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Red Cross report details CIA war crimes

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posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 12:53 PM
I find this interesting, due to the fact, I had taken a Red Cross course about a month ago, that was about Humanitarian Law and the International Red Cross - ICRC and what they do.

In the course, I learned the ICRC can not release any reports regarding how prisoners are treated until the end of that war or conflict. The one thing I questioned the people who held the course, was the fact that the "War on Terror" would Never end, so at what point could they come out with report? During wars the ICRC will give reports to the the war prisoners country and the country who is holding the prisoners.

This report released completely verifies and confirms the U.S. committed torture on the prisoners.

link to story:

The report makes explicit that the CIA violated the laws of war and basic human rights in its treatment of the prisoners, which included beatings, humiliations, sleep deprivation, and suffocation by water (“waterboarding”), among dozens of specifically named acts of brutality.

At several points, the 40-page report refers to CIA actions as illegal according to international law. The ICRC, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the body tasked with overseeing observance of the laws of war. That it has declared acts carried out by US intelligence personnel as torture carries enormous legal weight.

At several points, the 40-page report refers to CIA actions as illegal according to international law. The ICRC, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the body tasked with overseeing observance of the laws of war. That it has declared acts carried out by US intelligence personnel as torture carries enormous legal weight.

Yet the Obama administration has granted blanket immunity to CIA, military and Bush administration officials who ordered and carried out torture and other war crimes. An Obama administration spokesman, Mark Mansfield, told the New York Times that CIA head Leon Panetta “has stated repeatedly that no one who took actions based on legal guidance from the Department of Justice at the time should be investigated, let alone punished.”

The Obama administration is anxious to avoid prosecution of Bush administration officials for two reasons. First, the report stands as a condemnation not only of the Bush administration, but of leading Democrats, who were well aware of torture, illegal detention, extraordinary rendition and other major violations carried out by the US in the “war on terror.”

Second, the Obama administration wishes to maintain Washington’s full arsenal of repression at its disposal, including torture, in order to carry on longstanding imperialist objectives. Indeed, it is very likely the case that similar abuses as those outlined in the ICRC report continue at US military prison camps in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

To say I am disappointed in the Obama administration, regarding not stopping the torture, is an understatement. It is reprehensible to me, that we are contiuning a barbaric practice, which should not have begun in the first place.

Some details released of the torture:

The methods of the CIA
The testimony of the 14 detainees repeats descriptions of particular forms of abuse again and again. This demonstrates not only the systematic nature of the torture regime. Because the prisoners were held incommunicado in solitary confinement, the repetition of experiences demonstrates that their stories were not invented or otherwise planted.

Nine of the 14 detainees were arrested in Pakistan; three in Thailand; and one each in Dubai and Djibouti. Upon their arrest, the detainees were subject to imprisonment and interrogations in the countries where they were found.

They were then shackled hands and feet, and “made to wear a diaper.” According to the report: “Earphones would be placed over his ears.... He would be blindfolded with at least a cloth tied around the head and black goggles.... The detainee was not allowed to go to the toilet and if necessary was obliged to urinate or defecate into the diaper.”

In this way, the abducted men were transported via airplane to the secret gulag of US prisons around the world. The 14 prisoners report being shipped first to Afghanistan to face further interrogation. From there, they lost sense of their location and the lapse of time. Indeed, the ICRC notes that the detention “was specifically designed to cut off contact with the outside world and emphasize a feeling of disorientation and isolation.”

The CIA permitted the prisoners no contact with other prisoners, much less family members or lawyers:Throughout the entire period during which they were held [for 11 of the 14, more than three years] the detainees were kept in continuous solitary confinement and incommunicado detention. They had no knowledge of where they were being held, no contact with persons other than their interrogators or guards. Even their guards...did not communicate in any way with the detainees. None with other persons detained.... None had any contact with legal representation. The 14 had no access to news from the outside world.... None of the 14 had any contact with their families.... They were therefore unable to inform their families of their fate.”

The chapter headings of the ICRC report read as though they might describe prisoner treatment at the hands of the Nazi SS. These include, “Continuous solitary confinement and incommunicado detention,” “Suffocation by water,” “Beatings by use of a collar,” “Beating and Kicking,” “Confinement in a box,” “Prolonged nudity,” “Sleep deprivation and use of loud music,” “Exposure to cold temperature/cold water,” “Prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles,” “Threats,” “Forced Shaving” and “Deprivation/restriction provision of solid food.”

The ICRC describes “suffocation by water,” what the US media refers to by the more innocuous “waterboarding,” in the following manner:

The Red Cross lists Washington’s war crimes

The ICRC concludes its document by outlining, in explicit fashion, the war crimes carried out by the Bush administration.

Some of these violations of international law, the ICRC points out, pertain to “undisclosed detention,” whereby the thousands of individuals were swept up in the worldwide American dragnet known as the “war on terror.”

“It is a basic tenet of international law,” the report explains, “that any person deprived of liberty must be registered and held in an officially recognized place of detention.”

The report then lists some of the relevant international laws. “The entire system of detention provided for by the Geneva Convention of 1949,” the report notes, “is based on the idea that detainees must be registered and held in officially recognized places of detention.” The ICRC also lists relevant laws requiring the notification of family members and third parties of detainment.

The prisoners were also denied access to any judicial system, again a violation of international law and the laws of war. “The totality of the circumstances in which the 14 were held effectively amounted to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty and enforced disappearance, in contravention of international law,” the ICRC concludes.

As for prisoner abuse, the ICRC concludes unambiguously that the prisoners’ experiences “amounted to torture and/or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

The ICRC then cites, once again, specific international laws defining torture, including common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture. The latter defined torture “as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted upon a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession....”

In concluding its report, the ICFI writes, “The totality of the circumstances in which they were held effectively amounted to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty and enforced disappearance, in contravention of international law.”

“The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singularly or in combination, constituted torture.”

Just to give you a little background on the Red Cross differences of divisions.

ICRC is an arm of the Red Cross, it strictly deals with humanitarian law of prisoners during war and the Geneva Convention. Another fact is ONLY Swiss citizens can be in the ICRC.

This is just one arm of the Red Cross, the others are as most people know, individual country's Red Cross or Red Crescent (foreign countries, titles). Those deal with their own country's disasters. Then the International Red Cross is the division which responds to foreign country's disasters.

The fact is, we have heard reports over and over again, of how the U.S. has tortured prisoners, now that the ICRC has released this information, will it stop and will those who are responsible to brought up for war crimes?

[edit on 9-4-2009 by questioningall]

posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 06:51 PM

Chuck Schumer is now saying the U.S. needs to take a closer look and investigate the reports.

A powerful Democrat has added his voice to those calling for a federal investigation into reports of torture at Guantanamo Bay and at black site prisons abroad.

"President Obama said he doesn‘t want to spend all his time looking back. Fair enough. But he has also said egregious violations should be prosecuted," said Schumer, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The most logical, best place to start is the Justice Department. They haven‘t said if they are going to do it or not ... If they won‘t do it, someone else is going to have to do it. But they should be given the first crack."

Journalist Mark Danner, who obtained the report by the International Committee of the Red Cross and published it on the New York Review of Books' Web site, told Maddow that he was concerned that the ICRC's ability to get into prisons to check on the health of prisoners might be affected by the report's leaking. That concern, however, was outweighed by a greater need for American society to know what took place at the prisons, he said.

"The publication of the report is in the public interest," defended Danner. "It describes in unprecedentedly vivid terms what was done in the black sites by American interrogators and American Central Intelligence agents. And it does so at a time when... former vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney, is claiming that all of these activities were done legally, according to the Constitution and that furthermore, they were necessary to protect the country."

I knew the reports had to have been leaked out, due to the ICRC's way of handling things. I also knew the reports would never get out, unless they were leaked because the 'war on terror' will be never ending.

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