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Craig Murray Attends the Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture

Craig Murray (Previously: 1 2) Attends 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 - 9 comments

 

Gathering intelligence vs. Manufacturing intelligence: the uses of torture

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 - 121 comments

The Torture Colony

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 - 38 comments

Just Following Orders

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.
Ambinder breaks it down, Greenwald rants.
posted by empath on Apr 16, 2009 - 170 comments

When you start pulling at a piece of thread......

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: -
"They Tortured" "Maybe I should have Resigned".
It is not certain whether this interview will be aired in the US because cable and satellite providers have declined to work with Al Jazeera English.
The interview was conducted by Avi Lewis for his program "Fault Lines".
posted by adamvasco on Apr 16, 2009 - 73 comments

ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody

From the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody - This is the report in its entirety. [pdf]

From Mark Danner: US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites and The Red Cross Torture Report: What It Means [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Apr 8, 2009 - 59 comments

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience.

Miss Universe goes to Guantánamo Bay!
posted by geos on Mar 31, 2009 - 42 comments

Blowback

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 - 196 comments

Hellhole

"The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture?"
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 24, 2009 - 91 comments

Voices from the Black Sites

Interrogation techniques used by the CIA on al-Qaeda suspects "constituted torture", according to a report by the International Red Cross.
posted by shoesfullofdust on Mar 16, 2009 - 27 comments

Cross-cultural psychiatry

West treats East. "To help traumatized Tibetan monks, doctors in Boston turn to cross-cultural medicine." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 14, 2009 - 16 comments

It hasn't ended yet.

Binyam Mohamed will shortly be released from Guantanamo, where hunger strikes and beatings still continue.
TPM 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 - 43 comments

Supermax Nation

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 - 94 comments

Obama DOJ continues Bush secrecy on torture

Obama's Justice Department has endorsed its predecessor's claims that the details of the extraordinary rendition program are "state secrets."
posted by Kirth Gerson on Feb 9, 2009 - 148 comments

Phony Guantanamo Recidivism Numbers?

"The Department of Defense claimed in a dramatic press briefing on January 13 that “61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight” of terrorism." ...troubling is the Defense Department’s listing of the released Uighurs, who were completely exonerated by an internal military hearing. They’ve done nothing wrong. However, one of them wrote an op-ed column for the New York Times proclaiming that “I was locked up and mistreated for being in the wrong place at the wrong time during America's war in Afghanistan.” He also said in the same editorial: “The United States [is] a country I deeply admire.” That’s “suspected of going back into the battlefield”? Only if you are delusional. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Jan 29, 2009 - 33 comments

Growing Up In Guantánamo.

"Six days after the inauguration of President Obama, the U.S. is scheduled to begin the first trial of a child soldier accused of war crimes since World War II." via ACLU [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Jan 15, 2009 - 34 comments

Three Opinions On What to Do With the Bush Administration's Misdeeds

Bringing Justice to the War on Terrorism. 3 views on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of Bush Administration policies like torture, surveillance, and extraordinary rendition. Charles Fried makes the case against criminal prosecutions, Dahlia Lithwick makes the case for investigations followed by prosecutions, and Jack Balkin argues for truth commissions. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 11, 2009 - 80 comments

A Guardian interview with Lynndie England

A Guardian interview with Lynndie England (of Abu Ghraib notoriety).
posted by nthdegx on Jan 6, 2009 - 111 comments

The True Price of Torture

Tortured Reasoning. "George W. Bush defended harsh interrogations by pointing to intelligence breakthroughs, but a surprising number of counterterrorist officials say that, apart from being wrong, torture just doesn’t work. Delving into two high-profile cases, the author exposes the tactical costs of prisoner abuse."
posted by homunculus on Dec 18, 2008 - 82 comments

Britain's torture of Obama's grandfather

The Mau Mau rebellion against British rule in Kenya lasted from 1952 to 1960. Although there were atrocities on both sides, there has been a movement in Kenya to claim compensation from the British government for their actions. Obama's grandfather took part in the uprising (some have labelled him an "insurgent") and was captured and brutally tortured by the British. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Dec 3, 2008 - 21 comments

Where the battlegrounds meet moral grounds.

World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion involves a quest titled The Art of Persuasion. Richard Bartle, co-author of MUD (and pioneer of MMO gaming), speaks out against this: "Basically, you have to take some kind of cow poke and zap a prisoner until he talks. I'm not at all happy with this. I was expecting for there to be some way to tell the guy who gave you the quest that no, actually I don't want to torture a prisoner, but there didn't seem to be any way to do that..." (via) [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Nov 27, 2008 - 167 comments

Frozen Scandal

"Scandal is our growth industry. Revelation of wrongdoing leads not to definitive investigation, punishment, and expiation but to more scandal. Permanent scandal. Frozen scandal." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 24, 2008 - 14 comments

Obama vows to shut down Guantanamo Bay

Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo as it has often been called, has a long and sordid history of human rights abuses and those that have spent some time there have more than their fair share of stories to tell. But it looks as thought it's all coming to a close as in a major interview with 60 Minutes, Obama has vowed to shut down Guantanamo Bay and rebuild "America's moral stature in the world." [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 16, 2008 - 98 comments

The Downward Spiral

What killed Sgt. Gray? "He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
posted by empath on Nov 11, 2008 - 29 comments

ML73-3356, ML73-3378

For many people who lived in Houston in the early 1970s, trick or treat brings up memories of "The Candy Man," serial killer Dean Corll. He, along with accomplices David Brooks and Wayne Henley (YouTube), kidnapped, raped, and tortured to death 27 boys between the ages of thirteen and eighteen between 1970 and 1973. Thirty-seven years after the bodies of their victims were discovered in mass graves in southwest Houston and the Bolivar Peninsula, three still were unidentified until recently when the efforts of forensic anthropologist Sharon Derrick identified victim ML73-3349, now known to be Randall Lee Harvey.
posted by WolfDaddy on Oct 31, 2008 - 32 comments

Before Abu Ghraib, there was Area 2.

For nearly 20 years, Chicago has known about police torture of suspects. Torture at the city's notorious Area 2, under Commander Jon Burge, resulted in numerous false confessions in the 1980s, including the men who became known as the Death Row 10. The Death Row 10 case was among the reasons former Gov. George Ryan's called a moratorium on capital punishment in Illinois in 2000 and pardoned four in 2003. Burge, fired in 1993, retired to Florida on his police pension, where he seemed to escape any measure of justice. Until today. [more inside]
posted by scody on Oct 21, 2008 - 45 comments

Torturing Democracy

"Torturing Democracy" is a new documentary which details how the government set aside the rule of law in its pursuit of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists. You can watch it online or on some PBS affiliates, but PBS won't run it nationally until January 21, 2009. Scott Horton suspects that may be because PBS is afraid of political retaliation. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 16, 2008 - 23 comments

If the Bar can get any lower...

Sami al-Haj, The TV cameraman, 38, was never charged with any crime, nor was he put on trial; his testimony makes it clear that he was held in three prisons for six-and-a-half years – repeatedly beaten and force-fed – not because he was a suspected "terrorist" but because he refused to become an American spy. There is the worrying fact of medical complicity in his torture. (previously 1, 2) [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Sep 27, 2008 - 72 comments

APA bars participation in military interrogations

Psychology Group Changes Policy on Interrogations. The American Psychological Association has adopted a measure prohibiting its members from participating in interrogations of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons where detainees have been tortured (previously). [Via Paper Chase]
posted by homunculus on Sep 20, 2008 - 36 comments

Presidential Crimes

Presidential Crimes: Moving on is not an option. "In deciding about legal redress, we need to be clear about the large stakes in our decision. The very multiplicity of the apparent crimes, the sheer array of arguably broken laws, is dizzying. But that multiplicity must be faced, for in it we will see that what got in President Bush’s way was not any one law but the rule of law itself. It is the rule of law that has been put in jeopardy by a project of executive domination; it is the rule of law that will continue to be in peril; and it is only, therefore, by addressing the crimes through legal instruments—through a formal, legal arena, and not simply through the electoral repudiation of bad policy—that the grave and widespread damage stands a chance of being repaired."
posted by homunculus on Sep 8, 2008 - 96 comments

A unique sideshow

Waterboarding at Coney Island
posted by djgh on Aug 15, 2008 - 20 comments

"Are we in the midst of a coup?"

2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2008 - 74 comments

...if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.

You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure.
Christopher Hitchens, Iraq War supporter, militant atheist, and now volunteer subject of waterboarding. With video.
posted by orthogonality on Jul 2, 2008 - 133 comments

Baddest eggs revealed

The "a few bad eggs" theory crushed - ACLU summarizes the Justice Department Inspector General's report. "This new report should become exhibit A at the next congressional hearing on the Bush administration's use of torture," said Christopher Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel to the ACLU. ... "The questions are who did what and what crimes were committed. This Justice Department report helps answer both questions." [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on May 22, 2008 - 32 comments

Fuzz It Up

The Most Curious Thing (follow-up of sorts) by Errol Morris. Fuzzed up indeed.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi on May 21, 2008 - 31 comments

Beyond the Torture Debate

Beyond the Torture Debate On May 6th the American Strategy Program hosted an event with Philippe Sands, Professor of International Law at University College London and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Colon Powell. Mr. Sands was in DC to testify to the House Judiciary Committee about the findings in his new book, Torture Team, which examines the legal implications of the Bush administration's policy of torture. Col. Wilkerson was on hand for commentary on the subject. The event was moderated by Patrick Doherty, deputy director of the American Strategy program. The event was recorded and posted by the New America Foundation to YouTube. It is 1 hr 31 minutes long, but well worth it. [more inside]
posted by dougzilla on May 16, 2008 - 16 comments

Amnesty International's waterboarding advertisement

Amnesty International recently staged a real waterboarding session to reinforce its campaign to get this type of torture stopped.
Amnesty claims its commercial is the "video the CIA doesn’t want you to see”.
Starting this month the commercial will show in Britain in movie theaters during the previews. Possibly NSFW.
posted by misanthropicsarah on May 1, 2008 - 82 comments

Bad Company

The CIA's Odd Man Out: CIA station chief Bob Lady coordinated the secret kidnapping of Islamic militant Abu Omar in Milan and Omar's "extreme rendition" to Egypt where he was tortured. Italy indicted various CIA agents; Lady is on the run in Central America, abandoned by the agency. The twist: Lady opposed the mission all along. And Abu Omar will probably end up with Lady's home in the foothills of the Alps. [more inside]
posted by msalt on Apr 22, 2008 - 38 comments

The Chain of Command in Coercive Interrogations

“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas." A Vanity Fair reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes -- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense." Others say that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here and here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 3, 2008 - 76 comments

"I know it looks bad."

The Woman Behind the Camera. Film maker Errol Morris, and the New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch look at Sabrina Harman, photographer, and Army MP in Iraq. [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Mar 20, 2008 - 19 comments

Human Rights

Dueling Human Rights Reports: The United States vs. China.
posted by homunculus on Mar 15, 2008 - 60 comments

The Torture Playlist

Music has been used in American military prisons and on bases to induce sleep deprivation, "prolong capture shock," disorient detainees during interrogations—and also drown out screams. Based on a leaked interrogation log, news reports, and the accounts of soldiers and detainees, here are some of the songs that guards and interrogators chose.
posted by monospace on Feb 26, 2008 - 76 comments

The Water Cure

During the Philippine-American War at the turn of the 20th century, American soldiers used a torture method called "the water cure" to extract information from Filipino fighters. [via brijit]
posted by AceRock on Feb 21, 2008 - 26 comments

Torture is a blunt instrument

Five myths about torture In a Washington Post column, Darius Rejali, author of Torture and Democracy, explains why five beliefs about torture are wrong. In a Harper's interview, he answers six questions. "Yes, torture does migrate, and there are some good examples of it both in American and French history. The basic idea here is that soldiers who get ahead torturing come back and take jobs as policemen, and private security, and they get ahead doing the same things they did in the army. And so torture comes home. Everyone knows waterboarding, but no one remembers that it was American soldiers coming back from the Philippines that introduced it to police in the early twentieth century." [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on Feb 20, 2008 - 54 comments

Psychologists Protest APA's Position On Interrogations

Citing the organization's "sharp shift in values and direction," Ken Pope, prominent member of the American Psychological Association (and a former chair of its Ethics Committee), resigned his membership on February 6. He's the latest of a growing number of professional psychologists who have quit APA in protest of its position on the use of psychologists in government interrogations in the "War on Terror."
posted by Rykey on Feb 8, 2008 - 19 comments

Mukasey's Nuremburg defence

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, US Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused to investigate allegations of illegal waterboarding and wiretapping, arguing that the Justice Department could not investigate or prosecute somebody for acting in reliance on a Justice Department opinion, such as those written by John Yoo authorizing torture, even if that opinion turned out to be wrong and the behavior criminal. (The former head the Office of Legal Counsel has described these memos as "advance pardons" for lawbreaking.) Mukasey also told the Committee that he would not enforce contempt citations against former White House officials who refused to respond to Congressional subpoenas.
posted by unSane on Feb 8, 2008 - 110 comments

Oh Canada!

fuck yeah. Canada has joined Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in adding the U.S. and Israel to their list of countries who torture. Have we learned our lesson?
posted by gman on Jan 17, 2008 - 54 comments

I Waterboard!

I Waterboard! If I had the choice of being waterboarded by a third party or having my fingers smashed one at a time by a sledgehammer, I'd take the fingers, no question.
posted by telstar on Dec 22, 2007 - 87 comments

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party's Minister of Culture from 1967 to 1979. Douglas is still alive and making posters for the cause, in this case the San Francisco 8, who were arrested earlier this year for the murder of a police officer in 1971 -- despite the fact that evidence was thrown out of federal court in 1976 because "officers stripped the men, blindfolded them, beat them and covered them in blankets soaked in boiling water," and "used electric prods on their genitals." The SF Weekly published a detailed 5-page story about the case in November 2006.
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2007 - 19 comments

Merry Christmas, Mayor Daley

Last week, the Chicago Reader laid off four of its best journalists: John Conroy (previously), Harold Henderson, Tori Marlan, and Steve Bogira. The cuts almost certainly mark the beginning of the end of the paper's role in Chicago as an investigative force and a corruption watchdog. The New York Times responds with a salute to Conroy and a defense of muckraking's relevance. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Dec 11, 2007 - 25 comments

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