Twilight in the Box.
"The suicide statistics, the squalor and the recidivism haven’t ended solitary confinement
. Maybe the brain studies will." [Via]
On The Tamms Poetry Committee
: "One of the artists' initiatives was "photo requests from solitary." Prisoners on solitary would request photos and professional photographers would then shoot the request and send the photo back. The gallery of prisoners requests is surprising and poignant."
Kathryn Bigelow's striking bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty
arrives in wide release tonight on the heels of a final artful trailer
-- one with oddly familiar musical accompaniment
The funereal hymn, a cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (lyrics)
, deftly recasts the 90s power ballad as a haunting dirge of quiet grief, shattered ideals, and a singleminded focus on revenge, a perfect distillation of the film's profoundly grim thesis
But while the song may be fitting, it wasn't composed for the project -- it's just the latest success story from Belgian women's choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers
, whose mournful reinterpretations of classic and modern rock
-- catapulted by their rendition of "Creep" in The Social Network
-- have made them famous around the world
, with star turns in the likes of Homeland ("Every Breath You Take")
and Downton Abbey ("With or Without You")
. Cover comparison site WhoSampled offers a list of YouTube comparisons between the covers and the originals
; look inside for more of their work in movies and television. [more inside]
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]
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]
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald
has new evidence. Previously.
Binyam Mohamed will shortly be released from Guantanamo, where hunger strikes
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.
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]
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]
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."
Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?
Warning: tiny, NSFW, embedded Windows Media file.
Who thinks this stuff up?
Further to concerns discussed here
regarding the torture of Guantanamo detainees, some interesting stories are emerging from those released about the creativity of gonzo military interrogation. Eww.