The Stench of American Hypocrisy, Part 2
By paul craig roberts
The Flag, Ripped and Torn by Truthout.org
In a recent column, "The Stench of American Hypocrisy," I noted that US public officials and media are on their high horse about the rule of law in Burma while the rule of law collapses unremarked in the US. Americans enjoy beating up other peoples for American sins. Indeed, hypocrisy has become the defining characteristic of the United States. (http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Stench-of-American-Hyp-by-paul-craig-roberts-101114-358.html )
Hypocrisy in America is now so commonplace it is no longer noticed. Consider the pro-football star Michael Vick. In a recent game, Vick scored six touchdowns, totally dominating the playing field. His performance brought new heights of adulation, causing National Public Radio to wonder if the sports public shouldn't retain a tougher attitude toward a dog torturer who spent 1.5 years in prison for holding dog fights.
I certainly do not approve of mistreating animals. But where is the outrage over the US government's torture of people? How can the government put a person in jail for torturing dogs but turn a blind eye to members of the government who tortured people?
Under both US and international law, torture of humans is a crime, but the federal judiciary turns a blind eye and even allows false confessions extracted by torture to be used in courts or military tribunals to send tortured people to more years in prison based on nothing but their coerced self-incrimination.
Compare Vick's treatment of dogs with, for example, the US government's treatment of Canadian "child soldier" Omar Khadr. Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002, the only survivor of a firefight and an air strike on a Taliban position. He was near death, with wounds to his eyes and shoulder and shot twice in the back. The Americans accused the boy of having thrown a hand grenade during the military encounter that resulted in the death of a US soldier.
As there was no witness to support the accusation, Khadr was tortured into submission. He was beaten, deprived of sleep, left hanging with his arms chained above his head, hooded and threatened by dogs. The National Post of Canada (Nov. 6, 2010) reports: "His chief interrogator at Bagram admitted to telling the teenage boy that unless he co-operated, he would be sent to a U.S. prison, where a group of black men would gang-rape him to death."
Despite this and other evidence that Khadr was coerced by torture into agreeing that he killed a U.S. soldier during a military firefight that left Khadr all but dead, U.S. military judge Col. Patrick Parrish ruled that Khadr's "confession" had been freely given and could be used to convict him in court.
The charge against Khadr is an invention. We don't know whether Khadr was a combatant or just happened to be in the place where the American attack took place. Khadr is accused of "murder in violation of the laws of war." Such a crime does not exist. Soldiers who are enemy combatants are not tried for killing one another. As the Americans had pulled Khadr's "crime" out of a hat, they definitely needed a guilty plea. Shortly before the "trial," the Americans told Khadr that if he did not plead guilty and escaped conviction, they would hold him indefinitely in a torture prison as an enemy combatant.
This is the behavior of Nazi Germany. When German courts freed Nazi victims from false charges, the Gestapo simply picked up the cleared defendants when they left the court house and sent them to camps or prisons.
At the last minute new charges appeared out of thin air in order to beef up the nonexistent case against Khadr. He was forced to admit to killing two Afghan soldiers and to sign away his right to sue his jailers for torturing him. In court, Col. Parrish repeatedly emphasized that Khadr admitted his guilt freely of his own accord. In other words, Parrish lied in court by presenting a coerced confession as "willingly given." This is typical of US prosecutors.
In a powerful editorial, "Stalin Would Have Been Proud," the National Post of Canada said: "what it really was, was a show trial. . .They could have told him to confess that he had simultaneously piloted all four hijacked planes on 9/11, and he would have done it." http://www.nationalpost.com/Stalinwould%20have%20been%20proud/3737862/story.html