torture is wrong

opposing torture through activism and education

 
"Abu Ghraib and other situations like that are non biodegradable." Petraeus PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 February 2010 13:14

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/21/petraeus-takes-on-cheneyi_n_470608.html

Appearing on Meet the Press, the general made a compelling case against torturing terrorist detainees, saying he found it far more pragmatic and beneficial to stick to methods authorized by the army field manual.

"I have always been on the record, in fact, since 2003, with the concept of living our values. And I think that whenever we've perhaps taken expedient measures, they've turned around and bitten us in the backside. We decided early on, in the 101st airborne division, we just said, we decided to obey the Geneva Conventions...

"In the cases where that is not true [where torture takes place or international human rights groups aren't granted access to detention sites] we end up paying a price for it, ultimately," he added. "Abu Ghraib and other situations like that are non biodegradable. They don't go away. The enemy continues to beat you with them like a stick.... Beyond that, frankly, we have found that the use of interrogation methods in the army field manual that was given the force of law by Congress, that that works." 

 
the OPR report PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 20 February 2010 13:26

Here it is : http://www.scribd.com/doc/27133902/OPR-Report-On-Torture-Memos

From Margolis’s cover letter;

OPR concluded that former Office of Legal COusnel (OLC) attorneys John Yoo AND Jay Bybee engaged in professional misconduct by failing to provide "thorough, candid, and objective" analysis in memoranda regarding the interrogation of detained terrorist suspects. Consistent with OPR's usual procedures, OPR indicated its intent to refer its finding of misconduct to the state bar disciplinary authorities in the jurisdictions where Bybee and Yoo are members.

[snip]

For the reasons stated below, I do not adopt OPR's findings of misconduct. This decision should not be viewed as an endorsement of the legal work that underlies those memoranda. However, OPR's own analytical framework defines "professional misconduct" such that a finding of misconduct depends on application of a known, unambiguous obligation or standard to the attorney's conduct. I am unpersuaded that OPR has identified such a standard. For this reason and based on the additional analysis set forth below, I cannot adopt OPR's findings of misconduct, and I will not authorize OPR to refer its findings to the state bar disciplinary authorities in the jurisdictions where Yoo and Bybee are licensed.

OPR concluded that former Office of Legal COusnel (OLC) attorneys John Yoo AND Jay Bybee engaged in professional misconduct by failing to provide "thorough, candid, and objective" analysis in memoranda regarding the interrogation of detained terrorist suspects. Consistent with OPR's usual procedures, OPR indicated its intent to refer its finding of misconduct to the state bar disciplinary authorities in the jurisdictions where Bybee and Yoo are members.

[snip]

For the reasons stated below, I do not adopt OPR's findings of misconduct. This decision should not be viewed as an endorsement of the legal work that underlies those memoranda. However, OPR's own analytical framework defines "professional misconduct" such that a finding of misconduct depends on application of a known, unambiguous obligation or standard to the attorney's conduct. I am unpersuaded that OPR has identified such a standard. For this reason and based on the additional analysis set forth below, I cannot adopt OPR's findings of misconduct, and I will not authorize OPR to refer its findings to the state bar disciplinary authorities in the jurisdictions where Yoo and Bybee are licensed. 

 
Cheney's successful lies PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 19:29

All this was inspired by the principle--which is quite true in itself--that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation

Hitler in Mein Kampf

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it

Hitler’s psychological profile prepared by Walter Langer for the OSS during WWII

But it is necessary to know well how to ... be a great pretender and dissembler; and men are so simple and so obedient to present necessities that he who deceives will always find someone who will let himself be deceived.

Machiavelli

The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.


George Orwell

It takes two to lie.  One to lie and one to listen.  "Homer Simpson"

 

 
watering torture down PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 February 2010 13:55

Watering Torture Down  Why are the media so happy to use the T word in a child-abuse case?

By Dahlia Lithwick 

http://www.slate.com/id/2244307/

From the article:

“ What's appalling, then, about the dozens of eager media references to water-boarding in connection with the Tabor story is the willingness of the media to attach the words water-boarding and torture to Tabor's act of child abuse. Newspapers that have diligently limited themselves to calling water-boarding "enhanced interrogation" in the context of the Guantanamo detainees are suddenly ready to use the word now that a 4-year-old girl is involved.

ABC news, for instance, has largely used the words "harsh interrogation techniques" and "severe tactics" to describe water-boarding when it's done to American detainees. But the Joshua Tabor story that ran yesterday on ABC states that "the girl and the father admitted to the torture" and describes "the torture technique of waterboarding," with a link to another ABC story that quite deliberately avoids ever calling it torture. We are evidently only willing to call such conduct torture if it's applied to people we want to see as innocent.


.In a 2008 interview with Harper's Scott Horton, Professor Rejali warned of this very phenomenon. "I think we need to pay attention to our new culture of irresponsibility. We live now in an age where something is or is not torture depending on when and who it is done to," he said. "Zapping an angry businessman on an airplane cabin will be called torture, but zapping a foreigner might just be good security and completely excusable. This is bad." If we begin to think of water-boarding as scandalous as applied to some and perfectly justified when applied to others, we have just changed it from an illegal act of torture into a plausible menu selection.”

 

 
the guy behind Liz Cheney's group PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 11:03

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joe_conason/2010/02/09/torturedkids/index.html

 

 
Terrorism Derangement Syndrome PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 February 2010 17:40

http://www.slate.com/id/2243429/pagenum/all/#p2

 

Terrorism Derangement Syndrome by Dahlia Lithwick for Slate

 

 
the man of the hour PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 22:57

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/01/26/cia_man_retracts_claim_on_waterboarding

John  Kiriakou, the telegenic CIA guy who very publicly went on ABC to claim that Zubaydah gave ginormous amounts of actionable information disrupting “a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks” now says that – er … ah … not so much. First of all, he wasn’t actually there at the secret prison in Thailand where the waterboarding (83 waterboardings) occurred. He was at his desk in Northern Virginia. He was just passing on what he had “heard’ and “read”. He also now claims (in his book, natch) that the CIA was using him to dispense inaccurate information about the efficacy of waterboarding. O those diabolical geniuses at the CIA,  deploying their  uncanny spycraft to protect lie to the American public.

This “exclusive” interview was cited constantly as evidence that torture “works” and was given a great deal of play at the time, but even in his first interview, Kiriakou said he was not actually there . From the article at Foreign Policy : After Kiriakou repeated his waterboarding-efficiency claims to the Washington Post, the New York Times, National Public Radio, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and other media organizations last year, a CNN anchor called him "the man of the hour."   He was the man of the hour because he gave us the inside CIA straight dope – torture works. This fit perfectly into the prevailing media narrative. It still does – that’s why you will see no coverage of the fact that Mr. Kiriakou has just admitted that everything he said was a pile of crap.

None of Mr. Kiriakou’s interview was actually true, but in “the age of the demolition of the fact” (Mark Danner) this is sad evidence that , while the facts are malleable, the narrative is not.

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 January 2010 23:00 )
 
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