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Change you CAN'T believe in


The Torture Ban that Doesn't Ban Torture: Obama's Rules Keep It Intact, and Could Even Accord With an Increase in US-Sponsored Torture Worldwide.

If you're lying on the slab still breathing, with your torturer hanging over you, you don't much care if he is an American or a mere United States - sponsored trainee.

When President Obama declared flatly this week that "the United States will not torture" many people wrongly believed that he'd shut the practice down, when in fact he'd merely repositioned it.

Obama's Executive Order bans some -- not all -- US officials from torturing but it does not ban any of them, himself included, from sponsoring torture overseas.

Indeed, his policy change affects only a slight percentage of US-culpable tortures and could be completely consistent with an increase in US-backed torture worldwide.

The catch lies in the fact that since Vietnam, when US forces often tortured directly, the US has mainly seen its torture done for it by proxy -- paying, arming, training and guiding foreigners doing it, but usually being careful to keep Americans at least one discreet step removed. ...

That is, the US tended to do it that way until Bush and Cheney changed protocol, and had many Americans laying on hands, and sometimes taking digital photos. ...

For every torment inflicted directly by Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and the secret prisons, there were many times more being meted out by US-sponsored foreign forces.

Those forces were and are operating with US military, intelligence, financial or other backing in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Jordan, Indonesia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, to name some places, not to mention the tortures sans-American-hands by the US-backed Iraqis and Afghans.

(the rest)

or www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2594

Any "loi-ya" worth his fee knows it's all in the wording - letter of the law, they call it. Roll Eyes

Entry #195


TenajComment by Tenaj - January 25, 2009, 10:12 am
Obama has ordered to close Guantanamo, abolish the secret prisons, and to outlaw torture.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 25, 2009, 12:07 pm
When Obama ran for President, he was criticized for bombings that happened when he was in 2nd grade. Now he's been in office since Tues and is being criticized for what he's done in 4 or 5 days. Is this going to go on daily for 4 years?

Without giving my opinion, let me just ask if you think a retired Brigadier General, who also has a Law Degree and served in Viet Nam. He was on the Judge Advocate General's Corp (also known as JAG) and he applauds our new President. Here is what he thinks:


Sarah Cleveland is an international human rights expert and Professor of Law at Columbia University. She says "The executive orders are very impressive and encouraging in their boldness, in their prominence, with the speed with which the administration moved to address the issue."

Yes, for the next 4 or 8 years Obama has an awful lot to do & even he said it won't be easy. Closing Guantanamo was a step in the right direction. Maybe it's a step instead of a leap, but some people want to knock him down before he's even gotten started. Rush Limbaugh even said "I hope he fails" with no regard for our country and the effect it would have on the average American. I just want us to move in the right direction, and this is a beginning. There's much more to do, but nobody can undo 8 years in 5 days. After all, he isn't God, and making the world even took Him 6 days. :-)
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 25, 2009, 12:13 pm
somehow 3 words got deleted, 2nd paragraph, first line
Should have said "...and served in Viet Nam understands the wording.
Rick GComment by Rick G - January 25, 2009, 1:35 pm
He's taking steps in the right direction but he has to follow up to the hilt. This 'accepted' use of torture (including cop-torture via tasers) has GOT to stop. Some of our DC leaders and law enforcement types may like pulling wings of live flies but let them keep their S & M bullcrap in their bedrooms with their willing boy toys.
time*treatComment by time*treat - January 25, 2009, 1:39 pm
@jxp: You've posted Rush's comments here and there as if he is important. Perhaps to you, but to me he isn't. Rush's concerns are Rush's ratings & paycheck.
With regard to General Cullen, I think he sums up what many people will be saying in 4 to 8 years when he says “I wanted to believe that”. :-) He sounds like a guy who would take "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" as a perfectly acceptable answer. My view is that the next 4 to 8 years are NOT going to be an "undo" of the last 8 (or 16, if you care to go back that far), but rather an extension. You are going to get more of what you thought you just got rid of. ;-) The difference will be in smoothness of delivery.
emilygComment by emilyg - January 25, 2009, 1:46 pm
Rick - good comment.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 25, 2009, 2:25 pm
Rick, although I agree, we're not the leader of a country with over 305 million people where almost everything we say & do affects our country and the world too. We don't have radical groups that vehemently protest every action we take and sometimes threaten violence or retribution. Any lasting change takes time. Have you ever poured bleach on a fabric? It will eat it up and take out all the color permanently. But if you gently wash something and add a little bleach at a time, eventually the stains will begin to fade.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 25, 2009, 2:51 pm
By "We" are meant you and I. Just saying easier said than done.   It will come in time. Don't get me wrong. I'm not 100% in support of Obama because he's not perfect. But I just think it's crazy that the man can't fart without every reporter having a comment about it.   Some will say it smells, some will say it's aromatic, and others will cry fragrance free, but there will be another one tomorrow and it too will pass.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 25, 2009, 2:54 pm
Sorry, time*treat. I apologize for this since I posted enough. I need to get my eyes checked I guess. I really do proof my posts. Anyway, last comment should start "By WE I meant you and I." (not "are")
jarasanComment by jarasan - January 25, 2009, 5:14 pm
Wow, lets see 43 was not in office in 1999 and was being ridiculed continuosly until he was elected. Where were the protestors last Tuesday throwing stuff at the lovely charismatic one? Nowhere, because you couldn't even wear Depends ten miles from the inauguration. It was great newscopy when 43 got protested and mocked but God forbid we dissent 44.

I support the troops but not the war, I support Obama but not his executive orders, ask the ten terrorists that were killed crossing into Afghanistan thursday.

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