Tuesday, March 29, 2011
by PJ Crowley - Guardian UK - March 29, 2011
Full piece at:
"As a public diplomat and (until recently) spokesman of the departmente od state, I was responsible for explaining the national security policy of the United States to the American people and populations abroad. I am also a retired military officer who has long believed that our civilian power must balance our military power."....
"Based on 30 years of government experience, if you have to explain why a guy is standing naked in the middle of a jail cell, you have a policy in need of urgent review. The Pentagon was quick to point out that no women were present when he did so, which is completely beside the point. "
Monday, March 28, 2011
Andy Worthington and the connections: James Mitchel, Bruce James, CIA architects of the torture program, propaganda and more
by Andy Worthington - March 28, 2010
"Jessen’s template for the “full exploitation” of prisoners, rather than just their interrogation, was designed to be used for propaganda purposes, “or other needs [of] the detaining power, such as the recruitment of informers and double agents.” As he added, “Those aspects of the US detainee program have not generally been discussed as part of the torture story in the American press.”
Full article at:
Former SERE Instructor Capt. Michael Kearns on the rush rush doing torture, Bruce Jessen, Air Force psyc ( CIA contractor) and more
Former SERE Instructor Capt. Michael Kearns About The Bush Administration’s Torture Program
The Public Record
Mar 24th, 2011
Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ReP1MLeVD78
Image of John Bruce Jessen's handwritten notes outlining the torture program are available at Jason Leopold and Jeff Kaye Truthout Investigative Report published March 22, 2011 at:
James Mitchel and Brice James are both psychologists who, under contract to the CIA, are credited as being the architects of the government's top-secret torture
Jason Leopold is the Deputy Managing Editor at Truthout. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, "News Junkie," a memoir. Visit jasonleopold.com for a preview.
by Mark Boal - March 27, 2011
At the link bellow the photos Pentagon went to extraordinary measures to suppress and the full story of this specific American Kill Team:
Mudin was about 15 years old killed by two American soldiers – Cpl. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes – who staged the killing to make it look like they had been
The Images were first published by Der Spiegel on March 24, 2011
Der Spiegel article at
Thursday, March 24, 2011
1979: Bloodless coup by reformist army officers backed by the United States. Military-civilian junta installed in El Salvador. Torture, assassinations, kidnappings intensify.
Feb 1980: Romero visited Rome and argued that it was problematic to support the Salvadoran government because it legitimized terror and assassinations.
He urged US President Jimmy Carter to reconsider American support and aid to the junta. Carter refused.
23 Mar 1980: Romero tells soldiers they are killing their own people
24 Mar 1980: Romero shot dead as he celebrated Mass. The assassins were members of a death squad trained and funded by the United States.
No-one has ever been convicted in connection with Archbishop Romero's murder.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
"Means and Ends: Newly Published Notes of Bruce Jessen Reveal Real Purpose of Bush’s Torture Program"
"One of the primary reasons exploitation is used on prisoners is to produce false confessions. Indeed, it was the torture of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi that was used to provide the false intelligence about Saddam Hussein seeking nuclear materials that was to provide a major casus belli for the United States for their war with Iraq. "
"Up until now, the primary narrative surrounding the torture scandal has been about the purported efficacy of using torture to produce intelligence in the "war on terror." But the new Jessen material demonstrates that the program used as the basis for the "reverse-engineering" of the SERE torture techniques was a full-blown exploitation program, whose aims went far beyond the mere elicitation of information, but included the physical and psychological pressures to produce absolute compliance in prisoners for the purpose of false confessions, show trials, recruitment of spies, and medical experimentation."
"My end of the bargain was that I had to verbally repeat my story, agreeing with anything they added, even when they dictated my thoughts, beliefs and actions incorrectly. They also fed me things to say about other detainees as well. I did so obediently, even though I knew they were all lies."
By the way, where are the so brave, non ordinary, "special" "compliance scientists" who proudly embraced "interrogations" and who knows whatever else?
Shouldn't these powerful and righteous "all professionals" , all "scientists" be speaking about their achievements with pride?
George Bush did...
And since they are , or believe to be , "special" , non ordinary people and above all "having more power than Bush", they should step up to their "values" and proudly take responsibility for their "scientific achievements". Isn't that how it should be?
Or are they, men and women, soooooo brave in the shadows but cowards in the light ?
"...choose you this day whom ye will serve.." Joshua 24:15
Friday, March 18, 2011
Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazom)
Nine Years of Guantanamo. What Now? Jan 12, 2011
Watch on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05HNc4c6OjU
Thursday, March 17, 2011
by Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain
U.S. Chamber of Commerce plots against "opponents"
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been working with “private security” and lobbying firms to attack and undermine "opponents".
The companies involved are, among others, Hunton and Williams, whose attorneys solicited private security firms HB Gary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies (Team Themis collectively) to develop a sabotage campaign against certain "opponents".
The private spy company investigated members of the family, including children, of the so called U.S. Chamber of Commerce "opponents".
Aaron Barr, an executive at HB Gary Federal circulated emails and documents with personal lives details and even photos of the opponents' family including their children.
Details were revealed by one of the targets of the action - ThinkProgress.org.
In an email from Aaron Barr to Hunton & Williams attorney John Woods, he points out to the need of reducing exposure so that he won't be identified and shows how Woods and another fellow Hunton attorney Richard Wyatt are "vulnerable" in social media.
The three security companies - Palantir Technologies, HBGary Federal and Berico Technologies - were also implicated in a plot to target the online whistleblower WikiLeaks and some of its prominent supporters
Full Article at ThinkProgress.org
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
UK House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committeee - Foreign Secretary William Hague on the case of Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning - at at 16:46:43 min
Clwyd: I want to raise with you the question of Bradley Manning, the US marine, who at present is in a military prison – untried and unconvicted – and the treatment that has been given him. He has been kept in solitary confinement over the past ten months, he is denied access to the normal things that one has every day. He is made to stand naked outside his cell every morning and so on and so forth. And as you know, Hilary Clinton’s press spokesman has been forced to resign over the comments that he made over the treatment of Bradley Manning, calling it “counterproductive and stupid.”
Bradley Manning’s mother in Welsh, from Pembrokeshire. She has visited him recently and everyone is very concerned about his treatment. I wonder if you can raise it, or have raised it, because there is a lot of public interest in the treatment of Bradley Manning.
Hague: Well, on this particular case, Mr Manning’s lawyer apparently wrote on the 2nd February on his blog that “Mr. Manning does not hold a UK passport, nor does he consider himself a UK citizen.” Beyond that we can’t comment on an individual’s nationality without their consent. And in that situation, of course, our standing on this matter is limited. He is not asking for our help, nor considering himself British.
In general, conditions in US prisons do meet international standards. Solitary confinement is a procedure used in many countries. It is deemed to offer protection both to the inmate and those around them. It is for his legal representative to challenge his treatment, if they judge that his treatment fails to meet international standards.
The fact that it has been raised in this committee, of course, can be brought to the attention of the United States. So it can be, and will be. But our position, from a legal and a consular point of view is as I’ve just been describing.
Clwyd: Can I just say that his legal representative published an 11-page document a few days ago, which was a statement from Manning but also a complaint from his lawyer about his treatment. So as we are receiving letters from constituents on this particular subject, I will be coming back to you on this subject.
Hague: Well, do come back to me and of course I will write you a letter so you can correspond with your constituents.
POST MORTEM IN AMERICA at:
Friday, March 11, 2011
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley calls treatment of Bradley Manning “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” | The Cable
""I spent 26 years in the air force. What is happening to Manning is ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid, and I don't know why the DoD is doing it. Nevertheless, Manning is in the right place." There are leaks everywhere in Washington - it's a town that can't keep a secret. But the scale is different. It was a colossal failure by the DoD to allow this mass of documents to be transported outside the network. Historically, someone has picked up a file of papers and passed it around - the information exposed is on one country or one subject. But this is a scale we've never seen before. If Julian Assange is right and we're in an era where there are no secrets, do we expect that people will release Google's search engine algorithms? The formula for Coca Cola? Some things are best kept secret. If we're negotiating between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there will be compromises that are hard for each side to sell to their people - there's a need for secrets."
"… But stripping is also sexually laden. It transposes sexual gestures, acts and innuendo from a strip club to the torture chamber. Thus sex is always present in the torture chamber whether the victim is a man or a woman. The sexing of torture is deeply grounded in the recesses of the torturer’s psyche.
Marnia Lazreg, Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algeria to Baghdad
"From 1950 to 1962, the CIA became involved in torture through a massive mind-control effort, with psychological warfare and secret research into human consciousness that reached a cost of a billion dollars annually – a veritable Manhattan Project of the mind.” This research produced “a new approach to torture that was psychological, not physical, perhaps best described as ‘no-touch torture.’“ It has also been referred to as “slow torture".
Alfred McCoy - "A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War To the War On Terror"
Sexing torture in the "stealth, "slow", "non touch" American Torture" hits the news and "SO WHAT?"
As torture, event after event, seems to be an integral part of American standard operating procedures and obviously goes unpunished in the United States, except for cases involving "few bad apples", an article on the "slow torture" of 22 year-old man accused of leaking documents:
The National Shame of the US Military's 'Slow Torture' of Bradley Manning
by John Grant - March 5 2011
"... All right! Enough of the PR-flak Orwellian crap. Everyone with a modicum of sense knows why the Quantico jailers are stripping Bradley Manning. They are stripping him because they have the power to strip him and they want to strip him. And they know that the majority of Americans and the mainstream press don’t give a damn what happens to this young man.
A friend asked me, “Why don’t they just water-board him?” It’s simple: They would if they could, but they can’t. Manning is an American and he has advocates. They can’t get away with the sorts of torture we used in the past in places like the Philippines and Vietnam and that the French used during their war in Algeria. The French experience is broken down and analyzed by Marna Lazreg in her book cited above based on archival research, diaries and interviews with torturers.
But do not fear: Our very resourceful and secret CIA learned from the French and, over the years with your tax dollars, added their own research on the topic. Here’s Alfred McCoy from his great book A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War To the War On Terror:..."
FULL ARTICLE AT:
More on the case:
Monday, March 7, 2011
On YouTube - Activists storm Egypt torture chambers
Egyptian Protesters Seize Evidence of Torture after storming secret police office
Hundreds of Egyptians stormed the headquarters of the nation’s secret police, seizing secret documents and evidence of torture.
Activists say documents found inside the building contain evidence of phone tapping, election rigging and torture.
A full report by McClatchy newspaper:
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Below, link to an article by Robert Parry published on March 4, 2011 (originally published September 12, 2009)
(Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He founded Consortiumnews.com in 1995 as the Internet's first investigative magazine.)
Bush's Interrogators Stressed Nudity
"The CIA shared with George W. Bush’s Justice Department the details of how an interrogation strategy – with an emphasis on forced nudity and physical abuse – could train prisoners in “learned helplessness” and demonstrate “the complete control of Americans.”
Full article HERE:
Thursday, March 3, 2011
"Birgitta Jonsdottir, ex-WikiLeaks, Crusades for Freedom of Information"
De Standaard Online [Belgian news outlet] - March 2, 2011 - by Dominique Deckmyn in Ghent, Belgium
OSC Translated Text [OSC is the CIA's Open Source Center.]
Icelander Birgitta Jonsdottir - poet, author, activist, and member of parliament - has now broken with WikiLeaks, but she is continuing to devote herself to making her country a haven for information, a Switzerland of the bytes. In the meantime, the American judicial authorities are trying to reach Julian Assange through her Twitter details.
Last week, Birgitta Jonsdottir was in our country for a while at Deburen's invitation in order to take part in an evening of debate on the state of the media today, partly organized by the Pascal Decroos Fund and the Investigative Journalists' Association. We met with her at the Vooruit (arts center) in Ghent. She immediately wrong-footed us: Instead of the eccentric Goth about whom we had read, we were welcomed by an elegant person with a captivating laugh. She talked in a soft voice but with a very great deal of passion about the importance of freedom of information. Although her "Movement" is not a real party and she surfed to parliament in 2009 on a wave of popular anger about the banking crisis, she has turned out to be a born politician who knows what she wants and how she is to achieve it.
Birgitta Jonsdottir is the driving force behind the Iceland Modern Media Initiative; the plan to provide Iceland with model laws on freedom of information. The laws are supposed to protect journalists and their sources and offer special protection for whistleblowers. It would also become much more difficult in Iceland to prevent the publication of articles or pursue media with claims for damages. Last June, Jonsdottir got a resolution through the Icelandic parliament, which now has to be translated into bills. "IMMI is much more important than WikiLeaks," she herself says. "We are trying to ensure that WikiLeaks is no longer needed."
But it was precisely her role in WikiLeaks which made the 43-year-old Jonsdottir a media figure and the subject of an investigation by the American Justice Department. She was one of the makers of the video showing how American servicemen fired on defenseless civilians. The video put WikiLeaks on the map in April 2010.
(Deckmyn) Are you still in touch with the WikiLeaks people?
(Jonsdottir) No, only with former WikiLeaks people. I am in touch with Daniel (Domscheit-Berg) and some others, although it is hard to define who does and does not belong to WikiLeaks now. Some people are semi-active or not at all active, and some people want never to talk to Julian Assange again.
(Deckmyn) The organization is identified with Assange personally in the media. Do you regret that?
(Jonsdottir) What is a pity is that the messenger has turned into the message. That means that the documents have not been paid the attention which they deserve. I no longer know how often I have refused to collaborate on yet another portrait of Julian Assange. It has come to revolve too much around one person, one hero, one messiah, even: That is what he is called on the fan page on Facebook. It is almost a new religion, but that is certainly partly the media's fault. They have decided to create this Icarus; they have blown a great deal of wind under his wings instead of focusing their attention on the real story - the contents of WikiLeaks. That has a great deal to do with the situation in which the media currently find themselves. They are seeking as many clicks as possible, and the stories which get the most clicks on websites are usually about sex scandals."
(Deckmyn) Do you believe in Daniel Domscheit-Berg's idea that there should be masses of WikiLeaks-like websites, such as his own new OpenLeaks?
(Jonsdottir) Well, WikiLeaks was originally supposed to go in that direction, but then it transformed itself into "MegaLeaks." I believe that it is a valuable experiment. I do not know whether it will be successful, but it should certainly be tried. We live in a world where secrecy is the norm, and no longer has to be justified. Secrecy around big companies, around politicians, and so forth. I am not in favor of complete openness; that is impossible, but I believe that what will remain secret should be decided on in a transparent manner.
(Deckmyn) Then what about the diplomatic cables which WikiLeaks published? Is there room for secrecy in diplomacy?
(Jonsdottir) Yes, of course. And also if an agreement is being drawn up: Drafts which leak out, that can create many misunderstandings. It is OK if a document is made public only when it is finished. Privacy is also important, but in every country there should be a debate on what should remain secret and what should not. Today, there are far too many secrets. If somebody in Iceland had leaked information from the banks before the banking system collapsed, maybe that collapse would not have been so serious.
(Deckmyn) The fact that the cables are being released only in dribs and drabs seems to be prompted more by the desire to achieve maximum media impact rather than the passion for openness.
(Jonsdottir) Precisely. And I do not necessarily agree with that, but that is just my personal opinion, and that is worth no more than anybody else's opinion.
(Deckmyn) The American judicial authorities have demanded your Twitter use details. Are you surprised that you personally are in conflict with America - surely a free country with a progressive president?
(Jonsdottir) Yes and no. No, because I know how desperately they want to lay hands on Julian Assange. Nobody has embarrassed diplomats' entire bureaucratic machine more than WikiLeaks, and so they are seeking ways to pursue him. But they are entering an extremely dangerous minefield. I am a member of parliament, I sit on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and I have a seat in the NATO parliament. Suppose they lay hands on my Google accounts and Facebook information; channels through which I am in touch with other members of parliament! How can they then be critical if China, for instance, tries to lay hands on similar information about American senators who are working for Tibet? But I am not surprised. However, it is quite tiresome that I can no longer travel to the United States. I already could not go to China, so now I cannot go to the United States, either.
(Deckmyn) Then do you run a risk there?
(Jonsdottir) They could subject me to a very unpleasant interrogation. They are known for that. They accept soft torture, like they are now torturing Bradley Manning.
(Deckmyn) Do you believe that Bradley Manning - the serviceman who gave WikiLeaks the war documents - is being tortured?
(Jonsdottir) Of course that is happening. It is not a matter of belief; they admit what means they are using. Waking up somebody every five minutes, making him sleep on a kind of sheet which gives you burns if you move in your sleep, not allowing him any movement: That is torture. They are probably trying to break him in order to reach Julian Assange, while WikiLeaks is just an intermediary. It is crazy that they are going only after Julian Assange, because he worked together with a whole set of media, but he is an easy target.
(Deckmyn) You mean that they want to attack him as a symbol?
(Jonsdottir) Yes. I assume so. We will see what happens. Well, what is currently happening around Assange, that case in Britain; that has nothing to do with the United States.
Sexual Offenses Case
(Deckmyn) Assange himself is convinced that America is behind the attempts to have him extradited to Sweden in a sexual offenses case.
(Jonsdottir) Then what evidence is there for that?
(Deckmyn) You are working to make Iceland a kind of haven for freedom of information and freedom of expression. Where did that idea come from?
(Jonsdottir) It began with John Perry Barlow - one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He was in Iceland in 2008, and he talked at th e Digital Freedom Society conference about that idea of a "Switzerland of the bytes." The following year, that idea also formed the nub of the speeches which Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg delivered at the DFS conference. When I heard them say that Iceland could make a difference in this sphere, I immediately thought: Yes! I know that in times of crisis very bad laws are often made, but I thought: Let us seize upon this time of crisis in order to make something good. So I brought together a number of people - Assange, Daniel, Rop Gonggrijp, and a number of others. We brainstormed and researched intensively for a month, and then we wrote the proposal. WikiLeaks's contribution was that it had practical experience as regards the question of which laws work and which laws do not work in order to keep information online, keep sources secret, and repel all judicial attacks.
(Deckmyn) What are the most important threats to freedom of information today?
(Jonsdottir) The first one is that all the media are in a very fragile state. More and more people are finding their news online and no longer buying newspapers, but the media have not yet found a way to make money online, so they are badly off financially. And who is then the first casualty? Investigative journalism, because it is expensive, while somebody who makes cut and paste reports about Britney Spears does not cost much and generates many clicks.
At the same time, the media are also exposed to another threat. Lawyers have found ways to block reports. Our historical archives are being changed and falsified every day. As BP chief, I can have a report of 10 years ago which I do not like removed from the historical archives.
There are also the super-injunctions which have developed in Britain, with which reports can be blocked. And then you have attempts to turn off the internet, as in Egypt and Libya. There is a bill in the American Senate nicknamed the internet kill switch which gives them the power to turn off the internet.
And the greatest danger for freedom of information is for people to be asleep. They do not understand that when telecom companies filter your internet, they filter out more than you want. In Iceland, the internet companies offer a filter to block porno, but it also blocks shareware websites. Australia has a very controversial filter. China has filters. But in that threat also lies an enormous opportunity, because, as we have seen in Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries; they tried to turn off the internet, but it backfired. The information which leaked out was paid extra attention.
(Deckmyn) How will history look back on WikiLeaks?
(Jonsdottir) Hard to say. I believe that they have changed the debate on freedom of information, lack of transparency, the need for stronger laws to protect sources, and so forth. They are the icebreaker. If you look at real icebreakers, they all look very dented, and you never know when they will be holed, but they have created space for others.
(Deckmyn) And how will history view Julian Assange?
(Jonsdottir) I do not know.
(Description of Source: Groot Bijgaarden De Standaard Online in Dutch -- Website of right-of-center daily; URL: http://www.standaard.be)
RAWREPLAY - March 3, 2011 - By Stephen C. Webster