On Tuesday, an Oklahoma inmate named Clayton Lockett was slowly tortured to death after a botched execution left him conscious and convulsing while strapped to a gurney. He eventually died of a heart attack 43 minutes into this ordeal.
Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Christian (R), however, apparently sees no problem with Lockett’s slow and painful death. According to a local news report, Christian said that he doesn’t care if inmates are killed by lethal injection, electrocution, a firing squad, a hanging, the guillotine or “being fed to the lions.”
Christian is also not alone in his willingness to revive discarded methods of execution in order to ensure that state-sponsored killings move forward. States that still execute inmates have had trouble obtaining the drugs they previously used for this purpose due to pharmaceutical companies refusing to sell these drugs to be used in executions and foreign governments restricting their sale. As a result, many states turned to drugs of uncertain quality. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) threatened to use a gas chamber to execute inmates. Wyoming considered resorting to firing squads. And the Virginia House passed a bill that would bring back the electric chair.
Sarah Palin gave a speech to members of the National Rifle Association, gathered in Indianapolis this weekend. She said something that struck me as sacrilegious. I’ve long defended Palin against the offensive treatment she’s received at the hands of a blatantly biased media, a media that collectively lost its mind the moment she entered the national stage. But that hardly means she must be defended at all times.
What did she say? Here’s how The Hill reports it:
“They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad,” she said at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting on Saturday evening, referring to prisoners. “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
Emphasis mine. When my husband (who was baptized 10 years ago today, as it happens) told me about this, I had a hard time believing that she actually said it. Not just because baptism couldn’t be taken more seriously in traditional Christianity but because the media routinely misquote or fail to provide context for quotes. But the video makes the statement seem even worse.
So why did the crowd cheer when she said it? And why did some folks defend or downplay the statement on Twitter? I couldn’t begin to say, but they shouldn’t have done so.
Why you ask? Well it is quite simple really - the right has built up a fetish - a sexual fetish over righteous violence (read: ‘Christian based campaigns of fantasizing of violence towards Islam, GLBTI people, Mexicans, communists, et al)
They have turned guns and bombs into sexualized objects of fantasy and attraction, of virility and fertility, of patriotism and of religious duty.
That. Is. Why.
Answering Allah: Former Gitmo Guard Gives Lecture at ISU - Answering Allah: Former Gitmo Guard Gives Lecture at ISU: Members
“One of the torture methods was to tie a prisoner in a stress position and then play the same song over and over again for eight hours, until eventually, the prisoner urinated on themselves,” Holdbrooks said. “Then they would humiliate them, say ‘You’re not a man, you urinated on yourself, give us your intelligence.’”
This particular detainee had a plan, he memorized the tune and then sang it to his torturer.
“It worked. It really upset the guy,” Holdbrooks said.
Holdbrooks said other torture methods included showing prisoners graphic photos of beheaded women and children and telling them that their families were dead and they might as well give up any information that they had.
Updated : Meet the American Pastor Responsible for the Murder, Criminalization and Oppression of Africa’s Gays
Mother Jones has a fantastic article providing the history and consequences of his anti-gay campaigning in Uganda. To say this man is responsible for murder, oppression, hate crimes, and torture, is not a “bridge too far”.
Yes - American Christians are behind both Russia’s and Uganda’s anti-gay persecution and crimes against humanity, and here is the evidence:
In early March 2009, Lively returned to Uganda at Langa’s invitation. Uganda’s High Court had recently found that the government overstepped its authority by detaining two gay activists simply because they were gay. In response, a Langa-run group called the Family Life Network planned a three-day conference to expose what he called the “hidden and dark” gay agenda. On the last day, Lively gave a marathon five-hour presentation, which was broadcast on Ugandan television. He claimed that homosexuals were aggressively recruiting Uganda’s children and argued that human rights protections shouldn’t be extended to these “predatory” figures.
A member of parliament from the Democratic Republic of Congo is pushing for an anti-LGBT bill that mirrors Uganda’s controversial measure that was signed into law last month, All Africa reports.
According to Ynajia, reports say, “sexual moans were heard about 20 minutes after them men had checked into the room they had booked at the hotel.” The hotel attendant, who reportedly heard the men, notified police and the couple was soon arrested.
The New Civil Rights Movement points to reports that several LGBT people from Uganda have been evicted from their homes because of their sexuality. The blog Sebaspace posted two evictions by posting scans of notices. The first letter, dated March 3, reads:
“You have been a wonderful woman as well as a tenant who hasn’t given me any trouble over rent whatsoever. But due to what is going on in the country [regarding the anti-gay law] and your way you and your friends behave, I am sorry but I think you are a depraved person who I can no longer tolerate in my house. I also cannot fight against the government. For that reason, I want you out of my house by March 30, 2014, peacefully.”
The second letter says:
“I am writing to inform you that you have been evicted from the house you live in because of the stories [about your gay lifestyle] that appeared on Bukedde Television and in the print media. We can no longer live with someone like you. Therefore, vacate the premises before the 5th of May 2014”
The NCRM also notes that LGBT activists Scott Long and Kasha Jacqueline posted to the Sebaspace blog as well.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea released a 400-page report Monday detailing just how bad things are there; here’s the laundry list:
“These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
Which pretty much says it all, though, as Julie Makinen reported for The Times, the report further noted: “the ‘gravity, scale and nature of the violations’ in the totalitarian state over several decades do not have ‘any parallel in the contemporary world.’ “
The founding pastor of a Washington state megachurch on Sunday told female parishioners that God wanted them to submit to their husbands and that they shouldn’t be a “nag,” likening them to Chinese water torture.
In in a Sunday sermon, Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll said that people often misunderstood the Bible’s teachings on what it meant for a wife to “submit” to her husband.
“Number one, it does not mean that the wife is less valuable, intelligent, or competent,” he explained. “Number two, this does not mean that men, in general, are to be ruling over women in general. It doesn’t mean that. We’re not talking about gender issues; we’re talking about marriage issues.”
“This does mean that a wife sets a pattern for others to respect her husband,” Driscoll opined. “If the wife disrespects the husband in front of his coworkers, will they respect the husband? No. No. Women who publicly disrespect their husbands encourage others to disrespect their husbands. And this doesn’t mean you don’t disagree with your husband but you do so respectfully, privately.”
The pastor added that women who disrespected their husband in front of others put men in a “lose-lose scenario” because “if he doesn’t argue back, he’s being weak.”
“Men with men, it’s not like this. You disrespect me, we can talk about that, right? We can actually have a bit of a debate about that.”
Driscoll went on to talk about how the book of Proverbs described “certain kinds of women.”
“They’re quarrelsome. They’re a nag,” he said. “And some women — you’re a nag. You’re disrespectful. You’re quarrelsome. Being married to you is like a life sentence, and the guy’s just scratching on his wall every day.”
Offered without further comment:
It’s a long piece, but worth reading in full.
The Sinai Peninsula has become a prison and grave for thousands of African refugees. They are kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured to death even after their families have paid hefty ransoms. But Egypt refuses to act.
Five people fled at night under the cover of heavy wind. Gusts were whipping fiercely against the hut they had been chained in. Their guard seemed to be sleeping, and the storm raged so loudly that they were able to use a rock to smash their chains without waking him. One by one, they slithered on their sides through a gap in the wall and out to freedom. “We wanted to either escape or die,” says Zeae, a 27-year-old man from Eritrea.
The five of them were barefoot and had only a few scraps of clothing on their emaciated bodies, which were covered with burns and scars. “We saw lights in the distance,” Zeae says. But two of the men were too weak to walk. They stayed behind, lying there in the desert, because the others were too weak to help them. It was hard enough just dragging their own bodies forward.
In the end, two young men and one girl reached the first of the houses they had seen. When a Bedouin opened the door, Zeae says, “I thought it was about to start all over again” — the beatings, the torture, the rape.
The Sinai Peninsula, which connects Egypt and Israel, has become a place of suffering and death for thousands of refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, from Eritrea, Somalia or Sudan. They come in search of a better life in Israel or Europe, but many of them end up kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured. Criminals among the Bedouins living here demand ransom from the victims’ families back home. They often torture their prisoners to death. The government in Cairo, meanwhile, seems to ignore these brutal crimes.
Pres. Obama and Eric Holder should mail them a letter with a giant ‘F U’ on page one.
GENEVA (Reuters) - A United Nations investigator called on the United States on Monday to publish its findings on the CIA’s Bush-era program of rendition and secret detention of terrorism suspects.
Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, voiced concern that while President Barack Obama’s administration has rejected Central Intelligence Agency practices conducted under his predecessor George W. Bush, there have been no prosecutions.
“Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which he will address on Tuesday.
Emmerson, an international lawyer from Britain, has served since August 2011 in the independent post set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2005 to probe human rights violations committed during counter-terrorism operations worldwide.
The “war on terror” waged by Bush after al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 led to “gross or systematic” violations involving secret prisons for Islamic militant suspects, clandestine transfers and torture, Emmerson said.
Under Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Department of Justice would not prosecute any official who acted in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance given by its Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush era on interrogation.
But Emmerson said that using a “superior orders defense” and invoking secrecy on national security grounds was “perpetuating impunity for the public officials implicated in these crimes”.