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Johann Hari writes: So what will be left of the Republican Party after next week's US election? The answer lies in the sands of Florida, where the sunshine-state Republicans have nominated an unrepentant torturer as their candidate for Congress. They view his readiness to torture an innocent Iraqi not as a source of shame, but as his prime qualification for office. This is American conservatism in the dying days of Bush – and it points out the direction that Sarah Palin would like to take it in 2012.


In August 2003, Colonel Allen West – commanding a US unit in Baghdad – heard a rumour that one of the Iraqi policeman he was working with was a secret insurgent. He ordered his officers to go and seize Yehiya Hamoodi, a thin, bespectacled 31-year-old, from his home. They dragged him into a Humvee, beat him, and then handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded him. In a dank interrogation room, they told him he had better start talking.... Read more.

Question: Is this well enough known in the US and is this the direction of travel for the Republican Party? And, if so, what is its future?


( Comment )
mungo_jerrie wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Republican Party Torture Team?
The major problem with torture is IT DOESN'T WORK. It does not generate reliable, accurate military intelligence. The armed forces' own handbook makes this appallingly clear.

As is evidenced by the witchcraft "trials" of the Inquisition through Vietnam, from transcript after transcript, torturers simply obtain their own gobbledegook, their own suspicions, repeated back to them. A person being tortured is desperate to say what they feel their captors want to hear-and ONLY what their captors want to hear. Unfortunately what their captors want to hear...is not always the truth.

And quite bluntly, this lot of American interrogators are Amateur Night Out. They have neither the background, techniques, nor resources to make sense of what little intelligence they do generate, and they have managed to repulse senior armed forces officers and even the FBI, simply because what they got was not "useable".

Before you vote, try reading Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values by Philippe Sands. Then decide whether you want to support a political party that is committed to this tactical dead end.
( Comment )