Posts Tagged: Torture

Keep Your Child Fashionably Thin By Putting Meals On Teeny Tiny Plates

Researchers have come up with a hilarious new way to keep Junior from getting larger: Just put your child's meals on very little plates, so the child cannot figure out she is getting a few spoonfuls of blanched kale for dinner, again.

The medical journal Pediatrics just released an exciting new study that proves kids can't tell the difference between plate sizes. Give them gigantic plates, like prop plates from movies about giants, and the youngster will eat enough for a week without noticing. Giving children small plates, like those used in popular Brooklyn restaurants, is an easy way to fake out the minds of our littlest ones.

"Researchers [...]


More on Omar Suleiman, Alleged Hands-On Torturer

"The extraordinary rendition program landed some people in CIA black sites—and others were turned over for torture-by-proxy to other regimes. Egypt figured large as a torture destination of choice, as did Suleiman as Egypt’s torturer-in-chief. At least one person extraordinarily rendered by the CIA to Egypt — Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib — was reportedly tortured by Suleiman himself … In October 2001, Habib was seized from a bus by Pakistani security forces. While detained in Pakistan, at the behest of American agents, he was suspended from a hook and electrocuted repeatedly. He was then turned over to the CIA, and in the process of transporting him to Egypt he [...]


So We Guess By Maybe 2018, John Yoo Will Be Disbarred

Okay, we can all sleep at night. The National Archives and Records Administration has asked the Justice Department to investigate the missing John Yoo emails; Justice says there is a "review" underway. So no matter what the torture-justifier says about his missing emails-"They should be easy to find," LOL!-eventually we'll get there.


In 'Veritatis Splendor' and Torture

You-can-imagine-who (okay, Andrew Sullivan) provides a fascinating explanation of a Catholic rejection of torture. (I mean, obvs, not that you need a religion to build such a defense! Just mostly that it becomes downright impossible to make a case for torture as a Catholic. But folks can sure try!)


The Iranian Dissident Fitness Program

As mass trials against reformist elements take place in Iran, the government is denying accusations of violence against those detained in the wake of the recent disputed presidential election.


Fine, Jesse Ventura, You Win

Ya know, I think making me feel respect for Jesse Ventura may wind up being one of the Bush Administration's greatest crimes.


Stop snitching, Karl Rove!

War criminal rats out collaborator.


British Thugs Rob Famous Prison Tower

English stabbies are so bored with their usual bedlam that they've begun robbing famous prisons. The Tower of London, the British Empire's beloved historical place to torture its political dissidents, was the target of a bold thief who stole the Tower's keys on Guy Fawkes Night. The keys open not only the locks on the drawbridges, but also the doors to the tourist restaurant and a conference room—perhaps the very conference room where Henry VIII had Anne Boleyn executed in 1536.


The Way We Define Torture Now

Strong stuff: "Eric Holder and Barack Obama have taken pains to tell the American people that water-boarding is illegal torture. So what? That's just their opinion. President Bush disagrees. The persistent failure to hold anyone accountable at any level for years of state-sanctioned abuse speaks louder than their words. It has taken this issue from a legal question to a matter of personal taste. What we choose to define as torture is now just another policy disagreement, like extending the Bush tax cuts or picking a caterer."


How Many Years Will It Take Us To Get John Yoo's Emails?

The number one thing I am pissed off about this month, right after NBC's Olympics coverage, is the disappeared John Yoo emails, which could probably shed a lot of light on how the previous administration created policies to torture people. This is such an unbelievable scandal, both on the issue of torture but also of government accountability. Pretty much, as a nation, everything should come to a standstill until this is dealt with. This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Gary Grindler, Acting Deputy Attorney General, about the emails, and got total mumbling in response. This is like, pitchforks and subpoenas and prosecution time, people. There are [...]


Methods Of Interrogation, Forty Years On

Life being what it is, I have not, save for the purposes of a paying review or other research, read a book all the way through in, Jesus, the longest period of my life since I achieved literacy. That said, I am currently devouring Andy Beckett's When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies, the title of which should give you a fairly good estimation of whether or not you'd be interested in it. (If you are even slightly so inclined, please consider this a ringing endorsement.) In any event, I read this passage, dealing with interrogation tactics-referred to as the "Five Techniques"-by British troops during the early [...]


Breaking! My Torture Investigation Is Concluded

FOR GENERAL RELEASE: Merely 20 or so minutes (approximately two cigarettes) after the announcement of a Justice Department investigation into whether there should be an investigation of CIA torture, I have completed my review of documents and decided: yes! From the 2004 CIA Inspector General's Report on Torture is this.Yeah, I am pretty much going with "torture." Stand down, Attorney General Eric Holder! Don't bother coming in to work, special investigator John Durham, I finished early for you! (For the appendix, I am still working on figuring out that redaction there. With ____ consent… With OFFICER consent? With LANGLEY consent? Whatever-someone gave consent to hold a whirring power [...]


Cheney Denied By White House On Memos

"The Obama administration has turned down former Vice President Dick Cheney's request for the declassification of two CIA reports on the effectiveness of the Agency's detainee program." These memos are currently being reviewed in two different Freedom of Information Act-related suits-including the hilariously-named Amnesty International v. CIA.


Torture Defined

Here is your insane person rant of the day. It starts by saying that the children of those who protested against torture "are most likely to end up in rehab for drug abuse because their parents wouldn't lay down the law at home when their children needed to be disciplined." Then it gets really crazy.


Is Barack Obama Still America's Cool Uncle?

In less than a month, thank god, Election Day will be here and then gone. There are more debates, and more October Surprises, and many more tens of millions of dollars to be spent on horrifying television commercials, and then we can finally go back to "fantasy football" or whatever people do with their time.

Despite being too conservative and too much of a warmonger for many liberals' taste, Barack Obama will most likely win a second term because who else are we going to vote for, that nice lady who shares our views exactly, on that Facebook poll? As far as presidents go, with their whole Commander [...]


The Flaming Lips, "Powerless"

Zoiks. This new video the Flaming Lips' "Powerless," a great, druggy freak-out from last year's highly acclaimed Embryonic album, is very disturbing. Apparently, the monkey from Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" has turned the tides on its human torturers-he seems to enjoy watching a bound and blindfolded woman writhe in agony. She goes into horrible stutter-shot convulsions and he just sits there laughing, the sick fuck. Then she escapes-I hope before she got a sunburn-but, oddly, neglects to remove her blindfold. Then she dances through the field and it seems like she and the monkey are friends. Stockholm syndrome or something? I don't know. (The part of [...]


How John Yoo Got Off Scot-Free

Despite what is surely deliberate obstruction, in the form of having deleted John Yoo's emails, the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility still found grounds to come down on Bush administration-era torture memo writer Yoo (though not on his junior level memo writer, who was two years out of law school and a a former Justice Thomas clerk). This, despite the fact that the OPR rarely investigates claims at all, and when they do, their honcho disappears them. And yes, once again DoJ boss David Margolis has decreed that, though the memo prepared by his staff clearly describes "professional misconduct" (at best!), that [...]


Why Don't You–And Obama–Believe That Torture Is Torture? Because the Culture Industry Said So.

Back in January, a Washington Post/ABC News Poll asked the following question: "Obama has said that under his administration the United States will not use torture as part of the U.S. campaign against terrorism, no matter what the circumstance. Do you support this position not to use torture, or do you think there are cases in which the United States should consider torture against terrorism suspects?"

A majority of respondents, 58%, supported the stance, and agreed that torture should never be used, no matter the circumstances. 40% did not agree. So while this poll was heralded as a demonstration that America does not support torture, a full two out [...]


Torture Investigation To Decide If Torture Should Be Investigated

An investigation is taking place to decide whether there should be an investigation! This is only exciting because the pre-investigation is by the Justice Department, and of the CIA and its techniques. You know: (whispers) torture. Do check back in 2011 to see if anything will happen. In other news, Bernie Madoff does not have cancer, so maybe he'll be around to see the results of this investigation!


Obama's Photo Strategy

Gawker's John Cook does an excellent job of explaining President Obama's decision against releasing the detainee abuse photos. Here's the short version:

Obama should have wholeheartedly endorsed the release of the photos in question. But it is a practical certainty that they will be released anyway, no matter what he does. So he gets to look like a judicious, troop-protecting president, and left-wingers still get to have the photographs to hate America with. Everybody wins.

Here's the long version. Read it.