Thursday, April 2, 2015

Don't Let Them Fool You, The U.S. Has Been Torturing People For Many Years

"We do not condone torture. I have never ordered torture. I will never order torture. The values of this country are such that torture is not a part of our soul."     George W. Bush

"We don't torture people. Let me say that again to you. We don't torture people, OK."   George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence for the CIA (July 1997 to July 2004)

Perhaps it's George W. Bush's clipped, hesitant manner and accompanying smirk evident sometimes when he's speaking that's part of the give away. The man's a liar. When watching videos of Bush there's a definite pattern of mannerisms showing he "lacks a close association with the truth". Videos make it a lot easier to see manipulative and lying patterns, not only by Bush, but even others, including Obama. But watching them also leaves a sinking, chilling feeling; too many "leaders", and many others in various positions of power are psychopaths (aka sociopaths). Some psychopaths are better than others in maintaining a facade that makes it more challenging to spot the lies. But, make no mistake, these people know about the history of the U.S.'s torture programs and our country's involvements in torture that began before the ostensible 9/11 which was used as a way to attempt to legitimize the CIA's "Rendition Program".

George H. W. Bush (aka "Poppy") was a Director of the CIA under President Gerald Ford (January 30, 1976 to January 20, 1977), and linked to the CIA in 1963 as evidenced by memorandum from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover dated November 29, 1963 "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" noting two individuals provided with a briefing - one being George (H. W.) Bush (Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years by Russ Baker, 2009). Therefore, it's completely illogical to believe George W. Bush (aka "W") along with any other president prior to Bush and since has been without knowledge about the U.S. and its history of torture programs. They all know.
Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron and the CIA:

Before his involvement with the CIA, Dr. Cameron (1901-1967), a psychiatrist, was invited to provide his expertise in a psychological evaluation of notorious Nazi Rudolph Hess in Nuremburg, Germany prior to the Nuremburg Trials for numerous war crimes charges against several top Nazi officials. Interestingly, Hess was diagnosed with amnesia and hysteria by several professionals but later confessed he'd faked his amnesia.

Some of the conclusions made about the German culture and mental illness by Dr. Cameron included his theory "that German culture and its people would have offspring bound to become a threat to world peace in 30 years. To prevent this, the West would have to take measures to reorganize German society." (Wikipedia). Cameron went on to theorize that "the only cure for mental illness...was to eliminate its 'carriers' from society altogether." And he believed "...that mental illness was literally contagious...something like rock music could be created by mentally ill people and would produce mentally ill people through infection, which in turn, would be transmitted to the genes." Repeatedly, Cameron would "...use the German as the archetypal character structure on which to ground the most psychologically deviant humans." (Ibid).

Not all professionals at the time (nor currently) agreed with Dr. Cameron's theories nor his subsequent work with the CIA, including the MK-ULTRA program.

Major Douglas McGlashan Kelley, the Army psychiatrist performing extensive evaluations on all the Nuremberg defendants including Hermann Goering (Reichsmarschall and Luftwaffe chief) discovered in "Looking over his Rorschach data and interpretations...that none of the top Nazi prisoners, except the brain-damaged Ley*, showed signs of any mental illness or personality traits that would label him insane. Here he came up against wartime popular myth. All of the men, even the disordered and forgetful Hess, were responsible for their actions and capable of distinguishing right from wrong."(*Robert Ley was head of the German Labor Front; he'd had brain damage to his frontal lobes due to a plane crash in World War I).

Moreover, Goering was described as "the charmer", but also "...a clearly intelligent and cultured man (who) so blatantly lacked a moral compass and empathy for others". Goering wrote touching, loving letters to his wife, Emmy; he cared about her and their daughter Emma, but outside his circle it was evident others didn't matter. "My measures will not be crippled by any bureaucracy. Here I don't have to worry about Justice; my mission is only to destroy and exterminate; nothing more."

In all, the Nuremburg defendants displayed similar personality traits Kelley called "neuroses", but considered "not uncommon psychiatric flaws" which would increase their ruthlessness. "Kelley could only reluctantly conclude that enormous numbers of people had the potential to act as the war criminals had (emphasis added)." (The Nazi and the Psychiatrist by Jack El-Hai, 2013).

Some of the common shared traits seen in the Nuremburg defendants included: an enormous energy devoted to their work ("Goering and his colleagues were grade A workaholics"), focus was on the ends of their labors, not the means of accomplishment, some wanted to further spread Nazism for personal power and glory (Hitler was a megalomaniac). Ambitious, charming, narcissistic, common descriptions of these leaders, were especially observed in Hermann Goering. We can attribute a lot of the same to leaders and politicians in our own country and on all levels - including local levels. Today, we know some of the traits, described by Kelley of the Nazis facing charges of war crimes, are consistent with psychopaths. (see Hare Psychopathy Checklist - revised; list of traits).

Getting back to Dr. Cameron's role, his work following the Nuremburg Trials using human guinea pigs, substantially contributed and formed the basis of the CIA's torture program.

People were used as subjects. They went to Dr. Cameron for help because of relatively minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression. Dr. Cameron abused them by using LSD and various paralytic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) at thirty to forty times normal power. He'd put them into drug-induced comas for weeks (one patient for 3 months) playing tape loops of white noise or simple statements in hopes of creating a "blank slate" to essentially re-program the patient - except the consequences of this "therapy" included insomnia, incontinence, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents, or thinking their interrogators were their parents.

Dr. Cameron's research for MK-ULTRA was "to design a scientific-based system for extracting information from 'resistant sources', i.e. torture which laid foundation for CIA's two-stage psychological torture method". (Wikipedia; Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism).

Some of the CIAs torture manuals are declassified. The CIA had denied allegations, but it's proven the CIA has been also teaching torture methods in other countries, including in the Vietnam era (KUBARK manual), in Honduras, and other areas in Central America, etc. As per Klein, the use of torture is indicative of the foundational beliefs held by those in power of the U.S.:  “The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtually foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system--whether political, religious or economic--that is rejected by large numbers of the people they are ruling. Just as ecologists define ecosystems by the presence of certain "indicator species" of plants and birds, torture (emphasis added) is an indicator species of a regime that is engaged in a deeply anti-democratic project, even if that regime happens to have come to power through elections.” 

The CIAs Rendition Program and Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen:

After 9/11, the CIA began its Rendition Program; "extraordinary rendition" to capture, detain, and interrogate suspected terrorists without bringing them to the U.S. nor charging them with any crimes. An Open Society report lists fifty-four countries' governments that have aided the U.S./CIA in carrying out the program through various degrees of participation by allowing capture, transport, maintaining prisons for torture, or carrying out abuses and torture of people (Washington Post article). Per the article, and quoting the Open Society Report:

"The 54 governments identified in this report span the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and include: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe."

Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen, was captured in December 31, 2003 after erroneously identified as being "Khalid Al-Masri"; he was on vacation in Skopje, Macedonia, pulled off a bus, sodomized with a drug, and taken to a secret base where he was tortured before being released approximately 5 months later. The CIA had continued torturing El-Masri even after finding out they'd kidnapped the wrong man before releasing him (El-Masri v. Tenet, ACLU). The ACLU helped El-Masri file suit in the U.S. (pdf); however, it was dismissed because it was deemed to be a threat to the U.S.'s security in revealing state secrets. The case was appealed. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) has since lodged a criminal complaint:

"ECCHR letter to Minister of Justice: Germany must enforce criminal prosecution of CIA agents and demand an apology and compensation to German CIA victim El Masri by the USA.

On 15 December 2014, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) sent a letter to the Minister of Justice, Heiko Maas (Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD), calling on the German government to request the extradition of thirteen former CIA-employees wanted by arrest warrants as well as to enforce the rights of CIA-victim and German citizen Khaled El Masri to a formal apology and reparation by the USA. El Masri was abducted by Macedonian officials at the Serbian-Macedonian border on 31 December 2003 and handed over to the CIA. They rendered him to a secret CIA detention center in Afghanistan where he was subjected to torture and abuse for more than four months. On 28 May 2004 the CIA brought him back to Albania and released him in the remote mountainside.

In January 2007, the Munich District Court issued thirteen arrest warrants against the CIA officials involved in this case on charges of causing grievous bodily harm and deprivation of liberty. However, to this day the German Federal Office of Justice refuses to officially ask the USA for extradition of the wanted persons.

In yesterday’s letter, ECCHR argues that due to the recently released Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence this decision must be re-examined. The report explicitly notes that El Masri was wrongfully detained in consequence of a confusion of names. It also states that the then CIA Director, despite having had acknowledged the unlawfulness of El Masri’s detention, refused to warrant any further action against the responsible CIA officials.

The discretionary decision by the German Federal Office of Justice not to ask for extradition was based on the interest of maintaining good diplomatic relations with the USA and later affirmed by the Cologne Administrative Court where El Masri challenged the government's decision. However, after the release of the Senat's report on CIA torture, asking for extradition of the thirteen CIA officials will not influence the diplomatic relations between Germany and the USA in the same way as it might have influenced them at the time of the last decision in 2007. In fact, it would serve the public interest of promoting criminal justice and would strengthen the enforcement of the UN Convention Against Torture. This convention outlaws torture worldwide and obligates all signatory states – among them the USA and Germany – to either prosecute or extradite those responsible for torture.

For more than ten years, judicial systems of various states have failed to legally address the injustice faced by El Masri and to compensate him. A civil action for compensation brought in the USA in May 2006 was dismissed by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and upheld by the appeals court based on the state secret privilege. A criminal complaint in Macedonia did not lead to effective investigations by the Macedonian prosecution services which was then subject to a ruling of the European Court for Human Rights against Macedonia.

ECCHR claims in its letter that the German government must request a formal apology and compensation to El Masri by the USA, if the German Federal Office of Justice still refuses to ask the USA for extradition. In earlier compensation cases brought against Germany by former Greek and Italian prisoners of war of the Nazi regime, Germany itself held the view that an individual could not directly bring a claim against another state. Instead the respective country of origin had to take action against the other state. If the German government, however, continuously refuses to support El Masri to enforce his rights against the USA, it is obliged to compensate El Masri ex gratia for being forced to waiving his rights due to diplomatic considerations. The Senat's (sic) report on CIA torture shows that the rendition of El Masri was by no means an exception but part of a systematic rendition and torture program. Germany must stand up for the law as an effective answer to significant forms of violence and torture."

Since U.S. torture predates 9/11, and the majority of people in the U.S. now believe 9/11 was "an inside job"  it seems reasonable to believe the CIA's Rendition Program was meant to be used for other nefarious reasons. (see Counter Punch article), and:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda
Regarding the CIA's Rendition Program, Khalid El-Masri says, "That's how you establish an international dictatorial regime. Countries are occupied, people are killed, we cannot say's a state secret. They trample on freedom and justice, values and morals, with their feet. And you have to keep quiet or you are a threat to international and national security. Is this an argument? I will continue to fight for this case until we prevail...or until I die. For morality, for principles, and for values."

"My life has changed in every aspect. I am really not the person I used to be."

Godspeed, Khalid El-Masri. Godspeed.

(Das Finstere Tal, "The Dark Valley", Steaming Satellites "How Dare You")

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Comments are appreciated. We can agree to disagree; ideas are welcomed, but name-calling isn't. "I don't care what car you drive, where you live. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone. If your clothes are this years' cutting edge. If your trust fund is unlimited. If you are A-list, B-list or never heard of you list. I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you truly own..." Chris Duane.