June 9, 2004 |
Editor's note: This piece appeared originally in an early Sunday edition of The Inquirer but was replaced for most readers by commentary pieces on the death of Ronald Reagan. The use of coercion and torture to extract information of military value is perhaps as old as warfare itself. Torturers have ranged from highly organized groups of recognized barbarity, such as the Gestapo, to individual soldiers too young and frightened to realize the implications of their actions amid the carnage of war. A number of ethical and practical questions surround the modern use of torture.
November 21, 2005 |
CONSERVATIVES talk about the war on terror being a new kind of fight that demands new tactics. They say it's nothing like any war we've ever fought, and the terrorists are more vicious than any previous enemy. Really? How about the Nazis? They seemed pretty vicious - and we never felt the need to torture them. We won a couple of world wars without ever having to torture anyone. In fact, we treated the German soldiers so well when the war was over some of them wanted to stay.
August 23, 1991 |
The Germantown man hated his girlfriend's 8-month-old son because the boy wasn't his, the prosecutor said. But, Assistant District Attorney Hugh Colihan said, the child's mother permitted her boyfriend, Will Whitehead, 19, to beat and torture the child in order to prove her love for him. The child died after the last of a long series of beatings on July 25, Colihan said. During a bail hearing yesterday for the child's mother, Tovarria Guess, 19, of Master Street near 62nd, Colihan told Municipal Judge J. Earl Simmons that the woman sacrificed her child's life for Whitehead's love.
December 6, 2005 |
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), recently proposed an amendment to a defense-appropriations bill in an attempt to plug loopholes in already existing anti-torture laws. The amendment, which President Bush opposes, is a good idea for America - but not necessarily for the reasons cited by most critics of the administration. Contrary to popular belief, throughout history torture has brought results - either to gain critical, sometimes lifesaving intelligence or, more gratuitously, to obtain embarrassing confessions from terrified captives.
December 12, 2006 |
THERE'S A RANCID odor escaping from the cracks in the Jose Padilla case. Padilla is the American citizen arrested in Chicago and declared by President Bush to be an "enemy combatant. " He was then kept for nearly two years in a South Carolina brig without access to a lawyer, family or friends. The courts finally forced the Bush administration to release Padilla into the justice system, and he is now imprisoned in Miami awaiting trial on charges that have nothing to do with what he was arrested for, an alleged plot to use a dirty bomb in the United States.
December 8, 2005
THE EAGLES' performance wasn't the only disgrace on South Broad. The parking lot was like a roach motel - fans check in but they can't check out. The Broad Street entrance was wide open before the game, several lanes of traffic flowing in while attendants collected our cash. After the game, when the money no longer flowed, traffic was funneled into a bottleneck that allowed only one car at a time to escape the crush of disgruntled fans fleeing the 42-0 debacle. Patrick M. Foley Blue Bell
December 14, 2005
Bruce Ackerman is Sterling professor of law and political science at Yale America is reaching a turning point on torture. Congress will soon consider two amendments that threaten a descent into hypocrisy. Both have been tacked onto the defense authorization bill. A provision by Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) is an unconditional bar on torture - a prospect President Bush finds so damaging he is threatening to veto the entire bill. But he won't have to, thanks to a recent amendment by Sen. Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.)
March 20, 2009
As president, George W. Bush said U.S. antiterror interrogators were using "an alternative set of procedures" that to this day former Vice President Dick Cheney contends were "absolutely essential" to stopping another 9/11-style attack. But the International Committee of the Red Cross says the CIA's treatment of key terror suspects held at secret agency prisons abroad amounted to torture. If those tactics actually kept the nation safe - and there's no way to know that without a closer look at the Bush antiterror track record - then it came at a terrible price for American prestige and standing in the world community.
January 3, 1987 |
Azam Riahi's eyes are expressionless - as though blotting out the horror of what she has seen in Iranian prisons - and there are blank spots in her memory. On the soles of her feet are oblong skin grafts, resembling the cross- stitched patches one might find on a quilt. The grafted skin was taken from her upper legs. On her abdomen are surgical scars from the removal of an ovary and her appendix, made necessary by severe trauma. One eardrum is burst from blows to her head, and a wrist is permanently locked.
April 29, 2000 |
One of the supects in the torture and shooting of two teen-agers in Pennypack Park on Thursday is now under arrest. Late yesterday afternoon Michael Mullins, 28, walked into Police Headquarters at 8th and Race streets with his mother and turned himself in to homicide detectives. Mullins, of 10th Street near Berks, was charged with the slaying of Maurice Edwards, 17, and the attempted killing of Jermaine Crews, 14. A second suspect, Alonzo Hill, 25, is still on the loose.