ABOUT TORTURES IN THE USA (I)

Matthew Waxman, a Council on Foreing Relations expert on law and foreign policy and former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for detainee affairs. “Guantanamo will be open for a long time,” Referencia a [The White House says it remains committed to closing the prison and has implemented new policies, such as the March 2011 executive order, in an effort to maintain a “lawful, sustainable, and principled regime” for long-term detention until the facility can be shut down.]. [In March 2011, President Obama issued an executive order restoring military tribunals and establishing formal procedures for reviewing cases in which non-penal detainees are being held indefinitely without trial.] “According to the Washington Post, the reviews apply “to at least forty-eight” detainees who, because of “evidentiary problems” (WashPost) cannot be tried in either military or civilian court. The periodic review procedures are not designed to test the legality of detention, says Waxman, but whether or not the detainee’s prolonged incarceration is warranted on the basis of national security.”

Fuente: Masters, Jonathan. Closing Guantanamo?, Council on Foreing Relations. 9 de noviembre de de 2011. [http://www.cfr.org/terrorism-and-the-law/closing-guantanamo/p18525]

“I don’t think anybody should have any doubts that all options to close Guantanamo carry some risks. There’s no risk-free option here. And many of the detainees who would be transferred or released to their home countries would be done so knowing that those individuals continue to pose a risk of returning to terrorism. When I worked at the Pentagon, one of the big priorities was to try to transfer many detainees to their home countries who would take responsibility for them in ways that would mitigate the continuing threat.”

Fuente: Closure Of The Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp. Speakers: Daniel B. Prieto, Adjunct Senior Fellow For Counterterrorism And National Security, Council on Foreign Relations, and Matthew C. Waxman, Adjunct Senior Fellow For Law And Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
Presider: Robert McMahon, Deputy Editor of Council on Foreign Relations. February 6, 2009. [http://www.cfr.org/cuba/closure-guantanamo-bay-prison-camp/p18493 ]

Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security “Osama bin Laden would not have been captured and killed if it were not for the initial information we got from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after he was waterboarded.”
Fuente: Masters, Jonathan. Closing Guantanamo?, Council on Foreing Relations. 9 de noviembre de de 2011. [http://www.cfr.org/terrorism-and-the-law/closing-guantanamo/p18525]

John McCain (R-AZ), Senador de Arizona. “Countered that waterboarding and other so-called enhanced methods had nothing to do with bin Laden’s demise. McCain stated ,”Ultimately, this is about morality,” adding, “We are America, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. That is what is really at stake.””

Fuente: Closing Guantanamo?. Jonathan Masters. Council on Foreing Relations. 9 de noviembre de de 2011. [http://www.cfr.org/terrorism-and-the-law/closing-guantanamo/p18525]

Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights. “President Obama was no more willing or able proactively to shutter the Guantanamo Bay detention facility than his predecessor. All recent presidents have been tough on Myanmar’s leaders and cautious in pressuring China’s.”… “The United States ought to view its important naval base in Bahrain as a reason to discourage repression, which could make that nation less stable. Bahrain limits the freedom of women, foreign workers, and political opposition. The United States is capable of deftly asserting more pressure on this small power to avoid counterproductive suppression of dissent (helped by the Saudis no less), without losing access to a strategic base.”

Fuente: Promoting Human Rights: Is U.S. Consistency Desirable or Possible? Mark P. Lagon. Council on Foreing Relations, October 2011. http://www.cfr.org/human-rights/promoting-human-rights-us-consistency-desirable-possible/p26228

Herman Cain. Atlanta, Georgia, businessman: “I believe that following the procedures that have been established by our military, I do not agree with torture, period. However, I will trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture. That is the critical consideration.”

Fuente: Republican Debate Transcript, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Council on Foreing Relations. November 12, 2011. http://www.cfr.org/united-states/republican-debate-transcript-south-carolina-november-2011/p26540

Major Garrett. Entrevistador. Mr. Cain, of course you’re familiar with the long-running debate we’ve had about whether waterboarding constitutes torture or is an enhanced interrogation tech– technique. In the last campaign, Republican nominee John McCain and Barack Obama agreed that it was torture and should not be allowed legally and that the Army Field Manual should be the methodology used to interrogate enemy combatants. Do you agree with that or do you disagree, sir?
Herman Cain: I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique.
Major Garrett: And then you would support it at present. You would return to that policy.
Heman Cain: “Yes, I would return to that policy. I don’t see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique…..” “I absolutely would reverse all three of those policies [Obama’s]. I’d keep Gitmo– Gitmo open. I would definitely allow the military to use enhanced interrogation techniques, because they’re terrorists. They are terrorists. Pampering terrorists isn’t something that we ought to do. So I anybody would reverse all three of those things that you indicated.”

Fuente: Republican Debate Transcript, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Council on Foreing Relations. November 12, 2011. http://www.cfr.org/united-states/republican-debate-transcript-south-carolina-november-2011/p26540

Rick Santorum. Senador de los Estados Unidos. : “Oh, I would agree with– with– with– with– Herman Cain. The– Gitmo is– is essential to– to leave open. We have to use enhanced interrogation techniques, all enhanced inger– interrogation techniques. It has been proven to be successful in gathering information. It was critl– critical for us– in the– in the war against terror. And we need to continue that– that operation.”…

Fuente: Republican Debate Transcript, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Council on Foreing Relations. November 12, 2011. http://www.cfr.org/united-states/republican-debate-transcript-south-carolina-november-2011/p26540

Julia E. Sweig, Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director for Latin America Studies
“The United States has scaled back, modified or even withdrawn its military presence elsewhere; think Okinawa, South Korea, Subic Bay in the Philippines or Vieques in Puerto Rico. Whatever Guantanamo’s minor strategic value to the United States for processing refugees or as a counter-narcotics outpost, the costs of staying permanently — with the stain of the prisons, the base’s imperial legacy and the animosity of the host government — outweigh the benefits”…. “…the Navy could invite public-health professionals from Cuba, the United States and other countries in the region to the base to develop strategies for cooperation. Proposals to convert the base to a public health research and treatment center date back to the Kennedy White House and have been viewed favorably by Havana ever since, especially in light of Cuba’s world-class expertise in infectious and tropical diseases. These initiatives defy the argument that the United States should cling to the base–and the embargo, for that matter–as leverage to push Cuba toward democracy. The past 50 years have proven the fallacy of that logic. Returning Guantanamo Bay to full Cuban sovereignty and control is a win for the United States: Aside from the boon to America’s credibility with the Cuban people and throughout Latin America, these first steps would probe the Cuban government’s apparent disposition to use the base as a point of contact with the United States – and gauge the regime’s willingness to move the ball forward even more.”

Fuente: Don’t Just Close Gitmo. Give It Back.Julia E. Sweig, Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director for Latin America Studies.Council on Foreing Relations; May 3, 2009. Tomado de: Washington Post
http://www.cfr.org/cuba/dont-just-close-gitmo-give-back/p19289

James Jay Carafano, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation: “Merely closing the facilities at Guantanamo Bay is not likely to placate any of America’s critics.The best policy is to continue to do the right thing: Protect American citizens, respect the rule of law, and combat transnational terrorism. Moving the jails will not change anything.

Fuente: Should Guantanamo Bay Be Closed?.James Jay Carafano, and Gabor Rona. Council on Foreing Relations; July 13, 2007. [http://www.cfr.org/terrorism-and-the-law/should-guantanamo-bay-closed/p13725 ]

Gabor Rona, international legal director at Human Rights First: “To suggest that the administration has consistently intended to respect, and has shown respect for, applicable law ignores this entire history.
As to treatment of detainees, I have no reason to doubt that there has been improvement in the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo over the last several years. But there can also be no question that for a significant period of time, official cruelty was part of the administration’s Guantanamo policy: former Secretary of Defense [Donald] Rumsfeld authorized treatment of detainees that was, at a minimum, cruel and abusive and which the International Red Cross called “tantamount to torture.” These abuses were confirmed by internal government investigations and are not in serious dispute. They are part of the legacy of Guantanamo.”…. “By closing Guantanamo, the United States has the opportunity to set a new course, one that takes seriously the long and difficult road ahead in combating the threat of terrorism, while recognizing that adherence to our values and our system of laws is a source of strength in that effort.”…. “Secretary of Defense [Robert] Gates is reported to have argued within the administration for closure of Guantanamo. He sees something that perhaps even Mr. Carafano [James Jay Carafano, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation] would not dispute: that closure of Guantanamo will strengthen the hand of the United States in a fight where victory depends on a strong global coalition with the ability to win hearts and minds.”…. “An effective counterterrorism policy would segregate terrorists from society, gain intelligence about their activities and organization by lawful means, hold them criminally responsible for their crimes, and discourage the spread of their numbers and ideology. Guantanamo has not only failed to achieve these goals but in many respects has undermined them. It should be closed. The root cause of this failure is found in its design. The detention and interrogation of prisoners at Guantanamo was intended to operate beyond the law. The facility has become an icon of torture, arbitrary detention, and kangaroo court trials. It is a poster child for terrorist recruitment, an obstacle to international cooperation in counterterrorism, and a gift to autocrats who now invoke Guantanamo as the new standard for human rights set by the United States. There are certainly some dangerous criminals there. But I could fill hundreds of pages with evidence, mostly derived from the government’s own records, of arbitrary detention of innocents, cruel and inhumane treatment, and unfair trials. On its own, this evidence indicts Guantanamo.”

Fuente: Should Guantanamo Bay Be Closed?.James Jay Carafano, and Gabor Rona. Council on Foreing Relations; July 13, 2007. [http://www.cfr.org/terrorism-and-the-law/should-guantanamo-bay-closed/p13725 ]

Peter King (R-N.Y.), the House Homeland Security Committee chair: The day after the al Qaeda leader’s death was announced, told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that “For those who say that waterboarding doesn’t work, who say it should be stopped and never used again, we got vital information [from waterboarding] that directly led us to bin Laden.”
Fuente: Tortured Logic: The United States didn’t need to waterboard anyone to get Osama bin Laden.Matthew Alexander. Foreing Policy; May 4, 2011
[http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/04/tortured_logic?page=full]

John Yoo, the former U.S. Justice Department official: “who drafted the George W. Bush administration’s legal rationales for officially sanctioned torture, repeated the claim and praised “Bush’s interrogation and warrantless surveillance programs that produced this week’s actionable intelligence.” The torture bandwagon has started to kick into high gear. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

Fuente: Tortured Logic: The United States didn’t need to waterboard anyone to get Osama bin Laden.Matthew Alexander. Foreing Policy; May 4, 2011
[http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/04/tortured_logic?page=full]

Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch and a former Clinton administration official: “I’ve always tried to be careful not to suggest that countries like Egypt or China or Uzbekistan would be torturing more because the United States was setting a bad example. Obviously, dictatorships torture for their own reasons, and they didn’t need [former U.S. President] George W. Bush to show them how,”…But, the Bush administration torture of detainees and disavowal of the Geneva Conventions did preclude diplomacy on many occasions…. “Issues beyond torture were effected, because it enabled authoritarian governments to say, ‘You have no right to lecture us”. “They were delighted to tweak the United States on it.”
We’ve had Guantanamo and the administration’s interrogation policies thrown back in our face in meetings with officials from many other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and Lebanon. U.S. diplomats have told us they face the same problem. A U.S. ambassador to a leading Middle Eastern country, for example, has told us that he can no longer raise the issue of torture in that country as a result.”

Fuente: Torture memos make U.S. foreign policy stronger?. Annie Lowrey. Foreing Policy; April 17, 2009 – 3:25 PM. [http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/04/17/torture_memos_make_us_foreign_policy_stronger ]

Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to Jimmy Carter. In his recent book, “Second Chance”: The most powerful image of America, says Mr Brzezinski, is no longer the Statue of Liberty but the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay. Unless Mr Bush’s successor takes urgent steps to restore America’s political and moral standing, he says, “the crisis of American superpower will become terminal”, and the epoch of American dominance will be shortened.

Fuente: Terrorism and civil liberty. Is torture ever justified?.The Economist, Sep 20th 2007. [http://www.economist.com/node/9832909 ]

George Tenet, the CIA’s director until 2004: Replied that the agency’s widely condemned rendition programme had saved lives, disrupted plots and provided “invaluable” information in the war against terrorism. Indeed, while denying the use of full-blown torture, he said that the programme on its own was “worth more than the FBI, the CIA and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

Fuente: Terrorism and civil liberty. Is torture ever justified?.The Economist, Sep 20th 2007. [http://www.economist.com/node/9832909 ]

Shawn W Crispin is Asia Times Online’s Southeast Asia editor: “Months before the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York and Washington, the US and Thailand established the Counterterrorism Intelligence Center (CTIC)…Now the unit and its associated staff and directors could one day find themselves on trial for war crimes over recent revelations first reported in the Washington Post and later confirmed during a congressional hearing, that the CIA ran a secret interrogation facility at a Thai military base where at least two terror suspects from Pakistan and Afghanistan were transported and later tortured.The revelations, made in the context of the CIA’s destruction of tapes made of their torture sessions, represent the latest bombshell to explode over the US’s prosecution of the so-called “war on terror” and the first to drag in directly a Southeast Asian ally.”
Fuente: US and Thailand: Allies in torture. Shawn W Crispin. Asia Times Online; 25 de enero de 2008. [http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/JA25Ae01.html ]

Hina Shamsi, member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): “Bagram appears to be just as bad, if not worse, than Guantanamo. When a prisoner is in American custody and under American control, our values are at stake and our commitment to the rule of law is tested.” She told us, “The abuses cited by the Red Cross give us cause for concern that we may be failing the test. The [George W] Bush administration is not content to limit its regime of illegal detention to Guantanamo, and has tried to foist it on Afghanistan.” She added, “Both Congress and the executive branch need to investigate what’s happening at Bagram if we are to avoid a tragic repetition of history.”

Fuente: Bagram: The other Gitmo. William Fisher. Asia Times Online, Jan 16, 2008. [http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JA16Df02.html]

Robert S. Mueller III, Director FBI: “We do not use coercive techniques of any sort in the course of our interrogations,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III testified last week before the Senate intelligence committee, saying that the FBI’s approach is “sufficient and appropriate to the mission that we have to accomplish.”

[Fuente: The Washington Post, “U.S. to Try 6 On Capital Charges Over 9/11 Attacks”, 12 de febrero de 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/11/AR2008021100572_2.html?sid=ST2008021101227%5D.
Mike McConnell, Director de Inteligencia Nacional: “The question is, is waterboarding a legal technique? And everything I know, based on the appropriate authority to make that judgment, it is a legal technique used in a specific set of circumstances. You have to know the circumstances to be able to make the judgment.” Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell , in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Feb. 5, 2008

[Fuente: The Washington Post. “’It Is Not an Easy Question’”, 13 de febrero de 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/12/AR2008021203024.html%5D
General de División Michael B. Mukasey: “If this were an easy question, I would not be reluctant to offer my views on this subject, but with respect, I believe it is not an easy question. There are some circumstances where current law would appear clearly to prohibit waterboarding’s use, but other circumstances would present a closer question.” Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey , during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jan. 30, 2008

[Fuente: The Washington Post. “’It Is Not an Easy Question’”, 13 de febrero de 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/12/AR2008021203024.html%5D
Porter J. Gross, director de la CIA: “I don’t know. . . . Let me put it this way, I’m not going to comment on any individual techniques that anybody has brought forward as an allegation or have dreamed up or anything like that. What we do, as I’ve said many times, is professional, is lawful, it yields good results and it is not torture.” Then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss , on “Good Morning America,” responding to Charlie Gibson’s question on whether waterboarding would come under “the heading of torture,” Nov. 29, 2005

[Fuente: The Washington Post. “’It Is Not an Easy Question’”, 13 de febrero de 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/12/AR2008021203024.html%5D
Vincent Warren, director ejecutivo del Centro para los Derechos Constitucionales: (which represents one of the detainees charged and many more at Guantanamo Bay), said the cases are “essentially show trials, as President Bush is leaving his tarnished legacy to the next president.” He added: “They are being used to justify six years of lawlessness and barbarity this government has been doing.”

[Fuente: The Washington Post, “U.S. to Try 6 On Capital Charges Over 9/11 Attacks”, 12 de febrero de 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/11/AR2008021100572_2.html?sid=ST2008021101227%5D.
Dana Perino, portavoz de la Casa Blanca durante la administración Bush: White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush played no role in deciding which detainees would be prosecuted, or in deciding to pursue the death penalty. “The White House was not involved,” she said. “They made the decision to bring the charges today because, as they said, they were ready to do so.”

[Fuente: The Washington Post, “U.S. to Try 6 On Capital Charges Over 9/11 Attacks”, 12 de febrero de 2008, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/11/AR2008021100572_2.html?sid=ST2008021101227%5D.
John McCain, republicano senador del estado de Arizona: When asked if he knew whether U.S. forces had engaged in torture in the past, the Arizona senator said he did not. “I do not know whether they’ve been involved in torture, because I don’t have that kind of information,” McCain said. “I do know that when tapes are destroyed of interrogations, it contributes enormously to the cynicism, the skepticism, and also is further damaging to the image of the United States of America in the world.”

[Fuente: The Washington Post, “McCain Advocates New Tactics” 16 de diciembre de 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/15/AR2007121501668.html%5D.
Michael V. Hayden, director de la CIA: Congressional investigators have turned up no evidence that anyone in the Bush administration openly advocated the tapes’ destruction, according to officials familiar with a set of classified documents forwarded to Capitol Hill. “It was an agency decision — you can take it to the bank,” CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said in an interview on Friday. “Other speculations that it may have been made in other compounds, in other parts of the capital region, are simply wrong.” Hayden, in an interview, said the advice expressed by administration lawyers was consistent. “To the degree this was discussed outside the agency, everyone counseled caution,” he said. But he said that, in 2005, it was “the agency’s view that there were no legal impediments” to the tapes’ destruction. There also was “genuine concern about agency people being identified,” were the tapes ever to be made public. Hayden, who became CIA director last year, acknowledged that the questions raised about the tapes’ destruction, then and now, are legitimate. “One can ask if it was a good idea, or if there was a better way to do it,” he said. “We are very happy to let the facts take us where they will.”

[Fuente: The Washington Post, “McCain Advocates New Tactics” 16 de diciembre de 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/15/AR2007121501668.html%5D.

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