Justice Department Documents Describe Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Used As Late As 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK – The government today handed over to the American Civil Liberties Union a detailed official description of the CIA’s interrogation program. That document, a December 2004 CIA background paper sent to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), provides a detailed official account of the CIA’s detention, interrogation and rendition programs – from a detainee’s initial apprehension, to his transfer to a CIA “black site,” to his interrogation – and describes the use of abusive interrogation techniques including forced nudity, sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation and stress positions. The document was one of dozens of documents, comprising hundreds of pages, that were made public today in response to two ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits for documents related to the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody overseas.
Just Foreign Policy
by Robert Naiman
24 August 2009 – 11:52am
On Friday, Latin America scholars sent an urgent letter to Human Rights Watch, urging HRW to speak out on violations of human rights under the coup regime in Honduras and to conduct its own investigation. HRW hasn’t made any statement about Honduras since July 8.
One of the things Human Rights Watch should be investigating is allegations by Honduran feminists and human rights groups that Honduran police are using rape and other sexual violence as weapons of intimidation against Hondurans nonviolently protesting the coup regime.
One thing that the Obama presidency has put into even sharper focus for me, is that most of the leaders of the world do not want peace.
People can try and fool themselves that unlike Bush (Or Clinton, or Bush, or Reagan, or Carter, or Ford, or Nixon…..etc), Obama truly wants peace. The reality of facts on the ground dispute this. We are deceiving ourselves if we think otherwise. Obama is fully on the trajectory of the Empire. There is no denying this. Continue reading →
Is anyone more than a little curious about where the so-called “populist revolt” against the Obama administration’s health care proposals is coming from and who is paying for it? You know, the revolt where people scream and disrupt town hall meetings, brandish guns outside in the street, accuse the government of planning mass euthanasia, and label a public option that would help some of the 47 million without health insurance get treatment as “socialist”?
My question is where were these brave patriots hiding when the Bush administration launched massive undeclared wars against Iraq and Afghanistan? Where were they when the military/CIA torture and rendition scandals erupted? Where were they when the Bush and later the Obama administrations gave away several trillion dollars in government bailouts, guarantees, and commitments to the financiers who engineered the biggest heist of the people’s money in history?
By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 24, 2009; 2:23 PM
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.
Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.
The Obama White House—full of supposedly smart political advisors led by the President of the “Change You Can Believe In” campaign movement of 2008—is in disarray. Worse, multiple, confusing varieties of disarray provoking public confusion, internal Democratic Party strife, and the slow withdrawal of belief in Mr. Obama by his strongest supporters around the country.
Two of his most steadfast supporters in the media—columnists Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert of the New York Times are wondering about Mr. Obama’s plans. Krugman repeated his fellow Sunday Times essayist Frank Rich’s observation who wrote about Obama “punking” his supporters with his waffling, reversals and frequent astonishing adoption of Bush’s worst corporatist and military policies.
While Bob Herbert, taking to task his political hero for waffling and vagueness regarding health care, issued this reluctant appraisal: Continue reading →
Our society simply is not possible without government investing in infrastructure and welfare, funded by taxes. No Business wants to invest in an area without the stability provided by heavy government investment in infrastructure, welfare, and law and order. If you want to live in a place without any government “distorting the market” move to Somalia.
It is said that people living in war zones become so acclimated to horror and destruction that they hardly even notice it after a while. While a car bomb in Manhattan would bring the entire city to a standstill, one in Baghdad probably goes unnoticed by everyone except those immediately affected by it. Unfortunately, much the same can be said about the American economy these days. Disasters have become so commonplace that they hardly even register in the average American’s consciousness anymore.
The 2009 World Population Data Sheet published by the Washington, DC-based Population Reference Bureau states that the population of the African continent has surpassed one billion. Africans now account for over a seventh of the human race.
Africa’s 53 nations are 28% of the 192 countries in the world.
The size and location of the continent along with its human and natural resources – oil, natural gas, gold, diamonds, uranium, cobalt, chromium, platinum, timber, cotton, food products – make it an increasingly important part of a world that is daily becoming more integrated and interdependent.
Newsweek: Inspector General Report Reveals CIA Conducted Mock Executions
The Justice Department is scheduled today to disclose a long-suppressed 2004 report by the CIA’s inspector general detailing prisoner abuse. Among the findings are that CIA interrogators staged mock executions on prisoners. The report also describes how one detainee was threatened with a handgun and an electric power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. Newsweek magazine first reported details from the report on its website on Friday night. We speak with Michael Isikoff, investigative correspondent for Newsweek.
The Justice Department’s ethics office has recommended the attorney general reopen and pursue nearly a dozen CIA prisoner-abuse cases, the New York Times is reporting. The move would reverse Bush administration policy which had closed the cases, and could expose CIA employees and contractors to criminal prosecution.
The Times reports the recommendation by the Office of Professional Responsibility was recently presented to Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder is also expected to announce within days his decision on whether to appoint a prosecutor to conduct a new investigation into prisoner abuse.
The ethics recommendation comes as the Justice Department is scheduled today to disclose a long-suppressed 2004 report by the CIA’s inspector general detailing prisoner-abuse. Among the findings are that CIA interrogators staged mock executions on prisoners. The federal law banning the use of torture expressly forbids threatening a detainee with “imminent death.” The report also describes how one detainee–suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri–was threatened with a handgun and an electric power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. Newsweek magazine first reported details from the report on its website on Friday night. Michael Isikoff is the investigative correspondent for Newsweek. He joins us on the telephone from Washington DC.
Michael Isikoff, investigative correspondent for Newsweek magazine.
Percentage change since 2002 in average premiums paid to large US health-insurance companies: +87%Percentage change in the profits of the top ten insurance companies: +428%Chances that an American bankrupted by medical bills has health insurance: 7 in 10
—Harper’s Index, September 2009
Capitalists, as my friend Father Michael Doyle says, should never be allowed near a health care system. They hold sick children hostage as they force parents to bankrupt themselves in the desperate scramble to pay for medical care. The sick do not have a choice. Medical care is not a consumable good. We can choose to buy a used car or a new car, shop at a boutique or a thrift store, but there is no choice between illness and health. And any debate about health care must acknowledge that the for-profit health care industry is the problem and must be destroyed. This is an industry that hires doctors and analysts to deny care to patients in order to increase profits. It is an industry that causes half of all bankruptcies. And the 20,000 Americans who died last year because they did not receive adequate care condemn these corporations as complicit in murder.
The current health care debate in Congress has nothing to do with death panels or public options or socialized medicine. The real debate, the only one that counts, is how much money our blood-sucking insurance, pharmaceutical and for-profit health services are going to be able to siphon off from new health care legislation. The proposed plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for these corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded. The corporate state, enabled by both Democrats and Republicans, is yet again cannibalizing the Treasury. It is yet again pushing Americans, especially the poor and the working class, into levels of despair and rage that will continue to fuel the violent, proto-fascist movements leaping up around the edges of American society. And the traditional watchdogs—those in public office, the press and citizens groups—are as useless as the perfumed fops of another era who busied their days with court intrigue at Versailles. Canada never looked so good.