The CIA Torture Report Is Causing Political Ripples Overseas – Bloomberg, December 11, 2014
[Some bizarre conclusions here, such as the Thai military wanting to keep the torture story in the press. As it was the Thai military that was behind the secret prison program in the first place, they will be quick to deny everything. Recent details of the Thai prison even tend to lift some blame from Thaksin by contending that the former premier was not initially informed of the secret prison.
Thus it is not likely that the military would want to trump up the torture report to take focus from the “rights abuses currently being perpetrated against Thais.” There is very little evidence that the junta is under pressure–either internally or internationally–nor that there is any domestic unrest that is requiring brutal suppression. For now, both the generals and Thaksin, for their own reasons, want calm.
Statements like the “Thai media are extremely wary of publishing anything critical of the government” do not come from any source familiar with either the Thai or English-language press. There is no doubt the media have to be wary, but daily there is scorn heaped on the government in both regular news coverage and editorials.
It could be that the “Thai sources” referred to here are the same group of sources that pop up now in every international article about Thailand–the post-coup exiles who spend their days overseas explaining the mood in Thailand to the media and alleging worsening repression and a beleaguered junta.
Everything about the secret prisons here: Detention Site Green: Thailand and the CIA’s secret prisons]
…One of these countries is Thailand. A formal U.S. ally, Thailand was led in the early 2000s by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, an elected leader but a man with little interest in the rule of law. Thaksin oversaw a “war on drugs” in Thailand that resulted in the extrajudicial killing of some 2,500 Thai suspects. Thai intelligence and the CIA reportedly moved some of the highest-profile detainees in the war on terror, including Abu Zubydah, a senior Al Qaeda figure, to a “black site” safe house in Thailand. Although Thaksin reportedly was not initially informed by Thai intelligence when the black site was created, he reportedly later was informed about it. In Thailand, Abu Zubydah allegedly was repeatedly waterboarded, subjected to physical assaults, tortured with sleep deprivation in stress positions, and subjected to other inhumane treatments.
Thaksin was forced into exile by a coup in 2006, and his sister, also elected, was deposed in a coup in May of this year. Although the country remains under martial law, and Thai media are extremely wary of publishing anything critical of the government, the Thai press has covered the torture report extensively.
Most likely, according to several Thai sources, the military-dominated Thai government will attempt to keep the report in the news to tar Thaksin, as well as to distract attention from the rights abuses currently being perpetrated against Thais by the Bangkok regime. Coverage of the report may indeed hurt attempts by Thaksin and his party to portray themselves to the public as committed democrats who are far more enlightened than the harsh army rulers running Thailand now. The generals will have to be careful how they point fingers, however, since they have close links to Thai intelligence, and many of the military men currently running Thailand held senior army positions a decade ago as well…