Countdown: Spies Like Us + Politics Of Distortion + Iraqi Oil

Dandelion Salad

June 19, 2008


Congress Prepares to GUT the Fourth Amendment!

(Spies Like Us)

June 19, 2008
MSNBC Keith Olbermann

Mission A-FREEKIN-ccomplished!!!


Politics Of Distortion 6-19-08

McCain and his Buddies Distort Barack Obama’s position against Terrorists.

NY Post Disrespects Tim Russert’s Memory

(Worst Person)

Murdoch’s NY Post is writing a False story about MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews wanting The Late Tim Russert’s Meet The Press chair. The lack of humility and ethics shown by The Post is unbelievable.


Oil giants to sign contracts with Iraq

Countdown Special Report: Energy and Enron Loophole

Oil giants to sign contracts with Iraq

Dandelion Salad

by Jonathan Steele
The Guardian,
Friday June 20, 2008

Iraq is preparing to allow four of the biggest western oil companies to renew exploitation of the country’s vast reserves for the first time in almost four decades.

Iraq’s oil ministry stepped up talks with BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Total after the US vice-president, Dick Cheney, visited Iraq in March, where he also pressed the government to revive efforts to pass the hydrocarbon law that nationalist MPs were blocking. The first contracts are expected to be signed this month. Some 90% of Iraq’s budget comes from oil revenues.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

McCain Busted in MO for Oil Money Donations (+ video)

Dandelion Salad

Thanks to

Midge Potts 4 Legalizing Cannabis and Ending War!

Midge’s blog post

June 19, 2008

John McCain visited Springfield yesterday, and we busted him! I had recently discovered on that McCain ranked number one among Senators recieving money from the oil & gas industry. In order to dramatize his ties to big oil, we created a banner that was basically a giant check made out to John McCain which was signed by “oil company executives”. McCain was to conduct a “townhall” energy briefing in the auditorium at Plaster Student Union on Missouri State University campus. People began lining up around 8am. At 11am, as the doors were opened to let people into the auditorium, two of us dropped the check banner over the second story balcony and chanted “ENDLESS DEBT, ENDLESS WAR, JOHN MCCAIN IS A CORPORATE WHORE.” Another person in our affinity group was filming the action… we will have video online soon.

The chanting went on for several minutes before we realized that nobody was going to stop us, so I then announced to the crowd that John McCain was the 1 recipient, among US senators, of money from the Gas & Oil industry in 2008. Eventually, we went outside the building and joined several dozen other protesters who were gathered outside. As McCain’s motorcade was driving up to the buidling, everybody was chanting “no war”, “education is 1” and other slogans. McCain went by quickly, but the press pool bus stopped out on the road, and the reporters were all made to walk by us protesters.

Also… local activist Gary Wilson, who has been in DC with CODEPINK a couple times last year, got inside the auditorium and interrupted McCain’s speech by standing up in the front row and yelling, “How can we trust you on energy policy when you have taken half a million dollars from big oil in 2008.” Then as he was being escorted out of the room, he continued, “Bring the troops home now” over and over again. He was given a “disturbing the peace” citation by police, then released.

Traditionally, Southwest Missouri has been considered a “Republican stronghold”, so this strong statement of opposition to John McCain’s support of the US occupation of Iraq was incredible!

~ Midge P.

McCain Busted in Springfield MO for Oil Money Donations


This is video of the banner drop from the balcony inside Plaster Student Union ad Missouri State University where John McCain had a townhall meeting about his energy policy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Bush Urges Congress To Pass Bill Encouraging Americans To Drill For Oil In Their Own Back Yard

Bush’s Speech on Offshore Oil Drilling by Shelley Bluejay Pierce (+ video)

Countdown Special Report: Energy and Enron Loophole

Investigation Finds NebuAd Wiretaps Consumers & Hijacks Web Sites

Dandelion Salad

Free Press
Public Knowledge
For Immediate Release: June 18, 2008

Consumers are having their Web browsing intercepted and Web sites are having their computer code altered by NebuAd, a company that provides targeted advertising for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), according to a technical investigation by Free Press and Public Knowledge.

NebuAd is an online advertising company whose partnership with cable and phone companies has raised substantial privacy questions for House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas).

In a new report, “NebuAd and Partner ISPs: Wiretapping, Forgery and Browser Hijacking,” Robert M. Topolski, the chief technical consultant for the organizations, found that NebuAd uses special equipment that “monitors, intercepts and modifies the contents of Internet packets” as consumers go online. Topolski, the network engineer who made public Comcast’s throttling of BitTorrent applications, said in the report that “NebuAd commandeers users’ Web browsers” to load tracking cookies and collects information from users in order to place ads from ISPs.
“Apparently, neither the consumers nor the affected Web sites have actual knowledge of NebuAd’s interceptions and modifications,” the report found.

NebuAd recently made headlines by announcing its partnership with cable company Charter Communications, but has also been deployed by WOW!, Embarq, Broadstripe, CenturyTel, Metro Provider and others. The NebuAd partnership with Charter was originally announced to start June 15, but Charter has delayed the implementation.

Topolski found that NebuAd, after being installed on the WOW! network, injects extra hidden code into a user’s browser that was not sent by the Web site being visited. That code directs the user’s Web browser to another site not requested or even seen by the consumer, where hidden code is downloaded and executed to add more tracking cookies. The consumer then sees ads based on NebuAd’s profile of a user’s browsing habits — built through the secretly collected information.

By changing the computer code for Web sites to insert information into the packets of data sent to consumers, NebuAd and its ISP partners “violate several fundamental expectations of Internet privacy, security and standards-based interoperability,” the report found.

“This report shows that NebuAd’s Internet wiretapping is highly questionable,” said Marvin Ammori, Free Press general counsel. “Phone and cable companies should press pause on NebuAd and any similar venture until consumers and members of Congress can address the serious concerns raised by this report.”

“Once again, it shows that ISPs are putting themselves where they don’t belong – inserting themselves between consumers and Web sites,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge. “Inserting unwanted information and advertising under false pretenses violates every concept of an open and free Internet.”

Topolski added, “NebuAd breaks the rules of acceptable behavior on the Internet. It monitors what you do and see on the Internet, it breaks in and changes the contents of your private communications, it keeps track of what you’ve done, and if you even know that it’s happening, it is impossible to opt-out of it.”

The report is available at:

Read the Markey/Barton letter:

Groups: Ad Firm Used by ISPs Spies on Users

Grant Gross, IDG News Service
Free Press
PC World
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 1:00 PM PDT

A targeted advertising vendor being used by several U.S. broadband providers hijacks browsers, spies on users and employs man-in-the-middle attacks, according to a report released Wednesday by two advocacy groups.

NebuAd, a behavioral advertising vendor being used by Charter Communications, WideOpenWest and other Internet service providers, uses also packet forgery, modifies the content of TCP/IP packets and loads subscribers’ computers with unwanted cookies, according to the report, released by Public Knowledge and Free Press, two Washington, D.C., groups focused on digital rights.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Confirmation of Detainee Murders (Wilkerson; Nadler)

Dandelion Salad

Updated: added another video

Sound problems on the videos, sorry about that.  There are more testimonials but since the sound is so messed up I’m not going to post them.  Maybe they’ll get fixed and re-uploaded.  Check out C-SPAN archives, unfortunately I can’t seem to get anything to load from there, though. ~ Lo


Col. Wilkerson (Ret.)’s Statement Before Judiciary Ctte

Gen. Powell’s former Chief of Staff speaks before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution

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Rep. Nadler’s Opening Statement on Detainee Treatment

Rep. Nadler’s Questions on Detainee Treatment

Rep. Conyers’ Questions on Detainee Treatment


Confirmation of Detainee Murders


On Wednesday, June 18, 2008, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Rights, held a hearing dealing with the torture of detainees in U.S. custody. This clip features the testimony of Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson not only confirms that more than 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody, but that at least 25 of these deaths have been classified as homicides by American investigators.

Interestingly, Nadler has so far refused to support impeachment hearings for Bush and Cheney. Please contact him and make it clear that if he continues to refuse to demand accountability and justice that he will be forever seen as complicit in the crimes of the Bush administration.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler
2334 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Tel. 202-225-5635
Fax: 202-225-6923

Rep. Jerrold Nadler
201 Varick Street, Suite 669
New York, NY 10014
Tel. 212-367-7350
Fax: 212-367-7356

And don’t forget House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers:

John Conyers
United States House of Representatives
2426 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2214

Phone: 202-225-5126
Fax: 202-225-0072

Thanks to Think Progress. Text and video here:…


John Yoo, Totalitarian By Paul Craig Roberts

Maj. Gen. Taguba Accuses Bush Admin of War Crimes (video)

War Crimes

John Yoo-4th Amendment-Torture



Habeas Corpus

Civil Rights


John Yoo, Totalitarian By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
06/19/08 “ICH”

John Yoo stands outside the Anglo-American legal tradition. His views lead to self-incrimination wrung out of a victim by torture. He believes a president of the US can initiate war, even on false pretenses, and then use the war he starts as cover for depriving US citizens of habeas corpus protection. A US attorney general informed by Yoo’s memos even went so far as to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Constitution does not provide habeas corpus protection to US citizens.

Yoo’s animosity to US civil liberties made him a logical choice for appointment to the Bush Regime’s Department of Justice (sic), but his appointment as a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, shatters that university’s liberal image.

Habeas corpus is a centuries-old British legal reform that stopped authorities from arbitrarily throwing a person into a dungeon and leaving him there forever without presenting charges in a court of law. Without this protection, there can be no liberty.

Yoo is especially adamant that “enemy combatants” have no rights to challenge the legality of their detentions by US authorities before a federal judge. Yoo would have us believe that the detainees at Guantanamo, for example, are all terrorists who were attacking Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The question is whether any of the detainees are “enemy combatants.” Yoo would have it so because the president says it is so. As the president has already decided, what is the sense of presenting evidence to a judge? For Yoo, accusation by the executive branch is the determination of guilt.

But what we know about the detainees is that many are hapless individuals who were captured by war lords and sold to the Americans for the bounty that the US government offered for “terrorists.”

Some of the other detainees could be Taliban who were engaged in an Afghan civil war that had nothing whatsoever to do with the US. The Taliban were not fighting the US until the US invaded Afghanistan and began attacking the Taliban. This would make Taliban detainees prisoners of war captured by invading US troops. How POWs can be tortured, denied Geneva Conventions protections, and tried by military tribunals without the US government being in violation of US and international law is inexplicable.

Suppose you were a traveling businessman grabbed by a tribe and sold to the Americans. Would you consider it just to be detained in Gitmo, undergoing whatever abuse is dished out, for 5 or 6 years of your life, or forever, without family knowing what has become of you?

Perhaps the greatest injustice was done to John Walker Lindh, an American citizen who, like Americans of a previous generation who fought in the Spanish Civil War, was fighting for the Taliban in the Afghan civil war against the Northern Alliance. Suddenly the Americans entered the Afghan civil war on the side of the Northern Alliance. Lindh was captured and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

This kind of punishment is a new form of tyranny. It is not law, and it is not justice.

Lindh had no opportunity to withdraw once the US entered on the opposite side. The only point of treating Lindh as if he were some dangerous traitor was to demonstrate that American citizens can be treated to a Kafka-type experience and have the American public accept it.

Yoo stands for the maximum amount of injustice, illegality and unconstitutionality that can be committed in the name of the national security state.

No American security was at stake in Afghanistan or in Iraq, and none is at stake in Iran today. The Bush Regime may be creating security problems for Americans in the future by fomenting hatred of Americans among Muslims. This security problem is insignificant compared to the threat to our liberty and freedom posed by John Yoo and his Republican Federalist Society colleagues who are committed to tyranny in the name of “energy in the executive.”

Writing on the Wall Street Journal editorial page on June 17, Yoo denounced the five Supreme Court justices who defended the US Constitution against arbitrary “energy in the executive.”

Yoo believes that the Constitution and liberty rank below “the nation’s security.” Fortunately, Yoo wrote, a fix is at hand. “The advancing age of several justices” means that President McCain can give us more judges like Roberts (no relation) and Alito who will make certain that mere civil liberties don’t get in the way of arbitrary executive power justified by national security.

In a Yoo-McCain regime, the terrorists you will have to fear are those in your own government, against whom you will have no protection whatsoever.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, an assistant secretary  of the U.S. Treasury during the Reagan  Administration, is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Maj. Gen. Taguba Accuses Bush Admin of War Crimes (video)

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

June 19, 2008

Congressional Hearings Shed New Light on Government’s Endorsement of Torture; Maj. Gen. Taguba Accuses Bush Administration of War Crimes

On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held an eight-hour hearing that exposed the role of top Bush administration officials in authorizing the use of harsh interrogation techniques. Meanwhile, Retired Major General Antonio Taguba, the Army general who first investigated the abuse at Abu Ghraib, has accused the Bush administration of committing war crimes. “The commander in chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture,” Taguba said.

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McClatchy Reports on Gitmo Prisoners Abuse (video)

Bush Admin Post-Constitutional Order: “It Was Real ‘Manchurian Candidate’ Stuff”

How to Train Death Squads and Quash Revolutions from San Salvador to Iraq

Bugliosi Seeks “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”

Examining the Next Year on the Israeli-Palestinian Front

Dandelion Salad


This New America event will explore several key questions concerning Middle East peace, including: * Where are we now? * What will the Bush Administration do in its last 6 months? * What can the next administration do to advance Palestinian-Israeli peace?

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Bush Admin Post-Constitutional Order: “It Was Real ‘Manchurian Candidate’ Stuff”

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, June 19, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

A Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) investigation has concluded that top Pentagon officials had assembled lists of harsh torture techniques in the summer of 2002 for use on prisoners in America’s Guantánamo Bay prison gulag.

The Senate’s findings strongly refute claims by top Bush administration officials that their approval of such techniques were in response to requests from field commanders “far down the chain of command,” The Washington Post reports. According to Joby Warrick,

The sources said that memos and other evidence obtained during the inquiry show that officials in the office of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld started to research the use of waterboarding, stress positions, sensory deprivation and other practices in July 2002, months before memos from commanders at the detention facility in Cuba requested permission to use those measures on suspected terrorists. (“Report Questions Pentagon Accounts,” The Washington Post, June 17, 2008)

During hearings Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, it was revealed that the CIA played a larger role in the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation” policies than previously acknowledged. Torture, according to minutes of an October 2, 2002 meeting at Guantánamo Bay, “is basically subject to perception,” CIA counterterrorism lawyer Jonathan Fredman told a group of military and intelligence officials. “If the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong,” The Washington Post reports.

The hearings, and supporting documents released by the SASC, revealed that Fredman, whose Agency handlers had been granted virtual carte blanche by the Justice Department to torture suspected “terrorists,” discussed

the pros and cons of videotaping, talked about how to avoid interference by the International Committee of the Red Cross and offered a strong defense of waterboarding.

“If a well-trained individual is used to perform this technique, it can feel like you’re drowning,” he said, according to the meeting’s minutes, which do not provide a verbatim transcript.

Fredman said medical experts should monitor detainees. “If someone dies while aggressive techniques are being used, regardless of the cause of death, the backlash of attention would be severely detrimental,” he was quoted as saying. (Joby Warrick, “CIA Played Larger Role in Advising Pentagon,” The Washington Post, June 18, 2008)

While Fredman’s “expertise” on abusing prisoners recommends placing physicians, psychiatrists and other trained medical personnel in American torture chambers, in itself a clear breech of international norms and the military’s own procedures, his callous disregard for human rights hardly absolve high-level administration officials.

As ABC News reported in April, during dozens of top-secret talks and meetings at the White House, the National Security Council Principals Committee, which included Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft, “discussed and approved specific details” of how “high-value” prisoners would be interrogated.

Indeed, so explicit were these discussions that one source told ABC News, “the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed.” One top official reported Ashcroft as having said, “Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.”

In a statement released Tuesday, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, wrote:

…how did it come about that American military personnel stripped detainees naked, put them in stress positions, used dogs to scare them, put leashes around their necks to humiliate them, hooded them, deprived them of sleep, and blasted music at them. Were these actions the result of “a few bad apples” acting on their own? It would be a lot easier to accept if it were. But that’s not the case. The truth is that senior officials in the United States government sought information on aggressive techniques, twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. (“The Origins of Aggressive Interrogation Techniques,” Carl Levin, United States Senator, June 17, 2008)

As Philippe Sands’ investigative piece in last month’s Vanity Fair revealed, after the Principals Committee reached a decision to torture, Bush administration “little Eichmanns” provided the necessary “legal” gloss to implement these criminal policies:

The fingerprints of the most senior lawyers in the administration were all over the design and implementation of the abusive interrogation policies. [David] Addington, [Jay] Bybee, [Alberto] Gonzales, [Jim] Haynes, and [John] Yoo became, in effect, a torture team of lawyers, freeing the administration from the constraints of all international rules prohibiting abuse. (“The Green Light,” Vanity Fair, May 2008)

But as The Washington Post reported Tuesday, the new evidence presented by the Armed Services Committee challenged previous statements by

William J. “Jim” Haynes II, who served as Defense Department general counsel under Rumsfeld and is among the witnesses scheduled to testify at today’s hearing. Haynes, who resigned in February, suggested to a Senate panel in 2006 that the request for tougher interrogation methods originated in October 2002, when Guantanamo Bay commanders began asking for help in ratcheting up the pressure on suspected terrorists who had stopped cooperating. A memo from the prison’s top military lawyer that same month had suggested specific techniques and declared them legal.

However, “memos and e-mails” obtained by Senate investigators suggest otherwise. In July 2002, Haynes and other top Defense Department officials “were soliciting ideas for harsh interrogations from military experts in survival training.” By late July, despite strenuous objections by military lawyers who viewed such methods as patently illegal breeches of the Geneva Convention, a list was compiled that included many of the torture techniques that infamously became synonymous with the Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram airbase repertoire.

Indeed, military criminal investigators, “attempting to develop evidence to prosecute suspected terrorists, objected strenuously to techniques they considered illegal and likely to damage chances of a conviction,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Journal reporter Jess Bravin reveals that,

In an October 2002 email to a colleague, Special Agent Mark Fallon of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said that comments like those of Col. Beaver and Mr. Fredman could “shock the conscience of any legal body” looking into interrogation methods. “This looks like the kinds of stuff Congressional hearings are made of,” he wrote. (“Ex-Pentagon Lawyers Challenged on Torture,” The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2008)

In a major breakthrough that demolish the mendacious claims of the Bush regime, the Senate report provides irrefutable evidence that top Pentagon and CIA officials sought out military and “outsourced” mercenary personnel, including psychologists, to reverse-engineer U.S. military Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) tactics taught pilots and Special Operations Commandos caught behind enemy lines for use on prisoners designated “enemy combatants” by the administration.

According to Levin, in July 2002, Richard Shiffrin, a Pentagon Deputy General Counsel called Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Baumgartner, the Chief of Staff at the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), the DoD bureau that oversees SERE training “and asked for information on SERE techniques.”

Baumgartner responded by drafting a memo with three attachments. According to Levin’s statement and supporting documentation released by the SASC,

One of those attachments (TAB 3) listed physical and psychological pressures used in SERE resistance training including sensory deprivation, sleep disruption, stress positions, waterboarding, and slapping. It also made reference to a section of the JPRA instructor manual that talks about “coercive pressures” like keeping the lights at all times, and treating a person like an animal. Another attachment (TAB 4), written by Dr. Ogrisseg, also a witness today, assessed the long-term psychological effects of SERE resistance training on students and the effects of the waterboard.

Scarcely a week after Baumgartner’s memo, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued two opinions drafted by Jay Bybee and John C. Yoo addressed to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. These are the infamous Torture Memos, one of which still remains classified.

As current Assistant Attorney General of the OLC Steven Bradbury testified earlier this year before the House Judiciary Committee, the “CIA’s use of the waterboarding procedure was adapted from the SERE training program.”

At this point, JPRA staff were “finalizing plans” to conduct training for interrogation staff from U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Task Force 170 at Guantánamo Bay.

In mid-September 2002, a group from Guantánamo, “including interrogators and behavioral scientists, travelled to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and attended training conducted by instructors from the JPRA SERE school. None of the three JPRA personnel who provided the training was a trained interrogator,” Levin reveals.

As I wrote in April, those who committed these unspeakable atrocities “were acting out scenes from a CIA ‘masterwork’ composed decades earlier: KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation.”

The July 1963 CIA torture manual describes a fear-cloaked shadow world of hooding, isolation, sensory deprivation, drugging, sexual humiliation and other unseemly interrogation techniques, many of which were “perfected” by “outsourced” psychiatrists on their patients during the 1950s and 1960s during the Agency’s criminal MKULTRA “mind-control” experiments.

Fast-forward 50 years, and the fruit of these Nazi-like experiments in psychological torment are all-too-discernible in the hollowed-out eyes and shattered minds of America’s “war on terror” prisoners. As former Pentagon lawyer Richard Shiffrin told The New York Times, the Rumsfeld’s Defense Department turned to SERE out of “great frustration” at the nature of the intelligence obtained from prisoners through lawful means.

As Salon investigative journalist Mark Benjamin, a reporter who broke many stories on the reverse-engineering of SERE tactics as a torture tool, writes,

But as more and more documents from inside the Bush government come to light, it is increasingly clear that the administration sought from early on to implement interrogation techniques whose basis was torture. Soon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Pentagon and the CIA began an orchestrated effort to tap expertise from the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape school, for use in the interrogation of terrorist suspects. …

SERE training has nothing to do with effective interrogation, according to military experts. Trained interrogators don’t work in the program. Skilled, experienced interrogators, in fact, say that only a fool would think that the training could somehow be reverse-engineered into effective interrogation techniques.

But that’s exactly what the Bush government sought to do. As the plan rolled forward, military and law enforcement officials consistently sent up red flags that the SERE-based interrogation program wasn’t just wrongheaded, it was probably illegal. (“A Timeline to Bush Government Torture,” Salon, June 18, 2008)

What were the results obtained by Shiffrin and others into the efficacy of reverse-engineered SERE tactics? “It was real ‘Manchurian Candidate’ stuff,” Shiffrin told the Times.

An apt description if ever there were one, of the post-Constitutional order created by the Bush administration and their corporatist masters. Why then, do top Democratic party leaders, including Carl Levin, continue to insist “impeachment is off the table”?

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is:


McClatchy Reports on Gitmo Prisoners Abuse (video)

CIA Stonewall: Agency Won’t Release 7,000 Documents Related to Torture Program

Philippe Sands


Techno-Fascism: Every Move You Make

Dandelion Salad

By Chellis Glendinning
Speaking Truth to Power (Carolyn Baker)
Thursday, 19 June 2008

“The challenge is to see the whole and all its parts,  not just the shiny new device that purports to make one’s individual life easier or sexier — which in itself is a contributor to the making of political disengagement.  The whole is a megamachine,  with you and your liquid TV,  Blackberry,  and Prius a necessary cog.”

Surveillance of private calls and emails.  Cameras documenting every move.  No habeas corpus.  Unimpeded entry into personal financial records.  Voting machines changing election outcomes with the flick of a switch.  Protest defined as terrorism. Many people hope that the loss of civil rights Americans have endured since the onslaughts mounted by Bush Administration II is a political reality that can be reversed through electoral will.

Established mechanisms of political power are,  of course,  the immediately available means for attempting change.  Notions of citizens’ rights,  freedom,  and democratic participation are compelling paradigms that have consistently stirred the bravery of U.S. citizens – and yet elder political scientist Sheldon Wolin,  who taught the philosophy of democracy for five decades, sees the current predicament of corporate-government hegemony as something more endemic.

“Inverted totalitarianism,” as he calls it in his recent Democracy Incorporated, “lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual.”  To Wolin, such a form of political power makes the United States “the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed.”


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

McClatchy Reports on Gitmo Prisoners Abuse (video)

Dandelion Salad

Check out the full report: ~ Lo

Democracy Now!

June 19, 2008

McClatchy Interviews 66 Fmr. Prisoners Held by U.S., Finds Widespread Abuse and Wrongful Imprisonments

McClatchy newspapers has conducted an extensive, eight-month investigation of the US detention system created after 9/11. Based on interviews with sixty-six former prisoners the investigation found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay into a school for jihad.

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U.S. Torture of Detainees Caused Severe Pain, Long-Term Suffering

Riz Khan: Guantanamo: the detainees Part 2

Mosaic News – 6/18/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


For more:
“NATO Move to Drive Out Kandahar’s Taliban,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Iraq Car Bombing Kills At Least 51,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Iraqi Forces Launch Major Operation in Amara,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Israel, Hamas Begin Truce With Both Sides Skeptical,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Bush Asks Lebanon to Keep Palestinians,” NBN TV, Lebanon
“Will Doha Agreement Hold in Lebanon?” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Amer Moussa Protests Perez Comments,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Iran Extends Hand of Cooperation to Gulf States,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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