Journalist Michael Otterman, author of the excellent book, American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond, was kind enough to forward to me some months ago a document he obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. The document consists of the after-action reports made by Colonel Steven Kleinman and Terrence Russell, two of the three team members sent by the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) to a top-secret special operations facility in Iraq in September 2003.
|By: Jeff Kaye Tuesday January 29, 2013 2:40 pm|
|By: Jeff Kaye Sunday July 24, 2011 7:12 pm|
In an an arrogant riposte to an earlier posting of mine, Lawfare blogger and member of the Hoover Institute Task Force on National Security and the Law, Benjamin Wittes, proclaimed he is “Happy to be a government proxy.”
Wittes’ tongue may seem somewhat in cheek, but he really means it. “Government proxy” how? In my earlier article criticizing both Wittes and Adweek columnist Alex Koppelman for their poorly resourced and vituperative articles attacking Scott Horton’s investigation of the 2006 deaths of three Guantanamo detainees, published by Harper’s Magazine in January 2010. Department of Defense investigations had labeled all three deaths suicides.
|By: Jeff Kaye Friday July 1, 2011 11:30 am|
The announcement of John Durham’s decision to investigate two CIA detainee murders prompts a reexamination at how the different torture techniques were developed, and how they were propagated across governmental institutional boundaries between the Department of Defense and the CIA. If the press did their job, perhaps we could get a better picture of how torture was implemented, who was responsible, leading the public to demand the accountability that otherwise, without significant public outcry, is not going to happen.
|By: Jeff Kaye Tuesday April 5, 2011 6:07 am|
The commissions’ main purpose is to produce government propaganda, not justice. These are meant to be show trials, part of an overarching plan of “exploitation” of prisoners, which includes, besides a misguided attempt by some to gain intelligence data, the inducement of false confessions and the recruitment of informants via torture. The aim behind all this is political: to mobilize the U.S. population for imperialist war adventures abroad, and political repression and economic austerity at home.
|By: Jeff Kaye Tuesday March 22, 2011 3:40 pm|
As part of a new investigative story, Truthout has published two documents written by the former psychologist for SERE, and later CIA contract interrogator for the Bush torture program, Bruce Jessen. Jessen’s notes describe an “exploitation” survival course that was “reverse-engineered” to provide a blueprint for the interrogation and detention policies of the Bush administration, which emphasized not just the ways to coercively interrogate an individual for intelligence purposes, but to “exploit” the detainee for a number of uses, including production of false confessions, recruitment of prisoners as U.S. spies, putting on show trials, and medical experimentation.
|By: Jeff Kaye Sunday February 13, 2011 7:40 am|
A National Research Council (NRC) 2008 report on a conference on Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies examined briefly what it characterized as a “contemporary problem,” the possibility of doing research on “war on terror” detainees, removed by the U.S. government from Geneva protections against experiments done on prisoners of war.
|By: Jeff Kaye Thursday January 6, 2011 6:45 am|
An “experimental, Army mental-health, fitness initiative” called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) is drawing criticism from civil rights groups and rank-and-file soldiers by testing military personnel for “spiritual fitness.” What’s next? Will atheism be pronounced a new form of “material support to terrorism”?
|By: Jeff Kaye Thursday October 14, 2010 5:20 pm|
A new article at Truthout describes how Paul Wolfowitz issued a military directive in March 2002 that loosened rules against human experimentation and protections for subjects of such research that had been in place since the early 1970s. According to sources within the Department of Defense, the Wolfowitz Directive, “Protection of Human Subjects and Adherence to Ethical Standards in DoD-Supported Research”, was used to support a top-secret Special Access Program at Guantanamo funded through the Defense Department’s black budget involving “deception detection”, interrogation, and other research upon detainees.
|By: Jeff Kaye Monday August 23, 2010 2:15 pm|
In a series of recent articles, I’ve pointed out Yoo, Bybee, and later Office of Legal Counsel attorney Stephen Bradbury, disregarded internal SERE documents related to the safety of waterboarding. Now we can add the suppression of complaints by SERE trainees of having contracted PTSD from participation in SERE training. This directly contradicts the Yoo/Bybee contention in the Aug. 2, 2002 memo to Rizzo, where they wrote, “Through your [i.e., CIA] consultation with various individuals responsible for such training, you have learned that these techniques have been used as elements of a course of conduct without any reported incident of prolonged mental harm.”
|By: Jeff Kaye Sunday July 18, 2010 7:45 am|
After three-and-a-half years, author Michael Otterman is closing shop over at his “American Torture” blog. The site was named after his book of the same title. Much of what I have wrote about over the years first found its expression in Michael Otterman’s incredible history of U.S. torture experimentation and implementation. While his website isn’t accepting or posting new submissions, Mike isn’t dropping off the radar. Along with Richard Hil and Paul Wilson, he just published another amazing work of political journalism. In his new book, Erasing Iraq: the Human Costs of Carnage, Otterman again traces the history of U.S. intervention in Iraq.