McGovern Blows Lid Off Reid's Torture Plan: Rudman the "Fixer"

CIA whistleblower and savvy political observer Ray McGovern has revealed the bipartisan game-plan to have the "torture thing fixed" by this time, next year, meaning, no accountability, if Harry Reid gets his way.  In Consortium News McGovern writes:

So here's the plan. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, looking toward reelection in 2010, calculates that the last thing he needs is a bonafide investigation that would make him vulnerable to Cheneyesque charges of being weak in the "war" on terrorism. These days, if you take a hard line against torture, you can be made to appear soft on terrorism.  Worse still, other prominent Democrats like Sen. Jay Rockefeller and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were given intelligence briefings on interrogation, warrantless eavesdropping, and God knows what else....So, Senate team managers Reid and Rockefeller have gone to their bench for an ace utility infielder - quintessential practitioner of "thorough" investigations, Warren Rudman.

McGovern reminds us that Rudman has been "wildly successful in covering up past national security crimes," and that he earned his wings in by working hand in glove with then-Rep. Dick Cheney to limit the scope of the Iran-Contra investigation. Rudman was "the good cop to Cheney's bad."

While Hamilton and Rudman laid most of the blame on Oliver North and other low-level "men of zeal," Cheney led the rear-guard Republican defense, insisting that the Reagan administration had committed no crimes and instead blaming Democrats in Congress for daring to pass laws interfering with the President's powers.

The episode ended with Cheney's "minority report" which laid the foundation for George W. Bush's views on expansive presidential powers.

The next job for hatchetman Rudman was to bury all evidence that challenged the Pentagon's conclusion that Gulf War illnesses were not caused by multiple toxic exposures, in the first major investigation of Gulf War illness.  McGovern says:

Rudman succeeded in sparing the Pentagon embarrassment, but at the price of denying over 200,000 Gulf War veterans the medical care they needed to cope with a wide array of neurological and other maladies. The result was to delay for over a decade medical research, treatment and disability benefits for Gulf War veterans.

If all goes as our distinguished Senators expect, says Ray, "the torture thing will be fixed by this time next year..."

Former Bush official Col. Lawrence Wilkerson's revelation that Bush knew most of those he had at Gitmo were in the wrong place at the wrong time when caught by bounty-hunters, puts a very different sheen on Bush's claim that he was "protecting America" by employing torture.  

    largely unreported is that several in the U.S. leadership became aware of the reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be immediately released.  But to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership...Better to claim that everyone there was a hardcore terrorist, was of enduring intelligence value, and would return to jihad if released.

19-year-old Murat Kurnaz disappeared into the House of Horrors That Bush Built even though according to 60 Minutes:

there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.

Kurnaz says shocked him with electricity, and that he was hoisted up on chains suspended by his arms from the ceiling of an aircraft hangar for five days.

"Every five or six hours they came and pulled me back down. And the doctor came to watch if I can still survive to not. He looked into my eyes. He checked my heart. And when he said okay, then they pulled me back up,"

Other documented, sadistic practices:

   · Peroneal Strikes. Peroneal strikes are a specific form of savage beating, consisting of blows to the soft tissue and nerves just above the knee. The falsely accused prisoner beaten to death at Bagram had been given so many peroneal strikes that a coroner testified that his leg tissue had `"basically been pulpified.'"

   · Slamming A Prisoner's Head Into Concrete Walls. In this torture a towel is wrapped around a prisoner's neck and is then used to propel the prisoner head first into a concrete wall. This torture was so fraught with risk of serious injury to or death of a prisoner that the CIA kept a doctor on hand at all times to guard against death or crippling injury.

   · Additional "Stress Positions" And Electric Shocks. "Palestinian hangings," they were hung by the arms with their feet on a drum through which electric shocks were applied to their feet; the shocks would cause the feet to "dance."

Former prosecutor and tireless accountability activist Elizabeth De La Vega warns us against jumping the gun in appointing a special prosecutor too soon, before a cohesive and irrefutable public narrative of the criminal activity is developed and an opportunity is given for victims to be heard in an open forum.  She fears the appointment of an SP before open commissions with subpoena powers do their work will result in congresscritters clamming up with "no comment during an ongoing official investigation" gambit.

The narrative must indeed be focused, and public.  Investigative commissions must have a narrow title like "Commission on the Torture and Detention of the Innocent," otherwise the defenders of torture will shift the debate onto ground they like, that of the non-existent "ticking-bomb" scenario.  And it must be public, broadcast on CSPAN full-blast.

It was all done in your name, for the world to see.  Only our loud shouts that this cannot stand has forced the politicians to address it this far.  Only continuous calls will tell the world that this is our leaders.  This is not the American people.

Please circulate and forward this post to your congressmember and to the White House.

Former Air Force Interrogator Mathew Alexander

Tags: Bush, Pelosi, Reid, Rudman, torture (all tags)


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