I Went to Prison After Exposing US Torture. Why Weren’t the Perpetrators Charged?

While reading through the book of Acts I always stopped to wonder at the boldness of the witnesses in light of persecution.  Paying attention to the background I realized I was peeking into the origins of much of our government today.  The Roman system was advanced for its day, but like ours still very primitive.  Two accounts from many, point that out: Acts 18:12-17 and the other, Acts 22:21-30.  Two thousand years and we have not advanced an inch.  I guess we have the most perfect system mankind can make. 

    • After I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program in 2007, the fallout for me was brutal. To make a long story short, I served nearly two years in federal prison and then endured a few more months of house arrest.

      What happened to the torture program? Nothing.

    • I thought they’d work together to ensure that our collective name would never again be sullied by torture — that we’d respect our own laws and the international laws and treaties to which we’re signatories.
    • In retrospect, I was naïve, even after having served in the CIA for nearly 15 years and as a Senate committee staffer for several more.
    • Take the case of Ammar al-Baluchi, who was arrested in Pakistan and sent to a secret CIA prison, where interrogators held his head under water, beat him repeatedly with a truncheon, and slammed his head against the wall, causing lasting head trauma.

      This abuse wasn’t authorized by the Justice Department. So why weren’t the perpetrators charged with a crime?

      Perhaps worst of all, CIA officers tortured as many as 26 people who were probably innocent of any ties to terrorism.

    • The architects of the program haven’t been held accountable. Nor have those who clearly violated the law by torturing prisoners without any legal justifications. Why should the government have locked me up for telling the truth and given them full impunity?
    • there’s a clear precedent in how the government has confronted similar actions in the past.
    • Some current and former CIA leaders will argue that torture netted actionable intelligence that saved American lives. I was working in the CIA’s counterterrorism center at the same time they were, and I can tell you that they’re lying
    • the report found that “the harsh interrogation methods did not succeed in exacting useful intelligence.”
    • Whether or not it ever gleans useful intelligence, however, is beside the point. The question isn’t whether torture works. Torture is immoral.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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DIANE BLACK: End late-term abortions – Washington Times

    • Democrats are quick to brand conservatives as “science deniers” on a host of other issues, so why would they choose to ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus in this debate?

    • Kermit Gosnell. This is the man who savagely killed babies born alive in his “clinic” and is responsible for the death of an adult woman. Americans were rightfully outraged when told of his crimes, but the truth is that innocent, unborn children routinely suffer the same fate as Gosnell’s victims through “normal” late-term abortions and the government does not bat an eye.

    • the House of Representatives voted to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act this week, which will provide federal legal protection for unborn children at 20 weeks, with exceptions to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape and incest.

    • there is significant evidence that by 20 weeks of development, unborn children have the capacity to feel pain.

    • It is difficult to imagine a more important measure of a society than how it treats its most innocent and defenseless population.

    • Sadly, while we celebrate advances in technology that prove life has value and worth before leaving the hospital, we also continue to be one of only seven nations that allow elective, late-term abortions — putting the United States in the same category as countries like Vietnam and North Korea.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Purity in a Digital Age

Technology can be used for good or bad.  Here are some steps to keep you from falling prey (consciously and unconsciously) to the bad, e.g. does your cell phone control you or do you control your cell phone.

via Tim Challies: Purity in a Digital Age – YouTube.

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Mary Jo White’s choice: MORE dark money in 2016 or less?

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Robert –

If you owned a TV in 2014 or 2012, you already know how bad the dark money problem is in America.

Corporate executives can take millions straight from the company’s treasury and spend it on dark money ads trashing candidates who don’t support shoveling them more tax breaks and tearing apart government regulations.

Voters never find out who is funding the nasty ads, and shareholders – like you if you have a 401(k) – never find out if their companies are spending money on running attack ads rather than running a good business.

The New York Times declared that “dark money helped win the Senate” last November, and 2016 is shaping up to be way, way worse.  

That is, unless SEC Chair Mary Jo White does her job.

Click here to tell SEC Chair Mary Jo White to issue a rule requiring public companies to unmask their dark money spending.

As the chair of the SEC, Mary Jo White’s duty is to protect investors and enforce the rules on Wall Street. When he nominated her, President Obama promised she would do just that – that she would be a tough “cop on the beat.”

Instead, she’s let big banks off the hook time and time again, like each time she gives special “waivers” to mega-banks that break the law, because they are “too big to bar.”

Mary Jo White has dragged her feet on the dark money rule for more than 2 years, actually taking a proposed fix OFF the rule-making agenda, even as it gathered a record-breaking 1.2 million public comments.

Corporate executives and billionaires have sent a clear message to the SEC: We want to flood hundreds of millions of dollars into elections, in secret. The response from the SEC to date? “I’m Mary Jo White, and I approve that message.”

Enough is enough. It’s past time for Mary Jo White to do the right thing and protect investors and voters.

The SEC is expected to put out its rulemaking agenda for the coming year by the end of this month. Our democracy needs that agenda to include a rule fighting dark money.

Click here to rush your comment to Mary Jo White and the SEC: take action against dark money and put the political spending rule on the May agenda.

Thanks for taking action,

Kurt Walters
Campaign Manager

Rootstrikers is a new generation of activists taking a stand against the corrupting influence of money in politics. We are a project of Demand Progress.

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Testing Prayer: Can Science Prove the Healing Power of Prayer? | Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D.

    • When sickness strikes, people around the world pray for healing. Many of the faithful claim that prayer has cured them of blindness, deafness and metastasized cancers, and some believe they have been resurrected from the dead.
    • Can, and should, science test such claims?
    • Part of the confusion stems from how prayer is studied.
    • Scientific research has returned mixed results. Some studies conclude that prayer improves health, while others show no effect — or suggest that prayer may lead to worsening health.
    • Are healing claims documented?
    • How do sufferers perceive healing prayer? Fifty-two percent reported healing. Few “claimed healing by faith,” instead defining healing as noticeable improvement of symptoms.
    • Can health outcomes of prayer be measured?
    • Do healing experiences produce lasting effects?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Marijuana vs Alcohol: Fox News Can’t Tell Which More Dangerous?

We really don’t get anywhere on any issue until we find out the truth about the issue.

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The privilege of bringing children into the world

The privilege of bringing children into the world carries with it the responsibility of teaching them the fundamentals of sound character.

By tftd On 23 March 2015 ·

One of life’s greatest joys is the sense of wonder that accompanies the arrival of a tiny new human being into the world. But that joy is accompanied by a tremendous responsibility that perfectly encapsulates the need for personal initiative. You can provide children with all the physical advantages of a good childhood, but unless you strive to set a good example for them to follow, you will know only dismay as they reach adulthood and blossom into purposeless drifters. Your personal initiative, whether or not you are raising a child, must always incorporate exemplary behavior. You cannot take ethical shortcuts, big or small, without other people observing them and assuming that this behavior is something you wouldn’t mind having turned back on yourself. Certainly you will make mistakes, but if you have always striven for the best course, others will remember it and treat you accordingly.

via The privilege of bringing children into the world carries with it the responsibility of teaching them the fundamentals of sound character. | Napoleon Hill Foundation.

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