U.N. Torture Convention

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2016: Fateful time for a conversation about international law

Does any of this matter? Do we care any more about whether one country invades another by military force? Does it matter how we respond? It has been 30 years, more or less, since there…

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Torture is an issue which defines America as a nation

Draft We now have the published Executive Suumary of the Senate Select Committee on Inteligence Torture Report. In one of Senator Diane Feinstein’s finest acts of public service, of which there have been many, she…


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The definition of “torture”

Before and after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its Report on Torture under the Bush administration, on December 9, 2014, a well-orchestrated publicity campaign was carried out by U.S. “apologists of torture” or…


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Brazil publishes Truth Commission Report; U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture Released; U.S. officials debate whether torture “worked”

Developing — preliminary draft See (1) “Comissão Nacional da Verdade entrega a Dilma relatório final das investigawções; Presidente recebeu em audiência no Palácio do Planalto, às 9h, os seis integrantes da CNV,” O GLOBO, 10…


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Human rights abuses by Putin’s puppets: The seventh report of the OHCHR on the human rights situation in the Ukraine (with link to full report)

Draft By launching a war of aggression in the Crimea and the eastern Ukraine, in flagrant violation of Article 2 paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter, Russian President Vladimir Putin is directly responsible for…


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Order in the World: Things fall apart

One of the wisest and most-experieced journalists reporting on foreign policy, Roger Cohen, who writes an Op-Ed column for the New York Times, has published a thoughtful and deeply pessimistic article on the current state…


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Obama: “We tortured some folks…It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. And a lot of those folks (our law enforcement and our national security teams) were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.” (full transcript)

Developing Excerpt from President Barack Obama’s press conference today, Fiday, August 1, 2014: Q What about John Brennan? … THE PRESIDENT: On Brennan and the CIA, the RDI report has been transmitted, the declassified version…


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The qualities that are needed in a new CIA Director, Part I (with video links to Feinstein Senate speech and Brennan rebuttal)

(Developing story–check back for updates over the next few days) John Brennan’s battle with the Senate Intelligence Committee over the Torture Report Given his past associations with Bush’s torture and other scandalous programs, and his…


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On floor of Senate, Senator Feinstein speaks of grave constitutional violations by CIA (with video link)

(Developing) See: Corine Lesnes (Washington), “Menacée par un rapport sur la torture, la CIA soupçonnée de piratage du Sénat américain, Le Monde, 12 mars 2012 (12.03.2014 (Mis à jour à 07h19). Scott Wilson, “CIA feud…


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Western diplomats stumble in the Ukraine—-Stop telephone diplomacy, let Germany lead, and publish serious international law memoranda

Updated March 7, 2014 Western leaders have made three major blunders since the Russian military takeover of the Crimea first began on or around February 25. Telephone Calls to Putin First, they have engaged in…