USA

Make Love, Not Terror: CIA using Viagra to win over Afghan tribal leaders

Make Love, Not Terror! WaPo reports the CIA is winning over support from local leaders in Afghanistan by offering them free Viagra:

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

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Cheney: "Yeah, I illegally ordered torture. I AM ABOVE THE LAW!" (paraphrasing a little)

Torture is AWESOME! Just ignore those crazy WW2 vets. They only had to contend with Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire. These guys have BOX KNIVES! They live in CAVES! They're way more hardcore.

Dick Cheney admits on camera to ordering the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody on multiple occasions - in violation of international law, national law, and the U.S. constitution. According to United States Federal law, each instance is a felony offense punishable by decades in prison.

Dick Cheney just stated on national TV - boldly, unapologetically, directly to our faces - that the Vice President is above the law.

Holy shit.

"But where says some is the king of America? I'll tell you friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the royal brute of Britain. ... so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king."

- Thomas Paine

... so much for that. The rule of law in America is dead.

Torturing children

Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, has been illegally held by the U.S. government at a prison in Guantanamo Bay for six years. He was captured by American forces at the age of 15 following a four-hour firefight with militants in the village of Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan. Omar stands accused of war crimes - specifically, throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier. The evidence against him is the fact that he was present at the firefight. However, no evidence exists that he threw the grenade. In fact, the military's original report concluded that another person had thrown the grenade shortly before being killed.

Omar says that he is innocent, and claims that he has been tortured by government officials. After a long legal battle, his defense lawyers have finally secured the release of video of an interrogation in 2003, taken by a camera hidden in a vent:

In a video released Tuesday, a 16-year-old captured in Afghanistan cries out for his mother and says he needs treatment for his battle wounds during questioning by Canadian officials at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay. "Oh Mommy," he cries in despair in Arabic when he is alone in the room, watched only by hidden cameras.

The 10 minutes of video -- selected by Omar Khadr's Canadian lawyers from more than seven hours of footage recorded by a camera hidden in a vent -- provides the first glimpse of interrogations at the U.S. military prison. It shows Khadr weeping, his face buried in his hands, as he is questioned by Canadian intelligence agents over four days in 2003. The lawyers hope to pressure Canada into seeking Khadr's return, but the government said its position was unchanged.

"I've been tortured. I'm a human being. I have not violated any law," Afghan prisoner Mohammed Jawad said in his first hearing on charges of attempted murder and causing great bodily injury.

"I've been brought here illegally . I am innocent. It's an injustice to me," he said through a Pashto translator.

Meanwhile, John Yoo - the man who authored legal opinions for the Bush Administration arguing that the executive has the right to torture children, regardless of any laws or treaties outlawing torture - is teaching International Civil Litigation at the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. In case you have any questions or comments for Professor Yoo, you can contact him by e-mail: yoo@law.berkeley.edu, yooj@law.berkeley.edu, jyoo@law.berkeley.edu (I'm not sure which is current - for some reason, the address keeps getting changed...)

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