Monday, January 14, 2008

Subhuman

Three British detainees held at Gitmo, who were seized for bounty payments for no good reason and who were pried free by the British Government, filed suit alleging that they had been tortured and denied their religious freedom. They sought redress from the authors of the Gitmo system, including former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who crafted a series of once-secret orders directing the Guantánamo torture system. Among the practices introduced and used were waterboarding, hypothermia, long-time standing, sleep deprivation in excess of two days and the use of psychotropic drugs—each of which constitutes torture under American law and under international standards. These orders and their implementation were criminal acts under United States law. The evidence that the plaintiffs were in fact tortured is considerable, and the evidence of religious discrimination and abuse has been documented in internal Department of Defense investigations, which suggest, moreover, that at least some of it is officially condoned. However, the plaintiffs are being denied the right to present their evidence and make a case.

Scott Horton, from his article "Less than Human"
Among the most shocking statements in the ruling is one that Horton alludes to but doesn't directly quote: the idea that the use of torture was "foreseeable" on anyone captured in the Terror War; in other words, it was normative behavior, standard operating procedure, the done thing, and thus in no way could be considered legally actionable. Here is a quote from the excellent story on the case by McClatchy Newspapers:
The court rejected other claims on the grounds that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft had certified that the military officials were acting within the scope of their jobs when they authorized the tactics, and that such tactics were "foreseeable.''

"It was foreseeable that conduct that would ordinarily be indisputably 'seriously criminal' would be implemented by military officials responsible for detaining and interrogating suspected enemy combatants,'' Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote in the court's main opinion.
The Bush judges themselves openly acknowledge that the torture tactics are "seriously criminal," but, astonishingly, they then adopt the "Nuremberg defense," employed by scores of Nazi war criminals: perpetrators should have immunity for their atrocities if the acts were committed at the order of higher authorities. Whatever the Leader orders, either directly or through his designated subordinates, cannot be a crime -- precisely because the Leader has ordered it. His will is law; or rather, his will overrides the law. Horton likens this, rightly, to the "divine right of kings" embraced so fervently by Charles I, but it is also a precise echo of the Führerprinzip of Nazi Germany. This same principle, says the court, is now the basis of the American state.

Chris Floyd, from his article, "The Subhuman Stain: Federal Court Upholds Torture and Tyranny"
Subhuman Subhuman!

I see you grunting
I see you grunting

Subhuman Subhuman!

I see you grunting
I see you grunting

In the gutter
In the gutter

Subhuman Subhuman

You're like a virus in my body
Subhuman Subhuman

Subhuman Subhuman

You're like a virus in my body

Subhuman Subhuman

Subhuman Subhuman
Drinking dirty water, to make you clean
Subhuman Subhuman

Subhuman Subhuman
Subhuman Subhuman

You make me dizzy with your disease
I want to smash you and feel at ease

Subhuman
Subhuman
Subhuman
Subhuuuuuuuuumaaaaaaaan

Subhuman Subhuman

I see you grunting
I see you grunting

Subhuman Subhuman!

I see you grunting
I see you grunting

You're like a virus, a stinking virus

In the gutter

Subhuman subhuman

From the Throbbing Gristle Album, Heathen Earth

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