Nov 15 2011

Enhanced Interrogation: A Non-Thing

Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry claimed they would reinstate illegal programs that have been dismissed by experts as ineffective and illegal. They have sought to foster the ignorance in the Republican party that comes with a belief in a non-thing. This non-thing is called, “enhanced interrogation”.

Each of these people continue an insult against real interrogators and other military and civilian service members who have been clear that they seek a trail to what is so, not what is previously concluded and then supported via confession. Whether it is Malcolm Nance, SERE instructor and counterterrorism and intelligence specialist, Matthew Alexander or Col Steve Kleinman, military interrogators who have clearly rejected the idea of an ‘enhanced interrogation’, Glenn Carle, Ali Soufan, the list goes on. Each of these people have come forward to denounce torture and discredit the idea of ‘enhanced interrogation’. Each of these people has direct experience with interrogation and are adamant that torture does not work, that waterboarding wasn’t the only torture happening and that it was not only ineffective but delayed information, sent agents on white noise chases, and in some cases ended in deaths of both civilians and military service members because of the bad intelligence.

OBAMA ALLOWING ACLU TO RUN CIA
It didn’t take long for right wing nonsense like “Obama is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA” to come from Michele Bachmann. If this were true, Guantanamo would be closed, many detainees would be freed, the cases pending would be underway and Dick Cheney would likely be in prison. But from a dog whistle idiot like Bachmann, this is just another tune. She has no respect for the interrogation specialists in the FBI or US military. Though I’m sure some CIA officers are familiar with interrogation now, all accounts by former CIA officers in the public sphere for the past 6 or so years have been clear that no such wing ever existed in CIA until now. At the request of the White House, contractors were used to do what officers wouldn’t. Ali Soufan was there when the shift took place from conventional and probably legal to clearly illegal and clearly values destructive.

Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul disagree. Ron Paul was determined to state that waterboarding is torture. He is correct. Jon Huntsman was even more clear that as an ambassador, he was able to tell first hand how these events shaped views of the United States and that real clout comes from moral compass not this idiot might that is so lauded by the Blind Candidates, Cain, Bachmann, Perry, Romney and Gingrich.

Now while Romney and Gingrich didn’t weigh in on the waterboarding question, to which we can predict their delightful glee at the idea, we can see that Mitt Romney is into the macho ‘kill them’ talk when it comes to Anwar al-Awlaki and even worse was Newt Gingrich. Gingrich couldn’t distinguish between a jury and a presidential finding.

WATERBOARDING AND THE NEWS MEDIA
This play to the extreme is only part of the problem. When the moderators and news junkies continue the ‘enhanced interrogation’ term, they do their viewers and readers a disservice. There is no further enhancement in harming people, even if they are bad people.

Brains, Not Brutality, to take down the deadliest man in Iraq

How To Break A Terrorist by Matthew Alexander

In his book, How To Break A Terrorist, Matthew Alexander describes in detail the interaction with confessed bomb makers. He is able to get past the bullshit of the front each seems to put on. He is a skilled seeker of what is So. He is looking for accurate information to put in a larger picture that will help end bombings. If he gets the wrong information, military resources will likely strike the wrong house resulting in the deaths of both civilians and service members. He is aware of this at all points. Rick Perry could care less about the truth if it would get him more votes.

Ali Soufan knows that Abu Zubaydah was speaking with them before the torture crew of Jessen and Mitchell arrived to fulfill executive orders that were illegal and were not going to get approval from FBI. Herman Cain has never heard of any of these people and wouldn’t be able to tell you the first thing about EITs or CSRTs. Yet as he disavows ‘torture’ he is clear in finding a way to say he’d endorse ‘enhanced interrogation’…as if it existed. This was dog whistle nonsense. Cain is hedging his right wing bets. As GuestBlogger from ThinkProgress noted Cain said he’d accept the wisdom of the military leaders and they have been clear that torture isn’t condone.

Malcolm Nance has clearly issued the call to each of the previous apologists for waterboarding that he can clear up their views if they’d submit to being waterboarded. He knows and the SERE program knows. Waterboarding isn’t done to our soldiers any where near what was done to KSM, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. This wasn’t the only torture done to these men. And while one can argue how bad they are, how bad is less important when accurate is what you are looking for. A confession is quite easy to illicit. If a confession is all you want, that doesn’t take much. If you are trying to conclude with a previously ordained notion, then you aren’t looking for intelligence, you are looking to fix the narrative. This was the MO of the Cheney administration. No respect for intelligence officers, no respect for interrogators, no respect for the law, or our treaties.

This new batch of candidates seeks to bring back a New American Century as if we forgot what the last Project attempted to bring with its failed war in Iraq. In the end Americans lost, our economy is shot for quite a while, we weren’t greeted as liberators and were asked to leave and don’t let the door hit our ass on the way out. Bill Kristol predicted the war would last a few weeks opposite Daniel Ellsberg on Washington Journal in March 2003. He was cocky and sure of himself. Romney and the rest of Mt Assmore show us that they don’t really care about intelligence but to pandering to the base reactionary elements of the right wing. They don’t care that the government hasn’t been able to make a case against Abu Zubaydah for any actions against the United States. Being a terrorist somewhere in the world isn’t a US crime. Being a terrorist against the United States is no longer being alleged. There isn’t a candidate up on stage that knows any of these cases. They don’t care.

The idea of “enhanced interrogation” needs to be put to rest as a petty coward’s rhetoric about being tough when there are already real tough guys doing a good job at protecting lives on all sides. Seeking to inject further testosterone nonsense serves nothing to protecting American interests and many Pentagon reports indicate that the opposite is true; torture leads to acts of violence against American interests and increased confusion in the intelligence chain.

These candidates aren’t serious. The news centers are irresponsible and it doesn’t take long to find someone who has done this work for a while to tell you that intelligence isn’t about Jack Bauer television dramatics.  Speech writers like Marc Theissen are flat out liars when it comes to lauding their own expertise. Theissen is a tool with Michael Hayden’s hand up his ass. Frank Gaffney and the other cowardly chickenhawks are utterly discredited outside their own thinktank circle jerks.

Major Garrett and Scott Pelley should know that there is no such thing as, Enhanced Interrogation. They should have pressed these candidates to explain where they learned about these “techniques”. As supposed Journalists, they should have asked for sources of their information. Mine are easy to share, Matthew Alexander, interrogator, Malcolm Nance, SERE instructor, counterterrorism, intel, Ali Soufan, FBI interrogator, Col. Steve Kleinman, interrogator, Glenn Carle, CIA officer,  and and the vast documentation released under FOIA that clearly demonstrates torture has an adverse effect upon gaining intelligence.

These candidates represent the absurdist notions of Dick Cheney who spent his prime days with 5 deferments. He’s never been there, they’ve never been there, and yet they are always right and always claim to be the toughest. When it comes to national security, these idiots of the GOP party insult the very values established under General George Washington when he issued orders to do no harm to captured British or Hessian troops. He may have done this for moral purpose, but he clearly did it for tactical purpose. These GOP candidates have no place in the company of the founders.


Jun 12 2010

Saturday, June 12 Radio Show-Malcolm Nance and Scott Horton

   
Malcolm Nance (SERE Instructor) Segment 1
Segment 2
Segment 3
Scott Horton Listen Here
Democracy Now segment with PHR from this show Listen Here
ABCNews and Liz Cheney-Made ya look Listen Here
Op-Ed on British Reaction to U.S. reaction to BP destruction Listen Here
CSPAN audio of U.S. Helsinki Commission on torture from Dec 2007 Listen Here

TO listen in: CLICK HERE
Continue reading


Jun 7 2010

Human Experimentation at the Heart of Bush Administration’s Torture Program

Reprinted with permission (and creative commons) from TruthOut.org
Don’t forget, it is very important to support independent journalist sites like TruthOut.org

by Jason Leopold – Sunday, June 6, 2010

PHR Reports Experiments in Torture

PHR Reports Experiments in Torture

High-value detainees captured during the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” who were subjected to brutal torture techniques, were used as “guinea pigs” to gauge the effectiveness of various torture techniques, a practice that has raised troubling comparisons to Nazi-era human experimentation. according to a disturbing new report released by Physicians for Human Rights, an international doctors’ organization.

PHR, based in Massachusetts, called on President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and the US Congress to launch investigations into the role of physicians and psychiatric experts in the monitoring and assessments of the brutal interrogations.
Continue reading


Jun 5 2010

Tonight’s Show, Saturday, June 5, 2010

Prof. Amos Guiora,
Dahr Jamail,
Brig. Gen David Irvine,
Larry Siems (ACLU),
Coleen Rowley,
Jess Levin (MediaMatters),
and a audio from a reading of Rachel Corrie’s letters and Cindy Corrie.
Segment One – Amos Guiora – The Bagram Habeas Decision: Bad Law, Bad Policy
Listen Here
Segment Two – Dahr Jamail / Brig Gen David Irvine
Listen Here
Segment Three – Larry Siems (ACLU) – Fmr. FBI Agent Coleen Rowley-Jess Levin from Media Matters
Listen Here
Segment Four – Rachel Corrie Letters and Cindy Corrie
Listen Here
Segment Five – Tony Hayward, Who’s your daddy?
Listen Here

Click here to listen to this week’s show

Good evening,

Welcome to VeracityRadio. It has been a busy news week and we’ll cover some of those important items in tonights show. This week we saw BP continue to flounder in the Gulf with our disaster. Animals are dying in the gulf and BP’s CEO wants his life back. Currently BP claims its “top cap” is working a little to bring oil to the surface for containment but considering their credibility right now, little they say is worth much.

In international news, Israel raided a flotilla of ships destined for Gaza. The flotilla has been in planning for some time now and we’ll get reports on what happened and have some discussion on the results of this action.

George Bush was quoted this week as admitting to authorizing the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and stated that he would do it again. Though no audio or video of the event was published, local papers and attendees have shared this “news” with us. This comes a year and half after his Vice President admitted to ABC and PBS that he was instrumental to the passage of this program.

Tonight we have a jam packed show for you and I hope that you will appreciate the words of our various guests and I’m very humbled to have the opportunity to speak with them. As always we welcome your feedback at veracityradio@gmail.com or visit the blog at veracityradio.

First up we’ll hear a reading of the op-ed by University of Utah College of Law professor Amos Guiora called The Bagram Habeas Decision: Bad Law, Bad Policy. Then I’ll play an interview I did with Mr. Guiora on Monday with comments on the flotilla and the global war on terror.

Then we’ll talk to Dahr Jamail about the flotilla, a revisit to the attack on the USS Liberty, oil in Canada, theft of Iraqi culture, and the need for independent Journalism.

We’ll have a discussion about George Bush’s comments with retired Brigadeer General David Irvine. I especially want to thank him for joining us on short notice to clarify the comments in this week’s Huffington Post and the consequences of Bush’s admission.

Then as we enter June it is important to recognize that this is Torture Awareness Month. Joining us to discuss the details and events will be Larry Siems of the ACLU and then an interview with former FBI special agent Coleen Rowley. Rowley and I also discussed the Free Gaza Flotilla, the war on terror and the media coverage of such important events.

We’ll have a visit with Jess Levin from Media Matters about BP’s contributions, individual contributions, and Obama. What is the truth behind the $71,000 in contributions?

And last, I’ll feature some archived audio from an event held in Houston a few years ago with the family of Rachel Corrie. This features letters written by Rachel as read by local activists and finishes with a few words from Cindy Corrie.


May 22 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010 show

Listen Now

Listen Now

Segment One – Jason Leopold discusses BP catastrophe – Atlantis rig safety – Bush DOJ ignored whistleblower
Segment 1 –
Segment Two-Rep. Luis Gutierrez sends letter to Ken Salazar as part of Ban Permanently campaign
Segment 2 –
Segment Three-A look at the story of Abu Zubaydah, John Kiriakou and the War on Terror with Jason Leopold of Truthout.org
Segment 3 –
Segment Four-Our weekly logical fallacy segment and a listen to Ali Soufan testimony regarding Abu Zubaydah
Segment 4 –

This week we talk about BP’s Disaster in the Gulf. Is this to become Obama’s Katrina? We’ll listen to a few of the stories from this week’s events. Then Jason Leopold and I talk about BP’s dodge of criminal indictments under the Bush DOJ and the story of Scott West. Then we’ll hear from the Press Secretary for Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Illinois 4th) on the “Banned Permanently” campaign and other congressional options to handle the BP/Halliburton Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Then tonight’s featured segment is a further examination of the John Kiriakou – Abu Zubaydah stories. We’ll speak with Jason Leopold about his interview with Kiriakou and reevaluate the past comments and the account given by Ali Soufan, the FBI interrogator who was pulled by Mueller after reports were coming in that Zubaydah was being tortured.

And, we will try to have an open phone segment later if possible, tune in to see.

Documents mentioned in show
BP Texas City Report –
Chemical Safety Board Investigation Final Report
Report of the BP Independent Refineries Safety Review Panel (Baker Panel Report) -�Baker Report

Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah testimony

Testimony of Ali Soufan – Judiciary Link

Tonight we take a look at BP�s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, with Jason Leopold from TruthOut.org. We talked the 60 minutes segment, the Alantis Rig, and the Bush Administration�s willful failure to take action on BP�s criminal violations.

I also spoke with Doug Rivlin press secretary for Representative Luis Gutierrez�s office regarding the Campaign to Ban Permanently the drilling leases for BP.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez and the letter he sent to Ken Salazar.

Tonight�s feature is with Jason Leopold regarding the comments and claims made by John Kiriakou in his recent interview for TruthOut. Kiriakou was famously known as the agent who was involved in the capture of Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, the man commonly known as Abu Zubaydah.

On September 6, 2006, George Bush proclaimed that Zubaydah was a key figure in al qaida and the subsequent years he, Dick Cheney, Marc Theissen, and others have used Zubaydah�s alleged role as an excuse to torture suspected combatants against the United States. As you will hear, Zubaydah�s role is not as portrayed and the veracity of Kiriakou�s claims haven�t stood the test of time. In fact, much of Kiriakou�s account in December 2007 was second hand, presented almost as first hand, and certainly relied upon as an authority on whether it was appropriate to torture a man for intelligence. We�ll hear audio from Kiriakou, Leopold�s interview, and the testimony of Ali Soufan.

Thanks for tuning in, we�d love your feedback.

First up, BP�s catastrophe in the Gulf.


May 15 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010 show – 9pm EST

ANSWER coaliton SeizeBP campaign – Media Matters on BP/Halliburton spill and Andy Worthington
Segment 1 –

Matthew Alexander – How To Break A Terrorist
Segment 2 – (note: there are portions of the audio which dropped out and were boosted from remaining low volume. They were included to retain as much of what Mr. Alexander shared as possible.)

Hour Three included audio from Jason Leopold’s interview with John Kiriakou at TruthOut.org

and from CSPAN archives – John Kiriakou and Col. Steve Kleinmann

Our listening link will be available before airtime. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN Tonight’s show features Matthew Alexander, Author of How To Break A Terrorist, Andy Worthington on British Elections and Guantanamo Bay detainees, Media Matters discussion on Elena Kagan and BP, and a visit with ANSWER coalition about their Seize BP campaign.


May 11 2010

Video of Matthew Alexander from Daily Show Dec 2008

In preparation for our interview with Matthew Alexander, we’ll be posting videos and articles to understand the context of his book, “How to break a terrorist”.

This is Matthew Alexander from Daily Show in December 2008.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Matthew Alexander
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

CSPAN.org


Apr 21 2010

An amazing letter from 2 Iraq war vets to Iraqi citizens

The ongoing mantra from war apologists is still, “war is hell”. This phrase sounds as if it is an inevitable part of life or we should simply accept that “war is hell”. What seems to be missing in this theme is human accountability for creating hell on earth. In the days following the Wikileaks video showing us all how inhuman our soldiers are trained to be while gunning down human beings, thus..liberating them. The savage attack wasn’t the most shocking part of the video. The part that shocked many people was the com chatter as a trigger happy gunner murdered people who were of no threat. Fog of war? No. This is a manufactured apologist response.

One way we can learn about what we’re doing to our soldiers and to civilians in countries we war upon.

Please read the following from:
Josh Stieber, former specialist, U.S. Army
Ethan McCord, former specialist, U.S. Army

AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE
From Current and Former Members of the U.S. Military

Peace be with you.

To all of those who were injured or lost loved ones during the July 2007 Baghdad shootings depicted in the “Collateral Murder” Wikileaks video:

We write to you, your family, and your community with awareness that our words and actions can never restore your losses.

We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. Ethan McCord pulled your daughter and son from the van, and when doing so, saw the faces of his own children back home. Josh Stieber was in the same company but was not there that day, though he contributed to the your pain, and the pain of your community on many other occasions.

There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused.

We have been speaking to whoever will listen, telling them that what was shown in the Wikileaks video only begins to depict the suffering we have created. From our own experiences, and the experiences of other veterans we have talked to, we know that the acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war: this is the nature of how U.S.-led wars are carried out in this region.

We acknowledge our part in the deaths and injuries of your loved ones as we tell Americans what we were trained to do and what we carried out in the name of “god and country”. The soldier in the video said that your husband shouldn’t have brought your children to battle, but we are acknowledging our responsibility for bringing the battle to your neighborhood, and to your family. We did unto you what we would not want done to us.

More and more Americans are taking responsibility for what was done in our name. Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny.

Our government may ignore you, concerned more with its public image. It has also ignored many veterans who have returned physically injured or mentally troubled by what they saw and did in your country. But the time is long overdue that we say that the value of our nation’s leaders no longer represent us. Our secretary of defense may say the U.S. won’t lose its reputation over this, but we stand and say that our reputation’s importance pales in comparison to our common humanity.

We have asked our fellow veterans and service-members, as well as civilians both in the United States and abroad, to sign in support of this letter, and to offer their names as a testimony to our common humanity, to distance ourselves from the destructive policies of our nation’s leaders, and to extend our hands to you.

With such pain, friendship might be too much to ask. Please accept our apology, our sorrow, our care, and our dedication to change from the inside out. We are doing what we can to speak out against the wars and military policies responsible for what happened to you and your loved ones. Our hearts are open to hearing how we can take any steps to support you through the pain that we have caused.

Solemnly and Sincerely,
Josh Stieber, former specialist, U.S. Army
Ethan McCord, former specialist, U.S. Army


Mar 20 2009

Larry Wilkerson on Rachel Maddow covering the Cheney Administration

Larry Wilkerson appeared on Rachel Maddow with up close insight to the Bush/Cheney administration:


Mar 13 2009

Ari Fleischer prolongs Cheney Bush lies about war

Former White House spokesmodel Ari Fleischer has continued his duty as lying mouthpiece for the Cheney Bush administration’s campaign to launch war on Iraq. Fleischer has been making the rounds to revise history and spit shine the turd legacy of the Cheney Bush administration.

But this week he visited Chris Matthews and tried to pull this on someone who pays attention. Now frankly, Matthews is often too close to these topics to keep his eye on the ball, but he did do a great job of keeping the truth up while Fleischer tried to conflate evidence to provide a final outcome that is utterly horseshit.

Now when he visited the D.L. Hugley show he found someone who is more comedian that reporter or political wonk, and Hughley let him go with little question. But Matthews didn’t do so. Then today Matthews noticed the final statement that Fleischer made that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t hit the U.S. “again”. This implied Saddam was involved in 9/11 which he wasn’t.

Question:
Should Fleischer be tried for his part in spreading these lies?