368 posts tagged with Torture.
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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

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

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