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iemanja's Journal
iemanja's Journal
August 29, 2014

Self-deleting on request from the hosts

I thank the main forum hosts for locking the call out thread of me. There is no longer need for this thread so I am self-deleting. I post the OP in its entirely for purposes of transparency. I thank everyone for their support.

Instead, there is mocking of feminist concerns. In the midst of a very long thread, someone asked for links proving misogyny. Since I did not want to call out or malign any particular member, I provided a list of ISSUES that I associated with misogyny. Someone PMed me to say how much they liked that list and asked me to create an OP. I did so here.

I listed concerns, issues. No where did I present it as a test or insist if anyone disagreed with me on some or most of those issues they were a "bad person." The point was to inform about positions that some of us who are feminists find concerning. It was also to point out that misogyny means more than the commonly understood definition of hatred of women but also refers to persistent discrimination against women. Many people are unaware of the latter meaning.

Unfortunately, since a jury allowed a Meta call out of me in that thread, I am left with no alternative but to defend myself here. I would prefer not to have to do so. I would prefer a discussion about issues rather than some ridiculous notion of a "BainsBane test." No such test exists. The last time I created a test, it was for final exams in Latin American history and Comparative Slavery. Those are the only kinds of tests I create.

The idea of reducing feminism to purity tests is an insult and demeans issues of human equality that many liberals care deeply about.
August 29, 2014

What misogyny?

People sometimes ask what misogyny exists online. Of course there are extreme examples, rape threats, stalking, death threats, but it can also be more pervasive. The best-known definition of misogyny is hatred of women, but it can also refer to a pervasive climate of sexism.

Macquarie Dictionary added "entrenched prejudice of women" to augment the established "hatred of women," according to the BBC. The expanded definition will appear in the next edition, the Australian reported.

Macquarie Editor Sue Butler said (Australian Prime Minister Julia) Gillard's remarks remarks highlight how the term has evolved from a pathological loathing of the gender. "We decided that we had the basic definition, hatred of women, but that's not how misogyny has been used for about the last 20, 30 years, particularly in feminist language," she told ABC Radio. "Sexist does seem to be moving towards this description of surface features and misogynist applies to the underlying attitude."

Misogyny can be extreme and intensive or chronic and pervasive. Among the positions some feminists identify with sexism and misogyny are the following:

Insisting the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision isn't a big deal
Insisting men should have the right to compel a woman to abort a fetus
Insisting a man's having to pay child support equates with the state's efforts to prohibit abortion
Insisting men are more oppressed than women
Adopting the GOP idea of forcible rape vs. other rape and insisting the later (usually child rape) is less serious.
Insisting that large numbers of women invent false rape charges
Insisting rapists should not be punished with jail time
Frequently taking the side of accused rapists over their victims
Insisting women's issues and feminism aren't important and don't constitute real politics
Insisting women who object to rape porn or prostitution are uptight right-wingers
Calling feminists prudes and Puritans
the sex-negative label
Calling women c...t and b....s
A whole slew of derogatory or sexualized comments about women's bodies
Portraying a view of women that makes it clear someone sees their only purpose as to provide them sex
anti-choice positions
opposing ACA's covering of women's reproductive care
blaming women for their own sexual assaults
arguing that violence against women isn't important
arguing that rape isn't a societal problem
Insisting a misogynistic mass murderer had real concerns about how bad off men have it today
denying sexism and misogyny
arguing that women in the US should be content with what they have
Citing a study held out by an MRA big-wig that claims women say no when they really mean yes
Insisting consent is "elastic"
Insisting that consent is assumed.
Insisting there is no such thing as male privilege
Men telling women they aren't real feminists because they disagree with them on an issue like porn or prostitution.
August 25, 2014

This is Leftist

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

The history of all hitherto existing society(2) is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master(3) and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. . . .

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. . . .

The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralised the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff.

We thus see that the social relations within which individuals produce, the social relations of production, are altered, transformed, with the change and development of the material means of production, of the forces of production. The relations of production in their totality constitute what is called the social relations, society, and, moreover, a society at a definite stage of historical development, a society with peculiar, distinctive characteristics. Ancient society, feudal society, bourgeois (or capitalist) society, are such totalities of relations of production, each of which denotes a particular stage of development in the history of mankind.

Capital also is a social relation of production. It is a bourgeois relation of production, a relation of production of bourgeois society. The means of subsistence, the instruments of labour, the raw materials, of which capital consists – have they not been produced and accumulated under given social conditions, within definite special relations? Are they not employed for new production, under given special conditions, within definite social relations? And does not just the definite social character stamp the products which serve for new production as capital?

Capital consists not only of means of subsistence, instruments of labour, and raw materials, not only as material products; it consists just as much of exchange values. All products of which it consists are commodities. Capital, consequently, is not only a sum of material products, it is a sum of commodities, of exchange values, of social magnitudes. Capital remains the same whether we put cotton in the place of wool, rice in the place of wheat, steamships in the place of railroads, provided only that the cotton, the rice, the steamships – the body of capital – have the same exchange value, the same price, as the wool, the wheat, the railroads, in which it was previously embodied. The bodily form of capital may transform itself continually, while capital does not suffer the least alteration.

This is leftist:

Tithi Bhattacharya

Social reproduction theory, then, is crucial to understanding certain key features of the system.
1.The unity of the socioeconomic whole: It is certainly true that in any capitalist society the majority exist through a combination of wage labor and unpaid domestic labor to maintain themselves and their households. It is critical to understand both kinds of labor as part of the same process. 2.The contradiction between capital accumulation and social reproduction: Capitalism’s sway over social reproduction is not absolute. Indeed social reproduction may create the essential ingredient of production, i.e., humans, but the actual practices of reproducing life develop and unfold in tension with production. Capitalists attempt to extract as much work as possible from the worker, but the worker in turn tries to extract as much in wages and benefits as possible as ingredients that will allow her to reproduce herself, individually and generationally, for another day.
3.Bosses have an interest in social reproduction: Social reproduction should not be understood solely as the lonely housewife cleaning and cooking such that her worker husband can get to work refreshed every morning. The employer is invested in the specifics of how and to what extent the worker has been socially reproduced. In this sense, it is not simply the food, clothing, and morning readiness at the gates of capital that matter, but everything from education, “language capacities . . . general health,” even “predispositions toward work” that determine the quality of labor power available.9 Each cultural capacity is again determined by historic specificity and is open to negotiation by both sides. Labor laws, policies about public health and education, and state support for unemployment are only some of the many outcomes and constitutive sites for such bargaining.

This is why we need to sharpen our understanding of social reproduction as being performed in three interlocking ways: (a) as unpaid labor in the family increasingly being performed by both men and women; (b) as services provided by the state in the form of a social wage to somewhat attenuate the unpaid labor in the home; and finally (c) as services sold for profit by the market.

Neoliberal policies scaffolded by the rhetoric of individual responsibility sought to dismantle state services and turn social reproduction entirely over to individual families or sell them on the market. It is important to note that capitalism as a system benefits from the unpaid labor of social reproduction within the family and the limited expenditure on the social wage outside of the home. The system cannot afford to fully dispense with social reproduction “without endangering the process of accumulation” since social reproduction ensures the continued existence of the one article that capitalism needs most of all: human labor.10 Understanding this contradictory dependence of production on social reproduction is key to understanding the political economy of gender relations, including gender violence. http://isreview.org/issue/91/explaining-gender-violence-neoliberal-era

THIS is right-wing:

America needs Adam Smith, not Robin Hood
What the President fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous. What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the Wealth of Nations. He described a limited government that largely did not interfere with individuals and their pursuit of happiness.
Over the past 4 years the President has added over $6 trillion in new debt and may well do the same in a second term. What solutions does he offer? He takes entitlement reform off the table and seeks to squeeze more money out of the private sector.

He says he wants a balanced approach. What the country really needs is a balanced budget. Washington acts in a way that your family never could--they spend money they do not have, they borrow from future generations, and then they blame each other for never fixing the problem.

Cut corporate tax in half to create millions of jobs
With my five-year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate income tax in half, by creating a flat personal income tax of 17%, and by cutting the regulations that are strangling American businesses. The only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it!
Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

Punishing the rich means the poor lose their jobs
Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share. When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class.
When you seek to punish Mr. Exxon Mobil, you punish the secretary who owns Exxon Mobil stock.

When you block the Keystone Pipeline, you punish the welder who works on the pipeline.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 29, 2012


Redefining marriage leads to economic and moral problems
Earlier today, for example, the senator appeared on Glenn Beck's show to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The host suggested the ruling could lead to polygamy: "If you change one variable--man and a woman to man and man--you can logically change another variable--one man, three women."
For Paul, this seemed perfectly sensible. In fact, the senator went even further than Beck: "If we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans? I'm kind of with you, I see the thousands-of-year tradition of the nucleus of the family unit. I also see that economically, if you just look without any kind of moral periscope and you say, what is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country? It's having kids without marriage. The stability of the marriage unit is enormous and we should not just say oh we're punting on it, marriage can be anything."

Source: Rachel Maddow blog on U.S. Supreme Court rulings on DOMA , Jun 26, 2013

Illegal to impose racial segregation in the private sector
In two broadcast interviews, Paul said that the federal government may have overstepped its role by making it illegal to impose racial segregation in the private sector.

Asked if he thought a private business had the right to say it would not serve black people, he said: "I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilised behaviour because that's one of the things freedom requires."

Source: London Sunday Times, "US and the Americas" , May 21, 2010

Replace over-regulation with free market principles
As a doctor I have had first-hand experience with the vast problems facing health care in America. Like other areas of the economy where the federal government wields its heavy hand, health care is over-regulated and in need of serious market reforms. As Senator, I would ensure that real free market principles are applied to fix this problem. . . .

Defund, repeal, & replace federal care with free market.
Paul signed the Contract From America
The Contract from America, clause 7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care:

Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling (the free market).

Source: The Contract From America 10-CFA07 on Jul 8, 2010

Coarsening of our culture led to 50 million unborn deaths
The coarsening of our culture towards violent death has more consequences than war. Tragically, this same culture has led to the death of 50 million unborn children in the last 40 years. I don't think a civilization can long endure that does not have respect for all human life, born and not yet born. I believe there will come a time when we are all judged on whether or not we took a stand in defense of all life from the moment of conception until our last natural breath.
Source: Speech at 2012 Values Voters Summit , Sep 14, 2012

My opponents call me libertarian but I'm pro-life
Sarah Palin's endorsement [in the Kentucky GOP Senate primary] gave us a boost that energized supporters, brought in new ones, and, of course, annoyed my opponent and his Republican bosses to no end.
In talking to Palin, one of the primary things I wanted to do was allay her fears about social issues, telling her, "My opponents call me a libertarian but I want to assure you that I am pro-life." Palin responded, "Oh, we all have a little libertarian in us."

I do not apologize for believing there is too much government involvement in the private lives of Americans. Trying to portray me or my father as not pro-life--or saying I want to legalize heroin, or prostitution, or making other outlandish claims-- are smears Republican establishment types have always attempted. This race would be no different. One could make the argument that if sincerity is measured by proposed legislation, my dad is arguably the most pro-life member of the House.

Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 78 , Feb 22, 2011

Life begins at conception


If you claim Rand Paul pulls the Democratic Party to the left, you have one seriously fucked up notion of what left means.
August 17, 2014

One reason the police are so heavily armed

I'm not sure if this has been discussed, but the reasons the police are so heavily armed goes beyond Homeland Security Funding. The fact is the gun lobby has ensured the public is heavily armed. "Hobbyists" now stockpile guns and munitions that are more suitable for war than self-defense or hunting. How can the police be disarmed with sections of the public--thanks to the NRA and their ilk--are armed to the teeth?

It is not only the police that have been militarized but American society more broadly.

August 17, 2014

DOs and DON'Ts for feminists vs. "feminists"

There are a list of views and posting behavior that distinguish real feminists from "feminists." If you fail to follow the list of DOs or engage in any of the DON'Ts below, you must use quotes around the word feminist to distinguish yourself from real feminists.

DO always defer to men on issues.

DON'T articulate a point of view that is not first approved of by men.

DO understand that true feminists focus only on rights that make women more sexually available to men.

DO remember that porn of all genres is always good.
DON'T mention condom use, STDs, or suggest that porn actresses are engaging in porn for any purpose other than expressing the highest form of liberty and self-actualization a woman can aspire to.
DO make sure to insist anyone who criticizes porn in anyway is accused of trying to ban it in violation of the First Amendment.

DO understand that prostitution is fantastic.
DON'T talk about underage girls, child rape, human trafficking, economic blight, or violence.
DO focus entirely on a woman's right to sell herself, a man's right to buy sex, and prostitution as a form of female sexual empowerment.

DON'T bum men out by talking about rape or harassment. If a major news story comes up that can't be avoided,
DON'T suggest a rapist might be guilty.
DO make sure to point to all the ways the woman behaved that brought about the rape.
DON'T under any circumstances mention "rape culture."

False feminists
DO make sure to attack women who articulate views not approved of by men.
DO remember the only rights that are important are the ones that the real feminists--men--approve of.

DON'T agree with another woman unless she is agreeing with a man or attacking a woman who disagrees with a man, lest you be guilty of being a swarm or a gang.
DO remember that a gang or a swarm can be comprised of as few as one woman who disagrees with a man.

False Men
DO remember that "men" who support statements by HOF members and other radfems do not constitute real men and therefore must be disagreed with unless they fall in line with the above guidelines.

DON'T forget to use quotes around the word "feminism" and "feminist" if you vary from the above guidelines in the slightest.

This public service announcement brought to you as a joint venture by Maxim and Cosmopolitan's Division of True Feminism.

August 13, 2014

You mean the irritating people who talk about prostitution as it really is?

as opposed to a theoretical notion of what others want to pretend it is? Yeah, I can see how that would bum people out determined to avoid thinking thinking about underage sex and enslaved workers they consider inconsequential. Why deal with evidence when theories of captialist Utopias are so much easier?

You weighed in on the other thread and then went right back to creating one-dimensional strawwomen to mock. That, in my view, nullifies your other post and shows that thoughtful OP had no impact on you whatsover.

It's all an abstract game to you and others here. Raise the standard of living. Right. Like when is that going to happen? How? In the face of jobs going oversees and structural changes in the economy that most hurt the poor? With a government that won't pass a basic raise in the minimum wage? You know it won't, but reality is irrelevant. That you say it is enough to wish away the existence of millions of minors who are forced into prostitution either through desperate economic privation or forms of extra-economic coercion--an abusive parent, enslavement, etc. If it were about theoretical scenarios, any idiot could come up with a solution. Reality is far more complex.

The fact is without severe poverty, prostitution would be exceedingly rare. The Cuban experience makes that clear. Under Batista, American men came to Cuba to go to the casinos and hire prostitutes. That ended with the Revolution, and prostitution became a metaphor for American exploitation of Cuba. Prostitution was rare until the Soviet Union abandoned subsidies to the Island shortly before its collapse. Prostitution has since returned because people are struggling as they didn't under the Soviet era. The ability of men to buy sex depends on severe poverty. I don't for a minute think the people who see commodification of sex as sacrosanct want that to go away.

You can talk about adult consensual behavior all you want. It doesn't make it the exclusive or even dominant transaction in that industry. A great deal of prostitution is of underage girls and boys. Many if not most prostitutes start underage. You had a first hand account of that in Ism's HOF OP which you clearly made a point of ignoring. There is always the argument one poster made that girls as young as nine "willingly choose prostitution as a profession," which he believed made having "sex" with them consensual.

There is no way to find a solution that minimizes harm when people adamantly ignore that harm. That people consistently refuse to to deal with the sex trade as it actually exists makes clear they cosider those lives inconsequential. The self-serving capitalist ideology of the rights of the individual is about propping up power and privilege. The unyielding focus on the individual as the repository of rights, as opposed to the common good, privileges those who have the means to assert their rights over others. It's as true in Citizens United as in this discussion of prostutiton. Those on the other end of it--the poor, teens and children--are exploited, abused, and raped, which is what an adult does when he purchases sex from someone under the age of consent.

I think if you were actually confident in your position on this issue, you would not feel compelled to trivialize the arguments of others. That tells me you can't deal with the arguments as actually articulated and instead feel compelled to create a parody to mock them.

August 11, 2014

Corrections (for outside readers)

since Little Blue has said he doesn't bother to read my posts. I nonetheless feel compelled to correct some of this so as not to allow false information to stand unchecked in case anyone comes across his post and decides to take it as fact.

Slave masters certainly did vary considerably as individuals, that is true. Many slave narratives, like that of Frederick Douglass, show a change were a slave started with a reasonable master but was later sold or hired out to a particularly cruel one. To argue that treatment depended on the type of crop produced, however, is not accurate. Certainly some work was harder than others, but the treatment depended on the mores in the particular region as well as the character of the planter. There were literally hundreds of different occupations on sugar plantations. English lacks a word to describe the sugar plantation complex, known as ingenios in Spanish and engenhos in Portuguese. Many slaves worked as field laborers and others operating some of the highly skilled functions necessary to construct, maintain, and operate the sugar mill, or trapiche. See Manuel Moreno Fraginals, The Sugarmill on sugar ingenios in Cuba. He lists the huge variety of slave occupations necessary to keep the sugar plantation complex going.

Historians debated for years where treatment was harsher in the US or in Catholic countries in Latin America. There was no resolution to the debate. Some aspects, like whippings, were more severe in places like Brazil (the country that received the overwhelming majority of African slaves), but they also had greater protection under the law and greater opportunities for manumission. The bottom line is that slavery was incredibly oppressive wherever it existed, though aspects of the institution did vary from region to region and country to country.

While house slaves did not do arduous labor in the fields, they remained under the master's, and mistress's, gaze all the time. To survive, they had to wear a mask of compliance that belied their real feelings (referred to by historians as the "Sambo mask&quot . They were not "treated like family." Planters told themselves they treated their slaves like family, but one does not own family members or sell off their children. As union troops approached during the war, those household slaves that masters believed were "like family" were often the first to flee. (See Leon Litwack, Been in the Storm so Long). That demonstrated that they certainly did not see their owners as family.

To argue that slave women had it "easiest" is patently false and ignores the reality of life in the Big House. Women working in households were regularly raped, though field slaves were also raped. Masters, however, had easier access to female house slaves. Read, for example, the testimonial by a former slave and abolitionist. Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in a life of a Slave Girl. There is not a single testimonial of a slave woman that does not speak about her rape by a master, overseer, or member of the master's family. It was not uncommon for slave girls to bear their master's children. Plantation mistresses often took their frustrations over their husbands infidelity out on slave girls by inflicting particularly brutal punishments. (See Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Within the Plantation Household).

To argue that female household slaves were "concubines" who had it easiest is a completely false and offensive statement. It ignores the fact those women were owned, regularly beaten by masters, slaves, and overseers, and that they were repeatedly raped and lived under the close surveillance of the master's family. How "easy" would your life be if you were raped on a continual basis? That reality has led historians to write about slave women's double-exploitation, as both forced laborers and sex slaves. See Deborah Gray-White, Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South. I also found this article on double-exploitation online through Jstor, which allows limited free access.

I can't help but observe this discussion over slave women "having it easy" dovetails with recent discussions on prostitution and human trafficking. The fact that a slave is owned and has no right to choose her sexual partners, one would think, should be obvious to anyone. Little wonder some think human trafficking not worth concerning themselves with, while others insist that underage girls as young as 9, as one poster insisted, willingly "choose the profession" of prostitution. People give lip service to notions of consenting adults and ignore that a great deal of the sex trade is anything but. Whether now or in the Antebellum era, slaves do not consent to sex. They are forced into it because they are owned. Children and young teens cannot consent to sex because they are under age. These are basic concepts that one would think anyone would understand. Sadly that is not the case.

August 6, 2014

The invisible victims of victimless crime

In a discussion about legalizing prostitution, no one wants to pay attention to my personal first-hand experience with the subject. The frustration I feel at being ignored in that discussion mirrors my personal experience with the subject matter.

People say prostitution is a victimless crime, but that only imagines two people in the scenario: the John and a willing sex worker, presumably an adult. There is lots of evidence about underage prostitution and how legalizing prostitution leads to increased human trafficking, which is a fancy word for slavery. I set that aside here to speak of my own experience as someone who grew up in an area where prostitution flourished.

The inner city neighborhood I grew up in was a main area for prostitution. The main street in the neighborhood housed a police station, but since the cops were paid off, prostitution was essentially legal in the area.

Starting at age 9 or 10 (as soon as I moved to the neighborhood), adult men would stop me when I walked down the street to try to get me to have sex with them. It happened to my sister, and I imagine every other little girl (and likely many boys) in the neighborhood as well. This was part of my daily experience growing up. These Johns didn't live in the area. They had cars (many in my neighborhood did not), and their cars were nice. They doubtless came from the suburbs, where guys like them always come from. Preying on children came with no consequences because they were protected by the police. As residents of that neighborhood, we had little recourse. As a child, I was completely powerless. The police didn't care.

Now, when I try to share that story to demonstrate that prostitution is not the victimless crime people insist, I am again rendered invisible. The OP proclaimed he would not read my post, even though in the subject line of my second response I was clear I was talking about children being preyed upon. The victims of this victimless crime remain invisible. Our experiences are ignored because we don't fit the popular neoliberal narrative. Well I am here to say we exist, even if some find our lives inconvenient. I am no longer 10 yrs old, and now I will shout my story for all to hear so that people understand there is another aspect to this issue. If people ignore it, they ignore the lives of children and adults in poor communities throughout this country--communities that serve as Third World playgrounds for the middle- and upper-middle class men who want us to remain invisible.

August 6, 2014

Abu Ghraib Torture Victims May Sue U.S. Corporation, Appeals Court Rules

This story is over a month old, but I don't recall seeing it posted here. It seems pertinent to recent discussions. Of course these are civil rather than criminal proceedings.

June 30, 2014, Richmond, VA – Today, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that victims of torture and abuse in Abu Ghraib prison could pursue legal claims for their abuse against private military contractors. The appeals court ruling overturned a lower court decision that had barred the survivors from suing U.S. corporations involved in the torture in U.S. courts. U.S. military investigators had determined in 2004 that private U.S.-based contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc. (CACI) had participated in torture and other “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” of detainees at Abu Ghraib, yet a district judge ruled that the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v. Shell/Royal Dutch Petroleum foreclosed claims arising out of Iraq. Today’s decision, by contrast, recognized that CACI could be held liable in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) for its role in the torture. The case, Al Shimari v. CACI International Inc., was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of four Iraqi men who were tortured at Abu Ghraib.

Said CCR Legal Director Baher Azmy, “Today’s court ruling affirms that U.S. corporations are not entitled to impunity for torture and war crimes and that holding U.S. entities accountable for human rights violations strengthens this country’s relationship to the international community and basic human rights principles.”

Kiobel recognized a “presumption against extraterritorial application” of the ATS, but explicitly held that the presumption could be displaced in cases that “touch and concern” the United States “with sufficient force.” At Abu Ghraib, the men were subjected to electric shocks, sexual violence, forced nudity, broken bones, and deprivation of oxygen, food, and water. U.S. military investigators concluded that several CACI employees serving as interrogators directed abuse of Abu Ghraib employees in order to “soften” them up for interrogations. The court of appeals found that human rights abuses committed by a U.S. corporation at a U.S.-controlled prison in a conspiracy with U.S. soldiers, does “touch and concern” the United States sufficiently to permit the claims to proceed.

“This is an important ruling not just for our clients, who have sought justice for over a decade; it affirms the vitality of human rights litigation even after the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel.” continued Azmy.

Links to this and the previous ruling at: http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/abu-ghraib-torture-victims-may-sue-u.s.-corporation%2C-appeals-court-rules

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