CIA tried to use ex-Guantanamo prisoners as spies


Guantanamo Bay

Here, another old blog post by me which I thought was lost.

CIA tried to use ex-Guantanamo prisoners as spies

30 June 2005

Mood: Thinking Playing: War, by Edwin Starr

Dutch TV program NOVA of today is about an attempt by the United States CIA to use ex-prisoners of Guantanamo Bay camp as spies in The Netherlands and other countries.

They tried with five men of Moroccan ancestry. NOVA interviewed three of them.

Two of them declared that the CIA promised them the right to stay in The Netherlands.

Their lawyer, Mr Mohamed Hilal, said that for that they were supposed to spy within the Moroccan Dutch community.

Experts say the story of these three Moroccans is credible.

The five Moroccans were imprisoned in August 2001 in Afghanistan. Then, they went to Guantanamo Bay camp.

Last August, they were released without charges and sent to Morocco.

In NOVA, Mohamed Ouzar, Mohamed Mazouz, and Brahim Benchekroun said that the CIA in Guantanamo offered them to spy in five countries, including The Netherlands, Canada, and Switzerland.

There was heavy pressure on them not to return to Morocco. The CIA said they’d probably be tortured there.

In spite of the bad circumstances in Guantanamo, where prisoners were isolated in their cells and one said he had been ill most of the time, the prisoners refused the offers; as they said, they had committed no crimes and owed their captors nothing.

A Moroccan court released them after their return to Morocco.

NOVA showed the report on the three Moroccans to Martin Dillon. He wrote much on British intelligence in Northern Ireland.

Today, this intelligence expert studies mainly the CIA. Dillon says the ex-prisoners’ testimony fits into US tactics in Guantanamo Bay.

Also Dutch intelligence expert Wil van der Schans says the ex-prisoners’ story is credible. He suspects Dutch secret service AIVD were also implicated in this case.

CIA, Pentagon attacks on democracy


This video says about itself:

The CIA in Central America: Guatemala. The Shocking Truth about U.S. Foreign Policy

29 February 2016

An eye-opening documentary about the Central American wars and U.S. policy in Central America, this three volume series, which took six years to make, was researched and filmed by Allan Francovich, best known for his award winning film about the CIA, On Company Business.

Episode 1: Guatemala

By Shane Quinn in Britain:

US atrocities have been airbrushed from history

Thursday 3rd August 2017

SHANE QUINN reminds us of five bloody, Western-led attacks on democracy

SOME anniversaries are widely observed in the West: Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, armistice day, the September 11 atrocities, and so on. Yet there are other undesirable anniversaries that have been largely disappeared.

1954: CIA terminate the 10-year Guatemalan Revolution

Guatemala, a small Central American nation, remains a failed state to this day. The causes for its suffering can be traced to president US president Dwight D Eisenhower implementing a CIA-run coup that installed successive military dictatorships. Guatemala had been enjoying a 10-year revolution (1944-54): firstly, under Juan Jose Arevalo, who introduced a minimum wage and increased funding to education.

Arevalo’s democratically elected successor in 1951, Jacobo Arbenz, instituted land reforms to grant property to landless peasants.

Such inclusive measures were deemed an unacceptable threat to US hegemony over the Western hemisphere.

Arbenz’s policies threatened the United Fruit Company (UFC), a powerful corporation exploiting Guatemalan workers which had direct ties to Eisenhower’s administration (the Dulles brothers).

The UFC aggressively lobbied Eisenhower, who authorised the CIA to aid a force led by the impending right-wing dictator Carlos Castillo Armas. With further threat of invasion by US forces, the Guatemalan army eventually refused to fight on — an error of historic proportions.

Almost four decades of civil war followed, as successive US-backed dictators committed atrocities such as genocide against the Maya peoples.

1963 Juan Bosch toppled in the Dominican Republic

US interference in the Dominican Republic traces back to the early 20th century of the William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson administrations.

Wilson, for example, ordered the invasion of the country by US marines in 1916, their presence lasting over six years — an occupation reviled by the Dominican population.

The democratic election of socialist reformer Juan Bosch in February 1963, replacing a military junta, caused undue concern in elite US circles.

Their fears were quickly realised as Bosch undertook progressive steps the Dominican population had never known before (or since), initiating plans to reduce poverty, declaring labour rights, strengthening unions, rights for farmers, and so on.

Bosch was declared “a communist” by pro-US business magnates and members of the army. On September 25, 1963, a group of commanders led by Elias Wessin y Wessin, with crucial US support, expelled Bosch from the country.

1964: US-backed forces overthrow president Joao Goulart in Brazil

Left-wing nationalist Joao Goulart became the democratically elected president of Brazil in September 1961, setting alarm bells clattering in the liberal John F Kennedy administration.

Goulart began implementing structural reforms in the massive resource-rich South American country that would help integrate the general population into society.

The United States was loath to sit helplessly by as this movement came within “our hemisphere,” as Kennedy described it. Goulart, also known as “Jango,” was hostile toward US capitalist democracy that seeks to primarily serve elite powers.

Shortly before his death, Kennedy had been preparing the groundwork to oust Goulart, with the coup (March 31 to April 1) occurring less than five months into his successor, Lyndon B Johnson’s, reign.

“We just can’t take this one [social movement],” warned Johnson. Goulart’s toppling received crucial CIA funding and arms, while Brazil was placed under a brutal military dictatorship that tortured its people for over 20 years.

1967: Isabel Peron overthrown by US-backed forces

The 1976 Argentine coup was the sixth and final forced government change that took place in the country during the 20th century.

The US-backed Argentine Armed Forces installed the most vicious Latin American military dictatorship of all, responsible for tens of thousands of murdered and “disappeared” people under convicted war criminals such as Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone. Revealingly, the fascistic regime was a favourite of US president Ronald Reagan.

The coup toppled Isabel Peron, the wife and successor of deceased ex-president Juan Peron.

Henry Kissinger, the then US secretary of state, met with several Argentine military commanders suggesting they crush their enemies before human rights issues become known to the US public.

“We read about human rights problems, but not the context.

“The quicker you succeed the better,” he said, and not for the first time Kissinger, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was implicated in war crimes.

1983 US invasion of Grenada

The invasion of the minuscule Caribbean island of Grenada under US Reagan drew a scathing international response from the UN general assembly.

It deeply deplored the intervention, which it said “constitutes a flagrant violation of international law,” further condemning “the deaths of innocent civilians… the killing of the prime minister [Maurice Bishop].”

The intervention was even opposed by most Nato countries and US allies such as France, Portugal, Australia, Spain and the Netherlands.

All irrelevant criticism for elite Western figures that believe the US should be a law unto itself.

The usual pretexts for the invasion of Grenada were put forward by the US government and obediently relayed by the press: Grenada was a “Marxist dictatorship” and the US army was on a “rescue mission” to defeat a Cuban military presence defending “this outpost of Soviet imperialism.”

The true reason for the attack? To expel a government not amenable to US hegemonic demands, and that may act as a further example of defiance — the abysmal after effects for Grenadans was quickly airbrushed from history.

Secret Saudi-UAE-USA torture prisons in occupied Yemen


This video from the USA says about itself:

C.I.A. Torture: Interrogating The Interrogators | The New York Times

21 June 2017

Two men who proposed interrogation techniques widely viewed as torture are part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of former C.I.A. detainees. Deposition videos, obtained exclusively by The New York Times, reveal new insights into the enhanced interrogation program and the C.I.A. officials behind it.

Read the story here.

By MAGGIE MICHAEL of Associated Press:

June 22, 7:57 AM EDT

In Yemen‘s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

MUKALLA, Yemen — Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme – including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.

The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials. All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen’s government,

The Saudi puppet Yemeni government in exile, only present in territory occupied by the Saudi absolute monarchy and its allies’ invasion forces.

which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with rebels over the last two years.

The secret prisons are inside military bases, ports, an airport, private villas and even a nightclub. Some detainees have been flown to an Emirati base across the Red Sea in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab and others.

Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies. They said U.S. senior military leaders were aware of allegations of torture at the prisons in Yemen, looked into them, but were satisfied that there had not been any abuse when U.S. forces were present.

Inside war-torn Yemen, however, lawyers and families say nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into the clandestine prisons, a number so high that it has triggered near-weekly protests among families seeking information about missing sons, brothers and fathers.

None of the dozens of people interviewed by AP contended that American interrogators were involved in the actual abuses. Nevertheless, obtaining intelligence that may have been extracted by torture inflicted by another party would violate the International Convention Against Torture and could qualify as war crimes, said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year

At one main detention complex at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, former inmates described being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the “grill,” and sexually assaulted. According to a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, American forces were at times only yards away. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

“We could hear the screams,” said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport. “The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber.” He was flogged with wires, part of the frequent beatings inflicted by guards against all the detainees. He also said he was inside a metal shipping container when the guards lit a fire underneath to fill it with smoke.

Like other ex-detainees, he spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being arrested again. The AP interviewed him in person in Yemen after his release from detention.

The AP interviewed 10 former prisoners, as well as a dozen officials in the Yemeni government, military and security services and nearly 20 relatives of detainees. The chief of Riyan prison, who is well known among families and lawyers as Emirati, did not reply to requests for comment.

Laura Pitter, senior national security counsel at Human Rights Watch, said the abuses “show that the US hasn’t learned the lesson that cooperating with forces that are torturing detainees and ripping families apart is not an effective way to fight extremist groups.” Human Rights Watch issued a report Thursday documenting torture and forced disappearances at the UAE-run prisons and calling on the Emirates to protect detainees’ rights.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has praised the UAE as “Little Sparta” for its outsized role in fighting …

U.S. forces send questions to the Emirati forces holding the detainees, which then send files and videos with answers, said Yemeni Brig. Gen. Farag Salem al-Bahsani, commander of the Mukalla-based 2nd Military District, which American officials confirmed to the AP. He also said the United States handed authorities a list of most wanted men, including many who were later arrested.

Al-Bahsani denied detainees were handed over to the Americans and said reports of torture are “exaggerated.”

The network of prisons echoes the secret detention facilities set up by the CIA to interrogate terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, then-President Barack Obama disbanded the so-called “black sites.” The UAE network in war-torn Yemen was set up during the Obama administration and continues operating to this day.

“The UAE was one of the countries involved in the CIA’s torture and rendition program,” said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at NYU, who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year. “These reports are hauntingly familiar and potentially devastating in their legal and policy implications.”

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition meant to help Yemen’s [puppet] government [in exile] fight Shiite rebels known as Houthis …

A small contingent of American forces routinely moves in and out of Yemen, the Pentagon says, operating largely along the southern coast. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has escalated drone strikes in the country to more than 80 so far this year, up from around 21 in 2016, the U.S. military said. At least two commando raids were ordered against al-Qaida, including one in which a Navy SEAL was killed along with at least 25 civilians.

A U.S. role in questioning detainees in Yemen has not been previously acknowledged.

A Yemeni officer who said he was deployed for a time on a ship off the coast said he saw at least two detainees brought to the vessel for questioning. The detainees were taken below deck, where he was told American “polygraph experts” and “psychological experts” conducted interrogations. He did not have access to the lower decks. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation for discussing the operations.

Senior U.S. defense officials flatly denied the military conducts any interrogations of Yemenis on any ships.

The Yemeni officer did not specify if the ‘Americans on ships’ were U.S. military or intelligence personnel, private contractors, or some other group.

Two senior Yemen officials, one in Hadi’s Interior Ministry and another in the 1st Military District, based in Hadramawt province where Mukalla is located, also said Americans were conducting interrogations at sea, as did a former senior security official in Hadramawt. The three spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the U.S. role.

The AP learned the names of five suspects held at black sites who were said to have been interrogated by Americans. The Yemeni official on the ship identified one of the detainees brought there. Four others were identified by former detainees who said they were told directly by the men themselves that they were questioned by Americans.

One detainee, who was not questioned by U.S. personnel, said he was subject to constant beatings by his Yemeni handlers but was interrogated only once.

“I would die and go to hell rather than go back to this prison,” he said. “They wouldn’t treat animals this way. If it was bin Laden, they wouldn’t do this.”

Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor and Desmond Butler in Washington and Ahmed al-Haj and Maad al-Zikry in Yemen contributed to this report.

Investigating the Yemen prison interrogation programs.

The United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE), in coordination with Yemeni proxy forces, are operating a network of torture chambers in the war-torn country into which hundreds of men have been disappeared: here.

CIA torture, new revelations


This video from the USA says about itself:

Report Details New Facts About CIA Torture

Read more here.

WikiLeaks’ new CIA revelations


This video says about itself:

Retired US Colonel & former diplomat Ann Wright on WikiLeaks leak of CIA anti-leaking system “Scribbles”

30 April 2017

The CIA’s tool for tracking potential leaks is out in the open, in the latest WikiLeaks release of classified documents under its code name ‘VAULT 7’.

Trump’s CIA boss’ anti-WikiLeaks witchhunt


This 15 April 2017 video from the USA is called [Donald Trump‘s] CIA Head [Mike Pompeo]: WikiLeaks Can’t Use ‘Free Speech Values’ Against Us.

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern on the CIA’s History of Disseminating Faulty Intelligence: here.

CIA against British pro-peace women


This video from Britain is called 1980s Greenham Common, Women Protest for Peace, CND, Police.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

The ‘punks and crazies’ of Greenham

Friday 3rd March 2017

SOLOMON HUGHES trawls through recently released secret CIA ‘intelligence’ documents which reveal how the 1980s Greenham Common peace camp terrified the US spooks

WHAT did the CIA think about the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common?

This January the CIA made thousands of formerly secret papers available via its website. Some answer this question.

In short, the CIA knew the Greenham protesters had a big effect but they also thought they were “punks and crazies” who freaked out the intelligence men. The CIA documents are generally “secret” analysis reports rather than records of actual CIA operations.

The ones we’re concerned with here cover the “new cold war” of the 1980s. In 1983 president Ronald Reagan’s US started putting cruise and Pershing nuclear missiles in Europe, aimming them at Russia.

In the documents, the CIA refers these intermediate range nuclear forces as INF, which becomes the codename for cruise and Pershing throughout the documents.

Big peace movements arose across Europe among people who didn’t want the US’s new cold war being fought on European soil. Those living in the “intermediate range” didn’t want it nuked.

As I noted in January, the US government’s spymasters didn’t like the peace movements but they did understand these movements were powerful enough to make profound changes.

In a 1984 paper, the CIA writes: “We believe that increased democratisation of defence policymaking in western European countries will be the peace movement’s lasting legacy. Western European governments can no longer make defence policy primarily on the basis of expert advice.

“They feel compelled to take account of public concern about the escalating arms race and to refute accusations from opposition and peace movement spokesmen that they are subservient to the United States. They have already been putting more emphasis on arms control and less emphasis on defence programmes than Washington would prefer.”

In the end, the arrival of reforming Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachov thawed the new cold war that had spurred the 1980s peace movement. A 1987 Gorbachov-Reagan arms treaty pulled both Soviet SS-20 nuclear missiles and US cruise and Pershing rockets out of east and west Europe respectively.

The peace movements were not strong enough to force Western unilateral nuclear disarmament. But the CIA knew they were strong enough to encourage multilateral disarmament and put a little democracy in defence policy.

Along the way, the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common was one of the largest, most dynamic and direct-actiony parts of the movement. The CIA papers show that while they respected the strength of the peace movement, they couldn’t keep their normal analytical sobriety when it came to Greenham. Something about the protest got under their skin.

There are many reports like the undated but early ’80s Daily Summary of Public Postions on INF in Europe, which says that the British press are “stressing the effect of the women’s protest at Greenham Common on public opinion,” showing that nearly half of those polled said: “The women’s protest had led them to reverse their opinion on stationing cruise missiles in the UK.”

Looking back, in 1984, the CIA says: “Greenham Common, where cruise missiles are being deployed, is a major focus of peace activity. A feminist peace group not directly associated with the [Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament] has maintained a ‘peace camp’ near the base since 1981.

“The women’s determined efforts to obstruct and, at times, penetrate the base have gained substantial publicity for the movement.”

A September 1983 secret report on “radical tactics against INF deployment in Europe” shows CIA anxiety about direct action by Greenham and other activists.

The paper worries about “some antinuclear radicals” using “direct action” — including the Greenham women who “penetrated a fence and reached an SR-71 aircraft,” a “Blackbird” spy plane “which they damaged with paint” and break-ins at Upper Heyford Airbase.

The CIA worried that “these modest successes may encourage militants — especially in the women’s camp, which continues to dominate the Greenham Common scene — to try again.” The CIA worried they would reach nuclear equipment and that “an important aim of the more radical protesters will be to provoke a confrontation with US security personnel.”

The challenge of the more radical Greenham Common protesters made the US intelligence people drop their normally pragmatic, technocratic talk.

Alan W Lukens, a senior US diplomat, wrote a “confidential memo” of “reflections on the mood in Europe” for the State Department in December 1983. He toured Europe and had an “allday session” at the British Foreign Office arranged by the British intelligence liaison office with British Foreign Office “intelligence-gathering” staff like Harry Burke.

Luken’s views reflected briefings by British intelligence staff. Lukens said: “In analysing the peace movement in the UK, these officials thought it had peaked and that only a lunatic fringe would continue to demonstrate.

“Nonetheless, they admitted that even without the punks and the crazies, the UK peace movement had deep roots which no government could ignore. ‘The early Greenham Common rallies, in the eyes of these officials, had discredited the peace movement. There was a lack of seriousness, a ‘rent-a-crowd’ psychology which many British citizens resented.”

Only British intelligence could think the Greenham women lacked “seriousness.” The CIA and their British friends putting Greenham in a “lunatic” category with “punks and crazies” shows that the women drove the CIA and their friends out of sober analysis and into knee-jerk prejudices.

CIA anxiety about Greenham took a very peculiar turn in a November 1986 CIA directorate of intelligence on Colonel Muammar Gadaffi. In April 1986, the US launched a bombing raid on Libya using British air bases.

The CIA papers say Gadaffi tried to break Libyan isolation after the bombing by “courting the left,” among other things, “strengthening groups such as the Greenham Common peace camp in the United Kingdom and the Greens who are putting pressure on European governments who are putting pressure on European governments to restrict or remove US military forces in Western Europe.”

Greenham Common protesters were of course among the very many who opposed US bombing raids on Libya in 1986. The attacks were a deadly and pointless piece of warmongering which led to big protests. But the idea that Gadaffi was behind Greenham Common protests — or indeed the Greens — shows the CIA reverting to its worst instincts, seeing secret enemies behind legitimate protest movements.

In a way, the CIA reports are the best reviews of the Greenham protesters. The CIA recognises the women of Greenham had a major influence but they also drive the “intelligence” people to denouncing them as “punks and crazies.”