The US Bush administration’s sex crimes

This video from the USA says about itself:

Talk by Naomi Wolf author of “The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot” given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.

From Project Syndicate:

White House Sex Crimes

by Naomi Wolf

NEW YORK – Sex crime has a telltale signature, even when those directing the outrages are some of the most powerful men and women in the United States. How extraordinary, then, to learn that one of the perpetrators of these crimes, Condoleezza Rice, has just led the debate in a special session of the United Nations Security Council on the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

I had a sense of déjà vu when I saw the photos that emerged in 2004 from Abu Ghraib prison. Even as the Bush administration was spinning the notion that the torture of prisoners was the work of “a few bad apples” low in the military hierarchy, I knew that we were seeing evidence of a systemic policy set at the top. It’s not that I am a genius. It’s simply that, having worked at a rape crisis center and been trained in the basics of sex crime, I have learned that all sex predators go about things in certain recognizable ways.

We now know that the torture of prisoners was the result of a policy set in the White House by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Rice – who actually chaired the torture meetings.

Retired [US] General [Taguba]: Bush Administration Committed War Crimes: here.

12 thoughts on “The US Bush administration’s sex crimes

  1. Administration’s cynicism on torture breathtaking

    By Jay Bookman
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 07/03/08

    In May of 2004, a grave Donald Rumsfeld stood before the TV cameras and condemned the pictures of abuse emerging from the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

    “The images that we’ve seen that include U.S. forces are deeply disturbing, both because of the fundamental unacceptability of what they depicted and because the actions by U.S. military personnel in those photos do not in any way represent the values of our country or of the armed forces,” Rumsfeld told the world.

    Over the next few days, Rumsfeld would further condemn the abuse as “totally unacceptable and un-American,” then as “blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman.” He also made a promise that the guilty would be punished, a promise seemingly kept when seven enlisted personnel were later sentenced to prison.

    Today, though, it is hard to fully describe the hypocrisy and cynicism of Rumsfeld’s performance. As he stood there telling the world he was shocked, shocked at what transpired at Abu Ghraib, he did so knowing that he himself had authorized more serious acts of torture on a much larger scale.

    He himself had approved acts that he called unacceptable and un-American. He himself had ordered treatment that was, in his words, sadistic, cruel and inhuman.

    In fact, Major Gen. Anthony Taguba, the Army officer appointed by Rumsfeld to investigate the scandal at Abu Ghraib, now believes that in light of ongoing disclosures, “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

    That is not a charge to be made lightly, but as the facts become clear, it becomes harder and harder to reach a contrary conclusion.

    For example, it is telling that the initiative for torture does not seem to have come from interrogators frustrated at not getting information through legal means. To the contrary, the idea seems to have initiated very early in the top levels of government, from men such as Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, who then drove sometimes reluctant subordinates to accept the practice. In the process, they ignored protests from interrogation experts at the FBI and elsewhere who insisted that less extreme approaches would be more fruitful and extract more accurate information. They also squelched objections that the practice was immoral and counter to American values and law.

    The narrative that is emerging suggests that to Rumsfeld and others, torture was not something they felt forced to do, but rather something they wanted to do against those they blamed for Sept. 11. And while an instinct for such vengeance may be natural, it is an instinct that civilized nations refuse to sanction, as Rumsfeld acknowledged by condemning the abuse exposed at Abu Ghraib.

    According to reports in The New York Times, the torture techniques implemented with high-level approval at Guantanamo and elsewhere had been borrowed from techniques used by communist China against captured Americans during the Korean War. Back then, we accurately condemned those techniques as torture and stressed that they produced false confessions. And when we used the same techniques, they produced the same results.

    Back in the summer of 2002, you may recall, the federal government issued a series of odd security alerts, warning that terrorists were first going to target malls, then banks, then apartment buildings. Each warning produced a flurry of panic, but none ever panned out. That’s because they were products of the ongoing torture of an al-Qaida member of already questionable sanity who was telling interrogators whatever they wanted to hear, just as our captured servicemen had.

    Four years ago, Rumsfeld advised the country to be patient, assuring them that justice would be done to those who had broken our laws regarding torture.

    “These things are complicated; they take some time,” he said. “The system works.”

    Well, he better hope not.

    > Jay Bookman is the deputy editorial page editor. His column appears Thursdays and Mondays.


  2. The LaVena Johnson Story: Rape and Murder in the U.S. Military

    by Don Fitz

    LaVena Johnson may be only one of over a dozen women to die under extremely suspicious circumstances while in Iraq and Afghanistan . A black woman from Florissant, Missouri (just north of St. Louis), she played the violin and had been an honor roll student at her high school.

    LaVena Johnson reportedly died in Iraq on July 19, 2005, days shy of her 20th birthday. The Army called it suicide. From the very beginning her family did not buy that story and new evidence suggests their suspicions could be well-founded.

    The increase in violence against women in the military is so sharp that Dr. John Johnson, LaVena’s father, is working with U.S. Representatives Ike Skelton and Lacy Clay (both from Missouri) to have a Congressional hearing that could request a reopening of the Army’s investigation of her death.

    Read more:


  3. Dear world, please confront America
    Posted by: “Compañero” chocoano05
    Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:32 pm (PDT)

    Dear world, please confront America
    € ¦
    By Naomi Wolf
    Aug 2008

    For two years, I, like many Americans, have been focused intently on documenting, exposing, and alerting the nation to the Bush administration’s criminality and its assault on the Constitution and the rule of law – a story often marginalized at home. I was certain that when Americans knew what was being done in their name, they would react with horror and outrage. € ¦ € ¦

    Three months ago, the Bush administration still clung to its devil’s sound bite, “We don’t torture.” Now, Doctors Without Borders has issued its report documenting American-held detainees’ traumas, and even lie detector tests confirm they have been tortured. The Red Cross report has leaked: torture and war crimes. € ¦ € ¦ € ¦

    Jane Mayer’s impeccably researched expos€ ¦é “The Dark Side” just hit the stores: torture, crafted and directed from the top. € ¦ € ¦

    The Washington Post gave readers actual video footage of the abusive interrogation of a Canadian minor, Omar Khadr, who was seen showing his still-bleeding abdominal wounds, weeping and pleading with his captors. € ¦ € ¦

    So the truth is out and freely available. And America is still napping, worrying about its weight, and hanging out at the mall. € ¦ € ¦

    I had thought that after so much exposure, thousands of Americans would be holding vigils on Capitol Hill, that religious leaders would be asking God’s forgiveness, and that a popular groundswell of revulsion, similar to the nineteenth-century anti-slavery movement, would emerge. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if torture is not wrong, nothing is wrong. € ¦ € ¦

    And yet no such thing has occurred.

    There is no crisis in America’s churches and synagogues, no Christian and Jewish leaders crying out for justice in the name of Jesus, a tortured political prisoner, or of Yahweh, who demands righteousness. I asked a contact in the interfaith world why. He replied, “The mainstream churches don’t care, because they are Republican. € ¦ € ¦ € ¦

    And the synagogues don’t care, because the prisoners are Arabs.” € ¦ € ¦

    It was then that I realized that I could not be in love with my country right now. How can I care about the fate of people like that? If this is what Americans are feeling, if that is who we are, we don’t deserve our Constitution and Bill of Rights. € ¦ € ¦

    Even America’s vaunted judicial system has failed to constrain obvious abuses. A Federal court has ruled that the military tribunals system – Star Chambers where evidence derived from torture is used against the accused – can proceed. Another recently ruled that the president may call anyone anywhere an “enemy combatant” and detain him or her indefinitely. € ¦ € ¦

    So Americans are colluding with a criminal regime. € ¦ € ¦ € ¦

    We have become an outlaw nation – a clear and present danger to international law and global stability – € ¦ among civilized countries that have been our allies. We are – rightly – on Canada’s list of rogue nations that torture. € ¦
    € ¦
    Europe is still high from Barack Obama’s recent visit. Many Americans, too, hope that an Obama victory in November will roll back this nightmare. But this is no time to yield to delusions. Even if Obama wins, he may well be a radically weakened president. The Bush administration has created a transnational apparatus of lawlessness that he alone, without global intervention, can neither roll back nor control. € ¦ € ¦

    Private security firms – for example, Blackwater – will still be operating, accountable neither to him nor to Congress, and not bound, they have argued, by international treaties. Weapons manufacturers and the telecommunications industry, with billions at stake in maintaining a hyped “war on terror” and their new global surveillance market, will deploy a lavishly financed army of lobbyists to defend their interests. € ¦ € ¦

    Moreover, if elected, Obama will be constrained by his own Democratic Party. America’s political parties bear little resemblance to the disciplined organizations familiar in parliamentary democracies in Europe and elsewhere. And Democrats in Congress will be even more divided after November if, as many expect, conservative members defeat Republican incumbents damaged by their association with Bush.
    € ¦ € ¦
    To be sure, some Democrats have recently launched Congressional hearings into the Bush administration’s abuses of power. Unfortunately, with virtually no media coverage, there is little pressure to broaden official investigations and ensure genuine accountability. € ¦ € ¦

    But, while grassroots pressure has not worked, money still talks. We need targeted government-led sanctions against the US by civilized countries, including international divestment of capital. Many studies have shown that tying investment to democracy and human rights reform is effective in the developing world. There is no reason why it can’t be effective against the world’s superpower. € ¦ € ¦

    We also need an internationally coordinated strategy for prosecuting war criminals at the top and further down the chain of command – individual countries pressing charges, as Italy and France have done. € ¦ € ¦

    Although the United States is not a signatory to the statute that established the International Criminal Court, violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are war crimes for which anyone – potentially even the US president – may be tried in any of the other 193 countries that are parties to the conventions. The whole world can hunt these criminals down. € ¦ € ¦

    An outlaw America is a global problem that threatens the rest of the international community. If this regime gets away with flouting international law, what is to prevent the next administration – € ¦ or this administration, continuing under its secret succession plan in the event of an emergency – from going further and targeting its political opponents at home and abroad? € ¦

    We Americans are either too incapable, or too dysfunctional, to help ourselves right now. Like drug addicts or the mentally ill who refuse treatment, we need our friends to intervene. So remember us as we were in our better moments, and take action to save us – and the world – from ourselves. € ¦

    Maybe then I can fall in love with my country again.

    Naomi Wolf


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