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.”….
Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations, More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program, Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots
December 10, 2014 Comments Off on Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations, More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program, Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots
Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations
By MARK MAZZETTI DEC. 9, 2014
WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday issued a sweeping indictment of the Central Intelligence Agency’s program to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, drawing on millions of internal C.I.A. documents to illuminate practices that it said were more brutal — and far less effective — than the agency acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.
The long-delayed report delivers a withering judgment on one of the most controversial tactics of a twilight war waged over a dozen years. The Senate committee’s investigation, born of what its chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, said was a need to reckon with the excesses of this war, found that C.I.A. officials routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained, and failed to provide basic oversight of the secret prisons it established around the world.
In exhaustive detail, the report gives a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects. Detainees were deprived of sleep for as long as a week, and were sometimes told that they would be killed while in American custody. With the approval of the C.I.A.’s medical staff, some prisoners were subjected to medically unnecessary “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration” — a technique that the C.I.A.’s chief of interrogations described as a way to exert “total control over the detainee.” C.I.A. medical staff members described the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, as a “series of near drownings.”
….The torture of prisoners at times was so extreme that some C.I.A. personnel tried to put a halt to the techniques, but were told by senior agency officials to continue the interrogation sessions.
The Senate report quotes a series of August 2002 cables from a C.I.A. facility in Thailand, where the agency’s first prisoner was held. Within days of the Justice Department’s approval to begin waterboarding the prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, the sessions became so extreme that some C.I.A. officers were “to the point of tears and choking up,” and several said they would elect to be transferred out of the facility if the brutal interrogations continued.
….The committee’s report concluded that of the 119 detainees, “at least 26 were wrongfully held.”
….The program expanded, with dozens of detainees taken to secret prisons in Poland, Romania, Lithuania and other countries. In September 2006, Mr. Bush ordered all of the detainees in C.I.A. custody to be transferred to the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and after that the C.I.A. held a small number of detainees in secret at a different facility for several months at a time, before they were also moved to Guantánamo Bay.
Taken in its entirety, the report is a portrait of a spy agency that was wholly unprepared for its new mission as jailers and interrogators, but that embraced its assignment with vigor. The report chronicles millions of dollars in secret payments between 2002 and 2004 from the C.I.A. to foreign officials, aimed at getting other governments to agree to host secret prisons.
More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program 12/09/2014
….According to several U.S. officials involved with the negotiations, the intelligence community has long been concerned that the Senate document would enable readers to identify the many countries that aided the CIA’s controversial torture program between 2002 and roughly 2006. These countries made the CIA program possible in two ways: by enabling rendition, which involved transferring U.S. detainees abroad without due legal process, and by providing facilities far beyond the reach of U.S. law where those detainees were subjected to torture.
Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots
After waterboarding, 9/11 mastermind told interrogators what ‘he thought they wanted to hear’ By Michael Isikoff 12/9/14
After days of brutal interrogations, in which he was slammed against walls, slapped in the gut, and repeatedly waterboarded — “near drownings” that caused him to vomit — 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told his CIA interrogators he was “ready to talk.”
The story he told in March 2003: He had sent an al-Qaida operative to Montana to recruit African-Americans for terrorist attacks inside the U.S. The alarming new claim sent FBI agents scrambling to find evidence of the plot, but they came up with nothing.
And for good reason: KSM later admitted he had fabricated the story — that because he was being subjected to such rough measures, he “simply told his interrogators what he thought they wanted to hear,” according to an internal agency cable quoted in the mammoth Senate Intelligence Committee report released on Tuesday by the panel’s chair, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The invented Montana plot is only one example of multiple wild-goose chases and other false leads that were produced by the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — what President Barack Obama himself has labeled “torture” — in the years after 9/11, according to the 489-page Senate report.
“The methods in question … regularly resulted in fabricated information,” the report states in its key findings….
Many of the techniques laid out in the report have been publicly known for years — forced nudity, sleep deprivation, dietary and temperature manipulation, wall slamming and, of course, waterboarding, a practice dating back to the Spanish Inquisition in which subjects are strapped down and doused with water to simulate the experience of drowning….
A CIA prison in Afghanistan (known as the Salt Pit but referred to as COBALT in the report) was described in CIA cables as a “dungeon” where hooded prisoners were kept in complete darkness and shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music — and only a bucket to use for human waste. One of the detainees died from hypothermia after being left naked from the waist down….
The committee report examined 20 “case studies” in which agency officials had claimed they had thwarted plots or rounded up suspects based on aggressive interrogations. These assertions, the panel found, were “inaccurate and contradicted by the CIA’s own records.”….
CIA Torture Report: Chinese Communist Methods, Waterboarding, Sleep deprivation, Exposure to cold, Physical isolation, Sensory deprivation, Physical degradation
December 9, 2014 Comments Off on CIA Torture Report: Chinese Communist Methods, Waterboarding, Sleep deprivation, Exposure to cold, Physical isolation, Sensory deprivation, Physical degradation
“They were interrogated using methods such as waterboarding, slapping, humiliation, exposure to cold, and sleep deprivation.”
“It described how two instructors from the Navy went to the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in 2002 to teach 24 guards there about methods used by Chinese communists during the Korean War, against American POWs.”
also: Mind Control Documents & Links
Congress Clashes Over Release Of CIA Torture Report
December 08, 2014 Lauren Hodges
Leaders on Capitol Hill are at odds regarding a report on CIA methods — including torture — used to extract information in the so-called war on terror.
Chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been fighting for the release of her 480-page executive summary of the report since April of this year, and it finally was scheduled for a reveal this week….
NPR’s Sam Sanders reported Sunday that “officials who’ve seen the report say it details sleep deprivation, confinement and waterboarding.”
On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR’s Mara Liasson spoke with host Rachel Martin about the Obama administration’s view of the release.
“The administration supports releasing the report. And the State Department says Kerry told Feinstein that the timing of the release was her choice. But the administration is concerned about how the report would affect ongoing efforts against ISIS, the Islamic State terrorist group, and the safety of Americans who are being held hostage around the world. And it wants those issues to be taken into account.”….
U.S. on alert for release of report on CIA’s use of torture
The Canadian Press By Alexander Panetta December 8, 2014
WASHINGTON – For months, there’s been a battle in the shadows of Washington over a report on torture by the CIA.
The covert conflict saw the CIA spy on Congress. Intelligence officials quietly argued against the report’s release, on the basis that it would endanger American lives. The White House eventually stepped in, mediating negotiations about what to include — and what to black out.
It’s being made public now.
A congressional committee that studied the use of torture during the Bush era is poised Tuesday to release a 480-page executive summary of its findings, a heavily scrutinized and edited synopsis of a broader 6,000-page document compiled by a Senate panel….
The CIA admitted to snooping on Senate staffers’ computers while they prepared the report. At first, the agency denied accusations of domestic espionage against the elected body. Eventually, it confessed and apologized, ascribing its actions to the belief that staffers were consulting unauthorized documents.
Still, that failed to mollify members of Congress. Several called for the CIA director’s resignation for what they described as a violation of the country’s basic democratic order….
The report into the CIA comes six years after the Senate released a study into the military — and offered a glimpse into how its interrogation techniques were developed after 9-11.
It described how two instructors from the Navy went to the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in 2002 to teach 24 guards there about methods used by Chinese communists during the Korean War, against American POWs.
The Chinese method came to be rebranded as Biderman’s Principles, after the academic who researched the Korean War practice. He boiled it down to an eight-step program: physical isolation, followed by sensory deprivation, exhaustion and discomfort, threats, occasional rewards, powerlessness, physical degradation, and the enforcement of arbitrary rules.
According to the 2008 Senate report, the Navy trainers handed out a chart on those coercive techniques to the personnel at Guantanamo Bay.
CIA torture report: US raises security ahead of release 8 December 2014
The report appears to conclude CIA officials lied about the programme to Bush administration officials….
The full 6,000-page report, produced by the Senate Intelligence Committee, remains classified.
The 480-page summary is being released by Democrats on the panel.
President Barack Obama halted the CIA interrogation programme when he took office in 2009, and has acknowledged that the methods used to question al-Qaeda prisoners amounted to torture.
During the presidency of George W Bush, the CIA operation against al-Qaeda – known internally as the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation – saw as many as 100 suspected terrorists held in “black sites” outside the US.
Analysis: Jon Sopel, BBC North America editor
What more can we learn about the CIA’s interrogation programme from this heavily redacted report? Based on leaks, Tuesday’s release seems to answer three major questions:
First. Were the interrogation methods – torture if you like – more extensive and more brutal than previously admitted? It looks like the conclusion is yes.
Second. Did these interrogation techniques deliver life-saving intelligence to the US? That answer appears to be no.
Third. Were CIA officials at the time honest with the White House on what the programme was getting up to? Again, no….
They were interrogated using methods such as waterboarding, slapping, humiliation, exposure to cold, and sleep deprivation….
Sexual threats, other CIA methods detailed in Senate report
By Mark Hosenball and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON Mon Dec 8, 2014
(Reuters) – Graphic details about sexual threats and other harsh interrogation techniques the CIA meted out to captured militants will be detailed by a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the spy agency’s anti-terror tactics, sources familiar with the document said.
The report, which the committee’s majority Democrats are expected to release on Tuesday, describes how senior al Qaeda operative Abdel Rahman al Nashiri, suspected mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, was threatened by his interrogators with a buzzing power drill, the sources said. The drill was never actually used on Nashiri.
In another instance, the report documents how at least one detainee was sexually threatened with a broomstick, the sources said….
The report, which took years to produce, charts the history of the CIA’s “Rendition, Detention and Interrogation” program, which Bush authorized after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Bush ended many aspects of the program before leaving office, and Obama swiftly banned so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which critics say are torture, after his 2009 inauguration.
The committee’s bottom-line conclusion is that harsh interrogations did not produce a single critical intelligence nugget that could not have been obtained by non-coercive means.
That conclusion is strongly disputed by many intelligence and counter-terrorism officials, who say that there is no question such interrogations led to major breakthroughs….
While the Justice Department had authorized techniques like sleep deprivation, controls and supervision of such methods were sometimes lax when the CIA began detaining and interrogating militants starting in August 2002, said sources familiar with the interrogation program.
A more rigorous system of monitoring how the techniques were used was in place by early 2003, the sources said….
Mind Control Documents & Links
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