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Health Care & Environment

01.18 Learning From Cuba’s ‘Medicare for All’

01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total  per-capita costs]

01.14 Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets To 20 Gigawatts By 2023 & 40 Gigawatts By 2030

01.14 Solar + Storage Half The Cost Of Gas Peaker Plants — 8MinuteEnergy

01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]

01.14 Air pollution 'as bad as smoking in increasing risk of miscarriage'

01.09 Dutch eco initiative halves energy bills in first UK homes

01.09 'It's a nightmare': Americans' health at risk as shutdown slashes EPA

01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]

01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less  Great Again]

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

01.18 “Are We Really Where We Are?”: Trump, Putin, and Washington’s Unbelievable New Normal

01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]

01.18 The Right’s Case Against Soaking the Rich Is Dirt Poor

01.18 Trump Worsens the Border Crisis

01.18 Impeach Donald Trump

01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]

01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Bill Maher: If We Don’t Impeach President Donald Trump, Where Is The Bar? [9:49 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 With US 'Drilling Towards Disaster,' Report Warns Anything Less Than Urgent Green New Deal Will Be 'Too Little, Too Late' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Trump plans to relax Obama rules for oil companies put in place after BP disaster [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Trump's war on science: how the US is putting politics above evidence [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]

01.16 Can Philadelphia 'stop people from dying' as drug crisis and gun violence rage on? [Whole country suffers from lack of effective federal policies... Seeing a pattern? P.S.: The answer is not a Wall!]

01.16 Why are more Americans than ever dying from drug overdoses? [graphs]

Justice Matters

01.15 The US apparently kept no detailed notes of Trump-Putin meetings for the past 2 years

01.15 California’s largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change.

12.28 Mueller closes in: what will the Trump-Russia inquiry deliver in 2019?

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]

International & Futurism

01.17 +++ Brexit crisis: Germany and Europe react — live updates +++

01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]

01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]

01.16 How Governments React to Climate Change: An Interview with the Political Theorists Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann

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  John Ashcroft's Take on Washboarding as Torture


John Ashcroft's Take on Washboarding as Torture

by Adam Kukulka and Chris Hutton

Hutton: Would you want these same acts of torture to be conducted against American troops?

Ashcroft: I hope other countries would use our methods rather than their own.

On Tuesday April 11, 2006, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft gave a speech at Emory University. Afterward he allowed questions and answers. Time ran out before the last questioners could get to the microphone, so some of us approached Mr. Ashcroft as he was leaving to ask him our questions. What follows is a verbatim transcript of the encounter.

The Transcript:

Adam Kukulka: Why do you think President George W. Bush first opposed the McCain Anti-torture Bill, only to support it later? Also, do you think torture is an appropriate method for the U.S. to use to obtain information that might prevent a terrorist attack?

John Ashcroft: For your first question, I don't know. I had left my position as Attorney General at that time, and George does not call me up and ask 'John, what do you think about...?' The definition of torture is broad in both the UN and World community. The general consensus is that torture is any long-term physical or mental harm done to a person. I believe that we should conduct "discomforting tactics" like yelling, sleep deprivation, or making them stand at attention for long periods of time.

Kukulka: What about washboarding?

Ashcroft: What if we did washboarding, and what if there were studies done, not saying that there have been these studies, to prove that it did no long-term physical or mental harm?

Kukulka: I don't think that even if these studies were done, they would conclude that.

Alex Guile: I think that it would cause long-term effects.

Ashcroft: Different countries and international treaties define torture in other ways and it's mainly defined as long-term physical and mental harm.

Chris Hutton: People die under washboarding.

Ashcroft: Yes, causing death is torture.

Kukulka: So, just to be clear, you said that torture is defined as long-term physical and mental harm?

Ashcroft: Look, I'm not a law professor teaching in a law class, so I don't have time to teach you every single detail about how different countries and international treaties define torture.

Hutton: Would you want these same acts of torture to be conducted against American troops?

Ashcroft: I hope other countries would use our methods rather than their own.

Kukulka: I appreciate your answers.

Authors' Conclusion:

Although Mr. Ashcroft specifically said, "[I am] not saying that there have been these studies [on washboarding]," his answer is not a denial of government research on this and other forms of torture. He implies that washboarding is not torture unless or until it causes death. If Ashcroft and other senior officials believe that washboarding is a humane interrogation technique, could that be because government studies have indicated the practice does not have long-term effects?

The transcript of this conversation was taken by Jessica Cook (a physics major at Emory University), Alex Guile (a biochemistry major at Georgia State University), and Christopher Hutton, who, like Adam Kukulka, is an international studies major at Berry College.

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Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on May 10, 2006.


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