Category Archives: Torture

Brad DeLong Seeks Your Advice About What to Do About John Yoo

Brad DeLong is looking for advice as to whether it makes sense to attempt to open formal proceedings at Berkeley charging John Yoo with sanctionable professional misconduct. See in Re John Yoo: In Which Brad DeLong Demonstrates That He Is an Ineffectual Procedural Liberal…

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They Tortured The Truth Too

Foreign Policy, CIA Man Retracts Claim on Waterboarding

Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency's intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC's Brian Ross and Richard Esposito in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.

A cascade of similar acclamations followed, muffling — to this day — the later revelation that Zubaydah had in fact been waterboarded at least 83 times.

Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.

Even if torture worked occasionally, I'd oppose it on basic moral grounds. It is disgusting and we should be above it. And in the long run, the more we torture our enemies the more they will torture our soldiers and civilians.

But for those who care, the evidence that torture has worked for us is actually pretty crummy.

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The Moral High Ground

On NPR this morning they were noting sarcastically that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said members of his security forces “may lose their jobs” if they are found guilty of torturing election protesters. The implication was “that's all?”.

And I'm thinking — have we done as much here?

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Australian View of John Yoo’s Class at Berkeley

Chasers War on Everything is a very funny, biting, satirical Australian TV show. Here's their take on John Yoo (Torture Lawyer) teaching at Berkeley law.

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Today’s Torture Links

Bob Herbert, NYT, How Long Is Long Enough?

Glenn Greenwald, NPR Ombudsman refuses interview regarding “torture”

Crooks & Liars, New Yorker Magazine Buries Major Abu Ghraib Abuse On Page 6 Of CIA Story

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Bush WH Linked to Abu Ghraib

In Establishing the connection between the Bush White House and Abu Ghraib my brother reports on work that connects the dots,

Denying that White House policy was directly responsible for the vile abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib has been the central goal of a five-year disinformation campaign by Bush officials. 'Torture Team' author Philippe Sands argues that newly-disclosed records show how blatantly Bush officials were willing to lie in order to lead reporters away from the truth.

Also, other good stuff at Neiman Watchdog.

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Public Wants Torture Investigations

If you are reading this blog via the RSS feed — and my logs suggest that is what most readers do — then all of a sudden you are missing out as the comments sections have gotten a lot more lively than they used to be.

If you want to play along, you could either read the blog the old-fashioned way, or you could subscribe to the Comments Feed. Your choice.

Meanwhile, a propos comments, someone recently suggested there that the public had little interest in seeing whether we have war criminals in our midst, and in bringing to justice any who ordered torture. Turns out that's wrong: Research 2000 Poll: Americans Want Investigations,

A significant majority of Americans responding to this week's Research 2000 poll want to see some kind of investigation into the Bush administration's abuses of power.

Asked whether they would prefer a criminal investigation, independent panel, or neither in the use of the Justice Department for political purposes, torture, and warrantless wiretaps, strong majorities in every instance approved some kind of investigation, either in a truth commission type panel, or a criminal probe.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 4/27-30. Registered voters. MoE 2%. (No trend lines)

Question: As you may know there have been allegations that the Bush Administration used the Department of Justice for political purposes. Which of the following would you favor the most a criminal investigation into those allegations or an investigation by an independent panel or neither?

Independent Panel 36
Criminal Investigation 29
Neither 18

Question: There have also been allegations that the Bush Administration engaged in torture in terror investigations. Which of the following would you favor the most a criminal investigation into those allegations or an investigation by an independent panel or neither?

Independent Panel 31
Criminal Investigation 22
Neither 22

Question: There have also been allegations that the Bush Administration used telephone wiretaps against American citizens without court warrants. Which of the following would you favor the most a criminal investigation into those allegations or an investigation by an independent panel or neither?

Independent Panel 33
Criminal Investigation 23
Neither 21

Those are significant majorities in every category for some kind of accounting into Bush administration abuses.

The public is slow to rouse, but also slow to forget.

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