Saturday, February 16, 2019

Larry Johnson, Russ Baker, R.F.K., C.I.A. torture, Andrew McCabe

Larry Johnson has co-written, with William Binney, a new article. It is good to have Mr. Johnson back as a public voice.  He has been greatly missed.  Also see Kat's "Larry Johnson's back."

Over at Russ Baker's WHO, WHAT, WHY he sees a change of sorts in coverage of assassinations by the way THE WASHINGTON POST reviews a new book, Lisa Pease's A LIE TO BIG TO FAIL: THE REAL HISTORY OF THE ASSASSINATION OF ROBERT F. KENNEDY.

Also at WHO, WHAT, WHY, there is a podcast hosted by Peter B. Collins who interviews Jeff Kaye about how there were two C.I.A. torture programs and the podcast comes with a transcript so if your unable to listen to a podcast due to computer or physical issues, you can still enjoy the interview.  Here is an excerpt.

Peter B. Collins: Thank you. And you have been able to piece together enough information to substantiate your observation that there was not a single rendition and torture program. To help our listeners, we’re going to refer to the one that people know about as program A. That’s the rendition, detention and interrogation program and then program B, which we’ll detail in a little bit, came out of a separate office at the CIA. First explain to our listeners the source of the documents that led you to this reporting.
Jeff Kaye: Well, the primary documents that I… well, I’ve been reading for a long time and there are so many documents but the primary documents in this case would be the Senate’s. In fact, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report or rather its executive summary, which is what we have made public that was released a few years ago, that is the matter for the background for this movie that’s coming out by Netflix. And this other memoir, really, by the director, we don’t know his name, of the Office of Medical Services of his years – it was written in 2007 – of his experience up to that point in the CIA Rendition and Detention and Interrogation or Torture Program.
And the memoir is amazing because, of course, the doctors think very highly of themselves and this guy obviously felt very highly of himself and he was going to defend himself against those … Because by 2007, certain amount of information had leaked to the press and there were a lot of people writing in the mainstream media, New York Times, The Washington Post and McClatchy about torture. And this was a defense that sorts his work and the work of his team in the OMS, defending their work in that program and trying to make clear what he felt were incorrect assumptions being made about what these doctors, CIA doctors did.
And the key event that they talk about … Well, although he goes a lot into the initial origins of the program we’ll call program A with Abu Zubaydah and talks about … This report, by the way, made the press when it was revealed that for a time they were considering the use of truth drugs as part of the program. That did break through the press although the discussion of it in the press was very limited. And the death of Gul Rahman, some of you may think it’s Rahman but it’s pronounced Rockman R-A-H-M-A-N, who died at a prison called, sometimes, The Dark Prison or The Salt Pit or in documents that have been released it’s called Detention Site, Cobalt. And in this-
Peter B. Collins: It was in Afghanistan adjacent to the Bagram Air Base.
Jeff Kaye: Yes, yes. And he died there in November, 2002. Now I was perturbed when this report first came out, the Senate report, because in it I like to skip to the footnotes in the appendices where I find the real information usually comes out. And in a very late appendix in the Senate release of their torture report is a back and forth between Senator Carl Levin and CIA director Hayden. And Levin is incredulous. He’s talking to Hayden and they’re talking about Gul Rahman and he says, “Well, all right, so you have this program going on, did anybody die in this program?”
He thinks he knows the answer so he asks it and Hayden says, “No.” And he goes, “Not even one person died? Come on and tell us about Gul Rahman, he was terrible.” He goes, “No, nobody died. We are aware that somebody did die while in CIA custody but not our program. Our program was the very highly disciplined and this was undisciplined behavior. Rahman was not even part of the program but I do understand he was in CIA custody.” And so if you hear this or read this and you think, “What in the world is he talking about? It just sounds like double talk.” And I’m sure that’s how the senators thought of it. But, in fact, he was telling the truth, kind of.
He was keeping a card up his sleeve which was, “We had this other program,” program B, we’ll call it, as you say, which wasn’t highly regulated, which did not have doctors present, which used so called standard interrogation techniques instead of enhanced interrogation techniques and which has hardly ever been discussed. And if it hadn’t been for the death of Gul Rahman, which has kept a focus and the lawsuit that’s been done by his family and the works of groups like the ACLU to keep Rahman’s story alive, because even still to this day it’s not clear. We don’t know the whole truth about it. His body has disappeared so it cannot even be autopsied.
His family never even got the body from the CIA. Anyway, when this new document came out from the Chief of the Office of Medical Services explaining the origins of the Enhanced Interrogation Program, which we call program A today, and then revealed that there was another program while it illuminated much that had been obscure in the discussions and the documents around CIA torture. I’m not going to say that it totally explains everything because there’s a lot of new questions that arise around it but it’s an aspect of how the CIA program operated that’s very important and needs to be out there.
Peter B. Collins: Jeff, let me try to understand this with a quote from your article.
Jeff Kaye: Mm-Hmm [Affirmative].
Peter B. Collins: The program known as the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation Program, we’re calling it Program A for our discussion today, operated as a special mission or special access program within the special mission division of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center. What we’re calling program B was run out of the Counter-Terrorism Center but, apparently, under a completely different silo. To the extent you’re able to divine, are there people who were at the top of the organizational chart at the Counter-Terrorism Center who would have known about both programs but kept them separate and stove-piped, in terms of the compartmentalization of the people who actually participated in the delivery of rendition and torture?
Jeff Kaye: Well, yes. The special mission division which we mentioned, which was in fact the … it’s a division within the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, sometimes called CTC. I try to stay away from acronyms as much as I can.
Peter B. Collins: Well, you do a better job than I do.
Jeff Kaye: We’ll see. This, oftentimes, is not clear. It was highly compartmentalized so a lot of people at CTC and within CIA didn’t even know about this program. They could honestly, of course, report things that they thought were the truth when in fact it wasn’t the whole truth. The program A, the Enhanced Interrogation Program, originated out of a totally different office. Its authority and its management, day to day management, fell under the Special Mission Division, but it heavily relied for staffing and apparently for even the ideas of how to proceed from a totally different office than the CIA, very important, known as the Office of Technical Services, the OTS. And that is an acronym everyone should know.
In fact, they may know if they read because there have been articles over the years highlighting this aspect of the CIA because it’s the gee-whiz James Bond, high-tech device, dart and guns, race cars with canons, perhaps, out of the headlights, assassination devices. It’s a gee-whiz kind of division as it’s presented to the public who even celebrated publicly its 50th anniversary in the press and everything. But it also was otherwise known for being the part of the CIA that for many years ran the MK Ultra program, the CIA’s mind control program that spent millions and millions and millions of dollars on how to control human behavior. It was the same one that famously used LSD drugs on people and brainwashing and all of this.
And a group of psychologists within the CIA with this OMS or this chief of OMS report made clear was that the part of the CIA that created the enhanced interrogation program, program A, were people who were super keyed into MK Ultra. I will read to you this myself where he says, “The antecedents of this unit,” meaning the unit that created the enhanced interrogation techniques, “had overseen much of the Mk Ultra interrogation research in the 1950s and 60s published still relevant classified papers on the merits of various interrogation techniques and contributed heavily to a 1963 KUBARK counter-intelligence interrogation manual and its derivative 1983 human resources manual and they assisted directly in early interrogations.”
When they say interrogations, we mean interrogations with torture. The KUBARK manual, which is K-U-B--R-K. What does that name mean? It’s just the CIA’s own name for itself. It’s an acronym for itself.

Over at THE FEDERALIST, Willis L. Krumholz has an important article on Andrew McCabe's questionable activities:

If Washington, D.C. were a better place, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe would be swiftly run out of town. He was fired last year for lying to the FBI’s inspector general at least four times regarding serious questions about multiple abuses that occurred while McCabe sat in a powerful and unelected office.
These abuses included working with former FBI director James Comey to set up former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus for obstruction charges, slow-walking and sabotaging the investigation of yet unseen Hillary Clinton emails found on Anthony Weiner’s computer just before the 2016 election, and failing to report a clear conflict of interest where his wife received a political donation from a close Hillary Clinton ally while he was tasked with investigating Hillary Clinton.
Among other things, McCabe also took part in spying on the Trump campaign through a secret warrant granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court. This spying allowed obedient anti-Trump media figures to report, right before the 2016 election, that the FBI was investigating President Trump—which legitimized the Hillary Clinton campaign’s talking pointsabout Trump and Russia.
Thankfully, although the establishment media cheers McCabe, he may yet face legal trouble as a result of his actions. So to save his skin, and sell his new book to help pay the lawyers—titled “The Threat: How the F.B.I. Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump”—McCabe is on the media circuit.
As such, McCabe sat down for an interview with “60 Minutes,” set to air this Sunday, and the reporting on that interview has provided (for real this time) an absolute bombshell. According to The New York Times, the former deputy FBI director said he was “so alarmed” by Trump’s firing of Comey in May 2017, that he and his fellow FBI officials immediately “discussed whether to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office.”
What’s more, McCabe’s “dire concerns” about Trump also prompted him to order the FBI to investigate Trump for obstruction of justice over the firing of Comey. And McCabe had the FBI officially begin to directly investigate whether Trump had been working with Russia “against American interests.” Then, McCabe—allegedly being so sure that Trump was a Russia colluder after Comey’s firing—worked to make sure the investigation of Trump would last even if McCabe was also forced out.

I believe Mr. McCabe's actions were criminal and that he should be in prison.  And there may be others who need to belong behind bars as well.

Strzok & Page were part of the Coup McCabe accidentally admitted and then in a panic retracted. Here is a text from Strzok & Page: “The White House is running this.” Clearly the Obama White House was running a Coup on Trump. Its past time for Obama to answer for this treason.

Former Intel Officer Tony Shaffer on How the FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama — American Thought Leaders

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, February 15, 2019.  How can you stop the next war if you fail to call out the ongoing wars?

16 years ago today, two million people on the streets of , in the biggest process ever in UK history, said not in our name to the war. Jeremy Corbyn gave this speech to the huge rally in Hyde Park.

0:15 / 0:39


Feb 15 2003 – Over 25 million people in 100+ countries protest Bush and Blair's plan to wage war in Iraq. Pics: London demo of 1-2 million & McMurdo in Antarctica.

That was then.  Today?

We need to stop Elliott Abrams from turning into a nightmarish bloodbath like he's already done to too many countries in his criminal career. Join the global wave of protests Feb 23 to stop another Iraq-style war in Venezuela!

Oh, Jill.

That really says it all, doesn't it?

Oh, Jill.

She twice ran for president on the Green Party ticket.  She gave speech after speech.  She participated in mock debates.  And where was Iraq in any of her remarks?  She was challenged, in 2012, from one of her biggest supporters to make Iraq an issue in October of 2012, one month ahead of the election, because Tim Arango of THE NEW YORK TIMES has reported on US troops going back into Iraq -- this while Barack Obama was running for re-election on the lie that all US troops out of Iraq.  Jill chose to stay silent.

Now she wants to rally everyone around no-war-on-Venezuela?  Why should anyone care?

If protests break out in the US what would it even matter?

It would make a damn difference.

Because Jill, Medea Benjamin, Norman Solomon, Amy Goodman -- go down the list.  All these fools have made clear to the US government that if you threaten war, we will oppose you . . . briefly.

What these idiots -- and so many others -- have made clear to the US government is that the US government's desire for war is stronger than the people's desire for peace.

Shame on Jill Stein.  The Iraq War hits the 16 year mark and if she even bothers to note that ongoing war, it's just to make it a reference point.  It's not to call for an end to it.

When an Elliott Abrams tells a president that war will be easy, he can point to what's happened with Iraq and say, "Don't worry, they protest now, but in a few months, these gadflies will have flitted elsewhere."

And, sadly, he won't be wrong.

Where is the accountability?

There is none.

And that's why the Iraq War continues.

Iraq Daily Roundup: Militia Convoy Attacked; 17 Killed in Iraq

The violence didn't stop.  The war never ended.  The US government continues to control Iraq.  The Iraqi people are overruled and pushed aside repeatedly.  It's an occupation.  But don't worry, we have brave voices speaking out in the US . . . somewhere, right?

There is no follow through.  Our so-called leaders are too busy thumbing rides on the Highway of Causes, rushing from one to another, to have any follow through.

US troops are still deploying to Iraq.  Rachael Thomas (WAFB) reports:

The Louisiana National Guard’s 1st Assault Helicopter Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment is set to deploy to Iraq and Kuwait.
A deployment ceremony will be held in Hammond on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Army Aviation Support Facility #1 at 10 a.m.
Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to attend to honor the more than 50 soldier from the Hammond area.

Activists: US military vehicles are shown in the vicinity of the city, "Samarra" north of Baghdad, under the protection of a private security company. .

The deployments continue, the bombs continue to be dropped.  People continue to die.  EURONEWS notes:

At least 100,000 babies are dying every year as a result of wars according to a new report by British charity Save The Children.
The report estimated around 420 million children - nearly one in five of the global population - were living in conflict-affected areas in 2017.
This figure is up from 390 million the year before.
The research, carried out by the Peace Research Institute Oslo for Save the Children, found the number of children living in conflict zones is now double the number at the end of the Cold War.
The ten countries hit the hardest are Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia.

The US-installed government in Baghdad continues to fail the Iraqi people.

Activists posted a video showing the reality of health and service deterioration in the hospital of "Zubair" in # Basra under the high budgets allocated to the Ministry of Health. .

If you live in Basra, you face no jobs, water that can put you in the hospital if you drink it and a government that feels no need to address your demands.

This girl from the Basra protests last year: "Our rights [or the truth] will not be lost, so long as we continue to demand them."

Which is why protests started in July and continue.

Now: protest in Basra city, at Shat al-Arab district, the details come later.

Let's wind down with this from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office:

February 14, 2019

At Hearing Focused On Horrible Living Conditions In Military Housing Across The Country, Gillibrand Questions Executives Of Companies Responsible For Toxic Mold, Lead Paint, And Pest Infestations In Homes Of Military Families

Joint Armed Services Subcommittee Hearing Puts Spotlight on Active Duty Service Members and their Families Who Have Suffered Extensive Health Issues Due to Failures and Incompetency by Private Companies Participating in the Military Housing Privatization Initiative

SASC Committee Hearing Military Housing 
***Watch SASC Joint Subcommittee Hearing Video HERE*** 
Washington, DC – At a Senate Armed Services Joint Subcommittee on Personnel and Readiness and Management Support hearing, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Personnel, questioned leaders of private housing companies on their failure to provide safe living conditions and meet maintenance needs in the homes of military families across the country. According to a recent survey, more than half of military families living in private housing had a “negative or very negative experience.” Military families reported serious issues such as toxic mold, lead paint, and pest infestation in their homes, which have resulted in health problems for military children.

“Let me begin by reiterating how frustrated I am by the experiences of the families we have heard from today who live in houses under the management of your companies,” Gillibrand said to the housing executives testifying at the SASC hearing. “In choosing to participate in the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, your companies didn’t just land another real estate deal – you assumed responsibility for the safety, health, and wellbeing of military families who make incredible sacrifices each and every day in support of our national defense…In so many of the stories we’ve heard today from military families, the maintenance procedures you’ve put in place have failed to ensure quality in housing units.”

Below are the questions that Senator Gillibrand asked private housing executives during the hearing:
  1. What percentage of military families do you believe deserve to live in “excellent” on-base housing?
  1. How many military children deserve to be exposed to mold, lead, or other health hazards as a consequence of living in privatized housing units?
  1. Do you think it’s easier or harder for a service member to focus on their military duties while also worrying about the health and safety of their families?
  2. Do you expect your staff working on installations as technicians to be capable of both remediating work orders and showing genuine concern for the families impacted?
  3. How many contactors or service technicians have each of your companies fired for unsatisfactory performance in completing work orders in military housing? 

The following sites updated: