George Bush is
Fighting for America's Right to Rape and Torture
by James Glaser
Hard to believe isn't it? George Bush is doing everything he can to keep the CIA's secret prisons going around the world. As the Washington Post wrote on Friday, "The bad news is that Mr. Bush, as he made clear yesterday, intends to continue using the CIA to secretly detain and abuse certain terrorist suspects. He will do so by issuing his own interpretation of the Geneva Conventions in an executive order and by relying on questionable Justice Department opinions that authorize such practices as exposing prisoners to hypothermia and prolonged sleep deprivation."
There is a bill before Congress that Bush and his administration are pushing to become law. The New York Times writes this about it, "Rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse are mentioned twice in the billonce as crimes that could be prosecuted before military tribunals if committed by an 'illegal enemy combatant,' and once as 'grave breaches' of the Geneva Conventions that could be prosecuted as war crimes if committed by an American against a detainee. But in each case, the wording creates new and disturbing loopholes."
In the bill, rape is narrowly defined as forced or coerced genital and anal penetration. It utterly leaves out other acts, as well as the notion that sex without consent is also rape, as defined by numerous state laws and federal law. That is the more likely case in a prison, where a helpless inmate would be unlikely to resist the sexual overtures of a guard or interrogator. The section on sexual abuse requires that the act include physical contact. Thus it might not include ordering a terrified female prisoner to strip and dance, which happened in Rwanda, or compelling a male prisoner to strip and wear women's underwear on his head, or photographing naked prisoners piled together, both of which happened at Abu Ghraib.
What you have to remember are the things that George Bush wants to be able to do, will be done to suspects. We know in Iraq and Afghanistan you can become a suspect, just by being in the right age group or by living in a certain town or area of a city. Tens of thousands of "suspects" have been detained in Iraq over the last three years. Abu Ghraib was just one prison in Iraq. Other prisons had reports of the same type of abuses as Abu Ghraib, they just didn't have the photographic proof.
Sexual humiliation, forced or coerced rape by Americans will turn even one of our staunch supporters into a terrorist or at the very least a terrorist sympathizer. We have to remember that our government has taken the family members of suspects into custody, and held them as hostages in the prisons that we torture people in. If you think about it, just being in a prison where you can hear the screams of those tortured is torture in itself.
We sometimes wonder why the attacks on our troops increase the longer we are in Iraq, but we have to remember that the longer we are there, the more we abuse innocent Iraqi civilians who are taken up in sweeps of the population, where we are looking for terrorists among those living in one area or another. You sit in a cell for months listening to or seeing your fellow citizens, people you know are innocent, being tortured or abused, and whose side are you going to join if you get out of there?
George Bush is fighting hard to keep what he believes is our right to torture and sexually assault suspects in our custody. Right now, those are foreign suspects, but how long before that law covers American citizens who are suspected of a crime here at home?
If your loved one, your mother, father, wife, husband, or child comes back to you broken from abuse by anyone, what would you do to revenge that? George Bush is hurting our country and making life-long enemies by the tens of thousands . . .maybe by the millions.
Our children and grandchildren will have to worry about people the world over that George Bush has turned against us.
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