Category Archives: Human rights

Quote of the week nominee

On torture (seriously, we’re you expecting something else?): How dare we enforce laws against things which might possibly be permissible in some highly artificial thought experiment?  What if ‘24? is FOR REALS?!?  These are the sorts of questions which need to be shrugged at for 50 billion news cycles before we can even think about […]

Obama making torture his own, Part 2

From ABC’s Jake Tapper: President Obama met with White House counsel Greg Craig and other members of the White House counsel team last week and told them that he had second thoughts about the decision to hand over photographs of detainee abuse to the ACLU, per a judge’s order, and had changed his mind. The […]

Obama making torture his own…

… or at least covering for his predecessor. Glenn Greenwald sums up the message sent by the Obama administration to the British government: If your court describes the torture to which one of your residents was subjected while in U.S. custody, we will withhold information from you that could enable you to break up terrorist […]

The torture story goes on

Just keeping you peeps up to date. Dick Cheney is not providing plausible deniability for his former boss. Here is Cheney speaking about the “enhanced interrogation program”: SCHIEFFER: Did President Bush know everything you knew? CHENEY: I certainly, yes, have every reason to believe he knew — he knew a great deal about the program. […]

Torture versus war

A couple of weeks ago, when I first outlined a case for prosecutions of torturers, our intrepid commenter, Ian, objected on the basis that our illegitimate wars were a far greater stain on our country. For instance, our occupation of Iraq has sent hundreds of thousands to early graves; what are a few hundred tortured […]

On accountability for war crimes

Former president George W. Bush in 2003: “War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, ‘I was just following orders.’” Versus Obama this month: “In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal […]

Dubya calls for the prosecution of himself

Andrew Sullivan uncovered this statement from George W. Bush circa 2003: The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of […]

Connecting the dots: Torture … Iraq War

It’s now beginning to look like one of the big reasons we began to torture was to find a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam’s Iraq. From McClatchy: A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that intelligence agencies and interrogators […]

More on torture

Yesterday, I said that it wasn’t actually Obama’s decision whether or not to prosecute former Bush officials or CIA interrogators for torture. The Justice Department is supposed to make those decisions free from political influence. Obama now agrees that it’s the DoJs decision. **** A commenter at Andrew Sullivan’s blog has the right questions for Dick […]

The case for torture prosecutions

On Friday when Obama authorized the release of the Bush era Justice Department memos that provided a pseudo-lega cover for torture, he said investigations (and, by extension prosecutions) for those responsible would not happen, despite the wishes of 61% of Americans: … In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried […]