Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Terror Report: Are We Guilty of Terror?

Recently a CIA torture report was released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (senate group that makes sure U.S. intelligence complies with ethical standards). When I say "released", I really mean "detonated". The Media went berserk after the release, and the top article of each news site was filled with news about the torture report. After I read articles on the report, I kind of went berserk too! Some of the interrogation techniques divulged in the report are absolutely terrifying! I think the techniques I'm about to describe are in violation of  the prisoners' human rights and qualify as torture. These acts were so terrible that I could understand how someone could hate America after being subjected to this type of torture.

The articles I read in the New York Times, CNN and The Guardian have said that the CIA have been using techniques such as solitary confinement, "rectal feeding" and "rectal hydration" since the events on 9/11 (according to The Guardian)  . That means from 2002 to 2014 (12 years) the CIA has been practicing these types of "interrogation tactics".

Prisoners at a CIA interrogation site or "black site". (Cred: International Business Times)
One of the worst things I read was something called a "rough takedown". The rough takedown is where 'officers run into a prisoners cell (at any time) and strip him naked and then run him through the halls while simultaneously punching and slapping him'. 

You might chuckle for a second, but when you actually think about it, that kind of punishment is physically and psychologically damaging to a person. Imagine being paranoid, day and night, about being rushed and stripped, and then subjected to being punched while running though prison naked. It would be terrifying and humiliating, not to mention it would hurt.

The United Nations' outline, titled "The Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners", says that prisoners should be treated with respect to their "inherent dignity and value as human beings". The outline also says that "restriction of [solitary confinement]s use" should be encouraged. Already both rules have been broken with practices like rectal feeding and solitary confinement. What's crazy is that there are still many more torture-like practices used by the CIA that may have violated other human rights.

The fact that the CIA has apparently been violating the Human Rights of their prisoners for the past twelve years has really led me to think, how innocent is the U.S. in this war on terror? Are we just as guilty of inflicting "terror" as the "terrorists" are?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Immigration for Everyone!

Obama gave a nationally televised speech on his immigration policy that you can view --->> Here
In it he describes a plan that I think basically gives a "free pass" to 5 million illegal immigrants that currently reside in the United States.
The outline of the policy is that if they have been living here for 5 years or greater, pass a criminal background check, and are willing to pay taxes, then they can be allowed protection from deportation; they are safe to stay here "temporarily".

Obama has gotten this one really wrong, upside down even. I don't agree with his executive order to reform immigration policy and I have to say that Obama has lost the support of the American People: 59% of people do not approve of him following that move.

these illegal immigrants won't have to pass citizenship tests and basically are exempt from all paperwork involving immigration to a foreign country. They illegally immigrated into the U.S. and reaped the benefits of living in the U.S. without taking the responsibilities of a U.S. citizen.
 Illegal Immigrants have taken 8 million american jobs, a stat I took from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Bad move Barack

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lets Talk Politics: Ferguson Incident

Nation (and classmates), we are witnessing history. The Michael Brown Case in Ferguson Missouri has incited riots and drawn lines throughout America. People are jumping to their respective sides in the national debate. Either you're pro-Michael Brown and you are "fighting for equality", or you're pro-Darren Wilson and a huge racist. (That's a joke.)

Let's be real here: it's not about Michael Brown. Other than the people in Ferguson, we can collectively say nobody knew Michael Brown. All you know is that he was black, and that's where the public outcry arises from. 
In the actual case, the evidence very reasonably points to the proper use of force by Officer Darren Wilson. But the case really isn't even what this is about. Michael Brown is just a symbol. African Americans immediately rallied around him in this case, when, for all they know, Michael Brown could have been robbing their store that day. African Americans didn't support Michael Brown solely because he was innocent... he wasn't. They supported the symbol he represented, the pattern of racial inequality and prejudices commonly practiced throughout America. 

This battle is much bigger than Michael Brown. It's a philosophical divide in American Society. I have a theory here that 9 times out of 10, you can correctly predict a person's opinion on the Michael Brown case based on their political views. Hear me out; Liberals vs Democrats vs Republicans vs Conservatives, you will see the Liberals and Democrats support Michael Brown and call this a "race based" injustice, while Republicans and Conservatives will be pro-Darren Wilson and say he was justified in his actions. 

Now like I said, rationally, Darren Wilson was justified. This however implies that Liberals and Democrats aren't being rational, and that's not what I'm saying. 
Even if you don't agree with my opinion about the verdict, think about what I'm saying here. Liberals vs Democrats vs Republicans vs Conservatives... vs Michael Brown...     

Tell me if I'm right or wrong here and why. I'd like to hear some opinions.