Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 28/12/2014: OpenELEC 5.0, KaOS 2014.12

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Funding

  • Openness/Sharing

    • GitHub's Most Popular Project Is The New Open Source Pirate Bay
      After The Pirate Bay made its site available for anyone to host with “minimal web knowledge”, the project has become a hit on the popular developer site GitHub, and 372 copies of “The Open Bay” have been created.

      The Pirate Bay was recently raided by police in Sweden, knocking its services offline. Its answer? Make it possible for anyone to create their own Pirate Bay, complete with all of its old torrents, and the ability to carry on the tradition.

  • Programming


  • Douglas Carswell tells Ukip to stop blaming foreigners as youth poll shows Nigel Farage is even less popular than Nick Clegg

    Douglas Carswell, one of Ukip’s most senior figures, has called on the party to stop making “the mistake of blaming outsiders” for Britain’s problems and described disliking foreigners as “not merely offensive, but absurd”.

    The former Tory MP’s comments came as a damning new poll showed Ukip had failed to win the support of young voters ahead of the general election in May, who were found to be six times more likely to choose the Green Party.

    Mr Carswell, whose by-election victory over his former party in October made him one of Ukip’s most influential faces and one of their two members in the Commons, said it was “interdependence that put the Great into Great Britain”.

    His comments come after party leader Nigel Farage defended the language used by Ukip candidate Kerry Smith, who mocked gay party members as “p******s”, joked about shooting people from Chigwell in a “peasant hunt” and referred to someone as a “C****y bird”.

    Mr Farage also made headlines last month when he blamed his lateness to a paid-for party event on “immigrants” causing greater traffic on the M4.

  • AirAsia Flight From Indonesia To Singapore Loses Contact With Air Traffic ControlAirAsia Flight From Indonesia To Singapore Loses Contact With Air Traffic Control
    Flight QZ 8501 -- an Airbus 320-200 -- lost communication with Indonesia's Surabaya Juanda International Airport at 7:24 Singapore time on Sunday morning, the airline said. The plane "was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost," AirAsia said in a statement.

    "The weather was not good -- it was bad -- at the estimated location the plane lost contact," Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustafa said.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized
      Former Nestle CEO claims water is not a human right and should be privatized and controlled. He also states that GMOs have never caused illnesses despite hundreds of independent studies showing otherwise.

      So, is water a free and basic human right, or should all the water on the planet belong to major corporations?

      Should the poor who cannot afford to pay these said corporations suffer from starvation due to their lack of financial wealth?

  • Security

    • A Straightforward Chronology of the Sony Hacking Incident
      Security geeks reveal government disinformation

    • Experts Are Still Divided on Whether North Korea Is Behind Sony Attack
      The FBI announcement last week that it had uncovered evidence in the Sony hack pointing to North Korea appears to have settled the issue for a lot of people—in Washington, DC.

      “As a result of our investigation,” the FBI announced, “and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.”

    • Who Really Hacked Sony Is Like A High-Tech Movie Plot
      Everyone has a theory about who really hacked SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT website, according to ASSOCIATED PRESS.

    • Sony Emails, Seth Rogen Fuel Speculation of CIA Role Making The Interview
      Truth can definitely be stranger than fiction, especially if you believe what actor/director Seth Rogen recently said about the production behind his latest film, The Interview.

    • Sony's 'The Interview' makes $1m on Christmas Day
      Sony Pictures' controversial movie "The Interview" collected more than $1m in a limited Christmas Day release, and is expected to make several millions of dollars over the holiday weekend.

    • Chinese Viewers Mostly Give Thumbs Up for ‘The Interview’
      Although Beijing is Pyongyang’s only significant ally on the world stage, many ordinary Chinese have mixed feelings about their government’s relationship with North Korea, which has been called as close as “lips and teeth.” Some have come to see a reflection of their own condition in North Korea’s poverty, repressiveness and over-the-top propaganda. Online, some commentators have begun to refer to the North Korean leader as “Fatty Kim the 3rd.”

    • False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood
      The campaign of aggression against North Korea, from the hacking of Sony and the crescendo of noise over the film, The Interview, bears all the markings of a CIA false flag operation.

      The hacking and alleged threats to moviegoers has been blamed entirely on North Korea, without a shred of credible evidence beyond unsubstantiated accusations by the FBI. Pyongyang’s responsibility has not been proven. But it has already been officially endorsed, and publicly embraced as fact.

      The idea of “America under attack by North Korea” is a lie.

      The actual individuals of the mysterious group responsible for the hacking remain conveniently unidentified. A multitude of possibilities—Sony insiders, hackers-for-hire, generic Internet vandalism—have not been explored in earnest. The more plausible involvement of US spying agencies—the CIA, the NSA, etc. , their overwhelming technological capability and their peerless hacking and surveillance powers—remains studiously ignored.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Afghanistan conflict: When Enduring Freedom is turned asunder
      In December of 2001, the mightiest military force the world has ever known launched 'Operation Enduring Freedom' in Afghanistan. Today, the US and NATO military mission in that distant country officially comes to a close, but the foe remains unvanquished.


      To sum up, the US and NATO mission in Afghanistan can rightfully be called disastrous. The America that once was aghast at the idea of torturing people wholesale, is today subdued and numbed to the so-called “black sites” in Afghanistan and around the globe, where torture became the norm. Compared to NSA spying on US citizens, the cover-up or misdirection used to conceal these activities are outright war crimes for most people. Names like Parwan Detention Facility, the Salt Pit, and detainees like Khaled el-Masri and other tortured detainees echo a dark reality of this war on terror. For the leaders who have helped perpetuate these wars, though, cheap talk still resonates. Barack Obama just spoke to US troops on Christmas day about this war’s effects. He said:

    • 2 Drone Strikes in Pakistan Are Said to Kill 9 Militant Suspects
      At least nine people suspected of being militants, including four foreigners, were killed in two separate drone strikes in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, a Pakistani security official said.

    • Two U.S. drone strikes kill seven militants in Pakistan
      Two suspected U.S. drones fired missiles at militant hideouts in northwest Pakistan on Friday killing at least seven fighters, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

    • US drone strike kills 3 in Afghanistan’s Logar
      A US drone strike has killed at least three civilians in Afghanistan’s troubled southeastern province of Logar.

    • US Drones Kill Seven People in Pakistan
      At least seven alleged Taliban fighters died in two separate US drone attacks in the northern-western Pakistani province of North Waziristan, where the Army is carrying out an air and ground operation against the insurgency.

    • U.S. Air Force Intel Unit Helped Kill 1,200 People in a Year
      A secretive group of U.S. Air Force intelligence specialists flying aboard American spy planes helped U.S. military commandos kill more than a thousand enemy combatants in just a single year back in 2012.

    • Torture, Drones, and Hollywood: A Former CIA Operative Talks
      Robert Baer: Assassination doesn’t work, generally. I approached it from the premise that had we assassinated Hitler in 1933 we would have saved lives and destruction. Probably we would have, but in general assassination doesn’t turn out to be a way to avoid war. I take my own experience and other assassinations through history and get a lot into the drone program, which doesn’t work, as well. It’s clear to me, with the massacre at this Pakistani school [at Peshawar]; the CIA in a sense had a role in that, because the two predecessors of the man [Maulana Fazlullah, AKA “Mullah Radio”] who ordered that were both killed by drones. - See more at:

    • If the Senate issued a report on America’s drone program
      There were the new tidbits of information on the workings of the president’s “kill list” and the convening of “terror Tuesday” briefings to target specific individuals around the world. There were the insider discussions of ongoing decisions to target American citizens abroad for assassination by drone without due process of law and the revealing emails in which participants up to presidential advisers discussed how exactly to craft the exculpatory “legal” documents for those acts at the Department of Justice.

    • Marjorie Cohn on Drone Warfare: Illegal, Immoral and Ineffective
      Law professor, writer and social critic Marjorie Cohn explores human rights and US foreign policy, and the frequent contradiction between the two in her monthly Truthout column, "Human Rights and Global Wrongs." She agreed to an interview with Leslie Thatcher recently about her new book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

    • The cyclical nature of the War on Terror
      Acts of ‘terror’ have been permeating through our televisions screens and newspapers in the West to the extent that we now seem to be surrounded by them. The ‘war on terror’ makes ‘us’ in the West feel safe, but what is almost never considered is how ‘our’ safety affects the lives of the ‘others’ we aim to destroy.

    • After Scrutiny, C.I.A. Mandate Is Untouched
      Over a lunch in Washington in 1976, James J. Angleton, for years the ruthless chief of counterintelligence at the C.I.A., likened the agency to a medieval city occupied by an invading army.

      “Only, we have been occupied by Congress,” he told a young congressional investigator. “With our files rifled, our officials humiliated, and our agents exposed.”

      The spymaster had cause for worry. He had endured a public grilling about his role in domestic spying operations by a select committee headed by Senator Frank Church, a Democrat from Idaho, that spent years looking into intelligence abuses. And the Central Intelligence Agency, used to doing what it wanted while keeping Congress mostly in the dark, was in the midst of convulsions that would fundamentally remake its mission.

    • Drone strikes: are they Obama’s enhanced interrogation techniques?
      The Obama administration insists that international humanitarian law (IHL) is the applicable law because it claims the US is involved in an armed conflict.

    • Drone strikes: Obama’s torture technique?
      On November 24, two weeks before the Senate Intelligence Committee released its “torture report,” Reprieve, a UK-based human rights NGO, published the results of its latest investigation into President Obama’s drone strike program. While Obama was preparing for the inevitable release of the Senate’s report which provided the most extensive insight yet into the CIA’s use of torture during the Bush administration, Reprieve provided insights of its own into the Obama administration’s equally disturbing targeted drone assassination program.

    • Comment: Are US military drone strikes legal?
      On November 24, two weeks before the Senate Intelligence Committee released its “torture report,” Reprieve, a UK-based human rights NGO, published the results of its latest investigation into President Obama’s drone strike program. While Obama was preparing for the inevitable release of the Senate’s report which provided the most extensive insight yet into the CIA’s use of torture during the Bush administration, Reprieve provided insights of its own into the Obama administration’s equally disturbing targeted drone assassination program.

    • How the CIA Sold Obama on Counterinsurgency by Drone Assassination

      The Washington Post, ABC News, and other news outlets stress the report’s findings that targeted assassinations had limited impacts on Taliban targets. While this leaked report does criticize the effectiveness of some High-Value Target (HVT) assassination operations, such characterizations mistake the CIA’s argument that not all counterinsurgency problems can be solved with targeted assassinations as an argument against such operations. Far from dismissing HVT operations, the report advocates them in select conditions.

      What the Post and others miss is the role this CIA report played in larger conversations about counterinsurgency strategies among members of the CIA, Pentagon, Congress, White House, and corporate military profiteers. In 2009, these conversations focused not only on the roles counterinsurgency should play in warzones, but whether this counterinsurgency should be based on soft power models (providing needed services, etc.) or hard power models (like Project Phoenix in Vietnam, or JSOC’s targeted assassination programs in Iraq). While this leaked document is only a single report, it provides a view into the types of intelligence analysis that informed President Obama’s rapid increased use of CIA HVT drone operations targeting individuals, including American citizens, in Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

      This 18-page CIA report reads like a Harvard International Relations dissertation proposal—an observation more about audience, than author–as it reviews data on past HVT programs, weighing the “positive and negative implications of targeted assassinations” in select insurgency campaigns around the world. High-Value Targeting refers to “focused operations against specific individuals or networks whose removal or marginalization should disproportionately degrade an insurgent group’s effectiveness. The criteria for designating high-value targets will vary according to factors such as the insurgent group’s capabilities, structure, and leadership dynamics and the government’s desired outcome.”

    • ‘Why are covert CIA agents operating in allied EU countries?’
      After a CIA memo explaining how to get through tighter EU border security checks was leaked to WikiLeaks, the question arose why are there covert agents in the countries the US is meant to share intelligence with, former MI5 agent Annie Machon told RT.

    • Judge: CIA recruit must testify in leak case
      While the source isn't named, Risen's 2006 book "State of War" discusses a Russian nuclear scientist the CIA used as an intermediary to pass nuclear blueprints containing intentional flaws to Iran for use in their nuclear program. Risen's account of what the CIA effort code-named "Operation Merlin" suggests that the Russian became concerned the flaws were too obvious and flagged them to the Iranians.

    • Torture just one CIA abuse
      One case of many was the CIA’s involvement beginning in 1970 with the overthrow of the elected Chilean President Salvador Allende. They did this through instigating a coup that installed the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. His repression called the Caravan of Death resulted in the death of thousands and torturing tens of thousands. This account is a sordid story and approval went for it went all the way to the White House. Check out the details on Wikipedia. Unbelievable.

    • Dividing the CIA in Two
      When created in 1947, the CIA was meant to coordinate objective intelligence and thus avert some future Pearl Harbor attack, but its secondary role – engaging in covert operations – came to corrupt its independence, a problem that must now be addressed, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

    • Let the C.I.A. Do What It Is Supposed to Do
      From its inception in 1947, the C.I.A. was designed with one overriding mission: preventing strategic surprise. Its controversial interrogation program is just the latest symptom of a larger disease, the tyranny of the current. Since 9/11, rather than assessing the threat landscape of the future, the C.I.A. has been mired in the terrorist threat of the here and now. Time and energy spent on targeted killings, black sites and interrogations with water boards and rectal hydration was time and energy that could have been spent better assessing and anticipating emerging challenges like the Arab Spring, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions, or ISIS’s gathering strength. White House officials and warfighters naturally worry most about today. The C.I.A.’s job is to also worry about tomorrow.

    • White House petition seeks release of all JFK files
      Prominent JFK assassination researcher and author Lamar Waldron has posted on the White House website a petition calling for the release of all classified government files on the JFK assassination and a pardon for former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden.

    • Wikileaks: CIA's Brennan on 'witch hunt' when Hastings was killed
      A 2010 email released by Wikileaks from a top-level CIA contractor asserts that CIA Director John Brennan, the subject of a story by deceased journalist Michael Hastings, was on a "witch hunt" against "investigative journalists" perceived as hostile.


      The story on Brennan was never published. Stratfor was once called "The Shadow CIA" by Barron's. In 2012 WikiLeaks began publishing “The Global Intelligence Files,” over five million e-mails from the Texas-based company.

      The email has never been disavowed by Stratfor. When San Diego 6 reporter Kim Dvorak asked the CIA for comment on the email in the context of the Hastings' death, in an August, 2013 report, a CIA spokesman responded:
      "“Without commenting on information disseminated by WikiLeaks, any suggestion that Director Brennan has ever attempted to infringe on constitutionally-protected press freedoms is offensive and baseless.” "
      Michael Hasting was killed on June 18, 2013, when the new Mercedes C250 SUV he had just leased hit a tree after running numerous red lights at over 100 mph in Los Angeles. A surveillance video at a pizza shop captured a fiery, violent explosion, which is uncharacteristic of high-speed impacts. Generations of advances in safety design have made accidents exhibiting these characteristics unheard of.

    • Letters: CIA torture report is disturbing
      Those of us who lived through the atrocities of World War II, the Nuremberg trials of Axis leadership for crimes against the peace and humanity, and the growth of the U.S. national security state are aware of CIA's principal role. It's to do things that the government wants done with plausible deniability. Harry Truman's creation of the CIA was the worst mistake of his presidency.

    • Head of Stratfor, ‘Private CIA’, Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was ‘The Most Blatant Coup in History’
      In a December 19th interview in the Russian magazine Kommersant, George Friedman, who is the Founder and CEO of Stratfor, the ‘Shadow CIA’ firm, says of the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych that occurred on February 22nd of 2014: “It really was the most blatant coup in history.” Perhaps he is saying this because of the videos that were uploaded to the Web which showed it to be so, but this statement by him contradicts the description that is asserted by the U.S. White House and the European Union, and the Western press, which description is that Yanukovych’s overthrow was instead just the result of the U.S. Government’s $5+ billion expense since 1991 to establish ‘democracy’ in Ukraine.

    • LETTER: Is U.S. run by war merchants, drone killers and CIA torturers?
      Wars against nations that haven’t harmed us in any way.

  • Finance

    • Tourists to UK 'to spend record levels in 2015'
      Spending by tourists visiting the UK is expected to reach record levels next year, the government has said.

      Spending by overseas visitors will top €£22bn for the first time, according to forecasts by tourism body VisitBritain.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Worst 2014 Smears From Right-Wing Websites
      Right-wing media websites continued to undermine their credibility in 2014 by peddling a number of false, ridiculous, and bigoted smears. Here are the top smears from conservative websites The Daily Caller,, and The Washington Free Beacon.

  • Censorship

    • The Interview and free speech: let’s not get too smug
      Censorship battles are usually a good thing, especially when powerful voices and interests are ranged on opposing sides. They illuminate the social and political landscape in a country – our own, as well as those we routinely regard as less enlightened. But the triangular controversy over Sony Pictures’ low-budget comedy The Interview, North Korea and the White House has not made my Christmas.

    • 1961 | The C.I.A. Readies a Cuban Invasion, and The Times Blinks
      In an abundance of caution, Mr. Szulc’s article was shifted at the last moment from its position in the upper right corner as the lead story of the day. It was further demoted in importance when the revised layout for Page 1 specified a headline one column wide rather than four columns.

    • Iran expands 'smart' Internet censorship
      Iran is to expand what it calls “smart filtering” of the Internet, a policy of censoring undesirable content on websites without banning them completely, as it used to, the government said on Friday.

    • Tailored censorship? Iran unveils ‘smart’ web filters
      Iran is rolling out new “individual filters” that will let citizens receive access to different parts of the internet, depending on government clearance, and will allow censors to weed out specific website pages – not entire domains, as they currently do.

    • Google and Social Media Resisting Russian Censorship Orders
      Google, Facebook and Twitter are putting up resistance to orders received from the Russian government to block and remove information about the planned rally by the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny next month, which might result into a full scale showdown as Russia tried to censor online content.

    • China censors news on Sony hack
      Censorship is a part of daily life in China. News articles are erased from online search engines, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are banned, and CNN is routinely blacked out for Chinese viewers.

      Instagram was a huge hit in China -- until the government banned it during the Hong Kong protests.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Don't drink and do remember your bribes: The CIA guide to how to travel like James Bond

      Take it easy at the Christmas party if you plan to fly the next day. According to the CIA’s secret travel guide for spies, travellers with “shaking or trembling hands, rapid breathing for no apparent reason, cold sweats, pulsating carotid arteries, a flushed face, and avoidance of eye contact” will arouse suspicion.

    • CIA manuals advising spies how to maintain their cover while using false documents at airports released by Wikleaks

    • How CIA spies move freely through Europe on fake passports
      Secret CIA documents advising undercover American spies on how to move through Europe on fake passports have been published online, revealing growing concern that tighter EU rules could blow the cover of US intelligence agents.

      Two documents released by WikiLeaks show that CIA agents are currently able to freely enter and travel through the 26 countries of the Schengen Area with only a “minimal” risk that EU border guards will grow suspicious.

      There is little chance of being detected when first entering the Schengen Area because European border guards are focused on “illegal immigration and criminal activities, not counterintelligence”, the CIA documents concluded.

    • Calls For Holder To Investigate, Prosecute CIA Torture

    • Calls Grow to Prosecute Former US Officials for CIA Torture
      The ACLU presented a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Monday demanding an investigation into those responsible for the CIA's torture tactics.

      Recent revelations about CIA torture under former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney between 2001-2009 have put the two figures under increased scrutiny.

    • Human rights groups call for special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture
      The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility

    • Human rights groups urge criminal investigation into CIA torture
      President Barack Obama should appoint a special prosecutor to determine if former Bush administration and CIA officials broke the law by having suspected terrorists abducted and tortured in secret prisons by waterboarding and other brutal interrogation methods, two leading human rights groups said Monday.

    • Operation Mind Control: Chilling CIA Experiments On US Citizens
      Bacteria to infect the enemy, poisons for assassinations, truth drugs for interrogations, germ warfare and brainwashing

    • Violence, torture and pestilence: 2014 was not a great year for U.S.
      For the United States, 2014 was a year of racial violence, rape, war, terrorism, drought and pestilence.

    • Polish MPs to investigate CIA payment for torture sites
      As a recent US Senate report showed, the CIA handed over up to USD 30 million to the secret services of an unnamed country that hosted the “black sites” where terrorist suspects captured in Afghanistan and Iraq were detained without warrant and subjected to “enhanced investigation techniques”, that is, torture, daily Rzeczpospolita reported. - See more at:,Polish-MPs-to-investigate-CIA-payment-for-torture-sites#sthash.uaNfAO9A.dpuf

    • Polish Committee Investigates Allocation of Funds for CIA Secret Prisons
      Marek Biernacki, head of the Sejm Special Services Committee, stated that it is necessary to investigate where the money allocated for CIA "black sites" in Poland has gone.

    • Under pressure over CIA jail, Poland sends out mixed messages
      This month's acknowledgment by Poland's former president that he allowed the CIA to operate a secret interrogation centre throws the Polish government's appeal against a European court ruling on the jail into disarray.
    • A new look at Zimbabwe-USA ‘tortuous’ relations via the CIA
      Zimbabwe is one among a number of African countries that assisted the United States of America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its notorious rendition programme. This emerged from a recent report that the USA Senate made public recently. - See more at:

    • A Brief History of the CIA's Unpunished Spying on the Senate
      This is the story of John Brennan's CIA spying on Congress and getting away with it.

      Last March, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of spying on the Senate intelligence committee as it labored to finalize its report on the torture of prisoners. “I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution,” she said. “I have asked for an apology and a recognition that this CIA search of computers used by its oversight committee was inappropriate. I have received neither.”
    • U.S. Senate and CIA agree torture program was mismanaged
      The Senate report on the CIA's interrogation program and the spy agency's official response clash on almost every aspect of the long-secret operation, including the brutality and effectiveness of its methods and the agency's secret dealings with the Bush White House, Congress and the media. Both reports largely agree on one major CIA failure: the agency's mismanagement of the now-shuttered program.

    • The Senate’s CIA report may help to lead to a new politics of intelligence in Washington.
      The Senate’s recent report into the CIA’s interrogation methods has prompted new discussions on how the U.S. should be conducting intelligence gathering, and the level of Congress’ oversight. Glenn Hastedt writes that the report raises the prospect of a new era of intelligence politics characterized by a skeptical Congress that more tightly controls and challenges the intelligence community, as well as one of continued leaks. He also argues that concerns over short political time frames will continue to push the intelligence community to retroactively justify its actions.
    • Pressure grows on PM to hold judge-led inquiry into Britain's role in CIA torture
      David Cameron was last night under intense pressure to deliver on his promise to hold a judge-led inquiry into British complicity in torture.

    • Public won’t let Washington sweep CIA torture under the rug – Russian diplomat
      The Obama administration won’t be able to throw the torture issue under the table, as the US Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program has sparked a global public outcry, the Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights ombudsman told RT.

      “It’s to be continued. If you wish, this report is to be continued against the will of those who would like to hush it down,” Konstantin Dolgov stressed.

      The Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture following 9/11 will be “discussed in the international forum, including, hopefully, in the UN Council of Human Rights and in some other international formats,” he added.
    • CIA torture report: Right also condemns torturers
      Two responses to the Senate report have stood out for me. The first was by Republican Senator John McCain. On the floor of the Senate, he described the use of torture as "shameful and unnecessary".

      He continued: "The use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies; our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights."

      The second response was that of the Conservative MP David Davis. Referring to "the barbarism of the secret CIA torture programme", he went on to state that "our association with torture causes us to lose our moral strength and serves to galvanise those who oppose us".

    • CIA Decides that the CIA Hacking into Members of Congress is not a Punishable Offense
      A panel appointed by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan to assess blame for the CIA’s intrusion into Senate Intelligence Committee computers has—no surprise—found that those who broke into the computers shouldn’t be punished.

      The handpicked committee, composed of three CIA officers; Robert F. Bauer, who served as White House counsel during President Barack Obama’s first term; and chairman Evan Bayh, a former Democratic senator from Indiana who served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the three CIA technology officers and two lawyers who participated in the computer hacking should not be punished.

    • Human rights record in the United States of America alarming
      The United States Obama administration won’t be able to throw the torture issue under the table, as the US Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program has sparked a global public outcry

      “It’s to be continued. If you wish, this report is to be continued against the will of those who would like to hush it down,” , the Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov told the media.

      The Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture following 9/11 will be “discussed in the international forum, including, hopefully, in the UN Council of Human Rights and in some other international formats,” he added.

    • Did the CIA Torture So Bush Could Invade Iraq? (Video)
      The Bush administration and the CIA tortured al-Qaida suspects because they wanted evidence that linked Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and could be used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Middle East expert Patrick Cockburn writes at The Independent.

    • Following Senate report, Johnston leaders tout reported CIA contractor as 'good corporate citizen'
      Johnston County leaders say they have no reason and no authority to probe a Smithfield-based company long linked to the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation program.

      A Raleigh-based anti-torture group says a recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report names 17 detainees transported by Aero Contractors, a company that leases space at the Johnston County Airport and at the Global TransPark in Kinston. Based on flight logs and other data, the group, North Carolina Stop Torture Now, says Aero Contractors transported another 14 detainees not named in the report.

      Tony Braswell, chairman of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners, said he doesn't know much about what Aero Contractors does. He said he does know, however, that the company has always been a "good corporate citizen."

      "That's all we know, and we don't know if they committed any crimes in Afghanistan or Pakistan," Braswell said. "Our job is to deal with schools and provide clean drinking water and have a budget for the sheriff."

      But Christina Cowger, coordinator of North Carolina Stop Torture Now, said the Senate report confirms that Aero Contractors was vital to the CIA's capture and interrogation of terror suspects using techniques that some consider torture. Now, she said, it's time for elected officials to ask more questions.
    • The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings
      Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program. The experimental nature of the interrogation and detention techniques is clearly evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s executive summary of its investigative report, despite redactions (insisted upon by the CIA) to obfuscate the locations of these laboratories of cruel science and the identities of perpetrators.

    • How a false witness helped the CIA make a case for torture
      Buried amid details of “rectal rehydration” and waterboarding that dominated the headlines over last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee findings was an alarming detail: Both the committee’s summary report and its rebuttal by the CIA admit that a source whose claims were central to the July 2004 resumption of the torture program — and, almost certainly, to authorizing the Internet dragnet collecting massive amounts of Americans’ email metadata — fabricated claims about an election year plot.
    • Irony 101: Study Ethics with Legal Ace Who Sanctioned NSA Wiretapping, CIA Torture
      Waterboarding: Yes or no? It’s OK to selectively violate the Geneva Convention, right? Spying on Americans is illegal, but aren’t rules made to be broken?

      The world is a confusing place and it’s hard for young people to answer complicated questions like these on their own. Fortunately, students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, have Professor Robert Deitz to help them navigate the contemporary moral morass. “All of us are familiar with basic ethical notions,” he writes in the syllabus for his Spring 2015 course, Ethical Challenges in Public Policy. “We learn from childhood the idea that some conduct is right and other conduct is not right.”

      How’d Deitz get so smart about ethics? He’s magna cum laude from Harvard (like President Obama) and then spent eights years as General Counsel at the National Security Agency, serving as the official Yes Man for General Michael Hayden, and after that three years as his Senior Councillor at the Central Intelligence Agency until 2009. At the former post Deitz rubber-stamped NSA surveillance. At the latter, he sought to derail an independent investigation by then-CIA Inspector General John Helgerson into the agency’s torture and rendition of terrorism suspects.

    • CIA Report Fallout: Alissa Starzak Could Lose Shot At Becoming US Army’s Top Lawyer
      Alissa Starzak will have to wait until after the holidays to find out if accusations she stole and leaked classified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents will scuttle her chances of becoming the U.S. Army’s top lawyer. And her chances could rely on whether Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will back her.
    • CIA torture report: Did US military create Isis through brutal interrogation techniques?
      The CIA torture report covers over 100 detainees but that's so pale and insignificant compared with the actual number of detainees who experienced enhanced interrogation techniques, or EITs. That number would run into the thousands, during the period when EITs were deemed legal. Every interrogator was allowed to use them.

    • The Horrific Stories of CIA-sponsored Torture That Aren’t in the Senate Report.
      There's still no official account of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other victims of torture that the CIA is responsible for.

    • Do We Need the C.I.A.?
      Would the security needs of the United States be better served if the C.I.A. were dismantled?

    • Jeremy Renner On The CIA Plot Behind ‘Kill The Messenger’ – The Contenders
      Star Jeremy Renner and producer Scott Stuber talk about Kill the Messenger, their film about Gary Webb, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. Webb uncovered a CIA plot in the 1980s that funneled cocaine into the United States to finance arms purchases and other operations in Central America, then faced a campaign to undermine and deny his work.

    • SA man at centre of CIA sting
      An infamous South African, linked to some of the most shady scandals of this century, has emerged at the centre of a US transcontinental sting operation that netted an alleged drug cartel assassin.

      Paul Calder le Roux shopped former American Special Forces-trained sniper Joseph Hunter, who was arrested in Thailand in an operation spearheaded by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

    • CIA Torture Report: Will South Africa Own Up? – OpEd

      For South Africa to own up and come clean on its shameful role in assisting America’s immoral WOT is a matter we will continue to agitate for.

    • Human rights group calls for inquiry into Malaysia’s role in CIA torture
      Human rights group Suaram urged Putrajaya to set up an independent commission of inquiry to unravel the authorities' involvement in the United States's torture programmes, following a US Senate report in which Malaysia was implicated.

    • Effective oversight of the CIA depends on Congress
      In a recent piece here on The Monkey Cage, Michael Colaresi discussed the need for change in oversight of the CIA and by extension the entirety of the intelligence community. He suggests that in the wake of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture issued Dec. 9, “current and former CIA officials, as well as President Obama, seem bent on missing the relevant lessons to improve governance of national security. The CIA needs more, not less, oversight” (my emphasis).

    • The CIA’s Road to Infamy
      Beyond the drama created by the Report’s surviving multiple assassination attempts, what is there that should grab our attention? The CIA designed and conducted a program of systematic torture of those it suspected of being associated with terrorism. It did so at several of the notorious “black sites,” at Guantanamo and probably elsewhere in Iraq and Afghanistan. Torture was the official policy of the United States government as stipulated by President George W. Bush with the unanimous approval of his national security team – including Colin Powell. The torture program continued for years – carried out by the Army as well as the CIA. Several of those tortured were held on basis of no evidence whatsoever, something that did not shield them from abuse and imprisonment under brutal conditions.

    • CIA’s poisonous legacy starts with who we are
      Senator John McCain spoke the truth on the Senate floor this month, in response to the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture: “. . . this question isn’t about our enemies; it’s about us. It’s about who we were, who we are, and who we aspire to be.” Many voices insisted that the revelations contained in the report — savage, even murderous treatment of prisoners; illegal renditions; black sites — were not true to the American character. The CIA — having carried out torture; having lied about it at the time; and having lied about it this month in response to the report — was discussed as if it were “not who we are.” But is that true?

      American officials, and the American people, know very well what the CIA is, and what it does. It was McCain who, when CIA waterboarding of terror suspects first surfaced as an issue some years ago, recalled that, after World War II, Japanese waterboarding of POW’s — what McCain calls “mock execution” — was one of the war crimes for which Japanese prisoners were hanged. But on the Sunday talk shows after the Senate report’s release, various CIA defenders, including Dick Cheney, talked of such tactics with stoic pride. President Obama decried torture and swore never again, but simultaneously defended the honor of the CIA, and declined to prosecute its war criminals. It comes as no surprise then, that in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released last week, a majority of Americans found that “the harsh interrogation practices” laid out in the report were “acceptable under the circumstances.” Really?
    • Why The Government Needs to Release the CIA Torture Photos
      As details emerge from the CIA Torture Report, many Americans are finding themselves reeling. Yet we are still getting an incredibly sanitized version of the truth. This is because thousands of photos, taken at these CIA black sites, are being withheld by the government under the guise of ‘national security.’

      The photos are currently locked in a court case that has been going on for some time, but last Friday the government was forced to submit reasoning for every photo they wanted to remain classified. NY State Judge Alvin Hellerstein is expected to make a ruling shortly regarding their release, but the United States may still attempt to withhold them.

    • Has a Top CIA Official Been Exposed as the Leading Liar About Torture?
      Senior CIA officer Alfreda Frances Bikowsky has reportedly been described in several articles by large, credible sources as a linchpin figure in the CIA torture program. However, she was unidentified, but The Intercept has named her as being that instrumental figure in the CIA torture program.

      After being called a “key apologist,” “The Unidentified Queen of Torture,” noted as “the model for the lead character in ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’” and identified in having a central role in lying to Congress about the CIA’s torture methods, Bikowsky appears to be the main liar. Last week, according to The Intercept, “NBC News reported that one senior CIA officer in particular was responsible for many . . . false claims.”

      The report noted that Bikowsky, remaining unnamed, “also participated in ‘enhanced interrogations’ of self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed witnessed the waterboarding of terror suspect Abu Zubaydah and ordered the detention of a suspected terrorist who turned out to be unconnected to al Qaeda, according to the report.”

    • Penn prof. 'horrified' life's research is connected to CIA torture techniques
      The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” outlined in a controversial report released earlier this month from the Senate Intelligence Committee, was influenced by a Penn professor’s research.

      Psychology professor Martin E. P. Seligman famously conducted studies at Penn in the 1960s that revealed a “learned helplessness” in dogs subjected to repeated eletric shocks. Instead of adjusting their behavior upon receiving multiple shocks, the dogs remained in place, providing valuable insight into the workings of depressed or abused persons. Now, his research is being used for torture rather than healing according the the Senate report.

    • Former CIA Operative On Torture Report
      Glenn Carle retired from the CIA after 23 years of service. He participated in the interrogation of top-level members of al-Qaida and refused orders to engage in torture.

    • The Continuing Shame of the CIA’s Torture Program
      For a clue into how out-of-control, un-American, and just plain wrong our CIA’s torture program was, note the frantic and furious reactions by the CIA establishment to reports about its torturous cruelty.

      First were flat-out denials. George Tenet, CIA director during the most vigorous period of torturing al Qaeda suspects, almost blew a gasket in 2007, when a “60 Minutes” interviewer pressed him about the agency’s waterboarding of prisoners. “We don’t torture people.” Tenet practically hollered at the reporter – “Let me say that again to you, we don’t torture people. OK?”

    • CIA torture report: Why the silence from local human rights groups?
      Questions are being asked as to why local human rights groups and other non-governmental organisations that fight for people’s rights have remained silent over the US CIA Torture Report.

      PAS official mouthpiece, Harakahdaily said there seems to be very little outcry from rights groups everywhere, adding that protest notes have yet to be sent to the US embassy over its treatment of detainees purportedly involved in terrorism.

    • The CIA & NYPD: Perilous Insubordination In Our Democracy
      It is very simple. If the CIA is insubordinate to the president, whom the country elected, then it is insubordinate to all of us.

    • Before the EITs: James Mitchell’s Special Invite to FBI/APA Conference at Quantico on “Combatting Terrorism”
      The narrative is in place. James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen made millions of dollars having convinced the CIA to construct a torture program via reverse-engineering brutal methods of interrogation used in their previous employment in a military program meant to prepare U.S. military and intelligence personnel for torture by a foreign power or terrorist group.
    • Conditioning brain through fear, CIA program sought to render detainees helpless
      At times, waterboarding rendered al-Qaida terror suspect Abu Zubaydah hysterical. But later, a message to CIA headquarters described an interrogator merely lifting his eyebrow and snapping his fingers, and Zubaydah "slowly walked on his own to the water table" to lie down.
    • Non-religious Americans believe CIA "treatment of suspected terrorists" unacceptable, poll reveals
      The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life conducted polls in 2009. The surveys discovered that the religious Americans are more likely to believe that torture of suspected terrorists is justifiable.

      Five years after the survey was conducted, a new poll was done and it was discovered not much has changed.

      The new poll, conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, found that more Christian Americans, compared to non-Christians, find that CIA "treatment of suspected terrorists" is acceptable.
    • The Mysterious Case of Prisoner 212
      Researchers and reporters had long counted the total number of prisoners who cycled through Guantanamo at 779, but the Senate intelligence committee’s report on CIA torture revealed that there was one more previously unknown detainee. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, also known as prisoner 212, was held at a secret black site at Guantanamo Bay, according to the report, bringing the total number of detainees to 780.

      That al-Libi was held by the CIA is long established. After all, al-Libi’s name is notorious as the source of bad information used by the Bush administration to tie Saddam Hussein to Al-Qaeda to support the US invasion of Iraq — information he provided while being tortured in Egyptian custody, and later recanted.

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