US Delegation Refuses to Explain to UN Committee Why Durham Review Ended in No Prosecutions for Torture

By: Thursday November 13, 2014 3:00 pm

Members of the United Nations Committee Against Torture reviewing the United States’ compliance with the Convention Against Torture (CAT) asked multiples times for further explanation of why a preliminary review into allegations of torture ended in no prosecutions. The US delegation, however, chose to keep the review shrouded in layers of secrecy, perpetuating a perception that the review was not credibly conducted.

Every four years signatories to the CAT are required to submit reports on how they are complying with the ban. The Committee reviews the country’s report and invites government officials from that country to attend a session to provide additional information. The session allows the Committee to put forward questions, which the government will then address.

 

First Female Head of CIA’s Clandestine Service Signed Off on Destruction of Torture Tapes

By: Wednesday March 27, 2013 12:10 pm

One week before John Brennan assumed office as CIA director, a woman was put in charge of the CIA’s clandestine service. It was the first time in the history of the agency that a female officer was running the agency. But, according to the Washington Post, the officer was one of two CIA officers, who signed off on the destruction of torture tapes in 2005.

The Post reports the woman served in a senior position at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center after the September 11th attacks. She was in the chain of command for the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program (RDI).

The CIA recorded brutal interrogations of prisoners with a video camera in a secret prison in Thailand. Over ninety tapes were ultimately recorded.

A Vote for Torture That Scars Prisoners vs. a Vote for Torture That Does Not Leave Scars

By: Monday October 1, 2012 12:17 pm

This election, Charlie Savage of the New York Times writes, will decide the future of “interrogation methods in terrorism cases,” whether torture techniques used by the administration of President George W. Bush are restored. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney favors “enhanced interrogation techniques” or torture. President Barack Obama has maintained certain torture techniques should not be used on prisoners suspected of having ties to terrorism.

The reality is the choice is not so distinct. When it comes to policy, both candidates would permit a level of torture.

Five Stages of Impunity for Torture

By: Saturday September 22, 2012 10:15 am

One hallmark of the administration of President Barack Obama has been the commitment of the administration to move forward and not look back—to, as a Democratic Party operative only concerned with election results might say, not re-litigate the eight years of the administration of George W. Bush. This means no accountability for those responsible for committing torture. It means no justice for torture victims.

Selective Law & Order

By: Tuesday May 31, 2011 6:01 pm

Looks like we can add “participating in a flash mob at a public monument” to the list of things that are more illegal than torture, assassination, starting a war under false pretenses, foreclosure fraud, securities fraud, warrantless wiretapping, and buying public officials.

Impunitarianism And Cargo Cult Democracy

By: Friday February 18, 2011 6:01 pm

When impunity replaces accountability, you are left with the rituals of democracy instead of its substance.

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