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The Progressive Review

TORTURE UNDERNEWS

TOPICS

Gitmo
Just the facts

Links
Reading
Tasers

LINKS

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A GUIDE TO AMERICAN USE OF TORTURE

A HISTORY OF ENHANCED INTERROGATION

DISGUSTING SCENES FROM ABU GHRAIB PAID FOR WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS

JUST THE FACTS

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ACLU: 92% of Gitmo detainees were never Al Qaeda. 86% turned over to coalition forces for a bounty. Youngest was 13. Oldest was ... 98. Over 200 FBI Agents reported abusive treatments. Bush released 532 prisoners. Obama: 68. 171 left

Torture is prohibited by law throughout the United States. It is categorically denounced as a matter of policy and as a tool of state authority. Every act constituting torture under the Convention constitutes a criminal offense under the law of the United States. No official of the government, federal, state or local, civilian or military, is authorized to commit or to instruct anyone else to commit torture. Nor may any official condone or tolerate torture in any form. No exceptional circumstances may be invoked as a justification of torture. US law contains no provision permitting otherwise prohibited acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to be employed on grounds of exigent circumstances (for example, during a 'state of public emergency' or on orders from a superior officer or public authority, and the protective mechanisms of an independent judiciary are not subject to suspension. - Report of the United States to the UN Committee against Torture, October 15, 1999

FORGOTTEN WORDS

From the international Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. . .

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture. . .

No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature. . .

Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided in the law of that State but may be continued only for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings to be instituted.

From the 1949 Geneva Convention

Attacks may be made solely against military targets. Parties to a conflict must distinguish between civilians and combatants, and civilians may not be attacked.

It is forbidden to kill or wound an adversary who has surrendered or who can no longer take part in the fighting.

Prisoners are entitled to respect for their life, their dignity, their personal rights, and their beliefs.

Torture, cruel or degrading corporal and other punishment is forbidden.

GITMO

Guatanamo is costing us $1.2 million a day

Gitmo hunger strike

Gitmo, 11 years later

Gitmo guards beat up their own guy, give him brain injuries

2012

U.S. used truth serum on Gitmo prisoners

Supreme Court screws Gitmo prisoners

2010

MEDIA CENSORSHIP AT GITMO

U.S. HAS LOST 75% OF ITS GITMO HABEAS CASES

BUSH GANG KNOWINGLY DUMPED INNOCENTS INTO GITMO

OBAMA CONSIDERING USING ABU GRAB EAST FOR GITMO PRISONERS

ACLU: 92% of Gitmo detainees were never Al Qaeda. 86% turned over to coalition forces for a bounty. Youngest was 13. Oldest was ... 98. Over 200 FBI Agents reported abusive treatments. Bush released 532 prisoners. Obama: 68. 171 left

The only way to extract information was more physical pain. - Army psychologist at GItmo

U.S. forced high dosage of dangerous drug on Gitmo prisoners

OBAMA REPORTED PLANNING TO USE BAGRAM AS THE NEW GITMO

PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN?

NOTE FROM AN FBI AGENT SENT TO GITMO

GITMO SURVIVOR DESCRIBES THE USE OF MUSIC AS TORTURE

MURDER COVERUP AT GITMO

SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO HEAR GITMO TORTURE CASE CLAIMING DETAINEES ARE NOT "PERSONS"

FROM GITMO TO SUPERMAX

REPORT FINDS CONTINUED ABUSE AT GITMO

THE GROTESQUE WORLD OF GITMO

THE GITMO YOU DON'T HEAR ABOUT

2008

New leaked files on GItmo list U.S. misdeeds

ACLU: 92% of Gitmo detainees were never Al Qaeda.

GITMO INTERROGATORS TOLD TO DESTROY HANDWRITTEN NOTES

FBI DOCUMENTED WIDESPREAD GITMO WAR CRIMES,
BUT WAS ORDERED TO CLOSE DOWN FILE

JOINT CHIEFS CHAIR SAYS GITMO PRISON SHOULD BE CLOSED

PENTAGON LAWYER WHO TRIED TO RIG GITMO CASES RESIGNS

THE NATION - William J. Haynes, the Pentagon's chief legal officer and overseer of Guantanamo's Military Commissions, is stepping down, amid mounting controversy over the tribunal process, so he can "return to private life," the Department of Defense announced late on Monday. Haynes' resignation comes exactly two weeks after landmark charges were brought against six "high-value" Guantanamo detainees. . .

His infamous memos and public statements advocated torture and the denial of habeas corpus for detainees. In a 2002 memo, he recommended techniques such as "twenty-hour interrogations, isolation for up to thirty days, deprivation of light and auditory stimuli. . . and stress positions such as the proposed standing for four hours." In response to this last technique, Haynes's boss at the time, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, wrote in the memo's margins, "I stand 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours." Haynes also wanted to keep death threats, waterboarding and exposure to extreme temperatures on the table as interrogation methods. He stated, "Fact: The detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are not protected by the Geneva Conventions.". . .

http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20080310&s=tuttle2

2007

MORE GITMO CRUELTY REVEALED BY FBI

[The Washington buried this story in its business section]

DAN EGGEN, WASHINGTON POST - FBI agents witnessed possible mistreatment of the Koran at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including at least one instance in which an interrogator squatted over Islam's holy text in an apparent attempt to offend a captive, according to bureau documents released yesterday. . .

In another incident that month, interrogators wrapped a bearded prisoner's head in duct tape "because he would not stop quoting the Koran," according to an FBI agent, the documents show. The agent, whose account was corroborated by a colleague, said that a civilian contractor laughed about the treatment and was eager to show it off.

2006

BRITAIN'S TOP LEGAL OFFICIAL CALLS GITMO 'SHOCKING AFFRONT'

Guantanamo Bay is a "shocking affront to the principles of democracy" and a violation of the rule of law, the lord chancellor, Lord Falconer, said today. The criticism from the highest-ranking official in the British legal system represents the most direct government attack yet on the US military detention camp. . . Lord Falconer said Washington was "deliberately seeking to put the Guantánamo detainees beyond the reach of law" and that "use of torture by a state is contrary to fundamental human rights law". . . "Democracies can only survive where judges have the power to protect the rights of the individual," he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,,1871628,00.html

BUSH REGIME TORTURING GITMO PRISONERS TO FORCE FOOD INTO THEM

DAVID ROSE, OBERSER, UK - New details have emerged of how the growing number of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay are being tied down and force-fed through tubes pushed down their nasal passages into their stomachs to keep them alive. They routinely experience bleeding and nausea, according to a sworn statement by the camp's chief doctor, seen by The Observer.

'Experience teaches us' that such symptoms must be expected 'whenever nasogastric tubes are used,' says the affidavit of Captain John S Edmondson, commander of Guantanamo's hospital. The procedure - now standard practice at Guantanamo - 'requires that a foreign body be inserted into the body and, ideally, remain in it.' But staff always use a lubricant, and 'a nasogastric tube is never inserted and moved up and down. It is inserted down into the stomach slowly and directly, and it would be impossible to insert the wrong end of the tube.' Medical personnel do not insert nasogastric tubes in a manner 'intentionally designed to inflict pain.'

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,16937,1681736,00.html? gusrc=rss

New signs of torture investigation cover up

Guardian - More lawyers for men allegedly tortured by the CIA are coming forward to say that the major US criminal investigation into torture never interviewed their clients. The Justice Department inquiry, concluded in 2012 without charging anyone involved in the CIA’s Bush-era network of secret prisons, is receiving new scrutiny thanks to a United Nations committee hearing in Geneva this week examining US compliance with international anti-torture law.

Looking at US conduct on torture for the first time since 2006, the committee on Wednesday specifically asked a US delegation about the defunct investigation, conducted by John Durham, an assistant US attorney in Connecticut.

Attorneys representing five former CIA detainees, all of whom allege the agency was involved in their detention or rendition, now say Durham never interviewed their clients, either . One of them said he specifically suggested to Durham that he speak with his client.

Lawyers for Walid bin Attash, one of the co-defendants in a military tribunal for the 9/11 attacks, said that Durham did not interview their client. Bin Attash is one of several people held at Guantánamo Bay’s Camp 7, for “high-value” detainees once in CIA custody.

In a secret CIA prison, believed to be in Poland, Bin Attash’s captors placed a collar around his neck that they would use to “slam me against the walls of the interrogation room”, he told the International Committee of the Red Cross in a leaked report. He estimates that for days on end, his captors kept him standing, naked, chained to the ceiling.

“It’s undeniable that the detainees who were tortured would have highly relevant information about their torture,” said David Remes, who represents Abdulsalam al-Hela and Hassan bin Attash, two Yemeni nationals who are currently detained at Guantánamo Bay.

Before arriving at Guantánamo, Hela and Bin Attash were held at a suspected CIA facility near Kabul, Afghanistan known as the “dark prison”. While there, Remes said, Hela’s “arm was chained to the wall three feet up”, requiring painful contortions, while officials blasted the darkened prison with loud music and flashed “strobe lights” in Hela’s eyes.

At the same prison, Bin Attash – the younger brother of Walid bin Attash – was shackled to the ceiling, with his toes barely able to touch the floor, Remes said.

Nobel Laureates want to full disclsureof American torture

Portside - Twelve fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates have written an open letter to President Barack Obama, urging the 2009 recipient of the award to finally close one of the "dark chapters" of recent U.S. history by first acknowledging, and then rejecting, the "flagrant use of torture and other violations of international law" that have been conducted in the name of "fighting terrorism" since 2001.

Written by the laureates as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee continue to press the White House and CIA on disclosing the findings of their investigation into some of the worst practices of inhumane treatment during the presidency of George W. Bush, the letter argues that the damage done by these acts has been not been isolated to the individual victims of U.S. torture.

"When a nation’s leaders condone and even order torture, that nation has lost its way," the letter states. "One need only look to the regimes where torture became a systematic practice – from Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany to the French in Algeria, South Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge and others – to see the ultimate fate of a regime so divorced from their own humanity."

The laureates continue, "As torture continues to haunt the waking hours of its victims long after the conflict has passed, so it will continue to haunt its perpetrators."

Amnesty International: Obamadmin responsible for torture, too

Why the partial release of CIA torture report isn't enough

Barry Eisler, Firedog Lake - First, note that only portions of the report will be declassified, and that the White House and the CIA will be heavily involved in the decision about what those portions will be. Explain this to a child — “the subject of a damning report gets to decide how much of the report will be revealed” — and the child would laugh at the obvious absurdity. In America, of course, such nonsense is simply the oligarchical norm.

Second, the report was never intended to, nor will it, lead to prosecutions for those involved in torture. ...

Third, the primary, saddest, most pernicious effect of the release of some portions of the report is that the release will solidify America’s prevailing narrative on torture, which is that the appropriate question to ask about torture is, “did it work.” CIA critics will point to evidence that torture didn’t work; CIA defenders will counter with evidence that it did. The public will be left with a powerful metamessage that what really matters is the question of whether torture is effective.

Obama withheld 9,000 pages of torture documents from congressional investigation

Washington Examiner - White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the Obama administration withheld a “tiny percentage” of documents from a Senate investigation into torture practices, citing “executive branch confidentiality issues.”

The administration chose not to turn over 9,000 documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, McClatchy first reported.

Carney did not confirm nor deny the figure but conceded that the White House had not given everything requested by a Senate panel probing torture by U.S. forces under President George W. Bush.

2013

Over two million Americans given drug Soviets used on dissidents

CIA paid for Poland torture center

Gitmo torture cont 'd

Obama moves torture and interrogation on board ships


Gitmo's torture chambers

Federal judge says that government contractors can torture overseas with impunity

Pentagon declares war on free press

Hillary Clinton on torture

Evidence links U.S. and Petreaus to Iraq torture centers

Morning Line: Echoes of Wannsee

Obama's CIA nominee knew torture was going on

U.S. tortured prisoners with Sesame Street songs

Obama budgets for another torture prison

Obamadmin lets Abu Ghraib torture contractor off the hook

2012

Romney would bring waterboarding back

Judge rules that Gitmo torture evidence can be kept secret

Italy's top court upholds convictions of 23 Americans for renditions

An Italian court upped the sentences for 23 CIA agents convicted in absentia of abducting an Egyptian imam in one of the biggest cases against the US "extraordinary rendition" program. . .

Big Bird said to be used to torture prisoners at Gitmo

CIA
BACK TO TOP

Inside CIA's Poland torture camp

CIA's torture prison in Poland

CIA worked closely with Libya on tortures and renditions

ABC FINDS SECRET CIA TORTURE PRISON

Bush administration
BACK TO TOP

2012

Inside the Bush administration's torture manual

2010

Bush admin tried to conceal anti-torture memo

Amnesty International has called for the criminal proseuction of George Bush for using waterboard torture.

BUSH ADMITS CRIME OF TORTURE

CHENEY ADMITS TO ROLE IN TORTURE CONSPIRACY

Top UN torture official says Maning's treatment was "cruel, inhuman"

How even 48 hours of isolation damages the brain

Obama: It's okay to torture but you get up to 30 years in prison for revealing it

Appeals court allows Rumsfeld torture trial to move ahead

Judge rules against Obamadmin trying to prevent torture suit

Obama seeks end of Spanish trial of Bush regime torturers

Supermax torture in America

2010

DOCUMENTS REVEAL DETAILS OF CIA'S WATERBOARDING & OTHER CRIMES

CIA TO GET AWAY WITH DESTROYING TORTURE VIDEOS

DOWNING STREET SAYS WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE

CIA LAWYER DEFENDS TORTURE AS LEGAL

FEDS JOIN ANTI-TASER TORTURE SUIT

U.S. MILITARY JUDGE RULES IT'S OKAY TO THREATEN RAPE TO GET A CONFESSION

WHEN DOCTORS BECOME TORTURERS

OBAMA TO HAVE FIRST CHILD SOLDIER TRIED SINCE WORLD WAR II

BRITISH TORTURE OF YOUTH PRISONERS REVEALED

RETIRED GENERAL: "WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT WE DID TORTURE PEOPLE"

U.S. PERMITTED IRAQI TORTURE PRISON

MAINE LEGISLATURE VOTES TO CONTINUE PRISON TORTURE

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LETS TORTURE LAWYERS OFF WITH BARELY A SLAP

LOS ANGELES JAIL TO USE PAIN RAY TORTURE ON PRISONERS

MEDIA HAS STOPPED CALLING WATERBOARDING TORTURE

CIA OPERATIVE MISLED ON WATERBOARDING

GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL'S TORTURE PRISONS STILL GOING STRONG IN AFGHANISTAN

UN STUDY: SECRET DETENTIONS MAY BE CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

CIA DOC REVEALS OKAY TO DESTROY TORTURE EVIDENCE

TWO 12 YEAR OLD BOYS TASERED BY COPS

THE TORTURE OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL'S TORTURE PRISONS
STILL GOING STRONG IN AFGHANISTAN

RECOVERED HISTORY: CLINTON STARTED RENDITIONS

CIA RAPE WITH BROKEN BOTTLES, BOILING PEOPLE ALIVE,
TORTURING CHILDREN IN FRONT OF PARENTS

MUSICIANS PROTEST USE OF SONGS FOR TORTURE

2009

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT SAYS IT'S OKAY FOR GOVERNMENT TO ILLEGALLY ARREST, TORTURE AND SUBMIT TO RENDITION AN INNOCENT PERSON

OBAMA FIGHTING TO CONCEAL TORTURE EVIDENCE

OBAMA CHOOSES CIA OFFICIAL INVOLVED IN BUSH TORTURE PLANS TO HELP GUIDE INTERROGATIONS

NEW LIST OF CIA TORTURE TECHNIQUES

ACLU CHARGES AMERICAN SEIZED & TORTURED AT U.S. BEHEST

BRITISH MILITARY SOURCES: US & BRITISH TROOPS TAUGHT TORTURE

WHY OBAMA MAY NOT WANT ANY MORE TORTURE PICTURES RELEASED

ONE REASON THE DEMOCRATS MAY BE NERVOUS ABOUT INVESTIGATING TORTURE AND RENDITIONS

MEMOS DESCRIBE SLEEP DENIAL TO BE SERIOUS TORTURE

SWEDES KNEW ABOUT CIA TORTURE FLIGHTS

CIA WATERBOARDED TWO AL-QAIDA GUERRILLAS 266 TIMES

DID RICE ADMIT PART IN TORTURE CRIME?

2004 FBI EMAIL SAYS BUSH APPROVED TORTURE

DOZENS OF CIA PRISONERS STILL MISSING

DESPERATE RELIANCE ON TORTURE REVEALS HOW FEW SPIES CIA REALLY HAD

JAY ROCKEFELLER SUPPORTED CIA TORTURE

UAE ROYAL SHEIKH FILMED ENGAGING IN TORTURE

UN TORTURE MONITOR SAYS OBAMA IS BOUND TO PROSECUTE VIOLATORS

RED CROSS SAYS MEDICAL WORKERS HELPED IN CIA TORTURE

OBAMA PRAISES BRITAIN FOR CONCEALING RENDITION INFORMATION

RAGING AGAINST THE TORTURE MACHINE

ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS IT'S OKAY TO TORTURE AS LONG AS YOU THINK IT'S LEGAL

ATTORNEY GENERAL APPOINTS TORTURE ADVOCATE AS TOP AIDE

MCCAIN WASN'T TORTURED; JUST ASK BUSH & CHENEY

Daily Kos - From Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish: "In all the discussion of John McCain's recently recovered memory of a religious epiphany in Vietnam, one thing has been missing. The torture that was deployed against McCain emerges in all the various accounts. It involved sleep deprivation, the withholding of medical treatment, stress positions, long-time standing, and beating. Sound familiar?

"According to the Bush administration's definition of torture, McCain was therefore not tortured. Cheney denies that McCain was tortured; as does Bush. So do John Yoo and David Addington and George Tenet. In the one indisputably authentic version of the story of a Vietnamese guard showing compassion, McCain talks of the agony of long-time standing. A quarter century later, Don Rumsfeld was putting his signature to memos lengthening the agony of "long-time standing" that victims of Bush's torture regime would have to endure. These torture techniques are, according to the president of the United States, merely "enhanced interrogation."

Sullivan's coup de grace: "In the Military Commissions Act, McCain acquiesced to the use of these techniques against terror suspects by the CIA. And so the tortured became the enabler of torture. Someone somewhere cried out in pain for the same reasons McCain once did. And McCain let it continue."

2008

This photo, showing a prisoner of war with lips sewn together and face wired was leaked from a military computer. Details

HEAD OF PSYCHOLOGISTS ASSOCIATION HELPED CIA WITH TORTURE

Democracy Now - New information has been revealed about the role psychologists played in helping the CIA develop its torture techniques. In her new book The Dark Side, Jane Mayer reveals a former president of the American Psychological Association, Martin Seligman, was invited by the CIA in the spring of 2002 to speak at the Navy's SERE school in San Diego. In the 1960s, Seligman experimented on dogs and found that by shocking a dog repeatedly and randomly, he could brutalize it emotionally into a state of complete passivity. Seligman spoke for three hours about his theory of learned helplessness. His theories were later adapted for use in CIA prisons. Seligman is the second APA president to be linked to the CIA's torture program. Last year, it was revealed former APA president Joseph Matarazzo is a partner in the Spokane firm Mitchell & Jessen that was contracted to design the CIA interrogations program. Unlike other medical associations, the APA has refused to unequivocally condemn torture.

CORPORATION DEVISES NEW CROWD TORTURE WEAPON

SECRET RED CROSS REPORT SAYS THE CIA TORTURED AL QAEDA DETAINEES

Progress Report -"Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation methods for high-level al Qaeda prisoners constituted torture," according to a new book by investigative reporter Jane Mayer. The report found that the Bush administration "may have committed 'grave breaches' of the Geneva Conventions" and that the officials who approved the methods could be "guilty of war crimes." The report, which Mayer cited in less detail last year in the New Yorker, says that al Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah told the Red Cross "that he had been waterboarded at least 10 times in a single week and as many as three times in a day." Abu Zubaydah also was confined in a box "so small he said he had to double up his limbs in the fetal position" and was "one of several prisoners to be 'slammed against the walls.'" The Red Cross concluded that the methods used on Zubaydah were "categorically" torture. In August 2007, after Mayer's initial New Yorker article on the report was published, President Bush replied, "[I] haven't seen it; we don't torture" when asked about the report. But according to Mayer's book, the CIA showed the report to both Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

U.S. CHARGED WITH OPERATING FLOATING PRISONS, CONTINUING RENDITIONS

THE CIA'S VIEW OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

From a CIA reply to an ACLU FOIA request about waterboarding

ABC: TOP BUSH AIDES MET DOZENS OF TIMES TO APPROVE TORTURE

WHY UC BERKELEY SHOULD FIRE ITS TORTURE PROFESSOR

TORTURE IS ILLEGAL UNDER U.S. LAW

SCALIA SAYS TORTURE ISN'T PUNISHMENT

TOP US GENERAL HOODWINKED OVER TORTURE

ACLU UNCOVERS MORE U.S. TORTURE IN AFGHANISTAN

THE DOMESTIC TORTURE OF SUPERMAX PRISONS

MORE PHOTOS FROM ABU GHRAIB

ATTORNEY GENERAL DOESN'T KNOW WHETHER TORTURE IS ILLEGAL

CHERTOFF OKAYED TORTURE - INCLUDING WATERBOARDING - WHILE AT JUSTICE

TUTU: TERROR PRISONS LIKE APARTHEID PRACTICES

HEY KIDS, YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO TORTURE PEOPLE

JUST IN CASE THEY REALLY BAN WATERBOARDING, HERE'S SOMETHING ELSE TO USE

IS ALAN DERSHOWITZ A CLOSET ANTI-SEMITE? WANTS US TO USE TORTURE BECAUSE IT WORKED FOR THE NAZIS

FOUR RETIRED JUDGES ADVOCATE GENERAL SAY WATERBOARDING ALWAYS TORTURE

WATERBOARDING WAS ILLEGAL IN U.S. 60 YEARS AGO

GERMAN DESCRIBES AMERICAN TORTURE IN AFGHNISTAN

2007

BUSH'S FRATBOY APPROACH TO TORTURE

PAUL KRASSNER - I asked Sam Leff--given his background as an anthropologist studying and writing about the hidden rituals of American sadomasochism--for his take on the CIAs cover-up of torture videos.

"I have been watching with fascinated horror," he said, as America's S/M patterns of culture have emerged into the open in the Abu Ghraib/Gitmo Bush administration. "I've been flashing on some clear images of the fratboy reality underlying the White House torture tape controversy."

"Picture this. Bush and Karl Rove sitting around a big plasma screen (drinking beer?) and laughing their asses off watching helpless prisoners drowning under a waterboard, or naked getting cigarette burns, or maybe having analgesic balm applied to their genitals.

"Once the existence of the tapes became known, their cover story is that they were having a big discussion about whether or not to keep or destroy the torture tapes. Like that old pervert, J. Edgar Hoover, the reality is they were getting off looking at them as sadistic porn--over and over. Perhaps sharing them with the frat brothers of their inner circle."

Indeed, in November 2005, Garry Trudeau was queried by Editor & Publisher about his Doonesbury strip the previous Sunday which had George Bush defending the branding of Yale University fraternity initiates with a red-hot coat-hanger in 1967, and Trudeau replied that it was "totally fact based. Bush's comment in panel seven is a direct quote." He was referring to the collegiate Bush saying, "Insignificant! There's no scarring mark physically or mentally!"

Some pledges told the Yale Daily News that their branding was preceded by a physical beating. Said one: "By that time, my body was so numb [from the beatings] that the iron felt good, like a match was being held close to my body." Bush, who was president of the fraternity, said that the resulting wound was only a cigarette burn. Or maybe enhanced pledging technique.

FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT OF CIA TORTURE

BOING BOING - Salon features a long first-person account of Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, who was kidnapped to a CIA "black site" torture camp. It's strong and scary stuff, and the people responsible deserve to be hauled into court, shown up for the criminals they are and stuck in a cell for the rest of their lives. The traitors in government who sanctioned this program should join them. Torture is a cancer. Extrajudicial imprisonment is a cancer. These things rot democracy. They rot nations.

The CIA held Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah in several different cells when he was incarcerated its network of secret prisons known as "black sites." But the small cells were all pretty similar, maybe 7 feet wide and 10 feet long. He was sometimes naked, and sometimes handcuffed for weeks at a time. In one cell his ankle was chained to a bolt in the floor. There was a small toilet. In another cell there was just a bucket. Video cameras recorded his every move. The lights always stayed on -- there was no day or night. A speaker blasted him with continuous white noise, or rap music, 24 hours a day.

The guards wore black masks and black clothes. They would not utter a word as they extracted Bashmilah from his cell for interrogation -- one of his few interactions with other human beings during his entire 19 months of imprisonment. Nobody told him where he was, or if he would ever be freed.

It was enough to drive anyone crazy. Bashmilah finally tried to slash his wrists with a small piece of metal, smearing the words "I am innocent" in blood on the walls of his cell. But the CIA patched him up.

So Bashmilah stopped eating. But after his weight dropped to 90 pounds, he was dragged into an interrogation room, where they rammed a tube down his nose and into his stomach. Liquid was pumped in. The CIA would not let him die.

CIA AGENT ADMITS AGENCY TORTURED PRISONERS WITH WHITE HOUSE APPROVAL

THE LIST: RULES OF WAR AS OUTLINED IN THE 1949 GENEVA CONVENTIONS

1. Attacks may be made solely against military targets. Parties to a conflict must distinguish between civilians and combatants, and civilians may not be attacked.

2. Persons who do not or can no longer take part in the hostilities are entitled to respect for their life and for their physical and mental integrity.

3. It is forbidden to kill or wound an adversary who has surrendered or who can no longer take part in the fighting.

4. The wounded and sick must be cared for by the party that holds them. Medical personnel and facilities, identified by the Red Cross or Red Crescent symbol, must not be attacked.

5. Prisoners are entitled to respect for their life, their dignity, their personal rights, and their beliefs.

6. Torture, cruel or degrading corporal and other punishment is forbidden.

7. Weapons and methods of warfare likely to cause unnecessary losses or excessive suffering, or severe or long-term damage to the environment, may not be used.

PELOSI TOLD ABOUT CIA'S WATERBOARDING AND DIDN'T OBJECT

Two senior Republicans and Democrats in Congress -- including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- were briefed on the CIA's program to use waterboarding on terror suspects in September 2002 and did not object, according to Sunday's Washington Post. . . A Pelosi aide said the Speaker remembered discussion of "enhanced" interrogation techniques and "acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time."

"In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody," the Post wrote. "For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk."

"Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill," the Post added. "But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said."

PSYCHOLOGISTS MOVE TO CONDEMN BUSH'S TORTURE PRACTICES

CIA TORTURE TECHNIQUES OUTLINED

WASHINGTON POST - Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was subjected to the CIA's harshest interrogation methods while he was held in secret prisons around the world for more than three years, part of an interrogation regimen that the International Committee of the Red Cross has called "tantamount to torture," according to a New Yorker article published on the magazine's Web site. . .

Unnamed Washington sources told Mayer that Mohammed said he was held naked in his cell, questioned by female interrogators to humiliate him, attached to a dog leash and made to run into walls, and put in painful positions while chained to the floor. Mohammed also said he was "waterboarded" -- a simulated drowning -- in addition to being held in suffocating heat and painfully cold conditions. . . Mohammed's captors also told him shortly after his arrest in March 2003: "We're

CIA TORTURE FLIGHT DESCRIBED

DAVID ROSE, OBSERVER - An Iraqi who was a key source of intelligence for MI5 has given the first ever full insider's account of being seized by the CIA and bundled on to an illegal 'torture flight' under the program known as extraordinary rendition.

In a remarkable interview for The Observer, British resident Bisher al-Rawi has told how he was betrayed by the security service despite having helped keep track of Abu Qatada, the Muslim cleric accused of being Osama bin Laden's 'ambassador in Europe'. He was abducted and stripped naked by US agents, clad in nappies, a tracksuit and shackles, blindfolded and forced to wear ear mufflers, then strapped to a stretcher on board a plane bound for a CIA 'black site' jail near Kabul in Afghanistan.

He was taken on to the jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba before being released last March and returned to Britain after four years' detention without charge.

CIA WHISTLEBLOWERS HELPED UNCOVER AGENCY'S TORTURE PROGRAM

U.S. USING ETHIOPIA AS TORTURE CENTER

SPIEGEL, GERMANY - Terror suspects have been questioned by US officials in Ethiopia after being transferred from Somalia and Kenya. The captives included Europeans who were detained, interrogated and then released without charge. . .

Swedish citizen Munir Awad, 25, who was only released three weeks ago, told Der Spiegel that he had travelled with his 17-year-old girlfriend Safia Benaouda, also a Swedish citizen, to Mogadishu in December. He says that after the Ethiopian troops invaded they fled to Kenya, where they were arrested by local militia and US soldiers and sent to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Awad claims that they were held on a military base and interrogated, sometimes for 12 hours at a time or longer, and were not given access to a lawyer. He says that they were accused by the Americans of being al-Qaida fighters. DNA samples were taken and they were questioned about Swedish Muslims. He says they were sometimes beaten or choked and only those who cooperated were allowed to sit or were given something to eat.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,487893,00.html

NUREMBERG PROSECUTOR SAYS HE'S AGHAST AT GUANTANAMO

JANE SUTTON, REUTERS - The U.S. war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo have betrayed the principles of fairness that made the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg a judicial landmark, one of the U.S. Nuremberg prosecutors said on Monday. "I think Robert Jackson, who's the architect of Nuremberg, would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on at Guantanamo," Nuremberg prosecutor Henry King Jr. told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"It violates the Nuremberg principles, what they're doing, as well as the spirit of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.". . .

http://www.unknownnews.org/070611-Nuremberg.html

STRONG SUPPORT FOR TORTURE, ROUGH TREATMENT OF NON COMBATANTS AMONG U.S. TROOPS

AL JAZEERA - Almost one in ten US combat troops deployed in Iraq have mistreated a civilian, according to a new survey conducted by an army mental health advisory team. The survey, released on Friday, also found that less than half of the soldiers and marines surveyed would report a fellow serviceman for killing or injuring an innocent Iraqi. . .

The 89-page report found that the US troops surveyed had on average:

Insulted or cursed at non-combatants in their presence: Marines - 30% Soldiers - 28%

Damaged or destroyed Iraqi property when it was not necessary: Marines - 12% Soldiers - 9%

Physically hit or kicked non-combatants when it was not necessary: Marines - 7% Soldiers - 4%

More than a third of the 1,320 soldiers and 447 marines surveyed said that torture should be allowed to save the life of a fellow soldier or marine, while almost 38 per cent said torture should be allowed in order to gather "important information about insurgents".

The survey showed only 47 per cent of soldiers and 38 per cent of marines agreed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect.

Overall, about 20 per cent of army soldiers and 15 per cent of marines showed mental health symptoms of either anxiety, depression or acute stress.

INTEL OFFICERS REVEAL TORTURE TECHNIQUES TO ABC NEWS

BRIAN ROSS + RICHARD ESPOSITO, ABC NEWS - Harsh interrogation techniques authorized by top officials of the CIA have led to questionable confessions and the death of a detainee since the techniques were first authorized in mid-March 2002, ABC News has been told by former and current intelligence officers and supervisors.

They say they are revealing specific details of the techniques, and their impact on confessions, because the public needs to know the direction their agency has chosen. All gave their accounts on the condition that their names and identities not be revealed. Portions of their accounts are corrobrated by public statements of former CIA officers and by reports recently published that cite a classified CIA Inspector General's report. . .

The CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/print?id=1322866

ALL FORMS OF TORTURE CAUSE SIMILAR RESULTS

ALAN ZAREMBO, LA TIMES - Degrading treatment and psychological manipulation cause as much emotional suffering and long-term mental damage as physical torture, researchers reported. Psychiatric evaluations of 279 victims of torture and other abuses from the Balkan wars of the 1990s showed that both types of ill treatment led to similarly high rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The victims themselves rated the psychological tactics on par with the physical abuses they suffered. . . The study shows that "there is no such thing as 'Torture Lite,' " said Dr. Steven Miles of the University of Minnesota's Center for Bioethics, who was not involved in the research

PENTAGON SAYS IT WAS OKAY TO TORTURE BEFORE NEW YEAR'S 2006

CNN - Defense Secretary Robert Gates is submitting to Congress a manual for trials of detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay that would allow the admission of hearsay evidence and coerced testimony, a Pentagon official told reporters Thursday. The manual was drafted to comply with a law passed last year that restored the Bush administration's military commissions created to try terrorist suspects. . . The procedures outlined in the manual "will ensure that unlawful enemy combatants suspected of war crimes and certain other offenses are prosecuted before regularly constituted courts affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people," said Principal Deputy General Counsel Dan Dell'Orto. . . Dell'Orto said the manual calls for the accused to be presumed innocent and requires that convictions be based on guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt.. . . The statute provides for the admissibility of hearsay evidence. . . Brig. Gen. Thomas Hemingway, a legal adviser to the Office of Military Commissions, told reporters that the manual provides for a "clear prohibition of evidence obtained by torture" if it was obtained after December 30, 2005.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/01/18/detainee.trials/index.html

THE AMERICAN WAY OF TORTURE

GEORGE MONBIOT, GUARDIAN, UK - In early December, defense lawyers acting for Jose Padilla, a US citizen detained as an "enemy combatant," released a video showing a mission fraught with deadly risk -- taking him to the prison dentist. A group of masked guards in riot gear shackled his legs and hands, blindfolded him with black-out goggles and shut off his hearing with headphones, then marched him down the prison corridor.

Is Padilla really that dangerous? Far from it: his warders describe him as so docile and inactive that he could be mistaken for "a piece of furniture." The purpose of these measures appeared to be to sustain the regime under which he had lived for over three years: total sensory deprivation. He had been kept in a blacked-out cell, unable to see or hear anything beyond it. Most importantly, he had no human contact, except for being bounced off the walls from time to time by his interrogators. As a result, he appears to have lost his mind. I don't mean this metaphorically. I mean that his mind is no longer there. . .

http://www.alternet.org/rights/45613/

MILITARY SUBJECTED PADILLA TO SENSORY TORTURE

UPI - Newly released photographs of U.S. terror suspect Jose Padilla wearing sensory deprivation devices have outraged a Washington military expert. The photos came from a Defense Department video of Padilla, 36, being escorted from his cell at a South Carolina brig where he was held for 3 1/2 years without being charged. He is shown wearing noise-blocking headphones and blacked-out goggles, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday. Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, told the newspaper he found the images "extremely disturbing" and called it "outrageous government conduct." Mary Ellen O'Connell, a torture expert at Notre Dame Law School, agreed. "It looked extraordinarily excessive," O'Connell said. "He's only a suspect -- he hasn't been convicted of anything." The New York-born Padilla, a convert to Islam, was declared an "enemy combatant" after he was arrested in 2002 and prosecutors alleged he was conspiring to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in a U.S. city. When he was eventually charged in 2005 with conspiring in a minor terrorism case but there was no mention of a dirty bomb in the indictment, the newspaper said.

CIA HAS BEEN DOING THIS FOR FIFTY YEARS
http://hnn.us/articles/32497.html

U.S. FORCES TORTURE ONE THEIR OWN

MICHAEL MOSS, NY TIMES - One night in mid-April, the steel door clanked shut on detainee No. 200343 at Camp Cropper, the United States military's maximum-security detention site in Baghdad. American guards arrived at the man's cell periodically over the next several days, shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him and took him to a padded room for interrogation, the detainee said. After an hour or two, he was returned to his cell, fatigued but unable to sleep.

The fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off, he said. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He said he was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. And when he was released after 97 days he was exhausted, depressed and scared.

FIFTY YEARS OF CIA TORTURE

ALFRED W. MCCOY, HISTORY NEWS NETWORK - From 1950 to 1962, the CIA led a secret research effort to crack the code of human consciousness, a veritable Manhattan project of the mind with costs that reached a billion dollars a year. Many have heard about the most outlandish and least successful aspect of this research -- the testing of LSD on unsuspecting subjects and the tragic death of a CIA employee, Dr. Frank Olson, who jumped to his death from a New York hotel after a dose of this drug. This Agency drug testing, the focus of countless sensational press accounts and a half-dozen major books, led nowhere.

But obscure CIA-funded behavioral experiments, outsourced to the country's leading universities, produced two key findings, both duly and dully reported in scientific journals, that contributed to the discovery of a distinctly American form of torture: psychological torture. With funding from Canada's Defense Research Board, famed Canadian psychologist Dr. Donald O. Hebb found that he could induce a state akin to psychosis in just 48 hours. What had the doctor done-drugs, hypnosis, electroshock? No, none of the above.

For two days, student volunteers at McGill University, where Dr. Hebb was chair of Psychology, simply sat in comfortable cubicles deprived of sensory stimulation by goggles, gloves, and ear muffs. . .

Dr. Hebb himself reported that after just two to three days of such isolation "the subject's very identity had begun to disintegrate." If you compare a drawing of Dr. Hebb's student volunteers published in "Scientific American" with later photos of Guantanamo detainees, the similarity is, for good reason, striking.

During the 1950s as well, two eminent neurologists at Cornell Medical Center working for the CIA found that the KGB's most devastating torture technique involved, not crude physical beatings, but simply forcing the victim to stand for days at time-while the legs swelled, the skin erupted in suppurating lesions, the kidneys shut down, hallucinations began. . .If you look at those hundreds of photos from Abu Ghraib you will see repeated use of this method, now called "stress positions."

After codification in its 1963 KUBARK manual, the CIA spent the next thirty years propagating these torture techniques within the US intelligence community and among anti-communist allies across Asia and Latin America.

Although the Agency trained military interrogators from across Latin America, our knowledge of the actual torture techniques comes from a single handbook for a Honduran training session, the CIA's "Human Resources Exploitation Manual - 1983." To establish control at the outset the questioner should, the CIA instructor tells his Honduran trainees, "manipulate the subject's environment, to create unpleasant or intolerable situations, to disrupt patterns of time, space, and sensory perception." To effect this psychological disruption, this 1983 handbook specified techniques that seem strikingly similar to those outlined 20 years earlier in the Kubark Manual and those that would be used 20 years later at Abu Ghraib.

When the Cold War came to a close, Washington resumed its advocacy of human rights, ratifying the UN Convention Against Torture in 1994 that banned the infliction of "severe" psychological and physical pain. On the surface, the United States had apparently resolved the tension between its anti-torture principles and its torture practices.

Yet when President William Clinton sent this UN Convention to Congress for ratification in 1994, he included language drafted six years earlier by the Reagan administration-with four detailed diplomatic "reservations" focused on just one word in the convention's 26-printed pages. That word was "mental."

Significantly, these intricately-constructed diplomatic reservations re-defined torture, as interpreted by the United States, to exclude sensory deprivation and self-inflicted pain-the very techniques the CIA had refined at such great cost. Of equal import, this definition was reproduced verbatim in domestic legislation enacted to give legal force to the UN Convention. . .

In effect, Washington had split the UN Convention down the middle, banning physical torture but exempting psychological abuse. . .

[Mr. McCoy is teaches history at the University of Wisconsin and is the author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror]

http://hnn.us/articles/32497.html

MOST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES KNEW ABOUT CIA TORTURE FLIGHTS

EU BUSINESS - Most EU member nations knew about the US policy of CIA seizures of terror suspects abroad and kept the information from a European parliamentary enquiry, the committee's rapporteur Claudio Fava said. "Many governments cooperated passively or actively (with the CIA). They knew," said Fava, presenting the committee's final report on the Central Intelligence Agency's alleged use of European countries for the illegal transport and detention of prisoners. He denounced "the very great reticence from almost all the member states (with the exception of Germany and Spain) to cooperate," with the investigation.
He named 12 EU nations as being involved -- Austria, Britain, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden -- along with Romania, which will join the bloc in January, and non-EU nations Bosnia, Macedonia and Turkey. . .

Fava also cited the cases of at least 1,245 CIA-run flights landing in Europe, most of them logistical flights but some which probably served to transport prisoners. . . Fava offered little in the way of conclusions, simply inviting the EU authorities to "accept their responsibilities" to deal with the offending member states. . .

The final report added little to a preliminary report released in July, and maintained its main presumptions. On the existence of secret detention centers it did "not exclude the possibility that the American secret services were operating at a secret base in Romania". There could have been another detention centre in northeastern Poland, near the Szymany airport.

http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/061128172102.6asrx8ct

U.S. ONCE CONSIDERED WATER-BOARDING A WAR CRIME

UPI - The [Washington] Post reported that in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, with war crimes for carrying out a form of water-boarding on a U.S. civilian, and according to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the officer was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. . . The Post said Central Intelligence Agency officials believe water-boarding technique helped draw information from Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. The report also quoted a former intelligence officer as saying not all the information was reliable. In the current war against Taliban, al-Qaida and other terrorists, the technique was cleared not only by the White House but by the U.S. Justice Department.

BUSH NOT ONLY CLAIMS RIGHT TO TORTURE BUT RIGHT TO HIDE THAT IT HAPPENED

CAROL D. LEONNIG AND ERIC RICH, WASHINGTON POST - The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26. . .

http://tinyurl.com/unr4s

INDIA, RUSSIA, ISRAEL MOST BARBARIC ON TORTURE;
AUSTRALIA, FRANCE, ITALY MOST CIVILIZED

BBC - Nearly a third of people worldwide back the use of torture in prisons in some circumstances, a BBC survey suggests. Although 59% were opposed to torture, 29% thought it acceptable to use some degree of torture to combat terrorism. While most polled in the US are against torture, opposition there is less robust than in Europe and elsewhere. More than 27,000 people in 25 countries were asked if torture would be acceptable if it could provide information to save innocent lives. Some 36% of those questioned in the US agreed that this use of torture was acceptable, while 58% were unwilling to compromise on human rights.

TABLE: COUNTRIES AND TORTURE
http://prorev.com/torture.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/6063386.stm

TORTURE FLIGHTS STOPPED IN ISRAEL

YOSSI MELMAN, HAARETZ - The Israel Airports Authority has confirmed that planes known to have been used by the CIA to transport suspects to detention and interrogation facilities stopped at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. According to the British civil liberties organization Statewatch, at least four flights through Tel Aviv occurred between 2003 and 2004. . . There is no known American-Israeli interrogation facility on Israeli soil, although it is known that the Israeli and American intelligence organizations share information about the arrests and interrogation of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror suspects.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/781889.html

2006

HILLARY CLINTON SAYS SOME TORTURE ACCEPTABLE

BEN SMITH, NY DAILY NEWS - Despite her apparent opposition to torture, Hillary Clinton said in a Daily News editorial board meeting yesterday that the practice is acceptable in some circumstances. Clinton got a rousing reception from the human rights community, and seemed to take an uncharacteristically bright-line stance, in a recent statement on the Senate floor during the debate over torture.

"Have we fallen so low as to debate how much torture we are willing to stomach?" she asked at one point, and left anti-torture commentators, and even Clinton critics like Andrew Sullivan, with the impression that she'd emerged into a kind of un-Clintonian moral clarity and said no to torture.

But at yesterday's Daily News editorial board meeting, it emerged that she's not actually against torture in all instances, and that her dispute with McCain and Bush is largely procedural.

She was asked about the "ticking time bomb" scenario, in which you've captured the terrorist and don't have time for a normal interrogation, and said that there is a place for what she called "severity," in a conversation that included mentioning water-boarding, hypothermia, and other techniques commonly described as torture.

"I have said that those are very rare but if they occur there has to be some lawful authority for pursuing that," she responded. "Again, I think the President has to take responsibility. There has to be some check and balance, some reporting. I don't mind if it's reporting in a top secret context. But that shouldn't be the tail that wags the dog, that should be the exception to the rule."

Asked again about these methods, she said:

"In those instances where we have sufficient basis to believe that there is something imminent, yeah, but then we've got to have a check and balance."

So I'm not sure what Andrew Sullivan is so excited about. Torture is OK as long as the president approves it, as long as it's an exception, and as long as it's secretly reported to Congress. That doesn't sound like a bright moral line to me.

http://blogs.nydailynews.com/dailypolitics/archives/2006/10/clinton_on_tort.php/

CHENEY SUPPORTS WATER-BOARDING, THEN LIES ABOUT IT

[We especially like the part where the Post goes to "legal experts" to find out what the English language means. There was a time when reporters thought they knew more about that topic than lawyers]

DAN EGGEN WASHINGTON POST - Vice President Cheney said yesterday that he was not referring to an interrogation technique known as "water-boarding" when he told an interviewer this week that dunking terrorism suspects in water was a "no-brainer." Cheney told reporters aboard Air Force Two last night that he did not talk about any specific interrogation technique during his interview Tuesday with a conservative radio host.. .

Many legal experts said it was reasonable to conclude that Cheney was referring to water-boarding, since it has been a widely debated U.S. interrogation technique that uses water to subject a suspect to the fear of drowning. . .

Left: From a new BBC poll showing percentage in each country opposing all torture.

INDIA, RUSSIA, ISRAEL MOST BARBARIC ON TORTURE; AUSTRALIA, FRANCE, ITALY MOST CIVILIZED

BBC - Nearly a third of people worldwide back the use of torture in prisons in some circumstances, a BBC survey suggests. Although 59% were opposed to torture, 29% thought it acceptable to use some degree of torture to combat terrorism. While most polled in the US are against torture, opposition there is less robust than in Europe and elsewhere. More than 27,000 people in 25 countries were asked if torture would be acceptable if it could provide information to save innocent lives. Some 36% of those questioned in the US agreed that this use of torture was acceptable, while 58% were unwilling to compromise on human rights.

 

BUSH'S HIDDEN SELF-PARDON IN THE TORTURE LEGISLATION

ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, CHICAGO SUN TIMES - Thirty-two years ago, President Gerald Ford created a political firestorm by pardoning former President Richard Nixon of all crimes he may have committed in Watergate -- and lost his election as a result. Now, President Bush, to avoid a similar public outcry, is quietly trying to pardon himself of any crimes connected with the torture and mistreatment of U.S. detainees. The "pardon" is buried in Bush's proposed legislation to create a new kind of military tribunal for cases involving top al-Qaida operatives. The "pardon" provision has nothing to do with the tribunals. Instead, it guts the War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal law that makes it a crime, in some cases punishable by death, to mistreat detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions and makes the new, weaker terms of the War Crimes Act retroactive to 9/11. Press accounts of the provision have described it as providing immunity for CIA interrogators. But its terms cover the president and other top officials because the act applies to any U.S. national.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/otherviews/cst-edt-ref23b.html

TORTURE IN IRAQ IS OUT OF HAND, SAYS UN

GUARDIAN, UK - "Bodies often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances, missing skin, broken bones (back, hands, legs), missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails." This gruesome litany of abuse, chronicle in a UN report published yesterday, features on the front page of the Independent. . . Iraq is in a "state of primal anarchy", the paper's Patrick Cockburn, in Arbil, says. The final collapse of security in the country has been masked from the outside world because Iraq is now too dangerous for journalists to report what is happening there, he writes. According to the Times, the Bush administration "reacted angrily" to the claim by the UN's chief anti-torture campaigner.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1696153.ece

AIR FORCE SECRETARY WANTS TO USE TORTURE WEAPONS ON U.S. PROTESTERS

KENNETH J. THEISEN, SF INDYMEDIA - Defense Industry Daily described one of these weapons nicknamed the "riot breaker." It is "a microwave transmitter whose focused beams create burning sensations that force targets to flee in order to escape." It allegedly does not cause any permanent damage, but in tests the volunteers were not allowed to wear contacts, glasses, or have any metal objects on their persons. (So as long as no near-sighted people or persons with coins or metal jewelry are in the crowd, things will be fine?) The military is also developing a "sonic blaster" and "laser dazzler." . . .

Another of these weapons is one that directs a high-pitched, piercing tone in a tight beam according to American Technology Corp. which is developing the weapon. It can be as loud as 150 decibels. "That's a sensitive region for developing hearing loss. The longer the duration, the more serious it is," states Richard Salvi of the Center for Hearing and Deafness at the University of Buffalo.

Until Wynne's statement the military has always inferred that these weapons would be used abroad as if injuring "foreigners" was acceptable. But he has let the cat out of the bag by making clear that Americans can be the target just as easily as Iraqi insurgents. According to a September 1, 2005 NPR report police departments across the country have also expressed interest in using them. In some areas hit by Katrina they were actually deployed. . .

This statement by the Air Force Secretary was no slip of the tongue either. As early as 2004, the Air Force used social science students at the University of Minnesota to review and assess literature to assess how Americans and other cultures might react to the use of such weapons. It appears that Wynne now wants to move into actual field trials. The regime probably also wants to see what public reaction it will get from this recent statement. . .

There is recent precedent for using "non-lethal weapons" against mass protest. In April 2003, police in Oakland, California used rubber bullets, wooden pellets, and bean bags against anti-war protesters and dock workers injuring several. Tear gas has always been a weapon in their arsenal and been used many times, including against protestors at the 2004 Republican National Convention where hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the Bush regime. But these weapons have not stopped protesters. It seems that the regime now wants to up the ante and increase the effectiveness of its weapons.

http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2006/09/1732384.php

 

BUSH OUTSOURCES ABU GHRAIB TORTURE TO IRAQIS

TELEGRAPH UK - The notorious 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. . . An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning. Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards. . .

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/10/wirq10.xml

EUROPE'S TOP HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL CALLS BUSH'S ACTION IN WAR ON TERROR 'CRIMINAL'

DW, GERMANY - Europe's top human rights official called the US government's actions in fighting the so-called war on terror "criminal" Thursday and said that Washington's admission of secret CIA prisons has justified European suspicions. "Kidnapping people and torturing them in secret -- however tempting the short-term gain may appear to be -- is what criminals do, not democratic governments," said Council of Europe President Rene van der Linden. "In the long term, such practices create more terrorists and undermine the values we are fighting for. Europe will have no part in such a degrading system."

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2166967,00.html

REPORT: U.S. PRISONER TORTURE WAS ROUTINE

BBC - Abuses at Abu Ghraib were blamed on a few rogue US soldiers The torture of prisoners in US custody in Iraq was authorized and routine even after the Abu Ghraib scandal came to light, a US-based rights group says. Soldiers' accounts show that detainees routinely faced severe beatings, sleep deprivation and other abuses for much of 2003-2005, Human Rights Watch says. Soldiers who tried to complain about the abuse were rebuffed or ignored. But a Pentagon spokesman said 12 reviews had found there was no policy condoning or encouraging abuse. . .

The HRW report gives first-hand accounts of abuses at a detention centre at Baghdad airport called Camp Nama, as well as a facility near Mosul airport and a base near al-Qaim on the Syrian border. An interrogator posted at Mosul in 2004 told HRW that he and his fellow interrogators had been told by the officer in charge of their unit to use abuse techniques on some detainees. He described how they used dogs to intimidate the detainees, had them walking on their knees in the gravel and standing for extended periods with arms outstretched holding water bottles.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5206908.stm

MAY 2006

AMNESTY: USA FOSTERING TORTURE

MATTHEW SCHOFIELD KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS - Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees by U.S. forces is widespread and, in many cases, sanctioned by top government officials, Amnesty International charged Wednesday. . .

"Although the U.S. government continues to assert its condemnation of torture and ill-treatment, these statements contradict what is happening in practice," said Curt Goering, the group's senior deputy executive director in the United States. "The U.S. government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture, it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish.". . .

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/050406A.shtml

REPORT
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engamr510612006

SUPERMAX: THE ROOTS OF ABU GHRAIB

APRIL 2006

PENTAGON ADMITS AT LEAST 460 CASE OF TORTURE OR ABUSE

REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR A FREE PRESS - A report by three human rights groups finds that U.S. troops and government civilians in Iraq, Afghanaistan and Guantanamo Bay abused, tortured or killed at least 460 prisoners, Free Press News Services reports. A Pentagon spokesman told the Free Press that the Defense Department had investigated more than 600 allegations of abuse and held more than 250 service members responsible.

http://www.rcfp.org/behindthehomefront

CIA MADE MORE THAN 1,000 KIDNAPPING AND TORTURE FLIGHTS OVER EUROPE

RICHARD NORTON-TAYLOR, GUARDIAN - The CIA has operated more than 1,000 secret flights over EU territory in the past five years, some to transfer terror suspects in a practice known as "extraordinary rendition", an investigation by the European parliament said yesterday. The figure is significantly higher than previously thought. EU parliamentarians who conducted the investigation concluded that incidents when terror suspects were handed over to US agents did not appear to be isolated. They said the suspects were often transported around Europe on the same planes by agents whose names repeatedly came up in their investigation.

They accused the CIA of kidnapping terror suspects and said those responsible for monitoring air safety regulations revealed unusual flight paths to and from European airports. The report's author, Italian MEP Claudio Fava, suggested some EU governments knew about the flights. He suggested flight plans and airport logs made it hard to believe that many of the stopovers were refuelling missions. "The CIA has, on several occasions, clearly been responsible for kidnapping and illegally detaining alleged terrorists on the territory of member states, as well as for extraordinary renditions," said Mr Fava, a member of the European parliament's socialist group.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1762212,00.html

MORE TORTURE FOUND IN IRAQ

ELLEN KNICKMEYER WASHINGTON POST - Last Nov. 13, U.S. soldiers found 173 incarcerated men, some of them emaciated and showing signs of torture, in a secret bunker in an Interior Ministry compound in central Baghdad. The soldiers immediately transferred the men to a separate detention facility to protect them from further abuse, the U.S. military reported.

Since then, there have been at least six joint U.S.-Iraqi inspections of detention centers, most of them run by Iraq's Shiite Muslim-dominated Interior Ministry. Two sources involved with the inspections, one Iraqi official and one U.S. official, said abuse of prisoners was found at all the sites visited through February. U.S. military authorities confirmed that signs of severe abuse were observed at two of the detention centers.

DISGUSTING SCENES FROM ABU GHRAIB PAID FOR WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS

FEBRUARY 2006

BRITISH JUDGE SAY U.S. VIEW OF TORTURE OUT OF STEP WITH 'MOST CIVILIZED NATIONS'

GUARDIAN, UK - A high court judge yesterday delivered a stinging attack on America, saying its idea of what constituted torture was out of step with that of "most civilized nations". The criticism, directed at the Bush administration's approach to human rights, was made by Mr Justice Collins during a hearing over the refusal by ministers to request the release of three British residents held at Guantanamo Bay. The judge said: "America's idea of what is torture is not the same as ours and does not appear to coincide with that of most civilized nations." He made his comments, he said, after learning of the UN report that said Guantanamo should be shut down without delay because torture was still being carried out there. . .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,,1711833,00.html

AMERICAN TORTURE SECRET

TASERS

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OCTOBER 2007

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT STILL DEFENDING TASERS DESPITE TORTURE AND 277 U.S. DEATHS SINCE 2001

REUTERS - Researchers tracked police Taser use on 962 people in six jurisdictions around the country from July 2005 to June of this year. The study was funded by the U.S. Justice Department. Three of these people sustained moderate or severe nonfatal injuries requiring hospital admission, the study found. Two of them had head injuries suffered when they fell to the ground after being stunned. One had a type of muscle breakdown condition also seen in people whose body temperature gets too high, the researchers said. Of the rest, 216 people sustained mild injuries like abrasions, contusions and minor cuts requiring outpatient medical treatment, and 743 suffered no injury, the study found. Two who were shocked with the weapon died, but the researchers said investigations and autopsies determined the deaths to have been unrelated to the Taser. . .

U.N. COMMITTEE SAYS TASERS ARE TORTURE

AFP - Tasers - Taser electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill, a UN committee has declared after several recent deaths in North America. "The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture," the UN's Committee against Torture said.

"In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events," the committee of 10 experts said.

Three men, all in their early 20s, were reported to have died in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police.

TASER ADMITS TORTURE WEAPON SHOULDN'T BE AIMED AT CHEST

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