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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

The United States does not {video tape} torture.

CIA destroys videotapes of "advanced interrogations" [more inside]
posted by zerobyproxy on Dec 6, 2007 - 117 comments

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush go before SCOTUS Streaming on C-Span today. The Center for Constitutional Rights (great podcast) will argue before the Supreme Court today:
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, The Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

posted by ao4047 on Dec 5, 2007 - 29 comments

YouTube Disables Wael Abbas's Account

Wael Abbas is an Egyptian blogger and anti-torture activist who recently won a journalism award for his documenting police brutality in Egypt, which led to the conviction of two police officers. In Egypt, blogging can get you arrested, and Abbas has taken enormous risks. But now YouTube has removed his videos and suspended his account after receiving complaints (possibly from the Egyptian government) about their graphic content, and Yahoo has disabled his email account. Evidently YouTube is not the ally human rights advocates had hoped it would be.
posted by homunculus on Nov 29, 2007 - 16 comments

McCain on Waterboarding

McCain on Waterboarding. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Nov 29, 2007 - 45 comments

Let the Eagle Soak

John Ashcroft stands up to prove waterboarding isn't torture, by offering to lie down for his own waterboarding. Well, that is, he offers he'd do it if it were necessary, and if he could survive the torture. Is that a brave offer, an admission that US has resulted in deaths, or both? Daniel Levin, one of Ashcroft's subordinates at the Department of Justice, went further, actually undergoing waterboarding himself. He survived it -- but his career didn't, after he he concluded torture was "abhorrent". [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Nov 28, 2007 - 43 comments

unite against human rights abuse in the war on terror.

unsubscribe-me.org is not what you might first think it is from the name. (SL-non-YTP)
posted by allkindsoftime on Nov 23, 2007 - 51 comments

The Horror And The Folly

Torture didn't work in Renaissance Europe. And it doesn't work now. Real historic accounts of real people being tortured in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it composes a body of fact and experience that speaks directly to the present.
posted by JaySunSee on Nov 15, 2007 - 42 comments

Keith Olbermann viciuosly, but eloquently, destroys Bush's waterboarding position.

Yes. One-link you tube, but screw it, you have to hear this incredible rant. I didn't think the media had it in it anymore.
posted by elfollador on Nov 7, 2007 - 109 comments

Remember, remember the fifth of November

Happy Counterterrorism Day.
posted by homunculus on Nov 5, 2007 - 36 comments

Come for the beaches - stay for the waterboarding

Waterboarding is Torture… Period
posted by i_am_a_Jedi on Oct 29, 2007 - 63 comments

Burma

Risking all: the Burmese jokers who laugh in the face of danger. In Burma (Myanmar), comedians are targets in the junta's war on words. [Via BB.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 17, 2007 - 23 comments

Future Patron Saint of Abu Ghraib

On October 28, the Pope will beatify (certify as Blessed) several martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, among them Gabino Olaso Zabala. Only thing is, Zabala is known to have participated in the torture of a fellow priest. Disturbingly, some Catholics are rallying behind a man who never publicly regretted his abusive past.
posted by micketymoc on Oct 17, 2007 - 62 comments

WWII Interogators

Fort Hunt's Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII. After 60 years of silence, the World War II veterans who interrogated Nazi prisoners of war at Fort Hunt are telling their story. [Via The Reality-Based Community.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 10, 2007 - 35 comments

Secret authorization of severe interrogation methods

Secret U. S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations. The New York Times has a 4000-word report today on secret Justice Department opinions--never previously disclosed--authorizing severe interrogation methods. Congress has outlawed cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; in response, Justice declared that the CIA's most extreme interrogation methods are not cruel, inhuman, and degrading. These secret opinions, issued in 2005, are still in effect. Most lawmakers did not know they existed. White House response: "This country does not torture."
posted by russilwvong on Oct 4, 2007 - 107 comments

Depicting Europe as a neo-liberal economist's wet dream and unthinking lackey of the United States.

Depicting Europe, an essay in The London Review of Books by UCLA history professor Perry Anderson, criticizes the European Union as a neo-liberal economist's wet dream and unthinking lackey of the United States. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Sep 19, 2007 - 21 comments

Padilla Found Guilty on All Counts

A verdict on Padillaand the US. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 16, 2007 - 91 comments

Poems from Guantánamo

Waterboard, waterboard, in cell number two
posted by nervousfritz on Aug 11, 2007 - 17 comments

"K.S.M. can say he killed Jesus--he has nothing to lose."

The Black Sites. "A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program."
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 6, 2007 - 66 comments

Torture Teachers

Rorschach and Awe. "America's coercive interrogation methods were reverse-engineered by two C.I.A. psychologists who had spent their careers training U.S. soldiers to endure Communist-style torture techniques. The spread of these tactics was fueled by a myth about a critical 'black site' operation."
posted by homunculus on Jul 31, 2007 - 57 comments

Truth, reconciliation and 100 voices

"REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony" debuts tomorrow night in New York. South African composer Philip Miller listened to hundreds of hours of audio cassettes from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings - the testimonies of torture victims, as well as their torturers who were given pardon in exchange for their testimony - and composed music around the samples he selected. It premiered in Capetown in late 2006; utterly haunting excerpts available here and here.
posted by jbickers on Jul 5, 2007 - 7 comments

I stand for 8-10 hours a day - why is standing limited to 4 hours?

The Interrogation Documents - a collection of available records relating to U.S. interrogation policies. (via) (previously)
posted by puddleglum on Jun 19, 2007 - 9 comments

Is that Constitution still living? Slap it a few times to make sure.

"Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so. So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes. ... I don't care about holding people. I really don't." Justice Scalia on 24 and torture. 24 and torture previously.
posted by ibmcginty on Jun 19, 2007 - 94 comments

Loyalty to the truth will be punished comrade

How General Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties. Whether the President was told about Abu Ghraib in January (when e-mails informed the Pentagon of the seriousness of the abuses and of the existence of photographs) or in March (when Taguba filed his report), Bush made no known effort to forcefully address the treatment of prisoners before the scandal became public, or to reëvaluate the training of military police and interrogators, or the practices of the task forces that he had authorized. Instead, Bush acquiesced in the prosecution of a few lower-level soldiers. The President’s failure to act decisively resonated through the military chain of command: aggressive prosecution of crimes against detainees was not conducive to a successful career. In January of 2006, Taguba received a telephone call from General Richard Cody, the Army’s Vice-Chief of Staff. “This is your Vice,” he told Taguba. “I need you to retire by January of 2007.” No pleasantries were exchanged, although the two generals had known each other for years, and, Taguba said, “He offered no reason.” (A spokesperson for Cody said, “Conversations regarding general officer management are considered private personnel discussions. General Cody has great respect for Major General Taguba as an officer, leader, and American patriot.”) “They always shoot the messenger,” Taguba told me. “To be accused of being overzealous and disloyal—that cuts deep into me. I was being ostracized for doing what I was asked to do.”
posted by caddis on Jun 16, 2007 - 44 comments

We Reap What We Sow

Reaping What We Sow? Right now, White House lawyers are working up new rules that will govern what CIA interrogators can do to prisoners in secret. Those rules will set the standard not only for the CIA but also for what kind of treatment captured American soldiers can expect from their captors, now and in future wars. Before the president once again approves a policy of official cruelty, he should reflect on that.Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. (Washington Post)
Some other opinions. (youtube) Thoughtful commentary. More.
posted by spitbull on May 17, 2007 - 75 comments

*Achoo!* Excuse me, I'm allergic to irony.

"Venezuela and Cuba have both asked that Posada be extradited, but an immigration judge in September 2005 ruled he could not be sent to either country out of concern he might face torture there." Luis Posada is a free man today. A graduate of the notorious School of the Americas, he is wanted for various acts of terrorism in a number of Latin American countries.
posted by mullingitover on May 8, 2007 - 38 comments

Shave, shock and humiliate a man’s genitals in three seconds flat

Torboto: The Robot That Tortures People.
posted by homunculus on Apr 23, 2007 - 44 comments

I Love Vermont

I Love Vermont
posted by james_cpi on Apr 20, 2007 - 50 comments

Medical Ethics and the Interrogation of Guantanamo 063

Clinicians regularly visited the interrogation cell to assess and treat the prisoner. Medics and a female "medical representative" checked vital signs several times per day; they assessed for dehydration and suggested enemas for constipation or intravenous fluids for dehydration. The prisoner’s hands and feet became swollen as he was restrained in a chair. These extremities were inspected and wrapped by medics and a physician. One entry describes a physician checking "for abrasions from sitting in the metal chair for long periods of time. The doctor said everything was good."...
Medical Ethics and the Interrogation of Guantanamo 063
See also US now detaining 18,000 prisoners in Iraq
posted by y2karl on Apr 16, 2007 - 34 comments

Signs of torture on kidnapped Iranian diplomat's body

Iranian envoy wounds 'confirmed': The head of the International Red Cross in Tehran, Peter Stoeker, says he saw wounds on an Iranian diplomat who has alleged that US forces in Iraq tortured him. There were marks on Jalal Sharafi's feet, legs, back and nose. [photos].
On 4 February soldiers from the Iraqi army 36th Commando battalion in Baghdad, considered to be under American control, had seized Jalal Sharafi, while he was carrying a videogame, a gift for his daughter. Read more about the US secret operations against Iranians in Iraq in an exclusive report by The Independent.
posted by hoder on Apr 11, 2007 - 49 comments

Amnesty International - Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay

Detainees are confined for 22 hours a day to individual, enclosed, steel cells where they are almost completely cut off from human contact. The cells have no windows to the outside or access to natural light or fresh air. No activities are provided, and detainees are subjected to 24 hour lighting and constant observation by guards through the narrow windows in the cell doors. They exercise alone in a high-walled yard where little sunlight filters through; detainees are often only offered exercise at night and may not see daylight for days at a time... It appears that around 80 per cent of the approximately 385 men currently held at Guantánamo are in isolation – a reversal of earlier moves to ease conditions and allow more socialising among detainees.
Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay
Red Cross chief raises Guantánamo issue in D.C.
Guantánamo follies
posted by y2karl on Apr 8, 2007 - 27 comments

You've all been so kind. Can I go now?

The first Gitmo trial has ended, but not before the defendant was stripped of two of his attorneys. Detainee #002 entered a guilty plea and will serve 9 months in an Australian prison. In return, he signed a statement stipulating that he had never been tortured or mistreated by the Americans -- despite previously reporting being beaten and deprived of sleep during his more than five years at the prison. The agreement bars him from suing the U.S. government for alleged abuse, forfeits any right to appeal, and imposes a gag order that prevents him speaking with news media for a year.
posted by sweet mister on Mar 31, 2007 - 90 comments

Prison Rape and the War on Drugs

Stories from Inside: Prisoner Rape and the War on Drugs (PDF). A new report by the human rights group Stop Prisoner Rape. [Via Drug WarRant.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 23, 2007 - 61 comments

Postcards from Gitmo

Gitmo in Black and White. Some great photography with narration and chilling stories from the Gulag at Guantanamo Bay. (Has sound. Maybe NSFW, if your workplace is squeamish about our foreign policy)
posted by nevercalm on Mar 22, 2007 - 15 comments

Immigration limbo

"Dear Mr. Prime minister haper, I don’t like to stay in this jail. I’m only nine years old. I want to go to my school in Canada. I’m sleeping beside the wall. Please Mr. Priminister haper give visa for my family. This place is not good for me." Two Iranian parents and their Canadian-born son Kevin have been detained in a Texas detention centre after trying to escape their torturous and dangerous situation in Iran. Hear the interviews.
posted by Menomena on Mar 5, 2007 - 96 comments

US: Secret CIA Prisoners Still Missing - Washington Should Reveal Fate of People ‘Disappeared’ by US

From Human Rights Watch:
...He had spent a year and a half in captivity without even a glimpse of natural light. One day the Americans opened up a skylight in his building. “They brought me a chair and let me sit under the skylight,” he remembered. “I was so happy. I joked with them, pretending to call outside, ‘Help! Someone help me! Let me out!’” ...One photo that surprised Jabour was of a boy named Talha, who appeared to be nine or ten years old. His father was said to be Hamza al-Jofi, a militant leader in Waziristan. When Jabour saw the photo of Talha, who was apparently in custody, he expressed amazement that the United States was holding someone so young.
The Case of Marwan Jabour
US: Secret CIA Prisoners Still Missing
posted by y2karl on Feb 27, 2007 - 70 comments

Brazil and torture

What Brazil tells us about torture today. A thoughtful discussion by Clive James of torture in the context of the movies in general and Terry Gilliam's Brazil in particular. Warning: occasional descriptions of awful behavior, and the reader may have his opinion of humanity lowered. "The historical evidence suggests that on the rare occasions when a state begins again in what a fond humanitarian might think of as a condition of innocence, a supply of young torturers is the first thing it produces... In the Nazi and Soviet cellars and camps, people were regularly tortured for information they did not possess: i.e., they were tortured just for the hell of it."
posted by languagehat on Feb 25, 2007 - 50 comments

Number 1 for torture

Sixty-seven scenes of torture in five seasons. Is 24 responsible for an increase in real-life torture? They at least feel guilty enough to meet up with some actual interrogators encouraging them to make their torture scenes more authentic. But it's not just 24 - torture is becoming more prevalent on all American television.
posted by meech on Feb 12, 2007 - 107 comments

An Interrogator's Lament

"I failed to disobey a meritless order, I failed to protect a prisoner in my custody, and I failed to uphold the standards of human decency. Instead, I intimidated, degraded and humiliated a man who could not defend himself. I compromised my values. I will never forgive myself."
posted by empath on Feb 9, 2007 - 58 comments

We're Not Gonna Take It.

Turn it off: The Society for Ethnomusicology issues a position statement against the use of music as an instrument of torture.
posted by Miko on Feb 8, 2007 - 40 comments

Allegations of rape-as-torture at Abu Ghraib surface on YouTube.

Last week a video was posted to YouTube and linked to by the Iraqslogger site. The YouTube account ("Deathlyillington") is now defunct but the video survives and purports to show a former guard from Abu Ghraib talking about torture techniques employed at the American-run prison. The man recounts the gang rape of a female teenage detainee, in which one guard "pimped" the girl to others for $50 each. As he recalls, "I think at the end of the day he'd made like 500 bucks before she hung herself." The US Army's Criminal Investigation Department has now launched an investigation, but the question remains, is the video real, or is it a hoax along the lines of Jesse Macbeth, the Daily Mirror fake torture photos or the fake beheading video. The video contains few clues to the identity of the alleged soldier, who is shown in silhouette but seems potentially recognizable. A transcript is available.
posted by unSane on Feb 1, 2007 - 67 comments

JUMAH AL-DOSSARI is a 33-year-old citizen of Bahrain.

If I die, please remember that there was a human being named Jumah at Guantanamo
posted by rxrfrx on Jan 12, 2007 - 109 comments

Tough Love

The Trouble with Troubled Teen Programs
posted by daksya on Dec 28, 2006 - 85 comments

Now You Can Go Where People Are One

Tuol Sleng: 114 photographs taken by the Khmer Rouge at Pol Pot's secret prison, code-named "S-21" in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When the Vietnamese invaded in 1979, the S-21 prison staff fled, leaving behind thousands of written records and photographs.
posted by fandango_matt on Dec 24, 2006 - 26 comments

"A piece of furniture"

Window Into a Terror Suspect’s Isolation. American citizen and enemy combatant Jose Padilla gets a root canal. [Via Hullabaloo.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 4, 2006 - 41 comments

A Russian-American desaparecido and a Nazi cult.

Boris Weisfeiler disappeared in Chile. The authorities claim that the experienced outdoorsman had drowned trying to ford a four-foot river. Uncovered documents tell a different story - that Pinochet's military had mistaken the vacationing mathematics professor for a "Jewish spy" and sent him as a political prisoner to the 37,000 acre German expatriate Nazi apocalyptic cult enclave of Colonia Dignidad. There, he was kept alive for at least two years before Paul Schaefer, the founder of the enclave, a Luftwaffe nurse and a serial child molester, most likely had him killed.
posted by Sticherbeast on Nov 22, 2006 - 20 comments

Rumsfeld: War Crimes Charges

Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case and TIME: A lawsuit to be filed on Nov. 14th in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski… has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: “It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ”. . . . Rumsfeld's resignation, they say, means that the former Defense Secretary will lose the legal immunity usually accorded high government officials. Previously: Chain of Command, (May 9, 2004); Interview with Abu Ghraib general, (November 8, 2005)
posted by spock on Nov 11, 2006 - 67 comments

Set A Course for Adventure!

AirTorture - Your Premiere "Whisked Away" Airline
Book your flight from **Undisclosed location** to sunny **Undisclosed location** today! Or you may just have a flight booked for you. Enjoy the waterboarding sports!

It's a no brainer (NSFW background)!
posted by fenriq on Nov 4, 2006 - 13 comments

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