Tuesday, December 16, 2014

U.S. Government Officials Admit : We’ll Torture Again, Unless You Prosecute Us

Prosecute … Or They Will Do It Again


CIA chief John Brennan told Congress the CIA will torture again … the White House need only ask.

We are not contemplating at all getting back into the interrogation program,” Brennan said.

As for the future, he said, “I defer to future policymakers.”

Cheney say he’d “do it again in a minute” (Cheney’s out of office, but there are many hardliners with similar mindsets. Indeed, the mainstream media still treats Cheney like royalty … and he’s left many followers in place … and still controls policy up to a point).

And Bush-era legal memos “authorizing” torture are apparently still in effect. As Gregg Levine notes this week:

The post-9/11 torture program is dated to a September 17, 2001, Memorandum of Notification (MON, aka the “Gloves Come Off” finding) — notably a day after Vice President Dick Cheney’s TV appearance with Tim Russert, where Cheney and Russert blithely concurred it was time for the US to embrace the “dark side” — which was used as cover and as the foundation for subsequent findings by the Bush Administration’s legal team.

But that 2001 finding doesn’t have an expiration date, and there is no evidence of an Obama-era finding that directly controverts the Gloves Come Off memorandum. In fact, there is evidence that the Obama administration continues to operate under that finding (or did until at least 2012).

Personification of evil:  John Brennan
The finding that authorized the torture program also authorized drone strikes without notable process or oversight. Just three days into office, Obama OK’d a strike inside Pakistan that reportedly killed 11 civilians, and over the course of 2009, the CIA — Obama’s CIA — conducted 52 drone strikes, killing hundreds. The drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, in 2011, was launched without due process and again, under the legal cover of the 2001 MON. 

And, as has been noted by Marcy Wheeler, when the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2012 that Obama could withhold the language in legal findings that authorized the torture programs, it did so under the authority of that seminal memorandum.

In fact, in that 2nd Circuit ruling, the court made specific reference to an ongoing program: “We give substantial weight to the Government’s declarations, which establish that disclosing the redacted portions of the OLC memoranda would reveal the existence and scope of a highly classified, ACTIVEintelligence activity.”


By not releasing the full language of the torture memoranda, by not publicly issuing a new memorandum that finds the Bush-era rulings to be invalid and, indeed, to keep operating some programs under the authority granted by the people who are now publicly deemed responsible for authorizing torture, there is no assurance that another leader wouldn’t pick up where the Bush administration left off. Indeed, there is no assurance that, given some new terrorist attack or heinous provocation, the current president’s CIA wouldn’t return to the methods they practiced from at least 2002 to 2007 ….

Indeed, some types of torture are apparently continuing under the Obama administration. See this and this.

And the fact that the only CIA employee the Obama administration has prosecuted for torture is thewhistleblower who revealed the torture program implies that torture will happen again. Vox notes:

Attorney General Eric Holder … decided not to prosecute anyone for the CIA’s torture.


But the Obama administration has had a different attitude when it comes to those who revealed the existence of the CIA torture program. 

War crimes trials necessary for both Bush and Obama
In 2012, the Obama administration charged former CIA official John Kiriakou for leaking classified information related to the torture program to reporters. Threatened with decades in prison, Kiriakou was forced to plead guilty and accepted a 30-month prison sentence. He’s in prison right now.

Prosecuting people who revealed the program, instead of the people responsible, makes it more likely that abuses like this will happen again.

Unless those who created, authorized and tried to justify torture are prosecuted, America will torture again.

A leading American constitutional law expert, Erwin Chemerinsky, said:

"Perhaps most of all, criminal prosecutions are needed to make sure that this does not happen again. That would send a message to all government officials: Those who plan, authorize and engage in torture will be criminally punished."

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said …. “Unless this important truth-telling process leads to prosecution of the officials responsible, torture will remain a ‘policy option’ for future presidents.”

And see this.

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.

American Duplicity And Twisting In Our Own Tortured Noose

Americans, finally presented with documented evidence of war crimes and CIA torture must now acknowledge these crimes and put them to right before we can regain our status and credibility in the international community  

By Matthew Crosston

So the United States Senate has released its report highlighting extreme and supposedly ‘abhorrent’ techniques used on terrorist targets after 9/11 to glean greater intelligence and information. Since that release there has been an orgy of oscillating condemnation/hand-wringing with rationalization/chest-beating, depending on whom you speak with. What strikes me more is the whole surreal ridiculousness of this false debate.

I say false debate because in some ways this just highlights how dementedly odd Americans can be about their own people, country, government, and its foreign affairs. Let’s just break this down in simple terms: we are talking about torture. There really cannot be surprise at this as a revelation. Indeed, there have been so many innuendos, hints, semi-admissions, and quasi-reports over the last decade testifying to the fact that United States in all likelihood engaged in what was called ‘forced interrogation techniques.’ 

So the shock we are reading about today really cannot be about torture as an action in and of itself. At least, no SINCERE shock can be about that. Anyone sincerely shocked at that confirmation is either delusional or horrifically naïve when it comes to this period that is supposedly now over, the one we used to call the Global War on Terror. So the ‘shock’ must be to learn that the US did, you know, like, REAL torture. You know, like, the kind those barbarians and heathens from uncivilized places do. You know, those SCARY people in the desert who cut off people’s heads and stone women to death for no reason at all.

Create the "enemy," create the war, cash in: The Iraq
"war" gravy train keeps right on rolling
But what does this thinking actually imply in real terms? It implies, intentionally or ignorantly I do not know, a sense of expectation that if the US was going to engage in torture, then it would somehow find a ‘more palatable vesion’ of torture so as to allow the American people to sleep well at night. We must still believe in the narrative that while the US is going to fight tooth and nail against these global non-state actors bent on using terrorism as their chief tactic, it is NOT going to fight in a way that would make us as a people squeamish or feel sick. 

For those of us involved in this field, in the world of global politics and intelligence studies in any real experiential way, you know instantly how ridiculous this is. Torture is heinous in ALL forms. How can it not be? How can it be officially designated as torture and NOT be heinous? And trust me when I say that is not a moral judgment. I am not communicating a liberal humanitarian plea for greater peace and understanding. Please take note: torture is SUPPOSED to be nasty and brutish. Its very essence has to be heinous as a default. If you don’t believe that, by all means, go and volunteer for some of those ‘more palatable’ versions and see how you feel afterwards.

This prisoner is covered not in mud but feces

Perhaps the only thing more incredulous than the public incredulity on American torture techniques after 9/11 is the bogus semantics game being played out with the media now in the report’s aftermath. “Yes we did torture. No. Sorry. We did ‘EITs.’ Yes there were measures taken too far and deemed abhorrent even by the American side. But they were valuable necessities that saved lives. Well, ok, maybe they didn’t, but surely they caused the offering of intelligence that otherwise would not have been obtained. Well, alright, maybe I cannot prove that was actually the case, a direct causal link, but I am pretty sure SOME information EVENTUALLY came out because of the atmosphere created by that tor…I mean, EITs.” In another time and place this would most assuredly end up fodder for Monty Python or Saturday Night Live.

The effectiveness of torture to glean information has long been established as dodgy, at best. So perhaps the more uncomfortable question is ‘to what purpose does a country engage in torture?’ Is it to obtain information or enact vengeance? Again, this is not a treatise trying to sympathize with the people in Guantanamo Bay. 

Despite what many groups liked to agitate, the vast majority of people in Gitmo did not happen to be happy-go-lucky barely-shaving young men who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

I am not offering a defense of terrorists or would-be terrorists or possible terrorists. No, what disturbs me most is this consistent inanity by the United States to just not admit that in the end it is a state in the global system just like any other state. It puts on its state-pants one leg at a time like every other country. This is not actually news to the rest of the world. Allies and adversaries alike have long considered the United States exactly and only that. 

The belief in being something other, in being something better than, is a particularly unique American conceit. Don’t get me wrong: other countries have beliefs about ‘specialness’ or ‘uniqueness’ or being different from other countries. This is natural. 

But in all of my travels and talks around the world it is clear that only America thinks it is different in a way that should demand others see it as so different and special that they should copy and be like us. 

We push others into this fantasy world that no one else believes in but still we demand that our wishes be honored. And no one does. But we convince ourselves they do. Fantasy. Pure unadulterated fantasy.

This is why we see scenes like today with CIA chief Brennan, who can admit certain techniques were harsh, certain officers got out of hand, and bad things were done, but cannot actually physically utter the word ‘torture,’ as if his refusal to utter it will somehow make the reality of it disappear or be ignored by everyone else. It is all just so….dissatisfying. There is no strength or conviction in this action and behaviour. 

The fact of the matter is the United States was attacked by a terrorist group on 9/11 which openly declared war against America. 

That group was non-state, highly amorphous, fluid, and located in many different countries without any formal military designation or assignation. And let’s not forget one simple, true, and honest fact: the United States was hurt and angry. 

Even today there are few countries, if any, which would deny the United States its pound of flesh when it comes to enacting ‘justice/revenge’ on ANY groups connected to 9/11 or possibly capable of becoming a new threat to reenact something like 9/11. 

It is not the report that documents American torture that upsets the world and makes it shake its head in wonderment/disgust. No. I honestly believe most countries that have fought the nasty and pernicious war that fighting terrorists completely understand the flawed decision-making and emotionality that leads to torture (even if they find the practice abhorrent). 

What bothers most countries, rather, is this sad and weak song-and-dance after the fact, trying desperately to dodge what is ALREADY IN AN OFFICIAL US SENATE REPORT TO THE MEDIA. It is the gamesmanship of a mentally-challenged state. And THAT is the scariest part of all: because whether that mental deficiency is manipulatively strategic or not, it means the United States to many can just never be relied upon to work with ANY reality if it involves American mistakes or misadventures. It is that double-standard which hurts American standing far more than any actual admission of conducting torture.

Other countries are not condemning us. Our actions are not condemning us. But our fantastical obfuscation damns us beyond measure.

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.

WAYNE MADSEN : Sydney Standoff Has All The Markings Of A False Flag Operation

Transparent, bogus AU "terror attack" ripped out of Bush/Cheney/CIA playbook; CNN, Fox "News" cover-up artists now engage in non-stop propaganda blitz in order to upstage release of CIA torture report now dominating headlines, calls for war crimes trials for Bush/Cheney/Obama and the dismantling of the CIA  

By Wayne Madsen

Taking his cue from fellow conservative, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has decided to use a known criminal to stage an "Islamic-inspired" hostage-taking at a Sydney chocolate store. A self-styled "Iran sheikh" named Haron Man Monis took about a dozen people hostage inside a Lindt Chocolate Café in the financial district of Sydney. Five hostages escaped from the store shortly after the siege began.

Obama poodle Abbott unleashes CIA on Australians,
destroys AU tourism in a single day
Monis has been free on bail after being charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, whose body was set on fire after she was stabbed. Monis's girl friend is accused of carrying out the grisly murder. 

Monis reportedly demanded an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-style black and white flag in return for the release of a single hostage.

An ISIL-style flag has been displayed by Monis on the window of the café.

Monis appears to have had the same troubled past with the law as did Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Libyan-Canadian mentally disturbed street criminal and drug abuser who killed a Canadian soldier on duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before he stormed the Canadian Parliament with a weapon. Zehaf-Bibeau was killed in the attack. The rabidly pro-Israeli Harper used the attack to argue for increased anti-terrorism measures aimed primarily at Muslims.

CIA/ASIO psycho Haron Man Monis: With his criminal record, WHY was this dirtbag running free in Sydney?  WHY was he granted asylum in the first place?  WHY didn't ASIO and AFP have him under surveillance?  

Similarly, there are already calls in Australia for tougher anti-terrorism laws targeting Muslims. For a number of months, Abbott and his ministers have warned of ISIL plans to launch attacks inside Australia.

"Lone Wolf! Lone Wolf!" - Fox "News"
CIA whore Gretchen Carlson
Now, Monis has delivered Abbott a prized Christmas gift in staging a hostage scene at a downtown Sydney coffee shop. 

Conveniently, the Lindt coffee shop is just across the street from the studios of Channel Seven News.

From their windowed studio, reporters could look across the street and see the hostages at the window of the café.

The signs of a false flag in the Sydney event are amazingly stark:

1.  Monis's use of an ISIL flag while claiming to be an Iranian sheikh is a poor attempt at tying ISIL to Iran. In fact, Iran is an avowed enemy of ISIL and its war planes have struck ISIL targets in Iraq with the permission of the United States. The attempt to link Iran to the attack is a not-too-clever way to derail sensitive P5 plus 1 nuclear talks between the West and Iran.

2. Monis's attack comes as there are moves for Australian state government parliaments to vote on resolutions supporting Palestinian statehood. State Labor parties in South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, and New South Wales have already passed Palestinian statehood resolutions. Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr, once a key Labor Party supporter of Israel, has become a strong proponent of Australian support for Palestine and a critic of Israeli policies.

3. Monis apparently spoke to a controversial 2GB Sydney radio talk show host named Ray Hadley who has a history of making controversial statements about Muslims, Arabs, and even handicapped people. Hadley said he refused Monis's request to put him on live on his radio show. Hadley has made no secret of his pro-Israeli leanings. Hadley gives prime air time to Jewish representatives who complain about "anti-Semitic" abuse from Muslims in Australia.

MSM continues failed attempt to cover for CIA, Obama,
Bush, Cheney with assist from CIA/ASIO
4.  James Brown, a former Australian army officer, said he believes Monis and the attack on the coffee shop are linked to ISIL.

He points out that the shop is located in Martin Place, the site of an alleged planned ISIL attack in October.

Brown is a "Military Fellow" at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. The institute is a neocon foreign policy laundering operation set up by Frank Lowy, the Australian-Israeli shopping mall tycoon.

In fact, Lowy reportedly had a stake in the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, which was allegedly attacked by Islamist guerrillas in September 2013. The leader of the attackers was said to be the notorious "White Widow," British national Samantha Lewthwaite, who traveled on a bogus South African passport and was said to have later been killed in eastern Ukraine while fighting alongside Ukrainian mercenaries paid by Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky.

5. The initial reports about Monis's links to Muslim extremists which downplayed his record as a criminal suspected of complicity of murdering his ex-wife came from the problematic VICE magazine. VICE is an operation headed by notorious Islamophobe Bill Maher, the host of a show on HBO in which Maher, who is half Jewish, takes every opportunity to engage in Muslim-bashing.

All in all, the Lindt café siege has all the markings of the same type of operation carried out on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Both attacks show that Zionist comrades-in-arms Abbott and Harper will stop at nothing to jam through more invasive "anti-terrorism" legislation and "Israelize" their respective nations.

Wayne Madsen

Wayne Madsen
Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Madsen has over twenty years experience in security issues. 

As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. Madsen has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club,
Madsen is based and reports from Washington, D.C.

Sydney Siege Over After Police Storm Lindt Cafe

The timing of this incident is no accident, just as Obama's murdering CIA is on the chopping block and calls for war crimes trials for Bush/Cheney dominate the headlines; CNN, Fox "News" now hype the ludicrous Islamist "Lone Wolf" bullshit once more; the twisting, turning trail of this investigation will no doubt end at the doorsteps of Langley, Virginia CIA headquarters, the White House and ASIO just as - wonder of wonders - AU police storm the building, kill the gunman and eliminate the only man that could finger who was behind this attack after repeating over and over they would not do so, and most likely on orders from Obama  

By Lincoln Feast and Colin Packham

Heavily armed Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe on Tuesday to free several hostages being held there at gunpoint, in a dramatic end to a standoff that had dragged on for more than 16 hours.

CNN, Fox "News" now shrieking "Lone Wolf"
in failed attempt to cover for CIA
Media said two people, including the gunman, had been killed. New South Wales police declined to comment on the reports, and it was not clear whether the fatalities occurred during the rescue operation itself.

Heavy gunfire and blasts from stun grenades filled the air shortly after 2 a.m. local time (10 a.m. ET on Monday).

Moments earlier at least six people believed to have been held captive managed to flee the scene after several loud bangs were heard coming from the cafe.

Medics tried to resuscitate at least one person after the raid and took away several injured people on stretchers, said a Reuters witness at the scene in downtown Sydney. Bomb squad members moved in, searching for explosives.

The operation began shortly after a police source named the gunman as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh facing multiple charges of sexual assault as well as being an accessory to murder.

He was also found guilty in 2012 of sending offensive and threatening letters to families of eight Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, as a protest against Australia's involvement in the conflict, according to local media reports.

CIA, MSM use cafe attack as a diversion from release of
torture report, calls for war crimes trials for Bush/Cheney
Although he was known to the authorities, security experts said preventing attacks by people acting alone could be difficult.

​"Today's crisis throws into sharp relief the dangers of lone wolf terrorism," said Cornell University law professor Jens David Ohlin, speaking in New York.

"There are two areas of concern. The first is ISIS (Islamic State) fighters with foreign passports who return to their home countries to commit acts of terrorism.

"The second is ISIS sympathizers radicalized on the internet who take it upon themselves to commit terrorist attacks to fulfil their radical ideology.

"We are entering a new phase of terrorism that is far more dangerous, and more difficult to defeat, than al Qaeda ever was."

Police said they would brief the media at 5 a.m.


During the siege, hostages had been forced to display an Islamic flag, igniting fears of a jihadist attack.

Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its escalating action against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, is on high alert for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East.

News footage showed hostages holding up a black and white flag displaying the Shahada - a testament to the faith of Muslims. The flag has been popular among Sunni Islamist militant groups such as Islamic State and al Qaeda.

Abbot executes "Fake Sheikh" on orders from Obama;
dead men tell no tales
At least five hostages were released or escaped on Monday, with terrified cafe workers and customers running into the arms of paramilitary police.

A further 15 or so hostages were understood to have been holed up inside the cafe.

The incident forced the evacuation of nearby buildings and sent shockwaves around a country where many people were turning their attention to the Christmas holiday following earlier security scares.

In September, anti-terrorism police said they had thwarted an imminent threat to behead a random member of the public and days later, a teenager in the city of Melbourne was shot dead after attacking two anti-terrorism officers with a knife.

The siege cafe is in Martin Place, a pedestrian strip popular with workers on a lunch break, which was revealed as a potential location for the thwarted beheading.

In the biggest security operation in Sydney since a bombing at the Hilton Hotel killed two people in 1978, major banks closed their offices in the central business district and people were told to avoid the area.

CNN fraud, CIA front-man Wolf Blitzer now screeching "Lone Wolf, Lone Wolf" in failed attempt to cover for his masters and just as the CIA torture report dominates the headlines along with calls for war crimes trials for Bush, Cheney, Obama

Muslim leaders urged calm. The Australian National Imams Council condemned "this criminal act unequivocally" in a joint statement with the Grand Mufti of Australia. [ID:nL3N0TZ364]

Concerns about an attack in Australia by Islamists have been growing for more than a year, with the security agency raising its national terrorism public alert to "high" in September.

Additional reporting by Jane Wardell, Matt Siegel, Swati Pandey, Wayne Cole and Jason Reed; Writing and editing by Mike Collett-White.

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.



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