Aftermath of Latest Airstrike Mistake

The Afghans are growing weary of the same old military song and dance, first deny, deny, deny, then blame the Afghans, then when the wiggle room is gone, take blame for two-thirds of the victims or less.Just like Vietnam.

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I Pledge to Do As I Am Told

Oh, my God! Such bullsh*t as this explains everything that is wrong with this Nation today. That this many allegedly sane individuals would sell-out in this way is a very telling sign that the bean-counters and the Obama’s other behaviorial specialists are right–this country is fully ripe for picking. Long live the Fourth Reich!

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A law unto themselves

A law unto themselves

By: Sikander Shaheen

ISLAMABAD – Far removed from the drones of the tribal areas, it is right here in the Capital that US nationals are behaving with arrogant bravado.
Over the last few days, American diplomats have repeatedly been found carrying unlicensed arms, manhandling and thrashing Pakistani citizens and using extremely abusive language while misbehaving with local policemen.
According to the data available with this scribe, Islamabad police spotted some senior American diplomats on five different occasions when they were found keeping illegal automatic weapons. Every time, the diplomats reportedly exchanged harsh words with our police officials and refused to comply with law.
A few weeks back, a Pakistani student was given a bad beating by an American diplomat inside the Diplomatic Enclave. The poor student had dared to let his vehicle passed close to a US national while he was jogging alongside the road. In another incident, a mid-career American diplomat abused a senior police official of Secretariat Police Station who was performing his duties at Diplomatic Enclave. Adding insult to injury, a Pakistani citizen was reportedly thrashed, a few days back, by two American diplomats at Super market who had dared to park his car near the vehicle of Americans. Just recently, four American diplomats were apprehended and were kept in police custody for a few hours on the charges of keeping illegal heavy weaponry with them before the American Embassy interfered and set them free.

“Their (Americans) attitude was so derogatory and they were behaving with such contemptuous slur as if we were their slaves. They keep bullying everybody like they are our masters!” some concerned police officials related to this incident reported. “The diplomats of a super power should learn to behave!” they deplored.
On one hand the US Ambassador admits that people of Pakistan have some ‘misconceptions’ about Americans that need to be addressed, on the other hand such repeated incidents that make mockery of Pakistan’s sovereignty with least regard to law of land have gone unchecked by the US envoy. In her press briefing dated August 27 last month, Anne W. Patterson had stated that there were some serious ‘misconceptions’ among common Pakistanis about US, which she opined, needed to be redressed. However, the incidents that followed proved that leading American diplomat had failed to ‘tame’ her cronies.
When contacted, Spokesman US Embassy Richard Snelsire, as usual, expressed his ignorance towards the incidents regarding highhandedness of American diplomats. “I don’t know anything about that, this is the first time a reporter is calling me and telling me this, I’m ignorant to all this,” he added. The ignorant American diplomat advised this scribe to contact Pakistani authorities in this regard, his ‘prudent’ advise said, “I refer you to your Pakistani authorities who have a better understanding of this matter.”

NATO strike hits heart of new Afghan strategy

An air strike in northern Afghanistan that killed up to 90 people hit at the heart of plans for a tactical change in the Western military strategy against Taliban-linked insurgents. The issue of civilian casualties in the NATO-backed war to rout militants from Afghanistan is a thorn in the relationship between the Kabul government and its Western backers — and a simmering source of anger among Afghan people. Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere have become adept at manipulating battleground situations to draw fire and escalate civilian deaths to exploit local sensitivities about the presence of foreign troops. “They do it to fuel public dissatisfaction against the presence and military operations of foreign forces and it justifies their cause,” Afghan lawmaker Ahmad Behzad said. NATO launched an air strike early Friday against Taliban militants who had hijacked two fuel tankers ferrying supplies for international troops, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. According to ISAF, insurgents were attempting to take the tankers across the Kunduz river, near the Tajik border, when one stalled and they called on villagers to help themselves to the fuel. Witnesses said as civilians were syphoning off fuel, the air strike ignited a fireball that killed dozens and caused horrific injuries to many others. Officials have said up to 90 people were killed, including a large number of militants, though exact figures are unclear. Investigations are under way into the cause and the breakdown of militant versus civilian deaths. The incident came as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivered a speech calling the Western strategy against insurgents in Afghanistan “flawed” yet essential to suppressing the worldwide terrorism threat. “It (the Kunduz strike) couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Western powers trying to justify their presence in this country,” said a foreign consultant in Kabul. “On the other hand, the timing is perfect for showing what international troops are up against,” he said on condition of anonymity. A warning from President Hamid Karzai that targeting civilians was unacceptable highlighted a major point of contention between his government and its Western backers. Critics say Karzai has adeptly used the issue of civilian casualties in a bid to boost his waning domestic popularity, while ignoring the huge number of civilian deaths the Taliban cause directly. “By ignoring the Taliban role in inflicting civilian casualties in their direct operations, or by hiding among people to cause civilian casualties from foreign forces operations, the government has helped the Taliban in their propaganda against foreign forces and their presence,” Behzad said. Nevertheless, air strikes have been singled out by commanders as a major cause of public dissatisfaction with the foreign military presence. The US and NATO chief in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has ordered severe restrictions in an effort to reduce civilian deaths. European governments moved swiftly to urge an investigation into the air strike, with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband leading the charge, saying such incidents “undermine” NATO and Afghan commitment. “I look forward to a prompt and urgent investigation into what actually happened today,” Miliband said. Washington voiced “great concern” over the loss of civilian life. The United Nations says nearly two-thirds of 828 civilians allegedly killed by pro-government forces in the conflict last year died in air strikes. Last month McChrystal issued counter-insurgency guidelines to troops that stressed the safety of civilians in the war against the Taliban, resurgent in recent months and seen extending their reach into previously peaceful areas. McChrystal has just submitted a review to his superiors of what he called a “serious” situation in Afghanistan, as the Taliban employ increasingly deadly tactics and remote-controlled bombs against foreign forces. These improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, have become the nub of the war, claiming the bulk of foreign troop casualties and also causing a high number of civilian deaths. “The (Afghan) government has helped the Taliban by ignoring civilian casualties caused by Taliban operations and the major role Taliban plays in civilian casualties caused by foreign forces,” Behzad said. “The government has to address these issues, talk about it in the media and make the point clearly that it is the Taliban’s presence in Afghanistan that causes civilian casualties.”

Ashcroft can be sued over jailing ‘witnesses’


Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

The 2-1 decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the first of its kind in the nation, was a rebuke to the Bush administration’s post-9/11 practice of using the material-witness law to hold people as suspected terrorists without evidence that they had committed crimes.

The government lacks “the power to arrest and detain or restrict American citizens for months on end … merely because the government wishes to investigate them for possible wrongdoing,” Judge Milan Smith, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, said in the majority opinion.

“We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution, and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history,” Smith wrote.

Dissenting Judge Carlos Bea, also a Bush appointee, said Ashcroft had acted as a prosecutor and can’t be sued for ordering the arrest of a potential witness, even if the arrest was a pretext for investigating the witness.

Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer for the Nevada man who sued Ashcroft and others over arrest, said the ruling is a blow to a government policy of “preventive detention” of people who have committed no crimes.

“A policy of that nature is unconstitutional and quite dangerous,” Gelernt said.

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said the agency, which has defended Ashcroft, is reviewing the ruling.

Gelernt’s client, Abdullah al-Kidd, is a U.S. citizen and former football star at the University of Idaho. He was arrested in March 2003, held at jails in three states for 16 days, then monitored while living at home for the next 15 months.

A court warrant named him as a material witness in the case of Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, the alleged computer Webmaster of a radical Islamic organization. The FBI said al-Kidd had received $20,000 from Al-Hussayen and was about to fly to Saudi Arabia.

In fact, al-Kidd’s lawyers said, he had cooperated with the FBI and had repeatedly told agents he was willing to testify.

He was not called as a witness against Al-Hussayen, who was acquitted in 2004 of providing support to terrorists.

Al-Kidd said he lost his job as a result of the arrest, hasn’t found steady work since and has separated from his wife.

Under the material witness law, a person whose testimony is needed in a criminal case, and may be unavailable by subpoena, can be held for a reasonable period. Ashcroft, in an October 2001 press briefing, said that “aggressive detention of lawbreakers and material witnesses” was part of his strategy to prevent terrorist attacks.

FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress in 2003 that al-Kidd’s arrest was one of the bureau’s “major successes” in “identifying and dismantling terrorist networks.”

But the court said the government never showed that al-Kidd was a terrorist and was not entitled to use the material witness law to hold him as a suspect.

Ashcroft’s immunity from lawsuits extends only to his decisions to prosecute cases and not to a policy of ordering purported witnesses held for investigation, the court said.

The ruling is at links.sfgate.com/ZICQ.

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.

The CIA Mind Control Doctors: From Harvard to Guantanamo

The CIA Mind Control Doctors: From Harvard to Guantanamo

Colin A. Ross
CCHRI
Friday, September 4, 2009

My book, The CIA Doctors,[i] is based on 15,000 pages of documents I received from the CIA through the Freedom of Information Act and dozens of papers published in medical journals.  These papers report the results of research funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Department of the Army, the Office of Naval Research and the CIA.  From 1950 to 1972, the CIA funded TOP SECRET research at many leading universities including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Johns Hopkins and Stanford.  There was a series of CIA mind control programs including BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA, MKSEARCH and MKNAOMI.

MKULTRA and related programs had several over-lapping purposes.  One was to purchase mind control drugs from suppliers.  Another was to form relationships with researchers who might later be used as consultants at the TOP SECRET level.  The core purpose of these programs was to learn how to enhance interrogations, erase and insert memories, and create and run Manchurian Candidates.  All of this is described clearly and explicitly in the declassified CIA documents, which provide a glimpse into the tip of the iceberg of CIA and military mind control.

The CIA mind control experiments were interwoven with radiation, chemical and biological weapons experiments conducted on children, comatose patients, pregnant women, the general population and other unwitting groups who had no idea they were subjects in secret experiments.  Radiation, bacteria and funguses were released over urban areas.  A large cloud of radiation was released over Spokane during OPERATION GREEN RUN; plutonium was injected into a comatose patient in Boston by Dr. William Sweet, a member of the Harvard brain electrode team; plutonium was placed in the cereal of mentally handicapped children at the Fernald School in New England; 751 pregnant women were injected with plutonium at Vanderbilt University; the bacteria serratia maracens was released into the air in San Francisco, resulting in a series of infections and plutonium was injected into an amputee at the University of Rochester.  All these experiments were conducted without any informed consent or meaningful follow-up.  Hallucinogens, marijuana, amphetamines and other drugs were administered to imprisoned narcotic addicts in Lexington, Kentucky, terminal cancer patients at Georgetown University Hospital, hospitalized sex offenders at Ionia State Hospital in Michigan and johns picked by prostitutes hired by the CIA in San Francisco and New York.

Most of these experiments were conducted by psychiatrists with TOP SECRET clearance.  These included Louis Jolyon West, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma and later at UCLA; Dr. Robert Hyde in Boston; Dr. Carl Rogers at the University of Wisconsin; Dr. Martin Orne at Harvard; Dr. Charles Osgood at the University of Illinois; Dr. James Hamilton at Stanford; Dr. Charles Geschichter at the University of Richmond and Dr. Harold Abramson and Dr. Harold Wolff at Cornell.  Other TOP SECRET-cleared MKULTRA contractors included Dr. Maitland Baldwin, a neurosurgeon at the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, a pharmacologist at Emory.

The CIA doctors violated all medical codes of ethics dating back to Hippocrates, including the Nuremberg Code.  The experimental subjects were not told the real purpose of the experiments, did not give informed consent, were not afforded outside counsel and received no meaningful follow-up.  As described by the psychiatrists in published papers, experiments with LSD and other hallucinogens, combined with sensory deprivation, electroshock and other interrogation techniques, resulted in psychosis and death among other “side effects.”   The purpose of these experiments was to see how easily a person could be put into a psychotic state or controlled.

In a series of MKULTRA projects, the CIA paid a former Bureau of Narcotics officer, George White, to set up safe houses in San Francisco and New York that were decorated like brothels.  George White then hired prostitutes to pick up johns at bars, bring them back to the safe house, give them LSD without their knowledge, and then have sex with them.  The CIA officers watched the sex through one-way mirrors.  The project documents state that the purpose of the experiments was to test the effects of LSD on unwitting subjects under field conditions that mimicked an interrogation of a foreign operative.

In one of the memos contained in the MKULTRA files for these projects, however, another purpose of the safe house operation is revealed.  The CIA was actually testing the performance of “Jekyll-Hyde” identities they had created in the prostitutes.  They wanted to see if they could make female spies or female agents with alternate controllable personalities.  Another purpose of these experiments was to test the CIA’s Manchurian Candidate prostitutes under conditions that mimicked a field operation.  The johns were given LSD as part of the cover for testing the CIA’s female Manchurian Candidates prior to their use in actual operations (the mission being to have sex with and extract information from targets).  The recruitment of street prostitutes provided an additional layer of cover for the testing of the Manchurian Candidates, plus it provided free live pornography for the CIA officers.

In other experiments, conducted by Dr. Jose Delgado at Yale and Drs. Vernon Mark, Frank Ervin and William Sweet at Harvard, brain electrodes were implanted in people and their mental state and behavior was controlled from a remote radio transmitter box.  These experiments were conducted with funding from the Office of Naval Research.  In experiments at Tulane funded by the CIA and the Army, implantation of brain electrodes was combined with injecting mescaline and other substances directly into the experimental subjects’ brains.

BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA were the precursors of present-day enhanced interrogation programs used by the CIA at secret prisons outside the United States.  Water-boarding, electric shock, hooding, prolonged sleep deprivation, death threats and other techniques discussed in the Senate and Congress and in the media, are, in my opinion, elements of a limited hangout, a CIA strategy in which a little bit of the truth is revealed in order to cover up the greater part of the truth.  None of these experiments or operational programs would be possible without the participation of doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists.  The doctors are directly involved in testing the interrogation techniques and monitoring their effects.

The purpose of mind control experiments is controlling human behavior: making enemy combatants open up during interrogation; protecting secret information by erasing memories; making spies more resistant to interrogation because secret information is held by hidden identities and making people more prone to influence, social control and suggestion.  It has nothing to do with medical treatment, easing suffering or curing disease. The mind control experiments and operational programs violate basic human rights and all codes of medical ethics.

Dr. Colin Ross is a psychiatrist, internationally renowned researcher, author and lecturer. In addition to The CIA Doctors and Military Mind Control, he is also author of Project Bluebird, in which he exposes unethical experiments conducted by psychiatrists to create amnesia, new identities, hypnotic access codes, and new memories in the minds of experimental subjects. His research is based on 15,000 pages of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Dr. Ross is a past president of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. He is the founder and President of the Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma.

[i] Colin A. Ross (2006). The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations By American Psychiatrists. Richardson, TX: Manitou Communications.