Rack ‘em and Screw ‘em, Boys!

Is there anything scarier than the New York TimesHalloween treat entitled, “Documents Detail Conditions Found at Secret C.I.A. Jails”?

Pardon my Palinese, but — You betcha! You damnbetcha!

For starters, the “conditions” the Times mentions only briefly are, in reality, depraved, corrupt, immoral, inhumane torture. According to the Times

F.B.I. agents who arrived at a secret C.I.A. jail overseas in September 2002 found prisoners “manacled to the ceiling and subjected to blaring music around the clock,” and a C.I.A. official wrote a list of questions for interrogators including “How close is each technique to the ‘rack and screw’…

What is more frightening — that the C.I.A. got its jollies by torturing, even murdering human beings in its secret sodomy frat-houses — or that the F.B.I. took one look, fled the scene and remained silent for years?

Perhaps it’s the two-page memo President George Bush had circulated seven months earlier wherein he determined — under his authority as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive of the United States —

…none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere throughout the world because, among other reasons, al Qaeda is not a High Contracting Party to Geneva.” (emphasis added)

[...]

…I determine that the Taliban detainees are unlawful combatants and, therefore, do not qualify as prisoners of war under Article 4 of Geneva. I note that, because Geneva does not apply to our conflict with al Qaeda, al Qaeda detainees also do not qualify as prisoners of war.

Bush then added piously that our values as a nation that we shared with many nations (?) required us to treat humanely even those not qualified as humans nor entitled to such treatment. So — wink, wink — rack ‘em and screw ‘em, boys!

According to the Times, the documents were released as a result of several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Judicial Watch. Makes you wonder if this nation’s mainstream media, both print and electronic, has no access — nor interest — in freedom of information, doesn’t it?

The Times did provide links (see below) to the released documents — 953 pages it knew most of us would never read. To offset that, the Times assigned two of its top investigative reporters — Scott Shane and Charlie Savage — to get the critical information out.

These guys hopped right on it and, after yawning through the assignment, their bland 306-word “news” article was published on page A28.

I don’t know about you, but even for Halloween — that’s scary!

Links to released documents via New York Times

A.C.L.U. vs. C.I.A. (SDNY) (pdf) (13 pages)
A.C.L.U. vs. D.O.D. (DDC2) (pdf) (441 pages)
Judicial Watch vs. C.I.A. (DDC) (pdf) (34 pages)
A.C.L.U. vs. D.O.D. (SDNY) (pdf) (98 pages)
A.C.L.U. vs. D.O.D. (DDC2) (pdf) (61 pages)
A.C.L.U. vs. D.O.D. (pdf) (141 pages)
Feinman vs. C.I.A. (DDC) (pdf) (163 pages)
Judicial Watch vs. D.O.J. (DDC) (pdf) (2 pages)

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. She can be reached at: rsamples@sirinet.net. Read other articles by Sheila, or visit Sheila's website.