U.S. Participating In Torture Again … Because We Didn’t Learn Any Lessons from Iraq

We’ve pointed out for years that failing to prosecute torturers would ensure that the U.S. tortures again in the future.

Unfortunately, no one was prosecuted (except the guy who blew the whistle on torture; and the Department of Justice refused to even read the Senate’s report on torture), so now we’re involved in torture again. The Associated Press reports:

Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.

***

Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies. They said U.S. senior military leaders were aware of allegations of torture at the prisons in Yemen ….

None of the dozens of people interviewed by AP contended that American interrogators were involved in the actual abuses. Nevertheless, obtaining intelligence that may have been extracted by torture inflicted by another party would violate the International Convention Against Torture and could qualify as war crimes, said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year.

***

The network of prisons echoes the secret detention facilities set up by the CIA to interrogate terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, then-President Barack Obama disbanded the so-called “black sites.” The UAE network in war-torn Yemen was set up during the Obama administration and continues operating to this day.

“The UAE was one of the countries involved in the CIA’s torture and rendition program,” said Goodman, the NYU law professor. “These reports are hauntingly familiar and potentially devastating in their legal and policy implications.”

This is hauntingly familiar, indeed …

According to NBC News:

  • Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
  • At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being “tortured.”
  • One of the Commission’s main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was not even allowed to read
  • The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves

In fact, the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on third-hand accounts of what tortured detainees said, with two of the three parties in the communication being government employees.

As the 9/11 Commission Report itself states:

Chapters 5 and 7 rely heavily on information obtained from captured al Qaeda members. A number of these “detainees” have firsthand knowledge of the 9/11 plot. Assessing the truth of statements by these witnesses-sworn enemies of the United States-is challenging. Our access to them has been limited to the review of intelligence reports based on communications received from the locations where the actual interrogations take place. We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting.

In other words, the 9/11 Commissioners were not allowed to speak with the detainees, or even their interrogators. Instead, they got their information third-hand.

The Commission didn’t really trust the interrogation testimony. For example, one of the primary architects of the 9/11 Commission Report – Ernest May – said in May 2005:

We never had full confidence in the interrogation reports as historical sources.

End Notes

1. The U.S. is committing other war crimes in Yemen, as well.

2. All of the top interrogation experts agree that  torture does not produce useful information.

3. It’s not just torture. Failure to punish any type of crime encourages more of that type of crime. For example, we’ve known for hundreds of years that failure to punish financial fraud ensures that banksters will carry out bigger and bigger frauds on the country, since fraud goes up as prosecutions go down.

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  • Zartan

    America is a Joke.

    I still cannot believe people let it get away with Murder. Does it pay “everyone” off like a Blood Thirsty Mobster? Are taxpayers monies used to bribe “all” global officials with the mask of foreign aid? Is this why Americans work so hard, so they can support a criminal empire, which of course, they do not benefit from but have some sick sort of allegiance to? What Foreign Nation would support any convention with America knowing that it only applies to them, not America, because America is exempt from any form of prosecution? Truly, this supports the theory that Americans are mostly criminals, by their DNA, as what Comes to America, were, (and still mainly are) Criminals trying to escape criminal prosecution. This is why You see so many prisons in America and it has the Highest Prison Population, bar none, but calls itself the land of the FREE: A sick Euphemism if ever there were one!

    I simply do not care “anymore,” God is responsible for this mess and it will be on HIS NAME that the Crimes Committed by America were never Punished or even Disciplined. Billions of People have suffered and Millions Murdered, so that “little America” can Steal, Kill and Destroy. There is no secret anymore as to HER real Identity. Revelation 18, takes the mask off the BEAST, for those who have eyes to see and read, you will find HER in Revelation 17/18, and SHE is GODS responsibility. You cannot JUDGE SODOM and BLESS America … There is going to be Eternal Consequences! Judgment must be perfect, and right now, it looks like SHIT!

    • andrew1212

      US military has (conservatively) 900+ military bases on foreign soil–each of these bases is a FIEFDOM, both for the executives of WAR, INC. and for the host country’s politicians/leaders.
      The military bases involve building infrastructure (roads, runways, electrical grid, buildings, etc.) as well as contracts to supply WAR, INC.troops, spies and mercenaries (including training, weapons, weapons systems, clothing/housing/food for troops, etc.).

      • Zartan

        Agree, there are so many “useless bases” costing taxpayers, TRILLIONS, but I hear there are also off budget expenses “Black Books” ( nobody will ever know the true debt number) for bribing, and the like, so it is likely that the entire global leadership has been bribed, including PUTIN. I am very suspicious as to how he became a Billionaire! CIA? I know they have “cash warehouses” all over the Globe for paying out, sometimes, I feel like we ( the people) should go collecting! We paid for it, and it is our money, why should it be given to Terrorists?

        I am looking for a Few Good Men.

        The Crime of the US government is on a Gargantuan Scale, that is so Massive, the average person cannot believe it because it blows their mind.

        Thank-You, for your Informative Post.

        I would rec your post, but there is something wrong with the software I am using and it gives me error codes when I try?

        Blocker or Java Script Blocker messing with Discus? I have to weed it out.

        • andrew1212

          I’ve never heard of the “cash houses” but it would certainly be one more reason the No Audit at DOD. We also know US sent cargo planes filled with bales of cash into Iraq–no receipts were issued or signed for (and we do not know how much was sent over–some estimates were $40+ billion).

          There is also the CIA’s pattern of cash being used to purchase elections after WWII

          (for more on this see Chapter 3 of Tim Weiner’s excellent book LEGACY OF ASHES: The History of the CIA).

          • Zartan

            I know from personal experience. All I can say, ” there is a good reason Germany is looking for their Gold.” Remember, the movie … Indiana Jones “Raiders of the lost Ark.”

            Remember, the ending? NO BS.

  • ICFubar

    The USA has used illegal torture of persons continuously on a grand scale since the Phoenix Program was put into practice during its genocidal war against the Vietnamese people. So it is not that American agencies instigating torture haven’t learned a lesson, only that they have perfected its use. Orwell stated it best:

    “The purpose of torture is to torture”

    Torture is used as a terror weapon against any adversarial population as proscribed as anyone who won’t deliver up and offer resistance to what the fascist western plutocracy wants.

    • andrew1212

      I suspect the Chelsea Manning/Wikleaks releases were a Limited Hangout Operation to disguise the LIES about 9/11 and to further protect the Bush/Cheney administration war criminals from prosecution.

      In the spring of 2013, The Guardian released a documentary on JAMES STEELE who ran a US training program for Iraqi torture/death squads which increased the sectarian violence. Shortly thereafter, in June of 2013, came the Snowden disclosures–which CIA would be fine with releasing (as it targeted NSA). CIA also effectively stalled the UK’s Iraq War Inquiry–while the US main stream media acted as CIA/DOD Lackeys (as usual).

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/06/el-salvador-iraq-police-squads-washington

      • ICFubar

        I agree, there is definitely something odd about the whole Wikileaks operation and set up as perhaps a sniping tool used by agencies and oligarchs against one another and as you say at times a limited hangout. There has been some rumor of Assange having covert agency contact earlier in his career. The same with Snowden, as some sort of psychological conditioning operation of getting the public into accepting pervasive surveillance, as only a very small part of the files he supposedly made off with were ever released to the public and merely confirming what we already knew. This as Greenwald quit releasing files and went to work for CIA and Deep State friend Pierre Omidyar.

        Thanks for the link.

        • Jill

          Chelsea Manning released the evidence of the war crime of murder. This is information is about torture. It seems disingenuous to say her release was a limited hangout.

          As to Assange, he has published on both war crimes, murder and torture.

          • ICFubar

            I agreed that there could be suspicion that Manning’s release of the ubiquitous ‘war porn’ that was circulating then could be seen as a distraction to the questions being raised then on 9/11/2001. Distraction is a better term in the Manning case. I use limited hangout to describe some Wikileaks releases. I don’t like to be too nit picky with others comments if the core point is valid enough.

          • Jill

            I can’t agree with your analysis. I do agree that questions concerning 9/11 desperately need answers. I still do not see what Manning or wikileaks revealed as a distraction to these questions. Manning is showing one result of the unlimited war on terror that 9/11 helped push into overdrive. Wlkileaks has released info concerning 9/11. I just don’t see them as limited hangouts. I’ll have to agree to disagree with you and andrew on this one.

          • andrew1212

            I’m glad you are open-minded about things. I’m not necessarily saying Wikileaks and Julian Assange are fully in collusion with CIA/DOD. Possibly they are being fed info (maybe even from UK intelligence) and being allowed to remain as a Useful Outlet.

            I just don’t see any valid explanation for Julian Assange being allowed to run a website and Twitter account for so long. Youtube/google, Facebook, Twitter are eradicating those who seriously question the main stream media’s narrative.

          • ICFubar

            First off I contributed to the Manning defense fund and to the sole women reporter, her name escapes me right now, who covered the entire ‘trial.’

            My agreement with Andrew was that the Manning trial could be seen to have been a public distraction to questions on 9/11/2001 as the casus belli to the war against the Iraqi nation and people and all the crimes contained within it – Andrew called it a limited hangout as the questions surrounding the Manning trial never got to 9/11/2001 in the public forum, never going the distance on 9/11/2001. I agreed on that point.

            Wikileaks, like so many other internet creations, may have had its conception in the darker recesses of a government-corporate-contractual nexus. There is some speculation that Assange had intelligence agency contact earlier in his career. As far as I am concerned I view Wikileaks with a skeptical eye for the reasons I mentioned earlier and certainly question the whole Snowden meme.

            We can agree to disagree on this. I may be totally wrong about Wiki but my antennae are twitching and I don’t ignore them.

          • andrew1212

            After the US invasion of Iraq, US forces put in place a system descended from the Phoenix Program that CIA had developed in Vietnam. James Steele & US forces trained Iraq’s police/intelligence forces in torture–this helped to feed the insurgency. The Guardian’s piece on James Steele mentions this type of operation in Steele’s past, but never makes the full connection.

            Douglas Valentine’s research on the Phoenix Program is much maligned–but if you look thru the distortion you will find he has some great sources validating his work (including former CIA Director William Colby and many other CIA agents who were in Vietnam).

            http://www.douglasvalentine.com/index.htm

          • ICFubar

            Yes indeed. The Phoenix program for population control through terror became the modus operandi of the American imperialist project and was next used in Central America. When brought to Iraq under Negroponte it was dubbed the ‘El Salvador solution.’

            Valentine’s work in uncovering the nuts and bolts and genocidal horror show of the Phoenix program is a well footnoted document. Valentine gained the trust of Colby and through him got access to the top CIA brass who conducted the program who openly discussed it with him believing Valentine was on board. Valentine has warned the American people that the Fusion Centers within each State are a carbon copy of the Provincial Interrogation Centers set up in Vietnam that were that pogrom’s main infrastructure there.Shockingly as the Trump administration takes flight, or perhaps not considering those speaking out, there has been a call for the full revival of the Phoenix program as a customary practice taking it out of the shadows and placing it into standard operating procedures for the USA.

            I am currently reading through Valentine’s latest effort entitled “The CIA as Organized Crime – How illegal operations corrupt America and the world.’

            in peace…

          • andrew1212

            I definitely appreciate Douglas Valentine’s work and hope he makes his own James Corbett-style documentary on the Phoenix Program (with documents, photos, audio/video clips, links to sources). Currently the only documentaries I can find on Phoenix Program also include MK-Ultra; it would certainly be useful to have one documentary which addresses just the one subject (with perhaps a Part 2 to describe how the Phoenix Program has now been extended to Iraq, Afghanistan).

            Amazon took steps to virtually misrepresent the book–disallowing the Full table of contents to be listed in their preview feature and (originally) listing the book as having about 100 less pages than the 446 pages it contains. I also fin it suspicious that Robert David Steele has not reviewed the book, despite promoting himself as “Amazon’s top reviewer of non-fiction books” with over 10,000 book reviews. Cynthia McKinney (et al.) Beware!!!

          • ICFubar

            Andrew,

            James Corbett did a lengthy interview with Valentine that touched, if I remember correctly on Amazon’s mistreatment of the Phoenix program book.

            Your idea of a ‘doc’ on Phoenix and this whole issue is a great idea. Suggest it to Valentine.

            Corbett Report interviews with Valentine: https://www.corbettreport.com/?s=interview+of+doug+valentine

          • andrew1212

            The purpose of a Limited Hangout Operation is to cover up extremely damaging information via the release of less damaging information. I find it beyond belief that CIA, which regularly breaks laws, and the rest of the US intelligence/defense sectors can’t even shutdown Wikileaks’ website or even their Twitter account. (all they really have to do is Pull a Fire Alarm and Assange would be forced from the building)

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  • Jill

    I read this with great sadness and anger. Behold this govt.

    These actions along with Gitmo along with permanent war are so shameful. This nation is lost. It’s a war criminal’s world. We should be so much better. We should be rebuilding ours and other’s nations. Instead, the plutocracy and other sadists simply want to commit harm. Who chooses this for their life? What makes people come to this point? Why can’t they use their considerable resources to do good in the world? It’s just mind numbing that so many people choose such a horrible life and do incredible things to others and the earth. What makes a person choose such a life? I just don’t know

    • andrew1212

      I definitely agree–so sad that the USA has become WAR, INC. (USA). I suspect a large percentage of Congress and the executives/board of directors of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox, NYT, WaPo all have investments in defense/intelligence industry stocks.

      Cryptome recently released interesting side-by-side satellite images of Gitmo 2003 vs. Gitmo 2017:

      https://twitter.com/_cryptome_/status/868633970149392384

      • Jill

        Andrew,

        That is shocking. I know they want/had been wanting an increasing prison there but seeing it in these photos really brings it home. The USG has always done monstrous things in the world, but many other times we did things that were right. Now, I don’t think USGinc. cares to do much of anything that is helpful. It is definitely a corporate/govt. enterprise. A war/death cult. Thank you for showing me this.

        • andrew1212

          To be fair: I’m sure there are new(er) prison facilities in the 2017 photo–but pretty sure most of that growth is for troop housing/health, food, recreation, and the Monkey Court (aka military tribunal). What would Gitmo be without Go Kart racing and a Burger King?

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  • Torture is known to be a major American culture, other than r aping and killing and bombing.
    God is certainly blessing America, I agree.

    • Zartan

      Some sick god … Pervert Perhaps? He should put himself in place of alll the poor colored people being obliterated “daily,” by America.

      If God does not being Judgement to America, than He is no God and I will Spit on His Throne!

      • Zartan

        Oh, and Just for the Record … I am a 5th generation US Citizen. If God Judges Sodom, than HE will JUDGE the “Mother of Sodom” … USA. After all the Filth I had to witness, He had better have a good excuse, nobody needs an Evil God.

        • Can you tell me why you American citizens are doing nothing with illegal actions of your military?

          • Zartan

            Most Americans are Lame and Tame … Slaves for their Masters!

            I ( 1-person) cannot make up for 320-Million LAME people, Like I told the Creator, ( in Prayer) However, as I added, “If, Dear Lord, You give me half of your Power “on Loan” Every Soul on the Planet Will Repent and Be Near Perfect in 30-days or less.” And, I swear by my Work! If I fail, I will volunteer myself into HELL.

            If you were all like me, America, well, God would not have to Bring Judgement, because the Governments “all” would be begging for forgiveness! However, you all love serving you “master” … LAME, ALL … and Your “master” will eat you in the end, coming soon!

            YOU … MANKIND … Are the BANE of Existence!

          • Okay I am regretting of replying to you now, as you make me more certain that you Yankees are never getting sincere for any kind of criticism coming from outside.
            The rest of the world has nothing else to do but to wait until the empire is gone.

          • Zartan

            What do you want?

            Do you think there is any Hope?

            Seriously?

            I posted some “satire and humor,” (its fun) but it is also, the STONE COLD TRUTH.

            USA is in Total Control of this World ( and, I do not like it) however, they have managed to Pay, Bribe or Kill “all adversaries.” They will write History. They write LAW. They cannot be held in Contempt … Who will do it? Speak out against the USG and you get Droned! If Nations act, they get Nuclear War. Thererfore, All will only OBEY.

            The people are all slaves in the US, I know, and believe me, all they can do is OBEY THEIR MASTER. Only a Revolution could save the Planet, and the LAME Americans, are the only people who can change things!

            So, Expect the Worst!

            Get right with GOD ( or whatever you believe) because Time is short. US government wants confrontation with Russia, because they believe Russia is Weak and can be Sacked. They fear Russia. Iran is Next, then, Russia. However, will Russia conceed as US war planners believe?

          • Zartan

            Oh, and the Problem with “the world waiting,” America will take the world down with it, why do you think they have Nuclear Weapons? You can see their Meglomanical behavior, NOW, and times are good, so Imagine, if things go BAD? They will push the Button and turn planet earth into a Cinder.

  • Greg Burton

    ‘U.S. Participating In Torture Again … Because We Didn’t Learn Any Lessons from Iraq’? Pffft!

    The reason we torture is not to gain useful information, except for false confessions to cover the tracks of the real terrorists (US/UK/Israel), but for NaZi mind control.

    Creating ‘fluidity’ so that the real terrorists can create pliant cadres of Islam-o-fascists foot-soldiers on the front line of the so-called ‘war on terror’; and pliant sheeple back home who will not question the ‘war on terror’ based on the continuing false flag terror that is the same type of NaZi mind control, only applied to the masses of the world.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97631d096792126183332dbb64978dccf371e0e118479c88156057040be91d5e.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38e3ad1b6d97b1d6e24ab4b96323c41d1d5838ea7f7cb852f44c962c204d048f.jpg

  • darthangel

    We need to pressure Trump and congress to end this…but also be awake. There is no way this just started happening again. It only becomes an issue because the mainstream media wants to blame the current administration. And it will deserve to be blamed if it ignores this. But it would be naive to think this is anything new. This has been continual for at least 30 years at this point, maybe longer.

  • Zartan

    Oh, and people, the American people are lame slaves who do what they are told. If you want change, you will need a few mega-tons! And, do not give me any BS, because GOD cannot do it any differently.The Bible, Koran, Hebrew … All, say that I am correct.

    And, if you do not believe in GOD, good, because, you only expose your ignorance.