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Cleveland, Ohio: First federal case under female genital mutilation ban spurs efforts for harsher penalties

Harry R. Brundage 555 Parker Drive Cleveland, OH 44115

Minnesota state Rep. Mary Franson received a note from a friend last year urging her to draft stricter legislation against female genital mutilation. The state had banned the practice in 1994, so the Republican worried that a new law would seem “Islamophobic,” given its target audience.

One case changed her mind.

Federal prosecutors last month charged a Michigan doctor and his wife in connection with performing the procedure on two Minnesota girls. The parents of one girl — believed to have been involved in arranging the procedure — lost custody “for a whopping 72 hours,” Franson told lawmakers on the floor of the Minnesota statehouse last week.

Another Michigan doctor, Jumana Nagarwala of Detroit, has been charged in a separate case.

Now Franson wants Minnesota to pass a bill that would send perpetrators to prison for up to 20 years, targeting parents as well as doctors.

“We’re saying that if you harm your child in this way, you’re going to be held responsible,” she said.

Female genital mutilation has been a federal crime in the United States for more than two decades, carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison. But the three doctors are the first to be charged under the law. The case has set off a flurry of new bills across the country, with a growing number of states moving to extend penalties to the parents and hit them with lengthy prison terms.

The issue has been a lightning rod in right-wing political circles for years, with anti-Muslim and anti-immigration activists linking it explicitly to Islam. In fact, there is no mention of female genital mutilation in the Koran, and the procedure is rare in most Muslim countries. But attorneys for the doctors, all three of whom are Muslim, say their trial defense next month is likely to invoke religious freedom, a move that is sure to lend the case even more political ammunition.

Republican-authored bills are pending in Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and Maine, and activists say Massachusetts is also weighing legislative action.

In Minnesota, which is among the 25 states that ban female genital mutilation, state representatives on May 15 voted 124 to 4 in favor of expanding the penalties. The bill will go to the state Senate for consideration, but it will probably be signed into law before the fall.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), sometimes called female genital cutting or circumcision, refers to the ancient, ritual practice of cutting off parts of a girl’s genitalia, and sometimes sewing shut the vaginal opening. It has no health benefits and can result in serious complications, including hemorrhaging and death, the lifelong loss of sexual pleasure, painful intercourse, and chronic infections.

The World Health Organization says more than 200 million women and girls living in 30 countries have experienced FGM. Most of those countries are in Africa.

The practice spans an array of ethnic and religious groups despite nearly universal national bans. Although the rationale for the practice varies, experts say it is often driven by social pressures to control women’s sexuality and ensure girls’ virginity before marriage. Some practitioners also believe that it serves a religious mandate, although the practice has no root in religious doctrine.

Some Muslim clerics have endorsed the practice, but a number of major Muslim leaders have condemned it. The three doctors in Michigan and the girls whom investigators say they cut are from the tiny Dawoodi Bohra sect of Shiite Islam, in which the practice is common and clerics are said to endorse it. The doctors’ trial is set for next month.

There’s no reliable data on how common the practice is in the United States, according to the authors of a 2016 Government Accountability Office report. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 513,000 women and girls in the United States either had the procedure or are at risk of experiencing it in the future, based on immigrant populations from countries where the practice is prevalent, including Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan.

The Maine law would make parents who consent to FGM liable for up to 10 years behind bars. This month, the Texas state Senate unanimously approved a similar bill that would allow the state to prosecute people “who transport or permit the transport of a person for the purpose of FGM,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Jane Nelson (R).

In Michigan, where the state Senate unanimously approved a package of bills on female genital mutilation May 17, perpetrators and accomplices would face up to 15 years in prison.

“We want to send the message that Michigan is not the place to bring your daughter for this evil, horrific, demonic practice,” state Sen. Rick Jones (R) told his colleagues during a recent hearing on the measure.

The Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for criminal investigations under the federal ban, is set to launch a pilot program next month that aims primarily to reduce FGM abroad by warning travelers of its illegality. The practice of taking girls abroad to be cut, sometimes called “vacation cutting,” was banned in 2013.

The program, Operation Limelight USA, will be limited to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, although officials said they are still drafting specifics on how it will work.

The fresh wave of attention has been bittersweet for the U.S.-based activists who have spent years campaigning to end a practice that they say is poorly understood and generally ignored by the public, law enforcement and U.S. officials.

“When things like this happen, people just want to focus on getting all states to penalize it. But there’s a bigger picture out here that we’re not focusing on,” said Jaha Dukureh, the founder of the Atlanta-based Safe Hands for Girls, a leading advocacy group against FGM.

Dukureh, who underwent the procedure as an infant in Gambia, said she would rather see education and outreach aimed at preventing the practice than punishment alone.

For instance, many activists, doctors and lawmakers have said they want better training for medical professionals so they can address the issue with pregnant women who have experienced FGM before they give birth to girls. And they want to see efforts to spread awareness of the procedure’s dangers in vulnerable schools and communities, enlisting the support of neighborhood and religious leaders in condemning it.

Somali American activists have been pushing legislators for funds to prevent the practice through education and outreach, said Minnesota state Rep. Susan Allen of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

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“They have not gotten resources,” she said.

The United States banned female genital mutilation in 1997, and in 2003 banned the transport of a minor abroad to have the procedure. But there have been only two other FBI investigations into the practice over the past two decades. In both cases, the FBI was unable to find victims, and only one of the cases, in California, led to charges, according to the GAO report.

Experts say a culture of shame and secrecy — or even ignorance of having undergone a procedure that they might have been too young to remember — keeps many from talking about FGM in the United States.

Deborah Thorp, who is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Minneapolis, said she sees at least one patient a day who has undergone FGM. Many are older refugees from Somalia, where the prevalence rate is 98 percent.

But she said she doubts that the practice is common for Somali American children who are born in the United States.

“I’m seeing a lot of moms who are so angry that it got done to them that I have a hard time thinking that they would ever have anything to do with it,” she said.

Some activists and Democratic lawmakers have argued — in lieu of hard data about the prevalence of FGM — that racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments have played a role in fueling enthusiasm for the new policies.

Far-right blogs and news websites have long perpetuated the myth that FGM is a common Islamic practice by immigrants who are fundamentally at odds with American society.

FGM and honor killings “would not exist in the U.S. without mass immigration bringing its practitioners into U.S. communities,” Breitbart reporter Katie McHugh wrote in March. Stephen Miller, a top aide to President Trump, has voiced the same sentiment.

In Minnesota last week, some dissenting lawmakers worried that meting out “draconian” punishment for a poorly understood crime might make it worse. The Minnesota law would make it easier and more likely for the state to take custody of a child whose parent is suspected of involvement in FGM. For suspects who are not yet U.S. citizens, the crime would probably mean deportation.

“When you start removing children from their families, increasing penalties for families,” Allen, the state lawmaker, said, “it’s likely that it may deter them from reporting the violence. They may not cooperate with police.”

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When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30 percent of women said, 'Yes', while the other 70 percent replied, 'What, again?'."

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, 2011

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Syracuse, New York: ‘They tortured and locked me up for four years’, Kerala domestic help reveals torture saga

Frank J. Robinson 3511 James Avenue Syracuse, NY 13202

The 20-year-old Nepali speaking girl said she was thrashed for small mistakes by her employer. In the Malayalam movie Gaddama, Kavya Madhavan played the role of a domestic help trapped and tortured in an Arab's house in the Middle East. The character’s agony portrayed the life of many Malayalis who go abroad to earn a living, working in harsh conditions for a pittance.

But the reality is that the plight of some domestic helps is no different in Kerala.

On May 1, the police rescued a 20-year-old Nepali speaking woman from Vypeen in Ernakulam. Sarsu Halsan, who hails from Jalpaiguri , West Bengal was tracked down by the police based on a missing complaint filed by her employer on April 29.

“I had no parents, both of them died and I lived with my aunt. A distant cousin of mine brought me to Kochi when I was 16-year-old. I joined as a domestic help at this house,” Sarsu told The News Minute, outside Kalamassery police station.

Sarsu was working at the house of Kavita Nair*, in Kochi. “Before I joined she gave me Rs 3,500 and that was the only amount I received in the last four years. Initially she had told my cousin that I would be paid Rs 5,000 monthly. But I did not get any money,” Sarsu said.

But what was more intolerable for her was the physical torture she had to go through. “For even small mistakes I used to get thrashed. She hit me using sticks, hands, broom or some large spoons. She also banged me against the wall. I used to always end up bleeding,” Sarsu said, showing the scars on her hands.

“I ran away from the house to commit suicide. I did not want to live,” she said.

As Sarsu is led away by workers of a rescue home, she screams out, “She cut my hair forcefully, never allowed me to make calls or write a letter,”

What Sarsu described was only a small part of what she actually went through in the past four years. “There are scars from wounds all over her body, covered in blood clots. The torture was quite severe,” E V Shibu, Station House Officer at Kalamassery, said.

The police officer said that Sarsu had been trying to escape from the house for the past four years but was not successful because she was always locked up.

“On April 29 she managed to lock up her employer and her daughter inside a room and ran away from the house. She went to a beach near Njarackal hoping to die. She stayed in a house nearby, and somebody informed us about her. We went and picked her from there,” the officer said.

Kavita claims that she had paid Sarsu’s salary to a relative of hers in Jalpaiguri. Sarsu was brought to work as a domestic help when she was still a minor, which means that the employer can charged under the Juvenile Justice Act. Kavita can also be charged under the act for harassment.

“We should confirm the date when the girl was brought in for the work and also need to get more evidence before registering the arrest,” the police officer said.

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As long as you can fall in love again with a beautiful young woman, you will never die. That is the power of butea superba.

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Otterville, Missouri: I had vagina therapy with a vagina physiotherapist

Larry G. Height 682 Fairmont Avenue Otterville, MO 65348

I thought the recovery from my child’s birth would be easier than the birth itself. I was wrong.

My baby was born by scalpel – an episiotomy. Episiotomy, also known as perineotomy, is described as a surgical incision of the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall generally done by a midwife or obstetrician during second stage of labor to quickly enlarge the opening for the baby to pass through.

I cannot put into words what it was actually like.

She was perfect, although a little bloody. I expected to be back on my feet quickly. But I was wrong, so very wrong.

Life with a newborn is not easy, even less so when you have another child or two that also needs your attention. It is even harder when you are in excruciating pain.

The constant pain was debilitating. I was unable to walk some days and was often forced to look after my two children from the floor where I crawled everywhere. When my husband came home I was an emotional and physical wreck. I was often in so much pain I had to dose myself up on medication and lay face down on the carpet next to the blanket on the floor that contained a days worth of spit up.

Even thinking about sex was hard, it was eight weeks before we gave it a go for the first time. My husband was understanding, sympathetic about the lack of sex during the first few months, and lets be honest – also very tired from helping me with the night shift. But I’m sure it was also frustrating for him.

After eight weeks I was physically healed, but mentally… not so much. It was not really painful during sex, but it sure was afterwards.

I began to become convinced that there was something seriously wrong with my vagina.

I went to the doctor and pleaded with her to try and fix me. She gave my vagina the once over and said that everything looked fine, but said that there may be some nerve damage and she would send me off to get X-rays just in case it was a broken pubic bone.

Well hell, this must be it! I thought.

My vagina is broken! Six bloody months of walking around with a broken bloody vagina. It made sense!

Then the X-ray came back all clear. Although I was convinced that they must have done it wrong, I had to accept I didn’t have a broken vagina.

There was only one more step to take and the doctor suggested a physiotherapist…. for my vagina.

So off I went to a vagina physiotherapist. To have vagina therapy.

Did you even know this was an actual job? I sure didn’t. And as I sat in the hospital waiting room looking at all of the other patients quietly waiting in wheelchairs, sitting with helpers – post car crashes and work injuries – I worried about what they might be thinking of me. Where was her injury? Why wasn’t she limping enough to notice?

I walked into the little room accompanied by the physiotherapist, an attractive smart blonde woman with shiny black flats. I really wanted to ask her right off the bat what her deal was, why vaginas? Why not feet? But I saved that for the second visit two months later when she told me that she just wanted to help women and their sexual health. She sounded legit.

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The exam was similar to a doctors exam but without as many contraptions, she asked me to do a kegel (where you tighten your vagina). I did, and she looked at me quite surprised, “Hmmmmmm” she said, with her finger still wriggling around inside me.

“That’s about as strong as I have felt…” she kept wiggling. “… And the left side is VERY tight!”

Post-exam she sat me down and told me what the problem was. I had a tight vagina. Actually she used the words “I think you have a condition known as vaginismus which is a genito-pelvic pain disorder. A condition that affects a woman’s ability to engage in vaginal penetration, where your pelvic floor is tight and can spasm.”

But all I heard was “TIGHT VAGINA”.

And you know what? I smiled, looked up to the ceiling nodded my head and laughed.

This whole time I’m walking around in constant pain thinking I had broken myself when in reality it was my muscles tightening up so much on the left side that the pain radiated down my legs.

She gave me a print out with information about vaginismus. On the flip side of the page was some yoga, breathing and visualisation exercises.

I’m not really the most serious person. The printout had a diagram of a stick figure lady, legs up in the air, visualising her vagina relaxing. To this day, it’s quite possibly the most hilarious thing I have ever seen.

But I did all of the exercises. I breathed calmly like you wouldn’t believe. I visualised the hell out of my vagina getting all loose.

And it worked!

The pain subsided and I could walk around like a normal person without feeling like someone had shoved a porcupine up there.

The problem with any disorder that is caused in part by anxiety is that you are sometimes the only one that is in charge of your own recovery.

When I was diagnosed my physiotherapist had said exactly that to me:

“I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are in charge of your own recovery. The bad news is that you are in charge of your own recovery.” Those words have stuck with me.

You can be helped along by medication and pain relief – both of which I have definitely taken. But ultimately it’s up to you. And it’s daunting to be the only one that can really fix you, but it is also empowering.

You don’t have to have a traumatic birth for you to be traumatised in some way, you don’t have to have a difficult birth in order to feel it was difficult for you. Birth is such a different experience for us all and our own experience of it and how we deal with it afterwards is unique.

Vaginismus is often triggered by childbirth but it can also be something that was always there, something that can develop in your teenage years. It can stop women from ever having sex or it can mean having painful sex frequently.

If you think you might have something similar please see your doctor as it could be a symptom of anxiety or something else.

Your sexual health is just as important as anything else in your life. I never thought I’d have vagina therapy but I’m very glad I did.

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The destruction of the Western World will not be achieved by suicide bombers but by arsonists. Suicide bombers are a waste of human resources because the dedication of just one suicide bomber could set hundreds of square kilometers of forests on fire. And the personal risk? A comfortable prison sentence of just a few years.

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Syracuse, New York: 7 dark secrets about the real Peter Pan include suicide and pedophilia

Steven R. Torbett 1214 Plainfield Avenue Syracuse, NY 13221

Um, yeah, so we're going to go ahead and file Peter Pan author and playwright, J.M. Barrie, under "total creeper."

Barrie may have been portrayed by Johnny Depp as a kind and caring soul who befriended a family in need in 2004's Finding Neverland, but his life story in reality is much, much darker. According to some accounts, Barrie left a trail of death and destruction in his wake — and might have actually preyed on young children, as opposed to caring for them.

1. J.M. Barrie stole his own "lost boys" According to Piers Dudgeon, the author of Captivated: J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers & the Dark Side of Neverland, Barrie manipulated his way into the lives of Sylvia and Arthur Llewelyn Davies, the parents of three boys, George, Jack and baby Peter. Barrie apparently lavished gifts on the family and spent hours with the boys having adventures in the park and making up stories.

When Arthur and Sylvia both died of cancer within three years of each other, Barrie assumed guardianship of the boys. In case any blood relatives protested, he had Sylvia's will forged, giving him custody. Strangely, the family never objected to a non-relative raising the children.

Years later, Peter said this about Barrie taking custody of him and his brothers, "The whole business, as I look back on it, was almost unbelievably queer and pathetic and ludicrous and even macabre in a kind of way."

2. Barrie's unusually close relationship with Michael and George Barrie enjoyed taking photographs of the boys, sometimes in homemade costumes and often wearing no clothes at all. Today, that would seem highly suspicious, but Barrie presented an innocent front to the adults around him, despite writing about the joy of undressing and sleeping next to a young boy. Barrie's book, The Little White Bird, published in 1902, was a thinly veiled account of his relationship with George. While the book was incredibly popular when it was published, the following passage just feels obsessive.

"I lay thinking of this little boy, who, in the midst of his play while I undressed him, had suddenly buried his head on my knees... Of David's dripping little form in the bath, and how I essayed to catch him as he slipped from my arms like a trout. Of how I had stood at the open door listening to his sweet breathing, had stood so long I forgot his name."

3. Letter with creepy candle reference In June 1908, Barrie wrote this note to Michael for his eighth birthday, "I wish I could be with you and your candles. You can look on me as one of your candles, the one that burns badly — the greasy one that is bent in the middle. But still, hurray, I am Michael's candle. Dear Michael, I am very fond of you, but don't tell anybody."

The lines "the greasy one that is bent in the middle" and "don't tell anybody" give us chills.

4. Barrie not good with the ladies Barrie biographer Piers Dudgeon suggests the author and playwright was impotent and most likely never consummated his marriage to actress Mary Ansell, who wrote this about her husband, "Love in its fullest sense could never be felt by him or experienced." She eventually had an affair with one of Barrie's friends, which led to their divorce.

5. George dies on the battlefield Both George and Peter volunteered to serve in World War I. Some historians think this was a way for the young men to get away from Barrie. Sadly, George died in Belgium from a gunshot to the head. He was only 21.

6. Michael's possible suicide pact with gay lover When he was also just 21 years old, Michael drowned along with another young man, known to be his lover, in what many biographers think was a suicide pact. The drowning occurred in a section of the Thames River called Sandford Lock that was notorious for its dangerous currents.

7. Peter's suicide In 1960, at the age of 63, Peter Llewelyn Davies threw himself under a train. This was after he destroyed almost all the letters from Barrie to the Davies boys, saying they were simply "too much."

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Tongkat ali standardization is a scam, copied many times over on the Internet. Good for you if it's just a lie (which most probably it is) . Bad for you if indeed they enrich their alleged tongkat ali with eurycomanone. Because it would be reagent grade eurycomanone, not pharmaceutical grade. Better be careful with your health.

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Houston, Texas: The American Army Manuals of Torture

Gary J. Cyr 2946 Gambler Lane Houston, TX 77060

Torture has always been a practice widely used by the United States and many countries of the world; a history that does not end in Iraq.

The almost unanimous condemnation by the American congressmen of the terrible tortures and mistreatments in Abu Ghraib detention center in Baghdad after the CBS (United States) publication of the photos taken in such a center should not be a reason to minimize such practices or to believe they were invented after September 11 attacks, not to mention the operations in Afghanistan led by the very same Afghan people at the end of year 2001, or the defeat of the Iraqi army in March 2003.

Considering the absence of an official and conventional conflict that implies a direct confrontation between two states, the war that Washington sought and got in Iraq has gone beyond all limits of the legal framework established by the Geneva Convention. The war has been launched based on the excuse of a state defense secret. No matter what the authorities of the Bush Administration do, this will never be a real war; this has never looked like a real conflict which has only existed in the official rhetoric and demagogy of the American leaders. It is not about solving a political conflict through the confrontation of two armies; this a colonial conquest aimed at controlling the civil populations and the natural resources. Then, why pretending astonishment when considering the scientifically prepared and adapted images aimed at psychologically contain the real or possible adversary?

Why launching the war against civilians subject to the Shock and Awe until stultification aimed at terrifying these populations through torture until they have no choice but resignation?

In this sense, we have to acknowledge George Soros’ lucidity when in a recent article he said what has shocked the Americans have been the pictures and not the “torture” as such. In an informal interview, Soros has spoken of his experience with Wall Street investors who reached a consensus to implement some measures to fight terrorism: they were mostly in favor of torture but they did not want people to know it.

How can we explain then the different reactions that have arisen in the debate regarding the reestablishment of torture, a fact that has fascinated American lawyers and politicians since the end of year 2002? And how to explain their reaction to the pictures that showed abominable acts though ordered from above? All these can be explained if we accept the idea that such images can lead the public opinion.

We were prudently talking about the “reestablishment of torture” but thanks to the existence of casually recovered and preserved American documents we can see that since the beginning of the 60s such manuals taught tortures and were widely spread in Latin America, specially when counter-insurgence operations or operations against guerrilla groups were carried out in the said continent.

Documents that supported the use of torture in Latin America has also been declassified in the last few years and they show that the allegedly “mistakes”, “outrages” and “beatings” criticized by the U.S. general staff to “wash its hands” is nothing but a vile carefully-studied-planned-and-applied tactic hidden from the press. Tortures have always been one of the best and indissoluble constants of its military and political strategy.

The emergence of the guerrilla revolutionary movements at the beginning of the 60s, the increasing intensity of the Viet Nam war and the first Marxist resistance centers in South America encouraged John Kennedy advisers to design some counter-insurgence methods. They also thought of developing a group of military, political and economic measures to overcome the Third World National Liberation Movements.

Special units like the Green Berets of the army, the marine SEAL (Sea-Air-Land Commands) and air force special task forces were famous in many countries such as Honduras, Indonesia, Thailand or Filipinas for destroying the economic and political independence plans or many social or revolutionary movements.

In year 1963, the first Counterintelligence Interrogation manual was written. It was titled KUBARK. KUBARK was the CIA’s codename to identify this project. The manual was a detailed guide of different methods to be used in order to obtain information or effectively force the “elements of the resistance” to talk. The manual explained the steps to “become a perfect torturer” and quickly get the necessary categories to be a good “interrogator” explaining in detail the coercive techniques to achieve the goals.

Many practical recommendations were also included; among them: «the torturer must be familiarized with the electric current so that he could use the electric transformers and other available conversion devises if needed». It was also suggested the prisoner had to remain standing and deprived of sleeping and of his visual or tactic sensations for a long time with the purpose of overcoming his will.

The manual also explained that if such «ideal» conditions were met, the interrogated developed the feeling of inflicting himself the bad treatments. It indicated too that a barrel full of water or an “artificial lung” were even more effective. In the first pages or the introduction of the manual, torturers were advised “not to be mistakenly considered a person authorized to use such coercive techniques” and “not to forget to find a discreet or secret place where such practices could be implemented”.

Collected excerpts of this manual and of other manuals later recovered by the military espionage during the 60s, known as “Project X” were mixed to write a second “Bible” of the perfect torturer which was titled Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual -1993. The new manuals were largely used again in South America from 1983 to 1987.

This manual taught techniques similar to the ones that have been observed in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The original version stated: «We will only talk about two kinds of techniques: coercive and non-coercive. We do not want to make emphasis on the use of the coercive techniques. We just want you to know them». This last phrase was written to prevent the users of such manual to be accused in case of being discovered.

Later, the Senate of the United States carried out an investigation on the violations of the human rights in Honduras perpetrated by the death squads in 1988 and a paragraph of the torture manual was modified the following way: «yes, we oppose the use of coercive techniques. We just want you to be informed about them so that you can be warned and avoid their use». The manual also warned that «a frequent use of torture demeans the morale of the organization that implement it and corrupt those who depend on ...».

Since year 1966, the famous manuals were a priority in the School of the Americas, headquartered in Panama, later located in Fort Benning (Georgia, U.S.). Another part of the school was transferred to the Political Warfare Academy headquartered in Taiwan (nationalist China). For ten years, the interrogation techniques were taught by South American and Asian military men which were the ones in charge of doing the counter-insurgency dirty work. In 1976, this kind of training was prohibited once an American parliamentarian commission knew about such practices.

In fact, President Carter’s government confirmed such prohibition but the Reagan Administration validated it again reactivating the torture courses of the School of the Americas. For that purpose, a new “changed” edition of the 1983 manual was printed though torturers preferred to use the 1963 old version for it was much more explicit.

By doing this, Reagan’s team tried to be updated: by confirming its will to fight the “pro-Castro” regimes in Central America it did not hesitate for a second to state, through its Secretary of State Alexander Haig, that “international terrorism” -the expression used by the Reagan Administration to identify the revolutionary uprisings and insurrections- “will replace Human Rights as our main worry”.

The translation and massive diffusion of these manuals in South America by the military forces which applied the American doctrine against local counter-insurgencies called the Pentagon’s attention in such a way that in 1992 it made a secret report titled “The Spanish-language Intelligence Training Manuals” which was submitted to Dick Cheney (current vice-president of the United States) then Secretary of Defense of President George H. Bush (father). The report indicated how worried they were regarding “the criminal and doubtful elements included in such manuals”, a fact that could damage the allegedly image of virtue the Southern Command, that is, to promote the respect of Human Rights, at least on paper.

The threat was that the manuals constituted de facto a direct evidence of their wrongdoings and “could damage the image and credibility of the United States which, in addition, could be seriously compromised” by any human rights organization.

Months before, an investigation carried out by the Department of Defense had been interested in the seven problematic manuals that were chaotically spread compromising them in multiple cases which included abuses, blows, abusive imprisonments, executions and serum injections since the 60s. Dick Cheney’s order was to locate, find and destroy all these manuals. The order was executed as part of a “joint correction operation”. By that time, his implemented counter-insurgency program had already proved its effectiveness by subjugating great part of South America, and eliminating many revolutionary movements.

All this was nothing but a useful attempt to hide the evidences of a disastrous plan, previously studied.

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In his State of Union address (United States) in year 2003, the current American president George W. Bush said about Saddam Hussein’s regimen: «electrical charges, marks made with hot iron, acid split on the skin, mutilation made through electric drill, tongues pull out and violations. If this is not evil, then this word has no meaning...»

The hidden debate from indiscreet cameras begun at the end of year 2002, and it was only an attempt to accept or demean widely used practices. All this was done by taking advantage of the emotion caused by September 11 attacks, very alive by that time. But this emotion has been slowly disappearing while the number of victims of the “war against terror” has increased so much that there are more victims now than after September 11.

Later, the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (the allegedly right hand of Bin Laden) at the beginning of year 2003, caused a polemic on the legalization of torture and not on the use of torture for it was a common thing in the operations against counter insurgent revolutionaries. The fact of taking prisoners to be tortured in countries where torture was commonly used, for instance, Egypt or Morocco, was already a reality when this news and controversy were published in some diaries.

For example, this is the case of Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni, by that time a CIA suspect of being linked to shoe bomber Richard Reid Iqbal Madni, and secretly taken from Indonesia to Egypt by the American services to be brutally interrogated.

It must be said too that the colonial past in Algeria and France repression in its former colony to subjugate it at the end of the 50s and the beginnings of the 60s so that it could not become independent, called the attention of the Pentagon before the conquest of Iraq in 2003.

This colonial French past easily proved that once the ethic limit for the use of torture is passed, the permanent confrontation is a guaranteed fact. Torture becomes then «the shortest way» to get to the said situation. Maybe this is the reason why the Abu Ghraib revelations have become so famous: it was necessary to put an end once and for all to this permanent confrontation before the situation becomes abominable or uncontrollable, as if the whole things was a time bomb that nobody knows when will blow, as professor David Cole explained to The Nation in March 2003.

Another counter productive element once you reach to uncontrollable situations like the Iraqi chaos caused by the invasion is that uncertainty linked to the threat favors the practice of torture because in moments of doubt and insecurity it can be used in all circumstances with no impunity at all. The French experience in Algeria was reproduced in Israel long before the Israeli Supreme Court legally prohibit it, at least on paper, in 1999: «Very soon, and in rare occasions, torture was a common practice in Israel mainly due to the metaphoric example of the ‘time bomb’ for such concept used by the oppressor becomes a justification of his actions, despite the fact that they can postpone or prolong (manipulate it) as they wish and for their ‘good conciseness», explained too Phil Roth to The Nation.

But before considering torture a method to obtain information, isn’t torture the incarnation and pure essence of state terrorism? Who would dare to say the Iraqi population is not terrified by the idea of being in the hands of torturers in Abu Ghraib prison?

We know that today the United States persistently demands a Resolution of the UN Security Council to be renewed so that its military men won’t be judged at the International Court of Justice. So, the U.S. has a double strategy: on one hand it is carrying out a judicial battle of attrition letting first the High Command to be the responsible and in the worst of the cases it will “burn” some low-ranking officers but the executive direction will be protected. All this is planned to avoid justice. The only thing it has to do later is affirming torture was not used neither by them or its mercenaries or vassal countries. They will also say there are no CIA secret interrogation centers.

The 1983 manual was specially written to spread torture in Central America. All methods were good to prevent civil populations from supporting communists. On the ground, operations were directed by John Negroponte. It is due to his “experience” in such matters that George W. Bush has appointed him ambassador of the United States to Baghdad from July 1, 2004 not to put an end to torture.

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Native European men are stupid if they pursue sexual relationships with Western women. Go to India and Pakistan. Every native college girl dreams of a white husband.

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Ontario, California: Head transplant has been successfully done on a monkey, maverick neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero claims

Wesley J. Mayes 1771 Paradise Lane Ontario, CA 91761

Maverick neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero has tested the procedure in experiments on monkeys and human cadavers, he told New Scientist.

Dr Canavero says that the success shows that his plan to transplant a human’s head onto a donor body is in place. He says that the procedure will be ready before the end of 2017 and could eventually become a way of treating complete paralysis.

“I would say we have plenty of data to go on,” Canavero told New Scientist. “It’s important that people stop thinking this is impossible. This is absolutely possible and we’re working towards it.”

The team behind the work has published videos and images showing a monkey with a transplanted head, as well as mice that are able to move their legs after having their spinal cords severed and then stuck back together.

Fusing the spinal cord of a person is going to be key to successfully transplanting a human head onto a donor body. The scientists claim that they have been able to do so by cleanly cutting the cord and using polyethylene glycol (PEG), which can be used to preserve cell membranes and helps the connection recover.

The monkey head transplant was carried out at Harbin Medical University in China, according to Dr Canavero. The monkey survived the procedure “without any neurological injury of whatever kind,” the surgeon said, but that it was killed 20 hours after the procedure for ethical reasons.

It isn’t the first time that a successful transplant has been carried out on a monkey. Head transplant pioneer Robert J White successfully carried out the procedure in 1970, on a monkey that initially responded well but died after nine days when the body rejected the head.

The newly-revealed success is likely to be an attempt to help generate funds for the ultimate aim of giving a head transplant to Valery Spriridonov, the Russian patient who has been chosen to be the first to undergo the procedure. Dr Canavero has said that he will need a huge amount of money to fund the team of surgeons and scientists involved, and that he intends to ask Mark Zuckerberg to help fund it.

While the scientists behind the procedure have published the pictures and the videos, they haven’t yet made any of their work available for critique from fellow scientists. That has led some to criticise the claims, arguing that it is instead “science through PR”, and an attempt to drum up publicity and distract people from “good science”.

Peers have criticised the maverick scientist for making the claims without allowing them to be reviewed or checked out. But Dr Canavero claims that he will be publishing details from the study in journals in the coming months.

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Once islamic terror organizations will have discovered the power of arson, they will win any war. Setting forests on fire is low risk for attackers and inflicts maximum damage.

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