Attorney General-designate Eric Holder on Thursday capped years of angry debate over U.S. counterterrorism policy and declared a major break from the Bush administration.
“Waterboarding is torture,” said Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to run the Justice Department.
Holder’s blunt response to the first question at his confirmation hearing was one that many on the Senate Judiciary Committee had sought after years of frustrating nonanswers on the subject from Attorney General Michael Mukasey and his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales.
I have heard all the arguments on torture. One that if it saves Americans lives then it is okay and second, torture achieves little success on gaining needed intel.
I am personally against any form of torture and yes, torture is a subjective subject that can be defined anyway a person wants to define it. But we can end all this BS with one simple act. For those who condone the use of these techniques, then let them have it done to them and I will bet that their sanctimonious BS will end.
Jeremy Scahill is worried about the giant mercenary firm’s latest foray into private intelligence. “They’re marketing their services to not only foreign governments, but to Fortune 500 corporations,” he recently told an interviewer.
The forthcoming paperback edition of Scahill’s book on Blackwater, which appeared in hardcover in February 2007, will include 100 pages of new material, including a discussion of last September’s shooting spree in Baghdad by Blackwater operatives — which killed 17 Iraqi civilians but for which nobody has ever been charged.
This is a company that has been accused of murdering Iraqi civilians,” Scahill pointed out, “of shooting the bodyguard to the Iraqi vice-president, of causing blowback attacks on United States troops, of hurting the morale of the United States military — that has cost United States taxpayers over a billion dollars for its operations in Iraq.”
However, Scahill’s greatest concern at present appears to be Blackwater’s venture into the private intelligence business.
“Blackwater started a private intelligence company,” he explained, “a private CIA essentially, called Total Intelligence Solutions. And the man running Total Intelligence Solutions is J. Cofer Black. He’s a thirty-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. He also was the guy who ran the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, the government-sanctioned kidnap-and-torture program.”
Is the governemtn out sourcing our intel? Is that why we need and Intel Czar? Someone to co-ordinate the info furnished by private companies??