Friday, October 27, 2006

From Balloon Juice:
Very shortly the German periodical Stern will have more on those European secret prisons which don’t exist. In a nutshell, German security personnel visited the American facilities as early as 2001 and were shocked at the abuses that they witnessed there. Several immediately reported their experiences to superiors and prosecutors in Germany.

Until now the German government has denied any knowledge of secret prisons so this counts as one hell of a gotcha piece in Stern’s home market, as well as a timely reminder over here of what it means when a country with America’s resources decides to institutionalize abuse.
But I thought Bush has repeatedly said we don't torture?

Robert Dreyfuss recently wrote about the widespread anti-Americanism in the world:
There’s no denying that the war in Iraq has had a catastrophic effect on American interests. It has opened a festering wound at the heart of the Middle East, a vortex of violence that threatens to fragment the nation of Iraq and spill over Iraq’s borders into all six of its neighbors. The war has inflamed Arab and Muslim public opinion against the United States. It has alienated America’s allies, particularly in Europe and the Middle East. It has cheered or emboldened America’s adversaries and rivals, including China and Russia. And it has fueled the sort of anti-Americanism articulated by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
Given the anti-U.S. climate that Iraq has managed to generate, in addition to the seemingly endless new revelations of U.S. torture, all of it will result in several significant problems we'll have to face and resolve over the next several years. Countries falling under the category of anti-U.S. will be less inclined to work with us on issues involving geopolitical threats confronting us. We'll obtain less truthful, credible intel from potential informants who in a prior time may have been willing to choose to side with the U.S., a country that has stood for good and fairness -- a notion widely accepted not too long ago.

Thanks to this administration, America is less safe not just due to the creation of more terrorists (see NIE report) but perhaps even more so due to the increase in resentment towards the U.S. Now more than ever we are going it alone, increasingly so because we have to. It's no wonder Bush/Cheney have been adamant about using torture to gain info; it's now the only option we have left.

Cheney has spent a lifetime bullying and "torturing" members of congress to get what he wants, but apparently he's too naive and stubborn to realize such school-yard tactics don't work in the international arena. Worse yet, they're gravely counter-productive.

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