The letter was organized by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Reps. David Price (D-N.C.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn). Among the co-signers are several committee chairmen, including Foreign Affairs Chairman Gregory Meek (D-N.Y.), Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)
His quest for freedom is forcing the Biden administration to consider whether to release the 45-year-old man whose attorneys say is severely mentally ill battling schizophrenia, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his torture or seek to hold him indefinitely without charging him with a crime.
Al-Qahtani’s case, experts say, stands as a litmus test for whether President Joe Biden is committed to his pledge to shutter the controversial facility — an enduring symbol of the George W. Bush administration’s global „war on terror“ that persisted through the Barack Obama and Donald Trump presidencies.
Zerón was in charge of the Criminal Investigation Agency and is currently applying for asylum in Israel, hindering the extradition request. The former investigator is accused of kidnapping and torturing, and embezzlement.
With news of the belated death of Donald Rumsfeld, it’s vital that his true legacy of villainy be recalled. In the name of setting the historical record straight, here’s the late great Michael Ratner, making the unimpeachable case against Rumsfeld for his war crimes in Iraq.
This interview was conducted by the staff of Revolution and originally appeared in the November 26, 2008 edition of CounterPunch
A Guantanamo Bay inmate alleges he was tortured by his American captors after the September 11 attacks and will file a complaint with the United Nations over his unending 19-year detention, his lawyer has said.
A federal district court previously sided with the government, who argued that that subpoenas risk revealing state secrets. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the information segregated so that the rest could potentially be released.
The Trump administration appealed that decision in December.
Amid the continued violent crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar,… the country’s military has been carrying out overnight raids, arresting people and even torturing them.
Security forces have reportedly arrested at least three people on charges of organizing and supporting the protest movement in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon.
According to local media,… a ward chairman from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party was also found dead in a military hospital on Sunday,… after being arrested in the overnight raid.
„This trial represents the first step towards justice that the Syrian victims have truly felt,“ rights lawyer Anwar al-Bunni told the BBC from Germany, where he sought asylum.
Mr Bunni says he was arrested by Anwar Raslan in the Syrian capital Damascus and was shocked to later come face to face with him in a Berlin shop.
Morell has no place in a Biden-Harris administration. His nomination would send a chilling message to torture survivors and other victims of grave injustice that the United States government, including the Biden administration, does not uphold its own stated principles. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) from the Senate Intelligence Committee has said about Morell: “No torture apologist can be confirmed as CIA director. It’s a nonstarter.” We agree and urge the President-elect not to nominate Morell.
We also oppose Avril Haines, another toture apologist, as Director of National Intelligence. Since she has already been nominated, we ask Senators to oppose her confirmation.
It was painful enough to live through the U.S invasion of Iraq that caused untold devastation and human misery for no justifiable reason.
Now we are again reminded of the grim Bush legacy with President-elect Biden’s nomination of Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence.
The Committee makes the following findings and conclusions:
#1: The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.
#2: The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.
#3: The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others. (…)
At least five CIA detainees were subjected to „rectal rehydration“ or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity. The CIA placed detainees in ice water „baths.“ The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box. One interrogator told another detainee that he would never go to court, because „we can never let the world know what I have done to you.“ CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families— to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to „cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.“
#4: The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.
Conditions at CIA detention sites were poor, and were especially bleak early in the program. CIA detainees at the COBALT detention facility were kept in complete darkness and constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste.10 Lack of heat at the facility likely contributed to the death of a detainee. The chief of interrogations described COBALT as a „dungeon.“11 Another senior CIA officer stated that COBALT was itself an enhanced interrogation technique.“ At times, the detainees at COBALT were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. Other times, the detainees at COBALT were subjected to what was described as a „rough takedown,“ in which approximately five CIA officers would scream at a detainee, drag him outside of his cell, cut his clothes off, and secure him with Mylar tape. The detainee would then be hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.
(Dec 09, 2014)
The drilldown from Bloomberg:
– CIA provided inaccurate information about effectiveness and scope of interrogations of suspected terrorists, and mismanaged a program that was far more brutal than represented, according to 6-year investigation by Democrats on Senate Intelligence Cmte.
– Interrogation techniques weren’t effective, didn’t produce key information that led to killing of Osama bin Laden and were significantly different from procedures authorized by Justice Dept, report says
– CIA provided inaccurate information to White House, Congress, DOJ, CIA Inspector General, media and the public
– “This document examines the CIA’s secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques – in some cases amounting to torture,” Senate Intelligence Cmte Chairman Dianne Feinstein says in statement
Haines is expected to withstand scrutiny during the Senate confirmation process for her role in the drone program, as well as her approval of a CIA review board decision in 2015 not to discipline agency personnel for intruding in computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee when it was investigating the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Haines was also part of the team that redacted the committee’s report on the program.
France issued a Europol request to locate Halabi in 2017, and 2018, Austrian police raided Halabi’s apartment but did not find him. Since then his whereabouts have not been publicly known.
By early 2014 he had made it to France with the help of French agents who may have believed the senior official could be a useful asset in the event of President Assad’s downfall, the senior French judicial source told The Telegraph.
“This was also just a few months before the 2015 terror attacks in Paris and the DGSE was desperate to get their hands on any leads about the Islamic State, which they knew was actively planning strikes,” said the source, who asked their name be withheld.
A damning report published on Tuesday said the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill should not be introduced in its current form.
Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights said the proposed law “raises the abhorrent possibility of serious crimes such as rape, murder or torture being carried out under an authorisation”.
Al-Hathloul, 31, was arrested along with about a dozen other female activists in May 2018, just weeks before Saudi Arabia lifted a decades-old ban on female drivers.
The prosecution argued these were self-reported. Kopelman pointed out hallucinations are always self-reported. 13/
Before his secret execution Navid Afkari, 27, was subjected to a shocking catalogue of human rights violations and crimes, including enforced disappearance; torture and other ill-treatment, leading to forced “confessions”; and denial of access to a lawyer and other fair trial guarantees.
“This young man desperately sought help in court to receive a fair trial and prove his innocence. Leaked voice recordings of him in court expose how his pleas for judges to investigate his torture complaints and bring another detainee who had witnessed his torture to testify were unlawfully and cruelly ignored,” said Diana Eltahawy.
(Jun 11, 1995)
* The CIA was instrumental in training and equipping Battalion 316. Members were flown to a secret location in the United States for training in surveillance and interrogation, and later were given CIA training at Honduran bases.
* Starting in 1981, the United States secretly provided funds for Argentine counterinsurgency experts to train anti-Communist forces in Honduras. By that time, Argentina was notorious for its own „Dirty War,“ which had left at least 10,000 dead or „disappeared“ in the 1970s. Argentine and CIA instructors worked side by side training Battalion 316 members at a camp in Lepaterique, a town about 16 miles west of Tegucigalpa.
* Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who as chief of the Honduran armed forces personally directed Battalion 316, received strong U.S. support – even after he told a U.S. ambassador that he intended to use the Argentine method of eliminating subversives.
* By 1983, when Alvarez’s oppressive methods were well known to the U.S. Embassy, the Reagan administration awarded him the Legion of Merit for „encouraging the success of democratic processes in Honduras.“ His friendship with Donald Winters, the CIA station chief in Honduras, was so close that when Winters adopted a child, he asked Alvarez to be the girl’s godfather.
John Negroponte, who served as director of national intelligence under former President George W. Bush, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in his race against President Trump on Thursday in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“All roads lead to Trump in a way,” Negroponte told the website. “I’m just not sure the country can withstand another four years of the presidency with a man who has shown such disregard to the office.”
Uruguay’s Association of Former Political Prisoners (Crysol) Tuesday asked the Senate to withdraw the parliamentary immunity of Gen. Guido Manini so that that he can be tried for crimes committed during the military dictatorship (1973-1985).
The decision, announced on Thursday by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, defence secretary, Mark Esper and attorney general, William Barr, targets ICC officials investigating war crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan by all sides, including the US, and will also see visa restrictions imposed on their families.
I will convene an extraordinary meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly next week to consider how to renew our unwavering commitment to the Court.
I call upon the States Parties and all the stakeholders in the Rome Statute system to reiterate once more our relentless commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any measures and threats against the Court and its officials, staff and their families.
The move was discussed in a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jerusalem last month, the source said on Thursday.
Human rights groups and experts have welcomed a series of orders issued by a South African court that compel authorities to prevent police and army brutality during the enforcement of a lockdown meant to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Lebanese-American man, Amer Fakhoury, had been jailed in Lebanon since September and charged with murder and torture of prisoners at the same SLA-run prison — charges he denied. A Lebanese judge ordered him released last week, saying more than 10 years had passed since the alleged crimes.
U.S. officials confirmed Fakhoury was aboard a U.S. Marine V-22 Osprey seen taking off from the U.S. Embassy compound northeast of Beirut on Thursday.
Each person is the chief cause of their success or failure in life.
In the interests of defending medical ethics, medical authority, and the human right to health, and taking a stand against torture, together we can challenge and raise awareness of the abuses detailed in our letters. Our appeals are simple: we are calling upon governments to end the torture of Assange and ensure his access to the best available health care before it is too late. Our request to others is this: please join us.
WikiLeaks revealed – in partnership with major international publications, including the two involved in the Pentagon Papers Case – videos of American troops murdering civilians and celebrating the murders (a war crime) as well as documentary proof of American complicity in torture (also a war crime).
During this hearing, the architect of the CIA’s torture program, Dr. James Mitchell, was brought to the war court as a witness. This was the first time that Mitchell appeared in open court. Williams describes her reporting trip, Mitchell’s testimony, and how the legacy of CIA torture has impacted the 9/11 case for nearly eight years.
Al-Sarari received the award, which is often referred to as the Nobel Prize for human rights, for her work exposing „the enforced disappearances that occurred as a result of secret prisons run by foreign governments in Yemen,“ the award organisers said in a statement.
Italy called on Egypt to release the researcher based at Bologna University, saying it had reason to believe the security forces had tortured him.
She said six to eight CIA employees took part in al-Baluchi’s interrogation session.
One employee „explained his role as a student doing on-the job training.“ Another said that before al-Baluchi’s interrogation, he had felt he was falling behind „because he needed to practice interrogation techniques.“ Others said they were „trying to learn what they were doing and how to apply coercion.“ That’s according to a classified CIA report, portions of which defense attorneys were permitted by the government to read in open court.
Dr. Mitchell, a former contract psychologist for the C.I.A., expressed no regrets or contrition, tearfully saying he did it for the American people at a time when President George W. Bush’s administration feared a follow-on attack by airplane or nuclear bomb to the Sept. 11 hijackings that killed 2,976 people.
“I’d get up today and do it again,” he said.
In January 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the prison open. The move, which revoked an order from Trump’s predecessor that called for the prison to be closed, outraged human rights defenders. With the demonstration Saturday, activists criticized not only Trump’s decisions related to the prison but also those of former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
As Jan. 11 marked the 18th anniversary of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp opening by the United States, human rights activists rallied Saturday outside the White House to demand the prison’s immediate closure and an end to “years of torture and human rights violations.”
The Times did its duty of reminding us what monsters the CIA produced in the early years of its so-called war on terror, people introduced to most Americans in the Senate’s torture report. These are people such as the CIA’s former Director George Tenet and Deputy Director John McLaughlin. They include unapologetic torture proponents such as former Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez and current CIA Director Gina Haspel. They are the creators of the torture program: psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. And in the photos of Abu Zubaydah’s drawing that the Times ran, the CIA dutifully blacked out even the stick-figure sketches of the actual torturers, those CIA officers who sold their souls to break the law, all in honor of that false god called “national security.”
Sandoval, who moved to France after the fall of Argentina’s seven-year military dictatorship and obtained French citizenship in 1997, is accused by Argentine prosecutors of more than 600 human rights violations including torture.
approved for release: 2018/05/24
They demonstrate how, more than a decade after the Obama administration outlawed the program — and then went on to partly declassify a Senate study that found the C.I.A. lied about both its effectiveness and its brutality — the final chapter of the black sites has yet to be written.
Mr. Zubaydah, 48, drew them this year at Guantánamo for inclusion in a 61-page report, “How America Tortures,” by his lawyer, Mark P. Denbeaux, a professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, and some of Mr. Denbeaux’s students.
More than 7,000 CIA, FBI, Pentagon, and National Security Council (NSC) records—now posted on a specially created US government website at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence—shed considerable light on the state of terror that existed in Argentina from 1976 to 1983, when the military held power. The detailed documents provide extensive new evidence on the infrastructure of repression, Argentina’s role in the international terrorism campaign known as Operation Condor, and most important, the fate of hundreds of desaparecidos who were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered—among them Hidalgo Solá.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic committee chairwoman, was wavering about making the report public, mulling an Obama administration suggestion that the release be postponed indefinitely. It seemed possible that the report, the product of more than six years of painstaking research, might never reach the American public.
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, has expressed alarm at the continued deterioration of Julian Assange’s health since his arrest and detention earlier this year, saying his life was now at risk.
Since Assange has been held in Belmarsh there have been reports that he experienced psychological torture. Just last week, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer and two medical professionals told reporters, “We came to the conclusion that he had been exposed to psychological torture for a prolonged period of time. That’s a medical assessment.”
Greenpeace Africa is appalled — but not surprised — by reports of violent nocturnal arrests and torture of Congolese villagers in Tshopo province. The communities are involved in a conflict over their land with Plantations et Huileries du Congo SA (PHC), a palm oil plantation company owned by the Canadian company Feronia Inc.
This explanation was meant to provide grounds for a claim of necessity, which is a fundamental condition for permitting the use of “special means” – that is, torture – while still staying within the limits imposed by the High Court of Justice on interrogations of this type.
It’s still impossible to know whether this essential condition, necessity, actually existed. But even if it did, serious questions arise from this case regarding the interpretation that has been given to the possibility of using torture.
Israel media reported that a judge gave the domestic intelligence agency permission to “use exceptional ways to investigate” Samir Arbeed.
On the morning of May 4, 2017, Iraqi troops brought in an Islamic State fighter who had been wounded in the leg in battle, SEALs told investigators, and Chief Gallagher responded over the radio with words to the effect of “he’s mine.” The SEALs estimated that the captive was about 15 years old. A video clip shows the youth struggling to speak, but SEAL medics told investigators that his wounds had not appeared life-threatening.
A medic was treating the youth on the ground when Chief Gallagher walked up without a word and stabbed the wounded teenager several times in the neck and once in the chest with his hunting knife, killing him, two SEAL witnesses said.
Iraqi officers who were at the scene told Navy investigators that they did not see the captive die, but disputed the stabbing account, saying it seemed out of character for the chief.
Minutes after the death, Chief Gallagher and his commanding officer, Lieutenant Portier, gathered some nearby SEALs for a re-enlistment ceremony, snapping photos of the platoon standing over the body.
Prosecutors were convinced that Gallagher stabbed the detainee to death and they knew that Scott was next to him that day, monitoring the boy’s vitals, so he became a very valuable witness, according to internal files provided to Navy Times.
But Scott told prosecutors and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents that he didn’t want to participate in the trial and later threatened to remain silent during a Feb. 11 reinterview session with them, a policy he vowed to continue on the stand to protect his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
So Navy Region Southwest and the U.S. Department of Justice granted him testimonial immunity to hurdle his Fifth Amendment protections and force him to talk to investigators and later testify in court.
The prosecution’s case was dealt a major blow when a witness said that it was he, not Gallagher, who had put an end to the captive ISIL fighter’s life.
Corey Scott, a first class petty officer, testified that while he had seen Gallagher stab the wounded fighter in the neck in May 2017, he had killed the boy afterwards.
He testified that he covered the victim’s breathing tube with his thumb and then watched him die.
Scott said he did so to spare the boy – who prosecutors say was about 15 years old – from suffering or being tortured by Iraqi forces.
Within hours of the report’s release, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt took to Twitter to denounce it as “wrong.” He declared that “Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice.” Hunt demanded that the UN Special Rapporteur “allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.”
Melzer directly replied to Hunt, correctly noting that “Mr Assange was about as ‘free to leave’” Ecuador’s London embassy, “as someone sitting on a rubberboat in a sharkpool.”
With large segments of the American public so readily and regularly enticed by the bipartisan glorification of war and all things military, the world’s largest association of psychologists could play an important moderating and cautionary role. Unfortunately, the APA instead often acts like the “impaired professional” who is unable (or unwilling) to intervene because they too suffer from the same addiction. Here are several examples.
An affidavit unsealed by US prosecutors on Monday has underscored the unlawful character of the Trump administration’s request that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be extradited to the US in the wake of his illegal expulsion from Ecuador’s London embassy and arrest by the British police last Thursday.
The affidavit was made by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) special agent Megan Brown on December 21, 2017, in support of two charges which had been secretly filed against Assange, under her name.
An Argentine court on Tuesday convicted two former executives of a local Ford Motor Co (F.N) plant of involvement in the torture of workers during the country’s dictatorship in the 1970s, victims’ lawyers said, adding they may sue Ford in U.S. federal court.
To be clear: Senators voted for Haspel to lead the CIA even after reading about her horrific role in the use of torture.
This is why the NCHR, earlier this month, initiated a formal inquiry into nearly 1,500 cases of torture uncovered in just one Punjab district, Faisalabad. NCHR commissioners travelled there to hear the testimonies of torture victims in person.
We heard their pain, we heard their stories of being humiliated and ostracised by their communities. And we are now obliged to take action against police officials who engage in such practices, no matter what their rank. This abhorrent use of torture as an interrogation method must be eliminated but it cannot be done unless we stop making it consequence-free.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said both countries had violated the European prohibition of torture.
(8.5.2018) Some of what they did to me in that prison was so awful I can’t talk about it. They hit me in the abdomen just where the baby was. To move me, they bound me to a stretcher from head to toe, like a mummy. I was sure I would shortly be killed.
For the rendition flight to Libya, I was taped to a stretcher again. The tape caught the corner of my eye. It stayed that way, my eye taped open, tears streaming down my face, for more than 14 hours.
After I spent several weeks in a Libyan prison, Colonel Qaddafi’s spies dragged a crib into my cell. I was gravely ill. If I lived through this, I thought, I would be forced to give birth, alone, in this filthy cell.
The Senate Intelligence Committee moved Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel for CIA director, setting up a floor vote that her opponents say will signal to the world whether the United States condemns or condones torture.
In preparation for her hearing, the CIA declassified a 2011 internal disciplinary review, written by then-deputy CIA director Michael Morell, that Haspel and her allies have said exonerated her.
“I have found no fault with the performance of Ms. Haspel,” Morell wrote. He essentially said she was a “good soldier” who followed orders, including an order to draft the cable to destroy the tapes.
The hearing was characterized by gushing tributes from both Democrats and Republicans to the work of an agency long ago dubbed “Murder, Inc.” for its crimes around the world, including the organization of political assassinations, the creation of terrorist armies and the orchestration of fascist-military coups.
But it was probably an unwelcome development for the embattled CIA director nominee that Cheney chose to combine warm words for her with a call for a return to the “enhanced interrogation” techniques that have marred her record and which she is promising to eschew.
The London-based rights group released the results of a new research dubbed “Crushing humanity: the abuse of solitary confinement in Egypt’s prisons” on Monday, saying dozens of detained journalists, rights activists and members of the opposition are “unlawfully” being “held in prolonged solitary confinement under horrific conditions.”