“When a ‘nation of laws’ refuses to apply those laws to people in power, the law dissolves into a matter of opinion… Nearly 20 years after 9/11, half the country still approves of torture—one of the most serious international crimes.”
Ask Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange about those “serious international crimes”.
This is a critical issue as we move into a new administration and we must all push as hard as we can – in every way that we can – for this to happen.
Biden and the democrats must hold Trump and Republican enablers to account. Failing to do so by saying we want to look forward not backwards will mean the same old same old and nothing will improve.
Bold action must be taken and those performing the bold action must accept the possibility of Not being re-elected. But isn’t better to be a one-term president who made a difference rather than a two-termer who was cheered on by the military-industrial complex and wall street?
Not gonna happen.
If Biden holds Trump accountable for his crimes,
Then the next president will hold Biden responsible for his crimes.
Biden cannot and will not take that chance.
Our only hope is to elect Lisa Simpson as president and SHE will do the right thing and hold all of the war criminals responsible for their crimes.
The full events of what happened at Abu Ghraib , including the sodomizing of Children in front of their mothers has still not been fully revealed. The US Government claims revealing all of this would be a threat to “National Security”
When the truth “A threat to national Security” (See those whistle blowers thrown in jail) , than what kind of nation is afraid of the truth?
It one built on myths and lies.
If the facts hold true, Trump and his people attempted, and at least partially accomplished, a form of targeted genocide against the people, and particularly marginalized people, using COVID-19 as the vehicle for policy. Capitalism demanded the nation not shut down and the workers keep working, even in the teeth of a lethal pandemic. Lacking a vaccine for all those months, the only viable solution that satisfied “the markets” was to let the virus burn through the population — particularly disabled, elderly, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, low-income, houseless and incarcerated populations — unchecked.
It is literally one of the most important actions to be taken by the incoming administration.
I would be pleased if the US shut Guantanamo and returned the land to Cuba.
Holy shit . The entire article goes on about how US crimes against humanity in Guantanamo, and never mentions that piece of shit Biden has refused to commit to closing Guantanamo and freeing all the people who the US is holding and torturing.
Calling for the prosecution of Trump, but failing to call for Obama and Bush to be prosecuted is, at best, extremely shortsight.
Instead of closing Guantanamo we used it as a model for building super max prisons and “detention” centers along our border.
What the military gets away with overseas will become SOP in the mainland USA ten years later.
Crime unpunished flourishes
Quoting somebody recently: Santayana said whom ever doesn’t remember history is bound to repeat it, so not “looking back” is really somebody who is going to live though the same “back”, again.
Rendition and torture are not meant to be known by the public under any administration in the good ole USA. We’re better than “them”, the biggest myth of American foreign policy, and anyone who denies that will face the consequences. Of all the dims who ran for president, Biden is the least likely to change that mindset. Hoping for change never worked and it certainly won’t with Biden.
Exactly why Obama said: " we must look forward".
I agree with the Gitmo guy. Regardless of whether or not we have previously held politicians accountable, now is the time to pony up and make charges where charges are due.
Move on, moving forward has it’s merits too. Hillary Clinton was dragged before politically partisan committees time and time again, with them trying to pin a crime on her. Her consistent reply was, “Let’s just move on and fix the things we can.”
I’m more than halfway thru Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land”. I am at the part where he takes former CIA Director John Brennan onboard - trusting him implicitly.
Brennan has a book out - “Undaunted”, and in this review and interview Brennan holds out the hope that Trump will be prosecuted in some way following Jan 20.
I have perused “Undaunted” in the local bookshop - before I got “A Promised Land”, and I too liked and implicitly trust John Brennan.
My reading list just gets longer and longer - like a job - which I guess it is Gandolf.
Here is more of what the U.S. indoctri-Nation machine ‘accomplished’ via the mass news media Trump SideShow 5 year marathon that could never seem to find time to sustain continued analysis of either policies or an autopsy of Public Interest policy failures that would identify the winners of these failed policies.
Five years represents this current Presidential term and roughly, very roughly the year of team Trump’s campaign headed by Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and such criminally tried and convicted contractors and close advisors as Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, personal hush-money disburser and attorney Michael Cohen and Rick Gates to name only a few campaigning their way with U.S. Corporate Caliphate collusion into a credible candidacy built on a candidate with no record of Public Service in a long and thoroughly researched career of self-service.
I don’t mean by ‘thoroughly researched’ the Alex Jones variety of research or quickie “Gotcha” gamesmanship that now passes for professional journalism. I mean the decades long gathering and analysis of institutional records from the NY State Franchise Tax Board and document-rich Court records pertaining to the Trump Organization’s acquisition of title to Low Income Public Housing and publicly held lands they were built upon and that came to include the Maintenance Services built with tax-payer funding and onward to the IRS findings of audits of that business that passed from our President’s building contractor father and Nanny State\BIG GOVERNMENT Private Contractor Fred Trump through other siblings including the President’s sister, her Honor the now retired Senior U.S. Court of Appeals Third District Judge, Maryanne Trump Barry and that began in the 1980’s.
Along with the first-rate corroborated if abandoned by national media broadcast pool and most of the public affairs\news press beat reporters covering the Horse Race aspect of national elections with little digression into the candidate’s actual lived history of the issues (like Global Trade, Economics, Foreign Policy and Main Street versus Wall Street privileging in national policy-making going back to the Neo-Liberal E-CONomic Revolution that was not televised back in the 1970’s and that seems to have wiped the Trump Family fortune’s relatively recent (in historical terms) and nearly all Publicly Funded genesis from the journalistic muck-raking of the peer-reviewed, locally-based, independent and vetted variety that occurred decades prior to any serious thought of illuminating the candidacy of this thoroughly unqualified aspirant to the highest Public Interest office in this land, that of Commander In Chief and CEO of what was intended to be a non-profit organization. Namely our government!
Having re-capped the marathon coverage of these past 5+ years of the Donald Trump Side-Show and paradoxically what this wall-to-wall coverage didn’t have time and\or inclination to review and analyze with an eye toward might be expected policy-wise were this candidate and his cronies to reach office, let U.S. turn to yesterday’s Common Dreams outreach by sharp new reporter Brett Wilkins to Alka Pradhan, the "human rights counsel at the Military Commissions Defense Organization at Guantánamo Bay. "
It seems a pity that this outreach to many of the most deeply involved justice-seekers at Guantanamo Bay’s off-shored prison where the laws of military occupation prevail rather than the U.S.'s national laws and the clear lack of anything resembling justice in all of this very expensive in human terms and on the ever accumulating tax-payer funded terms lacked sourcing of Ali Soufan. Many should be asking for a review of why this former seasoned FBI investigator of domestic terrorism is now relevant to a case that was under the jurisdiction and control of the only U.S. federal intel agency that most Americans are even passingly familiar with in the context of investigation into International Terrorism, namely the CIA.
The FBI sent their domestic investigator to assist in Arabic language and culturally competent interrogation of detainees of Washington’s Force Majeure use of Black Operations sites around the world because the wealthiest nation in the history of humanity’s assigned intel agency, the CIA, lacked interrogators with the skill set required to perform such functions. Most National Security has been out-sourced to Private profit-maximizing corporations such as Edward Snowden’s employer, Booz Allen Hamilton. This was a rare case of the CIA seeking expertise from a fellow Public Service worker. Here is some of why Common Dreams staff should be interested in sourcing former FBI Supervisory Investigator and Interrogator on loan to the CIA, Ali Soufan, given the now declassified re-publication a few months ago of his initially heavily censored by the CIA land-mark book THE BLACK BANNERS:
From Vanity Fair reporter and interviewer Chris Smith’s lede paragraphs published this past September of 2020:
" Ali Soufan is an American hero. As an FBI agent, his interrogation of al-Qaida’s Abu Zubaydah uncovered the crucial fact that the September 11 attacks were planned by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . Soufan’s questioning of other terrorist leaders prevented pending terror attacks around the world. And Soufan’s methods were old-school: bonding with prisoners by speaking Arabic, bringing a plate of sugar-free cookies to a diabetic detainee."
*"He might have saved even more lives if the CIA hadn’t gotten in his way. The agency refused to turn over intelligence that could have interrupted the 9/11 plot; after the attacks, it pushed Soufan and the FBI aside in favor of brutal, ineffective “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding. When Soufan wrote The Black Banners, a riveting, maddening book about his experiences, the CIA insisted on more than 100 redactions, including dozens of complete sentences as well as entire key pages. Nine years later the agency reversed its decision, and the new edition, out September 8, includes a wealth of powerful detail. Soufan, who left the FBI in 2005 and now heads the Soufan Group, an international consulting firm, talked with Vanity Fair’ s Chris Smith about his revised book and new threats to national security.
Vanity Fair: The original edition of Black Banners was a best seller, and it included convincing evidence that conventional interrogation methods worked far better than torture. So why spend nine years fighting to remove the blacked-out text?
Ali Soufan : This is about way more than a book or the idea of torture. This is about the importance of transparency. Because unfortunately, 19 years ago we went through a disinformation campaign done by our own government. More than 70% of the American public believed that Saddam [Hussein] was involved with 9/11 or that he possessed weapons of mass destruction. The American public believed it because there was a specific, coordinated campaign to make them believe it, from the “mushroom cloud” to the statements Colin Powell made to the U.N. Security Council. And they backed it up with things that were obtained under torture and that were not true. In order to shape the narrative, they allowed anybody who was a proponent of torture to talk freely.
Central to the work of Alka Pradhan and her colleagues at Guantanamo Bay and to the weight of previous Presidential and Justice Department policies of impunity and lack of accountability while leveraging Force Majeure and routinizing Black Operations globally, the new Biden-Harris (that is former California Top Cop and now VP elect Kamala Harris) Presidential credibility in the eyes of this nation that has paid the bills and other costs along with nations invaded and occupied by U.S. Forces and in the assessments of our once close alliances with many other nations that have submitted (more or less) to the rules of international law and human decency, not to mention managerial efficacy of Public Service Intel Agencies now being left behind by the out-sourcing and PRIVATIZATION of National Security (not to mention PUBLIC HEALTH) in the name of Neo-Liberal E-CONomic ‘efficiencies’ which we are barred from discussing and analyzing over U.S. Corporate-captured broadcast news, business news and public affairs programming:
" There has never been accountability for many of the things that took place around 9/11, and it has shaped the world that we live in today. It created a credibility gap between the American people and their government, and it increased distrust of the media. And now with COVID, we see it going to a totally different level. The idea of wearing a mask—“It’s my opinion if it works”; if COVID is real or not—“My opinions matter more than doctors, more than experts in public health. It’s how I feel. I don’t want the media to tell me I have to wear a mask.” Experts have been diminished throughout the years for the sake of partisan talking points. Alternative facts did not start with this administration. [Donald] Trump has just capitalized on a lot of these things that are already in existence."
As for the Public Interest and non-profit educational pursuit of such broadcast news programming, there are some wonderful if under-used resources from our Public and Private colleges and universities. Even this monopolistic titan of the Corporate Caliphate, namely posted to U. of Tube dba YouTube:
" Ali Soufan’s The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed the War on Terror after 9/11
•Sep 24, 2020
"Thursday, September 24th, 2020 2:00PM Author Ali Soufan, Former Supervisory Special Agent, FBI; Chief Executive Officer, The Soufan Group and Founder, The Soufan Center In Discussion with Karen J. Greenberg, Director, CNS
On his book The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed the War on Terror after 9/11 . In 2011, when Ali Soufan’s first book The Black Banners was published, significant portions of the text were redacted on what were claimed to be national security grounds. Nine years later, and after subsequent review by the Central Intelligence Agency, those redactions have been lifted and Ali Soufan can now talk about his book in full for the first time. The removal of the redactions corrects the record on how vital intelligence was obtained from al-Qaeda suspects and brings forth important new details on the controversial use of enhanced interrogation techniques, or torture, to extract information from terror suspects. For many years, proponents of the use of these techniques have argued that they produced actionable intelligence in the war on terror.
“This conversation between Karen Greenberg and Ali Soufan will discuss the newly released The Black Banners (Declassified) to understand the complete story of what happened in America’s name after the events of 9/11. The discussion will specifically touch upon the ways in which truth was manipulated in post-9/11 America and the serious challenge faced in setting the record straight on this dark and painful period of America’s history. Ali Soufan, a former FBI special agent and a leading national security and counter-terrorism expert, is the CEO of The Soufan Group, Founder of The Soufan Center, and author, including of The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed the War on Terror after 9/11 (W. W. Norton, 2020).”
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