Tell Me Again Why I Voted For Obama

July 16th, 2009at 10:19am Posted by Eli

This is just horrrible:

The Obama administration has objected to a provision in the 2010 defense funding bill currently before the Senate that would bar the military’s use of contractors to interrogate detainees.

The provision, strongly backed by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), describes interrogations as an “inherently governmental function” that “cannot be transferred to contractor personnel.” It would give the Defense Department one year from the bill’s enactment to ensure that the military had the resources to comply with it.

(…)

Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates “are as serious as a heart attack on this,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Fantastic.  Because that whole contract interrogators idea worked out sooo well.

This moment, in which the Attorney General of the United States claims to be considering the possibility of allowing our laws against torture to be enforced seems a good one in which to reveal that I have seen over 1,200 torture photos and a dozen videos that are in the possession of the United States military. These are photographs depicting torture, the victims of torture, and other inhuman and degrading treatment. Several videos show a prisoner intentionally slamming his head face-first very hard into a metal door. Guards filmed this from several angles rather than stopping it.

(…)

Were these Abu Ghraib photos all made public, but those from other times and places kept hidden, and were we unaware of the executive orders, Justice Department memos, presidential signing statements, congressional reports, Red Cross reports, presidential and vice presidential televised confessions, and so forth, the military could still claim this was the isolated work of a few “bad apples”. But we would have a better understanding of what that work was. And making these images available to the public, or merely to a special prosecutor, would suggest an interest in seeking accountability for those responsible but not present in the photographs. On the other hand, hiding the evidence while prosecuting the soldiers who posed in some of the photos looks increasingly like scapegoating for the benefit of the Military Intelligence, CIA, and contractors who instructed the soldiers, as well as the commanders all the way up to the Secretary of Defense who encouraged torture, the lawyers who sought to provide immunity, and the president and vice president who gave the authorizations….

I very much hope that AG Holder is allowed to pursue his investigation into this, but given the administration’s stance on contractors, it’s pretty hard to imagine that he won’t find some excuse to avoid it, or else just quietly drop it or turn it into a whitewash.

Obama is doing a really piss-poor job of earning my trust.  In fact, at this point it would be more accurate to say that he’s earning my distrust.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Iraq,Obama,Torture,Wankers


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