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Tag: Torture

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Tortured by Bad Jokes

Wanda Sykes gets heat from commentators about her jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Jon Stewart echoes the critiques and reminds us that bad humor is harmful to the country but torture, well, maybe not so much.

Posted on May 12, 2009 READ MORE


cheney
wilsonsalmanac.blogspot.com

Old Faithful of Nonsense

Can’t we send Dick Cheney back to Wyoming? Shouldn’t we chip in and buy him a home where the buffalo roam and there’s always room for one more crazy old coot down at the general store? For the final act of his too-long public career, Cheney seems to have decided to become an Old Faithful of self-serving nonsense.

Posted on May 12, 2009 READ MORE


Boehner, Bush and Pelosi
White House / Eric Draper

Pelosi Sticks By Her Waterboarding Denial

Despite evidence, helpfully provided by the CIA, to the contrary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still insists she wasn’t aware that waterboarding would be on the menu of the Bush administration’s interrogation techniques when she was briefed in secret in 2002.

Posted on May 8, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi
AP photo / Alex Brandon

What Did Pelosi Know?

The official paper trail about torture has apparently caught up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has claimed that she wasn’t aware of the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspected al-Qaida operatives—but it now seems that she may well have been among the first to know.

Posted on May 7, 2009 READ MORE


colbert balloons

Waterboarding With Willy the Whale

Tuesday on “The Colbert Report”: Condi Rice and Dick Cheney should have to justify their support for the use of torture to a jury of children. Perhaps the Bushies’ flip-floppy justifications might actually make some sense in Kidsville.

 

Posted on May 6, 2009 READ MORE


Yoo Heritage
theatlantic.com

Bush Lawyers Likely in the Clear

A Justice Department report suggests that the possibility of legal consequence for those who broke the law is steadily waning, as Bush administration lawyers who approved the torture-interrogation technique of waterboarding will likely escape prosecution.

Posted on May 6, 2009 READ MORE


Obama in office
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Taking a Page From the Bush Playbook

The Obama administration is now considering reinstating the Military Commissions Act after a four-month suspension, in contradiction to the president’s promise to end military tribunals for detainees and to close down Gitmo. 

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE


May and Stewart

Jon Stewart Inflicts Discomfort on Cliff May

Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was clearly on the defensive as he took the hot seat during Tuesday’s “Daily Show” with the unenviable task of debating whether or not waterboarding is torture, whether American officials have to follow the Geneva Conventions under all circumstances, and whether President Truman was a war criminal.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Model for an Accounting

History demands an investigation into U.S. torture. We have a contemporary model for how to conduct a politically sensitive inquiry properly, without undue theatrics and with respect for classified information. It is the 9/11 commission.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Feeling Dirty

Share
Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Krugman
Wikimedia Commons / Prolineserver

Krugman on Bybee and the ‘Apparatchiks’

Clearly, Paul Krugman, pictured above, is no fan of federal Judge Jay Bybee, legislative enabler of the “enhanced interrogation technique” that’s become one shameful symbol of the past eight years: waterboarding. You know it’s not good when Newt Gingrich is held up as a paragon of a bygone, and preferable, brand of Republicanism.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Joe Wilson Wants Dick Cheney to Let It All Hang Out

Ever the fan of cherry-picking, former Vice President Dick Cheney has called for the declassification of select intelligence he claims would polish his torture legacy. Whistle-blower extraordinaire Joe Wilson says the “most secretive individual in American politics” shouldn’t stop there—why not air all of the Bush administration’s dirty laundry once and for all?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


What to Make of the Ironic Mr. Obama

How many ironies can a single presidency engender? A cool man who has aroused both warm feelings of affection and a fiery opposition, Obama is seen as too moderate by parts of the left, but the right thinks he has a radical statist agenda.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Torture, Credit Cards and Chrysler

Even Fox News’ Shep Smith said it: America doesn’t torture ... although the recently released set of torture memos belies that declaration. Meanwhile, President Obama’s none too pleased with credit card companies, and Chrysler has hit the skids. Was there any good news this week? Tony Blankley thinks so.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Hannity

Olbermann Offers Hannity $1K per Second to Be Waterboarded

So, Sean Hannity told Charles Grodin on Wednesday night that he would agree to be waterboarded “for charity”—and you’d better believe that that sort of talk wasn’t lost on Keith Olbermann. On Thursday’s “Countdown,” Olbermann upped the ante for Hannity’s date with “enhanced interrogation techniques” by offering to open his own pocketbook for the cause.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Abu Gharib
smh.com.au

U.S. to Release More Torture Photos

After a series of denials by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has decided it will give in to demands by human rights groups and release up to 2,000 pictures of “prisoner abuse” (torture) to the public by May 28.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Was Used to Try to Link Saddam With 9/11

In order to justify George W. Bush’s illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq, Bush administration officials put heavy pressure on Pentagon interrogators to get Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah to say there was a link between Iraq and the 9/11 hijackers. That link was never established.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Eve Pell on America’s Culture of Punishment

“Cruel and Unusual” by Anne-Marie Cusac reveals a startling reality: Since 1973, America’s imprisonment rate has jumped more than five times and is now the highest in the world. Why?

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime, and Crimes Demand Prosecution

Obama wants to avoid a long, wrenching legal drama that almost certainly would be partisan and divisive. But I’m not sure it’s possible to skirt the criminal implications of what we already know.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

Holder Says He Will Pursue Torture Wrongdoing

What to make of the administration’s policy on holding torturers accountable? Attorney General Eric Holder says he “will not permit the criminalization of policy differences,” but will pursue wrongdoing “to the full extent of the law.” The problem here is that when it comes to torture, policy differences just might be criminal.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney

Cheney, Rove Struck by ‘Balzheimer’s Disease’

What has emboldened Dick Cheney and Karl Rove to so brazenly criticize the new administration? Has Cheney lost his trademark sneer since he left the White House? All this and more in this clip from Wednesday’s “Daily Show” episode.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

John McCain for Anti-Torture Czar?

If the president is so worried that prosecutions of America’s torturers and torture-enablers could feel like a partisan witch hunt, why not turn to a Republican with firsthand experience in being tortured?

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


Yoo Heritage
theatlantic.com

Torture’s Paradigm Shift

In their effort to build a “new paradigm” for dealing with enemy prisoners, senior Bush administration officials, according to a report released by the Senate Armed Services Committee, suppressed or ignored conflicting legal opinions to ensure that “aggressive interrogation techniques” (torture) would be available to interrogators.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


Torturers Should Be Punished

The door to bringing torturers to justice is open only a crack. Whether it is kicked open or slammed shut is not up to the president. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama: Justice Could Prosecute Torture Lawyers

Responding to reporters Tuesday, the president walked back from his “torture is a thing of the past” policy. While the administration still doesn’t want to hassle the good Germans who carried out torture, or even the superiors who ordered it, Obama said the Justice Department may go after the Bush lawyers who tried to legalize such abuses.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


Bybee Must Go

It is astonishing that someone who has proved in his memos to be so lacking in judgment and so ideologically twisted in his reasoning that he laid a blanket of legal immunity over those who wanted to torture now holds one of the most powerful and prestigious seats a lawyer can attain.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Stands Nuremberg on Its Head

President Obama’s decision to spare CIA torturers from prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their head. “Good Germans who were only following orders” are not exempt from the bar of justice. Individuals must be held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nam Y. Huh

Where’s Rev. Wright When You Need Him?

Israel and the United States will together boycott the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Geneva. Racism, an endemic feature of Israeli and American society, is not, we have decided, open for international inspection. It’s times like this President Obama would do well to heed the sermons of his former pastor.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Doing Nothing

Share
Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE    



Wikimedia Commons

The 183rd Time’s the Charm

Was it for information or revenge that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who claimed to be the mastermind behind 9/11, was waterboarded 183 times by the CIA? That figure, sussed out of a Justice Department memo by some enterprising bloggers and repeated in the pages of The New York Times, makes the president’s determination not to prosecute such torture all the more curious.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE


Armitage

Armitage on Torture, ‘AWOL’ Congress

Now that the Department of Justice has released the latest stunning Bush-era torture memos, this Al-Jazeera English interview with former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in which he admits that the Bush administration flouted the Geneva Conventions and that he probably should have resigned, is even more alarming.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Pastor Tasered
youtube.com / sanderson1611

Pastor Says Border Patrol Worked Him Over

Pastor Steven Anderson of Tempe, Ariz., says he was Tasered, assaulted and denied medical treatment after he refused to submit to a search by Border Patrol officers at an immigration checkpoint east of San Diego. The ACLU has called the area a “Constitution-free zone” where such abuse has become commonplace.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Gitmo Stretcher
guardian.co.uk

A Decision Not to Prosecute

After key Bush era CIA torture documents were released by the Obama administration, human rights officials are dismayed at the news that CIA agents who ordered and conducted torture will not be prosecuted.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Columbine Questions We Still Don’t Ponder

As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn’t yet matured past gun control and video games.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime That Must Be Punished

I realize that many Americans, given the scope of the economic crisis and the ambitions of the new administration, would rather look forward than revisit the past. The business of torture, however, is too unspeakable to be left unfinished.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama: The Extremists’ Nightmare

In the struggle against the extremists and terrorists, the new president understands how to divide the enemy and neutralize their base—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission. He got elected in the United States of America, after all.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Documenting 8 Years of Torture

Mark Danner made headlines last week with his essay in The New York Review of Books on the CIA’s use of torture and a secret report from the International Committee of the Red Cross detailing such practices. Find out why he says, “Torture is for people with weak nerves.”

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout

The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE


Salim el-Hoss
secint50.un.org

Human Rights Defenders Have It Tough in the Mideast

Dr Salim el-Hoss is 80 now but remains a staunch defender of human rights and democracy, an opponent of the death penalty and an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. When I recommended to him a long article on American torture, he read it right through to the end and then put the paper down with a slap on his knee. “Terrible, terrible,” he muttered.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 READ MORE


Warren CIA
abcnews.com

Sex Scandal Calls CIA’s Self-Policing Into Question

A CIA sex scandal, or, more precisely, allegations that a CIA agent raped two Algerian women, has raised questions in Congress about how the agency polices itself. Oddly, discussions of the controversy have failed to emphasize another significant “oops” moment in CIA operations regarding corruption and the need for oversight: torture.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE


British Intel Building
The Guardian / Frank Baron

This Is How We Did It

Growing evidence of British complicity  in “unacceptable activities,” including participation in U.S. torture practices, has prompted Prime Minister Gordon Brown to publish the rules that determine how U.K. intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 can interrogate suspects.

Posted on Mar 18, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Secret Report Documents CIA Torture

President Bush repeatedly claimed that the United States, under his leadership, did not torture, but a confidential report prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross found otherwise. The ICRC has a unique global role in monitoring the treatment of prisoners.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


Bush

Will Bush Ever Face World Court?

The International Criminal Court recently issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a move Sudanese officials denounced as politically motivated. Will it ever be the case that the ICC takes former U.S. President George W. Bush to task?

Posted on Mar 7, 2009 READ MORE


Why Did So Few Americans Give a Damn?

Justice Department documents that demonstrate the Bush administration’s view of the president’s constitutional power in a “state of war” tell us things we suspected but didn’t want to know.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Redacted memo
aclu.org

Nine Secret Bush-Era Documents Released

The Justice Department has released nine secret memos and opinions written by the Office of Legal Counsel that authorized some of the Bush administration’s unlawful national security policies.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Sudan's Al-Bashir
breakfornews.com

The ICC’s First Tooth

The International Criminal Court is getting its teeth, as judges have ordered the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity—including murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape—marking the first time the ICC has issued a warrant for a sitting head of state.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


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