Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Torture: 'Citizens must know what is done in their name'

Democracy’s only defence is to demand that account be subsequently rendered.

Citizens must know what is done in their name, even if it takes time. It has taken the US more than a decade. Britain is still waiting for its Chilcot report on Iraq.

CIA torture report, the US is taking a brave step
9 December 2014 - America deserves credit for its decision to publish a report into the CIA’s use of torture following the 9/11 disaster. Despite redaction, the Senate’s intelligence committee confirms what has long been known, that 20 “enhanced” interrogation methods were authorised by the Bush White House. Less well known is that 54 other countries, including British territories, were induced to collaborate. Despite former members of the Bush administration declaring that torturers are “patriots”, and the usual nonsense that “lives could be put at danger” from the truth, the Senate has bravely spoken.

Less creditable is what the report apparently says. The US in the aftermath of 9/11 displayed a collective psychosis of fear and paranoia. What had been overwhelming world sympathy – Yasser Arafat gave blood for New Yorkers – turned to aversion and then hatred as revenge wars were waged on Afghanistan and Iraq. Defence turned to belligerence – and torture. The Senate report is sceptical whether any useful intelligence was gained thereby.

Theorists of torture have long debated whether a higher good – “national security” – can justify the lesser evil. Torture is in the same category as the bombing of populated places from the air. The agony is certain, the gain speculative. read more>>>

* * * Read the Senate Intelligence Committee report * * *

* * * Seeds of ISIL Planted By Bush/Cheney and Conservative Congresses * * *

* * * The British Iraq War Inquiry * * *
Released will carry private communications between GWBush and TBlair, like this already released: TB said there was a danger the Tories would see this as their chance to get rid of him … Bush said they would make it clear to the Tories that if they moved to get rid of TB "we will get rid of them".

* * * Iraq War Promoted Terrorism Rather Than Reducing It * * *
24 April 2014 - Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War promoted terrorism rather than reducing it and was a “strategic failure”, according to a major new report which estimated the cost of all UK conflicts since the end of the Cold War.
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."

Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: "We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014

Bob Herbert "Losing Our Way" : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds

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