Sunday, September 10, 2006

Let me tell you that it hurts so good

GWBushCo loves him some torture. Acccording to ABC News, though, the military is now prohibited from:
--Interrogators may not force a detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner.

--They cannot use hoods or place sacks over a detainee's head or use duct tape over his eyes.

--They cannot beat or electrically shock or burn him or inflict other forms of physical pain, any form of physical pain.

--They may not use hypothermia or treatment which will lead to heat injury.

--They may not perform mock executions.

--They may not deprive detainees of the necessary food, water and medical care.

--They may not use dogs in any aspect of interrogations.

Cute. The military is only NOW being told not to do these things? The Supreme Court (liberal bunch they are) issued a ruling in June about this. From CNN:
The High Court also ruled that al Qaeda operatives were protected by the Geneva Conventions, which ban "humiliating and degrading treatment." Bush called that mandate "vague."

Vague. As in, the Republican owned Supreme Court interpreting the Geneva Conventions is "vague." (Note to wingers, arm-chair fighters, and WATBs: The "wearing a uniform" deal was covered in Protocol I. Have any of these wankers actually read any of the Geneva Conventions? I doubt it.)

And note that the CIA still is not constrained from doing these things. From the ABC piece:
The officers told ABC News there was a list of six progressively harsher techniques that were authorized, with the prisoner always handcuffed.

The first -- the attention grab, involving the rough shaking of a prisoner.

Second -- the attention slap, an open-handed slap to the face.

Third -- belly slap, meant to cause temporary pain, but no internal injuries.

Fourth -- long-term standing and sleep deprivation, 40 hours at least, described as the most effective technique.

Fifth -- the cold room. Prisoners left naked in cells kept in the 50s and frequently doused with cold water.

The CIA sources say the sixth, and harshest, technique was called "water boarding," in which a prisoner's face was covered with cellophane, and water is poured over it (pictured above) -- meant to trigger an unbearable gag reflex.

Look, if the Supreme Courts says don't torture, then I think the CIA probably has a legal obligation to, you know, don't torture. If the CIA was on clear legal footing, why were they using the once-denied, now-admitted "black prisons": (CNN again)

The Washington Post first reported in November that the CIA was holding terror suspects in secret prisons overseas, including in former Soviet satellites in eastern Europe.

The White House would not confirm the report, but an investigation by the Council of Europe found evidence of a "global system of secret detentions and unlawful transfers."

The wingers, arm-chair fighters, and WATBs always bring up the Ticking Time Bomb scenario. To me, it's a combination of fear allowing an underlying layer of innate cruelty to appear, and wanting to be "macho", tough.

My friend Kevin Drum has what I feel is the Gold Standard question on this issue. Never mind the what-ifs, the ticking time bombs, the gung ho kick ass mentality of so many, especially on the right. The question is:
Is this torture? There's an easy question that provides some moral clarity here: If someone else did this to American prisoners, would you consider it torture? If you would, then it's torture when we do it too.

Word. (As the kids say)