March 23, 2012
“This is disgusting. How do people like this even get in the US military? Oh wait – these are exactly the kind of people they want.” –KTRN
One of the guards involved in the 2004 Abu Ghraib abuse scandal says she does not regret her actions. The revelation comes in the wake of the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier, further tarnishing the image of the American military.
“Their lives are better. They got the better end of the deal,” England said in an interview with The Daily referring to the Iraqi prisoners who were sexually and physically abused in the infamous prison near Baghdad. “They weren’t innocent. They were trying to kill us and you want me to apologize to them? It’s like saying sorry to the enemy.”
Lynndie England, 29, became one of the symbols of the controversial 2003 US invasion of Iraq after photographs of her smiling while giving a thumbs-up in front of a pile of naked Iraqi detainees and pulling a man by a leash went public. The pictures sparked international outrage and shone a spotlight on the abuse and misconduct committed by US soldiers, fueling anti-American sentiments across the world.
“All the prisoners that were there were on the tier of high-priority. They were there for a reason. They had killed coalition forces or they were planning to,” England told The Daily on Monday. “They had information about where insurgents were hiding.”
Instead of feeling remorse, the former prison guard Lynndie England is more worried about the lives of fellow US soldiers who could have been endangered by the scandal. “I think about it all the time – indirect deaths that were my fault, losing people on our side because of me coming out on a picture.”
England was among eleven military personnel convicted in 2005 in connection with the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib. She was sentenced to three years in prison and dishonorably discharged from the military.
September 1st, 2011
By: Mike Adams
U.S. government medical researchers, including those from the National Institute of Health (NIH), engaged in heinous crimes through secret medical experiments on Guatemalan medical experiments, concluded an investigative report commissioned by President Obama. The report concluded that:
• The U.S. government knowingly funded and deliberately engaged in criminal medical experiments against Guatemalan prisoners.
• At least 5,500 people were drafted into the experiments, including children, women and the mentally ill. The number deliberately infected with sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) exceeded 1,300 (that we know of).
• U.S. doctors and medical researchers knowingly and deliberately violated all the fundamental medical ethics including “do no harm.”
• The victims of this criminal, government-run pharmaceutical experiment were mentally ill prisoners who were deliberate infected with STDs just to see what would happen.
• The victims were “not treated like human beings” but rather like laboratory animals and were deprived of basic human dignity in these heinous medical crimes.
• The purpose of the medical experiment was to test the effectiveness of penicillin for the pharmaceutical companies so they could sell the drug at high profit while claiming it had been “scientifically and clinically tested” to prevent the contraction of STDs.
• Victims were not even informed they were being infected with STDs. The entire experiment was a clandestine operation involving an admitted conspiracy between Big Pharma and the U.S. government. Undeniable evidence has now emerged that the doctors and medical researchers involved in the experiment actively took steps to hide what they were doing. (Because they knew they were engaged in EVIL actions.)
(Gee, I guess conspiracies really do exist, huh? All those people who dismiss “conspiracy theorists” have obviously never read actual U.S. history and have no knowledge of the way the pharmaceutical industry really works…)
• One purpose of these experiments was to “…find a reliable way of infecting subjects for future studies,” reports the Washington Post. “Doctors also poured bacteria onto wounds they had opened with needles on prisoners’ penises, faces and arms. In some cases, infectious material was injected into their spines.”
• Today, of course, the medical industry has long since found the perfect way to infect subjects for experimental studies — Vaccines! Seriously: If these doctors, NIH researchers and government authorities would inject mentally ill prisoners with infectious diseases (directly into their spines), do you honestly think they wouldn’t load up today’s vaccines with live viruses and unleash mass vaccination campaigns to cause cancer, pandemics and other diseases that generate Big Pharma profits? (Grow up, folks. The medical industry is based on fundamental evils and criminal madness. The sooner you get that through your heads, the sooner you’ll understand why there are no pharmaceutical cures for any disease — they WANT you to be sick!)
“They should shock the conscience not in spite of their medical context, but precisely because of it,” said commission chairwoman Amy Gutmann, who also serves as president of the University of Pennsylvania. “The people who were in the know, did want to keep it secret because if it would become more widely known, it would become the subject of public criticism,” she said.
• Guatemala condemned the medical experiments as “crimes against humanity” and vowed to prosecute the United States government for its role in international courts.
• The Institute of Medicine was asked by President Obama to take part in the investigation of the criminal medical experiments on Guatemalans but had to recuse itself because of past ties with the research.
Details about Dr. John Cutler, the M.D. who carried out these medical crimes on behalf of the U.S. government and the NIH
• These crimes in Guatemala were carried out by a conventional medical doctor named Dr. John Cutler who was funded by a grant from the NIH.
• Dr. Cutler acted with complete alignment alongside the pharmaceutical industry’s total disregard for human life. When one of the mentally ill victims who was infected with STDs began to show signs that she might die, Dr. Cutler proceeded to infect her with yet more syphilis and did nothing while she suffered and then died. This is how the pharmaceutical industry routinely operates in conspiracy with the NIH and government entities (see below).
• These medical experiments were not merely conducted in “foreign countries,” by the way. After successfully sacrificing Guatemalans on the altar of pharmaceutical profits, Dr. John Cutler was granted permission to take part in the infamous Tuskegee experiments that targeted African Americans. That experiment went on for four decades until it was finally ended in 1972. Yes — FOUR decades of government-run medical experiments on black Americans.
• After the Tuskegee experiments, Dr. John Cutler continued to run medical experiments on Americans in Terre Haute, Indiana, where prison inmates were deliberately infected with STDs.
• Dr. Cutler died in 2003 and probably went to Hell. He never apologized for his research, insisting that he was acting in an ethical manner as a doctor. (Seriously. This is yet another great example of how doctors suffer from egomaniacal self delusion that allows them to justify vaccines, chemotherapy and other deadly procedures that kill millions of innocent people every year.)
April 25th, 2011
The Raw Story
By: Kase Wickman
A massive leak of more than 700 military documents, attributed to infamous transparency group WikiLeaks, was released Sunday night. Much of the new information deals with detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, records that begin immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks and range to 2009, including documents relating to 172 prisoners still held at the controversial detention facility.
Here are seven shocking revelations about Guantanamo Bay and the practices there.
One hundred twenty-seven “high risk” prisoners remain at Guantanamo Bay, but almost as many “high risk” prisoners have been released to other countries or freed, despite being described as “likely to pose a threat.” Of the 600 detainees known to have been transferred out of the prison since 2002, 160 fell under the “high risk” categorization, according to NPR. At least two dozen transferred “high risk” prisoners have been linked to terrorist activity since their Gitmo exit, including two Saudis who became leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
“There’s a group there that we all agree never gets let out, and then there’s the rest,” Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) said of Guantanamo detainees at a recent congressional hearing. “As you close on that number of folks who should not ever be let go, then you run the risk of letting somebody go who shouldn’t be.”
Officials aren’t sure what they’re doing. In 704 leaked documents assessing detainees, the word “possibly” appears 387 times, “unknown” 188 times and “deceptive” 85 times. Two conflicting committees from the Department of Defense worked at the facility and clashed frequently over how to classify prisoners’ threat levels and the quality of information they shared.
While some “high risk” prisoners have returned to terrorism, still others have become U.S. allies. A former Gitmo detainee whose files identify him as “a probable member of al-Qaeda,” Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu, is now a key figure on the rebel side of the Libyan revolution, a leader of a rebel brigade in the northern part of the country. When Qumu was captured in Pakistan shortly after 9/11, he was considered an enemy of the United States. Now, he and the U.S. have a goal in common: unseat Gaddafi.
Instead of getting closer to catching Osama bin Laden, the documents show that the focus has broadened from catching key al-Qaeda operatives, noting information about other foreign operations. One captive was sent to Gitmo so officials could glean any information he had on the Bahraini court, and another was interrogated about any knowledge he had of Uzbekistan’s secret service.
Officials took note of every possible piece of evidence, in hopes of building mosaics of information — even evidence as trivial as origami art. McClatchy reports:
Guards plucked off ships at sea to walk the cellblocks note who has hoarded food as contraband, who makes noise during the Star Spangled Banner, who sings creepy songs like “La, La, La, La Taliban” and who is re-enacting the 9/11 attacks with origami art.
Officials noted that information from some unstable prisoners may be faulty or untrue, but used it anyway. Yasim Mohammed Basardah, a detainee who gave information about 60 other prisoners, was noted as being unreliable, and his file stressed that information he shared should be independently verified. However, he was also given a “high” intelligence value, and his threat level was lowered from high to medium in exchange for his cooperation. He was resettled in Europe in 2010. According to the documents, eight prisoners have revealed information about 235 others.
Suspects were nabbed and shipped to Gitmo because they wore cheap watches. A specific model of watch — a Casio style released in the 1980s — was suspected to be used as a timer by al-Qaeda operatives. People in Afghanistan were seized and sent to the detention facility because they were wearing the watches, but most have been quietly released because of a lack of evidence.
March 14th, 2011
Guatemalans subjected to U.S. syphilis experiments in the 1940s are suing federal health officials to compensate them for health problems they have suffered.
The lawsuit comes after revelations that U.S. scientists studying the effects of penicillin in the 1940s deliberately infected about 700 Guatemalan prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and orphans. None was informed or gave consent.
Attorneys representing the Guatemalans asked the Obama administration to set up an out-of-court claims process similar to those established in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the 9/11 terror attacks. But they say they got no response by a Friday deadline and so filed the suit Monday morning.
The Guatemalan experiments were hidden for decades, until a medical historian uncovered the records in 2009.
November 17th, 2010
By: Jonathan Benson
Russian health authorities recently demonstrated that they hold a much different opinion on the safety and effectiveness of tanning beds than do American health authorities. According to a recent BBC report, a Russian prison will soon be outfitted with various health-promoting amenities, including tanning beds, which officials say will help revamp the nation’s reputation for having poor quality prison facilities.
“We are developing additional medical services … and even sunbeds will be put in place,” explained Sergei Telyatnikov, the head of Moscow’s Butyrka remand prison, to a local Moscow radio station. Russian officials say the tanning beds will help improve prisoner health.
American and European medical officials have largely taken the offensive against tanning beds, warning the public that they supposedly cause skin cancer. But contradictory research continues to show that when used properly, tanning beds actually exhibit an anti-cancer effect on the body, as they expose it to vitamin D-creating ultraviolet (UV) rays just like those given off naturally by the sun.
So while many Americans continue to run and hide from the sun and tanning beds out of fear of getting skin cancer, Russian prisoners will be getting their daily dose of healthy vitamin D through the regular use of tanning beds. In fact, using tanning beds safely actually helps to prevent skin cancers.
“The benefits are that tanning can normalize vitamin D levels, and normal vitamin D levels reduce your risk of all cancers, including melanoma,” explain James Dowd and Diane Stafford in their book, The Vitamin D Cure. “Judicious use of artificial UV light is used to treat some skin diseases, and it can help prevent sunburns.”
October 1, 2010
David S. Morgan
The U.S. government has formally apologized for a secret study conducted in the 1940s in which Guatemalan prisoners, service members and mental hospital patients were secretly infected with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or consent, calling the program “clearly unethical.”
In a joint statement issued Friday by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, released in English and Spanish, the government apologized to Guatemala and to those involved in the study, conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) between 1946 and 1948.
The results of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Inoculation Study were uncovered by a Wellesley College researcher, Susan Reverby.
The story is uncomfortably similar to the “Tuskegee” Syphilis Study in the 1960s, in which the PHS monitored, but did not treat, hundreds of African American men suffering from syphilis.
Unlike that case, however, subjects in the Guatemala study were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and then given penicillin, to help determine the efficacy of the drug to cure or even vaccinate against STDs.
Reverby wrote that the Guatemala syphilis inoculation project was run by a PHS physician, Dr. John C. Cutler (who would later oversee the Tuskegee, Ala., study two decades later).
The study’s doctors chose as subjects men incarcerated at the Guatemala National Penitentiary, as well as army service members, and men and women confined in the National Mental Health Hospital. There was a total of 696 people in the study. Guatemalan authorities (and not the individuals themselves) granted permission, in exchange for supplies.
According to Reverby, who studied Cutler’s records in the University of Pittsburgh archives, doctors used infected prostitutes to pass the disease on to prisoners (conjugal visits were allowed in Guatemalan jails). Direct inoculations of syphilis bacteria were made to other subjects. Treatment by penicillin was also administered, though not always successfully.
Cutler seemed to recognize the delicate ethical quandaries their experiments posed, particularly in the wake of the Nuremberg “Doctors’ Trials,” and was concerned about secrecy. “As you can imagine,” Cutler reported to his PHS overseer, “we are holding our breaths, and we are explaining to the patients and others concerned with but a few key exceptions, that the treatment is a new one utilizing serum followed by penicillin. This double talk keeps me hopping at time.”
Cutler also wrote that he feared “a few words to the wrong person here, or even at home, might wreck it or parts of it … ”
PHS physician R.C. Arnold, who supervised Cutler, was more troubled, confiding to Cutler, “I am a bit, in fact more than a bit, leery of the experiment with the insane people. They can not give consent, do not know what is going on, and if some goody organization got wind of the work, they would raise a lot of smoke. I think the soldiers would be best or the prisoners for they can give consent.”
Apparently difficulties in transmission, as well as in replicating results, added to concerns over the study, and it was dropped after two years.
Cutler went on to participate in another Syphilis Study at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y. (although in that case the subjects were informed about the nature of the inoculations administered to them).
“Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health,” today’s State Dept./DHS statement said. “We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices.
“The conduct exhibited during the study does not represent the values of the United States, or our commitment to human dignity and great respect for the people of Guatemala. The study is a sad reminder that adequate human subject safeguards did not exist a half-century ago.”
The officials also announced an investigation into the specifics of the case from 1946, and will also convene a meeting of international experts to devise methods that effectively ensure all human medical research meets rigorous ethical standards.
Today, Kevin explains the significance of the Unites States dropping to the 50th best country to start a business and why banks around the world are failing at record rates!
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September 10, 2010
By: Janine Zacharia
In an embarrassing and potentially dangerous foul-up, four Iraqi detainees with alleged links to the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq escaped from U.S. custody at a Baghdad detention facility late Wednesday.
The escape was an example of the challenges the United States faces as it scales back its military force and redefines its mission in Iraq.
The identities of the four escapees and the guards who were overseeing their detention were not immediately known. The U.S. military released no details on how the four escaped.
Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta, an Iraqi military spokesman, told the Associated Press that the four were linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq and were facing the death penalty.
They were part of a group of about 200 detainees who were considered too dangerous to hand over to Iraqi control when the U.S. military transferred responsibility for the detention facility at Camp Cropper – renamed Karkh Prison – and its 1,500 detainees to the Iraqi government in July.
A week after the transfer, four prisoners with alleged links to al-Qaeda in Iraq escaped from the Iraqi side of the prison. The new Iraqi warden of the prison, who had been appointed at the urging of U.S. officials, vanished shortly after that earlier jailbreak.
Wednesday’s escape follows President Obama’s Aug. 31 announcement of the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. The U.S. military has reduced its forces to 50,000 troops who remain largely in an advisory role.
The absence of the four prisoners was discovered Wednesday night after two other detainees were caught trying to escape.
U.S. and Iraqi forces and the Iraqi Justice Ministry “are working to apprehend these individuals,” said Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, the deputy commanding general for detainee operations. “This event is under investigation.”
September 10, 2010
The New York Times
By: Charlie Savage
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that former prisoners of the C.I.A. could not sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons because such a lawsuit might expose secret government information.
The sharply divided ruling was a major victory for the Obama administration’s efforts to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy powers. It strengthens the White House’s hand as it has pushed an array of assertive counterterrorism policies, while raising an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time in decades on the scope of the president’s power to restrict litigation that could reveal state secrets.
By a 6-to-5 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a Boeing subsidiary accused of arranging flights for the Central Intelligence Agency to transfer prisoners to other countries for imprisonment and interrogation. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the case on behalf of five former prisoners who say they were tortured in captivity — and that Jeppesen was complicit in that alleged abuse.
Judge Raymond C. Fisher described the case, which reversed an earlier decision, as presenting “a painful conflict between human rights and national security.” But, he said, the majority had “reluctantly” concluded that the lawsuit represented “a rare case” in which the government’s need to protect state secrets trumped the plaintiffs’ need to have a day in court.
While the alleged abuses occurred during the Bush administration, the ruling added a chapter to the Obama administration’s aggressive national security policies.
Its counterterrorism programs have in some ways departed from the expectations of change fostered by President Obama’s campaign rhetoric, which was often sharply critical of former President George W. Bush’s approach.
Among other policies, the Obama national security team has also authorized the C.I.A. to try to kill a United States citizen suspected of terrorism ties, blocked efforts by detainees in Afghanistan to bring habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the basis for their imprisonment without trial, and continued the C.I.A.’s so-called extraordinary rendition program of prisoner transfers — though the administration has forbidden torture and says it seeks assurances from other countries that detainees will not be mistreated.
The A.C.L.U. vowed to appeal the Jeppesen Dataplan case to the Supreme Court, which would present the Roberts court with a fresh opportunity to weigh in on a high-profile test of the scope and limits of presidential power in counterterrorism matters.
It has been more than 50 years since the Supreme Court issued a major ruling on the state-secrets privilege, a judicially created doctrine that the government has increasingly used to win dismissals of lawsuits related to national security, shielding its actions from judicial review. In 2007, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a similar rendition and torture ruling by the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va.
The current case turns on whether the executive can invoke the state-secrets privilege to shut down entire lawsuits, or whether that power should be limited to withholding particular pieces of secret information. In April 2009, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit adopted the narrower view, ruling that the lawsuit as a whole should proceed.
But the Obama administration appealed to the full San Francisco-based appeals court. A group of 11 of its judges reheard the case, and a narrow majority endorsed the broader view of executive secrecy powers. They concluded that the lawsuit must be dismissed without a trial — even one that would seek to rely only on public information.
“This case requires us to address the difficult balance the state secrets doctrine strikes between fundamental principles of our liberty, including justice, transparency, accountability and national security,” Judge Fisher wrote. “Although as judges we strive to honor all of these principles, there are times when exceptional circumstances create an irreconcilable conflict between them.”
Ben Wizner, a senior A.C.L.U. lawyer who argued the case before the appeals court, said the group was disappointed in the ruling.
“To this date, not a single victim of the Bush administration’s torture program has had his day in court,” Mr. Wizner said. “That makes this a sad day not only for the torture survivors who are seeking justice in this case, but for all Americans who care about the rule of law and our nation’s reputation in the world. If this decision stands, the United States will have closed its courts to torture victims while providing complete immunity to their torturers.”
Some plaintiffs in the case said they were tortured by C.I.A. interrogators at an agency “black site” prison in Afghanistan, while others said they were tortured by Egypt and Morocco after the C.I.A. handed them off to foreign security services.
The lead plaintiff is Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen and legal resident of Britain who was arrested in Pakistan in 2002. He claimed he was turned over to the C.I.A., which flew him to Morocco and handed him off to its security service.
Moroccan interrogators, he said, held him for 18 months and subjected him to an array of tortures, including cutting his penis with a scalpel and then pouring a hot, stinging liquid on the open wounds.
Mr. Mohamed was later transferred back to the C.I.A., which he said flew him to its secret prison in Afghanistan. There, he said, he was held in continuous darkness, fed sparsely and subjected to loud noise — like the recorded screams of women and children — 24 hours a day.
He was later transferred again to the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he was held for an additional five years. He was released and returned to Britain in early 2009 and is now free.
August 23, 2010
By: John Adams
Guards at the Los Angeles County jail complex in Castaic will start using a newfangled weapon that produces a deep burning sensation — which is not to be confused with a “warm fuzzy feeling” — in whomever it is aimed at.
The 7 1/2-foot-tall “Assault Intervention Device,” which sheriff’s deputies demonstrated Friday at the Pitchess Detention Center, emits an invisible beam that causes an unbearable sensation, reported the Daily News.
The device will be mounted near the ceiling in a unit housing about 65 inmates, sheriff’s Cmdr. Bob Osborne of the sheriff’ Technology Exploration Program told the newspaper.
“We hope that this type of technology will either cause an inmate to stop an assault or lessen the severity of an assault by them being distracted by the pain as a result of the beam,” said Osborne. “So that we have fewer injuries, fewer assaults, those kinds of things.”
Deputies have tested the device on themselves and say the invisible beam is painful — especially when it’s not expected.
“I equate it to opening an oven door and feeling that blast of hot air, except instead of being all over me, it’s more focused,” said Osborne.
The pain stops when you move out of the beam’s path, which people do instinctively.
The device, developed by Raytheon, is controlled by a joystick and computer monitor and emits a beam about the size of a CD up to distances of about 100 feet.
The energy traveling at the speed of light penetrates the skin up to 1/64 of an inch deep. No one can stand being in the beam’s path for more than about three seconds, Mike Booen of Raytheon told the Daily News.
The device is being evaluated for a period of six months by the National Institute of Justice for use in jails nationwide.
Sheriff’s deputies are getting to try it out for free.
About 3,700 inmates are housed at Pitchess, where 257 inmate-on-inmate assaults occurred in the first half of the year.