Tag Archives | Torture

The Case of the Dead Brazilian Torturer Gets Murkier

PIC: Keith Schengili-Roberts (CC)

PIC: Keith Schengili-Roberts (CC)

Michael Uhl writes at CounterPunch:

They haven’t killed him yet.

Paulo Malhaes, the confessed Brazilian torturer whose death I recently reported on this site may not have been murdered after all. At least that’s what police investigating the case have been loudly proclaiming for the past week.

The former Army officer who had been an active agent of repression during Brazil’s military dictatorship in the nineteen seventies was found dead in his home on April 25th. It was immediately and widely assumed that Malhaes had been assassinated by former comrades disturbed by his recent testimony before the Brazilian Truth Commission. But the police in Nova Iguacu, a commuter city on the periphery of Rio de Janeiro, are saying that Malhaes died of a heart attack while being restrained during a routine house robbery gone wrong.

Based on what’s being reported in Brazil and via international wire services, however, the line of inquiry being pursued by the police is so rife with contradictory evidence and unanswered questions that the case is already showing all the earmarks of a cover up, if not a full blown conspiracy.

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The Road From Abu Ghraib: A Torture Story Without a Hero or an Ending

Goya_-_La_seguridad_de_un_reo_no_exige_tormento_(The_Custody_of_a_Criminal_Does_Not_Call_for_Torture)Karen J. Greenberg writes at TomDispatch:

It’s mind-boggling. Torture is still up for grabs in America. No one questions anymore whether the CIA waterboarded one individual 83 times or another 186 times. The basic facts are no longer in dispute either by those who champion torture or those who, like myself, despise the very idea of it. No one questions whether some individuals died being tortured in American custody.  (They did.) No one questions that it was a national policy devised by those at the very highest levels of government. (It was.) But many, it seems, still believe that the torture policy, politely renamed in its heyday “the enhanced interrogation program,” was a good thing for the country.

Now, the nation awaits the newest chapter in the torture debate without having any idea whether it will close the book on American torture or open a path of pain and shame into the distant future.

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Priest Charged with Raping and Torturing Schoolteachers During ‘Exorcisms’

Pic: Seal of the SSPX (PD)

Pic: Seal of the SSPX (PD)

An unnamed priest affiliated with the breakaway Catholic sect The Society of St. Pius X has been charged with the 2010 rape and torture of three French schoolteachers during an “exorcism”. Authorities will not name the priest’s name for fear that doing so may identify the victims.

The Society of St. Pius X is a radical traditionalist Catholic splinter group and is not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Its members, in turn, reject the authority of the Pope. The Society has faced much criticism over the years from people who consider its teachings anti-Semitic and reactionary: Founder Marcel Lefebvre was vocal in his praise of France’s Vichy government and advocacy for the return of absolute monarchy.

Via RT:

Police say the priest raped three women in the autumn of 2010 after he met them at the private religious school Ecole Notre-Dame-de-la Sablonniere in Goussonville, west of Paris, which he was running at the time, according to French media reports.

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How to Endure Torture

PIC: PD

PIC: PD

Joshua Day writes at Daily Kos:

(note: This diary refers to innocents, but the “non-innocents” referred to are also not guilty, only more experienced.)

The first thing a person who has been taken captive and faces torture must understand:  all hope is gone.  The perpetrators may seem deliverers, after days, months or years of torture.  The victim of torture must, beyond all other things, keep in their mind that the people responsible will not, ultimately, help them in any way.  The victim must discard all religious hope.  The victim must discard all hope of rescue.  Justice will not open her eyes.  The victim must realize hope is fiction.  After that, the pain can be dealt with in a number of ways.

Discarding hope renders the procedure pointless.  If there is no hope, then escaping the pain no longer matters.  The victim must embrace the pain, because pain will be his (or even her) closest friend.

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CIA Declassifies New Portions of KUBARK Interrogation Manual

PIC: CIA (PD)

PIC: CIA (PD)

The last declassified release from the KUBARK interrogation manual occurred in 1997. If you’re wondering KUBARK is what the CIA calls itself, as well as being the name of a reasonably obscure comic book character.

Via Muckrock:

In the midst of controversy over the potential release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, last month the CIA quietly released a newly declassified version of the infamous 1963 “KUBARK” interrogation manual. (Note: “KUBARK” was the CIA’s code name for itself.)

The new material adds greatly to our understanding of the CIA’s interrogation and torture history. This manual was first released to the Baltimore Sun in 1997 with heavy redactions, and received considerable coverage at the time. In subsequent years, the manual was cited as a harbinger if not model of U.S. torture during the Bush years. The National Security Archive posted the 1997 FOIA version of the manual online.

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Hell On Earth: Should Life Extension Technology Be Used to Punish Criminals?

Prometheus having his liver eaten by an eagle....

Prometheus having his liver eaten by an eagle. Painting by Jacob Jordaens, c. 1640, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That which is giving can be used to take away. What if life extension is used to punish? Should we punish the most heinous of villains for 100… 200… 300 years? What say you disinfonauts?

via aeon

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Hitler got off easy, given the scope and viciousness of his crimes. We might have moved beyond the Code of Hammurabi and ‘an eye for an eye’, but most of us still feel that a killer of millions deserves something sterner than a quick and painless suicide. But does anyone ever deserve hell?

That used to be a question for theologians, but in the age of human enhancement, a new set of thinkers is taking it up. As biotech companies pour billions into life extension technologies, some have suggested that our cruelest criminals could be kept alive indefinitely, to serve sentences spanning millennia or longer.

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Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Threatened with ‘Diesel Therapy’

Pic: The Reluctant Spy (C)

At Firedoglake’s Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola describes an escalating pattern of retaliation by prison officials against CIA whistleblower John Kirakou. If you’re interested in helping Kevin out, you can visit DefendJohnK.com for more information on how you can do that.

The federal correctional institution of Loretto, Pennsylvania, where former CIA officer John Kiriakou is serving a thirty-month jail sentence, appears to be scrambling to find any way they can to stop him from sending letters from prison. He has written another letter that details what seem to be clear acts of retaliation.

Since August of last year, Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto,” by Kiriakou, an imprisoned whistleblower who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the George W. Bush administration. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he provided the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter.

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Torture Permanently Damages Perception of Pain

Goya_-_La_seguridad_de_un_reo_no_exige_tormento_(The_Custody_of_a_Criminal_Does_Not_Call_for_Torture)A study of Israeli soldiers captured and tortured during the 1973 Yom Kippur war revealed that their perception of pain has been changed permanently.

Via NeuroScience News:

Forty years later, research by Prof. Ruth Defrin of the Department of Physical Therapy in the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University shows that the ex-prisoners of war (POWs), continue to suffer from dysfunctional pain perception and regulation, likely as a result of their torture. The study — conducted in collaboration with Prof. Zahava Solomon and Prof. Karni Ginzburg of TAU’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work and Prof. Mario Mikulincer of the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya — was published in the European Journal of Pain.

“The human body’s pain system can either inhibit or excite pain. It’s two sides of the same coin,” says Prof. Defrin. “Usually, when it does more of one, it does less of the other.

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Medical, Military, and Ethics Experts Say Health Professionals Designed and Participated in Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Treatment and Torture of Detainees

The documentary “Doctors of the Dark Side” revealed the issues highlighted in the report.

The Institute on Medicine as a Profession’s press release, below, summarizes the report “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror” that is causing a massive stir in the media. Let’s hope it ends up affecting policy…

New York, NY — An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts today charged that U.S. military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in U.S. military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm. The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers (see attached) concludes that since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) and CIA improperly demanded that U.S. military and intelligence agency health professionals collaborate in intelligence gathering and security practices in a way that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S.

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DoD, CIA Required Military Doctors to Breach Ethics in Dealing With Detainees

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 8.43.55 AM
Well, I know this is old news, but it’s heartening to see more and more professionals addressing the issue. In this case, The Institute on Medicine as a Profession. If you can stand a deeper look at the topic you might be interested in our documentary “Doctors of the Dark Side“. Trailer below the cut.

Via Eureka Alert:

An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts today charged that U.S. military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in U.S. military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm. The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers (see attached) concludes that since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) and CIA improperly demanded that U.S. military and intelligence agency health professionals collaborate in intelligence gathering and security practices in a way that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S.

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