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Researchers: New Forms Of Torture Leave "Invisible Scars"



Editors Note:  Isn't this lovely news, especially now that "indefinite detention of U.S. citizens" is now the law of the land.  If any of us are deemed to be terrorists, which is very easy to do now, we can be arrested and sent off to God-knows-where and tortured with all these advanced techniques!

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Homeland Security Newswire

December 29, 2011
Use of torture around the world has not diminished but the techniques used have grown more complex and sophisticated, according to new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

The study suggests that these emerging forms of torture, which include various types of rape, bestiality, and witnessing violent acts, are experienced by people seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.


Why We NEED Torture To Keep Us Safe



George Washington's Blog

You've heard people say that we should end all torture.

But do you want to hear why all of those naive and pampered idiots are wrong when they say we don't need torture? And why - in the real world in which we live - Dick Cheney is right?

Do you want to know the cold, hard facts about why we need torture?

Congress Poised to Pass Law with No Purpose Other than to Empower Government to Suppress Evidence of the Torture it Inflicted



George Washington's Blog

As Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald writes:

The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 ... literally has no purpose other than to allow the government to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States." As long as the Defense Secretary certifies -- with no review possible -- that disclosure would "endanger" American citizens or our troops, then the photographs can be suppressed even if FOIA requires disclosure. The certification lasts 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely. The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week.

Just imagine if any other country did this. Imagine if a foreign government were accused of systematically torturing and otherwise brutally abusing detainees in its custody for years, and there was ample photographic evidence proving the extent and brutality of the abuse. Further imagine that the country's judiciary -- applying decades-old transparency laws -- ruled that the government was legally required to make that evidence public. But in response, that country's President demanded that those transparency laws be retroactively changed for no reason other than to explicitly empower him to keep the photographic evidence suppressed, and a compliant Congress then immediately passed a new law empowering the President to suppress that evidence. What kind of a country passes a law that has no purpose other than to empower its leader to suppress evidence of the torture it inflicted on people? Read the language of the bill; it doesn't even hide the fact that its only objective is to empower the President to conceal evidence of war crimes.

US Violated Geneva Conventions, Bush Iraq Commander Says



By John Byrne
Raw Story

The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, said Friday that the US had violated the Geneva Conventions in a stunning admission from President Bush’s onetime top general in Iraq that the US may have violated international law.

“When we have taken steps that have violated the Geneva Conventions we rightly have been criticized, so as we move forward I think it’s important to again live our values, to live the agreements that we have made in the international justice arena and to practice those,” Gen. Petraeus said on Fox News Friday afternoon.

Petraeus made the comment in the context of being asked about the Bush administration’s so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The now-Central Command chief said he believed that banning the more extreme techniques had taken away “a tool” employed by “our enemies” as a moral argument against the United States.

Video: Conservative Talk Show Host Gets Waterboarded - Guess What? It's Torture!



Raw Story

Chicago radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller decided he'd get himself waterboarded to prove the technique wasn't torture.

It didn't turn out that way. "Mancow," in fact, lasted just six or seven seconds before crying foul. Apparently, the experience went pretty badly -- "Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop," according to NBC Chicago.

"The average person can take this for 14 seconds," Marine Sergeant Clay South told his audience before he was waterboarded on air. "He's going to wiggle, he's going to scream, he's going to wish he never did this."

Video: Christopher Hitchens Get Waterboarded - Sorry Folks. It's Torture!



How does it feel to be "aggressively interrogated"? Christopher Hitchens found out for himself, submitting to a brutal waterboarding session in an effort to understand the human cost of America's use of harsh tactics at Guantánamo and elsewhere. VF.com has the footage. Related: "Believe Me, It's Torture," from the August 2008 issue.
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