Torture and Democracy

Torture and Democracy

This is the most comprehensive, and most comprehensively chilling, study of modern torture yet written. Darius Rejali, one of the world’s leading experts on torture, takes the reader from the late nineteenth century to the aftermath of Abu Ghraib, from slavery and the electric chair to electrotorture in American inner cities, and from French and British colonial prison cells and the Spanish-American War to the fields of Vietnam, the wars of the Middle East, and the new democracies of Latin America and Europe.

As Rejali traces the development and application of one torture technique after another in these settings, he reaches startling conclusions. As the twentieth century progressed, he argues, democracies not only tortured, but set the international pace for torture. Dictatorships may have tortured more, and more indiscriminately, but the United States, Britain, and France pioneered and exported techniques that have become the lingua franca of modern torture: methods that leave no marks. Under the watchful eyes of reporters and human rights activists, low-level authorities in the world’s oldest democracies were the first to learn that to scar a victim was to advertise iniquity and invite scandal. Long before the CIA even existed, police and soldiers turned instead to “clean” techniques, such as torture by electricity, ice, water, noise, drugs, and stress positions. As democracy and human rights spread after World War II, so too did these methods.

Rejali makes this troubling case in fluid, arresting prose and on the basis of unprecedented research–conducted in multiple languages and on several continents–begun years before most of us had ever heard of Osama bin Laden or Abu Ghraib. The author of a major study of Iranian torture, Rejali also tackles the controversial question of whether torture really works, answering the new apologists for torture point by point. A brave and disturbing book, this is the benchmark against which all future studies of modern torture will be measured.

List price: $49.95

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Birmingham pub bombing victims’ families face further agonising wait as coroner orders police to produce evidence over claim they were tipped off by IRA mole

Relatives ‘suspect police lied to gain Birmingham Six wrongful convictions’

Men released in 1991 after murder convictions were overturned on appeal

21 people died in November 1974 when blasts ripped through two pubs

Bombings are widely acknowledged to have been carried out by the IRA

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3440478/IRA-mole-tipped-police-1974-Birmingham-pub-bombing-coroner-told-victims-families-begin-bid-resume-inquest.html

Related…
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2016/02/birmingham-false-flag.html

10 Secret CIA Prisons You Do Not Want To Visit

The US Central Intelligence Agency has, according to multiple investigative reports from both mainstream media outlets and human rights organizations, operated numerous “black sites” across the world. These locations, according to the reports, are secret prisons used to house “ghost prisoners.” Those sent to these places are held captive without being charged with any crime and are not allowed any form of legal defense.

Ghost prisoners are subject to what the CIA calls “enhanced interrogation tactics”; most others call it torture. The CIA and their operatives’ methods allegedly include waterboarding, sleep deprivation, humiliation, physical beatings, electric shocks, and worse.

These secret prisons, dotted all over the world, might just be the most terrifying places on Earth.

http://listverse.com/2016/02/10/10-secret-cia-prisons-you-do-not-want-to-visit/

FBI Surrounds Occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

FBI STATEMENT

At approximately 4:30 pm (Pacific) on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside the barricades established by the militia at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. FBI Agents attempted to approach the driver, and he returned to the encampment at the refuge at a high rate of speed.

At this time, the FBI has moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind the area where the occupiers are camping. Negotiations between the occupiers and the FBI continue. No shots have been fired.

“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully. However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

Wednesday marks day 40 of the occupation of the refuge.

https://www.fbi.gov/portland/press-releases/2016/fbi-surrounds-occupiers-at-the-malheur-national-wildlife-refuge

FBI Surrounds Occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

FBI STATEMENT

At approximately 4:30 pm (Pacific) on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside the barricades established by the militia at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. FBI Agents attempted to approach the driver, and he returned to the encampment at the refuge at a high rate of speed.

At this time, the FBI has moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind the area where the occupiers are camping. Negotiations between the occupiers and the FBI continue. No shots have been fired.

“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully. However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

Wednesday marks day 40 of the occupation of the refuge.

https://www.fbi.gov/portland/press-releases/2016/fbi-surrounds-occupiers-at-the-malheur-national-wildlife-refuge

Infowars Nightly News: Wednesday (2-10-16)

John McAfee on The Alex Jones Show – Wednesday (2-10-16)

CIA Director Freaks Out After Senator Wyden Points Out How The CIA Spied On The Senate

If you’re a CIA Director, one would assume that you know how to be cool under fire, right? Apparently that’s not the case for current CIA Director John Brennan who seemed to completely freak out when Senator Ron Wyden started asking questions about the CIA’s infamous decision to spy on the network and computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers who were compiling a report on the CIA’s torture program. The details are a bit complex, but the short version is that the Intelligence Committee, which has oversight powers over the CIA, had been set up in a CIA building, with special access to CIA documents, and a special search tool. Apparently, at some point, that search tool returned a document which the CIA had never intended to share with the intelligence committee staffers. That document, called “the Panetta Review” was a draft document that then-CIA chief Leon Panetta had tasked people internal at the CIA to prepare on what the Senate Intelligence Committee staffers were likely to find as they went through the documents.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160209/18023733567/cia-director-freaks-out-after-senator-wyden-points-out-how-cia-spied-senate.shtml

US intelligence chief: we might use the internet of things to spy on you

The US intelligence chief has acknowledged for the first time that agencies might use a new generation of smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities.

As increasing numbers of devices connect to the internet and to one another, the so-called internet of things promises consumers increased convenience – the remotely operated thermostat from Google-owned Nest is a leading example. But as home computing migrates away from the laptop, the tablet and the smartphone, experts warn that the security features on the coming wave of automobiles, dishwashers and alarm systems lag far behind.

In an appearance at a Washington thinktank last month, the director of the National Security Agency, Adm Michael Rogers, said that it was time to consider making the home devices “more defensible”, but did not address the opportunities that increased numbers and even categories of connected devices provide to his surveillance agency.

However, James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, was more direct in testimony submitted to the Senate on Tuesday as part of an assessment of threats facing the United States.

“In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper said.

Clapper did not specifically name any intelligence agency as involved in household-device surveillance. But security experts examining the internet of things take as a given that the US and other surveillance services will intercept the signals the newly networked devices emit, much as they do with those from cellphones. Amateurs are already interested in easily compromised hardware; computer programmer John Matherly’s search engine Shodan indexes thousands of completely unsecured web-connected devices.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/09/internet-of-things-smart-home-devices-government-surveillance-james-clapper

Bishops do not have to report child abuse, Vatican says

The Catholic Church is telling newly appointed bishops it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse to authorities.

A document explaining how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse suggests only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

The document, recently released by the Vatican, emphasises that bishops’ only duty is to address such allegations internally – though it says they must be aware of local laws.

Details were reported by John Allen, associate editor of the Catholic News Site Cruxnow.com.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/bishops-do-not-have-to-report-child-abuse-vatican-says-a6866061.html

Related…

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/10/catholic-bishops-not-obliged-report-clerical-child-abuse-vatican-says

http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2016/02/07/what-new-catholic-bishops-are-and-arent-being-told-on-sex-abuse/