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Palimpsest: A Memoir

Palimpsest: A Memoir

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Tag: Torture

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Warren I. Cohen on China’s Charm Offensive

The Beijing Olympics are proof that the rule of China’s Communist Party has been validated. Yet human rights abuses continue. What’s really going on? What kind of country is China becoming? Two new books help provide answers.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards
AP photo / Steven Senne

What’s Sex Got to Do With It?

If I had to choose between George W. Bush, naked and neighing on all fours while being ridden around the Oval Office by a spurred cowgirl Condoleezza Rice, or enduring his shredding of domestic and international law to wage an illegal war and bilking of the country on behalf of his corporate backers, I could learn to stomach a wide array of sexual escapades.

Posted on Aug 9, 2008 READ MORE


Shock Therapy Buzzes On

Tens of thousands of the desperately depressed sign up every year in the U.S. to have electricity-induced grand mal seizures even though nobody has ever figured out why the treatment works or how severe the associated brain damage is. The good news: You no longer have to be awake, and muscle relaxants now keep your bones from breaking.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


Avi Lewis Mexico

The U.S. Role in Mexico’s Drug War

Washington’s role in Mexico’s drug war, from the $400 million in annual military aid to the U.S. security contractors teaching torture techniques to Mexican police, is often ill-reported in the mainstream media. Canadian journalist Avi Lewis and the “Inside USA” television crew look critically into the conflict that has killed 1,800 people so far this year alone.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Palestinian Security Forces Accused of Torture

Fighting between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas has led to human rights abuses in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. A Palestinian human rights organization recently drew similar conclusions. Both sides have admitted to at least some of the findings of the report.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Legacy of Torture

I still find it hard to believe that George W. Bush, to his eternal shame and our nation’s great discredit, made torture a matter of hair-splitting, legalistic debate at the highest levels of the United States government. But that’s precisely what he did.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


Douche With Knife: Luciano Menendez
soberaniachile.cl

Argentine ‘Dirty War’ Murderer Gets Life

Former Argentine army officer and current scumbag Luciano Benjamin Menendez finally got what should have happened to him 30 years ago: a life sentence in jail for the kidnap, torture and murder of anti-dictatorship activists in 1977.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP

Justice Torture Memos Say ‘Good Faith’ Is Legal Defense

Ah, good intentions, with which that famous path was paved: According to Justice Department documents   obtained and released by the ACLU on Thursday—albeit heavily redacted—CIA interrogators were authorized to use waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” that they believed “in good faith” would not “have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Canada’s Slight Detour

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Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


Ashcroft
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Ashcroft Defends Waterboarding at House Hearing

Discussing the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, former Attorney General John Ashcroft said he didn’t think waterboarding constituted torture and that the technique produced “very valuable” reports. He was testifying on the Bush administration’s interrogation rules.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


Ashcroft testifies

Ashcroft Testifies About Guantanamo Interrogation Methods

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft fumbled as he was point-blanked about the goings-on at Guantanamo Bay during his tenure at the White House, claiming he had “limited recollection” of the events he was there to testify about and claiming he “wasn’t an expert in this arena when I was in office.” Updated

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


‘Kafka Comes to America’

Steven Wax’s new book provides an insider’s view of some of the most hideous practices our country has allowed since the 9/11 attacks. And that’s without giving accounts of torture and abuse of detainees.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 1st Class Shane T. McCoy

U.S. Borrowed Interrogation Methods From an Old Enemy

One man’s torture, it seems, is another’s “coercive management technique.” For decades the United States has maintained that American prisoners were tortured by the Chinese during the Korean War. Now it turns out that at least some of the interrogation methods used at Guantanamo Bay were lifted directly from an American study of China’s Korean War era practices.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Hitchens gets waterboarded

Waterboarding Christopher Hitchens

When Christopher Hitchens agreed to be waterboarded, he might have thought he’d last longer than 17 seconds, but, as the columnist put it, “everything completely goes on you when you’re breathing water.”

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


John Yoo

Way Beyond Waterboarding

Last week Rep. John Conyers tried to get a straight answer out of John Yoo, the former Bush administration lawyer who argued that the president had a legal right to order torture. The spectacle of Yoo equivocating over whether the president could have someone buried alive is something to behold.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


Courting Disaster

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Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

A Government of Law, Not Fear

John McCain and Barack Obama’s differences over the Supreme Court’s recent Guantanamo decision speak volumes about the two candidates and their competing visions for America.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Senators Fume Over Torture Revelations

With statements such as “if the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong” guiding our government’s thinking during the formation and implementation of interrogation techniques, it’s no wonder Carl Levin and others were outraged in the Senate on Tuesday.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE


Impatient Justice

The forceful language of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s decision in the case granting detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp the right to contest their confinement in federal court is the voice of a Supreme Court majority that is fed up.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


One for the Constitution

It shouldn’t be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can’t have individuals taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they’ve been unjustly imprisoned—not even on grounds of mistaken identity.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Kucinich Tilts at Impeachment

You cannot find a more complete and compelling indictment of the Bush administration than the Ohio representative has presented in his 35 articles of impeachment.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


McClellan
defectiveyeti.com

McClellan to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee

Scott McClellan is making an important stop on Capitol Hill as he continues his book tour to tout that obscure memoir he wrote about being Bush’s press secretary. According to The Huffington Post, McClellan has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the Valerie Plame identity leak case and possibly other entries in the list of Bush’s Greatest Hits during McClellan’s time as presidential spokesman.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Llinsley

Gitmo Lawyer Alleges Torture Evidence Destruction

A military lawyer for a Guantanamo detainee says it was standard operating procedure to destroy evidence of torture (or harsh interrogation techniques, as some call it) in order to “minimize certain legal issues.” Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler is concerned that, because of the policy, he will not be able to challenge the alleged confessions of his client, who was detained at the age of 15.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


KSM arraignment
AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

‘9/11 Mastermind’ Mohammed Says He Wants Death Penalty

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees appeared in court at the U.S. naval base’s Camp Justice for an arraignment that effectively sets the legal wheels in motion for the war crimes trials of Mohammed and his alleged 9/11 co-conspirators.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


Caballo y Jara
Memoria Popular

Probe Reopened in ‘73 Murder of Chilean Singer

The case of Victor Jara, the famous folk musician murdered by dictator Augusto Pinochet’s army in 1973, will be reopened due to new evidence provided by the musician’s family. Human rights groups see Jara’s case as important in keeping attention on Chilean human rights abusers who for the past 35 years have avoided jail time.

Posted on Jun 4, 2008 READ MORE


Egyptian Blogger Endured ‘Weeks of Torture and Humiliation’

An Egyptian blogger, Karim el-Beheiri, who was arrested with two former co-workers from Mahalla’s Misr Spinning and Weaving company (all three were fired after their arrest) on April 6 and released Sunday, said he and his colleagues were shocked, beaten and denied sustenance during their ordeal behind bars.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


tuol sleng bed
Flickr / SqueakyMarmot

Amnesty International Points to 60 Years of Failure

World leaders are about to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, but leading human rights organization Amnesty International says they should first apologize for failing to tackle widespread abuses around the world. The group’s annual report cites 81 countries for torture or maltreatment and chastises the United States for setting such a poor example.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

Where Is the Outrage?

Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of a 370-page report on U.S. complicity in torture.

Posted on May 27, 2008 READ MORE


Iron Man still
gizmodo.com

Torturing Iron Man

Those who haven’t seen this summer’s biggest blockbuster (so far, at least—this weekend’s “Indiana Jones” sequel may well change that) “Iron Man” and are planning to hit the multiplex might want to take a gander at this review. The article points out how “Iron Man” is the latest in a string of “pro-military” movies served up for youngsters’ consumption—even as two disastrous wars rage on overseas.

Posted on May 24, 2008 READ MORE


book cover
press.princeton.edu

Chalmers Johnson on Our ‘Managed Democracy’

Sheldon Wolin’s new book offers a controversial but ultimately convincing diagnosis of how America’s democracy has succumbed to an unacknowledged totalitarian temptation.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


The Face of Torture

Seven years after the 9/11 attacks, if we were to seek a portrait that is emblematic of the way the U.S. has tried—and failed—to bring those responsible for the heinous plot to justice, we would have to produce a photograph of Mohammed al-Qahtani.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


Guantanamo detainees
Shane T. McCoy / U.S. Navy

The Tortured Law on Torture

Ah, yes, those torture confessions have proved so useful. That, at least, was the claim of our president in justifying one of the most egregious assaults ever on this nation’s commitment to the rule of law. But now comes news that charges have been dropped against the so-called Sept. 11 attacks’ 20th hijacker, one of dozens so identified, because the “evidence” he supplied under torture and later recanted is not credible enough to go to trial.

Posted on May 13, 2008 READ MORE


Huffington and Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Arianna Huffington on McCain’s ‘Viagra’

Stephen Colbert is a feisty one, but he might have met his match in Huffington Post editrix Arianna Huffington, who came to his Thursday show sassy in lace and camera-ready with quips like, “You know what it’s like for John McCain to be endorsing torture? It’s like you becoming the president of the Grizzly Bear Fan Club.” In the nick of time, Colbert stole the show back from Huffington with his comeback to her best McCain zinger.

Posted on May 11, 2008 READ MORE


Sami Al-Haj
mcclatchydc.com

U.S. Releases Journalist After 6 Years

Sami al-Haj, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera, was released Thursday evening after spending almost seven years in U.S. custody, six of those as an inmate at Guantanamo Bay. Haj was never charged with any crime, nor was any evidence against him ever revealed.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


Bo Xilai
AP photo / Bullit Marquez

The High Price of Diplomacy With China

Two investigative reports uncover the Bush administration’s efforts to suppress legal proceedings against high-ranking Chinese officials—former Trade Minister Bo Xilai and Beijing’s Olympic Organizing Committee President Liu Qi—accused of torturing religious group members.

Posted on Apr 23, 2008 READ MORE


Rice in Greenwald ad

?Condi Must Go?

Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films is behind this ad targeting Condoleezza Rice for her role in the Bush administration’s torture policy. The 30-second spot is set to air following Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia.

Posted on Apr 16, 2008 READ MORE


Lethal Injection Gurney
Arizona Department of Corrections

Thou Shalt Kill

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that lethal injection cannot be included under the constitutional amendment barring cruel and unusual punishment, clearing the way for the lifting of state moratoriums on executions that were installed last September.

Posted on Apr 16, 2008 READ MORE


A Torture Debate Among Healers

The American Psychological Association is in the midst of its own heated presidential campaign. The central issue is whether APA members should be banned from participating in “harsh interrogations.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


The President’s Right to Poke Out Eyes

More shocking details are emerging from the 2003 81-page memo by former Justice Department senior lawyer John Yoo, who determined that the commander in chief can order poking out of eyes, slitting of body parts and throwing acid at prisoners, and none of that would constitute torture because it would not result in “death, organ failure or serious impairment of bodily functions.”

Posted on Apr 7, 2008 READ MORE


John Yoo
Washington Post / Karen Ballard

Torture’s Poet Laureate

A recently declassified memo shines the spotlight once again on John “Take Them to the Point of Death” Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor and once deputy legal counsel in the Justice Department.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
news.bbc.co.uk

Inside a CIA Black Site

A Yemeni man has told Amnesty International that he was abducted and tortured and spent nearly three years in secret prisons at the hands of the CIA. Khaled al-Maqtari says that without charge, legal representation or even a word to his family he was shuttled from one prison to another and ultimately dumped into Yemeni custody, once the U.S. had finished with him.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008 READ MORE


Wall St. traders watch Spitzer confession
AP photo / Richard Drew

Spitzer’s Shame Is Wall Street’s Gain

Tell me again: Why should we get all worked up over the revelation that the New York governor paid for sex? Will it bring back to life the eight U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq that same day in a war that makes no sense and has cost this nation trillions in future debt?

Posted on Mar 12, 2008 READ MORE


Bush and McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Why George Bush Loves John McCain

The president must be delighted with the Arizona senator, a candidate who is credited as a foreign policy authority despite his devotion to the long-term occupation of Iraq.

Posted on Mar 11, 2008 READ MORE


waterboarding protest
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Waterboarding, ‘Harsh’ Techniques OK by Bush

The reputation of the U.S. on the world stage might be further colored by President Bush’s veto of a bill that would have limited the CIA’s (and other intelligence agencies’) array of interrogation techniques to those in the Army field manual. In defending Saturday’s veto, Bush once again invoked 9/11.

Posted on Mar 8, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Warren Cohen on the Rise (and Fall) of the Neocons

Just who are the “neocons,” where did they come from and how was it they came to wield so profound an influence among the highest circles of America’s policy elites? These are some of the questions asked by Jacob Heilbrunn in his new book, “They Knew They Were Right.”

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


Slowdown

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Posted on Mar 2, 2008 READ MORE


Taxi to the Dark Side

On the Sunday following Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney told the truth. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said regarding plans to pursue the perpetrators of that attack: “We have to work the dark side, if you will. We’re going to spend time in the shadows.”

Posted on Feb 27, 2008 READ MORE


Cloonan

Interrogator: Torture Endangers America

Former FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan spills the beans to Foreign Policy Magazine about the techniques he used on top al-Qaida operatives. Cloonan explains that the ticking-time-bomb scenario often used to rationalize torture is a myth and that waterboarding only motivates the enemy to get revenge—even if it takes a generation.

Posted on Feb 25, 2008 READ MORE


Gibney
Truthdig

Alex Gibney in Conversation With Robert Scheer

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews documentarian Alex Gibney about his 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” a compelling examination of the circumstances that led Americans to commit torture.

Posted on Feb 24, 2008 READ MORE


Justice Investigates Itself Over Waterboarding Approval

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating memos and opinions rendered by the department that endorsed the practice of waterboarding, which many consider to be torture. The inquiry is unrelated to the FBI’s criminal investigation of the CIA, which destroyed video recordings of the waterboarding of suspects.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


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