Has the U.S. Adopted the Israeli Models of Torture and Interrogation in its Bogus “War on Terror”?

Lazlo Toth's picture

Has the U.S. Adopted the Israeli Models of Torture and Interrogation in its Bogus “War on Terror”?

Internet Text Source: “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict”
Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East (Berkeley, CA)
http://www.cactus48.com/OriginMSW.pdf

Has the U.S. adopted the Israeli models of torture and interrogation in its bogus “war on terror”? To answer this question, let us look at the 1994 Human Rights Watch report, “Torture and Ill-Treatment: Israel’s Interrogation of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories.” –

“Israel’s two main interrogation agencies in the occupied territories engage in a systematic pattern of ill-treatment and torture – according to internationally recognized definitions of the terms...The methods used in nearly all interrogations are prolonged sleep deprivation; prolonged sight deprivation using blindfolds or tight-fitting hoods; forced, prolonged maintenance of body positions that grow increasingly painful; and verbal threats and insults.

“These methods are almost always combined with some of the following abuses; confinement in tiny, closet-like spaces; exposure to temperature extremes, such as deliberately overcooled rooms, prolonged toilet and hygiene deprivation; and degrading treatment...Beatings are far more routine in IDF interrogations than in GSS interrogations. Sixteen of the nineteen detainees we interviewed [detained between 1992 and 1994] reported having been assaulted in the interrogation room. Beatings and kicks were directed at the throat, testicles, and stomach. Some were repeatedly choked; some had their heads slammed against the walls...

“Israeli interrogations consistently use methods in combination with one another, over long periods of time. Thus, a detainee in the custody of the General Security Service (GSS) may spend weeks during which, except for brief respites, he shuttles from a tiny chair to which he is painfully shackled; to a stifling, tiny cubicle in which he can barely move; to questioning sessions in which he is beaten or violently manhandled; and then back to the chair.

“The intensive, sustained and combined use of these methods inflicts the severe mental or physical suffering that is central to internationally accepted definitions of torture. Israel’s political leadership cannot claim ignorance that ill-treatment is the norm in interrogation centers. The number of victims is too large, and the abuses too systematic.”

Does the criminal level of those arrested really warrant all this torture?
On this, Professor Norman Finkelstein in “The Rise and Fall of Palestine” writes, “Amnesty International also observed that, when brought to trial, most Palestinian detainees arrested for ‘terrorist’ offenses and tortured by the Shin Bet (General Security Services) ‘have been accused of offenses such as membership in unlawful associations or throwing stones. They have also included prisoners of conscience, such as people arrested solely for raising a flag.’ On a related point, Ha’aretz columnist, B. Michael noted that there wasn’t a single recorded case in which the Shin Bet’s use of torture was prompted by a ‘ticking bomb’ scenario: ‘In every instance of a Palestinian lodging formal complaint about torture, the Shin Bet justified its use in order to extract a confession about something that had already happened, not about something that was about to happen.’”

In 1997 the U.N. ‘Committee Against Torture’ Stood Up Against Israel:
“B’Teslem estimates that the GSS annually interrogates between 1000-1500 Palestinians [as of 1998]. Some eighty-five percent of them – at least 850 persons a year – are tortured during interrogation...

“The U.N. Committee Against Torture...reached an unequivocal conclusion:...‘The methods of interrogation [used in Israeli prisons]...are in the Committee’s view breaches of Article 16 and also constitute torture as defined in Article 1 of the Convention...As a State Party to the Convention Against Torture, Israel is precluded from raising before this Committee exceptional circumstances’...The prohibition on torture is, therefore, absolute, and no ‘exceptional’ circumstances may justify derogating from it.” – 1998 Report from B'Teslem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “Routine Torture: Interrogation Methods of the General Security Service.”

Did Israel listen to the warning of the 1997 United Nations Committee Against Torture?
John Quigley, in his “Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice,” says, absolutely not: “The UN Human Rights Commission, using the Geneva Convention’s provision that certain violations of humanitarian law are ‘grave breaches’ meriting criminal punishment for perpetrators, found a number of Israel’s practices during the uprising [the 2000 Intifada] to constitute ‘war crimes.’ It included physical and psychological torture of Palestinian detainees and their subjection to improper and inhuman treatment; the imposition of collective punishment on towns, villages and camps; the administrative detention of thousands of Palestinians; the expulsion of Palestinian citizens; the confiscation of Palestinian property; and the raiding and demolition of Palestinian houses.”

Just the other day, the only person actually charged with anything in the human rights abuses and war crimes of the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal was exonerated of any misbehavior or criminal wrongdoing. Pretty sad. The U.S. military has been “Israelized.”