Torturous alliances: In an article speculating whether the US traded interrogation training for security contracts with Israeli companies, Ali Abunimah writes, "Although no evidence has emerged directly linking [American defense contractor] CACI's involvement in the Abu Ghraib atrocities to Israel, it has long been known that the US military has been interested in 'learning' from Israel's experience attempting to suppress the Palestinian uprising. In March 2003, for example, the AP reported that the 'the (US) military has been listening closely to Israeli experts and picking up tips from years of Israeli Army operations in Palestinian areas and Lebanese towns.'" The torture techniques long used by Israel against Palestinians match those used in Abu Ghraib: "hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation and depriving prisoners not only of dignity, but of fundamental human needs, such as warmth, water and food." But, as John Stanton writes, Israel's and the US's interrogation method really come from the British, who developed "five pillars of torture"--wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, deprivation of food and water--over 30 years of interrogating IRA members in Northern Ireland.

Also: Lisa Hajjar writes in the Middle East Report Online that torture occurs today in two-thirds of the world's countries, that Israel was the first country to publicly break the "torture taboo," and on how the right to not be tortured became international law.

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