Monday, April 02, 2007

American Gulag - Slavery, Torture Goes Global

What Bush and Cheney are saying to the American people when they speak to Congress the way they are.

This is the new gulag

Bush has created a global network of extra-legal and secret US prisons with thousands of inmates

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday May 6, 2004
The Guardian

It was "unacceptable" and "un-American", but was it torture? "My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture," said Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defence on Tuesday. "I don't know if it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word."

Article continues

He confessed he had still not read the March 9 report by Major General Antonio Taguba on "abuse" at the Abu Ghraib prison. Some highlights:
" ... pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape ... sodomising a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick ... "
Even Bagman Baker who handled the Saudi defense against victims of 911, couldn't bail junior out of this one.

Bush has created what is in effect a gulag. It stretches from prisons in Afghanistan to Iraq, from Guantánamo to secret CIA prisons around the world. There are perhaps 10,000 people being held in Iraq, 1,000 in Afghanistan and almost 700 in Guantánamo, but no one knows the exact numbers. The law as it applies to them is whatever the executive deems necessary. There has been nothing like this system since the fall of the Soviet Union. The US military embraced the Geneva conventions after the second world war, because applying them to prisoners of war protects American soldiers. But the Bush administration, in an internal fight, trumped its argument by designating those at Guantánamo "enemy combatants". Rumsfeld extended this system - "a legal black hole", according to Human Rights Watch - to Afghanistan and then Iraq, openly rejecting the conventions.
Private contractors, according to the Toguba report, gave orders to US soldiers to torture prisoners. Their presence in Iraq is a result of the Bush military strategy of invading with a relatively light force. The gap has been filled by private contractors, who are not subject to Iraqi law or the US military code of justice. Now, there are an estimated 20,000 of them on the ground in Iraq, a larger force than the British army.
Where, like Bush and Cheney, they are seemingly unaccountable before God, the laws of their own country or the military. They are mercenaries hired by the thugs and dead enders controlling the White House, where treason is a political party.


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