Abu Zubaydah’s Drawings

Jason Leopold has a long article on Abu Zubaydah out that you should read in detail. It provides an update on AZ’s torture diaries (which his lawyer now has, though in untranslated form). And the tidbit that one reason officials are so worried about information on AZ coming out is that it’ll show the massive intelligence failure that resulted in the conclusion that he was a top al Qaeda officer.

These officials claim that while there is some concern within the Justice Department about the details of Zubaydah’s interrogations prior to August 2002 being revealed and leading to renewed calls for an investigation, there is greater unease with the fact that if the case moved forward it would expose the massive intelligence failure that took place in the last months of the Clinton administration and during George W. Bush’s first term that resulted in Zubaydah at one point being named the No. 3 official in al-Qaeda and one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks.

There’s also further confirmation that Mitchell and Jessen were conducting a human experiment on AZ, including testing how long a human could go without sleep.

For example, one current and three former CIA officials said some videotapes showed Zubaydah being sleep deprived for more than two weeks. Contractors hired by the CIA studied how he responded psychologically and physically to being kept awake for that amount of time. By looking at videotapes, they concluded that after the 11th consecutive day of being kept awake Zubaydah started to “severely break down.” So, the torture memo concluded that 11 days of sleep deprivation was legal and did not meet the definition of torture.

But I’m particularly interested in the degree to which AZ’s lawyer, Brent Mickum, seems to believe that John Durham is interested in AZ’s drawings of the torture done to him.

During a recent meeting with Durham, Mickum said he learned that the special prosecutor had obtained drawings during the course of his probe that Mickum believed were Zubaydah’s. In addition to the diaries, Mickum had previously sought from the Justice Department drawings Zubaydah made while in CIA custody. But the Justice Department told Mickum they could not locate the drawings.

“When I met with John Durham I discovered he had drawings, which, based on my review I believed were my client’s,” Mickum said. “The drawings were ultimately produced to us in late 2009.”

The Justice Department would not discuss the drawings, diaries, or other issues related to Zubaydah’s case.

Mickum said in lieu of the torture tapes, the drawings Zubaydah made contain the best description of the torture techniques CIA interrogators used against Zubaydah while he was being held at the agency’s black site prison facilities. Mickum said he could not disclose how many drawings Zubaydah made nor could he discuss the content.

“These are a good group of drawings and he is a pretty good artist,” Mickum said. “The depictions would be of interest. [Zubaydah] can draw and with great detail.”

This suggests two things. First, that until some time last year, DOJ claimed not to be able to locate drawings that had already been turned over to Durham for his investigation. And that those drawings may be detailed enough to clarify precisely what the torturers did to him when.

106 replies
  1. alabama says:

    Interesting stuff coming down, and so quickly, in the larger scheme of things… The CIA has much to learn from the Vatican.

  2. JasonLeopold says:

    Marcy, thank you so much for highlighting this story. I am incredibly grateful. I only wish I took the time to read your posts today on AZ before I put this report to bed earlier this afternoon

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m particularly interested in your description of the sleep deprivation and the focus in the July 13 fax on severe mental harm. I had never noticed that before. But it’s clear that that’s what they were worried about in mid-July. Now, I suspect that this is about mock burial and water boarding, not sleep deprivation (they later claim that one recovers from sleep deprivation quickly, though I expect Jeff Kaye will show up and debunk that claim). But they seem very specifically worried about the tie between threats of death and severe mental pain.

      • JTMinIA says:

        Many of the short-term effects of sleep-deprivation (e.g., those on attention) are eliminated after two good nights of sleep. Whether the same is true for some of the long-term effects (e.g., heart disease) is an open question, by my reading of the literature. Of course, one of the most straight-forward effects of extended sleep-deprivation – viz., death – is not undone by any number of nights of good sleep.

        [A rat dies in about three weeks when kept awake. The rat’s body ceases to be able to regulate several basic functions, such as body temp., and, so, the rat dies. This was known long before they did this to AZ.]

        • mongopawn says:

          Aren’t “experiments” such as these to determine the “breakdown point” the hallmark of Hitler’s Germany, the SS, the Gestapo?

        • MarkH says:

          Bushies would probably disregard known “science” (as unreliable theories) and argue they stressed AZ, but he committed suicide (albeit unconsciously) by not repeating his own heartbeats.

          When you’re seen how bizarre they can be it doesn’t pay to disregard that they would probably do it again!

      • Mary says:

        And I guess if your “recovery” from sleep depriv includes recanting your false confessions, but they are already the grounds for your forever detention without trial, or if a nation has already gone to war based on your false statements, well, sometimes there are a lot of different fronts for recovery.

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        Great article, Jason! Great work, Marcy! I am so beholden to you both, as we all are.

        Only a couple of quick thoughts right now.

        One, re the “massive intelligence failure” (MIF) on AZ. That is the way the sources are spinning it, but it doesn’t make logical sense. Why would use such a valuable figure as a guinea pig? Did they not use AZ to set up another false scheme around the whole “dirty bomb” scenario with Padilla and Binyam Mohamed?

        I believe that the MIF on AZ is a matter of spin, or a limited hang-out of some sort, where some of the actors involved truly believe, based on their briefings and limited knowledge, that the labeling of AZ was a MIF. — Of course, I could be wrong. But, consider the logic of it. Why would one play with how far one could stretch torture unto the “breaking point”, if you really thought you had a major source of information. The same may also go for the KSM torture.

        As for the sleep deprivation, I believe you are correct, EW, that by July they were concerned about threats of imminent death, but only because they had finished the portion of the experiment that dealt with other forms of torture.

        In this sense, the psychological evaluation of AZ becomes a kind of report of the responses of AZ to the experimental techniques. I think I’ll repost here a portion of my earlier article on the psych eval, which can be read in the light of this new information.

        There are plenty of indications in the report that Zubaydah had been under observation and interrogated (tortured) for some time prior to the [July] drafting of the report (emphasis added).

        Of particular note has been subject’s ability to manage his mood and emotions during detention. [About four lines redacted] In addition, he showed strong signs of sympathetic nervous system arousal (possibly fear) when he experienced the initial “confrontational” dislocation of expectation during an interrogation session…. As has been observed during his recent detention, he was able to quickly bounce back from these most disconcerting moments and regain an air of calm confidence, and strong resolve in not parting with any other threat information.

        By sympathetic nervous system arousal, the report’s author means rapid breathing and heartbeat, dilated pupils, raised blood pressure, a spike in adrenaline, muscle tension, increased sweating — noting “fear,” possibly Zubaydah experienced a panic attack.

        What could have brought about this “‘confrontational’ dislocation”? Most likely it was the appearance of James Mitchell and his SERE-style torture methods, replacing the early “rapport”-based interrogation of Ali Soufan and the FBI interrogation team. What Mitchell or whomever [wrote the report] is saying here is that when things got rough, Zubaydah was temporarily shaken and “talked” more, subsequently regaining his “calm” and not producing more of what the torturers wanted.

        Mitchell arrived in Thailand sometime in April 2002, and FBI interrogator Ali Soufan left in mid-May, in protest over the implementation of Mitchell’s “learned helplessness” techniques. Already, Zubaydah had been subjected to forced nudity, sensory overload, shackling and sleep deprivation (and I’d guess, dietary manipulation, i.e., slow starvation), and perhaps other cruel treatment. (Soufan admitted that the FBI interrogation did not meet Geneva Common Article Three standards, either.) If my thesis is correct, the “dislocation” took place sometime before mid-May.

        Those four redacted lines in the psych eval possibly point to physiological markers that they were measuring. If you have an experiment on how close you can come to breaking down an individual, you must have some way of quantifying or measuring that. It could not have been through production of information, or even cooperation… because that’s only one variable. You need the other variable, and they were looking for physiological markers: of nervous system arousal, e.g., cortisol levels, testosterone levels, heart rate variability, etc.

        These experiments have always been about how to scientifically break down an individual, or rather, how to lead someone to the edge of breakdown and hold them there for as long as you can: the holy grail of torturers. Go back to the earlier research by MKULTRA scientists. This kind of work goes all the way back to seminal essays by Lawrence Hinkle, such as “The Physiological State of the Interrogation Subject as it Affects Brain Function”, which was published in The Manipulation of Human Behavior by Wiley and Sons in the early 1960s.

        It was MKULTRA redux all along.

        How stupid (and criminal!) that they would use this info to set the parameters of what meant harm in the Bybee memo! But then, these are supremely arrogant and stupid people, who only think they are the mind fuckers of the earth. They are scum. They will be ultimately rounded up and put in the prison cells where they belong.

        • JasonLeopold says:

          jeff, great insight! Thank you for weighing in! I don’t think MIF (like the acronym) is something that the folks I spoke to felt was the case at the time of his capture (unless I am misunderstanding your comment). It’s only something that there is recent concerns about within intel and DOJ circles given the statements contained in Justice Department documents related to his factual return and the review by the SSCI. I think there is no question that the FBI guys always felt that the labeling of AZ as “No. 2/3” al-qaeda was an intel failure. But after 9/11, all of the claims/warnings Richard Clarke had made about Zubaydah in 2000 and pre-9/11 led the Cheney and CIA folks to the conclusion that he was this major figure. I think that side believed (for a very short time mind you) that they had a big fish.

          • emptywheel says:

            Or is it that they recognize the ENTIRE torture program is premised on their claimed certainty, in 2002, that AZ was a top guy. If that’s not true, than the entire justification for torture in the Bybee Two memo falls apart. And since that memo authorized the rest of the treatment, then all the following treatment loses any claim to legitimacy.

          • Jeff Kaye says:

            Re MIF. What I am saying, I should premise, is speculative, but is based on my best understanding of what occurred, and how these individuals and agencies operate. In the real world, complex phenomena have many causes. Hence, I am sure that, for instance, Ali Soufan believes he got good intel out of AZ, and continues, for instance, to cite the revelation of the “dirty bomb” plot, implicating Padilla and Binyam Mohamed. But there was no such plot. Soufan suffers from an inability to believe that his work was needless, or even wrong. That’s a human thing.

            I am suggesting that, on a compartmentalized basis, AZ was set up as a Al Qaeda mastermind. To what degree Richard Clarke was cognizant of this or not, I don’t know. This leads us into territory, for better or worse, that is outside our ability to prove, hence it can only be proposed as a possible alternative hypothesis. But let us look at the hypothesis that this was a “massive intelligence failure” (MIF).

            The MIF could have been the product of wishful thinking and deluded analytical supposition. Or it may not be a “failure” at all, but the construction of boogie man who would be a prime figure for the production of further terrorist amalgams, such as the “dirty bomb” plot. Also, what we don’t know is when the “experiment” was organized, by whom (though I have given some evidence it came from within CIA’s Office of Technical Services, which, I’m never tired of reminded folks, was the same department that handled MKULTRA and associated programs). You have only to look back, Jason, at the articles you published of mine at The Public Record and Truthout.

            How did they assess the importance of Abu Zubaydah? What sources did they use? What analysis? A good look at the profile produced on AZ is adumbrated in the psychological assessment of AZ, which I previously analyzed. For instance, AZ is presented as the man who knew every individual that came in and out of Peshawar and Afghanistan, who directed the start-up of AQ in Jordan, who wrote the AQ resistance manual (which they surely knew was false), who was involved in every AQ major operation, etc. This is not an intelligence failure. Any one of these could have been, but together, they speak to the construction of a useful patsy.

            And then, there is the logical problem that one would experiment upon such a valuable subject. Forgive the cold-bloodedness, but one can understand (from a criminal’s viewpoint) experimenting — as they did — upon Binyam Mohamed (who, don’t forget, was getting many of the same techniques used upon him contemporaneously with AZ), or Jose Padilla. But upon the #2 or #3 of Al Qaeda? It makes no sense.

            We should start from the premise that we cannot rely on any testimony from the CIA and associated personnel. They are proven liars. They misled Congress, and as a recent posting of mine explains, they kept quiet on a decades-long program of false-flag operations, support of right-wing terrorism, assassinations, and coups, which continued even into the 1980s in a country as peripheral as Belgium!

            I don’t know if I’m being clear here. But know this: We are getting very close to the heart of the matter, and I believe soon, very soon, we will gain the missing pieces. Your work on AZ, EW’s work on the OLC machinations, are both key aspects of the story, are in fact key. They are leading to an overwhelming conclusion, one which has been evident for awhile, but which the society itself must get itself prepared for: the rulers of this country are criminals. They engage in crimes against humanity. The evidence for it lies in their implementation of the torture program (though not only there). Cheney is but one major figure, but not the only one.

            Once again, but more briefly, re the MIF: it is a MIF as much as the failure to find WMD in Iraq were a MIF.

            Intelligence failures do happen. The failure to predict the Tet Offensive was an intelligence failure. The failure to predict the 1972 Yom Kippur war was another such MIF. 9/11 itself may have been such a failure (though we definitely have needed a new investigation ever since it was revealed that much of the evidence the 9/11 Commission relied on came via torture).

            All I’m really saying is beware spin, and the attempt to construct a narrative based on the commentary of government actors. We must not assume anything, and that includes not running ahead of ourselves and saying that AZ was a constructed patsy. That is only an alternative hypothesis. Another modification of this hypothesis is that there was an initial intelligence failure, but it was utilized to then construct the boogie man such as it later appeared in the psych eval and public statements about AZ. That might be a hypothesis that fits even closer to facts, but until we have a government or society that can really see all the relevant documents, and put the major and minor actors under oath and threat of prison via perjury, we just won’t know.

            • emptywheel says:

              See, I’m of mixed mind about this one.

              First, because the American mind is simplistic enough that they weren’t able to imagine who Mukhtar was, for example, though they had that intell in August 2001. So part of the problem was that they had three identities with AZ: AZ, Daoud, and Zayn, all of which they knew to cohere (partly bc they weren’t protecting him as closely, and partly bc he was more stationary). So it was natural for their American brains to latch onto him.

              Second, I do believe there was a specific intelligence failure, but that failure is Jordan’s. We know AZ was implicated in a Jordanian plot–no idea if it’s true. We have reason to believe that some of the intell connecting him to Ressam was Jordanian. And the Khost bombing makes clear, we are entirely too trusting of Jordanian intelligence, because we are dependent on it. Plus, there’s the question of the torture Jordan used to get its intelligence.

              And I do wonder whether there was ANOTHER failure, one related to the warrantless wiretap program. But that’s just an open question for me.

              As to whether or why to torture AZ? Well, I think you’ve got to first explain why al-Libi was subjected to the same treatment–if not the same experimentation, what appears to be the same kind of progression. Because al-Libi was, in many ways, MORE important than AZ, but they were willing to do a dry run on the torture with him anyway.

              It’s possible (and the false accusation that he was tied to the training manual makes me wonder about this) that they targeted al-Libi and AZ for some reason that has as much to do with our ties to the Mujahadeen as anything else. Which is not to say we targeted people who we had former ties to at all (though the revelation that Gul Rahman was a Hekmatyar guy is interesting on that count), just that I think we pay FAR too little attention to how we treated the former Muj we employed to oust the Russians. (And, then what role the Pakistanis and Saudis have in it.)

              In other words, I think it’s far too easy to say the MIF is all about getting some bodies to use in human experimentation. I think there are obvious weaknesses in our intelligence that did set up AZ (and again, in the aftermath of Khost, those become more clear). So I am interested in whether there is a source of angst about our overstatements about AZ that is worth more attention?

              For example, what role might the Israelis have in naming a Palestinian as the #3 in al Qaeda, as opposed to Pakistani?

              • Jeff Kaye says:

                You raise a number of important questions, which point, IMO, to the fact that AZ appears to be a number of things to a number of people, an opaque character.

                Look, for instance, to how the Jordanian plot was described by James Risen back in Feb. 2000. Risen is a careful reporter, and the bold emphases here are mine:

                American and Middle Eastern investigators say they believe that the suspect, Abu Zubaydah, was also in contact with Algerians who have been charged in a separate attempt to bomb unspecified targets in the United States in December. It is not clear whether Zubaydah played an active role in that plot, these officials say….

                Middle Eastern intelligence officials describe Zubaydah as the coordinator of bin Laden’s “external operations,” which they describe as the group’s terrorist activities outside Afghanistan.

                Operating from Peshawar, Pakistan, Zubaydah was in charge of communications between bin Laden’s organization in Afghanistan and terrorist cells around the world, investigators now suspect.

                Notice how claims are made, then couched in contingent language. One wonders, now, about the claims made back, for instance, at the time of the “Millennium Plot” that AZ was “a longtime ally of Osama Bin-Ladin, who approved their plan.” Or that AZ had 37 aliases and was “a master of disguise,” and not the brain-damaged individual he was.

                When you have as many operations and suppositions attached to one man, as it has been to AZ, none of which pan out, then you have more than just a MIF, you have the signs of a counter-intelligence operation, possibly run against Al Qaeda, against the Saudis and Pakistanis, etc. Possibly the Israelis were involved, possibly not, or only partly read in. AZ was the handy man for many plots. Also, as we have learned, it’s handy to have terror around to give the state its raison d’etre for overwhelming force and reactionary crackdowns… power.

                Btw, I don’t believe that the MIF (whatever it really was) was solely for the purpose of the experiment. That was only one aspect. Conquest, political and economic control, hubris, the feeding of the military machine and associate MIC, and possibly some religious fanaticism make up the bulk of the other causes and agendas.

                I believe you are spot on when you write, “It’s possible (and the false accusation that he was tied to the training manual makes me wonder about this) that they targeted al-Libi and AZ for some reason that has as much to do with our ties to the Mujahadeen as anything else.”

                I make a good deal about the experimentation aspect, because it’s particularly awful, I think they are most vulnerable to prosecution on this, and because it touches my field and professional identity. I do know it’s not the entire story, but I can understand that my way of expressing myself can make it appear that way.

                No doubt that AZ was a jihadist, fighting for what he thought was right. The U.S. used the jihadists for decades, built them up with billions in aid, with political support in some areas. If they didn’t in the end have the same agenda as the United States, that should come as no surprise. But there is really no evidence that AZ was plotting against the United States.

                As to why they tortured Al-Libi, I really can’t say. One either supposes that they believed he had important information, or they thought they could use what connections he had to make a plausible candidate for the false confessions they would wring out of him via torture. I suppose there are other possiblities, but that’s what comes first to mind.

                • emptywheel says:

                  I’m suggesting the ties between al-Libi and AZ suggest if there is a research agenda w/ AZ, then you need to figure how that extends to al-Libi, since they are operationally tied. And I’m particularly interested in the possibility that they did a dry run of a particular schema (which Jessen presented in April 2002) w/ al-Libi and then expanded on it w/AZ.

                  • Jeff Kaye says:

                    I’m with you, but the al-Libi story is even more shrouded than that of AZ. Of course, as you point out, they are personally linked (from Khaldan).

                    Al Libi appears to have been a follower of Global Jihadist Abdullah Azzam, who was early associated with Bin Laden. The jihadist movement was certainly fragmented among different “leaders” and schisms. If AZ and al-Libi didn’t associate (or much) with Bin Laden by 2001, I can see where they might have been thought to.

                    Again, I think torture has been used all along, and certainly rendition has an old heritage, as the story I did with Albarelli sought to prove. Only the EIT was new and the subject of experiments (I believe). Under this hypothesis, al-Libi was tortured the old way, and AZ was made the guinea pig. Al-Libi was never a guinea pig (or if at all, only at the end), “just” a subject of torture, for daring to oppose the Americans and their allies in their aims. I think the Nasiri story that al-Libi lied “on purpose” under torture to create a cause for war for the Americans against Saddam is nonsense.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      I don’t think we know what al-Libi was. I am struck that it seems the sequencing was similar. And if they were doing a dry run on al-Libi, proving the concept, it might explain 1) why you do it in Eqypt and 2) why they went and collected al-Libi for a time. (Though it might just have been they didn’t want one of the casus bellis to be in Arab hands as the Iraq expedition went south).

                    • Mary says:

                      I think a part of the collection of al-Libi was that there was some real concern that Bush might not win the election and/or Congress might really dig in and exercise power and some people might be really hanging out to dry when they try to sell the fact that they don’t have al-Libi.

                      At that point, Egypt sure as hell isn’t going to want to be holding him, as Congress and/or a new President is saying “where is the guy who told up about the training camps and why did he tell us that and how could we have been so wrong”

                      So I’m thinking in 2004, Egypt really didn’t want him. We also had no reason for him to be in Egyptian hands other than torture. Egypt had no points of contact with him, no warrants, no indictments, he wasn’t Egyptian – none of the dressup trappings that we had used when we sent other people to Egypt.

                      So there’s another “save Condi’s butt” reason to get him back. IIRC, Cloonan said the CIA guys when they took al-Libi tried to float some bizarre claim that he was Egyptian, but the FBI guys were all over that and wouldn’t go along. So here you had a “rendition” to a country with no ties to the guy being rendered to them. There was no reason for that rendition other than torture. There doesn’t seem to have been any involvement of State Dept in that transfer. Rather, there was Condi’s NSC. Condi’s NSC, with Ashcroft in the pocket, directing the transfer of al-Libi from US hands to Egyptian torture.

                      And what seemed so wildly successful to them at one point – *he said just what Dick thought* – after the invasion and in the run up to a new election, suddenly wasn’t successful at all. It was the “opposite of” successful.

                      And it tied the US to laundering torture to the UN.

                      Think about the reaction now in Britain over the issue of their MI services collecting and using torture info.

                      Now put it into the context of the world’s super power, the US, collecting torture to launder to the world, publically, through Colin Powell and actually generating a worldwide response against Iraq based on – – – laundered torture.

                      Likely, back then (as opposed to now, when the politics of torture have become Obama’s as well as Bush’s) Powell would have not been pleasant as it came out and there would have been the secondary layer of Condi and Rove and Cheney putting one over on Powell as a part of the framing.

            • Jeff Kaye says:

              And, lest I forget, supposedly, it was al-Libi — he who was tortured by mock burial and other horrors — who coughed up AZ’s name, supposedly. Or was tortured until he gave the name they wanted. Al-Libi knew AZ from the training camp.

              I find it difficult to believe that the U.S. government took their understanding of AZ from al-Libi, produced under torture (or made to produce it).

            • JasonLeopold says:

              Jeff, thanks for taking the time to explain this further. It’s very helpful. I understand what you’re saying and I think you make good points. When I wrap the larger story on AZ these questions will be addressed, at least I hope they will be. Some of these questions were ones I asked and it led me to the bigger story I have been working on.

              • Jeff Kaye says:

                Don’t forget to review your own earlier work, like this excellent story from last year. In that piece, you quoted Mayer’s The Dark Side:

                Mayer wrote that when Mitchell arrived he told Soufan and the other FBI agent that Zubaydah needed to be treated “like a dog in a cage.”

                Mitchell said Zubaydah was “like an experiment, when you apply electric shocks to a caged dog, after a while he’s so diminished, he can’t resist.”

                Soufan and the other FBI agent argued that Zubaydah was “not a dog, he was a human being” to which Mitchell responded: “Science is science.”

                I will take up the “learned helplessness” issue, and that of quantifying it in a physiological way, in my next post. Guess who talks about it as far back as the mid-1970s? Our buddy Seligman! What a surprise. — Waterboarding was an experiment on inescapable “shock” or “uncontrollable stress”, meant to study and quantify “learned helplessness”. I think we’ll find that electric shock experiments also took place, though not on AZ.

                Both you, EW, and other readers should understand that when I say “experiment”, I am referring to the research and implementation of the EITs. On the other hand, the CIA and possibly other agencies never stopped using the sensory deprivation-sleep deprivation-isolation-fear form of torture that the CIA perfected in the late 1950s (except, perhaps, for a few years in the mid-1970s, but then, they transferred the use of it to the Army, in the latter’s Project X). I sometimes refer to it as the KUBARK model, after the manual that bears that name. Appendix M is primarily based on the KUBARK model, not the EIT model, hence the claims that it abandoned what the U.S. was doing under Bush/Cheney is somewhat true, but disingenuous. They merely went back to the old model, updated with some new tweaks learned from the EIT experiment, and, I believe, with some new equipment (battle-tested) they could use in assessing the physiological state of the “learned helplessness” condition they were inducing.

                I think we will see that torture was central to U.S. policy, and not a peripheral part of it. Central doesn’t mean the raison d’etre for the policy, just a very important part of it, non-detachable from the rest.

                • JTMinIA says:

                  >> Soufan and the other FBI agent argued that Zubaydah was “not a dog, he was a human being” to which Mitchell responded: “Science is science.”

                  There are two ways to read Mitchell’s response. One is to assume that Mitchell thought that Soufan was making a moral point and, therefore, that Mitchell was replying that science, itself, has no morality. (This is how most people read it, I believe.) The other is to assume that Mitchell thought that Soufan was questioning whether Seligman’s work on learned helplessness in dogs really applied to humans and, therefore, that Mitchell was replying that it did; i.e., “science = science” is short-hand for “what-ever is found by science in one situation applies to all other situations.” (Given Mitchell’s hang-up on whether he really is a scientist, I’m starting to suspect the latter. In other words, when Mitchell talks about doing experiments on AZ, what he means is that he wants to test the external validity of Seligman’s work by trying it on a human.)

                  Any idea which reading is correct?

            • geoshmoe says:

              All I’m really saying is beware spin

              Spin pertains to a singular object, kinetic energy, that is easily overlooked the way the ball bounces and so on.

              You rattle off 10 paragraphs, with complicated syntax and arcane as well as things these readers are aware of, and need no reintroduction, so I don’t know if you will agree, but isn’t it possible that you have unintentionally commited a small coginitive dissonance?

              That is: going from needless verbosity and complexity, to an opposite pole: ( concentration on the ball.) Which I think is an attempt to mask your inability to just say it simply, so that mere mortals can comprehend, so to speak.

              I mean I would have to read it over and over to disentangle the points made. Bottom line: Torture… Bad…
              Thanks for your work on this subject.

        • Jeff Kaye says:

          Let’s just hope, btw, that the experiments were not about “mind control,” as the original MKULTRA/Bluebird/Artichoke experiments were. I’m assuming they were about total control during an interrogation. If they were about mind control, then all bets are off, and we are on an even crazier roller coaster ride than I could have ever imagined.

    • emptywheel says:

      And remember, too, that the Bybee Two memo admits that CIA had already sleep deprived AZ, but only for 72 hours. They also take out the description of imposing sleep deprivation by using shackles.

      • JasonLeopold says:

        I’m not going to put this part into the later story because it seems too conspiratorial, but several people said some cables were manufactured and others deleted and descriptions sent back to Langley about interrogations as to what exactly took place, i.e. sleep deprivation for 72 hours, was made up by Jessen.

        • MadDog says:

          And more detail about this part:

          “I would describe it this way,” said one former National Security official. “[Zubaydah] was an experiment. A guinea pig. I’m sure you’ve heard that a lot. There were many enhanced interrogation [methods] tested on him that have never been discussed before we settled on the 10 [techniques].”

          (My Bold)

          I’ve often thought that the EITs described by Yoo-Bybee-Bradbury et al.(torture techniques for the ignoranti in the MSM), were only those that the Bush/Cheney believed they could sufficiently whitewash and be given “legal cover”, while other non-whitewashable torture techniques that were indeed used got buried with the oh-so-typical Bush/Cheney/Gonzales/Addington refrain of “I don’t remember”.

          • JasonLeopold says:

            I should have been more clear with that quote. This was in reference to some things that were done to AZ before August 2002–specifically around mid-April 2002 to the end of May–and before a decision was made on the specific methods of torture to use.

            • MadDog says:

              Thanks for the additional clarity on the timing.

              I suppose that still leaves us all questioning just what those “…many enhanced interrogation [methods] tested on him that have never been discussed…” (My Bold) actually were.

              • JasonLeopold says:

                I had a feeling you were going to ask about that :)

                Well, I am sure this isn’t a surprise to anyone, but one was the use of drugs. I will have quite a bit of detail on this when I wrap up the bigger story.

                • MadDog says:

                  …but one was the use of drugs…

                  To quote my favorite bmazism: “I’m shocked, shocked…”

                  Drugs have always been the unmentionable in the MSM. As if the very discussion of such just couldn’t be imagined. Surely the CIA would never, ever contemplate using drugs… Yeah, right.

                  So there’s got to be a Yoo OLC drug opinion still buried.

                  • JasonLeopold says:

                    Yeah, you know that’s funny you mentioned the MSM. I spent more than a year speaking to some of these folks and some of them mentioned the use of drugs to some of our favorite reporters at the NYT and the WaPo and it was the one thing that, from what I am told, the reporters wanted to steer clear from.

                    • MadDog says:

                      One of the likely reasons is the “shades of Nazi Dr. Mengele” aspect.

                      Torture, for those in the MSM who even deign to describe it thusly, apparently does not invoke anywhere near the undeniable conclusion that using drugs on prisoners does.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      As Jeff Kaye has pointed out many times, drugs are allowed for in the current AFM, not even the Appendix M part but the regular old part.

                      Which suggests they may be steering clear bc they don’t want to ruin anything currently operational.

                    • MadDog says:

                      Yeah, the only specific drug prohibition in the AFM (384 page PDF) is this at page 102:

                      …drugs that may induce lasting or permanent mental alteration or damage…

                      Which leaves light years of wide latitude for torture/breaking resistance via drugs.

                      …Which suggests they may be steering clear bc they don’t want to ruin anything currently operational.

                      I agree that is part of their rationale, but “shades of Nazi Dr. Mengele” can’t be far behind.

  3. orionATL says:

    so dunham’s investigation has had at least one very useful result – unearthing zubayad’s drawings

    (which the doj apparently lied about not having, in the artful way lawyers lie presumably to a judge).

  4. JasonLeopold says:

    That is something I am going to follow up on now with regard to the July 13th fax you wrote about as I think it definitely plays a part in how some of the torture techniques were “legalized” in terms of adminstering it if that makes sense.

    The way the sleep deprivation was described to me is that AZ was specifically kept awake to study how long it took before he had a complete mental breakdown and the description of what he did to himself physically after being kept awake for 17 days at one point is pretty gruesome (picking chunks of his flesh). All of this was videotaped, apparently. The second time he was kept awake for 15 days and in both cases the tapes showed that after 11 days of sleep deprivation is when he became “severely” incapacitated to the point that there was actually a concern that there was permanent damage and he would not be “returned” to his previous state. There are several people I spoke to, however, that said because of his previous psychological condition the sleep deprivation the first time around left him permanently damaged and he never fully recovered mentally and suffered from hallucinations.

    I hope this makes sense as it was described very to me in very technical terms and I tried to put it into plain English.

    • JTMinIA says:

      Hallucinations are a frequent side-effect of both sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation.

      Hallucination are a major maintaining symptom of schizophrenia (i.e., once they start, they feed the underlying cognitive disorder, making it worse and worse).

      Schizophrenics NEVER fully recover. Never.

      You do the math.

      – – –

      Doing it to him once is sick.

      When they did it the second time – which I didn’t know until five minutes ago – they crossed a line that cannot be denied by anyone.

      • TalkingStick says:

        Not equivalent with schizophrenia.

        However it depends on how you define recovery from massive trauma, emotional or physical.as to whether recovery is possible.

        The dark ages could have been no worse than what the USA with collaboration of the medical and psychology.communities..

    • Mary says:

      Even though, if you’ve paid attention, you kind of had to have known this for a long time (I’ve referred to it all as sales into human interrogation experiments for a long time) it’s so disturbing to see it laid out.

      From time to time you hear references to someone at CIA who was involved in KSM’s torture being a broken man, but all you ever seem to get from the AZ torture (despite his much lesser culpability of any criminal acts against the US) with the exception of Soufan is this feeling of elated sadism covered up as being medical observation.

      I guess Kirakou will be cued up at any point, now, to say that the 15 day and 17 day sleep deprivations were “necessary.”

      • JasonLeopold says:

        Mary, I think part of the reason, and this is just my own opinion, that we hear the likes of Marc Thiessen and Kirakou and others being so defensive when it comes to AZ and his torture is because they know how wrong the intelligence on him is and I truly believe they are worried that it will all come out.

      • Kathryn in MA says:

        Shades of Dr Mengele. As i understand, the scientific community will not use any ‘data’ Mengele acquired.

  5. orionATL says:

    of course, if you are a torturer who doesn’t want your torturee to be a credible witness against you,

    you can use the tactic of driving him mad, as with padilla and zubayaid.

  6. Palli says:

    Photos were explosive but there are drawings! …the Victim’s drawings… what power they must have… probably far more than the lurid “sightseeing” color photos of torture from the prison halls.

  7. JTMinIA says:

    Wait. He already had brain damage from action in Afghanistan, right? If so, how could his responses to extended sleep-deprivation be used to make any general statement on what would be torture? At best, it could be used to decide how long to keep a person with similar damage awake, but it could not – by any reasonable person – be used to decide how long to keep a person without brain damage awake.

    And before you say that setting the limit using someone with brain damage would be conservative, let me warn you that brain damage is not something that always makes you more susceptible to various other manipulations. For all I/we know, someone who didn’t have the same damage as AZ would have died in less than 15 days.

    That Mitchell & Jessen are evil is one thing. That they are also bad scientists is now really p*ssing me off.

    • Mary says:

      As I read your 18 I was going to mention that – he had physical brain damage and he also had those pre-existing diaries written in three persons, Hanni 1, Hanni 2, Hanni 3. All that PRIOR to the experiments on him.

      Re the post and Jason’s article, the massive intelligence failure also was reinforced by torture – with the al-Faruq, al-Libi and Zubaydah round robin of cross identifications (after torture) of each other as prominent Al-Qaeda operatives.

      Not that there’s any lawyer for al-Libi to sift through how some of the failures came to be.

  8. tjbs says:

    Nazi human experimentation, no.

    My big problem is they are still out there, the torturers and they’re coming back home one day a 100, 1000, 10,000?

  9. Mary says:

    It is a really good article and I especially like the fact that it exposes some of the nitty-gritty “minor” details that Obama could have done something about a long time ago – for example the fact that AZ’s lawyer, Mickum, is having to contend with the fact that there is just ONE classified clearance translator for all the lawyers to use.

    From JL’s story:

    There is only one translator who has top-secret security clearance and he is working on 30 other cases and goes to Guantanamo every week.

    As a result it will be hundreds of thousands of dollars to get translations squared away.

  10. orionATL says:

    if you had totured a man extensively whom you knew beforehand, suspected beforehand, or learned early into your interrrogation,

    was not an important al-q operative at all, but a kind of flunky,

    which story would you tell to excuse your behavior:

    1) we really thought he was a major al-q figure. it was only much later that we learned differently


    2)we knew or suspected or learned early on that az was not important,

    but we needed someone on whom to experiment with various torture techniques so our contract scientists and lawyers (doj AND cia) could establish guidelines for future torture that would provide us with a legal figleaf.

  11. MadDog says:

    Tangentially on topic – Via ABC News:

    Top State Dept Lawyer Defends Legality of Drone Strikes

    In a little noticed speech last week, State Dept. Legal Advisor Harold Koh for the first time outlined, and ardently defended, the legal basis for the use of lethal drone attacks against terror targets.

    In a keynote address to the American Society of International Law on March 25, Koh says “that it is the considered view of this Administration—and it has certainly been my experience during my time as Legal Adviser—that U.S. targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war…”

    And note that Koh’s speech is much more than just a pronouncement of his views on UAV targeted killings.

    It also goes to the very heart of some of the issues discussed here in this post:

    …Let me say a word about each: detention, targeting, and prosecution.

    1. Detention

    With respect to detention, as you know, the last Administration’s detention practices were widely criticized around the world, and as a private citizen, I was among the vocal critics of those practices. This Administration and I personally have spent much of the last year seeking to revise those practices to ensure their full compliance with domestic and international law, first, by unequivocally guaranteeing humane treatment for all individuals in U.S. custody as a result of armed conflict and second, by ensuring that all detained individuals are being held pursuant to lawful authorities.

    a. Treatment

    To ensure humane treatment, on his second full day in office, the President unequivocally banned the use of torture as an instrument of U.S. policy, a commitment that he has repeatedly reaffirmed in the months since. He directed that executive officials could no longer rely upon the Justice Department OLC opinions that had permitted practices that I consider to be torture and cruel treatment — many of which he later disclosed publicly — and he instructed that henceforth, all interrogations of detainees must be conducted in accordance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and with the revised Army Field Manual. An interagency review of U.S. interrogation practices later advised – and the President agreed – that no techniques beyond those in the Army Field Manual (and traditional noncoercive FBI techniques) are necessary to conduct effective interrogations. That Interrogation and Transfer Task Force also issued a set of recommendations to help ensure that the United States will not transfer individuals to face torture. The President also revoked Executive Order 13440, which had interpreted particular provisions of Common Article 3, and restored the meaning of those provisions to the way they have traditionally been understood in international law…


    b. Legal Authority to Detain

    Some have asked what legal basis we have for continuing to detain those held on Guantanamo and at Bagram. But as a matter of both international and domestic law, the legal framework is well-established. As a matter of international law, our detention operations rest on three legal foundations. First, we continue to fight a war of self-defense against an enemy that attacked us on September 11, 2001, and before, and that continues to undertake armed attacks against the United States. Second, in Afghanistan, we work as partners with a consenting host government. And third, the United Nations Security Council has, through a series of successive resolutions, authorized the use of “all necessary measures” by the NATO countries constituting the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to fulfill their mandate in Afghanistan. As a nation at war, we must comply with the laws of war, but detention of enemy belligerents to prevent them from returning to hostilities is a well-recognized feature of the conduct of armed conflict, as the drafters of Common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II recognized and as our own Supreme Court recognized in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.

    The federal courts have confirmed our legal authority to detain in the Guantanamo habeas cases, but the Administration is not asserting an unlimited detention authority. For example, with regard to individuals detained at Guantanamo, we explained in a March 13, 2009 habeas filing before the DC federal court –and repeatedly in habeas cases since — that we are resting our detention authority on a domestic statute – the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) – as informed by the principles of the laws of war. Our detention authority in Afghanistan comes from the same source.

    In explaining this approach, let me note two important differences from the legal approach of the last Administration. First, as a matter of domestic law, the Obama Administration has not based its claim of authority to detain those at GITMO and Bagram on the President’s Article II authority as Commander-in-Chief. Instead, we have relied on legislative authority expressly granted to the President by Congress in the 2001 AUMF…

    There’s much more, but I’ve already strained the limits of blog brevity, so read on for more of Koh’s legal gymnastics.

  12. workingclass says:

    I have nothing to add or subtract. I just want to thank those of you who contribute your time to expose this stuff. I only wish we could dispatch all the torturers to hell. From the highest office to the guy with the pliers. Thanks Y’all.

    • skdadl says:

      Post-capital punishment though I am, you pretty much speak for me too. And hell — well, who knows about hell? I’d like to think that at least a few of the monsters are sweating heavily right now.

      If Mickum can have the journals now, does that mean that they can be returned to AZ himself?

  13. tjbs says:

    Just a thought.,
    Iran-Contra George Sr, after trading arms with the Iranians, claimed “plausible deny-ability” I was out of the loop, ect.

    Fast forward to Jr., where is the firewall, the Plausible deny-ability in his torture program?
    The Independent contractors. They made nice money but were flying blind on protection for their deeds.

    Then could some investigator check it out, hangs the independent contractors out to dry and scrubs the CIA’s image clean in the process?


  14. orionATL says:

    workingclass @44

    thank YOU for taking the time to express your opinion,

    and for your summary sentence that brings up a powerful image.

  15. cregan says:

    It may be that AZ’s diaries are an honest account of him and his activities. On the other hand, I’d have to know a lot more about how these diaries were discovered, who had their hands on them along the way, etc. This info might be contained in posts previous that I missed.

    I remember as a college student and, as part of a speech club, going up to the State Prison every so often to join the Toastmasters club at the Prison for their monthly meeting and speeches.

    What stuck every one of us students–left or right–was that NOT ONE of the prisoners there thought they had done anything. EVERY one of them said they were innocent and had a very long story about why. A few I could understand, but every one was just pretty odd. Every student had the same experience, and I am told now, it would not be unusual at any Prison.

    This was a max security main State Prison near town our college was in.

    I’ve never forgot it.

    • emptywheel says:

      AZ has been very clear that he IS an opponent of the US, he does consider himself an enemy to the US.

      In his CSRT he repeatedly said, “I don’t mind being punished for what I did, but not for what I didn’t do.”

      Which rings true to me in a way a number of the CSRTs from detainees we’ve mistreated don’t.

      • cregan says:

        Yes, that does ring true, I agree. But, there is a difference between that and agreeing or denying you did specific acts. Saying you generally are an opponent of someone or something doesn’t tie to you any act for which you could be held responsible.

        I wish I had more time to delve into it in more detail, and that is one reason I haven’t commented much on this subject lately. It requires more intimate knowledge, and I’m more busy than I’d like to be at the moment.

        You are quite familiar and versed in the area.

    • MrWhy says:

      There’s a difference between acknowledging an act and acknowledging that the act was a transgression. Are you saying that they claimed they never committed the acts they were incarcerated for, or they never admitted that the acts they were incarcerated for were transgressions deserving of incarceration?

  16. cregan says:

    Oh, these stories and claims were from informal conversations we all had with the prisoners before, between speeches and after–not their speeches themselves–which were usually pretty good.

  17. orionATL says:

    jeff kaye @56

    “…the rulers of this country are criminals…”

    some may be so, judged at t a later time.

    right now what we can say with confidence is that all rulers of this country are/were politicians who sought to exploit advantages presented them,

    as does any athlete.

    imcreasingly i’m coming to the view that bush and the foolish and willful cheney were pulled into the saturnian realm of the cia because the cia understood them better than they understood the cia. the upshot was that the cia became the tail that wagged the dog of torture, abductions, and pointless (because many, if not most, were not terrorist) detentions at guantanamo.

    once the cia had, again, led a presidency down a dead end – one with extremely severe legal, moral, and public relations liabilities,

    it became necessary for the admin to initiate a massive cover-up.

    and that is just what ashcroft, gonzales, tenent, cheney, bush and their armies of lying lawyers proceeded to do.

  18. rosalind says:

    ot: Toyota/Sudden Acceleration Update via LATimes – Toyota’s acceleration woes part of two new inquiries

    The National Academy of Sciences will lead a broad investigation into unintended acceleration and electronic vehicle controls under a 15-month study expected to be announced by federal regulators Tuesday.

    In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will conduct a separate inquiry into sudden acceleration by Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles.

  19. orionATL says:

    jeff kaye:

    martin seligman’s experiments, to which you have repeatefly referred, became associated with depression in human individuals.

    perhaps, sometime, you can explain how they are as important to the torture process as you repeatedly have stated they are.

    i have no trouble believing that a human treated like one of seligman’s
    experimental dogs would exhibit learned helplessness.

    my problem is that you have not made clear in any comment i have read why this should be so consequential regarding torture.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Seligman has been linked by Jane Mayer, Scott Shane, Katherine Eban, and others as involved in discussions with Mitchell and Jessen and by his own admission lectured on “learned helplessness” to SERE, at invite by the CIA, in 2002.

      It is Mitchell who links “learned helplessness” to the torture program he helped institute, not me. I’ve written about how JPRA/SERE sought to eliminate waterboarding from SERE inoculation training for torture because it induced “learned helplessness” (their terminology, not mine). In my next FDL post (delayed due unavoidable personal causes, but hopefully out very soon), I will amplify upon this.

  20. bobschacht says:

    Jason Leopold @ 9,
    There ought to be a serious criminal offense for destroying someone’s mind, akin to murder. It really amounts to murder of the mind. And our government has done it to several people, at least. And there shouldn’t be any SOL on this kind of crime, either.

    I am absolutely disgusted with our government.

    Bob in AZ

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Interestingly, an early MKULTRA researcher, Dr. Joost Meerloo, called it “menticide.” He was a Dutch psychiatrist who had been tortured himself by the Nazis. I believe he felt he was doing the right thing in helping the U.S. government at the time, but I also believe he lost his bearings. He warned against the reverse-engineering of the mock torture being conducted at the military survival (later SERE) schools, as far back as 1956.

      You see… this is an old story. We are only now becoming more aware of it. The chickens have come home to roost for the loss of our national soul during the Cold War. Worst of it is… I don’t know how it will turn out.

  21. alinaustex says:

    jeff kaye @ 76
    Its always darkest before the dawn – this is not over yet. There is so much on the record now -I simply don’t see how many Prinicpals cannot be held accountable. Many commenters here believe that the Durham Investigation/Grand Jury inquiry long silence is an indication that nothing will be done to the law breakers . I hold to the other view that the long silence from Prosecutor Durham’s good office is that caused by an ongoing and thorough inquiry before indictments are sent out.
    I continue to believe -in the end – Justice will prevail.

  22. orionATL says:

    jeff kaye @72

    thanks for the explanation, jeff.

    i still don’t quite see how mitchell intended the concept to be interpreted except perhaps that the objective of a torturer would be to induce a state of learned helplessness in a torturee with the implication that would aid the torturer’s objectives.

    i just don’t see how learned helplessness would necessarily lead to the torturee ceeding useful information.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      i just don’t see how learned helplessness would necessarily lead to the torturee ceeding useful information.

      It doesn’t. You’re right. The torture, therefore was either due to mistaken belief, or it was about something else, e.g. gaining false confessions, producing double-agents, gaining “compliance” via breaking down a person’s personality.

  23. Palli says:

    Thank you all. The work of the 21st century will be to clear mankind, our American nation first, of this peculiar capacity of powerful governors to invite, allow, facilitate, condone and protect the activities of evil individuals under the “auspices of the greater good.”

  24. goodkind says:

    Am I alone in thinking that’s just an exquisitely awesome name? Abu Zubaydah. Awesome. That is all.

  25. Whispers says:

    I’m confused – weren’t we assured that torture techniques led infallibly to true, valuable information? I mean, it couldn’t possibly be the case that the end result of torture is simply the creation of “supporting evidence” validating whatever cockamanie theories that the torturers have invented in their fantasy world. Right?

  26. fatster says:

    All of you who have performed tireless and brilliant research and analysis on the practice of government-sanctioned and -funded torture have now just about achieved the Grand Wrap-Up which should lead to the great unraveling of this very dark episode with origins traceable back to the 1950s. We have been privileged to watch this unfold here on your blog, EW. Many kudos and much gratitude to all of you.

    Now, I just want to witness the big tug on that thread or string bmaz mentions from time to time–and watch the whole damned thing unwind.

  27. fatster says:

    And just imagine the fresh hell this could cause.

    Scientists discover how to ‘turn off’ brain’s morality center


  28. mike123 says:

    Massive intelligence failure? Like Curveball?

    Evidently there was no such thing as corruption when Tenet was the DCI. Just some unfortunate lapses and bureaucratic inefficiencies.

    What about Alec Station’s obstruction of the USS Cole investigation? Was that an intelligence failure?

    The secrecy is ridiculous. Who could of guessed that torture advocates would also abuse national security classification laws to conceal their criminal conduct?

  29. AlexS says:

    Godwin’s Law is dead!

    Can there be any question about these “techniques” and the permanent brain damage they’ve surely caused on these high-profile detainees (and unfortunately, hundreds more unnamed…)?? I suppose when dozens of detainee murders can be pared down in the public dialogue to “pouring a little water over their heads”, it’s no surprise that the MSM won’t address the possible long-term medical effects of torture on alleged “terrorists”… But it’s a shame that the medical community has not (as far as I have seen) brought forth the truth regarding the long-term effects of sleep deprivation, repeat simulated drowning, etc. Their silence has reinforced not just the scoffing, dishonest nature of torture apologists claims (i.e. the aforementioned “just a little water”), but also the American mentality by which psychiatry and psychology are not actual health issues, and mental disturbance is considered a personal weakness, rather than an illness.

    @ Jeff Kaye: I think you are spot on as to the history of torture, and its purposes, which could not be further from “gaining actionable intelligence”. One further point: while the CIA and Pentagon may have had to curb some of their worst excesses (or at least move them off the books) in the light of congressional scrutiny in the 70’s, they had already established broad networks of outsourced client agencies around the world to carry out their most illegal policies. The “national security state” managed from the mid-70’s until 9/11 to keep something of an arm’s length from the most vile and controversial torture and assassination tactics because it had already enlisted and appropriately indoctrinated local sub-contractors to do the dirty work of empire.

    The question for me, from a historical point of view is what started this state of lawlessness… Was it the National Security Act of 1947? The subsequent CIA act allowing for covert activities? Was “The Business Plot” all it’s been made out to be and did the failure to institute a fascist government in the US of the 1930’s (and the subsequent failure of the European fascist states sponsored by American hyper-capitalists) simply prove to these wealthy authoritarians that they must use stealth in converting the republic into the empire they desired? Considering that the sons of this elite were enlisted as the first generation of “national security” enforcers, it seems natural to assume that this was indeed the plan.

  30. AlexS says:

    I’m aware of some of that history, if not in as great detail as I would like… Clearly those trailblazing years of coups d’etats, banana republics, The Shah, and virulent anti-communism were an education, which, as I noted, was subsequently passed on to local forces, allowing the implementation of the CIA agenda all over the world, whilst barely getting a drop of blood on the hands of actual American agents. For example, by the middle of the 1960’s, the CIA was able to support Suharto’s political genocide of Indonesian leftists strictly from behind the scenes, compiling hit lists (much as they do in tandem with Blackwater in “Af-Pak” these days).

    Indeed the fact that the primary responsibility for both diplomatic affairs and covert counter-intelligence were, by the early 50’s, in the hands of the Brothers Dulles, who had served as intermediaries between Wall Street and such Nazi-German companies as Krupps and IG Farben, shows that perhaps the idea of a direct fascist coup, as described by Gen. Smedley Butler, wasn’t even necessary to institute the militarist empire desired by top US industrialists and financiers (especially the Morgan crowd!).

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