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Old 06-13-2005, 02:15 PM   #31
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tor·ture ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tôrchr)
n.

1.
a)Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
b)An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain.
2.Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony: the torture of waiting in suspense.
3.Something causing severe pain or anguish.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:37 PM   #32
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I missed the word "agitated" in the definition.
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:21 PM   #33
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What one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor. .
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Old 06-15-2005, 09:05 PM   #34
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Bush, Cheney, Runsfeld = Torture, Inc.

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A Tyrant's Best Friend

Ari BermanWed Jun 15,10:54 AM ET

Last week, a bipartisan group of six US senators called on the Bush Administration to support an international investigation of the brutal crackdown last month in Uzbekistan to determine whether US-trained Uzbek special forces opened fire on civilians. "In the aftermath of the Andijan massacre, America's relationship with Uzbekistan cannot remain unchanged," Senators Lindsey Graham, Mike DeWine, John McCain, John Sununu, Joe Biden and Patrick Leahy wrote in a letter to Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice.

The Bush Administration, as usual, seems to have ignored the advice. Instead, the US and Russia blocked an attempt by NATO to call for an international probe after a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels last Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

"I cannot say we agree on all elements because we do not agree," NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said after the meeting. Britain and other European countries wanted to include tough language in a joint communique, building off a statement by the European parliament that Washington halt negotiations with Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov over long-term access to an air base in southern Uzbekistan and "to bring those responsible for the massacre in Andijan to trial." Because of close links between Uzbekistan and NATO, the statement would've surely caught Karimov's attention.

Instead, Rumsfeld overruled European officials and Rice's State Department, insisting that the NATO communique discuss only "issues of security and stability in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan." Of course, it wasn't the first time the stealth hand of DoD has triumphed in inter-Administration disputes, particularly with regards to Uzbekistan. In 2002, State condemned "torture as a routine investigation technique" among the Uzbek security forces. Two years later, Colin Powell tried to cut off $18 million in training assistance over human rights concerns. General Richard Myers protested the cuts, and added $21 million for bioterrorism defense.

"In my view, we shouldn't let any single issue drive a relationship with any single county," Myers said of human rights violations, before the government crackdown in May. "It doesn't seem to be good policy to me." In fact, though, the desire for a permanent military base still trumps all other issues. "What would be the likely fallout from America's deepening relationship with a government that brutally represses its own people?" the six Senators asked. The Pentagon has yet to answer. After the crackdown, State proposed a blanket suspension of cooperation, the Post reports. DoD countered by advocating a case-by-case review, a timid recommendation that ultimately prevailed.

Mr. President, what happened to standing with the forces of freedom?
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Old 06-16-2005, 07:01 PM   #35
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Memo: Pentagon Concerned About Legality of Interrogation Techniques

Document Shows Top Pentagon Officials Warned About Guantanamo Bay Interrogation Tactics

Jun. 15, 2005 - The interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in 2002 triggered concerns among senior Pentagon officials that they could face criminal prosecution under U.S. anti-torture laws, ABC News has learned.

Notes from a series of meetings at the Pentagon in early 2003 -- obtained by ABC News -- show that Alberto Mora, general counsel of the Navy, warned his superiors that they might be breaking the law.

During a January 2003 meeting involving top Pentagon lawyer William Haynes and other officials, the memo shows that Mora warned that "use of coercive techniques ... has military, legal, and political implication ... has international implication ... and exposes us to liability and criminal prosecution."

Mora's deep concerns about interrogations at Guantanamo have been known, but not his warning that top officials could go to prison.

In another meeting held March 8, 2003, the group of top Pentagon lawyers concluded -- according to the memo -- "we need a presidential letter approving the use of the controversial interrogation to cover those who may be called upon to use them."

No such letter was issued.

White House: Tactics Are Legal

Today, the White House insisted that tactics used at Guantanamo Bay are now -- and have been -- legal.

"All interrogation techniques that have been approved are lawful and consistent with our obligations," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

In another internal memo obtained by ABC News, a Navy psychologist observing the interrogation warned that the tactics used against Mohammed al Qahtani -- dubbed "the 20th hijacker" -- revealed "a tendency to become increasingly more aggressive without having a definite boundary."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that interrogating al Qahtani had produced results.

"Qahtani and other detainees have provided valuable information, including insights into al Qaeda planning for September 11th, including recruiting and logistics," he said during a news conference.

Human rights lawyers say Mora was right to raise objections to what his superiors were doing.

"It's clear that individuals who engage in abusive treatment of this nature may be criminally liable for the conduct that they engage in," said Deborah Pearlstein, the director of the U.S. Law and Security Program at Human Rights First. "So if I were one of the troops who was being asked to conduct interrogations using these techniques, I would certainly want to ask my lawyer whether he thought this was legal."
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:27 AM   #36
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Cheney: Gitmo Prison Staying Put

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2005


Vice President Dick Cheney says there are no plans for now to shutter the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay where terrorism suspects are held.

“The important thing here to understand is that the people that are at Guantanamo are bad people,” he said.

“I mean, these are terrorists for the most part. These are people that were captured in the battlefield of Afghanistan or rounded up as part of the al Qaeda network,” he said in an interview to be aired Monday.

Human rights activists and some lawmakers - mostly Democrats - are pressing for the prison's closure because of allegations of torture and abuse of detainees. President George W. Bush has said his administration is “exploring all alternatives” for detaining the prisoners.


and then there was this bit of news

Quote:
Halliburton Unit Gets Guantanamo Contract


Jun 17, 6:00 PM (ET)




WASHINGTON (AP) - A subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton has been awarded $30 million to build an improved 220-bed prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon announced.

Kellogg Brown and Root Services Inc. of Arlington, Va., is to build a two-story prison that includes day rooms, exercise areas, medical bays, air conditioning and a security control room, according to the Pentagon. It is to be completed by July 2006.

Congress previously approved the funding for the construction job. Some members, along with human rights groups, are now calling for Guantanamo to close because of reports of prisoner abuses there and because the foreign detainees are being held indefinitely with no charges filed.

"The future detention facility will be based on prison models in the U.S. and is designed to be safer for the long-term detention of detainees and the guards," according to a statement provided by a Pentagon spokesman. "It is also expected to require less manpower to operate."

The new prison building, called Detention Camp 6, will replace some of the older facilities at the Navy base, which officials say are not adequate for holding prisoners for the long term.

The job is part of a larger contract that could be worth up to $500 million through 2010, the Pentagon said. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, in Norfolk, Va., is the contracting agency.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., issued a statement criticizing the deal, calling Halliburton the "scandal-plagued former employer of Vice President Cheney." Lautenberg has sought hearings into the contracts awarded to Halliburton for work in Iraq.
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:30 AM   #37
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I'm shocked.
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Old 06-19-2005, 10:51 PM   #38
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Quote:
Clinton adds voice to criticism of Guantánamo prison

By Lionel Barber and Paul Taylor in New York

Published: June 19 2005 23:53 | Last updated: June 20 2005 00:17

Bil ClintonBill Clinton has become the most prominent figure so far to add his voice to criticisms of the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the former president called for the camp, set up to hold suspected terrorists, to “be closed down or cleaned up”.

Mr Clinton joined critics at home and abroad who have singled out the indefinite detention of prisoners without trial and widespread reports of human rights violations at Guantánamo. “It is time that there are no more stories coming out of there about people being abused,” he said.

Mr Clinton said the test for judging whether harsh treatment of terrorist suspects was justified was whether it challenged the “fundamental nature” of American society. If the answer is Yes, you have already given the terrorists a profound victory.”

The Bush administration has been rocked by criticism of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay, which holds more than 500 prisoners, most of them captured in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr Bush has said that he might be willing to explore alternatives to the detention centre.



The Guantánamo detainees have been classified as “unlawful enemy combatants” rather than prisoners of war and are therefore not subject to the Geneva Convention or to US law. The US military has admitted to using coercive interrogation techniques on prisoners but denied that these amount to torture.

Mr Clinton said uniformed US military personnel had been “very outspoken” about abuses at Guantánamo and elsewhere.

Aside from moral issues, there were two practical objections to the US military abusing prisoners, he said. “If we get a reputation for abusing people it puts our own soldiers much more at risk and second, if you rough up somebody bad enough, they'll eventually tell you whatever you want to hear to get you to stop doing it.” Mr Clinton was careful to avoid criticising the administration on the issue of indefinite detention. In three or four cases, his own administration had resorted to a US law that allows suspected terrorists to be held beyond the normal length of time without trial, if bringing an indictment or trial would compromise intelligence sources.

“It sounds so reasonable but you're the guy that is in prison and you are not guilty, you could be held there three, four, five years and there has to be some limit to that,” he said.
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:32 PM   #39
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Quote:
U.N. experts blast U.S. on Guantanamo

U.S. government agencies defer to each other on visit request

(CNN) -- Four U.N. human rights experts criticized the U.S. government Thursday for failing to answer a January 2004 request to allow them to visit the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, citing allegations of torture against detainees.

"The lack of a definitive answer despite repeated requests suggests that the United States is not willing to cooperate with the United Nations human rights machinery on this issue," said the statement issued at a meeting of U.N. Commission on Human Rights representatives and experts.

Two U.S. government agencies appeared to point the finger at each other.

A Defense Department spokesman said the State Department would be responsible for responding to the request.

The Defense Department's spokesman also said representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross have visited and checked on detainees at Guantanamo Bay and will continue to do so under the Geneva Conventions.

Adam Ereli, deputy spokesman for the State Department, said the department has been working with U.N. representatives.

"We have met with them, we have talked with them, we have provided them information," Ereli said. "We have been engaged regularly and consistently to ... respond to their requests for information, to engage with them and to help facilitate their work."

But, he said, "as far as the specifics of this request go, and as far as arranging the visit, and what's involved there, and what considerations are in play, and why it has taken a year, I refer you to the Defense Department."

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have criticized the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. Navy base where prisoners from the war on terrorism have been detained. The facility is holding about 500 prisoners. (Full story)

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other American officials have defended Guantanamo Bay.

"Arguably, no detention facility in the history of warfare has been more transparent or received more scrutiny than Guantanamo," Rumsfeld said last week. (Full story)

The United States previously denied a January 2002 request to visit Guantanamo Bay because officials said the U.N. group "lacked the confidence to address what [the American government] considered law of armed conflict issues and not international human rights matters," the experts' statement said.

That request and a later one in January 2004 "were based on information, from reliable sources, of serious allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees, arbitrary detention, violations of their right to health and their due process rights," according to the statement.

Much of that information came from declassified government documents, the four experts said.

They said they want to visit Guantanamo Bay "to examine objectively the allegations first-hand and ascertain whether international human rights standards that are applicable in these particular circumstances are being upheld. ...

"It is our conviction that no member state of the United Nations is above international human rights law."

The statement said the lack of a U.S. response to the request contrasts with one of its recent recommendations that nations "should consider [country visit] requests seriously and in the spirit of cooperation with special procedures, and should respond in a timely manner."

Given the lack of cooperation, the statement said, an investigation will be undertaken "based on all credible sources regarding the situation of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay."

The 53-member U.N. Commission on Human Rights, the world body's rights watchdog, appoints the investigators to three-year terms, according to The Associated Press.

The United Nations doesn't compensate the independent investigators for their work, but their expenses are paid, the AP says.

The four human rights experts named in the statement are:

* Leandro Despouy, representative on the independence of judges and lawyers.

* Paul Hunt, representative on the right to health.

* Manfred Nowak, representative on torture and other cruel treatment or punishment.

* Leila Zerrougui, chairperson and representative of the working group on arbitrary detention.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:41 PM   #40
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A voice from Gitmo's darkness

A current detainee speaks of the torture and humiliation he has experienced at Guantanamo since 2002.

By Jumah al-Dossari

JUMAH AL-DOSSARI is a 33-year-old citizen of Bahrain. This article was excerpted from letters he wrote to his attorneys. Its contents have been deemed unclassified by the Department of Defense.

January 11, 2007

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba — I AM WRITING from the darkness of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo in the hope that I can make our voices heard by the world. My hand quivers as I hold the pen.

In January 2002, I was picked up in Pakistan, blindfolded, shackled, drugged and loaded onto a plane flown to Cuba. When we got off the plane in Guantanamo, we did not know where we were. They took us to Camp X-Ray and locked us in cages with two buckets — one empty and one filled with water. We were to urinate in one and wash in the other.

At Guantanamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and shined intense lights in my face. They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food, drink or the ability to go to the bathroom or wash for prayers. They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other. They have beaten me unconscious.

What I write here is not what my imagination fancies or my insanity dictates. These are verifiable facts witnessed by other detainees, representatives of the Red Cross, interrogators and translators.

During the first few years at Guantanamo, I was interrogated many times. My interrogators told me that they wanted me to admit that I am from Al Qaeda and that I was involved in the terrorist attacks on the United States. I told them that I have no connection to what they described. I am not a member of Al Qaeda. I did not encourage anyone to go fight for Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have done nothing but kill and denigrate a religion. I never fought, and I never carried a weapon. I like the United States, and I am not an enemy. I have lived in the United States, and I wanted to become a citizen.

I know that the soldiers who did bad things to me represent themselves, not the United States. And I have to say that not all American soldiers stationed in Cuba tortured us or mistreated us. There were soldiers who treated us very humanely. Some even cried when they witnessed our dire conditions. Once, in Camp Delta, a soldier apologized to me and offered me hot chocolate and cookies. When I thanked him, he said, "I do not need you to thank me." I include this because I do not want readers to think that I fault all Americans.

But, why, after five years, is there no conclusion to the situation at Guantanamo? For how long will fathers, mothers, wives, siblings and children cry for their imprisoned loved ones? For how long will my daughter have to ask about my return? The answers can only be found with the fair-minded people of America.

I would rather die than stay here forever, and I have tried to commit suicide many times. The purpose of Guantanamo is to destroy people, and I have been destroyed. I am hopeless because our voices are not heard from the depths of the detention center.

If I die, please remember that there was a human being named Jumah at Guantanamo whose beliefs, dignity and humanity were abused. Please remember that there are hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo suffering the same misfortune. They have not been charged with any crimes. They have not been accused of taking any action against the United States.

Show the world the letters I gave you. Let the world read them. Let the world know the agony of the detainees in Cuba.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:44 PM   #41
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I can't imagine how I would respond to that. I hate what we have allowed ourselves to become.
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Old 01-12-2007, 06:25 PM   #42
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:27 AM   #43
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White House Near Decision to Close Gitmo

Friday, June 22, 2007
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON —
The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility and move its terror suspects to military prisons elsewhere, The Associated Press has learned.

Senior administration officials said Thursday a consensus is building for a proposal to shut the center and transfer detainees to one or more Defense Department facilities, including the maximum-security military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where they could face trial.

President Bush's national security and legal advisers had been scheduled to discuss the move at a meeting Friday, the officials said, but after news of it broke, the White House said the meeting would not take place that day and no decision on Guantanamo Bay's status is imminent.

"It's no longer on the schedule for tomorrow," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council. "Senior officials have met on the issue in the past, and I expect they will meet on the issue in the future."

Three senior administration officials spoke about the discussions on condition of anonymity because they were internal deliberations.
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:33 AM   #44
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:24 PM   #45
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Quote:
Justices: Gitmo detainees can challenge detention in U.S. courts


From Bill Mears
CNN Supreme Court Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Suspected terrorists and foreign fighters held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to challenge their detention in federal court, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The decision marks another legal blow to the Bush administration's war on terrorism policies.

The 5-4 vote reflects the divide over how much legal autonomy the U.S. military should have to prosecute about 270 prisoners, some of whom have been held for more than six years without charges. Fourteen of them are alleged to be top al Qaeda figures.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, "the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system reconciled within the framework of the law."
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