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Atrocities: Real and Imagined


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May 31, 2005
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Atrocities: Real and Imagined
By: Doug Hagin
RightConservative.com 05-30-05

Recently Amnesty International declared the United States a violator of human rights. They labeled the detention center in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, a modern day gulag. Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan declared that nowhere has "the assault on fundamental values that is shaking the human rights world been more damaging. In addition, she blasted efforts by the U.S. administration to weaken the absolute ban on torture."

Newsweek, of course has done its share of America bashing by running with stories of American soldiers abusing the Quran. The stories, as we know proved to be false, and Newsweek retracted their story. The rest of the media has, however, continued leading their headlines and broadcasts with more accusations of Quran desecration.

Likewise, the International Red Cross took the United States to task for alleged prisoner abuses in Iraq. The daughter of Saddam Hussein has called the photos of her father inhumane and questioned why her father was not being treated like a human being and the father of three daughters. Even that bastion of civil liberties and human rights, North Korea bashed the United States over what they called violations of the human rights of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

So obviously, this has been a bad time for public relations for the Bush administration and for the military. Of course, most of the bad press has been based on false retracted news stories, the testimony of terrorists, overreaction from left-wing groups that always enjoy bashing America, and the rantings of North Korean Communists. Therefore, as usual, the ones pointing fingers at us are hardly angels themselves.

Overall, the various charges leveled at American forces have fallen well short of believability. The facts are very clear. The examples of abuse, atrocities, and torture which have been given as proof of how evil America is have fallen far, far short of doing anything of the sort. The behavior of our troops, and the treatment of prisoners we hold, is not anywhere near justifying the criticisms cast upon them.

The real problem here is the extreme double standard these groups and the mainstream American media use to judge America's military. There is no doubt American troops ought to be held to a higher standard of conduct than terrorists are. That is not the issue though. America is consistently held to an impossible standard rather than a higher standard.

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Quote by RightConservative:
Overall, the various charges leveled at American forces have fallen well short of believability.
Does this fall short as well...

Soon after those repulsive images of US military police torturing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib shocked the world, President Bush indicated that torture will not be tolerated and those responsible will be held accountable. But we all know, now, that the Abu Ghraib debacle is not simply the case of a few bad apples; it is the result of a policy of condoning abuse and official implementation of ill treatment practices, [euphemistically labeled stress and duress] in the course of military interrogations, and, to this day, failing to fully repudiate these crimes. Furthermore, the extent of torture and ill treatment by U.S. military forces will not be know until thorough, impartial and independent investigations have been completed and effective monitoring practices are in place in all detention facilities.

What we have learned in the past several months about US officials condoning torture and/or ill treatment is truly extraordinary.

At a May 11, 2004 hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, a list of interrogation techniques used by the U.S. Army in detention facilities in Iraq was released that includes food, sleep and sensory deprivation, stress positions, and isolated confinement.
The following day at a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said he personally approved guidelines for interrogation techniques. Both he and General Richard B. Meyers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that interrogation methods used by U.S. interrogators in Iraq and elsewhere were in compliance with the Geneva Conventions.
And just yesterday, a December 2002 Pentagon document was released in which Secretary Rumsfeld reportedly approved the use of death threats, removal of clothing, the presence of dogs, prolonged positioning, hooding, isolation, marathon (20 hour) interrogations, forced grooming, and yelling in military interrogations, and apparently water-boarding was neither, approved nor excluded as a future possible method.
You see, there is a connection between those terrible photographs and recent attempts to justify ill treatment in the war against terrorism. The photographs are the product of official authorization of abuse. In fact, the Abu Ghraib pictures of naked men in piles and military police making lewd poses in font naked men, or a naked, hooded man standing on a platform with wires dangling from his wrists, were, at one time, approved methods of interrogation. Although the methods of ill treatment approved in December 2002 were reportedly recinded in April 2003, current interrogation methods have not been released to the pubic.

The line that U.S officials have crossed is nothing less that the absolute prohibition against torture and ill treatment. The truth is that there is no legal distinction between torture and ill treatment. They are part of a spectrum of abuses and that is why they are equally prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, the UN Convention Against Torture, and American statutes. Moreover, The Geneva Conventions strictly prohibit any form of coercion among prisoners of war or insurgents as does U.S. military field manuals such as the Army's Field Manual FM 34-52 of September 1992

It's convenient to trash the source so you don't have to deal with the issue. "Well, its the terrorists...Amnesty International...an Op-Ed..." How convenient! So I know you want to trash my source, so here it is...

Testimony before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
By Vincent Iacopino, M.D., Ph.D.
Physicians for Human Rights and
The Center for Victims of Torture

June 23, 2004
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I agree with what you said. Although I'm a little sketchy on your point.
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Does it bother you that it is Americans that are doing this? It bothers the crap out of me. When people tell me I hate the flag, I think, "Hey, I don't like saying this kind of $hit at all" Its not how I was raised.
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So, Eric, do you post these by hand? Or do you use a spambot macro?
Originally posted by Simon W. Moon:
So, Eric, do you post these by hand? Or do you use a spambot macro?
Who's Eric?
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