Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Torture - it's not just for Abu Ghraib any more

And it never was. Today, San Francisco police arrested eight men for the murder of a police officer in 1971. I make no judgment about the case itself, about which I know nothing. I only note this:
Three men, including Taylor, were charged in the attack in 1975. But the charges were thrown out by a San Francisco judge because of a ruling that evidence was obtained by torture after the suspects were arrested in New Orleans.
Not just some illegal search and seizure, or some other "technicality" by which cases are often thrown out. Not just coerced testimony. Torture.

In my role as media critic, I will make note of one more paragraph from the article:

The slain officer was killed when Bell and Torres, armed with guns and dynamite, raided a neighborhood police station, firing a shotgun through a hole in the lobby's bulletproof window, as accomplices were posted outside as lookouts, according to police officials in New York.
Note that "according to police officials" appears at the end of the sentence, after you have read multiple details of a narrative designed to convince you that this is a factual recounting of events. It isn't, of course, it's simply an allegation, but by the time you are told that, it's already too late, because your mental picture of events has already been formed.

Why stop here? There's more...

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