Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: August 2016 Archives

Announcing his campus appointment, conservative scholar Steven Hayward joked that in the class he plans to teach with John Yoo, they are "thinking of offering the students a choice for course grading: a 25-page research paper, or being waterboarded," reports Austin Weinstein for The Daily Californian.

There are 61 illegally detained men left at Guantanamo, including 18 uncharged "forever prisoners." Not a single senior official has yet faced accountability for the systematic torture of detainees.

Guantánamo's ill-conceived structures cannot provide justice. "Instead of fair trials in federal court, the U.S. government chose to create a pseudo-court system from scratch, in the form of military commissions that fall short of international fair trial standards," writes Amnesty International USA's Elizabeth Beavers. "The failed military commissions could continue without change and without justice, if the public continues to ignore that they're happening."

"Indefinite detention is a violation of international human rights law," continues Beavers... "By continuing to prop up a parallel detention system in which individuals can be held for more than a decade without charge or trial, the United States has a built a dangerous precedent upon which human rights violations can be normalized and then expanded upon. 

bush_obama-620x412.jpg"If a constituency exists for Trump's extreme anti-terror agenda it's because Republicans and Democrats alike have spent the last fifteen years cultivating paranoia, secrecy, and deference to executive authority," writes Sam Adler-Bell, policy associate at the Century Foundation in New York. 

"We already live in a country engaged in an interminable, boundless war against an ill-defined enemy -- a war in which any degree of constitutional compromise can be justified. If we don't want to live in that country, we have to do more than reject Trump's abhorrent policies... 

The U.N. special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association just spent 17 days traveling across the United States, observing "a long arc of systemic oppression that African Americans have faced in the United States, from the era of slavery to the Black Lives Matter movement," writes Max Bearak, Staff Writer for The Washington Post. 

"From the grief-stricken cities of Baton Rouge and Ferguson, Mo., roiled by the killings of unarmed black men by police officers, to the contentious political battlegrounds of convention-week Cleveland and Philadelphia, Maina Kiai witnessed a country riven by inequality and ideological polarization." His report will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2017.
Human Rights Watch has just released its report, Extreme Measures: Abused Children Detained As National Security Threats.

During U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. forces apprehended and detained thousands of boys suspected of participating in armed activities. In Iraq alone, the U.S. confirmed that between 2003 and 2008, it detained at least 2,400 children.

Institute for Political Economy blogger Paul Craig Roberts recalls the torture memos written by Department of Justice officials: "The positions held by [Berkeley Law professor John] Yoo and [U.S. federal judge Jay] Bybee tell the world all that is needed to know that the United States is a lawless entity and that this lawlessness is accepted by America's legal, political, and educational institutions and by the American people." (
Many of us remember Yoo's argument that there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody - including by crushing that child's testicles.)  

"What self-respecting parent would send a son or daughter to study law at a university that hosts a 'legal scholar' who discounts law in behalf of torture?" asks Roberts. We think not one who recognizes that no country or government is above the law of human decency.

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Detention and torture in Guantanamo

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This page is a archive of recent entries in August 2016.

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