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Torture

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NEWS
April 6, 1994 | By TRUDY RUBIN
When the Singapore government recently sentenced an 18-year-old American to six lashes on the buttocks for vandalism, smug local officials called the punishment an example of their superior values. According to polls, many Americans agree that the punishment fits the crime, although they may not realize that flogging Singapore-style means tying the victim down on a trestle and ripping open his flesh with a wetted rattan cane. I call that torture (though I have no problem with the vandal serving time in a Singapore jail)
NEWS
November 14, 2005 | By Leonard Pitts Jr
Well, I guess that settles that. "We do not torture," said President Bush on Nov. 7. Never mind all those torture pictures from Abu Ghraib. Never mind all those torture stories from Guant?namo Bay. Never mind the 2002 Justice Department memo that sought to justify torture. Never mind reports of U.S. officials sending detainees to other countries for torture. Never mind Dick Cheney lobbying to exempt the CIA from rules prohibiting torture. "We do not torture," said the President.
NEWS
January 7, 2010
WHAT MIGHT HAVE happened if, last spring, President Obama hadn't blocked congressional hearings into the Bush administration's authorization of torture - or even a milder "truth commission" - that then was supported by 62 percent of the American people? Would Dick Cheney, sure to have been top on the list of those investigated, now be taking every opportunity to undermine the current commander in chief? Would the White House be scurrying to explain that Obama does too use the words "war" and "terror" enough?
NEWS
December 1, 2005 | By MARY SHAW
AFTER THE photos from Abu Ghraib sickened the nation and the world last year, George W. Bush assured us that it was merely the work of "a few bad apples," and that "this country does not believe in torture. " In fact, on June 26, 2004, in a statement commemorating the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Bush proclaimed that "freedom from torture is an inalienable human right, and we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law. " Those are some noble words, George.
NEWS
May 10, 1989 | From Inquirer Wire Services
Amnesty International accused Egypt today of torturing detainees, many of them Muslim fundamentalists, and it quoted some of those freed as saying they were whipped, hung by their wrists, given electric shocks and sexually abused. The human rights group urged President Hosni Mubarak's government to protect political detainees from torture by prison officials and ensure them prompt access to lawyers, relatives and doctors. "The torture testimony has been consistent and prompts the conclusion that there is a pattern of torture in Egypt," it said in a 40-page report.
NEWS
May 27, 2009
I DON'T always agree with Michael Smerconish, but generally find him to be intelligent and thoughtful. Unfortunately, he and many otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people persist in the delusion that torture, as practiced by the U.S., should be referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques. " EIT, as defined by the infamous Yoo/Bybee memo, included not just waterboarding, prolonged stress positions and sleep deprivation, but also gouging eyes out, dousing with acid, slitting an ear, nose, or lip, and disabling a limb.
NEWS
March 15, 2005 | CAROL TOWARNICKY
"Somebody tell me frankly, what times are these, what kind of world, what country?" THESE words come from a poem about torture that Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman composed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. But they resonate through the seemingly daily revelations from government and military reports of the abuse of prisoners by Americans in Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Iraq. They fit all too well the testimony of those whom the CIA allegedly delivered to countries where they were tortured.
NEWS
May 27, 2004
IWAS DEEPLY disturbed by your otherwise-excellent editorial titled "Rumsfeld must go" to see that you believe that "Torture has a place in the fight against terrorism. " What exactly is this place? According to one of the many Bush government explanations of its presence in Iraq, the U.S. attacked Iraq to free its people from the tyrant Saddam, who had tortured and killed thousands. Now we are saying that torture is all right as long as we are the ones doing it? And as long as the victim is a bona-fide terrorist?
NEWS
January 27, 2012 | By Rami Al-Shaheibi and Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press
BENGHAZI, Libya - Doctors Without Borders has suspended its work in prisons in the Libyan city of Misrata, saying torture was so rampant some detainees were taken there for care only to make them fit for further interrogation, the group said Thursday. The announcement was compounded by a statement from Amnesty International, which said it had recorded widespread prisoner abuse in other cities as well, leading to the death of several inmates. The allegations, which come more than three months after former leader Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed, were an embarrassment to the governing National Transitional Council, which is struggling to establish its authority in the divided nation.
NEWS
November 21, 2005
I, LIKE Michael Smerconish, hope John McCain runs for president again, too. As does Smerconish, I like McCain. I like him because he is honest. And because I believe him to be a good man. McCain understands that torture is bad. It is, in fact, evil. He understands, unlike George Bush, Dick Cheney and apparently Philadelphia's own Michael Smerconish, that as the purported good guys in this "war" or any other, the U.S. shouldn't have torture as accepted policy. Simply stated, I believe that the U.S. should be what I was taught it was growing up - the good guy, the leader of the free world.
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NEWS
April 25, 2014 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
WE NOW have handy initials - PTSD - to label the psychological maladies that afflict war veterans, but still no way to make sense of the horror behind it. That is a point driven home in the engrossing "The Railway Man," the true story of a British soldier, Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), tortured in WWII, who finds his Japanese tormentor, an officer named Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada), still alive decades later, and seeks him out. Lomax intends to kill the man, but their confrontation - among the most fascinating screen conversations of recent vintage - reveals commonalities in the men that take the encounter in unexpected directions.
NEWS
March 29, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
He would change very little. John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer and Philadelphia native who laid the legal groundwork for President George W. Bush's administration to use waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques, told faculty and students at Drexel University law school Thursday that he had correctly interpreted the law. And that he would do it again. "I do stand by the line that we drew," Yoo said. Yoo came to the law school for an hour-long exchange with Harvey Rishikof, a former legal counsel to the FBI who teaches national security law at Drexel.
NEWS
March 28, 2014 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
A DECADE later, America's post-9/11 descent into torture is still an open wound for many - as folks are finding out this week at Drexel University Law School. A Philadelphia lawyers' group is ripping the law school for hosting a talk this afternoon by John Yoo, the ex-Justice Department lawyer who crafted the legal justification for the Bush administration's use of waterboarding and other torture tactics on terrorism suspects. The National Lawyers Guild called Yoo's slated appearance "deplorable," adding that his legal advice had sparked "negative repercussions in American foreign relations that we are still dealing with a dozen years later.
NEWS
September 22, 2013 | By Darran Simon, Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN A 21-year-old Queens man was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison for his involvement in the gang-related killing of a Burlington County couple tortured in a Camden rowhouse three years ago and buried in the backyard. Peter Leonce was 17 when he and nine defendants were charged in the Feb. 22 death of Michael "Doc Money" Hawkins, 23, and Muriah Huff, 18. Hawkins was beaten, shot at least five times, and stabbed upstairs. Huff was then beaten, choked, and stabbed downstairs. Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel sentenced Leonce to 30 years for murder in Hawkins' death and 15 years for aggravated manslaughter in Huff's death.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Fans have said it, and hoped for it for years, but this, this finally may be Idris Elba's year in the sun. The 40-year-old Londoner returns this week as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther in the third and darkest installment of writer Neil Cross' anguish-saturated police procedural Luther . BBC America's four-part mini-series premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. and continues on consecutive nights through Friday. Brilliantly written, with stunning performances, this will be Luther 's final year on TV. But take heart, a Luther film is in the works.
NEWS
August 14, 2013 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nadera Batson did not shed any tears last week during her trial in the beating death of her godson, 3-year-old Jaquinn Brewton, even when prosecutors showed photos of the child's battered and burned body. And she showed little emotion when a neighbor from the West Philadelphia boardinghouse where she had lived with the child testified about the constant whipping sounds and child's screams coming from Batson's room. But Batson, 25, burst into tears Monday, sobbing and heaving, as a jury foreman declared her guilty of third-degree murder in Jaquinn's 2011 death.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | By Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press
MOSCOW - National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday submitted a request for temporary asylum in Russia, his lawyer said, claiming he faces persecution from the U.S. government and could face torture or death. WikiLeaks, the secret-spilling site that has been advising Snowden, and Russia's Federal Migration Service both confirmed the application request. The service is required by law to consider the application within three months, but could do it faster. Snowden, who revealed details of a U.S. intelligence program to monitor Internet activity, argued in his application that the reason he needs asylum is "he faces persecution by the U.S. government and he fears for his life and safety, fears that he could be subjected to torture and capital punishment," lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on Rossiya 24 television.
NEWS
April 18, 2013 | By Peter James Spielmann, Associated Press
NEW YORK - An independent review of the U.S. government's antiterrorism response after the Sept. 11 attacks reported Tuesday that it was "indisputable" the United States engaged in torture and the Bush administration bears responsibility. The report by the Constitution Project, a nonpartisan Washington-based think tank, is an ambitious review of the Bush administration's approach to the problems of holding and interrogating detainees after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
NEWS
March 4, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old female from the West Coast. I am home-schooled and don't have many friends because I score high in tests, meaning I retain more information than the average person. On the rare occasion that I mingle with children my own age, they call me unpleasant names, play pranks on me and otherwise torture me. I hate it. I can't help that I am smart, and I refuse to degrade myself by dumbing down my actions and speech because they can't handle their insecurities.
NEWS
February 2, 2013 | By Rukmini Callimachi, Associated Press
TIMBUKTU, Mali - Three suspected jihadists arrested in the days since the liberation of Timbuktu said Friday that Malian soldiers were torturing them with a method similar to waterboarding. The three were being held in an earthen cell in what remains of the military camp in the town, which was freed this week by French and Malian soldiers after nearly 10 months under radical Islamist rule. Their allegations came as French President Francois Hollande prepared to fly to Mali on Saturday, nearly four weeks after the French-led operation began in the vast West African country.
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