Drowning Torture

by bicyclemark 1 Comment

Waterboarding is one of those words that is pushed on the public in order to distract or mislead people from thinking about the actual crime it involves.

On the latest edition of On The Media, they did a fantastic job of exploring the manipulation of this word and what it means. At one point, a high-up military official comes on and says that actually the name waterboarding is incorrect, the real name should be Drowning Torture, because that is what it is. Later in the program some people argue about the semantics of what drowning is and can you drown if you don’t die, but nevermind that. The point that was made should render all following arguements moot… stop calling it Waterboarding.. if someone uses the term Waterboarding when talking about what United States soldiers are doing to prisoners, correct them – IT IS drowning torture… and it always has been.

After World War II, in 1947, the United States actually convicted a Japanese soldier of “Waterboarding”.. Drowning Torture. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

More than 50 years later… it is about time that the individuals responsible for ordering and carrying out Drowning Torture get sentenced to some hard labor of their own.

Executions and Torture Flights

by bicyclemark

My good friends and fellow podcasters have been speaking about the upcoming execution of Troy Anthony Davis, death row inmate who’s case has a long list of irregularities and unanswered questions. Like them, and many people around the world, I’m against the death penalty and beyond that, against wrongful convictions and corruption in the legal system.

Then I read the latest information about the US government sanctioned, CIA torture flights which flew all over Europe pretending to be transporting government officials. Again, like many citizens around the world, I don’t support any government torturing people and the facilitating of that torture by looking the other way at the airport.

Yet the sad reality, at present, is that both of these things will go forward. The broken death penalty system in the US will execute another person as most Americans will simply go about their business. Later some dedicated investigator or guilt-ridden lawyer will come forward with facts that prove in fact the man they executed was innocent.

Meanwhile in Europe, the German newspapers will fill lots of pages condemning the previous government for allowing the torture flights to use their airports. In Brussels they might just appoint yet another committee to further investigate and then verbally reprimand members states for supporting the practice of mobile-torture.

While plenty of concerned people will be angered. And some might even take to the streets and express themselves, or maybe save their anger for the next ballot box. Most people, in Europe or the US, will keep going about their business… maybe without even thinking twice.

This is the kind of world we have in 2007. Governments torture, governments help torture, a minority of people get concerned, a majority of people can’t or won’t do something about it.

Oh and of course, someone blogs about it.

Torture Museum USA

by bicyclemark

During a conversation with an old friend at William PAterson U today, I was telling her about Amsterdam’s torture museum. Suddenly it just came to me, I said to her: “I guess soon the US will have lots of torture museums as well.” And I laughed. She looked unpleased, and said — I know.

On that note, my flight leaves in 12 hours. So Ill sleep, pack, take one more spin around this one horse town, stopping off to give a big hug to the owner of my favorite cafe. then its back to Amsterdam and back to real pod-journalism and world news commentary.

Law & Order in the Whitehouse – Criminal Intent

by bicyclemark

The discussion surrounding what or who has caused the United States to head in the direction it is going, is neverending and often yields little agreement. Someone always starts by saying W. Bush is the problem and once he’s replaced with a democrat things will improve. Others argue that it isn’t one person, but in fact a whole group of people running the country, who’s values and worldviews are steering it in such a way. Then of course there are those who say its the regular people who actually like what is going on and applaud all the government’s decisions over the past 6 years.

Those are only a few of the arguements I most frequently hear in the comments of this blog and elsewhere. And while I sometimes feel there is an excessive focus on Bush and his cronies, when I read about some of the administration’s actions and attempts at changing national and international law, it becomes very clear that no matter who’s fault it is, the current government in the whitehouse stands head and shoulders above any previous administration when it comes to criminal intent and attempting to ignore or abuse law.

The latest action that prompts this post was last week’s revealing that the Bush administration is trying to amend the war crimes act in order to “prevent prosecutions of US personnel for humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees in the war on terror. “ A familiar theme from the past years, the idea that US military and other secret personel who are involved in torture, they should be given a free pass and a garuntee that they will never be held accountable for having committed what is a crime according to the war crimes act of the US, not to mention international law.

I’m sure it sounds like old news. No big deal, some will say. Amazing how if they just keep doing it, changing laws or kidnapping and torturing will both become common practices that cause every newsreader in America to yawn and turn the page.

Just in case you’re somehow still unconvinced that the government and the military should have the protected right to not be subject to the war crimes act, maybe you’d like to read the Amnesty Report.

And whatever you believe to be the cause of the terrible state of affairs in the US, surely the current squatters in the white house have some significant role in it all.