Torture

When and how did America lose her soul?

America has lost her soul. You feel something is missing, the kind of sense of community that we used to have–20 or 30 or 40…


CIA nominee is presumptive war criminal; multiple reasons to reject Haspel nomination

Developing–preliminary draft We have grown tired under Donald Trump’s relentless assault on our democratic values and the rule of law.  With no responsible officials at…


REPRISE: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Originally Posted By: The Observer January 18, 2016 Today is Martin Luther King day in the United States, a national holiday. It is a good…


REPRISE: “A time to break silence”: Dr. King on the Vietnam war, and President Carter on America’s human rights violations

Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King gave the first of two speeches that month setting forth why he was opposed…


President-elect Trump, foreign policy, and the defense of core American values

Developing Given Donald Trump’s inexperience in foreign policy, he may not understand or appreciate certain fundamental principles and realities that are essential for the maintenance…



Torture is an issue which defines America as a nation

  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…


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,…


Obama seeks to block publication of Senate torture report; Pillar of democracy at stake

Background — See (1) “Sicherheitsbedenken: US-Regierung bremst Veröffentlichung von CIA-Folterbericht,” Der Spiegel, 6. Dezember 2014 (19:55 Uhr). Der US-Senat wollte umfassende Informationen über geheime Foltermethoden…


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…



The vote on John Brennan’s confirmation to be CIA Director: Opinion and Commentary

Recent Commentary and Opinion “It is not going too far to say that American foreign policy has become completely subservient to tactical domestic political considerations.”…


Isolationism, with drones: Obama’s second-term foreign policy

Developing story The smartest man in the room is so intellectually insecure that he doesn’t like to be questioned, and insists that everyone recognize that…


REPRISE: “A time to break silence”: Dr. King on the Vietnam war, and President Carter on America’s human rights violations

[This is a lengthy article. The reader may wish to read it, and listen to the recordings, in three parts.] Originally published June 27, 2012…


Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for prosecution of Blair and Bush for Iraq invasion; Torture investigations end in U.S.

South African Archbishop Tutu Withdraws from Conference, Suggests Blair and Bush should be Prosecuted for Invasion of Iraq Former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the renowned…


“A time to break silence”: Dr. King on the Vietnam war, and President Carter on America’s human rights violations (revised June 28)

“And I’ve long since learned that to be a follower (of) Jesus Christ means taking up the cross. And my bible tells me that Good…


After G-8 “agreement on Syria”, the fighting continues—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #41 (May 23) REVISED

G-8 Camp David Final Communique: Statement on Syria 1. We, the Leaders of the Group of Eight, met at Camp David on May 18 and…




Update: Torture, The STL in Lebanon, and Obama’s “Way Forward” in Afghanistan

Today we introduce a new feature in The Trenchant Observer, an occasional column commenting on some of the more important events of the previous weeks…