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]
of the CIA's waterboarding techniques and the practical applications of other physical interrogation practices to enhance its effectiveness.
John Kiriakou, the former CIA
operative who affirmed claims
that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about
Guantanamo Bay detainee Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
, along with four others, now faces trial in federal court in New York. The United States is seeking he death penalty.
"This is definitely a seismic shift in how we're approaching the war on al-Qaida," said Glenn Sulmasy
, a law professor at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Mohammed was water boarded
over 180 times: it is unclear if his confession will be admissible.
PHR (Physicians for Human Rights)
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]
Distinguished Professor of Law and the director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law, Jeffrey Addicott
, tells The Jurist: "Even the worst of the CIA techniques that were authorized – waterboarding - would not constitute torture."
In a new article in the Washington Post
: "The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects". These documents were requested by then CIA director George Tenet, who told 60 Minutes last year (in conjuction with the publication of his book, In the Center of the Storm
), ""The image that's been portrayed is, we sat around the campfire and said, 'Oh, boy, now we go get to torture people.' Well, we don't torture people. Let me say that again to you. We don't torture people. Okay?
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.
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.
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]
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]
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"
Mukasey also told the Committee that he would not enforce
contempt citations against former White House officials
who refused to respond to Congressional subpoenas.
"This year, in a gesture of humanitarian relief, the (Lake Superior State University Banished Words) committee restores "truthiness," banned on last year's list, to formal use. This comes after comedians and late-night hosts were thrown under the bus and rendered speechless by a nationwide professional writers' strike. The silence is deafening."
Of course, "(thrown) under the bus
"* is on this year's Banished List, along with "perfect storm
", "back in the day
", "x is the new y
", "give back
" and other seemingly "random
" words and phrases.
*One of the requirements for a Banished Word or Phrase is that it has been used as a title for a Blogspot or Typepad blog. [more inside]
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]
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
It's a no brainer
This Is What Waterboarding Looks Like
-- David Corn, co-author with Michael Isikoff of HUBRIS: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War
, writes about what waterboarding
is and what the torturer's tools look like. Back in the day, the Khmer Rouge, among other repressive regimes, used it. Interestingly, waterboarding typically isn't employed to gain useful information. No, this near-drowning technique is most useful for eliciting "confessions". Good times, good times.
( via reddit via Diggdot.us
The Scandal's Growing Stain
Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"