Posts filed under ‘George W. Bush and Co.’
For the last few hours I’ve been sitting at my computer reading the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on the CIA’s interrogation program and various tweets and short articles about what people are finding. This is an early, SMDH finding:
The CIA contractors who helped develop and operate the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that the agency used on terror suspects, including waterboarding, were paid more than $80 million, according to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s interrogation program released Tuesday.
The contract was for more than $180 million, but the contractors had only received $81 million when their contract was terminated in 2009.
Although the committee did not identify the contractors, NBC News has previously identified them as Mitchell, Jessen & Associates, a Spokane, Washington, company run by two psychologists, Dr. John “Bruce” Jessen and Dr. James Mitchell, who had both previously worked with the U.S. Air Force.
The report states that when they were hired the two did not have “specialized knowledge of al Qaeda, a background in counterterrorism or any relevant cultural or linguistic experience.”
These are apparently some of the so-called “interrogation techniques” Messrs. Jessen and Mitchell devised:
At least five CIA detainees were subjected to ‘rectal rehydration’ or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity,” according to the summary. “The CIA placed detainees in ice water ‘baths.’ The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box. One interrogator told another detainee that he would never go to court, because ‘we can never let the world know what I have done to you.’ CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families — to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to ‘cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.'”
ViceNews will soon release a video interview with Mitchell. Here’s the trailer:
Today is a tragic day for the United States and, for that matter, the world. On the evening of 9/11 I remember being afraid the Bush administration would go off half cocked and do things we would come to regret and sure enough, here we are. They went insane with fear and rage, and I’m only talking about torture (not to mention Gitmo, Iraq, the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security, all the people who have been killed or displaced and our poor soldiers dead or now suffering from PTSD, etc).
Our national honor is in shambles.
More as details of the report come in.
George W. Bush apparently believes he’d have been elected president even if he’d been a John Doe born in Harlem because he was just so damn good he “earned” his way into politics. Gawd.
Former president George W. Bush said this week that he and other famous Bushes had to “earn” their way into politics, and that the family’s political dynasty was not helpful in launching careers.
In a CBS News interview that aired on Sunday, Bush told host Bob Schieffer that his mother was wrong to think that there had been enough presidents in their family.
“Sometimes her prognostications haven’t been very accurate,” the 43rd president of the United States argued. “No, I think you have to earn your way into politics. I don’t think that anything is ever given to you.”
Denial The Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt.
It’s my belief that when the United States, in the hysteria after 9/11 and continuing until today, implemented the “security state” measures it did, it gave the green light to every other country in the world to do the same:
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had some “regrettable” news. It was late last month, Australia had just thwarted an Islamic State plot to behead random Australians, and the prime minister’s tone was somber. “Regrettably, for some time to come, Australians will have to endure more security than we’re used to, and more inconvenience than we would like,” he told the country’s parliament. “Regrettably for some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift.”
Consider the balanced shifted. Since those remarks, Australia has endowed its nation’s intelligence agencies with their most significant expansion of powers in 35 years, legalized the surveillance of the entire Australian Internet with one warrant, threatened whistleblowers and journalists with 10-year prison terms if they publicize classified information, and is mulling a new law that makes it easier to detain Australians without charge and subject them to “coercive questioning.”
You probably heard that House Republicans brought Dick Cheney in for a meeting yesterday so he — yes, he, most recently of blundered Iraq war fame — could strategize with them on the next go round in that miserable disaster. They were more than happy to listen, according to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), “because most of us think we did the right thing in Iraq.” Really? Does that mean “most” of them still believe al Qaeda was there (it wasn’t) and Saddam Hussein had WMD (he didn’t)?
Holy cow. Is this really happening?
Today Cheney gave a speech at the ultra-conservative American Enterprise Institute and railed at Obama to do whatever it takes “to win,” even though he and Bush weren’t able to do that themselves. What gall.
Anyway, what in the world are Republicans thinking bringing back this monster as an adviser? The guy left office with a 13% approval rating and my sense is he’s still widely despised. All I can think of is this is what happens when a bunch of people — as in House Republicans — live in Faux News/Limbaugh land.
Stopping ISIS? Way harder than it sounds, i.e., what the hell are we getting ourselves into:
Even limited success for this new effort, analysts say, hinges on an unenviable to-do list for the Obama administration: foster cozier relations with Iran, gamble on the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels, strong-arm Iraq’s Shiite Muslim leaders into power-sharing with the Sunni Muslim minority, and persuade Sunni-ruled nations in the Persian Gulf region not to undermine the whole effort by striking out on their own.
Piece of cake, right? Gawd.
And how about answers to at least some of these questions:
What do you [Obama] expect the response of ISIS to be, given especially that these killings that have gotten so much attention have been couched by the group as revenge for military action we’ve already taken? Why shouldn’t we expect more of the same if we do more of the same?
Have we considered whether part of the group’s purpose is to provoke more U.S. intervention, and therefore show themselves as the group standing up to the U.S.? Would we not indeed be playing into their hands by doing so?
Given that Matthew Olsen, the outgoing director of the NCTC [National Counterterrorism Center] made a statement the other day that we do not face the prospect of attacks by this group against the homeland, why are we focusing as much attention as we are against this one group? They’ve done certain dramatic things that have gotten our attention, and the press’s attention, but what exactly are the U.S.’s interests at stake?
Given that this group’s advances in Syria and Iraq have had a great deal to do with the larger sectarian conflict in those countries… how do we intervene without effectively taking sides in a sectarian conflict in which the United States has no interest? Why should we favor Shiites or Sunnis? Because that’s exactly how it will be seen. Have you considered the downside of being seen as taking sides in a sectarian conflict, in terms of the enemies that you make?
With particular regard to the question of intervening in Syria: What exactly would be our broader political objective? Do we still believe that [Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad] must go? And if we do, how do we square this with an intervention against ISIS, given that the regime and ISIS are the two most powerful interests in the Syrian civil war?
How effective would air strikes be against a group most of whose strength is closely intermingled with civilian populations? It does not consist of large military formations out in the desert. How do you do something effective militarily without causing casualties among innocent civilians?
Iraq has become a money pit but I can only imagine the tiny fraction of Americans who will come to know this fact (thanks “liberal media!”):
WASHINGTON — Since June 16 when US President Barack Obama first sent several dozen US troops to Iraq to begin assessing the state of the country’s Army, the United States has spent around $500 million on operations there.
Briefing reporters on Friday, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the price tag has run on average about $7.5 million per day since June, sometimes less and sometimes more. But taking that average number, that would put the US price tag at $550 million through Aug. 28.
I read something a few weeks back about how ISIS in Iraq has commandeered a huge amount of military equipment we paid for with Our Tax Dollars during the 2013 invasion. The supposed “training” of the Iraqi army George W. and Co. said they were doing was a farce and when ISIS emerged, the so-called army cut and ran, leaving billions of dollars of weapons (like humvees at $200,000 a pop) lying around. So now we’re bombing Iraq again and the the billions of dollars of military equipment we paid for are being blowing up by the people we paid to build them in the first place.
Aye yie yie. I’m sure the military industrial complex is drinking up a storm tonight but I’m SMFDH. Our tax dollars down the shit hole, again:
When President Obama announced US airstrikes in Iraq, most observers understood that the US would be bombing members of ISIS. What many did not know was that, in a twist of such bitterly symbolic irony that it could only occur in the Middle East, the US would also be bombing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of American military equipment.
Here’s why: in the decade since the 2003 US-led Iraq invasion, the US has spent a fortune training and arming the Iraqi army in the hopes of readying it to secure the country once America left. That meant arming the Iraqi army with high-tech and extremely expensive American-made guns, tanks, jeeps, artillery, and more.
But the Iraqi army has been largely a failure. When ISIS invaded northern Iraq from Syria in June, the Iraqi forces deserted or retreated en masse. Many of them abandoned their American equipment. ISIS scooped it up themselves and are now using it to rampage across Iraq, seizing whole cities, terrorizing minorities, and finally pushing into even once-secure Kurdish territory. All with shiny American military equipment.
So the US air strikes against ISIS are in part to destroy US military equipment, such as the artillery ISIS has been using against Kurdish forces.
If it weren’t for the military equipment the U.S. walked away from, ISIS wouldn’t be near as powerful and we might not be re-inserting ourselves into that country 11 years after I stood on the protest line doing what I could to stop it because I knew it would be a disaster. But, voila, here we are.
That said, guess who’s on the corporate media? The people who want to make more war.