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While this list is not exhaustive it does purport to show the entanglements of the Australian military in the US military. This is only to be expected after 50 years of the Australian-US military alignment. A base of the US military can be for year round occupation or for occupation of some weeks per year. The activities of the Australian military in collecting intelligence for the US can make a base which is wholly paid for and staffed by Australians a de facto US base.

A. Alice Springs

Pine Gap is really about three facilities employing 750 to 1,000 US and Australian personnel

1. a) the Singint collecting
2. b) the DSP and now star wars bases
3. c) the photographic section
4. d) the seismic station in Alice Springs itself
5. e) the town facility -see the web site. It is huge!

B. North West Cape

This base is largely in mothballs but can activated by the US at any time it deems necessary.
5. a) the communication towers
6. b) the Solar observatory run by the US airforce

C. Seismic Stations

7.Mundaring WA
8. Hobart TAS
9. Sydney NSW
10. Charters Towers Qld
11 Daly Waters NT
12. Tennant Creek

D. Weather

13. Mildura
14. There is another one near Wagga Wagga but cannot confirm.

D. Since the DSD is part of the UK/USA agreements – all these bases are part of the US system of Echelon

15. Watsonia -Melbourne -Vic
16. Geraldton -WA
17. Shoal Bay NT
18. DSD HQ Canberra

E. RAAF bases hosting outposts of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) of the US airforce are:

19. Richmond NSW
20 Learmouth WA
21 Pearce WA
22 Salisbury SA

F. Under agreements signed long ago – the Royal Australian Airforce Bases (RAAF) are to be made available to the US when required

23 RAAF Darwin
24 Williamtown NSW
25. Townsville
26. others in the north around Kimberley and Cape York

G. Maritime signals and electronic war outlets

27. Cabarlah Qld
28. Hariman ACT may have moved to Wagga NSW.
G. Australian Navy bases used frequently
29. Stirling WA
30. Sydney and Jervis Bay

H. The training the facilities frequently used by the US

31. Delamere NT bombing training range
32. Shoalwater Bay Qld – jungle training

I. The US change the nature of NASA from the civilian to the military some time ago (10 years ago)

33. Tidbinbulla ACT is a US military base – part of the US Space Command of the US airforce.

J. GPS system has the

34. Omega Station at Dariman Vic

By the way the US wanting more bases in Australia was dated 21/6/01 SMH

I do not think that the list above is exhaustive and I argue that Australian bases which are used frequently and often by the US are then de facto US bases. There is a criss crossing of agreements about the use of Australian military facilities for US purposes. The use of these bases may only be for short periods during the year but the ready provision of them for the use of the US elevates them to US bases.

All Australian military and some civilian airports and seaports are to be put at the disposal of the US military should the need arise. There agreements signed and treaties entered into to facilitate this process.

 

Click for bigger

http://www.anti-bases.org/campaigns/NMD_PineGap/Map_of_US_Military_Bases_in_Australia.html

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Antiwar.com’s Dan Sanchez has just reported on leaked emails that reveal that the Obama regime exerted influence over the movie The Interview “to encourage assassination and regime change in North Korea”.

Regarding the threats of bombings of theaters if the film was shown, Obama has been personally encouraging people to “go the movies” anyway, while hardliners like Mitt Romney have specifically encouraged people to go see The Interview.

This is not the first time strongman Obama has been closely involved with promoting or influencing Hollywood movies spouting negative propaganda about countries Obama and the US want to invade and conquer.  Michelle Obama personally presented the Academy award for “best picture” for the film Argo.

Argo whitewashed the history of US aggression and genocide against Iran.  Since 1953, the US has been an accomplice in the torture and killing of over a million Iranian citizens, thousands with chemical weapons.

The Interview almost certainly whitewashes the history of US genocide against Korea, and apparently depicts US forces causing the North Korean leader’s head to explode.

In its aggressive attacks against North Korea in the early 1950s, the US intentionally targeted civilians and flattened entire villages and cities, including Pyongyang.  The attacks killed up to 4 million people, mostly civilians, most of whom were killed by the US, many through direct and intentional targeting, such as the machine-gunning of women and children by US soldiers at No Gun Ri.

Scholar Chalmers Johnson finds the North Korea of today a proud, struggling nation that, unlike the US public, is very aware of what was done to it by the US, and sees the aggressive, threatening stance the US has since maintained towards that country.

Johnson also notes that the worst act committed against Koreans by a “Korean” government was the bayoneting of thousands of students by the US-backed South Korean dictatorship in the late ’80s.

The Interview would almost certainly be another exercise in genocide denial for the US, a country that has gotten away with all of the crimes, including multiple genocides, it has thus far committed.

However, though we may be happy when Holocaust deniers and the like decide to hold their tongues, it is extremely unfortunate that Sony’s decision not to release such a film was brought about not by free will but threats of violence from unknown sources, which are to be condemned as threats against speech itself.

According to the leaked emails, Sony was hesitant about depicting the assassination of the North Korean leader, but was “encouraged” by the Obama regime to go forward with it.

It may be useful to imagine how we would feel about the reverse: a slapstick buddy comedy about the infiltration of the country considered the most dangerous in the world – the USA, not North Korea – and the “comedic” assassination of Obama by having his head catch on fire and explode.

It is also relevant to note that North Korea’s official complaint about the film, that it incites terrorism against North Korea (which is what the Obama regime apparently intended), is the same reason the US government has given countless times over the course of its existence to justify brutally crushing free speech and protest – facts all but fully ignored or suppressed in dominant US discourse.

And, as Antiwar.com and Wired report, “North Korea almost certainly did not hack Sony”.

Robert Barsocchini focuses on global force dynamics and writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog, and is published in Counter Currents, Global Research, State of Globe, Blacklisted News, LewRockwell.com, DanSanchez.me, Information Clearing House, Press TV, and other outlets.  Also see: Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities.  Follow Robert and UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/leaked-emails-obama-exerted-influence-interview.html

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New polls show that – even after the Senate torture report showed that torture is unnecessary and doesn’t work – Americans still think torture is necessary and works.

Why?

Because they still don’t know the truth … because the mainstream media has hidden it from them. Specifically, Americans still believe that torture works to produce helpful intelligence that helps keep us safe.

Americans wouldn’t support torture if they knew the following facts, proven beyond any doubt:

They have, from the beginning, been trying to prevent an investigation into war crimes.

  • The detainees held up as “poster boy” justifications for torture actually prove the opposite

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/americans-support-torture-dont-know.html

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Jon Stewart spent the first segment of tonight’s Daily Show diving into a former vice president’s Meet the Press appearance and asking, “Is Dick Cheney a righteous warrior or a psychopath?” Stewart called Cheney the “best-slash-worst” on this particular issue, and mocked him for setting the nation’s moral bar pretty low by defining the event of 9/11 as torture that the U.S. has not sank to.

And what amazed Stewart is how after all these years, Cheney is “impervious to doubt” and the thought that maybe any of what he says is “complete bullshit.”

Stewart concluded, “George W. Bush, thank you for not dying while you were in office.”

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‘The IMF has concluded that it was too optimistic when loaning Ukraine $17 billion at the end of April, and that the Ukrainian Government’s economic condition is far worse than the IMF expected, and also that the Government’s anti-corruption program is too weak to justify the planned loan-installments or ‘tranches’ going to Ukraine. Therefore, ‘even providing the program of the next two tranches is open to question.”

Read more: U.S. Taxpayers Now Alone in Financing Ukraine’s Ethnic Cleansing Campaign

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Previously an outspoken critic of Iranian government, was interviewed by Australian media in 2001, loved Western society…

December 15, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) As predicted, the suspect amid the “Sydney Siege,” has long been on the radar of Australian law enforcement, as well as a frequent visitor to Australia’s court system.

Before that, however, he came to Australia as a political refugee, an opponent of what he called the “Iranian regime,” and was even interviewed by Australia’s ABC network in 2001 as part of an ongoing anti-Iranian propaganda campaign.

It has been revealed that long-time agitator, alias “Man Haron Monis,” also known as “Manteghi Boroujerdi,” was the suspect amid the so-called “Sydney Siege” hostage crisis. Monis/Boroujerdi claims to be a Shia’a religious leader and is often seen in press photos dressed as one.

Despite this, he was at the center of a hostage crisis requesting the flag of the “Islamic State” terrorist organization be delivered to him while claiming association with other ISIS “brothers.”

Neither Islamic nor a state, ISIS is led by US, Israeli, and Saudi-backed Wahabi terrorists, promoting a perversion of Sunni Islam – the bane to both genuine Sunnis and Shia’a worldwide and against which both the nations of Syria and Iran are fighting.

Monis/Boroujerdi rose to infamy amid two notable incidents – one being his involvement in the stabbing death and burning of his ex-wife – the other being his controversial campaign of sending hate-letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers killed during the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The latter was used extensively to stir up division across the pro and anti-war political divide.

more @ http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2014/12/who-created-cartoon-character-man-haron.html

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‘It was July 2005 and Jack Straw was in combative mood. During a parliamentary debate, the then foreign secretary insisted that there was no need for a judicial inquiry into the UK’s role in extraordinary rendition – “unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States”.

But the publication last week of a long-awaited US Senate intelligence report has raised fresh questions about what the UK knew about the CIA’s torture programme – and in particular the role played by an obscure overseas British territory.’

Read more: Diego Garcia guards its secrets even as the truth on CIA torture emerges

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The California Highway Patrol website has a special military recruiting page which states “Former military personnel easily fit into the CHP’s workforce and adapt well to our paramilitary work environment. You can use your former military skills and self-initiative to help you promote through the CHP’s ranks…”

…The CHP website ‘cadet page’ affirms “The California Highway Patrol is often described as a “paramilitary” department, and that is true.”

In the wake of CHP recently caught on video manically beating elderly grandmothers and pointing guns at protesters, perhaps this mentality of a ‘CHP PARAMILITARY FORCE’ ought to be examined.’

Read more: California Highway Patrol: ‘Military Personnel Easily Fit Into The CHP’s Workforce And Adapt Well To Our Paramilitary Work Environment’

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AGAIN

US to give Israel $350mn for Iron Dome

–2015 defense authorization bill also authorized $521.3 billion for Defense Department operations 13 Dec 2014 The US Senate has approved a multi-billion-dollar military spending bill that includes $350 million for Israel’s Iron Dome missile system. The Senate passed the bill on Friday by a 89-11 vote. The bill was sent to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. The House of Representatives last week approved the National Defense Authorization Act by a 300-119 vote.

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Before Obama made his Amnesty speech last Thursday I thought of The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. One brick after another sealed the fate of an unsuspecting murder victim in Poe’s classic mystery story. We could all benefit if we began to interpret every action of the New World Order as part of an elaborate step by step scheme to kill the majority of Americans and to reduce the remaining survivors to Debt Slavery.

We need to define the term NWO before we explain their plans to exterminate at least 5 to 6 billion people. I guarantee you that many of those billions of human beings look a lot like you and me. Some of us might even be on the US government’s secretive Main Core list of people to be Disappeared the night before Bankers see people with pitchforks in the streets. This means that the Bankers only have to be worried that you might become justifiably be angry after they steal all of your pensions, savings and investments while inflating prices and cutting your wages 50 to 60%.

In 2007 a Swiss study at the Federal Institute of Technology revealed that 20% of all international trade was controlled by 147 corporations. These companies share Board of Director members. These companies include the Too Big To Jail Banks, the top insurers, the major Arms suppliers, major oil companies, the Pharmaceutical giants, some major industrial and High Tech corporations and that especially vile entity  known as Monsanto.

David Rothkopf, a Kissinger associate, wrote Superclass. He said the West is run by 30 Families and their 6,000 Minions.

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and David Rockefeller founded both the Bilderberg Society and the Trilateral Commission. America had an election once in which there were two major party candidates and one independent running for President. The Republican was a member of the Bilderberg Society headed by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild in Europe and by David Rockefeller in North America. The Democrat was a member of the Trilateral Commission headed by David Rockefeller in North America and by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild in Europe. And for those who felt like rebellion there was the Independent candidate who was a member of the Trilateral Commission headed by David Rockefeller in North America and by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild in Europe.

The Bilderberg Society has an annual meeting at which Tech Giants, oil companies, Banks, insurance companies, Arms Suppliers and others get together with politicians like Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Tony Blair and miscellaneous slithery operatives like Richard Perle to discuss issues in private. The Bilderberg Steering Committee has an agenda prepared in advance which is given them from representatives of the 30 Families and their primary Minions. Richard Perle was the architect of both the invasion of Iraq and of Obama’s proxy wars against Libya and Syria. Perle is a member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee.

The agenda is given to the Bilderberg meeting by the Steering Committee. It is discussed until consensus is reached and the participants agree to implement it over the coming year.

Every candidate for President since 1988 has had direct history as a CIA asset as well as membership in either the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Society with one exception. That would be George W Bush whose father was the Executive Director of the Trilateral Commission and a CIA Director. In his case blood lines count. Robin Cook was Labour Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair before the Iraq war. He and Blair concluded that George Bush was not the real President of the United States. Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger ran Bush’s administration for the 30 Families.

Henry Kissinger who is a member of both the Bilderberg Society and the Trilateral Commission said, ‘Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.’

His counterpart in the Democrat party is Zbigniew Brzezinski. He has been a longtime mentor of Barack Obama. He said, ‘It is infinitely easier to kill a million people than to control a million people.’

Barack Obama is a Teleprompter Reader. He is no more President of the United States than was George W Bush.

Obama is America’s Destroyer in Chief. Amnesty will bankrupt America and drive crime through the roof. The illegal aliens he allowed into the country have become burdens to local taxpayers. They demand services and produce no tax revenue. They have burdened us with Enterovirus D68, active Tuberculosis, Giardia, scabies and other diseases.

Even if they do find work, the illegal aliens will need enormous subsidies in Food Stamps, housing, education and healthcare. Employers might be inclined to hire them and to fire the Native Born because Obamacare offers them $3,000 in healthcare subsidies per illegal alien. The elderly in America are forced to continue working because their pensions and retirement funds are evaporating. What happens to them when when men and women in their 60s have to compete against 20 year-olds who come with Obamacare subsidies for their employers?

We are told that as many as 40% of the jobs the illegal aliens came to do will disappear in 15 years. So just exactly what will that 8 year-old boy from Guatemala do when he turns 23?

Obama under Open Borders has allowed career criminals to enter the US. He has allowed juveniles with Gang Tattoos to cross the border even if they told Border Patrol they killed people back home. Obama gave them bus tickets to their destination of choice. The FBI did a Gang survey in 2011. They found that the US had 1.4 million Gang Members and their numbers were growing at 40% every 4 years. That meant we could expect 1,960,000 Gang Members in 2015 even without Open Borders. The majority of Gang Members  are Spanish speaking.

They are for the most part first or second generation illegal aliens. MS-13 is a Central American Gang that works as foot soldiers for the Sinaloa drug cartel. They are also allied with the Mexican Mafia which runs the Mexican gangs inside the California state prisons. The Sinaloa Cartel is a primary ally of the CIA.

Mexico has killed 130,000 people in their gang wars. In Mexico the Drug Cartels kill honest cops and reporters. Open Borders means that we will have more than 2 million Gang Bangers to lead the way when the Dollar Dies. The Drug Gangs will be organizing Nationwide Food Riots. They will be using their best soldiers to raid pharmacies, gun shops and National Guard Armories. The Drug Cartels have already made Death Lists of American cops they deem to be excessively courageous and honest. When the time is right, they will go down those Death Lists until the America you knew ceases to exist.

The major Mexican Cartels have close working relationships with the CIA which flies drugs into the US by the plane load and sells them guns. The US banks launder their drug money. Without the cooperation of the Banks the Drug Cartels would be out of business. Big Banks launder a trillion dollars a year in illegal drugs and weapons. They also launder $500 billion in political bribes internationally.

Russian Jewish gangs have been operating out of Mexico City in close cooperation with the Mexican Gangs so we have come full circle. The Opium business replaced the African slave trade. 90% of the ships involved in that trade were Jewish owned. His Majesty’s Jewish Government waged two Opium Wars against China to expand the Opium trade which had replaced slavery as a money maker.

The Race Riots in Ferguson Missouri were the work of the Department of Justice and the people brought in from around the country to stir things up. One veteran fireman pointed out that those fires in Ferguson were set by professionally trained arsonists. The fires were designed to burn businesses to the ground before the fires could be put out. The National Guard seems to have been held back on the first night so organized rioters could shoot at firemen and other first responders. Attorney General Eric Holder had called the Governor and asked him to restrain the National Guard.

That these businesses had been employing black people is of no concern either to Eric Holder or to Barack Obama.

Eric Holder is a law partner at Covington and Burling. When his fellow partner Lanny Breuer retired from the DOJ as head of its powerful Criminal Investigation Division, he made $4 million a year back at their old firm. Why so much? That is $2,000 an hour after expenses for a 2,000 hour work year. Covington and Burling receives monthly retainers of $50,000 to $100,000 from every Too Big To Jail Bank in the country.

We have come full circle from the Race Riots to the Drug Cartels and the Banks. The self-appointed elite decided to take down America as we are the center of what is left of the resistance to the New World Order.

This is a Death Match. The Foundations have done numerous studies in which they conclude they only need a billion or so of us to work to support them. The Georgia Guidestones say they only need 500 million commoners.

That means they want 6 billion or more of us common folk to die.

At some point, if we are to survive, we will have to learn to say No. Until that day the NWO will add one brick after another to America’s Wall of Doom.

http://vidrebel.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/amnesty-one-brick-in-americas-wall-of-doom-race-riots-another/

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The Big Story Torture Everyone Is Missing

While the torture report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee is very important, it doesn’t address the big scoop regarding torture.

Instead, it is the Senate Armed Services Committee’s report that dropped the big bombshell regarding the U.S.  torture program.

Senator Levin, commenting on a Armed Services Committee’s report on torture in 2009, explained:

The techniques are based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting FALSE confessions for propaganda purposes. Techniques used in SERE training include stripping trainees of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, subjecting them to face and body slaps, depriving them of sleep, throwing them up against a wall, confining them in a small box, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures [and] waterboarding.

McClatchy filled in important details:

Former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration

For most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabiandothers had told them were there.”

Holiday Gift Baskets – Chocolate Covered Almonds Gift Tin – 40 oz.

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document…

When people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push harder,” he continued.”  Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn’t any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam . . .

A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under “pressure” to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.

“While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq,” Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. “The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.”

“I think it’s obvious that the administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link (between al Qaida and Iraq),” [Senator] Levin said in a conference call with reporters. “They made out links where they didn’t exist.”

Levin recalled Cheney’s assertions that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer had met Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, in the Czech Republic capital of Prague just months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The FBI and CIA found that no such meeting occurred.

The Washington Post reported the same year:

Despite what you’ve seen on TV, torture is really only good at one thing: eliciting false confessions. Indeed, Bush-era torture techniques, we now know, were cold-bloodedly modeled after methods used by Chinese Communists to extract confessions from captured U.S. servicemen that they could then use for propaganda during the Korean War.

So as shocking as the latest revelation in a new Senate Armed Services Committee report may be, it actually makes sense — in a nauseating way. The White House started pushing the use of torture not when faced with a “ticking time bomb” scenario from terrorists, but when officials in 2002 were desperately casting about for ways to tie Iraq to the 9/11 attacks — in order to strengthen their public case for invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 at all.

***

Gordon Trowbridge writes for the Detroit News: “Senior Bush administration officials pushed for the use of abusive interrogations of terrorism detainees in part to seek evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq, according to newly declassified information discovered in a congressional probe.

Indeed, one of the two senior instructors from the Air Force team which taught U.S. servicemen how to resist torture by foreign governments when used to extract false confessions has blown the whistle on the true purpose behind the U.S. torture program.

As Truthout reported:

Jessen’s notes were provided to Truthout by retired Air Force Capt. Michael Kearns, a “master” SERE instructor and decorated veteran who has previously held high-ranking positions within the Air Force Headquarters Staff and Department of Defense (DoD).

***

The Jessen notes clearly state the totality of what was being reverse-engineered – not just ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ but an entire program of exploitation of prisoners using torture as a central pillar,” he said. “What I think is important to note, as an ex-SERE Resistance to Interrogation instructor, is the focus of Jessen’s instruction. It is EXPLOITATION, not specifically interrogation. And this is not a picayune issue, because if one were to ‘reverse-engineer’ a course on resistance to exploitation then what one would get is a plan to exploit prisoners, not interrogate them. The CIA/DoD torture program appears to have the same goals as the terrorist organizations or enemy governments for which SV-91 and other SERE courses were created to defend against: the full exploitation of the prisoner in his intelligence, propaganda, or other needs held by the detaining power, such as the recruitment of informers and double agents. Those aspects of the US detainee program have not generally been discussed as part of the torture story in the American press.”

In a subsequent report, Truthout notes:

Air Force Col. Steven Kleinman, a career military intelligence officer recognized as one of the DOD’s most effective interrogators as well a former SERE instructor and director of intelligence for JPRA’s teaching academy, said ….  “This is the guidebook to getting false confessions, a system drawn specifically from the communist interrogation model that was used to generate propaganda rather than intelligence”  …. “If your goal is to obtain useful and reliable information this is not the source book you should be using.”

Interrogators also forced detainees to take drugs … which further impaired their ability to tell the truth.

And one of the two main architects of the torture program admitted this week on camera:

You can get people to say anything to stop harsh interrogations if you apply them in a way that does that.

And false confessions were, in fact, extracted.

For example:

And the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on a third-hand account of what tortured detainees said, with two of the three parties in the communication being government employees. And the government went to great lengths to obstruct justice and hide unflattering facts from the Commission.

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.”
  • The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves

Details here.

Today,

Today, Raymond McGovern – a 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials – writes at former Newsweek and AP reporter Robert Parry’s website:

But if it’s bad intelligence you’re after, torture works like a charm. If, for example, you wish to “prove,” post 9/11, that “evil dictator” Saddam Hussein was in league with al-Qaeda and might arm the terrorists with WMD, bring on the torturers.

It is a highly cynical and extremely sad story, but many Bush administration policymakers wanted to invade Iraq before 9/11 and thus were determined to connect Saddam Hussein to those attacks. The PR push began in September 2002 – or as Bush’s chief of staff Andrew Card put it, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

By March 2003 – after months of relentless “marketing” – almost 70 percent of Americans had been persuaded that Saddam Hussein was involved in some way with the attacks of 9/11.

The case of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, a low-level al-Qaeda operative, is illustrative of how this process worked. Born in Libya in 1963, al-Libi ran an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan from 1995 to 2000. He was detained in Pakistan on Nov. 11, 2001, and then sent to a U.S. detention facility in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was deemed a prize catch, since it was thought he would know of any Iraqi training of al-Qaeda.

The CIA successfully fought off the FBI for first rights to interrogate al-Libi. FBI’s Dan Coleman, who “lost” al-Libi to the CIA (at whose orders, I wonder?), said, “Administration officials were always pushing us to come up with links” between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

CIA interrogators elicited some “cooperation” from al-Libi through a combination of rough treatment and threats that he would be turned over to Egyptian intelligence with even greater experience in the torture business.

By June 2002, al-Libi had told the CIA that Iraq had “provided” unspecified chemical and biological weapons training for two al-Qaeda operatives, an allegation that soon found its way into other U.S. intelligence reports. Al-Libi’s treatment improved as he expanded on his tales about collaboration between al-Qaeda and Iraq, adding that three al-Qaeda operatives had gone to Iraq “to learn about nuclear weapons.”

Al-Libi’s claim was well received at the White House even though the Defense Intelligence Agency was suspicious.

“He lacks specific details” about the supposed training, the DIA observed. “It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers. Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.”

Meanwhile, at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, Maj. Paul Burney, a psychiatrist sent there in summer 2002, told the Senate, “A large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq and we were not successful. The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link … there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.”

Just What the Doctor Ordered

President Bush relied on al-Libi’s false Iraq allegation for a major speech in Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002, just a few days before Congress voted on the Iraq War resolution. Bush declared, “We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases.”

And Colin Powell relied on it for his famous speech to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, declaring: “I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these [chemical and biological] weapons to al-Qaeda. Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story.”

Al-Libi’s “evidence” helped Powell as he sought support for what he ended up calling a “sinister nexus” between Iraq and al-Qaeda, in the general effort to justify invading Iraq.

For a while, al-Libi was practically the poster boy for the success of the Cheney/Bush torture regime; that is, until he publicly recanted and explained that he only told his interrogators what he thought would stop the torture.

You see, despite his cooperation, al-Libi was still shipped to Egypt where he underwent more abuse, according to a declassified CIA cable from early 2004 when al-Libi recanted his earlier statements. The cable reported that al-Libi said Egyptian interrogators wanted information about al-Qaeda’s connections with Iraq, a subject “about which [al-Libi] said he knew nothing and had difficulty even coming up with a story.”

According to the CIA cable, al-Libi said his interrogators did not like his responses and “placed him in a small box” for about 17 hours. After he was let out of the box, al-Libi was given a last chance to “tell the truth.” When his answers still did not satisfy, al-Libi says he “was knocked over with an arm thrust across his chest and fell on his back” and then was “punched for 15 minutes.”

After Al-Libi recanted, the CIA recalled all intelligence reports based on his statements, a fact recorded in a footnote to the report issued by the 9/11 Commission. By then, however, the Bush administration had gotten its way regarding the invasion of Iraq and the disastrous U.S. occupation was well underway.

***

Intensive investigations into these allegations – after the U.S. military had conquered Iraq – failed to turn up any credible evidence to corroborate these allegations. What we do know is that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were bitter enemies, with al-Qaeda considering the secular Hussein an apostate to Islam.

Al-Libi, who ended up in prison in Libya, reportedly committed suicide shortly after he was discovered there by a human rights organization. Thus, the world never got to hear his own account of the torture that he experienced and the story that he presented and then recanted.

Hafed al-Ghwell, a Libyan-American and a prominent critic of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime at the time of al-Libi’s death, explained to Newsweek, “This idea of committing suicide in your prison cell is an old story in Libya.”

Paul Krugman eloquently summarized the truth about the torture used:

Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.

There’s a word for this: it’s evil.

Torture Program Was Part of a Con Job

As discussed above, in order to “justify” the Iraq war, top Bush administration officials pushed and insisted that interrogators use special torture methods aimed at extracting false confessions to attempt to create a false linkage between between Al Qaida and Iraq. And see this and this.

But this effort started earlier …

5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld said “my interest is to hit Saddam”.

He also said “Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement “judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time”, is the statement “Hard to get a good case.” In other words, top officials knew that there wasn’t a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.

Moreover, “Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the [9/11] attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda”.

And a Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein-al-Qaeda conspiracy.

And yet Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials claimed repeatedly for years that Saddam was behind 9/11. See this analysis. Indeed, Bush administration officials apparently swore in a lawsuit that Saddam was behind 9/11.

Moreover, President Bush’s March 18, 2003 letter to Congress authorizing the use of force against Iraq, includes the following paragraph:

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Therefore, the Bush administration expressly justified the Iraq war to Congress by representing that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11 attacks.

Indeed, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind reports that the White House ordered the CIA to forge and backdate a document falsely linking Iraq with Muslim terrorists and 9/11 … and that the CIA complied with those instructions and in fact created the forgery, which was then used to justify war against Iraq. And see this.

Suskind also revealed that “Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official ‘that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.’ ”

Cheney made the false linkage between Iraq and 9/11 on many occasions.

For example, according to Raw Story, Cheney was still alleging a connection between Iraq and the alleged lead 9/11 hijacker in September 2003 – a year after it had been widely debunked. When NBC’s Tim Russert asked him about a poll showing that 69% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had been involved in 9/11, Cheney replied:

It’s not surprising that people make that connection.

And even after the 9/11 Commission debunked any connection, Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime , that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties.

Again, the Bush administration expressly justified the Iraq war by representing that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11 attacks. See this, this, this.

Even then-CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11.

Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office.

And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.” And see this.

The administration’s false claims about Saddam and 9/11 helped convince a large portion of the American public to support the invasion of Iraq. While the focus now may be on false WMD claims, it is important to remember that, at the time, the alleged link between Iraq and 9/11 was at least as important in many people’s mind as a reason to invade Iraq.

So the torture program was really all about “justifying” the ultimate war crime:  launching an unnecessary war of aggression based upon false pretenses.

Postscript:   It is beyond any real dispute that torture does not work to produce any useful, truthful intelligence.  Today, the following question made it to the front page of Reddit:

Why would the CIA torture if torture “doesn’t work”? Wouldn’t they want the most effective tool to gather intelligence?

The Senate Armed Services Committee report gave the answer.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/doesnt-mainstream-media-discuss-torture-issue.html
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Under pressure, Lockheed opens up about secret weapons unit

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