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Torture

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There was a nasty dustup on Twitter between the Glenn Greenwald forces and sympathizers with Bashar al Assad concerning the case of Maher Arar—a Canadian citizen who was deported by the US to Syria, where he was detained for 9 months and tortured (he describes his treatment here)--and whether Syria under Assad had assisted the... Read More
…The Battle of Algiers As the moving finger of chaos hovered over Mali and Algeria last week, I took another look at Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 masterpiece, The Battle of Algiers. I am somewhat puzzled that this movie is not at the heart of the Zero Dark Thirty debate. Because in many ways, perhaps intentionally, ZDT... Read More
Maybe Torture Doesn’t Work But Kathryn Bigelow Seems to Like It
I saw Zero Dark Thirty last night. Most of it, anyway. In a bizarre incident, the theater fire alarm went off just as the Seal Team Six helicopter was about to touch down in Abbottabad. The Arclight made the interesting decision to keep the movie running (or non-decision, to be more accurate: in the brave... Read More
Everybody breaks under torture. From Winston Smith to Jason Bourne. Torture would work on me, for example. If somebody starts crushing my fingertips with a pair of pliers, I’m going to tell them my ATM PIN, Batman’s secret identity, whatever. But if you asked me where Bin Laden was, then I'm not the only person... Read More
The New York Times Misuses and Misremembers the Definition of Torture. Three BBC correspondents were treated horribly in Libya  by Khadafi forces.  They were beaten, hooded, and subjected to mock executions. The New York Times headlined its report 3 BBC Journalists Report Being Tortured in Libya. It's noteworthy, and not in a good way, that... Read More
It's interesting that the pro-torture lobby didn't push for more enhanced interrogation of those 10 Russian agents. Everybody seemed to be in a rush to dismiss those folks--especially that cute girl--as harmless dingbats. Doubtless, the Obama administration soft-pedalled the case so it wouldn't throw a spanner into the U.S.-Russia reset. Also, of course, Russia was... Read More
America’s torture dilemma boils down to three letters: CAT. They stand for the "United Nations Convention Against Torture", a treaty that the United States ratified and made part of U.S. law under Statute 2340. Under U.S. law, the United States is obligated to prosecute its torturers. The door is also open for other nations to... Read More
I have an article in the current print edition of Counterpunch on the Wickersham Commission report on Lawlessness in Law Enforcement, under the pen name of Peter Lee. This article will provide enlightenment to anyone who ever wondered why the abusive apes in Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who were named the “Wickersham Brothers”. More... Read More
Hat tip to Daily Kos for linking to Jason Rood's report about treatment of Chinese Uighur prisoners at Guantanamo: And, via the Washington Monthly, the New York Times tells us this: The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of "coercive... Read More
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PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?