Litany of Abuses Fueled Protesters’ Fury

In Egypt, where protesters continued to demonstrate Tuesday for the eighth day in a row, the use of torture by law enforcement officials over the past two decades has contributed to the growing unrest, rights groups say. In a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the international advocacy group claims the practice is endemic … Continue reading “Litany of Abuses Fueled Protesters’ Fury”

Excusing Torture at ‘Justice’

On Sunday, I attended an informal talk given in a parish hall by the Justice Department’s Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights. His topic: “The way his work for justice is defined by his faith.” During the Q&A after his talk, I had a chance to pose some questions: Question: “Thanks, Tom, for … Continue reading “Excusing Torture at ‘Justice’”

Monday: 29 Iraqis Killed, 181 Wounded

Updated at 11:51 p.m EST, Jan. 24, 2010 As Arbaeen observances culminate, the violence towards pilgrims continues. At least 29 were killed and 181 more were wounded in attacks across the country, but the deadliest occurred just outside Karbala. While most of the casualties, if not all, were Iraqi, some of the pilgrims may have been foreigners. Meanwhile, new allegations against an elite security force overseen directly by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are surfacing.

Thursday: 3 Iraqis Killed, 34 Wounded

Updated at 10:33 p.m. EST, Dec. 30, 2010 At least three Iraqis were killed in the latest violence while 34 more were wounded. Christians were targeted in at least two attacks in Baghdad, even as Parliament Speaker Usama al-Nujeifi met with Christian leaders to express his solidarity with the minority group. Meanwhile, Iraq Body Count released preliminary civilian casualty figures for 2010.

Getting It Wrong in Guantánamo

I was at Guantánamo Bay prison on Halloween. In a ghoulishly fitting coincidence, that was the same day a former child soldier was convicted for war crimes for the first time since the end of World War II. Eight years and one day after Omar Khadr arrived at Guantánamo, his military commission case concluded with … Continue reading “Getting It Wrong in Guantánamo”

Britain to Settle Rendition, Torture Case for Millions

The British government will reportedly pay millions in compensation to seven British nationals who were unlawfully “rendered” to U.S.-run prisons and tortured with the cooperation of British intelligence. The British press is reporting that ministers and the security services appear to have decided that exposure of thousands of documents in open court was a risk … Continue reading “Britain to Settle Rendition, Torture Case for Millions”

Outrage Mounts over Bush’s Waterboarding ‘Confession’

After a three-year investigation, President Barack Obama’s mantra – "look forward and not backwards" – appears to have trumped the rule of law as a special prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges against the Central Intelligence Agency operatives involved in the destruction of video recordings of interrogations of "war on terror" suspects. The human rights … Continue reading “Outrage Mounts over Bush’s Waterboarding ‘Confession’”

Bush Boasts About Waterboarding

Former President George W. Bush continues to be beyond shame. Those favored with an advance copy of his memoir, Decision Points, say it paints a picture of a totally unapologetic Bush bragging, for example, about authorizing the CIA to waterboard 9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. According to newspaper accounts of the memoir, Bush says he … Continue reading “Bush Boasts About Waterboarding”