1.5 – Torture – Bush did: He approved various forms of torture in the interrogation of individuals suspected of links to terrorism. Autopsy reports posted online by the ACLU Accountability Project totals at least 100 people tortured to death in U.S. custody, including the so-called “Camp No” in Guantanamo Bay. Techniques included: waterboarding, insects placed in a confinement box, slamming people against the wall, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and stress positions. Detainee treatment at Abu Ghraib ansd Camp Nama in Iraq included rape, various forms of sexual and other humiliation, urinating on detainees, repeatedly striking injured body parts, dragging detainees on the floor from ropes tied to legs or penises, and pouring phosphoric acid on bodies.
In June 2010, Physicians for Human Rights and the Red Cross reported that medical professionals and the CIA had participated in human experimentation on detainees to further develop torture techniques. – Obama said: “We have to understand that torture is not going to either provide us with information, and it’s also going to create more enemies.” (October 4, 2007, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”) “The United States will not torture.” (June 2009, after signing his 3rd executive order) – Obama did: He issued blanket immunity to everyone who authorized, destroyed evidence of, or committed torture. Former detainees who have been released as innocent and who have been victims of torture have been barred from suing the government.
As confirmed by an Open Society report by Joseph Horowitz, released in October 2010 — also reported earlier by a number of media outlets — the United States maintains a prison connected to Bagram Airbase, operated by JSOC and the Defense Intelligence Agency, where abusive interrogations continue. Even after Obama took office, U.S. troops handed detainees over to Iraqi forces for torture and U.S. troops continued to engage in detainee abuse.
The U.S. transfers detainees to “Department 124,” a prison run by the Afghan National Directorate of Security. The Red Cross, human rights representatives and the UN have reported use of torture at that facility. Outsiders, except military personnel and the CIA, are barred from visiting the detainees. The International Committee of the Red Cross has found that treatment of Guantanamo detainees continued to violate the Geneva Conventions, even after Obama took office. General Stanley McCrystal — later appointed commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan — oversaw interrogations at Camp Nama in Irag. John Brennan, current moninee as head of the CIA, was involved in the authorization of torture during the Bush administration.
1.6 Assassinations – Bush did: After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration authorized the CIA and the military to compile a list of high-value targets who could be killed on sight without legal oversight. – Obama said: “The detention of American without access to counsel, fair procedure, or pursuent to judicial authorization, as enemy combatants is unconstitutional.” (Boston Globe, December 2007) – Obama did: In June 2010, Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, testified before Congress that the Obama administration is reserving the right to include Americans on assassination lists and kill them anywhere abroad at any time, without legal oversight. Most targeted killings are carried out by armed drones. Anwar al-Awlaki was killed on September 30, 2011, along with U.S. citizen Samir Khan. Later, al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son was killed by a U.S. drone, along with his 17-year-old cousin.