Monday, April 27, 2009

Defending the Indefensible

Cheney and Rove want to defend the indefensible. They feel that what was learned by torture was worthwhile.

This is false. The same information that was learned from tortured prisoners, was learned from sources without torture.

They defend the use of torture from the US Armed Forces lessons from the program where troops were subjected to torture to help them resist it in the field in event of capture. Troops were water boarded a few times, as I know at least two former soldiers that were treated to such. They weren't water boarded six times a day as one of the prisoners was. The key element that is missing is knowing when and how much. The second element is knowing who is doing the act.

One memo suggests that sleep deprivation of up to weeks leads to no harm and alleges support based on a quoted university researcher. That researcher has stepped forward to note his dismay at the misuse and abuse of his work. After even a few days of sleep deprivation in conjunction with the threat of repeated interrogation leads to only gibberish. Once the subject reaches the point of the inability to concentrate, the information becomes useless. This point will be reached earlier with the pressure or stress of interrogation.

When given the opportunity to participate, the FBI chose to opt out of the information by torture. They felt their methods of non-torture were superior through years of experience with suspects in all areas of crime. The CIA was specialists in espionage, the gathering of information without the subject's knowledge. The Bush administration chose to let the CIA lead, because they favored and supported the torture of prisoners.

Torture was used in the hope to find the crucial link between Hussein and Al-Quada. There was none, but they eventually got the prisoners to admit this. They could never find other support for the conjecture. Because it didn't exist. The two were were based on two waring factions of the Muslim religion. They didn't understand the culture enough to know that their cooperation was highly unlikely.

Their defense of torture has changed many times. When discovered while Bush, Cheney and Rove were in operation, it was blamed on a few bad apples at Abu Ghaib. They prosecuted a few to show they meant business.

Later Bush himself denied torture was being used. We now know from released records that it was based on the flawed (see above on sleep deprivation) legal documents that declared specific methods as "not torture." Specific details in those documents were exceeded (like water boarding an average of 6 times a day for 30 days) invalidating its application. It wasn't a few bad apples unless you specify the trio leading the country at that time.

Last now, Cheney wants the release of only two specific memorandum to show the extent of what we learned from these unethical methods. This is the "end justifies the means" argument. It only rarely works. At this time we still haven't isolated or captured Osama Bin Laden, so all the torture implemented failed. Much of what was learned was only valuable in a political sense to a man who's deathly afraid of virtually everything.

I'm speaking to you Dick Cheney. Undisclosed location. You are the most paranoid person to ever have been a heartbeat away from the Presidency. You are the one man in our great history that has no defense.