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Hissyspit

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U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform For American Torturers, But None to Their Victims

U.S. TV PROVIDES AMPLE PLATFORM FOR AMERICAN TORTURERS, BUT NONE TO THEIR VICTIMS

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/16/u-s-tv-media-gives-ample-platform-american-torturers-victims/

BY GLENN GREENWALD
@ggreenwald TODAY AT 9:34 AM

Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture, not even the ones recognized by the U.S. Government itself as innocent, not even the family members of the ones they tortured to death. Whether by design (most likely) or effect, this inexcusable omission radically distorts coverage.

Whenever America is forced to confront its heinous acts, the central strategy is to disappear the victims, render them invisible. That’s what robs them of their humanity: it’s the process of dehumanization. That, in turns, is what enables American elites first to support atrocities, and then, when forced to reckon with them, tell themselves that - despite some isolated and well-intentioned bad acts – they are still really good, elevated, noble, admirable people. It’s hardly surprising, then, that a Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning found that a large majority of Americans believe torture is justified even when you call it “torture.” Not having to think about actual human victims makes it easy to justify any sort of crime.

That’s the process by which the reliably repellent Tom Friedman seized on the torture report to celebrate America’s unique greatness. “We are a beacon of opportunity and freedom, and also [] these foreigners know in their bones that we do things differently from other big powers in history,” the beloved-by-DC columnist wrote after reading about forced rectal feeding and freezing detainees to death. For the opinion-making class, even America’s savage torture is proof of its superiority and inherent Goodness: “this act of self-examination is not only what keeps our society as a whole healthy, it’s what keeps us a model that others want to emulate, partner with and immigrate to.” Friedman, who himself unleashed one of the most (literally) psychotic defenses of the Iraq War, ended his torture discussion by approvingly quoting John McCain on America’s enduring moral superiority: “Even in the worst of times, ‘we are always Americans, and different, stronger, and better than those who would destroy us.’”

This self-glorifying ritual can be sustained only by completely suppressing America’s victims. If you don’t hear from the human beings who are tortured, it’s easy to pretend nothing truly terrible happened. That’s how the War on Terror generally has been “reported” for 13 years and counting: by completely silencing those whose lives are destroyed or ended by U.S. crimes. That’s how the illusion gets sustained.

- snip -

It would be incredibly easy, and incredibly effective, for U.S. television outlets to interview America’s torture victims. There is certainly no shortage of them. Groups such as the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve, and CAGE UK represent many of them. Many are incredibly smart and eloquent, and have spent years contemplating what happened to them and navigating the aftermath on their lives.

MORE

TOM TOMORROW: Tortured Logic



DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/15/1351734/-Cartoon-Tortured-logic

Support independent cartooning: join Sparky's List—and be sure to visit TT's online store for your holiday shopping needs!

Luckovich Toon: Dick Cheney Even Inspires Him

"Trayvon Happened, They Wanted Witnesses..."

VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF GENEVA CONVENTIONS BAN ON TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME UNDER U.S. LAW

VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF GENEVA CONVENTIONS BAN ON TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME UNDER U.S. LAW

Transcript: http://www.torturingdemocracy.org


CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME UNDER THE U.S. CODE PUNISHABLE BY UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2340A



Just a reminder...

Senate Report Rejects Torture Contribution in Bin Laden Hunt Strongly implied in 'Zero Dark Thirty'

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/world/senate-report-raises-doubts-about-cia-claims-on-hunt-for-osama-bin-laden.html

Senate Report Rejects Claim on Hunt for Bin Laden

- snip -

But in page after page of previously classified evidence, the Senate Intelligence Committee report on C.I.A. torture, released Tuesday, rejects the notion that torturing detainees contributed to finding Bin Laden — a conclusion that was also strongly implied in “Zero Dark Thirty,” the popular 2012 movie about the hunt for the Qaeda leader.

“The vast majority of the intelligence” about the Qaeda courier who led the agency to Bin Laden “was originally acquired from sources unrelated to the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation program, and the most accurate information acquired from a C.I.A. detainee was provided prior to the C.I.A. subjecting the detainee to the C.I.A.'s enhanced interrogation techniques,” the Senate report said.

MORE

Bush on 2007 Red Cross Torture Report: Haven’t Seen It, We Don’t Torture’

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2007/08/09/15364/bush-on-torture-report-havent-seen-it-we-dont-torture/

Bush On Torture Report: ‘Haven’t Seen It, We Don’t Torture’

BY MATT CORLEY POSTED ON AUGUST 9, 2007 AT 1:21 PM UPDATED: AUGUST 9, 2007 AT 2:22 PM

During President Bush’s press conference this morning, The Washington Post’s Peter Baker asked him if he “had read” a highly confidential report by the International Committee of the Red Cross that “has found an interrogation program in CIA detention facilities, (that) used interrogation techniques that were ‘tantamount to torture.’” Details of the Red Cross report were revealed recently by the New Yorker.

“Haven’t seen it; we don’t torture,” Bush bluntly responded before moving on to another question. Watch it:
flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/08/HaventSeenDontTorture.320.240.flv
Bush’s ignorant denial of torture is hardly convincing, considering he is apparently unaware of the allegations coming from the Red Cross, “which is known for its credibility and caution.” The report alleges “that American officials responsible for the abusive treatment” at CIA “black sites” may have committed “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions:

16 Awful Abuses From the CIA Torture Report: "Rectal Feeding," Threats to Children, and More:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/cia-torture-report-abuses-rectal-feeding

1. The CIA used previously unreported tactics, including "rectal feeding" of detainees (p. 100, footnote 584):

2. CIA officers threatened the children of detainees (p. 4):

3. Over 20 percent of CIA detainees were "wrongfully held." One was an "intellectually challenged" man who was held so the CIA could get leverage over his family (p. 12):

4. One detainee, Abu Hudhaifa, was subjected to "ice water baths" and "66 hours of standing sleep deprivation" before being released because the CIA realized it probably had the wrong man (p. 16, footnote 32):

5. The CIA, contra what it told Congress, began torturing detainees before even determining whether they would cooperate (p. 104):

- snip -

10. The CIA torturers told CIA leadership that torture wasn't producing good information from KSM. But CIA leaders didn't relay that information to Congress (p. 212):

11. A detainee was tortured for not addressing an interrogator as "sir"—and for complaining about a stomach ache (p. 106):

REST OF THE HORRORS AT LINK

Nation’s Gay Straw Men March On Washington For Right To Marry Animals

http://www.theonion.com/articles/nations-gay-straw-men-march-on-washington-for-righ,37619/

Nation’s Gay Straw Men March On Washington For Right To Marry Animals

NEWS IN BRIEF • Marriage • Government • Gay & Lesbian • Law • News • ISSUE 50•49 • Dec 8, 2014

WASHINGTON—In an effort to advance what they have repeatedly stated is the key element of their agenda, the nation’s gay straw men marched on the nation’s capital Monday to advocate for the right to marry animals, sources confirmed. “If men can marry men, and women can marry women, then why shouldn’t I be allowed to enter into holy matrimony with a member of the animal kingdom?” said a straw man from Falmouth, MA, who explained that he should be permitted to wed whomever or whatever he pleases given that the legislative gates have been opened, a sentiment expressed by thousands of his fellow straw men as they hoisted signs that read “Equal Rights For Interspecies Partners” and “Marriage For All Mammals Now.” “In the years since my state legalized same-sex marriage, I’ve discovered that my emotional and physical needs cannot be fulfilled by another human, and it is clear that lying with either a cat, dog, or sheep is what I now want. We believe gay marriage has set an irrefutable legal precedent for this behavior, and we intend to act on it.” At press time, demonstrators were reportedly shouting that they wouldn’t simply settle for the right to marry their siblings or any number of partners, noting that their ultimate goal was to marry an animal of their choosing or, perhaps, an inanimate object.

7 Most Shocking Things in the CIA Torture Report (It's Even Worse Than We Thought)

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/7-things-we-learned-new-report-cia-torture

NEWS & POLITICS
AlterNet / By Cliff Weathers comments_image 34 COMMENTS

7 Most Shocking Things in the CIA Torture Report
It's even worse than we thought.


December 9, 2014 |

- snip -

However, this is not the final report, but a redacted 480-page executive summary. The complete report totals more than 6,000 pages. The Senate Republicans also released a counter-assessment. While some critics say that there is the possibility of retaliation from terrorist groups, others are saying that the fallout over the report will be mostly political.

"Did we torture people? Yes. Did it work? No.," Sen. King, the Maine independent told CNN.

"The greatness of this country is that we can examine mistakes and remedy them and that is the hallmark of a great and just society" Sen. Diane Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said to CNN moments before the report's release. Here are the most shocking findings from the report:

1. Some detainees died as a result of interrogation.

In November 2002, an otherwise healthy detainee who had been held partially nude and chained to a concrete floor died from suspected hypothermia at the facility. The CIA's leadership acknowledged little knowledge of advanced interrogation techniques at the detention site where he was held.

2. The techniques were far more brutal than previously known.

Multiple CIA detainees subjected to the techniques suffered from hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia and tried to mutilate themselves, the report says. On one occasion, a high-value al Qaeda suspect named Abu Zubaydah became completely unresponsive after a period of intense waterboarding. He had "bubbles rising through his open full mouth," the report says.

Additionally, detainees were subjected to forced “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration" even if they did not have medical need for them.


4. The CIA's use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

- snip -

For example, seven of the 39 CIA detainees known to have been subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques produced no intelligence while in CIA custody. Other detainees provided significant, accurate intelligence prior to, or without having been, subjected to these torture.

- snip -

7. Those who were not suspects were interrogated.

Of the 119 known detainees, at least 26 were wrongfully held and did not meet the detention standard. These included an "intellectually challenged" man whose CIA detention was used solely as leverage to get a family member to provide information, two individuals who were intelligence sources for foreign liaison services and were former CIA sources, and two individuals whom the CIA assessed to be connected to al-Qa'ida based solely on information fabricated by a CIA detainee subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques. These detainees, however, often remained in custody for months after the CIA determined that they did not meet the MON standard. CIA records provide insufficient information to justify the detention of many other detainees.

MORE




http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/cia-torture-report-abuses-rectal-feeding

"Rectal Feeding," Threats to Children, and More: 16 Awful Abuses From the CIA Torture Report

1. The CIA used previously unreported tactics, including "rectal feeding" of detainees (p. 100, footnote 584):

2. CIA officers threatened the children of detainees (p. 4):

3. Over 20 percent of CIA detainees were "wrongfully held." One was an "intellectually challenged" man who was held so the CIA could get leverage over his family (p. 12):

4. One detainee, Abu Hudhaifa, was subjected to "ice water baths" and "66 hours of standing sleep deprivation" before being released because the CIA realized it probably had the wrong man (p. 16, footnote 32):

5. The CIA, contra what it told Congress, began torturing detainees before even determining whether they would cooperate (p. 104):

- snip -

10. The CIA torturers told CIA leadership that torture wasn't producing good information from KSM. But CIA leaders didn't relay that information to Congress (p. 212):

11. A detainee was tortured for not addressing an interrogator as "sir"—and for complaining about a stomach ache (p. 106):

REST OF THE HORRORS AT LINK

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