War is Cancer

It spreads.

(CBS/ AP) Soldiers from a Colorado unit accused in nearly a dozen slayings since returning home – including a couple gunned down as they put up a garage sale sign – could be showing a hostility fueled by intense combat in Iraq, where the troops suffered heavy losses and told of witnessing war crimes, the military said Wednesday.

Well, Duh.

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Palestine: to exist is to resist- The Article That Was Censored

Via Pulse.  An article- Palestine: to exist is to resist in Therapy Today, the monthly journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) was about the psychological trauma inflicted on Palestinians, with emphasis on children.

Pulse goes on- Under pressure from supporters of the Zionist state of Israel the editor, Sarah Browne pulled the article from their web page yesterday. Seemingly this pressure was a phone call telling them “that they’d find out they’d been very unwise to publish such a one-sided piece etc” and a couple of emails.

It might be worth email her saying that caving in to such pressure and withdrawing such an accurate piece does not serve the best interests of BACP members.  (Thanks to Ian for this).

Her email address is: sarah.browne at bacp.co.uk

To me this is pure thuggism and censorship, a nation causes this suffering then bullies anyone who talks about it in an attempt to silence them, supposing if their victim’s death and/or suffering goes unacknowledged it does not exist and they can continue doing it. It is curious how people who think of themselves as liberal support Israel, censorship is a liberal thing now? This at the same time Haaretz is publishing stories detailing the racial extermination culture of the IDF.

Below the fold is the article retrieved from google cache.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alexei Sayle on Gaza & Israeli Violence

“…as I say, I think it’s important that Jewish people who have a public profile, that we speak out to say that this is not being done in our name. I think that Israel has an idea of itself as being noble. Israeli people have an idea of themselves as being noble. When you attack somebody but you have this idea of yourself that you’re the good guy and you think that well, how can this be? I’m the good guy and I’m killing these people, and what you do is you blame the people that you killed and you hear all the time from Israeli spokespeople that they are angry with the people they have murdered for making them murder them.
And it is the foulest..kind of ..it is the psychology of the murderer, it is the psychology of the rapist, it is the psychology of the bully. That’s what Israel is in this situation.”

Oh The Humanity!

“People are horrified. They are frightened of being exposed. They don’t know how to go on,” said a Boston-area psychologist, cited in an interesting story by Svea Herbst of Reuters: “Many duped investors have been left with a sense of betrayal so strong that it will cause severe psychological scars, said Dr. James Grubman, a psychologist who counsels wealthy families in the Boston area struggling with the emotional issues of having money.”

Maybe if I get a paypal button we could all just pull together, collect some money and help these poor, poor lambs. Even if they don’t lose any money, they need help (is mo’ money, mo’ problems on his card?) . C’mon people, therapy doesn’t pay for itself!

[Note to self- Best scam evah! Treating rich idiots for being rich, why did I not become a psychologist? Dammit!]

Check his site –Family Wealth Consulting, absolute genius!

Dr. Jim Grubman of FamilyWealth Consulting works with families of wealth, family businesses, and the advisors who serve them.  Using skills developed as a psychologist for over 30 years, he helps individuals and families understand and overcome the natural dilemmas of acquired or inherited wealth.  He also teaches, trains, and collaborates with the many important advisors in clients’ lives.  The goal – to help those with good fortune achieve their greatest potential.

Pass the tissues, I’m overcome (steady).

APA Members Vote To Remove Psychologists From Torture Role

Against a leadership that spun, lied and collaborated with the Bush regime the membership voted 58.8% against being involved in the torture state. Full press release here @ Stephen Soldz’s blog. But as Valtin @ Invictus writes-

Insurgent Psychologists Win Key Anti-Torture Vote (excerpts)

One thing the resolution does not mean is an immediate pullout of psychologists from sites where human rights violations take place. Psychologists like U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Diane M. Zierhoffer, a former but now resigned APA member, still staff the Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCT) at Guantanamo and elsewhere. Lt. Col. Zierhoffer exercised her Fifth Amendment rights not to answer questions about her participation in the interrogation of controversial “child soldier” Guantanamo prisoner Mohammad Jawad. Her refusal to answer questions about her actions — Zierhoffer is accused of signing off on keeping Jawad in solitary confinement, despite his mental deterioration — was widely noted and condemned…

It is now incumbent upon APA as an organization to implement the policy voted upon by a notable majority of their membership via free election. The APA must notify all relevant parties — the Pentagon, the President, the CIA — that it is now the position of the APA that psychologists not be utilized at settings where detainees are not allowed rights such as habeas corpus, and where abusive conditions of detention and coercive interrogation are well documented.

More, the APA should communicate the new policy statement broadly to media, legislators and the public. This APA has previously promised to do. They must not be allowed to bury the will of the APA membership. Members who have been withholding their dues in protest of APA policy should wait to see if APA has any real intention of implementing this new policy.

I suspect that APA will continue to procrastinate, as they have done with the so-called ethics casebook called for multiple times over the years (last at the 2007 APA convention). (The deadline for submissions of suggestions for such an ethics casebook was recently extended until the end of 2008.)

The reason for all the delays? The APA is deeply enmeshed in the governmental apparatus of military and intelligence organizations, while also serving varied private consultation and “scientific” organizations, and academia, all under the auspices of serving the national security state. Hence, APA belongs to a wide-ranging set of special interests, which forms an extremely formidable opposition to those who would fundamentally change the policies and personnel responsible for the institution of a world-wide network of secret prisons and institutionalized torture.

Gitmo- Torturer’s Blues

The guards at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp are the “overlooked victims” of America’s controversial detention facility in Cuba, according to a psychiatrist who has treated some of them.Professor John Smith, a retired US Air Force captain, treated a patient who was a guard at the camp. “I think the guards of Guantánamo are an overlooked group of victims,” Smith told the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Washington DC on Saturday. “They do not complain a lot. You do not hear about them.”

The patient (‘Mr H’) is a national guardsman in his early 40s who was sent to Guantánamo in the first months of its operation, when prisoners captured in Afghanistan were beginning to flood into the camp. Mr H reported that he found conditions at the camp extremely disturbing. For example, in the first month two detainees and two prison guards committed suicide.

The taunts of prisoners and the things his superiors required him to do to them had a severe psychological impact on Mr H. “He was called upon to bring detainees, enemy combatants, to certain places and to see that they were handcuffed in particularly painful and difficult positions, usually naked, in anticipation of their interrogation,” said Smith.

On occasion he was told to make prisoners kneel, naked and handcuffed, on sharp stones. To avoid interrogation the prisoners would often rub their wounds afterwards to make them worse so that they would be taken to hospital. Some of the techniques used by interrogators resulted in detainees defecating, urinating, vomiting and screaming.

Mr H told Smith he felt profoundly guilty about his participation. “It was wrong what we did,” he said.

Well it’s good he now realises that and it is good he is getting treatment, but he did as he was told and followed orders, such is the effectiveness of military psychological conditioning, such was the lack of character and independent moral activism of the people they selected to staff the camp. It also is a function of the worship of militarism found in all empires, it is a cultural phenomenon, it is not good to make people into order following objects. Sometimes that might be necessary in self defence (cf. suicide bombers perhaps) but that certainly is not the case with any western state, blind obedience and authoritarianism are not desirable in a person or a culture. The correct and admirable and honourable action is to refuse such orders and to support organisations that help legal and moral personnel think critically and resist a corrupt military & political establishment.


Iraq Veterans Against the War

War Resistors UK

The IVAW are have organised new winter soldier hearings in March as the 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion arrives, GodlessLiberal Homo went to a fund raiser and reported-

– The US has 731 military bases throughout the world.

– In the attacks on Fallujah in 2004, over 12,000 Iraqis were killed and ID’d as “insurgents.”

– Although we usually hear the term “enemy combatant” in the context of the Gulag at Guantanamo, the phrase is commonly used by the military in Iraq to describe insurgents and people who get killed who may not be insurgents.

– Returning veterans from the Iraq War reported seeing no rebuilding of the country and that construction by contractors was limited to US military installations.

– National Guard members at Fort Dix in New Jersey have been trained to run over little children in the middle of the road on the grounds that they may have explosives strapped to their bodies.

– Soldiers in Vietnam were given no training regarding the treatments of civilians and prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

– Throwing Vietnamese people out of helicopters was so common that soldiers were ordered to do prisoner counts after the helicopters had landed, not before.

Over 150 people attended the event in Manhattan and saw a truly disturbing video from the Winter Soldier project. It started with horrific house and business destruction in Iraq by the US military, and then went on to the horribly mutilated bodies of people killed in bombing attacks ordered by the Bush regime. The video footage was shot by veterans when they were in Iraq.

One of the speakers at the event said, “We went easy with the video.” Yet, the images in the video were so repulsive and frightening that I had to keep forcing my eyes open. Psychological services were offered for veterans who might be traumatized by reliving what they saw in Iraq. I just don’t know how our troops cope with the terrible things they see and are ordered to do in Iraq.

There was a group of chickenhawks protesting outside, misappropriating American flags for their pandering to Big Oil, corrupt mercenary companies, and defense contractors. They attempted to look intimidating, but they didn’t harass me as I went in. (Being male and over 6 feet tall does have its advantages.) However, they did harass and try to intimidate an Iraqi woman who went in anyway. The vets running the fundraiser pointed out that none of the people outside were veterans.

Join the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

Also Dave @ Complex System of Pipes has an in depth review of Nick Broomfield’s The Battle For Haditha-

Watching the Haditha massacre after a feature-length introduction to the victims and perpetrators made me feel so rotten inside that I wanted to vomit and, in that sense, this was far and away the worst film I’ve ever seen. But then that’s the only correct reaction to war. It’s been said that it’s impossible to make a truly antiwar movie, because any cinematic depiction of war is fundamentally pretty exciting. TBFH tears that conceit to shreds like so much Iraqi flesh; it captures horror and confusion and serves them up on a cold, documentarian plate.

Occupied Haditha is no more exciting a place than occupied Warsaw, and if we’d all seen this in school it would have taken a bit more than implausible hyperbole to sell the invasion. In that sense, it’s among the best and most important films I’ve ever seen; little golden statues or no, everyone should go and see this.

Someone Call The Wire About Camp 7

For the first time, the top commander of detention operations at Guantanamo has confirmed the existence of the mysterious Camp 7. In an interview with The Associated Press, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby also provided a few details about the maximum-security lockup. He described it as a maximum security facility that was already built when President Bush announced in September 2006 that 14 high-value terrorism suspects had been transferred from CIA secret detention facilities to Guantanamo. An additional detainee, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, arrived last April. “They went straight into that facility,” Buzby said.Buzby, who heads all military detention operations on Guantanamo, said he controls Camp 7, but would not discuss whether the CIA might still be talking with the high-value detainees.Paul Rester, the military’s chief interrogator at Guantanamo, told AP he has been interviewing one of the Camp 7 detainees and that others may be interrogated, depending on intelligence needs.But other key military commanders on the base have been told to leave Camp 7 to others. “Not everybody, even within the Joint Task Force, has access or even knowledge of where Camp 7 is,” said Army Col. Bruce Vargo. As commander of the military’s Joint Detention Group at Guantanamo, Vargo is responsible for the camps holding 260 detainees. But not for Camp 7.Red Cross representatives have visited Camp 7 and all the other detention facilities at Guantanamo, confirmed Geoff Loane, head of the humanitarian organization’s delegation in Washington. He declined to give details.

The JTF may not get much action down Camp 7 way but they do have a camp magazine to enjoy. The Wire (not the excellent TV show) is Gitmo’s military produced lifestyle supplement (in pdf)! Have a browse through the archives, this January’s edition (ps. typo! Someone tell the military affairs office they’ve put this years mags under 2007) had a touching article in tribute to Martin Luther King and -as with much of the media- completely ‘neglect’ to mention his anti-war & economic justice work, well you can only take irony so far…

Also in this months jam packed issue-

  • JTF port security and their nifty gunboats (they’d make the Iranian’s jealous).
  • BCCT psychologists, hey they’re all really great, really!
  • Joseph Benkert Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security Affairs pays a visit!
  • American football & extreme sports reports, Team Shock won the Gitmo challenge!
  • College benefits, hey you could learn about the Nuremberg trials!
  • ‘Hitman’ not as good as ‘The Matrix’ apparently.
  • A Christian message of hope from a Chaplain, bless ’em!
  • Camp Justice Red Bulls get a swanky new sign!
  • Road Burners video arcade game delivered and hard rockers ‘Night Ranger’ perform (80’s hit with ‘Sister Christian‘ apparently, anyone…?) !

I just have to wonder does Camp 7 have a secret magazine where they don’t have to make do with Benkert, they get Dick and Negroponte maybe, a problem page by Dr. Phil & a center spread of a hot chick force feeding turists the milk of human kindness at gunpoint? I think The Wire should investigate, I reckon those Camp 7 goons are getting all the sweet deals.

PS. The value of the week for this week on the website is:-

“Value of the Week”
“A high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”


I kid you not.

PPS. The Dog Ate My Torture Homework-

The U.S. military has lost a year’s worth of records describing the Guantanamo interrogation and confinement of Osama bin Laden’s driver, a prosecutor said at the Yemeni captive’s war court hearing on Thursday. Lawyers for the driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, asked for the records to support their argument that prolonged isolation and harassment at the Guantanamo prison have mentally impaired him and compromised his ability to aid in his defense on war crimes charges.

Can’t wait for The Wire’s series of investigative reports on this.