Friday, March 1, 2013

Zero Dark thirty - an Ugly face of Counter terrorism

Dark Zero thirty - the ramifications of 9/11 and the ugly globalization of torture. 

What happened in those fateful moments between 8.30 and 10.00 A.M on eleventh of September 2001 , as the twin towers disintegrated ever so slowly into earth, with almost a billion people across the globe watching with disbelief the collapse of the symbol of financial power - will forever remain etched in history, as the day when the political polarization of the globe was irrevocably and in many ways irredeemably changed and rewritten. America stood dumbfounded at this audacious act of terrorism. The collective psyche of its people were badly shaken out their reverie of being the most impregnable nation in the world. Amidst the ruins of the twin towers and innocent corpses, the nation found their identity rattled. And out of this cauldron of insult, embarrassment and deep wound, they unleashed upon the world a witch hunt for Al Qaeda and its various tributaries. The hunt for Obama bin Laden had began. This war against terror was something that the world had never encountered before. There is no way the Americans were going to get to the bottom of this by conventional methods of warfare and espionage. The world was watching with bated breath the reaction of the American establishment to this tremendous act of affront by an elusive,covert and highly motivated terrorist outfit. Their honor and pride was at stake. History is a constant reminder of the fact that whenever a nation takes to war with retribution in its heart; it is bound to find short term success, but will eventually leave the moral fiber of the country in tatters. The aftermath of 9/11 found the Americans waging a war that flouted every rule in the book of modern warfare. Utter disregard of Human rights - of which, ironically, they were the most active proponents ; gross abuse of interrogatory methods and extracting half baked information under duress, leading to callous and unreasonable military invasions (war on Iraq) have really blurred the the thin line that separates the brute from the Human. After ten years (2011) , Osama was finally killed by the Navy seals in a swift operation that took thirty eight minutes ,and the body of this Kurta clad cleric was interred in the sea with absolutely no religious paraphernalia. The ways and means adopted by US to achieve this end has come at a high price, and that is complete negation of human dignity and life. As the embers of Osama death are cooling, the world is now beginning to glimpse the reality of this inquisition undertaken in the name of counter-terrorism. The procedures , motives and arm twisting of facts in the name of truth and justice initiated by the US government and pushed down the throats of other allied countries, is a story that is beginning to emerge slowly, but persuasively ,that in this fight against terror, the US probably has crossed that line that distinguishes the sinner from the saint.

Earlier this month, a comprehensive report was bought out by Open society foundation - a New York based organization, whose mission is to keep a watch on Human and civil rights issues across the globe, and to write and speak about them to educated public. Amrit Singh, a senior legal officer on National security (incidentally, she is the youngest daughter of Prime minister Manmohan singh) and Conterterrorism is the author of this 200 odd page document, which for the first time captures the levels to which the global community has stooped in this attempt to appease the vendetta of a single nation. Phrases like "Black sites", "enhanced interrogatory techniques","Extraordinary rendition" , which not only are morally depraving, but given legal status by successive US presidents. Fifty four countries (which does not include India) have participated in this ghastly human hunt for terrorists, regardless of the many who were unnecessarily detained, tortured and rendered incapable of returning to a normal life, and no legal reprieve possible.

Inhuman torture and detention is counter productive to understanding truth. This is an established psychological thesis, endorsed by governments around the globe since the Nuremberg trials held in 1945 . The fact that all civilized norms of behavior were violated in the 9/11 search for retribution is a signal that it really doesn't take much to descent into subhuman behavior, if the right conditions are provided. USA was provoked by an small army of fundamentalists and it badly ruptured their sense of pride and power. Their subsequent actions were more of a self vindication of their superiority and conscience keepers of the globe. It is time for the United
States and its partner governments to admit to the truth of their involvement in secret detention and extraordinary rendition, repudiate these practices, and conduct effective investigations directed at holding officials accountable. These measures are essential not only for ensuring that torture and other human rights violations have no place in future counterterrorism operations, but also for ensuring the effectiveness of these operations. Indeed, as recognized in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in
2006, “effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting goals, but complementary and mutually reinforcing"

Watch "Dark zero thirty" with this background in mind.............


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