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03 Aug 2011 21:44


U.S.: Could Donald Rumsfeld get personally sued for torture?

A military contractor with a particularly fascinating backstory wants to sue the former defense secretary for illegally detaining him. The judge — get this —is gonna allow it. Whoa. source

16 May 2011 14:56


Politics: John McCain is having none of this torture talk

  • I have sought further information from the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and they confirm for me that, in fact, the best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee… was obtained through standard, non-coercive means. … it was not torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden. I hope former Attorney General Mukasey will correct his misstatement.
  • Senator John McCain • Speaking on the effort made by some — former Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey among them — to claim that “enhanced interrogation” (or torture, as it was unabashedly known and is in many quarters still known today) was vital to gaining knowledge of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. This is the sort of non-partisan candor that made him popular from the start, and it’s well-founded; the effort by some to cast torture as key to the bin Laden raid, a claim made absurdly quickly after his death, when reports of what had happened in the compound were changing by the moment, was as clear and crass an attempt at hijacking a national narrative as you can get. (note: Mukasey has responded) source

25 Apr 2011 13:48


World: Assad government turns up military might against protests

  • The dance of an authoritarian state: The crackdown against those Syrians with the courage to protest the rule of Bashar al-Assad is already horribly violent — human rights groups claim the deaths of more than 300 people by the hands of the Assad government since the protests began. That’s just the visible deathtoll, to boot — Syria is widely regarded as one of the world’s worst states on human rights, with torture being a valued tactic, so it’s hard not to believe there are people having some pretty terrible things done to them as we write this. Tanks have now been unleashed into Dara, the origin of much of the anti-government protest. Once you’ve arrived at this point, can there ever truly be a “going back?” It looks like Syria may face a protracted and bloody conflict. source

14 Apr 2011 13:54


World: Syria’s Assad orders detainee release; torture reports abound

  • Reports of torture coming from Syria: As the Assad government in Syria released some of the people arrested during the violent crackdown in the port city of Banias, many of the detainees accused their captors of torture. This shouldn’t come as a fantastic surprise, as Assad’s regime has been known to use tactics such as torture for a while now, but it’s yet another reminder of the basic, raw humanity that’s at stake in these political uprisings. source

10 Feb 2011 10:59


World: Report: Egyptian military detaining, torturing protesters

  • Their range is very wide, from people who were at the protests or detained for breaking curfew to those who talked back at an army officer or were handed over to the army for looking suspicious or for looking like foreigners even if they were not. It’s unusual and to the best of our knowledge it’s also unprecedented for the army to be doing this.
  • Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights director Hossam Bahgat • Describing the nature of some of the arrests and detainment taking place in Egypt at the moment. Bahgat’s words go against the narrative suggesting that the military is on the side of the people in the current spate of protests, and instead paint a picture that they are in fact taking part in incidents more commonly associated with the country’s notorious state security intelligence. One protester, only offering to go by his first name, Ashraf, put his experience as such: “I was on a sidestreet and a soldier stopped me and asked me where I was going. I told him and he accused me of working for foreign enemies and other soldiers rushed over and they all started hitting me with their guns.” Harrowing. source

17 Oct 2010 11:23


World: Saleed Malekpour: An Iranian jailed for “internet offenses”

  • You may not know Saleed Malekpour, but you should read up. This web developer created a program that people used to upload pictures, and put his name on it. Someone (not him) used it for an adult Web site, and because his name was in the credits, he was arrested on the descriptive charge of “internet offenses.” While born in Iran, he was a Canadian citizen and had only returned to Iran to visit his terminally ill father. Malekpour has been in jail for two years now on reportedly trumped-up charges, some of which are punishable by death. And he’s been tortured, too. Harrowing. source

14 Dec 2009 11:14


U.S.: The Supreme Court skips out on defining Gitmo prisoner rights

Four Guantanamo prisoners (including these two) sued over torture allegations. An appeals court dismissed their case; now the Supreme Court does the same. source

15 Nov 2009 21:37


U.S., World: Which verboten images do you want to see more?

01 Sep 2009 10:00


U.S.: Yuck: A woman performs acts of ultraviolence on a “snitch”

  • I don’t want my children or the people I consider family to be in a place where there are snitches.
  • Phoenix woman Angela Simpson • Describing the nature of the events that led her to allegedly violently murdering Terry Neely. The woman admits to torturing, murdering and dismembering him (and those are only surface details) because he apparently once snitched on somebody a long time ago. Sickening. • source

25 Aug 2009 10:44


Politics, U.S.: Why you should care about the CIA interrogation reports

  • As stomach-turning as these individual acts of sadism are, it is far worse to consider that only low-level interrogators will suffer consequences while those who were truly responsible – the criminally depraved leaders and lawyers who ordered and authorized it – will be protected.
  • Salon’s Glenn Greenwald • Discussing the implications of the Inspector General’s report on torture. His analysis points out many scary things in the report – including phrases such as “threats of execution,” “threats to kill detainee and his children,” “pressure points on carotid artery,” “‘buttstroking’ with rifles and knee kicks” and “blowing smoke in detainee’s face for five minutes.” Despite the many black boxes, you can read between the lines. And between those lines is a lot of questionable government-sanctioned activity. Makes us sick thinking about it. • source