Sunday, April 06, 2014

Fort Hood Shooting : Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) And The Mental Illness Crisis In The U.S. Armed Forces

This tragedy highlights the Command crisis in the U.S. military leadership

By Joachim Hagopian

Another Fort Hood shooting sadly reminds us all of the consequences of war on the fragile human psyche. Earlier this week the soldier who went on the killing spree murdered three fellow servicemen and then turned the gun on himself. It was learned that his mother a nurse died of a heart attack last November followed by his grandfather’s death a month later. Though in the process of being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the Iraq War combat veteran was already being treated for anxiety and depression with reported effects of Traumatic Brain Injury. But obviously his dire mental and emotional state failed to catch anyone’s attention.

The three star General Mark Milley was in front of the cameras yesterday busily doing damage control, insisting that “his underlying medical condition was not a precipitating factor.” Convenient for him to say as the obvious ploy to absolve the Army from bearing responsibility for causing Specialist Ivan Lopez to kill. With skyrocketing suicide rates going up with each passing year as the two longest running wars in US history wind down, one in its thirteenth consecutive year, clearly they have taken their toll on the US soldiers sent to fight in harm’s way. 
No matter how much the US Army feebly attempts to sweep PTSD and mental illness under the rug in this latest tragic incident after a Muslim Army psychiatrist murdered thirteen servicemen at the same Army post in 2009, the commander instead focused on an alleged verbal altercation that spontaneously erupted just prior to the shooting. This is just another lame false excuse denying the epidemic of mental illness so rampantly out of control in the US military today. 
The last thing the government will admit is sending troops into combat three, four and five times in the last thirteen years as human fodder on two thinning frontlines has created the crisis of soldiers driven over the edge.

More died from suicide in 2012 than fighting in Afghanistan. Once they return home and become civilians they are killing themselves at a rate three times that of military active duty personnel. The Veterans Administration (VA) reported that the suicide rate of veterans aged 18-29 jumped up by 44% in just two years from 2009 to 2011, suggesting that the longer soldiers experience the trauma of war, the more suicidal they become. Veterans are also twice as likely as the civilian population to commit suicide. The suicide rate of soldiers on active duty in just one year from 2011 to 2012 rose 16%. Trying to make sense of these alarming increases, the VA head of military suicide prevention Dr. Jan Kemp alluded to young combat veterans feeling as though they can go it alone in not seeking help. 
It seems that the US military and VA are remiss then in not being proactive enough if so many are dying never having sought help. 
Programs logically should already be in place the moment a soldier returns from combat and continue after care once a civilian. Clearly just as the government failed to foresee the costly quagmires of its incompetent and disastrous war policies, the government is also guilty of not foreseeing the pressing need and demand to properly care for so many damaged soldiers that have been fighting for years at a time with virtually no break. Humans are ill equipped for adjusting to the insanity of war. The plight of the Vietnam War veteran should have provided the heads up lesson of foreseeing the need for far more mental health support services to returning veterans fighting on two decade long warfronts, yet the US failed to learn any lessons at all from that debacle. 
Though veterans comprise just 10% of the total US population, of all Americans who commit suicide, veterans comprise 20% of that total. With an average of 22 veterans committing suicide every single day, roughly one every hour, seven days a week, those responsible for the US war machine, the Pentagon, government and corporate war profiteers in the form of the military industrial complex have coldheartedly sacrificed an entire generation of young Americans for the sake of global hegemony and corporate profit.

Rather than take any responsibility for causing so many needless deaths, official spin of propaganda customarily diverts focus to touting exclusively how patriotic and courageous American soldiers pay the ultimate sacrifice for their nation so that those living here at home can enjoy the freedom of democracy. 
Of course many Americans in uniform do display remarkable courage. But since 9/11 while they have been fighting and dying as unwanted imperialistic occupiers creating a wasteland of death and destruction on foreign soils, by a series of unconstitutional presidential executive orders and oppressive legislation, American civil liberties and freedoms have been virtually eliminated, stolen from US citizens along with over four billion of their taxpaying dollars to immorally finance two devastating war defeats. While corporations make record profits every year and pay virtually zero in taxes, and the super-rich get richer as war profiteers, the middle class has been decimated and the unjust disparity between the rich and the poor only grows exponentially like never before in the United States.

War’s damaging effects are not going away any time too soon. The overstretched American Empire agenda has pushed soldiers beyond their limit with multiple combat tours that repeatedly expose servicemen and women to unspeakable horrors that only they can know and bear. The trauma of suddenly seeing one’s buddies bleeding to death, blood gushing as they lay dying in their arms, helplessly watching the sacred thread of life fast slipping away, body parts strewn about… these horrific images, sounds and associated emotions never go away. 
Then there are the thousands of US soldiers wounded in action, more often with blown off limbs and head trauma resulting from enemy improvised explosive devices (IED’s). For those brave men and women in uniform who survive such life threatening traumatic injury, the long excruciatingly horrendous rehabilitative recovery process also leaves deep scars as well. 
Their trauma manifests as lifelong pictures indelibly imprinted in their minds of the sheer terror, confusion, agony, pain, loss, survivor’s guilt and powerful gamut of emotions of the deepest magnitude.

A conservative estimate of 20% of the total 1.7 million men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD. Those who experience combat often carry effects that become a lifetime sentence, haunting them for decades. Experiencing such acute shock and psychic injury permanently alter and restructure brain patterns and cognitive processes that even with years of extensive therapy and support can never be the same. 
A recent study from last year confirmed that PTSD effects persist in certain areas of the brain even in non-stressful situations. Brain regions associated with anxiety and fear in particular can suffer lasting damage. The study discovered that the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes fearful and anxious emotions was significantly higher in the combat veterans with PTSD than in the combat veterans without PTSD. The part of the brain sensitive to pain and negative emotions in PTSD veterans also showed abnormally increased activity than non-PTSD veterans. The brain structure separating hemispheres that integrates information from the past to the future remains less active for those with PTSD, and this under activity correlates with re-experiencing traumatic memories, negative emotions and flashbacks.

Subsequent to traumatic injury is a numbing desensitization process that fragments, compartmentalizes, and attempts to manage, control and most often bury the traumatic memories. This automatic defense mechanism operating through denial, repression, projection, and the least harmful sublimation allows PTSD victims to minimally function, but leaves them feeling empty, all too often missing and craving the adrenalin rush and camaraderie of combat, and merely going through the motions of life forever changed never for the better. The inescapable presence of traumatic memories and flashbacks are frequently triggered years and even decades after the traumatic events by thoughts, words evoked by others, sounds, emotions, internal imagery and/or visions and nightmares can all become sudden, intrusive symptomatic reminders of the painful past that cause veterans to relive their traumas. 
A rather disturbing finding from a comprehensive study of the US military released one month ago states that of those soldiers who reported suicide attempts, half disclosed that they had attempted prior to enlistment. In comparison to civilians, military personnel also reported higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intermittent explosive disorder (recurrent episodes of extreme anger or violence), and substance use disorder again prior to enlistment. This very telling and foreboding statistic indicates psychological instability in soldiers even prior to wearing the uniform. Compound that vulnerability and predisposition for mental illness with the trauma of war combat, and the alarming rates of suicide follow as a natural consequence. The military’s desperation for bodies on the two war fronts meant that assessing and screening individuals for mental illness was virtually never done. Between courts giving young offenders the option of either prison or military time and the compromised lack of effective screening for mental and emotional instability amongst recruits placed many individuals unfit to serve much less withstand the stress and trauma of war in a cruel situation set up for failure, not to mention compromising the lives of others in the process. 
Turning to veterans’ severe condition upon their return as combat trauma victims, typically they attempt to self-medicate their anxiety, depression and post-traumatic symptoms with alcohol and prescription and/or street drugs. Prescription drug abuse doubled amongst the military during the years 2002 to 2005 and nearly tripled from 2005 and 2008, again highly correlating with years of continued combat experience. Returning soldiers three or four months back in the States demonstrated that 27% were assessed and diagnosed with alcohol abuse. In the same study, mental illness (i.e., depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD) afflicted 42% of returning reservists and 20% of the active duty personnel.

As much effort a PTSD sufferer inflicted with such deep wounds may make trying to control the effects of combat, the memories are virtually never forgotten and at best only fade over time. Memories and associated negative emotions are repeatedly reactivated, abruptly bringing on anxiety, high impulsivity, severe depressed moods, confusion, impaired judgment, potential violence, alcohol/drug abuse, possible psychosis, suicide, and in rare but increasing cases as at Fort Hood, homicide. 
Hence, prescribed treatment through intensive individual as well as group therapy is essential. Reliving the trauma through talk therapy within the safety and care of a therapeutic setting facilitated by qualified mental health professionals provide necessary containment and support for the healing process to unfold. The capacity of traumatized individuals to express their painful experiences and accompanying emotions through a variety of treatment modalities is key always within a safe environment to produce effective, positive therapeutic outcomes. Individual and group talk therapy are standard along with various supplemental art and music therapies, pain management, journal and/or creative writing, creative imagery, relaxation techniques, and at times depending on severity of symptoms prescribed psychotropic medicine.

Often cognitive-behavioral therapy is utilized to assist the client in gaining self-insight and cognitive coping skills designed to modify and change faulty, self-destructive, irrational and negative thought patterns. By changing one’s thoughts and perceptions, replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts and affirmations through self-talk, PTSD victims can learn to regulate their feelings and emotions that naturally follow and flow from their line of thinking, and thus begin to view themselves differently, not so much as trauma victims but empowered survivors who can ultimately learn to thrive given optimal treatment and support.

Developing and expanding veterans’ social support systems are critical. This might consist of couples and/or family therapy, veteran peer support groups, 12-step involvement when addictions are present, and vocational job skills training and employment assistance as well as providing opportunity for higher education.

With this latest shooting, a Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson stated that as the US transitions to leave Afghanistan and annual budget defense spending is diminishing, the DoD will be allocating increased funding for mental health programs for US soldiers and veterans in anticipation of the exponentially growing demands in the years to come. Yet that seems a contradiction from Obama Administration’s proposed defense budget released a month ago calling for military families and retirees to have to pay significantly more for their healthcare while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former Army officer.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Crimea : Putin’s Triumph - Now the Confrontation Moves East To “New Russia”

Obama's latest "red line" now moves West


Nobody expected events to move on with such a breath-taking speed. The Russians took their time; they sat on the fence and watched while the Brown storm-troopers conquered Kiev, and they watched while Mrs Victoria Nuland of the State Department and her pal Yatsenyuk (“Yats”) slapped each other’s backs and congratulated themselves on their quick victory. 
Vladimir Putin
They watched when President Yanukovych escaped to Russia to save his skin. They watched when the Brown bands moved eastwards to threaten the Russian-speaking South East. They patiently listened while Mme Timoshenko, fresh out of jail, swore to void treaties with Russia and to expel the Russian Black Sea Fleet from its main harbour in Sevastopol.

They paid no heed when the new government appointed oligarchs to rule Eastern provinces. 
Nor did they react when children in Ukrainian schools were ordered to sing “Hang a Russian on a thick branch” and the oligarch-governor’s deputy promised to hang dissatisfied Russians of the East as soon as Crimea is pacified. While these fateful events unravelled, Putin kept silence.

He is a cool cucumber, Mr Putin. Everybody, including this writer, thought he was too nonchalant about Ukraine’s collapse. He waited patiently. The Russians made a few slow and hesitant, almost stealthy moves. 
The Marines Russia had based in Crimea by virtue of an international agreement (just as the US has marines in Bahrain) secured Crimea’s airports and roadblocks, provided necessary support to the volunteers of the Crimean militia (called Self-Defence Forces), but remained under cover. The Crimean parliament asserted its autonomy and promised a plebiscite in a month time. And all of a sudden things started to move quickly.

The poll was moved up to Sunday, March 16. Even before it could take place, the Crimean Parliament declared Crimea’s independence. The poll’s results were spectacular: 96% of the votes were for joining Russia; the level of participation was unusually high – over 84%. Not only ethnic Russians, but ethnic Ukrainians and Tatars voted for reunification with Russia as well. A symmetrical poll in Russia showed over 90% popular support for reunification with Crimea, despite liberals’ fear-mongering (“this will be too costly, the sanctions will destroy Russian economy, the US will bomb Moscow”, they said). 
Even then, the majority of experts and talking heads expected the situation to remain suspended for a long while. Some thought Putin would eventually recognise Crimean independence, while stalling on final status, as he did with Ossetia and Abkhazia after the August 2008 war with Tbilisi. Others, especially Russian liberals, were convinced Putin would surrender Crimea in order to save Russian assets in the Ukraine.

But Putin justified the Russian proverb: the Russians take time to saddle their horses, but they ride awfully fast. He recognised Crimea’s independence on Monday, before the ink on the poll’s results dried. The next day, on Tuesday, he gathered all of Russia’s senior statesmen and parliamentarians in the biggest, most glorious and elegant St George state hall in the Kremlin, lavishly restored to its Imperial glory, and declared Russia’s acceptance of Crimea’s reunification bid. Immediately after his speech, the treaty between Crimea and Russia was signed, and the peninsula reverted to Russia as it was before 1954, when Communist Party leader Khrushchev passed it to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.
Obama will be responsible for destruction of EU
This was an event of supreme elation for the gathered politicians and for people at home watching it live on their tellies. The vast St George Hall applauded Putin as never before, almost as loudly and intensely as the US Congress had applauded Netanyahu. The Russians felt immense pride: they still remember the stinging defeat of 1991, when their country was taken apart. Regaining Crimea was a wonderful reverse for them. There were public festivities in honour of this reunification all over Russia and especially in joyous Crimea. 

Historians have compared the event with the restoration of Russian sovereignty over Crimea in 1870, almost twenty years after the Crimean War had ended with Russia’s defeat, when severe limitations on Russian rights in Crimea were imposed by victorious France and Britain. Now the Black Sea Fleet will be able to develop and sail freely again, enabling it to defend Syria in the next round. Though Ukrainians ran down the naval facilities and turned the most advanced submarine harbour of Balaclava into shambles, the potential is there.

Besides the pleasure of getting this lost bit of land back, there was the additional joy of outwitting the adversary. The American neocons arranged the coup in Ukraine and sent the unhappy country crashing down, but the first tangible fruit of this break up went to Russia.

A new Jewish joke was coined at that time:

Israeli President Peres asks the Russian President:

- Vladimir, are you of Jewish ancestry?

- Putin: What makes you think so, Shimon?

- Peres: You made the US pay five billion dollars to deliver Crimea to Russia. Even for a Jew, that is audacious! 
Vile Obama whore Victoria Nuland
Five billion dollars is a reference to Victoria Nuland’s admission of having spent that much for democratisation (read: destabilisation) of the Ukraine. 
President Putin snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and US hegemony suffered a set-back.

The Russians enjoyed the sight of their UN representative Vitaly Churkin coping with a near-assault by Samantha Power. 
The Irish-born US rep came close to bodily attacking the elderly grey-headed Russian diplomat telling him that “Russia was defeated (presumably in 1991 – ISH) and should bear the consequences… Russia is blackmailing the US with its nuclear weapons,” while Churkin asked her to keep her hands off him and stop foaming at the mouth. This was not the first hostile encounter between these twain: a month ago, Samantha entertained a Pussy Riot duo, and Churkin said she should join the group and embark on a concert tour.

The US Neocons’ role in the Kiev coup was clarified by two independent exposures. Wonderful Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalek showed that the anti-Russian campaign of recent months (gay protests, Wahl affair, etc.) was organised by the Zionist Neocon PNAC (now renamed FPI) led by Mr Robert Kagan, husband of Victoria “Fuck EC” Nuland. It seems that the Neocons are hell-bent to undermine Russia by all means, while the Europeans are much more flexible. (True, the US troops are still stationed in Europe, and the old continent is not as free to act as it might like). 
Putin introduces Nazi Merkel to reality
The second exposé was an interview with Alexander Yakimenko, the head of Ukrainian Secret Services (SBU) who had escaped to Russia like his president. 
Yakimenko accused Andriy Parubiy, the present security czar, of making a deal with the Americans. 
On American instructions, he delivered weapons and brought snipers who killed some 70 persons within few hours. They killed the riot police and the protesters as well. 

The US Neocon-led conspiracy in Kiev was aimed against the European attempt to reach a compromise with President Yanukovych, said the SBU chief. 
They almost agreed on all points, but Ms Nuland wanted to derail the agreement, and so she did – with the help of a few snipers.

These snipers were used again in Crimea: a sniper shot and killed a Ukrainian soldier. When the Crimeanself-defenceforces began their pursuit, the sniper shot at them, killed one and wounded one. It is the same pattern: snipers are used to provoke response and hopefully to jump-start a shootout.


While Crimea was a walkover, the Russians are far from being home and dry. Now, the confrontation moved to the Eastern and South-Eastern provinces of mainland Ukraine, called Novorossia (New Russia) before the Communist Revolution of 1917. Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his later years predicted that Ukraine’s undoing would come from its being overburdened by industrial provinces that never belonged to the Ukraine before Lenin, – by Russian-speaking Novorossia. This prediction is likely to be fulfilled. 
CIA dupe, fascist Catherine Ashton defeated
Who fights whom over there? It is a great error to consider the conflict a tribal one, between Russians and Ukrainians. Good old Pat Buchanan made this error saying that “Vladimir Putin is a blood-and-soil, altar-and-throne ethno-nationalist who sees himself as Protector of Russia and looks on Russians abroad the way Israelis look upon Jews abroad, as people whose security is his legitimate concern.” Nothing could be farther away from truth: perhaps only the outlandish claim that Putin is keen on restoring the Russian Empire can compete. 

Putin is not an empire-builder at all (to great regret of Russia’s communists and nationalists). Even his quick takeover of Crimea was an action forced upon him by the strong-willed people of Crimea and by the brazen aggression of the Kiev regime. I have it on a good authority that Putin hoped he would not have to make this decision. But when he decided he acted.

The ethno-nationalist assertion of Buchanan is even more misleading. Ethno-nationalists of Russia are Putin’s enemies; they support the Ukrainian ethno-nationalists and march together with Jewish liberals on Moscow street demos. Ethno-nationalism is as foreign to Russians as it is foreign to the English. You can expect to meet a Welsh or Scots nationalist, but an English nationalist is an unnatural rarity. Even the English Defence League was set up by a Zionist Jew. Likewise, you can find a Ukrainian or a Belarusian or a Cossack nationalist, but practically never a Russian one.

Putin is a proponent and advocate of non-nationalist Russian world. What is the Russian world?

Russian World

Russians populate their own vast universe embracing many ethnic units of various background, from Mongols and Karels to Jews and Tatars. Until 1991, they populated an even greater land mass (called the Soviet Union, and before that, the Russian Empire) where Russian was the lingua franca and the language of daily usage for majority of citizens. Russians could amass this huge empire because they did not discriminate and did not hog the blanket. Russians are amazingly non-tribal, to an extent unknown in smaller East European countries, but similar to other great Eastern Imperial nations, the Han Chinese and the Turks before the advent of Young Turks and Ataturk. The Russians did not assimilate but partly acculturated their neighbours for whom Russian language and culture became the gateway to the world. The Russians protected and supported local cultures, as well, at their expense, for they enjoy this diversity. 
Fruitcake frog fascist Hollande
Before 1991, the Russians promoted a universalist humanist world-view; nationalism was practically banned, and first of all, Russian nationalism. No one was persecuted or discriminated because of his ethnic origin (yes, Jews complained, but they always complain). 
There was some positive discrimination in the Soviet republics, for instance a Tajik would have priority to study medicine in the Tajik republic, before a Russian or a Jew; and he would be able to move faster up the ladder in the Party and politics. Still the gap was small. 

After 1991, this universalist world-view was challenged by a parochial and ethno-nationalist one in all ex-Soviet republics save Russia and Belarus. Though Russia ceased to be Soviet, it retained its universalism. In the republics, people of Russian culture were severely discriminated against, often fired from their working places, in worst cases they were expelled or killed. Millions of Russians, natives of the republics, became refugees; together with them, millions of non-Russians who preferred Russian universalist culture to “their own” nationalist and parochial one fled to Russia. That is why modern Russia has millions of Azeris, Armenians, Georgians, Tajiks, Latvians and of smaller ethnic groups from the republics. Still, despite discrimination, millions of Russians and people of Russian culture remained in the republics, where their ancestors lived for generations, and the Russian language became a common ground for all non-nationalist forces.

If one wants to compare with Israel, as Pat Buchanan did, it is the republics, such as Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Estonia do follow Israeli model of discriminating and persecuting their “ethnic minorities”, while Russia follows the West European model of equality.

France vs Occitania

In order to understand the Russia-Ukraine problem, compare it with France. Imagine it divided into North and South France, the North retaining the name of France, while the South of France calling itself “Occitania”, and its people “Occitans”, their language “Occitan”. The government of Occitania would force the people to speak Provençal, learn Frederic Mistral’s poems by rote and teach children to hate the French, who had devastated their beautiful land in the Albigensian Crusade of 1220. France would just gnash its teeth. Now imagine that after twenty years, the power in Occitania were violently seized by some romantic southern fascists who were keen to eradicate “800 years of Frank domination” and intend to discriminate against people who prefer to speak the language of Victor Hugo and Albert Camus. Eventually France would be forced to intervene and defend francophones, at least in order to stem the refugee influx. Probably the Southern francophones of Marseilles and Toulon would support the North against “their own” government, though they are not migrants from Normandy. 
CIA owned MSM loses pro-fascist propaganda war
Putin defends all Russian-speakers, all ethnic minorities, such as Gagauz or Abkhaz, not only ethnic Russians. He defends the Russian World, all those russophones who want and need his protection. 
This Russian World definitely includes many, perhaps majority of people in the Ukraine, ethnic Russians, Jews, small ethnic groups and ethnic Ukrainians, in Novorossia and in Kiev.

Indeed Russian world was and is attractive. 
The Jews were happy to forget their schtetl and Yiddish; their best poets Pasternak and Brodsky wrote in Russian and considered themselves Russian. Still, some minor poets used Yiddish for their self-expression. The Ukrainians, as well, used Russian for literature, though they spoke their dialect at home for long time. Nikolai Gogol, the great Russian writer of Ukrainian origin, wrote Russian, and he was dead set against literary usage of the Ukrainian dialect. There were a few minor Romantic figures who used the dialect for creative art, like Taras Shevchenko and Lesya Ukrainka.

Solzhenitsynwrote: “Even ethnic-Ukrainians do not use and do not know Ukrainian. In order to promote its use, the Ukrainian government bans Russian schools, forbids Russian TV, even librarians are not allowed to speak Russian with their readers. This anti-Russian position of Ukraine is exactly what the US wants in order to weaken Russia.“

Putin in his speech on Crimea stressed that he wants to secure the Russian world – everywhere in the Ukraine. InNovorossia the need is acute,for there are daily confrontations between the people and the gangs sent by the Kiev regime. While Putin does not yet want (as opposed to Solzhenitsyn and against general Russian feeling) to take over Novorossia, he may be forced to it, as he was in Crimea. There is a way to avoid this major shift: the Ukraine must rejoin the Russian world. While keeping its independence, Ukraine must grant full equality to its Russian language speakers. They should be able to have Russian-language schools, newspapers, TV, be entitled to use Russian everywhere. Anti-Russian propaganda must cease. And fantasies of joining NATO, too. 
Putin puts quick end to Obama smoke-blowing
This is not an extraordinary demand: Latinos in the US are allowed to use Spanish. In Europe, equality of languages and cultures is a sine qua non. Only in the ex-Soviet republics are these rights trampled – not only in Ukraine, but in the Baltic republics as well. For twenty years, Russia made do with weak objections, when Russian-speakers (the majority of them are not ethnic Russians) in the Baltic states were discriminated against. 
This is likely to change. Lithuania and Latvia have already paid for their anti-Russian position by losing their profitable transit trade with Russia. Ukraine is much more important for Russia. Unless the present regime is able to change (not very likely), this illegitimate regime will be changed by people of Ukraine, and Russia will use R2P against the criminal elements in power.

The majority of people of Ukraine would probably agree with Putin, irrespective of their ethnicity. Indeed, in the Crimean referendum, Ukrainians and Tatars voted en masse together with Russians. This is a positive sign: there will be no ethnic strife in the Ukraine’s East, despite US efforts to the contrary. The decision time is coming up fast: some experts presume that by end of May the Ukrainian crisis will be behind us.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


CIA Torture Report To Remain Largely Secret Despite Declassification Vote

Senate traitors, clowns once again crap on U.S. "justice" system, Constitution and the American public


As a Senate committee moves to declassify a landmark report about the Central Intelligence Agency’s descent into torture, among the only certainties is that the public won’t see the vast majority of it.

The Senate select committee on intelligence has waged an unprecedented and acrimonious public battle with the CIA over a secret 6,300-page investigation concluding torture was an ineffective intelligence-gathering technique and that the CIA lied about its value.

On Thursday, the committee is slated to take a belated vote to make it public.

Or more precisely, it will vote to make a slice public. And the CIA will have a significant degree of influence over how large and how public that slice will be.

The committee is not going to release the 6,300-page report.

Senator Feinstein
Its chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein of California, said on the Senate floor three weeks ago that only the “findings, conclusions and the executive summary of the report” were the subject of the committee’s declassification efforts. The vast majority of the Senate report – effectively, an alternative post-9/11 history detailing of years’ worth of CIA torture and cover-up – will remain shielded from public view.

“The executive summary will tell us much more than we know right now about the CIA program but much less than the full report,” Katherine Hawkins, a former investigator with the Constitution Project’s own private inquiry on counterterrorism detentions.

“I hope this is the beginning of the declassification process, not the end.”

Torture evidence was purposely destroyed by CIA
Nor, staffers concede, is the committee itself even sure of the exact procedure that will unfold if it votes to declassify part of the report, let alone how long it will take.

The outline is clear enough: the Obama administration will review the sections of the report for declassification, and then declassification of some aspects of the report will occur. The CIA is expected to play a major role in approving material for release, despite feuding with the committee about what it considers an unfair and inaccurate portrayal. 

Steven Aftergood, an intelligence policy analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, considers the agency’s role a conflict of interest.

CIA torture at Abu Ghraib
“They functionally control the declassification process, and they have an interest in how they as an agency are portrayed in the final product,” Aftergood said.

“They’re not an impartial party, and that’s a flaw in the process.”

A CIA spokesman, Dean Boyd, said the agency still had not received a final copy of the Senate report and could not comment on its contents. But he indicated the agency’s support for its release – something the White House has committed itself to, at least for some sections.

Senator Harry Reid
"If portions of the report are submitted to the CIA for classification review, we’ll carry out the review expeditiously,” Boyd said.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to “speculate” in advance of the Senate vote on how long declassification would take. But she reaffirmed that Obama urges the committee “to complete the report and send it to us, so that we can declassify the findings and the American people can understand what happened in the past, and that can help guide us as we move forward”.

If public, the report would represent a milestone in reassessing what torture actually was, placing the stamp of officialdom on a narrative that has long been a dissenting view.

The CIA, the Bush administration and their congressional allies have long insisted that “enhanced interrogation” – the placement of detainees, among other treatments, in painful “stress positions”, limiting their caloric intake, depriving them of sleep and exposing them to extreme temperatures – was not torture. They further insist that the practice was crucial to obtaining otherwise unavailable and critical counterterrorism information from detainees.
A former CIA official intimately involved in the treatment of detainees, Jose Rodriguez, wrote a book-length defense, claiming the “hard measures” prevented further terrorist attacks. The popular Hollywood film Zero Dark Thirty received significant US government assistance and left many viewers with the impression that torture led inexorably to the death of Osama bin Laden.

“After years of investigation and scrutiny, I believe my actions were vindicated and, I must tell you, that judgment felt sweet,” Rodriguez wrote in his 2012 book, co-written with a senior aide to former CIA director George Tenet.

Rodriguez, however, destroyed nearly 100 videotapes detailing brutal interrogations – an act not disclosed to the Senate intelligence committee for years and one which led directly to the committee’s current inquiry, Feinstein revealed last month.

Yet behind the confident public pronouncements about the value of torture lay a significant body of evidence casting doubt on it. In 2004, the CIA’s inspector general secretly wrote that “measuring the effectiveness” of the techniques was “challenging” and their application was “inconsistent with the public policy positions that the United States has taken regarding human rights”. That and similar reports sparked a clash with former CIA director Michael Hayden; the report was not partially declassified until 2009.

In February 2006, State Department adviser Philip Zelikow warned the Bush administration that waterboarding and other torture techniques “would be deemed wanton and unnecessary and would immediately fail to pass muster unless there was a strong state interest in using them. … And they can be barred even if there is a compelling state interest asserted to justify them.” Zelikow’s memo remained secret until 2012.

In 2009, former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan testified before a Senate panel that the torture of Abu Zubaydah, whose detention ushered in the legal and policy apparatus of post-9/11 abuse, was unnecessary and unfruitful. Soufan, who testified behind a wooden partition, would later cite sugarless cookies as one of his best interrogation tricks to coax information out of a member of al-Qaida.

Overturning years of public obfuscation is a laborious process, and it’s unlikely to happen this week, even if the Senate panel votes for partial declassification.

A cumbersome and bureaucratic process in normal circumstances, declassifying portions of the report is likely to involve multiple executive-branch agencies beyond the CIA, including the Justice Department. A joint House-Senate inquiry into the 9/11 attacks conducted in 2002 took over six months to partially declassify.

Aftergood said he expected getting even portions of the report released to take “weeks, rather than months”.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


U.S. State Department Misplaced $6B Under Hillary Clinton

Clinton can now add this charge to her role in Benghazigate

PRESS TV04/05/2014

The US State Department misplaced and lost some $6 billion due to the improper filing of contracts during the past six years, mainly during the tenure of former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, a new report says. 

Clinton headed for prison
A report published by the State Department’s Inspector General says billions of dollars were lost due to the improper filing of contracts and that the Department is unable to explain how it spent the money.

The $6 billion in unaccounted funds poses a “significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” according to the IG report.


The report, originally sent on March 20 and just released this week, warns that the missing contracting funds “could expose the department to substantial financial losses.”

Obama, White House murderers responsible for deaths
The situation “creates conditions conducive to fraud, as corrupt individuals may attempt to conceal evidence of illicit behavior by omitting key documents from the contract file,” the report concluded. 

A series of special government and congressional investigations has identified widespread contracting fraud in both the State and Defense departments.

In one IG investigation, a contract file lacked documentation reflecting that the $52 million contract had been awarded to “a company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee.” In another, a file for a contract valued at $100 million “was not properly maintained and for a period of time was hidden” by the contracting officer.


This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of



The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.



Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.



By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...



UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak


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Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...



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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .



By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.