TORTURE/WAR CRIMES | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

TORTURE/WAR CRIMES

Jan 18 08:24

Guantanamo Bay staff sergeant claims three men believed to have committed suicide were actually tortured to death

A staff sergeant at Guantanamo Bay claims to have solved one of the military prison’s greatest mysteries: Three men the Pentagon says killed themselves were actually tortured to death by the CIA.

The official government line was that Yasser Talal al-Zahrani of Yemen, and Salah Ahmed al-Salami and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi, both of Saudi Arabia, killed themselves in 2006 in a suicide pact.

Rear Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, called the deaths “an asymmetric warfare committed against us.” The men were said to have hanged themselves.

Jan 16 09:42

ICC 'close' to opening Gaza war investigation

Al Jazeera has learned that the ICC chief prosecutor may be close to opening investigation into last summer's Gaza war.

Jan 16 07:00

New evidence shows CIA held prisoners in Lithuania

New analysis and previously unpublished documents released by legal charity Reprieve show that the CIA held prisoners in Lithuania in 2005 and 2006, contrary to official denials.

In a dossier and briefing submitted to the Lithuanian Prosecutor today, Reprieve reveals how the newly declassified US Senate Report on CIA detention correlates with flight data and contracting documents; and demonstrates that prisoners were moved into Lithuania in February and October 2005, and out of Lithuania to Afghanistan in March 2006.

A previous investigation by Lithuanian prosecutors, shelved in 2011, concluded that the CIA built a facility in a converted stable outside Vilnius, but argued there was no evidence that prisoners were ever held in it.

Jan 14 10:44

Complaint against John Howard to the International Criminal Court

Australia’s former Prime Minister John Howard has been accused of war crimes before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Jan 13 08:30

U.S. airstrike in Syria may have killed 50 civilians

Central Command spokesman Ryder said the failure to list the Dec. 28 airstrike was an administrative oversight.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And if you believe THAT one, I have some of Saddam's nuclear weapons to sell you!

Jan 12 07:24

Police asked to investigate G4S over Guantanamo role

British security firm G4S could be criminally liable for its involvement in Guantanamo Bay, according to a new complaint filed with the Metropolitan Police.

Legal charity Reprieve, which represents several Guantanamo detainees, has reported the UK company to police after learning of a $113 million (£71 million) contract for G4S to supply ‘base services’ at the US prison through its US subsidiary, G4S Government Solutions (G4S GS). The exact nature of the services to be provided under the contract is unclear, prompting concerns that the company could be complicit in rights abuses under way at the prison, such as force-feeding.

Jan 06 10:53

UN Finds 3,000 Civilians Killed in Afghanistan in 2014

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, 2014 was the deadliest year for Afghan civilians since the organization began keeping records in 2009. Over 3,000 civilians were killed this year, in 2014. It was also reported that Afghan forces trained by the U.S. killed over two dozen people at a wedding party on New Year's Eve.

Jan 06 08:21

Obama poised to free two more Gitmo inmates

President Obama is due to release two more Guantanamo Bay inmates in the coming days, Fox News reported early Tuesday.

The overnight announcement from the White House comes on the heels of a similar decision made by Mr. Obama just a few days ago to free five Gitmo prisoners. Those five were arrested in Pakistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on U.S. soil, but never charged.

Jan 05 19:47

CIA inspector general to resign this month

The internal watchdog for the Central Intelligence Agency, David Buckley, will resign at the end of January. Buckley was the key figure behind a report on allegations that the CIA spied on senators trying to investigate its post-9/11 torture techniques.

Jan 05 11:33

Israel won’t allow soldiers to appear at ICC: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Tel Aviv regime will not permit its soldiers to appear at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and face potential war crime charges.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We are above the laws of men!" -- Nodding Yahoo

Jan 04 11:22

‘Torture - a policy choice of the US’

While torture is illegal under domestic and international law, without any accountability there is no guarantee that future US administrations won’t pursue the same kind of policy, Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, told RT.

Jan 03 07:40

Leaked ‘Kill List’ Shows They Knew Kids Were Dying

Jan 02 21:02

What would Happen if the Int’l Criminal Court Indicted Israel’s Netanyahu?

If the International Criminal Court takes up Israeli government actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, it could well find specific officials guilty of breaches of the Rome Statute of 2002. Article 7 forbids “Crimes against Humanity,” which are systematically repeated war crimes. Among these offenses is murder, forcible deportation or transfer of members of a group, torture, persecution of Palestinians (an “identifiable group”) and “the crime of Apartheid.”

Jan 01 10:19

There Are Several Thousand Secret Photos of America's Horrific Torture Program. Should Obama Release Them?

You may recall, from the dark days of Abu Ghraib, that there was a batch of photos that was never released—images the Pentagon deemed so inflammatory that they needed to stay under wraps. The ones we saw were disturbing enough: the piles of naked Iraqi prisoners, the soldier giving a thumbs up next to an ice-packed corpse, the prisoners being menaced by dogs. And who can forget that iconic shot of a hooded man (his name is Ali Shalil Qaissi), standing on a box in a shower with wires attached to his fingers—a mock execution. There are as many as 2,100 additional images, according to the ACLU, which sued the government in 2004 demanding their release. President Obama has resisted the legal efforts, noting in a statement that to make the photos public would "impact the safety of our troops."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, release of the photos will impact the safety of our leaders who ordered the use of these methods, and frankly I see that as a good thing! So yes, release them all. We The People have a right to know what the government has been doing with our money and in our name. And if it is war crimes, which seems to be the case, We The People have a moral obligation to crate up these leaders ourselves and ship them to the Hague for trial.

Jan 01 08:08

CIA may have committed war crimes, physician group says

Physicians for Human Rights called on President Obama and Congress to create a panel to examine the participation of CIA and private medical personnel in the interrogation program, including possible breaches of domestic and international laws

Dec 31 14:19

Even CIA Admits Torture Doesn’t Work

Seton Hall Law School Professor Jonathan Hafetz made an important point today :

CIA director, John O Brennan, admitted that the agency “has not concluded that it was the use of EITs that allowed us to obtain useful information from detainees”.

***

The [CIA] – unlike its loudest defenders – is not endorsing torture as a means of gaining intelligence or keeping the country safe.

Dec 31 11:49

US Allocates a Whopping $65 Million for New Guantanamo School

The base with the most expensive prison on earth is getting one of the world's priciest schools -- a $65 million building with classroom space for, at most, 275 kindergarten through high school students.

Dec 31 11:42

FLASHBACK JULY - Reporter Breaks Down while Reporting on Israeli Killing of Palestinian Children? in Gaza

Dec 31 07:03

BREAKING: Obama releases five more Gitmo prisoners overnight

President Obama released five more prisoners from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base overnight, Fox News reported. They were held for more than a decade and were sent to resettle in Kazakhstan.

The men were arrested in Pakistan following the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, but were never charged, The Daily Mail reported. Three of the men were from Yemen and identified by The Daily Mail as: “Asim Thabit Abdullah Al-Khalaqi, who is about 46; Muhammad Ali Husayn Khanayna, who is about 36; and Sabri Mohammad al Qurashi, about 44.”

Dec 31 06:47

Ken O'keefe on PressTv exposes Obama, Bush, ISIS, Bankers, Syria

Dec 30 07:27

Desmond Tutu: ‘Put Tony Blair in the dock for war crimes’

Groomed by the intelligence services from his early college days, he didn’t bat an eyelid while lying to his electorate – and to the world about fictional WMD’s in Iraq, and he dazzled George W. Bush with his alluring pillow talk, used his cozy globalist-appointed positions and high-flying (albeit meaningless) titles to broker deals for JP Morgan investment elite, while he creates wonderous business opportunities on the backs of the world’s poor – he is the world’s most hated man, and he doesn’t drink Dos Equis (but he does drinks Cristal).

Certainly, it’s a charmed life for the man with the fake smile. Recently, 21WIRE reported how he caused a PR meltdown at the international children’s charity, Save the Children, after someone tried to him a “Global Legacy Award” (spooky). The charity are now deeply regretting that move, calling the whole affair ‘a painful experience’.

Dec 29 15:32

Senior U.S. Government Officials: Release the Full Torture Report

Senior U.S. Intelligence Officers Call on Senator Udall to Release the Torture Report

Dec 29 09:28

“It’s Just A Matter of Time Before [Torture] Spills Back Into Domestic Territory. Historically, It Always Has”

War always comes home.

The cost of our torture program — and the failure to prosecute a single official for it (or the destruction of evidence and false statements revealed in its aftermath) will continue to cost this country dearly. Countries like Iran, North Korea, and China have already cited our use of waterboarding to defend against their own abuses. When our soldiers or citizens are waterboarded in the future, countries will play back Cheney’s words and others to say that such abuse is not torture. When we demand that officials in other countries be prosecuted for torture, they will mock our hypocrisy and own history.

Dec 29 07:18

Leaked documents raise new questions over UK complicity in secret US drone strikes

Previously secret documents obtained by Der Speigel – including a ‘Kill List’ that included both Pakistani and Afghan targets – have raised new concerns about British complicity in the US’s covert drone war in Pakistan.

The documents, detailed in an article published yesterday evening, show that NATO and British forces in Afghanistan planned to target and kill individuals that were located across the border in Pakistan. The UK government has consistently denied that it has taken strikes outside of Afghanistan and has refused to confirm whether and to what extent it is involved in the CIA’s covert drone war in Pakistan.

Dec 28 08:59

No charges for Bush-era torturers under Obama

Despite injustices committed by the Bush administration after the September 11th attack, Obama refuses to hold the wrong-doers accountable.

Though he admits the practices were torturous, and therefore criminal, he chooses to remain "agnostic" about whether or not the tactics worked and does not plan to pursue the issue further.

His reasoning for not taking appropriate actions in response to the recent release of the torture report may have something to do with his close ties to the CIA director.

Dec 27 11:11

UN Security Council Prepares to Lynch North Korea. Manipulation to Justify Aggressive War?

On December 18, and in the subsequent December 22 Security Council meeting, the double standards within the United Nations are shockingly visible, and one can only gasp at the arrogance of the blatantly biased and politically motivated resolution A/69/488/Add.3 which “condemns the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in the DPRK.” The resolution condemning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is clearly an attempt to eviscerate the socialist government of North Korea.

The use of allegations of human rights abuses by the United States, the world’s most powerful country, and the powerful country whose own documented record of criminal human rights abuses has just been published, causing revulsion and horror throughout the world, constitutes an assault on justice which so dishonors the United Nations that the adoption of this resolution condemning the DPRK can only be described as shameful.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The short answer posed by the title of this article is, "HELL, yes!".

And why?!? Because war with North Korea will translate into a war against China, which has both a national currency and military capabilities on the ascendent.

It is a war the US government and military may well lose; but just because an action is the most pig-headedly, ham-fistedly wrong thing the US government could possibly do is, unfortunately, absolutely no guarantee that it will not do such a thing.

Dec 27 08:57

Bush & Cheney Should Be Charged with War Crimes: Richard Clarke, Col. Wilkerson

It's a miracle that the reality bubble created by the evil faction who hijacked our government may actually burst, after over a decade of fake news and cover-ups about the deeply criminal nature of the people who launched the war in Iraq.

Calls are increasing for the prosecution of George W. Bush administration officials tied to the CIA torture program. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor who would investigate the crimes detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the program.

On Monday, The New York Times editorial board called for a full and independent criminal investigation. We put the question about prosecution to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005.

Dec 26 08:57

How The CIA's Torture Program Is Destroying The Key Foreign Power The US Had: The Moral High Ground

Over a year ago, we wrote about a wonderful piece in Foreign Affairs by Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore, noting that the real "danger" of the Snowden and Manning revelations was that it effectively killed off the US's ability to use hypocrisy as a policy tool. Here was the key bit (though the whole article is worth reading):

The deeper threat that leakers such as Manning and Snowden pose is more subtle than a direct assault on U.S. national security: they undermine Washington’s ability to act hypocritically and get away with it. Their danger lies not in the new information that they reveal but in the documented confirmation they provide of what the United States is actually doing and why. When these deeds turn out to clash with the government’s public rhetoric, as they so often do, it becomes harder for U.S. allies to overlook Washington’s covert behavior and easier for U.S. adversaries to justify their own.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, here is the heart and soul of the US government at this point in its history; it will lie, cheat, jail, torture, extrajudicially assassinate, and wage war against people who get in the way of the country's (and world's) monied interests.

To all those countries which have natural resources the US government wants, be very aware that it will do everything in its power to destabilize your government, and put in a US-centric government that will do its bidding; failing that, the US government will wage outright war to get those resources.

And to its citizens: you have become completely expendable, because your alleged representatives only represent those corporations which so lavishly fund their election cycles. You and your needs and issues have become irreverent, because it is only the needs and issues of those major corporations which are addressed.

Your jobs will continue to be offshored, outsourced, reducing you to working several minimum wage jobs just to survive, if you can find them.

You will be taxed into poverty, thrown out on the streets when you can't pay the rent, and your homelessness will become criminalized, at which point you will most likely languish in a for-profit prison, as a slave laborer there.

That is a painfully, bleakly honest portrait of this government going into 2015.

Dec 26 08:36

Public won’t let Washington sweep CIA torture under the rug – Russian diplomat

The Obama administration won’t be able to throw the torture issue under the table, as the US Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program has sparked a global public outcry, the Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights ombudsman told RT.

“It’s to be continued. If you wish, this report is to be continued against the will of those who would like to hush it down,” Konstantin Dolgov stressed.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture following 9/11 will be “discussed in the international forum, including, hopefully, in the UN Council of Human Rights and in some other international formats,” he added.

Dec 24 11:48

Michael Ratner: Dick Cheney Is Lying by Saying that the Torture Program Has Worked

According to Michael Ratner, Dick Cheney has lied to the American people by saying that the Detention and Interrogation Program was effective and helped with the progress of the Global War on Terror.

“Cheney is lying when he said the program worked. The Senate report studied 20 claims by the CIA of stopping terrorist plots. None of the information used to stop those plots was elicited from torture,” said Michael Ratner in an interview with Fars News Agency.

Mr. Ratner, who has been the President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, tells Fars News Agency that President Obama’s failure to stop the torturing and persecuting of the Guantanamo bay prisoners was one of the “disgusting chapters” in his presidency.

“He [Obama] ran a campaign in 2008 with the promise he would close Guantánamo. He has been a weakling on this issue, caving to the national security establishment,” he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just because someone has held high office in this country is absolutely no guarantee of their credibility or truthfulness. Quite the contrary!!

And the reality about those Gitmo prisoners of war cleared for release, but who remain imprisoned, is that they will be incarcerated for life, because water-boarding was not the worst thing done to them, and the scars will be there for life.

With the complete anger and disgust I am feeling about this dark, immoral, and illegal chapter of this country's history, I can almost feel an ad hominem attack against Cheney coming on; I will resist the temptation, and simply ask: was this the best American Republicans could come up with as a vice-presidential candidate when Bush was running?!?

The sad, and insurmountable truth here was that,for the money junkies, particularly those making money through the military industrial complex, Cheney was a god, incredibly capable of making incredible money for them through the waging of wars.

And very frankly, the options with which American will be presented in 2016 will be no better, no matter if it is Republicans or Democrats who are victorious in the national election.

Americans are under the illusions that their voting, in national elections, actually makes a difference.

The ugly truth is, in 21st century America, it does not.

And that is because Congressional "representatives" only represent the corporations which fund their election cycles, which is why legislation is always great for corporations, and generally lousy for We the People. Any candidates truly interested in what is good for the nation as a whole are culled from the process long before we enter a voting booth.

We have become expendable to this government. We no longer matter; only the goals and financial aims of the large corporations matter.

And when those goals and financial aims of those corporations align with wars, then wars they shall have.

It does not matter to these corporations how many Americans will have to die, or be maimed for life, in these military conflicts for private corporate profit; after all, it is nearly never the children of chairmen or chairwomen of the board who are tapped to die or languish with unspeakable injuries.

It is just other people's children, and they (read: our sons and daughters, husbands and wives) are certainly completely and thoroughly expendable to the monied class.

Dec 24 08:14

Israeli soldiers take pictures of themselves abusing wounded youth

A video, captured by Rami Alarya of the Alqods Independent Media Center, showed a number of Israeli soldiers assaulting a Palestinian child, on Friday evening [February 4 2014], after shooting him with a rubber-coated metal bullet in the leg, and photographing themselves abusing him.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Degradation of prisoners is a war crime.

Dec 24 07:31

War Crimes Case Filed in Germany

A human rights group in Berlin, Germany, has filed a criminal complaint against the architects of the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has accused former Bush administration officials, including CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of war crimes, and called for an immediate investigation by a German prosecutor.

Dec 23 15:18

Obama offers $5 mil for recapture of al-Qaida fighter released from Gitmo

Although President Barack Obama and his administration continue to aggressively push to closedown the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center for terrorist prisoners, they might wish to review their own files on released detainees and where they are today. For example, according to the government watchdog Judicial Watch on Monday, an al-Qaida terrorist who was released from the military prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, is now wanted by the United States government for his jihadist activity and he's on a global terrorist list that offers $5 million for information about his location.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

He is on planet Earth.

Pay the five million HERE! :)


PLEASE DONATE.




Dec 23 14:19

Torture Report Epilogue: No Punishment for CIA Staff Who Spied on Senate

Well, if we’re not going to punish CIA officials for torturing people and misleading leaders about it, we’re certainly not going to punish CIA officials for snooping on Senate staff and misleading leaders about it, right? Right. After a nasty fight over the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report led to a group of CIA officials snooping on the computers Senate staff were using to put the report together, it seems that a panel is going to recommend no disciplinary action

Dec 23 10:44

US moves to block distribution of graphic photos of military’s brutal detainee abuse. Again.

The government is withholding nearly 2,100 images that show the military's brutal treatment of detainees at various prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the previously disclosed pictures from Abu Ghraib are the stuff of nightmares- piles of naked bodies, detainees being led on leashes, and US soldiers giving a thumbs up as it happens- these photographs are siad to be even more disturbing. One image reportedly shows a female soldier pretending to sodomize a naked prisoner with a broom, while others allegedly depict US troops pointing guns at detainees' heads.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A memo to the US government: release the photos. And then create the climate in the US military and CIA, along with clear guidelines, which will absolutely insure that this dark chapter in America's history will never, ever repeat itself against US-held prisoners of war.

When the US tortures, or outsources torture, the following happens.

The world comes to see that those values the US government alleges that it holds dear (humanity, decency, and human rights) are simply words, with absolutely no true meaning.

This alone should stop the US government from torturing prisoners of war, if we ever wish to be viewed as a moral nation again.

And when the US tortures, it gives carte blanche for governments which don't particularly like the US to do precisely the same to our military and civilian personnel.

To those of you with family or friends in the military, please think about that for awhile.

Humankind has known since the time of the Catholic Inquisition that torture only gets the tortured person to confess to whatever the torturer is accusing him of doing to get the torture to stop.

Torture is about getting confessions; not about procuring actionable intelligence.

So why, in the 21st century, did the US government sign off on torture, under the watch of that unholy trinity of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld?!?

First, as reported at islandbreath.blogspot.com:

Comment by editor Mike Slavo at SHTF Plan concerning the article below: As this article makes quite clear, while the debate over the use of torture by the CIA and other entities against enemies and terrorists is important, the framing of the report sidesteps the pertinent question of why torture was being used during the Bush Administration’s prosecution of the War on Terror. And the answer was pointed out by the 2009 Armed Service Committee report – that torture has been used historically to produce false confession. FALSE confessions. Why? To produce bogus and sensational stories to support pro-war, pro-torture, pro-clandestine propaganda. Cheney, Rumsfeld and others in the Bush Administration were trying to justify and goad on the war in Iraq by linking Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden and 9/11. The rhetoric is in countless media clips from the time, but the factual case was not there. Torture victims were pressed to provide the links the administration needed to open the door to endless war, and to stir fear in the minds of the American population.

And secondly, there are some monumentally twisted pieces of work, allegedly human, who get off on torturing, and they understood, under the previous administration, that torturing never meant having, ultimately to say, "you're sorry"; it was all emotional pleasure for them in this process, and no moral responsibility whatsoever.

I sometimes wonder if, emotionally, signing off on these horrific practices, in order to obtain false confessions, made Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld feel butch.

Hell, if someone passed out from the pain, a medic could, usually, bring them back to consciousness again, and the "fun" would start all over for them.

I am strongly reminded of a World War II German interrogator who absolutely never, ever used harsh treatment to get information. The guy's name is Hanns Scharff, and he learned English as a businessman in South Africa before the war. here is his story:

The Scharff method, if so it may be called, relied on the initial premise that it was better for a flier to co-operate with the Luftwaffe, instead of being regarded as a spy and handed over to the Gestapo. Even though there were a few prisoners who remained button-lipped, Scharff resolutely refused to descend to using physical coercion. Instead of using pliers to squeeze information out of prisoners, Scharff got what he and his superiors wanted by playing on a prisoner's sense of isolation and psychological insecurity. Carefully deploying what were sometimes meagre scraps of data, Scharff sought to create the illusion of total knowledge about a prisoner's activities. Misled into believing that the interrogator knew just about everything anyway, the latter could then be bamboozled into disclosing military secrets. Scharff appeared to reverse the overtly adversarial relationship between interrogator and prisoner by adopting a subtle, softly-softly approach.

What this man did was discover actionable intelligence without ever resorting to violence.

One would think that the US government would be able, perhaps, to learn from history; unfortunately, in recent years, it has proven itself pathologically incapable of doing so.

Dec 23 10:26

Israel violates Gaza ceasefire nearly every day

After Israeli warplanes bombed Gaza on Friday, the BBC described the air strike on “a Hamas facility” as “the first such action since the declaration of a truce in August.”

The short BBC News item, essentially a repackaged Israeli army press statement, added that the strike was “in response” to a rocket fired earlier from Gaza.

The casual reader would understand this to mean that Israel has held its fire since the August ceasefire which ended the intensive bombing this summer that claimed more than 2,200 Palestinian lives.

However, the reality is that Israel has fired on Palestinians in Gaza nearly every day since the 26 August truce.

Dec 23 10:25

CIA Agents Reportedly Impersonated Senate Staffers While Torture Report Was Being Produced

CIA agents “impersonated Senate staffers” while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was producing its report on the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, according to Huffington Post.

“According to sources familiar with the CIA inspector general report that details the alleged abuses by agency officials,” journalists Ali Watkins and Ryan Grim reported, “CIA agents impersonated Senate staffers in order to gain access to Senate communications and drafts of the Intelligence Committee investigation.”

A source “familiar” with the inspector general report, which remains classified, told Huffington Post, “If people knew the details of what they actually did to hack into the Senate computers to go search for the torture document, jaws would drop. It’s straight out of a movie.”

Dec 23 07:57

Democracy And Corruption: Germany Files War Crimes Charges Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld And Other CIA Officials

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has filed a criminal complaint against U.S. torture program architects and members of the Bush Administration. The organization has accused CIA director George Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of war crimes and they’ve called for a German prosecutor to conduct an immediate investigation.

This move follows the release of the damning Senate report on CIA torture that includes the case of German citizen Khalid El-Masri, who was captured in 2004 by CIA agents in a case of mistaken identity. The report revealed the shocking contrast of democracy and corruption.

Bizarrely, the only person involved with the CIA torture program who has been charged with a crime is the man who exposed the war crimes — whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Dec 22 16:06

Yet no apology: CIA’s mistaken detention destroyed German man’s life

Khalid al Masri is a broken man today. A decade after the CIA snatched him by mistake, flew him half way around the world in secret, and questioned him as part of its detention and interrogation program, he’s yet to recover.

He’s abandoned his home. He no longer is part of the lives of his wife or children. Friends can’t find him. His attorneys can’t find him. German foreign intelligence will say only that he’s “somewhere in a western-leaning Arab nation.”

When his Ulm attorney and confidant Manfred Gnjidic last saw him, he was broke, unkempt, paranoid and completely alone. He’d been arrested twice and sent once to a psychiatric ward, once to jail. He was in deep need of psychological counseling but with no hope of the extensive help he needed.

Dec 22 15:46

Federal Court Gives “Early Christmas Present” to War Criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Others, Immunizing Them From Civil Inquiry Regarding Iraq War

Late Friday, a federal judge dismissed a civil claim filed against George W. Bush and other high-ranking officials regarding their conduct in planning and waging the Iraq War, and immunized them from further proceedings.

“This is an early Christmas present to former Bush Administration officials from the federal court,” Inder Comar of Comar Law said. Comar brought the claim on behalf of an Iraqi refugee and single mother, Sundus Shaker Saleh. “This was a serious attempt to hold US leaders accountable under laws set down at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946. I am very disappointed at the outcome.”

Dec 22 10:13

FLASHBACK - Boston Legal Season 2 Episode 19 - Stick It

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Start watching at the 28 minute mark.

Dec 22 09:00

Scottish orphans used in ‘military experiments’

The allegations centre on at least four institutions where thousands of children are said to have been experimented upon in conditions described as “like something out of Auschwitz”. It is alleged that Porton Down, the top secret military facility in Wiltshire, was involved in trialling drugs for use in the Cold War on youngsters who were regarded as “feeble-minded”.

Dec 22 08:06

Obama Signs Bill That Forbids Closing Gitmo, Insists He Will Ignore Provision

On Friday, President Obama signed yet another annual defense bill which explicitly forbids closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, leaving a pledge to close the site, made on his first day in office, unresolved.

Despite this, President Obama insisted that he will “do everything I can” to close the site, which apparently did not include not signing anything that bans closing the site.

Obama did accompany the signing with a statement insisting that anything he views as violation of his constitutional powers, which includes the Gitmo provision, would be ignored.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And if you believe THAT one...

Dec 22 08:00

Obama vows 'do everything I can' to close Guantanamo: CNN interview

U.S. president Barack Obama said in a TV interview set for broadcast on Sunday that he will do "everything I can" to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after four Afghan detainees held there were sent home.

Obama promised to shut the internationally condemned prison when he took office nearly six years ago, saying it was damaging America's image around the world. But he has been unable to do so, partly because of obstacles posed by the U.S. Congress.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obama said this on CNN just two days after signing a bill to keep Guantanamo open!

Dec 22 07:20

Israel – America’s torture consultant

I watched painfully former Vice-President Dick Cheney on NBC television’s “Meet the Press” programme trying to defend and redefine his role in the “authorised” CIA torture. Whenever he was asked about a specific torture case, Cheney always referred back to the “tortured” Americans who lost their lives in 9/11.

Dec 22 07:08

CCR Joins Criminal Complaint in Germany Against Bush-Era Architects of Torture

Germany's Chief Federal Prosecutor must investigate former CIA boss Tenet, former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and others - and should not wait until they are on German soil.

Dec 22 06:55

Four Afghans Released From Guantánamo Bay

The United States transferred four detainees from the Guantánamo Bay prison to Afghanistan late Friday, the Defense Department announced Saturday, fulfilling a request from the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, in what officials here characterized as a show of good will between the United States and the government in Kabul.

Dec 22 06:12

New York Times calls for Cheney, Bush officials to be investigated and prosecuted for torture

In a blistering editorial published in the Monday edition of the New York Times, the editorial page editors are calling upon the Justice Department to open an investigation into the torture practices committed during the administration of President George W. Bush with an eye towards prosecuting those who “committed torture and other serious crimes,” along with former Vice President Dick Cheney and other major administration officials.

Under a headline reading, “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses,” the board criticizes the administration of current President Barrack Obama for failing “to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects,” during the period following the attack on 9/11.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, as well intentioned as this op ed may be, it will only happen when pigs fly.

And the reason I say this is that the monied and corporate interests wanted Iraq's oil to be sold only in US dollars; that has not changed, and will not change, at least in the short term.

They still want wars, with which to attach and purchase, assets around the world; assets in which neither they nor their children will fight, get tortured, or be maimed for life or die.

For them, it is always completely acceptable that other people's children fight, die,get maimed for life, or get tortured to enhance their corporation's private profits.

Dec 20 10:08

The CIA Experimented on Human Beings

Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program. The experimental nature of the interrogation and detention techniques is clearly evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s executive summary of its investigative report, despite redactions (insisted upon by the CIA) to obfuscate the locations of these laboratories of cruel science and the identities of perpetrators.

At the helm of this human experimentation project were two psychologists hired by the CIA, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. They designed interrogation and detention protocols that they and others applied to people imprisoned in the agency’s secret “black sites.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"...derived from experiments on dogs..."?!?!?

Sorry, will you run that one by me just one more time please?!?

How can dogs provide actionable intelligence, to be "extracted", after they have become totally submissive, through the process of "learned helplessness"?!?

Where is the moral outrage, please, in this country, that such a thing should be allowed to come to fruition?!?

And I say this because humankind has known, since the Catholic Inquisition, that torture only gets the person to say what the torturer wants them to say in order to get the torture to stop.

Torture produces no actionable intelligence; only confessions, period, end of discussion.

And IF the US was in fact a moral country, these men, alongside that unholy trinity of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, would be cooling their heels in a prison, awaiting a trial for torture, and crimes against humanity.

And until and unless that happens, the US will simply sink deeper into the morass of dictatorship, more unwinnable wars, and the persecution, and jailing, of whistle blowers and the independent media, working hard to tell the truth, and not for financial gain.

A harsh wind blows across this country, and there is a collective shiver up and down the collective spine of every thinking American.

And the reason for that is a very clear understanding of the Biblical injuction about "That which you sow, you shall also reap."

This country has sown the seeds of death, torture, and war for private financial gain.

And what do we see this December, just days away from a celebration of Christmas?!? More wars, and rumors of wars, both fiscal (as in the agreement with the Saudi government to keep oil prices artificially low to destroy Russia's economy), and shooting wars as well.

I care very deeply about the future of this country, but feel that we are moving in absolutely the wrong directions, in both domestic and foreign policies.

And unfortunately, one of the key prerequisites for working for the last several administrations has been a pathological, intellectually myopic inability to think any action through to its logical conclusion.

Looking at the current situation in Iraq; in Afghanistan; in Libya; and in Yemen, one can very clearly see the outcome of this kind of thinking.

Dec 20 08:46

US elite has gone far beyond Hitler's impudence and cruelty

Brutal and bloody provocations are a tool of choice of USA's politics. US intelligence greyhounds have taken a hand in white powder from Iraq, in September 11 attacks and torture. These are not conspiracy theories - this is real politics, President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems and military analyst Konstantin Sivkov believes.

"They have recently published the torture report in the United States, even though those tortures were not happening on the territory of the United States. Only 500 pages of the 6,000-page report have been published. It is unthinkable what US special services were doing to those suspects after the attacks of the Twin Towers. State Department officials said that no one would be punished for any of those tortures. Do you think that the world community will turn a blind eye on that again and continue to admire American democracy?"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Nope!

Dec 20 08:22

Dog Torture at Bottom of CIA Scandal

In Part 1 of Seligman and Steve Maier’s experiment, three groups of dogs were placed in harnesses. Group 1 dogs were simply put in the harnesses for a period of time and later released. Groups 2 and 3 consisted of “yoked pairs.” A dog in Group 2 would be intentionally subjected to pain by being given electric shocks, which the dog could end by pressing a lever. A Group 3 dog was wired in series with a Group 2 dog, receiving shocks of identical intensity and duration, but his lever did not stop the electric shocks. To a dog in Group 3, it seemed that the shock ended at random, because it was his paired dog in Group 2 that was causing it to stop. For Group 3 dogs, the shock was apparently “inescapable.” Group 1 and Group 2 dogs quickly recovered from the experience, but Group 3 dogs learned to be helpless, and exhibited symptoms similar to chronic clinical depression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Well, yeah, it might be okay to torture Muslims, BUT NOW YOU TORTURED DOGS AND YOU ARE IN DEEP KIMCHEE, fella! We have animal cruelty laws in this nation! Just ask Michael Vick!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Dec 20 07:49

CLG Exclusive: CIA Torture Queen Bought $825K House While Torturing Her Way to the Top

The redacted (525 of 6,700 pages) C.I.A. torture report has revealed possible war crimes and violations of the Nuremberg ban on human experimentation by C.I.A. agents and U.S. military contractors. On December 19, 2014, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Peter Maass revealed the name of the C.I.A. senior officer at the center of the C.I.A.'s torture scandals: Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.

Now, CLG can report that Alfreda Bikowsky purchased (and likely still lives in) a well-appointed ranch house in Mclean, Virginia. Nestled in a wooded lot at 1437 Brookhaven Drive, the well-concealed house is a short 19-minute, 12-mile commute to the Central Intelligence Agency in Reston, Virginia. Formerly owned by Michael E. Geltner, the property was sold to Bikowsky for a mere $825,000 by realtor Michael Chang in April of 2012.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bikowsky was a senior staff member at the Bin Laden Issue Station in January 2000.[14] She was the direct supervisor of Michael Anne Casey, a CIA staff operations officer who was assigned to track future 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar at an al-Qaeda operatives' meeting in Malaysia in early January 2000.[8] Casey blocked a draft cable written by Doug Miller, a FBI agent detailed to the Bin Laden Issue Station, to the FBI warning that al-Mihdhar had a multiple-entry visa for travel to the U.S.[15][16](p240) Mark Rossini, another FBI agent first assigned to the Bin Laden Issue Station in 1999,[16](p233) testifies that Casey also verbally ordered him to not share information with FBI headquarters about al-Mihdhar or Nawaf al-Hazmi, who was traveling with al-Mihdhar.[1][17] Rossini further states that Bikowsky told congressional investigators in 2002 that she hand-delivered al-Mihdhar's visa information to FBI headquarters. This was later proven false by FBI log books.[1] The CIA shared some details about al-Mihdhar with the FBI at that time, but not that he had a valid visa to enter the U.S.[16](pp244–7)

Interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Bikowsky has been identified as "the redheaded former Soviet analyst who had been in the Bin Laden Unit during Michael Scheuer's supervision"[7](p273) in Jane Mayer's book, The Dark Side.[8] After Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in March 2003, Mayer writes of Bikowsky:

Despite the CIA's insistence on the professionalism of its interrogation program, according to two well-informed Agency sources, one particularly overzealous female officer had to be reprimanded for her role. After Mohammed was captured, the woman, who headed the Al Qaeda unit in the CTC, was so excited she flew at government expense to the black site where Mohammed was held so that she could personally watch him being waterboarded. ... Coworkers said she had no legitimate reason to be present during Mohammed's interrogation. She was not an interrogator. "She thought it would be cool to be in the room," a former colleague said. (p. 273)[7]

Dec 19 16:22

Israel Breaks Cease-Fire by Bombing Gaza

Israel’s airstrikes violate the cease-fire that followed the country’s “Protective Edge” military attacks on Gaza earlier this year.

Israeli warplanes launched two airstrikes in eastern Al-Qarara - Khanyounis city, teleSUR’s correspondent in Gaza Noor Harazeen reported.

She said the rocket fire, a “violation of the truce” following Israel’s Protective Edge bombing campaign earlier this year, “is one of the most serious attacks on Gaza.”

Other people in the area have reported that there are blackouts in part of Gaza, such as Khan Younis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You need to ask yourself if Palestine would fire a single rocket into Israel just as the resolutions on Palestine are about to go before the Security Council. And a moment's thought suggests that Palestine is not that stupid and this is another Israel false-flag.

John Kerry already indicated the US would veto all Palestinian Resolutions, but this is uncomfortable for the US Government as it underscores that they are slaves to Israel. Better for the US and better for Israel if the resolutions are "interrupted."

Hence an Israeli collaborator in Israel fires a fireworks rocket into an empty lot in Israel and Israel uncorks a new major military offensive as their "Final Solution to the Palestinian Question."

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WRH breaking
Dec 19 08:13

US rebuked foreign governments for using the same torture methods as the CIA was using

So the CIA doesn’t consider “waterboarding” — mock execution by near drowning — to be torture, but the U.S. State Department does.

State Department reports from 2003 to 2007 concluded that Sri Lanka’s use of “near-drowning” of detainees was among “methods of torture.” Its reports on Tunisia from 1996 to 2004 classified “submersion of the head in water” as “torture.” In fact, the U.S. military has prosecuted variants of waterboarding for more than 100 years — going back to the U.S. occupation of the Philippines in the early 1900s.

Dec 18 16:32

Leaked Internal CIA Document Admits US Drone Program “Counterproductive” … Obama Did It ANYWAY

Obama Knew Drone Strikes Were Counter-Productive, But Did It Anyway

Previously-leaked documents showed that the CIA warned Obama that funding rebels doesn’t work … but Obama decided to fund the Syrian rebels anyway for cynical political gain.

Top CIA officers say that drone strikes increase terrorism (and see this). Indeed, virtually all aspects of the American “war on terror” strategy creates more terrorists and weakens our national security. And see this.

Now, a leaked internal CIA memo shows that the Agency told Obama that drone strikes might be counter-productive.

Dec 18 14:31

The Folks Guide to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

Now that the CIA’s infamous “torture report” has finally gone public, it’s time to speak of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT) and what folks need to know about it.

First of all, EIT is actually the sound folks make when trying to breathe on the waterboard. It’s an inside joke. Yeah, they tortured some folks… but not to gain intelligence, since they know torture doesn’t work for that. Getting some poor devil to confess under torture is not that hard, heck, they got folks to confess to the murder of Elvis and even had one guy who swore he had been laden (haven’t we all?). You see, when someone is shoving a tube up folk’s asset for Enhanced Rectal Interrogation while choking them to death, chances are folks will say pretty much anything at all to end the torture. That’s not intelligence, that’s despair. And the officials who ordered and carried out the torture are quite aware of this fact.

Dec 18 11:16

COMIC STRIP OF THE DAY ~~ TORTURED LOGIC

Dec 18 07:50

Criminal complaint against Bush era architects of torture

The German Federal Prosecutor must investigate former CIA Director Tenet, former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and others - and should not wait until they are on German soil

Dec 18 07:47

Napoleon vs. Cheney: 'Interrogation That Actually Works'; Icing on the 'Hate-Cake'

Not only is torture against international law, it also produces no useful intelligence. Common sense is enough to prove that statement.

If someone threatened to rape your sister, kill your mom, or shackled you until you were half-dead while feeding you up your anus, you would say nearly anything to ease the pain. So would I, and so would everyone else. Anyone who disagrees is either a liar or a fool.

Even Napoleon recognized that fact.

Dec 17 13:20

Mike Gravel to Sen. Mark Udall: Make Full Torture Probe Public Like I Did With Pentagon Papers

On the Senate floor last week, outgoing Democratic Sen. Mark Udall called for a purge of top CIA officials implicated in the torture program and cover-up, including current Director John Brennan. But as he enters the final days of his Senate term, Udall is facing calls to take action of his own. The Senate findings released last week amount to only a fraction of the full report — 480 heavily redacted pages out of more than 6,000 pages total. The White House has blocked the report's full release in deference to the CIA's wishes. That's sparked demands that Udall invoke a rarely used congressional privilege and make the report public. There is precedent for him to follow: In 1971, then-Alaska Senator Mike Gravel entered more than 4,000 pages of the 7,000-page Pentagon Papers into the Senate record, insisting the public had a right to know the truth behind the Vietnam War.

Dec 17 12:02

I saw British agents at secret torture sites, says boss of CIA's brutal interrogation programme

The man at the centre of the CIA’s brutal interrogation regime has revealed British agents were present at torture sites around the world where detainees were questioned.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dec 17 10:56

WHITEWASHING CIA TORURE

“This is not who we are. This is not how we operate,” were the words of President Barack Obama commenting on the grisly findings of a long-awaited congressional report on the use of torture by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

But what if this is exactly who we are?

The report is difficult to read, not just because it is awfully long – hundreds of pages of a summary of a nearly 6,000-page investigation, including 38,000 citations based on the review of six million pages – but because it was most disturbing. Parts of it resemble the horror of an extremely dark Hollywood movie. But it was all real: fromrectal feeding (as in putting hummus in detainee’s rectums), to rape, to torturing prisoners to death, to blinding prisoners, to forcing them to stand on broken feet, for days. It is beyond ghastly.

Dec 17 09:27

Jon Stewart Rips Dick Cheney on Torture : Is He ‘Righteous Warrior or a Psychopath?’

Dec 17 07:45

Britain’s MoD uses torture systematically

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to shake off allegations of systematic abuse at any cost, as hard evidence corroborates the British Army’s use of torture techniques.

Dec 17 07:31

Blair Whitewash? Ex-PM Prepared To Face CIA Torture Inquiry Into UK Complicity

Tony Blair will face an inquiry into British complicity in the CIA’s torture of terror suspects. The former prime minister’s decision came to light following Home Secretary Theresa May’s announcement that the probe would not be judge-led.

Dec 17 07:05

SILENCED Official Trailer 2014

Dec 16 08:33

UN rights watchdog accuses Kiev forces of torture, inhumane treatment of civilians

Kiev-controlled volunteer battalions and the Ukrainian Security Service are involved in an increasing number of human rights violations including torture and forced disappearances of those suspected of “separatism,” according to a UN OHCHR report.

The report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says that Kiev's actions in eastern Ukraine to “restore order” have led to “arbitrary detentions, torture, and enforced disappearances of people suspected of ‘separatism and terrorism’. Most of such human rights violations appear to have been perpetrated by certain voluntary battalions or by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).”

The eighth OHCHR report on the human rights situation in Ukraine released on Monday added that the procedural rights of people have not always been observed, with reports of ill-treatment and reprisals upon release.

Dec 16 08:27

Army Cancels Gitmo Hearing on FBI Infiltration

The US Army today announced that it has cancelled the two-day pretrial hearing at Guantanamo Bay related to FBI infiltration of the defense teams for detainees. They provided no reason for the cancellation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But we can guess!

Dec 16 08:20

The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report’

The CIA’s rendition, interrogation, and detention programs were even more nightmarish than you could imagine.

Interrogations that lasted for days on end. Detainees forced to stand on broken legs, or go 180 hours in a row without sleep. A prison so cold, one suspect essentially froze to death. The Senate Intelligence Committee is finally releasing its review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs. And it is brutal.

Dec 16 08:12

Feds’ fight to withhold CIA torture photos may soon end

For a decade now, a legal back-and-forth has continued to brew between lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union intent on having the photos released, and government attorneys operating under first President George W. Bush, then President Barack Obama, to keep the images from public eyes. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in 2008 that a 21-photo subset of the images should be released, but President Obama argued that doing as much would “further inflame anti-American opinion and...put our troops in greater danger.” Soon after, the Protected National Security Documents Act (PNSDA) was passed, allowing the Pentagon to withhold certain images should a court agree with whatever rationale is argued.

Dec 16 08:03

Manning tortured like terrorist, Welsh relatives say

US authorities tortured Chelsea Manning with barbaric CIA techniques, which posed a threat to her psychological health, the Welsh aunt of the jailed whistleblower revealed to local media. Before her trial for providing WikiLeaks with the largest cache of classified information in US history, Chelsea Manning was humiliated in a similar way that terrorist suspects were, her Welsh relatives told WalesOnline on Sunday. “What really hurt me was the treatment Chelsea received in Quantico two years before the trial: stripped naked, kept in solitary confinement, made to stand in a corner, everything taken away,” said Sharon Staples, Manning's aunt. Her revelation echoed the 2012 report of UN special rapporteur Juan Mendez, who ruled that “the alleged prolonged solitary confinement … was…a violation of Manning's right to physical and psychological integrity,” as well as of presumption of innocence.

Dec 16 07:26

Torture in Israeli prisons: 200 methods used against Palestinian prisoners

Hundreds of torture methods used against Palestinian prisoners during interrogations conducted in Israeli prisoners have been observed by human rights organisations and prisoners’ rights associations.

A report by the United Nations lists around 200 methods of torture. The Israeli rights group B’Tselem listed around 105 torture methods. Regardless of the number, all these reports indicate a grave level of violations perpetrated against Palestinians following their arrest.

Dec 15 16:30

The Congressional report on torture confirms that Al Qaeda was not involved in the attacks of September 11

President Barack Obama announced that he would not pursue any of the perpetrators of these crimes, while defenders of human rights are fighting to have the perpetrators brought to justice. It’s the least we can do.

However, the real issues are elsewhere: Why did the CIA committed such crimes? Why did it fabricate confessions to link al-Qaeda artificially to the attacks of September 11? And therefore, al-Qaeda being unrelated to the attacks of Sept. 11, who has the CIA therefore sought to protect?

Dec 15 13:03

John Yoo Says CIA Maybe Went Too Far

s former Vice President Dick Cheney argued on Sunday that the CIA's aggressive interrogation of terrorism suspects did not amount to torture, the man who provided the legal rationale for the program said that in some cases it had perhaps gone too far.

Former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo said the sleep deprivation, rectal feeding and other harsh treatment outlined in a U.S. Senate report last week could violate anti-torture laws.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Slicing up a man's penis with a scalpel is over the line, I think.

Dec 15 11:36

Uruguay, 1964 to 1970: Torture—as American as apple pie

“The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect.”

The words of an instructor in the art of torture. The words of Dan Mitrione, the head of the Office of Public Safety (OPS) mission in Montevideo.

Officially, OPS was a division of the Agency for International Development, but the director of OPS in Washington, Byron Engle, was an old CIA hand. His organization maintained a close working relationship with the CIA, and Agency officers often operated abroad under OPS cover, although Mitrione was not one of them.

Dec 15 11:32

Cheney Calls Torture Report a Crock, Says He’d ‘Do It Again in a Minute’

Former vice president Dick Cheney defended the CIA’s actions claiming it “worked” to help keep the country safe. If some innocent people were tortured, it doesn’t matter because Cheney believes it had successful results.

Dec 15 06:52

CIA torture is reason for France to exit NATO – Le Pen

The shocking revelations of CIA torture techniques give France a reason to exit NATO, National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday. The report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices has drawn wide criticism since its release.

“If indeed everyone is outraged by the tortures used by the US then, let’s leave NATO,” Le Pen said during an interview with Europe 1 radio channel. She wrote the same statement on her Twitter account.

Dec 15 06:33

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report': Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing

Long before I knew him, undergraduate Fisk laboured at his university linguistics course, where Chomsky’s work first alerted me to the pernicious use of language. Hence I condemn at once the vile semantics of the Pentagon and the CIA. Not just that old, wolfish, obscene phrase “collateral damage”, but the language of torture.

Or, as the lads who torture on our behalf call it, “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Let’s take a closer look at that. “Enhanced” is a word of improvement. It suggests something better, more learned, even less costly. For example, “enhanced medicine” would presumably involve a more streamlined way of improving your health. Just as “enhanced schooling” would suggest a more worthy education for a child. “Interrogation” at least gives a hint of what this is all about. Asking questions and getting – or not getting – a reply. But “techniques” beats the lot. A technique is a technical skill, is it not? Usually, so my dictionary tells me, in artistic work.

Dec 14 18:19

Romania agreed to host CIA ‘black sites’ to be accepted into NATO – ex spy chief

Romania allowed the CIA to use a number of sites on its territory, a former head of the country’s intelligence confessed. He added that Bucharest’s bid to join NATO at the time prevented it from asking the US about the purposes of the sites.

The sites in question were called “transit centers” and Romania was unaware of whether they were used for detention, Ioan Talpes, who headed Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service from 2000 to 2004, told the daily Adevarul in a video interview posted online on Saturday.

"The Romanian side was not interested in what the Americans were doing, purposely to show them that they could trust us," said Talpes.

Dec 14 12:40

THE CHANUKAH MIRACLE AND CIA TORTURE

Guardian editors chose the photo of Bush in front of a menorah (from a 2008 White House Hanukkah ceremony) despite the absence of any references to Jews in the text, and the fact that the media group no doubt has countless other photos of the former president – which don’t include eye-catching symbols evoking one particular religion which isn’t the focus of the editorial – that they could have used instead.

Dec 14 10:05

Top Dems in Congress knew of interrogation tactics in 2002, fmr. CIA official says

Some Democrats who have criticized the actions described in the Senate report on torture were aware of each of the techniques — including waterboarding and sleep deprivation — as far back as 2002, a former top CIA official said Sunday.

Dec 14 08:29

The U.S. Spent Decades Teaching Torture Techniques To Brazil

The Latin American country’s National Truth Commission just produced its own torture report, which among other things documents the way American teachers taught Brazilian officers the theory and methods of torture.

Dec 14 07:55

Waterboarding

Waterboarding is a form of torture, more specifically a type of water torture, in which water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. Waterboarding can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage, and death.[1] Adverse physical consequences can manifest themselves months after the event, while psychological effects can last for years.[2]

Dec 14 07:51

You fly over foreign lands, maybe kill people, then drive home for dinner

It's an odd quirk of modern warfare than when a bomb falls in Yemen or Iraq, the person who dropped it might be able finish her mission and be back home for dinner — in Nevada.

But that is reality for operators of the American drones that spy on, and sometimes kill, potential terrorists all over the world.

"Taylor" is one of those long-distance soldiers. She doesn't want us to use her real name, knowing that some people aren’t happy about what she does for a living. She fears they’ll target her for protests.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Taylor is a murderer, killing innocent people in other countries with which we are not actually at war. For every terror "suspect" (who in many cases are innocent people named only for the reward money) some 20-30 innocent bystanders are killed.

Dec 14 07:46

Diego Garcia guards its secrets even as the truth on CIA torture emerges

It was July 2005 and Jack Straw was in combative mood. During a parliamentary debate, the then foreign secretary insisted that there was no need for a judicial inquiry into the UK’s role in extraordinary rendition – “unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States”.

But the publication last week of a long-awaited US Senate intelligence report has raised fresh questions about what the UK knew about the CIA’s torture programme – and in particular the role played by an obscure overseas British territory.

Dec 14 07:44

CIA morale 'deeply hurt' following Senate report

"The CIA is going through a huge morale problem," said US security expert Harlan Ullman in an interview with DW, commenting on the recent US Senate report on the CIA's interrogation methods, which has made serious torture allegations against the secret service. "CIA employees believed they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. They find this to be a devastating critique."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Awwwwwww ... Let's all feel; bad for the poow widdle torturers over at the Central Intelligence Agency, who are apparently not intelligent enough to remember the Nuremberg principle that torturing innocent people to find weapons of mass destruction that don't exist is not what they are "supposed to be doing" no matter what their superiors say. So in point of fact I do not feel any sympathy because they have low morale right now. They should be facing war crimes trials!

Dec 14 07:11

Now put Blair and Straw on trial for torture, says diplomat who was fired when he warned Labour Government of UK collusion with US abuse

In the summer of 2004, I warned Tony Blair’s Foreign Office that Britain was using intelligence material which had been obtained by the CIA under torture. Two months later I was sacked as the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan on the orders of Downing Street, bringing to an end my 20-year diplomatic career.

When I then went public with the news that Uzbek territory was part of a global CIA torture programme, I was dismissed as a fantasist by Mr Blair’s henchmen. Now finally, a decade later, I have been vindicated by last week’s shocking Senate Intelligence Committee report.

Over 500 pages it details the CIA’s brutal abuse of Al Qaeda suspects, who were flown around the world to be tortured in a network of secret prisons. One of these was in Uzbekistan, where the US had an air base.

Dec 14 06:58

Outsourcing Atrocity: The School of the Americas and the C.O.I.N. Fundamentalists

Since its founding in 1946, the School of the Americas has trained tens of thousands of police and military personnel in Latin America and the Caribbean. Not by coincidence, its graduates were involved in some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century – from filling the ranks of Haiti’s brutal Tonton Macoutes to training the founders of Mexico’s paramilitary narco-cartel Los Zetas. It’s no exaggeration to say that the School of the Americas has painted an entire region in blood.

While the School left a permanent mark on countries throughout the hemisphere, the doctrine it expounded has also metastasized into an intellectual cancer infecting the way NATO countries in the post-Soviet era fight the Wars on Drugs and Terror. This is a story of studied incompetence, torture and murder. And judging by the militarized response of American police departments, from Occupy Wall Street to Ferguson, the trend isn't just going global: it's also coming home.

Dec 14 06:54

The Military and CIA Interrogation Program Has Not Stopped

The Senate report on torture created a tsunami of media coverage this week. The American public hasn’t been so shocked by evidence of the U.S. torture program since the Abu Ghraib photos of 2004. The program is far worse than previously disclosed. Greater numbers of victims have been tortured for longer periods and in ways that rival the most infamous tortures in history (“rectal feeding”). But one falsehood gets repeated as fact by even in the most serious reporters, namely, that the torture program stopped years ago. It has not. The Appendix M of the 2006 Army Field Manual on interrogation methods allows military and CIA interrogators to continue torturing detainees, and the current force feeding of Guantanamo hunger strikers is so brutal it rises to the level of torture.

Dec 13 08:37

Obama under fire for castigating Bush-era torture program and claiming moral high ground all while his administration kills 'thousands of innocents' during droning of terrorism suspects

President Barack Obama is under fire this week for the way his White House has excoriated the previous administration for employing tactics it would categorize as torture all the while launching drone strikes on terrorism suspects abroad.

The enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA during the George W. Bush administration on 39 detainees resulted in just one death, Obama's critics have pointed out. Drone strikes conducted by the current occupant of the White House have killed more than 2,400 people.

After claiming all week that the release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing the brutal tactics employed by the Bush administration to elicit information from terrorists was necessary in order for the U.S. to reassert it's 'moral authority,' the White House was forced on Friday to state on record that it doesn't believe its drone policy erodes the moral high ground on which it thinks it stands when it comes to human rights.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This man is seriously, and dangerously, out of touch with the carnage his drone strike policy has caused, and the damage it has done to world perception of American jurisprudence.

Torture is absolutely wrong, and the only people who defend it are sick, twisted pieces of work who probably belong in an institution.

But extrajudicial assassinations are completely contrary to both the spirit, and literal interpretations, of the Constitution, and Bill of Rights. They are un-American in the extreme, in a society where presumption of innocence is the basis upon which all suspected criminals are to be judged by a jury of their peers.

It is an interesting psychological insight into our President that this is his preferred method of killing people he deems "dangerous".

Dec 13 08:30

Criticism of US drone programme lands activist in prison

US peace activist Kathy Kelly has been sentenced to 3 months prison for her criticism of the US drone programme in Afghanistan on the 10th December.

Considered to be Human Rights Day, peace activist Kathy Kelly was sentenced on the 10th December to 3 months prison by the US Federal court.

According to the Centre for Global Research the defence said that “The punishment for our attempt to speak on behalf of trapped and desperate people, abroad, will be an opportunity to speak with people trapped by prisons and impoverishment here in the U.S”

Dec 13 07:44

Bush fully authorised torture programme!

"CIA official says former U.S. President George Bush was fully in formed of the intelligence agency's torture programme and Identified a number of Washington officials who were aware of programme." click here

Have we had enough yet? Are we ready to grab some courage and face the facts?

The information above comes from the British newspaper the Dailymail.co.uk

The Times.co.uk leads with the headline: "Bush knew all about torture, insists CIA" click here

Has any U.S. mainstream paper provided this information?

Dec 13 07:41

Mallick: The torture twins behind the U.S. CIA report

The censored summary of the U.S. Senate report on American torture released this week is a visceral document, despite efforts by Republicans to present what it describes as a distant dry bloodless thing about which there are “no easy answers.” CIA director John Brennan used management speak when he asked, post-report, that his audience “put aside this debate and move forward to focus on issues that are more relevant to our current national security challenge.”

He sounds like a CEO caught padding his expense reports, but the fact is, the U.S. is now the country most associated with “rectal feeding” and torturing prisoners to the point where they moved obediently to the waterboarding table after hearing two finger snaps. Pavlov’s dogs weren’t as well-trained. You say “CIA,” I say “Hieronymus Bosch,” who was notorious for anal stabbing. That was in the 15th century, so the CIA went retro out of purest revenge.

Dec 13 07:39

US Defense Bill, Passed by Congress, Bans Transfer of Guantanamo Prisoners

The National Defense Authorization Act, passed by the US Senate 89-11 on Friday, would fund the US Department of Defense through fiscal year 2015, but it prohibits the department from transferring prisoners from the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison, despite US President Barack Obama's promises to close down the detention facility.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How bloody convenient.

Innocent men who will NEVER be released from Gitmo, because water boarding was not the worst of what was done to them, languishing behind bars for the rest of their lives.

Apparently, this has become "The American Way" of treating prisoners of war; and it is not all that dissimilar from the way alleged "law enforcement officers" treat the American general public.

Would I, as a law-abiding citizen, minding my own business, EVER call the police right now if I thought something criminal was going on in my neighborhood?!?

I rather think not. Innocent people in this country are getting slaughtered in this country, just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And before you criticize that outlook, please consider the following, as reported yesterday at blacklistednews.com:

Acting on a bogus tip about methamphetamine from a car thief, the Laurens County Sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the home of devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, David Hooks. An hour after the judge signed the warrant police raided Hooks’ house and took the life of this innocent grandfather. An attorney representing David Hooks’ widow says that the September 24, shooting did not go down as law enforcement authorities stated in initial news releases, and the “true facts of this tragedy are in stark contrast” to official accounts. At approximately 11:00 pm on September 24, Laurens County Sheriff’s deputies barged unannounced into the home of Hooks. The sheriff’s office claims Hooks was shot after he got out a firearm and started showing aggression. Hooks was met with 17 shots from SWAT officers. Since the Free Thought Project initially reported on this killing by police in October, recent revelations show that not only were no shots fired, but the shotgun wasn’t even loaded. Even if the shotgun would have been load and Hooks would have shot at the officers, he had every right, as he was protecting his wife and home from, who he perceived to be unannounced intruders, who obviously meant him harm. Police, adamant on trying to justify their breaking and entering and subsequent murder, searched the home for 44 straight hours and didn’t find one single shred of contraband. Mitchell Shook is the attorney for the family and he is asking for the FBI to investigate, citing that the raid was illegal. According to WMAZ, the family’s attorney says Hooks had four wounds, two of which he says are very problematic. Shook says that’s according to the Laurens County EMS records. He says the same information is found in the medical records from Fairview Park Hospital. “One was to the side of the head, the other, was in his back, the back of his left shoulder, based on the evidence we see, we believe that David Hooks was face down on the ground when he received those last two shots,” says Shook. Teresa Hooks who is still experiencing a nightmare inflicted upon her by those sworn to protect and serve, recalls that horrid night.

I would like to be able to even think that this raid, and other ones like it, where there is no true vetting of the information to begin with, are abberations in law enforcement; unfortunately, they are becoming much more standard.

Dec 13 07:26

UK spies 'may have seen' CIA torture: Shock admission by former Labour security minister as Blair aide calls for Royal Commission into Britain's role

British spies may have been aware of torture carried out by the CIA, a former security minister admitted last night.

In the most frank official acceptance yet of potential complicity, Lord West of Spithead accepted there may have been the ‘odd case’ where UK agents knew of mistreatment and may even have been in the building when it happened.

Dec 13 06:59

Brazil Released Its Own Torture Report This Week, And The U.S. Is Implicated

As Americans learned about the deeply disturbing tactics of the CIA's post-9/11 torture program this week, the government in Brazil released a report filled with its own history of systemic abuses. The nearly-2,000-page report by Brazil's National Truth Commission detailed a pattern of killings and torture during a period of military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985.

The report not only shed light on the brutal methods of Brazilian interrogators, but also showed that the United States and the United Kingdom had trained some of the perpetrators in torture techniques.

Dec 13 06:51

New calls for return of Guantanamo Brit, after 13 years of torture

In the wake of a new report on US abuses post-9/11, calls have been renewed for the return of a British resident held without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay for the past 13 years.

Shaker Aamer, a Londoner with a British wife and four British children, was captured and tortured by US forces in Afghanistan in 2001 before his rendition to Guantanamo Bay in 2002. His ordeal has included a litany of abuses similar to those described in the US Senate report on CIA torture, a portion of which was released this week. The details of CIA torture revealed in the report have provoked widespread condemnation.

As one of the first five prisoners taken to Bagram Air Force Base in late December 2001, Mr Aamer was forced to stay awake for nine days, beaten, denied food, and tied up in such a way as to risk strangling himself if he moved. Other times, he was forced to stand up for over 16 hours a day.

Dec 13 06:48

The Canadian torture state

Whipping with cables. Prolonged solitary confinement. Other unspeakable acts, committed against citizens with official blessing. Use of "information" gathered by torture considered legitimate.

No, no, I don't mean the Torture Report. I'm talking about Canada.

Let the other sordid drama play itself out in America. We've now learned more about "rectal feeding" (read: medically unjustified anal rape) than we ever wanted to know, and that's just for starters. Did the authorities raid every prison for the criminally insane to swell CIA ranks? Far worse, we're watching a desperate attempt to frame this whole series of vile acts as a period in (recent) history now thankfully ended. Don't you go believing that fairytale, now.

Dec 12 14:46

FLASHBACK 2005 - 'One of them made cuts in my penis. I was in agony'

They cut off my clothes with some kind of doctor's scalpel. I was naked. I tried to put on a brave face. But maybe I was going to be raped. Maybe they'd electrocute me. Maybe castrate me.

They took the scalpel to my right chest. It was only a small cut. Maybe an inch. At first I just screamed ... I was just shocked, I wasn't expecting ... Then they cut my left chest. This time I didn't want to scream because I knew it was coming.

One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over. "I told you I was going to teach you who's the man," [one] eventually said.

Dec 12 11:33

How Not To Cover Torture

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