Posts Tagged ‘torture’

Music Torture

October 23, 2019

Music Torture

“One of the more unusual methods employed by US interrogators to break the will of detainees during harsh interrogation at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Mosul, and elsewhere is the use of loud music. The 2006 edition of the US Army’s field manual for interrogation advocated the use of abusive sound as a method of interrogation, a practice corroborated by former detainees who were subject to this abuse.

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Jamal’s Apple Watch

October 15, 2018

Jamal's Apple Watch
On Saturday, pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah reported that Turkish officials have audio recordings of the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist who went missing on October 2nd after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and is presumed dead at the hands of a Saudi hit squad. The newspaper claims that Khashoggi recorded his own death on his Apple Watch and transmitted the audio files to his iPhone, held by his fiancée on the street outside the consulate.

That’s a memorable but unlikely story. Smartwatches connect to cellphones via Bluetooth, and it’s doubtful a signal could travel that far, and the likely recording app only transfers audio files after the watch wearer turns it off, a hard task for the deceased. If Turkish agents have such recordings, it’s most likely because they have the Saudi consulate bugged, and they spread the watch story as cover.

Mr. Khashoggi was a permanent resident of the U.S., so maybe the American ambassadors to Turkey and Saudi Arabia can look into the matter. Oh wait, President Trump still hasn’t appointed anyone to those crucial diplomatic posts.

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Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

February 23, 2016

Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

President Obama has announced his intention to finally, definitely, this time for sure, close down America’s offshore concentration camp at sunny Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The current tenants (most of whom have never been indicted or convicted of anything, but were simply denounced by score-settling neighbors and traded to the US for $5,000 cash bounties) are eager to relocate.

The US needs to liquidate this sunny surplus property now, while the demand for Cuban real estate is high, and provide the returns to the U.S. Treasury, which has spent $6 billion on Gitmo since G.W. Bush established it in 2002. And who knows, maybe American resort developers will be the successful bidders. Is it too early to make reservations for the Trump Tropical Gitmo Palace?

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Psychology Association: Okay, We’ll Stop Helping Torturers

August 8, 2015

Psychology Association: Okay, We'll Stop Helping Torturers

“The American Psychological Association voted Friday in favor of a resolution that would bar its members from participating in national security interrogations.

The resolution by the country’s largest professional organization of psychologists passed overwhelmingly. The only dissenting vote came from Col. Larry James, a former Army intelligence psychologist at Guantanamo.”

— “Psychology Group Votes To Ban Members From Taking Part In Interrogations,” Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News

“The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist … and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board. Mr. Behnke did not respond to a request for comment.”

— “Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds,” James Risen, New York Times

Related:

“Larry James,” Center for Torture Accountability

“US torture report: psychologists should no longer aid military, group says,” Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

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Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

July 23, 2015

Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

A long-anticipated real estate deal is about to put eight prime parcels of tropical paradise on the market. White House press secretary Josh Earnest blabbed that the Obama Administration is finally ready to close down the Guantánamo Bay concentration camps detention centers on the sunny island of Cuba.

The canny Mr. Obama teased the deal back in 2009, but waited for the Cuban real estate market to take off, and it’s muy caliente after US normalization of relations with the island nation. There are already deals in the works for a dozen new luxury golf courses, and tourists from as far away as China are waiting for tee times.

The “Gitmo” detention centers now hold 116 inmates guests at a cost of more than $100 million (possibly $454 million) a year, so it’s plainly time to cash out and recoup costs during Cuba’s current resort development boom. The deal would look better without sitting tenants and since 106 of those 116 guests have never been charged or convicted of anything, it’s time to find them other accommodations. And why host the remaining 10 guests at an annual cost of at least $10 million each when the Government Accountability Office has found many alternatives?

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CIA: Whitehouse-Sanctioned Torture

December 10, 2014

CIA: Whitehouse-Sanctioned Torture

“5 questions about the CIA detention and interrogation report you wish you didn’t have to ask,” Adam Goldman, Washington Post

“Senate report on CIA torture claims spy agency lied about ‘ineffective’ program,” Spencer Ackerman, Dominic Rushe, and Julian Borger, The Guardian

“10 appalling findings in the Senate’s torture report,” Luke Brin, Salon

“16 absolutely outrageous abuses detailed in the CIA torture report,” Dylan Matthews, Vox

“The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report,'” Shane Harris, Daily Beast

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Cheney’s Legacy: Waterboarding

April 8, 2014

Cheney's Legacy: Waterboarding

Last week, former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke to a college TV audience about the Bush Administration’s “enhanced interrogation” program. “Some people call it torture,” he said. “It wasn’t torture. We were very careful in all respects to abide by the law.”

“If he doesn’t think that was torture,” Senator Angus King said on Sunday, “I would invite him … to sit in a waterboard and go through what those people went through.”

— “Sen. Angus King: If Cheney doesn’t think waterboarding is torture, I invite him to try it,” Lindsey Abrams, Salon

More:

“Dick Cheney: Waterboarding gets ‘results,'” Chicago Sun-Times

“Sorry, Dick Cheney: Torture doesn’t work,” Ryan Cooper, The Week

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Alberto Gonzales Goes Nashville

October 20, 2011

Alberto Gonzales Goes Nashville

Nashville’s Belmont University has a new law school, one that opened last summer. It also has a new Distinguished Professor of Law, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The Distinguished Professor is also distinguished by his official endorsement of government torture and kidnapping during his time at the White House and in the Justice Department.

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Who’s to Blame for Destroying CIA Tapes?

November 10, 2010

Who's to Blame for Destroying CIA Tapes

A few years ago, U.S. agents tortured people and videotaped these “enhanced interrogations.” They also made people disappear at “black sites” around the world. When investigators started poking around, the recordings disappeared, too.

 Why destroy the tapes? Despite assurances from the Department of Justice and the White House, waterboarding and similar practices are torture, against federal, military, and international law. The cover-up shows the interrogators knew this.

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Bush: I Ordered Waterboarding

November 5, 2010

 Bush: I Ordered Waterboarding

In his memoir to be released next Tuesday, George W. Bush admits that he personally approved the use of waterboarding in the “enhanced interrogation” of prisoners while he was president. The coercive technique of intentional drowning meets the definition of torture under the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Treaty on Human Rights, the U.S. Army Field Manual and Title 18 of the U.S. legal code.

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