Journalist Khashoggi murdered and Trump’s CIA boss

This 25 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

MBS [Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman] Crimes a Distraction for US Regime Change Plan in Iran – Q&A with Paul Jay (Pt 3/6)

Lindsey Graham, a key spokesman for neocons and the military-industrial-complex, has said it’s time for MBS to go – From a live recording on October 16th, 2018 with Paul Jay and Ben Norton.

Watch full series here.

This 25 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Will The US Turn on the Saudi Crown Prince? Q&A (Pt 4/6)

Real News senior editor Paul Jay says the Saudi crown prince is becoming a liability for the Trump administration’s strategy for regime change in Iran – From a live recording on October 16th, 2018.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

CIA director briefs Trump on Khashoggi torture tape

26 October 2018

Gina Haspel, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), briefed President Donald Trump Thursday on her trip to Ankara, Turkey, this week in which she met with her counterparts at the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and other senior officials to review evidence related to the savage murder of journalist and former Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

According to the pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah, the evidence presented to Haspel included both audio and video tapes (apparently obtained through the bugging of the consulate by Turkish intelligence) of the torture and murder of Khashoggi and the subsequent dismemberment of his body.

Haspel’s findings appear to have had no immediate effect on US policy toward Saudi Arabia, with the Trump administration thus far responding to the assassination of Khashoggi, a US resident who was employed by the Washington Post as a columnist, with only visa revocations for 21 Saudi citizens, all of them either charged by the Saudi monarchy in connection with the killing or fired from their posts.

The Saudi regime, meanwhile, has once again shifted its account of Khashoggi’s death in its Istanbul consulate, which for 17 days it had denied ever happening. After claiming that he was killed in a “fist fight” with the 15-member death squad dispatched from Riyadh and then suggesting he was killed in a “chokehold” as part of a kidnapping attempt gone wrong, the country’s attorney general issued a statement Thursday acknowledging that the murder was premeditated.

“The public prosecution received information from the Turkish side through the Joint Working Group between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Turkish Republic, indicating that the suspects in Khashoggi’s case premeditated their crime”, Attorney General Shaikh Suood bin Abdullah Al Mo’jab said in a statement posted on the state Saudi news agency’s website.

Whether the latest change in the official Saudi account came in response to Haspel’s trip to Turkey and viewing of the evidence is not clear. The claims of some kind of accidental death, however, had become increasingly untenable under the steady flow of leaks from Turkish authorities exposing grisly details of Khashoggi’s death. Among the latest revelations was that his killers severed his fingers while he was still alive, reportedly to take back to Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as evidence of the mission’s success. Bin Salman had reportedly vowed to cut off the fingers of any Saudi writers criticizing his regime.

It has also become increasingly difficult for the Trump administration to sustain its alibis for bin Salman, whom it had promoted as a “reformer” and the chief ally of US imperialism in the Middle East. Asked by the Wall Street Journal whether the desert kingdom’s de facto ruler was responsible for the killing, Trump replied, “The prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him.”

At the same time, he recounted a telephone conversation with bin Salman in which the he said the crown prince had insisted he had nothing to do with planning Khashoggi’s murder and that those responsible were “at lower levels.”

Asked if he believed these denials, Trump responded, “I want to believe them. I really want to believe them.”

The statements follow a week in which the US president initially attempted to lend credence to the Saudi regime’s claims that it knew nothing about the Khashoggi murder, and then that perhaps he was the victim of “rogue killers.” Later, he appeared to be critiquing the Saudi killers for botching the job, saying that it “was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who traveled to Riyadh last week to discuss the matter with King Salman and his son Mohammed bin Salman, declared afterward in relation to Khashoggi’s murder, “I don’t want to talk about any of the facts, they didn’t want to either.” While there, he and bin Salman hailed the close alliance between the US and the criminal monarchical dictatorship.

Trump and other US officials have stressed the importance of the Saudi regime’s role as a linchpin in US imperialism’s Middle East strategy and its drive to war with Iran, while insisting that Washington will not halt arms sales to the kingdom, which are a major source of profits for American weapons manufacturers.

Thus far, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while insisting that Khashoggi was the victim of a “ferocious” premeditated murder and that all “those who ordered the crime and those who committed it” must be brought to justice, has failed to make public the tapes reportedly viewed by Haspel and has not charged bin Salman as the chief conspirator in the assassination.

Ankara clearly sees the Khashoggi assassination as a means of promoting the Turkish regime’s interests in relation to Riyadh and Washington. It has shared tense relations with both the Saudi regime and US imperialism, including over Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Qatar, a key ally of Turkey, and Washington’s utilization of the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia as a proxy ground force. Ankara views the YPG as a branch of the PKK, the Turkish Kurdish separatist movement against which it has waged a bloody counterinsurgency campaign for more than 30 years.

While in political conflict with Saudi Arabia over a range of regional issues, the Turkish government also is not anxious to provoke a complete break with Riyadh, in large part out of concern that it would mean a cutoff of Saudi oil money that has been crucial to countering the country’s severe economic crisis.

There is no doubt that Haspel’s mission to Ankara was not just to review forensic evidence, but to see what price needs to be paid to secure Erdogan’s collaboration in damage control over the Khashoggi murder.

The choice of Haspel for this mission has grim historical resonance. She herself is no stranger to forcible rendition and torture, having presided over a secret CIA “black site” in Thailand where detainees were subjected to waterboarding, prolonged confinement in coffin-like boxes and other forms of torture. She also was deeply involved in the illegal destruction of videotapes made by the CIA of torture sessions, including of those that she had overseen.

The dispatch of Haspel to Ankara to deal with the Khashoggi assassination only underscores the systemic criminality of US imperialism and its principal ally in the Middle East. This brutal murder has become a bargaining chip between regimes in Washington, Riyadh and Ankara that are all engaged in mass killings, assassinations, torture and political repression.

Whether these machinations lead to a CIA-orchestrated palace coup in Riyadh, replacing the “reformer” crown prince with another reactionary member of the royal family, remains to be seen.

How Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Trump Are Coordinating a Plan to Get Away with Murder. The emerging Khashoggi cover-up is hazardous to the health of the United States: here.

Saudi crown prince’s bloody war, gruesome torture of journalist

This video says about itself:

🇸🇦The dark side of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince l Al Jazeera English

17 October 2018

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been on a quick rise to power and has been touted as a progressive reformer.

But his human rights record casts a dark shadow on his economic and social reforms.

Here are 8 things that have gone wrong since MBS started his ascent to power:

1. War in Yemen
2. Detention of Lebanon’s PM
3. Ritz-Carlton purge
4. GCC crisis and blockade of Qatar
5. Jailed women’s rights activists
6. Diplomatic spat with Canada
7. Rise of executions in the kingdom
8. Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

The number of execution in the kingdom has rapidly increased lately.

According to human rights organisations, MBS has overseen the execution of 16 people on average per month every month.

If this rate continues, 2018 could see 200 executions.

That is the highest number ever recorded in Saudi Arabia in one year.

In October 2018, Saudi journalist and MBS critic Jamal Khashoggi enters a Saudi consulate in Istanbul and never comes out. Pressure is mounting on Saudi Arabia to reveal what happened to Khashoggi. World leaders have demanded a thorough and transparent investigation.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Khashoggi said to have been tortured in the presence of the consul: ‘You are causing me problems’

The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is said to have been tortured in the presence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul, Mohammed al-Otaibi. The Turkish newspaper Yeni Sefak … basing itself on the sound recordings that Khashoggi is said to have made in the consulate with his smart watch.

Press agency Reuters reported earlier today on the basis of Saudi media that Al-Otaibi, who had meanwhile returned to his homeland, had been sacked and that he would be investigated whether he had committed “violations”. An hour later Reuters retracted that message. Meanwhile, Turkish police arrived at the official residence of the Saudi consul to conduct research there.

According to Yeni Sefak, the sound recordings do not only tell how the journalist is killed, but the voice of Al-Otaibi can also be recognized. “Do this outside, you cause me trouble,” he is said to have told the men who were torturing Khashoggi in his office.

One of the men then snarled towards the consul: “Keep your mouth shut if you want to stay alive when you return to Saudi Arabia”.

Horrific details

The American newspaper The Wall Street Journal spoke to a Turkish government source that also has the sound recording. It states that Al-Otaibi was subsequently driven from his office, after which the torturing of Khashoggi continued – including including chopping off his fingers – and he was killed.

The recording is also said to show how the forensic expert the Saudis had sent to Turkey

Oh yeah, ‘Dr’ Salah al-Tubaigy. The murderer Leatherface in the horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is fortunately a fictional character. Unfortunately, the Istanbul bone saw murderous ghoul Salah al-Tubaigy is real.

put on headphones with music when he started cutting the body into pieces, and he advised the other men to do the same. …

Death squad

Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 when he wanted to arrange papers at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He was a columnist for The Washington Post and wrote critically about the Saudi crown prince.

Earlier, a group of fifteen men had already been identified by Turkey as the ‘death squad’ of the journalist. The men arrived in Turkey shortly before the disappearance of Khashoggi, visited the consulate and left the country immediately after the disappearance of the journalist.

Today it turned out that certainly one of the men of the presumed death squad was traveling on foreign trips of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman as a security guard. Three others are also associated with the security of the crown prince. A fifth man is a forensic doctor who works at the Saudi Ministry of the Interior.

On Monday, the Turks searched the consulate, finding “certain evidence” that Khashoggi had been killed.

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

Message from [Senator] Bernie [Sanders]: Stop Supporting the War in Yemen

The recent disappearance and likely assassination of Jamal Khashoggi only underscores how urgent it has become for the United States to redefine our relationship with Saudi Arabia and end our support for the war in Yemen.

TRUMP CRITICIZES SAUDI ACCUSERS Donald Trump has defended Saudi Arabia against mounting global condemnation over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, claiming the kingdom is being unfairly viewed as “guilty until proven innocent.” Trump’s comments came amid new reports that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in a plot organized by a high-ranking officer in Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence service. [HuffPost]

KUSHNER LEADING KHASHOGGI RESPONSE A senior Trump administration official claims that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is playing a critical role in formulating the White House response to the disappearance of Khashoggi, including direct phone conversations with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about the crisis. [HuffPost]

Khashoggi’s last column: here.

French government admits army torture in Algeria at last

This 2000 Associated Press video says about itself:

General Paul Aussaresses, France’s intelligence chief during the Algerian independence war, four decades ago, now says that “everybody knew” he and his subordinates were conducting torture during the Battle of Algiers.

The 83-year-old General who first admitted to torture and summary executions in an autobiography published last week, now says he has regrets but no remorse because remorse implies guilt of which he has none. Aussaresses’ admission of torture and summary executions, published last week in an interview and a book, “horrified” President Jacques Chirac and plunged France into a self-examination of the nearly eight-year-long war that ended in 1962 with Algerian independence.

The French League of Human Rights filed a lawsuit on Friday against the general, saying the substance of his book constituted an apology for war crimes. Other groups said they planned to file suit for war crimes despite a 1968 French amnesty. The general was intelligence chief, and a leading figure during the brutal 1957 Battle of Algiers. His lapel carried the red Legion of Honor insignia that Chirac said he wants withdrawn. Chirac on Friday also asked Defence Minister Alain Richard to explore eventual sanctions, likely to be symbolic given the general’s age.

Asked personally how he could allow torture to be used during the Battle of Algiers, the General said it was difficult but he ordered his men to do so because he had no choice. However, he indicated that with one copy going to the government’s direct representative – there was no written proof of what was going on. This was despite a daily report he wrote on his division’s activities.

… He said that in his case torture was necessary because of the ‘exceptional conditions’ prevailing.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 13 August 2018:

The French state has admitted for the first time that during the Algerian war (1954-1962) the army was guilty of disappearing and torturing political opponents, sometimes resulting in their deaths.

This happened with a visit by President Macron to the 87-year-old widow of Maurice Audin (1932-1957), a mathematician and a communist who committed himself to the Algerian struggle for independence.

Macron admitted that the French state had been responsible for the death of her husband. He asked for forgiveness and promised to open the archives about the war. “Everyone must know the truth”, he said. He also summoned witnesses to the death of Audin to report and make a statement.

Murdered or tortured to death

Audin was arrested by French soldiers in Algeria in 1957 and did not survive. He may have been tortured to death. His body has never been recovered. Macron’s predecessor Hollande never went beyond the statement that Audin had died in captivity.

The death of Audin became the symbol of bloody repression of Algerian independence. A square in the capital Algiers has been named after him.

Marcel Audin in 1950, AFP photo

A statement issued today by the presidential palace shows how soldiers were able to remove people who had committed themselves to the Algerian struggle for independence.

The military were given special powers to pick up, detain and question any suspected person. “Unfortunately, this system became the basis for terrible acts, such as torture in the Audin affair”, the statement said.

In that system, torture was regarded as “a legitimate means”, not only against the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) but also against everyone who sympathized with the FLN.

Relationship with Algeria

… The Franco-Algerian relationship is still bitter because of the cruelty that accompanied the struggle at the time.

The number of deaths on the French side is estimated at 17,500, with 300,000 on the FLN side. Estimates on the number of civilians killed range from 350,000 to 1.5 million.

Given the angry mood among workers in France and across Europe, and the widespread hatred of President Emmanuel Macron, it was perhaps inevitable that the passing of right-wing President Jacques Chirac Thursday would trigger an outpouring of official tributes. The last two years have undermined the self-confidence of the political establishment. The eruption of strikes in America, France and across Europe, and mass political protests by the “yellow vests” in France and by workers and youth in Sudan, Algeria and Hong Kong have marked a resurgence of international class struggle. Chirac’s death reminds PR executives, intelligence officials and editorial writers alike that everything seemed safer and more predictable under his presidency (1995-2007): here.

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.

Emirates-USA torture in Yemen, Amnesty says

This video says about itself:

🇾🇪 Yemeni prisoners say UAE officers sexually torture them: AP | Al Jazeera English

20 June 2018

Seven former detainees of prisons run by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen have described what they call ”systematic sexual torture”.

They told the Associated Press they were raped and abused by Yemeni guards working under UAE officers. …

Al Jazeera’s Dayana Karim reports.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

UAE and US guilty of war crimes in Yemen torture centers, Amnesty charges

13 July 2018

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and mercenary forces operating under its command have carried out widespread forced disappearances, torture and murder of Yemenis suspected of opposing the more than three-year-old intervention by the oil-rich Gulf state in alliance with Saudi Arabia and Washington.

This is the conclusion drawn by the human rights group Amnesty International after interviewing at least 75 people, including families of the disappeared and detained, survivors of the UAE torture centers, lawyers, journalists and local officials in Yemen.

Amnesty concentrated its investigation on 51 cases, typical of the untold hundreds if not thousands who have been swept up into the UAE detention and torture apparatus. Nineteen of these individuals remain missing, their whereabouts unknown to their families amid fears that some of them may have died in captivity.

The report outlines the stark political contradictions underlying the UAE’s repressive operations in Yemen. While intervening in the country as part of a Saudi-led coalition whose ostensible aim is the restoration to power of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Saudi puppet who was overthrown by Houthi rebels in January 2015, the UAE is clearly pursuing its own interests in the region.

“The UAE had been bypassing Hadi government officials in dealing with security issues, at times prompting President Hadi and his supporters to criticize the UAE for behaving like an occupier”, the Amnesty report states.

This statement was substantiated on Monday when the “interior minister” designated by President Hadi, who remains in self-imposed exile

Or: Saudi autocracy-imposed house arrest exile?

in Riyadh, held a meeting in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden with a top UAE official, calling on Abu Dhabi to shut down or hand over the prisons it runs in southern Yemen.

The UAE has been working in collaboration with southern secessionists, who oppose the re-imposition of Hadi’s rule over the region, as well as with a network of militias and mercenaries that it is arming and financing.

Its aim is to assert control over a series of bases bordering the strategic waterways linking the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean, most importantly the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, through which much of the Middle East’s oil bound for Asia is shipped.

To assert its control, the UAE has instituted a reign of terror in the areas of Yemen it has conquered. According to Amnesty: “Witnesses described how detainees were dragged from places of work and on the street, in some cases they were beaten—at times to the point of bleeding or losing consciousness—and companions threatened when they attempted to question the arrest. When a 37-year-old man was being arrested by the Security Belt while hanging out with friends near his house in Aden he was beaten up when he asked why he was being taken, his family said; a friend who stepped in to stop the beating was detained too.

“In cases where arrests happened at home, witnesses said security forces showed up in large numbers, barged in oftentimes late at night or around dawn, pointing guns at family members, using excessive force amid the screams of women and children. They dragged out individuals without showing warrants, explaining the reason of the arrest, or saying where they are taking those being arrested.”

Among those seized in this fashion have been suspected supporters of the Houthis as well as those of groups that fought against them, along with members of the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, journalists, civic leaders and those believed to be critical of UAE rule.

Those detained have been taken to a network of 18 secret prisons where, according to Amnesty, detainees report, “being subjected to or witnessing torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual abuse, and the use of prolonged solitary confinement. Witnesses said, at times, detainees were filmed as they were being tortured, including while being tied, stripped naked, given electric shocks and beaten with canes and wires.”

The report quoted one detainee, held at a detention camp located at the UAE base in Bureiqa, Aden, who said he had been subjected to “all sorts of torture” by UAE troops there “including by repeatedly inserting an object into his anus until he bled. He said he was kept in a hole in the ground with only his head above the surface for up to three days during which he was only given a small amount of water twice a day and left to defecate and urinate on himself in that position.”

The report also cited the exposure last month by the Associated Press of widespread sexual torture inside the UAE’s secret prisons. Detainees have been systematically raped by Yemeni guards acting under the orders of Emirati officers as other guards filmed these assaults for the purpose of blackmail.

Other regular practices have included electrocuting prisoners’ genitals, hanging rocks from their testicles and sodomizing them with wooden and steel poles.

“They strip you naked, then tie your hands to a steel pole from the right and the left so you are spread open in front of them. Then the sodomizing starts”, a father of four told the AP.

An earlier AP report published last year quoted Pentagon officials as acknowledging that US military personnel “participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies.”

The Pentagon has claimed that it has received no reports of torture or abuse, but prisoners have reported the presence of uniformed US military personnel at the torture centers. While they had not seen them participate directly in the abuse, they insisted that they had to have been aware of the torture, given the constant screaming and the condition of the detainees.

The UAE forces, moreover, consist in large measure of mercenaries, including former American military officers who have assumed senior command positions. A key role has been played in the organization of the UAE military by an Abu Dhabi-based firm called Reflex Responses Company, also known as R2, founded in 2010 by the politically connected military contractor Erik Prince, who formerly headed Blackwater, infamous for its massacres in Iraq.

Prince, whose sister Betsy Devos is Trump’s education secretary, has overseen the hiring and training of mercenaries from Sudan, Colombia, South Africa and elsewhere, who have been deployed to Yemen.

The Amnesty report makes clear that the UAE’s arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances and wholesale torture, as well as the US complicity in these acts, constitute war crimes.

As horrific as they are, these crimes are only the tip of the iceberg of the atrocities unleashed against the people of Yemen in a war that has assumed near genocidal proportions. The war has left 600,000 civilians either dead or wounded, according to a statement issued by the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights in March. It has left another 22.2 million Yemenis in need of food aid, and 8.4 million on the brink of famine.

Last month, the UAE, with Washington’s backing and military collaboration, launched a military siege of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, despite warnings from the UN that it could cost the lives of 250,000 civilians in the city itself, as well as millions more if the port—the lifeline for food and medicine for some 70 percent of the population—were shut down.

Washington has backed the war, providing Saudi-led forces with the bombs and missiles that are killing Yemenis, supporting the blockade of the country with US warships, providing midair refueling for Saudi warplanes and operating a joint logistic center in Riyadh where targets are chosen.

Begun under the Obama administration, Washington’s support for massive war crimes is directed at countering Iranian influence in the region and furthering US hegemony, strategic aims for which US imperialism is prepared to sacrifice the lives of millions.

British government and torture update

This video says about itself:

🇬🇧 Report: UK involved in torture and rendition of terror suspects | Al Jazeera English

28 June 2018

An investigation into the UK’s involvement in rendition and torture after 9/11 has criticised “inexcusable” collusion with the United States in the mistreatment of detainees.

The British Parliament’s Intelligence Committee Report concluded that the security agencies supplied questions for the interrogation of prisoners who they knew or suspected were being subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and paid for the rendition of others to states where they were at risk of such abuse.

And the Committee said it was ‘unacceptable’ that the UK still has no clear policy on rendition.

Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from London.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 29 June 2018

Hooded, shackled, with gun to my head’ – UK spies witnessed

‘WE still don’t know the process of accountability’, British citizen Moazzam Begg, previously held in Guantanamo Bay, said criticising the scope of an inquiry into torture and extraordinary rendition.

He was responding to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report released yesterday which showed that there were at least 13 cases where UK spies witnessed at first-hand a detainee being mistreated by the US operatives.

Moazzam Begg said: ‘British intelligence agents were physically there watching as I was hooded, shackled, with a gun to my head, threatened with being sent to Syria or Egypt if I didn’t co-operate. ‘There was the sound of a woman screaming in the room next door, that I was led to believe was my wife being tortured. British intelligence agents knew all about this.’

Although there is no evidence US rendition flights transited through the UK, there is evidence that two detainees went through the Indian Ocean British Territory of Diego Garcia, where records about the conditions in which they were held are ‘woefully inadequate’.

The report states: ‘That the US, and others, were mistreating detainees is beyond doubt, as is the fact that the agencies and defence intelligence were aware of this at an early point.’

Tory MP Dominic Grieve, chair of the ISC, said: ‘We find it astonishing that given the intense focus on this issue ten years ago, the government has failed to take action. There is no clear policy, not even agreement over who has responsibility for preventing UK complicity in unlawful rendition. In particular, we note the government has failed to introduce a process to ensure that allies can’t use UK territory for rendition purposes without prior permission.’

Responding to the Intelligence and Security reports released today, Bella Sankey, Deputy Director of Reprieve, said: ‘Dominic Grieve has exposed systemic levels of UK support for torture and rendition operations up until 2010 despite the restrictions his Committee were operating under. ‘But he makes clear in his statement today that he has been forced to “draw a line” under its inquiry after the government refused access to key witnesses.

‘The evidence the Committee heard amounted to just 6 minutes of oral evidence per case of torture or rendition with UK involvement. We have only scratched the surface. ‘The Prime Minister has so far shown contempt for the Committee’s work and its recommendations.

‘She must now listen to cross party calls to deliver what the government originally promised: an independent judge-led inquiry which can explore the dark corners the ISC could not reach. ‘The Prime Minister must also publicly consult on her Torture Guidance which still to this day fails to protect both agents on the ground and hundreds of individuals at risk of mistreatment.’

UK tolerated ‘inexcusable’ treatment of detainees by US after 9/11, damning official report finds. ‘There was no understanding in the government of rendition and no clear policy – or even recognition of the need for one,’ MPs say: here.

British intelligence agencies complicit in US torture: here.

Britain’s role in US rendition and torture revealed: here.

Representatives of Amnesty International, Freedom From Torture, Liberty and Reprieve delivered a 27,000-signature petition to Theresa May demanding she restore her predecessor David Cameron’s broken promise to hold an inquiry into British complicity in the use of torture by the US: here.

‘Investigate British government’s torture’

This 2009 video from Britain says about itself:

“Yes I am emotional about torture SIR!” Shami Chakrabarti SAVAGES UK Minister Geoff “Buff” Hoon

Shami Chakrabarti SAVAGES UK Minister Geoff “Buff” Hoon over the US attempts to BLACKMAIL Britain into silence over evidence of torture.

Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held at the American base [Guantanamo], has launched a legal challenge in the High Court in London for documents detailing his treatment to be made public.

However, two judges ruling on the case said that David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, had advised that releasing the documents could lead to America withdrawing intelligence co-operation. …

The judges reveal that the secret documents at the centre of the case give rise to an arguable case of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It is also disclosed that a British intelligence official may have been present when Mr Mohamed alleges he was tortured. The judgement raises the prospect of criminal charges being brought against British officials.

By Sam Tobin in Britain:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reprieve: torture inquiry ‘long overdue’

CALLS for a public inquiry into the British government’s use of torture are long overdue, Reprieve said yesterday.

The human rights group welcomed former justice secretary Ken Clarke’s call for Prime Minister Theresa May to set up a judge-led inquiry into Britain’s use of torture in the so-called War on Terror.

Mr Clarke, who shelved plans for an inquiry due to ongoing police investigations in 2012, admitted having been wrong to block an inquiry and joined 13 other MPs and peers in calling for a full investigation.

The move comes weeks after the unprecedented apology to tortured Libyan dissident Abdul-Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar.

Reprieve director Maya Foa said: “The only way for the UK to regain moral authority on this issue is to fully examine and expose past wrongs.

Pointing out that former PM “David Cameron promised to establish a judge-led inquiry once police investigations had concluded”, Ms Foa said: “That moment has now arrived and Ken Clarke and his colleagues are right to call on Theresa May to keep the government’s promise.”

True scale of UK role in torture and rendition after 9/11 revealed. Two damning reports reveal British intelligence’s treatment of terrorism suspects: here.

Trump’s pseudo-feminism to make torturer CIA boss

This video from the USA says about itself:

White House Hides Behind McFeminism To Push War Criminal CIA Head

7 May2018

In May 2013, the Washington Post’s Greg Miller reported that the head of the CIA’s clandestine service was being shifted out of that position as a result of “a management shake-up” by then-Director John Brennan. As Miller documented, this official — whom the paper did not name because she was a covert agent at the time — was centrally involved in the worst abuses of the CIA’s Bush-era torture regime.

Read more here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Will “Bloody Gina” Run The CIA?

7 May 2018

Whom amongst us hasn’t run a black site torture facility in Thailand and destroyed the evidence? Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

“After 9/11, when the CIA needed a someone to run its first secret overseas prison, it turned to a 16-year veteran of the clandestine service to oversee the waterboarding of suspected terrorists. Years later, after she’d allegedly acquired the nickname “Bloody Gina”, the same woman would oversee the destruction of video evidence of the “enhanced interrogations” conducted under her watch. On Tuesday, President Trump announced his intention to nominate that woman, Gina Haspel, as director of the CIA.

In a single tweet Tuesday morning, President Trump announced the departure of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as well as his plans to replace Tillerson with sitting CIA director Mike Pompeo and install deputy director Haspel in Pompeo’s position. If confirmed by the Senate, Haspel will be the first woman to run the CIA.

Haspel, who spent most of her 33 year career with the agency as an undercover agent, was appointed deputy director in early February.”

Read more here.

‘DISQUALIFYING’ Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has urged the Senate to reject Gina Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA, as her “refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.” Here’s a video of Trump’s pick dodging questions on whether it’s ethically right to torture a fellow human being. [HuffPost]

‘HE’S DYING ANYWAY’ Cindy McCain, the wife of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), hit back at the White House aide who reportedly mocked her husband’s ailing health during a meeting about Trump’s controversial pick for CIA chief, Gina Haspel. Over on Fox Business, Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney backed Haspel and defended the use of torture, saying it worked on “songbird” McCain. [HuffPost]

Wednesday’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on the nomination of Gina Haspel as director of the US Central Intelligence Agency provided a revealing exposure of the criminality of the US intelligence apparatus as well as the disintegration of democratic processes within America’s capitalist state. The subject at hand was whether a woman who played a direct and intimate role in the torture of detainees held incommunicado at so-called “black sites” around the world should be appointed to head what one senator described as the “premier intelligence agency in the world.” The hearing was characterized by gushing tributes from both Democrats and Republicans to 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: here.

An Arkansas arms company that sells guns to the CIA has been trying to purchase large quantities of napalm — but they won’t say who it is for.

Stop torture of Bahraini political prisoners

Tortured in George W Bush’s USA

This 2009 video from the USA says about itself:

This is part 1 of a documentary about terror suspect Ali al-Marri, who’s been held at the Charleston Navy Brig for 7 years without a trial. We went to the Mideast to film this right after the Presidential election in 2008. Our story highlights this case as a prime example of how the law and the Constitution can easily be ignored in a time of war. In February 2009, al-Marri learned he will finally have his case heard in court.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

New evidence shows that Americans also used torture methods in the United States itself. The Qatari Ali al-Marri tells for the first time how he was treated in the aftermath of 9/11.

by Maud Effting, Tom Kreling and Huib Modderkolk

Ali al-Marri looks at the door of his American cell that swings open. ‘Pack your things’, the guard says in the doorway. “We’re leaving.” He looks up. Al-Marri – dark eyes, long black hair and a beard – has been trapped in the US for almost a year and a half, where he has come from Qatar to study. Now he is suspected of involvement in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

When he has gathered his things together, his hands and feet are chained. Then guards chain his hands to his waist. He gets ski goggles on which the glass is made black. A pair of headphones goes over his ears. This is how he shuffles behind his guards. In the past year he has been waiting in prison for something to happen with his case. Waiting for a formal charge, a conviction, a punishment. Sometimes he was moved. He was suddenly put in another cell. He waited there again. But this time it is different. Outside he hears the rotors of an aircraft turning. He peeks along the side of his glasses and then he sees them. Soldiers. He knows bad things will happen. He has never seen soldiers in prison. “Am I declared to be an enemy combatant?” He asks. “Yes”, says a soldier. It is June 23, 2003 and Ali al-Marri disappears in the plane that will take him to the military prison: the Navy Brig in South Carolina. From now on, other rules apply.

Because of his new status as enemy combatant- President George W. Bush signed the papers – he will disappear into a black hole from today on. He will not have contact with his lawyers for nearly a year and a half. His family has no idea where he is. And if he still lives at all. A week after the September 11 attacks, Bush was given the power by Congress to “use all necessary and appropriate means” in the fight against terrorism. For so-called enemy combatants, this meant that they could be held indefinitely and without trial. Most of the enemy combatants were detained at Guantánamo Bay after 2001. Only three were jailed on US American territory. Ali al-Marri was one of them.

For the first time, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri (52) is telling his story. He is a Qatarese banker who came to the US with his wife and five children just one day before September 11, 2001, to study information technology . He previously earned his bachelor’s degree in the US. He was arrested after the attacks. Initially he was seen as an important witness. He refused, however, to say something and gradually the accusations became more serious. Members of Al Qaeda in Guantánamo Bay were supposed to have said – maybe after torture – that he had ties with them: al-Marri supposedly belonged to a sleeping cell of Al Qaeda, waiting for instructions. After that, the FBI treated him for years as an important terrorism suspect.

Al-Marri denies to this day that he had anything to do with Al Qaida … Now he is here in a room in Amsterdam, and he wants to tell how he was treated in prison. How they tried to break him spiritually. And what total isolation did to him. How he was slowly dehumanized. On US American territory. His story is supported by new documents that show that the methods used in al-Marri are inhuman or torture according to international law.

… The log says that a senior officer of the Navy Brig passes. “Do I have any rights?” asks al-Marri. “No”, the man says. …

In December 2003, the interrogations seem to change: FBI agent Ali Soufan comes to the jail. He is one of the few Arabic-speaking agents at the service, famous for confessions he extracted from terrorist suspects. …

The atmosphere changes, al-Marri says. “Soufan said he could have my family imprisoned and tortured. He threatened that he would rape my wife in front of me, that he would put my children in the cell next to me so that I could hear them cry. He could make me disappear to black sites where they could do what they wanted with me. “Soufan said he had homosexual soldiers who wanted to have fun with me. …

They screamed that I had to keep my mouth shut. At one point I saw someone gesturing that this did not work. One interrogator walked out. “After a minute he was back, he says. “In his hands he had duct tape and a pair of white sports socks. They stuck my mouth shut with tape. “It does not work: the tape gets loose because he pushes it away with his tongue.” They try again. “Soufan pushed my jaws to open my mouth – he knew exactly what to do. Then he pushed the socks in. He shouted: stop singing, you will listen. Then he closed my mouth – one hand under my chin, the other on my head – while the other interrogator closed my head with tape. He went four, five times, horizontally and vertically. “Al-Marri begins to hum. They push his head towards the photos, shout close to his face, hit his cheeks with two hands, sit on his lap: they want him to listen. With two fingers they push his chin up. “I breathed through my nose. But from one moment to the next I suddenly got no air. I choked. It felt like you were trying to breathe under water. I could not do anything. The only thing I wanted was to take out those socks. But my hands were shackled. “I do not know where I was suffocated. The socks? My saliva? My tongue? It was as if I was drowning. I struggled, my body was shocked. I tried to pull my hands out of the shackles. I remember seeing two men sitting quietly beside me and thinking: they just let it happen. “How long does everything take – he does not remember. He only knows that at a given moment he no longer perceived anything. “I have never been closer to death”, says Al Marri. According to documents, the incident takes 15 minutes, until someone removes the tape. “I started coughing, throwing up.” His description is largely supported by documents. The Defense Department only deviates over the socks. …

He has been in total for thirteen years, until he is released in 2015 and expelled to Qatar. ‘I call on people who have experienced the same thing to also go out and tell their story about this man. It will become clear what he has done. I want justice.”