Jornal de Noticias,
Poverty and Torture:
Bush Has Company in Europe
was a chapter led by Bush and that counted on the political compliance of some
European leaders, such as Blair, [ex-Spanish Prime Minister] Aznar and even
[ex-Portugal Prime Minister] Durão Barroso. The only one that still holds a
political position and remains relevant is the latter. Does it make sense for
him to continue?"
Translated By Brandi Miller
April 20, 2009
Jornal de Noticias - Portugal - Original
1. Two million poor. Close to
half are children and elderly. This is the true measure of our backwardness and
our shame, not the GDP percentages that go down one moment and up the next. Two
studies, on GDP and poverty, were released this week. Both came from the same
source, the Bank of Portugal. But while the first generated a lot of noise, the
second was hardly heard of. It is entitled Nine Facts About Poverty in
Portugal, by Nuno Alves and is available on the Bank of Portugal's Web page.
This study tells us that
there were two million poor in 2006. Still, therefore, in a period of
"prosperity." As always, the poor were amongst those who had nothing to
offer to the collective. They were those that didn’t add anything to GDP
growth, in other words, 300,000 children and 600,000 elderly. The study tells
us that the most vulnerable to poverty are single parent households, those that
have elderly with low levels of education, and finally, families in which one
or more adults are unemployed.
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany:
Obama: Inviting the Next Torture Scandal
Jornal de Noticias, Portugal:
Poverty and Torture: Bush Has Company in Europe
Le Figaro, France:
Obama's Moral Crusade: A Few Words of Caution
The Independent, U.K.:
America Doesn't Need a Witch-Hunt
BBC News, U.K.:
U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Calls CIA Exemption 'Illegal'
Ottawa Citizen, Canada:
Torture the 'Chicago Way'
Toronto Star, Canada:
Winking at CIA Abuse
This conclusion, together
with what has occurred in the mean time, in other words, with the significant
increase in unemployment, particularly in recent months, leads to a frightening
reality: that the contingent of poor in Portugal is already well above two
million. Children and elderly included. Therefore, one wonders when the country
and our political class will make this dark reality more of a priority than GDP
percentages. If for nothing else, at least for reasons of electoral arithmetic.
The poor may eat badly, wear torn clothing, contract many diseases and have a
poor education - but they also vote.
2. Sleep torture, simulated
death by suffocation, beating, keeping the detained person naked. These are tactics
that the [Portugal's] International and State Defense Police agents would certainly
not shy away from when interrogating Portuguese political prisoners. It happens
that this list is not part of any memorial of the horrors from the Estado
Novo [The New
State - the authoritarian regime which ruled Portugal from 1933-1974],
which is coming up on its 35th anniversary on April 25. This is the sinister
catalog that a democratic regime like the U.S. allowed to be written to use
against terrorist suspects. The memos
were revealed this week. Particularly brutal is the description of
waterboarding, a technique in which the detained person lies down and is
immobilized and a cloth is placed over the mouth and nose, while water poured
in. Thirty to forty seconds of fearing death by suffocation. It is a method
that the CIA jailers recommended in conjunction with sleep depravation for up
to seven days. It guaranteed a confession.
These practices have been
banned by Obama, who lamented a "dark and painful chapter" in
American history. It's worth remembering, however, that it was a chapter led by
Bush and that counted on the political compliance of some European leaders,
such as [former British Prime Minister Tony] Blair, Aznar [former
Spanish Prime Minister] and even Durão Barroso
[President of the European Commission and ex-Portugal Prime Minister]. The only
one that still holds a political position and remains relevant is the latter.
Does it make sense for him to continue?
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