369 posts tagged with Torture.
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Hooded

Amnesty International’s 'Security with Human Rights' campaign has just released a short film called Hooded. It is a powerful reminder that torture is barbaric and never justifiable. Just two minutes long, this film uses a unique approach by marrying abstract images with intense sound design to convey the auditory and visual experiences associated with torture. It's a disturbing but gripping film that demonstrates the shocking effects of torture techniques such as water boarding and "hooding".
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 2, 2012 - 4 comments

John Kiriakou

An ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou has been indicted under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 6, 2012 - 122 comments

Irrefutable evidence of crimes against humanity

Britain's Channel 4 has broadcast graphic and disturbing footage apparently showing torture within a Syrian military hospital. The UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, says that the allegations are "consistent with what my mandate has been receiving over the last several months." [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 7, 2012 - 92 comments

The allegedly amputated arm of the law

MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition. The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Feb 15, 2012 - 26 comments

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou Indicted.

In 2007 former CIA Agent John Kiriakou went public with his involvement with waterbording Al-Quaeda Detainees. At the time he felt that it worked. And, he only belived it had happened once with Abu Zubaydah. By 2010 he'd learned that Zubaydah had been waterboared 83 times, and that information was not good. Now, he's being prosecuted under the espionage act, for allegedly helping to identify CIA operatives that Guantánamo defense lawyers who might be able to testify about abusive treatment. [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Feb 1, 2012 - 58 comments

Khooni lakir tod do, aar paar jod do

Inshallah Kashmir: Living Terror is Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar's brand new documentary, which is banned in India, that provides the perspectives of people that rarely receive positive mainstream media attention. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 26, 2012 - 5 comments

Guantanamo: An Oral History

Guantanamo: An Oral History
posted by reenum on Jan 12, 2012 - 8 comments

Mohammed el Gorani

Mohammed el Gorani, the youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo, has written a memoir of his time there, the lead up to his imprisonment, and subsequent release years later.
posted by gman on Dec 14, 2011 - 65 comments

The Xinjiang Procedure

In 2009, Urumqi, China exploded in riots. The assessment of Western media was on-going ethnic clashes. Behind the scenes, Beijing now stands accused of The Xinjiang Procedure, ground zero for the organ harvesting of political prisoners. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Nov 29, 2011 - 28 comments

The Sadist State

Cruel America: It appears that no one is so unfortunate that he or she is exempt from spending cuts, while at the same time no one is so fortunate as to be ineligible for a tax cut.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 2, 2011 - 164 comments

The History of Torture

The History of Torture—Why We Can't Give It Up. "Some 150 years ago, the West all but abandoned torture. It has returned with a vengeance." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 11, 2011 - 48 comments

UK had official torture use policy.

UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Aug 4, 2011 - 27 comments

The Legend of the Goatriders

The Legend of The Goatriders (Bokkenrijders): In the Limburg region at the end of the 18th century, between 300 and 600 individuals were tortured, tried and executed, accused of being members of a notorious and heretical band of robbers (who rode across the night sky on the backs of goats). But were they devil-worshipping hoodlums or the product of the economic and class pressures of their time? Regardless they have made their way into legend on TV and the printed page. (PDF link, from the European Ghost Literary Project) [more inside]
posted by jrb223 on Jul 19, 2011 - 19 comments

phone's not working today

It took the photographer Donald Weber more than five years to make his way inside a Ukrainian police interrogation room.

For months, Weber showed up every morning at police headquarters, where he sat on a wooden bench in a drab hallway, waiting to ask the suspects if they’d let him witness their interrogations. When they agreed, he sat and watched from his chair in a small room as a damaged light fixture cast spider-web patterns on the wall. [more inside]
posted by plexi on Jul 17, 2011 - 25 comments

Surely This...

Getting Away with Torture. "Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees." [more inside]
posted by ZenMasterThis on Jul 12, 2011 - 67 comments

Woolite is Blue, Isn't It?

Rob Zombie directs Torture. (YouTube) Background. (Via)
posted by zarq on Jun 22, 2011 - 20 comments

Is Syria approaching meltdown.

Syria vows to retaliate after attack on police and security forces in the North West kills 120
However there is a big gap between the media in Syria and what is happening in the street.
It is reported that blogger Amina Abdallah (Previously) has been kidnapped.
The Portrait of a tortured, murdered and mutilated 13 year old boy has become a rallying point for the uprising.
The Syrian regime has raised ghosts that will not go away indicating Alawite hit squads protected by the army.
There are cracks in the House of Assad and as is becoming normal in these situations communication with the outside world is fractured.
There is also the danger of the unrest spreading into Lebanon where the black-market price of an AK-47 rifle is now said to be $1,500.
posted by adamvasco on Jun 7, 2011 - 77 comments

Our infernal devices

The most curious was on a chariot that carried the most singular music that can be imagined. It held a bear that played the organ; instead of pipes, there were sixteen cat heads each with its body confined; the tails were sticking out and were held to be played as the strings on a piano, if a key was pressed on the keyboard, the corresponding tail would be pulled hard, and it would produce each time a lamentable meow... the cats were arranged properly to produce a succession of notes from the octave… Sixteenth-century Europe, Jingle Cats, and the 2008 Housing Bubble: The Birth of Sampling [more inside]
posted by waterunderground on May 29, 2011 - 20 comments

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

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