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And, yes, I DO take it personally: I never thought my country would be the proprietor of a bona fide chamber of horrors [UPDATE: Jonathan Turley]
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I never thought my country would be the proprietor of a bona fide chamber of horrors [UPDATE: Jonathan Turley]

guess what...? everything those of us who have been paying attention THOUGHT has been happening has ACTUALLY been happening...

sometimes i'd really rather be wrong, dontcha know...?

As the session begins, the detainee stands naked, except for a hood covering his head. Guards shackle his arms and legs, then slip a small collar around his neck. The collar will be used later; according to CIA guidelines for interrogations, it will serve as a handle for slamming the detainee's head against a wall.

After removing the hood, the interrogator opens with a slap across the face -- to get the detainee's attention -- followed by other slaps, the guidelines state. Next comes the head-slamming, or "walling," which can be tried once "to make a point," or repeated again and again.

"Twenty or thirty times consecutively" is permissible, the guidelines say, "if the interrogator requires a more significant response to a question." And if that fails, there are far harsher techniques to be tried.

Five years after the CIA's secret detention program came to light, much is known about the spy agency's decision to use harsh techniques, including waterboarding, to pry information from alleged al-Qaeda leaders. Now, with the release late Monday of guidelines for interrogating high-value detainees, the agency has provided -- in its own words -- the first detailed description of the step-by-step procedures used to systematically crush a detainee's will to resist by eliciting stress, exhaustion and fear.

lovely, eh...? and that ain't all...
In 2002, Iraqi Bisher al-Rawi, a permanent resident of Great Britain, was detained by local and CIA officials in the airport in the Republic of Gambia where he had legitimate, work-related business. Mr. al-Rawi recalls of his captors, detailed in In a court filing dated August, 2007, by the ACLU on behalf of five detainees who had been in US custody, or under US authority at various times:
“Then, without speaking, one of his escorts began to gently rub Mr. al-Rawi’s feet as they waited. The kindness of the gesture took Mr. al-Rawi by surprise and seemed to be almost apologetic in nature. Although he could have no idea of what was about to unfold, it was at this point that Mr. al-Rawi became convinced that something awful was about to happen.

After some time, the two Gambian officials stood up and, with Mr. al-Rawi between them, began to walk forward. They released him momentarily but then he was immediately grabbed from behind by two other men and dragged into a small, dark room located somewhere on the perimeter of the airport. In this room, several men and women – hooded and using flashlights to guide them – removed Mr. al-Rawi’s handcuffs and shackles, cut off all his clothes, and dressed him in diapers and different clothing. His handcuffs and shackles were replaced with new ones that were part of some sort of restraining harness. Something was then placed in or around his ears that impaired his hearing and both a blindfold and goggles were placed over his eyes. Mr. al-Rawi was then roughly manhandled on board a waiting aircraft, and once inside was restrained on a stretcher-like platform. For the duration of flight Mr. al-Rawi was unable to move or change position. He was also denied access to food, water, or a toilet. It was all he could do to keep himself from screaming.”

kinda makes the chills run up and down my spine...

as does this...

From the same ACLU legal filing comes the detention of Ahmed Agiza, a 45-year-old pharmacist and Egyptian citizen who had sought asylum in Sweden in 2000 to escape retribution for filing a lawsuit against the Egyptian government. The legal action was a result of torture Mr. Agiza endured while being interrogated about associations of a relative, and through no dubious or illegal actions of his own.

Declared to be a security risk, with no reason given to him or his appointed legal representative, Mr. Agiza was ordered to leave Sweden, and was met by US officials upon his expulsion. He recalls the encounter:

“All of the men wore dark hoods and were dressed in civilian clothes,” the report states. “Mr. Agiza was brought into a small room. There the men conducted a physical search, forcibly sliced off his clothes, including his underwear, inserted suppositories into his rectum, fitted him with a diaper, dressed him in overalls, blindfolded him, and placed a hood over his head. One of the men photographed the whole process.”

land of the free and home of the brave depraved...


jonathan turley on olbermann last night via raw story...
“It’s a very curious mandate,” law professor Jonathan Turley told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Tuesday. “I don’t see how he can possibly do what Holder’s asking him to do. … The question here is whether [Special Prosecutor John] Durham will have the leeway — and, frankly, the courage — to recognize the obvious.”

“It’s a bizarre thing for a professional prosecutor to do,” explained Turley, “to go in and say, ‘I’m going to look at a program that’s based on what is a well-defined war crime, and I’m going to see if any of these people went beyond what was authorized by people who were talking about a war crime.’”

“He’s got what are all the elements of a crime,” Turley emphasized, “including dead bodies, by all reports, and the question is, is he going to go after those sort of low-lying fruit targets who went too far, or is he going to go after the people who really set this thing in motion.”

yes, it IS bizarre but at least it's at least a tiny step in the right direction, something that wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell pre-obama...

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