Monday, December 03, 2007

Rendition and Torture

A friend of mine who is a source for many documentaries recommended I watch Taxi to the Dark Side (BBC) and Extraordinary Rendition (PBS documentary by Stephen Grey, the author of Ghost Plane; this website is excellent, here you can watch the film and read a chapter from the book). My spirit sank as the last hope for disbelief was squashed; it was as bad as I knew it would be, but the protective barrier that my subconscious had erected was now razed. I have asked myself repeatedly how this can happen. Jeffrey Addicott, a former U.S. Army lawyer who advised the Bush administration on its policies for torture answered this for me. In Extraordinary Rendition he states, "Justice, in my view of things, is the last priority as it is in any war." Some very disturbing facts presented in Taxi are: 1) only 5 to 7 percent of all detainees have been captured by Coalition Forces. In the case of Daliwar, the main subject of the documentary, it turned out that the commander of an Afghani regiment had rocketed the U.S. base and turned over innocent civilians to take the rap in order to gain credibility with the Coalition Forces. Is it too hard to believe that local militias would hand over innocent people for their own gain especially when a bounty is involved. 2) only 9 percent of all detainees had any links with al Qaida.

What is most disturbing, even haunting, is that no one has been held responsible for these actions and the Bush administration continues to justify these means. Worse, even when it yields to public pressure and officially bans these acts the administration continues to employ them via different means. The latest version is for independent countries such as Kenya to rendition subjects themselves, in one case 11 children were among those taken and held, so countries like the U.S. can interrogate them. Now the U.S. does not do the rendition themselves, but still, allegedly, tortures these victims itself. Allegedly? Whether U.S. citizens administer the torture is irrelevant, they still support the practise while they ban it.

Duplicitous, vague and obscure are appropriate adjectives for this administration; somehow, there is no paper trail, the practises of torture from Bagram transferred (with Captain Wood) to Abu Ghraib then practises specifically reserved for Guantanamo were administered in Bagram. Since my discovery of the Project for the New American Century in 2001 (see my entry Duped from May 2006) I have wondered when people will wake up. At least there has been progress, e.g., these documentaries and Dennis Kucinich's motion to have Cheney impeached. Nevertheless, it will probably take 20 years for the common individual to truly comprehend the extent of this administration's nastiness. What troubles me is whether all administrations, including those of my country Canada, have been so underhanded, the dirty deals so dirty. Is the Bush administration especially bad or has 9/11 just let them do it all publicly with the peoples' rubber stamp, given that extreme times require extreme measures. Keep your head up.

No comments:


Reverb plug-in