Torture: Accountability - YES. Impunity - NO

Hans Christof von Sponeck / The BRussells Tribunal

Please, sign the petition and spread it in your network.

This petition will be delivered to: US Government - International Criminal Court - President of the UN General Assembly - President of the Human Rights Council - European Court of Justice.

Petition initiated by two former UN Assistant Secretaries-General, UN Humanitarian Coordinators for Iraq: Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday.

On 9 December 2014, the US Senate released its CIA torture report. The investigation confirmed what globally has been known for many years: the US Central Intelligence Agency and US-outsourced national authorities in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere have been involved in an extensive range of torture applications.

Compelling evidence has become available, especially since 2001, the beginning of the Afghanistan war, through investigations by the European Parliament and national judicial authorities, as well as two major reports presented by Swiss Senator Dick Marty in 2006 and 2007 to the Council of Europe, on secret CIA detention centres in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere.

The US Senate report makes it clear that cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment of captives by the CIA and its collaborators have been carried out on a continuous basis.

Such treatment can not be justified in any manner, even if the US Government reservations with which it signed the UN torture convention in 1994 were to be taken into account. CIA personnel and others wilfully participated in following executive orders and directives thereby violating the UN torture convention and the Geneva Convention III. In this way they have committed serious crimes for which they must be held accountable.


On the Brink of War and Economic Collapse

Paul Craig Roberts

On occasion a reader will ask if I can give readers some good news. The answer is: not unless I lie to you like “your” government and the mainstream media do. If you want faked “good news,” you need to retreat into The Matrix. In exchange for less stress and worry, you will be led unknowingly into financial ruin and nuclear armageddon.

If you want to be forewarned, and possibly prepared, for what “your” government is bringing you, and have some small chance of redirecting the course of events, read and support this site. It is your site. I already know these things. I write for you.

The neoconservatives, a small group of warmongers strongly allied with the military/industrial complex and Israel, gave us Granada and the Contras affair in Nicaragua. President Reagan fired them, and they were prosecuted, but subsequently pardoned by Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush.

Ensconced in think tanks and protected by Israeli and military/security complex money, the neoconservatives reemerged in the Clinton administration and engineered the breakup of Yugoslavia, the war against Serbia, and the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders.

Neoconservatives dominated the George W. Bush regime. They controlled the Pentagon, the National Security Council, the Office of the Vice President, and much else. Neoconservatives gave us 9/11 and its coverup, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the beginning of the destabilizations of Pakistan and Yemen, the U.S. Africa Command, the invasion of South Ossetia by Georgia, the demise of the anti-ABM Treaty, unconstitutional and illegal spying on American citizens without warrants, loss of constitutional protections, torture, and the unaccountability of the executive branch to law, Congress, and the judiciary.

In short, the neoconservatives laid the foundation for dictatorship and for WW III.


Brennan’s defense of CIA torture

Barry Grey

CIA Director John Brennan’s televised press conference Thursday at the agency’s headquarters, an unprecedented event, marked a new threshold in the collapse of American democracy and the erection of a police state.

The very fact that it was left to the head of the spy agency rather than President Obama to issue the government’s rebuttal to this week’s devastating Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture makes clear who is really in control of the American state.

In statements riddled with lies, and with little attempt to conceal his contempt for democratic procedures and the law, Brennan defended the agency’s use of horrific forms of torture during the Bush administration as a legitimate and “patriotic” response to the 9/11 terror attacks. He recycled all of the official myths associated with the “war on terror” to imply that the CIA and the military/intelligence apparatus as a whole had to remain outside of any congressional or legal restraints.

While declaring nominal support for Obama’s decision to end the Bush-era program of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” he fiercely defended the administration’s expanded program of drone assassinations, saying “the US military has done some wonderful things with these platforms.”

He also suggested that “EITs” [Enhanced Interrogation Technique] might have to be revived to deal with future security threats. In reply to a reporter’s question, he said, “I defer to the policy makers in future times when there is going to be the need to be able to ensure that this country stays safe if we face a similar type of crisis.”


The Us Government Is A Gigantic Mass-Murdering Machine

Kourosh Ziabari/Fars News Agency Interview With Prof. John McMurtry

World-renowned Canadian philosopher Prof. John McMurtry argues that the US and its ally, Israel, violate the laws against armed aggression, occupation and crimes against humanity at will, while other world states are either their accomplices or afraid of taking any move against them since they will risk being labeled a rouge or terrorist state otherwise.

Prof. John McMurtry says that the US government is a gigantic mass-murdering machine which earns profit through waging wars, and is never held accountable over its unspeakable war crimes and crimes against humanity. He also believes that the US has become a police state, which treats its citizens in the most derogatory manner.

“I have travelled alone with only backpack possession through the world, and have found no state in which police forces are more habituated to violent bullying, more likely to draw a gun, more discriminatory against the dispossessed, and more arbitrarily vicious in normal behavior,” said McMurtry. “The US now leads the globe in an underlying civil war of the rich against the poor.”

“The US can … detain, kidnap and imprison without trial or indictment any US citizen or other citizens anywhere by designating them enemies to the US,” Prof. John McMurtry noted in an exclusive interview with Fars News Agency.

According to the Canadian intellectual, the United States statesmen have long supported dictatorial and tyrannical regimes and even funded and armed the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler in the period between 1939 and 1945.


The CIA’s Torture Program

Paul Craig Roberts

Readers have asked for my take on the CIA torture report. There is so much information and commentary available that it is unnecessary.

Igor Volsky provides a concise summary. President George W. Bush signed off on torture and then told the gullible people that “this government does not torture people.” The torture was horrific. The CIA even tortured its own informers.

Two American psychologists who designed the torture program were paid $81 million. CIA torturers received cash awards for “consistently superior work” when their innocent victims died.

The US government involved 54 countries in its torture program. The rendition program sent detainees to other countries where they were tortured in secret “black sites". Former president of Poland admits that Poland hosted a CIA torture prison.

Obama tortures also. Those Americans who committed crimes as horrific as any in history have been given a pass by Obama. No accountability for their crimes.

This finishes off the rule of law in America, which was already on life support.


Donetsk’s faint hopes for new ceasefire in Ukraine

Vera Graziadei in London & Ramil Zamdykhanov in Donetsk

A few months ago Donetsk was a vibrant, thriving and ambitious city. Hosting the European football championship in 2012 coincided with the peak of its hopes for world recognition. Today it stands partially destroyed, sad, hopeless and fearful for its future. The European metropolis of one million people now has around 80% of its previous population – mainly working classes; wealthier people, who could afford it, left the city in order to escape the war. Donetsk has become a centre of the Ukrainian conflict, after the Kiev government announced an ‘anti-terrorist operation’ (ATO) against ‘pro-Russian separatists’ in mid-April 2014.

Social life in public places is now almost non-existent – aside from one or two entertainment establishments, such as the Opera House. Most theatres, cinemas, cafes, bars and clubs are closed and many shops and businesses boarded up their windows.

The curfew, which was announced in summer, is still not cancelled, and even though there are rumours that one night club is functioning – the streets are empty at night. By day, there are no traffic jams in Donetsk anymore and ‘camouflaged armed men walk where shoppers and businessmen once strolled’. But not everywhere is quiet, depending on where you are – an occasional cannonade could be heard or even continuous explosions.


The CIA: Deep torture

Xymphora

"U.S. Tortured and Killed Innocent People for the Specific Purpose of Producing False Propaganda" - Washingtons Blog

It is instructive that all the analysis from the United States, from both the 'right' and the 'left'. is that torture is employed for the purposes of eliciting otherwise unavailable information that saves American lives from 'terrorism'. The 'right' accepts this uncritically; the 'left' either points out - correctly - that torture produces unreliable information, or alleges that it is not worth the moral decay to the country (not to mention the cost to the American reputation). Both share the assumption that there is information - facts - available from certain individuals that could save American lives.

Of course, this is utter nonsense. The Global War On Terror is the creation of World Jewry specifically intended to increase Islamophobia in order to continue American protection for the supremacist Jewish project of building a Zionist empire across the Middle East. Considering the degree of provocation caused by American violence it is remarkable that there is almost no real terrorism, at least coming from Muslims.


The CIA: Crime Without Punishment

Stephen Lendman

Longstanding US policy reflects business as usual. Ruthless and then some. With bipartisan support. Democrats and Republicans largely in lockstep. Rhetoric alone separating them. Supporting permanent wars of aggression. State terror at home and abroad. Abrogation of fundamental democratic principles. Systematic breaches of international, constitutional and US statute laws. Supporting wealth, power and privilege exclusively. Letting popular needs go begging. Burying hard truths. Substituting Big Lies. Including about torture remaining official US policy. At home and abroad. In US prisons. Federal, state and local ones. Global black sites. In dozens of countries. Authorized by Bush and Obama.

Guantanamo the tip of the iceberg. Unknown thousands brutalized worldwide. Some murdered. Others traumatized into zombies. Coverup and denial buries the worst of what remains ongoing. Sadism writ large.

The Senate Intelligence Committee torture report excluded what most needs explaining. Stopped short of demanding accountability. Punishing wrongdoers to the full extent of the law. Including CIA, Pentagon and administration officials. Congressional members supporting wrong over right. Federal courts approving indefinite detentions and torture. Official Obama administration policy.


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.


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