By Brenda Norrell
President Bush said today, "This government does not torture people."
Now, to me, the ring, rhythm and tone of that statement sounds a lot like, "I did not have sex with that woman."
The Bush administration said the case of the torture of a German citizen, Khaled El-Masri, should not be heard by the Supreme Court because it would expose state secrets.
Pssst, President Bush, everyone in the world knows that the U.S. tortures people. Everyone in the world knows that the U.S. tortures people in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
This is not a secret.
In fact, in Tucson, Arizona, two priests are willing to go to prison to expose more of the details of torture. Fr. Steve Kelly and Fr. Louie Vitale knelt in prayer outside Fort Huachuca in Arizona, while delivering a statement in opposition to U.S. torture to one of the masterminds of torture in Abu-Ghraib. They were arrested. It wasn't Fort Huachuca's first experience with torture. The U.S. torture training manual was developed here. It resulted in the torture, rape, murder and disappearance of masses in Central America and South America until it became public in 1996.
During pre-trial motions in the priests' case, attorney Bill Quigley presented a foot-high stack of documents proving that the U.S. tortured people in Iraq and Guantanamo. In the stack were documents of the International Red Cross. At one point, the prosecuting attorney, Army Judge Advocate General Capt. Evan Seamone, did state that at least one of the reports was supposed to be confidential.
The trial begins October 17, 2007 in federal court in Tucson.
In Iraq, prisoners were not just tortured, they were tortured to death in at least six cases.
Meanwhile, El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, said he was kidnapped by CIA agents in Macedonia in 2003 and then taken to Afghanistan where he was held for months and tortured by his captors. His case against the CIA was dismissed by the Supreme Court today. El-Masri was released in 2004 after he says U.S. officials realized he was not involved with terrorism.
Here's hoping that El-Masri writes a bestseller with all those state secrets. If there's no justice in the U.S. legal system, perhaps he can at least make a great deal of money to compensate him for the torture.
Whoops, did I say torture.
Just today, President Bush said, "This government does not torture people. We stick to U.S. law and our international obligations."
"Priests gagged on torture"
Torture on trial