January 15, 2013 |
For a long time, measuring more years than I care to count, I thought the movie that became "Zero Dark Thirty" would never happen. The goal, to make a modern, rigorous film about counter-terrorism, centered on one of the most important and classified missions in American history, was exciting and worthy enough, or so it seemed. But there were too many obstacles, too many secrets, and politicians standing in the way of an easy path. Somehow, though, thanks to the great persistence of my filmmaking team and an enormous dose of luck, we got the movie made and found studio partners with the courage to release it. Then came the controversy.
May 17, 2013 |
Spoiler alert! "Scandal" is the most cynical show on television. No seriously, don't read any further if you care about what happened on Thursday night's finale but disobeyed the directive to watch it in real time. Because for weeks now, creator Shonda Rhimes has been warning her "gladiator" fans that if they missed watching the final five minutes in "real time," they'd be kicking themselves all summer. One assumes she is referring to the big "What's Up Doc?" rip-off of a final scene in which Olivia (Kerry Washington)
August 12, 2009
If Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. believes that crimes may have been committed in the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against suspected terrorists, he has no choice but to ask a respected prosecutor to weigh the evidence and, if appropriate, bring charges. But the appointment of such a figure, which The Times has reported is imminent, won't provide critics of the CIA with the legal equivalent of a wide-ranging "truth commission" they have been seeking. Nor is it likely to illuminate the conduct of White House lawyers or policymakers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2013 |
A Riverside County woman was sentenced Tuesday to two life terms in prison for the torture and murder of her 3-year-old daughter, who had been found beaten and burned, prosecutors said. The sentence against Yolanda Guadalupe Pena was handed down by Judge James Hawkins in Indio. A jury found Pena guilty in June of one count each of murder, torture and assault on a child resulting in death, according to the Riverside County district attorney's office. Pena, a resident of La Quinta, was also convicted of one count of inflicting injury on a child, relating to another daughter, who was 12 years old at the time of the crime, prosecutors said.
November 14, 2005
Re "When torture is the only option ... " Opinion, Nov. 11 So, David Gelernter has explained to us in his best neo-condescending manner that a little torture is a good thing. Us lazy-thinking, Cabernet-sipping hot-tub baskers, he says, should realize that sometimes the CIA must be required (his italics) to torture, "because it may be the only option we've got." As support, he drags out the tired example of a ticking nuclear bomb. The hypothetical saving of Manhattan in neocon think tanks has nothing to do with torture rooms in ClA black sites.
April 29, 2004 |
Iran's judiciary chief Wednesday ordered a ban on the use of torture for obtaining confessions -- a move widely seen as the first public acknowledgment of the practice in the country. "Any kind of torture of the accused to obtain confessions is banned, and confessions extracted through torture will not be religiously or legally legitimate," Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi said in a statement addressed to interrogators and other judicial officials.
September 12, 2006
Re "CIA Can Still Get Tough on Detainees," Sept. 8 In life, very few things are truly black and white. Torture happens to be one. President Bush and his administration have shamed this country with their policies of torture, secret prisons and proposed "tribunals" that fall far short of anything any American would recognize as justice. Congress should rectify these aberrations and put us back on the path that follows the rule of law and reflect the values on which this country was founded.
February 5, 2008
Re "Mukasey's confession," Opinion, Feb. 2 I enjoyed Tim Rutten's "keep it simple, stupid" logic that disrobes Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey's attempt to dress his words in some sort of distorted rationale and acceptable response to the simple question of whether or not waterboarding is torture. Mukasey is only a cut above former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, as he doesn't try to use the excuse that he cannot remember or recall whether waterboarding is torture. At least Mukasey is willing to admit that if he were a victim of waterboarding, it would be torture and therefore illegal.
May 2, 2009
Re "Unraveling the culture of torture," Opinion, April 26 Three of the hundreds of Guantanamo detainees were waterboarded. Foremost among them was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who admitted helping murder 3,000 innocent Americans. Mohammed was deprived of sleep and had water shoved up his nose. This pressured him to disclose crucial information about other planned terror attacks and the names of other Al Qaeda operatives. Doyle McManus, as well as many in the Obama administration, are up in arms over this.
May 16, 2010 |
In 1983, when Nelson Mandela was in prison and his great friend and legal partner, Oliver Tambo, was leading the African National Congress in exile, I was summoned to the ANC headquarters in Zambia. On my arrival, Tambo told me they had a problem and he hoped that I, as a lawyer in the movement, could help find a solution. The ANC, he said, had captured a number of people sent by Pretoria to infiltrate and destroy the organization, and now the ANC needed regulations on how such captives should be dealt with.