Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

April 06, 2021

By Pepe Escobar – Book Review for The Saker Blog

Nearly 20 years after 9/11, Germany and the German-speaking world are being hit by a formidable one-two.

A ground-breaking study by gifted independent financial journalist Lars Schall, Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”) is being published in Germany in two books.

The first one – Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen (“The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs”) – is out this week. Volume II will be out next week.

Nomi Prins, formerly from Goldman Sachs, has described Schall’s “investigation of 9/11 insider trading” as “stunning”. Marshall Auerback, researcher at the Levy Institute in the U.S., noted how “most of the MSM still refuse to tackle the broader, more controversial aspects of the 9/11 tragedy”. Schall, he adds, “provides a healthy corrective”.

A sample of Schall’s work, already published by The Saker blog, is this interview on 9/11 terror trading.

I’ve had the pleasure to write the introduction for the German one-two. Here it is – hoping that such an extraordinary achievement may find its way in many other languages, especially across the Global South

9/11, or “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”

Until COVID-19 showed up on the scene in the Spring of 2020, nearly two decades after the fact, the world remained hostage to 9/11. This was the ultimate geopolitical game-changer that set the tone for the young 21st century. The book you have in your hands asks the ultimate question: why 9/11 matters.

Follow the money. It’s quite fitting that this meticulous investigation is conducted by a gifted, extremely serious financial journalist – and, in an unprecedented way, presents a mass of information previously unavailable in German.

I’ve known Lars Schall, virtually, for years – exchanging correspondence on politics and economics. When we met in person in Berlin in 2015, we finally had time, live, to also indulge in our number one pop culture mutual passion: David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Lars may be a German incarnation of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Or, better yet, the compassionate version of Albert Rosenfield, the sarcastic pathologist in Twin Peaks.

Take for instance this dialogue from Twin Peaks:

Albert Rosenfield: We sent a portrait of your long-haired man to every agency from NASA to DEA and came up empty. This cat is in nobody’s database. 

 Special Agent Dale Cooper: A man that four of us have seen here in Twin Peaks. 

 Albert Rosenfield: [smiling] Sure. Oh, by the way, you were shot with a Walther PPK. It’s James Bond’s gun, did you know that?

So what you have in your hands is 9/11 dissected by a thoroughly working pathologist, who had “a lot of cutting and pasting to do”. He was aware of myriad red lines from the start, as well as myriad vanishing acts and false non sequiturs. 9/11 may be the ultimate illustration of one of Twin Peaks’ legendary one-liners: “The owls are not what they seem”.

Our pathologist had in fact to disassemble a humongous matryoshka to break it down into smaller dolls. This process had some surprises in store: by following-the-money approach regarding 9/11, for instance, our pathologist was in the end confronted with the case of an anal prolapse at Guantanamo Bay. You don’t believe it? Just wait and read the research.

This journey will take you through hundreds of pages of text and myriads of endnotes, over 2,400 of them, quite a few dealing with many different sources, as well as selected sensitive documents treated by professional translators.

The double volume details the interconnected implications of extremely complex dossiers: the US national energy policy group chaired by former Vice-President Dick Cheney, in secrecy, only four days after the start of the Bush administration; the ramifications of Peak Oil; the interest by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on Middle East oil, especially Iraq; the CIA’s major role in the drug trade business; the Saudi-U.S. alliance related to the protection of al-Qaeda; what happened with the U.S. air defense on 9/11; and last but not least, insider trading on 9/11, especially anomalies in the option and bond markets.

The nearly mythical computer software program PROMIS, created in the 1970s by former NSA analyst Bill Hamilton, plays a sort of Rosebud role in this narrative – complete with a trail of unexplained deaths and disappearing files that renders some of its avatars, especially those containing backdoor eavesdropping capabilities enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) almost impervious to investigation.

As a matter of fact, Lars had been contacted by Bill Hamilton, who asked him if he could help in relation to the PROMIS affair. It was this request – which took place in the Spring of 2012 after Lars had just published a 9/11-Insider Trading article at Asia Times – that has been the spark which started the investigation you are about to read.

For the German reader, one of the firsts of this sprawling analysis is to take what is considered in the U.S. as a “conspiracy theory” – Mike Ruppert’s seminal 2004 book “Crossing the Rubicon” – and, in Lars’s words, “figure out how far it can be proven correct, more than 15 years after it was published.”

Lars shows in detail how 9/11 enabled a state of emergency, a permanent Continuity of Government (COG) in the U.S. and mass surveillance of U.S. citizens – connecting the dots all the way from missing trillions of dollars in the Pentagon to NSA data mining and leading U.S. neocons. The latter had been praying for a “Pearl Harbor” to reorient US foreign policy since 1997. Their prayers were answered beyond their wildest dreams.

The investigation eventually displays a startling road map: the war on terror as a business model. However, as Lars also shows, in the end, much to the despair of U.S. neocons, all the combined sound and fury of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror, in nearly two decades, ended up bringing about a Russia-China strategic partnership in Eurasia.

It’s fair to ask the author what did he learn as he juggled for years with this immense mass of information. Lars points to the familiarity he acquired with the work of Peter Dale Scott – author, among others of “The Road to 9/11”, and a specialist in the origins of the U.S. Deep State – which is diametrically opposed to the sanitized narrative privileged by the Beltway and U.S. corporate media. Lars presents information by Peter Dale Scott that had never been translated into German before.

Special Agent Lars Cooper / Lars Rosenfield had in effect to kiss goodbye to a career as a journalist, because “I’ll be forever scorned as a ‘conspiracy theorist’,” as he told me. So a stark choice was in play; fearlessness, or a comfortable career as a corporate hack. In the end, Lars chose fearlessness.

In Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper has ultimately to confront himself. He knows he’s lost if he tries to run away from his dark self – who is “the dweller on the threshold.” Our Special Agent Lars Cooper definitely did not run away from the dweller on the threshold this time around. He dared to cross to the other side to stare at the abyss. And now he’s back to tell us in a book what it looks like.

Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”), by Lars Schall

Book 1: Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen

(The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753442938. For the e-Book: 9783753414737

Book 2:  Das “Pearl Harbor” des 21. Jahrhunderts (The “Pearl Harbor “ of the 21st Century)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753460796. For the e-book:  9783753433882

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11 & it still continues

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

Doctors were asked to torture detainees for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

An al-Qaida detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2002: the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at the prison in recent years. Photograph: Shane T Mccoy/PA

Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded.

The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees”.

Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill.

The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.

The two-year review by the 19-member taskforce, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, supported by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations, says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation “safety officers” rather than doctors. Doctors and nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner’s physical and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of detainees.

The CIA’s office of medical services played a critical role in advising the justice department that “enhanced interrogation” methods, such as extended sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which are recognised as forms of torture, were medically acceptable. CIA medical personnel were present when waterboarding was taking place, the taskforce says.

Although the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at Guantánamo Bay in recent years, and the CIA has said it no longer has suspects in detention, the taskforce says that these “changed roles for health professionals and anaemic ethical standards” remain.

“The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve,” said Dr Gerald Thomson, professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University and member of the taskforce.

He added: “It’s clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice. We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again.”The taskforce says that unethical practices by medical personnel, required by the military, continue today. The DoD “continues to follow policies that undermine standards of professional conduct” for interrogation, hunger strikes, and reporting abuse. Protocols have been issued requiring doctors and nurses to participate in the force-feeding of detainees, including forced extensive bodily restraints for up to two hours twice a day.

Doctors are still required to give interrogators access to medical and psychological information about detainees which they can use to exert pressure on them. Detainees are not permitted to receive treatment for the distress caused by their torture.

“Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the fundamental principles of medical professionalism,” said IMAP president David Rothman. “‘Do no harm’ and ‘put patient interest first’ must apply to all physicians regardless of where they practise.”The taskforce wants a full investigation into the involvement of the medical profession in detention centres. It is also calling for publication of the Senate intelligence committee’s inquiry into CIA practices and wants rules to ensure doctors and psychiatrists working for the military are allowed to abide by the ethical obligations of their profession; they should be prohibited from taking part in interrogation, sharing information from detainees’ medical records with interrogators, or participating in force-feeding, and they should be required to report abuse of detainees.

Military Force Feeding Prisoners at US Torture Gulag Guantanamo

‘Men Live in Guantanamo Animal Cages, Will Never Get Trials’



March 25, 2013 “Information Clearing HouseRT” – The Guantanamo Bay hunger strike has entered its 47th day, with no end in sight. According to the prison’s Director of Public Affairs, 26 inmates are refusing food, with eight detainees receiving enteral sustenance.
The situation has alarmed Lt. Col Barry Wingard, a US military attorney who advocates for Guantanamo detainees.

Wingard spoke to RT about the future of Guantanamo Bay’s 166 detainees.

RT: I understand you have access to your clients in Guantanamo – when was the last time you saw them and what state were they in?

Lt. Col Barry Wingard: The last time I saw my clients was between the February 25 and March 8. I visited with them multiple times. I was shocked at the condition they were in. In fact, we were the first people who broke the story that the hunger strike had begun around February 6 or 7 and had continued on. My client at that point had lost 26 pounds (12kg) and at this point it’s official that he’s lost almost 40 pounds (18kg) – one third of his body weight from 147 pounds (67kg).

RT: How long can they go on like that?

BW: I can imagine we’re getting near to the end when something serious is going to happen. The administration down in Guantanamo Bay initially denied the report that the hunger strike was occurring. They then said it was seven, then 14, then 21 people. They then said it wasn’t the largest hunger strike in history. Then they came out and said it’s 24, 25, and today 26 people. So the story is getting more accurate as we go, but we’re running out of time.

RT: Do you think it really will take that?

BW: Well I’m here to tell you that after 11-and-a-half years, these men that live in animal cages in America’s offshore prison in Guantanamo Bay, they ask for justice. They’ve been there 11-and-a-half years. Ninety per cent of them have no charges [against them]. I can tell you having looked at my clients’ cases, they will never get a trial based upon the evidence that is against them, so if their home countries are not willing to intervene and do something, I don’t see it coming from Washington. Washington seems to take the position that we don’t have time to deal with these 166 condemned men in our offshore prison.

RT: How’s Washington going to deal with the PR if someone does die?

BW: Well you’re going to have to answer that as a political question. I’m a lawyer. I’m here to look at the facts and tell you that I’ve reviewed these cases and these guys will never get trials. If they’re never getting trials, then we have to go by what the president said in March 2011, when he said indefinite detention will be implemented in Guantanamo Bay and will be the law of the United States. Forty-eight men will be condemned to die never being given a trial or given an opportunity to defend themselves. They are essentially dead men who just happen to breathe.

RT: For the people you’ve spoken to there – including your clients – what was their mindset? Is it the same as when they started 45/46 days ago, as it is now? Did they think they’d have to take this through to the bitter end, or did they think something would give beforehand?

BW: I can’t speak for what every man down there thought, but what I can tell you is that the vast majority of people in Guantanamo Bay are cleared for release. They’re cleared to go home. The United States acknowledges that they’ve committed no crime, yet we still continue to house them in a penal colony in Guantanamo Bay. Imagine if the situation was reversed and the US had 166 citizens held in some other country’s offshore prison. I don’t want to go into what happened in the early years as far as enhanced interrogation, but the situation isn’t getting any better. These men have figured out that probably the only way for them to go home – cleared or not – is in a wooden box.

RT: Do you take any comfort at all in this US military plan to spend $49 million on the facility, supposedly making it more comfortable for the inmates?

BW: This is not about soccer fields or food or anything else. This is about justice and freedom. This is a bigger concept. This is what the US stands for. Not more servings of food or more soccer fields to play on. This is a matter of getting these men home or giving them trials.

Attorney: Guantanamo Detainee “Skin and Bones”
March 25, 2013 “Information Clearing HouseCBS News” – NEW YORK – The U.S. military now counts 26 men detained in the prison at a Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as active hunger strikers, while one defense attorney described one of those meal-refusing detainees as “skin and bones.”

Eight of the acknowledged hunger strikers have refused meals for so long and lost so much weight that the military is force-feeding them liquid nutrients through a tube down their nose. Two of those men receiving tube feedings are also hospitalized for rehydration and observation, said Capt. Robert Durand, a Navy spokesman at the base.

Carlos Werner, a federal public defender from Ohio who visited Guantanamo this week, said a detainee he represents, Fayiz Muhammad Ahmad Al-Kandari, from Yemen, appeared to have lost 20 percent of his body weight due to a hunger strike that began six weeks ago.

“Fayiz could not stand yesterday. Today, he was a bit stronger and stood to greet me,” Werner said. “He had sallow cheeks. His waist was shockingly thin. His waist looked like the waist of my six-year-old child. He was skin and bones. He was disoriented and exhausted both days.”

Werner continued, “He refused honey I brought him. He drank only water during the meetings.”

Al-Kandari, 36, from Kuwait, has never been charged with a crime by the U.S.. He was sent to Guantanamo in May 2002, six months after his capture in Afghanistan. A secret 2008 military assessment, posted by WikiLeaks, described him as an al Qaeda member and propagandist who fought against U.S. forces at Tora Bora.

Since early February, according to their attorneys, a growing number of Guantanamo detainees have been refusing meals to protest their indefinite detention without charges and searches of their cells that they say resulted in confiscation of personal items and guards leafing through their Korans.

The military describes cell searches for contraband as routine and denies that guards touch Korans.

Although 71 detainees were transferred from Guantanamo to their home or third countries during President Obama’s first two years in office, none have left in three years, even though a 2010 interagency task force, including representatives of the military and intelligence agencies, unanimously recommended 56 additional detainees for transfer.

Though the Obama administration issued an executive order two years ago to establish periodic review boards of detainees, to be overseen by the Defense, State, and Justice Departments, the boards have yet to be organized.

In a letter recently received by his attorneys, a hunger striking detainee known as Obaydullah, from Afghanistan, wrote, “I am in jail for almost 11 years, and still I do not know about my fate.”

His appointed military defense counsel, Army Capt. Jason Wright, said he was “shocked” by Obaydullah’s appearance two weeks ago and again when he returned to see him this week. The detainee, who is around 30 years old, told Wright his weight had dropped from 167 to 131 pounds after refusing meals for 45 days.

“He had clearly lost weight and was visibly distressed,” Wright said. “I think this is a manifestation of sheer desperation and hopelessness.”

Wright said Obaydullah was drinking water and tea but he was unsure if he was eating snacks. Wright said defense lawyers were hearing consistent stories about the cell shakedown, the flashpoint over Korans, and that many of the 130 detainees in Camp Six, where the most compliant men are housed in a communal living environment, are refusing to eat.

Other detainee attorneys expressed concern that permission for regularly-scheduled private charter flights to Guantanamo had been revoked by the base commanding officer, Captain J.R. Nettleton. Only one company, Florida-based IBC Airways, had been offering the flights two to three times a week.

Kelly Wirfel, a spokeswoman for Nettleton, said the flights were too frequent and cited a federal regulation that gives Nettleton discretion in approving or disapproving the landings.

“The base commanding officer was in no way trying to prevent or prohibit anyone from traveling to the base,” Wirfel said, adding that groups wishing to charter a flight could seek permission on an occasional basis.

Attorneys, legal observers, journalists, and others are still able to visit Guantanamo, when cleared by the military, aboard weekly military charters from Andrews Air Force Base in Washington. The planes fly down on Monday and return on Friday. Capt. Durand said Monday’s military flight was scheduled as usual.

Pardiss Karabei, an attorney for the Center of Constitutional Rights, which has represented detainees since soon after Guantanamo opened, said the limited flight schedule meant an attorney had to be able to take off a whole week in order to meet with a client. Approval to be on the trips must be requested 20 days in advance, she said, while phone calls with detainees typically must be arranged 15 days in advance.

“These are impediments that have definitely made it harder to provide effective representation and build trust,” Karabei said. “The flight situation as it stands introduces a new level of difficulty.”

There are still 166 men from foreign countries detained at Guantanamo.

This week, the military submitted a request to the House Armed Services Committee for up to $170 million to build new facilities at Guantanamo, including $56 million for hurricane-proof troop barracks and $52 million in new housing for “high value detainees.”

Guantanamo captives who will not comply with force-feeding have their arms, legs and head restrained in a feeding chair. They remain strapped in the chair until the nutrient is digested, to prevent induced vomiting.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Day 3

by Lauren Booth
Friday, May 11th, 2012

Yonas Fikre is a 33 year old naturalized American citizen born in Eritrea
The American government has issued an arrest warrant for American citizen Yonas Fikre, 33, who is seeking asylum in Sweden. This comes, after the Ethiopia-born resident of Portland, Ore, publicly alleged illegal detention and torture while in the United Arab Emirates – carried out at the behest of the FBI.

The FBI response is predictable; they will not comment on individual investigations because of security and Privacy Act concerns. It won’t be drawn on Fikre’s accusation that it orchestrated torture.

Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur the tribunal seeking to convict George Dubya Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and five others for war crimes nears its conclusion.

The esteemed prosecution team make its final submission to a packed ‘court’ room.

Who is responsible for all the crimes committed on detainees in Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and similar US bases?

Professor Gurdial Singh, refers to the case of the Japanese commander who led forces in the Philippines in WW2. Tomoyuki Yamashita’s troops, under his command, committed crimes against civilians. The international tribunal in Tokyo held him liable and convicted him. This decision was confirmed by the US supreme court who found that by virtue of his role as ‘commander of the troops’ Yamashita had to take positive action to end such abuses – or be held responsible for them.

Commanders then, in findings of abuse and crimes against other troops or civilians, are under the US supreme courts consideration guilty until proven innocent. The burden of proof lies with those in command to prove they took active steps to end any acts contravening international law, by their troops.
It follows that the chain of command can be held responsible in abuses that have arisen from the US occupations of the past decade, argues the prosecution. From the CIA operatives in plain clothes, to the paid bounty hunters in Kirkuk and Pakistan, from the interrogators in Bagram and Gitmo to the President of the USA, commander in Chief of the US army, all will be culpable legally if torture has taken place.
So did the prosecution here in KL make the case beyond a reasonable doubt?
The totality of the evidence reveals that Bush made executive orders that led to the subsequent abuses and crimes in Guantanamo Bay which then mutated and spread to other US military bases where detainees were (and are) held without due process. The Commander-in- Chief of the military not only expects his orders will be acted upon; updates from the battle field are regularly made to him. So why was nothing done to stop the acts of violence that were eventually revealed by the media to be taking place? Far from seeking to stop the abuse of detainees in US hands, Bush and his chain of command at the time, sought legal opinions in advance of the actions, to attempt to make them excusable if they ever came to light.

The Enemy Combatants Executive Order issued by the Bush regime said that (those it considered) Taliban and Al Quaeda members were no longer protected by the Geneva Convention. This order, led to ALL the subsequent abuses. Detention in Guantanamo Bay was another effort to remove detainees from any legal jurisdiction. Creating a deliberate ‘legal black hole’; a lawless environment, for which the Bush regime’s commands were responsible. Waterboarding was found to have ‘no lasting harm’ said Bush at the time. In his autobiography he says, that he, personally, approved the use of enhanced interrogation ‘techniques.’ The prosecution in KL emphasises the plural – “techniques”.

This then can be taken as a clear admission of guilt to the charge that Bush had full knowledge of – and indeed gave the command to – torture. US forces and their hired hands from Afghanistan to Iraq via Guantanamo and further afield into the bases and secret prisons of which the world knows nothing, are all answerable under international law to the Commander in Chief of operations.

All the witnesses who gave testimony at this tribunal (for their testimonies see the earlier article I wrote) were interrogated by the CIA, using the new techniques approved by Bush.

So, what has the Bush/Cheney defence been for these crimes; there appears to be only one game plan available to them and it is a weak one. ‘National necessity’, that in order to protect Americans, the norms of law applying to Muslim detainees, can and must be jettisoned. The only problem for Bush, Cheney and the entire chain of command in this shameful section of world history is that this ‘defence’ whilst emotionally appealing to Fox News viewers – has no basis whatsoever, nor relevance, in law.
Article 2.2 of the Geneva convention, says that there are no exceptional circumstances WHATSOVER which ‘may be used to withdraw the captives protections and rights.’

When the US Supreme Court said that the rights of any detainees could not be violated in its own investigation, Bush in his memoirs announced, arrogantly, that he ‘disagreed strongly with the court’s decision’.

A clear admission that he wished he could (and he did) disregard the law of the United States in relation to the protection of victims of war aka ‘captives’.

The case against Rumsfeld.

The infamous 2002 ‘torture’ memo, had a second document attached to it. A request for approval of new techniques by commanders at Guantanamo Bay.William Haynes was the General Counsel of the Department of Defense in Bush’s administration. He has also been General Counsel of the Department of the Army. It was Haynes, who sent the request for approval of the new techniques. Rumsfeld’s direct approval was needed for any torture to take place.

18 levels of techniques were sought; including solitary confinement of up to 30 days, 24 hour interrogations, use of fear of dogs etc. Also scenarios where a detainee was made to fear death or injury to others in order for information to be obtained by the interrogators.

No limits to the use of these techniques were sought nor any given.

Haynes, advised that all these methods and a dozen more should be made’ legally’ available. Rumsfeld was the secretary for defence at the time. He added comments to the memo in his own handwriting. The infamous ‘flippant’ note that he stood for 8 hours a day in his job so ‘why is standing (by detainees) limited to just four hours’ appeared in the margin proving he read the memos. In his memoirs, Rumsfeld says he regrets having scribbled the comment. Not because of the gross flippancy in relation to real human suffering being inflicted that it showed. But, because he was misunderstood. That, his note was just a statement of fact about his working hours – not a hint that more extreme measures should be effected by the Gitmo command.

Prosecutor Singh says; ‘When the beast is caught look at the contrivances; Pathetic.’

Any Secretary of Defence memo goes right down the field of command to the field level, where it will be implemented.

Rumsfeld, via the legal memos to Gitmo never placed limits on the interrogation techniques he was signing off on – nor their use in combination.

Rumsfeld has publicly contradicted himself saying the techniques were only meant for use against specific prisoners; those deemed the ‘worst of the worst’
Prosecutor Singh of the persecution said; ‘This is a bald faced untruth’.

Rumsfeld later said he was ‘troubled’ by reports of combo techniques used on detainees. Saying it looked as if methods went ‘beyond’ the original orders.

Yet, his department was repeatedly warned of the mistreatment of detainees. There was public knowledge of the methods used at Gitmo. It is inconceivable that Rumsfeld did not know of abuses.
Those, who issue the action advice are as responsible as those who carry out the orders. The orders were handed out in the full knowledge that a crime would be carried out as a result. Thus, the 18 Interrogation techniques, are linked directly to Washington. Rumsfeld was regularly involved in talks about these methods.

In Rumsfeld’s memoir he says of the eventual media exposure of torture, of humiliation techniques of sexual abuse in Bagram and beyond that they – ‘occurred on my watch….I take full responsibility.’
But where is the responsibility? Empty words.

‘The fruit of the poison tree is poisoned’ says the prosecution, here in KL. The logic of the original memos, stayed in effect for over a year, until the Abu Ghraib scandal, caused them to be repealed.
The Slazenger Report of 2004 concluded that the entire chain of command, including Rumsfeld, was responsible for the abuses and degrading treatment of detainees in Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere.
Such abuses were not, bad apples, but ‘systemic acts and crimes’.

At the time of the abuses an ICRC report found that criminal acts were considered ‘acceptable’ by coalition forces.

The defence case, as laid here in Malaysia, is more that weak it is, in legal terms, childish.

Rumsfeld approved the basis of the report by a working group in which the definition of torture was relaxed without legal justification, creating an environment where torture was acceptable.

Impeach Vice President Richard B. Cheney!

The charges against the Bush Administrations VP, Richard Bruce Cheney.

That he knew everything that was going on.

The court is shown a clip from a US news show where Cheney is interviewed live. He states that he would ‘strongly support using it again’ when asked about the torture method of simulated drowning known as water boarding.

Video shown of Dick Cheney on specific point:

Would he approve secret prisons he’s asked?

DC: Yes

Did he stand by other methods of torture (deemed illegal under international law)

DC; Yes..It was controversial at the time. It was the right thing to do.

Prosecution uses this as a clear admission of guilt in absentia, here in Malaysia.

The legal advice sought by Bush et al was sought not just to be mulled over – but in order that it be acted upon.

Legal advice in 2002/2003 and 2004 for the the illegal techniques came directly from the office of legal council in the Attorney Generals office. The AG webpage clearly states that all executive orders (from Bush etc) and proclamations proposed to be given by the Presidents office are reviewed. In short, a legal check must be made that Presidential orders conform to the law.

Here again the team surrounding Bush tries the weakest of manoeuvres to wriggle out of legal culpability for its heinous crimes. The legal office for the US administration has tried to say that the advice they gave on torture at the time was ‘merely exploratory.’ That they were just looking at the outer limits of legality. This is incorrect and deliberately misleading. All their written advice- is legally binding on the Presidential Office. It is not merely read and considered. The President MUST act on it.
Prosecutor Singh, calls Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld the ‘Unholy trinity’. Few here, including the victims of torture giving evidence would disagree.

The political memoirs of arrogant, former world leaders are proving a gold mine for legal teams seeking justice when they retire from office. Thus, Rumsfeld, from his book; ‘Administration lawyers fully vetted the CIA’s programme, giving them the green light to proceed.’ It was the CIA’s programme which was applied and that stripped human beings of their dignity and rights.

Former CIA director John Tenet, in his memoirs, recounts that the CIA had to wait for legal approval to be given before they could proceed with the new interrogation techniques. He recounts:

….despite what Hollywood would have you believe; in times like this you don’t call in the tough guys you call in in the lawyers.

The clear guidance that was sought for the new torture methods, came in August 2002 – from the sixth accused in this case, Rumsfeld’s lawyer.

The message all the implicated lawyers gave to Guantanamo interrogators at the time of a visit to the base, was; ‘do what is needed to be done.’
And this advice didn’t occur in an awareness vacuum.

The orientation visit that Washington lawyers went on took place well before further illegal techniques were requested. Their jolly holiday included watching interrogations. So, the spurious claim that their subsequent advice to highest echelons of power was just explorative and not necessarily to be used is a joke. These memos kick-started all the acts that violated international law.

The techniques in Gitmo migrated to Iraq, as has been reported here from the witnesses, former detainees. The hooding, electrocution, nudity, denial of toilet use.

Terrible advice was firstly sought, then given and finally acted upon
So are legal advisers responsible if other act on their advice?

Listen to what the Nuremberg trials said; that legal advisors,who prepare erroneous advice, which then leads to war crimes – are themselves subject to trial.

In the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, 16 lawyers were charged for advising the Nazis. All but four were found guilty and convicted.

Senior a senior US judge was asked by the prosecution counsel the following question;
Does a delinquent lawyer share the same responsibility as a rogue interrogator?

Answer; If the legal advice they wrote, opened a door to abuse, even torture, then in theory the responsibility would go back to the author of the advice.

Bush lawyers bent the laws.

The star of this trial has undoubtedly been Professor Francis A. Boyle, scholar in the areas of International Law and Human Rights. His no nonsense presentation of the relevant judgements from the Nuremberg Charter and his in depth knowledge of the US army Field manual (which forms the basis for all legally permitted and forbidden behaviours of the US forces) has been compelling. And damning for Bush, Cheney and all their advisors on trial here.

In his final summation, Boyle makes it clear that legally, the Commander at the top of the tree IS responsible for the crimes of his subordinates. People, not in us military uniforms, were committing war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo, who were under US command. The US government at the time was the ‘Belligerent Occupant’ of Iraq, thus with regard to the torture that took place there , (whether by the CIA or Iraqi torturers or soldiers or contractors) those crimes are directly attributable to those at the top of US command. Beware Obama.

The Field Manual also says in the index ‘Torture forbidden.’

To avoid prosecution; ‘All these lawyers had to do was open the manual look at the index and see ‘torture forbidden.’ Says Boyle

Page 107 of the Field Manual, paragraph 270, in bold and capital letters states the; ‘prohibition of coercion – no moral or physical coercion’ can be exercised against a protected person.
i.e.; You cannot threaten to rape torture or murder a relative to get information from captives.
And so it goes on.

Even in the darkest hour of the Vietnam War no one in the US administatration argued for the right to torture anyone.

Even with the Viet Cong, the US authorities said that they would observe the rights of detainees and prisoners as outlined under international law.

Chillingly, the Pentagon has now clearly hinted that its Field Manual with so much of the Nuremberg charter on the protection of civilians in combat zones and captives, incorporated in it, has been up for review. Somewhere in the dark annals of the Pentagon, a revised version awaits the US armed forces. And the world.

The judgement is expected this afternoon.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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