This is a point that UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism Ben Emmerson specifically made last week following the release of the report. In a statement, Emmerson said, "The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the U.S. government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability."
One of two psychologists paid millions for designing the post-9/11 program of brutal interrogations defends the treatment of al-Qaida detainees. "It's a lot more humane, even if you are going to subject them to harsh techniques, to question them while they are still alive, than it is to kill them and their children and their neighbors with a drone."
Mr. Bush and his advisers have been largely quiet about the Senate report until now, and former intelligence officials worried whether the Bush team would defend them. Some former administration officials privately encouraged the president and his top advisers to use the report to disclaim responsibility for the interrogation program on the grounds that they were not kept fully informed...
Secret CIA detentions. Extraordinary renditions. Interrogation practices. Systematic use of torture.
Immigration detention abuses. Criminal injustice. America's death penalty. Police brutality. Racial profiling. Brutalizing longterm solitary confinement.
Protection of prisoners against violence. Rape and other forms of sexual abuse.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and other civil society groups submitted shadow reports highlighting concerns about Washington failure to comply with human rights treaty obligations...
find Guy Colwell's "Abuse" painting on page 119 of Redact This! Artists Against Torture
"This grand jury decision we feel is a direct reflection of the sentiments of those who presented the evidence," Anthony Gray, a lawyer for [Michael Brown's] relatives, said at a news conference Tuesday morning. "If you present evidence to indict, you get an indictment. If you present evidence not to indict, you don't get an indictment."
"..it is hard not to think about my time at Guantánamo and to wonder how it is possible that a democratic government can detain people in intolerable conditions and without a fair trial.
I was one of those folks, and today I am at the United Nations to confront the government responsible for torturing me. It is the first time that the UN Committee Against Torture has heard directly from one of the 779 men and boys detained at Guantánamo since 2002. The committee members are in Geneva to review the US government's compliance with the global ban on torture, and I am here to remind them that not a single person who designed, authorized, executed or oversaw the torture of Gitmo detainees has been prosecuted...
Murat Kurnaz, the author of "Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantánamo," was detained from 2001 to 2006.
The Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society parts the smokescreen of legalistic justifications employed by sign-off lawyers to ratify surveillance decisions that play havoc with morality:
To understand surveillance, you must also free your mind from traditional definitions of other words, including "target," "relevant," "incidental." As cryptographer Matt Blaze once said, crafting a question to get meaningful answers from the NSA is a lot like crafting a wish to get a genie to give you what you actually want. The agency is warping language in order to make rules mean something very different from what ordinary people would take them to mean.
Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor Tom Malinowski was grilled by members of the Committee Against Torture today, as part of a periodic review of government compliance with torture statutes. The United States delegation waffled on whether geographic boundaries limit application of the torture ban.
Committee member Alessio Bruni took particular issue with the U.S. failure to register detainees:
"Any place where a person is deprived by his or her person's liberty regardless of whether it is a legal or known place of detention becomes a secret place of detention if the person is arrested, is not properly registered there as a detainee... And in this connection I would like to know which are the regulations concerning the detention facility used by the CIA to hold people on a short-term or transitory basis? Are these detainees registered there?"
Drones and Targeted Killing
A talk by Marjorie Cohn
Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Former President, National Lawyers Guild
Friday, November 7, 7:30 pm
First Baptist Church, 305 N. California Ave
Sponsored by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
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Important ReadingPhysicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives
NLG White Paper
ON THE LAW OF TORTURE...
The President's Executioner
Detention and torture in Guantanamo