Gina Haspel and Unusual, Cruel, Humiliating Treatment OR Torture

Trump’s nominee for CIA Director is Gina Haspel. Haspel was station chief of the Thailand black site, Fall 2003, known for the  Unusual, Cruel, Humiliating treatment and Torture of US prisoners. In 2005 she also reportedly ordered the destruction of Thailand interrogation tapes. As station chief she was responsible for the activities of the site, and, therefore, has apparently violated the US Constitution, relevant US Code, and International Law.  Accordingly, she is potentially an International War Criminal, and should be prosecuted as such.

Whereas both our misleading media and disingenuous elected only use the word “torture” or phrase “enhanced interrogation,” in fact any and all  form(s) of unusual, cruel, humiliating OR torture are war crimes, by international law, US Code, US Interrogation manuals and our Constitution, i.e., the Supreme Law of the Land. That makes a farce of any discussion of whether a particular cruel, unusual, or humiliating treatment is “torture.” Every single such act is a war crime and US Constitution violation. Note, that in addition to the explicit prohibition of such acts by our Constitution (Amendment VIII), Article VI, item 2, adds,  “… and all treaties made …shall be the supreme law …”

Haspel, when asked during her Senate Hearing her opinion of the morality of detainee treatment, had the audacity to respond, “…the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to …” and “… we should hold ourselves to the moral standard outlined in the army field manual.” There is no “higher moral standard” nor any support in our Army Field Manuals for Unusual, Cruel, Humiliating or Torture treatment of US prisoners. Not only is such immoral, but in explicit violation of the relevant US Army Field Manuals to which she refers (1992 or 2006) included in the list below.

Gina Haspel came across to me during her nomination hearing as arrogant, misleading, seemed to avoid providing direct answers and seeing herself as residing on some higher moral level. Such an attitude represents something else than a high moral standard. Her attitude represented the diametric opposite of an ethical position.

No “memo” written by White House staff attorneys of Bush II could over-ride our Constitution or treaties made part thereof by Article VI, item 2 (below), so Haspel had no “legal” authority whatsoever for Unusual, Cruel, Humiliating or Torture of any US detainees. Indeed, Haspel swore an oath which said, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States … I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same …” It did not say, “except for White House or CIA legal memos.”

“The term “enemy combatant” includes both “lawful enemy combatants” and “unlawful enemy combatants.””  (FM 2-22.3 (FM 34-52). Our laws on the treatment of each are the same.

The following are the specific US Constitution, US Code, Army Field Manuals, and International laws violated by Unusual,  Cruel,  Humiliating or Torture treatment:

  • US Constitution, Article VI, item 2,  “… and all treaties made …shall be the supreme law …”
  • US Constitution, Amendment VIII: “…, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
  • US War Crimes Act of 1966
  • US Code: Title 18: Chapter 113C: Torture: Sections 2340, 2341
  • US Code: Title 18: Section 2441: War crimes
  • Detainee Treatment Act of 2005
  • Army Field Manual FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation  09/28/92
  • Army Field Manual FM 2-22.3 (FM 34-52) Human Intelligence Collector Operations 10/2006

Geneva Common Article 3:

  • Shall in all circumstances be treated humanely:
  • Prohibited: Violence,  murder,  mutilation,  cruel treatment,  torture,  outrages upon personal dignity,  humiliating and degrading treatment.

Geneva Third Convention – Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

  • Article 13: Prisoners must be humanely treated
  • Article 14: Prisoners of war are entitled to respect for their persons and their honour.
  • Article 17: Prohibited: Physical or Mental torture, nor any other form of coercion
    –  Threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment

Fourth Geneva Convention – (Convention IV)

  • Art. 31. Prohibited: Physical or Moral coercion
  • Art. 32. Prohibited: Any measure to cause physical suffering or extermination, murder, torture, corporal punishments, mutilation, medical or scientific experiments, any other measures of brutality

Examples of our Cruel, Unusual, Humiliating treatment or Torture of detainees

  • Beaten
  • Electrodes attached to gentiles
  • Feet and lower legs placed in tall, boot-like metal cuffs, dug into flesh, immobilizing legs
  • Frequent touching and pouring ice water on genitals
  • Holding head underwater
  • Hanging on poles hooded and naked multiple days at time
  • Ice water thrown on body and fan used to blow air onto the ice water
  • Packed in ice then sat upon
  • Pouring ice water from ice bucket into mouth and nose.
  • Putting in stress positions for hours
  • Rectal rape and feeding
  • Several forms of humiliation
  • Shackled with hood over head and lowered into a tub of ice water.
  • Slammed into walls
  • Sleep deprivation with loud music
  • Stripped naked, hung from a wooden beam for multiple days, provided with water but no food
  • Videotaping naked
  • Waterboarding

Our president, Donald Trump, in his demonstrable ignorance of our Constitution, US Code, international law and his own oath of office, has nominated Gina Haspel to be a high US official, i.e., Director of the CIA Director. This, despite her potential violations of every one of the above US Constitution, US code, manuals/laws on detainees, and international laws in affect during her involvement in and management of unusual, cruel, humiliating and torturous treatment of US detainees.

President Trump’s nomination of Haspel as Director of the CIA, as a reward for dishonorable, criminal service to our nation, is an affront to the honor of the United States of America.

Addendum:

Army Field Manual FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation  09/28/92
“The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind is prohibited by law and is neither authorized nor condoned by the US Government. Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.”

FM 2-22.3 (FM 34-52) HUMAN INTELLIGENCE COLLECTOR OPERATIONS 09/06
“The term “enemy combatant” includes both “lawful enemy combatants” and “unlawful enemy combatants.” All captured or detained personnel, regardless of status, shall be treated humanely, and in accordance with the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and DOD Directive 2310.1E, “Department of Defense Detainee Program”, and no person in the custody or under the control of DOD, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, in accordance with and as defined in US law.”

Detainee Treatment Act of 2005
“No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”

George Washington on treatment of prisoners, Battle of Trenton, 12/25/1776:
“Treat them [prisoners ] with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren who have fallen into their hands.

Authored by Skip Folden – Independent, non-affiliated.

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