When a government places its own interests over those of its people, it can transform into a Leviathan and institutionalize torture. The latter serves three functions: obtain information, plant false confessions and act as a deterrent.
The United Nations established a set of international instruments to put an end to these practices, including: the “Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984“ and the Committee Against Torture which monitors its implementation.
Nevertheless, during the Cold War the United States introduced the widespread use of these practices in the Third World, going so far as to create two torture schools, one in Panama (the School of the Americas) and one in Taiwan (Political Warfare Cadres Academy). However, this practice remained illegal and was large outsourced to militias or allied States. By declaring a “Global War on Terrorism,” the Bush administration reinstated the use of torture, first by making it public outside U.S. borders and by legalizing it inside the United States itself.
Applying the North Korean techniques adapted by Professor Albert D. Biderman, the torture practiced at Guantanamo, Bagram and in many other secret CIA and Navy prisons aimed to transform the innocent into guilty by instilling a false confession. That is how the Bush administration manufactured the “evidence” to justify its narrative of the September 11 attacks and its “war on terror.”
The Obama administration has officially prohibited torture. But, in reality, nothing has changed since the number of CIA and Navy prisons outside the United States has doubled.
The European Court of Human Rights, in a non-final ruling, condemned Poland for failing to fulfill its obligations by allowing the CIA to open a secret prison (code name "Quartz") on its territory.
The Court received the cases of the Palestinian Abu Zubaydah and the Saudi national Al-Nashiri who provided proof of their detention in Poland in 2002 and 2003, and of having been tortured. The proof was based in particular on Senator Dick Marty’s report to the Council of Europe .
The Polish (...)
The Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, on 29 January 2014, of CIA director John Brennan led to heated exchanges with Democratic senators.
The latter called for the Committee to declassify the 6 300-word report from 2012 on the use of torture during the Bush Jr. administration . Voltaire Network has already informed it’s readers about the most shocking aspects highlighted in the report: the use of torture to condition individuals, the generalisation of the practice to over 80 000 (...)
Mr. James Connell, the lawyer of 36-year old Ammar al Baluchi who is detained in Guantanamo, stated that his client has been tortured for years.
Mr. Connell has based this statement on two unclassified medical documents that show signs of apparent torture. However, according to prosecutor Clay Trivett, everything that concerns interrogations is classified as ’’sources and methods’’ of the CIA. Discretion also applies to interrogatios carried out in secret off-shore prisons, located on Navy (...)
The Mecca pilgrimage authorities have signed a contract with Almajal G4S, a subsidiary of the international security giant G4S, in order to ensure the safety of Palestinian pilgrim.
The British-Danish owned subsidiary also supplies material and personnel to Israeli prisons, in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. It is in G4S-managed structures that Palestinian detainees are tortured by the Israeli authorities.
The BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) has asked the Saudi (...)
President Obama gave the order to abduct Abu Anas al-Libi (whose real name is Nazih Abd al-Hamid al-Ruqhay), on October 6th 2013 in Libya. A Delta Force force succeeded without making any victims.
Even supposing that al-Libi were a legitimate target for the US, as claimed by Secretary of State John Kerry, this kidnapping constitutes a violation of international law and of Libyan sovereignty.
In 1995, this jihadist, who had joined Osama Bin Laden in the Sudan, participated in a failed (...)
The Interior Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili [photo], announced on 17 June 2013, that a weapons cache was discovered in the region of Samegrelo. It also contained drugs, in addition to written documents and videos. Nine people were arrested, including a Ministry of Defence official and two police officers.
On 20 June, the Minister of the Interior organized a private screening of the captured videos for the press. Shot two years ago, they show the police raping and torturing (...)
The U.S. authorities have published the list of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison as part of a lawsuit filed by the Miami Herald.
The list includes 166 names, including 46 life prisoners.
Under their own legislation, passed after the attacks of September 11 (Authorization for Use of Military Force Act), the United States claim the right to to detain indefinitely, without charge or trial, any individual they consider an "enemy combatant." In addition, they have legalized the use of (...)
Mr. President, tell us who your C.I.A. Director is and we will tell you who you are! No remark could be more appropriate in view of Barack Obama’s decision to place an apologist for torture and drone assassinations at the helm of the top U.S. intelligence agency. Analyst Nil Nikandrov fills out John O. Brennan’s profile, a man who enjoys the President’s "implicit trust."
Still imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Zoubeida is the main source of Western intelligence on Al Qaeda. He gave under torture the names of other leaders of the terrorist organization, who were arrested in turn and provided the information now in the hands of the U.S. authorities. In short, he is the main source of what the latter supposedly know about al-Qaida. Problem: it is now recognized that Abu Zoubeida was never a member of al-Qaeda and that his confessions under torture were made to end his suffering. Most of what the U.S. intelligence claims to know about Al-Qaida is a pure figment of Zoubeida’s fertile imagination. And all of it is wrong.
According to Fox News, on October 26, David Petraeus’ mistress may have leaked classified information relating to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Paula Broadwell revealed that the Consulate annex was the most important CIA base in North Africa and it served as a secret prison. 
The neoconservative channel establishes a link between the leak and the forced resignation of the Director General of the CIA, due to this extra-marital affair.
This interpretation of the facts is (...)
A Syrian 22 years confessed on national television to working with armed terrorist groups in Douma, a town in the province of Damascus, and being an accomplice to the abduction, torture during interrogation and murder of women.
In confessions broadcast by the Syrian TV, 22 year-old Sabah Othman said that she is originally from Douma and that she was married at the age of 14 and abandoned by her husband three years later.
She met a man named Ala’a Mahfoud from Harasta on the pretext that (...)
In the race to the primary elections, the seven candidates vying for the Republican nomination have engaged in a neoconservative bidding war on foreign policy issues.
Mitt Romney, second in the polls and considered one of the more moderate candidates, called for "covert actions within Syriam, to get regime change there."
Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania, considered that Washington was behind the recent explosion of an Iranian missiles deposit and pledged to continue along (...)
Scientific magazine PLoS Medecine has published a study by Dr Vincent Iacopino (senior medical adviser for Physicians for Human Rights) and retired Brigadier General Stephen Xenakis on the role played by doctors at the Guantánamo torture centre.
Guantanamo’s premises are structured in separate detention blocks. The study examines the cases of nine people detained in the prison boasting the least severe conditions. It shows that the doctors purposefully covered up abuses and prepped the (...)
You think that you are informed about what happened at Guantánamo and you are astonished that President Obama is reluctant to close this torture centre. You’re wrong. You are not aware of the underlying purpose of this "facility" and why it is vital for the current administration.
Thierry Meyssan reveals the horrifying facts in this article first written in November 2009. Subsequent developments have proven him right: plans to close Guantánamo have been put on hold indefinitely.
On 14 April 2010 Malgarai Ahmadshaf, codenamed Pasha, of Canadian nationality, testified before the Special Parliamentary Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan.
Mr. Ahmadshah worked as a translator for the Canadian Forces in Kandahar from June 2007 to June 2008. He testified to Canadian military cover-ups, the random arrests and the transfer of detainees to the Afghan NDS to be tortured.
Ahmadshah clarified that he was not a eye witness of what he was reporting; however, his (...)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on 14 April 2010 turned sour.
Questioned on the long-awaited and many-a-time deferred closure of Guantánamo, Mr. Holder was neither capable of providing a date nor of indicating his intentions. Fifteen months after his nomination, the Attorney-General still has no clue about those prisoners who are due for release and those who have to be tried by civilian courts.
In fact, a media campaign convinced (...)
The Canadian Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) finally held six-hour hearings of Richard Colvin’s testimony on 13 April 2010. The Conservative Party vainly attempted to ensnare him in the reserve inherent to his diplomatic status.
Posted in Kandahar for 18 months during 2006-07, Mr. Colvin confirmed the testimony he had provided to the Special Parliamentary Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan on 5 October 2009. According to him, all the prisoners turned over by the (...)
In a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee and released to the Times of London, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson claims that President George W. Bush knew that the majority of the hundreds of men detained in that prison center had no terrorist links.
Wilkerson was was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He gained renown for denouncing the manipulations which led to the invasion of Iraq. He had already brought up the question of the Guantánamo (...)
The reaction of the United States and its allies to the September 11, 2001 attacks to intensify the use of torture in their investigations has had a highly negative influence on the rest of the world, stated Manfred Nowak, the UN special rapporteur on torture.
“Many countries felt that if even the United States is officially torturing, why should not we also torture,” the expert explained during a press conference in Geneva, in which he took stock of his five years of his mandate.
Authorities in Spain have launched proceedings to suspend the notorious investigating magistrate Baltasar Garzón. The ostensible reason for the move is his investigation into the fate of 114,000 people who disappeared during the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath. The public prosecutor’s office says Garzón had no authority to conduct the investigation because of a 1977 amnesty law. But Garzón says the disappearances must be considered crimes against humanity, and therefore not covered by any (...)
While the deployment of 10000 US troops in Haiti has been qualified by a number of Latin American political leaders as an invasion and occupation under the guise of a humanitarian relief operation, the arrival of the USS Bataan in Haiti raises even more questions.
Over recent years, this amphibious assault ship has been converted into a floating secret prison, forming part of the CIA network of "black sites" used for so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques". The ship’s flat hold (...)
Former Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas at 2003 NATO press conference.
Lithuania provided all the necessary conditions for operating a CIA secret prison for terror detainees, a parliamentary investigation has confirmed.
The Lithuanian parliament has admitted that this country accepted secret CIA prisons, the so-called black sites. This is the first official confession by any country which had collaborated with the CIA in “global war on terror” operations including kidnapping, torture, (...)
White House Counsel Greg Craig has again tendered his resignation which was accepted by President Obama.
A high-profile lawyer, Gregory Craig gained renown through a series of notorious cases.
In 1977, he defended former CIA Director Richard Helms, charged with false testimony before the Senate for concealing the Agency’s involvement in the Chilean military coup. Helms was merely handed a suspended prison sentence and a fine of 2,000 dollars.
In 1981, Craig defended John Hinckley, (...)
"Justice for Abu Omar"
Public prosecutors in Italy have urged a court in Milan to jail 26 Americans for the kidnapping of a terrorism suspect in a 2003 CIA operation.
The Italian lawyers are seeking sentences of between 10 and 13 years for the US agents. They also want 13 years for the former head of Italy’s secret service, Nicolo Pollari.
The trial is the most high profile case in Europe to challenge the extra-judicial transfers also known as ‘renditions.
It centres on the abduction of (...)
U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press conference in Washington.
The US government has made an explicit threat that it is prepared to put ordinary British lives at risk in order to prevent a British Court from publishing its findings relating to details of the US torture of a British resident, according to Foreign Secretary David Miliband,
Clive Stafford Smith, Director of Reprieve has today written to Secretary of State Hillary (...)
On 29 July 2009, we had the privilege of meeting with Sami al-Haj, an Al Jazeera journalist and cameraman who was imprisoned in Guantánamo for more than 6 years and who was passing through Geneva. On that occasion he told us about the foundation of the London-based humanitarian organization « Guantánamo Justice Center" which he chairs, as he will formally announce at the press conference taking place in that capital on 30 July 2009. This NGO will be steered by the former British prisoner, Moazzam Begg, in his capacity as Secretary-General and will have branches in Geneva and Paris.
by Ari Shapiro
Congressional testimony this week showed that private CIA contractors were a driving force behind harsh interrogations. Although there are lawsuits against military contractors involved in detainee abuse, there has been far less legal action against contractors who worked for the CIA.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ben Wisner believes this is largely because of the secrecy that has surrounded the CIA’s interrogation and detention program.
"There simply have not (...)
Colombian artist Fernando Botero depicts Abu Ghraib abuse
US President Barack Obama has changed his mind and will now attempt to block the publication of photographs showing the abuse of prisoners by US soldiers.
The US government had previously said it would not fight a court ruling ordering the release of the pictures.
Mr Obama now believes the release of the photos would make the job of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan more difficult, White House officials said.
The pictures were (...)
Speaking with a group of Stanford students Monday, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared that al Qaeda is a greater threat to the United States than Nazi Germany was because Germany “never attacked the homeland of the United States.” In a defensive exchange with a student, she also insisted that the Bush administration had always wanted to hold trials for detainees, but the Supreme Court wouldn’t let them:
RICE: Now, the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] also had (...)
United States: the empire of barbarism
Hidden Torture Centers
Torture as a source of information