Reckoning with Torture

Julie Gutman

Diane Lefer: Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster quotes Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Some are guilty, but all are responsible.” Why? Because when we are aware of bad things that happen, we have a role in fixing them.

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After bin Laden, a Reflection

obama-rose-garden-wide

Lydia Howell: Now is the time for Americans to re-set our moral compass and demand an end to and accountability for torture of prisoners in the “war on terrorism” — at Guantanamo or at the remaining “black sites” in allied countries.

Margie Murray, Candidate KPFK Local Station Board

The LA Progressive is proud to endorse Margie Murray, a long time peace and justice activist, who is running for the KPFK Local Station Board. Says Margie, “I support the mission of KPFK and want to help expand its reach to an even greater and more diverse listener audience”.

Things Get Cleaner with Coke

cocacola

According to the Internet mailing, a can of America’s Drink can also remove rust from chrome bumpers, loosen rusted bolts, remove grease from clothes, clean windshields, dissolve T-bone steaks or clean truck engines.

CIA Crucified Captive in Abu Ghraib Prison

abu graib

The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine. “A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s [...]

U.S. Government Threatens to Prosecute Waterboarding

guantanamo2

We’ve been lobbying the Department of Justice all these months without realizing that the key to justice lay in the Department of the Interior, and specifically in the National Park Service, which has told activist Steve Lane he will be prosecuted if he attempts to demonstrate waterboarding at Thursday’s anti-torture rally in Washington, D.C. The [...]

Friday Feedback: Waterboarding for Real

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by James Dehnert commenting on William J. Astore’s “The United States of Euphemism.” Here’s James’s comment: I have noticed that every person who has agreed to be water boarded on TV to see how bad [...]

The United States of Euphemism

George Orwell

Judging by the local newspaper that serves the rural area of Pennsylvania where I live, hunters no longer shoot and kill deer: they harvest them. “Harvest” is the latest euphemism of choice for killing, and it’s applied not just to the culling of the deer herd but also to the killing of bears, bobcats, and [...]

“Of Course (The CIA) Misled Congress. We Were Trained How.”

gitmo_cheney

The voice of the former CIA briefer on the phone is strong and direct, unapologetic in either tone or words. “Of course we misled Congress on torture. The White House and (George) Tenet demanded it, and we were trained how to do it without lying,” he says to me. “People (former Vice President Dick) Cheney [...]

Tortured Reasoning and Tortured Results

cheney

Each day the evidence piles up – highlighted by the unconvincing rants of Dick Cheney. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, said, “the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 — well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion — its principal priority for intelligence was not [...]

Was Abu Ghraib Worse Than We Could Have Imagined

The president has stated that he will continue to block the release of additional Abu Ghraib photos depicting torture or “troop abuse” as it is now being referred to in some mainstream media outlets. What could be driving the 180 degree turn in the president’s decision to release the Abu Ghraib photos?

Suppressed Abu Ghraib Photos Published Down Under; Pentagon Has Videos of Children Screaming While Being Sodomized

Photo: SBS/Dateline

Somehow, the Sydney Morning Herald obtained some of the additional Abu Ghraib photos that the Obama administration is in US court trying to keep hidden as it fights an ACLU Freedom of Information lawsuit. Fifteen of the 60 are published on-line Saturday (Sydney time) by the newspaper. Is it because we’ve become inured to photos [...]

American Torture: No Knowledge of History, No Sense of Tragedy

"Judgement at Nuremberg" Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich 1961 U/A Photo by Al St. Hilaire - Image courtesy mptvimages.com

Recently in the New York Times, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti showed that the Bush Administration, the CIA, and the Senate and House Intelligence Committees failed to ask for any historical context before approving so-called “harsh interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, in 2002. No one apparently knew, or wanted to know, that the U.S. had defined [...]

A Worse Bybee Memo

declaration of independence

Jay Bybee wrote another memo that nobody has noticed, one purporting to authorize crimes far worse than torture, the same crimes the torture was itself intended to create false justifications for. On October 23, 2002, Assistant Attorney General Bybee signed a 48-page memo to the “counsel to the president” (Alberto Gonzales) titled “Authority of the [...]

Torture: It’s Perfectly Legal — But We Don’t Do It

cheney bush

Liz and Dick Cheney, Bill Bennett, Ari Fleischer, and countless other commentators have saturated the public airwaves of late ever since the Obama Administration decided to make public the Bush torture memos. These apologists for war crimes have been jawboning the issue from every conceivable angle. Why are these barbarians who defend torturing other human [...]

Tortured Posturing on Harsh Interrogation Techniques

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Although Barack Obama should be applauded for stopping torture by the U.S. government and pledging to close the infamous Guantanamo and worldwide CIA secret prisons, he is nevertheless playing politics with the issue to get the best of both worlds. To poke his predecessor, Obama released graphic memos from the Bush Justice Department that appallingly [...]

Torture Memos: Don’t Prosecute, But Change Law

what-me-worry

The recent release of memoranda used by the Bush administration to justify various aggressive interrogation techniques for use on suspected terrorists has led to widespread calls for prosecution, either against those who wrote the memos, those who approved them, or those who carried them out. The grounds for such prosecutions would be that the techniques [...]

Reader Feedback: Moral Crossroads

reader-feedback

Weekly the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Michael, commenting on Please Investigate War Crimes Now: Please by Charley James. Michael writes: I think you are exactly right. Without acknowledging the problem and making sure that the people who caused the problem are [...]

We Don’t Torture But Here Are the Things We Do Do

Jon Stewart really hits the ball out of the park with this one. He asks, “does our country torture people?” Looks like we don’t torture but Jon Stewart provides us with a list of the things we do do thanks to the memos released by the Obama administration. This is a humorous look at a [...]

Please Investigate War Crimes Now: Please

General Michael Hayden

The Obama Administration is beginning to remind me of a woman I dated some years ago who developed a drinking problem. Not only did she refuse to admit having trouble, discussing her addiction was taboo, off-the-table, “it’s not up for discussion” and, once, even pleading with me, “Let’s just think about the future.” But her [...]

Neocon Dick Armitage: “I Should Have Resigned.”

armitage

Guess who’s contritely telling al-Jazeera he should have resigned from his senior State Department post when he and Colin Powell lost their battle with Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, John Ashcroft and Don Rumsfeld over observing the Geneva Conventions in America’s two wars, one illegal and the other totally botched? Yup, it is that ol’ neo-con [...]

Detainee Rights: Make a Clean Break

chopping-bush

After the shameful, embarrassing performance of the Bush administration in denying the most basic human rights to detainees at Guantánamo, Bagram, Afghanistan, and at CIA black sites elsewhere, the record of the Obama admininstration on this issue has been mixed at best. Initially, Obama canceled Bush executive orders that permitted torture (while denying such a [...]

Why We Need a “Truth Commission” to Investigate Torture

uncle-sam-torture

The American people’s faith in their government—even with the election of Barack Obama—remains compromised. One reason is obvious. Americans see low-level military operatives being imprisoned for mistreatment, even murder, of prisoners. At the same time, high-level officials go uninvestigated and unpunished. In their case, we’re told to look forward rather than backward, an empty phrase [...]

Prosecute George W. Bush for Illegal Acts

us-torture

The Obama administration is reluctant to turn over too many rocks in the Bush administration’s conduct in the War on Terror. Obama has pledged to reach a post-partisan nirvana, and Republicans could condemn any investigation of Bush administration abuse of the republic as a partisan witch-hunt. Also, the Obama administration has a conflict of interest [...]

George Bush and Bill Clinton — in Bed Together

bush_clinton

Of all the damaging things George Bush did, let’s not forget his “War on Sex” and his “War on Abortion.” During the last eight years, anti-abortion, anti-birth control/contraception, anti-homosexual, and anti-sex education advocates have had free reign to implement their policies with full support of government funds, agencies and personnel. Through directives, cutting-of-funds, non-enforcement, and [...]

Shrewdness, Thy Name Is Barack

obama-holder

One does not become POTUS after three years in the Senate without making shrewd moves. These two are genius: separating John McCain’s political legacy from the ‘Wasilla Hillbilly’ and letting others carry the torture debate so he can honestly say he has no choice but to pursue prosecution of highest Bush officials for war crimes. [...]

The 10 Worst People Of The Year; Wait, Actually There’s Only One

bush_bottles

by Charley James – I detest the Top 10 lists sprouting up daily: Newspapers, magazines, television, cable, blogs, whatever. One acquaintance in New Mexico sent a mass e-mail to everyone in her Outlook directory asking each of us to submit our own Top 10 list of whatever we want to rank.

McCain Sold His Soul

John McCain Cartoon

John McCain has reinvented himself. And, the first decision of the born-again McCain was to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate. We now see he is capable of acting quickly – and recklessly – while possibly putting the safety and security of the country in the hands of a political novice. There’s not enough [...]

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