noworldsystem.com


Obama Protecting Bush’s “Testicle Crusher” Attorney

Obama Protecting Bush’s “Testicle Crusher” Attorney

San Francisco Chronicle
December 8, 2009

The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.

Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose “the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military’s detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict,” Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Other sanctions are available for government lawyers who commit misconduct, the department said. It noted that its Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating Yoo’s advice to former President George W. Bush since 2004 and has the power to recommend professional discipline or even criminal prosecution.

The office has not made its conclusions public. However, The Chronicle and other media reported in May that the office will recommend that Yoo be referred to the bar association for possible discipline, but that he not be prosecuted.

Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, worked for the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003. He was the author of a 2002 memo that said rough treatment of captives amounts to torture only if it causes the same level of pain as “organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.” The memo also said the president may have the power to authorize torture of enemy combatants.

Read Full Article Here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt1-eWU2Ii0

 



Bill O’Reilly: “I Don’t Care About The Constitution”

Bill O’Reilly: “I Don’t Care About The Constitution”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBrfql3pnU

O’Reilly: “We Can’t Kill All the Muslims”

 



Iraqi detainees put in wooden crates

Iraqi detainees put in wooden crates

The Memory Hole
July 23, 2008

In Iraq, some prisoners/detainees are kept in wooden crates known as “prisoner boxes,” so I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Central Command asking for the following:

“Vanity Fair (Feb 2005 issue) has reported the existence of wood “prisoner boxes” being used by the US military in facilities in and around Baghdad. They are used to hold individual prisoners and detainees.

“I hereby request all photographs of these boxes, including empty boxes as well as boxes holding prisoners and detainees.”

Around nine and a half months later, CentCom responded by sending the three photographs on this page.

See Full Resolution Images

 

Another Secret Terror War Prison Found

Huffington Post
August 1, 2008

The existence of a secret, CIA-run prison on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean has long been a leaky secret in the “War on Terror,” and recent revelations in TIME — based on disclosures by a “senior American official,” who was “a frequent participant in White House Situation Room meetings” after the 9/11 attacks, and who reported that “a CIA counter-terrorism official twice said that a high-value prisoner or prisoners were being interrogated on the island” — will come as no surprise to those who have been studying the story closely.

The news will, however, be an embarrassment to the US government, which has persistently denied claims that it operated a secret “War on Terror” prison on Diego Garcia, and will be a source of even more consternation to the British government, which is more closely bound than its law-shredding Transatlantic neighbor to international laws and treaties preventing any kind of involvement whatsoever in kidnapping, “extraordinary rendition” and the practice of torture.

Read Full Article Here

2002 DOJ Memos OKed Torture
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/..6my6QSyHcMGDyb_qe2WwvIE

ACLU: Memos authorized CIA torture
http://rawstory.com//news/2008/A..horized_CIA_torture_0724.html

Former Gitmo Prosecutor Says Trials Rigged
http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/spytalk/2008/07/former-gitmo-prosecutor-says-t.html

MI5 Outsourced Torture
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/15/humanrights.civilliberties

`Terrorist’ Loses 60 Pounds on Cheney Torture Diet
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/new..8&sid=as7YVr4Wamak&refer=home

Why Pelosi won’t impeach: She knew about the torture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w88NXHsgi08

Ashcroft: Waterboarding ‘Consistently’ Seen As Legal, Refuses To Say Use On U.S. Troops Is ‘Unacceptable’
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/17/ashcroft-torture/

 



McCain Flip-Flops on the Waterboarding Torture Issue

Forgetting His Vote To Allow Waterboarding, McCain Says ‘We Could Never Torture Anyone’

Think Progress
July 28, 2008

In February, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) voted against a bill banning the CIA from waterboarding and using other torture tactics in their interrogations. When the bill passed, McCain urged Bush to veto it, which he did.

In an interview with Newsweek published today, McCain defended his position, insisting that the CIA plays “a special role” in defending the U.S. and thus should be allowed to use harsh interrogation tactics such as waterboarding:

NEWSWEEK: On torture, why should the CIA be treated differently from the armed services regarding the use of harsh interrogation tactics?

MCCAIN: Because they play a special role in the United States of America and our ability to combat terrorists. But we have made it very clear that there is nothing they can do that would violate the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits torture. We could never torture anyone, but some people misconstrue that who don’t understand what the Detainee Treatment Act and the Geneva Conventions are all about.

McCain’s vote against the waterboarding ban did make one thing clear: that he condones torture. With Bush’s veto, waterboarding remains a distinct option for the CIA:

Still, waterboarding remains in the CIA’s tool kit. The technique can be used, but it requires the consent of the attorney general and president on a case-by-case basis. Bush wants to keep that option open.

“I cannot sign into law a bill that would prevent me, and future presidents, from authorizing the CIA to conduct a separate, lawful intelligence program, and from taking all lawful actions necessary to protect Americans from attack,” Bush said in a statement.

McCain is either clueless or ignorant about the fact that his vote allows the CIA to waterboard detainees. And as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of McCain’s chief surrogates, has said about waterboarding, “I don’t think you have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates Geneva Convention common article three, the War Crimes statutes, and many other statutes that are in place.”

 



Neocon gets waterboarded; agrees that it’s torture

Neocon gets waterboarded; agrees that it’s torture

The Guardian
July 2, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=tVKUaJA0iI4

Late last year, the writer, polemicist and fierce proponent of the US-led invasion of Iraq Christopher Hitchens attempted, in a piece for the online magazine Slate, to draw a distinction between what he called techniques of “extreme interrogation” and “outright torture”.

From this, his foes inferred that since it was Hitchens’ belief that America did not stoop to the latter, the practice of waterboarding – known to be perpetrated by US forces against certain “high-value clients” in Iraq and elsewhere – must fall under the former heading.

Enraged by what they saw as an exercise in elegant but offensive sophistry, some of the writer’s critics suggested that Hitchens give waterboarding (which may sound like some kind of fun aquatic pastime, but is probably best summarised as enforced partial drowning) a whirl, just to see what it was like. Did the experience feel like torture.

Read Full Article Here

 



Former Iraqi detainees sue U.S. military contractors

Former Iraqi detainees sue U.S. military contractors

Reuters
June 30, 2008

Four Iraqi men are suing U.S. military contractors who they say tortured them while they were detained in Abu Ghraib prison, according to lawsuits being filed at U.S. federal courts on Monday.

The lawsuits allege the contractors committed violations of U.S. law, including torture, war crimes and civil conspiracy.
The scandal over the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib unleashed a wave of global condemnation against the United States when images of abused prisoners surfaced in 2004

The four plaintiffs, all later released without charge, described their experiences to Reuters on Monday at an Istanbul hotel, where they periodically meet their U.S. legal team. They gave accounts of beatings, electric shocks and mock executions.

Farmer Suhail Naim Abdullah Al-Shimari, 49, said he was caged, beaten, threatened with dogs and given electric shocks during more than four years in detention. He was released in March without being charged and without any judicial process.

“I lost my house, my family were made homeless and left without a breadwinner. I lost four-and-a-half years of my life and all they did was say sorry,” he told Reuters.

Some lower-ranking soldiers have been convicted in military courts in connection with the physical abuse and sexual humiliation of Abu Ghraib detainees.

The latest lawsuits follow a similar one launched in early May in federal court in Los Angeles by another former Abu Ghraib detainee, Emad Al-Janabi. The latest plaintiffs sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

“This litigation will contribute to the true history of Abu Ghraib. These innocent men were senselessly tortured by U.S. companies that profited from their misery,” said Susan L. Burke, one of the attorneys representing the detainees.

The lawsuits were being filed where the contractors reside. They named CACI International Inc, CACI Premier Technology, L-3 Services Inc and three individual contractors.

Read Full Article Here

Cheney’s Aide Says He Didn’t Write Torture Memos
http://ap.googl..IqyDQB701JjpfgD91I5L7G0

West Bank Torturers Funded By Britain
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article4232283.ece

 



Israel Briefs Top U.S. Commander on Iran War Strategy

Top US commander briefed on Israel’s four-front strategy in potential Iran war context

DEBKAfile
June 29, 2008

The visiting Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, carried out a guided tour of Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip over the weekend. It was led by the IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and OCs Northern and Southern Commands, Maj. Gens. Eisenkott and Galant.

He was briefed on IDF tactics in a war on all these potential flashpoints in the context of a comprehensive conflict with Iran and then held long conversations with defense minister Ehud Barak and Ashkenazi.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that it is very unusual for the top American commander to carry out a close, on-the-spot study of Israel’s potential war fronts. It was prompted on the one hand by skepticism in parts of the US high command of Israel’s ability to simultaneously strike Iran’s nuclear installations and fight off attacks from three borders while, at the same time, Adm. Mullen showed he was open to persuasion that the IDF’s prospective tactics and war plans were workable.

Read Full Article Here

 

Former Israeli spymaster: We have year to hit Iran nukes

Haaretz
June 29, 2008

Israel must destroy Iran’s nuclear program within the next 12 months or risk being attacked with an atomic bomb itself, the former head of the Mossad told the British Sunday Telegraph.

“As an intelligence officer working with the worst-case scenario, I can tell you we should be prepared,” Shabtai Shavit, who served as Mossad chief from 1989 to 1996, told the British paper.

“We should do whatever necessary on the defensive side, on the offensive side, on the public opinion side for the West, in case sanctions don’t work. What’s left is a military action.”

“The time that is left to be ready is getting shorter all the time,” Shavit told the Telegraph.

Shavit added that a victory by Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the November presidential election would significantly lower the chances that the U.S. would approve of military action against Iran.

“If [Republican candidate John] McCain gets elected, he could really easily make a decision to go for it,” Shavit told the paper. “If it’s Obama: no. My prediction is that he won’t go for it, at least not in his first term in the White House.”

Shavit told the Telegraph, however, that Israel would not hesitate to go it alone, with or without U.S. support.

“When it comes to decisions that have to do with our national security and our own survival, at best we may update the Americans that we are intending or planning or going to do something,” Shavit told the paper. “It’s not a precondition, [getting] an American agreement,” he said.

Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister said on Sunday he did not believe Israel was in a position to attack the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

“They know full well what the consequences of such an act would be,” Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki told reporters.

Speculation about a possible attack on Iran because of its disputed nuclear ambitions has risen since a report this month said Israel had practiced such a strike, prompting increasingly tough talk of retaliation, if pushed, from Tehran.

Mottaki said Israel was still dealing with the consequences of its 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon and was also suffering a “crisis of deepening illegitimacy” in the Middle East region.

“That’s why we do not see the Zionist regime in a situation in which they would want to engage in such an adventurism,” he said when asked about the possibility of an Israeli attack.

Read Full Article Here

 

Iran ’digging 320,000 graves for invaders’

Press TV
June 29, 2008

A senior Iranian commander says the country is digging some ’320,000 graves’ in its bordering provinces for future slain invaders.

Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh, the Head of the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Holy Defense, said Sunday that the decision had been approved by Iran’s Armed Forces Headquarters.

“We will dig 15,000 to 20,000 graves in each of the border provinces,” he said.

“We do not wish the families of enemy soldiers to experience what Americans had to go through in the aftermath of the Vietnam War,” added Brig. Gen. Baqerzadeh, who is also the head of the search committee for missing soldiers.

The commander said the preemptive measures would decrease the time slain soldiers would be ’missing in action’.

“The burial of slain soldiers will be carried out decently and in little time,” he continued.

Baqerzadeh added that the decision is in line with the Islamic Republic’s commitment to comply with the Geneva Convention and the additional protocol regarding wartime cooperation between Iran and the Red Cross.

Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentences Iranian to death for spying for Israel
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/30/africa/ME-GEN-Iran-Israel.php

US treasury chief says seeking Russian sanctions on Iran
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_tr.._Russ_06302008.html

US says won’t allow Iran to shut key Gulf oil route
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_sa..shut_ke_06302008.html

Iran Nuke Plant To Go Online In October
http://en.rian.ru/world/20080629/112521629.html

Iran Threatens to Cut Off Key Persian Gulf Oil Line if Attacked
http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=121733

Iran Minister Says Israel In No Position to Attack
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-iran-israel-mottaki.html

Iran ready to strike at Israel’s nuclear heart
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article4232021.ece

Hersh Details Covert U.S. Funding Of Al-Qaeda In Iran
http://noworldsystem.co..vert-us-funding-of-al-qaeda-in-iran/

Coup on Iran & False Flag News Archive

 



Glenn Beck: Shoot All Guantanamo Detainees in the Head

President Beck: I Wouldn’t Detain Terror Suspects, I’d ‘Shoot Them All In The Head’

Think Progress
June 26, 2008

Today on his radio show, CNN host Glenn Beck expressed his disdain of the recent Supreme Court ruling granting terror suspects the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts, exclaiming that if he were President, he would do away with detaining and prosecuting terrorism suspects altogether. Instead, a President Beck would “shoot them all in the head [if] we think that they are against us.”

BECK: We’re going to shoot them all in the head. If we think that they are against us, we’re going to shoot them and kill them, period. Because that’s the only thing we’ve got going for us is we can put them away and get information. If we can’t put them away and they’re going to use our court system, kill them.

Listen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a90EGecUQa8

 



John Yoo Refuses To Say Bush Can’t Bury Detainees Alive

John Yoo Refuses to Answer if Bush Can Order a Detainee Buried Alive

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B5BNeWNShs

 

John Yoo Says President Bush Can Legally Torture Children

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hz01hN9l-BM

Top Bush official: ’No American should think we’re free’
http://www.latimes.com/news/natio..inee27-2008jun27,0,2790643.story

 



44% Favor Torture Of Terrorist Suspects

44% Favor Torture Of Terrorist Suspects

Raw Story
June 24, 2008

A new poll of citizens’ attitudes about torture in 19 nations finds Americans among the most accepting of the practice. Although a slight majority say torture should be universally prohibited, 44 percent think torture of terrorist suspects should be allowed, and more than one in 10 think torture should generally be allowed.

Read Full Article Here

Keeping America Safe: Prosecuting Children as Terrorists
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/06/21/9787/

’Soldiers routinely abuse detainees’
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite..owFull&cid=1213794299228

 



2-star General Accuses WH of War Crimes

2-star General Accuses WH of War Crimes

Washington Post
June 18, 2008

The two-star general who led an Army investigation into the horrific detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib has accused the Bush administration of war crimes and is calling for accountability.

In his 2004 report on Abu Ghraib, then-Major General Anthony Taguba concluded that “numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees.” He called the abuse “systemic and illegal.” And, as Seymour M. Hersh reported in the New Yorker, he was rewarded for his honesty by being forced into retirement.

Now, in a preface to a Physicians for Human Rights report based on medical examinations of former detainees, Taguba adds an epilogue to his own investigation.

The new report, he writes, “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 individual’s 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. . . .

“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.”

Pamela Hess of the Associated Press has more on the report, which resulted from “the most extensive medical study of former U.S. detainees published so far” and “found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders.”

Read Full Article Here

 

At Least 25 Detainees Murdered In U.S. Custody

Think Progress
June 20, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=izhfKIONGMY

At today’s House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights hearing on torture, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, told Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that over 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody, with up to 27 of these declared homicides:

NADLER: Your testimony said 100 detainees have died in detention; do you believe the 25 of those were in effect murdered?

WILKERSON: Mr. Chairman, I think the number’s actually higher than that now. Last time I checked it was 108.

A February 2006 Human Rights First report found that although hundreds of people in U.S. custody had died and eight people were tortured to death, only 12 deaths had “resulted in punishment of any kind for any U.S. official.”

Read Full Article Here

’If detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong’
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/n..etainee_dies_youre_doing_i.html

Does McCain Support Amending The Constitution To Overturn The Supreme Court’s Habeas Decision?
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/june2008/200608_b_mccain.htm

Documents confirm U.S. hid detainees from Red Cross
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/41394.html

John Yoo’s ongoing falsehoods in service of limitless government power
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/17/yoo/index.html

 



US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships

US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships

AP
June 2, 2008


An amphibious assault vehicle leaves the USS Peleliu, which was used to detain prisoners, according to the human rights group Reprieve. Photograph: Zack

The United States is operating “floating prisons” to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.

Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.

Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.

The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.

It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US.

According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as “floating prisons” since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.

Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.

Reprieve will raise particular concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 conducting maritime security operations in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists.

Read Full Article Here

 



Pundit: Bush Admin. Will Be ’Indicted For War Crimes’

Pundit: Bush Administration Officials Will Be ’Indicted For War Crimes’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzZq0j_LJMw

Yoo Memos Prove That The Fourth Reich Is Here
http://www.roguegovernment.com/news.php?id=8076

Sources: Top Bush Advisors Approved ‘Enhanced Interrogation’
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=4583256

 



Above the law: the Bush crime syndicate

Above the law: the Bush crime syndicate

Washington Post
April 2, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXpavT5RCP8

The Bush crime syndicate genuinely believed that the president was above the law. It’s not hyperbole — it was an actual legal opinion:

The Justice Department sent a legal memorandum to the Pentagon in 2003 asserting that federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes did not apply to military interrogators who questioned al-Qaeda captives because the president’s ultimate authority as commander in chief overrode such statutes.

[…]

Sent to the Pentagon’s general counsel on March 14, 2003, by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, the memo provides an expansive argument for nearly unfettered presidential power in a time of war. It contends that numerous laws and treaties forbidding torture or cruel treatment should not apply to U.S. interrogations in foreign lands because of the president’s inherent wartime powers.

“If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network,” Yoo wrote. “In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch’s constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions.”

Interrogators who harmed a prisoner would be protected by a “national and international version of the right to self-defense,” Yoo wrote. He also articulated a definition of illegal conduct in interrogations — that it must “shock the conscience” — that the Bush administration advocated for years.

“Whether conduct is conscience-shocking turns in part on whether it is without any justification,” Yoo wrote, explaining, for example, that it would have to be inspired by malice or sadism before it could be prosecuted.

Read Full Article Here

Torture for Profit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2hsoadR9q0
Memo: Bush Authority Trumps Torture Ban
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/04/01/bush-memo.html

Top Bush Administration officials pressured underlings to use torture tactics at Guantanamo
http://rawstory.com/news/20..underlings_0402.html

Hersh: children raped at Abu Ghraib, Pentagon has videos
http://www.boingboing.net/2004/07/15/hersh-children-raped.html

Secret DOJ Memo Says Fourth Amendment Has “No Application” After 9/11
http://infowars.net/articles/april2008/030408Memo.htm



Abu Ghraib Prisoners Submerged in Ice-Water

Abu Ghraib Prisoners Submerged in Ice-Water
New Report: Abu Ghraib prisoners packed in ice water-filled garbage cans and sent into shock, military police say

Sherwood Ross
Uruknet
March 17, 2008

Muslim prisoners held in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison were submerged in water-filled garbage cans with ice or put naked under cold showers in near-freezing rooms until they went into shock, Sgt. Javal Davis, who served with the 372nd Military Police Company there, has told a national magazine.

Davis, from the Roselle, N.J., area, said while stationed at the prison he also saw an incinerator with “bones in it” that he believed to be a crematorium and said some prisoners were starved prior to their interrogation.

Another soldier that had been stationed at Abu Ghraib, M.P. Sabrina Harman—who gained dubious fame for making a thumbs-up sign posing over the body of a prisoner she believed tortured to death—said the U.S. had imprisoned “women and children” on Tier 1B, including one child was as young as ten.

“Like a number of the other kids and of the women there, he was being held as a pawn in the military’s effort to capture or break his father,” write co-authors Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris in the March 24th issue of The New Yorker magazine, which describes Abu Ghraib in a 14-page article titled “Exposure.”

They assert “the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was de facto United States policy. The authorization of torture and the decriminalization of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of captives in wartime have been among the defining legacies of the current Administration.”

They add that the rules of interrogation that produced the abuses documented in the prison “were the direct expression of the hostility toward international law and military doctrine that was found in the White House, the Vice-President’s office, and at the highest levels of the Justice and Defense Departments.” (President Bush has insisted “We do not torture,” The Associated Press reported on November 7, 2005.)

Imprisoning suspects in a war zone, torturing and/or murdering them, and holding their wives and children as hostages, are all banned practices under international law. Some prisoners died from rocket attacks on the compound.

Harman said she didn’t like taking away naked prisoners’ blankets when it was really cold. “Because if I’m freezing and I’m wearing a jacket and a hat and gloves, and these people don’t have anything on and no blanket, no mattress, that’s kind of hard to see and do to somebody—even if they are a terrorist.” (Note: the prisoners were suspects, not terrorists, being held without due process on charges of which they were often ignorant and without legal representation.)

Harman said the corpse she posed with likely was murdered during interrogation although a platoon commander said he had died of a heart attack. Harman and another soldier, Corporal Charles Graner unzipped his body bag and took photos of him and “kind of realized right away that there was no way he died of a heart attack because of all the cuts and blood coming out of his nose.” Harman added, “His knees were bruised, his thighs were bruised by his genitals. He had restraint marks on his wrists. “

Asked why she posed making a “thumbs up” gesture over the corpse, Harman said she thought, “Hey, it’s a dead guy, it’d be cool to get a photo next to a dead person. I know it looks bad. I mean, even when I look at them (the photos) I go, ’Oh Jesus, that does look pretty bad.’”

The corpse, said to have died under interrogation by a CIA agent, was identified as that of Manadel al-Jamadi. An autopsy found he had succumbed to “blunt force injuries” and “compromised respiration” and his death was classified as a homicide, The New Yorker article said. The dead man was removed from the tier disguised as a sick prisoner, his arm taped to an IV, and rolled away on a gurney, apparently as authorities “didn’t want any of the prisoners thinking we were in there killing folks,” Sergeant Hydrue Joyner, Harman’s team leader, told the magazine.

Harman said she saw one naked prisoner with his hands bound behind his back raised higher than his shoulders. This forced him to bend forward with his head bowed and his weight suspended from his wrists and is known as a “Palestinian hanging” as it is said to be used in Israeli prisons, Gourevitch and Morris write.

In a letter to a friend Harman described “sleep deprivation” used on the prisoners: “They sleep one hour then we yell and wake them—make them stay up for one hour, then sleep one hour—then up etc. This goes on for 72 hours while we fuck with them. Most have been so scared they piss on themselves. Its sad.” On one occasion, she wrote, sandbags soaked in hot sauce were put over the prisoners’ heads.

The CIA agent that interrogated al-Jamadi at the time of his “heart attack” was never charged with a crime but Harman was convicted by court-martial in May, 2005, of conspiracy to maltreat prisoners, dereliction of duty and sentenced to six months in prison, reduced in rank, and given a bad-conduct discharge.

Five other soldiers involved in taking pictures were sentenced to terms of up to ten years in prison. Gourevitch and Morris write, “The only person ranked above staff sergeant to face a court-martial was cleared of criminal wrongdoing.”

Sergeant Javal Davis, describing Abu Ghraib generally, said the prison reminded him of something out of a “Mad Max” movie, explaining, “The encampment they were in when we saw it at first looked like one of those Hitler things, like a concentration camp, almost.” The inside, he said, is “nothing but rubble, blown-up buildings, dogs running all over the place, rabid dogs, burnt remains. The stench was unbearable: urine, feces, body rot. Their (prisoners’) rest rooms was running over. It was just disgusting. You didn’t want to touch anything. Whatever the worst thing that comes to your mind, that was it — the place you would never ever, ever, ever send your worst enemy.”

When a delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross visited the prison in October, 2003, they were denied full access (contrary to international law) and, The New Yorker said, “what they were permitted to see and hear did not please them: men held naked in bare, lightless cells, paraded naked down the hallways, verbally and physically threatened, and so forth.”
The ICRC reported the prison was plagued by gross and systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions, including physical abuses that left prisoners suffering from “incoherent speech, acute anxiety reactions…suicidal ideas.”

Abu Ghraib Abuses Were Defacto Policy
http://rawstory.com/ne..u_Ghraib_abuses_were_0317.html

Italy Judge Clears Way For CIA Rendition
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL191346120080319

 



Taxi to the Dark Side

Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7553360276446246577&hl=en

Abu Ghraib Photographer: Interview
http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2008/..photographer-interview.html

Young Gitmo Detainee: I’ve Been Tortured
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN1224602720080313

Australia accused of helping with notorious CIA rendition flights
http://rawstory.com/news/2008.._helping_CIA_rendition_0311.html

U.S. Denied UN Torture Envoy Jail Access
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL1113820080311

 



A.I. War Machines a “Threat to Humanity”

A.I. War Machines a “Threat to Humanity”

AFP
February 27, 2008

Fbiiraqisbein_mn

Increasingly autonomous, gun-totting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence told AFP.

“They pose a threat to humanity,” said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain’s Royal United Services Institute.

Intelligent machines deployed on battlefields around the world — from mobile grenade launchers to rocket-firing drones — can already identify and lock onto targets without human help.

There are more than 4,000 US military robots on the ground in Iraq, as well as unmanned aircraft that have clocked hundreds of thousands of flight hours.

The first three armed combat robots fitted with large-caliber machine guns deployed to Iraq last summer, manufactured by US arms maker Foster-Miller, proved so successful that 80 more are on order, said Sharkey.

But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.

It we are not careful, he said, that could change.

Military leaders “are quite clear that they want autonomous robots as soon as possible, because they are more cost-effective and give a risk-free war,” he said.

Several countries, led by the United States, have already invested heavily in robot warriors developed for use on the battlefield.

South Korea and Israel both deploy armed robot border guards, while China, India, Russia and Britain have all increased the use of military robots.

Washington plans to spend four billion dollars by 2010 on unmanned technology systems, with total spending expected rise to 24 billion, according to the Department of Defense’s Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2007-2032, released in December.

James Canton, an expert on technology innovation and CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, predicts that deployment within a decade of detachments that will include 150 soldiers and 2,000 robots.

The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern, said Sharkey.

Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. “I don’t know why that has not happened already,” he said.

But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines.

“I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination terrifies me,” Sharkey said.

Ronald Arkin of Georgia Institute of Technology, who has worked closely with the US military on robotics, agrees that the shift towards autonomy will be gradual.

But he is not convinced that robots don’t have a place on the front line.

“Robotics systems may have the potential to out-perform humans from a perspective of the laws of war and the rules of engagement,” he told a conference on technology in warfare at Stanford University last month.

The sensors of intelligent machines, he argued, may ultimately be better equipped to understand an environment and to process information. “And there are no emotions that can cloud judgement, such as anger,” he added.

Nor is there any inherent right to self-defence.

For now, however, there remain several barriers to the creation and deployment of Terminator-like killing machines.

Some are technical. Teaching a computer-driven machine — even an intelligent one — how to distinguish between civilians and combatants, or how to gauge a proportional response as mandated by the Geneva Conventions, is simply beyond the reach of artificial intelligence today.

But even if technical barriers are overcome, the prospect of armies increasingly dependent on remotely-controlled or autonomous robots raises a host of ethical issues that have barely been addressed.

Arkin points out that the US Department of Defense’s 230 billion dollar Future Combat Systems programme — the largest military contract in US history — provides for three classes of aerial and three land-based robotics systems.

“But nowhere is there any consideration of the ethical implications of the weaponisation of these systems,” he said.

For Sharkey, the best solution may be an outright ban on autonomous weapons systems. “We have to say where we want to draw the line and what we want to do — and then get an international agreement,” he said.

Killer Robots Coming Soon to a City Near You
http://thought-criminal.org/article/node/1339

Living Neural Networks Could Drive War Machines
http://www.thought-criminal.org/article/node/1335

Robot wars ‘will be a reality within 10 years’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/m..008/02/27/scirobots127.xml

 



White House and Congress knew about the CIA tapes

The White House and Congress Knew about the CIA Interrogation Videotapes

George Washington’s Blog
December 12, 2007

According to a former “senior intelligence official”, the White House knew of the existence of the CIA interrogation tapes since 2003, at the very latest, and tacitly approved the destruction of the tapes in 2005.

Indeed, former CIA agent and State Department counterterrorism official Larry Johnson said that it was “highly likely” that President Bush himself had viewed the videotapes of the 2002 interrogations that were later destroyed. Is that why the White House has instructed its spokesperson not to answer any questions on the subject?

And according to the Director of the CIA, Congress was also informed about the existence of the tapes, and — later — of the CIA’s intention to destroy them.

Indeed, Senator Rockefeller has confirmed that the Senate Intelligence Committee knew of the existence of the videotapes in 2003. And Congresswoman Harman has confirmed that the House Intelligence Committee also learned of the existence of the videotapes in 2003. Is that why Senator Rockefeller opposes any real investigation into the destruction of the tapes, saying “I don’t think there’s a need for a special counsel, and I don’t think there’s a need for a special commission”?

The obstruction of justice regarding the tapes appears to have been orchestrated by the very highest levels of the U.S. Government.

 

Guantanamo Legal Adviser Refuses To Say Iranians Waterboarding Americans Would Be Torture

Think Progress
December 12, 2007

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Legal Rights of Guantanamo Detainees” this morning, Brigadier General Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal adviser at Guantanamo Bay, repeatedly refused to call the hypothetical waterboarding of an American pilot by the Iranian military torture. “I’m not equipped to answer that question,” said Hartmann.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who asked the hypothetical, pushed Hartmann on his answer, asking him directly if it would be a “violation of the Geneva Convention”:

GRAHAM: You mean you’re not equipped to give a legal opinion as to whether or not Iranian military waterboarding, secret security agents waterboarding downed airmen is a violation of the Geneva Convention?

HARTMANN: I am not prepared to answer that question, Senator.

After Hartmann twice refused to answer, Graham dismissed him in disgust, saying he had “no further questions.” Watch it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89cYbggdGVQ

Longer Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jbcWzSVcco
Hartmann’s non-answer is reminiscent of State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger’s refusal in October to condemn “the use of water boarding on an American national by a foreign intelligence service.”

But not every lawyer who’s worked for the Bush administration has been so hesitant to call waterboarding torture.

In 2004, after then-acting assistant attorney general Daniel Levin had himself waterboarded, he concluded that the interrogation technique “could be illegal torture.” For his efforts, “Levin was forced out of the Justice Department when Alberto Gonzales became Attorney General.”

Sen. Graham, a former military judge advocate, has said before that someone doesn’t “have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates Geneva Convention Common Article Three.”

 

Let’s (Not) Go to the Videotape!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_1Qsq0DTM

Related News:

Ex-CIA Larry Johnson: ‘Highly likely’ Bush saw torture tapes
http://billpressmedia.com/highlylikely.mp3

Ex-CIA agent: Waterboarding approved at top levels
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20…co/cia_videotapes

White House Was Ordered Not To Destroy Torture Evidence
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2007…eotapes_courts

CIA may have more interrogation tapes, detainee’s lawyer suggests
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/White_H…on_of_1211.html

CIA Failed To Inform Congress About Tapes
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2…ecrypt/main3611381.shtml

White House goes ‘no comment’ on CIA video case
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/W…video_c_12102007.html

Former CIA: Waterboarding Useful But Torture
http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews…0938320071211

CIA Director To Testify About Destroyed Tapes
http://www.reuters.com/articl…654798320071210?sp=true

Secretly briefed, Pelosi did not object to waterboarding in 2002
http://rawstory.com/news/200…t_to_waterboarding_1209.html

Destroyed CIA torture tapes said to implicate Pakistan and Saudi Royal Family in 9/11 attacks
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ge….destroyed-inter_b_75850.html

Photos Show UK Gitmo Detainee Was Tortured
Man Held By CIA Says He Was Tortured
McCain: No Investigation Needed
Congress Looks Into C.I.A. Obstruction As Calls for Justice Inquiry Rise
‘Well-Informed’ Source Tells CBS That Tapes Were Destroyed To Prevent Prosecution
Lee Hamilton Says the CIA Obstructed the 9/11 Commission
Inquiry into CIA interrogation tapes’ destruction begins
CIA destroyed video of ‘waterboarding’ al-Qaida detainees
C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes of Interrogations
C.I.A. Destroyed 2 Tapes Showing Interrogations
CIA admits destroying interrogation tapes

 



Fox Host Says Dissenters Should Be Tased


Fox Host Says Dissenters Should Be Tased

Kilmead laments that people who confront politicians aren’t “beaten to a pulp,” as establishment continues to sell war on anyone who disagrees with authority

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
November 20, 2007

During a discussion about a Code Pink member heckling Hillary Clinton at a recent event, Fox News host Brian Kilmead said that people who confront politicians are “threatening” and should be Tased or “beaten to a pulp,” as the establishment media continues to sell the idea that anyone who disagrees with authority should be brutally punished.

A segment on the Fox and Friends morning show yesterday turned into an opportunity for Kilmead to share his dictatorial fetish that dissenters be dealt with in the proper manner, as footage aired of Clinton’s heckler being removed from the event by security.

“They should Tase this guy,” Kilmead says. “At one point with security so high and tensions on edge, don’t you think they’re going to get at the very least Tased or beaten to a pulp by somebody? These people look threatening.”

Watch the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj94zmK9JKk

A number of other recent high profile public confrontations were reeled off, some of which involved We Are Change members, to paint a picture of a growing threat that needed to be quashed.

As the screams of tasered University of Florida student Andrew Meyer played in the background, the presenters seemed to react with glee, after which Kilmead concluded, “I would be for Tasing anyone in Code Pink,” adding “I’m pro-Pink Tasing.”

As we have reported in-depth, this is all part of an intimidation campaign to silence dissent as the apparatus of the police state turns against anyone who questions authority.

Since Tasing is all part of “pain compliance,” otherwise known as torture, why not go the whole hog and waterboard these potential terrorists? After all, if Ron Paul supporters are a terrorist threat, as CNN’s Glenn Beck has so enthusiastically pushed recently, then how far should we go to protect America?

If it was good enough for the Nazis to torture their political foes then it’s good enough for us, as Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz made clear last week.

“There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works — it only produces false information,” wrote Dershowitz in the Wall Street Journal. “This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.”

Wonderful – forget about those antiquated Geneva Conventions – let’s use what the Nazis did as a role model for how to conduct ourselves and see where it gets us.

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!

 



Dianne Feinstein Confronted on Waterboarding

Dianne Feinstein interrupted during live Interview at CNN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHPcZn_uL-k

 



Lecture by Naomi Wolf – ‘The End of America’

Lecture by Naomi Wolf – ‘The End of America’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc

Charles Goyette Interviews Naomi Wolf
http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/20…rviews-naomi-wolf.html

 



US General to School Kids – We Need To Waterboard

US General to School Kids – We Need To Waterboard

AGC
November 2, 2007

Army General Russel Honore said the general public shouldn’t be so quick to condemn the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique.

“I don’t know much about it, but I know we’re dealing with terrorists who do some very awful things to people,” he said after Friday morning’s speech to about 900 students at Flat Rock Middle School in Tyrone. “I know enough about [waterboarding] that the intent is not to kill anybody. We know that terrorists that we deal with, they have no law that they abide by. They have no code, they kill indiscriminately, like they did on 9/11.”

Honore, a no-nonsense three-star who commands the Fort Gillem-based First Army, also spoke of his plans to leave the army in the upcoming months and perhaps teach at a university. The 37-year Army veteran also hinted at a possible future run for political office.

The issue of waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning, has been the raging debate surrounding Michael Mukasey, President Bush’s nominee for attorney general.

Mukasey has refused to define the technique — generally described as strapping a detainee down, wrapping his face in a wet towel and dripping water on it to produce the sensation of drowning — as torture during recent congressional testimony.

Torture is considered a war crime by the international community. CIA interrogators are believed to have used waterboarding against detained terror suspects.

Honore, however, emphasized the military will always remain within the limits of the law, but warned that stiffer interrogation methods may sometimes be necessary in the war on terror.

“If we picked up a prisoner that could tell us where the next 9/11 plot was, we could sit there and treat him nice, and that may not work,” he said. “We could sit there and give him water and we could be politically correct.

“But if we have to use sources and methods that get information that not only save American lives, but save other people’s lives or could prevent a major catastrophe from happening, I think the American people can decide [whether to allow waterboarding].”

Honore became a national folk hero of sorts in 2005 after taking command of the government’s embarrassingly slow response to the devastated residents of the Gulf Coast in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin once described him as “a John Wayne dude who gets things done.”

That applies to fighting the war on terror as well.

“As long as we’re responsible for hunting those SOBs down, finding them and preventing them from killing our sons and daughters,” Honore said, “I think we’ve got an obligation to do what the hell we’ve got to do to make sure we get the mission done.”

Retired JAGs Send Letter To Leahy: “Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal.”
http://www.crooksandliars.com..torture-and-it-is-illegal/

Bush Administration Blocked Waterboarding Critic
http://noworldsystem.com/2007/…ocked-waterboarding-critic/

 



Bush Administration Blocked Waterboarding Critic


Bush Administration Blocked Waterboarding Critic

Former DOJ Official Tested the Method Himself, in Effort to Form Torture Policy

ABC
November 2, 2007

A senior Justice Department official, charged with reworking the administration’s legal position on torture in 2004 became so concerned about the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding that he decided to experience it firsthand, sources told ABC News.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcO3gRhCihc

Daniel Levin, then acting assistant attorney general, went to a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure to inform his analysis of different interrogation techniques.

After the experience, Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn’t die, he found the experience terrifying and thought that it clearly simulated drowning.

Levin, who refused to comment for this story, concluded waterboarding could be illegal torture unless performed in a highly limited way and with close supervision. And, sources told ABC News, he believed the Bush Administration had failed to offer clear guidelines for its use.

Bush Administration Blocked Critic

The administration at the time was reeling from an August 2002 memo by Jay Bybee, then the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, which laid out possible justifications for torture. In June 2004, Levin’s predecessor at the office, Jack Goldsmith, officially withdrew the Bybee memo, finding it deeply flawed.

When Levin took over from Goldsmith, he went to work on a memo that would effectively replace the Bybee memo as the administration’s legal position on torture. It was during this time that he underwent waterboarding.

In December 2004, Levin released the new memo. He said, “Torture is abhorrent” but he went on to say in a footnote that the memo was not declaring the administration’s previous opinions illegal. The White House, with Alberto Gonzales as the White House counsel, insisted that this footnote be included in the memo.

But Levin never finished a second memo imposing tighter controls on the specific interrogation techniques. Sources said he was forced out of the Justice Department when Gonzales became attorney general.

Critics Decry Waterboarding as Torture

Critics say waterboarding should never be used.

According to retired Rear Adm. John Hutson, “There is no question this is torture — this is a technique by which an individual is strapped to a board, elevated by his feet and either dunked into water or water poured over his face over a towel or a blanket.”

The legal justification of waterboarding has come to the forefront in the debate swirling around Michael B. Mukasey’s nomination for attorney general.

While Democrats are pressing him to declare waterboarding illegal, he has refused to do so. He calls it personally “repugnant,” but he is unwilling to declare it illegal until he can see the classified information regarding the technique and its current use.

U.S. weighs plan for closing Guantanamo
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSB31892920071104

Book Traces Torture To Rumsfeld & Bush
http://www.fmnn.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=51012

Benchmarking Schumer on John Bolton and Mukasey/Addington
http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/002475.php

U.S. weighs plan for closing Guantanamo
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSB31892920071104

Here’s what waterboarding looks like
http://current.com/pods/controversy/PD04399

Mukasey: Waterboarding is Torture if it’s Torture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt8v_GAgOK4

Video: What Happens in Guantanamo Bay?
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1403370850111668271&hl=en

 



Hillary Clinton refuses to sign the Freedom Pledge

Clinton refuses to sign the Freedom Pledge, which demands that the future president give up the power to torture, go to war, spy on Americans,etc.

The Political Inquirer
November 2, 2007

Does anyone remember last week when Hillary Clinton went against her appearance as a power-grabber and said she would give up powers as president? Today in the New York Times, Bruce Fein, the Chairman of the American Freedom Agenda, said that Hillary refuses to sign the pledge.

What does the American Freedom pledge do? Well, here’s the letter:

Re “Clinton Plans to Consider Giving Up Some Powers” (news article, Oct. 24): The American Freedom Agenda, an organization of conservatives founded last March 20 to restore checks and balances and protections against government abuses, requested all presidential aspirants, including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, to sign an American Freedom Pledge.

They were asked to renounce the following powers if elected: torture; presidential signing statements; indefinite detentions of American citizens as enemy combatants; military commissions that combine judge, jury and prosecutor; spying on American citizens in contravention of federal statutes on the president’s say-so alone; kidnapping, imprisoning and torturing suspected terrorists abroad; executive privilege to shield the executive branch from Congressional oversight; prosecuting journalists under the Espionage Act for exposing national security abuses; listing organizations as terrorist groups based on secret evidence; suspending the writ of habeas corpus during the conflict with international terrorism; and invoking the state secrets privilege to deny victims of constitutional wrongdoing any judicial remedy. Senator Clinton has balked at signing the pledge, as have all other candidates except Representative Ron Paul.

Clinton Rebuts Accusations of Secrecy
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/…dems.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

‘Invade and Bomb With Hillary and Rahm’: Why war with Iran is likely
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=11846

Dem underdogs open debate with salvos against Hillary
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/De..debate_with_salvos_1030.html

Weapons Industry Dumps Republicans, Backs Hillary
http://www.alternet.org/story/65869

Hillary Watch

 



Here’s what waterboarding looks like

Here’s what waterboarding looks like
A Lesson For Mukasey: Why I Had Myself Water-Boarded

Kaj Larsen
Huffington Post
October 31, 2007

As a journalist for Current TV, a former military officer, and a student of public policy I have been involved in the debate about the War on Terror from the frontlines in Afghanistan to the policy discussions of academia. In the spring of 2006 a battle was brewing between the Bush Administration and some influential members of Congress over the use coercive interrogation techniques. The conflict over what techniques were legally and morally permissible had been a subtext of the War on Terror for years, but for the most part the debate was occurring inside of the intelligence community, the human rights community, and in small legal circles. It was outside the purview of the American public.

By April of 2006 the debate about coercive interrogation and its most controversial technique, water-boarding, had started to spill into the headlines. I was in graduate school at the time. As I watched the debate unfold, and listened to both pundits and policymakers give their opinion on whether this technique constituted torture, I was struck by the strangeness of the debate. All of these people were lobbying opinions about a subject they had never seen or witnessed, and that struck me as problematic in a healthy democracy. See, in full disclosure I had a unique knowledge of water-boarding. I had the technique performed on me during my time in the service as part of my SERE training (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). I, like all Special Forces operatives who deploy overseas, was sent to a training camp where we learned to resist interrogation and survive captivity, god forbid that ever happened to us overseas. Ironically, one of the many techniques we learned during this training was to assert our rights as told under Article III of the Geneva Convention. So, because I was familiar with water-boarding, I was intrigued by this national conversation that was going on about this thing that few people really understood. But, like many Americans, the pre-occupations of everyday life, for me the pressure of mid-terms and exams, pushed the controversy to the back of my mind.

Then, in mid March I traveled to Cambodia for Spring Break. While there I visited the Tuol Sleng (also known as S-21) prison in Phnom Penh. The Tuol Sleng prison had been converted to a museum and memorial for the victims of the Cambodian Genocide under the Pol Pot regime. As I walked through the museum and saw the photographs of the victims of the genocide, I was shocked to see a picture of the Khmer Rouge Water-boarding a Cambodian villager. At that moment I saw a throughline between the debate we were having domestically and the picture I was standing in front of. I was spurred into action, and upon my return to the United States, I decided to have myself water-boarded, this time on national TV, as a public service, so that this controversial technique could be judged in the court of public opinion.

 

Mukasey: Waterboarding is Torture if it’s Torture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt8v_GAgOK4

 

The Guantanamo Guidebook (2005)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1403370850111668271&hl=en

 



Supreme Court refuses torture case

Supreme Court refuses torture case

AP
October 9, 2007

WASHINGTON – A German man who says he was abducted and tortured by the CIA as part of the anti-terrorism rendition program lost his final chance Tuesday to persuade U.S. courts to hear his claims.

The Supreme Court rejected without comment an appeal from Khaled el-Masri, effectively endorsing Bush administration arguments that state secrets would be revealed if courts allowed the case to proceed.

El-Masri, 44, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, says he was mistakenly identified as an associate of the Sept. 11 hijackers and was detained while attempting to enter Macedonia on New Year’s Eve 2003.

He claims that CIA agents stripped, beat, shackled, diapered, drugged and chained him to the floor of a plane for a flight to Afghanistan. He says he was held for four months in a CIA-run prison known as the “salt pit” in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

After the CIA determined it had the wrong man, el-Masri says, he was dumped on a hilltop in Albania and told to walk down a path without looking back.

The lawsuit against former CIA director George Tenet, unidentified CIA agents and others sought damages of at least $75,000.

“We are very disappointed,” Manfred Gnijdic, el-Masri’s attorney in Germany, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his office in Ulm.

“It will shatter all trust in the American justice system,” Gnijdic said, charging that the United States expects every other nation to act responsibly, but refuses to take responsibility for its own actions.

“That is a disaster,” Gnijdic said.

El-Masri’s claims, which prompted strong international criticism of the rendition program, were backed by European investigations and U.S. news reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that U.S. officials acknowledged that el-Masri’s detention was a mistake.

The U.S. government has neither confirmed nor denied el-Masri’s account and, in urging the court not to hear the case, said that the facts central to el-Masri’s claims “concern the highly classified methods and means of the program.”

El-Masri’s case centers on the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program, in which terrorism suspects are captured and taken to foreign countries for interrogation. Human rights activists have objected to the program.

President Bush has repeatedly defended the policies in the war on terror, saying as recently as last week that the U.S. does not engage in torture.

El-Masri’s lawsuit had been seen as a test of the administration’s legal strategy to invoke the doctrine of state secrets and stop national security suits before any evidence is presented in private to a judge. Another lawsuit over the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, also dismissed by a federal court on state secrets grounds, still is pending before the justices.

Conservative legal scholar Douglas Kmiec said the Bush White House uses the doctrine too broadly. “The notion that state secrets can’t be preserved by a judge who has taken an oath to protect the Constitution, that a judge cannot examine the strength of the claim is too troubling to be accepted,” said Kmiec, a law professor at Pepperdine University.

The court has not examined the state secrets privilege in more than 50 years.

A coalition of groups favoring greater openness in government says the Bush administration has used the state secrets privilege much more often than its predecessors.

At the height of Cold War tensions between the United States and the former Soviet Union, U.S. presidents used the state secrets privilege six times from 1953 to 1976, according to OpenTheGovernment.org. Since 2001, it has been used 39 times, enabling the government to unilaterally withhold documents from the court system, the group said.

The state secrets privilege arose from a 1953 Supreme Court ruling that allowed the executive branch to keep secret, even from the court, details about a military plane’s fatal crash.

Three widows sued to get the accident report after their husbands died aboard a B-29 bomber, but the Air Force refused to release it claiming that the plane was on a secret mission to test new equipment. The high court accepted the argument, but when the report was released decades later there was nothing in it about a secret mission or equipment.

Press TV’ reporter in Afghanistan beaten by US forces
http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/line-22/0710094257002956.htm

US Air Raids Quietly Continue to Kill in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
http://www.motherjone….7/09/5612_us_air_raids_in.html

U.S. warns against Turkish action in Iraq
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071009..yJ5AmOgr4c2COttqs0NUE

Iraq tells US to ditch Blackwater
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7035115.stm

 



Ex-CIA Robert Baer Questions Use of Torture, Official 9/11 Story

Ex-CIA Robert Baer Questions Use of Torture, Official 9/11 Story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90B-Ii4lz3Q

From last night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
(excuse the poor quality)

Robert Baer spent 20 years working for the CIA. He was a field officer in the Middle East and has seen it all. He says torture is useless – it leads to false confessions. And he doesn’t believe the official story about 9/11. If CIA agents are questioning 9/11, then maybe you should be too. Do you even know the story of Building 7? What about the military drills going on that day – can you name them? Don’t bother looking in the 9/11 Commission Report for this information. They conveniently left out all the many suspicious details that point to 9/11 being an inside job.

War-Crimes Prosecutor Quits in Pentagon Clash
http://www.nytimes.com/200..20ocYnslWAI7nQc8UoQ

CIA still operates ‘black sites’ overseas, senior counterterrorism official says
http://rawstory.com/news/2007/CIA_still_operating_black_sites_overseas_1005.html

Bush says U.S. ‘does not torture people’
http://noworldsystem.com/2007/10/06/bush-says-us-does-not-torture-people/