Posts filed under ‘Torture’

Think “Animal Planet” is About Animals? Think Again

Have you ever watched “Animal Planet” and had the feeling that what you were watching wasn’t, at its core, about animals?  Me too.

Animal Planet via Wikipedia

Here’s an article Mother Jones published today about that very issue:

Drugs, Death, Neglect: Behind the Scenes at Animal Planet  —  Our Exclusive Investigation Reveals How Animals Suffer on the Network’s Top Reality Show.

Which leads me to my quote of the day, even though I don’t have a quote of the day category here on ye ol’ blog:

“We’re not looking to be a natural history channel,” Animal Planet group president Marjorie Kaplan told the New York Times in 2008. “We’re looking to be an entertainment destination.” The network recently aired two documentary-style programs purporting to present evidence that mermaids are real.


I don’t look to Animal Planet to be “a natural history channel” but I do look to them to be a channel that cares about animals.  Read the Mother Jones article.  Not only don’t they care about animals, they’re willing to kill them in order to add drama to their shows.

I guess we should take them at their word:  “We’re looking to be an entertainment destination” and here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., killing animals is entertaining.  Check your local listings.


January 21, 2014 at 9:05 PM Leave a comment

What It’s Like to be Force Fed

From The Guardian:

As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four-minute film made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure.

July 8, 2013 at 7:12 AM Leave a comment

GOP Senator Jokes About Waterboarding

Alternate title:  Why They Hate Us

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) made a regrettable “joke” today during the confirmation hearing for CIA director-nominee John Brennan:

Richard Burr 2-7-13

(Image via C-SPAN)

I’m going to try to be brief because I notice you’re on your fourth glass of water and I don’t want to be accused of waterboarding you.

See the video here.

Oh wow.  So funny.  Hah.  Hah. Hah.  ROFLAMO.


This is waterboarding (begins at 2:32) and it isn’t funny senator(s)!

February 7, 2013 at 6:34 PM Leave a comment


In a sane world, Condoleezza Rice would be in The Hague.

(Via AFP / Getty / Justin Sullivan)


August 29, 2012 at 9:10 PM Leave a comment

Constitutional Lawyer Obama Hates Whistleblowers

A quickie post:

The law-breaking telecoms who received retroactive immunity from Congress, the interrogators who tortured prisoners, the officials who gave the orders, the attorneys who authored the torture memos, and the CIA agents who destroyed the interrogation tapes have not been held professionally accountable, much less been charged with crimes. National security and intelligence whistleblowers have become the glaring exception to the Obama administration’s mantra of “looking forward, not backward.”  If you committed crimes under the guise of national security and the war on terrorism, you will not be held criminally liable, but if you blow the whistle on crimes, you risk criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act.

Learn more here about what Obama’s doing.  He’s worse than Bush when it comes to prosecuting people who expose corruption.

I thought he would encourage that, because he said he would:

I didn’t add an “Obama — Don’t Count on my Vote” category to this blog on a whim.



April 10, 2012 at 9:10 PM Leave a comment

Imagine Being Tortured Every Day for Nine Years

Imagine this:

Today marks the 31st anniversary of the massacre at Syria’s infamous Tadmor Prison. In 1980, hundreds of political prisoners were killed there after a failed assassination attempt on then-president Hafez al-Assad. Following the massacre, the prison was used as a tool of fear to quell opposition to the regime. And many of its prisoners were university students.

Tadmor is closed now, but the prison’s dark legacy lives on in the memories of those who survived the brutal torture there.

One of these survivors is Chicagoan Bara Sarraj. In 1984, Bara was a college student in Damascus when he was arrested and taken to Tadmor, where he was tortured almost daily for the next nine years. Now a transplant immunologist at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine, Bara recently sat down and wrote about his time in the prison. He’s posted his memoir online in Arabic, and has graciously shared his story with us.

Listen to Dr. Sarraj’s story here.


June 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM Leave a comment

Sorry Wingers, Bush Wasn’t Instrumental in the Death of bin Laden

Adam Sewer over at ThePlumLine eviscerates the Republican argument that torture and Bush’s “policies” were at the heart of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden (emphasis added):

What is notable however, is that the major distinction between Obama and Bush that has formed the basis of GOP criticism of Obama — the President’s rejection of torture — has proven so decisively wrongheaded. Conservatives attempting to attribute successfully killing bin Laden to torture are merely attempting to take credit for what President Bush pointedly failed to do. Far from yielding the necessary intelligence, the two al Qaeda suspects who were waterboarded pointedly resisted identifying the courier whose activities lead to the U.S. discovering Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. The pro-torture argument ignores the obvious — that if torture was so effective, bin Laden would have been dead long ago. Bin Laden was found through years of painstaking intelligence gathering, not through the barbarous methods supported by many Bush apologists.

One cannot discount how shattering the Obama administration’s killing of Bin Laden has been to the self-image of conservatives who have convinced themselves of that the fight against al Qaeda hinges not just on torture, but on how many times the president says the word “terrorism,” or on Obama’s refusal to engage in juvenile expressions of American toughness.

While we’re far from the moment where terrorism ceases to be a threat, what torture apologists fear most now is a future in which al Qaeda is destroyed without the U.S. embracing the war-on-terror “dark side” that’s become central to their identity. Indeed, having rejected torture, Obama has nevertheless lead the country to its greatest victory in the fight against al Qaeda.

The part I highlighted is the elephant in the room.  If torture was/is so effective, why wasn’t bin Laden killed or captured years ago?  Too bad the “liberal media” isn’t asking that of the parade of former Bush people who’ve been on teevee for the last week selling their line of bull.

May 9, 2011 at 2:18 PM Leave a comment

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