Monday, April 27, 2009

This Week's Albany Journal POINT-COUNTERPOINT: Should we prosecute war criminals from the Bush Administration?

Hatred. Obsessive hatred. The issue of torture of terrorists is based on the liberal left obsessive hatred of George W. Bush, apparently is a genetic defect they cannot control.


Making an issue of a few incidences of torture that occurred during the Bush administration is their attempt to harass and degrade the success of Bush in protecting our country from the terroristic attacks that began as far back as 1973.

Understand that I do not in any way defend abuse; but, on the other hand, I have no problem with torture so long as it is not abusive. Examples of putting underwear on a prisoner's head, striping him of his clothing, depriving him of sleep or putting an insect near him as being abusive torture are ridiculous. Psychological and physical torture (short of permanent damage or injury) are proven successful methods for getting intelligence.

TRUTH BE KNOWN, leftist do not give a rat's behind about people being tortured or killed. Anyone hear any liberal outcry over South Vietnamese tortured and killed by communists, or the one to three million Cambodians, Laotians and South Vietnamese killed in the 1970's after we were pulled out of Vietnam? Or over the Kurds killed by Saddam Hussein? Or over even all the Americans kidnaped and killed by terrorists over the past 35 years? Has there been a single article written or protest sponsored by a liberal over all the beheadings, some of which were broadcasted over internet?

A typical liberal argument is that our treatment of captured terrorists makes them hate us more. Well, kiss my grits!! How much more hatred can you stand? They are already sworn to kill any heathen, which includes all American men, women and children. I'd say that is pretty complete.

Weakness invites contempt. And to treat the sworn-to-kill-us terrorists as common criminals is definitely a sign of weakness in their perspective. If they are treated to three meals a day, provided with television, nice clean beds and a long American criminal proceeding in air conditioned courtrooms, rather than as the prisoners of war they really are, they will be flocking to the U.S. because that is better treatment than they get in their own semi-civilized world.

And how many attacks in our own country, how may tens of thousands of dead Americans, will it take for the liberals to change their weak minds about the true nature of terrorists?

For 30 years, our embassies were being bombed, Americans were being kidnaped, tortured and killed around the world. Remember the World Trade Center was bombed by terrorists the first time nine years before September 11, 2001. The Clinton administration chose to treat that as criminal acts. Even when the USS Cole - a warship of the U.S. Navy, for goodness sake! - was attacked, Clinton's reaction was simply to send a few FBI agents! After all, the perpetrators only mere criminals.
Then came 9/11 in 2001, and we had a new President that recognized war when he saw it. We began fighting back against the world-wide terrorism that had been allowed to fester since the days of Carter (our first president to kow-tow to dictators). And we began to fight fire with fire.

And don't give me the sorry, lame complaint of "racism"!

There may be, unfortunately, a few isolated incidences of abuse of prisoners; but have there been any incidences of prisoners under our care being beheaded? Any cases of dead, naked bodies of terrorists hung on bridges for display? Any cases of us dragging naked prisoners down the street for public viewing? Any cases of us using women and children to kill and main innocent citizens?

On the other hand, has the Brooklyn Bridge been blown up yet? Has the Holland Tunnel in New York been destroyed? Any more U.S. embassies bombed?

The terrorists of the world have declared to destroy Western (i. e., non-Islamic) Civilization and America and Americans in particular. Of course, the Obama administration has declared there are no terrorists and the war against terrorism is over. (The "we ain't got no ganzes" approach.) I am sure that is going to make them love us all the more.

You can call a jackass whatever you wish, but it is still a jackass and will have to be handled like a jackass. To paraphrase the late Lester Maddox, if you want an easier, cleaner war against terrorism, we will have to find a better class of terrorists.



1. IT WASN'T JUST TORTURE: The crimes of the Bush Administration included kidnapping, rape, and murder. There were over 100 deaths of detainees, at least 34 homicides:

"Detainee was found unresponsive restrained in his cell. Death was due to blunt force injuries to lower extremities ... . Contusions and abrasions on forehead, nose, head, behind ear, neck, abdomen, buttock, elbow, thigh, knee, foot, toe, hemorrhage on rib area and leg."

Department of Defense Report of 12/10/2002 murder at Bagram, Afghanistan.

"Died as a result of asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) due to strangulation as evidenced by the recently fractured hyoid bone in the neck and soft tissue hemorrhage extending downward to the level of the right thyroid cartilage. Autopsy revealed bone fracture, rib fractures, contusions in mid abdomen, back and buttocks.... No evidence of defense injuries ... . Manner of death is homicide...."

DOD 003329 Report of homicide of Iraqi in US custody at Whitehorse Detention Facility, Iraq, 6/6/2003.

"... I was handcuffed, blindfolded and severely beaten.... I saw men dressed in black, wearing black ski masks.... . I was put in a diaper, a belt with chains to my wrists and ankles, earmuffs, eye pads, a blindfold and a hood. I was thrown into a plane, and my legs and arms were spread-eagled and secured to the floor.... [and flown] to Afghanistan.

... , I was dragged to the interrogation room, where a feeding tube was forced through my nose into my stomach. I became extremely ill, suffering the worst pain of my life....
I was ... warned that I was never to mention what had happened because the Americans were determined to keep the affair a secret...."

Statement of man kidnapped and held for five months.

2. ALL CRIMES ARE IN THE PAST: It's suggested that we "look forward" and not hold torturers accountable. No one in their right mind argues that a criminal who committed murder or rape should be set free because we shouldn't look backward. In criminal law, backward is the only direction we look. We must prosecute everybody from President Bush- who authorized crimes- to the interrogators who tortured and killed detainees, so that future order givers and takers will know that they will be held to account.

3. THERE IS NO "GOOD FAITH DEFENSE" TO MURDER, KIDNAPPING, RAPE AND TORTURE: President Obama is wrong when he states that CIA agents should not be held to account if they were relying in "good faith" on memos from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. Nazi war criminals got nowhere at the Nuremberg trials with the "just following orders" defense. Persons who commit horrific crimes should not be let off the hook because their superiors are also criminals. Our country has always required a higher standard-- we prosecuted soldiers who committed rape and murder in Iraq. When CIA agents abused detainees, FBI Director Robert Mueller ordered his agents to leave the room and not to participate in the crimes.

4. IT'S NOT HOW EFFECTIVE TORTURE IS; IT'S ABOUT WHO WE ARE: Intelligence professionals say that effective interrogation techniques are lawful and completely different from the criminal acts committed under the Bush regime. They also contend that torture doesn't produce accurate information- the victims will say anything to get the torture to stop. Dick Cheney contends that torture was effective in providing valuable intelligence. If he is right- if the ends justify the means- then interrogators could torture, maim and kill the infant children of detainees in their presence until they talk. But that's not who we are. In 1791 "cruel and unusual punishments" were prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. After World War II, America tried Nazis for crimes against humanity and we executed Japanese war criminals who used waterboarding. Our nation has adopted Geneva Conventions prohibiting abuse of prisoners. Our laws prohibit rape, kidnaping, torture, and murder. In 1995 we didn't torture Timothy McVeigh or Terry Nichols to find out if others were involved after they blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, killing 168 men, women and children They were afforded fair trials with all of the rights of American Due Process..

5. TORTURE STRENGTHENS OUR ENEMIES: Abusing detainees has strengthened our enemies by giving them valuable recruiting tools By putting torturers and murderers on trial, we can show the world that we are a nation under the rule of law- that the phrase "with liberty and justice for all" is more than just words. Al Qaida's worst nightmare isn't a predator drone- it's an America which treats Muslim prisoners with dignity and affords them due process of law- the same rights given to white Christian Americans like Timothy McVeigh.


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