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Archives by Tag 'torture'
The CIA Came at Night
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
They came for Jabour at night. He was ordered by the men to turn around and face the wall, while his hands were cuffed and his legs shackled. A blindfold was fastened to his head. He was led from his cell in an Islamabad jail to a waiting van. Jabour was then drive...
Panama Nails a CIA Torture Capo
STEVE HENDRICKS
You gotta love our erstwhile banana republics. While Uncle Sam has been busy the last dozen years trampling on the rights of everyone—and we now know, thanks to that paragon Edward Snowden, that everyone means everyone—and while nearly all the governments in th...
The Government is Us?
KEVIN CARSON
In a speech last month about proposed gun control legislation, President Obama decried opponents’ attempts to encourage “suspicion about government.” “The government’s us,” he responded. “These officials are elected by you. They are constrained as I am const...
The State of Torture in America
SHELDON RICHMAN
“A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that ‘it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture’ and that the nation’s high...
The Non-Closure of Guantánamo
BINOY KAMPMARK
Guantánamo’s resplendent carceral facilities remain a classic example of double realities, the co-existence of totemic impulses and the reflex of taboo.  On the one hand, it has become an institutional reminder of the extensive, vague and indefinite “war” on terro...
Doctors Who Torture
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Buenos Aires Last July at the Libertad (Freedom) prison in Uruguay was unusual. Miguel Angel Estrella, an Argentine pianist (and now Argentina’s Ambassador to UNESCO), was giving a concert in the same prison where he had been imprisoned and tortur...
The US / Russia Torture War
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
“The pot calls the kettle black.” –Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha The magic number is 18.  That is the number each country has selected to express its disapproval of the actions of the other.   Vladim...
Guantánamo’s Lingering Stain
CÉSAR CHELALA
“We must be clear about this: the United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold,” declared recently Friday Navi Pillay, the U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights. She said that i...
Guantánamo and the APA
TRUDY BOND, ROY EIDELSON AND STEPHEN SOLDZ
After more than a decade of detention at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, dozens of “war on terror” prisoners – the vast majority of them long recognized as innocent of any terrorist involvement – have taken to starving themselves to death. Their desperate ...
The Mass Psychology of Torture
WILLIAM MANSON
Torture has its gradations: from the most extreme forms (such as waterboarding) to the most subtle expressions (such as passive-aggressive obstructionism in relationships). In its most heinous forms, torture consists of confining a helpless victim, who is subjected...
Neuroscience, Special Forces and Yale
ROY EIDELSON
Last month, a proposal to establish a U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Center for Excellence in Operational Neuroscience at Yale University died a not-so-quiet death. The broad goal of “operational neuroscience” is to use research on the human brain and...
How Colin Powell Showed That Torture Works
SAM HUSSEINI
Ten years ago, Colin Powell made the case for invading Iraq before the United Nations Security Council. Many aspects of his case were clearly dubious ...
Richard Cohen, Conflicted About Torture
STEVE BREYMAN
It’s 2013 and Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is still conflicted about torture. Why? The proximate cause is that he went to the movies, and saw “Zero Dark Thirty,” which impressed upon some viewers the efficacy of torture in unearthing the whereabout...
Michael Moore, Inc.
MARK EPSTEIN
I thought Michael Moore was supposed to be a director…    I thought he was supposed to have made some documentaries… I guess Michael Moore, having become “Inc.”, now has other priorities, such as propagandizing for those institutions that have “honored...
Michael Moore’s Repellent Defense of “Zero Dark Thirty”
DAVE CLENNON
Wow! Michael Moore sure can make up a lot of dialogue for scenes he thinks happened off screen, in “Zero Dark Thirty.” He freely invents quotes for President Obama, writing words no one else has ever quoted Obama as saying. ...
Trickle-Down Sadism
LINH DINH
Tales of madness are subjective. I mean, what is insanity exactly? If all of your ghastly indiscretions, mental and actual, were strung together, they could wrap this earth many times over, ditto mine, so all of us can easily be deemed deranged, including you, solemn past...
The Movie “Zero Dark Thirty” Wishes It Was But Isn’t
PETER LEE
As the moving finger of chaos hovered over Mali and Algeria last week, I took another look at Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 masterpiece, The Battle of Algiers. I am somewhat puzzled that this movie is not at the heart of the Zero Dark Thirty debate. B...
Why I Won’t be Voting for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ in Any Category
DAVE CLENNON
I’m a member of Hollywood’s Motion Picture Academy.  At the risk of being expelled, for disclosing my intentions, I will not be voting for Zero Dark Thirty—in any Academy Awards category. Everyone who contributes skill and energy to a motion p...
The Great White Camel
RANDY SHIELDS
Probably many people have read the informed and thoughtful commentary on the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” by ...
Tortured at the Movies
MICHAEL BRENNER
Zero Dark Thirty is writing our collective history for us – engraving it on the American psyche. The graphic images of who we are and the deeds we have done are intended to inspire confidence and to soothe qualms – now and in the future. We are a Resourceful pe...
Torture: A Practice Which Is Always Wrong
RON JACOBS
In 1960, when I was a first grader at a Catholic school near Washington DC, my teacher regaled us with horror stories about torture administered to Christians by the Maoist government in China.  Reading from a conservative Catholic newspaper, she told my classmates and m...
Torture is Trivial
ROBERT JENSEN
The great American torture debate has been rekindled by the nationwide release of “Zero Dark Thirty,” the hot new movie about the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden. But all the fussing over whether or not the movie condones, glorifies, and/or m...
Zero Dark Thirty: Torture, Take Two
PETER LEE
I saw Zero Dark Thirty last night. Most of it, anyway.  In a bizarre incident, the theater fire alarm went off just as the Seal Team Six helicopter was about to touch down in Abbottabad.  The Arclight made the interesting decision to keep the movie running (or ...
Arrest All Torturers
JOE GIAMBRONE
“We are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law. Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right.” –George W. Bush, June 26, 2003 ...
How Torture Works
PETER LEE
Everybody breaks under torture. From Winston Smith to Jason Bourne. Torture would work on me, for example. If somebody starts crushing my fingertips with a pair of pliers, I’m going to tell them my ATM PIN, Batman’s secret identity, whatever. But ...