- The Truth about Torture
- Polls show that six out of ten U.S. citizens disapprove
of George W. Bush, who has had one of the worst weeks in his six-year reign.
Monday the National Intelligence Report -- the consensus of his intelligence
agencies' opinions -- made it clear that his war in Iraq is a failure,
which has created rather than conquered enemies in the Middle East. Tuesday
the Associated Press released a poll pointing out that most Iraqi citizens
are in favor of insurgent attacks against U.S. occupation forces, while
three out of four want those forces out of their country ASAP. Thursday
Bob Woodard of the Washington Post, a former fan of the White House war,
published his third book on the "war president," State of Denial,
and made up for all his previous sycophancy with a hard-hitting description
of an administration in turmoil, without clear goals, barely propped up
by a well-known Rovean notion: When in doubt, lie!
- For those of us who have been opponents of what we call
the Bush League, everything above is good news, since it shows that reported
reality is catching up to what we have known for years -- but haven't been
able to publish in the pro-war corporate media. What's below, though, is
bad news that cancels out the optimism we would otherwise be feeling:
- The Republican-dominated Congress has countered recent
U.S. judicial branch attempts to limit the power of George W. Bush, whom
his Neocon enablers call a "unitary executive," which his opponents
translate as "dictator." Thanks to their effort this week, he
will soon no longer need to submit to the check and balance of judges;
instead he will be free to rely on his own unchecked, imbalanced judgment.
Soon he will be able to engage in domestic spying, torture tactics, interminable
internment or military kangaroo courts against those he accuses of terrorism,
and he will be able to accuse anyone he wants, whether they be foreigners
or U.S. citizens.
- Legal scholars point out that these most undemocratic
powers will defeat the U.S. constitution by demolishing its first and fourth
amendments, and wreck the American Revolution by subjecting us to the whim
of a new King George. Going further, they point out that the Cowards Congress
has even given up habeas corpus, the salutary notion extracted by the English
from King John on the field of Runnymeade in 1215.
- In reply to their immediate protest -- and in anticipation
of protests to come -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales warned a Georgetown
judiciary conference Friday that federal judges had better learn their
place in this brave new world of the "war president," and had
better not buck his war-time dictates. Bush chose Gonzales well, knowing
that he would need a Torquemada when he wanted to torture.
- With great and abiding loyalty -- to dictatorship, not
democracy -- the U.S. media has avoided all unkind recollection of the
systematic torture exported from Gitmo to Abu Ghraib in 2003. Likewise
they've avoided mentioning the allegations of Seymour Hersh, who broke
the story of Abu Ghraib's war crimes in 2004, that the torture was ordered
and protected by a Bush administration. This campaign of omission has effectively
stopped the public from even considering that we just may have a sadistic
leader, one who strongly believes in the terror of torture, and sells the
policy by saying he only wants to torture terrorists.
- Twice-Told Truths
- My interest in the Bush modus operandi is far more than
merely academic, even though I learned the most about it because of my
beloved mentor, Dr. Peter W. Guenther, from whom I studied classics and
art history from him at the University of Houston before leaving college
for a career in military intelligence and public affairs. He warned me
about a man who had used the destruction of a national icon to establish
new, radical powers of "protection" for the nation.
- Dr. Guenther was most uncomfortable about five-year emergency
powers -- continued after the five years was over -- and the establishment
of a new national police force to guard the homeland. He abhorred the virulent
"with us or against us" nationalism that defied international
opinion and forums alike. He was horrified by the appearance of those who
accused those who disagreed with this new nationalism of treason, then
began to set up prison camps for its enemies, where torture policies and
torture chambers taught guards to become torturers. He swore that such
a regime was designed by war profiteers and dedicated to world conquest.
He never tired of saying all this over and over, without doubt. For my
part, I never thought to doubt him, because he had seen it all before.
You see, like me, Dr. Guenther had been a soldier, but unlike me, he had
not served in the U.S. Armed Forces; rather, he had served in the German
Wehrmacht, from 1939 - 1945. Born in 1920, he had seen each and every detail
of the description above in his youth, beginning after the "German
9/11," which they called the Reichstag Fire.
- He didn't at all think it coincidence that his second
country, the United States, had taken on the appearance of his first country,
Germany. He thought that the parallels were intentional, and that we were
in the grips of a Fourth Reich, designed to carry out a Third World War.
He didn't think there was a dime's worth of difference between Bush and
Hitler, or between what Hitler's helpers called the Propaganda Ministry
and what Bush's helpers call a patriotic media. In short, he wasn't particularly
shocked by anything that was recurring. In his best professor's fashion,
he explained to me that it's hard to be shocked by anything you've already
seen before, and that even a quite scary movie isn't quite so scary the
second time around. No, he wasn't particularly shocked, but he was profoundly
- Dr. Guenther and I had many revealing talks about comparative
politics and military history when I was publishing my early war analysis,
written for the Houston Chronicle, and it was thanks to his clear vision
that I was confident when I predicted that we would lose the war in Iraq
and likely end up in a world war. Those predictions seem obvious to readers
in 2006, but they were outlandish enough to end my career in the mainstream
shortly after I wrote them in 2003. The media in which I had been regarded
as one of the brightest -- including NBC and The Wall Street Journal --
blackballed me as too radical.
- My mentor chuckled paternally at my professional plight
and advised me to regard it as a high compliment to be called radical when
the truth was that I was simply right when my nation's leader was wrong.
Before he died, worn out with current events as much as the cares of age,
he agreed with me that I should continue to write the truth about our times
and trouble, even if it meant living in the underground and writing for
the Internet. Whenever I think of Dr. Guenther I always feel a pang, believing
that part of the cause of his death was an acute case of deja vu brought
on by our association and shared analysis.
- Truth and Consequences
- In these last three years of underground writing, I've
announced my work to my former commanders in the U.S. military as a mission
of conscience, and in payment for that bit of patriotism have been threatened
by a long list of officials, on behalf of a long list of agencies and armed
services. An Army colonel at Ft. Stewart, Georgia, threatened me me with
death for investigating the truth about the Battle of Baghdad, which is
what was really happening the weekend the media broadcast the propaganda
of the Private Jessica Lynch rescue. An Air Force lieutenant colonel in
Florida, who boasted of being a war planner, threatened me with prison
for publishing the same Battle of Baghdad on line in late 2003. The Houston
FBI threatened me with prosecution for predicting a market-busting explosion
at British Petroleum's refinery in Texas City -- I said it would happen
on March 31, 2004, and it happened 24 hours earlier (like 9/11, it was
an inside job). Even the police at my alma mater took their shot -- or
rather, promised it -- when I reported that my wife had received a death
threat from Army officers in its ROTC Department.
- At present I'm under official attack by the U.S. Army's
Signal Corps through its on line propaganda magazine, Signaleer. It accuses
me of being the Lord Ha Ha and Tokyo Rose of the anti-Bush crowd, and has
also gone after two prominent members of my group, of compatriots, dedicated
to opposing the Bush League war of lies, Ghost Troop. The first, U.S. Ambassador
Chase Untermeyer, served as the Ghost Troop chaplain from 2003 - 2006,
while the second, Sergeant First Class Donald Buswell, is an active-duty
Ghost Troop who questions the official 9/11 story. The recriminations against
me and mine haven't always been mere words, though: Sergeant Buswell nearly
died of a pulmonary embolism within a month of joining Ghost Troop, something
we believe was an assassination attempt. After surviving the embolism,
he was soon put under investigation by his superiors at Ft. Sam Houston's
Fifth Army in Texas, charged with disloyalty for asking questions and associating
with others, like me and Ambassador Untermeyer, who do the same. I have
reported both the assassination attempt and the administrative retaliation
against Sergeant Buswell to the U.S. Army's Inspector General, who has
done nothing to protect him, but at least hasn't issued new threats or
made new assassination attempts in response to my entreaties.
- Not that particular threats by the Department of the
Army could distress those of us who dissent any more than the actions of
Congress have done in these last days. The Cowards Congress has engaged
in collective dereliction of duty in preparing to assign dark powers of
terror to the man who stands behind all the men I've mentioned above. Without
their assent, there wouldn't be the many officials who have each been in
dereliction of their duty in innumerable small ways, each doing his best
to suppress truth and inquiry into truth at all costs, by any means necessary.
- George W. Bush, who has long accused those of us who
disagree with him of rendering aid and comfort to the enemy, will soon
have a blank check to arrest and incarcerate us, and subject us to treatment
that only he and his Neocons enablers would deny is torture. Whenever I
think of Dr. Guenther, I recall a scholar and soldier of rare degree and
pedigree, one who hated all that was false and uninspired, and whom I strive
to emulate. I'm glad my mentor didn't lived to see the full obscenity of
our shoddy imitation of the original under which he lived and served, our
chutzpah Hitler, with his Neocon Neonazis and his Repubican Reich.
- Captain May founded Ghost Troop in response to the Battle
of Baghdad cover up, which he published in his Ghost Troop Introduction
in December, 2003: http://www.geocities.com/onlythecaptain/.
- For his more recent writings, refer to the archives at
his most recent essay, The Devil in George W. Bush: http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/may.htm.
- He and Ghost Troop have been featured on the cover of
the Lone Star Iconoclast in Ghost Troop: The Art Of Info-War: http://www.lonestaricon.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=402&z