Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

News Media Matters

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]

07.16 George Will's startling assessment of Donald Trump

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

Justice Matters

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Bush's Interrogators Stressed Nudity
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Bush's Interrogators Stressed Nudity

by Robert Parry
Originally published in ConsortiumNews.com yesterday, 12 September 2009

The CIA shared with George W. Bush’s Justice Department the details of how an interrogation strategy – with an emphasis on forced nudity and physical abuse – could train prisoners in “learned helplessness” and demonstrate “the complete control of Americans.”

The 19-page document, entitled “Background Paper on CIA’s Combined Use of Interrogation Techniques” and dated Dec. 30, 2004, contains repeated references to keeping suspected al-Qaeda captives – called “high-value detainees” or HVDs – naked as part of the strategy for breaking down their resistance.

The first of several “specific conditioning interrogation techniques” lists “Nudity. The HVD’s clothes are taken and he remains nude until the interrogators provide clothes to him.” [Underline in original.]

The CIA said the prisoner is kept nude (or occasionally dressed in a diaper) while being subjected to other “conditioning techniques,” sleep deprivation and a bland diet of Ensure. Nudity continues while interrogators apply other more aggressive techniques designed to emphasize a prisoner’s helplessness.

The background paper, which was prepared for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and released last month in response to an ACLU lawsuit, described in bureaucratic wording the process used to interrogate a suspected terrorist after his capture and “rendition” to a CIA-run “black site.”

“During the flight, the detainee is securely shackled and is deprived of sight and sound through the use of blindfolds, earmuffs, and hoods,” the report said. “There is no interaction with the HVD during this rendition movement except for periodic, discreet assessments by the on-board medical officer.”

From the start, the goal was to dramatize the prisoner’s vulnerability.

“The HVD is subjected to administrative procedures and medical assessment upon arrival at the Black Site,” the report said. “The HVD finds himself in the complete control of Americans.”

Initially, that control is underscored by an ominous coldness of the reception.

The report said: “The procedures he is subjected to are precise, quiet, and almost clinical; and no one is mistreating him. While each HVD is different, the rendition and reception process generally creates significant apprehension in the HVD because of the enormity and suddenness of the change in environment, the uncertainty about what will happen next, and the potential dread an HVD might have in US custody.”

The prisoner is next subjected to a dehumanizing process in preparation for the interrogations.

“The HVD’s head and face are shaved,” the CIA report says. “A series of photographs are taken of the HVD while nude to document the physical condition of the HVD upon arrival. A Medical Officer interviews the HVD and a medical evaluation is conducted to assess the physical condition of the HVD. ... A Psychologist interviews the HVD to assess his mental state.”

Then, if no “contraindications” are found, the interrogations begin, with continued emphasis on stripping the prisoner of his clothing, his self-respect and his ability to resist.

‘Learned Helplessness’

“Effective interrogation is based on the concept of using both physical and psychological pressures in a comprehensive, systematic, and cumulative manner to influence HVD behavior, to overcome a detainee’s resistance posture,” the CIA report said.

“The goal of interrogation is to create a state of learned helplessness and dependence conducive to the collection of intelligence in a predictable, reliable, and sustainable manner.”

The report said a typical “session one” would start as “the HVD is brought into the interrogation room, and under the direction of the interrogators, stripped of his clothes, and placed into shackles.”

After a round of questioning – that would include some slaps and slamming the prisoner against a wall – sleep deprivation and dietary manipulation (which along with nudity are regarded as “conditioning techniques”) are begun.

The report said: “The interrogators, assisted by security officers ... will place the HVD in the center of the interrogation room in the vertical shackling position and diaper the HVD to begin sleep deprivation. The HVD will be provided with Ensure Plus ... to begin dietary manipulation. The HVD remains nude.” [Underlines in original.]

In session two, “coercive techniques” are brought into play. The nude prisoner is doused with cold water, repeatedly slammed against a wall and forced into stress positions before being returned to the shackling position for more sleep deprivation and more dietary manipulation, with the recurring advice, “the HVD remains nude.”

Summing up this second session, the CIA wrote, “the following techniques were used: sleep deprivation, nudity, dietary manipulation, walling, water dousing, attention grasp, insult slap, and abdominal slap. The three Conditioning Techniques were used to keep the HVD at a baseline, dependent state and to weaken his resolve and will to resist.”

For session three, the CIA also noted that the prisoner “is nude” before more abusive techniques are added to the mix and then applied in combination. The report stated:

“Interrogators will often use one technique to support another. As an example, interrogators would tell an HVD in a stress position that he (HVD) is going back to the walling wall (for walling) if he fails to hold the stress position until told otherwise. ... This places additional stress on the HVD who typically will try to hold the stress position for as long as possible to avoid the walling wall.”

According to the report, wall slamming, which involves putting a harness around a prisoner’s neck and whipping him into a wall, “is one of the most effective interrogation techniques because it wears down the HVD physically, heightens uncertainty in the detainee about what the interrogator may do to him, and creates a sense of dread when the HVD knows he is about to be walled again. ...

“An HVD may be walled one time (one impact with the wall) to make a point or twenty to thirty times consecutively when the interrogator requires a more significant response to a question. During an interrogation session that is designed to be intense, an HVD will be walled multiple times in the session.”

After the end of the third session, the prisoner is put back “into the vertical shackling position to resume sleep deprivation. Dietary manipulation also continues, and the HVD remains nude,” the report said.

Cramped Confinement

In later interrogations, the prisoner could also be locked in boxes for differing periods depending on the size of the box. Under guidance from the CIA’s medical personnel, “the duration of cramped confinement limits confinement in the large box to no more than 8 hours at a time for no more than 18 hours a day, and confinement in the small box to 2 hours,” the report said.

According to the report, “sleep deprivation may continue to the 70 to 120 hour range, or possibly beyond for the hardest resisters, but in no case exceed the 180-hour time limit.”

Although “the entire interrogation process outlined above ... may last for thirty days,” the report said, “if the interrogation team anticipates the potential need to use interrogation techniques beyond the 30-day approval period, it will submit a new interrogation plan to HQS for evaluation and approval.”

The Bush administration insisted that its “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which earlier also included the near-drowning of “waterboarding,” were effective in eliciting valuable intelligence about al-Qaeda and its plans, but FBI and some military interrogators opposed the techniques as counterproductive.

As early as spring 2002, FBI agents objected to the CIA’s brutal treatment of badly wounded al-Qaeda captive Abu Zubaydah, only to be informed that the tactics had been approved “at the highest levels,” according to a Justice Department Inspector General’s report that was released last year.

FBI interrogators claimed that they achieved better results from rapport-building and other non-violent techniques with Zubaydah than the CIA did later with its use of torture.

For instance, author Jane Mayer in her book The Dark Side wrote that the two FBI agents, Ali Soufan and Steve Gaudin, “sent back early cables [in 2002] describing Zubayda as revealing inside details of the [9/11] attacks on New York and Washington, including the nickname of its central planner, ‘Mukhtar,’ who was identified as Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. ...

“During this period, Zubayda also described an Al Qaeda associate whose physical description matched that of Jose Padilla. The information led to the arrest of the slow-witted American gang member in May 2002, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. ...

“Abu Zubayda disclosed Padilla’s role accidentally, apparently. While making small talk, he described an Al Qaeda associate he said had just visited the U.S. embassy in Pakistan. That scrap was enough for authorities to find and arrest Padilla.

"These early revelations were greeted with excitement by [CIA Director George] Tenet, until he was told they were extracted not by his officers but by the rival team at the FBI.”

Soon, a CIA team arrived at the secret CIA detention center in Thailand where Zubaydah was being held and took command, adopting more aggressive interrogations tactics, Mayer wrote. The Bush administration approved the full battery of harsh tactics, including waterboarding, in mid-summer 2002.

Mayer's account was backed up last April by one of the FBI agents, Ali Soufan, who broke his long silence on the topic in an op-ed in the New York Times, citing Zubaydah's cooperation in providing information about Padilla and KSM before the CIA began the harsh tactics.

"It is inaccurate ... to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative," Soufan wrote. "Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence." [NYT, April 23, 2009]

After taking office in January, President Barack Obama issued an executive order closing the "black sites" and prohibiting the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The Obama administration also has released documents describing how Bush’s Justice Department issued legal opinions that permitted waterboarding and other torture techniques.

Last month, the Obama administration released a 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report, which was critical of the CIA's abusive interrogations. The CIA background paper detailing how the methods were used in combination was part of the package of documents made public at that time.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on September 13, 2009.

 

Public Service Ads: