Friday, June 15, 2007

Extraordinary Renditions: The 21st Century Inquisition?

As yet another program by the Bush Administration / Oligarchy to turn back the clock on human rights and civil liberties on a global scale.

By: Vanessa Uy

The world owes yet another debt of gratitude to courageous news channels like the BBC who are brave enough to report on the shortcomings of the US Government’s “War on Terror.” It’s a well- accepted conventional wisdom that torture seldom – if ever – works because anyone under the pain and torment of torture will say anything to end it. Thus proving the unreliability of information / intelligence obtained under duress. Even when armed with the foreknowledge on the ineffectiveness of “Ecclesiastical Inquisition” style of torture, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) still practices these “Extraordinary Renditions” on captured Al Qaeda / terrorists suspects. “Extraordinary Rendition” is CIA speak for flying captured terror suspects without trial to another location or country with lax human rights laws to be tortured as to extract “useful information.” As featured in BBC’s “The World Uncovered” documentary about the CIA’s “Extraordinary Renditions”, Ethiopian exile and long time UK resident Binyam Mohammed suffered under the inhuman conditions of the CIA sanctioned torture. Radical Egyptian Cleric Abu Omar was abducted in Milan, now his whereabouts is unknown. While Khaled El Masri was taken to one of the CIA’s secret “Black Sites” then tortured. He was later released due to his innocence but not before enduring “Inquisition” style torture that left him mentally scarred for life.

These “Extraordinary Renditions” had been going on since the succeeding days after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and has been kept out of the prying eyes of the world’s media. Luckily, humble “plane spotters” have photographic proof of the planes used in these “Extraordinary Renditions” like the Gulfstream with registry numbers N379P, thus have blown the cover on the CIA’s “illegal operation.” Dick Marty, the Council of Europe’s chief investigator has already collected enough proof that the CIA ran secret prisons in Europe since 2002. Also, there is enough proof so that the 25 CIA agents can be tried “in absentia” in Milan.

How did it come to this? Has America squandered the world’s sympathy after the September 11, 2001 attacks? Haven’t the last thousand years taught the West about the futility of torture as an intelligence- gathering tool? And by the way, how can arresting Muslim Clerics who are more concerned about how to spend their scant funds on improving their local Mosques cripple Al Qaeda? Had the Bush Administration / Oligarchy came to a point that they think they are so infallible that everything they do for our protection they think is right. Must we stand idly by that for every legitimate Al Qaeda operative that the CIA agents apprehend 50 innocent people have to undergo the CIA’s “Extraordinary Rendition.”

The CIA’s “Extraordinary Rendition” reminds me of the days when the Vatican was still a “superpower.” The Vatican set up the “Inquisition” supposedly to protect mankind from evil, but all that happened was a lot of property confiscated by the Papacy and a lot of people burned at the stake – close if not similar- to the CIA’s “Extraordinary Rendition” of today. Did the burning of Joan of Arc or Giordano Bruno change the Catholic Church for the better? God only knows. And don’t even ask me to try to fathom on how Galileo – by accepting Copernicus’ views- threaten the Catholic Churches “Canon Law.”

The Bush Administration / Oligarchy had ran the “War on Terror” and “Operation: Enduring Freedom” in a way that reflects obsession of turning back the clock to the good or bad old days, depending –of course- if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. Back to the days of the “Ecclesiastical Inquisition” with the CIA’s “Extraordinary Rendition”– or even further- to the days before the existence of the “Magna Carta” with their “warrantless arrests” of terror suspects. Their actions make the Baader-Meinhoff Gang / Red Army Faction seems more humane by comparison.

It’s only in the 21st Century that we now fully realize the extent of damage “Institutionalized Torture” can inflict. Former political prisoners incarcerated during the 1970’s and 1980’s are now speaking out their own individual ordeals and torments. A well-known side effect of this “Institutionalized Torture” is “Indoctrinated Dehumanization” where whole societies forgot what human rights and civil liberties mean. Here in the Philippines, “Indoctrinated Dehumanization” is the resulting side effect of the “Institutionalized Torture” widely used during President Ferdinand Marcos’s regime. At that time, torture was routinely practiced with impunity to suppress political dissent. As a side effect of this, a generation of Filipinos – probably 99% of them- who are in the High School and College-level readily accepts legally/state sanctioned torture as right as long as it saves lives or stops terrorism. I wonder if the Philippine Government has complicity in the CIA’s “Extraordinary Renditions” program. Better brush-up on my Urdu and Pashtun, who knows if you could accidentally meet face-to-face with these “terror suspects.”

When George W. Bush’s term ends, will he gobble up needlessly the Secret Service’s resources because he made so many enemies by allowing the CIA’s “Extraordinary Renditions” to go on? With this issue dogging him, he can never retire quietly and peacefully. There are probably three places when he can retire with guaranteed security with the peace and quiet he so desires. The Chemical Corps section of Fort Bragg amid tanks of dimethyl sulfate. The Groom Lake facility in Nevada officially known as “Area 51” where Hangar 18 is a very good defensible position. Lastly, NORAD the US Space Command complex inside Cheyenne Mountain officially known as “Area 52.”


Anonymous said...

When I was 9, my uncle made a deathbed confession to me about how he witnessed the "extraordinary rendition" or torture of a political dissident who is also a priest named Father Rudy Romano back in 1983. My uncle used to work for the long defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) during the Marcos "Regime". Since his passing, my uncle left me something very important, the "intelligence data" contained on his obsolete Victor 9000 computer. This computer runs on CP/M, not DOS, never mind the now standard Windows OS in various incarnations. I think the obsolete computer contains data which anyone currently in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will be willing to kill and die for like the facts of Operation Black Crescent. The files can only be viewed and copied via a similar machine and the data contained in the Victor 9000 can't even be printed out on todays printers which are "Windows compatible". Can you help?

Popvein the Airman said...

To the anonymous comentator. you can try alt.folklore.computers , one of the sites were old-computer enthusiasts hang out. Does your Victor 9000 use those 8 inch floppy discs? But I warn you against pursuing Operation Black Crescent beyond "academi interest" because this is "REALLY" the reason why the Chiong sisters got "murdered" back in 1997. And let me remind you that they had just acquitted that neo-Nazi ex President Joseph Estrada. So you may be in grave danger. Please use Web 2.0 to your advantage.

Apple said...

Who would have thought that the Catholic Church's greatest "asset" the Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada has provided inspiration to contemporary from beyond the grave. From the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal - which , to me, inspired the best paintings made by Fernando Botero - to the move Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer. I just can't wait for the movie "Rendition" that stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon to reach Philippine shores. I'm just glad that the present Philippine government wasn't a major player in the post-World War II Nurenberg Trial. They would have pardoned and welcomed Dr. Josef Mengele with open arms like they pardoned the Genocidal ex president Joseph Estrada. Where are our Filipino Muslim politicians?

Letiche said...

It's quite sad that the Filipino Muslim community are not politically pro-active in keeping their interests without resorting to exteemism and apathy. I'm not a racist in anyway but isn't it time that the Filipino-Muslim Community assert themselves against this overwhelming Catholic Theocratic Hegemony that's been dictating Philippine politics for over 500 years. And please write a blog about that 21st Century "Judas" Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang about how Mr. Yang ratted out journalist Shi Tao. And also that genocidal ex-president Joseph Estrada. Should Mr. Estrada be on trial in the Hague for making the lives of Filipino - Muslims "difficult".

April Rain said...

Having seen the BBC World News report on Operation Last Chance, I can safely say that humanity needs constant reasurance that our global community is a just and civil society. The last time I heard, murder is still a felony that demands capital punishment or major prison time and there are no statute of limitations on murder. No statute of limitations means Cain could stll be put on trial for murdering his brother Abel. Former Nazi officers who served under Hitler are now in their 90's and they to will be brought to trial when caught. Unfortunately, some governments doesn't share the universal virtues of justice. These governments hand out pardons like their going out of fashion. The former Nazi's should have fled to the Philippines circa "present day" as opposed to post WW II Argentina.

Guapita said...

I've seen this blogsites URL posted on the comment inbox of Have you heard about the news on how the 2007 Nobel Literature laureate Doris Lessing criticizing the "vacuousness" of blogging/blogsites? I'll bet she haven't seen this one yet. This blog is quite insightful and refreshing in it's agenda of constantly reassuring humanity that the price of the upkeep of our existing present civilization is eternal vigilance. Unlike some namby pamby sites that are truly hastily disguised extreme right wing Evangelical sites filled with Unabomber - like "Manifestoes".
Regarding Father Rudy Romano, his abduction on July 11 , 1985 by the Secretive Military branch of the Marcos regime has grown to "Urban Legend" status more than 20 years on. If a genuine "dossier" exist on Father Romano's abduction by the military apparatus of the Marcos regime, then this could be the hope that every Filipino citizen who still cares about the Marcos era injustices that still plagues our country. Looks like every Forensic Anthropologist curious on this could help. Unfortunately, to bankroll an operation like this requires ungodly amounts of money. Victims of the Marcos regime's atrocities are not as financially successful as the Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York.
Lastly, about last month's supposedly populist attempted coup. If I want my house to be completely burned down just to end by rat and cockroach problem, I'll call Trillanes and company to do the job. It seems like the Marcos-era evil still lives on.

Lilith Fair said...

I've also seen that particular brodcast on the BBC on how the 2007 Nobel Literature Laureate Doris Lessing expressed her somewhat "low" opinion on blogsites. But to borrow the phraise quoted by American Poet Laureate Robert Hass in which he said "Art is perpetual accusation." I think Robert Hass' idea sums up my views on Fernando Botero's art in general. The first time I saw Fernando Botero's paintings about the Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal, it sparked a kind of "Road to Damascus" epiphany that allowed me to understand Fernando Botero's "Big Fat Art". And I really agree to what "Guapita" said about Trillanes and company's "Twisted Political Manifesto" as nothing more than burning down your own home just to get rid of "household pests".

Maribeth said...

Ever since hearing US Vice President Dick Cheney (a 21st Century Tomas de Torquemada) say that "waterboarding" is not torture if it doesn't result in organ failure, memories of the Pres. Clinton / Monica Lewinsky scandal and Pres. Clinton's "definition" of the word adultery came flooding back. Recent / December 2007 news broadcasts about the US Central Intelligence Agency being investigated by the Congressional Oversight Committe for "destroying" their "Torture Tapes" only serve to pander the hunger of "Conspiracy Buffs". In my opinion, the truth is now self - evident on what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. about justice and how injustice anywhere threaten's justice everywhere. By virtue of this, Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang's actions of handing out vital information that allowed Red Chinese authorities to imprison journalist Shi Tao endangers the civil liberties and freedom of anyone brave enough to speak out against injustice and Human Right's violations.