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Do Quy



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:54 am    Post subject: Trump: Phantom Experts Say Torture Works Reply with quote

Trump: Experts, Who I Won’t Name, Tell Me Torture ‘Absolutely’ Works

As Donald Trump is expected to order the reinistitution of waterboarding—a torture method previously used by CIA interrogators—the newly inaugurated president said he heard from high-level intelligence sources that it “absolutely” works. However, he would not name those experts, as the overwhelming preponderance of experts saying torture does not work. “I have spoken, as recently as 24 hours ago, with people at the highest level of intelligence and I asked them the question: does torture work?” he told ABC reporter David Muir. “And the answer was: yes, absolutely.” Trump had promised during his presidential campaign to bring back waterboarding, despite it being banned by President Barack Obama during his first month in office; and despite there being no conclusive evidence that the torture method provided key intelligence about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts (as its defenders often contend). “I feel it works,” Trump said, nevertheless.

Trump’s own secretary of defense, Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, is an adamant opponent of torture. Soon after winning the election, Trump recalled to The New York Times how Mattis had managed to convince him to change his own mind about the value of waterboarding. “He said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful,’” Mr. Trump recalled. He added that he was “very impressed” by Mattis’s belief in building and rewarding cooperation with terrorism suspects. It appears as though Trump forgot Mattis ever helped him change his opinion.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/25/trump-i-ve-been-told-waterboarding-absolutely-works.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:59 am    Post subject: Torture Does Not Work Reply with quote

Do Quy wrote:
As Donald Trump is expected to order the reinistitution of waterboarding—a torture method previously used by CIA interrogators—the newly inaugurated president said he heard from high-level intelligence sources that it “absolutely” works.

That's not what real experts think

How Illegal Interrogations Hurt the U.S.
Some are arguing that intel obtained from detainees under torture led us to bin Laden. But Andrea Prasow says that had we stuck to lawful tactics, we might have found him even sooner.
Andrea J. Prasow

When I was a defense attorney in the Office of Military Commissions in Guantanamo, President Obama issued an executive order on interrogation policy that ended the CIA’s secret detention program and required that all US interrogators comply with the Army Field Manual. He also ordered the closure of Guantanamo within one year.

After the order was issued, I taped it to my office door and highlighted the portion that said, “the detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” I truly believed the U.S. had closed the door on abusive detention and interrogation forever.

This week, following mixed reports that information obtained from detainees held in those secret prisons may have been used in the years-long process to locate Osama bin Laden, torture apologists have seized on this information to call for the reopening of the CIA prisons and reauthorization of "enhanced interrogation techniques"–a euphemism for torture and other ill-treatment. Their primary argument has been simply that torture works.

Whether torture can produce some truthful information has never been the right question. It can. But even if the victim of torture does provide some accurate information, there is no way to sift the truth from lies produced as the detainee merely tries to get interrogators to stop. There’s no way to know which lead is worth pursuing–risking human life and limited resources – and which should be disregarded. And by resorting to torture, experienced interrogators report, less truthful information can be produced than if traditional, lawful techniques were used. Results also come more slowly because detainees buckle down and resist. Former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan, who interrogated Abu Zubaydah among others, testified before Congress that the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques “are ineffective, slow, and unreliable, and as a result harmful to our efforts to defeat al Qaeda.”

National security is diminished by the false leads torture can produce, and devastating consequences may ensue. When Ibn Sheikh al Libi was tortured while in CIA custody, he claimed a link to Iraq and weapons of mass destruction that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell used in his speech to the United Nations to justify the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Of course, as we now know, that information was utterly false.

Each time the U.S. has strayed from core values there have been national security consequences.

By contrast, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested for the attempted Christmas bombing of a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit, he provided intelligence to the FBI immediately upon his apprehension, despite being interrogated in a purportedly lawful manner. He continued to do so after he was charged. The Department of Justice has touted the significant intelligence obtained from L’Houssaine Kherchtou, an early member of al Qaeda. He has not only provided valuable information, but has testified in the trials of numerous terrorism suspects, including that of Ahmed Ghailani, a Tanzanian convicted of conspiracy in U.S. federal court in November 2010 and now serving life in prison for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. Many others have provided and continue to provide information to U.S. authorities used in preventing terrorist attacks and prosecuting terrorism suspects, without the use of coercive interrogation techniques.

While the killing of Osama bin Laden may help protect the U.S. from terrorism, as much or more credit should go to the Obama administration’s decision to shut down the Bush-era CIA interrogation program. Under this secret program, the details of which are still not fully disclosed, the U.S. abandoned the rule of law and embraced a system of detention and interrogation that was not only illegal and immoral, but severely damaged U.S. national security.

In fact, each time the U.S. has strayed from core values there have been national security consequences. Senior military officials report that foreign fighters joined the war in Iraq following the release of the Abu Ghraib abuse photos, and the continued existence of Guantanamo has been used as a recruiting tool for al Qaeda. Earlier this year when a detainee died at Guantanamo of apparently natural causes, the fact that it happened at Guantanamo made it a major focal point for anti-U.S. and militant propaganda. The Taliban issued a statement condemning the U.S. for violating international law and thousands attended his funeral in Afghanistan.

We will never know how much information the U.S. lost because it failed to use time-tested, effective, and humane methods of interrogation. We will never know how many years earlier bin Laden could have been captured and how many lives spared if, instead of whisking them off to a prison outside the law, the U.S. had instead charged Mohammed and al Libi in federal courts and treated them properly and in accordance with due process. We do know that bin Laden’s death does not end the threat terrorists pose to the U.S. and other nations. But we also know that the best way to guard against future attack is by rejecting the use of torture outright and staying faithful to the rule of law and basic tenets of decency. This is true not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it works.
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Doan_Du
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:05 am    Post subject: McCain Pledges to Fight Trump on Torture Reply with quote

I'm afraid we've gone off-topic here, talking about torture, but, well, it sort of goes with how tyranny begins...

John McCain Pledges to Fight Donald Trump on Torture
To reinstate torture, President Donald Trump will have to go through Sen. John McCain.
Tim Mak

The United States will allow torture again over Sen. John McCain’s dead body.

The Arizona Republican has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to prevent the United States from using torture during interrogations, influenced by the hell he experienced as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

If President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a platform of using waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse” to question, the draft-dodger will have to declare war on McCain, a war hero.

“We passed a law [prohibiting torture], and it as clear in the congressional record what the intent of the law was,” McCain said pointedly, in a conversation with The Daily Beast. “They would have to reverse the intent of the law, which they will not do.”

McCain began his anti-torture push with a law he authored in 2005, but the law he passed only covered military interrogations. A more recent anti-torture law, written by McCain and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in 2015, barred all American officials from waterboarding or any other interrogation technique not explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Army Field Manual.

The Bush administration circumvented previous prohibitions on torture by listing a series of “enhanced interrogation techniques” that it believed stopped short of torture.

[...]

National security and legal experts, on the other hand, believe that the law is clear—and almost airtight.

“Many people have had the instinct that torture was convenient, or effective, or acceptable. And we, the American people, Congress, and the world at large as airtight a prohibition as is legally possible,” said David Cole, the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “[The Trump administration] would have to change the field manual, overcome extraordinary resistance in the military, make it public, thereby bringing on them the uniform criticism of the world.”

American abuses have also been laid bare, making it less likely to occur again: In December 2014, the Senate “torture report” outlined some of the abuses that occurred following the 9/11 attacks, including forced rectal feeding, nonstop interrogation, a detainee forced to stand on broken legs, waterboarding, and a “black site” for detainees in Afghanistan called the Salt Pit.

Carle, whose views are colored by more than two decades of work in the CIA, and his own experiences in interrogating terrorists, has a different view of the law—and how governments tend to find legal loopholes in times of crisis, citing the Bush administration’s use of torture and the Iran-Contra scandal as examples.

“The law and our checks and balances are much more frail than most people imagine,” he said.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/25/john-mccain-pledges-to-fight-donald-trump-on-torture.html
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Do Quy



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:00 am    Post subject: Republicans, Where’s The Backbone? Reply with quote

Republicans, Where’s The Backbone?

Congressional Republicans, we watched you at the White House Thursday. Just before Donald Trump’s rambling, manic, often snarky press conference — delivered more in the manner of a churlish insult comic than leader of the free world — the president met with a group of you, a self-titled “Trump caucus” of early supporters.

You fawned over him like autograph hunters gushing over their favorite movie star. Rep. Chris Collins of New York: “Mr. President, we’re all honored to be here.” Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee: “We’re excited about the work you’re doing.” And Missouri’s Billy Long referenced the recent visit of Japan’s prime minister: “I knew you all would hit it off because you’re both people persons and great personalities. ... I knew you guys would get along good.”

Oh, brother. Has it come down to this? The party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower in the thrall of a petulant, impulsive, preening and shamelessly amoral president who thinks Vladimir Putin is the apex of effective management.

Republicans, is this really the legacy you choose?

How can you not take a solid stand against an unhinged con man who in less than a month has undermined fundamental constitutional liberties, thrown governance into disorganized hell and possibly made decisions based on his desire to please the leader of another country? (What’s he afraid that Putin might do?)

[...]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republicans-wheres-the-backbone_us_58a71551e4b026a89a7a29df

My point is, it's not by fawning over a dictator that you're going to free the country of him. What the bloody hell are the Republicans think they're doing??
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: McCain on How Dictators Get Started Reply with quote

McCain: Media Suppression Is ‘How Dictators Get Started’

Sen. John McCain warned on Sunday that attempts to suppress the news media are “how dictators get started.” It was a veiled attack against President Donald Trump, who tweeted on Friday that the press are the “enemy of the American people.” On NBC’s Meet the Press, McCain said the country “needs” a free press. “If you want to preserve a democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” McCain said. “And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.” McCain added that he doesn’t believe Trump is attempting to start a dictatorship, but said “we need to learn the lessons of history.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/mccain-warns-suppressing-press-how-dictators-get-started-n722906

Do read the whole article, it's worth the read.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:50 pm    Post subject: AZ GOP Wants 2 Treat Protesters Like Organized Criminals Reply with quote

Arizona GOP Wants To Treat Protesters Like Organized Criminals
Surfing off Trump’s ‘paid protesters’ myth, Arizona’s Republicans are aiming to pass a bill that would prosecute ‘rioters’ under a law that targets crime rings.
Kelly Weill
02.27.17 1:00 AM ET

Arizona lawmakers are using Trump-fueled rumors of “paid protesters” to push a new bill that would make rioting prosecutable under the same charges the state currently uses against members of organized crime rings.

Senate Bill 1142, which passed Arizona’s Senate on Wednesday and has been sent to the state’s House, would expand the definition of rioting, and make the crime prosecutable under racketeering laws. If booked on rioting charges—like some journalists were when they covered riots at Trump’s inauguration in D.C.—an activist could have their assets seized while officials investigated whether he or she had been paid.

If the bill passes the Arizona’s Republican-majority House, the legislation could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech, activists say.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/27/arizona-gop-wants-to-treat-protests-like-organized-criminals.html?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Democracy, Disrupted Reply with quote

NYT Opinion Pages

Democracy, Disrupted
Thomas B. Edsall

As the forces of reaction outpace movements predicated on the ideal of progress, and as traditional norms of political competition are tossed aside, it’s clear that the internet and social media have succeeded in doing what many feared and some hoped they would. They have disrupted and destroyed institutional constraints on what can be said, when and where it can be said and who can say it.

Even though in one sense President Trump’s victory in 2016 fulfilled conventional expectations — because it prevented a third straight Democratic term in the White House — it also revealed that the internet and its offspring have overridden the traditional American political system of alternating left-right advantage. They are contributing — perhaps irreversibly — to the decay of traditional moral and ethical constraints in American politics.

Matthew Hindman, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and the author of “The Myth of Digital Democracy,” said in a phone interview that “if you took the label off, someone looking at the United States would have to be worried about democratic failure or transitioning toward a hybrid regime.”

Such a regime, in his view, would keep the trappings of democracy, including seemingly free elections, while leaders would control the election process, the media and the scope of permissible debate. “What you get is a country that is de facto less free.”

Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/opinion/how-the-internet-threatens-democracy.html
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:59 pm    Post subject: U.S. Citizens Now Being Forced To Provide Their Passwords Reply with quote

It's getting worse and worse in the Empire. In a country where not a minute goes by withouth the media telling us that we are living in the best country and the greatest democracy on the planet. With Trump's accession to power, democracy will soon become an autocracy.

U.S. Citizens Now Being Forced To Provide Their Social Media Passwords Upon Return To U.S.

The word for it, in case you were searching, is Despicable
“Un-American” would also work.
But you might save time by just labeling it: Trump.

When Buffalo, New York couple Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick returned to the U.S. from a trip to Toronto on Jan. 1, 2017, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers held them for two hours, took their cellphones and demanded their passwords.

"It just felt like a gross violation of our rights," said Shibly, a 23-year-old filmmaker born and raised in New York. But he and McCormick complied, and their phones were searched.

This is what happens when Americans endorse through their votes a policy of xenophobia that deliberately disregards our history of laws, traditions, and Constitutional principles.
It is what is happening to Americans returning from trips abroad, by a newly deputized Gestapo, the U.S. Customs and Border Service clearly feeling its oats after the rabid anti-immigrant campaign and ultimate election of Donald Trump (the like-minded Border Patrol Agents and Immigration Customs and Enforcement were among the few unions

Three days later, they returned from another trip to Canada and were stopped again by CBP
"One of the officers calls out to me and says, 'Hey, give me your phone,'" recalled Shibly. "And I said, 'No, because I already went through this.'"
The officer asked a second time.
Within seconds, he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend's face turn red as the officer's chokehold tightened.

NBC news examined 25 cases of American citizens recently detained and abused by U.S. Customs officials. In all of these cases, newly “empowered” border agents, eager and willing to channel their latent authoritarian impulses, threatened American citizens, demanding they either hand over their cell phone passwords—or else.

The travelers came from across the nation, and were both naturalized citizens and people born and raised on American soil. They traveled by plane and by car at different times through different states. Businessmen, couples, senior citizens, and families with young kids, questioned, searched, and detained for hours when they tried to enter or leave the U.S. None were on terror watchlists. One had a speeding ticket. Some were asked about their religion and their ethnic origins, and had the validity of their U.S. citizenship questioned.

The article details several specific instances of what is happening right now on our borders to American citizens who happen to be, sound, or look Muslim, trying to re-enter their own country from travelling abroad. It also is being applied to people leaving this country. Either way, the Constitutional protection of the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply at the border, and border agents have free rein to search anyone at any time. What is different now is that these same agents are being encouraged to be as intrusive as possible in furtherance of the political ideology of this Administration.

    First they came for the Muslims. That’s bad enough. And we should be outraged.
    But do you really think they’re going to stop with that?
    Read the article.
    Just read it.

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Last edited by murat on Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:21 am    Post subject: Asking foreign travelers about social media Reply with quote

Not too far from the methods of the Gestapo and the Stazi.

From Politico:

U.S. government begins asking foreign travelers about social media
By Michael Grunwald

The prompt includes a drop-down menu that lists platforms including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. | Getty

NEW YORK — The U.S. government quietly began requesting that select foreign visitors provide their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts upon arriving in the country, a move designed to spot potential terrorist threats that drew months of opposition from tech giants and privacy hawks alike.

Since Tuesday, foreign travelers arriving in the United States on the visa waiver program have been presented with an “optional” request to “enter information associated with your online presence,” a government official confirmed Thursday. The prompt includes a drop-down menu that lists platforms including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as a space for users to input their account names on those sites.

The new policy comes as Washington tries to improve its ability to spot and deny entry to individuals who have ties to terrorist groups like the Islamic State. But the government has faced a barrage of criticism since it first floated the idea last summer. The Internet Association, which represents companies including Facebook, Google and Twitter, at the time joined with consumer advocates to argue the draft policy threatened free expression and posed new privacy and security risks to foreigners.

Now that it is final, those opponents are furious the Obama administration ignored their concerns.

"There are very few rules about how that information is being collected, maintained [and] disseminated to other agencies, and there are no guidelines about limiting the government’s use of that information," said Michael W. Macleod-Ball, chief of staff for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office. "While the government certainly has a right to collect some information ... it would be nice if they would focus on the privacy concerns some advocacy groups have long expressed."

A spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, who said the government approved the change on Dec. 19, told POLITICO on Thursday the new policy is meant to “identify potential threats.” Previously, the agency had said it wouldn't prohibit entry to foreigners who didn’t provide their social media account information.

The question itself is included in what’s known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, a process that certain foreign travelers must complete to come to the United States. ESTA and a related paper form specifically apply to those arriving here through the visa -waiver program , which allows citizens of 38 countries to travel and stay in the United States for up to 90 days without a visa.

As soon as the government unveiled its draft proposal in June, however, consumer protection advocates expressed outrage. In a letter sent in August, the ACLU, Center for Democracy and Technology charged it posed immense privacy risks, given that social media accounts serve as “gateways into an enormous amount of [users’] online expression and associations, which can reflect highly sensitive information about that person’s opinions, beliefs, identity and community.” The groups also predicted the burden would “fall hardest on Arab and Muslim communities, whose usernames, posts, contacts and social networks will be exposed to intense scrutiny.”

After the policy changed, Nathan White, the senior legislative manager of Access Now, again blasted it as a threat to human rights.

“The choice to hand over this information is technically voluntary,” he said. “But the process to enter the U.S. is confusing, and it’s likely that most visitors will fill out the card completely rather than risk additional questions from intimidating, uniformed officers — the same officers who will decide which of your jokes are funny and which ones make you a security risk.”

Opponents also worry that the U.S. change will spark similar moves by other countries.

"Democratic and non-democratic countries — including those without the United States’ due process protections — will now believe they are more warranted in demanding social media information from visitors that could jeopardize visitors’ safety," said Internet Association general counsel Abigail Slater. ”The nature of the DHS’ requests delves into personal information, creating an information dragnet.”
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Re: U.S. Citizens Now Being Forced To Provide Their Password Reply with quote

murat wrote:
When Buffalo, New York couple Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick returned to the U.S. from a trip to Toronto on Jan. 1, 2017, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers held them for two hours, took their cellphones and demanded their passwords.
...
Three days later, they returned from another trip to Canada and were stopped again by CBP

January 1st, Trump wasn't president. January 4th Trump wasn't president. Any behavior then was Obama's rules.

25 times people questioned and held? What percentage is that? .001%?

How do these interrogations compare with the year 2000?, 2005?, 2010?, 2015?

Label this article FAKE news until stats of prior years are forthcoming....
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