One of many reasons to be against torture is that the brutality is likely to be brought home, by the torturers, the witnesses, and those in our society who learn that torture is an acceptable way to deal with conflicts. A British paper, the Daily Mail, brings word that a US soldier has waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because had trouble with the alphabet!
U.S. soldier ‘waterboarded his own daughter, 4, because she couldn’t recite alphabet’
A soldier waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because she was unable to recite her alphabet.
Joshua Tabor admitted to police he had used the CIA torture technique because he was so angry.
As his daughter ‘squirmed’ to get away, Tabor said he submerged her face three or four times until the water was lapping around her forehead and jawline.
Tabor, 27, who had won custody of his daughter only four weeks earlier, admitted choosing the punishment because the girl was terrified of water.
he practice of waterboarding was used by the CIA to break Al Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Detainees had water poured over their face until they feared they would drown. President Barack Obama has since outlawed the practice.
Tabor, a soldier at the Lewis-McChord base in Tacoma, Washington, was arrested after being seen walking around his neighbourhood wearing a Kevlar military helmet and threatening to break windows.
Police discovered the alleged waterboarding when they went to his home in the Tacoma suburb of Yelm and spoke to his girlfriend.
She told them about the alleged torture and the terrified girl was found hiding in a closet, with bruising on her back and scratch marks on her neck and throat.
Asked how she got the bruises, the girl is said to have replied: ‘Daddy did it.’
During a police interview Tabor allegedly admitted grabbing his daughter, placing her on the kitchen counter and submerging her face into a bowl of water.
Sergeant Rob Carlson said the punishment was carried out because the girl would not recite the alphabet.
Police have not revealed Tabor’s military service, but his base is home to units that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tabor has been charged with assault and ordered to remain on his base and have no contact with his daughter or girlfriend, who has not been named. He is due to appear in court this week.
The girl has been taken into care. Her natural mother lives in Kansas but Tabor had been granted custody by a court.
February 8th, 2010
North Carolina Stop Torture Now has published a Torture Scorecard for the Obama administration. [Available as a nice pdf here.] Unfortunately, it makes clear how disastrous the Obama administration has been for the cause of human rights and accountability.
BTW, I will be speaking on Psychology of denial and accountability at the Stop Torture Now conference: Weaving a Net of Accountability: Taking on extraordinary rendition at the state and regional level, April 8-10.]:
Obama’s torture scorecard
A tortured record
President Barack Obama has failed to renounce extraordinary rendition of terrorism suspects—and has yet to hold the Bush and his administration accountable for torturing prisoners.
That’s the message from N.C. Stop Torture Now, which compiled this scorecard to grade the Obama administration on its efforts to curb human rights violations.
The group’s calls for investigations into the role of North Carolina companies in renditions and torture have been stonewalled by state and federal officials, who contend “it’s somebody’s else’s job,” says Christina Cowger, spokesperson for N.C. Stop Torture Now.
It plans to ask the state to create a commission that could call witnesses, compile and request public documents and create an official record of what has transpired in North Carolina.
- Banned the use of torture in interrogations. [read report]
- Ordered closure of CIA-administered secret prisons. [read report]
- Ordered release of some torture memos written by previous administration officials. [read report]
- Failed to keep a commitment to close the Guantánamo prison camp by January 23, 2010.
- Is weighing a Department of Justice recommendation to continue holding detainees indefinitely, without charge, and with no opportunity to challenge their detention. [read report]
- Continues to capture and send individuals to a secret prison facility in Afghanistan, refusing the prisoners any right to challenge their detention and blocking the International Committee of the Red Cross from monitoring their condition and treatment. [read report]
- Opposed or blocked legal actions aimed at gaining release of torture evidence, including a public commitment to release photographs of U.S. personnel engaging in torture of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. [read report]
- Worked to deny restorative justice to victims and survivors of U.S. torture, by arguing that perpetrators are shielded from civil remedies by the state secrets doctrine. [read report]
- Has delayed or is now withholding release of internal investigative reports on potential war crimes by former high U.S. government officials. [read report]
- Ignored Nuremberg precedents regarding the responsibility of policymakers for crimes by lesser officials carrying out their instructions. [read report]
- Threatened to end intelligence cooperation with Britain if an investigation there into torture of British nationals at Guantánamo and other U.S. facilities proceeds. [read report]
- Failed to direct an adequate investigation into the death of Guantánamo detainee Mohammed al-Hanashi, an elected leader among the detainees, whom the U.S. military claims killed himself days after finally winning the right to be represented by legal counsel. [read report] [read report]
- Opposed efforts to establish an independent public commission to investigate charges of torture and war crimes by U.S. officials, intelligence operatives and contractors. [read report]
- Evaded direct inquiries about the effort to quash war crimes investigations by officials in Spain. [read report]
- Decided to continue “extraordinary rendition,” or sending prisoners to be interrogated in countries where torture has been routine. Many of those flights have been conducted by North Carolina-based planes and pilots (Aero Contractors of Smithfield). [read report]
- Covered up suspicious deaths of detainees, apparently involving torture, at a secret CIA black site, “Camp No,” at Guantánamo, and opposed lawsuit (Al-Zahrani v. Rumsfeld) by family members of detainees who died. [read report] [read report]
Source: N.C. Stop Torture Now
February 8th, 2010