Hiding From the Red Cross

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One of the bombshells among the 25 documents released Tuesday by Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in his probe of cruel treatment of detainees in President Bush’s “war on terror” are minutes of a meeting that demonstrates that —

The U.S. military hid the locations of suspected terrorist detainees and concealed harsh treatment to avoid the scrutiny of the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to documents that a Senate committee released Tuesday…

“We may need to curb the harsher operations while ICRC is around. It is better not to expose them to any controversial techniques,” Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, a military lawyer who’s since retired, said during an October 2002 meeting at the Guantanamo Bay prison to discuss employing interrogation techniques that some have equated with torture… Beaver also appeared to confirm that U.S. officials at another detention facility — Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan — were using sleep deprivation to “break” detainees well before then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved that technique. “True, but officially it is not happening,” she is quoted as having said.

Jonathan Fredman, the chief counsel for the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, disclosed that detainees were moved routinely to avoid the scrutiny of the ICRC, which keeps tabs on prisoners in conflicts around the world…

Fredman of the CIA also appeared to be advocating the use of techniques harsher than those authorized by military field guides “If the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong,” the minutes report Fredman saying at one point.

This is disgusting enough. But the fact that our Commander Guy has said, over and over again —

We do not torture

is more disgusting still. If we do not torture, why do we hide people from the Red Cross? Hide. people. from. the. Red. Cross. What kind of America has this become?

Come the next administration, we can’t turn our backs on this gang. Justice must be done. Why? Go rent Unforgiven. It’ll tell ya.

A couple of hosses won’t do.

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