Aletho News


Did the CIA train Ukrainian torturers?

Journalist reports similarities between Ukrainian and American torture techniques

By Lucas Leiroz | May 16, 2022

Western media accuse Russia of perpetrating war crimes in Ukraine and committing human rights violations against civilians and prisoners. However, these same agencies are absolutely silent in the face of the evident practices of torture by Kiev’s agents against their enemies, which, curiously, present several similarities with the already known torture techniques applied by the CIA, according to a recent report by a journalist. The matter raises suspicions about a possible “instruction” that would be transmitted by American intelligence to Ukrainian neo-Nazis on “how to torture”.

On May 6, a meeting was held at the United Nations Security Council in order to discuss topics concerning the war crimes committed by Kiev against the population of Donbass during the eight years of conflict. Various evidence was presented, showing that such crimes are real and constitute indeed a serious problem in the region. The proofs included photos, videos, oral testimonies from residents of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as many other materials collected by journalists on the ground.

One of the journalist team’s leaders is the Dutch independent reporter Sonja van den Ende, who categorically claims that there is irrefutable evidence of the collaboration between Ukrainian official forces and neo-Nazi battalions in the execution of such crimes, showing that the practice is institutionalized and not restricted to isolated paramilitary groups. She also states that, despite the material presented, some Western countries – mainly US, UK, and France – showed an “arrogant” attitude, being disrespectful to the delicacy of the subject and ignoring the evidence of suffering of the people of Donbass, as well as despising the work of journalists.

These were some of her words: “I participated in the UN Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on 6 May 2022 (…) The goal of this meeting was to present to the United Nations (UN) members evidence about war crimes committed by the Ukrainian Army in cooperation with the Azov Battalion which was provided by us, journalists on the ground, in Donbass. The evidence was presented in the form of videos and oral testimonies, from residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, especially Mariupol, Volnovakha and Melitiopol (…) [However] They (Western countries) completely ignored us and didn’t ask any questions (…) I personally made some remarks at the end of the meeting. I asked them if they want WWIII and why they don’t listen to us, the journalists, who are working on the ground”.

More than simply ignoring the gravity of the facts, the representatives of the Western powers even tried to deny the irrefutable evidence of such crimes. Rodney Hunter, political coordinator for the US Mission to the United Nations, claimed that Russia was “misusing” the Council’s functions and “spewing falsehoods, disinformation, lies and false narratives”. He ignored the fact that the accusations were not simply “made by Russia” but corroborated by an international team of journalists.

In fact, this Western attitude was already expected by all analysts who study the Ukrainian case. Silence and disdain have already become central hallmarks of the way Kiev’s allies deal with the countless evidence of war crimes, genocide and torture committed by the Ukrainian armed forces and Russophobic neo-Nazi militias. Russia has been trying to resolve the case in international instances for a long time, but without success, as is the case with the lawsuit filed within the European Court and ignored by the judges. The impossibility of peaceful resolution was one of the reasons why the military operation became inevitable.

What seems most shocking, however, is the fact that the reports pointed out by Van den Ende state as a conclusion that there is a similarity in practices between the acts of torture witnessed in the Donbass and those practiced by US agents in other parts of the world. Some of the journalists who participated in the investigations in Donbass, including Sonja herself, had previously participated in similar activities elsewhere, investigating crimes of torture committed by Americans. These professionals see an extreme similarity of practices in both cases and believe that this is not a mere coincidence.

The Dutch journalist stated that the torture techniques she saw practiced in a secret Ukrainian prison in Mariupol are strikingly similar to those practiced by the CIA in clandestine detention sites around the world. These techniques include acts of extreme violence, such as the so-called “enhanced interrogations”, where the interrogated are physically hurt in order to give information – a practice that was already confirmed by the US Senate, in 2014, to have been used by the CIA against prisoners.

Furthermore, Van den Ende claims that she has found evidence that Ukrainian neo-Nazis practice the so-called “waterboarding”, a drowning technique that is also widely used by the CIA, which leads her to believe that the Azov Battalion and other Ukrainian nationalist militias have been specifically trained by the Americans on “how to torture” their detainees.

Considering the high level of proximity between US intelligence and Ukrainian neo-Nazis, it does not seem surprising that the US has in fact operated some sort of clandestine training, teaching torture techniques considered “efficient”. What is surprising is that international organizations remain silent in the face of such an absurd fact. Something so serious cannot in any way be ignored: sanctions must be applied against the US for its connivance with Ukrainian crimes in Donbass.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

UN Urges Israel to Protect Freedom of Assembly After Video Emerges of Journalist Funeral

Samizdat – 13.05.2022

The United Nations is aware of “shocking” video showing violence during the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem and calls on the Israeli government to protect freedom of peaceful assembly, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Friday.

“We have just seen the video coming from this, and this is very shocking to us,” Haq said in a press briefing.

Israeli forces fatally shot reporter Shireen Abu Akleh and injured another employee as the two were covering the government forces’ raids in the West Bank city of Jenin, media reported on Wednesday.

The video showed violence erupting during Akleh’s funeral in Jerusalem when the Israeli police charged the crowd carrying her coffin.
Haq said the United Nations will try to gather more information about the incident.

“Clearly, as in all cases, we want to make sure that the basic rights to freedom of assembly, and of course the right to freedom of peaceful demonstration are protected and upheld,” he said.

No country can attack or kill journalists and those who are responsible for such actions need to be brought to account, Haq added.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 10 Comments

Israel Extends Detention of World Vision Gaza Director

Mohammed Al-Halabi, World Vision’s Operations Manager in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: File)
Palestine Chronicle | May 3, 2022

Israel’s prosecution requested to extend the detention of Palestinian aid worker Mohammed al-Halabi nearly six years after Israel accused him of diverting tens of millions of dollars from an international charity to Hamas, The New Arab reported.

World Vision — a major Christian charity that operates around the world — as well as independent auditors and the Australian government, have found no evidence of any wrongdoing. Al-Halabi’s lawyer says he has rejected multiple plea bargains that would have allowed him to walk free years ago.

The prosecution has requested another hearing on Monday to extend his detention, he has yet to be convicted in an Israeli court and is still being held in detention.

Al-Halabi has consistently denied the accusations throughout his 167 court hearings. Israel hopes that in time and under duress, the father of five will confess under pressure, activists say.

After al-Halabi’s arrest, World Vision suspended its activities in Gaza, where over 2 million Palestinians live under a crippling 15-year Israeli blockade.

May 4, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Over 150 Palestinians injured as Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa

MEMO | April 15, 2022

More than 150 Palestinians were injured at dawn on Friday as the Israeli police stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 152 Palestinians were injured by Israeli police in the courtyards of the mosque.

The Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets, tear gas, and beaten by the Israeli police which also fired a barrage of stun grenades.

In a statement, the Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said that one of the mosque’s guards was hit in the eye by a rubber-coated metal bullet.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli police pursued the worshipers and beat them in the mosque’s courtyards.

For its part, the Israeli police announced in a statement that three of its members were slightly injured by stones thrown at them.

The police also noted in another statement that its forces removed the “rioters” in Al-Aqsa Mosque and arrested about 300 of them.

Thousands of worshipers were in the mosque where they were performing the morning prayer.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mutilated Yellow Vests march a week ahead of Macron’s re-election bid

By Ramin Mazaheri – Press TV – April 4, 2022

Paris – Exactly one week before the first round of the French election the embodiment of the past five years marched in Paris: Yellow Vests who were crippled, blinded and mutilated by police.

On every Saturday from November 2018 until June 2019 a national bloodletting took place on a scope which was unprecedented in recent Western history. The numbers are as staggering as the lack of Western condemnation for the French government: at least 11,000 arrests, 1,000 imprisoned, 5,000 protesters seriously hurt, 1,000 critically injured, scores maimed for life and 11 deaths.

Those who suffered the most say they don’t want to be forgotten when voters go to the ballot box. The huge phalanx of armed police which still accompany the Yellow Vests every Saturday kept their distance, while the mainstream media was not present at the protest almost at all.

Over 75% of cases involving hurt protesters are immediately dropped, without any court case or even an investigation. Punishment of police for mistreating Yellow Vest anti-government protesters has been almost non-existent. The Yellow Vests are routinely credited with an approval rating of 75%, an unheard of score in a country where perceptions of political corruption are commonplace.

The state-sponsored police brutality, combined with the so called “anti-Yellow Vest laws”, scared many into no longer attending public protests. President Emmanuel Macron is expected to win a close re-election, but the damage to France’s international reputation cannot be estimated.

April 4, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

UK plans to designate Yemen’s Houthis as terrorists risk disaster warns aid agencies

MEMO | April 3, 2022

The British government’s plans to designate Yemen’s Houthi movement as a terrorist group risk worsening the humanitarian crisis in the country, leading aid agencies have warned in a letter to cabinet ministers.

According to a report yesterday by The Guardian, 11 British aid agencies, including Save the Children, Care, the International Rescue Committee and Islamic Relief sent the letter upon being informed that Home Secretary Priti Patel was pushing for the designation under the Terrorism Act as part of a review of British policy in Yemen.

There are fears that the move, described as a “blunt tool” could hamper aid efforts in the country, already on the brink of famine, as international banks and companies that import food, medicines and fuel could be impacted by terrorism laws, especially as the Houthi-led, de-facto government based in Sanaa control the most densely populated areas in the north.

“The likely ‘chilling effect’ on banks and other commercial actors could prove catastrophic for the millions of Yemenis already at risk from hunger, conflict and disease,” the letter stated.

“Grain importers and banks told humanitarian agencies they are unsure if they will be able to continue supplying Yemen if the UK proceeds with proscription of Ansar Allah,” the aid agencies explained, referring to the formal name of the Houthi group.

“[If] banks were to refuse transfers because of UK proscription, this would likely have a serious impact on remittances, which are a lifeline for 500,000 Yemeni families. Up to one in 10 Yemenis rely on remittances to meet their essential needs. They are the biggest source of foreign exchange into the country, making up 20% of the country’s GDP. More than 100,000 Yemenis living in the UK would no longer be able to support their loved ones.”

However, the plans have received the support of some of the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE who have been hit by cross-border attacks by the Houthis. Both are joint-leaders of the Arab coalition which militarily intervened in the country in 2015 at the request of the internationally-recognised Yemeni government following the fall of Sanaa to the Houthi forces and their military allies the year before.

Last year the Houthis were listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation towards the end of former US President Donald Trump’s administration, which was condemned by human rights groups at the time who warned it could further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. However, President Joe Biden formally delisted the movement amid announcements that the US would end its support for the Saudi-led war. Earlier this year, Biden said he would consider relisting the Houthis as a terrorist group and it has become a source of tensions between Washington and its Gulf allies, Saudi and the UAE.

April 3, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Subjugation - Torture, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces shoot, kill 16-year-old Palestinian boy in Jenin

Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya (Photo courtesy of the Abu Atiya family)
Defense for Children Palestine | March 31, 2022

Ramallah – Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old boy with live ammunition in the northern occupied West Bank this morning.

Sanad Mohammad Khalil Abu Atiya, 16, was shot and killed with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 8:15 a.m. on March 31 in Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine. An Israeli soldier shot Sanad as he approached Yazeed al-Saadi, 22, moments after al-Saadi was shot in the back of the head. The bullet struck Sanad in the right side of his chest and exited out his back, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

“Israeli forces frequently use live ammunition in unjustified circumstances, ignoring their obligation under international law to only resort to intentional lethal force when a direct, mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Systemic impunity has fostered an environment where Israeli forces know no bounds.”

Sanad was killed as Israeli forces were leaving the area after conducting a search and arrest operation in nearby Jenin refugee camp, Haaretz reported. Palestinian residents reportedly threw stones at the armored Israeli military vehicles as they withdrew from Jenin refugee camp towards Jenin’s Al-Zahra neighborhood, according to information gathered by DCIP.

An eyewitness reported that gunshots were fired from the refugee camp as the Israeli vehicles left the area. Palestinian residents who were throwing stones began to flee, as one of the armored Israeli military vehicles drove in reverse pursuing those who were fleeing, an eyewitness told DCIP.

An Israeli soldier exited the passenger side of the jeep, took a shooting position, and fired around 15 live ammunition rounds in quick succession, the eyewitness told DCIP. The soldier shot al-Saadi in the back of the head, and al-Saadi fell to the ground about two meters (six feet) from a car that Sanad and the eyewitness were hiding behind. Sanad was shot as he approached al-Saadi in an attempt to render aid, the eyewitness told DCIP.

Ambulances were able to reach Sanad a few minutes later, and he and al-Saadi were both transported to Ibn Sina hospital where they were pronounced dead, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.

Sanad is the fifth Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Nader Haitham Fathi Rayyan, 16, was killed by Israeli forces on March 15 outside the entrance of Balata refugee camp located southeast of Nablus on March 15. Israeli forces shot and killed Yamen Nafez Mahmoud Khanafseh in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem on March 6. Israeli forces shot and killed 13-year-old Mohammad Rezq Shehadeh Salah on February 22 in Al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem. An Israeli sniper shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammad Akram Ali Taher Abu Salah with live ammunition on February 13 while Israeli forces deployed in the village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

2021 was the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014. Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 78 Palestinian children, according evidence collected by DCIP.

© 2022 Defense for Children Palestine

March 31, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Lebanon: ‘shocking’ details of torture in Israeli-run prison

MEMO | March 24, 2022

The details of torture in an Israeli-run prison in Lebanon, including the electrocution of a female detainee and denial of medical care, have been uncovered in newly declassified Israeli documents.

Arab prisoners were subjected to inhumane treatment at the Khiam Prison run by Israel in Southern Lebanon, which operated for fifteen years until the occupation state withdrew from its northern neighbour in 2000. Details of the torture and serious human rights violations were found within the archive documents released by Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet.

The documents were released following a petition to the High Court of Justice by human rights activists including lawyer Eitay Mack, who over recent years has uncovered Israel’s questionable ties to rogue human rights abusing regimes. The materials, the activists say, record “torture and cruel and inhumane punishments” in the prison.

“Together with the South Lebanon Army, the Israel Defence Forces and Shin Bet ran a detention and torture facility like those in the military dictatorships in Latin America,” Mack told Haaretz. The Israeli paper reported the gruesome details at length.

“The torture inflicted in Khiam Prison is a crime against humanity,” Mack said. “The documents that were revealed due to the petition are shocking, and constitute only a miniscule glimpse into the hell that they ran there. We will continue to fight until all the documents are made available to the public and those responsible for the horrors are brought to justice.”

Khiam Prison was opened in 1985 near the eponymous village, which is located in South Lebanon, a few kilometres north of the Israeli border. It was originally built as an army barracks in the 1930s.

Only a tiny fraction of the documents has been released. Legal proceedings are underway to obtain all of the material. The full scale of the torture is likely to be even more shocking.

Nevertheless, the small sample of declassified documents still paints a horrific picture. Between 250 and 300 detainees were said to have been held in the prison at any given time. They belonged to various organisations and political parties, including Amal, Hezbollah, the Communist Party, Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

According to one document, a female detainee being interrogated on suspicion of being “connected to Hezbollah” was electrocuted. The victim “received electricity in her fingers”, which is another way of saying that she was tortured during the interrogation.

A document dated 1988 testifies to the hunger from which the prisoners suffered in the jail. “This morning, the manager of the local prison reported that yesterday a hunger strike erupted in the prison due to a shortage of food,” it says.

Another document, from 1997, discussed medical problems from which the detainees suffered. In summary, the document says that there exists “a painful problem” and that the source who warned about it feels “that he has no support in the event that a detainee dies in prison due to medical problems or a failure to administer treatment recommended by the doctor.”

According to Amnesty International, during the prison’s fifteen years of operation, 11 detainees died. With the full scale of the torture still to be unveiled, the death toll may actually be much higher.

March 25, 2022 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Getting Away with Murder


So Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “thug and a murderous dictator.” That is the judgement of President of the United States Joe Biden, delivered directly to Putin during a phone conversation, and it is backed up by a unanimous vote in the US Senate endorsing Biden’s more recently expressed view that Putin is also a “war criminal.” And if anyone doubted the sheer malignancy of America’s legislators, the viewing of a televised appeal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinskyy calling for US intervention in his war was met with cheers, shouts of approval and a standing ovation not seen in this hemisphere since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited a Joint Congressional session in 2015. Unfortunately, in spite of all the euphoria, these comments, gestures and allegations are completely gratuitous, whether they are wholly or partly true or not, and they guarantee that a normal relationship between Russia and the United States is not likely to be reestablished no matter what the outcome to the current fighting in Ukraine.

If that is what diplomacy looks like in 2022 America then we are in serious trouble. The fact is that the US record for committing what are potentially war crimes dwarfs that of Russia or any other country with the sole exception of Israel. One only has to go through the list starting with Vietnam and continuing with Serbia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen to appreciate the places that have been on the receiving end of either covert actions or direct intervention by US armed forces or those of its close allies. Along the way, civilians have literally died in their millions as the Pax Americana has proven to be elusive in spite of a sprinkling of more than 1,000 United States military bases worldwide. Russia is a parvenu in comparison.

It is widely understood that the United States in the post-World War 2 world, shaped the new so-called international rules-based order to benefit itself, with the designation of the dollar as the world reserve currency for energy purchases, benefitting only Washington through the Treasury Department’s ability to print money without any commodity having real value to back it up. Combine that with de facto control over the international banking system and the US has been able to render itself bullet proof when it starts wars or commits other crimes. It does not accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, has even blocked the travel of ICC investigators to the US, and has never been held accountable for any of its questionable activities.

The end of the cold war brought about some adjustments in the international order, but, for the US, it meant an initial drive to loot the resources of Russia under Boris Yeltsin followed by Bill Clinton’s breaking the promise made to Mikhail Gorbachev not to take advantage of the changed circumstances to expand NATO to include the former Warsaw Pact nations in Eastern Europe. The current situation with Ukraine is a consequence of that continuous interference in Russia’s legitimate sphere of influence, which culminated with the regime change engineered by Washington in Kiev in 2014.

The United States is often regarded by other countries as a rogue nation, precisely because it shows little respect for the vital interests of others and is willing to manipulate international institutions in support of political and social objectives that have little or nothing to do with actual national security. Its sanctions frequently bring suffering to ordinary people in the countries targeted without affecting decisions made by the leadership. And the sanctions themselves are often poorly conceived while also being factually challengeable. The US governing elite invariably covers its misbehavior with self-serving aphorisms like the rubbish peddled by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, when she enthused how “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.” Yes indeed, she actually said that.

Worse still, the sustained flood of government inspired propaganda used to justify questionable actions has had the regrettable consequence of turning inward, leading to charges of “treason” directed against the few journalists and politicians who dare to challenge conventional wisdom. In the current Ukraine crisis, journalists like Tucker Carlson are under fire, as are former politicians like Tulsi Gabbard, for having committed the crime of opposing America’s deepening involvement in the fight against Russia. Indeed, the blacklisting of Russian music and books as well as foods and even vodka represent something pathological in the mainstream response to the fighting. Reliably left-wing Move-On has launched its own in-house “Creative Lab” (sic) to produce its own propaganda videos. It describes as a “debunked conspiracy theory” the Carlson claim, originally surfaced from the US government itself, that the “Biden administration was funding secret biolabs in Ukraine.” It is seeking to discredit Carlson’s “lies” which “are now fueling Putin’s relentless campaign of death and destruction in Ukraine.” It is “freedom fries” all over again.

A recent story illustrating just how deep the rot has penetrated the core of United States government and its institutions has predictably been given little coverage by the US mainstream media, but it is a tale that is appalling in its implications. The story involves a March 3rd Supreme Court ruling on a motion filed by accused terrorist Abu Zubaydah, who is currently a prisoner held in Guantanamo, though he has never actually been convicted of anything and is being nevertheless held “incommunicado for the rest of his life.” Abu Zubaydah maintained that he was tortured extensively by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at a secret prison in Poland as well as in Thailand and Cuba.

The CIA captured a wounded Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian radical, in 2002 in Pakistan, and immediately acted on the belief that he was a leader of al-Qaeda. He was tortured for several years. The CIA “waterboarded Zubaydah at least 80 times, simulated live burials in coffins for hundreds of hours,” and brutalized him through sleep deprival. They also hung him by his wrists on hooks, beat him physically and he, as a result, lost one eye. A heavily redacted CIA 683 page torture report to the Senate released in 2014, which included some details of the standard practices in place at that time, mentioned Abu Zubaydah over 1,000 times.

Abu Zubaydah was seeking release from Guantanamo based on the fact that the United States, in torturing him, had committed a war crime. His lawyers were seeking to subpoena and interview former CIA contractors to determine what exactly occurred in Poland. The US is, by the way, a signatory on the UN Convention Against Torture. The Abu Zubaydah suit may initially have appeared to be a slam-dunk given what was already known about CIA torture. The brutality was incredible. For example, newly declassified documents that surfaced last week revealed how a prisoner at an Agency “black site” in Afghanistan was used as a training prop to teach inexperienced operatives how to torture other prisoners, leaving him with serious brain damage.

Even given that and much other evidence of both illegal activity and crimes against humanity, the Supreme Court case was instead derailed by what is referred to as the “state secrets privilege.” The court’s 6–3 ruling, written by Justice Stephen Breyer included “To assert the [state secrets] privilege, the Government must submit to the court a ‘formal claim of privilege, lodged by the head of the department which has control over the matter.’” That done, the court “should exercise its traditional reluctance to intrude upon the authority of the Executive in military and national security affairs.”

The court’s ruling thereby upheld a “state secrets” claim based on the fact that the Agency has never admitted that it had secret prisons in Poland to prevent Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers from seeking subpoenas on the two psychologists who created the CIA torture program or to use those insights to learn the details of the interrogations. The court also ruled against any attempt by Polish investigators to seek to obtain US government information about the possible crimes committed at the CIA “black site” in Poland.

So welcome to the land of the free and the home of the brave…where you can be tortured at the whim of a government official, imprisoned without ever being convicted of anything, and, when you seek redress from a court, you can be told that “Too bad, it’s a state secret even though the government has already admitted having engaged in a criminal practice.” And one should not ignore in passing a related issue, the savage persecution of journalist Julian Assange for having exposed US government crimes.

An article on the case in the Los Angeles Times, one of the few to appear, puts it this way: “the government may invoke the ‘state secrets’ privilege to block former US contractors from testifying about the now well-known waterboarding and torture of prisoners held at CIA sites in Poland. By a 6-3 vote, the justices said the US government can claim a privilege of secrecy even if there is no secret.” An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who observed the process added that “US courts are the only place in the world where everyone must pretend not to know basic facts about the CIA’s torture program. It is long past time to stop letting the CIA hide its crimes behind absurd claims of secrecy and national security harm.” Or one might observe that it’s called in the vernacular “Getting Away with Murder.”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

March 22, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

11,000 Americans call for boycott of General Mills over its East Jerusalem factory

MEMO | March 21, 2022

Over 11,000 Americans signed a petition demanding General Mills shut down its Pillsbury factory in the illegal Atarot settlement, which is built on occupied Palestinian land.

The petition said, “The U.N. has named General Mills as one of the 112 businesses violating international humanitarian and human rights law by operating in occupied Palestinian territories.”

“It’s Pillsbury factory in the Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, has displaced, exploited, stifled, and otherwise harmed local Palestinian lives, livelihoods, and land,” added the petition.

The petition said that General Mills “profits off of apartheid and is complicit in Israel’s occupation and annexation of the West Bank.”

The signatories demanded that General Mills shut down its factory in occupied East Jerusalem, stressing their commitment to boycotting Pillsbury products until this demand is met.

News of this comes as at least seven Palestinians were arrested by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank today, including a 62-year-old.

Local sources said occupation forces arrested at least seven Palestinians, including 62-year-old Hamas official Shaker Amara from the Aqabat Jabr camp in Jericho, as well as released prisoners and other citizens.

The sources noted that the occupation forces also arrested municipal elections candidate from Al-Bireh, Islam Al-Taweel, head of the Al-Bireh Brings us Together list, researcher and released prisoner Emad Abu Awwad from Al-Bireh, released prisoner Nael Abu Asal, Omar Abu Jenadi from Jericho, Muath Abu Tarboush from Al-Ezza camp north of Bethlehem, and Mahdi Zakarneh and Rami Yaseen from Jenin.

Hamas leader Amara is a former prisoner, arrested more than 13 times by the occupation, and each time held under administrative detention – without charge or trial.

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

CIA prisoner was used as torture prop to teach recruits – declassified documents

The US flag at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on August 7, 2013 © AFP / Chantal Valery
Samizdat | March 15, 2022

The US Central Intelligence Agency used a detainee in Afghanistan as a ‘prop’ to teach interrogators how to torture prisoners, leaving the man with brain damage, newly declassified documents have revealed.

According to the 2008 report by the CIA’s inspector general, published by The Guardian, 44-year-old Ammar al-Baluchi was used to teach interrogators how to perform a torture technique called ‘walling’. As explained by the CIA, walling is where an interrogator “pulls the detainee towards him and then quickly slams the detainee against [a] false wall.”

The document states that Baluchi was subjected to walling for up to two hours at a time, and a former trainee claimed that “all the interrogation students lined up to ‘wall’ Ammar” so their instructor “could certify them on their ability to use the technique.”

“In the case of ‘walling’ in particular the [Office of the Inspector General] had difficulty determining whether the session was designed to elicit information from Ammar or to ensure that all interrogator trainees received their certification,” the declassified report said, noting that it appeared “certification was key” during the torture sessions.

Baluchi – who was captured by the CIA in 2003 before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay in 2006 – reportedly suffered from brain damage as a result of his detainment by the US intelligence agency.

The Kuwaiti-born man was detained for allegedly having a role in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and serving as a courier for Osama Bin Laden.

Baluchi remains in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, despite calls from the United Nations and human rights activists for his release.

A Saudi Arabian man was released from Guantanamo Bay to receive mental health treatment this month after nearly 20 years in custody. Mohammad Mani Ahmad al-Qahtani, 46, was freed after US officials deemed his imprisonment “no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the national security of the United States.”

Qahtani was reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder after he was subjected to beatings, sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, and other forms of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

There are 38 detainees left in the military prison.

March 15, 2022 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 4 Comments

Court orders arrest of ex-president over murder of priests

RT | March 12, 2022

An El Salvador court has ordered the arrest of ex-president Alfredo Cristiani in connection with the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests.

The six clergymen – five Spaniards and a Salvadorian, along with their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter – were killed on the campus of the Jesuit Central American University on November 16, 1989. It was carried out by an elite commando unit known as the Atlacatl Battalion during the country’s civil war, which was a counter-insurgency unit created in 1980 at the Panama-based US Army’s School of the Americas.

Prosecutors believe that Cristiani, who held the country’s top post between 1989 and 1994, knew of the murder plans but chose not to prevent the tragedy.

According to a statement by El Salvador’s attorney general’s office, the court ordered Cristiani and former lawmaker Rodolfo Parker, along with several former military officers, to be put “under provisional detention” pending further investigation.

Charges against Cristiani and others were filed on February 25, with Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado saying his office was “determined to go after those accused of ordering this regrettable and tragic event.”

The former president, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, denies any involvement or knowledge of the military’s murder plan.

“The truth is I never knew of the plans they had to commit those killings,” Cristiani said in a statement.

“They never informed me nor asked for my authorization because they knew that I would never have authorized that Father [Ignacio] Ellacuria or his brothers were harmed,” Cristiani said.

The murder was staged to make it look as though it was committed by leftist guerillas. Out of nine military officers who had been initially put on trial, seven were freed by the court, and two served short sentences before being released in 1993 under an amnesty. Later, the amnesty was found to have been unconstitutional and one of these two officers – Colonel Guillermo Benavides – was jailed again and currently remains in prison. Another colonel, Inocente Orlando Montano, was sentenced to 133 years in prison by a Spanish court in 2020.

March 13, 2022 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment