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FBI staff silenced over torture

Eric Lichtblau and Scott Shane in Washington
May 22, 2008

AS EVIDENCE of prisoner mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay began to mount in 2002, FBI agents at the base created a "war crimes file" to document accusations against American military personnel, but were eventually ordered to close the file down, a Justice Department report has disclosed.

The report, a 437-page review prepared by the Justice Department inspector-general, provides the fullest account to date of internal dissent and confusion within the Bush Administration over the use of harsh interrogation tactics by the military and the Central Intelligence Agency.

In one of several previously undisclosed episodes, the report found that US military interrogators appeared to have collaborated with visiting Chinese officials at Guantanamo Bay to disrupt the sleep of Chinese Muslims held there, waking them every 15 minutes the night before their interviews by the Chinese. In another incident, a female interrogator reportedly bent back an inmate's thumbs and squeezed his genitals as he grimaced in pain.

The report describes what one official called "trench warfare" between the FBI and the military over methods used on prisoners.

The report says that officials at senior levels at the FBI, the Justice Department, the Defence Department and the National Security Council were all made aware of the complaints of FBI agents, but little was done.

The report quotes passionate objections from FBI officials, who grew increasingly concerned about practices like intimidating inmates with snarling dogs, parading them in the nude before female soldiers, or "short-shackling" them to the floor for hours in extreme heat or cold.

Such tactics, said one FBI agent in an email to supervisors in November 2002, might violate US law banning torture.

"Beyond any doubt, what they are doing (and I don't know the extent of it) would be unlawful were these enemy prisoners of war," Spike Bowman, head of the FBI's national security law unit, wrote in July 2003.

In 2003 an FBI official ordered the "war crimes file" closed, because "investigating detainee allegations of abuse was not the FBI's mission".

FBI officials, including Pasquale D'Amuro, then the bureau's top counterterrorism officer, believed the physical pressure being used by the CIA was less effective than non-coercive methods, and "was wrong and helped al-Qaeda in spreading negative views of the United States", the report says.

The inspector-general, Glenn Fine, found that in a few instances, FBI agents participated in interrogations using tactics that would not have been permitted in the US. But the "vast majority" of agents followed FBI legal guidelines and "separated themselves" from harsh treatment, the report says.


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Reply with quote  #2 



        U.S. Sen. Grassley: Testimony on FBI whistleblowers

Prepared Remarks of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
House Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. Thank you for holding this important hearing today. Listening carefully to what whistleblowers have to say and looking into their allegations is a key Constitutional duty for all members of Congress. The FBI is one of the most powerful and least transparent organizations in the Federal Government. Underneath all of the good things the FBI does, unfortunately there is a history of abuse, mismanagement, and retaliation so strong that it has become part of its organizational culture. It is this culture that causes the FBI to confuse dissent with disloyalty. Only a brave few dare to speak out and break the FBI’s code of silence to report problems. When they do speak out, they usually suffer retaliation.

Whistleblowers demonstrate tremendous courage in any organization, but speaking out as an FBI agent takes a special level of guts and determination. I have worked with FBI whistleblowers for many years including Dr. Frederic Whitehurst who came forward to discuss outrageous problems at the FBI Crime Lab and former Special Agent Coleen Rowley who came forward to discuss the bungled investigation into Zacharias Moussaoui.

Today you are going to hear testimony from two other FBI whistleblowers who have worked with my office for several years: former Special Agent Michael German and Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef. I am here today to let you know why I have supported these courageous individuals, and I can tell you that these two men have taken more than their share of abuse. They stuck their necks out for the good of us all. They didn’t take the easy way out by going along to get along, or looking the other way.

The whistleblower who I call the grandfather of whistleblowers—Ernie Fitzgerald—says that whistleblowers “commit truth.” Well, that’s exactly what put a target on the backs of Michael German and Bassem Youssef inside the FBI. They had the courage to tell the unvarnished truth that some people at the FBI didn’t want to hear, and they have paid the price for committing truth.

Michael German

Michael German was a 14-year veteran special agent who had risked his life by going undercover and successfully infiltrating neo-Nazi organizations for the FBI. He was asked to help with a Florida case where a neo-Nazi group and a foreign, Islamic terrorist group appeared to be talking about forging an alliance based on their shared anti-Semitic beliefs. He soon discovered that a portion of a meeting between the groups had been illegally recorded by mistake. Rather than simply follow the rules, document the error, and move forward as German suggested, one FBI supervisor told him to just “pretend it didn’t happen.”

An investigation by the DOJ Inspector General found that the FBI retaliated against German for refusing to look the other way. The Inspector General even found that someone in the FBI falsified documents in that Florida case, actually using white-out to hide their mistakes. Yet, despite these findings, did the FBI take swift and decisive action to hold anyone accountable? Has it done anything to correct the wrongs inflicted on Michael German? Sadly the answer to both questions is “no.”

Bassem Youssef

Bassem Youssef is the FBI’s highest-ranking Arab American agent. Before 9/11, he successfully worked counterterrorism cases and served as an effective liaison from the FBI to the Saudi Arabian government. His background as an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian and native Arabic speaker should have made him one of the FBI’s most valued and appreciated employees after the 9/11 attacks. Yet, despite his experience in counterterrorism and his cultural expertise, the FBI failed to assign him to positions where these assets would be best used.

When Youssef expressed concern about the FBI’s practice of putting other, less qualified agents into critical counterterrorism positions, he quickly became like most whistleblowers—about as welcome as a skunk at a Sunday afternoon picnic.

How did the FBI let Youssef know he wasn’t welcome? Well, senior officials denied him a transfer to a counterterrorism unit. They placed him in an administrative job, managing the FBI’s receipt of information from telephone companies. Youssef soon identified major problems with the way his new office had been operating before he got there.

The FBI had been sending something called “exigent letters” to get phone companies to provide phone records to the Bureau. The letters asked phone companies to give the FBI records immediately, claiming that there was an emergency and that a grand jury subpoena was being drafted and would be sent later. However, no grand jury subpoenas were actually drafted and, in many cases, there was no emergency to justify the request. The FBI was misusing the system.

Youssef says he recognized this and tried to work with others at the FBI to correct the problems, but received little or no cooperation. The FBI’s General Counsel’s Office and his superiors at the FBI were uninterested in the issues he raised. The FBI finally started trying to deal with the issues Youssef had raised only after Congress asked the Inspector General to investigate.

Yet, even after scrutiny from Congress and the Inspector General, FBI officials wasted time and energy on retaliating against Youssef rather than fixing the problems he brought to their attention. One FBI official said that during his testimony to the Inspector General he “threw [Bassem Youssef] under the bus.” Another FBI official asked a colleague who was preparing to testify to the Inspector General if he was “getting ready to throw Bassem Youssef off the roof?”

These comments confirm that the anti-whistleblower culture at the FBI is as strong as ever. Essentially, these FBI personnel stated openly that they intend to use the Inspector General review as a vehicle to retaliate against Youssef. In light of these comments, I am very concerned about the Inspector General’s ongoing investigation. I am also concerned because the inquiry is being conducted jointly with the FBI. Conducting an investigation jointly with the organization under review undermines the very independence that an Inspector General is supposed to provide.

When this controversy first began, the Inspector General wanted to let the FBI investigate itself and simply monitor the results. I thought that position was wrong-headed. Allegations as serious as these warrant an independent review, not an internal FBI probe that might look like a whitewash. So, I urged the Inspector General to make an independent determination. Now, his office is conducting a review, but instead of doing it independently, it is being done jointly with the FBI, the same organization whose conduct is in question. That bothers me a lot, and it should bother each of you too.

Given all these circumstances, Congress needs to take a careful look at the Inspector General’s report on the use of exigent letters when it is finally released. We need to get access to the underlying documents and ask the tough questions necessary to ensure the reliability and integrity of this investigation. My colleagues and I have been seeking emails from the FBI on this case for over a year. We are still awaiting these emails, and the FBI doesn’t seem too eager to turn them over. We would appreciate working with you and your staff to obtain these important documents.

Congress needs to follow-up and find out whether those in the FBI responsible for retaliating against whistleblowers like Michael German and Bassem Youssef are held accountable. Just giving lip service to protecting whistleblowers will not get the job done. The FBI’s culture of retaliation will never change until those who endorse or condone it face discipline for their actions.

We all ought to be grateful for what whistleblowers like Michael German and Bassem Youssef do for our country. They face very difficult circumstances, sacrificing their family’s finances, their employability, and the attempts by powerful interests to smear their good names and reputations.

For over two decades, I’ve learned from, appreciated and honored whistleblowers like these. Congress must have information from whistleblowers. Only whistleblowers can explain why something is wrong and help Congress locate the best evidence to prove it. Moreover, only whistleblowers can help us truly understand problems with the culture at government agencies.

At the FBI, where I’ve focused much of my oversight efforts over the years, agents who blow the whistle about problems or wrongdoing do not enjoy the same protections as other federal government employees. Congress has attempted to fix this problem with various versions of whistleblower reform bills. One bill, S.274 which I am a cosponsor of, unanimously passed the Senate in December, and would address a number of issues within the federal whistleblower laws that remain outstanding.

The witnesses you will hear from today, just as other whistleblowers before them, deserve the support of Congress for bringing to light problems with the Bureau. Thank you again for holding this important hearing. I’m sorry I cannot stay, but I have to leave now to fulfill other commitments back in the Senate. I look forward to reviewing the remainder of the proceedings once the transcript is available. Mr. Chairman, I hope that we and our staff can work together to follow-up with the FBI in more detail on the important issues and questions that will be raised today.

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #3 
The people who sold cigarette ads and gave cancer to 5 generations of Americans; the people who sold alcohol ads and gave Cirrhosis of the liver and alcoholism to 5 generations of Americans; the people who subsidize
their newspapers with automobile ads, the largest cause of global warming
tell us FBI agents did not participate in the torture.
It must be true, right Virginia?

'Hands off' is not an option

By Robyn E. Blumner, Times Columnist
In print: Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bystander guilt. That is what FBI and Justice Department officials have on their conscience and what John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, and FBI director Robert Mueller should be haunted by every day.

The long-awaited report from the Justice Department inspector general on abusive detainee interrogations says that the FBI should be credited for its "professionalism" due to the way FBI agents separated themselves from the harsh methods meted out by military and CIA questioners.

They did do that. But that was not enough.

FBI agents started complaining to their higher-ups as early as 2002 that abuse was occurring at the hands of CIA and military interrogators; yet our chief law enforcement agency failed to act in any way beyond absenting itself from the dirty business. Those officials failed in their jobs to uphold American law and values.

I remember a case that horrified and transfixed America about 11 years ago. A young girl was sexually assaulted and murdered in a Nevada casino bathroom by a man whose friend saw the girl struggling and left the scene. There was a great public outcry that the friend should be prosecuted as well because he had failed to intervene or go for help.

This bystander may not have been legally culpable but from a moral vantage he had blood on his hands.

The same holds true for a law enforcement agent who ignores a prisoner being abused, except that it is that agent's duty to intervene — turning one's face away or absenting one's self is not an option for an FBI agent. That's the message that should have been sent from on high to agents in the field.

The IG's report said that the inception of the FBI's head-in-the-sand approach was in 2002 with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a top al-Qaida operative. Two FBI agents had been questioning the gravely injured Zubaydah using the rapport-building techniques that have been proven to work in obtaining actionable intelligence. Then the CIA took over, with a different approach— one that is ugly and un-American and violates U.S. and international laws. Concerns over the CIA's actions led to Mueller determining in August 2002 that the FBI would not be part of joint interrogations where harsh or extreme techniques were employed.

Still, complaints from FBI agents who observed abuse kept coming. Hundreds witnessed it, according to the report. Agents opened a "war crimes file" at Guantanamo to document the rough methods, but an FBI official had it closed because detainee abuse was not the FBI's problem.

FBI headquarters informally let it be known that it was okay to witness these "non-FBI authorized interrogations so long as they did not participate," the IG's report said.

Be a bystander, let it happen, ignore the law. How could that be our policy?

Agents kept up their complaints about what was happening to prisoners at Guantanamo, and in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking for better guidance and receiving none. The report confirms that top officials in the Justice Department, including Ashcroft, knew what agents on the ground were saying.

And still it was: hands-off, heads-down.

Then in January 2004, months before the explosive Abu Ghraib pictures became public, senior managers at the FBI learned of the prisoner mistreatment there. The agency again decided to do nothing.

It wasn't until the pictures hit the news and the FBI realized it had to address the PR problem that an official policy was issued on what to do if prisoner abuse is observed. Report it to the "on-scene commander" who will report it to FBI headquarters, the May 2004 policy said.

But then, agents started hearing that "abuse" means only those techniques used beyond those authorized for the person doing the interrogation. Don't bother reporting "routine" harsh treatment, they're told.

Everyone important in the FBI and Justice Department knew and no one stopped it or made a ruckus. That makes them professionals all right, professional bystanders, with a burdened conscience.

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #4 
FBI Abuse, Unmentioned

Friday, May 30, 2008; Page A12

I read with dismay an article [May 21] and an editorial [May 25] on a report by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General, disclosing that FBI officials challenged abusive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay and other military sites.

Conspicuously absent from this report was any mention of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, although the report covers the relevant period.

Lindh -- an American citizen and one of the earliest prisoners in the Afghan war -- was tortured unmercifully, as shown in a famous photo of him blindfolded and duct-taped naked to a board. The FBI knew about the conditions of his confinement, kept silent about it and did nothing to stop it. Moreover, the FBI denied him access to a lawyer and improperly "Mirandized" him. The confessions elicited from this interrogation formed the basis of his criminal prosecution.

I was the Justice Department's ethics attorney in the Lindh case. While I applaud the Office of Inspector General for finally doing its job in exposing the government's role in detainee abuse, we must not be so desperate for a glimmer of truth and sunshine that we are willing to overlook history.


Homeland Security Director

Government Accountability Project


Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #5 

Break Ins, Death threats and the FBI  by Ross Gelbspan is an important
book on many levels.
First it exposes the assistant Director Oliver Revell collaborating
with the death Squads in El Salvador.
For an active barometer of Revell's pathology google
revell fbi lockerbie son

Revell would be my first choice to waterboard to get answers and names
of FBI  agents who were behind the President Kennedy-Martin Luther King assassinations;
the names of the FBI  agents who created the 1st World Trade center bombing, Oklahoma City bombing and 911.
visit Ross Gelbspan's website

two easy reads about your taxes used to disappear political activists

1st read
Paul Tipton; Exposed Jesuit Deaths in El Salvador

By Patricia Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 1, 2008; Page C08

Paul Smallwood Tipton, 69, who, while president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities helped expose the assassination of six Catholic priests, their housekeeper and her daughter by the Salvadoran army, died of cancer May 25 at Georgetown University Hospital. He lived in the District and Lusby.

Rev. Tipton had just started at the association when he received a call telling him that the sole witness to the Nov. 16, 1989, murders of six Jesuits and two women at Central American University in San Salvador was detained and interrogated by Salvadoran officials, the U.S. State Department and the FBI. He flew from Washington to Miami and took custody of Luisa Cerna, the housekeeper, and her husband.

He became active in the case, writing letters that accused the U.S. ambassador of attempting to discredit her.

"The reason we Jesuits in the United States are very angry is that the mistreatment of the Cernas effectively has neutralized the only witness who has come forward, and it means probably no other witness will come forward," he told the New York Times at the time. "This particular institution is a voice for peace and justice, and pursuing the people who pulled the triggers is a very personal matter for us."

Rev. Tipton later made several trips to El Salvador with U.S. Rep. Joe Moakley, the Massachusetts Democrat who led the congressional task force investigating the killings. The revelations led to a cut in U.S. foreign aid to the Salvadoran government, resolution of the country's civil war and election of a new government.

Rev. Tipton was born in Birmingham, Ala., and began studying to be a Jesuit priest in 1958. He attended the University of Virginia and graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He taught at an El Paso high school while attending graduate school at the University of Texas at El Paso.

In 1968, he joined the staff of U.S. Rep. Richard C. White (D-Tex.) and did further graduate work in theological studies at Woodstock College in Maryland, Union Theological Seminary in New York and Catholic University. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1971 in New Orleans.

The following year, he was named president of Spring Hill College, where he worked for 17 years. While there, he and a crew of students raced a 40-foot sloop, "Holy Smoke," in a 180-mile overnight trip in the Gulf of Mexico in 1983. Halfway through the race, an intense storm with near-hurricane strength winds generated 20-foot waves. Rev. Tipton and his crew headed home but almost a third of the 29 boats had major problems. The Coast Guard responded to three Mayday calls and one sailor drowned.

Rev. Tipton, who was chairman of the offshore committee of the Gulf Yachting Association, which had sponsored the race, found two of the missing crews the next day on a barrier island, according to a contemporaneous article in the New York Times.

He worked at the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Washington from 1989 until 1996, overseeing the legislative activities of the 28 Jesuit postsecondary schools in the United States.

When Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School caught fire July 8, 1993, Rev. Tipton helped lead the nuns out of their monastery into the courtyard, then joined other priests in rescuing priceless vestments, chalices and paintings. With a friend, Davis Feickert, he removed a massive 1821 painting of Jesus, Mary and Martha in prayer, donated to the Sisters of Visitation by Charles X of France.

By 1996, when he became president of Jacksonville University in Florida, Rev. Tipton had left the Jesuits and become a diocesan priest. He returned to Washington in 2000, working as a counselor to the secretary of labor. In 2001, he started the Provident Consulting Group to provide services to nonprofit and faith-based organizations, a group he ran until his death.

In 2003, he became president of St. Mary's Ryken High School, a Catholic college preparatory school in Leonardtown, where for the next two years he developed a long-range financial plan, recrafted the mission statement and increased annual giving by 100 percent.

He was a member of numerous educational and civic boards.

He had no immediate family survivors.

2nd read
 Heart of Terror Network
From FBI to NSC
Oliver North's Private Network
Epidemic of Terrorism Continued
Completing Cover-Up
excerpted from the book
Break-ins, Death Threats
and the FBI
the covert war against the Central America movement
by Ross Gelbspan
South End Press, 1991

... Agents from different units presented reports on the status of various groups and activists they had been monitoring.
A number of the groups were known to have had close contact- and, in some cases, virtual sponsorship-by various liberals in Congress The discussion led into a reading by Davenport and others from the FBI's files on those legislators.
Varelli had known the Administration considered the legislators threats to the security of the country. In fact, he learned from his Salvadoran contacts that Otto Reich, the head of the State Department's Office of Latin American Public Diplomacy, had put out the word through COPREFA, the public information arm of the Salvadoran Armed Forces, that the dozen or so legislators were either confirmed communists or, at least, active supporters of the communist cause. During the morning session, one agent referred to the Congressional liberals as Lenin's "useful idiots" who provided platforms for propaganda and disinformation to forces hostile to the United States. Other agents spoke mockingly of their politics. During the meeting, Davenport read from file information on the legislators, including transcripts of wiretapped telephone conversations.
Ostensibly the legislators were subject to FBI investigation because of their contacts with representatives of foreign governments. That was the hook in the FBI's guidelines that permitted the Bureau to investigate them. But Varelli knew the real reason lay in their sympathy with groups or movements that were clearly "communist-inspired." In fact, the FBI had been monitoring the legislators less to find out what kind of information they were passing to Salvadoran communists and members of the Nicaraguan Sandinista government than to determine how and to what extent they were being used as "agents of influence" by those enemies of the United States.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, (D-Conn.), for instance, was suspected by the Bureau of having clandestine ties to some Sandinista leaders. The FBI knew that Bianca Jagger, a journalist and the former wife of the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, had close ties to the Sandinistas. Dodd dated Bianca Jagger, although the FBI believed that was a cover to conceal his true political agenda which was to promote the Sandinista cause. Material in FBI files indicated that a number of Dodd-Jagger meetings were actually working sessions to arrange plans for demonstrations or for Dodd's promotion of the Sandinista regime on the floor of the Senate, according to Varelli. At the very least, the Bureau concluded, Dodd had made himself a willing target for cultivation by the Nicaraguans as an agent of influence in a textbook "active measures" operation.
Rep. Michael Barnes was generally despised in the Bureau as a vigorous and outspoken opponent of Administration policies in Central America. Moreover, Barnes, along with Conyers, Dodd, Dellums and Solarz, sponsored a number of rallies against the Reagan Administration which were orchestrated by groups strongly suspected by the FBI of being part of the terror network.
Rep. Ron Dellums was suspect because of ties between his staff members and the late Grenadian leader Maurice Bishop. Don Edwards, the California Democrat who had oversight over the FBI through his chairmanship of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, had recently met several years ago with a visiting Soviet delegation to a World Peace Council conference.
Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, another outspoken opponent of Reagan foreign policies, came under FBI suspicion because of his refusal (along with one other legislator) to condemn the Soviet shootdown of Korean Air Lines flight 007. In addition, Conyers was known to have made overtures to Yasser Arafat, reviled by the Administration as one of the world's foremost practitioners of terrorism. Several months earlier, Conyers wrote to an organizer of the United Nations Conference on the Question of Palestine. In the letter, he conveyed special greetings to the PLO's delegate to the UN, as well as to Arafat, adding: "I urge you to continue your struggle on behalf of peace and to remember there are those of us within the U.S. who represent a broad coalition which supports you. We represent another America, a rainbow coalition dedicated to changing the direction of our country."
The agents read file reports on about a dozen legislators altogether, including Senator Thomas Harkin and Representatives Conyers, George Crockett, Mervin Dymally, Mickey Leland, George Miller, Stephen Solarz, Gerry Studds and Ted Weiss-all of whom had known contacts with people high up in one or more leftist political groups and all of whom had opposed Reagan Administration policies in Central America.
"It was an absolute rule that every single name in the newspaper, everyone quoted as saying things against the Administration or in favor of CISPES or the FDR-FMLN, went into the computers, into the terrorism files. There were no exceptions," he noted.
Passing the Torch: From the FBI to the NSC
At the time the 25-member Western Goals advisory board included a number of figures who would subsequently become known for their activities in what has come to be characterized as Oliver North's private network. Chief among them was John Singlaub, the Administration's point man in raising money for weapons for the contras from private sources. Singlaub's connections went to the center of the clandestine "private network. " He served under CIA director Bill Casey during World War II when Casey was stationed in London for the OSS. Singlaub, moreover, boasted publicly that Casey's office door was always open to him. Following the disclosure of the Iran-Contra scandal, Singlaub acknowledged to Congressional investigators in the summer of 1987 that, through his position with the World Anti-Communist League, he had worked to support anti-communist resistance fighters in five countries in addition to Nicaragua. A former president of the League, Singlaub was closely allied with the Rev. Moon organization, the Korean CIA and elements of South Africa's security forces, as well as with reputed Guatemalan and Salvadoran death squad leaders, including Roberto D'Aubuisson.
In 1985, Singlaub proposed to Casey a plan to get Soviet-made weapons to anti-communist rebels in Angola, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Ethiopia through an "off-the-shelf' operation which bypassed both Congress and the State Department. And while the proposal was apparently never implemented, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.), a member of the Iran-Contra committee, called the plan "as serious a concern as anything I have seen that has come before us in these hearings."
Some of the material which was gathered on liberal and left-wing groups by Rees, Singlaub and others-and which was disseminated to conservative activists and law enforcement agencies-consists of disinformation, character assassination and scurrilous accusations. In a 1985 issue of Information Digest, for example, Rees focused on the movement of some 200 churches and synagogues to provide sanctuary for Central American refugees: "The 'Sanctuary movement' is an outgrowth of long-standing organizing...by radicals who want to [open] the borders to "the totalitarian left." The article added that a lawyers' group sympathetic to the Sanctuary movement has filed lawsuits "of direct benefit to...the Sandinistas, Cuba and the Soviet Union," as well as a "Communist Party front." The article includes the names, addresses and phone numbers of 21 Sanctuary leaders and organizations around the country. Several of those individuals suffered break-ins and other forms of terrorizing harassments.
Westem Goals fell into disarray at the end of 1983, with the death of Larry McDonald. The organization was subsequently taken over by Carl Channel and used as a financial conduit to launder secret payments to the Nicaraguan contras. By that time, Rees had left the organization following a dispute with its executive director Linda Guell.
But Western Goals was only one of several organizations that directed considerable energy, manpower and financial resources to "neutralizing" liberal political and religious Central America groups with a flood of disinformation, red-baiting and character assassination. Early in 1984, a number of private right-wing groups stepped up their own attacks on groups opposed to Reagan Administration policies in Central America.
For instance, reports accusing CISPES of supporting terrorists by both the Young Americas Foundation, a right-wing group with two White House advisers on the board, and by J. Michael Waller, of the ultra-conservative Council for Inter-American Security, were circulated among FBI field offices and retained in the FBI files."
The YAF report cited the fact that CISPES had helped raise money for a shoe factory in El Salvador as evidence it was supporting the armed guerrillas, since combat boots, which could have been produced at the factory, are, according to the report, a form of military assistance.
The Waller reports, moreover, were financed by the ubiquitous State Department Office of Latin American Public Diplomacy-the office set up by Casey to orchestrate domestic propaganda.
Other FBI documents indicate that members of CARP, the campus arm of the Moon's organization, spied on meetings of left and liberal Central America groups and passed their reports to the FBI. Frank Varelli, moreover, has said that the Moonies were on the payroll of the FBI in Dallas. Their purpose was both to spy on the Central America groups and to create disruptions whenever CISPES or other groups held rallies, marches or other. Even Varelli said his knowledge of Flanagan's payments to the Moonies was reinforced in 1984 following revelations that Flanagan had withheld money from Varelli, as well as other sources. At that point, Special Agent Jim Evans, in the FBI Dallas office, went to the Moon organization to verify Flanagan's payment vouchers, Varelli recalled.
... late in 1984-marked the beginning of a terrorizing and infuriating string of break-ins, death threats, ransacking of offices, thefts of files, torching of homes and abductions of activists that marked the second and most covert phase of the assault during the administration of Ronald Reagan on groups of citizens who found the President's Central America policies repugnant to their own conception of the role of the United States as a vanguard of democracy.
The FBI and Oliver North's "Private Network"
Around the same time that the Office of Public Diplomacy was geared-up for its CIA-inspired covert disinformation and propaganda campaign, Lt. Col. Oliver North was working with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency-an obscure agency which had traditionally overseen relief planning for disasters-to draw up a secret contingency plan to surveil political dissenters and to arrange for the detention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of an unspecified national emergency. The plan, part of which was code-named Rex 84, called for the suspension of the Constitution under a number of scenarios, including a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua.
The strongest objection to the plan within the administration came from William French Smith, at the time President Reagan's Attorney General. In a strongly worded letter to National Security Adviser Robert MacFarlane in August 1984, Smith wrote: "I believe the role assigned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the revised Executive Order exceeds its proper function as a coordinating agency for emergency preparedness." According to Miami Herald reporter Alfonso Chardy, Smith's letter added: "The [Justice] Department and others have repeatedly raised serious policy and legal objections to the creation of an 'emergency czar' role for FEMA."
The plan, which was modeled after a plan that Reagan and Edwin Meese had developed in California to deal with black activists, anti-war protesters and members of the student Free Speech Movement, involved the cooperation of a number of agencies, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service which took steps to establish a network of detention centers capable of holding thousands of undocumented aliens.
The number of U.S. activists targeted by the preliminary plans for Rex 84 was never disclosed. But in addition to groups opposing United States policies in Central America, the FEMA plan reportedly included environmental activists, opponents of nuclear energy and refugee assistance activists. In addition, the plan reportedly called for the establishment of 50 State Defense Forces, to be composed of members of local law enforcement and military reserve agencies, who would implement the plan at a local level.
The fate of Rex 84 has never been definitively explained. Nor has the plan's development been thoroughly explored. During the Iran-Contra hearings in the summer of 1987, Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Tex.) attempted to raise the issue during an open session of the committee during the appearance of Oliver North.
Brooks: "Col. North, in your work at the NSC, were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?"
Sen. Daniel Inouye (Co-chair): "I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that."
Brooks: "I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in the Miami papers and several others that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of an emergency that would suspend the American Constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was the area in which [North] had worked. I believe that it was, and I wanted to get his confirmation."
Inouye: "May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I'm certain arrangements can be made for an executive session."
That was the beginning and the end of any Congressional discussion of the plan. Apparently, there was no follow-up executive session in which committee members tried to learn just how extensive and well-developed was this plan to surveil and imprison large numbers of citizens and refugees who might object to the United States invading Nicaragua or becoming embroiled in armed hostilities in other parts of the world. But, as researcher Diana Reynolds and others have noted, "It ) is clear that the FEMA contingency plans to round up political dissenters was related to the FBI's investigation of political dissidents."
A Private Eye of the Private Network
In the summer of 1984, North was reassigned from domestic crisis planning to managing the covert and largely privatized effort to support the Nicaraguan contras. But while his new role emphasized the coordination of the Nicaragua initiative, it is clear that North still kept his eye on domestic developments. His relationship with Philip Mabry, a private investigator in Fort Worth, Texas, is a case in point.
In late 1983, Mabry, a former CIA contract agent who works as a security consultant in the Fort Worth area, wrote to Edwin Meese that he wanted to help the cause of the "freedom fighters" in Nicaragua. Meese responded with a letter advising Mabry that his name had been given to the "appropriate people.", Shortly thereafter, Mabry said, Meese's secretary, Dee Kuhn, put him in touch with Wilma Hall, a secretary at the National Security Council who, in turn, put him in contact with North. Her daughter, Fawn, had recently begun a job as North's secretary. At North's encouragement, Mabry set up a small organization called Americans for Human Rights and Social Justice. And while the group, which consisted of the 49-year-old Mabry and his associate, Randy Pearce, a young, entrepreneurial auto mechanic, operated on a shoestring budget, it was quite successful in gaining access to local newspapers and television stations to counter the growing demonstrations against United States policies in Central America.
(Mabry gained inadvertent notoriety during the Tower Commission hearings when the commission unveiled a hand-drawn diagram of a number of interlocking private foundations and conservative organizations involved in the contra support operation. While the commission initially attributed the schematic to North, it was later learned that the diagram was made by Mabry on a memo which later turned up in North's files.)
In a series of interviews, the short, balding, pipe-smoking South Carolina native-whose telephone bills show more than 40 calls to North's NSC office in 1984 and 1985, and whose name pops up frequently in North's diaries-explained that North gave him a list of individuals and organizations opposed to U.S. policies in Central America. "Ollie suggested to me very strongly-I think his exact words were,
'A good way to get these assholes is to let the FBI check them out. This list includes pro-Marxists, communists, traitors.'" Mabry said that North instructed him to write to the FBI, requesting that the Bureau investigate the groups-and asked Mabry to arrange for a number of other conservative activists to send similar letters to the FBI all citing the names of the same liberal and left-wing activists and groups. "Ollie explained that if the Bureau got a bunch of letters from different sources all citing the same people, that would be enough for the FBI to have a legal mandate to investigate those groups," Mabry recounted.
Writing under the letterhead of his organization, Americans for Human Rights and Social Justice, Mabry addressed his letter to William Webster, then FBI director. In the letter, Mabry wrote: "In the interest of justice...and our U.S. National Security, we respectfully request an investigation of the following protest groups and individuals that are in our opinion. . . pro-Marxist and. . . a threat to our national security and vital interest in [Central America.]"
The groups cited in the list included the National Network in Solidarity with the Nicaraguan People, the Nicaragua Exchange Office, the Central America Peace Campaign, the Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America. The individuals Mabry cited in the letter include Robert White, former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador; Elaine and Gene Lantz ... and Hollywood personalities Arthur Gorson, Sean Daniel, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Vonetta McGee, Susan Anspach and Susan Sarandon. (Sarandon was active in a group called Madre, which provides literacy, parenting and nutrition assistance to poor women, especially in Central America. The group suffered two mysterious break-ins several years later.) In addition, Mabry listed 10 members of Congress, including former Speaker Jim Wright, who had signed a conciliatory letter that year to Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega.
The FBI-NSC Connection
While the documentary evidence linking North to the FBI's sweep of Central America groups is more suggestive than conclusive, it is clear that the former lieutenant-colonel used the FBI to go after Administration critics who were threatening to expose the illegal contra support operation he coordinated. In fact, a body of clues points to a back-channel relationship between the NSC and the Bureau far broader than anyone in Congress or the FBI has acknowledged.
Ollie's Enemies
There are indications, as well, that the FBI also cooperated with North in his efforts to spy on and sabotage the work of domestic critics who were trying to unravel the cloak of secrecy surrounding his operations.
The FBI's Revell, for instance, told a Congressional committee that North had asked him to order the FBI to investigate the funding sources behind a suit brought by two journalists, Martha Honey and Tony Avirgan, who were being represented by the Christic Institute in a lawsuit against members of North's private network. But, Revell added: "I told [North] that is what the FBI didn't do."
Revell's response, however, was less than candid. The relationship between North and the FBI was far more extensive than Revell acknowledged. And it did involve, among other efforts, an FBI check on Daniel Sheehan, the lead attorney for the Christic Institute, as well as the surveillance of Honey and Avirgan, the plaintiffs in the Christic lawsuit. On another front, the FBI also assisted North in his efforts to neutralize Jack Terrell, the former member of the private contra operation who turned whistleblower A key to the relationship between North and the FBI lies in a 14-month series of contacts by phone and in person between North and
Special Agent David Beisner, an FBI foreign counter-intelligence agent assigned to the same Washington Field Office that was involved in the first CISPES investigation and that was central to the Capitol bombing investigation in which Varelli participated.
... Beisner told Congressional investigators that he spoke with North on numerous occasions in 1985 and 1986. Shortly after his meeting with North in May 1986, Beisner requested FBI and CIA checks on Sheehan, the Christic Institute attorney who was representing Avirgan and Honey. A June 2, 1986, notation in North's calendar, moreover, refers to a conversation with Beisner and bears the notation: "Looking at what can be done to expand surveillance activity of Avirgan and Honey."
The following month, after learning of Terrell's assistance to liberal and left-wing groups, North told Revell that Terrell might be involved in a plot to assassinate President Reagan. Revell assigned the case to Beisner, among others. But it appears fairly clear that the investigation of Terrell as a possible presidential assassin was not taken at all seriously inside or outside the FBI. For one thing, the FBI's questioning of Terrell involved material such as a book proposal by Terrell and accounts of his work with the left-wing and liberal watchdog groups, according to Terrell's attorney, John Mattes. The operation resembled an attempt to intimidate Terrell and take pressure off the contra operation much more than one designed to protect the President.
In a memo for President Reagan, prepared by North and forwarded over the signature of National Security Adviser John Poindexter, Terrell was described, in July 1986, as: "An active participant in the disinformation/active measures campaign against the [contras]. Terrell has appeared on various television 'documentaries' alleging corruption, human rights abuses, drug running, arms smuggling and assassination attempts by the [contras] and their supporters. Terrell is also believed to be involved with various Congressional staffs in preparing for hearings and inquiries regarding the role of U.S. Government officials in illegally supporting the Nicaraguan resistance."
... While the Iran-Contra Committee never undertook to explore what linkages may have existed between North and the FBI's massive investigation and harassment of political groups opposed to the President's policies in Nicaragua and El Salvador, an appendix to the Committee's final report, authored by Representatives Peter Rodino, Dante Fascell, Jack Brooks and Louis Stokes, concluded that in the fall of 1986:
"Members of the House Committee on the Judiciary wrote to the Attorney General requesting a preliminary investigation [regarding allegations] that North, Poindexter, Casey and others illegally assisted the contras...Attorneys [in the Justice Department] canvassed the FBI and Customs to determine what investigations involving the contras were pending. Neither the FBI nor Customs revealed their numerous contacts with North in various criminal investigations. It is a question the appropriate committees of Congress should pursue more fully."
Such pursuit never materialized in the rush of Congress to put the half-explored Iran-Contra scandal behind the country.
An Epidemic of Terrorism: Continued


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An Epidemic of Terrorism: Continued
And how effective were the break-ins, the death threats, and the FBI investigations in curtailing the Central America movement?
"It depends on who you talk to. Many American church activists- those who responded out of their hearts rather than out of political ideology-have clearly been intimidated by these activities. The Central Americans up here-Salvadorans and others-who have been the object of these threats have been absolutely terrified. Many have been reluctant to give their names. Others have made us promise never to divulge their identities. They recall the death squads and security forces first hand. Those are the most terrified of all. A lot of Salvadoran groups were so freaked out they simply stopped functioning.
"On the other hand, many North Americans, especially those who have worked as activists before, are better able to cope with this sort of thing. For many, it only strengthens their resolve. On the other hand, we've gotten a number of calls from church groups who want to know how to deal with their congregations. They feel, in some cases, they have to find a way to prove they're not communists. In several cases, congregations have been split by internal dissension and fear. Look at Old Cambridge Baptist Church. The FBI refused to release their files on the church on the grounds that it could compromise the identity of a confidential informant. Can you think of any better way to turn a congregation against itself with suspicion and intimidation? The issue of informants inside a congregation or a group is very divisive, very destructive. The FBI could not have found a better strategy."
Completing the Cover-Up
The real secret ... is the fact that the FBI-following the lead of the White House and the Reagan CIA-allowed the direction of its investigation of American liberals to be partially dictated by the Salvadoran security forces, thereby collaborating in the persecution of American citizens with one of the most terrorist governments in the world.
In fact, the CISPES investigation was but one of at least a half dozen investigations of U. S. citizens who opposed the Administration's policies \ in Central America. By burying aspects of the same investigation under separate captions, the FBI in fact investigated thousands of groups and individuals under a number of investigations of which CISPES was only one. Documents on file indicate that the FBI used such captions as "Salvadoran Leftist Activities, " " Salvadoran Leftist Activities in the United States," "Nicaragua Demonstrations" and "Central American Terrorism" to surveil, penetrate and possibly disrupt religious and political activists concerned about U.S. policies in the region. Unfortunately, the relevant Congressional committees have not seen fit to call the FBI to account for any of those other investigations.
In its report on the CISPES campaign, the Senate Intelligence Committee essentially endorsed the FBI's version of events. It concurred with Sessions that the problem lay not in a deliberate abuse of political power by the FBI but in lax management by FBI officials at middle and lower levels of the Bureau. While both the Committee and the FBI deny it, it appears that the investigation was known to officials in the Reagan White House and National Security Council. What neither Sessions nor the Committee acknowledged, moreover, is that the investigation was authorized and encouraged by the top level of FBI leadership. Hundreds of documents in the CISPES files, for instance, were initialed by Oliver "Buck" Revell, until recently the number two person at the Bureau. It was Revell, moreover, who authorized the October 1983 order to expand CISPES into a nation-wide investigation.
But five years later, that development would prove the occasion for a curious display of institutional amnesia by Bureau officials. When FBI director Sessions testified before Congress in 1988, he called the October 1983 expansion of the investigation the "biggest mistake" of the whole investigation. During his appearance before Congress, Sessions was asked by one senator why no FBI higher-ups had been punished for their roles in the investigation. Sessions responded that, try as he might, he could find no evidence in the documents to indicate the involvement of higher-level officials. He must not have looked very hard. A copy of the October 28 teletype-directing the nation-wide expansion-was signed by no less a higher-up than Buck Revell.
A Speculative Scenario: The Guiding Hand of the CIA
It is clear from notations on a number of FBI documents that the Central Intelligence Agency was certainly kept abreast of the FBI's campaign against political dissenters. One speculative scenario suggests that the guiding hand behind the FBI's campaign was that of William Casey, the late Director of Central Intelligence.
It was Casey who, shortly after assuming his post in 1981, declared to colleagues that El Salvador had become the latest battleground in the global contest between freedom and communism. It was also Casey who raised the issue of "active measures" as a major threat to the security of the United States. And it was Casey's CIA that identified CISPES, within months of the group's formation, as an "active measures front" of Moscow.
Simultaneous with the production of the CIA study that cited CISPES as an "active measures" operation, the CIA forwarded to the FBI intelligence material that purported to prove that the group was the creation of the Salvadoran leftist guerrillas. That material, which allegedly came from the diaries of two Salvadoran communist leaders, was provided by the Salvadoran National Guard to the CIA, which forwarded it to the FBI.
But, as Senate investigators would conclude eight years later, the FBI, in using that material: "...asserted without documentation that CISPES was composed of groups 'initiated by the Communist Party USA...and Farid Handal'." Calling the diaries "alleged," and "unauthenticated," the investigators concluded: "The FBI's CISPES file does not reflect any Justice or State Department characterization of the nature or reliability of the alleged captured document or any effort to evaluate its bona fides. The [FBI's] Inspection Department was unable to find any information directly corroborating the statements in the purported Handal document."
What is most ironic is that the CIA and FBI, in collaboration with the Salvadoran security forces-the elements that most feared the persuasive power of CISPES' message-were driven to use a disinformation-based "active measures" strategy in their effort to paint CISPES as an "active measures" front group.
William Casey's sensitivity to the threat of adverse public opinion was clearly the motivation behind his initiative in establishing a covert "public diplomacy" operation designed to reach beyond the conservative elements of American society who already supported the Reagan Central America policies.
Finally, as Bob Woodward noted in Veil, his 1987 book about Casey's CIA, there was a strong constituency around Casey which favored breaking down the traditional barriers between the CIA and the FBI. That notion was articulated by Kenneth de Graffenreid an expert on counter-intelligence who was to become a major force inside the Reagan National Security Council. In a study of the country's counter-intelligence de Graffenreid promoted the notion that "[b]ureaucratic barriers needed to be broken down between the FBI, the CIA and the military intelligence agencies. . . If necessary, a centralized counter-intelligence authority with centralized records should be created. The split of counter-intelligence functions at the U.S. borders (CIA abroad, FBI at home) was artificial. It was a civil liberties bugaboo to worry whether they were joined. It was not a distinction the KGB observed."
Given the extraordinary expertise in the use of disinformation by both the CIA and the Salvadoran National Guard, one can make the argument that, if the FBI was not explicitly "tasked" by the CIA to crack down on political dissenters, it certainly could have been "unwittingly duped" by the Agency into the same operation.
In fact, there is evidence the relationship was more deliberate. One month after the issuance of the President's December 1981 order governing the intelligence operations, Reagan signed a directive authorizing the CIA to "request the FBI to collect foreign intelligence or support foreign intelligence requirements of other [intelligence] agencies..."9 Given William Webster's statement to Congress in 1985 that the FBI may have been "tasked" by the CIA or National Security Council to interview activists returning from Nicaragua, it seems apparent that such "tasking" had become a routine part of FBI activities by the mid-1980s.
As for the doctrine of "active measures" which was raised to the level of high policy focus by Casey and used by the FBI to justify numerous operations-including a campaign to spy on users of public libraries-it is still the subject of an ongoing inter-agency task force and, as such, can still be used to discredit and investigate law-abiding citizens by labeling them as "fronts" for Moscow, Havana or other purported hostile foreign powers.
As late as August 1989, for instance, the State Department issued a report titled: "Soviet Influence Activities: A Report on Active Measures and Propaganda, 1987-1988." That report, according to its preface, was prepared by an inter-agency Active Measures Working Group which includes representatives of State, the CIA, the U.S. Information Agency, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Departments of Defense and Justice.
The speculative scenario, which casts the CISPES campaign as merely one arm of a CIA-directed operation which involved the country's entire national security apparatus, is supported by a good deal of evidence that the FBI did not pursue its investigation of policy foes in a vacuum. Its campaign against political dissenters was paralleled by the surveillance of political activists at the request of Oliver North's National Security Council as well as by the secret domestic propaganda campaign run out of the NSC at the direction of Bill Casey. And the activities of all those agencies-the FBI, the NSC, the CIA and the State Department- were augmented by a network of private individuals and organizations all of whom united under the umbrella of the Administration's foreign policies-especially those in Central America. As former Ambassador Robert White said in response to a question about the CISPES investigation: "You're only looking at the FBI. That's just one piece of it; What Ronald Reagan has done is to mobilize the entire government around his policies in Central America."
Unasked Questions: The FBI and the Disappeared Refugees
The most sinister aspect of the FBI's collaboration with the Salvadoran National Guard may lie in unmarked graves and obscure ravines in the small war-ravaged Central American nation, where refugees, having sought shelter and a safe haven in the United States, were buried after being deported by U.S. officials back to waiting security forces.
One sample of 154 refugees deported in 1983 and 1984, which was reported by the Political Asylum Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Fund, included 52 returnees who were killed, seven who were arrested, five who were jailed as political prisoners, who disappeared (fates unknown) and 43 who were captured and disappeared under violent circumstances." But because of a number of circumstances-including Salvadorans' fear of speaking out, the use of false names by refugees, the problem of admittedly inaccurate record keeping of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the lack of cooperation by the Salvadoran security forces-it is impossible to document the number of refugees killed or "disappeared" on their forced return to El Salvador. Given the additional blanket of secrecy covering the collaboration between the FBI and the National Guard, it is impossible to estimate the numbers killed by Salvadoran security forces with the cooperation of the FBI.
But if, as Varelli has maintained, "the FBI knew and approved of every damn call I made [to the National Guard]," then the Bureau has on its hands the blood of innocent refugees. And it is remarkable that, in its efforts to call the FBI to account for abuses of lesser gravity, the Congress chose not to question the Bureau about its possible participation in the most grotesque kind of human rights violations.
The Unsolved Break-Ins
From a U.S. standpoint, the most frightening aspect of the assault on dissenting citizens lies in the string of break-ins, thefts, death threats and assaults that stretches forward from 1983 to 1990 like an underground epidemic of low-grade terrorism.
Partly because the FBI has consistently declined to investigate those break-ins-categorizing them as local crimes under the jurisdiction of local police rather than evidences of an interstate conspiracy-we may never know who has planned and coordinated them.
The CIA could well have coordinated a number of private groups, Salvadoran as well as North American, in a campaign of break-ins which it hid under the cover of the FBI's official investigations of those groups. It does not seem coincidental that the majority of break-in victims were also affiliated with groups which were targeted for official investigation by the FBI.
It is equally plausible to speculate that the string of break-ins was coordinated by elements in Oliver North's private network, using lists of targets produced by the FBI, CIA or State Department. When Revell, for instance, said he was afraid that Glenn Robinette, the head of security for North's "private enterprise," may have been running a plumbers' operation, he could have been referring to a campaign of illegal burglaries and harassments that extended far beyond a few groups like the Christic Institute or the International Center for Development Policy, which were working to expose North's illegal operations.
It is also possible that at least some of the break-ins were the work of right-wing Salvadorans and other zealots inside the United States who, by virtue of their earlier information-trading arrangements with the FBI, felt they had the Bureau's sanction in taking the next step and stealing files, trashing offices and terrorizing activists.
Rep. Don Edwards, the former FBI agent who has chaired the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights which held hearings on the break-ins in February of 1987, has said he believes the break-ins to be the work of Central American operatives. In late 1987, Edwards wrote an article titled "The Unsolved Break-Ins," in which he stated that "there are two likely sources for these break-ins...[One possibility is that they] may be the work of agents of one or more Central American government or of factions representing the ruling classes in those countries. We know in the past, violent governments have sent their agents to the U.S. to harass and intimidate their opponents here. The Shah of Iran and Marcos of the Philippines both had active intelligence operations in this country...The right-wing government of Chile was involved in the car bombing in Washington that killed Orlando Letelier. Is history repeating itself? Are foreign agents now carrying out break-ins against sanctuary churches and opponents of the Administration's militaristic policy in Central America?"
"Another possibility," Edwards wrote, "is that the break-ins are the work of [U.S.] right-wing groups who support the contras and U.S. policy in Central America. We know there was a private network established to raise money for the contras. We also know that some members of the network were active in promoting the Administration's views. Is it possible that they were interested as well in frustrating the efforts of groups opposing those views and sought to collect information about them? Unfortunately, we may never know the answers to these questions."
Perhaps the most likely scenario is that the break-ins were coordinated by the CIA, which had (and continues to have) direct lines into both the network of private right-wing activists in the U.S., as well as into the security forces of El Salvador and Guatemala. And while the break-ins may not have been committed by U.S. government agents, there is no doubt they are part of a well-coordinated, centrally-directed campaign to neutralize and intimidate opponents of U.S. policies.
CISPES: The Latest Chapter in an Old History
Whether or not the FBI played an active role in the break-ins-or whether the Bureau was merely a passive accomplice in declining to investigate them-the FBI's operations against liberal and left-wing citizens opposed to U.S. policies beg to be seen in the context of the Bureau's history of abusing its law enforcement powers by persecuting law-abiding dissenters for strictly political reasons.
Given that historical context, the FBI Director's description of the CISPES probe as an "aberration" is indefensible. For the FBI's investigation and harassment of Central America groups in the 1980s is, after all, simply one more chapter in a continuing series of FBI political police operations which date back at least to the 1950s-and which have continued, virtually unabated, to the present.
One contention of numerous experts which is worth noting here is that the FBI, which was established in 1908 as a national law enforcement agency, has never been explicitly authorized by Congress to gather intelligence on political, as contrasted with criminal, targets. In fact, virtually every authorization of the FBI to gather political intelligence and mount political operations against domestic political activists and movements has come in the form of Justice Department guidelines and Presidential executive orders-without passing the test of open public debate.
Nevertheless, dating at least from the McCarthy period of the 1950s, the Bureau has engaged in active investigations of virtually every major dissident political movement in recent American history. Those investigations have involved techniques ranging from file checks to active surveillance to infiltration and provocation to harassments and character assassination to such covert operations as "black-bag jobs," wiretaps and assassinations.
In its report on "Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans," the Senate's Church Committee in 1976 cited a series of FBI campaigns all of which were patently political in nature and had little, if anything, to do with the FBI's legal mandate to investigate criminal activities.
According to that report: "Intelligence agencies have collected vast amounts of information about the intimate details of citizens' lives and about their participation in legal and peaceful political activities. The targets of intelligence activity have included political adherents of the right and the left, ranging from activist to casual supporters. Investigations have been directed against proponents of racial causes and women s rights, outspoken apostles of nonviolence and racial harmony; establishment politicians; religious groups; and advocates of new lifestyles."
The targets of FBI intelligence operations cited by the Church Committee 15 years ago included participants in virtually every significant political movement.
"The 'Women's Liberation Movement' was infiltrated by informants who collected material about the movement's policies, leaders and individual members. One report included the name of every woman who attended meetings, and another stated that each woman at a meeting had described 'how she felt oppressed, sexually or otherwise.' Another report concluded that the movement's purpose was to 'free women from the humdrum existence of being only a wife and mother....
An adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Stanley Levison, was investigated on suspicion he was a communist sympathizer. According to a 1964 FBI memorandum which ordered the investigation to continue:
"The Bureau does not agree with the expressed belief of the field office that [Levison] is not sympathetic to the Party cause. While there may not be any evidence that [he] is a Communist, neither is there any substantial evidence that he is anti-communist."
The Committee found, moreover, that the Bureau continued to investigate the NAACP for possible communist links for more than 25 years despite an early FBI report that the NAACP had a "strong tendency" to "steer clear Communist activities."
Similarly, the Bureau investigated the Socialist Workers Party for more than 30 years, collecting information on the organization's attitudes toward food prices, race relations and the Vietnam War, despite an FBI finding that the group had committed no illegal acts.
In the case of the small SWP alone, the Bureau employed 1,600 informants in a 16-year-period to infiltrate the group, at an estimated cost of $26 million.
In 1970, according to the Congressional report, the FBI ordered investigations of every member of the Students for a Democratic Society and of every Black Student Union, regardless of "their past or present involvement in disorders.' As a former FBI intelligence official told the Committee, the Bureau opened files on thousands of young men and women so that "the information could be used if they ever applied for a government job."

Nor was the Bureau immune to the political bidding of a succession of U.S. presidents. President Franklin Roosevelt instructed the Bureau to open investigative files on citizens who wrote the White House to espouse an "isolationist" policy in opposition to the President's foreign policies. Harry Truman solicited FBI reports on union organizers, journalists and former Roosevelt aides. Dwight Eisenhower received FBI reports on "purely political and social contacts with foreign officials" of Bernard Baruch, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. And officials in the Kennedy White House had the FBI wiretap "a Congressional staff member, three executive officials, a lobbyist and a Washington law firm," while Attorney General Robert Kennedy received the fruits of FBI wiretaps on Martin Luther King, Jr. At the request of President Lyndon Johnson, the FBI conducted file checks on various anti-war legislators and compared their statements on the Vietnam war to the statements of the Communist Party.
Given the FBI's compilation during the 1980s of investigative files on at least a dozen Senators and Representatives who opposed President Reagan's policies in Nicaragua and El Salvador-some of which included material procured through electronic surveillance-it is difficult to accept the assertion in the 1989 report of the Senate Intelligence Committee that "there were no instructions given or requests for information made to FBI officials during the conduct of the CISPES investigation by anyone within the office of the White House or acting on behalf of the White House in an effort to influence their investigation."
In the course of its operations against civil rights organizations, black political activists, anti-Vietnam War groups, the Free Speech Movement of university students, the American Indian Movement and the movement for Puerto Rican independence, the FBI opened hundreds of thousands of letters; wiretapped thousands of telephone conversations; conducted break-ins at hundreds of residences and offices; and surveilled untold numbers of groups and activists.
The Bureau, moreover, engaged in a number of disruptive tactics which the Church Committee called "indisputably degrading to a free society." These included attempts to have political activists fired from their jobs by anonymously informing their employees about their political beliefs-a tactic which was repeated in 1987 with the FBI's approach to employers of members of the TecNica organization.
It included, as well, anonymous letters to the spouses of FBI targets in order to destroy their marriages. One favored tactic of the FBI involved anonymously labeling political activists as FBI informants, thereby destroying their credibility and effectiveness as political organizers...
The Bureau's anonymous provocations included ... anonymous letters to Black Panther Party members indicating they were on the "hit list" of other Panther activists and implying their wives or girlfriends were engaged in secret affairs with other Party members. One of the FBI's more notorious operations included providing Dr. King with a tape recording of his private activities, along with a note suggesting he commit suicide to avoid public humiliation.
One of the FBI's most egregious actions involved the Bureau's engineering of the 1969 assassination of Panther leader Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Chicago.
In the following decade, between 1973 and 1976, the Bureau is said to have either provided assistance for or participated in the murder of nearly 70 members of the American Indian Movement and the violent attacks on another 300 Native Americans who had occupied the areas of Pine Ridge and Rosebud in South Dakota.
Ten years later, the FBI's campaign against advocates of Puerto Rican independence peaked when more than 300 FBI agents and U.S. Marshalls conducted raids throughout Puerto Rico in 1985, trashing homes and offices and arresting scores of activists-two of whom were held without bail in pre-trial detention for more than two-and-a-half years. The FBI's operations in Puerto Rico resulted in the creation of files on 74,000 individuals.
Given the FBI's history of thinly rationalized political repression, it is very difficult to accept the conclusion of the Senate Intelligence Committee that: "The Committee does not believe the CISPES investigation reflected significant FBI political or ideological bias...."
Unfortunately, a review of the FBI's political operations also suggests that, with the exception of the Church and Pike Committee investigations in the mid-1970s, Congress has been unable or unwilling to exert the kind of control and oversight with which the public has entrusted it. In the case of the CISPES scandal, it is unclear whether the Senate report endorsed the FBI's cover-up because it was politically expedient or because the FBI withheld critical material from Congressional investigators. It seems that both factors played a significant role.
Concurrent with the history of documented FBI political abuses over the past 35 years, is an equally clear history of an institutionalized FBI practice of routinely Iying about its activities. That history of Iying to Congress has continued unabated from the 1960s to the end of the 1980s.
When the first set of FBI documents in 1988 indicated that the CISPES investigation was far more extensive than Congressional overseers had been led to believe, investigators on Capitol Hill said flatly that the FBI had lied to them in its previous briefings. Nor were the FBI's lies to Congress confined to the CISPES investigations.
The "DO NOT FILE" File
The Bureau, during the 1960s, maintained a set of files which were headed "DO NOT FILE." The files, which recorded FBI break-ins and thefts at civil rights and anti-war offices during the 1960s, were used to keep such activities away from public scrutiny. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, FBI officials swore under oath that they had discontinued the use of the "DO NOT FILE" caption, especially since the federal Freedom Of Information Act requires that the existence of all agency files be acknowledged, if not released, to requesters using the act.
But a "DO NOT FILE" file, provided to the author in 1988, indicates that the FBI has continued to maintain such records. The "DO NOT FILE" document, apparently unrelated to the FBI's campaign against Central America dissenters, was a 1985 communication from Revell to then-FBI Director William Webster. It cited a request from Henry Kissinger for a personal meeting with Webster about alleged harassment by members of the Lyndon LaRouche political organization. The document was titled "DO NOT FILE" apparently because-Kissinger did not want any bureaucratic paper trail indicating his private meeting with Webster to discuss the LaRouche group.
When Rep. Edwards questioned the FBI about the document, he was told simply that it was erroneously captioned. Despite Edwards' concern that "reinstituting 'Do Not File' files would emasculate the oversight process," Congress apparently accepted the Bureau's explanation that the file should have been captioned "Informal Advice-Not For Retention"-a freshly-minted FBI euphemism for "Do Not File."
Then there is the matter of the Terrorist Photo Album. While Webster himself assured Rep. Patricia Schroeder, Sen. Christopher Dodd and others that they were not included in the FBI's Terrorist Photo Album and were not the subjects of FBI Central America-related investigations, an internal FBI memo, initialed by Webster, indicates that the Bureau deliberately lied to the legislators.
A reading of the Senate Intelligence Committee's CISPES reports indicates, as well, that the FBI withheld critical documents from the committee. In addition to concealing its retroactive alterations of Varelli's polygraph results, it is clear from the report that the FBI withheld other significant documents as well. As one example, the Senate report concluded that during his 1983 visit to Washington, "Mr. Varelli's report indicates that he never actually met any Washington members of CISPES or attended any of their meetings. He did report on several left-wing bookstores, however, as well as some churches..."
However, the FBI's files contain a full debriefing of his infiltration of CISPES headquarters following the bombing of the Capitol-a document which was apparently withheld from the Committee to further discredit Varelli. The airtel sent from the FBI's Dallas Office to FBI headquarters, moreover, bears a handwritten notation, apparently from an FBI supervisor who wrote: "Good job. Thanks. I talked to (DELETED) who was very pleased. He said the unit chief was impressed also." The document substantiates Varelli's version of his visit to CISPES headquarters in Washington in December, 1983, following the bombing of the Capitol Building.
Again, when William Webster told the Congressional Iran-Contra Committee that he had disclosed all of the FBI's contacts with Oliver North, he neglected to mention a 14-month relationship between North and special agent David Beisner of the Washington Field Office-a relationship which was aimed at gathering intelligence on groups attempting to expose North's illegal contra-supply operations.
The findings of both the FBI and the Senate Intelligence Committee stand in stark contrast to those of U.S. District Executive Magistrate Judge Joan H. Leflkow, who ruled in February 1991 on a case involving Chicago-based Central America groups. In that ruling, the federal judge found that the FBI used infiltrators to penetrate the leadership of several groups. Moreover, the FBI's Chicago field office obtained copies of bank deposit slips, canceled checks, and signature cards for CISPES members, as well as copies of the group's long-distance telephone records "to determine the identity of Chicago CISPES memberships and contacts."
"At the direction of Headquarters, the FBI conducted a photographic surveillance...of one Chicago CISPES leader and, on April 8, 1985, submitted his photograph and background data for inclusion in the Terrorist Photograph Album. "
The judge found, moreover, that "In a sworn statement made on April 8, 1988 [three years after the original submission], the FBI case agent for the Chicago CISPES investigation, who submitted the photograph and data, admitted that he did not believe his investigation had established the Chicago CISPES leader to be a terrorist."
According to the decision, "The Chicago Field Office received and placed in its file articles attacking CISPES written by the political organizations Young Americas Foundation, Students for a Better America, Inc., and the Council for Inter-American Security. The FBI later, as a result of its internal inquiry, characterized these articles as 'conservative material."'
The inadequacy of the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings was underscored by Judge Leflkow, who concluded: "The FBI has not shown that there is no reasonable expectation of recurrence against either the named petitioners or other[s]...Although the FBI has enacted new guidelines, they have also enacted guidelines in the past which were meant to prevent this type of investigation. . .The FBI's own regulations are, therefore, not sufficient to prevent violations. The regulations can also be repealed or modified in the future and do not, therefore, guarantee future compliance...Based on the FBI's past behavior, there is a reasonable likelihood of repetition."
Criminal Penalties for Criminal Conduct
Clearly the FBI systematically uses distortion, disinformation and deliberate lies as official instruments of policy. Whether those lies are directed toward political adversaries, news reporters, other agencies of the executive branch or overseers in Congress charged with monitoring the Bureau's operations, the record of the FBI's counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence units demonstrates unequivocally that it is not to be trusted to tell the truth. With the acquiescence of the Congressional committees, the FBI has succeeded in Iying its way out of a series of scandals whose casualties have been truth, the democratic process, and the First Amendment to the Constitution.
In the spring of 1990, Adm. John Poindexter, the former National Security Adviser to whom Oliver North reported, was sentenced to six months in prison for lying to Congress. At Poindexter's sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Greene said that, had Poindexter not served time in jaiI, it would be tantamount to a statement that a scheme to lie to and obstruct Congress is of no great moment, and that even if the perpetrators are found out, the courts will treat their criminal acts as no more than minor infractions." Judge Greene held that Poindexter and North had acted "in violation of a principle fundamental to this constitutional republic-that those elected by and responsible to the people shall make the important policy decisions, and that their decisions may not be nullified by appointed officials who happen to be in positions _ that give them the ability to operate programs prohibited by law."
It is perplexing that the appropriate officials of the FBI-Ronald Davenport, Oliver Revell, and William Webster-have not been held to the same standards as Poindexter and other federal employees who have been convicted of Iying to Congress. The message inherent in the lack of such convictions is that the very agency empowered to enforce the t_ federal laws of the country is, itself, beyond the reach of those laws.
Given the Bureau's tenacious adherence to illegal domestic operations in the face of public and Congressional criticism, given its unwillingness or inability to police its own actions in accordance with the requirements of free speech embedded in the Constitution, and given its time-tested proclivity to act, not as a guardian of the law but as a proprietary police force for the incumbent power structure, there seems no reason for advocates of civil liberties to accept, once again, another promise that the FBI will respect the basic rights of freedom and privacy of U.S. citizens.
The CISPES investigation, alone, involved 59 field offices, stretched from 1981 through mid-1985, generated thousands of pages of file material and resulted in not one conviction for illegal activities. (A 1990 report by the General Accounting Office found that between 1982 and 1988, the FBI used the "terrorism" excuse to open some 10,000 investigations of U. S. citizens, most of which were subsequently closed because no links between the subject of the investigation and terrorism could be found.)
As Frank Wilkinson, a former minister who endured more than three decades of FBI surveillance and dirty tricks, has consistently pointed out, the only reliable remedy for illegal FBI activities is a Congressional charter that would remove the responsibility for overseeing the Bureau from the Bureau itself. Such a charter would mandate the so-called "criminal standard." Under its terms, the FBI would be prohibited from any investigation unless there were clear and present indications that a law had been broken or was about to be broken. Whether Wilkinson's organization, the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation, will be successful in its current efforts to promote such a charter remains to be seen. But short of completely abolishing the FBI, there seems no other solution that would be acceptable to the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens who have been victimized by the zealotry of the Bureau.
A major accomplice of the unidentified individuals who coordinated, planned and executed the break-ins is a press corps which finds nothing extraordinary or ominous about a sustained campaign of political assault against law-abiding citizens who disagree with their president's foreign policies. That was the kind of activity that heralded the rise to power of Hitler. And, if the United States ever falls prey to demagoguery, zealotry or institutionalized intolerance, this is the way it will begin. And it will proceed with an assist from the press whose members who will most likely dismiss victims of political repression as "fringe types" as they turn away from uncomfortable clues of tyranny.
It was the press, after all, that was unconcerned that the FBI was permitted to enter tens of thousands of names of citizens into its terrorism ( files-records which can be used to deny them jobs, to savage their reputations, to subject them to arbitrary surveillance, and to make them criminal suspects the next time a bomb explodes in one of America's cities.
Caught in the grip of economic uncertainty and facing a future of environmental degradation and global political upheaval, much of the U.S. public has lost sight of the very civil liberties that distinguish the United States from other empires that were merely powerful and wealthy. If that forgetfulness persists, this country will have lost that which has made it an ideal for newly emerging "Pro-Democracy" regimes throughout Eastern Europe, that which has made it special in the light of history.
The notion of civil liberties-a major hallmark of the American Constitution-seems very elusive to many Americans in the 1990s and virtually irrelevant to others. But from both a societal and an individual point of view, it is critical to the survival of the country as we know it. Throughout U.S. history, solutions to problems have often come from oppositional political movements-most recently the Civil Rights movement, the Nuclear Freeze, the environmental movement, the women's movement-many of which began with small followings and marginal influence. But the existence of unpopular or dissenting groups provides a kind of intellectual wetlands, a spawning ground for new experiments, new ideas, new solutions to problems which are intractable to traditional approaches.
To wipe out those wetlands by means of censorship, intimidation or enforced silence is to undermine one of the richest resources of the country's public life. When new problems arise, there will be only old solutions. And both an important early warning system, as well as a source of innovation and ingenuity, will have been eliminated.
What we have learned about the operations of the FBI-not only against Central America activists, but also against opponents of nuclear weapons, civil rights groups, and environmental organizations-suggests that the Bureau sees its basic mandate as preventing the success of any significant movement for social change in America. From its mission as a national police force, dedicated to thwarting interstate and international crime, the FBI has become a guardian of the status quo, the incumbency, and the front line in the war against any set of citizens who oppose the policies of the country's leadership. That mission may have been appropriate in Stalin's Soviet Union or Deng's China or Pinochet's Chile. It is not appropriate to the laws of the United States.
From an individual point of view, the country was founded on the premise that each citizen has the political right and the moral obligation to develop his or her self and work to realize his or her potential as fully as possible.
Contrast that ideal with the hypothetical situation of a concerned individual in the 1980s-we will call her Jill-who is moved to action by her sympathy with Central American refugees she has seen on television or in the downtown area of the city she lives in. Or, perhaps, she found herself outraged at her government's support of a foreign regime which murders and incarcerates its citizens at will. Or, let's assume, she feels compelled to speak out against her government's attempts to undermine and destroy a democratically elected government in another part of the world.
Jill would probably be surveilled by FBI agents who enter her name in the Bureau's terrorism files. Her telephone could be tapped and her mail periodically opened and inspected. She might come home one night to find the house ransacked, files stolen and a death threat left in full view. She could spot her name in any one of a dozen publications published by extremist political groups and disseminated and financed by the State Department. She could, at the same time, be on a "watchlist" provided to the National Security Agency so that every international phone call she made was monitored and recorded. Her taxes could be audited by the Internal Revenue Service because of "questionable" political activities. Her landlord, employer and close friends could be interviewed by FBI agents who may well suggest that continued association with or employment of Jill could result in their own entry onto a government list. Because of her sincere convictions and her courage to act on them, she can find herself deprived of her rights to privacy, limited in her occupational opportunities, subject to physical attacks, and shunned by the society she thought she was working to improve.
All these things have happened to citizens who publicly opposed the Administration's policies in Central America and elsewhere.
They happened in the 1980s with barely a notice in the mainstream press and with hardly a protest from the public at large.
And, unless American citizens are able to remember why this country was founded and what made it unique in the sight of history, it will, no doubt, happen again.


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Reply with quote  #7 
Jun. 2, 2008                                                                                


Report on FBI interrogations omits the Lindh case of torture

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jesselyn Radack

is homeland security director for the Government Accountability Project,

a nonprofit whistleblower organization

Late last month, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General issued a positive report on the FBI's involvement in detainee interrogations in Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay and Iraq.

I applaud the OIG's recognition of a handful of career Justice attorneys and FBI officials who challenged abusive interrogation techniques - and warned correctly that torture would likely taint any legal proceedings against suspected terrorists. But praise for OIG's demi-candor in an atmosphere of absolute secrecy obscures the whitewash that the report really is. The report finds, "We believe the FBI should be credited for its conduct and professionalism in detainee interrogations." But to reach this conclusion, the OIG omits one of the earliest and most obvious cases of torture and FBI misconduct - that of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh.

In 2001 (a period covered by the report), Lindh, an American citizen, was found shot in the leg and barely alive. U.S. soldiers threatened him with death, blindfolded him, duct-taped him naked to a board, scrawled expletives on him, and posed with him for pictures - before holding him in an unlit metal shipping container for two days. Yet, the OIG report states in its executive summary: "We found no instances in which an FBI agent participated in clear detainee abuse of the kind that some military interrogators used at Abu Ghraib prison."

I know otherwise because I was the Justice Department ethics advisor in the Lindh case. In 2001, I told the Criminal Division, which was advising the FBI in Afghanistan, that Lindh could not be interrogated without his counsel. That was on a Friday. The Criminal Division called back on Monday and said that the FBI had interrogated him anyway. They wanted to know what to do. I advised that the interview would have to be sealed and used only for national security purposes or intelligence-gathering, not criminal prosecution. Again, my advice was ignored.

Three months later, I inadvertently learned of a discovery order, which had been deliberately concealed from me, for all Justice Department correspondence related to Lindh's interrogation. When I went to comply, my e-mails had been purged from the file. With the help of technical support, I recovered them from my computer, turned them over to my boss, took home a copy in case they "disappeared" again, and resigned.

As the criminal case barreled toward trial, the Justice Department continued to assert that Lindh was never represented by counsel and that his rights had been "carefully, scrupulously guarded." I did not believe the Justice Department would have the temerity to make public statements contradicted by its own court filings if my e-mails had indeed reached the court. So I blew the whistle, which unleashed a cascade of retaliation.

Unbeknownst to me until a few weeks ago, the White House had decided not to turn over any documents to Lindh's defense lawyers. The Defense Department, apoplectic that its new policy on the torture of captives in the war on terrorism was going to be exposed, leaned on the Justice Department to offer Lindh a deal. On the eve of the suppression hearing that was going to expose his mistreatment, Lindh pleaded guilty to two relatively minor charges that landed him in prison for 20 years. As part of the plea bargain, he had to sign a statement swearing that he had "not been intentionally mistreated" by his U.S. captors, and waiving any future claim of torture.

In 2002, my lawyer made it abundantly clear to the OIG that I took several steps to thwart efforts to conceal material regarding Lindh's interrogation from the court. In January 2003, Inspector General Glenn Fine, who issued the recent FBI report, told my attorney that the OIG had looked into my whistleblower allegations and was not going to pursue them. (OIG did not look too searchingly because it did not even bother to interview me, the complainant.) To add insult to injury, OIG turned my case over for criminal prosecution, which eventually closed with no charges ever being brought. But the Justice Department was not through with me yet. It put me on the "No-Fly List" and referred me to the state bars in which I'm licensed as an attorney, based on a secret report - by the OIG - to which I did not have access.

Needless to say, the current OIG report does not mention FBI agent Christopher Reimann, who admits that when informing Lindh of his right to counsel, he ad-libbed, "Of course, there are no lawyers here . . . " When OIG catalogs a gruesome list of "techniques" used on detainees in Afghanistan - including abusive handling, harsh restraints, deprivation of clothing, blindfolding, humiliation and isolation - it does not reference Lindh. In fact, the report makes no mention of John Walker Lindh at all.

While I applaud the handful of people identified in the report who repeatedly challenged harsh interrogation tactics, I question the motive of the OIG report in propping them up as revisionist evidence that the Justice Department's and FBI's role in torture was somehow "not so bad." It must be remembered that the same Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which writes legal opinions considered binding on federal agencies and departments, authored the infamous torture memo that gave Justice's imprimatur to such conduct in the first place. No OIG report has been issued on that.

E-mail Jesselyn Radack at jradack@whistleblower.org.

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #8 
couple of reads some with spin from the real torturers....all funded by your tax dime
if these links don't open google the words

trentadue  torture

a species that hires bodyguards to protect it looses the ability to protect itself and is doomed to extinction
1st read
The FBI, the Torture and Murder of Kenneth Trentadue
The FBI, the Torture and Murder of Kenneth Trentadue and Advanced Knowledge of ... the evidence (available in photos on the Internet) clearly shows a person ...
http://www.apfn.net/messageboard/05-26-05/disc ... gi.24.html - 9k - Cached - Similar pages
The Trentadue Coverup
High doses of caffeine are used to increase pain under torture. ... on the case and for photos of the brutally beaten body of Kenneth Trentadue, visit http://www. ...
http://www.truthinjustice.org/trentadue.htm - 13k - Cached - Similar pages
Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct
Oklahoma: Why was Kenneth Trentadue, picked up for a parole violation in Oklahoma City, ..... Special Prosecutor Appointed in Chicago Police Torture Probe ...
http://www.truthinjustice.org/p-pmisconduct.htm - 273k - Cached - Similar pages
A Coverup That Won’t Stay Covered by Paul Craig Roberts
High doses of caffeine are used to increase pain under torture. In trying to find the truth, Jesse Trentadue is a brave man. In the last of a five-part ...
http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts20.html - 20k - Cached - Similar pages
In the matter of Kenneth Michael Trentadue (Part 1/5)
Among the many questions family members are asking is: Did the government bring Kenneth Trentadue to Oklahoma City and torture him because federal agents ...
http://www.infowars.com/articles/us/kenneth_mi ... due_01.htm - 35k - Cached - Similar pages
In the matter of Kenneth Michael Trentadue (Part 5/5)
... torture and murder in order to arrive at the conclusion that Trentadue had .... After Kenney was killed, they came up with a photo they said was of some ...
http://www.infowars.com/articles/us/kenneth_mi ... due_05.htm - 48k - Cached - Similar pages
Attorney: Sealed Documents Indicate OKC Inside Job
Feb 23, 2007 ... Kenneth Trentadue's autopsy photos clearly betray a violent beating and torture as the cause of his death. The official explanation of ...
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2 ... idejob.htm - 47k - Cached - Similar pages

2nd read
FBI special agent predicts ‘catastrophic attack’ in ‘revenge’ for torture, Abu Ghraib.»

Testifying at today’s Senate Judiciary hearing on coercive interrogation techniques, former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan deplored coercive interrogations for being “not effective” and said the perception that the U.S. tortures detainees has “helped to recruit a new generation of jihadist martyrs”:

Based on my experience in talking to Al Qaida members, I am persuaded that revenge in the form of a catastrophic attack on the homeland is coming; that a new generation of jihadist martyrs, motivated in part by the images from Abu Ghraib, is, as we speak, planning to kill Americans; and that nothing gleaned from the use of coercive interrogation techniques will be of any significant use in forestalling this calamitous eventuality. […]

If I were the director of marketing of Al Qaida and intent on replenishing the ranks of jihadists, I know where my first piece of marketing collateral would be. It would be a blast e-mail with an attachment. The attachment would contain a picture of Private England pointing at the stacked naked bodies of the detainees at Abu Ghraib. This picture screams out for revenge and a day of reckoning will come.

Cloonan also repeatedly emphasized that the “rapport-building” method of interrogation is “more effective, efficient, and reliable” than coercive techniques — regardless of some conservatives’ determination to mock this method.

3rd read
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/fe ... ichols.htm
Attorney: Ashcroft Gagged Nichols From Exposing McVeigh's OKC Bombing Conspirators
Trentadue drops new bombshell on Alex Jones Show

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Prison Planet
Thursday, February 22, 2007

Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue dropped more bombshells on the U.S. government's involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing and its cover-up today, including the revelation that Timothy McVeigh's co-conspirator Terry Nichols was gagged from talking to the media years ago by John Ashcroft, in an attempt to silence Nichols from exposing the men who were directing McVeigh's attack on the Alfred P. Murrah building.

Trentadue joined talk show host Alex Jones to discuss Terry Nichols' declaration that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was being directed by a high-level FBI agent. The filing was quickly sealed by a Utah district court, but not before the Deseret Morning News identified the accused FBI provocateur as Larry Potts.

Trentadue dropped the bombshell that Attorney General's Ashcroft's office gagged Nichols from speaking to the media after it became apparent that McVeigh's accomplices and government ties to the bombing were in danger of leaking.

"Apparently before he had contacted me several years ago he had written to Attorney General Ashcroft, volunteering to tell everything about the bombing and the others involved," said Trentadue.

"Not only did no one from Attorney General Ashcroft's office follow up with Nichols, they actually apparently issued an order barring him from all contact with the media - it was thereafter that he reached out to me and I was able to get in to see him to spend a day and half with him."

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #9 
The Freedom Archives: An Interview with Claude Marks
by Hans Bennett
Saturday Jul 12th, 2008 10:50 PM
Claude Marks is the director of The Freedom Archives, a San Francisco-based organization. Through the website and email list-serves, it provides a valuable resource documenting both revolutionary struggle and police state repression. Freedom Archives also creates high quality audio and video documentaries, including the recent video about the San Francisco Eight, titled "Legacy of Torture."

The Freedom Archives: An Interview with Claude Marks

by Hans Bennett

Claude Marks is the director of The Freedom Archives, a San Francisco-based organization. Through the website and email list-serves, it provides a valuable resource documenting both revolutionary struggle and police state repression. Freedom Archives also creates high quality audio and video documentaries, including the recent video about the San Francisco Eight, titled "Legacy of Torture."

Legacy of Torture can be viewed online, as well as the previous films Voices of Three Political Prisoners (featuring Nuh Washington, Jalil Muntaqim and David Gilbert), Charisse Shumate: Fighting for Our Lives, and Self Respect, Self Defense & Self Determination (featuring Mabel Williams and Kathleen Cleaver, introduced by Angela Davis).

Hans Bennett: You are a former political prisoner. Please tell us about your case.

Claude Marks: My co-defendant, Donna Willmott and I were indicted in an escape conspiracy involving Puerto Rican Independentista, Oscar Lopez, who was serving time in USP Leavenworth on charges of seditious conspiracy. The case was part of an ongoing set-up by the FBI, involved a snitch inside the prison, and clearly targeted the Puerto Rican Independence movement and its supporters. We and a collective of folks were underground until our negotiated surrender in 1994, and the two of us served prison sentences.

HB: Why did you start the Freedom Archives?

CM: I have done radio and radical media since 1968 and been part of creating radical news and political radio for many years. Myself and many collaborators secured and maintained our programs which spanned over 30 years. When I was in prison, I re-connected with many of these people and we started discussing how valuable it would be to preserve and re-purpose this radical political history and culture as well as how to make it accessible. We founded the Freedom Archives when I got out and have been building its reach and impact. We try to produce a couple of documentary audio CDs and/or video documentaries every year. We provide materials to others who are interested in this history and culture. We also focus our efforts on working with younger people in order to pass on this legacy. We say: "preserve the past, illuminate the present, shape the future!"

HB: Your recent film “Legacy of Torture” documents the case of the San Francisco 8.

CM: The prosecution of the SF 8 is about criminalizing the history of the Black Liberation Movement, the Black Panther Party, and delegitimizing resistance to racism and oppression. The government, both state and federal, is keen on legitimizing torture and warning activists today and into the future that the stakes are high if you are committed to fighting for a more just and humane world. The case itself rests on alleged confessions obtained under acknowledged torture and has been thrown out previously on that basis.

The structures of capitalism and imperialism rest on hundreds of years of land theft and genocide and sexual oppression. They will use any and all means to maintain their hegemony. So this prosecution is designed to discourage active dissent. Stemming from the old COINTELPRO (Counter-intelligence program), this case signals a new form of COINTELPRO.

COINTELPRO was exposed and condemned by congressional investigators in the 1970s and was officially disbanded - but no agent or agency was ever held accountable for the assassinations, false charges and imprisonment of leaders, or the disorganization and neutralization of movements and organizations that they unleashed. This prosecution is part of today’s COINTELPRO along with the stepped up "Green Scare" prosecutions, the ongoing political use of grand juries (like the current one targeting the Puerto Rican Independence movement), the condoning of torture and indeterminate imprisonment in Guantanamo, the extraordinary rendition programs and secret prisons, the mass imprisonment of largely Black and Brown people, the ongoing repressive presence of police in communities, and the denial of the release of many political prisoners who have served decades inside cages.

It is our job to re-build a movement that will confront them and make them look bad. They act with perceived impunity when they defy human rights laws, scoff at the Geneva conventions, wage wars throughout the world justified by their own lies, and belittle the violence and human suffering that they are responsible for. The international communities perceive this, but we have a special role to play within these borders - to be part of holding the misrulers and torturers responsible! Their arrogance and criminality and our organizing will bring them down one day!

HB: What film are you working on now?

CM: A film called "COINTELPRO 101" that introduces people to the history of government counter-intelligence while tying it to today’s reality - the world of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act. The film will be an organizing tool, an opening of the door to those that have no knowledge of this history.

We hope that people can use this video as a basis for re-opening hearings on COINTELPRO and for holding people and agencies accountable for state violence directed at people's movements. We hope that we can build a stronger movement to win the release of long-held political prisoners, those targeted by COINTELPRO who remain captives of the government. We also want to give people hope that we can work to transform the world and build a more humane society.

HB: Any film-makers you’d recommend?

CM: Costa Gavras and Ousmane Sembene.

HB: Any particular books?

CM: History, History, History! Not the BS in textbooks (see what AK Press is putting out)!

HB: Anything else to add?

CM: I am optimistic. People, especially younger generations, know that this monster is wrong. Our ability to work across generations is important, but especially for us older folks, we need to give up the reins and support those striving to live and create significant challenges to the monster. We need to connect fighting against racial and sexual oppression to saving the planet and fighting against US hegemony. A brighter future is possible if we are willing to make sacrifices. As Che always used to say: hasta la victoria siempre!

--Hans Bennett (insubordination.blogspot.com), is an independent multi-media journalist and co-founder of Journalists for Mumia, whose website is Abu-Jamal-News.com. This interview is featured in the new 4th of July issue of the Journalists for Mumia newspaper, viewable here.


Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #10 
                                        Torture, and the Strategic Helplessness of the American Psychological Association                                                                                                                                                 PDF                                                                                                                 Print                                                                                                         E-mail                        
                                                                                        Written by Stephen Soldz                                                                                                                   
                                        Wednesday, 06 August 2008                                
                        by Stephen Soldz, Brad Olson, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Bryant Welch - Coalition for an Ethical Psychology

Jane Mayer's new book, The Dark Side, has refocused attention on psychologists’ participation in Bush administration torture and detainee abuse. In one chapter Mayer provides previously undisclosed details about psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen’s role in the CIA's brutal, “enhanced interrogation” techniques. These techniques apparently drew heavily on the theory of "learned helplessness" developed by former American Psychological Association President Martin Seligman. (Seligman’s work involved tormenting dogs with electrical shocks until they became totally unable or unwilling to extract themselves from the painful situation. Hence the phrase “learned helplessness.”)

Mayer reports and Seligman has confirmed that, in 2002, Seligman gave a three-hour lecture to the Navy SERE school in San Diego. SERE is the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape program, which attempts to inoculate pilots, special forces, and other potential high-value captives against torture, should they be captured by a power that does not respect the Geneva Conventions. For reasons that are not clear, Seligman reportedly was not invited to the presentation by the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) that runs this program, but directly by the Central Intelligence Agency itself.

In responding to reports of his lecture to SERE psychologist, Dr. Seligman has confirmed the presence of both Mitchell and Jessen at his lecture. He also apparently asked his hosts if the lecture would be used for designing interrogation techniques. Seligman reports that they refused to answer his inquiry on the grounds of military security. Despite the reply, Seligman concluded that his presentation was intended solely to help SERE psychologists protect US troops. He also states unequivocally that he is personally opposed to torture.

The American Psychological Association (APA), the organization of which Seligman was president in 1999, echoed Dr. Seligman's statement in a press release. The release denied allegations that Dr. Seligman knowingly contributed to the design of torture techniques. The APA, in its recent statements, neither denied nor addressed any of the other reports suggesting that the work of psychologists – including that of Seligman, Jessen, and Mitchell – was used to torture detainees. The only comment APA made about Jessen and Mitchell was that because they are not APA members they are not within the purview of the APA’s ethics committee.

What we do now know, from a report issued by the Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and from documents released during recent hearings by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), is that these SERE techniques, designed to ameliorate the effects of torture, were "reverse engineered," transformed from ensuring the safety of our own soldiers, to orchestrating the abuse of detainees in Guantánamo, Afghanistan and Iraq. These documents reveal, further, that certain SERE psychologists shifted roles from supervising protective SERE programs to overseeing SERE-inspired abusive interrogations. Several reporters have named Mitchell and Jessen (former SERE psychologists under contract) as responsible for this "reverse-engineering" that was used at secret CIA "black sites". The Senate Armed Senate Committee reported that other psychologists played a role in the “reverse-engineering” of SERE techniques for the Department of Defense at Guantánamo Bay and in Iraq. Senator Carl Levin, in his introductory comments to the hearings stated:

"a… senior CIA lawyer, Jonathan Fredman, who was chief counsel to the CIA’s CounterTerrorism Center, went to [Guantanamo] attended a meeting of GTMO staff and discussed a memo proposing the use of aggressive interrogation techniques. That memo had been drafted by a psychologist and psychiatrist from [Guantanamo] who, a couple of weeks earlier, had attended the training given at Fort Bragg by instructors from the JPRA SERE school…While the memo remains classified, minutes from the meeting where it was discussed are not. Those minutes … clearly show that the focus of the discussion was aggressive techniques for use against detainees."

The psychologist referred to in Levin’s opening remarks was APA member, Maj. John Leso, whose recommendations at that meeting included “sleep deprivation, withholding food, isolation, loss of time…[to] foster dependence and compliance". Also reported in the hearings was that psychologist Col. Morgan Banks had provided training in abusive SERE techniques to Guantánamo interrogators. Col. Banks, while not an APA member, was appointed to the APA’s Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) task force on interrogations. APA has yet to comment upon the startling revelations of psychologist complicity from these committee hearings.

According to Mayer in The Dark Side, and other reporters over the past three years, in the weeks following Seligman’s lecture, Mitchell made liberal use of the "learned helplessness" paradigm in the harsh tactics he designed to interrogate prisoners held by the CIA. One prisoner was repeatedly locked in a fetal position; in a cage too tiny for him to do anything, other than to lie still in a fetal position. The cage was evidently designed not only to restrict movement, but also to make breathing difficult. In periods where the detainee was outside of the cage, the torture mechanism always remained in plain view so the detainee was constantly aware of his pending return to the device.

Another detainee was suspended on his toes with his wrists manacled above his head. This detainee, however, had a prosthesis that agents removed so that he either balanced on one foot for hours on end or hung suspended from his wrists.

Most detainees were subjected to long periods of isolation, often in total darkness, and often while naked. Human contact in these periods was minimized. In one case, the only human contact for a detainee occurred from a single daily visit when a masked man would show up to state, "You know what I want,” and then disappear.

Based on these media reports and government documents, it seems likely that Dr. Seligman's work on "learned helplessness" was used to aid the development of these torture techniques following his presentation at the SERE school.

APA’s response to the Seligman matter is perplexing. If Dr. Seligman's report is accurate, and he was kept from knowing how the CIA would be using his material because he did not have security clearance, Seligman was evidently duped. At a minimum, one would hope the APA would be concerned enough about this deception to sound a cautionary alarm against psychologists’ naive engagement with government programs potentially involved in interrogation abuses.

Instead, the APA has put extraordinary effort into maintaining and expanding opportunities for psychologists to serve US intelligence and security institutions. As the APA's Science Policy Insider News (SPIN) proudly announced in January 2005, "Since 9/11 psychologists have searched for opportunities to contribute to the nation's counter terrorism and homeland security agenda."

These efforts included cosponsoring a conference with the CIA to investigate the efficacy of enhanced interrogation techniques, including the use of drugs and sensory bombardment. Among the reported organizers of that conference was APA member Kirk Hubbard, Chief of the Research & Analysis Branch, Operational Assessment Division of the CIA. Hubbard recruited the “operational expertise” for that conference. Among the attendees to this “by-invitation-only” conference were Mitchell and Jessen. (Hubbard also helped organize the event at which Seligman spoke and to which Mitchell and Jessen were invited.)

In addition, the APA co-sponsored a conference with the FBI during which it was suggested that therapists report to law-enforcement officials information obtained during therapy sessions regarding “national security risk.” And just this past June, APA's efforts included lobbying for the retention of “invaluable behavioral science programs within DoD’s Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) as it reorganizes and loses personnel strength.” For those who are not familiar with this issue, the CIFA program was closed down because of numerous scandals, including: misuse of national security letters to gain access to private citizen’s financial information without warrants, the resignation of a Congressman accused of accepting bribes in exchange for CIFA contracts, and, according to the New York Times, the collection of a wide-reaching domestic “database that included information about antiwar protests planned at churches, schools and Quaker meeting halls.” The CIFA psychology directorate, although a top secret operation, was known for its risk assessments of Guantánamo detainees, including feeding questions to interrogators.

The issues of psychologist involvement in "national security" efforts are complex. Although there may be appropriate and ethically acceptable ways for psychologists to participate in such activities, even a cursory historical awareness indicates that such involvement is often ethically problematic. Whether for good or for ill, the CIA has a long record of tapping academic scientists as witting and unwitting consultants and researchers, and of providing protection through cover stories and secrecy. For example, the 1977 Senate investigation of the CIA Behavioral Modification Project (called MKULTRA) disclosed that the CIA had contracted with researchers at over 80 universities, hospitals, and other research-based institutions through a front funding agency. In the Senate hearing, the Director of Central Intelligence stated: “I believe we all owe a moral obligation to these researchers and institutions to protect them from any unjustified embarrassment or damage to their reputations which revelations of their identities might bring."i But these are not just ploys of the past. Recently, Dr. Belinda Canton, a long-time CIA intelligence manager and a member of the 2005 President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, recommended opportunistic use of scientists as an approach to management of uncertainty: “Identify academics and scientists who may have insights” and note where “opportunities exist to exploit scientific cadre.”ii

This history, along with the current, well-documented authorizations for detainee abuse, should have provided sufficient warning to APA leaders and to individual psychologists about the moral risks in aiding the national security apparatus, especially under the present U.S. administration. But the APA has not taken the lead in helping psychologists confront these dangerous ethical situations. To the contrary, the APA has been insensitive to the use of psychological techniques in torture and to the role of psychologists in aiding that torture. This insensitivity itself has shocked many psychologists here and abroad.

In 2006, Time magazine released the interrogation log of Guantanamo detainee 063, Mohammed al-Qahtani. This log demonstrated that al-Qahtani had been systematically tortured for six weeks in late 2002 and 2003. The log also alleged that psychologist and APA member Maj. John Leso was present at least several times during these episodes. The APA said nothing about this alleged participation of an APA member in documented torture. It is at least 23 months since ethics complaints were filed against Dr. Leso and still the APA has remained silent.

In May 2007, the Defense Department declassified the Office of Inspector General report, documenting the role of SERE psychologists in training military and CIA personnel in techniques of abuse that "violated the Geneva Conventions." The APA responded with silence. When we inquired about the APA’s reaction, we were told that the organization needed time to "carefully study" the report. It has been 14 months, and to date no APA leader has commented upon the Report.

The APA leadership has failed psychologists and failed the profession of psychology. It has also failed the country. When ethical guidance was required, the APA put its ethical authority in the hands of those involved in the questionable practices that needed investigation. When the evidence became overwhelming that psychologists helped design, implement, and standardize a U.S. torture regime, the APA remained silent. When it was reported that the use of psychological paradigms such as ‘learned helplessness’ have guided psychologists’ manipulation of detainee conditions, the APA continues to ignore or discount these reports. They instead assert that psychologists presence’ at CIA black sites and detention camps “assures safety.” When it became clear that the APA should offer a strong voice and a clear policy prohibiting psychologists’ participation in operations that systematically violate the Geneva conventions and international law, the APA leadership raised concern that a “restraint of trade” lawsuit might be brought against them. These arguments, of course, do not pass the red face test in any discerning forum of world opinion.

These are not our values. The APA leadership has shamed us and our profession with its strategic helplessness. It is time for the APA to clarify that psychologists may not ethically support in any way abusive or coercive interrogation tactics in any settings. It is also time to identify and hold publicly responsible the individual psychologists who have created the institution that the APA has now become. It is time to hold these psychologists accountable for developing the widespread and systematic moral failures in the organization’s current infrastructure. Indeed, if we do not do this, then we, too, are complicit with torture.


U.S. Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence and Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources. (1977) Project MKULTRA: the         CIA's program of research in behavioral modification.         U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. Pp. 7, 12-13,         123 & 148-149.
[Canton, Belinda. (2008). The active management of uncertainty. International         Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 21 (3): 487-518.]

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Reply with quote  #11 
June 13, 2011
Maher Arar: My Rendition & Torture in Syrian Prison Highlights U.S. Reliance on Syria as an Ally

As Syria continues its brutal crackdown on demonstrators, we speak to a Canadian citizen who was repeatedly tortured by Syrian authorities after he was rendered to Syria by the United States in 2002. Maher Arar was seized at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in September 2002 and sent to Syria, where he was tortured and interrogated in a tiny underground cell for nearly a year. He now works as a human rights advocate in Canada. “The cooperation with the Syrian government, as well as other dictatorships in the Middle East post-9/11, gave some kind of legitimacy to those dictatorships,” says Arar. He calls on the United States and the United Nations to declare the Syrian regime illegitimate and refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. [includes rush transcript]

Maher Arar, Canadian citizen who was a victim of U.S. extraordinary rendition in 2002. He was seized at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in September 2002 and sent to Syria, where he was tortured and interrogated in a tiny underground cell for nearly a year. He now works as a human rights advocate in Canada.

AMY GOODMAN: As we continue on the issue of Syria, we’re joined by Maher Arar, a former victim of U.S. rendition, now a human rights activist in Canada. Maher Arar was seized in New York’s Kennedy Airport in September of 2002, and he was sent to Syria, where he was tortured and interrogated in a tiny underground cell for more than 10 months. He ultimately was returned to Canada. The Canadian government awarded him $10 million for what he went through. Maher Arar joins us now from Ottawa, Canada.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Maher. Talk about, first, what happened to you. This isn’t now, during this current uprising; this was during the Bush government—but how you feel it relates to the—what’s happening in Syria today.

MAHER ARAR: Basically, my experience allows me to relate to what is happening right now, in terms of the massive human rights abuses, whether it’s torture or atrocity, you know, crimes committed against civilians. I know firsthand how brutal this regime could be. But again, what is unique in my case, as compared to what is happening in Syria right now, is I was sent to Syria by the supposedly democratic government. The U.S. government sent me there against my will in 2002.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, for people who are not familiar with your story—and people can go to democracynow.org, because we have chronicled your story since you were captured by the—well, I shouldn’t say "captured," because you were at Kennedy Airport transiting through to Canada after a family vacation. But briefly explain what happened to you.

MAHER ARAR: Well, basically, I was transiting in New York on my way to Montreal, and I was stopped by the New York police, and eventually the FBI showed up. I was interrogated for about 10 hours, almost until midnight. And then I was chained and shackled. I was not read my rights. I was told I didn’t have a right to a lawyer. And I was eventually accused of being a member of al-Qaeda, based on classified information that they did not want to share with me. Of course, today we know what information that is, because there was an extensive inquiry in Canada, which cleared my name and gave some facts about what happened. And then I was kept at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, for about 10 days, after which I was bundled on a private jet to Jordan, from where I was transported to Syria and eventually psychologically and physically tortured.

I stayed in Syria, most of my time, in an underground cell which is the size of a coffin, basically. It’s about three feet wide, six feet high and about seven feet deep. It was a filthy place. It was dark. It’s basically—that’s why I always refer to it as a grave-like cell, because it reminds you of really a grave.

And I was eventually released and—because my wife had gone on a public campaign and pressured and lobbied the Canadian government to press for my release. And eventually there was an inquiry in Canada. There was a huge outrage, public outrage, here about what happened to me. And the inquiry took about three years, and reporters reported about what happened. I was eventually, you know, cleared. And the Canadian government was blamed for sending false information to their U.S. counterparts.

AMY GOODMAN: And you were awarded over $10 million by the Harper government, a Bush ally—

MAHER ARAR: Correct.

AMY GOODMAN:—which is extremely interesting here, although the U.S. government has never apologized for what happened to you.

MAHER ARAR: That is correct. I was—I launched a lawsuit upon my return, both in Canada and the U.S., separate lawsuits. The Canadian government chose to settle the lawsuit immediately after the inquiry. Unfortunately, the U.S. judicial system has been not very understanding and has been siding—or has sided with the U.S. government and took the U.S. government arguments, despite all the public information that exists today about what happened to me. And on top of that, the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, apologized to myself and my family for what happened to us, even though the Canadian government role, when compared to the U.S. role, is really minor, in my opinion.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, this is very relevant to today, because I think most people would say the U.S. has not been an ally of Syria. And yet, in your case, it worked with Syria, though you said if they thought you were guilty of a crime, when you were taken from JFK, let them deport you to Canada, where you were a citizen, and let them try you. They actually sent you to Syria.

MAHER ARAR: Well, let me emphasize here, my case is probably unique in the sense that I was the only Syrian-born Canadian who was sent or renditioned to Syria from U.S. soil. But let me be clear here, there were many victims of rendition of Syrian origin who actually were rendered from Pakistan and other places to Syria. Now, why the—and let me also say that when the American government sent me to Syria, they knew exactly what they were doing. In fact, I can vividly remember what an ex-CIA agent said around 2004 about the rendition program. He basically something said like—if I remember correctly, his is name is Robert Baer. He said, "If you want people to be well interrogated, you send them to Jordan. If you want people to be disappeared, you send them to Egypt. And if you want people to be tortured, you send them to Syria." And that’s exactly what ended up happening. So what this basically says is that whoever took the decision to send me to Syria, they knew, or they basically wanted me to be tortured in order to extract information, what we call today "torture by proxy."

AMY GOODMAN: That was Robert Baer, the ex-CIA agent. So, what do you think this means about the U.S. relationship with Syria today, how much sway the U.S. has, what the U.S. should be doing right now? We just got reports from Damascus and from the border, Amnesty describing this as a scorched earth policy against—well, against the Syrian government’s own people, that the Syrian government, that Bashar al-Assad, is engaging in right now.

MAHER ARAR: Well, the U.S. government has a huge responsibility for a simple reason. The cooperation with the Syrian government, as well as other dictatorships in the Middle East post-9/11, gave some kind of legitimacy to those dictatorships. And it is now—the prime responsibility of the U.S. government is to put the pressure on the Syrian government.

For instance, two things that the U.S. government can do right now. First of all, they have to declare this regime to be illegitimate, and they have forfeited their right to rule. Second, I think they have to press—and we’re here in Canada doing this, I mean, human rights activists and myself are actually pushing our government here to take a lead to refer this matter to the International Criminal Court.

Right now, the international community, including the U.S., is using very soft language, in my opinion. And imposing sanctions on some elements within the regime will not put much pressure. I think what needs to be done right now is to declare this regime to be illegitimate and also to refer this matter to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible. And that, in my opinion, will make a huge difference in terms of putting pressure on the regime.

AMY GOODMAN: Maher Arar, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Again, he was the victim of U.S. extraordinary rendition. He was seized at Kennedy Airport, sent to Syria in 2002, where he was held in a tiny underground cell for almost a year. He was tortured, physically, psychologically. Ultimately, the Canadian government awarded him more than $10 million. He now continues to live in Canada with his family. His wife ran for public office, where Maher Arar is a human rights advocate today.

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Reply with quote  #13 

Gang Stalking = COINTELPRO = STASI decomposition


The FBI and all law enforcement agencies are currently using a psychological warfare protocol like "COINTELPRO" which is almost identical to the STASI "decomposition". This is what people are referring to as Gang Stalking.


The earliest forms of this that I know of are from Egypt, Greece and Rome. Each of these societies had pervasive spy/informant networks that were spying on each other as well as looking for spies inside of their own empires. Anyone who did not feel that their own respective empire was the most perfect society could be considered a traitor. In other words they were looking for anyone who had thoughts beliefs and attitudes that were not approved of by the state that could instigate revolt or subversive activity or otherwise make them a danger to the empire. This obviously created a snitch culture and there were bound to be abuses. If a person was not liked by another then it was easy to persuade others to make a complaint and get that person killed or exiled. No one dare say or do anything that was politically incorrect and thus the rulers were able to maintain power and control over the people. Blatant execution or exile is common in an empire but in a democracy it is not as easy to accomplish these punishments so modern psychological operations were developed to accomplish these goals and in this way an empire can masquerade as a democracy.


The STASI decomposition protocol is an excellent example of how these modern psychological operations work. The STASI decomposition is almost identical to the FBI’s COINTELPRO. Here is a link to a document that shows an overview of the STASI decomposition.

·         http://www.scribd.com/doc/71863415

·         http://www.mediafire.com/?5w80dni99qc1c8w


Law enforcement agencies in concert with government and corporations are using bribery, deception, coercion & blackmail to create an informant & saboteur network out of criminals of all kinds, extremist groups, cults, patriotic zealots, the poor, the homeless, friends, family, neighbors, repair men, fire men, police, military personnel and agents to target individuals and groups that have beliefs and attitudes (such as civil rights and animal rights.) that may cause them to commit acts of terrorism at some future time or motivate others to commit terrorist acts or incite revolt. This pre-crime approach has existed numerous times throughout American history but has reared its ugly head again due to 9/11.

Unfortunately, according to former FBI agent Mike German, many post 9/11 targeted individuals are nothing more than a training exercise.




·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO












Here is a lecture by Noam Chomsky that uncovers the root mindset in America that predicates the targeting of groups and individuals.



The real power behind gang stalking and many other terrible things is the minority of the opulent but the front group making all the policy changes these days is the neoconservatives. Neoconservatisim is a cult ideology that has been bankrolled and nurtured by the opulent just like all of the other cult ideologies created or co-opted by the opulent for their machinations.

·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/lettersstatements.htm


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm


·         http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm


·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Policy_Initiative


·         http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/


·         http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/foreignpolicy2011


·         http://www.abovetheswamp.com/articles/political-issues/74-the-neocon-mind


Stalin and Hitler were fanatical leaders inspired by a gang mentality and by the concept of "historic mission." They believed that intolerance and large scale brutality were necessary ingredients of social order. Each of them was also supported by the “cult of personality.” The neocons are strikingly similar.


What are the components of gang mentality?



·         Extreme concern with reputation both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.



·         Extreme concern with respect both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.



·         No challenge will go unanswered. It is so with the neocons as well.


What is the concept of “historic mission”?


In a well documented conversation, Adolf Hitler berated the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg and stated…

"That is what you say!...But I am telling you that I am going to solve the so-called Austrian problem one way or the other...I have a historic mission, and this mission I will fulfill because Providence has destined me to do so...I have only to give an order and all your ridiculous defense mechanisms will be blown to bits. You don't seriously believe you can stop me or even delay me for half an hour, do you?"


Prominent neocon Michael Ledeen stated…

“Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”


What is the cult of personality?


The cult of personality is explained pretty well here…

·         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_personality


The Straussian philosophy is a cult of personality and the neocons follow the Straussian philosophy

·         http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13145.htm


If you select 1 percent of a population (Whistle blowers, dissidents, artists, those that look funny, and act or dress funny) and punish them severely for little or nothing, then you will gain the compliance of the other 99 percent either through fear or because they’ve been conned by the COINTELPRO/STASI type propaganda in to believing that the TI’s must be removed from society for the common good. Then you can implement the social, political and financial changes you want on a grand scale in a relatively short period of time. I.E. advance your historic mission. This has been done enumerable times throughout history.


When the average person considers what the Nazis or Stalin did, they are naturally horrified. When a banker considers what the Nazis or Stalin did they have dollar signs in their eyes. MONEY is the real reason this is happening!!! The bankers know that a one world government is not possible. Empire building has been going on for centuries and a global empire has never been realized. But if you understand finance, history, politics and the military industrial complex, then it is clear to see that it is the EXERCISE of building empires and large scale wars that redistributes the wealth of nations into the hands of the banking elite and keeps the masses under control.


Unfortunately most human beings don't understand how their own minds work nor are they well educated in multiple disciplines. Most of the people that perpetrate these crimes against humanity aren't fully aware that there is such a big conspiracy going on. It’s just that most human beings have so many inherent psychological weaknesses and such a deep lack of education that if you alter the socioeconomic landscape in just the right way, you get what you see here in America today.



·         http://brainz.org/ten-most-revealing-psych-experiments/



Here are a few very credible documentaries that will help you to understand what’s really going on and hopefully survive…


·         http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/#watch


·         http://metanoia-films.org/human-resources/#watch










One of the biggest mistakes people make when they become TI’s is to attempt to create a counter spy network against those that are surveilling them. This is something that the neocons and the banking elite are OK with. A global spy counter spy network is much like the cold war and the cold war was extremely profitable for the banking elite not to mention a powerful pretext to control people. The global war on terror needs a global terrorist network and since there really is not one, many targets will be manipulated into acting out in ways that can classify them as terrorists thus creating the impetus for law enforcement agencies to demand more tax payer money to fight the war on terror. Targets are all better off contacting a civil rights group and explaining that they have reason to believe they have been placed on the terrorist watch list.


Do yourself a favor and learn as much about economics and finance as possible. It will help you survive. This is all the info you will need to be an educated investor. It’s not a get rich quick thing, just a solid economics and investing education.


·         http://www.mediafire.com/?f0ep3y537y6hlxy


·         http://www.mediafire.com/?7jyqc3yjoy78uqr


·         http://www.mediafire.com/?hrxa7ca24n7h0uk



Also, listen to as many lectures by Professor Noam Chomsky as possible. They are all over the internet. He is brilliant and has been exposing the machinations of the opulent (Rothschild, Rockefeller etc) for decades. His research is very credible and will help you to separate the facts from the propaganda and give you a measure of mental clarity and peace. Utilizing his research will also help you gain some of your credibility back with others.


Try to explain all of this to your friends and family. Usually when people see the mission statement of the neocons from their websites (PNAC & FPI) they start listening.


According to anti-communist author Ludwik Kowalski

“Mass murder occurs when brutal and sadistic criminals, to be found in every society, are promoted to positions of dominance, when propaganda is used to dehumanize the targeted population and when children are inoculated with intolerance and hatred. It occurs when victims ("inferior races" or "class enemies") are excluded from the norms of morality, when ideological totalitarianism is imposed and when freedom is suspended. Fear and violence, the preconditions of genocide, are likely to be found in societies with large numbers of thieves and informants.”


Here is some info on how to take care of your physical health.

·         http://www.mediafire.com/?obd4zl5rrjbvwr1


Visit this YouTube channel and watch everything on it. You will gain a clear understanding of what’s really going on.

·         http://www.youtube.com/user/phrygian20


Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #14 
Yea the elderly loosing their life savings to Click and Clack
is a form of torture, eh?


see link for full story
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/cri ... =rss_crime

Former FBI agent, wife face sentencing in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. — A former FBI agent and his wife are due in federal court in Richmond for sentencing in an investment fraud case.

John and Sara Graves of Fredericksburg were convicted of conspiracy, mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud in April. John Graves also was convicted of investment adviser fraud and lying to the FBI. They face sentencing Tuesday.

John Graves founded an investment company in 2003. Prosecutors said he and his wife targeted elderly investors and used their funds to buy real estate and pay business and personal expenses.

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #15 
see link for full story

2 reads

1st read

2nd read


Ohio woman sues FBI for profiling over strip-search, jailing off Detroit Metro flight

4:41 PM, January 22, 2013  |  

A 36-year-old Ohio woman who is half-Jewish and half-Arab filed a lawsuit today against the FBI and other federal agencies, saying she was yanked off an airplane at Metro Airport on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, strip-searched, and jailed more than four hours in a dirty cell because of her ethnic background.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Detroit on behalf of Shoshana Hebshi of Sylvania Ohio, who was on a Frontier Airlines flight that landed in Detroit on Sept. 11, 2011. She and two Indian-American men sitting in her row were targeted by federal agents who entered the plane, ordered them off the plane, handcuffed them, and pushed them down the stairs into vehicles, Hebshi said.

She was then placed in a cell, where she was ordered to strip naked, squat, and cough while an officer looked at her. Hebshi said she was terrified.

"I was frightened and humiliated," said Hebshi, a freelance journalist and mother of 7-year-old twins. "As an American citizen and a mom, I'm really concerned about my children growing up in a country where your skin color and your name can put your freedom and liberty at risk at any time."

At the time, Hebshi's case drew international attention, leading to reports from the Guardian to The Economist that raised questions about the profiling of minorities in the U.S. Hebshi told the Free Press on Tuesday that she hopes the lawsuit can lead to changes and "heightened awareness" of abusive law enforcement.

Hebshi and the two men were detained after people on the plane complained about two of them going to the rest room. Flight attendants had alerted the pilot that the men going to the rest room were "possibly of Arab descent," the lawsuit said.

After landing, "men with very large guns, militaristic looking, ran on the plane," Hebshi recalled.

They told everyone to put their hands down on the seat in front of them. The agents then told Hebshi and the two men to get up. They were handcuffed and then detained, the only three on the plane to be arrested.

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