Smothering The Hearts and Minds

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Smothering The Hearts and Minds

Postby nomo » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:44 pm

From <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://marccooper.com/smothering-the-hearts-and-minds/">marccooper.com/smothering...and-minds/</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Smothering The Hearts and Minds</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>Let’s make sure we get <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4642596.stm">this story</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> right. You take the captured, uniformed general of an enemy army – and in blatant violation of all notions of human decency and of the Geneva Conventions— you beat him with rubber hoses, pour water down his nose, then stuff him into a sleeping bag, tie him with electrical cord, and then sit your ass down on his chest until he suffocates and you are convicted of what? <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>“Negligent homicide?”</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br>Just what part of this deliberate torture-onto-death is negligent? And your punishment? A “reprimand,” a $6000 fine and house detention for eight weeks?<br><br>So ruled a jury of six U.S. Army officers in the case of Chief Warrant Officer <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Lewis Welshofer Jr.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> much to the disgrace of our country, our people and, yes, the American armed forces. At least the Army had the basic humanity to put this torturer on trial for murder and demand life imprisonment. We were all dishonored, however, when the military jury let this guy off with just short of a back-slap and hand-shake. Says the <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-interrogate24jan24,0,3366865.story?coll=la-home-nation">L.A. Times</a><!--EZCODE LINK END-->: <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em> The jury apparently agreed with defense arguments that Welshofer had believed he was following orders to use creative interrogation techniques when he put Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush face-first in a sleeping bag, wrapped him in electrical wire and sat on his chest in November 2003. The 57-year-old general died after 20 minutes in the bag.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>Smothering someone is now a “creative interrogation technique?” Does this not strike even the most conservative reader as rather <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>grotesque</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->?<br><br>Remember that the victim in this case, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Iraqi General Abed Hamel Mowhoush</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> was a top, uniformed officer of a recognized state-sponsored enemy army and not some “illegal combatant.” Worse, when Mowhoush was suffocated in November 2003, it was after he had <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>voluntarily </strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->turned himself in to U.S. military authorities. At least, sort of voluntarily. Fact is, the General surrendered to American troops because they were holding his sons <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>hostage </strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->– yet another stark violation of international law. One of those sons, who was 15 years old at the time of this outrage, recounted the grisly story to the <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/24/AR2006012401544.html">Washington Post</a><!--EZCODE LINK END-->:<br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em> Mohammed Mowhoush yesterday recalled his own arrest on Oct. 27, 2003, when he and his three brothers were taken from their Aim home as U.S. forces searched for his father. Mohammed, then 15, said U.S. troops arrived in the early morning darkness with helicopters and armored vehicles, and demanded to see his father.<br><br> "They said if my father did not come and give up, they will send us to Guantanamo," Mowhoush said, adding that he and his family had been observing Ramadan, but that his father was not home at the time. "That celebration turned into a real tragedy for us. They said if my father does not come, you will never see your family back."<br><br> Arresting someone to entice relatives to turn themselves in is considered by human rights organizations to be a form of hostage-taking. It is considered illegal in wartime but military investigative documents reveal it has occurred in Iraq.<br><br> Mowhoush said he and his brothers were taken into custody and interrogated for days, with U.S. officials accusing them of carrying out roles in the insurgency. He said he was told they believed he was a sniper, though he said he knew nothing about the war. He and his brothers were not charged with crimes.<br><br> Mowhoush said U.S. troops took his clothes off, poured cold water on him, beat him, and made him get into uncomfortable and painful "stress positions," as they are known in the military.<br><br> His father later surrendered in an attempt to free his sons, according to classified documents. The military began to use the sons against the general, Mohammed Mowhoush said. After about 28 days in prison, the younger Mowhoush said, the Army brought the general to an old train depot outside of Qaim — a temporary detention facility nicknamed "Blacksmith Hotel" — to pressure him to talk.<br><br> "He was tired and I saw wounds on his body, and he was tired because they hit him so much, they made a lot of pain on him and he couldn’t even talk to me," Mowhoush said, describing how he was briefly reunited with his father.<br><br> It was about that time that Abed Mowhoush had been beaten by Iraqi paramilitaries code-named "Scorpions," who were working with the CIA, according to classified documents. Mohammed Mowhoush said he saw some masked Iraqis at the prison, and said at one point they escorted him into a room near where his father was being interrogated. He said they yelled at his father and told him that if he did not tell the truth, they would execute his son."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br> We pick up the narrative from the L.A. Times report:<br><br> <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em> Witnesses testified that Welshofer stood by while Iraqi nationals, reportedly in the employ of the CIA, beat the general for about 30 minutes with rubber hoses. The next day, Welshofer took the general to the roof of the prison and, while other soldiers held him down, poured water on his face.<br><br> The general did not answer questions, so the following morning Welshofer turned to what was dubbed "the sleeping bag technique." Invented by another interrogator who recalled how his older brother used to stuff him in a sleeping bag to induce claustrophobia, the technique had been approved by Welshofer’s supervisor.<br><br> The day after the general’s death, prosecutors said, Welshofer asked for another sleeping bag so he could continue using the technique on others.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br> Can anyone read this and not feel utter <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>disgust</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->? This is our refined and sophisticated manner of extracting intelligence? Holding 15 year olds hostage and then smothering their fathers in sleeping bags? And then publicly acquitting the guilty? This is how we win the hearts and minds of our potential adversaries? Heaven help us.<br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=nomo@rigorousintuition>nomo</A> at: 1/25/06 4:47 pm<br></i>
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RE

Postby Quentin Quire » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:52 pm

It's sickening. Absolutely sickening.<br><br>I don't really have much more to add ... <p></p><i></i>
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"Heaven help us" a little past due

Postby anotherdrew » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:14 pm

this is exactly what should havbe been expected. bush and his minnions need to pay for these crimes against humanity.<br><br>words fail. what can be said that hasn't already been said hundreds of times? <p></p><i></i>
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no worse

Postby finishedqq » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:45 pm

It's appalling but no worse than a million other things Americans have done since WW II. The difference now is that for some reason they don't even care to hide it. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: no worse

Postby marykmusic » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:16 am

During wartime, people just kinda go nutz. Both sides.<br><br>When I was 13, we moved to Guam (it was 1965) to a house my dad had rented in the village of Dededo. I befriended people who had lived through the Japanese occupation (some who had been tortured, all had lost relatives and friends.) I begged to hear the stories... and I honestly felt that Americans would never act like that.<br><br>But that was before My Lai... --MaryK <p></p><i></i>
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The testimony of Jumah al-Dossari

Postby BajaSur » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:26 am

<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Full_testimony_of_Guantanamo_Bay_prisoner_0110.html">rawstory.com/news/2005/Fu..._0110.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>I saw this posted on this board a couple of weeks ago. Its about as shocking as it gets.<br><br>When Jumah al-Dossari asked his captors "why are you doing this to me?" He would be answered by "because this is a crusade." <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Smothering The Hearts and Minds

Postby StarmanSkye » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:25 pm

Jean d' arc posted on Tom Tomorrow:<br>"According to his autopsy, he was left with seven broken ribs and at least 47 contusions, some of them thirteen inches long. Two days later, an Army interrogator stuffed him head-first into a sleeping bag, bound him with electrical cord and sat on him. The interrogator’s immediate superior, who received immunity from prosecution, testified that she had approved the sleeping bag technique, and that, in fact, it had been used on other prisoners."<br><br>So, with the evidence of 7 broken ribs and 47 contusions, the death was ruled an 'accident', aka negligent homicide?<br><br>This whole incident, and too many similiar, are too awful for words. This helps show that there's a compelling moral argument to be made for military, Guard and Reserve troops to resist and refuse deployment, since once they find themselves deployed to fight a guerilla war they are ON the front-lines no matter where they are, and it becomes almost impossible to avoid getting sucked-into the military group-mind culture where the niceties of civilized 'rules' of treatment are no longer relevant.<br><br>The atrocious, words-defying treatment Juma al Dassari describes at the hands of Paki and US troops, being 'sold' for US bounty and delivered to Gitmo, could hardly be incidental <br>-- Given that Rumsfeld was pressuring the Pentagon higher-ups for 'results' in apprehending Al Qaeda and Taliban irregulars, and that the generals were pressuring commanders and so-on down the line, you have the whole military chain-of-command infused with the stress of performance anxiety and unrealistic expectations, and given to understand that whatever the troops do they will be 'covered'. To what extent was this attitude of total immunity deliberately encouraged, to the end of creating a powerful loyalty and dependency of the interrogators and grunts who participated in what were clearly gratuitous and self-indulgent beatings (no-doubt rationalized as 'softening-up' the prisoners, but also serving as crude stress-relief) on the influence and self-interest of their complicit superiors, all the way to the Sec. of Defense?<br><br>I'm really troubled by what these accounts of torture and horrible treatment, which ANY self-respecting person would find absolutely unconscionable were it done to a dog, say about the US military culture. It would be bad enough if these people had committed terrorism on US soil, but it's pretty apparant that most of those suffering at US hands haven't even done anything to be charged with.<br><br>Also -- it seems to me this treatment is perhaps being deliberately encouraged by psyops intention to provoke violent Guerilla and Jihad reaction against US troops, thereby keeping the US perpetual war via unspoken Crusades going, keeping the cash-spigots gushing billions in weapons and bribes and contracts and career opportunities, etc. What a GD indictment of an overmature Capitalist system that subverts human rights and decency and civilized goals in pursuit of profits.<br><br>What's really appalling is that the present administration no longer even bothers overmuch to cover-up such foul abuses, but is openly encouraging and excusing it as necessary and legal -- despite abundant evidence that any intelligence so-gained is almost worthless (and so intel is NOT the real reason torture is being done).<br>Starman <p></p><i></i>
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