September 9, 2010
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the CIA cannot be sued for torturing prisoners. “The sharply divided ruling was a major victory for the Obama administration’s efforts to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy powers. It strengthens the White House’s hand as it has pushed an array of assertive counterterrorism policies, while raising an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time in decades on the scope of the president’s power to restrict litigation that could reveal state secrets,” reports the New York Times.
|Emblematic Abu Ghraib photo reveals the entire 50-year history of CIA torture.|
According to judge Raymond C. Fisher, the case presented “a painful conflict between human rights and national security” and the majority had “reluctantly” concluded that the lawsuit represented “a rare case” in which the government’s need to protect state secrets trumped the plaintiffs’ need to have a day in court. In other words, the CIA is above the law, a status it has enjoyed since 1947 when Truman created the National Security State with the stroke of a pen.
On September 7, the Associated Press reported that a sadistic CIA officer accused of revving an electric drill near the head of an imprisoned terror suspect was hired as an intelligence contractor. He will now train CIA operatives. The AP is withholding the last names of the CIA torturer and his supervisor at the request of U.S. officials for safety reasons.
Once again, national security trumps the rule of law and the corporate media provides cover.
The CIA has weathered four major torture investigations since it was established. From 1970 to 1988, Congress tried unsuccessfully to expose elements of CIA torture. “But on each occasion the public showed little concern, and the practice, never fully acknowledged, persisted inside the intelligence community,” writes Alfred W. McCoy, a professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Photographs emerging from the Abu Ghraib prison revealed that the CIA is still in the business of torture and the practice has “metastasized like an undetected cancer inside the U.S. intelligence community over the past half century,” according to McCoy. “A survey of this history shows that the CIA was, in fact, the lead agency at Abu Ghraib, enlisting Army intelligence to support its mission. These photographs from Iraq also illustrate standard interrogation procedures inside the gulag of secret CIA prisons that have operated globally, on executive authority, since the start of the President’s war on terror.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
McCoy points to one particular photo released from Abu Ghraib — a nameless hooded man standing on a box with arms outstretched. “In that photograph you can see the entire 50-year history of CIA torture,” McCoy told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!
The CIA has engaged in the depraved business of torture for decades. It conducted LSD “experiments” on detainees and tortured and killed tens of thousands of Vietnamese under the Phoenix program in the 1960s. Over the years the CIA created a torture franchise and encouraged its clients in the third world to use torture, provided the host country the names of the people who wound up as torture victims, supplied torture equipment, conducted classes in torture, has written torture manuals, and has, as author William Blum puts it, “been present when torture has taken place, to observe and evaluate how well its students were doing.”
It brought torture to Vietnam, Greece, Iran, Germany, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and other corrupt backwaters around the world.
In 1997, the Baltimore Sun discovered a 1983 CIA manual that taught psychological torture techniques to five Latin American security forces. “Yet, in the major U.S. media, the CIA’s torture manual did not rate as front-page news,” writes Robert Parry. “The Baltimore Sun’s new torture disclosures also follow the Pentagon’s admission last year that the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas used manuals that advocated torture, murder and coercion.”
Non-reporting of CIA torture stands to reason. The corporate media is in essence a branch office of the CIA under Operation Mockingbird.
It also stands to reason the Ninth Circuit is in the business of protecting the CIA and upholding the concept of national security, a cover for continual torture, plunder, and mass murder by the United States government. The body count stands in the millions.
The federal government, including the courts, has gone the distance in protecting crimes perpetuated by the CIA and this ruling is merely the latest example of the government covering up crimes that will ultimately come back to haunt the American people.
Kurt Nimmo edits Infowars.com. He is the author of Another Day in the Empire: Life In Neoconservative America.