A litany of US war crimes exposed

A US watchdog group called ‘the Constitution Project‘ (TCP) has just released the most detailed and revealing report on US torture practices so far.

“Perhaps the most important or notable finding of this panel is that it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture.”

The report details systemic use of torture and other human rights abuses by successive US administrations, particularly since year 2001. It can be downloaded in full here:

http://detaineetaskforce.org/pdf/Full-Report.pdf

In the introductory ‘Statement of the Task Force’ the authors state:

The Task Force examined court cases in which torture was deemed to have occurred both inside and outside the country and, tellingly, in instances in which the United States has leveled the charge of torture against other governments. The United States may not declare a nation guilty of engaging in torture and then exempt itself from being so labeled for similar if not identical conduct.

The second notable conclusion of the Task Force is that the nation’s highest officials bear some responsibility for allowing and contributing to the spread of torture.

“The most important element may have been to declare that the Geneva Conventions, a venerable instrument for ensuring humane treatment in time of war, did not apply to Al Qaeda and Taliban captives in Afghanistan or Guantánamo. The administration never specified what rules would apply instead.

The other major factor was President Bush’s authorization of brutal techniques by the CIA for selected detainees.”

“The CIA also created its own detention and interrogation facilities — at several locations in Afghanistan, and even more secretive “black sites” in Thailand, Poland, Romania and Lithuania, where the highest value captives were interrogated.”

By the end of 2002, at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, interrogators began routinely depriving detainees of sleep by means of shackling them to the ceiling. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld later approved interrogation techniques in Guantánamo that included sleep deprivation, stress positions, nudity, sensory deprivation and threatening detainees with dogs. Many of the same techniques were later used in Iraq.

The Task Force report also includes important new details of the astonishing account — first uncovered by Human Rights Watch — of how some U.S. authorities used the machinery of the “war on terror” to abuse a handful of Libyan Islamists involved in a national struggle against Libyan dictator Muammar el-Gaddafi, in an effort to win favor with el-Gaddafi’s regime. The same Libyans suddenly became allies as they fought with NATO to topple el-Gaddafi a few short years later.

The U.S. military, learning from its experience, has vastly improved its procedures for screening captives and no longer engages in large-scale coercive interrogation techniques. Just as importantly, the regime of capture and detention has been overtaken by technology and supplanted in large measure by the use of drones. If presumed enemy leaders — high-value targets — are killed outright by drones, the troublesome issues of how to conduct detention and interrogation operations are minimized and may even become moot.

Make your own judgement! Seems to me, one of the most abusive and barbaric regimes in the world, is the one that points the finger of torture accusations at others. By projecting its own evil onto its intended targets, it then ‘gets away’ with war crime after war crime.