Last week I went through the report on torture carried out by the CIA, looking at exactly what they did to detainees and how they lied about it. This week – who will be held accountable? And what does the torture and reactions to it say about the US after 9/11? Continue reading
This is Part 1 of a 2 part series on the US Congress report on CIA torture.. Today will focus on what the report says about the program, and on Sunday I will focus on what this says about the way the United States reacted to 9/11, and what will happen now.
What has been common knowledge for years was yesterday finally officially released in an extraordinary report by the US Congress into the CIA’s treatment of terrorism suspects in their Detention and Interrogation Program. Right there on paper in black and white are the facts: The CIA tortured detainees, failed to extract any useful information, then lied to their overseers about the whole program. So let’s get right into it, and look at what the report reveals about those facts. For the full report, follow this link. Continue reading
The protesters, the police and the media were all ready, and they got what they’d been waiting for. On Monday night a grand jury decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of teenager Michael Brown, and parts of Ferguson erupted into violence. Cars were burnt and shops looted while the police fired tear gas and smoke. More peaceful protests have spread across the rest of the US as well, as Barack Obama calls ineffectually for calm. So where is the rage coming from? And why did people decide to respond by rioting? Continue reading
In recent weeks the US has seen two high-profile mass shootings. One gained immense media attention due to the bizarre misogynist ideology of the killer, Elliot Rodger, and the other hit the media due to the fact that the killer was stopped by one of his fellow students before he could do any worse damage. But the sad fact is that these killings aren’t even out of the ordinary for the US. Over the Easter weekend 40 people were shot and 9 killed in separate incidents across Chicago. While gun violence is gradually dropping in the US, it still has the second highest gun violence in the developed world (after Mexico). So why is this the case? It’s a lot more complex than you might think… Continue reading
Over the last weekend 55 people were killed by US drone strikes in Yemen. As the fact that this got barely any news coverage shows, these strikes aren’t exactly uncommon. For years now, in Yemen and Pakistan, American drones (unmanned aircraft) have been firing missiles at suspected al-Qaeda targets on the ground. It seems like a surgical form of conflict, but this secret war is a lot murkier than it first appears. So who’s being targeted? What happens when things go wrong? And is this all actually legal?
Yesterday the US broke nearly 70 years of protocol and announced that the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations would not receive a visa for the US – in effect stopping him from taking up his post in New York. This is the first time the US has ever done this, and Iran has reacted angrily. The reason? Hamid Abutalebi was involved in the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran back in 1979. So what was that seizure? Why are these two countries locked in such dislike? And can the US actually do this?