Category Archives: Hatred

‘The Notion that we are in Afghanistan to Make our Country Safer is Bullshit’

Rethink Afghanistan

Afghanistan + More Troops = Catastrophe

Here’s Why Obama Is “Gravely Concerned” About Pakistan

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 3): Cost of War

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 4): Civilian Casualties

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 5): Women of Afghanistan

Rethink Afghanistan: (Part 6) Security

Torture Victims Stabbed, Sodomized, Soaked with Urine

Broken Laws, Broken Lives
From: Physicians for Human Rights

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Synopses of the Cases of Former Detainees Profiled

Kamal is in his late forties. He served in the Iraqi Army during the 1980s and later became a businessman and Imam of a local mosque. In September 2003 he was arrested by US forces. At the time of his arrest, he was beaten to the point of losing consciousness. After being brought to Abu Ghraib prison, he was kept naked and isolated in a cold dark room for three weeks, where both during and in between interrogations he was frequently beaten, including being hit on the head and in the jaw with a rifle and stabbed in the cheek with a screwdriver.

He was then placed in isolation in a urine-soaked room for two months. When Kamal was allowed to wear clothes, they were sometimes soaked in water to keep him cold. On approximately ten occasions he was suspended in a stress position, causing numbness that lasted for a month. He was made to believe that his family members were also in prison and that they were being raped and tortured.

He recounted, “[T]hey were telling me, making me hear voices of children and women, and told me they were my children and [wife].”

Amir is in his late twenties and grew up in a Middle Eastern country. He was a salesman before being arrested by US forces in August 2003 in Iraq. After his arrest, he was forced, while shackled, to stand naked for at least five hours. For the next three days, he and other detainees were deprived of sleep and forced to run for long periods, during which time he injured his foot. After Amir notified a soldier of the injury, the soldier threw him against a wall and Amir lost consciousness.

Ultimately, he was taken to another location, where he was kept in a small, dark room for almost a month while being subjected to interrogations that involved shackling, blindfolding, and humiliation. Approximately one month later, he was transferred to Abu Ghraib. At first he was not mistreated, but then was subjected to religious and sexual humiliation, hooding, sleep deprivation, restraint for hours while naked, and dousing with cold water.

In the most horrific incident Amir recalled experiencing, he was placed in a foul-smelling room and forced to lay face down in urine, while he was hit and kicked on his back and side. Amir was then sodomized with a broomstick and forced to howl like a dog while a soldier urinated on him. After a soldier stepped on his genitals, he fainted.

Youssef is in his early thirties. Unable to find work in his country of origin, he sought employment in Afghanistan. In late 2001 or early 2002, Youssef was detained as he attempted to cross the Afghanistan-Pakistan border without a passport while trying to return home. He was held in a Pakistani prison for two months, where he was often shackled in unsanitary conditions and given little food. During this time, he was interrogated by US personnel and eventually hooded, shackled, and transferred to the US detention facility in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

In Kandahar, Youssef was immediately interrogated and subjected to beatings with sticks and fists as well as kicking, although he did not sustain serious injuries at the time. After that, he was stripped naked.

The first night he was not allowed to sleep, as guards hit the detainees and threw sand at them. While in Kandahar, Youssef endured forced nakedness, intimidation by dogs, hooding, and repeated assaults by being thrown against a wall. He was subjected to electric shock from a generator, feeling “as if my veins were being pulled out.”

Yasser is in his mid-forties and reported that his father was a “simple farmer.” He was raised in a big family, completed secondary school, attended an Islamic university, and eventually became a teacher. In the late 1990s, he changed his career and became a farmer. According to Yasser he was a respected member of the community; people sought his help in resolving social disputes and family problems and considered him a “wise man.” He recalled many accomplishments during this period and describes it as “the best days of our lives.”

Yasser tearfully described that when he reached the top of the steps “the party began…They started to put the [muzzle] of the rifle [and] the wood from the broom into [my anus]. They entered my privates from behind.” He noted that several other soldiers and civilians were present, including an interpreter with “a Lebanese accent.” Yasser estimated that he was penetrated five or six times during this initial sodomy incident and saw blood “all over my feet” through a small hole in the hood covering his eyes.

Yasser recalled that this “party” of abusive behavior continued for approximately five days. In a particularly traumatic experience, which Yasser describes as the “music party,” he was forced to lie on the ground with loudspeakers blasting music into his ears at a very painful volume. He recalled that this lasted “about one day, but you can say two years.”

Legal Prohibitions Against Torture and Ill-Treatment

All of the abusive interrogation techniques and patterns of ill-treatment endured by these eleven men — including beatings and other forms of severe physical and sexual assault, isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nakedness, severe humiliation and degradation, and sensory deprivation, many of which were experienced over long periods of time and often in combination with other prohibited acts — constituted acts of torture as well as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under domestic criminal statutes and international human rights and humanitarian treaties, including the Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions, that were in effect at the time the acts were committed.

Full Report of Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact

Torture Cost Hundreds, if not Thousands of American Lives

Former Interrogator Rebukes Cheney for Torture Speech

Dick Cheney says that torturing detainees has saved American lives. That claim is patently false. Cheney’s torture policy was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of American servicemen and women.

Matthew Alexander was the senior military interrogator for the task force that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and, at the time, a higher priority target than Osama bin Laden. Mr. Alexander has personally conducted hundreds of interrogations and supervised over a thousand of them.

“Torture does not save lives. Torture costs us lives,” Mr. Alexander said in an exclusive interview at Brave New Studios. “And the reason why is that our enemies use it, number one, as a recruiting tool…These same foreign fighters who came to Iraq to fight because of torture and abuse….literally cost us hundreds if not thousands of American lives.”

Obama Pumping Billions of Dollars into ‘War on Islam’

Obama: U.S. ‘Not at War With Islam’

Obama seeks $83.4 billion in special war money

President Barack Obama asked Congress on Thursday for $83.4 billion for U.S. military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pressing for special troop funding that he opposed two years ago when he was senator and George W. Bush was president.

Obama’s request, including money to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, would push the costs of the two wars to almost $1 trillion

since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service. The additional money would cover operations into the fall.

Obama is also requesting $350 million in new funding to upgrade security along the U.S.-Mexico border and to combat narcoterrorists, along with another $400 million in counterinsurgency aid to Pakistan.

“Nearly 95 percent of these funds will be used to support our men and women in uniform as they help the people of Iraq to take responsibility for their own future — and work to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, acknowledged that Obama has been critical of Bush’s use of similar special legislation to pay for the wars. He said it was needed this time because the money will be required by summer, before Congress is likely to complete its normal appropriations process…

…Some Democrats were not pleased.

“This funding will do two things — it will prolong our occupation of Iraq through at least the end of 2011, and it will deepen and expand our military presence in Afghanistan indefinitely,” said anti-war Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif. “Instead of attempting to find military solutions to the problems we face in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama must fundamentally change the mission in both countries to focus on promoting reconciliation, economic development, humanitarian aid, and regional diplomatic efforts.” Full Story

Night-time raid on home leaves five civilians dead

Human Rights Violations Against Immigrants

U.S. immigrant detentions violate human rights: report

The detention of hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year in the United States represents a violation of human rights, Amnesty International USA said in a report on Wednesday.

On an average day, the rights group said, more than 30,000 immigrants are in detention facilities. That’s triple the number that were in custody a decade ago, according to Amnesty’s report “Jailed Without Justice: Immigration Detention in the USA.”

“America should be outraged by the scale of human rights abuses occurring within its own borders,” said Larry Cox, director of Amnesty International USA.

“The United States has long been a country of immigrants, and whether they have been here five years or five generations, their human rights are to be respected.”

Amnesty said more than 300,000 people are detained by U.S. immigration officials each year. They include asylum seekers, torture survivors, victims of human trafficking, longtime legal permanent residents and parents of U.S. citizen children.

“The use of detention as a tool to combat unauthorized migration falls short of international human rights law,” the report said.

According to Amnesty, tens of thousands of people languish in American immigration detention facilities every year — including a number of U.S. citizens — without receiving a hearing to determine whether their detention is warranted.

Full Story

Jailed Without Justice: Immigration Detention in the USA

AP: Immigrants Face Detention, Few Rights

Secret Prison Interrogation Videos Destroyed

CIA destroyed 92 interrogation videos : “An investigation into the serious abuses of the ’War on Terror’ is imperative”

Federal authorities confirmed on 2 March that 92 videotapes showing the interrogation of detainees at secret prisons were destroyed in 2005 by the CIA. Reporters Without Borders asks that the new Obama administration lead an investigation into this infringement of the American people’s constitutional rights and punish those who are responsible.

“The sheer number of videotapes destroyed by the CIA confirms that the agency systematically tried to hide from the public the illegal interrogation techniques used by the previous administration. The public has the right to know what the government is doing and be confident that those in power are upholding the democratic values upon which this country is based,” the worldwide press freedom organization said.

“We hope that the secrecy and lack of transparency that prevailed during the beginning of this decade will be replaced with freer access to information and clear visibility of current governmental practices. The government must thoroughly investigate this breach of access to information and hold accountable those responsible. American society cannot hold back as it investigates these grave violations committed under the presidency of George W. Bush in the name of the ’war on terror.’ This investigation into the former administration’s actions will be debated by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4 March. The credibility of the United States’ stance on human rights hangs in the balance over this,” added the organization.

Full Story

CIA destroyed 92 terror interrogation records

Peacenik Obama Voters – Where are you Now?

Obama Expands War, Slaps Peace Voters

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The Obama Administration has engineered a triple setback for the U.S. peace movement and the millions of Americans who opposed the Bush Administration’s unjust, illegal, immoral wars.

In the last two weeks of February, President Barack Obama — upon whom so many peace supporters had counted to change Washington’s commitment to wars and militarism — delivered these three blows to his antiwar constituency:

1. By ordering 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan Feb. 17, President Obama is continuing and expanding George W. Bush’s war. It’s Obama’s war now, and it’s getting much bigger.

2. By declaring Feb. 27 that up to 50,000 U.S. soldiers would remain in Iraq after “combat brigades” departed, President Obama is continuing the war in a country that remains a tragic victim of the Bush Administration’s aggression and which has taken the lives of over a million Iraqi civilians and has made refugees of 4.5 million people.

3. By announcing Feb. 26 that his projected 2010 Pentagon budget was to be even higher than budgets sought by the Bush Administration, President Obama was signaling that his commitment to the U.S. bloated war machine — even at a time of serious economic recession — was not to be questioned.

Whether or not Obama’s actions will revive the peace movement is another matter. Antiwar activism during the election year was minimal. And now that a Democrat is in the White House it may be further reduced, since most peace backers voted for Obama. The movement’s strength will be tested at the demonstrations in Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities on the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war March 21.

Full Story