Blue Ribbon Task Force Says Army Field Manual on Interrogation Allows Torture, Abuse

By: Tuesday November 5, 2013 4:10 pm

A report by a multidisciplinary task force, made up largely of medical professionals, ethicists and legal experts, has called on President Obama to issue an executive order outlawing torture and other abusive techniques currently in use in the military’s Army Field Manual on interrogations. The Task Force, which wrote the report for The Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), has also called on the Department of Defense to rewrite the Army Field Manual in accordance with such an executive order.

But politically, it has been difficult for the issue of abuse in the Army Field Manual to get traction.

Hunger Striker Younus Chekhouri Describes the “Nightmare” Inside Guantanamo

By: Friday May 10, 2013 4:40 pm

The World Medical Association states, “Forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable. Even if intended to benefit, feeding accompanied by threats, coercion, force or use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment. Equally unacceptable is the forced feeding of some detainees in order to intimidate or coerce other hunger strikers to stop fasting.”

Nearly 12,000 Prisoners Join California Hunger Strike to End Torture Conditions

By: Monday October 3, 2011 7:40 am

According to California sources, “nearly 12,000 prisoners were on hunger strike, including California prisoners who are housed in out of state prisons in Arizona, Mississippi and Oklahoma.” This is the second hunger strike in less than four months, with prisoners at the Supermax Pelican Bay Prison and other California state prisons protesting the use of long-term solitary confinement, in addition to four other main demands, including provision of adequate and nutritious food, and an end to administrative abuses.

Isolation, Indeterminate Sentences Used to Extract Confessions at California Supermax Prisons

By: Sunday July 17, 2011 6:45 am

The conditions at Security Housing Units (SHU) at Pelican Bay Prison, and other Supermax prisons, clearly constitute torture and/or cruel, inhumane treatment of prisoners. It relies on the use of severe isolation or solitary confinement, the effects of which I’ve written about before in the context of the Bradley Manning case (see here and here). At Pelican Bay, the prisoners in “administrative segregation” are locked in a gray concrete 8′X10′ foot cell 22-1/2 hours per day. The other time (if that privilege is granted) is spent alone in a tiny concrete yard. There is no human physical contact. No work, no communal activities. If the prisoner has enough money they can purchase a TV or radio. Meals are pushed through a slot in the metal door.

Isolation: “The Ideal Way of ‘Breaking Down’ a Prisoner”

By: Tuesday March 8, 2011 12:30 pm

The isolation and degradation of Bradley Manning by the Marine Corps penal authorities at the Quantico brig represents a significant acceleration of government torture policy, as it is meant, among other things, to further desensitize the U.S. population to the use of torture. Torture will be used on political dissidents in this country, that is clear now, and PFC Manning is the first, but there will be others.

More Secret Prisons, Tortured Confessions: The Debasement of Society and Politics Through Torture

By: Monday May 3, 2010 6:07 am

Almost every day, a new revelation surfaces regarding the United States’ role in spreading and perpetuating the crime of torture. This article looks at several such news stories from just the past few weeks.

Extended Isolation Among DOD Interrogation Techniques Sought in 2004

By: Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:12 pm

Yesterday when I raised the question of what techniques DOD wanted to use in spring 2004, I said there was some ambiguity about what DOD was trying to get approved. In this post I’m going to lay out the conflicting sources of information. Given the totality of information, though, it appears that what DOD asked to use in spring 2004 was extended isolation.

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