Tag Archives | Torture
Paul Vallely writes at the Independent:
There has been something artificially over-heated about the international reaction to the video of four American soldiers urinating on the bodies of their dead Taliban enemies in Afghanistan. It was, of course, a fairly disgusting thing to do.
But all the breastbeating about how the men’s “egregious inhumanity” had brought “disgrace to their armed forces” and “dishonour to their nation” had something of bluster about it. How could anybody do such a thing, asked people who had never been to war, heard their wounded friends scream or seen them die, blown to pieces, before their very eyes.
There may yet be demonstrations and deadly riots around the world in protest. But I suspect not. This is no Abu Ghraib, for the scenes of degraded torture in that Iraqi prison were inflicted upon the living rather than the dead. But what the two have in common is that both have exposed a systematic pattern of abuse in a culture which had been nurtured or authorised at higher levels.
Someone forward this to Obama? In the New York Times, a Bosnian citizen and former humanitarian aid worker discusses being tortured and imprisoned at Guantanamo for seven years as an innocent man without facing charges, before the Supreme Court ordered him freed:
Wednesday, America’s detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone.
Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.
Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe these two! From the Smoking Gun:
Two young Milwaukee women were arrested this week after an 18-year-old Arizona man–who traveled to Wisconsin by bus after meeting one of the suspects online–told cops that he was held captive in the duo’s apartment for two days and slashed and stabbed more than 300 times as part of an apparent satanic sex ritual.
A Milwaukee Police Department search warrant for the East Knapp Street apartment where the man was held details his ordeal. The warrant authorized cops to seize an assortment of items from the residence, including “knives or other cutting instruments,” blood and DNA evidence, duct tape, restraining devices, and “Books or literature relating to Satanism or the occult.”
The police investigation began Sunday night after cops responded to a report of a possible stabbing. Officers found the Arizona man “bleeding from the neck, arms and back.” He told cops that after arriving at the home of a woman he met online, he “was bound and was stabbed numerous times over a timeframe of what he described as ‘two days.’”…
The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself. The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for ‘bear bile,’ which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as ‘crush cages’, as the bears have no room to manoeuvre and are literally crushed. The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears’ abdomen and gall bladder.
As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis. The bears are fitted with an iron vest, as they often try to kill themselves by hitting their stomach as they are unable to bear the pain.A person who was on the farm in place of a friend witnessed the procedures and told Reminbao.com that they were inhumane.
Russia Today speaks with Murat Kurnaz, a German man (of Turkish decent) whom the United States arrested and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for five years before releasing him without charge or explanation. Before arriving at Guantanamo, Kurnaz was shipped to Afghanistan, where, in an effort to make him sign a confession, he says he was given electrical shocks, water-boarded, hung from the ceiling in chains for days on end, kept naked in freezing cold, and saw many other prisoners tortured to death.
Kurnaz’s detainment occurred while he was visiting Pakistan with a pacifist anti-poverty organization. He suspects his name was randomly given to authorities by someone in order to receive the $3,000 reward for reporting terrorists. The whole ordeal recalls the Spanish Inquisition:
Two U.S. citizens were arrested, detained, held in captivity for months and tortured by the military after blowing the whistle on the now defunct private contractor they worked for. An Illinois court has upheld a motion to allow the pair to sue Donald Rumsfeld and other unnamed officials, but expect fierce resistance from the Obama administration. Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled Monday two men can move forward with a civil lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The Tribune reports the Court upheld a decision from a federal judge allowing a lawsuit which holds Rumsfeld personally responsible for the torture of Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, two former defense contractors in Iraq.
In 2006, while Vance and Ertel were working in Iraq for Shield Group Security, a private contractor, they began to suspect their employer of involvement in illegal arms trading, bribery, and other activities.
I have on good authority that this song was played at something called the “Jihadi Bar,” a place where CIA interrogators working at a Black Site went to unwind. That and other secrets of undisclosed torture prisons are found within my interview with ex-interrogator Glenn Carle for Danger Room.
Animals Australia and RSPCA Australia have launched a public campaign against the torture cattle endure during live export. The campaign asks the Live Export organization to reconsider the trade of living animals because of the cruel way they are treated before being slaughtered.
Note, they are not necessarily advocating vegetarianism or the elimination of slaughterhouses (although there are many benefits to reducing industrialized slaughterhouses including cutting down on pollution, increase agricultural land and reduction of animal cruelty), but they argue the unfair treatment of live animals being exported to other countries.
Warning: The video below include graphic material that may be difficult to watch.
In case you were wondering what this “holiday” is all about. (BTW, Mel Gibson makes really good movies):