Sunday, July 8, 2012

US Airstrikes in Yemen Kill Civilians, Survivors Vow Revenge Against America

This practice of “follow-up strikes” resembles policies in the drone war in Pakistan, wherein targets are often hit twice, after rescuers have had a chance to swarm to the site. Citing reports that the US has conducted follow-up drone strikes aimed at people coming to the strike scene to rescue the injured, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution Christof Heyns said last month, if it is true, “those further attacks are a war crime.”
Follow-up strikes are apparently a hallmark of the so-called “signature strikes” President Obama recently approved for use in Yemen. Signature strikes are those that target unidentified individuals in unidentified groups that are not engaged in direct hostilities with the US, nor are they presenting any imminent threat the administration is willing to establish.
Extrajudicial assassinations, coupled with the systematic institution of torture, have become two dubious distinctions of this administration.
Our Nobel prize-winning president has shown himself to be an interesting piece of work with regard to these two issues. I have to wonder if he gets some kind of deep emotional satisfaction from his kill lists, and reports of routine torture at Guantanamo.
And in spite of Obama's promise that the US government will not torture, it still does.
Despite President Obama’s pledge to end torture, the brutalization of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo prison continues under his regime. Guantanamo is where a thug squad called the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) tortures inmates while pointing their required video cameras at the floor to hide their beatings. In illegal and cowardly assaults on tied-up inmates that violate the Geneva Conventions, five or more Pentagon IRF MP’s will spray Mace in a prisoner’s face and then gang-beat him. The MP’s are known to break bones, gouge eyes, squeeze testicles, inject disease, force the prisoner’s head into a toilet or bang it on a concrete floor, smear the prisoner with feces, douse him with noxious chemicals, urinate on him and even sodomize him. A prisoner may also be virtually buried alive in total darkness underground for as long as three weeks, during which he is denied adequate food and sleep. Prisoners have also been hog-tied in painful positions for hours on end. In short, Guantanamo’s prisoners have suffered tortures far worse than France’s notorious Devil’s Island. The above facts about Guantanamo are according to distinguished investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill in an article published for “World View News Service.” He quotes Michael Ratner, president of the Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR) as saying: “They (the IRF) are the Black Shirts of Guantanamo. IRFs can’t be separated from torture. They are part of the brutalization of humans treated as less than human.” Adds Scott Horton, a leading expert on the U.S. military and constitutional law, “They (the IRF) were trained to brutally punish prisoners in a brief period of time, and ridiculous pretexts were taken to justify” the beatings. (One prisoner said he was beaten for feeding crumbs to some lizards.)
The reason that so many of the prisoners of war in Guantanamo cannot be released, is that waterboarding was not the worst thing which was done to them.

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