Torture, American style

A great article on the appalling treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo:

By Robert Scheer

Ah

yes, those torture confessions have proved so useful. That, at least,

was the claim of our president in justifying one of the most egregious

assaults ever on this nation’s commitment to the rule of law. But now

comes news that charges have been dropped against the so-called Sept.

11 attacks’ 20th hijacker, one of dozens so identified, because the

“evidence” he supplied under torture and later recanted is not credible

enough to go to trial.

That fact, of

course, will not compel President Bush to cut the tortured prisoner

loose. After all, Saudi citizen Mohammed al-Qahtani has only been held

in confinement for more than six years without being charged with a

crime, and without being allowed to confront his accusers in a court of

law.

The fact that the

information produced is worthless—as evidenced by Qahtani, once driven

insane, naming everyone around him in the camp as a major al-Qaida

operative—will not deter those who condone torture. But others expert

in these matters, including presumptive Republican presidential nominee

John McCain, will recoil from such tactics.

It was the

treatment of Qahtani and other prisoners, as witnessed by horrified

U.S. Navy Department investigators at Guantanamo, that got the

attention of the Navy’s then-General Counsel Alberto J. Mora. In one of

those all too rare examples of true heroism that makes one proud to be

an American, Mora challenged the Bush administration to practice the

human rights standards that America proclaims to the world. But Bush

would stay true to his own values: “Any activity we conduct is within

the law,” Bush stated in November 2005, adding, “We do not torture.”

Read more….

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.