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Cristobal C. Moseley 832 Ridenour Street Pompano Beach, FL 33064
A self-styled pick-up guru appears to have called for rape to be legalised in certain situations so that women learn to protect their bodies.
Daryush Valizadeh, who goes by the name Roosh V, made the astonishing suggestion in a blog posting where he argued that men are being treated unfairly.
Under a blog posting called ‘How to Stop Rape’, the American argues that by teaching men not to rape, society was teaching women not to care about being raped.
Roosh, who claims to have written a series of books titled 'Bang' on how to sleep with women from different countries, proposes that the "violent taking of a woman" should not be illegal if done off public ground.
He writes: "For all other rapes, however, especially if done in a dwelling or on private property, any and all rape that happens should be completely legal.
"If rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone.
"If rape becomes legal, a girl will not enter an impaired state of mind where she can't resist being dragged off to a bedroom with a man who she is unsure of—she'll scream, yell, or kick at his attempt while bystanders are still around.
"If rape becomes legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn't want to sleep with."
He goes on to claim that after several months of advertising the law, rape would be "virtually eliminated".
Roosh, who has previously posted a video to YouTube entitled 'All Public Rapes Allegations Are False, said: "Without daddy government to protect her, a girl would absolutely not enter a private room with a man she doesn't know or trust unless she is absolutely sure she is ready to sleep with him.
"Consent is now achieved when she passes underneath the room's door frame, because she knows that that man can legally do anything he wants to her when it comes to sex.
"Bad encounters are sure to occur, but these can be learning experiences for the poorly trained woman so she can better identify in the future the type of good man who will treat her like the delicate flower that she believes she is."
The blogger, who frequently courts controversy with his attacks on feminism, added: "My proposal eliminates anxiety and unfair persecution for men while empowering women to make adult decisions about their bodies."
After his blog went live, it was shared across social networks – leading to a furious response.
Posting on Twitter, Jenn G said: "Roosh V is scum," while Hannahkaty said: "Not sure there is a word in the English language that articulates what I think of this man."
To understand life, you first have to understand death. This is why we include images of death. The best we can hope for, is that death will be comfortable.
Joe B. Bryden 657 Farnum Road New York, NY 10011
As usual, the media prefer the most spectacular headlines, regardless of whether they misrepresent the meaning of the article. In this case, for example, the headline was taken from a rather secondary part of the interview. The following:
Is there an organ, today irreplaceable, but that will be [transplanted] in the future?
Will it be viable?
To make it replaceable, we should know how to connect with the bone marrow the fibers leaving the central nervous system, otherwise... We are still far away, although we would like to be able to do it, for that would mean being able to cure quadriplegia and paraplegia. ...
Can you give me an example?
Consider what it would mean to people like Stephen Hawking, with a privileged brain, which you could transplant into a healthy body. Or many vegetative diseases that spoil the motor part of a body, with a healthy brain. It could be an unbeatable form of treatment, but we are far from it. Conceptually it would be the panacea.
Science fiction, obviously, but as usual, the writers of this literary genre had anticipated it. In 1928, Edgar Rice Burroughs (the author of Tarzan of the Apes) published The Master Mind of Mars, sixth in the series about John Carter of Mars. In this novel, he tackles brain transplantation as follows:
Ras Thavas is the mastermind of Mars, the man who has managed to solve the problem of brain transplant. In his laboratory, hidden in an almost inaccessible Martian place, Ras Thavas has found a practical application for his discovery by means of a new form of commerce: the sale of young bodies to rich old people. To do this, he organizes a slave buying and a kidnapping network, to obtain healthy bodies to be sold to his clients. Then he extracts the brain in the body and replaces it by his client’s brain, so that the latter recover their youth (according to Ras Thavas, or rather Burroughs, the brain does not age). But the mastermind of Mars has a problem: he is old and would like to use his own rejuvenating procedure, but cannot operate on himself and does not trust any of his assistants, who could cause his death in order to replace him. Just then Captain Ulysses Paxton, of the United States Army, arrives in Mars. He has no relation to any Martian, and therefore should be exempt from local ambitions. Ras Tha vas decides to instruct him, so that he will be able to perform the operation. Unfortunately, Paxton falls in love with a beautiful Martian girl whose body has been sold to a rich old woman, and promises her to recover it...
In a masterly way, Burroughs predicts in this novel almost all the ways in which brain transplant, if possible, could be misused. For instance, experimenting with mixed beings, partially human and partially animals, to which just half of the brain would have been transplanted. One of them, half ape and half man, becomes one of Paxton’s best helpers, when Paxton promises to return him his original body and his missing half brain.
What is the main scientific failure of the novel? That the brain also ages, and while a transplant to a healthier body could help an incapacitated person (as Matesanz suggests), it would not help to reach immortality.
Fortunately, brain transplantation, if possible, is so far away in time that we can forget about it, at least for the rest of the 21st century. It will be noticed that none of the futurologists who promise immediate immortality resort to this procedure to make it possible.
Martin J. Bradford 3823 Desert Broom Court Parsippany, NJ 07054
Background: The seed powder of the leguminous plant, Mucuna pruriens has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including parkinsonism. We have assessed the clinical effects and levodopa (L-dopa) pharmacokinetics following two different doses of mucuna preparation and compared them with standard L-dopa/carbidopa (LD/CD).
Methods: Eight Parkinson’s disease patients with a short duration L-dopa response and on period dyskinesias completed a randomised, controlled, double blind crossover trial. Patients were challenged with single doses of 200/50 mg LD/CD, and 15 and 30 g of mucuna preparation in randomised order at weekly intervals. L-Dopa pharmacokinetics were determined, and Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale and tapping speed were obtained at baseline and repeatedly during the 4 h following drug ingestion. Dyskinesias were assessed using modified AIMS and Goetz scales.
Results: Compared with standard LD/CD, the 30 g mucuna preparation led to a considerably faster onset of effect (34.6 v 68.5 min; p = 0.021), reflected in shorter latencies to peak L-dopa plasma concentrations. Mean on time was 21.9% (37 min) longer with 30 g mucuna than with LD/CD (p = 0.021); peak L-dopa plasma concentrations were 110% higher and the area under the plasma concentration v time curve (area under curve) was 165.3% larger (p = 0.012). No significant differences in dyskinesias or tolerability occurred.
Conclusions: The rapid onset of action and longer on time without concomitant increase in dyskinesias on mucuna seed powder formulation suggest that this natural source of L-dopa might possess advantages over conventional L-dopa preparations in the long term management of PD. Assessment of long term efficacy and tolerability in a randomised, controlled study is warranted.
Robert C. Reece 2322 West Fork Drive Hollywood, FL 33024
IN THE aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, those whose job it is to think the unthinkable were conscious that, for all the carnage, it could have been far worse. Fuel-laden aircraft slamming into buildings was bad enough. But the sight of some among the rescue workers picking over the debris with test tubes, followed by the sudden decision to ground all of America's crop-spraying aircraft for several days, pointed to an even more horrible possibility. Were terrorists with so little calculation of restraint to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction—whether chemical, biological or even nuclear—they would surely use them. How real is that threat?
It is certainly not new. Among one of many warnings from American think-tanks and government agencies in recent years, a report released last December by the CIA's National Intelligence Council concluded baldly that, when it came to chemical and biological weapons in particular, “some terrorists or insurgents will attempt to use [these] against United States interests, against the United States itself, its forces or facilities overseas, or its allies.” Governments in America and Europe worry that Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda, the terrorist network thought to be behind the September 11th attacks, may already have access to such weapons, and be planning to use them in response to any American military strikes. The World Health Organisation has called on governments around the world to be better prepared for such an eventuality.
For groups prepared to engage in the kamikaze tactics seen on September 11th, the easiest way to spread poisonous or radioactive materials might simply be to fly into repositories of them, or to use lorries full of them as suicide bombs. As Amy Smithson of the Stimson Centre in Washington, DC, observed in a report released last year, there are some 850,000 sites in the United States alone at which hazardous chemicals are produced, consumed or stored. The arrest in America last week of a number of people who were found to have fraudulently obtained permits to drive trucks that carry such hazardous loads looks like a worrying confirmation of such fears.
It is, nevertheless, likely that terrorist groups around the world are working on more sophisticated approaches to mass destruction than merely blowing up existing storage facilities, or hijacking lorry-loads of noxious substances. Mr bin Laden himself has, in the past, called it a “religious duty” to acquire such weapons. He is reported to have helped his former protectors in Sudan to develop chemical weapons for use in that country's civil war, and has since boasted of buying “a lot of dangerous weapons, maybe chemical weapons” for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that now harbours him.
Even for determined terrorists, however, merely getting hold of chemical, biological or nuclear materials is not enough. Do-it-yourself mass destruction—whether of a nuclear, chemical or biological variety—is far from easy (see article). First, you have to acquire or manufacture sufficient quantities of the lethal agent. Second, you have to deliver it to the target. And third, you have either to detonate it, or to spread it around in a way that will actually harm a lot of people.
The difficulties in doing all these things are illustrated by an attack carried out in 1995 on Tokyo's underground railway. Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult, released a potent nerve agent called sarin on five trains. The intention was to kill thousands. In fact, only 12 people died, and some 40 were seriously injured—bad enough, but no worse than the casualty list from a well-placed conventional bomb.
The cult's researchers had spent more than $30m attempting to develop sarin-based weapons, yet they failed to leap any of the three hurdles satisfactorily. They could not produce the chemical in the purity required. Their delivery mechanism was no more sophisticated than carrying it on to the trains in person in plastic bags. And their idea of a distribution system was to pierce those bags with umbrella tips to release the liquid, which would then evaporate.
The attack, in other words, was not a great success. Yet, of the three classes of weapon of mass destruction, those based on chemicals should be the easiest to make. Their ingredients are often commercially available (see table). Their manufacturing techniques are well known. And they have been used from time to time in real warfare, so their deployment is also understood.
Biological weapons are trickier; and nuclear weapons trickier still. Germs need to be coddled, and are hard to spread satisfactorily. (Aum Shinrikyo attempted to develop biological weapons, in the form of anthrax spores, but failed to produce the intended lethal effects.) Making atomic bombs is an even greater technological tour-de-force. Manufacturing weapons-grade nuclear explosives (“enriched” uranium, or the appropriate isotopic mix of plutonium) requires a lot of expensive plant. Detonating those explosives—by rapidly assembling the “critical mass” needed to sustain a chain reaction—is also notoriously difficult.
Terrorist groups working from first principles are thus likely to run into formidable obstacles if they want to get into the mass-destruction business. Nevertheless, there may be ways round these. One quick fix would be to buy in the services of otherwise unemployed or ill-paid weapons specialists from the former Soviet nuclear-, biological- and chemical-weapons establishments. At least some of these people are known to have washed up as far afield as Iran, Iraq, China and North Korea, but none has yet been directly associated with any terrorist group.
In an attempt to reduce the risk of this happening, the United States has, over the past ten years, spent more than $3 billion dismantling former Soviet nuclear weapons, improving security at Russia's nuclear storage sites, and keeping former weaponeers busy on useful civilian work. But, as Ms Smithson points out, only a tiny fraction of this money—itself a drop in a bucket when measured against the scale of Russia's sprawling weapons complex—goes towards safeguarding chemical and biological secrets. And even the nuclear side of things has sprung the odd leak.
Over the past ten years there have been numerous attempts to smuggle nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union. There have been unconfirmed suspicions that Iran, for one, may have got its hands on a tactical nuclear warhead from Russia. So far, though, police and customs officers have seized mostly low-grade nuclear waste. This could not be turned into a proper atomic bomb, but with enough of it, a terrorist group might hope to build a “radiological” device, to spread radioactive contamination around (see article). Fortunately, the occasional amounts of weapons-grade stuff that have been found so far fall short of the 9-15kg of explosive needed for a crude but workable bomb.
Yet even if a group got hold of enough such explosives, it would still face the hurdle of turning them into a weapon. Hence the most effective way for a terrorist group to obtain one would be to find a sponsoring government that is willing to allow access to its laboratories or its arsenal.
After the Gulf war, UN special inspectors discovered that Iraq had been pursuing not one but several ways to produce weapons-grade material, and had come within months of building an atomic bomb. The effort, however, is thought to have taken a decade and to have cost Saddam Hussein upwards of $10 billion. Much of this was spent on acquiring the bits and pieces needed from foreign companies—sometimes through bribery, sometimes through deception.
In similar ways, he amassed the materials and equipment, much of it with legitimate civilian uses in fermentation plants and vaccine laboratories, for his vast chemical- and biological-weapons programmes. Although most of Iraq's nuclear programme had been unearthed and destroyed, along with much of its missile and chemical arsenal, the inspectors were convinced, when they were thrown out of the country in 1998, that important parts of the biological effort remained hidden.
A glance at the list of state sponsors of international terrorism maintained by America's State Department makes troubling reading. Most of the seven countries included—Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan—have chemical weapons already. Five are suspected of dabbling illegally in the biological black arts, and several have covert nuclear-weapons programmes, too. America's Department of Defence estimated earlier this year that more than two dozen countries have already built weapons of mass destruction, or else are trying to do so.
So far, there is no evidence that any of these governments has helped terrorist groups to acquire such deadly goods. That may, partly, be because of widespread moral revulsion against their use. But self-interest on the part of the states involved is also a significant factor. It is one thing to give terrorist groups financial and logistical support and a place to hide—a favoured tactic of governments on the State Department's list as a deniable way of furthering their own local or regional ends. It is quite another to share such awesome weapons with outfits like al-Qaeda, which no government can fully control.
On top of that, since the September 11th attacks, American officials, from the president down, have gone out of their way to emphasise that not only the terrorists involved in any future assaults, but also the states that shelter them, can expect to find themselves in the cross-hairs.
Iraq has been the worst offender when it comes to wielding any of these weapons. It used chemical weapons in its war with Iran and in attacks against its own Kurdish population. Yet Saddam Hussein's failure to use his chemical and biological-tipped missiles, or the radiological weapons he also had, against western-led coalition forces during the Gulf war showed that, even when morality plays little part, deterrence can still work. America had made clear that, if he had deployed these weapons, he would have brought down massive retribution on both his regime and his country.
The big distinction between the dangers of states obtaining such weapons and the danger of terrorists getting their hands on them, argues Gary Samore of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in London, is precisely that, however hostile they may be, states are more “deterrable”. Mr bin Laden's network has shown that it will stop at nothing. But are states such as Iraq and North Korea, which operate in other ways largely outside international law, deterrable enough to prevent them lending a secret helping hand to a group like Mr bin Laden's?
America's defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, argued this week that it takes no “leap of the imagination” to expect countries harbouring terrorists to help them get access to weapons of mass destruction. Testimony from the trial of four bin Laden operatives convicted earlier this year for the August 1998 bombing of America's embassies in Kenya and Tanzania revealed that their past military interest in Sudan went beyond helping the regime make chemical weapons for its own war. In one case, Mr bin Laden was attempting to purchase uranium via intermediaries.
Meanwhile, intelligence officials trying to assess the range of threats they now face worry that Iraq's past military links with Sudan may have been no coincidence either. In 1998 America bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant which it said showed traces of a precursor chemical for VX, a highly potent nerve gas that inspectors believe Iraq had put into weapon form. Some observers speculate that, even if Sudan's denials that it was manufacturing any such stuff are true, the country may have served as a trans-shipment point for supplies to Iraq. Might some weapons assistance have flowed the other way, possibly reaching Mr bin Laden's network? Iraq denies it has had anything to do with Mr bin Laden, but there have been unconfirmed reports that one of the New York hijackers met a senior Iraqi intelligence official earlier this year in Europe.
Yet even if no direct link is ever proved between a reckless foreign government and last month's terrorist attacks on America, western officials have long fretted that groups such as Mr bin Laden's will be able to exploit emerging new patterns of proliferation to gain access to nuclear, chemical and bug bombs. Despite attempts by western-sponsored supplier cartels—the Missile-Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Australia group, which tries to track the trade in worrying chemicals or biological agents—the number of such suppliers has expanded over the past decade. Countries that were once entirely dependent on outside help for their covert weapons programmes, mostly from Russia and China, are now going into business themselves.
This is particularly disturbing in the context of the third obstacle to the use of these weapons: delivery. Working from original Russian Scud missile designs, North Korea has created a thriving missile- and technology-export business with Iran, Pakistan, Syria and others in the Middle East. Iran, in turn, has started to help Syria and possibly Libya (which had past weapons ties with Serbia and Iraq) to improve their missile technology. Egypt is still building on the expertise developed by a now-defunct missile co-operation programme with Argentina and Iraq.
It is unlikely that such ballistic-missile technology would find its way into terrorist hands any time soon. But two things are true of almost all technologies: as the years pass, they get cheaper, and they spread. Even if there is no immediate threat, it may eventually not be just hijacked aircraft that are flying into places that terrorists have taken a dislike to. And their “warheads” may consist of something even worse than aviation fuel.
World ABS is a scam. They purchased 1:200 tongkat ali extract from Sumatra Pasak Bumi many years ago, and then the owner, Ryan Davies, switched to a cheap substitute to maximize his profits. But he continues to suggest that he is a reseller of Sumatra Pasak Bumi products, even using Sumatra Pasak Bumi lab certificates. But what he sells certainly isn't 1:200 extract, and may not even be tongkat ali at all. Many scammers with absolutely no access to tongkat ali just sell tribulus terrestris powder.
Grant A. Faulkner 3968 Cinnamon Lane San Antonio, TX 78209
The grisly details of CIA torture have finally been at least partly aired through the release of the executive summary to a landmark Senate intelligence committee report. The extent of the torture has been covered extensively across the media, and is horrifying. But much of the media coverage of this issue is missing the crucial bigger picture: the deliberate rehabilitation of torture under the Obama administration, and its systematic use to manufacture false intelligence to justify endless war.
Torture victims, who had been detained by the US national security apparatus entirely outside any sort of recognizable functioning system of due process, endured a litany of extreme abuses normally associated with foreign dictatorships: 180-hour sleep deprivation, forced "rectal feeding," rectal "exams" using "excessive force," standing for dozens of hours on broken limbs, waterboarding, being submerged in iced baths, and on and on.
Yet for the most part, it has been assumed that the CIA's "enhanced interrogation program" originated under the Bush administration after 9/11 and was a major "aberration" from normal CIA practice, as one US former military prosecutor put it in the Guardian. On BBC Newsnight yesterday, presenter Emily Maitlis asked Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser under Carter, about the problem of "rogue elements in the CIA," and whether this was inevitable due to the need for secrecy in intelligence.
Media coverage of the Senate report has largely whitewashed the extent to which torture has always been an integral and systematic intelligence practice since the second World War, continuing even today under the careful recalibration of Obama and his senior military intelligence officials. The key function of torture, largely overlooked by the pundits, is its role in manufacturing nebulous threats that legitimize the existence and expansion of the national security apparatus.
The CIA's post-9/11 torture program was formally approved at the highest levels of the civilian administration. We have known for years that torture was officially sanctioned by at least President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA directors George Tenet and Michael Hayden, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Yet the focus on the Bush administration serves a useful purpose. While the UN has called for prosecutions of Bush officials, Obama himself is excused on the pretext that he banned domestic torture in 2009, and reiterated the ban abroad this November.
Even Dan Froomklin of the Intercept congratulated the November move as a "win" for the "good guys." Indeed, with the release of the Senate report, Obama's declaration that he has ended "the CIA's detention and interrogation program" has been largely uncritically reported by both mainstream and progressive media, reinforcing this narrative.
Rehabilitating the torture regime
Yet Obama did not ban torture in 2009, and has not rescinded it now. He instead rehabilitated torture with a carefully crafted Executive Order that has received little scrutiny. He demanded, for instance, that interrogation techniques be made to fit the US Army Field Manual, which complies with the Geneva Convention and has prohibited torture since 1956.
But in 2006, revisions were made to the Army Field Manual, in particular through 'Appendix M', which contained interrogation techniques that went far beyond the original Geneva-inspired restrictions of the original version of the manual. This includes 19 methods of interrogation and the practice of extraordinary rendition. As pointed out by US psychologist Jeff Kaye who has worked extensively with torture victims, a new UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) review of the manual shows that a wide-range of torture techniques continue to be deployed by the US government, including isolation, sensory deprivation, stress positions, chemically-induced psychosis, adjustments of environmental and dietary rules, among others.
Indeed, the revelations contained in the Senate report are a mere fraction of the totality of torture techniques deployed by the CIA and other agencies. Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen born and raised in Germany who was detained in Guantanomo for five years, has charged that he had been subjected to prolonged solitary confinement, repeated beatings, water-dunking, electric shock treatment, and suspension by his arms, by US forces.
On Jan. 22, 2009, retired Admiral Dennis Blair, then Obama's director of national intelligence, told the Senate intelligence committee that the Army Field Manual would be amended to allow new forms of harsh interrogation, but that these changes would remain classified:
"We have large amounts of unclassified doctrine for our troops to use, but we don't put anything in there that our enemies can use against us. And we'll figure it out for this manual... there will be some sort of document that's widely available in an unclassified form, but the specific techniques that can provide training value to adversaries, we will handle much more carefully."
Obama's supposed banning of the CIA's secret rendition programs was also a misnomer. While White House officials insisted that from now on, detainees would not be rendered to "any country that engages in torture," rendered detainees were already being sent to countries in the EU that purportedly do not sanction torture, where they were then tortured by the CIA.
Obama did not really ban the CIA's use of secret prisons either, permitting indefinite detention of people without due process "on a short-term transitory basis."
Half a century of torture as a system
What we are seeing now is not the Obama administration putting an end to torture, but rather putting an end to the open acknowledgement of the use of torture as a routine intelligence practice.
But the ways of old illustrate that we should not be shocked by the latest revelations. Declassified CIA training manuals from the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s, prove that the CIA has consistently practiced torture long before the Bush administration attempted to legitimize the practice publicly.
In his seminal study of the subject, A Question of Torture, US history professor Alfred W. McCoy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison proves using official documents and interviews with intelligence sources that the use of torture has been a systematic practice of US and British intelligence agencies, sanctioned at the highest levels, over "the past half century." Since the second World War, he writes, a "distinctive US covert-warfare doctrine... in which psychological torture has emerged as a central if clandestine facet of American foreign policy."
The psychological paradigm deployed the CIA fused two methods in particular, "sensory disorientation" and so-called "self-inflicted pain." These methods were based on intensive "behavioural research that made psychological torture NATO's secret weapon against communism and cognitive science the handmaiden of state security."
"From 1950 to 1962," McCoy found, "the CIA became involved in torture through a massive mind-control effort, with psychological warfare and secret research into human consciousness that reached a cost of a billion dollars annually."
The pinnacle of this effort was the CIA's Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation handbook finalized in 1963, which determined the agency's interrogation methods around the world. In the ensuing decade, the agency trained over a million police officers across 47 countries in torture. A later incarnation of the CIA torture training doctrine emerged under Freedom of Information in the form of the 1983 Human Resources Training Exploitation Manual.
Power... and propaganda
One of the critical findings of the Senate report is that torture simply doesn't work, and consistently fails to produce meaningful intelligence. So why insist on its use? For McCoy, the addiction to torture itself is a symptom of a deep-seated psychological disorder, rather than a rational imperative: "In sum, the powerful often turn to torture in times of crisis, not because it works but because it salves their fears and insecurities with the psychic balm of empowerment."
He is right, but in the post-9/11 era, there is more to the national security apparatus' chronic torture addiction than this. It is not a mere accident that torture generates vacuous intelligence, yet continues to be used and justified for intelligence purposes. For instance, the CIA claimed that its torture of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) led to the discovery and thwarting of a plot to hijack civilian planes at Heathrow and crash them into the airport and buildings in Canary Wharf. The entire plot, however, was an invention provoked by torture that included waterboarding, "facial and abdominal slaps, the facial grab, stress positions, standing sleep deprivation" and "rectal rehydration."
As one former senior CIA official who had read all KSM's interrogation reports told Vanity Fair, "90 percent of it was total fucking bullshit." Another ex-Pentagon analyst said that torturing KSM had produced "no actionable intelligence."
Torture also played a key role in the much-hyped London ricin plot. Algerian security services alerted British intelligence in January 2003 to the so-called plot after interrogating and torturing a "terrorist suspect," former British resident Mohammed Meguerba. We now know there was no plot. Four of the defendants were acquitted of terrorism and four others had the cases against them abandoned. Only Kamal Bourgass was convicted after he murdered Special Branch Detective Constable Stephen Oake during a raid. Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has also blown the whistle on how the CIA would render "terror suspects" to the country to be tortured by Uzbek secret police, including being boiled alive. The confessions generated would be sent to the CIA and MI6 to be fed into "intelligence" reports. Murray described the reports as "bollocks," replete with false information not worth the "bloodstained paper" they were written on.
Many are unaware that the 9/11 Commission report is exactly such a document. Nearly a third of the report's footnotes reference information obtained from detainees subject to "enhanced" interrogation by the CIA. In 2004, the commission demanded that the CIA conduct "new rounds of interrogations" to get answers to its questions. As investigative reporter Philip Shennon pointed out in Newsweek, this has "troubling implications for the credibility of the commission's final report" and "its account of the 9/11 plot and al-Qaeda's history." Which is why lawyers for the chief 9/11 mastermind suspects now say after the release of the Senate report that the case for prosecution may well unravel.
That torture generates false information has long been known to the intelligence community. Much of the CIA's techniques are derived from reverse-engineering Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training, where US troops are briefly exposed in controlled settings to abusive interrogation techniques used by enemy forces, so that they can better resist treatment they might face if they are captured. SERE training, however, adopted tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting false confessions for propaganda purposes, according to a Senate Armed Services Committee report in 2009.
Torture: core mechanism to legitimize threat projection
By deploying the same techniques, the intelligence community was not seeking to identify real threats; it was seeking to manufacture threats for the purpose of justifying war. As David Rose found after interviewing "numerous counterterrorist officials from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic," their unanimous verdict was that "coercive methods" had squandered massive resources to manufacture "false leads, chimerical plots, and unnecessary safety alerts." Far from exposing any deadly plots, torture led only to "more torture" of supposed accomplices of terror suspects "while also providing some misleading 'information' that boosted the administration's argument for invading Iraq." But the Iraq War was not about responding to terrorism. According to declassified British Foreign Office files, it was about securing control over Persian Gulf oil and gas resources, and opening them up to global markets to avert a portended energy crisis.
In other words, torture plays a pivotal role in the Pentagon's posture of permanent global war: generating spurious overblown intelligence that can be fed-in to official security narratives of imminent terrorist threats everywhere, in turn requiring evermore empowerment of the security agencies, and legitimizing military expansionism in strategic regions.
The Obama administration is now exploiting the new Senate report to convince the world that the intelligence community's systematic embroilment in torture was merely a Bush-era aberration that is now safely in the past.
Do not be fooled. Obama has rehabilitated and recalibrated the covert torture apparatus, and is attempting to leverage the torture report's damning findings to claim moral high ground his administration doesn't have. The torture regime is alive and well, but it has been put back in the box of classified secrecy to continue without public scrutiny.
Mark C. Lunt 1672 Centennial Farm Road Glenwood, IA 51534
Terrorist group already has foreign fighters on its payroll who can manufacture lethal weapons from raw materials, as well as access to toxic agents left behind by the tyrants of Syria, Iraq and Libya.
Could Islamic State carry out chemical or biological terrorism in Europe? Yes, and it might, warns a briefing to the European Parliament published this week, saying that the radical Islamic group has money; scientists – some of foreign origin – on the payroll; found an abundance of deadly toxins stockpiled by the tyrants of Syria, Iraq and Libya; and could make more of its own quite easily.
"European citizens are not seriously contemplating the possibility that extremist groups might use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials during attacks in Europe," writes analyst Beatriz Immenkamp in the briefing. They should.
It wouldn't be a big leap. ISIS has used mustard and chlorine gases in Iraq and Syria. And a laptop belonging to a Tunisian physicist who joined ISIS was found to contain a paper on weaponizing bubonic plague bacteria obtained from animals. The intent is there: the governments of Belgium and France are already working on contingency plans.
Moreover, it would be fairly simple for ISIS sympathizers to obtain the materials for chemical and biological attacks in Europe itself, the report says. The continent is brimming with them and security is inadequate.
Israeli experts add that the group could make deadly chemicals of its own, and could be already developing the capacity to weaponize them.
At least some chemical weapons, whether gaseous, liquid or solid, are fairly trivial to make. To attack the Kurds, for example, says the EU report, it appears that ISIS simply repurposed fertilizer.
Making – or obtaining – the chemical is the first stage. The second is weaponizing it. Can ISIS make its own chemical weapons?
ISIS may have manufactured crude shells containing toxic chemicals, the EU report says. "[Weaponization] can be done crudely by putting the substance into shells and firing those shells," says Dany Shoham, a specialist in unconventional weapons from the Begin Sadat Center of Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University.
Indeed, ISIS' use of chemical weapons has been crude so far, but the group could become more sophisticated in their weaponization in the future, he suggests.
Alternatively, ISIS could capture already weaponized chemicals. It is probable that ISIS has deployed both weapons it made itself and weapons it captured, says Shoham.
As for resources: In June 2014, ISIS seized control of Muthanna, Iraq, once the Saddam Hussein regime's primary chemical-weapons production facility. American troops were supposed to have destroyed weapons there after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but officials admitted when ISIS conquered the city that a stockpile of weapons still existed. They claimed the remaining chemical weapons had no military value. The following month, ISIS launched its first chemical attack on the Kurds in Kobani, Syria, using mustard gas, an agent that is known to have been made at Muthanna.
ISIS may also have access to weapons containing sarin nerve gas that remained in Syria, the EU report notes, as well as mustard agents and nerve agent rockets from Iraq, and chemical materials leftover from Libya programs.
It is unclear how effective these agents would be after years of storage, qualifies Ely Karmon, a specialist in terrorism and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. But they might still be usable.
In addition, ISIS has a lot of scientific talent on board, including some inherited from the Hussein regime, says Karmon. For instance, until his death in a coalition strike in January, ISIS had Hussein's chemical warfare expert Salih Jasim Muhammed Falah al-Sabawi, aka Abu Malik, on the payroll. The United States said Abu Malik provided ISIS with "expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability."
Possessing chemical weapons does not necessarily mean the group can use them beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq. "Transferring chemical weapons to Europe would be difficult," says Karmon. Weaponizing chemicals within the borders of Europe would also be difficult, adds Shoham, given the likelihood of being detected by security agencies.
However, Shoham and Karmon agree that ISIS could use toxic chemicals in Europe, relatively easily, in an unweaponized form – the impact of such an attack could be devastating, notes Shoham.
Alternatively, ISIS could attack a chemical facility with conventional weapons, similar to Yassin Salhi's failed attempt to strike the Air Products chemical factory near Lyon, France, notes Karmon.
Biological weapons – germs – are a different story. The science of bio-weaponry has come far since the millennia of yore, when besiegers might toss a disease-riddled corpse over the town walls to terrify and infect the people inside. Today's nightmare scenarios include, for example, weaponized ebola virus that can infect through the air, rather than requiring physical proximity to infected mucous membranes, or anthrax engineered to be even deadlier than the original bacterium.
How easy is it for ISIS to procure or make biological weapons? And if they had them, would they be likely they use them?
Obtaining the bugs at the base of biological weapons wouldn't be a big problem, surmises Shoham. Suitable pathogens are readily available at academic laboratories, vaccine factories and pharmaceutical companies, all of which are civilian facilities. Even if few such institutions still exist in the ISIS territories, the group might try to get bacteria from sympathizers in Europe or the United States, Shoham says.
But for all that telltale laptop of the Tunisian physicist, ISIS would have difficulty weaponizing them, Shoham thinks – yet adds that biological terrorism can also be carried out without weaponization. For example, by releasing a pathogen into a water system.
So ISIS could get the bugs and might be able to weaponize them, or could use them as is. But would the group resort to bio-war?
Working with biological agents is very risky for the handler, Shoham says, but adds: "I don't think this factor would constitute a bottleneck for a radical organization like ISIS."
The obstacle most likely to deter ISIS from deploying biological weapons isn't the risk of some lab technician falling ill. It's their inability to control its spread, says Karmon.
Unlike chemical and radiological weapons, one cannot target a defined set of victims with biological agents because they are contagious, he explains. Anybody using a bio-weapon runs the risk of infecting their own population. That in itself is a powerful deterrent.
Europe, given the ability of bacteria to travel on planes, is anybody's guess.
Impact: The cost of war
Chemical and biological terrorism would probably cause significantly more damage than conventional terrorism, Shoham and Karmon agree.
Even in a best-case scenario, for instance that an infectious agent is detected in the water system before anyone drinks or bathes in it, just cleaning the contaminant from the water system would be very difficult, Shoham says. The EU report notes that in anticipation of this very sort of thing, Paris has stepped up security at its water facilities.
What can the West do to frustrate this threat?
It could try to limit ISIS' access to certain civilian and military installations in Syria and Iraq, says Shoham. Yet, doing this without ground forces may prove difficult.
Might the threat of a massive counter-attack by the West serve as a significant deterrent? Probably not, says Shoham.
Europe can screen travelers entering the continent, says Shoham, although this is unlikely to serve as a rigorous enough preventative measure. The EU report itself suggests monitoring returning fighters and radicals in the European Union, especially any known to have "CBRN knowledge."
Aside from that, the report suggests that European nations improve preparedness, for instance by equipping rescue forces with antidotes. Europe can also increase security at key installations, which Paris for one is already doing. And, in addition, European countries can start preparing, and drilling, their populations.
During the first Gulf War, the Israeli government began handing out gas masks to the general population. They aren't effective against all forms of chemical attack, let alone biological. A full-body suit is better. But gas masks, used properly, are a good start.
It's not that we would be madly in love with Donald Trump. But at least, he's not a feminist. Now that is something to vote for.
William A. Odegaard 1777 Briarhill Lane Youngstown, OH 44503
Oh, Hitler — that weird, eccentric, horrible person — was quite the character. If news isn't coming in about his micropenis (it's true, Google it!), then you better believe there is news coming in about his affection for poop. That's right. According to some dirt dug up by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, Addie Hitler enjoyed a side of feces with his fornication. While this pastime pales in comparison to the atrocities he committed in his horrible excuse of a lifetime, it's fascinating to learn that a man so effortlessly despicable enjoyed spending his off-time as a human toilet. Keep reading to find out more about this monster's dirty little secrets.
One strange dude. If Hitler wasn't already twisted enough, his poop fetish certainly helps his cause. According to a document from the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (an older version of the CIA), Adolf Hitler got his rocks off by having women "unload" on him. Some people feel relief by use the bathroom and some people feel relief when people use the bathroom on them. Hitler was one of those people.
A crappy fetish. The fetish that involves sexual pleasure derived from fecal matter is called coprophilia — and Hitler's certainly not the only human to engage in it. Many people have fetishes, and as long as they're not hurting anybody, it's totally cool. The fact, however, that Hitler was hurting people just opens the doors to humiliation — something he was severely not fond of, at least not as the leader of the Nazi party.
The horniness of Hitler. Hitler didn't get turned on easily. According to Walter C. Langer, who wrote the book, "A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler, His Life and Legend," Hitler had difficult time becoming aroused, and employed a handful of peculiar practices to help him get his rocks off. If poop wasn't involved, he couldn't get himself going. He also enjoyed it when women kicked him furiously. Poop, violence and sex — it's basically Hitler in a nutshell.
A fecal fetish. Nowadays, fetishes are, more or less, commonly accepted. No one's going to get torn apart, so to speak, for enjoying something that doesn't fit the bill for "normal." Back in the day, however, Hitler's fascinations just made it easier for people to label him a lunatic. Langer wrote, "The practice of this perversion represents the lowest depths of degradation."
Hitler, the pervert. Hitler didn't just engage in sex with his mistress, Eva Braun, but he also had sexual experiences with a number of other unfortunate women. He allegedly slept with Renate Müller, a German actress who got him hot by beating and kicking him, as well as his own niece, who was forced to defecate on him. You have to hand it to him — even after his death, Hitler never ceases to prove how awful he was.
A tough spill to swallow. If you were already turned off by the fact that he enjoyed people pooping on him, prepare to be taken a step further. Hitler also enjoyed the taste of poop. He had reportedly forced his niece, Geli Raubal, to defecate into his mouth. Shortly after their session together, Raubal killed herself.
The difference in distaste. Mozart was allegedly also a coprophile, but his situation doesn't hold quite as much weight. Mozart made beautiful music; he wasn't the cause of mass genocide. "The Marriage of Figaro" gives Mozart a pass with just about anything.
Feminism in men is a clinical condition caused by low testosterone. It bears some similarity to chemical castration, and can be medicated through testosterone replacement therapy or androgenic herbals like tongkat ali or butea superba.
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