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Panel discusses role of torture in CIA interrogation tactics

first_imgNotre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights hosted a discussion panel Tuesday titled, “Tortured Nation: Morality, Security, and Torture,” examining the moral and legal implications of a recent report on detention and interrogation of terror suspects from the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and panel moderator Daniel Philpott said a university committed thoroughly to social justice must confront and discuss the question of torture given the Committee’s report.Last month, the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report that details the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) secret interrogations of terrorism suspects immediately after Sept. 11, 2001. The report revealed the methods employed in the CIA’s interrogation program, including waterboarding, slamming prisoners against walls, sleep deprivation and confinement in cramped space. Further, the report suggested that these methods were not necessary because they did not yield information necessary to foil terrorist plots, Philpott said.Director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies Paolo Carozza said the Committee’s report exposes massive institutional and moral failure in the United States.“Torture is about destroying the human person,” Carozza said. “It is a direct, intentional attack on the very elements of the human personality — on human identity and on the human capacity for truth. It is a way of taking human beings and destroying their personhood to such an extent that they can no longer be a part of the human community. That’s why torture has been condemned for 200 years, and that’s why today it’s a problem.”Thomas Durkin, attorney and co-director of Loyola University Chicago’s National Security and Civil Rights Program, said he is most concerned by those seeking legal justifications for torture and the potential incorporation of torture into policy.“One thing I’m absolutely certain of is that it is a mistake to make exceptions to the law and try to shoehorn something into the law that doesn’t belong in the law,” Durkin said. “The more I look into these actions, and the more I become radicalized by my defense work at Guantanamo, I witness a continuous state of exception.”Notre Dame professor of theological ethics Jean Porter said the only effective way to reverse this policy is to take strong, public steps.“I think the Justice Department should move immediately to prosecute those involved,” Porter said. “I think that victims should be transferred to open court and tried if at all possible and be paid reparations.“I think we have an obligation of justice to the victims of torture. I happen to be old-fashioned enough to believe in retributive justice. We may never be able undo the psychic damage that we have done to these men, but we may, in some way through the legal system, be able to publicly affirm our belief in humanity.”Michael Desch, chair of the Department of Political Science and co-director of the Notre Dame International Security Program, said public moral revulsion to torture suggests it may be unhelpful to achieve the nation’s long-term strategic goals.“You need to distinguish between the tactical effectiveness of torture, whether it’s ever useful to get information that people otherwise wouldn’t give you, or is it useful for terrorizing people into doing what you want them to do,” Desch said. “I think that all the evidence points to its effectiveness on the tactical level.“Then there’s the question of its effectiveness on the strategic level or the policy level. Here, I think the arguments of critics of are far more compelling. Even if torture is often beneficial on the tactical level, the connection between that and achieving strategic or policy goals is often less clear. “In order to reduce the egregious effects of torture, Desch said it is important to consider how often the CIA uses torture.“Would we never use enhanced interrogation on someone we suspected of having knowledge of a ticking time bomb? Would we never use it for a hostage situation in which the timely location of hostages was essential? I’m not sure I could safely say I would never do it,” Desch said. “If we’re honest with ourselves, and it was our son or daughter’s life at stake, I think we’d have a hard time saying we’d never use extreme methods.”Kelly Jordan, Dean of Students at Holy Cross College and a former Commander in the U.S. Army, said the United States should respond to the information in the report by having its leaders work to repair the damage and pledge it will never happen again.“Surrender to the allure of torture and justification of its use is indicative of the triumph of a culture of narcissism over a culture of honor,” Jordan said. “The trauma of these things on character, requiring someone to conduct or support morally questionable acts, destroys the capacity within an individual for social trust, and I would argue, within our nation itself.”Tags: Center for Civil and Human Rights, CIA, Morality, security, torturelast_img read more

F1 team grants teenager hand wish

first_img Tweet Matthew James A Formula One fan has had his wish of a new bionic hand fulfilled after a plucky letter to boss of the Mercedes GP Petronas team, Ross Brawn.Matthew James, a 14 year old from Wokingham in Berkshire, was born without a left hand.He was fitted with a bionic version which he described as “like a claw”.His dream was for a more sophisticated device, but they cost tens of thousands of pounds and are not available on the NHS.Matthew had his eye on an i-Limb Pulse from Touch Bionics, a firm in Scotland. His family had raised some money, but nowhere near the £30,000 needed.He decided to ask Ross Brawn for help after the F1 boss visited Reading School.In a letter, Matthew offered to have his hand sponsored by Mercedes in exchange for help.Matthew was invited for a tour round the Mercedes factory, while a member of the F1 team got in touch with Touch Bionics.The two organisations agreed to share technology which is used in both the cars and the bionic arm. As part of the deal, the £25,000 fee to fit the hand and train Matthew to use it was waived. Mercedes is helping to fundraise the rest.Matthew said his old hand was “a simple open and close mechanism, like a claw” while the new one “has five individual motors in each finger and therefore each finger can move individually”.The arm was fitted on Friday and he is still getting used to it, but can already open jars and carry cups of tea.“Unfortunately there’s one downside to it, I’m having to do more chores,” he said.Ross Brawn said: “Matthew’s letter to the team was very touching.“Meeting Matthew, and hearing firsthand how the new device would improve his quality of life, was a pleasure and I am delighted that our initial contact has now led to such a positive conclusion.”BBC News Share Sharing is caring! HealthLifestyle F1 team grants teenager hand wish by: – August 15, 2011center_img Share 20 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more

What could have caused Leicester City owner’s helicopter crash?

first_imgOn Saturday evening, a helicopter carrying Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other passengers crashed shortly after take-off, killing everyone on board.The incident, which happened just over an hour after the Foxes had secured a 1-1 Premier League draw with West Ham, has stunned the footballing world and left the 2015-16 English champions in a state of shock. “Under the UK regulations this consultation lasts for 28 days.“Representations made by those consulted are given due consideration before the publication of the final report.“Most field investigation reports are published within 12 months of an accident occurring.” Getty Images https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/f/1f/leicester-city-tributes_trx3pj7vku2o1j7pce1gdmfbs.jpg?t=-1159829098&w=500&quality=80 “If you lose your tail rotor it’s almost impossible to recover from,” he said.”You can’t get out of it. It would be more luck than judgment if you were to survive.”It could have been a human factor, it could have been pilot error or poor maintenance that led to something.”While Rowlands admitted that his “gut feeling” was a mechanical issue, he added that there were “so many things it could have been”.Speculation that a police drone might have been the cause of the crash has been put to bed, however, by Leicestershire Police, who revealed on Twitter that it was not in flight at the time. The AAIB has appealed to witnesses who have videos or photographs of the crash to contact Leicestershire Police.It was later reported by Sky that investations found that the crash was caused by a pin that had come loose in the tail rotor control mechanism, resulting in the helicopter becoming unstable and preventing the pilot from being unable to control it.Further investigations into the incident showed that the pilot’s pedals became loose from the tail rotor, causing the aircraft to make an uncontrollable right turn before immediately spinning and falling, crashing into the ground in flames.There was a “build-up of black grease” on one componenent of the mechanism linking the pedals and tail rotor, causing it to become disconnected.When will the cause of the Leicester helicopter crash be known?It could take many months to discover the exact cause of the crash due to the painstaking nature of the investigation that the AAIB will have to undertake.“The site phase is only the start. Once everything has been documented and photographed, and witnesses have been contacted, the wreckage is usually recovered and transported to our facility in Farnborough,” it explained.Once in Farnborough, the wreckage is studied in detail, which involves various tests and can even include flight simulator sessions.“This phase of an investigation can take several months for an accident involving a light aircraft and potentially more than a year for a major accident,” according to the AAIB.However, a ‘special bulletin’ from the organisation is released within a month of a major accident investigation to provide details of initial findings. Getty https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/cc/7b/leicester-city-helicopter_15uwqdogo79o21rm57rvhaphud.jpg?t=-1167179906&w=500&quality=80 The full report on the crash will, however, only be published when the AAIB is satisfied it has done all it can to ascertain the cause of accident and it will not put a timeframe on how long that may take, though they are optimistic it will be under a year.“When we have analysed the evidence, drawn conclusions and are making safety recommendations, a draft report goes through several stages of internal review within the AAIB,” it said.“We are then required to issue a confidential draft report to those that have been involved in the investigation and also those whose reputation may be affected by our report. Tributes have poured in for those who lost their lives in the incident, with former Leicester star Riyad Mahrez dedicating the winner he scored for Manchester City against Tottenham on Monday to a man he described as “such a good human”.Questions have naturally arisen as to how tragedy struck and what exactly caused the incident, and while an investigation is already underway, it could be months before an answer is delivered.What could have caused the Leicester helicopter crash?The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is the body that looks into civil aircraft accidents in the UK, was on the scene shortly after the crash to begin its investigation into the incident.It has deployed inspectors who will cover the four accident investigation disciplines of engineering, operations, flight data and human factors.The AAIB has confirmed that it has recovered the flight data recorders from the wreckage and the inspectors began studying the recorder on Monday. It also revealed that it was “subject to intense heat as a result of the post-accident fire”.”The engine stopped and I turned round and it made a bit of a whirring noise, like a grinding noise,” freelance photographer Ryan Brown told BBC Radio Leicester.”The helicopter just went silent, I turned round and it was just spinning, out of control. And then there was a big bang and then [a] big fireball.”Speaking to the BBC, Jim Rowlands, a former RAF Puma crew member, said that he believes the incident was caused by an issue with the tail rotor, which prevents the helicopter from spinning around. last_img read more