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2005

News
  1. -01-12-05 Health Fears for Torture Victims (Guardian Unlimited)
      "The four Britons soon to be released from Guantánamo Bay after up to three years in detention may need months of care when they arrive back home, experts in treating torture victims warned yesterday." 01-05

  2. -01-18-05 Condoleeza Rice Quizzed by Senate (PBS.org)
      Provides reactions from Republican and Democratic Senators on Rice's responses to questions on the use of torture by the U.S. and the real reasons for the U.S. invading Iraq. 1-05

  3. -03-01-05 Judge: Charge Him or Release Him (MSNBC News)
      "A federal judge ordered the Bush administration Monday to either charge terrorism suspect Jose Padilla with a crime or release him after more than 2½ years in custody."

      "In a sound rebuke to the Bush administration, U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd in Spartanburg, S.C., said the government cannot hold Padilla indefinitely as an 'enemy combatant,' a designation President Bush gave him in 2002."

      “ 'The court finds that the president has no power, neither express nor implied, neither constitutional nor statutory, to hold petitioner as an enemy combatant,' Floyd wrote in a 23-page opinion that was a stern rebuke to the government. He gave the administration 45 days to take action." 3-05

  4. -06-03-05 Judge: Faces of Prisoners Must be Concealed (Bloomberg News)
      "The Defense Department must black out the faces of Iraqi detainees depicted in some previously unreleased photos from Abu Ghraib prison chronicling abuse at the hands of U.S. soldiers, a federal judge ruled." 6-05

  5. -06-30-05 Italians Deny Working With CIA on Abductions (International Herald Tribune)
      "Facing growing embarrassment and louder questions, the Italian government broke a week of silence on Thursday and denied that it played any role in kidnapping a terror suspect from Milan and flying him to Egypt in 2003." 6-05

  6. -07-22-05 Americans Try to Balance Privacy and Security (Christian Science Monitor)
      "The recent attacks in London by home-grown terrorists have intensified attention on homeland security in the US. And that in turn has raised new questions about protecting civil liberties and privacy during a new kind of war that knows no national borders." 7-05

  7. -07-22-05 Londoners Shaken By Police Violence (New York Times)
      "It was around 10 a.m. on a sunny, summery Friday when London crossed a once-unthinkable line in its unfolding war on terror."

      "The officer with the gun 'held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him,' Mr. Whitby said."

      "The gunshots reverberated much further than the grimy confines of Stockwell station, in a hardscrabble neighborhood of south London. It was the first such shooting in memory. Between 1997 and September 2004, the police opened fire on 20 occasions, killing 7 people and wounding 11, according to the Metropolitan Police." 7-05

  8. -07-22-05 Shoot to Kill Policy in London (TelegraphIndia.com)
      "A man, said by passengers to be “Asian”, was pinned down on the floor of an Underground train at Stockwell station in south London today and shot through the head five times by plainclothes policemen hunting for the London bombers." 7-05

  9. -07-23-05 Discrepancies in Statements by Bush Officials Investigated (MSNBC News)
      "Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has been reviewing over the past several months discrepancies and gaps in witness testimony in his investigation of the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to lawyers in the case and witness statements."

      "After building criticism that someone in the administration had jeopardized an agent in political retaliation, Fitzgerald was appointed by the Justice Department in December 2003 to conduct an independent investigation." 7-05

  10. -07-23-05 Man Killed by Police not Connected to Bombings (MSNBC News)
      "Police identified the man who was chased down in a subway and shot to death by plainclothes officers as a Brazilian and expressed regret Saturday for his death, saying they no longer believed he was tied to the recent terror bombings."

      "Friday’s shooting before horrified commuters prompted criticism of police for overreacting and expressions of fear that Asians and Muslims would be targeted by a 'trigger-happy culture' after two well-coordinated attacks in two weeks."

      "The man shot at the Stockwell subway station was identified as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27. Witnesses said he was wearing a heavy, padded coat when plainclothes police chased him into a subway car, pinned him to the ground and shot him in the head and torso." 7-05

  11. -08-26-05 Report: Tenet Could Face Reprimand (Guardian Unlimited)
      "The former CIA director George Tenet is among more than a dozen current and former officials who could be subject to disciplinary proceedings over the agency's performance before the September 11 attacks." 8-05

  12. -11-10-05 Blair Defeated on Anti-Terrorism Bill (MSNBC News)
      "The House of Commons’ vote to quash Tony Blair’s anti-terror legislation dealt the prime minister his first-ever defeat — an embarrassing setback that raises doubts about his political future."

      "Blair had staked his authority on the plan to detain terror suspects for 90 days without charge and doggedly refused to compromise. But some 49 of his own lawmakers, including 11 former ministers, joined forces with opposition parties to defeat the measure Wednesday." 11-05

  13. -11-14-05 Two Iraqis Sue Secretary of Defense (ABC News)
      "Two Iraqi businessmen have sued U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, claiming they were arrested without cause and tortured for months in prison camps all over Iraq, including Abu Ghraib."

      "Sabbar, Khalid and six other detainees are being helped by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First. Their lawsuit claims their rights under the U.S. Constitution and international law were violated." 11-05

  14. -11-16-05 Senate and Cheney Divided Over Torture Ban (USA Today)
      "Vice President Dick Cheney has lobbied Republican senators to allow an exemption [for torture] for those held by the CIA if preventing an attack is at stake." 11-05

  15. -12-09-05 Patriot Act a Threat to Individual Liberties? (MSNBC News)
      "Congressional Republican leaders are pressing for passage next week of a new Patriot Act to combat terrorism, but a Senate filibuster looms on a measure that liberal and conservative critics alike say is a threat to individual liberties." 12-05

  16. -12-11-05 Planespotters Unravel CIA Abductions (Guardian Unlimited)
      "The recording of flights by spotters like Paul from places as far afield as Bournemouth and Karachi has unintentionally played a significant role in helping journalists and human rights groups expose the scale of the CIA's renditions system." 12-05

  17. -12-14-05 White House Seeks an Exemption on Treatment of Detainees (MSNBC News)
      "Sen. John McCain and President Bush’s national security adviser remained at an impasse Wednesday over the senator’s proposed ban on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of foreign terrorism suspects."

      "After initially trying to kill the [McCain] provisions, the White House has more recently switched gears to lobby for an exemption to the ban for CIA officers." 12-05

  18. -12-15-05 McCain Anti-Torture Amendment to Pass in Congress (MSNBC News)
      "As passed by the Senate and endorsed by the House, McCain’s amendment would prohibit 'cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment' of anyone in U.S. government custody, regardless of where they are held. It also would require that service members follow procedures in the Army Field Manual during interrogations of prisoners in Defense Department facilities."

      "In recent weeks, the [Bush] administration had sought to add language that would offer protection from prosecution for interrogators accused of violating the provision. But McCain rejected that, arguing it would undermine the ban by not giving interrogators reason to follow the law." 12-05

  19. 05-05-05 Freedom Tower to be Redesigned (CNN News)
      "The proposed tallest building in the world, meant to take the place of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, will be redesigned, New York Gov. George Pataki said Wednesday." 5-05

  20. Guardian: Emerging News Related to U.S. and British Positions on Torture (Guardian Unlimited)
      Provides dozens of news stories. 12-05

Papers
  1. "No Government Can Justify Torture" (Bloomberg.com)
      "Iraq security forces are torturing detainees and the abuses are becoming 'routine and commonplace,' the Human Rights Watch said."

      " 'The Iraqi security forces obviously face tremendous challenges, including an insurgency that has targeted civilians,' Whitson said in the report published on the Human Rights Watch Web site. 'We unequivocally condemn the insurgents' brutality. But international law is unambiguous on this point: no government can justify torture of detainees in the name of security.' ''1-05

  2. -01-16-05 New York Times: Bush Administration Blocks Legislation Limiting Torture (CNN News)
      "In its Thursday editions, The New York Times reported that as recently as last month, the White House urged Congress to scrap provisions in legislation that would have imposed new limits on 'extreme interrogation measures' by CIA intelligence officers." 2-04

  3. -03-05-06 Court-Marshal of Willie Brand (CBS News)
      "Two Afghans detained during the war in Afghanistan were found beaten to death and chained from the ceilings of their cells. One was beaten so badly that the medical examiner created a new word, 'pulpified,' to describe his injuries."

      "Willie Brand, a soldier convicted of assaulting and maiming one of the prisoners, says he was only doing what he was trained to do when he helped inflict those injuries."

      "Brand's commanding officer, Capt. Christopher Beiring, says the shackling [of prisoners to the ceiling] was 'acceptable.' Besides, says Beiring, 'Several of my leaders knew (about the shackling) because … there was probably one or two like that on any given day. … If someone came through, whether they were a colonel or general, we left them (chained). They seen (sic) what was going on there.' " 03-06

  4. ABC: Bush Administration Approves Water Boarding Torture (ABC News)
      "CIA Director Porter Goss maintained this week that the CIA does not employ methods of torture. In doing so, he opened a new debate over exactly what constitutes torture — especially when it comes to the harshest of the CIA's six secret interrogation techniques, known as 'water boarding.' "

      "The water board technique dates back to the 1500s during the Italian Inquisition. A prisoner, who is bound and gagged, has water poured over him to make him think he is about to drown."

      "Current and former CIA officers tell ABC News that they were trained to handcuff the prisoner and cover his face with cellophane to enhance the distress. According to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., himself a torture victim during the Vietnam War, the water board technique is a 'very exquisite torture' that should be outlawed."

      " 'Torture is defined under the federal criminal code as the intentional infliction of severe mental pain or suffering,' said John Sifton, an attorney and researcher with the organization Human Rights Watch. 'That would include water boarding.' "

      "The CIA maintains its interrogation techniques are in legal guidance with the Justice Department. And current and former CIA officers tell ABC News there is a presidential finding, signed in 2002, by President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and then Attorney General John Ashcroft approving the techniques, including water boarding." 11-05

  5. Afghan Prison Worse Than Gitmo? (New York Times)
      " 'Bagram was never meant to be a long-term facility, and now it's a long-term facility without the money or resources,' said one Defense Department official who has toured the detention center. Comparing the prison with Guantánamo, the official added, 'Anyone who has been to Bagram would tell you it's worse.' "

      "After an Army investigation, the practices found to have caused those two deaths [of prisoners] — the chaining of detainees by the arms to the ceilings of their cells and the use of knee strikes to the legs of disobedient prisoners by guards — were halted by early 2003. Other abusive methods, like the use of barking attack dogs to frighten new prisoners and the handcuffing of detainees to cell doors to punish them for talking, were phased out more gradually, military officials and former detainees said." 02-06

  6. Amnesty International Slams U.S. (CBS News)
      "The United States is riding roughshod over human rights by outsourcing key anti-terror work in Iraq to private contractors, who operate beyond Iraqi law and outside the military chain of command, Amnesty International said Tuesday." 05-06

  7. CIA Operates Secret Prisons (CNN News)
      "Human rights groups have criticized the practice of 'rendition,' in which the CIA purportedly has been allowed to secretly transfer terrorist suspects overseas for interrogation."

      "Human Rights Watch spokesman Tom Malinowsky said the practice of holding suspects incommunicado in secret facilities has done 'enormous damage' to the reputation of the United States without producing useful intelligence."

      "If true, the arrangement suggests U.S. agents are engaged in activities 'that under U.S. law and in U.S. territory and by U.S. personnel would be clearly illegal,' said former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, who was once a federal prosecutor."

      "In October the Senate voted 90-9 to require American troops to follow interrogation standards set in the Army Field Manual and barred 'cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment' of prisoners in U.S. custody."

      "The provision was not included in a House bill, and the White House has threatened to veto a $440 billion Pentagon spending bill if the measure is part of the final legislation."

      "The administration says existing law already prohibits the mistreatment of prisoners in American custody and the amendment would restrict Bush's power as commander-in-chief."

      Editor's Note: Huh? 11-05

  8. Editorial: War Crimes in Iraq (Truthout.org - Chomsky)
      "After several weeks of bombing, the United States began its ground attack in Falluja. It opened with the conquest of the Falluja General Hospital. The front-page story in the New York Times reported that 'patients and hospital employees were rushed out of rooms by armed soldiers and ordered to sit or lie on the floor while troops tied their hands behind their backs.' An accompanying photograph depicted the scene. It was presented as a meritorious achievement."

      "Some relevant documents passed unmentioned, perhaps because they too are considered quaint and obsolete: for example, the provision of the Geneva Conventions stating that 'fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.' Thus the front page of the world's leading newspaper was cheerfully depicting war crimes for which the political leadership could be sentenced to severe penalties under U.S. law, the death penalty if patients ripped from their beds and manacled on the floor happened to die as a result. The questions did not merit detectable inquiry or reflection." 04-06

  9. Ex-CIA Chief: Cheney for Torture (CNN News)
      "Former CIA chief Stansfield Turner lashed out at Dick Cheney on Thursday, calling him a 'vice president for torture' that is out of touch with the American people."

      "Turner's condemnation, delivered during an interview with Britain's ITV network, comes amid an effort by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, to pass legislation forbidding any U.S. authority from torturing a prisoner. McCain was tortured as a Vietnam prisoner of war."

      "Cheney has lobbied against the legislation, prompting Turner to say he's 'embarrassed that the United State has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible.' " 11-05

  10. Guardian: Emerging News Related to U.S. and British Positions on Torture (Guardian Unlimited)
      Provides dozens of news stories. 12-05

  11. Guardian: Six Stories of Torture (Guardian Unlimited)
      Provides information on six men who say they were tortured after being transported to a third country by Americans. 12-05

  12. Guardian: U.S. Support for Torture Widespread--and Now Open (Guardian Unlimited)
      "Past administrations kept their 'black ops' secret; the crimes were sanctioned but they were committed in the shadows, officially denied and condemned. The Bush administration has broken this deal: post-9/11, it demanded the right to torture without shame, legitimised by new definitions and new laws."

      "Despite all the talk of outsourced torture, the real innovation has been in-sourcing, with prisoners being abused by US citizens in US-run prisons and transported to third countries in US planes. It is this departure from clandestine etiquette that has so much of the military and intelligence community up in arms: Bush has robbed everyone of plausible deniability. This shift is of huge significance. When torture is covertly practised but officially and legally repudiated, there is still hope that if atrocities are exposed, justice could prevail. When torture is pseudo-legal and those responsible deny that it is torture, what dies is what Hannah Arendt called 'the juridical person in man'. Soon victims no longer bother to search for justice, so sure are they of the futility, and danger, of that quest." 12-05

  13. International Outcry Greets Allegations of Abuse in Iraq (Guardian Unlimited)
      Ayad al-Samarrai, a senior official with the Iraqi Islamic party, a mainstream Sunni group, said "The party wanted an independent Iraqi inquiry established, with support from the US military and perhaps the UN, but with the powers to enter interior ministry buildings to investigate the widely reported accounts of abuse and torture. If no suitable Iraqi inquiry team could be set up, then an international investigation should be set up, he said. He said officials from Iraq's human rights ministry had tried to investigate but had been refused access by the powerful interior ministry."

      " 'All those who were released from this prison were Sunnis,' Mr Samarrai said. 'It looks like part of a plan to make this community terrified, or to push them to leave Iraq or to leave their homes, or to force them into violence as they will think it is the only way to protect themselves.' " 11-05

  14. JFK Courage Awards Go to Murtha and Mora (CBS News)
      "U.S. Rep. John Murtha, an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, and Alberto Mora, a former Navy general counsel who clashed with superiors over abuse of terrorism detainees, were honored Monday as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award."

      " 'We need to be clear. Cruelty disfigures our national character,' Mora said. 'It is incompatible with our constitutional order, with our laws, and with our most prized values. Cruelty can be as effective as torture in destroying human dignity, and there is no moral distinction between one and the other.' " 05-06

  15. NY Times: Padilla Charges Based on Torture (Guardian Unlimited)
      "The Bush administration decided not to charge Jose Padilla with planning to detonate a radioactive 'dirty bomb' in a US city because the evidence against him was extracted using torture on members of al-Qaida, it was claimed yesterday." 11-05

  16. Newsweek: Bush May Not Have Given Up on Using Torture (MSNBC News)
      "Newsweek has obtained a draft of a less-known companion bill sponsored by two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl, and Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, in which the administration has won tougher language giving it the right to use information obtained from harsh interrogations overseas."

      "In theory, this would permit U.S. military tribunals to use evidence obtained through torture or abuse in the prisons of other countries. The new Graham draft also adds more restrictions on the rights of terror detainees to sue or launch an action against the U.S. government outside of a narrow appeals process." 12-05

  17. Pattern of Abuse (Time.com)
      "A decorated Army officer reveals new allegations of detainee mistreatment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Did the military ignore his charges?"

      "Majority Leader Bill Frist, Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner and John McCain, a former torture victim in Vietnam. A Senate Republican staffer familiar with both the Captain and his allegations told TIME he appeared 'extremely credible.' " 9-05

  18. Report: CIA Uses Secret Prisons (CBS News)
      "The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement, the Washington Post reported."

      "The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents, the paper said Tuesday on its Web site."

      "The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism, the Post said. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions." 11-05

  19. Report: Rumsfeld Allowed Guantanamo Abuse (MSNBC News)
      "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld permitted abusive interrogations of a suspected Sept. 11 hijacker, according to a Salon report." 04-06

  20. Senate Leader Frist Not Concerned About Torture Allegations (MSNBC News)
      "Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he is more concerned about the leak of information regarding secret CIA detention centers than activity in the prisons themselves."

      "Frist told reporters Thursday that while he believed illegal activity should not take place at detention centers, he believes the leak itself poses a greater threat to national security and is 'not concerned about what goes on' behind the prison walls." 11-05

  21. Statements Assert the President's Right to Ignore the Laws (Boston Globe)
      "The office of Vice President Dick Cheney routinely reviews pieces of legislation before they reach the president's desk, searching for provisions that Cheney believes would infringe on presidential power, according to former White House and Justice Department officials.""The officials said Cheney's legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington, is the Bush administration's leading architect of the 'signing statements' the president has appended to more than 750 laws. The statements assert the president's right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.""The Bush-Cheney administration has used such statements to claim for itself the option of bypassing a ban on torture, oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act, and numerous requirements that they provide certain information to Congress, among other laws." 05-06

  22. Torture in Iraqi Prisons (CNN News)
      "Many of the more than 160 detainees who were held at an Iraqi Interior Ministry building were physically abused, Iraq's deputy interior minister said Tuesday." 11-05

  23. Twenty-seven Iraqis Killed While in U.S. Custody (MSNBC News)
      "Twenty-seven detainees were killed in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan in suspected or confirmed homicide cases between August 2002 and November 2004, the Army said Friday in its first comprehensive accounting." 3-05

  24. U.N. Urges U.S. to Close Gitmo and Stop Torture (Bloomberg.org)
      "In a report to be published today, a United Nations panel urges the U.S. to close the Guantanamo prison, stop all use of torture and use the courts to try terrorism suspects. There are about 400 detainees at Guantanamo, some of whom were captured when the U.S. ousted Afghanistan's Taliban regime following the 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S." 05-06

  25. U.N.: Torture Still Widespread in China (Guardian Unlimited)
      "Human rights groups say brutality and degradation are common in Chinese prisons, where many of the victims are from the Tibetan and Uighur ethnic minorities, political dissidents, followers of the banned Falun Gong sect and members of underground churches."

      "Although China outlawed torture in 1996, its definition of illegal acts - those leaving physical marks - is so narrow that interrogators can employ a wide range of methods contravening UN standards." 12-05

   
   


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