01 February 2013

Drones and torture...........again and again and.........

Greetings to all.
Yes another day, another rant.
No doubt all have heard of if not actually seen the movie "Zero dark thirty".  According to the reviews I have read, this movie apparently glorifies torture. No kidding, a Hollywood production that seems to be made for the likes of "Darth" Cheney. Yes, no doubt "dead eye" Dick may actually enjoy a movie where torture "does" help catch and kill the "bad guy".
Well, for my part, I have no intention of ever watching such a piece of garbage. Torture IS illegal in every civilized country. It has been seen as a crime for centuries. When US Army troops gave the "water cure" to captured Filipino civilians/insurgents in the last year(s) of the 1800's and early year(s) of the 1900's, it WAS seen as a crime. Torture seems to have never been of any real use in getting to any truth, ever. Torture only "works" in Hollywood movies or TV shows, the program "24" comes to mind here. Again, a TV program I never saw and have no desire to ever see.
Why my resolve to never watch these shows among others? Because I have seen war up close and all too personal. I do NOT approve of torture in any case. I think torture in all its forms is a crime and should be punished. Yes, those who do the torture must be held to account for their actions. They have committed a crime or crimes and need to be made to suffer the consequences of their actions.And, NO, they cannot, in fact MUST not be allowed to use the "Ollie North" escape plan. Remember back in the days when "Iran-Contra" hearings were on the TV, old Ollie tried to escape punishment (he resigned his commission is all he "suffered") he told the Congressional hearings that he was just "following orders". Well, that should have been disallowed as the victors of WW2 declared such an excuse invalid during the Nuremberg tribunals. IF, and I admit it is a HUGE if, these people who are and have done torture are ever brought to trial, they must NOT be allowed this excuse, for any. IF the US of A has any claim to being even remotely civilized, we cannot allow the "following orders" excuse, ever.

On a related subject, drones have made a come-back news wise of late. Probably due to Gobomber naming a certain Mr. Brennan as his choice as the CIA head honcho. Ah yes, the man who has aided Gobomber with the infamous "kill list". Well, no doubt Mr. Brennan has never met a drone strike he did not approve of. My guess is this may be so only because he has never been the target of such an attack.
Even more of a controversy comes with what are being called a "double tap" drone strikes. This is when after the initial drone strike, the drone or perhaps another drone waits for the rescuers come to find the dead and wounded and launch another missile hit. This is another illegal/unlawful act. International law and even the Laws of armed conflict state that such an attack IS unlawful.
I will again state that I am 100% certain that killing by drone is an act of cowardice in the extreme. The lingering around until other people come to rescue the wounded and retrieve the dead is doubly such a cowardly act.
The US of A has done such things and continues to do them. Now, does anybody who still has any small portion of humanity still wonder why so many people around the world despise if not hate the US of A? Imagine, for a moment, that your family home was hit by a drone strike. Now imagine how you and your neighbors rush to the remains of said house to see if any of your family are still alive and to retrieve the bodies of the dead, only to be hit by a "double tap" hit. IF you survive somehow, or this happened to a relative of yours, how "nice and warm" would your feelings be to the country that did such a thing? I'll bet the farm that you would NOT have any "warm fuzzy" feelings for that country at all, ever.
As I have said here before, in the middle East and countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan (just to name two) have very close family ties.  In some cultures, such as the two mentioned above, kill my second cousin, twice removed and now I am your enemy. Yes, wars are very nasty, brutish things, as I said many times, war is the most pornographic thing we humans have ever invented. The use of remote controlled killing is even worse and in my opinion, very cowardly. There is NO glory in war, but the combatants can be honorable, remote killing is NOT.
In my opinion, remote killing shows no respect for the person(s) targeted. even in war, one does begin to respect the enemy, even while he/she may be viewed as less than human, as the Japanese were portrayed as during WW2. On a personal note, I soon learned to respect the VC while I was in Vietnam. Yes, they were the "enemy" and we did not have many kind words for them, but many of us  DID respect them. There is no respect (in my view there ca be NO) for those we kill by remote control.
Even the despised Robert McNamara eventually admitted that had the US off A lost the war, our leaders could have been tried for war crimes. I wonder if any of the remote control killers ever have any thoughts about this. Or, do they see themselves as somehow heroic?
semper fi


Titania said...

Charlie, war and torture are sick; I am scared when I hear, I do not see them, about all the violence and violent movies and war games for children. Make them immune, train them to see violence as a normal part of life.

john francis lee said...

John Kiriakou is the only CIA agent jailed for an alleged involvement with torture, and he was not charged or convicted for torturing people in CIA custody but for reporting CIA torture of people in their custody.

The USA has fallen down and seems unable to get back up,

As far as the drone strikes making enemies for us, being counterproductive to the stated aims of the government of the USA ... that's been pointed out by not only yourself Charlie but by every one who's commented on the drone strikes, The person responsible for those drone strikes knows their results at least as well as we do. Ergo, their real aims are to increase the hatred the world bears all of us Americans, to attract more retaliation against us, to use those attacks to 'justify' more drone strikes ... The USA has fallen, and can't get up.

Missy Beattie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missy Beattie said...

found a mistake so deleted comment. Trying again.

I refuse to see the movie. Just another propaganda tool.

Yes, drones inspire even more hatred. Agree with J F L that this is the point. The more they hate us, the greater the justification for vaporizing them. A hellish vicious cycle. Read a comment section recently after a drone article. Some person said it's okay to kill children with drone warfare. After all, everyone knows that "terrorists" often use children as shields. And if a child happens to be among the "party," too bad. Have read also that some drone operators are experiencing PTSD, same as troops on the ground. No surprise.

Mike Whitney said...

Drones and torture...

Have far we have fallen

Sierra said...

Drones are wrong. As you have said, Charlie. They actually break the most basic rules of war that includes having respect for your enemy. It sounds like Hell. There is only one other Country that shows no respect and that is Israel for Palestinians The US of A is making enemies left and right. We are over-reaching. Empire has stretched us thin at home. We are fighting Israel's wars. If we bomb Iran that is clearly and Israeli aim. I hope Kissinger is right for once that Israel may cease to exist in our lifetime.

charlie ehlen said...

Yes, I agree that violent movies and video game does desensitize young people to violence. I'd go so far as to say that some "gamers" make good drone pilots. Just how different video games are from the drone operations is most likely a matter of degree. The drones kill actual, living people, while the games only kill virtual people.
America, what a country.

charlie ehlen said...

Great comment.
It really does appear that "we" do want more enemies. What better way to "need" ever increasing "defense" budgets? The more enemies we have, the more profits for the weapons makers.
War, it just keeps on giving.

charlie ehlen said...

No doubt some drone operators DO get PTSD. Hell, they should, as they ARE killing live human beings, including children.
As to the deaths of the children, just re-watch the video of the gunship killing people in Iraq that Wikileaks put out a few years back.THAT woke up some who had not been really anti-war, but became so after the video. It was supposedly released by Mr. Manning.
The comments from said gunship about "bringing kids to a war zone" really was priceless. The kids were NOT brought to a war zone, the war zone came to their country! Big difference in my opinion.
While I would like to see "Zero dark thirty" become a box-office bomb, it will no doubt do really well, at least in the US.

charlie ehlen said...

Yes, the US HAS fallen and cannot seem to be able to get up.
So sad, we had such potential.

charlie ehlen said...

The US has been taking "lessons" from the zionist entity. We send them nearly unlimited monies, they "teach" our troops and police how to deal with "undesirables".

gesneri said...

Good to see you back again, Charlie! Indeed, it appears that the 9-11 terrorists succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Everything we were, or thought we were, we are no longer. We no longer stand for anything we can be proud of. And we did it to ourselves.

charlie ehlen said...

Thank you for your kind welcome.
Yes, the old US of A sure has become a very different place from what high school civics taught us about back just 45-50 years ago.
Oh boy! YES, it is near on to 50 years since I was in high school! Wow, time flies. Sorry, I could not resist tossing that in here.

Bill the Butcher said...

Zero Dark Thirty, which I have not seen and will not see, is directed by Katherine Bigelow, who also made The Hurt Locker and is rapidly becoming the Pentagon and CIA's favourite director for militarist propaganda. As for drones, I have a question - just why is it that nobody has made an attempt to get them declared illegal weaponry yet? It did work for chemical weapons. I can only surmise that governments around the world like the idea of owning their personal fleets of flying killer roboots. After all, the US isn't even the only drone-using country any longer, and pretty soon there will hardly be any which don't have them.

charlie ehlen said...

I also wonder why nobody has made that challange regards drones.
Yes, it is not just the US which has and uses drones, aerial or otherwise. The US Navy is working on sea going drone ships/boats.
As to Ms. Bigelow,at least one writer has compared her to a certain Leni Riefenstahl. While I am not sure about this, Mr. Louis Proyect does make a very good case for this comparison. Unfortunately, his article is in the subscription edition of Counterpunch and is not available on the web.

RealityZone said...


john francis lee said...

Marty Ratner was 'almost ready to run out of the theater' when Jose Rodriguez came on? These liberal types are perennially a day late and a dollar short.

The question is, what the hell was this CIA film doing at Sundance?

I didn't make the mistake of not running out on Real News. I watched Paul Jay trying to get Chris Hedges to come out in support of the 'lessor of two evils' before the November election and that made me wonder where the dough came from to fund the 'classly' Real News operation ... Who Funds the Progressive Media?

It's not the whole story but as some 'long time activist' from the Bay Area said, and I paraphrase, "Anyone who makes a comfortable living out of 'liberal' causes is part of the problem, not the solution."

charlie ehlen said...

Thank you for the link.

charlie ehlen said...

There is very little in my opinion to bother with what passes itself off as "liberal" in the US today.
Notice how the "liberals" and even many "progressives" will NOT make any real critical comments about Gobomber. If W. Shrub had done even half what "dear leader" has done and is doing, they'd have been in the streets in protest. As a member of the donkey gang occupies the White House, they are silent. Damn them and the sheep they rode in on.
At least the film "5 Broken Cameras" IS up for Oscar consideration as best foreign film.

john francis lee said...

I got up this morning and watched the Brennan Confirmation on c-span Charlie, and took notes. I can't imagine anyone else wasting three and a half hours on that ... disgraceful ... show, so you can save time there if you want to get an idea of what was said ... mostly unsaid ... at that hearing.

I have been away for a long time, apparently. I was shocked at the shameless fraud of the proceedings. I just don't know what to say. It's a sad, sad day for our country.

charlie ehlen said...

Senator Finestein was on record, publicly stating that NO person who was in any way against the "kill lists" among other crimes would be allowed to question Mr. Brennan.
Amazing, as the Senate, according to that "outdated" and "quaint", but ultimately just a "goddamn piece of paper", yes, the Constitution of the United States, tells us the Senate is supposed to "advise and consent" with the president on various matters. Matters such as presidential appointments even.
According to a web site (YES a socialist one, www.wsws.ord) the "grilling" of Mr. Brennan resembled a well fed cat being questioned by a panel of skittish mice. That "description was lifted word for word from WSWS web site, the article entitled;"The USdrone assasination program and the threat of dictatorship".
When the US Senate panel hearings will NOT admit any remotely "hostile" person to ask even the most basic of questions, how far down the road to dictatorship are we? In my opinion, we are long PAST the first step of that road.
America, what a country.242

charlie ehlen said...

Please excuse the "242" at the end of my previous comment. I am still not totally "at home" with this lap top.
Yes, having seen my 65th birthday recently, I DO seem to have lost at least a step or three. Call it a "senior moment" or worse, your choice.
Hey, I can and do laugh at myself often.

john francis lee said...

I once met a crew of Filipino/as on a casino cruise off the coast of port aransas tx ... they spoke in numbers '143' meant 'I love you' according to my informant. They counted the letters in the words. The Senate Intelligence Committee has just sent us all a 143 ... 242 means ... 'US lost it'?

I think that certainly this move is an attack on our constitution and merits impeachment. What other choice have we?

There's talk of a 'secret court' to rubber stamp BOb and JBs death warrants ... one roo? or two?.

The present government of the United States is acting in defiance of our constitution and is therefore illegitimate.