How one lie obtained through torture destroyed the lives of millions

Washington, DC (TFC) – In the United Kingdom, there is a demand for an independent inquiry into British Intelligence’s involvement in the CIA’s torture and rendition program. Despite promises, one has not emerged. The government in the UK does not want to rehash the effects of the program or the the loss of life it caused.

In the days after the September 11th attacks, Americans waived their rights and waved their flags at the same time. If the government wanted a power, the people meekly agreed. They were literally scared stupid. The government was given a blank check to stop the terrorists. The people looked the other way as the government ramped up domestic spying efforts, enacted bizarre vague legislation allowing them to deem just about anyone a “terrorist”, eliminated due process, and began torturing people. What did surrendering their rights gain them? The War on Terrorism has been a complete and utter failure in every respect. What’s worse is that it was the waiving of rights and general sense of humanity that led to the Iraq War.

On February 5th, 2003 Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke before the United Nations. He told the world body about Saddam’s ties to Al-Qaeda. He spoke of chemical weapons. He cited information provided by the CIA. After 4,424 American soldiers died in the sands of Iraq, the government began to look into whether or not this information was true.

According to a footnote in the report by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI),

Ibn Shaykh al-Libi, who had previously been rendered from CIA custody to [redacted] reported while in [redacted] custody that Iraq was supporting al-Qa’ida and providing assistance with chemical and biological weapons. Some of this information was cited by Secretary Powell in his speech to the United Nations, and was used as a justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Ibn Shaykh al-Libi recanted the claim after he was rendered to CIA custody on February 1,2003, claiming that he had been tortured by the [redacted], and only told them what he assessed they wanted to hear. [Executive Summary, p141 n857]

Note that he recanted the statement before Powell gave his speech to the UN.

Without the claims of concrete ties to Al-Qaeda and the threat of chemical and biological weapons, would we have entered the war? Would we have invaded a nation and plunged it into civil strife that has lasted more than a decade?

US and coalition soldiers died in Iraq over a lie. Plain and simple. It was a lie obtained through torture. Ibn Shaykh al-Libi would have told the CIA’s lackeys anything to end the pain. He told them Iraq was the bad guy. Estimates of the total death toll range from 151,000 to over 1 million. All of them dead over a lie told by someone trying to avoid pain.

The torture program created the “foreign fighter” epidemic as Jihadists from all over the world flocked to Iraq to fight. Why did they travel so far? It certainly wasn’t because they hated us for our freedom.

The US torture program at Abu Ghraib was a primary recruitment tool for the insurgents when appealing to foreign fighters. As Mathew Alexander, a former interrogator who refused to take part in the abuse, said:

 “I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.”

The extremists make up the core of what we now know as the Islamic State.

There is a popular belief that torture, specifically waterboarding, led to the location of Osama bin Laden. This is a lie perpetuated by a movie. It didn’t happen like that. Not even close. Hassan Ghul was handed over to the CIA, and according to a CIA official familiar with the initial interrogations,

“He sang like a tweetie bird. He opened up right away and was cooperative from the outset.”

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

After two days of normal interrogation and providing the locations needed, as well as much more, he was transferred to a CIA black site. Even though he was already cooperative, he was tortured anyway. He was subjected to sleep deprivation and suffered intense hallucinations. He provided no new information. The information about bin Laden’s courier was obtained through traditional means, not torture.

The fallout from a single lie obtained in 2003 has destroyed the lives of millions, and continues to maim and kill people today. There is a direct series of cause and effect events from the torture of Ibn Shaykh al-Libi to the genocide occurring in Syria today.

The government has continued its push to remove more and more of your rights. Surrendering your rights has done nothing but cause more death and less freedom. This is something we need to keep in mind as we continue to be pressured by the government to waive our rights. How many will we let die to obtain the illusion of safety? We will not protect our way of life by allowing out of control government entities to do as they please. We will destroy our way of life. It has been said that every democracy eventually commits suicide. The United States has a gun to its head, a bullet in the chamber, and its finger on the trigger.