The Article by Aran Roston HERE
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Article by Aran Roston HERE
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Words spoken by James Pendergraph, executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of State and Local Coordination in August 2008.
Secret sites across the United States are being used to "disappear" people, as reported by The Nation Magazine.
The Nation magazine is also reporting American Immigration and Customs agents regularly impersonate civilians and rely on other illegal tricks in order to arrest longtime US residents who have no criminal history. ICE agents have posed as Occupational Safety and Health inspectors, insurance agents and even religious workers.
The full article at The Nation Magazine HERE:
America's Secret ICE Castles - December 16, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Kelly was reportedly believed to be behind a leak to "the source of a [BBC] story that Tony Blair's government 'sexed-up' its dossier on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction to justify invading Iraq." According to the Daily Mail, Kelly predicted he might be killed. Yet the coroner's investigation into his death was halted by the British government, which declared an inquiry by cronies of British Prime Minister Tony Blair would be sufficient. After years of controversy, the protesting UK doctors are not only preparing release of a dissenting report, they are asking the British High Court to reopen the inquest into Kelly's death. The law firm of Leigh Day and Co. are assisting them.
From the Daily Mail article:
The six [doctors] are Michael Powers, a QC and former coroner; trauma surgeon David Halpin; Andrew Rouse, an epidemiologist who established that deaths from cutting the ulnar artery – as claimed in Dr Kelly's case – are extremely rare; Martin Birnstingl, another surgeon; plus Stephen Frost and Chris Burns-Cox.H/T to The Anomaly at Daily Kos, whose diary on the UK proposed investigation is worth reading in full.
Lord Hutton concluded that Dr Kelly killed himself by severing an ulnar artery in his left wrist after taking an overdose of prescription painkillers but he skated over the controversies about the causes of death....
Dr Kelly's death certificate states that he died of a haemorrhage, but the results of a post mortem examination have never been made public....
We have concentrated on the finding on the death certificate that the primary cause of death was a haemorrage. We are spelling out why he could not have died from a cut to the small ulnar artery.'
One of the doctors, who preferred not to be named, added: 'When the Romans committed suicide they would slit all four arteries in a warm bath, which keeps the blood flowing. The arteries would close up in the open air and you would not lose that much blood.'
A book on the unanswered questions surrounding the case by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker concluded that Dr Kelly may have been murdered by Iraqi exiles – but the finger has also been pointed at MI5 and the CIA.
And I know, I've written a number of stories lately about suspicious suicides affecting key figures in the U.S. Global War on Terror. But I didn't invent the stories, and it certainly may have a lot more to do with U.S. and UK SOP in these affairs than it does with any morbidity on my part. Only one way to know for sure: let's open the investigations and expose truth to the light of day.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
UK Judges and Special Advocates refuse to back down regarding release of information on torture of innocent man Binyan Mohamed
Last Friday Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones , issued a sixth judgment on the case (PDF), declaring that the treatment of Mohamed “could never properly be described as ‘a secret’ or an ‘intelligence secret’ or ‘a summary of classified intelligence,’” .
They also restored two passages from their fifth judgment, which were removed at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Full text and details about the case HERE - "UK Judges Comapre Binyam Mohamed's Torture to that of Abu Zubaydah" - by Andy Worthington - November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
"Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan"
Article published on November 23, 2009 - The Nation - HERE
"They make much more money being the smarts of these operations, planning hits in various countries and basing it off their experience in Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Ethiopia," said the military intelligence source. "They were there for all of these things, they know what the hell they're talking about. And JSOC has unfortunately lost the institutional capability to plan within, so they hire back people that used to work for them and had already planned and executed these [types of] operations. They hired back people that jumped over to Blackwater SELECT and then pay them exorbitant amounts of money to plan future operations. It's a ridiculous revolving door."
"Colonel Wilkerson said that he is concerned that with General McChrystal's elevation as the military commander of the Afghan war--which is increasingly seeping into Pakistan--there is a concomitant rise in JSOC's power and influence within the military structure. "I don't see how you can escape that; it's just a matter of the way the authority flows and the power flows, and it's inevitable, I think," Wilkerson told The Nation. He added, "I'm alarmed when I see execute orders and combat orders that go out saying that the supporting force is Central Command and the supported force is Special Operations Command," under which JSOC operates. "That's backward. But that's essentially what we have today."
"There's no real oversight. It's not really on people's radar screen."
"Contractors and especially JSOC personnel working under a classified mandate are not [overseen by Congress], so they just don't care. If there's one person they're going after and there's thirty-four people in the building, thirty-five people are going to die. That's the mentality."
"According to federal lobbying records, Kestral recently hired former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega, who served in that post from 2003 to 2005, to lobby the US government, including the State Department, USAID and Congress, on foreign affairs issues "regarding [Kestral's] capabilities to carry out activities of interest to the United States." Noriega was hired through his firm, Vision Americas, which he runs with Christina Rocca, a former CIA operations official who served as assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 2001 to 2006 and was deeply involved in shaping US policy toward Pakistan. In October 2009, Kestral paid Vision Americas $15,000 and paid a Vision Americas-affiliated firm, Firecreek Ltd., an equal amount to lobby on defense and foreign policy issues."
Friday, November 20, 2009
"Torture at the touch of a button"
By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story - November 13, 2009 - HERE
Israeli researchers have developed a portable device that causes excruciating sensations of burning and can be built for just $250,000, raising fears that even the world’s poorest, most oppressive governments will now be able to use advanced non-lethal weapons on their civilian populations.
The Man-Portable Active Denial System, developed by researchers at the College of Judea and Samaria, can beam a microwave ray that causes skin surface to heat up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the nerve cells in the skin to think they’re on fire.
Full article here
Worldwide Release December 2nd, 2009
DVD and download at:
The trailer of "AMERICAN FAUST: From Condi to Neo-condi"
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
OUTSIDE THE LAW : Stories From Guantanamo - An Evening with Andy Worthington , author of "The Guantanamo File"
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Italian Court Convicts 23 Americans In CIA Rendition Case
Convicted CIA Spy says: "We broke the Law"
Nov. 4, 2009
And " The Nuremberg Defense: We were following orders"
"I'm talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. I'm talking of people being boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on."
Full text at: http://rawstory.com/2009/11/ambassador-cia-people-tortured/
Watch UK British Diplomat - October 21, 2009:
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Former President goes on trial for crimes against humanity:illegal arrests, torture, and killings during the "First War on Terror" in Argentina
"Former Argentina president goes on trial for 'Dirty War' rights abuses"
Former Argentine president and general Reynaldo Bignone went on trial (in spanish - Centro de Información Judicial) Monday for crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated during Argentina's 1976-83 "Dirty War" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The allegations, which include illegal arrest, torture, and killing of dissidents, stem from the 56 confirmed cases of torture at the Campo de Mayo military base outside Buenos Aires. An Argentinian judge ordered Bignone's arrest and ruled that he would face criminal charges [JURIST reports] in March 2007. Bignone, 81, is being tried along with five other Argentine generals, including Santiago Omar Riveros, who was convicted of human rights abuses [JURIST report] in August and sentenced to life in prison for killing 15-year-old Floreal Avellaneda and detaining his mother during the dictatorship. Witness testimony is set to begin November 10, and the trial is expected to last until March 2010.
Full text HERE
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The "invisivel threats" : The Language of rapists and their accomplices on the case of Military Mother raped in Iraq in 2008
Dawn Leamon, who has two sons on active duty in Iraq, told her horrific story to members of the American Congress on April 9, 2008 at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Leamon told the Committee that she was raped in early 2008 by a U.S. soldier and a KBR(U.S. contractor Kellogg Brown Root) colleague while she was working in Iraq.
Leamon says KBR then assigned full-time security guards to her which gave her no privacy to talk about the incident, and her movements around camp were restricted, yet her attackers' movements were unrestricted.
She also talked about the harassment she was subjected to and the photo of one of the "scenarios" of the "harassment language" was presnted at the hearing.
The video can be seen at ABC NEWS
HERE:In Her Own Words: Raped in Iraq
Thursday, October 29, 2009
"The need to know everything about the lives of others" - The History of Stasi-the notorious and bygone East Germany intelligence agency:
Ministry for State Security (Mfs) also known known as "Stasi" - the East German Intelligence Agency Strategies:
Torture, Harassment, assassinations, persecution of dissent, illegal surveillance, mobbing and on:
As the enforcement arm of the German Democratic Republic's Communist Party, the Stasi at its height in 1989 employed 91,000 persons full time, including 2,000 fully employed unofficial collaborators, 13,073 soldiers and 2,232 officers of GDR army, along with 173,081 unofficial informants and 1,553 informants in West Germany. In terms of the identity of inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs) Stasi informants, by 1995, 174,000 had been identified, which approximated 2.5% of East Germany's population between the ages of 18 and 60.
A bureaucracy almost three times the size of Hitler's Gestapo was spying on a population a quarter that of Nazi Germany. 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age.
MfS has been accused of a number of assassinations against political dissidents and other people both inside and outside the country. Examples include the East German football player Lutz Eigendorf and the Swedish journalist Cats Falck.
The Stasi had formal categorizations of each type of informant, and had official guidelines on how to extract information from, and control, those who they came into contact with. The roles of informants ranged from those already in some way involved in state security (such as the police and the armed services) to those in the oppositionalist movements (such as dissidents in the arts and the Protestant Church). Information gathered about the latter groups was frequently used to divide or discredit members.Informants were made to feel important, given material or social incentives, and were imbued with a sense of adventure, and only around 7.7%, according to official figures, were coerced into cooperating. A significant proportion of those informing were members of the SED; to employ some form of blackmail, however, was not uncommon.(pp. 242-243 - The People's State: East German Society from Hitler to Honecker,Fulbrook, Mary (2005), London: Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300144246)
Full-time officers were posted to all major industrial plants (the extensiveness of any surveillance largely depended on how valuable a product was to the economy)and one tenant in every apartment building was designated as a watchdog reporting to an area representative of the Volkspolizei (Vopo). Spies reported every relative or friend that stayed the night at another's apartment. Tiny holes were bored in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras. Similarly, schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.After the mid-1950s, Stasi executions were carried out in strict secrecy, and usually were accomplished with a guillotine and, in later years, by a single pistol shot to the neck. In most instances, the relatives of the executed were not informed of either the sentence or the execution.
Stasi:The untold story of the East German secret police - Koehler, John O. (2000), , Westview Press, ISBN 0813337445
The Lives of Others - Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film-winning German film Das Leben der Anderen (aka as The Lives of Others) involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the MfS - Stasi
Piecing together the Dark Legacy of East Germany's Secret Police
BLACKWATER: The Rise of the Most Powerful Mercenaries - By Jeremy Scahill
and at:Not Blackwater but Xe
Friday, October 23, 2009
directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington , and inspired by Andy’s book, The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison, it was launched on October 21, 2009 in London, UK.(photos from the launch of "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo)
The film tells the story of Guantánamo (and includes sections on extraordinary rendition and secret prisons) with a particular focus on how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, how prisoners were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism (as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers, for example).
The film is based around interviews with former prisoners (Moazzam Begg and, in his first major interview, Omar Deghayes, who was released in December 2007), lawyers for the prisoners (Clive Stafford Smith in the UK and Tom Wilner in the US), and journalist and author Andy Worthington, and also includes appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, Shakeel Begg, a London-based Imam, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.
Focusing on the stories of three particular prisoners — Shaker Aamer (who is still held), Binyam Mohamed (who was released in February 2009) and Omar Deghayes — “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” provides a powerful rebuke to those who believe that Guantánamo holds “the worst of the worst” and that the Bush administration was justified in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by holding men neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects with habeas corpus rights, but as “illegal enemy combatants” with no rights whatsoever.
For further information, interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or showing “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact Andy Worthington(firstname.lastname@example.org) or Polly Nash(email@example.com).“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is a Spectacle Production (74 minutes, 2009).
Andy Worthington is a journalist, and the author of three books, including The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (Pluto Press). Visit his website here.
Polly Nash is a lecturer at the London College Of Communication (LCC), part of the University of the Arts, London, and has worked in film and TV for 20 years. Core funding for the film was provided by LCC.
Review at The Osterley Times :
"The film was intense and powerful, mostly because it did not attempt in any way to emotionalise the story it was laying out before us. [Andy] Worthington, Clive Stafford Smith and others simply told the story of how the US abandoned habeas corpus and found itself in a kind of war with its own legal system, whilst [Moazzam] Begg and [Omar] Deghayes told the tale of what it was like to be on the receiving end of this historic aberration of justice."
"The film was brilliantly powerful — both understated and shocking. All night I have had the images in my head and thoughts of these men who, even when released, can’t contact their families. I hate to admit I had no idea about extraordinary rendition — you have lifted the lid on a world that far too many people, like myself, find too easy to avoid."
"I have just returned from a rather extraordinary evening. I attended the film premiere of Andy Worthington and Polly Nash’s film “Outside the Law” — a feature length documentary about Guantánamo. I urge you all to see it. Please do and then when you have seen it pass it on to your friends and family. I have not seen anything at all that compares to understanding the magnitude of what has been happening in Guantánamo and Bagram. After seeing this film and then staying for the Q&A, which featured the film makers, as well as former detainees Omar Deghayes and Moazzam Begg, I was moved, inspired and angered beyond any other event I have been to. People left the venue with changed opinions, far better informed and shocked. Once again please do try and get to a screening."
For more information : Andy Worthington Website at: http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Jurists — authors Deborah Gorham, David Mitchell and Lawrence Scanlan — about Dark Days:
“Dark Days is a compelling and powerful book about an important subject — racism in Canada and the clandestine activities of the RCMP and CSIS. The book tells the story of four Muslim Canadians — Maher Arar, Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki and Muayyed Nureddin — all “terror suspects” tortured in Middle Eastern prisons before being released without charge. Writing with passion and empathy yet admirable restraint, Kerry Pither leaves the reader with a vivid, detailed and disturbing picture of what we do in the name of security.”
More about the author and the book at:
Sunday, October 18, 2009
UK: High court orders publication of US report, saying British foreign secretary's actions were harmful to the rule of law
"The suppression of reports of wrongdoing by officials in circumstances which cannot in any way affect national security is inimical to the rule of law".
"Championing the rule of law, not subordinating it, is the cornerstone of democracy." Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones ruled.
The case is that of Binyam Mohamed, torturers slashed his chest and genitals with a scalpel and told Binyam: "We are going to change your brain!"
The CIA secretly flew Mohamed to Morocco, Afghanistan and then Guantánamo Bay, the court has heard. The judges criticised MI5 and MI6 for the belated disclosure of documents that revealed an MI5 officer was in Morocco when Mohamed was held there in a secret jail
David Rose of the British paper The Mail reported the details of Binyam Mohamed's torture in an article on March 8, 2009 , entitled "How MI5 colluded in my torture: Binyam Mohamed claims British agents fed Moroccan torturers their questions" - HERE
The judgment by the two seniorUK judges roundly dismissing David Miliband, the British foreign secretary's claims that" disclosing evidence would harm national security and threaten the UK's vital intelligence-sharing arrangements with the US".
The full article published on the Guardian on October 16, 2009 can be read HERE:
Binyam Mohamed: Judges overrule attempt to suppress torture evidence
More on the case HERE:"What the British governemt knew about the torture of Binyam Mohamed"
Saturday, October 17, 2009
THE FIRST WAR ON TERROR " : OPERATION CONDOR
Operation Condor was a covert Latin American military network created during the Cold War to facilitate the seizure and murder of political opponents across state borders in Central and South America. It involved kidnappings, torture, murder.
As the revelations emerge that the United States of America is engaged in torture , murders, kidnappings and suspected terrorists captured by CIA and U.S. special forces in Afghanistan and Iraq have been deliberately hidden from the Red Cross, severely tortured and abused to death, the History of the United States involvement in the "dirty wars" in Central and South America is a call to consider the consequences of clandestine operations in the name of democracy.
The complicity of the American government with drug traffickers to protect American interests of national security or covert operations is also connected to Operation Condor and the "War on Drugs" .
Cocaine Politics:Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall
Guns, Drugs, and the CIA by Leslie Cockburn (full transcript HERE)
Condor: The First War on Terror
Thursday, October 15, 2009
They Lie to the World with Impunity while embracing TORTURE, WARS AND MORE : "No Day Light, No Public Oversigh, No Press Scrutiny"
"as somebody who has fight a great deal of his life in a Court room, I feel a great deal of intense personal frustration when I know facts that would rebut a case that an administration is making and they have declassified their side of the argument and kept my side classified and I have to keep my peace eventhough the public is being mislead..."
American Senator Sheldon Whitehouse - October 13, 2009
A video with American Senator Sheldon Whitehouse where he talks about "misleading the public about what the actual facts really are" at the American Senate Intelligence Committee Nomination Hearing for David Gompert as principal deputy director of american national intelligence, on October 13, 2009.
The video can be watched C-SPAN.org at :
Or to redirect click HERE
Visit Right to Know Website at:
About Right to Know: http://www.righttoknow.ca/en/Content/about_right_to_know.asp
by Chisun Lee, ProPublica - July 22, 2009
This story was published as an op-ed in the New York Times and in "ProPublica"
The 10 men pictured have all gone before trial judges in Washington, D.C., to obtain their freedom. Each one represents a case study for the Obama administration as it struggles to craft a legal framework for detaining suspected terrorists.
As the Obama administration and Congress try to forge a legal framework for detaining suspected terrorists, they might want to take a close look at what's happening at the federal district courthouse just a short walk down Pennsylvania Avenue from both the White House and the Capitol.
Trial judges there have quietly decided 31 of some 200 cases brought by Guantánamo inmates seeking freedom. Dossier by dossier, the jurists have answered the core questions that policy experts have been addressing in theory: When can the president place someone in preventive detention, and how solid does the evidence need to be?
President Obama, like George W. Bush before him, has claimed the power to detain not only Qaeda and Taliban members, but also those who "support" them. Last year the Supreme Court ruled (PDF) that the courts can scrutinize these detention decisions and overturn them if they are invalid. But the court didn't say exactly what a valid detention looks like, and Congress hasn't stepped in to make it clear.
Thus the federal judges in Washington have had to develop their own guidelines — functioning, in essence, as the country’s national security court.
A close examination of the decisions shows that some of the fears about sending terrorism cases to civilian courts have not been realized. The judges haven't been particularly hard on the government, holding it to a low standard of proof: If more than half the evidence tips in the government's favor, then the detainee stays put — a far lower bar than "beyond a reasonable doubt." The judges have also admitted hearsay evidence, and they've sealed courtrooms to protect government secrecy.
Yet despite these allowances, the government has not fared well. Twenty-six detainees have won their lawsuits, known as habeas petitions, while five have lost. So far, the Obama administration has filed just one appeal.
These initial judgments may not be typical, because they involved relatively low-level suspects. But they offer the first tangible indication of what members of the third branch of government believe it takes to make preventive detention legal.
While the federal trial judges are working largely without guidance, the Supreme Court did offer some clues in its decision on a 2004 challenge by Yaser Hamdi, an American accused by the Bush administration of fighting the United States in Afghanistan. The justices said the situation in which he was captured was enough like a classic battlefield that detention without charge was justified until the end of hostilities, as is typical in wartime.
But the fight against terrorism won't have a "clear terminal point," as President Obama said recently, and many of the detainees weren't captured on an obvious battlefield. The president says he can detain not only anyone who contributed to the 9/11 attacks, but also people "who were part of, or substantially supported, Taliban or Al Qaeda forces or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States." The habeas suits have opened this claim to dispute. Some judges have pushed back at President Obama's assertion of power, particularly when assessing the concept of "supporting" the enemy.
In the case of Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani, a Yemeni being held at Guantánamo Bay, Judge Richard Leon agreed with the government that simply cooking meals for the Taliban was "more than sufficient 'support'" of the enemy to justify his detention. Yet Judge Gladys Kessler ordered another Yemeni, Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed , freed despite the government's claim that he'd stayed at a suspect guesthouse and "traveled ... in the company of terrorist fighters fleeing the battlefield."Another judge, Reggie Walton, who is handling the challenges of more than a dozen men, defined "substantial support" as membership in "the 'armed forces' of an enemy organization." Judge John Bates scrapped the "substantial support" concept altogether, which he said comes from the world of criminal law.
Perhaps the sharpest curb on presidential authority came from Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, who ruled in March that even if a Taliban fighter named Yasin Muhammed Basardh had deserved detention when captured, he now deserved freedom because he had informed on other detainees and "any ties with the enemy have been severed."
The judges have been more accommodating of the government on technical matters, including the protection of national security secrets. All have routinely concealed important facts — sometimes even the very basis for deciding to keep someone locked up — despite the principle that American courts should be open.
That's what happened in the case of Moath Hamza Ahmed Al Alwi, a Yemeni whose lawyer insisted he had traveled to Afghanistan to fight in its civil war, not against the United States, and was "easy prey for locals who were eager to hand over anyone they could find in return for American rewards." Judge Leon rejected the argument, saying there was "more than ample evidence" of Mr. Alwi's affiliation with America's enemies, but that evidence isn't revealed in the unclassified version of the judge's decision released to the public.
In the case of six Algerian men arrested in Bosnia, Judge Leon ruled in favor of five because the evidence that they had planned to travel to Afghanistan to take up arms against the United States was unreliable. But the judge decided against the sixth man because of other "credible and reliable" evidence that he kept secret.
The judges have also overlooked technical imperfections in the government's evidence, admitting anonymous and other unverifiable information. One government lawyer explained that military and intelligence officers aren't accustomed to following the "finer points" of evidence rules, and the court doesn't appear to expect them to be: in no case has a judge decided against the government merely because its evidence lacked proper form, as far as the publicly available records show.
The judges were more demanding when it came to interpreting the substance of the government's evidence. In the case of Mr. Ahmed, Judge Kessler agreed to consider hearsay "because of the exigencies of the circumstances." But she eventually ruled that he should be released because the accuracy of the evidence was "hotly contested for a host of different reasons ranging from the fact that it contains second- and third-hand hearsay to allegations that it was obtained by torture to the fact that no statement purports to be a verbatim account of what was said."
The trial judges have also rejected much of the intelligence community's "mosaic theory," which calls for interpreting minor facts to suggest a greater threat. Judge Kessler, for example, refused to infer that Mr. Ahmed was an enemy fighter simply based on a "web of statements" that he had associated with enemy fighters.
She acknowledged that the mosaic approach "is a common and well-established mode of analysis in the intelligence community," but that the legal system required more specific evidence. Likewise, in January Judge Leon ordered the release of Mohammed El Gharani, a citizen of Chad, after dismissing the main evidence against him: contradictory statements from two detainees whose credibility the government itself had "directly called into question."
In the absence of guidelines from Congress and the president for evaluating preventive detention cases, these judges have succeeded in coming up with their own, individual approaches. Yet whenever ground rules seem ad hoc, people worry about fairness — is the man in the next courtroom getting a better shake? One step toward assuring the public that justice will be uniform is to establish clear standards.
At the top of the list, the government could clearly state what makes a person subject to indefinite detention by the president. Is "supporting" the enemy enough? If so, what exactly is "support?" And, once a judge has concluded that someone has been unjustifiably detained, what is the president required to do?
Seventeen of the 26 detainees who've been cleared for release by judges remain in custody. President Obama has given mixed signals on how he views the issue. He has resisted a judge's order to release immediately 13 Chinese Uighurs, saying that the courts can't override the president's discretion to decide when detainees will be freed. Yet that position contrasts sharply with his message in a recent televised speech , when he said he accepted judges' rulings that certain prisoners should be released. "The courts have spoken," Mr. Obama said. "We must abide by these rulings."
But as these cases show, neither the guidelines for deciding the cases nor the consequences of the decisions are quite so clear.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
- 2:30 pm, Rm. 360 Tory Bldg., Carleton University,
Speakers include Abousfian Abdelrazik, organizers for Project Fly Home and a representative of the legal team. Organized by the Carleton University Human Rights B.A. Program and OPIRG-Carleton.
- 7:00 pm, TOM BROWN ARENA HALL, 141 Bayview Rd. at Scott
O-train or transitway to Bayview Station or Bus 16 to
Speakers include Abousfian Abdelrazik, organizers for Project Fly
Home, a representative of the legal team, and Paul Dewar, MP on
the political situation..
Free admission, refreshments. Organized by nowar-paix.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
American Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly Judge confirms that an Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions
Full article and documents HERE
"A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions"
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Estimated 500+ Aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past thirty years- The crisis of missing and murdered women
The event will begin with the screening of Finding Dawn, a compelling documentary on the estimated 500+ Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past thirty years.
The documentary "Finding Dawn" illustrates the deep historical, social and economic roots of violence against Aboriginal women. It concludes with a message of hope and shared responsibility. Directed by Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh.
The documentary: Finding Dawn: Justice for Aboriginal Women
When: Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 PM
Where: Kailash Mital Theater, Southam Hall, Carleton University, Ottawa ON
Free admission (suggested donation $10)
Entry is free to public and all donations – suggested at $10 – will go to the Kelly Morrisseau Education Fund established by Paul Dewar. The fund is dedicated to Kelly Morrisseau’s children, a young aboriginal woman who was murdered in Gatineau Park in December 2006.
Friday, September 18, 2009
M.D. William Henry Anderson, former Chief of Neuropsychiatry at Guantanamo Bay, CALLS FOR THE KILLING OF 100,000 MUSLIN "ZEALOTS"
Article published Monday August 31, 2009 - by Jeff Kayne: (HERE)
"This story reports on an extraordinary 2004 article by a Harvard lecturer and former Chief of Neuropsychiatry at Guantanamo Bay, which made the shocking claim that "hard-core zealots" had "brains that are structurally and functionally different from us." Furthermore, the article stated, 100,000 "zealots" within the Muslim body politic would have to be eliminated, the way "malignant [cancer] cells" are removed from a healthy body.
The author of the article, "Terrorism - The Underlying Causes," in the Winter/Spring 2004 issue of the Intelligencer, Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (PDF), house organ for the American Federation of Intelligence Officers (AFIO), was William Henry Anderson, M.D. Anderson's piece received a stinging protest letter to the editor from psychologist and military ethics expert, Jean Maria Arrigo, but I'm not aware of any other complaint regarding this racist, fascistic article in the pages of a major intelligence services journal."
Experiments Linked to Torture Program:A number of new articles have been published recently that have highlighted evidence of illegal human experimentation on U.S.-held “terrorism” prisoners undergoing torture. These articles followed the release of a “white paper” by Physicians for Human Rights [PHR], Aiding Torture: Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Demonstrated in the May 2004 Inspector General’s Report.
To continue reading the article, click HERE
SHAMELESS USA : Rendition Torture Flights Doctor "Col. (Dr.) James W. Walter Gets Medal for Serving on Torture Program
"Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, reported on September 17 that Col. (Dr.) James W. Walter has been awarded the Air Medal "for his meritorious service on delicate assignments providing medical care to enemy detainees."
From January 2007 to 2009 as the senior detainee movement flight surgeon, he provided 106 combat hours of support to the 14 Joint Task Force Detainee Movement Operations missions in the C-17A. His service included travel into 15 different countries, some of them in an active enemy fire zone."
Air Force Doctor Gets Medal for Serving on Rendition Torture Flights
By Jeff Kaye
Maxwell-Gunther Dispatch.com, the web news site for personnel and interested partisans of Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, reported on September 17 that Col. (Dr.) James W. Walter has been awarded the Air Medal “for his meritorious service on delicate assignments providing medical care to enemy detainees.”
The article goes into great detail about “self-professed military brat” Walter’s career as a NASA space shuttle launch and recovery physician, and says nothing more about the service for which he was awarded a medal. That’s because the military’s rendition program is highly secret. Stephen Grey in his 2006 book, Ghost Plane, noted the existence of the military’s rendition program, and proclaimed it was larger than the CIA’s. But Grey’s research concentrated on the CIA’s program. The Pentagon’s rendition program received its first major outing in the pages of the New York Times only in August 2008:From January 2007 to 2009 as the senior detainee movement flight surgeon, he provided 106 combat hours of support to the 14 Joint Task Force Detainee Movement Operations missions in the C-17A. His service included travel into 15 different countries, some of them in an active enemy fire zone.
And tortured? The United States supposedly seeks “assurances” that the prisoners will not be tortured when sent back to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. An article by Eric Umansky at Pro Publica, published just after the Times expose, noted that though American officials insist they obtain guarantees that “detainees” will be treated “humanely,” rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, aren’t so sure:WASHINGTON – The United States military has secretly handed over more than 200 militants to the intelligence services of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries, nearly all in the past two years, as part of an effort to reduce the burden of detaining and interrogating foreign fighters captured in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to American military officials.
The system is similar in some ways to the rendition program used by the Central Intelligence Agency since the Sept. 11 attacks to secretly transfer people suspected of being militants back to their home countries to be jailed and questioned.
While Col. (Dr.) Walter is said to have orthopedic experience, it’s most likely he was there to monitor and/or administer sedating drugs which numerous reports have indicated were administered to rendition victims. I suppose if a “detainee” needed some stitches after a beating, or even a bone set after an “incident,” the good doctor would be there to make sure the prisoner arrived in good shape for his Saudi or Egyptian torturer. Of course, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were surely not the only destinations for rendition flights, as the Maxwell-Gunther article notes Walter’s planes traveled to at least 15 different countries. It is worth noting here, by the way, that the Obama administration has refused to end the rendition program, though its officials offer the same bland assurances about prisoner safety as those of their GOP predecessors.The growing weight of evidence and international expert opinion indicates that diplomatic assurances cannot protect people at risk of torture from such treatment on return. Sending countries that rely on such assurances are either engaging in wishful thinking or using the assurances as a fig leaf to cover their own complicity in torture. In either case, governments seeking diplomatic assurances against torture are in effect trying to circumvent their own obligations not to return people to face such treatment.
All the governments offering diplomatic assurances have long histories and continuing records of employing torture, a fact that most sending governments acknowledge….
In October 2002, the U.S. government transferred Maher Arar, a dual Canadian-Syrian citizen, from New York via Jordan to Syria based on diplomatic assurances of humane treatment. Arar was released in October 2003. An independent fact-finder appointed by an official Canadian Commission of Inquiry into Arar’s treatment concluded in October 2005 that Arar had been tortured in Syrian custody, despite Syrian assurances to the contrary and several visits from Canadian consular officials.
According to the New York Times article, once captured, the prisoners are first held in one of two Special Operations prisons, “in Balad, Iraq, and Bagram, Afghanistan, for up to two weeks,” more if Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gives the high sign. They are imprisoned without notice to the International Red Cross, until they’re ready for transfer. According to Steven Grey, no hearing takes place prior to their rendition back to a country that might torture them, as is required by international law. Perhaps that’s because the prisoners supposedly “can block their transfers to home countries.” As Pro Publica’s Umansky laconically noted, “No word on what happens to the prisoners if they choose to exercise their apparent right to veto.” Apparently, as of August 2008 over 200 prisoners had already been transferred to their home countries under the military’s rendition program. (In 2006, Grey thought the number as high as 1,000.) But with all the attention on the CIA’s rendition program, the Pentagon’s version appears to have flown under the radar, news-wise.
Until Col. (Dr.) Walter got his medal. How ironic it comes only days after Physicians for Human Rights released a “white paper” on doctors aiding torture. Steven Miles, author of Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and America’s War on Terror, has written: “The medical system collaborated with designing and implementing psychologically and physically coercive interrogations” in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. The participation of doctors in the rendition program, which has sent an untold number of prisoners back to the torture dungeons of some of the most brutal regimes on this planet, is both a crime and a violation of medical ethics of the highest sort.
It is a painful truth that actions that should be condemned and punished are instead, in 2009 America, awarded medals. And how did Col. (Dr.) Walter respond to his high honor?
“It’s kind of neat to get a medal on the flying side rather than the medical side,” said Colonel Walter. “My father would be proud.”
Sunday, September 13, 2009
USA Torture Program and America's History of Human Experiments and impunity - History Channel documentary
Monday, September 7, 2009
UK NEWS - Control Orders to be revoked (control orders in Canada are the "Security Certficates" equivalente
Most of the remaining control orders imposed on terror suspects are expected to be revoked following the decision by the home secretary, Alan Johnson, to free a man with Libyan and British nationality after three years under virtual house arrest.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
At : http://www.slate.com/id/2216702/pagenum/all/
Rape , Sadomasochism and the American Interrogation Program:
First, they make the person "a criminal" - no consent necessary...
Then, they go on dehumanizing those they have chosen as "specials". And then, there is no accountability...
Saturday, September 5, 2009
(Sodom and Gomorrah - were two cities in the Bible which were destroyed by God.)
Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party - by Max Blumenthal
"The book traces the rise of the radical right in the US and how it used the concept of personal crisis to grow as a movement and eventually capture control of the GOP to transform it from the party of Dwight Eisenhower to the party of Sarah Palin."
References to Gomorrah:
Quran - HERE
The Jewish Enciclopedia HERE
Christian - HERE
Movie:Gomorrah-by Matteo Garrone based on the book by Roberto Saviano. More HERE
Book - Republican Gomorrah: by Max Blumenthal
Mohammed al-Tumani, who was 18 when he was seized in Afganistan with his father, Abdul Nasir al-Tumani, and both were sent to Guantanamo.
Moammar Dokhan, who was 29 when he was captured on the Pakistani border.
On August 28, 2009 the Portuguese interior ministry announced that two Syrian prisoners had arrived from Guantánamo and had been released on their arrival in Portugal. Officials added that they are “not subject to any charge, they are free people and are living in homes provided by the state.”
Mohammed al-Tumani (identified by the Pentagon as Muhammed Khan Tumani), is now 27 and Moammar Badawi Dokhan is 37 years old. Both were kept in Guantanamo without charge for six years and were “subjected to beatings and physical and psychological torture,” including sleep deprivation.
US Justice Department explained the circumstances of the men’s release, stressing that the final say in approving their transfer had been taken by Congress. “As directed by the President’s Jan. 22, 2009 Executive Order, the interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases,” the DoJ announced, adding, “As a result of that review, the detainees were approved for transfer from Guantánamo Bay. On Aug. 6, 2009, in accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the Administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these two detainees.
Their stories, publicly available documents from Guantánamo, reveal that neither man had any connection to terrorism.
The circunstances of their transfer to Guantanamo and release: HERE
FULL STORY AT "THE GUANTANAMO FILES" - by Andy Worthington - HERE
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The monumental evil done by particular human beings who were trained to heal and cure - A reminder of
"Early perpetrators become a scientific and moral elite and form a spiritual
engine of biological necessity. The rest of the population is not deemed
ready for full knowledge; there is an ambivalence between secrecy tinged
with shame and pride of achievement as the genocidal radius moves outward
into an increasingly enveloping system of order and policy, of bureaucratic
and technological arrangement"
"The KILLING PROFESSIONALS-Genocidal projects requires the active participation of educated professionals... - who combine to create not only the technology of genocide
but much of its ideological rationale, moral climate and organizational
"In the process of being improved, technology itself comes increasingly to dominate the perpetrators field of attention."
"The technology helps create a hermetic world in which everyone is motivated to make things "work". And the preoccupation takes on a sense of everydayness, of normality"
"The GENOCIDAL SELF - Extreme numbing can, as we have seen, lead to amoral self-process; and numbing and doubling to evil-self-process, sometimes with
the self losing its capacity to distinguish between good and
evil.....Precisely when the principle called upon takes on a strong
therapeutic tone can self-process move readily toward genocide"....
THESE ARE EXTRACTS FROM:
The Nazi Doctors - Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert J. Lifton
"A powerful reminder of the monumental evil done by particular human beings who were trained to heal and cure."--Robert Coles, "Boston Globe"
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The Canadian connection with the the "no-touch torture" techniques of the CIA:
Interview with Professor Alfred W.McCoy in the ABC Radio National Australia, "LateNightLive", aired March 16, 2006:
Topics of the interview include:
- the Canadian Defence Board sponsored experiments to induce psychosis
- the sensory deprivation chamber commissioned at McGuill University (the Manhatan Project of the Mind) - t in Montreal to today
Professor Alfred W.McCoy has been studying the CIA for twenty years, in his new book he traces the the evolution of CIA interrogation methods back to the failed mind control experiments of the Cold War, and argues that the images from Abu Ghraib reveal a systematic and deliberate application of those methods.
Title: A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation From the Cold War to the War on Terror
Author: Alfred W McCoy
Publisher: Henry Holt
Friday, August 28, 2009
Rape and torture -by the graduates of american "School of the Americas" Led by also graduate Romeo Vasquez -The american taught way of doing business
Take action: HERE http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/727/t/3823/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27691
Thursday, August 27, 2009
RAPING THE WORLD: THE AMERICAN TORTURE INSTRUCTIONS- “Reception at Black Site”: WELCOME HOME !! and then "The insult slap "
"pressure" in a comprehensive, systematic and cumulative manner...
"The insult slap “is often the first physical technique used with an High Value Detainee once an interrogation begins.”
It is all written in details, from the first "insult slap" to wherever it goes...
Among the documents released on Monday there is a "background paper" which describes the CIA’s process of “rendition” and the torture prisoners are then subjected to ( at least part of it)
Instructions on torture satrating at the "Welcome Home" upon arrival at the torture prisons :
Three stages and more : conditioning techniques, corrective techniques and coercive techniques...
“conditioning techniques” - detainee is reduced to a “baseline, dependent state”
"corrective techniques" - “insult slap,” “abdominal slap,” “facial hold,” and “attention grasp.”...
"coercive techniques" - .....
Background paper - HERE "The Combined techniques of the United States of America Torture Program:
Documents released (only a fraction of what exists, for sure)
"Getting Used to it???" It took decades to USA to go from experiments in humans(MKULTRA) to a Torture Policy. Why blaming George Bush now?
As History tells and in a very similar manner to detainees expected condition (as described in the memos) , America's History of atrocities become each day more and more "predictable" and probably "sustainable" as impunity is also in the USA agenda.. Because "Yes, they can"!
Although the documents released Monday , August 24, 2009, probably described only a small piece of the CIA’s detention and torture program and are "outdated" since the report dates back to 2004, hopefully it is still shocking to Americans to learn that their country, the self proclaimed "Bastian of democracy" has actually a real face that is far from decent besides having invested itself with the power of turn the rest of the world into witnesses to atrocities and impunity it proclaims to be unacceptable from others.
The memos speak for themselves - They show the real face of the United States of America and of its disregard for any rule or Law that is not convenient for the CIA and "others".
An interesting article about the content and link to the memos by Jason Leopold , The Public Record, August 25, 2009:
"Revealed: Docs Describe in Extraordinary Detail Process of ‘Rendition,’ Torture" HERE
Interview with Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com.
Amnesty International Canada Campaign -Stolen Sisters HERE
Sisters in Spirit HERE
Updates at http://www.missingjustice.ca/
''The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia''-Alfred W. McCoy - HERE - ''New York Review of Books''
"Crack the CIA" - documentary winner of the 2003 Sundance Online Film Festival
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Author Kerry Pither will lecture and field comments and questions on her much praised book, " Dark Days ".
Date: WEDNESDAY, September 16th, 2009
Time: 7:00 PM - Doors open at 6:45 pm
Place: Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street, Wellington Room Ground Floor,
(3 blocks west of Somerset)
Free parking in the back of the community centre
Bus: No 2
Saturday, August 22, 2009
McGill psychology Barbara Shewin part of a ghostwriting scheme paid for by drug giant Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
(The Toronto Star, August 22, 2009 - "Canadian named in HRT scandal" - by Stuart Laidlaw)
Details on the implication of McGill Psychology Professor Barbara SheRwin in the scandal at article in The Medical Ethics Blog , TheStarBlogs ,published on August 22, 2009 HERE and at HeathZone.ca - HealthZone.ca
It was also a McGill University Professor, Psychiatrist Ewen Cameron,
who brainwashed unsuspected patients as part of his work with the CIA on brainwashing techniques using electroshock therapy, at the Allan Memorial, which is associated with McGill University. His grisly methods and CIA funding are detailed in the book by John Marks (1979), "The Search for the Manchurian Candidate" and the later book, "In The Sleep Room: The Story of the CIA Brainwashing Experiments."
Although McGill bio sketch managed not to mention Dr. Cameron's involvement in the MKULTRA human experiments, (here - [retrieved August 22, 2009]), his horrendous experiments are too important to forget.
The following video is a BBC Scottish documentary on Ewen Cameron, Professor of Psychiatry at McGill and director of the then newly-created Allan Memorial Institute :
UNITED STATES, CANADA, BRITAIN: PARTNERS IN MIND CONTROL OPERATIONSAll "cut and past" from Invictus Blog , August 16, 2009 - HERE
By Armen Victorian
DEDICATION: I dedicate this writing to those innocent victims who have suffered from physical, mental abuse and torture inflicted upon their mind and bodies by the state -- irrespective of the colour of the flag. To the courageous individuals for telling the world about their torment. And the institutions that stood by their side and fought for their human rights. Rights, which are still violated by states under the disguise of their national security acts. No amount of compensation would be sufficient for raping or killing the mind.
The notorious Moscow trials of 1937 during Stalin's regime and the speed with which the defendants confessed to crimes against the state in the People's Court, and in particular Cardinal Mindszently of Hungary, surprised the governments of the western world. "Characteristics and manner of the defendants, and formulation and delivery of the confessions, have been so similar in large number of cases as to suggest factitious origin." The evident incongruities prompted the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) in 1949 to undertake an "analysis of foreign work in certain unconventional warfare techniques, including behavioral drugs, with an initial objective of developing a capability to resist or offset the effects of behavioral drugs. Preliminary phases included to review drug-related work at institutions such as Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Valley Forge General Hospital, Detroit Psychopathic Clinic, Mayo Clinic and National Institute of Health (NIH). There was also extensive review of foreign literature, particularly work in the Soviet Bloc.
"This program shortly became Project BLUEBIRD, with the objectives of (a) discovering means of conditioning personnel to prevent unauthorized extraction of information from them by known means, (b) investigating the possibility of obtaining control of an individual by application of special interrogation techniques, (c) memory enhancement, and (d) establishing defensive means for preventing hostile control of Agency personnel."
This was evolved to become the blueprint and bible of mind control programmes and psychological operations adopted by the west for decades afterwards. The result of the Korean War which started in June 1950, almost a year after the beginning of Project BLUEBIRD, and the return of POWs encouraged western intelligence to delve even further into their mind control programmes.
On June 1st, 1951, in the course of a top secret meeting held in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal, Canada, Britain and Canada joined forces with the Central Intelligence Agency to "Research into the general phenomena indicated by such terms as -- "confessions," "menticide," "intervention in the individual mind," together with methods concerned in psychological coercion, change of opinions and attitudes, etcetra."
The participants that represented senior and renown ranks from the military, intelligence and scientific communities were:
Dr. Haskins, Dr. Donald Hebb (a Defence Research Board University Advisor - Canada), Dr. Ormond Solandt (Chairman, Defence Research Board - Canada), Dancy (MI6), Dr. N.W. Morton (A staff member of Defence Research Board - Canada), Tyhurst, Commander Williams, and Sir Henry Tizard (Chairman, Advisory Council on Scientific Policy and Defence Research Policy Committee, Ministry of Defence, Britain).
This was the beginning of a close cooperation which lasted throughout the BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and the MKULTRA projects. Whilst accidental survival of some of the records on these programmes and in particular MKULTRA establishes the documentary evidence about Canadian government's involvement in MKULTRA programmes, the information on Britain's participation or cooperation due to continuous British Government's policy of secrecy remains sketchy.[5, and 6]
"At the opening of the discussion, there was an attempt to lay out some of the particular interests with which this group might concern itself in reference to the general problem described above [confessions, menticide, intervention in the individual mind - sic]. In this regard, the following points were noted:
"(i) That the concern with change of opinion was with reference to individuals primarily, and to groups only insofar as the change of public opinion as a whole or propaganda might involve concepts and particular facts that led to increased phenomena of conversion of attitude.
"(ii) The question of permanence of change of attitude induced.
"(iii) The means of methods; physical, neurophysiological, psychological or other -- that might be used to induce change of opinion or conversion of attitude in the individual."
Within the space of three months after this top secret meeting "in August 1951 Project BLUEBIRD was renamed Project ARTICHOKE, [and] in 1952 was transferred from OSI to the predecessor organization of the Office of Security. OSI did retain a responsibility for evaluation of foreign intelligence aspects of the matter and in 1953 made a proposal that experiments be made in testing LSD with Agency volunteers." "Meanwhile, the emphasis given ARTICHOKE in the predecessor organization to the Office of Security became that of use of material such as sodium pentothel in connection with interrogation techniques and with polygraph."
In an attempt to conduct "Experimental Studies of Attitude Changes in Individuals," Sir Henry Tizard, Dr. Ormond Solandt and the CIA granted contract X-38 to Dr. Donald O. Hebb from the McGill University in September 1951.
The project focused on the use of Sensory Deprivation (SD) and isolation for eliciting information in the course of deep interrogation. Hebb believed that sensory deprivation would induce dramatic changes in the behaviour and attitude. The first "subjects used were student group and each was paid $20 per day (24 hours) for as long as he could continue with the experiment." The experimental conditions and environment for the volunteer students in comparison to the real victims of SD were markedly different. Volunteers were provided with an air conditioned room, comfortable bed and good food during the period of the experiments, as well as a panic button to use whenever they decided to terminate the experiment. They wore translucent goggles, forcing them see blurred light. "The subject was not to talk except when asking to hear the recorded propaganda or when doing minor tests given to him by the experimenter. In other words the subject was in perpetual isolation." The volunteers were not subjected to any propaganda material which would have had adverse effects on their political or religious beliefs, "it was thought unwise, and for the protection of the individual only propaganda material used concerning such relatively innocuous topics as ghosts, poltergeist, extrasensory perception and the Lamarckian theory of evolution."
Despite the concessionary factors several of the volunteers began to have experiences of unusual visual and auditory hallucinations. Many found themselves unable to distinguish between the waking and sleep stage. Another person whose work result was taken into consideration was Dr. Mackworth of the Applied Psychology Unit of the Medical Research Council at Cambridge, England. He had produced work on the effect of monotony and boredom during isolation period on individual. The fact of existence of similar programmes on the sensory deprivation and isolation, and the cooperation between the three countries is further confirmed by Dr. Solandt's comments that the fact that Canadians were making such contribution in this field may be of some advantage in obtaining information in the same field from the US and the UK.
"Hebb's research to date has given some indication that significant changes in attitude can be brought about by use of propaganda under condition of isolation. In addition, [Hebb] has shown that there is a significant decrease in intellectual efficiency under such conditions, and a marked increase in susceptibility to hallucination." When the information concerning the SD tests were leaked out and published in the Montreal Star, the Gazette and Toronto Star, in 1954. Dr. Solandt tried his best to conceal the facts; "When earlier this month it became evident that some information on this project was in the hands of the Press, it was decided that while it would be injudicious to reveal the original purpose of the project, it would be equally unwise to refuse to give any information at all. A compromise was therefore arranged whereby the project was described, but entirely from the point of view of possible implications for civilian or military operational situations in which a display had to be watched, a moving vehicle controlled etc."
Due to Donald Hebb's contribution to mind control programmes, the CIA afterward funded Ewen Cameron's Psychic Drive Project through MKULTRA Subproject 68. At the time Hebb was the head of McGill's Psychology Department, and a close friend and colleague of Cameron. Cameron's work in the "Psychic Drive" programme left behind a legacy of despair and numerous victims which sued both the Canadian Government and the CIA years later.
Dr. John C. Lilly, another psychologist, studied sensory deprivation in 1956 by immersing volunteers in a tank of lukewarm water. The subjects had to wear particular type of face mask enabling them to see only blurred light. Under total silence and lack of any stimulation the subjects were unable to concentrate, and in some cases developed mental disturbances. The maximum time a volunteer could tolerate these conditions was only three hours. The volunteers reported feelings of unreality and tremendous loss of identification. They did not know where they were, or who they were, or what was happening to them. Due to this enormous mental pressure most of them abandoned the experiment.
The concept of experiments in SD soon proliferated. Donald Hebb was granted further contracts by the US Air Force for further research and experiments into SD. Biderman and Zimmer(1961) also conducted extensive research on interrogation techniques using SD, funded by the US Air Force. Vernon, another researcher in this subject admitted in the "Acknowledgement" of his book "Inside the Black Room," "The entire project was made possible by a generous grant-in-aid of research given by the Office of Surgeon General of the US Army, and by the National Science Foundation." Unashamedly, he went on to add in his book "While our goal is pure knowledge for its own sake, we have no objection to someone's use of that knowledge."
There are three aspects in the development and the use of the Sensory Deprivation. First; the requirement for more experimental studies, researching the basic effects of the SD and sleep deprivation. Second; the use of these techniques in interrogation. Third; their utilization in special warfare techniques by specialized troops. It was the accumulation of that knowledge which gave birth to the modern Psychological Operations, and subsequently enabled the British Government, on August 9, 1971, to unleash one of its biggest deep interrogation experiments, using torture and sensory deprivation, plausibly denied by the Government at the time as a political exercise against terrorism, on Irish internees. Lord Parker admitted that the SD methods used on the Irish internees were "techniques developed since war to deal with a number of situations involving internal security. Some or all have played an important part in counterinsurgency operations in Palestine, Malaya, Kenya and Cyprus and more recently in the British Cameroon (1960-61), Bruni (1963), British Guyana (1964), Aden (1965-66), and the Persian Gulf (1970-71)." Indeed, the first NATO symposium on defence psychology was held in Paris in 1960, a couple of years after F.H. Lakin, from the Army Operation Research Establishment in Britain, travelled to Fort Bragg addressing a conference on human factors in military affairs on British Psychological Warfare Techniques in Malaya. In 1963 the US Department of Defense held its first Worldwide Psyops Conference, outlining twenty-eight specific areas, Britain as on of its main participants.
The Northern Ireland's unprecedented operations, due to the nature of their severity and repeated breaches of various Articles of Human Rights Convention, forced Amnesty International, Association of Legal Justice, Committee on the Administration of Justice (Northern Ireland), as well as the European Court of Human Rights to intervene, adding their voice and concern to the plight of the victims. A great number of internees after undergoing horrendous experiments were subsequently released without any charges.
Many of the original fourteen victims of the first phase of these gruesome experiments "were made to sign a paper that they had no complaints about the treatment during interrogation. Those who signed the paper implied that they did so because they were frightened, or because they did not understand the contents." Several of them suffered from deep psychological scars for years afterwards, and some continue their suffering. Some died shortly after this experiments. A few attempted suicide during their captivity and interrogation.
Amnesty International report stated; "As a result of its investigation, the Commission concludes that the ill-treatment used in these cases clearly amounted to brutality, and disagree with the Compton Committee when they state: "Where we have concluded that physical ill-treatment took place, we are not making a finding of brutality on the part of those who handled these complaints (paragraph 105)." "The officials who gave evidence to the Compton Committee also said that one of the purposes of the hooding and continuous noise [white noise - author] was to increase the sense of isolation, so it is obvious that the methods used during interrogation in depth were therefore intended to affect the recipients psychologically."
"In the opinion of the Commission, the interrogation in depth especially, but also the "special exercises", constitute violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms."
In their memorandum submitted by Amnesty International to the Parker Committee on Interrogation Procedures, they stated; "It is because we regard the deliberate destruction of a man's ability to control his own mind with revulsion that we reserve a special place in our catalogue of moral crimes for techniques of thought control and brainwashing. Any interrogation procedure which has the purpose or effect of causing a malfunction or breakdown of a man's mental processes constitutes as grave as assault on the inherent dignity of the human person as more traditional techniques of physical torture."
In 1970, the World Conference on Religion and Peace, held in Kyoto, Japan, where the representatives of all the world's religions were present, the conference made the following declaration on torture and ill-treatment of prisoners; "The torture and ill-treatment of prisoners which is carried out with the authority of some governments constitute not only a crime against humanity, but also a crime against the moral law."
Britain is regarded as an expert in psychological operations, and has regularly been invited to give demonstrations and hold seminars, notably at Fort Bragg, Carolina; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Bad Tolz, Germany. For a time they were also instructing the P.I.D.E. Portuguese secret police until to their embarrassment, they discovered that since the Army coup they had for sometime been giving lectures in counter-insurgency and torture to Latin American guerrillas, whom Communist members of the Portuguese Army had infiltrated.
Britain holds its main psychological operation courses at Ashford in Kent, Caterrick in Yorkshire, Bradbury Lines (The SAS camp in Hereford) and Old Sarum in Wiltshire, where psyops courses for RAF officers are held. On average 16 men, consisting of Green Jackets, SAS, Royal Marines and Royal Artillery, together with members from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), take part.
The existence of psyop courses which includes the demonstration and the use of sensory deprivation was kept secret until Robert Brown, the UK Army Minister was forced to admit in 1976. Approximately 250 take these courses every year. Frank Kitson, one of the organizers of psyop courses, had complained about the small number of 18 taking part in Old Sarum. According to British Government figures up to 1976, 262 civilians and 1858 Army officers had taken these courses.
The SAS training courses in the Bracon Beacons, also includes sensory deprivation as part of its toughening up policy.
As further experiments Sensory deprivation was applied through the Control Units in British prisons. The very nature and existence of these units were kept secret by the British Home Office. The Control Unit at the Wakefield Prison was one of the first to receive its first share of inmates in August 1974, to be subjected to SD. The concept was to break down the troublesome prisoners using modified version of SD. Sunday Times Insight Team uncovered the existence of these units and the purpose of their creation, in October 1974. As result of publicity and sever criticism UK Government was forced to disband its Control Units in Wakefield and Wormwood Scrubs prisons. The "Treatment" designed for a period of six months was divided into two parts. Sensory deprivation was the main focal point. In the first 90 days, a strict solitary confinement, with almost no communication was applied to the inmate. If result proved successful, the victim was allowed to have a limited amount of communication in the next three months phase. Otherwise, the entire phase one would have been repeated -- more solitary confinement. No conversation between the prisoner and the guards were allowed, only gestures were permitted.
John Masterson was the first inmate subjected to this "Treatment" in 1974. With no positive results, and more psychological scars left on the victims, eventually on May 20, 1976, Dr. Pickering, ex-Director of Prison Medical Service admitted in BBC's "Man Alive" programme, that "control units were a mistake." It is ironic, since he was in charge when John Masterson was subjected to this mental torture.
Roy Jenkins, the Home Secretary at the time expressed his satisfaction about these units and their operations. "I am satisfied that the safeguard and procedures are such that the trained staff of Wakefield are able to maintain a careful and caring watch on the progress and condition of prisoners in the control unit."
A year after he was still adamant that; "I am satisfied that allegations, which have received considerable publicity, of sensory deprivation, cruelty and brutality in the unit, are completely unfounded and that the Governor and staff have conducted themselves in a commendably professional manner." Yes, but what about the fate of the victims?
What started in Ritz Carlton Hotel in 1951, came to full fruition in 1971, throughout the ordeal of Ulster guinea pigs. As Professor Robert Daly stressed; "The whole SD process in Northern Ireland was a package deal. Being awaken in the middle of the night, being beaten, confused as to your whereabouts, lied to and insulted, was all part of the 'unfreezing process' through which your psychological defences were broken down, and terror and humiliation were induced. Hence, the photographing in the nude, being forced to urinate while running, refusal to allow toilet visits, the sadism and abuse. Meanwhile the psychological functions of the body were being disturbed by the very low or non-existent intake of calories, high temperature caused by sweating which could lead to dehydration, coupled with the cold at night, sleep deprivation and loss of sense of touch. The whole experience was a package. Whether you want to call it interrogation in depth or brain washing is academic. The aim of the treatment was to cause temporary psychosis, temporary insanity, which was a severe psychological injury liable to having lasting consequences."
Like the CIA, Britain too, as part of its mind control operation applied hallucinogenic drugs -- LSD, on unwitting subjects, including the Irish internees;
"Mr. Murphy alleges; He was given tea and says that after drinking he saw images on the wall." "Mr. Bradley alleges; He suffered from hallucination after drinking a cup of tea."
Despite Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees "the free development of ...personality," and "in spite of the various United Nations provisions concerning the personal integrity of individuals, no state is expressly precluded from altering the mental processes of its nationals."
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," said Albert Camus. Nowhere is this more clear than in the protection of freedom of the mind, our most precious human right.
1. CIA memorandum "An Analysis of Confession in Russian Trials," 1950. Also see "Are the Cominform Countries Using Hypnotic Techniques to Elicit Confession in Public Trials?" By; Irving L. Janis; US Air Force Project Rand Memorandum, April 25, 1971.
2. "Behavior Drugs, and Testing," Feb. 5, 1975. CIA document.
3. Documents from the collection of the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
4. Tizard, Sir Henry Thomas, born 23 August 1885, GCB, AFC, FRS, LLD, DSc, ScD, and holder of other titles (see Who is Who 1951, and Who is Who 1951-1960).
5. op. cit. 3.
6. In 1973 several key documents on the CIA's mind control programmes were destroyed on the order of Richard Helms, the CIA Director.
7. op. cit. 3.
8. op. cit. 2.
9. "Confidential" letter, Dr. Solandt, August 3, 1954.
13. ibid., and Dr. Solandt's conversation with author, 1989.
14. Letter to "The Minister", Ormond Solandt, Jan. 25, 1954.
16. John C. Lilly, "Mental Effects of Reduction of Ordinary Levels of Physical Stimuli on Intact Healthy Persons," Psychological Research Report 5, 1966, pp. 1-9. Also see Bexton et al., "The Effects of Decreased Variation in the Sensory Environment," Canadian Journal of Psychology, vol. 8, 1954, pp. 70-76.
17. National Defence Headquarters [Canada] letter to author, dated April 18, 1994. Also see D.O. Hebb et al., "The Effects of Isolation Upon Attitudes, Motivation and Thought," 4th Symposium, Military Medicine I, Defence Research Board, Canada, Dec. 1952 (Secret), and; D.O. Hebb and W. Heron, "Effects of Radical Isolation Upon Intellectual Functions and The Manipulation of Attitudes," 4th Symposium, Military
Medicine I, Defence Research Board, Canada, Dec. 1952 (Secret).
18. Biderman, Zimmer, "The Manipulation of Human Behaviour," Wiley, New York, 1961.
19. J. Vernon, "Inside the Black Room: Studies of Sensory Deprivation," Penguin 1966.
20. Parker Report, Cmnd. 4901 (HMSO), para 10.
21. F.H. Lakin from Army Operational Research Establishment (AORE), Britain, described the British Psychological Warfare research in Malaya between 1952-55. He was in charge of a nine man research team responsible to AORE, and the Research Division of the Director General of the Information Services [then the Federation of Malaya]. For six months two men from the Operational Research Office of John Hopkins University, Maryland, worked closely with his team, plus an Australian army psychologist.
22. Also see; 1. "Repression Trade - (UK) Limited," How the UK Makes Torture and Death its Business. By Amnesty International, British Section 1992. 2. "Submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture," for consideration during the Committee's scrutiny of UK Government's Report. Committee on the Administration of Justice (Affiliated of the International Federation of Human Rights), Nov. 13, 1993. 3. "A Submission to; the United Nation's Human Rights Committee," Containing Comments on the Forth Periodic Report by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Human Rights Committee under Article 40 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By; Committee on the Administration of Justice, June 1995.
23. "Report Of An Enquiry Into Allegation of Ill-Treatment in Northern Ireland," Amnesty International, p.26.
24. For a more detailed account of the fate of the internees see "The Guineapigs," John McGuffin.
25. op. cit. 23, p.36.
27. op. cit. 23, p.38.
28. Findings of The World Conference on Religion and Peace, p. 31.
29. In answer to a Parliamentary Question, Archie Hamilton, the British Minister of State for Defence listed 100 countries to which UK provides military training of various nature including Portugal, and other countries with notorious track records in violation of Human Rights, e.g. China, Chile, Iraq, Uganda, South Korea, Egypt, Turkey. He fails to add Cambodia to the list -- See John Pilger's "Cambodia: Year Ten."
30. "Precis 6: Psyop unit - General," Training Report, Senior Officers' Psyop Course, Royal Air Force, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK February 14/18, 1972. A British document devoted to the organization and equipment of psyops unit, both at headquarters, and broken down into subsections; Consolidation Psyops; Counter-Insurgency uses and their use in peacetime, as well as details of deployment of psyop units in UK. Also, "Technical Report of the Senior Officers' Psyop Course Held at RAF Old Sarum, 14-18, Feb. 1972." This course clarifies the parallel nature of the British psyops with that of US Army's. Amongst people that have addressed these courses are; Keith Belbin, of Coleman, Prentice and Valery [Advertising Agency]
on recruitment. Peter Bartlett on target analysis with reference to the Chinese use in Hong Kong. R.M. Farr [a psychologist from British Psychological Society] on attitude change, and B.R. Johnston on information policy in low intensity operations, mainly in Northern Ireland.
31. Now Sir Frank Kitson, Commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade Northern Ireland between 1970-72. Author of "Low Intensity Operation: Subversion," London, Faber and Faber; and "Insurgency Peace-Keeping," London, Faber and Faber 1971. Also, see "The Technology of Political Control," by; Ackroyd, Margolis, Rosenhead and Shalice. Pluto Press 1980, and "The Silent Conspiracy," Stephen Dorril (William Heineman Ltd.), 1993.
32. House of Commons, [British Parliament] November 14, 1974.
33. House of Commons, October 24, 1975.
34. Professor Robert Daly, expert in Sensory deprivation. A graduate from Dublin University. Instructor in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. Later a lecturer at Edinburgh University before taking post at the University College, Cork.
35. Robert Daly; "Psychiatric After-effects of Irish Prisoners Subjected to Ill-Treatment and Torture," New Scientist, August 5, 1976.
36. op. cit. 23, p. 14.
37. op. cit. 23, p. 23.
38. Garland E. Burrell, Jr., "Mental Privacy: An International Safeguard to Governmental Intrusion into the Mental Processes," 6 California Western International Law Journal.
39. Alan Scheflin, "Freedom of The Mind As An International Human Rights Issue," Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 3, 1982.
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"For further information, see also Dr. Victorian's essay, Mind Controllers. Armen Victorian was the pseudonym for a colorful British character, born in Soviet Armenia, Habib (Henry) Azadehdel. Azadehdel was apparently involved in the UFO community and was an orchid smuggler. Whatever or whomever he actually was, most agree he was a successful user of FOIA, and gathered a wealth of information. Whatever he thought about the theories behind the data, he was not really a conspiracy theorist, and as you can see above, relied mostly on the facts to speak for themselves. "Reading: From the Archives: Armen Victorian's Essay on the History of Mind Control Operations