by ilene - May 6th, 2011 2:34 pm
Mish is on fire today with excellent posts. Here, Mish reports on the horrifying story of what the CIA did in kidnapping the wrong man, a German citizen Khalid El-Masri, and the CIA’s subsequent torture and abuse of him. Our court system failed too, citing "national security" grounds to throw out Khalid El-Masri’s case against the CIA. (Sounds like a specious excuse to me as sensitive information wouldn’t have to be made public.) – Ilene
Courtesy of Mish
I do not agree with using torture, nor do I believe the end justifies the means. The problem with both is that others can act the same way.
If the US can torture to extract vital information, then why can’t Iran and every other country on the planet?
It is pure hypocrisy to think that the US has a monopoly on "justified torture". Indeed, there is no such thing as "justified torture".
This has been my position forever. I bring it up because of a post Barry Ritholtz made yesterday stipulating “Torture didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information”
“Torture [at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp] didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information. Everyone [at the CIA] was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work.” – Glenn L. Carle, a retired C.I.A. officer who oversaw the interrogation of a high-level detainee in 2002
“The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003. It took years of collection and analysis from many different sources to develop the case that enabled us to identify this compound, and reach a judgment that Bin Laden was likely to be living there.” – Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times — repeatedly misled interrogators about the courier’s identity. …
Barry Ritholtz went on to say "Thinking that torture is wrong is not a liberal or conservative value — it is an American value."
I sure wish Barry was correct. Sadly he is not, at least right now. Both president Bush and president Obama have condoned torture.
Moreover, President Obama had a campaign pledge to shut Guantanamo Bay. Sadly, I report Guantanamo Bay is still in operation. On March 8, 2011, the Irish Times noted Guantánamo trials freeze lifted
by ilene - September 26th, 2010 2:50 pm
Courtes of Washington’s Blog
[And see also Washington's 9-11 post if you missed it, here.]
We’ve been told that 9/11 changed everything.
Is it true?
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before9/11, and inserted "crap" in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before9/11. And top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change one month after Bush took office
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- Cheney and the rest of the neocons lamented - before 9/11 - that America could not truly project its power globally without the justification of a "new Pearl Harbor"
- The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11
- The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons — and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes — all before 9/11
- The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths before 9/11
- Cheney was in charge of all counter-terrorism programs for the United States before (and on) 9/11. See this Department of State announcement, this CNN article andthis essay
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence, but is an effective way to terrorize people
So did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was it simply an excuse to implement existing plans?
by ilene - July 22nd, 2010 1:41 am
Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds
The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has spawned a national security "state-within-a-state" with essentially unlimited funding and support of America’s political machine. This National Security State has infected domestic policing and courts; it is both ubiquitous and completely unaccountable.
The Democrats and Republicans have enthusiastically joined hands to create a global police/national security state-within-a-state of unimaginable reach and power. Frequent contributor Michael Goodfellow sent me this investigative report, which I consider one of the most important of the decade: Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control (Washington Post).
Let’s go back briefly to September 1, 2001, before the 9/11 attack. The national security "assets" of the nation had all the information needed to stop the attack. The various agencies did not stop the attack because there was essentially zero coordination and data-sharing between the CIA, NSA and FBI.
This was laid out in the PBS program The Spy Factory.
Now the national security "assets" have metastasized into a gargantuan national security state-within-a-state--and the exact same problem not only exists, it has become even more intracable.
Now that the national security state (NSS) has become much larger and even more unwieldy, coordination, collaboration and data-sharing have been rendered essentially impossible. This report makes that absolutely clear.
Rather than fix the problem of coordinating our national security assets, the Federal government and its leaders have amplified the problem. At the same time, they have created a monster which is beyond the control of elected officials or the citizenry, a secretive state-within-a-state which protects itself behind the inpenetrable shield of "national security" and "need to know."
The national security state is the ultimate protected fiefdom. Cutting one dollar of funding would be instantly characterized as "weakening our fight against global terrorism," as would any limits on the NSS’s powers.
This is in effect a new arm of the "military-industrial complex" which dwarfs the power of the traditional military-industrial complex: "defense" contractors and the revolving door between the DoD (Department of Defense) and these Pentagon-dependent industrial corporations.
GWOT is the perfect defense for a state-within-a-state that is insatiable and beyond accountability. Even simple inquiries are quickly dismissed as "dangerous"--as if global terrorists would glean some useful information from knowing just how many hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent tracking them.
by ilene - April 24th, 2010 4:41 pm
Courtesy of David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report
This report was originally released as a six-part series. The first part was published on February 15, 2010. The last part was published on February 27, 2010.
- I: Casualties of Economic Terrorism, Surveying the Damage
- II: The Rise of the Economic Elite
- III: Exposing Our Enemy: Meet the Economic Elite
- IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat
- V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy
- VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won
> Download full report with graphics and links.
> Download printer-friendly version.
but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts
on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions
and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.”
– Michael Lind, To Have and to Have Not
It’s time for 99% of Americans to mobilize and aggressively move on common sense political reforms.
Yes, of course, we all have very strong differences of opinion on many issues. However, like our Founding Fathers before us, we must put aside our differences and unite to fight a common enemy.
by ilene - March 25th, 2010 2:21 pm
This is fascinating, a must-read for anyone who’s spotted UFOs while not on drugs and still wondering what in the world might be going on. – Ilene
Courtesy of Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds
Because of my former career at The Disinformation Company, Ltd., I am often asked—I was asked this yesterday, in fact—if I have ever investigated a conspiracy theory that I was skeptical of and then become a convert? Nope. Not once. And for the record, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I just played one on TV.
First of all, you have to parse the term. There are criminal conspiracies—events that can be proven in a court of law or that are a matter of historical record; and then there is the Montauk Project/David Icke side of things. Iran-Contra, the CIA shenanigans we’ve all heard about, Watergate, etc., these were real events. When you get into the territory of aliens, the 9-11 nonsense, and the “reptilian beings” like the Queen, the Royal Family and the Bushes, I just pretty much tune it out. Been there, done that. I went down that rabbit hole when I was a teenager and came back out again on the other side.
Conspiracy theorists tend to be people who have been a bit cut off, from, let’s just say, the power centers of the world. If you’ve never been to Washington, DC or Manhattan or been in a Beverly Hills country club, or know how the news gets produced, then the way the world runs must seem very mysterious. Like someone is in control. But that’s not true.
People who are in positions of power—industrial, political, financial, media power—went to high school like the rest of us did. The class president type who went on to become a congressman did so because he could. He got into that position of power because… people voted for him and not for the other guy. And don’t be surprised if rich guy A makes a…