Tuesday, December 09, 2014

And Today The Evidence is Out

From an old post

And here's another

And Another


  1. We've known for years that the Americans were running a chain of gulags around the world and waterboarding prisoners. There's nothing new here. (It's interesting to note that the leader of ISIL/ISIS/IS, Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi, spent a couple of years in such a camp and before emerging as a serial beheader was a history teacher with no obvious thirst for blood.)

  2. It's not that they were 'just' waterboarding prisoners though - there are plenty of new revelations here.

    The sheer brutality and extent of the torture is new, and goes far beyond the "it's only humiliation" reporting of the likes of Fox News.

    It's not just waterboarding either, there is unambiguous torture e.g. shackling people in standing positions for days on end on broken limbs.

    There's also incredible incompetence - such as taking days to realise that some of the detainees were in fact CIA moles.

    Finally, to top it off, one in five were innocent.

    It's an absolute outrage and if there was any justice, all involved should be arrested the moment they fly outside of the US. The only person in jail so far is a whistleblower.

  3. just checking Co - l so if 1 in 5 were innocent does that mean 4 out of 5 were guilty? Not a bad statistic when looked at that way although please be assured that I am in no way condoning torture. It is indeed abhorrent. My comment is more about the way statistics can be misused or misconstrued depending on the spin put on them.

    1. Certainly a bad statistic, in any meaningful use of that adjective. None of these people saw the inside of a court - all were denied due process. Which judicial system authorises (well, outside the USA, Saudi, Egypt etc) ritual humiliation, physical and sexual abuse? The use of judicial terminology obscures the fundamental offensiveness of what was routinely done (and probably still is). If people like the bestial Bruce Anderson (he who thought terrorists' children should be tortured to get them to talk) and Dick Cheney are justifying such criminal behaviour on such grounds, it confirms that the West has lost its moral compass.

  4. Strangely perhaps (I can think of no other word) the first post is from a time just before I started studying law, and have been studying it ever since - although in terms of mastery and philosophy, whatever bits of paper say, it is most certainly an area in which the more I learn, the less I know, the greater the volume of known unknowns becomes, and the more the unknown unknowns are as thieves in the night.

    But I think I am certain about one thing. In the scenario of the chained passengers finding themselves in England's green and pleasant airfields. It's not what would you do?

    It is what must you do?

  5. I rarely wax philosophic, but is this not the swinging of the pendulum?

    The strong prevail. The weak suffer. The weak find ways to unite. United, the weak prevail. The weak squander their win through disunity. The strong recover. The strong prevail. The weak suffer. And so it goes (thank you, Kurt, for that phrase).


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