Rumsfeld Personally Approved Brutal Interrogations

DOJ Official: Rumsfeld Personally Approved of Brutal Interrogations

By Jason Leopold, The Public Record

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized the use of brutal interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay despite warnings from the FBI that the methods amounted to inhumane treatment, was possibly illegal, and would not produce reliable intelligence, a Department of Justice inspector general testified Tuesday.

“The FBI believed that these techniques were not getting actionable information, that they were unsophisticated and unproductive,” said Glenn Fine, the DOJ’s inspector general, in testimony Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “They raised their concerns with the Department of Defense, but the Department of Defense, from what we were told, dismissed those concerns and that no changes were made in the Department of Defense’s strategy.”

Rumsfeld, who resigned immediately after the 2006-midterm elections, has vehemently denied that he approved of torture. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel provided the Defense Department with legal guidelines that authorized techniques such as waterboarding, the use of military dogs, and “slaps” and concluded that as long as “organ failure” did not occur the methods could not be construed as torture.

Fine issued a 437-page report last month on the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, which found that White House officials ignored FBI concerns about the treatment of detainees.

His testimony comes on the heels of a letter signed by 56 House Democrats that was sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey last week Friday requesting that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether White House officials, including President Bush, violated the War Crimes Act when they allowed interrogators to use brutal interrogation methods against detainees suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.

“The Bush administration may have systematically implemented, from the top down, detainee interrogation policies that constitute torture or otherwise violate the law,” the letter to Mukasey says. “We believe that these serious and significant revelations warrant an immediate investigation to determine whether actions taken by the President, his Cabinet, and other Administration officials are in violation of the War Crimes Act, the Anti-Torture Act, and other U.S. and international laws.”

In October 2002, Fine said, FBI agents raised concerns with Marion Bowman, the Justice Department’s deputy general counsel in charge of national security, about the methods used during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. An FBI agent stationed at Guantanamo then sent the agency an analysis on November 27, 2002 calling into question the legality of the interrogation techniques, stating that the methods used appeared to violate the U.S. Torture statute. Bowman then alerted Jim Haynes, the DOD’s general counsel.

Read moreRumsfeld Personally Approved Brutal Interrogations

Where Is FEMA?

The US Department of Homeland Security has an annual budget of $40 billion. Out of that money FEMA gets about one billion annually. FEMA was created to combine all federal services into one giant agency that was to “manage” ALL national emergencies that happen within the United States. Yet since this mega-agency was created, by combining 22 major government agencies into a single behemoth; the people of this nation have not received real help during any local or national emergency, since the fraudulent creation of the Federal Emergency Mismanagement Agency.

The country is under siege by natural disasters at the moment: From the fires in California to the floods in Iowa and beyond. Freak tornados and record temperatures combine in many places while droughts alternate with floods throughout the nation: And the two things missing in the coverage by the media are any questions about the nation’s total non-response and the lack of National Guard Troops anywhere: Now, when their help is truly needed!

Our taxes paid for State National Guard troops but our Owners sent them to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight in failed political wars for private corporate profits. Just this week $23 Billion of the money appropriated for Iraq has been found in the coffers of some of the largest military contractors in the US. It’s a massive story of waste and abuse, and criminal war-profiteering, but the government scrubbed the video, almost immediately upon its release. That’s what happens in America whenever the owners are uncomfortable; they just kill the story and wait for the pubic to forget about it. (1)

In the current series of disasters; there are no troops here to help with evacuations, and the only help that FEMA is currently offering to victims of the Iowa flooding is: “save all your receipts, because you’ll need to prove what it cost you if you want any help after this is over.” Whatever happened to the Red Cross ­ they never did much, but at least they put in a token appearance, pre-Bush & His Bandits!

Read moreWhere Is FEMA?

Britain and US ‘complicit in war crimes by Ethiopian military’

The British and US governments are complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Ethiopian army in the Ogaden region of the Horn of Africa, a human rights group has claimed.

A report by Human Rights Watch details allegations of rape, torture and public execution carried out by Ethiopian soldiers against civilians in the predominantly Somali Ogaden area, where Ethiopia is fighting a fierce counter-insurgency campaign. The battles intensified last year after an attack by rebels of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) on a Chinese-run oil plant in the town of Obole. The ONLF killed more than 70 civilians, including nine Chinese.

In response, Ethiopia stepped up its military crackdown in the eastern province, referred to by some ethnic Somali Muslims as Western Somalia. Witnesses say Ethiopian forces have burnt dozens of villages to the ground – a claim apparently confirmed by satellite images released by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

According to Human Rights Watch, people accused of aiding the ONLF have executed, often in public, while hundreds more have been detained in military barracks and tortured.

“The Ethiopian army’s response to the rebels has been to viciously attack civilians in Ogaden,” said the group’s spokeswoman, Georgette Gagnon. “These atrocities amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, was once held up as a poster boy for African governance, taking a prominent role in Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa. But since 2005, he has claimed victory in a flawed election and clamped down on political opposition. Up to 200 people protesting against the result were killed by security forces and 100 were charged with treason.

Despite claims of authoritarianism and war crimes in both Ogaden and neighbouring Somalia, British aid for Ethiopia has more than doubled since 2005 to £130m. The US has also increased its support for the army, which it sees as a strong regional ally in the “war on terror”.

Read moreBritain and US ‘complicit in war crimes by Ethiopian military’

French Government decides to censor the Internet

Keep your Égalité and Fraternité but shove your Liberté!

THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT has apparently decided that it doesn’t much like being democratic, and that it would rather like to censor the Internet instead.

Not content with simply limiting itself to blocking despicable child sex abuse, a move three major ISPs in the US also agreed to today, the French government feels it necessary to go a radical step further and decide for its citizens whether or not they can view content it considers inappropriately racist and or linked to terrorism.

In fact, worse still is that any site is now game for a French blockade, as Sarkozy’s government is inviting people to send in huge long lists of sites which offend their delicate sensibilities. The French government, which will purportedly be able to receive complaints from Internet users in real time, will be able to add sites to a so called “black list”, which it will then force national ISPs to block.

Read moreFrench Government decides to censor the Internet

Worse Than Any Impeachable Offense

I would never have thought there’d be any greater crimes than those of George W. Bush, nor any villain greater. I’m wrong. And no, it’s not Dick Cheney, either, or anything he’s perpetrated. Nor any of their colleagues.

It’s Nancy Pelosi, and her colleagues, and what they seem quite literally hell-bent on doing.

Why at this late date do we still revile onetime British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in public as loudly, if not moreso, than we even condemn Adolf Hitler? Why, by now, has Neville Chamberlain has been positioned as the ultimate “My Pet Goat” of the 20th Century? Certainly he did not instigate the Final Solution. Surely he did not whip up the murderous furor of The Third Reich. But his name is still spoken with great villification and scorn, nonetheless.

Why?

Because he enabled. He let it all happen, with his now-tragically gullible decision to cave to Hitler when he could have taken a stand. He could have stopped one of the biggest living nightmares in human history, or at least slowed it down. Instead, he thoughtfully and cautiously stepped out of the way and invited it to rage ahead, much to all of our sorrow. He had the power to impede it, he was in position to be able to hobble it – even if only a little. He could have made a difference, perhaps sparing millions of lives, and decades of grief. He chose not to. Oh, he knew better.

By his negligence, cowardice, short-sightedness, and lousy strategizing, Chamberlain helped Hitler along the way to Damnation, surely earning himself a place in the Fuhrer’s boat across the River Styx. Never mind the so-called Saddam or al Qaeda “appeasers” now — whose names are belched out of Republican/arch-conservative hate-radio boombox mouths as “appeasers”, as though the speakers had just been issued their orders for vigorous exercise of the new vocabulary word of the day. THAT move by Chamberlain was appeasement. That was the geniune article. That was then.

This is now.

Nancy Pelosi is the Neville Chamberlain of this day, in this country. She and her colleagues in the 110th Congress will likely be remembered by history in dramatically more disturbing ways than they had ever wanted or imagined. Some constitutional scholars have historians beat — they’ve already arrived at that conclusion. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has already warned that history will look very harshly on those Democrats who did nothing to hold the worst criminals ever to blight the Executive Branch accountable for anything they’ve perpetrated. Failing to follow through on the 35 Articles of Impeachment as presented by Representative Dennis Kucinich and cosponsored by colleague Robert Wexler has put a permanent mark on Pelosi’s political soul, and on her record. And she’s not just failing to follow through on even one of these impeachment resolutions, she’s actively discouraging and suppressing them all. Even worse!

Read moreWorse Than Any Impeachable Offense

In Debate Over Permanent Bases In Iraq, U.S. Seeks Authorization For War In Iran


The ongoing negotiations between Iraqi leaders and the Bush administration over the future role of the military occupation “have turned into an increasingly acrimonious public debate.”

The Bush administration’s demand for 58 permanent bases in Iraq – a near doubling of the current 30 bases – are causing Iraqis to warn that the status of forces agreement would be “more abominable than the occupation.” The administration is reportedly holding hostage “some $50bn of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement.”

The reason the White House is so hell-bent on signing a long-term agreement may have less to do with Iraq and more to do with Iran. According to press reports of the ongoing negotiations, the Bush administration is seeking the “power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq.” Ali al Adeeb, a leading member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa party, confirmed:

The Americans insist so far that is they who define what is an aggression on Iraq and what is democracy inside Iraq…if we come under aggression we should define it and ask for help.

The administration’s request would seemingly allow the U.S. to brand Iran as an enemy of Iraq and attack Iran in the name of defending Iraq pursuant to a legal obligation under the status of forces agreement.

Other details from press accounts confirm that the Bush administration has one eye on Iran in the course of its negotiations with Iraqis. The Washington Post explains that the administration is seeking “the prerogative for U.S. forces to conduct operations without approval from the Iraqi government.” Moreover, the U.S. wants control over Iraq’s airpsace:

The American negotiators also called for continued control over Iraqi airspace and the right to refuel planes in the air, according to [Sami al-Askari, a leading Shiite politician], positions he said added to concerns that the United States was preparing to use Iraq as a base to attack Iran.

Since the administration is unlikely to get an Iran war authorized through Congress, it’s instead trying to sneak it through the Iraqi parliament.

By Faiz on Jun 11th, 2008

Source: Think Progress

Exposing Pentagon and CIA Corruption

Information for this article comes from long-time business, finance and political writer and analyst Bob Chapman who publishes the bi-weekly International Forecaster. It’s power-packed with key information and a valued source for this writer. He obtained voluminous material directly from its source. People need to know it. Read on.

SueAnn Arrigo is the source. She was a high-level CIA insider. Her title was Special Operations Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). She also established the Remote Viewing Defense protocols for the Pentagon in her capacity as Remote Viewing Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). It earned her a two-star general rank in the military. She called it a “ploy” so the Pentagon could get more of her time and have her attend monthly Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings. Only high-level types are invited, and she was there from October 2003 to July 2004.

Part of her job involved intelligence gathering on Iraq and Afghanistan – until August 2004 when she refused to spread propaganda about a non-existant Iranian nuclear weapons program and left. She followed in the footsteps of others at CIA who resigned for reasons of conscience and became critics – most notably Ray McGovern, Ralph McGehee, and Phil Agee.

On May 16, 2008, Arrigo sent extensive government corruption and cover-up information to Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee – in 12 separate cases. This article covers four of them or about one-third of what Congress got. The 12 are explosive and revealing but just the tip of the iceberg:

— of government corruption and war profiteering;

— sweetheart deals and kickbacks;

— high-level types on the take;

— trillions of missing dollars;

— on September 10, 2001, Rumsfeld admitting “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions;”

— imagine the current amount;

— its corrosive effect on the nation; and people should

— demand accountability – who profits, who pays and what are the consequences of militarism gone mad.

SueAnn Arrigo offers a glimpse and at great personal risk. In August 2001, DCI George Tenet told her to assemble “a moving van full of Pentagon documents showing Defense Contractor kickbacks to Pentagon officials.” She did as instructed but not to expose corruption as she learned – to conceal it and in her judgment so CIA could divert defense business to Halliburton and “Carlyle-related contractors.” She stated: “The mood at the CIA and Pentagon was ‘war is coming’ because the Bush Family stands to make billions from it — so get ready.”

Read moreExposing Pentagon and CIA Corruption

Senate report exposes key role of the Israel lobby in fomenting war with Iran

Scott McClellan, the most significant defector from behind the Iron Curtain of the War Party’s domain, doesn’t think we were lied into war. According to him, it was all due to the “partisan” attitudes that dominate Washington discourse on every issue. As he puts it, “the permanent campaign” atmosphere made them do it: “I don’t think that this was some deliberate, conscious effort to mislead the American people.”

In an interview with Keith Olbermann the other night, he disdained the very idea as a “conspiracy theory.” McClellan seems to believe that the need to bias intelligence is inherent in the American political system, the inevitable consequence of the Washington ethos as defined by the struggle between the two major parties. He denies any “criminal intent” in the actions of the administration and its flunkies, and he trivializes the matter by referring to “people sitting around a table” making plans to dupe Congress and the American people. The evidence, however, points in the other direction, as “Phase Two” of the long-awaited and deliberately-delayed report of the Senate Intelligence Committee makes clear [.pdf].

In spite of Keith’s effusive reference to McClellan as “the Rosetta Stone” for helping us understand what we’ve endured during the past eight years, the former White House spokesman seems incapable of deciphering what he saw and participated in, as the first section of the “Phase Two” Senate report shows. All the prewar “talking points” of the administration, and the flimsy-to-nonexistent “evidence” used to back them up, are here debunked, and the pattern of deceit is all too clear. However, it is the second section of the report – which deals with the activities of the Office of Special Plans and other parallel intelligence-gathering operations set up by the neocons – that suggests something more sinister than extreme partisanship is motivating the actors in this drama of deception.

In 2001, as the wheels that would eventually drive us to war with Iraq began to turn, the groundwork was being laid for the inevitable denouement of that historic error: the present looming conflict with Iran.

Leafing through the story of the secret Rome meetings conducted by Michael Ledeen and Manucher Ghorbanifar – set up by a “foreign intelligence service,” as the report avers – this section of the Senate report reads like a spy thriller set in the future, a future in which we are about to go to war with Iran.

Neocon warlord Ledeen isn’t just one of the War Party’s most tireless polemicists. The fun part about being a foreign agent disguised as a “commentator” is that you get to rail away at the Bushies for not being enthusiastic enough about the Grand Plan of “liberating” the Middle East, demanding “faster, please!” Yet Ledeen isn’t just one of those armchair types who merely pontificates from his pundit’s perch: this student of Italian fascism is a man-of-action, too.

Indeed, that’s a considerable understatement. He and Ghorbanifar are longtime partners in crime, having been the two biggest spiders at the center of the Iran-Contra web, in which Ledeen and Ghorbanifar deployed their contacts in Israel – and within the Iranian government – to broker the mid-1980s arms-for-hostages deal.

Read moreSenate report exposes key role of the Israel lobby in fomenting war with Iran