Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Did Bush Watch the Torture Tapes?

A man gets up from the sofa, walks into the kitchen and takes the last piece of scrumptious chocolate cake. He eats it. It is SO good. He wasn't supposed to eat it though, it was being saved for another family member who had to work late and missed dinner. It was a rotten thing to do. When the family member finally comes home tired and hungry, a dinner plate is quickly set down for them but there's no chocolate cake for dessert.

The woman says to the man, "Honey, did you eat the last piece of chocolate cake?"

The man says, "I don't recall eating it dear".

"That's odd", she replies, scratching her head. "Where on earth could it have gotten off to?"

The man grins as he brushes the last few cake crumbs off his chest. He's gotten away with it and he didn't even have to lie about it. He thinks he's so clever. By simply sidestepping the question with an abrupt change of subject, both the question and the only two possible answers changed. "I don't recall" is not an answer to the original question. There is a definite answer though. It's either yes or it's no, whether anyone 'recalls' it or not.

Sidestepping the answer by changing the question is a staple tactic of the bush gang. They all have the worst memories on the face of the earth too. They do this routinely and they get away with it routinely. The best part for them is they can never be busted or punished for being big fat liars. They haven't technically lied. If they lied that could be proven and they could be prosecuted. But good luck trying to prove whether or not anyone can remember something.

While this has always worked beautifully in the past, in this case it backfired.

In the first place, how can anyone claim not to remember watching someone being brutally tortured? How could that 'slip the mind'? Witnessing someone being tortured would be impossible to forget.

The torture photos released by the press a few years back will be forever seared into the memory of all who saw them. No one forgets the hooded man with electrodes attached to his body. Someone with severe dementia would probably still retain that memory.

How much more shocking would it be to watch actual live torture taking place? Hearing the screams, the begging and pleading to make it stop, the terror, the agony, the blood. Who could forget seeing that?

What kind of person could really forget seeing and hearing that? Sorry, I'm not buying it. Only a guilty person would claim they can't remember, and they'd be lying. Maybe it's time to bring out the lie detector and see how well he does keeping up his "I don't recall" story.

If the president swears he really can't remember then he has a very serious, very scary mental illness, I mean worse than the one we already know about. Which means he's either lying through his teeth, or he is not mentally sound enough to run the country. In this particular case it's clearly both.

We already know that the president watched these videos because he refuses to answer the question. We know he's lying. We know much more than that too.

The torture videos were made on orders from the top. They wanted to watch them. Rumsfeld watched them. Cheney watched them. bush watched them. The lawyers watched them. The upper echelon of the military/intelligence gang watched them. How do I know that? Easy. Because you and I never got a chance to watch them. Those tapes were under the absolute control of these people and only they could have the power to make sure nobody else ever got a look at them. If they didn't have total control over those tapes they would have gone to the media and the whole torture thing would have blown up in their faces. How would they know that what was in those tapes was so bad they couldn't let it get out? They watched them.

We already know this criminal administration loves torture. Years ago they set their lawyers to the task of working out ways to legalize torture. They are not offended by torture. They are not against it. They fully support torture, we all know this. The painful, embarrassing, shameful reality is that the bush gang alone brought torture back out of the dark ages and into modern day America, and they alone are its sole enthusiastic proponents.

Since torture is patently illegal, why would those who perpetrated it videotape it? How many criminals videotape their crimes? Dozens of times. Why would they? They wouldn't. It would be the last thing they'd do. It would be damning evidence against them that would guarantee prosecution and punishment.

If the perpetrators took it upon themselves to torture prisoners in some misguided attempt to gather intelligence there would be no photos, no videos, and no discussion about it. It would have involved a small group of specific individuals who would carry it out somewhere that precludes discovery. But we know that's not the case.

This torture is institutionalized. It was videotaped numerous times, cataloged and placed in a library of torture tapes, as if it were a perfectly normal procedure, which it is to the CIA. It was done with stealth because it is illegal and despicable, but it was done, repeatedly.

Videotapes are made for only one reason: to be watched. Since the torturers wouldn't want videos made and cataloged by the government, the only way torture sessions would be captured in living color and sound, is because it was ordered to be done. The only person in this country who claims to be above the law is the president. Only on his orders would such tapes be made. His orders couldn't be carried out unless he gave them to others, his administration, upper echelon military and intelligence thugs. They all knew. They are all complicit. In fact only upper echelon government and the torturers knew and participated in any of it.

The usual reasons to make videos of military action are for historical records, for teaching purposes, or to cover your butt. Video evidence presented in court can provide proof of innocence. It can prove that things were done legally, following all requirements, and that no wrongdoing occurred. But these tapes were all about wrongdoing. That rules out CYA reasons, and historical records. Which leaves training. It leaves one other thing too. Entertainment value. There's not much chance the bush gang was watching to learn anything.

We know when his lawyers saw the tapes they were adamant they be destroyed. There was no way, no how they could pull any legal tricks to cover what was in those tapes. What those tapes showed was not only illegal but morally reprehensible. The public and worldwide backlash would be so profound that bush's whole pro-torture agenda would be grasped by the scruff of the neck and tossed out into the trash heap where it belongs. The way out of such things is well known to these folks. They know that as long as no one actually sees the suffering on TV, or hears the screaming, or witnesses the demoralizing violation of another human being perpetrated by their own government, well, it's almost as good as it never happening at all. The lawyers couldn't do a thing except fly into a panic and make it clear those tapes had to be destroyed. Then voila! The tapes were destroyed.

The evidence was destroyed. That's what criminals do with evidence. Then they say they don't recall ever seeing it. Which in this case means the president's depravity is so profound that he can't recall seeing anyone tortured on video, or hearing their screams, or listening to them being brutalized by depraved well paid employees. He is so morally decomposed that watching others being brutalized slips his mind.

Why would all these high level pro-torture ghouls feel the need to lie about watching those tapes? Why wouldn't bush just say, "Yes, I saw them". He could always claim that he had nothing to do with ordering any torture, and that none of his cronies knew a thing about it. He could say he got wind of torture going on and sent in operatives to film it. He could say when he saw it he was outraged and disgusted.

Only trouble with that is, nobody would believe him.

Oh sure, we've all heard him say, "We don't torture". It must be more of that mental illness kicking in. This is the same guy who staunchly defends the illegal kidnapping of people off the streets and zooming them off to parts unknown for years of brutal torture. He's the one who deprives people of due process. He's the one who orders arrests without evidence, without warrants, and without charges. He stood right there when hundreds of photographs of vicious torture and murder were sweeping the globe leaving no doubt that we torture as much as we damned well want to. He's a big fat liar.

Bush loves torture. His whole administration loves torture, they're the torture gang. Who's going to believe him saying torture is great one minute and that it's repugnant the next? He didn't blow off the Geneva Conventions because he was wishy-washy on torture. He blew it off and put the highest law enforcement official in the country on the task of making torture legal. They made human rights quaint but not necessary, and certainly not good enough for whoever bush wants tortured. Besides, there's always the little nagging fact that neither he nor his crime gang did a thing to stop it. No one was punished, there were no trials, no honesty, no openness, and no signs of outrage. On the contrary. All the evidence was destroyed, and the only steps they raced to take were to protect the identities of everyone involved. Then they all promptly came down with a nasty bout of group amnesia.

It makes perfect sense. What's not to believe?

But wait, there's a way around all that amnesia. Where are those who did the video taping? Where are those who arranged the torture sessions, planned them, provided the checklists and reported back to those who ordered all of this? Who made the copies of the tapes and who distributed them to where ever they were told to take them? Where are the torturers? They could help fill in the memory gaps quite easily, quite thoroughly. They know who they were reporting to, and those men in turn knew who they were reporting to. That trail can be followed very easily. It's a simple thing. Has everyone forgotten the most basic elements of investigative procedure? No. Just like the fighter jets were ordered to stand down on 9-11, everyone involved in this has been ordered to stand down.

You have to admire their chutzpah. "We destroyed the tapes in order to protect the people involved who perpetrated the torture". Seems reasonable at first glance, but is it? Congress wants to know what the hell happened. Who did this torture and why? Who ordered it? Who knew about it? The government's response is simple. "We did it. And now we're covering it up. Okay?" They have to protect the criminals involved, because the criminals are them. So, obviously it would be completely unreasonable of the Congress to insist that any criminals be punished. It hurts your head, doesn't it?

So yes, bush saw the tapes. He ordered them. He ordered his lawyers to make his crimes legal but they couldn't. The evidence disappears. Business as usual. And the scummiest thugs on the face of the planet are still at the helm pretending to be decent people with terrible memory problems. It's all a game show. No one will ever be called to account for this. All it takes to get away with torture, murder, depravity, immorality, grand theft, extortion, blackmail, tyranny and all forms of destructive illegal activity up at the top is to say you don't recall.

All it would take to end this outrage is for the opposition to stop being supporters and confront these animals (no offense to our furry friends) with facts and plain logic and then to demand punishment in the highest order. The opposition is every bit as complicit. This show is being staged to assist in that complicity and ensure that no wrongdoing will ever be punished. It looks like Congress did its job in addressing this scandal when it actually protected the guilty. And Americans will believe justice was done when in fact it was completely subverted. This is fascism. It's not coming friends, it's here.

"All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

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