Posts filed under ‘Terror’

$81 Million of Our Tax Dollars Went to Two Psychologists Who Designed Torture Program

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.”

More…

(My emphasis.)

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.'”

More…

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.

December 9, 2014 at 5:03 PM Leave a comment

Great Public Relations Going on Down in St. Louis County (Not)

 

Geezus, I wonder how much time, effort and money the St. Louis PD has put into actually meeting with and talking to the people of Ferguson; they look to be all set in the us-versus-them department:

St. Louis PD Military via ABC World News Tonight

(Via ABC World News Tonight)

 

 

November 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM 1 comment

Dick Cheney As Wise Republican Elder Statesman

Dick Cheney via Wikimedia commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

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.

 

September 10, 2014 at 5:26 PM Leave a comment

Statement from the American Society of News Editors Regarding the Detention and Harassment of Journalists in Ferguson, MO

ASNE Logo

        (Image via ASNE.org)


As an organization whose core mission includes protecting freedom of the press, the American Society of News Editors is especially disturbed by the events taking place this week in Ferguson, Missouri. From police physically assaulting citizens engaged in peaceful protest to arresting without cause reporters from The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, it is clear that there is a concerted, top-down effort to restrict the fundamental First Amendment rights of the public and the press.

 

As an organization whose core mission includes protecting freedom of the press, the American Society of News Editors is especially disturbed by the events taking place this week in Ferguson, Missouri. From police physically assaulting citizens engaged in peaceful protest to arresting without cause reporters from The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, it is clear that there is a concerted, top-down effort to restrict the fundamental First Amendment rights of the public and the press.

 

“From the beginning of this situation, the police have made conscious decisions to restrict information and images coming from Ferguson,” said ASNE President David Boardman. “Of course, these efforts largely have been unsuccessful, as the nation and the world are still seeing for themselves the heinous actions of the police. For every reporter they arrest, every image they block, every citizen they censor, another will still write, photograph and speak.”

 

ASNE acknowledges that there has been illegal violence and looting by some members of the public and that law enforcement must respond appropriately. But we remind the police and the nation that speaking out in protest is not a crime, reporting on that protest is not a crime and taking photographs of it is not a crime. Violating the civil rights of citizens by restricting these activities is a crime. We further call on the U.S. Department of Justice to take any and all appropriate action to protect the First Amendment rights of everyone involved.

 

More…

 

August 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM Leave a comment

Obama’s FAA Declares No-Fly Zone Over Ferguson, Missouri

Barack Obama’s Federal Aviation Administration has declared a no-fly zone over Ferguson, Missouri which means news helicopters can’t watch what’s going on.  See the blue-highlighted area below:

FAA over Ferguson

More…

Outrageous.

August 12, 2014 at 4:07 PM Leave a comment

Ferguson, Missouri Is On Lockdown

Check out this tweet from Radley Balko, a reporter for the Washington Post.  Scary is right:

Tweet of the Day 8-12-14

What is this, Cairo?  Tiananmen Square?

August 12, 2014 at 3:08 PM Leave a comment

The American Military Industrial Complex is Smiling Tonight!

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:

Humvee via wikipedia

(Image via Wikimedia)

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.

More…

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.

Geezus.

 

 

 

August 8, 2014 at 6:19 PM Leave a comment

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