Abu Ghraib Torture Victims Ordered To Pay U.S. Contractor’s Legal Fees

Abu Ghraib Torture Victims Ordered To Pay U.S. Contractor’s Legal Fees (Huffington Post, Sep 6, 2013):

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered four Iraqis who were imprisoned at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison to pay nearly $14,000 in legal fees to defense contractor CACI, an Arlington, Va.-based company that supplied interrogators to the U.S. government during the Iraq War.

The decision in favor of CACI stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the former prisoners in 2008, alleging that CACI employees directed the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The suit was dismissed in June, when U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled that because the alleged acts took place on foreign soil, CACI was “immune from suit” in U.S. court.

Lee did not, however, directly address the question of whether CACI employees took part in the mistreatment of prisoners. The treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib exploded into an international scandal in 2004, when shocking photos emerged of prisoners being stacked on top of each other, threatened with dogs, and sexually abused.

A little over a month after winning the dismissal this summer, CACI requested that the former prisoners be ordered to pay $15,580 to cover the company’s legal expenses.

Read moreAbu Ghraib Torture Victims Ordered To Pay U.S. Contractor’s Legal Fees

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Is Obama A Hypocrite Or Merely Insouciant? Or Is He An Idiot?

More from Dr. Paul Craig Roberts:

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Silencing The Critics

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: 44 US Military Bases Surrounding Iran: Will Iran Be Attacked?

Flashback:

Interview With US General Wesley Clark (Ret.): US Government Planned To ‘Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years’: ‘Starting With Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Finishing Off Iran’ (Video)


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

paul-craig-roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

By Paul Craig Roberts:

Is Obama a hypocrite or merely insouciant? Or is he an idiot?

According to news reports Obama’s White House meeting on Valentine ’s Day with China’s Vice President, Xi Jinping, provided an opportunity for Obama to raise “a sensitive human rights issue with the Chinese leader-in-waiting.” The brave and forthright Obama didn’t let etiquette or decorum get in his way. Afterwards, Obama declared that Washington would “continue to emphasize what we believe is the importance of realizing the aspirations and rights of all people.”

Think about that for a minute. Washington is now in the second decade of murdering Muslim men, women, and children in six countries. Washington is so concerned with human rights that it drops bombs on schools, hospitals, weddings and funerals, all in order to uphold the human rights of Muslim people. You see, bombing liberates Muslim women from having to wear the burka and from male domination.

One hundred thousand, or one million, dead Iraqis; four million displaced Iraqis; a country with destroyed infrastructure and entire cities, such as Fallujah, bombed and burnt with white phosphorus into cinders is the proper way to show concern for human rights.

Ditto for Afghanistan. And Libya.

In Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, Washington’s drones bring human rights to the people.

Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret CIA prison sites are other places to which Washington brings human rights. Obama, who has the power to murder American citizens without due process of law, is too powerless to close Guantanamo Prison.

He is powerless to prevent himself from supplying Israel with weapons with which to murder Palestinians and Lebanese citizens to whom Obama brings human rights by vetoing every UN resolution passed against Israel for its crimes against humanity.

Instead of following Washington’s human rights lead, the evil Chinese invest in other countries, buy things from them, and sell them goods.

Read moreDr. Paul Craig Roberts: Is Obama A Hypocrite Or Merely Insouciant? Or Is He An Idiot?

The DOJ’s Escalating Criminalization Of Speech

The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech (Salon, Sep 4, 2011):

(updated below)

Over the past several years, the Justice Department has increasingly attempted to criminalize what is clearly protected political speech by prosecuting numerous individuals (Muslims, needless to say) for disseminating political views the government dislikes or considers threatening.  The latest episode emerged on Friday, when the FBI announced the arrest and indictment of Jubair Ahmad, a 24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, charged with “providing material support” to a designated Terrorist organization (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)).

What is the “material support” he allegedly gave?  He produced and uploaded a 5-minute video to YouTube featuring photographs of U.S. abuses in Abu Ghraib, video of armored trucks exploding after being hit by IEDs, prayer messages about “jihad” from LeT’s leader, and — according to the FBI’s Affidavit — “a number of terrorist logos.”  That, in turn, led the FBI agent who signed the affidavit to assert that “based on [his] training and experience, it is evident that the video . . . is designed as propaganda to develop support for LeT and to recruit jihadists to LeT.”  The FBI also claims Ahmad spoke with the son of an LeT leader about the contents of the video and had attended an LeT camp when he was a teenager in Pakistan.  For the act of uploading that single YouTube video (and for denying that he did so when asked by the FBI agents who came to his home to interrogate him), he faces 23 years in prison.

Let’s be very clear about the key point: the Constitution — specifically the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment — prohibits the U.S. Government from punishing someone for the political views they express, even if those views include the advocacy of violence against the U.S. and its leaders.  One can dislike this legal fact.  One can wish it were different.  But it is the clear and unambiguous law, and has been since the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which overturned the criminal conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader who had publicly threatened violence against political officials in a speech.

Read moreThe DOJ’s Escalating Criminalization Of Speech

US intelligence budget: $75 billion and 200,000 employees; Fusion centers to access classified military intelligence

Continuing change!


dennis_blair_official_director_of_national_intelligence_portrait
Dennis Cutler Blair (born 1947), is the third and current Director of National Intelligence and a retired United States Navy four-star admiral.

Speaking at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club September 15, Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, disclosed that the current annual budget for the 16 agency U.S. “Intelligence Community” (IC) clocks-in at $75 billion and employs some 200,000 operatives world-wide, including private contractors.

In unveiling an unclassified version of the National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), Blair asserts he is seeking to break down “this old distinction between military and nonmilitary intelligence,” stating that the “traditional fault line” separating secretive military programs from overall intelligence activities “is no longer relevant.”

As if to emphasize the sweeping nature of Blair’s remarks, Federal Computer Week reported September 17 that “some non-federal officials with the necessary clearances who work at intelligence fusion centers around the country will soon have limited access to classified terrorism-related information that resides in the Defense Department’s classified network.” According to the publication:

Read moreUS intelligence budget: $75 billion and 200,000 employees; Fusion centers to access classified military intelligence

Fall Of The Republic – The Presidency Of Barack H. Obama (The Full Movie HQ)

“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
– Benjamin Franklin


Added: 22. October 2009

Fall Of The Republic documents how an offshore corporate cartel is bankrupting the US economy by design. Leaders are now declaring that world government has arrived and that the dollar will be replaced by a new global currency.

President Obama has brazenly violated Article 1 Section 9 of the US Constitution by seating himself at the head of United Nations’ Security Council, thus becoming the first US president to chair the world body.

A scientific dictatorship is in its final stages of completion, and laws protecting basic human rights are being abolished worldwide; an iron curtain of high-tech tyranny is now descending over the planet.

A worldwide regime controlled by an unelected corporate elite is implementing a planetary carbon tax system that will dominate all human activity and establish a system of neo-feudal slavery.

Read moreFall Of The Republic – The Presidency Of Barack H. Obama (The Full Movie HQ)

CIA doctors face human experimentation claims

Related article: CIA refuses order to release torture documents


Medical ethics group says physicians monitored ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ and studied their effectiveness

camp-delta-in-guantanamo-bay
A US flag at Camp Delta in Guantánamo Bay. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Doctors and psychologists the CIA employed to monitor its “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects came close to, and may even have committed, unlawful human experimentation, a medical ethics watchdog has alleged.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a not-for-profit group that has investigated the role of medical personnel in alleged incidents of torture at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and other US detention sites, accuses doctors of being far more involved than hitherto understood.

PHR says health professionals participated at every stage in the development, implementation and legal justification of what it calls the CIA’s secret “torture programme”.

The American Medical Association, the largest body of physicians in the US, said it was in open dialogue with the Obama administration and other government agencies over the role of doctors. “The participation of physicians in torture and interrogation is a violation of core ethical values,” it said.

The most incendiary accusation of PHR’s latest report, Aiding Torture, is that doctors actively monitored the CIA’s interrogation techniques with a view to determining their effectiveness, using detainees as human subjects without their consent. The report concludes that such data gathering was “a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation”.

Human experimentation without consent has been prohibited in any setting since 1947, when the Nuremberg Code, which resulted from the prosecution of Nazi doctors, set down 10 sacrosanct principles. The code states that voluntary consent of subjects is essential and that all unnecessary physical and mental suffering should be avoided.

The Geneva conventions also ban medical experiments on prisoners and prisoners of war, which they describe as “grave breaches”. Under CIA guidelines, doctors and psychologists were required to be present during the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques on detainees.

In April, a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found that medical staff employed by the CIA had been present during waterboarding, and had even used what appeared to be a pulse oxymeter, placed on the prisoner’s finger to monitor his oxygen saturation during the procedure. The Red Cross condemned such activities as a “gross breach of medical ethics”. PHR has based its accusation of possible experimentation on the 2004 report of the CIA’s own inspector general into the agency’s interrogation methods, which was finally published two weeks ago after pressure from the courts.

An appendix to the report, marked “top secret”, provides guidelines to employees of the CIA’s internal Office of Medical Services “supporting the detention of terrorists turned over to the CIA for interrogation”.

Read moreCIA doctors face human experimentation claims

How a lawyer unearthed US torture documents

Now revealing the TRUTH has become a recruitment beacon for Al-Qaeda!

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“It is error alone which needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself. ”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies. Let the revolution begin!”
– Ron Paul


Jameel Jaffer dug up torture memos.JPG
Jameel Jaffer dug up torture memos.

One of the key figures behind the cascade of documents detailing torture and abuse within America’s global “war on terror” happens to be a Canadian-born graduate of Toronto’s Upper Canada College.

Jameel Jaffer, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer born in London, Ont., was instrumental in filing and fighting an unlikely Freedom of Information Act request that eventually unearthed thousands of pages of secret documents which illustrated damning evidence of U.S. government complicity in violations of international humanitarian law.

“A lot of the documents describe abuses that are really horrific,” he said in an interview. “It was hard to believe that these incidents had occurred in facilities run by the United States.”

Jaffer told the Star last night that this type of lengthy and expensive legal muck-raking is unlikely to occur in Canada because grants and funding are so scarce. “There are people doing this kind of work in Canada and they have a tough job,” he said.”

The request was filed by Jaffer and fellow ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh – daughter of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – in October 2003, before the disturbingly iconic Abu Ghraib prison photographs emerged. When those photos came out in April of 2004, they spurred Jaffer and Singh to press their request in court, which is sometimes the only way to successfully pursue an FOI request.

Six years later, more than 130,000 pages of previously classified evidence has trickled out; much of it has been seized upon by critics of America’s seemingly unending global war on terrorism.

The documents uncovered by Jaffer and Singh are a gruesome testament to the grim realities of the post-9/11 world: they revealed fissures between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the military over how to treat detainees at Guantanamo Bay; vivid descriptions of conditions within the CIA’s overseas “black site” prisons, where detainees were sent without trial; the Justice Department “torture memos,” which revealed prominent U.S. officials had essentially signed-off on torture; and autopsies of prisoners who died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The evidence has been seized upon by supporters of the war as well, who say Jaffer and the ACLU have given a propaganda weapon and recruitment beacon for Al Qaeda.

“In general, I think our position is that national security is increasingly used as a pretext to suppress information that would embarrass government officials and information related to criminal activity,” Jaffer told the Star. “And we think that the abuse of national security for those ends is something that, in the end, jeopardizes not just security but democracy as well, and that’s really what motivates a lot of these cases.”

Read moreHow a lawyer unearthed US torture documents

Obama administration asks the Supreme Court to block detainee photos

supreme_court
The Obama Administration wants detainee abuse photos blocked by the Supreme Court. (AP)

The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court to block the public release of detainee abuse photos that were the subject of a high-profile reversal by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn an appeals court decision requiring the Pentagon to disclose the photos, which depict alleged abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The President of the United States and the Nation’s highest-ranking military officers responsible for ongoing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have determined that disclosure by the government of the photographs at issue in this case would pose a significant risk to the lives and physical safety of American military and civilian personnel by inciting violence targeting those personnel,” Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote.

The photos are being sought by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a long running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit pertaining to alleged abuse of detainees held abroad by U.S. forces.

Read moreObama administration asks the Supreme Court to block detainee photos

Former Senior Interrogator in Iraq Dissects Cheney’s Lies and Distortions

As a senior interrogator in Iraq (and a former criminal investigator), there was a lesson I learned that served me well: there’s more to be learned from what someone doesn’t say than from what they do say. Let me dissect former Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech on National Security using this model and my interrogation skills.

First, VP Cheney said, “This recruitment-tool theory has become something of a mantra lately… it excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do.” He further stated, “It is much closer to the truth that terrorists hate this country precisely because of the values we profess and seek to live by, not by some alleged failure to do so.” That is simply untrue. Anyone who served in Iraq, and veterans on both sides of the aisle have made this argument, knows that the foreign fighters did not come to Iraq en masse until after the revelations of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. I heard this from captured foreign fighters day in and day out when I was supervising interrogations in Iraq. What the former vice president didn’t say is the fact that the dislike of our policies in the Middle East were not enough to make thousands of Muslim men pick up arms against us before these revelations. Torture and abuse became Al Qaida’s number one recruiting tool and cost us American lives.

Secondly, the former vice president, in saying that waterboarding is not torture, never mentions the fact that it was the United States and its Allies, during the Tokyo Trials, that helped convict a Japanese soldier for war crimes for waterboarding one of Jimmie Doolittle’s Raiders. Have our morals and values changed in fifty years? He also did not mention that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln both prohibited their troops from torturing prisoners of war. Washington specifically used the term “injure” — no mention of severe mental or physical pain.

Thirdly, the former vice president never mentioned the Senate testimony of Ali Soufan, the FBI interrogator who successfully interrogated Abu Zubaydah and learned the identity of Jose Padilla, the dirty bomber, and the fact that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) was the mastermind behind 9/11. We’ll never know what more we could have discovered from Abu Zubaydah had not CIA contractors taken over the interrogations and used waterboarding and other harsh techniques. Also, glaringly absent from the former vice president’s speech was any mention of the fact that the former administration never brought Osama bin Laden to justice and that our best chance to locate him would have been through KSM or Abu Zubaydah had they not been waterboarded.

Read moreFormer Senior Interrogator in Iraq Dissects Cheney’s Lies and Distortions