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.
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 (...)
On April 23, 2009 President Obama rebuffed calls for a commission to investigate alleged abuses under the Bush administration in fighting terrorism. No matter how much Obama and the rest of the establishment in both parties want to “move forward,” the damage done to America’s reputation as a bastion of liberty that “does not torture” has been irrevocably destroyed by embracing a policy of torture and calling it euphemistically, “Enhanced Interrogations”.
US President Barack Obama’s decision not to prosecute CIA agents who used torture tactics is a violation of international law, a UN expert says.
In a “Special Comment” regarding the release by the Obama Administration of “the remainder of this nightmare of Bush Administration torture memos,” MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann offered the current Commander in Chief some praise for going “half-way,” then blasted him for issuing a statement which said that “nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy (...)
CIA rendition flight?
By Martin Smith
Students and activists won a victory April 9 when they forced the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) into a last-minute cancellation of its recruitment session at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
For a third year, members of the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN), Iraq Veterans Against the War and the International Socialist Organization joined forces to protest the CIA, but this is the first year that the agency canceled, (...)
Judge Baltasar Garzón
Legal moves may force Obama’s government into starting a new inquiry into abuses at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.
by Julian Borger and Dale Fuchs
Criminal proceedings have begun in Spain against six senior officials in the Bush administration for the use of torture against detainees in Guantánamo Bay. Baltasar Garzón, the counter-terrorism judge whose prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet led to his arrest in Britain in 1998, has referred the case to (...)
A crowd of protesters gathers around the giant peace puppet during the Close-the-SOA procession at the School of the Americas protest at Fort Benning, Ga., the weekend of Nov. 21, 2003.
While the US commits 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, in part to seek out terrorist training camps, many in the US and Latin America are demanding that President Obama shut down what they believe is a terrorist training camp run on US tax dollars, the School of the Americas. One such person is Pablo Ruiz, (...)
Standing straight and tall, an impressive and deeply introspective man, Sami El Haj walks with a limp and the help of a walking stick. Neither laughter nor smiles light up the refined face of this man, old before his time. A deep sadness pervades him. He was 32 years old when, in December 2001, his life, like that of tens of thousands of other Muslims, became a horrific nightmare.
After a lot of research into the CIA abductions and the CIA secret flights in Europe, Dick Marty has proven at length, that it is not about the individual cases, because generally, they have become the norm. The President of the Commitee on Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe has concluded, in the end, that an organized system acts in public- if not in fact with an active agreement from the European states.
United States: the empire of barbarism
Hidden Torture Centers