Torture, Torture, Torture... and more Torture

Submitted by tnjp on December 14, 2012 - 9:35pm.

Round-up of latest US/CIA/UK torture reports.... makes u wannu puke!

It's WAY PAST TIME to gather up ALL the various psychopathic torturing bastages to have them sent to the International Criminal Court to be tried for crimes against humanity. It'd go a long way towards re-establishing the rule of law, dammit...

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' terror suspect, human rights court rules

Landmark European court of human rights judgment says CIA tortured wrongly detained German citizen
Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, Thursday 13 December 2012 13.54 EST

CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA "rendition team" at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.

It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

"The grand chamber of the European court of human rights unanimously found that Mr el-Masri was subjected to forced disappearance, unlawful detention, extraordinary rendition outside any judicial process, and inhuman and degrading treatment," said James Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

He described the judgment as "an authoritative condemnation of some of the most objectionable tactics employed in the post-9/11 war on terror". It should be a wake-up call for the Obama administration and US courts, he told the Guardian. For them to continue to avoid serious scrutiny of CIA activities was "simply unacceptable", he said............

U.S. judge orders 9/11 suspects' CIA experience kept secret
By Jane Sutton
MIAMI | Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:23pm EST

(Reuters) - The U.S. military judge overseeing the Guantanamo prosecution of five alleged conspirators in the September 11 attacks has issued an order maintaining secrecy over the defendants' experiences in clandestine CIA prisons.

The protective order safeguarding classified information in the case was signed on December 6 by the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, and unsealed on Wednesday.

It is not limited to documents formally labeled "Top Secret" by the CIA or produced by the government, but also prohibits disclosure of the defendants own "observations and experiences" in the secret CIA detention, rendition and interrogation program....

Charles Pierce | A Big Victory for Torture
Charles Pierce, Esquire

Pierce writes: "It is so incompatible with our basic values as we profess them that we have to turn our legal system into a hall of mirrors in order to find a place for torture in our institutions of justice.".....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 by Common Dreams
Judge OKs Censorship of Torture at Guantánamo Bay Military Commission Trial
Decision will bar statements about 'illegal CIA torture, rendition and detention'
- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Testimony from the defendants at the Guantánamo Bay military commission 9/11 trial describing their own torture will be censored, the ACLU announced Wednesday afternoon, dealing a blow to the First Amendment rights of the American public and crushing claims of the commission's purported transparency.

Military Judge Col. James Pohl, who is presiding over the trial, approved the US government's request to keep the details of defendants' torture from the public, and allows for a 40-second delay on the audio feed of the proceedings to continue, which, Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Program, says is "the tool through which the government unconstitutionally prevents the public from hearing testimony about torture."

The ACLU had challenged the secrecy, filing a motion in May asking for public access to the proceedings. In that motion, the ACLU stated that the government

has no legal authority to classify defendants’ statements containing their personal knowledge of the detention and treatment, including torture, to which they were subjected in U.S. custody--information that defendants acquired by virtue of the government forcing it upon them. In addition, the President of the United States has banned the illegal CIA interrogation techniques to which the defendants were subjected and closed the secret facilities at which they were held. The government’s suppression of defendants’ statements about techniques and detention that are banned and prohibited by law--and that, accordingly, cannot be legitimately employed in the future--is not justified by the government’s interest in protecting legitimate methods, and thus fails strict scrutiny as well. Finally, it is the very antithesis of the narrow tailoring required by the First Amendment for the government to categorically gag defendants when copious details about the CIA’s use of torture and coercive techniques, including on the defendants, have been disclosed publicly in official government documents and other reports and press accounts.

"We’re profoundly disappointed by the military judge’s decision, which didn’t even address the serious First Amendment issues at stake here," Shamsi stated of Judge Pohl's ruling on Wednesday. "The government wanted to ensure that the American public would never hear the defendants’ accounts of illegal CIA torture, rendition and detention, and the military judge has gone along with that shameful plan."

"For now, the most important terrorism trial of our time will be organized around judicially approved censorship of the defendants’ own thoughts, experiences and memories of CIA torture. The decision undermines the government’s claim that the military commission system is transparent and deals a grave blow to its legitimacy," said Shamsi.

Kevin Gosztola points out at Firedoglake that the ruling proves "the military commissions cannot be fair." He writes:

With this ruling, the government has won the privilege to keep the press and public in the dark on how they have treated 9/11 defendants. They have also won a precedent that will likely become a fixture of the process in this second-class legal justice system, which President Barack Obama chose to use over trials in federal courts.

This means any detainees held at Guantanamo that may find themselves being brought to trial will find it impossible to communicate to the world that their rights have been violated. Even if they are ultimately guilty of terrorism, entrenching this into the process proves the military commissions cannot be fair and that the government is capable will do whatever necessary to prevent violations of due process or human rights from infringing their ability to win convictions.

Government pays Libyan dissident's family £2.2m over MI6-aided rendition

Sami al-Saadi, wife and four children were secretly flown from Hong Kong to Tripoli where he was tortured by Gaddafi police
Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, Thursday 13 December 2012 08.16 EST

Ministers have agree to pay more than £2m to the family of a prominent Libyan dissident abducted with the help of MI6 and secretly flown to Tripoli where he was tortured by the security police of the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Having sought for years to avoid the agents of the Libyan dictator, Sami al-Saadi was forced on board a plane in Hong Kong with his wife and four young children in a joint UK-US-Libyan operation. They were then flown to Libya, where all of them were initially imprisoned. Saadi was held and tortured for years.

The Saadi family had accepted a settlement of £2.23m, the high court heard on Thursday. The government paid the sum by way of compensation and without admitting any liability........

Iraq abuse inquiry was a 'cover-up', whistleblower tells court

Louise Thomas gives evidence ahead of judicial review into government's refusal to hold public inquiry into troop abuse claims
Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent
The Guardian, Tuesday 11 December 2012 14.44 EST

A former investigator into allegations that British troops abused Iraqi prisoners resigned because she did not want to be implicated in "a cover-up", the high court has heard.

Louise Thomas, 45, left the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) in July because she thought it was not a genuine investigation but a "face-saving inquiry", she told the court on Tuesday.

Her evidence came at a preliminary hearing in advance of a judicial review, expected next month, into the government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into allegations of mistreatment of Iraqis between 2003 and 2008.......

Report finds harsh CIA interrogations ineffective
By Greg Miller, Published: December 13

After a contentious closed-door vote, the Senate intelligence committee approved a long-awaited report Thursday concluding that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said.

The 6,000-page document, which was not released to the public, was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee’s Republicans. The outcome reflects the level of partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques four years after they were banned.

The report is the most detailed independent examination to date of the agency’s efforts to “break” dozens of detainees through physical and psychological duress, a period of CIA history that has become a source of renewed controversy because of torture scenes in a forthcoming Hollywood film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Officials familiar with the report said it makes a detailed case that subjecting prisoners to ­“enhanced” interrogation techniques did not help the CIA find Osama bin Laden and often were counterproductive in the broader campaign against al-Qaeda...........

STUDY: Cable News Regularly Refers To Torture Using Euphemisms
By Hayes Brown on Dec 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm

A new project has found that when covering instances of torture, cable news refers to it via euphemisms (such as the Bush administration’s preferred language “enhanced interrogation techniques”) almost 75 percent of the time rather than actually using the word “torture.”

The study, published at, monitored over thirty print, television, and online news sources for two years to develop an infographic of how frequently euphemisms for torture were used in place of the actual word. During the observed period of Oct. 2010 through Oct. 2012... Cable news networks scraped the bottom in the study’s findings, with MSNBC proving the best of the bunch by calling torture by name only half of the time. Fox News used the term “torture” in place of other phrases only 21 percent of the time....

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