Prisoners suffered under Americans at Abu Ghraib this included physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy and murder
It has become increasingly apparent in recent days that censorship laws are designed to protect the elite in society, governments, corporations, security agencies. There is a two tier censorship on social media designed to route out individual alleged “extremists” whilst protecting state institutions that torture. What is equally disturbing is that most are too afraid to challenge the censorship double standards regarding alleged “state terrorists” which only serves to increase their power…. and shows the level of social control.
We must keep in mind that the practices by CIA and related authorities around the world were so disturbing that soldier Alyssa Peterson refused to take part in interrogation at a US prison in Iraq and ended up taking her own life. As Greg Mitchel reported in Huffington Post,
“Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed.”
In the last few days there has been a witch-hunt over an individual on Twitter known as “Shami Witness” whose real name is Mehdi Masroor Biswas, 24, based in Belgaluru, India. He is alleged to have a pro-ISIS account and to have been outed by Channel 4 news (UK). I could join others spending hours dissecting the content of his tweets but there is a wider issue being missed. I wish to focus on whether censorship is working fairly and treating all in the same way.
Clearly this is not the case, this man is singled out, now being interrogated himself by Indian police, yet no one no one is taking the CIA torturers’ website offline. Has there been any social media censorship of politicians whose actions were so extreme that Britain and the US went to war with Iraq on “information” elicited from a tortured man. As former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg states in a 2009 Guardian article,
“the case of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi – the man whose tortured testimony was used to justify a war that cost the lives of tens of thousands of people and, ironically, indirectly led to the pre-trial detention of thousands more – should serve as a stark reminder of what happens when torture is applied to gain information. President Obama has recently granted immunity to CIA agents who may well have been involved in al-Libi’s interrogation and torture. If the desire to get at what went wrong is so blatantly covered up under cover of “national security concerns”, there will be no end to this. And once again, the warmongers will get away with another odious and criminal cover-up.”
What we are seeing now is that many within countries that are supposed to champion “freedom of speech” are applying selective application of censorship at the expense of the individual closing down his/her right to have a voice whilst further protecting state criminals. Biwas (Shami Witness) may be very outspoken, he may appear odious with his views to some but he would have to go a very long way to come anywhere close to the crimes allegedly committed by the CIA.
Wesley Thomson, Security and Risk analyst- (with main concentrations on terrorism and political violence, also involved in Paramedicine, Psychology, and Technology MSc) had this to say on CIA torture and social media censorship,
“they can’t shut down CIA website because of it. They are not going to shut down CIA because of their torture error. Yes it was inhuman but also a learning lesson. We should take note of mistake made and move on. Who keeps national security in check. If it weren’t for organisations like CIA, US would probably be a caliphate.”
Max Abrahms, terrorism theorist at North Eastern University (US) tweeted that “torture has historically had 2 functions: to force a confession and deter unwanted behavior. Discussions of effectiveness should address both.” The bottom line is that torture is a criminal offence so to talk of effectiveness is irrelevant. Those that police social media have some serious thinking to do… either censor all using the same standards or none at all.
The Islamic Emirate (Afghan Taliban) have long been accused of “propaganda” when they released their regular reports on human rights abuses in Afghanistan and have often been ignored by international human rights organizations that again apply “selective human rights”. In an official response to the CIA Torture Report, Islamic Emirate state,
“since the inception of America’s occupation of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate has provided information to the international community regarding America’s barbarities and inhumane treatment of the Afghan populace. At the time, no nation dared listen to our nation’s pleas or show even slight response for fear of estranging America.
Now after 14 years of such barbarities, the US Senate itself has lifted the curtain off America’s intelligence arm, the CIA, and revealed the extent of their tortuous treatment of unarmed prisoners. In reality the practices of CIA mentioned in this report are only a fraction of those committed by this agency throughout America’s occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Censorship is often being applied to individuals on social media for what they might or might not do in future when actual perpetrators of crimes appear to come under no censorship whatsoever. Their actions are excused, suggesting they can do anything under the label of “national security”. CIA torturers want free reign on the internet but are quick to self-censor such as in the case of the CIA Torture Report which was severely redacted when it suits their cause.
To torture and kill innocent persons as in the case of the CIA (who have become like the Nazis in their practise) will very likely INCREASE the threat to national security as will gross double standards on internet censorship! US government and allies are now “the axes of evil”… unable to see the wood for the trees, they have chopped down individuals indiscriminately, harming many suspected persons without ever applying due process of law.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.