Confronting Torture

Snatching people off the streets. Hanging people from the ceiling. A man freezing to death alone on a concrete floor. These are the grim realities Amrit Singh of the Open Society Justice Initiative describes in her report released today. 

The report is the first of its kind, compiling information that has never been catalogued. It tells the story of how the United States used its position to cajole, persuade, and strong-arm 54 other countries to take part in the CIA’s secret campaign.

The range of countries on the list is shocking. From Australia to Iran, Canada to Sweden, Hong Kong to Indonesia. It is a very long list.

This report from the Open Society Justice Initiative takes a step toward puncturing the layers of secrecy. It weaves together the intricate details of the abuse of 136 victims, giving them names.

This reveals unfinished history. Over the years, details of what took place under the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programs have emerged—ghost flights, black sites, and stories of appalling abuse—but so many details remained obscured from public view. 

Even though I—you—have heard many stories about what was done in the name of the war against terror, I found myself shocked again about what was done under the CIA’s secret programs after 9/11.

These are not the practices of an open society. Only with a full reckoning can the United States hope to close the door on this shameful chapter in its history.

I hope that you can watch this short video, read the report to see if your country is on the list, and tell us how you think we can stop these abuses.    

So much still remains hidden.

22 Comments

Hide

I thought President Obama was stopping the torture tactics put in place by his predecessor, I am sadly mistaken.

Los felicito por este trabajo en bien de la humanidad este mundo tiene que cambiar Unidos lo haremos Gracias

It breaks my heart to hear about torture and also that my country stooped down to the level of such tactics. WE ARE AND SHOULD BE MUCH BETTER THAN THAT!!!!!!

We lose a part of our soul when we participate in such abuse. We wont survive if we continue in such ways and it is against human rights to partake in torture, abuse etc... I expect more from my country and I demand more.

I echo your sentiment, well said!

Each one of us must respect ourselves as human beings, when we do that we do not need to humiliate or torture another human being. By following or by succumbing to a fixed mindset, all hell breaks loose. It's the right time to think of a longer, future picture for a change, a sustaining one, not a destructive one no matter which side torturers are on!

Thank you for doing (Amrit) and supporting (George) this important work. There will be a day when our children ask why wasn't Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Doug Feith, Jonathan Yoo, Jose Rodriguez and a host of others ever prosecuted. At least you both bared witness. G-d bless.

In my opinion it becomes necessary to create information exchange system based on the "vault" principles, where each member of any world society will have access to a system that in not controled by any particular gov. Such system shall be freely accessable, free of possibility of mainipulative actions by any third party. One in place, such system would have its own mechanism where a person under dures could post their "streemline" experiance (as it happens). Such would be compared with similarities based on KeyWord comparitive analysis.

In my opinion such system does not exist in our society today...that that is why abuses of various kinds are possible (because members of society or those who know something do not have a viable system to express is -- warn others -- and/or do not have confidence that their level of knowledge will be safe (personal safety) to be shared outside those "on need to know basis". I think the interception ...and creation of such system id critical component if we are to move towards open and decent world society...at this stage the expreriance has proven that we have a long way to go.

I have conceived such system some years ago when I was personally a subject of psycho-spiritual abuse at one of the US, well known institutions. Anyone who is interested in my ideas is welcomed to contact me for further discussions

As a former U.S. Diplomat (28 years) and previously a Sergeant in the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (3 years) I have been appalled by the use of torture by the U.S. Government during the Bush administration. It violates some of the most basic tenants most Americans believe in, is hugely damaging to our reputation abroad and--apparently--is not all that successful in developing useful intelligence. The Singh report should be read by all Americans who believe in the values we so long have claimed as part of our democratic core.

We must stop these practises. Who are we to treat other humans without due process and even kill them if they disagree with us. I am horrified and knew this was probably happening, but now it is confirmed. American need to drop out of this secret mission to protect ourselves!

The "greatest democracy" in the world?

One bad act should not condone another. so what about the Al Quaida

With so many guilty parties, it will be hard. Somewhere I read that SUNLIGHT IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT. Keep up the good work.

Thank you for compiling this report of moral corruption. I am interested in working with others in taking on this issue on the individual level because this is where I believe real change comes from. Instead of trying to change governmental policies, which are a reflection of how we are corruptible, initiate projects that provide experiences of the power of individual integrity, and opportunities to unify with others that are also actively working to restore and deepen their own morality.

If you have someone, or some forum that is open for discussing this I would like to be put in contact.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture is an organization that organizes and facilitates actions to stop the US from engaging in torture. I realize you may not be a member of, or affiliated with, an organized religion, but even if you're not, you can join their email list and learn about when to contact members of Congress at the same time their members do, and use their sample letters, etc. Check them out! And know that you are not alone. From the NRCAT website:

Mission Statement

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture mobilizes people of faith to end torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture.

Goals

1. Ensure that U.S.-sponsored torture of detainees never happens again.
2. End the use of torture in U.S. prisons and detention facilities, in particular the use of prolonged solitary confinement.
3. Promote U.S. policies that enable other countries to end their torture practices and advocate for an end of U.S. support (direct or indirect) of any country that engages in torture.
4. End the bigotry and hatred that promotes the practice and acceptance of torture against religiously, ethnically, and other targeted groups.

We must ensure complete transparency by reporting all information in U.S. government files on torture performed since 9-11 in the pursuit of national security.

As parents we tell our children that a lie begets an ever bigger lie. In like manner, our government, the American people's agent, needs to divulge its darkest secret to illustrate to the world that the American values are of paramount importance and will no longer be compromised, and that we will no longer tolerate the undermining of our value system by our own government.

The American people are humane people. The American people lead the world by example. Open the books.

It does an injustice to all U.S. citizens when our government engages in conduct for which we must be deeply ashamed. It is an indictment that our supervision of our government has grown so weak that it can commit hideous atrocities on a massive and world wide scale. I can only imagine what Washington and Adams would think. When I reflect that those responsible are walking free and that our prisons are full of men and women whose actions were in the context of far less free choice than these high ranking individuals had at all times, I realize that our society is deeply infected with moral and intellectual rot. Whatever can be the cure and whoever can administer it?

People assume torture is happening other places - not in the US. Our country's Phased Array Over the horizon Radar system is allowing citizens to be tortured in their own homes by the use of their unique bio-metric. Reading Robert Duncan's "Matrix Deciphered" online will explain the technology that allows this to take place and the covertness leaves the targeted person appearing to be crazy - a planned outcome. Convenient that frequencies targeted at one person can torture and leave no marks - extraordinary rendition. People are being institutionalized against their will and this crime is hidden as a mental illness. Wake up AMERICA!!!

Tell us what can we do to STOP our government from doing these things? Write to our Senators & Reps? Write to our President? Will we be listened to?
I'm horrified at the drone killings, at Guantanamo still in existence.

US imperialism and its torture machine CIA are real threat to mankind... why....? It has established a military presence throughout the planet... gathered innumerable weapons of mass destruction... have no respect for integrity and freedom of other countries... the multinationals control government through lobbying and horse-trading... profit motives (many times short term benefits) decide national and international policies... religious fanatics have huge influence over policy makers... its economy will collapse if there is no war or absence of deterrence. CIA is the biggest and strongest terrorist organisation in the world. Majority of the time they support right wing political forces, exploiters, dictators and fanatics. It does not have permanent enemies or friends. What it has is interests... they create new enemies to implement the most inhuman policies and run the machine of exploitation.

Future of the planet and survival of human civilization depends on how man kind will address this problem...

In this country we have a very violent history, a great deal of it motivated by the hatred of ethic minorities. For many years the Christian church condoned Slavery. In many cases we as a nation have willingly stepped over the line separating compassion and the sanctioned abuse of our fellow humans. Let us not forget what took place in Germany under Adolph Hitler.

A disheartening experience to learnt that USA of all nation will maintain a secret torture chamber. What a world where man profess one thing and do another. For every soul tortured, killed, dehumanized or held in dingy cell without trial, humanity have a price to pay for it. That USA can maintain a secret torture chamber is the height of moral hypocrisy and integrity deficiency. We demand the immediate dismantling of that torture chamber and apology to the world community, while commending Open Society Initiative for your investigative exposition of these crimes against humanity going on in USA.

Chief Omenazu Jackson is the chancellor International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights.

Islamism and Sharia is the main source of the terrible torture. Taliban's beheaded, amputated extremities, stoned victims, raped and punished Muslim women... The liars drum the anti-Western, anti-Semitic propaganda in the interests of Islam.

I have written it how many times, will they ever learn................. the torture of human beings there must be stop.............. if we look at the animals they fight for food, but the murderer fight for something else how to explain the power they got, over us human................. everybody got the right to live......... I can not find so much different in beliefs we all believe in something if you call it god or allah so what are they fighting for...................??????????????

Add your voice