Monthly Archives: December 2014

Eyes on Egregious Excuses for Evil

Evil is at the door of each man’s heart, don’t let the torturers  get away with hardening your hearts. The truth will set you free. Look! and shun these liars who boldly look us in the eye and dredge up 9-11 to justify their heinous priggish dark and evil torturers against men, women, and children.  These workers of iniquity and their perpetration of horrors against mankind must be stopped and brought to justice!

Featured photo - Civil Rights Groups Call for Prosecution of Torture Architects

Photo AP/Luis M. Alvarez

“those responsible for signing off on [abuse] are still being feted on book tours and talk shows. We are still a long way from acknowledging the horrors of the CIA’s torture program, and achieving real accountability.”

_______________________________________________________

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141209/14122029374/former-cia-director-hayden-we-didnt-lie-about-interrogation-program-torture-report-yeah-you-did-repeatedly.shtml

Former CIA Director Hayden: We Didn’t Lie About Interrogation Program. Torture Report: Yeah, You Did. REPEATEDLY.

from the I-swear-I-thought-you’d-never-find-out! dept ,

by Tim Cushing

Former CIA director Michael Hayden warned anyone who would listen that the release of the Torture Report would turn our enemies against us… or further against us, or something. He also claimed that he and the CIA had been generally forthright and open about this program over the past several years.

“To say that we relentlessly, over an expanded period of time, lied to everyone about a program that wasn’t doing any good, that beggars the imagination,” Hayden said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Briefings to the full Committee beginning on September 6, 2006, also contained numerous inaccuracies, including inaccurate descriptions of how interrogation techniques were applied and what information was obtained from CIA detainees. The CIA misrepresented the views of members of Congress on a number of occasions. After multiple senators had been critical of the program and written letters expressing concerns to CIA Director Michael Hayden, Director Hayden nonetheless told a meeting of foreign ambassadors to the United States that every Committee member was “fully briefed,” and that “[t]his is not CIA’s program. This is not the President’s program. This is America’s program.” The CIA also provided inaccurate information describing the views of U.S. senators about the program to the Department of Justice.

A February 2007 report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which the CIA acting general counsel initially stated “actually does not sound that far removed from the reality” was also criticized. CIA officers prepared documents indicating that “critical portions of the Report are patently false or misleading, especially certain key factual claims. CIA Director Hayden testified to the Committee that “numerous false allegations of physical and threatened abuse and faulty legal assumptions and analysis in the [ICRC] report undermine its overall credibility.'”

The committee has given us instead a one-sided study marred by errors of fact and interpretation—essentially a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.

In December 2003, a CIA Station overseeing CIA detention operations in Country [x] informed CIA Headquarters that it had made the “unsettling discovery” that the CIA was “holding a number of detainees about whom” it knew “very little,” Nearly five years later, in late 2008, the CIA attempted to determine how many individuals the CIA had detained. At the completion of the review, CIA leaders, including CIA Director Michael Hayden, were informed that the review found that the CIA had detained at least 112 individuals, and possibly more.

CIA Director Hayden typically described the program as holding “fewer than a hundred” detainees. For example, in testimony before the Committee on February 4, 2008, in response to a question from Chairman Rockefeller during an open hearing, Hayden stated, “[i]n the life of the CIA detention program we have held fewer than a hundred people.” {See DTS #2008-1140.) Specific references to “98” detainees were included in a May 5, 2006, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) report on Renditions, Detentions and Interrogations.

According to tlie CIA’s June 2013 Response, “Hayden did not view the discrepancy, if it existed, as particularly significant given that, if true, it would increase the total number by just over 10 percent.”

According to an email summarizing the meeting, CIA Director Hayden instructed a CIA officer to devise a way to keep the number of CIA detainees at the same number the CIA had previously briefed to Congress. The email, which the briefer sent only to himself, stated:

“I briefed the additional CIA detainees that could be included in RDI numbers. DCIA instructed me to keep the detainee number at 98 ~ pick whatever date i [sic] needed to make that happen but the number is 98.”

Contrary to statements later made by CIA Director Michael Hayden and other CIA officials that “[a]ll those involved in the questioning of detainees are carefully chosen and screened for demonstrated professional judgment and maturity, CIA records suggest that the vetting sought by [redacted] did not take place.

In testimony on April 12, 2007, CIA Director Michael Hayden referenced medical care of detainees in the context of the ICRC report on CIA detentions. Hayden testified to the Committee; “The medical section of the ICRC report concludes that the association of CIA medical officers with the interrogation program is ‘contrary to international standards of medical ethics.’ That is just wrong. The role of CIA medical officers in the detainee program is and always has been and always will be to ensure the safety and the well-being of the detainee. The placement of medical officers during the interrogation techniques represents an extra measure of caution. Our medical officers do not recommend the employment or continuation of any procedures or techniques. The allegation in the report that a CIA medical officer threatened a detainee, stating that medical care was conditional on cooperation is blatantly false. Healthcare has always been administered based upon detainee needs. It’s neither policy nor practice to link medical care to any other aspect of the detainee program.” This testimony was incongruent with CIA records.

CIA Director Hayden prepared a statement that relayed, “despite what you have heard or read in a variety of public fora, these [enhanced interrogation] techniques and this program did work.” The prepared materials included inaccurate information on the operation and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, as well as the same set of examples of the “effectiveness” of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques that the CIA had provided to policymakers over several years. The examples provided were nearly entirely inaccurate.

Similarly, CIA Director Michael Hayden represented to the Committee on April 12, 2007, that “KSM also provided the first lead to an operative known as ‘Issa al-Hindi,’ with other detainees giving additional identifying information.” The CIA provided similar inaccurate representations regarding the thwarting of the United Kingdom Urban Targets Plot and the identification and/or arrest of Dhiren Barot, aka Abu Issa al-Hindi, in 17 of the 20 documents provided to policymakers and the Department of Justice between July 2003 and March 2009.

The CIA represented that CIA detainee Abu Zubaydah provided “important” and “vital” information by identifying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) as the mastermind behind the attacks of September 11, 2001 CIA Director Hayden told the Committee on April 12, 2007, that:

“..it was Abu Zubaydah, early in his detention, who identified KSM as the mastermind of 9/11. Until that time, KSM did not even appear in our chart of key al-Qa’ida members and associates.”

On at least two prominent occasions, the CIA represented, inaccurately, that Abu Zubaydah provided this information after the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.

On November 16, 2006, CIA Director Hayden briefed the Committee. The briefing included inaccurate information, including on the CIA’s use of dietary manipulation and nudity, as well as the effects of sleep deprivation.

Director Hayden testified that detainees were never provided fewer than 1,000 calories a day. This is inaccurate. There were no calorie requirements until May 2004, and draft OMS guidelines from March 2003 indicated that “[b]rief periods in which food is withheld(1-2 days), as an adjunct to interrogations are acceptable.”

Director Hayden testified that detainees were “not paraded [nude] in front of anyone,” whereas a CIA interrogator told the inspector general that nude detainees were “kept a center area outside the interrogation room,” and were “‘walked around’ by guards.'”

February 14, 2007, during a hearing on CIA renditions, Director Hayden provided inaccurate information to the Committee, to include inaccurate information on the number of detainees held by the CIA.

At the April 12, 2007, hearing, Director Hayden verbally provided extensive inaccurate information on, among other topics: (1) the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, (2) the application of Department of Defense survival school practices to the program, (3) detainees’ counter-interrogation training, (4) the backgrounds of CIA interrogators, (5) the role of other members of the interrogation teams, (6) the number of CIA detainees and their intelligence production, (7) the role of CIA detainee reporting in the captures of terrorist suspects, (8) the interrogation process, (9) the use of detainee reporting, (10) the purported relationship between Islam and the need to use the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, (11) threats against detainees’ families, (12) the punching and kicking of detainees, (13) detainee hygiene, (14) denial of medical care, (15) dietary manipulation, (16) the use of waterboarding and its effectiveness, and (17) the injury and death of detainees.

At the CIA briefing to the Committee on December 11, 2007, Director Hayden testified about: (1) the information provided to the White House regarding the videotapes, (2) what the tapes revealed, (3) what was not on the tapes, (4) the reasons for their destruction, (5) the legal basis for the use of the waterboard, and (6) the effectiveness of the CIA’s waterboard interrogation technique. Much of this testimony was inaccurate or incomplete.

He lied to protect a program he thought was valuable, even when the CIA’s own documents and findings contradicted this belief. The pendulum swings toward “incompetent,” but doesn’t quite make it that far. There’s far too much calculation lying below the obfuscation to believe Hayden didn’t know exactly what he was doing when he spent briefing after briefing and hearing after hearing lying to his overseers about the extent of the program and the hideous details he was actively hiding from them.

It would almost seem as though Hayden’s concerns about the safety of the country are simply a projection of his concerns about what the report reveals about him. This is the guy who wants the public to believe the CIA was screwed by a partisan hatchet job and that domestic surveillance programs are every bit as necessary as torture when it comes to hunting down terrorists. But his own words and actions show he shouldn’t be trusted with an op-ed, much less the safety of American people.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141209/14122029374/former-cia-director-hayden-we-didnt-lie-about-interrogation-program-torture-report-yeah-you-did-repeatedly.shtml

_____________________________________________________________

Featured photo - Torture, ‘Meet the Press’ and Cheney’s Quest for Revenge

Torture, ‘Meet the Press’ and Cheney’s Quest for Revenge

Dick Cheney gave no ground in his “Meet the Press” interview on Sunday, but he did something arguably even better: He bared his twisted soul.

Parrying questions from Chuck Todd with what he must have figured were winning talking points about the 9/11 terror attacks, Cheney unwittingly demonstrated how profoundly he has renounced fundamental American concepts of morality and justice.

Cheney’s most telling response was to Todd’s questions about people who were detained completely by mistake but who were nevertheless tortured — in at least one case to death.

You have to be something other than a normal human being not to be troubled by that.

But Cheney’s response was: “I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.”

And he would famously do it all again. “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective,” he said. “‘I’d do it again in a minute.”

What Cheney was saying is basically: If you have a goal and you kill innocent people while you’re at it, tough shit. That is how terrorists think; it’s not how moral people think — or at least are supposed to think.

I suspect that in the not-too-distant future, the defense of “rectal feeding” will become as signature a moment in torture apology as Cheney’s famous prediction that U.S. troops would be “greeted as liberators” has become to the false case for war in Iraq.

Any normal human being would be appalled by Todd’s question about how “Majid Khan’s lunch tray consisting of hummus, pasta, sauce, nuts and raisins was pureed and rectally infused.”

But not Cheney. “I believe it was done for medical reasons,” he said.

(“Rectal feeding” is not a medical procedure; it is a particularly sick and brutal form of abuse that in at least one case left a victim diagnosed as suffering from “an anal fissure and symptomatic rectal prolapse.”)

After listening to him on Sunday, it has never been clearer that to Cheney the interrogation of detainees was all about revenge — and about having, feeling and exercising power after feeling impotent in the face of an attack on the homeland. (After all, if he or anyone else in a position of power in the White House had paid an iota of attention to the issue before 9/11, the attack could likely have been averted.)

For Cheney, however, his “Meet the Press” appearance was still a win – at least in the short term, until history passes a more considered verdict.

Because our elite political media is unwilling to call out the morally abhorrent self-interested ravings of a torturer, Cheney’s statements effectively push the envelope for what is treated as legitimate debate.

So while we finally have this long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report, full of achingly detailed descriptions of abuse and lies even more depraved and duplicitous than any of us had imagined, the media just sees the “revisiting of a debate” about torture.

Last year, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established by the Constitution Project did a good job of explaining how absurd it is that we are actually still arguing about any of this.

The blame for that rests in two places.

One is the Obama administration, for covering up what happened and trying to stifle any sort of national conversation on the topic.

The other is the media, for splitting the difference between the facts and the plainly specious, morally defective arguments led by Dick Cheney.

Photo: NBCNews.com

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/15/torture-meet-press-cheneys-quest-revenge/

_________________________________________________________

 

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/16/u-s-tv-media-gives-ample-platform-american-torturers-victims/

U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, But None to Their Victims

 

 

 

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/torture-911-evil-last-13-years.html

Torture Architect Tries to Justify Program … Fails Miserably

To Be Free

https://twitter.com/hashtag/assange

https://newmatilda.com/2014/11/17/siege-julian-assange-farce

Britain WikiLeaks

chomsky_assange_londres

Richard Stallman:Edward Snowdon: Julian Assange (July 2013)

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/02/x-things-keep-mind-ever-get-read-torture-report/

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/03/us-supported-egypt-188-protesters-sentenced-die-days-mubarak-freed/

https://twitter.com/rustyrockets

http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2014/11/21/americas-500th-drone-strike/

http://www.reprieve.org/uploads/2/6/3/3/26338131/2014_11_24_pub_you_never_die_twice_-_multiple_kills_in_the_us_drone_program.pdf

Key findings of the report include:

  • In Pakistan, 24 men were reported as killed or targeted multiple times. Missed strikes on these men killed 874 people, including 142 children.
  • In Yemen, 17 men were reported killed or targeted multiple times. Missile strikes on these men killed 273 others and accounted for almost half of all confirmed civilian casualties and 100% of all recorded child deaths.
  • In targeting Ayman al Zawahiri, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults. They failed twice, and Ayman al Zawahiri is reportedly still alive.
  • It took the US six attempts to kill Qari Hussain, a Pakistani target. During these attempts, 128 people were killed, including 13 children.
  • Each assassination target on the US government’s so-called Kill List ‘died’ on average more than three times before their actual death.

The US government’s drone programme has come under increasing scrutiny after a number of strikes that hit large numbers of civilians by mistake. It was recently revealed – as a result of investigations by Reprieve – that the US government compensates civilian victims of drone strikes in Yemen.

Jennifer Gibson, Staff Attorney at Reprieve who compiled the report, said: “These ‘high value targets’ appear to be doing the impossible – dying not once, not twice, but as many as six times. At the same time, hundreds of unknown men, women and children are also caught in the crosshairs. President Obama continues to insist drone strikes are ‘precise’, but when targeting one person instead kills as many as 128 others, there’s only one conclusion that can be drawn – there’s nothing targeted about the US drone programme.”

http://www.reprieve.org/us-drone-strikes-kill-28-unknown-people-for-every-intended-target-new-reprieve-report-reveals.html