There’s lots of heads that are going to roll over the CIA abuse scandal. Though, likely, most of them will just be disposable flunkies. The real brains behind the use of “coercive interrogation”, like Dick Cheney won’t have any mud flung at them to slide off their oily, Teflon skin.
(GW Bush, of course, can’t be said to be the brains behind anything except maybe brushing his teeth before bed.)
The report that was released Monday, details CIA abuses, including threatening a suspect with a power drill, extensive use of “waterboarding”, threatening to kill another suspect’s children, mother and female relatives, along with numerous deaths in CIA custody.
These sickos were still such consummate bureaucrats that when some CIA goon innovated a new torture technique called water dousing, they sent it into headquarters for specific approval. In true bureaucrat fashion, they came up with acceptable guidelines for tormenting a suspect:
“A return cable explained that a detainee ‘must be placed on a towel or sheet, may not be placed naked on the bare cement floor, and the air temperature must exceed 65 degrees if the detainee will not be dried immediately.’”
Of course, this is just the piece de resistance of a whole unraveling of the former Bush administration’s neo-conservative global lunacy. These guys thought that they would be in the right to burn your house down if you bought a dog because it might, at some point in the future, attack the child that they were planning on having, if only they could find someone crazy enough to marry them.
In 2008, the CIA’s former executive director, and the man behind setting up a string of CIA secret prisons (read: torture facilities), Dusty Foggo, pleaded guilty to fraud related to kick-backs from his buddy who got the contracts to build the prisons. Dusty is now spending 3 years in jail. The real story is that he was a casualty in the internecine war that erupted in America’s military and security institutions between the neo-con crazies and the old school scumbags when the whole PNAC wet dream started to go belly up.
A couple of other jackals who led the interrogation program (read: torture training) and made a bundle out of their independent torture consulting firm, had the plug pulled on their CIA contracts after Obama took office. Hopefully he lost that $800 000 house in Florida, bought out of the proceeds of war crimes.
The CIA, Dick Cheney and all the other creepy crawlies can be expected to stand up for torture in response to the investigation into abuses. Already the CIA has hit back by releasing previously classified documents on the interrogation program, lauding its ‘many successes.’ It is called, in one of the documents “a pillar of counter-terrorism”. I wonder if they’ll also stand up for the CIA’s contracting out of contract killing to Blackwater, that pinnacle of ethical corporate behaviour. Probably not, since Blackwater failed to actually knock off any leading members of Al Qaeda and the contract was cancelled. Their specialty really doesn’t extend beyond killing untrained and defenseless civilians.
Of course, there’s a big, fat question that no one is asking, least of all the Obama Administration as they ramp up the death machine in Afghanistan. Why is it OK to bomb weddings, schools and farms from the sky while, on the other hand, simulating drowning (or threatening to kill suspects’ family members) is in poor taste. It seems to me that one leads to the other. Torture, military occupation, secret prisons, and forms of resistance that require the vicious fist of repression, all go together with imperialism. You can either get rid of foreign military adventures or you end up with torture on the ground and death from the sky. Simple as that.
That’s why it’s not a big surprise that Obama fully intends to continue the policy of extraordinary renditions. Of course, only as long as the country in question promises to be nice when they interrogate the prisoner. Sort of like Syria promised to be nice to Maher Arar.
But there’s another side to this that you won’t read about in the New York Times and which it’s unlikely any Canadian newspapers will bring up. It’s the role of Michael Ignatieff in all this. Iggy was an avid promoter of “coercive interrogation”, including on national television (see below, what an asshole – and he has ridiculous hair). This guy is slated to be Canada’s next Prime Minister, though the Liberals haven’t been able to pick anybody who wasn’t a spineless fuck-up since that Shawinigan mobster what’s-his-face Chretien. Lucky for Iggy, our present PM Stephen Harper is leader of a party of tinfoil hat-wearing, whack-jobs only kept in line with Harper’s iron fist. Whenever the batteries run out on the Tasers of the Tory party whips, the MPs start to open their mouths and the Tories drop in the polls.
You won’t catch me crying in my beer if the Tories get their asses whupped in the next election, probably this fall. But remember, when you go to put an X next to Iggy’s Liberals, their leader publicly stumped for a policy that even the US ruling class finds revolting. Do you really think he’s an alternative?