Alan Dershowitz And The Ticking
By Kurt Nimmo
- America, don't worry. Alan Dershowitz is on
your side. He's back on the idiot tube circuit talking about
our options in this interminable war on terrorism.
- If Khalid Shaikh Mohammed won't talk, says
the respected lawyer, our guys need to violate the Geneva
Accords and jam a "sterilized needle" under his
fingernails. Sterilized, of course, because we don't want
him to get an infection. Now that would be inhumane. As for
the Geneva Accords, "countries all over the world
violate" them, so what's the big deal?
- This torture thing, Dershowitz told Wolf
Blizter the other day, it should be done "with
accountability," it needs to be done "openly"
so we don't "adopt the way of the hypocrite."
Maybe they can do it on Blizter's show, on CNN's dime? Get
Walter Isaacson to cut for the needles and sterilization
- Imagine of the ratings. It'd put Joe
Millionaire to shame.
- As a lawyer, Dershowitz knows about this
kind of stuff. For instance, he proposes "a torture
warrant, which puts a heavy burden on the government to
demonstrate by factual evidence the necessity to administer
this horrible, horrible technique of torture." So, I
take it al-Qaeda evildoers will be tortured after they get
their day in court? Of course, that may take years. If
anybody knows how long the legal process takes, it's Alan
- No, I imagine this "torture
warrant" would need be based on circumstantial
evidence. Like that bin Laden tape the experts found to be a
fake. Or maybe Bush can base the evidence on the word of
some poor schmuck in an orange jumper and blacked out
goggles at Gitmo. Some people will say anything to get a
good night's sleep.
- Dersh's against "subcontracting"
our torture work out -- to say Jordan, the Philippines, or
Egypt. If magnetos need to be attached to the testicles of
al-Qaeda operatives, it's best we do it ourselves lest we
become hypocrites. Apparently it is better to be a sadist
than a hypocrite.
- "Candor and accountability in a
democracy is very important," asserts the Harvard Law
School professor and author of "Chutzpah," a book
determined to minimize the plight of Palestinian refugees,
many who have experienced torture personally.
- If candor and accountability were important
to the people who make such decisions, there would have been
an immediate and public investigation into 911. Dick Cheney
would have told us all about his Energy Task Force. Bush
wouldn't be locking away some 68,000 pages of discussions
between Reagan and his advisers. Ashcroft wouldn't be
trashing the Freedom of Information Act. If "candor and
accountability in a democracy" meant anything to our
unelected president and his cabal of co-conspirators he
wouldn't be refusing to release the names of people arrested
by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Department
of Justice. He wouldn't be talking about military tribunals
for "battlefield detainees" held at the naval base
- The problem with Dersh is he likes to be on
TV too much.
- We need to be more like Israel, says
Dershowitz. "They were the only country in the world
ever directly to confront the issue, and it led to a supreme
court decision... outlawing torture, and yet Israel has been
criticized all over the world for confronting the issue
- In 1999 the Israeli Supreme Court ruled
Shin Bet's use of "moderate physical pressure" on
suspects under interrogation to be illegal. These
"moderate" techniques included violently shaking
prisoners, depriving them of sleep, exposing them to loud
music, tying them into painful positions for long periods,
and covering their heads in foul-smelling sacks.
- Of course, this kind of torture is likely
preferable to summary execution. Shin Bet agent Danny Yatom
knows all about summary execution. He personally crushed the
skulls of two Palestinian detainees with a large rock after
they were arrested for a failed attempt to hijack an Israeli
settler bus at the Deir El Balah Junction in the Gaza Strip.
Yatom did such a good job Sharon appointed him as "Head
of Counter Terrorism."
- The above mentioned torture methods became
institutionalized in 1987 when the Landau commission
justified the "ticking time-bomb" scenario -- if
Shin Bet and the IDF had reason to believe a suspect held
information that may prevent a terrorist attack,
"moderate physical pressure" could be used.
Obviously, large rocks are out of the question.
- But the cops and military types in Israel
had a Mack truck-sized back door inserted in the Israeli
Supreme Court ruling -- torture's permissible if evidence of
an impending threat to civilian lives is discovered.
Naturally, Shin Bet makes the call. "I am sure that GSS
will find new methods," commented Gideon Ezra, former
Shin Bet official and member of the Knessett. "Maybe
they will find a chair that is a little higher."
- Obviously, Dershowitz looks to Israel for
- The savage dust of 911 had hardly settled
when the civil libertarian Dershowitz went before a dense
crowd at the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur,
Missouri, and told the gathered that terrorist acts should
make civil rights activists readjust their thinking on
certain issues. "Torture would only be used under
court-issued warrants, which we already use for searches and
arrests," Dershowitz told the crowd. "Society
needs to be protected from immigrants and other
- On November 8 2001, in Los Angeles Times
editorial ("Is There a Torturous Road to
Justice?") the Dersh said, "Any interrogation
technique, including the use of truth serum or even torture,
is not prohibited. All that is prohibited is the
introduction into evidence of the fruits of such techniques
in a criminal trial against the person on whom the
techniques were used."
- In other words, it's okay to shove needles
under the fingernails of a terror suspect if the confession
extracted is not used against him.
- So much for Dersh's badge as a civil
- So much for the Fourth Geneva Convention.
So much for the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
treaties the US signed.
- "If anybody had the ability to prevent
the events of Sept. 11," Alan Dershowitz told CBS' Mike
Wallace last year, "they would have gone to whatever
lengthThe problem becomes, where do we draw that line?"
- Maybe the esteemed lawyer should take
counsel in the conclusions of the Defense Science Board if
he's sincerely interested where the line should be drawn: :
- "Historical data show a strong
correlation between U.S. involvement in international
situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the
United States. In addition, the military asymmetry that
denies nation states the ability to engage in overt attacks
against the United States drives the use of transnational
actors [that is, terrorists from one country attacking in
- Or, as Chalmers Johnson explains:
- "One man's terrorist is ... another
man's freedom fighter, and what U.S. officials denounce as
unprovoked terrorist attacks on its innocent citizens are
often meant as retaliation for previous American imperial
actions. Terrorists attack innocent and undefended American
targets precisely because American soldiers and sailors
firing cruise missiles from ships at sea or sitting in B-52
bombers at extremely high altitudes or supporting brutal and
repressive regimes from Washington seem invulnerable."
- In other words, if you don't want to be a
victim of terrorism, don't kill people. Don't use CIA, FBI,
and Army Special Forces "take-down teams" on
detainees. Don't support governments that amputate limbs for
disobedience. Or those who torture and shoot children for
- Shoving "sterilized" needles
under the fingernails of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will not put
an end to terrorism. In fact, it will not prevent one single
terrorist act -- not in America or anywhere else.
- Ask Israel if its Khiam torture prison in
southern Lebanon put an end to Hezbollah rocket attacks. Or
if more than a few of the thousands of prisoners tortured at
the Ketziot prison in the Negev desert emerge to become
suicide bombers. Ask the Vietnamese if the Phoenix Program
put an end to their determination to fight and eventually
defeat the US. Ask the Iranians if the Shah's torture
dungeons manned by SAVAK goons prevented the revolution in
- No, Dersh, torture will not end the war on
terrorism. It will only demoralize those who call for its
implementation. It will put us on par with Shin Bet and the
paramilitary thugs in Latin America and Colombia.
- But then, I suppose, terrorism is a good
business for you. It sells books and packs auditoriums.
- It also keeps your face on CNN.
- firstname.lastname@example.org Kurt Nimmo's Another Day
in the Empire http://nimmo.blogspot.com/
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