Archive | Human Rights

The New Immoral Age: How Technology Offers New Ways of Killing People and of Destroying the World


“It turns out … that I’m really good at killing people.” President Barack Obama (1961- ), (as reported in Reed Peeples, ‘A President and his Drones’, June 29, 2016, —a review of the book ‘Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone’, S. Shane, 2015)

We hold that what one man cannot morally do, a million men cannot morally do, and government, representing many millions of men, cannot do.

—Governments are only machines, created by the individuals of a nation for their own convenience; they are only delegated bodies, delegated by the individuals, and therefore they cannot possibly have larger moral rights of using force, or, indeed, larger moral rights of any kind, than the individuals who delegated them.

—We may reasonably believe that an individual, as a self-owner, is morally justified in defending the rights he possesses in himself and in his own property—by force, if necessary, against force (and fraud), but he cannot be justified in using force for any other purpose whatsoever. Auberon Herbert (1838-1906), British writer

“Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right.” Hannah More (1745-1833) English writer and philanthropist

A belligerent state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist and philosopher

Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay

We not only live in the computer and digital age, we also live in a profoundly immoral age, in which the use of violence against people has become easily justifiable, nearly routinely, either for religious, military or security reasons.

Let us recall that the Twentieth Century was the most politically murderous period ever in history. It is estimated that political decisions, mostly made by psychopaths in various governments, resulted in the death of some 262 million people—a democide or political mass murder, according to scholarly works by political scientist Rudolph J. Rummel. It remains to be seen if the Twenty-first Century will regress from this barbarism or exceed it. So far, things do not look too good. Human morality and empathy is not increasing; it is declining fast. And with nuclear weapons in the hands of potential psychopaths, the next big step toward oblivion will not be a cakewalk.

Indeed, a new brand of immorality has permeated into some political minds, according to which what one individual cannot morally do on his own, i.e. cold-blooded murder of another human being, a head of state, a government or a group of public officials can do, in his place. Under what moral code can individuals delegate to governments or public officials authority to do crimes that they themselves cannot do without being immoral? Wouldn’t that be extremely hypocritical and a parody of morality?

According to basic humanitarian or humanist morality, as the Auberon Herbert’s quote above illustrates, what is immoral for one individual does not become moral because one million individuals do it, under the cloak of a government or any other umbrella organization. In other words, a head of state or a government cannot enjoy a wider choice of moral rules than the ones that apply to every individual. The agent (the public person) cannot have looser moral rules than the principal (the people). There cannot be one morality for an individual in private life, and another one for an individual acting within a government.

For example, it is widely accepted under basic moral rules that an individual may only use deadly force in self-defense, when his own life or the lives of his family are threatened. Therefore, the delegated morality to a state by its citizens to use deadly force cannot extend beyond the requirements of self-defense against actual or imminent attack, of the maintenance of order, and of the implementation of justice. Any unprovoked act of deadly aggression, resulting in the untimely and extrajudicial death of people, by a head of state, a government or its officials against other people becomes automatically immoral, if not illegal, notwithstanding in what legal mumbo jumbo such an aggression is couched.

It is true that the current chasm between individual and official morality has been long in developing. When the Roman Emperor Theodosius (347-395), in 380, adopted Christianity as its official state religion, it was difficult to apply Jesus Christ’s pacifist and non-violence admonition that “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword”. Christian theologians such as Augustine of Hippo (354-430) were thus obliged to develop the argument that moral rules designed for individuals did not necessarily apply to an individual becoming an emperor, a king or a head of state who must administer justice or wage wars. In particular, the Commandment “Thou shall not kill” was redefined to exclude heads of state involved in so-called “just wars”, waged by a ‘legitimate authority’. It was spelled out, however, that such wars could not be pre-emptive, but strictly defensive to restore peace. Otherwise, such a war would become immoral.

Nowadays, there is a basic public morality inscribed in the United Nations Charter and in the Nuremberg Charter. The latter clearly prohibits crimes against peace, defined as referring to the “planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of wars of aggression”… A war of aggression is defined as is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense, usually for territorial gain and subjugation. The U.N. General Assembly adopted these definitions, on December 11, 1946, as part of customary international law. Such was the core of public morality after World War II.

However, over the years, public morality has steadily declined, most recently illustrated in 2003 when U.S. President George W. Bush launched a U.S.-led war of unprovoked aggression against the country of Iraq, assisted by British Prime minister Tony Blair. The latter unnecessary and disastrous war, launched on a mountain of lies, has been thoroughly investigated in the United Kingdom, but hardly at all in theUnited States, the center of it all.

Therefore, notwithstanding that no serious post-administration inquiry has been carried out in the United States regarding the mischief caused by the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney tandem, at the very least, future historians will have the 12-volume Chilcot Report to assess how some British and American politicians fooled the people, in 2002-2003, and launched a war of aggression against an independent country, with no direct consequences for themselves.

More generally indeed, in the Twenty-first Century, it can be said that killing technology has advanced at the same time as public morality and personal accountability have declined.

Truman globalresearch.caIn the U.S., for instance, it has long been suspected that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), (a sort of secret government within the government created by President Harry Truman in 1946), was involved in covert illegal activities, especially when it came to sponsoring terrorist death squads in various countries. In 1975, for example, the U.S. Senate established a Select Committee to study governmental operations with respect to illegal intelligence activities, chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-ID). That important committee investigated illegalities by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Among the matters investigated were the covert activities of the CIA involving attempts to assassinate foreign leaders and attempts to subvert foreign national governments. Following the reports and under the recommendations and pressure by the Church committee, President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905 (ultimately replaced in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12333) with the express intent to ban U.S. sanctioned assassinations of foreign leaders.

Now, let us move fast forward. The most recent instance of a public official known to have assigned to himself the task of targeting some people, even American citizens, to be assassinated with unmanned drones or other means, without charge and outside of judicial procedures, and without geographic limits, is under President Barack Obama. Indeed, Mr. Obama seems to be the first American president to have institutionalized what is called the “Terror Tuesday” meetings, during which the American president, with the help of the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), decides about the assassination or the capture of individuals deemed to be enemies of the United States around the world.

Last July 1st, the Obama administration released its own assessment of the number of civiliansassassinated by drone strikes in nations where the U.S. is not officially at war. It claimed it has killed between 64 and 116 “non-combatant” individuals in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, between January 2009 and the end of 2015. However, the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has estimated that as many as 380 to 801 unarmed civilians have been recorded to have been killed with the new technology of unmanned drones.

Remote Killing, Drone Screens

Drone killing may be the most controversial legacy that President Barack Obama is leaving behind. To my knowledge, this is without precedent in U.S. history, at least at the presidential level, that assassinations of people, including some Americans, are carried outside of the legal framework, under direct supervision of a U.S. lethal president. In a democracy based on checks and balances, this would seem to be an example of executive overreach.

With such an example originating in the White House, it may not be a surprise that an American military officer has recently requested the “authority” to assassinate people without presidential approval, in his geographical area of responsibility, in Africa.

It is very disturbing to empower a government, any government, with the power to execute people without trial or due process. This may be a sign of our times, but this is not what we could call a progress of civilization or of human morality. It seems rather that as killing technology has advanced, and as power has become less constrained, humanitarian morality has badly declined.

It is a sad truth that advances in military technology over time have always been used to kill people. Even the dreadful atom bomb has been used to kill hundreds of thousands people. It is only a matter of timebefore it could be used again. It would only take one psychopathic madman in power to destroy humanity.


All this immorality permeates into the management of the economy, under the motto “greed is good”. As Iassessed at the beginning of this year, the world economy is ripe for a huge awakening. A mixture of wars of aggression and of financial market crashes could shake the world in the coming months.

That is because the people who fan the flames of war are the same ones who are pushing financial markets to their limits and created a huge asset bubble.

Barak Obama’s little known neocon-inspired goal has been to expand NATO to Russia’s borders and to isolate Russia. This mischievous brinkmanship policy is being played out to the fullest. Indeed, there is presently a suspicious and dangerous buildup of NATO troops at the Russian border, with the obvious intent of provoking Russia into some sort of conflict. These professional warmongers may get their wish and they may soon plunge the world into chaos.

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

Police Murder Because They Are Trained To Murder

The Militarization of Law Enforcement
Swat officers on the scene of the shooting

In response to my request for information on US police training, readers have sent in a variety of information that seems to fit together. I am going to assemble it as best I can as a working hypothesis or provisional account.  Perhaps a former or current police officer concerned about the change in the behavior of US police, or an expert on police training and practices, will come forward and verify or correct this provisional account.

First, we know that the police have been, or are being, militarized.  They are armed with weapons of war that hitherto have been used only on battlefields.  We don’t know why police are armed in this way, as such weapons are not necessary for policing the American public and are not used in police work anywhere except in Israeli-occupied Palestine.

There is an undeclared agenda behind these weapons, and neither Congress nor the presstitute media have any apparent interest in discovering the hidden agenda.

Nevertheless, the militarization of the police fits in with what we know about police training.

There are sourced reports that US police are receiving training from Israel, both from traveling to Israel and in the US from Israeli training firms or from US firms using Israeli methods.

See, for example,


The training of American police by Israeli occupation forces is not an Internet rumor or “conspiracy theory.”  It is a fact acknowledged by the Israeli press:

Israeli police practices arose from decades of occupying a hostile Palestinian population while stealing the Palestinians’ land and isolating the population in ghetto enclaves.  Essentially, Israeli police practices consist of intimidation and violence.

We know from innumerable news reports over many years the behavior of the occupying Israeli Army toward the Palestinian population.  In four short words: it is extremely brutal.

For a soldier, especially a female soldier, to execute a child and his mother in the streets of Palestine or in the family’s home requires that soldier to have been desensitized to human life that is not Israeli.  This requires Palestinians to have been dehumanized, as the native inhabitants of what is today the United States and Australia were dehumanized by the European immigrants who stole their land.

On the basis of this information, we can infer that the Israeli training of US police teaches the police to see only police lives as valuable and the lives of the public as potential threats to police lives.  This is why American police often murder a wrongly suspected person and almost always an unarmed one.  The examples are numerous.  You can spend much of your life just watching on youtube the existing videos of wanton murders of US citizens by police.

The American police are being taught at public expense that only their lives are valuable, not our lives. Therefore, in any encounter with a citizen, the automatic assumption is that the citizen intends harm to the police and must be immediately forcefully subdued and handcuffed or, alternatively, shot dead.  The police are trained that the safest thing for the police to do is to terminate the suspect even if it is a soccer mom who forgot to signal a turn while driving her kids to a practice.

In other words, the American police have no more obligation to respect the lives and rights of US citizens than the Israeli occupying forces have to respect the lives and rights of Palestinians.

This does appear to be an accurate description of the situation.  Even the New York Times has blown the whistle on William J. Lewinski, who trains US police to shoot first and he will answer the questions for them in court, on the rare occasion that the wanton murder they committed lands them there.

What about racism?  Racism is the answer put forward by liberals, progressives, the putative leftwing, and by blacks themselves.

There are problems with the racist explanation.  One obvious problem is that the American police wantonly murder and brutalize white people also.  Just the other day the police murdered a 19 year old white American while he lay on the ground.  And the TSA abuses far more whites than it does blacks.  See my website for recent examples of both.

A former black police officer provides revealing insight into the real situation.  He says that about 15% of a police department consists of people who are there for the right reasons and represent a culture of public service. Another 15% are psychopaths who routinely abuse their power.  The remaining 70% of the department goes with whichever of the two cultures prevails.  Unfortunately, “the bad officers corrupt the department” and the Chicago police under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge proves the case.

The former black police officer assigns blame to “institutional racism.”  However, based on what we have learned about Israeli police training, the police bias against black Americans might not be racist or totally racist.  Blacks in America have a history of dehumanization.  In the eyes of police trainers, American blacks fit the mold of Palestinians. It is easier to begin the training process by making American police indifferent to the lives of an already dehumanized element of the US population. Once the police are indoctrinated to see themselves not as servants of the people but as “exceptional, indispensable people” whose lives must never be at risk, it is a simple matter to generalize the feeling of police superiority over the white population as well.

I have always been suspicious of the racist explanation.  This is an explanation fed to the public in order to break the public into waring factions that cannot unite against their real oppressors. Indoctrinated as we are to hate and fear one another, those who rule and abuse us can do as they will.

It is as clear as a clear day that only a tiny percentage of white Americans belong to the One Percent.  The rest of us are of no more consequence to those who rule than are blacks. Yet, we are divided, fearful of and opposed to one another.  What a success for the One Percent !

Let me be clear.  Just as we oppose the mentality of violence that is being inculcated into the police who live on our earnings, numerous Jews and Israelis themselves oppose the settler mentality that the Israeli government has come to represent. Jews are among the most ardent defenders of human rights of our time. Think of Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky Ilan Pappe, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Think of the brave Israeli organizations that oppose the theft of Palestinian lands and villages.  We cannot damn an entire people for the sins of their political masters.  If so, then after Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, all Americans are damned.

The two greatest threats to the world are American and Israeli exceptionalism.  It is the success of the indoctrination of this Nazi doctrine of exceptionalism that is the source of the violence in the world today.

The problem of American police violence is that the police are now defined as exceptional and unaccountable. They can kill the rest of us without accountability, just as Washington slaughters untold numbers of peoples in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan. Unexceptional peoples are dispensable.

It is paradoxical that training US police in the violent methods of the Israeli occupying forces is justified with the argument that it is necessary to save American lives from terrorists when the actual result is far more Americans killed by police than by terrorists.

Clearly the police training is counterproductive.

It would seem that the families of those murdered and abused by police have good grounds for suing mayors, city councils, county commissioners, governors and state legislators for negligence in police oversight.  The evidence is in.  The police are taking lives, not saving them.  The training is a total failure.  Yet it persists.  This is a high order of negligence and failure by public authorities.

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

Nazi Forces Impose Punitive Measures against civilians in Hebron


Image result for nazi camp photos

Following the killing of an Zionist girl by a Palestinian child, who sneaked into “Givat Kharsina” settlement, east of Hebron and was killed by Nazi forces, Nazi forces imposed further collective punishment measures against Palestinian civilians in Hebron. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns these measures that fall within the application of collective punishment policy.  PCHR also calls upon the International Community to provide protection for civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and ensure applying its measures.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 30 June 2016, Nazi forces shot dead Mohamed Naser Mahmoud al- Tarayra (17), from Bani Na’eem village, east of Hebron, after he sneaked into a house in” Givat Kharsina” illegal Jewish Nazi settlement and stabbing an Zionist child to death. After few hours, a large force of Nazi soldiers moved into the abovementioned village and raided and searched a house belonging to al-Tarayra family and questioned the family members. They arrested Mohammed’s father and then took him to a police station in Jewish Nazi illegal settlement of“Kiryat Arba” where he identified his son’s corpse and asked questions about his son’s daily life and family relations.

Following that, Nazi forces closed the two main village entrances, Wadi al-Jouz, east of Hebron, closed with rocks and sand barriers and al-Nabi Yaqeen entrance, southeast of Hebron, closed with an iron gate. Furthermore, they closed another sub-entrance opposite to “Kiryat Arba” settlement to the northwest of Hebron. The closure obstructed movement of over 700,000 Palestinians as well as creating a state of confusion in their daily life.

In a separate development and a new crime of excessive use of force ؤقثشفهىل s cted their movementn  ypass road ad entrance clozed ation in “d the abovementioned village. , on Friday, 01 July 2016, Nazi Border Guard officers killed Sarah Dawoud ‘Atah Tarayra (27), who is from Bani Na’eem village and married to Ismail Youssef Alhajouj. According to PCHR’s investigations, the abovementioned young woman arrived and entered to al- Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City.  At approximately 09:00, she left the Mosque.  Meanwhile, two male and female Nazi Border Guard officers summoned her and took her to a search room near the entrance to the Mosque.

The female Nazi Guard Officer entered the room and was heard shouting at al-Tarayra was heard.  The officer then rushed out of the room, carrying a pepper gas spray. As a result, the other Border officer immediately fired 3 live bullets at al-Tarayra and killed her. PCHR’s investigations show that Nazi forces could have used less lethal force even if she had a knife as claimed by Nazi forces especially that a photo of al-Tarayra was distributed showing traces of pepper gas on her face. Later on Friday afternoon, the Nazi forces closed the Beit ‘Aynoun- Bani Na’im Road, which was the only opened road to Bani Na’im village.

At approximately 15:00 on Friday afternoon, a settler’s car was subject to shooting near al-Majnounah intersection in the Vicinity of “Adoraym” military camp, south of Hebron.  As a result, the car rolled over and the driver was killed in addition to the injury of 3 passengers.  Following this, the Nazi forces decided to take punitive measures against the residents of the city and closed all main and sub roads in the city.

Persisting in applying collective punishment measures on the civilians in Hebron, Nazi Security Cabinet decided to impose a security cordon on the city and withdrew the work permits from the residents of Bani Na’im village; around 2800 permits. The Cabinet also decided to establish a cemetery in order to bury Palestinian corpses rather than handing them to their families and reduce the tax revenues that are paid to the Palestinian Authority.

PCHR condemns the Nazi regime latest measures against the civilians in Hebron that fall within the collective punishment policies. PCHR recalls that those punitive measures came only after three weeks of electing Nazi regime to chair the United Nations Legal Affairs Sixth Committee.  Among other things, the Committee will discuss in its current session the role of rule of law at the national and international levels and the states’ responsibility for the internationally wrongful acts.  This emphasizes that the international community is not serious when it comes to holding the Nazi regime accountable for the crimes committed against Palestinian civilians. However, PCHR calls upon:

1)    The United Nations to provide protection for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt);

2)    The High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to oblige Nazi regime to apply the Geneva Conventions in theoPt in its capacity as a Member State to these conventions.

3)    The abovementioned Parties to fulfill their obligations by ensuring the application of the Conventions and by extending their Jurisdiction to account war criminals regardless of their nationalities and the place where the crimes were committed and put an end to their impunity as a prelude to hold the Nazi regime war criminals accountable.



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Nazi continues to besiege Palestinian towns, breach international law in occupied West Bank


auschwitz, auschwitz-birkenau, death camp, gas chambers, nazi, the holocaust, concentration camps, extermination camp, world war II, buildings, chimneys, fences

Occupied Palestine: In the last three days Nazi military forces have implemented several blockades isolating the cities of Yatta and Bani Na’im south of Hebron. It is reported that cement roadblocks, earth mounds, gates and checkpoints have been installed across the region, with no timeline for when they may be removed.

The blockades are only implemented to restrict the movement of Palestinians as illegal Jewish Nazi settlers can still pass the checkpoints. This discrimination is a clear apartheid strategy and limits Palestinians to not only being unable to attend work but also reaching basic human services such as hospitals. This strategy clearly violates Palestinian’s right to freedom of movement (Art.13 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

By enforcing these illegal blockades Nazi regime is also restricting Palestinian movement during the final days of the holy month of Ramadan where thousands of Muslims wish to travel to the most significant religious sites for prayer and visit their families.

This act is also another example of Nazi regime using collective punishment techniques, which are also illegal under international law. Nazi forces continually use collective punishment in the form of revoking travel and work permits, blockading cities and punitive house demolitions.

Operation Dove have compiled the following interactive map to illustrate the extent of the blockade.

The innocent people who are living under siege in Yatta and Bani Na’im are significantly impacted by the Nazi forces implementing such blockades, which have been condemned internationally by human rights organisations and NGOs.

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Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)


(23 – 29 June 2016)

  • Nazi forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt

–         A Palestinian woman was killed in the West Bank under the pretext of carrying out a run-over attack.

–         3 civilians were wounded during incursions.

–         40 civilians, including a woman, sustained bullet and shrapnel wounds while 19 others sustained bruises in al-Aqsa Mosque.

  • Nazi forces conducted 40 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 in Jerusalem.

–         Al-Aqsa Mosque was raided to protect dozens of settlers who entered to perform Talmudic prayers.

–         55 civilians, including 18 children, were arrested.

–         28 of them, including 15 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

  • Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.

–         Nazi forces continued to open fire at Palestinian fishing boats, causing damages to one of them.

  • Nazi forces continued settlement activities in the West Bank.

–         More demolition notices were issued in the southern side of Hebron.

  • Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

–         Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

–         4 Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

–         A patient’s companion was arrested at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.


Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (23 – 29 June 2016).


Nazi forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed a Palestinian woman in Hebron in the southern area of the West Bank.  Moreover, Nazi forces wounded 43 other civilians, including a woman, in the West Bank as well. In Jerusalem, 40 civilians were wounded in al-Aqsa Mosque while 19 others sustained bruises, including 2 journalists, in al-Aqsa Mosque as well. In the Gaza Strip, Nazi forces continued targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.


The full report is available online at:


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Official: 71 Palestinian prisoners have died of torture in Nazi camp’s since 1967


Image result for Israeli jails PHOTO

As many as 71 Palestinian prisoners have died in Jewish Nazi camp’s as a result of torture since 1967, Abdel Nasser Farwana, head of the documentation and studies unit at the detainees and ex-detainees committee, said.

In a statement released on Sunday to mark the International Day Against Torture, Farwana said dozens of others died shortly after being released as an effect of the torture they had endured, adding that many more suffer from long-term physical and psychological disabilities.

Nazi practices a unique and atypical form of physical and psychological torture and it is the only country in the world that legalises torture in its jails and detention camps and protects its perpetrators.

“Israel uses torture on institutional level against Palestinian and Arab detainees. According to our data, 100 per cent of the Palestinian prisoners were subjected to one form or another of torture,” he added.

Farwana called on international institutions and human rights organisations to take serious and effective steps to stop all forms of torture against Palestinian prisoners and to prosecute those who practice torture against them.

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100% Of Palestinian Prisoners Have Been Tortured In Nazi camps


As many as 71 Palestinian prisoners have died in Jewish Nazi camp as a result of torture since 1967, Abdel Nasser Farwana, head of the documentation and studies unit at the detainees and ex-detainees committee, said.

In a statement released on Sunday to mark the International Day Against Torture, Farwana said dozens others died shortly after being released as an effect of the torture they had endured, adding that many more suffer from long-term physical and psychological disabilities.

“Israel practices a unique and atypical form of physical and psychological torture and it is the only country in the world that legalises torture in its jails and detention camps and protects its perpetrators,”  he explained.

Nazi Gestapo uses torture on institutional level against Palestinian and Arab detainees. According to our data, 100 per cent of the Palestinian prisoners were subjected to one form or another of torture.

Farwana called on international institutions and human rights organisations to take serious and effective steps to stop all forms of torture against Palestinian prisoners and to prosecute those who practice torture against them.

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Disturbing Details Permeate CIA’s Declassified Torture Documents


Steve Bell 10.12.14

Newly declassified documents on torture techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have sickened human rights activists.

The documents were declassified after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency. Totaling around 50 documents, they detail how to torture suspects using medical and psychological programs.

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer says that the new documents highlight the impunity of the CIA:

These newly declassified records add new detail to the public record of the CIA’s torture program and underscore the cruelty of the methods the agency used in its secret, overseas black sites. It bears emphasis that these records document grave crimes for which no senior official has been held accountable.

One of the reports, which details the death prisoner Gul Rahman — who died of hypothermia — shows the degrading and inhumane treatment meted out by guards.

According to the papers, prisoners were often kept in adult diapers — and nothing else. Prisoners also endured total darkness and music playing 24 hours a day. The report also notes that, although heating was a known challenge in the cell, if they ran out of diapers, prisoners were placed in their cells nude.

Rahman was often subjected to torture, including being chained in a standing position for days and forced into cold showers. The night he died, Rahman was nude from the waist down. Reports say guards saw him shaking on the floor of his cell but didn’t think it merited intervention.

Other documents in the declassification detail the use of “awkward boxes,” offered in two sizes. Detainees without certain health challenges, like cardiovascular issues, were put into boxes that only allowed them enough space to sit with their legs crossed. Prisoners were held in this confinement for around two hours at a time.

Other boxes, designed for those with greater health issues, were about the size of a coffin — just clearing the head and body. Prisoners were confined for up to eight hours multiple times a day, not to exceed 18 hours.

The papers, which essentially amount to medical instruction on how to bring someone to the brink of death and destroy them psychologically for the purpose of interrogation, are full of similarly disturbing details. Waterboarding is laid out in sterile and unsettling detail as a potentially lethal method that, therefore, deserved “precautions.”

In another instance, medical professionals note that standing for prolonged periods — with hands shackled to a metal bar above the prisoner – can cause swelling in the lower limbs. Because of this, they say, it’s important to ensure that the shackles can be loosened as needed.

These methods absolutely amount to torture and break numerous international treaties and human rights laws. However, so far no one has held any major officials accountable for these gross violations. Rather, it seems that those working in the government’s top offices have waltzed off into a comfortable retirement with zero legal repercussions.

The ACLU is calling on President Obama to launch a full criminal investigation before leaving office, emphasizing that it is the “least he could do.”

But without public support to hold the officials who instituted these programs accountable, it seems that the vast rendition and torture network — paid for with our tax dollars — will continue to go unchallenged.

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Federal Court Rules Govt Can Hack Your Computer Without A Warrant, No Probable Cause

Federal government continues to find new inroads into violating 4thAmendment protections that are supposed to be guaranteed to all citizens.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that “evidence of an alleged crime can be used against a defendant even if police did something inappropriate or even illegal to obtain it.”

In February, a state supreme court ruled 4-3 that “evidence seized in a person’s private home during a warrantless search can be used against the person under an expanded view of the “community caretaker” clause.”

The Free Thought Project has documented several other search and seizures cases that add to the dismantling of rights protecting against unreasonable search and seizure. The Snowden revelations allowed us to witness the massive intrusion into privacy being carried out by spy agencies such as the NSA and FBI.

And the hits keep on coming.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reported on Thursday, “a federal district court in Virginia ruled that a criminal defendant has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in his personal computer, located inside his home. According to the court, the federal government does not need a warrant to hack into an individual’s computer.”


Read more: Federal Court Rules Govt Can Hack Your Computer Without a Warrant, No Probable Cause

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Ending Nazi use of torture


As the world marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26 June), Nazi continues – with no accountability – to subject Palestinian prisoners and civilians from the Occupied Territory to torture and ill-treatmentThese practices are reflected in the experiences of three Palestinian children, among thousands of others, highlighted in a joint statement by Adalah, Al Mezan, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

The international community has expressed its strong disapproval of these practices. In May 2016, the UN Committee Against Torture recommended more than 50 measures to end Nazi use of torture. These include, among others, to end administrative detention, prohibit the solitary confinement of children, refrain from force-feeding hunger striking prisoners, and investigate cases of suspected unlawful killings.

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