It’s Starting to Hit the Fan

Like a dam weakening, the little trickle of news about misdeeds at Guantanamo and in CIA torture labs is becoming a bigger trickle.

Can we hope for a flood of revelations now?

Bonus: Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick, If the CIA hadn't destroyed those tapes, what would be different?

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5 Responses to It’s Starting to Hit the Fan

  1. PHB says:

    I think that the commenter in the other thread might be right, the August 30th bent spear incident might well be the catalyst for this round of revelations. It may or may not be the case that there was an actual attempt to move six nuclear missiles outside the normal safeguards for handling nuclear weapons and transport them to the gulf. It may or may not be the case that there is a relationship to the September 6th attack on the installation in Syria. But the indicent demonstrated how high the stakes are.

    The near term strategy appear to be to provoke a war with Iran. If Iran refuses to be provoked by the arrest of its diplomats the administration will order a bombing campaign. The inevitable result of this will be a massive retaliation by Iran and the loss of huge numbers of lives on both sides. Unlike in previous bombing campaigns the US has 200,000 plus servicemen and another 150,000 nationals in range of Iranian missiles. US losses are likely to be tens of thousands in the first few days.

    The gamble seems to be that faced with a huge loss of US life and an impossibly weak strategic situation (if the Iranians capture Basra the US forces in Iraq would be cut off) the administration could justify the first use of nuclear weapons in war for fifty years. Iran has close to a million men under arms and is fighting on its own soil. The US has less than a fifth of the men in the theatre and has to fly supplies round half the world. Moreover the US forces are already fully committed to the occupation of Iraq. They are not organized to repell an Iranian invasion, nor is doing so compatible with their current mission.

    The result would be a complete catastrophe for US interests of course. But thats not the objective here, the torture, death and destruction are the end in themselves. The clue here was Bush’s response to the executions in Texas: He is a clinical psychopath, this is his idea of fun.

    So the intelligence services first force out the key piece of information that they need to discredit the case for war, then they keep the administration off balance with these followup disclosures.

  2. Andrew DeWeese says:

    Speaking of torture, death, and destruction as ends in themselves, check out “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein. It’s fantastic – may be the most important book since A People’s History of the United States. I can’t wait for finals to be over so I can finish it.

  3. Patrick (G) says:

    Regarding Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann testimony, TalkingPointsMemo wrote up the following:
    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) took advantage of the opportunity, asking Hartmann what he thought about the fact that after six years and 775 detainees, the commissions had only produced one conviction. “I cannot explain that,” replied Hartmann, […]But when Durbin pressed, asking whether Hartmann ever thought that maybe this wasn’t the best way to do things, he demurred. The military commissions are an “honor to the American justice system,” he said, of which Americans should be “very proud.”

    I’m afraid I must reluctantly agree with the Brig. General on that latter statement. The military commissions were structured by the civilian Leadership of the DoD to essentially be kangaroo courts. The fact that after 6 years and 775 detainees, that there has been only 1 conviction rather than 775 should be considered a point of honor.

    But it’s a pinprick of light compared to the black dishonor of the whole of camp X-Ray at Guantanamo. Why seek death sentences in a kangaroo court if we can make the lives of the prisoners in our custody so unbearable that they will cut their own throats with their fingernails?

  4. LACJ says:

    Wow, Patrick. Thanks for that. Nice imagery too.

  5. Patrick (G) says:

    Regarding Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann testimony, TalkingPointsMemo wrote up the following:
    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) took advantage of the opportunity, asking Hartmann what he thought about the fact that after six years and 775 detainees, the commissions had only produced one conviction. “I cannot explain that,” replied Hartmann, […]But when Durbin pressed, asking whether Hartmann ever thought that maybe this wasn’t the best way to do things, he demurred. The military commissions are an “honor to the American justice system,” he said, of which Americans should be “very proud.”

    I’m afraid I must reluctantly agree with the Brig. General on that latter statement. The military commissions were structured by the civilian Leadership of the DoD to essentially be kangaroo courts. The fact that after 6 years and 775 detainees, that there has been only 1 conviction rather than 775 should be considered a point of honor.

    But it’s a pinprick of light compared to the black dishonor of the whole of camp X-Ray at Guantanamo. Why seek death sentences in a kangaroo court if we can make the lives of the prisoners in our custody so unbearable that they will cut their own throats with their fingernails?

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