#TortureReport

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, December 11th, 2014 - 56 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, International, us politics - Tags:

finally had time to read up on the CIA report released in a summary version, with lots of redacted bits.  this post has a summary of the 5 most damning findings:

  1. torture didn’t stop a single terrorist attack
  2. the CIA lied about the success of torture in obtaining evidence
  3. not everyone approved of the torture policy
  4. the torture methods were far more brutal than originally reported
  5. water-boarding caused physical harm

if you want a more detailed version, then there’s this, but a warning that the description of activities is pretty harrowing.  this article has a detailed timeline around the conduct of the investigation and release of the report, with lots of links.  the guardian covers the complicity of european countries.  politico has details of the main people involved, and here is an interview with one of them in which he takes no responsibility for anything.

i’m struggling to find anything meaningful to say about this.  it’s awful stuff with little chance of those responsible being held to account.  then there are the people who are still justifying these practices, on no basis that makes any sense to me.  there’s the misdirection: oh look, something bad happened over there as well, so this doesn’t matter as much.

trying to find something positive about this, and it’s really hard.  because there’s so much ugliness in the world right now, so much violence and brutality, this is just another thing to add to an already toxic mess.  the positive is that the report is out, at least some of the atrocities are documented, even less are made public.  there is outrage, there are calls for justice.  but will there be any significant change?

it also feels horribly ironic that we have given our own intelligence agency greater powers at a time when we see what the misuse of those powers and the lack of proper oversight can lead to.  no, i don’t expect our services will be using torture at black sites overseas. but i also don’t think it’s fair that these agencies of the state should have these extra powers over us.

56 comments on “#TortureReport”

  1. Colonial Rawshark 1

    Thanks for raising this Stargazer. Also worthy of note from The Intercept:

    Should something emerge, here are some important caveats to keep in mind:

    1) You’re not actually reading the torture report. You’re just reading an executive summary…

    2) The CIA got to cut out parts. The summary has been redacted – ostensibly by the White House, but in practice by officials of the CIA…

    3) Senate Democrats had their backs to the wall. Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein faced enormous pressure to get the summary out in some form, before the incoming Republican Senate majority could do the White House a solid and squelch it completely.

    4) The investigation was extremely narrow in its focus. Committee staffers only looked at what the CIA did in its black sites; whether it misled other officials; and whether it complied with orders…

    5) The investigation didn’t examine who gave the CIA its orders, or why…

    6) Torture was hardly limited to the CIA. In fact, the worst of it was done by the military…

    7) Senate investigators conducted no interviews of torture victims…

    8) Senate investigators conducted no interviews of CIA officials…

    9) In fact, Senate investigators conducted no interviews at all. “We did not conduct interviews, but did make significant use of transcripts of interviews done by the CIA IG [Inspector General] and others…

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/02/x-things-keep-mind-ever-get-read-torture-report/

  2. This is what civilisation looks like reduced to a dose of self-administered ‘rectal rehydration’.

    Matt Taibbi’s verdict: “wrong and stupid”. “Weird”. “…just imagine what the next round of innovations will bring. God help us.”

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/10-craziest-things-in-the-senate-report-on-torture-20141210#ixzz3LXJySeqt
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.1

      Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, and a handful of other serious journalists have done democracy and all of us a serious favour. The Internet Party was way ahead of the curve on all of this stuff.

      The western 0.01% are keen to tighten their total control over matters as economic disruption, climate change and energy depletion really bites hard. My guess is that we’ve not seen anything yet.

      • Chooky 2.1.1

        +100…”The Internet Party was way ahead of the curve on all of this stuff.”…and the msm did it in…and the Labour Party in collusion with John Key Nact

      • dave brown 2.1.2

        True, but as you point out serious journalism (or really fearless reportage of whistleblowing) is making a difference, especially showing us that this sort of official political ‘oversight’ is farcical.
        The level of sophistication around opposition movements such as Internet Party, also means that the ‘stupidity’ of the ruling class is ultimately its own downfall.
        Dismantling democratic rights undermines the ‘legitimacy’ of the state and that is what is fuelling protests like Ferguson.
        NZ will catchup very late as it is becoming a refuge for ‘sceptics’ and ‘deniers’.

    • That is some fucked-up, repugnant shit.

  3. shorts 3

    awaiting our Govt’s response

    ready to be ashamed of what that may be

    • stargazer 3.1

      i haven’t seen comment by any political party locally – has anyone else?

      but yes, the government needs to provide an official response.

      • shorts 3.1.1

        the govt and labour for that matter won’t say diddley squat… cause they both support by their silence all our friendly torturer allies

        • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1.1

          Plus its Xmas.
          Even the ‘summary is 500+ pages’ so they have to read it, discuss it and formulate a response in 24 hours ?

          What have you been smoking

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2

          Oh bollocks.

          Can’t you see that “our friendly torturer allies” are under attack from extreme right wing forces too? In Congress, in the White House, sadism seeks a foothold, just as it does within our own institutions.

          Or are you saying Uncle Gnome Chomsky is a friendly torturer ally? This is a US report, after all. You think that mendacious wretch, the Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister, would be as forthcoming?

      • politikiwi 3.1.2

        In my view the leader of every political party in the country should be calling for prosecutions, either inside the US or under international law.

        Cosying up to the US now is no different to cosying up to Syria under Assad or Iraq under Saddam.

        Bush/Cheney/Tenet and other architects of this programme are war criminals and should face trial. Should they set foot in New Zealand, I’ll be there with a billboard demanding immediate arrest.

      • lprent 3.1.3

        Nope. Not in the parties tab on the front of the site, or in the press releases in my email.

      • Pascals bookie 3.1.4

        Stargazer,

        this is as much as I’ve seen from Labour, a short discussion involving Curran:

        • stargazer 3.1.4.1

          i’m finding it really concerning after this many days, that there is no official response to this. we’ve had responses from countries like afghanistan, iran & china (at least that’s what i saw on al-jazeera this morning), & those are to be expected.

          but our government’s silence on this is unacceptable. it says a whole lot about which lives matter, and which don’t matter so much.

  4. philj 4

    So another conspiracy bites the dust. We aren’t surprised. It was known, but at least it is now in an official report. The defender’s of the free world, caught torturing. What’s next that we haven’t been told about?

  5. Chooky 6

    ‘Efficiency no justification for criminal activity – Snowden on CIA torture report’

    “The world cannot accept efficiency as an excuse for what is essentially “criminal behavior” on the part of the CIA, former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden told Amnesty International via a Paris-Moscow video link”….

    http://rt.com/news/213247-snowden-torture-efficiency-security/

  6. SaveNZ 7

    I find the whole torture issue so disgusting – the US are as bad as those they are torturing and worse still they won’t even admit it is wrong. In a massive Western Group Think going horribly out of control westerners are the new torturers. And many tortured are not even guilty in a transparent court of law.

    It’s unbelievable. And ironically 9/11 terrorists have gotten their way. They have totally taken over US foreign and domestic policy and the ‘religious war’ they wanted to start has been marching forward for over a decade. While US attacked to bring democracy to the Middle East for Muslims (yeah right) the US< UK and their allies are now taking democracy away from their own people in their own countries. While western eyes and resources are off domestic issues like economy, education and disasters – other economies are marching ahead. While in Western economies huge monitory resources are going into weapons and intelligence, counter intelligence and so forth the intelligence itself is so politicized as to be unable to be taken as either true or false and any moral person is considered a liability in that sector. It's like the boy who cried wolf. Governments are so busy fighting and smearing each other and getting rid of investigative journalists, they are not even looking at any other threats and mis identifying any there are anyway to get other 'side' issues through. More people in NZ will die on the roads, from global warming and health issues than any terrorist attack. The biggest terrorist attack is likely to be a mistake anyway with 'friendly fire' or some IT weapons program gone wrong and they should be monitoring themselves more than any poor Kiwi under surveillance. Yep those that point that one out will probably find themselves on the wrong side of the law and labeled a traitor. Look at Nicky Hager treatment versus Cameron Slater. And now they want to spy on everyone.

  7. Rolf 8

    And in the satellite state and quisling state of New Zeeland we hear almost nothing of this via mainstream media. Kiwi media are controlled by US propaganda. Think of what you say, you are watched.

  8. joe90 9

    The full story remains classified so we’ll never learn the truth but this is a smoking gun.

    A Senate investigation into the CIA’s use of brutal interrogation practices released Tuesday suggests that at least one detainee supplied false intelligence contributing to erroneous claims by the Bush administration that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and was working with al-Qaida.

    A footnote buried in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 500-page report references a Libyan national known as Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi who “reported while in … custody that Iraq was supporting al-Qaida and providing assistance with chemical and biological weapons.”

    Some of that intelligence from al-Libi was used by former Secretary of State Colin Powell during a speech to the United Nations attempting to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, according to the footnote, despite al-Libi later recanting the claim.

    That speech by Powell, delivered on Feb. 5, 2003, was a pivotal part of the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, wherein the secretary discussed Iraq’s “deadly weapons program” and the country’s “involvement in terrorism

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/defense/cia-torture-report-suggests-interrogation-supplied-false-intelligence-used-to-justify-2003-invasion-of-iraq-20141209

  9. SaveNZ 10

    The US needs to follow the AA steps.

    The first step is to admit you have a problem.

    They haven’t quite got to grips with the first step so far.

    cos it’s everyone else’s fault.

    Rectal feeding is not rape and sodomy – CIA are helping those poor terrorists by making sure they get the right nutrients into their diet.

    Water boarding is not torture it is enhanced interrogation.

    If they die, don’t worry or hold any one accountable cos it doesn’t matter. Human rights abuses only occur from the ‘bad guys’ and we will tell you who they are. (Not us).

    Lets do a ‘report’ but just don’t interview anyone.

    Terrorists are guilty cos they said so, we just don’t need a court of law or any ‘proof’.

    They just know.

    Lets just make these rules work domestically – start small and then work our way forward. We can then get rid of the tree huggers, animal activists, other activists, actually anyone who might be against us plundering the resources of a nation.

    In the US the police can pretty much kill anyone and get away with it.

    But easier to label someone a terrorist and then you aren’t even really accountable.

    Like Pavlov’s dogs Government officials salivate at the word ‘terrorist’. All logic seems to leave them.

    • dave brown 10.1

      All logic except the logic of profit.
      The evidence is that the US needs endless war (and justify it with lies and false confessions) to boost the profits of the war contracting industry. (e.g. James Risen’s recent book Pay Any Price documents the firms that run Congress to keep the war profits rolling).
      I would add to this that war profiteering is a symptom of the terminal crisis of capitalism which has exhausted its potential to profit from production to meet the need to reproduce workers. It now makes its profit by destroying workers (multiple methods from austerity to homeland security against those ‘alienated’ by this destruction) as well as nature in general.
      We could call that zombie capitalism.

  10. TheContrarian 11

    Atrocious reading. Fucking horrible stuff.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      I bet more children have suffered more indignity, and more sadists have been given more leeway as a direct result of National Party policy decisions, than by the CIA.

      Especially if we measure per capita.

  11. Ross 12

    The most ghastly element of all of these ghastly revelations is that we are becoming immune to them. It just becomes the wallpaper of life. The most common comment I’ve read or heard is: of course they used torture. Like that’s normal or to be expected. The line from the white house is that the report damages america’s moral authority. No hint of concern for the damage done to the tortured. Since 11/9 there has been an incremental creep, in the name of our security, toward a world that cooks babies in ovens. We have seen this before. It’s happening again, now, unless it’s stopped. And it won’t be stopped by a Labour opposition that meekly supports the process by voting FOR legislation that curtails our freedoms. Is anyone else here old enough to remember these words?

    There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

    The time’s now, if ever. Make it stop.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      It never stops. Ever. The only thing we can do is oppose it, by all means necessary.

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 14

    Mit der dummheit kämpfen götter selbst vergebens.

    Friedrich Schiller.

    There are always going to be right wing sadists waiting for an opportunity to offend. They will always gravitate to authoritarian institutions, and the moment anyone is dummheit enough to give them any encouragement, they will always seek ways to get off the chain altogether.

    Jackboot, meet human face.

  13. Chooky 15

    ‘RT exclusive: John Pilger talks CIA torture and media complicity’

    http://rt.com/uk/213223-rt-exclusive-john-pilger/

    “Pilger said the report will not fulfill its purpose if no one is held culpable for the actions of torturous CIA officials.

    “We have crimes laid out in for us,” he says, “but where are the prosecutions? That’s all that matters now, where are the prosecutions?”

    ….”Pilger says knowledge of the torture methods was widespread, but that people were never held responsible for the “disgusting things they’ve done.”

    He further criticized the media for not being bold enough in holding officials to account”…

    • RedLogix 15.1

      Well actually in the absence of prosecutions this report will both legitimise and embolden the torturers.

      This will be only the beginning. There is a certain part of the human psyche which is highly aroused by this sort of thing. Easily exploited.

      • politikiwi 15.1.1

        This needs to be reposted everywhere.

        United Nations Convention against Torture
        Article 2
        1: Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
        2: No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
        3: An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

  14. and of course our role in the five-eyes spying-network..

    ..and our over-eager spear-carrying for whatever imperial-madness america suggests..

    ..(we are that fucken keen/up for it..we offer before even being asked..(!)..f.f.s..!..and yet brownlee continues to claim ‘no decision has been made’..and we are expected to believe that bullshit..?..)

    ..and of course our soldiers have captured people who were then handed over to the torturers..

    ..all of course this means we are not that many steps removed from this torture..eh..?

    ..and we are fucken deluding ourselves if we think/claim we aren’t..

  15. AmaKiwi 17

    Sadists.

    The torturers are sadists on the loose all over the USA!

    No one is tracking them. No one is warning the neighbors. No one is checking to see what line of work they are in and who is giving them thrills by experiencing the agony that gives sadists emotional them a rush.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      If no-one is tracking them or warning the neighbours how can we tell they exist?

      • AmaKiwi 17.1.1

        Great logic, One Anonymous Bloke.

        We’ll stop tracking paedophiles and they won’t exist anymore.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          *whoosh*

          According to you “no-one is tracking them”. This report is people tracking them. Baby steps.

    • Pascals bookie 17.2

      Amakiwi, you might find this interesting:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/opinion/the-torture-report-reminds-us-of-what-america-was.html?_r=0

      I SPENT this semester teaching creative writing at Lehigh University. I’ve been a soldier, a police officer and an interrogator. So hearing students call me “Professor” and assigning homework was a significant change of pace.
      But the course’s title, Writing War, kept me from straying too far from the memories that have haunted me over the last decade. I am grateful to Lehigh for the opportunity to teach the course. The school’s willingness to put a veteran in the classroom is the very thing this country needs to be doing in order to collectively process what the last 13 years of war have wrought. But teaching a class about war reminded me daily that I am no college professor.
      I was an interrogator at Abu Ghraib. I tortured.

  16. One Anonymous Bloke 18

    Edit:

    Not sadists, sadism. Cruelty. The greatest disservice we do to one another is pretend we’re above them. Cf: the Stanford Prison Experiment.

  17. AmaKiwi 19

    @ One Anonymous Bloke

    Dictionary definition of a Sadist: “One who LOVES inflicting pain.”

  18. RedLogix 20

    And if all that was not enough – for an always interesting and well-written view:

    http://www.stonekettle.com/2014/12/the-road-to-hell.html

    • politikiwi 20.1

      “Good intentions do not justify evil.”

      And actually that article makes an extremely good point: Those defending torture are essentially saying “we need to do everything possible – including torture – to prevent another 9/11.”

      Well, if they believe that, then they’ve gotta head off to jail for torture. If they genuinely believe they must do everything possible, then personally serving a term of imprisonment must be included in the list of things they’ll do.

      Why are they drawing a line at the suffering of others?

  19. Colonial Rawshark 21

    Brazilian President Rousseff weeps as she unveils torture report

    Our allies US and UK trained up military junta interrogators during Brazilian 1964 to 1985 military rule.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/10/brazil-president-weeps-report-military-dictatorship-abuses

  20. Colonial Rawshark 22

    US torture contractors rake in $81M

    Indemnified against legal action by the US Govt until 2021. Unfucking believable. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our Imperial Allies.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-10/revelations-torture-report-%E2%80%93-cia-lies-nazi-methods-and-81-million-no-bid-torture-con

    • AmaKiwi 22.1

      Colonial Viper, you mean you think the US is a global bully? But their leaders of both parties tell me repeatedly they are virtuous because they are “fighting for freedom.”

  21. Chooky 23

    Robert Fisk argues – “It is our indignation, not that of the Arab world, that torturers fear. We are the bad guys too .The Muslim world has been enraged about these crimes for years”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/it-is-our-indignation-not-that-of-the-arab-world-that-torturers-fear-we-are-the-bad-guys-too-9916406.html

    …”Well, at least we’re not as bad as Isis. We don’t cut throats or enslave women (although the rapes at Abu Ghraib come a close second)”….

  22. Murray Rawshark 24

    ” no, i don’t expect our services will be using torture at black sites overseas.”

    Why not? I suspect that agents have already been involved. We have people just as bad as anyone in the CIA or American police forces. They just don’t get to act the same locally because our society hasn’t been brainwashed to accept it yet.

  23. Chooky 26

    Good discussion on Crosstalk on torture revelations….must be accountability before international law

    ‘U.S of Torture’

    “The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s extensive use of torture gives a new meaning to the term “shock and awe.” Obama’s words “We tortured some folks” are a gross understatement. Will anyone ever be punished for these crimes?”

    CrossTalking with Fred Fleitz, Ray McGovern and Amy Goodman.

    http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/213639-us-cia-tortures-sic/

  24. spades' A spade 27

    Check out this video interview of Dick Cheney defending torture techniques…

    Look at 53 seconds into it. Notice that when the reporter raises his hand out to make a typical hand gesture – Dick Cheney flinches as if he thought for a split second that he was about to be attacked.
    As a commenter on the linked page suggests – this is a sign of a man completely full of fear.

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    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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