Isaiah 5:20-23 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own sight, and prudent in their own esteem! Woe to the champions at drinking wine, the valiant at mixing strong drink! To those who acquit the guilty for bribes, and deprive the just man of his rights!”
Amnesty International Torture does not stop terror. Torture is terror. Torture or other ill-treatment not only harm the victims, it brutalizes the perpetrator and the societies that allow it to happen. It is cruel. It is inhuman. It degrades us all.
The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) is the only organization founded by and for torture survivors. The mission of TASSC is to end the practice of torture wherever it occurs and to empower survivors, their families and communities wherever they are http://tassc.org/blog/about-us/
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 5, Universal Declaration of Human Rights United nations
Catholic social teaching Pacem in terris, Pope John XXIII Every human being is a person endowed with intelligence and free will Every person has rights and obligations flowing from his or her nature Rights and obligations are universal and inviolable and cannot in any way be surrendered
1950’s and 1960’s torture manuals Throughout the 1950's and 1960's, the CIA financed secret research on torture at over 6 U.S. university psychology departments; by the late 1950's, they spent over a billion a year for this research. In 1963, the secret KUBARK Counter-intelligence interrogation manuals were codified. The True Cost of Low Prices, Ch. 6, Vincent Gallagher, 2006
As a result of CIA research, the same techniques were used in Latin America in the 1980’s and 1990’s, in Vietnam, at Abu Gharib, Iraq and at Guatanamo. The True Cost of Low Prices, Ch. 6, Vincent Gallagher, 2006
Torture by SOA graduates From 1982-1991, the U.S. funded School of Americas, a training school for Spanish speaking soldiers, used 6 torture training manuals which advocated execution of guerrillas, extortion, physical abuse and coercion. The True Cost of Low Prices, Ch. 6, Vincent Gallagher, 2006
School of Americas or Western Hemispheric Institute of Security and Cooperation
SOA Watch http://www.soaw.org/
SOA Torture Survivor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWCNt-d0gRs&feature=channel Colombian Torture Survivor
The manuals were kept secret until 1996 when they were disclosed by the Pentagon, which feared that former Senator Joseph Kennedy had copies of them. Kennedy conducted a 5 year campaign to close the SOA.The True Cost of Low Prices, Ch. 6, Vincent Gallagher, 2006
Media Cooperation with US Policy This policy of torture was only talked about by the National Catholic Reporter and the book Disturbing the Peace by James Hodge and Linda Cooper. The rest of the media presented it as if there was no US policy. The True Cost of Low Prices, Ch. 6, Vincent Gallagher, 2006
Fr. John Dear was the presider at our liturgy Saturday night. His inspirational words moved all of the 1500 participants in the liturgy.
Fr. Steve Privett, S.J., President of USF, reflected during the Eucharist.
A fence erected to keep protestors out of the fort was turned into a shrine for the disappeared and murdered in Latin America.
The high risk protestors were at the end of the funeral procession. These people crossed the line onto the School of America’s property at Fort Benning.
Former Bell serves time for SOA protest Michael Casey crossed the line at Fort Benning in 2007 and was arrested. He served 3 months in prison for his non-violent protest of the SOA/WHINSEC. Michael was in the same class as Peter Canavese, '92.
From: Betty Casey [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] • Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2007 10:38 AM • To: Wade, Jerry S.J. • Subject: Michael Casey - School of the Americas • Rev. Gerald Wade, S.J. • 960 West Hedding Street • San Jose, CA 95126 • February 23. 2007 • Dear Father Wade: • We are enclosing a packet of information regarding our son Michael’s • recent prosecution and conviction for trespass at Fort Benning, Georgia, • during the annual School of the Americas protest. Michael, along with 15 • other protestors received sentences in Federal prison ranging from 30 • days to the maximum of six months. Michael received a sentence of 100 • days. We are now awaiting the start of that sentence. • As you certainly are aware, the School of Americas protest began in 1989 • following the murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador. The annual • protest at Fort Benning has had significant Jesuit high school and • college support over the years. Over 20,000 people participated in this • past Novembers’ demonstration. • While the prospect of Michael going to Federal prison has filled us with • anxiety, we are proud of what he did and the principles upon which he • acted. As you may recall, Michael first moved to Atlanta in 1999 as a • Jesuit volunteer working with the homeless and those in prison. He is • now married, still lives in Atlanta, and continues with the work he • began as a Jesuit volunteer. • We know that Bellarmine is rightfully proud of the work and • accomplishments of its alumni. While Michael may not have followed a • traditional path, we know that the school is also proud of his • courageous actions in pursuant of peace and justice. Anything that • Bellarmine might do to publicize Michael and his efforts would certainly • help lead to the defunding of the School of the Americas. • If you desire any further information or wish to discuss Michael’s • situation, please do not hesitate to contact us. • Peace, • Tom and Betty Casey
http://soaw.org/article.php?id=1793 • 2010 sentencing • http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1256 • Joe DeRaymond Sentencing Statement • http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1255 • YOung person who crossed the line • http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1248 • how many troops and bases? • http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1243 • peace community death threats • http://www.soaw.org/new/article.php?id=1222 • Colombian Peace Community Leader Murdered by Colombian Army
In light of deeply disturbing and continuing reports of persistent violations of human rights of persons in the custody of U.S. military…our bishops’ conference again urges immediate steps to be taken to end these violations, to prevent future occurrences and to discover how they came about. The abuse and torture of detainees violate human rights. U.S. Catholic bishops, 12 January 2006
there is sufficient basis for the us government to order a broad criminal investigation into alleged war crimes committed in connection with the torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the cia secret detention program, and the rendition of detainees to torture. Such an investigation would necessarily focus on alleged criminal conduct by the following four senior officials—former president George w. Bush, vice president dick Cheney, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and cia director George tenet. Human rights watch, July 2011
Media cooperation with US policy From the early 1930s until the modern story broke in 2004, the newspapers that covered waterboarding almost uniformly called the practice torture or implied it was torture: The New York Times characterized it thus in 81.5% (44 of 54) of articles on the subject and The Los Angeles Times did so in 96.3% of articles (26 of 27). http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/07/hbc-90007329
Media cooperation with US Policy From 2002‐2008, the studied newspapers almost never referred to waterboarding as torture. The New York Times called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture in just 2 of 143 articles (1.4%). The Los Angeles Times did so in 4.8% of articles (3 of 63). The Wall Street Journal characterized the practice as torture in just 1 of 63 articles (1.6%). In addition, the newspapers are much more likely to call waterboarding torture if a country other than the United States is the perpetrator. http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/07/hbc-90007329
Is Torture Effective? http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/400168/october-19-2011/ali-soufan Ali Soufan Former FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan discusses the interrogation techniques he used to obtain intelligence from Al Qaeda operatives. Colbert report Oct 19 2011
Persons…shall in all circumstances be treated humanely…the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever…violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture…outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment… Article 3 of the Third Geneva Convention
Prisoners of War must at all times be humanely treated…Prisoners of War are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honor…No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatsoever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind. Articles, 13, 14, 17 of the Third Geneva Convention
Catholic Social Teaching Gaudium et spes, Vatican II The varieties of crime are numerous: violations of the integrity of the human person such as physical and mental torture, undue psychological pressures Catholic Social Teaching Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church The roots of human rights are to be found in the dignity that belongs to each human being…the ultimate source of human rights is not found in the mere will of human beings, in the reality of the state, in public powers, but in the human person and in God the Creator. These rights are universal, inviolable, inalienable.
Here are two articles which reference a Harvard study which examines the media’s discussion of torture from 1903-2010.