Dec 19, 2014

Published 10:50 PM by

The Emperor's Behavior

"US President Barack Obama signs the Ukraine Freedom Act but does not want to impose sanctions under the law, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Thursday.

“The President signs H.R. 5859 [Ukrainian Freedom Act] into law, signing the legislation does not however signal a change in the administration’s sanctions policy…” Earnest said.

“At this time the administration does not intend to impose sanctions under this law but act gives the administration additional authorities that could be utilized if circumstances warranted,” he added.

Washington considers measures, targeting specifically Crimea, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told journalists during the daily briefing on Thursday"

Editor's Comment:
Why does the U.S. regime has the right to meddle into the others affair, but Russia and Iran are forbidden? and who decides that?

Book cover: "Are We Rome?", by Cullen Murphy


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Dec 18, 2014

Published 11:18 PM by

Does Israel Prepare For Post-Abbas Era?

Former PA's chairman Yasser Arafat was assassinated by radio-active Polonium, according to Al-Jazeera investigative report. Arafat was also considered as "moderate" Palestinian chairman and he jointly received Peace Nobel Prize with Shimon Peres.
Mohammad Dahlan (left) and PA's president Mahmoud Abbas (right)
Earlier this year, Ma'ariv newspaper reported that ousted Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan met Netanyahu's special envoy Yitzhak Molcho. But Dahlan denied that later on.

A London-based Arabic news website, Rai Al-Youm reported that Dahlan besides former Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad and the controversial Yasser Abed Rabo met U.S. secretary of state John Kerry in UAE. The meeting which exaggerated anger of president Mamoud Abbas, according to Rai Al-Youm.

The prominent Israeli professor Yaakov Peri, Israel’s minister of science, entered politics late in life. His primary career was in the Shin Bet — the General Security Service said:
"Who’s going to succeed him [ PA's president Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen]?" , reporter Asked.
Peri Answered:
"That’s a very big problem. There are big divisions in the Palestinian leadership today. And they still use the Arafat system that anyone who makes trouble will get pushed aside and then he becomes a kind of opposition headquarters. So he has Dahlan on the outside. He has Rajoub, who’s not an oppositionist, but is certainly looking at the chair… Then there’s Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister, who is pleasant and moderate. And of course there’s former prime minister Salaam Fayyad, who the Americans would greatly want, but Salaam Fayyad is not that interested, in my opinion".


Algemeiner reported on Feb, 6 this year:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is covertly seeking out other potential Palestinian Arab peace partners to negotiate with – instead of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Thursday. The news comes as current Israeli-PA framework agreement talks enter their seventh month.
In 2004, PA's chairman Arafat was assassinated after he was considered "obstacle to peace effort" by former U.S. president George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon as well.

ِApparently, Palestinian president Abbas bothers Israel these days, by going to the UN to internationalize the Palestinian cause, even though the U.S. regime clearly threatens to rise VETO against any pro-Palestine resolution. And the Israelis are preparing a further "moderate" Palestinian to replace Abbas's position.
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Dec 16, 2014

Published 7:23 PM by

The U.S. And Turkish Involvement In Syria

Al-Nusrah Front (also known as Jabhat Al-Nusrah), one of al-Qaeda affiliated militias posted a picture and video of its fighters using an American-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile on an Assad regime tank.
Syrian rebel is preparing to use American-made TOW missile
"The photograph and video were distributed on Twitter by Al Nusrah's official page for Idlib operations. The TOW was used during the recent fighting in Wadi al Daif which, until this morning, was a major regime base in the countryside of Idlib. The fighting at Wadi al Daif was part of a larger jihadist offensive on two regime bases near the Idlib city of Maa'rat al Nu'man. The other base, Al Hamadiya, is also reported to have fallen to members of Ahrar al Sham, an al Qaeda ally, as well as to members of Al Nusrah and Free Syrian Army elements."
Washington Post reported:
In early November, the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra ousted two U.S.-supplied moderate factions, Harak Hazam and the Syrian Revolutionary Front, from their strongholds in northern Idlib province. Although al-Nusra was thought to have seized significant caches of equipment during the fighting, the exact nature of those arms has been unclear.
On Monday, however, a Twitter account associated with Jabhat al-Nusra posted a photo of a TOW anti-tank guided missile system, a formidable weapon used against armored targets.
The Turkish role:
Previously on last September, Turkish daily newspaper reported:
"Syrian rebel group Liwa al-Tawhid released 50 members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including the family of a late leader, in a swap deal that ended with the release of 49 hostages abducted from Turkey’s consulate in Mosul."

Recently, a conflict of interests appear between the U.S. and Turkish regimes, after the U.S. regime refused Erdogan's appeal by applying no-fly zone near Turkey's borders, although they share the same target which is to overthrow the Syrian regime.
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Dec 14, 2014

Published 8:39 PM by

McCain's Brilliant Ideas

McCain is vocally against the C.I.A. brutal torture methods and he clearly expressed that during his last media appearance. However, as a hawkish American elite, he said:
We “are obliged by history,” McCain said, “by our nation’s highest ideals and the many terrible sacrifices made to protect them, by our respect for human dignity to make clear we need not risk our national honor to prevail in this or any war. We need only remember in the worst of times, through the chaos and terror of war, when facing cruelty, suffering and loss, that we are always Americans, and different, stronger, and better than those who would destroy us.

Editor's Comment:
Yup, McCain is totally right as the U.S. regime did not throw the first (and only) atomic bomb throughout history which caused long-standing congenital anomalies in Hiroshima. And Iraq was actually invaded to spread democracy in the middle east, but not to ACQUIRE oil-rich country ruled by anti-American dictator. And Cuba is still under siege because the Castros are evils and the neighboring Cuban people live wealthy (actually they are healthy nation with almost the best health system worldwidely). Finally, the U.S regime did not divide the Korean peninsula (northern and southern), neither bombed Sudan, Libya nor Somalia.
N.B. I'm talking about the U.S. corpocracy regime which is far away from the people of America.

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Published 7:52 PM by

What A Coincidence!

In 2003, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Australian Prime Minister John Howard deliver largely identical speeches urging their nations to join George W. Bush's Coalition of the Willing to go to war with Iraq.

Source: Luis Manuel's blog 
Editor's Comment
Apparently, both the Australian and the Canadian ministers had the SAME ideas during the SAME period, on the SAME issue (Iraq). Well, the outcome is the SAME speech.
Who says there are no angels?

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Dec 11, 2014

Published 11:09 PM by

Obama's Immigration Reform: Guess Who Are The Best Beneficiaries?

"Changes to the US immigration policy announced by President Obama will have far-reaching effects on Israelis wishing to work or move to the US."

Supporters of Obama's immigration reform
"The wide-reaching executive plan would help thousands of undocumented Israeli immigrants, specifically Israeli parents with American children. However the major benefit of the new policy is the ease of the visa process for innovative entrepreneurs and High-Tech companies."

"...Obama’s immigration reform will also benefit undocumented Israeli immigrants in the US. While it is unknown how many of these cases exist in the US, the estimate is that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 such cases."
Source:Ynet News
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Published 12:53 AM by

Short Reminder: The Legitimacy

Have you ever noticed that the governments which are NOT pro-Western are named "regimes" such as:

  • Putin's (or Russian) regime.
  • Chinese regime.
  • North Korean regime.
  • Iranian regime.
  • Saddam's regime (former and toppled by the Western alliance).
  • Gaddafi regime (former and toppled by the Western alliance).
  • Syrian regime.
  • Cuba's regime.
BUT: the pro-Western governments are named "governments" by the main-stream media, even though they are tyrant and totalitarian.

  • Saudi government.
  • Ukrainian government (current one, although eastern Ukrainian citizens did not participate in the last elections).
  • Bahraini government.
  • Qatari government.
  • Moroccan government.
  • Israeli CABINET.

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Published 12:27 AM by

Ziad Abu Ein

P.A.'s Abbas declared 3 days of mourning after the Israeli occupation forces killed Ziad Abu Ein, a Palestinian official and former prisoner in Israeli jails.
Abu Ein was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the US in 1981 over the killing of two Zionists in Tiberias in 1979. Abu Ein planted the explosives which killed Boaz Lahav and David Lankri.
Ziad Abu Ein died immedietly after an Israeli border policeman shoved and grabbed him by the throat
Abbas slams 'barbaric' Israeli assault on slain official and he said:"All options on table", after he threatened to suspend 'security coordination' with Israelis.
Undoubtedly, the Israeli occupation forces are responsible for killing Abu Ein during a peaceful demonstration. With respection and deep condolences to his family and the Palestinian people, he is just one of thousands of martyrs in Palestine. What about thousands of people who were killed in the successive wars on Gaza, other than ordinary people who were assassinated near Bethlehem, Hebron and Jerusalem!. Moreover, Mr. Abbas is still hesitated to end what he calls "Security Coordination" with the Israelis. In fact, the actual name is shameful "collaboration with foreign forces".


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Dec 9, 2014

Published 11:47 PM by

The Happiest Nations: Apology

Few days ago, I posted "The Happiest Nations Around The World". while I was reviewing the maps for general information, I think I found inaccurate information.
Source: MoveHub
According to the map, Syria and Iraq are among the happiest countries, but for what? for the political instability? or the proxy wars? or for the economic and social progress?
I think the source is not accurate, so I apologize to all readers since I had to review the source.


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Published 10:10 PM by

Concise History Of Torture By The U.S. Regime

Preface for Democrats: Your team is guilty, too ...

What You Need to Know ..

There's a media storm regarding the Senate torture report ... appropriately.
But much of the report was redacted by the CIA and White House.
Here's what you need to know ...
Initially, the torture was widespread and systemic.
And it wasn't just bad guys who were tortured:
  • U.S. military files show that many Guantánamo prisoners were held on the flimsiest grounds such as wearing a Casio watch, being a prisoner in a Taliban jail, driving cabs in certain geographic regions, or being Al Jazeera reporters

http://www.nps.gov/stli/historyculture/images/Statue-Scaffolding-Copy.jpg

Torture INTERFERES With Our Ability to Fight Terrorism, Obtain Intelligence Information and Protect Our National Security

“Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.”
  • The C.I.A.’s 1963 interrogation manual stated:
Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions, concocted as a means of escaping from distress. A time-consuming delay results, while investigation is conducted and the admissions are proven untrue. During this respite the interrogatee can pull himself together. He may even use the time to think up new, more complex ‘admissions’ that take still longer to disprove.
  • According to the Washington Post, the CIA’s top spy – Michael Sulick, head of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service – said that the spy agency has seen no fall-off in intelligence since waterboarding was banned by the Obama administration. “I don’t think we’ve suffered at all from an intelligence standpoint.”
  • A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks (Milton Bearden) says(as quoted by senior CIA agent and Presidential briefer Ray McGovern):
It is irresponsible for any administration not to tell a credible story that would convince critics at home and abroad that this torture has served some useful purpose.

***

The old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture doesn’t work ….
  • A former high-level CIA officer (Philip Giraldi) states:
Many governments that have routinely tortured to obtain information have abandoned the practice when they discovered that other approaches actually worked better for extracting information. Israel prohibited torturing Palestinian terrorist suspects in 1999. Even the German Gestapo stopped torturing French resistance captives when it determined that treating prisoners well actually produced more and better intelligence.
  • Another former high-level CIA official (Bob Baer) says:
And torture — I just don’t think it really works … you don’t get the truth. What happens when you torture people is, they figure out what you want to hear and they tell you.
  • Michael Scheuer, formerly a senior CIA official in the Counter-Terrorism Center, says:
“I personally think that any information gotten through extreme methods of torture would probably be pretty useless because it would be someone telling you what you wanted to hear.”
  • A retired C.I.A. officer who oversaw the interrogation of a high-level detainee in 2002 (Glenn L. Carle) says:
[Coercive techniques] didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information…Everyone was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work.”
  • A former top Air Force interrogator who led the team that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, and wrote a book called How to Break a Terrorist writes:
As the senior interrogator in Iraq for a task force charged with hunting down Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former Al Qaida leader and mass murderer, I listened time and time again to captured foreign fighters cite the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as their main reason for coming to Iraq to fight. Consider that 90 percent of the suicide bombers in Iraq are these foreign fighters and you can easily conclude that we have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives because of our policy of torture and abuse. But that’s only thepast.Somewhere in the world there are other young Muslims who have joined Al Qaida because we tortured and abused prisoners. These men will certainly carry out future attacks against Americans, either in Iraq, Afghanistan, or possibly even here. And that’s not to mention numerous other Muslims who support Al Qaida, either financially or in other ways, because they are outraged that the United States tortured and abused Muslim prisoners.

In addition, torture and abuse has made us less safe because detainees are less likely to cooperate during interrogations if they don’t trust us. I know from having conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, that when a captured Al Qaida member sees us live up to our stated principles they are more willing to negotiate and cooperate with us. When we torture or abuse them, it hardens their resolve and reaffirms why they picked up arms.
He also says:
[Torture is] extremely ineffective, and it’s counter-productive to what we’re trying to accomplish.When we torture somebody, it hardens their resolve … The information that you get is unreliable. … And even if you do get reliable information, you’re able to stop a terrorist attack, al Qaeda’s then going to use the fact that we torture people to recruit new members.
And he repeats:
I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.
And:
They don’t want to talk about the long term consequences that cost the lives of Americans…. The way the U.S. treated its prisoners “was al-Qaeda’s number-one recruiting tool and brought in thousands of foreign fighters who killed American soldiers.
  • The FBI interrogators who actually interviewed some of the 9/11 suspects say torture didn’t work
  • Another FBI interrogator of 9/11 suspects said:
I was in the middle of this, and it’s not true that these [aggressive] techniques were effective
  • The FBI warned military interrogators in 2003 that enhanced interrogation techniques are “of questionable effectiveness” and cited a “lack of evidence of [enhanced techniques’] success.
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously found that torture doesn’t work, stating:
The administration’s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.
  • General Petraeus says that torture is unnecessary
  • Retired 4-star General Barry McCaffrey – who Schwarzkopf called he hero of Desert Storm – agrees
  • Former Navy Judge Advocate General Admiral John Hutson says:
Fundamentally, those kinds of techniques are ineffective. If the goal is to gain actionable intelligence, and it is, and if that’s important, and it is, then we have to use the techniques that are most effective. Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough.
He also says:
Another objection is that torture doesn’t work. All the literature and experts say that if we really want usable information, we should go exactly the opposite way and try to gain the trust and confidence of the prisoners.
  • Army Colonel Stuart Herrington – a military intelligence specialist who interrogated generals under the command of Saddam Hussein and evaluated US detention operations at Guantánamo – notes that the process of obtaining information is hampered, not helped, by practices such as “slapping someone in the face and stripping them naked”. Herrington and other former US military interrogators say:
We know from experience that it is very difficult to elicit information from a detainee who has been abused. The abuse often only strengthens their resolve and makes it that much harder for an interrogator to find a way to elicit useful information.
  • Major General Thomas Romig, former Army JAG, said:
If you torture somebody, they’ll tell you anything. I don’t know anybody that is good at interrogation, has done it a lot, that will say that that’s an effective means of getting information. … So I don’t think it’s effective.
  • The first head of the Department of Homeland Security – Tom Ridge – says we were wrong to torture
  • The former British intelligence chairman says that waterboarding didn’t stop terror plots
  • A spokesman for the National Security Council (Tommy Vietor) says:
The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003.
In researching this article, I spoke to numerous counterterrorist officials from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Their conclusion is unanimous: not only have coercive methods failed to generate significant and actionable intelligence, they have also caused the squandering of resources on a massive scale through false leads, chimerical plots, and unnecessary safety alerts … Here, they say, far from exposing a deadly plot, all torture did was lead to more torture of his supposed accomplices while also providing some misleading “information” that boosted the administration’s argument for invading Iraq.
  • Neuroscientists have found that torture physically and chemically interferes with the prisoner’s ability to tell the truth
  • An Army psychologist – Major Paul Burney, Army’s Behavior Science Consulting Team psychologist –said (page 78 & 83):
was stressed to me time and time again that psychological investigations have proven that harsh interrogations do not work. At best it will get you information that a prisoner thinks you want to hear to make the interrogation stop, but that information is strongly likely to be false.

***

Interrogation techniques that rely on physical or adverse consequences are likely to garner inaccurate information and create an increased level of resistance…There is no evidence that the level of fear or discomfort evoked by a given technique has any consistent correlation to the volume or quality of information obtained.
  • An expert on resisting torture – Terrence Russell, JPRA’s manager for research and development and a SERE specialist – said (page 209):
History has shown us that physical pressures are not effective for compelling an individual to give information or to do something’ and are not effective for gaining accurate, actionable intelligence.
Indeed, it has been known for hundreds of years that torture doesn’t work:
  • As a former CIA analyst notes:
During the Inquisition there were many confessed witches, and many others were named by those tortured as other witches. Unsurprisingly, when these new claimed witches were tortured, they also confessed. Confirmation of some statement made under torture, when that confirmation is extracted by another case of torture, is invalid information and cannot be trusted.
  • The head of Britain’s wartime interrogation center in London said:
“Violence is taboo. Not only does it produce answers to please, but it lowers the standard of information.”
  • The national security adviser to Vice President George H.W. Bush (Donald P. Gregg) wrote:
During wartime service with the CIA in Vietnam from 1970 to 1972, I was in charge of intelligence operations in the 10 provinces surrounding Saigon. One of my tasks was to prevent rocket attacks on Saigon’s port.Keeping Saigon safe required human intelligence, most often from captured prisoners. I had a running debate about how North Vietnamese prisoners should be treated with the South Vietnamese colonel who conducted interrogations. This colonel routinely tortured prisoners, producing a flood of information, much of it totally false. I argued for better treatment and pressed for key prisoners to be turned over to the CIA, where humane interrogation methods were the rule – and more accurate intelligence was the result.

The colonel finally relented and turned over a battered prisoner to me, saying, “This man knows a lot, but he will not talk to me.”

We treated the prisoner’s wounds, reunited him with his family, and allowed him to make his first visit to Saigon. Surprised by the city’s affluence, he said he would tell us anything we asked. The result was a flood of actionable intelligence that allowed us to disrupt planned operations, including rocket attacks against Saigon.

Admittedly, it would be hard to make a story from nearly 40 years ago into a definitive case study. But there is a useful reminder here. The key to successful interrogation is for the interrogator – even as he controls the situation – to recognize a prisoner’s humanity, to understand his culture, background and language. Torture makes this impossible.

There’s a sad twist here. Cheney forgets that the Bush administration followed this approach with some success. A high-value prisoner subjected to patient interrogation by an Arabic-speaking FBI agent yielded highly useful information, including the final word on Iraq’s weapons programs.

His name was Saddam Hussein.
  • Top interrogators got information from a high-level Al Qaeda suspects through building rapport, even if they hated the person they were interrogating by treating them as human
Senator John McCain explains, based upon his own years of torture:
I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners sometimes produces good intelligence but often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering. Often, information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading.
According to the experts, torture is unnecessary even to prevent “ticking time bombs” from exploding (seethisthis and this). Indeed, a top expert says that torture would fail in a real ‘ticking time-bomb’ situation. (And, no ... it did NOT help get Bin Laden. And see this.).
In fact, torture reduces our national security:
  • The head of all U.S. intelligence said:
"The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world," [Director of National Intelligence Dennis] Blair said in the statement. "The damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."
  • A top counter-terrorism expert says torture increases the risk of terrorism (and see this).
  • One of the top military interrogators said that torture by Americans of innocent Iraqis is the main reason that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the first place (and seethis).
  • Former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke says that America's indefinite detention without trial and abuse of prisoners is a leading Al Qaeda recruiting tool
  • A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks,says:
Torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.
Torture puts our troops in danger, torture makes our troops less safe, torture creates terrorists. It’s used so widely as a propaganda tool now in Afghanistan. All too often, detainees have pamphlets on them, depicting what happened at Guantanamo.
"The administration’s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies ... strengthened the hand of our enemies."
  • General Petraeus said that torture hurts our national security
  • The reporter who broke Iran-Contra and other stories says that torture actually helped Al Qaeda, by giving false leads to the U.S. which diverted its military, intelligence and economic resources into wild goose chases
  • Raw Story says that torture might have resulted in false terror alerts
  • Hundreds of other experts have said the same things

U.S. Officials Launched a Systematic Program of Torture Using Specialized Techniques Which Produce False Confessions ... to Justify the Iraq War

Not only did Bush, Cheney and other top government officials lie about us into the Iraq war by making a false linkage between Iraq and 9/11, but they carried out a systematic program of torture in order tointentionally create false evidence of that allegation.
Indeed, the entire purpose behind the U.S. torture program was to obtain false confessions.
Senator Levin, in commenting on a Senate Armed Services Committee report on torture in 2009, dropped the following bombshell:
With last week’s release of the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinions, it is now widely known that Bush administration officials distorted Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape “SERE” training – a legitimate program used by the military to train our troops to resist abusive enemy interrogations – by authorizing abusive techniques from SERE for use in detainee interrogations. Those decisions conveyed the message that abusive treatment was appropriate for detainees in U.S. custody. They were also an affront to the values articulated by General Petraeus.

In SERE training, U.S. troops are briefly exposed, in a highly controlled setting, to abusive interrogation techniques used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions. The techniques are based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting false confessions for propaganda purposes. Techniques used in SERE training include stripping trainees of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, subjecting them to face and body slaps, depriving them of sleep, throwing them up against a wall, confining them in a small box, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures. Until recently, the Navy SERE school also used waterboarding. The purpose of the SERE program is to provide U.S. troops who might be captured a taste of the treatment they might face so that they might have a better chance of surviving captivity and resisting abusive and coercive interrogations.
Senator Levin then documents that SERE techniques were deployed as part of an official policy on detainees, and that SERE instructors helped to implement the interrogation programs. He noted:
The senior Army SERE psychologist warned in 2002 against using SERE training techniques during interrogations in an email to personnel at Guantanamo Bay, because:
[T]he use of physical pressures brings with it a large number of potential negative side effects… When individuals are gradually exposed to increasing levels of discomfort, it is more common for them to resist harder… If individuals are put under enough discomfort, i.e. pain, they will eventually do whatever it takes to stop the pain. This will increase the amount of information they tell the interrogator, but it does not mean the information is accurate. In fact, it usually decreases the reliability of the information because the person will say whatever he believes will stop the pain… Bottom line: the likelihood that the use of physical pressures will increase the delivery of accurate information from a detainee is very low. The likelihood that the use of physical pressures will increase the level of resistance in a detainee is very high… (p. 53).
McClatchy filled in some of the details:
Former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration…

For most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there.”

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document…

When people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push harder,” he continued.”Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn’t any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam . . .

A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, detention facility were under “pressure” to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.

“While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq,” Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. “The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.”

“I think it’s obvious that the administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link (between al Qaida and Iraq),” [Senator] Levin said in a conference call with reporters. “They made out links where they didn’t exist.”

Levin recalled Cheney’s assertions that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer had met Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11
hijackers, in the Czech Republic capital of Prague just months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The FBI and CIA found that no such meeting occurred.
In other words, top Bush administration officials not only knowingly lied about a non-existent connection between Al Qaida and Iraq, but they pushed and insisted that interrogators use special torture methods aimed at extracting false confessions to attempt to create such a false linkage.
The Washington Post reported the same year:
Despite what you’ve seen on TV, torture is really only good at one thing: eliciting false confessions. Indeed, Bush-era torture techniques, we now know, were cold-bloodedly modeled after methods used by Chinese Communists to extract confessions from captured U.S. servicemen that they could then use for propaganda during the Korean War.

So as shocking as the latest revelation in a new Senate Armed Services Committee report may be, it actually makes sense — in a nauseating way. The White House started pushing the use of torture not when faced with a “ticking time bomb” scenario from terrorists, but when officials in 2002 were desperately casting about for ways to tie Iraq to the 9/11 attacks — in order to strengthen their public case for invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 at all.

***

Gordon Trowbridge writes for the Detroit News: “Senior Bush administration officials pushed for the use of abusive interrogations of terrorism detainees in part to seek evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq, according to newly declassified information discovered in a congressional probe.
Indeed, one of the two senior instructors from the Air Force team which taught U.S. servicemen how to resist torture by foreign governments when used to extract false confessions has blown the whistle on the true purpose behind the U.S. torture program.
As Truthout reported:
Jessen’s notes were provided to Truthout by retired Air Force Capt. Michael Kearns, a “master” SERE instructor and decorated veteran who has previously held high-ranking positions within the Air Force Headquarters Staff and Department of Defense (DoD).

***
Kearns was one of only two officers within DoD qualified to teach all three SERE-related courses within SSTP on a worldwide basis, according to a copy of a 1989 letter written Aldrich, who nominated him officer of the year.

***

The Jessen notes clearly state the totality of what was being reverse-engineered – not just ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ but an entire program of exploitation of prisoners using torture as a central pillar,” he said. “What I think is important to note, as an ex-SERE Resistance to Interrogation instructor, is the focus of Jessen’s instruction. It is exploitation, not specifically interrogation. And this is not a picayune issue, because if one were to ‘reverse-engineer’ a course on resistance to exploitation then what one would get is a plan to exploit prisoners, not interrogate them. The CIA/DoD torture program appears to have the same goals as the terrorist organizations or enemy governments for which SV-91 and other SERE courses were created to defend against: the full exploitation of the prisoner in his intelligence, propaganda, or other needs held by the detaining power, such as the recruitment of informers and double agents. Those aspects of the US detainee program have not generally been discussed as part of the torture story in the American press.”

***

Jessen wrote that cooperation is the “end goal” of the detainer, who wants the detainee “to see that [the detainer] has ‘total’ control of you because you are completely dependent on him, and thus you must comply with his wishes. Therefore, it is absolutely inevitable that you must cooperate with him in some way (propaganda, special favors, confession, etc.).”

***

Kearns said, based on what he has read in declassified government documents and news reports about the role SERE played in the Bush administration’s torture program, Jessen clearly“reverse-engineered” his lesson plan and used resistance methods to abuse “war on terror” detainees.
In a subsequent report, Truthout notes:
Air Force Col. Steven Kleinman, a career military intelligence officer recognized as one of the DOD's most effective interrogators as well a former SERE instructor and director of intelligence for JPRA's teaching academy, said he immediately knew the true value of the PREAL manual if employed as part of an interrogation program.

"This is the guidebook to getting false confessions, a system drawn specifically from the communist interrogation model that was used to generate propaganda rather than intelligence," Kleinman said in an interview. "If your goal is to obtain useful and reliable information this is not the source book you should be using."

***

"In SERE courses, we emphatically presented this interrogation paradigm as one that was employed exclusively by nations that were in flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions and international treaties against torture," Kleinman said. "We proudly assured the students that we - the United States - would never resort to such despicable methods."
(Interrogators also forced detainees to take drugs ... which further impaired their ability to tell the truth.)
And false confessions were, in fact, extracted.
For example:
And the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on a third-hand account of what tortured detainees said, with two of the three parties in the communication being government employees. And the government went to great lengths to obstruct justice and hide unflattering facts from the Commission.
According to NBC News:
  • Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
  • At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being “tortured.”
  • The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves
Details here.

http://longstreet.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83542d51e69e2010536e647d2970b-pi

 

Torture Has Been Recognized As Terrorism for Thousands of Years

Moreover, torture has been recognize for thousands of years as a form of terrorism.
Indeed, America's recently-leaked criteria for putting people on the terror watchlist says torture is terror (page 47-48):

***

http://www.theispot.com/images/source/FredaLibertyUpended1.jpgAnthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Torture Is a War Crime ... Which Can STILL Be Prosecuted

Many argue that the statute of limitations on Bush and Cheney’s crimes of torture have all run … so it is too late to prosecute them.
However, the United States War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.
The statute applies not only to those who carry out the acts, but also to those who ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it. The statute applies to everyone, no matter how high and mighty.
18 U.S.C. § 2441 has no statute of limitations, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.
The penalty may be life imprisonment or — if a single prisoner dies due to torture — death. Given that there are numerous, documented cases of prisoners being tortured to death by U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that means that the death penalty would be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, ordering, or sanctioning such conduct.
Here's a brief round-up showing that prisoners were injured - and killed - due to U.S. torture:
Waterboarding IS Torture
Not Just Waterboarding
Children, Too
People Died While Being Tortured
Gen. Barry McCaffrey said:
We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the CIA.
The ACLU wrote in 2005:
The American Civil Liberties Union today made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom died while being interrogated. The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions.

There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable.

***

The documents released today include 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of individuals apprehended in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents show that detainees died during or after interrogations by Navy Seals, Military Intelligence and “OGA” (Other Governmental Agency) — a term, according to the ACLU, that is commonly used to refer to the CIA.

According to the documents, 21 of the 44 deaths were homicides. Eight of the homicides appear to have resulted from abusive techniques used on detainees, in some instances, by the CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence personnel. The autopsy reports list deaths by “strangulation,” “asphyxiation” and “blunt force injuries.” An overwhelming majority of the so-called “natural deaths” were attributed to “Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.”

While newspapers have recently reported deaths of detainees in CIA custody, today’s documents show that the problem is pervasive, involving Navy Seals and Military Intelligence too.
Spiegel reported in 2009:
At least two men died during imprisonment. One of them, a 22-year-old taxi driver named Dilawar, was suspended by his hands from the ceiling for four days, during which US military personnel repeatedly beat his legs. Dilawar died on Dec. 10, 2002. In the autopsy report, a military doctor wrote that the tissue on his legs had basically been “pulpified.” As it happens, his interrogators had already known — and later testified — that there was no evidence against Dilawar …
And see this. And it is now clear that the CIA covered up murders at Guantanamo.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 limited the applicability of the War Crimes Act, but still made the following unlawful: torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or abuse.
The Nuremberg Tribunal which convicted and sentenced Nazis leaders to death conceived of wars of aggression – i.e. wars not launched in self-defense – defined the following as “crimes against peace”, or war crimes:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)
The Tribunal considered wars of aggression to be the ultimate war crime, which encompassed all other crimes:
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
Judgment of October 1, 1946, International Military Tribunal Judgment and Sentence, 22 IMTTRIALS, supra note 7, at 498, reprinted in 41 AM. J. INT’LL. 172, 186 (1947).
Given that Iraq had no connection with 9/11 and possessed no weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq war was a crime of aggression and – under the standards by which Nazi leaders were convicted by the Nuremberg Tribunal – the American leaders who lied us into that war are guilty of war crimes.
Benjamin Ferencz, a former chief prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials, declared:
A prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity — that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.
See thisthis, and this.
The Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court – Luis Moreno-Ocampo – told the Sunday Telegraph in 2007:
That he would be willing to launch an inquiry and could envisage a scenario in which the Prime Minister and American President George W Bush could one day face charges at The Hague. Luis Moreno-Ocampo urged Arab countries, particularly Iraq, to sign up to the court to enable allegations against the West to be pursued.
As a Japan Times Op/Ed noted in 2009:
In January 2003, a group of American law professors warned President George W. Bush that he and senior officials of his government could be prosecuted for war crimes if their military tactics violated international humanitarian law.
Eminent legal scholars such as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clarke and Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law and a professor of law Lawrence Velvel have since stated that high-level Bush administration officials did commit war crimes in relation to the Iraq war.
Torture is – of course – a violation of the Geneva Conventions, which make it illegal to inflict mental or physical torture or inhuman treatment. It is clearly-established that waterboarding is torture. The torture was, in fact, systematic, and included widespread sexual humiliation, murder and other unambiguous forms of torture.
Velvel and many other legal experts say that the torture which was carried out after 9/11 is a war crime.
General Antonio Taguba, who led an official investigation into prisoner abuse, said in 2008:
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.
Colin Powell’s former chief of staff stated that Dick Cheney is guilty of war crimes for overseeing torture policies.
Matthew Alexander – a former top Air Force interrogator who led the team that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – notes that government officials knew they are vulnerable for war crime prosecution:
They have, from the beginning, been trying to prevent an investigation into war crimes.
Former  prosecutor in the Guantanamo military commissions, and current Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve (Darrel Vandeveld) wrote:
Torture is a crime and the United States engaged in it. Those are two indisputable facts…

The process of self-examination and accountability has been, and remains, the only way to move forward and regain our moral and legal grounding

We have a Department of Justice for a reason, and now it’s up to Attorney General Holder, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, to do his job and appoint an independent prosecutor to follow the evidence where it may lead…
It is critical that we hold accountable those who authorized, those who legally sanctioned and those who implemented the torture policies of one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history. What is at stake is nothing less than our democracy.
General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top coalition commander in Iraq, called for a Truth Commission so we might fully understand the failure of the military and civilian command to honor the pledge of our constitution.

Sanchez . . .stressed that the outcome must embrace a variety of solutions, including prosecution.

Sanchez stated, “When the president made the declaration that the Geneva Conventions no longer apply, we unleashed the hounds of hell and eliminated all the foundations for the training, ethics and structure we had built into our soldiers and our leaders for how to conduct these kinds of operations.”

Sanchez stated many problems could be traced to loyalties to individuals and political parties.
Former President Jimmy Carter is also calling for a truth commission with the possibility of prosecution:
“[I] like to see is a complete examination of what did happen, the identification of any perpetrators of crimes against our own laws or against international law,” said Carter. “And then after all that’s done, decide whether or not there should be any prosecutions.”
A Malaysian war crimes commission also found Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and five administration attorneysguilty of war crimes (although but the commission has no power to enforce its judgment).
Postscript: Torture is also apparently continuing under Obama. See this and this.
Source: Zero Hedge
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