Brought to you by the free speech clown:
Oho! said the pot to the kettle;
You are dirty and ugly and black!
Sure no one would think you were metal,
Except when you’re given a crack!
Not so! said the kettle to the pot;
Tis your own dirty image you see;
For I am so clean – without blemish or blot –
That your blackness is mirrored in me!
-Maxwell’s Elementary Grammar
So, Obama admits “we tortured some folks” referring to Diane Feinstein’s Senate committee (in a recent spat with John Brennan’s CIA) will be releasing (a much redacted) report on ‘black site’ jails. So, what is wrong with this picture?
1) This a classic case of softening the narrative.
Firstly, Brennan had been up to his armpits (thank you Glenn Greenwald, for this 2008 article) in the Bush torture program, keeping in mind the mentioned Senate report had been completed prior to Feinstein voting to confirm John Brennan to Director of CIA:
MARGARET WARNER: “So is it — are you saying both in two ways — both in getting terrorists off the streets and also in the interrogation?
JOHN BRENNAN: “Yes. The rendition is the practice or the process of rendering somebody from one place to another place. It is moving them and the U.S. Government will frequently facilitate that movement from one country to another. . . .
“Also I think it’s rather arrogant to think we’re the only country that respects human rights. I think that we have a lot of assurances from these countries that we hand over terrorists to that they will, in fact, respect human rights”
How absolutely unwise of Brennan to use the Egypt example (keep reading) in the cause of renditions he supports, because his CIA proxy interrogator (torture darling) in Egypt at the time was Omar Sulieman:
“Shortly after 9/11, Australian citizen, Mamdouh Habib, was captured by Pakistani security forces and, under US pressure, tortured by Pakistanis. He was then rendered (with an Australian diplomats watching) by CIA operatives to Egypt, a not uncommon practice. In Egypt, Habib merited Suleiman’s personal attention. As related by Richard Neville, based on Habib’s memoir:
Habib was interrogated by the country’s Intelligence Director, General Omar Suleiman…. Suleiman took a personal interest in anyone suspected of links with Al Qaeda. As Habib had visited Afghanistan shortly before 9/11, he was under suspicion. Habib was repeatedly zapped with high-voltage electricity, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks.
“That treatment wasn’t enough for Suleiman, so:
To loosen Habib’s tongue, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a gruesomely shackled Turkistan prisoner in front of Habib – and he did, with a vicious karate kick.
“After Suleiman’s men extracted Habib’s confession, he was transferred back to US custody, where he eventually was imprisoned at Guantanamo. His “confession” was then used as evidence in his Guantanamo trial”
Yeah, this is the guy [Brennan] who supports rendering to torture (with a wink and a nod called human rights ‘assurances’ by Brennan) Feinstein then voted to confirm as Director of CIA, the same CIA that she’d recently been in a spat with over release of a torture report compiled and completed by her own committee prior to her vote confirming Brennan.
Softening the narrative means (without saying) ‘we’ did not torture Mamdouh Habib, the Egyptians did.’ Obviously this case will not be in a report about CIA ‘black site’ jails because Omar Suliman’s medieval dungeon was not run by the CIA and limited to stress positions, beatings, wall slamming, water-boarding, loud music and sleep deprivation. We merely delivered the material to Sulieman so he could deliver the product; ‘evidence’ for Guantanamo trials.
And when Brennan went on (in the previously linked, at paragraph 3, Greenwald article) to state:
“And there are different ways to gain those assurances. But also let’s say an individual goes to Egypt because they’re an Egyptian citizen and the Egyptians then have a longer history in terms of dealing with them, and they have family members and others that they can bring in, in fact, to be part of the whole interrogation process”
Do you suppose Brennan’s cynically referring to this statement in a Human Rights Watch report?
“…[Egyptian] techniques include threats to inflict torture or sexual abuse on detainees’ female family members, including wives, threats to arrest family members, exposure to screams…’
John Brennan is the very same man Obama has met with on ‘kill list Tuesdays’ for years and they decide together who will be subjected to extra-judicial assassinations. Sort of like the Christmas song lyrics ‘he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.’ That’s what happens when you don’t put evidence in front of a competent court, a value judgment. Only now it’s beyond torture, it’s about killing people.
Who did Feinstein vote to confirm to the Federal Appeals court? David Barron, author of Obama’s ‘murder is legal’ theory. Nothing quite like putting people complicit in your crimes on the courts but that is what Obama has done with the generous support of Senator Feinstein:
“The most troubling issue in David Barron’s record is his role as the author of the legal opinion that justified what is rather coldly referred to as “extrajudicial killing” by the United States federal government. Put more plainly, David Barron concocted a legal justification for President Barack Obama, so that the President could order the U.S. military to execute American citizens, because of suspicion of criminal behavior, without any trial or due process”
Recalling Bush had nominated ‘torture is legal’ Jay Bybee to the Federal bench, let’s go to the thought Senator Feinstein never encountered a 1st, 4th or 5th Amendment FISA violation she did not like, until it was the CIA spying on her committee staff. Then, Feinstein changed the label, in her case these violations are not ok because they are suddenly ‘separation of powers’ violations. The clear indication, based on her record is, violations of the American peoples’ rights are ok, just don’t violate the rights of Feinstein. Reinforcing this would be, Feinstein voted to confirm Valerie Caproni as a federal judge; the very same woman [Caproni] who’d when the FISA Court had rejected a surveillance request, had gone ahead and authorized her FBI agents to target the victim regardless. In all, over the courts first thirty three years, the FISA court had granted 33,942 warrants, with only 11 denials. Let’s make that a de facto 10 denials, recalling the Bush FBI lawyer Caproni nominated to be a federal judge by Obama, with Feinstein voting in favor.
Softening the narrative is solely what’s happening with the ‘we tortured some folks’ confession of Obama, who has never brought a single prosecution, rather appointing, with the staunch support of Feinstein, the complicit criminals to power, Brennan to Director of CIA, as well Barron and Caproni to become Federal judges. The facts surrounding CIA delivering Mamdouh Habib to Omar Sulieman’s dungeon will not be delved into, nor will what must be the many cases more of delivering renditioned ‘detainees’ to 3rd party torture along the lines of slicing Binyam Mohamed’s penis and testicles:
“torture that included slicing his genitals with a scalpel after being rendered to foreign interrogators”
Nor will Brennan, Barron, Bybee or Caproni be prosecuted. Oh, and lest we forget, the few unredacted CIA ‘black site’ details that emerge will absolutely pale when compared to General Petraeus complicity in CIA ‘dirty wars’ style torture camps and death squads documented by the Guardian, and altogether ignored by Feinstein’s torture committee:
That’s your ‘hope and change’ folks. It’s called softening the narrative, a psychological ploy intended to assuage public sentiment with a minimal admission of crimes past, in midst of ongoing crimes spree .. all the while packing the federal judiciary with personalities complicit in the crimes, as well, consider this following (10 December 2014 update)
“119” renditioned ‘black site’ prisoners (the number given in the now released report) certainly can’t be squared with 11,000 (eleven thousand) flights by planes known to have flown CIA renditions, Feinstein’s ‘torture report’ is not credible because the disparity in the math is too great:
Leopards don’t shed their spots, folks. What’s being covered-up prima facie is, a whole lot of ‘disappeared’ people along the lines of the South American juntas during the CIA’s Latin America ‘dirty wars’
Related: Square Pegs in Round Holes How the renditions math doesn’t add up
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