Waterboarding Revelations and Observations.
Remember how “effective” we were being told that “waterboarding” was? Remember how the Right-wing noise machine would boast how when they used the waterboarding technique on Khalid Sheikh Mohamed for 35 seconds that he spilled his guts?
Here is how former CIA officer John Kiriakou — who was actually involved with the interrogation torture session described that “event”:
“The next day, he told his interrogators that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate,” said Kiriakou in an interview…
“From that day on, he answered every question,” Kiriakou said. “The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.”
It now appears that Khalid Sheikh Mohamed had been waterboarded 183 times in one month, NOT just that 35 seconds we’ve been told.
So, if the technique is so effective, why do it to the same person 183 times in the course of one month? Was it “effective” the first time, and that was when he “spilled his guts”? Or did you have to wait until the 183rd time before you started to count it as being “effective”?
If it was effective the FIRST time, then were the subsequent 182 times just for shits and grins? Some people without their heads up their asses might actually call that …wait for it… torture.
If the later is the case, and it actually took 183 times of near drowning a man before he began to “spill his guts” and tell you what you wanted to hear, then don’t you think that maybe he was telling you those things NOT because he wanted to clear his chest in a metaphorical way, but he wanted you to stop trying to drown him?
Let’s make this perfectly clear: there is no such thing as a “simulated drowning”. Waterboarding is actually causing a near-drowning event, where you actually come close to killing the person. It is why we tried and executed several Germans and Japanese in the Nuremberg trials after the end of WWII. The “Greatest Generation” actually considered it torture back then.
So I have to ask, at what point did you start to question how “effective” the waterboarding technique was on Khalid Sheikh Mohamed? Didn’t you start to question its effectiveness somewhere around the tenth time? The thirtieth time? Maybe even the 134th time?
At first I was disappointed when Obama announced that he wasn’t going to go after those who employed these techniques on prisoners — even though just about everyone BUT the Bush Administration has considered the practice to be torture.
But since then I have heard several theories as to what is really going on with all of this. Some are saying that Obama got the “push-back” from the real people in power and that if he wanted to pass his pet projects over the course of his term, he needed to abandoned the thought of going after people for the crap that occurred during the Bush administration.
But if that were the case, then why release the memos detailing the sordid details?
There are several variations of a story of FDR meeting with a labor leader (most of the stories referencing Sidney Hillman) where this leader wanted FDR to start implementing some plans. Each of the stories ends with Roosevelt telling them, I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.
It is very possible that Obama is playing some kind of political chess game here. He can’t actually come out unilaterally and start swinging his sword because he needs to have the will of the people behind him first. Otherwise, he is just going to go down in flames against an entrenched power block.
Watergate would never have gotten off the ground if it hadn’t been for a groundswell of people pushing for more investigation.
Obama needs that push. Sometimes he can be a leader, but there are times he is going to have to ride the wave and just appear to lead only by staying ahead of the oncoming wave.
I think this is what Obama is trying to tell us in just so many ways. By himself, he cannot do anything, but if there is enough public outcry and outrage over this, then it will look as though he has no choice but to open up some kind of investigation or prosecution.
Since the election in November, I have worried about people expecting way too much out of this one man. He is intelligent, a great communicator, a leader. But he isn’t a miracle worker. He came into office facing some troubles that no other president has had to face. He came into office with 47 percent of the voters who didn’t vote for him, and 40 percent who just plain loathe him — at least half of them for no other reason but that he is … black. So it isn’t as though he has a LOT of backing behind him to take on entrenched institutions.
So Obama released these memos. Now it is up to us to show our outrage.
Outraged? Good, now DO something. Call Congress, call the White House. Send telegrams. Call your media. Blog about it. Just get loud about it.