The Intel Hub
By Madison Ruppert
April 8, 2012
Recently I reported on a study which showed that states who approve of institutionalized torture, also known as “enhanced interrogation” must accept that they are going to torture innocent people for telling the truth.
This was a disturbing revelation for some, although many of my readers clearly realized that this was the case and made comments to the effect that it was just stating the obvious.
Indeed, in my mind, no government which allows torture to be carried out is legitimate, and that includes the government of the United States of America in the modern day.
Philip Zelikow helped bring much of these disturbing practices to light as he was in an unusual position as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s policy representative to the National Security Council Deputies Committee on matters surrounding intelligence and terrorism.
It is my contention that since Zelikow’s tenure, our government has become increasingly tyrannical and expansive with the now almost unbelievably large Department of Homeland Security (DHS), increasing use of Big Brother technology, and the near-complete eradication of our First Amendment rights, not to mention our Fourth Amendment rights and our now non-existent guarantee of due process.
Now Zelikow’s memo which challenges the supposed legal justifications for these practices has been released, around seven years after it was originally written and contains some damning statements, including designating the “enhanced interrogation” practices as war crimes.
Zelikow first gained access to the Office of Legal Council (OLC) memos which outlined the supposed justification for torture shortly after they were issued in May of 2005, at which point he also became aware of the details of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program.
At the time, Zelikow was among a chosen few at the State Department, where only Secretary Rice and John Bellinger, her Legal Adviser, were the only others who were made aware of the details of this program.
It is worth noting that Zelikow was the executive director of the 9/11 Commission and he believes that the captives allegedly involved in the tragic events of September 11, 2001 are indeed responsible.
In a 2009 article for Foreign Policy, Zelikow claims, “the evidence against most – if not all – of the high-value detainees remains damning.”
Despite this position, Zelikow questioned the practices these individuals were subjected to, saying, “the issue is not about who or what they are. It is about who or what we are.”
Zelikow aptly noted that waterboarding cannot be considered alone, as the cumulative effect of the CIA’s dehumanizing program is much more significant than just waterboarding alone.
He notes, “Before getting to water-boarding, the captive had already been stripped naked, shackled to ceiling chains keeping him standing so he cannot fall asleep for extended periods, hosed periodically with cold water, slapped around, jammed into boxes, etc. etc. Sleep deprivation is most important.”
He also does a phenomenal job of pointing out that this issue should not necessarily be one put directly before lawyers, as their job is to determine if an activity could be seen as legal, not right or moral.
He frames it by saying that lawyers address the question “What can we do?” while the question we should be asking is “What should we do?”
But most importantly, Zelikow and his now released memo which the Bush administration attempted to completely destroy and wipe from all records, point out that the supposed legal justifications used to legitimize these programs “have grave weaknesses.”
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