Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Torture in the News

Lead Story

U.S. Scares Europeans (& young Americans)

For the 12th time in a year, a significant percentage of polled Europeans see the U.S. as the single biggest threat to world stability.
The latest survey, conducted last month by Harris Research for London Financial Times, revealed that 32% of respondents in Spain, England, Germany, France, and Italy believe that the U.S. is more dangerous than China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Russia. Spain led the pack with 46% giving the U.S. the number one spot.
An idential poll conducted in the States revealed that 35% of American youth in the 16 to 24 age range agree.
Reasons for the high rating included the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture and denial of due process for detainees in U.S. custody. This comes in the wake of revelations that the CIA tried to silence European Union objections to "extraordinary renditions" taking place from European airports and in European airspace.

Other News

  • A military judge (no less) drops charges against Omar Khadr, held prisoner at Gitmo since he was 15 years old. A pissed-off Pentagon requests a review of the decision.
  • Trinidad journalist Basil Ince offers a good reflection on Gitmo as the "Achilles heel" of U.S. foreign policy.
  • Nat Hentoff on President Bush, U.S. generals, an ex-CIA director, and torture.
  • The ACLU urges Congress to create an "independent and bipartisan" commission to investigate torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody.
  • UK Telegraph's Tim Shipman reports that even supporters of Vice President Cheney admit he's become the world's "comic book villain" because of his torture policies and contempt for process. An unrepentant Cheney couldn't care less.
  • Tortured Sri Lankan youth tries to kill himself--take note, everyone who believes that torture stops at the torture chamber.
  • Chen Guangcheng, blind Chinese pro-life activist, may be close to death after imprisonment and torture.
  • Ghanian columnist Prize F. W. McApreko asks "Who cares about torture, ill-treatment, and degrading punishment?"
  • And UK Guardian commentator Peter Thatchell wonders why the European Union plans to roll out the red carpet at an upcoming summit for Zimbabwe's head torturer Robert Mugabe.