Tuesday, June 26, 2007

97 Days in Hell

A fellow by the name of Vance was held in a U.S. secret military prison, in solitary, for 97 days. He was allowed no attorney, no contact with the outside world whatsoever...and was hooded & shackled at various times. [Try to put yourself in this guy's place---he had no idea if he would be held for 97 minutes, 97 days, 97 months, or 97 years!]

Vance is an American citizen, a Navy vet, who was working as a civilian in a private Iraqi security company. He noticed huge stockpiles of small arms at the company, and began to think they were being provided to promoters of Iraqi sectarian violence. He contacted the FBI, and became an informant for a few months...supplying the Agency with info.

Then one day he was arrested, told he was under suspicion of terrorist activities, and was spirited off to the secret prison. After 97 days of becoming emaciated and sleep deprived, they cleaned him up and dumped him at the Baghdad Airport. No explanation.

He is suing the Govt. [Some folks think that one cannot sue the Govt successfully. Randy Weaver sued and won...well, the Govt settled out-of-court.]

I guess my point in relaying this story (from NBC Nightly News netcast) is that suspecting someone of criminal activity is understandable, but denying the suspect access to an attorney and habeas corpus is not permitted in a free society. Claims that a "terrorist" is different from a criminal are nothing more than sleazy attempts to avoid due process. The whole thing is an outrage.

That whole generic procedure was probably engineered by the brilliant logician [:)], Dick Cheney, who claims that his office is not in the Executive Branch. [He not only acts as if he's psychotic...he is psychotic.]


Phil A said...

This one has not had much exposure our side of the pond. It sounds pretty appalling. He is a US citizen, so surely his own government can’t just ‘disappear him’ as it pleases.

Also I am sure he would have told them about the FBI. Did they not verify this?

Scott C. Haley said...

"Disappear him" is exactly what they did, at least, temporarily. They also arrested a co-worker of his, another American citizen, but didn't keep that guy nearly as long. [This same thing was done IN THE UNITED STATES to many Arab-Americans---shortly after 9-11. 99.99% (a wild guess) of them were released---AFTER A FEW MONTHS.]

The news story did not state specifically which authority arrested him, but the strong implication was that the military knew of his involvement with the FBI. He may have been arrested by the FBI and turned over to the military, or perhaps he was arrested by the military...don't know, at least, don't remember.

Phil A said...

I thought we (the UK) could be bad but we pall into bumbling insignificance by comparison.

Phil A said...

Scott - I have been thinking about this. Unless I miss my guess Shield Group Services will be a US based security company run and staffed by ex military.

My bet is that the senior management will have some pretty heavy contacts with the military, administration and security services. I would also bet that they do some stuff from time to time that provides an extra layer of reasonable deniability for those same parties.

I wonder if what Donald Vance stumbled upon was something that needed to be deniable. All the while he was in his innocence just telling the FBI about it the thing was containable but when Nathan Ertel put in his resignation whoever was running it got worried it needed to be contained.

Hence they got dumped on ice until whatever it was had gone off, or subsided and anything incrimination to alliance parties had been evaporated. Then it could all be blamed on confusion and slow investigation on the part of the military.

What do you think am I being paranoid, have I read too many action thrillers?

If that was why they did it maybe lives were at stake.

Scott C. Haley said...

I deal in degrees of probability whenever possible. I think what you are proposing is probable---to what degree I do not know.

The questions surrounding the Iraq War are many and varied. Tommy Franks was chosen to lead the initial invasion because he was the ONLY U.S. General who believed, as the NeoCon suits in the Pentagon did, that victory and securing the peace could be accomplished with the low number of troops allotted to the task. Every other General lobbied for a troop strength of between 300,000 and 400,000. In addition, several experts warned (both Bush & Company and Tony Blair) that securing the peace would be extremely difficult.

Many Elites are making big bucks off the war effort, and will continue to do so as long as the war continues. Furthermore, the war validates (incorrectly) the entire "War on Terror"...which in this country has expanded the raw power (unconstitutionally) of the central govt.

It would not surprise me one bit if certain covert operations were going on whose purpose was to EXTEND (not contract) the length of the war. This thinking of mine is NOT a "conspiracy theory", but merely common logical sense. I have no proof whatsoever of what I say; what I do have is some knowledge of the Corporatocracy ...and logic.

Phil A said...

I wasn’t thinking extend the conflict. I think that would be somewhere they would be unlikely to want to go (hopefully), just big and covert. I wonder what if any operations that may have made the media came off around that time.

The other scenario is the incompetence one. It really was some indigenous operation by one of the factions to siphon off arms. Vance stumbles on it and gets info to FBI and some of it leaks out as they try to check it out. CIA or Military get bits of it and swiftly get everything about face jumping to the wrong conclusions on bits of data.

Then the whole thing gets snafu’d when they scoop up the wrong people and let the real villains go. Never under estimate the power of Murphy and good old incompetence.

I like to believe they (on both sides of the pond) are not deliberately going for draconian controls, more a case of being forced in that direction by the circumstances and political pressure to protect the public.

As an aside, have you caught the news about the car bombs and the attack on Glasgow airport?

Scott C. Haley said...

I certainly agree that central planning is often undertaken by incompetents. I also suspect that some billionaires desire to keep the war going. Plus, I know for a fact that Machiavellian NeoCons have a strong belief in perpetual war...Iraq is only a small part of that equation.

As to the London and Glasgow incidents---honestly, I pay attention to such things only in a passing manner. These incidents will continue as long as the U.S. (and its primary ally, the UK) has an interventionist foreign policy and a willingness to use pre-emptive war in nation-building.

Phil A said...

Re These incidents will continue as long as the U.S. (and its primary ally, the UK) has an interventionist foreign policy and a willingness to use pre-emptive war in nation-building.

Scott there I have to absolutely disagree with you. I am sorry to say I think you are way off there.

In the last few years Radical Islamicists have reclassified all of the globe that is Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) - that’s us they are talking about - as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) and that makes it religiously OK for any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief.

In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians. They are not going to leave it until we are all part of Dar ul-Islam, or they are used up.

I grant that US foreign policy may have made it a bit easier to recruit, but that’s about as far as it goes.

I wish it were other wise but the threat, I don’t think the threat will easily go away.

Scott C. Haley said...

I don't disagree with your assessment; however, Radical Muslims are not anywhere near a majority of Muslims. If the interventionist foreign policy of the U.S. were to abate, then fuel would not be added to the fire. That in turn would help to dry up the funding of the radicals.

Phil A said...

True. But the so-called moderates are not what I would actually call moderate. Their views, especially when you approach from the religious side are not unsympathetic with the radical views and they can see how the acts can be religiously justified.

Even the moderate Moslem, in their heart, would like to see the whole world converted to Islam.

If it were possible I would find an alternative to fossil fuels and pull out of the Middle East lock, stock and barrels of oil ;-) ASAP. In my view any Western strategy in that region should be designed to marginalise, isolate and eliminate that element. I doubt it is really doing us any good, or will do in the long run to support the Whabbi Saudis for instance. Or being entangled the way we are. It seems to be a loose/loose scenario.