[Marxism] Over 500 Hear Karpinski and Others Speak Against Torture

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Sun Jan 22 22:44:14 MST 2006

I know that New Yorkers on this list rested up to hear Barnes the  
following day, so here is a full report.



January 22, 2006

England's former ambassador to Uzbekistan and a former general in  
charge of the Abu Ghraib prison during the 2004 abuse scandal there  
were among legal scholars and activists speaking out against the Bush  
administration's handling of the war on terror yesterday at  
Manhattan's Riverside Church.

Craig Murray, ousted as Britain's ambassador to Uzbekistan after he  
criticized the use of intelligence gained through torture, said Uzbek  
security forces supplying interrogation findings to the CIA used  
torture "on an industrial scale."

"I would rather die than to have [innocent people] tortured to save  
my life," Murray said, drawing applause from the crowd of more than  
500 people.

His appearance followed a Friday radio interview in which he said,  
"We're not talking about marginal definitions of torture. The U.S.  
knew this was happening and encouraged it by being prepared to accept  
and give credence to the results of it."

Murray said in its quest to secure increasingly scarce oil and gas  
supplies, the Bush administration is fanning anti-American sentiments  
in the Islamic world. "They are making America a much more dangerous  
place," he said.

The hearing was held by a panel calling itself the Bush Crimes  
Commission, which has issued "indictments" against the president and  
others for what it says are crimes against humanity perpetrated in  
America's prosecution of the Iraq war. The commission, which has no  
legal standing, said it had invited the Bush administration to rebut  
the allegations.

A White House media officer declined comment yesterday.

Former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski said photographs of abuse at Abu  
Ghraib "opened a huge door on" America's mishandling of the war, and  
that soldiers trained to handle prisoners of war were ill-suited for  
running Iraq's civilian prisons.

Karpinski said as many as 85 percent of the Iraqi detainees there  
were "guilty of nothing," but were not released because interrogators  
"were afraid of releasing the next Osama bin Laden." In April,  
Karpinski was relieved of her command and in May, Bush approved her  
demotion to colonel, based on allegations not related to her position  
at Abu Ghraib.

The commission was organized by Not In Our Name, a New York-based  
activist group formed to challenge American military actions abroad.  
A final hearing is scheduled at the church today.

Many of those who attended yesterday said it was persuasive to hear  
former insiders criticize the war.

Bob Parsons, an autoworker from Detroit, said, "It's incredibly  
moving for people who have served for so long to stand up and say  
what is really going on."

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