The Dartmouth Observer

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Sticky Fingers: Worldwide CIA Torture Network Exposed

News sources confirm that the Administration's policy of detainment stretches far beyond Guantanamo, senior members of al-Qaeda are being detained by the CIA in "black site prisons."

SENIOR al-Qaeda members are being held in top-secret CIA- operated "black site" prisons across the world, it has emerged. According to anonymous CIA sources quoted by the Washington Post, the agency has been transporting the captives to secret facilities in a number of countries for interrogation.

The covert prisons - of which up to eight have been used - are referred to as "black sites" in classified United States documents and virtually nothing is known about who the detainees are, how they are interrogated or about decisions on how long they will be held. Interrogators at the black sites are permitted to use the CIA's approved "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques". They include tactics such as "waterboarding" in which a prisoner is made to believe he or she is drowning.

The covert global prison system was reportedly set up after the attacks on the United States on 11 September, 2001. "Several democracies in Eastern Europe" as well as Thailand and Afghanistan and a small centre at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba were involved.

Abu Ghraib was not the work of a few bad apples. The torture of suspects has been a systematic administration policy from the beginning of the (global) war on terror. This is larger than the psychology of a few people frustrated by circumstances of the war. And, as the New York Times article I linked to earlier shows, most of the mid-level brass is probably using "nonlethal" methods to get their way. Every patriot worth their salt should be calling for the impeachment of the Vice-President, whose office has been fully behind this from day one, and for the resignation of a lot of military leaders. This is unacceptable behavior for a country who wants to export democracy; democratic self-rule has never been built on the scarred-backs of torture victims.

Scott McClellan, white house spokesperson, defended the Administration by saying:
"What I can say ... is the president has charged the administration to be doing what we can to protect America against another domestic attack and to protect our allies and those who are working with America but to do so in a way that is consistent with our legal obligations both domestically and internationally."

I would say that the president's most important responsibility is to protect the American people. It's a responsibility he takes very seriously."

My next posts will attempt to illuminate the following aspects of the Bush Administration's policies:
(1)Why the reasons we are fighting the war on terror allow us to torture people
(2) My take on the Article 3 of the Geneva convention and whether it applies