Civil Liberties

Pay No Attention to the Man Holding Jumper Cables

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Right on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court Guantanamo Bay case, Physicians for Human Rights released a study today documenting torture by U.S. forces:

In a 121-page report, the doctors' group said that it uncovered medical evidence of torture, including beatings, electric shock, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, sodomy and scores of other abuses.

The group's expectations, however, are a little tame in light of its findings:

Based on its investigation, the report calls on the U.S. government to issue a formal apology to detainees subject to torture and ill treatment by the military since fall 2001 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

Physicians for Human Rights is also calling for the Bush Administration to "Repudiate all forms of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." Three cheers for toothless resolutions!

Contributing Editor Cathy Young on the logic of torture here.

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  1. This may be one of the few issues that John McCain is better on than a majority of Republicans.

  2. > detainees subject to torture and ill treatment by the
    > military since fall 2001

    Maybe they’ll go home as war heroes and run for president.

  3. You should also mention the involvement in this report of retired US Major General Antonio Taguba.

    Otherwise the Administration apologists will just dismiss this report as just coming from a bunch of ACLU physicians and bleeding hearts.

    The apologists will still dismiss the report anyway, but at least they’ll have to go through the motions of spitting on a retired US Major General as a phony soldier or something.

  4. Maybe they’ll go home as war heroes and run for president.

    Ouch! Full of win, but of the acerbic variety that makes one wince even while being impressed.

  5. This may be one of the few issues that John McCain is better on than a majority of Republicans.

    And considering that his position basically blows, what does that say about the humanity of the modern GOP?

  6. This may be one of the few issues that John McCain is better on than a majority of Republicans.

    McCain’s position is “Talk a lot about how I oppose torture, but then support it, and support torturers.”

    The standard GOP position is “Support torture and torturers without first talking about how we oppose it.”

    Since the only difference between these two positions is McCain’s willingness to lie for the sake of his image, I don’t really see how his position is that much better.

  7. How do you get medical evidence of sexual humiliation?

  8. Bush to McCain, “Rub my nipples while I torture this little piggy!”

  9. Considering that in terms of extracting information, torture is a really shitty method (people will say anything to get you to stop), I suspect that most torture that occurs is probably more “prisoner abuse” and less “tell me where the secret codes are Mr. Powers or you go in the tank with the sharks with frikkin’ laser beams on their heads”.

    Not that that’s any better.

  10. “You better stop that right this second.”

    “Or?”

    “Or we’ll send you another strongly worded letter.”

  11. “Or we’ll send you another strongly worded letter.”

    Hey! That’s my line!!!

  12. Sodomy?!!?!

  13. “sexual humiliation”

    Does this mean being stripped naked in front of a woman? Violation of silly taboos or mores does not torture make. I am not justifying actual torture (if there was actual torture) but I need to know what they actually mean by “sexual humiliation”. Porn videos are not torture. Violating misogynist tradition is not torture.

  14. “Sodomy?!!?!”

    Yeah, prison rape. You know that human rights abuse Americans seem to love so much.

  15. As I read the article, the “sexual humiliation” angle arises because the team of physicians included [unfortunately] practitioners of the quackery called psychiatry.

    When people showed evidence of torture, they had them talk to shrinks, and when they told stories of sexual humiliation, the shrinks believed them.

    I think that part of the story is fairly weak, too, but we shouldn’t let that distract us from the non-quack elements of this story.

  16. Unfortunately, the sexual humiliation and other non-verifiable, verified claims will allow opponents to cast doubt on the report without addressing the substance of the other findings. And I don’t expect major media outlets to actually analyze the report.

  17. Does this mean being stripped naked in front of a woman?

    If it’s followed by the ridiculing the size and girth of the member, then yeah.

    More seriously, people who have never been subjected to such treatment *against their will* have little frame of reference for how nasty it is and to what extent it would effect you psychologically. Many rape victims say that the worst part of their experience is being stripped against their will, rather than the act of penetration.

  18. WAR CRIMES
    Bush, Cheney, and Rummy, up against the wall.

    Contributing Editor Cathy Young on the logic of torture
    From 2006. We don’t hear much from the equivocal Ms. Young. these days.

  19. “They took off even my underwear. They asked me to do some movements that make me look in a very bad way so they can take photographs. … They were trying to make me look like an animal,” Laith told examiners, according to the report.

    Seems like the photographs would be proof enough of these “unverifiable claims”.

  20. “More seriously, people who have never been subjected to such treatment *against their will* have little frame of reference for how nasty it is and to what extent it would effect you psychologically.”

    OK, so what if that woman happened to be a qualified physician who was checking the inmate for ailments, wounds, or checking the inmate to see if he was hiding a weapon? I have met female physicians. They do exist.

  21. Hello: beatings, shock treatments, and sodomy. Why are we arguing over whatever the hell “sexual humiliation” means? I’m not sure my ideas of what it means constitutes “torture” either, but there’s beatings, shock treatments, and sodomy to deal with first. According to the report.

  22. WAR CRIMES
    Bush, Cheney, and Rummy, up against the wall.

    I believe the correct phrasing is

    Up against the wall, motherfuckers.

    Other than that, yeah.

  23. ???????????????,

    Okay, so what if the TSA officer is a trained and qualified man doing a strip search of your 18 year old daughter, to check for weapons or contraband? Any problem with that?

  24. I generally despise frothing lefty types who shout “war crime!” at the drop of a bomb (and generally, it has to be an American bomb) but this is one case where I have to say they are completely right. Bush, Rumsfeld et. al. should be arrested and do the perp walk.

  25. It’s a report based on 11 people, all of whom have been free for at least two years. Can there really be “medical evidence” for any of these claims? (Honest question. I’m not a doctor.)

  26. We need to pass a Constitutional Amendment requiring that the Constitution and all of its Amendments be followed.

  27. “It’s a report based on 11 people, all of whom have been free for at least two years. Can there really be “medical evidence” for any of these claims? (Honest question. I’m not a doctor.)”

    If I make a movie about then you know it is true.

  28. It’s a report based on 11 people, all of whom have been free for at least two years. Can there really be “medical evidence” for any of these claims?

    Good question.

    Another couple of questions:

    What’s the “medical evidence” that whatever was done to these guys, was done by US personnel? I’m thinking especially of the sodomy, here.

    And is “humiliation” really torture? I think that’s really defining torture down.

    Basically, this report is a good example of why you don’t want to mix your strong evidence/arguments with weak ones.

    If they have actual medical evidence of actual torture by actual US personnel, you should limit your report to that, and not throw in a bunch of stuff that, however reprehensible, isn’t torture, and/or can’t be tied to US actions.

    And, of course, anyone in the US chain of command who can be shown to have participated in actual torture should be tried and imprisoned.

  29. “sexual humiliation”

    Does this mean being stripped naked in front of a woman? Violation of silly taboos or mores does not torture make…OK, so what if that woman happened to be a qualified physician who was checking the inmate for ailments, wounds, or checking the inmate to see if he was hiding a weapon?

    I see this response a lot – there are charges made regarding torture or prisoner abuse, and people with a certain mindset immediately set about trying to think up the most harmless act that could plausibly fit under the term in question.

    “Sexual humiliation” = being searched for weapons.

    I guess when we read “electric shocks,” we should think “made them lick a 9 volt battery.”

    “Beating” = “a couple slaps across the back of the head?”

    “Waterboarding” = “just like surfing”

    “Temperature control” = “turning the air conditioner up”

    “Sleep deprivation” = “keeping them up late”

    You see it in every discussion of torture.

  30. Okay, so what if the TSA officer is a trained and qualified

    Well, you meet that standard first and we’ll discuss the rest of it.

    If we really are doing these things, as I am becoming more and more inclined to believe, then it’s time to go through the command structure with a chainsaw and start sending motherfuckers to jail left and right. Start at the top and work our way down through the ranks. Fill Leavenworth up with generals and field grade officers and I guarantee you’ll get the military’s attention. Forget the bullshit about jailing a bunch of enlisted and letting the officers retire. That doesn’t get the point across. It may not change the administration’s policy, but if the guys that actually have to get their hands bloody look up and say “I’m not going to jail for you” it’ll stop.

    However, I want to see more evidence than interviews 2 years after the fact. Yeah, spanky may have some scars suggestive of abuse, but so what? I’m covered with scars and I can make up neat stories about how I got them if I had sufficient motivation.

  31. In addition to what Joe says above, I think one thing to keep in mind with regard to the “sexual humiliation” discussion is that the international accords which prohibit torture also typically prohibit degrading treatment.

    So if you’re investigating US activities that violate international accords, it’s appropriate to investigate degrading treatment.

    It’s just another measure of the lawlessness and barbarism of the Bush administration that we are spending our time haggling over whether violations of international law are worth our notice if nobody loses a limb or an organ. And that’s where we are: until somebody shows up with his face burned off or his arms and legs amputated, the GOP and Administration apologists will continue to move the goalposts away from where they should be [the letter of international agreements and the Constitution] and towards Kafkaesque absurdities [“Waterboarding and electric shocks and mock executions and threats to kill family members don’t shock our consciences, so therefore they aren’t illegal”].

  32. What’s the “medical evidence” that whatever was done to these guys, was done by US personnel? I’m thinking especially of the sodomy, here.

    Don’t ask, don’t tell and don’t persue.

    Let’s keep the government out of the detention cell of adults, shall we?

  33. It may not change the administration’s policy, but if the guys that actually have to get their hands bloody look up and say “I’m not going to jail for you” it’ll stop.

    One thing I have to say here:

    The military stood up to Bush and refused to sign off on what he wanted.

    Members of every service and up and down the chain of command [and the FBI, too] have withheld their consent, issued official protests, whistleblown, resigned their commissions, etc., to try to stop what the Administration has sought to do.

    The problem is that W just casts these guys aside until he finds someone who will obey him.

    One of the many things I find outrageous about the McCain campaign is that Senator McCain continually talks about honor, but the men who have demonstrated honor in all of this are the guys who have resigned rather than go along. They’re the ones who are standing up for the honor of the US Armed Forces. And McCain stands with the other side.

  34. Oh, look, Guy Montag just provided another one.

    “Sodomy of prisoners” = consensual sex between inmates.

    You know how those Muslims men are!

    This prostration before the shapest end of the government stick is appalling.

  35. Why does the truth hate America?

  36. “And that’s where we are: until somebody shows up with his face burned off or his arms and legs amputated, the GOP and Administration apologists will continue to move the goalposts away from where they should be”

    I don’t think that would move too many conservatives. They see all of these people as anti-American bad guys, and so whatever they get they deserve. I mean, the conservatives don’t even want a habeas process to determine IF they are bad guys, because that would mean to help bad guys, who of course we cannot be certain if they are such unless…Or some shit. It’s amazing.

  37. Mike Riggs,

    The group’s expectations, however, are a little tame in light of its findings:

    If the history of the vast majority of such charges is any indication, the group makes no demands for concrete action because it knows it cannot actually substantiate the charges in any kind of legal proceeding or even in the court of public opinion.

    I haven’t read the real report but based on the article, I am willing to bet it doesn’t actually “document” anything but the unsubstantiated claims of of 11 people with axes to grind.

    Anyone want to take the bet?

  38. fluffy is dead on about the degradation-torture distinction. It’s bogus since we’ve signed treaties saying we won’t do either.

    I guess the conservative argument is that we never signed a treaty with these guys, but with all of these legit nations.

  39. I don’t see any actual evidence given except for this:

    All the subjects told examiners that they were subjected to multiple forms of torture or ill treatment that “often occurred in combination over a long period of time,” the report says.

    Given that Al Qaeda training manuals specifically instruct detainees to claim they were tortured, this doesn’t hold a lot of water. But I’m sure lots of people will want to believe it.

    Ironically, these are the same people who are quite notorious for operating real torture cells everywhere they go.

    Meanwhile, things we would call torture are routine in civilian prisons, but since that doesn’t make a convenient political football it gets 99% less attention.

  40. If somebody showed up with his face burned off and his limbs amputated, Lannon Shove would tell us that he’s better off than the people on the 94th floor of Tower 2, and Hannon Slove would tell us that we have no way of knowing that he didn’t amputate his own legs and burn off his own face.

  41. MNG,

    Are you truly unaware that countries who have not signed the so-called “Geneva Conventions” are not covered by them?

  42. In fact I’d bet most of the actual “torture” is endured by the guards themselves. They’ve reported that they are subjected to having feces and urine thrown at them every day, women are told they are subhuman, they’re spit at, and I be surprised if there haven’t been violent attacks on them as well.

  43. It’s a report based on 11 people, all of whom have been free for at least two years. Can there really be “medical evidence” for any of these claims? (Honest question. I’m not a doctor.)

    That’s the prolem with this report. It mixes valid claims (detainees with scars indicating electric shocks on their thumbs) with unverifiable claims (one detainee claimed to be physically scarred by sodomy, but wouldn’t allow the doctor to examine him) with claims that could be nonsense (detainees are hooded and or shackled–how else do you keep a person detained? On the other hand, prolonged shackling to a fixed object could be a stress position).

    Mixing the weak evidence dilutes the legitimacy of the report because there’s a pervasive sense that the investigators found what they were predisposed to find with no thought to counter-arguments.

  44. You know, Gitmo being what it is, I bet they have constant video surveillance.

    I think a good solution would be to create an independent panel, staffed by these human rights groups, that would review footage on an onoing basis. Then we’ll see who’s being abused and who isn’t.

  45. Given that Al Qaeda training manuals specifically instruct detainees to claim they were tortured, this doesn’t hold a lot of water. But I’m sure lots of people will want to believe it.

    I doubt all 11 people in this sample were al Qaeda members because they’ve all been released. It is possible–the Government has released some detainees only to find they are committing terrorist attacks afterwards. but still, 11 out of 11 seems unlikely.

  46. BTW, use of video has resulted in a number of civilian prisons discovering abuses by guards.

  47. Montag
    As I said, that is the conservative argument, and you being a conservative would be bound to make it. I didn’t say the argument was wrong but that conservatives make it.

    You are aware though that the very link you provide, after stating that only parties to the Geneva conventions are bound by it then states:
    “However, all parties to an armed conflict whether States or non-State actors are bound by international humanitarian law.”

    You think that international humanitarian law oks sodomy and beatings? Or heck, even sexual degradation? Make your case, I’d love to hear it.

  48. GM, I don’t mean this as snark but a legitimate question out of my own ignorance.

    Do the Geneva conventions apply to the captive’s country of origin, or country of capture?

  49. but still, 11 out of 11 seems unlikely.

    These aren’t the only 11 that have been released, they’re the 11 that were making complaints. It would not be surprising to find the 11 that are complaining have an agenda for doing so.

  50. Guy
    Here are some resources on International humanitarian law, as well as relevant US law, with which you can start to build your argument.

    http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2004/05/24/usint8614.htm

    (I should note that under the Hamden ruling the Geneva accords do apply to the Gitmo detainees, so that’s the law here I’m afraid, but let’s just assume they got it wrong and have some fun with this anyway, shall we my authoritarian friend?)

  51. I have downloaded the report and scanned it quickly. As I suspected, there are no photographs “documenting” the injuries.

    I have waded through about a half dozen of these supposed studies and not a one of them has actually provided evidence of anything beyond the authors hostility to Iraqi democracy.

  52. MNG,

    I am fully aware of everything written on that page that I provided the link for.

    In typical fashion, you have decided that I have an opinion by gratuitious assertion nad then began arguing with yourself.

    brotherben,

    They apply to the country that the person is in allegiance to, i.e., WWII Germans captured in france still count as in the service of the German government, Americans in service of the Canadian Royal Air Force, if captured by the Germans or Italians, counted as Canadian service members.

    The non-uniformed sabatours in the service of the German military, captured on American soil, counted as German spies.

    Non-nationstates can not be party to the Conventions, as pointed out at the top of the link given.

  53. Is this really different than what happens to American prisoners in America?

  54. HRW is supposed to be an authoratitive source?

    At least I provided you with the official ICRC page.

    What is next? Something from IVAW?

  55. joe,

    If somebody showed up with his face burned off and his limbs amputated…

    You mean like that girl you raped in college. Really, she told me all about it.

    Or maybe I’m lying.

    Interesting that you just assume that an organization with a long history of attacking liberal democracy for the benefit of various autocracies is automatically telling the truth when it comes to criticizing the U.S.

    Face it joe. You actually do not care. You’re hero John Kerry lied about this back in the 70’s, actually going so far as to break national and international law to do it, and you still think he’s the most admirable person. This is a weapon you can use and that is all that concerns you. The fact that some actual human being must carry the moral burden of these accusations troubles you not in the least.

    I call you a coward. If you are so convinced that these that you’ve never read are valid, I call on you to call and write all your federal representatives and demand an immediate criminal investigation into the charges.

    Put up or shut up joe.

  56. Yawn.

    The opnions of people who supported invading Iraq regarding the strength of evidence do not weigh terribly on mind.

    But thanks for making it clear that this is all about partisan politics for you.

    joe, the democracy-hating, Arab-hating liberal who really doesn’t have any opinion about whether torturing people is O.K.

  57. SL,

    The joe is on this thread?

    Has Mr. hammer and sickle Democrat accused everybody disagreeing with him of being partisan yet?

    Usually comes right after Mr. Nice Guy calling me some sort of authoritarian.

  58. You know, Gitmo being what it is, I bet they have constant video surveillance.

    I think a good solution would be to create an independent panel, staffed by these human rights groups, that would review footage on an onoing basis. Then we’ll see who’s being abused and who isn’t.

    You know, torturers, being who they are, often lose or destroy evidence of their deeds.

    But you knew that, didn’t you?

  59. There is no better feeling that knowing Guy Montag is siding with your opponent.

  60. guy, if the boot fits, and you enjoy licking it…

  61. Whoa, whoa fellas. If we can’t keep it civil…

  62. You know, before even reading this thread, I was certain of three things:

    1. RC Dean, Shannon Love, TallDave, and Guy Montag would find reasons to dispute the report’s claims

    2. Fluffy, joe, Mr Nice Guy, and most of the folks would find reasons to support the report’s claims

    3. None of these people would actually read the report.

    Let’s cast aside the partisan position-bundling, people.

  63. I call you a coward. If you are so convinced that these that you’ve never read are valid, I call on you to call and write all your federal representatives and demand an immediate criminal investigation into the charges.

    First, name-calling does not enhance your argument, Shannon Love. It makes it sound like you don’t have one.

    Second, we are all well aware that the administration universally hides/destroys/covers up evidence relating to its interrogation and other practices at Gitmo. So to demand concrete evidence from those alleging torture, when the only possible source of such evidence is through the administration, is not reasonable.

  64. You know, torturers, being who they are, often lose or destroy evidence of their deeds. But you knew that, didn’t you?

    Nuh-uh. These aren’t secret CIA interrogations. Videos would be timestamped, any missing footage would be grounds for suspicion.

  65. Chris Potter,

    I read the CNN article H&R linked to. CNN, while flawed, is still considered by me to be a credible news source. Since I don’t have time to read every goddam report in the world I often rely on credible summaries.

    You?

  66. “Violation of silly taboos or mores does not torture make.”

    Oh really? How would you feel if captured American women were paraded naked in front of their Iraqi guards? Or American men, for that matter.

    To South Pacific islanders who wear little clothing, the western taboo about public nudity might seem silly. To you and me and almost every other American, it isn’t silly at all.

  67. You know, even before reading his post, I was certain of one thing: Chris Potter would make wild conspiracy theories, accuse everyone of ignorance, and claim we can’t expect any evidence of accusations.

  68. So, who’s names do you think would pop up in the threads about Abu Ghraib, and what positions would they be arguing?

    I don’t mind that my position on this can be foretold. I don’t mind that at all.

  69. Nuh-uh. These aren’t secret CIA interrogations. Videos would be timestamped, any missing footage would be grounds for suspicion.

    Come on, this is idiotic.

    The Senate admits that inmates at Guantanamo were hidden from the Red Cross.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/41394.html

    Are you seriously asserting that an administration willing to hide inmates from the Red Cross wouldn’t be willing to hold inmates in areas with no cameras?

    The British admit that US rendition flights landed on their soil.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0222/p99s01-duts.html

    You know, the same rendition flights we said never happened?

    Are you seriously telling me that the Bush administration would set up an entire system of secret detention and secret transport – but then would tape the whole thing and hand out the tapes on request to human rights organizations?

  70. Fluffy,

    Idiotic is confusing secret interrogations with routine prisoner conditions.

  71. The Senate admits that inmates at Guantanamo were hidden from the Red Cross

    Gee, and how did they find that out? Someone recorded the minutes at a meeting.

  72. “…any missing footage would be grounds for suspicion.”

    So how’s that worked out in the past with missing video footage, audio, e-mails, etc. from law enforcement, military, or other government officials?

  73. This is interesting:

    Since the beginning of the current war in Afghanistan, 775 detainees have been brought to Guantanamo, approximately 420 of which have been released without charge. As of May 2008, approximately 270 detainees remain.[9] More than a fifth are cleared for release but may have to wait months or years because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to persuade countries to accept them, according to officials and defense lawyers.

    Heh. I wonder how many will never be accepted by any country, and what we’re going to do with them.

  74. So how’s that worked out in the past with missing video footage, audio, e-mails, etc. from law enforcement, military, or other government officials?

    Nixon was impeached over it.

  75. Nixon was impeached over it.

    Please rephrase fro accuracy.

  76. OK, ok, “impeachment hearing were opened over it and Nixon was forced to resign.”

    BTW, your insight the other day has been extremely valuable and I must thank you again for it.

  77. BTW, your insight the other day has been extremely valuable and I must thank you again for it.

    Which one? And you are welcome for whatever it was.

  78. TallDave,
    While I agree that this accusation of torture is probably a lie from the left wing media, shouldn’t you be focusing your argument on the moral imperative of using torture to keep us safe? After all why don’t you think we have had any terror attacks since two buildings were destroyed on 9/11. Torture has been used stop numerous terror attacks and we owe our security to the great patriots willing to do some impolite things to terrorist in secret prisons.

  79. Torture has been used stop numerous terror attacks

    Umm. Sure it has. Because if you torture a guy until he tells you stuff, and a terrorist attack doesn’t happen, that means it’s okay to torture people! Do you see the logical fallacy here, or are you just being a smartass?

  80. http://www.idahostatesman.com/273/story/416651.html

    How about at Bagram prison?

    Was everything that happened there taped too?

    Oh, and Hank has to be a parody poster. How else can we explain that in the course of one small paragraph he asserts both that the accusation that torture has occured is a left-wing lie, and that torture has prevented terrorist attacks?

  81. I don’t mind that my position on this can be foretold. I don’t mind that at all.

    Same here.

    Now, on the narrow question of whether a particular allegation by a particular person can be believed, yeah, there’s room for a sliding scale of positions. But in general, yeah, I don’t mind at all that I’m on the opposite side of Shannon Love, Guy Montag, and TallDave.

  82. I said this particular accusation is probably a lie…I do encourage TallDave to admit that yes we have had to use torture some over the last few years…asymetric warfare coordinated by islamo fascist can only be countered with toughness and limp wristed lefties can’t deal with that reality.

  83. The opnions of people who supported invading Iraq regarding the strength of evidence do not weigh terribly on mind.

    Still haven’t followed that link to the article on the Rockefeller report, noting that the report states that the major claims of the administration in making the case for invading Iraq were substantiated by intelligence, eh, joe?

    Heh. I wonder how many will never be accepted by any country, and what we’re going to do with them.

    I suggest asking for volunteers willing to sponsor them in this country.

    You know, before even reading this thread, I was certain of three things:

    I dunno, what’s wrong with this:

    Basically, this report is a good example of why you don’t want to mix your strong evidence/arguments with weak ones.

    or this:

    And, of course, anyone in the US chain of command who can be shown to have participated in actual torture should be tried and imprisoned.

  84. So how’s that worked out in the past with missing video footage, audio, e-mails, etc. from law enforcement, military, or other government officials?

    Nixon was impeached over it.

    TallDave,
    Nixon was never impeached.

    What became of all of the “lost” E-mails from this administration? If present court rulings stand, we’ll never find out, will we? Where are those videotapes that showed how the waterborading the CIA did on Abu Zubaydah and another al-Qaida detainee wasn’t torture? Destroyed, right?

    How fucking stupid are you? No that’s not a rhetorical question. I’d like your opinion of your own intelligence.

  85. RC, you mean the one that stated that every claim made by the administration about WMDs in Iraq ignored the significant statements of doubt within the intelligence community?

    You can’t even stop lying now, can you? Even when you link to a report that explicitly contradicts what you claim, you just expect everyone to buy your bullshit.

  86. So, when did Major General Anthony Taguba, the general that was assigned by the Defense Department to investigate Abu Ghraib, and who coproduced this report, become “the left-wing media?”

    Wait, I know – it was precisely at the moment he issued his report about torture by Americans in Iraq, which stated that is was systematic and authorized by higher authorities.

    That’s probably why he was retired shortly thereafter.

  87. RC Dean, more full of shit than a lagoon on a pig farm.

    SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE UNITED STATES SENATEREPORT ON THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY’S PREWAR INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENTS ON IRAQCONCLUSIONSOVERALL CONCLUSIONS – WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION(U)

    Conclusion 1. Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence.(U) The major key judgments in the NIE, particularly that Iraq “is reconstituting its nuclear program,” “has chemical and biological weapons,” was developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “probably intended to deliver biological warfare agents,” and that “all key aspects – research & development (R&D), production, and weaponization – of Iraq’s offensive biological weapons (BW) program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War,” either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting provided to the Committee. The assessments regarding Iraq’s continued development of prohibited ballistic missiles were reasonable and did accurately describe the underlying intelligence.(U) The assessment that Iraq “is reconstituting its nuclear program” was not supported by the intelligence provided to the Committee. The intelligence reporting did show that Iraq was procuring dual-use equipment that had potential nuclear applications, but all of the equipment had conventional military or industrial applications. In addition, none of the intelligence reporting indicated that the equipment was being procured for suspect nuclear facilities. Intelligence reporting also showed that former Iraqi nuclear scientists continued to work at former nuclear facilities and organizations, but the reporting did not show that this cadre of nuclear personnel had recently been regrouped or enhanced as stated in the NIE, nor did it suggest that they were engaged in work related to a nuclear weapons program.(U) The statement in the key judgments of the NIE that “Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons” overstated both what was known and what intelligence analysts judged about Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons holdings.

  88. I oppose torture. I’m also waiting for Physicians for Human Rights to speak out against ECT.

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