CIA prisoners 'tortured' in Arab jails
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  1. #1
    AO Guinness Monster MURACU's Avatar
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    CIA prisoners 'tortured' in Arab jails

    Looking throught the BBC news site I came across this. It seems that the CIA and americain military have decided to stop all torture charges against them simply by sending prisoner to countrys where torture is not only accepted by widely used. The disturbing part is this does not only concern people already in custody but also forign nationals arrested in diverse countrys around the world who are arrested or kidnapped and then sent to be tortured. It would be like cuba kidnapping an US citizen off the streets of london and sending him to Chine to be interviewed.
    Here is the source from the BBC : source

    .
    A former CIA official has confirmed suspicions that dozens of terror suspects have been flown to jails in Middle Eastern countries where torture is routinely practised, and without reference to courts of law.
    Michael Scheuer, who once headed the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and left the CIA last November after a 22-year career, said the practice, known as "extraordinary rendition", was seen by the US as a key tactic in its war on terror.

    "The bottom line is getting anyone off the streets who is involved in acts of terrorism is a worthwhile activity," he told the BBC's File On 4 programme.
    Human rights is a very flexible concept... It depends how hypocritical you want to be on a particular day
    Mike Scheuer, former CIA agent
    Mr Scheuer said the operation was authorised at the highest levels of the CIA and the White House and was approved by their lawyers.
    "The practice of capturing people and taking them to second or third countries arose because the Executive assigned the job of dismantling terrorist cells to the CIA.
    "When the agency came back and said 'Where do you want to take them?' the message was 'That's your job'."

    He added: "The idea that this is a rogue operation that someone has dreamt up is just absurd. I personally have no problem with doing any operation as long as it's justified legal by my superiors."

    UN convention violated

    The former CIA officer acknowledged that some of the suspects sent to places such as Egypt could then be tortured.
    But he said: "It wouldn't be us torturing them and I think there is a lot of Hollywood involved with our portrayal of torture in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
    "Human rights is a very flexible concept... It depends how hypocritical you want to be on a particular day."

    Human rights campaigners, however, find it difficult to reconcile rendition with President Bush's claims of upholding the United Nations convention against torture. It says: "No state shall expel, return or exradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture."

    Mr Scheuer was among other ex-CIA officers who told File On 4 that as well as sending people to Guantanamo Bay, both the CIA and the US military were sending dozens of others to prisons in countries such as Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

    The investigation looks at the dangers of sending potentially innnocent people to these regimes where, according to the Americans' own State Department, torture is readily practised.

    it hears from a Canadian man called Maher Arar, who was stopped by US officials when travelling through New York's JFK airport in September 2002 and sent to Syria where he was held for a year. He says he was brutally tortured.

    The reason for his arrest was information passed to the US by Canada, linking him to a terrorist suspect in Ottawa.
    Mr Arar is a Syrian national by birth but holds a Canadian passport. Once in Syria, he says he was kept in a tiny cell for over 10 months at the Damascus headquarters of the Syrian secret police.
    One day, after 18 hours of torture, he falsely confessed to having been to Afghanistan.

    US Guantanamo Bay camp: Attacked for flouting human rights
    "The interrogator said: 'What is this?' I said: 'A cable'. He said: 'Open your hand,' and he hit it. The pain was awful.

    "I was crying. Then he told me to open my left hand and he hit me. Then he would ask me more questions.

    "An hour or two later he'd put me in a room and I could hear people being tortured. They'd be saying: 'Oh Allah! Oh God!' I could hear people screaming."
    Mr Arar was released and flown home to Ottawa three days short of a year after being placed in Syrian custody.
    No legal charges have ever been brought against him in either country. In Canada, where his case has caused a political outcry, a public inquiry is under way.

    Electric shocks

    An Australian named Mamdouh Habib was sent to Egypt in October 2001 by US authorities after being captured in Pakistan.
    He was held in Egypt for six months, and said he was subjected to extreme torture involving electric shocks, before he was sent onwards to Guantanamo.
    He was released last month and flown home to Australia.
    The programme also reveals that an official investigation is under way in Italy into suspicions that an Islamic militant was kidnapped off the streets of Milan and flown to Egypt by American agents.

    Executive jets

    Critics of the extraordinary rendition policy told File On 4 that British citizens have been arrested abroad and moved by the US to Guantanamo and to Arab prisons as a result of the sharing of intelligence with British security services or the British police.
    Evidence obtained as a result of any acts of torture by British officials, or with which British authorities were complicit, would not be admissible in criminal or civil proceedings in the UK

    Foreign Office statement

    Wahab al-Rawi, a British businessman, also claims he was arrested in the Gambia and questioned by American agents in November 2002, after the US was tipped off by British authorities.
    Wahab was freed but his brother and a business partner were flown on to Guantanamo, where they are still being held.
    It is known that the American civilian executive jets used to transport the prisoners around the world often pass through British airspace and use British airports. The File On 4 team discovered one was in Glasgow on Monday.

    A Foreign Office spokesperson told the programme it totally condemned torture but could not rule out using any reliable intelligence wherever it came from if it was going to save lives.
    The US Department of Defense, the CIA, and the State Department all declined requests for interviews.
    \"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.\"
    \"The reason we are so pleased to find other people\'s secrets is that it distracts public attention from our own.\"
    Oscar Wilde(1854-1900)

  2. #2
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    UN convention violated
    just that sentence was enough.
    If you dont follow the "code" you cant "ask" others to do so.
    Bad Idea.
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  3. #3
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    For the longest time I've questioned the morality of torture vs the effectiveness of it. Having never been a POW myself I really have no leg to stand on, but for what it's worth here's my 2 cents/devil's advocacy:

    My question is this: If it's ok to shoot the enemy, or threaten to shoot him if he fails to surrender, why is it not ok to beat him senseless to find out his cohorts? If it's ok for these terrorists to drive a microbus full of high explosives into a marine mess hall and detonate, why is it not ok for us to sleep-deprive, humiliate, and inflict pain to garner intelligence?

    A sound argument against this is that we would be reducing ourselves to their level...but isn't that also how wars are successfully fought and won? I wonder how they'd react in khabul if we were to autopilot a 747 into one of their commercial centers? We react with 'kill them, kill them all' to the horrors of 9/11 (and so we should), but then we become aghast at the actions necessary to conduct such a war? Folks, times have changed, warfare has changed. Since Veitnam we honestly don't know if the kid running toward us is loaded with HE or a friendly, and can't truly tell until he explodes and takes out half a division of soldiers. Wouldn't it bring much less grief and bloodshed to us by gathering such information from the enemy by whatever means? Geneva Convention? Yah, ok.... enemies of the US haven't adhered to GC since WWII.

    Again playing devil's advocate to initiate support, response, and thought on the issue, I say we fold, spindle, mutilate, inflict pain upon, humiliate, sleep/food deprive, or whatever it takes to get these terrorists spilling the information the possess.

    Ok, I'm backed off my position, and once again don't get personal here - this is a devil's advocate situation - I *do* have my arguments against this, but I'd love to hear yours first. Thanks for the input!
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  4. #4
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    There's not going to be a real answer in this post, nor is there going to be a definate opinion stated, so if you're looking for that, move along to the next post.

    Is torturing prisoners wrong? Yes
    Is this the first time the US gov't has done this? To my knowledge, no
    Is this war like any war we've ever fought before? No
    Is there any other way to gain the information we need? Probably not
    Does public knowledge of US-endorsed torture put our soldiers at much higher risk? Yes
    Does public knowledge of US-endorsed torture make us look like the biggest hypocrites on the planet? Yes

    There is no good answer. No, torture is never the right answer. But sometimes, you just have to go with the wrong answer. But then on the other hand, the old saying "2 wrongs don't make a right" has some bearing here. We went to Iraq to rid them of an abusive, genocidal, homocidal dictator. Does that qualify us for a 'free pass' for abusing people who don't agree with our presence? But if we're going to commit our soldiers to a cause, is it fair to then cripple them with no knowledge of what's going on and no information to fight with? I think we learned that lesson with our "police action" in Vietnam. (That never was a "war", remember?) If we don't "sink to their level" there's no way the outcome of this war is going to be anything other than a disaster, because we're going to continue losing soldiers and eventually we're going to pull out of Iraq and leave a mess, and be crucified by the rest of the world. If we do "sink to their level", we set ourselves up as huge hypocrites, and get crucified by the rest of the world. There is no win-win situation here.

    The only thing I'm certain about is that I'm glad it's not my decision to make one way or the other.
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    My question is this: If it's ok to shoot the enemy, or threaten to shoot him if he fails to surrender, why is it not ok to beat him senseless to find out his cohorts? If it's ok for these terrorists to drive a microbus full of high explosives into a marine mess hall and detonate, why is it not ok for us to sleep-deprive, humiliate, and inflict pain to garner intelligence?
    From a point of view of a man the lives on a country that went on that (dark) way, i can tell you: No, its not OK follow that path.
    And i can also explain why:
    Although torturing terrorists, child-abusing person and others like that sounds very good, ask yourself:
    - who decides who is a terrorist and who is a "regular citizen"? your government?
    - At your country, the police NEVER arrested someone innocent and that was proved by somebody imagine?
    Some history about torture (here):
    - at the first time, everybody supported the army and the military took control of government.
    - some years after, some guys (no judgment here) starts a counter-revolution with guerrila/terrorism tatics
    - Army started to arrest guys and torture to dismantle the groups. "regular citizens" applauded. They (terrorists) were bad guys and deserve it.
    - Army "extended" that idea to "regular criminals". "regular citizens" applauded. They (smugglers, kidnappers and son on) were bad guys and deserve it.
    - Among "those" people, army started to arrest "regular citizens" too. Sometimes because they were dissidents, sometimes by mistake. "regular citizens" started to be affraid.
    - And we entered on Dark Era. Everyone could be arrested any time of day or night, put in a jail and tortured for days, weeks - just because "the police" "thinks" they were bad guys. Civil rights? for bad guys? why? we (in the past) just gave to them the freedom of suppress those rights of bad guys.
    - Now think you looking at CNN (just an example) and seeing and soldier shooting a guy on floor, no weapons (ITS JUST AN EXAMPLE). You think "oh, that is bad. that guy wasnt offering any threat to the soldier.
    And you put your disagreement out loud.
    Police arrest you and torture you because they think that you are a terrorist supporter. After 10 days (supposing you are still alive - most here died after 5, 6 days) they release you - you are innocent.

    Although is unfair that we most follow the rules and the terrorist dont need to, we cant follow that way. We Simply cannot. When this demon is released, no one will be able to refrain it.

    P.S. Dont get my examples to support the idea that soldiers cant shoot ppl just because they are unarmed. I think that is true for the POLICE (they should not be able to shoot or injury anyone that arent posing a threat) but its not for the ARMY. Soldiers are in the battlefield; everybody that is alive and its not at his side is an enemy. Its a WAR.
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  6. #6
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    Thank you both for your responses. Debwalin, yours helped me clarify my own arguments against torture while Cacosapo hit the nail exactly on the head with "Releasing the demon..." I applaud you both, and again I thank you for your timely and well versed responses.
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

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  7. #7
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    And see...cacosapo has excellent points in his post as well. How do you draw the line where to stop? It's such a slippery slope, and so easy to go too far. And yet...how do you fight this war otherwise?

    It's so easy to criticize when you're not fighting, and you're not making the choices that could easily lead to life or death. Yours, or someone else's.

    And what we can never ever forget is that the people we are criticizing are the very reason we can sit here at our computers and freely criticize, and not fear jail or torture ourselves.
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    ...how do you fight this war otherwise?
    It's so easy to criticize when you're not fighting..
    Yes, its easy to us debate here, in a forum, in a chair, having cofee. But if you dont talk about it, who will?
    Its easy to end the war. Nuke all Middle East, south Asia and North of Africa. Im sure that will hit 90% of terrorist.
    but wait! Millions of innocents will be killed also in the process! We cant do that!
    If you, our reader, had that thought above, you have hope
    We have limits. ANYONE have limits. We must stay away the "border line".
    If we allow (in fact you, since its your government) torture for this purpose, we will allow torture for all. And believe me, you wont live in a country where torture is used as a "interrogatory tool".
    No War is easy. There is no way to fight and win EASILY. People will die. Civilians will die. Your neibor, friend, relative will die. If a country enter in a war, everybody must be prepared to horror. Its not a walk in the park. ITS WAR.
    But if we want to be the "good guys", we must follow rules. Simply like that. If we dont want to follow the rules, we cant ask others to do so.
    And EVERYBODY (not just the terrorists) will start to use the same tatics.
    And I bet that USA cant win a war like that.
    except nuking everybody else. But its still an loose-loose situation.
    So its better go strictly to the rules and expend YEARS to win.
    Meu sítio

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    If I die before I sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to encrypt.
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  9. #9
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    Expend years....and how many lives?
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

  10. #10
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    As the world sat in horror as they realized the devastation of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and for whatever reason they were actually dropped....most historians will say that, in retrospect, they probably saved lives.
    And look at Japan today.

    The point is, in war, and even in society, sometimes it is necessary to take life to prevent more death. Torture, ontheotherhand, is never justified.

    The question then becomes: what constitutes torture ?

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