Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 10,460
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 10,460
- 2014 (121)
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Abolishing the CIA
Sunday, December 21, 2014 * Common Dreams * by Robert C. Koehler
The shock resonating from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report isn’t due so much to the revelations themselves, grotesque as the details are, but to the fact that they’re now officially public. National spokespersons (except for Dick Cheney) can no longer deny, quite so glibly, that the United States is what it claims its enemies to be.
We’re responsible for the worst sort of abuses of our fellow human beings: A half-naked man freezes to death. A detainee is chained to the wall in a standing position for 17 days. The stories have no saving grace, not even “good intelligence.”
The Axis of Evil smiles, yawns: It’s home.
The question is, what do we do with this moment of national self-awareness? Beyond demanding the prosecution of high-level perps, how about really changing the game? I suggest reviving S. 126, a bill introduced into the U.S. Senate on Jan. 4, 1995 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, titled: Abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Abolish the agency that has secretly stirred up hell on earth. Its sins go far beyond torturing suspected terrorists. This agency, with its annual budget (in 2013) of nearly $15 billion, has covertly carried out the bidding of special economic and political interests since its founding, orchestrating, among much else, the overthrow of democratically elected, populist governments in Iran, Guatemala and Chile because the U.S. couldn’t control them. In each case, the regime that followed was darkly repressive, murderous; the blood of their victims is also on American hands.
The abolition of the CIA could be a conscious step in tearing our government out of the grip of the war consensus — this unelected force that feeds on perpetual global mistrust and hatred, the exact opposite of what true security requires. In Moynihan’s speech introducing the bill to the Senate, he declared that the end of the Cold War “was a victory achieved by openness, not secrecy. By frankness, not intrigue.
“The Soviet Empire,” he continued, “did not fall apart because the spooks had bugged the men’s room in the Kremlin or put broken glass in Mrs. Brezhnev’s bath, but because running a huge closed repressive society in the 1980s had become — economically, socially and militarily, and technologically — impossible.”
“Secrecy,” Moynihan proclaimed, “is a disease. It causes hardening of the arteries of the mind.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sun Dec 21, 2014, 03:57 PM (11 replies)
Innocent (white) Man Raided, Tased, Beaten, & Shot By a Corrupt SWAT Team (who Lied to Get the Raid)
Update on fallout from a Nov. 2011 event: The powerful take-away for me is, whatever I do, I WON'T be calling police to do "welfare checks", esp. for anyone I give a rats ass about... in other words, don't do it at all. I've heard of other cases of this, one in New York where a Senior (black) male was murdered, shot dead. after his door was busted down, right after he'd yelled at police through the door, "I'm fine, so you can go now!! Please just leave me alone, etc." (paraphrased).
~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ *
Innocent Man Raided, Tased, Beaten, & Shot By a Corrupt SWAT Team who Lied to Get the Raid
By Matt Agorist * December 18, 2014 * The Free Thought Project (dot com)
Houston, TX — A completely innocent man was shot, tasered, brutally beaten, and had stun grenades thrown at him by vicious and incompetent SWAT officers. Then, those same officers tried to cover up their mistake by charging the victim, Chad Chadwick, with six criminal offenses including felony assault on a police officer.
This incident happened in 2011, but it has taken Chadwick three years and his entire life savings, to finally beat the charges that he was falsely accused of. Last month, a jury found Chad Chadwick not guilty of interfering with police. With tears in their eyes members of the jury offered the exonerated defendant comforting hugs, according to My Fox Houston.
“They tried to make me a convict. It broke me financially, bankrupted me. I used my life savings, not to mention, I lost my kids,” said Chadwick.
Chadwick had been drinking and went to sleep in his bathtub on the night of September 27, 2011, when police were given a tip from a friend of Chadwick’s who said they were concerned with his emotional well-being. So naturally the police responded by mobilizing a heavily militarized SWAT team.
“They came in did what they did, figured out that they messed up and now they are doing everything they can to cover it up. They treated a normal American citizen like an animal. It’s not right,” Chadwick said in an interview with FOX 26.
VIDEO of a damning FOX News Clip & remainder of text: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/innocent-man-raided-tased-beaten-shot-corrupt-swat-team-lied-raid/#uxsVTByFSbpbcMLE.99
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Dec 18, 2014, 06:38 PM (22 replies)
The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings
Reframing the CIA’s interrogation techniques as a violation of scientific and medical ethics may be the best way to achieve accountability.
by Lisa Hajjar * The Nation * Dec. 18, 2014
Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program. The experimental nature of the interrogation and detention techniques is clearly evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s executive summary of its investigative report, despite redactions (insisted upon by the CIA) to obfuscate the locations of these laboratories of cruel science and the identities of perpetrators.
At the helm of this human experimentation project were two psychologists hired by the CIA, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. They designed interrogation and detention protocols that they and others applied to people imprisoned in the agency’s secret “black sites.”
In its response to the Senate report, the CIA justified its decision to hire the duo: “We believe their expertise was so unique that we would have been derelict had we not sought them out when it became clear that CIA would be heading into the uncharted territory of the program.” Mitchell and Jessen’s qualifications did not include interrogation experience, specialized knowledge about Al Qaeda or relevant cultural or linguistic knowledge. What they had was Air Force experience in studying the effects of torture on American prisoners of war, as well as a curiosity about whether theories of “learned helplessness” derived from experiments on dogs might work on human enemies.
Mitchell, like former CIA Director Michael Hayden and others who have defended the torture program, argues that a fundamental error in the Senate report is the elision of means (waterboarding, “rectal rehydration,” weeks or months of nakedness in total darkness and isolation, and other techniques intended to break prisoners) and ends—manufactured compliance, which, the defenders claim, enabled the collection of abundant intelligence that kept Americans safe. (That claim is amply and authoritatively contradicted in the report.)
As Americans from the Beltway to the heartland debate—again—the legality and efficacy of “enhanced interrogation,” we are reminded that “torture” has lost its stigma as morally reprehensible and criminal behavior. That was evident in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, when more than half of the candidates vowed to bring back waterboarding, and it is on full display now. On Meet the Press, for example, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who functionally topped the national security decision-making hierarchy during the Bush years, announced that he “would do it again in a minute.”
No one has been held accountable for torture, beyond a handful of prosecutions of low-level troops and contractors. Indeed, impunity has been virtually guaranteed as a result of various Faustian bargains, which include “golden shield” legal memos written by government lawyers for the CIA; ex post facto immunity for war crimes that Congress inserted in the 2006 Military Commissions Act; classification and secrecy that still shrouds the torture program, as is apparent in the Senate report’s redactions; and the “look forward, not backward” position that President Obama has maintained through every wave of public revelations since 2009. An American majority, it seems, has come to accept the legacy of torture.
Human experimentation, in contrast, has not been politically refashioned into a legitimate or justifiable enterprise. Therefore, it would behoove us to appreciate the fact that the architects and implementers of black-site torments were authorized at the highest levels of the White House and CIA to experiment on human beings. Reading the report through this lens casts a different light on questions of accountability and impunity.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Dec 18, 2014, 03:38 PM (11 replies)
... avoid getting asked such painfully obvious questions by M$M,
the most obvious one being: why is it just fine for Tricky Dick
to open cozy trade agreements for decades now with Red China?
.. but it's 'over-reach' for Obama to normalize relations and opening
up trade with Cuba is "bad" because Cuba is so "repressive, with no
free press" etc.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Wed Dec 17, 2014, 09:04 PM (3 replies)
I'm not very familiar with this website, so not sure of article's veracity; but
I did immediately think of all the opinions i post on DU getting fed into some
police database. Not to be paranoid or anything, but it does give me some
It's like we are being conditioned to censor ourselves, for fear of getting pegged
as a "cop-hater" and a week later seeing flashing blue & red in my rearview mirror.
ON EDIT: Here's another article in Reuters, a source I DO trust: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/12/12/police-data-mining-looks-through-social-media-assigns-you-a-threat-level/
Cops Are Scanning Social Media to Assign You a “Threat Rating”
By Matt Agorist * December 16, 2014 * Free Thought Project
Online activity, purchases, and “comments that could be construed as offensive,” all contribute to your threat score.
Police State, USA — Imagine the following scenario: You are on your way home from work, driving down the road, when you notice police lights in your rear view mirror. You are being pulled over.
As you sit their, on the shoulder, adrenaline rushing, simultaneously angry and nervous, the police officer, in his patrol car behind you, is sizing you up based on an algorithm that determines your “threat rating.”
The officer enters your license plate into a mobile application on his laptop. In a matter of seconds, this application crawls over billions of records in commercial and public databases, including all available social media engagement, recent purchases and “any comments that could be construed as offensive.” The application then determines if your “threat rating” is green, yellow, or red.
Imagine that you are one of our informed and frequent readers and understand the importance of police accountability and are unafraid to voice your completely peaceful, yet strong opinion about police misconduct. Imagine that you left a comment on facebook this morning about a particular officer’s misconduct; imagine that it is this particular officer who just pulled you over.
Your rating just came back red. Up until this point, you have never committed a crime, you have never been violent, you have never even so much as run a stop sign. However, this police officer now knows that you made a comment about him punching the (insert handcuffed and helpless victim example here) on facebook, and he literally sees red (your threat rating).
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-scanning-social-media-assign-threat-rating/#Su1dQkxR9uqYZPXx.99
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Wed Dec 17, 2014, 04:40 PM (63 replies)
CNN's #AskACop Hashtag Backfires, Triggers Anti-Police Backlash
CNN's request for viewers to ask cops questions via Twitter didn't go so well.
AlterNet * By Kali Holloway * December 17, 2014
In a move that seems to suggest it has no idea how Twitter works, CNN asked viewers to submit questions to police officers using the hashtag #AskACop. It went exactly the way you and anyone who has ever used social media would expect.
The request was part of a special “CNN Tonight” episode titled “Cops Under Fire.” Host Don Lemon, in the company of a panel of police officers, put out the call to Twitter users to submit questions they might #AskACop. On the heels of widespread protests against police brutality, particularly in communities of color, the questions that poured in were mostly thinly veiled criticisms of outrageous police abuses.
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE AWESOME TWEETS HERE (scroll down past the ad):
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Wed Dec 17, 2014, 04:12 PM (3 replies)
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Dec 16, 2014, 10:01 PM (3 replies)
The Implications of the Torture Report
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 00:00
By Mike Lofgren, Truthout | News Analysis
The reaction to the Senate Intelligence Committee's "Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program" is as significant as what the study uncovered about the psychology and methods of those who run the Deep State that rules us.
The present writer will take as a given the veracity of its three main findings: that the United States engaged in practices both legally and commonly definable as torture; that the actionable intelligence these practices produced was negligible; and that the practices tainted the moral prestige of the United States government in a manner that damaged its foreign policy. These assertions may be taken as true both because of the abundant evidence presented in the report itself and because of the flailing and hysterical reaction by our country's national security elites.
"Hysteria" does not arise from groundless causes, but from a guilty and conflicted id seeking to displace blame from itself onto others. The reaction to the senate study is as significant as the facts that the study uncovered in providing a window on the psychology and methods of those who run the Deep State - the hybrid association of key elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States with limited reference only to the consent of the governed as it is normally expressed through the formal political process. This essay will discuss some of the implications of that reaction.
President Obama is an operative of the Deep State, but it is unclear whether he is its master or its prisoner. The president's role in this affair has been extremely puzzling. On March 11, 2014, when the torture issue blew up in the senate because of Intelligence Committee chair Diane Feinstein's allegations of CIA spying on her committee's staff members, she said that the White House had been supportive of her committee's probe of CIA activities. That may have been true, but that is still only what she said she believed. It is hardly beyond the realm of plausibility that the president or one of his aides told her that the White House was supportive of her committee's investigation while at the same time tolerating, or even encouraging, CIA obstruction. But suppose the president did support the committee's probe? That would imply that the White House does not really control the CIA. In either case, whether from obstruction or lack of control, the implications of the CIA's spying on Congress merited Senator Feinstein's description of it as a constitutional crisis.
Obama showed a similar split personality nine months later when the report was finally released. The president, and his White House press secretary, insisted that he was in favor of the public seeing the study (or at least the redacted summary of it). Yet on the Friday before its release, John Kerry, the most senior cabinet official in the government, called Senator Feinstein and urged her not to disclose it, saying "Lots of things going on in the world; not a good time for disclosure."
For the Deep State, attack is the preferred form of defense. National security elites have been preparing a vigorous counterattack for months. Because of the seriousness of the crimes in which CIA officers may have been implicated, chairwoman Feinstein reluctantly agreed to the CIA's request that some of the current and former CIA officers mentioned in the senate report should have the opportunity to read it prior to its release. This was an unusual concession, since subjects of congressional investigations are not normally made privy to the contents of a report before the public finds out, but it is not a completely unreasonable request given the gravity of the allegations against these individuals. ... The CIA's strategy was crystal clear: Its request to the senate was less about keeping faith with its dutiful foot soldiers than about priming its former big-shots with an advance look at the report so that they could go on an immediate public relations counteroffensive against the document on the day it was publicly released.
Much much more: http://truth-out.org/news/item/28020-the-implications-of-the-torture-report
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Dec 16, 2014, 04:27 PM (8 replies)
Senate IP address vandalizes Wikipedia to scrub "torture" from CIA torture report
by Cory Doctorow * Thu, Dec 11, 2014 * Boing Boing
An anonymous editor at 188.8.131.52 -- registered to the US Senate -- has repeatedly attempted to scrub the word "torture" from the Wikipedia entry from Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.
Attempts on Dec 9 and Dec 10 to remove references to "torture" were reverted by other Wikipedians. These edits -- and others -- can be read by following @congressedits, a twitterbot that tweets new Wikipedia edits from IPs registered to the US Congress (previously).
Senate staffer tries to scrub 'torture' reference from Wikipedia's CIA torture article
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Mon Dec 15, 2014, 01:24 PM (10 replies)
Cheney to Lead Torture-Pride March
BY ANDY BOROWITZ * The New Yorker * Dec. 14, 2014
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” on Sunday, former Vice-President Dick Cheney told host Chuck Todd that he was “sick and tired of Americans being ashamed of our beautiful legacy of torture” and that he was organizing the first “National Torture-Pride March” to take place in Washington in January.
“This is a chance for all of us torturers to say, ‘Look at us, this is who we are,’” Cheney, who will be the Grand Marshall of the parade, said.
The former Vice-President said that he was organizing the march to inspire “the millions of American kids who want to be torturers when they grow up but are afraid they’ll catch hell for it.”
“We’ll be there to say, ‘We’re torturers and we’re damn proud of it—join us,’” Cheney said.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Mon Dec 15, 2014, 12:46 PM (1 replies)