Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sharing some posts about the death penalty

I've written two recent posts about the death penalty, in light of Governor Rick Perry's entry into the presidential race. They are here:

Death is irrevocable


Dead wrong: Rick Perry and the death penalty

Please feel free to comment either there or here about these posts.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


You've probably already seen this:

An American former military contractor who claims he was imprisoned and tortured by the US army in Iraq has been allowed by a judge to sue the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages.

The man, an army veteran whose identity has been withheld, worked as a translator for the US marines in the volatile Anbar province when he was detained for nine months at Camp Cropper, a US military facility near Baghdad airport dedicated to holding "high-value" detainees.

The government says he was suspected of helping to pass classified information to the enemy and helping anti-coalition forces enter Iraq. But he was never charged with a crime, and says he never broke the law.

What happened to this man? Here are some of the allegations:

In November 2005, when he was to go on home leave, Navy Criminal Investigative Service agents questioned him about his work, refusing his requests for representation by his employer, the Marines or an attorney. The Justice Department says he was told he was suspected of helping provide classified information to the enemy and helping anti-coalition forces attempting to cross from Syria into Iraq.

He says he refused to answer questions because of concern about confidentiality, and the agents handcuffed and blindfolded him, kicked him in the back and threatened to shoot him if he tried to escape. He was then transferred to an unidentified location for three days before being flown to Camp Cropper. [...]

He claims guards tortured him by repeatedly choking him, exposing him to extreme cold and continuous artificial light, blindfolding and hooding him, waking him by banging on a door or slamming a window when he tried to sleep and blasting music into his cell at "intolerably loud volumes."
But none of that is real torture, right? And the man was suspected of collaborating with terrorists, which makes it all good, right?