ACLU sues psychologists over CIA interrogation tactics, Rise in child abuse investigations linked to fears of witchcraft
October 14, 2015 Comments Off on ACLU sues psychologists over CIA interrogation tactics, Rise in child abuse investigations linked to fears of witchcraft
ACLU sues psychologists over CIA interrogation tactics
The Associated Press ERIC TUCKER Oct 13th 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday sued two former Air Force psychologists who designed a CIA program that used harsh interrogation techniques to elicit intelligence from suspected terrorists, saying the pair endorsed and taught torture tactics under the guise of science.
The lawsuit comes 10 months after the release of a damning Senate report that said the interrogation techniques had inflicted pain on al-Qaida prisoners far beyond the legal limits and did not yield lifesaving intelligence.
The suit accuses the psychologists, James E. Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, of developing an interrogation program that relied on beatings, sleep deprivation, starvation, waterboarding and other methods that caused physical and psychological suffering on prisoners in CIA custody….
The suit was filed in federal court in Washington state on behalf of three former CIA prisoners. One, Gul Rahman, was interrogated in a dungeon-like Afghanistan prison called the Salt Pit, subjected to isolation, darkness and extreme cold water, and was later found dead of hypothermia. The other two men, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, are now free.
The lawsuit was brought under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows noncitizens to sue in U.S. courts over human-rights violations. A 2010 Associated Press report, citing former U.S. officials, said the CIA promised to cover at least $5 million in legal fees for the psychologists if the program ran into trouble.
The suit repeats many of the allegations that surfaced in an exhaustive Senate investigation issued last year. It found sweeping flaws with the CIA’s approach to interrogations.
The complaint alleges that the psychologists, despite having no practical interrogation experience or specific background in al-Qaida, devised a program for the CIA that drew from 1960s experiments involving dogs and the theory of “learned helplessness.” In making their case to the CIA, the psychologists argued that just as abused dogs will become passive and compliant, humans subject to “uncontrollable pain” would “become helpless and unable to resist an interrogator’s demand for information,” according to the lawsuit.
The pair, who worked as independent contractors for the CIA, formed a company that was ultimately paid $81 million and which as of April 2007 directly employed 11 of the 13 interrogators used by the agency, the complaint states. The men were also themselves involved in some of the interrogations….
Rise in child abuse investigations linked to fears of witchcraft
Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Contributing Editor 12 October 2015
Police are investigating increasing numbers of cases where children are being assaulted because of suspicions about witchcraft.
This year so far, 27 cases of ritual child abuse have or are still being investigated by the Metropolitan Police, including two allegations of rape. This compares to to 24 in 2013, 19 in 2012 and nine in 2011. There have ben 148 referrals to the Met since 2004….
Allegations included a child being swung around and smacked on the head to “drive out the devil” and youngsters being dunked in water, according to an investigation by the BBC.
Deaths linked to ritual child abuse include Kristy Bamu, 15, tortured and drowned by his sister and her boyfriend in 2010 and Victoria Climbie in 2000, whose aunt and boyfriend had believed she was possessed and who were found guilty of murder.
Det Supt Terry Sharpe said ritualistic abuse was a hidden crime.
“Abuse linked to belief is a horrific crime which is condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths. A number of high-profile investigations brought the issue of ritual abuse and witchcraft into the headlines, but it is important that professionals are clear about the signs to look for.”
Some families genuinely believed the victim had been taken over by the devil or an evil spirit, he said.
“Regardless of the beliefs of the abusers, child abuse is child abuse.”….
Cyril Smith child abuse probe scrapped after his arrest, UK Police Watchdog to Investigate Westminster Child Abuse Cover-Up, “Bill Cosby sexually assaulted me. I didn’t tell because I didn’t want to let black America down. I let race trump rape.”
March 17, 2015 Comments Off on Cyril Smith child abuse probe scrapped after his arrest, UK Police Watchdog to Investigate Westminster Child Abuse Cover-Up, “Bill Cosby sexually assaulted me. I didn’t tell because I didn’t want to let black America down. I let race trump rape.”
Cyril Smith child abuse probe ‘scrapped after his arrest’
By Nick Hopkins and Jake Morris BBC Newsnight 16 March 2015
An undercover police operation that gathered evidence of child abuse by Cyril Smith and other public figures was scrapped shortly after the MP was arrested, BBC Newsnight has been told.
The Liberal MP, who died in 2010, was held during a 1980s probe into alleged sex parties with teenage boys in south London, a source told the programme.
He was allegedly released within hours of being taken to a police station.
The Met is looking into the handling of historical child sex abuse cases.
The force would not comment on the details of the allegations about Smith put to them by Newsnight.
A spokesman said it was “investigating allegations that police officers acted inappropriately in relation to non-recent child abuse investigations” however, and asked for anyone with information to come forward.
‘Secrets act’ warning
Information has been passed to Newsnight by a former officer, who is familiar with the original investigation and its closure.
The order to scrap the probe, made after Smith and others had been arrested, came from a senior officer whom the undercover team had never met before, according to the source.
Officers were then ordered to hand over all their evidence – including notebooks and video footage – and were warned to keep quiet about the investigation or face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, it is claimed.
Newsnight has been told the intelligence-led operation is believed to have started in 1981.
It involved a team of undercover regional crime squad officers, including some from Yorkshire who were based in London for the secret inquiry…. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31908431
Undercover elite child sex abuse investigation ‘scrapped by police commanders’
BBC Newsnight has claimed that an undercover police operation in possession of evidence that a member of the security services and a prominent MP were involved in child abuse was scrapped by commanders shortly after investigating officers sought to make arrests
By Gregory Walton 16 Mar 2015
An undercover police operation that had evidence that a member of the security services and a prominent MP were involved in child abuse was scrapped by commanders shortly after investigating officers sought to make arrests, it has been claimed.
The BBC’s Newsnight programme claims to have received information that Liberal MP Cyril Smith was detained in connection with an inquiry into sex parties involving teenage boys but was quickly released.
A former officer familiar with the investigation claimed that detectives were ordered to hand over all of their evidence and subsequently threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act if they disclosed details of the episode, according to Newsnight.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police declined to discuss the new claims but called on “anyone with information which they believe can assist such inquiries to pass it onto police for consideration”.
Newsnight says it was informed of operation, believed to have begun in 1981, involving a team of undercover regional crime squad officers.
The squad believed that boys from care homes were being provided for sex parties.
Newsnight has been told that during a three month secret inquiry, officers gathered a substantial amount of evidence of men abusing boys aged around 14 years.
Evidence included photographs and video taken from inside a flat with a hidden camera that had been installed with the help of a caretaker.
Smith was then seized at a property in Streatham where he had been taking part in a sex party
with teenage boys, according to an account given to the BBC.
It is understood he was taken to the former Canon Row police station, opposite the House of Commons, but was released that night.
A desk sergeant was allegedly reprimanded for seeking to keep Smith in custody…. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11476231/Undercover-elite-child-sex-abuse-investigation-scrapped-by-police-commanders.html
UK Police Watchdog to Investigate Westminster Child Abuse Cover-Up
By Lucy Draper 3/16/15
The UK police watchdog has announced that it is investigating the Metropolitan Police following allegations that the force was involved in a cover-up over child abuse offenses alleged to have been carried out by members of the British establishment between 1970 and 2005.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched the investigation after the Met referred themselves over 16 separate allegations – 14 of which are to be investigated, while two referrals of a similar nature are still being assessed. The IPCC will look into claims of corruption within the force and whether they purposefully ignored evidence and halted investigations due to the involvement of MPs and other members of the establishment.
This most recent development comes as a result of Operation Fairbank, first launched by Scotland Yard in 2012, to probe suggestions that high profile figures were involved in historic Westminster paedophile rings. Since then detectives have also opened up inquiries into the murder of three boys who it’s alleged were killed by those involved in such rings, claims which the superintendent overseeing the inquiry called “credible and true”, and have resulted in the police calling for witnesses as they have been unable to identify the victims and no bodies have been found.
Investigations have focused both on the Dolphin Square estate in Pimlico where one victim claims he, along with other young boys, were abused by several high-profile individuals after attending ‘parties’ there, and also on Elm Guest House in Barnes which was reportedly used as a brothel where children were abused. It’s alleged that Liberal Democrat MP Cyril Smith visited frequently in the 1970s and 80s.
One of the 14 referrals for the IPCC says that “a proactive operation targeting young men in Dolphin Square was stopped because officers were too near prominent people”, while another is about “allegations that a politician had spoken with a senior Met Police officer and demanded no action was taken regarding a paedophile ring and boys being procured and supplied to prominent persons in Westminster in the 1970s”…. http://www.newsweek.com/uk-police-watchdog-investigate-westminster-child-abuse-cover-314002
Bill Cosby sexually assaulted me. I didn’t tell because I didn’t want to let black America down.
I let race trump rape.
By Jewel Allison March 6
Jewel Allison is a poet and author of “Stealing Peace: Let’s Talk About Racism.” She is a graduate of New York University, a public speaker and a music educator.
Like many of the women who say they were assaulted by Bill Cosby, it took me two decades to gain the courage to reveal it publicly. His accusers – mostly white, so far – have faced retaliation, humiliation and skepticism by coming forward. As an African American woman, I felt the stakes for me were even higher. Historic images of black men being vilified en masse as sexually violent sent chills through my body. Telling my story wouldn’t only help bring down Cosby; I feared it would undermine the entire African American community.
When I first heard Andrea Constand and Tamara Green publicly tell their stories about being drugged and assaulted by Cosby, I wasn’t relieved; I was terrified. I knew these women weren’t fabricating stories and conspiring to destroy America’s favorite dad, but I did not want to see yet another African American man vilified in the media. As I debated whether to come forward, I struggled with where my allegiances should lie – with the women who were sexually victimized or with black America, which had been systemically victimized…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/03/06/bill-cosby-sexually-assaulted-me-i-didnt-tell-because-i-didnt-want-to-let-black-america-down/
One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped And Have Your Town Turn Against You, 21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault, Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations
November 13, 2014 Comments Off on One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped And Have Your Town Turn Against You, 21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault, Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations
One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped — And Have Your Town Turn Against You
‘There were flyers at school, kids wore T-shirts in his honor and even brought huge signs to his court appearances supporting him.’
by MTV News Staff 11/11/2014
Sixty percent of rapes go unreported to the police. But what’s it like to be part of that other 40% — and then have your community and friends turn against you? Emma Hanrahan knows only too well — and today she’s coming forward to share her story of pain and survival with MTV News, in the hopes that it will encourage that 60% to break the silence….
By Emma Hanrahan
….Almost immediately after entering the room I was pushed on the bed, and all of a sudden it went from being fun to being completely terrifying. I was dizzy and confused. Paris was on top of me. I said, “Slow down, I don’t want to do this. I want to go home.”
The moment they ignored me and kept going was the moment I knew exactly what was about to happen. One of the other guys was standing right by my head and I remember looking up and seeing the third guy standing at the door, almost like he was keeping watch.
Was this planned? How did everything fall into place so quickly? All of a sudden my pants were ripped right off me and Paris immediately started having sex with me. I was crying “No” over and over again.
….It was hard for me. I found peace many nights at the bottom of a cheap bottle of wine. My confusion and loss of self consumed me, while flashbacks and nightmares became a ritual in my already messed-up schedule. I had uncontrollable panic attacks that caused me to rarely leave the house. I spent many long days in my room not talking to many people at all.
The rape kit result came back and DNA was found, enough to at least make an arrest on Paris in the winter. Despite changing his statements drastically a few times, though, he gained the support from a majority of the school — and town for that matter. The school didn’t feel it was necessary to remove Paris or the other guys from their classes — even after the arrest. I couldn’t bear the thought of attending class every day sitting next to the guys that raped me, that broke me, that took everything from me, so I withdrew from school after only a couple of weeks.
….In the meantime, the town started taking sides — everyone did. These guys were star athletes — basketball players — and it seemed like everyone supported them. It didn’t take long for the blame to be put on me. The basketball coach even confronted me at a game once with his players in tow — including two of my attackers — and as a result I was thrown out of the game. And banned from campus.
People I thought were my friends dropped me in a second to jump on the “FREE PARIS” bandwagon — including some of my former roommates. There were flyers at school, kids wore T-shirts in his honor and even brought huge signs to his court appearances supporting him.
It drew attention from the local newspaper and radio stations, and people even wrote letters to the editor voicing their support for this man who took my entire life from me. Everywhere I turned “FREE PARIS” punched me right in the gut. I received threatening text messages from players and people I didn’t even know. I was harassed walking down the street; there are still blogs about me on the Internet created by students just to say awful and hateful things about me.
That’s the issue with how society as a whole thinks about sexual assault: They blame the victim. They blamed me. I was at a party. I was drinking. I was wearing a tank top. I was asking for it. Hearing those things over and over again –- you start to believe them. So many people told me that I was a slut. That I wanted it. It was really hard to not feel that way. I think that that just confirms that how people think of sexual assault and how they treat victims of a crime is backwards. We need to stop blaming the victims and start blaming their attackers.
….I got to the point where I was in such a dark place with my memories and my community’s nastiness that I had to try to put the whole thing behind me. I offered “Paris” a plea and he took it, and because he was arrested he lost his visa and was sent back home and not allowed to return. The other two guys were never arrested; “Paris” claimed they were never even with us.
….The harassment continued for years, despite letting Paris off easy. The next few years went by filled with unbearable pain and emptiness all at the same time. The only thing that helped me pull myself out of that place was talking to people in the same situation as me. I hooked up with the RAINN organization. I read other people’s stories — people who had gone through what I had and come out on the other side OK. People who told me that there was a life past everything I was enduring then.
….One of the reasons that I stopped feeling the way that I did was because I ran across another girl at college a few years later that was going through what I went through. I told her my story and about how I was better then than I had been before and that made her feel better. And it made me feel better that she felt better. Helping other people and guiding them –- that was the only way that I felt better.
What happened to me may have changed me, but who I am today is someone I am proud to be. I WAS a victim — now I’m a survivor, a mother, a fighter and an inspiration. I am strong.
21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault
Join MTV and the White House in a new campaign to prevent sexual assault: ‘It’s On Us.’
by Brenna Ehrlich 9/19/2014
1. 1 out of every 6 American women has been either raped or almost raped in her lifetime.
2. 1 in 5 women in the U.S. is sexually assaulted in college — most during their freshman or sophomore year, according to It’s On Us.
3. In 2006, 300,000 college women were raped. That’s 5.2%.
4. 3% of U.S. men have either been raped or almost raped.
5. 80% of rape and sexual assault victims are under 30….
10. An American is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes….
17. Survivors can suffer from PTSD, substance abuse, sleep disorders, self-harm, eating disorders, depression and a host of other issues.
18. Survivors are 26 times more likely to take drugs….
20. 60% of sexual assaults go unreported and only 12 percent of college women report their attackers to the police.
21. Only 3% of rapists will ever go to prison.
Police handling of child abuse intelligence to be investigated
12 November 2014
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will examine how Essex, North Wales and North Yorkshire handled information from Canadian police passed to the UK in 2012.
Around 2,000 names were sent by Toronto Police to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
The three forces referred themselves to the IPCC for investigation….
BBC News obtained figures in October suggesting many forces had at that time only arrested around a third of the names among the Canadian intelligence….
Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations, inspector general finds
By Naomi Martin, NOLA.com The Times-Picayune
November 12, 2014
Five NOPD detectives have been transferred to street patrol and are under internal investigation after the city’s inspector general found they systematically failed to investigate and document allegations of sexual assault and child abuse.
The detectives wrote no investigative reports for 86 percent of the 1,290 sexual-assault or child-abuse calls they were collectively assigned to investigate from 2011 through 2013, according to the report released Wednesday. Two of their supervisors also were transferred and remain under investigation.
….In 65 percent of the cases reviewed, detectives submitted no initial incident reports — a basic summary of allegations — because the detectives classified those calls as “miscellaneous” incidents that did not merit any documentation at all.
“For 65 percent of their work for three years, no one can evaluate that,” said the inspector general’s lead investigator Howard Schwartz. “There is no record. Other than making it a 21 (miscellaneous).”
In 60 percent of the 450 cases reviewed, there was no supplemental report, a key record used by the department and prosecutors documenting investigative findings. Only 105 complaints became cases that were presented to the district attorney’s office. Of those, 74 cases were prosecuted, but only after the district attorney’s office conducted its own investigations, seeking medical records and interviewing witnesses and victims.
“The district attorney’s office should be commended for this,” Schwartz said.
The five detectives — Akron Davis, Merrill Merricks, Derrick Williams, Damita Williams and Vernon Haynes — represented the majority of the Special Victims Section, which had between eight and nine detectives throughout the three-year period.
….The inspector general’s office notified the NOPD on Oct. 3 that 13 children could be in danger in their homes after finding reports of physical and sexual abuse that apparently failed to get proper investigation. The department said it has made sure all are now safe by removing them from their homes or contacting child protective services, or both.
As of Oct. 3, NOPD had 53 outstanding DNA matches — notified in letters from the State Police crime lab since July 2010 — that they had not followed up on to start the process of finding potential rapists, the report says.
….The report alleges a culture of indifference.
Damita Williams told at least three different people that she “did not believe simple rape should be a crime,” the report says. Simple rape, under state law, is sex without the victim’s consent when the victim is intoxicated or incapacitated, and the offender should have known.
She was assigned 11 simple rape cases over the course of three years; only one was presented to the district attorney’s office.
In one case, she wrote that no DNA evidence was recovered. But State Police lab records showed that DNA evidence had in fact been found in that case.
In a separate case in which a victim reported her attacker was sending her threatening texts, Williams never documented any attempt to obtain phone records or the text messages. She never sent the victim’s rape kit to the crime lab for testing and in a log book, wrote that she “would not submit the kit to the DNA lab because the sex was consensual.”
Derrick Williams, who was the lead investigator on the case involving former New Orleans Saints football player Darren Sharper, submitted no supplemental reports on two rape cases in which nurses collected evidence and documented the accusers’ injuries.
In one case, State Police’s DNA lab found a possible match more than two years ago, but Williams had not submitted a sample to confirm it. In the other, State Police notified Williams that an incorrect kit had been sent in, and he had not responded.
Williams created two supplemental reports on the same day in 2013 after the inspector general’s office requested them — he dated one in 2011 and the other in 2010, the report says.
Vernon Haynes never documented any investigation into three cases in which the State Police crime lab found DNA evidence, the report says. He also had two cases that were lacking files in the office.
In one case, a victim reported she was raped and her iPhone was stolen; Haynes never documented any effort to track her phone or obtain phone records.
Merrill Merricks wrote in a report that he sent a rape kit to the State Police crime lab but they found no results. But the inspector general’s office reviewed State Police lab records and found the kit was never submitted. The kit had never actually moved from NOPD’s evidence room.
Merricks created four supplemental reports on the same day in 2013 after the inspector general’s office requested them — he dated three in 2011 and the other in 2010, the report says.
Akron Davis was assigned 13 cases of potential sexual/physical abuse involving children in which the juvenile victims potentially were still in the same home where the alleged abuse occurred. Of those 13, 11 lacked a supplemental report. Cases in which infants were hospitalized for skull fractures, a toddler tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease and a young child complained of sexual abuse at the hands of a registered sex offender were among those identified by the New Orleans Inspector General’s office as failing to get proper investigations….