That's why it's not surprising to see the multi-billion dollar corporate media machine continue to intentionally and ineptly still debate whether torture took place, as in this exchange between NBC's latest insipid enabler of the status quo on "Meet the Press" and King Abdullah II of Jordan:
DAVID GREGORY: 'Do you think the United States engaged in torture?'
KING ABDULLAH: 'Well, from what we've seen and what we've heard, ... there are enough accounts to ... show that that is the case. But there is still a major battle out there. ... [A]nd I think this is what President Obama is trying to do, is make sure that the legal system that America is known for [its] transparent to make sure that illegal activity-'
DAVID GREGORY: 'That's an important point. You actually do believe that the United States engaged in torture.'
KING ABDULLAH: 'What I see on the press ... shows that there were illegal ways of dealing with detainees.'
Some of the Bush era memos legalizing torture, just recently released by the Obama Administration, are an important corroboration of what we already knew, just as we knew that people were being murdered under the Pentagon and CIA torture guidelines distributed to commanding officers of known and secret detention sites around the world.
The evidence of criminal abuse, including rape and murder, that was authorized as a general torture and abuse policy directly from the White House on down is abundant. It only need be assembled as legally admissible proof of guilt in an American court of law or International War Crime tribunal.
As just one of literally hundreds -- perhaps thousands of examples -- a Salon article in 2004 noted a report by the indefatigable "last of his kind" investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh:
Debating about it, ummm ... Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."
"It's impossible to say to yourself how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there? When I did My Lai I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened. I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had, I can tell you some of the personal stories by some of the people who were in these units witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers and so we're dealing with a enormous massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher, and we have to get to it and we will.
How much evidence has been destroyed -- the CIA "disappeared" the torture tapes -- we don't know, but clearly the shredders and "burn bags" were kept busy in the last days of the Bush Administration. Still, the Obama WH is ordering more devastating detainee abuse photos released in the near future.
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