Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Don't Let the Torturer Play Censor/Civilians Dead in US Bombing: Afghan Officials

Published on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Blog of Rights / ACLU
Don't Let the Torturer Play Censor
by Noa Yachot

In a matter of weeks, the public could finally have access to information the CIA has been trying to keep secret for years. That is, unless the CIA decides otherwise.

The summary of a Senate report documenting the CIA's use of torture is now with the Executive Branch for declassification. We have been told that the report provides the most detailed account yet of what the CIA did to detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo, and the CIA's secret prisons overseas.

But while President Obama has authority to decide how much the public gets to see, he has given the CIA the lead on redacting the summary report.

It's hard to overstate how wrong that is. The agency charged with brutally torturing prisoners, lying about it to every oversight mechanism, and spying on the Senate committee charged with investigating it – that same agency is getting to decide which information about its illegal conduct will be released to the public?

Here's what we might be left with if the CIA redacts the torture report:

Redaction, when undertaken responsibly, keeps legitimate national security information secret. But not only have we been fooled too many times by the CIA to trust that it will redact responsibly, it flies in the face of transparency, oversight, and basic common sense to allow the torturers to dictate the terms of the conversation we're going to have about torture.

Earlier this month, Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council said:

Having prohibited these practices upon taking office, the President believes that bringing this program into the light will help the American people understand what happened in the past and can help guide us as we move forward, so that no Administration contemplates such a program in the future.

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. If you agree, join our call to President Obama to take the report out of CIA hands and into the light.

© 2014 ACLU

Noa Yachot is a communications strategist for the ACLU

Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/22-6

Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by Common Dreams

Civilians Dead in US Bombing: Afghan Officials

Tragedy comes amid climbing civilian deaths in US and UK drone war

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

A U.S. air strike on a village in Eastern Afghanistan killed three civilians—a woman and two children—the Afghan president's office revealed Tuesday.

Local officials say a NATO aircraft fired at a family in the Nadir Shah Kot district of Khost Province, killing three and wounding one man, The New York Times reports.
The attack occurred late Monday night and prompted an immediate condemnation from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who slammed the attack as a "violation of agreements," Reuters reports.

NATO, which is led by the U.S., released a statement claiming it is investigating the incident.

The loss of life comes amid mounting civilian deaths from U.S. and British covert drone strikes on Afghanistan.

According to a recent report by UN special rapporteur on human rights Ben Emmerson, data for 2013 shows that drone strikes in Afghanistan accounted for 40 percent of civilian deaths by pro-government forces, marking a three-fold increase since 2012. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, in 2013 at least 45 civilians died in drone strikes in Afghanistan.
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Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/16-1

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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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