November 22nd, 2006

Has the Military Lost its Humanity?

torture

Anybody who believes the mainstream media and the Bush administration when they try to convince us that they don’t torture detainees needs to wake up.

The Deseret News posted an article today from Dr. Brian Moench about Alyssa Peterson, an LDS RM who worked in the “cage” for a couple days, being forced to torture detainees. The military then lied, saying that Peterson died from a “non-hostile weapons discharge”. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed more of the truth. She committed suicide (although some speculate that there’s more truth to be had in this discovery…).

The article mentions a Kayla Williams, another RM who worked in the cage, who has written a book about her experience in Iraq:

Williams was also brought into “the cage” where she saw fellow soldiers hitting a naked prisoner in the face. She said, “They stripped prisoners naked and then removed their blindfolds, so that I was the first thing they saw. And then, we were supposed to mock them and degrade their manhood.” Other soldiers later told her that the old rules no longer applied. This was a different world and a new kind of war.

Interviewed by CNN in September of 2006, Williams said, “What I saw was that individuals who were doing interrogations had slipped over a line and were really doing things that were inappropriate.” After a couple of these sessions, she told a superior she thought they were violating the Geneva Convention and would never do it again.

What happened to other prisoners was much worse. At the request of the White House, U.S. servicemen and women, contract interrogators and CIA employees have beaten, maimed, sodomized and killed prisoners held in custody by the United States. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and in secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, prisoners have been electrically shocked, water boarded, starved, beaten and frozen to death, suffocated with hoods, hung upside down until dead and had their flesh seared off with chemicals. More than 100 Afghan and Iraqi prisoners have died in this manner while in U.S. custody.

Williams went on, “It also made me think, ‘what are we as humans that we do this to each other?’ It made me question my humanity and the humanity of all Americans. It was difficult and, to this day, I can no longer think I am a really good person and will do the right thing in the right situation. I did protest but only to the person in charge, and I did not file a report up the chain of command.”

This is despicable, and I am outraged that members of our military are participating in these acts. Our military, taking an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, should not tolerate nor obey such clandestine orders from the Executive.

6 Responses to “Has the Military Lost its Humanity?”

  1. LDS Patriot
    November 22, 2006 at 3:14 pm #

    I agree with you, this is despicable. However, there is no proof this is policy…as Williams said, “What I saw was that individuals who were doing interrogations had slipped over a line and were really doing things that were inappropriate.”

    Second, I’d like to see evidence to back up the claim What “At the request of the White House…” as well as evidence that “U.S. servicemen and women, contract interrogators and CIA employees have beaten, maimed, sodomized and killed prisoners held in custody by the United States. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and in secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, prisoners have been electrically shocked, water boarded, starved, beaten and frozen to death, suffocated with hoods, hung upside down until dead and had their flesh seared off with chemicals. More than 100 Afghan and Iraqi prisoners have died in this manner while in U.S. custody.”

  2. Jeff
    November 22, 2006 at 4:35 pm #

    LDS Patriot–

    You want evidence that all of these terrible things are happening? You’re not going to get complete proof since all orders like this would be completely classified, but might I offer a little proof that we do know.

    The Military Commissions Act of 2006 that was recently passed by congress and signed into law by the president does a couple of things that are pertinent to this discussion:

    1- It makes the Geneva Conventions optional at best, denying prisoners the right to claim any rights under the conventions.

    2- It retroactively pardons anyone who violated the Geneva Conventions if they were following orders from above.

    3- It allows confessions and evidence obtained by torture to be used in Military Tribunals.

    It’s certainly not a smoking gun to look at this new law and to say that we are doing all the horrible things that are outlined in Connor’s post, but the fact that this law passed and that it covers those who might have committed such atrocities doesn’t help the case that it’s not happening.

    I feel a little like Mormon, walking through the destruction saying, “Oh beautiful people, how far have you fallen?” Our nation has sure fallen a lot since 9/11, and it’s time to take it back.

  3. Kelly Winterton
    November 22, 2006 at 11:40 pm #

    We don’t need proof whether this alleged torture happened or not. The damage is irreparably done. The truth is that all other countries believe that we torture like this, and worse. The reputation of the USA is at a low point, and this perception of Americans as torturers makes us less safe, not more safe. Combine this with Bush’s idiotic doctrine of pre-emptive war, and we have a situation of impending moral failure as a country. But, I don’t really need to call the incidents “alleged.” Torture HAS definitely happened, and the atmosphere that caused the torturers to act was condoned right from the top – namely Cheney and Gonzales.

  4. April 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    Perhaps it is time to revisit this story since it apparently is a current event again and there appears to be a little more information available.

  5. Kelly W.
    April 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    There is a little more information available to the general public about the torture issue now. However, the information was available years ago to anyone willing to go beyond the mainstream media to look for the truth. I noticed my comment was dated clear back in 2006 wherein I stated that the torture events were not alleged, they were documented and real.

    Please use this great article to find out the real reason we tortured people:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=13307

  6. vontrapp
    April 24, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    It would seem there is actually _less_ information available. Right now the entire argument is placed squarely on “is waterboarding torture?” That’s it. None of the other stuff happened. It’s all gone away in the memory hole. I all but forgot it myself but for posts like this. I really should keep a journal…

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