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Health Care & Environment

04.24 It took just one acre to grow faith in organic farming

04.24 Greta Thunberg teaches us about autism as much as climate change

04.23 To stop global catastrophe, we must believe in humans again

04.23 Melting permafrost in Arctic will have $70tn climate impact – study

04.23 US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

04.21 Trump and impeachment: where Democrats stand after Mueller

04.21 Dutch engineers build world's biggest sun-seeking solar farm [A replacement for lost Arctic ice?]

04.21 We’re altering the climate so severely that we’ll soon face apocalyptic consequences. Here are 9 last-ditch ways we could hack the planet to reverse that trend.[Hail Mary pass ideas]

04.18 'We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See': New Video From AOC Envisions a #GreenNewDeal Future [7:35 video]

04.18 'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble

04.17 Thawing Permafrost Emitting Higher Levels of Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Previously Thought: Study

04.16 'That Backfired': Watch Bernie Sanders Counter Right-Wing Talking Point, Make Case for Medicare for All on Fox News

04.16 Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a 'black box' for origin of disease

04.16 Scientists Unveil World's First Human Heart 3D-Printed From Patients' Own Cells

04.15 What It Was Like to Have a Baby in Sweden

04.14 'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

04.13 With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

04.11 Will You Rise Up for Climate Justice Next Week? Don’t Let Fatalism and Cynicism Hold You Back

04.11 300+ Groups to Congress: #GreenNewDeal 'Must Transform Our Food System and Revitalize Rural America'

04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]

04.10 Is there a beautiful, briny solution to the world’s clean water crisis?

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Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

04.23 'A Really Exciting Proposal': Elizabeth Warren's Education Overhaul Would Wipe Out Student Debt, Provide Free Public College

04.23 To Reassert Congressional War Authority, Sanders Demands Vote to Override Trump Veto on Yemen

04.21 Trump's moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove him from power

04.21 Pentagon Spending Set to Hit Near-Record Levels, But 'Establishment Says We Can't Afford' Progressive Policies

Justice Matters


04.21 In Ruling on Coal Mining, Federal Judge Issues Latest Rebuke of Trump's Attack on Public Lands

High Crimes

04.24 Nothing to See Here: The U.S. Government Prevents Investigations Into War Crimes in Afghanistan

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

04.24 Capitalism is failing workers. People want a job with a decent wage – why is that so hard?

04.24 The kings of capitalism are finally worried about the growing gap between rich and poor

04.23 The “disintegration” of global capitalism could unleash world war 3, warns top EU economist

04.23 The financial sector must be at the heart of tackling climate change [A reversal of their history of bad behavior]

04.21 Progressive Capitalism Is Not an Oxymoron [For the good of the public and healthier economic growth, can we make government and financial markets behave morally?]

International & Futurism

04.23 'You did not act in time': Greta Thunberg's full speech to MPs [1:43 video]

04.23 To stop global catastrophe, we must believe in humans again

04.21 Frustration grows among migrants in Mexico as support fades

04.21 Decrying 'Toxic Alliance' of Macron and Polluters, Climate Campaigners Stage One of France's Largest Ever Acts of Civil Disobedience

04.21 Yellow Vests Demonstrate in Paris as Notre Dame Donations Highlight Wealth Inequality

04.21 The Observer view on the Mueller report: Trump is a disgrace not welcome in Britain

04.21 The Government Is Still Massively Complacent About Climate Change

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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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