Tag Archives: torture

Rep. Trent Franks dares to explain torture to Sen. John McCain

Trent_FranksThere are many qualified candidates on the list for the “Worst Member of Congress,” but Arizona’s contribution to this list is Rep. Trent Franks, a Christian Right anti-abortion zealot ( he founded the Arizona Family Research Institute, the predecessor to Center for Arizona Policy) and an avowed Islamophobic bigot.

Arizona’s worst member of Congress dares to explain to Senator John McCain, the only member of Congress who was actually tortured as a prisoner of war, that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Waterboarding is not torture according to this uninformed ideological extremist (more on this below). I’ll bet Arizona’s angry old man is scrapping to kick his ignorant ass!

The Arizona Republic reports, Franks says McCain wrong, waterboarding not torture:

U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., says the CIA’s use of waterboarding was not torture and that a scathing Senate report on the agency’s secret interrogations released Tuesday was politically motivated.

Franks added that he disagreed with the only member of Congress who has endured torture, Arizona’s senior Sen. John McCain. McCain has called waterboarding “an exquisite form of torture” that is “shameful and unnecessary.”

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The Bush-Cheney regime torturers probably should not travel outside the U.S.

The United States is not only a signatory to the U.N. Convention Against Torture, it was the principal author. Under the Convention that the U.S. authored,  the U.S. is legally obligated to prosecute acts of torture and enforced disappearance if there is sufficient evidence to to bring a case. The 6,300 page classified Senate Intelligence Committee report is a roadmap to prosecution.

If the U.S. will not live up to its legal and moral obligation to prosecute those involved, the rest of the world has a right to do so under universal jurisdiction.  The Bush-Cheney regime torturers probably should not travel outside the U.S.

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Think Progress reports, Horrors Of Torture Report Prompt International Calls For ‘Criminal Accountability’:

Ben Emmerson, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights doesn’t think official authorization from agencies within the U.S. frees those who carried out torture from facing justice.

“The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the U.S. government provides no excuse whatsoever,” Emmerson said in a statement. “Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability.”

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Sen. John McCain statement on the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on illegal torture

john-mccain-37John McCain was tortured when he was a guest at the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam war, and his experience left him deeply opposed to the use of torture.

McCain did his best to outlaw the Bush-Cheney regime’s illegal torture program, but the limitations set out in his anti-torture bill were overridden by President Bush in a “signing statement” that accompanied Bush’s official approval of the measure.

Sen. McCain delivered an impassioned speech in the Senate today in defense of the release of the Senate intelligence Committee report on illegal torture. FLOOR STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON CIA:

Dec 09 2014
Washington, D.C. ­–

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today delivered the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA interrogation methods:

“Mr. President, I rise in support of the release – the long-delayed release – of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s summarized, unclassified review of the so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ that were employed by the previous administration to extract information from captured terrorists. It is a thorough and thoughtful study of practices that I believe not only failed their purpose – to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies – but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.

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ACLU proposes a preemptive pardon to the Bush-Cheney regime for illegal torture

I have long made my position clear on the war crimes of the Bush-Cheney regime. The architects of illegal torture deserve to be prosecuted under the Nuremberg Principles for their war crimes, at least at a minimum, prosecuted under U.S. law and international conventions prohibiting torture.

America needs to demonstrate to the world that we are capable of holding our own accountable for their heinous crimes to restore our honor and moral standing in the world.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), proposes what I consider to be an unacceptable half-measure in a  New York Times op-ed today. Pardon Bush and Those Who Tortured:

BEFORE President George W. Bush left office, a group of conservatives lobbied the White House to grant pardons to the officials who had planned and authorized the United States torture program. My organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, found the proposal repugnant. Along with eight other human rights groups, we sent a letter to Mr. Bush arguing that granting pardons would undermine the rule of law and prevent Americans from learning what had been done in their names.

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But with the impending release of the report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I have come to think that President Obama should issue pardons, after all — because it may be the only way to establish, once and for all, that torture is illegal.

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Senate Intelligence Committee releases report on illegal torture

Back in April I posted about the Senate Intelligence Committee Report: CIA lied about illegal torture.

After months of delays from the CIA, congressional intelligence committees and members of Congress, an unclassified summary of the 6,300 page Senate Intelligence Committee classified report was finally released today. The New York Times reports, Senate Torture Report Condemns C.I.A. Interrogation Program:

UnknownA scathing report (.pdf) released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained from the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, and that its methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.

(Image of Ali Shallal al-Qaisi being tortured at Abu Ghraib prison).

The long-delayed report, which took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal agency documents, is a sweeping indictment of the C.I.A.’s operation and oversight of a program carried out by agency officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It also provides a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects.

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