Archive for the ‘torture’ Category

The AP has a nice little story about the CIA’s kidnap and torture squad, re-posted here at Talking Points Memo:

Four of the nation’s most highly valued terrorist prisoners were secretly moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2003, years earlier than has been disclosed, then whisked back into overseas prisons before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers, The Associated Press has learned.

It amazes me that someone can write an entire article about an illegal secret government program that was designed to kidnap and torture people while hiding them from the courts and the public … without using the words “illegal,” “kidnap,” or “torture.”

But holy hell, what is this next bit about?

Worse for the CIA, if the Supreme Court granted detainees rights, the entire covert program was at risk. Zubaydah and al-Nashiri could tell their lawyers about being waterboarded in Thailand. Al-Nashiri might discuss having a drill and an unloaded gun put to his head at a CIA prison in Poland.

“Anything that could expose these detainees to individuals outside the government was a nonstarter,” one U.S. official familiar with the program said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the government’s legal analysis.

Let me unpack that logic a bit.  Individuals in the Bush CIA had to hide these imprisoned men from the courts and anyone else outside the government … because … if the prisoners were allowed to talk to anyone, they might complain about being tortured … by the CIA?  Which would, you know, look bad on their annual GS-14 performance reviews.  Or something.  It’s not like they could have been worried about being charged with crimes.  John Yoo and Jay Bybee told them it was all OK! (Guess which one of those two names is missing from the article.)

So instead, everyone in the Bush administration who learned about the illegal secret torture and kidnapping program just… went along with the conspiracy to cover it all up, because hey, why rock the boat?  And the AP is granting anonymity to a source who is “familiar” with “the program” because … if we knew the source’s name, presumably he could be charged with a crime, either in the US or somewhere else.

Glad we’ve cleared that up.

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You might think that the people who have been running the US operation in Afghanistan for the last few years would show a bit more maturity than a bunch of fourteen-year-old valley girls.

You’d be wrong.

On Friday, however, officials close to McChrystal began trying to salvage his reputation by asserting that the author, Michael Hastings, quoted the general and his staff in conversations that he was allowed to witness but not report.

“You said you wouldn’t tell anyone!  You pinky-swore!  I thought we were friends!  I’m never going out to the movies with you ever again!”

Oh, and this:

A U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, Air Force Lt. Col. Edward T. Sholtis, acknowledged that Hastings, like other reporters who have interviewed McChrystal over the past year, was not required to sign written ground rules. “We typically manage ground rules on a verbal basis,” Sholtis said. “We trust in the professionalism of the people we’re working with.”

Ground rules?!  What the fuck are you talking about “ground rules?”  You assholes are using my tax money to murder innocent people in a country halfway around the world for no goddamn reason at all, and you’re openly slagging your boss in front of a MAGAZINE REPORTER for christsakes, and the reporter went and REPORTED your borderline-treasonous insubordination, and now you have the fucking gall to whine about “ground rules?”

Here’s a ground rule for you, you worthless bag of guts: be happy you haven’t yet been charged with committing war crimes, and shut the HELL up before someone corrects the oversight.

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The Israeli attack on 6 Turkish ships carrying aid to Gaza, which has left 19 dead and 36 wounded according to latest estimates by Israel’s Channel 10 TV, has drawn a wave of global outrage, resulting in “widespread international condemnation of Israel, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country’s actions in several European countries” according to the NYT.

via Global Community Condemns Israeli Actions As Crowds Of Protesting Turks Scream “Long Live Global Intifada” | zero hedge.

This should end well.  Of course the US can’t seriously object, since we’ve been using drone attacks to murder random people all over the middle east.

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It was only a matter of time:

An attorney representing a 19-year-old Chinese college student who was shocked in his apartment by a Eugene police officer’s Taser stun gun has formally notified city officials that the teen and his roommate will file a civil rights lawsuit in the controversial case.

If I was Pete Kerns, I’d be pushing the city to settle this as quickly and quietly as possible.

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As a refresher, these cops forced their way into the bedroom of an apartment, one of the cops tripped over his own clumsy feet, and so he tasered the tenant who was in lawful possession. The tenant is a skinny non-english-speaking UO student. Just a kid, basically. And the kid was considering filing suit against the police for reasons I think should be fairly obvious.

I guess I’ve missed a couple of updates on this one:

Soon after learning about the incident in September, Eugene’s police auditor, Mark Gissiner, opened a complaint case, interviewed two Chinese students through a translator and twice visited their apartment.

As auditor, Gissiner also monitored the police department’s investigation into the matter. Last month, Gissiner disagreed with Kerns, saying Warden fired the Taser inappropriately.

Yet much like the civilian review board, Gissiner has no say in deciding officer discipline.

I’m shocked, shocked that an internal police investigation found no problems with this officer’s conduct. But if they did nothing wrong… why did they apologize?

Mayor Kitty Piercy apologized to the Chinese students.

Maybe I need to get my hearing checked, but that sounds like “large cash settlement” to me.

And in other news on the same page, the dirty hippies and skateboard derelicts who loiter outside the library are going to have to find somewhere else to give themselves lung cancer. I for one say huzzah.

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from the Register-Guard:

The order issued Monday afternoon came after The Register-Guard and the Eugene Weekly separately asked the District Attorney’s Office to overturn a city decision that asserted state laws pertaining to personnel records required the police reports to remain secret until the city completes a misconduct investigation into officer Judd Warden’s actions. […]

Two weeks ago, [Eugene Police Chief] Kerns held a news conference and wrote a guest opinion piece in The Register-­Guard arguing that he could not share even basic details about the case with the media or the public because the misconduct investigation was under way. City attorneys advised him that releasing any information under those circumstances would violate state personnel records law and the city’s contract with the police officers’ union…

Um, yeah. Because, obviously, what matters most is protecting this taser-happy cop’s contract. I’m sure that keeping the records secret had nothing to do with trying to avoid a lawsuit. Nothing at all.

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Tazers in Eugene

The really choice fact missing from this article is: it was the same officer who tazered the protester last year.

A Chinese college student shocked by a Eugene police officer’s Taser stun gun a few hours after the student moved into his new apartment has contacted attorneys to represent him in the case.

The male student, a Chinese citizen who began attending language training classes last month at the University of Oregon, was confronted Sept. 22 inside his West 11th Avenue rental townhouse by police officers who thought he and his roommate were trespassing.

During the encounter, one of the officers used a Taser to subdue the student, who does not speak English.

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