266. (Nothing to do with 2666.)

Mon 20 Apr 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

It’s been great seeing transparency and public responsibility hit the government in the last 3 months since the previous administration was turfed out. (It’s not all getting an equal amount of light: hello State Secrets Act, time for bed!)

So we have today’s headlines which are all about two men who got tortured—waterboarded—by the US Government. Not once:

The controversial technique that simulates drowning — and which President Obama calls torture — was used at least 83 times in August 2002 on suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, according to the memo.

Interrogators also waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in March 2003. Mohammed is believed to be the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Which doesn’t quite jibe with the propaganda spouted in 2007:

A former C.I.A. officer, John Kiriakou, told ABC News and other news media organizations in 2007 that Abu Zubaydah had undergone waterboarding for only 35 seconds before agreeing to tell everything he knew.
—NY Times

We spent the period from January 20, 2000, to January 19, 2008, being lied to by our government. Around the world everyone else knew that the US was operating secret prisons (what kind of military junta were we being led by??) abroad although few members of the media reported it here.

Now it’s time to clean up and for those cowards who lied (for our own good, of course) should stand up and be counted, try and defend their actions, and where it fits, be tried and sentenced.

It won’t be particularly easy or nice and it might be distracting during this huge recession but if we as a country want to have any say in how the world works we have to own up to our mistakes and take the punishment for crossing lines which should not be crossed.


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