Just So We’re Clear On This, Bush Uses Torture

Ladies and gentlemen I give you the scientific proof:-

Psychological torture, including some of the techniques reportedly used on Guantanamo Bay detainees, appears to inflict the same kind of long-term mental damage as physical abuse. Researchers who evaluated the mental health of soldiers and civilians tortured during the 1990s Balkan wars found that victims of psychological abuse were just as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression as victims of classic physical torture methods.

The researchers also reported that the torture victims rated some techniques such as stress positions, isolation, sleep deprivation and blindfolding as distressing as most physical torture methods.
“Ill treatment during captivity, such as psychological manipulations, humiliating treatment, and forced stress positions, does not seem to be substantially different from physical torture in terms of the severity of mental suffering they cause,” the study’s authors wrote.

“Thus, these procedures do amount to torture, thereby lending support to their prohibition by international law,” they wrote in the journal of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The investigators said their findings undermine moves by the US government to narrow its definition of torture in order to free interrogators to use certain psychological methods aimed at breaking a prisoner’s resistance.

In 2003, lawyers for the US Justice Department and a Pentagon working group report on detainee interrogations made the case for a narrow definition of torture that excludes procedures such as blindfolding and hooding, forced nudity, isolation and other psychological manipulations.

The Justice Department memorandum argued that the scope of the term torture should be limited to those acts which could be shown to result in “prolonged mental harm,” according to the study. The development followed allegations of human rights abuses at US detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

However, the authors of this paper said that based on their analysis of the experiences of torture victims from the modern Balkans conflict, the US appears to be drawing a distinction without a difference.

They said their analysis of 279 Bosnian, Croatian and Serb torture survivors showed that the individuals who suffered psychological abuse had the same rates of depression, PTSD, and social and work-related problems as others who had endured beatings, burnings, sexual abuse and other forms of physical punishment at the hands of their captors.

They suggested that the trauma is the same, because regardless of the form of aggression, the effect is to create fear or anxiety in the detainee while at the same time removing any form of control from the person in order to create a state of total helplessness.

“The distinction between torture and degrading treatment is not only useless, but also dangerous,” said Steven Miles, professor of bioethics at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in an accompanying editorial in the journal of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

The study was written by Metin Basoglu, head of trauma studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, with help from colleagues at the department of psychiatry at the Clinical Hospital Zvezdara in Belgrade. –

You wanna disagree, I’ve got six words for you, Fuck Off You Nazi Fucking Fuck. Oh and two more, Fuck You. Are we clear on this?

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Iran Blogapalooza- The arrests of many women’s rights protesters and the rough treatment by police on Sunday has yet to be resolved. You can help by clicking this link and signing a petition started by Women’s Field. When you sign the petition, a copy of it is sent to the offices of Mr. Seyed Mahmoud Shahroudi, the Head of Judiciary, and to Mr. Golam-Ali Haddad-Adel, the leader of the Iranian Parliament. Over 1,500 signatures already!

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10 Questions To Ask Your School Before You Allow Your Child To Be Fingerprinted

From leavethemkidsalone.com

1. Aside from manufacturers’ anecdotal claims in advertising material, can the school give me details of any independent research proving benefits to my child of using this system?

2. Has any independent research been carried out regarding the effect on children of repeatedly using biometrics on a daily basis in a familiar setting? What steps is the school undertaking to teach my child about the dangers of misusing their biometric data?

3. The manufacturer claims that this system does not store my child’s fingerprint, but surely if the biometric template it stores isn’t the direct equivalent of a fingerprint, then the system simply wouldn’t work?

4. Who, under existing legislation, including the Children Act and the government’s stated commitment to widespread data sharing, may access my child’s biometric template and associated data as stored on the system? The police? Social services? Civil servants? Technicians from the manufacturer carrying out routine maintenance? The large private multinational PFI companies that now run some LEAs e.g. Amey, Nord Anglia? The private companies running City Academies that may have access to children’s data?

5. Would the school permit ‘fishing expeditions’ in the stored biometric data (e.g. if the local police were trying to find a match for a crime mark they suspected may have been left by a child from the school)? What would the school do if such a search revealed TWO probable matches?

6. Bearing in mind that my child’s biometric template remains valuable for their entire lifetime, since it can’t ever be changed, where is the biometric data stored, where are backups stored, and what security procedures are in place to prevent unauthorised copying of, or any type of access to this data? How will the school know if the data has been copied? What procedures would be followed if the main computer or backup system storing the data were stolen?

7. Is the computer holding the data connected to the school network and/or the internet? What active measures are taken to ensure the biometric data cannot be accessed by third parties via any such connection(s)?

8. Can the school certify in writing that the data, including any backup copies, will be promptly removed as soon as my child leaves school, or if I change my mind at any point, by an approved professional data cleansing company as required by the Data Protection Act? (This requirement was confirmed by the Information Commissioner on 9 Feb 2007.)

9. As new pupils join the school, will you regularly seek explicit informed parental consent before fingerprinting them (as recommended by the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas on 30 January 2007)?

10. Where fingerprinting is used for school registration, what backup strategy will the school implement to ensure that if any part of the system fails before registration is complete, a full and accurate record of those children at school will be available in the event of an emergency evacuation at the start of the day, e.g. in the event of a fire?

Deja Vu Is What It Used To Be

Govt. investigated for criminal levels of sleaze?

The e-mail which triggered the probe into an alleged Downing Street cover-up was sent by Number 10 aide Ruth Turner.
It was sent to Tony Blair’s chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, and concerned Labour’s chief fundraiser Lord Levy.
The injunction barring reporting of any details of the e-mail was amended on Monday so the BBC could say who sent the e-mail but not its full contents. BBC

I believe the draft will demonstrate convincingly is that spin-doctors were on the inside of the drafting process. In a little-noticed – and late – piece of Hutton evidence, a letter to Tony Blair on 4 June 2003, Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) chairman John Scarlett revealed that: “representatives from the No 10 (Danny Pruce) and FCO Press Offices (John Williams, Paul Hamill and James Paver) were involved. The aim was to ensure that the [dossier] deployed the intelligence effectively . . .” The letter adds to the evidence that spin-doctors did, after all, “sex up” the dossier and that the government covered it up.New Statesman.

Check.

Govt. scapegoating the poor and sick while the rich become richer and public sector pay is cut?

Blair and Brown’s benefits proposals are a familiar New Labour story: willing Scandinavian ends while largely sticking to American means. As things stand, whereas the European average for parental contributions to childcare runs between 25% and 30%, the UK figure is closer to 75%. Our long-hours culture and “light-touch” regulation means that squaring work with family is made yet more vexing. If a single mother finds part-time work, her prospects will bump up against the fact that the British part-time pay gap between men and women runs at a mind-boggling 42%. – Guardian.

New laws will put debtors in England and Wales at greater risk from unscrupulous bailiffs, a consumer advice charity is warning.
The Citizens Advice service says all bailiffs could be granted powers to break into people’s homes.
The charity says changes in the law will lead to abuse of the system on an “unprecedented” scale- BBC

Unions have reacted with anger to below-inflation pay rises for health and other public sector workers.-BBC

Britain is now one of the most unequal countries in the world. A recent report on boardroom pay reveals that the average salary of chief executives of the top FTSE 100 companies is now a staggering £46,154 a week. That is 115 times the average wage in Britain today, 249 times the national minimum wage, and 519 times the basic state pension.

The latest Government figures, entombed within their publication Households Below Average Incomes, shows that the rich have made quite a killing out of the last decade and that inequality rose sharply between 1997 and 2002.Michael Meacher in The Telegraph.

Check.

A leader who has become a deluded national joke?

Prime Minister spoke frankly of his doubts over whether he had done the right thing by pre-announcing that he would not fight a fourth election. But he suggested the upheaval could have been worse if he had not been open about his intentions, and said he hoped his departure would finally draw the sting over the war in Iraq.Observer.

Check.

Wow it’s like the Tories never left, and with Nu-labour it turned out they didn’t. Fuck. Get me a guillotine, stat!

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