Sep 16

- Abu Ghraib Torture Victims Ordered To Pay U.S. Contractor’s Legal Fees (Huffington Post, Sep 6, 2013):

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered four Iraqis who were imprisoned at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison to pay nearly $14,000 in legal fees to defense contractor CACI, an Arlington, Va.-based company that supplied interrogators to the U.S. government during the Iraq War.

The decision in favor of CACI stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the former prisoners in 2008, alleging that CACI employees directed the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The suit was dismissed in June, when U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled that because the alleged acts took place on foreign soil, CACI was “immune from suit” in U.S. court.

Lee did not, however, directly address the question of whether CACI employees took part in the mistreatment of prisoners. The treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib exploded into an international scandal in 2004, when shocking photos emerged of prisoners being stacked on top of each other, threatened with dogs, and sexually abused.

A little over a month after winning the dismissal this summer, CACI requested that the former prisoners be ordered to pay $15,580 to cover the company’s legal expenses.

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Mar 18

More from Dr. Paul Craig Roberts:

- Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Silencing The Critics

- Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: 44 US Military Bases Surrounding Iran: Will Iran Be Attacked?

Flashback:

- Interview With US General Wesley Clark (Ret.): US Government Planned To ‘Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years’: ‘Starting With Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Finishing Off Iran’ (Video)


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

By Paul Craig Roberts:

Is Obama a hypocrite or merely insouciant? Or is he an idiot?

According to news reports Obama’s White House meeting on Valentine ’s Day with China’s Vice President, Xi Jinping, provided an opportunity for Obama to raise “a sensitive human rights issue with the Chinese leader-in-waiting.” The brave and forthright Obama didn’t let etiquette or decorum get in his way. Afterwards, Obama declared that Washington would “continue to emphasize what we believe is the importance of realizing the aspirations and rights of all people.”

Think about that for a minute. Washington is now in the second decade of murdering Muslim men, women, and children in six countries. Washington is so concerned with human rights that it drops bombs on schools, hospitals, weddings and funerals, all in order to uphold the human rights of Muslim people. You see, bombing liberates Muslim women from having to wear the burka and from male domination.

One hundred thousand, or one million, dead Iraqis; four million displaced Iraqis; a country with destroyed infrastructure and entire cities, such as Fallujah, bombed and burnt with white phosphorus into cinders is the proper way to show concern for human rights.

Ditto for Afghanistan. And Libya.

In Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, Washington’s drones bring human rights to the people.

Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret CIA prison sites are other places to which Washington brings human rights. Obama, who has the power to murder American citizens without due process of law, is too powerless to close Guantanamo Prison.

He is powerless to prevent himself from supplying Israel with weapons with which to murder Palestinians and Lebanese citizens to whom Obama brings human rights by vetoing every UN resolution passed against Israel for its crimes against humanity.

Instead of following Washington’s human rights lead, the evil Chinese invest in other countries, buy things from them, and sell them goods.

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Sep 07

- The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech (Salon, Sep 4, 2011):

(updated below)

Over the past several years, the Justice Department has increasingly attempted to criminalize what is clearly protected political speech by prosecuting numerous individuals (Muslims, needless to say) for disseminating political views the government dislikes or considers threatening.  The latest episode emerged on Friday, when the FBI announced the arrest and indictment of Jubair Ahmad, a 24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, charged with “providing material support” to a designated Terrorist organization (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)).

What is the “material support” he allegedly gave?  He produced and uploaded a 5-minute video to YouTube featuring photographs of U.S. abuses in Abu Ghraib, video of armored trucks exploding after being hit by IEDs, prayer messages about “jihad” from LeT’s leader, and — according to the FBI’s Affidavit — “a number of terrorist logos.”  That, in turn, led the FBI agent who signed the affidavit to assert that ”based on [his] training and experience, it is evident that the video . . . is designed as propaganda to develop support for LeT and to recruit jihadists to LeT.”  The FBI also claims Ahmad spoke with the son of an LeT leader about the contents of the video and had attended an LeT camp when he was a teenager in Pakistan.  For the act of uploading that single YouTube video (and for denying that he did so when asked by the FBI agents who came to his home to interrogate him), he faces 23 years in prison.

Let’s be very clear about the key point: the Constitution — specifically the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment — prohibits the U.S. Government from punishing someone for the political views they express, even if those views include the advocacy of violence against the U.S. and its leaders.  One can dislike this legal fact.  One can wish it were different.  But it is the clear and unambiguous law, and has been since the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which overturned the criminal conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader who had publicly threatened violence against political officials in a speech.

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Oct 26

Continuing change!


dennis_blair_official_director_of_national_intelligence_portrait
Dennis Cutler Blair (born 1947), is the third and current Director of National Intelligence and a retired United States Navy four-star admiral.

Speaking at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club September 15, Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, disclosed that the current annual budget for the 16 agency U.S. “Intelligence Community” (IC) clocks-in at $75 billion and employs some 200,000 operatives world-wide, including private contractors.

In unveiling an unclassified version of the National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), Blair asserts he is seeking to break down “this old distinction between military and nonmilitary intelligence,” stating that the “traditional fault line” separating secretive military programs from overall intelligence activities “is no longer relevant.”

As if to emphasize the sweeping nature of Blair’s remarks, Federal Computer Week reported September 17 that “some non-federal officials with the necessary clearances who work at intelligence fusion centers around the country will soon have limited access to classified terrorism-related information that resides in the Defense Department’s classified network.” According to the publication: Continue reading »

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Oct 23

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
- Benjamin Franklin


Added: 22. October 2009

Fall Of The Republic documents how an offshore corporate cartel is bankrupting the US economy by design. Leaders are now declaring that world government has arrived and that the dollar will be replaced by a new global currency.

President Obama has brazenly violated Article 1 Section 9 of the US Constitution by seating himself at the head of United Nations’ Security Council, thus becoming the first US president to chair the world body.

A scientific dictatorship is in its final stages of completion, and laws protecting basic human rights are being abolished worldwide; an iron curtain of high-tech tyranny is now descending over the planet.

A worldwide regime controlled by an unelected corporate elite is implementing a planetary carbon tax system that will dominate all human activity and establish a system of neo-feudal slavery.

Continue reading »

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Sep 03

Related article: CIA refuses order to release torture documents


Medical ethics group says physicians monitored ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ and studied their effectiveness

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A US flag at Camp Delta in Guantánamo Bay. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Doctors and psychologists the CIA employed to monitor its “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects came close to, and may even have committed, unlawful human experimentation, a medical ethics watchdog has alleged.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a not-for-profit group that has investigated the role of medical personnel in alleged incidents of torture at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and other US detention sites, accuses doctors of being far more involved than hitherto understood.

PHR says health professionals participated at every stage in the development, implementation and legal justification of what it calls the CIA’s secret “torture programme”.

The American Medical Association, the largest body of physicians in the US, said it was in open dialogue with the Obama administration and other government agencies over the role of doctors. “The participation of physicians in torture and interrogation is a violation of core ethical values,” it said.

The most incendiary accusation of PHR’s latest report, Aiding Torture, is that doctors actively monitored the CIA’s interrogation techniques with a view to determining their effectiveness, using detainees as human subjects without their consent. The report concludes that such data gathering was “a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation”.

Human experimentation without consent has been prohibited in any setting since 1947, when the Nuremberg Code, which resulted from the prosecution of Nazi doctors, set down 10 sacrosanct principles. The code states that voluntary consent of subjects is essential and that all unnecessary physical and mental suffering should be avoided.

The Geneva conventions also ban medical experiments on prisoners and prisoners of war, which they describe as “grave breaches”. Under CIA guidelines, doctors and psychologists were required to be present during the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques on detainees.

In April, a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found that medical staff employed by the CIA had been present during waterboarding, and had even used what appeared to be a pulse oxymeter, placed on the prisoner’s finger to monitor his oxygen saturation during the procedure. The Red Cross condemned such activities as a “gross breach of medical ethics”. PHR has based its accusation of possible experimentation on the 2004 report of the CIA’s own inspector general into the agency’s interrogation methods, which was finally published two weeks ago after pressure from the courts.

An appendix to the report, marked “top secret”, provides guidelines to employees of the CIA’s internal Office of Medical Services “supporting the detention of terrorists turned over to the CIA for interrogation”.

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Aug 31

Now revealing the TRUTH has become a recruitment beacon for Al-Qaeda!

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

“It is error alone which needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself. ”
- Thomas Jefferson

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies. Let the revolution begin!”
- Ron Paul


Jameel Jaffer dug up torture memos.JPG
Jameel Jaffer dug up torture memos.

One of the key figures behind the cascade of documents detailing torture and abuse within America’s global “war on terror” happens to be a Canadian-born graduate of Toronto’s Upper Canada College.

Jameel Jaffer, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer born in London, Ont., was instrumental in filing and fighting an unlikely Freedom of Information Act request that eventually unearthed thousands of pages of secret documents which illustrated damning evidence of U.S. government complicity in violations of international humanitarian law.

“A lot of the documents describe abuses that are really horrific,” he said in an interview. “It was hard to believe that these incidents had occurred in facilities run by the United States.”

Jaffer told the Star last night that this type of lengthy and expensive legal muck-raking is unlikely to occur in Canada because grants and funding are so scarce. “There are people doing this kind of work in Canada and they have a tough job,” he said.”

The request was filed by Jaffer and fellow ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh – daughter of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – in October 2003, before the disturbingly iconic Abu Ghraib prison photographs emerged. When those photos came out in April of 2004, they spurred Jaffer and Singh to press their request in court, which is sometimes the only way to successfully pursue an FOI request.

Six years later, more than 130,000 pages of previously classified evidence has trickled out; much of it has been seized upon by critics of America’s seemingly unending global war on terrorism.

The documents uncovered by Jaffer and Singh are a gruesome testament to the grim realities of the post-9/11 world: they revealed fissures between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the military over how to treat detainees at Guantanamo Bay; vivid descriptions of conditions within the CIA’s overseas “black site” prisons, where detainees were sent without trial; the Justice Department “torture memos,” which revealed prominent U.S. officials had essentially signed-off on torture; and autopsies of prisoners who died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The evidence has been seized upon by supporters of the war as well, who say Jaffer and the ACLU have given a propaganda weapon and recruitment beacon for Al Qaeda.

“In general, I think our position is that national security is increasingly used as a pretext to suppress information that would embarrass government officials and information related to criminal activity,” Jaffer told the Star. “And we think that the abuse of national security for those ends is something that, in the end, jeopardizes not just security but democracy as well, and that’s really what motivates a lot of these cases.”

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Aug 08
supreme_court
The Obama Administration wants detainee abuse photos blocked by the Supreme Court. (AP)

The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court to block the public release of detainee abuse photos that were the subject of a high-profile reversal by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn an appeals court decision requiring the Pentagon to disclose the photos, which depict alleged abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The President of the United States and the Nation’s highest-ranking military officers responsible for ongoing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have determined that disclosure by the government of the photographs at issue in this case would pose a significant risk to the lives and physical safety of American military and civilian personnel by inciting violence targeting those personnel,” Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote.

The photos are being sought by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a long running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit pertaining to alleged abuse of detainees held abroad by U.S. forces.

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May 26

As a senior interrogator in Iraq (and a former criminal investigator), there was a lesson I learned that served me well: there’s more to be learned from what someone doesn’t say than from what they do say. Let me dissect former Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech on National Security using this model and my interrogation skills.

First, VP Cheney said, “This recruitment-tool theory has become something of a mantra lately… it excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do.” He further stated, “It is much closer to the truth that terrorists hate this country precisely because of the values we profess and seek to live by, not by some alleged failure to do so.” That is simply untrue. Anyone who served in Iraq, and veterans on both sides of the aisle have made this argument, knows that the foreign fighters did not come to Iraq en masse until after the revelations of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. I heard this from captured foreign fighters day in and day out when I was supervising interrogations in Iraq. What the former vice president didn’t say is the fact that the dislike of our policies in the Middle East were not enough to make thousands of Muslim men pick up arms against us before these revelations. Torture and abuse became Al Qaida’s number one recruiting tool and cost us American lives.

Secondly, the former vice president, in saying that waterboarding is not torture, never mentions the fact that it was the United States and its Allies, during the Tokyo Trials, that helped convict a Japanese soldier for war crimes for waterboarding one of Jimmie Doolittle’s Raiders. Have our morals and values changed in fifty years? He also did not mention that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln both prohibited their troops from torturing prisoners of war. Washington specifically used the term “injure” — no mention of severe mental or physical pain.

Thirdly, the former vice president never mentioned the Senate testimony of Ali Soufan, the FBI interrogator who successfully interrogated Abu Zubaydah and learned the identity of Jose Padilla, the dirty bomber, and the fact that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) was the mastermind behind 9/11. We’ll never know what more we could have discovered from Abu Zubaydah had not CIA contractors taken over the interrogations and used waterboarding and other harsh techniques. Also, glaringly absent from the former vice president’s speech was any mention of the fact that the former administration never brought Osama bin Laden to justice and that our best chance to locate him would have been through KSM or Abu Zubaydah had they not been waterboarded.

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Dec 20


Originally published on Sunday, December 21, 2008

Source: Seattle Post-Intellibencer

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Dec 11

The physical and mental abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the direct result of Bush administration detention policies and should not be dismissed as the work of bad guards or interrogators, according to a bipartisan Senate report released Thursday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee report concludes that harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA and the U.S. military were directly adapted from the training techniques used to prepare special forces personnel to resist interrogation by enemies that torture and abuse prisoners. The techniques included forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation, and until 2003, waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning.

The report is the result of a nearly two-year investigation that directly links President Bush’s policies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, legal memos on torture, and interrogation rule changes with the abuse photographed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq four years ago. Much of the report remains classified. Unclassified portions of the report were released by the committee Thursday.

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Oct 15

A paper trail on the use of waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques by the CIA is emerging in the US

The Bush administration sent two secret memos endorsing the use of waterboarding against al-Qaida suspects, according to today’s Washington Post. They were prompted by worries within the CIA that the administration might later distance itself from the way suspects were interrogated, the paper reports.

Officials told the paper that the then CIA director George Tenet asked for written approval for secret interrogations, in June 2003. A few days later he got a “brief memo conveying the administration’s approval for the CIA’s interrogation methods”.

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Aug 21

With what moral authority do these mainstays of the neoconservative, corporate elitist, greedy, self-interested Washington regime speak, when in their own closet there are skeletons labelled Abu Ghraib, Iraq, Guantanamo, mass murder, war crimes, illegal invasion, torture, illegal detention, disrespect for international law, denial of due process, rape…? Continue reading »

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Aug 02

If it hasn’t gone the way of Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, it sure is teetering on the brink. America is a nation in deepening crisis, a nation whose leaders repeatedly plunge their citizens into, and make them pay for, serial wars abroad, while stealing their liberties at home. USA has become a country that trashes its citizens (New Orleans), tortures its enemies (Abu Ghraib), threatens other nations with nuclear fire (Iran), flouts international treaties (UN Charter re Iraq), and spies on (FISA), and intimidates, its critics (No Fly). Americans that can clearly see the totalitarian machinations of Vladimir Putin in Russia and Hu Jintao in China are blind to the fascism threatening to envelop them as well.

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Jun 28


There are two kinds of courage in war – physical courage and moral courage. Physical courage is very common on the battlefield. Men and women on both sides risk their lives, place their own bodies in harm’s way. Moral courage, however, is quite rare.

According to Chris Hedges, the brilliant New York Times war correspondent who survived wars in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans, “I rarely saw moral courage. Moral courage is harder. It requires the bearer to walk away from the warm embrace of comradeship and denounce the myth of war as a fraud, to name it as an enterprise of death and immorality, to condemn himself, and those around him, as killers. It requires the bearer to become an outcast. There are times when taking a moral stance, perhaps the highest form of patriotism, means facing down the community, even the nation.”

More and more U.S. soldiers and Marines, at great cost to their own careers and reputations, are speaking publicly about U.S. atrocities in Iraq, even about the cowardice of their own commanders, who send youth into atrocity-producing situations only to hide from the consequences of their own orders.

In 2007, two brilliant war memoirs – ROAD FROM AR RAMADI by Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia, and THE SUTRAS OF ABU GHRAIB by Army Reservist Aidan Delgado – appeared in print. In March 2008, at the Winter Soldier investigation just outside Washington D.C., hard-core U.S. Iraqi veterans, some shaking at the podium, some in tears, unburdened their souls.

Jon Michael Turner described the horrific incident in which, on April 28, 2008, he shot an Iraqi boy in front of his father. His commanding officer congratulated him for “the kill.” To a stunned audience, Turner presented a photo of the boy’s skull, and said: “I am sorry for the hate and destruction I have inflicted on innocent people.”

The Winter Soldier investigation was followed by the publication of COLLATERAL DAMAGE: AMERICA’S WAR AGAINST IRAQI CIVILIANS, by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian. Based on hundreds of hours of taped interviews with Iraqi combat veterans, this pioneering work on the catastrophe in Iraq includes the largest number of eyewitness accounts from U.S. military personnel on record.

The Courage to Resist

We cannot understand the psychological and moral significance of military resistance unless we recognize the social forces that stifle conscience and human individuality in military life. Gwen Dyer, historian of war, writes that ordinarily, “Men will kill under compulsion. Men will do almost anything if they know it is expected of them and they are under strong social pressure to comply.” “Only exceptional people resist atrocity,” writes psychiatrist Robert Lifton.

How much easier it is to surrender to the will of superiors, to merge into the anonymity of the group. It takes uncommon courage to resist military powers of intimidation, peer pressure, and the atmosphere of racism and hate that drives all imperial wars.

Silencing the Witnesses to War

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Jun 25

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The U.S. general who led the Army’s investigation of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal says the Bush administration “has committed war crimes” as a result of what happened to detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay “when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture.”

Those declarations, by retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, are contained in the preface he wrote for a new report by Physicians for Human Rights, “Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact.” The group said its findings – “based on  internationally accepted standards for clinical assessment of torture claims” – are the first to use medical evidence to document first-hand accounts of torture. Eleven former detainees were examined.

Taguba testified before Congress in 2004 about the abuses at Abu Ghraib after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. His damning report ultimately led to his being pushed out of the Army.

ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper noted Taguba’s statements and the report on his blog.

Some other excerpts:

Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted-both on America’s institutions and our nation’s founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend. …

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

The former detainees in this report, each of whom is fighting a lonely and difficult battle to rebuild his life, require reparations for what they endured, comprehensive psycho-social and medical assistance, and even an official apology from our government. …

Source: USA Today

Here’s the entire preface:

Preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives

By Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Ret.)

Major General Antonio Taguba (Ret)
Maj. General Taguba led the US Army’s official investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and testified before Congress on his findings in May, 2004.

This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individuals’ lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.

The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted-both on America’s institutions and our nation’s founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.

In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. And the healing professions, including physicians and psychologists, became complicit in the willful infliction of harm against those the Hippocratic Oath demands they protect.

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

The former detainees in this report, each of whom is fighting a lonely and difficult battle to rebuild his life, require reparations for what they endured, comprehensive psycho-social and medical assistance, and even an official apology from our government.

But most of all, these men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution.

And so do the American people.

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Jun 19


An Afghan detainee is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002. A study of former Guantanamo detainees has unearthed evidence that they were tortured and abused.
(Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)

Medical examinations of suspected militants formerly held by the U.S. military at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba showed evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group.

The study, considered the most extensive medical check of former U.S. detainees published so far, also tracked former suspects held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, with similar findings.

For the study, Physicians for Human Rights had doctors and mental health professionals examine 11 former prisoners of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

The U.S-based human rights organization says it found evidence of U.S. torture and war crimes, and it accuses U.S. military health professionals of allowing the abuse of detainees, denying detainees medical care and providing confidential medical information to interrogators that was then exploited.

Physicians for Human Rights did not identify the 11 former prisoners to protect their privacy. Seven were held in Abu Ghraib between late 2003 and summer of 2004, a period that coincides with the known torture of prisoners at the hands of some of their U.S. jailers. Four of the prisoners were held at Guantanamo beginning in 2002 for one to almost five years. All 11 were released without charges being laid.

Those examined reported being tortured or abused, including sexually, and described being shocked with electrodes, beaten, shackled, stripped of their clothes, deprived of food and sleep, and spit and urinated on.

Prisoner subjected to electrical shocks 3 times a day

The Associated Press has obtained a report outlining the treatment of two Iraqi prisoners. One, identified only as Yasser, reported being subjected to electric shocks three times and being sodomized with a stick. His thumbs bore round scars consistent with shocking. He would not allow a full rectal exam.

Another Iraqi, identified only as Rahman, reported he was humiliated by being forced to wear women’s underwear, was stripped naked and paraded in front of female guards, and was shown pictures of other naked detainees. The psychological exam found that Rahman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had sexual problems related to his humiliation.

The Physicians for Human Rights report came as the U.S. Senate’s armed services committee revealed documents showing military lawyers warned the Pentagon that methods it was using following the Sept. 11, 2001, airplane hijackings violated military, U.S. and international law. Those objections were overruled by a top Pentagon lawyer.

U.S. President George W. Bush said in 2004, when the prison torture was revealed, that it was the work of “a few American troops who dishonoured our country and disregarded our values.” Bush and other U.S. officials have consistently denied that the U.S. tortures its detainees.

The degradation of some prisoners by their U.S. captors is well documented by the government’s own reports. Once-secret documents show that the Pentagon and Justice Department allowed, at least for a time, forced nakedness, isolation, sleep deprivation and humiliation at its military prisons in Guantanamo Bay and at Abu Ghraib.

Health of detainees prior to detention not known

Physicians for Human Rights’ medical examiners did not have access to the 11 patients’ medical histories prior to their imprisonment, so it was not possible to know whether any of the prisoners’ ailments, disabilities and scars pre-dated their confinement. The U.S. military says an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members, if captured, to assert they were tortured during interrogation.

However, doctors and mental health professionals stated they could link the prisoners’ claims of torture while in U.S. detention to injuries documented by X-rays, medical exams and psychological tests.

“The level of the time, thoroughness and rigour of the exams left me personally without question about the credibility of the individuals,” said Dr. Allen Keller, one of the doctors who conducted the exams, in an interview with the Associated Press.

“The findings on the physical and psychological exams were consistent with what they reported.”

All 11 former detainees reported being subjected to:

  • Stress positions, including being suspended for hours by the arms or tightly shackled for days.
  • Prolonged isolation and hooding or blindfolding, a form of sensory deprivation.
  • Threats against themselves, their families or friends from interrogators or guards.
  • Ten said they were forced to be naked, some for days or weeks.
  • Nine said they were subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation.
  • At least six said they were threatened with military working dogs, often while naked.
  • Four reported being sodomized, subjected to anal probing, or threatened with rape.

Continue reading »

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Jun 17


This picture from a U.S. court martial file, drawn by military polygraph examiner George Chigi III, shows how Afghan detainee Dilawar was shackled by his wrists to the ceiling of an isolation cell at Bagram Air Base before being beaten to death in December 2002.

KABUL, Afghanistan – American soldiers herded the detainees into holding pens of razor-sharp concertina wire, the kind that’s used to corral livestock.

The guards kicked, kneed and punched many of the men until they collapsed in pain. U.S. troops shackled and dragged other detainees to small isolation rooms, then hung them by their wrists from chains dangling from the wire mesh ceiling.

Former guards and detainees whom McClatchy interviewed said Bagram was a center of systematic brutality for at least 20 months, starting in late 2001. Yet the soldiers responsible have escaped serious punishment.

The public outcry in the United States and abroad has focused on detainee abuse at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but sadistic violence first appeared at Bagram, north of Kabul, and at a similar U.S. internment camp at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan.

“I was punched and kicked at Bagram. … At Bagram, when they took a man to interrogation at night, the next morning we would see him brought out on a stretcher looking almost dead,” said Aminullah, an Afghan who was held there for a little more than three months. “But at Guantanamo, there were rules, there was law.”

Nazar Chaman Gul, an Afghan who was held at Bagram for more than three months in 2003, said he was beaten about every five days. American soldiers would walk into the pen where he slept on the floor and ram their combat boots into his back and stomach, Gul said. “Two or three of them would come in suddenly, tie my hands and beat me,” he said.

When the kicking started, Gul said, he’d cry out, “I am not a terrorist,” then beg God for mercy. Mercy was slow in coming. He was shipped to Guantanamo around the late summer of 2003 and imprisoned there for more than three years. Continue reading »

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May 18

In a newly-released tape of a 2006 neocon luncheon meeting featuring former War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, attended by ex-military “message force multiplier” propaganda shills Lt. General Michael DeLong, David L. Grange, Donald W. Sheppard, James Marks, Rick Francona, Wayne Downing, Robert H. Scales and others, Rumsfeld declared that the American people lack “the maturity to recognize the seriousness of the ‘threats’” — and need another 9/11.

When DeLong complained about a “lack of sympathetic ears” in Congress, and a lack of interest among the general American public, Rumsfeld responded, “What’s to be done? The correction for that, I suppose, is another attack.”

This videotape clip is part of a one-hour tape declassified by the Department of Defense in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The entire clip, and analysis of this damning new revelation, can be found here: “The Correction for that . . . is another attack” (Jason Linkins, Huffington Post, 5/13/08)

For an independent op-ed about the same information, see Rumsfeld’s Mind: If 9/11 worked, why not try it again? (Op-Ed News. It was also the topic of discussion on the May 14 broadcast of Nova M Radio’s Mike Malloy Program.

In the seven years since the day, exhaustive and still growing evidence proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the US government, spearheaded by the Bush administration, planned, orchestrated and executed the 9/11 false flag operation. As openly advocated by wide swaths of elites, from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which Rumsfeld has been a member, to the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski (in his The Grand Chessboard), only an attack “on the order of Pearl Harbor” would, in Brzezinski’s words, cause the American people to support an “imperial mobilization,” and a world war.

Sept. 11, and its resulting “war on terrorism” (in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc.), remains the Bush administration’s endless gift from hell, in large part courtesy of Rumsfeld.

Placing the new evidence against previously revealed 9/11-related acts on the part of Rumsfeld, his guilt is overt and obvious. Recall that it was Rumsfeld who enthusiastically penned the “Go Massive” memo, gleefully declaring the Bush administration finally had the green light to kill: “Not only UBL (Usama bin Laden). Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

As the Bush administration’s war ensued in earnest, Rumsfeld gloated to the New York Times that 9/11 provided “the kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the world.”

It is not for nothing that Donald Rumsfeld was described by legendary war criminal Henry Kissinger as “the most ruthless man I’ve ever known.”

By Larry Chin
May 16, 2008, 00:22

Source: Online Journal

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May 14
It’s become a $50 billion a year industry: Corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, and IBM are being paid to do things the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Pentagon usually do, including analysis, covert operations, electronic surveillance and reconnaissance.Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock details the outsourcing of U.S. intelligence in his new book, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.

Shorrock has covered the intersection of business and national security for over 25 years, writing for such publications as The Nation, Mother Jones and Salon.com, among others.
'Spies for Hire' coverOn May 9, 2006, John Humphrey, a former CIA officer making his way up the management ladder of one of the nation’s largest intelligence contractors, made a stunning disclosure to Intelcon, a national intelligence conference and exhibition at a hotel in Bethesda, Maryland. Outsourcing, Humphrey declared, was out of control. Contractors deployed in Iraq and other hotspots overseas were making decisions and handling documents that, in earlier times, had been the sole responsibility of U.S. military and intelligence officers. This had caused a “paradigm shift” in the relationship between government and the private sector, and left companies like his in an untenable position.

Five years ago, “you’d never have a contractor supporting an operation on the field where they’re making a recommendation to an officer,” said Humphrey. Nor would you find a contractor “making little contributions here and there” in the reports intelligence officers sent back to Washington. “This concerns me a lot, the way these lines are blurring,” he went on. “We shouldn’t be involved in some of these intelligence operations, or the planning, or the interrogations and what have you.” Unless government started taking more responsibility in the field, he warned, the “blowback” for the contracting industry could be profound.

The intelligence professionals in the room looked stunned. They had just sat through two days of upbeat discussions about the annual $10-billion expansion of U.S. intelligence budgets and the opportunities that money presented for defense contractors, information technology vendors, and former national security officials who still held their top secret security clearances. Upstairs in the exhibition hall, thirty-five companies were displaying the latest high-tech spying equipment and competing to recruit new employees, who could earn up to three times government pay by migrating to the private sector. Words like “blowback” did not come easily at such gatherings. Continue reading »

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May 11

WASHINGTON (CNN)The United States tortures prisoners in violation of international law, former President Carter said Wednesday.

“I don’t think it. I know it,” Carter told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights,” Carter said. “We’ve said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to those people in Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo, and we’ve said we can torture prisoners and deprive them of an accusation of a crime to which they are accused.”

Carter also said President Bush creates his own definition of human rights.

Carter’s comments come on the heels of an October 4 article in The New York Times disclosing the existence of secret Justice Department memorandums supporting the use of “harsh interrogation techniques.” These include “head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures,” according to the Times. Continue reading »

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May 11

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A former bus driver for Iraq war contractor KBR Inc. who was fired in 2006 for possessing child pornography got rehired less than a year later, and has again been caught with a large collection of child porn, according to prosecutors.

Ira L. Waltrip of Lampasas, Texas, who had been working for KBR at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, was charged this week in U.S. District Court with possessing child pornography.

According to a court affidavit, KBR fired Waaltrip in January 2006 when he was assigned to the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq after he was discovered with a collection of child pornography.

At the time, authorities with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service elected not to prosecute Waltrip because they said they lacked sufficient evidence that the pornography in question actually depicted minors.

KBR rehired Waltrip in December 2006 as a bus driver. Again, Waltrip was caught with an extensive library of child pornography, some of which appeared to depict children as young as four to six years old. Continue reading »

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Apr 09

Recent news on the White House torture and spy memos has amazingly received very little coverage in the corporate controlled media. For instance, Barack Obama’s low bowling score has received more coverage than these memos. The media some how thinks Obama’s horrible bowling skills are more important than evidence that could be used to prosecute members of the Bush administration for all sorts of criminality including war crimes. That makes no sense, but of course when you consider that the corporate controlled media creates reality for people it makes perfect sense. Both of these memos were written by former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo and prove that the Bush administration sought to justify torture and ignore the Fourth Amendment under the guise of the phony war on terror. In the memos, Yoo concludes that Bush can torture and spy without a warrant if he is doing these things to protect the country from terrorists. Of course, the majority of the so called terrorists that the media and the government claims we are fighting are actually trained and funded by western governments so the whole thing is a big fraud. That of course is a whole other story. In these memos, it is clear that Yoo shows a blatant disregard for both U.S. and international law. Yoo and other members of the Bush administration should really be put on trial for war crimes but since the corporate controlled media thinks that Obama’s low bowling score is more important than smoking gun proof of war crimes, that’s probably not going to happen.

First let’s tackle the spying memo. Below is taken from an excerpt of an Associated Press report on the 37-page secret Justice Department memo in which Yoo concludes that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to domestic military operations. Continue reading »

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