Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dirty. Disgusting. Dishonorable. Despicable.

Back then, George Bush insisted that "America does not torture." As the BBC reported, "'We do not torture,' Mr Bush told reporters during a visit to Panama."

Today, as everyone in the blogosphere knows, and as WaPo reports, in his new book, THE ONE PERCENT DOCTRINE, Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11, Ron Suskind describes "the capture of Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in March 2002. Described as al-Qaeda's chief of operations even after U.S. and Pakistani forces kicked down his door in Faisalabad, the Saudi-born jihadist was the first al-Qaeda detainee to be shipped to a secret prison abroad. Suskind shatters the official story line here.

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be. CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries 'in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3' -- a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail 'what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said.' Dan Coleman, then the FBI's top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, 'This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality.'

Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics -- travel for wives and children and the like. That judgment was 'echoed at the top of CIA and was, of course, briefed to the President and Vice President,' Suskind writes. And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as 'one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.' And over the months to come, under White House and Justice Department direction, the CIA would make him its first test subject for harsh interrogation techniques" (emphasis mine).


"Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. 'I said he was important,' Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. 'You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?' 'No sir, Mr. President,' Tenet replied. Bush 'was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth,' Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, 'Do some of these harsh methods really work?' (emphasis mine). Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, 'thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target.' And so, Suskind writes, 'the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.'

It is beyond my comprehension how an act of physical pleasure could "bring dishonor to the Oval Office," while Bush could sit in the Oval Office and ask his people to torture someone so that Bush wouldn't "lose face" for having lied to the American public and not have the walls fall down on him. It is simply beyond me. Remember when they told us that it wasn't the sex, it was the lies? Did Clinton ever ask his operatives to torture anyone? Bush lies and then lies about the torture he uses to cover up his lies.

The next president of the United States should burn the WH to the ground, salt the earth, and move the WH to another location.


Interrobang said...

He had no problem executing mentally-incompetent people; why should merely torturing them be some kind of moral or ethical obstacle for him?

Dirty, disgusting, dishonourable, despicable, and many other things beginning with D, including deranged and debased.

Nora said...

If we had real media, or a real opposition party, this would be broadcast from one end of the country -- no, the world -- to the other, and this alone would constitute a "high crime" worthy of impeachment. Words fail me. Ever since Abu Ghraib I have been physically sick at the way these people have dishonored my country.

And the justification for having this mentally ill man tortured was to keep Bush from "losing face"? That just makes it worse. I don't believe in hell, but there should be some karmic repayment to Bush -- and all those who enabled him -- for this and his many crimes

Anne Johnson said...

Hmmm. Mentally ill person tortured into confessing all kinds of sinister things? My how much progress we've made since the witch-burnings!

Dubya is the biggest D of all: Demonic.

John from Taos said...

The next president of the United States should burn the WH to the ground, salt the earth, and move the WH to another location.

Wow, I love this! There's more truth and effective power in these words than the empirically-obsessed will ever understand. I volunteer to spread salt and dance naked in the sun.