John McCain eloquently against torture, still. And disproves assertion that torture got bin Laden.
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Another reason to end our monarchy:
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ali al-Khalifa is a former head of Bahrain’s National Security Agency (NSA) and will attend the wedding in his role as the current Bahraini ambassador to London.
British sources confirmed he had been invited and a spokesperson for the Bahraini embassy in London said he was expected to attend.
Khalifa was head of the agency from 2005 to 2008. The pressure group Human Rights Watch alleges that in 2007 detainees in Bahrain suffered torture including electric shocks and beatings.
When the royals become mere citizens, they are of course free to invite whoever they want to their weddings.
After the U.S. Government implemented a worldwide regime of torture, lawless detention, and other abuses, the doors of the American justice system have been slammed shut in the face of any and all victims seeking to have their rights vindicated or even their claims heard. If an American citizen can’t even sue political officials who lawlessly imprison and torture him in his own country — if political leaders are vested with immunity from a claim of this type — what rational person can argue that the rule of law or the Constitution binds our government officials?http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/02/18/justice
It is time for Americans to acknowledge that when we prioritize our interests in foreign lands over the interests of the citizens of those lands, in many instances, those citizens are starved, politically disenfranchised, tortured and sometimes killed. We have to realize that this is not only true in the Middle East, it is just as true in the Congo, Haiti and elsewhere.
Tunisians and now Egyptians have bravely stood up and challenged the hypocrisy, brutality and illegitimacy of their rulers. It is blatant hypocrisy for America to pontificate about the need for peaceful political reform in the Middle East and then support the violent repression of peaceful reformers or circumvent internal reform all together by imposing political change through the gun-barrel of an M1 Abrams tank. It is time that the people of this country stand up and challenge that hypocrisy. The masses in Tunisia and Egypt should be a source of courage and inspiration for us in this regard.
The stated purpose of the Reckoning with Torture project is to bring those responsible for planning and implementing the abusive interrogation program to justice. As several speakers note, these people have—to a one—been promoted, honored, and celebrated in the years since 9/11. And between the use of the state-secrets privilege and the failure to investigate the abuses seriously, the Obama administration has largely been complicit in turning the documents we are hearing into history as opposed to evidence.
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Almost everything Iran is accused of — lack of women’s rights, funding terrorism and ‘extremism’, violating ‘international norms’ on crime and punishment — Saudi Arabia does too. But you won’t hear Blair condemn his Saudi friends:
It is. In my view, what it is doing in respect of the Middle East now…
It chops people’s arms off. It tortures people.
They have their culture, their way of life.
We have to respect that?
I’m not saying that we agree with these things. Of course we don’t agree with them. What I’m saying is that if you look at the context of what’s happening in the Middle East at the moment, it is important that we are partners with Saudi Arabia. I would say to you that an extremist political regime would be a lot worse for Saudi Arabia and for the world.
This sums up how ‘international norms’ are just a stick with which to beat any perceived opponents of empire — they never apply to aggressive warmongers and torturers like Bush, Obama, Blair, etc, nor do they apply to pro-Empire regimes.
You can’t make this sort of stuff up:
Forget closing Guantánamo Bay — President Barack Obama has reportedly green-lighted a plan to begin charges against new detainees at the controversial off-shore prison for the first time under his administration.
“The Obama administration is preparing to increase the use of military commissions to prosecute Guantánamo detainees, an acknowledgment that the prison in Cuba remains open for business after Congress imposed steep new impediments to closing the facility,” the New York Times reported.
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Australia is the latest country to open a trial into the CIA’s ‘rendition’ (kidnapping) and torture of ‘terror suspects’ (which the Obama administration continues to cover-up). Scott Horton comments:
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