Torture


783784-nPerformance art with an undertone of torture seems to be big right now — so at least it’s being put to good use in an animal rights protest shocking passersby in central London. The Herald Sun writes:

A young woman agreed to be tortured in full public view to try and end animal testing. Jacqueline Traide endured ten hours of injections, being smothered in different lotions, and irritants being squirted into her eyes as part of a world-wide campaign by Lush and The Humane Society International.

The stunt took place in a Lush store window on London’s Regent Street, one of the UK’s busiest shopping precincts. Passers-by were stunned by the display, with many stopping to take photos and record the gruesome spectacle with their phones.


Jose A Rodriguez JrVia Common Dreams:

The former CIA officer who ordered the destruction of videotaped interrogations which showed the torture of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri in a secret CIA prison in Thailand in 2002, says he did so because he worried about the global repercussions if the footage leaked out and wanted to get “rid of some ugly visuals.”Jose Rodriguez, who oversaw the CIA’s once-secret interrogation and detention program, in his new book Hard Measures, writes critically of President Obama’s counterterrorism policies and complains openly about the president’s public criticism of Bush’s torture policies.

“I cannot tell you how disgusted my former colleagues and I felt to hear ourselves labeled ‘torturers’ by the president of the United States,” Rodriguez writes in his book, Hard Measures, which the Associated Press previewed in a new report.

Complaining about “bureaucratic” hand-wringing in Washington, Rodriguez claims he had the authority to dispose of the tapes. “I wasn’t going to sit around another three years waiting for people to get up the courage,” to do what CIA lawyers said he had the authority to do himself, Rodriguez writes…



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…





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:




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.









[disinformation ed.’s note: The Washington Post reports that “Obama administration officials are drafting an executive order that would set up a review process for detainees held indefinitely at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” In a region where both American and Cuban law ceases to exist, does this order follow the procedures set forth in President Obama’s May 2009 speech about detainees who would be held indefinitely at that military prison? With that in mind, we thought we’d remind our readers of Russ Kick’s “12 Arguments Against the Police State at Guantanamo Bay” in his Book of Lists: Subversive Facts and Hidden Information in Rapid-Fire Format (2004)]:
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The 660 or so people being held at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have never been tried or even charged with crimes. They can be held for the rest of their lives at the whim of the government, and the military has floated the possibility of executing some of them. In an effort to remedy this disgraceful destruction of rights and the law, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a petition seeking habeas corpus, which would force the government to Constitutionally process the prisoners (i.e., quick and speedy trials, jury of peers, right to confront accusers, etc.).

A district court refused, buying the feds’ ridiculous argument that because the US military base is located on the island of Cuba, it isn’t subject to US law, though it also is most definitely not subject to Cuban law. Following this line of argument, no law applies there, making it an autonomous zone, as devised by Hakim Bey, or an interzone, from the works of William Burroughs. I’m sure that the men and women stationed at Guantanamo Bay would be surprised to know that they can apparently steal, rape, and kill with impunity. Go ahead, snort coke off your commanding officer’s desk. It’s all right, because US law doesn’t apply…





While the U.S. media simultaneously wrings its hands over whether Julian Assange should get life imprisonment or the death penalty and claims WikiLeaks revealed nothing important except about Iran’s WMD ambitions, Scott Horton reports at Harper’s:

Over the Christmas-New Year’s holiday in 2003, Khaled El-Masri traveled by bus to Skopje, Macedonia. There he was apprehended by border guards who noted the similarity of his name to that of Khalid al-Masri, an Al Qaeda agent linked to the Hamburg cell where the 9/11 attacks were plotted. Despite El-Masri’s protests that he was not al-Masri, he was beaten, stripped naked, shot full of drugs, given an enema and a diaper, and flown first to Baghdad and then to the notorious “salt pit,” the CIA’s secret interrogation facility in Afghanistan.

At the salt pit, he was repeatedly beaten, drugged, and subjected to a strange food regime that he supposed was part of an experiment that his captors were performing on him. Throughout this time, El-Masri insisted that he had been falsely imprisoned, and the CIA slowly established that he was who he claimed to be. Over many further weeks of bickering over what to do, a number of CIA figures apparently argued that, though innocent, the best course was to continue to hold him incommunicado because he “knew too much.”…