Category: Torture

November 13, 2012

Make Obama Do It

By Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer President Obama declared in his victory address on election night, “Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated . . . We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened… Read more »

September 3, 2012

No Accountability for Torturers

The Obama administration has closed the books on prosecutions of those who violated our laws by authorizing and conducting the torture and abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody. Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder decided that his office would investigate only two incidents, in which CIA interrogations ended in deaths. He said the Justice Department… Read more »

January 15, 2012

Close the Guantánamo Gulag

Travelers to Cuba and music lovers are familiar with the song “Guantanamera”— literally, the girl from Guantánamo. With lyrics by José Martí, the father of Cuban independence, Guantanamera is probably the most widely known Cuban song. But Guantánamo is even more famous now for its U.S. military prison. Where “Guantanamera” is a powerful expression of… Read more »

December 24, 2011

Bradley Manning: Traitor or Hero?

The end of U.S. military involvement in Iraq coincided with Bradley Manning’s military hearing to determine whether he will face court-martial for exposing U.S. war crimes by leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified documents to Wikileaks. In fact, there is a connection between the leaks and U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq. When he… Read more »

November 19, 2011

GOP Candidates Advocate Torture

At last week’s debate, Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michelle Bachman defended waterboarding. Cain said, “I don’t see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique,” which is what the Bush administration used to call its policy of torture and abuse. Bachman declared, “If I were president, I would be willing… Read more »

July 18, 2011

Prisoners Strike against Torture in California Prisons

The torture of prisoners in U.S. custody isn’t confined to foreign countries. Since July 1, inmates at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison have been on a hunger strike to protest torturous conditions in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) there. Prisoners have been held for years in solitary confinement, which can amount to torture. More than… Read more »

July 8, 2011

A Free Pass for Torturers

“Nobody’s above the law,” President Barack Obama declared in 2009, as Congress contemplated an investigation of torture authorized by the Bush administration. But Mr. Obama has failed to honor those words. His Justice Department proclaimed its intention to grant a free pass to Bush officials and their lawyers who constructed a regime of torture and… Read more »

May 14, 2011

Torture Is Never Legal and Didn’t Lead Us to Bin Laden

The assassination of Osama bin Laden has rekindled the discourse about the efficacy and legality of using torture in the “war on terror.” Torture is illegal under all circumstances, even in wartime. Moreover, the United States located Bin Laden with traditional interrogation methods over several years, not by the use of torture. When the United… Read more »

February 2, 2011

U.S. Chickens Come Home to Roost in Egypt

Barack Obama, like his predecessors, has supported Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to the tune of $1.3 billion annually, mostly in military aid. In return, Egypt minds U.S. interests in the Middle East, notably providing a buffer between Israel and the rest of the Arab world. Egypt collaborates with Israel to isolate Gaza with a punishing… Read more »