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Thread: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

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    Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    Barack Obama means change – except on torture | Andrew Sullivan - Times Online

    Until now, this scenario has only been a fear. Now we know it was a reality. An astonishing, and largely ignored, judicial ruling issued on September 17 in the case of one Fouad al-Rabiah told us that the US government knowingly tortured an innocent man to procure a false confession.

    We know that an American interrogator, operating under the authority of the US government, said the following words to a detainee: “There is nothing against you. But there is no innocent person here. So, you should confess to something so you can be charged and sentenced and serve your sentence and then go back to your family and country, because you will not leave this place innocent.”

    That’s from page 41 of the court memorandum and order, releasing al-Rabiah. Al-Rabiah was captured in Pakistan in December 2001. He had an unlikely history for a top Al-Qaeda commander and strategist. He had spent 20 years at a desk job for Kuwait Airways. As the journalist Andy Worthington has painstakingly reported — and the court reiterated — he was also a humanitarian volunteer for Muslim refugees. Yet informants had described him as an Al-Qaeda supporter and confidant of Osama Bin Laden, and before he knew what was happening to him, he was whisked away to Guantanamo.

    The informants’ accounts were riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. In her ruling, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly noted that “the only consistency with respect to [these] allegations is that they repeatedly change over time”. The one incriminating statement was given by another inmate after he had been subjected to sleep deprivation and coercion. So the only option left to prove that al-Rabiah had not been captured by mistake was his own confession.

    The interrogators’ notes, forced into the open by the court, gave the game away. In the judge’s words, although “al-Rabiah’s interrogators ultimately extracted confessions from him”, they “never believed his confessions, based on the comments they included in their interrogation reports”. In fact, “the evidence in the record during this period consists mainly of an assessment made by an intelligence analyst that alRabiah should not have been detained”.

    That CIA analyst, moreover, had told the justice department this was his judgment. Rather than withdraw the prosecution, however, the decision was made to get al-Rabiah to confess. He didn’t and wouldn’t. So he was subject to sleep deprivation and other unspecified “interrogation techniques” that led him to suffer “from serious depression, losing weight in a substantial way, and very stressed because of the constant moves, deprived of sleep and worried about the consequences for his children”.

    ...Shockingly, although Barack Obama’s justice department knew the details of this case, it persisted with the Bush administration’s attempt to prosecute him.
    This is NOT the change I voted for. I am profoundly disappointed on a level I find hard to articulate.

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    I'm surprised that there are people who still believe that the Dems and Repubs are anything other than two factions of one party.

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    Yep. I'm just a naive little mary sunshine who kinda wishes she'd voted for John McCain right now.

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    I don't know what that would have gained, and can think of plenty that it would have lost, referring back to Pat Buchanan's comment that "he will make Cheney look like Gandhi." Whatever opposition he had to torture would have undoubtedly been outweighed by whatever ill-fated interventionist strategies he'd engaged in...

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I don't know what that would have gained, and can think of plenty that it would have lost, referring back to Pat Buchanan's comment that "he will make Cheney look like Gandhi." Whatever opposition he had to torture would have undoubtedly been outweighed by whatever ill-fated interventionist strategies he'd engaged in...
    Could not have said it better myself. I may disagree with Obama a lot, but I would much rather see him in power than McCain and Palin.
    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." - Gandhi

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    Andrew Sullivan, about BO, on gay rights (but equally true of BO on torture):

    But the point of electing a president who pledged to actually do things is to hold him to account, and to see if he is willing to take any risk of any kind to actually do something.
    The thing is...I believe that John McCain would have ENDED torture his first day in office. And, potentially, released people who were innocent by all accounts.

    What has Barack Obama actually done in 9 months? seriously. He's given a lot of speeches, that's what he's done.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 10-12-09 at 04:40 PM.

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    In terms of total infliction of suffering, I suspect that McCain would have been worse because of his greater interventionism, which usually involves more unjust aggression than torture does. That he would have implemented interventionist policies more quickly and effectively isn't something I regard as promising...

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Andrew Sullivan, about BO, on gay rights (but equally true of BO on torture):



    The thing is...I believe that John McCain would have ENDED torture his first day in office. And, potentially, released people who were innocent by all accounts.

    What has Barack Obama actually done in 9 months? seriously. He's given a lot of speeches, that's what he's done.

    This story is not about torture carried out under the Obama administration. It's about continuing the prosecution of a man who was tortured under the Bush administration. (Which disturbs me, too.)

    Obama did end torture his first day in office. Scratch that, his second day in office.

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    Do you believe that Obama has delivered on his promises re: torture from the campaign? How about regarding equal rights for gays/lesbians? Or, reversing government snooping? Or, greater governmental transparency? Or, for that matter, closing the prison at Gitmo?

    Forget McCain for a minute...Has Obama delivered the ACTIONS he promised re: torture, illegal imprisonment, free speech violations, and human rights/equality?

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    Re: Obama's Complicity in Torturing an Innocent Man

    Quote Originally Posted by jackalope View Post
    This story is not about torture carried out under the Obama administration. It's about continuing the prosecution of a man who was tortured under the Bush administration. (Which disturbs me, too.)

    Obama did end torture his first day in office. Scratch that, his second day in office.
    But he kept an innocent man in prison who was tortured and continues to prosecute him. Thus, the Obama administration IS complicit in torture.

    For the record, I am NOT happy with Obama today.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 10-12-09 at 04:50 PM.

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