DOJ lawyer Catherine Dorsey: "We don’t think there is a First Amendment right to classified documents" -- she was seeking to suppress evidence of force-feeding torture in Gitmo. Read the rest
Homan Square is the Chicago Police Department's "secure site" where people as young as 15 are detained without charge and without access to counsel, subject to beatings that result in head wounds, and, in one case, death. Read the rest
Prisons have a legitimate interest in controlling contraband, but in South Carolina, using social media from behind bars is a Class I offense, carrying stiffer penalties than murder, escape and hostage-taking. Read the rest
What a sad world we live in, when a coalition of medical professionals has to issue a press release announcing this most obvious of obvious observations about so-called “anal feeding” of war-on-terror detainees. Read the rest
Terrorism suspects were four times more likely to confess "when interrogators struck a neutral and respectful stance," according to a study published this year.
This isn't just theoretical, either. One former U.S. Army interrogator told PRI this week that he was able to break through to an Iraqi insurgent over a shared love of watching the TV show 24 on bootleg DVDs.
"He acknowledged that he was a big fan of Jack Bauer," he told PRI. "We made a connection there that ultimately resulted in him recanting a bunch of information that he had said in the past and actually giving us the accurate information because we had made that connection."
But as Olga Khazan points out in her Atlantic story, torture isn't about getting useful information. It's about punishment:
In another study highlighted by BPS, regular people were found to be more supportive of torture if they were told the suspect was a terrorist—but not because they thought the suspect had more information. Their support for torture, in other words, was rooted on a desire for payback, not intelligence.
The former US vice president was on TV this weekend to defend the Bush administration torture program that he oversaw. His argument was that the 9/11 terrorists were the real torturers and therefore how dare anyone say the US's “enhanced interrogation techniques” were wrong?
He swatted away evidence contained in the Senate intelligence committee report into the CIA programme that a suspect later found to be innocent froze to death having been shackled naked to a cell wall, and that detainees were rectally infused with food, refusing to accept a torture definition for either example.
“Torture to me is an American citizen on a cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death on the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York City on 9/11,” Cheney said.
“There’s a notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stay short of torture.”
Part of the debate about the CIA Torture Report is whether torture works as a means of gathering useful intelligence; scholarly work has long held that it doesn't. Read the rest
An anonymous editor at 126.96.36.199 -- registered to the US Senate -- has repeatedly attempted to scrub the word "torture" from the Wikipedia entry from Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. Read the rest
Democratic party partisans like Sean Wilentz, George Packer and Michael Kinsley spent the Bush years condemning the tactics they now defend under Obama -- apart from sheer intellectual dishonesty, how can this be explained? Read the rest
The Foreign Office said it couldn't provide its files on secret CIA rendition of terrorism suspects for torture, because those files (and only those files) were "water-damaged." Read the rest