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Tag: Torture

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

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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



U.S. Navy / Photographer's Mate 1 Shane T. McCoy

CIA Torture Coverup Was Worse Than We Knew

Remember those two videotapes documenting “enhanced interrogation” that the CIA destroyed, despite a judge’s order to preserve such evidence? Well, it turns out the agency wiped 90 more just like them.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Bombing Human Rights?
Air Force

Room for Improvement ... Even at Home

In announcing her department’s annual human rights report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made multiple references to the elephant in the room—the United States’ own tarnished record, saying “America must first be an exemplar of our own ideals.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Under New Management

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Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Carmaker, Banker, Broker ...

Obama must deal with a new presidential role that he did not seek but cannot avoid: managing big chunks of the private-sector economy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



DoD

PR Worries Stalled Release of Gitmo Inmates

A 2006 memo from the State Department to the U.S. Transportation Command suggested holding Guantanamo detainees after they had been cleared in order to avoid bad press. “Got it ... Thank you,” was the reply, and indeed, no prisoners flew out of Guantanamo for three months.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


Club Gitmo
rushlimbaugh.com

Limbaugh Selling ‘Club Gitmo’ Gear

Leave it to the proto-fascists to find a way to make money off torture, human rights abuses and the degradation of America’s image abroad. Rush Limbaugh has found it acceptable to sell “Club Gitmo” shirts on his Web site, complete with the image of a diving board and swimming pool (water + board, get it?).

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Afghan Trap

Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war? The Obama regime is gunning for more fighting in Afghanistan at a time when the U.S. should be seeking more talk.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Napolitano
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama’s Immigration Conundrum

One of the worst messes facing the Obama administration is the disgraceful state of the federal government’s immigration detention centers.

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Guantanamo’s Last Terror Trial

The legacy of terror trials at Guantanamo Bay has potentially come to an end, as a judge has dropped the charges for the last case at the naval base in accord with President Obama’s executive order to halt all court proceedings there.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Unhindered by Talent

Obama Keeps Renditions In the Toolbox

President Obama may be trying to shut down Guantanamo and CIA black sites, but he’s decided to make renditions a part of his regime. In case you’ve repressed it along with other Bush-era nightmares, extraordinary rendition is what the U.S. calls kidnapping someone and sending him to a nasty place to be tortured.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


Tsvangirai Beaten
dailymail.co.uk

Mugabe Learns How to Share ... Maybe

The ever-unfolding democratic drama in Zimbabwe has revealed a new, potentially less contentious chapter. Opposition leader and once-exiled politician Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will join a government as prime minister with President Robert Mugabe in a power-sharing agreement between the two rival parties.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail

Millions have served time in U.S. prisons for crimes that fall far short of those attributed to the Bush administration. Some criminals, it seems, are like banks judged too big to fail: too big to jail, too powerful to prosecute.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Released

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Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Civilian Courts Can Deal With Terrorism Cases

There is absolutely no reason to create some newfangled and untested system to charge and try those few terrorism suspects whose legal fates present President Obama with an excruciating political decision.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Salvage Operation

Repairing the damage that George W. Bush did to the nation’s values, honor and pride will be complicated and, at times, politically inconvenient. But nothing is more urgent, and nothing will ultimately reap more benefits at home and abroad.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Must Halt America’s Moral Decline

Barack Obama’s is a restoration presidency. His job in office, as during the campaign, is to summon up the better America that was abandoned or repudiated during the past eight years by his predecessor.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


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