Tag: Torture

The U.S.’s Nazi Imports »

A Florida appeals panel recently upheld an order to deport General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova. A former defense minister of El Salvador, Casanova is accused of gross human rights violations, including the 1980 murder of three nuns and a missionary. He was granted entry into the United States in 1989. Now, a unit of the U.S. Immigration…
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50 Shades of Predatory Abuse: The Role of Civil Society »

The movie adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey by author E.L. James swept its opening weekend competition and has generated blockbuster revenues of over $133 million, making it the top grossing movie of 2015. Controversy has come with it, as would be expected from any movie breaking through traditional cultural taboos. Combine that with…
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The 100th Anniversary of the Christmas Truce »

This Christmas marks the 100th anniversary of the spontaneous “Christmas Truce” created by trench-warfare soldiers of World War I. All along the European front, soldiers lay down their arms on Christmas day, and took the chance that those on the other side would join them in observing their common holy day: A German soldier,…
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The Long Road Back from Torture »

If it’s true that the first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem, then last week’s release of the report detailing the CIA’s torturing of prisoners can at least hopefully provide the impetus for Americans to disavow such methods and begin to rein in the out-of-control security state that has grown especially…
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Terror and Torture in the Name of “National Security” »

The Senate Committee on Intelligence has finally released its study on the CIA’s “Enhanced Interrogation Program” (what may be called “torture techniques” by some) after a delay of more than a year. The report is some 525 pages. (You can access the entire report here.) The findings of the report are appalling. Here are…
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Tolstoy’s Remarkable Manifesto on Christian Anarchy and Pacifism »

I’ve just finished reading Leo Tolstoy’s remarkable book The Kingdom of God Is Within You. This was written in Russian and completed in 1893, but the Russian censors forbade its publication. It circulated in unpublished form in Russia, however, and was soon translated into other languages and published abroad. It had substantial influence on…
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Remembering Nelson Mandela »

At our Gala for Liberty honoring him, Archbishop Desmond Tutu offered his memories of working with Nelson Mandela in transitioning South Africa from the violent, divided rule of apartheid, by way of the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission that could grant amnesty to perpetrators (subject to forgiveness by the victims or their families)—a stirring…
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Closing Gitmo Isn’t Nearly Enough »

Once again we hear calls to close Guantánamo’s prison camp. Every once in a while, Americans see reminders of this detention facility in the news cycle. Months ago, we heard about the hunger strike, yet it was scarcely in the national headlines early in Obama’s presidency, when I first read about it, and today…
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America’s Prisons: The Worst National Disgrace »

The U.S. correctional system is the worst of America’s domestic disgraces. More people languish behind bars in the United States than in any other country, except perhaps China if we factor in the unknown numbers in labor camps. As the Economist summed it up: America has around 5% of the world’s population, and 25% of…
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Guantanamo: America’s Great Shame »

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration crafted a legal theory and detention policy to handle accused terrorists. Nowhere was the policy more conspicuously problematic than at Guantánamo, where a total of 779 detainees were held and where today 166 remain after over ten years. The Bush administration referred to these…
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