CIA torture update


This video says about itself:

Here the rain never finishes: exclusive CIA torture report from the ACLU | Guardian Docs

13 October 2015

Survivors of Central Intelligence Agency torture are sueing the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. Salim, one of the three ex-detainees in the suit, is a Tanzanian fisherman who says that flashbacks from his ordeal in CIA custody are a permanent part of his life.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

US: Authorities allow torture and killing case against CIA

Friday 22nd April 2016

A CIVIL RIGHTS case against the CIA for the torture and killing of prisoners in a twisted experiment has received the tacit green light from authorities.

The Justice Department submitted a motion before todays’ hearing in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, asking for classified information to be kept under wraps.

But the ACLU’s lawyers were encouraged that the department did not immediately invoke state secrets privilege to block the proceedings.

“The government is actually going to show up at the hearing instead of trying to shut it down,” said attorney Dror Ladin. “It’s going to be suggesting procedures that might allow the case to go forward.”

The government invoked those privileges in the case of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen who unsuccessfully sued after he was beaten and sodomised while held at a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan known as the “Salt Pit.”

Today’s hearing stems from a ACLU lawsuit against two CIA-employed psychologists, James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, filed last October on behalf of three former prisoners of the agency.

The two devised an experimental CIA interrogations programme based on 1960s tests involving dogs and the theory of “learned helplessness.”

One of the victims, Gul Rahman, was interrogated at the Salt Pit and subjected to isolation, darkness and extreme cold water, and was later found dead from hypothermia.

The other two, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, were held in CIA prisons but never charged. Both are now free.

Zubaydah’s later fate in the hands of the CIA was of a far grimmer nature. He had the dubious luck to be the subject of a number of CIA “firsts”: the first post-9/11 prisoner to be waterboarded; the first to be experimented on by psychologists working as CIA contractors; one of the first of the Agency’s “ghost prisoners” (detainees hidden from the world, including the International Committee of the Red Cross which, under the Geneva Conventions, must be allowed access to every prisoner of war); and one of the first prisoners to be cited in a memo written by Jay Bybee for the Bush administration on what the CIA could “legally” do to a detainee without supposedly violating U.S. federal laws against torture: here.

CIA explosives in schoolchildren’s bus in Virginia, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

CIA leaves explosives on school bus borrowed for training

1 April 2016

For at least two days a school bus in northern Virginia has been carrying students with explosive material hidden in its engine compartment. The explosives fell out of a container, which was used by the CIA for training last week.

“During the exercise, explosive training material was inadvertently left by the CIA K-9 unit in one of the buses used in the exercise,” the CIA said in a statement. …

The explosive was discovered on Wednesday during a routine maintenance check. It had been unnoticed for nearly a week since March 24.The CIA was called to retrieve the material. Neither the federal agency nor local authorities would go into detail about what kind of explosive was involved.

“The exact nature of the training material used in this exercise is not being released at the request of the CIA so as not to compromise its training techniques,” Loudoun County officials said.

The official mission of the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA is to spy in foreign countries. However, they do a lot more. Like torturing and killing people in foreign countries. Spying in the USA itself is illegal for them. Nevertheless, they do it; including spying on the United States Senate which is supposed to monitor them.

And yet more. Not an April Fools’ Day joke unfortunately, as the story appeared on 31 March:)

From the Washington Post in the USA:

CIA left explosive material on Loudoun school bus after training exercise

By Clarence Williams and Moriah Balingit

March 31 at 7:25 PM

The CIA left “explosive training material” under the hood of a Loudoun County school bus after a training exercise last week, a bus that was used to ferry elementary and high school students to and from school on Monday and Tuesday with the material still sitting in the engine compartment, according to the CIA and Loudoun County officials.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the CIA said in statements Thursday that the explosive material was left behind after a training exercise at Briar Woods High School during spring break. The CIA said it was a training scenario for explosives-detecting dogs. … Authorities held a joint training program at Briar Woods from March 21 to 24.

Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde Byard said the CIA indicated the nature of the material but asked the school system not to disclose it. Byard described it as a “putty-type” material designed for use on the battlefield and which requires a special detonator; such putty, or plastic, explosives — including the well-known C-4 — are used in demolition …

Byard said law enforcement agencies use school facilities on occasion to conduct realistic training exercises, including active-shooter drills.

As part of last week’s training exercise, CIA trainers placed explosive material into the engine compartment of a school bus on Thursday to test a dog’s ability to sniff it out. They also placed the material in parts of the school. Byard said the dog successfully found the material in the engine compartment, but some of the material fell deeper inside the compartment and became wedged beneath the hoses.

He said school bus drivers check under the hoods of their buses before they take them out on the road, but the package was wedged too far deep inside the engine compartment and was the same color as the hoses, so it could not easily be seen. …

Officials said they checked all other buses at the school as a precaution.

School officials on Thursday met with the CIA, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the fire marshal and county administrators and determined that all law enforcement training exercises at schools would be suspended until stronger protocols are established.

So, the CIA uses children’s schools and children’s buses as battleground for its ‘urban warfare’ war games. The school in Virginia can be lucky they are not a school in Ferguson, Missouri. As the national guard in Missouri has called peaceful protesters, including high school students, demonstrating against the killing of Michael Brown, ‘enemy forces’. There, the CIA explosives might have caused deaths and injuries of people.

CIA-armed, Pentagon-armed paramilitaries fight each other in Syria


This video from the USA says about itself:

The Pentagon & CIA Are Arming Different Sides Of The Syrian War

28 March 2016

Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter five-year-old civil war…

Read more here and here and here.

Benghazi, Hollywood propaganda and Syrian war reality


This (audio) video says about itself:

Matthew Alford on Military Media Manipulation (1/6)

4 August 2011

Matthew Alford has taught at the Universities of Bath and Bristol and is now an independent scholar working on issues of American cinema, power and politics.

Author of “Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy

And these five videos are the sequels.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

Benghazi: The real story

Monday 21st March 2016

HOLLYWOOD, as lecturer Matthew Alford explains in his 2010 book Reel Power, “routinely promotes the dubious notion that the United States is a benevolent force in world affairs.”

Thus Michael Bay’s $50 million recent film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the story of the September 11 2012 attack on the US consulate in Libya, which killed the US ambassador and three of his colleagues.

As with movies such as Black Hawk Down (2001) and Lone Survivor (2013) the audience watches as a small band of brave US servicemen heroically fight back against hundreds of faceless Arabs, with no apparent motive other than a hatred of Westerners.

13 Hours is clear about the benevolent intent of the US in Libya, with the initial credits explaining the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had an annex close to the US consulate, where operatives gathered intelligence to try their best to get weapons taken off the black market.

In an extensive February 2016 investigation into the US intervention in Libya, the New York Times repeats this official narrative, explaining the US “struggled against weapons proliferation” after Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi had been overthrown and killed.

However, a number of reports show there is far more to the story than the US government, 13 Hours and the New York Times would have us believe.

In August 2013 CNN reported that dozens of CIA operatives had been on the ground in Benghazi and that “the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.”

According to one source quoted by CNN, the CIA has been involved in an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out. All of which begs an obvious question: if the CIA were simply attempting to stop weapons proliferation in Libya, why would this need to be covered up?

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s reporting on US actions in Libya may provide the answer. According to an article he published in the London Review of Books in April 2014, the CIA, with the assistance of Britain’s MI6, set up a “rat line” to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya to Syria via southern Turkey. “The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,” says a former intelligence official quoted by Hersh.

Citing a classified annex to a US Senate intelligence committee report, Hersh notes the funding for the weapons transfers came from US allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

A formerly classified October 2012 US Defence Intelligence Agency report echoes Hersh’s discovery, noting that “during the immediate aftermath of … the downfall of the [Gadaffi] regime in October 2011 … weapons from the former Libyan military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya, were shipped” to Syria. Importantly, the report explains the shipments ended in early September 2012 — the date the US consulate was attacked and when Hersh also says the shipments ended.

Michael Morrell, the former deputy director of the CIA, confirmed the existence of the weapons shipments in testimony to the US House intelligence committee in November 2012. However, the part of the transcript showing Morrell’s response to a question asking whether the CIA was involved in co-ordinating the weapons transfers is redacted. “Long story short: the CIA was watching closely as our allies transferred weapons to Syrian rebels,” explained the independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, summarising Morrell’s testimony and the CIA report.

So, while many of the details are fuzzy, it seems clear the US was transferring weapons from Libya to Syria or, at the very least, was fully aware its allies were doing this and did nothing. Weapons, it should be noted, that a plethora of experts and observers — from former Nato secretary-generals to the United Nations — have warned will only escalate and deepen the war in Syria.

In addition to contradicting the Establishment-promoted image of US-British power as benevolent and positive, the real story of Benghazi fatally undermines the dominant narrative that, as BBC Today programme presenter Nick Robinson recently noted, the Obama administration has had a “deep unwillingness to get engaged in” the Syrian war. Or, as well-respected think-tanker Shadi Hamid argues, US policy in Syria has been one of “defensive minimalism.” Furthermore, the Libyan-Syrian “rat line” story also highlights another inconvenient truth: Hersh notes that “many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida.”

If, as the independent media icon Amy Goodman has said, “the role of journalism is to go where the silences are,” then the CIA and MI6 role in Benghazi should be the first port of call for anyone looking to shine a light on the nefarious machinations of the Western powers in the Middle East.

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of February 15 2003, published by Peace News Press. He tweets @IanJSinclair

In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA.” (Nabih Bulos , W.J. Hennigan and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times)

‘Publish CIA files on mass murder of Indonesians’


This music video says about itself:

Evil Triumphs Over Good – Indonesia 1965-66

The lyrics and music of this Steven Edward Duren song really describe the events of Suharto’s “New Order”, placed over Indonesia.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Indonesia asks for ’65 massacre files

Saturday 12th March 2015

Human rights commission wants US to hand over documents

by Our Foreign Desk

INDONESIA has asked Washington to release its files on the 1965-66 US-backed massacres of communists and alleged sympathisers that left millions dead.

The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (HAM) made an unusual direct request this week to US President Barack Obama, who lived in the country with his stepfather from 1967 to 1971.

HAM commissioner Muhammad Nurkhoiron met US State Department officials before asking Mr Obama to declassify intelligence documents relating to the anti-communist bloodbath.

His request states that the files held by the CIA, the Defence Intelligence Agency and other bodies will help in “encouraging the Indonesian government to redouble its own efforts to establish the truth” and promote reconciliation.

In 2012, HAM called for prosecutions for crimes against humanity committed during the purge, but the attorney general took no action.

“We need the US to immediately release those documents to help our efforts,” Mr Nurkhoiron said in an interview. He warned that when Mr Obama leaves office early next year, momentum for US action could be lost.

US National Security Council spokesman Myles Caggins said the administration supports the declassification of any relevant documents from the period which do not pose a national security risk.

While the US has released some documents, others remain classified.

The anti-communist witch-hunt began following an abortive military coup against President Sukarno which was blamed on his supporters in the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI).

General Suharto used the coup as a pretext for the slaughter of up to three million people.

Suharto finally deposed Sukarno in 1967, ruling for three decades more until his death in 1998.

Mr Obama played down the death toll in his memoirs, putting it at “a few hundred thousand, maybe half a million.”

Redacted meeting notes from a meeting of the National Security Council covert action committee — finally declassified last month following a 2004 freedom of information request — show that the US endorsed “obstructive action” against the PKI.

The freedom of information request was made by University of Connecticut historian Brad Simpson, who said that the US had organised covert operations to provoke violence that would serve as an excuse for the crackdown.

Bernie Sanders Defends His Criticism of the CIA


JSC: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba

Source: TeleSUR
February 24 2016

bernie saunders 6.jpg

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders | Photo: Reuters

“I do have some concerns about past activities of the CIA,’ Sanders told host Chris Cuomo. ‘Which, continues, by the way, to the present,’ the Vermont senator added.”

Sanders voiced concerns about the CIA on Tuesday, which he said overthrew democratically-elected leaders for moneyed interests.

During a CNN Town Hall debate on Tuesday democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders defended his 1974 critique of the Central Intelligence Agency as “a dangerous institution that has got to go.”

When CNN reporter Chris Cuomo asked Bernie Sanders about the comments he made about the CIA in the 1970s, Sanders replied saying ‘‘that was 40 years ago’’ and that he believes the CIA plays ‘‘an important role.’’

Still uncomfortable with the role of the CIA

However, later during his comments Sanders stated that he is still uncomfortable with the role of the CIA.

RELATED: 5 CIA Crimes in…

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Drone, film on extra-judicial killing


This video says about itself:

DRONE TRAILER (Official version)

The secret CIA drone war. People living under the drones and young dronepilots coming to terms with killing through joysticks. DRONE uncovers crucial secrets of the CIA drone program, and shows how drones have changed war and possibly our future. See the documentary that inspired Homeland!

Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei and produced by Flimmer Film.

By Joanne Laurier in the USA:

Drone, a Norwegian-made documentary: “We just made orphans out of all these children”

29 January 2016

Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei

Drone, directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tonje Hessen Schei, about the illegal CIA drone program, has been screened at various documentary film festivals and played in certain theaters in North America.

The use of drones by the United States for purposes of assassinations has greatly increased over the past decade. Hessen Schei’s movie brings together opponents of this specialized killing tool, including authors, commentators, human rights attorneys and investigative journalists.

The real heart and strength of Drone lies in its interviews with two former drone operators from the US Air Force, Brandon Bryant and Michael Haas, both young men suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Bryant and Haas served in time periods that straddled the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. One of Bryant’s entries in his diary: “On the battlefield there are no sides, just bloodshed. Total war. Every horror witnessed. I wish my eyes would rot.”

Hessen Schei presents images and stories focusing on the northwestern Pakistani province of Waziristan, a region that has been a particular target of homicidal American drone bombing.

Reprieve, the British human rights organization whose founder, Clive Stafford Smith, is interviewed in the film, points out: “To date, the United States has used drones to execute without trial some 4,700 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia—all countries against whom it has not declared war. The US’ drones programme is a covert war being carried out by the CIA.”

In the documentary, Chris Woods, author of Sudden Justice, further observes that “nowhere has been more bombed by the CIA than Waziristan. The first recorded CIA drone strike in Pakistan took place in 2004. The number of those strikes has accelerated.” He calls it “an industrialized killing program.”

In Waziristan, a young drone strike survivor, Zubair Ur Rehman, shyly tells the camera that “the drones circulate 24 hours a day. Two or three at a time. Always two, but often three or four. When we hear the sound of the drones, we get scared. We can’t work, play or go to school. It is only when it’s cloudy that we don’t hear the drones.”

The barbaric strikes, which have increased sharply under the Obama administration, are illegal under international and US law and amount to war crimes. In the Hessen Schei film, Pakistani photojournalist Noor Behram displays his dossier of devastating photographs of child victims of drone attacks: “Every time I sleep, I hear the cries of the children.”

Drone also deals with the attacks on the would-be rescuers of the victims of the drone strikes. This is what the American military refers to as a “double tap.” Missiles are launched, killing and injuring people. Moments later, when nearby residents race to the scene to help the wounded, another round of missiles is fired. As one analyst points out, the US government, in many cases, has no idea whom they are killing.

From Drone, children with missile pieces

Imran Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, affirms that “when people gather round to save the injured [from a drone strike], there’s another drone attack! … You can hear the cries of the injured for hours because no one goes to help them.”

Another of the movie’s commentators emphasizes, “It’s never been easier for an American president to carry out killing operations at the ends of the earth … and when you define the world as a battlefield, it’s a very broad range of operations you can carry out.”

According to Woods: “You’ve got the president signing off on particular death lists; you have the US Air Force flying the drones; the Central Intelligence Agency responsible for the strikes; CENTCOM [United States Central Command] involved in launching and targeting of strikes; NSA [National Security Agency] providing intelligence for strikes … the entire apparatus of the United States government has been bent towards the process of targeted killings over the past decade.”

As a means of recruiting drone pilots, the military has developed “militainment”—war presented as entertainment. In the warped minds of the armed forces’ top brass, video gamers have skill sets that it values.

Former drone operator Bryant, who served as a sensor operator for the Predator program from 2007 to 2011, movingly explains that “I didn’t really understand what it meant to kill at first. … We sat in a box for nearly 12-hour shifts. … We’re the ultimate voyeurs. The ultimate Peeping Toms. No one is going to catch us. We’re getting orders to take these peoples’ lives. It was just a point and click.”

One of Drone’s interviewed experts argues the more distant the perpetrator is from the victim, the crueler the act of killing. The separation in space creates and encourages indifference. He refers to “the psychology of distance.”

Haas, who served in the US military from 2005 to 2011, participated in targeted killing runs from his computer at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada that ended the lives of insurgents and others in Afghanistan some 8,000 miles away: “I joined when I was barely 20 years old. I did not know what I was in for. I thought it was the coolest damn thing in the world. Play video games all day and then the reality hits you that you may have to kill somebody.

“In our control room, they had a picture of the September 11 [2001] plane hitting the second [World Trade Center] building. They make you pissed off all over again just before you go do your job. ‘These guys have to die. These guys deserve to die.’ And you’ve got to make it happen.”

As opposed to the remorse felt by the former airmen, Andy Von Flotow, chairman of Insitu, which builds unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the state of Washington, was in on the ground floor in the development of drones. He boasts that “we started this unmanned aircraft business in the early 1990s, shortly after GPS made it possible.” His company built a small airplane with a camera on it in 1999 to help tuna fisherman. While the fishermen did not buy the planes, “George Bush took us into his adventures.” Flotow claims that “we have 25 percent of unmanned flight hours in Iraq and Afghanistan. … War is an opportunity to do business.”

One of the most intense moments in the film occurs when Bryant opens up to the filmmakers: “I didn’t really understand what it meant to kill at first. It was horrible. The first time was horrible. The second time was horrible. The third time was numbing. The fourth time was numbing. But of course the first time sticks with you the longest [he describes the procedure]. … Then I watched this man bleed out … and I imagined his last moments. I knew I had ended something I had no right to end. I swore an oath, I did what I was supposed to do. I followed through with it. … It was like an image of myself was cracking up and breaking apart.

Earlier in the film, he says: “Over the last five and one half years, 1,626 people were killed in the operations I took part in. … When I looked at that number, I was ready to put a bullet in my brain.”

Fellow drone operator Haas discloses that “you never knew who you were killing because you never actually see a face—just silhouettes and it’s easy to have that detachment and that lack of sympathy for human life. And it’s easy just to think of them as something else. They’re not really people, they’re just terrorists.” His military superiors, he remarks, “don’t have to take that shot or bear the burden—I’m the one who has to bear that burden. They don’t have to do the actions or live with the repercussions … and we just made orphans out of all these children. They don’t have to live with that. I do.”

The CIA drones program is global assassination without trial. The operations of this state-run murder machine are kept shrouded in secrecy by the Obama administration. While the outlook of the creators of Drone is not strong––essentially consisting of appeals to the United Nations and the Pakistani government––the movie provides further insight into the lawless and ruthless character of US foreign policy.