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Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International
Founded by and for People who Have Experienced Torture
The Friends of TASSC
Cordially Invite You to a Fundraising and Recognition Awards Dinner
Featuring Frida Ngwa - “A Survivor’s Perspective”
Coleen Kivlahan, M.D., MSPH, J. Schmidt Free Clinic,
Physicians for Human Rights, and
Witness Against Torture
for Significant Contributions to the Struggle Against Torture and the Treatment and Healing of Torture Survivors
Stephen Xenakis, M.D.
Leading Military Critic of U.S. Torture Policy
Retired Brig. Gen., with a 28-year Army career as a medical corps officer, has written widely on medical ethics, military medicine, and the treatment of detainees.
“The Struggle Against U.S. Sponsored Torture”
Saturday, April 16, 2011, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
(6:00 Drinks; 6:45 Dinner; 7:45 Recognition Awards; 8:00 Keynote Address)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
Torturing Bradley Manning - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed him in detail, accessed through the following link:
Another discussed torture as official US policy, institutionalized under Bush II, continued under Obama, practiced despite official denials, accessed below:
Manning, of course, is the courageous Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower, who admitted leaking thousands of diplomatic cables, many others from Iraq and Afghan war databases, as well as two or more explosive videos, showing US air strikes murdering civilians. As a result, he felt obligated to reveal them. They're criminal acts, demanding prosecution of everyone up the chain of command ordering them.
eighth anniversary of America's invasion of Iraq.
Yep, and it seems now that the U.S. media is trying to spin their own rovian revisionist history as to why they didn't do their jobs, eight years later!
And after all this time, questions still remain as to why the United States launched the war in the first place.
Really Simon, questions? Seems hundreds of thousands here with added millions, us 'focus groups', around this planet were questioning before, on the day the invasion started and all these years later, as well as paying attention to the better late then never Inquiries held as well as all the proof then and through these eight years. Where have all of you been?
This is how we treat a lower rank soldier suspect, as the leaders walk free with no worries, apparently, as to accountability of what they did In Our Names!!
by Debra Sweet
On March 2, the U.S. military announced 22 more charges against Bradley Manning, the accused Army Private imprisoned in solitary confinement since May 2010. One of the new charges, “aiding the enemy,” is potentially punishable with death. This a most outrageous development, echoing the months of right-wingers screaming for his death. View the charges. Word comes that Brad is now held naked overnight, and forced to stand at attention that way.
The system holding him is nakedly unjust!
The charges themselves expose the extent to which the U.S. military is spread across the world is involved in actions with names like “Operation Hammer,” detailed in tens of thousands of reports stored in the internet. I am not the first to point out the irony that the Obama administration offered praise — growing fainter by the day — to those protesting in streets in Egypt and Tunisia with outrage fueled by the very revelations Manning faces death for exposing.
Brilliant and humane playwright Karen Malpede has produced another play that grabs this country by the lapels, shakes it, caresses its cheek, and kicks its ass. The play is called "Another Life" and the life it leaves me thinking about is the life of our dreams.
The play is not so much a national nightmare or a national fantasy as a surreal reproduction of the mixture of horrors and hopes that most dreaming is: the most gruesome and graphic and taboo of our collective fears without exactly the fear itself, the deepest of longings and desires in immediate and mundane form but recognizable as revelations upon awakened reflection.
We will never have any type of full accountability of the deaths of the civilians in Iraq as to the invasion and long occupation, still ongoing, what we do know is the possibility of tens of thousands killed, tens of thousands maimed, unknown numbers of physiological damaged Iraqi's living in the death and destruction of almost daily 9/11's especially in the cities destroyed, millions made into refugee's both inside the country and to neighboring countries and beyond, a country totally destroyed and changed forever! Done In Our Names!
By John Grant
Stripping before men still clothed is the first step toward weakening the prisoner’s psychological defense. … But stripping is also sexually laden. It transposes sexual gestures, acts and innuendo from a strip club to the torture chamber. Thus sex is always present in the torture chamber whether the victim is a man or a woman. The sexing of torture is deeply grounded in the recesses of the torturer’s psyche.
-Marnia Lazreg, Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algeria to Baghdad
The process – employed in the name of “security” – which involves the mutual destruction of human dignity, seems to be an integral part of most police and specialized agency methods.
-Breyten Breytenbach, The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist
by Orla Guerin, BBC
Every other night Saad Iqbal Madni wakes up screaming. For more than five years the Pakistani Islamic scholar was one ghost among many - Prisoner Number 746 in Guantanamo Bay.
In terror-filled moments, in the dead of night, he still is.
"Since they arrest me, up to today, every second night I wake up screaming, yelling and crying," he said, breaking down in tears.
"I can't forget what they did to me. No one can do that with the animals. I don't know how they can do that with human beings."
Mar 2nd, 2011 - On Friday, the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) gave hope to those seeking to hold accountable the Bush administration officials and lawyers who authorized torture by agreeing to continue investigating allegations made by a Moroccan-born Spanish resident, Lahcen Ikassrien, that he was tortured at Guantánamo, where he was held from 2002 to 2005.
March 2, 2011 - In an effort to hold Libya accountable  for its violent crackdown on protesters, the U.S. and other members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of a resolution  asking the International Criminal Court to investigate whether the Libyan government has committed crimes against humanity. The ICC announced today that an investigation was found to be warranted and would proceed.
As the Associated Press has noted, it’s the first time that the U.S. has voted in favor of the war crimes court but in keeping with its longtime fear of being prosecuted by the ICC, the U.S also included in the resolution a carve-out  for itself. The AP reports that the provision was a "deal breaker" for the U.S.:
February 27, 2011 - THE former lawyer for convicted terrorism supporter David Hicks is now acting for Sydney man Mamdouh Habib in his quest to sue the US over his CIA-engineered rendition and torture in Egypt.
Stephen Kenny told The Sun-Herald he had already held talks with American lawyers about the best way to proceed with the action in the US courts. ''We need to keep pursuing these matters, otherwise in the future others could be at risk of it happening to them,'' he said.
By Henry A. Giroux, From Truthout
The following essay is excerpted from the preface to Henry Giroux's "Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror" (Paradigm Publishers 2010).
Group Takes on Case Against Rumsfeld and Others Seeking Accountability for Unlawful Detention and Abuse of U.S. Citizen
February 10 - The American Civil Liberties Union will be in federal court in Charleston Monday at 10:00 a.m. EST to argue that a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other government officials for their role in the unlawful detention and torture of a U.S. citizen should not be thrown out. The ACLU was recently retained to represent Jose Padilla and his mother in the lawsuit.
This aired yesterday, 11 February 2011, morning prior to the results later in the day, night there, of the total collapse of the Mubarak reign of rule, but is pretty much spot on about us and especially that whole region of the planet and it's free people under autocratic rule supported by us.
"The great danger to the administration right now is that they might end up losing influence on both sides. They might lose influence with the autocrats we've been supporting for so long, but they might also lose influence with the protesters and the forces for democracy in freedom."
- Amjad Atallah, New America Foundation
If you've wanted to be part of a powerful effort to bring Bush-era officials to justice for their crimes, now is your chance. We've joined a national effort to reach out to the people of Spain, whose courts are considering prosecuting six of Bush's lawyers under international law. Our campaign includes an open letter and ads in prominent Spanish newspapers and billboards.
Even though the Obama administration has been working hard behind the scenes to stop this, our friends at the Center for Constitutional Rights have already submitted proof to the Spanish courts that our government is not taking action under international law and treaties. Now is our chance - we can keep the wheels of justice turning by doing people-to-people diplomacy now.
Here's what you do: Read and sign the letter to the Spanish people at http://rootsaction.org
WarIsACrime.org's name is behind it. The letter will go to the Spanish embassy and consulates across the country on Monday - Valentine's Day. We'll also bring Spanish officials flowers and invite the media. You can join us in these events. Get details at http://rootsaction.org
But we can't stop there. We've designed a billboard and newspaper advertisement that says in Spanish, "Please do what the U.S. won't. Prosecute torturers." We are raising money to place ads and billboards around Madrid where the country's leaders will see that there are Americans who want the case to continue.
We need to raise $30k to make this happen, so please consider a generous donation toward bringing the message directly to the Spanish people. Read and sign the letter at http://rootsaction.org
George Bush: Preliminary Indictment for Torture - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article addressed torture as official US policy under Bush, accessed through the following link:
It remains so under Obama, authorized at the highest levels of government as part of America's bogus war on terror to instill fear and target suspected political opponents globally, including at home. No matter that it violates US and international law that prohibits torture at all times under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.
On February 7, 2011, the ninth anniversary of the day former president George W. Bush decided the Geneva Conventions did not apply to so-called “unlawful combatants,” CCR released a Bush Torture Indictment. The Indictment provides a strong factual and legal basis to hold Bush accountable--in any of the 147 countries which have ratified the Convention Against Torture (CAT)--for having authorized torture . Learn about it, tell others, and help us build pressure to secure accountability for torture by top U.S. officials.
By Dave Lindorff
It is pathetic and even laughable to hear American leaders, and the leaders of the other Western democracies in Europe, cautioning that Egypt’s revolution needs to move slowly, as they call for a “transition” government that would be gently guided to elections by the very man, Omar Suleiman, who for years has headed the dreaded Mukhabarat, the Egyptian secret police, all under the protective umbrella of the Egyptian military.
What is this nonsense?
No Immunity for Former Presidents Under Law
This is born out in the testimony of the Brit Iraq War Inquiry especially in the early testimony!
I used the following, and there were other references, in a post during the early phase of the Inquiry, day nine to be exact:
ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2011) — Even the most horrible criminals feel guilt, and according to new research from the University of Montreal, playing on that sentiment might be a good way to extract a confession. In order to gain a better understanding of why and how criminals admit to their crimes, Michel St-Yves, a forensic psychologist and lecturer, and lead author Nadine Deslauriers-Varin, both of the university's School of Criminology, worked with 221 prisoners from a federal penitentiary, analyzing the conditions under which they did or didn't confess.
By James Ridgeway
As things now stand, the United States appears ready to have Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak tossed out in exchange for his newly-named Vice President, Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian spy master. That is, maintain the status quo by swapping one dictator for another.
Of course, Israel must sign off on this deal aimed at assuring that Egypt can remain as America’s main base in the region, straddling as it does North Africa and the Middle East. Without that status quo, the U.S. would have to rethink its entire neo-colonial policies in the region.
But Suleiman looks like a nasty piece of work.
You don’t get much about him in the US corporate media, but Agence France Press has pulled together the basics:
In the right sidebar I have a number of links to many of the articles and reports, many also with backlinks, as well as in the archives of posts. My main interest was direct testimony of what was happening here, civilian and military counterparts, in the U.S. and that administration, plenty came out, as well as reading between the lines. The U.S. admin. and pentagon were the lead and the Brits followed in what they did. Have and will do same with any other Inquiries and hopefully those to come!
It all brings up the need, which should already have happened, of much more then an Inquiry here in the U.S.. The World waits while we don't do Accountability for what was done in 'Our Names' and continues!
The United States is torturing an american soldier-citizen who has not been convicted of any crime. Pfc Bradley Manning is accused of leaking a video to WikiLeaks that shows the wanton killing of civilians by Amercian soldiers. He is being investigated for leaking the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs as well as a trove of dilomatic cables to WikiLeaks. VotersForPeace.US is working with the Bradley Manning Support Network (www.BradleyManning.org) to organize a show of suport for Manning and make sure the commander-in-chief takes responsibility for the actions of the military. Please join us in calling the White House this Thursday.
PLEASE JOIN US - PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY - SPREAD THE WORD - STAND WITH BRAD
National White House Call-in Day to Support Bradley Manning
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Whitehouse switchboard: 202-456-1414
(or Whitehouse comments: 202-456-1111)
By John Grant
It was a dark and stormy night and Scat Horbath was glad to be out of the weather in the Washington DC metro, where he was to meet the sinister Ali Ben al-Masseur in the last car of the Blue Train.
Al-Masseur ran the Brothers Of Islam Charity Center in Arlington, and he held the clue to a two-thousand-year-old secret that had been scratched in code into the bottom of John Hancock’s pewter chamber pot. The fate of the free world hung in the balance.
The doors opened, and Scat entered the nearly empty car. As the car moved off he became aware of the subtle smell of falafal. Then he saw his man, seated at the end of the car chewing as he read from a copy of The Koran.
Al-Masseur looked up and flicked his tongue, projecting little pieces of yogurt sauce into the air.
“So, Scat, we meet again.”
Archive Analyst Kate Doyle Featured in Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
New Film Showcases Spanish Genocide Case, Documents 20 Years of Struggle Against Impunity
January 28, 2011 - A new documentary film about human rights in Guatemala featuring National Security Archive senior analyst Kate Doyle will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, will be screened tonight at the Sundance Resort where Kate Doyle, Almudena Bernabeu of the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), and film makers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís, will attend the screening and speak to the audience after the film.
By Dave Lindorff
Looks can be deceiving.
When you see photos of Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the fresh, slightly pudgy-faced 23-year old private who has spent the last seven months in solitary confinement, first in Kuwait and later at the Marine base at Quantico, VA, enduring the tender mercies of military guards, you don’t get the sense that this is someone who could withstand a lot of pressure and physical and mental abuse.
Pvt. Bradley Manning, the face of a hero
Torture at 'Justice': Better Not to Ask
By Ray McGovern
On Sunday, I attended an informal talk given in a parish hall by the Justice Department’s Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. His topic: “The way his work for justice is defined by his faith.”
During the Q&A after his talk, I had a chance to pose some questions:
Question: Thanks Tom, for making yourself available to us. You raise the issue of torture, and intimated that there is consensus among Catholics that torture is wrong. Polling conducted two years ago indicates that this is far from the case.