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Mar 30 2016

I haven’t forgotten you…

As Larry Wilmore says frequently about Bill Cosby, I haven’t forgotten.

The United States tortures. It has tortured non-combatants and innocents without scruple or a break (yeah, that means YOU Mr. Obama) since at least 9/11. The reason that the remaining Guantanamo detainees can not be released from indefinite detention, a lifetime behind barbed wire without a warrant or trial, is because they have been tortured and will testify to it under oath in a real Court of Law and not some Kangaroo Star Chamber Secret Military Tribunal which expressly forbids that testimony. In a real Court statements extracted by torture are no evidence at all, except against the Torturers who in my opinion should rot in Spandau for the rest of their lives in the cells that used to hold Nazis.

You know, it takes a lot of Chutzpah to live downwind of Auschwitz and have watched the Jews and Gypsies and Gays go in and not come out like a Roach Motel for Humans and scrubbed the soot and grease from the crematoria of your windows and walls and smelled the stench and say- “I didn’t know what was happening.”

I call those people “Good Germans”. That’s why I got banned from dK the first time. I don’t regret it and I have never, ever apologized.

That issue was the publication of actual factual photographs of U.S. Military personel in uniform torturing Iraquis in Abu Ghraib. There are thousands of them in the possesion of the United States Government under Barack Obama, none have ever been released to my knowledge including several hundred that a Judge ordered released pursuant to an FOIA suit.

Now we find that the CIA has more photos, these of abductees (not prisoners, they were never arrested) taken before they were shipped off to be tortured further by Assad, Mubarak, Qadaffi (recognize those names? You should) and others.

These abductees were stripped naked, blindfolded, and bound; and many of them show signs of recent bruising where they were beaten by their CIA captors torturers.

CIA photographed detainees naked before sending them to be tortured
by Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian
Monday 28 March 2016 07.44 EDT

A former US official who had seen some of the photographs described them as “very gruesome”.

The naked imagery of CIA captives raises new questions about the seeming willingness of the US to use what one medical and human rights expert called “sexual humiliation” in its post-9/11 captivity of terrorism suspects. Some human rights campaigners described the act of naked photography on unwilling detainees as a potential war crime.

Unlike video evidence of CIA torture at its undocumented “black site” prisons that were destroyed in 2005 by a senior official, the CIA is said to retain the photographs.

In some of the photos, which remain classified, CIA captives are blindfolded, bound and show visible bruises. Some photographs also show people believed to be CIA officials or contractors alongside the naked detainees.

The rationale for the naked photography, described by knowledgeable sources, was to insulate the CIA from legal or political ramifications stemming from their brutal treatment in the hands of its partner intelligence agencies.

Stripping the victims of clothing was considered necessary to document their physical condition while in CIA custody, distinguishing them at that point from what they would subsequently experience in foreign custody – despite the public diplomatic assurances against torture that the US demonstrably collected from countries with a record of torturing detainees.

International human rights law, to include the Geneva conventions, forbids photographing prisoners except in extremely limited circumstances related to their detention, to include anything that might compromise their dignity.

“Photographing or videotaping detainees in US custody unrelated to the processing of prisoners or the management of detention facilities can constitute a violation of the laws of war, including the Geneva conventions, in some cases,” said Nathaniel Raymond, a researcher at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and an expert on detainee abuse.

“Any evidence that the CIA or any other US government agency intentionally photographed naked detainees should be investigated by law enforcement as a potential violation of domestic and international law.”

The naked photographs from rendition targets are distinct from previously identified caches of torture photos from the US military and the CIA. The renditions remain the most secret aspect of the CIA’s since-discontinued apparatus of detentions, prisoner transfers and abusive interrogations.

In 2015, attorneys for the former black-site detainees now charged with war crimes at Guantánamo Bay learned of the existence of up to 14,000 photographs the CIA took and maintains of their former detainees. That cache is not believed to contain photographs of people the agency rendered to allied intelligence services. All of those photos remain undisclosed to the public.

the CIA “routinely” stripped its own detainees nude, although Justice Department officials did not formally approve the practice until 2005. Often the nudity occurred in tandem with other torture techniques, such as shackling and frigid conditions, leading in at least one case to a detainee’s death.

“This technique is used to cause psychological discomfort, particularly if a detainee, for cultural or other reasons, is especially modest,” a Justice Department official observed in 2005 during the course of an internal debate about retaining or abandoning the torture techniques. The official, in a memo declassified early in the Obama administration, considered forced nudity distinct from “any acts of implicit or explicit sexual degradation”.

The distinction was less clear in practice. The Senate report documented that CIA officials inserted pureed food into detainees’ anuses, a procedure the agency alleges was a medically necessary practice called “rectal rehydration” but which human rights advocates consider sexual assault. The “rehydration” left detainee Mustafa Hawsawi, who is held at Guantánamo currently facing a US military tribunal in connection with the 9/11 attacks, with a rectal prolapse and related persistent medical problems.

Perhaps you’re a little kinky and don’t consider bondage pix that big a deal, even if it’s without consent.

Anal Rape is Anal Rape, and it’s a War Crime. We’ve hung people for less.

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