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Waterboarding and Torture

By Larry Johnson,

The media is woefully ignorant on the subject of waterboarding and torture. Consider the coverage of former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, who is telling his story as an interrogator of Abu Zubaydah and insisting that waterboarding is an effective technique. ABC and CNN are repeating this absurd propaganda. However, if you read the transcript of his interview some key points are obscured in the media propaganda push: (part 1 and part 2):

* Kiriakou never witnessed the waterboarding. It was carried out by another group of individuals (nfi).
* None of the information provided by Zubaydah concerned threats inside the United States.

The ABC interview with Kiriakou provides some important insights into the whole question of the CIA’s role in using torture, which is now euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation”. CIA case officers are not trained in “interrogation”. They are trained in recruitment. Recruiting and debriefing sources is more akin to romancing someone. You are not looking for a one night stand, you want a relationship.

So who did the CIA turn to for help with “enhanced interrogation”? It was either the military or former military working as contractors. Why? Because the military did train interrogators at Fort Huachuca and they were familiar with enhanced interrogation methods, including waterboarding.

Unfortunately, the media is helping perpetuate several myths about waterboarding. Last Sunday in the Washington Post, for example, reporters Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen claimed:

U.S. soldier in Vietnam supervises the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier.

A U.S. soldier in Vietnam supervises the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier. Bettmann/Corbis

“Waterboarding as an interrogation technique has its roots in some of history’s worst totalitarian nations, from Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition to North Korea and Iraq. In the United States, the technique was first used five decades ago as a training tool to give U.S. troops a realistic sense of what they could expect if captured by the Soviet Union or the armies of Southeast Asia. The U.S. military has officially regarded the tactic as torture since the Spanish-American War.

In general, the technique involves strapping a prisoner to a board or other flat surface, and then raising his feet above the level of his head. A cloth is then placed over the subject’s mouth and nose, and water is poured over his face to make the prisoner believe he is drowning.”

Wrong. Dead wrong. A friend of VIPS sent the following to Ray McGovern yesterday reminding us that:

As I’m sure you know, waterboarding was a common practice used by the Marines in the Philippines during the war 1898-1902 when thousands were killed. I recall seeing photos as well as drawings of it among the military records in the National Archives. But now, they are spinning waterboarding as a practice the U.S. only used to show our people what to expect from the enemy.

Incidentally, a photograph (see below) appeared on the front page of the Washington Post showing a U.S. smiling officer in Vietnam participating in the waterboarding of an alleged North Vietnamese cadre. On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post ran the photo of a U.S. soldier supervising the waterboarding. The caption said the technique induced “a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk.” The picture led to an Army investigation and, two months later, the court martial of the soldier.

Hell, it would help if Washington Post reporters read their own damn paper. It is historical information, but real facts are better than uninformed opinions.

In this regard it is worth noting that waterboarding is torture as defined in the Convention Against Torture & Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Convention defines torture as:

. . . any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

Writers and editors at the Post and other newspapers should also consult the following sections of this Convention:

* Article 2 - No Exceptional Circumstances Warranting Torture
* Article 3 - No State Party shall expel, return (”refouler”) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
* Article 4 - Acts of Torture Are Criminal Offenses
* Article 10 - Education & Information Regarding Prohibition on Torture Provided in Training
* Article 16 - Each State to Prevent Acts of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Since the United States is a signatory to this Convention, it is not up to President Bush to declare waterboarding is okay. It is not. It is torture. Plain and simple.


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Of course Waterboarding is "an effective technique", kidz . . .

. . . hell, the "Crowned Heads" and their "Mercenary Bullies, Torturers, Spies, and Assassins" have known that for centuries, kidz . . ;-)

. . but, I believe the QUESTION . . . that WE THE PEOPLE of a CIVILIZED WORLD . . . A Civilization based on the RULE OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW and the UNALIENABLE RIGHTS OF ALL PEOPLE . . .

. . . Yes, I believe the QUESTION the kidz are asking is, "Waterboarding is 'an effective technqiue' to achieve exactly what OBJECTIVE????" . . .

. . . and "Isn't that 'OBJECTIVE' an Uncivililzed WAR-CRIME???" . . .;-)

Ah, the "OBJECTIVE" . . .

. . . If the "OBJECTIVE" is that a TYRANT needs to get the "RIGHT ANSWER" out of the "RIGHT MOUTH" so that he/she can use it for PROPAGANDA and/or BLACKMAIL/EXTORTION, . . . then by ALL MEANS Waterboarding IS "an effective technique", kidz . . .

Or, let's say that the "OBJECTIVE" is to systematically wipe out all your "enemy's" Leadership . . .

. . .that good ol' "1 Out of 20, or 5% DOMINANCE Rule" that the Military/Industrial/Intelligence Complex learned about and studied so well during the Korean Conflict/Study . . .(which is still going on, mind you) . . .

. . . Then by all means, Waterboarding zips down Abraham Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" faster than an half-drunk Appalacian State University student coming down one of the ski slopes at Grandfather Mountain or Blowing Rock, North Cackilacki . . .;-)

. . . no need to waste time "starving them", "depriving them of water","isolating a social being to alinate them", or even "sleep deprivation" . . . go right to the ROOT of the PSYCHE . . .that OLD brain where "DEEP FEAR" lives . . .

. . . deprive the "animal" OXYGEN while simultaneously exploting that fear of "Suffocating" coupled with the mammalian fear of "Drowning". . .

. . . depriving the "animal" of the very "Aleph - The Breath Of God" . . . The "Ox" . . . "Oxygen" . . .;-)

. . . this ol' fool wonders if this was the preferred Copper Age "Husbandry" Matriarchal method of "putting down". . . or "breaking" large animals . . .drowning them or "terrorizing them into LEARNED HELPLESSNESS" by holding them under water . . .

. . .just a musing on wondering just HOW long Human Primates have been doing this "effective technique" on each other . . .animals that couldn't be killed with a snake bite, spider bite, scorpion sting, or secretly/ritualistically poisoned with "Avenging Angel" type poisonous mushrooms and plants . . ;-)

. . . oh, . .. and remember kidz . . . this ol' fool requests his Hemlock "shaken .. . not stirred" . . .;-)

So, we "human beings" have obviously been doing this "effective technique" of Waterboarding for a VERY long time . . .

. . . So. . .if you want to completely BREAK the Psyche and WILL of a person . . . if that is the OBJECTIVE so that this person will NEVER EVER be able to "LEAD" anyone anywhere ever again . . . then by ALL MEANS . .. if this is the OBJECTIVE, we can all agree that Waterboarding is "an effective technique".

But if you want to want to get RELIABLE . . .and ACCURATE INFORMATION . . . well, like my Grandmother used to say . . .

"You can catch more flies with HONEY, . . .
. . .than you can with VINEGAR" . . .

. . . and this ol' fool that's been around LOTS of really good INTEL Folks from all over the world thinks that MOST of them . . .well, those that are worth a grain of salt, . .would agree with my Grandma, kidz . . .;-)

Now, kidz . . . this Triple Hit of "S.1959/H.R.1955", "NIE REPORT", and "TORTURE TAPES DESTROYED" . . .is going to "LEVEL UP" THE MOVEMENT by an EXPONENTIAL amount . . .and FAST!! . . .

. . .WE THE PEOPLE are talking MASSIVE "Rate of Change" here. . . there are going to be complete "NEWBIES" coming out of the WOODWORK at you over these latest "BIG LIE" developments . . .and NEWBIES from EVERY demographic . . .;-)

So, just remember the Game Rule - "Be Nice To Newbies" . . . connect the dotz for them at a rate they can handle . . .

. . . now these are EX-"TEAM BushCo FOX FANZ" . . .and "all they are getting for The Holidaze" . . . is the sick feeling that only comes from realizing someone you REALLY "Trusted" and "Believed In" . . . has LIED to you!!! . . . talk about a "lump of coal" in your stocking, kidz . . ;-)

. . .They have LIED to you . . .BOLDFACED and SHAMELESS . . . WITHOUT REGRET . . . ;-)


. . .and all their Shadow Cabal "EXPERTS" and "CHEERLEADERS" will continue to support the "Incestuous Feedback" Propaganda Matrix . .i.e. When OZ starts believing his OWN Propaganda . .;-)

For example . . . my young cousin, a MARINE, . . .and a MARINE RECRUITER. . . A "silver-tongued lad" that could sell "ice to Eskimos", as they say around these parts. . . that LOVED George W. Bush . . . BELIEVED in the BushCo "Vision" completely . . .and has just retired after putting in a full twenty years to the Marine Corps . . .

.. . .my cousin invited my wife and I to the family Thanksgiving Dinner this year . . . needless to say, that has not happened in a LONG time . . . since the great usurper seized power back in 2000. . . to be exact . .. ;-)

. . .Think my wife and I don't have OUR work cut out for us??? ..;-)

Our foolish plan?

STEP ONE: We sat down and had a THANKSGIVING DINNER that couldn't be beat . . .then told jokes, asked riddles, and laughed together . . .;-)

STEP TWO: Wait for the first questions . . . and use these to find out exactly "where" my cousin is in his "trip" down the BushCo "rabbit hole" . . .

STEP THREE: Repeat Step Two as needed . . .;-)

Remember kidz . . . For INTEL gathering, "Leveling-Up" Newbies . . and just "Civilized" Communications . . .

. . .you can catch more flies with Honey . . .
. . . than you can with Vinegar . . .;-)

"Why do we never get an answer
When we're knocking at the door
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war?
'Cos when we stop and look around us,
There is nothing that we need,
In a world of persecution
That is burning in its greed."
- The Question by The Moody Blues


See how "effective a technique" waterboarding is, kidz!!! . . .;-)

(clipped headline and article from MSNBC)
"Hayden knew of CIA tapes before taking over - CIA Director says others in agency 'know about this far better than I'

They show the interrogations of Abu Zubayda and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Abu Zubaydah, the first high-value detainee taken by the CIA in 2002, is now being held with other detainees at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He told his interrogators about alleged 9/11 accomplice Ramzi Binalshibh, and the two men's confessions also led to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who the U.S. government said was the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

(full story)

See, we've got a CONFESSION from the "evil mastermind" of 9/11 . . .

. . . so there is no need to go sifting through history looking at what folks like Wolfowitz, Feith, Abramoff, Perl, Zack, Zakheim, Haurer, Chertoff . . .

. . .(BTW - Did you kidz know that it was Bush appointee, Michael "Mr. Talmud" Chertoff, who got the 5 Dancing Israelis OUT of New Jersey and safely back to Israel right after 9/11???),

. . . or any of the rest of the "Master Race-Nouveau" 5th Column were doing in their little Zionist Stink Tanks like "A Clean Break: Securing The Realm" and PNAC's "Full Spectrum Domiance Pending A New Pearl Harbor" . . .

. . . or asking why those 5 Dancing Israelis from MOSSAD front company "Urban Moving Systems" were so damn happy when the the WTC Towers, . . . that they were video-taping, . . .fell down and went BOOM!!! . .

"Israeli Spying: The Mother of all Scandals"

. . .or asking what exactly the ADL and AIPAC are doing in the U.S.A???

SEE!!!,. . . the evil "witches" confessed, kidz!!! . . .confessed to EVERYTHING!!!! Even blowing up stuff that wasn't even built yet when they were captured . . . which, in BushCo Zionist "logic", only PROVES just how "diabolical" and "evil" these "witches" truly are!!!. . . ;-)

. . . you know, based on that same BushCO "logic" that the new UNANIMOUS "NIE Report" only PROVES that IRAN is an Existential Threat that must be destroyed . . .;-)

. . . See what "an effective technqiue" waterboarding is, kidz!!! . . .;-)

"Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is the nature of my game"
- Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones


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