Sunday, December 14, 2014

Torture defenders cry wolf again over senate CIA report.

With the report on CIA torture now public those opposed to the report and criticizing it are using the same worn out and discredited lies that government officials and some members of congress have alway used  in trying to defend, cover up or minimize illegal acts and wrong doing by the government that are exposed. And it's been no different this time when illegal acts of torture initiated by the Bush administration and  known for years but largely ignored, have become , with the release of the senate report, an official finding of the U.S. Government .  Which rankles those who stand accused of war crimes and human rights violations.

The  first and most often told  lie,  the same one used every time wrong doing by the government is exposed  is that the release of the information is going to cost American lives . 

This is always  the lie of choice in the hopes of rallying the public and intimidating an already easily intimidated news media in the hopes of tamping down coverage , mute public outrage and  dismiss and diminish criticism to get everyone off the hook. 

They did it  with Edward Snowden in trying to stop the publication of documents he handed over to Glenn Greenwald after they started being published by The Guardian, NY Times and Washington  Post.

John Kerry, on behalf of Obama  who expanded the Bush administration domestic spying to new lows claimed the Snowden revelations would cost American  lives.  

Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intel Committee  said it would cost American lies.  James Clapper and Keith Alexander said it would cost American lives.  Chuck Schumer attacking Snowden and shilling for the president said it would cost American lives. Jeffery Toobin in his mid life crisis melt down article for the New Yorker calling Snowden a traitor said it would cost American lives.

It never did. No one at anytime ever provided an iota of proof that revealing the wrong doing committed by Clapper and the NSA ever cost even one American life. 

It was a lie 40 years ago when the FBI tried to get the then reputable NY Times to stop publication of stolen FBI documents that showed the FBI was illegally spying without warrants, on American anti-war and civil rights activists. Hoover called the Times and claimed publishing the documents would cost American  lives. The Times published anyway. No lives were lost. 

And it was a lie when Nixon tried to use it to prevent publication of the Pentagon Papers. And it's a lie now. 

The second  big lie is that the illegal activity which amounted to war crimes provided valuable information that SAVED lives. 

That has proved to be a lie too. 

Ask anyone in government  to give specifics of what plots were thwarted or how it saved lives or prevented another 911 and they can't do it.  Sometimes, as was the case of General Keith Alexander at the NSA , they try submitting documents in the hopes of pulling off a bluff but when members of congress examined  the supporting documents all it has ever proved was that the assertion was pure fiction. 

Sometimes the excuse they use for not providing proof is they can't give details because it's classified . That's a lie too because every senator  on the senate intelligence committee and especially the chairman and ranking  member has a classified security and intelligence clearance to whom these claims could have been documented . 

The claim that the torture program resulted in valuable intelligence that saved lives was not just refuted by the senate report which concluded there was no actionable or valuable intelligence that resulted from the torture of prisoners, but  even John Brennan admitted in his press conference that whether any intelligence obtained through torture provided any valuable information was "unknowable". 

And now John Yoo, the assistant attorney general whose tortured legal opinions provided the legal basis or excuse for the torture says the incidents described in the report were disgraceful and would have never been approved by the Justice Dept. 

But as usual the most disgraceful conduct isn't being reported by the news media because the disgrace IS the news media themselves. 

Much of what's in the report isn't new. It was reported in 2007 in the report by the International  Red Cross , it was revealed in a documentary called Torturing Democracy which was readily available which documented  with facts and evidence the torture of prisoners , many of them innocent ,along with the tortured  logic of John Yoo that provided  the  false legal basis for the war crimes by the Bush administration. It had all been known for years. But the American news media ignored it  because of their usual rank cowardice and fear of those in power. 

There was  no moral outrage like the media expressed over Anthony Weiner's consensual online sex chats . No questioning of the reports of torture and it's violation of American values. No question of violating American law. No questions about its validity and whether it provided useful information. Just the usual lap dog responses we've come to expect from most in the news media on almost any topic rather than report facts. 

And the few times questions were asked, Cheney and other government officials simply admitted the use of "Enhanced Interrorigation Techniques"  lied about its value , lied about it having prevented attacks , lied about it saving lives, lied about the severity of the torture, and the media just let it go. Just like we've seen them do with Obama's dishonest claims on a variety of policy issues. 

That Obama is retaining John Brennan as CIA director who was part of the Bush  administration and who supported the torture while now condemning it and that Obama has refuses  to hold anyone legally accountable for violating because he is afraid of criticism from Republicans ( as usual)  while having no problem sending fighter jets to intercept Snowden, all  shows again why the ACLU has said Obamas record on civil liberties and human rights is, in their words , "disgusting". And once again how he tries to straddle the fence and support both sides while nothing he says is taken seriously and shows like with almost every other issue he has faced ,he'd rather playboy safe and do nothing . Which makes anything he says now on the subject as empty as the claims by those attacking the release of the report itself . A report Obama himself tried to obstruct. 

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