Of Lily Pads and Useful Lies
Newsflash: torture has been deemed a completely unreliable tactic vis a vis eliciting useful, truthful information from whomever is being tortured. So the question is: why torture? Why work so hard to change laws (or definitions of said laws) just to free up our more shadowy operations as they wreak physical and psychic havoc on detainees? Why work to permit (with legal cover) the performance of sadistic acts on anyone the President sees fit to detain sans warrant, sans habeus corpus, sans review? Juan Cole avers as to why here:
Why is the Bush administration so attached to torturing people that it would pressure a supine Congress into raping the US constitution by explicitly permitting some torture techniques and abolishing habeas corpus for certain categories of prisoners?
Boys and girls, it is because torture is what provides evidence for large important networks of terrorists where there aren't really any, or aren't very many, or aren't enough to justify 800 military bases and a $500 billion military budget.
Torture produces false information. That false information is used to justify various military actions which otherwise would not pass a smell test (would a smell test crafted from false information gained through the use of torture smell as sweet?)...
Professor Cole goes on to write about author Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and Murray's ideas regarding "The Lily Pad Doctrine":
Murray raised the curtain on the Bush-Blair "War on Terror." He does not deny that there are small groups of persons intent on harming the West. But he does not think that most of what the Bush administration has done in Central Asia is about that threat.
He explained what is really behind the new "lily pad" doctrine of US bases, Whereby the US is seeking to encompass the "Greater Middle East" with small bases, each with 1,000 to 3,000 personnel. In emergencies, these bases could quickly swell to 40,000. Like a lily pad, they can "open up" and accommodate a landing frog. Murray said that the US documents are quite open as to why they are seeking the network of lily pad bases around the Middle East. It is because that is where the oil and gas are. If you include the Caspian region, Tengiz, and the gas reserves in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan along with what is in the Persian Gulf, the vast majority of proven oil and gas reserves are in this circle of crisis.
To repeat: information gained from the use of torture is utilized to give credence to the creation of "lily pad" bases (and judging by the economics this is of a piece with the leaner, meaner military that Rumsfeld has cobbled together) throughout the Middle East, bases used for the sole purpose of managing and protecting dwindling oil reserves, down, down, down the rabbit hole to the bottom of the world. And to think that Bush used to torture frogs--gives the story a nice little bow to wrap it all up with, don't you think?
Read the rest of Cole's posting here.
Image of lily pads from here.