Protests against Money in Politics: Thousands of Enraged Americans Storm Washington. Media Yawns Over 1,400 Advocates Were Arrested Outside the Capitol Building Last Week

 

                             Over 1,400 Advocates Were Arrested Outside the Capitol Building Last Week

 

 

Manipulation-médiatiqueThis article first appeared on WhoWhatWhy

But an ongoing story about the fight for the very soul of that democracy has been given short shrift.

More than 5,000 activists descended on the Capitol from across the country, including hundreds who had marched there from Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy. It was a campaign that recalled the non-violent civil rights protests of the 1960s.

Media Gives Event… 29 Seconds

On April 12, largely unnoticed by the corporate media, they began a weeklong series of rallies protesting money in politics and calling for a restoration of the sanctity of the election process.

In a show of civil disobedience designed to raise awareness of the devastating influence of money in politics, more than 1,400 people got themselves arrested outside the Capitol.

Notwithstanding the timeliness of the event — and its direct relevance to the presidential race — coverage has been miniscule. An analysis by the advocacy group Media Matters has found that the major news networks between April 11 and April 18 devoted to the protests a grand total of … 29 seconds, and only on PBS.

The only time the media seemed to find anything worth reporting was when celebrities were taken away in shackles. Actress Rosario Dawson was arrested Friday, April 15. Vermont’s ice cream royalty, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, were arrested as part of Democracy Awakening on Monday.

“It’s always exciting when celebrities really get into this kind of thing,” said Cassady Sharp, a Greenpeace employee who has been working as a spokesperson for Democracy Awakening, one of the two groups that organized the protests, along with Democracy Spring.

“So it doesn’t totally surprise me that people were really pumped to see the Ben & Jerry’s co-founders get arrested. I certainly hope that people realize that they had hundreds of people behind them.”

At the Heart of the Protest: Campaign Finance

The organizers of the event knew that getting front-page coverage was going to be an uphill battle.

“Campaign finance is not the sexiest of all issues,” Peter Callahan, the communications director for Democracy Spring, told WhoWhatWhy. Though polls have shown overwhelming majorities of Americans want to get money out of politics, they also rarely list it as one of the most important issues for voters.

“Other people have lots of issues that are near and dear to their hearts,” says Callahan.

But Callahan and the organizers of Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening see campaign finance as the issue that encompasses all other issues. They point to Black Lives Matter, and environmental activists — as well as advocacy groups from the right — who see getting money out of politics as the first step in enacting change.

The protests received endorsements and assistance from over 300 different advocacy groups, including People For The American Way, Greenpeace and the NAACP.

“Our message is that 1) systemic corruption is at the root of many issues, 2) there are existing solutions that congress can implement today, and 3) the way to get there is nonviolent civil disobedience,”

Ardon Shorr, the Pittsburgh organizer for Democracy Spring, told WhoWhatWhy.

Overflowing Protesters Put in Warehouses

Shorr was one of the hundreds arrested on the first day of protests. The number of arrests was so high the police ran out of room and had to put the protesters in overflow warehouses. Organizers claim it was the largest act of civil disobedience at the Capitol in history.

For the people pushing for change, these protests are just the beginning.

“People are waking up to the fact that there are solutions,” Rio Tazelwell toldWhoWhatWhy. Tazelwell is the manager for the Government By The People Campaign at People For The American Way, and an organizer for Democracy Awakening.

“We want to keep pushing at the national level, but then we also want to plug people into campaigns that are already underway at the local and state level, particularly ballot initiatives and some legislative proposals.”

One of their stated goals is a 28th amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to fair elections. The activists see history on their side.

“No movement has failed after mobilizing 3.5 percent of a population,” Shorr said, referring to the research of the political scientist Erica Chenoweth.

“That’s a lot of people, but it’s really a tiny minority. This is achievable.”

“Being willing to get arrested creates a moral dilemma for Congress: Either side with the people, or side with big corporate interests and continue to send hundreds of patriotic Americans to jail every day.”

The original source of this article is WhoWhatWhy
Copyright © Jon Hecht, WhoWhatWhy, 2016

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

 

AN ANALYSIS WORTH READING

 

BY DICK HARRIS, FORMER POLITICAL ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON

If you happen to see Bill Clinton’s five minute TV ad for Hillary in which he introduces the commercial by saying that he wants to share with some things we may not know about Hillary’s background…

Best beware, as I was there for most of their presidency and know them better than just about anyone, I offer a few corrections;

BILL SAYS: “In law school Hillary worked on legal services for the poor.”

THE FACTS ARE: Hillary’s main extra-curricular activity in law school was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a federal agent. She went to court every day as part of a law student monitoring committee trying to spot civil rights violations and develop grounds for appeal.

BILL SAYS: “Hillary could have written her own job ticket, but she turneddown all the lucrative offers.”

THE FACTS ARE: She flunked the DC bar exam, yes, flunked. it is a matter of record, and only passed the Arkansas bar. She had no job offers in Arkansas, none, and only got hired by the University of Arkansas Law School at Fayetteville because Bill was already teaching there. She did not join the prestigious Rose Law Firm until Bill became Arkansas Attorney General and was made a partner only after he was elected Arkansas Governor.

BILL SAYS: “President Carter appointed Hillary to the Legal Services Board of Directors and she became its chairman.”

THE FACTS ARE: The appointment was in exchange for Bill’s support for Carter in his 1980 primary against Ted Kennedy. Hillary then became chairman in a coup in which she won a majority away from Carter’s choice to be chairman.

BILL SAYS: “She served on the board of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.”

THE FACTS ARE: Yes, she did. But her main board activity, not mentioned by Bill, was to sit on the Walmart board of directors, for a substantial fee. She was silent about their labor and health care practices.

BILL SAYS: “Hillary didn’t succeed at GEtting health care for all Americans in 1994 but she kept working at it and helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provides five million children with health insurance.

THE FACTS ARE:  Hillary had nothing to do with creating CHIP. It was included in the budget deal between Clinton and Republican Majority Leader Senator Trent Lott. I know I was there; I helped to negotiate the deal. The money came half from the budget deal and half from the Attorney Generals’ tobacco settlement.  Hilarry had nothing to do with either source off funds.

BILL SAYS: “Hillary was the face of America all over the world.”

THE FACTS ARE: Her visits were part of a program to get her out of town so that Bill would not appear weak by feeding stories that Hillary was running the White House. Her visits abroad were entirely touristic and symbolic and there was no substance on any of them.

BILL SAYS: “Hillary was an excellent Senator who kept fighting for children’s and women’s issues.”

THE FACTS ARE: Other than totally meaningless legislation like changing the names on court houses and post offices, she has passed only four substantive pieces of legislation. One set up a national Part in Puerto Rico. A second provided respite care for family members helping their relatives through Alzheimer’s or other conditions. And two were routine by the entire NY delegation.  Presently she is trying to have the U.S. memorialize the Woodstock fiasco of 40 years ago.

Here is what bothers me more than anything. else about Hillary Clinton. She has done everything possible to weaken the President and our country (that’s you and me!) when it comes to the war on terror.

  1. She wants to close GITMO and move the combatants to the USA where they would have access to our legal system.
  2. She wants to eliminate the monitoring of suspected Al Qaeda phone calls to and from the USA.
  3.  She wants to grant constitutional rights to enemy combatants captured on the battlefied.
  4.  She wants to eliminate the monitoring of money transfers between suspected Al Qaeda cells and supporters in the USA.
  5.  She wants to eliminate the type of interrogation tactics used by the military and CIA where coercion might be used when questioning known terrorists even though such tactics might save American lives.

One cannot think of a single bill Hillary Clinton introduced or a single comment she has made that would tend to strengthen our country in the War on Terror.

But, one can think of a lot of comments she has made to weaken our country and makes it a more dangerous situation for all of us.

Bottom line:  She goes hand in hand with the ACLUon far too many issues where common sense is abandoned.

Both have American blood on their hands.

She’s simply not a nice person.

 

Published by Ainhoa Aristizabal – Editor of Unruly Hearts

 

 

God Wants A Regime Change, Not In Syria, But In The U.S. To Appoint A Good Shepherd Because The Antichrist Is Coming

 

 

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We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” – Winston Churchill – August 20, 1940

BY SHOEBAT.COM – AWARENESS AND ACTION

Why does man ignore, that God is in control, despite Obama’s tyranny, before the man of sin arises to cause destruction upon the earth, God will raise “seven righteous shepherds” (leaders) who will utterly destroy the man of sin:

and this one shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princely men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; thus he shall deliver us from the Assyrian (Micah 5)

How at times Americans forget: God, not Obama, is in control of this nation.

Even the nations that dig traps for other nations to make regime changes forget that it is God who monitors the affairs of man.

He does a much better job in monitoring the world than the CIA, the FBI or the Pentagon.

Obama wanted a regime change in Syria, but the way things seem these days, perhaps the Almighty does not want a regime change in Syria, but a regime change in the U.S. instead.

Can anyone explain why Americans, on both sides of the isle, are becoming more ticked-off by the day, and they want a regime change, not in Syria, but here in the United States?

They are sick of political parties.

Today President Sissy Obama says the U.S.-led coalition is hitting ISIS “harder than ever”. But Americans are not buying it. They all know too well that Russia is hitting ISIS, and if Putin had a U.S. birth-certificate, he too (had he run) might surge in the poles.

Everyone these days know that the real name of that sissy U.S. President is Obama Ben Lyin.

 

Who can truly explain why Donald Trump is surging in the polls, and while we have a mess in the Middle East where even Putin looks like a savior?

While everyone thinks that a candidate rises or falls in the polls for being nice to Muslims, Trump surged even higher for saying “stop Muslims from coming in”.

And for saying that, Donald Trump (according to Monmouth University poll released today) has crossed the 40 percent threshold in a new national poll, giving the Republican presidential candidate the largest lead he’s held in any survey so far.

If perhaps next time Trump says “screw Allah” his ratings in the polls might just hit the roof.

The explanation to Trump’s success is simpler than what these analysts try to tell us on Fox News: Americans want an all-American burger and hating falafel is not racism, its culture.

This is by far the strangest election in American history. Who knows, it could be that the Almighty wants regime change, not in Syria, as Obama wants, but a regime change in the U.S., the planning headquarters of all regime-changes.

The American love for apple-pie is why I rarely if ever, focus on what falafel-loving Muslim groups like CAIR say or do. I never worry about all the crude things I say at times on my blog. Trump is just as crude,  rude, and belligerent as I can be, and he is still soaring like an American bald eagle.

I knew long ago that in every nice American there is also a hidden General Patton inside, carrying a baseball bat.

I have been hanging out long enough with Americans, and besides Muslims, I can easily profile them too. It is easy to expose American hypocrisy. No matter how often Americans count calories or endure Obama’s camel-faced wife saying that we ought to “solve the epidemic of childhood obesity,” Americans know they are being hypocritical. The Hot Dog and Hamburger is the American idol while Michelle Ben Lying will always secretly be viewed by Americans as “butt-ugly” and “wholly stupid”.

and this one shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land, and when he treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princely men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; thus he shall deliver us from the Assyrian (Micah 5)

How at times Americans forget: God, not Obama, is in control of this nation.

Even the nations that dig traps for other nations to make regime changes forget that it is God who monitors the affairs of man.

He does a much better job in monitoring the world than the CIA, the FBI or the Pentagon.

Obama wanted a regime change in Syria, but the way things seem these days, perhaps the Almighty does not want a regime change in Syria, but a regime change in the U.S. instead.

Can anyone explain why Americans, on both sides of the isle, are becoming more ticked-off by the day, and they want a regime change, not in Syria, but here in the United States?

They are sick of political parties.

Today President Sissy Obama says the U.S.-led coalition is hitting ISIS “harder than ever”. But Americans are not buying it. They all know too well that Russia is hitting ISIS, and if Putin had a U.S. birth-certificate, he too (had he run) might surge in the poles.

Everyone these days know that the real name of that sissy U.S. President is Obama Ben Lyin.

Who can truly explain why Donald Trump is surging in the polls, and while we have a mess in the Middle East where even Putin looks like a savior?

While everyone thinks that a candidate rises or falls in the polls for being nice to Muslims, Trump surged even higher for saying “stop Muslims from coming in”.

And for saying that, Donald Trump (according to Monmouth University poll released today) has crossed the 40 percent threshold in a new national poll, giving the Republican presidential candidate the largest lead he’s held in any survey so far.

If perhaps next time Trump says “screw Allah” his ratings in the polls might just hit the roof.

The explanation to Trump’s success is simpler than what these analysts try to tell us on Fox News: Americans want an all-American burger and hating falafel is not racism, its culture.

This is by far the strangest election in American history. Who knows, it could be that the Almighty wants regime change, not in Syria, as Obama wants, but a regime change in the U.S., the planning headquarters of all regime-changes.

The American love for apple-pie is why I rarely if ever, focus on what falafel-loving Muslim groups like CAIR say or do. I never worry about all the crude things I say at times on my blog. Trump is just as crude,  rude, and belligerent as I can be, and he is still soaring like an American bald eagle.

I knew long ago that in every nice American there is also a hidden General Patton inside, carrying a baseball bat.

In this war on ISIS, perhaps if we take Donald Trump acting as Longshanks in the movie Braveheart. Braveheart and his rebels could be viewed as Al-Baghdadi and ISIS, Longshanks’ son as Obama, the scenario where Obama claims he is “doing something” would fit perfectly. Braveheart (ISIS) after sacking York, sends a head to Longshanks, and his son tells the king that he is addressing ISIS “I’ve sent conscriptions” to only see the obvious, Obama was more of a sissy-homosexual than a real man. America will never have love for a sissy.

To top it all off for sissy Obama’s war on ISIS, Germany has denied US requests to provide additional support for the US-led mission against ISIS (Germans would not obey a sissy), with the federal chancellor stressing that “at the moment” Berlin is already doing enough for its part in the combined anti-terror effort.

Strange, even a woman snubs Obama: “I believe Germany is fulfilling its part and we don’t need to talk about new issues related to this question at the moment,” Angela Merkel told the ZDF.

With Obama, even the stale sauerkraut snubbed him.

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The American answer to terrorism

Remember we are the greatest!

Under Obama, terrorism became rampant to the point that even UN Security Council rejected a Russian motion to condemn a terrorist attack in the city of Homs where at least 22 people were killed and more than 70 injured.

Why did they reject it? Because it says: “The Syrian government reiterated that most of the terror attacks “would not have happened without … generous support with money, weapons and ammunition to the terrorist organizations as well as the political and media support provided by known countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” the Ministry said, reported official news agency Sana.”

To say “Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar” are the main instigators of terror is an anathema. Under Obama, its not only ISIS that gets special protection, but the beast of Turkey and the whores of Arabia, cannot be pointed as the culprits for spilling the blood of saints.

And just to show how messed up the foreign policies are, here, I will explain the small-nail on what sparked the rise of this Muslim beast.

There was once a little nail that held this humpty-dumpty named Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. He was elected with 90% of the vote on 25 October 2009. On 18 December 2010 a revolution sprang which led to the ousting of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

It eventually led to a thorough democratization of the country and to supposedly free democratic elections. Instead of democracy, Tunisia saw the victory of a coalition of the Islamist Ennahda Movement (sister of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood).

The vent caused a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests (both non-violent and violent), riots, and civil unrest in the Arab world.

The hoopla was not much different from the demonstrations caused by the Muhammad-mocking movie, Innocence of Muslims.

Had everyone ignored the Muslims, things would have calmed down. In reality, it was Muslims who wanted what is called the Turkish Model of Islam as an ideal.

So on January 14, 2011, taking refuge in Muslim Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration quickly adapted, expressing its support for the demonstrations. The U.S. could live without the Tunisian regime.

In Egypt, the 2011 uprising was effectively internationalized, with foreign media devoting countless hours to covering every turn and, in the process, putting the issue at the top of the Western policy agenda.

The United States, making use of longstanding military-to-military ties, pressured the Egyptian army to refrain from using force against Muslim protesters.

Then Obama supported an intervention by NATO forces in Libya, which ultimately led to the end of the revolution and death of leader Muammar Qadhafi.

The naive Americans were jubilant, of course.

Non-politicians who had experience with foreigners overseas like businessman mogul Donald Trump knew better. Just as any kabob stand in the Middle East knew, the hoopla wasn’t about dictators, it was about Islam, stupid.

The U.S. condemned the governments of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen for their actions in dealing with the Islamist demonstrators.

However, it has stopped short of calling for regime change in Bahrain alone among those states. Why? Because Saudi Arabia knew that the majority in Bahrain are Shiites and with democracy, it would end up as a Shiite government allied to Iran.

And if Shiite-happens, in Egypt Sunni-happens.

It was no different from the Shiite Iranian Khomeni revolution in Iran than it was in Sunni Egypt. The Persians were for the revolution. The government of Iran condemned the Egyptian government’s response to protests during the Arab Spring even though Egypt is Sunni. They too, in Iran, wanted an Islamic revolution despite the Sunni-Shiite divide.

As a result, Sunni-happened, especially, approximately 10,000 Egyptians took part in The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and USAID training in social media and nonviolent organizing techniques.

For example, one former Egyptian policeman named Omar Afifi Suleiman. He was coordinating the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo from his office in Washington DC. According to Wikileaks, NED paid Suleiman a yearly stipend of $200,000 between 2008-2011.

The tactics of the Arab Spring was introduced by one American non-violent guru, a son of a Protestant minister, Gene Sharp, the godfather of nonviolent revolution. His links with the Pentagon and US intelligence which played the major role. His work was reportedly taught in training workshops for Egyptian revolutionaries long before the events in Tahrir Square. And it has been used by activists in Zimbabwe, Estonia, Serbia, Vietnam, Burma and Lithuania.

The US goal in the Arab Spring revolutions was supposedly to replace unpopular despotic dictators while taking care to maintain the autocratic US-friendly infrastructure that had brought them to power. All initially followed the nonviolent precepts Sharp outlines in his 1994 book From Dictatorship to Democracy. In Libya, Syria and Yemen, the US and their allies were clearly prepared to introduce paid mercenaries when their Sharpian “revolutions” failed to produce regime change.

Sharp, contrary to the claim, was not simply a “practitioner of nonviolent movements” but rather a “theorist of power”. Some participated in the same State Department trainings as the Middle East opposition activists and instigated nonviolent Facebook and Twitter protests to coincide with the 2011 uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Others, in exile, underwent guerrilla training sponsored by the CIA and a few months after Gaddafi’s assassination, some of these same militants would lead Islamic militias attempting to overthrow Assad in Syria.

How much mess can happen as result of the disobedience of God?

I will give just two simple biblical instructions. The first was to believe that the Protestant support for contraception was wiser than the Pope’s. The second was that “civil disobedience” and “non-violent protesting” is a God-given right.

Making contraception halal, and we have Protestant Germany and Protestant England in population-decline with more old geezers demanding to be taken care of by Muslim immigrants who will supposedly take on the work-force in Europe.

The reality was that these Muslims did not mind impregnating European girls and produce more Muslims and more welfare.

The other bad instruction was that we all have the right of “civil disobedience” which resulted is the worst tyranny in recent history: the Arab Spring.

The Bible never taught “civil disobedience” just for simply opposing a kingdom or a dictator. On the contrary, Christians are to obey the rules of the government so long they are allowed to observe God’s mandates and be allowed to worship Jesus freely.

God never told Moses to oust the Pharaoh. He simply wanted to be worshiped freely. Rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s does to mean we stop rendering unto God what is God’s.

You take away that second duty (rendering unto God what is God’s), and the second amendment kicks in with “violence” if reason and non-violence fails.

This is America. This is that apple-pie that can never be taken away. America will never have a love for Allah and will turn on any politician when they start dictating how we theologically believe to render unto Allah and Islam some burnt incense.

In fact, it was the condemnation of Trump on his Muslim comments that ticked off many Americans who are afraid to come out of the closet and confess his/her hypocrisy.

I profile Americans daily. An American is a hypocrite. He will never tell you that he hates falafel after you give them a taste. They will simply say that trying falafel “was interesting”. They will never say that they hate Islam, they will simply say they do not want Syrian immigrants when what they truly mean “Muslim” immigrants. An American is not an Arab where burping is polite and women open the door for men is the norm.

Besides Donald Trump, every Republican candidate, to cover his utter-hypocrisy had to bend the knee for Allah and the Muslim.

Trump was brilliant. Trump made them all work like the chicken-pecking on Trump’s head for saying the word “Muslim”. Fortunately, his pure golden hair cut their beaks and the Americans are responding in the polls, while Obama sought to differentiate Islam from the practices and beliefs of terrorists.

“[ISIS] does not speak for Islam,” Obama said. “They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world — including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology.”

Alright then, perhaps if Al-Baghdadi does not speak for Islam, who then does? Al-Azhar University in Egypt? The Wahhabist Saudis? Turkey?

There is no one on the face of the earth who can deny that every major Muslim institution that speaks for Islam is not void of teaching that Jihad is a holy-war against the infidel.

And while Obama fiddles around with ISIS, Erdogan of Turkey insists to “change set-times and laws”. While Turkey can undertake separate referenda for a new Constitution and a switch to an executive-style presidential system (in reality a Caliphate) President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters on his private plane en route from an official visit to Turkmenistan.

There are all sorts of foreign policy messes at hand and they are all as result of U.S. Administration. Messing with Syria caused Russia to intervene. Russia intervening messed up Turkey’s plans for a Neo-Ottoman hegemony which caused Turkey to mess with Russia. Turkey messing with Russia caused a rift where Turkey is not looking to change it dependency on Russian gas. Changing Turkey’s dependency on Russian gas made Turkey look to the Central Asian countries like Azarbeijan and Turkmenistan that holds the world’s fourth- or fifth-largest natural gas reserves. All this is helping create a new Muslim block with Turkey and the Muslim states in the Caucasus. These, including Iran would constitute tens of Nazi Germanies. All this was caused because some supposed genius wanted “democracy” in the Middle East.

However, Russia is building a natural gas route to China that could rival Turkmenistan’s. This leaves the Trans-Caspian pipeline as the last option for diversifying Turkmenistan’s customer base which will ease the need of Turkey to depend on Russia’s gas.

And now Erdogan wants to become Caliph.

“If they [opposition] want to take this [proposal] to the people they can do so. I believe that a huge proportion of the people will say ‘yes’ to a new Constitution,” Erdogan said.

“The people” will finally give him “allegiance” and the dead-man of Europe will arise from the dead.

But technically, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) would need the support of 367 of the 550 deputies to amend the Turkish Constitution directly, and only 330 to take the proposal to a nationwide referendum.

But in August, Erdoğan argued that Turkey’s government had already been changed into a “de facto” presidential system, as he called for a constitutional framework to “finalize” this transition.

“You can either accept it or not. Turkey’s government system has been de facto changed in this regard. What should be done now is to finalize the legal framework of this de facto situation with a new Constitution,” Erdoğan said during a speech in his hometown of Rize.

Turkey has enjoyed nearly 140 years of constitutional experience since the inception of the Ottoman Constitution of 1876, known in Turkish as the Kanûn-u Esâsî, and the parliamentary system has been the defining characteristic of all constitutions to follow.

Even in the 60-odd years of multi-party politics Turkey has seen, witnessing four military coups and even having a prime minister executed, Turkey has never taken a step to change its system of governance to a presidential one.

Erdoğan has emphasized the superiority of the presidential system (Caliph-Erdogan) many times in the past and said that he wants to change the current parliamentary system of government to a strong presidential system (Sultan-Erdogan).

Claiming that most developed countries are governed by a presidential system, although this is not actually the case, he said in January: “That shows that this [system] produces [better] results. Given this, why should we put shackles on our feet [by sticking with a parliamentary system]?”

The next argument will be that if Catholics have a Pope, why the Muslims cannot have a “Caliph”?

This will be as if Caliph-Baghdadi of ISIS, but he is running the second largest and most powerful army in NATO after the U.S.

Anyone else (besides Obama) dare say that Islam is not the most dangerous religion on earth?

Anyone wants to ignore that God is in control and that He might have Trump win? God even chose Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man, to spend three days in His grave. God does not hate the rich man just because he is rich.

In the end, somethings just never change. Especially when it comes to my three decade observation of Americans. From its discovery of the Hamburger, Americans will always stand in long lines because they love the Hamburger and is why they stand in long lines to see Donald Trump.

 

Author: God in heaven

Guantanamo Prisoner Diary: ‘We’re Gonna Teach You About Great American Sex’ – Spiegel

By Britta Sandberg

Photo Gallery: ‘Motherfucker, I Told You, You’re Gone’
01/20/2015

 

 

 SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL

Mauritanian national Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been held at Guantanamo for 12 years now without trial and despite a dearth of evidence. A diary he kept of his torture is now being published around the world. SPIEGEL presents some excerpts.

 Country roads and dirt tracks lead to Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s former home in a small village near the capital city of Nouakchott. Children play football in front of the house, using two empty cola bottles as makeshift goals. Goats rummage through the trash foraging for anything edible. There are no street names in these parts; the houses are simply numbered.

A 158 in Boudiane, Mauritania was Slahi’s address until 14 years ago. Soon after that, he was assigned another number, when he became prisoner number 760 at Guantanamo, Cuba. Slahi has been held at the American prison for the past 12 years.

He was accused of having been acquainted with the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and of having provided them with support and sending them to Afghanistan to receive training. He has also been accused of involvement in the Millennium Plot, the foiled terrorist attack targeting the Los Angeles International Airport. At least that’s the claim made by Ahmed Ressam, the man arrested in late 1999 at the US-Canadian border with 60 kilograms of explosives in the trunk of his car.

More than a decade later, though, these allegations have essentially collapsed. Sufficient evidence has never turned up, proper charges haven’t been filed and Slahi, now 44, has never been put on trial. US District Court Judge James Robertson, who had to review the lawfulness of his detention in 2010, likewise found no evidence of Slahi’s guilt nor, he said, could it be proven that Slahi had supported the 9/11 perpetrators. He ordered Slahi’s release.

Four days later, though, the American government appealed the decision and the case has since been remanded to a US District Court, where it is still pending. Neither Slahi, his family nor his lawyers know when and if he will ever be able to leave Guantanamo.

‘Don’t Worry Mom, I’ll Be Back Soon’

There’s a pavilion roof over the courtyard of the Slahi family’s two-story house in Boudiane. Slahi’s former bedroom is a bare room with windows facing the courtyard and mattresses that have been stacked up against the wall. Slahi’s mother gave a SPIEGEL reporter a tour of the house in 2008.

“Mohamedou needs to finally come home,” she said tearfully at the time. “He didn’t do anything and he’s my favorite son.” Thanks to mediation efforts undertaken by the International Red Cross, she was able to speak to her son by phone twice a year. But Slahi’s mother would never see him again. She died in March 2013.

“Don’t worry mom, I’ll be back soon,” Slahi told her on Nov. 20, 2001 as police stood in front of the house to pick him up for questioning. He had just gotten out of the shower. He followed behind the officials, who had already interrogated him several times, in his gray Nissan.

Mauritanian and FBI officials questioned him for days. Ramzi Binalshibh, the coordinator of the 9/11 attacks, had allegedly incriminated Slahi, saying that he had had contact with the Hamburg terror cell while studying electrical engineering on a scholarship in Duisburg. Slahi had, in fact, promoted jihad in the early 1990s in small German mosques and travelled himself to a training camp in Afghanistan in 1991. He had wanted to help the Mujahedeen in their fight against the Soviets, he later said. But he claimed he had had nothing to do with 9/11.

‘A Lot of Smoke and No Fire’

After eight days, the Americans flew him to Jordan. In July 2002, they flew him from there to Afghanistan, and in August of the same year to Guantanamo. At the US prison camp, they considered him to be a big fish, a dangerous terrorist. The more insistent he became in refusing to confess, the greater the more suspicious his interlocuters became. Slahi, after all, had visited several suspect locations. Guantanamo’s former chief prosecutor, Morris Davis, recalled ina 2013 interview with Slate: “In early 2007, we had a big meeting with the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, and we got a briefing from the investigators who worked on the Slahi case, and their conclusion was there’s a lot of smoke and no fire.”

In 2007, Davis resigned in protest over the methods used in handling prisoners at Guantanamo. US military lawyer Stuart Couch, who had been responsible for Slahi’s prosecution, also withdrew from the team when he learned that the inmate had been tortured at Guantanamo. As a Christian, he wrote to his superiors at the time, he had the moral obligation to resign. In Slahi’s case, he argued, the US had acted incorrectly in legal, ethical and moral terms.

Weeks of Torture

Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved Slahi’s “special interrogation” program personally in August 2003. It included sexual abuse, sleep deprivation, extreme cold, a simulated kidnapping, a simulated execution on a boat and the threat that his mother would also be arrested and brought to Guantanamo.

After weeks of torture, Slahi decided to give his torturers what they wanted: He began talking, implicating people he didn’t know and delivering one false statement after the other. He was rewarded for it as well. Even today, Slahi is a privileged prisoner at Guantanamo, with a television and computer, and he’s even allowed to grow his own herb garden. During the summer of 2005, he completed a 460-page Guantanamo Diary that he had written by hand. From the beginning, his hope was to someday publish it. He waited a decade. But on Tuesday, his writings are being published in book form around the world for the first time.

The military administration had classified Slahi’s notes as top secret, stamped with “noforn” (“no foreign nationals”), making them inaccessible to intelligence agencies in other countries. They remained stored at a secure site in Washington. For six years, Slahi’s lawyers fought for their release on the basis of the Freedom of Information Act and in 2012, they finally succeeded. Names and other details had been blacked out, redactions that are reflected in the book as well.

The book is the first comprehensive report given by a prisoner who is still being held at Guantanamo. His lawyer Nancy Hollander says it is also the first to provide details about the torture practices at the military prison. “Slahi provides us with a glimpse of life there,” she says. “I hope this book will change some things and that he will finally be released.”

Mohamedou Ould Slahi wrote the following excerpts from his “Guantanamo Diary” during the summer of 2003.


I was deprived of my comfort items, except for a thin iso-mat and a very thin, small, worn-out blanket. I was deprived of my books, which I owned, I was deprived of my Koran, I was deprived of my soap. I was deprived of my toothpaste and of the roll of toilet paper I had. The cell — better, the box — was cooled down to the point that I was shaking most of the time. I was forbidden from seeing the light of the day; every once in a while they gave me a rec-time at night to keep me from seeing or interacting with any detainees. I was living literally in terror. For the next 70 days, I wouldn’t know the sweetness of sleeping: interrogation 24 hours a day, three and sometimes four shifts a day. I rarely got a day off. I don’t remember sleeping one night quietly. “If you start to cooperate you’ll have some sleep and hot meals,” _________________ used to tell me repeatedly.

Force Sex as a Torture Method

“Then today, we’re gonna teach you about great American sex. Get up!” said ________. I stood up in the same painful position as I had every day for about 70 days. I would rather follow the orders and reduce the pain that would be caused when the guards come to play; the guards used every contact opportunity to beat the hell out of the detainee.

“Detainee tried to resist,” was the “gospel truth” they came up with, and guess who was going to be believed? “You’re very smart, because if you don’t stand up it’s gonna be ugly,” ____________.

As soon as I stood up, the two _______ took off their blouses, and started to talk all kind of dirty stuff you can imagine, which I minded less. What hurt me most was them forcing me to take part in a sexual threesome in the most degrading manner. What many _______ don’t realize is that men get hurt the same as women if they’re forced to have sex, maybe more due to the traditional position of the man. Both _______ stuck on me, literally one on the front and the other older _______ stuck on my back rubbing ____ whole body on mine.

At the same time they were talking dirty to me, and playing with my sexual parts. I am saving you here from quoting the disgusting and degrading talk I had to listen to from noon or before until 10 p.m. when they turned me over to _______, the new character you’ll soon meet.

To be fair and honest, the _______ didn’t deprive me from my clothes at any time; everything happened with my uniform on. The senior _______________ was watching everything _____________________________________________________. I kept praying all the time.

“Stop the fuck praying! You’re having sex with American _______ and you’re praying? What a hypocrite you are!” said ______________ angrily, entering the room.

I refused to stop speaking my prayers, and after that, I was forbidden to perform my ritual prayers for about one year to come. I also was forbidden to fast during the sacred month of Ramadan October 2003, and fed by force. During this session I also refused to eat or to drink, although they offered me water every once in a while. “We must give you food and water; if you don’t eat it’s fine.”

I was just wishing to pass out so I didn’t have to suffer, and that was really the main reason for my hunger strike; I knew people like these don’t get impressed by hunger strikes. Of course they didn’t want me to die, but they understand there are many steps before one dies. “You’re not gonna die, we’re gonna feed you up your ass,” said ____________.

I have never felt as violated in myself as I had since the DoD team started to torture me to get me admit to things I haven’t done. (…)

Humiliation, sexual harassment, fear and starvation was the order of the day until around 10 p.m. Interrogators made sure that I had no clue about the time, but nobody is perfect; their watches always revealed it. I would be using this mistake later, when they put me in dark isolation.

“I’m gonna send you to your cell now, and tomorrow you’ll experience even worse,” said _______ after consulting with ____ colleagues. I was happy to be relieved; I just wanted to have a break and be left alone. I was so worn out, and only God knew how I looked. But _______ lied to me; ____ just organized a psychological trick to hurt me more. I was far from being relieved. The D.O.C., which was fully cooperating when it came to torture, sent another escort team. As soon as I reached the doorstep __________________________ I fell face down, my legs refused to carry me, and every inch in my body was conspiring against me. The guards failed to make me stand up, so they had to drag me on the tips of my toes.


The Boat Trip

Suddenly a commando team consisting of three soldiers and a German shepherd broke into our interrogation room. Everything happened quicker than you could think about it. __________ punched me violently, which made me fall face down on the floor.

“Motherfucker, I told you, you’re gone!” said _____. His partner kept punching me everywhere, mainly on my face and my ribs. He, too, was masked from head to toe; he punched me the whole time without saying a word, because he didn’t want to be recognized. The third man was not masked; he stayed at the door holding the dog’s collar, ready to release it on me.

“Who told you to do that? You’re hurting the detainee!” screamed _______, who was no less terrified than I was. _____ was the leader of the assailing guards, and he was executing _________________ orders. As to me, I couldn’t digest the situation. My first thought was, They mistook me for somebody else. My second thought was to try to recognize my environment by looking around while one of the guards was squeezing my face against the floor. I saw the dog fighting to get loose. I saw _______ standing up, looking helplessly at the guards working on me. “Blindfold the Motherfucker, if he tries to look –“

One of them hit me hard across the face, and quickly put the goggles on my eyes, ear muffs on my ears, and a small bag over my head. I couldn’t tell who did what. They tightened the chains around my ankles and my wrists; afterwards, I started to bleed. All I could hear was _____ cursing, “F-this and F-that!” I didn’t say a word, I was overwhelmingly surprised, I thought they were going to execute me.

Thanks to the beating I wasn’t able to stand, so _____ and the other guard dragged me out with my toes tracing the way and threw me in a truck, which immediately took off. The beating party would go on for the next three or four hours before they turned me over to another team that was going to use different torture techniques.

“Stop praying, Motherfucker, you’re killing people,” _____ said, and punched me hard on my mouth. My mouth and nose started to bleed, and my lips grew so big that I technically could not speak anymore. The colleague of _____ turned out to be one of my guards, ______________________________. _____ and __________ each took a side and started to punch me and smash me against the metal of the truck. One of the guys hit me so hard that my breath stopped and I was choking; I felt like I was breathing through my ribs.

I almost suffocated without their knowledge. I was having a hard time breathing due to the head cover anyway, plus they hit me so many times on my ribs that I stopped breathing for a moment.

Did I pass out? Maybe not; all I know is that I kept noticing _____ several times spraying Ammonia in my nose. The funny thing was that Mr. __ was at the same time my “lifesaver,” as were all the guards I would be dealing with for the next year, or most of them. All of them were allowed to give me medication and first aid.

After 10 to 15 minutes, the truck stopped at the beach, and my escorting team dragged me out of the truck and put me in a high-speed boat. __________________ never gave me a break; they kept hitting me and ________________________ in order to make them stab me. “You’re killing people,” said _____. I believe he was thinking out loud: He knew his was the most cowardly crime in the world, torturing a helpless detainee who completely went into submission and turned himself in. What a brave operation! _____ was trying to convince himself that he was doing the right thing.

Inside the boat, _____ made me drink salt water, I believe it was directly from the ocean. It was so nasty I threw up. They would put any object in my mouth and shout, “Swallow, Motherfucker!”, but I decided inside not to swallow the organ-damaging salt water, which choked me when they kept pouring it in my mouth. “Swallow, you idiot!” I contemplated quickly, and decided for the nasty, damaging water rather than death.

_____ and ____________ escorted me for about three hours in the high-speed boat. The goal of such a trip was, first, to torture the detainee and claim that “the detainee hurt himself during transport,” and second, to make the detainee believe he was being transferred to some far, faraway secret prison. We detainees knew all of that; we had detainees reporting they had been flown around for four hours and found themselves in the same jail where they started. I knew from the beginning that I was going to be transferred to __________________ about a five-minute ride. _______ had a very bad reputation: just hearing the name gave me nausea.


At a Secret Site

Over the next several days, I almost lost my mind. Their recipe for me went like this: I must be kidnapped from ______________ and put in a secret place. I must be made to believe I was on a far, faraway island. I must be informed by _____________ that my mom was captured and put in a special facility.

In the secret place, the physical and psychological suffering must be at their highest extremes. I must not know the difference between day and night. I couldn’t tell a thing about days going by or time passing; my time consisted of a crazy darkness all the time. My diet times were deliberately messed up. I was starved for long periods and then given food but not given time to eat.

“You have three minutes: Eat!” a guard would yell at me, and then after about half a minute he would grab the plate. “You’re done!” And then it was the opposite extreme: I was given too much food and a guard came into my cell and forced me to eat all of it. When I said “I need water” because the food got stuck in my throat, he punished me by making me drink two 25-ounce water bottles.

“I can’t drink,” I said when my abdomen felt as if it was going to explode. But __________ screamed and threatened me, pushing me against the wall and raising his hand to hit me. I figured drinking would be better, and drank until I vomited.

All the guards were masked with Halloween-like masks, and so were the Medics, and the guards were briefed that I was a high-level, smart-beyond-belief terrorist.

“You know who you are?” said ___________ friend. “You’re a terrorist who helped kill 3,000 people!”

“Indeed I am!” I answered. I realized it was futile to discuss my case with a guard, especially when he knew nothing about me. The guards were all very hostile. They cursed, shouted, and constantly put me through rough military-like basic training. “Get up,” “Walk to the bin hole.” “Stop!” “Grab the shit!” “Eat.” “You got two minutes!” “You’re done!” “Give the shit back!” “Drink!” “You better drink the whole water bottle!” “Hurry up!” “Sit down!” “Don’t sit down unless I say it!” “Search the piece of shit!”.

Most of the guards rarely attacked me physically, but ________ hit me once until I fell face-down on the floor, and whenever he and his associate grabbed me they held me very tight and made me run in the heavy chains: “Move!”

No sleep was allowed. In order to enforce this, I was given 25-ounce water bottles at intervals of one to two hours, depending on the mood of the guards, 24 hours a day. The consequences were devastating. I couldn’t close my eyes for 10 minutes because I was sitting most of the time on the bathroom. Later on, after the tension was relieved, I asked one of the guards, “Why the water diet? Why don’t you just make me stay awake by standing up, like in _____________?

“Psychologically it’s devastating to make somebody stay awake on his own, without ordering him,” said _______________. “Believe me, you haven’t seen anything. We have put detainees naked under the shower for days, eating, pissing, and shitting in the shower!” he continued. Other guards told me about other torture methods that I wasn’t really eager to know about.

I was allowed to say three sentences: “Yes, sir!” “Need my interrogator!” and “Need the medics.” Every once in a while the whole guard team stormed my cell, dragged me out, put me facing the wall, and threw out whatever was in my cell, shouting and cursing in order to humiliate me. It wasn’t much: I was deprived from all comfort items that a detainee needs except for a mattress and a small, thin, worn-out blanket. For the first weeks I also had no shower, no laundry, no brushing. I almost developed bugs. I hated my smell.

No sleep. Water diet. Every move behind my door made me stand up in a military-like position with my heart pounding like boiling water. My appetite was non-existent. I was waiting every minute on the next session of torture. I hoped I would die and go to heaven.


A Turning Point and Fabrications

“Obviously there is no way out with you guys,” I addressed _________.

“I’m telling you how!” ____ responded.

Now, thanks to the unbearable pain I was suffering, I had nothing to lose, and I allowed myself to say anything to satisfy my assailants. Session followed session since I called _______________.

“People are very happy with what you’re saying,” said ______________ after the first session. I answered all the questions he asked me with incriminating answers. I tried my best to make myself look as bad as I could, which is exactly the way you can make your interrogator happy.

I made my mind up to spend the rest of my life in jail. You see most people can put up with being imprisoned unjustly, but nobody can bear agony day in and day out for the rest of his life.

They dedicated the whole time until around Nov.10, 2003 to questioning me about Canada and Sept. 11; they didn’t ask me a single question about Germany, where I really had the center of gravity of my life. Whenever they asked me about somebody in Canada I had some incriminating information about that person, even if I didn’t know him. Whenever I thought about the words, “I don’t know,” I got nauseous, because I remembered the words of ______________, “All you have to say is, “I don’t know, I don’t remember, and we’ll fuck you!” Or __________ “We don’t want to hear your denials anymore!” And so I erased these words from my dictionary. (…)

So far, I have personally cost American taxpayers at least $1 million, and the counter is ticking higher every day. The other detainees are costing more or less the same. Under these circumstances, Americans need and have the right to know what the hell is going on.

 

 

The US War Crimes Act, the Geneva Convention against Torture and the Infamous “Torture Memos”

 

Region:

 

justiceThe War Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a crime for any person, “whether inside or outside the United States” to commit a “war crime.” War Crimes are defined as any grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, and in particular, any conduct that violates common Article 3. In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court explicitly ruled that common Article 3 applies to alleged Al Qaeda members and the so-called war on terror.

The crimes of torture, cruel or inhuman treatment and murder — all acts that are documented by the Senate Torture Report — are specifically prohibited by common Article 3 and the War Crimes Act.

In 2006, the government enacted the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which severely curtailed the reach of the War Crimes Act, limiting its application well short of the protections of common Article 3. It also passed a provision that provided for retroactive immunity for certain government personnel who were following orders in implementing what they thought were lawful directives from the President (this section can be found at 42 U.S.C. §  2000dd-1). The Washington Post noted at the time that the intent of these changes was to reduce the threat of future prosecutions when the day came when such abuses would be revealed to a shocked public. These provisions remain untested.

It is my belief that any person involved in the chain of command that authorized the crimes detailed in the Senate Torture Report should be indicted for war crimes and conspiracy to commit war crimes under the War Crimes Act. This includes George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, CIA officials who condoned or engaged in such practices, and attorneys who authorized such practices, including Alberto Gonzales, Jay Bybee and John Yoo.

The Convention Against Torture

The United States is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, and its implementing legislation is at 18 U.S.C. § 2340A. This statute was the famous subject of the “Torture Memos,” a series of legal opinions written by John Yoo and Jay Bybee regarding the limitations of this law.

Bybee famously concluded that “torture” under the law only referred to “the most egregious conduct,” “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” “Purely mental pain or suffering” had to result in “significant psychological harm of significant duration, lasting for months or even years.” Bybee even thought that the Convention Against Torture might be unconstitutional because it would infringe the “President’s authority to conduct war.” Today, Jay Bybee has a lifetime tenure-ship as a judge on the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. John Yoo is a law professor at UC Berkeley School of Law.

As with the War Crimes Act, the Convention against Torture provides a second basis for criminal prosecutions against people who authorized, engaged in, or ratified torture. President Obama repudiated the Torture Memos in 2009, but he also refused to issue indictments or discuss whether such conduct was actually criminal. He — or someone more brave — would do well to consider that decrying illegal conduct but then refusing to prosecute such conduct is a silent pardon at best, and complicity at worst.

‘CIA HQ ordered torture of prisoners, but only low-level staff may face prosecution’

cia-torture-brennan-prosecution1.si

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan gestures during a rare news conference at CIA Headquarters in Virginia, December 11, 2014 (Reuters / Larry Downing)

RT – December 12, 2014

The Senate’s report into CIA torture activities is facing criticism for lacking testimonies from the agency’s staff and the victims, professor Ben Davis told RT. He said that prosecuting low-level staffers isn’t enough, as torture orders came from above.

Professor at the University of Toledo College of Law and member of Advocates for US Torture Prosecutions, Ben Davis, called for everyone responsible for torture to be held accountable.

RT: Within the past hour, CIA chief John Brennan said that, overall, the CIA did a good job – and enhanced interrogation methods were legal at the time. Is this an adequate justification and defense of what went on?

Ben Davis: Of course it is not. John Brennan is the head of the CIA. He was one of the people involved in putting in place these torture techniques by the US. And he is defending his agency, so to speak. But of course he is wrong. Two or three weeks ago at the UN Committee Against Torture, we presented our report on advocates for US torture prosecutions about the flawed legal advice that had been given back then. At the time, there were people – I’ll give a couple of names, William Taft was a legal advisor at the State Department. And of course Colin Powell, [the former] secretary of state who said that all of the legal approaches that were being proposed – not to apply the Geneva Convention, etc – were terribly flawed and would be terribly damaging for the US. What we see today is that they were absolutely right at the time and that the people who tortured need to be held accountable by prosecutions.

RT: The Senate’s report released earlier this week is heavily redacted. What are the most important points left out, in your opinion?

BD: There had been two major criticisms. One is that the CIA people were not asked to be interviewed, and that has been a criticism. The major error is that they never interviewed any of the actual detainees, many of them sitting now at Guantanamo Bay, like Abu Zubaydah and al Qahtani, to ask them exactly what happened. The ability to know from the detainees, what happened to them has been carefully blocked by the CIA for many years. And this is one of the problems with the way they are operating. They’ve done horrendous things to people and then with the military working with them, they have prevented anyone from any hearing it. This frustrates their lawyers, who represent them in the various military commissions, in their ability to adequately represent them. And it also is a weakness of the report.

Reuters / Larry Downing

Reuters / Larry Downing

It is not to say that staff that they looked at was not useful. I think for me, the most significant part of the report is that you have the low-level people at the CIA, who were doing these torture things, complaining back to CIA headquarters at many points, saying that this is not working or the person told us everything that we have and we’d like to stop. And over and over you see CIA headquarters coming back, saying: ‘continue torturing them.’ So it shows that there was criticism from the operators. We know there was criticism from lawyers in the administration with regards to this. There was criticism from the top jag or top military lawyers in uniform at the time. And all of that was being suppressed in this effort to try to go ahead and torture people and get away with it. What is important now is that they are not getting away with it. And the fact that they are working this very hard, showing that they fear prosecution, which they should.

RT: The UN wants to see prosecutions over this, but the US obviously does not feel the same. The US State Department said the US is willing to learn from its mistakes and change. So Washington appears to believe that making the report public is enough – is there any chance of bringing those responsible to justice?

BD: Absolutely. This is just a classic situation in DC, where the effort is put and pushed by the top people in the government to block any accountability for them. The usual way it said…is that at the top, mistakes were made and then at the bottom people get prosecuted. I hope everyone here still remembers the soldiers who were in Abu Ghraib who were court martialed in 2004-2005 for the horrendous things they did then. We prosecuted those people, and many of them were saying that it was people up the chain of command who asked them to do the horrendous things that they did. So we’ve already decided to prosecute people. The question is only how high up we want to go. From what I heard from John Brennan, it is very clear that what he is planning to do is to basically let the lower level people at the CIA possibly be prosecuted. I think Jose Rodriguez, for example, should definitely be getting a lawyer, who is the head of the Counterterrorism Center. But, in fact, it is process or a plan that was put in place by the former president.

Reports Indicate European Union Countries Rendered People to CIA for Torture

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December 10, 2014
It appears that Poland, Romania and Lithuania hosted CIA “black sites”, which were effectively torture chambers, according to The Guardian. Evidence points to other European countries cooperating with the US spy agency in organizing covert rendition flights, including Britain, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania, The Guardian said.

MOSCOW, December 10 (Sputnik), Marina Elagina — There are strong indications that Poland, Romania, Lithuania and other EU allies of the United States were deeply involved in the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program and rendered terrorist suspects to the US spy agency for torture, UK’s The Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday.

The claim comes as the US Senate Intelligence Committee released on Tuesday a 525-page summary of a detailed investigation into CIA interrogation techniques that were used on alleged al-Qaeda agents in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.

Despite being a brave attempt by the US government to come clean on its own human rights abuses, the report did not explicitly name nations involved in the unlawful renditions or those that also hosted the CIA’s “black site” torture camps in Europe.

In September 2001, US President George W. Bush signed a covert memorandum granting the CIA unprecedented counterterrorism authority, including the covert capture and detention of individuals. The same year, CIA agents started exploring the “possibility of establishing clandestine detention facilities in several countries,” according to the 2014 torture report.

“To encourage governments to clandestinely host CIA detention sites, or to increase support for existing sites, the CIA provided millions of dollars in cash payments to foreign government officials,” the summary said, adding that foreign governments were encouraged to “think big” in terms of US financial assistance.

Poland

All countries, who cooperated with a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture program, must investigate their role in a global network of human rights violations, Amnesty International has said.
© Sputnik/ Denis Voroshilov
US Global Partners Should Come Clean on CIA Torture Cooperation: Amnesty

In July 2014, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Poland violated an international treaty to protect human rights by hosting secret CIA prisons on its territory. The case was filed by two CIA detainees, Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri, who claimed they had been tortured at a secret CIA facility in a Polish forest before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay. An investigation, opened in Poland in 2008, is still underway.

Romania

In 2012, al-Nashiri, a Saudi national accused by the CIA of masterminding the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, lodged a complaint with the ECHR claiming he was transferred from the CIA’s secret prison in Poland to a “black site” in Romania, where US agents continued to torture him.

Swiss Sen. Dick Marty, who investigated unlawful CIA operations on behalf of the Council of Europe, confirmed in a 2007 report that such sites “did exist in Europe from 2003 to 2005, in particular in Poland and Romania.” Both countries have denied any involvement.

Lithuania

 

1015229439Abu Zubaydah, described by the CIA as the first “high-value detainee” to be captured and questioned by US intelligence in the wake of 9/11 attacks, was held in a secret CIA prison in Lithuania in early 2005, and filed a complaint against the country’s government in 2011.

According to ECHR records, the facility was purpose-built as a CIA detention facility with permission from “high-level Lithuanian authorities.” “The highest state authorities were aware of the CIA’s illegal activities on their territories,” the Swiss investigator said later in his report.

Sweden

To date, Sweden is the only country that has paid damages to the victims of its extraordinary renditions. In 2006, the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that Sweden helped CIA agents render asylum seekers to Egypt for torture in violation of the global torture ban.

In 2001, Swedish officials expelled Mohammed al-Zari and another Egyptian, Ahmed Agiza, to Egypt at the behest of the US spy agency. Sweden permitted the CIA to ship them to Egypt despite its knowledge that Egypt was a “torture state.”

Britain

The British government has so far prohibited any domestic inquiry into its involvement in the CIA’s global kidnap and torture operations, according to The Guardian.

A 2012 report by Human Rights Watch cited official documents unearthed in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government “showing a close degree of cooperation among the US, the UK, and other Western governments with regard to the forcible return and subsequent interrogation of Gaddafi opponents in Libya.” The Guardian said Mi6 agents were involved in at least two renditions to Libya alongside the CIA, during which male suspects were kidnapped together with their wives and children, aged 6 to 12.

British officers are also known to have interrogated Guantanamo inmates in Cuba and detainees at the Bagram military base in Afghanistan, while the UK government provided secret US rendition flights with logistical support, according to British daily.

Italy

Italy is the only country to have ever convicted CIA agents of abducting foreigners and sending them to a torture state.

In 2003, Americans snatched Egyptian cleric Abu Omar on the street in Milan and secretly transported him to Egypt, despite his official asylum status in Italy. In 2009, an Italian court found 22 CIA operatives, a US military official and two Italian spies guilty of the kidnapping and sentenced them each to five years in jail. All CIA agents were tried in absentia. None were handed over to Italy.

The court established that Omar was first brought to a US air base at Aviano near Venice, and then transferred to America’s Ramstein base in Germany, from whence he was flown to Egypt. The 2007 report of the Council of Europe established that the CIA performed some 1,000 rendition flights over Europe in the previous six years, using a web of European airports and US military air bases.

Germany

Germany was implicated in aiding CIA renditions in 2004 after a German national of Lebanese descent named Khaled El-Masri was mistakenly kidnapped in Macedonia by CIA agents and flown to a US detention facility in Afghanistan, prompting condemnation by the European Court of Human Rights. The German government denied its participation in the blunder.

According to a 2013 report by George Soros’s NGO Open Society Justice Initiative, a total of 54 foreign governments participated in CIA rendition operations in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on US soil. These countries hosted CIA prisons, tortured people, assisted America in renditions and provided information leading to secret arrests of alleged terror suspects.

Obama on Senate’s CIA report: “We tortured some folks”  – watch video

 

 

What You Need to Know About New CIA Torture Report

The US Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to release a long-anticipated 500-page summary of the report on post-9/11 torture practices used by the CIA, on Tuesday, December 9. The White House fears that the “potentially explosive” report could trigger violence against US citizens overseas.

Sputnik –  12/09/14

MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — The US Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to release a long-anticipated 500-page summary of the report on post-9/11 torture practices used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), on Tuesday, December 9.

“Two years ago, the Senate Intelligence Committee completed its investigation into the detention and torture of detainees in CIA custody during the Bush administration. The report has been the subject of lengthy negotiations, conflicts and even legal threats between the committee and the CIA, and it has sparked intense partisan battles within the committee itself,” writes Dafna Linzer, Managing Editor of MSNBC.com, in her article “5 things to look for in the Senate’s torture report.”

The comprehensive report dubbed “CIA Torture Report” contains a 6300-page description of CIA interrogation techniques used against detainees including waterboarding, prolonged sleep deprivation, use of stress positions, mock executions, threats against children, use of power drills and etc. These methods have been qualified by human rights groups as inhuman torture practices.

As the CIA has expressed deep concerns regarding releasing the full document, the committee and the White House decided to publicize a redacted 500-page version. However, the White House fears that the “potentially explosive” report could trigger violence against the US citizens overseas. It led “the Obama administration to raise security precautions at US embassies worldwide,” the ABC News reports.

After the tragedy of 9/11, the CIA began a program to capture al-Qaeda members and detain them at secret prisons, also known as “black sites.” At these sites, the CIA operatives carried out interrogation techniques against prisoners, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and his counterpart Ramzi bin al-Shibh, in order to learn more about al-Qaeda.

Only in 2006 did US President Bush publicly acknowledged the existence of the CIA secret prison network. Remarkably, prominent members of the Bush administration, particularly former Vice President Dick Cheney and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, insisted repeatedly that “torture works.” Dafna Linzer cites Cheney as saying that the waterboarding “produced phenomenal results for us.”

The report, however, proves the opposite, according to an official familiar with the document. It should be noted that in April 2012, the committee published a press release, which claimed that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” had not provided any valuable information leading to the finding of bin Laden, the infamous al-Qaeda leader. “The enhanced interrogation techniques produced zero actionable intelligence,” the committee has found.

“The report is likely to blame CIA leaders for false portrayals of the value of the interrogations or for keeping details from congressional leaders and even the White House. Expect every named former CIA official to deny it. And expect to never know the truth,” writes Dafna Linzer and adds: “And don’t look for good guys – there aren’t any in this report.”