Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 8, 2013/ 28 Iyar, 5773

Is Obama continuing Bush-Cheney torture?

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Many Americans, including some of Barack Obama's critics, take his word that his administration opposes torture. With fanfare, two days after occupying the Oval Office, he issued Executive Order 13491, commanding the CIA to close its secret prisons while also declaring that no detainee in U.S. custody could be subject to any form of interrogation not found in the Army Field Manual, thereby excluding torture.

Noting this, the nonpartisan Constitution Project's 577-page April 16 report, "Detainee Treatment," which I wrote about last week, scrupulously documents the range and depth of this nation's torture policies, and has a separate substantial chapter covering our current president. "The Obama Administration" exposes the factual torture record of our re-elected leader.

For example, George W. Bush approved "renditions," which the CIA vigorously implemented. This occurred when terrorism suspects were kidnapped by the CIA -- often from the streets of their nations -- and sent to countries known for torturing their prisoners.

But the Constitution Project's report reminds us that renditions have continued under Obama -- in utter secrecy, of course. We don't know who gets snatched and why and for how long. Neither do their families.

Of course, the receiving countries must first assure Obama officials that these suspects won't be tortured. That's exactly what Bush's ultra-loyal Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used to tell Americans and the rest of the world -- without ever following up on the renditions' ghost prisoners.

As for those CIA secret prisons, the Constitution Project cites a 2011 Nation magazine article in its report:

"Jeremy Scahill wrote that the CIA was interrogating Al Qaeda-affiliated prisoners in 'a secret prison buried in the basement of Somalia's National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, where prisoners suspected of being Shabab members or of having links to the group are held. Some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu. While the underground prison is officially run by the Somali NSA, U.S. intelligence personnel (the CIA) pay the salaries of intelligence agents and also directly interrogate prisoners.'"

How? By torturing them? Well, if President Obama ever has to testify before an independent American commission on torture, he might refer to this portion of Scahill's story in the Constitution Project's report: "Former detainees (in the Somali prison) did not allege that they were beaten or physically tortured, but did describe being held for extended periods without counsel, in squalid conditions.

"Somali intelligence officials and former detainees told Scahill that Americans conducted interrogations at the prison."

Were these interrogations conducted under the CIA's version of American rule of law, Mr. President?

"Even more troubling," reports the Constitution Project, "is the evidence that Afghan detainees have been tortured after U.S. forces turned them over to the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS)."

The Constitution Project cites a 2011 report from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). According to the report:

"Torture was especially pervasive in Department 124, the NDS's facility for 'high-value detainees' in Kabul. Of 28 former detainees at Department 124, 26 told UNAMA they had been tortured by methods such as 'beating, suspension, and twisting and wrenching of genitals.' Seventeen of those 26 had been captured by coalition forces. Five of the 26 were children."

Hear that, President Obama? And dig this, sir: "According to The Washington Post, Department 124 is across the street from the United States' military headquarters in Kabul and was built with U.S. funds."

Torture sites paid for by your and my taxes.

Finally, in July 2011, the U.S. did ban prisoner transfers to the NDS in Kandahar. But, according to the Constitution Project, "there was evidence that the military's restrictions on transfers were not being applied to transfers by the CIA," which has a privileged place in Obama's soul.

Here's what one person transferred by the CIA told the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, as related by the Constitution Project: "I was severely beaten by cable in the head and neck. I was shackled and they connected the shackles to an electrical current and shocked me until I was unconscious. They also beat me on the back and waist very hard ... Even my tongue is severely damaged from the electric shock."

This may help you understand why the "liberating" United States is so detested in Afghanistan.

Propelled by the Constitution Project's "Detainee Treatment" task force, the website ThinkProgress.org recently reported that "pressure is mounting on the Obama administration to allow access to documents pertaining to the CIA's post 9/11 terror suspect detention program and to order a full accounting of the Bush-era torture program" ("National Security Brief: Pressure Mounts On Obama To Investigate Torture," thinkprogress.org, April 17).

But access to Bush-era documents isn't enough. The administration's continuing torture program, as reported by the Constitution Project, must be included.

"As long as the debate continues," the Constitution Project stresses, "so too does the possibility that the United States could again engage in torture."

And not only by this administration.

But this debate must center on actual, due process accountability for the torturers -- not only named CIA torturers, but also those in our military and, of course, those in the executive branch from whom the ultimate directive came.

Accountability must also come to those members of the Bush and Obama administrations who abetted torture through legal means, argues ThinkProgress.org, citing Thomas Pickering's recent op-ed in The Washington Post: "The Obama administration should declassify all relevant documents as soon as possible and work with Congress to 'close the loopholes that allowed torture to occur under a pretense of legality.'"

If we don't have this debate, what are we saying to our future generations -- and to our future administrations, whatever they may decide to do without telling us?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

Nat Hentoff Archives

© 2013, NEA

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast