Tag Archives | Torture

Cheers for Torture Scenes? ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

WIRED.COM‘s Spencer Ackerman offers a justification for the inclusion of torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty, a Katherine Bigelow-helmed film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden:

“It’s a movie, not a documentary,” screenwriter Mark Boal told The New Yorker. “We’re trying to make the point that waterboarding and other harsh tactics were part of the C.I.A. program.” That quote has electrified the internet as a statement of intent to gussy up the importance of torture. But the fact is torture was part of the CIA’s post-9/11 agenda: dispassionate journalists like Mark Bowden presents it as such in his excellent recent book.

Zero Dark Thirty does not present torture as a silver bullet that led to bin Laden; it presents torture as the ignorant alternative to that silver bullet. Were a documentarian making the film, there would surely be less torture in the movie: CNN’s Peter Bergen considered an early cut of those scenes overwrought in their gruesomeness and reminds that senators who have investigated the CIA torture program reject the idea that torture led to bin Laden.

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Police State 101, Torture Impunity, Obama’s Second Chance?

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to Ian Freeman, Host of “Free Talk Live”, about the police state and the erosion of American civil liberties. Abby then talks to RT Arabic Correspondent, Reema Abu Hamdieh, about the polarized views of Arabs in the Middle East toward a second Obama Administration. BTS wraps up the show with a look at torture, murder and rape by US military contractors going unpunished.

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Rebranding Propaganda, Normalizing Torture, Third Party Censorship

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks about the Third Party Debates that aired live on RT, and talks to Georgetown Professor, Chris Chambers about the total media blackout that keeps alternative voices and third party candidates in the dark. Abby then looks at the NYPD’s continued surveillance of Muslim communities and foiled FBI sting operations, and Obama’s rebranding of the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism policies with an interview with Media Roots Journalist, Robbie Martin.

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Media Roots Radio – Obama Immunizes Torturers, Murderers and War Criminals

Media Roots Radio – Obama Immunizes Torturers, Murderers, War Criminals by Media Roots

MEDIA ROOTSAbby and Robbie Martin talk about how the Obama administration promised to prosecute and investigate all illegal acts that happened during the Bush administration then reversed that promise after they cut a deal. The irony of how Nixon’s pardon was less offensive than Obama’s under the radar ceasing of any ongoing investigation into war crimes is discussed. They also discuss Abby’s new live TV show ‘Breaking the Set’ which has been going for almost a month after its premiere on RT America.

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The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs: STRAIGHT, Inc. Survivor Steve Brown

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Steve Brown wasn’t a bad teenager: He smoked a little pot and drank some beer now and again with his friends – your typical 15 year-old. So how did he end up hundreds of miles away from home in a “drug treatment center” based on a program that took its lead from Chinese brainwashing techniques? Steve’s new home was a place where children were beaten, starved and deprived of sleep to ensure compliance; where children were forced to sleep in a series of strangers’ houses so that the executives could avoid inspections. This was STRAIGHT, Inc., the brainchild of a wealthy businessman whose deep connections to the Republican party ensured no political favor was too far out of reach in the era of “Just Say No.” Join us for a tale of drug hysteria, government malfeasance and big money in this episode of the DisinfoCast.… Read the rest

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Animal Rights Protester Agrees To Be Tortured

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.

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Ex-CIA Officer Who Destroyed Waterboarding Videos: Torturers ‘Disgusted’ at Being Labeled ‘Torturers’

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…

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Who Did Give the Green Light to Torture?

320px-Gul_MudinPaul 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.

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