Hey, George Clooney, wake up! "Above the Law: U.S. Crimes during The War on Terror | World Policy Institute"

The U.S. and Israel have routinely conducted acts of torture, from water-boarding, stress positions, sleep deprivations, shackling, sexual humiliation and beatings—all in violation of the Anti-Torture statute, which applies for actions outside U.S. territory. In Israel, the "Shabah" position is still used, despite being banned in a 1999 Israeli Supreme Court decision. Like the parsing of language during court interrogations, the Israel Security Agency, whose officials have never been prosecuted, simply alter the precise position used from past practices in order to avoid committing criminal acts—even though torture is still being used, as Israeli human rights groups like B'Tselem and the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PACATI) have documented.

This problem is also demonstrated by the reckless 840-odd detentions at Guantánamo, where no more than 20 percent had committed a crime of any kind, according to studies by UC Berkeley School of Law and Seton Hall Law School in Newark. President Obama's own Guantánamo Task Force in mid-2009 also concluded that only 100 out of the 850 detainees held there since 2002 needed to be detained. About 150 detainees still remain there and none of the hundreds of innocents who were unjustly detained and tortured have received reparations as required by the UN Convention against Torture and U.S. law.

Not one U.S. or Israeli official, other than low-ranking soldiers or police, have ever been prosecuted or held liable for complicity with torture.


Obama's claim that he outlawed torture is similarly weak. Torture by U.S. government officials still happens under the Obama administration. The case of suspected Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning is one such example. Even before Manning was charged with espionage for his alleged theft of classified documents given to Wikileaks, he was held for months, without clothes, under solitary confinement. What is more troubling is the increased deaths of Afghan civilians due to drone attacks by the U.S. Under Obama, drone air strikes have intensified, killing more civilians and creating more resentment from Afghan partners for the U.S. presence in the country. Recently, a U.S. airstrike killed 5 children and their mother. This war on terrorism on the cheap, is not only criminal and immoral, it is also counter-productive.

Read the whole article: Above the Law: U.S. Crimes during The War on Terror | World Policy Institute.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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