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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why the torture?

Justin Raimondo makes an important point about the torture.

WHY was the Bush administration so eager to torture. Was it really afraid of 24 style ticking time bombs?

Um. No. They wanted to start a war with Iraq. And they needed justification for it.

The administration had already decided, early on, to attack Iraq: all that was needed was "proof" of Saddam Hussein’s connection to the 9/11 attacks – and they didn’t care how they got it. In a 2009 interview with the McClatchy news agency, a former highly-placed former US intelligence officer said:
"[F]or most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld were also demanding proof of the links between al-Qaeda and Iraq. … There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push harder."
As Patrick Cockburn points out in the Independent, detainees were subjected to the worst torture "in the run-up to the war in 2003, suggesting that rather than preventing further action by al-Qaeda, the US administration was intent on justifying the invasion of Iraq. One prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, who was wrongly thought to be an al-Qaeda leader by his interrogators, was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in March 2003. The first questions asked of the latter after he was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, were all about Iraq and not about forthcoming al-Qaeda attacks, according to The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan." The book also relates how Cheney’s office wanted to waterboard a top Iraqi official to get him to "verify" the alleged Iraqi connection to al-Qaeda.


So the even larger crime than the torture and imprisoning for over a decade of many people who'd just been turned in by locals to collect a bounty or to settle a private score is that the false "intelligence" gained from the torture was used to (re)start a war and kill in the neighborhood of a million people.

So while they resort to Jack Bauer torture porn situations to justify it, the torture that occurred was to extract a specific, pre-determined, response.

The joy of being the hyper-power is never having to say you're sorry, I guess. Destroying infrastructure so that people die from lack of sanitation, imposing sanctions which killed a half-million people (mostly children and the aged), all to "encourage" the people to rise up and throw off someone who previously was a US stooge... What guilt do the folks in D.C. bear from enabling and encouraging the 8 year war of aggression by Iraq on Iran? About 300,000 civilians killed. Many more soldiers. About $1 trillion in destruction.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Whose sons are the warmongers?


  1. The complete lack of awareness people show when they then are indignant about some of the folks who actually managed to be released from Guantanamo is that they then showed up fighting against US forces elsewhere.

    I can't imagine that being held for years without cause, possibly tortured, would then lead someone to think that maybe the US needed to be opposed. I just can't imagine that. Only someone with impenetrable self-regard would be unable to understand that.

  2. Excellent post Jim. Thank you. As for your last comment, well I don't know what to say except "well duh"! 😁
    People are so ignorant. Or maybe they are truly afraid their sins will be avenged? Americans are the only people I can think of who get irritated that other people don't want Americans to kill them. That somehow it's an honor to be killed and tortured by the US.

  3. From the article:

    Why did they torture? The Cheneyites claim they wanted information on a follow-up attack to 9/11 they were sure was coming, but the logic of this falls apart under the most cursory examination. After all, the recipient of torture is certain to say whatever he (or she) thinks the torturers want to hear – just to make the pain stop. Some within the CIA protested and no doubt brought up this very point – one the policymakers at the top knew full well. They knew torture was ineffective in getting at the truth – but it wasn’t truth they were after. They who wove a web of lies to entangle us in the Iraqi spider’s web – where we are caught to this day – were convinced they had created their own truth. As Ron Susskind recalled his conversation with a top Bush White House aide:

    "The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ … ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’"

    And they arrogantly assumed that the acted upon "over there" would cooperate. They showed the same pretense of knowledge which the economic central planners show, that the acted upon won't find ways to mitigate the damage or turn it to their own advantage.

    Until "Christians" repudiate Bush, his wars and his years there is no hope for them. And the repudiation must be vocal, for the support was vocal.