Tag: FBI

Tortured

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Never for a moment in my life have I been “in love.”  I do not believe in the notion.  Fireworks have not filled my heart.  Flames of a fiery passion do not burn within me.  Indeed, my soul has not been ablaze.  Thoughts of a hot-blooded devotion seem illogical to me.  Such sentiments always have.  Fondness too fertile is but torture for me.  I admire many, and adore none.  For me, the affection I feel for another is born out of sincere and profound appreciation.  To like another means more to me than to love or be loved.  Excitement, an emotional reaction to another, rises up within me when I experience an empathetic exchange with someone who has glorious gray matter.

Today, it happened.  I felt an a twinge that startled me.  I stood still as he entered the room.  I expected nothing out of the ordinary, or at least nothing other than what has become his recently adopted, more avoidant, routine.  Although long ago, I had become accustomed to his face, his voice, and his demeanor, for I have known the man for more than a few years.  In the last few weeks, while essentially he is who he always was, some of his stances have changed.  Possibly, Barry has felt a need to compromise his positions, but I wonder; what of his principles.

U.S. Unfolds Gestapo-like Raids at GOP Convention (updated)

Amy Goodman reported from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul), site of the Republican National Convention, September 1, 2008, Labor Day:

Armed groups of police in the Twin Cities have raided more than a half-a-dozen locations since Friday night in a series of preemptive raids before the Republican convention. The coordinated searches were led by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher but conducted in coordination with federal agencies….

Minnesota Public Radio is reporting that the FBI is at least one of the “federal agencies” acting in concert with the Minneapolis/St. Paul police departments. A professor at the University of Minnesota has snapped a photo of FBI presence at one of the raids. Many of these police gestapo actions involved two dozen or more riot police entering private homes with guns drawn, handcuffing the residents, and rifling through the house to search computers, and political literature.

Lying for the Torturers: The APA School of Falsification

When earlier this month the ACLU released a new slew of FOIA documentsunredacted portions of Admiral Church’s 2005 report on detainee abuses at “war on terror” prisons abroad — the spin machine of the American Psychological Association sprang into action. APA propagandist, and Ethics Director, Stephen Behnke was called upon to take up the cudgels, whereupon he wrote an unctious, dissembling letter to the ACLU.

In a letter dated May 15, Behnke praised ACLU for “uncovering details surrounding the treatment of detainees at detention facilities run by the U.S. government around the world.” Then he reiterated APA’s paper commitment to “the humane treatment of detainees.” In between the lofty presentation of ideals and grand commitments, Behnke also made the following points (quoting from his letter, which has circulated via email, but not to my knowledge is online — bold text below is my editorial emphasis):

FBI Ordered to Shut Down GITMO “War Crimes” File

(h/t to GreyHawk for pointing to this story. GH’s post at epluribus media.)

Yes, the FBI kept a “War Crimes” file about GTMO. So reports the NY Times in  Report Details Dissent on Guantánamo Tactics:

WASHINGTON – In 2002, as evidence of prisoner mistreatment at Guantánamo Bay began to mount, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at the base created a “war crimes file” to document accusations against American military personnel, but were eventually ordered to close down the file, a Justice Department report revealed Tuesday.

Ordered closed down by whom exactly?

Something inside me just snapped

It is just another revelation about our inhumanity toward others.  Usually the stories send me into a rage.  Today, something just snapped. I just feel sick and disoriented.

It happened when I read this story in the Washington Post. It is not even about the depravity of CIA, military, and civilian contractors under our glorious commander-in-chief Bush. It is about law enforcement officers watching war crimes and doing nothing.  

I am still trying to figure out why it caused my head to spin.

Government to Collect DNA from All Arrested of a Federal Crime

Welcome to the United States of Gattaca. The Washington Post is reporting that the Bush administration is expanding DNA collection of people arrested for crimes.

The U.S. government will soon begin collecting DNA samples from all citizens arrested in connection with any federal crime and from many immigrants detained by federal authorities, adding genetic identifiers from more than 1 million individuals a year to the swiftly growing federal law enforcement DNA database.

The policy will substantially expand the current practice of routinely collecting DNA samples from only those convicted of federal crimes…

Anyone now arrested of a federal crime will have their DNA collected. With the past examples of abuse of the justice system by the Bush administration, it isn’t difficult to imagine how this change in policy could be abused. When the policy is implemented, roughly 1.2 million people a year will have their DNA collected.

To Laugh or to Cry

This is a both hilarious and sad illustration of why we are losing the “war on terror”:

Whitey Bulger has found himself at the center of another “mandatory kill,” though this one was ordered by a photo agency seeking to delete an image from their archives. The alert was prompted by the F.B.I.’s admission that they misidentified a German couple vacationing in Sicily as the reputed Boston crime boss and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

Despite no apparent problems with the law, the couple somehow evaded the F.B.I.’s global manhunt for months. Indeed, they delivered themselves to the authorities after seeing themselves on Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst, a German show about fugitives that preceded “America’s Most Wanted.”

After seeing one of their best leads dissolve, the F.B.I. remained determined. “We’re going to continue our worldwide media outreach to arrest Mr. Bulger and his companion,” Gail Marcinkiewicz, a spokeswoman, told The Boston Globe. An alleged audio clip of Mr. Bulger speaking on the phone to “Tammy,” who dialed the wrong number, and others was released in January.

Emphasis added.

For those of you who don’t know, James “Whitey” Bulger is the Boston crime boss who served as the basis for Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Departed”.

What can you say?  The F.B.I. misidentified a random German man as one of its ten most wanted criminals, and then couldn’t find this innocent German man who wasn’t trying to hide from them for six months, and only eventually found him because he turned himself in.

At this point, I’m thinking we’re going to find the Lindberg baby before Osama bin Laden.

The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: Corporations Spy on Citizens for the FBI

Both The Progressive and the ACLU have stories up over on their sites about how the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have recruited tens of thousands of members of corporate America to be the “eyes and ears” of the government. In return, they receive secret briefings on terrorism. The program is called InfraGard, and from The Progressive story:

The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does-and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.

InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.

Reprint: FBI & American Psychological Association Attack Patient Confidentiality

(The following was first posted on January 7, 2007 at the Daily Kos website. It is being reprinted here as of significant interest to readers of this blog. I have no reason to believe that anything important has changed since this article was originally written. One exception might be the peregrinations undertaken by the American Psychological Association on the question of interrogations, which can be followed in numerous other articles at my blog. Another exception would be revelations that emerged during the year regarding psychologist participation in U.S. government torture, and this additional material is included in the following text in the form of an editorial emendation.)

I recently came across an FBI report on a conference jointly sponsored by the FBI and the American Psychological Association. Given the recent and ongoing controversies over the use of psychologists and other medical personnel in U.S. torture programs abroad, I thought a close examination of the matter of this conference could be interesting. — What you will read may shock you (especially if you are interested in mental health practice). It will certainly enlighten you, and help fill in the gaps that exist in our understanding of U.S. interrogation techniques, the “war on terror”, and the government campaign to curtail our liberties.

Cover-up: FBI Threatens Suspect’s Family with Torture (Updated)

Crossposted at Invictus and Daily Kos

Like a scenario out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, an innocent man was accused of assisting the 9/11 hijackers in their terrorist plot. Abdallah Higazy was an Egyptian national studying computer engineering at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn. In December 2001, he was coerced into falsely confessing his “role” in 9/11 after the FBI was tipped that he supposedly owned an air-band transceiver capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground communication.

The transceiver turned out to belong to an airline pilot staying in Abdallah’s NY hotel. Higazy was released after 34 days in custody. He subsequently sued both his FBI interrogator and the hotel he stayed in, whose security officers had found the radio. The hotel settled, but initially the FBI suit was dismissed. Upon appeal, the 2nd Circuit remanded the case to district court.

Now here’s what’s really amazing: the court brief clearly shows that the FBI threatened torture of Higazy’s family back in Egypt. When the brief was published online, it was quickly withdrawn and replaced with a censored version, without the torture threats. Blogger Howard Bashman had the first version however, posted it, and then received a call from the court demanding he take down the unredacted version.

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