Sunday, September 1, 2019

Torture (Ongoing Archive)

[Including fictional representations of torture]

Wohlstetter, Philip on Zero Dark Thirty: "How does a film think? Recall the famous experiment of Lev Kuleshov. Start with the shot of an actor’s face. Vary the shots adjacent to it: a coffin, a plate of soup, a seductive woman lying on a divan. The actor’s expression will be read, alternately, as sadness, hunger, or lust. For the audience, juxtaposition creates meaning. A film is an arrangement of moments, shorter or longer, but every narrative moment is brought into relief by a significant before-moment and a significant after-moment that frames it. Let’s look at the first torture sequence in Zero Dark Thirty to see how this meaning-effect works. Significant before-moment: the powerful opening sequence, dark screen, the terrified voice of a woman trapped in the World Trade Center on 9/11, realizing there’s no help coming, she’s going to die. Central narrative moment: a detainee is water-boarded in the next scene, forced to crawl in a dog collar, hung up naked by the arms, etc. After-moment: the face of Maya, wincing as she watches the torture. I’m cheating on this last. Obviously it’s a reaction shot within a scene, but in terms of meaning, it provides a bookend to the torture moment just as surely as the 9/11 sequence bookends it from the other side. To see the truth of this, imagine an opening with the before and after moments removed. We would be watching a brutal torture scene with no comment whatsoever—that is to say, we’d be in a neo-realist film that lets us observe and come to our own conclusions, that avoids (ideally) telling us what to feel. Instead, the torture moment is framed as a reaction to 9/11, an over-reaction maybe but understandable in context and perhaps in the end—we have to entertain this possibility—excusable. Now let’s look at the work of Maya’s reaction shot (remembering that it’s precisely the reaction shot, a way to locate the audience member in the movie by offering him/her a surrogate who reacts to events the way we would given the chance—it’s precisely this key device of classic Hollywood Film that Neo-Realism rejected because it lulled us so easily into unthinking). Maya winces. We would too, humanists and democrats that we are. But she stays in the room, gritting her teeth, going against her nature. Sometimes, the film whispers, you have to make hard choices, to take hard measures—a celluloid lesson in ‘dirty hands’ moral philosophy."

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"20 key findings about CIA interrogations." The Washington Post (December 9, 2014) ["Almost 13 years after the CIA established secret prisons to hold and interrogate detainees, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the CIA’s programs listing 20 key findings."]

"60 Words." Radiolab (April 18, 2014) ["This hour we pull apart one sentence, written in the hours after September 11th, 2001, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace. In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law - called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) - has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the "war on terror." In this collaboration with BuzzFeed, reporter Gregory Johnsen tells us the story of how this has come to be one of the most important, confusing, troubling sentences of the past 12 years. We go into the meetings that took place in the chaotic days just after 9/11, speak with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Congressman Ron Dellums about the vote on the AUMF. We hear from former White House and State Department lawyers John Bellinger & Harold Koh. We learn how this legal language unleashed Guantanamo, Navy Seal raids and drone strikes. And we speak with journalist Daniel Klaidman, legal expert Benjamin Wittes and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine about how these words came to be interpreted, and what they mean for the future of war and peace."]

Allyn, Bobby. "Jailing And Fining Chelsea Manning Constitutes Torture, Top U.N. Official Says." Dialogic Cinephilia (December 31, 2019)

Baker, Peter C. "This. Too, Was History." The Point (January 14, 2019) ["The battle over police-torture and reparations in Chicago’s schools."]

Bauer, Shane. "A Hunger Strike Against Solitary Confinement: Shane Bauer on Inhuman Prisons from California to Iran." Democracy Now (July 12, 2013)

Beinart, Peter. "Torture Is Who We Are: A country, like a person, is what it does." The Atlantic (December 11, 2014)

Boykoff, Jules and Kristian Williams. "Police Power and the Suppression of Dissent." Writers Talking (February 24, 2009)

Brody, Reed. "'These Are Crimes': New Calls to Prosecute Bush Admin as Senate Report Reveals Brutal CIA Torture." Democracy Now (December 10, 2014)

Brundage, W. Fitzhugh. "The American Tradition of Torture." Harvard University Press Blog (May 11, 2018)

Chomsky, Aviva, et al. "#DontLookAway from US Concentration Camps for Asylum Seekers." Best of the Left #1288 (July 10, 2019) ["Today we take a look at the history, legality, conditions and consequences of US concentrations camps erected to house asylum seekers fleeing from unspeakable violence only to land in the hands of Trump's intentionally torturous immigration detention system."]

Chomsky, Noam. "The Torture Memos." Chomsky Info (May 24, 2009)

---. "The Torture Memos and Historical Amnesia." The Nation (June 1, 2009) ["Historical amnesia is a dangerous phenomenon, not only because it undermines moral and intellectual integrity but also because it lays the groundwork for crimes that still lie ahead."]

Cole, Matthew, et al. "The Lyin', The Rich, and the Warmongers." The Intercepted (March 14, 2018) ["This week on Intercepted: Exxon Mobil is out at the State Department. A radical Christian ideologue is in. And a veteran CIA officer who tortured detainees and set up the CIA black sites after 9/11 is slated to take the helm at Langley. And all of this happened in one fell swoop on Tuesday morning. The Intercept’s Matthew Cole and Jeremy analyze the major re-shuffle in Trumpland and what it means for the future of the planet. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who led the investigation of Erik Prince and Blackwater for years in Congress, analyzes the ongoing scandal over his alleged role in the Trump era and explains why she had her house swept for surveillance when she was investigating Prince. Musical artists Ana Tijoux and Lila Downs talk about the politics of colonialism, neoliberalism, and revolution and their new collaboration on the song, “Tinta Roja.” And, fresh off her stellar debut on 60 Minutes, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stars in “Kindergarten Cop.”"]

Conroy, John. "A Torture Story Without End." On the Media (July 9, 2010) ["Last week, former police commander Jon Burge was convicted after 30 years of accusations that he’d tortured dozens of suspects on Chicago’s South Side. It should have been the satisfying culmination of decades of single-minded investigative reporting on the story by longtime Chicago reporter John Conroy. But as Conroy explains, not all is as it appears to be."]

---. "Police Torture in Chicago." Chicago Reader (An archive of articles by John Conroy on police torture, Jon Burge, and related issues.")

Crabapple, Molly. "George Bush's Paintings Aren't Funny: But they are fascinating." Politico (April 13, 2014)

Davidson, Amy. "The Torture Report: Inhumane Scenes From the C.I.A.’s Prisons." The New Yorker (December 9, 2014)

Durham, Chris. "The Road to Guantanamo (2006): A Commentary." Film and History (ND)

Falconer, Bruce. "The Torture Colony." The American Scholar (September 1, 2008) ["In a remote part of Chile, an evil German evangelist built a" dystopia "whose members helped the Pinochet regime perform its foulest deeds."]

Feitlowitz, Marguerite. "A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture." The New York Times (Reproduction of Ch. 1 from the book of the same name)

Fisk, Robert. "On the CIA 'Torture Report': Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing." The Independent (December 14, 2014)

Friedersdorf, Connor. "The 'Graywashing' of CIA Torture." The Atlantic (December 11, 2014)

Gallagher, Katherine, John Kiriakou and Sejal Zota. "Gina Haspel, Rule of Law and Torture; The National Immigration Project And Protecting Haitian Refugees." Law and Disorder Radio (March 26, 2018) ["Gina Haspel, Rule of Law And Torture: Nazi generals and Nazi leaders were prosecuted at the end of World War II for war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide. These crimes were incorporated into international law. The chief prosecutor was Robert Jackson, a Supreme Court judge. The Nazis defended themselves by arguing that they were just following orders. This defense was deemed unavailing. In many cases, they were found guilty and sentenced to lengthy prison terms or hung. He said that the war crimes tribunal at Nirenberg was not merely victors’ justice. But that the principles it followed would be universal and applied in the future, to all countries including the USA. And indeed, the United States signed on to the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture and incorporate both the crimes and the concept of universal jurisdiction into its law. Gina Haspel has been nominated by President Donald Trump to head the CIA. She is a war criminal. She violated both international and national law by running a black site secret detention center in Thailand where men were tortured. Although there were several court orders that the evidence be preserved, Gina Haspel had the videotapes of torture destroyed. John Brennan, Obama’s ex head of the CIA, who was involved in the torture program, recently came to her defense, stating that she was just following orders: The Nazi defense. Trump supports torture. He believes that torture works. This is both immoral and untrue. He says he is for waterboarding and worse. He now has a subordinate with whom he is in agreement. Obama refused to prosecute the lawbreakers. Instead he threw CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou in prison for two years for disclosing American torture. He said we must look forward, not backward. This greenlighted what is going on now with Haspel. Michael Ratner warned us about this eventuality. The European Center for Human and Constitutional Rights may seek Haspel’s arrest if she goes to Germany. Such is the irony of history that the German fascist government that perpetrated the greatest crimes against humanity has been superseded by an American government which condones and is perpetuating them as well."]

"Getting Away With Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees." Human Rights Watch (July 12, 2011)

Goodman, Amy. "Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara—A Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony." Democracy Now (August 31, 2018) ["In this exclusive broadcast, Democracy Now! breaks the media blockade and goes to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco’s violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. The international media has largely ignored the occupation—in part because Morocco has routinely blocked journalists from entering Western Sahara. But in late 2016 Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years."]

Gosztola, Kevin. "Podcast: Chicago Police & Why the US Needs a Domestic Law Specifically Criminalizing Torture." The Dissenter (December 7, 2014)

Greenwald, Glenn. "Obama's justice department grants final immunity to Bush's CIA torturers." The Guardian (August 31, 2012)

---. "U.S. Justice v. The World." Salon (February 18, 2011)

Greenwald, Glenn and Peter Maass. "Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, The Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA's Torture Scandals." The Intercept (December 19, 2014)

The Guantanamo Testimonials Project  Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas  (Ongoing Archive)  [" Pursuant to its mission, the UC Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA) launched, in Fall 2005, a long term research project to assess the effects of the U.S. war on terror on human rights in the Americas. Whether invoked as the rationale for the "extraordinary rendition" of Canadian citizen Maher Arar to Syria or as the basis for the suppression of indigenous movements in South America, the war on terror has had significant effects on human rights in the Americas. But nowhere have these effects been greater than at the detention facilities of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Consequently, it seemed appropriate to begin our project by looking into the human rights situation at these facilities. We begin our endeavor with The Guantánamo Testimonials Project. The goals of this project are to gather testimonies of prisoner abuse in Guantánamo, to organize them in meaningful ways, to make them widely available online, and to preserve them there in perpetuity. The strength of these testimonies is considerable. Based on them, a number of distinguished individuals and organizations have called for the closure of Guantánamo."]

Hajjar, Lisa. "Omar Suleiman, the CIA’s Man in Cairo and Egypt’s Torturer-in-Chief." Democracy Now (February 11, 2011)

Horton, Scott. "The Torture Doctors." Harpers (November 4, 2013) [An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath.]

Jindia, Shilpa. "Psychologists Vote Not to Return to Guantanamo Amid Heated Debate Over Torture Legacy." The Intercept (August 9, 2018)

Jones, Andrew Jerell. "Prison Dispatches from the War on Terror: Ex-Cia Officer John Kiriakou Speaks." The Intercept (January 19, 2015)

Kebriaei, Pardiss. "Will Guantánamo Ever Close? U.S. Frees More Prisoners, But Dozens Remain Behind Bars." Democracy Now (December 24, 2014)

Kelly, Kathy. "Forty-One Hearts are Still Beating in Guantanamo." The Progressive (January 11, 2018)

Kiriakou, John and Jesselyn Raddack. "Ex-CIA Agent, Whistleblower John Kiriakou Sentenced to Prison While Torturers He Exposed Walk Free." Democracy Now (January 30, 2013)

---. "Whistleblower John Kiriakou: For Embracing Torture, John Brennan a "Terrible Choice to Lead the CIA"." Democracy Now (January 30, 2013)

Leigh, David, James Ball, Ian Cobain and Jason Burke. "Guantánamo leaks lift lid on world's most controversial prison • Innocent people interrogated for years on slimmest pretexts • Children, elderly and mentally ill among those wrongfully held • 172 prisoners remain, some with no prospect of trial or release • Interactive guide to all 779 detainees." The Guardian (April 25, 2011)

Leopold, Jason and Jeffrey Kaye. "CIA Psychologist's Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush's Torture Program." Truthout (March 22, 2011)

Lifton, Robert Jay. "Malignant Normality." Dissent (Spring 2017)  ["Extreme ideologues do much to create a malignant normality, which comes to pervade most institutions, including medical ones. Then ordinary people who work in those institutions adhere to that normality, often aided by bits and pieces of the extreme ideology. The prevailing normality can be decisive because it excludes alternatives and provides strong pressures for destructive behavior."]

McCoy, Alfred and Steven Reisner. "After Duo Created CIA Torture Methods, Did World’s Largest Group of Psychologists Enable Abuses?" Democracy Now (December 16, 2014)

---. "'Psychological Torture is Enshrined in U.S. Law': Complicity in Abuses Began Long Before Bush." Democracy Now (December 16, 2014)

"Mexico/US: Obama Should Press Peña Nieto on Justice." Human Rights Watch (January 5, 2015)

Murphy, Cullen. "God's Jury." Radio West (February 23, 2012)

"The Neurobiology of Psychological Torture." Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (Archive of resources)

Newman, Zak. "What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?" Blog of Rights (March 24, 2014)

O'Mara, Shane. Why Torture Doesn't Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation. Harvard University Press, 2015.

Onesto, Li. "California's Pelican Bay Prison Hunger Strike: "We Are Human Beings!" Global Research (July 18, 2011)

Open Society Justice Initiative. Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition. Open Society Foundations (February 2013)

Pierce, Charles P. "The CIA & NYPD: Perilous Insubordination in Our Democracy." The Politics Blog (December 22, 2014)

Pitter, Laura. "After Obama Shuns Probe, Bipartisan Panel Finds "Indisputable" Evidence U.S. Tortured Under Bush." Democracy Now (April 17, 2013)

Posner, Sarah. "Christians More Supportive of Torture Than Non-Religious Americans." Religion Dispatches (December 16, 2014)

Press, Alex N. "A Tale of Two Prisoners." Jacobin (July 27, 2019) ["Comparing the treatment of Jeffrey Epstein to Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner's murder, reveals the grotesque inequality at the heart of American society. There’s one set of rules for the rich, and an entirely different set for the poor."]

"Private Corporation May be Sued for Role in Abu Ghraib Torture, Judge Rules." Center for Constitutional Rights (February 21, 2018)

Rahma, Mahmound Abu. "Under Siege: A Report from Gaza." Building Bridges (July 22, 2014) ["It is essential that U.S. citizens understand that this conflict should not continue to be viewed as a symmetrical one anymore and while they largely do not hear about it there are vicious violations of international law against Palestinians every day; including closures/blockades, settlement activities (population transfer on our land) displacement, killings, detention and torture."]

Ratner, Michael. "Ten Years after 9/11: War, Operation American Condor (Guantanamo) , Civil Liberties and Hope." Law and Disorder Radio (July 25, 2011)

Raymond, Nathaniel. "Weaponizing Health Workers: How Medical Professionals Were a Top Instrument in U.S. Torture Program." Democracy Now (December 23, 2014)

The Report Podcast ["A deep dive into the real life story behind The Report, a film by Scott Z. Burns, about the investigation into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program and the lengths to which the nation’s top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a brutal secret from the American public."]

Risso, Cristina. "War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal." Project Censored (October 2, 2010)

Robertson, Campbell. "A Lynching Memorial Is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It." The New York Times (April 25, 2018)

Senate Torture Report Human Rights Watch (ongoing Archive)

Shaheed, Hakeem, et al. "Survivors of Solitary Confinement." Making Contact (June 3, 2009)

Shamsi, Hina, Flint Taylor and Eli Valley. "The American Machine: Police Torture to Drone Assassinations." The Intercepted (March 13, 2019) ["In 1969 Black Panther Leader leader Fred Hampton was gunned down by Chicago Police in his bedroom. This week on Intercepted: Famed civil rights lawyer Flint Taylor discusses his 13 year struggle for justice for Hampton, his work in exposing the torture program in Chicago that was unleashed on black men, and his career fighting against violent corrupt cops, the city of Chicago, and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. Taylor’s new memoir is called “The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago.” As Donald Trump ramps up drone strikes, he has officially wiped out the already minimal accountability guidelines implemented by Barack Obama. Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union talks about the expansion of drone strikes under Trump, how Obama paved the way for his successor, and what we might expect from Attorney General William Barr. Meghan McCain is not Jewish, but she is accusing a Jewish comic artist of creating “one of the most anti-Semitic things” she has ever seen: a cartoon about her hypocrisy in attacking Ilhan Omar and appropriating Jewish suffering. Artist Eli Valley talks about why he drew it and why he believes McCain’s attacks on his cartoon prove the very point he was making."]

Soldz, Stephen. "Independent Investigation of APA Ties with Torturers Under Bush Administration." Law and Disorder Radio (November 24, 2014)

Taibbi, Matt. "'Zero Dark Thirty' Is bin Laden's Last Victory." Rolling Stone (Reposted on Reader Supported News: January 17, 2012)

Taub. Ben. "Guantanamo's Darkest Secret." The New Yorker  (April 15, 2019) ["The U.S. military prison’s leadership considered Mohamedou Salahi to be its highest-value detainee. But his guard suspected otherwise."]

Taxi to the Dark Side (USA: Alex Gibney, 2007: 106 mins) ["Taxi To The Dark Side examines America’s policy on torture and interrogation in general, specifically the CIA’s use of torture and their research into sensory deprivation. There is description of the opposition to the use of torture from its political and military opponents, as well as the defence of such methods; the attempts by Congress to uphold the standards of the Geneva Convention forbidding torture; and the popularisation of the use of torture techniques in American television shows…"]

Taylor, Flint. "Jon Burge, Former Chicago Police Commander Sentenced to 4 ½ Years." Law and Disorder Radio (January 31, 2011)

Taylor, Laurie. "The other side of the street: Laurie Taylor interviews Stan Cohen." New Humanist 119.4 (July 2004)

Thompson, Ginger. "A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children." Pro Publica (July 16, 2019) ["With the agency under fire for holding children in deplorable conditions and over racist and misogynistic Facebook posts, one agent speaks about what it’s like to do his job. 'Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal.'"]

"The Torture Architects [Infographic]." ACLU (December 8, 2014)

"US: Release Torture Report." Human Rights Watch (December 6, 2014)

Wilkerson, Lawrence. "Bush & Cheney Should Be Charged with War Crimes Says Col. Wilkerson, Former Aide to Colin Powell." Democracy Now (December 23, 2014)

---. "Ex-Bush Official: U.S. Tortured Prisoners to Produce False Intel that Built Case for Iraq War." Democracy Now (December 23, 2014)

Williams, Margot. "At Guantanamo Bay, Torture Apologists Take Refuge in Empty Code Words and Euphemisms." The Intercept (January 29, 2020)




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