Scorpions

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This morning the Washington Post reports that prior to the invasion of Iraq, the CIA had funded, trained, and armed an Iraqi paramilitary group, the “Scorpions,” to “foment rebellion, conduct sabotage, and help CIA paramilitaries who entered Baghdad and other cities target buildings and individuals.” Then we learn that the Scorpions helped the military interrogate and torture officers captured in Iraq. Not al-Qaeda detainees, not Taliban detainees, not people who were planning to blow up anything in the United States. By the way, given that we invaded Iraq, the Geneva Conventions should very clearly apply there—none of this murky business that the president thinks should apply to al-Qaeda. But guess not. Laws are for pansies. Go read Marty Lederman’s analysis here and here. As Lederman says of an Iraqi general who was beaten to death by Army officers:

From all that appears, this was a concerted, planned, systematic and extended series of brutal interrogations, carried out by numerous persons and entities, within the military and the CIA, in a manner that they all considered to be authorized. No rotten apples. No nightshift. Official U.S. policy and practice.

Meanwhile, this is going on, as well as this.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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