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By: Editor | November 18, 2016

The full extent of the CIA’s interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in a milestone report by the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday that concluded the agency’s use of torture was brutal and ineffective – and that the CIA repeatedly lied about its usefulness.

The report represented the most scathing congressional indictment of the Central Intelligence Agency in nearly four decades. It found that torture “regularly resulted in fabricated information,” said committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, in a statement summarizing the findings. She called the torture programme “a stain on our values and on our history”.

“During the brutal interrogations, the CIA was often unaware ...

Category: Human Rights Violations 

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By: Editor | October 17, 2015

  

by Meredith Clark
The prisoners were held in pitch-dark cells in a secret CIA facility. As part of their torture regimen, they were forced to listen to music — everything from heavy metal to the theme song from Barney & Friends — blasted at ear-damaging levels, designed to break them psychologically. Now, years later, the doctors who designed that program are getting sued, in litigation filed by the ACLU.

In the early 2000s, the CIA contracted with two psychologists, James Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen, to help them design interrogation methods for detainees held in secret prisons in places such as Afghanistan. The methods Mitchell and Jessen designed included "stuffing them inside coffin-like boxes, exposing them to extreme tempe...

Category: Human Rights Violations 

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By: Editor | April 29, 2015

Why I've offered to receive 100 lashes of the convicted Saudi blogger Raif Badawi's sentence.



In  2013, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced 31-year-old Saudi blogger   Raif Badawi   to seven   years in prison and 600 lashes. Last year, an appeals court decided the sentence was not harsh enough and increased the punishment to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million riyals (equivalent to over a quarter of a million dollars). Badawi’s “crime” is nothing more than expressing religious and political dissent, including such dastardly acts as running a website called Free Saudi Liberals and liking the Facebook page of a group of Arab Christians.

Because this innocent victim of Saudi “justice” would...

By: Editor | April 29, 2015

Justice Scalia is getting torture law all wrong.

U.S.SupremeCourtJusticeAntoninScaliadiscusseshisbackgroundasalawstudent,Monday,Dec.15,2014,attheUniversityofMississippiinOxford,Miss.


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Last week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made some troubling comments about torture in an interview with Swiss radio . Scalia challenged the idea of an absolute prohibition of torture — in other words, the principle that torture is rejected in all circumstances. He specifically argued that torture can be justified in an emergency situation, citing the   ticking bomb scenario associated with TV shows like "24".


As Scalia   put it : “It’s very facile for people to say, ‘Oh, torture is terrible.’ You posit the situation where a person that you know for sure knows the location of a nuclear bomb that has been planted in Los Angeles and will kill milli...

By: Editor | April 29, 2015

Dick Cheney and his ilk are trashing the very concept of moral high ground. EditorialCartoononDickCheney

The good news is that the Senate torture report provoked a (brief) debate about our values as a nation, which is vital and healthy in a democracy. The bad news is that “values” lost.

Let me give just one example from the remarkably consistent poll findings:  CBS offered respondents a wide range of examples of actual CIA conduct; the one most likely to be termed “torture” (at 73%) was threatening to sexually abuse someone’s mother .  Nevertheless, a majority of Americans find it at least sometimes acceptable – meaning that about half of those who think it's wrong (virtually no one calls "torture" a good thing on its own) nonethe...