Max Boot's Untruth

by Andrew

Here we go again - the article of faith that keeps the neocons from owning Abu Ghraib as one of the signal achievements of their movement to expand freedom. Max Boot has no issues with waterboarding, or sleep deprivation, or stress positions. He has no issue with the torture techniques used against John McCain as long as America is authorizing the torture of prisoners. These are the tools necessary to end tyranny on earth. Then this:

I might add that the CIA techniques were very different from the gross abuses at Abu Ghraib. Notwithstanding Andrew’s unsupported claim that Abu Ghraib was “one of the test-sites for Cheney’s methods,” the actions there were carried out by a few wayward, low-level military personnel at this facility in Iraq and had no connection to the CIA’s high-level interrogation efforts, as numerous reports have shown.

No. False. Untrue. Most of the techniques shown at Abu Ghraib were exactly the same as Cheney's favored methods and exactly the same as methods found in every theater of combat by every branch of the armed services after Bush secretly withdrew the US from the Geneva Conventions the US helped found. The Senate Armed Services Committee report unanimously reported this.

Remember the stress positions - prisoners bent over with their arms tied to bars behind them? Bush-approved for the CIA. That mock execution with fake electric wires? We just have new evidence of mock executions from the CIA. Lynndie England tying a naked prisoner with a dog-leash? Al-Qahtani was treated exactly the same way under close supervision from Washington. All those accounts of beating and yelling at prisoners to keep them from sleeping to "soften them up" for interrogation? Approved by Cheney as well. Use of dogs to terrify Arab men? Approved by Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. Hooding? Standard operating procedure under Cheney. Forced nudity? Also approved by Bush. Are we supposed to believe that it was a pure coincidence that these Gitmo techniques suddenly appeared at Abu Ghraib after Gitmo's commander, Geoffrey Miller, was expressly sent to Abu Ghraib to Gitmoize it? Yes, that is was Boot is asking us to believe, because your lying eyes would expose the torture and abuse regime as a neoconservative project. 

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The one murder at Abu Ghraib was from a Bush authorized technique - a stress position - compounded by beating. The rapes? They were indeed unauthorized by Bush, as were the sexual pyramids. But sexual humiliation and abuse? Routine at Gitmo, and deployed by female officers in Lynndie England fashion against Muslim males to exploit their religious and cultural beliefs to destroy their wills and break their minds.

Let me quote the Senate Armed Services Report that unanimously rebut Boot:

"The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own. Interrogation techniques such as stripping detainees of their clothes, placing them in stress positions, and using military dogs to intimidate them only appeared in Iraq after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and GTMO. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's December 2, 2002 authorization of aggressive interrogation techhniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by senior military and civilian officers conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in IUS military custody."

The neoconservatives need to be made to own Abu Ghraib. It was their signal achievement, the crowning symbol of an ideology of raw force as the instrument of pure power - even against a single defenseless individual in a windowless room, strapped to a board for a session of pure terror.