engineer and family man, who is safe?

In a rare public speech, Arar addressed this fear directly. He told the audience that an independent commissioner has been trying to gather evidence of law-enforcement officials breaking the rules when investigating Muslim Canadians. The commissioner has heard dozens of stories of threats, harassment and inappropriate home visits. But, Arar said, “not a single person made a public complaint. Fear prevented them from doing so.” Fear of being the next Maher Arar.

The fear is even thicker among Muslims in the United States, where the Patriot Act gives police the power to seize the records of any mosque, school, library or community group on mere suspicion of terrorist links. When this intense surveillance is paired with the ever-present threat of torture, the message is clear: You are being watched, your neighbor may be a spy, the government can find out anything about you. If you misstep, you could disappear onto a plane bound for Syria, or into “the deep dark hole that is Guantánamo Bay,” to borrow a phrase from Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

But this fear has to be finely calibrated. The people being intim-idated need to know enough to be afraid but not so much that they demand justice. This helps explain why the Defense Department will release certain kinds of seemingly incriminating information about Guantánamo—pictures of men in cages, for instance—at the same time that it acts to suppress photographs on a par with what escaped from Abu Ghraib. And it might also explain why the Pentagon approved the new book by a former military translator, including the passages about prisoners being sexually humiliated, but prevented him from writing about the widespread use of attack dogs. This strategic leaking of information, combined with official denials, induces a state of mind that Argentines describe as “knowing/not knowing,” a vestige of their “dirty war.”

“Obviously, intelligence agents have an incentive to hide the use of unlawful methods,” says the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer. “On the other hand, when they use rendition and torture as a threat, it’s undeniable that they benefit, in some sense, from the fact that people know that intelligence agents are willing to act unlawfully. They benefit from the fact that people understand the threat and believe it to be credible.”

And the threats have been received. In an affidavit filed with an ACLU court challenge to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, Nazih Hassan, president of the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor, Michigan, describes this new climate. Membership and attendance are down, donations are way down, board members have resigned—Hassan says his members fear doing anything that could get their names on lists. One member testified anonymously that he has “stopped speaking out on political and social issues” because he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself.

This is torture’s true purpose: to terrorize—not only the people in Guantánamo’s cages and Syria’s isolation cells but also, and more important, the broader community that hears about these abuses. Torture is a machine designed to break the will to resist—the individual prisoner’s will and the collective will.

This is not a controversial claim. In 2001 the US NGO Physicians for Human Rights published a manual on treating torture survivors that noted: “perpetrators often attempt to justify their acts of torture and ill treatment by the need to gather information. Such conceptualizations obscure the purpose of torture….The aim of torture is to dehumanize the victim, break his/her will, and at the same time, set horrific examples for those who come in contact with the victim. In this way, torture can break or damage the will and coherence of entire communities.”

Yet despite this body of knowledge, torture continues to be debated in the United States as if it were merely a morally questionable way to extract information, not an instrument of state terror. But there’s a problem: No one claims that torture is an effective interrogation tool—least of all the people who practice it. Torture “doesn’t work. There are better ways to deal with captives,” CIA director Porter Goss told the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 16. And a recently declassified memo written by an FBI official in Guantánamo states that extreme coercion produced “nothing more than what FBI got using simple investigative techniques.” The Army’s own interrogation field manual states that force “can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.”

And yet the abuses keep on coming—Uzbekistan as the new hot spot for renditions; the “El Salvador model” imported to Iraq. And the only sensible explanation for torture’s persistent popularity comes from a most unlikely source. Lynndie England, the fall girl for Abu Ghraib, was asked during her botched trial why she and her colleagues had forced naked prisoners into a human pyramid. “As a way to control them,” she replied.

Exactly. As an interrogation tool, torture is a bust. But when it comes to social control, nothing works quite like torture.

Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (Picador) and, most recently, Fences and Windows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (Picador).,13743,1483893,00.html

Torture's Part of the Territory
by Naomi Klein

Brace yourself for a flood of gruesome new torture snapshots. Last week, a federal judge ordered the Defense Department to release dozens of additional photographs and videotapes depicting prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

The photographs will elicit what has become a predictable response: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will claim to be shocked and will assure us that action is already being taken to prevent such abuses from happening again. But imagine, for a moment, if events followed a different script. Imagine if Rumsfeld responded like Col. Mathieu in "Battle of Algiers," Gillo Pontecorvo's famed 1965 film about the National Liberation Front's attempt to liberate Algeria from French colonial rule. In one of the film's key scenes, Mathieu finds himself in a situation familiar to top officials in the Bush administration: He is being grilled by a room filled with journalists about allegations that French paratroopers are torturing Algerian prisoners.

Based on real-life French commander Gen. Jacques Massus, Mathieu neither denies the abuse nor claims that those responsible will be punished. Instead, he flips the tables on the scandalized reporters, most of whom work for newspapers that overwhelmingly support France's continued occupation of Algeria. Torture "isn't the problem," he says calmly. "The problem is the FLN wants to throw us out of Algeria and we want to stay…. It's my turn to ask a question. Should France stay in Algeria? If your answer is still yes, then you must accept all the consequences."

His point, as relevant in Iraq today as it was in Algeria in 1957, is that there is no nice, humanitarian way to occupy a nation against the will of its people. Those who support such an occupation don't have the right to morally separate themselves from the brutality it requires.

Now, as then, there are only two ways to govern: with consent or with fear.

Most Iraqis do not consent to the open-ended military occupation they have been living under for more than two years. On Jan. 30, a clear majority voted for political parties promising to demand a timetable for U.S. withdrawal. Washington may have succeeded in persuading Iraq's political class to abandon that demand, but the fact remains that U.S. troops are on Iraqi soil in open defiance of the express wishes of the population.

Lacking consent, the current U.S.-Iraqi regime relies heavily on fear, including the most terrifying tactics of them all: disappearances, indefinite detention without charge and torture. And despite official reassurances, it's only getting worse. A year ago, President Bush pledged to erase the stain of Abu Ghraib by razing the prison to the ground. There has been a change of plans. Abu Ghraib and two other U.S.-run prisons in Iraq are being expanded, and a new 2,000-person detention facility is being built, with a price tag of $50 million. In the last seven months alone, the prison population has doubled to a staggering 11,350.

The U.S. military may indeed be cracking down on prisoner abuse, but torture in Iraq is not in decline — it has simply been outsourced. In January, Human Rights Watch found that torture within Iraqi-run (and U.S.-supervised) jails and detention facilities was "systematic," including the use of electroshock.

An internal report from the 1st Cavalry Division, obtained by the Washington Post, states that "electrical shock and choking" are "consistently used to achieve confessions" by Iraqi police and soldiers. So open is the use of torture that it has given rise to a hit television show: Every night on the TV station Al Iraqiya — run by a U.S. contractor — prisoners with swollen faces and black eyes "confess" to their crimes.

Rumsfeld claims that the wave of recent suicide bombings in Iraq is "a sign of desperation." In fact, it is the proliferation of torture under Rumsfeld's watch that is the true sign of panic.

In Algeria, the French used torture not because they were sadistic but because they were fighting a battle they could not win against the forces of decolonization and Third World nationalism. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein's use of torture surged immediately after the Shiite uprising in 1991: The weaker his hold on power, the more he terrorized his people. Unwanted regimes, whether domestic dictatorships or foreign occupations, rely on torture precisely because they are unwanted.

When the next batch of photographs from Abu Ghraib appear, many Americans will be morally outraged, and rightly so. But perhaps some brave official will take a lesson from Col. Mathieu and dare to turn the tables: Should the United States stay in Iraq? If your answer is still yes, then you must accept all the consequences.

Naomi Klein reported from Iraq for Harper's. She is the author of "No Logo" (Picador, 2002) and is writing a book on the ways capitalism exploits disaster.

Terror's Greatest Recruitment Tool

Naomi Klein

Hussain Osman (interesting name, since Osama bin Laden's alias while he was a CIA "asset" was Tim Osman), one of the men alleged to have participated in London's failed bombings on July 21, recently told Italian investigators that they prepared for the attacks by watching "films on the war in Iraq," La Repubblica reported. "Especially those where women and children were being killed and exterminated by British and American soldiers...of widows, mothers and daughters that cry."

It has become an article of faith that Britain was vulnerable to terror because of its politically correct antiracism. Yet Osman's comments suggest that what propelled at least some of the bombers was rage at what they saw as extreme racism. And what else can we call the belief--so prevalent we barely notice it--that American and European lives are worth more than the lives of Arabs and Muslims, so much more that their deaths in Iraq are not even counted?

It's not the first time that this kind of raw inequality has bred extremism. Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian writer generally viewed as the intellectual architect of radical political Islam, had his ideological epiphany while studying in the United States. The puritanical scholar was shocked by Colorado's licentious women, it's true, but more significant was Qutb's encounter with what he later described as America's "evil and fanatic racial discrimination." By coincidence, Qutb arrived in the United States in 1948, the year of the creation of the State of Israel. He witnessed an America blind to the thousands of Palestinians being made permanent refugees by the Zionist project. For Qutb, it wasn't politics, it was an assault on his identity: Clearly Americans believed that Arab lives were worth far less than those of European Jews. According to Yvonne Haddad, a professor of history at Georgetown University, this experience "left Qutb with a bitterness he was never able to shake."

When Qutb returned to Egypt he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to his next life-changing event: He was arrested, severely tortured and convicted of antigovernment conspiracy in an absurd show trial. Qutb's political theory was profoundly shaped by torture. Not only did he regard his torturers as sub-human, he stretched that categorization to include the entire state that ordered this brutality, including the practicing Muslims who passively lent their support to Nasser's regime.

Qutb's vast category of subhumans allowed his disciples to justify the killing of "infidels"--now practically everyone--in the name of Islam. A movement for an Islamic state was transformed into a violent ideology that would lay the intellectual groundwork for Al Qaeda. In other words, so-called Islamist terrorism was "home grown" in the West long before the July 7 attacks--from its inception it was the quintessentially modern progeny of Colorado's casual racism and Cairo's concentration camps.

Why is it worth digging up this history now? Because the twin sparks that ignited Qutb's world-changing rage are currently being doused with gasoline: Arabs and Muslims are being debased in torture chambers around the world and their deaths are being discounted in simultaneous colonial wars, at the same time that graphic digital evidence of these losses and humiliations is available to anyone with a computer. And once again, this lethal cocktail of racism and torture is burning through the veins of angry young men. As Qutb's past and Osman's present reveal, it's not our tolerance for multiculturalism that fuels terrorism; it's our tolerance for the barbarism committed in our name.

Into this explosive environment has stepped Tony Blair, determined to sell two of the main causes of terror as its cure. He intends to deport more Muslims to countries where they will likely face torture. And he will keep fighting wars in which soldiers don't know the names of the towns they are leveling. (According to an August 5 Knight Ridder report, a Marine sergeant in Iraq recently pumped up his squad by telling them that "these will be the good old days, when you brought...death and destruction to--what the fuck is this place called?" Someone piped in helpfully, "Haqlaniyah.")

Meanwhile, in Britain, there is no shortage of the "evil and fanatic racial discrimination" that Qutb denounced. "Of course too there have been isolated and unacceptable acts of a racial or religious hatred," Blair said before unveiling his terror-fighting plan. "But they have been isolated." Isolated? The Islamic Human Rights Commission received 320 complaints of racist attacks in the wake of the bombings; the Monitoring Group has received eighty-three emergency calls; Scotland Yard says hate crimes are up 600 percent from this time last year. Not that pre-July 7 was anything to brag about: "One in five of Britain's ethnic minority voters say that they considered leaving Britain because of racial intolerance," according to a Guardian poll in March.

This last statistic shows that the brand of multiculturalism practiced in Britain (and France, Germany, Canada...) has little to do with genuine equality. It is instead a Faustian bargain, struck between vote-seeking politicians and self-appointed community leaders, one that keeps ethnic minorities tucked away in state-funded peripheral ghettos while the centers of public life remain largely unaffected by the seismic shifts in the national ethnic makeup. Nothing exposes the shallowness of this alleged tolerance more than the speed with which Muslim communities are now being told to "get out" (to quote Tory MP Gerald Howarth) in the name of core national values.

The real problem is not too much multiculturalism but too little. If the diversity now ghettoized on the margins of Western societies--geographically and psychologically--were truly allowed to migrate to the centers, it might infuse public life in the West with a powerful new humanism. If we had deeply multi-ethnic societies, rather than shallow multicultural ones, it would be much more difficult for politicians to sign deportation orders sending Algerian asylum-seekers to torture, or to wage wars in which only the invaders' dead are counted. A society that truly lived its values of equality and human rights, at home and abroad, would have another benefit too. It would rob terrorists of what has always been their greatest recruitment tool: our racism.

Naomi Klein


21.10.2005 21:27

That's a really good article by Naomi Klein. I hadn't thought of US use of torture like that, but of course it makes perfect sense, as the torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and by US proxies in Uzbekistan doesn't really make much sense otherwise. It makes perfect sense that in one way, the US government WANT the world to know about this, as a way of discouraging those who would stand against them. I mean, would you be so willing to pick up a gun and wage jihad, when you may end up sodomized by a broom by a US soldier, or boiled alive in Uzbekistan.

There is a very deep psychological game being played. On the one hand, reports of torture are coming out. On the other hand, the administration is pretending to be outraged by it. It tries to suppress the stories a little bit. But not too much. Because in reality, it suits their purposes that these stories come out.

This is a story repeated all over the world. Many regimes will deny systematic torture. But they know their populations know, and in fact they want their populations to know these horrific stories. Otherwise, what is the point? It is not simply a question of sadism, but a question of control, using fear, and the US has adopted the same tactic.

Great article Naomi Klein, really insightful, and thanks to whoever posted it.


to sum it up

21.10.2005 22:57

Saddam to be sentenced to death [likely outcome]

for the crime of sentencing people to death...

under the occupation of a country whose President...

er...sentences people to death?

er which looney is in charge of this ridiculous planet?


Bush's Death Factory

Published on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 in the Boston Globe by Derrick Z. Jackson

GEORGE W. BUSH'S dogged denial of factory defects in the death machinery of Texas invites memories of Lyndon Johnson telling us how we were defoliating the North Vietnamese into target range. In the beginning, one could charitably concede that the two men were merely bullheaded souls, filled with false pride and false missions, trying to persuade us we needed to slaughter some criminals or a whole nation into submission.

Johnson's stubbornness became massacres and suicide battles abroad and dead students at home. Bush's pathological denials have exploded into a time line that makes it easy to depict him, in the political sense, as a serial killer, indiscriminately dispensing with the despised and chuckling over their bodies.

Bush, remember, has gloated about the death penalty in more than just the presidential debates. He is the same Bush who last year ridiculed death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker, whining in mock exaggeration in an interview that Tucker begged, ''Please don't kill me.'' Bush, who has made his Christianity part of his resume, mocked Tucker even though she said she had found Christ.

In Texas, 232 people have been executed since 1973, and more than 450 are on death row. If Texas were a nation, it would rank fifth in the world in executions. Studies, reports, and exhaustive newspaper stories have shown that Texas is so careless in executing its executions that it, like Illinois, should call a moratorium on capital punishment.

In May, The Washington Post wrote how death penalty defendants receive lawyers who are chronically inexperienced, incompetent, and indifferent to the point of sleeping at trials. No matter. Bush said, ''I'm absolutely confident that everybody that has been put to death ... are guilty of the crime charged, and, secondly, they had full access to our courts.''

In June, the Chicago Tribune found that of 131 Texas executions done under Bush, there were 40 cases of the defense presenting no evidence during sentencing, 29 uses of psychiatric practices that have been condemned by the American Psychiatric Association, and 43 where a defendant was represented by a lawyer who was later disbarred or disciplined.

To that investigation, Bush said, ''I've said once and I've said a lot that in every case, we've adequately answered innocence or guilt.'' Bush said all defendents have ''had full access to the courts. They've had full access to a fair trial.''

In June, a Scripps Howard poll found that while 73 percent of Texans supported the death penalty, 57 percent believed that the state has executed innocent defendants. To that poll, Bush said, ''I analyze each case when it comes across my desk, looking at innocence or guilt.... As far as I'm concerned, there has not been one innocent person executed since I've been governor.''

Also in June, a Columbia University study found that two-thirds of death sentences in the United States and 52 percent of those in Texas from 1973 through 1995 were overturned because of bad or suppressed evidence. Bush again was unmoved. ''We have never put an innocent person to death,'' Bush said.

Last week the Fort Worth Star Telegram published a yearlong investigation that found legal services so lacking for low-income death penalty defendants that Texas ''appears to provide a different standard of justice for the poor.'' Also last week, the Texas Defender Service, which tries to defend the poor on death row, said it had found 84 cases where state officials or police presented false, misleading, or highly unreliable testimony. It found 121 cases of psychiatrist testimony based on no or extremely brief examinations of the defendant.

The Defenders Service report found rampant racial disparities. African-Americans make up 23 percent of the murder victims in Texas, but fewer than 1 percent of executions result from the murder of African-Americans. White women are only 1 percent of murder victims, but 34 percent of executions result from killings of white women. Asked if Texas should call a moratorium as Illinois has done, Bush said no. Asked why, he said, ''The reason why is I'm confident that every person that has been put to death under our state has been guilty of the crime charged.''

Such confidence in the face of the evidence borders on the deranged. Three decades ago, a president refused to change course, and it cost thousands of American lives. In two weeks, the nation may elect a president with a similar hubris. If Bush will not change course on the death penalty, there is no telling what he will not change course on if elected president.