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Empire of Illusion

Empire of Illusion

By Chris Hedges

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Tag: Torture


AP / Mary Altaffer

One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists

The gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process.

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 READ MORE


Christmas Cheer, at Last

Last Christmas we were staring into the economic abyss. A year later, there’s reason to smile—but no telling where we’ll be a year from now.

Posted on Dec 25, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Christmas Eve Edition

Twas the night before Christmas, and ... eh, screw it. Enough of Christmas. Here are the newsy bits you’ve been craving more than that pumpkin pie: The Simpsons, torture, gay marriage, crime-fighting music and more.

Posted on Dec 24, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo tower
U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Moving Day for Some at Guantanamo

While President Barack Obama will miss his goal of shutting down Guantanamo by January, the U.S. has returned 12 detainees from the notorious prison to their respective homelands. That leaves more than 100 detainees awaiting repatriation.

Posted on Dec 20, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Tanya N

CIA Working With Palestinian Security

Even after the hoopla of President Barack Obama’s executive order barring torture, evidence is surfacing that CIA agents are cooperating with, and potentially supervising, Palestinian security agents who are detaining and allegedly torturing Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

Posted on Dec 18, 2009 READ MORE



Collage: Gravel photo from Flickr / Center for American Progress Action Fund

Gravel’s Lament: Fighting Another Dumb War

Few voices in American politics have been as consistent, as reasoned and as moral as his, which is one reason why Mike Gravel, on a chilly December morning, is in front of the White House, not inside it.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Squaring Idealism and Realism

Europeans are coming to terms with the fact that President Barack Obama is not a miracle worker, and with the reality that everything he does is not magic.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

What Obama Really Thinks About the Surge

The president believes his Afghanistan surge will most likely create the conditions to bring the greatest number of U.S. troops home at the earliest possible date, a senior official said.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Peace Prize Speech

Accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Thursday, President Barack Obama acknowledged the controversy of his award, as “the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars.” He spoke of one of those wars, Afghanistan, in terms of self-defense and shared his thoughts on the concept of “just war.” (full remarks inside)

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jens Meyer

Liberals Are Useless

The gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although it may well inherit power, but from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. David J. Marshall

We ‘Support’ the Troops by Burdening Them More

By escalating an unnecessary conflict, President Barack Obama runs the risk of damaging many more Americans through PTSD and other human consequences of warfare. We are heaping upon members of the military more responsibility, more work, more war, more physical and psychological trauma.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE



The Guantanamo Lawyers: Shipwrecked

This important new book tells the story of the world’s most famous prison from the perspective of the lawyers who toiled under notoriously difficult conditions on behalf of the detainees.

Posted on Nov 22, 2009 READ MORE


What Is So Patriotic About Hysteria?

The loudest voices on the right never tire of telling us that they are the truest patriots, but when did fear-mongering in a time of war become an act of patriotism?

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 READ MORE



thisislondon.co.uk

U.K. Probes Alleged Abuse of Iraqis by Soldiers

The British Defense Ministry is investigating 33 cases of alleged abuse of Iraqi civilians by its soldiers. Many of the allegations, which include sexual attacks and torture, reflect U.S. soldiers’ acts depicted in photos from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison.

Posted on Nov 14, 2009 READ MORE


Pat and Kevin Tillman
Courtesy of the Tillman Family

Happy Birthday, Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman’s birthday is Nov. 6, and we wish to commemorate his life by republishing Truthdig’s most popular piece, “After Pat’s Birthday,” written by Pat’s brother, Kevin Tillman.

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / lightmatter

Italy Convicts CIA Agents for Rendition

Twenty-three CIA agents are going to have to think twice about leaving the U.S. now that an Italian court has convicted them in absentia for snatching an imam in Milan and sending him to Egypt, where the cleric says he was tortured. (continued)

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 READ MORE


The Tortured Logic Continues

“Extraordinary rendition” is White House-speak for kidnapping. Just ask Maher Arar. He’s a Canadian citizen who was “rendered” by the U.S. to Syria, where he was tortured for almost a year.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

A Record You Can Believe In

It’s been a year since a healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change the world. Which is precisely what he’s doing.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE


R.E.M.
remhq.com

R.E.M. and Their Musical Friends Push to Shut Down Guantanamo Bay

The veteran alt-rockers of R.E.M. are joining forces with other musical acts such as Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and Roseanne Cash in a bid to close Guantanamo Bay. Their group effort, the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo, sprung in part from their joint outrage about their music reportedly being blared at high volumes to upset prisoners held at the detention center in Cuba.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

White House Lawyer in Trouble for Doing His Job

The gossipy schoolchildren who make up Washington’s power elite have sunk their claws into White House counsel Greg Craig. The president’s top lawyer has had one of the toughest jobs in the building—reversing George W. Bush’s torture policies, finding a Supreme Court justice and vetting some of the nation’s most complex legislation—and he has the scars to prove it.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Emilio Morenatti

Unintended Consequences in Nuclear Pakistan

The Obama administration has already begun to escalate the fighting in Pakistan, a policy that could make even the Nixon-Kissinger destruction of Cambodia seem like a pleasant memory.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Tortured Law

A new short film by the group Alliance for Justice examines the role that lawyers played in authorizing and legitimizing torture under the Bush administration. It calls on the attorney general to investigate not just CIA operatives but the authors of torture memos in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House photo

The Torture Memos

Georgetown University law professor David Cole’s new book, “The Torture Memos,” investigates how key members of the U.S. Office of Legal Counsel rewrote the law to make torture legal.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Lynne Sladky

Washington Plays the Idiot With Guantanamo

With the arrest of Najbullah Zazi, the man allegedly behind the biggest terror plot since 9/11, the truth is clearer than ever: Law enforcement stops terrorism. Not secret island prisons.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



mgx.com

Gitmo Deadline May Be Missed

Senior White House officials have made it known that the self-imposed deadline for closing Guantanamo by January, one of the first orders laid down by Barack Obama as president, may have to be extended as legal and logistical questions prevent the U.S. from regaining its “moral high ground.”

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE



YouTube

Can America Have Too Much Cheney?

If you liked Dick Cheney, you’ll love Liz. The former vice president’s progeny is becoming a conservative star who regularly hits the airwaves to defend the worldview she shares with her father. She’s launching a Web site called KeepAmericaSafe.com and may even run for office one day.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Won’t Buckle Under on Torture Inquiry

Seven former heads of the CIA formally requested that President Obama halt an ongoing inquiry into suspect abuse (aka torture) by the agency, arguing that important CIA work would be hampered by such an investigation. Obama didn’t bite, claiming that “nobody’s above the law.” Except George W. Bush, it seems.

Posted on Sep 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Torture
rebelreports.com

What Torture Never Told Us

Many intelligence professionals have categorically disapproved of torture, claiming it both ineffective and counterproductive. Former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan writes of the mountains of good information uncovered with traditional interrogation procedures in contrast to the erroneous and unproductive intelligence gleaned from torture.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


From ‘Do No Harm’ to Torture

A new report by Physicians for Human Rights reaches a sickening but inescapable conclusion: “Health professionals played central roles in developing, implementing and providing justification for torture.”

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Clay Weis

Cheney Plays to His Crowd

Dick Cheney represents a significant number of conservatives who still believe that the United States can bomb, invade, occupy and torture its way to security.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney
White House / David Bohrer / Archive

WSJ Columnist: Cheney in 2012

In a move that might spur some anti-Bushie types to nervously consult the Mayan calendar, The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto has offered up none other than Dick Cheney as his pick for president in 2012—under the condition that the former veep is right about how to deal with the threat of terrorism.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Gibbs

Gibbs: Cheney’s Wrong on Interrogation

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs fielded a question about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s ongoing Enhanced Interrogation Press Tour with restrained disdain Monday, calling Cheney’s comments “the same song and dance we’ve heard since literally the first day of our administration,” as well as “wrong.”

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Redacted

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Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Law, Not Torture, Protects National Security

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his supporters love America so much they would transform it into Stalinist Russia.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


Only One U.S. Official Has Taken an Honorable Stand on Torture

Thus far in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure currently in office taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney
AP / Ron Edmonds

Cheney Chimes In on Interrogation

Hey, hasn’t something—or someone—been missing from this latest round of debate and discussion about America’s use of troublesome interrogation tactics in recent years? Who could it be? Oh, of course. Enter Dick Cheney, stage right.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

We Need to Know What Was Done in Our Name

History’s demands can seem inconvenient, unfair or unreasonable. But they can’t be ignored. Especially when it comes to torture.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



White House

Report: Obama Might Replace CIA Chief

CIA Director Leon Panetta might quit or get canned in the next year, reports ABC News. Anonymous officials said Panetta, who may have already threatened to walk, is unhappy with everything from his role in the hierarchy to some of the nasty things the agency is up to. Both the White House and the CIA vehemently deny the report.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

AG to Appoint Torture Prosecutor

Although President Obama and others who were privy to information about alleged prisoner abuse by CIA employees and contractors previously passed on the possibility of prosecution, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has taken a different tack after reviewing the cases. Updated

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


How Bad Things Might Have Been

The summer has become a bummer, but almost every day there’s some reminder of how far we’ve come since President Obama’s inauguration—and how much worse things could be.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Pioneering Sadists: A Tale From the ‘War on Terror’ Dark Side

Little mainstream comment seems to have appeared on the latest revelations of incompetence and sadistic fantasy that have been published this week about the ways in which the American nation lost its honor and international reputation because of the Bush administration’s infatuation with torture.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



tvguide.com

Health Care Reform Needs an Action Hero

The 50 people a day who die from inadequate health care might be tempted to call on Jack Bauer—or the grandfather of the man who plays him.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Ralph Nader
AP / Carolyn Kaster

Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere With Obama

“Something is broken,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him at his family home in Connecticut. “We are not at the Bangladesh level in terms of passivity, but we are getting there.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Tech. Sgt. Eric T. Sheler

Counterterrorism Chief Says Bullets Alone Won’t Do the Job

John Brennan has known controversy for his defense of torture and rendition, but the president’s top counterterrorism adviser has just condemned the Bush administration’s approach by declaring: “We cannot shoot ourselves out of this challenge.”

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Hamed Saber

Iran Opposition Alleges Torture

More than 100 of the protesters and opposition leaders swept up and arrested after Iran’s controversial election are now on trial. The leading opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has said that the “teeth of the torturers and confession-extorters have reached to the bones of the people.”

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
hugh.freeshell.org

Release of One of Youngest at Gitmo Is Ordered

Here’s an update in the case of Mohammed Jawad: On Thursday the Afghan, one of the youngest detainees at Guantanamo Bay, was ordered released. He has been held there since 2002 and reportedly has been tortured.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Shane T. McCoy

U.S. to Set Gitmo Inmate Free in a Case Called an ‘Outrage’

Although a judge had called the case “an outrage” that was “riddled with holes,” just last week the government said it would continue to try to prosecute Mohammed Jawad, a Guantanamo detainee whose “confession” was reportedly obtained through torture. Now the administration plans to free Jawad and return him to Afghanistan.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr / art makes me smile

U.N. Is Refused Access to Info on Gitmo

The U.S. recently denied U.N. officials access to information on conditions at Guantanamo Bay and other overseas detention facilities. It was the latest in a series of refusals by the Obama administration to allow international human rights organizations to probe Bush-era practices. Administration officials insist, however, that they have not formally closed the door on visits to Gitmo.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin R. Bond

Extreme Makeover: Bagram Prison Edition

The New York Times reports that a U.S. military review calls for “overhauling the troubled American-run prison [at Bagram Air Base] as well as the entire Afghan jail and judicial systems, a reaction to worries that abuses and militant recruiting within the prisons are helping to strengthen the Taliban.”

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


The Nightmare

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Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE    


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