Archive for category Torture

Only in Israel, and Only in America

Only in Israel — a supposed democracy — will things like this happen with impunity, and only in America will everyone pretend that nothing whatsoever is amiss.

First, an incident with the IDF.

A 10-year-old boy was subjected to physical abuse amounting to torture for 2.5 hours by Israeli soldiers who stormed his family’s shop on 11 June, seeking information on the location of a handgun. The boy was repeatedly beaten, slapped and punched in the head and stomach, forced to hold a stress position for half and hour, and threatened. He was deeply shocked and lost two molar teeth as a result of the assault.

These soldiers terrorized this ten year old boy and his family and smashed the house up with hammers.

But Israel is even worse than that. Israel has the settlers. Look how they tortured and killed this little Palestinian boy. He looks to be about eight years old.

I’m sorry to shock you. Perhaps I should have warned you about the horrible picture. I notice that people on the web often do that as a courtesy.

But I also suppose I think that’s a bad idea. This is a little boy here who has been tortured and murdered by some crazy Israeli settlers, and I think you should see what they did to him. I don’t want you to avert your gaze.

Did this boy’s mother and father get to avert their gaze from their beautiful son’s tortured body? No. And not only that, they get to live with the agony of losing their child in such a horrific, unjust way and carry on knowing that nothing will happen to the people who did this.

That’s right. These murderous thugs have been doing things like this for decades, and they will keep right on doing it. And do you know why? Because we keep averting our eyes. We keep not noticing. And we keep sending money over to Israel, billions of dollars a year, and politely look away and hold our tongues while they murder little children, among others. It stays in the dark, and the media covers it up just so.

And even in Israel they don’t know what to do about these people, they’re so out of control. But the answer is to expose them to the world. Let the whole world see what happens in Israel, and we shall have a verdict about whether or not it is just.

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:19-21

Cut Off at the Pass

We could be approaching the moment when everything will change (again).

We’ve got the economic unraveling in full swing, obviously affecting every American and being widely discussed in the corporate media. What to do….what do do?

That would be one thing for Bush to deal with, and he is trying to blame it on the Democrats; but there’s more. There’s all this torture business. Chris Floyd covers it here. And what does Bush have to counteract that? Nothing but a ‘limited’ hangout and a heavy reliance on corporate media shills to keep focusing on the elections. That’s it. I mean, they’ll do it; but it’s a pretty flimsy cover-up. They’d like you to think you’re seeing a size ten beauty in a size six bikini, but in reality this is more like a 350 pound hairy goon in an ill-fitting loincloth. People need to politely avert their eyes or else they might see things they really don’t want to see…oops…too late.

Now this is serious because some people could be offended, and justifiably so. Perhaps a lot of people. There’s no way of telling anymore now that the American people aren’t in a perpetual swell mood thanks to their chronic and worsening economic insecurity. So the timing for this torture problem is not so good.

Meanwhile, our ‘good friends’ the Israelis have been preparing to go it alone on Iran, or at least to start it alone. Naturally, we’ve promised them the moon and the stars and the lives of our American service-people; so all they need do is break a nail and we’ll be there to gallantly take over the fight, ill-advised as that may be. No matter. Israeli security is priceless…worth thousands, perhaps millions of lives - Iraqi, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian…oh and don’t forget American and even Jewish lives. It doesn’t matter to the Israelis. They don’t give a fuck. If they have to attack Iran to prevent it from having what they have - the advantage of nuclear weapons - even if there is no evidence that Iran has them, then they will. But remember. We’re ‘good friends’ and we’ll suck it up.

But nearby US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf provide a host of targets. Iran claimed last October that it could rain down 11,000 rockets upon “the enemy” within one minute of an attack and that rate “would continue.”

Further afield, Israel is within range of Iran’s Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, and Hezbollah claims its rockets – enhanced and resupplied by Iran since the 2006 war to an estimated 30,000 – can now hit anywhere in the Jewish state, including its nuclear plant at Dimona.

Closer to home, Iran has honed a swarming tactic, in which small and lightly armed speedboats come at far larger warships from different directions. A classified Pentagon war game in 2002 simulated just such an attack and in it the Navy lost 16 major warships, according to a report in The New York Times last January.

“The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” Lt. Gen. K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who commanded the swarming force, told the Times. “The whole thing was over in five, maybe 10 minutes.”

Now if this all comes to pass, you can believe that all hell will break loose. The Iranians are very smart people and they have had ample time to prepare. They won’t take it lying down. Also, oil will become insanely expensive within minutes and the economy will be just over. Many people will be gruesomely killed. And make no mistake, if this happens, it will be Israel’s fault. Our ‘good friend.’ I hope all the people that make such a big show of supporting Israel will be available to console us when their precious little monster touches off WW III.

Now of course this will buy the small convenience of diverting attention away from certain other scandals like torture, and it will allow for martial law which will tamp down the American people once and for all. And naturally, it will be an amazing financial shakedown for those positioned properly. So you could say there’s a silver lining for a handful of well-placed people.

You have to wonder, how sick are they, the ‘leaders’ of the ‘free world?’ Are they sick enough to do it?

Tell me why not. What evidence would suggest that they wouldn’t sacrifice innocent lives to save their own asses, even on such a horrific scale? What evidence would suggest that they wouldn’t use the opportunity to institute Martial Law? If you don’t yet comprehend that they would, you do not yet understand what kind of monsters we’re dealing with here. And it seems to me that time is running out. Their time is running out, and therefore so is ours.

Message Control

Welcome to America. Is there anything I can help you find, like a detention facility perhaps?

60 Minutes did a story on Raytheon’s ray gun back in March, and now they just had to do another story on it. Now why would that be necessary, one might ask. Well, the Pentagon really needs this ray gun technology to enjoy the Walmart smiley face seal-of-approval with the American public. Because some people (cough) have suggested that this technology can be abused, and before that suggestion gets around, the DOD had better make sure that everybody knows that the US military is just a bunch of boy scouts who would never do anything to harm innocent civilians, and they only want to save lives, and…well…let’s see what they say.

The Pentagon has been developing a raygun which can harmlessly repel enemies by causing a burning sensation in the top layer of the skin. However, according to CBS’s 60 Minutes, the military is unwilling to actually trust this weapon enough to deploy it in Iraq.

It can ‘harmlessly repel enemies’, but the military is concerned about using this in Iraq. Mind you, over 1.2 million people have already been killed in Iraq, a fact which somewhat belies this grave concern about Iraqis.

Hymes demonstrated the weapon by staging what CBS somewhat oddly called “a scenario soldiers might encounter in Iraq” — a handful of military volunteers, dressed as civilian protesters, who carried signs saying “peace not war” and threw objects at a small group of soldiers. A series of raygun blasts from half a mile away disrupted their chants and finally sent them running.

It doesn’t get much more obvious than this. Watch the video. The gun is going to be used on protesters. American protesters. Anti-war protesters. Because the ray gun can ‘harmlessly repel enemies’. Enemies…protesters…same difference.

Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisiton Sue Payton calls the Active Denial System a “huge game-changer” which “would save huge numbers of lives.” She told CBS, “It could be used to read someone’s mind, in effect. … If they continue to come at you, then you’re fairly sure … they’re probably a terrorist or an adversary who wants to do you harm.”

The Active Denial System was developed in secret for ten years before being unveiled by the Pentagon in 2001. As of 2004, it was being described as ready for use in Iraq within the next 12 months. This has still not occurred, and according to Secretary Payton, use of the weapon in Iraq is now “not politically tenable” because after Abu Ghraib “you don’t ever, ever, ever want a system like this to be thought of as a torture weapon.”

These links contain a lot of information, and this technology has been around for some time. The Pentagon would like us all to believe that they would really love to use this technology because it’s totally safe and would save lives, but unfortunately it carries dangerous political risks. People can claim that they have been tortured.

But, you know, torture is in the eye of the beholder. It’s whatever George Bush says it is. You might think you’re being tortured, but if George W Bush says you have not been tortured, well then you haven’t. And anyway, we don’t torture people. We might ‘torture’ them, but we don’t actually torture them. Do you follow me?

If you click through the ‘in secret’ link, Wired did a story on this in December 2006. The technology had already been tested extensively. Some subjects did suffer burns, but the effects were not ‘long lasting’.

The ADS was developed in complete secrecy for 10 years at a cost of $40 million. Its existence was revealed in 2001 by news reports, but most details of ADS human testing remain classified. There has been no independent checking of the military’s claims.

The ADS technology is ready to deploy, and the Army requested ADS-armed Strykers for Iraq last year. But the military is well aware that any adverse publicity could finish the program, and it does not want to risk distressed victims wailing about evil new weapons on CNN.

You see, it’s all ready to go, all except for the PR angle. It’s been ready to go since 2006. Actually, if you click the ‘described’ link to a Boston Business Journal story in December 2004, the technology was even then set to be deployed in Iraq.

With U.S. casualties in Iraq rising, expectations are growing that Raytheon’s weapon, called the Active Denial System, could be sent to Iraq in the next year, according to Charles “Sid” Heal, commander of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. A former Marine, Heal headed nonlethal-weapons training for the U.S. military in Somalia in 1995 and advised Raytheon on the beam’s development.

“It’s there, it’s ready,” said Heal, who has felt the weapon’s beam and compares it to having a hot iron placed on the skin. “It will likely be in Iraq in the next 12 months. They are very, very close.”

If you click on the ‘unveiled’ link, the NYT reported the weapon’s debut back in March 2001.

Known in Pentagon patois as an “active denial system,” the weapon is the fruit of 10 years of research and is intended to help American soldiers in the quasi-military roles they have increasingly been asked to play as peacekeepers or police in places like Kosovo and Ethiopia.

But now, June 2008, you are being asked to believe that the US military fears using this weapon in Iraq and has withheld using this weapon to avoid the possible backlash of the international community. And all this time it could have been saving lives. Obviously this is a tragedy caused by silly political correctness, so this is what we’re gonna do. We’re going to make sure that Americans demand that our military use this weapon to save lives in Iraq, even if we have to let them use it on us first. That’s right. Because we are a decent and upright people, and if we have to fork over billions of taxpayer dollars for secret weapons technology and destroy countries around the world to bring them democracy, well, dammit, we can take a little martial law practice. That will be our sacrifice. In fact, we’re going to volunteer those lefties over there for ray gun target practice.

However, the failure to deploy the weapon as planned has raised suspicions that the real intention is to use it for domestic crowd control.

In 2006, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne was quoted as saying that the device should be used first on Americans, because “if we’re not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation. … If I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press.”

And now for the final touch…a little cry of poor-mouth from the Air Force.

Raytheon, which developed the system for the Pentagon, is currently selling a more limited-range civilian version of the system, under the name “Silent Guardian,” which it promotes as being suitable for “law enforcement, checkpoint security, facility protection, force protection and peacekeeping missions.”

Commander Charles “Sid” Heal of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who advised Raytheon in developing the raygun, told CBS that the real reason the system has not been deployed in Iraq is “cowardice.” Heal, a former Marine, took a variety of non-lethal weapons to Somalia in 1995 and was dismayed to find that his superiors felt their supposedly humanitarian mission was better accomplished by killing. He would love to have the Pentagon’s raygun available for such purposes as controlling prison riots.

The Pentagon is spending just $13.1 million on the raygun this year. Secretary Payton agrees this is “absolutely peanuts … chump change,” but she explained to CBS that with only a $475 billion annual budget, “we don’t have enough money to do things that are the here and now.” The raygun is seen as unproven because it has never been deployed in the field, and it has not been deployed in the field because it is unproven.

“Lethal weapons have an easier time getting into our system,” acknowledges Colonel Hymes.

So do you feel guilty yet? Are you ready to volunteer so that this wonderful, non-lethal weapon can be used to save lives? Do you trust that it will always and everywhere be used properly? Will you demand that more of your tax dollars be given to the DOD to resolve their horrible budget shortfalls?

Me either.

The Holy Grail of Crowd Control

That’s what they call Raytheon’s Silent Guardian, Pain Ray, ADS, call it what you will.

Transmitted at the speed of light over a 700 yard distance, the Pain Ray is a millimeter-wave beam that penetrates 1/64th of an inch beneath the skin, causing the water molecules there to bubble, producing an intense burning sensation, said to feel like being burnt by molten lava or a hot iron. Its delivery system attached to a Humvee and aimed right, the Pain Ray makes people run away — fast.

Tests conducted at Kirtland Air Force Base south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, employ realistic combat scenarios to determine its potential effectiveness in a deployed environment, the first to expose an entire test subject to the ray.

The Defense Department want to use it for protecting Defense resources, peacekeeping, humanitarian missions and other situations in which the use of lethal force is undesirable, but already there have been inquiries from other institutes and wealthy individuals about using it to protect private property.

Non-lethal force, eh? Protecting defense resources, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions? These guys do have a sense of humor, you have to admit. ‘Hey, we’re only going to make you feel like molten hot lava is on your skin, but you won’t actually die. It’s totally humane.’

And speaking of non-lethal force, it seems to me we were just hearing about that in Indianapolis, where the Marines are going to train at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road.

The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons, according to a statement.

I’m just saying, that puts an arch in my eyebrow. I don’t know about you.

Raytheon congratulates itself on having developed a non-lethal weapon which has been described as “Holy Grail of crowd control,” but their Silent Guardian also has its critics. One, author Richard Hunter asks:

“But what happens if the people faced with such a weapon can’t just run away? What happens if they’re trapped in a crowd, and the crowd can’t move? How much pain must that crowd endure? How long can any member of the crowd be exposed to that weapon before his or her skin — or their eyes — simply cook off? What happens if the devices are used deliberately in a manner designed to cause maximum harm — say, by training the device on prisoners trapped in prison cells until they literally go mad with pain?

What happens if the system operator turns up the power? A little bit works well, why not try a lot?

What happens if the scientists didn’t test the devices thoroughly, and they turn out to render anyone touched by them blind, or impotent, or sterile?”

Precisely. I asked similar questions when 60 Minutes did a story on this technology a few months ago.

I don’t know who was interviewing Martin for this clip, but of course they were both serious as heart attacks discussing this new weapon. When she asks Martin to discuss how this might be used, he brightens right up. It can be used in Iraq! Instead of shooting Iraqis driving their cars near checkpoints, our military can stop them with the heat ray gun. Yeah, yeah that’s it. That’s what it’s good for - stopping people with evil intentions. It will save lives. It’s good. Good. It’s all good. Let us praise military technology, Amen. The clip ends.

Let’s think through some other uses, shall we? The heat ray gun leaves no marks whatsoever on the body, but it causes tremendous pain. The second you step out of the way the pain stops. All the victim has to do is step out of the way and the pain stops.

OK. Well, what if you couldn’t step out of the way? What if you were handcuffed to a wall and some sadistic military psychopath decided to torture you with the heat ray gun? Hmmm? Has anyone thought of that?

OK. Here’s another scenario. Let’s say there’s another terrorist attack on America and the military is called in to keep order. Let’s say the government institutes martial law. Let’s say people protest. Will they use the heat ray guns on Americans? What if a group of people is surrounded by heat ray guns and can’t get out of the way? Hmmm?

Will they be allowed to use it on children? The elderly? Does anybody know? Who enforces the rules? Can we expect the same gleeful use that we see with police officers using tasers? If the heat ray gun leaves no mark, does it come down to the victim’s word against the soldier? Who do you suppose will win that contest?

It’s so typical of our corporate press to not ask questions like this. That would be impolite because it would cast aspersions on our government and on our military, and we don’t do that no matter what they do. But we should. If you think for one second that the US government would hesitate using a weapon like this which tortures without leaving a mark on American civilians, you have not been paying attention. They hit the pay-dirt with your tax dollars. This was likely a black ops technology development. You paid for it, and you will have no recourse when they use it against….You.

Deep Weirdness

However, your being uninformed about the shadow side of the US govt. does not make me crazy. Most people in the US have a kind of delusional reality, one given to them by over reliance on Corporate Media for their source of information. That is your responsibility to correct. I am glad to see so many people sincerely seeking the truth on the internet and being willing to investigate.

This is the kind of stuff where people’s brains just typically shut right down. You would just have to read it for yourself and click through the links and pictures to see if your imagination is big enough to contain what this woman claims.

I’ll say this, the way she claims to have been tortured strikes me as completely plausible.

Also note that the comment shoots her right down as mentally ill. But who is he? Who knows. The vaguest of profiles on Blogger, dating back to May 2007, right around the time that this story first appeared…it really doesn’t tell us much, now does it?

Disparaging comments like this always pop up to bat down every ‘kooky’ idea. Who do these comments benefit? Well, if your plan is to control people’s thoughts, then no, you do not want people wandering down certain lanes. Since most people care about being accepted and not being considered crazy, they will turn right around and abandon the line of inquiry as soon as someone labels it crazy. So it is that people who make these comments work as little gatekeepers.

So just jump the fence. It’s really not that high.

The Proper Use of Video and Marketing Skills

If it weren’t for 9/11…

Check out the Vanity Fair story from Phillipe Sands. The torture? Of course it was on purpose.

The Bush administration has always taken refuge behind a “trickle up” explanation: that is, the decision was generated by military commanders and interrogators on the ground. This explanation is false. The origins lie in actions taken at the very highest levels of the administration—by some of the most senior personal advisers to the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense. At the heart of the matter stand several political appointees—lawyers—who, it can be argued, broke their ethical codes of conduct and took themselves into a zone of international criminality, where formal investigation is now a very real option. This is the story of how the torture at Guantánamo began, and how it spread.

All roads lead back to 9/11. If it weren’t for 9/11, there would have been no war in Afghanistan, no war in Iraq, no War on Terror, no Guantanamo, no Abu Ghraib, no domestic spying, etc. This reality cannot be escaped. The truth about these psychopaths in power leaks out, then streams out, and eventually bursts forth into the public domain. 9/11 was arranged to usher in and justify all this moral depravity.

Now some of these well-heeled scumbags have to worry about traveling abroad. They could be investigated for war crimes by foreign governments. That might put a little damper on their vacation plans, and just when this country is going to shit, too.

What about the other applications?

The military has developed a heat ray gun, and 60 Minutes has done a story on it. Now pay attention because 60 Minutes is perhaps one of the last remaining vestiges of what was known as ‘investigative reporting’. I haven’t seen their story, but you can see the clip CBS has released here.

“You have to feel the ray gun to believe it,” says 60 Minutes correspondent David Martin, speaking about a non-lethal weapon the Pentagon has developed, “and there’s only one way to do that.”

Martin was reportedly “zapped” 17 times for this piece, demonstrating the effects, as well as the possibility that a person could reduce the impact with shields of various materials.

“The gun is really an antenna which shoots out this very high-frequency radio beam that penetrates the skin to a depth of 1/64 of an inch, which is just deep enough to hit the nerves,” says Martin. “And it creates this instantaneous sensation of heat which makes anyone who is hit with it try to get out of the way as fast as possible.

“And the second you do get out of the way, the pain goes away,” Martin continued. “And the point is that this gun, which has a range of roughly half a mile - the exact range is classified - can make you stop whatever it is you’re doing.”

It seems that is the intended benefit of this weapon, which Martin says causes the sensation of being scalded with hot water.

He asks, “How many innocent lives have been lost by someone approaching a check-point and not heeding the warning signs that American soldiers were giving them …? Now you have this gun. If you shoot that ray gun at someone and they keep coming you can safely assume that they have evil intent and have cleared the way to use more lethal force, which would be their rifle.”

I don’t know who was interviewing Martin for this clip, but of course they were both serious as heart attacks discussing this new weapon. When she asks Martin to discuss how this might be used, he brightens right up. It can be used in Iraq! Instead of shooting Iraqis driving their cars near checkpoints, our military can stop them with the heat ray gun. Yeah, yeah that’s it. That’s what it’s good for - stopping people with evil intentions. It will save lives. It’s good. Good. It’s all good. Let us praise military technology, Amen. The clip ends.

Let’s think through some other uses, shall we? The heat ray gun leaves no marks whatsoever on the body, but it causes tremendous pain. The second you step out of the way the pain stops. All the victim has to do is step out of the way and the pain stops.

OK. Well, what if you couldn’t step out of the way? What if you were handcuffed to a wall and some sadistic military psychopath decided to torture you with the heat ray gun? Hmmm? Has anyone thought of that?

OK. Here’s another scenario. Let’s say there’s another terrorist attack on America and the military is called in to keep order. Let’s say the government institutes martial law. Let’s say people protest. Will they use the heat ray guns on Americans? What if a group of people is surrounded by heat ray guns and can’t get out of the way? Hmmm?

Will they be allowed to use it on children? The elderly? Does anybody know? Who enforces the rules? Can we expect the same gleeful use that we see with police officers using tasers? If the heat ray gun leaves no mark, does it come down to the victim’s word against the soldier? Who do you suppose will win that contest?

It’s so typical of our corporate press to not ask questions like this. That would be impolite because it would cast aspersions on our government and on our military, and we don’t do that no matter what they do. But we should. If you think for one second that the US government would hesitate using a weapon like this which tortures without leaving a mark on American civilians, you have not been paying attention. They hit the pay-dirt with your tax dollars. This was likely a black ops technology development. You paid for it, and you will have no recourse when they use it against….You.

Black Sites

More information on what happens to people in CIA Black Sites. After enduring torture, interrogation and solitary confinement for six months, he was released without being charged with any crime.

Just remember that the CIA and its associates, whoever they are, will torture innocent people to “protect” us. I know, I know, it doesn’t seem like that would work. It really seems counterproductive and inhumane and not very American. That’s because it is counterproductive, inhumane and un-American.

Through a translator, over the phone from his home in Yemen, Bashmilah described how his ordeal began on Oct. 21, 2003, when he was arrested in Amman, Jordan: “It was approximately six days, but what I endured there is worth years. They wanted me to confess to having some connections to some individuals of al-Qaida. They tried several times to get me to confess, and every time I said no, I would get either a kick, a slap or a curse. Then they said that if I did not confess, they will bring my wife and rape her in front of me. And out of fear for what would happen to my family, I screamed and I fainted. After I came to, I told them that ‘please, don’t do anything to my family. I would cooperate with you in any way you want.‘”

He was prepared for transit, stripped “completely naked. They started taking pictures from all directions. And they also started to beat me on my sides and also my feet. And then they put me in a position similar to the position of prostration in Muslim prayer, which is similar to the fetal position. And in that position, one of them inserted his finger in my anus very violently. I was in terrible pain, and I started to scream. When they started taking pictures, I could see that they were people who were masked. They were dressed in black from head to toe, and they were also wearing surgical gloves.”

He says he was put in a diaper, had his eyes and ears covered, a bag was put over his head, and he had additional earphones put on his head to block noise. He was then flown to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was held in solitary confinement for close to six months. He believed he was being held by Americans. “Some of the interrogators would come to me and interrogate me in the interrogation room, and they would tell me, ‘You should calm down and be comforted, because we’ll send all this information to Washington.’ And they would say that in Washington, they will determine whether my answers are truthful or not.” Although kept isolated from other prisoners, he managed to overhear some of them speculating that they were being held at Bagram Air Base. He went on to say that he was kept awake with blaring music and was held in shackles that were removed only for periodic interrogations.

While Bashmilah was being interrogated and tortured, he was also visited by “psychiatrists.” “[T]he therapy mainly consisted of trying to look at my thoughts and trying to interpret them for me, and in addition to some tranquilizers.”

Bashmilah attempted suicide three times, staged a hunger strike that was painfully ended with a feeding tube forced down his nose, and was denied access to a lawyer, to any human-rights group, to the International Committee of the Red Cross. In effect, he disappeared.

On May 5, 2005, he was transferred to a prison in Yemen, where he eventually gained access to his family. Amnesty International got involved. He was released in March 2006 without being charged with anything.

God help us.

Psychopaths, Chapter XXII (or whaterver number we’re on…I’ve lost count)

If you ever wondered what it must be like to suffer through interrogation and torture, read this. For no good reason whatsoever, this young man has been tortured and maimed for life. The people who committed these crimes against him did so with impunity.

“I was taken into detention on Friday morning, and that was the last light of day I saw before the interrogation. I came out for the first time on Monday night or before dawn on Tuesday morning. On those long days I sat in a chair and did not even go to the toilet. So you won’t kill yourself, they said. I urinated in my clothes, and a terrible stench started. For four days I didn’t eat anything. They told me: If we give you something to eat, something will happen to your stomach and your intestines. Maybe they will explode under the pressure of the food when we push you backward. You will drink only half a cup of saltwater. That is what they gave me every time after they bent me and I vomited. Why with salt? I asked. Give me without salt. No, so nothing will happen in your stomach and intestines. I would drink it and vomit.

“On Monday evening, they told me that five witnesses had testified that Luwaii had transported a wanted man. I told them that there was a famous wanted man named Luwaii Sadi, but my name is Luwaii Sati, and maybe they had mixed us up. He said to me: Are you saying the Shin Bet is that stupid? We know exactly what we’re doing, and it is all correct. I said: Put me on trial for whatever you want. He said: Ya’allah, sports again. He pushes me backward in the chair. I will help you become a story in Palestinian history. He is talking to me and my head is down below. He pushes strongly with his leg and presses on my chest. I felt something like an explosion in my body. Like something broke. After that I don’t know what happened. I woke up and they were pouring water on my face. Again they pushed me backward and again I fainted.

“He said to me: Stand on your feet. I felt that my legs were cold, like pins and needles in the legs. I said: I can’t. He said: Now you are paralyzed. I said: I guess I am. He said: That is what we promised you and that is what you want.”

In the end, after two months, Sati was charged with assisting a wanted person to hide and using a forged document. For that he was ruthlessly paralyzed by sadistic Israeli interrogators.

In Iraq, Blackwater contractors go around killing people indiscriminately on behalf of Americans.

At first, this seemed completely normal for the totally abnormal world of Baghdad in September 2007. “Convoys are common,” explained Khalaf. But this convoy made an unexpected U-turn, drove the wrong way around the one-way square, stopped in the middle of it and started shooting. Fifteen minutes later, 17 Iraqi civilians were dead, dozens more wounded, and a white sedan that had been engulfed in flames contained two bodies charred beyond recognition.

…Khalaf recounted the events of that day to a hushed room of lawyers with laptops. He watched, he said, as the Blackwater convoy made the U-turn toward the street where he stood directing traffic. As the convoy stopped, Khalaf watched as a large man with a mustache standing atop the third car fired several shots in the air. Khalaf turned back toward the Yarmouk road to see what might have spurred the shooting and heard a woman yell, “My son! My son!” He ran three cars back to a white sedan to find a woman holding a young man slumped over and covered with blood.

The man was Ahmed, a 20-year-old medical student at the top of his class, and the woman his mother, Mohasin, a successful dermatologist and mother of three.

“I tried to help the young man, but his mother was holding him so tight,” said Khalaf. “I raised my left arm high in the air to try to signal to the convoy to stop the shooting,” he said, thinking that it would respond to such a gesture by a police officer. He described how he crouched by the car, his right arm reaching inside, his head out and left arm up in the air, signaling to the convoy, his gun secure in its holster. Then the mother was shot dead before his eyes.

…One of the men I met in Istanbul wrote me after I returned home. “Conduct our deepest love to all the Americans who support and work hard to stop killing of innocent people all over the world,” he said. “Please, we want to live in peace, surrounded by friends not killers.”