Thursday, February 26, 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Outsourcing Evil for the Bush Administration War Criminals-- the Case of Richard Zuley
When the Chicago detective Richard Zuley arrived at Guantánamo Bay late in 2002, US military commanders touted him as the hero they had been looking for. Here was a Navy reserve lieutenant who had spent the last 25 years as a distinguished detective on the mean streets of Chicago , closing case after case – often due to his knack for getting confessions. But while Zuley’s brutal interrogation techniques – prolonged shackling, family threats, demands on suspects to implicate themselves and others – would get supercharged at Guantánamo for the war on terrorism, a Guardian investigation has uncovered that Zuley used similar tactics for years, behind closed police-station doors, on Chicago’s poor and non-white citizens. Multiple people in prison in Illinois insist they have been wrongly convicted on the basis of coerced confessions extracted by Zuley and his colleagues.
The Guardian examined thousands of court documents from Chicago and interviewed two dozen people with experience at Guantánamo and in the Chicago criminal-justice system. The results of its investigation suggests a continuum between Guantánamo interrogation rooms and Chicago police precincts. Zuley’s detective work, particularly when visited on Chicago’s minority communities, contains a dark foreshadowing of the United States’ post-9/11 descent into torture.
Allegations stemming from interviews and court documents, concerning Chicago suspects, suggest Zuley and his colleagues shackled suspects to walls for extended periods, threatened their family members, and perhaps even planted evidence on them. The point was to yield confessions, even while ignoring potentially exculpatory evidence.
Several of those techniques bear similarities to those used by Zuley when he took over the interrogation of Mohamedou Ould Slahi at Guantánamo, described in official government reports and a best-selling memoir as one of the most brutal ever conducted at the US wartime prison. serialised last month by the Guardian
A woman still in an Illinois prison who insists on her innocence, Benita Johnson, recalled Zuley and his team handcu"ng her to a wall for over 24 hours in 1995 until she would implicate herself and her ex-boyfriend in a murder, while Zuley threatened her with never seeing her children again. One of many awards in Zuley’s record – bearing the name of Chicago mayor Richard Daley – praises his help in interrogating the two suspects who ultimately “admitted participating in the crime”.
Nearly a decade later, Zuley – whose interrogation plan for Slahi received personal sign-off from then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld but has gone almost entirely unreported – would tell the detainee that the US had his mother in custody, US government investigations have documented, even while they avoid Zuley’s name. If Slahi didn’t start talking, Zuley said he would have her brought into Guantánamo’s all-male prison environment, which his lawyers consider a rape threat. Slahi began confessing to anything he could. Though prosecutors refused to bring charges once they learned what Zuley and his team had done, Slahi – like the Illinois woman Zuley interrogated that night, and others back on the mainland – remains behind bars.
“I’ve never seen anyone stoop to those levels,” Stuart Couch, a former Marine lieutenant colonel and military commissions prosecutor, said of Zuley’s interrogation of Slahi. “It’s unconscionable, from a perspective of a criminal prosecution – or an interrogation, for that matter.” Mark Fallon, deputy commander of the now-shuttered Criminal Investigative Task Force at Guantánamo, said Zuley’s interrogation of Slahi “was illegal, it was immoral, it was ineffective and it was unconstitutional.” It is unknown if Zuley interrogated other Guantánamo detainees.
The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.
Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:
Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
Shackling for prolonged periods.
Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
NSA and GCHQ steal cell phone encryption data because they are acting totally within the law to spy on everyone without boundaries... no, seriously, they are freaking psychopathic spy junkies.
"An alien star passed through our Solar System just 70,000 years ago, astronomers have discovered.No other star is known to have approached this close to us. An international team of researchers says it came five times closer than our current nearest neighbour - Proxima Centauri." The noteworthy thing is this came at a pretty interesting time during human history, and striking how they say "alien" star. Fun to speculate that this would be a time when some aliens came close enough to visit us and alter human development...
Environmental toxins are everywhere and are poisoning our developing children's brains especially, making us dumber.
50th Anniversary of Assassination of Malcolm X
This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century. He was shot dead as he spoke before a packed audience at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on February 21, 1965. Malcolm X had just taken the stage when shots rang out riddling his body with bullets. He was 39 years old. Details of his assassination remain disputed to this day. We air highlights from his speeches, "By Any Means Necessary" and "The Ballot or the Bullet." We also speak with journalist Herb Boyd, who along with Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, co-edited "The Diary of Malcolm X: El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, 1964."
I'm no expert on his story, but I highly recommend the Spike Lee treatment of his life in "Malcolm X".
And of course, the USG was behind the assassination.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
John O'Neill: “The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it.”0 comments
You're Not Going to Believe This, But...
I read the book on this, "Witnessed: the True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions" and assuming everything he wrote in there is true, it is an amazing and well-documented story. The guy who wrote the column above dissecting the case says he's seen the documents. If the documents are real, then it's hard to see how this story was a hoax.
The Cortile case, later published as Hopkins' book Witnessed: the True Story of the Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abductions, focused on a Manhattan housewife allegedly drawn out of her 12th story window in Lower Manhattan and lifted up into a UFO that turned on all its lights at 3:00 am, November 30, 1989. Although the details of the story were convoluted, involving alleged alien abduction, government cover-up, kidnapping and attempted murder by secret agents, and more, Hopkins believed the case supported "both the objective reality of UFO abductions and the accuracy of regressive hypnosis."
Hopkins died in 2011. A video of Cortile can be seen on Youtube here, in a video by Hopkins' wife, who apparently is skeptical about the abduction research.
Here's a whole website devoted to defending the Cortile case, and has a rebuttal to Hopkin's wife and lots of other stuff.
Monday, February 09, 2015
The Drug War Is a Cruel, Evil, Racist Scam
The story about what they did to Billy Holliday is incredibly tragic.
in 1939, Billie Holiday stands on stage in a hotel, and she sings the song "Strange Fruit," which obviously your viewers will know is an anti-lynching song. Her goddaughter Lorraine Feather said to me, "You’ve got to understand how shocking this was, right?" Billie Holiday wasn’t allowed to walk through the front door of that hotel; she had to go through the service elevator. To have an African-American woman standing up, at a time when most pop songs were like twee, you know, "P.S. I Love You," that kind of thing, singing against lynching in front of a white audience was regarded as really shocking. And that night, according to her biographer, Julia Blackburn, she’s told by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, "Stop singing this song."
Federal Bureau of Narcotics was run by a man called Harry Anslinger, who I think is the most influential person who no one’s ever heard of. Harry Anslinger takes over the Department of Prohibition just as alcohol prohibition is ending, and he wants to find a new purpose for it. You know, he’s got this huge bureaucracy he wants to run. And he’s really driven by two passions: an intense hatred of African Americans—I mean, this is a guy who was regarded as a crazy racist by the crazy racists in the 1930s; he used the N-word in official police reports so often that his senator said he should have to resign—and a really strong hatred of addicts. And Billie Holiday, to him, was like the symbol of everything that was going wrong in America. And so, he gives her this order.
She refuses. She basically says, "Screw you. I’m an American citizen. I’ll say what I want." She had grown up in segregated Baltimore, and she had promised herself she would never bow her head to any white man. And that’s when Harry Anslinger begins the process of stalking her, and eventually, I think, playing a role in her death, as was explained to me by her friends and by all the archival research.
Sunday, February 08, 2015
33 of the Day
Archaeologists working in Israel have discovered an "ancient cult complex," where people who lived thousands of years ago might have worshipped a Canaanite “storm god” known as Baal. The complex was unearthed at the archaeological site of Tel Burna, located near the Israeli city of Kiryat Gat. It's believed to date back 3,300 years. Though more excavation needs to be conducted, the archaeologists said the site is believed to be quite large, with the courtyard of the complex measuring more than 50 feet on one side. Researchers said the site has already yielded artifacts that seem to confirm the complex’s cultic past. These include enormous jars that may have been used to store tithes, masks that might have been used in ceremonial processions, and burnt animal bones that hint at sacrificial rituals.
Inside the massive cult complex, archaeologists found facemasks, human-size containers and burnt animal bones possibly related to sacrificial practices. The Canaanite storm god may have been worshi...
Saturday, February 07, 2015
Saudi Arabia, A Truly Evil Force
There's some move recently to declassify the sections of a Senate 9/11 report that apparently refer to Saudi Arabia, but I can't see that being done. There's just too much resistance to de-classify anything related to 9/11...
Then there is this recent report on the "20th hijacker" Moussaoui giving out info on Saudi royalty funding al Qaeda and being connected to 9/11.
Obviously, not new info here, and mainly a limited hangout operation.
But still, both interesting and annoying how:
1) there is a lot of info on Saudis being connected to 9/11 that never seems to go anywhere
2) Saudi Arabia is truly a fucked up place but never seems to attract much attention as a problem spot in the world
Thursday, February 05, 2015
33 of the Day
The city of Rafah, which has been a part of Egypt since the pharaonic period, is to be removed from the map; its residents relocated to the imaginatively named, yet-to-be-built city of New Rafah.
Rafah is located in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt’s northeast, straddling the border with the Gaza Strip. It is home to thousands of families, all of whom will be forcibly relocated under plans to create a “buffer zone” on the border.
Just a week ago, the plan was to demolish 1,220 houses. The Egyptian method of enforcement was as simple as a forced confession. With little warning, police notified residents that they would clear the area, and said they would forcibly seize the property of those who refused to comply. Though journalists are forbidden in Egypt’s troubled easternmost governorate, images trickled out of families bearing bundles of clothes and belongings looking on powerless as army bulldozers destroyed their homes.
But soon the Egyptian government decided that these methods were too, how shall we say, respectful of human rights. The entire border city of Rafah is to be levelled to the ground, Egyptian authorities have announced. “The establishment of a buffer zone requires the complete removal of the city. In fact, it will be completely destroyed,” said Abdel Fattah Harhour, governor of North Sinai, to which Rafah is administratively affiliated.
Soon, Rafah will be gone. What won't be gone is all the intractable political problems of the region that is causing its destruction.
Our wonderful ally Egypt is really fucked up (though what else is new)....
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
It's as bad, if not worse, than when they go after those 9/11 truther freaks...
ETA: In general, I'm not anti-vaccine. But the way the media freaks out about people who don't vaccinate really makes me suspicious. The benign explanation is that for just general awareness issues, most people are fairly superficial and don't do nuance well. So in order to make sure people have no doubts about vaccination, because it really is important, they absolutely squash any deviation from the official line. The more disturbing possibility is they are making sure people get these vaccines for deeper evil reasons, such as wanting to make people more chronically sick, or possibly even worse.
Sunday, February 01, 2015
Wow-- Some Dude on Twitter References One of My Old DU Posts on No-Planes
ET Origin of Humans
January 30, 2015 - The idea that humanity is not from Earth is as controversial as it is intriguing. Are we really aliens on our own planet? If this is true where is our place of origin in the galaxy? A scientific evaluation of the evidence against man’s evolution on planet Earth has been put forward by a researcher and author. According to Dr Ellis Silver, leading environmentalist and ecologist there are a number of reasons why humans do not come from Earth.
In his book, "Humans are not from Earth: a scientific evaluation of the evidence", Dr. Silver lists seventeen factors which suggest we are not from this planet. He also discusses the place of our origin and the timeline when humanity appeared on Earth.(snip)
Dr. Silver says our physiology suggests we evolved on a planet with lower gravity. “Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet, yet is surprisingly unsuited and ill-equipped for Earth’s environment: harmed by sunlight, a strong dislike for naturally occurring foods, ridiculously high rates of chronic disease, and more, “Dr. Silver said in an interview with Yahoo news. “The Earth approximately meets our needs as a species, but perhaps not as strongly as whoever brought us here initially thought,” Silver said in an interview with Yahoo news.
“Lizards can sunbathe for as long as they like – and many of them do. We can just about get away with it for a week or two. But day after day in the sun? Forget it. You might as well just lie down on the freeway and wait for a bus to hit you.” We are dazzled by the sun, which is also odd, says Silver – most animals are not.
Dr. Silver claims that some chronic illnesses that plague the human race – such as bad backs – could be a sign we evolved on a world with lower gravity. Silver points to other unique human traits – such as the fact that babies’ heads are so large that women have trouble giving birth – in earlier eras, this was often fatal for mother, child or both. “No other truly native species on this planet has this problem,” he says.
Dr. Silver also points out to the “extra” 223 genes in human beings, which are not found in any other species, and to the lack of a fossil “missing link”. Dr. Silver also claims that the human race has defects that mark us out as being possibly “not of this world”. “We are all chronically ill,” says Dr. Silver. “Indeed, if you can find a single person who is 100% fit and healthy and not suffering from some (perhaps hidden or unstated) condition or disorder (there’s an extensive list in the book) I would be extremely surprised – I have not been able to find anyone.”
Did we evolve on an alien world? “I believe that many of our problems stem from the simple fact that our internal body clocks have evolved to expect a 25 hour day (this has been proven by sleep researchers), but the Earth’s day is only 24 hours. This is not a modern condition – the same factors can be traced all the way back through mankind’s history on Earth.”
Dr. Silver does not suggest one answer – but a possibility that early pre-humans such as homo erectus were crossbred with another species. He also suggests several possible origins, including Alpha Centauri.
“Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet, yet is surprisingly unsuited and ill-equipped for Earth’s environment: harmed by sunlight, a strong dislike for naturally occurring (raw) foods, ridiculously high rates of chronic disease, and more. Plus there’s a prevailing feeling among many people that they don’t belong here or that something “just isn’t right”. “This suggests (to me at least) that mankind may have evolved on a different planet, and we may have been brought here as a highly developed species.
One reason for this, discussed in the book, is that the Earth might be a prison planet – since we seem to be a naturally violent species – and we’re here until we learn to behave ourselves.”
All this of course, perfectly fits with what A.P. proposed sometime back (over 7 years ago!). Though Ellis Silver is not A.P.s real name, he does seem to have adapted the same ideas. Though, honestly these ideas may not be completely developed by A.P. either. I think a lot of this material has been proposed for sometime by various deep conspiracy researchers. But A.P. is certainly the one who brought it to my attention and developed it the most fully as a thesis early on.
Now, given that I think the evidence for long-term ET visitation of the earth is strong, and any aliens advanced enough to come here could certainly also be capable of genetically modifying us, I think the likelihood of this scenario that humans were created by aliens is reasonably good. I think it's a very plausible hypothesis-- but it is not "proven". There's no slam-dunk evidence of this theory, in other words. And of course any mainstream "respectable" scientist would reject this idea.
Also, one could make some rebuttals to Silver's points, FWIW.
In general Silver seems to have too idealistic a view of nature and other animal species.
Certainly it seems true that other animals also avoid the sun-- nocturnal creatures, obviously.
The food thing is hard to evaluate. Lots of animals are picky about what they eat or if given junk food, will eat that.
The disease point is interesting but other animals, especially inbred animals get a lot of chronic diseases, and let's not forget that humans live longer than most animals and probably past our lifespan we would have in the wild. So this is a prime recipe for getting diseases that were not selected against by evolution.
The sleep requirement and head size issue and predilection to violence may just be a consequence of our larger brains and associated extra baggage of great cognition power. Greater intelligence gave a great deal of selective advantage in evolution but at some cost in other ways.
Evolution is a lot weirder and more complicated than most people think.
So-- the evidence is not a slam dunk either way, but what tilts it for me is the overall evidence for ET visitation and accounts that they monitor us and alter our breeding. But for me it's more like 60:40 in favor of a role for ETs in human development.