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Obama’s A Criminal Liar About Torture
Posted by on April 21st, 2010

From our partners at

By Steve Hynd

Remember Obama promising torture would end on his watch? Well:

Afghan prisoners are being abused in a "secret jail" at Bagram airbase, according to nine witnesses whose stories the BBC has documented.

The abuses are all said to have taken place since US President Barack Obama was elected, promising to end torture.

…The prisoners, who were interviewed separately, all told very similar stories. Most of them said they had been beaten by American soldiers at the point of arrest before being taken to the prison.

Mirwais had half a row of teeth missing, which he said was from being struck with the butt of a gun by an American soldier.

No-one said they were visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross during their detention at the site, and they all said that their families did not know where they were.

In the small concrete cells, the prisoners said, a light was on all the time. They said they could not tell if it was night or day and described this as very disturbing.

Mirwais said he was made to dance to music by American soldiers every time he wanted to use the toilet.

The US military has denied any such secret site exists, but you know the value of US military denials in Afghanistan. They tend to progress from "we deny everything" through "oops, you have proof?" to "here's two sheep."

Amnesty International has issued a statement:

The disturbing report by the BBC that a secret detention facility is still operating at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan and that inmates are being subjected to abusive treatment that far exceeds the limits set in President Obama's January 2009 Executive Order Ensuring Lawful Interrogations demonstrates all too vividly that the United States cannot so easily turn the page on the torture and other abuses unleashed as part of the global war on terror.

Tom Parker, Amnesty International USA's Policy Director for Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Human Rights, said: "Executive orders and prohibitions are meaningless unless they are backed up by the full force of law. The failure of the Obama administration to prosecute any of the individuals responsible for the abuses that were committed under the previous administration contributes to a culture of impunity in which abuses of the sort alleged by the BBC can flourish.

"This is the moment of truth for the Obama administration. The treatment and activities outlined in the BBC report, if true, would constitute criminal offenses under both U.S. and international law. Amnesty International is calling on President Obama to launch an immediate investigation into the BBC's allegations. If there is any substance to these reports administration officials should ensure that any individuals associated with the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody are brought to justice."

However, it seems to me that a real investigation of this abuse is about as likely as a real investigation of those who ordered and carried out similiar abuses during Bush's reign. It's just so not going to happen.

This, folks, is where "let's just look forward" gets you. Back to square one.

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