Archive for the ‘CIA’ Category

Spies on YouTube and Myspace?

February 8, 2008

Anyone who has done any sort of blogging in the area of politics, war, anti-war, protest, etc., etc. would not be surprised at this article I found on Raw Story. No doubt you have checked your site meter and found that you have been visited by a government site though I am certain that a number of them actually disguise themselves so as not to let on you are being spied upon.  Some might recall some recent stories such as:

Top Secret: We’re Wiretapping You, Wikipedia Hacked by U.S. Military  and Here Come the Thought Police  And many others. Well here is another one to add to the list. While there you might click on this one as well: CIA Monitors YouTube For Intelligence

In search for foreign intelligence, spies turn to YouTube, MySpace, blogs

Nick Juliano
Published: Thursday February 7, 2008
With rapidly advancing technology spreading across the globe, US spies are shifting their focus from surreptitiously photographing secret Soviet documents to trolling the Internet for what could be the next key nugget of foreign intelligence. More…


Bush approved CIA dislosure on waterboarding

February 6, 2008

Bush approved CIA dislosure on waterboarding
Wed Feb 6, 2008 12:29pm EST
By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to give its most detailed public account of its use of a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding, the White House said on Wednesday. More…

UN torture investigator blasts US White House defense of waterboarding
The Associated Press Published: February 6, 2008

GENEVA: The United Nations’ torture investigator blasted the White House for defending the use of waterboarding on Wednesday, and urged the U.S. government to give up its defense of “unjustifiable” interrogation methods. More…

Justice Dept. Launches Criminal Probe of CIA Tapes

January 3, 2008

Published on Wednesday, January 2, 2008 by Reuters
by Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it had launched a criminal investigation into the CIA’s destruction of videotapes depicting the harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects
“There is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation,” Attorney General Michael Mukasey said in a statement issued by the department. More…

9/11 Commission Leaders Blast CIA on Interrogation Tapes

WASHINGTON – The leaders of a US commission that examined the September 11, 2001 terror attacks accused the CIA Wednesday of having obstructed their investigation by withholding information about videotaped interrogations of terror suspects.

The goal of the blue ribbon 9/11 Commission, wrote chairman Thomas Kean and vice-chairman Lee Hamilton in The New York Times, was “to provide the American people with the fullest possible account” of what led to Al-Qaeda’s attacks more than six years ago on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. More…

Bush May Be Forced to Explain Destroyed CIA Torture Tapes

December 18, 2007

Like I had said a while back, the CIA tapes issue is not going to disappear and sooner or later the truth will come out. More and more agencies and organizations are lining up to get to the bottom of the issue. At Alternet there is another story by John Dean about an ACLU lawsuit which is looking to force the Bush administration to reveal what actually happened.

Bush May Be Forced to Explain Destroyed CIA Torture Tapes
By John Dean,
Posted December 18, 2007

By my count, there appear to be no less than ten preliminary investigations underway, following the revelation that the CIA destroyed at least two sets of videotapes (containing hundreds of hours of footage) of “advanced interrogation” techniques being employed in terrorism investigations. In fact, every branch of government is now involved. More…

Then go to “The Rant” for this story

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In a recent piece that was published on December 13 on AlterNet, Ray McGovern (No relation to George, honest!) asked the musical question, “Should the United States of America be using forms of torture dating back to the Spanish Inquisition?”

What Is Probably in the Missing Tapes

December 17, 2007

The issue of the missing CIA Tapes is not going to disappear, no matter what The White House does. The Bush administration wants a federal court and congressional committees not to pursue investigations into the destruction of videotapes showing CIA interrogations of two al Qaeda suspects.
Well the tapes may have been destroyed (?) but what may have been in them. Well, Naomi Wolf approached this and came out with the following report on The Huffington Post.

What Is Probably in the Missing Tapes

naomi-wolf.jpg Naomi Wolf
Posted December 13, 2007

To judge from firsthand documents obtained by the ACLU through a FOIA lawsuit, we can guess what is probably on the missing CIA interrogation tapes — as well as understand why those implicated are spinning so hard to pretend the tapes do not document a series of evident crimes. More..

Aid and Comfort for Torturers?

December 13, 2007

Since the issue of the missing CIA interrogation tapes first surfaced and every intelligence agency is scrambling to conduct damage control and get expensive legal representation I have wondered as to what could have been on those tapes?

Since they have been destroyed ( and I wonder at this ) we can only imagine what their content was, or can we? It made me think of the tortured individuals and their ordeal but even more so it made me wonder as to the nature of the torturers themselves.
What kind of individuals are these that can inflict pain on another human being and live with their conscience? Do the families of these individuals know what their spouses do? In view of the fact that the majority of torturers are male there must be a number of women who unknowingly lay down to sleep with these individuals not knowing (?) what their husbands do. Could it be that they don’t want to know.

While not all who serve in Guantánamo are directly involved in the process of torture, the ones who do serve there have a good idea as to the identities of these individuals. I wonder how they live with it. I spent a night thinking about this article and how I would approach it and I couldn’t sleep just thinking about it. When I finally gave up trying to sleep I got out of bed and began doing some research across the Net to see what I could dig up. Obviously a lot of material regarding torture at the infamous Guantánamo is classified. There are however some documents that have been declassified and have come to light.

It might shock some to know that not all who are involved in the practice of torture are all pathological sadist. On the contrary, from what I have read some of the individuals are actually in the medical profession. Imagine American Mengele’s , right out of some Freudian nightmare! As to their involvement in the actual process who can tell? Everything is kept under a cloak of secrecy and will probably not be known for years to come.

I can go on to describe some of the horrific techniques used to extract information from these torture victims but I don’t have the stomach for it. Instead I will direct you to the various links where you can read in-depth accounts and articles regarding this heinous of ancient practices in our modern times.

Be warned, some of the descriptions are graphic.  

Let us begin our journey into a Freudian Nightmare.

Torturers R’ Us

President Bush denies reality
By Kristian Williams

The national debate on torture reached a new level in October when the Senate voted 90 to nine to restrict Defense Department interrogation techniques and prohibit the “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. custody. The vote came as a major rebuke to President George Bush, who threatened to veto the military spending bill if the proposals were included. More…


Aid and Comfort for Torturers: Psychology and Coercive Interrogations in Historical Perspective

By Stephen Soldz
Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 03:02:32 PM PST

On January 24, 2003, National Guardsman Sean Baker, stationed as a military policeman at Guantánamo detention center, volunteered to be a mock prisoner , donning an orange suit and refusing to leave his cell as part of a training exercise. As planned, an Immediate Reaction Force team of MPs attempted to extract him from the cell. When he uttered the code word, “red,” indicating that this was a drill and that he’d had enough, one of the MPs “forced my head down against the steel floor and was sort of just grinding it into the floor. More…

Middle East

America’s tortuous road to Abu Ghraib

By Alfred W McCoy


From ancient Rome’s red-hot irons and lacerating hooks to medieval Europe’s thumbscrews, rack and wheel, for more than 2,000 years anyone interrogated in a court of law could expect to suffer unspeakable tortures. More…


Torture was taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted

By Gary Cohn, Ginger Thompson, and Mark Matthews, The Baltimore Sun, Monday 27 January 1997, Final Edition

WASHINGTON — A newly declassified CIA training manual details torture methods used against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s, refuting claims by the agency that no such methods were taught there. More…


 Medical Ethics and the Interrogation

of Guantanamo 063

Steven H. Miles, University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics

This one is a PDF. 

Guantánamo’s lost souls

 Brent Mickum

The abuse of British residents Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna in US detention is an outrage of justice we must bring to an end.
January 8, 2007 8:45 PM
January 11 2007 marks the confluence of two ignominious anniversaries. The first is the five-year anniversary of the opening of the notorious prison camps run by the United States at the Guantánamo Naval Air Station in Cuba. In the five years since the United States started shipping prisoners from around the world to Guantánamo, approximately 99% of the prisoners have never been charged with any transgression, much less a crime.


And All The King’s Men / The CIA Tapes

December 10, 2007

 In view of all the flack that has been raining down on Washington, D.C. over the missing CIA interrogation tapes I am certain that the majority of the masses still have no clear idea as to the implications of this matter. The whole issue centers around Torture.
Senator John McCain ( R ) put it in the most clear fashion possible by saying,

“There will be skepticism and cynicism all over the world about how we treat prisoners and whether we practice torture or not,” he told Fox television.

The destroyed tapes included a recording of the early 2002 interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee known to have been held by the CIA in the war on terror.
Zubaydah was the unfortunate guinea pig when the CIA jump-started its brutal interrogation program soon after 9/11. The video of Zubaydah’s interrogation might have shed further light on whether the United States has violated the Geneva Conventions with its treatment of prisoners. The identity of the other suspected terrorist whose interrogation was captured in a 2002 video, also destroyed in 2005, remains unclear.

When the CIA set up the interrogation program in early 2002 it turned to two psychologists linked to the military’s secretive Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program. Last June, Salon reported that two CIA-employed psychologists,
James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, were central to the genesis of that program, which likely violated the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners.

SERE School at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

The Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape school at Fort Bragg, N. C. or SERE as it is known in the intelligence community is a small cadre of psychologists linked to the military’s secretive Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program to “reverse-engineer” techniques originally designed to train U.S. soldiers to resist torture if captured, by exposing them to brutal treatment. In simple language, a School of Torture.

Ever since 911 the Bush Administration has been trying to make an end run around the Geneva Conventions prohibition of the torture of prisoners of war. You will probably recall the news of the CIA’s Secret prisons. All of a sudden, in the past month documents have been surfacing regarding the use of torture by the CIA and what was discovered? The video tapes needed to defend Abu Zubaydah have been destroyed in what many view as a cover-up by the CIA.

There are some who feel the CIA is conducting damage control in view of the fact that the current Bush administration will no longer be in power come next year and they are apprehensive as to how the next administration will view their actions. Already the CIA has been moved to hire expensive private counsel regarding this issue over interrogation.

Well, that gives you a general idea as to Buzz over the CIA tape’s. For the real “ meat and potatoes “ of the issue I have compiled a list of links below, mostly from where their national correspondent Mark Benjamin has a ton of articles regarding the tapes and more importantly the CIA itself.


US credibility damaged by CIA tape affair: lawmakers

For the CIA’s eyes only

The CIA’s torture teachers

Torture teachers articles on CIA. For the avid reader this is the archive to go to. There are currently 9 pages that list articles regarding the CIA. There are 211 articles listed there


By Mark Benjamin

Source: Yahoo News,

Bush alters rules for CIA interrogations

July 21, 2007
Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 12 minutes ago
Current time 8:51 p.m. July 20, 2007 

WASHINGTON – President Bush breathed new life into the CIA’s terror interrogation program Friday in an executive order that would allow harsh questioning of suspects, limited in public only by a vaguely worded ban on cruel and inhuman treatment.

The order bars some practices such as sexual abuse, part of an effort to quell international criticism of some of the CIA’s most sensitive and debated work. It does not say what practices would be allowed. More…

CIA corruption probe

March 20, 2007

Well, well, what exactly is going on here. The whole thing sounds like the domino trick where you line them up, touch the first and it falls and you watch the rest go down. Could it be this? Is there more? What is the Corruption Probe all about? Who is being probed?

Common has more.
Published on Monday, March 19, 2007 by
After Four Years of War, Congress Should Cut the Funds

by Medea Benjamin
This weekend, in hundreds of cities throughout the country, Americans commemorated the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq by participating in marches, rallies and vigils. And it wasn’t long ago, in November 2006, that Americans expressed their anti-war sentiment at the ballot box. So what have our elected officials done to comply with the cry of the American people to end this war?
Go to: Common
Posted on Sun, Mar. 18, 2007
U.S. attorney’s firing may be connected to CIA corruption probe
By Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.
Excerpt re-printed by permission of
Go to:


World powers agree on new Iran sanctions

March 15, 2007

Here are todays news links:

World powers agree on new Iran sanctions

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer 22 minutes ago

UNITED NATIONS – U.N. ambassadors from six world powers agreed in principle Wednesday on a proposed new package of sanctions against Iran and were expected to introduce a resolution to the Security Council on Thursday if their governments approve it, the U.S. ambassador said. Click here for article: News


Former Top-Level Carter Advisor Warns Neo-Cons May Stage Terror & Blame Iran
By Mark Glenn
Once thought to be solely the domain of America-first, patriot types, now it seems that even well-educated leftists are willing to put political differences aside and join ranks with their rival “conspiracy theorists” on the right in suggesting there is something rotten in Washington.

What’s more, some of these individuals are even willing to go so far as to hint that interested parties at the highest levels of the U.S. government would be willing to perpetrate acts of terror on American soil to justify the more insidious agenda of widening the present war in the Middle East to include Iran.
Click here for article: American Free Press


GOP set to derail troop withdrawal bill
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent Wed Mar 14, 4:11 PM ET
WASHINGTON – Democratic-backed legislation to withdraw U.S. combat troops from
Iraq cleared an initial Senate hurdle Wednesday, but Republicans confidently predicted they had the votes to defeat it. President Bush backed them up with a veto threat.
The legislation, calling for combat troops to return home over the next 12 months, “would hobble American commanders in the field and substantially endanger America’s strategic objective of a unified federal democratic Iraq,” the White House said in a written statement. Click here for article: News

Pentagon Releases 9/11 Mastermind’s Confession
Posted on Mar 14, 2007

The military has released a confession attributed to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of 9/11. According to the partially redacted transcript of his secret hearing , Mohammed claimed responsibility for 28 attacks, including 9/11, the Bali bombing, a number of operations that were never carried out and some that were not thought to be closely related to al-Qaida.
At one point during his hearing, the presiding officer asked whether Mohammed was speaking under duress. His response was blacked out, although he appeared to suggest the CIA had tortured him.
The military has refused to allow outside observers to attend the hearing.
Click here for article: Truth Dig. com