US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites

Based on a leaked International Committee of the Red Cross report, containing testimonies by 14 “High Value Detainees” captured during the course of 2002 by US forces, Mark Danner reports about the “the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program” which “either singly or in combination, constituted torture” and “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

We think time and elections will cleanse our fallen world but they will not. Since November, George W. Bush and his administration have seemed to be rushing away from us at accelerating speed, a dark comet hurtling toward the ends of the universe. The phrase “War on Terror”—the signal slogan of that administration, so cherished by the man who took pride in proclaiming that he was “a wartime president”—has acquired in its pronouncement a permanent pair of quotation marks, suggesting something questionable, something mildly embarrassing: something past. And yet the decisions that that president made, especially the monumental decisions taken after the attacks of September 11, 2001—decisions about rendition, surveillance, interrogation—lie strewn about us still, unclaimed and unburied, like corpses freshly dead.

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UN report accuses Britain of condoning torture

A new report by UN Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin finds evidence of UK complicity in a wide range of grave human rights violations, including torture – the prohibition of which constitutes an “absolute and peremptory norm of international law.” The report is only the latest in a growing series of indictments against the criminal conduct of the British state.

Britain has been condemned in a highly critical United Nations report for breaching basic human rights and “trying to conceal illegal acts” in the fight against terrorism.

The report is sharply critical of British co-operation in the transfer of detainees to places where they are likely to be tortured as part of the US rendition programme.

The report accuses British intelligence officers of interviewing detainees held incommunicado in Pakistan in “so-called safe houses where they were being tortured”.

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