Tuesday 12 May 2009

Cheney’s lies about “the worst of the worst”

Notwithstanding Cheney’s continued lies about the terrible danger of putting the Guantanamo detainees in U.S. prisons – which is an insult to the people who run our prisons -- only about 5 percent of the Guantanamo detainees were actually “captured on the battlefield” by U.S. forces, and even that doesn’t mean they’re terrorists. Essentially the other 95 percent were victims of very stupid U.S. policy: we announced a $5000 reward for the capture of any “Arab fighter”, so local Afghan warlords and Pakistani units simply kidnapped any Arab, or Arab-looking guy – no proof of guilt required -- and handed him over for the money. Some of these people, for example, were Arabs who moved to Afghanistan to marry local Afghan girls. And the CIA knew this as far back as 2002: the Guantanamo commander admitted to the Wall Street Journal -- "sometimes, we just didn't get the right folks;" most of these guys are being held simply because "nobody wants to be the one to sign the release papers." This is why the Bush gang never put these guys on trial – there wasn’t any evidence against them. When the Bush gang did try to go to trial with these cases, they lied again – they deliberately concealed exculpatory evidence, which is flagrantly illegal; it's what prosecutors do when they know they have a bullcrap case.

In other words the Bush administration, in addition to their other myriad, manifold crimes, conducted a widespread kidnapping conspiracy, involving local Afghan corrupt-thug/freelance-bounty-hunters. All this, while we were trying to persuade them of the need to establish and maintain the rule of law. Don’t do as I do, do as I say….

Let’s recap. These Bush guys have already been busted for lying about virtually every aspect of all this. The government is about to release the data proving even more conclusively that the Republicans lied about the torture. A Bush administration official already admitted that they were beating these guys up in order to force them to lie about an Iraq-terror-WMD link in time for the 2002 elections. Two of the detainees have now admitted they lied to interrogators because they didn't want to be tortured; one conveniently died in custody. The CIA and Senators Graham and Rockefeller have shot down the argument that Pelosi knew all along; so not only was that a pathetic evasion, it was also a lie (and telling someone you’re committing crimes doesn’t mean you’re not a criminal, so the argument was stupid anyway). Contrary to Cheney's lie that Bush's authorization makes it all okay, the actions of our interrogators, and our transfer of these prisoners to other countries to be tortured further, not only violate international law to which the U.S. is signatory, but also violate the military code and Title 18 of the U.S. Code.

Lies, lies and more lies.

And let’s end with the absurd juxtaposition for this week: as Jon Stewart pointed out, the two messages we’ve gotten from the GOP is that torture is okay but Wanda Sykes isn’t.

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