MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Torture’

Why is the 9/11 Mastermind Still Awaiting Trial? | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2019

One word: torture.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-the-9-11-mastermind-is-still-awaiting-trial/

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

The trial date for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cohorts for their role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, which were responsible for the deaths of 2,976 people, has been finally set.

For January 11, 2021.

Wrap your heads around that for a moment. Kids who were born the year of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil are now applying for colleges and signing up for Selective Service. They’ll be able to vote in the next presidential election.

For those of us who went the through painful process of covering the evolution of the U.S. military tribunal at “Camp Justice” at Guantanamo Bay, the announcement that a date has been “set” means very little. Most observers don’t think it’ll happen, not in January 2021 or ever. Why?

Torture.

The U.S. military and the CIA took KSM and other high level detainees who later spent time at the infamous GTMO off the battlefield and into “black” interrogation sites that most Americans would rather forget ever existed. They tortured these individuals for information before bringing them to GTMO and then tortured them some more. Anyone who does not believe that has been living in a politically warped state of denial for the last 18 years.

If it hadn’t happened, the U.S. military might have had a lot more than a handful of convictions (out of the hundreds of detainees who have rotated in and out of the prison). Out of the handful of convictions at Camp Justice, most have been overturned in the last several years. The record of this tribunal is pathetic. The only thing truly accomplished here is the U.S. military ecosystem flourishing a short hop from the Cuban mainland. What was supposed to be temporary has been made permanent, like all things in the American military industrial complex…

The reason why KSM and his four cohorts have not gone to trial yet is because there is a dispute over whether their confessions are admissible because they were gleaned through torture sessions in CIA prisons. By law the any evidence obtained under these conditions is inadmissible. Defense lawyers in this case, as well in the other major case at Camp Justice—the 2000 USS Cole bombing—have been able to hold up the progress of both cases on this basis. If for some reason these men are convicted, and they get the death penalty, their lawyers were use torture to prolong that process too…

Torture report: 10 examples of the horror in the CIA's prisons

 

 

 

 

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Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange – Nils Melzer – Medium

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2019

https://medium.com/@njmelzer/demasking-the-torture-of-julian-assange-b252ffdcb768

By Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

I know, you may think I am deluded. How could life in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard ever amount to torture? That’s exactly what I thought, too, when Assange first appealed to my office for protection. Like most of the public, I had been subconsciously poisoned by the relentless smear campaign, which had been disseminated over the years. So it took a second knock on my door to get my reluctant attention. But once I looked into the facts of this case, what I found filled me with repulsion and disbelief.

Surely, I thought, Assange must be a rapist! But what I found is that he has never been charged with a sexual offence. True, soon after the US had encouraged allies to find reasons to prosecute Assange, two women made the headlines in Sweden. One of them claimed he had ripped a condom, and the other that he had failed to wear one, in both cases during consensual intercourse — not exactly scenarios that have the ring of ‘rape’ in any language other than Swedish. Mind you, each woman even submitted a condom as evidence. The first one, supposedly worn and torn by Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure. The second one, used but intact, supposedly proved ‘unprotected’ intercourse. Go figure, again. The women even texted that they never intended to report a crime but were ‘railroaded’ into doing so by zealous Swedish police. Go figure, once more. Ever since, both Sweden and Britain have done everything to prevent Assange from confronting these allegations without simultaneously having to expose himself to US extradition and, thus, to a show-trial followed by life in jail. His last refuge had been the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Alright, I thought, but surely Assange must be a hacker! But what I found is that all his disclosures had been freely leaked to him, and that no one accuses him of having hacked a single computer. In fact, the only arguable hacking-charge against him relates to his alleged unsuccessful attempt to help breaking a password which, had it been successful, might have helped his source to cover her tracks. In short: a rather isolated, speculative, and inconsequential chain of events; a bit like trying to prosecute a driver who unsuccessfully attempted to exceed the speed-limit, but failed because their car was too weak…

Well then, I thought, at least we know for sure that Assange is a Russian spy, has interfered with US elections, and negligently caused people’s deaths!…

But surely, I found myself pleading, Assange must be a selfish narcissist, skateboarding through the Ecuadorian Embassy and smearing feces on the walls?…

In the end it finally dawned on me that I had been blinded by propaganda, and that Assange had been systematically slandered to divert attention from the crimes he exposed. Once he had been dehumanized through isolation, ridicule and shame, just like the witches we used to burn at the stake, it was easy to deprive him of his most fundamental rights without provoking public outrage worldwide. And thus, a legal precedent is being set, through the backdoor of our own complacency, which in the future can and will be applied just as well to disclosures by The Guardian, the New York Times and ABC News…

Yes, living in an Embassy with a cat and a skateboard may seem like a sweet deal when you believe the rest of the lies. But when no one remembers the reason for the hate you endure, when no one even wants to hear the truth, when neither the courts nor the media hold the powerful to account, then your refuge really is but a rubber boat in a shark-pool, and neither your cat nor your skateboard will save your life.

Even so, you may say, why spend so much breath on Assange, when countless others are tortured worldwide? Because this is not only about protecting Assange, but about preventing a precedent likely to seal the fate of Western democracy. For once telling the truth has become a crime, while the powerful enjoy impunity, it will be too late to correct the course. We will have surrendered our voice to censorship and our fate to unrestrained tyranny…

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truth

 

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WSJ Says CIA Chief Wouldn’t Do Anything ‘Inappropriate’—Despite Record of Torture and Coverup | FAIR

Posted by M. C. on June 11, 2019

The War Street Journal

https://fair.org/home/wsj-says-cia-chief-wouldnt-do-anything-inappropriate-despite-record-of-torture-and-coverup/

A Wall Street Journal report (5/25/19) by Warren Strobel whitewashed CIA Director Gina Haspel’s career and put a positive spin on the CIA’s insulation from public accountability with its turn towards its greatest opacity “in decades.”

While one might expect CIA officials to support greater secrecy around the organization, it’s odd that ostensibly independent journalists—with a mission to hold official organizations accountable by informing the public—would treat less information coming from the agency as a positive development.

Yet that’s exactly what the Journal report did, depicting Haspel’s strategy of avoiding backlash from the Trump administration by not publicly contradicting its dubious claims as “protecting the agency” from “the domestic threat of a toxic US political culture.”

“She and her agency have adopted their lowest public profile in decades,” Strobel writes—just before summing her up as a “CIA director who has been warmly received by the workforce she has spent her life among.”

In other words, for the Journal, a public intelligence agency sharing its intelligence with the public is a bad thing, unless it supports US foreign policy by agreeing with whatever the Trump administration is saying. This position is echoed in the piece by official sources, like former CIA official and staff director of the House Intelligence Committee Mark Lowenthal, who assures us, “It’s not going to be any good for her [Haspel] to be out there attracting lightning bolts.”

However, the most egregious part of Strobel’s report is its whitewashing of Haspel’s disturbing record in the CIA by uncritically transmitting glowing endorsements by other CIA officials:

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said he is absolutely confident that Ms. Haspel will push back if policy makers ask the agency to do something it shouldn’t.

“I was told that somebody asked that the agency do something that was inappropriate. Her response was, ‘No. And don’t ask again,’ ” said Mr. Morell, who hosts the Intelligence Matters podcast. He said he did not have details of the incident.

Strange: That’s precisely the opposite of what Haspel did when she was asked to violate domestic and international law by torturing post-9/11 prisoners (euphemized by Strobel as “controversies” over “treatment of detainees”), and peddling lies about torture’s effectiveness (National Security Archives, 4/26/18)…

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mbird

 

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‘Grave Concerns’ – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 1, 2019

Assange is in the land of the worshiped NHS.

There should be no excuse for complete recovery. Unless he has contracted cancer or some such while in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Or unless death while in custody is the plan. That would be very convenient.

But would the torture be forgotten?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/no_author/grave-concerns/

RT News

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been moved to the hospital wing of the Belmarsh prison in the UK, prompting concerns about his health pending the hearing on his extradition to the US.

Assange’s health had already “significantly deteriorated” during the nearly seven years he spent inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and has continued to get worse over the seven weeks he has spent in Belmarsh, WikiLeaks said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The decision of prison authorities to move him to the health ward speaks for itself,” said WikiLeaks, adding that Assange has lost a lot of weight and was barely able to speak to his Swedish lawyer last week…

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Julian Assange Arrested: WikiLeaks Founder Arrested From ...

 

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Saudi 16-year-old tortured with electricity and BEHEADED – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 28, 2019

A heads up from our Middle East partners.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/saudi-16-year-old-tortured-with-electricity-and-beheaded/

SAUDI SAVAGERY

Saudi Arabia mass execution – Lad, 16, tortured with electricity and BEHEADED just for sending WhatsApp messages about protests

Abdulkareem al-Hawa was put to death in front of a baying crowd along with 36 other men who were executed this week in the barbaric desert kingdom

A YOUNG lad was tortured with electricity and beheaded in Saudi Arabia because he sent WhatsApp messages about a protest aged 16.

Abdulkarim al-Hawaj, 21, was a schoolboy when he was detained and accused of being a “terrorist” for sending texts online about an anti-government demonstration.

 Abdulkareem al-Hawaj was just 16 when he was arrested

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Abdulkareem al-Hawaj was just 16 when he was arrested

He was a Shiite Muslim – which is a persecuted minority group in Sunni-dominated Saudi – living in the troubled Eastern province.

Abdulkarim was beaten and tortured with electricity while his hands were chained above his head when he “confessed” to his crimes, human rights charity Reprieve said.

According to Amnesty International, his trial was a farce because he was denied access to a proper defence lawyer and convicted on the forced confession.

Aside from torture, the charity also claims that his captors threatened to kill his family if did not confess to the crimes.

This week, he had his head cut from his body in front of a baying, bloodthirsty crowd along with 36 other men in the medieval country.

BUTCHERED FOR SENDING TEXT MESSAGES

Sentencing a person to death who is aged under 18 is banned under international law.

Another victim, Mujtaba al-Sweikat, was a teenager who was set to start a new life in the US, studying at Western Michigan University, when he was arrested for attending an anti-government protest.

The then-17-year-old – who had enrolled in English language and finance – was badly beaten including on the soles of his feet before he “confessed” to crimes against the state.

Human rights charities claim he was also tortured into confessing and convicted in a “sham trial.”

Despite his university protesting his sentence, insisting he had “great promise,” Mujtaba was also beheaded this week.

 Mujtaba al-Sweikat was beheaded this week for spreading information about a protest in Saudi Arabia when he was 17

HANDOUT

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Mujtaba al-Sweikat was beheaded this week for spreading information about a protest in Saudi Arabia when he was 17

 A majority of executions in Saudi Arabia are carried out by public beheading

REX FEATURES

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A majority of executions in Saudi Arabia are carried out by public beheading

Reprieve Deputy Director Harriet McCulloch insists both men were sharing information about “peaceful” demonstrations.

She said: “Many things can be used to justify a death sentence in Mohammed Bin Salman’s Saudi Arabia, including ‘disobedience against the King’, ‘preparing banners with anti-state slogans’ and ‘incitement via social media’.

“Mujtaba al-Sweikat and Abdulkarim al-Hawaj were teenagers sharing information about peaceful protests on their mobile phones…

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CNN’s Don Lemon on Chicago Torture Video: ‘I Don’t Think It Was Evil’ – Breitbart

Posted by M. C. on January 6, 2017

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/05/cnns-don-lemon-on-chicago-torture-video-i-dont-think-it-was-evil/

The voice of CNN. 

Torturing white people is a lark. It’s OK to hate if it’s a white president.

Do all the people passing by an airport TV screen count toward Neilson ratings?

Trump has already done more towards a peace prize in two months than Obama has done in a lifetime. Not that the Nobel committee has any credibility. 

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CIA Torture-The Real Reason

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2014

The torture report is pretty bad both for the victims and US.

What was released is the executive summary. The least of the worst. Can you imagine what was left out. It is likely beyond the imagination of the non-sociopath.

One thing that was left wanting is the real reason for the torture program, at least in the beginning.  That would be trying to find the slightest excuse to pin Al Qaeda support and the 9/11 attacks on Iraq. See Justin Raimondo here. Read the rest of this entry »

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