For all the attention that the Bush administration torture memos have been receiving over past month, those documents pale in comparison to the revelations documented in the leaked 40-page report issued by the International Committee for the Red Cross following two rounds of private interviews it held with the 14 "high value detainees" held at Guantanamo Bay.
If you want to know what our country did to those detainees -- especially Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Rahim al-Nashiri (all three were waterboarded and suffered the worst treatment) -- then read the Red Cross report. It will leave you with a very sickening feeling about the depths to which President Bush and Vice President Cheney were willing to go to try to justify its disastrous war in Iraq (while the detainees were providing ample information during FBI interrogations about the 9/11 plot, the torture apparently began as they sought evidence about the non-existent al-Qaida/Iraq link) and how we morphed into the very monsters that we once condemned when it came to the actions of other nations.
Of enormous importance is the fact that it is the Red Cross which is the body designated by the Geneva Conventions to supervise treatment of prisoners of war and to judge that treatment's legality. They are the ones that are charged to make the initial finding as to whether war crimes have been committed.
Here's what the Red Cross declared in its report:
The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill-treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment.
...The totality of the circumstances in which the fourteen were held effectively amounted to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty and enforced disappearance, in contravention of international law.
So, according to the group which the U.S. has agreed would determine whether a country violated the Geneva Convention, they have found us guilty. Again, read the report if you want to be sickened over how we treated these despicable detainees.
The Red Cross report was presented to President Bush in February 2007. As you might expect, no action was ever taken by the administration.
Finally, the report ends with a summary of its interview with Khalid Sheik Mohammed that is worth remembering as former Vice President Cheney sadly continues to insist that torture worked, when it did not:
Mark Nickolas is the Managing Editor of Political Base, and this story was from his original post, "Khalid Sheik Mohammed: "I Gave A Lot Of False Information" To Make Torture Stop"