Category Archives: Human rights

Obama embraces the Dark Side

The President has now firmly embraced the teachings of Darth Cheney: … in Barack Obama’s administration, it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse an American citizen in detention who has been convicted of nothing by consigning him to 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement, barring him from exercising in his cell, punitively imposing “suicide watch” restrictions on him against the […]

Illegal human testing

The moral catastrophe of the Bush years continues to reveal itself. According to a report by the Physicians for Human Rights, the U.S. government doctors experimented on suspected terrorists that we were torturing. The goal of their research? How to inflict the maximum amount of pain without killing the suspect: The report cites agency guidelines for […]

Can we start the war crimes tribunal yet? Part 2

Back in April 2008, President Bush told ABC that he personally approved the torture of suspected terrorists in our custody. At the time, I wrote that Bush’s open admission of a war crime should have led to a war crime tribunal. Well, that didn’t happen. (Big surprise, right?) And now Bush’s right-hand man, Dick Cheney […]

Stopping terrorism: More information isn’t better

Since 9/11, Bush and his enablers in Congress have eroded many of our civil liberties in the name of stopping terrorism. With our right to privacy practically obliterated, the government now collects massive amounts of data on our activities each day. The theory being that the more they know, the easier it will be to […]

Torture: A Pillar of American Civilization

I side with Andrew Sullivan in his denunciation of torture, but I contest his attempt to define modern torture as a historical aberration, as if it weren’t common behavior for the United States until George W. Bush rode into Washington. Sullivan says modern torture advocates are “junking the entire history of Western jurisprudence and the […]

Legal black holes

Recent reports say the detention center at Guantanamo Bay will remain open for several more months, maybe into 2011. Despite the delay, President Barack Obama likely intends to close the prison. His administration is hyper aware of its own perception and does not want to maintain a facility that so vividly represents Washington’s abuse of […]

Understanding Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

This morning, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the peace prize to President Barack Obama, shocking the world, infuriating America’s political Right and confusing the recipient. If the prize is based on results, then no amount of mental gymnastics could justify this selection. While the new president has toned down the belligerent rhetoric of his predecessor, […]

Obama embraces Soviet Communism

If Republicans want t0 compare Obama to Soviet Communists, this is their opportunity: The Obama administration has decided not to seek new legislation from Congress authorizing the indefinite detention of about 50 terrorism suspects being held without charges at at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, officials said Wednesday. Instead, the administration will continue to hold the detainees […]

It’s not Guantanamo if we call it Bagram

Instead of detaining prisoners forever without a trial in Guantanamo, Obama will just detain them forever without a trial in Bagram: Yesterday, the Obama DOJ — as expected — filed a legal brief (.pdf) which adopted the arguments originally made by the Bush DOJ to insist that detainees whom they abduct from around the world […]

ACLU does the job of the media

This is why I gave money to the ACLU: In the spring of 2003, long before Abu Ghraib or secret prisons became part of the American vocabulary, a pair of recently hired lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union noticed a handful of news reports about allegations of abuse of prisoners in American custody. The […]