British Find That Detainee Was Tortured As Part Of American Interrogation . . . Obama Administration Threatens To Cut Off Intelligence To England

While the Obama Administration continues to block any independent investigation in this country or by other countries, Britain has angered Obama officials by confirming that a suspect was tortured as part of his interrogation by the United State in Morocco. The use of other countries to torture U.S. detainees through “extraordinary renditions” is well documented. However, the Obama Administration reportedly threatened to cut off Britain from access to intelligence if the country told the truth about the torture of Binyam Mohamed. Thus, while publicly condemning the desecration of dead Taliban as “deplorable” and promising an investigation (after the photos were published by the media), the Administration continues to use classification laws to prevent the truth from being revealed about American involvement in potential war crimes. What is particularly disturbing is that this story has received relatively little attention in the United States media, which appears to have “moved beyond” torture in favor of Tebow as a worthy subject of coverage.

Mohammed was interrogated by U.S. officials and tortured during the two years he was held in Morocco. He was picked up in Pakistan in 2002 after American officials claimed that he was al-Qaeda training and preparing to detonate a “dirty bomb” in the United States. If you recall, the Bush Administration also made such a claim against Jose Padilla — a statement by John Ashcroft later retracted by the White House.

The CIA reportedly transferred Mohamed to Morocco after 18 months of interrogation — transported on CIA-chartered aircraft as part of the Bush Administration’s “extraordinary rendition program.” e was later taken to Guantanamo.

During his torture sessions, Mohamed was hanged from a wall with his feet unable to reach the floor and his chest and genitals were cut with a razor. Pictures, Mohammed said, were taken by a woman with an American accent. While the British government opposed release of evidence in the case, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) confirmed the allegation of torture. They further said the torture resulted in the provision of “information to the US authorities about Mohamed and supplied questions for the US authorities to put to Mohamed while he was being detained.”

What is most striking here is that it is the Obama Administration that is fighting the release of this information and threatening England — as it earlier threatened Spain when a court in that country sought to investigate our torture program. While President Obama has admitted that waterboarding is torture, he promised CIA employees that they would not be prosecuted for such a war crime. Not only has his Administration protected such individuals from prosecution, but it has opposed the release of evidence that confirms torture even worse than waterboarding. This is why so many civil libertarians have pledged not to support Obama. Even if Obama insists on violating treaty obligations to prosecute torture, there is no principled reason to refuse to acknowledge such crimes in past cases and to withhold confirmation of such practices. Obama has long sought to give the impression of someone concerns about torture while avoiding any responsibility or accountability for such crimes. This case shows how far Obama officials have gone to conceal our violations of international and domestic laws.

If this man’s account is true (and clearly Scotland Yard has supported the thrust of the allegations), American officials participated in a horrific interrogation involving cutting a detainee and other acts of classic torture. There may be photographic evidence of such crimes. They should be made public. His name and case are already public. The classification of such evidence is being used solely to shield officials from accountability and to protect the Administration from embarrassment.

Source: The Atlantic

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    Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012

    Crime boasting for profit

    Shielded from all forms of accountability, a CIA official is able to publish a book glorifying his illegal acts

    By Glenn Greenwald

    On December 7, 2007, The New York Times reported that the CIA “in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program.” Documents obtained when the ACLU asked a federal judge to hold the CIA in contempt of court — for destruction of evidence which that judge had ordered be produced — subsequently revealed that the agency had actually “destroyed 92 videotapes of terror-suspect interrogations.” The videotapes recorded interrogations of detainees who were waterboarded and otherwise tortured. The original NYT article, by Mark Mazzetti, reported that “the decision to destroy the tapes was made by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who was the head of the Directorate of Operations, the agency’s clandestine service” (the NYT later reported that some White House officials had participated in the deliberations and even advocated the tapes’ destruction).

    Destruction of these tapes was so controversial because it seemed so obviously illegal. At the time the destruction order was issued, numerous federal courts — as well as the 9/11 Commission — had ordered the U.S. Government to preserve and disclose all evidence relating to interrogations of Al Qaeda and 9/11 suspects. Purposely destroying evidence relevant to legal proceedings is called “obstruction of justice.” Destroying evidence which courts and binding tribunals (such as the 9/11 Commission) have ordered to be preserved is called “contempt of court.” There are many people who have been harshly punished, including some sitting right now in prison, for committing those crimes in far less flagrant ways than was done here. In fact, so glaring was the lawbreaking that the co-Chairmen of the 9/11 Commission — the mild-mannered, consummate establishmentarians Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean — wrote a New York Times Op-Ed pointedly accusing the CIA of “obstruction” (“Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation”).

    In 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a Special Prosecutor to determine if criminal charges should be filed. When I was writing my last book about the legal immunity bestowed on political elites even for egregious crimes, I actually expected that Rodriguez would be indicted and that his indictment would be an exception to the rule of elite immunity which I was documenting. As I wrote in my book, “even our political class, I thought, couldn’t allow lawbreaking this brazen to go entirely unpunished.” But I was quite wrong about that.

    In November, 2010, the Obama DOJ — consistent with its steadfast shielding of Bush-era criminals from all forms of accountability — announced that the investigation would be closed without any charges being filed. Needless to say — given how subservient federal judges are to the Executive Branch in the post-9/11 era — the federal judge who had ordered the CIA to preserve and produce any such videotapes, Alvin Hellerstein, refused even to hold the CIA in contempt for deliberately disregarding his own order. Instead, Hellerstein — who, like so many federal judges, spent his whole career before joining the bench as a partner for decades in a large corporate law firm serving institutional power — reasoned that punishment for the CIA was unnecessary because, as he put it, new rules issued by the CIA “should lead to greater accountability within the agency and prevent another episode like the videotapes’ destruction.”

    In other words, as I put it in a Guardian Op-Ed about Hellerstein’s CIA-protecting decision: the CIA has promised not to do this again, so they shouldn’t be punished for the crimes they committed. Aside from how difficult it is, given the agency’s history, to make that claim without triggering a global laughing fit, it is also grounded in a principle of leniency rarely applied to ordinary citizens. After all, most criminal defendants caught up in the life-destroying hell of a federal prosecution are quite unlikely to repeat their crimes in the future, yet that fact is no bar to punishing them for the illegal acts they already committed. But the CIA, of course, operates under a different justice system: one in which they are free to deliberately break laws and violate court orders with impunity.

    Protected by the DOJ and Judge Hellerstein from any and all accountability for what he did, the CIA official who ordered the videotapes’ destruction, Jose Rodriguez, is now enjoying the fruits of his crimes. He just published a new book in which he aggressively defends his decision to destroy those tapes (“The propaganda damage to the image of America would be immense. But the main concern then, and always, was for the safety of my officers . . .I was just getting rid of some ugly visuals that could put the lives of my people at risk”). He also categorically justifies the CIA’s use of torture (“I am certain, beyond any doubt, that these techniques … shielded the people of the United States from harm and led to the capture of killing of Usama bin Ladin”) as well as the agency’s network of black sites (“Why not bring the detainees to trial?,” asks The Washington Post‘s Dana Priest in a review today of the book; Rodriguez’ answer in the book: “because they would get lawyered up, and our job, first and foremost, is to obtain information”). The title of the book: “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.”

    Rodriguez thus joins a long line of Bush officials — Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, et. al — who not only paid no price for the crimes they committed, but are free to run around boasting of those crimes for profit. That’s what happens when the most politically powerful officials are vested with immunity for their illegal acts. Both the criminals and their crimes become normalized. They feel free not only to admit their crimes openly but to justify and glorify them, because they know they will never be held accountable for them. Instead of having to explain himself as a criminal defendant, Rodriguez is instead permitted to wrap his conduct in the banner of heroism as a highly-paid Simon & Schuster author.

    This will be one of the most enduring and consequential aspects of the Obama legacy: by working so hard, in so many ways, to shield Bush-era crimes from all forms of accountability, the Democratic President has ensured that they are not viewed as crimes at all, but at worst, run-of-the-mill political controversies. Given all this, why would any government officials tempted to commit these same crimes in the future possibly decide that they should not?

    * * * * *

    As I wrote about earlier this week, the Obama DOJ is attempting to resist the ACLU’s lawsuit to obtain basic information about the CIA’s drone program by insisting that it cannot even confirm or deny the existence of the program without damaging national security. It makes this claim even though top-level Obama officials routinely boast in the media about this program. Incredibly, Rodriguez’s book — which was reviewed and cleared for publication by the CIA — explicitly discusses the CIA’s use of drones. So here we have, yet again, the U.S. Government permitting public discussions of what it does when it benefits top officials, while simultaneously shielding its conduct from the rule of law by telling courts that what it does is so secret that it cannot even confirm or deny its existence. (end of article)

  2. dance competition, dance competitions,showstoppers dance competition,headliners dance compition,starquest dance competition,starbound dance competition,list of dance competitions,dance competitions 2012,revolution dance competition,hall of fame dance competition, vip dance competition,kar dance competition Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂


    BY JAY PRICE The News and Observer
    SMITHFIELD — With fresh ammunition from a UNC law school report, activists renewed their call Thursday for state officials to take legal action against Aero Contractors Ltd.

    For years, the Johnston County air transport company, which has links to the CIA, has been accused of being a taxi service for paramilitary teams that pick up terrorism suspects in one country and fly them to another where it’s easier to interrogate and, perhaps, torture them. The process is known as extraordinary rendition.

    Law professor Deborah M. Weissman and members of the protest group N.C. Stop Torture Now gave copies of their report to representatives of N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper and Gov. Bev Perdue on Thursday morning, then released it during a news conference at the Johnston County Airport, where Aero is based.

    The report does not accuse Aero employees of engaging directly in torture. Still, they are accountable for aiding and abetting violations of human rights that are protected under various international treaties and federal laws, Weissman said.

    Because the U.S. government has signed those treaties, each state is legally obligated to uphold them, she said.

    Also, according to a federal report to the United Nations, the state could prosecute any straightforward crimes involved, such as aggravated assault and kidnapping, even if they took place elsewhere, she said.
    Several Aero officers listed in state corporation records either could not be reached or did not return calls Thursday. A woman who answered the company’s phone said no one there would speak to a reporter.

    Representatives for Cooper and Perdue said their offices would have to review the report before commenting on the contents.

    Christina Cowger, one of the leaders of N.C. Stop Torture Now, said that state officials took the report seriously and that they had asked many questions.

    After the news conference, Cowger said the state’s obligation to do whatever it can to make it harder for Aero to do business was a legal and moral obligation.

    “We’d like to start by just having them agree that torture is wrong,” she said. “We’ve been working on this for more than six years, and they’ve never even said that.”

    Thursday’s news conference was held near the tiny airport office. Aero officials were invited to attend, but declined, Cowger said.
    In a way, though, the company’s supporters may have gotten their say. Much of the news conference presentation was drowned out, first by planes that revved their engines nearby for several minutes, then by a sleek Pitts biplane that roared into the sky and promptly began a noisy aerobatics performance a few hundred feet above the gathering.
    Since Aero’s alleged role in the rendition program began to get attention in the mid-2000s, the little airport has become perhaps the world’s main target for rendition protests. It’s even put under occasional surveillance by volunteers trying to document movements of the company’s aircraft.

    Extraordinary renditions began under President Bill Clinton and accelerated under George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    Former CIA officials have described them as an invaluable tool in the fight against terrorists. Opponents, though, say that it has repeatedly lead to violations of basic human rights and that several innocent victims have been caught up in the program and tortured.

    Stop Torture Now has tried for years to get state officials to act against Aero, but Cooper has declined to investigate the company’s activities. There also were unsuccessful attempts in 2007 and 2008 in the General Assembly to formally ban torture in North Carolina.

    The activists feel the law school report gives new weight to their pleas for action.

    Flights studied

    Aero was founded in 1979 by Jim Rhyne of Clayton, who had overseen clandestine flights for Air America, an airline based in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War era and run by the CIA.

    Former CIA leaders said in earlier interviews with The News & Observer that the spy agency continued to employ Rhyne after Air America was disbanded. His role included setting up small companies to supply the CIA with aircraft and crews.

    That is exactly what Aero has done, according to the UNC report, which was compiled by Weissman and eight students with the law school’s Immigration and Human Rights Policy Clinic. It focuses on cases in which Aero aircraft were traced between airports on the days when five specific detainees were known to have been moved around, all of them later found innocent and released.

    It bears formal endorsements from several experts on international human rights law, including Manfred Nowak, a professor at the University of Vienna in Austria who was appointed by the United Nations to investigate torture from 2004 to 2010.

    Four of the men mentioned in the UNC report were among a group that filed a civil suit in California against another company that was allegedly involved in the flight planning when they were rendered. Courts there dismissed the suit after the federal government stepped in and said vital national secrets were at stake.

    An attorney for two of them, Steven Watt, was at the news conference Thursday and said North Carolina should act against Aero because it owed at least that to his clients, Abou Elkassim Britel and Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, after their ordeal.

    Also speaking was Sam Wells, dean of Duke Chapel. As Americans, standing by and allowing state-sponsored torture was the same as letting the terrorists win, because it destroys our core values, Wells said.

    (end of excerpt)

  4. It’s too late,ameriscumbags,you are recognised worldwide as subhuman fascists,to be avoided at all costs.


    “Fortunately, there are journalists like Joshua Phillips who have taken great pains to preserve the memories of a handful of veterans whose lives have been ravaged by the war.

    Phillips is the author of “None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture,” a harrowing book about the torture of prisoners in Iraq and the deep psychological scars it left on the members of one battalion who dispensed pain to their victims.”

  6. We definitely have to stop electing presidents who get a woody every time they think of desperate soldiers. We have been having too much war here people. Take a good look and THEN TRY to tell me I am wrong. All the blood leaves their heads and goes somewhere else so they lie,lie,lie, to bring on more war. The oil companies feed this psychosis, as do the European royalty.

    There are very few honors greater than the privilege to kick ass to defend ones’ home and family. We do NOT have that here. Only lies and perversion.

  7. shano 1, January 15, 2012 at 1:19 am

    anon nurse, great to have part of the transcript, it reads better than the video quality allowed.


    I listened as I read the transcript… It was quite compelling to hear him deliver it… (I also listened to the Wilkerson and Radack (sp) talks which were very good, as well.) Thanks again for posting the link.

    I agree with your comments to “wisely skeptical” — there are some terrible things going on right now on U.S. soil, involving American citizens, as well. As you rightly said, “the whole thing is beyond belief.” As I’ve said ad nauseum, and I know it from some terrible, personal experiences… we’re in terrible trouble here… I fear for all of us, but especially for those we will be leaving behind…

    Ours is no “land of the free”…

  8. anon nurse, great to have part of the transcript, it reads better than the video quality allowed.

    skeptical; from some of the detainees are reports of medical experimentation with drugs, injections in the spine, etc. And then refusal to give blood tests, results of tests, etc. this medical experimentation needs to be investigated thoroughly, the papers it produced and the reasons brought out into the light of day.

    Because our government already has some verifiable history of terrible, horrific medical experiments, both in our own nation and in other nations. They never come to any good, no good information is ever produced. And if they were testing new drugs for Big Pharma, we need to know that too. the whole thing is beyond belief.

  9. Mock trials have a good purpose , to hone future lawyers’ critical and debating skills. Good news it may be for potential lawyers, but why do the actual victims of mock executions , whose doctors had a shockingly dismissive of rights of the man or woman experimented on, do these victims of ethical psychological malpractice violations have to endure once more with numbness the endless cruel smarminess of mock rehearsals too ? Do mock nightmares really exist or is they are just in the eye of the brain pattern concept of the programmer ? There are groups studying behavior who should be called to testify before real courts and admit to the crewel manipulations that should have ended decades ago . Signed in hope for friendship and hoping for a more realistic communication system for all .

  10. Dirty Bomb?
    Dirty Bomb made in Afghanistan? — This is an infantile claim!!!
    At most, the ‘terrorists’ can stuff plastic bags with bovine excrement and spread it here in the US in highly sensitive locations….

    This will also fuel the obvious scatology complex of many….

  11. Excerpts from the link provided by shano…

    January 4, 2012

    Whistle Blower Threatened with 35 Years in Prison, Warns of Developing Tyranny

    (speech at Sam Adams Awards)


    “With all the unitary executive privilege, all the secrecy and exigent conditions used as the excuse to torture, deny due process, and engage in off-the-books electronic surveillance, Jesselyn and I followed all the rules as whistleblowers until it fundamentally conflicted with our oath to uphold the Constitution. Then we both made a fateful choice to exercise our First Amendment rights. We went to the press with patently unclassified information, about which the public had a right to know.

    However—however—rather than address its own corruption, ineptitude, and illegality, the government made us targets of federal criminal leak investigations, part of a vicious—I repeat, vicious—campaign against whistleblowers that started under Bush and has now come to full fruition under Obama, inverting the logical paradigm. We were transmogrified from public servants trying to improve our government, into traitors and enemies of the state. The government subjected us to severe retaliation that started with forcing us from our jobs as career public servants, rendering us unemployed and unemployable, while [incompr.] a wrecking ball into the conditions of our jobs, in my case a security clearance, and in Jesselyn’s case, state bar licensure. We were blacklisted and no longer had a stream of income, while simultaneously incurring attorneys fees and necessitating second mortgages on our respective homes. But that was nothing, that was nothing compared to the overkill reprisal to come, placement on the no-fly list for Jesselyn and prosecution under the Espionage Act for me.

    What we experienced sends unequivocally a chilling message, an unequivocally chilling message about what the government can and will do when one speaks truth to power: a direct form of political repression and censorship. If sharing issues—if sharing issues of significant and even grave public concern which do not in any way compromise our national security is now considered a criminal act, we have strayed far from what our founding fathers envisioned. When exercising First Amendment rights is now considered espionage, this is anathema to a free, open, and democratic government.

    As Americans, we did everything we could to defend the constitutional rights of all U.S. citizens, which were violated and abused by our own government when there was no reason to do so at all, except as an excuse to go to the proverbial dark side, by abrogating unaccountable, irresponsible, and off-the-books unilateral executive power in secret. Once exposed, these unconstitutional detours were predictably justified by vague and undefined claims of national security, while aided and abetted by shameless fearmongering on the part of government. And so I must say, I must say it is pure sophistry to argue that the government can operate secretly with unbridled immunity and impunity, especially for such blatant illegalities as torture and wiretapping without warrants, from those it is constitutionally bound to serve and protect when providing for the common defense of this nation, and then persecute and prosecute the very people who revealed such wrongdoing and malfeasance.

    Before the war on terrorism, our country well recognized the importance of free speech, privacy, legal counsel, and the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. If we sacrifice these basic liberties according to the false dichotomy that it is required for security, then we transform ourselves from an oasis of freedom into a [incompr.] that terrorizes its own citizens when they step out of line. These are the hallmarks—these are the hallmarks—these are the hallmarks of tyranny and despotism, not democracy, and are increasingly alien to the Constitution and our American way of life.

    Jesselyn and I stand alongside other whistleblowers before us, like Dan Ellsberg and Coleen Rowley, who also nominated me for the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize, as well as Larry Wilkerson, an Integrity in Intelligence award recipient. We did not take an oath to see secrecy and subterfuge used as cover for subverting the Constitution and violating the law. Our oath to the Constitution took primacy.

    But I fear for the Republic. When Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman at the end of the Constitutional Convention and it went out for ratification to the 13 states, he was asked, what has been created here? He said, a Republic, if you can keep it. So what expired on 9/11? The Constitution?

    Are we becoming the national security state under surveillance always, the N.S.S.U.S.A.? Is secret government the new fig leaf for a quaint and outmoded Constitution? Orwell’s 1984 is real, and now already, I repeat, already screamingly relevant. Only the government can create a police state. No one else can. And our technology can now make that happen. There is a long list, a long list of both private industry and government actions that are ripping away our privacy and our Fourth Amendment rights as we speak and our ability to speak freely about it. I challenge you, I challenge you all to demand accountability, to update our protections in the internet age, to insist upon adherence to the Constitution, conservative and liberal and independent like. Even in the open press we know enough about what both the industry and government are doing.

    Do you care? What will you do about it? What country do we want to keep?

    Do we want to continue to have a burgeoning military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-surveillance-cybersecurity-media complex? For whom does it benefit? Do we want to concede the eroding of basic human rights? Why? Because we fear enemies and that creates a need for security, and are then persuaded that human rights are ignored because of the primacy of the national security state beyond legitimate protections and identifying those who would actually do us harm, both abroad and domestically, as a unifying cause for obsessing over national security and the use of fear by the government to control the public and private agenda? What country do we really want to keep?

    So I leave you with this as I channel Frederick Douglass. On August 3, 1857, Frederick Douglass delivered a West India Emancipation speech. At Canandaigua, New York, on the 23rd anniversary of the event, he said, quote (please listen very carefully): “The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” Let me translate into today’s language. Power and those in control concede nothing, I repeat, concede nothing without a demand. They never have and they never will. Every one of us, every one of us in this room and beyond this room, each and every one of us must keep demanding, must keep fighting, must keep thundering, must keep plowing, must keep on keeping things struggling, must speak out, and must speak up until justice is served, because where there is no justice there can be no peace.

    What country do we want to truly keep? Consider what actions you will take when you leave this evening. After all, it is our country. So take the necessary action to conserve the very best of who we are and can be for this generation, as well as future generations to come.”

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