The Torture Report

by lizard

I was testing my gag-reflex by watching Morning Joe this morning and they didn’t disappoint. The topic was the torture report, which will be released later this morning. Screamer Howard Dean was on, getting excoriated by one of Joe’s sidekicks, the blond-haired one (not Mika) who prays to God that America will do whatever it takes to stop the next 3,000 people from being blown up by al-Qaeda. Oddly there was no discussion about why branches of al-Qaeda are now working with U.S. mercenaries in Syria.

It amazes me that anyone can still assume America is the moral center of the universe. I think it was Joe, or maybe the blond, who lauded American torturers for having a doctor in the room. It was helpfully pointed out that ISIS doesn’t have a doctor present before they behead their victims. Great insight!

U.S. embassies are on high alert today in anticipation of the release of this report. I bet the CIA is hoping there is some kind of attack somewhere, and may be so inclined to have some of their terrorist pals do something to validate their concerns.

While idiot Joe bumbled on about how only 3 people were water-boarded, the story of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program tells a different story involving 54 countries. You can see the map here with the participating countries colored appropriately in red. From the link:

After Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA launched a program of “extraordinary rendition” to handle terrorism suspects. The agency’s problem, as it saw it, was that it wanted to detain and interrogate foreign suspects without bringing them to the United States or charging them with any crimes. Their solution was to secretly move a suspect to another country. Sometimes that meant a secret CIA prison in places such as Thailand or Romania, where the CIA would interrogate him. Sometimes it meant handing him over to a sympathetic government, some of them quite nasty, to conduct its own “interrogation.”

The CIA’s extraordinary rendition program is over, but its scope is still shrouded in some mystery. A just-out report, released by the Open Society Foundation, sheds new light on its shocking scale. According to the report, 54 foreign governments somehow collaborated in the program. Some of those governments are brutal dictatorships, and a few are outright U.S. adversaries.

Their participation took several forms. Some, such as Poland and Lithuania, allowed the CIA to run secret prisons in their countries. Many Middle Eastern, Central Asian and European countries handed over detainees to the CIA, some of whom those countries captured on the agency’s behalf. Other states, particularly in the Middle East, interrogated detainees on the CIA’s behalf, such as Jordan, which accepted several Pakistanis. Several, such as Greece and Spain, allowed flights associated with the CIA program to use their airports.

The report being released today, extensive as it is, probably won’t include any accounts of the torture committed by other countries on behalf of the monstrous, murderous CIA. Just good ‘ol American torture will be described in detail.

It’s good this report is finally coming out, but I doubt it will have much impact. Americans seem to have already accepted that atrocities were carried out in their name, and as long as boogeymen are invoked, no deeper epiphanies will be broadly experienced by our sleepwalking populace of complacent enablers.

Such is the state of America.

  1. larry kurtz

    commercial teevee: now there’s a reputable source of information. good job, liz!

  2. JW Anderson

    I have been a Morning Joe watcher for a couple of years and Scarbrah’s competition with Fox has been a disheartening to the least but today I have terminated my morning television habit of MSNBC until 7 am—

  3. steve kelly

    “Mass acts of civil disobedience, now being carried out across the country, are the only mechanism left that offers hope for systematic legal and judicial reform. We must defy the corporate state, not work with it.”

    “The ecosystem and human beings become objects whose worth is determined solely by the market. They are exploited until exhaustion or collapse occurs. A society that no longer recognizes that the natural world and life have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, commits collective suicide. Such societies cannibalize themselves. This is what we are undergoing. Literally.”

    “As in every totalitarian state, the first victims are the vulnerable…” – Chris Hedges

    And what did people expect when the “rule of law” only applies to aliens, poor people and minorities? That system has been destroyed. Now we have police taking over the vital govenment role once reserved for the judicial branch.

  4. Turner

    There’s a local angle to the torture report. The two psychologists who were paid over $80 million by the CIA to develop and oversee torture techniques have their office in Spokane. Their names are John “Bruce” Jessen and James Mitchell.

    Neither, at the time of their hiring, had any special knowledge of interrogation techniques or Muslim culture. But it’s who you know not what you know.

    One thing is certain: there’s big money in torture.

  5. I’m not necessarily disagreeing, Lizard, but I think your conclusion is overly cynical. When the wing nut-wulitzer spins the excuse tune THIS loud, that generally means they are afraid. Coming on the heels of a heightened awareness of police brutality right here in ‘Murika, I don’t think it implausible that the message ‘torture is bad and we shouldn’t do it’ will become part of our cultural awareness. If, as some suggest, there is another black-flag op to dismiss public revulsion, then the CIA may find a populace less willing to suspend disbelief.

    • lizard19

      I hope I’m being overly cynical. is there incremental progress or just more normalization? I don’t know. I was marginally hopeful Edward Snowden’s disclosures would have had a bigger impact, but they didn’t.

      the details of the abuses are horrific and no one has been held accountable. it should also be mentioned that the “stop” to the torture was an executive order that could easily be reversed by the next president.

      • I don’t think the pendulum swings that way. It is not more ‘normalization’ that will likely sway anything, but rather more movement of the public will. This is not progress, per se, but it is change.

  6. I do suggest that we ask the question: Since we know that torture does not produce useful intelligence, and have in fact known that for centuries, and since our leaders are not stupid people, there must be some other reason why they have a large (and only partially exposed) torture regime.

    The toorture report itself is most likely nothing but a limited hangout, information given up to,prevent the disclosure of even more damaging information. That is how CIA has operated since its Inceotion.

    • Congress itself is actually starting to fear the CIA? You likely won’t buy it, but it is a distinct possibility …

      • CIA does not fear Congress. There was an attempt in the late 70’s to investigate CIA by Frank Church, and good god what we learned. That is the only extant outside investigation of CIA ever done.

    • See, this is why I think you believe in the Illuminati, Mark. The guys who make paper towels, or operating systems or run trains and have enormous political sway might actually disagree with the guys who build bombs and fund terror and torture. They are not all of like mind, and Congress, as you well admit, know what side it’s bread is buttered on.

      Maybe, just maybe, the CIA has overplayed it’s hand here?

    • Ii have never used the “I” word anywhere in my writing, and the fact you want to impute it on me is interesting. I don’t know what it is, never read anything about it. Conspiracies if that nature are hard to fathom, but easy to use as fodder in arguments with people like me who simply have good working knowledge of how this country is run.,

      I have read two writers who were part of what one of them called “pathocracy,” where sociopaths get hold of power and gradually spread their talons to the point where they are running the show from critical decision points within government. Such people crave power and do anything they can to attain it. They operate behind the scenes. Clinton Acknowledged their existence. They are always with us but are not always powerful.

      One of the writer, Fletcher Prouty, wrote about the ascent of the CIA by nefarious means into every branch of the military and government to the point today where they are their own law, have their own military, equipment, airlines, assassins, patsies, moles in the media, and keep watch on everyone in government.

      If I wrote about the ascent of such evil in places like Germany and the USSR, saying “SS” or Gestape or KGB, you’d have no problem grasping the situation, how ordinary people keep their heads low and go along. This notion of American exceptionalism, which you appear to be expressing here, would presume that Pathocracy cannot happen here. But it has.

      “A whole new form of government is going to take over our country … It is a very serious situation. I Guess it is too late to stop it, isn’t it.?” (Jack Ruby to Earl Warren, June 1964)

      I’ve been reading about this country and how it is run for a quarter century now, and sometimes become frustrated that people who have not presume to know that everything is OK. Is that you, Rob?

      • I know you’ve never used the term, Mark, but you certainly exhibit the signs of the faithful.

        As is your habit, you read far more into what was written than what actually exists, especially if you are silly enough to think anything I wrote promotes American exceptionalism.

  7. Eric

    Waterboarding enemy combatants? Who really cares? Since our enemies seem to enjoy killing innocents, they deserve whatever they get.

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