Permalink FBI infiltrates Guantanamo detainee’s defense team

On Monday, the military trial of five 9/11 suspects was put on hold as allegations surfaced that the FBI had enlisted a member of the defense team as a secret informant. This brazen violation of basic democratic norms is a further exposure of an extra-judicial process that has been illegal from the start. Defense attorneys filed a motion late Sunday night calling for a halt to the proceedings, a review of the FBI’s involvement and the appointing of new independent attorneys for the defendants. James Harrington, a civilian attorney for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the five accused, told the judge, “We have an impossible situation in terms of representing our client… on any issue.” Harrington added, “To say this is a chilling experience for all of us is a gross understatement.” Harrington explained that the defense security officer serving bin al-Shibh’s defense team had an “ongoing” arrangement with the FBI.

Permalink UK Moves to Block US Senate Report to Protect Blair, Straw and Dearlove

From a British diplomatic source I learn that Britain has lobbied the United States against the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and extraordinary rendition. The lobbying has been carried out “at all levels” – White House, State Department and CIA. The British have argued that at the very least the report must be emasculated before publication. The British argument is that in a number of court cases including the Belhadj case, the British government has successfully blocked legal action by victims on the grounds that this would weaken the US/UK intelligence relationship and thus vitally damage national security, by revealing facts the American intelligence service wish hidden.


Permalink Russians warned if they go abroad, US might snatch them

US secret services are actively 'hunting' and jailing Russians in revenge for the annexation of Crimea – or so a warning by the Russian Foreign Ministry says. Russia's Foreign Ministry is warning that Russians should refrain from traveling abroad because they could be entrapped by US secret services who are actively "hunting" for Russians to persecute in punishment for Moscow's recent annexation of Crimea, according to an official notice published on the Ministry's website. The message seems directed at the approximately 15 million Russians, most of them middle-class, who leave the country each year for tourism. It says the US, which "unreasonably" refuses to accept the reunification of Russia and Crimea, is seeking revenge by "trying to make a routine practice of 'hunting' for Russian citizens in third countries with the goal of extraditing them to the US, where they will be convicted [and jailed] on what are usually doubtful charges." And it adds that "justice in America" is biased against Russians, who can be "kidnapped" and taken to the US without even notifying Russian consular officials about what is happening. The two cases cited as examples are old bones of contention between Russia and the US: those of convicted arms trader Viktor Bout and convicted cocaine smuggler Konstantin Yaroshenko, both of whom were arrested in third countries and extradited to the US for trial.

PressTV: US imposes sanctions against Crimean officials


Permalink Tony Blair 'knew all about CIA secret kidnap programme’

Tony Blair knew in detail about the CIA’s secret kidnap and interrogation programme after the September 11 attacks and was kept informed “every step of the way” by MI6, a security source has told The Telegraph. Mr Blair, the then prime minister, and Jack Straw, his foreign secretary, were fully briefed on CIA activities and were shown now infamous Bush administration legal opinions that declared “enhanced interrogation” techniques such as waterboarding and stress positions to be legal, the source said. “The politicians took a very active interest indeed. They wanted to know everything. The Americans passed over the legal opinions saying that this was now 'legal’, and our politicians were aware of what was going on at the highest possible level. “The politicians knew in detail about everything – the torture and the rendition. They could have said [to M16] 'stop it, do not get involved’, but at no time did they,” said the source, who has direct and detailed knowledge of the transatlantic relations during that period.


Permalink Limited hangout: Secret CIA Torture Report To Be Released

The US Senate Intelligence Committee votes to declassify parts of a report into the CIA's use of brutal interrogation techniques torture. A US Senate panel has approved the declassification of a secret report that criticises the CIA's treatment of terror suspects after 9/11. The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 11-3 to release key parts of the 6,300-page report that concluded waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation methods" were excessively cruel and ineffective. White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama would instruct intelligence agencies to finalise the declassification quickly. CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said his agency would "carry out the review expeditiously", but suggested the process may be difficult. He said: "We owe it to the men and women directed to carry out this programme to try and ensure that any historical account of it is accurate."

Diaaal News: US senators back release of CIA abuse torture details
The Guardian: Senate committee votes to declassify parts of CIA torture report


Permalink John McCain: Classified Senate Report on Torture 'Chilling'

The Senate Intelligence Committee's report on interrogation techniques employed by the CIA in the wake of the [Mossad's] Sept. 11 attacks includes a number of "chilling" stories of the use of torture by American officials that have not yet been released to the public, Sen. John McCain said Tuesday. The existence of the report and some of its contents, including that coercive techniques such as waterboarding did not lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden, were first reported by The Washington Post on Monday. Asked about the report, McCain said it offers further evidence of the inefficiencies of using torture on American enemies. "When you torture someone they will say anything you want to hear to make the pain stop. So I never, ever believed this bologna that, well, because of waterboarding they got information," he said. The 6,300-page report is classified, but the Intelligence Committee, headed by Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, will push Thursday for the Obama administration to declassify a 400-page executive summary, The Post reported.

Politico: Dianne Feinstein set to move on CIA report
Al Jazeera: Senate CIA torture report could throw Gitmo hearings into chaos

Eric London: CIA scandal: Leaks reveal brutal torture methods and government lies The government torture methods revealed by the The Washington Post, based on information from anonymous administration officials, include sadistic forms of inflicting pain that are associated with the most brutal police state and fascistic regimes. According to the Post, the Senate report “concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years—concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.”


Permalink ​CIA lied about torture’s effectiveness, according to unreleased Senate report

A Senate report found that CIA officials lied to the government and public about its post-9/11 torture program, most notably by distorting intelligence gleaned from traditional interrogations as that attained by far more brutal methods. The Washington Post reported Monday that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report outlines a long list of “unsubstantiated claims” from CIA officials in the agency’s pursuit of a global torture regime that resulted in little, if any, substantive intelligence, according to US officials who have reviewed the document. “The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives,” said one US official briefed on the report. “Was that actually true? The answer is ‘no’.”

PressTV: CIA misled US government, Americans over interrogation program: Report
Washington Post: CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says


Permalink UN report details US human rights abuses

A UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) report delivered in mid-March harshly criticized the United States, citing a laundry list of human rights violations both on American soil and in countries around the world. The report, compiled from the testimony of 18 independent experts, detailed rampant violations by the US government of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The report condemned the US for failing to punish high-ranking military officers and private contractors for crimes, including torture and targeted killings, saying that only a “meager number” of criminal charges had been pressed, and against low-ranking personnel at that.

Stephen Lendman: UN Report Denounces US Human Rights Record


Permalink U.N. slams U.S.for torture, NSA spying

A wide-ranging United Nations report released Thursday strongly criticizes the United States for a host of human rights concerns — from jailing the homeless and sentencing juveniles to life sentences, to drone warfare and spying by the National Security Agency. While the U.N. praised some steps the U.S. government has taken, like curbing human trafficking and a 2009 ban on Central Intelligence Agency torture and secret detention, the report’s authors found the U.S. wanting on 25 human rights issues.


Permalink Ukrainian leadership to hire US mercenaries to suppress eastern regions

[Kick-starting World War III:] A private military company will be in charge of suppressing protest movements in Eastern Ukraine, said a source in the country's Security Service. According to him, the name of the company is Greystone Limited. According to a source cited by ITAR-TASS, Ukrainian authorities believe that the Security Service is not able to suppress the protest mood and neutralize the leaders and activists of the pro-Russian movement in the eastern regions. According to publicly available information Greystone Limited is a structural part of Blackwater, that was later renamed into Academi [formerly Xe Services/Blackwater USA]. According to military experts, the company is associated with the CIA and the US Defense Department.


Permalink Details of Illegal Torture That the CIA Doesn't Want You to Know About

Senate staffers say the agency tortured prisoners in ways that went beyond what the Bush-era DOJ approved, according to an Al-Jazeera America report. The Senate report on CIA torture is still being suppressed. But details are leaking out, according to a report by Jason Leopold. Citing Intelligence Committee staffers, he writes that "at least one high-value detainee was subjected to torture techniques that went beyond those authorized by George W. Bush's Justice Department." In addition, "harsh measures authorized by the Department of Justice had been applied to at least one detainee before such legal authorization was received." The notion that Bush-era interrogations were lawful has always been highly dubious. This latest news plucks away even the fig leaf afforded by Bush Administration attorneys. Some say it would be unfair to prosecute anyone told that a tactic was permitted. Will they call for a criminal investigation of these incidents?


Permalink [GRAPHIC] Obama Backed Syrian Muslims Brutally Behead Christian

The video shows a Christian who was captured by Syrian rebels. The men forced him to convert to Islam and declare the Shahadatan (“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”). After he complied, the men said that he was still an infidel and beheaded him anyways. If you ever find yourself in this situation, do not say the Islamic creed. Say the Lord’s Prayer instead.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


Permalink Former Guantánamo inmates urge French judge to probe ‘systematic torture’

Two former Guantánamo Bay prisoners have asked a French judge to open a probe into claims of torture at the US prison. The allegations pertain to a retired commander of the facility accused of “war crimes and acts of torture inflicted on detainees.” French citizens Nizar Sassi and Mourad Benchallali, who were held in Guantánamo for late 2001 to 2004, have urged a French judge to issue a subpoena against former base commander Geoffrey Miller for torture. The two men submitted an expert report along with Khaled Ben Mustapha, another former Guantánamo inmate to the Criminal Court in Paris. The document is backed by rights groups The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and details “an authorized and systematic plan of torture and ill-treatment on persons deprived of their freedom without any charge and without the basic rights of any detainee.”


Permalink US family says police beat father to death - Video

Police officers in the US state of Oklahoma beat a man to death after he tried to stop his wife from driving away following an argument she had with their daughter. The Rodriguez family says Mr. Luis Rodriguez was beaten to death by three police officers in the parking lot of a movie theater in the city of Moore just after midnight on Saturday. The incident happened when the officers asked him for ID and Luis tried to bypass them in order to reach his wife, Nair, who just slapped their daughter, Lunahi, following an argument and stormed away. Luis was trying to stop his wife from driving away because she was very angry. According to the Rodriguez family, five police officers took the father down and started to beat him. The incident happened less than two days after California police officers beat and tasered an innocent deaf man who was trying to communicate with them using his hands.

RT: Innocent man beaten and tasered by California police for signaling he is deaf
LA Sheriff’s Dept. Shot and Killed an 80-Year-Old Man With a Submachine Gun — In His Own Bed


Permalink ISIL Stones Syrian Girl to Death for Facebook Membership

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stoned to death a young Syrian girl for membership in Facebook social network. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed terrorists and militants against the Syrian army and civilians across the country. Thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes. The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.


Permalink Fifty-five bodies found at Florida’s former reform school

An excavation in the makeshift graveyard at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Florida last week uncovered 55 bodies in unmarked graves. These grisly findings are in addition to several other bodies found on the grounds of the campus, once housing 1,400, by an initial investigation carried out in 2009 by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The excavation efforts are led by Dr. Erin Kimmerle, an associate professor of forensic anthropology at the University of South Florida, and involve 50 other researchers from nine different agencies in attempting to locate the missing bodies that have been buried there, and to determine the cause of their deaths. Also known as the Florida School for Boys and Florida State Reform School, the juvenile detention center was operated by the state of Florida from 1990 to 2011. Well before the excavation took place, the school was notorious for allegations of physical and sexual assault against the boys incarcerated there. An investigation by the US Justice Department, as well as countless other accusations, led to the institution’s closure on May 26, 2011. Significantly, the official reason given by the state for closing the school was a lack of funds. The school was intended for boys who committed crimes such as theft and murder. A change in the state’s law, however, lowered the requirement to include minor infractions from “incorrigibility” to “truancy,” leading to an increase in the number of boys who were sent there.


Permalink Beyond Blackwater: Prince looks to resources in Africa

After running one of the world’s biggest and most controversial private military groups, Blackwater founder Erik Prince is starting a new venture providing logistics for oil and mining companies in remote and dangerous parts of Africa. China is increasingly looking to Africa to meet its ever growing demand for natural resources. Trade between the two reached an estimated $200 billion (121 billion pounds) this year. With 85 percent of Chinese imports from the continent being oil or minerals, Prince sees an opportunity. He wants to use his experience of getting people and equipment in and out of remote places, where there is little or no infrastructure, to help companies looking to exploit abundant natural resources in places like Sudan or Somalia.


Permalink Ex-UK minister of defence and former army chief of staff named in Iraq war crimes case

Britain has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague over allegations of war crimes committed during the occupation of Iraq. There was a call for an ICC investigation under Article 15 of the Rome Statute into the actions of senior British officials during the conflict. The submission specifically names the former chief of staff General Sir Peter Wall and two ministers in Tony Blair’s Labour government, former defence secretary Geoff Hoon and former defence minister Adam Ingram, as officials who should have to answer claims about the systematic use of torture and cruelty.


Permalink Ohio prisoner suffers horrific death in botched execution

An execution carried out Thursday morning, using an experimental two-drug mixture, resulted in 53-year-old Ohio death row inmate Dennis McGuire writhing in agony for 25 minutes before being pronounced dead. | McGuire’s lawyers last week sought to halt the execution. They argued that the use of an untried lethal combination of drugs could lead to a medical condition known as “air hunger” and cause McGuire to suffer “agony and terror” while struggling to breathe. That is apparently what happened, as the prisoner made loud snorting noises before finally succumbing. [...] Republican Senator Bruce Burns of Wyoming in a comment to the press this week said he would propose legislation to re-introduce firing squads as a means of execution. Fueling these fascistic sentiments is an effort by states to find cheaper ways of administering lethal drugs to prisoners. Many states have turned to using federally unregulated compounding pharmacies to mix their concoctions. Ohio had reportedly purchased its drugs from one such vendor. The proper response to the atrocity committed Thursday in Ohio is to criminally prosecute and convict all of the state officials responsible for McGuire’s execution, and to impeach and prosecute the federal judge who denied the prisoner’s motion for a stay of execution.

PressTV: Family of US man plans lawsuit over execution - Video


Permalink Pics of Marines Burning Bodies Trigger U.S. Military Investigation [PHOTOS]

The United States military is conducting a formal investigation into American soldiers burning the dead bodies of what appear to be Iraqi insurgents. TMZ obtained 41 pictures that we're told were shot in Fallujah in 2004. Two pictures show a Marine appearing to pour gasoline or some other flammable on the remains of what officials believe are 2 insurgents. Two other photos show the bodies on fire. You then see charred remains. Another photo shows a Marine crouched down next to a dead body and mugging for the camera. Still another pic shows a Marine rifling through the pocket of the pants on a corpse. We have not included all of the photos. Many are just too gruesome. There are well over a dozen bodies in the pics and some are covered with flies and one is being eaten by a dog. We turned them all over to the Pentagon last week, and a Pentagon official tells us the pics have triggered a Marine Corps investigation.


Permalink Future Cop Says Protesters Should be Exterminated in “Gas Chambers”

If I had my way, there would be another holocaust with camps and gas chambers full of fucking cunt scabs like you, I hope you die,” stated Redding, adding, “I hope some cop beats your ass next time you’re “protesting” or filming them or whatever. In fact I’m about to start the training academy for the washoe county sheriffs dept in reno, Nevada and I can’t wait to deal with punk ass bitches like you. I would beat your fucking ass just for the sheer joy of it.


Permalink Angering US, Karzai to Free Bagram Prisoners

16 Others to Remain Pending Further Review Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has confirmed that 72 of the 88 detainees the Obama Administration is trying to keep in Bagram are now entirely cleared for release, with 45 of them totally cleared of any wrongdoing and 27 others lacking sufficient evidence to hold them. The other 16 aren’t facing trial either, with officials saying there’s not enough to prosecute, but they have enough evidence that they will continue to be held pending further review. That 88 were initially slated for release by the Afghan Review Board, which sparked US complaints that the board was never meant to have the power to release anybody, but was only meant to decide between prosecution and indefinite detention.

The Guardian: Afghanistan orders release of 72 Bagram jail prisoners

Permalink UK ex-cabinet members accused of Iraq war crimes - Video

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been asked to examine the actions of former British cabinet members and troops over claims of torture in Iraq. The European Centre for Constitutional Human Rights (ECCHR) and the Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) firm said in a statement that they have filed a joint complaint to the ICC, calling for a probe into British war crimes in the war-torn country. In their 250-page complaint, the two NGOs called for a probe into the actions of senior British officials, particularly the former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and Minister of State for the Armed forces Adam Ingram for “systematic torture and abuse” of prisoners in Iraq between 2003 and 2008. Over the past few years, more than 400 Iraqi prisoners have contacted PIL, based in Birmingham, central England, alleging “serious abuse and humiliation” by British soldiers. According to the law firm, the allegations ranged from sexual and religious humiliation to physical violence.


Permalink War Criminal: Tony Blair Enjoys 'Best Year Yet' With Over £13m In Bank

Tony Blair has banked over £13 million to mark his most financially successful year since stepping down as prime minister. [HuffPost] Blair's wealth, including a London home, a country estate and numerous other properties, is estimated to come to £70m. The former PM has built up his fortune over the years as an official adviser to investment bank JP Morgan and Swiss-based global insurance giant Zurich International. Blair also advises governments such as the Kazakhstan regime and earns as much as £250,000 a time for private speeches and appearances. The bumper financial results for the 12 months to April 2013 have been revealed in the latest accounts for Blair's two firms, Windrush Ventures and Firerush Ventures, which were lodged with Companies House last week. Windrush Ventures, which employs 35 people, posted a £14.9m turnover and a post-tax profit of nearly £2m, marking a £650,000 rise over the previous year. It paid corporation tax on its profits of £653,000, the accounts show. Windrush also paid out £12.1 million in expenses, to cover the cost of office rents, travel and hotel bills for Blair and his entourage. Blair's staff are estimated to earn an average of £86,000, with the company's highest paid director getting £273,000. One City accountant told the Sunday Telegraph: “These numbers are a big improvement on last year. Mr Blair has had a very good year. This is a bumper year – his best year yet.” A statement on Tony Blair's website said: "The latest annual financial statements...[are]...the financial statements of the two companies through which the operating costs of the Tony Blair group’s global activities are paid. They do not represent his earnings or the earnings or the profit of his businesses and are not referable to them."


Permalink CIA Blocks Inquiries on Torture

In a recent New York Times article about efforts by the Senate Intelligence Committee to get its hands on (and perhaps release?) an internal report on torture that the CIA doesn’t want to turn over, the author mentions in passing the pending nomination of Caroline D. Krass to be the top lawyer at the Agency. He then notes that: Ms. Krass is a ca­reer gov­ern­ment law­yer who works at the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s Of­fice of Le­gal Coun­sel, the arm of the de­part­ment that ad­vis­es the White House on the le­gal­ity of do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies. The of­fice was par­tic­u­lar­ly con­tro­ver­sial dur­ing the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, when lawyers there wrote lengthy mem­os ap­prov­ing C.I.A. in­ter­ro­ga­tion meth­ods like wa­ter­board­ing and sleep dep­ri­va­tion, as well as sign­ing off on the ex­pan­sion of sur­veil­lance by the Na­tion­al Se­cu­rity Agency. That is very useful information, worthy of its own article. Because the move of Krass from OLC to CIA is highly suspicious. After all, they’re taking someone from the very heart of the cover-up over torture at the Agency and putting her in charge of… legal blocking of inquiries into CIA actions.

Politico: Appeals court: OK to keep surveillance opinion secret

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