“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques was brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers


HAT TIP: Quirk

Disappearing People and Disappearing the Evidence: The Deeper Significance of the SSCI Report
Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:38 AM

When the executive summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s (SSCI) report on the CIA’s torture program is finally released, it is likely to discredit a story that defenders of “enhanced interrogation” have been telling for years. The narrative first appeared in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memos that authorized the CIA program. President Bush repeated it in his September 2006 speech acknowledging the existence of CIA prisons, and in 2008 when he vetoed a bill outlawing waterboarding. Slightly different versions appear in Bush’s memoirs, and defenses of the CIA program by George Tenet, Michael Hayden, Michael Mukasey, Jose Rodriguez, John Yoo, Dick Cheney, and others.
The narrative goes something like this: torture is un-American, but the CIA program was not torture. Unlike the awful abuses depicted in the Abu Ghraib photographs, the CIA’s program was carefully overseen, conducted by experienced, trained professionals, and limited to the most dangerous terrorists in the world. Only thirty or so detainees were subjected to any form of “enhanced interrogation,” and only three were waterboarded. Interrogators inflicted only as much suffering on detainees as they determined was necessary to save American lives. Medical and mental health professionals carefully monitored interrogations to make sure that detainees would not suffer severe pain, and no detainee had shown any evidence of lasting harm. And it worked. The United States gained actionable intelligence, which we could not have acquired any other way. The CIA program saved hundreds of lives, if not thousands.
But carefully regulated, professionally conducted cruelty is an illusion, as Professor Darius Rejali warns in his exhaustive book on the subject, Torture and Democracy:
To think professionalism is a guard against causing excessive pain is an illusion. Instead, torture breaks down professionalism. Professionals become less disciplined, more brutal, and less skilled while their organizations become more fragmented and corrupt. (p. 454)

Rejali warns of three specific ways in which torture tends to spread, and corrupt the organizations that use it:
First, torturers go beyond the specified suspects to torture individuals not normally tortured. Second, torturers go beyond the approved techniques to a broader range of brutalities. Third, torturers break away from the bureaucratic oversight. (p. 530).

Both the leaked “findings” of the Senate report on CIA torture, and the publicly available evidence of the program’s history, suggest that this is exactly what happened during the CIA program. And while the CIA has closed its secret prisons and stopped using “enhanced interrogation”, the agency’s response to the Senate report demonstrates that its resistance to democratic oversight continues to this day.
Going Beyond the Approved Suspects and Approved Techniques
According to McClatchy, the findings of the Senate torture report include the following:
The CIA subjected detainees to interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorized by CIA Headquarters.
The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention. The CIA’s claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques were inaccurate.
The CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques was brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.
The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.

The publicly available evidence on the CIA program supports these findings. The agency claimed that only approximately 30 high-level detainees were subjected to “enhanced interrogation.” But that estimate cannot be accurate unless it excludes CIA prisons in Afghanistan, where many more than thirty men were held under conditions that the detainees claim, and courts have repeatedly found, amounted to torture. One of them, Gul Rahman, died in CIA custody. Others, like German citizen Khaled el-Masri and Algerian Laid Saidi, appear to be innocent of any involvement in terrorism.
The agency claimed that only three detainees were waterboarded—Abu Zubaydah, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But two other former detainees, Libyans Mohammed al-Shoroeiya and Khaled al-Sharif, gave Human Rights Watch “detailed and credible testimony” of being subjected to suffocation with water in CIA custody in Afghanistan.
The CIA said that its interrogations used only authorized “enhanced” techniques, always within careful limits. It reassured the Justice Department that doctors and mental health professionals carefully monitored each interrogation to ensure that detainees’ suffering never reached the point of torture. The agency claimed that none of the prisoners it waterboarded showed “any evidence of physical pain or suffering or mental harm…more than 25 months” later, and that no detainee deprived of sleep by being shackled naked to the ceiling “has suffered any harm or injury.”
Despite the pervasive censorship in place at Guantánamo, where the Executive Branch takes the position that detainees’ descriptions of their own torture are classified, there is evidence that every single one of those claims is false. Abd al Rahim al Nashiri was tortured not only with authorized techniques, but threatened with mock execution with a handgun and a power drill. He was also “sexually tortured” and suffered ongoing physical problems as a result, according to recent testimony from Dr. Sondra Crosby, who examined him at Guantánamo. Both Dr. Crosby and an independent military panel diagnosed Nashiri with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Abu Zubaydah allegedly suffers from chronic pain, frequent seizures, and memory loss as a result of his treatment in CIA custody. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s lawyer has sought permission to photograph scars on his clients’ wrists and ankles. Ramzi Bin al Shibh’s mental competence to stand trial has been called into question. Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, better known as Ammar al-Baluchi, allegedly suffered traumatic brain injury in CIA custody. Baluchi’s lawyers are not permitted to publicly allege what caused his symptoms, but the Washington Post has reported that “CIA interrogators forcibly kept his head under the water while he struggled to breathe and beat him repeatedly, hitting him with a truncheon-like object and smashing his head against a wall” at a secret prison in Afghanistan.
In Iraq, the Geneva Conventions applied, and the CIA was not supposed to detain prisoners at all. It nevertheless repeatedly questioned unregistered “ghost prisoners” in military custody—including at Abu Ghraib. The corpse that appears in multiple Abu Ghraib photographs is that of a CIA ghost detainee, Manadel al-Jamadi, who died after agency operative Mark Swanner instructed military police to shackle him with his hands behind his back to a window frame.
Avoidance of Oversight During the Program
A number of the SSCI report’s purported findings concern CIA deception and obstruction of oversight under the Bush administration:
Numerous internal critiques and objections concerning the CIA’s management and use of the Detention and Interrogation were ignored.
The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General.
The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
The CIA inaccurately characterized the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques to justify their use.
The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-making.
The CIA has actively avoided or impeded Congressional oversight of the program.
The CIA manipulated the media by coordinating the release of classified information, which inaccurately portrayed the effectiveness of the agency’s enhanced interrogation techniques.
Again, there is already a great deal of evidence to support most of these findings. The Department of Justice’s authorization for the torture program, particularly in its later years, relied very heavily on CIA claims that “the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al-Qa’ida has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001” (p.29). The Constitution Project’s bipartisan, independent Task Force on Detainee Treatment (for which I served as the investigator) examined several of these claims in detail, and found them to be false or dubious.
The CIA did not brief the full House and Senate intelligence committees about its treatment of prisoners until September 2006, only days before President Bush publicly acknowledged the black site program. A few members of Congress were briefed earlier, but these briefings occurred under extremely restrictive circumstances (p. 41). Senators and Representatives could not take notes, or discuss the briefings with staff or other members of Congress. Stephen Preston, the former CIA General Counsel, has acknowledged that the Congressional briefings that did occur “included inaccurate information related to aspects of the program of express interest to Members.”
The CIA destroyed evidence of torture. The best-known instance of this is Jose Rodriguez’s destruction of videotapes of “enhanced interrogation” sessions, but there were other examples as well. For example, the CIA “lost” the sandbag that covered Manadel al-Jamadi’s head at the time of his death. According to government documents, CIA officers gave investigators from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) an explanation for the hood’s disappearance that was uncorroborated and “not believable.”
These conclusions, and a series of other OIG reports critical of the interrogation program, led to some changes to the program. But they also led the CIA to investigate its own Inspector General’s office in 2007. Then-CIA director Michael Hayden ordered the review in response to complaints that OIG was investigating the detainee program with “a prosecutorial mentality” that was harming morale.
Continued Avoidance of Oversight, and Attacks on Overseers
When he took office, President Barack Obama ended the CIA torture program over the agency’s objections (though troubling questions remain about the CIA’s role in torture by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security and other foreign proxies). Obama ordered declassification of OLC memos that described, in graphic detail, the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that the CIA had been authorized to use. Despite Obama’s preference for “looking forward,” and a commitment that he would not prosecute CIA officers who had relied on OLC advice that their actions were lawful, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a limited investigation into cases where CIA officers went beyond the abuses that OLC authorized.
But since 2009, the Obama administration has increasingly deferred to the CIA on how to deal with the legacy of the agency’s experiment with torture.
The Department of Justice has closed all of its criminal investigations without any charges. As is customary, it provided no explanation for why it declined prosecution. Every civil suit by former CIA detainees has been dismissed. The Executive Branch successfully opposed Freedom of Information Act requests for information about the program, on grounds that they would require disclosure of “sources and methods”. These included not only the CIA cables describing what the agency did to prisoners, but eleven Office of Inspector General reports into the program that remain classified in their entirety—including the OIG inquiry into Manadel al-Jamadi’s death. The CIA explained in court declarations that the declassified OLC memos only described its “enhanced” techniques “in the abstract” (p. 6). The details of any individual’s treatment in CIA custody were still top secret.
At Guantánamo, the Obama administration continued the Bush administration’s policy of censoring former CIA prisoners’ descriptions of their own torture—even as the CIA’s prepublication review board approved several memoirs making detailed claims about the same detainees’ interrogations. The administration has also resisted providing evidence of high value detainees’ torture to their military commissions defense lawyers, although the lawyers hold top secret clearances, and this evidence will be essential to their argument against a death sentence.
There is little evidence of CIA officers having faced administrative penalties for involvement in torture. The Associated Press reported in 2011 that several officers involved in Khaled El-Masri’s kidnapping and Gul Rahman’s homicide have been promoted. The New York Times recently reported that this April, the head of the CIA’s counterterrorism center told John Brennan that 200 people involved in the detainee program still worked for him, and they wanted to know how Brennan was going to defend them from the Senate’s torture report.
Brennan reportedly described the SSCI as a “prosecutor’s brief,” (p.132) and the CIA responded in June 2013 with a brief for the defense. When Senators noticed the contradictions between the agency’s official response and an earlier internal CIA review—commonly known as the “Panetta Review”—that acknowledged the programs’ flaws, they began to ask some awkward questions about the discrepancies. In response, as described by Senator Dianne Feinstein on the Senate floor in March,
The CIA did not ask the committee or its staff if the committee had access to the Internal Review, or how we obtained it. Instead, the CIA just went and searched the committee’s computers… the CIA’s unauthorized search of the committee computers was followed by an allegation—which we have now seen repeated anonymously in the press—that the committee staff had somehow obtained the document through unauthorized or criminal means, perhaps to include hacking into the CIA’s computer network.
Feinstein went on to describe how the CIA’s then-Acting General Counsel, Robert Eatinger, made a criminal referral of Senate staffers to the Department of Justice. Feinstein said that Senate report mentioned Eatinger “by name more than 1,600 times,” and described how he and other CIA officers “provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice about the program.” She denounced the CIA’s search as unlawful, and the criminal referral as an attempt at intimidation. (The Department of Justice has since announced that it would not launch criminal investigations into either Senate staffers or CIA officials for searching Senate files.)
Brennan said that Feinstein’s allegations were “beyond the scope of reason,” and the CIA’s actions were lawful and appropriate. But after the CIA OIG completed its report into the incident, he abruptly changed his mind, and apologized. According to a public summary of the OIG report, CIA employees: (1) improperly accessed Senate staffers’ computer files; (2) searched and read Senate staffers’ emails; (3) provided “inaccurate information” to the Acting General Counsel, leading him to file a criminal referral against Senate staffers that was “not supported”; and (4) “demonstrated a lack of candor” in interviews with OIG.
Soon after, the White House returned a declassified version of the executive summary of the SSCI report with redactions that Feinstein said “eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions.” The report’s release has been indefinitely postponed while the White House and Senate negotiate over the redactions.
On August 12, in response to these developments, twenty public interest organizations sent a letter to President Obama asking him to take three concrete steps:
1. Replace John Brennan as CIA Director;
2. Declassify the CIA Inspector General’s report on the CIA’s searches of Senate computers;
3. Remove the excessive redactions of the Executive Summary of the Senate torture report, and declassify the full report.

We expect that the first of these requests will receive the most attention. But the other two are every bit as important. The problem did not begin with John Brennan, nor will it end with him, even if he resigns or is fired. The problem is that no bureaucracy can be trusted with the power to disappear people, torture them, and then disappear the evidence of these abuses.


  1. .

    Everyone in US intelligence has lied to Congress and the American people. Brennan and Clapper admitted being liars. Alexander lied and then retired before being forced to admit he lied. Others like Leon Panetta and his ilk dissemble using weasel words.


    1. .

      There is no evidence 'at all' that the NSA's vacuuming of phone records under section 250 has led to a single instance where is stopped a terrorist attack. While it is a monumental technical achievement, despite its vast scope (or perhaps because of it) it has been a spectacular operational failure. This has been the judgement of judges and members of congress who have reviewed the results. The Agency itself suggests that is not true, we have had oodles of successes, its just...well...they are secret and if we told you we would have to kill you.

      The same protocol applies to the torture we have participated in (or paid for under the practice of rendition). Of course we tortured people (or hired contractors to do it). The only way it would not be called torture is under the Orwellian euphemisms dreamed up by our intelligence agencies where water-boarding, mock executions, and beatings are rationalized as 'enhanced techniques'.


    2. .

      When our minders aren't lying to us outright they dissemble. I love it when 'experts' are cited that say that torture...sorry...enhanced techniques are a necessary evil and have save hundreds, nay thousands of lives.


      A perfect example of this is Leon Panetta. Ol Leon called these techniques exactly what they are, torture. Well, that is, until ol Leon was co-opted into his position as Director of the CIA at which point the dissembling began.

      Leon and other prominent individuals are often quoted as 'experts' and that we need to trust what they tell us. But you will not these experts don't actually lie, they merely dissemble. For instance, Leon is ofter quoted as defending enhanced techniques because 'we have seen that valuable information has been gathered from individuals that have undergone these enhanced techniques, including information that led to OBL.'

      Sounds pretty convincing until you read the statement carefully. Panetta never said that it was the enhanced techniques that directly resulted in the information he mentioned on OBL just that KSM had been tortured.


    3. .

      I also love it when those in the military talk of having gone through a water-boarding simulation during trainings and state 'it wasn't so bad'.


      As if there isn't a difference between being subjected to water-boarding in a controlled environment with appropriate medical personnel and equipment on hand and everyone in the room dedicated to the proposition that nothing go wrong and for instance the case of KSM where he was subjected to it in various locations from Poland to Romania(?) to Quantanimo by foreign intelligence agents, CIA or contractors none of them all that friendly and with no idea whether their threats were real or not.


    4. .

      I remember when I first came to the bar and was arguing against the CIA torture with...well...pretty much the whole bar at the time and one of the arguments against me started out with "Well, assume I am Jack Bauer..."

      Laughable, in a sad sort of way.

      I find it strange that many are willing to sacrifice every value and norm we profess to hold in the misguided attempt to protect those very values and norms through torture.

      I have yet to see where torture has actually saved those thousands of lives we constantly here about. In most cases, someone being tortured is likely to tell you whatever you want to hear whether it is true or not. As an example, google Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and look up all the things he has confessed to.


    5. But, but, even you would torture the guy who planted the nuke in times square thus saving many and becoming a hero to all dear Quart


    6. .

      What happened to Obumble?

      Haven't seen him around.


    7. If someone were to invade America, shattering the central authority and effectively destroying the military and the economy, you wouldn't be able to put it back together into one country after the invaders left.

    8. Let’s not forget, ISIS got their weaponry in Syria directly given to them by the US government. Let’s stick to the facts.

  2. Ah, just minimal involvement by the good ole USA to make the world a better place.

  3. If it were not, minimal, it would be a far worse situation.

    As it is ... it is bad enough.

    But unlikely that any of the miscreants will be held to account for their actions.
    To think otherwise, just foolish.

    “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
    ― Henry David Thoreau

  4. Farmer RobSat Aug 16, 03:12:00 PM EDT
    Stealing television sets and beer is not attractive to the Zionist, they steal entire countries, destroying mosques and cultures as they do so. That is a task commensurate with their egos.

    Wow who knew we were so powerful....

    1. Interesting comment Rat...

      In Israel? there are more mosques today than 50 years ago and there are many "cultures' protected. I guess you are referring to another "zionist" nation/country... Heck even the Dome of the Rock, that sits on Jewish temple ground still stands...

      Now that term projection comes to mind as I see islam burn to the ground, blow up and jack hammered all other faith's places of worship...

    2. Rat is a figment of your imaginationSat Aug 16, 08:33:00 PM EDT

      Does not erase the FACT that the Zionists have destroyed mosques, to pave the land for parking lots

    3. "O"rdure tells ever more lies, commits ever greater frauds

      The NASI stole the land, then destroyed the mosques that sat upon it.

      Israel destroyed 63 Gaza mosques

      Israel admits destruction of mosques within the 1948 borders

      More from the WaPo

      Israel bombed 161 mosques in Gaza >Israel bombed 161 mosques in Gaza

      The fact is "O"rdure would not recognize the truth if he spoke it. The truth is a stranger to him.

    4. Under Saddam, Iraq was one of the most progressive of the Arab states. We utterly destroyed the country.

    5. yawn...


      aint "stolen" by the Israelis...

      and those so called mosques? were ammo dumps..

      good news?

      they are destroyed...

      If Islam wants to use hospitals and mosques as ammo dumps? so be it...

      bomb bomb bomb...rinse and repeat.

  5. I am going to find the video of Christopher Hitchens being water boarded and place it above.


    Garner is a longtime supporter of Iraqi Kurds, whose relationship with Baghdad is forever marked by Saddam Hussein’s 1987-8 Anfal genocide. In 1991, Garner led US humanitarian operations in Kurdistan following the first Gulf war, when the national survival of the beleaguered minority was precarious.

    Last Friday, Garner returned from his latest trip to Irbil, the capital of pro-US Iraqi Kurdistan, where he saw the autonomous region again hanging in the balance. Later that day, Navy F/A-18 fighter jets launched the first of the new US air strikes against Isis positions near the city, but what Garner saw was the tense conditions of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians fleeing the Islamic State (Isis) – a significant number of refugees placed upon Kurdistan’s population of about five million.

    Many were streaming in “everywhere they can go,” Garner said, packing into unsafe spaces like buildings still under construction. Doctors Without Borders, visiting a single neighborhood in Irbil, reported this week that “hundreds of displaced families have been staying at a church and its courtyard.”

    Garner also met with a brigade of the Kurdish fighters known as peshmerga – really several hundred of them, closer to the size of a battalion – preparing to defend the city against the nearby Isis army, which has overrun Sunni Iraq. Those peshmerga, armed with AK-47s against the armored, US-supplied vehicles that Isis took from retreating Iraqi units, now have to hold over 600 miles of ersatz border.

    He said the US needed to urgently supply the peshmerga with “heavy machine guns, anti-tank weapons. They need more modern RPGs [rocket propelled grenades], they need mortars and they need some light artillery, and they need mobility.”

    This week, US officials confirmed they will arm the Kurds, mostly for now with AK-47s and bullets, and American drones and jets will continue to provide a measure of air cover for the peshmerga even though the Mount Sinjar relief effort that was nominally the reason for US air strikes has ended.

    Sponsoring the peshmerga is a step the US has resisted for years. Washington’s longstanding concern is that the Kurds will use US sponsorship to seize disputed territory in Arab-controlled Iraq, carving out a border and implicating the US in a violent clash for Kurdish independence to the alienation of Arab Iraqi allies Washington continues to cultivate.

    These are longstanding tensions that Garner had to manage in the job for which he is best known: running the US occupation of Iraq ahead of Baghdad’s April 2003 fall. By all accounts it was an unhappy tenure, defined by clashes with the Pentagon over assumptions about the reconstruction of the country. By the time Garner got to Baghdad that month, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had already told him he would be replaced by Ambassador Paul Bremer.

    Now, Garner said, the havoc wrought by Isis has rendered Iraq permanently fractured, and US diplomacy – currently focused on aiding a new government in Baghdad – should stop trying to set the bones.

    “There is not an Iraq,” he said.

    “I personally believe that the former Iraq is gone and will not return. Shia Iraq and the Shia-led government were, and are, controlled by Iran, not the US. If Iraq is reformed as in the past, it will again be Iran’s Iraq, not ours,” Garner said.

    The “very best” Garner thinks the US could hope for in terms of a unitary Iraq “is a confederation, a federal system of Sunnis, Kurds, Shia. I think Iraq is now partitioned and we ought to accept that.” Should reintegration not work, he added, “I believe that we should support an independent Kurdistan.”

    That viewpoint, once marginal, is gaining purchase. Fueling it is the absence of any other fighting force on the ground in Iraq with a hope of withstanding Isis, as neither Barack Obama nor Garner nor any political figure wishes to reinvade. But using the Peshmerga as a proxy raises the prospect of the US becoming yoked to Kurdish aspirations for independence that may conflict with US interests.


  7. {...}

    “Now that the Obama administration is protecting the Kurds, the US will have to take the lead on recognizing Iraqi Kurdistan’s sovereignty if Iraq unravels,” David Phillips of Columbia University told the Washington Post this week.

    The peshmerga are also facing serious questions about their fighting prowess. Unlike Isis, they have not fought a determined foe since the Saddam Hussein era. Many units had to fall back last week to Irbil after Isis routed them. Reports from the ground indicate weaknesses in their communications and their leadership. Although advocates describe the peshmerga as the only ground force standing up to Isis, it is unknown whether the militiamen would take the fight into Sunni Iraqi territory, rolling back Isis’ gains, or instead fortify a defense of Kurdistan.

    US support for an independent Kurdistan “sounds nice, but it doesn’t work in reality,” said Derek Harvey, a former US military intelligence analyst with extensive experience in Iraq.

    “Any such idea is ignoring the fact that you’re going to have continued irredentist claims and fighting that exacerbates the sectarian and governance situation in the region. It’s a recipe for continued spillover … Oil isn’t addressed, water isn’t addressed, access to trade isn’t addressed. There are just too many complicating factors,” Harvey said.

    The Pentagon said on Thursday that air strikes around Irbil had “disrupted” Isis’s advance, but the threat to the city persisted.

    “We certainly put a hurting on them with respect to their activities in and around Irbil, and we’ll continue to do that as needed,” said Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

    Garner has been linked to oil and other financial concerns doing business in Iraqi Kurdistan. But he flatly denied profiting from his connections to the region: “I have never gotten one penny from the Kurds and I never would.”

    Asked how Garner felt as a former occupation chief when viewing Iraq’s deterioration, he said: “What I feel terrible about is the non-action of our country.” Had the US armed the Kurds earlier, he argued, “those villages around Sinjar and the [Mosul] dam, neither one of them would be lost.”

    On Thursday, Obama said the Isis siege of Yazidis atop Mount Sinjar was broken. But he said US airstrikes would continue “to protect our people and facilities in Iraq.” All US strikes not in the Sinjar region have occurred near Irbil, and provided a measure of air cover to the Peshmerga.

    “The priority right now,” Garner said, “is the survival of Kurdistan.”

  8. The last time anybody KNEW Iraq was the Night before G.W.B invaded to get weapons of Mass destruction .. or some such B.S. like that ...The SHOCK AND AWE has been happening almost daily since then non stop .. I think the errr General wants to believe we knew Iraq when we occupied that Nation to have a sense of command over that situation .. But in all fact we did not and still dont ..
    Americas invasion of Iraq to Get W.M.D. or Saddam Hussain or what ever lie one want's to use for it .. Has done nothing except destabilize the entire Middle East .. Our Mission Accomplished was the inception of groups like ISIS ...Our Decision maker decided he would just screw the entire region plus make a allot of money doing it ... all for the glory of COuntry and God .. and all zealots and war hawks chanted Amen......Amen


  9. US launches airstrikes to help retake large Iraq dam captured by Islamic State

    The United States on Saturday launched several more air strikes in Iraq at Islamic State, including ones targeting members of the Islamic militant group who are positioned around the country’s largest dam, near Irbil.

    Islamic State captured the Mosul Dam last month in its surprisingly swift and deadly run across northern Iraq in recent months.

    U.S. Central Command said a mix of U.S. fighter and remotely-piloted aircraft executed nine strikes as part of its humanitarian efforts in Iraq and to protect American personnel and facilities.

    The strikes destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle, officials said.

    A senior U.S. official told Fox News early Saturday that the strikes were to protect Iraq’s critical infrastructure and that the U.S. executed them at the request of the Iraqi government, which thinks Islamic State forces can no longer maintain the dam.

    Moving Islamic State forces away from the facility could allow Iraqi teams to return to the dam and keep it from failing, which would result in as much as 12 feet of flooding at the U.S. Embassy and the major cities of Baghdad and Mosul, officials say.

  10. Ferguson police 'mistakenly arrested an innocent man before viciously beating him so bad he was taken to hospital and then charged for bleeding on THEIR uniforms'

    Henry Davis, 52, was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, on September 20, 2009

    Police had mistaken him for a man of the same name with an outstanding warrant

    Davis claims police realized their mistake but still locked him up

    He was allegedly beaten by a group of four officers

    He was held for several days before being charged with four counts of property damage

  11. Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq have said they conditionally support Prime Minister-designate Haidar al-Abadi and could join in the fight against Islamic State militants.

    Ali Hatem Suleiman, an influential tribal leader in the western Anbar Province, said he was willing to work with Abadi if he respects the rights of the Sunni community.

    Taha Muhammad al-Hamdoon, a spokesman for Sunni tribal and clerical leaders, told Reuters that Sunni representatives throughout Iraq had drawn up a list of demands for the new government.

    Many foreign and domestic leaders are hoping Abadi will persuade the tribal leaders -- who have sided with IS insurgents because of their opposition to outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki -- to change sides and support the government.

    The Sunni tribes support for U.S.-led forces in Iraq between 2006 and 2009 was decisive in defeating Al-Qaeda.

  12. August 15, 2014 |

    Amidst the terror Israel has unleashed on Gaza, activists on the West Coast have organized a Palestinian solidarity action that is not only politically symbolic, but economically hits Israel where it hurts.

    Starting Saturday, activists in Oakland, Los Angeles and Seattle plan to block an Israeli ship from unloading goods at their city’s ports as part of a larger boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. These “Block the Boat” actions come as a response to the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions’ call for supporters to “educate and build awareness among the labor movements of the U.S., and urge them to condemn the Israeli aggression and to boycott Israel.”

    On Saturday, organizers in Oakland will march to the port and form a picket line in front of its gates early in the morning before the port workers, who are members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, are scheduled to begin their shift. Organizers are hoping to stop workers from unloading a ship owned by Zim Integrated Shipping Services, which is the biggest cargo shipping company in Israel and has ties to the Israeli government and military via stock ownership.

    More than 1,000 protesters are expected at the Oakland action, said Reem Assil of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, which is one of more than 70 groups endorsing the event.

    “Symbolically for Oakland we can say, not in our name,” Assil said. “We’re not going to be complicit and an accomplice to the ongoing genocide and massacres going on.”

    Oakland organizers have coordinated with supporters in Long Beach, CA, and the ports of Tacoma and Seattle in Washington in hopes that Zim won't reroute to another port on the West Coast like it did four years ago. In 2010, in response to Israel’s attack on a flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, Oakland activists and port workers made history by being the first to ever block an Israeli ship in the United States. That ship redocked in Los Angeles a day after, and unloaded there.

    “This time, we want to make sure there’s a disruption to Israel commerce all over the West Coast,” Assil said, adding that this would cause a sustained economic burden on the company.

    The Oakland organizers’ biggest coordination efforts, however, have been with the labor movement. In fact, the event, which was originally scheduled for August 2, was postponed in order to do more outreach to the ILWU workers.

    “We don’t want workers to be alienated, we want workers to be part of the fight,” Assil said. “And so we have spent the last few weeks really honoring that commitment and building with the workers themselves.”

    Assil said Block the Boat organizers and active members of the ILWU have been flyering and talking to members about the Saturday action in terms of “worker power”—especially because they are under negotiation for a new contract.

    But these negotiations have made the action this year more complicated than in the past. For one, ILWU is unable to take an official stand on the action. Also, during negotiations there is no arbitrator who can evaluate the port during the Block the Boat action and deem working conditions unsafe; this happened in 2010, leaving workers with no option of crossing the picket line.

    This, along with a loss of double-time pay for workers, presents difficulties for a successful action. An ILWU port worker named Anthony, who is spreading the word about Block the Boat, said he responds to co-workers’ financial concerns by talking about the bigger picture.

    Anthony said, “I ask them, ‘Are you okay with innocent people being killed?’’’

    1. Are you ok with Hamas receiving billions in aid used to build weapons of terror aimed at the murder of innocents on purpose?

    2. No. Who is providing billions in aid to Hamas?
      Please document the claim so political action can be taken against those people providing aid to terrorists.


  13. ISIS Leader ‘Al-Baghdadi’ Is A ‘Jewish Mossad Agent’ – French Reports
    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, so-called ”Caliph,” the head of ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is, according to sources reputed to originate from Edward Snowden, an actor named Elliot Shimon, a Mossad trained operative.

    Simon Elliot (Elliot Shimon) aka Al-Baghdadi was born of two Jewish parents and is a Mossad agent.

    We offer below three translations that want to assert that the Caliph Al-Baghdadi is a full Mossad agent and that he was born Jewish father and mother:

    The real name of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is “Simon Elliott.”

    The so-called “Elliot” was recruited by the Israeli Mossad and was trained in espionage and psychological warfare against Arab and Islamic societies.

    This information was attributed to Edward Snowden and published by newspapers and other Web sites: the head of the “Islamic State” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has cooperated with the U.S. Secret Service, British and Israel to create an organization capable of attracting terrorist extremists from around the world.

    Source: Radio

    Iraq War Defected AlQaeda leader exposes ISIS and US alliance
    Published on Jul 19, 2014

    Documents Revealed: ISIS Caliphate working for America and Israel.

    The former NSA and CIA agent Edward Snowden revealed that the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was trained in Israel.

    Snowden added that the American CIA and the British Intelligence collaborated with the Israeli Mossad to create a terrorist organization that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called "the hornet's nest".

    The "Hornet's nest'' strategy aims to bring all the major threats to one place in order to track them, and mostly to shake the stability of the Arab countries. The NSA documents revealed that the ISIS "Calif", Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi went trough intense military training in the Israeli intelligence "Mossad".

    Besides military training, Al Baghdadi studied communication and public speaking skills in order to attract "terrorists" from all the corners of the world.
    Iraq War Defected AlQaeda leader exposes ISIS and US alliance

  14. BBC

    Kurdish sources say their forces “are advancing” in an offensive to retake Mosul dam from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

    A joint operation involving both Kurdish forces and US air strikes has been under way since 05:00 local time (03:00 GMT), the sources said.

    The strategic dam, which supplies water and electricity to northern Iraq, was seized by the militants on 7 August.

    IS has seized a swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria, displacing millions.

    The reported US strikes followed nine conducted on Saturday against IS targets near the dam and the city of Irbil.

    Altogether 14 vehicles manned by IS militants were hit, including armour left behind by the US forces when they left Iraq three years ago, but later seized by the militants.

    The BBC's Jim Muir in Irbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, says there is a hope that the militants may be induced to leave the dam by the threat of extreme force.

    The dam is seen as a vital target, not least because a breach of it could cause a disaster, sending a 20m high wall of water into the city of Mosul and on towards Baghdad, our correspondent adds.

    1. I have a feeling that the Peshmerga are being slowed down by their partners, the Iraqi Army.

    2. .

      It could be any slowdown in the Kurd advance is due to a lack of heavy weapons and the fact that the military leadership that had them performing so well 20 years ago is now gone.