Dr Mengele Award Goes To James Mitchell & Bruce Jessen

They released this statement-

 “We are proud of the work we have done for our country. The advice we have provided, and the actions we have taken have been legal and ethical. We resolutely oppose torture. Under no circumstances have we ever endorsed, nor would we endorse, the use of interrogation methods designed to do physical or psychological harm. We were not in any way involved with the scandal at Abu Ghraib or with the abuses alleged at Guantanamo. We were appalled by reports from both places.”

So they are liars, delusional and scared of war crimes prosecutions, oh yeah and part of the faith based approach,

Mitchell and Jessen’s methods were so controversial that, among colleagues, the reaction to their names alone became a litmus test of one’s attitude toward coercion and human rights. Their critics called them the “Mormon mafia” (a reference to their shared religion)  

Who would Jesus torture?

Mitchell and Jessen, who were placed in charge of interrogations on the C.I.A.’s network of “black sites,” had no real-world experience in questioning prisoners. Their expertise was in training U.S. soldiers to endure Communist-style torture techniques—the same tactics they are accused of reverse-engineering for use on detainees.

as Zubaydah clammed up, Mitchell seemed to conclude that he would talk only when he had been reduced to complete helplessness and dependence, so the C.I.A. team began building a coffin in which they planned to bury the detainee alive. Eban concludes that they probably did not put Zubaydah in the coffin, but soon after (as was reported last year) they employed more “SERE school” techniques, which included stripping Zubaydah naked and making his room so cold that his body turned blue.

Ah yes, no psychological harm or physical torture there, my mistake move along, hey wait a  minute!

 the document is divided into four categories: “Degradation,” “Physical Debilitation,” Isolation and Monopoliztion [sic] of Perception,” and “Demonstrated Omnipotence.” The tactics include “slaps,” “forceful removal of detainees’ clothing,” “stress positions,” “hooding,” “manhandling,” and “walling,” which entails grabbing the detainee by his shirt and hoisting him against a specially constructed wall. 

And as ever evil pays, hooray for capitalism!

Despite their questionable credentials, Eban reports that the principals at Mitchell, Jessen & Associates are raking in money. According to people familiar with their compensation, they get paid more than $1,000 per day plus expenses, tax-free, for their overseas work 

All part of the rigged procedure that the American Psychological Association happily went along with:-

 But last fall, a psychologist named Jean Maria Arrigo came to see me with a disturbing claim about the American Psychological Association, her profession’s 148,000-member trade group. Arrigo had sat on a specially convened A.P.A. task force that, in July 2005, had ruled that psychologists could assist in military interrogations, despite angry objections from many in the profession. The task force also determined that, in cases where international human-rights law conflicts with U.S. law, psychologists could defer to the much looser U.S. standards—what Arrigo called the “Rumsfeld definition” of humane treatment. 

 Arrigo and several others with her, including a representative from Physicians for Human Rights, had come to believe that the task force had been rigged—stacked with military members (6 of the 10 had ties to the armed services), monitored by observers with undisclosed conflicts of interest, and programmed to reach preordained conclusions.

The full Vanity Fair article is here. And James & Bruce? FYI They executed the Nazis who did the same things. Maybe your God will forgive you, I ain’t feeling so christian right now motherfuckers.

Update: 17/5/09 New Article in Spiegel online 

James Mitchell’s new life begins with the same ritual every morning: He goes jogging, wearing Adidas shorts and a black tank top, his iPod in his ear. Then he gets into his luxury SUV and drives back to luxury home on Lake Vienna Drive in Pasco County, Florida.

The hacienda-style house, with a natural stone façade, columned walkways and palm trees in front of the door is brand-new. Mitchell has just had it built, in the midst of an upscale, gated community.

The freestanding garage to the right of the house is big enough for three or four cars, and a mountain bike is mounted to the back of the SUV. Mitchell, a tanned man in his late 50s with silver-gray hair, a neatly trimmed beard and trendy sunglasses, spends two hours a day exercising. In fact, exercise plays an important role in his new life under Florida’s blue skies.

Blair’s Tory Policies Succesful

The gap between rich and poor in the UK is as wide as it has been for 40 years

The JRF found that households in already wealthy areas had become “disproportionately” richer compared with society as a whole. But the number of “poor” households has risen over the past 15 years. Since the 1980s, wealthier people have moved to the suburbs while the poor remain in inner cities, the JRF added.

Looking at wealth patterns over the past four decades, the JRF found that the gap between rich and poor actually narrowed in the 1970s. But during the 1980s and 1990s inequality had increased as a “polarisation” in British society had occurred.

As for the decade beginning in 2000, the report said the picture was “less clear”, with some initiatives such as tax and pension credit helping the poor while wealthier people were gaining from a property market boom.

Rich and poor are also less likely to be living next door to one another than in the 1970s, it was reported. The report concluded that “both the poor and wealthy have become more and more clustered in different areas”.

The wealthiest of households, defined by JRF as “exclusively wealthy”, are concentrated in suburban pockets, usually in the south of England. Meanwhile a separate report into public attitudes to wealth inequality, also produced by the JRF, found some unease.

“There is widespread acceptance that some occupations should be paid more than others: but the gap between high and low paid occupations is far greater than people think it should be,” said Michael Orton, the author of the report.

Mr Orton added that people are more likely to think that people at the top of pay scale are paid too much rather than people at the bottom paid too little.

Yet another wonderful legacy for our dearly beloved former PM, 28 years of tory rule and the very best free market economists have triumphed. Rejoice!

Cindy Sheehan At SOA

Today our Journey took us to Ft. Benning, Ga, where the cancer of the School of Americas (WINSEC) is housed. I have written on torture before and I believe that BushCo’s policy of imprisoning people without their basic due process and torturing them is one of the grossest breeches of international and American law and one of the overriding reasons that they should be impeached.

The School of Torture has graduated many egregious violators of human rights like Panamanian drug lord, U.S. CIA employee, and Bush family friend (until he became an enemy), Manuel Noriega. If there is one issue that should unite Americans it should be against torture. Incredibly, we still have neighbors in our communities who believe that torture is correct, humane and valuable. However, to say torture is “wrong” is like saying the sky is blue. Torture is inherently wrong. Torture is pure evil. Torture is an abomination. Torture is disordered and demented. Torture is sick, sick, sick!

Most significantly the people who are being tortured in such prison camps as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib were mostly sold to the US Army by bounty hunters and the Northern Alliance. Criminal charges against the prisoners are as rare as the truth in the Bush Regime. Most reasonable people would agree that information gleaned from such awfully brutal means (water-boarding, stress positions, extreme noise and temperatures, sodomy and other sexual humiliation, electrodes on genitalia, etc) is never reliable. I can’t even fathom the sick, sadistic minds of the Bush Regime who not only have authorized and institutionalized this behavior but also refuse to end it and close the camps that have undermined any moral authority the US may have had.

Torture not only dehumanizes the tortured, but the torturer. It hurts my heart deeply to think of our young soldiers carrying out such ruthless acts on other humans who for the most part were in the wrong place at the wrong time and do not know where Osama bin Laden is hiding. Torture only compromises our soldiers’ lives in the field as the US cannot credibly claim any kind of moral high ground if one of our soldiers is tragically captured. The abomination of Abu Ghraib is one of the reasons that the insurgency began on the day Casey was killed in Sadr City, Baghdad. I personally know three men who were illegally and wrongly imprisoned in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib who can testify to the fact that, yes, America does torture and does so with extreme callous and cold-hearted cruelty.

The Geneva Conventions are clear on prohibiting the use of torture and the 8th Amendment to our own Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. When torture is official policy, where will it end? When George can pick and choose who receives the centuries old right to habeas corpus and who doesn’t, where will it end? Will it end with the “terrorists” in Guantanamo or will it be used here in the USA against those who stand up against tyranny and struggle for our Constitution, freedoms, peace and human rights?

Torture has tarnished the soul of our nation and Congress has done little to restrain BushCo’s Torquemadas and even when a bill is passed restricting the use of torture, George adds a signing statement saying that he is above the law. BushCo is no better than a crime cabal and they must be Constitutionally controlled.

Apparently impeachment is the only remedy for torture and will go a long way to elevating our country’s standing in the international community and to healing our broken nation. Impeachment is not an optional menu item that can be set on a table but a Constitutionally mandated requirement (See section II, Article IV).

Put it back on the table, Ms. Pelosi. We have over a million signatures on petitions demanding that Congress end the misery of our nation and world by impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney.

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A Stormtrooper’s Testimony

A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to “crank up the violence level.”

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

“We were told to crank up the violence level,” said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: “We beat people, sir.”

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.

Lopezromo said the suspected insurgent was known to his neighbors as the “prince of jihad,” and had been arrested several times and later released by the Iraqi legal system.

Unable to find him, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it appear he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Four Marines and the corpsman, initially charged with murder in the April 2006 killing, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been given jail sentences ranging from 10 months to eight years. Thomas, 25, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and is the first defendant to go to court-martial.

Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.

“I don’t see it as an execution, sir,” he told the judge. “I see it as killing the enemy.”

He said Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency.

Lopezromo and two other Marines were charged in August with assaulting an Iraqi two weeks before the killing that led to charges against Thomas and the others. Charges against all three were later dropped.

Thomas’ attorneys have said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury from his combat duty in Fallouja in 2004. They have argued that Thomas believed he was following a lawful order to get tougher with suspected insurgents.

Prosecution witnesses testified that Thomas shot the 52-year-old man at point-blank range after he had already been shot by other Marines and was lying on the ground.

Lopezromo said a procedure called “dead-checking” was routine. If Marines entered a house where a man was wounded, instead of checking to see whether he needed medical aid, they shot him to make sure he was dead, he testified.

“If somebody is worth shooting once, they’re worth shooting twice,” he said.

h/t Bob Kincaid, Headon Radio Network.

Cheney Has Bent Bush To His Will On Iran

Previously we had the information Bush was undecided on Iran, the State dept. and most others favouring negotiation,while Cheney was busy trying to destroy that option and channel Bush into his route of military action. This report in the Guardian says Cheney has succeeded in manouvering Bush to his approach:-

Last year Mr Bush came down in favour of Ms Rice, who along with Britain, France and Germany has been putting a diplomatic squeeze on Iran. But at a meeting of the White House, Pentagon and state department last month, Mr Cheney expressed frustration at the lack of progress and Mr Bush sided with him. “The balance has tilted. There is cause for concern,” the source said this week.

Nick Burns, the undersecretary of state responsible for Iran and a career diplomat who is one of the main advocates of negotiation, told the meeting it was likely that diplomatic manoeuvring would still be continuing in January 2009. That assessment went down badly with Mr Cheney and Mr Bush.

The Washington source said Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively. They are also reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway.

“The red line is not in Iran. The red line is in Israel. If Israel is adamant it will attack, the US will have to take decisive action,” Mr Cronin said. “The choices are: tell Israel no, let Israel do the job, or do the job yourself.” Almost half of the US’s 277 warships are stationed close to Iran,

So there you have it, Cheney and Israel driving the attack agenda which is now their preferred option. MOA reiterates Cheney’s role in supplying Iran with nuclear components via Halliburton in the 90’s, so once again all roads lead to Dick. How in supposed democracies can one evil man wield so much power over 4 decades? Oh right Republican voters, pig shit ignorant and soaked in blood. This is yet another reason to impeach Cheney, not just his past crimes but the ones he has been planning on committing. Time is running out.