America: Too Afraid of the Truth

The most appalling thing to me about the release of the torture report is the fact that so many Americans — a majority, I have no doubt — who want to bury their heads in the sands. That’s why we see all that “America is awesome” bluster, because it covers up the uncomfortable truth of what the government did — does — in our name. David Simon nails this phenomenon:
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Why the CIA Never Disciplines Those Who Torture

Even as CIA Director John Brennan has been working overtime to undermine the legitimacy of the Senate torture report, primarily by lying through his teeth as he has done for more than a decade now, he has been forced to admit that some CIA agents used unapproved torture techniques. Note this statement from his press conference after the report was released:
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Torture Not New, We Just Usually Farm It Out

The final report from a commission set up in Brazil to examine the human rights abuses of the brutal dictatorship that ruled that country, with American help, for a quarter century provides a great deal of evidence that the U.S. government trained the junta in how to use torture, blackmail and violence to keep power.
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Allen West’s Idea of ‘Checking and Scouring for Information’

War criminal and former Congressman Allen West says he was so upset by the “black lives matter” meme that he decided, in his own words, to “do a little checking and scouring for some information. And it didn’t take long to find proof of hypocrisy that reaches the highest levels — the White House.” But his idea of doing crack research is copying, virtually word-for-word (including typos), a viral meme that is entirely false.
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Cruz Infuriates Colleagues With Political Posturing. Again.

Ted Cruz may be loved by the Tea Party, but he is absolutely loathed by most of his fellow Republicans senators, including most of the really far-right ones. On Friday night, he demonstrated why by once again engaging in a Quixotic floor fight that allowed him to posture as taking a tough stand while actually hurting his party’s position in every substantive way.
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Those Who Said No to Torture

Here’s a video that shows some of the many members of the military, FBI and CIA who objected to the use of torture in interrogations. Some of them resigned their commissions, others were punished for their objections. But they did the right thing regardless of the consequences. They included Col. Morris Davis, the lead prosecutor at the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay; Lt. Col. David Frakt of the Air Force JAG corps; Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, also a Gitmo prosecutor; Alberto Mora, former general counsel for the U.S. Navy; and FBI interrogator Ali Soufan.
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Anti-gay Pastor Lied to Holocaust Survivors to Make Anti-Semitic Film

Well here’s something entirely unsurprising. Steven Anderson, that vile, hateful asshole pastor from Arizona who says we should kill all gay people and the world would be AIDS-free by Christmas, is also an anti-Semite who lied to rabbis and holocaust survivors to get them to appear in an anti-Semitic documentary he made.
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Enbridge Reaches Absurd Settlement in Oil Spill Case

Enbridge, the company responsible for the largest and most damaging inland oil spill in the history of the county here in Michigan in 2010, has reached a ridiculously low settlement with homeowners and local residents. They’ll pay only a few million dollars to those whose lives were uprooted because of their negligence.
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