July 23, 1997 |
Keith Klacks told the judge that he's really not "a bad person" and would never intentionally harm a young child. But Assistant District Attorney Richard Sax said actions speak louder than words. He called Klacks, 26, a malicious child- killer. Sax said Klacks, also known as Voncha Williams, "tortured" the 15-month-old daughter of his girlfriend while baby-sitting on Oct. 3, 1995. The prosecutor said Klacks beat little Diamond Brunson, then burned her with a marijuana cigar before tossing her into a bathtub and turning on the hot water.
May 18, 2009
PRESSURE for truth about torture is bubbling up from too many respected places for the discussion to die. Maybe this ugly chapter never had to be opened if U.S.- born and -trained Arab translators had been put into position when they might have done some good. Choked with a shortfall of Arab translators for years, the FBI's plea for help was ignored. Translation of thousands of hours of tape recording and documents gathered through electronic surveillance could have revealed the truth.
January 10, 2007 |
ON DEC. 11, I witnessed a nun being tortured. In front of me, Ursuline Sister Dianna Ortiz recounted how, as a missionary teaching Mayan children in Guatemala, she was abducted by government security forces, gang-raped, burned with cigarettes at least 111 times, lowered into a pit with dead and dying bodies and forced to stab another prisoner. This all happened in November 1989, but last month, as Ortiz broke down, composed herself, then broke down again, she was being tortured once more.
October 5, 2007
Torture is back. In fact, it never left the building. Often repudiated publicly by President Bush and his minions, the harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists apparently remains well in fashion in the Bush administration. As revealed yesterday by the New York Times, it turns out that a 2004 directive from the Justice Department banning torture as "abhorrent" was reversed only a few months later. Then-newly appointed Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales - now gone, thankfully - approved a legal opinion that government officials described to the Times as "an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
May 5, 2011 |
LISTENING TO some conservative pundits and pols this week, you could almost be forgiven for mistakenly thinking that Osama bin Laden wasn't taken down by a crack team of Navy SEALs but rather by Jack Bauer, the fictional terrorist-slapping star of TV's "24. " Indeed, the great debate over what advocates call "enhanced interrogation" - and the rest of the civilized world calls "torture" - roared back into the national conversation with bin Laden's...
May 15, 2011
Bruce Ledewitz is professor of law at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh and the author of Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism, which will be published May 30 Since the death of Osama bin Laden, John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the infamous memo justifying torture when he was deputy assistant attorney general in 2002, has been saying that crucial intelligence was...
June 18, 2004 |
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday defeated a Democratic-sponsored effort to subpoena documents on torture and interrogation practices from the Justice Department. The 10-9 vote reflected the mounting partisan rancor over the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and whether U.S. officials condoned harsh interrogation practices on prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vote came a day after the Senate unanimously voted, without debate, to add a provision to a defense spending bill that the United States should abide by anti-torture laws and international treaties.
June 10, 2004 |
A March 2003 Pentagon report arguing that the United States is not bound by laws and treaties against torture has caused a rift between Bush administration officials seeking maximum leeway to question prisoners and military lawyers who fear reprisals against U.S. troops. The 52-page classified memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, offered a sweeping assertion of executive power, declaring that Congress and the federal courts had no authority to limit the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects captured in war if the President approved the actions.
January 7, 2005 |
Attorney general-nominee Alberto R. Gonzales repudiated the use of torture as an interrogation tactic yesterday, but several senators chastised him for helping to permit the harsh treatment of detainees in the war on terrorism. Gonzales also asserted that a president has the authority to sidestep laws and treaties and authorize torture in the future, though he downplayed that possibility as "hypothetical. " During a daylong hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that was contentious but polite, Gonzales calmly defended his role as President Bush's White House counsel and adviser.
June 30, 2011 |
A convicted killer today escaped death row after a Philadelphia jury failed to come to a unanimous decision on whether he should receive the death penalty. Daryl Thurston, 36, of Northeast Philadelphia, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison. Thurston was convicted of first-degree murder earlier this month. His victim, Juan Rosa, 32, of Feltonville, was found dead in Trenton. Before Rosa was shot four times in the skull and once in the chest, he was stripped naked, tortured, then wrapped in plastic.