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Alex Gibney in Conversation With Robert Scheer

Posted on Feb 24, 2008

Gibney’s “before” photo:  “Taxi to the Dark Side” director and co-producer Alex Gibney talks with Truthdig Edtior Robert Scheer on Feb. 22, two days before his Oscar win.

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews documentarian Alex Gibney about his 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” a compelling examination of the circumstances that led Americans to commit torture.

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Also, be sure to check out LinkTV’s special “The Politics of War,” which includes extended interviews with Alex Gibney and “No End in Sight” director Charles Ferguson, along with clips from their films.

Watch the interview:

Watch the trailer for “Taxi to the Dark Side”:


Robert Scheer: Hi, it’s Robert Scheer, Editor of Truthdig. I’ve interviewed a lot of people, but I’m really excited to talk to Alex Gibney here, because I have enormous admiration for your work, and I’m not just blowing smoke here. I thought your film “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” which was nominated for an Academy Award, was just about the best way to teach about the American economy. I use it in classes. It’s a great film. You worked as the producer, the executive producer, on “No End in Sight,” which is also this Sunday up for an Academy Award for documentary, competing against the film that you directed, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” which I think is the most compelling movie, certainly in the last 10 years, maybe one of the most compelling movies ever made, about the subject of torture. And I want to tell people you can see it up the road, maybe you can rent it, see it in some theaters.


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Alex Gibney: It’s in some theaters now.

Scheer: It can win the Academy Award.

Gibney: And then it will come back again, and soon, this fall, it will be on HBO.

Scheer: And it will be on Link TV for those who get Link where they are. What I felt compelling about this movie—first I wasn’t going to see it. I only saw it because we were going to do a discussion after I watched and thought it was going to bum me out.

Gibney: See the problem.

Scheer: I know the problem. We all avoid seeing it, and I didn’t have any trouble watching it, because, I don’t want to use the word educational. ... I kept learning, I kept learning about human beings. And what’s compelling about this movie is you get inside the heads of people who did the torturing.

Gibney: That’s right.

Scheer: And some of them fall apart. Why don’t you talk about that?

Gibney: Well, generally speaking, I’m more interested in perps than the victims. It was that way with Enron, too. I was interested in these traders who broke down the California grid. I was interested in actually what made Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling tick. And in the case of “Taxi to the Dark Side,” I was interested in these guys who brutally tortured and murdered this young Afghan taxicab driver. And some of them were interrogators, some of them were military police. They had felt scapegoated because the people who either condoned or ordered [them] to do what they did weren’t even investigated, much less convicted of anything. So I think that gave them a motivation—.

Scheer: Right up to the president of—.

Gibney: Right up to the president of the United States. So in talking about—.

Scheer: So for people who haven’t seen the film, we should stress that. Some of these guys are kids.

Gibney: They’re all kids. And they had exactly one day of guard training, these guards. And the interrogators sometimes had three-four hours of interrogation training before they performed their first interrogation. That gives you some sense of the kind of science of interrogation and detention that we were dealing with. There were kids thrown into a situation at a time when the Bush administration were saying the gloves were off, there are no rules anymore, forget the rules, throw out the rules. Just get the information however you can.  And so these kids went into that situation and were being pushed harder and harder by their superior officers. One sergeant told one of these kids, “Take that prisoner out of his comfort zone ... ,” meaning, beat him up. And in retrospect, they’re deeply haunted by what they have seen and what they did. As one very big, burly guard said, “I wish I had done stuff according to my own morality instead of what was common.”

Scheer: But these are kids who’ve never been out of the country before? Some may have found themselves—.

Gibney: A lot of them were National Guard and suddenly they’re in a foreign country, where bullets are flying and your buddies are dying. ...

Scheer: Now this taxi driver, he was totally innocent?

Gibney: That’s one of the things of this story that have always haunted me. There are two things that will always haunt me. One is, this kid, he’s a 122-pound kid, he was 22 years old, I believe. He was driving home in his taxi and was picked up by Afghan militia, turned over to American forces. [The Americans were told] that he was responsible for a rocket attack. It turned out that the people who turned him over were the ones who launched the rocket attack. The Americans didn’t know it. They tortured him so badly that, they beat him so badly that ultimately he died of his injuries after five days. On the third day, though, they discovered he was innocent and, for another two days, they tormented him until he died. They literally kicked his legs so often that they became pulpified.

Scheer: Even though they knew he was innocent?

Gibney: Even though they know he was innocent. And that was one of the things—.

Scheer: It was that the inner barbarian had been released?

Gibney: I think so. There is kind of a momentum to torture, as later on I discovered in the process of making this film. They have a term, it’s called “forced drift,” and so when you’re interrogating somebody, you’re trying to get information out of somebody and they don’t give you it, then you ramp it up. Particularly if there are no rules to guide you. And then you go more and more. And the next thing you know, you’re starting to brutalize somebody because they’re no longer a human being. And the military does understand this, and that’s why the military had rules in place, because you want a disciplined unit. You don’t want a mob, a lynch mob, in effect. But the Bush administration removed those guidelines. ...

Scheer: And in your movie, you interviewed people who were higher up, but not the highest?

Gibney: We go up the chain of command.

Scheer: You go to Colin Powell’s chief of staff.

Gibney: We go to Colin Powell’s chief of staff. And also Alberto Mora, who was a former general counselor for the Navy. We also talked to the commanding officer of Guantanamo. And the man inside the Bush administration who was responsible for manipulation of all the laws, or at least manipulating the interpretations of all the laws. So that we could imagine a policy of torture and so the people at the top of the administration could elude prosecution for war crimes.

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By Bill Blackolive, March 22, 2008 at 11:09 am Link to this comment
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I may imagine fear which humanitarians like Robert Scheer and Amy Goodman and Scott Ritter and Michael Moorer who already naturally get death threats have to be feeling, and by now they are seen at patriotsquestion911….Here I can just muck off, do not have to fret starting my car or coming into my house.  Still, there is such an expanding body of distinguished folks at patriots, there has got to be strength in these numbers.  There are a few individuals on corporate TV nearly brave as Rosie, aren’t there?  In this land where many do not vote or much read news, or look past corporate news, this patriots hats-in-ring information, of hundreds to a thousand plus of professors, celebrities, engineers, pilots, firemen witnesses, has got to get there right now.

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By liberal white boy, March 16, 2008 at 5:12 am Link to this comment
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Come on man we only tortured three people what is the big deal? Are America’s New Torture Practices Discriminatory?

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By jackie T. Gabel, March 12, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
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THE GLOBAL WAR OF TERROR is designed to terrorize everyone - make us all beg for protection - the point missed - yes the perpetrators are victims too, but not for the reason implied - THE GLOBAL WAR OF TERROR is the biggest lie ever foisted on humanity and that’s the point missed both by Gibney and Scheer - not that the mission has failed - the mission is far more successful than most can imagine - the 100-year GLOBAL WAR OF TERROR is almost certainly a fait accompli - your grandchildren will know and suffer it too - the New World Oligarchy is here to stay - we are at the end of the empire

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By GW=MCHammered, March 7, 2008 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
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By Douglas Chalmers, March 6, 2008 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

The Vietnamese, of course, were never allowed to be more than shadows, and the crime that was the Vietnam war…. is a “mystery” now. It wasn’t mysterious in the 60’s and 70’s…

That’s why I always say that there are NO Vietnam war heros. They all claim to be American but the Vietnamese knew it as “the American War” just as the Iraqis and their neighbors know the Gulf war as “the American War”.

The only true Vietnam war heroes are the civilian citizens of Vietnam, especially in the South, and only they deserve to be commenmorated as heroes. But, sadly, as you say, Me, they are made to be invisible still…...

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By Me, March 5, 2008 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
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This is true. Yet when you follow that line, take a look at the excellent documentary “S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine” (five Khmer Rouge leaders will be tried at the Hague sometime in the future). The torturers are almost the same guys. Take the next step, and you will feel sympathy for the Nazi Death Camp guards. You have to make a conscious, moral choice, not out of hate but out of understanding. We can all sink that low, yet we must not permit it.
The same insticts have helped “Rambo”, “Platoon” and the like re-write Vietnam war history - sympathy for the killer. Who knows today about the real heroes, the GIs who refused to return to Vietnam, because they had made a choice (that was made a little easier when it had grown popular)? Instead, “Rambo” became the lowest common denominator. Superficially, it was an attempt to reintegrate the veterans into society and restore their “honor”, while also promoting agression, patriotism and brutality - by subverting our laudable compassion for fellow human beings. The Vietnamese, of course, were never allowed to be more than shadows, and the crime that was the Vietnam war (2-4 million dead in three countries, more bombs than during the 2nd World War, poisened by Agent Orange until this very day) is a “mystery” now. It wasn’t mysterious in the 60’s and 70’s.

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By Me, March 5, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
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Maybe have given their lives, i.e. their careers or their home country already - Craig Murray, Ilan Pappé or any other whistleblower - in exchange for their good conscience. And more will.
I agree that the neo-cons might impose martial law, but only if confronted with a Vietnam-like antiwar movement, if they feel threatened enough. For now, I wouldn`t worry.

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By Steven Stauffer, March 1, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
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I’m not so occupied for time today to read and watch.  You’re doing a fine service, and I hope to send some money your way within the month. 



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By Daniel Barker, February 27, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
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Personally, I do not believe liberals care about the environment, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, or President Bush.

Americans continue to eat too much meat - clearly, if I have to tell liberals that feedlot beef takes forty times the fossil fuel to produce as soybeans there is a disconnect with reality that I do not understand.

Americans continue to buy too big cars.  If people really cared, SUVs would not be selling and you would see hybrids on the road.

Look at how the Left exploited, then ignored, Cindy Sheehan. While I am not a Leftist I recognize that Mrs. Sheehan is responding to a family tragedy and does not have an ulterior motive.  Do you support Mrs. Sheehan today, or have you forgotten her?  If you oppose the wars, why is President Bush still in office?

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By GW=MCHammered, February 25, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
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Gov.Kstreet Achilles’ heel is in dollar flow. Aberrate the flow and watch them dance.

Hence Americans’ greatest power lies in doing nothing:
Don’t go to work.
Don’t pay bills.
Don’t buy or sell a thing, especially gasoline.
Eat only what’s in your cupboard without stocking up.

Do this until the bent wheels of corporate government turn red-white-blue again. Begin with National Strike Day. Move to National Strike Week. End with National Strike Month if needed. Armies can’t make you go to work or buy-buy-buy until you’re senseless.

Let Bush, his CEO lords, wall street bankers and in-their-pocket-congressmen explain to domestic and foreign investors why their forecasts, contracts and productivity figures are so off. Convince them this is a nation of We the People.

Pick a day. Stay home. Write NSD (National Strike Day) on your bills and let them go into default that month. If pressures rise, advance to NSW (National Strike Week) and let them default another month. Hey, defaults happen everyday.

Still don’t like their dance? Take to the streets with NSM (National Strike Month). Remind them why Nixon finally ended the Vietnam War. And if our system is too corrupt to hold this loose cannon administration to the Rule of Law, call for American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition for the International Criminal Court to aid, involve the World Court.

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By troublesum, February 25, 2008 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Scheer says he is amazed that this incident is not being discussed in the presidential campaign.  Does that mean we need candidates like Nader?????????????????????????????????????????????????

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By Purple Girl, February 25, 2008 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

There is no discussion regarding if waterboarding is Torture it was deemed torture when it was used on ‘Witches’ and ‘Heretics’.
Our goal is to help the ones who have been handed these orders by those who are at the top.
Once we deem the Adminsitration Criminal, the Military must act to Protect and Defend US, right down to the Privates. But first we must Levy War Crime Charges against those who have been given the power to dicate Policy.
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Gonzales and the Stooge W.
Then Our Military personnel are free to disregard and testify about, their Orders.
this will not only allow the military to return to work for US, but help US rebuild our nation and our Reputation.
The only way they can pull off Martial Law is if the Law enforcement agencies buy into their legitimacy as ‘Commanders’ right down to the beat cop.
This adminstration an dtheir corporate sponsors are Traitors to this Nation, the World Community and the Planet which sustains Us All. The Highest of Crimes- crimes against Humanity on a literal Global level.
this is why we must demand the next Pres does Not Pardon, Commute or ignore any of these crimes, by demanding INDEPENDENT Investigations and Prosecutions, maintain the Suspension on Habius Corpus so we can take our time and convict them all- Top to Bottom.Enemies of the State at the very least.
Until a Pres Candidate addresses this 800 lb gorilla, I will feel they have been Culpable in this Agenda.
But take heart these entities have no real Power if they do not have Us very foundations they actually need to survive. Stop buying their Crap, literally and figuratively. Stop working for them and move towards bringing back the good Ol’ Free market. We built this country, and we gave breath to these Logo’ed Beasts, We can bring them down- Brick & Mortar, Paper and Promises. Not great Entities such as a God or Mother Nature Herself, Just Smoke & Mirrors.
Gold is only valuable because some one says it is. Natural Resources are Valueable, and they are moving to Profit and Control all those too. Just the same for “Political Power” or Finacial Power. what if we did all decide not to pay our current credit card debts, they don’t and keep racking up the bill, while we scramble to pick up the debt and the ‘adjustable’ rates., while being Taxed and surcharged into debt because our wages have stagnated/digressed.This is not the Free Market nor the Capitolist model, it’s the Corporationist Model- Control all necessary resources, devour small competitive businesses, cut cost and increase Profits, gamble on futures to increase revenue, send the bill to the public, including the ‘finders ’ fee for the ‘Public Servant ’ who set the whole deal up.
The ‘Sign of the Beast’ is a Logo.

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By Purple Girl, February 25, 2008 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

We are talking about 18 and 19 year olds who joined to help with college or so they have a viable occupation when the got out. Others who misguidedly believed our Government would never ask them to betray their country. Those who are in higher ranks are responsible for giving such orders to begin with.
The Knee jerk reaction you have displayed is the exact tactic used by this admin and their corp sponsors to get our kids over there doing Their Dirty Work.
Sounds like You need to think before you hit Submit.And try to see the Big Picture.
9/11 was not an attack against US, it was against the Corps who’ve been hiding behind our Flag for decades (‘70’s High jackings, Hostages..the Cole..)
Come on our kids have been sold out by War Profiteers.We should not betray them again by holding them solely responsible for institutionized condoned methods. You missed the rest of that post, regarding Employees and Public Servants Ah?
Try to keep up.

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By Expat, February 25, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

“Any BlackWater, Or Subcontracting entity who participated in Torture are all Personally Responsible for their action- they were not unduly coerced. Our Volunteer Military personnel are not to be held responsible for following orders, by threat of imprisonment, or worse.”

This is self contradictory and goes directly against the Nuremburg verdicts.  “I was just following orders” is not a defense.  The bar of personal responsibility is far higher than that.  We as a country and many of our soldiers have failed that responsibility.  To be honest I’m not sure I understand your point at all.

You say, “Our Kids had no real choice, follow order or be court marshalled. Employees of these For Hire Mercenary Co’s have no such obligation to follow such deprave orders- Quit!”

Yeah, that’s exactly what they should have done…QUIT!!!!!!!!!  And further; the mercenaries are legally to be held accountable.  The main problem is; they are working for war criminals who will do their best to protect them from rightful prosecution.

I think you need to look at the things you say before you pull the trigger on “submit” for your comment.

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By A human Being, February 25, 2008 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
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As much as we are waking up, the hard times are yet to come. Who will be ready to stand up against such a beast and give their life for revolution…People that see US as “sheep” or “comsumers” will have no problem using their developed weapons on US when we take to the streets and demand change. I see it as their chance to enact marshall law. I would love to read some of your viewpoints on this my fellow men and women if you wish to respond.


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By nrobi, February 25, 2008 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that should be instituted would have to consist of major world figures and would have to in most part contravene the laws of the US to carry out their commission. In operating this commission, the members would have to have access to the “secret” papers of all administration personnel and those of the Congress. I, seriously doubt that the kind of access needed would be allowed, for then, Duhhhhhhbya and his cronies would surely be in Spandau Prison for the rest of their natural lives.  That is more than has been allowed for those who have been caught up in the web of deceit and lies, death and destruction caused by the imperialistic and hegemonic ideals spouted by the Neo-Cons and their complacent and complaisant cronies.  Would that this could happen in the US, it would finally prove once and for all that the US is a nation of the rule of law and a nation that follows its very own laws. But, and I am being pessimistic here, I do not foresee the Truth and Reconciliation Commission happening in this country. Too many, of the people of the administration of GW Bush would end up spending some if not all of their lives in prison. I, am truly ashamed of the fact that the conglomerates of the US, in most cases run this country as their very own fiefdom and consider the people of the US to be expendable on the market place of labor and development.  We are now living in an age where capitalism is running rampant, without the moral restraints of commonsense and compassion. What is the solution to this most perplexing and puzzling problem? That I do not know, yet I must make a case for the idea of a people’s revolution, such as is happening in most of the former Soviet Bloc. Soft revolutions that entail voting out the people who do not have the common good in mind and heart and would without doubt not work for the people who have elected them. I hate to sound like a fatalist, yet we the American electorate are dictated to as to the choices we have regarding the men and women whom we may vote for. Or, we can take matters into our own hands and write in votes for people who make the case for their candidacy, those with the honesty and integrity to transparently show who they are and how they would run their administrations. I, would hope that the choices that are left would prove to be one’s that would fulfill the need, crying out for truth and justice. Failing that, in Amerikka, we would have 4-8 years of the same failed and disastrous policies of The Far Right Wing of the Republican party. Those policies dictated by the Christian Right, and carried out by whichever president would happen to be in office.

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By Purple Girl, February 25, 2008 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Although the Internet has been a great assest to our Democracy, Documentries like these are far more accessible still.
The 800 Lb gorilla has been standing in the room, not just during this administration, but for closer to a century. This adminstration has only revealed the Hand the Corps have been holding.
If you really want to know the magnitude of this Infestation…follow the money.
Thank Goodnes for these Educational Films , they bring US the cold hard indictable facts and help those who are unable or unwilling to see the big picture.
Who were the “Investgators” and “MP’s ” in the room- Blackwater Employees too? Our Kids had no real choice, follow order or be court marshalled. Employees of these For Hire Mercenary Co’s have no such obligation to follow such deprave orders- Quit!
Any BlackWater, Or Subcontracting entity who participated in Torture are all Personally Responsible for their action- they were not unduly coerced. Our Volunteer Military personnel are not to be held responsible for following orders, by threat of imprisonment, or worse.
Any such actions by these Co’s should be considered a High Crime due to the reprocussions of such vile Acts against other living beings. Not only these acts against Humanity, but also those that have resulted in the numerous other attacks resulting in the deaths of our citizens and many many others around the world, a result of their business practices.
Treason , War Crimes and Crimes Agaisnt Humanity- let’s start the New Millenia by scraping the scraping the crap off our boots and Enter the Age Of Solutions, not Profitablity. Let’s at least take OUR Country Back- with all the Rights and Freedoms Our Ancestors gave US.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 25, 2008 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

Poor toilet training, perhaps…..???

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 25, 2008 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

That’s why Jesus was murdered by the state and the church, uhh….....

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By Nadine, February 25, 2008 at 12:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, it could be that Americans are not very nice people. But who will consider this possibility?

We are Ignorant. Uneducated. Naive. We mean well.

At least that’s been the excuses for a long time now..

The movie has also done wonder around the globe to keep the myth going…

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 24, 2008 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

Uhh, yes, McCain is pushing more and more people towards “change”, ElkoJohn. They’re fleeing to Hillary or flocking to Obama…...

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 24, 2008 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

The gals have gotten the awards too, Robert Scheer:-

Australian filmmaker Eva Orner   has continued the run of upsets at the 80th Annual Academy Awards with a surprise win for her documentary feature. The New York-based Orner, 38, originally from Melbourne, produced the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, a film critical of the US war on terrorism…... Orner and fellow nominee Alex Gibney’s film examines the torture practices of the United States….  

This is the second Academy Award nomination for Alex Gibney…..

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By Expat, February 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

^ these monsters will never be brought to justice.  The blowback will be ferocious.

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By QuyTran, February 24, 2008 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

There’s absolutely no good excuse for the act of atrocities against humanity !

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By Expat, February 24, 2008 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes; “There is nothing new under the sun.”  And these things we have done in the name of freedom, patriotism, democracy, America, and Christian values, shames and destroys the very things we claim to be protecting.  We have long known these things and yet here we are.  Here I am; and I will never return to live in the U.S.

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By cyrena, February 24, 2008 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment



You get and “A+”.

Thanks for sharing it.

There’s still some pondering though, on how the American PEOPLE allowed it. There’s much that can be said on how this happened -then- as it has happened before, (Germany, Russia). I say that because the mentality within the American people, (that allowed this to happen) is still very much present. (otherwise, this cabal would have been impeached and put on trial long ago).

That the situation CONTINUES TO EXIST, tells us that we’re still in the throes of law by terror, or that terror is the law, and not just in these places where the torture has come to the surface, but right here in our own front/back/side yards.

So, while we continue to wrap ourselves in the details of an on-going election cycle, we SHOULD be rounding up the criminals that have perpetrated these crimes, and setting up the trials that will provide for the accountability.

I suspect it will be next to impossible for Americans, as a society, to move on…without this process. We need a truth and reconciliation, and that involves the prosecution of these criminals.

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By ElkoJohn, February 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

well folks, there just ain’t no such thing as a “civilized” war. In every war there is destruction, killing, torture, rape & plunder . . . that’s the nature of the beast. Civilians just don’t get it anymore, especially with no war taxes & no military draft. So you can’t blame just the soldiers. . . we’re all in this up to our eyebrows. . . we, the people, have allowed our Emperor George to fight his dirty wars, suspend Habeas Corpus at will, ignore our Constitution and international law with impunity, and torture our “enemy combatants” in secret prisons. Only a very few in Congress are concerned. And per the prez, americans are told to go shopping with their tax rebate. Soooo, there are two kinds of combat vets: those who hate war & those who think war is a “good idea”—
and there are four kinds of americans, those who oppose war unless used it used as a last resort to actually ensure the country’s survival; those who don’t care; and those who think, “Wow, profits, oil, no taxes, no draft. . . let the games begin” (i.e. the “super bowl mentality” concerning war); and those who go to fight our dirty wars (for the perks, or their unit is called up, or ??). Oh well, tomorrow is another war, er, i mean another day. . .

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By Eso, February 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

I think that we forget that modern society is wholy artificial and wholy built by violence. From the very beginning (way back then) the top dog depends on the harisma of violence that he created about himself at some point, which harisma he then maintains through the violence of others. There is another way, of course: self-sacrifice, but very few people, let alone societies have the guts to try it.

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By rparker124, February 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I will try to be brief.  Without absolving individuals of responsibility for their actions, situational forces exercise enormous pressure on people to conform even when they know it goes against their own moral and ethical beliefs.  Experiments in social psychology have shown this to be true.  I suggest interested people read “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding how good people turn evil” by Philip Zimbardo PhD, and visit his website about his landmark “Stanford Prison Experiment”: Zimbardo’s basic premise in the Lucifer Effect is that it is not the “bad apple” as the government would want you to believe, but the “bad barrel” in which individuals are just a small part.  The ultimate responsibilty lies high up the chain of command, yet they truly have gotten away with murder.

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By nrobi, February 24, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

I seem to remember the phrase from the Nuremburg trials “I was only following orders.”  Yet no one who committed the atrocities can remember who gave the orders and when they were given. It pains me to make such an analogy, I would have hoped that Americans were above the level of torturing and killing for the pleasure of it. But I see now that, unless we withdraw completely from Iraq and Afghanistan, and make reparations, to these countries, we will reap the whirlwind that we have sown.
This administration, and all the people who have made up the current administration of George W. Bush, without doubt are war criminals of the highest magnitude. They not only lied to the American people to start an illegal and immoral conflict, but they deliberately falsified evidence to encourage the men and women of our Armed forces to commit atrocities of the worst kind.
We must hold accountable, and soon the people who started and committed these requisite acts and then put them on trial, so that the world sees that America is a nation of the rule of law and not a rogue nation that believes in the doctrine of “pre-emptive” war. This doctrine is the most abominable and acrimonious set of ideas to come out of Washington, EVER! There are no other comparable set of ideas that have ever been made the fait accompli of an administration. Without doubt, the Neo-cons and their problematic viewpoints, are the cause of the current woes of this country. All this has taken place because certain people in the Republican party courted and wooed, some of the most insane and downright abominable people in the ranks of the Christian community. Among them M.G.“Pat” Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and too many to mention.
These supposedly “Christian” men, and women for that matter, were used to bolster the idea of an imperial presidency, a presidency which we now know was disastrous from the very beginning.
Sept. 11, 2001, was merely a pretext for the opening up of the more heinous and atrocious acts to be committed by this president and his administration. But where was the congress in all this? Where were the checks and balances of the judicial branch on the executive branch of this government? In one word, GONE! Nowhere to be found. The groundwork cleverly laid, all but a handful of the Congress and Judicial branches of our government, stood firm against the rising tide of the imperial presidency of GW Bush.
To bring this all into context, everything as the maxim goes, “starts from @!*%^ flowing downhill.” All of the orders, atrocities, and downright illegal and immoral acts committed in the name of America, happened because of a small cabal of men, tied to the presidency of Duhhhhhhhbya. There can be no other conclusion, no other ending of fact than that there was no accountability from the top down.
As a nation we must hold those who have ordered and committed these heinous and atrocious acts accountable for their crimes against humanity. There are no other words to call what has happened, other than that this administration has committed the worst possible crimes against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, all in the name of greed and corruption, for the sake of a few, who control the oil and resources of this country.

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By Bill Blackolive, February 24, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good having anything seen up the US chain of command anytime, but, it is not new for US natives to torture anyone.  War always has some of this, US police forces have have often been caught in this.  US citizens are the same people as people anywhere.  The web and technology shrink the world, and it is traumatic for US citizens to be learning God has not liked them best.  To peel more from the rotted onion we need to see the 9/11 coverup enter corporate television.

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By troublesum, February 24, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

Always the same excuses when American soldiers are exposed in these incidents…. “They were just kids…. they didn’t have any training… they were stressed out”....

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