US Implicated In Brutal Torture In Lebanon

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By Maggie Michael for AP News – MUKALLA, Yemen (AP) — Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found. Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture The United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces run a secret network of prisons where prisoners are brutally tortured. The U.S. has questioned some detainees, and have regular access to their testimony — a potential violation of international law. (June 21) The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials.

CIA No Longer Can Defend The Indefensible—Its Torture Program

Demonstrators at the International Day to Shut Down Guantanamo in 2007. The rally was held in Washington, D.C. (takomabibelot / Flickr)

By John Kiriakou for Truth Dig – James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the two contract psychologists who were the masterminds of the CIA’s torture program, are in for a heap of trouble. They are defendants in two major lawsuits accusing them of designing, implementing, overseeing and personally participating in the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. That they did exactly that is not in doubt. Indeed, Mitchell has written proudly of his work in a new book. But what makes these cases newsworthy is that the CIA has apparently turned its back on the two, offering no support and even cooperating with the plaintiffs by voluntarily turning over documents and refusing to supply CIA officers to serve as defense witnesses. (This is not out of the goodness of the CIA’s heart. But we’ll get to that later.) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the first suit in January in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Washington state, where Mitchell and Jessen based their company, on behalf of three former CIA detainees—Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud and the estate of Gul Rahman, a suspected Afghan militant who was tortured and who died in CIA custody in 2002. The second suit was filed on behalf of Abu Zubaydah in the federal district court for the District of Columbia. The suit holds that Abu Zubaydah was tortured relentlessly by the CIA, which held him in a series of secret prisons around the world.

Hiding The Ugly Business Of U.S. Torture

From nationofchange.org

By Ray McGovern for Information Clearing House – A grisly feature of the “war on terror” was America’s descent into torture, but the powers-that-be have decided that the common folk shouldn’t worry their little heads about this ugliness, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. June 05, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – So, you did not believe in the power of the Deep State? Well, you may change your mind after reading a report in The New York Times that the powers-that-be in Washington are about to deep-six the 6,700-page Senate report based on original CIA cables and other documents that not only to depict savage torture practices during the George W. Bush era, but also show that CIA officials consistently lied in claiming these heinous practices yielded information of any intelligence value. In what amounts to a gross violation of the public trust – not to mention his oath to the Constitution – Senate Intelligence Committee chair, Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, has recalled all copies and will put the report under lock and key for good – dismissing it as a “footnote in history.”

Trump Administration Suppresses CIA Torture Report

From nationofchange.org

By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change – In yet another reversal of former President Barack Obama’s decisions, the Trump administration has begun returning copies of the 6,700-page CIA torture report in accordance with Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr’s demands. Instead of upholding transparency, Trump has taken steps to erase the human rights violations committed by the Central Intelligence Agency from the annals of history. In December 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the executive summary on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) program. According to the summary, the CIA repeatedly lied to the Committee regarding prisoners’ deaths, the backgrounds of CIA interrogators, threats to detainees’ family members, and the effectiveness of torture. Under pseudonyms within the heavily redacted report, two retired Air Force psychologists, Dr. Bruce Jessen and Dr. James Mitchell, received contracts to develop the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. They decided to reverse-engineer the Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) counter-interrogation training by inflicting both physical and psychological torture upon detainees.

New CIA Deputy Director Assisted In Destroying Nearly 100 Torture Videotapes

Haspel ran a CIA black site in Thailand codenamed “Cat’s Eye” while supervising the harsh interrogations.

By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change – After running a secret prison in Thailand and overseeing the torture of at least two terror suspects, the woman responsible for drafting the order to destroy 92 torture videotapes was recently promoted to CIA Deputy Director. Although former President Obama issued an executive order effectively ending the use of torture, President Donald Trump appointed a new CIA Director who criticized Obama for shutting down black sites and adhering to international anti-torture laws. On Thursday, the CIA released a statement that said, “CIA Director Mike Pompeo today announced that President Trump has selected Gina Haspel to be the new Deputy Director of CIA.

Witness Against Torture Protests In DC

Witness Against Torture Hate Doesn't Make Great inside Hart Senate Office Building 1-17

By Staff for Witness Against Torture. Clad in orange jumpsuits and Shut Down Guantanamo t-shirts, activists with Witness Against Torture took over the Hart Senate Building with a message for Senators, staffers, and the general public. They marked the 15th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The message was “Shut Down Guantanamo,” “No Torture Cabinet” and “Hate Doesn’t Make U.S. Great.” These statements were painted a banner that activists dropped from a balcony as 9 members of the group dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods held a die-in, mourning those Muslim men who died at Guantanamo without ever being charged with a crime. The nine, and another two singers, were arrested by Capitol Police, as supporters sang “O America, don’t believe their lies. Their politics of hate will destroy our children’s lives.” The balconies were crowded with onlookers as the action unfolded. One of the two who unfurled the “No Torture Cabinet” banner

Senate Torture Report Being Kept From Public For 12 Years After Obama Decision

Obama defended the CIA after its operatives surreptitiously spied on the emails and work product of the Senate’s lead investigator, Daniel Jones. Photograph: Pix via ZU/Rex/Shutterstock

By Spencer Ackerman for The Guardian – Barack Obama has agreed to preserve the Senate’s landmark investigation into the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11, but his decision ensures that the document remains out of public view for at least 12 years and probably longer. Obama’s decision, revealed in a letter from White House counsel W Neil Eggleston, prevents Republican Richard Burr, the Senate intelligence committee chairman who has been highly critical of the investigation, from destroying existing classified copies of the December 2014 report. Daniel Jones, a former committee staffer who led the torture inquiry, criticized the preservation as inadequate.

Newsletter - Time To Ask Who We Are

It's Our Future

By Margaret Flower and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. The United States has reached a turning point. Where we turn is dependent on what we do as people to determine our future. Neither of the major political parties are going to adequately solve the crises we face. This is a time to examine and discuss some fundamental issues: who we are and who we want to be. Out of crises come opportunities to put bold solutions in place. We are calling for a People’s Agenda. We have the power to make changes in this country that completely alter the course of our nation and the world. We can say no to genocide against Native Americans. We can end systemic racism. We can demand respect for the human rights of all people. We can promote peace and prosperity for all. We can solve the climate crisis. It is up to us and how we organize in our communities. At the heart of the success of popular movements is what we have advocated – the building of a broad and diverse unified movement that is active and has built national consensus for the changes we wish to see.

Installing A Torture Fan At CIA

Circling up at Guantanamo. Mark Colville, Matthew W. Daloisio, Luke Nephew Peace Poet, Frida Berrigan, Jerica Arents, Frank Antonio López, Chris Knestrick, Justin Norman, Marie Shebeck and Uruj Ehsan Sheikh in Guantánamo, Cuba.

By Ray McGovern for Consortium News – The CIA’s torturers can breathe a sigh of relief after President-elect Trump tapped a defender of “enhanced interrogation techniques” to become CIA director, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, an open aficionado of torture practices used in the “war on terror,” to be CIA director shows that Trump was serious when he said he would support “waterboarding and much worse.”

Major New Court Ruling Says “Even The President” Can’t Declare Torture Lawful

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

By Alex Emmons for The Intercept – IN A ROBUST RULING in favor of Abu Ghraib detainees, an appellate court ruled Friday that torture is such a clear violation of the law that it is “beyond the power of even the president to declare such conduct lawful.” The ruling from a unanimous panel of judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates a lawsuit against a military contractor for its role in the torture of four men at the notorious prison in Iraq.

CIA Torture Victims Describe How Mental Scars Never Go Away

aclu.org

By Joshua Manson for ACLU – The New York Times is publishing a devastating exposé series on the lasting psychological effects of U.S. government torture on men who once were held in CIA-run secret overseas prisons or at Guantanamo Bay. Two psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, were independent contractors for the CIA and designed and helped implement the torture program. They are now defendants in an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of three of those victims. Two of them were interview for the Times series — the third was tortured to death.

Creating Enemies: US Military Admits ISIS Leader Was Held In Abu Gharib

Camp Bucca prison near Basra, Iraq, Sept. 16, 2009. Photo: Essam Al-Sudani/AFP/Getty Images

By Joshua Eaton for the Intercept. In February 2004, U.S. troops brought a man named Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry to Abu Ghraib in Iraq and assigned him serial number US9IZ-157911CI. The prison was about to become international news, but the prisoner would remain largely unknown for the next decade. At the time the man was brought in, Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba was finalizing his report on allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib’s Hard Site — a prison building used to house detainees singled out for their alleged violence or their perceived intelligence value. Just weeks later, the first pictures of detainee abuse were published on CBS News and in the New Yorker. Today, detainee US9IZ-157911CI is better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. His presence at Abu Ghraib, a fact not previously made public, provides yet another possible key to the enigmatic leader’s biography and may shed new light on the role U.S. detention facilities played in the rise of the Islamic State.

The Terror Suspect Who Had Nothing To Give

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By Raymond Bonner for Pro Publica. In 2009, Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers interviewed their client and prepared a handwritten, first-person account of the torture their client suffered at the hands of the U.S. government. The document, quoted above, recounts the terrifying experience of a man repeatedly waterboarded in the mistaken belief that he was al-Qaida’s No. 3 official. It was filed in federal court as part of his lawsuit seeking release from Guantanamo, and like nearly all the documents in the case, was sealed at the government’s request. Now, seven years later, Zubaydah’s statement, which he signed under oath, has been released, and it provides the most detailed, personal description yet made public of his “enhanced interrogation” at a Central Intelligence Agency “black site” in Thailand.

Newsletter: Making Protest Personal; Take It To Their Homes

BXE protest at Norman Bey home by Jimmy Betts

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Protests at homes of public officials and corporate CEOs is a common tactic used widely because it can be very effective. The response of Barrasso shows it is working and should continue. As Saul Alinsky, author or Rules for Radicals, pointed out “any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.” Such protests have to be nonviolent and conducted in a way that does not inconvenience neighbors but educates them about why the protest is occurring. These tactics seek to personalize the issue, to make it less abstract than a federal agency. The campaign should keep their focus on the people responsible, not let up, continue to escalate and make the person isolated and unpopular. The goal is to maintain constant, escalating pressure so the official pays a heavy personal price for their actions.

Newsletter: Creating "Positive Peace"

Protest-for-Iran-peace

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This weekend the Bilderberg Group is holding its secretive annual retreat in Dresden, Germany. The invitation-only gathering of elites from North America and Northern Europe includes heads of finance and industry, heads of state and intelligence officials. Who knows what schemes they’ll cook up? They don’t keep minutes or allow the press in and attendees can’t quote what was said. It can’t be good for the people or the planet. The Global Peace Index was just released for 2016 and it shows that the decade-long trend of increasing violence is continuing. Of note, the inequality between countries is growing; the most violent countries deteriorated by a greater degree than in the past. Countries that are the most peaceful also have the greatest resilience.