On Torture and Accountability

Fernando Botero

President Bush is back from his Emily Dickinson like seclusion with a book of reflections on his presidency, and a consequential media book tour. Of the many revelations in the book – i.e. being called a racist by Kanye West was the lowest point of his presidency – the least surprising is that he personally signed off on the enhanced interrogation techniques that other people call torture.

The Nation’s Jonathan Schell reports on the documents that suggest that The United States was engaging in torture techniques in the war in Iraq. President Bush still defends waterboarding as an interrogation technique, not torture, but the documents made available by WikiLeaks show a broader and more vicious approach at the so called interrogations. This is a report by an American soldier:

THE DETAINEE WAS BLINDFOLDED AND IS UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE OFFENDERS. THE DETAINEE CLAIMED HE WAS BEATEN ABOUT THE FEET AND LEGS WITH A BLUNT OBJECT, AND PUNCHED IN THE FACE AND___. HE CLAIMED THAT ELECTRICITY WAS USED ON HIS FEET AND GENITALS, AND HE WAS ALSO [SODOMIZED] WITH A WATER BOTTLE. –___PERSONNEL CLAIMED IT WAS CAUSED BY THE DETAINEE FALLING FROM HIS MOTORCYCLE WHILE HE WAS BEING CHASED BY THE___. THE DETAINEE DISPLAYED GREAT DIFFICULTY WALKING WITH BRUISING AND SWELLING ON THE SOLES OF BOTH FEET. THE DETAINEE HAD LOCALIZED CUTS AND BRUISING ON BOTH LEGS (PRIMARILY THE LEFT), THE LEFT ARM, AND THE LEFT CHIN. THERE WERE NO INJURIES VISIBLE ON THE DETAINEE E___HANDS, UPPER ARMS, TORSO, UPPER LEGS, OR BUTTOCKS. HIS CLOTHING WAS NOT RIPPED OR DAMAGED, BUT DID DISPLAY BLOOD STAINS.

Schell reports that nothing was done with these reports, and that executed victims were found with electric-drill holes in their bodies. Bush and Cheney admit to approving waterboarding, which in their minds is not torture. Let’s see what exactly waterboarding is:

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements