Friday, December 12, 2008

Senate Report Ties Rumsfeld to Abu Ghraib Torture.

A new report released on Thursday by the Senate Armed Services Committee says that Donald Rumsfeld and other US officials share much of the blame for the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The report's executive summary, made public by the committee's Democratic chairman Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and its top Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, said Rumsfeld contributed to the abuse by authorizing aggressive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay on December 2, 2002.

He rescinded the authorization six weeks later. But the report said word of his approval continued to spread within U.S. military circles and encouraged the use of harsh techniques as far away as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report concluded that Rumsfeld's actions were "a direct cause of detainee abuse" at Guantanamo and "influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques ... in Afghanistan and Iraq."

"The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own," the executive summary said.

"Interrogation techniques such as stripping detainees of their clothes, placing them in stress positions and using military working dogs to intimidate them appeared in Iraq only after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and at (Guantanamo)."

There were many of us who argued at the time that this did not sound like the work of a few bad apples as the techniques being used in locations as far apart as Cuba and Iraq were almost identical.

And the report states that the techniques were taken from the Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape program, or SERE, which trains U.S. soldiers to resist enemy interrogation that does not conform to the Geneva Conventions or international law.

Even John McCain has spoken about in disgust at what the report states:

"These policies are wrong and must never be repeated," McCain, who last month ended an unsuccessful bid for the White House, said in a statement released with the executive summary.

McCain said the report revealed an "inexcusable link between abusive interrogation techniques used by our enemies who ignored the Geneva Conventions and interrogation policy for detainees in U.S. custody."

There were many right wing loons who used to visit this site and argue that there was no proof whatsoever that this was systemic, despite the fact that the same tactics were being used wherever in the world the US was holding prisoners.

I am pleased that even John McCain now accepts what the knee jerk defenders of torture always denied. This was not the result of a few bad apples, it was the result of a decision by Donald Rumsfeld and others which ricocheted down the food chain.

Click title for full article.


Ingrid said...

Kel, you might want to check out Vincent Bugliosi:

you probably want to post that too..


Kel said...

Thanks for that Ingrid. I have read the case he makes before. He is right, but nothing will ever be done about it.