Colin Powell: War Criminal

Rachel Maddow busts Colin Powell, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State of the United States, as he pretends on live TV to not be qualified to know whether someone (him) would be in violation of the laws of war if that person had done what he did.

Powell also, as The Other Scott Horton notes, acknowledges the need for an investigation – of him.

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“Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.” –John Ashcroft

Do you know Binyam Mohamed?

Two senior British judges accused the U.S. of threatening to stop sharing intelligence with Britain if the British Government released details of the extraordinary rendition of British citizen, Binyam Mohamed.

Why?

Perhaps this explains it:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqBFY0xxAIQ&feature=channel_page[/youtube]

So, while a few die hard “24” fans — and Alberto Gonzales, and Michael Mukasey — might still claim confusion about waterboarding being torture, nearly everyone else would agree that having your penis sliced with razors once a month IS torture.

According to the close-the-barn-door-late theory, should official confirmation of this behavior escape the U.S. establishment cone of silence, it would be a PR disaster. That, not the perennial whine of “National Security,” is the source of the pressure the British Judges felt.

There is a lot of smoke around the L.A. Times article suggesting Barak Obama’s Executive Order ending extraordinary renditions was bogus.

But even if Mr. Obama did end the extraordinary brand of renditions, according to a Democracy Now! interview with Michael Rattner of The Center for Constitutional Rights, there is still a hole big enough to drive tour busses full of victims into the Gulag.

Will this be another big disappointment like Mr. Obama’s plans to double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan — and his authorization of Predator drone strikes on the tribal people of Pakistan? And will we meet other Binyam Mohameds in the future, this time created by the Obama Administration?

What would that be like . . .

Marc Garlasco helped target laser-guided bombs during the Iraq invasion, and he claims in an NPR interview entitled “Assessing the Human Cost of Air Strikes in Iraq,” that the military does a careful calculation of how many innocent civilians will be killed for each bomb dropped. According to Garlasco, they’re VERY careful. If more than 29 innocent civilians are calculated to become “collateral damage,” they have to get White House approval.

What would that be like . . . .

FC [Field Commander]: Mr. President – we’ve got the 3rd highest ranking al’Qaeda commander in Iraq lined up in our sights, but if we bomb, we might kill more than 29 civilians. What should we do?

W [Dubya]: 3rd highest? Didn’t we already get him?

FC: Sir – this is the new, new 3rd highest in command.

W: Oh, well that sounds serious. I hate to butcher so many innocent Iraqis everyday. On the other hand, maybe that madman will someday muster the capacity to kill more than 29 people, so … let’s bring Dick in on this … Dick?

DC [Dick Cheney]: Look George, I thought we agreed that we were used to collaterally damaging Iraqi civilians by now, and that it’s worth it in our epic battle of good vs evil. After all, your predecessor set the precedent.

W: Huh?

DC: Remember the Leslie Stahl 60 Minutes interview with Madeline Albright?

[DEAD SILENCE]

DC: Where she said the death of 500,000 Iraqi children in pursuit of U.S. foreign policy was O.K.?

W: Ah, . . .

DC: Here, look at this video again – – –

W: Oh. Right. I guess if Clinton’s UN Ambassadors think 500,000 dead kids in pursuit of U.S. foreign policy is O.K. – – – – But don’t some of those Iraqis have families friends and loved ones who might turn into terrorists against us?

DC: No, they don’t. And anyway, remember, we agreed that all Iraqis are potential terrorists.

W: Oh yeah. Well go ahead FC. You have my authorization.

[Minutes pass]

FC: Sir – we obliterated the terrorist-nest village, but the madman seems to have escaped. Don’t worry, we’ll get him tomorrow. That’s one village that will never again harbor terrorists.

W: Weeee! Heck-of-a-job, FC! How many potential al’Qaeda recruits did we bring to justice?

DC: I’ve asked you before to stop asking that. Remember we aren’t supposed to keep count.

FC: Oops! They’re saying we targeted the wrong new 3rd highest in command. Apparently the real new 3rd isn’t in this part of the country. He was having a secret meeting with Condy.

W: Rat feathers! How many times have we missed like that?

DC: We don’t keep track of that either.

–And thanks to Fileman