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Torture

Tales From The Parents Of Tortured Palestinian Children

Beit Hanina, Occupied Jerusalem – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people. Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.

‘Mothers Of Gynecology’ Monument Exposes Horrors Of Slavery

A righteous tidal wave of anger followed people seeing the nine-minutes-plus videotaped police lynching of George Floyd in Minneapolis late May 2020. Racist monuments glorifying the slave-owning Confederacy came tumbling down, especially in the Deep South. These acts to take down the statues were part of historic mass protests that swept the country during the summer of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years earlier the monument paying homage to J. Marion Sims, once praised as the “father of modern gynecology,” was removed from Central Park in New York City, following many years of protest. What led to the removal was a growing understanding and anger that Sims, a 19th century gynecologist in Montgomery, Alabama, used enslaved Black women as guinea pigs, experimenting on them with new medical techniques without using anesthesia or obtaining their consent.

A Whistleblower’s Agony

A C.I.A. whistleblower languishes awaiting trial in a federal prison under inhumane conditions and almost nobody is paying attention. Joshua Schulte is a former C.I.A. hacker, one of those computer geniuses whose job it is to work his way into the computer systems of our country’s enemies in support of some of the most highly-classified operations the C.I.A. carries out. The government believes that Schulte was a malcontent who released to WikiLeaks in 2017 the equivalent of 2 billion pages of top secret C.I.A. data with code names like Brutal Kangaroo, AngerQuake and McNugget. These programs, collectively known as Vault 7, were custom-made techniques used to compromise Wifi networks, hack into Skype, defeat anti-virus software and even hack into smart TVs and the guidance systems in cars. 

A New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured

It is easy to forget why Julian Assange has been on trial in England for, well, seemingly forever. Didn’t he allegedly sexually assault two women in Sweden? Isn’t that why he holed up for years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid facing charges? When the bobbies finally dragged him out of the embassy, didn’t his dishevelled appearance confirm all those stories about his lousy personal hygiene? Didn’t he persuade Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to hack into the United States military’s computers to reveal national security matters that endangered the lives of American soldiers and intelligence agents? He says he is a journalist, but hasn’t the New York Times made it clear he is just a “source” and not a publisher entitled to first amendment protection?

Gina Haspel Watched Waterboarding At CIA ‘Black Site’

It was very difficult to watch some of my former colleagues file into the front rows in full support of the nomination of a torturer to head the CIA. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who had published a damning report on CIA torture in Dec. 2014, lost her nerve and let Haspel off the hook when she asked her if she had overseen the interrogation of al-Nashiri. Haspel: it’s classified. And, in fact, the answer was successfully kept out of the media until now, with Mitchell’s testimony. Intelligence Committee Chair, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) waxed eloquent, telling Haspel: “You are without a doubt the most qualified person the president could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70-year history of the agency. You have acted morally, ethically and legally over a distinguished 30-year career.” See what I mean by getting sick to my stomach?

Zelensky Oversees Campaign Of Assassination, Kidnapping And Torture

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has framed his country’s war against Russia as a battle for democracy itself. In a carefully choreographed address to US Congress on March 16, Zelensky stated, “Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided. The destiny of our people, whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy.” US corporate media has responded by showering Zelensky with fawning press, driving a campaign for his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize and inspiring a flamboyant musical tribute to himself and the Ukrainian military during the 2022 Grammy awards ceremony on April 3. Western media has looked the other way, however, as Zelensky and top officials in his administration have sanctioned a campaign of kidnapping, torture, and assassination of local Ukrainian lawmakers accused of collaborating with Russia.

America Plea Bargains For Its Crimes Of Torture

The Guardian reported last week that a recently-declassified CIA Inspector General’s report from 2008 found that CIA officers at a covert detention site in Afghanistan used a prisoner, Ammar al-Baluch, as a “training prop,” taking turns smashing his head against a plywood wall and leaving him with permanent brain damage.  Baluch is currently one of five defendants before a military tribunal at the US military prison at Guantanamo charged with participating in the planning for the September 11 attacks.  The case has been stuck in the pre-trial phase for 10 years, in part because much of the information that the government wants to use against the defendants was collected using torture.

Time For UK Government To Come Clean On Ties To US Torture Program

We Americans have had a painful and difficult national debate over the past 20 years relative to torture. Torture was official U.S. government policy from 2002 until at least 2005, and that iteration was not formally outlawed until passage of the McCain-Feinstein Amendment in 2015. (The torture program was a highly-classified secret from 2002 until I revealed it in a nationally-televised interview in December 2007.) In truth, torture has been illegal in the U.S. since at least the end of World War II. In 1946, the U.S. Government executed Japanese soldiers who had waterboarded American prisoners of war. In January 1968, the Washington Post ran a front-page photograph showing an American soldier waterboarding a North Vietnamese prisoner.

Student Granted Bail After Protesters Threaten To Render Kingdom ‘Ungovernable’

A court in the city of Manzini granted bail to Colani Maseko, the president of Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) on Friday, February 4. The student leader had been arrested on January 31 and charged with sedition. His bail came a day after the SNUS marched to the Manzini regional police headquarters and held a demonstration on February 3. A cross section of Swaziland’s pro-democracy forces, including the banned political parties, trade unions, and youth organizations, attended the action. Outside the police headquarters, protesters at the demonstration openly threatened to render the kingdom “ungovernable” until the release of Maseko and all other political prisoners of Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

National Faith Groups Call On Congress And President To Close Guantanamo Bay Prison

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, Jan. 11, twenty-nine national faith groups sent a letter to President Biden and all Members of Congress calling on them “to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and to ensure that all of the people held there are either released, agree to a plea deal, or receive a fair trial in a federal court.” Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released the following statement: “For twenty years our country has held people without charge or trial in Guantanamo. Some of the people we still hold there were tortured by the U.S. after they were captured. Others have been cleared to leave Guantanamo yet remain imprisoned there, indefinitely detained without trial.

Guantanamo Bay: ‘Ugly Chapter Of Unrelenting Human Rights Violations’

Geneva - On the 20th anniversary of the arrival of the first detainees at Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, UN experts* condemned the facility as a site of “unparalleled notoriety” and said its continued operation was a stain on the US Government’s commitment to the rule of law. “Twenty years of practising arbitrary detention without trial accompanied by torture or ill treatment is simply unacceptable for any government, particularly a government which has a stated claim to protecting human rights,” said the independent experts, appointed by the Human Rights Council. “As a newly elected Member of the Human Rights Council, the experts again call on the United States to close this facility and close this ugly chapter of unrelenting human rights violations.”

A Torture Survivor Speaks At The Guantanamo Military Commissions

“I have a story that I have waited almost two decades to tell, so I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to my statement.” For the next two hours, Majid Khan spoke to a panel of military jurors, and to his family—especially his father and sister, who had hugged their son and brother that morning for the first time in nineteen years and sat just feet away in the spectator gallery, visibly suffering through the horror of what they heard. Mr. Khan described brutality and its effects even beyond the heinous acts detailed in the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 2014 oversight study of the CIA torture program. Torture inflicted by medical personnel stood out. He explained that he was raped by CIA medics – under the guise of both “rectal feeding” and “rectal rehydration,” the latter using a “green garden hose,” with one end connected to a faucet and the other forcibly inserted into his rectum.

US Military Jurors Decry Guantanamo Detainee Torture

Seven United States military officers have written a letter urging clemency for Guantanamo Bay detainee Majid Khan, calling his account of torture at so-called CIA black sites a “stain on the moral fiber of America”. The seven officers were part of an eight-member military jury that on Friday issued a sentence of 26 years in prison to Khan for his support of al-Qaeda in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Khan had previously pleaded guilty in 2012 to serving as a courier for the group and helping to plan attacks. The letter from the officers, which was sent to a senior official reviewing the case, was published by the New York Times on Sunday. They were identified only by their juror numbers.

Biden Tells Supreme Court Publicly Documented Torture Is A State Secret

When Abu Zubaydah was apprehended in Pakistan in 2002, the George W. Bush administration falsely characterized him as chief of operations for al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s number three man. For the next four years, the CIA sent Zubaydah to its “black sites” in Thailand and Poland where he was viciously tortured. In 2006, Zubaydah was taken to Guantánamo, where he remains to this day. He has never been charged with a crime. The torture of Abu Zubaydah is thoroughly documented in the 2014 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In fact, several of the justices at the October 6 Supreme Court oral argument in United States v. Zubaydah referred to his treatment as “torture.” Zubaydah’s lawyers detailed the torture he suffered in their brief (which referenced the Senate torture report) as follows...

Inside The CIA Plot To Kidnap, Kill Julian Assange

Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News discusses his team’s reporting on the CIA plot to surveil, kidnap, and even kill Assange — all overseen by Michael Pompeo. In response, Pompeo has called for the prosecution of all the sources involved. The story builds on previous disclosures including a May 2020 exposé by The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal, which revealed that the CIA was working with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and the Spanish security firm UC Global to target and surveil Assange in London’s Ecuadorian embassy. Isikoff and Aaron Maté also debate Russia’s role in the Assange controversy, particularly the allegation that Russia stole Democratic Party emails in 2016 and gave them to Wikileaks.
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