82 thoughts on “Senate Report on Torture

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  • Daniel

    Murder In Samarkand is the greatest book I’ve ever read. I’m not being paid to say that. It explains why I am here and why Straw ought to be behind bars.

  • BrianFujisan

    Cause for a wee celebratory Dram, After the meeting.

    and ffs Mind the Winds 80 odd mph forecast.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Vindication indeed, Craig, and you have certainly earned the right to be pleased.

    But no vindication of those who predicted most confidently on this blog that the report would never be published/be sabotaged/ be so heavily redacted as to become meaningless, etc, etc, etc zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz !

    Humble pie eating time, I’d say (you know who you are! 🙂 )

  • Ed L

    Congratulations. Cold revenge but perhaps only an aperitif if Straw and Blair are held to account.

  • jives

    I’m watching this very closely indeed-as are many others.

    We also need to know more about the Zerzetsen/gangstalking/MK-Ultra that many innocent people have been suffering for years-and definitely not just in the US.

    Unbelievably brutal.

    Who is authorising and running these barbaric and highly illegal programmes?

    The general incompetence of it all is staggering too.

  • mike

    At least the BBC eventually got round to including the word ‘torture’ in today’s updated version of the story. Their original version, put out this morning, described the practice as “harsh interrogation”.

    What’s that – raised voices?

    Remember, folks, it’s all about defending our values. Maybe that’s truer than we know. Maybe torture, destroying other nations, and murdering 478 children are representative of our values.

    I see the child-killers are to hold another election soon. Hurrah for democracy!

  • Phil

    “Murder In Samarkand is the greatest book I’ve ever read.”

    Come on, is this Mrs Murray?

  • Phil

    Google tells me Larbert is in the Falkirk constituency. Falkirk will surely be an SNP shoe in after the Joyce/Labour/Unite fiascos?

    I am surprised there is no “hardworking local candidate” in Falkirk though. Strange that. Are the locals just not hardworking enough? Not officer/ambassador class? Vauntie Murray to the rescue!

  • Herbie

    It would be great to see Blair and Straw and the rest held to account for their actions.

    Can only happen if they’re scape-goated of course, but no less sweet for that.

  • lysias

    Sen. Feinstein writing on p. 4 of the report: “. While the Office of Legal Counsel found otherwise between 2002 and 2007, it is my personal conclusion that, under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured.” (Emphasis added.) Can everybody now please stop the pussyfooting with euphemisms and call it what it is/was, torture?

  • nevermind

    Jack Straw involved in boiling bodies in Uzbekistan? never…. He’s standing down to become a proper trougher for some companies, no doubt, after all, surviving 0ver 34 years in office by playing off ethnic minorities against each other, including the British minority in Blackburn with Darwen, he has all the knowledge of a fiend with ‘guile and cunning’.

    But then Barbara castle was no Labour either, a prissy soandso who played being labour once she got out of her Rolls Royce and took the baubles off.

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    Cue Senatorial poutrage. ‘They lied to us” Now for the tale of the scorpion and the tortoise.

  • Mary

    Not a dicky bird in the BBC headline on the US page about torture. They were ‘brutal interrogations’.

    CIA lied over ‘brutal’ interrogations
    Inside Guantanamo Bay detention centre, 2 October 2007
    Armed police officer guards US embassy in London – 9 December
    The CIA lied about the extent of “brutal” interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects in the years after 9/11, a long-awaited Senate report says.

  • Mary

    E-mail to Snow Ch 4 ‘News’.

    Snowmail: US torture “Just how bad was it?”…short email to Six Pilgers…
    Posted by Ed on December 9, 2014, 7:54 pm

    Mr Snow,
    In tonight’s Snowmail(1), in reference to the US Senate committee’s report on CIA torture, you say:

    “Just how bad was it?”


    “These claims come as President Obama seeks to consign such behaviour to the past.”

    What proof do you have of this? Obama also promised to consign Guantanamo to the past too. Did he?

    As for your “just how bad was it?” exclamation, well that comment strikes me as pretty hollow. One of the main culprits in US torture was Rumsfeld to whom you dedicated a very affectionate and lengthy segment on the ocassion of his retirement back in 2006. Channel 4 News, via Jonathan Rugman, portrayed him as “the old warhorse” with a “great sense of humour”, at the very same time that anyone paying attention knew he was up to his neck in torture but was being protected by bureaucracy, the Bush administration and later Obama…you too, of course.

    When informed of this, you admitted in an email that Rumsfeld’s “war crimes” were significant and that Channel 4 News would cover them. You never did.

    Over the past couple of years I have lost count of the number of Snowmails and reports you have presented about “torture” by the “Assad regime” in Syria. One in particular stood out where you were apoplectic with rage about what you called “a torture hospital” in Homs. You stated as fact that Jonathan Miller’s film(2) provided “proof positive” of your allegations only for Miller to admit half way through, that none of the images could be “independently verified”. So much for your “proof positive”, yet it was enough for you to condemn Assad without any qualification whatsoever.

    The case against Rumsfeld and his fellow torturers, in the last decade and now, is far more compelling than anything you ever had against Assad but you chose to go with the easy, US/uk power friendly, acceptable option.

    On a final note, your comment about Obama consigning “such behaviour to the past” just might actually be true, but not in the benign sense that you are touting.

    Let’s allow Noam Chomsky the last word here:

    “If Bush, the Bush administration, didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers…If the Obama administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them, so you don’t have to have torture chambers all over.” (3)

    Ed Murray.

    US torture: dirty history or the ugly present?
    And we have an exclusive – and timely – report from our Africa Correspondent Jamal Osman on allegations that the CIA has been working closely with Somali forces in the interrogation and torture of suspected al-Shabaab members – the Islamist militant group with links to al-Qaeda. We hear from former prisoners who claim to have been beaten while American security agents were in the room. These claims come as President Obama seeks to consign such behaviour to the past.

    (2)Exclusive: Syrian doctors ‘torturing’ patients

    (3)Chomsky: Bush kidnapped & tortured, Obama murders


  • lysias

    Dept. of Justice draft memo in Dec. 2001 appealed to Israeli practice in arguing that torture could be defended:

    November 26, 2001, Draft of Legal Appendix,”Hostile Interrogations: Legal Considerations for CIA Officers.”
    The draft memo cited the “Israeli example” as a possible basis for arguing that “torture was necessary to prevent
    imminent, significant, physical hann to persons, where there is no other available means to prevent the harm.”

    Footnote 51 on p. 19.

    And note that that memo actually called it “torture”.

  • Aidworker1

    I came to this blog through your book.

    What you wrote is so so important and I agree this shocking report has vindicated you.

    Human dignity is what we must fight for. Kant your words still ring true.

  • Herbie

    Looks like the Torture report blames the CIA. US media are following this line.

    That’s curious. I seem to remember that politicians and legal bigwigs were involved in giving the go ahead.

    Cheney, Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales are just three names which come to mind.

    Cheney and Rumsfeld argued that torture was necessary, and people like Gonzales provided legal cover.







  • Mary

    Christopher Hope reports from Ankara, where the Prime Minister is currently for talks with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president:

    Mr Cameron was asked if he was confident that UK intelligence had not acted on informaton obtained by torture.

    He said: “Let us be clear – torture is wrong, torture is always wrong.

    “For those of us who want to see a safer more secure world who want to see this extremism defeated, we won’t succeed if we lose our moral authority.

    “If we lose the things that make our systems work and our countries successful. So we should we be very clear about that.”

    Mr Cameron continued: “Now obviously after 9/11 there were things that happened that were wrong and we should be clear about the fact that they were wrong.

    “In Britain we have had the Gibson inquiry and that inquiry has now produced a series of questions that the Intelligence and Security Committee will look at but I am satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

    * (Laughing very loudly)


    Cameron is in Ankara with Erdogan.

  • Brendan

    Problem with the report is that nothing will happen. All very well having a report, but who will resign, get fired, or be arrested? We’ll see of course. I suspect the answer will be: absolutely nobody. The whistleblowers, of course, have paid their price, as usual.

    Haven’t read the report, and I’m not complaining that there is one. But, you know, laws and stuff.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Haven’t read the report, and I’m not complaining that there is one.”

    Well, of course you’re not complaining there’s a report – how could you? That would be too daft even for someone of your persuasion.

    But, with the previous gripe (“oh, there’ll never be a report, it’ll all get hushed up”) out of the way, you’re immediately off on the next tack – ie, “problem with the report is that nothing will happen”.

  • Ishmael

    Holy Shit, they lied. The bastards. No where else for this to go. During this month Russia will move its most advanced weaponry and combat soldiers, special forces and technicians,to its eastern border. This contingency is designed for full combat against any unit crossing the Russian Border. While there may be a slight bit of luck for the invaders, Russian military forces will remove them.

    I can disclose this in the event the Americans know the plan is compromised.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    The usual selective quoting and referencing* from our friend Mary:

    “Not a dicky bird in the BBC headline on the US page about torture. They were ‘brutal interrogations’”


    Lots of use of the word “torture” on BBC TV and radio for UK audiences, Mary. Haven’t you been paying attention?

    * Mr Scorgie please note.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “During this month Russia will move its most advanced weaponry and combat soldiers, special forces and technicians,to its eastern border.”

    To its “eastern border”, Ismael?

    Is there a threat to Vladivostock?

  • Ishmael

    There is a threat coming from a possible proxy, the backer we are trying to establish now.

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