April 2009 Archives
- How ABC Interview Shaped a Torture Debate - NYTimes.com
Some critics say that the now-discredited information shared by Mr. Kiriakou and other sources heightened the public perception of waterboarding as an effective interrogation technique. "I think it was sanitized by the way it was described" in press accounts, said John Sifton, a former lawyer for Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group.
tags: torture warcrimes alqaeda
- Glasstire: Texas visual art online - 175 Art People, Places and Things to Follow on Twitter
tags: art twitter gallery museum blogs
- cronicasbarbaras.com: WE DON'T WANT ADS, WE WANT ART
tags: graffiti advertising streetart publicspace nyc art
- Krystian Zimerman's shocking Disney Hall debut | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times
He announced this would be his last performance in America because of the nation's military policies overseas.
tags: war guantanamo krystian-zimerman classical music
- Bacon sandwich really does cure a hangover - Telegraph
A bacon sandwich really does cure a hangover - by boosting the level of amines which clear the head, scientists have found.
tags: alcohol bacon hangover
I don't have a link for this yet, but I was watching CNN at the gym just now, and saw Arlen Specter say that we can't prosecute people in the previous administration for committing torture or war crimes, because "that's what banana republics do."
Meanwhile, after hearing that we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times, we learn that administration officials and members of Congress discussed torture but didn't know anything about the history or efficacy of the techniques. I had certainly heard of waterboarding before 9/11, thanks to reading about the Spanish Inquisition.
In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.
This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.
According to several former top officials involved in the discussions seven years ago, they did not know that the military training program, called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, had been created decades earlier to give American pilots and soldiers a sample of the torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War, methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans.
Even George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director who insisted that the agency had thoroughly researched its proposal and pressed it on other officials, did not examine the history of the most shocking method, the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding.
The top officials he briefed did not learn that waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was a well-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia.
They did not know that some veteran trainers from the SERE program itself had warned in internal memorandums that, morality aside, the methods were ineffective. Nor were most of the officials aware that the former military psychologist who played a central role in persuading C.I.A. officials to use the harsh methods had never conducted a real interrogation, or that the Justice Department lawyer most responsible for declaring the methods legal had idiosyncratic ideas that even the Bush Justice Department would later renounce.
The process was “a perfect storm of ignorance and enthusiasm,” a former C.I.A. official said.
The graphic accompanying the New York Times article (click to see it larger) would make a great list of people to prosecute if we could have our own Nuremberg trials. That list includes Nancy Pelosi.
Banana republics are the kind of states that torture people, and many democracies in Latin America are now prosecuting former officials for their crimes while in office, such as Peru's conviction of Fujimori.
We are the banana republic in this case.
- The Times Wins 5 Pulitzer Prizes - NYTimes.com
including Holland Cotter for arts criticism. Don't miss the Damon Winter photo slideshow.
tags: nytimes pulitzer criticism photography reporting journalism
- Open Left:: Getting Serious About Holding Democrats Accountable
The ad features Lorrain, a homeonwer who lives in the Arkansas 1st congressional district. Like hundreds of thousands of other homeowners around the country, Lorrain, would have been assisted by the Help Families Save Their Homes Act. However, Democrat Marion Berry, who currently represents the Arkansas 1st, voted against the act even though he had voted in favor of the Wall Street bailout.
tags: politics arkansas economics blue-dog-democrats
- Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog: Stefan Brecht Historian of the Avante Garde Theatre, 1924-2009
tags: theater poetry history charles-ludlam robert-wilson brecht 1960s 1970s
- Jeremiah's Vanishing New York: Chelsea Court Meat Market
The butcher shop on 9th Avenue closes after 49 years
tags: chelsea butcher history lostnewyork nyc
- Tomorrow Museum > JG Ballard, Our Greatest Living Novelist is No Longer
tags: jg-ballard books literature
- Tree Project from Hiroshi Sunairi
As a part of "Tree Project," in which I have been giving the seeds of the trees that survived from the time of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima to the people who are interested in planting and growing them in the US or anywhere in the world.
tags: hiroshi-sunairi trees hiroshima atomic-bomb ww2
- For the love of small paintings - Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green talks about our David Reed painting
tags: david-reed painting ourcollection
The Civilians are holding their annual performance and benefit party on Friday, April 17th at Galapagos DUMBO. Their current projects include an investigation of the monstrous Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn and its effects on the surrounding communities.
Please join us at the newly reopened Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO for a one-night-only performance created from your stories. After a season spent investigating community in Brooklyn and Colorado Springs, we turn our attention to you and invite you to participate in an original Civilians piece by sharing personal insights about what HOME means to you.
- Dance Theater Workshop and Other Arts Groups Face Mounting Debts - NYTimes.com
tags: performing arts realestate debt nonprofit dance-theater-workshop dixon-place
- Art - Nick Cave, Dreaming the Clothing Electric, at the Yerba Buena Center - NYTimes.com
article on Nick Cave and his soundsuits (the artist, not the singer)
tags: artist nick-cave performance sculpture
- Stroman disappoints with new musical 'Happiness' -- Newsday.com
Great line from this review: The show wanders in the chasm that separates the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge from "No Exit," Jean-Paul Sartre's existential classic about dead people trapped forever in a room.
tags: musical-theater theater nyc review
- The Big Takeover : Rolling Stone
Great piece on "How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution" by Matt Taibbi
tags: economics politics finance bailout
- Martin Luther KIng - LIFE EXCLUSIVE! The Day MLK Died - LIFE
Previously unreleased images by LIFE photographers
tags: history photojournalism photography mlk martin-luther-king