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It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This.

It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This. Inside the Dark Heart of Guantánamo Bay By Molly Crabapple.
posted by chunking express on Jul 31, 2013 - 32 comments

"U.S. Practiced Torture After 9/11, Nonpartisan Review Concludes"

Years after the first hints of "harsh interrogation practices" in the US war on terror, years after Obama's decision to "look forward, not back" and not investigate or pursue official torture by the CIA and other agencies, the 577-page Report of the Task Force on Detainee Treatment that was released today is, "[i]n many respects, . . . the examination of the treatment of suspected terrorists that official Washington has been reluctant to conduct." The New York Times' Scott Shane reports. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Apr 16, 2013 - 51 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 comments

"You can cause a lot of discomfort and some people will talk but interrogation is not about talking. It’s about the search for the truth."

"But the technique that all of us in Aden listened to agape was a method that had been developed allegedly very recently, which was to suspend the prisoner in a tank of liquid gelatine which was at 94.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Naked. With your arms and legs tied and your head encased in a sort of diver’s helmet, through which you were breathing. You were hung into this tank, so all you could hear was the [breathing noise] of your own breath. And in theory you would go bonkers. Because you didn’t know which way was up, you had no sense." -Interview with British Interrogator #1 [more inside]
posted by univac on Oct 21, 2012 - 57 comments

Pawns in the War on Drugs

Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 28, 2012 - 84 comments

Khooni lakir tod do, aar paar jod do

Inshallah Kashmir: Living Terror is Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar's brand new documentary, which is banned in India, that provides the perspectives of people that rarely receive positive mainstream media attention. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 26, 2012 - 5 comments

The History of Torture

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]
posted by homunculus on Aug 11, 2011 - 48 comments

UK had official torture use policy.

UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Aug 4, 2011 - 27 comments

The Gangster Prince of Liberia

Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007 about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 27, 2010 - 9 comments

Federal prosecutors to investigate abusive interrogation cases

Big Newsfilter: US Attorney General Holder appoints a prosecutor to investigate abusive CIA interrogations in the War on Terror. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 24, 2009 - 134 comments

Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?

“Josephine had practically every desirable personal characteristic, except wisdom and mercy.” Gee, that sounds like she actually isn’t a nice person at all! Gary Brecher (previously) reviews Banquo’s Ghosts, a political-minded spy thriller from National Review editor Richard Lowry and novelist Keith Korman. Lowry describes it as an "episode of “24″ written by Proust. " [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 1, 2009 - 52 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

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

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

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

Human Rights

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

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

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

Babbling Bobster Beatnik Poetry

His fog, his amphetamines and his pearls
Lofi shot off the monitor at the recent EMP exhibit, the entire footage of an Eat The Document outtake recently edited by Martin Scorcese for No Direction Home.

I don't entirely get the Chaplinesque--To paraphrase crunchland, Hey, Skeezix--it's a talkie...
posted by y2karl on Oct 27, 2006 - 31 comments

...from that block came the sound of screaming ...

Meet the new jailers-- Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors. Mass executions, torture again, etc. How bad is it when the inmates plead for us to come back? (Warning--this second link is graphic evidence of what we did there--NSFW)
posted by amberglow on Sep 10, 2006 - 27 comments

"We do not torture." -- G.W.B. 7/11/05

The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Conventions that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
posted by EarBucket on Jun 5, 2006 - 77 comments

Dishonor, Blood and Treasure - By The Numbers

Two years after the Abu Ghraib scandal, new research shows that abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantánamo Bay has been widespread, and that the United States has taken only limited steps to investigate and punish implicated personnel. A briefing paper issued today, 'By the Numbers,' presents findings of the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project... the first comprehensive accounting of credible allegations of torture and abuse in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo. The project has collected hundreds of allegations of detainee abuse and torture occurring since late 2001 – allegations implicating more than 600 U.S. military and civilian personnel and involving more than 460 detainees.
U.S.: More Than 600 Implicated in Detainee Abuse

See also Projected Iraq War Costs Soar, See also The Trillion Dolllar War.
posted by y2karl on Apr 27, 2006 - 110 comments

The United States does not torture -- GWB, 11/05

Abu Ghraib, continued. A new cache of disturbing images and videos from the original interrogations, with commentary from Salon. [Definitely NSFW, or for Earth, for that matter.]
posted by digaman on Mar 14, 2006 - 48 comments

Silence is Broken

A Disturbance in the Blogosphere: Publishing the UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memo. Braving arrest, bloggers have broken the UK’s law of silence with the truth about torture. Bloggers are mass publishing the leaked UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memos. The memos are from the correspondences of Craig Murray who was the United Kingdom's ambassador to Uzbekistan. These memos are evidence and a memorandum of record outlining the rendition and torture of US-arrested prisoners in Uzbekistan. From Craig Murray's Memo: 12. On the usefulness of the material obtained, this is irrelevant. Article 2 of the [UN] Convention, to which we are a party, could not be plainer: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." 13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful.
posted by Dunvegan on Dec 29, 2005 - 246 comments

Torturing in our name

"We do not torture" (Bush, Nov. 7)
In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture... (Hadley, Nov. 13) -- The fate of a House provision to ban the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody is in doubt, strongly opposed by the Administration. And don't call it torture: the preferred talking point wording is now enhanced interrogation techniques.
posted by amberglow on Nov 14, 2005 - 109 comments

The London Cage

The London Cage. Kensington Palace Gardens is one of the most exclusive addresses in the world. Between July 1940 and September 1948 three magnificent houses there were home to one of Great Britain'smost secret military establishments: the London office of the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre, known colloquially as the London Cage. It was run by MI19, the section of the War Office responsible for gleaning information from enemy prisoners of war, and few outside this organisation knew exactly what went on beyond the single barbed-wire fence that separated the three houses from the busy streets and grand parks of west London. The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. A number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948. More inside.
posted by matteo on Nov 12, 2005 - 12 comments

The Torture Question tonight on PBS

The Torture Question tonight on PBS by far, television's most in-depth look at how the controversial interrogation policy evolved after a major power struggle within the Bush administration. (via Rocky Mountain News) The problem, of course, is that it's often the things we'd rather not think about that we most need to hear, especially when those things are actions taken in all of our names with an eye toward making us safer. Ellen Gray Watch a preview here.
posted by tvgurl on Oct 18, 2005 - 41 comments

Teenage Detainees at Gitmo

"One lawyer said that his client... has told him that he was beaten regularly in his early days at Guantánamo, hanged by his wrists for hours at a time and that an interrogator pressed a burning cigarette into his arm." The age of this "client" when he was detained? 14 years old. The reply of the camp's public affairs officer: "They don't come with birth certificates."
posted by digaman on Jun 13, 2005 - 36 comments

HRW report

A year after the Abu Ghraib photos were widely circulated, and a few days after most of the low-ranking officers blamed were let off, Human Rights Watch releases a report clearly implicating the entire chain of command, and strongly urges the investigation of Donald Rumsfeld and George Tenet. (Full report here) Just some bad eggs, eh?
posted by bumpkin on Apr 23, 2005 - 32 comments

The Pentagon's Secret Stash

The Pentagon's Secret Stash. "...There can be narratives of things that are much worse, but if they aren't accompanied by photos, they somehow don't register....The Abu Ghraib photos are sort of the military equivalent of the Rodney King case....And I hate to attribute motives to people I don't know, but it is easy to imagine that the officials who are withholding these images have that fact in mind."
posted by gsb on Apr 2, 2005 - 16 comments

From The Never Ending Story - The Torture Papers

While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers, which detail Torture's Paper Trail, and, then there's Hungry for Air: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
posted by y2karl on Mar 14, 2005 - 97 comments

.

"He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying." --thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU has received documents detailing detention, abuse, and death, of many, including children, at Abu Ghraib. Mostly PDFs, but summaries available on most pages: ... Investigation closed because furtherance "would be of little or no value" ... --statements of that sort are common throughout.
posted by amberglow on Mar 11, 2005 - 94 comments

Why death is no big deal.

Why death is no big deal.
posted by TiredStarling on Mar 1, 2005 - 52 comments

Lest we forget: Outsourcing Torture

Outsourcing Torture The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.
posted by y2karl on Feb 8, 2005 - 16 comments

An Executive Order Along Torture's Path

Request for guidance regarding the OGC's EC regarding detainee abuse, referring to “interrogation techniques made lawful” by the “President's Executive Order.” comes from Records Released in Response to Torture FOIA Request.
Smoking Gun ? asks the ACLU--or just another stepping stone from Torture's Path ? As Ex-Military Lawyers Object to Bush Cabinet Nominee, and in Torture begins at the top, Joe Conason suggests that a recently disclosed FBI memo indicates that "marching orders" to abandon traditional interrogation methods came from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld himself and all the while Guantánamo torture and humiliation still going on, says shackled Briton. (more inside)
posted by y2karl on Dec 20, 2004 - 35 comments

Canadian Lawyers Charge Bush with Torture

LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
posted by sunexplodes on Dec 1, 2004 - 66 comments

US Troops Killing and Torturing Journos in Iraq

US Military 'still failing to protect journalists in Iraq' (Guardian link, reg. req use bugmenot.com)
This isn't the first time allegations of mistreatment of journalists have been levelled at the US troops. Nor is it the second and the military has even admitted to killing an Arab journalist and some are questioning if the US military wants to kill journalists? The list of dead journalists and another list from AlJazeera.net, continues to grow.

And, because I'd not seen if before and don't recall seeing it here before, the Iraq Body Count database (the civilian death toll) and here it is, all on one big page.
posted by fenriq on Nov 19, 2004 - 22 comments

sound familiar?

I have been in torture photos, too. Gerry Adams speaks out. "News of the ill-treatment of prisoners in Iraq created no great surprise in republican Ireland. We have seen and heard it all before. Some of us have even survived that type of treatment. Suggestions that the brutality in Iraq was meted out by a few miscreants aren't even seriously entertained here. We have seen and heard all that before as well. But our experience is that, while individuals may bring a particular impact to their work, they do so within interrogative practices authorised by their superiors."
posted by sunexplodes on Jun 5, 2004 - 9 comments

A Tale of Two Soldiers

A tale of two West Virginia soldiers: one named Jessica, one named Lynndie. Both are on opposite sides of the propaganda war. One is a hero, one is a monster. No, wait - actually, one is a fraud, one was just following orders. No wait, one is perky and blonde, the other is kind of butch and ugly. Now I'm all confused. Help me Metafilter, you're my only hope.
posted by PrinceValium on May 11, 2004 - 20 comments

the wrong morons

The Wrong Morons. (from the Army Times) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war...But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons."
posted by Ty Webb on May 11, 2004 - 23 comments

Chain Of Command

Chain Of Command
(More Inside)
posted by y2karl on May 9, 2004 - 36 comments

British soldiers in Iraq torture photos

British soldiers in new Iraq torture photos. Brutal photos and story in today's Daily Mirror.
posted by iffley on May 1, 2004 - 145 comments

Semi-concrete proof that America resorts to torture?

Does America Torture? "The men's death certificates, made public earlier this week, showed that one captive...died from 'blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease' while another ...from [a] blood clot in the lung that was exacerbated by a 'blunt force injury'." What steps are we taking in our "war on terror"? What if other countries decide to treat our civilians as "enemy combatants"? Is the Pax Americana so important that we must resort to torture, or, as is most often the case, giving up prisoners to countries that are known torturers?
posted by taumeson on Mar 7, 2003 - 113 comments

U.S. tries to block UN anti-torture vote

U.S. tries to block UN anti-torture vote "Concerned about the possibility of independent visits to U.S. civilian and military prisons, the United States sought Wednesday to block a vote on a U.N. plan meant to enforce a convention on torture. "
posted by Stuart_R on Jul 24, 2002 - 19 comments

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