Stop Torture

The Harvard Anti-Torture Coalition

Archive for April, 2008

Four Years Later, Still No Justice for Abu Ghraib

Posted by stoptorture on 28th April 2008

Today marks four years since the public release of the Abu Ghraib photos. New photos keep emering, and despite a mountain of evidence, not one major leader in the chain of command has been brought to justice for torture.


Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 29 Comments »

Supreme Court Allows Prisoners to Die Painfully

Posted by stoptorture on 16th April 2008

All life is sacred!The Supreme Court chose to OK lethal injections again. In reaction, Kentucky, Montana, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Florida got excited about killing people again.

Meanwhile, Bush tells the Pope that Americans “need your message that all life is sacred.”

From Justice Stevens’s concurring opinion in the case (citations omitted): “Because it masks any outward sign of distress, pancuronium bromide creates a risk that the inmate will suffer excruciating pain before death occurs. There is a general understanding among veterinarians that the risk of pain is sufficiently serious that the use of the drug should be proscribed when an animal’s life is being terminated. As a result of this understanding among knowledgeable professionals, several States–including Kentucky–have enacted legislation prohibiting use of the drug in animal euthanasia. It is unseemly–to say the least–that Kentucky may well kill petitioners using a drug that it would not permit to be used on their pets.”

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 356 Comments »

Bush Admits Condoning Torture

Posted by stoptorture on 13th April 2008

ABC News reports that Bush knew that Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Tenet met and authorized the use of specific torture techniques on particular prisoners.  This astounding admission has gotten little attention in the media so far, which is remarkable given it is seemingly conclusive evidence of Bush’s liability for torture and war crimes, all impeachable offenses.

Highlights from ABC News:

“Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people.” Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. “And yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.”

As first reported by ABC News Wednesday, the most senior Bush administration officials repeatedly discussed and approved specific details of exactly how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the CIA.

The high-level discussions about these “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

These top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding, sources told ABC news.

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 200 Comments »

High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Cheney et al. directly authorized torture

Posted by stoptorture on 10th April 2008

ABC News reports that the “Principals Committee,” consisting of Dick Cheney, Condelezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, and Colin Powell, met in the White House routinely to directly authorize torture techniques to be used on specific detainees, including combinations involving water torture (waterboarding), sleep deprivation, and other methods. This opens them all up for criminal liability under the War Crimes Act and the federal torture statute.

Mr. Bush, where is your signature on all of this? I suppose we will only see that later. Impeachment anyone?

Highlights from the report:

  • “According to multiple sources, it was members of the Principals Committee that not only discussed specific plans and specific interrogation methods, but approved them.”
  • The Jay Bybee Torture Memo (Aug. 2002) was referred to as the Golden Shield in the CIA.
  • Ashcroft (who apparently agreed with the policy and thought it legal) did not, however, want to get into the dirty details and said : Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.
  • Rice (who led the advisor’s group and was reportedly “decisive” on this) pushed the CIA to go torture:This is your baby. Go do it.

And, just for the record, because we think this will be important one day:

Rice’s top legal advisor at the time was none other than our illustrious alum, John B. Bellinger III HLS ’86. This is the same guy who followed her to the White House when she became Sec. of State. This is the same guy who wants us to think of him as a knight for human rights in the wilderness of this administration.

The time has come for accountability.

Posted in Human Rights, International Law, Torture, U.S. Law | 45 Comments »