Tuesday, March 8, 2011

America: Torturers in Chief: the Degrading treatment of Bradley Manning

America: Torturers in Chief: the Degrading treatment of Bradley Manning

It has been reported (Bush’s Interrogators Stressed Nudity, By Robert Parry, March 4, 2011*) that Army Private Bradley Manning has been repeatedly subjected to forced nudity. This constitutes ‘cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.’ Forced nudity is a disgusting an absolute debasement of a human being, and it is intended to and does rob persons of their human dignity.

Forced nudity is emotional and psychological torture. This torture and degrading
treatment of Bradley Manning is now being inflicted by the Obama administration.

Forced nudity and physical abuse were implemented as part of a torture regime by the CIA. This evil goes straight to Dick Cheney , George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld to name a few. Some of the tactics used beside ‘Waterboarding’ which was considered torture during the Inquisition; and that’s what it was, and is today, and always will be: torture!

Other tactics included:
Sleep deprivation, which allowed for a range of between 70 and 120 hours weekly.

Forcing a detainee in a large box for up to 8 hours at a time, and for up to 18 hours daily,

Dowsing a completely naked detainee with ice cold water,

‘Insult slaps.’ That’s where an interrogator opens up a session by slapping a detainee across the face with the open palm, or it could be an abdominal slap.

‘Walling’ was/is a much used tactic. This is where a detainee is placed in a harness and slammed against a wall repeatedly for as many as 20-30 times in a row.

The CIA “Background Paper on CIA’s Combined Use of Interrogation Techniques”
stated that ‘walling’ was very effective because it wore down detainees and ‘created a sense of dread’ in them. Ya, like when a person worries about the possibility of death. That’s torture plain and simple.

Imagine if it were revealed that the Nazis, or the Japanese, or the Vietnamese had lawyers like Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, or Department of Justice lawyers John Yoo, or Jennifer Koester Hardy or Defense Department Counsel William J. Haynes, or Vice Presidential Counsel David Addington, or Alberto R. Gonzales, White House Counsel to George W. Bush (2001-2005) and later Attorney General of the Unites States (2005-2007) draft legal opinions, or be a part of the process to give a fig leaf of cover to justify those techniques being used on American POW’s. What would it be called? Torture! And, one can imagine the outrage by the American government. They would want to hunt them down and bring them to trial as well they should be.

And the same should be done to Jay Bybee , John Yoo, Jennifer Koester Hardy, William J. Haynes David Addington, Alberto R. Gonzales, Dick Cheney, George Bush , Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Major General Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of Guantanamo Bay concentration camp before he moved on to Abu Ghraib to ‘Gitmo-ize’ it, the ideologues Paul Wolfowitz , John Bolton, William Kristol, Richard Pearle and a cast of thousands.

As for Mr. Addington, one would think that being the legal counsel (2001-2005) and Chief of Staff (2005-2009) to Dick Cheney would be a sure ticket into hell ahead of most
of those forced to wait in the queue, of course not before his Boss, Dick Cheney.

The treatment of Bradley Manning, who is an American citizen, and whose crime was to expose murder, torture and other evil deeds being swept under the rug by US authorities, constitutes torture, and at the very least ‘cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.’ This is prohibited by Article 1 of the ‘CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.’ The Convention mentions in its Preamble ‘the inherent dignity of the human person.’ Forcing persons to be nude for hours upon hours while they are tortured is a heinous and despicable act.

Forcing a detained person to be nude is ‘cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.’

It is torture.

The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations upholds ‘the dignity and worth of the human person.’ The conditions under which Bradley Manning is kept is torture because they are trying to break his body, mind and spirit.

It is torture.

The Preamble to the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS mentions that the ‘disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.’ The citizens of Fallujah, (radiated lands), Basra (Depleted Uranium like the rest of Iraq, Afghanistan), and wherever America conducts aggressive war know all about ‘the disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts.’ The Declaration also, reaffirms ‘the dignity and worth of the human person.’ Article V of the Declaration states: ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’

Bradley Manning’s forced nudity constitutes torture.

Article VII of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.’ The latter is done at Guantanamo Bay and other places just as once Nazi doctors and scientist did the same in another era.

Bradley Manning’s forced nudity constitutes to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and torture.

The ‘Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’ prohibits torture or ‘any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or confession, punishing him for an act he has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating him or other persons.’

Bradley Manning’s treatment constitutes torture!

Torture is a violation of U.S. domestic law as well. Under U.S. law any violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is a crime. Also, The Torture Statute ‘provides for life in prison, or even the death penalty if the victim dies, for anyone who commits, attempts, or conspires to commit torture outside the United States.’** Torture is also forbidden by the U.S. Army Field Manual.

All of the above international instruments and domestic US laws and regulations require State officials to investigate and prosecute. This has not and is not being done in the United States.

When a government does as the United States government, military and CIA has done since 9/11, that is declared to the world that it alone can decide if it wishes to overthrow governments and leaders, and place whole countries, and peoples under its complete control unilaterally in violation of international norms, or international law.

When such leaders declare the right to bomb whom it likes, when it likes and where it likes, and to conduct extrajudicial killings. That is, killing or assassinating people without the due processes of law, or charging or convicting them with a crime. It’s just plain murder.

When such leaders let their intelligence agencies roam the world and kidnap citizens anywhere, at any time and transport them to places where they will be beaten mercilessly tortured, subjected to the most barbaric forms of torture and murdered. Hundreds of
detainees have died in U. S. custody, and we do not know the true amount. The United
States has a world-wide system of Gulags.

When the political and military leaders of the U.S. refuse to bring its own war criminals to trial,

When the country’s criminal justice system and judicial system refuse, or unwilling or unable to prosecute these barbaric crimes, then such a regime is nothing more than a great criminal enterprise rolling along unchecked. It is no different than a Nazi regime which before it was stopped left Europe, the Middle East and parts of North Africa in shambles.

When such a country’s criminal justice and judicial system are unwilling, unable or refuse to bring its own war criminals to trial for all of these crimes and more

Then, Brothers and Sisters,

At such times in history it is up to the countries and peoples of the world to bring this criminal regime: the Government of the United States to a standstill and to:
Dismantle it completely,

To put its political leaders in the criminal dock,

To put its military leaders in the criminal dock,

To put the leaders of the CIA and its other intelligence agencies in the criminal dock,

To put the leaders of the criminal war industries into the criminal dock

To put its ideologues who promoted the wars into the criminal dock,

And, above all to place those lawyers (John Yee, Jay Bybee, Albero Gonzales et al) who
provided the legal justification for that which is criminal: wars of aggression, torture and more, they must be put in the criminal dock!

It is well beyond that point when these things should have been done.

We owe it to the innocent victims of this criminal regime!

We owe it to the countries that have been destroyed, and to prevent any more countries from being invaded and destroyed.

We owe it to those who have fought on both sides of this conflict. Currently, more U.S. soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen die from suicide than are being killed in combat! It is a testament to what war does to the individual.

We owe it to the world, and to show that no one is above the law, and that while we the people can never rely on our governments we can never let this happen again.

We owe it to the Palestinian peoples who are prisoners of a criminal regime that ethnically cleansed them from their homes, farms, fields, businesses, villages, towns and cities. We must restore what they have lost.

There must be investigations that will reveal the truths about 9/11 and 7/7. They were done by the intelligence services. Dick Cheney was in charge on 9/11. He must not be allowed to die. He must be kept alive and held accountable.

I, for one think that the world deserves to see how he would like to be forced nude and have ice cold water on him.

*Originally published September 12, 2009.
** Under U.S. Law Torture is Always Illegal’ By Marjorie Cohn. 6 May 2008. http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn05062008.html (http://bit.ly/hGQZGM)

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