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No Blood, No Foul

Inside the Detainee Abuse Task Force
On 28 Jul 2004, the Detainee Abuse Task Force, was formed by USACIDC to investigate all allegations of Iraqi Detainee abuse involving Coalition Forces.
One of the special agents in charge describes the task force as under-resourced and hampered by a bureaucracy unable or unwilling to facilitate its investigations.
PBS and The Nation investigating journalist states “One thing that shocked me was that the ID/DATF agents that I interviewed said there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of allegations of detainee abuse and torture that likely didn’t reach them.”
In 2009 President Obama stated “Individuals who violated standards of behavior in these photos have been investigated and held accountable.” and concluded
"I ran for President because I believe that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together."
posted by adamvasco on May 27, 2011 - 9 comments

Torturing Republicans with the facts.

John McCain to Bush apologists: Stop lying about Bin Laden and torture
posted by SueDenim on May 12, 2011 - 73 comments

Portraits of Iraqis by Daniel Heyman

I am an artist who by a stroke of good fortune met a brave American lawyer who represents several hundred Iraqi detainees in the US federal courts....the Iraqis I interviewed, released by the American military after many months or years of detention, were never formally accused of a crime, brought to a trial or given legal representation. Daniel Heyman paints and draws while sitting in on interviews between former Abu Ghraib detainees and their lawyer Susan Burke. Interview (including Heyman's thoughts about Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure). Review. Another gallery. Related: The Detainee Project. Via zunguzungu. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Apr 24, 2011 - 5 comments

The Horror of Solitary

Dickens condemned it over 160 years ago: "I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body: and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh; because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear; therefore I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay. I hesitated once, debating with myself, whether, if I had the power of saying 'Yes' or 'No,' I would allow it to be tried in certain cases, where the terms of imprisonment were short; but now, I solemnly declare, that with no rewards or honours could I walk a happy man beneath the open sky by day, or lie me down upon my bed at night, with the consciousness that one human creature, for any length of time, no matter what, lay suffering this unknown punishment in his silent cell, and I the cause, or I consenting to it in the least degree." But this very moment, over 25,000 prisoners in the U.S. are being subjected to it. Its horrific effects are well known. [more inside]
posted by storybored on Mar 15, 2011 - 60 comments

Obama agrees with Manning Treatment

Despite Amnesty's recent denouncement of his treatment and a State Department official's comment that it is "stupid" among other things, Obama apparently stands by the current conditions under which Bradley Manning is being held. [more inside]
posted by Glinn on Mar 12, 2011 - 281 comments

Stasi, SSIS, ...

"I almost can't believe I'm witnessing this. We're inside the fortress of terror, our very own Mordor..." [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 7, 2011 - 74 comments

You cannot wash blood with blood.

George Bush cancels a trip to Switzerland citing “threat of demonstrations” . However two victims of torture in U.S. detention have prepared a criminal complaint against Bush backed by a coalition of international human rights groups, two former United Nations rapporteurs, and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates. His legacy continues with the death in Guantanamo of Abdul Gul held without trial for 9 years. The official cause of Mr Gul's death is "Heart attack during exercise". The Obama administration has decided to continue to imprison without trial nearly 50 detainees at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 7, 2011 - 85 comments

You are alive, you have to do it.

I've never known of a single colleague who has been tortured, or who lives with the threat of death and persecution for their work, in such a confused state of mind that they believe that working in the defence of individual and collective freedoms is an act of heroism. We know full well that it is nothing more than an exercise in survival and shared dignity. [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Feb 6, 2011 - 10 comments

Extrajudicial exile

Gulet Mohamed is an 18-year-old American citizen who has, since December 20, been detained and tortured in Kuwait. The U.S. Embassy has subsequently informed him that he is now on a no-fly list, effectively barring him from returning to the United States. Glenn Greenwald has posted a recording of a 50-minute telephone interview with Mr. Mohamed. [more inside]
posted by indubitable on Jan 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Pharmacologic Waterboarding

The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine, an act that an Army public health physician called "pharmacologic waterboarding". The US military administered the drug despite Pentagon knowledge that mefloquine caused severe neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety. The drug was used on the prisoners whether they had malaria or not. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 2, 2010 - 73 comments

Is it the worst thing you'll read all year?

A description of the CIA's waterboarding techniques and the practical applications of other physical interrogation practices to enhance its effectiveness.
posted by artof.mulata on Nov 9, 2010 - 30 comments

Giants Baseball: Torture.

The San Francisco Giants are the 2010 World Series Champions, having defeated the Texas Rangers 4 games to 1. [more inside]
posted by clearly on Nov 2, 2010 - 131 comments

A Tale of 2 Gitmo Opinions

In Gitmo Opinion, Two Versions of Reality. "When Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered the release of a Guantánamo Bay detainee last spring, the case appeared to be a routine setback for an Obama administration that has lost a string of such cases. But there turns out to be nothing ordinary about the habeas case brought by Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, a Yemeni held without charges for nearly eight years. Uthman, accused by two U.S. administrations of being an al-Qaida fighter and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, is among 48 detainees the Obama administration has deemed too dangerous to release but 'not feasible for prosecution.' A day after his March 16 order was filed on the court's electronic docket, Kennedy's opinion vanished. Weeks later, a new ruling appeared in its place. While it reached the same conclusion, eight pages of material had been removed, including key passages in which Kennedy dismantled the government's case against Uthman."
posted by homunculus on Oct 13, 2010 - 92 comments

The Gangster Prince of Liberia

Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007 about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 27, 2010 - 9 comments

Two steps forward, two steps back.

I go to park, and I feed the duck, and they call—I talking with the ducks... I said, "You remember the man who gave you the food? He is in a prison. Ask the God to help him." [more inside]
posted by notion on Sep 20, 2010 - 39 comments

Justice, Justice, everywhere...

What do bottles of water used to torture people have in common with bottles of water provided to those in danger of dying of thirst? Jay Bybee. Guess which ones he likes. Scott Horton discusses the case of Walt Stanton and Jay Bybee's curious flexibility over bottled water's proper use. [more inside]
posted by fartknocker on Sep 4, 2010 - 36 comments

Is that light I see?

Britain Investigates Torture: Classified documents reveal UK's role in abuse of its own citizens.
So as bad as this makes the Brits look, it implicates the US far more : Torture and Truth “Did the UK order up torture?” or “Did the UK knowingly use information gathered using torture?”
Will the Bush-Cheney Check Ever Be Paid? Maybe.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 15, 2010 - 29 comments

"Today is a victory for every poor person": Jon Burge found guilty

It took a few decades, but today a federal jury has found former Chicago police commander Jon Burge guilty on all counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in covering up his knowledge of and participation in the systematic torture of suspects in the 1980s. (Previously.) [more inside]
posted by scody on Jun 28, 2010 - 26 comments

Experiments in Torture

The Torture Papers. "In the most comprehensive investigation to date of health professionals' involvement in the CIA's 'enhanced' interrogation program (EIP), Physicians For Human Rights has uncovered evidence that indicates the Bush administration apparently conducted illegal and unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA custody. The apparent experimentation and research appear to have been performed to provide legal cover for torture, as well as to help justify and shape future procedures and policies governing the use of the 'enhanced' interrogation techniques. The PHR report, Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program, is the first to provide evidence that CIA medical personnel engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation after 9/11, in addition to the previously disclosed crime of torture." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 6, 2010 - 42 comments

Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to.

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 - 33 comments

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment

Although it is not necessary for us to categorise the treatment reported, it could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 10, 2010 - 41 comments

Someone's not telling the truth.

America's Secret Afghan Prisons. Meanwhile Vice Admiral Robert Harward states: There are no black-jail secret prisons.
The Washington Independent reports that Vice Admirals Robert Howard and William McRaven (commander of the Joint Special Operations Command) both have deep ties to Gen. Stanley McChrystal and influential with Jim Jones, Obama’s national security adviser.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 1, 2010 - 53 comments

Welcome to Camp America

The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle. Harper's have made the full text of Scott Horton's investigation, which appears in this week's issue, available online. It alleges that the three 'suicides' were killed during interrogation at a secret facility, and the suicides faked to cover it up. Some comment here, but the article speaks for itself.
posted by unSane on Jan 18, 2010 - 91 comments

I Deny That I Am In Denial

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 - 47 comments

Detainee 063

Detainee 063. 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 - 28 comments

Back to Stasiland

In 1965, Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel was arrested by East German border guards and spent nine months in solitary confinement in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, the notorious prison run by the Stasi [previously]. Starting today, Holzapfel is back behind bars in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen to remind people how they felt before the Wall came down 20 years ago. You can ask him about his campaign and watch him live here. [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Oct 29, 2009 - 7 comments

A Truly Shocking Gitmo Story

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 - 39 comments

Torture Produces False Memories and Bad Intel

Torturing the brain (PDF). Extreme pain and stress can actually impair a person's ability to tell the truth. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 22, 2009 - 28 comments

I mean, really! Who throws a shoe?

"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 - 53 comments

Dear President Bush,

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 - 113 comments

Borderline Human Experimentation

PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) have released a new report (pdf) that details the extent to which doctors were involved in monitoring and recording data on detainees subjected to waterboarding and other techniques [via] [more inside]
posted by scrutiny on Sep 1, 2009 - 23 comments

Mercy and the Minotaur.

"The subjects vary... but there is an ideological approach in America that is distinguished by one common characteristic: words and deeds utterly lacking in the quality of mercy," by Charles Stross. Or, in other words, is using a minotaur to gore detainees a form of torture?
posted by geos on Aug 29, 2009 - 88 comments

Federal prosecutors to investigate abusive interrogation cases

Big Newsfilter: US Attorney General Holder appoints a prosecutor to investigate abusive CIA interrogations in the War on Terror. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 24, 2009 - 134 comments

Torture; to investigate or not to investigate.

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.
bradblog attempts to unravel the web of deceipt.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 12, 2009 - 11 comments

The Lobotomy King

The Lobotomist (PBS American Experience) - During his illustrious career as a self-styled neurosurgeon, Walter Freeman performed nearly 3500 lobotomies. [Inspired by this thread] [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 11, 2009 - 73 comments

Holding the Cards

Newsweek has "four knowledgable sources" who claim attorney general Eric Holder is considering appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Bush administration interrogation practices. (h/t Glenn Greenwald).
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jul 11, 2009 - 134 comments

Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?

“Josephine had practically every desirable personal characteristic, except wisdom and mercy.” Gee, that sounds like she actually isn’t a nice person at all! Gary Brecher (previously) reviews Banquo’s Ghosts, a political-minded spy thriller from National Review editor Richard Lowry and novelist Keith Korman. Lowry describes it as an "episode of “24″ written by Proust. " [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 1, 2009 - 52 comments

A School for Torture

An amendment 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 - 28 comments

Life in a North Korean Concentration Camp

North Korea's concentration camps reportedly contain over half a million citizens, and is possibly one of the worst cases of systematic human rights abuses occurring in the world today. Ahn Myong Chol, an ex-prison guard, describes the conditions of the inmates of Camp 22, in objective and chilling detail. On medical experiments being performed on prisoners: "....the glass chamber has 3 main subdivisions: one is for blood experiments, another is for poison gas, and the third is for suffocation gas. 3 or 4 people, normally a family, are experimented on. The scientists sit around the edge and watch from above...". [more inside]
posted by thisperon on Jun 23, 2009 - 91 comments

Leon Panetta and the C.I.A.

The Secret History: Can Leon Panetta move the C.I.A. forward without confronting its past?
posted by homunculus on Jun 14, 2009 - 42 comments

Permanent Vacation for 17 Only $200M!

GITMO's 17 Uighurs - a dissident Chinese religious group - sent to Palau. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jun 10, 2009 - 59 comments

Niagara County Judge: tasing a suspect into compliance with DNA test = okay

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 - 157 comments

Your face will not remain unrocked.

You may remember him from the old Portal of Evil and Fat Chicks in Party Hats days. Perhaps his article on homemade fireworks or his extensive collection of Hostess comic book ads taught you to laugh about love again. After a long absence from the internet, Seanbaby is back with, among other things, The Torture Debate As a Batman Comic. [more inside]
posted by rifflesby on May 28, 2009 - 39 comments

Not particularly sensational

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 [graphic images] 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 - 186 comments

Stress Positions

Distinguished Professor of Law and the director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law, Jeffrey Addicott, tells The Jurist: "Even the worst of the CIA techniques that were authorized – waterboarding - would not constitute torture."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on May 28, 2009 - 112 comments

You Voted for Change?

Meet the IRF A Thug Squad is still Brutalizing Prisoners at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco on May 22, 2009 - 40 comments

Won't the Real Dick Cheney Please Stand Up?

Rachel Maddow recently interviewed former head of the Iraq Survey Group Charles Duelfer - who claims that Washington suggested using stronger interrogation techniques against an Iraqi official who was already cooperating - and former NBC News investigative producer Robert Windrem who says two sources confirmed to him that the suggestion from Washington was to use waterboarding, that the purpose was to find a link between Al-Qaida and Iraq, and that it came from the Vice President's office. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on May 16, 2009 - 90 comments

9/11 Commission ordered torture

The 9/11 Commission suspected that critical information it used in its landmark report was the product of harsh interrogations of al-Qaida operatives - interrogations that many critics have labeled torture. Yet, commission staffers never questioned the agency about the interrogation techniques and in fact ordered a second round of interrogations specifically to ask additional questions of the same operative... [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on May 14, 2009 - 317 comments

Obama administration's blackmail diplomacy over torture evidence

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 - 282 comments

Reprimands for torture

"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 - 51 comments

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