Friday, February 27, 2009
With the support of the CIA a program of torture, kidnapping and disapearance of those who oposed the dictatorial regimes took place.
This operation was designated "Operation Condor" and established the coordinated participation of several countries in the torture/kidnapping(extraordinary rendition)/disappearance.
As the truth about the complicity of other countries in The American Torture Program emerges, the similarities become more and more indicative of a "Global Program" on torture and Human Rights abuses.
As CSIS - Canadian Secret Intelligence Service, MI-5 - the British Secret Services were also accomplices in torture:
The British Secret Service complicity in torture:
Monday, February 23, 2009
RELEASED FROM AMERICAN TORTURE CHAMBERS - After years of Torture in Guantanamo Binyam Mohamed is released to UK
Statement of Binyam Mohamed
I hope you will understand that after everything I have been through I am neither physically nor mentally capable of facing the media on the moment of my arrival back toBritain. Please forgive me if I make a simple statement through my lawyer. I hope to be able to do better in days to come, when I am on the road to recovery.
I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares. Before this ordeal, “torture” was an abstract word to me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim. It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways – all orchestrated by the United States government.
While I want to recover, and put it all as far in my past as I can, I also know I have an obligation to the people who still remain in those torture chambers. My own despair was greatest when I thought that everyone had abandoned me. I have a duty to make sure that nobody else is forgotten.
I am grateful that in the end I was not simply left to my fate. I am grateful to my lawyers and other staff at Reprieve, and to Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley, who fought for my freedom. I am grateful to the members of the British Foreign Office who worked for my release. And I want to thank people around Britain who wrote to me in Guantanamo Bay to keep my spirits up, as well as to the members of the media who tried to make sure that the world knew what was going on. I know I would not be home in Britain today if it were not for everyone’s support. Indeed, I might not be alive at all.
I wish I could say that it is all over, but it is not. There are still 241 Muslim prisoners in Guantánamo. Many have long since been cleared even by the US military, yet cannot go anywhere as they face persecution. For example, Ahmed bel Bacha lived here in Britain, and desperately needs a home. Then there are thousands of other prisoners held by the US elsewhere around the world, with no charges, and without access to their families.
And I have to say, more in sadness than in anger, that many have been complicit in my own horrors over the past seven years. For myself, the very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence. I had met with British intelligence in Pakistan. I had been open with them. Yet the very people who I had hoped would come to my rescue, I later realised, had allied themselves with my abusers.
I am not asking for vengeance; only that the truth should be made known, so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The minutes speaks for itself...
From false identification of national identity of the interrogator to death threats , drugging , death ...
Invictus Blog has also published the documented . Follows an extract from Valtin's Blog or you can be redirected to his site - just hit the link)
As the author of the Blog mentions:
"So far as I know, no other transcription of this document, minus certain excerpts, has ever been published or posted before. It is done so here as a public service, to promote the position that prosecution of the government's torture crimes is of paramount importance."
"Cast of characters:
Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, the Staff Judge Advocate at Guantanamo; Lt. Col. Jerald Phifer, who sent a memo to Maj. Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) 170, requesting approval for more "severe interrogation techniques" (Dunleavy told a superior that Phifer was his "point of contact" on interrogation matters); Major John Leso, a military psychologist, who was present at the torture interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani(Leso, like Major Burney in the minutes, were members of the Behavioral Science Consultation Team [BSCT] -- Burney is reportedly a psychiatrist -- last month, the Convening Authority of Military Commissions at Guantanamo dropped the charges against al-Qahtani, concluding his treatment amounted to torture); Dave Becker, representing the Defense Intelligence Agency; and John Fredman, then chief counsel to the CIA's counter-terrorism center.
I'd like to make only two observations that I think are relevant at this point. One, it is clear that coercive interrogations amounting to torture had already begun at Guantanamo prior to this October 2002 meeting. In the document itself, the participants have a general discussion recalling how prisoner "063", Mohammed al-Qahtani, "has responded to certain types of deprivation and psychological stressors," indicating, perhaps, that al-Qahtani was some kind of experimental test case. (H/T to Trudy Bond, who noted this fact in an article published at Counterpunch earlier this year.)
Secondly, it struck me when transcribing these minutes the degree to which John Fredman, the CIA legal counsel and rep to this meeting, dominated the discussion. All the participants seem to bow to his authority, especially on legal issues, with Lt. Col. Beaver chiming in as well. While the BSCT members -- who are the medical professionals present -- appear to criticize "fear-based" interrogations techniques at the beginning of the meeting, in favor of rapport-building, as well as abusive environmental "approaches," as the discussion veers more and more to propositions regarding blatant torture, like the "wet towel" (waterboarding) technique, nary a protest is heard from these individuals, who have by their actions disavowed the ethics of their medical and/or psychological professions.
One final note: the acronym LEA refers to Law Enforcement Agency, and basically refers to the FBI. The acronym SERE, which appears throughout, refers to the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape program found in the various military branches. Meant to inoculate U.S. servicemen against the rigors of enemy capture and torture, Sen. Levin's investigation documented the various ways in which SERE methods were reverse-engineered to provide torture techniques for use by the military and CIA on prisoners held under U.S. control. So far as we know, the first approach by the Defense Department (specifically, by DoD Chief Counsel William J. Haynes, II) to the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, parent department for SERE, regarding information on SERE techniques, was in December 2001, well before any legal memo by Bush's Office of Legal Counsel allowing (illegally) for abusive treatment of detainees. There can be no alibi that DoD was following legal advice or protected by presidential order at that point in time.
Re transcription: I have tried to follow as much as possible the layout, spelling, punctuation, and font emphasis of the original. Bullets have been changed to asterisks, arrows to long dashes. All brackets and parentheses are as in original, unless otherwise indicated.
Counter Resistance Strategy Meeting Minutes
Persons in Attendance:
COL Cummings, LTC Phifer, CDR Bridges, LTC Beaver, MAJ Burney, MAJ Leso, Dave Becker, John Fredman, 1LT Seek, SPC Pimentel
The following notes were taken during the aforementioned meeting at 1340 on October 2, 2002. All questions and comments have been paraphrased:
BSCT Description of SERE Psych Training (MAJ Burney and MAJ Leso)
* Identify trained resisters
* Al Qaeda Training
* Methods to overcome resistance
* Rapport building (approach proven to yield positive results)
* Friendly approach (approach proven to yield positive results)
* Fear Based Approaches are unreliable, ineffective in almost all cases
* What's more effective than fear based strategies are camp-wide environmental stratetgies designed to disrupt cohesion and communication among detainees
* Environment should foster dependence and compliance
LTC Phifer: Harsh techniques used on our service members have worked and will work on some, what about those?
MAJ Leso: Force is risky, and may be ineffective due to the detainees' frame of reference. They are used to seeing much more barbaric treatment.
-- At this point a discussion about ISN 63 [Mohammed al-Qahtani] ensued, recalling how he has responded to certain types of deprivation and psychological stressors. After short discussion the BSCT continued to address the overall manipulation of the detainees' environment.
* Psychological stressors are extremely effective (ie, sleep deprivation, withholding food, isolation, loss of time)
COL Cummings: We can't do sleep deprivation
LTC Beaver: Yes, we can -- with approval.
* Disrupting the normal camp operations is vital. We need to create an environment of "controlled chaos"
LTC Beaver: We may need to curb the harsher operations while ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross -- added by transcriber] is around. It is better not to expose them to any controversial techniques. We must have the support of the DOD.
Becker: We have had many reports from Bagram about sleep deprivation being used.
LTC Beaver: True, but officially it is not happening. It is not being reported officially. The ICRC is a serious concern. They will be in and out, scrutinizing our operations, unless they are displeased and decide to protest and leave. This would draw a lot of negative attention.
COL Cummings: The new PSYOP plan has been passed up the chain
LTC Beaver: It's at J3 at SOUTHCOM.
Fredman: The DOJ has provided much guidance on this issue. The CIA is not held to the same rules as the military. In the past when the ICRC has made a big deal about certain detainees, the DOD has "moved" them away from the attention of the ICRC. Upon questioning from the ICRC about their whereabouts, the DOD's response has repeatedly been that the detainee merited no status under the Geneva Convention. The CIA has employed aggressive techniques on less than a handful of suspects since 9/11.
Under the Torture Convention, torture has been prohibited by international law, but the language of the statutes is written vaguely. Severe mental and physical pain is prohibited. The mental part is explained as poorly as the physical. Severe physical pain described as anything causing permanent damage to major organs or body parts. Mental torture described as anything leading to permanent, profound damage to the senses or personality. It is basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies you're doing it wrong. So far, the techniques we have addressed have not proven to produce these types of results, which in a way challenges what the BSCT paper says about not being able to prove whether these techniques will lead to permanent damage. Everything on the BSCT white paper is legal from a civilian standpoint. [Any questions of severe weather or temperature conditions should be deferred to medical staff.] Any of the techniques that lie on the harshest end of the spectrum must be performed by a highly trained individual. Medical personnel should be present to treat any possible accidents. The CIA operates without military intervention. When the CIA has wanted to use more aggressive techniques in the past, the FBI has pulled their personnel from theatre. In those rare instances, aggressive techniques have proven very helpful.
LTC Beaver: We will need documentation to protect us
Fredman: Yes, if someone dies while aggressive techniques are being used, regardless of cause of death, the backlash of attention would be extremely detrimental. Everything must be approved and documented.
Becker: LEA personnel will not participate in harsh techniques
LTC Beaver: There is no legal reason why LEA personnel cannot participate in these operations
-- At this point a discussion about whether or not to video tape the aggressive sessions, or interrogations at all ensued.
Becker: Videotapes are subject to too much scrutiny in court. We don't want the LEA people in aggressive sessions anyway.
LTC Beaver: LEA choice not to participate in these types of interrogations is more ethical and moral as opposed to legal.
Fredman: The videotaping of even totally legal techniques will look "ugly".
Fredman: The Torture Convention prohibits torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. The US did not sign up on the second part, because of the 8th amendment (cruel and unusual punishment), but we did sign the part about torture. This gives us more license to use more controversial techniques.
LTC Beaver: Does SERE employ the "wet towel" technique?
Fredman: If a well-trained individual is used to perform [sic] this technique it can feel like you're drowning. The lymphatic system will react as if you're suffocating, but your body will not cease to function. It is very effective to identify phobias and use them (ie, insects, snakes, claustrophobia). The level of resistance is directly related to person's experience.
MAJ Burney: Whether or not significant stress occurs lies in the eye of the beholder. The burden of proof is the big issue. It is very difficult to disprove someone else's PTSD.
Fredman: These techniques need involvement from interrogators, psych, medical, legal, etc.
Becker: Would we blanket approval or would it be case by case?
Fredman: The CIA makes the call internally on most of the types of techniques found in the BSCT paper, and this discussion. Significantly harsh techniques are approved through the DOJ.
LTC Phifer: Who approves ours? The CG? SOUTHCOM CG?
Fredman: Does the Geneva Convention apply? The CIA rallied for it not to.
LTC Phifer: Can we get DOJ opinion about these topics on paper?
LTC Beaver: Will it go from DOJ to DOD?
LTC Phifer: Can we get to see a CIA request to use advanced aggressive techniques?
Fredman: Yes, but we can't provide you with a copy. You will probably be able to look at it.
An example of a different perspective on torture is Turkey. In Turkey they say that interrogation at all, or anything you do to that results in the subject betraying his comrades is torture.
LTC Beaver: In the BSCT paper it says something about "imminent threat of death",...
Fredman The threat of death is also subject to scrutiny, and should be handled on a case by case basis. Mock executions don't work as well as friendly approaches, like letting someone write a letter home, or providing them with an extra book.
Becker: I like the part about ambient noise.
-- At this point a discussion about the ways to manipulate the environment ensued, and the following ideas were offered:
* Medical visits should be scheduled randomly, rather than on a set system
* Let detainee rest just long enough to fall asleep and wake him up about every thirty minutes and tell him it's time to pray again
* More meals per day induce loss of time
* Truth serum; even though it may not actually work, it does have a placebo effect.
Meeting ended at 1450.
The Immediate Aftermath
It is worth noting some of the administrative responses to this meeting. On October 11, a week after the Counter Resistance Strategy Meeting, LTC Jerald Phifer wrote a request to Major General Michael B. Dunleavy, Commander at Guantanamo, requesting use of Counter-Resistance Strategy techniques. He divided them into three categories of intensity.
Category I included direct approach and rapport building techniques, but also false identification of national identity of the interrogator, yelling at the detainee, and "techniques of deception." Category II techniques included use of stress position, isolation up to 30 days, light/auditory deprivation, 20 hour interrogations, nudity, hooding, and use of phobias "to induce stress." Category III techniques included the "wet towel" (waterboarding) treatment, threats of death to the prisoner or his family, and exposure to cold.
On the same day, the Staff Judge Advocate at Guantanamo, LTC Diane E. Beaver, wrote a legal brief that concluded "the proposed strategies do not violate federal law." She did suggest, though, that Category II and III techniques undergo further legal review "prior to their commencement." Still on the same day, Maj. Gen. Dunleavy wrote a memo to the Commander of U.S. Southern Command asking for approval of the techniques. He concluded, without exception, that "these techniques do not violate U.S. or international laws.
On October 25, 2002, General James T. Hill, Commander at SOUTHCOM, forwarded the request to use the techniques to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While he worried about the legality of some of th Category III techniques, particularly the death threats, he urged them to consider that he wanted "to have as many options as possible at my disposal."
A few days after that, on October 28, 2002, Mark Fallon, Deputy Commander at Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) sent a memo to a colleague. He was uneasy about what he had read in the Counter Resistance Strategy Meeting Minutes. He told his colleague the comments of Beaver and others "looks like the kinds of stuff Congressional hearings are made of." The techniques "seem to stretch beyond the bounds of legal propriety."
Quotes from LTC Beaver regarding things that are not being reported give the appearance of impropriety.... Talk of "wet towel treatments" which results in the lymphatic gland reacting as if you are suffocating, would in my opinion; shock the conscience of any legal body looking at using the results of the interrogations or possibly even the interrogators. Someone needs to be considering how history will look back at this.""
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Smearcasting documents the public writings and appearances of Islamophobic activists and pundits who intentionally and regularly spread fear, bigotry and misinformation in the media.
A fresh ook at Islamophobia and its perpetrators in today’s media
See snapshots, or case studies, describing how Islamophobes manipulate media.
(from the FAIR BLOG at http://www.fair.org/index.php)
Monday, February 16, 2009
Complicity in torture and accountability" - Philippe Sands, Professor of International Law, University College London
In this video, he speaks about Torture, Accountability and the Bush administration policies regarding international law.
Sands analyzes the evolution of international law from the Atlantic Charter to the present. Drawing on research in his two books, "Lawless World," and "Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values," Sands discusses the neo-conservative ideology and practice toward international law.
The conclusion can be seen at:
Just go to the above web site, hit "Watch the Program" - Part Three"
Friday, February 13, 2009
Part I - System Failure
Maria Al-Masani of COALITION FOR EQUAL TREATMENT OF CANADIANS DETAINED ABROAD - CETCDA at http://www.cetcda.org - (Part 1 of 7)
Part II - The case of Omar Khadr - 15-year old, Canadian Citizen, held in Guantanamo Prison
Torture, Race and Canada-US Relations (Part 2 of 7)
15-year-old Omar Khadar , July 2002, when he was arrested in Afghanistan and sent to interrogation at Bagram prison.
It was revealed that one of his interrogators there was Sgt. Joshua Claus, who was later charged of various crimes, including assault and “maltreatment of a detainee” in connection with the murder of the two men, and was sentenced to five months in jail in 2006.
Part III - Islamophobia and Racism
Torture, Race and Canada-US Relations (Part 3 of 7)
Part IV - Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada
Torture, Race and Canada-US Relations (Part 4 of 7)
Part V - Yavar Hameed, Lawyer for Abousfian Abdelrazik
Torture, Race and Canada-US Relations (Part 5 of 7)
Part VI - Maureen Webb, spokesperson for Lawyers Rights Watch Canada
Torture, Race and Canada-US Relations (Part 6 of 7)
Part VII - Dennis Edney, Counsel for Omar Khadr
Torture, Race and Canada-US Relations (Part 7 of 7)
The Torturers - DEFENSE DEPARTMENT(military) AND CIA and those "proxies" paid to keep their hands clean
Steven Soldz, Ph.D, is a psychoanalyst and clinical psycologist. He has been vocal in the media regarding allegations of the use psychological torture in the so called War on Terror.
In this video, he talks about the psychologists complicity in torture, the American Psychological Association, and US torture.
The video of the talk is available online and you can watch it here (around 9 minutes after it starts)
Also: The torture of children, women, family members ...the murders in custody and AND THE "TORTURE TEACHERS - The Psycologists"
Friday, February 6, 2009
CETCDA - Coalition for the Equal Treatment of Canadians Detained Abroad
"We dream of a Canada that upholds the human rights of at least its own citizens."
Event: Torture, Race and Canada-US Relations - Parliament Hill- Room 214 Wellington Building
12:00-1:00 pm, on Thursday Feb. 12th, 2009
Khadr is just a beginning of many Canadians detained and tortured abroad.
A historic lecture & press conference is held in light of the United Nations findings last week of Canada's inequity against Canadian Muslims, as Arar and Khadr are merely a part of a much broader systemic pattern of deadly discrimination.
There will be representatives of three completely different cases, & the Secretary General of Amnesty International.
CBC's The Current stated, "of Abdullah Almalki -- evidence of Canadian complicity is even more damning than in the case of Maher Arar."
What is unsubscribe?
Unsubscribe is a movement of people united against human rights abuses in the so called 'war on terror'.
Government complicity in torture is old news. The History goes from the atrocities of the Pinochet regime to the more than 30,000 Argentinian victims of torture, kidnappings and other forms of State terrorism, all was done in the name of "National Security" .
Has the same complicity with torture, lies and cover-ups , also under the pretext “National Security” come to Canada ?
And why would Canadian complicity in torture be different from the complicity South American regimes had with the old American policy of torture? Secret trials, kidnappings, torture were all there already...lies and cover-ups as well. Same old, same old...
UNSUBSCRIBE IS A CAMPAIGN TO UNITE PEOPLE AGAINST THE CONTINUITY OF TORTURE and against COMPLICITY IN TORTURE, in any form.
From an Argentinian writer:
" When and if there exists this terrorism, this guerrilla, these subversives, the State should suffocate them in the open and by legal means, through Constitutional means, not divorcing itself from the Law, not hiding behind lies and secrecy"...
"The fight against cannibals can permit many things except eating the cannibals. Because if in the fight against the cannibals we eat them, we transform ourselves into maneaters, and we lose any type of moral justification."
In Canada , security services hide under the same old veil of "National Security" used in those Dictatorships. And torture becomes "acceptable" since it can be denied., since it is “indirect”...same old, same old...
The threat of terrorism is real, but trampling over human rights is not the answer.
From the Canadian Complicity in Torture,Guantanamo Bay, rendition, torture, waterboarding... – WE UNSUBSCRIBE...
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