Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Must Reads: Senate Report Details CIA’s Gruesome Torture Program; CHP Fires Non-Lethal Rounds at Protesters from Freeway Overpass

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

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1. The CIA’s torture program targeted numerous prisoners, including innocent ones; yielded little valuable intelligence; and the agency repeatedly lied about all aspects of what it was doing, The New York Times$ reports, citing the Senate’s long-awaited report on torture. The CIA’s gruesome torture regime included subjecting prisoners to forced “rectal feeding” and “rectal hydration” and to nearly drowning them in waterboarding sessions. Yet despite the grisly revelations in the report, the Obama Justice Department has no plans to prosecute anyone involved in the torture program.

2. CHP officers, standing on a Highway 24 overpass in Oakland, fired nonlethal weapons at protesters who were standing below on the street, injuring some of them. The CHP’s actions occurred after demonstrators had shut down the freeway for a short time, and the CHP had forcibly removed protesters from the highway in a confrontation in which protesters launched fireworks at police. A Reuters photographer was maced by law enforcement during the melee and police smashed a Chronicle photographer’s camera. Until that time, the protests had been mostly peaceful, as demonstrators marched from Berkeley to Oakland. Later in the night, a group of demonstrators looted chain stores in Emeryville.

3. Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, the most progressive top cop in the Bay Area, joined with peaceful protesters in his city on Tuesday, holding a sign that read “# Black Lives Matter” — in a move that represented a stark contrast to the actions of other police leaders in the region over the past few weeks, the CoCo Times$ reports. Magnus said he was attempting to "bridge the gap" between police and protesters.

4. The East Bay MUD board of directors voted to implement a 14 percent surcharge on water usage in order to pay for increased water supplies to be pumped from the Sacramento River this winter, the CoCo Times$ reports. The vote will result in a “$4.30 increase in the monthly bill of an average single family home using 246 gallons per day.”

5. And, in case you haven’t been paying attention, Stormageddon is heading for the Bay Area tonight, with winds expected to reach hurricane levels and rain pelting the region relentlessly, creating treacherous conditions and widespread power outages.       

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