White House Authorized Torture

This post was written by marc on May 16, 2004
Posted Under: Bush

Why did the tortue occur? Because Bush and Rumsfield ordered it – stating:

The United States recognizes that the Geneva Conventions outlawing prisoner abuse apply to the war in Iraq. But it has said al Qaeda “terrorism” suspects do not qualify as prisoners of war under the terms of the treaty.

Newsweek on Sunday disclosed a memorandum by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales written in Jan. 25, 2002, that said “the war against terrorism is a new kind of war.”

“In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions,” he said.

Reader Comments

How can you sanction use of the Geneva Convention against people who don’t follow it themselves. marc knows what I will say now, but for the rest of you BLACKWATER!!!!!! Yes, Blackwater securities the company whose employees were burnt to a crisp, dragged from their vehicle, and hung over the facad of a bridge showed how much these people (al-pussy qweefa, talibastards, muckass al-suckcock, etc) follow the “civilized” rules of engagement. Yes, Yes I agree with you all that war is STUPID, and unnecessary in our civil world, but AMERICA WAS ATTACKED BY BACKWARDS TERRORISTS WHO THINK THE QURAN TELLS THEM TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD. So here we are…can’t go back…must move forward…sleeping giant, etc. Islam dosn’t sanction the violence of these extreemists, just as all followers of Islam don’t sanction extreemism. In war Innocents often suffer for the actions of others. War is hell and it is in human nature to engage in warfare, there is no possible way to engage in warfare and be civilized. This has little to do with pollitics but helps with human psychology- Morris, Desmond. “The Naked Ape” Mcgraw-Hill Book Co. 1967. If you finish that he wrote 2 other books with the same sub-text. marc, this column offers no proof of the title, add more to it and build on the point you are trying to make:)

Written By Rob on May 16th, 2004 @ 8:02 pm

You can’t pick and choose when the Geneva convention applies and how. Otherwise, you are at the level of the enemy, the Al-Queda. I guess the U.S. has decided that sinking to the level of Al-Queda is acceptable. Bad choice.

Written By Randy Charles Morin on May 17th, 2004 @ 6:30 am

Big news flash. They said that before the war even started. The GC applies to people that wear uniforms and fight in an organized army. The GC doesn’t apply to every day criminals.

Written By James Madison on May 17th, 2004 @ 8:25 am

If USA had not already represented itself as a “Saviour of Iraq” Remember at one time this conflict was called “Operation Freedom” then I don’t think it would of been as big a deal as it has turned out to be.

The problem with picking up civilians and holding them without any due process and torturing them, and this is verified by the red cross-that 90% are not quilty or involved with any terroist, so in essence you are torturing 90 innocent people out of one hundred. It is extremely hard to justify that figure for any reason even 911.

I expect to hear numerous widespread reports of abuse and deaths, we have just begun to scratch the surface. It makes me sad that America is being portrayed this way.

Written By DogDay on May 17th, 2004 @ 9:58 am

We know what New York City cops do to Haitian cab drivers in a New York City Police station, and we are to be surprised by this? I am not condoning these acts, but if a was a young soldier over there I cannot say that there would be any prisoners. In war someone is going to die. Me or the other guy. There is only one way to make sure it is not me.
I do not know who cut Berg’s head off, but I do know that it was people of the town that torched a car and hung the burnt bodies from a bridge.

This problem needs to be dealt with. We either deal with it now, or our children will have to deal with it. I NEVER want to look at my 9 and 10 year old sons and say … “I wish we dealt with this problem when it was much smaller”.

There are about 1.5 billion muslims, with an average age of 23. There are a billion Christians with an average age of 44. The average Muslim is having eight kids per family, and Christians are having two. Twenty years from now we could have a scenario that has 4 billion young Muslims wanting to kill a billion old Christians. If we blopw these people into the tenth century, we would bring them forward five centuries.

Written By X-FREEPER on May 17th, 2004 @ 10:02 am

X-F, that would bring the extreemists to about 1600, a big leap from where they are now. perhaps 199 yrs. after this date you propose they will steal a code of laws from another people and adopt it as their own (i.e. the American Constitution- parts stolen from the Iroquois Indians) don’t take this the wrong way; I agree with you. Others in this posting who still cling to the G.C. should look at the facts. Q: Why did we win the Revolutionary war?
A: Unconventional warfare- the same reason we lost so many soldiers in the Vietnam conflict.
A friend of mine who is in the Marine Corps told me that their are 5 tiers to warfare, the first being the ancient method of shields interlocking to form armour and advanceing with spears in the front archers in the back (TROY shows good examples of this, go see it and support our economy) We (modern uniformed regulars) fight on the fourth tier which is similar to the German Blitzkrieg. The 5th tier is unconventional (gurilla) warfare, which history proves can open a can of whupass if a good general can apply the techniques correctly. Bin Laden was trained by the CIA, so logically al-pussy qweefa could be a formidable opponent. Some of you may feel that the Constitution is archaic by todays standards, I feel the UN-nited nations are archaic. Hear me out: the main purpose of the U.N. was to create global stability in post WWII planet earth (cold war planet earth) the G.C. fits in to this plan. The collapse of the USSR created a huge power vaccume on the planet, the United States is the only thing keeping complete anarchy from breaking out everywhere, and as the saying goes drastic times call for drastic measures. Thing need to change. History shows that the world has never been stable so I am not surprised by anything that happens any more. Perhaps televison and the mass (blown out of proportion) media have de-sensetised me to the rest of the word, but I think I have a good point.

Written By Rob on May 17th, 2004 @ 1:10 pm

Rob, I agree with your thoughts about why we won the Revolutionary War, and why we lost in NAM. WHENEVR two groups of people face off, be it in game, or war. One ALWAYS has more motivation than the other. I believe, with the exception of FLUKES, the motivated team wins. The gorilla is always motivated, he is fighting for HOME and COUNTRY. The other side is JUST fighting for COUNTRY.

Written By X-FREEPER on May 18th, 2004 @ 6:19 am

One note to all this controversy over the Geneva Convention and it’s articles. Geneva affords the right to summarily execute any person operating in civilian clothes as a spy. I am a Special Forces soldier. That isn’t a SEAL, RANGER, or any other group…they are Special Operations soldiers, as are we. We are Green Berets, trained in Unconventional Warfare. We at times will operate in civilian attire in order to infiltrate or evade, and we understand the rules. As long as we make no aggressive actions, i.e. shooting or setting explosives, etc. we are covered under articles 3 and 4 of G.C. and if we come under fire or attack we can defend ourselves and still be covered under G.C. However, if we initiate an attack in civilian clothes we lose our coverage under G.C. and can be executed for our actions. It is only the public and media out-cry of such actions that would prevent the US government from implementing this type of action against the terrorist and those who support them.

Written By Dean on May 18th, 2004 @ 9:33 am

How can you tell the people of a country that what their ex-leader did to them for so many years is bad (Saddam torturing his people) and then turn around and do that to them? I thought these people were so barbaric, but it seems like we’re looking into a mirror.

Written By Ata on May 18th, 2004 @ 2:46 pm

Ok, I’ve finally discovered who killed Berg! It wasn’t the CIA or MI. It was Southern Baptist missionaries setting up an internet cafe in Northern Iraq! Don’t believe me? Just check out the chair: http://www.imb.org/urgent/articledetail.asp?urgentID=42

It’s an open and shut case!

Written By nobody on May 18th, 2004 @ 5:17 pm

To hell with what the Geneva Convention (3&4) say. Torture (called by any name) is wrong! For Al-Queda for murdurers and anybody else. That is why we (the US) are supposed to be better than “them”. If the US resorts to this kind of shit then we are no better then the Israeli’s. you can see that they are real happy in their little hell hole!

Written By Wildstar on May 19th, 2004 @ 8:07 am

Perhaps we should adopt the principals of rabbits -or the french in the 20th century. It is much better to be passive and let the world run its course than it is to fight fascism in all it’s apparitions. Perhaps everyone of us: Christian, Jew, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Athist, etc. will be brought together in prayer to Mekka 5 times a day in the near future. And if we don’t we could be burned to death, stoned (not with marijuana), or even beheaded. Islamofascists have a HATRED OF ALL PEOPLE WHO DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO THEIR VIEWS! Their system of patriarchy puts ours to shame, they kill homosexuals while we realize that they have rights under the constitution, about 65% of arabs in the middle east are illeterate, impoverd, and angry. WE ARE BETTER THAN “THEM”!!! W-S FYI: Israel is in direct violation of of the un-nited totalitarian socalists (land grabbing). The u.n. has NEVER intervined in Palestine proper to do anything about the problems that both peoples face and the Israeli soldiers that I have met like killing arabs, so they must be happy with how thing are. The majority of Palestinians I have met are exiles, and can’t go home. Not all Jews are Zionists, but Zionism does exist. Sharon and the Likud party are Holocaust survivors; Hitler taught them well. I am getting off subject in this posting so I will get to the point THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES WITH ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY WAR OR PEACE. To think so is a denial of logic and human nature. If torture is wrong, convince Al-pussy qweefa to mend their wicked ways. Perhaps you could invite them over for tea and cookies.

Written By Rob on May 20th, 2004 @ 12:45 pm

Dean’s post is wrong. If you are caught in civilian clothes behind enemy lines doing nothing but spying, you are subject to immediate execution by opposition forces which capture you. Look at Benedict Arnold in the American Revolution. He wasn’t attacking anybody: he was in the process of betraying our fortifications at West Point to the British. Major Andre, who was busted in the same scenario while trying to pass papers containing the details of the betrayal across the front lines, was shot immediately. He was caught behind the lines with the incriminating papers in hand. Same with Nathan Hale. Attacking has nothing to do with anything. And by the way, neither do uniforms. A lot of our Revolutionary forefathers had neither shoes nor uniforms. I think they would have been entitled to Geneva Convention protections. Same with the Indians–did THEY have uniforms?
Guerilla wars are not easy. The US has resisted a proposed Geneva Convention that allows for the rights of non-uniformed guerilla fighters. Just like everyone who is a patriot and honorable has money to go out and buy a uniform. NOT! Did the patriots at Lexington and Concord have uniforms? No.
The Blackwater people were carrying arms in someone else’s country in civilian clothes, guarding a military convoy. This is a military mission. Does that make them exempt from the rigors of war. They are mercenaries at best, and entitled to be shot on sight under international law by opposing forces. Even if they are Americans. The way the corpses were treated was savage, and wrong. But they were dead by then, and did not suffer.
I can tell you one thing: the sadist command structure of America at present has allowed torture to take place of prisoners under our protection. There is no Geneva Protection for the leaders who order, or sanction, or abet, or abide these actions, and there are no protections for the bastards who commit these war crimes, whatever their rank. We as Americans ought to be ashamed of these barbaraties, and string up whoever committed them. We certainly killed the Nazis and Japanese who did such things in World War II, and we should certainly do the same with whomever is so depraved on “our” side as to be complicit in these awful crimes. Didn’t Bush say he was liberating Iraq from torture and rape-that these things justify violent, belligerent regime change? Think about it out there, you fools who defend the undefendable in the name of patriotism. Torture is never patriotic, nor right. And it could very well be your regime being changed in this way next time.

Written By James on May 24th, 2004 @ 9:20 am

Do you call that torture? This is war. Stripping down the prisoners and other things may seem bad but it is war…This was a group of individuals…I dont have any thoughts about this at all.
War is War and that is it.

Written By Hangtime on May 26th, 2004 @ 12:18 am

James ….My Post is not wrong. Yes we are subject to being executed when moving around in civilian clothes but this is only after we have been afforded a trial and we still are guaranteed the protection under Art. 3 and 4. As for your examples..Take a hard look at when the accords of Geneva and Hague were introduced. Nearly 150 years after the example you cite. James, I am very concerned by you and others who cannot distinguish between ill-treatment (i.e. humiliation) and torture(i.e cutting someones testicles off and shoving them in their mouth) which was done to a Navy Seal in Afhanistan. Do you know how hard it is to put your life at risk for people like you who feel there is nothing worth fighting for? Do you know how it pains us to know that no matter what we face over there, we will always come home to listen to people like yourself call us evil and cruel. I wish we could always solve things politically or diplomatically. But there are some who understand only violence and we must always be prepared to deal with them. As far as my regime… I am sworn to protect the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. As soon as you are willing to join any group who threaten my constitution and the rights it affords me then I will be more than happy to treat you as an enemy. Speak your mind and voice your concerns james, but with that freedom comes the responsibility to own up to what you say and do and deal with effects and reprecussions your actions create. Good luck to you and those like you James. A day will come soon when you will join many others who will be screaming for vengence and justice and you will reflect back on your words today and you will be ashamed. I, however, will look back with pride that I did more than most others. I have fought and continue to fight to protect our right to exist and live free lives. Forgive my lengthy reply.

Written By DEAN on May 26th, 2004 @ 8:45 am

Listen people please, Educate yourselves on the issues your are speaking on. Research them and look for facts not opinions. Then form your own opinions and voice them here. You owe it to each other to speak your own conclussions and not regurgitate the words of John Kerry or Rush Limbaugh. For example Rob posted that Israel is in direct violation of UN resolutions. Is this a fact. Yes, however, the better question is why. They gave up the Gaza strip and Gholan heights as ordered by the UN and the Palestinians used the tactically better terrain to launch new attacks on Israel. So they took it back. So we now sit back and say they are in violation because they didn’t give up the land. What would you do in that situation? Draw your own conclussions as to why things happen and at what level do we condemn or justify their acts. Sometimes things are not as black and white as they appear. Example, we caught an Afghani who we saw shoot a RPG at us. We saw him and caught him. We detained him only later to be told to release him because he claims to be only a sheep herder. What would you do? Knowing that he will only go back and prepare for the next attack on us. We could not beat a confession out of him. We cannot inflict pain in order to get him to confess. What do we do? What would you do? We let the guy go and I’m sure he went back and told all his buddies that as long as they don’t admit to doing anything wrong we have to let them go. How do you win under those conditions? James try to be consistant. You abhor the mal-treatment of people who tried to kill American soldiers, I do also by the way and I am a soldier, yet you happily call for the death of the people who you presume to be responsible with out trial. With those sorts of comments you cannot in any sense proclaim to be against capitol punishment. So look at yourself and if you’ve ever claimed that then reflect on your hippocracy. I respect differing opinions but I do not respect regurgitated rhetoric or inconsistant banter. Be pro-something not anti-everything.

Written By Dean on May 26th, 2004 @ 9:25 am

Yes the Golan Heights, strategic vista overlooking Israel proper. When Palestine and Syria attacked from the N/W and Egypt attacked S/E ? the war of 1967? or ’69? I am not sure. I am sure though that what I post is collected knowledge from READING BOOKS and listening to those around me
(like you Dean). Perhaps the US after WWII should have asked New Jersey instead of Turkey to give land to the Jews, they would have been just at home as living in Israel/Palestine (or a bomb crater for that matter). On the subject, why didn’t the Jew’s stay in Europe? the locals weren’t to keen on them there either. My Great-Grandmother grew up in Haifa as the daughter of a religous Missionary before WWI broke out. when the Turks sided with Germany she fled to America, returning to her home after the war, to gather her things, and relocate permenantly to America. A couple of weeks ago I ate dinner with her. She is slightly senile (GOD bless her soul) but has a sharp, long term memory. I asked her this evening a few weeks ago how the Arabs and the Jews interacted she said they lived together peacibly, but the English Officers made the Indian regulars do the most deplorable tasks. Just to show that everything isn’t always in black and white. The United Nations (probably the only time you will see me address them correctly) if they followed their own rules (which they don’t) would have intervined in “Is/Pa” a long time ago and things could possibly be different there today…But they didn’t so we shall never know. Dean I apreciate your comment, it is usefull for those who are unfamilliar with histocal references, but I hope you weren’t serious about me regurgitating the words Ted kene-uh-I-mean-John Kerry or Rush Limbaugh. Both have interesting things to say, but everybody does things to further their own agenda. Their agenda has nothing to do with me or my education, or my job, or my hobbies for that matter. I feel that I have been pretty consistent Dean, you seem like a smart man, so any input you wish to share with me…go ahead 🙂 -RF

Written By Rob on May 26th, 2004 @ 10:29 am

Oh Dean, My Great Grand Father (on the other side) fought in WWII in Burma and in India against Tojo’s army. My (Grandfather was a Marine and was honerably discharged before the conflict escalated in ’63) Father was sent to Vietnam. He told me how things were when he came back, how the public called the Vets horrible names instead of giving them a parade like they deserved. I pray EVERY NIGHT for the Soldiers who are stationed in hostile areas all over the world as do I pray that our enemies lay down their weapons.
The constitution is in Danger! though. Read this essay its difficult to dissagree with it
http://www.backwoodshome.com/ articles/silveira66.html

Written By Rob on May 26th, 2004 @ 10:49 am

James, Thank you for your reply. No the comments concerning regurgitating comments of others was a broad stroke of the pen meant to hopefully get all who post here and elsewhere to not just repeat but to investigate, consider and then comment for themselves. That includes comments from me. We should never allow other to do our thinking or draw conclusions for us. As far as yourother comments specifically those concerning the UN. You are accurate and I think we share a similiar opinion of them. I have worked as a soldier under their banner once…never again. I shall look forward to other comments you and others make. Thank you.
– Rob, thank you for your support of soldiers. We do know that nearly all here wish for safe return, It’s only a few who cannot distinguish the difference between protesting against a war and protesting those who wage war. I always try to explain that it is your right to disagree and protest but with it comes a price. That price is not paid by you, but by men and women like me. That price is this: The enemies know that political decisions are influenced in America by public opinion (one of the greatest things about a democracy). The only way they can win at this point is to get America to leave before the mission is complete. They conduct actions that are of very little strategic value but are horrendous in appearances. Car bombs in markets, etc. Americans protest, decisions are influenced, More bombs, or beheadings, more protests more pressure to withraw. If the media outlets and protests were not there as they weren’t in WWII, then these acts would be more detremental to the terrorists than to us and there would be little effects other than an increased desire to hunt them down by soldiers. But with the media and protests, some soldiers now doubt why the are there, or doubt that America values and appreciates thier service. Who fights harder one with support or one without? So protest if you will, I will be the first to protect your right to do so, however, know that is comes with a price tag that others pay for.

Written By Dean on May 26th, 2004 @ 12:11 pm

So Rob the above was a reply to you.

Written By Dean on May 26th, 2004 @ 12:14 pm

Stay safe and Thanks for rocking the boat Dean.

Written By Rob on May 26th, 2004 @ 12:40 pm

DEAN: “Do you know how it pains us to know that no matter what we face over there, we will always come home to listen to people like yourself call us evil and cruel. I wish we could always solve things politically or diplomatically.”

What do you think you´re solving there? This war is not about freedom, or about terrorism. It´s about oil, nothing more. It´s beautifull to think we are fighting against some great evil, but face it: you are a Bush´s puppet in a Oil War (and are being used for his re-election)

On the other side, there is the terrorists. They think they are fighting the great evil too: The United States. I think you should ask yourselves WHY they think you are the Great Evil. But, again, this war is not about terrorism.

You talk about how horrible Iraqui was in Saddan´s hands, but you put him there.

Sorry for my bad english, this is not my first language (I still learning).

Written By Brazilian Guy on May 27th, 2004 @ 10:30 pm

Here ia a quote of article 1 of the GC, copied from http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
So what americans did at Abu Ghraib is torture and as such is perceived anywhere in the world, except at America.

Written By lucia menezes on May 28th, 2004 @ 2:44 pm

For all who think this war was about oil….Take a look at the great effort put forth by Bush to show you this wasn’t about oil. Millions of gallons have been pumped already and still we haven’t seen a drop in fuel prices have we. Iraqi Government is using the oil to rebuild it’s country. I’ll bet when the gas prices topped $2.00 you liberal die hards were wishing it was about the oil. You only repeat rhetoric you mindless masses. I have been there, I know what these people think of America and what they would like to do to us. So go ahead and repeat the rhetoric and speak of your conspiracies, you have nothing but speculation and educated guesses. I however have the first knowlege that comes with interaction with our enemies. I learned to speak Arabic when I joined Special Forces and I speak to them directly. I know. So don’t call me a puppet, a puppet is a person who is given all there information by someone else and then just does what he’s told he should. I get my information from the best sources in the world. The enemy. My own two eyes and my own two ears. This war is justified and required. If you cannot understand that then you are truly a soul to be pitied. You will one day regret your actions today. I guarantee you will be the first to blame Bush when the next attack hits America. I can only hope that the next one opens your eyes people. 911 did, but only for a short while. I guess it’ll take 100,000’s instead of just 2500. How sorry a society we have become. We have become afraid to defend ourselves. It truly makes me feel that the Majority of America isn’t worth defending. I lost 4 friends in Afghanistan on Saturday May 26th. They wasted there lives protecting the freedom you aren’t willing to fight for. I wish to god that it was 10,000 people like you instead of those 4. They are worth so much more than you. Sorry for the Length of this. I’m an American soldier who is disgusted with our society and it’s lack of resolve. Generation X…..X is a target symbol in nearly all countries so I guess it suits us as a society.

Written By Dean on May 31st, 2004 @ 11:26 am

Brazilian guy…..They hate us because we are not muslims

Written By dean on June 1st, 2004 @ 7:30 am

The muslims and Arabs are not my friends and I never trust them.
When the USA puts someone to death we eather shoot them or give them lethal injection or cook them in the chair.
In most cases this is pritty much painless comaired to what Arabs do to people.
I have an arab that lives right across the street from me and do not trust him at all.
About a year ago he slottered 2 lambs in his back yard on the ground and sold the meat at his market and did not think twice about this.
Well people were told about this fast and they did nothing to him.
I do not beleive that the USA would ever torture people like this and for the president of the united states to have this done to someone? No way in hell would the USA do this.
If we were pigs like the arabs we would have killed Saddam right away.
This great country of ours has a judicial system and usally it works fine but as we know it has some flaws but alot of it has been fixed from DNA testing.
We have come a long way and we enjoy our freedom.
If you dont agree with the laws here in the USA go to Saudi Arabia and see how the laws are there.
But disagree with them and your head might be at the end of a long knife from the arabs.

Written By Dan on December 27th, 2005 @ 9:37 pm

Thought Provoking Questions

Do you own a home somewhere in the United States?

Who owned the land/home you now possess before you bought it?

How far back can you trace the ownership of the piece of ground you now call your land, your home?

Who were the first owners of your piece of paradise in historical terms, say 5oo years ago?

If you were convinced that the first owners of the property you now call home, were illegally dispossessed of the land you now occupy, would you be willing to give your support to a movement to give the land back?

By the way, how did the Jewish people gain possession of the land they now call Israel?

Was it similar to the manner America was born?

What would be your strategy in dealing with someone whose hatred of you is so great, that they would be willing to destroy themselves and all that they possess in their endeavor to destroy you and your way of life? What if you were convinced that you could gain nothing through negotiations? Suppose your enemy refused to recognize or abide by internationally agreed upon rules of warfare.

What would be your self imposed boundaries as it relates to defending yourself? Do you believe To the Victor Goes the Spoils.


Written By JRH on July 27th, 2006 @ 7:43 pm

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