Torture:Justice :: Are We There Yet? new weekly Action series

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

UPDATE: now up at the orange.…

Are we there yet? No, of course not. Don’t be ridiculous. In fact, it’s gonna be a long haul. So. What can we do? What can we get going … ya know, now-ish…?

Well. We begin here, and other inner circles. We read, learn, watch, listen. And talk with one another. And we do that with the same respect and care that we like to believe is at the core of the values that we hold so dear, that have been so brutally violated and betrayed. We start with each other. Then, ripple out.


I’m creating this place, this series, to be something of a landing zone for us, any of us in the progressive community who feel the grief, who wish to contribute in some way to this growing call for justice, and/or who want to stay tuned in to any ACTION activities that emerge around this cause. I will publish every week, on Thursday’s. I invite you to join me around the bend.

This Diary Series will have mostly “Pick Of The Week” features which I encourage you to critique or embellish in the comments. You can also email me directly… and please do, I’d like you to contribute to this Diary Series in the coming weeks…. I welcome your participation.

When I started reading intently the Torture Diaries and articles and news items, I gained a new appreciation for my own basic concept of “safe”.  Especially as a latecomer to the topic.  There are so many, the so-called “detainees”, prisoners, many of them more accurately called “victims”.  The names are a jumble. I can’t pronounce half of them, much less remember them.  

It’s hard to keep up…  I’m much better with names of our intrepid bloggers… Valtin, PDNC, Meteor Blades, Buhdydharma, Something The Dog Said, and Front Pager mcjoan, to name a few headliners. And there’s lots of names which I tend to forget, of the many faithful commenters here.

This stuff is massive…! Sometimes I feel quite overwhelmed  by both the sheer volume of info and, of course, the horror of the crimes that have been committed in my name. I just have to have somewhere to touch down. This be it.


First,  check out the recent Sunday Torture News Round Up Series, in case you missed them.

#2 PDNC (Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse)

Torture News Roundup: A Woman Tortured? 03.29.09

#1 Valtin

Introducing DKos Sunday Weekly Torture “Round-up” 03.22.09


Quote of the Week

If men can run the world, why can’t they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?

~Linda Ellerbee


By The Numbers

hat/tip BillinPortlandMaine for this concept (sorry, no rapture meter here heh)

# Days since Executive Order signed to close Gitmo: 70

# Released since Obama’s Executive Order:  2

Ayman Batarfi, 38, …Amnesty International described Batarfi as a humanitarian worker, an orthopedic surgeon who was swept up as an innocent Arab trying to flee the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. His lawyers said he was volunteering at a clinic in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan in late 2001 when Northern Alliance forces overran the city.  

He is the second detainee whose release was ordered during the Obama administration.

Ethiopian-born, British resident Binyam Mohammed was sent home a month into the Obama administration, after protracted negotiations between the British and American governments.

NOTE: I fully support Obama’s efforts and appreciate that he must be up against tremendous obstacles with this, so, understand this is not a “criticism”… just keepin’ tabs.  I will update weekly, of course.

Some Guantánamo numbers, as per Andy Worthington’s comprehensive list and documentation.

# Total number imprisoned:   779

# Suicide (Hunger Strike) Deaths:  4

# Released since June 2007:    143

# Total still in Gitmo now is about 245

# Convicted…  1 Jose Padilla,  see Washington Post, August 2007,article and Padilla sentenced on Jan 22 2008

NOTE: Although frequently referred to in news link quotes and blog.o.conversation as “detainees”, I’ll refer to them here as prisoners.


Community Comments

From myself in a diary’s comment zone on March 7, 2009

Snitched from… …this diary… by NightProwlKitty

ugh I hear you… comment link…

(JGinMD had said:)

“I’ve become nauseated when I see torture on old TV shows where the torturers are the bad guys.  

I’ve cried like a baby.

I replied:

“Im thinking lately of people I know, friends, who are genuinely concerned about outrages in Darfur, in Burma, in Tibet, in Congo and Zimbabwe… and, or… people who cry out and donate to the SPCA (etc)even because they feel like animals are not CAPABLE of speaking for themselves. These are righteous causes and their hearts hurting over it is totally legit. Mine does too.

Never did I think I would know and feel like this… over MY country, my leadership, my people, being the perps of something as horrid and unspeakable as all this.

This …belongs to us. Its a foreign, unfamiliar, and horrible deep hurt.


Torture Diary Rescues  (from the past week)

teacherken, a long time kossack and much respected Educator & blogger, has an excellent discussion on an editorial published in the Boston Globe… which supposedly supports the Leahy Truth Commission.

Exorcising the torture demon

by teacherken

Sat Mar 28, 2009

It offers a series of questions that, unfortunately to my mind, seem to want to reduce the examination to questions of whether the interrogation methods wasted time and resources, and then offers this unfortunate concluding paragraph:

The purpose of an inquiry should not be to criminally indict CIA officers or mid-level government officials; they were acting under authority granted them by a commander in chief. The purpose should be to demonstrate that American democracy is capable of correcting its worst errors.

Here I find myself objecting strongly.


IACHR Hears Complaints Against U.S. for Torture

by David Swanson

Wed Mar 25, 2009

Leading human rights organizations in the United States on March 20th presented charges of human rights abuse and torture against the U.S. government to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which can recommend actions, including prosecutions, to the U.S. government, other nations’ governments, or the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


Just as some suspected – torture produced false leads

by Dr Envirocrat

Sun Mar 29, 2009

Discusses the WaPo article… “This is not shocking, but it is confirmation of what all of the experts on torture have said all along: torture doesn’t work.”


Growing Blowback for Bush Torture Team

by Avenging Angel

Sun Mar 29, 2009

Covers important weekend news items and talks about how things are heating up for the Obama White House on issues around Torture as a result.


Conversation on Torture Trials that Changed My Mind

by Muskegon Critic

Sun Mar 22, 2009

A mildly humorous approach…


Website of the Week

The Center for Constitutional Rights

From the site’s own blurb:

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

Valtin has this to say about the CCR:

“They  have been instrumental in organizing legal representation for the Guantanamo inmates, and in fighting against the legal underpinnings of torture and attacks against our civil liberties and legal rights. They also recently came out against the use of abusive interrogation techniques in the Army Field Manual. They are currently one the foremost legal advocacy group in the U.S. supporting the call for prosecutions of Bush administration officials.”


Resource Spotlight

(FireDogLake)  emptywheels’ timeline is an excellent “at a glance” reference.

Torture Tape Timeline

Starts at

January 20, 2002: Bybee to Abu Gonzales memo specifying that common article 3 of the Geneva Convention does not apply to “an armed conflict between a nation-state and a transnational terrorist organization.”

And goes up to

January 15, 2008: John Rizzo, acting General Counsel for the CIA, testifies before HPSCI. Jose Rodriguez refuses to testify without immunity.


Media Pick of the Week

Rachel Maddow March 20, 2009 with Guest Ron Suskind

“Bush officials should expect Spanish inquisition” is the clip’s title. It’s a respectable 11:41 clip and she covers all the bases of the current newsbites.

Beautifully done, thanks, Rachel!…


BONUS Tube Movie Clip

The Siege – Agent Hubbard’s Speech

Monologue by the character of Anthony Hubbard (played by Denzel Washington) from the movie ‘The Siege’, released in theaters on November 6, 1998. Yes, I said 1998. Chilling.

Hat/tip to Colorado Is The Shiznet who showed me this (hers was better/longer  actually) in a comment-ersation  maybe 6 weeks ago. It was right when I was about to flip. This pushed me over the edge. Before 1/21/09, this wasn’t much of an issue with me. Now it’s almost my only issue.

Imdb plot summary:

After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard, (Denzel Washington) the head of the FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft (Annette bening) to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by Gen. Devereaux, (Bruce Willis) into the streets of New York City.…



*Participate  and contribute in this diary:

email to me at ladylibertine22 {at} yahoo {dot} com

Send me your picks for the various Spotlights, Community Comments

Send me suggestions of Quotes, Websites, Rescues, Top Comments, and Action Alerts any time!!

Contribute a personal POV essay or Special Comment for publication in this diary

Offer to Guest Host the diary (write the essay part, tell us your story)

Use this landing zone for your voice to yell louder!

* Sign the DD Petition…

*ACTION Alerts, urgent

None currently, just YELL LOUDER, see and

*ACTION any time choices, suggestions

Sign Petitions, write letters to politicians and media…

Follow The Dog’s Monday’s Letter Campaign Diary Series

Weekly Torture Action Letter: If We Don’t Do It, Others Will

by Something the Dog Said  Mon Mar 30, 2009

Join the Facebook Group

FB group members 3,163 as of 3/31/09 9am

Appoint a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Bush Administration War Crimes


Thanks for visiting LL’s brain. See you in the comment.o.sphere!

Please put your seatbacks and tabletops in their upright position and have a safe flight.


and now for some music…

Joan Baez – Tears Of Rage (1968; written by Bob Dylan)

Tears of rage, tears of grief,

Must I always be the thief?

Come to me now, you know

We’re so low

And life is brief.…


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  1. Photobucket

  2. I had some trouble with the code for a few links, but I think it’s okay for now.

    Sure is long. Maybe I should cut some things.

  3. one number you might want to add to your numbers section is that only 24 out of over 800 prisoners at Guantanamo are actually suspected terrorists or national security threat to US. Bush knew, yet tortured anyhow.

    As for a link for the 24 number, there is link in this OND i did 2 weeks ago.

    LC wrote a FP story i think the next day, called iirc “24”

    • Valtin on April 1, 2009 at 23:31

    Full of great information and an overall passion for the subject. I found out things I hadn’t known (like the number of Gitmo releasees under OB, which is two, and I’d thought just one). Also I love the diary rescue for the torture diaries, which I know the diarists must work hard over, and put a lot of their souls into.

    Wonderful job, LL. I look forward to seeing more, and wish you great success with this at DK!


    can you use the word “prisoner” instead of “detainee”? bush created the word “detainee” precisely because it does not have a recognized legal status, like prisoner, but prisoner also comes with constitutional and statutory rights, which bush wanted to avoid.

    But, they are not detained, which is a temporary event, they are imprisoned in a prison, most for over 6 years.

    just a thought. 🙂

    i think you’ve done a terrific job, and like the torture diary rescue, numbers etc. great selection of different parts of the whole story.


  5. Nice setup — good information!

    Kudos for this and future efforts.

  6. Have you heard that there’s a Spanish court working on indicting Bush for these and other war crimes?

  7. damn I missed it, Ill catch the  dot com clip tomorrow. Guest = Colin Powell.

  8. into what you consider your territory.  I often write on human rights issues.  I have blogged at the Fellowship for Reconciliation, for example.  And I am a Quaker, so I am very concerned with such issues.

    Thanks for focusing on that diary.


  9. Im working on editing and updating the diary now, but meanwhile, heres this, from her spot last night.

    Aiming to launch THIS at the orange around 11am EASTERN.

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