Archive | C.I.A

US Media Propaganda. Drawing “Liberals” and “Leftists” into the CIA’s Orbit. NPR

Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio?

By Edward Curtin

Global Research,

Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to “court the compatible left.”  He knew that drawing liberals and leftists into the CIA’s orbit was the key to efficient propaganda.  Right-wing and left-wing collaborators were needed to create a powerful propaganda apparatus that would be capable of hypnotizing audiences into believing the myth of American exceptionalism and its divine right to rule the world.  The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites.

Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters, and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity between the CIA and the famous literary journal, The Paris Review.  By the mid-1970s, as a result of the Church Committee hearings, it seemed as if the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, confessed their sins, and resolved to go and sin no more.  Then in 1977, Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire– “The CIA and the Media” – naming names of journalists and media (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked hand-in-glove with the CIA, propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world.  It seemed as if all would be hunky-dory now with the bad boys purged from the American “free” press.  Seemed to the most naïve, that is, by which I mean the vast numbers of people who wanted to re-stick their heads in the sand and believe, as Ronald Reagan’s team of truthtellers would announce, that it was “Morning in America” again with the free press reigning and the neo-conservatives, many of whom had been “converted” from their leftist views, running things in Washington.

So again it is morning in America this September 6, 2019, and the headline from National Public Radio announces the glad tidings that NPR has named a new CEO. His name is John Lansing, and the headline says he is a “veteran media executive.”  We are meant to be reassured.  It goes on to say that Mr. Lansing, 62, is currently the chief executive of the government agency, The U.S. Agency for Global Media, that oversees Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others.  We are furthermore reassured by NPR that Lansing “made his mark in his current job with stirring defenses of journalism, free from government interference.”The announcement goes on to say:America’s “Righteous” Russia-gate Censorship. “Russia Bashing All the Time”

Lansing has earned an advanced degree in political agility. At the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Lansing championed a free press even as leaders of many nations move against it.

‘Governments around the world are increasingly cracking down on the free flow of information; silencing dialogue and dissent; and distorting reality,’ Lansing said in a speech he delivered in May to the Media for Democracy Forum. ‘The result, I believe, is a war on truth.’

He continued:

‘Citizens in countries from Russia to China, from Iran to North Korea, have been victimized for decades. But now we’re seeing authoritarian regimes expanding around the globe, with media repression in places like Turkey and Venezuela, Cambodia and Vietnam.’

So we are reassured that the new head of NPR, the chief of all U.S. propaganda, is a champion of a free press.  Perhaps NPR will soon enlighten the American public by interviewing its new head honcho and asking him if he thinks Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, by exposing America’s war crimes, and Edward Snowden, by exposing the U.S. government’s vast electronic surveillance programs of its own citizens, deserve to be jailed and exiled  for doing the job the American mainstream “free press” failed to do. What NPR failed to do. Perhaps they will ask him if he objects to the way his own government “interfered” in the lives of these three courageous people who revealed truths that every citizen of a free country is entitled to. Perhaps they will ask him if the U.S. government’s persecution of these truthtellers is what he means by there being “a war on truth.”  Perhaps they will ask him if he thinks the Obama and Trump administrations have been “distorting reality” and waging a war on truth.

Perhaps not. Of course not.

Don’t laugh, for the joke will be on you if you listen to NPR and its sly appeal to “liberal” sensibilities.  If you are wondering why we have had the Russia-gate hoax and who was responsible (see/hear Russia expert Prof. Stephen Cohen here) and are now involved in a new Cold War and a highly dangerous nuclear confrontation with Russia, read Lansing’s July 10, 2019 testimony before the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: “United Sates Efforts to Counter Russian Disinformation and Malign Influence.” 

Here is an excerpt:

USAGM provides consistently accurate and compelling journalism that reflects the values of our society: freedom, openness, democracy, and hope. Our guiding principles—enshrined in law—are to provide a reliable, authoritative, and independent source of news that adheres to the strictest standards of journalism….

Russian Disinformation.  And make no mistake, we are living through a global explosion of disinformation, state propaganda, and lies generated by multiple authoritarian regimes around the world. The weaponization of information we are seeing today is real. The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching malign influence campaigns across national boundaries and language barriers. The Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation machine is being unleashed via new platforms and continues to grow in Russia and internationally. Russia seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts as it attempts to influence opinions about the United States and its allies. It is not an understatement to say that this new form of combat on the information battlefield may be the fight of the 21st century.

Then research the history of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, etc.  You will be reassured that Lansing’s July testimony was his job interview to head National Propaganda Radio.

Then sit back, relax, and tune into NPR’s Morning Edition.  It will be comforting to know that it is “Morning in America” once again.

Posted in USA, C.I.A0 Comments

‘NATO bombing of Yugoslavia paved way for 1 million civilian casualties worldwide’

RT

Carried out under a false pretext and in disregard of the UN, the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 paved the way for similar US-led operations in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere and over a million were killed, an analyst has told RT.

NATO’s attack 20 years ago, which was launched “without declaring war and without any permission from the UN Security Council, was a transformative act which has changed the world ever since,” Marko Gasic, commenter on international affairs, said.

“This formula… that you don’t need UN Security Council authorization was then implemented at the expense of Iraq and Libya and elsewhere. So far, the decision to bomb Yugoslavia has led to over a million casualties worldwide; and rising.”

Back in 1999, the US and its allies launched airstrikes in what was then Yugoslavia, after blaming Belgrade for “excessive and disproportionate use of force” in a conflict with an ethnic Albanian insurgency in Kosovo.

NATO warplanes carried out 900 sorties during the brutal 78-day bombing campaign, which officially claimed at least 758 civilian lives. But Serbian sources insist the actual death toll was twice as high.

NATO had used depleted uranium in its air strikes on Yugoslavia. Despite the studies showing that children born there after the bombing are prone to cancer, “very little” has been or is being done to hold the bloc accountable, Gasic said.

The Yugoslav authorities tried suing NATO, but its “response was to create a ‘Color Revolution’ (in 2000) there and bring its own puppets to power… who abandoned the lawsuit.”

“The world community really needs to take NATO to task. And If Serbia is too weak to do it, we need other countries to take an interest. If they don’t defend Serbia – it’ll be their borders next that NATO will be coming for,” the analyst warned.

Related

America’s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia In “Book Review”

‘Up to 15 tons of depleted uranium used in 1999 Serbia bombing’ – lead lawyer in suit against NATO In “Environmentalism”

How Madeleine Albright Got the War the U.S. Wanted In “Timeless or most popular”

Posted in USA, Europe, C.I.A, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, NATO, Serbia, Turkey, UK, Yugoslavia0 Comments

‘CIA Torture Unredacted’ Report

By Global Research News

Global Research

2020 Presidential Elections: Feeding the Israel Lobby

By Philip Giraldi,

If you have been wondering when the twenty Democratic aspirants for the presidency will begin a serious discussion of American foreign policy in the Middle East, where Washington has been bogged down in both current and impending wars, you are not alone. With the honorable exception of Tulsi Gabbard, no one seems keen to touch that particular live wire.

Trump’s Firearm and Immigration Reform Proposal Is a Risky Political Gamble

By Andrew Korybko, August 06, 2019

Trump’s trying to portray himself as the Uniter-in-Chief following two devastating terrorist attacks over the weekend, but his proposal to marry firearm and immigration reforms into a single bill is a risky political gamble, though one that might ultimately pay off if the American people support him.

Black Sites, Secret Prisons, Rendition: More British Complicity Exposed in Latest ‘CIA Torture Unredacted’ Report

By True Publica, August 06, 2019

The latest report about kidnappings, rendition, ‘black sites’ and torture is a remarkable piece of investigative work. It provides us with nothing less than a litany of shocking evidence and testimony and at 403 pages it makes for truly grim reading. This article is made up of a very brief set of extracts from the just-released  CIA Torture Unredacted report.

World War II: US Military Destroyed 66 Japanese Cities Before Planning to Wipe Out the Same Number of Soviet Cities

By Shane Quinn, August 05, 2019

The extent of devastation inflicted upon Japan by the American military during World War II is not broadly known, even today. In reprisal for the attack over Pearl Harbor, which killed almost 2,500 Americans, US aircraft first began unloading bombs on Japan during the afternoon of 18 April 1942 – attacking the capital Tokyo, and also five other major cities, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe and Yokosuka.

The Global Currency War Has Begun. China’s Yuan Breaks the 7 to $1 Band. Why is The Dollar Rising?

By Dr. Jack Rasmus, August 05, 2019

Over this weekend, China’s Yuan currency broke out of its band and devalued to more than 7 to $1. At the same time China announced it would not purchase more US agricultural goods. The Trump-US Neocon trade strategy has just imploded. As this writer has been predicting, the threshold has now been passed, from a tariff-trade war to a broader economic war between the US and China where other tactics and measures are now being implemented.

Seeking Justice for 9/11 Heroes: An Interview with New York Area Fire Commissioner Christopher Gioia

By Andrew Steele and Christopher Gioia, August 05, 2019

On this week’s episode of 9/11 Free Fall, host Andy Steele is joined by Franklin Square Fire Commissioner Christopher Gioia to discuss his fire district’s recent passage of a historic resolution supporting a new investigation into events of 9/11.

Tulsi Gabbard, the Mainstream Media and Treason

By Renee Parsons, August 05, 2019

In the aftermath of the July debate when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi) shined a light on her campaign and took Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Cal) to task for her misleading record on criminal justice as California Attorney General, the MSM and its Democratic flunkies have pummeled Gabbard about an unplanned meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2017 just as they have done since Gabbard first announced her candidacy.

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No Accountability in Washington. The CIA Wants to Hide All Its Employees

By Philip Giraldi

Global Research

Government that actually serves the interests of the people who are governed has two essential characteristics: first, it must be transparent in terms of how it debates and develops policies and second, it has to be accountable when it fails in its mandate and ceases to be responsive to the needs of the electorate. Over the past twenty years one might reasonably argue that Washington has become less a “of the people, by the people and for the people” and increasingly a model of how special interests can use money to corrupt government. The recent story about how serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein avoided any serious punishment by virtue of his wealth and his political connections, including to both ex-president Bill Clinton and to current chief executive Donald Trump, demonstrates how even the most despicable criminals can avoid being brought to justice.

This erosion of what one might describe as republican virtue has been exacerbated by a simultaneous weakening of the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which was intended to serve as a guarantee of individual liberties while also serving as a bulwark against government overreach. In recent cases in the United States, a young man had his admission to Harvard revoked over comments posted online when he was fifteen that were considered racist, while a young woman was stripped of a beauty contest title because she refused to don a hijab at a college event and then wrote online about her experience. In both cases, freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment was ruled to be inadmissible by the relevant authorities.

Be that as it may, governmental lack of transparency and accountability is a more serious matter when the government itself becomes a serial manipulator of the truth as it seeks to protect itself from criticism. Reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) is seeking legislation that will expand government ability to declare it a crime to reveal the identities of undercover intelligence agents will inevitably lead to major abuse when some clever bureaucrat realizes that the new rule can also be used to hide people and cover up malfeasance.

A law to protect intelligence officers already exists. It was passed in 1982 and is referred to as the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (I.I.P.A.). It criminalizes the naming of any C.I.A. officer under cover who has served overseas in the past five years. The new legislation would make the ban on exposure perpetual and would also include Agency sources or agents whose work is classified as well as actual C.I.A. staff employees who exclusively or predominantly work in the United States rather than overseas.

The revised legislation is attached to defense and intelligence bills currently being considered by Congress. If it is passed into law, its expanded range of criminal penalties could be employed to silence whistle blowers inside the Agency who become aware of illegal activity and it might also be directed against journalists that the whistleblowers might contact to tell their story.CIA Pushes for Expansion of Secrecy Law to Stifle Public Criticism

The Agency has justified the legislation by claiming in a document obtained by The New York Times that “hundreds of covert officers [serving in the United States] have had their identity and covert affiliation disclosed without authorization… C.I.A. officers place themselves in harm’s way in order to carry out C.I.A.’s mission regardless of where they are based. Protecting officers’ identities from foreign adversaries is critical.”

Some Congressmen are disturbed by the perpetual nature of the identification ban while also believing that the proposed legislation is too broad in general. Senator Ron Wyden expressed had reservations over how the C.I.A. provision would apply indefinitely.

“I am not yet convinced this expansion is necessary and am concerned that it will be employed to avoid accountability,” he wrote.

Agency insiders have suggested that the new law is in part a response to increasing leaks of classified information by government employees. It is also a warning shot fired at journalists in the wake of the impending prosecution of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks under the seldom used Espionage Act of 1918. Covert identities legislation is less broad that the Espionage Act, which is precisely why it is attractive. It permits prosecution and punishment solely because someone either has revealed a “covert” name or is suspected of having done so.

But up until now, government prosecutors have only used the 1982 identities law twice. The first time was a 1985 case involving a C.I.A. clerk in Ghana and the second time was the 2012 case of John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who pleaded guilty to providing a reporter with the name of an under-cover case officer who participated in the agency’s illegal overseas interrogations. Kiriakou has always claimed that he had not in fact named anyone, in spite of his plea, which was agreed to as a plea bargain. The covert officer in question had already been identified in the media.

John Kiriakou also observes how the I.I.P.A. has been inevitably applied selectively. He describes how “These two minor prosecutions aside, very few revelations of C.I.A. identities have ever led to court cases. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage famously leaked Valerie Plame’s name to two syndicated columnists. He was never charged with a crime. Former C.I.A. Director David Petraeus leaked the names of 10 covert C.I.A. operatives to his adulterous girlfriend, apparently in an attempt to impress her, and was never charged. Former C.I.A. Director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the covert SEAL Team member who killed Osama bin Laden. He apologized and was not prosecuted.”

Kiriakou also explains how the “…implementation of this law is a joke. The C.I.A. doesn’t care when an operative’s identity is revealed — unless they don’t like the politics of the person making the revelation. If they cared, half of the C.I.A. leadership would be in prison. What they do care about, though, is protecting those employees who commit crimes at the behest of the White House or the C.I.A. leadership.” He goes on to describe how some of those involved in the Agency torture program were placed under cover precisely for that reason, to protect them from prosecution for war crimes.

Even team player Joe Biden, when a Senator, voted against the I.I.P.A., explaining in an op-ed in The Christian Science Monitor in 1982 that,

“The language (the I.I.P.A.) employs is so broadly drawn that it would subject to prosecution not only the malicious publicizing of agents’ names, but also the efforts of legitimate journalists to expose any corruption, malfeasance, or ineptitude occurring in American intelligence agencies.”

And that was with the much weaker 1982 version of the bill.

The new legislation is an intelligence agency dream, a get out of jail card that has no expiry date. And if one wants to know how dangerous it is, consider for a moment that if it turns out that serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was indeed a C.I.A. covert source, which is quite possible, he would be covered and would be able to walk away free on procedural grounds.

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C.I.A: ASSASSINATION OF BOB MARLEY ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

Image result for BOB MARLEY PHOTO CARTOON

THE CIA WAS ACTIVE IN JAMAICA
“STRANGE CIRCUMSTANCES”

Bob Marley died May 11, 1981.

The story is that Bob Marley died of cancer.

Before that, he was shot.

In between, he received a visit from Neil Bush, impersonating as a Rolling Stone reporter.

Who was active in Jamaica at this time and is connected to numerous savagely violent acts
there?

The CIA.

Bob Marley: February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981



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Mass Surveillance and the Intelligence Industrial Complex

NOVANEWS
Abby Martin and Bill Binney: Mass Surveillance and the Intelligence Industrial Complex
DC Rally Against Mass Surveillance

Image by Susan Melkisethian via Flickr

Dandelion Salad
with Abby Martin

Abby Martin interviews former Technical Director of the National Security Agency, Bill Binney, who blew the whistle on warrantless spying years before Edward Snowden released the evidence. They discuss mass surveillance and the Intelligence Industrial Complex.

from the archives:

Russiagate: A Trump-Boosting Triumph of Diversion and Inauthentic Opposition? by Paul Street + Democrats’ Russophobia Hid Trump’s Real Crimes

Silicon Valley Will Not Save You from the Surveillance State by David Swanson

Industrializing Class War by William Bowles

Thomas Drake: From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance, The Man Who Knew Too Much (must-see)

Not a Shred of Evidence that Russia Hacked Emails or Served as a Source for WikiLeaks by David Swanson

Craig Murray: Russia Played No Role At All In The Email Leaks, interviewed by David Swanson

Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges: They Know Everything About You, Part 1

America’s Surveillance State, Part 2: Inside The NSA: How Do They Spy?

Chris Hedges and William Binney on Obama #NSA Guidelines, Part 1 + Transcript

William Binney: Everyone in US is Under Virtual Surveillance



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CIA finds MBS texted to Khashoggi hit squad leader

NOVANEWS
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the G20 Leaders’ Summit family photo on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires. Global leaders gather in the Argentine capital for a two-day G20 summit beginning on Friday likely to be dominated by simmering international tensions over trade.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent about a dozen messages to the leader of the team that killed dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the hours before and after the journalist’s death in October, according to a top secret CIA assessment. 

According to the highly classified CIA report cited by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, known by media as MBS, sent Saud al-Qahtani, a top servant who was later sacked, at least 11 messages at the time of the crime.

Bin Salman had instructed his men back in August 2017 that “we could possibly lure [Khashoggi] outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements,” if the crown prince could not convince the dissident Saudi journalist, who was living in the United States, to return to Saudi Arabia. according to the classified CIA report as quoted by The Hill political website from WSJ.

The report states that the communication “seems to foreshadow the Saudi operation launched against Khashoggi,” according to the Journal.

Another excerpt reportedly states that the CIA has “medium-to-high confidence” that Prince Mohammed “personally targeted” Khashoggi and “probably ordered his death.”

“To be clear, we lack direct reporting of the Crown Prince issuing a kill order,” according to the excerpts reported by the Journal.

The adviser in question, Saud al-Qahtani, was sanctioned by the White House last month for his involvement in Khashoggi’s death.

The CIA has reportedly concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing. However, US President Donald Trump has cast doubt on the CIA report.

The Senate on Wednesday advanced a resolution that would end US military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war, issuing a rebuke to Trump after the White House opposed the bill. The resolution advanced even as the administration vowed to stand by Saudi Arabia following global outcry over the killing of Khashoggi

Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain marriage documents for his upcoming wedding.



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Release of Top Secret CIA Document Reveals Deeper Medical Complicity in Torture Program

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile:
Contact:

Jonathan Hutson
Chief Communications Officer
jhutson [at] phrusa [dot] org
Tel: (617) 301-4210
Cell: (857) 919-5130

WASHINGTON – With the release of a previously top secret document – made public thanks to a legal victory by the ACLU – disclosing the role of the Office of Medical Services (OMS) in the CIA’s torture program, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) reminds health professionals that torture, in all its forms, is one of the most serious human rights violations and is absolutely prohibited under U.S. and international law, and that any collusion in its implementation – from planning through monitoring – is a gross violation of professional ethics.

The 90-page document provides a chilling account of how CIA health professionals willingly participated in torture. The “Summary and Reflections” of an unnamed chief of CIA Medical Services narrates the decision-making process that led to health professionals signing off on, and participating in, interrogation and detention practices that clearly constituted torture. The document provides a cascade of self-justification and minimization of the risks and harm to detainees.

“While much of the information in this document was already known, the step-by-step internal process it details shows how health professionals continually acceded to the demands of those running the interrogation regime, relied on flawed legal interpretations of torture definitions,  and failed to live up to their duty to ‘do no harm,’” said Scott Allen, MD, FACP, professor emeritus at University of California Riverside School of Medicine and PHR medical advisor.

The document further describes how certain techniques, such as confinement in a coffin-sized box, forced nakedness, near-hypothermia, prolonged sleep deprivation, and waterboarding were not considered to be torture because they were deemed not to cause “prolonged (mental) harm lasting months or years.”  It is now clear that these determinations were based on the Office of Legal Counsel’s faulty interpretation of torture that elevated physical and mental pain thresholds and the condition of specific intent to cause such pain.

“The document makes the claim that OMS personnel served to protect detainees and ensure safe, legal, and effective interrogations, but provides no evidence that detainees were evaluated appropriately. In fact, it states that psychological assessments did not include the possibility of post-traumatic stress disorder, the most common psychological condition following torture. The document also fails to mention the OMS practice of forced rectal feeding, for which there is no medical indication and which represents a form of sexual assault” said PHR Senior Medical Advisor Vincent Iacopino, MD, PhD.

In addition, the document’s conclusion that the interrogation techniques did not cause long-lasting harm has been proven wrong. Some detainees subjected to these torture techniques who are still held in the Guantánamo Bay detention facility remain severely traumatized, according to PHR medical experts who have examined them. Detainees who have been evaluated after their release from Guantánamo, and elsewhere, also continue to show long-lasting harm, as described in reports such as PHR’s Broken Laws, Broken Lives.

The document refers to OMS practices being in compliance with American Psychological Association (APA) policies, but fails to acknowledge collusion between the APA, the CIA, and the Department of Defense in establishing those policies. These policies have since been abandoned. The document also attempts to defend against criticism of breaches of medical ethics by indicating that OMS participation was voluntary, that its practices were considered “legal” by the U.S. Department of Justice at the time, and that actionable intelligence was obtained and lives were saved. The author of the document rejects international medical ethical principles of “do no harm” as well as legal prohibitions against participation in torture by asserting that “saving lives” takes priority over respect for human dignity. We have learned since, from a 2014 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report, that no actionable intelligence was ever obtained using “enhanced interrogation” techniques that could not otherwise have been gathered.

This document is a revealing self-indictment of U.S. torture practices and the critical role of CIA OMS personnel in participating in and concealing torture. It shows health professionals’ disregard for core ethical principles, including the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Tokyo, requiring that they remove themselves from all forms of participation in torture or ill-treatment.

“This document shows that within the CIA OMS culture in the post-9/11 years, there was a lack of understanding of the moral and ethical issues involved in the presence and cooperation of health professionals in interrogations and their willingness to preside over the deliberate infliction of pain on detainees,” Iacopino said. “The author of the document expresses continual concern for the physical safety of detainees, but he shows no qualms about OMS personnel participating in the interrogations that caused great pain and suffering to the detainees. This was an improper role for health professionals and OMS shows that it was blind or indifferent to ethical concerns raised by their participation,” he added.

Based on the new details in this document, PHR renews its call on the U.S. government, especially all CIA medical professionals, to take immediate action to make structural and procedural reforms to ensure that such human rights abuses – including the collusion and cover up of health professionals, in violation of their professional ethics – never happen again. As an organization of health professionals, PHR looks forward to those in positions of authority recognizing the important role played by doctors, psychologists, therapists, and others who practice medicine to ensure that torture tactics are never enabled by professionals whose primary obligation is to their patients, and that all agency operations respect the right to dignity and care for the individual.

Torture is absolutely prohibited under U.S. and international law at all times, and preventing the torture of those in custody is integral to the ethical duties and culture of health professionals. Torture violates everything that health professionals stand for and PHR will continue to advocate to ensure the U.S. government never engages in torture again.



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Secret CIA Document Shows Plan to Test Drugs on Prisoners

NOVANEWS

Documents long hidden by the agency reveal that CIA doctors were hunting for a “truth serum” to use on prisoners as part of a previously secret effort called Project Medication.

The ACLU has won the release of a 90-page account of the CIA’s Office of Medical Services role in the the agency’s clandestine torture program — a secret history written by the top CIA medical official, whose identity remains classified. (Image: Getty Images)

Thanks to an ACLU victory in federal court, we know much more about how CIA doctors violated the medical oath to “do no harm.”

One of the most important lessons of the CIA’s torture program is the way it corrupted virtually every individual and institution associated with it. Over the years, we have learned how lawyers twisted the law and psychologists betrayed their ethical obligations in order to enable the brutal and unlawful torture of prisoners.

Now we’ve won the release of a 90-page account of the CIA’s Office of Medical Services role in the CIA torture program — a secret history written by the top CIA medical official, whose identity remains classified.

The history reveals that CIA doctors were hunting for a “truth serum” to use on prisoners as part of a previously secret effort called Project Medication. The CIA studied records of old Soviet drug experiments as well as the CIA’s notorious and discredited MK-Ultra program, which involved human experimentation with LSD and other drugs on unwitting subjects. The CIA doctors involved in Project Medication wanted to use Versed, a psychoactive drug similar to some of those used in MK-Ultra, on prisoners.

Image of declassified document

The CIA ignored lessons from its own history. After MK-Ultra was shut down, the CIA director testified in 1977, “It is totally abhorrent to me to think of using humans as guinea pigs.” But decades later, the agency decided to experiment on humans again, testing pseudoscientific theories of “learned helplessness” on its prisoners.

While Project Medication never got off the ground, CIA medical professionals remained critical participants in experimenting with torture. Just like the government lawyers who tried to give unlawful torture a veneer of legality, the secret history reveals that CIA doctors were “indispensable” to the effort of “legitimizing the program.”

Image of declassified document

Perhaps the most striking element of the document is the CIA doctors’ willful blindness to the truth of what they were doing. CIA doctors decided that waterboarding actually “provided periodic relief” to a prisoner because it was a break from days of standing sleep deprivation. Similarly, CIA doctors decided that when a different prisoner was stuffed into a coffin-sized box, this provided a “relatively benign sanctuary” from other torture methods. CIA doctors described yet another prisoner — who cried, begged, pleaded, vomited, and required medical resuscitation after being waterboarded — as “amazingly resistant to the waterboard.” Incredibly, CIA doctors concluded that the torture program was “reassuringly free of enduring physical or psychological effects.”

The truth is that CIA torture left a legacy of broken bodies and traumatized minds. Today, with a president who has vocally supported torture and a new CIA director who was deeply complicit in torturing prisoners, it’s more important than ever to expose the crimes of the past. Recognizing the roles played by the lawyers, doctors, and psychologists who enabled torture is critical to making sure it never happens again.



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CIA’s Latest Greatest Failure

NOVANEWS
Image result for cia cartoon
By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation

Government agencies that are skilled at invading nearly everyone’s privacy worldwide are sometimes totally inept at keeping their own internal communications secure. The problem is particularly acute for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which must maintain secure contact with thousands of foreign agents scattered all over the world. By secure contact one means being able to provide specific targeting to the agents and receive in return detailed information that responds to what is being sought without any third party being able to intercept or interpret what is being shared.

Communicating is the most vulnerable element in any foreign agent operation, particularly as counter-intelligence services commit major resources to cracking the systems used to link an agent in the field with his case officer or handler, who might be in the same country under diplomatic cover but just as easily might be in another nearby country or halfway around the world.

Various media reports have lately been detailing a catastrophic communications security failure by the CIA that took place between 2007 and 2013. In simple terms, what took place was this: the Agency developed a method of covertly communicating with its agents through the internet that involved sites which enabled two way communications that were believed to be both secure and efficient. It presumably operated like social media sites where you have to log in, provide a password and then are able to send and receive messages. It almost certainly had some level of encryption built into it and there may have been several layers of passwords and/or questions that the user had to answer to gain access.

Once developed, the system, which was originally intended only for occasional low-level use, was then deployed to handle nearly all the CIA’s agent communications worldwide, including a number of key countries targeted by Washington, to include Iran and China. Each country had a separate site and the sites themselves were set up under innocuous business or social cover arrangements which presumably would have made them of no interest to prowling counterintelligence services.

What exactly went wrong is not completely clear, but the mechanism was discovered by Iranian counterintelligence, possibly employing information provided by a double agent. The Iranians determined what kind of indicators and components the CIA site had and then went on a Google search to find other similar sites. They then watched their site as well as the others, noting both their activity and their idiosyncrasies, and were presumably able to penetrate the site directed against them. At some point, they passed what they had learned on to the Chinese and possibly others.

The Chinese expanded on the Iranian work by breaking through the firewall in their country’s site and getting into the entire system. It was possible to identify all the CIA agents in China. More than two dozen were arrested, tortured and killed and a like number were found and executed in Iran, though some were warned by the CIA and were able to escape. Agents in other countries were also exfiltrated as a security measure because it was not known to what extent the information on the system had been compromised and shared. The damage is still being assessed, but one thing that is known is that the United States knew little or nothing about what was going on in China and Iran at a critical time when negotiations over nuclear programs and North Korea were taking place.

The internet communications system was used so extensively because it was easy to use. When it eventually crashed, fully 70% of CIA communications with agents were potentially compromised. Ironically, a CIA contractor had, in 2008, warned that the internet system had major flaws that could be exploited. He was fired for his pains.

Secret communications to protect spies are as old as the Greeks and Romans, who used codes and substitution ciphers. The leap into internet communications by the CIA demonstrated that no system is infallible. The CIA got lazy and did not do its homework when setting up communications plans with agents. The reality is that running agents in a hostile foreign country is more an art than a science. You communicate with a spy in a way that fits in with his lifestyle so as not to arouse suspicion. He or she might be able to take phone calls, or receive letters with invisible writing. They might have the privacy to do burst communications from a computer to a satellite. Or they might prefer to use the old-fashioned methods — to include chalk marks signaling dead drops, brush passes and encrypted communications using one-time pads. CIA, which lost many of its skilled spies post 9/11 after it went crazy over electronics, drones and paramilitary operations, will now have to relearn Basic Espionage 101. It will not be easy and will take years to do if it is even possible. Some might argue, perhaps, that the world would be a better and safer place if it is not done at all.



Posted in USA, C.I.AComments Off on CIA’s Latest Greatest Failure

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