‘I was victim of medieval torture,’ says freed Guantanamo detainee

Return of British resident after seven years fuels demands for Government to clarify role of MI5 agents

Binyam Mohamed, 30, a British resident who has been held at Guantanamo Bay formore than four years, steps from a plane at RAF Northolt, west London
Binyam Mohamed, 30, a British resident who has been held at Guantanamo Bay formore than four years, steps from a plane at RAF Northolt, west London

The seven-year ordeal of a British resident who claims he was brutally tortured before being sent to Guantanamo Bay was brought to an end last night during an emotional reunion with his family.

Binyam Mohamed’s sister, Zuhra Mohamed, said she was “overcome with joy” as she watched her brother shuffle down the steps of the RAF transport plane which had carried him from the notorious US detention camp in Cuba to Northolt airfield, west London.


‘Those I hoped would rescue me were allied with my abusers’ (Guardian):
Britain’s role in the secret abduction of terror suspects came under intense new scrutiny with the return to the UK of Binyam Mohamed yesterday after more than four years in Guantánamo Bay.

Senior MPs said they intended to pursue ministers and officials over what they knew of his ill-treatment and why Britain helped the CIA interrogate him.

In a statement released shortly after he arrived in a US Gulfstream jet at RAF Northolt in west London, Mohamed said: “For myself, the very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence.”


She said: “When I saw him he looked like he is OK, but he will plainly not be the man I remember all those years ago.” Almost as soon as Mr Mohamed had taken his first steps on British soil, the former computer and engineering student made it clear that he had unfinished business with both the US and UK governments. In a carefully worded statement he said he intended to hold to account those he blamed for his alleged rendition, torture and unlawful imprisonment: “I am not asking for vengeance; only that the truth should be made known so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured.”

Read more‘I was victim of medieval torture,’ says freed Guantanamo detainee

Paul Craig Roberts: Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS:
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

“On October 21 (1948) the Government of Israel took a decision that was to have a lasting and divisive effect on the rights and status of those Arabs who lived within its borders: the official establishment of military government in the areas where most of the inhabitants were Arabs.”
Martin Gilbert, Israel: A History

I had given up on finding an American with a moral conscience and the courage to go with it and was on the verge of retiring my keyboard when I met the Rev. Thomas L. Are.

Rev. Are is a Presbyterian pastor who used to tell his Atlanta, Georgia, congregation: “I am a Zionist.” Like most Americans, Rev. Are had been seduced by Israeli propaganda and helped to spread the propaganda among his congregation.

Around 1990 Rev. Are had an awakening for which he credits the Christian Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and author Marc Ellis, co-editor of the book, Beyond Occupation.

Realizing that his ignorance of the situation on the ground had made him complicit in great crimes, Rev. Are wrote a book hoping to save others from his mistake and perhaps in part to make amends, Israeli Peace/Palestinian Justice, published in Canada in 1994.

Rev. Are researched his subject and wrote a brave book. Keep in mind that 1994 was long prior to Walt and Mearsheimer’s recent book, which exposed the power of the Israel Lobby and its ability to control the explanation Americans receive about the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Read morePaul Craig Roberts: Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?

Afghans Rape Children On Canadian Military Base

Such atrocities are ‘normal’ on planet earth: Pakistani women buried alive for choosing husbands
Human beings do net respect themselves, they do not respect others and they do not respect their planet.
This is the perfect recipe for the ultimate disaster.
_______________________________________________________________________

Dec 14, 2008 04:30 AM
Source: The Star

Chaplain says senior officer aware of rape by Afghans

Soldier recalls cries from boy brought onto Canadian base

The boy was no more than 12. He wore a wig, lipstick and perfume and was dressed in a flowing robe when an Afghan interpreter escorted him to the entrance of the Canadian base in remote Afghanistan.

It was June 2006 and it was one of Tyrel Braaten’s first days at Forward Operating Base Wilson, about 30 kilometres outside Kandahar.

Braaten watched as the local interpreter, who worked for the Canadians, ushered the boy through the security checkpoint and led him inside a nearby building.

The bombardier was bewildered. He asked another interpreter standing next to him who the boy was. The interpreter shrugged that the boy was one of “the bitches.”

“I said, `What do you mean?’ and he made the motion with his hips, like you know,” said Braaten, 24. “I remember saying, `Are we on Mars? Does this s— go on all the time?'”

The native of Saskatchewan is the latest soldier to come forward alleging in detail how young Afghan boys during his tour in Afghanistan in 2006 were regularly sodomized by Afghan interpreters and soldiers working alongside Canadian soldiers.

For the past four months, the Canadian Forces’ National Investigation Service, an arm’s-length military investigatory body with the power to lay criminal charges, has been probing claims that Canadian commanding officers ignored the complaints of lower-ranking soldiers about the alleged rapes.

Some soldiers have told military chaplains and medical personnel that they were instructed to disregard the sodomy because of a “cultural difference” between Canada and Afghanistan.

In a new development, Maj. Kevin Klein, a high-ranking chaplain, told the Star that a senior officer confided to him in 2007 that his soldiers were struggling to cope with the rapes. Klein has told his story to NIS investigators.

Read moreAfghans Rape Children On Canadian Military Base

Panel blames White House, not soldiers, for abuse

The physical and mental abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the direct result of Bush administration detention policies and should not be dismissed as the work of bad guards or interrogators, according to a bipartisan Senate report released Thursday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee report concludes that harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA and the U.S. military were directly adapted from the training techniques used to prepare special forces personnel to resist interrogation by enemies that torture and abuse prisoners. The techniques included forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation, and until 2003, waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning.

The report is the result of a nearly two-year investigation that directly links President Bush’s policies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, legal memos on torture, and interrogation rule changes with the abuse photographed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq four years ago. Much of the report remains classified. Unclassified portions of the report were released by the committee Thursday.

Read morePanel blames White House, not soldiers, for abuse

Cheney and Gonzales indicted for organized crime

A grand jury in South Texas indicted U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and former attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday for “organized criminal activity” related to alleged abuse of inmates in private prisons. The indictment has not been seen by a judge, who could dismiss it.


US Vice President Dick Cheney (L) and former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (R). According to November 18, 2008 media reports, US Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been indicted by a South Texas grand jury on charges relating to alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County’s federal detention centers. Picture: AFP

The grand jury in Willacy County, in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border, said Cheney is “profiteering from depriving human beings of their liberty,” according to a copy of the indictment obtained by Reuters.

The indictment cites a “money trail” of Cheney’s ownership in prison-related enterprises including the Vanguard Group, which owns an interest in private prisons in south Texas.

Former attorney general Gonzales used his position to “stop the investigations as to the wrong doings” into assaults in county prisons, the indictment said.

Cheney’s office declined comment. “We have not received any indictments. I can’t comment on something we have not received,” said Cheney’s spokeswoman Megan Mitchell.

The indictment, overseen by county District Attorney Juan Guerra, cites the case of Gregorio De La Rosa, who died on April 26, 2001, inside a private prison in Willacy County.

The grand jury wrote it made its decision “with great sadness,” but said they had no other choice but to indict Cheney and Gonzales “because we love our country.”

Texas is the home state of U.S. President George W. Bush.

Read moreCheney and Gonzales indicted for organized crime

NIGERIA: Trafficking of girls, abuse worsening


Children in Makoko, a slum of houses on stilts in central Lagos, Nigeria. Some 15,000 people live here in the most basic conditions imaginable

KANO, 7 July 2008 (IRIN) – The trafficking of girls from villages to cities in Nigeria is increasing and the state is powerless to stop the trade, officials told IRIN.

“The business of recruiting teenage girls as domestic help in rich and middle-class homes is booming despite our efforts to put a stop to it”, Bello Ahmed, head of the Kano office of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), told IRIN.

Girls aged 12-17 are regularly trafficked from villages and brought to the city to work as maids for an average monthly wage of 1,500 naira (US$13) which they usually send back to their parents who are caring for several of their siblings, according to Ahmed.

“Apart from being denied access to education, these girls are in many cases raped and beaten by their employers and this is why we keep a dormitory to rehabilitate them”, Ahmed said.

“Bringing in girls from the villages to the city to work as house helps continues unabated. In fact it is on the rise”, agreed Mairo Bello, head of Adolescent Health Information Project, a Kano-based non-governmental organisation (NGO).

As well as poverty, trafficking in girls and women is driven by the extreme income inequality which exists in Nigeria, and gender inequality. The problem is prevalent all around the country.

The dangers

Saudatu Halilu, a 16 year-old girl who moved to Kano from a rural village to work as a maid, has been a victim of the trade’s dangers.

Saudatu was brought to Kano from Nassarawa State in central Nigeria 10 months ago to work as a domestic help, but she said her master forced her into sleeping with him and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

“I was too scared to tell my mistress or anyone what happened for fear of what my master would do to me and I did not realise I was pregnant until a medical check after I began to show some signs which attracted the attention of my mistress”, Halilu told AFP.


Ruth, 13, doing her homework. From the age of five to nine she was denied the right to go to school and had to work selling water at a market in Gabon, after having been trafficked from Nigeria

Poverty

Read moreNIGERIA: Trafficking of girls, abuse worsening

Guantanamo detainees were tortured, medical exams show


An Afghan detainee is carried on a stretcher before being interrogated by military officials at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002. A study of former Guantanamo detainees has unearthed evidence that they were tortured and abused.
(Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)

Medical examinations of suspected militants formerly held by the U.S. military at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba showed evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group.

The study, considered the most extensive medical check of former U.S. detainees published so far, also tracked former suspects held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, with similar findings.

For the study, Physicians for Human Rights had doctors and mental health professionals examine 11 former prisoners of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

The U.S-based human rights organization says it found evidence of U.S. torture and war crimes, and it accuses U.S. military health professionals of allowing the abuse of detainees, denying detainees medical care and providing confidential medical information to interrogators that was then exploited.

Physicians for Human Rights did not identify the 11 former prisoners to protect their privacy. Seven were held in Abu Ghraib between late 2003 and summer of 2004, a period that coincides with the known torture of prisoners at the hands of some of their U.S. jailers. Four of the prisoners were held at Guantanamo beginning in 2002 for one to almost five years. All 11 were released without charges being laid.

Those examined reported being tortured or abused, including sexually, and described being shocked with electrodes, beaten, shackled, stripped of their clothes, deprived of food and sleep, and spit and urinated on.

Prisoner subjected to electrical shocks 3 times a day

The Associated Press has obtained a report outlining the treatment of two Iraqi prisoners. One, identified only as Yasser, reported being subjected to electric shocks three times and being sodomized with a stick. His thumbs bore round scars consistent with shocking. He would not allow a full rectal exam.

Another Iraqi, identified only as Rahman, reported he was humiliated by being forced to wear women’s underwear, was stripped naked and paraded in front of female guards, and was shown pictures of other naked detainees. The psychological exam found that Rahman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had sexual problems related to his humiliation.

The Physicians for Human Rights report came as the U.S. Senate’s armed services committee revealed documents showing military lawyers warned the Pentagon that methods it was using following the Sept. 11, 2001, airplane hijackings violated military, U.S. and international law. Those objections were overruled by a top Pentagon lawyer.

U.S. President George W. Bush said in 2004, when the prison torture was revealed, that it was the work of “a few American troops who dishonoured our country and disregarded our values.” Bush and other U.S. officials have consistently denied that the U.S. tortures its detainees.

The degradation of some prisoners by their U.S. captors is well documented by the government’s own reports. Once-secret documents show that the Pentagon and Justice Department allowed, at least for a time, forced nakedness, isolation, sleep deprivation and humiliation at its military prisons in Guantanamo Bay and at Abu Ghraib.

Health of detainees prior to detention not known

Physicians for Human Rights’ medical examiners did not have access to the 11 patients’ medical histories prior to their imprisonment, so it was not possible to know whether any of the prisoners’ ailments, disabilities and scars pre-dated their confinement. The U.S. military says an al-Qaeda training manual instructs members, if captured, to assert they were tortured during interrogation.

However, doctors and mental health professionals stated they could link the prisoners’ claims of torture while in U.S. detention to injuries documented by X-rays, medical exams and psychological tests.

“The level of the time, thoroughness and rigour of the exams left me personally without question about the credibility of the individuals,” said Dr. Allen Keller, one of the doctors who conducted the exams, in an interview with the Associated Press.

“The findings on the physical and psychological exams were consistent with what they reported.”

All 11 former detainees reported being subjected to:

  • Stress positions, including being suspended for hours by the arms or tightly shackled for days.
  • Prolonged isolation and hooding or blindfolding, a form of sensory deprivation.
  • Threats against themselves, their families or friends from interrogators or guards.
  • Ten said they were forced to be naked, some for days or weeks.
  • Nine said they were subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation.
  • At least six said they were threatened with military working dogs, often while naked.
  • Four reported being sodomized, subjected to anal probing, or threatened with rape.

Read moreGuantanamo detainees were tortured, medical exams show

Letters give CIA tactics a legal rationale

WASHINGTON: The Justice Department has told Congress that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law.

(Tomorrow you could be considered a “terrorist” – for no reason – and maybe a “Jack Bauer” interrogates you. Good luck then.
All of this is undermining and violating the constitution & international law [Geneva Conventions] and are preparations for Martial Law. Prepare yourself NOW! – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreLetters give CIA tactics a legal rationale

AP: 13,000 abuse claims in juvie centers

 

COLUMBIA, Miss. – The Columbia Training School – pleasant on the outside, austere on the inside – has been home to 37 of the most troubled young women in Mississippi.
If some of those girls and their advocates are to be believed, it is also a cruel and frightening place.

The school has been sued twice in the past four years. One suit brought by the U.S. Justice Department, which the state settled in 2005, claimed detainees were thrown naked in to cells and forced to eat their own vomit. The second one, brought by eight girls last year, said they were subjected to “horrendous physical and sexual abuse.” Several of the detainees said they were shackled for 12 hours a day.

Read moreAP: 13,000 abuse claims in juvie centers