Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 09, 2014

The U.S. Is Still Committed To Torture

The Senate Intelligence Committee torture report (pdf) is out. I do not expect anything really new in it. We already know that the CIA torturers as well as their political bosses were sadists.

The report is a whitewash in that it does not point out the legal and political culprits who ordered, justified and committed the torture acts. The report is also limited to the CIA and does not include the military which, as we know, also used torture and killed people in "interrogations". The U.S. is bound by law to prosecute all of them from top to bottom but it is unlikely to happen. Only one person from the CIA went to prison over the torture program. This not for committing torture but for revealing it.

Torture is useless, especially for interrogations, because people under torture will say anything to make the pain stop. But that very simple and often proven conclusion should to be easy to understand.

But the U.S. is still not committed to refrain from torture. The Army Field Manual 2 22.3. Appendix M is still in force and it allows "interrogation technics" which the UN’s Committee against Torture says (PDF) amount to torture. The White House is also still believing that using torture abroad is not covert by the UN Convention Against Torture and thereby permissible.

This, together with Appendix M, lets me assume that the U.S. is still torturing people abroad. Why else would it keep those legal holes open?

Posted by b on December 9, 2014 at 17:22 UTC | Permalink


"Why else would it keep those legal holes open?"

they have to keep all options open in their fight against terrorism. if they become what they profess to be getting rid of (that is exactly what has happened) they will just ignore that ugly truth..

Posted by: james | Dec 9 2014 17:27 utc | 1

feinsteins logic runs this way 'there were a few bad apples in the cia'.

was there any accountability? answer - nada. "Speaking to the New York Times, Cheney called the interrogation tactics “absolutely, totally justified,” contrary to the committee’s findings." will there ever be? no.. without the accountablity - the usa is essentially a tip pot dictatorship run by the military complex..

i am surprised they released this.. usually they file it under 'top secret' or 'state secrets' and people don't hear about it for another 50 years.. that is the way the folks in the land of the brave and free usually roll.

Posted by: james | Dec 9 2014 17:34 utc | 2

Cue Senatorial poutrage. 'They lied to us" Now for the tale of the scorpion and the tortoise.

Posted by: Ben | Dec 9 2014 17:36 utc | 3

The low level people did it and are unnamed. The high level people ordered them to do it, openly brag about it, but are not prosecutable. Obama won't push it for fear that the next administrataion will get all high and mighty about his drone campaign, NSA overreach, or whatever. Congress won't because they either knew about it, or should have known about it. Not too mention the CIA probably, and rightfully, scares the bajeebies out of them.

Signals Inteligence got a shout out in the WaPo coverage. Look, torturing is really bad and we're not going to do that now that we can stare at you through your iphone camera. Then again we have these cool drones that save the judicial branch loads of time.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Dec 9 2014 17:57 utc | 4

They have redacted the countries or so called Black Sites but we know that some "democratic" European countries, new members or prospective members of the EU are there - Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Kosovo , Bosnia, Macedonia and Italy ( the CIA judged in absentia )

To encourage governments to clandestinely host CIA detention sites, or to increase support for existing sites, the CIA provided millions of dollars in cash payments to foreign government officials

Posted by: Yul | Dec 9 2014 17:57 utc | 5

...say anything to stop the pain...?
P eter Kropoykin gave an account a "no pain" torture,
AN attempt was made to kill Rsar Alexander mid-1800s. The pepetrtor was kept awake/denied sleep. After 1-2 weeks, he had the appearance of a lump of jelly, in which condition he was carted to the gallows and hung.
Pain, then, must include physical and mental and even other psychological forces such as attack on the spiritual nature of the life force.

Rick from long ago

Posted by: Rick | Dec 9 2014 19:21 utc | 6

I believe the WH / CIA even redacted the pseudonyms used to identify the individuals involved within the report. You can't even get an idea of the number of individuals involved by seeing how often their fake names come up.

Also a few years ago the CIA destroyed all videotaped record of the actual torture sessions, ignoring orders expressly stating they needed to keep the material.

Posted by: WG | Dec 9 2014 20:07 utc | 7

wg - but they will go after bradley manning, snowden or anyone else who is brave enough to show these same culpits.. shooting the messenger is all the usa knows how to do at this point..

Posted by: james | Dec 9 2014 20:49 utc | 8

The CIA is evil incarnate and needs to be disbanded. Barack Obama is under the thumb of the CIA. All subsequent presidents will be as well, now that the criminal operation has wrapped its tentacles so completely around the office.

The CIA wages war all the time, tells no one what it is doing, and has done so since its founding. There are two parts to the CIA, on paper : intelligence gathering and criminal actions. The first is just a fake cover for the other, the 'i' in CIA. The second, the CA, is the black heart of the organization, its raison d'être, and the hole in Uncle Sam's arm where all the money goes.

I don't know how it can come about but the CIA, the NSA must be 'put down'. Both are incompatible with democracy and antithetic to the rule of law. They are making over the USA in their image. If they cannot be eliminated it will be sad testimony to the transformation's ultimate realization.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 9 2014 20:50 utc | 9

The sole "job" of the CIA is to foment global unrest for the benefit of armament, international banking and oil industries.

Always has been. Always will be.

Posted by: Cynthia | Dec 9 2014 21:40 utc | 10

Sadly, this will go away on the next false flag event, coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Posted by: Cynthia | Dec 9, 2014 4:40:37 PM | 10


Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 9 2014 22:20 utc | 11

I am half way through reading The Half Has Never Been Told. It occurs to me that violence against captives - i.e., torture - is central to the history of the U.S. The glorification of the captor, and the demonization of the captive, is similarly a central part of the experience of being a white American.

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Dec 9 2014 22:32 utc | 12

CIA are amateurs. Russian police from Stavropol just forced a ballpen into a 21-years old suspect's eye and further into brain. They explained that he did that himself. Anonymous cops confirm it's standard practice, it's just this time "something went wrong".

Posted by: Ulster | Dec 9 2014 23:23 utc | 13

@13- Anonymous cops- I love that. What a quaint concept that is in the exceptional nation. Nothing to fear here for prosecution for misdeeds from your friendly local grand jury! Anyways I think you're off topic, but thanks for reminding me how weird the world has become. We torture out of boredom, but these sick Russians do so out blood lust. Monsters!

Posted by: Nana2007 | Dec 10 2014 0:05 utc | 14

@13 - How ridiculous. "Hey guys, I know you're referencing a 1600 page CIA torture report, but here's a YouTube link!"

I mean, we know you're a complete shill but jeez. Have some self-respect.


The Rise of German Imperialism and the Phony “Russian Threat”

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 10 2014 0:07 utc | 15

"CIA are amateurs."

Any organization with a $14 Billion a year budget making good money in drug sales other illicit activities deserve at least to be called "professionals".

The fact is, no one on this planet has killed like the CIA. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has killed at least 10 million people - men, women, children - through sanctions, military activity, or sponsored bloodbaths. The CIA can claim at least 1 million of those themselves (if not two). Hardly "amateurs" in any sense.

The CIA organized massacres in Indonesia took anywhere between 500k-800k lives alone.

People ought to listen to real CIA agents like John Stockwell and Phil Agee to know what bloody deeds the CIA gets up to. Not some goofy, minimum wage internet lackey of theirs.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 10 2014 0:17 utc | 16

With respect, I disagree with our host's interpretation of this news.

This Senate document of 6.000 pages, released into the public record, is greatly significance. I am surprised it was released. It must create a cumulative impact as time passes; and I believe that one reason for the disclosure, from the nod that Senator Feinstein gave it, as chairman of the intelligence committee , is in one respect to defend the Senate from the overreach of the CIA. And let's remember that the Agency challenged the Senate's authority not long ago,--going so far as to hack the Senate's computers,--in order to remove evidence which Senate staff had gathered, in pursuit of this investigation of torture. For very practical political reasons they could not capitulate, or succumb to the threat, and the meaning of such a sinister act carried out by an intelligence agency, which by law is subordinate to Senate authority.

Clearly, to not publish this document, would be to admit that the Senate had been cowed into silence by the very spooks who had committed a felony against that chamber, a higher, constitutional authority.

I believe the consequences of having conceded and enumerated and identified the practice of torture, and placing this document in the public record, will have gathering repercussions. Because of the diligent and praiseworthy efforts of the alternative press, done years ago, these crimes cannot in the fullness of time, be fobbed off as a rogue activity inside an intelligence community--as happened with the Iran-Contra affair--when Reagan was in the White House.

On the contrary, the chain of responsibility goes straight to the legal minds (and we know who they are) in G. W. Bush's Justice Department, who characterized these particular war crimes as instruments legally permissible. And we have the statements of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, which are fully incriminating, and would likely convince any fair-minded jury of their guilt, on the occasion of their trial.

None of us can say with any certainty, that the former President and Vice-President will ever have to face their day in court; but the release of this Senate document, as it details the sordid facts about a disgraceful series of crimes, must cast a mighty long shadow over the remaining years of Bush and Cheney. The same shadow lingers upon the loathsome attorneys who facilitated their heinous crimes.

May the sleep of these men be discomforted, and their dreams made unpleasant, because of the prolonged legal shadow, or possibly because of the tireless determination of prosecutors.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 10 2014 2:20 utc | 17

Invictus has the real rabbit hole... and has for years.

After destroying video evidence, CIA's Rodriguez slams Senate torture report

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 10 2014 2:21 utc | 18

@17 copeland. thanks for sharing your perspective which is very insightful. i would include the push pull of dems verses republicans as well.. i really enjoyed reading your post from december 1st on your website as well. thanks.

Posted by: james | Dec 10 2014 2:41 utc | 19

Copeland @17: Today's release was the highly-redacted and yet still damning 500-page Executive Summary of the full 6,000 page report. I hadn't heard that there were plans to release the full document, but I could be wrong. What I would give to see these war criminals brought to trial and convicted. No high hopes.

Posted by: catlady | Dec 10 2014 3:16 utc | 20

The torture is far more widespread then is generally discussed. I heard law professor Scott Horton state in an interview once that thousands of people have been tortured to death by the U.S. That is not the picture we are usually given. We need to be clear about the scope of what is taking place. I hope this report will do this.

Posted by: Edward | Dec 10 2014 3:27 utc | 21

in re 13

Still pushin' that one I see.

Here are some real pros. An Elderly Man Murdered at Ukrainian Checkpoint for Refusing to Shout "Glory to Ukraine!" in Glinka in the Starobeshevo district, near the Russian Border. "A monument to the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War was destroyed. A resident of the neighboring village, an elderly man took some tools to repair the monument." Stopped at a Banderaist checkpoint, he refused to shout "Glory to the Ukraine." Beaten to the ground, he we shot several times.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 10 2014 3:50 utc | 22

From b's outline...

"The report is also limited to the CIA and does not include the military which, as we know, also used torture and killed people in "interrogations".[1]
The U.S. is bound by law to prosecute all of them from top to bottom but it is unlikely to happen.[2]
Only one person from the CIA went to prison over the torture program. This not for committing torture but for revealing it."[3]

[1] & [2] tend to expose the International Criminal Court as a fake judicial panel every bit as corrupt, prejudiced and subservient to Power as the US judicial system.
At least the ICC's name confirms that it is inhabited by Criminals eager to do what they're told, to whomsoever they're told to do it (by US/UK and the rest of the Incredible Shrinking pseudo International Community).

[3] tells us everything we need to know about what and who Yankee Justice is designed to protect.

Copeland | Dec 9, 2014 9:20:46 PM @ 17 makes some very good points. This is going to resonate in all kinds of inconvenient ways. If nothing else it will wake up millions more people worldwide to the fact that if you're not anti-American, the day is fast approaching when you're going to need a VERY GOOD EXCUSE.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 10 2014 3:50 utc | 23


Posted by: easy e | Dec 10 2014 3:52 utc | 24


Thanks james for your kind words.



I don't know for a fact about the 6,000 pages; but I would be astounded if the body of the report, in redacted form, is not released. I don't see them going to the expense, time, and trouble, to bottle up the body of the research. What is astonishing to me is the tone that certain CIA spokesmen have taken with the Senate. How arrogant and highhanded these fellows have become. There are strong indications, and a good case to be made, that this Agency is guilty of tampering with evidence, destroying video evidence of torture, and stealing evidence or deleting files from the Senate's computers. As an educated guess, I would think the Senate would be wise make the whole document available to the public. For their own peace of mind and security.

I hope this turns out to be the case.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 10 2014 4:10 utc | 25

On the topic --

I've heard a lot of whining from the Right side of the aisle in public life about "this will endanger our people everywhere" and decrying the release of the report.

Doesn't the other side already know what's been done to them? Isn't the whole point of trying suppress or downplay it strictly for domestic consumption?

It's appalling. What we used to condone with distaste on the down-low by our foreign lackeys and collaborators we now proudly boast of as evidence of our "toughness" or our "resolve."

Copeland @ 17--

I hope you're right. One would have thought that the cumulative effect of decades of military and foreign policy debacles would have sunk in, as well. But I fear this will find it's way down MiniTrue's "memory hole," like Iran/Contra, the Iraq War, Syria....

Well, in fairness, drowned out by the latest celebrity gossip.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 10 2014 4:12 utc | 26

The DOJ has already said they won't be pursuing charges against individuals named in the report. And has been stated before, we many never know the true scope of these crimes.

This is the real difference between America and other countries. Other places never reveal the ways they abuse their prisoners, nor do they punish them. The USA has these things revealed, THEN refuse to punish anyone.

Posted by: Almand | Dec 10 2014 4:16 utc | 27

Copeland @ 25

I think you're onto something about the institutional struggle.

We might see how that struggle plays out soon. The "intelligence community" is already pushing back, saying, "oh no we got good intel." Cynic that I am, I wonder how long it will be before CIA assets in the Fourth Estate start dropping bad stuff about members of the Senate. When they do, it will be interesting to see R's v. D's on the hit list.

I would expect some of the Senate to put up a valiant rearguard action, but this war might have been lost with hysterical over-reaction to Sept. 11. Which Barry Choom has only intensified, really, with drones and loose talk about Russian "expansionism."

Again, I wouldn't mind be wrong on this one.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 10 2014 4:24 utc | 28

rufus @28:

I also fear that it's only a matter of time before the CIA pushes back against the Senate, and generally goes on the offensive. The Intel Community and the mainstream media have historically had a more or less cozy relationship (including Hollywood). It will certainly be interesting to see how this power struggle plays out.

Posted by: Almand | Dec 10 2014 4:39 utc | 29

Almand @ 29 --

Hollywood -- wasn't "24" just torture-porn? And what was that recent feature-length wet kiss to dark side of the dark sites, with the conflicted-yet-resolute female operative?

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 10 2014 4:48 utc | 30

This torture was permitted, with a wink and a nod, from the very top, to the very bottom. IMO, anyone who thinks differently is delusional. A few bad apples, oh please!

Posted by: ben | Dec 10 2014 4:55 utc | 31

And still worse: From Penny

Posted by: ben | Dec 10 2014 5:36 utc | 32


Ugh, it's disconcerting the amount of hack work propaganda gets churned out every year. I could be pessimistic and say the seventies was really the beginning of the end and blame Warren Beatty and Reds for putting the last nail in the coffin, but that would be sentimental. You're right it goes back a ways- I like the story of Dulles and Animal Farm:

"The trade press reported that de Rochemont financed Animal Farm with the frozen British box-office receipts from his racial ‘passing’ drama Lost Boundaries; in fact, Animal Farm was almost entirely underwritten by the CIA. De Rochemont hired Halas and Batchelor (they were less expensive and, given their experience making wartime propaganda cartoons, politically more reliable than American animators) in late 1951; well before that, his ‘investors’ had furnished him with detailed dissections of his team’s proposed treatment. Animal Farm was scheduled for completion in spring 1953, but the ambitious production, which made use of full cell animation, was delayed for more than a year, in part because of extensive discussion and continual revisions. Among other things, the investors pushed for a more aggressively ‘political’ voice-over narration and were concerned that Snowball (the pig who figures as Trotsky) would be perceived by audiences as too sympathetic.

Most problematic, however, was Orwell’s pessimistic ending, in which the pigs become indistinguishable from their human former masters. No matter how often the movie’s screenplay was altered, it always concluded with a successful farmyard uprising in which the oppressed animals overthrew the dictatorial pigs. The Animal Farm project had been initiated when Harry Truman was president; Dwight Eisenhower took office in January 1953, with John Foster Dulles as his secretary of state and Allen Dulles heading the CIA. Leab notes that Animal Farm’s mandated ending complemented the new Dulles policy, which – abandoning Truman’s aim of containing Communism – planned a ‘roll back’, at least in Eastern Europe. As one of the script’s many advisors put it, Animal Farm’s ending should be one where the animals ‘get mad, ask for help from the outside, which they get, and which results in their (the Russian people) with the help of the free nations overthrowing their oppressors’."

Posted by: Nana2007 | Dec 10 2014 5:56 utc | 33

On more than one level, and for more than one reason, the Senate committee's release of this report about past torture, permitted and encouraged by the Bush Jr, crowd, is the right thing to do. The Senate not only drew a line against the CIA, after it invaded the private deliberations and was bold enough to go rifling through Senate files, and deleting some files.

Along with rufus m., I feel there is danger if the political dirty work is taken up in the media. But the report, if it is fully released, works powerfully for the Senate, and is more of a counteraction politically, than it is a holding action; and it is not a sign of weakness by any means. The Senate has plenty of strong legal minds, and it can bypass Obama's Justice Dept. and broaden its investigations, in the event of any similar assault against it.

Yet I have some suspicion that the branch at Langley that jerked around with a powerful institution like the Senate, in the way they did, would never do this on their own, without the guarantee that someone in higher authority has their back. In fact, if CIA doubles down on the belligerence and bluster, that would tend to arouse more suspicion of a hidden hand.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 10 2014 7:11 utc | 34

The CIA spied upon the comittee (headed by Diane Feinstein) that composed this report. This angered Feinstein and made her more determined to publish the report.

Posted by: Willy2 | Dec 10 2014 8:03 utc | 35

A commentator on CNN yesterday, while admitting that the whole story was unsavory, still had to add, that the report in itself was another sign of the United States greatness. Why? Well, "Putin would never allow such a thing"!

Posted by: Bert | Dec 10 2014 8:38 utc | 36

@16 I thought this is what you guys have been doing here for the last half year. I post HRW, AI and OSCE reports on Donbass - you respond with rogue translations of some Russian blogs?

Also it's interesting to see you seriously discussing an US Senate report while you have rejected any reports by US administration in the past as "CIA sponsored" etc. Why this torture report is reliable, but previous reports calling for military support for Ukraine were not reliable?

By the way, as we're on the topic of arms: Russian arms delivery for Boko Haram was just arrested in Nigeria.

Posted by: Ulster | Dec 10 2014 9:02 utc | 37

Consulting psychologists were paid 80 of an 180m contract to train torturers. I wonder how many other programs in the 'black budget' are likewise inflated 100x.

Posted by: Crest | Dec 10 2014 9:20 utc | 38


The 6000 pages wont be released to public, its just the shorter censured version that have been released.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 10 2014 9:21 utc | 39

I just don't get it. NeoLiberal Capitalism IS 'torture'.

Banksters create synthetic debt out of thin air, and charge all of us egregious usury for the use of it, while the Fat Cats roll their gambling losses into public Treasury bailouts. Everything flows from that heinous crime: the win-or-die competitive rat race, the vicious street life, the 90,000,000 jobless or homeless 'disappeared', the -$18 TRILLION perpetual debt, the $4 TRILLION phony Oil Crusades, massively bloated $3.4 TRILLION Mil.Gov.Sci.Edu rice bowl Fed bureaucracy, even the unregulated 501(c)3 tax-dodge 'rice tent' charity (sic) fraud to take care of 'poor victims', making their CEOs rich with 30% APR 'micro-loans'.

Capitalism is raping 998 people to give 2 people a life of ease: the Ricos, and their Pols. Born naked, die naked, immersed in a life-long electronic swamp of lies and disinformation.
'You Deserve a Break Today'. Which leg do you want to limp on?

I mean, what else do you expect? Tea and crumpets at 4PM? Jebeezus!

This is what our world would've been like if the Nazis had won. It just took a few years longer than they planned to return to the Reign of the Habsburgs.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Dec 10 2014 10:48 utc | 40

If America is still torturing, which I don't dispute by the way, then why didn't China detain and arrest Obama during his recent visit since he is a Human Rights abuser and therefore a criminal? Is China not committed to Human Rights? Is China afraid? Or does China not give a shit about Human Rights?

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Dec 10 2014 11:49 utc | 41

A commentator on CNN yesterday, while admitting that the whole story was unsavory, still had to add, that the report in itself was another sign of the United States greatness. Why? Well, "Putin would never allow such a thing"!

Ha! It is absurd. There is no greatness in being only marginally more humane than a psychopathic, sadistic megalomaniac like Putin who is hell-bent on nuking the planet.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Dec 10 2014 11:52 utc | 42

Hi Ben

Sick isn't it? Yes, human experimentation is what's not mentioned in all the newsiness? The Human experimentation aspect of the torture program- which was alluded to as early as 2009- Doctors monitoring how the torture was affecting the innocent humans- studying it. In hopes of what? It's simply MKULTRA/DELTA etc continued on- That horror show never went away.

What is sickening is the way this is being spun no doubt with the assistance of the usual PR firms?

The US is a good guy for releasing this and does so at great risk (another terror attack 9/11 9/11 9/11) but since we are just so great we have to make the sacrifice, though we could be the victims yet again- Sickening stuff really

Posted by: Penny | Dec 10 2014 12:09 utc | 43

Cold N H @ 42

You know the US has "already nuked the planet" right?
Hiroshima Nagasaki
Speaking of sadistic megalomania?

Posted by: Penny | Dec 10 2014 12:11 utc | 44


' Clearly, to not publish this document, would be to admit that the Senate had been cowed into silence by the very spooks who had committed a felony against that chamber, a higher, constitutional authority. '

Have they published the report? I don't think so. I think they redacted 90% of the report and then re-redacted that again. And that's what everyone is reading.

There is no evidence of anyone's culpability here. It's the usual 15 minutes of 'oh, how horrible' ... and then its over.

If the senate were 'heroic' ... even if they were just still warm ... one of them, the poseur Udall for instance ... would have dumped the full report into the Congressional Record. That's not even original. Mike Gravel did it 43 years ago.

No, the problem is that doing so ... looking out for the nation's interest instead of his own ... would have disappeared the pot of gold on the other side of the revolving door.

There are no men and women among the American political class ... have you had a look at the video of Sahra Wagenknecht reading Ms. Merkel the riot act in the German Parliament that was posted in thread 30? Nothing like that in America, just slugs and trails of slime.

I want to be hopeful as much as you do, Copeland. But hope in the American political class is misplaced. My hope is in the poor people of Ferguson, Detroit, of all the cities who have slipped and fallen once too often in the slime, and are working to regain control of their lives themselves.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 10 2014 12:23 utc | 45

The most glaring example of the utter incompetence of the CIA can be seen in the people that it contracted to develop its "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

Because I would have thought it obvious - a no-brainer - that if you wanted to know how to "interrogate" then you would bring in people who.... do interrogations for a living.

You know, get in police officers to tell them the Secret of The Good Cop / Bad Cop Routine.

Or ask the Customs Service to come over and explain how their "interviews" allows them to separate the wheat from the chaff at airports and seaports all around the Good Ol USofA.

You'd contract those guys, because those guys actually do this for a living.

But, no, those weren't the guys the CIA paid $millions for.

The CIA actually contracted in guys Who Had Never Actually Interrogated Anyone For Real.

The CIA engaged psychiatrists who taught the US Military how to WITHSTAND torture.

Think about that: these are the guys who were going around saying: Torture doesn't work, and I'm here to teach you why.

Those were the guys that the CIA paid untold $millions to teach the CIA how Torture Works when - in reality - all the CIA was proving is that Money Talks.

Posted by: Johnboy | Dec 10 2014 12:41 utc | 46

If those countries where torture takes place
attract public dissatisfaction/opposition against things such as torture,
then why is it that we never hear about such public dissatisfaction/opposition.
( i know, its a bit of a rhetorical question because there is no actual public oppsition. whatever opposition you do see is only there for "show" purposes mainly)

Dont countries such as Italy,Canada,Germany,Greece etc have such a thing called Democracy,thru which people can voice their opposition.

Or have these countries "privatised" their political systems to unnamed private foreigners.
Is "Democracy,", "Rule of law", due process, accountability etc all dead?
After all Greeks,Romans and others were the inventors of these things.

( i only refer to actions done on behalf of foreign organisations such as CIA, US Government, and any other foreign organisation, i suppose that torture that takes place on behalf of your own Government would be perfectly legitimate, sadly)

Posted by: chris m | Dec 10 2014 12:42 utc | 47

chris m

We are talking about western populations here, same western populations that is getting fooled on Iraq, Syria, Russia, Iran, Palestine etcetera.
Western populations are hopelessly brainwashed today.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 10 2014 13:19 utc | 48


There is no greatness in being only marginally more humane than a psychopathic, sadistic megalomaniac like Putin who is hell-bent on nuking the planet.

Crock of shit.

Posted by: MRW | Dec 10 2014 13:29 utc | 49


"The most glaring example of the utter incompetence of the CIA can be seen in the people that it contracted to develop its "enhanced interrogation" techniques"

I'm calling complete bullbiscuits on the incompetence meme (and will be at my blog in a new post)

People have got to stop promoting this meme. It's utterly ridiculous.
The CIA contracted these people because it was politically expedient.
Gave them a "deniability" card that could be played to promote incompetence as an example and also to enrich their compatriots.
That is not incompetent. It is in fact very competent and very evil!

Posted by: Penny | Dec 10 2014 13:59 utc | 50

@17 Copeland
I can see your angle, it was important that the report was released in light of the tampering by the CIA.

But, we will never know to what degree the CIA tampering led to an untoward censorship either. Similar to the "rectal re-hydration" being viewed as a way to leverage total control over the prisoner, wasn't the hacking of senate computers a way for the CIA to exert total control? They have perfected the panopticon concept. Who knows, maybe the report initially was going to name names, or the redaction pen wasn't going to be used so heavily.

The hacking was such a flagrant and egregious violation of any sense of the law, you almost wonder if they wanted to get caught in order to send the message. Similarly, torture itself doesn't have the desired effect unless the outside world knows you are using it. The people in custody are already off the battlefield and on their way to becoming innocuous non-persons, the object is to make someone considering joining a cause to consider it a bit harder. I would argue this was the point of the hacking. The intended effect seems to have manifested itself in a report that acts more of as a tonic than a disinfectant.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Dec 10 2014 14:04 utc | 51


09:01 Wednesday 10 December 2014
The Dail (Irish Parliament) last night voted in favour of the government recognising the State of Palestine based on its 1967 borders - before Israeli occupation. The Senate has already voted for it
All parties in the Dail supported the Sinn Fein motion during Private Members time in the Dail.
The government parties backed the motion saying that they were in favour of a two state solution for Israel and Palestine.
Labour's Jed Nash said that passing the motion was an important step in what will be a long process for Palestinian Statehood:
Last month the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, said Ireland might recognise a Palestinian state if it helped to advance the peace process in the Middle East.
Currently eight EU states recognise Palestine as a state, with Sweden the most recent to adopt the stance and the first to do so while an EU member state.
There is widespread recognition of Palestine as a state across Asia, Africa and South America, but far less within the EU and North America.
Jewish opposition has already started

Posted by: Boindub | Dec 10 2014 16:02 utc | 52

Posted by: KMF | Dec 10 2014 16:25 utc | 53

Here's an interview with ex-US Military Attorney, Major Dan Mori on the program, The Drum. Major Dan was appointed by the US Military to defend David Hicks against trumped up charges related to the Fake War on Terror. Hicks' plight was made infinitely worse by PM John Dubya Howard, cock-sucking coward, liar, cur, and the only non-Jew ever to be awarded the B'nai B'rith Gold Medal (+ $1,000,000) for services to "Israel", who refused to tell G Dubya Bush to return Hicks to Oz (because the "crimes" Hicks was accused of were NOT crimes in Australia).
Howard refused and Hicks eventually appeared before a Yankee Kangaroo Court, aka Military Tribunal where he was plea-blackmailed into accepting a sentence of two years plus time-served. And then returned to Oz to serve out the remainder of his sentence in Australian custody.

Major Dan was a harsh critic of the US Military Tribunal system from the outset (prior to the trial), and is, without a shadow of doubt, a Man Among Men. Not at all like the indignant little girly-boys such as Obama, Tony Abbott, Sarkozy, Cameron, Wm Hague and Tony Bliar who plague and litter the Western political landscape.

Anyhow, here's a 6 minute interview with Major Dan who, after his departure from the US Military, migrated to Oz with his family and wrote a book about his experiences with the US Military Injustice System called In The Company of Cowards.

The most stunning revelation in the interview is a reference to the fact that the torture report points out that of 119 detainees studied during its compilation, the committee concluded that:
1. 26 of the victims were completely innocent of any 'wrong-doing' and should never have been detained.
2. The Report understates the number of detainees studied to less than 100.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 10 2014 16:34 utc | 54

While You're Being Distracted With The MSM Torture Narrative, The 1,618 page 2015 NDAA Will Be Voted on in the Senate ...

Oh, and on torture, don't forget the boiled bodies in the old USSR.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 10 2014 20:06 utc | 55

every time I

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 10 2014 20:19 utc | 56

Every time I post here, I bitch. But, this is spot on, b.

I wonder how much Germany assisted in "extraordinary renditions"?

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 10 2014 20:23 utc | 57

From Cannonfire:

Posted by: ben | Dec 10 2014 20:29 utc | 58

The map of all the countries who were complicit – actively or passively – with CIA’s torture program includes most of the countries who speak loudest and most sanctimoniously about human rights. Add to this all the other countries (Russia, China, India, South American countries, …. ) who also use torture in some form, and I come to the conclusion that there is not a single country today where some form of torture (physical as well as mental) is not at least tolerated under some specific conditions.

Posted by: ktwop | Dec 10 2014 21:03 utc | 59

Well gracious of you not to bitch for a welcome change sloth, but isn't your second sentence a bit of a subtle bitch? I suspect the original Nazis that the US imported/rescued after WWII had a lot to do with it but give the Germany of today, including b but excluding Merkel, a break will you.

Actually it is good to hear from you again sloth. Your input can be valuable when you're not "bitching".

Posted by: juannie | Dec 10 2014 21:10 utc | 60

ben @ 58

I have my second part up so come over and check it out
and tell me what you think- definite human experimentation went on

Posted by: Penny | Dec 10 2014 23:30 utc | 61

Brazil 'Building the politics of memory': An Interview with Paulo Abrao

[W]e are building politics of memory, which are more and more capable of understanding the types of repression that were used against the victims of the dictatorship. There are also now several Brazilian states and municipalities that are creating spaces for memory and for the creation of understanding and knowledge. The truth is that before we lived in a country that was dominated by an ethic of the forgotten and today we have another environment, where the country is valuing our memory and the past.

A short while ago, we head from all of the principle Brazilian newspapers, which published fairly strong and insistent editorials from the perspective that we should not look to the past and that we should only and exclusively look toward the future. They said that eventually, any excerise into the past would imply a rupture with our democracy, and would put at risk the current public institutions and freedoms. The simple affirmation of these ideas is in itself a representation of the frailty of our democracy. And now we have a new environment.

The same American Criminals In Action responsible for so much terrorism, torture, and death in this milennium were responsible for much of the same in Latin America ... worldwide ... in the last.

We need to build a politics of memory here in the USA, where forgetfulness in institurionalized. The Criminal In Action In Chief here directly mouthed himself what was left to the MSM in Brazil ... "that we should not look to the past and that we should only and exclusively look toward the future."

We cannot understand the present without knowing the past nor can we have any control of our future without understanding the present as it is perfected. There is no time but the present, created by the past and in turn creating the future, and there is nobody here but ourselves to create it. We North Americans are certainly near the end of the line when it comes to understanding our past, and so our present, and so to deliberately affecting our future.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 10 2014 23:30 utc | 62

in re 37

FYI, the latest details. Curiously, the page linked to says nothing about Boko Haram. Only that a Russian-owned plane with arms bound for Chad has been detained on 6 Dec. Russia has supplied weapons to the gov't. since at least 2001, according to Wikipedia (see army of chad and the foreign operators of t-55 tanks), so why would this be at all suspicious?

The latest report, 8 Dec. Nigerian govt. releases Chad-bound Russian plane detained in Kano in Premium Times (online since 2011, so no doubt right up there with TNR, I'm sure) states that the cargo aboard the plane, chartered by the French military, was being redeployed within the region by French peacekeepers. The aircraft made an unscheduled landing in Nigeria due to what the article describes as "technical problems." Local security in Kano, in the north, apparently has a history of detaining aircraft.

This is the third time since 2009 that planes loaded with arms would be arrested in Kano, our correspondent says.

The detained planes were later released after investigations.

The destination of the latest aircraft has however raised concerns amid increasing worries in Nigeria over Chad’s alleged role in the Boko Haram insurgency plaguing Nigeria’s northeast.

This bit at the tail of the pc. is all I see about Boko Haram.

Ponder if you would, my fellow Barflies what this might mean about the intent and honesty of our distinguished poster, who thoughtfully provided the link on the 10th.

I wonder -- maybe it was just a scam by some local security types -- Russia, France, the UN, perhaps financially enabled the expeditious handling of the investigation. The article makes it clear that local authorities, in view of the nationality of the plane, undertook the investigation.

Thanks for allowing me to wander off thread. We now return you to your regularly unscheduled postings, already in progress.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 11 2014 1:13 utc | 63

To get back on topic -- Chris Floyd is an old favorite of mine, from his Moscow News days. Here he is at Counterpunch on the report.

A truncated version of the Senate investigation into the CIA’s Terror War torture regime has finally been released. Even in its limited form, it details an operation of vile depravity, one which would plunge a civilized nation into a profound crisis of conscience....

Needless to say, nothing like that is going to happen in America. Indeed, even before the report was released, the New York Times — the standard-bearer and shaper of “decent” liberal thought for the nation — was... demanding that we “Pardon Bush and Those Who Tortured.” This was the very first “think piece” pushed by the Times on the morning of the report’s release.

And you know, I'm a little annoyed at the Grey Lady for finally jumping the shark after I touted it's (limited) virtues over at the TNR thread. Well, I'm sure Mrs. M has a few good recipes for crow; she's served me up that dish before.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 11 2014 1:49 utc | 64

@63 rufus.. you have to give it up for number 2 bullshite artist ulster.. he runs a close 2nd to cold..

Posted by: james | Dec 11 2014 2:01 utc | 65

james @ 65 --

No, I'm going with our distinguished correspondent as no. 1 source of shite. Maybe I'm being a snob, imported over domestic. It's got a more subtle bouquet.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 11 2014 2:18 utc | 66

for what it is worth, the black and tan should not get a Christmas bonus, his disinformation is poorly produced and so sloppy that the very links he provides contradict his accusation.

if anyone is paying for that I would like to get into that racket as well.

Posted by: dan of steele | Dec 11 2014 3:17 utc | 67

actually this is yet another demonstration of murikka's greatness !

dianne feinstein
*But I came to the conclusion that America’s greatness is being able to say we made a mistake and we are going to correct it and go from there.*

Posted by: denk | Dec 11 2014 7:01 utc | 68

Billmon posted a great series of tweet about the parallels between the Torture Report/ Wall St. Bailouts: the curtain coming up and everyone briefly seeing the true ugliness of the system before they try VERY hard to make us forget.

I can guarantee however that the rest of the world will not forget. I wonder what the reaction will be next time the US tries to come down on another country for human rights abuses? Perhaps laughter?

Posted by: Almand | Dec 11 2014 9:39 utc | 69

@66 rufus - fair enough.. i agree with dan of steele - he can't possibly be paid for that crap.

@69 almand.. good questions. either these human rights organizations are independent organizations, or they are dependent on gov't or usaid type hand outs and they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them. regardless - it is laughable at this point any suggestion of the usa having any moral ground to stand on. we knew that beforehand, and the cozy relationship with kiev the past year is more testimony of the wretchedness of their ways..

Posted by: james | Dec 11 2014 19:10 utc | 70

@james: Kiev, and also Saddam, Pinochet, the Contras, Mobuto, Bin Laden, Suharto, Marcos, Musharaf, and all the way back to Uncle Adolf... the list goes on and on. Like you said, it's something we all knew, and have known for a very long time but damned if it doesn't keep happening. The Guardian did a story about Amnesty and HRW did come out today demanding prosecutions. At least they have some sense of shame, it seems.

Posted by: Almand | Dec 11 2014 23:25 utc | 71

jas, dan, 65, 67, 70 --

I gotta go w/our distinguished poster. CDH on occasion makes sense (like once or twice in the Ferguson/NYC discussion) and he's got decent taste in Pink Floyd albums. Regrettably, our faux Irishman has no such socially redeeming virtues.

But still, aren't y'all channeling your inner Grinch or Scrooge? What about Mrs. U and all the little counties? He gets his bonus, a traditional bag of coal, perhaps, since he is on the "naughty" list. We know he's not in the Ukraine; otherwise, that would count as a thoughtful gift.

And besides, he's pd. to be irritating, not right.

I agree, however, that quality is not good, repertory is a bit stale & weak; see g77's bon mot @ 15.

If I were his boss, I'd have him on a Corrective Action Program. But my guess, he's gaming his metrics and hiding it, at least for now.

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 12 2014 3:25 utc | 72

Via counterpuch (I think) an older article by Alfred McCoy : How to Read the Senate Report on CIA Torture

Posted by: jfl | Jan 3 2015 3:09 utc | 73

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