Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The U.S. military has confirmed that at least 40 medical personnel have arrived at Guantanamo Bay in order to expand a force feeding…
Mohammad Majoub was first arrested in 2000 under a security certificate. He lived in detention and under house arrest until 2012. Finally allowed to leave Toronto, he has been speaking across Canada. Here are some excerpts from the talk he gave in Vanc…
By Frank Moraes I am often reminded that I’m not a very nice person. Most recently, this came to mind because Jonathan Bernstein wrote at PostPartisan, “How Do We Keep from Torturing Again?” This is coming off the Constitution Project report stat…
By Michael J.W. Stickings and Frank Moraes MJWS: I highly recommend reading the report, or at least as much of it as you can, particularly the “Statement of the Task Force” and “Findings and Recommendations” — that will take you just to page 25. …
The general overseeing the Guantánamo military prison is reportedly downplaying the scope and significance of an ongoing hunger strike undertaken by detainees at the infamous detention center in an effort to highlight the “desperation and hopelessness of indefinite detention” and draw attention to the “normalization of Guantánamo.”
Spoiler alert: The U.S. Navy SEALS murder Osama Bin Laden and several others in his Pakistani compound without mercy and with vengeful malice. Most of the controversy swirling round the film revolves around whether the filmmaker, Kathryn Bigelow – positioned as auteur by most commentators – endorses torture or whether the film’s narrative raises the moral issue of torture for contemplation. There is, in my reading, no overt moral position offered by the film on torture or even the morality of CIA procedures in general. Many commentators have unwittingly bemoaned this absence or taken it as a tacit moral endorsement of torture their right as viewers – but it is is overwhelmingly clear that torture and CIA investigative procedures, as morally problematic as they might be to us as viewers, are judged – are valued – in the film only in terms of their pragmatic effectiveness in what is for both viewers . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Zero Dark Thirty Leaves Plenty of Space for Viewer’s Moral Judgment
Kathryn Bigelow’s film follows the 10-year story of the CIA’s hunt for and eventual assassination of Osama Bin Laden. The film has been called a piece of U.S. propaganda that justifies the war on terror and the use of torture. Marty and Martha Roth disagree. They speak with Redeye host Lorraine Chisholm.
[recording starts] Is this thing on? Seriously. Is it on? I’m not getting any neural feedback. You humans are so odd. You are human aren’t you? Why don’t you just implant a microphone in your scull — there’s lots of … Continue reading →
I knew absolutely nothing about the Magdalene laundries until I saw The Magdalene Sisters in 2002. The film is set in Ireland and I thought the horror stopped there.
Magdalene laundries are in the news now because of a report.
Ireland has officially recognised the state’s guilt in the “enslavement” of more than 30,000 women, most of whom were sent against their will into church-run institutions where they received no pay, no pension and no social protection.
Labelled the “Maggies”, the women were sent to the Magdalene laundries where they worked for nothing, serving in some cases “life sentences” simply for being unmarried mothers or regarded as morally wayward.
Dig this bit.
The inquiry into the Magdalene scandal was finally prompted by a report from the UN committee against torture in June 2011. It called for prosecutions where necessary and compensation to surviving women.
Just now, I learned that the racket was imported to the US.
— Jerome Elam (@JeromeElam) February 10, 2013
(Here is Jerome Elam’s website.)
And then I remembered.
Like most 14-year-olds, I was a handful. I wasn’t quite (yet) into drugs and sex but I was getting into trouble in school, mouthing off, skipping out, hanging with friends. I bleached my hair, experimented with makeup. Nothing particularly outrageous.
But Maman, divorced since I was seven, had a new boyfriend. I didn’t like him and he didn’t like me.
So a plot was hatched. Boyfriend did the research — I found the list in his handwriting years later — on ‘tough’ Catholic boarding schools.
A shortlist of the toughest emerged and appointments were made. My presence was required.
We weren’t Catholic, by the way.
I was shocked. My friends were shocked. A counter-plan was hatched.
A friend lent me a ‘motorcycle’ jacket. (Motorcycles were considered agents of Satan.) Scripts were written and rehearsed.
On the evening we were to drive to the first place (I’ve repressed the name; it was near Hamilton, Ontario), I rolled the waistband of my already-too-short skirt, slathered on makeup, and donned the jacket. My mother told me to wash my face and change my clothes. I told her that if she were going to force me into this, I was doing it my way. Huge fight, but I stuck to my guns and won that round.
Silence in the car.
We were taken to Head Nun’s office. Short meeting with Maman, boyfriend, and me, then they were asked to leave. Head Nun wanted to talk to me alone.
Truth to tell, I was scared shitless, but I put on the performance of my life. Alternately truculent and foul-mouthed, I tried to be the baddest-ass girl of all time.
I told her that I was smart — she had school records so she knew that — and that I would use every single IQ point I had to make her life an unholy hell.
There was more of course and I probably wasn’t nearly as bad-ass as I thought, but when adults were summoned back, she said she didn’t think that Name of School could do anything with me.
She declined my challenge.
Silence in the car going home.
But there was still The List.
It took me a few days to realize that the Remove Fern Hill from the Family Home Project had been quietly abandoned.
And today, I’m wondering exactly what kind of unholy hell I had averted.
As a sad bonus, read what Sinéad O’Connor has to say. It explains much.
ADDED: I’ve always loved Sinéad O’Connor.
Singer Sinead O’Connor has said she has been excommunicated by the Catholic Church and said she wanted a certificate from the Vatican to prove it.
“Apparently I’ve been excommunicated but the only place you’ll find this is in L’Osservatore Romano, their newspaper which nobody reads,” she told the Sunday Independent.
“But I want something to show my grandkids. I’ve been tweeting Pope Benedict about this but I’ve heard nothing back yet.”
Video available on YouTube The Canadian Progressive recommends: Human Rights Watch: Challenges for Rights After Arab Spring Canadaâ€™s Human Rights Reputation is Fast Becoming a Myth Cornel West Is Upset Obama Was Sworn In On Martin Luther Kingâ€™s Bib…
The willingness of new governments to respect rights will determine whether those uprisings give birth to genuine democracy or simply spawn authoritarianism in new forms.
Via YouTube: Former CIA agent John Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison for revealing the identity of a covert officer to a reporter. But originally he was pending charges on the violating the espionage act. Kiriakou is the first CIA official …
10 Dental Symptoms You Should Never Ignore Posted: 01/24/2013 in HuffPost Ah, the dentist’s office…I freely admit to hating going to the dentist, as much because of my absolute inability to sit and smile through excruciating pain as th…
By Frank Moraes Does irony still exist in the United States? I doubt it. Former CIA officer John Kiriakou has been given two and a half years for leaking classified information. In the end, all of his charges were reduced to giving the name of o…
Thursday, January 24, 2013
According to a man named Richard Colvin, Canada's political, diplomatic and military leaders knew about this practice for ye…
All this talk of torture in my last post got me wondering about the most awful times of pain and suffering in our own Nicholas’ life.When Nick was small, he had a surgical procedure to correct gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. The p…
By Frank Moraes Ed. note: As I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m withholding comment, particularly with respect to its treatment of torture.But it seems to me that the filmmakers, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, want to have it both…
A couple of nights ago, my husband Jim and I went to the movies. We saw Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” – a film already infamous for its portrayal of torture as a measure to ensure post 9/11 homeland security and as …