A French, state-run TV channel appears to be stirring controversy by airing a documentary about a fake game show in which contestants torture eachother, called "Game of Death."
Based on the well-known Stanley Milgram experiments
of the 1960's that, in the wake of Nazi Germany, sought out to measure man's willingness to obey orders. [more inside]
posted by phaedon
on Mar 17, 2010 -
Questions for John Yoo. Q. Do you regret writing the so-called torture memos, which claimed that President Bush was legally entitled to ignore laws prohibiting torture? A.
No, I had to write them. It was my job. As a lawyer, I had a client. The client needed a legal question answered. NY Times, via Andrew Sullivan [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac
on Dec 29, 2009 -
This is the interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani. It is being published in real time: each entry will appear exactly seven years after it was first recorded. The interrogation took place at Guantanamo Bay.
posted by chunking express
on Dec 7, 2009 -
A Truly Shocking Gitmo Story:
"the U.S. government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth." His lawyer notes, "The Obama Department of Justice, with Attorney General Holder piously proclaiming that this Administration repudiates torture, and follows the rule of law, in fact is following the Bush playbook to the letter." Unbelievable Evidence, but Good Enough for Seven Years in Prison
notes, "Al Rabiah's treatment is reminiscent of what happened to Mohammed Jawad, the Afghan who was captured as a young teenager and held for almost seven years before he was released last month. Both detainees were locked up based mainly on coerced confessions that appear to have been false, and it looks like both might have remained imprisoned but for the intervention of the federal courts. " Also: Judge's Order to Release Kuwaiti Detainee Puts Obama in a Bind
posted by shetterly
on Oct 1, 2009 -
"After six years of humiliation, of indignity, of killing and violations of sanctity, and desecration of houses of worship
, the killer comes, boasting, bragging about victory and democracy. He came to say goodbye to his victims and wanted flowers in response.
"Put simply, that was my flower to the occupier, and to all who are in league with him, whether by spreading lies or taking action, before the occupation or after."
Muntadhar al Zaidi
, the journalist sentenced to three years of prison for assaulting a foreign leader after throwing his shoes at President Bush
, has been released from prison
after serving only nine months. [more inside]
posted by orville sash
on Sep 15, 2009 -
Demanding that you alone be held accountable and no one else be scapegoated would itself be an act of honor. It would draw a line between the past and the future in the same way that Lincoln’s defense of his brief suspensions of habeas corpus conceded Congress’s sole right to remove this core constitutional provision, but defended his action as a necessary emergency measure because a mass rebellion “had subverted the whole of the laws.” You do not deserve to go down in history as the president who brought torture into the American system and refused to take responsibility for it..
An Open Letter to George W Bush
posted by empath
on Sep 14, 2009 -
Scott Horton discusses
the latest reports about the pending appointment of a torture special prosecutor with Keith Olbermann.
Last week, British judges revealed
that the British Secret Services fed questions to the CIA in the full knowledge that the Agency was systematically using torture in interrogations; a clear violation of international law.
Meanwhile BBC Newsweek airs "Confessions of an Uzbek KGB officer
". Shortly after 11.00 mins in the video Yakobov refuses to comment more on Secret Rendition claiming his life could be in endangered. In a Sept. interview
Yakubov's most interesting evidence is that he accompanied a CIA man to an interrogation, and that the CIA man was actually in the room during the torture of a detainee.
attempts to unravel the web of deceipt.
posted by adamvasco
on Aug 12, 2009 -
to the Defense Authorization Act currently under consideration in congress would force the notorious School of the Americas
(currently known as "WHINSEC") to "release to the public the names, ranks, countries of origin, courses taken and dates of attendance of all the students and instructors at the institute." [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman
on Jun 25, 2009 -
A new twist in the controversy over the (ab)use of tasers.
A judge in Niagara County, NY has decided
that tasing a suspect who refused to submit to DNA testing was a reasonable use of force. Ryan Smith, accused of robbery and kidnapping, already submitted one sample, which was contaminated when the government sent it to the wrong laboratory, and refused to give one a second time. The police asked a prosecutor what to do. His response: they could use force to get the sample, but as little as possible. So they tased Smith, who then submitted to the buccal swab. [more inside]
posted by R_Nebblesworth
on Jun 5, 2009 -
At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee. Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects
] including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube. Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts. Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on May 28, 2009 -
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald
has new evidence. Previously.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
on May 12, 2009 -
"An internal Justice Department inquiry into the conduct of Bush administration lawyers who wrote secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations has concluded that the authors committed serious lapses of judgment but should not be criminally prosecuted
... The report by the Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal ethics unit within the Justice Department, is also likely to ask that state bar associations consider possible disciplinary action, including reprimands or even disbarment, for some of the lawyers involved in writing the legal opinions..." Meanwhile, "former Bush administration officials
are launching a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to urge Justice Department leaders to soften" the report.
posted by Joe Beese
on May 5, 2009 -
The PEW survey
recently released; summarised by Andrew Sullivan
reveals that evangelicals are most likely to approve of torture.
This survey coincides with Harpers May edition lead article ( presently behind a subscription firewall
) extracted here
. The article is by Jeff Sharlet - (previously
: How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history). The two are not unrelated. The division of the world into God's people and Satan's people enabled the Bush Administration
to support the most devilish behavior imaginable, all in the name of righteousness, as shown by General Boykin
then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
posted by adamvasco
on May 1, 2009 -
(Previously: 1 2
the Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture on Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm UK time.
You can (hopefully) watch it on Parliament TV
If you want to have a good look at UK / US complicity in torture, this
might be a good place to start...
Please note he has said "There is absolutely no way I am going to kill myself. Just thought it might be wise to get that out in public!". Hopefully statements like that won't be necessary.
posted by debord
on Apr 28, 2009 -
Col. Steven Kleinman, interrogation specialist, was interviewed yesterday on NPR about the use of torture in Iraq: NPR: And these harsh interrogation methods had been used by the Soviets and the Chinese to get people to say things that weren't true? Kleinman:That's true. And it's not just harsh physically, but I think the element that was more persuasive was their ability to induce what is known as debility, depression and dread through emotional and psychological techniques that profoundly altered somebody's ability to answer questions truthfully even if they wanted to. It truly undermined their ability to recall, so therefore it would call into question its efficacy in an intelligence-based interrogation. [link]
. [more inside]
posted by mecran01
on Apr 24, 2009 -
The Torture Colony
. In a remote part of Chile, an evil German evangelist built a utopia whose members helped the Pinochet regime perform its foulest deeds... [i]nvestigations by Amnesty International and the governments of Chile, Germany, and France, as well as the testimony of former colonos who, over the years, managed to escape the colony, have revealed evidence of terrible crimes: child molestation, forced labor, weapons trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping, torture, and murder.
It may sound like the farfetched plot of Saw VII (or something out of Kafka
) but it's horrifyingly true. [Previously]
posted by dersins
on Apr 17, 2009 -
Torture Memos Released
As we explained in the Section 2340A Memorandum, "pain and suffering" as used in Section 2340 is best understood as a single concept, not distinct concepts of "pain" as distinguished from "suffering"... The waterboard, which inflicts no pain or actual harm whatsoever, does not, in our view inflict "severe pain or suffering". Even if one were to parse the statute more finely to treat "suffering" as a distinct concept, the waterboard could not be said to inflict severe sufering. The waterboard is simply a controlled acute episode, lacking the connotation of a protracted period of time generally given to suffering.
breaks it down, Greenwald rants
posted by empath
on Apr 16, 2009 -
A high-level Spanish court
has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation against six former Bush administration officials, on whether they violated international law
. The officials named in this present case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration. They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, former vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon’s general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers. If America won’t have a Truth Commission
maybe someone else will have to kick start it for them.
posted by adamvasco
on Mar 30, 2009 -
Binyam Mohamed will shortly be released from Guantanamo, where hunger strikes
attempts to assesses the level of President Obama's apparent commitment to transparency, accountability for Bush administration officials who may have committed crimes, and adhering to the rule of law. It highlights Glenn Greenwald's recent article
There is simply no way to argue that our leaders should be immunized from criminal investigations for torture and other war crimes without believing that (a) the U.S. is and should be immune from the principles we've long demanded other nations obey and (b) we are free to ignore our treaty obligations any time it suits us.
posted by adamvasco
on Feb 22, 2009 -
Awakening on a mattress atop a wooden slab, the bare walls of your 7' x 12' cell
come into focus, illuminated by the constant glare of an overhead light. Through the narrow window in the back of your cell, you can peer out into the prison yard. In the window in the reinforced steel door, you can catch an occasional glimpse of a prison guard as they bring your meals, usually the only interruption of the silence and isolation that pervade your living conditions. Those walls are the boundaries of your world for 23 hours a day in the Departmental Disciplinary Unit
-- the supermax
prison maintained in Walpole, Massachusetts, one of dozens
of such institutions currently operated in the United States, in spite of growing outcry
based on human rights violations. [more inside]
posted by Law Talkin' Guy
on Feb 15, 2009 -