Sunday, May 4, 2008
An American Gulag
Sixty years ago a young American named Alexander Dolgun was accosted on the streets of Moscow by a couple of affable fellows working for the Soviet secret police (known at the time as the MGB).
Assuming he was the victim of mistaken identity or some innocent bureaucratic bungle, Dolgun -- who worked as a file clerk at the U.S. Embassy -- offered neither resistance nor objection when he was taken to the Lubyanka Square headquarters of the secret police.
It was only after he was forced to surrender his personal belongings and taken for interrogation that Dolgun realized that he was not being questioned as a witness or criminal suspect, but rather being detained for summary punishment as a political criminal. Sidorov, his chief interrogator, explained that Dolgun stood accused of espionage and terrorism under Article 58 of the Soviet penal code.
The 22-year-old Dolgun would spend the next eight years in Soviet prisons. His first 18 months were spent in prolonged torture and interrogation at Lubyanka and Lefortovo before being given a 25-year-sentence in the Gulag. Before being sent to the camps, Dolgun was repeatedly beaten, starved, subjected to engineered extremes of temperature, denied rudimentary necessities of hygiene and self-maintenance, and subjected to random but malicious noise as a way of undermining his mental stability.
Of all the privations and torments he was forced to endure, none of Dolgun's afflictions could compare to prolonged sleep deprivation. When he was in his cell, he was permitted to sit or stand, but never to sleep, between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 PM. And he was subjected to lengthy and brutally tedious interrogations every night, leaving him with only an hour or so to sleep for every circadian cycle.
"Try to go without water for a whole day," Dolgun invited in his memoir, An American in the Gulag. "Then imagine that your thirst is a desire to sleep. Then you will have ten percent of what I felt" as weeks and then months of accumulated sleep deprivation took its toll.
"Stop breathing as you read this page," he continued. "See how long you can keep from taking a breath. See how desperate you begin to feel as your heart begins to pump hard and your forehead begins to feel strange. Now, still not breathing, imagine there is no air left in the room. The muscles around your chin and neck are straining. Your larynx begins to make involuntary sounds and the bottom of your rib cage hurts. If you are really disciplined and carry this quite far, your vision will begin to blur."
"That is how badly I wanted sleep," Dolgun explained.
Dolgun, of course, had done nothing. But that didn't stop the Soviet regime's homeland security apparatus from interrogating, torturing, and imprisoning him. Indeed, it was because Dolgun refused to admit to acts he hadn't committed, despite the depraved ingenuity of the world's most cunning torturers, that he had to remain in prison for at least a little while; otherwise, the State
would suffer a loss of prestige.
At one point, driven to a frenzy of violence by Dolgun's quiet but persistent refusal to admit espionage activities of any kind, Sidorov flew into a spittle-flinging paroxysm of rage, beating the American and threatening to kill him and track down his family. Seeking to bend the recalcitrant American to the State's will, Sidorov put the matter in the most elementary terms imaginable:
"The State f***s you, you stupid son of a bitch!"
An innocent man: Murat Kurnaz (left), seen here as a teenager with his younger brother Alper.
If that specific phrase was ever directed at Murat Kurnaz during his five years in U.S. military custody, the young man is too decorous to admit it. Kurnaz, a Turkish national and legal resident of Germany, was sold into the hands of torturers for $3,000 by Pakistani bounty hunters in late 2001. He was detained in a former Soviet military base in Afghanistan before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His tormentors wore the uniforms of the United States Armed Forces, and the treatment inflicted on him as an "unlawful enemy combatant" were nearly identical to the torture methods applied to Dolgun by the Soviet secret police.
Kurnaz was 20 at the time he was delivered into the clutches of the world's most powerful criminal apparatus, the Untied States Government. He had been a bouncer and bodybuilder back in Germany, but only recently had developed an interest in his Muslim faith. As with so many spiritually unfocused men his age, Kurnaz's sudden interest in his inherited faith was piqued by a pious young lady, Fatima, whom he intended to marry.
According to his memoir, Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, it was Kurnaz's desire to be a suitable husband that prompted him to go to Pakistan in search of appropriate religious training,. Unfortunately, this happened at the worst possible time -- just weeks after 9/11. Compounding his misfortune was his mother's concerns, expressed to German officials in Bremen, over her teenage son's recent interest in religion, and his decision to grow a beard.
Just days after the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan began, Kurnaz was dragged off a bus by Pakistani officials and taken into custody. A couple of weeks later, as the officer who supervised his captivity pleaded "mecburi, mecburi" ("forgive me" in Turkish), Kurnaz was bound, had a sack pulled over his head, and taken to a nearby airport where he was surrendered to the U.S. military.
Bear in mind, that Kurnaz had been confined for about two weeks in Pakistan, a regime not noted for its delicacy, and had been interrogated by Turkish officials, who likewise represented a government not renowned for its solicitude toward prisoners. But it wasn't until he was in the hands of Americans that he was mistreated.
Trussed like a slaughtered deer, shrouded in darkness because of the blacked-out goggles, Kurnaz was thrown roughly into a military combat plane with numerous other detainees. He was utterly helpless and completely disoriented, but this didn't stop the valiant heroes supervising his delivery from inflicting needless injury on him:
"`Sit!' a GI screamed in my ear," he recalls. `Sit! Sit down, motherf****r!' I fell on my behind and cowered on the metal floor. The soldier pressed my head down.... Suddenly I felt a blow to my head. I fell over to one side and lay there. Then I received a kick to the stomach. It was the first time I was beaten. They kicked my arms, legs, and back with their boots. I had no way of defending myself. All I could do was cower."
Once Kurnaz and the others arrived in Afghanistan, the abuse continued:
"They never let up hitting, kicking, and insulting us.... `You're terrorists,' they shouted. `We're Americans! We've got you! We're strong! And we will give it to you!'"
Or, as the Soviet torturer Sidorov said to his American victim: The State f***s you.
Amazingly, Kurnaz was somewhat understanding of the treatment he received at the hands of American soldiers, just as Alexander Dolgun was initially understanding toward his Soviet captors:
"The soldiers had to assume I was a terrorist, if that's what they had been told. If that was true, they had good reason to beat me. Although it was unjust, I could understand them."
This equanimity was a by-product of Kurnaz's misplaced hope that his innocence would be quickly established, and he would soon be free to return to his family. That optimism was gravely wounded, but not quite killed, by the first interrogation session, in which he was repeatedly accused of being an adherent of the Taliban or al-Qaeda, and punished with blows to the face and body each time he denied the charge.
"Hour upon hour, they repeated the same questions accompanied by punches and kicks," he relates. "I don't know how long I was interrogated that day. But I can still remember the words [the interrogator] kept repeating": "You're a terrorist! We know that. We're going to keep you forever. You're never going home!"
Those were exactly the same words recited over and over to Alexander Dolgun. And the methods employed in an attempt to break Kurnaz's spirit were likewise Sovietesque: He and other detainees were fed a severely restricted diet -- sometimes around 600 calories a day; they were exposed to severe cold while being bombarded with unbearably loud rock and rap "music"; they were systematically deprived of sleep and forced to endure lengthy night interrogations.
When those methods failed to elicit a confession, Kurnaz was subjected to electroshock torture and ultimately to controlled drowning -- commonly called "waterboarding." In his case, Kurnaz's head was held underwater by one assailant as a second punched him in the stomach, forcing him to take reflex breaths. He was hung for hours suspended from the ceiling, his only relief coming when a physician was summoned to determine whether he was still alive.
After surviving roughly two months at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Kurnaz was flown to Guantanamo Bay. During the 27-hour flight, "soldiers kept hitting us to keep us awake." This treatment continued during his confinement: "Everu few minutes, guards came and pounded on the fence with their nightsticks.
One insight Kurnaz gained into the minds of his tormentors was that their chief motivation was fear -- not only of the "terrorist threat" in general, but of their prisoners. The typical guard was bold as Achilles and full of profane bluster when his victim was chained to the floor of a tiny cell or wrapped up like a package and surrounded by other military personnel in heavy armor. But even then, Kurnaz occasionally saw undisguised fear radiating from the eyes of his captors.
Whenever he was summoned for interrogation, Kurnaz was surrounded by an armored "escort team"; any violation of the arbitrary -- and ever-changing -- rules of prisoner conduct provoked an attack by the "Immediate Reaction Team" (IRT), a unit consisting of "five to eight soldiers with plastic shields, breastplates, hard-plastic knee-, elbow-, and shoulder-protectors, helmets with plastic visors, gloves with hard-plastic knuckles, heavy boots, and billy clubs."
The IRT would be summoned to inflict punishment for any unauthorized display of individual assertion -- such as an insult hurled at an abusive guard, or even an attempt to exercise. Typically they would infuse the cell with crippling tear gas -- aerosolized oleoresin capisicum, derived from chili peppers -- and then, once the prisoner had been left entirely incapacitated, the IRT would swarm him to deliver a beating.
Even then, recalls Kurnaz, he "often saw fear in their eyes as they stood in front of our cages and waited to be deployed, even though we didn't have shoes on and were already cowering on the ground."
What he detected was the irrepressible, instinctive fear of a bully who knows that someday, somehow, his victims will retaliate. In other words, he discerned, in microcosm, the elemental impulse that drives much of U.S. foreign policy.
At some point, physical mistreatment becomes otiose as the victim adapts. This means that torturers have to devise other ways of inflicting misery. Kurnaz recalls a session with his interrogator at Gitmo, an American military officer who spoke fluent German, in which the detainee was shown numerous newspaper stories -- exercises in statist stenography presented as journalism -- uncritically retailing the Regime's accusation that Kurnaz was a "German Taliban" who had been captured in a bold Special Forces operation in Afghanistan.
"But you know I that I was captured in Pakistan," he protested.
"Yes, we know it," his interrogator smirkingly replied. "But the people on the outside don't know it. It's none of our business. Journalists write whatever they want."
This is another tactic borrowed from the Soviet secret police: Planting false stories about their victims in controlled media as a way of undermining their resistance.
War criminal: Major General Geoffrey Miller may look a bit like Colonel Saul Tigh from Battlestar Galactica, but he has none of Tigh's tragic nobility. Miller took command of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in late 2002, and immediately escalated the use of torture -- sleep deprivation, arbitrary beatings, subjection of prisoners to extremes of heat and cold. The prisoners eventually retaliated on one occasion by baptizing him with the contents of their chamber pots -- the only recorded instance in which human waste was defiled by contact with something even more disgusting.
And still the torture continued. Because he adamantly refused to confess, Kurnaz was one of five Gitmo detainees selected for "Operation Sandman," a lengthy exercise in enforced sleep deprivation in which teams of guards would move the prisoners from cell to cell for days on end, forbidding them to sleep for longer than a few minutes at a stretch.
On one occasion, Kurnaz was finally driven beyond forebearance. Offered the opportunity to shower -- a concession made rarely and on a completely random basis -- Kurnaz was given a split-second to wash before the water was turned off. Chained once again for return to his cell, he was jerked around sadistically by a smirking young punk of a guard. Despite the shackles on his hands and feet, Kurnaz managed to grab hold of his tormentor, who ineptly attempted a Judo throw -- only to have it reversed by the chained prisoner. The guard fell to the floor and absorbed a knee to the ribs and a headbutt to the face before Kurnaz was swarmed and dragged away.
"You're not a man!" Kurnaz shouted at the guard. "I beat you up when I was in handcuffs and shackles."
The IRT was summoned to gas and pummel Kurnaz, as the guard -- his nose still bloody -- sneered: "This is how we do it here."
"That still doesn't make you a man," Kurnaz gasped before unconsciousness claimed him.
He was dragged away to a solitary confinement complex called "India," a pod of sealed individual cells made of corrugated tin and arranged to be in direct sunlight. Once Kurnaz was inside, the air conditioning -- the sole source of ventilation -- was turned off; it was allowed to operate only after Kurnaz was reduced to unconsciousness by hypoxia.
Kurnaz was confined to India, and forced to undergo controlled asphyxiation, for 33 days.
It's important to understand that almost all of the misery Kurnaz endured at Guantanamo came after he had been cleared of any connection to terrorism. As early as February 2002, German intelligence officials had concluded that there was no "direct" evidence that he was involved in terrorism; a September 2002 memo written by a German intelligence officer confirmed that Kurnaz was among the "considerable number" of Gitmo detainees who were "not part of the terrorist milieu."
Another document dated September 26 of that year reported that "the U.S. sees Murat Kurnaz's innocence as established" and predicted that he would be freed within six to eight weeks." By this time, however, three governments -- those in Washington, Berlin, and Ankara -- had decided that freeing Kurnaz without forcing him to admit to something was simply unacceptable.
As one of Kurnaz's fellow detainees, a man named Nuri, observed: "Do you think they'll simply let us go, after all they've done to us?"
So for nearly four more years, this innocent man was beaten, starved, tortured, subjected to endless persecution in the form of interrogations designed to elicit perjured self-incriminating testimony. On September 30, 2004 -- two years after his innocence had been established -- Kurnaz was brought before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal staffed with officers who had access to the exculpatory 2002 memoranda. That august panel designated Kurnaz an "enemy combatant" on the basis of "evidence" it didn't deign to share with the detainee or his assigned military lawyer, who was utterly inert during the proceedings.
In January 2005, federal district Judge Joyce Hens Green ruled that the Combatant Status Review Tribunal had violated every known principle of due process in summarily designating detainees as "enemy combatants" on the basis of flimsy, classified, or suppositious "evidence." Judge Green took particular notice of Kurnaz's case as illustrative of the abuses committed by that system.
Kurnaz's mother Rabiye tearfully pleads for the release of her son.
This was, in effect, the third time Kurnaz had been acquitted of terrorism charges. And he still had to spend nearly another year and a half in the Gitmo gulag before he was finally released. It's entirely possible he would still be there -- or dead -- if not for the intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the work of Baher Azmy, an Egyptian-American attorney who volunteered his services on behalf of Murat.
In seeking to justify Kurnaz's detention, the Bush Regime first claimed that one of his friends was a suicide bomber. "Leaving aside the astonishing legal proposition that one could spend the rest of one's life in prisoner because of the unknown acts of a friend," notes Azmy, this charge was "factually absurd" -- since the purported suicided bomber was alive and well and was contacted without much trouble to file an affidavit "stating that, `um, I am alive.'"
The second charge was that Kurnaz was captured bearing arms against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. That charge was made by the same authorities who knew that he had been captured in Pakistan, because they bought him from Pakistani authorities. The final charge was that Kurnaz had effectively given material support to terrorism because of his association with an Islamic religious society whose membership contained a few people who may have made donations to other groups connected to terrorist groups. It was this distant and attenuated relationship that supposedly justified the decision to designate Kurnaz an "enemy combatant" -- and that prompted the ruling from federal district Judge Green.
Still, even after it was abundantly and redundantly clear that Kurnaz wasn't a terrorist of any kind, the Regime still tried to extract some victory over the innocent man it had imprisoned and tortured for so long. Negotiations with the German government dragged on for eight months, with Washington demanding that Kurnaz, once released, continue to be treated as a prisoner: His passport was to be confiscated, he was to be subject to preventive detention on the flimsiest pretexts, and be kept under constant surveillance. To its credit, the German government rebuffed those demands.
Finally, in August 2006, Kurnaz was told that he was to be released. But just before boarding the military transport plane to take him -- bound, shackled, and in goggles once again -- to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Kurnaz was confronted by an American officer who shoved a document in his face:
"`Sign this piece of paper,' he said, `saying that you were detained in Guantanamo Bay because you are linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Or you are never going home."
To his eternal honor, Kurnaz refused.
I'm inclined to think this was his way of tacitly saying, "I f**k the State."
Kurnaz's memoir, most of which deals with his experiences in Cuba, brings to my mind another account of suffering in a Cuban gulag: Against All Hope by former Cuban dissident poet Armando Valladares. Mr. Valladares, who spent more than twenty years in Castro's gulag, recalled that among the most energetic torturers employed by the Cuban regime was an American ex-military officer identified only as Captain Marks, who would beat inmates and threaten them with his trained German Shepherd.
Which is to say that Captain Marks performed for Fidel Castro the same kind of heroic service being carried out today by many of our valiant troops at Gitmo today. In fact, it would surprise me to learn that Marks had re-upped, given that his skills are in such demand by our own Torture State.
Those who control our corporatist system have a perverse genius for commercializing atrocities.
The Banality of Commercialized Evil: Borrowing a page from the gelatinous self-promoter Rush Limbaugh, the Pentagon has begun to market Gitmo souvenirs, such as this charming t-shirt worn by the innocent urchin on the left. And yes, just in case you're wondering, this is a symptom of a terminal evil that has metastasized into the very marrow of our society.
"It's an interesting bit of consumerist trivia, an absurdly dark one really, when one considers that just about a mile from the strip mall housing [various American fast-food franchises at Guantanamo Bay] and other fronts of innocent Americana, there existed a camp housing a fully constructed project of dehumanization," writes Baher Amzy in an epilogue to Kurnaz's book.
And now that Gitmo's horrors have been mitigated ever so slightly, the merchandising has begun. Witness -- if you can bear to -- the spectacle of "Taliban Towers," a tourist getaway at Guantanamo Bay open to those who belong to the Regime's armed forces or who are employed by various military contractors to provide the Empire's critical infrastructure.
For a price of $42 a night -- roughly what a civilian pays stateside for a night at a Motel 6 -- servicemen, contractors, and their dependents can wind-surf, go deep-sea fishing, and enjoy the amenities offered by a full-service resort within easy walking distance of a literal American Gulag.
On sale now!
Dum spiro, pugno!
at 10:44 PM
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To change the subject - Mr. Grigg - What do you think about the seemingly complete silence in this election cycle of the republicans regarding their stands on various issues?
Even then, recalls Kurnaz, he "often saw fear in their eyes as they stood in front of our cages and waited to be deployed, even though we didn't have shoes on and were already cowering on the ground."
What he detected was the irrepressible, instinctive fear of a bully who knows that someday, somehow, his victims will retaliate. In other words, he discerned, in microcosm, the elemental impulse that drives much of U.S. foreign policy.
Yes, indeed. Remember this when these same wretched creatures return stateside and don the uniform of your local PD or one of the many redundant federal alphabet agencies of terror.
It is essential for anyone who finds themselves in the hands of agents of the police state (a catagory which, as in Stalinist Russia, will at some point include most of the population) to remember what Murat Kurnaz realized, which is that they are afraid of you. If this were not the case we would not be witnessing the extraordinary lengths at which the oppressors go to control, torture, humiliate, and destroy. Each act of resistance by a Murat Kurnaz, the resistance to tyranny and oppression and the maintenance of one's human dignity through the most evil of human depredations, represents a defeat of this evil that these creatures cannot abide, but which they can do nothing to forestall. They will ulitmately be the ones standing in judgment, whether in this world or in the next one.
To paraphrase that great "war journalist" John Pilger in his address to a group of young Australian journalists: The powers that be are obviously afraid of us. Why, then, should we be afraid of them?
I had a thought while reading this essay that maybe it is not the pure gratification of torturing the weak that the state is seeking, but rather it is to build up new armies of future "terrorists". By torturing and thus creating a group of people that would truly have reason to hate, the Regime would insure that it had future "terrorists" to fight.
Somewhat off subject...
In my small city in Iowa, we just had announced that Feds (from DHS, ICE, FBI) have rented-what is the equivalent of-the entire county fairgrounds. They will be "training" for emergency preparedness for the next 25 days. They have installed what looks like air filtration units outside of 3 buildings, and have pulled in 9 mobile home trailers for Offices
Does anyone else have any "training" going on during May?
This bestial savagery is senseless. Which is exactly what sin is. There is no sense in it.
You don't see such large, widescale activities and operations paid for by individuals, corporations or religions. Oh, no. Only the State can pull this off.
For some time now, I've felt that this country has become the long vaunted enemy of the people - we have become that which in my youth was detested. That this country has reduced itself to officially sanctioned torture is too offensive to condone.
I have seen many who post to your blog seek the return of the militia and state's rights to correct this. But that, while the constitutional route, has been rendered unworkable in the modern world.
As much as I hate to say this, we have been shown the way for the 21st century. This is an era of 4GW - McVeigh, 11 mid-easterners on 9/11, Afghanis and Iraqis have presented the only response other than passive acceptance. Large organized groups will be crushed with impunity - small, loosely organized cells of like minded people will wreak havoc.
It will be ugly, many will suffer and it will be brutal but it will force the elites into their own 'green zones'. Then the 'large soft targets' will be those who enable the system to function, yet live amongst the decent folks in a self-delusional facade of anonymity.
I am disgusted by the thought and even more disgusted with amerika's government - I no longer claim it as my own.
Now is the time to leave while you still can. Australia and New Zealand are both great places to go.
Will, I have to wonder how many of these Noble Servicemen are police officiers when they aren't sent off to torture foreigners? It almost makes bringing the troops home from around the world sound like a bad idea.
australia and NZ are bad places to go. their govts have disarmed them 100%. and do bear in mind that in those two countries you are still in the british commonwealth.
evilpaul-you hit that one on the head...I know Australia is almost worse than US, heard Peru is nice.
If you're reading this Bush has reserved a bunk for you in one of his detention camps.
by Ed Martin
George Bush is building detention camps. Their purpose is "to support the rapid development of new programs," without specifying just what those "new programs" might be. But, read on to see if programs Bush already has in place are the ones he's planning on using to put you in one of those camps.
The following contains quotations, information, and is based on material used directly and paraphrased from an excellent article by Christopher Ketcham on Information Clearing House and from Radar Magazine.
In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U. S. Justice department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D. C. and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president's henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.
The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft's second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush's first term. In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration's various domestic surveillance and spying programs. Much of his testimony centered on an operation so clandestine he wasn't allowed to name it or even describe what it did. Shortly before the certification deadline for the program, Ashcroft fell ill with pancreatitis, making Comey acting attorney general, and Comey opted not to certify the program. When he communicated his decision to the White House, Bush's men told him, in so many words, to take his concerns and stuff them in an undisclosed location.
Comey refused to knuckle under, and Bush sent Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales to Ashcroft's bedside to twist his arm to approve the program. Comey found out about it and rushed to the hospital to head them off. Ashcroft and Comey refused to approve the program. The following day, the program that Comey found so disturbing went forward at the demand of the White House, "without a signature from the Department of Justice attesting as to it's legality," he testified.
What is this program? A former military operative has been told that the program utilizes software that makes predictive judgments of targets' behavior and tracks their circle of associations with "social network analysis." That description is ambiguous enough to include people who read and write articles for OEN. That's you and me.
Bush, in one of his addresses to the nation, said the program was part of planning to assess threats to the "continuity of our government."
Continuity of Government resides in a nebulous legal realm, encompassing national emergency plans that would trigger the takeover of the country by extra-constitutional forces, and effectively suspend the republic. It is a road map for martial law. According to a senior government official, "There exists a database of Americans who often for the slightest and most trivial reason are considered unfriendly, and who in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived enemies of the state almost instantaneously." The database is referred to by the code name Main Core, with 8 million Americans now listed on it as potentially suspect. In the event of a declared national emergency, these people can be subject to detention. According to one news report, national opposition to U. S. military invasion abroad can be a reason to become a suspect.
Its ridiculous to suppose that there are 8 million Americans plotting terrorist acts against the United States. To get 8 million, Bush would have to include everyone who reads and writes for OEN and all the other progressive websites that are critical of the Bush administration. Why? Well, because they're critical of the Bush administration. That's enough right there to get you on the list.
I am not unfriendly to the Bush administration. I am overtly hostile, adamantly opposed to, completely reject the legitimacy and authority of and advocate the immediate removal of the Bush administration. Unfriendly doesn't even come close. That guarantees that I'm on the list.
When Continuity of Government plans go into effect, the executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles. The country becomes within a matter of hours a police state. Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and it's parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies.
What all this boils down to is that George Bush, in one of his whimsical determinations, can decide that, because we are opposed to his Iraq war, he can labels us as an enemy of the state, confiscate everything we have and put us in one of his concentration camps. All on his say so, alone.
If it comes to that, I'm not going to let that happen. This is where I draw the line. Should it come to that, the confiscation of my property, arrest and detention because of what I have said here on OEN, it would no longer be my country. It would be George Bush's country, a country that is far too much his now, a country that I will refuse to live in.
I fully realize that the overwhelming force of the Bush administration is infinitely superior to any puny, pathetic resistance I might offer, and that I will lose. So be it. But, I will not let them have me and my property. My property amounts to very little, its insignificant, but, its mine. I will destroy all of it before I will docilely concede defeat. I'm an old man. I've lived more than my alloted time. If I must sacrifice what remains in defiance of George Bush and to uphold my right to human dignity and freedom in my country that I have worked a lifetime for, contributed to it's continuing existence by serving in it's armed forces, it would be well worth it. I will resist unlawful attacks on my person by the Bush administration to the bitter end.
Its the only country I have and I'm not going to let George Bush take it away from me and make it his country. I refuse to be the subject of a doofus, a complete buffoon, a clown, a joke of a man.
I know, we're not supposed to make personal attacks. But, I invoke the principle of law, res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself.
I don't know whether George Bush will do what he has planned. Its said that you prepare for what your enemy can do, not what he might do. As most of the country has come to realize, George Bush is our enemy, the enemy of the United States, the most dangerous man this country has ever had to deal with. I do know that he has set in place procedures, plans, programs and mechanisms to complete his overthrow of our government and the takeover of our country, the part that he hasn't already. So, that's what I'm prepared for.
To use Bush's inappropriate phrase in an appropriate context, Bring It On, George, it will cost you more than you get, because you're not going to get anything. Be advised, George, that if you try to subjugate me, you will not get a subject, you will get nothing.
Ed Martin is an unindicted curmudgeon. He is not a Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, deist, atheist, or a member of any -ism.
"No one owes obedience to a usurper government or to anyone who assumes public office in violation of the Constitution and the law. The civil population has the right to rise up in defense of the constitutional order. The acts of those who usurp public office are null and void."
-- Article 46, Constitution of Peru
In the below, I provide massive amounts of documentation wherein the U.S. government itself admits it is holding innocent people indefinitely without charges (including children and U.S. citizens), torturing them, raping them--including homosexually anally raping them--and murdering them, and that the orders to do so came from the highest levels of the U.S. government.
Crushing Children's Testicles: Welcome to the New Freedom
John Choon Yoo ( http://www.law.berkeley.edu/faculty/yooj/ , http://www.law.berkeley.edu/faculty/profiles/facultyProfile.php?facID=235 ) is a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, and is one of the main White House legal advisers on the use of torture to President George Bush, Jr. Prof. John Yoo emigrated from South Korea with his parents when he was an infant, and is now married to Elsa Arnett, the daughter of reporter Peter Arnett.
Douglass Cassel ( http://www.nd.edu/~ndlaw/faculty/facultypages/cassel.html ) is the Lilly Endowment Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School.
The below excerpt is from a debate between Prof. John Yoo and Prof. Doug Cassel on December 1, 2005 in Chicago:
Prof. Doug Cassel: If the President deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?
Prof. John Yoo: No treaty.
Prof. Cassel: And also no law by Congress. That's what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Prof. Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.
You can listen to the above exchange on the following audio clip: http://rwor.org/downloads/file_info/download1.php?file=yoo_on_torture.mp3 (317,712 bytes)
The following audio clip is a longer recording which includes the above exchange: http://rwor.org/audio/yoo%20excerpt.mp3
"John Yoo Argues Pres. George Bush Has Legal Power to Torture Children," Philip Watts, Revolution Newspaper (revcom.us) http://rwor.org/johnyoo/index.html
Since Public Law 107-56 (October 26, 2001), i.e., the "USA Patriot Act" (H.R. 3162), was passed without the Congress or Senate even being allowed to read it before voting on it, the police can now secretly search your house and take whatever they want from it without having to tell you about it until they issue you a warrant up to six months later (see Sec. 213). Also, the legal definition of "domestic terrorism" was changed to include any "acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State" (see Sec. 802)--which could quite literally be jaywalking.
Indeed, smoking a joint could quite literally be domestic terrorism as defined under this law, since the U.S. government considers such drug use to be dangerous to human life, and since it is illegal after all. But such an act is supposed to only qualify if it "appear[s] to be intended to influence the policy of a Government by intimidation or coercion." So smoking a joint would only be an act of "domestic terrorism" if the U.S. Government thinks a person is doing it as a protest against their drug laws--the clause for "intimidation" already applies, otherwise the U.S. government would have no law against it.
And since Public Law 107-40 (September 18, 2001) was enacted and Bush, Jr. signed the November 13, 2001 Presidential Military Order, *habeas corpus* has been done away with as U.S. citizens can now be held indefinitely and in secret on the mere suspicion that they are in some way involved in "terrorism" (which can now be virtually anything: see the above redefined definition of "domestic terrorism") without even being charged; they can be tried by a secret military tribunal where they will not have the right to cross-examine their accusers; and they can be executed in secret. Of which color-of-law precedents that totally eviscerate the legal rights of U.S. citizens have now been further strengthened by Public Law No. 109-366, 120 Stat. 2600 (October 17, 2006), i.e., the "Military Commissions Act of 2006" (H.R. 6054); this law also retroactively attempts to get the U.S. government out from under the Geneva Conventions. Indeed, U.S. citizens have already been held for years without any charges even having been filed against them (such as José Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi), and the U.S. government says that it can keep U.S. citizens that way indefinitely.
So it's not surprising to find that the U.S. government has been torturing innocent people, including U.S. citizens. This includes U.S. soldiers torturing people in U.S. custody to death.
"Pakistan: U.S. Citizens Tortured, Held Illegally--FBI Participated in Interrogations Despite Apparent Knowledge of Torture, Abduction," Human Rights Watch, May 24, 2005 http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/05/24/pakist11005.htm
"Exclusive: Secret Memo--Send to Be Tortured," Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, August 8, 2005 issue http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8769416/site/newsweek/
"Outsourcing Torture: The secret history of America's 'extraordinary rendition' program," Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, Issue of February 14, 2005, posted February 7, 2005 http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050214fa_fact6
"CIA kidnapped terror suspects in the EU: lawmaker," Reuters, April 26, 2006 http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=11968389
"Bush admits the CIA runs secret prisons," Deb Riechmann, Associated Press (AP), September 6, 2006 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060906/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush
Khalid El-Masri, an innocent German citizen, was abducted from Macedonia and held by the U.S. military without charges from January 23 to May 28, 2004, during which time he was anally sodomized and tortured by the U.S. military. He was taken by the U.S. military to Baghdad, Iraq and then to the "Salt Pit" clandestine CIA torture center located north of Kabul in Afghanistan.
"Khalid El-Masri," Wikipedia, June 25, 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Khalid_El-Masri&oldid=60497313
"Lawsuit Against CIA Is Dismissed: Mistaken Identity Led to Detention," Jerry Markon, Washington Post, May 19, 2006; Page A13 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/18/AR2006051802107.html
An innocent Algerian man, Laid Saidi, was held without charges in one of the same clandestine CIA torture centers in Afghanistan that Khalid El-Masri was held, from May 2003 to August 2004, wherein the two saw each other. Mr. Saidi was abducted from Tanzania and held by the U.S. military, during which time he was anally sodomized and tortured by the U.S. military.
"Algerian Tells of Dark Term in U.S. Hands," Craig S. Smith and Souad Mekhennet, New York Times, July 7, 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/07/world/africa/07algeria.html
"CIA sent me to be tortured in Afghan prison, says Algerian," Jerome Taylor, Independent (U.K.), July 8, 2006 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article1166575.ece
Below is the case of the innocent man, Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was arrested in New York in September 26, 2002 by the U.S. government and taken to Syria to be tortured for ten months on behalf of the U.S. government:
"Canadian Was Falsely Accused, Panel Says--After Tip From Ally, U.S. Sent Muslim to Syria for Questioning," Doug Struck, Washington Post, September 19, 2006; A01 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/18/AR2006091800883_pf.html
"Canadian police errors led to man's torture--probe," David Ljunggren, Reuters, September 18, 2006 http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N18316511.htm
"Report: Canadian Terror Suspect Tortured--and Was Likely Innocent," Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, September 18, 2006 http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003123959
In the Bagram, Afghanistan U.S. military base, U.S. government officials publicly admit that they're murdering Afghan inmates there by torturing them to death:
"Afghan prisoners beaten to death at US military interrogation base: 'Blunt force injuries' cited in murder ruling," Duncan Campbell, The Guardian (U.K.), March 7, 2003 http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,909164,00.html
"Prisoners 'killed' at US base," BBC News, March 6, 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2825575.stm
"Army Details Scale of Abuse of Prisoners in an Afghan Jail," Douglas Jehl, New York Times, March 12, 2005 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/12/politics/12detain.html
Included in the U.S. government's use of torture against innocent people is the rape of women and male children:
"US military confirms existence of horrific pictures and video," Andrew Buncombe, Independent (U.K.), May 9, 2004 http://www.rense.com/general52/erh.htm
Among other tortures, U.S. Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba's report details homosexual anal rape committed by U.S. soldiers. Also detailed in U.S. Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba's report and by other U.S. military sources, Military Intelligence and the CIA ordered the torture at the Abu Ghaib prison.
"U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse: Executive summary of Article 15-6 investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba," NBC News, May 4, 2004 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4894001/
"Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade," Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, U.S. Army http://www.npr.org/iraq/2004/prison_abuse_report.pdf
"Green light for Iraqi prison abuse came right from the top: Classified documents show the former US military chief in Iraq personally sanctioned measures banned by the Geneva Conventions," Andrew Buncombe, Independent (U.K.), April 3, 2005 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0403-03.htm
"The General's Report: How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties," Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, June 25, 2007 http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/06/25/070625fa_fact_hersh?printable=true
Excerpt from the above article:
At that point, Taguba recalled, "I described a naked detainee lying on the wet floor, handcuffed, with an interrogator shoving things up his rectum, and said, 'That's not abuse. That's torture.' There was quiet."
Taguba said that he saw "a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee." The video was not made public in any of the subsequent court proceedings, nor has there been any public government mention of it.
"Pentagon Report Set Framework For Use of Torture: Security or Legal Factors Could Trump Restrictions, Memo to Rumsfeld Argued," Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2004 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0607-01.htm
As Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said to reporters on May 7, 2004 concerning the pictures and videos of U.S. military torture of Iraqis that the U.S. government still refuses to release: "The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges." See:
"Rumsfeld: Worst Still To Come--Pentagon Boss Apologizes To Iraqis; Says More Videos, Photos Exist," CBS News and Associated Press (AP), May 7, 2004 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/08/iraq/main616338.shtml
"Rueful Rumsfeld: 'Cruel' truth hurts: Rape and murder feared in Iraq abuse," Noelle Straub, Boston Herald, May 8, 2004 http://groups.google.com/group/alt.politics.economics/msg/53904eefc5efc3fa
And as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on May 7, 2004 before the Senate Armed Services Committee (and he essentially said the same thing before the House Armed Services Committee on the same date) concerning the pictures and videos of U.S. military torture of Iraqis that the U.S. government still refuses to release:
First, beyond abuse of prisoners, there are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence toward prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman.
Second, there are many more photographs, and indeed some videos. Congress and the American people and the rest of the world need to know this.
In addition, the photos give these incidents a vividness, indeed a horror, in the eyes of the world. ...
If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse. That's just a fact. I mean, I looked at them last night, and they're hard to believe. And so beyond notice. That's just a fact.
"Rumsfeld Testifies Before Senate Armed Services Committee," FDCH E-Media (Federal Document Clearing House), May 7, 2004 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8575-2004May7
"Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee: Transcript of Testimony by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, House Armed Services Committee," Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, May 7, 2004 http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2004/sp20040507-secdef0401.html
"In quotes: Rumsfeld faces Congress," BBC News, May 7, 2004 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3694995.stm
Yet almost all of the prisoners held by the U.S. military are completely innocent:
"Most 'Arrested by Mistake': Coalition intelligence put numbers at 70% to 90% of Iraq prisoners, says a February Red Cross report, which details further abuses," Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times, May 11, 2004 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0511-04.htm
"U.S. war prisons legal vacuum for 14,000," Patrick Quinn, Associated Press, September 17, 2006 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060917/ap_on_re_mi_ea/in_american_hands
From the above article:
Many say they were caught up in U.S. military sweeps, often interrogated around the clock, then released months or years later without apology, compensation or any word on why they were taken. Seventy to 90 percent of the Iraq detentions in 2003 were "mistakes," U.S. officers once told the international Red Cross.
"AP: Gitmo Detainees Say They Were Sold," Associated Press, May 31, 2005 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0531-10.htm
The U.S. government has been training its troops and foreign NATO and U.N. military for a long time (i.e., well before the U.S. government-staged 9/11 attacks) in putting U.S. citizens in concentration camps and for total gun confiscation.
Watch Alex Jones's first two Police State video documentaries (both published well before the U.S. government-staged 9/11 attacks) where you can see U.S. troops training with U.N. troops in disarming American citizens and putting them into concentration camps, and anouncing over their loudspeakers: "Be calm, there is food, there is water in the camp. Violation of camp rules will not be tolerated!"
They had American role-players screaming back at the U.S. and foreign U.N. troops, "I'm an American! I'm an American! You can't do this to me! I have rights!"
On Alex Jones's first two Police State video documentaries you can see many more of these training exercizes conducted in other cities and towns. Below you can watch Alex Jones's first two Police State videos in full and for free:
Police State 2000 (published 1999) http://www.archive.org/details/PS2000
Police State II: The Takeover (published 2000) http://www.archive.org/details/PoliceStateII
There have literally been hundreds of these type of training exercizes going on in the U.S. since the early 1990s. For example, see:
Operation Urban Warrior, Oakland, California 1999 http://www.infowars.com/ouwmar9901.html
Australian, British and other foreign troops training with U.S. troops for total gun confiscation of U.S. citizens and in rounding up U.S. citizens into concentration camps at Operation Urban Warrior, Oakland, California 1999
For more on this subject, see below:
"U.S. Can Confine Citizens Without Charges, Court Rules," Jerry Markon, Washington Post, September 10, 2005; Page A01 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/09/AR2005090900772.html
"Reagan Aides and the 'Secret' Government," Alfonso Chardy, Miami Herald, July 5, 1987 http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/secret_white_house_plans.htm
"Martial Law Concerns," Congressman Jim McDermott, House of Representatives, March 11, 2003 http://www.house.gov/mcdermott/sp030311.shtml
Below are some archives for mainstream major media news articles dealing with these gulag matters:
Primary Prison Planet Mainstream-Media News Archive on FEMA Concentration Camps http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives_concentration_camps.html
FEMA Camps/Martial Law Archive http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives_fema.html
The below archived news articles deal with how the U.S. government can indefinitely hold U.S. citizens who have not been charged with any crime (as the U.S. government has already been doing), and how U.S. citizens in general can be tried by a secret military tribunal where they will not have the right to cross-examine their accusers, and they can be executed in secret:
Habeas Corpus Archive http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives_habeas.html
The below news articles talk about how the U.S. government can quarantine whole cities and round U.S. citizens up to be put in concentration camps in the event of, e.g., a bio-weapons release:
Model States Emergency Health Powers Act [which has been passed on the Federal level] Archive http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives_modelstates.html
Below are some additional documentation resources to learn more about the FEMA concentration/extermination camps in the U.S.:
"Concentration Camps in Okanagon County?," Associated Press (via KXLY News), February 25, 2003 http://web.archive.org/web/20030408233829/http://www.kxly.com/common/getStory.asp?id=26857
Interview of Okanogan County Commissioner Dave Schulz http://www.prisonplanet.com/schultz_02_27_03.mp3
And see also:
"Foundations are in place for martial law in the US," Ritt Goldstein, Sydney Morning Herald, July 27, 2002 http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/07/27/1027497418339.html
"Secret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law: Nationwide initiative trains volunteers to teach congregations to 'obey the government' during seizure of guns, property, forced inoculations and forced relocation," Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet.com, May 24, 2006 http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/may2006/240506femaplan.htm
"Paramilitary Secret Police Kidnap, Detain, Torture Bilderberg Investigators: Interrogators threatened to 'cut off arms' during 6 hour marathon of hell," Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet.com, June 29, 2006 http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2006/060706manraided.htm
"Terror Canadian Style," Joe Burd, TruthMovement.CA (accessed June 28, 2006) http://www.fathers.ca/anyone_can_be_called_an_insurgent.htm
"Man Raided By FBI, ATF, Canadian Law Enforcement After Handing Out 'Subversive' Alex Jones Material: Gun seller questioned on militia, ownership of George Washington speeches," Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones, Prison Planet.com, July 6, 2006 http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2006/060706manraided.htm
Bell-Babylon's day of judgement is coming; read Jerimiah chapters 50 and 51 and Revelations chapters 17 and 18.
it is funny, in a country of so called judea-christians, they slide into their own abyss in complete ignorance.
The most surprising thing so far is the shock demonstrated by the ignorant. What, you suppose that american foriegn policy can do unto others for nearly a century, FINANCE and abet the Soviet experiment, but because of some drivel called "manifest destiny" we will be spared??? Such a pathetic and naive mindset elicits no sympathy. How surprising can it be when the american government can bring in Nazi scientists to advise and wow! 10-20 years later we have the beginnings of a Nazi hydra monster here....why, golly how'd THAT happen?? And no, we do not have the luxury of plagiarizing that eloquent marilyn monroe-esque statement "but, but,...I didn't know" The Germans already cornered the market, and it didnt work too well for them, did it?
The fact of the matter is one cannot wink at crimes committed by their own and expect to not have it done to them. Live and learn. Or not.
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