- -01-05-09 Questions Remain on Bush Scandals (ABC News)
"The Bush administration has long said it never tortured anyone and that the abuses of Abu Ghraib and elsewhere were the result of bad apples, not systematic policy."
"But a recent report by the Senate Armed Services Committee went a long way documenting the role of top Defense Department and military officials in signing off on the use of the coercive interrogation techniques. 'Senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees,' the report found." 01-09
- -01-08-09 Woman Suspected of Witchcraft Burned Alive (CNN News)
"A woman in rural Papua New Guinea was bound and gagged, tied to a log and set ablaze on a pile of tires this week, possibly because villagers suspected her of being a witch, police said Thursday."
"Emory University anthropology professor Bruce Knauft, who lived in a village in the western province of Papua New Guinea in the early 1980s, traced family histories for 42 years and found that one in three adult deaths were homicides -- 'the bulk of these being collective killings of suspected sorcerers,' he wrote in his book, 'From Primitive to Postcolonial in Melanesia and Anthropology.' " 01-09
- -03-16-09 Red Cross: Torture Committed at CIA Sites (CBS News)
" 'This is clear evidence of torture, torture ordered by the most senior officials of government,' Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told CBS News."
,br>"Roth said that a thorough investigation into what happened - both at these sites and in the highest offices of government - is required. 'Some future presidents faced with a future security threat may resort to this kind of torture again, unless some kind of respected commission definitively repudiates it, and ideally the authors of this torture are brought to justice.' "
"The report follows an earlier ICRC report dated February 2004 about the treatment of prisoners by U.S. coalition forces in Iraq. It alleged 'serious violations of International Humanitarian Law,' including brutality, physical or psychological coercion during interrogation, prolonged solitary confinement, and excessive and disproportionate use of force 'resulting in death or injury.' " 03-09
- -04-20-09 Memo: C.I.A. Used Near-Drowning Technique 266 Times (MSNBC News)
"C.I.A. interrogators used waterboarding, the near-drowning technique that top Obama administration officials have described as illegal torture, 266 times on two key prisoners from Al Qaeda, far more than had been previously reported."
"The Times article, based on information from former intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Abu Zubaydah had revealed a great deal of information before harsh methods were used and after his captors stripped him of clothes, kept him in a cold cell and kept him awake at night. The article said interrogators at the secret prison in Thailand believed he had given up all the information he had, but officials at headquarters ordered them to use waterboarding."
"He revealed no new information after being waterboarded, the article said, a conclusion that appears to be supported by a footnote to a 2005 Justice Department memo saying the use of the harshest methods appeared to have been 'unnecessary' in his case." 04-09
- -04-21-09 Obama Open to Prosecution of Bush-Era Administrators (CNN News)
"President Obama on Tuesday left open the possibility of criminal prosecution for Bush administration officials who drew up the legal basis for interrogation techniques that many view as torture." 04-09
- -04-22-09 Attorney General: "No One Is Above the Law" (CNN News)
"Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that he would "follow the law" as he weighed potential prosecutions of Bush administration officials who authorized controversial harsh interrogation techniques." 04-09
- -04-22-09 Editorial: The CIA's Willful Ignorance on Harsh Interrogation Techniques (Time.com)
"What is now clear is that the CIA was drawn haphazardly into abusive interrogation, haphazardly fell back on vague ideas of torture, and ended up with with the vaguest results. It all reflects a White House under extreme pressure after 9/11, giving orders to a compliant CIA to do something, anything, to try to prevent another such attack." 04-09
- Editorial: Bush's Most Despicable Act (Time.com)
" 'This is not the America I know,' President George W. Bush said after the first, horrifying pictures of U.S. troops torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq surfaced in April 2004. The President was not telling the truth. 'This' was the America he had authorized on Feb. 7, 2002, when he signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention — the one regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners taken in wartime — did not apply to members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban. That signature led directly to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. It was his single most callous and despicable act. It stands at the heart of the national embarrassment that was his presidency."
"It should be noted that there was, and is, no evidence that these techniques actually work. Experienced military and FBI interrogators believe that torture leads, more often than not, to fabricated confessions. Patient, persistent questioning using subtle psychological carrots and sticks is the surest way to get actionable information. But prisoners held by the U.S. were tortured — first at Guantánamo Bay and later in Afghanistan and Iraq." 01-09
- How Ahmad Batebi Survived Torture in Iran (CBS News)
"Asked if he feels free now, he told Cooper, 'No, I don't feel free. I have a responsibility to the people imprisoned in Iran whose human rights are being violated. I have to get their message out. And it’s a big responsibility that doesn't leave one free. But to an extent I do feel free. I live in a free country and I've left prison.' " 04-09
- Pelosi: Bush Team Misled Her on Waterboarding (MSNBC News)
"Under strong attack from Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA and Bush administration of misleading her about waterboarding detainees in the war on terror and sharply rebutted claims she was complicit in the method's use."
" 'To the contrary ... we were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used,' she told reporters, referring to a formal CIA briefing she received in the fall of 2002." 05-09