Tag Archives | Torture

Chicago Poised To Become First City To Pay Reparations For Police Violence

Michael Pereckas (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Pereckas (CC BY 2.0)

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

Victims of police torture by Jon Burge and his notorious “midnight crew” are one step closer to reparations today, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed to a package deal for survivors which includes a $5.5 million dollar fund. Survivors of Burge and his men say they were subjected to a variety of abhorrent and brutal torture procedures when being questioned— most often for crimes they knew nothing about— including electro-shock, Russian roulette, mock executions, beatings and more. Burge and the midnight crew tortured suspects to extract false confessions, which landed several men on death row.

According to the deal, a now amended ordinance brokered by the People’s Law Office, Amnesty International, Project NIA, Chicago Torture Memorials and several other groups, some 118 victims of the former Area 2 Commander and their families will be eligible for financial compensation and other benefits.… Read the rest

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Execution by Medical Neglect?

"Mumia03" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mumia03.jpg#/media/File:Mumia03.jpg

“Mumia03″ by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Dave Lindorff writes at CounterPunch:

Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical Philadelphia journalist convicted of killing a white Philadelphia police officer in a trial fraught with prosecutorial misconduct, witness coaching and judicial prejudice back in 1981, spent nearly three decades in solitary confinement in the deliberately designed hell of Pennsylvania’s supermax SCI Green prison before a panel of federal Appeals Court judges eventually ruled that he’d been unconstitutionally sentenced to death.

He, of course, received no apology for the state’s making him illegally and improperly spend all those years in solitary waiting to be wrongfully executed. Instead, with that ruling (after a few years of legal stalling by the Philadelphia district attorney’s office), he was simply switched over to a sentence of life without possibility of parole and moved to the SCI-Mahoney prison in central Pennsylvania.

Now, it appears the state, which lost its chance to execute him, may be trying to kill him another way, as word comes that this world-renowned political prisoner had to be rushed to the hospital this week, unconscious from an undiagnosed case of severe diabetes.

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The CIA Experimented on Human Beings

Camp x-ray detainees.jpg

“Reframing the CIA’s interrogation techniques as a violation of scientific and medical ethics may be the best way to achieve accountability,” writes Lisa Hajjar at The Nation:

Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program. The experimental nature of the interrogation and detention techniques is clearly evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s executive summary of its investigative report, despite redactions (insisted upon by the CIA) to obfuscate the locations of these laboratories of cruel science and the identities of perpetrators.

At the helm of this human experimentation project were two psychologists hired by the CIA, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. They designed interrogation and detention protocols that they and others applied to people imprisoned in the agency’s secret “black sites.”

In its response to the Senate report, the CIA justified its decision to hire the duo: “We believe their expertise was so unique that we would have been derelict had we not sought them out when it became clear that CIA would be heading into the uncharted territory of the program.” Mitchell and Jessen’s qualifications did not include interrogation experience, specialized knowledge about Al Qaeda or relevant cultural or linguistic knowledge.

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Ending Torture One Dick At a Time

DonkeyHotey (CC BY-SA 2.0)

DonkeyHotey (CC BY-SA 2.0)

John Grant writes at CounterPunch:

CAUTION! To paraphrase Bill O’Reilly, you are now entering a no-censor zone that discusses obscene activity.

The Christmas movie from Sony Pictures I want to see is Seth Rogen and James Franco rectally feeding Dick Cheney at the climax of a movie sequel called The Enhanced Interview: Saving the Homeland One Dick At a Time.

Rogen and Franco have a good track record at getting money for movies that break taboos. Both are actor/directors not queasy about biological functions. Rogen co-directed the movie The Interview that caused an international incident by having an actor play the real Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and, among all the dick jokes, exploding his head into biological goo; and Franco just directed an excellent film called Child Of God based on a Cormac McCarthy novel in which a mentally ill, homeless redneck is shown from behind cleaning his dirty ass crack with a stick and, later, having sex with a female corpse for whom he has purchased a red dress.

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Torture Spreading as Its Use Is ‘Normalized’ by TV Shows like ’24’

 24 Logo

24 Logo

Travis Gettys writes at Raw Story:

Torture is rampant across the world and has become almost normalized by the “war on terror” and its glamorous portrayal in shows such as “24″ and “Homeland,” Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

The London-based human rights group is launching a new campaign aimed at ending torture, which it says remains widespread even 30 years after a blanket prohibition was agreed by the United Nations.

In the past five years, Amnesty says it has recorded incidents in 141 countries, including 79 of the 155 signatories to the 1984 UN Convention against Torture.

The global survey of 21,000 people in 21 countries also revealed a widespread dread of the practice, with 44 percent saying they feared being abused if they were taken into custody.

Yet over a third percent of the respondents said they believed torture was sometimes necessary and acceptable to gain information that may protect the public.

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Torture Is Who We Are

Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Peter Beinart writes at the Atlantic:

Torture, declared President Obama this week, in response to the newly released Senate report on CIA interrogation, is “contrary to who we are.” Maine Senator Angus King added that, “This is not America. This is not who we are.” According to Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, “We are better than this.”

No, actually, we’re not. There’s something bizarre about responding to a 600-page document detailing systematic U.S. government torture by declaring that the real America—the one with good values—does not torture. It’s exoneration masquerading as outrage. Imagine someone beating you up and then, when confronted with the evidence, declaring that “I’m not really like that” or “that wasn’t the real me.” Your response is likely to be some variant of: “It sure as hell seemed like you when your fist was slamming into my nose.” A country, like a person, is what it does.

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The Military and CIA Interrogation Program Has Not Stopped

The Senate report on torture created a tsunami of media coverage this week. The American public hasn’t been so shocked by evidence of the U.S. torture program since the Abu Ghraib photos of 2004. The program is far worse than previously disclosed. Greater numbers of victims have been tortured for longer periods and in ways that rival the most infamous tortures in history (“rectal feeding”). But one falsehood gets repeated as fact by even in the most serious reporters, namely, that the torture program stopped years ago. It has not. The Appendix M of the 2006 Army Field Manual on interrogation methods allows military and CIA interrogators to continue torturing detainees, and the current force feeding of Guantanamo hunger strikers is so brutal it rises to the level of torture.

The Senate torture report has stunning news about the two psychologists who first devised and demonstrated the torture protocols. Until now we knew only that the CIA had provided Drs.… Read the rest

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Psychologist Linked to CIA Interrogations Says He’s ‘Caught in Some Kafka Novel’

James Mitchell was one of the American psychologists identified as an architect of the “enhanced interrogation” programs in Martha Davis’s groundbreaking documentary Doctors of the Dark Side (well worth watching again in light of the release of the notorious Senate report on CIA torture programs). His company was paid $81,000,000 for its work running the CIA interrogation program. He’s now trying to imply that he’s retired, can’t confirm or deny the allegations and just wants to go kayaking, at Bloomberg News:

James Mitchell, a psychologist who allegedly co-founded a company the CIA paid to run its terror interrogation program, is retired in Florida and spends his free time kayaking, rafting and climbing. And finding his life a little surreal.

The 63-year-old, whose name was first linked by media reports in 2009 to the CIA program, said he can’t confirm or deny whether he had anything to do with the controversial program because of a non-disclosure agreement he signed with the government.

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Ex-CIA Directors Defend ‘Enhanced’ Interrogations

PorterJGoss.JPG

Porter J. Goss

At disinformation we’ve always tried to expose our readers to as many views as possible on a particular topic. As the distributor of the anti-torture documentary Doctors of the Dark Side we’re clearly in the anti-torture camp, but it’s always important to listen to the the other side, not least to be able to counter their thinking.

In the wake of the release of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s so-called torture report, former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden (a retired Air Force general), and former CIA Deputy Directors John E. McLaughlin, Albert M. Calland (a retired Navy vice admiral) and Stephen R. Kappes placed this op-ed defending ‘Enhanced’ interrogations in the Wall Street Journal:

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is a missed opportunity to deliver a serious and balanced study of an important public policy question.

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