On Disappearing People 98

If you thought things had much changed under Obama, think again. There has been much publicity for the news that US forces have captured an alleged ISIS chemical weapons expert, Suleiman al-Afari. There was considerably less publicity for the news that he is being held in yet another new US black prison detention site. It is situated on the territory of the USA’s Kurdish allies in Irbil, Iraq, but was constructed and is run entirely by the US military. Many detainees have vanished into its gates. Very few, if any, have come out again.

Yet again the US is simply disappearing people into secret prisons on foreign soil. Obama has in effect maintained the Bush doctrine that “enemy combatants” are neither alleged criminals nor soldiers. They do not get the rights of alleged criminals to decent treatment and a fair trial, nor do they get the Geneva Convention rights of soldiers captured during a war. They are non-persons who can simply be pitched into a black hole.

Even if they actually are terrorists, that does not leave them devoid of rights. I would also argue that to treat terrorists other than as common criminals, deserving of formal criminal process, contributes to their glorification and gives them a status they do not deserve. But formal process is essential because we know for certain that they often pick up people who are entirely innocent.

I leave aside the argument that it is the United States which caused the collapse of Iraq and it is with Blair and Bush that the guilt ultimately lies. But I leave it aside with the comment that it is an argument deserving of much weight.

I never quite made up my mind whether Obama was a decent man who was corrupted/bullied into adopting the neo-con agenda, or whether he was a play-acting sociopath all along. I do know that Clinton is a hardened warmonger who positively relishes the notion of “enemies” being killed. She is just a sociopath; she doesn’t bother much with the acting.

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98 thoughts on “On Disappearing People

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  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    ““However, internment was used on and off by the govt of the Republic of Ireland from the 1930s to the 1970s, coinciding with the various outbreaks of IRA terrorist activity during that period.

    “It was highly successful.”

    Habbabkuk adds the Blueshirts to the list of fascists he applauds. We are very close to Bingo!”

    Actually, Bevin, it was various Irish Republic govts. which made use of internment, not the blueshirts.

    Unless, of courss, you think all the Irish Republic govts concerned were Blueshirt govts?

    If you do, you’ll have our Irish-American Transatlantic Friend down on you like a ton of bricks.


    You are really a great fool, aren’t you. And uneducated with it.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Old Mark

    Thank you for your couple of follow-up posts; apart from filling in some detail, they elicited a sort of apology from Bevin at 16h41 and answered Mr Scorgie’s standard silly-clever question about “where are your links” at 16h29. Macky’s silly little ejaculation at 16h17 was also satisfactorily disposed of.

    I think we agree on the subject, don’t you?

    Disappointed that you put up a straw man however: my orginal post was an answer to Ando’s post about internment in N.I, and did not seek to establish a link or comparison with Us rendition activities.

    All clear?

  • Republicofscotland


    Asking Habb for credible links is like asking Gideon Osborne to not to have a budget, the incompetent chancer has had five budgets since since 2014.

    Regarding the machinations of the USA, in my opinion Obama isn’t any different from Bush or Clinton, when it comes to warmongering, and the torturing of captives innocent or not.

    You’ve really got to ask yourself who does the United States government answer to?

    Going by their actions in Africa and the Middle East, their swaying vote at the UN and their undeniable backing of the murderous state of Israel, the answer must surely be no one.

    There’s not a nation of people on the planet willing to challenge the USA’s criminal actions abroad, not the Hague or ECHR, instead many nation ride on the coattails of American foreign policy hoping to pick up scraps, here and there.

    Why has Europe for one, been so compliant to America’s goals in the Middle East and around the globe?

  • Republicofscotland

    When thinking of the devastating effects of US foreign policy in say Iraq for instance one has to consider, the USA decided not to join the ICC.

    In 2002 the US along with Israel a US protected state almost signed the Rome Statute, but then declined to ratify it.

    I believe that stance has left the USA free to continue its warmongering stance, Israel fairs no better.

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    John Goss, the treatment of soldiers/pows is different to the treatment of ‘officers’ who are in charge of the carnage, regardless of what side they are fighting on.

    So why should those soldiers who actually do the fighting on behalf of silver spoon Jonny’s sayso not have the same respect than their officers?
    Everything about the treatment of prisoners of war reeks of them and us.

    Thansk for that interesting link, rehmat.

    And yes Res Dis, the KGB then was also were one of the most minute record takers who did not need to distort history, their accounts are correct, hence we know of the POW’s who came back from the Russian front and got stuck into Flanders fields.

    I have not mentioned Russia because they have never lied or denied their bestialities.

  • Ed F

    “Even if they actually are terrorists, that does not leave them devoid of rights.”

    You really are an absolute arsehole.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Republicofscotland (17h15)

    Flea on the dog again?

  • Macky

    @Old Mark, this seems to contradict;

    “After Operation Demetrius, recruits came forward in huge numbers to join the Provisional and Official wings of the IRA.[19] Internment also led to a sharp increase in violence. In the eight months before the operation, there were 34 conflict-related deaths in Northern Ireland. In the four months following it, 140 were killed.[19] A serving officer of the British Royal Marines declared:

    It (internment) has, in fact, increased terrorist activity, perhaps boosted IRA recruitment, polarised further the Catholic and Protestant communities and reduced the ranks of the much needed Catholic moderates.[22]”


  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)


    “@Old Mark, this seems to contradict;

    “After Operation Demetrius,…”


    No, Macky, it doesn’t.

    Pay attention and learn to read, you fool.

    Demetrius refers to the 1971 internments.

    Old Mark was talking about previous internments in the Irish Republic/N.I.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    I love it when the IRA-lovers, Putin-worshippers, US and UK-haters, conspiracy-tossers, anti-capitalists keep insisting.

    Macky above is a good example.

    That’s why it’s so easy to demolish them.

  • KingOfWelshNoir


    My point – which was a response to Craig’s remarks in paragraph two of his post – is very clearly expressed in the first two lines of my post.

    While you are taking another look can you explain how this:

    “It was wonderful to be under a roof in a real bed,” the corporal reminisced. “We were treated like human beings again. The Tommies treated us like comrades.”

    can be construed as a ‘swipe’ at the UK?

  • Macky

    @Habba_Clown, Ando brought up a general point about Internment @12,42pm, and you did a “Resident Dissident Historical Distraction Post” by distracting back to the 1930’s in a muddying the waters obfuscation attempt to refute this general point. As is his nature, Old Mark duly followed your example.

    Ando’s point that Internment in did not work in NI I think it incontestable from what I have read, but I’ll consider any convincing evidence or argument to the contrary, even from you if you can manage it !

  • Republicofscotland

    The US like Britain, to a greater extent are fairly democratic to the own citizens.

    However foreign policy is another matter, both countries (the latter far more in historical terms) have committed unspeakable acts abroad, through many invasions and covert proxy uprisings.

    Russia on the other hand, to a greater extent treats its citizens harshly and has limited democracy. However on foreign policy, in my opinion, Russia has been more reticent with regards to invasions and sponsored uprisings compared with the US and Britain.

    The US has taken over the mantle, of world aggressor, instigating among other things many regime changes to suit Washington. Britain has now found its new position as one of many sidekicks to the USA.

    I forsee no real change in US foreign policy, for although the USA now has abundant shale oil and gas from fracking, aggressive foreign policies allows Washington to have a substantial say, on who controls natural assets around the globe.

    Israel will continue to prosper through its ill gotten gains safe in the knowledge that aggressive US foreign policy will watch over them.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig said:-

    ” Yet again the US is simply disappearing people into secret prisons on foreign soil. Obama has in effect maintained the Bush doctrine that “enemy combatants” are neither alleged criminals nor soldiers. They do not get the rights of alleged criminals to decent treatment and a fair trial, nor do they get the Geneva Convention rights of soldiers captured during a war. They are non-persons who can simply be pitched into a black hole.”

    Truth be told:-

    1. Obama could be good gone bad – but if so – then why did he accept Wall Street payments if he did not know that once ( sorry – twice – elected) he would have to do Wall Street’s work for his pay. And he did…

    2. Hillary – comment is not worthy – the thinking world sees through her.

  • RobG

    I can only guess at the Faustian pact that Craig had to sign with the ‘security services’ in order to allow the vermin/trolls to post freely here.

    And you don’t think you live in a police state?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    On the one hand, NATO supports psychopathic ‘Pol Potty’ Jihadist armies and on the other it imprisons those Jihadists who don’t adhere to NATO’s objectives. Same sort of approach as Saudi Arabia, up whose colon NATO crawls in an infinite regression redolent of a nightmare entity from William Burroughs or HP Lovecraft.

    When he was a low-ranking foot-soldier (though he holds a doctorate in Islamic Studies), the current leader of ISIS, ‘Mister Baghdad’, was in a NATO gaol. So it seems these people are in and out of black sites, white sites, purple-with-orangey-spots sites.

    NATO, it seems, wants to have its cake and eat it. Meanwhile, millions die and are displaced, traumatised, whole advanced societies (I remind everyone that Syria, Iraq and Libya were advanced countries) are obliterated. And people like Blair continue to grown rich and richer and to grin and grin and grin and are made to bear absolutely nothing.

  • Kempe

    ” I have not mentioned Russia because they have never lied or denied their bestialities. ”

    So that makes it all right then does it?

  • Aidworker1

    John Pilger has pointed out that the ‘civil service’ in Washington is essentially fascist.

    I suspect the advice given to Obama is very poor. It’s incredible the drone attacks he’s approved and what he did during the Gaza conflict.

    Imagine if Trump was President?

    I’ve read that his education on Palestine was by Edward Said which he immediately seemed to abandon.

    Good post Craig and also John Goss.

    John Goss – don’t let the trolls get you down like Mary.

  • Hieroglyph

    There is a rather interesting article about Obama, which describes him as a malignant narcissist. It’s written by Dr Sam Vaknin, who is, in fairness, a dubious character, and not exactly the best source, so I’m a bit wary of the description. The article (and others like it) is somewhat interesting though. One can argue that many politicians have at least some of the traits ascribed to a narcissist, which doesn’t necessarily mean they have a mental health problem. Obama however seems to have rather a lot of these traits. As does Bill Clinton, as it happens, though lord knows about his wife.

    These days, I wonder about most front-rank politicians. They seem, well, a little different to you and I, and I simply don’t trust any of them. And Thatcher regularly invited Sir Jimmy over for xmas, and gave him his knighthood. Is this sweetly naive, or somewhat more sinister? The latter, one suspects.

  • RobG

    Aidworker1, on New Year’s Eve 2011, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2012…


    Obama did it on New Year’s Eve, of course, because he thought no one would take much notice.

    The NDAA 2012 completely shredded the American Constitution, and I do mean ‘completely’.

    America is now a full-on police state, and America’s poodle is rushing to catch-up.


  • John Spencer-Davis

    Ed F
    14/03/16 6:20pm

    Yes. Let’s starve convicted terrorists for fifty days, put them on the rack for another twenty days, then mutilate them for another twenty and throw what’s left into an amphitheatre to be torn apart by lions. They have no rights at all, so it doesn’t matter.

    Anyone who suggests that that might be inappropriate behaviour for a civilised society is obviously an absolute arsehole.


  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    Off course it does kempe, why mention something or somebody that has acknowledged their atrocities, when those who spout their support for HR, lecturing others, are found out to be as bad as the worst.

  • Herbie

    “It’s like OCD group therapy session. Zionists are ultimately doomed not by their genocidal religion but by their out-of-control neuroses.”

    Gilad Atzmon talks about this.

    He calls it Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

    “While many may find it heartening or amusing that even an Israeli right winger cannot see a ray of light at the end of the Zionist tunnel, it is rather disconcerting to read that Israelis are already seriously contemplating their next Shoah. I would argue here that it is exactly this form of deadly meditation that turns Israel, Israelis, global Zionists and Neocons into the gravest enemies of world peace.”


  • Suhayl Saadi

    I thought this thread was about CIA (US/NATO, whatever) black sites, the gulag established under the Bush Administration and continued by the Obama Administration. Yet somehow, even if a thread were about, the Crufts Dog Show, at some point, for some, everything comfortably would devolve to, ‘Zionists, Israel, the Jews’ and – and this is a crucial point – those three things would wholly be conflated, essentialised. How about focussing for a change on, say, ‘The Saudi Royal Family’ (after all, a de facto ally of Israel), or Iraqi Kurdistan (likewise, Israel’s pal)?

    And now, for making this obvious observation, I will be slammed as a ‘Zionist gatekeeper’, or a ‘self-hating something-or-other’. At the risk of sounding like Tony Opmoc, let me say that I wish I could play the saxophone.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “The world “Shalom” doesn’t mean “peace” – in Jewish culture it mean “security of the Jewish people”. Rehmat (from Atzmon).

    Rehmat, ‘Shalom’ and ‘Salaam’ mean the same thing. One equally might say, and people – Far Right White Supremacists and other racists who like pretend they’re not racist – and often do, that ‘Islam means submission’ inferring submission to whatever, whereas in fact it means submission in the face of the Absolute. So anyone can play around with words to make them suit whatever agenda they want them to suit.

    Shalom, btw. Oh, sorry, I mean salaam.

  • giyane

    The curious case of the disappearing allies. Yes Kurdistan has many prisons constructed by the US. We know that. What we don’t know is why Obama created Islamic State and ex President Barzani sent his son to Jordan to ratify the joint US UK IS deployment of Daesh to the borders of Kurdistan.

    Perhaps it was to fill the prisons with nutcases like Baghdadi and brainwash him and train him in the art of Islamic rhetoric, thus fine tuning the discreditation of the religion of Islam.

    i doubt I would last a fortnight in that environment as the kindest treatment available and during an inspection day by UN observers when no torture was available, my kidneys would probably pack up from dehydration.

    Now, if the purpose of Obama creating Daesh and the local admninistration enthusiastically signing for them to arrive was to herd the perceived miscreants into one place and exterminate them, then prison might be preferential to Russian bombing.

    as Kissinger so eloquently reminded us, covert operations is not the same as social work.

    If the purpose was to keep Saudi Arabia happy so the West could replenish the money the zionist bankers stole, the purpose of the prisons was to secretly foil the Saudi plan, while pretending to offer them a Caliphate.

    So they don’t tell us about Fukushima irradiating the planet, who’s going to worry about us when we get cancer? There are prisons waiting for those who complain.

    My point is this. The US , Turkey and Saudi imprison all those who speak about the proxy use of “Islamic” terror. Why should we worry about the paid perpetrators more than those who are killed for whistleblowing>

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