The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Torture

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I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening. Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was... Read More
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The advent of sound recording deep-sixed this age-old thought experiment and offered a definitive answer: Yes! I’ve got another one for you, though: if you water-torture someone at a secure military compound and no one... Read More
‘This is La Main Rouge,’ said the gruff voice on our home telephone in Geneva, Switzerland.. ‘Stop your activities on behalf of the FLN or we will kill you.’ The mysterious caller hung up. I was petrified. La Main Rouge was killing supporters of free Algeria across Europe. This was 1959 where I was studying... Read More
One Organization at a Time
Sometimes the good guys do win. That’s what happened on August 8th in San Francisco when the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association (APA)
I offer you this guarantee: there’s an anniversary coming on October 7th that no one in this country is going to celebrate or, I suspect, even think about. Seventeen years ago, less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration former ally in the Afghan anti-Soviet war of the 1980s, and his relatively... Read More
About four years ago, I was browsing through one of Manhattan's last remaining independent bookstores, when my cellphone rang. I didn't recognize the incoming telephone number, with its 202 area code, but I assumed it was a Fox News colleague from our Washington bureau. When I answered the phone, a somewhat familiar but somber voice... Read More
How did a person who should be in the criminal dock both in the US and in the International Criminal Court for running a torture prison get appointed the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency? What is all the Washington talk about defending human rights when a torturer is put in charge of covert... Read More
Few Americans ever took in the vastness of the prison outsourcing system the administration of George W. Bush set up from Afghanistan to Iraq,
What the Paintings by Its Prisoners Tell Us About Our Humanity and Theirs
We spent the day at a beach in Brooklyn. Skyscrapers floated in the distance and my toddler kept handing me cigarette filters she had dug out of the sand. When we got home, I checked my email. I had been sent a picture of a very different beach: deserted, framed by distant headlands with unsullied... Read More
Will Washington Never Learn?
Eight years ago, when I
Karen Greenberg first arrived at TomDispatch in January 2005 in tandem with defense attorney Joshua Dratel. Their book asking questions. Thirty-seven of them, to be exact, all pointed, all uncomfortable, all directed at then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, all focused on the Bush administration’s torture policies and what, after a visit to Guantanamo in 2007,... Read More
Hired psychologists devised "enhanced interrogation techniques” to break prisoners
Given the intense media coverage over Charlottesville, settlement of the case. It is surprising that it has taken this long to reach this point, where one might obtain minimal legal redress for pain and suffering. There should be no question about the legality of torture. It has been universally condemned and banned by both the... Read More
Torture, Rendition, and Indefinite Detention Under Trump
When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched their
Where does The New York Times reported that in an interview with its senior staff, he said that he had changed his mind after talking with retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, who is a leading candidate to be the next secretary of defence. Trump quoted Gen Mattis as saying that “I’ve never found it... Read More
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has just released its report, “Extreme Measures: Abused Children Detained As National Security Threats.”
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Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?
"The cold was terrible but the screams were worse," Sara Mendez
Let’s take a moment to think about the ultimate strangeness of our American world. In recent months,
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The Shameful Ordeal of Abu Zubaydah
The allegations against the man were serious indeed. * Donald Rumsfeld
Candidates Compete to Promise the Most Torture and Slaughter
From the look of the presidential campaign, war crimes are back on the American agenda. We really shouldn’t be surprised, because American officials got away with it last time -- and in the case of the drone wars
What a scam! Noam Scheiber and Patricia Cohen described it
An all-star cast teams up to spin their enhanced interrogation regime
Back in the days when I was a spy there were certain things that one just did not dwell upon. Everyone who worked in the field knew that there were episodes that it would be best not to recall, either because they were embarrassing, possibly unsavory, or even, more rarely, wildly successful though at a... Read More
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The trillion dollar a year war on terror is a witness protection program for government felons
The United States already has by far the per capita largest prison population of any developed country but I am probably one of the few Americans who on this Independence Day would like to see a lot more people in prison, mostly drawn from politicians and senior bureaucrats who have long believed that their status... Read More
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The Secret Origins of the CIA’s Torture Program and the Forgotten Man Who Tried to Expose It
The witness reported men being hung by the feet or the thumbs, waterboarded, given electric shocks to the genitals, and suffering from extended solitary confinement in what he said were indescribably inhumane conditions. It’s the sort of description that might have come right out of the executive summary of the
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
Barbarism Then and Now
Sometimes a little stroll through history can have its uses. Take, as an example, the continuing debate over torture in post-9/11 America. Last week, Stephen Bradbury, the head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, testified before the House Judiciary Committee about waterboarding. In defending its use, Bradbury took a deep dive into the... Read More
According to the New Yorker's Paul Kramer, here's what A.F. Miller of the 32nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Credit: Antiwar.com
Google’s Boycott Campaign Against War Photography and Alternative Media
What happens when a dynamic company, started by a couple of idealistic friends in grad school, succeeds so wildly that it becomes a mega-corporation that pervades the lives of hundreds of millions? In imperial America, it would seem, it eventually becomes corrupted, even captured. Tragically, that seems to be the unfolding story of Google. By... Read More
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From Torture to Drone Assassination, How Washington Gave Itself a Global Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card
"The sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” said conservative thinker Carl Schmitt in 1922, meaning that a nation’s leader can defy the law to serve the greater good. Though Schmitt’s service as Nazi Germany’s chief jurist and his unwavering support for Hitler from the night of the long knives to Kristallnacht and beyond... Read More
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A Gallery of American Heroes
Why was it again that, as President Obama said, “
Ali Saleh al-Marri is a convicted conspirator who entered the United States before 9/11 in order to create a dreaded sleeper cell here that might someday launch an attack on Americans similar to what we witnessed earlier this month in Paris. When the feds woke from their slumber on 9/11, they wisely began to search... Read More
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It's All-American
Christmas week is possibly a good time to reflect on what kind of nation we have become. Americans are much given to think of themselves as exceptional, so much so that “exceptionalism” as a national attribute has entered the political vocabulary. Americans also like to think of themselves as generous, fair minded to a fault,... Read More
The Senate's investigation may only be the tip of the iceberg
The meticulously documented 528-page Senate Intelligence Committee
Introduction: The US Senate Report documenting CIA torture of alleged terrorist suspects raises a number of fundamental questions about the nature and operations of the State, the relationship and the responsibility of the Executive Branch and Congress to the vast secret police networks which span the globe – including the United States. CIA: The Politics... Read More
The White House wanted to justify the 2003 invasion
The CIA tortured al-Qaeda suspects because it wanted evidence that Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11 in order to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The agency was under intense pressure from the White House and senior figures in the Bush administration to extract confessions confirming co-operation between the Iraqi leader and al-Qaeda, although... Read More
It came from the top and that’s never been a secret. The president
Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted
The justifications for its actions given by the CIA since the
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Beyond the Senate Torture Report
It’s the political story of the week in Washington. At long last, after the endless stalling and foot-shuffling, the arguments about redaction and
Torture is a crime under both American and international law. The Bush administration repeatedly broke the law from 2002 to 2006 by unleashing a wave of torture, kidnapping, and murder, all under the banner of its faux “war on terror.” “Terror” is a wonderfully useful propaganda term developed by the Israelis and adopted by the... Read More
Readers have asked for my take on the CIA torture report. There is so much information and commentary available that it is unnecessary. Igor Volsky
When the head of the CIA's torture unit decided to destroy videotapes of his team's horrific work, he unwittingly set in motion a series of events that led to the release this week of the most massive, detailed documentation of unlawful behavior by high-ranking government officials and intentional infliction of pain on noncombatants by the... Read More
The Senate Intelligence Committee released its long-awaited report on CIA torture of detainees and the reaction has been strong. While some still maintain that torture is justified, the emerging details of the program have left most of the country disgusted and ashamed. Many in the current Administration blame the Bush people for this dark chapter,... Read More
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David Copperfield is a CIA Contractor?
The crisis involving the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a Godsend to politicians, which is probably why the threat actually posed by the group is being hyped as it is while the White House and Pentagon continue to change the meaning of commonly used English expressions to enable the attacking of just... Read More
In some respects, the recent admission by CIA Director John Brennan that his agents and his lawyers have been spying on the senators whose job it is to monitor the agency should come as no surprise. The agency's job is to steal and keep secrets, and implicit in those tasks, Brennan would no doubt argue,... Read More
Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos... Read More
It sounded like the beginning of a bad joke: a CIA agent and a U.S. Special Operations commando walked into a barbershop in Sana... That’s the capital of Yemen in case you didn’t remember and not the sort of place where armed Americans usually wander out alone just to get a haircut. Here’s what we... Read More
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Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World
Once upon a time, if a character on TV or in a movie tortured someone, it was a sure sign that he was a bad guy. Now, the torturers are the all-American heroes. From 24 to Zero Dark Thirty, it’s been the good guys who wielded the pliers and the waterboards. We’re not only living... Read More
The River Kwai Passes Through Latin America and Washington
What a way to celebrate Torture Awareness Month! According to an Amnesty International Poll released in May, 45% of Americans believe that torture is “sometimes necessary and acceptable” in order to “gain information that may protect the public.” Twenty-nine percent of Britons “strongly or somewhat agreed” that torture was justified when asked the same question.... Read More
I’ll bet you didn’t know that June is “torture awareness month” thanks to the fact that, on June 26, 1987, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
There is some horse-trading going on between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee over the packaging of the committee’s now notorious 6,300-page report on the CIA interrogation program. It is generally agreed that only the 500-page summary of the report will actually see the light of day—and even that will be heavily... Read More