Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Did We Really Begin Torturing on 9/11?

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) recently said something extraordinary on the House floor. If true, Slaughter has revealed that the Obama administration had quietly slipped language into a bill upholding the Executive branch’s right to keep under wraps the photographs of us torturing detainees. This would involve making the torture photos exempt from the already-gutted FOIA.

That’s extraordinary enough but what seems to have slipped by virtually everyone is that the documents that the Obama administration had petitioned the Supreme Court to keep hidden are photographs showing our torture techniques from September 11, 2001 to two days after Obama’s inauguration.

Excuse me? We began torturing terror suspects since September 11th? Did this somehow involve a rounding up of “the usual suspects?” If we already knew who these terrorist masterminds were, then how come we waited until after the Twin Towers were hit before getting proactive?

Conspiracy theorists and the so-called “truthers” had long ago begun making some very good points. Chiefest among them is the MSM already having spoonfed to them by the Bush administration mere hours after the attacks a perfectly-assembled poster board of all 19 of the hijackers, including photographs and names (in fact, half the people on that board are still alive and well, a fact that has been virtually ignored by that same MSM).

We knew from the gitgo how suspicious it was that Mohammad Atta’s passport was found near Ground Zero in as pristine a condition as Arlen Specter’s magic bullet.

But we began torturing people on September 11th? Who? Where? By whom?

Apparently, our Nobel laueaate Chief Executive doesn’t want you to know that any more than he wants you to know who we were torturing until two days after his inauguration or a little over a week before he was nominated for the Peace Prize.

Obama's initial promise on taking the reins of office to release these documents and the subsequent digging in of his heels proves one thing: Despite the lofty rhetoric of transparency in government and putting an end to the Bush-era torture programs, when Obama finally saw the photographs he was so horrified by what he saw he realized that they could never see the light of day.

And why is that? The standard argument is that such a revelation would endanger our troops and diplomats overseas. Into that we can only read one thing: We're so powerless against al Qaida that we have no confidence to stop their reprisals. Which in itself is the end result of the Bush administration's failure to curb the terrorist threat. Bill Clinton is still one aspirin factory ahead of George W. Bush as far as that goes.

But the Obama administration is beginning to uncomfortably morph into the previous administration. The DOJ argued last June that shanghaied terror suspects extraordinarily renditioned to torturing countries such as Egypt could not and should not have their day in court.

Gutting the FOIA by making these torture photos exempt is eerily reminiscent of the Bush administration setting up an extra-legal wiretapping program that bypassed the FISA laws. Laws once enforced by the EPA, FDA, SEC and all sorts of other government regulatory organizations were all conveniently bypassed through signing statements and extra-legal shadow programs. And now the Obama administration is actually covering for the most virulent war criminals this nation has ever produced because we're just as incapable of dealing with the Islamic terrorist threat as the last administration.

We deserve to see what's been done in our good names, with our tax dollars. The world needs to see what we'd done to our fellow humans whether or not they were guilty. And in subverting the Freedom of Information Act the Obama administration is essentially taking a page right out of the Bush/Rove/Cheney/Rumsfeld playbook and shoving it down our throats. If what Rep. Slaughter is saying is true, if the administration is strongarming Congress into making torture documents exempt, then it makes one wonder why we'd elected this man if all he's going to do is to not only cover up for the war crimes for others but in even continuing those war crimes. One wonders if the Nobel Peace Prize committee would've still nominated Obama last February 1st if he'd said prior to that date that he was militant against making those documents public.

Either way, the Nobel Peace Prize is now officially an international laughingstock.


At October 20, 2009 at 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on point, as usual, JP.
Good work!


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