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Obama Plays Roulette With U.S. Security

The Obama administration is playing Russian roulette with U.S. security.  Eric Holder, the incompetent, politically motivated Attorney General has announced that he is overruling career Justice Department officials and has appointed John Eric HolderDurham as a Special Prosecutor to investigate whether CIA interrogators violated the law during questioning of enemy combatants found in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.  So Holder - a political appointee - is overruling non political, career attorneys at Justice to help the Democrat Party. 

Do terror suspects qualify for protections given to U.S. citizens? 

What we know is that the individuals who were being questioned are not citizens of the United States, they were not questioned on U.S. territory, nor were they interrogated by U.S. military personnel.  This means that they are not protected by the U.S. Constitution, the Geneva Conventions do not apply, and the Army Field Manual did not apply.  Geneva Conventions apply only to soldiers wearing uniforms, and who are part of a state sponsored war, and who are not attacking civilians – not to a terrorist group without uniforms who are conducting war against civilians.   These rights of POW’s no more applies to the terror murderers apprehended in Afghanistan than the right to drive a car applies to a person who is eight years old, or who is blind.  The rules state who qualifies: these prisoners did not even come close to qualifying for Geneva Conventions, U.S. citizen protections, or Army Field Manual regulations, so none of those rules applied.  Simple.  But Eric Holder acting with the approval of Obama wants to criminalize the interrogations. 

Remember that the great hero of Mr. Obama and most Democrats is Franklin Roosevelt who put Japanese American citizens in prisoner of war camps located inside the United States without affording them protections mandated by the Constitution, solely because of their race.  They lost their businesses, their jobs, and their dignity.  Has the Democrat Party apologized for this outrage?  Of course not; and now they want to score political advantage so badly they are following the dictates of their one-world supporting donors like George Soros.  Democrat Party contempt for America runs so deep that they are perfectly willing to destroy the country’s intelligence gathering capacity for the next couple of decades for cheap political advantage. 

Here’s what we know about the interrogations being investigated 

Here’s what we already know about these interrogations.  There was an extensive legal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into how the prisoners could be interrogated without violating any U.S. or international laws.  Part one is here and part two is here.      

Approved interrogation methods 

The techniques approved were designed to make the prisoner think something that wasn’t true. (A tactic universally employed by police in every jurisdiction.)  The desire was to make the prisoner think they were going to be tortured or assassinated in order to encourage them to talk.  Below is a list of the “torture” that the Democrat Party wants to use to destroy U.S. security by  informing all other terrorists around the world about what we did to gather information about planned attacks against U.S. citizens.  In all the CIA detained and interrogated a grand total of 94 terrorist suspects; 28 were subjected to so-called “harsh methods.” Of those 3 were water boarded, according to government documents made public earlier this year.  Here, then are the interrogation methods approved by the Justice Department during the Bush administration that could be used to get information about the structure and membership of Al-Qaeda and other groups, and what attacks against U.S. citizens were planned: 

  1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.
  2. Walling: The interrogator forcibly pushes the prisoner against the wall to intimidate him.
  3. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain, triggering fear, and making the prisoner feel helpless.
  4. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury.
  5. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours.
  6. Sleep Deprivation: Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.
  7. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.
  8. Sound and Light Manipulation:  Playing music the prisoner didn’t like, leaving the prisoner in the dark, or in constant light
  9. Sleeper Hold: Interrogators pressed their fingers into a detainee’s carotid artery in order to constrict the flow of blood to his brain causing the prisoner to begin losing consiousness.
  10. Mock Execution: Interrogators fired a handgun outside a prisoner’s cell while agents screamed and yelled.
  11. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him.

Other interrogation methods used

Other information is in the documents about what the interrogators did, but it would be hard to classify them as torture:

  • Documents indicate CIA officers were cleared to force detainees to wear diapers for up to three days at a time, but the report does not specify if the technique was ever used.
  • They threatened to capture a suspected terrorist’s mother and led him to believe she would be sexually assaulted in front of him
  • Menacing a prisoner with a power drill intended to make the prisoner think he may be tortured
  • Another interrogator told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the September 11 attacks, that his captors would kill his children “if anything else happens in the United States”
  • Blowing cigar smoke in the face of a terror prisoner during interrogation

Safety measures required

In every approved means of interrogation, there were lengthy protocols about how long a prisoner may be made to stand, about any restricted diet; about how cold the room could be, and for how long; about how loud the music could be so it didn’t damage the prisoner’s hearing, and so on.

  • All personnel had to be trained to use these techniques, and every precaution was used to insure that the prisoner was not actually harmed.  In the case of “walling” for example a special wall was constructed so that it moved to prevent any injury to the prisoner. 
  • The “sleeper hold” has been used by police agencies in many states as a means of subduing an individual resisting arrest for many years.  The Taser and some other methods have largely replaced the “sleeper hold” in recent years for police agencies.

It was never the intention of the interrogator to inflict physical harm, and none of the approved methods created any physical harm.  Physicians were always present for any of the methods that could possibly have an unintended consequence.

As for the one thing that troubles many people, water boarding, there were three individuals who actually underwent the technique – far fewer than the number of reporters and TV producers who wanted to demonstrate what it was like!  Each of these three individuals underwent the technique multiple times, and gave information.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for example, only gave real information after being water boarded.  He give up information leading to the arrests of Sayfullah Paracha and Uzair Paracha both of whom Mohammed planned to use to smuggle explosives into the U.S.  He also gave up information about Saleh Almari a sleeper agent in the U.S., and Majid Khan who would easily be able to enter the U.S. with plans to scout places to attack.  There were other attacks Mohammed told them about: an attack in the U.S., the U.S. consulate in Pakistan, an airplane hijacking in England, and a plan for a hijacking and attack in California.  The frequency of the water boarding, the length of time between water boarding, and the length of time the person could be water boarded on each occasion were spelled out at length in the instructions.  In between dousings, a physician would check the prisoner’s physical well-being and had complete control as to whether or not it could continue.  Again, water boarding is designed to make the prisoner think something that is not true actually is true.  In this case the prisoner thinks he is drowning, but he is not – no physical damage happened to any of the three prisoners during the multiple times they were water boarded.

As for the “Attention Grab,” “Walling,” “Attention Slap,” and the “Belly Slap,” these are things that occur on any high school campus on a daily basis, and while may not be used by police interrogating American citizens certainly cannot be torture. 

All the rest cause no physical harm, and were used only to make the prisoner uncomfortable.  In fact, a variety of college student volunteers and radio personalities have undergone these things willingly just to see how long they could go without sleep, or perhaps set a Guinness world record.

Some interrogators prosecuted

On a few occasions an individual interrogator violated the approved methods, and each time it was reported to the CIA Inspector General for prosecution.  These reports were always forwarded to the U.S. Justice Department for review to see if prosecutions were in order, and in at least one of the cases, the interrogator was arrested, tried and convicted of the crime and sentenced.

More control to the White House

Now, the Obama administration has created a new White House team of interrogators for key terror suspects – the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group – HIG.  It will be housed at the FBI, and overseen by the National Security Council which answers to the President not the Congress.  This means that Mr. Obama has placed himself as the chief person in charge of interrogation of terror suspects bypassing the Congress – another expansion of the Executive branch of government taking power away from the Legislative branch altogether.  So much for democracy.

How terror suspects will be treated under Mr. Obama

Under these new guidelines the questioners will be required to use the Army Field Manual as the guide for interrogation of suspected terrorists.  Under these guidelines the prisoner cannot be immobilized or handcuffed for any extended period of time; cannot be housed in anything less than American soldiers are housed in, cannot be subjected to any temperature that fails to meet a reasonable level of comfort, extended interrogation over a longer period of time.  No force, mental torture, threat, insults, or exposure to any inhumane treatment of any kind may be used.  The terrorist is only required to disclose their name, rank, date of birth, and serial number.  Of course they don’t have rank or serial number since they are not members of a constituted military.  They are to be given proper food, and must be provided with the means to prepare their own food.  They may not be subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment. 

There are three new approved techniques as part of the Army Field Manual: the “good cop bad cop” tactic can be used; “false flag” approaches are approved to make the prisoner believe he is being held by different country; and only in the case of terror suspects can prisoners be separated from other prisoners as a means of trying to prevent them from coordinating their story. 

So Obama wants terrorists around the world know that being captured by the United States trying to kill American citizens will result in better living conditions than many of these terrorists have ever experienced.  Go kill American women and children, get captured, enjoy a safe place where Al Qaeda won’t demean or threaten you; get the food you want to cook for yourself.  Free medical care, conversations with U.S. provided attorneys, and you get to hang out with your friends, what could be better?  Freedom from threats and insults!  Plus, since you killed infidels in the name of Allah and are now enjoying all the comforts a terrorists could ever want, you are automatically guaranteed 70 virgins in heaven!

Now consider this!

On August 24, 2009 the New York Times reported front page, above the fold news story of terrible abuses by officials against prisoners.  A 300 pound man threw a prisoner to the floor with such force it caused a concussion; in other cases shattered teeth were knocked out permanently, bones were broken including one prisoner who was forced to sit with his arms secured behind him with such force that it broke his collar bone.  One prisoner was thrown to the ground with such force that stitches were required to treat the wound on his chin.  One prisoner died after being pinned down on the ground by to men.  The report said, “Staff at the facilities routinely used uncontrolled, unsafe applications of force, departing from generally accepted standards.” 

But this report was by the U.S. Justice Department regarding treatment of children in juvenile prisons in New York state.  None of the administrators at any of these prisons reported these abuses – with the exception of the death – and in some cases no disciplinary action was taken at all.  Contrast this with how the CIA conducted itself interrogating terrorists.

So we have Mr. Obama deciding to ruin U.S. capacity to protect us from terror attacks by demonizing people who acted within the law, using non lethal techniques overseen by physicians and make these secret interrogations part of the White House operation.  But real physical abuse and damage is perpetrated by youth prison guards against U.S. citizens with no reports being made to oversight committees it is completely ignored.  Have you heard Mr. Obama publicly denouncing the treatment of these teens?  Mr. Obama is telling the enemy we will treat them in comfort, will not demand information from them, and will accord them the protections won for American citizens at great cost and much blood.  I consider this an invitation for the enemy to attack.

What is Mr. Obama trying to do?  I think you know.  If he cared about abuse, he would be up in arms, filing federal charges for violation of civil rights against these prison guards in New York prisons, but instead he uses misdirection to go after those who have successfully protected the America for just two weeks short of 8 years.  You will have to answer the question as to whether or not he is inviting another attack by lowering our defenses.  What we do know without equivocationis that Mr. Obama has used emergencies to implement permanent changes to American economic, cultural, legal, and Constitutional life.  Would another emergency provide him with another chance to take over even more of our liberties so he can “fundamentally transform the United States of America?”