I expressed my disgust in this post that the CIA set up secret dungeons in, for example, the outskirts of Bangkok, and then tortured people to death in joint ventures with dictators, lied about it, liaised with Hollywood in the making of a propaganda movie suggesting (falsely) that Bin Laden’s extra-judicial execution was possible only because of intelligence tortured out of people, and then determinedly undermined the US Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence investigation, the great majority of whose report remains censored.
There was an excellent ‘4 Corners’ last week about America’s torture programme, which all lawyers in Australia should watch (it’s available here for a limited time). It features extensive interviews with the CIA’s lawyer John Rizzo, who travelled to several of these illegal dungeons at the ‘black sites’ and reassured CIA operatives that the torture they were engaged in was perfectly legal. If there is a question which it should be a cinch for any lawyer to answer otherwise than unequivocally negatively, it is ‘Is waterboarding torture?’ (The late Christopher Hitchens’s brilliant ‘Vanity Fair’ essay on the topic is here. He tried it. But, as he pointed out in this television interview, the US already had a position on the question, having several times sought the death penalty for the waterboarding of American troops). It also discloses the enormous amounts of money paid to two psychologists who shambolically masterminded the torture (Shame!). One also gets to see and hear the Senate Committee’s Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat and former Mayor of San Francisco (pictured) who was at the forefront of her Committee’s dogedness in uncovering the truth about the CIA’s torture, its incompetence, and its uselesness. I was so pleased to hear that, like me, she walked out of Zero Dark Thirty during its opening torture scenes.
Now an apparently thoroughly respectable Australian named John Nicholls who used to work in the concentration camp up on Nauru has given evidence to an Australian Senate enquiry into abuses on Nauru that Wilson Security Guards employed by the government tortured refugees by waterboarding them. Continue reading “Wilson Security Guard says Wilson Security was waterboarding refugees on Nauru”