Almost totally lost in the reporting on the Ukraine crisis is the fact the CIA had an active program of covert intervention into Ukraine for nearly seven decades. The history of that intervention is not being examined by any side in this conflict because it is tied up with the Cold War and the political fallout of the fall of the Soviet Union. But the politics from that time threaten to flare up again, as NATO and Russia move towards a possible armed confrontation.
There was a cascade of coverage of the President’s August 1 remarks concerning John Brennan and his defense of his embattled CIA chief, as Obama was also widely derided for his seeming defense of those who tortured “some folks” after 9/11. (Obama did not mention that the order to torture came from the Oval Office.)
“Well, at least he called the crimes out as ‘torture,” some observers noted. Others, including some in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), called for John Brennan’s resignation as CIA director after he admitted the CIA had spied on Congressional investigators who were writing a thousands-of-pages-long report on the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation program.
An Executive Summary of that report, in a censored version produced by the CIA itself, is now back in the hands of the SSCI, who may or may not release it soon. The Committee has already decided the full 6000 or so page report itself will not be released for years (if ever), a cover-up of immense proportions.
President Obama has said he only banned “some” of the CIA’s torture techniques after 9/11. He’s not the first to note that, but the problem is, no one is really paying attention.
On June 10, Open Roads publishers announced a new “Forbidden Bookshelf” series. Curated by New York University Professor Mark Crispin Miller, “Forbidden Bookshelf” aims to “fill in the blanks of America’s repressed history by resurrecting books that focused on issues and events that are too often left in the dark.”
One of the first books published in the series is Douglas Valentine’s invaluable, in-depth history of one of America’s most egregious counterinsurgency, torture and assassination programs, as described in his 1990 book “The Phoenix Program: American’s Use of Terror in Vietnam.”
A new book by Karen Wetmore documents her recovery from trauma endured as a years-long involuntary experimental victim of the CIA’s MKULTRA program. It is a unique document and memoir of a modern hero.
A partially redacted set of medical records released in the aftermath of the 2006 deaths of three Guantanamo prisoners shows that the use of “medical restraints” in the use of forced feeding of hunger striking detainees was used as a threat on hunger striking prisoners. At least one detainee was told over and over that use of “medical restraints” was due to his voluntary refusal to eat.
While Guantanamo medical authorities said the need for restraints was due to “medical necessity,” such necessity was never documented. Instead, it was clear the use of restraints was punitive in nature.
A new report by The Center for Policy and Research at Seton Hall University’s School of Law has found that crucial medical testimony about the death of three Guantanamo detainees in June 2006 was suppressed. This was one of a number of findings, which included evidence of doctoring of documents, and lies told to Congressional representatives enquiring about the case. A recent report by Scott Horton at Harper’s also looked at one key document in the Seton Hall report that directly contradicts the government narrative of evidence. This document, too, was suppressed.
Psychologists for Social Responsibility, who have been outspoken in opposing the use of U.S. medical professionals in interrogations, has released a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel condemning the ongoing use of interrogation techniques in the Army Field Manual, which amount to use of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners.
A group of psychologists who have been outspoken in opposing the use of U.S. medical professionals in interrogations have released a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel condemning the ongoing use of interrogation techniques amounting to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners.
The use of such techniques are found in the current Army Field Manual (PDF), and in particular in its special Appendix M, which summarizes a set of techniques, under the label “separation,” that are only meant to be used on prisoners who the U.S. government claims don’t meet the additional Prisoner of War protections of the Geneva Conventions — prisoners like those held in indefinite detention at Guantanamo.
A key U.S. Defense Department directive rewritten only a month before Barack Obama was first elected President used a legalistically-carved definition for SERE techniques to hide the fact that, despite the fact DoD maintained such techniques were “banned,” important components of the SERE interrogation techniques that could amount to torture were still available to U.S. interrogators.