Tag: torture (page 2)

Dick Cheney Defends CIA Torture, Insults and Criticizes Obama

Dick Cheney continues to insist the CIA interrogators should neither be investigated nor prosecuted. He continues to praise their work.

"The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions," he said in a statement dated Monday.


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Who Would Holder Investigate in a Torture Probe?

As a follow-up yesterday's post on the Newsweek article suggesting Attorney General Eric Holder may conduct an investigation of Bush torture policies, I'd like to point you to Glenn Greenwald today. He points out that the sources floating this trial balloon also indicate:

[T]he investigation will only target "rogue" CIA interrogators who exceeded the limits of what John Yoo authorized, and would not include high-level policy makers who authorized the torture tactics and implemented America's torture regime.

In other words, as Greenwald writes, it would be Abu Ghraib redux. Tim F. at Balloon Juice makes a similar point.

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Newsweek: AG May Probe Bush Torture-Era Policies

Newsweek has a long feature article on Attorney General Eric Holder.

Four knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that he is now leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's brutal interrogation practices, something the president has been reluctant to do. While no final decision has been made, an announcement could come in a matter of weeks, say these sources, who decline to be identified discussing a sensitive law-enforcement matter.


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U.N. High Commissioner Criticizes U.S. Over Guantanamo

Navanethem Pillay, a lawyer from South Africa who serves as the U.N.'s top Human Rights offical, criticized President Obama and the U.S. today over the continued detention of Guantanamo detainees:

In her most detailed statement on U.S. detention policy, the South African lawyer criticized President Obama's decision to hold some suspected terrorists in detention indefinitely without a trial. She also called for a probe into officials who participated in torture sessions or provided the legal justification for it.

"People who order or inflict torture cannot be exonerated, and the roles of certain lawyers, as well as doctors who have attended torture sessions, should also be scrutinized," Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement dedicated to victims of torture.


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Retired Gen. Taguda: Detainee Photos Show Rape and Torture

Retired Major Gen. Antonio Taguba (remember the Taguda report on Abu Ghraib?) told the British press he agrees with President Obama that the photos of Iraqi detainees should not be released:

A former U.S. general said graphic images of rape and torture are among the photos of Iraqi prisoner abuse that President Barack Obama's administration does not want released.

"I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them," Taguba was quoted by the Daily Telegraph. "The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it."

The Telegraph article is here. Among the graphic images: [More...]

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What the CIA Wants

From Howard Bashman over at How Appealing, we learn today what the CIA supposedly wants.

"Amid Queries, CIA Worries About Future" (WaPo):

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Group Seeks Disbarment of 12 Bush Lawyers Over Torture Policies

Via Raw Story, a liberal activist group has filed complaints with the state bars in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania, seeking disbarment of 12 lawyers who served in Bush Administration and were involved in defending torture policies. The lawyers are:

[F]ormer White House Legal Counsel attorneys John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Stephen Bradbury; former Attorney Generals Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft and Michael Mukasey; former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney David Addington, Alice Fisher, William Haynes II, Douglas Feith and Timothy Flanigan

The complaints are available at DisbarTortureLawyers.

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Torture Photos Previously Released in 2006

Raw Story reports the torture photos the Obama Administration reversed course on releasing this week include photos released by the Australian news in 2006. Raw Story, as well as TalkLeft, published them then. (I've reprinted some several times since then.)

So if the world has already seen them, and a federal appeals court has upheld a trial court's order to produce them to the ACLU, what's Obama's justification?

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Torture Hearings: FBI Agent Testifies

An FBI Agent who interrogated Abu Zubaydah before the CIA took over testified at a congressional hearing today. He said torture doesn't work. He said he got useful information from Zubaydah before the CIA took over and began using abusive techniques.

Soufan said his team had to step aside when CIA contractors took over, using simulated drowning, sleep deprivation and other harsh methods. He said those techniques caused the prisoner to "shut down."

Sen. Lindsay Graham called the hearings a "political stunt."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked whether "we would have this hearing if we were attacked this afternoon."

Sounds like something Jack Bauer would say.

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Report: 98 Detainees Died in U.S Custody

Via Raw Story, a human rights researcher says 98 detainees died in U.S. custody. Of them, he says 34 deaths were labeled homicides, and between 8 and 12 were tortured to death.

The researcher, John Sifton, worked for five years for Human Rights Watch. In a posting Tuesday, he documents myriad cases of detainees who died at the hands of their US interrogators. Some of the instances he cites are graphic.

Sifton's article on his report is at Daily Beast. It's based on a 2006 Human Rights First report and follow-up investigations. Sifton says: [More...]

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Spanish Judge Opens Guantanamo Torture Investigation

Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón has decided he will investigate allegations of torture by four released Guantanamo detainees.

Via Center for Constitutional Rights:

The writ did not name specific officials as defendants but speaks of investigating the roles of those responsible for authorizing, planning and executing the torture program, particularly in light of the newly release torture memos and the Senate Armed Services Committee report. The case could lead to arrest warrants in Europe....

This is a different and broader investigation than the one we've written about here. [More...]

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9th Circuite Reinstates "Ghost Air" Rendition Lawsuit

As Big Tent Democrat wrote earlier, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed the dismissal of the ACLU lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan Inc. for its role in the Bush administration's unlawful extraordinary rendition. The opinion is here (pdf.)

The Bush and Obama Administration's "state secrets" claim was expressly rejected. The opinion says the government must invoke the state secrets privilege with respect to specific evidence, not by moving to dismiss the entire suit.

The ACLU brought the suit on behalf of five men, Al-Rawi, Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza and Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, who were kidnapped and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons or foreign intelligence agencies overseas where they were interrogated and tortured. The case is Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen. The ACLU's brief is here.

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5th Anniversary of Release of Abu Ghraib Photos

Can it be five years since the horrendous photos at Abu Ghraib were released? Yes.

The ACLU has been fighting all this time to obtain more photos of the abuse. As a result of their 2004 lawsuit, the Defense Department will release additional photos from Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan on May 28.

In case all you remember is Lynndie England leading a detainnee around on a leash or a hooded detainee wired and standing on a box, there were many other kinds of physical abuse that took place. Some were quite bloody and left ugly scars.

Here are some photos that were released for the first time in 2006. Scroll through them. [More...]

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Torture Accountability Options

The Washington Post today quotes a political advisor to Condoleeza Rice on the Bush/CIA torture policies:

"The systematic, calculated infliction of this scale of prolonged torment is immoral, debasing the perpetrators and the captives," said Philip D. Zelikow, a political counselor to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who reviewed secret Bush administration reports about the program in 2005. "Second, forfeiting our high ground, the practices also alienate needed allies in the common fight, even allies within our own government. Third, the gains are dubious when the alternatives are searchingly compared. And then, after all, there is still the law."

Also don't miss Frank Rich in the New York Times: He leads with Dave Cullen's new book on Columbine (congrats to Dave) and then moves onto Bush and torture. This week will mark the 5th anniversary of the photos showing the abuse at Abu Ghraib:

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Newly Declassified Report: Bush Officials Approved Torture

The CIA wasn't the only agency involved in torture of detainees. A newly declassified report by the Senate Armed Services Committee shows that high level Bush officials approved the brutal interrogation techniques used by the military at overseas prisons. So now there's confirmation that the military, not just the CIA CIA were involved, and that Rumsfeld's denials were full of it.

The Senate report documented how some of the techniques used by the military at prisons in Afghanistan and at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as well as in Iraq — stripping detainees, placing them in “stress positions” or depriving them of sleep — originated in a military program known as Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape, or SERE, intended to train American troops to resist abusive enemy interrogations. [More...]

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