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Random dude survives USA's black site





PMK-Bear
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/12/14/bashmilah/
SALON.COM wrote:

Dec. 14, 2007 | WASHINGTON -- The CIA held Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah in several different cells when he was incarcerated in its network of secret prisons known as "black sites." But the small cells were all pretty similar, maybe 7 feet wide and 10 feet long. He was sometimes naked, and sometimes handcuffed for weeks at a time. In one cell his ankle was chained to a bolt in the floor. Ther
e was a small toilet. In another cell there was just a bucket. Video cameras recorded his every move. The lights always stayed on -- there was no day or night. A speaker blasted him with continuous white noise, or rap music, 24 hours a day.

The guards wore black masks and black clothes. They would not utter a word as they extracted Bashmilah from his cell for interrogation -- one of his few interactions with other human beings during his entire 19 months of imprisonment. Nobody told him where he was, or if he would ever be freed.

It was enough to drive anyone crazy. Bashmilah finally tried to slash his wrists with a small piece of metal, smearing the words "I am innocent" in blood on the walls of his cell. But the CIA patched him up.

So Bashmilah stopped eating. But after his weight dropped to 90 pounds, he was dragged into an interrogation room, where they rammed a tube down his nose and into his stomach. Liquid was pumped in. The CIA would not let him die.

Making the world a safer place by means of world scale terrorism just can't work, you know?
horseatingweeds
Silly CIA. They sure don't know what they're doing, interrogating a suspected enemy intending to kill the people they're supposed to protect. Why don't they follow the Radical Islamist's handbook and drill holes in the guy?

Anyway, if they were committing terror tactics they wouldn't mess with suspects. They would arbitrarily kill random people associated with him.
PMK-Bear

  1. For your next comment, try having a point. More often than not, it's achieved reading the article that is on the beginning of the thread. Being an ass doesn't work either. Oh, btw, your president tried that path way too much for you to say anything else about it. Then cut it and be useful.



    • Should I assume that you're proud of your goverment's decision of wasting your money on constructing and mantaining offshore clandestine torture centers?
    • Or that for you, torture (even if by proxy, it's still torture) is an option to extract valid intelligence?
    • Or is it that that you lost your way so much ago that all this just doesn't seem wrong?

  2. It's not necessarily about the killing, champ. Some time ago, our military took training on the SOA/WHINSEC, and methodically conducted state terrorism kidnapping, torturing, and in some cases later killing somewhere near 30.000 people, under strict review from the US embassy. What happened here, and in Chile, and in Guatemala, and Nicaragua, and Honduras, is globally recognised as state terrorism. The same methodology, applied worldwide, fits rather well the description of global terrorism. Just because you do it, it doesn't mean it's not terrorism.


Now, having ended the poo-throwing contest, the most interesting (to me) thing of this stories is not how some negationists try (often without success) to adjust when they surface, but instead how this things prove how broken the system is; can anyone please tell me how many terrorist attacks have been stopped thus far by torturing random people who lost their passports?
MrBlueSky
The US are stepping on every human right with their treatment of 'terrorists'. It is immoral, sickening and they have no right to critize other countries (like China) about violating human rights as long they don't stop this practice. As far as I know all western countries (thus, not only Arabic countries) strongly dissaprove of the way the US treats terrorist suspects.

horseatingweeds wrote:
Silly CIA. They sure don't know what they're doing, torturing a suspected enemy supposedly intending to kill the people they're supposed to protect.



Quote:


Anyway, if they were committing terror tactics they wouldn't mess with suspects. They would arbitrarily kill random people associated with him.


Well, it sure looks like sometimes they are doing this already in certain countries.
ocalhoun
Where did this talk of torture come from?
Sure he was imprisoned, and with less-than-humane methods, but I've heard of worse prisoner treatments. He was given a toilet or bucket, not made to sleep in his own filth, and he was fed well enough to keep healthy. (Not all prisoners of war get such posh treatment as that)

I grow tired of those who think of the absence of luxuries as torture.
HalfBloodPrince
ocalhoun wrote:
I grow tired of those who think of the absence of luxuries as torture.


Being chained by the ankle to a stub in the floor, naked for weeks at a time, and being blasted with rap music 24/7 isn't exactly a 'loss of luxuries'.

Why was this guy imprisoned, anyway?
MrBlueSky
ocalhoun wrote:
Where did this talk of torture come from?
Sure he was imprisoned, and with less-than-humane methods, but I've heard of worse prisoner treatments. He was given a toilet or bucket, not made to sleep in his own filth, and he was fed well enough to keep healthy. (Not all prisoners of war get such posh treatment as that)

I grow tired of those who think of the absence of luxuries as torture.


Besides the other things mentioned (which are also torturous), forced feeding certainly is a form of torture. That's propably why the World Medical Association prohibits it since 1975: http://www.wma.net/e/policy/c18.htm

Second, comparing an innocent (innocent until proven guilty, or have we abandoned this adagium?) to a POW makes no sense.
liljp617
It's okay, the government doesn't torture, it just changes the definition so what we do is no longer torture!
horseatingweeds
PMK-Bear, my point was to humorously point out the relative absurdity of the anger at US 'torture.' The only reason people get this way is because otherwise the US upholds human rights more than any other society in history.

It was also pointing to the fact that after the 9-11 attacks the US government assumed it was the first of many. Has 'torture' stopped any attack? Can I prove it? Well, there hasn't been any on US soil....

No, I don't believe in torture. But, logically, neither do I agree with meeting a threat with less force than it poses.

This situation represents a big debate in the US. The US is at war with a global group of desperate people willing to do any kind of harm. What do we do with suspects? There's no blood test for a terrorist.

I'm not especially worried or ashamed that the US is starting to consider water-boarding and loud music torture. Take any other country's history of how they extract information, ANY other country. The US is VERY nice to its suspects.

What WOULD worry me is if we didn't hear anything about anything. But we do. That alone should settle you at ease. American won't allow anyone to be tortured, not unless we get a few more attacks and then they'll only be willing to use 'harsh' interrogation for a few months.

MrBlueSky wrote:
Besides the other things mentioned (which are also torturous), forced feeding certainly is a form of torture. That's propably why the World Medical Association prohibits it since 1975:


Maybe you should read the article too. They put in a feeding tube. That's not force feeding. Feeding tubes are very common and not harmful. They keep thousands of people alive.
HalfBloodPrince
horseatingweeds wrote:
Has 'torture' stopped any attack? Can I prove it? Well, there hasn't been any on US soil....

Being chained by the ankle to a stub in the floor, naked for weeks at a time, and being blasted with rap music 24/7... What's to complain about, really? *AMA...ZING GRACE...*
MrBlueSky
horseatingweeds wrote:


Maybe you should read the article too. They put in a feeding tube. That's not force feeding. Feeding tubes are very common and not harmful. They keep thousands of people alive.


When you are being force-feed you have a tube inserted into your nose, just like in a hospital. The difference is that this is being done with force. Often this is very painfull (the nose is being broken, on purpose or by accident, which makes succesive sessions even worse), and carried out without consideration for the 'patient' (when you keep someone chained for days, and generally treat him badly, you are not going to be 'nice' when you put a tube up his nose).

The WMA states:

Quote:

Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially.


The article says:

Quote:

But after his weight dropped to 90 pounds, he was dragged into an interrogation room, where they rammed a tube down his nose and into his stomach.


There is force, there is feeding. What part of the article did I not read according to you?

horseatingweeds wrote:
PMK-Bear, my point was to humorously point out the relative absurdity of the anger at US 'torture.'


Don't get me wrong: I know the US doesn't torture on a regular basis. And I don't think it is especially bad when the US uses torture. I just think its wrong to ignore human rights, no mather where, why or by who. The only difference is: the US is, as far as culture and society is concerned, close to me. When I hear about the US doing these things (or any European country), I feel shame. And thats (propably) why it makes mad. If it turned out that my own country was doing these things I would be even more angry.
horseatingweeds
That's really the question isn't it....

No one is ignoring human right. Human rights are being succeeded by the rights of the population who is being attacked. Criminals, who also are attacking society, have their right to freedom and other things taken, people are killed on battle field. The Fascist Islamist Fundamentalists have taken this battle field all over the damn place.

This fellow was being interrogated. This involves breaking down mental barriers. The US interrogators are doing this in the most human ways they can find. This being a world wide war, they also have to keep the identity of the prisoner and the interrogators a secret. The interrogators aren't being cruel, they just doing their job in making the man uncomfortable enough to tier out his brain.

As for the feeding tube, I'd like to see anyone take on of those 'willingly.' This is certainly not a point for human rights. They needed him to stay healthy for reasons of continuing the interrogation and for the fact that they didn't want the man to end up harmed any more than was necessary. If he had been successful in cutting his wrists, they would had 'forces' direct pressure on his arteries and possibly 'forced' a needle in his arm and 'forced' blood into his vein.

I don't know what people expect from this issue. It will go in one of two ways. Either the US CIA and government bodies that deal with this will identify their first priority being keeping the free world safe and begin conducting these interrogations in absolute secrecy and deal with the prisoners by killing them, or, they will decide any type or 'torture' is un-American and will simply accept that, regardless of capturing individuals with pertinent information, further attacks will come.

Then again, the issue might burn out or the vocal resistance to interrogation will realize they have no idea what they're talking about and shut the hell up.

Busting America's balls over this is like chastising the prosecution of a suspect. Yes, innocent people are prosecuted but that's the only was to determine their innocents and stopping criminals. You may argue that the big difference is that terror criminals don't have the same rights as criminals (I put this in preemptively for the crowed here that has difficulty arguing the big picture so focus on chunks) This is correct. Likely, certain rights will be determined soon but currently the world has only started to deal with this type of threat. We certainly can't waste the time gathering lawyers, evidence and setting up a trial for every terror suspect before we wring the information out of him before is expires.
HalfBloodPrince
So then who are the terrorists?
horseatingweeds
horseatingweeds wrote:
That's really the question isn't it....



You don't know unless you interrogate the suspects. The other option is to let them all go.... What leader will do this though. If it was your responsibility to protect your societies population would you let terror suspects go in order to protect their human writes? If you would, would you change your mind when they manage an attack, perhaps one so bad your people blame you for not preventing it? Would you tell your people, after hundreds or thousands suddenly die, buildings fall, transportation halts, that you were to concerned about the rights of a terror suspect to allow professionals to extract the information needed to prevent the attack.

The real trouble with this fight is a fundamental difference in principles. Mainly, the enemy has none. The reality is, we simply can not fight them without loosening some of our principles. I agree, this is in fact a victory for them, along with numerous others. Sometimes, though, one must yield a field to win a war.
ocalhoun
HalfBloodPrince wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
I grow tired of those who think of the absence of luxuries as torture.


Being chained by the ankle to a stub in the floor [Loss of the luxury of comfort], naked for weeks at a time [Loss of the luxury of wearing clothes], and being blasted with rap music 24/7 [loss of the luxury of silence] isn't exactly a 'loss of luxuries'.


Drawing fun designs on your skin with a soldering iron, mutilating fingers, sandpapering your skin, then spreading acid on it, and throughout keeping glowing hot sand ready to toss in your mouth when you scream...
That's torture.
PMK-Bear
Ocalhoun, technically speaking, what you're talking about is also (not exclusively) torture.
Deprivation of sleep,as it turns out, is also globally recognised as torture (and, as per http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002441----000-.html , it's also recognised by the US).

Sorry guys. The Lusitania incident was the last time you could successfully use a tragedy to force this type of crap on the general public. Ticking clocks and all, it just doesn't work anymore.
HalfBloodPrince
ocalhoun, its extremely easy for you to say that.

This person is 'presumed' guilty, and its your own damn constitution that says 'innocent until proven guilty'.

I can't walk into your house, say 'I THINK you MAY have done this, so we PRESUME you a criminal, and for this reason we are going to torture you.'

Oh wait, isn't that what's happening in Guantanamo Bay? Yes, yes it is. There's your damned democracy.

I cannot further express myself, as there are children present.
liljp617
There's quite the difference between interrogation and torturing someone when you have no idea if they have information or not. Not only that, but the vast majority of the people we have imprisoned have no evidence against them. We have some 300 prisoners who have been in Guantanamo for six years now and all the while they've been tortured and denied any right to prove their innocence. It's quite obvious there's little to no proof against most of these people.

The fact of the matter is, torture should never be a part of policy in any way. Policies based purely on hypothetical situations (just like the one you mentioned) are, needless to say, stupid. If that hypothetical situation were to arise at some point in the future, it will be the task of the government to decide what to do at that given point in time. It's pure stupidity to allow torture on whomever we happen to imprison just because something MIGHT happen in the future.

Also take into consideration that we hardly catch any of the major leaders of these organizations, so we're basically just imprisoning foot soldiers. Now, based on even an elementary understanding of a military, one can only assume these soldiers have little connection to the higher powers and they have little idea of the strategies to come. Therefore, they're hardly going to have worthwhile information for the future (if they have any at all). A lot of them have also been in these prisons for months or years, so they've had no outside connection...how much could they possibly know? Most of the information they give while they're being drowned will be false simply because they want to stop the torture. Sounds like a successful interrogation! We get false information, they drown (or other assorted things happen), lose dignity, and go into a terrible psychological state that I can guarantee not a single one of the people doing the torturing would be willing to experience. Oh how much progress we're making!

Obviously, there's nothing I can do about it except not vote for somebody like Romney or any Republican really besides McCain. However, I can laugh at the irony of the situation and the overwhelming hypocrisy of our government being led by these so called Christians. Wasn't too long ago that we pissed on Japan because they were using water boarding....now, it's not torture because that would make us look bad! We signed the Geneva, yet we haven't followed it even the least bit, all the while getting on every other country on this planet for ignoring human rights.
ocalhoun
liljp617 wrote:
every other country on this planet for ignoring human rights.

So now the situation is just reversed, and we realize that all of the nations are hypocritical about it... (Instead of there being just one that is not)

I would advocate the wholesale use of torture on captured enemy combatants. These people are eager to face death for Allah, but will they face torture so bravely?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
every other country on this planet for ignoring human rights.

So now the situation is just reversed, and we realize that all of the nations are hypocritical about it... (Instead of there being just one that is not)
Most western nations are only slightly hypocritical about it because of the views of their populations. Torture is generally seen as repugnant by most people, which means that any government collusion in torture (such as we saw with US 'extraordinary rendition' flights across EEC airspace) will normally have political consequences when discovered, and this makes it much less likely to happen. It *does* happen, as the example above shows, but it is rare.
Quote:
I would advocate the wholesale use of torture on captured enemy combatants. These people are eager to face death for Allah, but will they face torture so bravely?

Well, you are entitled to your opinion of course, but the practical consequences would be horrendous, without even considering the ethical and moral repugnance that such a view would, and I believe should, attract.
Torture does not work as an information gathering tool, so presumably you are advocating torture as a deterrent. Presumably you would also be happy for captured US servicepeople to be routinely tortured as well to deter them from invading other countries?
liljp617
ocalhoun wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
every other country on this planet for ignoring human rights.

So now the situation is just reversed, and we realize that all of the nations are hypocritical about it... (Instead of there being just one that is not)

I would advocate the wholesale use of torture on captured enemy combatants. These people are eager to face death for Allah, but will they face torture so bravely?

Because surely that will solve all our problems!! Drop your crazy mentality please, for the sake of all mankind. Torture never has been and never will be a successful information gathering tool. It will never allow the US to gain ground in the moral and ethical war, which is what has truly helped us along the way the past 200+ years. They will not stop hating us just because we torture. You think the extremists despise the US (and other countries that oppose them) because we spew the idea of having freedom or because we're just here? They obviously hate us for a more personal reason than that...
MrBlueSky
ocalhoun wrote:


I would advocate the wholesale use of torture on captured enemy combatants. These people are eager to face death for Allah, but will they face torture so bravely?


Of course western soldiers in enemy hands are also enemy combatants.

And some of the people tortured in the war against terror are not combatants (or not even enemies), but only suspects. So you are saying: it would be allright if the US government rounded up you and your family when you are at the wrong place at the wrong time, chain you by the ankle to a stub in the floor, and deny you ´some luxeries´? Believe me, when you have been denied these ´luxeries´ for a few days you will think very differently on the subject of torture.

ocalhoun wrote:

So now the situation is just reversed, and we realize that all of the nations are hypocritical about it... (Instead of there being just one that is not)


Western countries have often accused non-western countries of ignoring human rights. When those western countries are themselves involved in torture, that is hypocritical. Has any of these countries being accussed by the west ever accused western countries? No. So they are not hypocritical. They are wrong. The US is currently hypocritical AND wrong.
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