Trump's administration is trying to keep the full CIA 'torture' report secret

The administration of President Donald Trump has started to return to Congress copies of an extensive 2014 report on the the CIA's interrogation and detention practices, U.S. officials revealed on Friday.

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Chelsea Manning is a free woman

Today, the whistleblower Chelsea Manning stepped out of the Military Corrections Complex at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, having served the longest sentence in US history for whistleblowing; for the duration of her ongoing appeal, she is on "excess leave in an active-duty status" which entitles her to access to military health-care insurance and other benefits. Read the rest

Two gay men in Indonesia sentenced to 85 lashes for having sex

A sharia court in Indonesia’s ultra-conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning.

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For sale, one of the CIA's extraordinary rendition torture-jets

For four years, N313P, a modified Boeing 737 bizjet, flew people who'd been kidnapped by the CIA to secret torture-camps; it's only got 5,942 hours on it, and sports a customized seven-tank fuel reserve for long-haul flights. It's yours for a mere $27.5M. Read the rest

How Kenyan spies and cops use electronic surveillance for illegal murder and torture squads

Privacy International interviewed 57 sources for their report on the link between surveillance and torture and murder in Kenya, including 32 law enforcement, military or intelligence officers with direct firsthand knowledge of the programs. Read the rest

Privately run immigration detention is so violent that prisoners beg to be kept in solitary

With Obama's federal government reducing the role of private prisons in the incarceration of Americans, companies like Corrections Corporation of America (now known as Corecivic) and GAO aggressively moved into providing detention facilities for people awaiting deportation, like the 2,000,000+ people deported under the Obama administrations. Read the rest

John Yoo, government lawyer who OK'd torture, thinks Trump is "executive power run amok"

John Yoo authored the "Torture Memos" which provided the government with legal advice on getting away with torturing prisoners. Whenever the media needs someone to exemplify "conscious amorality in support of state power," he's our man. Writing in the New York Times, though, he thinks Trump is "running amok."
after the order was issued, his adviser Rudolph Giuliani disclosed that Mr. Trump had initially asked for “a Muslim ban,” which would most likely violate the Constitution’s protection for freedom of religion or its prohibition on the state establishment of religion, or both — no mean feat. Had Mr. Trump taken advantage of the resources of the executive branch as a whole, not just a few White House advisers, he would not have rushed out an ill-conceived policy made vulnerable to judicial challenge.

Remember: you still have to take a shot when the Times calls it "enhanced interrogation," and drink the whole bottle when Yoo says it. Read the rest

Scarfolk's waterboarding accessory set for Action Man

From Scarfolk, the English horror-town stuck in a ten-year loop in the 1970s, comes this Action Man waterboarding playset, marketed after overwhelming popular demand: "A survey conducted in 1978 found that the jobs boys most wanted when they were older included astronaut, engine driver and chief torturer for a totalitarian regime which uses its cover as a civilised democracy to commit national and international atrocities with impunity." Read the rest

Donald Trump still loves torture

The New York Times indulged a bit of wishful thinking last week when it reported on Trump's surprise that his likely secretary of defense Marine Corps General James Mattis thought torture didn't work, suggesting that this meant that Trump would abandon his campaign promise to torture the shit out of anyone he didn't like, because if it's good enough for ISIS, it's good enough for Trump. Read the rest

How to fight Trump, starting right now

Anil Dash says that once we finish grieving, we need to organize. Start by figuring out who's already fighting for racial justice, against climate change, and for civil rights (including LBGTQ rights and women's rights) in your community and commit to helping them. Read the rest

Undercover with a prepper militia that patrols the border to fight "drug cartels"

Shane Bauer, the investigative journalist whose four month stint in a privately run Louisiana prison was one of 2016's most important pieces of journalism, has published a new piece in Mother Jones, this one detailing his time patrolling with the Three Percent United Patriots and other right-wing militias that are preparing for an epic civil war in which the US government will be overthrown and they will be the only citizens of a new country, with everyone else serving as "worker bees...down in the field growing food, gathering wood." Read the rest

Chelsea Manning has surfaced and is OK

After being missing for seven days, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has made contact. Her prison warders threw her into solitary for a week and didn't tell her lawyers or friends where she was. Read the rest

Youtube took down MEP's videos about torture debate

Marietje Schaake (previously) is a Dutch Member of the European Parliament who has a fantastic track-record for getting it right on issues related to technology, free speech, human rights, and privacy; she is the author of a report on export controls for spying technology used to identify dissidents to torture. Read the rest

Survivors of CIA torture describe homebrew electric chair used at Afghan black site

Lufti al-Arabi, a Tunisian man who was arrested in Pakistan while studying at university, spent 13 years in the CIA's notorious "Salt Pit" prison (AKA "Detention Site COBALT") in Afghanistan, enduring incredible, crippling torture, before finally being released without charge, comment, or compensation in 2015; in his first interview since his release, he tells Human Rights Watch about the inhumane tortures of the Salt Pit, including some tortures that were apparently omitted from the CIA's suppressed torture report to the US Senate. Read the rest

Done in your name: Survivors of CIA's torture-decade describe their ordeals

For nearly a decade, the CIA kidnapped people from over 20 countries, held them without trial or counsel, and viciously tortured them, sometimes to death -- but the only person to serve jail time for the program is the man who blew the whistle on it, and that's thanks in part to Obama's insistence that "Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past." Read the rest

Newly released police reports describe Michael Jackson’s very disturbing porn collection

(UPDATE BELOW)

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department documents obtained by Radar Online describe materials depicting "animal torture" and "nude children" that were found during a 2003 search of Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch. The issue of pornography in the Michael Jackson child abuse investigations first arose about a decade ago. The pop music icon died seven years ago, but the ugly secrets of his alleged abuse keep surfacing.

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Guy Fawkes signature, before and after torture

In 1605 an English Catholic man named Guy ("Guido") Fawkes joined 12 other Catholics in an attempt to to blow up the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes was caught red handed in the cellar of the Parliament. He was tortured an executed. Here's how his signature appeared, before and after torture.

In those days, England didn't take kindly to Catholics, especially ones who tried to kill Queens and members of Parliament. I recently read Simon Singh's excellent The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography which has a chapter about Mary Queen of Scotts who, while under house arrest in the late 1500s, sent encrypted messages to a group of Catholic men conspiring to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and put Mary on the throne. The men were captured and gruesomely executed in front of a crowd of gawkers. As Elizabethan historian William Camden wrote, the conspirators were “cut down, their privities were cut off, bowelled alive and seeing, and quartered.” Mary, being a Queen, was merely beheaded. Read the rest

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