A Harsh Light But No New Revelations On Guantánamo & Bush Torture Regime
For those of us who have written extensively about the so-called War on Terror and its demented bastard child, the Bush Torture Regime, the latest revelations about the detainees at Guantánamo Bay break little new ground but are a reminder that while things have gotten better under the Obama administration, the president has not broken completely with the past despite campaign promises to the contrary.
Oh, and most Americans, let alone bloggers, don't give a damn about any of this.
If you do perchance give a damn, here are highlights of the documents outlined in stories in The New York Times and The Guardian obtained by independent sources by way of Wikileaks:
* Demonstrably innocent people were interrogated because intelligence gathering in Afghanistan and Pakistan was haphazard.
* There were many cases of mistaken identity.
* Children, the senile elderly and mentally ill were among those wrongfully held.
* Some 172 detainees remain with little prospect of trial or release.
* The system at Gitmo was focused less on holding dangerous terrorists than extracting intelligence, virtually none of which was helpful.
* Interrogators willingly bought obviously falsified information.
* The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate is considered a terrorist organization by U.S. authorities.
The articles on the documents come hard on the heels of an exhaustive report that debunks the claims of Bush administration flunkies that torture only was used as a last resort on "the worst of the worst," which was its pet phrase, and seldom at that, assertions that collapsed under the weight of evidence as the years went on in no small part because "the worst of the worse" were tiny in number.
The report reveals, and is further corroborated by the documents vetted by The Times and The Guardian, that torture was routinely used and not necessarily to obtain intelligence but to exploit detainees by breaking them down physically and mentally to turn them into collaborators.
Meanwhile, not a single torture regime perp has been prosecuted for their criminality, although key administration players have heeded warnings that they face arrest if they travel to European countries where the Geneva Conventions are taken seriously.
But I'm sure they will be content to stay in the U.S. because it's a great country. Or what?