en Russian Oligarchs Wave Goodbye To Visa, Switch To Chinese Credit Card <p>So much for the "Russia is becoming increasingly isolated" meme that the West would like many to believe. As Russia continues to sign de-dollarization deals and trade agreements with its BRICS allies while pushing ahead with retaliatory actions against the US and Europe, it appears the 'sanctioned' friends of Putin are taking matters into their own hands. Billionaire oligarch Gennady Timchenko, among the first to be hit by travel bans and asset freezes by the US, has <strong><a href="">decided to tear up his Visa and Mastercard, shifting all his credit cards to China's UnionPay</a>, </strong>noting that <strong>"in some ways it is more secure than Visa - at least the Americans can't reach it."</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Western meme goes something like this...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>Russia risks becoming a pariah state if it does not behave properly</strong>,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sky news this week.</p> </blockquote> <p>However, after various deals with BRICS and Middle East nations, it appears Russia can find plenty of 'friends'.</p> <p>And now the sanctioned oligarchs and de-dollarizing...<a href=""><em> (via ITAR-TASS Google Translate)</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko, because of the U.S. sanctions imposed against him in March 2014 after the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian Federation, has replaced by Visa and MasterCard for card payment system China Union Pay and wallet with cash.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Timchenko March 20 was included in the U.S. Treasury list of persons with whom the U.S. companies and citizens have the right to maintain the business relationship, including U.S. registered Visa and MasterCard.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Businessman said that stopped using these cards payment systems. <strong>"We'll have to, as before, to carry a purse with cash,"</strong> - complained Timchenko, adding that also enjoys card Chinese Union Pay.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"As the sanctions imposed, it immediately issued," - he said. <strong>"Excellent work! And accept card in many places. In some ways more secure than Visa. At least Americans will not reach"</strong> - said Timchenko.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Inclusion of a businessman in the U.S. <strong>sanctions list created trouble for the payments and for his wife. "Wife Gennady Timchenko had the surgery and could not even pay for it, because it was blocked accounts and cards,"</strong> - said Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 17 during his "straight line", describing the incident as a violation of human rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Putin learned about this case, held after the announcement of sanctions meeting of the Russian Geographical Society, co-trustee of which is Timchenko. <strong>"Vladimir Putin asked how we feel ourselves to new realities. </strong>I said, well, all right, but there are nuances. And he told the story that President then mentioned," - said the businessman.</p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *<br />While Obama hopes that pressure on the oligarchs will creat some civil strife for Putin, we worry that it will merely corner him into survival mode with signioficant repurcussions for the west.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="416" height="375" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> BRICs China Google Middle East Vladimir Putin Sat, 02 Aug 2014 02:17:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 492229 at Suddenly, Wall Street Is Bailing On Housing <p>Among this week&#39;s most notable moves was the decompression of high-yield credit spreads to near 9 month wides (and continued outflows). What went notably-under-reported by the mainstream media, however, was <strong>an even bigger selloff in US mortgage bonds</strong>. While JPMorgan is unable to see &quot;any fundamental reason&quot; for the plunge in prices, the worrying indication from the magnitude of the drop relative to volumes is that <strong>liquidity has evaporated</strong>. As <a href="">Bloomberg notes</a>, with dealer inventories sold down (due to new regulations that make repo and agency securities unpalatable), they have no way to &#39;smooth&#39; the selling when investors want to exit positions. Weakness of this magnitude when the 10Y gained only 2bps on the week is a <strong>big wake-up call that traders are looking for the exits from housing debt and the door is very narrow</strong>.</p> <p><a href="">Bloomberg warns</a>, <strong>prices of a new type of U.S. mortgage bonds are plunging this month, teaching investors a lesson on the risks to markets wrought by the growing constraints on Wall Street banks.</strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Here&#39;s why...</p> <p>Thanks to the Fed, <strong>turnover and volume in Agencies has been crushed...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="354" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>as <strong>turnover in most markets depends on repo</strong> (remember how important we explained repo was?)</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 365px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>because Fed/regulators have made agency/repo uneconomic...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 627px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bloomberg explains,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Dealers have reduced their bond holdings in response to rules ranging from the international Basel III accord on banks&rsquo; capital to the U.S. Volcker Rule limiting their ability to make bets with their own money. </strong>An expansion of Finra&rsquo;s Trace trade disclosures to more types of debt is also increasing risks and cutting into profits for market makers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Inventories of corporate securities and other debt without government backing at the biggest dealers fell to $56 billion in March 2013 from as much as $235 billion in 2007</strong>, according to the last Federal Reserve data before a change in calculations.</p> </blockquote> <p>and so dealers have dramatically reduced inventory to cope with market movements...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 340px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><em>Bloomberg adds,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>As a few holders continued selling the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities without an immediate emergence of investor demand, <strong>most of the dealers active in trading the debt &ldquo;disappeared,&rdquo;</strong> said Vishal Khanduja, a money manager at Bethesda, Maryland-based Calvert, which oversees about $13 billion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Until recently, &ldquo;everybody wanted to trade it: I think there were 10 to 12 dealers messaging me and looking to make markets,&rdquo; Khanduja said in a telephone interview.<strong> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s partially indicative of the regulations&rsquo; impact on their balance sheets.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>None of this matters all the time the virtuous circle continues of billions in Fed money driving down spreads/rates across the board... <strong>but when investors get itchy fingers and decide to sell, this happens...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 435px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As Bloomberg reports,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>the $8.2 billion of risk-sharing securities sold in the last year by government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can shift their losses from homeowner defaults to bond buyers. <strong>One slice of a deal issued in May traded at 95.7 cents on the dollar yesterday, down from 99.7 cents at the end of last month</strong>, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong><u>A plunge like this in one specific mortgage bond as small doors and large crowds do not play well with one another.</u></strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>As Bloomberg adds,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;It could be symbolic of what could happen more broadly in a real &lsquo;risk-off&rsquo; environment,&rdquo;</strong> Bill Murray, a New York-based money manager at $14 billion hedge-fund firm CQS, said in an interview.</p> </blockquote> <p>There is little that the dealers can do if the selling continues on Monday as &#39;any&#39; credit risk positions are unwound. The problem is that the Fed&#39;s dominance of the market and unintended consequences of controlling the repo/shadow-banking system have left bond markets more fragile than they have ever been.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 526px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Charts: FINRA and Citi&#39;s Matt King</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="457" height="331" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Fannie Mae Federal Reserve FINRA Freddie Mac None Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:35:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 492228 at Internationalists Are Pushing The World Towards Globally Engineered Economic Warfare <p><em>Submitted by <a href="">Brandon Smith via</a>,</em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Over a year ago I published an essay entitled <a href="">&#39;The Linchpin Lie: How Global Collapse Will Be Sold To The Masses&#39;</a>. This essay addressed efforts by the ever malicious Rand Corporation to create a false narrative surrounding the possibility of global collapse. Linchpin Theory, as it was named by it&#39;s originator and Rand Corp. employee, John Casti, is I believe the very future of propaganda. <strong>Every engineered crisis needs a clever cover story</strong>, and in Linchpin Theory, we are told that all human catastrophe is a mere natural product of the &ldquo;overcomplexity&rdquo; within various systems. Yes, there is no accounting of false flag geopolitics or elitist conspiracy, no acknowledgment of deliberately initiated chaos; such things do not exist in the world of &ldquo;linchpins&rdquo;. Rather, the Rand Corporation would have us believe that the world is a massive game of Jenga, and the supporting pieces just remove themselves from the teetering structure by magical and coincidental causality.</p> <p>Today, the linchpin lie is now being carefully inserted into the mainstream narrative. I can&#39;t say I was shocked to hear Alan Greenspan use its basic premise when he recently stated that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<em><strong>I have come to the conclusion that bubbles&hellip;are a function of human nature. We don&rsquo;t have enough observations, but my tentative hypothesis to what we&rsquo;re dealing with is that both a necessary and sufficient condition for the emergence of a bubble is a protracted period of stable economic activity at low inflation. So it is a very difficult policy problem. I do believe that central banks that believe they can quell bubbles are living in a state of unrealism.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>It is important that we understand what Greenspan is actually doing here. The former Fed chairman is asserting that economic bubbles like the derivatives bubble of 2008 are a &ldquo;natural function&rdquo;, like the seasons, and are out of the control of central bankers. The truth is that central bankers have never tried to &ldquo;quell&rdquo; economic bubbles, they have been deliberately creating them in order to position the global economy into a crisis which they can then exploit. Greenspan is not only diverting blame for all the past and future economic crashes central banks have engineered, he is also setting the propaganda stage for a great change in the dynamic of the central banking concept - what the IMF&#39;s Christine Lagarde calls the &ldquo;global economic reset&rdquo;.</p> <p>The current central banking structure gives the illusion of separation and sovereignty. Most people who have not researched the nature of the international banking cartel believe that the Federal Reserve, for instance, is a separate national entity from the Central Bank of Russia, or the Central Bank of China. They believe that these institutions act of their own accord rather than in concert with each other. The reality is, there is no Federal Reserve. There is no Central Bank of Russia. There are no separate entities. There are no Western banks and there are no BRICS. All of these banking edifices are merely front organizations for global financiers, as Council on Foreign Relations insider (and friend to the Rockefellers) Carroll Quigley made clear in his book, Tragedy And Hope:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&quot;It must not be felt that the heads of the world&#39;s chief central banks were themselves substantive powers in world finance. They were not. Rather they were the technicians and agents of the dominant investment bankers of their own countries, who had raised them up, and who were perfectly capable of throwing them down. The substantive financial powers of the world were in the hands of these investment bankers who remained largely behind the scenes in their own unincorporated private banks. These formed a system of international cooperation and national dominance which was more private, more powerful, and more secret than that of their agents in the central banks. &quot;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>A &ldquo;global economic reset&rdquo;, I suspect, will consist of a grand shift away from covert cooperation between central banks to an OPENLY centralized one world banking system, predicated on the concepts put forward by the IMF and led by the Bank of International Settlements, which has always been behind the scenes <a href="">handing down commandments</a> to the seemingly separate central banks of nations.</p> <p>In order for this &ldquo;reset&rdquo; to be achieved, however, the establishment needs a historically monumental distraction. A distraction so confounding and terrifying that by the time the public has a chance to examine the situation rationally, the elites have already tightened the noose.</p> <p>I have been warning ever since the beginning of the derivatives/debt collapse of 2007/2008 that the international financiers and globalists who created the artificially low interest rates and fiat lending bonanza would one day be required to fashion a considerably dangerous event in order <a href="">to trigger the final collapse of the dollar based monetary system</a> and replace it with a new currency (or basket of currencies), along with a new centralized financial authority.</p> <p>This distracting event would have to rely on three very important strategies in order to succeed -</p> <p><strong>1)</strong> The use of what I call the &ldquo;scattershot effect&rdquo;; a swarm of smaller crises growing exponentially until it blurs together to create one dynamic calamity.</p> <p><strong>2)</strong> The use of multiple false paradigms in order to confuse the masses and pit them against one another in an absurd fight over fake and meaningless causes.</p> <p><strong>3)</strong> The use of deceptive benevolence on the part of the financial elite as they tap dance in to act as global &ldquo;mediators&rdquo;, ready to save the public from itself.</p> <p>The end result would be a new brand of &ldquo;world war&rdquo; rather unique to history.</p> <p>When most people imagine WWIII, they immediately envision images of nuclear bombs and mushroom clouds, however, I believe that when world war erupts, it may progress far differently from our cinematic assumptions. Regional conflicts are very likely, there is no doubt, but if one places himself in the shoes of the elites, one realizes that all out mechanized nuclear Armageddon is not really necessary to achieve the desired result of global governance.</p> <p>Economic warfare alone could be extremely effective in initiating full spectrum fiscal implosion as well as mass starvation, mass panic, and mass desperation. All the signs lead me to believe that financial combat and 4<sup>th</sup> generation warfare will be used in the place of large armies and missiles.</p> <p><strong>The Scattershot Effect</strong></p> <p>Consider the sheer scope and number of crisis situations that have reached explosive proportions just in the past six months.</p> <p>Syria <a href="">continues to destabilize</a> due to ISIS insurgents supported by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel; it is a horrifying storm which is now bleeding into other nations such as Iraq.</p> <p>Iraq is on the verge of complete disintegration as the same western organized ISIS moves <a href="">towards the outskirts of Baghdad. </a></p> <p>Libya has imploded, <a href="">with the American embassy evacuated</a>, as well as the French and British, as various militias battle for supremacy.</p> <p>The Ukraine crisis is nearing mutation into another beast entirely after the attack on Malaysian flight MH17. In just the past week, the EU has instituted <a href="">sanctions against Russia</a>, fighting has become even more fierce <a href="">around Donetsk</a>, Russia has been accused of <a href="">firing artillery into Ukraine</a>, and the U.S. now claims that Russia has <a href="">violated the terms </a>of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty.</p> <p>In the meantime, the Federal Reserve continues to taper QE3 while ignoring the unprecedented equities bubble they have birthed in the stock market, as well as refusing to answer the question as to who will actually buy U.S. Treasury debt if they do not? Our secret friend from Belgium? And what if this secret friend is, as I suspect, <a href="">actually the IMF/BIS global loan shark duo? </a>What then? Do we become yet another third world African-style debtor owing our very infrastructure to a financial bureaucracy on the other side of the world?</p> <p>And what about the Baltic Dry Index, one of the few measures of global shipping demand that cannot be manipulated by outside money interests? Well, the BDI is back down to historic lows, <a href="">falling 65% since January</a>, signaling that the so-called &ldquo;economic recovery&rdquo; is not at all what it is cracked up to be.</p> <p>Add to this the deluge of illegal immigration on the southern border, aided by the Obama Administration, as well as possible presidential impeachment and lawsuit proceedings, and you have a recipe for total chaos of the fiscal variety.</p> <p>If the first six to seven months of 2014 have been this frenetic, how bad will the next six months be?</p> <p><strong>False Paradigms</strong></p> <p>We are all aware of the prevalence of the false Left/Right paradigm in American politics. Hopefully most people in the Liberty Movement understand, for example, that any impeachment or lawsuit proceedings against Barack Obama will be nothing more than a crafted circus designed to accomplish nothing &ndash; a con game to placate conservatives with useless top-down solutions while the country burns around their ears.</p> <p>There are other false paradigms that are not so clear to some, though...</p> <p>The <a href="">false Israel/Hamas paradigm</a> has certainly duped a particular subsection of Americans and even a few patriots, even though it is <a href="">historical fact</a> that the creation of Hamas itself was <a href="">funded and supported by the Israeli government</a>. Why do Israeli politicians put money and arms at the disposal of Muslim extremist groups like Hamas and ISIS, only to enter into brutal conflict with them later? Could it be that the Israeli government does not have the best interests of the Israeli people at heart? Could it be that Israel is being used by internationalists as a catalyst for chaos? It is vital that we question the intentions behind such contrary actions in the Middle East.</p> <p>Why has the U.S. government <a href="">(Democrats and Republicans)</a>, Saudi Arabia, and <a href="">Israel</a> put support behind the ISIS caliphate in Iraq after spending decades of time, billions in resources, and thousands of lives, attempting to overrun and dominate the region? Why are these governments creating enemies that will later try to harm us?</p> <p>It is all about false paradigms; dividing the masses into numerous conflicting sides and pitting them against each other when they should be fighting against the elites.</p> <p>The <a href="">false East/West paradigm</a> is perhaps the most dangerous lie facing free men today. It is a lie that may very well define our generation if not our century. I have outlined in <a href="">multiple articles</a> the substantial evidence that proves beyond a doubt that <a href="">Russia and China are members of the globalist agenda</a>, and that the tensions between our two hemispheres are completely fabricated.</p> <p>The latest announcement of a BRICS bank to rival the IMF is yet another scheme to perpetuate the illusion that the elites of these nations are at odds. In fact, the BRICS conference mission statement makes it clear that developing nations have no intention of breaking from the IMF (and certainly not the BIS). Instead, the BRICS bank is meant to provide &ldquo;leverage&rdquo; to &ldquo;force&rdquo; the IMF to become more inclusive, and hand over more power and participation. <a href="">Vladimir Putin had this to say</a> at the latest summit:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;<em><strong>In the BRICS case we see a whole set of coinciding strategic interests. First of all, this is the common intention to reform the international monetary and financial system. In the present form it is unjust to the BRICS countries and to new economies in general. We should take a more active part in the IMF and the World Bank&#39;s decision-making system. The international monetary system itself depends a lot on the US dollar, or, to be precise, on the monetary and financial policy of the US authorities. The BRICS countries want to change this.&rdquo; </strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff insisted that <a href="">the BRICS were not seeking to distance themselves</a> from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>&quot;On the contrary, we wish to democratize it and make it as representative as possible...&quot;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Putin and the BRICS commonly rail against the &ldquo;unipolar&rdquo; financial system revolving around the U.S. dollar, but in the end they are only controlled opposition, and their solution is to place even more power into the hands of the IMF (a supposedly U.S. government controlled institution), creating a truly unipolar world order.&nbsp; If the U.S. loses its IMF veto status this year due to lack of allocated funds, and the BRICS dump the dollar as world reserve, this may very well happen.</p> <p>As sanctions between Russia and the U.S. snowball, a perfect rationalization for a dollar decoupling will be created that very few people would have believed possible only a few years ago.&nbsp; It is only a matter of time before fiscal warfare escalates to destructive levels. Russia will inevitably cut off gas exports to the EU, and the BRICS will inevitably drop the U.S. dollar as a world reserve standard.</p> <p>The U.S. relationship to the EU is also currently being presented as dubious, and this is not by accident. Failing relations between America and Germany are yet more theater for the masses to chew on. Western allies have been spying on each other for decades, but somehow the exposure of CIA activities in Germany is shocking news? The NY Fed suddenly attacks Deutsche Bank, seeking expanded monitoring and regulation? Germany&#39;s business interests are highly damaged by U.S. sanctions against Russia? It would seem as though someone is trying to create an artificial divide between elements of the EU and the U.S.</p> <p>I believe that the narrative is being prepared for a faked financial breakup between the U.S. and many of its former allies, isolating the U.S., and destroying the dollar, but to what end? To answer that question, we must ask WHO ultimately benefits from these actions?</p> <p><strong>The Rise Of The Hero Bankers</strong></p> <p>In June of last year, the Bank of International Settlements, the central bank of central banks whose history began with the financial support of the Third Reich, <a href="">released a statement</a> warning that &ldquo;easy money&rdquo; from central banks was creating a dangerous bubble in stock markets around the world.</p> <p>The IMF too has been <a href="">pushing warnings</a> of stock bubble collapse into the mainstream.</p> <p>In June of this year, the BIS, a normally obscure and secretive organization, released <a href="">another statement</a> pronouncing that government had been led into a &ldquo;false sense of security&rdquo; by easy monetary policy and low interest rates, making the world economy perpetually unstable.</p> <p>For an organization so covert and occult, the BIS sure has become rather candid lately. Frankly, I agree with everything they have said. However, I do not agree with the hypocrisy of the BIS, which dominates the decisions of all of its member banks, publicly criticizing policies which it most likely scripted itself. Why would the BIS suddenly denounce fiscal methods it used to promote? Because the BIS is setting itself up as the great prognosticator of a collapse that IT HELPED ENGINEER.</p> <p>After the great financial war has subsided, and the people are suitably poverty stricken and desperate, it will be institutions like the BIS and IMF that swoop in to &ldquo;save the day&rdquo;. Their offer will be to consolidate economic control into the hands of an elite group of bankers &ldquo;not affiliated&rdquo; with any particular nation state, thereby insulating them from &quot;political concerns&quot;. The argument will be that national sovereignty is a bane on the back of humanity. They will claim that the catastrophe will continue until we &ldquo;simplify&rdquo; and streamline our economic and political systems. They will present themselves as the heroes of the age; the ones who predicted the crisis would occur, and the ones who had a solution ready to save the day (after sufficient death and destruction, of course).</p> <p><strong>As long as people remain obsessed with false paradigms and faux enemies, the establishment&#39;s goal of complete centralized dominance will be predictably attainable. If we change our focus to the internationalists as the true danger instead of playing their game by their rules, then things will become far more interesting...</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="432" height="313" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alan Greenspan Baltic Dry Barack Obama Belgium BRICs Central Banks China Deutsche Bank Federal Reserve Germany Global Economy International Monetary Fund Iraq Israel Middle East Monetary Policy Obama Administration Rand Corporation Reality recovery Saudi Arabia Ukraine Vladimir Putin World Bank Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:00:40 +0000 Tyler Durden 492227 at The Drought Goes From Bad To Catastrophic <p><a href="">As we previously commented, </a>when scientists start using phrases such as <strong>&quot;the worst drought&quot; and &quot;as bad as you can imagine&quot;</strong> to describe what is going on in the western half of the country, you know that things are bad. However, in recent weeks the dreadful situation in California has gone from bad to catastrophic as the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that more than half of the state is now in experiencing &#39;exceptional&#39; drought, the most severe category available. And <strong>most of the state &ndash; 81% &ndash; currently has one of the two most intense levels of drought</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img height="271" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>h/t @TimOBrien</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">As WaPo reports</a>,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>While California&rsquo;s problems are particularly severe, that state is not alone in experiencing significant drought right now. There are wide swaths of moderate to severe drought stretching from Oregon to Texas, with problems impacting numerous states west of the Mississippi River.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some of the most severe droughts outside of California are impacting large pockets in Oklahoma, Texas and, particularly, Nevada, where more than half of the state is currently experiencing one of the two most intense drought conditions:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 590px; height: 447px;" /></a></p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><a href="">As we concluded previously,</a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Most people just assume that this drought will be temporary, but experts tell us that there have been &quot;megadroughts&quot; throughout history in the western half of the United States that have lasted for more than 100 years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If we have entered one of those eras, it is going to fundamentally change life in America.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And the frightening thing is that much of the rest of the world is dealing with water scarcity issues right now as well.&nbsp; In fact, North America is actually in better shape than much of Africa and Asia.&nbsp; For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled &quot;<a href="" title="25 Shocking Facts About The Earth’s Dwindling Water Resources">25 Shocking Facts About The Earth&rsquo;s Dwindling Water Resources</a>&quot;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Without plenty of fresh water, modern civilization is not possible.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>And right now, the western United States and much of the rest of the world is starting to come to grips with the fact that we could be facing some very serious water shortages in the years ahead.</strong></p> </blockquote> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1289" height="583" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Oklahoma Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:00:16 +0000 Tyler Durden 492208 at The Illustrated Guide To 20 Years Of Latin American Debt Crises <p>As the Argentina farce rolls on, it is worth noting that this is nothing new. As Bloomberg Briefs shows below, <strong>Latin American nations have been serial defaulters for the last 20 years</strong>.</p> <p><em>Click image for large legible version</em></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><em>Source: Bloomberg Briefs</em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1093" height="1093" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 00:16:39 +0000 Tyler Durden 492226 at We? WHo You CaLLiNG "We" BRo? <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="" width="1020" height="769" frameborder="0"></iframe><br /> . </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">.<iframe src="" width="1024" height="856" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 00:01:12 +0000 williambanzai7 492225 at "Genocide Is Permissible" Muses Times Of Israel, Promptly Retracts <p><strong>The Times Of Israel has removed a provocatively-titled blog post</strong> after huge blowback, denunciations, and ridicule across social media. The post - "When Genocide Is Permissible" (in full below) - concludes, <em>"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. <strong>If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?</strong>"</em> Removal or not, we are sure this will do nothing to endear Israel to the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="">The Times Of Israel site</a> Before and After...</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="345" /></a></p> <p><em>h/t @PrisonPlanet</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><em>And thanks to The Way-Back Machine, </em></a>here is the full article...</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>When Genocide Is Permissible <em>(authored by Yochanan Gordon)</em><br /></strong></span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less- capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that <strong>the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war – because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems – and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate – that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! <strong>We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. </strong>But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings – because this is life or death.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve – they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you – you take him seriously.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. </strong>What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. <strong>But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian.</strong> If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave – well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. </strong>Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?</strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p><a href=""><strong>The author just apologized...</strong></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>I wish to express<strong> deep regret and beg forgiveness</strong> for an article I authored which was posted on, Times of Israel and was tweeted and shared the world over.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I <strong>never intended to call to harm any people</strong> although my words may have conveyed that message.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yochanan Gordon</p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Well that's ok then...</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1194" height="687" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Israel Reality Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:41:27 +0000 Tyler Durden 492205 at Guest Post: The EU's Anti-Austerity Hypocrites <p><em>Authored by Steve Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore,</em></p> <p>The European Union (EU) is still in the midst of an economic slump. Many members of the political class in Brussels claim that fiscal austerity is to blame. <strong>But, this diagnosis is wrong.</strong></p> <p>The EU's problem is one of monetary, not fiscal, austerity. Money matters. Just look at the accompanying chart. <strong>Private credit in the Eurozone has been shrinking since March 2012.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="412" /></a></p> <p>Never mind. <strong>The EU fiscal austerity bandwagon keeps rolling on</strong> with Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister and current President of the EU, holding the reigns. Indeed, Renzi recently went so far as to form an anti-austerity coalition with France and Spain. According to the coalition, its members simply cannot impose further spending cuts. <strong>They assert that their budgets have been cut to the bone. This claim is ludicrous. </strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="337" /></a></p> <p>There is nothing to cut in Italy? Get real. Senior civil servants are being paid over 12 times the national average salary. As for France and Spain, their civil servants are "well paid," too. <strong>It's time for the public to stop listening to the EU's anti-austerity hypocrites and start looking at the numbers.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1194" height="671" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> European Union Eurozone France Guest Post Italy Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:34:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 492215 at Obama Admits U.S. “Tortured Some Folks”. Here’s WHAT HE DIDN’T SAY <div class="entry-content"> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter" height="309" id="il_fi" src="" style="padding-right: 8px; padding-top: 8px; padding-bottom: 8px;" width="300" /></p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">&ldquo;We Did Some Things Contrary To Our Values&rdquo;</h3> <p>Obama <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> today:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>We tortured some folks &hellip;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We did some things that were contrary to our values.</p> </blockquote> <p>What does this mean?&nbsp; What is the big picture?</p> <p>Initially, we applaud Obama admitting to this unsavory chapter in U.S. history.&nbsp; The government has denied for years that the U.S. tortures, even though we in the alternative media exposed the torture <em>10 years</em> ago.</p> <p>And it wasn&rsquo;t just &ldquo;some folks&rdquo; we tortured.&nbsp; The torture was <a href="" title="widespread torture">widespread and systemic</a>.</p> <p>And it <a href="" title="wasn’t just bad guys"><em>wasn&rsquo;t</em> just bad guys</a> who were tortured:</p> <ul> <li>The commander of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Janis Karpinski, estimates that <a href="" target="_blank" title="90% of detainees in the prison were innocent">90% of detainees in the prison were innocent</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The number two man at the State Department under Colin Powell, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, says that <a href="" target="_blank" title="many of those being held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent, and that top Bush administration officials knew that they were innocent">many of those being held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent, and that top Bush administration officials knew that they were innocent</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>U.S. military files <a href="" target="_blank" title="reported">show</a> that many Guantánamo prisoners were held on the flimsiest grounds such as wearing a Casio watch, being a&nbsp; prisoner in a Taliban jail, driving cabs in certain geographic regions, or being Al Jazeera reporters</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Manystate that those tortured were mainly <a href=";suggon=0&amp;q=most+tortured+abu+ghraib+innocent+reward+grudge&amp;btnG=Search" target="_blank" title="innocent farmers, villagers, or those against whom neighbors ">innocent farmers, villagers, or those against whom neighbors </a><a href=";suggon=0&amp;q=most+tortured+abu+ghraib+innocent+reward+grudge&amp;btnG=Search" target="_blank" title="held a grudge. Indeed, ">held a grudge. Indeed, </a><a href=";suggon=0&amp;q=most+tortured+abu+ghraib+innocent+reward+grudge&amp;btnG=Search" target="_blank" title="people received a nice cash reward from the U.S. government for turning people in as “suspected terrorists” ">people received a nice cash reward from the U.S. government for turning people in as &ldquo;suspected terrorists&rdquo; </a> (and see <a href=";ie=utf-8&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a" target="_blank" title="this movie">this movie</a>)</li> </ul> <h3 style="color: #000099;"><img alt="" class="decoded aligncenter" height="526.5" src="" width="427.5" /></h3> <h3 style="color: #000099;">Torture INTERFERES With Our Ability to Fight Terrorism, Obtain Intelligence Information and protect National Security</h3> <p>We&rsquo;ve repeatedly noted that <a href="" title="virtually all of the top interrogation experts – both conservatives and liberals">virtually all of the top interrogation experts &ndash; both conservatives and liberals</a> (except for those <a href="" title="trying to escape war crimes prosecution">trying to escape war crimes prosecution</a>) &ndash; say that torture doesn&rsquo;t work:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1">Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1</a> says:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>&ldquo;Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>The C.I.A.&rsquo;s 1963 interrogation manual <a href="" target="_blank" title="stated">stated</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions, concocted as a means of escaping from distress. A time-consuming delay results, while investigation is conducted and the admissions are proven untrue. During this respite the interrogatee can pull himself together. He may even use the time to think up new, more complex &lsquo;admissions&rsquo; that take still longer to disprove.</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>According to the Washington Post, the CIA&rsquo;s top spy &ndash; Michael Sulick, head of the CIA&rsquo;s National Clandestine Service &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> that the spy agency has seen no fall-off in intelligence since waterboarding was banned by the Obama administration. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think we&rsquo;ve suffered at all from an intelligence standpoint.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The <a href="" target="_blank" title="CIA’s own Inspector General">CIA&rsquo;s own Inspector General</a> wrote that waterboarding was not &ldquo;efficacious&rdquo; in producing information</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A 30-year veteran of CIA&rsquo;s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks (Milton Bearden) <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a> (as quoted by senior CIA agent and Presidential briefer Ray McGovern):<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>It is irresponsible for any administration not to tell a credible story that would convince critics at home and abroad that this torture has served some useful purpose.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture doesn&rsquo;t work &hellip;.</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>A former high-level CIA officer (Philip Giraldi) <a href="" target="_blank" title="states">states</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Many governments that have routinely tortured to obtain information have abandoned the practice when they discovered that other approaches actually worked better for extracting information. Israel prohibited torturing Palestinian terrorist suspects in 1999. Even the German Gestapo stopped torturing French resistance captives when it determined that treating prisoners well actually produced more and better intelligence.</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>Another former high-level CIA official (Bob Baer) <a href=";n1=3&amp;n2=38&amp;n3=1052" target="_blank" title="says">says</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>And torture &mdash; I just don&rsquo;t think it really works &hellip; you don&rsquo;t get the truth. What happens when you torture people is, they figure out what you want to hear and they tell you.</p> </blockquote> </li> <li>Michael Scheuer, formerly a senior CIA official in the Counter-Terrorism Center, <a href=";n1=3&amp;n2=38&amp;n3=1052" target="_blank" title="says">says</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>&ldquo;I personally think that any information gotten through extreme methods of torture would probably be pretty useless because it would be someone telling you what you wanted to hear.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>A retired C.I.A. officer who oversaw the interrogation of a high-level detainee in 2002 (Glenn L. Carle) <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>[Coercive techniques] didn&rsquo;t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information&hellip;Everyone was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>A former top Air Force interrogator who led the team that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, and <a href=",8599,1863053,00.html" target="_blank" title="wrote">wrote</a> a book called <em>How to Break a Terrorist </em><a href="" target="_blank" title="writes">writes</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>As the senior interrogator in Iraq for a task force charged with hunting down Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former Al Qaida leader and mass murderer, I listened time and time again to captured foreign fighters cite the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as their main reason for coming to Iraq to fight. Consider that 90 percent of the suicide bombers in Iraq are these foreign fighters and you can easily conclude that we have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives because of our policy of torture and abuse. But that&rsquo;s only the <em>past</em>.Somewhere in the world there are other young Muslims who have joined Al Qaida because we tortured and abused prisoners. These men will certainly carry out future attacks against Americans, either in Iraq, Afghanistan, or possibly even here. And that&rsquo;s not to mention numerous other Muslims who support Al Qaida, either financially or in other ways, because they are outraged that the United States tortured and abused Muslim prisoners.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition, torture and abuse has made us less safe because detainees are less likely to cooperate during interrogations if they don&rsquo;t trust us. I know from having conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, that when a captured Al Qaida member sees us live up to our stated principles they are more willing to negotiate and cooperate with us. When we torture or abuse them, it hardens their resolve and reaffirms why they picked up arms.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>He also <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>[Torture is] extremely ineffective, and it&rsquo;s counter-productive to what we&rsquo;re trying to accomplish.When we torture somebody, it hardens their resolve &hellip; The information that you get is unreliable. &hellip; And even if you do get reliable information, you&rsquo;re able to stop a terrorist attack, al Qaeda&rsquo;s then going to use the fact that we torture people to recruit new members.</p> </blockquote> <p>And he <a href="" target="_blank" title="repeats">repeats</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="said">And</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>They don&rsquo;t want to talk about the long term consequences that cost the lives of Americans&hellip;. The way the U.S. treated its prisoners &ldquo;was al-Qaeda&rsquo;s number-one recruiting tool and brought in thousands of foreign fighters who killed American soldiers.</p> </blockquote> </blockquote> <ul> <li>The <a href="" target="_blank" title="FBI interrogators">FBI interrogators</a> who actually interviewed some of the 9/11 suspects say torture didn&rsquo;t work</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Another FBI interrogator of 9/11 suspects <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>I was in the middle of this, and it&rsquo;s not true that these [aggressive] techniques were effective</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>A third former FBI interrogator &mdash; who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects &mdash; says categorically that <a href="" target="_blank" title="torture does not help collect intelligence. On the other hand he says that torture actually turns people into terrorists">torture does not help collect intelligence. On the other hand he says that torture actually turns people into terrorists</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>A declassified FBI e-mail dated May 10, 2004, regarding interrogation at Guantanamo states &ldquo;<a href=";n1=3&amp;n2=38&amp;n3=1052" target="_blank" title="[we] explained to [the Department of Defense], FBI has been successful for many years obtaining confessions via non-confrontational interviewing techniques">[we] explained to [the Department of Defense], FBI has been successful for many years obtaining confessions via non-confrontational interviewing techniques</a>.&rdquo; (see also <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The FBI <a href="" target="_blank" title="warned">warned</a> military interrogators in 2003 that enhanced interrogation techniques are &ldquo;of questionable effectiveness&rdquo; and cited a &ldquo;lack of evidence of [enhanced techniques&rsquo;] success.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>&ldquo;When long-time FBI director Mueller was asked whether any attacks on America been disrupted thanks to intelligence obtained through &ldquo;enhanced techniques&rdquo;, he responded <a href="" target="_blank" title="“I don’t believe that has been the case.”">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t believe that has been the case.&rdquo;</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously <a href="" target="_blank" title="found">found</a> that torture doesn&rsquo;t work, <a href="" title="stating">stating</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>The administration&rsquo;s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="The military agency which actually provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects">The military agency which actually provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects</a> warned the Pentagon in 2002 that those techniques would produce &ldquo;unreliable information.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>General Petraeus <a href="" title="says">says</a> that torture is unnecessary</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Retired 4-star General Barry McCaffrey &ndash; who Schwarzkopf called he hero of Desert Storm &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="agrees">agrees</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The <a href="" title="number 2 terrorism expert">number 2 terrorism expert</a> for the State Department says torture doesn&rsquo;t work, and just creates more terrorists.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Former Navy Judge Advocate General Admiral John Hutson <a href="" target="_blank" title="says:">says:</a><br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>Fundamentally, those kinds of techniques are ineffective. If the goal is to gain actionable intelligence, and it is, and if that&rsquo;s important, and it is, then we have to use the techniques that are most effective. Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough.</p> </blockquote> <p>He also <a href=";n1=3&amp;n2=38&amp;n3=1052" target="_blank" title="says">says</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Another objection is that torture doesn&rsquo;t work. All the literature and experts say that if we really want usable information, we should go exactly the opposite way and try to gain the trust and confidence of the prisoners.</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Army Colonel Stuart Herrington &ndash; a military intelligence specialist who interrogated generals under the command of Saddam Hussein and evaluated US detention operations at Guantánamo &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="notes">notes</a>that the process of obtaining information is hampered, not helped, by practices such as &ldquo;slapping someone in the face and stripping them naked&rdquo;. Herrington and other former US military interrogators <a href="" target="_blank" title="say">say</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>We know from experience that it is very difficult to elicit information from a detainee who has been abused. The abuse often only strengthens their resolve and makes it that much harder for an interrogator to find a way to elicit useful information.</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Major General Thomas Romig, former Army JAG, <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>If you torture somebody, they&rsquo;ll tell you anything. I don&rsquo;t know anybody that is good at interrogation, has done it a lot, that will say that that&rsquo;s an effective means of getting information. &hellip; So I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s effective.</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Brigadier General David R. Irvine, retired <a href="" target="_blank" title="Army Reserve strategic intelligence officer who taught prisoner interrogation and military law for 18 years with the Sixth Army Intelligence School">Army Reserve strategic intelligence officer who taught prisoner interrogation and military law for 18 years with the Sixth Army Intelligence School</a>, says torture doesn&rsquo;t work</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The first head of the Department of Homeland Security &ndash; Tom Ridge &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a> we were wrong to torture.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The former British intelligence chairman <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a> that waterboarding didn&rsquo;t stop terror plots.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A spokesman for the National Security Council (Tommy Vietor) <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003.</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>The Marines <a href="" target="_blank" title="weren’t keen on torture">weren&rsquo;t keen on torture</a>, either</li> </ul> <ul> <li>As Vanity Fair <a href="" target="_blank" title="reports:">reports:</a></li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In researching this article, I spoke to numerous counterterrorist officials from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Their conclusion is unanimous: not only have coercive methods failed to generate significant and actionable intelligence, they have also caused the squandering of resources on a massive scale through false leads, chimerical plots, and unnecessary safety alerts&hellip;Here, they say, far from exposing a deadly plot, all torture did was lead to more torture of his supposed accomplices while also providing some misleading &ldquo;information&rdquo; that boosted the administration&rsquo;s argument for invading Iraq.</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>Neuroscientists have <a href="" target="_blank" title="found">found</a> that torture physically and chemically interferes with the prisoner&rsquo;s ability to tell the truth</li> </ul> <ul> <li>An Army psychologist &ndash; Major Paul Burney, Army&rsquo;s Behavior Science Consulting Team psychologist &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> (page 78 &amp; 83):</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>was stressed to me time and time again that psychological investigations have proven that harsh interrogations do not work. At best it will get you information that a prisoner thinks you want to hear to make the interrogation stop, but that information is strongly likely to be false.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Interrogation techniques that rely on physical or adverse consequences are likely to garner inaccurate information and create an increased level of resistance&hellip;There is no evidence that the level of fear or discomfort evoked by a given technique has any consistent correlation to the volume or quality of information obtained.</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>An expert on resisting torture &ndash; Terrence Russell, JPRA&rsquo;s manager for research and development and a SERE specialist &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> (page 209):</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>History has shown us that physical pressures are not effective for compelling an individual to give information or to do something&rsquo; and are not effective for gaining accurate, actionable intelligence.</p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, it has been known for hundreds of years that torture doesn&rsquo;t work:</p> <ul> <li>In the ancient Far East, torture was used as a way to <a href="" title="intimidate the population into obedience">intimidate the population into obedience</a> (rather than a method for gaining information)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>As a former CIA analyst <a href="" target="_blank" title="notes">notes</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>During the Inquisition there were many confessed witches, and many others were named by those tortured as other witches. Unsurprisingly, when these new claimed witches were tortured, they also confessed. Confirmation of some statement made under torture, when that confirmation is extracted by another case of torture, is invalid information and cannot be trusted.</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>Top American World War 2 interrogators <a href="" title="got more information using chess or Ping-Pong instead of torture than those who use torture are getting today">got more information using chess or Ping-Pong instead of torture than those who use torture are getting today</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The head of Britain&rsquo;s wartime interrogation center in London <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Violence is taboo. Not only does it produce answers to please, but it lowers the standard of information.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>The national security adviser to Vice President George H.W. Bush (Donald P. Gregg) <a href="" target="_blank" title="wrote">wrote</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>During wartime service with the CIA in Vietnam from 1970 to 1972, I was in charge of intelligence operations in the 10 provinces surrounding Saigon. One of my tasks was to prevent rocket attacks on Saigon&rsquo;s port.Keeping Saigon safe required human intelligence, most often from captured prisoners. I had a running debate about how North Vietnamese prisoners should be treated with the South Vietnamese colonel who conducted interrogations. This colonel routinely tortured prisoners, producing a flood of information, much of it totally false. I argued for better treatment and pressed for key prisoners to be turned over to the CIA, where humane interrogation methods were the rule &ndash; and more accurate intelligence was the result.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The colonel finally relented and turned over a battered prisoner to me, saying, &ldquo;This man knows a lot, but he will not talk to me.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We treated the prisoner&rsquo;s wounds, reunited him with his family, and allowed him to make his first visit to Saigon. Surprised by the city&rsquo;s affluence, he said he would tell us anything we asked. The result was a flood of actionable intelligence that allowed us to disrupt planned operations, including rocket attacks against Saigon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Admittedly, it would be hard to make a story from nearly 40 years ago into a definitive case study. But there is a useful reminder here. The key to successful interrogation is for the interrogator &ndash; even as he controls the situation &ndash; to recognize a prisoner&rsquo;s humanity, to understand his culture, background and language. Torture makes this impossible.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a sad twist here. Cheney forgets that the Bush administration followed this approach with some success. A high-value prisoner subjected to patient interrogation by an Arabic-speaking FBI agent yielded highly useful information, including the final word on Iraq&rsquo;s weapons programs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His name was Saddam Hussein.</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>Top interrogators got information from a high-level Al Qaeda suspects through building rapport, even if they hated the person they were interrogating by <a href=",9171,1901491-1,00.html" target="_blank" title="treating them as human">treating them as human</a></li> </ul> <p>Senator John McCain <a href="" target="_blank" title="explains">explains</a>, based upon his own years of torture:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners sometimes produces good intelligence but often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear &mdash; true or false &mdash; if he believes it will relieve his suffering. Often, information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading.</p> </blockquote> <p>According to the experts, torture is unnecessary even to prevent &ldquo;ticking time bombs&rdquo; from exploding (see <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>).&nbsp;&nbsp; Indeed, a top expert says that <a href="" target="_blank" title="torture would fail in a real ‘ticking time-bomb’ situation">torture would fail in a real &lsquo;ticking time-bomb&rsquo; situation</a>. (And, no &hellip; it <a href="" title="did NOT">did NOT</a> help get Bin Laden).</p> <p>In fact, torture <a href="" title="reduces our national security"><em>reduces </em>our national security</a>:</p> <ul> <li>The head of all U.S. intelligence <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>&ldquo;The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world,&rdquo; [Director of National Intelligence Dennis] Blair said in the statement. &ldquo;The damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>A top counter-terrorism expert <a href="" title="says">says</a> torture increases the risk of terrorism (and see <a href="" title="this">this</a>).</li> </ul> <ul> <li>One of the top military interrogators <a href="" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> that torture by Americans of innocent Iraqis is the main reason that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the first place (and see <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>).</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a> that America&rsquo;s indefinite detention without trial and abuse of prisoners is a leading Al Qaeda recruiting tool</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A former FBI interrogator &mdash; who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects &mdash; says categorically that <a href="" target="_blank" title="torture actually turns people into terrorists">torture actually turns people into terrorists</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>A 30-year veteran of CIA&rsquo;s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks, <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a>:<br /> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>Torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.</p> </blockquote> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>A former <a href="" target="_blank" title="US Air Force interrogator">US Air Force interrogator</a> said that torture just creates more terrorists</li> </ul> <ul> <li>A former <a href="" target="_blank" title="U.S. interrogator and counterintelligence agent, and Afghanistan veteran">U.S. interrogator and counterintelligence agent, and Afghanistan veteran</a> said, &ldquo;Torture puts our troops in danger, torture makes our troops less safe, torture creates terrorists. It&rsquo;s used so widely as a propaganda tool now in Afghanistan. All too often, detainees have pamphlets on them, depicting what happened at Guantanamo.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The Senate Armed Services Committee <a href="" target="_blank" title="unanimously stated">unanimously stated</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>&ldquo;The administration&rsquo;s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies &hellip; strengthened the hand of our enemies.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> </blockquote> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Two professors of political science">Two professors of political science</a> have demonstrated that torture increases, rather than decreases, terrorism</li> </ul> <ul> <li>General Petraeus <a href="" title="said">said</a> that torture hurts our national security</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The <a href="" target="_blank" title="reporter">reporter</a> who broke Iran-Contra and other stories <a href="" target="_blank" title="says that">says that</a> torture actually helped Al Qaeda, by giving false leads to the U.S. which diverted its military, intelligence and economic resources into wild goose chases</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Raw Story <a href="" target="_blank" title="says">says</a> that torture might have resulted in false terror alerts</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Hundreds of other experts have said the same things</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter" height="394" id="il_fi" src="" style="padding-right: 8px; padding-top: 8px; padding-bottom: 8px;" width="272" /></p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">U.S. Officials Launched a Systematic Program of Torture Using Specialized Techniques Which Produce <em>False</em> Confessions &hellip; to Justify the Iraq War</h3> <p>Not only did Bush, Cheney and other top government officials <a href="" title="lie about us into the Iraq war by making a false linkage between Iraq and 9/11">lie about us into the Iraq war by making a false linkage between Iraq and 9/11</a>, but they carried out a systematic program of torture in order to <em>intentionally create <strong>false evidence</strong></em> of that allegation.</p> <p>Indeed, <a href="" title="the entire purpose behind the U.S. torture program was to obtain false confessions">the <em>entire purpose</em> behind the U.S. torture program</a> was to obtain <em><strong>false</strong></em> confessions.</p> <p>And the torture techniques used were <a href="" title="Communist techniques specifically designed to produce false confessions"><strong>Communist</strong> techniques <strong><em>specifically designed</em></strong> to produce <em>false</em> confessions</a>.</p> <p>Senator Levin, in commenting on a Senate Armed Services Committee report on torture in 2009, <a href="" target="_blank" title="commenting">dropped the following bombshell</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>With last week&rsquo;s release of the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinions, it is now widely known that Bush administration officials distorted Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape &ldquo;SERE&rdquo; training &ndash; a legitimate program used by the military to train our troops to resist abusive enemy interrogations &ndash; by authorizing abusive techniques from SERE for use in detainee interrogations. Those decisions conveyed the message that abusive treatment was appropriate for detainees in U.S. custody. They were also an affront to the values articulated by General Petraeus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In SERE training, U.S. troops are briefly exposed, in a highly controlled setting, to abusive interrogation techniques used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions. The techniques are based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting <em>false</em> confessions for propaganda purposes. Techniques used in SERE training include stripping trainees of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, subjecting them to face and body slaps, depriving them of sleep, throwing them up against a wall, confining them in a small box, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures. Until recently, the Navy SERE school also used waterboarding. The purpose of the SERE program is to provide U.S. troops who might be captured a taste of the treatment they might face so that they might have a better chance of surviving captivity and resisting abusive and coercive interrogations.</p> </blockquote> <p>Senator Levin then documents that SERE techniques were deployed as part of an official policy on detainees, and that SERE instructors helped to implement the interrogation programs. He noted:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The senior Army SERE psychologist warned in 2002 against using SERE training techniques during interrogations in an email to personnel at Guantanamo Bay, because:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>[T]he use of physical pressures brings with it a large number of potential negative side effects&hellip; When individuals are gradually exposed to increasing levels of discomfort, it is more common for them to resist harder&hellip; If individuals are put under enough discomfort, i.e. pain, they will eventually do whatever it takes to stop the pain. This will increase the amount of information they tell the interrogator, but it does not mean the information is accurate. In fact, it usually decreases the reliability of the information because the person will say whatever he believes will stop the pain&hellip; Bottom line: the likelihood that the use of physical pressures will increase the delivery of accurate information from a detainee is very low. The likelihood that the use of physical pressures will increase the level of resistance in a detainee is very high&hellip; (p. 53).</p> </blockquote> </blockquote> <p>McClatchy <a href="" target="_blank" title="fills in">filled in</a> some of the details:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly &mdash; Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 &mdash; according to a newly released Justice Department document&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney&rsquo;s and Rumsfeld&rsquo;s people to push harder,&rdquo; he continued.&rdquo;Cheney&rsquo;s and Rumsfeld&rsquo;s people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn&rsquo;t any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam . . .</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under &ldquo;pressure&rdquo; to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq,&rdquo; Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. &ldquo;The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s obvious that the administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link (between al Qaida and Iraq),&rdquo; [Senator] Levin said in a conference call with reporters. &ldquo;They made out links where they didn&rsquo;t exist.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Levin recalled Cheney&rsquo;s assertions that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer had met Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, in the Czech Republic capital of Prague just months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The FBI and CIA found that no such meeting occurred.</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, top Bush administration officials not only knowingly lied about a non-existent connection between Al Qaida and Iraq, but they pushed and insisted that interrogators use special torture methods aimed at extracting <em>false confessions</em> to attempt to create such a false linkage.</p> <p>The Washington Post <a href="" target="_blank" title="reported">reported</a> the same year:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Despite what you&rsquo;ve seen on TV, torture is really only good at one thing: eliciting <strong>false confessions</strong>. Indeed, Bush-era torture techniques, we now know, were cold-bloodedly modeled after methods used by <strong>Chinese Communists</strong> to extract confessions from captured U.S. servicemen that they could then use for propaganda during the Korean War.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So as shocking as the latest revelation in a new Senate Armed Services Committee report may be, it actually makes sense &mdash; in a nauseating way. The White House started pushing the use of torture not when faced with a &ldquo;ticking time bomb&rdquo; scenario from terrorists, but when <strong>officials in 2002 were desperately casting about for ways to tie Iraq to the 9/11 attacks</strong> &mdash; in order to strengthen their public case for invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 at all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gordon Trowbridge writes for the Detroit News: &ldquo;Senior Bush administration officials pushed for the use of abusive interrogations of terrorism detainees in part to seek evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq, according to newly declassified information discovered in a congressional probe.</p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, one of the two senior instructors from the Air Force team which taught U.S. servicemen how to resist torture by foreign governments when used to extract false confessions has blown the whistle on the true purpose behind the U.S. torture program.</p> <p>As Truth Out <a href="" target="_blank" title="reported">reported</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Jessen&rsquo;s notes were provided to Truthout by retired Air Force Capt. Michael Kearns, a &ldquo;master&rdquo; SERE instructor and <a href="" target="_blank" title="decorated">decorated</a> veteran who has previously held high-ranking positions within the Air Force Headquarters Staff and Department of Defense (DoD).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kearns and his boss, Roger Aldrich, the head of the Air Force Intelligence&rsquo;s Special Survial Training Program (SSTP), based out of Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, hired Jessen in May 1989. Kearns, who was head of operations at SSTP and trained thousands of service members, said Jessen was brought into the program due to an increase in the number of new SERE courses being taught and &ldquo;the fact that it required psychological expertise on hand in a full-time basis.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jessen, then the chief of Psychology Service at the US Air Force Survival School, immediately started to work directly with Kearns on &ldquo;a new course for special mission units (SMUs), which had as its goal individual resistance to terrorist exploitation.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The course, known as SV-91, was developed for the Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) branch of the US Air Force Intelligence Agency, which acted as the Executive Agent Action Office for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jessen&rsquo;s notes formed the basis for one part of SV-91, &ldquo;Psychological Aspects of Detention.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kearns was one of only two officers within DoD qualified to teach all three SERE-related courses within SSTP on a worldwide basis, according to a copy of a 1989 letter written Aldrich, who <a href="" target="_blank" title="nominated him">nominated him</a> officer of the year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Jessen notes clearly state the totality of what was being reverse-engineered &ndash; not just &lsquo;enhanced interrogation techniques,&rsquo; but an entire program of exploitation of prisoners using torture as a central pillar,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;What I think is important to note, as an ex-SERE Resistance to Interrogation instructor, is the focus of Jessen&rsquo;s instruction. It is exploitation, not specifically interrogation. And this is not a picayune issue, because if one were to &lsquo;reverse-engineer&rsquo; a course on resistance to exploitation then what one would get is a plan to exploit prisoners, <em>not </em>interrogate them. The CIA/DoD torture program appears to have the same goals as the terrorist organizations or enemy governments for which SV-91 and other SERE courses were created to defend against: the full exploitation of the prisoner in his intelligence, <strong>propaganda</strong>, or other needs held by the detaining power, such as the recruitment of informers and double agents. Those aspects of the US detainee program have not generally been discussed as part of the torture story in the American press.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jessen wrote that cooperation is the &ldquo;end goal&rdquo; of the detainer, who wants the detainee &ldquo;to see that [the detainer] has &lsquo;total&rsquo; control of you because you are completely dependent on him, and thus you must comply with his wishes. <strong>Therefore, it is absolutely inevitable that you must cooperate with him in some way (propaganda, special favors, confession, etc.)</strong>.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kearns said, based on what he has read in declassified government documents and news reports about the role SERE played in the Bush administration&rsquo;s torture program, Jessen clearly &ldquo;reverse-engineered&rdquo; his lesson plan and used resistance methods to abuse &ldquo;war on terror&rdquo; detainees.</p> </blockquote> <p>So we have the two main Air Force insiders concerning the genesis of the torture program confirming &ndash; with original notes &ndash; that the whole purpose of the torture program was to extract false confessions.</p> <p>And false confessions <strong><em>were</em></strong>, in fact, extracted.</p> <p>For example:</p> <ul> <li>A humanitarian aid worker said: <a href="" title="Humanitarian Aid Worker: Torture Only Stopped When I Pretended I Was In Al Qaeda">torture only stopped when I <em>pretended</em> I was in Al Qaeda</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Under torture, Libyan Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi <a href="" target="_blank" title="Under torture, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi claimed there was a link between Saddam Hussein, al-Qaida and WMD ">falsely claimed there was a link between Saddam Hussein, al-Qaida and WMD </a></li> </ul> <ul> <li title="Guardian: Abu Zubaydah">President Bush mentioned Abu Zubaydah as a success story, where torture saved lives. Zubaydah was suspected of being a high-ranking al-Qaida leader. Bush administration officials claimed Zubaydah told them that al-Qaida had links with Saddam Hussein. He also claimed there was a plot to attack Washington with a &ldquo;dirty bomb&rdquo;. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Both claims are now recognized to be false, even by the CIA, which also admits he was never a member of al-Qaida">Both claims are now recognized to be false, even by the CIA, which also admits he was never a member of al-Qaida</a>.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>One of the Main Sources for the 9/11 Commission Report <em>was <a href="" target="_blank" title="One of the Main Sources for the 9/11 Commission Report was Tortured Until He Agreed to Sign a Confession that He Was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ">Tortured Until He Agreed to Sign a Confession that He Was <strong>NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ</strong></a></em></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The so-called 9/11 mastermind said: <a href="" target="_blank" title="9/11 Mastermind: “During … My Interrogation I Gave A Lot Of False Information In Order To Satisfy What I Believed The Interrogators Wished To Hear”">&ldquo;During &hellip; my interrogation I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear&rdquo;</a> (the self-confessed 9/11 &ldquo;mastermind&rdquo; <a href="" title="Self-Confessed 9/11 “Mastermind” Also Falsely Confessed to Crimes He Didn’t Commit">falsely confessed to crimes he didn&rsquo;t commit</a>)</li> </ul> <p>And the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on a <em>third-hand</em> account of what tortured detainees said, with<a href="" title=" two of the three parties in the communication being government employees"> two of the three parties in the communication being government employees</a>. And the government went to great lengths to <a href="" title="obstruct justice and hide unflattering facts">obstruct justice and hide unflattering facts</a> from the Commission.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter" height="394" id="il_fi" src=";h=820" style="padding-right: 8px; padding-top: 8px; padding-bottom: 8px;" width="293" /></p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">Torture Has Been Recognized As Terrorism for Thousands of Years</h3> <p>Moreover, torture has been recognize for <em>thousands of years</em> <a href="" title="as a form of terrorism">as a form of terrorism</a>. Indeed, America&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank" title="newly-leaked criteria">newly-leaked criteria</a> for putting people on the terror watchlist says torture is terror (page 47-48):</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="wp-image-34626 alignleft" height="125.25388601" src="" title="T1" width="790" /></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>***</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="aligncenter wp-image-34630" height="201" src="" title="T2" width="790" /></a></p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">&nbsp;</h3> <h3 style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153); text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="decoded aligncenter" src="" /></h3> <h3 style="color: #000099;">Torture Is a War Crime &hellip; Which Can STILL Be Prosecuted</h3> <p>Many argue that the statute of limitations on Bush and Cheney&rsquo;s crimes of torture have all run &hellip; so it is too late to prosecute them.</p> <p>However, the United States War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at <a href=";sec=2441" target="_blank" title="18 U.S.C. § 2441">18 U.S.C. &sect; 2441</a>, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.</p> <p>The statute applies not only to those who carry out the acts, but also to those who <a href="" target="_blank" title="ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it.">ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it.</a> The statute applies to <a href="" target="_blank" title="everyone, no matter how high and mighty">everyone, no matter how high and mighty</a>.</p> <p>18 U.S.C. &sect; 2441 has <strong>no statute of limitations</strong>, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.</p> <p>The penalty may be life imprisonment or &mdash; if <em>a single</em> prisoner dies due to torture &mdash; death. Given that there are numerous, documented cases of prisoners being tortured to death by U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that means that the death penalty would be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, <strong>ordering</strong>, or <strong>sanctioning</strong> such conduct.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a brief round-up showing that prisoners were injured &ndash; and killed &ndash; due to U.S. torture:</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Waterboarding IS Torture</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="The United States has always considered waterboarding to be a crime of torture, including when the Japanese did it in WWII">The United States has always considered waterboarding to be a crime of torture, including when the Japanese did it in WWII</a></li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Not Just Waterboarding</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="Major General Antonio Taguba: Photos Show Sodomy, Rape and Sexual Assault With Wire and Various Blunt Instruments">Major General Antonio Taguba: Photos Show Sodomy, Rape and Sexual Assault With Wire and Various Blunt Instruments</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="The One Case of Torture Obama Doesn’t Want You to Learn About">The One Case of Torture Obama Doesn&rsquo;t Want You to Learn About</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank" title="“The Sexual Humiliation Of Iraqi Prisoners…Was Not An Invention Of Maverick Guards, But Part Of A SYSTEM Of Ill-Treatment And Degradation”">&ldquo;The Sexual Humiliation Of Iraqi Prisoners&hellip;Was Not An Invention Of Maverick Guards, But Part Of A SYSTEM Of Ill-Treatment And Degradation&rdquo;</a></li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Children, Too</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="" title="Congratulations, America … Children are Being Tortured in Your Name">Congratulations, America &hellip; Children are Being Tortured in <em>Your</em> Name</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="" title="Sick To My Stomach, I Have A Duty To Report On the Torture of Children">Sick To My Stomach, I Have A Duty To Report On the Torture of Children</a></li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">People Died While Being Tortured</span></p> <p>The ACLU <a href="" target="_blank" title="wrote">wrote</a> in 2005:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The American Civil Liberties Union today made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom died while being interrogated.&nbsp; The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths</strong>,&rdquo; said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU.&nbsp; &ldquo;High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The documents released today include 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of individuals apprehended in Iraq and Afghanistan.&nbsp; The documents show that detainees died during or after interrogations by Navy Seals, Military Intelligence and &ldquo;OGA&rdquo; (Other Governmental Agency) &mdash; a term, according to the ACLU, that is commonly used to refer to the CIA.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the documents, 21 of the 44 deaths were homicides.&nbsp;&nbsp; Eight of the homicides appear to have resulted from abusive techniques used on detainees, in some instances, by the CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence personnel.&nbsp; The autopsy reports list deaths by &ldquo;strangulation,&rdquo; &ldquo;asphyxiation&rdquo; and &ldquo;blunt force injuries.&rdquo;&nbsp; An overwhelming majority of the so-called &ldquo;natural deaths&rdquo; were attributed to &ldquo;Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While newspapers have recently reported deaths of detainees in CIA custody, today&rsquo;s documents show that the problem is pervasive, involving Navy Seals and Military Intelligence too.</p> </blockquote> <p>Spiegel <a href=",1518,650242,00.html" target="_blank" title="wrote">reported</a> in 2009:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>At least two men died during imprisonment. One of them, a 22-year-old taxi driver named Dilawar, was suspended by his hands from the ceiling for four days, during which US military personnel repeatedly beat his legs. Dilawar died on Dec. 10, 2002. In the autopsy report, a military doctor wrote that the tissue on his legs had basically been &ldquo;pulpified.&rdquo; As it happens, his interrogators had already known &mdash; and later testified &mdash; that there was no evidence against Dilawar &hellip;</p> </blockquote> <p>And <a href="" target="_blank" title="see this">see this</a>. And it is now clear that the CIA covered up <a href="" target="_blank" title="murders at Guantanamo">murders at Guantanamo</a>.</p> <p>The Military Commissions Act of 2006 limited the applicability of the War Crimes Act, but still made the following <a href="" target="_blank" title="unlawful">unlawful</a>:&nbsp; torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or abuse.</p> <p>The Nuremberg Tribunal which convicted and sentenced Nazis leaders to death conceived of wars of aggression &ndash; i.e. wars not launched in self-defense &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="defined">defined</a> the following as &ldquo;crimes against peace&rdquo;, or war crimes:</p> <dl> <dd>(i) <em>Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;</em></dd> <dd>&nbsp;</dd> <dd>(ii) <em>Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)</em></dd> </dl> <p>The Tribunal considered wars of aggression to be the ultimate war crime, which <a href=";pg=PA46&amp;lpg=PA46&amp;,+differing+only+from+other+war+crimes+in+that+it+contains+within+itself+the+accumulated+evil+of+the+whole." target="_blank" title="encompassed all other crimes">encompassed all other crimes</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>Judgment of October 1, 1946, International Military Tribunal Judgment and Sentence, 22 IMTTRIALS, supra note 7, at 498, reprinted in 41 AM. J. INT&rsquo;LL. 172, 186 (1947)</em>.</p> <p>Given that Iraq had <em>no connection</em> with 9/11 and possessed no weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq war was a crime of aggression and &ndash; under the standards by which Nazi leaders were convicted by the Nuremberg Tribunal &ndash; the American leaders who lied us into that war are guilty of war crimes.</p> <p>Benjamin Ferencz, a former chief prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials, declared:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity &mdash; that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.</p> </blockquote> <p>See <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>.</p> <p>The Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court &ndash; Luis Moreno-Ocampo &ndash; <a href="" target="_blank" title="told">told</a> the Sunday Telegraph in 2007:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>That he would be willing to launch an inquiry and could envisage a scenario in which the Prime Minister and American President George W Bush could one day face charges at The Hague. Luis Moreno-Ocampo urged Arab countries, particularly Iraq, to sign up to the court to enable allegations against the West to be pursued.</p> </blockquote> <p>As a Japan Times Op/Ed <a href="" title="noted">noted</a> in 2009:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>In January 2003, a group of American law professors warned President George W. Bush that he and senior officials of his government could be prosecuted for war crimes if their military tactics violated international humanitarian law.</p> </blockquote> <p>Eminent legal scholars such as former <a href="" target="_blank" title="U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clarke">U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clarke</a> and Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law and a professor of law <a href="" target="_blank" title="Lawrence Velvel">Lawrence Velvel</a> have since stated that high-level Bush administration officials did commit war crimes in relation to the Iraq war.</p> <p>Torture is &ndash; of course &ndash; a violation of the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Geneva Conventions">Geneva Conventions</a>, which make it illegal to inflict mental or physical torture or inhuman treatment. It is clearly-established that <a href="" title="waterboarding is torture">waterboarding is torture</a>. The torture was, in fact, systematic, and included widespread sexual humiliation, murder and other <a href="" target="_blank" title="unambiguous forms of torture">unambiguous forms of torture</a>.</p> <p>Velvel and many other legal experts say that the torture which was carried out after 9/11 is a <a href="" target="_blank" title="war crime">war crime</a>.</p> <p>Colin Powell&rsquo;s former chief of staff stated that <a href="" target="_blank" title="Dick Cheney is guilty of war crimes">Dick Cheney is guilty of war crimes</a> for <a href="" target="_blank" title="overseeing torture policies">overseeing torture policies</a><em>. </em></p> <p>Matthew Alexander &ndash; a former top Air Force interrogator who led the team that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi &ndash; notes that government officials <a href="" target="_blank" title="agrees">knew they are vulnerable for war crime prosecution</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>They have, from the beginning, been trying to prevent an investigation into war crimes.</p> </blockquote> <p>A Malaysian war crimes commission also found Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and five administration attorneys <a href="" target="_blank" title="guilty of war crimes">guilty of war crimes</a> (although but the commission has no power to enforce its judgment).</p> <p>Postscript: Torture is also <a href="" title="apparently continuing under Obama">apparently continuing under Obama</a>. See <a href="" target="_blank" title="this">this</a> and <a href="" title="this">this</a>.</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> Afghanistan Czech Department of Justice Detroit ETC Fail FBI Iraq Israel Japan John McCain Mohammad national intelligence national security Obama Administration SPY White House World Trade Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:32:36 +0000 George Washington 492214 at Turkey Shuns US (Again); Loads 5th Tanker Of $100 Million Iraqi-Kurdish Oil <p>Having <a href="">publicly shunned President Obama</a>, it appears Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has no problem upsetting the status quo. As <a href="">Reuters reports</a>, the <strong>fifth cargo of crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was loading at Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan on Thursday</strong> and was scheduled to set sail on Friday, Turkish energy officials said. Baghdad is unhappy - missing out on the oil revenues. We are sure US is unhappy - oil being sold out of its control. And OPEC may be getting upset as it appears an <strong>'anonymous' buyer </strong>is more than willing to buy the oil from the 'not sovereign status' seller militia at a healthy discount. <em>De-petrodollarization?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><a href="">As Reuters reports</a>,</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The cargo was the first loading of Iraqi Kurdish oil from Ceyhan in over a month,</strong> as the central government in Baghdad, locked in a bitter dispute with the Kurds over oil exports, moved to block the unloading of Kurdish oil-laden vessels in foreign ports.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Suezmax tanker Kamari arrived at the port late on Wednesday, a shipping source said.<strong> It will be carrying one million barrels of crude oil.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Initially there was no programme for loading today. Then we received a tanker and started to load swiftly," one Turkish official said, adding that he had no knowledge of the buyer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So far, <strong>most of the buyers of Kurdish oil remain annonymous while as the intensifying legal and political struggle with Baghdad could deter potential buyers</strong>, analysts say.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Arguing all oil sales outside its control are illegal, <strong>Baghdad this week tried to get a Texas court to seize 1 million barrels of oil aboard the United Kalavrvta tanker, which has been anchored off the port of Galveston since the weekend.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But after a <strong>U.S. judge on Tuesday said she lacked jurisdiction given the ship's distance from the shore</strong>, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) hit back at Baghdad, filing a letter with the Texas court arguing its sales are allowed under the Iraqi constitution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Arbil has begun selling its oil via a new pipeline through Turkey in May, but so far has only successfully sold and delivered one tanker filled with oil from the line.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Unable to export its oil on a routine basis, Iraqi Kurdistan was forced to halt pumping in its oil pipeline via Turkey, as the storage tanks at Ceyhan have been backed up and at capacity.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Baghdad has cut the KRG's budget since the start of the year over the oil sales dispute, <strong>heaping pressure on the semi-autonomous enclave of 5 million that has enjoyed relative stability since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Just add it to the list of geopolitical hot spots... we smell sanctions (on a NATO ally?)</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="782" height="497" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Crude Crude Oil OPEC President Obama Reuters Turkey Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:03:45 +0000 Tyler Durden 492213 at