“Sadistic . . . violent . . . inhuman.”

redactedThey must be horrific. So violent, in fact, so obscene, so counter to even the basic tenets of human decency that President Barack Obama sought today to block the release of hundreds of photos showing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan being abused, violated, tortured. He ordered this reversal of his position – he had been in favor of the decision to release this further evidence of war crimes committed under orders from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney – after military commanders warned that the images could inflame anti-American sentiment and endanger U.S. troops.

But, it is far worse than that. The reality is this: Anti-American sentiment could not be more “inflamed” than it already is in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Our policy of indiscriminate bombing after the location of a “target” has been determined has caused the deaths of hundreds of men, women and children in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Our policies of providing weapons of terror – such as white phosphorous, concussion bombs, advanced jet fighters, massive tanks bristling with the power to annihilate anything in its path, explosives packed in cases made of depleted uranium – to be used by Israel against an utterly defenseless Palestinian population is known throughout the Middle East, throughout the world, except, of course, here in the U.S.

No, the release of the photos and videos in question would do more than “inflame anti-American sentiment and endanger U.S. troops.” If we are to believe reports that began circulating four years ago, reports from investigative journalists such as Seymour Hersh, their release would unleash a wave of anti-American hatred that would endanger the lives of not just U.S. soldiers, but the lives of all Americans, civilians as well as military personnel. Hersh, who helped uncover the scandal, said in a speech before an ACLU convention: “Some of the worse that happened that you don’t know about, ok? Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men … . The women were passing messages saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened. Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They [the Bush Crime Family] are in total terror it’s going to come out.”

At today’s White House press briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the president was concerned that the photos’ release would pose a national security threat. In other words, these unreleased photos and videos show acts of degeneracy so vile there is no way they can be explained or rationalized. They contain images of children – some of them the children of detainees – being raped and sodomized as a means of forcing confessions from the adult detainees that would provide the links between Saddam Hussein and al-Quaeda that Dick Cheney and George W. Bush insisted were the basis of their orders to invade and occupy Iraq. Children of detainees being raped and sodomized as a means of obtaining confessions. In testimony before Congress five years ago no less a war criminal than the murderous former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the unrevealed photos and videos contain acts “that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman.”

Two months ago, Hersh, speaking at the University of Minnesota, said the following in trying to reveal yet more of the incredible depravity and lawlessness of Dick Cheney:

“After 9/11, I haven’t written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet. That does happen. Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him.

“… Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths. “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.” [emphasis added]

[Note: The former head of JSOC – Lt. General Stanley McChrystal was named this week to replace Gen. David McKiernan as U.S Commander and Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan.]

Torture conducted by the CIA. The rape and sodomizing of children. Sending detainees to countries whose methods of torture are medieval in their scope and techniques. Assassination squads that answered only to Dick Cheney. This was your country. This was your country in the grip of a madman. This is your country trying desperately to deny, to hide, to bury, the evidence of war crimes on a massive scale.


This article has 8 comments

  1. Seattle_Truthseeker

    I hate the vile slime bush crime family and the fiend Nosferatu cheyney (I can not and will not dignify their names by capitalizing their names) with the heat of a thousand suns in supernova…. They are as bad or worse than Mengele, than that vile chicken farmer Himler…….. I simply have no words……may they eventually meet the same fate as Nuremberg, and Il Duce……. I have no words…..

  2. Pandabonium

    The USA is has violent culture and torture and abuse of prisoners is the norm. Even progressives make jokes about the sodomy awaiting any political opponent sentenced to jail. Americans love to lock up anyone they can, even for victimless crimes, and care not one whit about violence in the overcrowded privatized prisons. So while our outrage about the torture and abuse done by the military and intelligence agencies in our name is justified, we also need to look at ourselves and culture we are immersed in, and participate in and support. This is a big ugly symptom of a broader problem, like a malignant mole that indicates a systemic cancer.

    Yesterday you said that Cheney hates the military. I disagree. Cheney and company are sociopaths. They have zero feelings about other human beings and every institution. They view people, government, religion, and the military as “things”. Soulless tools to manipulate and use to gain their psychopathic lust for power. To people like Cheney, the military is just another tool, and concepts like Honor and Duty are for “chumps”.

    He is out there stumping for torture, not because he believes it will serve America’s interests, but because it serves HIS interests. And though he is out of office, he and his ilk are planning to return and when they do, they want all their “tools” to be ready.

    It saddened me to leave the USA, but every time I turn around, something like this reminds me that for me, I made the right choice.
    I admire your tenacity Mike. Don’t ever loose the edge.


  3. Joe Rogo

    It’s hard to explain the about-face by Obama, even in light of his numerous nods to the corporate/military power base.

    Perhaps it’s entangled in the change of military leadership in Afghanistan, with the appointment of McChrystal, who according to Matt Rothschild at The Progressive,

    “approved a medal for Pat Tillman, the former NFL star, saying he fell under devastating enemy fire.

    … was the guy who was running Cheney’s assassination squads,

    (and here’s the interesting one)
    … authorized torture at a secret camp, where two detainees died under interrogation, and expressly prohibited the Red Cross from entering the camp, which would be a double violation of the Geneva Conventions. ”

    I’d like to know just how many Obama apologists who are blindly supporting this awful decision were front and center to criticize Obama when only two weeks ago, he was on the opposite side of the debate and supported the release of the photos.

    Show of hands? Yeah, I didn’t think so!

    But Greenwald says it so much better:

    “For all of you defend-Obama-at-all-cost cheerleaders who are about to descend into my comment section and other online venues to explain how Obama did the right thing because of National Security, I have this question: if you actually want to argue that concealing these photographs is the right thing to do, then you must have been criticizing Obama when, two weeks ago, he announced that he would release them. Otherwise, it’s pretty clear that you don’t have any actual beliefs other than: “I support what Obama does because it’s Obama who does it.””

  4. Synapse

    I am nearly numb from grief from imagining the trauma visited upon this dear child.

    American values are a lie!

    It has always been, the founding fathers own human beings and tortured them, raped them and killed them. (…)

    I am not surprised. All people of color are not surprised.

  5. Mokismo

    Honor, duty and country my ass.

    How many people were there in the chain of command between the White House and the actual committing of the acts in these photographs? How many people cast aside morality and conscience and courage to make sure they didn’t lose out on a paycheck or a promotion? It’s a cop-out to blame the Bush cabal, and it’s a cop-out to blame the few psychopaths stupid enough to be caught on film.

    Obama won’t release these photos because he’s as committed to maintaining the mythology about the noble serviceman as the woman driving around with a “my son defends freedom in the U.S. Marines” bumpersticker on her SUV. It’s not about keeping the truth from the rest of the world; it’s about protecting the lie here at home.

  6. chucky

    Canadian Observer

    If you think we’re such left wing losers, I have a simple solution for you: GET THE GODDAMN HELL OUT HERE AND NEVER COME BACK.

    One more time, another psycho right-wingnut has it ass-backwards. We love our country. That is why we are pointing out this bullshit. We want the bastards who are responsible for this prosecuted. Nobody is or should be above the law. Unfortunately, the democrats in this country are too spineless to do the right thing, so they probably will walk.

    And if you think I’m wrong, then answer me one question. How is it right that former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick does time for abusing and torturing dogs, but the Bush Crime Family are allowed to walk away from abusing and torturing people.

    Don’t bother answering that question if you can’t produce a non-racist answer.

  7. valerie

    I didn’t read thru this entire report. there’s no need to. The general gist of it points to what a sadistic, cruel and evil government we are under. I can only hope people like dick cheney (who doesn’t deserve to have his name written with capital letters) and others like him get their just rewards for all they have done. I cannot say I hate them all because that brings me to the low level of life these monsters operate at. Their Karma should serve them well in the future. I feel sorry for them for being such gross, inhumane beasts. There is nothing that can be compared to anyone who could be so cruel and hateful to others for the ‘gift’ of power. Anyone who tortures any living creature has no place on this Earth or anyplace else. I read a curse years ago that read ‘May God reward you well for the slighting of me’,…it seems appropriate for all the dick cheneys, michael vicks and others cut from the same cloth. I left out george bush because if you give a chimp a gun and that chimp shoots someone, who’s really to blame.
    Thank you,

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