Friday, April 24, 2009

Military Agency Warned Torture Could Produce Unreliable Information

WaPo: The military agency that helped to devise harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as "torture" in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon's chief lawyer and warned that it would produce "unreliable information."

"The unintended consequence of a U.S. policy that provides for the torture of prisoners is that it could be used by our adversaries as justification for the torture of captured U.S. personnel," says the document, an unsigned two-page attachment to a memo by the military's Joint Personnel Recovery Agency. Parts of the attachment, obtained in full by The Washington Post, were quoted in a Senate report on harsh interrogation released this week.

It remains unclear whether the attachment reached high-ranking officials in the Bush administration. But the document offers the clearest evidence that has come to light so far that those who helped formulate the harsh interrogation techniques voiced early concerns about the effectiveness of applying severe physical or psychological pressure.
Torture photos set to be released:
The Bush administration had repeatedly blocked through legal channels appeals from human rights groups for release of the pictures, which are held by the Army Criminal Investigation Division. But the Obama administration late yesterday lifted all legal obstacles and the pictures are to be published by 28 May.

The justice department has initially agreed to the release of 21 images of abuse at detention centres in Iraq and Afghanistan other than at Abu Ghraib and 23 other pictures. It added "the government is also processing for release a substantial number of other images". Up to 2,000 could be released. Guardian
Gibbs on possible backlash from photo release:

Brown Man has a thoughtful post on what is and isn't torture and the hypocrisy of indicting anyone in the Bush administration for this now:
What is with the sanctimony about torture?

Are these self righteous pundits serious? The United States of America has killed millions of people around the world in the name of democratic freedom, and we will kill many more before all of our bullets and bombs run out. To insist on some kind of twisted recollection of America's history, as though the spouting of a few ideological suppositions could bring life back to those who have been slaughtered by the hand of U.S. soldiers since the beginning of this country's history is the lowest kind of immorality, the type that allows the mind to release itself from the stricture of the facts in order to construct a past that aligns perfectly with one's cherished ideals.

Torture is not just waterboarding.

Torture is when you kill everybody in a village but an eight year old child who will have to live with the horrific sounds and smells of death as their entire community suddenly disappears.
Read the rest at Brown Man