Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Afghan War is Not Over: U.S. Ends 13-Year Combat Mission, But 10,000+ Troops Continue the Fight

The U.S.-led NATO occupation has formally ended its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan. The move leaves Afghan forces in charge of security, though more than 17,000 foreign troops will remain. This includes more than 10,000 U.S. troops, who will continue to see a combat role despite the nominal change. Last month, President Obama secretly extended the U.S. role in Afghanistan to ensure American troops will have a direct role in fighting, along with jets, bombers and drones. The transition follows the deadliest year in Afghanistan since 2001.

via The Afghan War is Not Over: U.S. Ends 13-Year Combat Mission, But 10,000+ Troops Continue the Fight | Democracy Now!.

Cuba: The New Opening With the USA

Learning the Art of Coexistence

Since my election as President of the State Council and Council of Ministers I have reiterated in many occasions our willingness to hold a respectful dialogue with the United States on the basis of sovereign equality, in order to deal reciprocally with a wide variety of topics without detriment to the national Independence and self-determination of our people.

This stance was conveyed to the US Government both publicly and privately by Comrade Fidel on several occasions during our long standing struggle, stating the willingness to discuss and solve our differences without renouncing any of our principles.

The heroic Cuban people, in the wake of serious dangers, aggressions, adversities and sacrifices has proven to be faithful and will continue to be faithful to our ideals of independence and social justice. Strongly united throughout these 56 years of Revolution, we have kept our unswerving loyalty to those who died in defense of our principles since the beginning of our independence wars in 1868.

Today, despite the difficulties, we have embarked on the task of updating our economic model in order to build a prosperous and sustainable Socialism.


110,000 sign Warren petition officials announced Monday that they have garnered 110,000 signatures on a petition urging Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for president in 2016.

The announcement comes just one week after the progressive grassroots group launched a "Run Warren Run" campaign that included a $1 million investment.

Warren has insisted that she will not run for president. And early polling has former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a huge lead against any Democratic challenger.

But the progressive group's calls for a Warren candidacy illustrate liberals' discomfort with a Clinton coronation, as well as their skepticism that Clinton is too close to Wall Street.


What the Torture Report Kept Hidden

The descriptions are excruciating in their detail. But other important aspects—from the Obama administration’s stalling to Syria and Libya’s role—are missing from the Senate report.
Despite more than 500 pages of excruciating, awful detail, there’s much about the CIA’s interrogation, rendition, and detention programs that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report doesn’t address.

None of the interrogators were interviewed. The roles of dictatorships like Syria and Libya in the CIA rendition programs were left unexplored—or least hidden behind layers of confounding redactions that make many passages of the report incomprehensible. There’s no concrete answer about who really gave the torture orders. And the role of the Obama administration, which slow-rolled the release of the report for five years, was all but ignored.


Here are the two psychologists who built the CIA’s torture program

[Excerpt] Among the "enhanced interrogation techniques" are freezing, waterboarding, forcing prisoners to stand on broken legs, sleep deprivation, and "rectal feeding" — pureeing inmates' food and forcing it through their anus.

Included in the report are events in which CIA operatives were brought to tears and intense nausea at having to carry out these techniques, but two men who seemed all too happy are psychologists Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.


Horrific Torture Practices by U.S. Brings Calls for Prosecutions

BBC News: CIA 'torture' report condemned by world media 2014-12-10  [span class="blockquote"]Media around the world condemn as shocking the revelations in a US Senate report that the CIA used brutal techniques to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects.[/span]

BBC News: CIA interrogations report sparks prosecution calls 2014-12-10  [span class="blockquote"]The UN and rights groups call for US officials involved in brutal CIA interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects to be prosecuted.[/span] CIA torture report: UN expert calls for prosecution of US officials 2014-12-10  [span class="blockquote"]A U.N. human rights official said all CIA and U.S. officials who used waterboarding and other torture techniques must be prosecuted.[/span]

Toward Freedom: A Brutal 'Torture Report,' but No Accountability 2014-12-10  [span class="blockquote"]Mike Ludwig: A progressive perspective on world events since 1952.[/span]

Pagosa Daily Post: VIDEO: Sen. Udall's Speech on the Release of CIA Torture Documents 2014-12-10  [span class="blockquote"]The Senate Intelligence Committee released the executive summary of the report (Tuesday) following months of negotiations with the White House and CIA — a process Udall fought to keep moving forward. Udall also had threatened to take any step necessary to get the truth out if negotiators for the committee and executive branch could not reach an accord that kept faith with the important transparency the report represents.[/span] 'Brutal' interrogation tactics 2014-12-10  [span class="blockquote"]President Barack Obama said Tuesday that some of the tactics described in a Senate report on harsh CIA interrogations were brutal, "wrong and counterproductive, but that releasing the information was an important step in the process of making sure that such a scenario isn't ever repeated.[/span]

Echonetdaily: Prosecutions called for over CIA torture program 2014-12-10  [span class="blockquote"]Human rights groups have called for the criminal prosecution of US officials after a Senate report detailed a CIA torture program that was far more brutal than previously known. | Meanwhile US president Barack Obama has said he will work to outlaw future use of torture by the agency, which he added had been 'counterproductive'. | American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)[/span]

Meet the cast of characters in the Senate’s report on CIA torture

Newly released US Senate report tells a story of two wars, dozens of intelligence officials, and an unknown number of detainees held within a system of ‘black sites’

President George W.Bush presenting former CIA director George Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, the nation's highest civilian honor

john brennajohn yoocondoleezza rice

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

Torture techniques used on detainees included waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation beyond 72 hours and cramped confinement, among others.

Spencer Ackerman and Alan Yuhas
Tuesday 9 December 2014 13.42 EST

The Senate’s newly released report on CIA torture practices tells a story of two wars, dozens of intelligence officials, an unknown number of detainees and a system of “black sites” and torture techniques used around the world. As various revelations about the US’ post-9/11 torture program have been leaked into the public over the years, a clear cast of characters has emerged.

George Tenet – director of the CIA 1997-2004


CIA report’s most shocking passages

Washington (CNN) — Here's a look at some of the techniques the CIA used to interrogate detainees that were included in a Senate Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday.

1. The CIA conducted at least two mock executions — among other techniques that went unreported in the agency's cables. Others included "nudity, dietary manipulation, exposure to cold temperatures, cold showers," and rough takedowns.
Report details detainee death, neglect
Hagel: We're 'prepared' for report release

In another passage, the mock executions are included in a section that also mentions techniques like "placing pressure on a detainee's artery…