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”.
They were fit and strong and humorless. “It’s difficult to say how many people I’ve killed,” a Tiger named Seetha, age twenty-two, told me. What I remember most from that trip are the tiny vials of cyanide that Seetha and every other Tiger wore around their necks, like pieces of jewelry. Capture at the hands of the Sri Lankan government often meant torture, so the Tigers weren’t taking the risk.
It was strange, meeting those women. They were impossible not to like, even to respect, despite—or even because of—their brutality. And that was it: they were as tough as the men. The Tigers, run at the time by a cult-leader-like figure named Velupillai Prabhakaran, started drafting women into the army not because Prabhakaran was a feminist but because so many of the men, after more than fifteen years of fighting, were dead. There was a surplus of women, and they wanted to fight. The headline that ran with my story was “Women Dying to be Equal.”
I thought of the Tiger ladies yesterday when I read about the decision, by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, to rescind the ban on American servicewomen in combat. The order was a long time coming. A dozen years ago, it would have been remarkable for American women to be shooting people and losing their eyes and legs in war. Not anymore. In the twelve years since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, the military has been steadily pushing women into jobs that no one could call “non-combat” without stripping the phrase of its meaning. Nowadays, women fly Apache helicopters—giant, terrifying killing machines armed with rockets and cannon. Women fly medevac helicopters, often descending directly into firefights to carry away wounded soldiers as they take enemy fire. Members of what the military calls “female engagement teams” venture into remote Afghan villages—nearly all of which are contested by the Taliban—to talk to Afghan women because of the cultural barriers that stand in the way of American men. What’s “non-combat” about those jobs?
More: Women With Guns
Writing for The Nation, Peter Weiss comments on the new debate about whether the role of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” (better, and more accurately known as torture) played any role in the assassination of Osama bin Laden:
Many seem to agree that it (Zero Dark Thirty) is a brilliant piece of filmmaking. But beyond that, the torture scenes shown in grisly detail at the beginning of the film have led to sharply divided opinions. Was the information about bin Laden’s whereabouts obtained through torture? If not, as Leon Panetta affirmed when he was head of the CIA and as Senator Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, insisted in a letter of protest to Sony Pictures, why did the filmmakers go out of their way to portray the contrary? What did Katherine Bigelow, the film’s director, have in mind when she said she didn’t have an agenda and wasn’t judging? How can one not judge torture—what is there to be neutral about?
After more or less eliminating torture at the beginning of President Obama’s first term, though, not incidentally shirking the duty to hold the torturers and those who authorized and encouraged torture accountable, we are now back to a grand debate over whether torture ‘works.’ At PO Box 1142, where we obtained a great deal of information useful for the war effort from German prisoners, many of whom were Nazi sympathizers, even members of the Nazi party, this question never came up. It was not part of the culture. That torture was not to be used was a self-evident proposition. There were, of course, psychological techniques that interrogators used to extract information. They included the establishment of human relationships between interviewer and interviewee, which was no easy matter when one was a Jew and the other a German, but personal feelings had to be suppressed for the sake of obtaining results. To the best of my knowledge, no one ever laid a hand on any of the German detainees.
The emphasis in the first quoted paragraph is mine, because torture played no role whatsoever in extracting the information that led to the assassination of bin Laden:
Filling in the Gaps
Years before the Sept. 11 attacks transformed Bin Laden into the world’s most feared terrorist, the C.I.A. had begun compiling a detailed dossier about the major players inside his global terror network.
It wasn’t until after 2002, when the agency began rounding up Qaeda operatives — and subjecting them to hours of brutal interrogation sessions in secret overseas prisons — that they finally began filling in the gaps about the foot soldiers, couriers and money men Bin Laden relied on.
Prisoners in American custody told stories of a trusted courier. When the Americans ran the man’s pseudonym past two top-level detainees — the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed; and Al Qaeda’s operational chief, Abu Faraj al-Libi — the men claimed never to have heard his name. That raised suspicions among interrogators that the two detainees were lying and that the courier probably was an important figure.
As the hunt for Bin Laden continued, the spy agency was being buffeted on other fronts: the botched intelligence assessments about weapons of mass destruction leading up to the Iraq War, and the intense criticism for using waterboarding and other extreme interrogation methods that critics said amounted to torture.
Once again, the emphasis is mine. Read the whole Times article for the complete story.
HOUSTON (AP) — Four top leaders of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are among nearly three dozen alleged gang members charged in a sweeping indictment unsealed Friday that accuses them of crimes ranging from capital murder to drug trafficking.
Few details were released about the alleged crimes, but 10 defendants are facing charges that carry a death penalty. As examples of the gang’s brutality, the indictment says one leader ordered a subordinate to kill a gang prospect and return his severed finger, and another was told to burn a tattoo from a member’s arm for not following an order.
“Brutal beatings, fire bombings, drug trafficking and murder are all part of ABT’s alleged standard operating procedure,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breurer said in a statement. “As charged, ABT uses violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and to retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement.”
Only three people named in the indictment haven’t been arrested. Sixteen people were arrested Friday across Texas, while 15 others were already in custody, prosecutors said, adding that the arrests capped years of investigation.
All are charged with racketeering conspiracy. Some were charged with involvement in at least three murders, multiple attempted murders, kidnappings, assaults and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
It goes on and on.
But now it stops.
Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has said much about torture as part of terrorism investigations during the 2012 general campaign. But the future of American government practices when interrogating high-level terrorism suspects appears likely to turn on the outcome of the presidential election.
Mitt Romney said he plans to “use enhanced interrogation techniques which go beyond those that are in the military handbook right now,’ at a news conference in Charleston, S.C., in December.
In one of his first acts, President Obama issued an executive order restricting interrogators to a list of nonabusive tactics approved in the Army Field Manual. Even as he embraced a hawkish approach to other counterterrorism issues — like drone strikes, military commissions, indefinite detention and the Patriot Act — Mr. Obama has stuck to that strict no-torture policy.
By contrast, Mr. Romney’s advisers have privately urged him to ‘rescind and replace President Obama’s executive order’ and permit secret ‘enhanced interrogation techniques against high-value detainees that are safe, legal and effective in generating intelligence to save American lives,’ according to an internal Romney campaign memorandum.
While the memo is a policy proposal drafted by Mr. Romney’s advisers in September 2011 — not a final decision by him — its detailed analysis dovetails with his rare and limited public comments about interrogation.
‘We’ll use enhanced interrogation techniques which go beyond those that are in the military handbook right now,’ he said at a news conference in Charleston, S.C., in December.
The Romney campaign document, obtained by The New York Times, is a five-page policy paper titled ‘Interrogation Techniques.’ It was a near-final draft circulated in September 2011 among the Romney campaign’s ‘National Security Law Subcommittee’ for any further comments before it was to be submitted to Mr. Romney. The panel consists of a brain trust of conservative lawyers, most of whom are veterans of the George W. Bush administration.
The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment…
In particular, it criticizes Mr. Obama for restricting interrogators to a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ designed for routine battlefield captures by ordinary soldiers, not high-level terrorist operatives in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency. It also notes that the Army Field Manual is available on the Internet, so enemies can study it.
Last December, Mr. Romney was asked about waterboarding at a town-hall meeting in Charleston. He replied that he would ‘do what is essential to protect the lives of the American people’ but would not list ‘for our enemies around the world’ what techniques the United States would use.
Mr. Romney also declared that he would ‘not authorize torture.’ At the news conference afterward, a reporter pressed him to say whether he thought waterboarding was torture, and Mr. Romney replied, ‘I don’t.’
And for those that want to read it, and you should here’s the Romney campaign policy paper
And here’s Hitch getting waterboarded, in case there’s any doubt as to whether waterboarding is torture.
Greenwald analyzes some unsurprising news from last week:
The Obama administration’s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete. Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, “eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA”.
Adam Serwer adds:
[N]ot everyone connected to Bush-era torture has escaped accountability. John Kiriakou, the former CIA official who went public about interrogation techniques like waterboarding, is being prosecuted for disclosing classified information for allegedly assisting defense attorneys who were seeking to identify interrogators who may have tortured their clients. You can torture a detainee in your custody to death and get away with it. You just can’t talk about it.
It’s a disgusting sign of the collapse of the rule of law among Washington’s elites - pioneered by the Obama Justice Department. War crimes are forgiven; leaks revealing war crimes are punished. That the CIA won’t face any accountability for actually torturing people to death has now been cemented in a bipartisan way by a craven president who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize while proceding to make a mockery of the Geneva Conventions for four years. Not prosecuting torture - not torture-homicides - is a grotesque violation of Geneva and makes the current president a violator of Geneva. He better not complain when an American soldier is captured and tortured to death.