Mar 11, 2008

A Tale of Two Headlines

Both under "Terrorism" on MSNBC this morning...

Judge: Detainee's abuse claim not believable

Bush vetoes bill banning Waterboarding

A judge ruled Friday that an Australian man's claim that he had been mistreated in custody in Pakistan before being sent to the U.S. prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay could not be believed.

President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks.

Justice Peter McClellan of the New South Wales state Supreme Court ruled against Mamdouh Habib in the man's defamation suit against a Sydney newspaper, which Habib said had implied he lied about being tortured.

"The Bush administration continues to insist that CIA and other nonmilitary interrogators are not bound by the military rules and has reportedly given CIA interrogators the green light to use a range of so-called 'enhanced' interrogation techniques, including prolonged sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, and exposure to extreme cold," Daskal said. "Although waterboarding is not currently approved for use by the CIA, Attorney General Michael Mukasey has refused to take it off the table for the future."

"I am satisfied that Mr. Habib's claims that he was seriously mistreated in the place of detention in Islamabad cannot be accepted," McClellan said.

The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror," Bush said in his weekly radio address taped for broadcast Saturday. "So today I vetoed it," Bush said.

He said Habib was "prone to exaggerate," "evasive" and had made claims about mistreatment in Pakistan and Egypt which could not be sustained.

Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch, said Bush "will go down in history as the torture president" for defying Congress and allowing the CIA to use interrogation techniques "that any reasonable observer would call torture."

Habib, an Egyptian-born immigrant, was arrested in Pakistan in late 2001. He says he was held there for 28 days and was interrogated by Americans before being transferred to Egypt, where he alleged he was beaten, shocked with electricity and nearly drowned while under interrogation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Bush often warns against ignoring the advice of U.S. commanders on the ground in Iraq. Yet the president has rejected the Army Field Manual, which recognizes that harsh interrogation tactics elicit unreliable information, said Reid, D-Nev.

The intelligence bill would limit CIA interrogators to the 19 techniques allowed for use by military questioners. The Army field manual in 2006 banned using methods such as waterboarding or sensory deprivation on uncooperative prisoners.

The military specifically prohibited waterboarding in 2006. The CIA also prohibited the practice in 2006 ... But the administration has refused to rule definitively on whether it is torture. Bush has said many times that his administration does not torture.

After six months, he was sent to the U.S. military base at Bagram, Afghanistan and then Guantanamo Bay. He was returned to Australia in January 2005.

Australian judges continue to believe that George Bush's policies haven't been resulting in kidnapping and torturing their citizens. I guess Australia believes that if the U.S. eventually releases their citizens after torturing them it's okay. The U.S. government decided that Habib was innocent after all.

Fortunately for Canadian citizens, their judicial system isn't so trusting of countries who want to torture their people.

The acclaimed Army officer who literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency weighs in on 24, its impact on the U.S. military’s view of torture, and the implications for the fight against terrorism: Torture is NOT ACCEPTABLE (from Foreign

Why Torture doesn't work (also from Foreign

UPDATE: I noticed that Frederick has been on fire lately, check his blog out...

UPDATE 2: Funny shit of the day : Whiny Cops -More Proof that the Internet has EVERYTHING. This site is for cops to whine about other cops giving them tickets and not letting them slide "for the brotherhood". It's fucking hilarious to see our "Proud men in blue" nominating their fellow officers for Dick of the Month. The whole point of the website seems to be that cops think they should only treat citizens like shit, not each other. The indignant cop who put this site up might get a little more respect from me if it was just a site for anyone to bitch about the poor common sense of traffic officers. But the attitude that Cops should get favorable treatment when breaking the law is just bullshit.


Liberality said...

kick ass post!

oh, btw, tag, you're it! It's the 6 word meme, wanna play?

Anonymous said...

Yes-great post.

Are you following the Washington Monthly series on torture?