Your Government at Work: Gitmo Torture and Beyond

Written by Scott C. Smith

The American Civil Liberties Union has undertakenrepparttar task of obtaining declassified documentation of prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo).

The documents were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request (the FOIA is a federal law that allowsrepparttar 143131 public access to documents and other information fromrepparttar 143132 federal government) on Oct. 7, 2003, andrepparttar 143133 ACLU has been releasingrepparttar 143134 documents torepparttar 143135 public as they’ve received them. The collection of documents contains 35,000 pages of information.

The documents paint a picture of prisoner abuse that goes way beyondrepparttar 143136 “isolated” incidents at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. In fact, what we find are instead widespread allegations of abuse. Of course, George W. Bush’s defenders like to pretend that even if there was prisoner abuse, it wasn’t that bad (Rush Limbaugh famously likenedrepparttar 143137 abuse at Abu Ghraib to a fraternity hazing. You know,repparttar 143138 hazing that involves stripping someone naked, or withholding food for hours, orrepparttar 143139 use of attack dogs to terrifyrepparttar 143140 young pledge, or sodomizing that pledge with a glow-stick. Those fraternity rituals. Oh, and raping ofrepparttar 143141 fraternity pledge. Those wacky college kids!), why…look at all of those mass graves in Iraq! Saddam Hussein was much worse! Which, while true, doesn’t changerepparttar 143142 fact that, as of September 30, 2004,repparttar 143143 Pentagon had investigated 187 allegations of prisoner abuse. Apparently,repparttar 143144 right wing’s definition ofrepparttar 143145 word “isolated” is a bit different thanrepparttar 143146 commonly accepted use ofrepparttar 143147 word.

One ofrepparttar 143148 FBI memos obtained byrepparttar 143149 ACLU discussrepparttar 143150 alleged impersonation of FBI agents by Department of Defense interrogators. It is dated December 5, 2003 (some ofrepparttar 143151 FBI abbreviations used: “EC” is “Electronic Communication”; “CTD” is “Counterterrorism Division; “MLDU” is “Military Liaison and Detainee Unit”; “CITF” is “Criminal Investigation Task Force) and states:

"I am forwarding this EC uprepparttar 143152 CTD chain of command. MLDU requested this information be documented to protectrepparttar 143153 FBI. MLDU has a long standing and documented position against use of some of DOD's interrogation practices, however we were not aware of these latest techniques until recently...of concern, DOD interrogators impersonating Supervisory Special Agents ofrepparttar 143154 FBI told a detainee (blacked out)...these tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralizing nature to date at CITF believes that techniques have destroyed any chance of prosecuting this detainee. If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done (by)repparttar 143155 "FBI" interrogators. The FBI will (be) left holdingrepparttar 143156 bag beforerepparttar 143157 public."


Written by Doug Krieger

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By Doug Krieger

“The only time I open my mouth is when I exchange feet . . . man, we’ve gone from Deep Throat to Dean’s throat inrepparttar space of one week!”

These and other hilarious comments have been made ofrepparttar 142982 hysterical doctor from Vermont of late who, as DNC Chairman, is determined to make wedge politics a thing ofrepparttar 142983 present Democratic Party in its attempt to widenrepparttar 142984 already polarized American electorate.

Whenrepparttar 142985 likes of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank say that Dean’s remarks regarding people like Tom DeLay are “out of line” and that Dean doesn’t represent them when it comes to such blather, then you know thatrepparttar 142986 Dems. have actually electedrepparttar 142987 likeness of their national chair to match their mascot.

Now, let’s proberepparttar 142988 wisdom of this lightning rod of rhetoric and why allrepparttar 142989 fuss—especially concerning his latest gaff.

First of all, Howard Dean “hates Republicans.” (“I haterepparttar 142990 Republicans and everything they stand for,” former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told Democrats gathered at a Manhattan hotel, in quotes picked up byrepparttar 142991 New York Daily News. Jan. 29, 2005)

Then after hating this despicable lot he determines that this much hated Republican Party is primarily (like himself) a bunch of “white Christians” (“pretty much a white, Christian party.” June 8, 2005).


Now, it only gets better . . . i.e., it’s time to exchange feet again! When interviewed by Matt Lauer onrepparttar 142992 NBC Today Show (June 8, 2005), Lauer asked what Dean thought about 40% of Hispanics voting for Bush inrepparttar 142993 last election. Mind you, this question was fast onrepparttar 142994 heels ofrepparttar 142995 comments Dean made aboutrepparttar 142996 Republican Party being taken over by Christian conservatives. Dean continued his foot work when he reinforced his “White Christian” remark in response to Lauer’s questioning by including Hispanics in onrepparttar 142997 “conspiracy” of “White Christians.”

Dean continued to defend his remarks before Lauer . . .

“‘By a series of recent initiatives Republicans have transformed our party intorepparttar 142998 political wing ofrepparttar 142999 Christian conservatives.’ That was written by former Senator John Danforth, one ofrepparttar 143000 most respected people and Episcopalian minister. I think it is true thatrepparttar 143001 Republicans are in fact a largely white Christian party. There’s nothingrepparttar 143002 matter with that, I’m a white Christian myself, but they don’t include other folks and this is a very diverse country. In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to use other kinds of people as scapegoats in order to win elections.”

So, it’s O.K. thatrepparttar 143003 Republicans have had their party transformed by Christian conservatives (“ . . . there’s nothingrepparttar 143004 matter with that . . . (and, oh, yes) . . . I’m a white Christian myself”) . . . but Dean points out that while this transformation takes/took place by these conservative Christians, they, nevertheless, exclude “other folks” (e.g., gays, blacks, etc.) from “their party.”

Furthermore, these “white Christians” scapegoat these NarDoWells. Interestingly enough, according to CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll data, 82 percent of self-described Republicans are white Christians - but so are 57 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of all Americans. Note: The actual survey can be found HERE. And, all this one week after Dean remarked that many Republicans “have never made an honest living in their lives.”


As you can imagine, all this white, fundamentalist Christian bashing (withrepparttar 143005 Hispanics thrown in as well for target practice), really has provided a great deal of “fun and games” by Democrat watchers . . . actually, guys like Rush Limbaugh have come up with a bizarre explanation for all this regal rhetoric: Hillary Clinton looks moderate compared to Dean and, therefore, is more electable!

However, when your “point man” starts to take severe flack (self-induced) it’s time for a “group hug” . . . let’s circlerepparttar 143006 wagons. Thus, was a Thursday evening bash planned to honorrepparttar 143007 man withrepparttar 143008 golden tongue.

Party faithful will extolrepparttar 143009 gift that keeps on giving . . . or does it? As it turns out, big time “donors are upset thatrepparttar 143010 DNC under Dean's stewardship is falling behind in fund-raising, failing to appeal to party high-rollers. Inrepparttar 143011 first quarter of this year,repparttar 143012 DNC raised $14.1 million, compared with $32.3 million byrepparttar 143013 Republican National Committee.” (Boston Globe)

Howard appears to have caughtrepparttar 143014 focus of his party in more ways than one . . . and, thoughrepparttar 143015 likes of Rush Limbaugh contend he speaks forrepparttar 143016 soul ofrepparttar 143017 party (which may be correct), he certainly needs to be more coy about his party’s intentions . . . badmouthing heartlanders, Red States, and feigning to be both a “white Christian” and, at one time even a “Red Neck,” smacks of a stupid, disingenuous, political numbskull whose tour of duty is about to end real soon (probably for financial reasons as well).


Dabbling in political analysis, especially when it comes to “Christian” comments like those of Dean, that border on blatant racism and extreme stereotyping, is notrepparttar 143018 exclusive purview of secularists . . . so, let’s have a gander. First of all, Dean’s remarks truly do reflect his party’s philosophical core and anxieties. The intensity ofrepparttar 143019 polarization between secularists and so-called conservative Christians who have seemingly taken overrepparttar 143020 Republican Party (in appearance only) grows more intense each day.

Public articulation of this national polarization has grown to such a pitch that this type of irrational exuberance is not only tolerated, it is seen by many Democratic faithful as a breath of fresh air! Why not “tell it like it is” . . . we’ve nothing to lose, since we’ve little to gain (satisfied as we are withrepparttar 143021 fringe of Americana Blue and all else red).

Dean’s remarks are so “out there” (though they assuredly do not distortrepparttar 143022 facts . . . i.e., conservative Christians have literally taken overrepparttar 143023 “external” rein ofrepparttar 143024 Republican apparatus), that there’s got to be something else going on here.

There really is a deep seated fear, even trauma, afflicting scores of Americans who see in this “religious take over” of Republican politics,repparttar 143025 final “death throws” ofrepparttar 143026 secular state allegedly envisioned inrepparttar 143027 Constitution. To them so politically frightened, there is but little hope left; thus, to “break out” in a frontal assault akin to Dean’s and simply go for broke is their only alternative . . . lettingrepparttar 143028 chips fall where they may.

To do and/or say nothing would berepparttar 143029 greatest of errors—for a future structured by fundamentalist Ayatollahs is notrepparttar 143030 Hollywood and Broadway ofrepparttar 143031 Left . . . no, no, no . . . it isrepparttar 143032 worst of worlds; one that would confine and consignrepparttar 143033 American dream of expressive liberty for all torepparttar 143034 trash bin of deviant history.


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