I considered placing an image of water boarding in this blog entry but I think we all know by now what the CIA has been up to over the last few years. Far and away the most recently discussed abhorrent technique employed by our intelligence services during the post-9/11 period has been water boarding. The actual journey into this new and uncharted territory coincided with the verbal go-ahead given in July 2002 by then-acting Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. Ms. Rice afterwards lapsed into amnesia and could not recall ever making such a decision, either verbally or in writing. My, what a web we weave when we first deceive.
The two poster boys used for the justification of water boarding by the Bush Administration are: Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind behind 9/11 – by his own admission and Abu Zubaydah, a small-time operative in Al-Qaeda. Both were water boarded numerous times. In fact, KSM, as Mohammad is commonly referred to, was water boarded 183 times in one month. Zubaydah had the dubious distinction of undergoing that torture process a mere 83 times.
Where has this left the United States. In moral shambles, that’s where. To the proponents of torture who say it elicited valuable intelligence (like our former Vice-President Dick Cheney) – I have just one word. Poppycock! To date there is absolutely no evidence that either of these men gave any intelligence remotely useful to the CIA regarding Al-Qaeda or its secrets. Virtually all experts skilled in the art of interrogation have said that the information extracted from torture is unreliable since it is given merely to appease the torturers and as such cannot be considered reliable in any sense of the word.
My advice to the powers-that-be is simply this: Appoint an independent prosecutor immediately! Don’t wait until later on this year as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggests pending the completion by the Senate Intelligence Committee of its own investigation into this heinous chapter in our nation’s history.
Justice must be swift but fair. What is undeniable at this juncture after the release of the 4 torture memos and the report by the Senate Armed Services Committee is that the orders and the origin behind this torture program emanated from the White House, specifically the Office of the Vice President and the President. It was in turn set in motion by the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld under the false legal premises provided by the torture memo authors, John Yoo and Jay Bybee. William Haynes, acting General Counsel to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld served as the liaison between the White House/Justice Department and the Pentagon in his capacity as the personal conduit for delivery to Rumsfeld of the torture memo legal opinions.
Anyway you slice it or dice it this nation is guilty in the eyes of the world, with or without a special prosecutor or independent commission.
The horse is out of the barn, the toothpaste is out of the tube.
I’m just waiting for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bybee, Yoo and Haynes to meet the same fate as was faced by the Nazi war criminals we prosecuted at the Nuremberg trial in 1946. Perhaps we should make sure they’re not walking around with a potassium cyanide capsule like Goering at Nuremberg.