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Ear to the Ground

Torture on Obama’s Watch

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Posted on May 15, 2009
Obama Torture
rebelreports.com

An ongoing Spanish investigation is adding harrowing details to what’s known of the treatment of U.S. prisoners at Guantanamo.

Gang-beatings, breaking bones, gouging eyes, squeezing testicles and dousing detainees with chemicals. Those Bush-era actions are still going on under Obama’s regime at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, as the narrowing of the “torture debate” has occluded attention from such grotesque practices.

Rebel Reports:

While much of the “torture debate” has emphasized the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” defined by the twisted legal framework of the Office of Legal Council memos, [Immediate Reaction Force] teams in effect operate at Guantánamo as an extrajudicial terror squad that has regularly brutalized prisoners outside of the interrogation room, gang beating them, forcing their heads into toilets, breaking bones, gouging their eyes, squeezing their testicles, urinating on a prisoner’s head, banging their heads on concrete floors and hog-tying them—sometimes leaving prisoners tied in excruciating positions for hours on end.

The IRF teams “were fully approved at the highest levels [of the Bush administration], including the Secretary of Defense and with outside consultation of the Justice Department,” says Scott Horton, one of the leading experts on U.S. Military and Constitutional law.

While the dominant media coverage of the U.S. torture apparatus has portrayed these tactics as part of a “Bush era” system that Obama has now ended, when it comes to the IRF teams, that is simply not true. “[D]etainees live in constant fear of physical violence. Frequent attacks by IRF teams heighten this anxiety and reinforce that violence can be inflicted by the guards at any moment for any perceived infraction, or sometimes without provocation or explanation …”

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, May 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

1. Why does the US feel that renditon is necessary if the torture methods we have at our own disposal are adequate?

A: It has nothing to do with “what the US feels,” and none of it’s necessary. The purpose of the torture isn’t to “get information” it’s to demonstrate “resolve,” and the lengths to which they’ll go…essentially to bring everyone (the punters in the street and the unwitting in the ranks) under the spell of the Global War Of Terror, resonating the myth at every level - endless drone of “The Mighty Wurlitzer” - the ultimate psyop.

2. Why would the US intelligence agencies want to create a failed Somalia?

A. Why not? The policy is clearly to fail all Middle East states, possibly all self-determinant states everywhere. Of course this is not in the US interest, but then the US Intelligence Agencies do not serve the citizens of our nation, they’re in service to the New World Oligarchy, which is free of nationalism, ideology, religion - only ever called up to distract and divide target populations - the NWO serves only themselves. 

3. What possible reason would CIA, Mossad and MI6 have for funding madrassas? Do you have evidence to support this claim? (If it’s in the alternet site you attached, I haven’t read it yet)

A: A Global War Of Terror requires “terrorists, moles and patsies.” “Acting on behalf of the CIA, the ISI was also involved in the recruitment and training of the Mujahideen. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 Muslims from 43 Islamic countries were recruited to fight in the Afghan jihad. The madrassas in Pakistan, financed by Saudi charities, were also set up with US support with a view to “inculcating Islamic values”. “The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism,” (Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban). Guerilla training under CIA-ISI auspices included targeted assassinations and car bomb attacks. ” - analysis is that this continues - http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7746

March 26, 2009 - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5972749.ece
British-run orphanage in Bangladesh ‘is Islamist training camp’

4. What, in your opinion, is al Qaeda?

A: “Osama bin Laden, America’s bogyman, was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihad. He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerilla training camp. “

“During the Reagan administration, Osama, who belonged to the wealthy Saudi Bin Laden family was put in charge of raising money for the Islamic brigades. Numerous charities and foundations were created. The operation was coordinated by Saudi intelligence, headed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, in close liaison with the CIA. The money derived from the various charities were used to finance the recruitment of Mujahieen volunteers. Al Qaeda, the base in Arabic was a data bank of volunteers who had enlisted to fight in the Afghan jihad. That data base was initially held by Osama bin Laden. ” - analysis is that this continues - in the trenches this lot is larely unwitting - often simply a “patsy pool.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7746

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 19, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

blogdog:
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. But I was limiting my choices to recognized state actors, which al Qaeda and the Somali pirates are not.

The rest of your response, interesting but irrelevant to my question, begs some questions:

1. Why does the US feel that renditon is necessary if the torture methods we have at our own disposal are adequate?

2. Why would the US intelligence agencies want to create a failed Somalia?

3. What possible reason would CIA, Mossad and MI6 have for funding madrassas? Do you have evidence to support this claim? (If it’s in the alternet site you attached, I haven’t read it yet)

4. What, in your opinion, is al Qaeda?

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By blogdog, May 19, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

RE: No, it’s not a false choice

Agreed, it’s not. I accept your challenge and choose the Pirates of Somalia, who keep their captives relatively comfortable, while ransoming them. I choose them in a heartbeat, over any of the US client state proprietors of rendition prisons that you cite.

You may argue that my choice is invalid because Somalia is a “failed state.” Indeed it is very nearly in total collapse.  Ample evidence supports authorship of the events leading to that failure as coming from within the US Intelligence Network, a pattern paying out across the Middle East - a pattern in which pervasive torture plays a significant role.

Finally, in direct reference to my “choice,” the Somali Pirates are not so-called religious zealots - they need the money. If the premise of the challenge is to force one to consider the choice of zealots, compared to the jailers of an “enlightened” nation. As for that, it’s important to acknowledge that the Madrassa system, held largely responsible for many of the so-called zealots, was nurtured and funded again from within the US Intelligence Network in collaboration with MI6 and Mossad.

To put that fully in perspective, from this article: http://us.altermedia.info/yet-another-israeli-false-flag-terror-attack-yemen-bombing

Former agent for French military intelligence Pierre-Henry Bunel has this to say about ‘al Qaeda’:

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism…”

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By rico, suave, May 19, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

If you had been kidnapped and threatened with torture as a suspected enemy, would you rather it be the U.S., or Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaysia, any nation in the Levant, the Saudi peninsula or the Maghreb who grabbed you? No, it’s not a false choice. And “you’re a moron”, etc, is not an answer.

What nation on earth (no, Andorra, Monaco and Leichtenstein don’t count, although the Vatican does) stops short of waterboarding as their most severe form of torture? No guessing. And “you’re a moron”, etc, is not an answer.

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By NYCartist, May 18, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

I am pleased that Jeremy Scahill’s blog Rebel Reports get a link.  On the notion, by one comment, that one has to find sadists to do torture, maybe, but on DemocracyNow, on the topic of torture, the experiment has been cited of regular people willing to follow orders to increase the electric charge to severe, painful (without knowing it was fake) when given the order by someone in a white lab coat, “authority”.  There are degrees, but less than a majority of people resist taking orders.

Most people follow orders of their superiors.  That’s the saddest part of all, for me.

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By freedom loving american, May 17, 2009 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Let’s not over think this.  The answer is simply all that tortured and ordered torture should be tried and once convicted, executed like the vile dogs they are.  Not only should they be executed but all the money they made from their war profiteering need to be repaid to the US treasury.  We could use it health care. 

One can not imagine anything more disgraceful and un-American than torture.  The harm the ruthless, gutless, pigs brought on this great nation can never be overcome.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, May 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Ok, roli, you’re clearly intent on shilling the psy-op myth at the heart of the Global War Of Terror - one factoid deconstructing that myth tout de suiteKSM is dead!

The intensely reported 183 water-boardings of so-called 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) was an elaborate scene in the Torture act of the global theatre of the GWOT psy-op…all designed to keep the legends rolling, ordinary folk fully terrorized and the unwitting in the ranks dutifully on task in support of a treasonous mission.

Report on KSM:  http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/DJ30Df01.html
   
Oct 30, 2002
A chilling inheritance of terror
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

KARACHI - Ever since the frenzied shootout last month on September 11 in Karachi there have been doubts over whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed head of al-Qaeda’s military committee, died in the police raid on his apartment.

...But now it emerges that an Arab woman and a child were taken to an ISI safe house, where they identified the Shaikh Mohammed’s body as their husband and father. The body was kept in a private NGO mortuary for 20 days before being buried, under the surveillance of the FBI, in a graveyard in the central district of Karachi.

(©2002 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information on our sales and syndication policies.)

Follow up - Benazir Bhutto’s 2007 matter-of-fact report of Bin Laden’s murder - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnychOXj9Tghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnychOXj9Tg

Her surviving husband and current leader of Pakistan last Sunday on Meet the Press - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30658135/page/2/

MR. GREGORY: Where is Osama bin Laden?

MR. ZARDARI: You all have been there for eight years, you tell me.  You lost him in Tora Bora, I didn’t.  I was in prison.  In fact, my wife warned America about Osama bin Laden in ‘89.  She rung up senior Bush and asked, asked of him, “Are you destabilizing my government?” Because he paid the then opposition $10 million to do—overthrow the first woman elected in Islamic country.  So we knew that he was your operator.  And…


So, shill on if you will, roli, or phone in for a new assignment…think your cover’s blown here.

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By rollzone, May 17, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

hello again. yeah, if i am engaged fighting an enemy and i can save the lives of my fellows, or the ones i am protecting; by torturing the enemy for information that they would not freely give, you betcha i am all for it. i do not approve of torturing innocent people, only players. it can be torture to go to work; but that is a choice you make. torture of an enemy that could result in death is what i believe in, that you know i may kill you if you do not tell me what you honestly know, could be a deterrent to those considering entering the game. it is just another possible consequence of their unjust actions. if they are captured, and they know where training to become a radical mental case is taking place, and they will not tell us- should we forego the torture and simply kill them? or give them cable TV and air conditioning?

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By blogdog, May 17, 2009 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

RE: ...i believe, that if a person is willing to play the game, they must be willing to pay the consequence.

INDEED save a cell in Abu for every war criminal the world over - put them on their knees, faces in the dirt,  give it to them bloody, give it to them deep - till they scream like the pigs they are - Cheny, Bush, Blair, Rumy, even Condi and more, (e.g. Kissinger) many more, many, many more - bloody and deep!

Satisfied, rollzone?

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, May 16, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

re: rollzone

I would like to thank the Duncan company, because there always has to be a yo-yo for these threads. The assertion that torture acts as deterrence… well let’s just say I am deterred from reading such ridiculous comments.

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By KDelphi, May 16, 2009 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdr—Exactly.

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By Clash, May 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

The unwillingness of emperor Obama to and the justice department not to hold the persons in the hierarchy criminally responsible for their acts against humanity is nothing new.
Prisoners of the empire have always been tortured and this will continue until the empire no longer has the power to do so.
Some say we should hold to the rule of law, but who’s law is that. Having found that the law changes depending on the social and financial, (mainly financial) status of the person being held all emissaries of the the empire must be resisted from the emperor to the lowliest constable, as not one of them can be trusted not to abuse the puny powers they believe they hold over humanity.

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By Outraged, May 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

It appears there are those operating outside of government scantioned activities.  I sense that this is a portion of the cabal that Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and others organized, that is still in operation.  These people need to be exposed and ousted from their positions.  It appears they are an entity unto themselves and are still carrying out the wishes of their “war lords”.

Seymour Hersh:
GULF NEWS: You have spoken about an assassination unit that reported to Cheney called the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). There have been allegations that this unit was responsible for former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

SEYMOUR HERSH: I can’t verify [that]. What I said was, and what I have written more than once, is that there’s a special unit that does high-value targeting of men that we believe are known to be involved in anti-American activities, or are believed to be planning such activities.

In Cheney’s view this isn’t murder, but carrying out the “war on terror”. And in the view of me and my friends, including people in government, this is crazy. The vice president is committing a crime. You can’t authorise the murder of people. And it’s not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s in a lot of other countries, in the Middle East and in South Asia and North Africa and even central America.

In the early days, many of the names were cleared through Cheney’s office. One of his aides, John Hanna, went on TV and acknowledged that the programme exists, and said killing these people is not murder but an act of war that is justified legally.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13626

In another story:

A prisoner who was horribly tortured in 2002 until he agreed - at the demand of Bush torturers - to say that al-Qaeda was linked to Saddam Hussein is suddenly dead. Several weeks ago, Human Rights Watch investigators discovered the missing inmate and talked to him. He had been secretly transferred by the administration to a prison in Libya after having been held by the CIA both in secret “black hole prisons” and in Egypt.

Under conditions of extreme torture, the prisoner, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, agreed in 2002 to supply the Bush-ordered interrogators what they sought as a political cover for Bush’s marketing of the pending war of aggression against Iraq. Mr. Libi agreed to tell them whatever they wanted in exchange for an end to the torture. The now famous Torture Memos providing legal cover for the torture were written at the same time starting in the summer of 2002.

Libi’s tortured and knowingly fabricated testimony was the source of information used by Bush to sell the war to the U.S. Senate, and the source for Colin Powell’s bogus and lying presentation to the United Nations in 2003.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice are now running around saying that the torture regime “protected the country from terrorist attack.” But the torture was used for the personal political goals of Bush and Cheney: namely, to sell their Iraq invasion to a very skeptical and disbelieving country.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13613

This…, “program” is nothing more than an illegal hit squad, a group of assasins employed by the Cheney/Bush Cabal.

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By Outraged, May 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Re: rollzone

Your comment: “this article misdirects you from torture: which i believe, that if a person is willing to play the game, they must be willing to pay the consequence. torture is valuable for information as well as deterence. enemies spared for torture should be thankful they are not outright executed.”

Your assumption completely disregards the fact that many of these are completely innocent people.  The position you are attempting to qualify is TORTURE.  Engaging that position, illuminates your erroneous reasoning capacity, denial of facts and the fictitious stance that “it works”.

ONE, it doesn’t “work”, this is KNOWN.  TWO, according to your assumption all these people are inherently guilty.  It is apparent you operate under the premise, “guilty until proven innocent”, this is against our laws and is a false logic instituted by every single totalitarian political system throughout history.  What’s next, burning people at the stake because, using your supposed logic, if they weren’t witches/heretics/possessed…etc,  god would save them….?

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By rollzone, May 16, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

hello. honor the soldier for carrying out orders. this article specifically details prisoners outside of interrogation: being subdued as a matter of psychological practice; that i agree can be found in many of our prisons. the thought that criminals are entitled to cable, internet access, and air conditioning; bespeaks a life better than many citizens freely walking about the world; and is ludicrous. this article misdirects you from torture: which i believe, that if a person is willing to play the game, they must be willing to pay the consequence. torture is valuable for information as well as deterence. enemies spared for torture should be thankful they are not outright executed.

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By BigEasy, May 16, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawyers are the problem.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, May 16, 2009 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

This report is a continuation of Jeremy Scahill’s in depth piece, posted on Alternet. It is quite difficult for the general public to grasp the fact that their very own government has systematically gone about setting up a torture camp system throughout the world. The gruesome horror of the sociopath mentality that conceives these procedures is transferred to those ordered to perform them. How comforting is it, to hear that a returning “hero” from military service, was actually employed to carry out inhumane orders? Would you want that person living next door to you?

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By ralph, May 16, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pelosi needs to be tried for WAR CRIMES !!

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 16, 2009 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Word’s out that one of the chemicals being poured on the freedom fighters to terrorize them is hydrogen hydroxide, believed by most chemists, and aptly named, to be the “universal solvent.” Say goodbye to anything it comes in contact with. When will this end?

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By ugashik, May 16, 2009 at 12:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I disagree that the use of torture is done for the purpose of terrorizing everyone. This process has been going on for years and I for one would want any means necessary taken in order to get information from someone that may save the life of a loved one of mine or anyone else for that matter. I honestly can’t imagine how anyone could or would possibly think that! And speaking of torture that everyone seems hell bent on what about the torture that is done to innocent unborn lives in abortions?? Do I hear anyone saying anything about them or have I any time that issue comes up?? No! They camaflauge it by calling it choice!! It’s MURDER and before that is the torture!! Have you heard any of the casualties of that procedure tell you how bad they were tortured before they were murdered in cold blood?? For that matter have you heard ANYONE stand up for them?? I haven’t! So some of you think torture makes us a bad country for using the necessary means on one hand to get information out of a bunch of loonies in order to save American lives and on the other hand the torture of living human beings being ripped and sucked out of a Mothers womb is ok becasue it is considered “choice”!?!? Boy oh Boy..what kind of a double standard country have we become?? And on top of it these loonies have beheaded American’s, dragged American’s through the streets, hung them up by their arms and God knows what else..I wasn’t there to see what else they did to them..were you? We are suppose to continue taking their BS and yet be good little boys and girls..whewwww.. I have seen and heard so much double talk from this administration it makes me sick to my stomach!! Seems there is always a lot of blame to go around for Bush too!! What good is really going to come from belittling and bellyaching about the previous administration? Granted Bush was not perfect but I would much rather have him in the office of the President now than who is in there now!!! Wouldn’t it be better to talk about how to put pressure on the Congress and the Senate to get off their duffs and do what we the people are paying them to do? I for one would like to see a pay decrease for them and the retirement benefits axed big time!! There is so much greed in the government why talk about the last administration and do the compare thing. Will anything positive come from doing that?

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By jackpine savage, May 15, 2009 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Well i know what i’ll be thinking of next time i’m asked to stand for the national anthem.  God bless America, please…we need it.

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By Lawlessone, May 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’d be tempted to facetiously comment that listening to all the silly, spurious, downright stupid excuses to continue torture is torture itself.  But, that would demean a serious subject.  As a licensed lawyer, it sickens me to realize that it was lawyers sworn to uphold the Constitution who approved the torturing and a lawyer in the Presidency who seems bent on excusing it. Our profession should be ashamed.  It’s does more harm for the profession than ambulance chasers.  At least ambulance chasers ultimately ended up helping victims.  The lawyers involved in defending torture created victims.

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By freedom loving american, May 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Torture has become so wide spread in our prison system since 1980 that this article basically could be describing any prison anyway in the United States. which is exetremely scary and sad.

Our prison system needs total reform starting with never taking away an Americans right to vote.  This is a right not a privilege.

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By blogdog, May 15, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

For those who might be disappointed, a dose of reality is in order.

To implement torture sadists must be employed - no sane person has the stomach for it - but, the purpose is not to break a prisoner and especially in the Global War Of Terror, not to get information - those directing the Global War OF Terror already know everything about the black-ops being staged, the moles protecting the black-ops and the patsies who’ll take the fall - they may use it to get an innocent patsy to confess, but that’s more easily done by threatening his family.

No, the torture is obviously intended to terrorize everyone (anyone could be next), even the dedicated unwitting within the ranks who may begin to doubt the mission - day by day, more and more - moreover, a soldier with his humanity intact, who gets sucked into a torture ring, is less likely to blow the whistle on it.

And as for Al Queda, the legend lives on (even proliferated in Truthdig), so I’ll continue to remind folks at Truthdig (no, no article yet from Truthdig on this) that last Sunday on Meet the Press, a smoking gun emerged…actually shocking that it wasn’t edited out - perhaps some of the agencies black-ops are being prepared for sacrifice.

Here it is - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30658135/page/2/

MR. GREGORY: Where is Osama bin Laden?

MR. ZARDARI: You all have been there for eight years, you tell me.  You lost him in Tora Bora, I didn’t.  I was in prison.  In fact, my wife warned America about Osama bin Laden in ‘89.  She rung up senior Bush and asked, asked of him, “Are you destabilizing my government?” Because he paid the then opposition $10 million to do—overthrow the first woman elected in Islamic country. So we knew that he was your operator.  And…

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