CIA torture and the crimes of the state

Barry Grey

The unclassified executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, released Tuesday, describes, in extensive detail, horrific crimes that unquestionably violate domestic and international laws.

The review of the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation program” documents the systematic use of sadistic forms of torture, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation (for up to a week at a time), head-banging, sensory deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, holding detainees in stress positions, confinement in coffin-like boxes, “rectal hydration” and “rectal feeding.” See, “Senate report on CIA interrogation details brutal torture methods.”

The report condemns these practices as illegal, immoral and ineffective, and denounces the CIA for withholding information from Congress and falsely claiming that its brutal interrogation methods helped foil terror attacks, capture and kill Al Qaeda operatives and “save lives.”

However, the most pertinent and obvious questions that arise from the report are not even being raised in the political establishment or the media: Who will be held accountable? Who will be indicted? Who will be prosecuted?

The Intelligence Committee Democrats, led by Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, do not name a single top Bush administration official, limiting their exposé to former high-ranking CIA officials. There are no formal proposals or calls for criminal prosecutions or other actions to hold those responsible for these heinous actions accountable. The report seeks to maintain the absurd fiction that the torture program was an isolated aberration, involving only a handful of operatives.

In fact, the program of CIA torture was planned, implemented and monitored at the highest levels of the state.


4 Things the ‘Powers-That-Be’ Don’t Want You to Know About Anarchy

Gary ‘Z’ McGee

None are more enslaved than those who believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are few subjects as controversial and taboo as the concept of anarchy. It mostly leaves a bad taste in people’s mouth due in no small part to years of psychological conditioning, backwards reasoning, and smoke & mirror political propaganda. But, as Voltaire ingeniously suggested, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” By explaining what anarchy truly is, we indirectly end up criticizing the powers-that-be, revealing the emperor is not only naked, but insecure and weak at the prospect of free men and women. Here then are four things the powers-that-be don’t want you to know about anarchy.

#1. Anarchy ≠ Chaos

Anarchy doesn’t mean out of control; it means out of their control.” – Jim Dodge

Anarchy does not equal chaos. Anarchy has been the natural order of human beings since time immemorial. There’s a reason why tribal and nature-based societies have survived the trials and tribulations of millions of years of evolution, because they governed themselves in a healthy way: through natural anarchy. It’s actually hierarchal and state-run society’s that equal chaos. It all comes down to a matter of power.


Disgusted, Russia officially gives up any pretense of “dialog” with the AngloZionist Empire

The Saker

Dear friends,

The full address of President Putin to the Federal Assembly is now available online and, since this is a very long text, I will not re-post it here. What I propose to do here is to bring to your attention four verbatim excerpts from his speech with some key segments bolded out.

Most of the speech was on economic and internal matters, but I think that these four points and, especially, the expressions chosen by Putin really “tell the story” of what the Kremlin’s position vis-à-vis the West is nowadays. See for yourself:

1) Crimea is Russian forever:

It was an event of special significance for the country and the people, because Crimea is where our people live, and the peninsula is of strategic importance for Russia as the spiritual source of the development of a multifaceted but solid Russian nation and a centralised Russian state. It was in Crimea, in the ancient city of Chersonesus or Korsun, as ancient Russian chroniclers called it, that Grand Prince Vladimir was baptised before bringing Christianity to Rus.

In addition to ethnic similarity, a common language, common elements of their material culture, a common territory, even though its borders were not marked then, and a nascent common economy and government, Christianity was a powerful spiritual unifying force that helped involve various tribes and tribal unions of the vast Eastern Slavic world in the creation of a Russian nation and Russian state. It was thanks to this spiritual unity that our forefathers for the first time and forevermore saw themselves as a united nation. All of this allows us to say that Crimea, the ancient Korsun or Chersonesus, and Sevastopol have invaluable civilisational and even sacral importance for Russia, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the followers of Islam and Judaism. And this is how we will always consider it.


Another Fabricated Jobs Report

Paul Craig Roberts

Update: Tyler Durden points out that income and payroll tax receipts do not support the job claims made for the 2014 economy.

Friday’s payroll jobs report is another government fairy tale or, to avoid polite euphemisms, another packet of lies just like the House of Representatives Resolution against Russia and every other statement that comes out of Washington.

Washington is averse to truth. Washington can only lie.

First let’s pretend that the 321,000 new jobs that the government claims the economy created in November are true, and let’s see where these jobs are.

Specialty trade contractors, which I think are home and office remodelers, accounted for 20,000 jobs. I doubt that people are putting money into houses and buildings that are worth less than the mortgage.

Manufacturing accounted for 28,000–a very high monthly figure for recent years, one that is unbelievable in view of the rise in the trade deficit and declines in consumer spending on furniture (-3.8%), major appliances (-8.3%), women’s apparel (-17.7%), and household textiles such as towels and sheets (-26.5%), and when US business investment consists of corporations repurchasing their own stocks.

The rest of the claimed jobs are in private domestic services, that is, they are third world jobs. Retail trade claims 50,200 and transportation and warehousing claims 16,700. These numbers are impossible to believe in view of the closings of middle class department stores and Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales flops.


War by media and the triumph of propaganda

John Pilger

Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what's called the mainstream media is not information, but power?

These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war - with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.

The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an "invisible government". It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.

The information age is actually a media age. We have war by media; censorship by media; demonology by media; retribution by media; diversion by media - a surreal assembly line of obedient clichés and false assumptions.


The Importance Of The Cancellation Of South Stream

Alexander Mercouris

The Russians called the EU’s bluff by pulling out of the project instead of accepting the EU’s conditions and are cutting deals with China and Turkey instead.

The reaction to the cancellation of the South Stream project has been a wonder to behold and needs to be explained very carefully. In order to understand what has happened it is first necessary to go back to the way Russian-European relations were developing in the 1990s.

Briefly, at that period, the assumption was that Russia would become the great supplier of energy and raw materials to Europe. This was the period of Europe's great “rush for gas” as the Europeans looked forward to unlimited and unending Russian supplies. It was the increase in the role of Russian gas in the European energy mix which made it possible for Europe to run down its coal industry and cut its carbon emissions and bully and lecture everyone else to do the same.

However the Europeans did not envisage that Russia would just supply them with energy. Rather they always supposed this energy would be extracted for them in Russia by Western energy companies. This after all is the pattern in most of the developing world. The EU calls this “energy security” - a euphemism for the extraction of energy in other countries by its own companies under its own control.

It never happened that way. Though the Russian oil industry was privatised it mostly remained in Russian hands. After Putin came to power in 2000 the trend towards privatisation in the oil industry was reversed. One of the major reasons for western anger at the arrest of Khodorkovsky and the closure of Yukos and the transfer of its assets to the state oil company Rosneft was precisely because is reversed this trend of privatisation in the oil industry.


Russia Has Western Enemies, Not Partners

Paul Craig Roberts

"The Russian government and the Russian people–indeed all the peoples of the earth–should understand that Russia has no partners in the West. Russia only has enemies."

The US House of Representatives has joined Hillary Clinton, Obama, the neoconservatives, Washington’s vassals, and the American and European presstitutes in demonizing Russia and President Putin. The House resolution against Russia is a packet of lies, but that did not stop the resolution from passing by a vote of 411 for and 10 against.

The entire world should take note that the American people are capable of electing only ten intelligent representatives. Ten people out of 435 is 2 percent. And yet Washington declares itself to be the “exceptional,” “indispensable” country empowered to exercise hegemony over the world!

No one should be surprised to see Washington, its presstitutes and European vassal states using the same propagandistic lies against Russia and Putin as were used against Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Libya and Gaddafi, Syria and Assad, Afghanistan and the Taliban, and Iran. Washington is fearful of the rise of Russia and China, of the leadership demonstrated by Vladimir Putin, of the formation of new organizations independent of Washington, such as the BRICS. While the George W. Bush regime was sidetracked by its “six week, $70 billion war,” which turned out to be, so far, a multi-trillion dollar 13-year losing operation, Putin kicked out some of the American agents who were contaminating Russian sovereignty and rebuilt the country.


Obama backs continued militarization of local police forces

Jerry White

President Obama held a series of White House meetings with cabinet members, police commanders and official “civil rights” leaders Monday aimed at diffusing popular anger over the whitewash of the police murder of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown and the military-style repression of protesters in the St. Louis suburb that followed.

The major initiative coming out of the meetings was the president’s announcement that he would maintain, with certain cosmetic adjustments, the federal program that has armed local police departments with surplus military equipment from the Iraq and Afghan wars.

The scope of the so-called 1033 program came to light during the initial protests following the murder of Brown last August. The world witnessed tanks rolling down the streets of an American city, police threatening to shoot residents with automatic weapons, the implementation of a no-fly zone to block news helicopters from filming mass arrests and the suspension of First Amendment freedoms of speech and association.

In typical Orwellian fashion, Obama said, “I do not want a militarized police culture in America” even as he approved the continuation of the urban warfare program, which the White House says has delivered 460,000 pieces of “controlled property” to domestic police forces, including 92,442 small arms, 44,275 night vision devices, 5,235 Humvees, 617 mine-resistant vehicles and 616 aircraft.

According to press reports, the White House specifically rejected any legislation that would block state and local police from receiving certain items like M-16 rifles and mine-resistant ambush protected, or MRAP, vehicles. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest cited the response to the Boston Marathon bombing—i.e., the lockdown of a major American city by militarized police—as one example of the “proper” deployment of such equipment.


Police killings in America: The class issues

Joseph Kishore

Once again, a police officer has been let off without charges after killing an unarmed man on the streets of an American city.

The decision by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death in July is another judicial travesty, coming only two weeks after a similar failure to indict the Ferguson, Missouri cop who shot Michael Brown.

In some ways, the exoneration of Pantaleo is even more egregious than the non-indictment of Darren Wilson. Garner was accosted for selling loose cigarettes. He was tackled to the ground for no reason, strangled with a chokehold long banned by the police department and pinned to the ground as he cried out repeatedly that he could not breathe. After he passed out, cops stood around for seven minutes before administering first aid.

The entire incident was captured on video, seen by millions of people around the world. The city’s medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Yet there is to be no trial, no opportunity for the facts of the case to be considered by a jury and punishment meted out according to the law. Instead, as in Ferguson, a grand jury, in secret proceedings, guided by a prosecutor with close ties to the police, has decided not to indict.

The grand jury decision in the Garner case has produced a wave of outrage throughout the country. Thousands have poured into the streets in angry spontaneous protests that have blocked highways and filled streets in New York City, Chicago and other US cities.

Millions of people are asking themselves: If a police officer can strangle an unarmed man to death, with the entire incident recorded on tape, and still get off without even being charged for a crime, what is not permitted? The anger is entirely justified. It must be guided, however, by a clear and informed political understanding.


Breaking the law

Sam Kriss

America has a cop problem.
Black people everywhere have a cop problem.
Humanity has a cop problem. More than ever.

In the last few days, cops in Cleveland murdered the 12-year-old black child Tamir Rice for playing with a BB gun in a public park. A grand jury in Missouri failed to indict the cop that murdered the 18-year-old black teen Michael Brown as he held his hands above his head and shouted Don’t shoot. A grand jury in New York failed to indict the cop that murdered (on tape) the 43-year-old black man Eric Garner as he repeatedly gasped I can’t breathe.

There’s a lot to be said about all this, but I’m not the one to say it. There are plenty of essays by black writers and activists that expose these travesties with far more anger and elegance than I ever could; among the most powerful are The Parable of the Unjust Judge or: Fear of a Nigger Nation by Ezekiel Kweku and Not another death: Black Lives Matter by Wail Qasim. What I want to talk about is something very specific: the process and the meaning of the failure to indict the murderers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.


Goon Thug Cops Murder At Will

Paul Craig Roberts

Another goon thug gratuitous murderer has been let off by a grand jury and a prosecutor.

Read the condolences offered by NY mayor Bill de Blasio, officer Pantaleo and the Obama Puppet. They are so sorry about the collateral damage of protecting the public from criminals and terrorists.

But would our society collapse if people are allowed to sell untaxed individual cigarettes out of a pack on the street?

Without the death of innocents, would none of us be safe?

Does our safety depended on the NYPD murder of Eric Garner, a father of six, who was a threat to no one?

Another police murder of a US citizen who was no threat to anyone–just more collateral damage–as the US military calls it when US forces blow up kids’ soccer games, weddings, funerals, and birthday parties. Any concentration of people, regardless of what they are doing, is considered to be an enemy force and legitimate target. This includes people picking their crops in fields.


Anger follows New York grand jury’s failure to indict cop who killed Eric Garner

Sandy English

Workers and youth reacted with outrage to the news that a grand jury in the New York City borough of Staten Island had decided not to indict New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The killing of Garner, which happened in July, was captured on a cellphone video seen by millions of people around the world.

This is the second failure to indict a cop for a high-profile killing of an unarmed African-American man in less than two weeks. On November 24, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that there would be no charges against Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

On Wednesday evening, hundreds of protesters in New York City assembled in Union Square and Times Square in Manhattan and marched to Rockefeller Center. Dozens of people were arrested.

The grand jury proceedings in Staten Island were highly manipulated to produce the desired result. Richmond County (Staten Island) District Attorney Daniel Donovan impaneled the 23-person grand jury on August 19, and the deliberations were dragged out for many weeks. Donovan, like McCulloch in Missouri, allowed the killer cop to give his side of the story without any cross-examination of the sort that he would face at trial.

Grand juries almost always return indictments sought by prosecutors. As in the case of Brown’s killer, the prosecutor who brought the case has close ties to the police and worked to ensure that no charges would be filed.


Israel’s Secret Plan for a «Second Israel» in Ukraine

Wayne Madsen

The Times of Israel, an independent Israeli newspaper that counts among its staff a number of former reporters for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, published a fascinating but largely overlooked story datelined Jerusalem and Zhitomir, Ukraine, March 16, 2014, and which was written by its respective Russian and Ukrainian correspondents, Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass, citing a secret report provided to the Israeli government. The report, written by a select panel of scholars of Jewish history drawn from academia and other research centers, concluded that that European Jews are in fact descended from Khazars, a war-like Mongol-Tatar group that ruled over Ukraine and southern Russia, which mass-converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD.

Zionists have long argued that the land claimed by Israel was the biblical birthright of the Jewish people who were forced from the land in a so-called «diaspora» after repeated conquests by various empires. Proof that Ashkenazi Jews, which make up a majority of the Israeli Jewish population, have no historical link to Palestine would call into question the entire premise of Israel as the historical «5,000-year old» homeland of the Jewish people.


The Palestinians Have Managed to Topple Another Israeli Government

Gilad Atzmon

Occasionally Israeli political and military leadership fail to survive Israeli wars. PM Golda Meir and her Chief Of Staff (David "Dado" Elazar) were sent home after the 1973 blunder (Yom Kippur war). PM Menachem Begin lost his sanity after the first Lebanon war (1982). Defense Minister Amir Peretz and his Chief Of Staff’ Dan Halutz’ were treated harshly by the Israeli media following the 2006 defeat in Lebanon. PM Benjamin Netanyahu is now paying a price for the recent Israeli disaster in Gaza and the Palestinian uprising that followed.

Strong nations tend to unite behind their leaders in times of crisis. The Israelis are spoiled. They prefer to turn against their leaders in times of conflict and not because they crave peace. Quite the opposite, they want to see a conclusive victory; buckets of Arab blood. Bibi didn’t provide the goods and in the eyes of many Israeli patriots he was a softy.

Israel’s didn’t perform well in the last round of violence. The IDF didn’t achieve a single military objective. After a few days, its forces withdrew, humiliated and exhausted. The Israeli military admitted that it lacked an answer to Palestinian ballistics, tunnels and fierceness. In addition, the conflict in Gaza spilled over to the West Bank and to Israeli cities. Throughout, Netanyahu’s cabinet reacted slowly. It seemed confused by events. Soon Israelis were openly admitting that the future of the Jewish State was gloomier than ever.


Demonizing Russia as US goes to war

Finian Cunningham


"Tiny Baltic States Prepare to Hit Back at Mighty Russia..."

Every Russian maneuver is now being recklessly construed as a sinister war threat by the Western media - no matter that the Russian maneuvers are entirely in keeping with international law and are a normal part of any nation’s right to movement of its military forces.

The latest “incident” was reported by Britain’s Daily Mail in which a squadron of Russian warships was “escorted” by the British Royal Navy as it sailed through the English Channel.

The Daily Mail headline was spiced with sinister innuendo of Russia doing something untoward, illegal and threatening. ‘Royal Navy catches up with Russian warships to ‘keep an eye’ on Putin’s fleet sailing along the Channel.’

Note the sly demonization of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, by attributing the Russian leader as the personal owner of the warships - as if he were some kind of arch-villain in a cheesy James Bond movie.


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