27 Apr 2009

Torture,Bush and the Facts

It turns out that thousands of US military members and NATO soldiers have been routinely waterboarded, kept in cramped conditions, subjected to sleep deprivation, kept in the cold, played loud music to endlessly and every other technique now widely being trumpeted in the world media is "torture", admittedly inflicted during Bush's time on some top Al Qaeda members, like 911 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, by the CIA in 2001-2006.

The reason is that all the methods that are so-called "Bush torture" are actually used to train US and NATO troops to resist interrogation when captured.

In light of these facts, should NATO and US officers, including many generals and others, who devised and ordered waterboarding and more of their own soldiers for the past 30 years, be investigated and tried for "torture"?

After all, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. And if they should not be investigated, why should Bush or any of his officials be subject to retrospective prosecution for the same techniques applied to confessed terrorists and mass murderers- including those who killed the Kenyans in the 1998 embassy bombings?

If US and NATO officers are not to be prosecuted en masse for "waterborading", "sleep depriving" and so on thousands of troops, it can only be because (a) we would hold such techniques are not "real" torture but merely harshness (b) the techniques the US used on it's own soldiers really are torture, but were used in training for a "good end" -- i.e.not to cause pain for pain's sake.

If we argue (a): the techniques are "harmless" or merely "harsh interrogation", why is it called 'torture' when US citizens do it to non-Americans but not, as in the NATO/US Army training, to each other?

If hold to (b): why was the CIA "waterboarding" of Sheik Khalid Mohammed, which had him confessing to a plot to bomb Los Angeles and the arrest of the attack cell, not a "good end"?

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