The largest single group at Guantanamo Bay today consists of men caught in indiscriminate sweeps for Arabs in Pakistan. Once arrested, these men passed through several captors before being given to the U.S. military. Some of the men say they were arrested after asking for help getting to their embassies; a few say the Pakistanis asked them for bribes to avoid being turned over to America....
"The one thing we were never clear of was where they came from," [Michael] Scheuer said of the Guantanamo detainees. "DOD picked them up somewhere." When National Journal told Scheuer that the largest group came from Pakistani custody, he chuckled. "Then they were probably people the Pakistanis thought were dangerous to Pakistan," he said. "We absolutely got the wrong people."
It's not the "24" scenario where they have someone who knows something and then torture him to find out what it is. It's more the habit of nations like China and North Korea, who sweep up suspects at random, then torture them to find out IF they know anything. The bi-partisan Senate panel has laid responsibility for this monstrousness squarely at the feet of Bush, Rumsfeld, and Rice.
From AP summary of the bi-partisan panel report:
The true genesis of the decision to use coercive techniques, the report said, was a memo signed by President Bush on Feb. 7, 2002, declaring that the Geneva Convention's standards for humane treatment did not apply to captured al-Qaida and Taliban fighters. As early as that spring, the panel said, top administration officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, participated in meetings in which the use of coercive measures was discussed. The panel drew on a written statement by Rice, released earlier this year, to support that conclusion.
The report, released by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., and based on a nearly two-year investigation, said that both the policies and resulting controversies tarnished the reputation of the United States and undermined national security. "Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority," it said.
ImpeachTime.org is cranking up a 3-day impeachment push, centered on a single clearly impeachable article, defying congressional subpoenas, sent to the House floor for an immediate up-or-down vote. The hearings would be scheduled to last no more than 3 days. Even the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee will have a hard time arguing that Bush, by ordering Rove not to comply, has defied a congressional subpoena.
It doesn't matter if it passes, as much as it matters that the American people have stated to the world their clear break with the men (and Rice) who did this in their names. Don't worry about whether it can pass or not. Don't worry if you think time is short. Pick up the phone and say "impeach" just so you can tell your grandchildren that you did it. It's your Christmas present to them, someday in the future.
Iraqi prisoner screams "Allah!" in "restraint" chair.