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Archives by Tag 'torture'
America as Self-Declared Victim
MICHAEL BRENNER
America today lives with a cultivated sense of victimhood.  That is the legacy of 9/11. It fills us with anxieties.  It warps our self-image.  It distorts our foreign relations. It is self-perpetuating. Yet we need it. Too many benefit – politically or materially ...
The Torture of Marian Price
SANDY BOYER
Marian Price has been imprisoned in Northern Ireland for more than a year on the basis of secret evidence neither she nor her lawyers have been allowed to see. She is effectively interned without a trial, sentence, or release date.  Unless the courts intervene, she will ...
So Then Who the Hell are We?
DAN DeWALT
“This is not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for.” — Jeff Gearhart, Wall-Mart general counsel, on the firm’s Mexico bribery [Torture] “is not the norm.” — Mike Pannek, Abu Ghraib prison warden. “T...
The Personal Revenge of Tomas Borge
DANIEL KOVALIK
I just read the news that on Monday, April 30, 2012, Tomas Borge had passed away at the age of 81 in Managua, Nicaragua.   Tomas Borge helped found the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1961, and, through years of arduous struggle, helped lead the rag-tag S...
Legal Atrocities
CHASE MADAR
Anyone who would like to witness a vivid example of modern warfare that adheres to the laws of war — that corpus of regulations developed painstakingly over centuries by jurists, humanitarians, and soldiers, a body of rules that is now an essential, institutionalize...
The Crackdown in Bahrain
PATRICK COCKBURN
Double standards have notoriously marked Britain and America’s response to the Arab Spring. But nowhere is the hypocrisy more glaring than in their reactions to the uprisings in Bahrain and Syria, where both countries’ governments have used the full might of t...
World’s Apex Bully Leads World Into Lawlessness
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The US government pretends to live under the rule of law, to respect human rights, and to provide freedom and democracy to citizens. Washington’s pretense and the stark reality are diametrically opposed. US government officials routinely criticize other governmen...
Good Friday, Torture and Rattlesnakes
RAY McGOVERN
Some of us pause on Good Friday to mark the torture and death of a high-value detainee rendered, extraordinarily, to Roman occupiers. Although the charges against Jesus of Nazareth were trumped up, the Romans decided to err on the safe side by going to the ...
Protecting Psychologists Who Harm
ROY EIDELSON
Shortly after learning about the American Psychological Association’s (APA) new “Member-Initiated Task Force to Reconcile Policies Related to Psychologists’ Involvement in National Security Settings,” I found my thoughts turning to the School of the Americas, Blac...
Psychologists and Torture
ROBERT PALLITTO and LAURA MELENDEZ-PALLITTO
History repeats itself, Marx famously warned, first as tragedy and then as farce. In the case of U.S. torture psychologists, the ” tragedy” occurred half a century ago when CIA-funded psychological research on electroshock treatment, sensory deprivation and the like f...
Torturer Sues Coup Generals for Making Him ‘a Monster’
PATRICK COCKBURN
A former Turkish soldier, Dogan Eslik, is suing the generals who seized power in Turkey in a military coup in 1980 and tortured hundreds of thousands of people. He claims his experiences in Ankara’s dreaded Mamak Prison dehumanized him, turned him into a mons...
Psychologists’ Collusion in Ongoing Illegal Detentions
TRUDY BOND, ROY EIDELSON, BRAD OLSON AND STEPHEN SOLDZ
As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at Guantánamo Detention Center, several thousand miles away sits another United States detention facility, less well-known but with a history perhaps even more gruesome. Obscured throughout the ...
The Whims of an Empire Gone Mad
LINH DINH
Meat, water, sock or political, it’s not easy being a puppet. Even before the first word tumbles from your mouth, people crack up, and your face alone can bring down the house. Take this passage from Hamid Karzai, from a 2004 address to a joint session of the American C...
The Return of Waterboarding?
ROBERT PALLITTO
During the recent Republican presidential primary debates, three candid...
Thud of the Jackboot
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Too bad Kim Jong-il kicked the bucket last weekend. If the divine hand that laid low the North Korean leader had held off for a week or so, Kim would have been sustained by the news that President Obama is signing into law a bill that puts the United States not immeasurab...
Do Private Military Contractors Have Impunity to Torture?
LAURA RAYMOND
Unbelievably, in 2011 this question has not yet been settled in the courts of the United States. Human rights attorneys are headed back to court in the coming month to argue that, yes, victims of war crimes and torture by contractors should have a path to justice. ...
Four Psychologists at the Gates of Hell
ROY EIDELSON
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” ...
On Western Democracy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Every day that passes adds to the fraudulent image of what is called Western democracy. Consider that the entire Western world is outraged that the Greek prime minister announced that he is going to permit the Greek people to decide their own fate instead of having...
After Qaddafi
JOANNE MARINER
Qaddafi’s much-abused body has finally been laid to rest, in an unmarked grave in the desert.  His fate has fallen off the front pages of the U.S. news, eclipsed by the European debt crisis, the elections in Tunisia, and the bid by “Joe the Plumber” for a seat in C...
Afghanistan Calling!
SAUL LANDAU
Ten plus years ago, the United States (oops, NATO) invaded Afghanistan and quickly won the war against the militarily (technologically) inferior Taliban government. Taliban fighters fled to Pakistan. Washington and allies followed their victory by quickly losing the occup...
The Wrong Occupation
KATHY KELLY
In Kabul, Afghanistan’s beleaguered capitol city, a young woman befriended me during December of 2010.  She was eager to talk about her views, help us better understand the history of her country, and form lasting relationships.  Now, she is too frightened to return a...
Back to the Death Commission
BINOY KAMPMARK
It seemed like a bright vision.  And that was primarily because it did not feature President George W. Bush.  But here, the Obama administration has undertaken what it said it would not do – run trials before military commissions it promised it would disband, against ...
Jailing Doctors in Bahrain
PATRICK COCKBURN
Bahrain’s military court has sentenced 20 doctors, nurses and paramedics who treated protesters injured during pro-democracy rallies earlier in the year to up to 15 years in prison. The defendants say they were tortured during interrogation to extract false confessi...
Fractures in Bahrain
PATRICK COCKBURN
Senior Bahraini police officers suspended for torturing detainees are being swiftly reinstated in a sign of a growing struggle for power within the al-Khalifa royal family over the extent of the repression to be used against pro-democracy protesters. In addition, 9...
Kidnapping, Torture and the Red Sox
RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE
On Sunday, September 11, the Schenectady Gazette featured several opinion pieces relating to the 9-11 jihadist attack in 2001. None of the pieces so troubled my sleep as the offering by Daniel T. Weaver, “Richmor Role Should Be Investigated.” The reaso...
Operation Torture
VIJAY PRASHAD
“No state 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.” United Nations Convention Against Torture (art....
When Qaddafi Was Our Friend
JOANNE MARINER
With Muammar Qaddafi’s ignominious disappearance to who knows where, fast on the heels of President Obama’s proclamation that “Qaddafi’s rule is over,” it is easy to think of the United States as the dictator’s stubborn, persistent, and ultimately triump...
The Post 9/11 Torture Network
PATRICK COCKBURN
Here is an account by a Libyan, who did not want to disclose his name, of what it was like to be tortured by Libyan security. He says: “I was blindfolded and taken upstairs. I was shocked with electricity and made to sit on broken glass. They were kicking and punchi...
MI6, Oil and Libya’s Torture Chambers
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule is coming to an end in Libya and a picture of contrasts is emerging. There is a contrast between the celebratory mood in London, Paris and Washington on one hand and Libya itself on the other. With Gaddafi down and disappeared but not alto...
Cheney’s Kettle Logic
DAVID SWANSON
Sigmund Freud once mentioned the defense offered by a man who was accused by his neighbor of having returned a kettle in a damaged condition. In the first place, he had returned the kettle undamaged; in the second place it already had ho...
Bahrain: the Divided Kingdom
PATRICK COCKBURN
Sometimes I think there must be a fatal connection between the initial letter “B” and places torn apart by struggles for power between different religious communities. I started as a journalist in Belfast in the early 1970s when the city was convulsed by secta...
Torture Accountability After All?
STEPHEN SOLDZ
Those of us who opposed the Bush administration torture program have been demoralized by the lack of accountability for the numerous abuses committed as part of that program. President Obama decried torture, and said he would end it, but he also said he wan...
Doctors and Nurses Tortured in Bahrain
PATRICK COCKBURN
Doctors and nurses put on trial in Bahrain last week told relatives that they had been beaten with hoses and wooden boards with nails in them as well as being forced to eat feces. They were also compelled to stand without moving for lo...
Torture at a Louisiana Prison
JORDAN FLAHERTY
The torture of prisoners in US custody is not only found in military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. If President Obama is serious about ending US support for torture, he can start here in Louisiana. The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is alread...
The Torture Ban That Doesn’t Ban Torture
ALLAN NAIRN
If you’re lying on the slab still breathing, with your torturer hanging over you, you don’t much care if he is an American or a mere United States – sponsored trainee. When President Obama declared flatly this week that “the United States wi...