CIA smears Sanders as ‘tool of Russia’


This 21 February 2020 video from the USA is called Mike Bloomberg Plotting to Steal Nomination from Bernie Sanders at Convention.

By Barry Grey in the USA:

Intelligence agencies intervene in US elections to link Sanders to Putin

22 February 2020

On the eve of Saturday’s Nevada Democratic caucuses, with polls predicting a major win for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the Washington Post reported Friday afternoon that “US officials” have told Sanders that the Russian government is working to aid his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

According to the Post, President Trump and members of Congress have also been informed of the alleged “Russian assistance” to Sanders.

The report has all the earmarks of a story planted by American intelligence agencies. It names no sources, does not identify the nature of the government officials who briefed Sanders, and provides no information about the content of the alleged support by Moscow for Sanders. No facts are presented to substantiate the vague claim of Russian government backing for the Sanders campaign.

In keeping with the standard practice of the so-called mainstream media, the Post uncritically presents this latest claim by US intelligence of “Russian meddling” in American politics as indisputable fact. …

These developments highlight the massive role that the unelected agencies of US subversion and provocation abroad play in US elections. Even if the claims of Russian intervention in US elections were true—and no evidence has ever been produced to substantiate them—such operations would pale in comparison to the role of the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon and other agencies in manipulating elections and seeking covertly to affect their outcomes.

This is on top of the role of corporate donations and campaign bribes by billionaire oligarchs in installing their preferred candidates in power. …

The stepping up of the anti-Russia campaign and the attempt to turn it against Sanders coincides with a coordinated drive by the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media to undermine the senator’s rise in the polls and prevent him from securing the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s national convention in July.

This ruling class opposition to Sanders is not so much about Sanders himself … as about concerns over the growth of anti-capitalist and pro-socialist sentiment and the upsurge in the class struggle of which Sanders is the initial beneficiary. The financial oligarchy is incensed and frightened by Sanders’ calls for modest increases in its taxes, his talk of ending private health insurance and reining in the profits of the pharmaceutical giants, and his appeals to popular anger over the staggering levels of social inequality. …

This 21 February 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders dismantles Wall Street “crooks” at Santa Ana, California rally

Bernie Sanders slammed Wall Street billionaires and advocated for the middle class at a rally in Santa Ana, CA on Friday.

The Barry Grey article continues:

On Friday, the Financial Times published an interview with the recently retired CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, in which the billionaire life-long Democrat denounced Sanders, praised his billionaire rival Michael Bloomberg, and said that if Sanders got the Democratic nomination he would likely vote for Trump. In the interview, he praised the latter’s corporate tax cuts and lifting of regulations on business.

Goldman Sachs’ anti-Trump chairman says he may vote for Trump — for a nauseating reason: here.

Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” program, summed up the outlook of the financial oligarchy when he said that Wednesday’s Democratic candidates’ debate was “painful” because “your wealth was really under fire.” He joined Bloomberg in branding Sanders a “communist”, saying, “Is he really a socialist? Or is he a communist? What is socialist about what he wants? Isn’t he more of a communist?”

With the virtual collapse of the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden and Bloomberg’s poor performance at Wednesday’s debate, media pundits and Democratic officials are concluding that Sanders will come to the July party convention with a large lead in committed delegates, but will be short of the 1,991 needed to gain a majority and secure the nomination on the first ballot.

Backroom moves are being stepped up to channel delegates and donors currently backing so-called “moderates” such as Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg behind Bloomberg or the “progressive” Elizabeth Warren in order to block Sanders at the convention. The idea is to mobilize the nearly 800 elected officials, Democratic National Committee members and other party officials who constitute the “superdelegates”, who cannot vote on the first ballot, to vote on the second to install the commonly agreed upon alternative to Sanders.

This was prefigured at Wednesday’s debate when all of the candidates, with the exception of Sanders, said the candidate who gets the most votes in the primary contests should not necessarily be declared the party nominee at the convention. This anti-democratic position is being lauded in the media as the defense of established rules and procedures.

The day after Wednesday’s debate, Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader and longtime senator from Nevada, openly called for a brokered convention to deny Sanders the nomination. He said, “And you have most of the people who are not Bernie Sanders, are people who are moderates, and maybe they’ll work something out to get together and try to find that one person who can come up with the number of delegates. Maybe that’s one way to do it.” …

Politico reported that Bloomberg is privately lobbying party officials and donors allied with his “moderate” rivals to shift their allegiance to him and block Sanders at the convention. No doubt Bloomberg is using his unlimited cash hoard—his Federal Election Commission report filed this week said he has spent $464 million of his own money in the three months since he announced his bid for the White House—to induce party officials to come over to his side.

The CIA’s Complicity in Recent Global Atrocities Revealed: here.

This 22 February 2020 video from the USA is called Dick Van Dyke Endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

Anne Sacoolas, CIA killer of English teenager


This 5 February 2020 Sky TV video from Britain says about itself:

Anne Sacoolas and Prince Andrew ‘must co-operate’ with law enforcement

Harry Dunn’s family and alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein have joined forces to call for Anne Sacoolas and Prince Andrew to co-operate with law enforcement.

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer for six alleged victims of convicted sex offender Epstein, along with the Dunn family’s spokesman Radd Seiger have called for Mrs Sacoolas to return to the UK and for the Duke of York to face FBI questioning in the US.

By Thomas Scripps in Britain:

Woman who killed UK teenager Harry Dunn was a CIA spy

11 February 2020

The wife of a senior US [NSA] spy, who fled the UK last year after being involved in a road accident that led to the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn, is reported to have been a CIA agent herself. According to the Mail on Sunday, Anne Sacoolas held a higher rank in the intelligence services than her husband.

Harry was killed on August 27 when his motorbike collided with Sacoolas’s car, being driven on the wrong side of the road, just outside the RAF base at Croughton, Northamptonshire. The US Air Force runs a spy facility from the base known as the Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre, where Sacoolas’s husband Jonathan was employed by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving by British police but was released and fled the country with her husband on September 15. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has refused to grant a UK request for her extradition.

It was already clear from the available facts that the UK government had determined to let Sacoolas go. Police visited her on August 28, the day after the incident, to be told she had diplomatic immunity as the wife of a “diplomat.” The Foreign Office claims to have asked the US embassy to waive immunity only on September 5. The US embassy refused this request on September 13, and Sacoolas was flown out of the country on a US Air Force plane two days later. The Foreign Office claims it was only informed the day afterward. Dunn’s parents only had it confirmed that Sacoolas had left the country on September 23.

Now, as Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, has said, “things are beginning to fall into place.” This charade, woven from lies, was used to prepare for the extraction and protection of a US spy.

According to the Mail, multiple sources in London and Washington have confirmed Sacoolas’s past work in the CIA. Sky News has since claimed to have also confirmed this fact. The Foreign Office denied all knowledge, asserting that “Anne Sacoolas was notified to us as a spouse with no official role.”

Senior Whitehall figures, however, confirmed to the Mail that they knew of her CIA history. The Mail’s report also states that the US government notified the Foreign Office that Sacoolas was leaving the country for America.

The Dunn family’s legal spokesman, Radd Seiger, explained it is “high time that the nation can see with full transparency whether or not the government prioritised protecting the identity of the Sacoolas family over the welfare and rights of Harry’s family. The US government told the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] that they were going to remove Anne Sacoolas from the UK unless the UK had any strong objections. Still to this day, the family have seen no evidence that the UK did indeed raise any such objections and indeed fear that they waved her off at the airport.”

Harry’s parents and their legal team continue to wage a principled fight for justice for their son. Seiger is calling for a public inquiry. Responding to the revelations, his mother, Charlotte Charles, asked of the British government, “How could they do this to us?”

“Her leaving, and the US government protecting her and refusing the extradition request, is nothing short of a disgrace and we will not stand for it. Whether she is CIA or not, she must come back and I will not rest until she does.”

Adam Wagner, another lawyer for the Dunn family, said the Foreign Office needed “to answer whether it knew Sacoolas was CIA at the time of Harry’s death, and whether the US used her status as a family member to take advantage of the ‘anomaly’ whereby family members are said to have more immunity than diplomats at the base. …”

Wagner also reported, “The Foreign Office have refused so far to disclose any information or documents about the discussions with the USA and the police after Harry died. The family are pushing hard for disclosures and have made an application for information and documents.”

The Dunn family lawyers dispute Sacoolas’s claimed immunity. Human rights activist and former British ambassador Craig Murray has written, “I am not at all convinced, as a matter of law, that the government has the power to grant, by bilateral treaty or otherwise, immunity from criminal prosecution to foreign nationals…outside the provision of the Vienna Convention (relating to diplomatic immunity). This should be tested by the courts.”

Thoroughly exposed, government representatives are still making a cynical pretence of demanding Sacoolas’s return while claiming ignorance of her CIA background. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel have all made pro forma criticisms of the US State Department’s refusal to grant Britain’s extradition request.

Speaking on Sky’s Sunday Show after the Mail’s report, Housing Minister Robert Jenrick claimed, “I don’t know the reasons why the US have turned down our requests so far to extradite her. She needs to return to the UK.

“She should face justice, and I think it’s a terrible situation—I think we all agree on that—for the family. Not only have they lost their child but they’re not seeing somebody brought to justice for that.”

On the same show, former Conservative Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Sacoolas’s role as a CIA operative “may have a bearing on it [her escape and protection], and I don’t know the truth of these things because I’m not foreign secretary any more, but I still think it is totally and utterly unacceptable that she is not facing justice in the UK.

“And if anyone is questioning that, I think we just need to ask what would have happened if the boot had been on the other foot, if a British diplomat had been involved in a road accident in the United States where someone had died and had fled on a private plane back to the UK and was evading justice. … I don’t think Britain would have behaved in that way.”

These crocodile tears have been a pathetic fraud from the start. Now that the real nature of the case has been revealed, this cynical posturing has become a naked insult. The UK grants US intelligence services the right to act with complete impunity. From the perspective of the ruling class, the Dunn-Sacoolas case is not an outrage, but business as usual.

INTERPOL ISSUES ‘WANTED’ NOTICE FOR DIPLOMAT’S WIFE Interpol has issued a wanted notice for Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat, who is wanted in Britain over a fatal car crash in a case that has caused friction between London and Washington. Interpol’s website says a Red Notice is “a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.” Interpol issues such requests at the request of a member country, and they are not an international arrest warrant. [Reuters]

United States, German spying on allies


This 2013 video says about itself:

This is the first authoritative account of the postwar relationship between General Reinhard Gehlen, a figure unique in the history of espionage, and American intelligence. Eleven years after the defeat of Germany, Gehlen, Hitler‘s chief of eastern front intelligence, became head of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) for the democratic West German government of Konrad Adenauer. The core of his staff in the BND were the same officers who had served with him under Hitler. The instruments for this metamorphosis were agencies of Gehlen’s former enemy: U.S. Army Intelligence and the CIA. How did this happen and why? Was there a Nazi connection? This book answers these questions in detail, combining the elements of a gripping novel of espionage with solid scholarship based on U.S. government documents and interviews with former G-2, CIC and CIA officers.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

For decades the US American and <a href="https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2019/12/25/german-ex-secret-service-boss-preaches-racism/”>German intelligence services have intercepted other countries, including allies. In this ‘Operation Rubicon’, described in documents as “the intelligence coup of the century”, they deliberately used poorly protected equipment with which encrypted messages were sent.

When Germany stopped, the Americans received help from the Netherlands, according to secret reports in the hands of The Washington Post, German public broadcaster ZDF and Dutch VPRO radio research program Argos. The reports of intelligence services CIA and BND state that US American and German services have read about major world events. …

Poorly protected devices

The operation began in 1970 with the acquisition of the Swiss company Crypto AG. A construction concealed the fact that the intelligence services became the owners. The company supplied allies with secure, unbreakable devices that sent encrypted messages between countries. Other countries received a copy that looked the same but had a toned-down algorithm.

At least 62 countries worldwide used the equipment. Countries like the Soviet Union and China never bought anything from Crypto AG because they did not trust the company. However, the US and Germany were able to tap secret information from Moscow and Beijing through eavesdropping on communication of other countries.

Dutch role

In 1994, Germany withdrew from Rubicon because the intelligence service thought the risk of exposure was too great. That also had to do with the Americans’ plan to spy on NATO ally Turkey. When Germany refused to help, the Netherlands stepped in. The BVD, precursor of the AIVD, and Philips came to the rescue, allowing the Americans to read along with the Turks.

When Germany decided to stop, the US bought the rest of the shares in the company. The Americans continued their espionage practices through the Crypto AG equipment until 2018, but the company then played only a limited role in the encryption market. Today only a dozen countries use such a Crypto device.

See also here.

CIA controlled global encryption company for decades, says report. Swiss government orders inquiry after revelations Crypto AG was owned and operated by US and German intelligence: here.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) have been spying on the encrypted communications of governments all over the world for the past five decades through the CIA’s secret ownership of a global security firm based in Switzerland: here.

The role of Philips: here.

At the beginning of February, the Washington Post and the German broadcaster ZDF reported on an espionage operation of enormous dimensions: Under the code names “Rubicon” and “Minerva”, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) together with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had monitored the encrypted government communications of almost half the countries on earth for decades: here.

CIA spy Anne Sacoolas killed English teenager


Charlotte Charles

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Charlotte Charles: How could they do this to us?

THE mother of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn criticised the government today following reports that her son’s alleged killer had served as a spy with the CIA.

Somewhat like this blog already suspected.

According to the conservative Daily Mail, Ms Sacoolas held a higher rank than her NSA spy husband.

Sacoolas was a senior CIA spy. At last, says PETER FROST, the Mail on Sunday has caught up with the Morning Star.

Charlotte Charles said that she and the rest of Mr Dunn’s family were “full of anger” after hearing of Anne Sacoolas’s alleged past and asked of the British government: “How could they do this to us?”

She said that the fresh reports took her back to the early days following her son’s death when she claims that the government “were trying to kick all this under the carpet.”

Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger has called for a public inquiry into the matter, saying that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab did not mention the suspect’s reported past as a CIA officer herself.

He said: “Something has clearly gone very badly wrong and it is no wonder that Boris Johnson has not seen it fit to meet with the parents and I.”

It is understood that the family have since written to the Foreign Office asking for an explanation as to what they knew about Ms Sacoolas’s history with the CIA.

Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

Ms Sacoolas, 42, the wife of an intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

She was charged with causing Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving in December but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected an extradition request last month.

The US State Department said that the request would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “Anne Sacoolas was notified to us as a spouse with no official role.”

CIA torture scandal, new information


This 7 December 2019 video says about itself:

An article in the New York Times has raised more concerns over America’s human rights record. The article cites a report entitled “How America Tortures”, describing the treatment one current Guantanamo Bay prisoner and others endured at the hands of American intelligence agents.

By Tom Carter in the USA:

America’s torturers and their co-conspirators must be prosecuted

9 December 2019

“I was in such an indescribable state of pain… I could hear sounds coming from the brothers, not only one but more than one brother; one was moaning, another one vomiting and another one screaming: my back, my back!”

“He started banging my head against the wall with both his hands. The banging was so strong that I felt at some point my skull was in pieces… Then he dragged me to another very tiny squared box. With the help of the guards he shoved me inside the box…”

—Denbeaux, Mark et al., How America Tortures (2019), Appendix I: Abu Zubaydah’s Notes

**

Last month, the Seton Hall University School of Law’s Center for Policy and Research published a paper titled “How America Tortures”, which contains eight significant drawings by torture victim Abu Zubaydah.

The drawings by themselves are a powerful indictment of the entire political establishment in the United States, which has failed to hold anyone accountable for the crimes that are depicted.

The paper represents the work of a team led by Professor Mark Denbeaux, who is serving as an attorney for a number of Guantanamo Bay detainees, including Abu Zubaydah. The paper brings together material from numerous sources, including Central Intelligence Agency cables and other government documents, and Abu Zubaydah’s own account of what occurred, to provide a chronology “not only from the CIA’s perspective, but also from the perspective of the tortured.” The result is damning.

The CIA’s torture techniques are cataloged in comprehensive detail in the report. They include “cramped confinement” in small boxes, in some cases “adding insects to the dark box as another way to scare the detainee locked inside.” The paper documents the use of female soldiers to sexually abuse and humiliate detainees, with “female military personnel going shirtless during interrogations, giving forced lap dances, and rubbing red liquids on the detainees which they identified as menstrual blood.”

One FBI agent described finding detainees “chained hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor, with no chair, food, or water. Most times they had urinated or defacated [sic] on themselves, and had been left there for [eighteen, twenty-four] hours or more.”

Loud rap music was played around the clock. The now-infamous practice of “involuntary rectal feeding” involved pumping pureed food into the victim’s rectum for no medical reason.

How have the perpetrators of these bestial crimes managed to avoid prosecution? It is not for lack of evidence.

Today is the fifth anniversary of the release of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s “executive summary” of its findings regarding the CIA torture program. This executive summary, which runs in the hundreds of pages, is itself merely an outline of the full 6,700-page report, including 38,000 footnotes, which has been suppressed.

The World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time of the release of the summary: “From a legal standpoint, the war crimes and crimes against humanity that are documented in the report warrant the immediate arrest, indictment, and prosecution of every individual involved in the program, from the torturers themselves and their ‘outside contractors’ all the way up to senior officials in the Bush and Obama administrations who presided over the program and subsequently attempted to cover it up.”

The crimes perpetrated by the American military and intelligence agencies in the course of the so-called “war on terror” were heinous, premeditated, and involved extreme depravity. These crimes were further aggravated by protracted efforts to cover them up, destroy evidence and obstruct investigations.

The crimes cannot be written off as the overzealous conduct of low-level “rogue” agents. On the contrary, they were organized in cold blood and at the highest levels. The Seton Hall Law School paper states as a matter of fact that “top officials in the West Wing of the White House and the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice orchestrated and poorly oversaw a horrific torture program that was responsible for the detention and interrogation of countless detainees.”

A New York Times editorial dated December 5, titled “Don’t Look Away”, is an attempt at damage control following the release of the Abu Zubaydah illustrations. While denouncing torture as “barbaric and illegal”, the article seeks to blame the torture program on the Republicans, denouncing President Trump and “those who think like him.”

The Times concludes: “The United States has by far the greatest security establishment on earth, with the greatest reach. When the United States commits or abets war crimes, it erodes the honor, effectiveness, and value of that force.”

The Times does not attempt to explain how it came to pass that nobody was ever prosecuted for conduct that it admits was “barbaric and illegal” and constituted “war crimes”.

In reality, the CIA torture program was entirely bipartisan. Jay Rockefeller, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as then-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi were briefed on the program in 2002.

The Obama administration played a key role in legitimizing torture and shielding war criminals from prosecution. Under the slogan of “looking forward not backward”, the Democrats refused to prosecute anyone involved in the program or cover-up. The only CIA employee who was ever prosecuted by the Obama administration in connection with torture was analyst John Kiriakou, who was jailed for publicly acknowledging that the CIA was engaged in waterboarding.

Obama refused for years to release the Senate torture report and assisted the CIA’s efforts to suppress it. In 2015, the Obama administration successfully sued to prevent the American Civil Liberties Union from obtaining it under the Freedom of Information Act.

What did the New York Times have to say about these “barbaric and illegal” practices at the time? On April 6, 2002, a Times headline gloated, “A Master Terrorist is Nabbed”. Describing the abduction of Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan, without charges or legal proceedings of any kind, the Times wrote, “His seizure demonstrates that the painstaking international detective work of the current phase of the war on terror is paying off.”

On June 12, 2002, in an article titled “Traces of Terror”, the Times continued its role as a CIA stenographer: “After nearly 100 sessions with CIA and FBI interrogators at a heavily guarded, undisclosed location, the captured terrorist Abu Zubaydah has provided information that American officials say is central to the Bush administration’s efforts to pre-empt a new wave of attacks against the United States.”

This version of events was, as is now universally acknowledged, a pack of lies. Abu Zubaydah was not a high-level operative in Al Qaeda, and he may not have even been a member. He has never been charged with a crime, let alone tried and convicted. Yet to this day, he continues to rot in a cell in the Guantanamo Bay torture camp, with no prospect of being released.

Five years after the publication of the Senate report, where are the torturers and their co-conspirators now? Gina Haspel, who presided over a CIA torture compound in Thailand and was implicated in the destruction of tapes of Abu Zubaydah’s torture in 2005, was promoted by Trump to become the new director of the agency.

The previous director, John Brennan, who was a high-level CIA official during the Bush administration and under Obama ordered agents to break into Senate staffers’ computers in an effort to search for incriminating information relating to torture, is now serving as a well-paid “senior national security and intelligence analyst” for NBC News and MSNBC. He makes regular appearances on news programs to agitate in favor of the Democrats’ impeachment drive.

James Mitchell, whose company, Mitchell Jessen and Associates, received a $81 million contract from the CIA to develop and implement the “enhanced interrogation” techniques that were used on Abu Zubaydah and others, remains at large. According to a Bloomberg News article in 2014, he is now retired and spends his free time kayaking, rafting and climbing.

And what has been the fate of those who have exposed official criminality? Julian Assange is imprisoned in Belmarsh Prison in London, where his life is endangered by conditions amounting to torture. Chelsea Manning was imprisoned and tortured, released, and then imprisoned again for refusing to testify against Assange before a grand jury. Edward Snowden was forced to flee the country and seek refuge in Russia.

The torturers and their co-conspirators have not been prosecuted, not because of lack of evidence or insufficient legal grounds, but because the entire political establishment is implicated at the highest levels, including the Democrats, the Republicans, the military and intelligence agencies, the establishment media, and all of those who perpetrated the reactionary fraud of the “war on terror”.

The failure to prosecute the torturers has served to embolden the most fascistic layers in the state apparatus, opening the way for Trump to boast of his support for torture in broad daylight. Trump and his fascistic advisers, frightened by the growth of social opposition, believe that the Gestapo-style methods that have been implemented in the course of the “war on terror” are necessary to terrify and suppress opposition both abroad and internally. While Trump brags that he is in favor of implementing torture practices at Guantanamo Bay that are a “hell of a lot worse”, he tells police officers within the US: “Don’t be too nice.”

The Democrats and their allies are concerned that public discussion of the crimes of the state would serve to fuel popular hostility towards the institutions the New York Times describes as the “greatest security establishment on earth”. It would cut across the Democrats’ ongoing efforts to ingratiate and align themselves with the CIA as part of the impeachment drive against Trump. Moreover, the revelations of CIA torture underscore the hypocrisy of their efforts to justify American imperialist aggression and subversion all over the world in the name of “human rights”.

For these reasons, the demand to bring the torturers to justice must be taken up by the international working class. Every individual who participated in the CIA torture program or the cover-up in any capacity, including those who failed to intervene when they had an opportunity to do so, should face arrest, indictment and prosecution.

The fight to end torture once and for all must be connected to the mounting struggles of the international working class to defend and expand its democratic and social rights and halt the drive of the ruling class toward dictatorship. The entire existing social order is implicated in torture and must be overthrown.

CIA, FBI not good alternatives to Trump


This 24 March 2016 video says about itself:

The Dark Prison: The Legacy of the CIA Torture Programme | Fault Lines

“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks.”

It’s been more than a year since US President Barack Obama admitted that the CIA tortured prisoners at its interrogation centres.

While the CIA has long admitted the use of waterboarding, which simulates drowning by pouring water into a person’s nose and mouth, a truncated and heavily redacted report by the Senate Intelligence Committee in December 2015 detailed other abuses that went beyond previous disclosures.

Reading like a script from a horror film, some of the techniques involved prisoners being slapped and punched while being dragged naked up and down corridors, being kept in isolation in total darkness, subject to constant deafening music, rectal rehydration and being locked in coffin-shaped boxes.

Critical to the development of the CIA’s brutal interrogation programme was a legal memo that said the proposed methods of interrogation were not torture if they did not cause “organ failure, death or permanent damage”.

Despite failing to produce any useful information about imminent terrorist attacks, the CIA meted out these and other brutal treatments for years after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

And with dozens of people having since been released without charge, and at least a quarter of them officially declared to have been “wrongfully detained”, the effects of torture live on with the victims, burned into their minds.

In this episode of Fault Lines, we explore the plight of these men struggling to overcome their harrowing experiences of torture since leaving CIA-run black sites.

By Barry Grey in the USA:

“Meet the Press” anchor Chuck Todd grills senator: “You don’t trust the FBI and CIA?”

8 October 2019

An exchange on Sunday between NBC News’ “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd and Senator Ron Johnson (Republican from Wisconsin) sums up the right-wing basis on which the Democratic Party and its media allies are conducting their impeachment drive against President Trump.

In the interview, Johnson refused to condemn Trump for withholding military aid in order to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the role of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in his son Hunter’s business dealings with a Ukrainian oligarch, the central issue in the impeachment inquiry.

The senator, who cosponsored a bipartisan bill to send arms to the right-wing anti-Russian regime, also sought to defend Trump’s demand that Kiev investigate collaboration between the 2016 Clinton election campaign and Ukraine in depicting Trump as a stooge of Russian President Vladimir Putin and charging Moscow with hacking Democratic Party emails.

At the beginning of 2017, in advance of Trump’s inauguration, the CIA and the rest of the US intelligence agencies officially adopted the fabricated narrative of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election and Trump campaign collusion. This became the basis for a secret FBI counterintelligence investigation into the Trump White House, which then morphed into the nearly two-year investigation by Special Council Robert Mueller. The current impeachment drive is an extension of this CIA-driven campaign.

When Johnson evaded Todd’s questions concerning Trump’s bullying of Ukraine to advance his personal electoral chances, and instead repeatedly raised the Clinton campaign’s collaboration with Ukrainian officials against Trump, Todd exclaimed as though in exasperated disbelief:

“Do you not trust the FBI? You don’t trust the CIA?” …

Nothing could more clearly reveal the role of the Democratic Party and its media allies in fronting for the intelligence agencies than this exchange between the “liberal” news analyst and the right-wing Republican defender of Trump. The Democrats’ alternative to Trump’s efforts to establish a form of presidential dictatorship and create a fascist movement based on anti-immigrant racism and extreme nationalism is to install a government directly run by the CIA and the Pentagon. …

They evidently believe that the public is infinitely gullible and suffering from collective memory loss.

These, after all, are the organizations that justified the war in Iraq on the basis of the Big Lie of “weapons of mass destruction”. They created the fraudulent narrative of the “war on terror” to justify aggressive wars in Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa that killed millions and destroyed entire societies. Meanwhile, in Libya and Syria, they funded and collaborated with Al Qaeda-linked terrorist militias in wars for regime-change.

The CIA has engineered coups and installed military dictatorships and far-right regimes all over the world. It would take many volumes to detail all of the lies and crimes of these pillars of the “deep state” against the people of the United States and the entire world. …

It is crucial that working people not allow their opposition to Trump to be channeled behind the CIA-Democratic impeachment drive. The working class must conduct the struggle against Trump independently of all sections of the ruling class and both capitalist parties. Its methods are those not of palace coup, but class struggle, which must be expanded to embrace all sections of workers and youth both in the US and internationally in the fight against the capitalist system, the source of inequality, war and dictatorship.

As Donald Trump responds to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry by seeking to whip up far-right and fascistic forces, the Democrats and their allies in the media are promoting dissident elements in the military command that are publicly denouncing the White House’s decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria. The extraordinary intervention of high-ranking retired generals is a breach of the core constitutional principle of the subordination of the military to civilian authority. It highlights the right-wing and anti-democratic character of both factions in the political conflict in Washington and the immense dangers facing the working class if the resolution of the crisis is left in the hands of the warring factions of the ruling class: here.

CIA killing people with drones


This 10 March 2019 video says about itself:

Civilian deaths by US drone strikes will no longer be reported

President Donald Trump has reversed a 2016 policy that requires US intelligence to report the number of civilians killed in US drone strikes.

Knack weekly in Belgium reported on 7 June 2017 on the long-distance killing of people thousands of miles away by drones piloted from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia in the USA. The Trump administration made these drone killings even worse.

Translated from the report, interviewing an ex-CIA employee:

A colleague killed a man and spared his child. But then he saw how the child walked back, and put his father’s body parts back into the form of a human body.

Trump’s Pompeo admits CIA is anti-democratic, pro-capitalist


This 22 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Friday, April 26, 2019

Pompeo admits CIA support for imperialist intervention

FORMER Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo has confirmed what many already knew — that US spooks have been working to remove democratically elected governments for decades.

The surprisingly honest admission was made by Mr Pompeo, now US Secretary of State, to an audience at a Texas University on April 15 when he revealed the agency trains operatives to “lie, cheat and steal.”

He was addressing delegates at the Why Diplomacy Matters conference, extolling the virtues of “military strength” by claiming it was intimately related to diplomacy.

Mr Pompeo hinted that US international relations were guided by the continued search for profit and the opening of new markets for capitalist exploitation.

“The truth is we have to compete in a global economy. The United States businesses need access to markets all across the world. President Trump is determined to open those markets for our products,” he said.

He claimed that the US had “1,600 economic officers stationed all across the world” in a bid to “persuade” governments to open their markets to US private companies.

The CIA has long been accused of working covertly to support regime change and the overthrow of democratically elected governments that threaten US profits, particularly across Latin America.

Most famously the spy agency supported the so-called Chicago Boys who were central to the overthrow of Chilean leader Salvador Allende, who was shot dead on September 11 1973.

Recently declassified papers revealed the extent of the CIA-backed Operation Condor, which saw US supported dictators in South America torture, kill and forcibly disappear government opponents in the region in the 1970s.

An estimated 60,000 people were killed by the Latin American states in the clandestine operation, 30,000 in Argentina alone by the military junta that ruled between 1976 and 1983.

At least 400,000 were rounded up and jailed during the operations. The CIA is now known to have trained and supported military and civilian personnel that were involved in the brutal oppression.

Despite this, Mr Pompeo lauded US global intervention, telling those gathered, to laughter: “When I was a cadet, what’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.

“I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

CIA drones killing civilians OK, Trump decides


This 2 July 2016 video says about itself:

US downplays civilian drone fatalities in new report

The White House has released its report on the number of civilians killed by drone strikes during its two terms in office. The report says they conducted 473 strikes killing as many as 2,500 people labeled as combatants and also taking the lives of up to 116 civilians.

It only applies to areas the US does not consider itself in active combat, so excludes Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane reports from Washington, DC.

From the BBC today, about the USA:

Trump revokes Obama rule on reporting drone strike deaths

President Donald Trump has revoked a policy set by his predecessor requiring US intelligence officials to publish the number of civilians killed in drone strikes outside of war zones.

As the video says, these official numbers of civilians killed were probably just the tip of the iceberg.

The 2016 executive order was brought in by then-President Barack Obama, who was under pressure to be more transparent.

The Trump administration said the rule was “superfluous” and distracting.

The order applied to the CIA, which has carried out drone strikes in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. …

What was the rule?

It required the head of the CIA to release annual summaries of US drone strikes and assess how many died as a result.

Mr Trump’s executive order does not overturn reporting requirements on civilian deaths set for the military by Congress.

There have been 2,243 drone strikes in the first two years of the Trump presidency, compared with 1,878 in Mr Obama’s eight years in office, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a UK-based think tank.

What is the reaction?

Lawmakers and rights groups have criticised Mr Trump’s decision, saying it could allow the CIA to conduct drone strikes without accountability.

“The Trump administration’s action is an unnecessary and dangerous step backwards on transparency and accountability for the use of lethal force, and the civilian casualties they cause,” Rita Siemion of Human Rights First told AFP news agency.

Trump’s torturing CIA boss Haspel, new documents


This 17 May 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Doctor who treated a Gina Haspel torture victim speaks out

While I was uploading this video, Gina Haspel was confirmed as CIA director.

The details of how victims were tortured under her watch at a CIA black site in Thailand are horrifying.

By E.P. Milligan in the USA:

Cables document CIA Director Haspel’s direct role in torture at black site in Thailand

15 August 2018

Declassified cables released last Friday provide irrefutable evidence that the current CIA director, Gina Haspel, played a direct role in the torture of detainees at a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002. The National Security Archive obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Haspel was chief of base at “Detention Site Green” (also known as “Cat’s Eye”) and either wrote or authorized the cables.

The publication of the damning cables was given short shrift by the corporate media. The New York Times and the Washington Post each published only one article on the story in their August 10 editions. Both newspapers placed the story on their inside pages and buried it thereafter.

Haspel, tapped by Trump earlier this year to succeed Mike Pompeo, who was promoted to secretary of state, served as acting director beginning last April 26 and became director on May 26. The Democrats supplied the necessary votes to assure her confirmation by the Senate following hearings in May. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearings on Haspel’s nomination provided a revealing exposure of the criminality of the US intelligence apparatus as well as the disintegration of bourgeois democratic processes in the United States.

The hearing was characterized by gushing tributes by both Democrats and Republicans for the work of an agency long ago dubbed “Murder, Inc.” for its crimes around the world, including the organization of political assassinations, the creation of terrorist armies and the orchestration of fascist-military coups.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who after the hearing became the first Democrat to announce his support for the nomination, went so far as to tell Haspel that when speaking to constituents, “I brag about what you people do in the Clandestine Services.”

The CIA has redacted Haspel’s name from the released cables, as well as those of CIA contract psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. The three were identified in a Senate Intelligence Committee torture report declassified and released in 2014, which documented the grisly and illegal torture methods sanctioned by the George W. Bush administration following the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC.

President Obama and his CIA chief, John Brennan, blocked the release of the report for months, and Brennan had his agents hack into the computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staff who were drafting the report. Obama blocked any prosecution of Bush officials, including Brennan himself, a high-ranking CIA official during the Republican administration, who were involved in the torture program.

The 16 cables from Haspel published by the National Security Archive document scenes fit for a medieval dungeon. The CIA’s victims endured waterboarding, a technique in which water is poured through a cloth placed over the victim’s mouth and nose, inducing drowning; walling, i.e., having one’s back and head slammed repeatedly into a wall; forced nudity, hooding and shackling, confinement in a small box, sleep deprivation and other forms of physical and psychological torture.

Haspel was also involved in the 2005 destruction of CIA tapes of torture sessions sought by the courts.

The documents identify the victim as Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, a Saudi national and member of Al Qaeda, who endured at least 16 days of unabated torture before he was moved to another facility. Sixteen years later, Al-Nashiri is a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. A psychological expert has described him as “one of the most damaged victims of torture” she has ever examined.

The first torture session of Al-Nashiri took place on November 15, 2002. “At 0415 hours, HVT [high-value target] interrogators, security team members and linguist entered the cell”, the first cable states. “The rolled towel/neck support was placed around his neck, and subject was moved to the walling board.”

When it was deemed that Al-Nashiri had not divulged a sufficient amount of information, the interrogators “immediately used the attention grab with the rolled towel/neck support to move subject off the wall and down on to the floor of the cell. Subject’s clothes were ripped off of him by security team members while the interrogator told subject we knew he was lying…”

The interrogators threatened Al-Nashiri, stating that “if he refused to cooperate he would suffer in ways he never thought possible.” The security team then forcibly shaved his head while he “moaned and wailed.” Finally, the security team locked him in a box roughly the size of a coffin.

Another document reveals that at a subsequent torture session, interrogators locked al-Nashiri in an even smaller box, requiring that he curl up in order to fit inside.

The cables describe as many as three torture sessions a day. The victim spent the majority of this time nude and shackled in a containment box, allowed only liquid food. When he gave information that interrogators believed to be true, he was “given solid food and allowed to sleep on the floor of his cell with a mat and a towel to cover himself.” On day 12 of his confinement, his interrogators began routinely waterboarding him.

One particular cable from December 1 describes a torture session in lurid detail. The author, who may have been Haspel herself, gloats:

“Security team backed the hooded and shackled subject against the walling panel with the towel/neck restraint over his shoulders. [High-value target interrogator] [redacted] and linguist [redacted] strode, catlike, into the well-lit confines of the cell at 0902 hrs [redacted], deftly removed the subject’s black hood with a swipe, paused, and in a deep, measured voice said that subject—having ‘calmed down’ after his (staged) run-in with his hulking, heavily muscled guards the previous day—should reveal what subject had done to vex his guards to the point of rage.”

Haspel, 61, joined the CIA in 1985. Among the positions she has held in the agency are chief of station in several world capitals, senior manager of the Counterterrorism Center and, under the Obama administration, acting deputy director of the National Clandestine Service (NCS), which carries out covert operations around the globe.