Monday, October 15, 2007

An egregious example of press laziness and distortion ... torture.

Thank you Judge Napolitano for the impetus on this one.
A few days ago the 'Judge' in Brian and the Judge when considering the legalities and technicalities of torture and it's definition remarked in a question to a listener that Harry Truman tried people for waterboarding.

This got me thinking, since as an icon to me anyway, and as a paragon of common sense, american ideology and liberalism, if waterboarding was in Harry's mind, torture I wanted to know his reasoning and the details.

Well here is the case...
Yukio Asano. 1947.
Defendant: Asano, Yukio

Docket Date: 53/ May 1 - 28, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture PWs. 2. Did unlawfully take and convert to his own use Red Cross packages and supplies intended for PWs.

Specifications:beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward

Verdict: 15 years CHL

More count apparently documents this on a US civilian held prisoner, as well as POW's.

Now here is the link to the Washington Post story about this ... nowhere in this article which clearly is used to say that if waterboarding was torture for HST it ought to be for Bush, does the word "burn" occur. Nowhere does the word "beating" occur.

Ted Kennedy they reported said ...."Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.

Bye the bye, they also mention this ...In the post-Vietnam period, the Navy SEALs and some Army Special Forces used a form of waterboarding with trainees to prepare them to resist interrogation if captured. The waterboarding proved so successful in breaking their will, says one former Navy captain familiar with the practice, "they stopped using it because it hurt morale."

In no article I have found have the other crimes been mentioned. Thus the only excuse besides deliberate distortion available to the press at large, is utter laziness, and a will to believe the distorted work of others supplying information to the press in a Ratheresque rush to do harm to reality.

I cannot say if this man, had he carried out what we did to our own men in training ALONE, and not inverted, would have been found guilty and sentenced to 15 years, but I CAN say that the list as complete is appalling and criminal without doubt.

No article save for the original archive source has made this effort to represent the whole truth and this was found in a 30 second look see.

I have come no closer to a decision on waterboarding (solely in extremis to obtain information to save the lives of american civilians not otherwise at risk ...not for confessions, not for intimidation) as torture, but nothing yet I have seen on Harry Truman or FDR leads to conclude they would have banned it, CERTAINLY IN WARTIME. The idea of waterboarding makes me extremely uncomfortable and unhappy, but measured against the lives of people having coffee at their desks, and the thousands and thousands of families affected by failure of intelligence on a clear blue September morning .....

Yet here is another list as to what we will not do....

--Interrogators may not force a detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner.

--They cannot use hoods or place sacks over a detainee's head or use duct tape over his eyes.

--They cannot beat or electrically shock or burn him or inflict other forms of physical pain, any form of physical pain.

--They may not use hypothermia or treatment which will lead to heat injury.

--They may not perform mock executions.

--They may not deprive detainees of the necessary food, water and medical care.

--They may not use dogs in any aspect of interrogations.

Currently waterboarding is forbidden by the Pentagon, and this certainly reflects the likelihood that anyone they capture is not going to have ticking bomb information about the imminent death of American civilians

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