Sunday, December 11, 2005

Torture: The Evidence Mounts

PHOTO: (AP/ ABC News) US soldier Sabrina Harman with the "Iceman," an Iraqi prisoner killed in Abu Ghraib.

America's Secret War: On the Trail of the CIA - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

"Since Sept. 11, the CIA has played a vital role in the war on terror. But what role is it? Operating in the shadows, American secret services have been given wide-ranging powers by the Bush Administration. And they include murder, abduction and torture....

The official line of the US government is to call such practices 'robust treatment,' rather than torture. That, for example, allowed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on her most recent European tour, to deny that America carries out torture. The director of the CIA Porter Goss referred to the interrogation methods his agents used as 'unique and innovative' methods of making prisoners talk.

But Republican Senator John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, says that practices such as waterboarding are nothing more than mock executions, which, regarded as torture, are outlawed all over the world. 'In my view,' he says, 'to make someone believe that you are killing him by drowning is no different than holding a pistol to his head and firing a blank. I believe that it is torture, very exquisite torture.'"

MI6 and CIA 'sent student to Morocco to be tortured'
By David Rose
The Observer

"An Ethiopian student who lived in London claims that he was brutally tortured with the involvement of British and US intelligence agencies.
Binyam Mohammed, 27, says he spent nearly three years in the CIA's network of 'black sites'. In Morocco he claims he underwent the strappado torture of being hung for hours from his wrists, and scalpel cuts to his chest and penis and that a CIA officer was a regular interrogator.

After his capture in Pakistan, Mohammed says British officials warned him that he would be sent to a country where torture was used...."

The Cat's Blog: Watching Human Rights Watch - Open Letter to Kenneth Roth, Executive Director Human Rights Watch

Watching Human Rights Watch
Open Letter to Kenneth Roth, Executive Director Human Rights Watch
By Gabriele Zamparini

Protecting The Torturers
By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith
The Nation

"Thousands of well-meaning people are mobilizing to pressure Congress to pass legislation banning torture. But the Bush Administration is maneuvering to turn it into legislation that would instead protect the torturers by eliminating a basic legal right. To stop them, torture opponents will need to be not just as innocent as doves but also as cunning as foxes...."

British Court Rules Against Evidence Gained in Torture
By Sarah Lyall
New York Times

"Thrusting itself into the middle of a stormy international debate, Britain's highest court declared...that evidence obtained through torture - no matter who had done the torturing - was not admissible in British courts. It also said that Britain had a "positive obligation" to uphold anti-torture principles abroad as well as at home...."

CIA Flights Made 50 Landings at Ireland's Shannon, Amnesty Says

"U.S. Central Intelligence Agency aircraft used Ireland's Shannon Airport as a stopover for flights carrying terrorist suspects to countries where they may be tortured, Amnesty International said, citing flight records it obtained.

Six planes used by the CIA made some 800 flights in or out of European airspace and landed 50 times at Shannon in the west of Ireland, Amnesty International said today in an e-mailed statement. The group said the information contradicts U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said last week that Shannon had not been used for "untoward'' purposes."

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