"The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtually foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system --- whether political, religious or economic --- that is rejected by large numbers of people they are ruling. Just as ecologists define ecosystems by the presence of certain 'indicator species'..., torture is an indicator species of a regime that is engaged in a deeply anti-democratic project, even if that regime happens to have come to power through elections." - Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine (2007)
In Part I of this five-part series, I took care to distinguish the post-9/11 application of torture techniques by the U.S. military from the role played by the CIA and demonstrated how the Bush/Cheney decision to torture predated the quasi-legal Justice Department memos. In Part II, I covered the CIA's dark beginnings, including links not only to former Nazi war criminals but to those Americans who provided financial support to Hitler's Germany, including the late Senator Prescott Bush, George W's paternal grandfather. I also demonstrated how academic studies, performed as part of the CIA's maniacal quest to crack the code of human consciousness, culminated in KUBARK, the CIA's 1963 torture manual.
Here, we will explore how those KUBARK torture techniques became an essential component of the covert dimension of a US-led corporate Empire --- a means for exerting control over populations resistant to the injustice of a system that values the obscene wealth of a few over the needs of the many...
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire
I don’t want to give the wrong impression. All nations possess a legitimate need to gather intelligence. There have been large numbers of extraordinarily dedicated CIA employees, like Ray McGovern and Valerie Plame Wilson, who have sought to protect this nation from harm. But there is the dark side of the agency, a covert branch which has engaged in deception, intrigue, torture and assassinations, all designed to destabilize democratic governments in order to advance and consolidate the power and influence of a US-based, multi-national corporate empire.
In Part I of this five-part series, I described how the George W. Bush administration did not wait for legal "permission" from its Department of Justice before embarking on its plan to use torture as means of forcing confessions and other information from detainees. In "Prosecute or Perish" I stressed that the current torture scandal is the product of a half-century of CIA torture; that by failing to prosecute those who tortured in our name in the same manner that we prosecuted the Japanese officers who waterboarded my father during World War II, we not only will expose our nation to the charge of hypocrisy but will endanger the very survival of our constitutional democracy and the rule of law.
As I noted in Part I, we cannot move forward unless we honestly examine our past --- which, in this instance, mandates a careful look at the origins of the CIA...
In a sense, it may be said that the CIA was a stepchild of Nazi Germany. As noted by Joseph Trento in Prelude to Terror (2006), its founder, Allen Dulles, had done business with the Nazis before World War II. Dulles served in the O.S.S. in Bern, Switzerland. From 1945 to 1947, preceding the creation of the CIA, Dulles ran his own private and entirely illegal intelligence service in which he “began a massive ex-Nazi recruitment* campaign, using a State Department refugee office as a front.” The recruitment campaign, Prof. Alfred McCoy observed, in A Question of Torture (2006), entailed more than the use of war criminals as spies. It included German scientists “who had directed Nazi experiments into human physiology and psychology” and whose early research would lay the ground work for CIA torture techniques…
Back in December 2007, when I wrote "Torture is Wrong, Illegal and It Doesn't Work," I mentioned that "the FBI agent who reportedly had the best chance of foiling the 9/11 plot, Ali Soufan, the only Arabic-speaking agent in New York and one of only eight in the country, and who has since resigned from the FBI, could and should tell people the truth of how the CIA's tactics were counterproductive."
Well guess what?! HE FINALLY DID SO ON WEDNESDAY! The points Soufan makes are very instructive as our country begins to unravel the differences between the fictional world of Hollywood's "Jack Bauer," and the real world dilemmas and questions of morality and legality as faced by actual intelligence and law enforcement officers.
"My Tortured Decision" is how former FBI Agent Soufan titled his New York Times op-ed, speaking out to specifically refute a number of Dick Cheney's lies about how torture "worked." The truth, according to Soufan, is quite the opposite from how Cheney continues to paint it...
Perhaps one of the funniest bits ever on Colbert. If you didn't see it last night --- or Glenn Beck's multiple, recent insane breakdowns on the Fox "News" Channel --- this video is a "Must Watch"! (Video courtesy RAW STORY)...
Pat Tillman's mother Mary said in 2005, about the Bush Administration's unforgivable cover-up, exploitation of her son's death by "friendly-fire" in Afghanistan before the 2004 Presidential Election...
"Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did," Mary Tillman said in her first lengthy interview since her son's death. "The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."
I would like someone to be held accountable. I’d like for them to discover and try to discover who was involved with this cover-up. It’s a horrible thing that they did. And I think that if people don’t see that, it’s very sad, because it means that we have been numbed to all the lies and deceptions that we’ve been faced with during these last eight years.
If I hear one more Bush Legacy con-artist --- or worse, supposed Progressives who brainlessly buy into the masterstroke of propaganda --- state that "Bush kept us safe" or "There have been no terror attacks on American soil since 9/11," I think I may shoot someone, or poison them with anthrax --- just to keep them safe.
To be clear, there were deadly terror attacks --- and on American soil! --- since 9/11.
5 people were killed and 17 other were injured in the 2001 anthrax attacks in what was the most deadly use of lethal bioterrorism on American soil in this nation's history. Many of those multiple terror attacks included notes intended to signal that they were attacks by supporters of Islamic jihadists.
Additionally, in October 2002, for three weeks, D.C. and environs were ground to a panicked stand-still as sniper attacks by a terrorist from the Nation of Islam went on for three weeks, killing 10 people and injuring 3 at 15 different sites throughout the Beltway.
Both the Anthrax Attacks and the Beltway Sniper Attacks were terrorist attacks on Americans, on American soil, following 9/11.
As to Bush having kept us safe beyond the 15 killed and 20 injured in the dozens of terror attacks on American soil since 9/11 as mentioned above, to date 4,230 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq. Additionally, 172 American civilian contractors were also killed in the unnecessary, optional war on a country which had nothing to do with 9/11. Moreover, tens of thousands of U.S. troops were permanently injured in the conflict.
The number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, under Bush's optional deployment, far exceeds, by more than one thousand, the number of American citizens killed on 9/11.
Counting only the dead (and only the American dead, in this case, since estimates of violent Iraqi civilian fatalities during the war are currently estimated to be anywhere from a conservative 150,000 to more than 1,000,000) that totals 4,245 Americans killed by terrorists, or in optional conflicts with terrorists, since 9/11.
"Bush kept us safe"?
Since 9/11, we could have had 14 different massive domestic terrorist bombings, in 14 different major U.S. cities, kill 300 Americans in each attack, and still had fewer Americans killed by terrorists since 9/11 than we have under the bold and courageous leadership of George W. Bush.
None of the above refers to the likely millions of individuals across the world now far more interested in bringing us harm than they were prior to 9/11, but other than that, yeah, "Bush kept us safe".
Party Affiliation of the Now-Deceased Bruce Ivins, as Confirmed by His Local County Board of Elections, Adds Yet Another Curious Question to the Increasingly Troubling Investigation into the Post-9/11 Terrorist Attacks on American Soil...
Bruce E. Ivins, reportedly on the verge of being indicted for capital murder in the anthrax killings, was a registered Democrat, according to the Fredrick County, MD, Board of Elections. He had been registered there since 1982 and records indicate that he voted in "every election since 1996," including Democratic primaries, according to the official who responded to a request from West Virginia-based radio host Bob Kincaid.
The party affiliation of the bio-terror researcher who worked at U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) adds a notable twist to the ever increasing questions surrounding the bizarre case following Ivins' reported suicide last week. He was, according to media reports, soon to be indicted for charges related to the post-9/11 terror attacks that rocked the nation and, as Salon'sGlen Greenwald has very effectively argued, served as a crucial influence in marching the country towards war with Iraq.
Last week, as the story of Ivins' reported suicide was breaking, The BRAD BLOG excoriated the corporate mainstream media for failing to note that the targets of the multiple post-9/11 terror attacks on American soil were primarily powerful men, perceived as "liberals" by the Republican right wing. Nonetheless, despite two senior Democratic U.S. senators, Tom Daschle of SD and Patrick Leahy of VT, having been the only known governmental targets in the deadly letter campaign which also included perceived "liberal" media figurehead Tom Brokaw, the MSM coverage --- almost uniformly --- failed to note the obvious correlations in the attacks. Most even failed to even mention the names of those who were directly targeted in what was clearly meant to appear as a follow-up attack from Muslim extremists.
Furthermore, as we also noted on Friday, despite a parade of reporters who had contacted Ivins' oldest brother Thomas that day for comment, not one of them --- until us --- bothered even to inquire about Bruce's political leanings or affiliations.
That it now turns out Ivins was a registered Democrat adds yet another curious twist to a story which is already revealing bizarre and potentially exculpatory evidence and other cracks in the government's reported (though, as yet, not publicly disclosed) case against him. Today, the New York Times noted, as we similarly did yesterday, that the FBI's case against Ivins appears to be almost entirely circumstantial, at least based on the information so far available...
George Bush went out of his way not to use the term "mission accomplished" yesterday when he quietly declared the surge in Iraq to be a success. Bush's declaration has been ignored by just about everyone, except for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who used it as an opportunity to trot out one of the tired-est of the GOP Big Lies: that Saddam Hussein's government was behind the 9/11 attacks.
First, here's a bit of Bush's non-declaration of success mumbo-jumbo:
BUSH: This has been a month of encouraging news from Iraq. Violence is down to its lowest level since the spring of 2004, and we're now in our third consecutive month with reduced violence levels holding steady. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker caution that the progress is still reversible, but they report that there now appears to be a "degree of durability" to the gains we have made.
A significant reason for this sustained progress is the success of the surge. Another is the increasing capability of the Iraqi forces. Iraqi forces now have 192 combat battalions in the fight --- and more than 110 of these battalions are taking the lead in combat operations against terrorists and extremists.
A little later, during a press conference held by Lieberman and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to congratulate Dear Leader on his latest triumph, Lieberman said this:
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
The fact that hardly anyone has heard of David Addington is no accident. As chief of staff to Dick Cheney, he shares his boss's fetish for secrecy. But as reporters are finally zeroing in on what Bush officials have really been up to these last seven years, evidence continues to pile up about the key role Addington has played in the skullduggery. Some are even suggesting he could be tried for war crimes for his role in approving the torture of terror suspects.
In the video above, in an interview with Steve Clemons, editor of The Washington Note, Jane Mayer discusses Addington, whom she profiled in the New Yorker last year and who plays a central role in her new book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, which Trish, my colleague at PR, wrote about this week.
The excerpt in the following transcript comes about 11 minutes into the interview. The quote mentioned by Mayer and Clemens is the last line in Mayer's book. It comes from Phillip Zelikow, a former counselor to Condoleeza Rice, who attempted to explain what went wrong within the administration after the attacks on September 11 this way: "Fear and anxiety were exploited by zealots and fools."
UPDATE: Now back home, and watching Kucinich myself on C-SPAN. He's been reading for hours, and may have hours ahead still. As mentioned on the air, I was consulted for these Articles of Impeachment and submitted a number of suggestions and material concerning impeachable offenses related to election tampering by George W. Bush and his agents. Don't know whether those articles are still in the final version. We shall see. But I wanted to be sure to disclose that.
No doubt we'll be talking about this tomorrow on the PBC Show (which I'm Guest Hosting all week). We're trying to get Kucinich for tomorrow's show...if he still has any voice left.
FURTHER UPDATE: Looks like the election-related Articles of Impeachment made it into the final version, including a mention of GOP "voter fraud" sheister Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of front-group American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). Nice to see Hearne get the recognition on the floor of the U.S. Congress that he so richly deserves.
Kucinich introduced a resolution last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. That resolution was killed, but only after Republicans initially voted in favor of taking up the measure to force a debate.
In fact, his Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney were not "killed," they were sent to the House Judiciary Committee, where they remain without action having been taken on them by the Dem leadership, despite best efforts by folks like Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), and others.
Article 28 - Tampering with Free and Fair Elections (7:20)
Article 29 - Violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Part 1 (8:54), Part 2 (9:39)
POST-ADJOURNMENT UPDATE: Just prior to midnight ET, Kucinich finally finished reading the list of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Equal Justice Society writes:
"We've waited seven years to find one Member of Congress brave enough to stand up for our Constitution, for which generations of Americans have fought and died," said Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com. "We are thrilled and honored that Dennis Kucinich has chosen to be that one genuine patriot. We congratulate him on his historic leadership, and pledge to do everything in our power to persuade Congress to adopt all 35 Articles and put George W. Bush on trial before the Senate of the United States, exactly as the Founding Fathers wanted."
"Some might question why Congressman Kucinich has done this now," continued Fertik. "My question is why 434 other Congress Members have not done it before. Despite the uncountable and unspeakable crimes this administration has committed, George Bush and Dick Cheney remain in power and immune from prosecution. Congress must impeach Bush and Cheney now - before they further abuse their power by pardoning for all of their crimes."
Email or call (202-224-3121) your Member of Congress to support Rep. Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment. And sign the petition at Democrats.com.
The long saught DoJ "Torture Memo" written by John Yoo, offering a defense to George W. Bush and his sadistic friends to order the torture, and even killing, of detainees, has finally been made available. Not by the DoJ to Congress as they'd long sought, but to the ACLU via a FOIA request. (Thank you, ACLU!)
Yoo's document is some 80 pages long, offering what he feels --- or what the Administration wanted him to feel --- is a reasonable legal defense for the use of torture, even where it is explicitly disallowed by international treaties to which the U.S. has signed on.
[Updated --- now several times --- with a number of significant items, additional info, background, reaction and analysis from around the blogosphere, all at the end of the article.]
Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator who has been under a Bush administration gag order for the past 5 years, has now begun to disclose some of the classified information she has been prohibited from revealing.
"A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets," reports Great Britain's Sunday Times in the lede of their front page exclusive, headlined "For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets."
In the article, just filed tonight, Edmonds reveals details overheard on wiretaps she translated during her time at the FBI, just after 9/11. Her disclosures to the Times reveal a maze of nuclear black market espionage involving U.S. Defense and State Department officials, that resulted in the sale and propagation of nuclear secrets to Turkish and Israeli interests. In turn, that information was then sold to Pakistan and used by A.Q. Kahn for development of nuclear weapons. The secrets were subsequently proliferated to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and potentially al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden, just weeks prior to September 11th, 2001.
The explosive allegations, shared with the Sunday Times over the last several weeks, follow on the heels of two reports published late last year by The BRAD BLOG, based on our own exclusive interviews with Edmonds.
In August, the U.S. government intelligence agencies sent word up the chain that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons programs back in 2003. And yet, about two months later, on Oct. 17, 2007, George W. Bush issued a dire warning about Iran's nukes to the American people:
Bush: "I've told people that if you're interest in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
At Bush's news conference today, amid his tired, cringe-inducing towel-snaps at the White House press corps, he denied knowing the Iranian program was suspended in October when he suggested that the apocalypse was nigh:
[BUSH:] I was made aware of the NIE last week. In August, I think it was [Director of National Intelligence (DNI)] Mike McConnell came in and said, we have some new information. He didn't tell me what the information was; he did tell me it was going to take a while to analyze. Why would you take time to analyze new information? One, you want to make sure it's not disinformation. You want to make sure the piece of intelligence you have is real. And secondly, they want to make sure they understand the intelligence they gathered: If they think it's real, then what does it mean? And it wasn't until last week that I was briefed on the NIE that is now public.
Q I understand what you're saying about when you were informed about the NIE. Are you saying at no point while the rhetoric was escalating, as "World War III" was making it into conversation, at no point nobody from your intelligence team or your administration was saying, maybe you want to back it down a little bit?
[BUSH:] No, nobody ever told me that.
Normal U.S. presidents don't generally suggest, especially off-handedly, that the planet is on the brink of World War III. Is it really possible that Bush could have been so woefully uninformed about his own government's intelligence findings that he could make such a world-class blunder?
"I'd say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers," Daniel Ellsberg told us in regard to former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.
"From what I understand, from what she has to tell, it has a major difference from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and may involve impeachable offenses," Ellsberg explained. "And I don't necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn't be surprised if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive Branch may be impeached as well. And she says similar about Congress."
The BRAD BLOG spoke recently with the legendary 1970's-era whistleblower in the wake of our recent exclusive, detailing Edmonds' announcement that she was prepared to risk prosecution to expose the entirety of the still-classified information that the Bush Administration has "gagged" her from revealing for the past five years under claims of the arcane "State Secrets Privilege."
Ellsberg, the former defense analyst and one-time State Department official, knows well the plight of whistleblowers. He himself was prepared to spend his life in prison for the exposure of some 7,000 pages of classified Department of Defense documents concerning Executive Branch manipulation of facts and outright lies leading the country into an extended war in Vietnam.
Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised that today's American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to take Edmonds up on her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations.
As Edmonds has also noted, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who "sat on the NSA spying story for over a year" when they "could have put it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome."
"There will be phone calls going out to the media saying 'don't even think of touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,'" he told us.
"I have been receiving calls from the mainstream media all day," Edmonds recounted the day after we ran the story announcing that she was prepared to violate her gag-order to disclose all of the national security-related criminal allegations she has been kept from disclosing for the past five years.
"The media called from Japan and France and Belgium and Germany and Canada and from all over the world," she told The BRAD BLOG.
"But not from here?" we asked incredulously.
"I'm getting contact from all over the world, but not from here. Isn't that disgusting?" she shot back.
Well, this is interesting. It seems our Monday Exclusive on "gagged" FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has disappeared from Google News. Sort of.
A simple news search for "Sibel Edmonds" at Google no longer offers the rather blockbuster story, in which it's announced that she is now challenging American mainstream media television outlets to allow her to tell her story, uncensored and in violation of the ridiculous years-long "State Secrets Privilege" that the DoJ has been using to keep her quiet.
The story can be found via Google News, but it requires a search for both "Sibel Edmonds" and "Brad Blog," or drilling by date, etc. We've got no idea why the story fails to show up otherwise.
That's particularly odd since it's been incredibly popular since we first blogged it, having made it's way to #3 at Digg.com and #4 at Reddit.com, as well as becoming the #1 "recommended" diary at DailyKos.com for most of the day it first ran. (Those rankings alone translate to big traffic on the Internets, for those not familiar with how these things work.) We also ran a version of the report over at Huffington Post. That one doesn't show up either.
Oddly, our much older story from two weeks ago, in which we referred to and quoted Edmonds --- in relation to the recent House resolution declaring "genocide" in Turkey, and her damning allegations concerning former Speaker Dennis Hastert's corrupt bargain while pushing the same legislation in 2000 --- does show up via the Google News search for "Sibel Edmonds." Even though that one, unlike this week's, doesn't even have her name in the headline and was far less popular and infrequently linked to.
No idea what all of that is about, of course, but it seems noteworthy.
In related news, we'll have an exclusive follow-up soon on Edmonds, and the interesting response (or lack thereof), she's so-far received from the American mainstream media in the wake of the blockbuster Monday report. Here's a hint, she's called it "disgusting."
In the meantime, the blogger who pointed out the above anomaly suggests the "Stephen Colbert Effect" might be useful in Edmonds' matter as well.
UPDATE 11/1/07 12:02pm PT: The original story that wouldn't appear via simple Google News search for "Sibel Edmonds" now does show up as a result of that search. We have no idea what, if anything, has changed, but since we ran this report (which also shows up on the same search) 24 hours ago or so, the story now shows up as expected, when it did not previously. No clue what to make of it all still, of course, but noting it nonetheless.