Forget the arguments about whether water boarding is torture. The Guardian has now uncovered irrefutable evidence of full-scale torture during the Iraq War, conducted by Americans under the direct orders of Donald Rumsfeld. The story also implicates General Petraeus.

The Guardian/BBC Arabic investigation was sparked by the release of classified US military logs on WikiLeaks that detailed hundreds of incidents where US soldiers came across tortured detainees in a network of detention centres run by the police commandos across Iraq. Private Bradley Manning, 25, is facing a prison sentence of up to 20 years after he pleaded guilty to leaking the documents.

Samari claimed that torture was routine in the SPC-controlled detention centres. “I remember a 14-year-old who was tied to one of the library’s columns. And he was tied up, with his legs above his head. Tied up. His whole body was blue because of the impact of the cables with which he had been beaten.”

It was bad enough when we could believe that Abu Ghraib and the like were products of “rogue” behavior. But the Guardian provides evidence that torture was a deliberate policy, an intentional tactic employed by high-ranking Bush Administration officials–the same officials who justified America’s invasion of Iraq by pointing to Sadaam’s use of torture against his own people. The same officials who repeatedly proclaimed America’s moral superiority.

Why do I suspect that the people who routinely pontificate about “American Exceptionalism” will try to excuse and defend the indefensible?

Why is Bradley Manning going to jail for whistle-blowing?

Why have Donald Rumsfeld and his co-conspirators escaped prosecution for war crimes? And what did Dick Cheney know, and when did he know it?


  1. That is unthinkable. At minimum, We have got to hold ourselves up to the same standard we expect others to live up to. Our “moral superiority” does not grant us exception to the rules of civility, justice and the rules of war but rather obligates us to a higher standard.
    I’m Just sick after reading this… Its an offense to humanity and war crimes trials will start moving.

  2. Certainly shameful if not completely criminal. However, I’m not so sure bringing in the Bradley Manning situation is in order, to the extent that his alleged actions have been described merely as “whistleblowing” in justification. Since I don’t know all the facts, I won’t go out on a total limb, but my understanding is that the disclosed many pieces of legitimately classified information. I understand he did not seek to use institutional whistleblowing channels for whatever his complaints were first. (That’s not to say I don’t think his extreme isolation and incarceration situation doesn’t suck.)

  3. It’s shocking, but not all that surprising. There were people blowing the whistle on this when it was happening from our side and theirs, and reports on it happened in international news, if not here in the US. The fact that we just believed the lies told in response to those early reports makes it harder.

  4. No real surprise here – if anyone was paying attention to news reports out of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, Cheney upholding water boarding and Bush’s lying claim that we won the war in Iraq four months after he declared it, there should be no reason to be surprised at this information. I have mentioned before the situation regarding Cheney’s approval of “outing” Valerie Plame as a CIA agent because her husband notified Bush they found no evidence of nuclear power in Iraq. Cheney is a man who, while drinking on a hunting trip, shot a friend in the face and didn’t bother seeking aid but “assumed” the property owner would do so. Cheney was CEO at Halliburton prior to becoming Vice President which means he was CEO when Halliburton constructed the faulty oil platforms that later blew up killing 11 workers and virtually destroying the Gulf Coast environment. Bush wisely disappeared from the public scene the day of President Obama’s inauguration after bringing this entire country to it’s financial knees and embarrassment in the eyes of the world. How can any thinking person in this country – who has paid attention and added 2 and 2 to total 4 – not believe any of this report. Cheney and Bush were the “rogues” behind it all with full assistance from their GOP cronies. Why have Rumsfeld and his co-conspiritors escaped prosecution and what did Cheney know and when; I hope you aren’t really waiting for answers because they will never come in our lifetime.

  5. Selective outrage I say. What you condemn when it was done by GWB you embrace with unbridled enthusiasm when it’s done by BHO. Where was your outrage when BHO had a 16-year old U.S. citizen from Colorado murdered by a drone strike, along with the hundreds of others he has ordered indiscriminately killed while invading the sovereignty of other nations based on the affirmations of the same people who told us Iraq possessed WMD and the only reason we were going into Afghanistan was to get bin Laden. The same people are calling the shots today as they were when GWB was president; the only difference is that the guy doing the bad is a person of color with the letter D behind his name who for some twisted reason makes you feel good when he takes this insanity to new and higher levels. Where was your outrage when Obama replaced Petraeus with a man who doesn’t even believe in the Bill of Rights as CIA Director? Bradley Manning is going to jail because of the actions of BHO, not GWB. What justification does BHO have for spending US tax dollars to train and arm Syrian mass murderers to overthrow a dictator so he can be replaced by extremist religious fanatics? What authority did he have to arm religious fanatics in Libya to overthrow a creepy dictator who returned the favor by murdering our US ambassador? I suppose you also believe that the Arab Spring promoted by BHO has made life better for people living in Egypt, particularly women.

  6. i responded to issues specifically addressed in this article; they should not be overlooked, forgotten, pushed aside or swept under the rug because there are new and/or continuing issues with the current administration.

  7. Why did Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld (or Obama, Biden, Gates) escape prosecution for war crimes? Because we won.

    If the US had lost to Iraq then Bush et al (or Obama et al) would’ve died as Saddam Hussein did, hung before a crowd of gibbering sub-humans, while the benevolent victors watched from afar with clean hands, smug in the blessings of the God of Abraham and Moses.

  8. Come on in JoAnn, the water’s warm.

    FWIW, once you’ve played the “War Criminal” card, anything about bad friends, shady government bids, wrecking the economy, NWO agendas, etc., kinda sorta becomes a toucha superfluous, don’t you think?

  9. Marco, “superfluous” is the perfect description of what Sheila referred to – no matter how often these activites are brought to light, they are ignored so the public needs to be reminded that no action has been taken. “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

  10. Throughout the last 100 years, the US has obliterated countries, conducted torture, murdered people (My Lai), killed captured POW’s, etc etc.

    Mr Obama is murdering innocent people via drones. If Mr Rumsfeld must be tried for war crimes, let’s have Mr Obama stand trial in The Hague too.

    What the hell does anyone think we’re doing in the Middle East ? Making friends ?

    Mr Pinetta divulged the fact that torture led to the killing of Bin Laden, which is Mr Obama’s key manliness credential. But by the time Bin Laden was killed, he wasn’t pushing terror, and he was about to die. Killing Bin Laden was, to Mr Obama, just another election tactic…just like Bush’s invasion of Iraq was an election tactic. Let’s get over which party people belong to, and stop the g.d. wars NOW.

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