The Trump administration has announced that it delivered the Senate Torture Report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret prison network to a U.S. federal district court in Washington D.C.
In compliance with the habeas corpus cases of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, the Trump administration sent a copy of the report that its predecessor “had previously delivered to the Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs” the Miami Herald reported.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler notified the court that “the government deposited for the Court Information Security Officers (CISOs) for secure storage a complete and un-redacted electronic copy of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.”
Both Nashiri and Zubaydah have been unlawfully detained in Guantanamo Bay for years, and have yet to be charged with a crime, after they were captured in a raid in Pakistan 15 years ago.
Nashiri and Zubaydah were charged in a military commission with planning the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy ship, among other terrorism-related offenses. Both men were arrested in 2002 and held in a CIA black site and tortured for years before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay in 2006.
Zubaydah helped run the Khaldan camp, a mujahideen training facility set up in Afghanistan with CIA help during the Soviet occupation. In other words, Zubaydah was then an American ally in the fight against the Soviets, one of President Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.”
Both men are being tried for the death penalty, despite no legal basis.
In the report, the CIA admitted to waterboarding Nashiri and Zubaydah among other harsh human rights violations against the two men and others at the facility and various “black sites.”
The torture went on during the George W. Bush administration, and then when President Obama took office, and Senate compiled its infamous “torture report,” he refused to turn copies to any court.
Judge Royce Lamberth “made it clear that the failure to comply with his order would be dealt with harshly,” Rick Kammen, Nashiri’s lawyer said.
In Zubaydah’s parole hearing, Kat Cosgrove, a national security team associate at Human Rights First noted that because he has been “held for as long as he’s been held without charge is a problem. It’s a problem with a number of detainees at Guantanamo. That’s why this process is so important.”
The damning 6,700-page report documents abuses in the CIA program that used extreme torture techniques including—waterboarding, force feeding, rectal abuse and other psychological torture such as threats of sexual violence, using high decibel music, sleep deprivation, etc.
The CIA then hacked the computers of the Senate committee responsible for its oversight and spied on them to try to cover up the report. They issued an apology and later accidentally destroyed the documents involving their torture practices. That’s not all they destroyed though—they destroyed videotapes of the torture too.
FBI agents angrily protested the aggressive methods that were used on Zubaydah sparking an internal battle within the U.S. intelligence community. One agent even threatened to arrest the CIA interrogators.
A former Guantanamo Bay guard also spoke out claiming that the CIA murdered detainees, and covered it up as a triple suicide.
“They would have had to all three tie their hands and feet together, shove rags down their throats, put a mask over their face, made a noose, hung it from the ceiling on the side of the cellblock, jumped into the noose and hung themselves simultaneously,” the ex-Marine told Vice News in an explosive video interview.
Luke Rudkowski and Abby Martin confronted Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, about torture in 2012:
Trump’s administration has argued for reinstating the torture program with its new CIA director, Mike Pompeo, even saying that he “will consult with experts at the agency and at other organizations in the U.S. government on whether the Army Field Manual uniform application is an impediment to gathering vital intelligence to protect the country or whether any rewrite of the Army Field Manual is needed.”
President Trump has made it clear that he believes torture is an effective method of interrogation, and while there is speculation that his future executive actions will include support for allowing torture at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, his rhetoric raises questions about the torture methods that will be allowed in prisons in the United States.
The draft of Trump’s executive order titled, “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants” was first reported by the New York Times. The draft indicates that Trump will push for reopening “secret prisons” outside of the rules established by the Geneva Convention.
This raises the question… Will those “secret prisons” include the ones located on U.S. soil?
In October 2015, The Guardian published an in-depth report following an investigation into a secretive “off-the-books“ interrogation facility known as “Homan Square” in Chicago.
Located on Chicago’s West Side in North Homan Square, the unnamed facility was so secretive that most police officers outside of the district did not know what was actually going on inside.
Over the last 10 years, thousands of people have been “kidnapped” by police and held in the holding and interrogation center. The public had no way of knowing who was being held at the facility or what was happening, and when the families of victims and reporters started to to ask questions, they found most of the time police did not have answers.
Out of the 7,351 arrests at Homan Square that have been disclosed since 2004, Chicago police officers not working at the facility would have been able to find information on only 275 of them—or less than 4 percent—according to The Guardian.
The building is a former Sears warehouse in a largely minority low-income neighborhood on the city’s West Side; it is neither a jail nor booking station. As attorney Flint Taylor described, “Homan, to me, is an intelligence-gathering place” akin to a CIA “black site.”
In October, Taylor filed a US federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of three clients who allege they suffered multiple unconstitutional abuses while detained there.
On the basis of internal Chicago police records, The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman reported that officers had brought thousands of detainees—mostly black, often low-level drug offenders—to Homan Square, where they were essentially “disappeared,” or held and questioned without access to attorneys or phone calls.
Ackerman noted that only around 68 of the detainees had access to a lawyer or were able to make their whereabouts known to family or friends, and about 65 percent of the detentions took place after May 16, 2011, when Rahm Emanuel took office.
The only reason those few cases were even traceable was because the interrogations resulted in an arrest. No one knows how many more people were detained for a brief period of time, abused, interrogated, and then released.
The city already has been the target of three civil lawsuits this year by former Homan detainees. One of Taylor’s clients alleged that while he was detained there in 2013, one officer held a knife to his neck and another shackled him to a bench in a cell without food, water, or bathroom access. This treatment, the suit alleges, came after the man refused to divulge information about drug dealing in his neighborhood.
After officials released video from last October’s fatal police shooting of Ronald Johnson, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch accepted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s invitation, announcing a DOJ probe into the Chicago Police Department’s use of force.
Cook County commissioner Richard Boykin—who has toured the facility and wants it shut down—joined Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) in hand-delivering a letter to former US Attorney General Eric Holder seeking a federal investigation into the complaints in March.
Citing new revelations from The Guardian, Boykin repeated the request in October in a letter to Lynch, Holder’s successor. (In her press conference on Monday, Lynch indicated she might be open to an expanded investigation, and referred to the Homan Square concerns as “extremely important”) The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which is also pushing for a federal investigation of Homan Square, and local Black Lives Matter activists protested in front the facility last December.
The city has already approved a $5.5 million reparations fund for victims of a previous torture scandal involving police commander Jon Burge and his band of rogue detectives.
In the 1970s and ’80s, they were accused of abusing suspects, mostly minorities, employing interrogation tactics such as near-suffocation with plastic bags, cattle prod shocks, flashlight beatings, and mock “Russian roulette“.
Shawn Whirl spent nearly 25 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit after Burge’s detectives tortured him into confessing. Judges threw out his conviction earlier this year and he is finally a free man.
The duty of conducting an advanced probe into the events and happenings at Homan Square “evidence holding facility” falls directly on President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
With Trump recently saying once again that he believes “torture works,” as a means to ascertain information, this causes speculation about how prisons such as the one at Chicago’s Homan Square will operate in the future, given its history.
This article (Trump’s Support For Torture Raises Questions About Future of Chicago’s ‘Black Site’ Prison) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to DannyQuest and WeAreChange.org. If you find any grammatical mistakes or factual errors in this article please email them to Danny@wearechange.org
Four people have been taken into custody in Chicago after apparently kidnapping and brutalizing a special-needs man they claimed supports Donald Trump — all while stupidly streaming their violent crimes on Facebook Live. Police have stated that the victim was held by the group for between 24 and 48 hours.
“The victim, who has special needs, was a high-risk missing person from northwest suburban Crystal Lake, police say,” CBS reported.
In the 30-minute long footage, streamed live onto Facebook on Tuesday by a woman named Brittany Herring, the deranged lunatic is seen laughing as the tied up and gagged man is having his sweatshirt cut from his body with a knife.
WARNING, EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING CONTENT:
The group, all of whom are 18-years-old and black, can be heard repeatedly saying “F— DONALD TRUMP,” as they drink what appears to be alcohol and repeatedly assault the unidentified man, who is white. They continuously mock and torment him throughout the ordeal, at one point forcing him to drink from the toilet.
They are seen cutting the man’s scalp, kicking him, choking him, and hitting him as the deranged woman laughs. Their victim is repeatedly kicked and hit, his scalp is cut, all while he is tied up with his mouth taped shut.
CPD press conference regarding disturbing live social media video depicting a battery ; victim was tied up https://t.co/jDrjfz4sJV
During a press conference on Wednesday evening, Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin told reporters that the man was an “acquaintance” of the assailants, as he attended a school with one of the men. They also reported that the initial investigation is indicating that it appears he may have initially went with the man he knew willingly.
“It’s sickening,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during the conference. “I’ve been a cop for 28 years, and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see in a lifetime — but it still amazes me how you still see things that you really shouldn’t. I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.”
Disturbingly, the commander appeared to downplay the severity of the torture as “kids being kids.”
“Kids make stupid mistakes, I shouldn’t call them kids, they are legally adults, but they are young adults and the make stupid decisions,” Duffin said. “That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime, determine whether or not this is sincere or stupid ranting and raving.”
The police found the man walking around disoriented and transported him to a local hospital. Officers subsequently responded to a battery at the location, and tied the signs of struggle at the scene to the disoriented male. It was not until later that the police learned of the video of the horrific crime.
Following the press conference, #BLMKidnapping trended nationally on Twitter. Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the hashtag kept disappearing from user’s trending lists — including the one visible from the We Are Change account. The hashtag #BrittanyHerring soon began trending instead.
Regarding the disturbing video that surfaced on social media of a battery: Incident is under investigation/suspects are being questioned pic.twitter.com/GGi3qs9rGv
The sick individuals fit the classic textbook definition of terrorists, “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” There is plenty of violence, and their profanity-laced ranting about Trump certainly seems to cover the political aspect.
There is no mention of terrorism or it being a hate crime in the local news reports, and no charges have yet been filed against the depraved criminals. The department has stated that charges can be expected in the next 24-hours.
The man is reportedly safe from his captors, and being treated in a local hospital, Fox 32 reported on Wednesday. Police have confirmed that he is traumatized.
Cassandra Fairbanks is a DC-based writer and political commentator who has been published in a range of outlets including Sputnik News, Teen Vogue, TeleSUR, the International Business Times, and Bipartisan Report.
CIA Director John Brennan, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. (Photo Illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP, Reuters)
Senate report on CIA torture is one step closer to disappearing
The CIA inspector general’s office — the spy agency’s internal watchdog — has acknowledged it “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of a mammoth Senate torture report at the same time lawyers for the Justice Department were assuring a federal judge that copies of the document were being preserved, Yahoo News has learned.
While another copy of the report exists elsewhere at the CIA, the erasure of the controversial document by the office charged with policing agency conduct has alarmed the U.S. senator who oversaw the torture investigation and reignited a behind-the-scenes battle over whether the full unabridged report should ever be released, according to multiple intelligence community sources familiar with the incident.
The deletion of the document has been portrayed by agency officials to Senate investigators as an “inadvertent” foul-up by the inspector general. In what one intelligence community source described as a series of errors straight “out of the Keystone Cops,” CIA inspector general officials deleted an uploaded computer file with the report and then accidentally destroyed a disk that also contained the document, filled with thousands of secret files about the CIA’s use of “enhanced” interrogation methods.
“It’s breathtaking that this could have happened, especially in the inspector general’s office — they’re the ones that are supposed to be providing accountability within the agency itself,” said Douglas Cox, a City University of New York School of Law professor who specializes in tracking the preservation of federal records. “It makes you wonder what was going on over there?”
The incident was privately disclosed to the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department last summer, the sources said. But the destruction of a copy of the sensitive report has never been made public. Nor was it reported to the federal judge who, at the time, was overseeing a lawsuit seeking access to the still classified document under the Freedom of Information Act, according to a review of court files in the case.
A CIA spokesman, while not publicly commenting on the circumstances of the erasure, emphasized that another unopened computer disk with the full report has been, and still is, locked in a vault at agency headquarters. “I can assure you that the CIA has retained a copy,” wrote Dean Boyd, the agency’s chief of public affairs, in an email.
The 6,700-page report, the product of years of work by the Senate Intelligence Committee, contains meticulous details, including original CIA cables and memos, on the agency’s use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other aggressive interrogation methods at “black site” prisons overseas. A 500-page executive summary was released in December 2014 by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s outgoing chair. It concluded that the CIA’s interrogations were far more brutal than the agency had publicly acknowledged and produced often unreliable intelligence. The findings drew sharp dissents from Republicans on the panel and from four former CIA directors.
But the full three-volume report, which formed the basis for the executive summary, has never been released. In light of a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling last week that the document is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, there are new questions about whether it will ever be made public, or even be preserved.
After receiving inquiries from Yahoo News, Feinstein, now the vice chair of the committee,wrote CIA Director John Brennan last Friday night asking him to “immediately” provide a new copy of the full report to the inspector general’s office.
“Your prompt response will allay my concern that this was more than an ‘accident,’” Feinstein wrote, adding that the full report includes “extensive information directly related to the IG’s ongoing oversight of the CIA.” (CIA spokesman Boyd declined to comment.)
The CIA allegedly tortured two terror suspects, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, in its secret facility in Poland. Shown here in this 2005 photo is a watchtower near the Polish intelligence school just outside of Stare Kiejkuty, Poland.Ironically in light of the inspector general’s actions, the intelligence committee’s investigation was triggered by the CIA’s admission in 2007 that it had destroyed another key piece of evidence — hours of videotapes of the waterboarding of two “high value” detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
According to a brief by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is seeking release of the full report under the Freedom of Information Act, the document “describes widespread and horrific human rights abuses by the CIA” and details the agency’s “evasions and misrepresentations” to Congress, the courts and the public.
To ensure the document was circulated widely within the government, and to preserve it for future declassification, Feinstein, in her closing days as chair, instructed that computer disks containing the full report be sent to the CIA and its inspector general, as well as the other U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Aides said Feinstein specifically included a separate copy for the CIA inspector general because she wanted the office to undertake a full review. Her goal, as she wrote at the time, was to ensure “that the system of detention and interrogation described in this report is never repeated.”
But her successor, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, quickly asked for all of the disks to be returned, even threatening at one point to send a committee security officer to retrieve them. He contended the volumes are congressional records that were never intended for executive branch, much less public, distribution.
The administration, while not complying with Burr’s demand to return the disks, has essentially sided with him against releasing them to the public. Early last year, Justice lawyers instructed federal agencies to keep their copies of the document under lock and key, unopened, lest the courts treat them as government records subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Weeks later, in an effort to head off a motion for “emergency relief” by the ACLU, a Justice Department lawyer told U.S. Judge James Boasberg that no copies of the report would be returned to Congress or destroyed; the government “can assure the Court that it will preserve the status quo” until the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was resolved, wrote Vesper Mei, a senior counsel in the Justice Department’s civil division, in a February 2015 filing.
But last August, a chagrined Christopher R. Sharpley, the CIA’s acting inspector general, alerted the Senate intelligence panel that his office’s copy of the report had vanished. According to sources familiar with Sharpley’s account, he explained it this way: When it received its disk, the inspector general’s office uploaded the contents onto its internal classified computer system and destroyed the disk in what Sharpley described as “the normal course of business.” Meanwhile someone in the IG office interpreted the Justice Department’s instructions not to open the file to mean it should be deleted from the server — so that both the original and the copy were gone.
At some point, it is not clear when, after being informed by CIA general counsel Caroline Krass that the Justice Department wanted all copies of the document preserved, officials in the inspector general’s office undertook a search to find its copy of the report. They discovered, “S***, we don’t have one,” said one of the sources briefed on Sharpley’s account.
Sharpley was apologetic about the destruction and promised to ask CIA director Brennan for another copy. But as of last week, he seems not to have received it; after Yahoo News began asking about the matter, he called intelligence committee staffers to ask if he could get a new copy from them.
Sharpley also told Senate committee aides he had reported the destruction of the disk to the CIA’s general counsel’s office, and Krass passed that information along to the Justice Department. But there is no record in court filings that department lawyers ever informed the judge overseeing the case that the inspector general’s office had destroyed its copy of the report.
The episode was viewed among intelligence committee aides as another embarrassment for the inspector general’s office. Months earlier, a CIA accountability board had overruled the IG’s findings that agency officials had improperly searched computers used by Senate investigators working on the report. Sharpley has been serving as acting inspector general since his predecessor, David Buckley, resigned in January 2015. The White House has yet to nominate a successor.
A Justice Department spokesman said on Friday that, since the inspector general’s office is, by statute, a “unit” of the CIA, and the agency still had its copy, “the status quo … was preserved.” But Feinstein, in a separate letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch last Friday, took a different view: She asked that the Justice Department “notify the federal courts” involved in the Freedom of Information Act litigation about the destruction.
At issue in the ongoing legal dispute is whether the report is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The administration says no, and a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals last week agreed, ruling that it is a congressional document not subject to FOIA, under the terms of a 2009 letter by which the Senate panel had received access to CIA files. The judges did write, however, that the executive branch does have “some discretion to use the full report for internal purposes.” The ACLU said on Friday it was “considering our options for appeal”; CIA spokesman Boyd said the agency’s copy of the report would be retained “pending the final result of the litigation.” But he pointedly made no mention of what would happen to the CIA’s copy of the report after that.
In a letter last month, the senators expressed concerns that federal agencies might destroy their copies of the report. “No part of the executive branch has ruled out destroying or sending back the full report to Congress after the conclusion of the current FOIA litigation,” they wrote in an April 13, 2016, letter. A similar point was raised by more than 30 advocacy groups who noted in a separate letter to Ferriero last month that the archivist had a duty to act whenever there was a threat that government records are at risk of “unauthorized destruction.”
Ferriero on April 29 wrote back to Feinstein that he would not rule on the question until the FOIA court case is concluded. And last week, Burr renewed his call to have all copies of the report sent back — presumably a way to ensure they are never publicly released. Citing the new Court of Appeals ruling, “Sen. Burr anticipates the return of these full reports to the Senate Intelligence Committee,” a spokeswoman said.
CIA agents “impersonated Senate staffers” while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was producing its report on the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, according to Huffington Post.
“According to sources familiar with the CIA inspector general report that details the alleged abuses by agency officials,” journalists Ali Watkins and Ryan Grim reported, “CIA agents impersonated Senate staffers in order to gain access to Senate communications and drafts of the Intelligence Committee investigation.” (more…)
After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.
Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.
Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.