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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

ACLU Document Dump

The ACLU has been steadily releasing huge amounts of documents it obtained from the federal government under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents -- declassified memorandums and other communications by agents of the FBI and from branches of the U.S. military -- paint a broad picture of continuing allegations of prisoner abuse at U.S. facilities. Right-wing pundits believe that incidents of prisoner abuse are isolated, but of course the documents obtained by the ACLU -- as well as the Taguba Report and the Church Report (the Church Report is in PDF format) -- paint a different picture, and the incidents of prisoner abuse are widespread, not isolated.

One memorandum presumably between FBI agents discusses DoD personnel impersonating FBI agents (the document is heavily redacted). It is dated Dec. 5, 2003:

"I am forwarding this EC up the CTD chain of command. MLDU requested this information be documented to protect the FBI. MLDU has a long standing and documented position against use of some of DOD's interrogation practices, however we were not aware of these latest techniques until recently...of concern, DOD interrogators impersonating Supervisory Special Agents of the FBI told a detainee (blacked out)...these tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralizing nature to date at CITF believes that techniques have destroyed any chance of prosecuting this detainee. If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done (by) the "FBI" interrogators. The FBI will (be) left holding the bag before the public."

Which of course raises all sorts of questions, such as, what torture techniques were used? For the FBI to issue an internal CYA memo about it, it probably was pretty bad. I'm sure the Bush cheerleaders (you know, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter and all the others) are going to swing into offense mode to discredit the documents, because, you know, the United States isn't physically harming anyone. That's real torture!

You'd think our government would take the high road when it comes to the treatment of prisoners. That's certainly what the Bush administration wants us to believe. Which, of course, is miles away from the truth. And while a Qur'an might not have been flushed down a toilet, we've certainly flushed the Geneva Conventions down the toilet.

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