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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
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.
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.
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NEWS
April 13, 2016 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, POLITICS WRITER
Republican front-runner Donald Trump strengthens the Islamic State with his calls to torture terrorist suspects and proposals to prevent Muslims from entering the United States, Hillary Clinton charged Monday. "His comments are actually used by terrorist groups to recruit," Clinton said in a conference call with the Inquirer Editorial Board and reporters. She said that Trump needs to be "rejected and repudiated at every turn. " As president, Trump would make the world more dangerous, Clinton said, citing his suggestions that NATO be broken up and that Japan and South Korea be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons to defend themselves.
NEWS
February 11, 2016 | By Dana DiFilippo, Staff Writer
It sounds like a scene from a horror movie: A man is held against his will and tortured for hours, his muffled screams and desperate pleas for help ignored, until the ringleader directs her conspirators to take him to the basement and kill him. But according to court records, this horror actually happened in Overbrook on New Year's Eve. And it had as happy of an ending as such a story can have: The victim escaped, and his alleged torturers are...
NEWS
October 7, 2015 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Six months after the brutal abduction and torture of a Jewelers Row shop clerk in a robbery attempt, the victim and one of the accused kidnappers will testify this week in federal court - testimony that prosecutors said Tuesday will be enough to convict two other men in the botched heist. During her opening statements Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanine Linehan called the crime "a woman's worst nightmare. " "For every second of those two hours, she thought about never seeing her loved ones again," Linehan told the jury.
NEWS
August 28, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A federal judge has denied bail for a second suspect charged in the abduction and torture of a Jewelers Row shop clerk earlier this year. Basil Buie, 23, remains a flight risk and a danger to the community, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle wrote in an opinion filed late Tuesday. Earlier this week, Buie's lawyer had sought his client's release prior to trial, arguing that investigators with U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have not linked Buie to the crime with forensic evidence or video surveillance.
NEWS
December 12, 2014
ISSUE | CIA TACTICS In our name, shame The much-awaited report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA's use of torture reveals behaviors and policies even worse than what has previously been known only in part ("CIA accused of brutality, dishonesty," Dec. 10). The torture performed by CIA agents or their contractors was ineffective, just as U.S. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) has made clear. The acts committed were bestial and inhuman, and they were illegal under federal law and the Geneva Conventions.
NEWS
December 12, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The Senate Intelligence Committee's "Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program" has, for good reason, become better known as the torture report. Its first casualty should be the Orwellian doublespeak that afflicts even the title of a report whose subject is quite plainly not interrogation, but torture. Torture, of course, is what the Spanish Inquisition and Vlad the Impaler did. It's not, we all agree, what Americans do. As President George W. Bush famously said, "This government does not torture people.
NEWS
September 10, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
CONSIDER THIS a master's-level acting class in how to get cut from a campaign commercial. Alan Benyak, a lawyer and former judicial candidate, appears in a TV ad for Democrat Tom Wolf's campaign for governor. But that's not his most famous on-screen role anymore. Buzzfeed.com reported yesterday that Benyak also starred as Mr. Cannibal in "Breeding Farm," described by the website as a "twisted porn film. " And that means Benyak is falling on Wolf's cutting-room floor. "We were unaware of Mr. Benyak's involvement in the film, and we are making changes to the ad now," Wolf spokesman Mark Nicastre emailed yesterday in response to a question about the Buzzfeed story.
NEWS
September 10, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Memo to candidates for governor: It's not a good idea to hire an actor for your TV commercial who once played "Mr. Cannibal" in a torture flick. Democrat Tom Wolf's campaign learned that lesson Monday as the website BuzzFeed reported the other role of lawyer and actor Alan Benyak - and Republicans blasted what they called an offensive error in judgment. "We were unaware of Mr. Benyak's involvement in the film," Wolf spokesman Mark Nicastre said Monday night. He said the campaign was sending a substitute ad - with Benyak edited out - to TV stations.
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.
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