A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll reveals something quite depressing. The poll shows that a majority of Americans, including many Democrats, support President Obama’s counterterrorism policies of keeping Guantanamo Bay prison open and drone strikes against suspected terrorists abroad. These are policies that Obama and many liberals criticized Bush for doing. But now that Obama is carrying them out, there’s ample support these policies.
Category Archives: Torture
The death of Osama bin Laden, at the hands of U.S. special operations forces in Pakistan, has reignited the debate about torture. Those who support the use of torture (or “enhanced interrogation techniques”), claim that vital evidence which led U.S. special forces to successfully finding and killing bin Laden was produced through torture. The key piece of evidence that led to bin Laden’s death was the nom de guerre of his courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. If the Bush administration did not implement its torture program, they argue, Osama bin Laden would still be alive and inspiring al-Qaeda to commit acts of terrorism. This argument is wrong on multiple levels. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the text of a speech I gave at a panel Stanford Says No to War hosted called “It’s All About U.S.: Questioning U.S. Militarism”. This speech was given on May 26th, 2010 and is the last speech I gave at Stanford.
During the Nuremberg Trials, the chief American prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, famously stated: “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” America has a long history of war and its accumulated evils. It began as thirteen small colonies that sat along the Atlantic coast. In over a century, the United States expanded all the way to the Pacific Ocean – from sea to shining sea. The process was not pretty. It involved the genocide of the native Americans and the enslavement of millions of black Africans whose free labor was needed to fuel the American capitalist economy. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the United States began to colonize other lands, such as Hawaii, the Philippines and Cuba. Since then, it has occupied and militarily intervened in several parts of the globe, such as in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. And let’s not forget the many democratically-elected leaders America overthrew in places like Chile and Iran. The United States currently occupies two countries – Iraq and Afghanistan – and has a network of over 700 bases across the planet. Thus, the United States is an empire. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s Part 2:
When it comes to torture, war and human rights, the United States recently unveiled its extended Afghanistan prison at Bagram airbase. Clara Gutteridge, an investigator on secret prisons for human rights organization, Reprieve, told Al-Jazeera that while the U.S. claims that this prison is supposed to more open and transparent, the government refuses to release a list of names of prisoners who are Bagram and none of them have access to a lawyer. However, she does says, “But one thing that the US government is saying is that Afghan prisoners in Afghanistan have less rights than any other prisoner which just seems absurd.” Read the rest of this entry »
I haven’t written about current events lately so I thought I would take the time out to write some of my thoughts and post some good articles about the latest events.
On Friday, October 16, 2009, the British High Court issued a ruling that rejected the U.S./British cover-up of torture evidence. Binyam Mohamed, a British resident of Ethiopian descent who was suspected to be involved in terrorism, was tortured by the CIA in Pakistan and other countries he was rendered to by the U.S. The CIA told British intelligence exactly what they did to him and the British recorded this on various memos. Last year, the British High Court ruled that Mohamed – who was at Guantanamo then – had the right to obtain those documents from British intelligence in order to prove that his statements to the CIA were the result of coercion. Read the rest of this entry »