• Metal Gear: Snake Kills his Fake Dad
  • Metal Gear 2: Metal Gear 1, again, except the dad is real this time
  • Metal Gear Solid: Metal Gear 2, again, except with it's his brother instead of his dad
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Metal Gear Solid, again, except an internet creepypasta
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Metal Gear 1, except Snake's Dad kills Snake's Dad's Mom.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Snake is old and gay in a plane and also Snake's dad isn't dead
  • Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker: Snake's dad starts a gay anime club in the middle of the ocean and gets tricked by both a fake of his mom and also a fake little anime girl who was actually a little anime adult
  • Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes: Snake's dad has an adventure in Gitmo while Hideo Kojima apologizes constantly
  • Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain: Snake's dad starts a gay anime club in the middle of the ocean but it's actually not Snake's dad but Snake's dad's boyfriend's bootleg recreation of Snake's dad
Those in favor or torture should read Guantánamo Diary and imagine themselves in place of its author

According to a study by the Pew Research Center a few years back, only about 24% of all Americans think that the authorities should never engage in torture, no matter the circumstances. That means that three out of four people think that torture is sometimes allowable. Every Republican candidate has come out in favor of torture as part of their warmongering, except Ted Cruz who, while pretending to be adamantly against torture, defines these acts of brutality against fellow human beings in such a way as to permit an extraordinary number of procedures that virtually everyone else would consider to be torture.

Most legitimate research demonstrates that torture does not work in extracting information from enemy personnel, but as with climate change and the minimum wage, those who support torture have purchased their own research that purports to show that torture works.

But as Guantánamo Diary graphically and brutally shows, the issue of our essential morality trumps any concerns for national security that sadists and the uninformed might invoke as a cause for torture.  Guantánamo Diary is the memoir of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a highly educated Mauritanian who ended up being tortured for months on end at GITMO despite our intelligence services having not one iota of evidence that he ever engaged in terrorism or helped terrorist organizations.

At the age of 19, Slahi went to Afghanistan for a few months to help Islamic guerillas fight against the communist government that the United States also opposed at that time. He later lived and worked in Germany and Canada before returning to Mauritania. After the 9/11 attacks, the United States arranged for the Mauritanian government to detain Slahi and then render him to Jordan, where he was tortured, and then sent to GITMO for more torture. At Guantánamo Slahi was subjected to isolation, temperature extremes, beatings, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation. One time, his American captors—representing you, me and every other citizen of the United States—blindfolded him and took him out to sea for a mock execution. As long as he denied accusations that he recruited suicide bombers for Al Qaida, his captors ratcheted up the pain.  

After torturers used beatings and a forced diet of water to keep him awake for weeks, during which time he was interrogated and suffered other tortures on a daily basis, he finally confessed to crimes he did not commit and for which there was no shred of supporting evidence, circumstantial or otherwise. Prosecutors later refused to prosecute Slahi in 2003 because the government’s case depended solely on his false confessions, which were inadmissible under both U.S and international law because they had come under torture.  In 2010, a federal judge ordered Slahi released, but an appeals court overruled and Slahi is still held at GITMO, although no longer being tortured.

Slahi’s descriptions of what his captors did to him are not for the light of heart. His words bring to life the excruciating pain that torture produces in a more evocative, immediate way than any movie or TV depiction of torture I have seen. His descriptions are so grievously harrowing, perhaps because I knew what Slahi suffered was real and that the torture inflicted on Arnold or Bruce Willis in movies is fake. Page after page describes hour after hour of beatings, sexual degradation, marathon interrogations and exposure to extreme cold or heat. Because we experience these physical torments through the eyes of an individual who is both a fine writer and legitimately religious, we also suffer the mental anguish felt by someone who is innocent of all charges.

Before allowing publication, the U.S. government blanked out much of Guantánamo Diary. Eight full pages in a row are blanked out at the height of the GITMO torture regime. Looking at page after page of thick black lines running horizontally from one edge of the paper to the other filled me with panic and fear, as my imagination provided all the punches, kicks, slaps, nakedness, ice cubes, blaring music, Billy clubs and excrement that the redaction concealed.

The basic argument of Guantánamo Diary is that “evil is as evil does.” Slahi’s experience in the U.S. torture gulag has caused him to consider the United States a force for evil, and not a bastion of freedom.  Reading the memoir filled me with the shame of someone who has committed mortal sins that she-he knows are wrong. I didn’t commit the sins, but I felt the guilt, because it was my country. It’s no wonder that our use of torture embarrassed the country in front of the world and sent a lot of young idealistic Muslims into the arms of ISIS.

Slahi’s story exemplifies why torture doesn’t work. People get so confused and so fearful of additional torment that they begin to lie and admit to acts they didn’t really commit. It also shows that it takes a certain brutal and barbaric turn of mind to engage in torture. It makes me wonder if Dick Cheney ever witnessed the infliction of waterboarding or beatings on an individual or if his sadism is only symbolic, consisting of words and images in his mind. Or did he—or his less intellectual president—believe the sanitized versions of torture we see in our violent entertainments? Senator John McCain did not, but then again he went through the real deal in Vietnam.

It is unfortunate that the Obama Administration decided to sweep our torture history under the rug, saying that no one would be prosecuted for planning or implementing the torture regime that took hold of GITMO, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and dozens of other U.S. military facilities across the globe. Of course, prosecution would have meant sending President George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney and a few dozen other government officials to jail for breaking U.S. and international laws.

Word to Ted Cruz: Read Guantánamo Diary.

Word to Donald Trump: Read Guantánamo Diary.

Word to anyone who thinks we should have the right to inflict agonizing pan on others: Read Guantánamo Diary.

If after reading this poignant but depressing memoir, you still believe in torture, then consider yourself outside the human race.

Today in Politics
March 7, 2017
  • Wikileaks released a new trove of thousands of documents today including a supposed arsenal of hacking tools the CIA has used to spy on espionage targets. This release was nicknamed “Vault 7”. In their press release, WikiLeaks said “The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.” (WikiLeaks)(NYT)(WP)
  • United States Congressman Jason Chaffetz said that rather than “getting that new iPhone that they just love,” low-income Americans should take they money they would have spent on it and “invest it in their own health care.” It should be noted that the typical annual cost of an individual market plan costs is about six times as costly as a “new iPhone.” (CNN)(HILL)(WP)
  • Jewish community centers and religious sites continue to receive more threats. All 100 United States Senators asked Trump’s administration for “swift action” regarding the hate crimes and threats. (WP)(CNN)(HILL)
  • This morning Trump tweeted: “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!”. This was later found to be false. Only nine of those (6 per cent) were released under Barack Obama’s administration, with the vast majority freed before his inauguration on 22 January 2009, under George W Bush. (NYT)(IND)(HILL)
  • House Intelligence Committee has scheduled the first hearing on Russian election interference for March 20. A key subject will be Trump’s contact with Russian officials.(CNN)(HILL)(WP)
  • President Donald Trump announced his full endorsement of the GOP health care repeal and replace bill. He also warned legislators if they cannot pass the bill, it could be a “bloodbath” in the 2018 midterm elections. (CNN)(BBC)(ATL)
The Recruit (Chapter 32) - Mitch Rapp

Author: @were-cheetah-stiles

Title: “Day 116″

Characters: Mitch Rapp, Stan Hurley, Irene Kennedy & Reader/OFC

Author’s Note: The first block of italicized text is Day 109. The second block of italicized text is Day 111. All regular text is Day 116. Also, I think it is important to note that the truth probably lies somewhere between Stan and Ghost’s stories about how Brandon became Ghost. 

Summary: By Day 109, Y/n and Mitch have returned back to Virginia and back to The Barn to finally collect their things before heading up to New York, when Stan decides that it is finally time that Y/n learns the truth. On Day 111, Y/n stops by Irene’s office at Langley to discuss specific arrangements. But on Day 116, Y/n finally becomes a legitimate CIA agent and discusses hers and Mitch’s future’s with The Agency.

Chapter Thirty-One - Chapter Thirty-Two - Chapter Thirty-Three

Originally posted by dylan-robrien

“Y/n?“ Stan knocked on the doorframe and Mitch and your heads shot up. The two of you had been milling about your bedroom, packing it into boxes, readying you to move out of The Barn for good. Mitch took a solid four minutes to pack his bedroom up, as he had not brought much with him in the first place. You, however, had made The Barn into your home over the years, and you had to put things in boxes. However, your arm was in a sling since being shot back in Istanbul, and Mitch volunteered to do most of the heavy lifting.

Mitch glanced over at you to see what you would do. You sneered at Stan, but couldn’t help your curiosity. "What do you want?”

“I want to talk to you.. alone, if possible.”

You shook your head. “If you want to stay, then Mitch stays too.”

Keep reading

Banned Books of Guantánamo: Crime and Punishment

Reza Aslan is an author and creative writing professor at UC Riverside. His most recent book is Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.

If I were running an illegal detention center in a distant no man’s land where prisoners could be held indefinitely and without trial, and where torture and deprivation are common tools of interrogation, I, too, would not want detainees to read Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece Crime and Punishment.

The book follows the slow mental breakdown of an impoverished university student in St. Petersburg named Raskolnikov, after he murders a crooked pawnbroker and her unwitting half-sister. Overcome by guilt for his actions, and spurred by the love of a shy prostitute named Sonya, Raskolnikov eventually confesses to the crime and accepts his punishment. Although imprisoned in Siberia, Dostoyevsky makes it clear that Raskolnikov’s redemption comes not from the legal punishment he endures, but rather from his awakened desire to atone for his actions and be forgiven for them by society.   

On the surface this appears to be an appropriate lesson for the fearsome terrorists who are now languishing, seemingly for eternity, in the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay. The story of a criminal wracked by guilt who surrenders to the authorities in order to atone for his crime is one that I would assume the guards at Gitmo would be happy for detainees to read.


The former Guantanamo Bay detainee was attacked at Edmonton Institution just after 8 p.m. on June 14 2013

He was struck in the face the moment he stepped out onto a range.

Khadr pressed his jail cell alarm for help and reported the attack to guards right away.

The guards then escorted Khadr and his alleged attacker, Kenneth Ratte, to segregation units. Khadr was not seriously injured, according to staff at the prison.

The Toronto-born Khadr, 26, was transferred to Canada last September to serve out the remainder of an eight-year sentence handed down by U.S. military commission for war crimes he pleaded guilty to committing as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan.

He spent several months in Millhaven penitentiary west of Kingston before being transferred to Edmonton in May.

At the time, his lawyer, Dennis Edney, said someone had taken a contract out on Khadr’s life.

Edney told Postmedia News that he hoped the transfer would give Khadr “…an opportunity for a fresh start, and hopefully this will be a first step on the road to freedom..”

Khadr had asked to be jailed at Edmonton Institution when he was first transferred to Canada. A group of volunteers from Edmonton helped Khadr with his studies while he was imprisoned in Cuba.