Tag Archives: Torture

Legacy Of Tony Blair–Torture?

A businessman who was held and tortured in the United Arab Emirates in the aftermath of bombings in London believes he has uncovered evidence that British consular officials colluded with local law enforcement officials to allow him to be subject of torture. Alam Ghafoor, is among several British citizens who argue there was British complicity in their detention and torture. He was on a business trip to UAE just a few days after the London bombings in July, 2005 when he along with a business associate were dragged from a restaurant and threatened with torture, deprived of sleep and subjected to stress positions and told by local authorities unless they cooperated they would be fed to dogs.

Ghafoor has uncovered communication from British consular officials in the UAE which indicate they knew he was being questioned and did nothing to protect his rights. While under questioning he was subject to torture that resulted in a “confession” of being complicit in the London bombing. “I wrote a false confession and put crazy things in it like I have constant contact with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.”

British officials insist they had nothing to do with the imprisonment or torture. It was just another of those “misunderstandings” that continually appear in the history of Bush and Tony Blair.

Zimbabwe Hell Continues

The regime of President Robert Mugabe has been characterized by transforming wealth of the country from the people to a group of thugs and murders who when opposed yell as loud as they can, “we are saving you from colonialism!” The current thievery consists of sending the army and police into diamond mines in the name of “security.” Of course, the “security” they are protecting is the license to steal by members of the Mugabe government, including leaders of the armed forces. A few days ago, the Mugabe government promised to withdraw its forces from the diamond mines, but the current message is we need the police there to maintain law and order. Imagine if legal diamond miners sought the diamonds!!

The Kimberly Process which supervises diamond mining in many areas of Africa says the army and police are guilty of murder, beating and horrific treatment of miners who get in their way. Naturally, the government of neighboring South Africa remains silent as do other democratic African nations. Of course, if European business interests were acting in like manner, the cry of “colonialism” would be heard all over Africa

Iranian Reformers Being Tortured To Confess Plot

There are unconfirmed reports the Iranian government has offered consultancy positions to former Vice President Cheney,former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and members of the Bush administration who served in the Justice Department and developed a legal rationale for torture. It is apparent that many Iranian reformers who have been arrested are being subject to torture in order to elicit “confessions” which would be aired on TV in order to prove that demonstrations were organized by British and American agents. We assume George Bush would defend the use of torture by a government in the name of “national security.” Of course, in this case, “national security” is being used by thugs and murderers to justify their authoritarian regime.

Several people who were in prison report they heard screams coming from rooms where men like Motafa Tajzadeh and others were being “interrogated.” Perhaps, if the Iranians persuaded American specialists in torture they could get “confessions.”

We wonder if President Obama still believes it is important in the name of “national security” to protect those who torture and not reveal pictures or documents. It is quite evident Rush Limbaugh and Bill Bennett and Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly are on TV decrying the use of torture by the Iranian government.

Scotland Yard Accused Of Waterboarding

The legacy of George Bush and his group of inept followers like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney continues to leave in its wake the horror of abuse of prisoners. America exports many products, but the export of how to waterboard a suspect is certainly not listed in the stock exchange. Charges have been raised about a recent incident in which Scotland Yard officers arrested five suspects and decided to allow them an opportunity to enjoy the benefit of having their faces washed by shoving them into pails of water. Scotland Yard refuses to respond to inquiries about this incident except to state there is an investigation and if anyone is found guilty they will be punished.

Just about every expert on the subject of interrogation of prisoners believes torture is an ineffective method of securing information. But, the Bush legacy lives on in many parts of the world.

Guantanamo–American’s Shame

I was recently taken to task by a writer who informed me our Founding Fathers would have been proud of the Bush administration policy toward prisoners because they wanted America to be protected against foreign attack. The writer did not cite any specific “Founding Father” nor did he quote directly anything stated by one of those men two hundred years ago that would have led to the conclusion a literal interpretation of the Constitution would conclude use of torture and denial of trial is the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Naturally, I thought it appropriate to read the Constitution in order to determine if that was their original intent.

Amendment 6

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherin the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Amendment 7
“In suits of common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved; and in fact, trial by jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of common law.”

Amendment 8

“Excessive bail shall not be required, no excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.”

I believe the ORIGINAL INTENT OF THE CONSTITUTION is clear– no torture, the right to a fair trial. Somehow, I do not believe Madison or Hamilton or Franklin would have viewed depriving people of sleep, forcing them to endure cold temperatures or waterboarding as fitting in to their ideas concerning proper treatment of prisoners.

Throughout the Revolutionary War, George Washington insisted on following the rules of war as known in the 18th century. There is no record of torturing captured British soldiers on orders of George Washington. Our Founding Fathers were raised with British concepts regarding the rights of man and torture and denial of a jury trial certainly were not part of their concept of the rights of man.

It is time for President Obama to return to the original intent of the Constitution and allow fair and impartial jury trials for the accused.

UK Sends Asylum Seekers Back To Torture!

During the past two hundred years, England has been a symbol of among the few nations which have offered refuge to those seeking protection from abuse and death. Karl Marx was welcomed to the merry island a hundred fifty years ago and spent most of his remaining years protected against arrest because he was in England. However, something has changed from that noble view of being a refuge to the oppressed of the world. An investigation by the Guardian newspaper reveals the British government is sending asylum seekers back to the nation they fled in fear of being tortured or killed. The estimated 10,000 Congolese who escaped the horror prevalent in their nation are now being returned. Last week, a flight carrying 33 refused asylum seekers landed in KInshasa where some would undoubtedly fall into the clutches of the secret police and be sent to torture .

Nsimba Kumbi was sent back to the Congo. He was beaten, tortured, and even forced to have oral sex with a guard. “The government in Congo views Congolese people deported back home from the UK s enemies.” As guards beat him they claimed he was a spy. Such was the fate of a young Congolese whose crime was to be engaged in political activism and seeking to create a democratic Congo.

Karl Marx must be turning over in his grave as the current behavior of England to those who fight against authority.

Torturous Obama Policy Tortures Europeans

The Obama election was hailed throughout Europe as the beginning of a new era in which the mad policies of George Bush would end and be replaced by those which adhere to basic principles of human rights. Obama’s action in announcing the close of Guantanamo prison raised hopes America would finally come to grips with its tortured past under Bush. But, Obama’s decision to reverse a promise of releasing torture photos created confusion among Europeans who have been anxious to praise the new president. The left-leaning German daily, Die Tageszeitung, reacted by commenting “the president is abdicating leadership on this question (and this) is a tragedy. Because cover-ups and a lack of punishment were never good starting points for a new beginning.”

The Financial Times Deutschland noted Obama had promised his nation would adopt an ethical stance and “the dark chapters of the Bush era would be illuminated as quickly as possible…But, the most important aspect of the Washington changing of the guard is not that Bush-era methods be denounced. Rather, most important is that they be ended.”

Obama might attempt to dodge his responsibilities but all he has done is created an even worse scenario. Instead of controlling the torture discussion, he has allowed it to fall into the hands of those who want punishment and openness. Can Obama control those forces when they use the media to generate debate?

Condi Rice Said OK To Torture

Former Secretary of State spent years in the world of academia where she was part of an intellectual community of scholars. But, the trappings of power were more attractive than sitting in an office dealing with students. A new Senate report indicates Rice gave permission to the CIA as early as July, 2002 to use waterboarding techniques of obtaining information. Most probably she was swayed by concerns that physical abuse might be contrary to the Geneva Conventions by a remark from Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld who said: “I stand 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”

Last autumn, Rice insisted she had only attended meetings where there was discussion about torture, but could not recall details of these sessions. Senator Carl Levin of the armed services committee, says bluntly, “the paper trail on abuse leads to top civilian leaders” and that includes the former scholar from Stanford University.

Perhaps, the best punishment for Condi Rice would compel her to return to Stanford and teach students and face them every day knowing they understand what she did in her quest for power and glory.

Human Rights Watch Denounces Hamas

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is among the few organizations concerned about the Middle East which strives to be objective rather than spout the latest example of rhetoric and bias. HRW has strongly denounced Israel behavior during the recent Gaza invasion, but yesterday it came out with a new report which focused on human rights abuses by Hamas during that violence. Their report charged Hamas with killing at least 32 Palestinian political rivals by using cover of the Israel attack to carry out its own vendetta against those who oppose their rule in Gaza. According to HRW, there were “unlawful arrests, torture and killings in detention” both during and after the Gaza invasion. Hamas forces tracked down and killed 18 Palestinians it accused of “collaborating” with Israel.

Last month, a Palestinian group, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHGR) said security forces of both Fatah and Hamas routinely carry out torture on prisoners that includes pulling out fingernails, beatings and sleep deprivation.

The fact that torture is committed by one group does not sanction other groups in using such methods.

Is Torture OK If We Do IT?

The New York Daily News printed an editorial which defended torture and argued against any punishment: Here is what they said:

“The Justice Department struck a blow for societal self-preservation in ruling CIA agents won’t be prosecuted for using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics on terror suspects. It was madness even to consider criminally charging the US operatives who gathered critical intelligence in the desperate months after 9/11 by applying techniques that were officially declared legal by the very same Justice Department.”

Following is a memo written by a member of the Nazi Minister of the Interior in 1942:

“It has come to my attention that some elements in the Ministry of the Interior are upset at some tactics we are using in defense of our beloved German homeland. The recent episode in Czechoslovakia in which terrorists killed Heydrich led to our killing of an entire village in order to demonstrate that terrorism will be punished. Yes, we do kill ten or fifteen civilians for each German soldier who is killed, but how else can we deal with the crafty and inhumane terrorists who kill innocent German soldiers at night?
I have received complaints that we pull out fingernails or burn terrorists in order to secure information. They are TERRORISTS! Their goal is to destroy the German homeland. And, yet, there are those who say who should be soft and pleasant to these inhuman terrorists. We must be strong if we are to defeat the hordes of Jewish-Communist forces of evil.
A member of the SS recently came to me and asked if he could be charged with committing a crime if he burned out the eyes of a suspect. I made clear he was following orders and that no one would ever be punished for following orders. He mentioned that a friend refused to rape a filthy Jewish girl and was then reprimanded by a superior. Orders are orders. Obey and obey, that is the way of Nazi Germany. I have been told in the soft liberal Jewish tainted democracies some argue that one should not obey an illegal order. It is such thinking that will ensure our victory.
If we accept these weak kneed opponents than those who gain glory in killing Jews would be branded as committing a crime. How can one commit a crime in killing the vermin filthy Jews who spread their germs of evil throughout the world. Torture in defense of the truth is always justified. If you don’t believe me, just contact Adolf Hitler.”

Yes, Daily News, which is owned by Mr. Zuckerman, yes, killing Jews in defense of Nazi Germany was no crime. If you don’t believe that statement, just read the April 18, 2009 editorial in The Daily News.