Bonum Certa Men Certa

Torture in the United States and What It Means to US Citizens

Photo by Sebastian Widmann (AFP)

Khalid al-Masri
Abducted by the CIA in Germany, tortured, threatened with death, found to be innocent (background)

Summary: The growing concern about secret torture which is increasingly being used as a weapon against dissent in the US

IN RECENT years, as daily links in Techrights became a little more 'political' (not right versus left), the subject of torture was frequently alluded to or fully covered. Torture -- like slavery -- is not gone from this world. It just morphed a little.

We wish to draw readers' attention to the development of new torture techniques by the United States [1]. Yesterday was Guantánamo's 12th anniversary and as someone who is high up reminds us [2], "[o]ut of 779 detainees, only seven have been convicted and sentenced," so we know it's not a matter of torturing the guilty. To make matters worse, the CIA was torturing people right here in Europe and now that there is political scrutiny they seek secrecy [3]. Johnson, one of the activists against the NDAA (which makes the same rules applicable to US citizens), says [5] that the "loaded gun pointed at Afghanistan," combined with the NDAA, "was the same gun pointed at the United States." Notable people in the US seem to become more politically aware and some quit their job because of it [6].

Today, committing a minor crime can lead to small retribution [6], but some day in the future it may also lead to assassination by drone, indefinite detainment, and torture. It's now pretty much legal to do all these things to US citizens too )on US soil too), so citizens need to rise up and do something about it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. U.S. military doctors broke oath to design new torture techniques to be used at Guantanamo Bay

  2. Today is Guantánamo's 12th anniversary, and there's no end in sight
    Out of 779 detainees, only seven have been convicted and sentenced. The US must end this costly disgrace

  3. Poland asks court to hear CIA jails case in private
    Poland's government has asked the European Court of Human Rights to exclude the media and the public from a court hearing on whether Poland hosted a secret CIA prison on its territory.

    The request for a private hearing was criticised by a Polish human rights group, which accuses the state of trying to conceal its involvement in the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" programme behind a veil of secrecy.

  4. Johnson asks county to vote against NDAA
    Likening the Authorization for Military Use of Force Against Terrorists as a loaded gun pointed at Afghanistan, Johnson said the NDAA was the same gun pointed at the United States.

  5. NFL Player Quits Because, You Know, Noam Chomsky
    The AP notes that Moffit’s worldview changed after reading the works of the Dalai Lama and Chomsky over the last few years while in school.

  6. Boxed In: How a Criminal Record Keeps You Unemployed For Life
    People like Luis Rivera are being locked out of the formal workforce forever thanks to one youthful mistake.

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