Monday, August 31, 2009

Bambi Meets Cheney

Last Sunday, Dick Cheney made the television rounds, growling his by now stereotyped plea for the saving graces of torture. It would be Grand Guignol if it weren't so evilly comic. Andrew Sullivan caught this aspect of it in his review of the former vice president's interview with Chris Wallace at Fox "News" Network (H/T Glenn Greenwald):

Now look: there are softball interviews; and then there are interviews like this. It cannot be described as journalism in any fashion. Even as propaganda, which is its point, it doesn't work - because it's far too cloying and supportive of Cheney to be convincing to anyone outside the true-believers. When it comes to Cheney, one of the most incompetent vice-presidents in the country's history, with a record of two grotesquely botched wars, war crimes and a crippling debt, Chris Wallace sounds like a teenage girl interviewing the Jonas Brothers...

CHENEY: I am going to -- if I address that, I will address it in my book, Chris.

WALLACE: It is going to be a hell of a book.

CHENEY: It is going to be a great book.

One day, all the inanity of our society will meet all the evil that came from the lust for power, and crimes such as torture, and we will all be sucked to oblivion in the resulting black hole.

Why isn't anyone writing about that?

Broken Faith: How a Navy Psychologist Drove A U.S. Prisoner to Attempt Suicide

Cross-posted from The Public Record

Los Angeles attorney Robert A. Bailey, formerly a military JAG officer, and one of the lawyers in the Daniel King case, spoke to me a few weeks ago in some detail about the controversial King interrogation. Bailey, now on the Board of the Program for Torture Victims, described to me how the abusive interrogation King endured, and the betrayal of the military psychologist he thought would help him, led King to a suicidal breakdown.

In articles last month, both at FireDogLake and at The Public Record, I reported on the role of Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) Chief Forensic Psychologist Michael Gelles in the abusive treatment of Chief Petty Officer King, who was forced into giving a false confession of espionage. The story made waves in psychology circles, and was picked up by Truthout and Naomi Wolf, among others.

The story had resonance for anti-torture activists, as Dr. Gelles is a primary spokesperson for the presumed ethical use of psychologists in national security interrogations, and was a prominent member of a 2005 American Psychological Association (APA) task force on the issue. That task force was widely seen as rubber-stamping the military’s position, and backing the use of psychologists in interrogations at Guantanamo and elsewhere, interrogations later labeled as torture.

King was a cryptanalyst and chief petty officer with twenty years in the Navy when he was held on suspicion of espionage after producing an inconclusive, or “no opinion” polygraph result in September 1999. He was held without charges and interrogated for 29 straight days. He produced a “confession” after seven days of 12 to 19 hour interrogation, sleep deprivation, threats, and 24-hour a day constant surveillance. He quickly recanted this confession, and the interrogation continued, ending after 29 days. King was moved to the brig at Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia, where he remained in a six by nine foot cell for another 500 days.

Until now, it wasn’t clear why NCIS finally abandoned the interrogation. The interview with Robert Bailey clears up what happened, and the revelation is shocking.

The Gelles Interview and Its Aftermath

During the 29 days of interrogation, NCIS agents had ignored King’s pleas for an attorney. When he broke down crying, and voiced suicidal thoughts, complaining that he was losing contact with reality, agents apparently relented when King asked to see a mental health therapist. It was about three weeks into the interrogation, and King was taken to see Dr. Gelles.

As previously reported, the interview with Gelles was videotaped without the approval of King. Two NCIS agents sat in the room. One was a woman agent who Bailey believed had often been utilized to play “good cop” and provide feminine attention to the divorced and lonely Daniel King. The sleep-deprived King told Gelles he couldn’t tell what was real anymore. Agents had told King he had been found lying on his polygraph tests, which itself was a lie that Gelles did nothing to dispel. King asked Gelles to hypnotize him or give him truth serum, so he could figure out what was real.

According to Bailey, Gelles told King that he would feel better if he confessed. King’s civilian attorney, Jonathan Turley, told a congressional committee how Gelles represented himself as “the doc,” ignored King’s suicidal statements, and “told King to give corroborating evidence as a precondition for the hypnosis that King sought to clear his doubts as to any espionage.”

(In full agreement with King’s JAG attorneys, Turley later filed an ethics complaint against Gelles with the APA, which declined to accept it. At the APA convention in Toronto last week, Turley told an audience that Gelles’s behavior was the most egregious case of medical ethics violation he had ever experienced.)

Bailey first met Dan King in the brig at Quantico, only a few weeks after the Gelles interview. Bailey described how King told him that after the Gelles meeting he became more despondent. King had gone to Gelles for help and therapy, and was only met with another demand to confess. He subsequently became “less certain what was real.” His mental condition deteriorated. He had lost faith in people.

Chief Petty Officer King was a man in his 40s, a career Navy man, falsely accused of espionage, the penalty for which could be death, kept from sleeping more than an hour or two at a time for days on end, holed up in various hotel rooms for weeks, and subjected to near constant interrogation. According to Bailey, King could not stand the pressure anymore.

Approximately a week after his attempt to get psychological help, and — as Bailey explained King told him — “distraught” with the duplicity of “doc” Gelles, King grabbed a knife found in the residence hotel where they were holding him and tried to stab himself in the stomach. Agents quickly grabbed him and prevented King from harming himself. But the NCIS agents worried they could no longer monitor their prisoner under the current circumstances, and he was removed from their custody and placed in the brig.

Once King was put in the brig, he was finally allowed to see a lawyer. When Robert A. Bailey, a young JAG attorney with only six months experience, was the first person assigned to King’s defense, he found his client to be “a wreck, just incomprehensible.” The defense team spent weeks just trying to piece together the story of what had happened to him.

The young military attorneys struggled to defend their client against an overbearing and obstructionist prosecution and Navy bureaucracy. The fears the attorneys had for themselves and their careers were aired in May 2000 court hearing at the time before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and can still be viewed via C-SPAN video (warning: the Flash video has garbled sound for the first 14 minutes). Coincidentally, the Chief Judge on the Appeals panel was Susan Crawford, who later was appointed Convening Authority for the military commissions at Guantanamo.

According to Bailey, the two military attorneys in the case realized early on that they would have to decide if they “were going to stick around for a career in the Navy,” or work diligently for their client. Luckily for Daniel King, they made the right choice.

Today, King works at an agency helping veterans access their benefits. He stays in contact with his former attorneys, and reminds them each year how grateful he was that they stood up for him and restored his faith in people. Meanwhile, the APA Ethics Director at the time of the referral of charges against Gelles, Dr. Stephen Behnke, whose office refused to investigate the serious charges noted above, retains his position.

PHR Releases White Paper on Health Professionals Ethics & Human Rights Violations

The following press release came out this morning from Physicians for Human Rights. It concerns an important new publication on the extent of what the CIA psychologists and doctors did to support the U.S. torture program. I'm glad to see PHR on this, as the crimes of the CIA health professionals demands an immediate accounting and response.
PHR Analysis: CIA Health Professionals’ Role in Torture Worse Than Previously Known

Cambridge, MA – The extent to which American physicians and psychologists violated human rights and betrayed the ethical standards of their professions by designing, implementing, and legitimizing a worldwide torture program is greater than previously known, according to a report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).

A team of PHR doctors authored the new white paper, Aiding Torture: Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Demonstrated in the May 2004 Inspector General’s Report. The report details how the CIA relied on medical expertise to rationalize and carry out abusive and unlawful interrogations. It also refers to aggregate collection of data on detainees’ reaction to interrogation methods. PHR is concerned that this data collection and analysis may amount to human experimentation and calls for more investigation on this point. If confirmed, the development of a research protocol to assess and refine the use of the waterboard or other techniques would likely constitute a new, previously unknown category of ethical violations committed by CIA physicians and psychologists.

“Medical doctors and psychologists colluded with the CIA to keep observational records about waterboarding, which approaches unethical and unlawful human experimentation,” says PHR Medical Advisor and lead report author Scott Allen, MD. For example, “Interrogators would place a cloth over a detainee’s face to block breathing and induce feelings of fear, helplessness, and a loss of control. A doctor would stand by to monitor and calibrate this physically and psychologically harmful act, which amounts to torture. It is profoundly unsettling to learn of the central role of health professionals in laying a foundation for US government lawyers to rationalize the CIA’s illegal torture program.”

The Inspector General’s report documents some practices -- previously unknown or unconfirmed -- that were used to bring about excruciating pain, terror, humiliation, and shame for months on end. These practices included:

· Mock executions;
· Brandishing guns and power drills;
· Threats to sexually assault family members and murder children;
· “Walling” – repeatedly slamming an unresponsive detainee’s head against a cell wall; and
· Confinement in a box.

“These unlawful, unethical, and ineffective interrogation tactics cause significant bodily and mental harm,” said co-author and PHR Senior Medical Advisor Vincent Iacopino, MD, PhD. “The CIA Inspector General’s report confirms that torture escalates in severity and torturers frequently go beyond approved techniques.”

“The required presence of health professionals did not make interrogation methods safer, but sanitized their use, escalated abuse, and placed doctors and psychologists in the untenable position of calibrating harm rather than serving as protectors and healers. The fact that psychologists went beyond monitoring, and actually designed and implemented these abuses –- while simultaneously serving as ‘safety monitors’ –- reveals the ethical bankruptcy of the entire program,” stated co-author Steven Reisner, PhD, PHR’s Psychological Ethics Advisor.

“That health professionals who swear to oaths of healing so abused the sacred trust society places in us by instigating, legitimizing and participating in torture, is an abomination,” states co-author Allen Keller, MD, Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. “Health professionals who aided torture must be held accountable by professional associations, by state licensing boards, and by society. Accountability is essential to maintain trust in our professions and to end torture, which scars bodies and minds, leaving survivors to endure debilitating injuries, humiliating memories and haunting nightmares.”

PHR has called for full investigation and remedies, including accountability for war crimes, and reparation, such as compensation, medical care and psycho-social services. PHR also calls for health professionals who have violated ethical standards or the law to be held accountable through criminal prosecution, loss of license and loss of professional society membership where appropriate.

To download PHR’s Aiding Torture, visit [Or click here to download PDF of the report.]

Since 2005, PHR has documented the systematic use of psychological and physical torture by US personnel against detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Bagram airbase, and elsewhere in its groundbreaking reports, Break Them Down, Leave No Marks, and Broken Laws, Broken Lives.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes the health professions to advance the health and dignity of all people by protecting human rights. PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Experiment in Terror: The Psychological Evaluation of Abu Zubaydah and Its Role in Designing Torture

Originally posted at Firedoglake

In part one of this article, we looked at why the psychological report on Abu Zubaydah was ever written, and concluded, "It is clear the evaluation was written specifically to get permission for waterboarding, and not to undertake a serious psychological evaluation of the prisoner." In this second part, we look at when the report was likely written, and why the timing of it was consistent with the claim that the "evaluation" was really a pro forma performance for the sake of the lawyers. In addition, we will examine how some of the bogus claims about Zubaydah are linked to the cover story that brought about the torture program itself.

When Was the Evaluation Written?

The report was almost certainly written in July 2002, not long before it was passed to the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It likely was part of a packet of material used to present the "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques," including waterboarding, as potentially "safe" to use.

There are plenty of indications in the report that Zubaydah had been under observation and interrogated (tortured) for some time prior to the drafting of the report (emphasis added).

Of particular note has been subject's ability to manage his mood and emotions during detention. [About four lines redacted] In addition, he showed strong signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal (possibly fear) when he experienced the initial "confrontational" dislocation of expectation during an interrogation session.... As has been observed during his recent detention, he was able to quickly bounce back from these most disconcerting moments and regain an air of calm confidence, and strong resolve in not parting with any other threat information.

By sympathetic nervous system arousal, the report's author means rapid breathing and heartbeat, dilated pupils, raised blood pressure, a spike in adrenaline, muscle tension, increased sweating -- noting "fear," possibly Zubaydah experienced a panic attack.

What could have brought about this "'confrontational' dislocation"? Most likely it was the appearance of James Mitchell and his SERE-style torture methods, replacing the early "rapport"-based interrogation of Ali Soufan and the FBI interrogation team. What Mitchell or whomever is saying here is that when things got rough, Zubaydah was temporarily shaken and "talked" more, subsequently regaining his "calm" and not producing more of what the torturers wanted.

Mitchell arrived in Thailand sometime in April 2002, and FBI interrogator Ali Soufan left in mid-May, in protest over the implementation of Mitchell's "learned helplessness" techniques. Already, Zubaydah had been subjected to forced nudity, sensory overload, shackling and sleep deprivation (and I'd guess, dietary manipulation, i.e., slow starvation), and perhaps other cruel treatment. (Soufan admitted that the FBI interrogation did not meet Geneva Common Article Three standards, either.) If my thesis is correct, the "dislocation" took place sometime before mid-May.

This appears to be corroborated by the fact that it was in mid-May, according to a narrative released by the Senate Intelligence Committee (H/T again to Marcy Wheeler) that the CIA first proposed ratcheting up the pressure on Zubaydah, including the use of the waterboard.

According to CIA records, because the CIA believed that Abu Zubaydah was withholding imminent threat information during the initial interrogation sessions, attorneys from the CIA’s Office of General Counsel met with the Attorney General, the National Security Adviser, the Deputy National Security Adviser, the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, and the Counsel to the President in mid-May 2002 to discuss the possible use of alternative interrogation methods that differed from the traditional methods used by the U.S. military and intelligence community. At this meeting, the CIA proposed particular alternative interrogation methods, including waterboarding.

The frustration with Zubaydah -- who by mid-May had recovered from his "dislocation" experience (or conversely, had simply nothing more to say, or was already beyond reasonable functioning) -- places the portion of the psych evaluation narrative on this point a minimum of two months before the report was presumably written.

It also means the report could not have been written before mid-May. If the psychological evaluation was written to assess Abu Zubaydah's ability to handle interrogation, or to assess what types of interrogation techniques might be most effective, then it would have been written much earlier. It looks as if they were interested in running an experiment, trying out certain (SERE) techniques, irregardless of the actual psychological characteristics of the individual involved. That's why there was no earlier evaluation. The only purpose for this evaluation was CIA concern that they would not be caught doing something "illegal," i.e., to cover their asses.

Abu Zubaydah and the Al Qaeda Resistance Manual

The contradictions regarding the portrayal of Abu Zubaydah's life, noted in part one of this article, are most pronounced around his relationship to the vaunted "resistance" techniques of Al Qaeda fighters. The report retails alleged claims that Zubaydah actually wrote the manual. At another point, it states he is "familiar and probably well versed" in Al Qaeda resistance techniques (emphasis added). It's easy to forget today that Zubaydah was later proven to never have been an Al Qaeda or Taliban member, nor "privy to the information the government alleged he had provided" (H/T Gitcheegumee).

As Marcy Wheeler has pointed out, the claims regarding Abu Zubaydah and the Al Qaeda manual coincide with the early stages of the torture program, when a Mitchell and Jessen review of said manual was used as a cover for the experiment of reverse-engineering SERE techniques into a physical torture program to use on supposed Al Qaeda prisoners.

As a recent article of mine pointed out, the ostensible Al Qaeda manual likely was part of a cover story originating with CIA/Special Operations officers, operating on orders from Cheney's office, and sent down through the JPRA command, who used Mitchell and Jessen, and possibly other outsourcing companies, for implementation of a new torture program. It didn't hurt that they all planned to make a lot of money in the process.

Once the torture program was well under way, the Al Qaeda manual meme faded away, and JPRA insinuated itself as the new, go-to agency for "war on terror" interrogators. In the end, a turf war ensued, with JPRA, Special Operations command, DIA and super-secret covert action arm, the Strategic Support Branch, on one side, and FBI, other existing intelligence groups (like the Naval Criminal Investigative Service) and, to a certain extent CIA, on the other. None of these groups really opposed all abusive interrogations (even the FBI had dirty hands), but were quick to criticize the ineffectiveness of the other group's protocols.

The conflict still continues today. The latest plan of the Obama administration, introduced by its Interrogation Task Force just last Monday, to create an omnibus group of interrogation professionals and place its center at the FBI, represents a partial defeat of sorts for those who placed their bets on the "learned helplessness" paradigm. But it does not represent the end of torture, only the return to the CIA-oriented program based on isolation, sensory deprivation/overload, sleep deprivation, and fear. The latter are enshrined in Appendix M of Army Field Manual 2-22.3, the new "golden standard" for U.S. interrogations.

Did Abu Zubaydah write the Al Qaeda resistance manual or not? Almost certainly not, but the report's own contradictions on this point are telling, as it points to carelessness in writing the report, as the product itself was not important, only its conclusion: Zubaydah should be waterboarded. The purpose of the report was to provide a guarantee -- because a psychological professional signed off on it! -- that it is "safe".

This so-called “evaluation” is obscene, unprofessional, and I’m ashamed that my profession, which has helped so many people, has been dragged into the worst sort of crimes and unethical, illegal behavior. I support the call of Physicians for Human Rights for Congress and the White House to convene a non-partisan commission to investigate the role of medical and psychological professionals in "the design, justification, supervision, and use" of the torture program, and to prosecute those involved.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Torture: The Real Reason for the Psychological Evaluation of Abu Zubaydah

Originally posted at Firedoglake

As someone who has conducted evaluations of torture victims, the “evaluation” of Abu Zubaydah is a fascinating, if sickening, look at how the CIA goes about their kind of business. In the course of this two-part article, we'll learn more about why the report was written, when it was written, and the unprofessional ways the report was produced. One includes in such unprofessionalism the fact its drafting represents an unethical and illegal violation for a psychologist of the highest order. We'll end with a look at the turf war that shaped the evolution of the torture program, of which this report represented just one episode.

Spencer Ackerman has looked at the possibility that former SERE psychologist James Mitchell wrote the report, and the conflict of interest that arises from having the interrogator/torturer write the report upon which the approach to the subject will be based. While it's a reasonable guess that Mitchell wrote the evaluation, I'm going to proceed as if I don't know who wrote it.

Marcy Wheeler wrote a piece examining questions regarding the date of the evaluation (the copy we have was sent to John Yoo on July 24, 2002), the failure to mention Abu Zubaydah's head injury, and the report's claims that he allegedly wrote the Al Qaeda interrogation resistance manual. Hopefully, this article will contribute some plausible answers.

Why Was the Evaluation Written?

Every psychological evaluation has a presenting problem or reason for referral, e.g., does this child have a learning disability? is this patient psychotic? etc.

Regarding Abu Zubaydah, one would presume the presenting question most likely was, what psychological strengths or weaknesses does this person have that we can exploit in our interrogation cum torture plan? Unfortunately, numerous parts of the released assessment have been redacted, including its closing paragraphs, which is where one would find the concluding recommendations. In any case, we'll see that the report appears to lack a presenting question, and that the recommendation is a foregone conclusion.

From internal and convergent evidence, it appears the recommendations included higher levels of coercive interrogation, including waterboarding. The date on the cover sheet of the report, addressed to John Yoo, July 24, 2002, is the same date that the Office of Legal Council gave oral approval for use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT), including waterboarding (H/T Marcy Wheeler). The OLC memo of August 1 states that CIA Acting General Counsel John Rizzo had said that Zubaydah had become "accustomed to a certain level of treatment," and CIA wanted to enter an "increased pressure phase." (We'll see that CIA had been pushing this line since at least mid-May.)

In any case, it was around late July or early August that the waterboarding of Zubaydah began in earnest, partial drowning, or waterboarding Abu Zubaydah 83 times. Towards the end of the psychological evaluation, less its last redacted paragraphs, the author -- and it was an Agency or Agency contract psychologist, since only psychologists write these reports (and it was likely either James Mitchell or Bruce Jessen, who arrived in Thailand in July) -- notes the following, allowing that Zubaydah is "well-versed" in Al Qaeda resistance techniques (emphasis added):

[redacted] subject believes in [sic] the ultimate destiny of Islam is to dominate the world. He believes that global victory is inevitable. Thus, there is the chance he could rationalize that providing information will harm current efforts but will represent only a temporary setback.

The remaining page or so of the report is redacted, but likely represents the work's loaded conclusion, i.e., that Zubaydah may yet give up more information or cooperation if the amount of coercion is increased. The likely recommendation: waterboarding. And in fact, the legal memo authorizing the latter followed within a week after the evaluation landed on Yoo's desk; the oral approval for it came on the same day.

It is clear the evaluation was written specifically to get permission for waterboarding, and not to undertake a serious psychological evaluation of the prisoner. The report lacks details related to relevant past history that any psychologist would find important in a psychological evaluation, e.g., the quality of his family relationships, the existence of prior traumas, his actual work and school history, etc. Hell, the report never even mentions the "subject's" age. [Correction: it does; it reports he's 31 years old. - JK]

The man presented in the report, in a most amateurish fashion, cannot be in fact a real person. They present him as a superman-terrorist (he wrote the Al Qaeda resistance manual, ran the Al Qaeda training camps, was their "coordinator" of foreign communications, was their chief of counterintelligence, “no one came in and out of Peshawar, Afghanistan without his knowledge and approval,” but still had time to be involved in every major Al Qaeda operation, and still had time to direct the start-up of an Al Qaeda cell in Jordan!). Additionally, he was supposed to have developed the Al Qaeda interrogation resistance techniques (a claim later contradicted in the report -- see below), and taught them to many others. A real busy guy.

The discussion of his personality at times sounds like it was cribbed from a printout of a computerized personality assessment. There are also a number of contradictions in the portrayal, e.g., Zubaydah “wrestles” with idea of killing civilians, but “celebrated” 9/11; he has the discipline, drive, creativity and pragmatism of a good leader, but is private and vigilant of others’ intentions, and doesn’t trust people, and oh, yes, wants to be one of the guys. Supposedly he felt anything outside of jihad was "silly." But at the same time he chafed against the constrictions of "radical salafist environments" and was very independent minded.

Only for a moment does what is probably the real Abu Zubaydah emerge from the report: a man who wanted to go to college, become a computer expert or engineer, who felt homesick, who wanted a traditional career and family life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TPR Scoop: Docs Detail ‘Rendition,’ Torture Process

Jason Leopold has a major scoop/article over The Public Record -- Revealed: Docs Describe in Extraordinary Detail Process of ‘Rendition,’ Torture
Among the treasure trove of documents released Monday related to the CIA’s detention and torture program is a 20-page background paper that for the first time describes in extraordinary detail the process of “rendition” and the torture prisoners are then subjected to when they are flown to “black site” prisons.

The document was turned over to the ACLU in response to the civil liberties group’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the government late Monday evening along with numerous others, including previously undisclosed Justice Department legal opinions.

The background paper clearly illustrates that the torture of detainees was systematic and micromanaged by the top officials at the CIA, the Justice Department, medical professionals, and likely the White House. Previously, the CIA has refused to disclose any details of its rendition program citing state secrets.

That the torture was overseen by medical professionals is a violation of international laws and treaties, and additionally, a breach of numerous professional ethical codes, including the United Nations Principles of Medical Ethics and the Declaration of Toyko.
This is a very important article about a very important article. If you're still reading this, you waited too long to click on the link!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Important Items: Jawad Freed, CIA IG Report Released

Time constraints for me have meant I have not been able to comment on the following important news items. But I want to place the links here for the sake of my readers.

First up, some good news. Mohammed Jawad was finally released, without charges, to his home in Afghanistan. Jawad was captured as a teen and tortured by U.S. military agents at Bagram and Guantanamo.
Mohammed Jawad, whose confession to throwing a hand grenade that wounded two U.S. soldiers in 2002 was rejected as coerced by torture, was helicoptered into Kabul from Bagram Air Base and taken to the office of the Afghan attorney general....

Another of Jawad's defense attorneys, Air Force Reserve Maj. David Frakt, credited Montalvo's decision to travel to Afghanistan with ensuring that Jawad was freed and not imprisoned again.

"When Major Montalvo [another of Jawad's military attorneys] arrived this morning, he went straight to the Attorney General’s Office and learned that Jawad was being transported to an Afghan prison. Major Montalvo intervened and persuaded the AG to divert Jawad directly to the AG's office," Frakt said in a statement. "Jawad had a happy reunion with Eric, then Jawad's family was summoned and they all convened in the AG's office for a tearful and joyous reunion.

"Were it not for the presence of a member of the Jawad defense team, things might have gone very differently," Frakt said.

Jawad's journey home began last October, when a U.S. military judge in Guantanamo ruled that Afghan police had threatened to kill both Jawad and his family during his interrogation.
Meanwhile, on the same day as it released its Task Force recommendations on interrogation and detention, the government coughed up the CIA Office of Inspector General 2004 report on CIA abusive interrogations, courtesy of an ACLU FOIA suit. Marcy Wheeler has an interesting working thread on its contents, and Glenn Greenwald an excellent post on its import for the country. Wheeler also has posted links to other important documents just obtained by the ACLU as well, in what was one massive document dump. The IG report has some significant redactions, unfortunately, but still much to read there.

One of the most important revelations of the IG report, in my estimation, was the revelation that it was the CIA's Office of Technical Services (OTS) that vetted the legality of the torture "techniques," and along with the CIA's Counter-terrorism Center (CTC) proposed "certain more coercive physical techniques" for use in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah.

OTS was renamed from the Technical Services Staff or Division (TSS/TSD), which was the division within the CIA involved with making assassination devices, and also was the center for the CIA's mind control program, MKULTRA.

More to come later...

Monday, August 24, 2009

CVT Quizzes Obama on Army Field Manual Interrogations

H/T to Spencer Ackerman at The Washington Independent, who picked up on a list of questions for reporters (and by extension, the Obama administration) regarding the Special Task Force recommendations on interrogations and renditions.

The list of questions, reproduced below, were drawn up by William Taft, a former legal adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Harry McPherson, an old LBJ adviser. The list is being distributed by the Center for Victims of Torture. Note, one misstatement in their list of questions. They state that Appendix M of the Army Field Manual on interrogations is classified. It is not, and can be read as part of the original document.
* Does the report include a clear and specific set of lawful interrogation techniques — and is it binding on all US personnel? If a technique isn’t specifically included in that list, does that mean it is prohibited?

* During his confirmation hearing, CIA Director Leon Panetta said that he believes the President may approve, in extraordinary circumstances, interrogation techniques that are otherwise prohibited by the Army Field Manual. Does the report recommend that the President have the authority to approve, on a case-by-case basis, techniques that could amount to torture or cruelty? If so, under what circumstances may the President use this authority?

* Do the recommendations require that all approved interrogation techniques comply with the “Golden Rule” – that is, will U.S. personnel be prohibited from using any methods of interrogation that the U.S. would find unlawful and unacceptable if used against Americans?

* Will the approved interrogation techniques be completely public so that America can reestablish in the eyes of the world that we do not torture? Currently, Appendix M to the Army Field Manual for interrogation is classified [sic].

* The President’s executive order called for the immediate closure of CIA operated detention facilities but then exempted facilities used to “hold people on a short-term, transitory basis.” Have “short-term” and “transitory” been defined?

* Will the procedures for transferring detainees to other nations ensure that those transfers absolutely will not, under any circumstances, result in detainees facing torture or cruelty?
The more I think of it, the point offered above on Appendix M is way off. The procedures are known to the world, and they represent at the least cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, if not torture, when used in combination.

I've written a series of articles on this, and for the interested reader, here's a bibliography of sorts. Note, from the beginning, Physicians for Human Rights was the organization out front on this issue, as you'll see if you read these articles. I guess Taft and McPherson missed those PHR press releases, not to mention my articles.

My first article on the AFM and Appendix M was posted at Daily Kos in September 2006, right after the current AFM was released: WTF? New Army Interrogation Manual Promotes Torture!

In June 2007, I wrote Sec. Gates: Stop SERE-type Torture! Drop Appendix M from Army Field Manual

Here's a list of articles from this year:

How the U.S. Army's Field Manual Codified Torture -- and Still Does

How the Press, the Pentagon, and Even Human Rights Groups Sold Us an Army Field Manual that (Still) Sanctions Torture

CCR: Close Torture Loopholes in Army Field Manual

Fredman's Mea Culpa, the Army Field Manual, and the Istanbul Protocol

By Yoo's Own Analysis, Army Field Manual Allows Torture with Drugs

I think anyone reading the above will gain a great deal of knowledge regarding the Army Field Manual issue. Feel free to pass this along.

Obama Task Force Recommends Army Field Manual Abuse and Rendition as New U.S. Policy

The Special Task Force on Interrogations and Transfer Policies released today its recommendations to President Barack Obama.


Interrogations - The Army Field Manual, which allows a number of abusive interrogation "techniques," including isolation, sleep deprivation, partial sensory deprivation, and inculcation of fear, along with loosening restrictions on use of drugs and no ban on use of stress positions or sensory overload, was approved as the model for use on interrogations. Still, a certain place was carved out for special treatment of "the most dangerous terrorists" (they forgot, tellingly, to add the word "suspected"). This was a victory for the psychologists and others of the Intelligence Science Board who put out the Educing Information report a few years back, and a defeat for those who want humane interrogations according to international law, an issue I'll elaborate on in a future post.
After extensively consulting with representatives of the Armed Forces, the relevant agencies in the Intelligence Community, and some of the nation’s most experienced and skilled interrogators, the Task Force concluded that the Army Field Manual provides appropriate guidance on interrogation for military interrogators and that no additional or different guidance was necessary for other agencies....

The Task Force concluded, however, that the United States could improve its ability to interrogate the most dangerous terrorists by forming a specialized interrogation group, or High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), that would bring together the most effective and experienced interrogators and support personnel from across the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense and law enforcement. The creation of the HIG would build upon a proposal developed by the Intelligence Science Board.

To accomplish that goal, the Task Force recommended that the HIG should coordinate the deployment of mobile teams of experienced interrogators, analysts, subject matter experts and linguists to conduct interrogations of high-value terrorists if the United States obtains the ability to interrogate them.
Renditions -- The U.S. will still make use of renditions of individuals to other countries, relying once more on "assurances" by those countries that no torture will take place (although, once again, tellingly, the order itself does not say what those "assurances" are for), hiding in an official document the historical record of the government's own crimes. The mechanisms put in place -- supposed oversight by the State Department or other government-appointed mechanism -- are fig leafs, as it calls for oversight by the same government that is ordering the renditions. There is no mention, for instance, of oversight by, for instance, the International Red Cross.
When the United States transfers individuals to other countries, it may rely on assurances from the receiving country. The Task Force made several recommendations aimed at clarifying and strengthening U.S. procedures for obtaining and evaluating those assurances. These included a recommendation that the State Department be involved in evaluating assurances in all cases and a recommendation that the Inspector Generals of the Departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security prepare annually a coordinated report on transfers conducted by each of their agencies in reliance on assurances.

The Task Force also made several recommendations aimed at improving the United States’ ability to monitor the treatment of individuals transferred to other countries. These include a recommendation that agencies obtaining assurances from foreign countries insist on a monitoring mechanism, or otherwise establish a monitoring mechanism, to ensure consistent, private access to the individual who has been transferred, with minimal advance notice to the detaining government.
The Special Task Force recommendations are a defeat for organizations like ACLU, Physicians for Human Rights, Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International and others who called for a rescission of Appendix M of the Army Field Manual and an end to extraordinary renditions. It is a victory for the version of Bush-lite that is being assembled in the new, Democratic administration.

The fight against torture and state abuse of prisoners and violations of human rights will continue, but now, one must fight the Obama administration, backed by the apparatus of the Democratic Party. The new policy should be condemned, and progressives should contact their congresspeople and the administration and call for an overhaul of the AFM and an end to extraordinary renditions.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vindictive Charges Against Guantanamo Attorneys

The Obama Department of Justice is more interested in harassing the the attorneys who are trying to help the Guantanamo prisoners, than in finding a decent place to resettle the prisoners it tortured. According to a New York Times article today:
The Justice Department is investigating whether three military defense lawyers for detainees at the Guantánamo prison illegally showed their clients photographs of C.I.A. interrogators, two leaders of civilian legal groups that are working with the defense lawyers said Thursday...

The agents informed the uniformed lawyers of their right to remain silent, and then questioned them about whether they showed their clients pictures of Central Intelligence Agency officials — possibly including covert agents — that came from an “independent investigation” by the A.C.L.U. and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Mr. Romero said.
The pictures shown to the prisoners were part of an effort "called the John Adams Project, [where] researchers have been trying to identify which C.I.A. officials participated in harsh interrogations of the detainees under the Bush administration’s program of secret C.I.A. prisons."

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, answered the government's charges:
This is nothing more than a misguided effort to shut down the vigorous defense of defendants at the sham Guantánamo proceedings and an attempt to divert the public’s attention from the torture and abuse of detainees by their CIA interrogators.

It’s ironic that the Justice Department is so concerned about defense attorneys’ use of lawfully obtained photos of CIA interrogators, when they expressed no concern that photos of the architects of the CIA’s torture program were plastered all over the New York Times last week.

It’s an essential part of defense work to compile lists of individuals who have interacted with defendants. Identifying who may have tortured our clients and under what circumstances is crucial to their defense.

We are confident that no laws or regulations were broken as we investigated the circumstances of the torture of our clients. The Justice Department should be investigating the government officials who authorized and carried out the torture, not the military lawyers who have exemplified American values of justice by stepping up to defend these clients and fighting for due process in the otherwise broken Guantánamo proceedings. The real scandal isn’t that we’re investigating the torture of our clients, but that the government isn’t.
The Obama administration may present as something less brutal, less reactionary than the Bush administration it succeeded. But make no mistake, this is a mean, vindictive government, full of people who like to see nothing more than a return to the darkest days of Cheneyesque rule. That Obama does not speak out against or seems to countenance these kinds of moves by his own Justice Department says volumes about either the kind of leader he really is, or the amount of power and say he really has over the apparatus of governmental repression and war.

Guantanamo Prisoner Beaten, Forced Transfer Planned to Bosnia

The reported beating of a Guantanamo prisoner, seemingly placed into solitary because he protested deportation to Bosnia, where he fears deportation back to his home country of Algeria. He fears that the Algerian government will imprison him.

As a Slate article from 2006 describes him, Saber Lahmar was an Algerian living in Bosnia in 2001. He was accused with six others of conspiring to bomb the U.S. and British embassies. Released by the Bosnians in January 2002, "U.S. forces seized them all and flew them to Guantanamo Bay." The Slate article by Emily Bazelon continues:
When Lahmar appeared before his CSRT [Combatant Status Review Tribunal], he asked for the Bosnian court records, as evidence that he'd been found not guilty. The CSRT took a recess and asked the State Department to find the court record. The State Department said the Bosnian government didn't have it. Lahmar had no right to a lawyer before the CSRT. So it didn't matter that two months earlier, the lawyer who was trying to get Lahmar's case heard in federal court had filed the Bosnian court record in D.C. district court. The document was also online, the lawyer says. But the CSRT found that it wasn't "reasonably available." And then it agreed with the government that Lahmar was an enemy combatant.
As the press release from Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) describes it, the brutal assault by Guantanamo prison authorities was directly related to Lahmar's request for settlement somewhere other than Bosnia. According to an L.A. Times article today, the Algerian-born prisoner fears that Bosnia will place him in a deportation camp for immigrants. If deported to Algeria, he will face prisoner not for anything he has done, but because he carries "the taint of Guantanamo." Lahmar's attorneys are appealing the release to Bosnia to the State Department, and have protested the savage attack on their client, supposedly observed by "higher ranking military personnel."

The Navy has denied any abuse took place and a "passive" Lahmar was removed from his cell. The government also maintains it does not, "as a matter of policy," "send prisoners to countries where they would likely face inhumane treatment."

The U.S. government has lied so much and acted in such bad faith around the issue of the prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere, about its torture polices, ostensible causes for going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so much more, that their denials of harming Mr. Lahmar have zero credibility. The beating is in line with other documentation showing continuing abuse at the former Bush administration, now Obama administration camp at Guantanamo Bay.

CCR has been working to resettle the approximately 60 men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture. For more information on CCR, visit

From today's CCR press release:
CCR Demands U.S. Refrain from Forcibly Transferring Man Ordered Freed from Guantánamo by Federal Court

Man Fears U.S. Will Make Him Vulnerable to Deportation to Algeria; Alleges Guards Beat Him to Convince Him to Accept Transfer

August 21, 2009, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) condemns the decision by the Obama administration to forcibly transfer Saber Lahmar from Guantánamo to Bosnia because it would strip Mr. Lahmar of the hard-won legal protections he now has and may ultimately make him vulnerable to deportation to Algeria where he fears for his safety and security. Mr. Lahmar was ordered released from Guantánamo by a United States District Court judge on November 20, 2008 but nevertheless remains imprisoned because he cannot return to his country of origin. The United States is poised to transfer Mr. Lahmar to Bosnia against his will. Mr. Lahmar has repeatedly stated his request to be transferred to a specific different country, which, according to his pro bono attorneys at Wilmer Hale, has expressed preliminary willingness to accept him. In addition, Mr. Lahmar informed his attorneys at Wilmer Hale that he was beaten by guards on the evening of August 19, 2009 – possibly in an effort to convince him to agree to a transfer to Bosnia.

Mr. Lahmar would be the first Guantanamo detainee ordered freed after a habeas trial to be transferred by the Obama administration to another country against his wishes and with serious concerns for his well-being and safety. On August 18, 2009, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) informed Mr. Lahmar that he was to be transferred to Bosnia within three days, i.e. by Friday, August 21, 2009. Mr. Lahmar immediately informed the ICRC that he did not wish to return to Bosnia since he will face almost certain deportation to Algeria, just as he had told military officials that he did not want to return to Bosnia several months earlier when the subject had first been broached.

Following that interview, Mr. Lahmar was approached by guards who Mr. Lahmar assumed would escort him back to Camp Iguana, a section of the prison designed for men who have been ordered released but are awaiting transfer. Instead, they escorted Mr. Lahmar to a windowless, frigid, all-metal isolation cell in a different part of the base. He asked why he was being transferred to Bosnia; the guards would not say. He reports that he was given no bed, sheets, or blanket. At 1:00 a.m. on August 19, 2009, guards, some wearing Navy uniforms, burst into his cell, used batons to press him against the steel floor, and shackled his hands behind his back and his ankles together. Mr. Lahmar says they assaulted, kicked him, and punched him in the face, knocking out one of his teeth. While Mr. Lahmar was still restrained, the soldiers carried him out of his cell, dropped him onto the ground from a foot above the floor, and used scissors to cut his pants and shirt off his body, while higher ranking military personnel watched from a short distance away. Weak and sore, Mr. Lahmar has refused to eat since being informed yesterday the U.S. might deliver him to Bosnia against his will.

Wilmer Hale attorneys have demanded an immediate investigation by the Department of Defense of the August 19 assault on Mr. Lahmar. The Defense Department said the actions by DOD personnel did not constitute “abuse or mistreatment.” Wilmer Hale attorneys have also informed the Department of State that Mr. Lahmar should not be transferred to another country against his will – particularly when his attorneys understand that Bosnia intends to deport him to a country where he fears for his safety.

“Closing Guantánamo is a sham if the Obama administration accomplishes it only by forcibly sending men to countries that will not guarantee their ongoing safety,” stated CCR attorney Gitanjali S. Gutierrez. “The Administration must work with the men, their attorneys and the many countries willing to help in order to ensure that each individual returns to a place where he can safely rebuild his life without the fear of another transfer looming over his head.”

To Contact Mr. Lahmar’s Attorneys
Stephen Oleskey: 857-233-3656 (mobile)
Robert C. Kirsch: 617-571-6021 (mobile)

CCR CONTACT: Jen Nessel, 212.614.6449,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Beethoven Violin Romance

Ann Fontanella on violin, playing (so says the YouTube commentary) in the style of Jascha Heifetz. Enjoy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Expose (Part Three): Roger Aldrich, the Al Qaeda Manual, and the Origins of Mitchell-Jessen

Originally posted at Firedoglake

In parts one and two of this series on the origins of the SERE torture program, we examined how unlikely it was that James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, relying on entrepreneurial guile and chutzpah alone, convinced a passive Pentagon and CIA, eager to find some way to get terror intelligence, to buy into their "learned helplessness" interrogation paradigm. It seems plausible that others were in on the scheme, and in part two, we examined the idea that Mitchell and Jessen's superior, Col. Roger Aldrich, had originated the idea of selling SERE interrogation services to the government.

We also know, as established earlier, that Mitchell's first business partner came from Special Operations. Later, Mitchell, Jessen and Associates (MJA) shared the same telephone number as Randall Spivey's RS Consulting business. Spivey was former chief of operations for JPRA's Policy and Oversight Division, until leaving in 2002 to found his own series of contracting companies. Ultimately, he became a governing member of MJA.

As for Roger Aldrich, the "legendary military survival trainer" (as the New York Timesdescribed him) who had been Mitchell and Jessen's Air Force superior, he continued to work at the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) after 9/11, waiting out his military retirement. Subsequently, he joined JPRA contractor Tate Inc. as Director of Training, a job he must have held concurrent with his Mitchell-Jessen post. (MJA and Tate share the same Alexandria, Virginia address.)

David Ayers, head of Tate, Inc., was the other MJA shareholder, along with Joseph Matarazzo, yet another former president of the American Psychological Association who crossed Mitchell and Jessen's path. Matarazzo, who Jane Mayer recently reported worked for the CIA, had been hired by Mitchell and Jessen years earlier, in 1996, along with other prominent U.S. psychologists -- Charles Speilberger, Richard Lazarus, and Albert Bandura -- for an internal review of SERE training procedures, according to a SERE internal document.

According to my source, Mr. Aldrich had contacts with the CIA through Special Forces work. Special Forces has a unique relationship with SERE and JPRA, as all Special Forces operators must receive SERE training and certification, due to the danger of their work. It is my hypothesis that the CIA passed the Al Qaeda document on to Aldrich, and set up the cover story of a "review" of the terrorist manual as the opportunity to launch the torture plan. (See discussion as well in part one of this series.)

The review itself was only a premise, which is clear to anyone who has ever bothered to look at the manual, and its simplistic, if not homely, rendition of how to resist what the manual assumes is inevitable torture. Since the Al Qaeda manual assumes that a number of torture techniques will be used upon the prisoner, including stripping, hanging by feet and hands, beatings, cold water, forced standing and positions, attack by dogs, solitary confinement, use of drugs, being placed in a septic tank, and more, one wonders, given the accounts of torture by U.S. interrogators, just how surprised Al Qaeda members were by the so-called "enhanced" techniques doled out by the SERE/CIA specialists.

Nor should we consider this a conspiracy between only Aldrich, Mitchell and Jessen. As noted above, it seems most probable that the CIA set the mission in motion, utilizing special operations and JPRA contacts. In this scenario, Mitchell and Jessen can best be understood as agents in the operation, and not brain trusters. Moreover, the CIA had been running research studies on the effects of SERE techniques on subjects for some years, preceding 9/11. (A future article will give the particulars, but see this article for some examples.)

It seems possible, given what we know thus far, that Vice President Dick Cheney's office originated the torture program (possibly at the behest of President Bush), utilizing personnel from the Joint Special Forces Command (JSOC) and the CIA. According to New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh, JSOC is said to not be answerable to any particular command structure (emphasis added):

It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him.

The chain of command for the torture program appears to have run from Bush-Cheney, to leaders of JSOC and their CIA supporters, to the "legendary" Roger Aldrich, and on down to his trusted men, Mitchell, Jessen, Baumgarten and others at Aldrich's agency, JPRA. From thence, the program spread throughout the CIA, the Defense Department (including the Defense Intelligence Agency), especially via Joint Forces Command, and to the contracting companies that were read into the program, staffed often by compatriots from Special Operations or SERE, or ex-CIA or other intelligence men.

The main problem with analyses of the Mitchell-Jessen program thus far is the failure to plausibly link the top layers of the administration, which we know were involved in approving torture, to such lowly players as Mitchell and Jessen. The actions and connections of Roger Aldrich, and the ersatz chain of command that is described just above has the virtue of describing the necessary connections, although the identities of some of the actors are still unknown.

Whatever actually happened, whether Scott Shane, who wrote the recent New York Times article on Mitchell and Jessen, is right, or my scenario, or some other, we must have investigations with real teeth to get to the truth, followed by prosecutions of those who were responsible for crimes of war, of crimes against humanity.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Psychologist Statement to Yoo Protesters

John Yoo has returned to Boalt Law School, UC Berkeley, where he is a tenured professor, and was met by protesters calling for his dismissal. They also demanded he be disbarred and prosecuted. Ultimately, campus cops arrested four of the protesters, who were later released. The protest was organized by Code Pink and World Can't Wait.

Yoo infamously is one the primary authors of a series of memos put out by the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration that justified the use of torture. I suppose that in his civil law class at Boalt, students won't be subjected to Yoo legal opinions such as the President's right to order the torture of a child, even unto crushing its testicles.

Psychologist and anti-activist Ruth Fallenbaum sent the following statement which was read at the 17 August demonstration:
Psychologists for an Ethical APA, which I represent, feel a special bond with you here who are enraged by the knowledge that John Yoo is still employed by the University of California, Berkeley, to teach law to future attorneys. We share the sense that there is something particularly ugly about people taking the skills and expertise of their profession and contorting them in such a way as to hurt people as well as to violate the core values of their respective professions. American psychologists have their own John Yoos, and what’s worse is that our professional association, the American Psychological Association, has quietly but firmly protected and encouraged them since the onset of the so-called war on terror.

If you are interested in the story of psychologists’ complicity in programs of torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere, I encourage you to go to our website at for links to articles etc. But the quick version is that psychologists have been at the center of designing methods of psychological torture that probably remain in use as we speak – sleep deprivation, humiliation, etc. Their presence at detention settings like Guantanamo has been used to suggest that the presence of mental health professionals at these settings proves that the treatment of the detainees is proper, yet the reports by detainees and their lawyers, as well as the incidence of suicide, clearly suggest the contrary. When knowledge of the presence of psychologists in these settings became known to the public 3-4 years ago, some psychologists began to challenge APA to do something, to speak out, to discipline participating psychologists and tell them that participating in programs where torture is taking place is unethical. To our dismay, APA took the opposite stance, asserting that psychologists belonged at Guantanamo and were aiding the fight against terrorism. Furthermore, we discovered, in 2002, APA’s ethics committee changed the ethics code to allow psychologists, when confronted with a conflict between their ethics and orders from a legal authority, to go ahead and follow the orders. I kid you not. The same defense used by Nazis and nullified during the Nuremberg trials was actually written into the APA ethics code.

A number of psychologists leaped into action, and we have been busy ever since. A movement to withhold dues led to two years of rallies and leafleting at APA’s annual conventions, first in San Francisco, then in Boston. When names emerged of offending psychologists, individual members filed ethics complaints – all of which have languished in the bowels of APA. Last year we used a little-known and never before used provision in APA bylaws to initiate a referendum calling for the barring of all psychologists from working in settings that violate the Geneva Conventions unless they are working directly for the detainees or for human rights organizations. We managed to gather enough signatures to call the vote, and one year ago, a ballot went out to every one of APA’s approximately 90,000 members in which we were able to state our pro position and rebut APA’s con position. By mid September the vote was final, and we had won. The ban on psychologists working at Guantanamo and any site where people are detained outside of or in violation of Geneva was now official APA policy. Nice, but in the intervening year very little has actually happened. True, letters were sent from APA’s presidents, first to Bush and his administration, then to Obama and his crew, informing them of the new policy. But the many further steps needed to make it actually happen have not been taken. Within APA, bureaucratic and procedural stalling has been the order of the day.

We are trying to deal with that reality, protesting to this person, lobbying that one, attacking the Nuremberg section of the ethics code and trying to get that changed, pushing to get information of the new policy distributed to the folks who need the information. And so on.

Back to John Yoo and to U.C. Berkeley. Our experience should not be lost on American attorneys. It is particularly important that Yoo’s fellow attorneys – whether colleagues in teaching, the Bar Association, and or students of law – make their anger known. His actions are a stain on your profession, and you will feel a lot better about your own work if you take action to discipline him and his fellow abusers.

And finally, as a member of the UC Berkeley class of ’71, I will certainly not give a dime to my alma mater until the university takes responsibility for providing a safe haven for John Yoo and conducts a thorough and immediate investigation of his actions as grounds for dismissal.

Monday, August 17, 2009

War Criminals Romp in Afghanistan Election

Who can look at the parody of democracy in Afghanistan these days without total cynicism? The regime of President Karzai is known to be corrupt, and to have a very shaky hold on power outside of Kabul. Now the Pashtun-ethnic President is up for reelection. To get a sense of just how craven the regime in Afghanistan is, consider one of Karzai's two vice presidential running mates, Mohammad Qasim Fahim, an ethnic Tajik warlord. Times UK described him, and other supporters of the current regime, which is of course backed by the U.S. and NATO forces:
Better known as Marshal Fahim, he is accused of murdering prisoners of war during the 1990s, and of running private armed militias, and involvement in kidnapping and other crimes after 2001.

Mr Karzai has also enlisted the support of Mohammad Mohaqiq and Karim Khalili, two former Mujahidin leaders from the Hazara ethnic minority who are also accused of multiple rights abuses.

Last week, the President won the backing of Ismail Khan, a Tajik former Mujahidin commander from the western city of Herat who has an equally poor rights record.
But perhaps eclipsing these criminals is the Uzbek strongman Abdul Rashid Dostum. The UK Times story described him as "the most notorious of Afghanistan’s warlords, regional barons who fought a bloody civil war after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989." Now he's returned from mysterious exile in Turkey, and ready to lend Karzai a hand. Again, from the UK Times article:
Like most of them, he is accused of widespread human rights abuses, including the massacre of up to 2,000 Taleban who suffocated in cargo containers in late 2001.
Obviously, Dostum and the others are not the best exemplars of democracy or representative government, nor, would I add, a very desirable alternative to the Taliban, as bad as the latter is. Such political realities call into question the very mission of the Afghan war.

This has not escaped the notice of the Obama administration. According to the Washington Post, "Karzai's reliance on regional commanders like Dostum has concerned U.S. officials and others who fear Karzai is too willing to legitimize people with poor human rights records in order to secure votes." But Washington, committed to propping up the current Afghan regime has few options, given that it won't do the one thing it should do: disengage from Afghanistan now and pull out all U.S. and NATO forces.

One group that has called for accountability on Dostum's massacres is Physicians for Human Rights. They have called for a full investigation, including the role of U.S. Special Forces, if any, in the murder of thousands of Taliban prisoners, buried in mass graves at Dasht-e-Leili. What follows is their latest press release, focusing on the return of Dostum to Kabul, to lend Karzai a hand in the election.
August 17, 2009


Warlord General Dostum’s Return to Kabul Sparks Controversy

Rights Group Calls for Strengthening Rule of Law in Afghanistan

Cambridge, MA — In response to the return of a notorious warlord to Afghanistan from Turkey, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) renews the call it has made repeatedly over the past seven years for a full investigation of an alleged massacre of as many as 2,000 Taliban prisoners who surrendered in November 2001 to US and Afghan forces and who are believed to be buried in the desert of Dasht-e-Leili.

On August 16, General Abdul Rashid Dostum — who is widely reported to be partly responsible for the massacre and for a subsequent cover-up — returned to Kabul to campaign for the re-election of President Hamid Karzai in the August 20 elections. It is widely reported that President Karzai has offered General Dostum a government post in exchange for his support.

"Real and lasting peace in Afghanistan will be made possible by strengthening the rule of law and ending the culture of impunity," stated PHR CEO Frank Donaghue.

"Letting General Dostum return to any position of power before there is a thorough and transparent investigation into whether or to what extent he may have been involved in the alleged 2001 massacre, will be seen by the Afghan people as confirmation that warlords like Dostum have impunity for their crimes," continued Donaghue. "General Dostum has admitted that these prisoners surrendered jointly to US special forces and to Northern Alliance troops under his command. As Physicians for Human Rights has said for 7 years since the organization's experts discovered the alleged mass grave, the site must be secured, witnesses must be protected, and Afghanistan must join the international community in probing how these prisoners died and why General Dostum and the Bush administration reportedly impeded investigation into these alleged war crimes. PHR looks forward to appropriate action from President Obama after he receives a report from his national security team, whom he ordered to gather all the facts and report to him on whether the international laws of war were violated."

"Not only is General Dostum alleged to have committed the original war crime; he is also reportedly responsible for serious tampering with evidence," stated PHR Deputy Director Susannah Sirkin. "A Physicians for Human Rights forensic expert in 2008, working under the auspices of the UN, discovered that large pits have been dug in the area of Dasht-e-Leili where bodies are suspected to be buried. Analysis of satellite images performed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science at PHR's request, shows the apparent presence of heavy earth-moving equipment at the site in August 2006. McClatchy Newspapers reported on December 11, 2008 that according to witnesses, General Dostum and his commanders "have taken all the bones and thrown them into the river." And, according to US Government documents that PHR uncovered in 2006, witnesses to this incident were "tortured, killed, or simply disappeared."

"Afghanistan must work with the international community to ensure appropriate protection of the site and any remaining physical evidence, as well as the safety of any witnesses," said Donaghue. "These would be necessary steps toward fulfilling President Obama's mandate to collect all available information about the alleged war crimes and the reported cover-up."

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. PHR was founded in 1986 on the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical commitments, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to investigate the health consequences of human rights violations and work to stop them. PHR mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity and justice and promotes the right to health for all. PHR has documented the systematic use of psychological and physical torture by US personnel against detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Bagram airbase, and elsewhere.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

From the Archives: Armen Victorian's Essay on the History of Mind Control Operations

The following is a reprint of a famous article. It was cited by Darius Rejali in his well-regarded history, Torture and Democracy. It's an excellent history of the subject, initially published at MindNet Journal, Vol. 1, No. 81. I've quietly corrected a few typos and added minimal formatting changes for readability.
By Armen Victorian

July 1996
DEDICATION: I dedicate this writing to those innocent victims who have suffered from physical, mental abuse and torture inflicted upon their mind and bodies by the state -- irrespective of the colour of the flag. To the courageous individuals for telling the world about their torment. And the institutions that stood by their side and fought for their human rights. Rights, which are still violated by states under the disguise of their national security acts. No amount of compensation would be sufficient for raping or killing the mind.

The notorious Moscow trials of 1937 during Stalin's regime and the speed with which the defendants confessed to crimes against the state in the People's Court, and in particular Cardinal Mindszently of Hungary, surprised the governments of the western world. "Characteristics and manner of the defendants, and formulation and delivery of the confessions, have been so similar in large number of cases as to suggest factitious origin."[1] The evident incongruities prompted the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) in 1949 to undertake an "analysis of foreign work in certain unconventional warfare techniques, including behavioral drugs, with an initial objective of developing a capability to resist or offset the effects of behavioral drugs. Preliminary phases included to review drug-related work at institutions such as Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Valley Forge General Hospital, Detroit Psychopathic Clinic, Mayo Clinic and National Institute of Health (NIH). There was also extensive review of foreign literature, particularly work in the Soviet Bloc.

"This program shortly became Project BLUEBIRD, with the objectives of (a) discovering means of conditioning personnel to prevent unauthorized extraction of information from them by known means, (b) investigating the possibility of obtaining control of an individual by application of special interrogation techniques, (c) memory enhancement, and (d) establishing defensive means for preventing hostile control of Agency personnel."[2]

This was evolved to become the blueprint and bible of mind control programmes and psychological operations adopted by the west for decades afterwards. The result of the Korean War which started in June 1950, almost a year after the beginning of Project BLUEBIRD, and the return of POWs encouraged western intelligence to delve even further into their mind control programmes.

On June 1st, 1951, in the course of a top secret meeting held in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal, Canada, Britain and Canada joined forces with the Central Intelligence Agency to "Research into the general phenomena indicated by such terms as -- "confessions," "menticide," "intervention in the individual mind," together with methods concerned in psychological coercion, change of opinions and attitudes, etcetra."[3]

The participants that represented senior and renown ranks from the military, intelligence and scientific communities were:
Dr. Haskins, Dr. Donald Hebb (a Defence Research Board University Advisor - Canada), Dr. Ormond Solandt (Chairman, Defence Research Board - Canada), Dancy (MI6), Dr. N.W. Morton (A staff member of Defence Research Board - Canada), Tyhurst, Commander Williams, and Sir Henry Tizard (Chairman, Advisory Council on Scientific Policy and Defence Research Policy Committee, Ministry of Defence, Britain).[4]

This was the beginning of a close cooperation which lasted throughout the BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE and the MKULTRA projects. Whilst accidental survival of some of the records on these programmes and in particular MKULTRA establishes the documentary evidence about Canadian government's involvement in MKULTRA programmes, the information on Britain's participation or cooperation due to continuous British Government's policy of secrecy remains sketchy.[5, and 6]

"At the opening of the discussion, there was an attempt to lay out some of the particular interests with which this group might concern itself in reference to the general problem described above [confessions, menticide, intervention in the individual mind - sic]. In this regard, the following points were noted:

"(i) That the concern with change of opinion was with reference to individuals primarily, and to groups only insofar as the change of public opinion as a whole or propaganda might involve concepts and particular facts that led to increased phenomena of conversion of attitude.

"(ii) The question of permanence of change of attitude induced.

"(iii) The means of methods; physical, neurophysiological, psychological or other -- that might be used to induce change of opinion or conversion of attitude in the individual."[7]

Within the space of three months after this top secret meeting "in August 1951 Project BLUEBIRD was renamed Project ARTICHOKE, [and] in 1952 was transferred from OSI to the predecessor organization of the Office of Security. OSI did retain a responsibility for evaluation of foreign intelligence aspects of the matter and in 1953 made a proposal that experiments be made in testing LSD with Agency volunteers." "Meanwhile, the emphasis given ARTICHOKE in the predecessor organization to the Office of Security became that of use of material such as sodium pentothel in connection with interrogation techniques and with polygraph."[8]

In an attempt to conduct "Experimental Studies of Attitude Changes in Individuals," Sir Henry Tizard, Dr. Ormond Solandt and the CIA granted contract X-38 to Dr. Donald O. Hebb from the McGill University in September 1951.[9]

The project focused on the use of Sensory Deprivation (SD) and isolation for eliciting information in the course of deep interrogation. Hebb believed that sensory deprivation would induce dramatic changes in the behaviour and attitude. The first "subjects used were student group and each was paid $20 per day (24 hours) for as long as he could continue with the experiment."[10] The experimental conditions and environment for the volunteer students in comparison to the real victims of SD were markedly different. Volunteers were provided with an air conditioned room, comfortable bed and good food during the period of the experiments, as well as a panic button to use whenever they decided to terminate the experiment. They wore translucent goggles, forcing them see blurred light. "The subject was not to talk except when asking to hear the recorded propaganda or when doing minor tests given to him by the experimenter. In other words the subject was in perpetual isolation."[11] The volunteers were not subjected to any propaganda material which would have had adverse effects on their political or religious beliefs, "it was thought unwise, and for the protection of the individual only propaganda material used concerning such relatively innocuous topics as ghosts, poltergeist, extrasensory perception and the Lamarckian theory of evolution."[12]

Despite the concessionary factors several of the volunteers began to have experiences of unusual visual and auditory hallucinations. Many found themselves unable to distinguish between the waking and sleep stage. Another person whose work result was taken into consideration was Dr. Mackworth of the Applied Psychology Unit of the Medical Research Council at Cambridge, England. He had produced work on the effect of monotony and boredom during isolation period on individual. The fact of existence of similar programmes on the sensory deprivation and isolation, and the cooperation between the three countries is further confirmed by Dr. Solandt's comments that the fact that Canadians were making such contribution in this field may be of some advantage in obtaining information in the same field from the US and the UK.[13]

"Hebb's research to date has given some indication that significant changes in attitude can be brought about by use of propaganda under condition of isolation. In addition, [Hebb] has shown that there is a significant decrease in intellectual efficiency under such conditions, and a marked increase in susceptibility to hallucination."[14] When the information concerning the SD tests were leaked out and published in the Montreal Star, the Gazette and Toronto Star, in 1954. Dr. Solandt tried his best to conceal the facts; "When earlier this month it became evident that some information on this project was in the hands of the Press, it was decided that while it would be injudicious to reveal the original purpose of the project, it would be equally unwise to refuse to give any information at all. A compromise was therefore arranged whereby the project was described, but entirely from the point of view of possible implications for civilian or military operational situations in which a display had to be watched, a moving vehicle controlled etc."[15]

Due to Donald Hebb's contribution to mind control programmes, the CIA afterward funded Ewen Cameron's Psychic Drive Project through MKULTRA Subproject 68. At the time Hebb was the head of McGill's Psychology Department, and a close friend and colleague of Cameron. Cameron's work in the "Psychic Drive" programme left behind a legacy of despair and numerous victims which sued both the Canadian Government and the CIA years later.

Dr. John C. Lilly, another psychologist, studied sensory deprivation in 1956 by immersing volunteers in a tank of lukewarm water. The subjects had to wear particular type of face mask enabling them to see only blurred light. Under total silence and lack of any stimulation the subjects were unable to concentrate, and in some cases developed mental disturbances. The maximum time a volunteer could tolerate these conditions was only three hours. The volunteers reported feelings of unreality and tremendous loss of identification. They did not know where they were, or who they were, or what was happening to them. Due to this enormous mental pressure most of them abandoned the experiment.[16]

The concept of experiments in SD soon proliferated. Donald Hebb was granted further contracts by the US Air Force for further research and experiments into SD.[17] Biderman and Zimmer(1961) also conducted extensive research on interrogation techniques using SD, funded by the US Air Force.[18] Vernon, another researcher in this subject admitted in the "Acknowledgement" of his book "Inside the Black Room," "The entire project was made possible by a generous grant-in-aid of research given by the Office of Surgeon General of the US Army, and by the National Science Foundation." Unashamedly, he went on to add in his book "While our goal is pure knowledge for its own sake, we have no objection to someone's use of that knowledge."[19]

There are three aspects in the development and the use of the Sensory Deprivation. First; the requirement for more experimental studies, researching the basic effects of the SD and sleep deprivation. Second; the use of these techniques in interrogation. Third; their utilization in special warfare techniques by specialized troops. It was the accumulation of that knowledge which gave birth to the modern Psychological Operations, and subsequently enabled the British Government, on August 9, 1971, to unleash one of its biggest deep interrogation experiments, using torture and sensory deprivation, plausibly denied by the Government at the time as a political exercise against terrorism, on Irish internees. Lord Parker admitted that the SD methods used on the Irish internees were "techniques developed since war to deal with a number of situations involving internal security. Some or all have played an important part in counterinsurgency operations in Palestine, Malaya, Kenya and Cyprus and more recently in the British Cameroon (1960-61), Bruni (1963), British Guyana (1964), Aden (1965-66), and the Persian Gulf (1970-71)."[20] Indeed, the first NATO symposium on defence psychology was held in Paris in 1960, a couple of years after F.H. Lakin, from the Army Operation Research Establishment in Britain, travelled to Fort Bragg addressing a conference on human factors in military affairs on British Psychological Warfare Techniques in Malaya.[21] In 1963 the US Department of Defense held its first Worldwide Psyops Conference, outlining twenty-eight specific areas, Britain as one of its main participants.

The Northern Ireland's [sic] unprecedented operations, due to the nature of their severity and repeated breaches of various Articles of Human Rights Convention, forced Amnesty International, Association of Legal Justice, Committee on the Administration of Justice (Northern Ireland), as well as the European Court of Human Rights to intervene, adding their voice and concern to the plight of the victims.[22] A great number of internees after undergoing horrendous experiments were subsequently released without any charges.

Many of the original fourteen victims of the first phase of these gruesome experiments "were made to sign a paper that they had no complaints about the treatment during interrogation. Those who signed the paper implied that they did so because they were frightened, or because they did not understand the contents."[23] Several of them suffered from deep psychological scars for years afterwards, and some continue their suffering. Some died shortly after this experiments. A few attempted suicide during their captivity and interrogation.[24]

Amnesty International report stated; "As a result of its investigation, the Commission concludes that the ill-treatment used in these cases clearly amounted to brutality, and disagree with the Compton Committee when they state: "Where we have concluded that physical ill-treatment took place, we are not making a finding of brutality on the part of those who handled these complaints (paragraph 105)." "The officials who gave evidence to the Compton Committee also said that one of the purposes of the hooding and continuous noise [white noise - author] was to increase the sense of isolation, so it is obvious that the methods used during interrogation in depth were therefore intended to affect the recipients psychologically."[25]

"In the opinion of the Commission, the interrogation in depth especially, but also the "special exercises", constitute violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms."[26]

In their memorandum submitted by Amnesty International to the Parker Committee on Interrogation Procedures, they stated; "It is because we regard the deliberate destruction of a man's ability to control his own mind with revulsion that we reserve a special place in our catalogue of moral crimes for techniques of thought control and brainwashing. Any interrogation procedure which has the purpose or effect of causing a malfunction or breakdown of a man's mental processes constitutes as grave an assault on the inherent dignity of the human person as more traditional techniques of physical torture."[27]

In 1970, the World Conference on Religion and Peace, held in Kyoto, Japan, where the representatives of all the world's religions were present, the conference made the following declaration on torture and ill-treatment of prisoners; "The torture and ill-treatment of prisoners which is carried out with the authority of some governments constitute not only a crime against humanity, but also a crime against the moral law."[28]

Britain is regarded as an expert in psychological operations, and has regularly been invited to give demonstrations and hold seminars, notably at Fort Bragg, Carolina; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Bad Tolz, Germany. For a time they were also instructing the P.I.D.E. Portuguese secret police until to their embarrassment, they discovered that since the Army coup they had for sometime been giving lectures in counter-insurgency and torture to Latin American guerrillas, whom Communist members of the Portuguese Army had infiltrated.[29]

Britain holds its main psychological operation courses at Ashford in Kent, Caterrick in Yorkshire, Bradbury Lines (The SAS camp in Hereford) and Old Sarum in Wiltshire, where psyops courses for RAF officers are held. On average 16 men, consisting of Green Jackets, SAS, Royal Marines and Royal Artillery, together with members from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), take part.[30]

The existence of psyop courses which includes the demonstration and the use of sensory deprivation was kept secret until Robert Brown, the UK Army Minister was forced to admit in 1976. Approximately 250 take these courses every year. Frank Kitson,[31] one of the organizers of psyop courses, had complained about the small number of 18 taking part in Old Sarum. According to British Government figures up to 1976, 262 civilians and 1858 Army officers had taken these courses.

The SAS training courses in the Bracon Beacons, also includes sensory deprivation as part of its toughening up policy.

As further experiments Sensory deprivation was applied through the Control Units in British prisons. The very nature and existence of these units were kept secret by the British Home Office. The Control Unit at the Wakefield Prison was one of the first to receive its first share of inmates in August 1974, to be subjected to SD. The concept was to break down the troublesome prisoners using modified version of SD. Sunday Times Insight Team uncovered the existence of these units and the purpose of their creation, in October 1974. As result of publicity and severe criticism UK Government was forced to disband its Control Units in Wakefield and Wormwood Scrubs prisons. The "Treatment" designed for a period of six months was divided into two parts. Sensory deprivation was the main focal point. In the first 90 days, a strict solitary confinement, with almost no communication was applied to the inmate. If result proved successful, the victim was allowed to have a limited amount of communication in the next three months phase. Otherwise, the entire phase one would have been repeated -- more solitary confinement. No conversation between the prisoner and the guards were allowed, only gestures were permitted.

John Masterson was the first inmate subjected to this "Treatment" in 1974. With no positive results, and more psychological scars left on the victims, eventually on May 20, 1976, Dr. Pickering, ex-Director of Prison Medical Service admitted in BBC's "Man Alive" programme, that "control units were a mistake." It is ironic, since he was in charge when John Masterson was subjected to this mental torture.

Roy Jenkins, the Home Secretary at the time expressed his satisfaction about these units and their operations. "I am satisfied that the safeguard and procedures are such that the trained staff of Wakefield are able to maintain a careful and caring watch on the progress and condition of prisoners in the control unit."[32]

A year after he was still adamant that; "I am satisfied that allegations, which have received considerable publicity, of sensory deprivation, cruelty and brutality in the unit, are completely unfounded and that the Governor and staff have conducted themselves in a commendably professional manner."[33] Yes, but what about the fate of the victims?

What started in Ritz Carlton Hotel in 1951, came to full fruition in 1971, throughout the ordeal of Ulster guinea pigs. As Professor Robert Daly[34] stressed; "The whole SD process in Northern Ireland was a package deal. Being awaken in the middle of the night, being beaten, confused as to your whereabouts, lied to and insulted, was all part of the 'unfreezing process' through which your psychological defences were broken down, and terror and humiliation were induced. Hence, the photographing in the nude, being forced to urinate while running, refusal to allow toilet visits, the sadism and abuse. Meanwhile the psychological functions of the body were being disturbed by the very low or non-existent intake of calories, high temperature caused by sweating which could lead to dehydration, coupled with the cold at night, sleep deprivation and loss of sense of touch. The whole experience was a package. Whether you want to call it interrogation in depth or brain washing is academic. The aim of the treatment was to cause temporary psychosis, temporary insanity, which was a severe psychological injury liable to having lasting consequences."[35]

Like the CIA, Britain too, as part of its mind control operation applied hallucinogenic drugs -- LSD, on unwitting subjects, including the Irish internees;

"Mr. Murphy alleges; He was given tea and says that after drinking he saw images on the wall."[36] "Mr. Bradley alleges; He suffered from hallucination after drinking a cup of tea."[37]

Despite Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees "the free development of ...personality," and "in spite of the various United Nations provisions concerning the personal integrity of individuals, no state is expressly precluded from altering the mental processes of its nationals."[38]

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," said Albert Camus. Nowhere is this more clear than in the protection of freedom of the mind, our most precious human right.[39]

Armen Victorian

June 1996.


1. CIA memorandum "An Analysis of Confession in Russian Trials," 1950. Also see "Are the Cominform Countries Using Hypnotic Techniques to Elicit Confession in Public Trials?" By; Irving L. Janis; US Air Force Project Rand Memorandum, April 25, 1971.

2. "Behavior Drugs, and Testing," Feb. 5, 1975. CIA document.

3. Documents from the collection of the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

4. Tizard, Sir Henry Thomas, born 23 August 1885, GCB, AFC, FRS, LLD, DSc, ScD, and holder of other titles (see Who is Who 1951, and Who is Who 1951-1960).

5. op. cit. 3.

6. In 1973 several key documents on the CIA's mind control programmes were destroyed on the order of Richard Helms, the CIA Director.

7. op. cit. 3.

8. op. cit. 2.

9. "Confidential" letter, Dr. Solandt, August 3, 1954.

10. ibid.

11. ibid.

12. ibid.

13. ibid., and Dr. Solandt's conversation with author, 1989.

14. Letter to "The Minister", Ormond Solandt, Jan. 25, 1954.

15. ibid.

16. John C. Lilly, "Mental Effects of Reduction of Ordinary Levels of Physical Stimuli on Intact Healthy Persons," Psychological Research Report 5, 1966, pp. 1-9. Also see Bexton et al., "The Effects of Decreased Variation in the Sensory Environment," Canadian Journal of Psychology, vol. 8, 1954, pp. 70-76.

17. National Defence Headquarters [Canada] letter to author, dated April 18, 1994. Also see D.O. Hebb et al., "The Effects of Isolation Upon Attitudes, Motivation and Thought," 4th Symposium, Military Medicine I, Defence Research Board, Canada, Dec. 1952 (Secret), and; D.O. Hebb and W. Heron, "Effects of Radical Isolation Upon Intellectual Functions and The Manipulation of Attitudes," 4th Symposium, Military
Medicine I, Defence Research Board, Canada, Dec. 1952 (Secret).

18. Biderman, Zimmer, "The Manipulation of Human Behaviour," Wiley, New York, 1961.

19. J. Vernon, "Inside the Black Room: Studies of Sensory Deprivation," Penguin 1966.

20. Parker Report, Cmnd. 4901 (HMSO), para 10.

21. F.H. Lakin from Army Operational Research Establishment (AORE), Britain, described the British Psychological Warfare research in Malaya between 1952-55. He was in charge of a nine man research team responsible to AORE, and the Research Division of the Director General of the Information Services [then the Federation of Malaya]. For six months two men from the Operational Research Office of John Hopkins University, Maryland, worked closely with his team, plus an Australian army psychologist.

22. Also see; 1. "Repression Trade - (UK) Limited," How the UK Makes Torture and Death its Business. By Amnesty International, British Section 1992. 2. "Submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture," for consideration during the Committee's scrutiny of UK Government's Report. Committee on the Administration of Justice (Affiliated of the International Federation of Human Rights), Nov. 13, 1993. 3. "A Submission to; the United Nation's Human Rights Committee," Containing Comments on the Forth Periodic Report by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Human Rights Committee under Article 40 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By; Committee on the Administration of Justice, June 1995.

23. "Report Of An Enquiry Into Allegation of Ill-Treatment in Northern Ireland," Amnesty International, p.26.

24. For a more detailed account of the fate of the internees see "The Guineapigs," John McGuffin.

25. op. cit. 23, p.36.

26. ibid.

27. op. cit. 23, p.38.

28. Findings of The World Conference on Religion and Peace, p. 31.

29. In answer to a Parliamentary Question, Archie Hamilton, the British Minister of State for Defence listed 100 countries to which UK provides military training of various nature including Portugal, and other countries with notorious track records in violation of Human Rights, e.g. China, Chile, Iraq, Uganda, South Korea, Egypt, Turkey. He fails to add Cambodia to the list -- See John Pilger's "Cambodia: Year Ten."

30. "Precis 6: Psyop unit - General," Training Report, Senior Officers' Psyop Course, Royal Air Force, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK February 14/18, 1972. A British document devoted to the organization and equipment of psyops unit, both at headquarters, and broken down into subsections; Consolidation Psyops; Counter-Insurgency uses and their use in peacetime, as well as details of deployment of psyop units in UK. Also, "Technical Report of the Senior Officers' Psyop Course Held at RAF Old Sarum, 14-18, Feb. 1972." This course clarifies the parallel nature of the British psyops with that of US Army's. Amongst people that have addressed these courses are; Keith Belbin, of Coleman, Prentice and Valery [Advertising Agency]
on recruitment. Peter Bartlett on target analysis with reference to the Chinese use in Hong Kong. R.M. Farr [a psychologist from British Psychological Society] on attitude change, and B.R. Johnston on information policy in low intensity operations, mainly in Northern Ireland.

31. Now Sir Frank Kitson, Commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade Northern Ireland between 1970-72. Author of "Low Intensity Operation: Subversion," London, Faber and Faber; and "Insurgency Peace-Keeping," London, Faber and Faber 1971. Also, see "The Technology of Political Control," by; Ackroyd, Margolis, Rosenhead and Shalice. Pluto Press 1980, and "The Silent Conspiracy," Stephen Dorril (William Heineman Ltd.), 1993.

32. House of Commons, [British Parliament] November 14, 1974.

33. House of Commons, October 24, 1975.

34. Professor Robert Daly, expert in Sensory deprivation. A graduate from Dublin University. Instructor in psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. Later a lecturer at Edinburgh University before taking post at the University College, Cork.

35. Robert Daly; "Psychiatric After-effects of Irish Prisoners Subjected to Ill-Treatment and Torture," New Scientist, August 5, 1976.

36. op. cit. 23, p. 14.

37. op. cit. 23, p. 23.

38. Garland E. Burrell, Jr., "Mental Privacy: An International Safeguard to Governmental Intrusion into the Mental Processes," 6 California Western International Law Journal.

39. Alan Scheflin, "Freedom of The Mind As An International Human Rights Issue," Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 3, 1982.

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For further information, see also Dr. Victorian's essay, Mind Controllers. Armen Victorian was the pseudonym for a colorful British character, born in Soviet Armenia, Habib (Henry) Azadehdel. Azadehdel was apparently involved in the UFO community and was an orchid smuggler. Whatever or whomever he actually was, most agree he was a successful user of FOIA, and gathered a wealth of information. Whatever he thought about the theories behind the data, he was not really a conspiracy theorist, and as you can see above, relied mostly on the facts to speak for themselves.

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