Reminder: torture=terrorism

It seems that the two psychologists who came up with torture regime are being sued:

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Spokane, Wash., was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of several former prisoners of the Central Intelligence Agency. The New York Times has obtained the video depositions of Dr. Jessen and Dr. Mitchell, as well as those of two former C.I.A. officials and two former detainees. Newly declassified agency documents have also been released in the case.

and here’s what they say:

“I think any normal, conscionable man would have to consider carefully doing something like this,” Dr. Jessen said in a newly disclosed deposition. “I deliberated with great, soulful torment about this, and obviously I concluded that it could be done safely or I wouldn’t have done it.”

No, anyone with a conscience would have refused to do it. And it made them rich:

Under the agency’s direction, the two men said, they proposed the “enhanced interrogation” techniques — which were then authorized by the Justice Department — applied them and trained others to do so. Their business received $81 million from the agency.

It seems that Jessen has a different definition of tried:

Dr. Jessen indicated that the two men had some reservations. “Jim and I didn’t want to continue doing what we were doing,” Dr. Jessen testified. “We tried to get out several times and they needed us, and we — we kept going.”

Soon after, the C.I.A. asked them to use the techniques to interrogate a terrorism suspect, something with which they had no experience.

“I had been in the military my whole life and — and I was committed to and used to doing what I was ordered to do,” Dr. Jessen said. “That’s the way I considered this circumstance.”

He does know that “I was just following orders” isn’t an excuse, right?

Drs. Mitchell and Jessen were sent to the jail to carry out the techniques, including waterboarding. Water was poured over a cloth covering Abu Zubaydah’s face to simulate drowning. He underwent the procedure 83 times over a period of days; at one point he was completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising from his mouth, according to the Senate report. A newly declassified August 2002 cable from the prison to headquarters noted: “At the onset of involuntary stomach and leg spasms, subject was again elevated to clear his airway, which was followed by hysterical pleas. Subject was distressed to the level that he was unable to effectively communicate or adequately engage the team.”

It’s important to remember that both the CIA later decided that Zubaydah didn’t know any more and the FBI had thought he was cooperating before they started torturing him.

It also seems Jessen and Mitchell don’t have spines:

“They kept telling me every day a nuclear bomb was going to be exploded in the United States and that because I had told them to stop, I had lost my nerve and it was going to be my fault if I didn’t continue,” Dr. Jessen testified.

Dr. Mitchell said that the C.I.A. officials told them: “‘You guys have lost your spine.’ I think the word that was actually used is that you guys are pussies. There was going to be another attack in America and the blood of dead civilians are going to be on your hands.”

So, you see, they had to continue with the torture. It’s important to remember the consequences:

Suleiman Salim, a Tanzanian captured in 2003 and also held by the C.I.A. in Afghanistan, was beaten, isolated in a dark cell for months, subjected to dousing with water and deprived of sleep. He said he suffered from flashbacks, headaches, sleeplessness and ringing in his ears.

“I don’t feel like being with people, I like being with myself, and I don’t like walking around to see people,” he said in his deposition, also through a translator. “I feel like I’m so weak and I can’t do anything.”

And it’s important to remember that they knew they were doing some terrible:

In his deposition, Dr. Mitchell revealed that he, along with others, urged the C.I.A. to destroy videotapes the agency had made of some interrogations. The destruction of the tapes became the subject of investigations both by the Justice Department and Congress.

Dr. Mitchell explained his reasoning about the graphic images of waterboarding and other practices: “I thought they were ugly and they would, you know, potentially endanger our lives by putting our pictures out so that the bad guys could see us.”

And it’s important to remember that the reason the CIA decided to torture even though the FBI said it wasn’t necessary was that they were trying to prove that Iraq was linked to al Qaeda–there was no link.

Go here for my list of real world reasons that torture is terrible.

Our President

There was another terrorist attack, this one in London, and Trump tweeted about it:

Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!

Hey, that’s actually ok. I was worried he would say something really bad. Ok, now let’s listen to the mayor of London:

“London stands in defiance against this cowardly attack on our city, our people, our values and our way of life. As the mayor of London, I want to send a clear message to the sick and evil extremists who commit these hideous crimes: we will defeat you. You will not win.”

“Your perverse, disgusting ideology has nothing to do with the true values of Islam. And you will never succeed in dividing our city,” Khan added.

“Our city is filled with great sorrow and anger tonight but also great resolve,” he said. “This is our city. These are our values and this is our way of life. London will never be broken by terrorism. … We will defeat the terrorists.”

and:

“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police, all of us need to do is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be,”

That sounds ok. What’s that, Trump is tweeting again?

At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

Oh fuck, he takes a part of a statement and twists it out of recognition … to the mayor of a city that has just been attacked. Unfortunately that’s the Trump we all know. What, there’s more?

Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!

Really, what an asshole.

And for fun, here’s some of his other tweets in the middle of those others:

We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!

People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!

The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court – & seek much tougher version!

Not only is Donald an asshole, he’s as dumb as a bag of rocks. Hey Donald, your lawyers have been trying to argue that your travel restrictions were not a ban. Good luck arguing that it’s not at the Supreme Court now.

Just ignore this

So we get a racist shooting in Kansas:

A 51-year-old man faces first-degree murder charges after shooting three men in an Olathe, Kan., bar Wednesday night, police say, reportedly telling two of them, local Garmin engineers from India, to “get out of my country.”

One of the Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died in the hospital later from his wounds.

Adam W. Purinton, 51, of Olathe, was also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting two other patrons at Austin’s Bar and Grill: Alok Madasani, 32, of Overland Park, Kan., and 24-year-old Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene.

The shooter  doesn’t seem to be Muslim so obviously this isn’t terrorism and there’s no need for Donald Trump to tweet about it. After all, Donald Trump knows that we don’t have to worry about right-wing terrorists.

Remember the Bowling Green Massacre

The Trump administration is really pushing fear of terrorism although in his typical fashion, it’s a mess:

Dozens of typos, odd inclusions and odd exclusions are the norm in this apparently hastily assembled list. Also:

It also doesn’t include any attacks by non-Muslims (such as the recent attack on Muslims in Quebec) and includes cases where it wasn’t terrorism:

Rosie Ayliffe wrote in an open letter to President Trump that the “possibility of Mia and Tom’s deaths being consequent to an Islamic terror attack was discounted in the early stages of the police investigation,” The Washington Post reported.

“My daughter’s death will not be used to further this insane persecution of innocent people,”Ayliffe wrote in the letter.

He’s pushing it so hard, that Kellyanne Conway felt the need to make up an attack:

I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.

She later admitted that she was wrong but the NY Times has decided to troll her anyway:

THE year was 2012. The place was Bowling Green, Ohio. A federal raid had uncovered what the authorities feared were the makings of a massacre. There were 18 firearms, among them two AR-15 assault rifles, an AR-10 assault rifle and a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle. There was body armor, too, and the authorities counted some 40,000 rounds of ammunition. An extremist had been arrested, and prosecutors suspected that he had been aiming to carry out a wide assortment of killings.

“This defendant, quite simply, was a well-funded, well-armed and focused one-man army of racial and religious hate,” prosecutors said in a court filing.

The man arrested and charged was Richard Schmidt, a middle-aged owner of a sports-memorabilia business at a mall in town. Prosecutors would later call him a white supremacist. His planned targets, federal authorities said, had been African-Americans and Jews. They’d found a list with the names and addresses of those to be assassinated, including the leaders of N.A.A.C.P. chapters in Michigan and Ohio.

So the closest thing to a terror attack in Bowling Green was an attack by a right wing radical, which the Trump administration no longer feels the need to counter. Good one NY Times.

Trump: don’t worry about right-wing terrorism

So, President Obama had set up a program to counter violent ideologies. I wonder what Trump will do with that? Shocking:

The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

Wonderful, if we ignore right-wing terrorists I’m sure they’ll go away.

And remember how Trump claimed only 109 people were affected by his immigration ban? It seems it might be a touch more than that:

Over 100,000 visas have been revoked as a result of President Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, an attorney for the government revealed in Alexandria federal court Friday.

The number came out during a hearing in a lawsuit filed by attorneys for two Yemeni brothers who arrived at Dulles International Airport last Saturday. They were coerced into giving up their immigrant visas, they argue, and quickly put on a return flight to Ethiopia.

That figure was immediately disputed by the State Department, which said the number of visas revoked was roughly 60,000. Virginia Elliott, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department, said the revocation has no impact on the legal status of people already in the United States. If those people were to leave U.S. soil and try to return, the visas would no longer be valid.

And this was done in secret so it would be harder for judges to help the people trying to get into the US. The article also talks about the possible contempt of court:

Brinkema declined to hold government officials in contempt for the way they handled travelers from the seven banned countries over the weekend, saying she did not know enough Friday to make that determination. Virginia had cited news reports and affidavits from lawmakers that, contrary to an order Brinkema issued last weekend, Customs and Border Protection officers denied immigrants access to lawyers.

“There were so many lawyers there willing to help, and not a single one got access,” Raphael said.

Reuveni said that security at Dulles bars lawyers from anything but telephone access to people in screening.

That sounds pretty cut and dried to me.

Not a terrorist

Via here, we get this:

Federal prosecutors say a Tooele County man placed a pipe bomb against the door of a BLM cabin and pushed the button on a remote detonator multiple times, with no result.

His mistake? He’d unwittingly assigned an undercover FBI agent to build the bomb.

William Keebler, 57, of Stockton, was arrested early Wednesday morning in Nephi and appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court, charged by federal prosecutors with attempting to blow up federal property at an Arizona Strip BLM facility that he had allegedly scouted with Robert LaVoy Finicum.

Charging documents say Keebler is the commander of a citizen militia group headquartered in Stockton. He was present at the April 2014 standoff with federal land administrators near the Bunkerville, Nev., ranch of Cliven Bundy, and he was an associate of Finicum, who was killed in late January by Oregon state police after he tried to avoid their roadblock in eastern Oregon amid an occupation of a federal wildlife refuge. The Tribune wrote about Keebler in December 2011, when he worked as an outfitter guiding coyote sport hunters.

Undercover FBI employees became members of Keebler’s “Patriots Defense Force,” charging documents say, and trained for an “anti-government action” where, Keebler told members, they would be “going on the offensive.”

Keebler’s group scouted the BLM office in the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City as a potential target, but found it unsuitable due to the commercial and homeless activity, charging documents state.

Prosecutors allege that Keebler told the group it would target BLM facilities in “the middle of nowhere,” damaging vehicles and buildings. He asked a militia member — who happened to be an undercover FBI employee — to build an explosive device.

and this links to the Federal complaint. He didn’t want to hurt anyone … this time, but felt he might have to in the future and had the FBI agent build two pipe bombs with the second one to be used against law enforcement if needed.

So, this guy was at one armed insurrection against the US government, worked with a man who was at another armed insurrection against the US government, and was now preparing to go on the offensive against the US government. But somehow this isn’t front page news at any of the major news outlets. The Washington Post has a small article … with no comments. The Boston Globe has no articles. The NY Times has a slightly longer article, but it was just taken off the wire. the LA Times has nothing. CNN has nothing. Gee, I wonder if he’s white and Christian (Mormon)? That was a rhetorical question.

As an aside, the end of the Salt Lake Tribune article has this:

In 2001, the BLM worked with Bundy descendants to rebuild the town’s iconic white schoolhouse after it had been destroyed by arsonists.

See, we can all get along–at least the Bundy’s can get along with the BLM if the BLM is doing exactly what they want. Here’s a story:

Clay Bundy, Orvel Bundy’s son and a builder in St. George, has been among the dozens of volunteers who have been helping employees from the Bureau of Land Management to restore the school since October. The BLM owns the land the school sits on.

“Someone totally wiped away our history with one match,” said Clay Bundy.

“It’s been phenomenal participation,” he said. “We got most of the outside done on two Saturdays. We had 50, 60 people and their kids, and it was just like an old-fashioned barn raising. When you do something yourself, with your own hands, there’s a pride there.”

The schoolhouse’s walls, roof, windows and insulation have all been finished. An electrician set up a generator, which will provide electricity for the first time, and a new concrete base will anchor the building.

Clay Bundy estimates the volunteers will finish the inside of the schoolhouse by the end of spring.

BLM spokeswoman Bette Arial, who has called the schoolhouse an “oasis” where people visiting the strip can stop, reminisce and learn the region’s history, said the community will continue to keep the schoolhouse doors open to the public.

For his part, Orvel Bundy is glad to see the school being restored.

“It’s a symbol that there were people here once,” he said. “If the schoolhouse was gone, people might think that there never was a community in Mount Trumbull.”

Oh my god, one of the original pieces of Bundyville is owned by the BLM. We need to protest this. What does Clay have to say about his cousins?

Even some in the extended Bundy family have mixed feelings. Clay Bundy, a cousin of Cliven Bundy, still grazes cattle on the harsh northern Arizona land that once held the settlement commonly called Bundyville. (Officially it was Mount Trumbull.) He said he supported his cousin’s yearslong fight over grazing, and wanted to see Western states take control of the federal land in their borders. But he said Ammon Bundy should end the occupation.

“In my idea, he should pack his bags and come home,” Clay Bundy said.

See Clay is a moderate. Shouldn’t he be protesting about the BLM owning Bundyville though?

I stand with the LGBT community

Another terrible event in the US:

A gunman who pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State opened fire in a crowded gay nightclub here early Sunday, killing 50 people and injuring 53 others in the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

The man who did this had good reasons:

‘‘We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry,’’ the father told NBC News. ‘‘They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.’ ‘‘

Oh, a family man:

But there also were early signs of emotional trouble and a volatile temper, according to a woman who was briefly married to Mateen. The woman, who spoke on the condition on anonymity, citing fears for her safety, described Mateen as an abusive husband who beat her repeatedly while they were married.

‘‘He was not a stable person,’’ the ex-wife told The Washington Post. ‘‘He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.’’

You know what, that’s enough about him because fuck him.

But think about it, he was investigated by the FBI twice, beat his wife, and had no trouble getting guns. Fuck the NRA

You knew Trump would have something to say:

Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!

Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!

I have been hitting Obama and Crooked Hillary hard on not using the term Radical Islamic Terror. Hillary just broke-said she would now use!

When he says he was right, he means in calling for an end to allowing Muslims to immigrate to the US, but this guy was born and grew up in the US. And I’ve always found the whole ‘they won’t use the correct words’ stupid. Is Osama bin Laden less dead because President Obama doesn’t want to antagonize all Muslims?

For fun, let’s look at a small side story from yesterday:

A New Mexico man is accused of fatally shooting his wife and four daughters in their home and then fleeing in his car, according to authorities Sunday.

Juan David Villegas-Hernandez remained at large a day after the five victims were found dead, Roswell police said.

A relative who went to check on the family late Saturday discovered the bodies, police spokesman Todd Wildermuth said.

This type of thing, a woman and her 4 daughters that were 14, 11, 7, and 3, is not big news.  Mass shootings, even ones involving multiple children, are normal.

Fuck that.

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