• The CIA is still running amok

    Op-Eds December 16, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: Politico. “What is striking about this week’s Senate report on the Bush administration’s torture program—what is new—is not the fact that CIA officers may have violated the laws of God or the Geneva Convention setting up torturing prisons in the black sites of Afghanistan and Thailand and Poland. We knew that. What is shocking is the continuing claim of the CIA’s leaders that torture worked. And that is a damnable lie, a devastating deceit and a self-deception that poses a danger to the agency and the American people.”

  • It’s time the U.S. paid reparations to the prisoners It tortured

    Editorials December 9, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: New Republic. Appearing before the U.N. Committee Against Torture, the U.S. delegation unequivocally affirmed, “torture and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment are prohibited at all times and in all places,” including places outside of U.S. borders, like Guantánamo Bay.The statement to the U.N. was celebrated as a positive shift away from Bush-administration policy, but it only addresses part of the U.S.’s history of failure to adhere to the U.N. Convention Against Torture. Article 14 of the treaty requires signatory states to ensure that victims of torture have access to redress and compensation. However, there is no known case in which a torture victim has been financially compensated by the U.S.

  • 12 Things to keep in mind when you read the torture report

    Editorials December 5, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. 1) You’re not actually reading the torture report. 2) The CIA got to cut out parts. 3) Senate Democrats had their backs to the wall. 4) The investigation was extremely narrow in its focus. 5) The investigation didn’t examine who gave the CIA its orders, or why. 6) Torture was hardly limited to the CIA. 7) Senate investigators conducted no interviews of torture victims. 8) Senate investigators conducted no interviews of CIA officials. 9) In fact, Senate investigators conducted no interviews at all. 10) Bush and Cheney have acknowledged their roles in the program. 11) The report’s conclusion that torture didn’t do any good is a big deal. 12) No one has been held accountable.

  • Mass imprisonment and public health

    Editorials November 26, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times.”. . . mass incarceration . . . poses one of the greatest public health challenges of modern times, concludes a new report released last week by the Vera Institute of Justice. . . . Like any epidemic, mass incarceration must be tackled at many different levels. It is an opportune time for such an approach, as states around the country are thinking more broadly, pulling back on harsh sentencing laws and focusing more on alternatives to incarceration. But the moment may not last long. Public health professionals should seize a unique opportunity to help guide criminal justice reform while they have the chance.”

  • On media outlets that continue to describe unknown drone victims as “militants”

    Editorials November 18, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept On media outlets that continue to describe unknown drone victims as “militants” By: Glenn Greenwald It has been more than two years since The New York Times revealed that “Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties” of his drone strikes which “in effect counts all military-age males […]

  • ‘Disturbing’ & ‘Misleading’

    Op-Eds, Opinions February 13, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: New York Review of Books. Zero Dark Thirty was constructed to bring viewers to the edges of their seats, and judging by its critical reception, for many viewers it has succeeded in that respect. Its faults as journalism matter because they may well affect the unresolved public debate about torture, to which the film makes a distorted contribution.

  • Targeted killings: they are too secret

    Editorials, Op-Eds January 28, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Los Angeles Times. The administration should spell out criteria for the assassination of suspected terrorists abroad.

  • There’s No Room for Civil Liberties in Obama’s Inauguration View of America

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 23, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: The Atlantic. As the president’s speech Monday made clear, the authoritarian right and egalitarian left meet in the middle on at least one issue: Neither side values the rights of the individual.

  • Keeping the Internet Safe From Governments

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 23, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: NYT. The petition was the brainchild of Bill Woodcock, the Berkeley-based research director of Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit institute. “This is really about whether people should be allowed to say what they think,” Mr. Woodcock said. “The Internet enables free speech, and that makes it very dangerous to countries that try to control public discourse.”

  • In President Obama’s Second Term, Accountability for Torture

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 22, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. The failure to pursue accountability opens the door for perpetrators of torture to shamelessly continue to justify their actions; to call for the return of these abuses; and to walk away from their crimes scot-free — all affronts to the rule of law. Let us not forget that torture is a crime under U.S. law, and the United States is legally obligated under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the United States ratified in in 1994, to fully and promptly investigate all credible allegations. Now in his second term, President Obama can again show the world that the United States is committed to living up to our standards by thoroughly investigating and making public all reports of torture and cruel treatment and by holding accountable those responsible for the abuse.