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Why We Torture

Not Abu ZubaydahIt has always been my view of events in Iraq that, after the initial invasion was over, the Bush administration did everything it could to incite a relatively docile population into acts of rebellion. Since the Cold War had ended America found itself in need of an enemy to keep arms merchants rolling in tax-payer dough, and Iraq was not only an easy target but it was the initial falling domino that's led to the current chaos in the Middle East. (Bush was told by Colin Powell that if he broke Iraq, he'd own it. Must have been music to Dick Cheney's ears.) This explains allowing Blackwater contractors to run wild, the "leaked photos" from Abu Ghraib, the secret-to-nobody black torture sites, .etc.

What's that? You say you recall festive throngs of Baghdad citizens assembling in Firdos Square to gayly topple Saddam Hussein's statue immediately after the invasion? Sorry, you must mean the  psyops event staged by the Marines and a complicit, handpicked media. In truth, only a handful of Iraqis attended, mostly at the urging of U.S. soldiers.

Which is brings me to Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner of the U.S. for 12 years, a man who has been waterboarded at least 83 times. He is still a prisoner even though the U.S. government states that they do not believe he had any involvement with the 9/11 attacks or that he had even been a member of Al Qaeda.

When he was first captured the FBI sent in their usual interrogation team, one which employed informed interrogation, a technique reliant upon building rapport with the suspect. This included dressing his wounds and nursing him back to health as he'd been badly injured during his capture. And it worked, as Zubayda began singing like a bird.

Two weeks later the CIA stepped in (Read FBI agent Ali Soufan's testimony) removed the FBI agents, and proceeded to torture the snot out of Zubaydah. At which point he quit cooperating. This makes perfect sense to me as the last thing the Bush administration wanted was actionable information. After all, war is unprofitable if you have means to end it quickly. (The military budget this year is $800 billion dollars, so the system works. It's an ideal way to afford a Senator or two if you don't mind human misery.)

Meanwhile, the CIA made torture a for-profit venture, giving two psychiatrists $80 million dollars to develop a torture program, uh, I mean, new interrogation techniques. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the most important criteria in such a program is to make sure it doesn't work, else the gravy train will stop way too prematurely.

So if the U.S. torture program didn't make a lick of sense to anyone who doesn't get their information from Jack Bauer, there's my two cents.


Bonush Cartoon Alert: Yay! It's Bonush Cartoon Day!


Because I lurve you, here's the fourth 20-minute chunk of Glenn Mitchell's twelve-hour Xmas Blockbuster, circa 2001, featuring Al Jarreau, some horny Elvis fans, Elvis himself, Xmas at the old corral and much, much more you won't hear on your local radio station.


end rant

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