Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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Archive for the ‘Mitchell and Jessen’ Category

Gangs and the School of the Americas

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 11, 2007

 

¡Presente!

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

¡Presente!

Gangs and the SOA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Guadalupe Chavez and Tiel Rainelli, SOAW Los Angeles

When the chickens come home to roost. Gangs in the Americas and the Cycle of Violence and Domination. Images of Latino men with tattoos are often used by the media to generate fear and anti-immigrant sentiments.

 

When individuals and their experiences are dehumanized enough, many people turn away in fear. But if we step beyond those broad stereotypes and take a closer look, we can see that those tattoos tell war stories of long before their wearers were born and how their eyes offer insights into the psychological trauma and effects of repression and war. We see Children of War, some of whom have established one of the most well-organized and largest numbering street gangs in the country. Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13), a Salvadorian street gang formed in Los Angeles operates now out of at least 31 states and three countries. MS 13 has spread like a wild fire: sweeping across poverty-stricken areas of Central and North America. MS13 memberThe formation of MS 13 has a unique origin that needs to be understood.

 

During the 1980′s, under the false logic of the Cold War, the United States provided direct military aid and School of the Americas training for the Salvadoran army that was systematically violating human rights in El Salvador. U.S. military aid, training, and on-the-ground advisors provided the government of El Salvador with the resources and know-how to terrorize the civilian population.

The war left over 70,000 dead and not a single soul untouched. Over two million people fled El Salvador with a great majority of them immigrating into the United States. Los Angeles became a refuge for many Salvadoran families. Faced with oppression on the streets of Los Angeles, jobs were hard to come by and the schools and streets were occupied by gangs defending their territory and indifferent to the struggle of the newly arrived. MS 13 was born out of a need for self-defense and survival. Many MS 13 members are the sons and daughters of the people that fled the U.S. suponsored war in El Salvador. The 1990′s were an incredibly bloody time for Los Angeles gangs and communities. “The War on Gangs gradually began to take shape in the mid 1990′s after a 1996 immigration law in the U.S. facilitated the deportation of undocumented people serving more than two years in U.S. detention facilities. From 1996 to 2003, the United States deported 70,000 people to El Salvador.” Those deported were not well received once they arrived in El Salvador, instead they were stigmatized and marginalized for their cultural differences and kept out of yet another system of employment, and education. In response to the deportations and the import of the gang culture from the United States to El Salvador, the Salvadorian government implemented “localized anti-gang measures and [formed] death squads that emerged to kill youth thought to be gang members.” The efforts of the Salvadorian government have been championed by the White House and Department of Homeland Security and have in fact led to the Salvadorian government’s hosting of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). The ILEA is a U.S. run police training school on Salvadorian soil. The school will train security forces from throughout Latin America and is operating from the exact mindset that has given rise to the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC). Both institutions are part of a racist system of violence and domination that promotes U.S. sponsored repression as the one-size-fits-all solution to social problems throughout the Americas. The anti-gang initiatives implemented and proposed by the United States and Salvadorian governments have done little to address the core conditions of tyranny that have given rise to the ever-developing gang culture. MS 13 and other street gangs need to be understood and addressed in a context that recognizes and validates the systemic forces that have led to their creation, and incorporates the gang members into the decision making and strategic planning processes needed to tackle the vulgar injustices of being poor in the Americas. As Americans scour through policy books searching for a quick fix for the gang violence it is important to admit and take responsibility for the monster we have created.

As Malcolm so eloquently put it, the chickens have come home to roost.

http://www.johnpilger.com/

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Gangs?, In Collective Self-Defense, Mitchell and Jessen, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past — CIA Manuals and Programs

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 10, 2007

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PRISONER ABUSE: PATTERNS FROM THE PAST

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 122

Cold War U.S. Interrogation Manuals Counseled “Coercive Techniques”
Cheney Informed of “Objectionable” Interrogation Guides in 1992
“Inconsistent with U.S. Government Policy”
National Security Archive Posts CIA Training Manuals from 60s, 80s, and
Investigative memos on earlier controversy on human rights abuses

For Further Information:
Thomas Blanton 202 994-7000
Peter Kornbluh 202 994-7116

Washington D.C. May 12, 2004: CIA interrogation manuals written in the 1960s and 1980s described “coercive techniques” such as those used to mistreat detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to the declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The Archive also posted a secret 1992 report written for then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney warning that U.S. Army intelligence manuals that incorporated the earlier work of the CIA for training Latin American military officers in interrogation and counterintelligence techniques contained “offensive and objectionable material” that “undermines U.S. credibility, and could result in significant embarrassment.”

The two CIA manuals, “Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual-1983″ and “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation-July 1963,” were originally obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Baltimore Sun in 1997. The KUBARK manual includes a detailed section on “The Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources,” with concrete assessments on employing “Threats and Fear,” “Pain,” and “Debility.” The language of the 1983 “Exploitation” manual drew heavily on the language of the earlier manual, as well as on Army Intelligence field manuals from the mid 1960s generated by “Project X”-a military effort to create training guides drawn from counterinsurgency experience in Vietnam. Recommendations on prisoner interrogation included the threat of violence and deprivation and noted that no threat should be made unless the questioner “has approval to carry out the threat.” The interrogator “is able to manipulate the subject’s environment,” the 1983 manual states, “to create unpleasant or intolerable situations, to disrupt patterns of time, space, and sensory perception.”

After Congress began investigating reports of Central American atrocities in the mid 1980s, particularly in Honduras, the CIA’s “Human Resource Exploitation” manual was hand edited to alter passages that appeared to advocate coercion and stress techniques to be used on prisoners. CIA officials attached a new prologue page on the manual stating: “The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation is prohibited by law, both international and domestic; it is neither authorized nor condoned”-making it clear that authorities were well aware these abusive practices were illegal and immoral, even as they continued then and now.

Indeed, similar material had already been incorporated into seven Spanish-language training guides. More than a thousand copies of these manuals were distributed for use in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru, and at the School of the Americas between 1987 and 1991. An inquiry was triggered in mid 1991 when the Southern Command evaluated the manuals for use in expanding military support programs in Colombia.

In March 1992 Cheney received an investigative report on “Improper Material in Spanish-Language Intelligence Training Manuals.” Classified SECRET, the report noted that five of the seven manuals “contained language and statements in violation of legal, regulatory or policy prohibitions” and recommended they be recalled. The memo is stamped: “SECDEF HAS SEEN.”

The Archive also posted a declassified memorandum of conversation with a Southern Command officer, Major Victor Tise, who was responsible for assembling the Latin American manuals at School of the Americas for counterintelligence training in 1982. Tise stated that the manuals had been forwarded to DOD headquarters for clearance “and came back approved but UNCHANGED.” (Emphasis in original)


Read the Documents
Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Document 1
CIA, KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation, July 1963
Part 1 (pp. 1-60)Part II (pp. 61-112)Part III (pp. 113-128)
This 127-page report, classified Secret, was drafted in July 1963 as a comprehensive guide for training interrogators in the art of obtaining intelligence from “resistant sources.” KUBARK–a CIA codename for itself–describes the qualifications of a successful interrogator, and reviews the theory of non-coercive and coercive techniques for breaking a prisoner. Some recommendations are very specific. The report recommends, for example, that in choosing an interrogation site “the electric current should be known in advance, so that transformers and other modifying devices will be on hand if needed.” Of specific relevance to the current scandal in Iraq is section nine, “The Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources,” (pp 82-104). Under the subheading, “Threats and Fears,” the CIA authors note that “the threat of coercion usually weakens or destroys resistance more effectively than coercion itself. The threat to inflict pain, for example, can trigger fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain.” Under the subheading “Pain,” the guidelines discuss the theories behind various thresholds of pain, and recommend that a subject’s “resistance is likelier to be sapped by pain which he seems to inflict upon himself” such rather than by direct torture. The report suggests forcing the detainee to stand at attention for long periods of time. A section on sensory deprivations suggests imprisoning detainees in rooms without sensory stimuli of any kind, “in a cell which has no light,” for example. “An environment still more subject to control, such as water-tank or iron lung, is even more effective,” the KUBARK manual concludes.
Document 2
CIA, Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983
Part I (pp. 1-67)Part II (pp. 68-124)
This secret manual was compiled from sections of the KUBARK guidelines, and from U.S. Military Intelligence field manuals written in the mid 1960s as part of the Army’s Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program codenamed “Project X.” The manual was used in numerous Latin American countries as an instructional tool by CIA and Green Beret trainers between 1983 and 1987 and became the subject of executive session Senate Intelligence Committee hearings in 1988 because of human rights abuses committed by CIA-trained Honduran military units. The manual allocates considerable space to the subject of “coercive questioning” and psychological and physical techniques. The original text stated that “we will be discussing two types of techniques, coercive and non-coercive. While we do not stress the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them.” After Congress began investigating human rights violations by U.S.-trained Honduran intelligence officers, that passage was hand edited to read “while we deplore the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them so that you may avoid them.” Although the manual advised methods of coercion similar to those used in the Abu Ghraib prison by U.S. forces, it also carried a prescient observation: “The routine use of torture lowers the moral caliber of the organization that uses it and corrupts those that rely on it….”
Document 3
DOD, Improper Material in Spanish-Language Intelligence Manuals, SECRET, 10 March 1992
This “report of investigation” was sent to then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney in March 1992, nine months after the Defense Department began an internal investigation into how seven counterintelligence and interrogation manuals used for years by the Southern Command throughout Latin America had come to contain “objectionable” and prohibited material. Army investigators traced the origins of the instructions on use of beatings, false imprisonment, executions and truth serums back to “Project X”-a program run by the Army Foreign Intelligence unit in the 1960s. The report to Cheney found that the “offensive and objectionable material in the manuals” contradicted the Southern Command’s priority of teaching respect for human rights, and therefore “undermines U.S. credibility, and could result in significant embarrassment.” Cheney concurred with the recommendations for “corrective action” and recall and destruction of as many of the offending manuals as possible.


Document 4
DOD, USSOUTHCOM CI Training-Supplemental Information, CONFIDENTIAL, 31 July, 1991
This document records a phone conversation with Major Victor Tise, who served in 1982 as a counterintelligence instructor at the School of the Americas. Tise relates the history of the “objectionable material” in the manuals and the training courses at SOA. A decade of training between 1966 and 1976 was suspended after a Congressional panel witnessed the teaching program. The Carter administration then halted the counterintelligence training courses “for fear training would contribute to Human Rights violations in other countries,” Tise said, but the program was restored by the Reagan administration in 1982. He then obtained training materials from the archives of the Army’s “Project X” program which he described as a “training package to provide counterinsurgency techniques learned in Vietnam to Latin American countries.” The course materials he put together, including the manuals that became the subject of the investigations, were sent to Defense Department headquarters “for clearance” in 1982 and “came back approved but UNCHANGED.” Although Tise stated he removed parts he believed to be objectionable, hundreds of unaltered manuals were used throughout Latin America over the next nine years.

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Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Mitchell and Jessen, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

From Gonzales to Mukasey — Still Carrying Water for Bush on Torture

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 19, 2007

(Following is the October 18, 2007 congressional testimony of Michael B. Mukasey, the man President Bush has nominated to replace the disgraced and now-resigned Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as the chief law enforcement official in the United States).

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “Is waterboarding constitutional?”

Michael Mukasey: “I don’t know what is involved in the technique. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional.”

Mr. Whitehouse: “If it’s torture? That’s a massive hedge. I mean, either it is or it isn’t. Waterboarding is the practice of putting somebody in a reclining position, strapping them down, putting cloth over their faces and pouring water over the cloth to simulate the feeling of drowning. Is that constitutional?”

Mr. Mukasey: “If it amounts to torture, it is not constitutional.”

Mr. Whitehouse: “I am very disappointed in that answer; I think it is purely semantic.”

Mr. Mukasey: “I’m sorry.”

*************************

US Military Training video on Waterboarding (WARNING — the scenes of torture which follow may be very disturbing to some).

Michael B. Mukasey

Watch C-SPAN 3 video of Whitehouse/Mukasey exchange

Video: Gentle version of Waterboarding–Still torture, per former soldier

Waterboarding as “Torture plus”

Waterboarding was a war crime when the Japanese did it to us

Coverage of Mukasey’s Congressional Testimony

More on Mukasey at SourceWatch

More on Mukasey at Democracy Now!

The Role of Spokane, Fairchild and SERE/JPRA in US Torture and Geneva Convention Violations

Video: CIA Chief George Tenet on Torture

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Mitchell and Jessen, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane’s dirty little secret — What Mitchell and Jessen are really all about

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 8, 2007

The Spokane firm Mitchell Jessen and Associates as well as several other CIA and Department of Defense funded outfits in the Spokane area are involved in the “reverse engineering” of training used to help U.S. personnel and “allied” foreigners Survive, Escape, Resist, and Evade (SERE).

As many recent investigative pieces have revealed, while SERE techniques are taught at the top-secret SERE/JPRA at the “White Bluffs” location just outside of Airway Heights, the reverse engineering of resistance techniques to develop more effective and ultimately illegal torture techniques is the creation of torture designers and consultants such as Mitchell, Jessen and others in the Spokane area. These two psychologists and others, including former U.S. military and intelligence personnel, have taken their taxpayer-provided training and turned it to making the U.S. one of the most hated nations on earth. The repercussions of the U.S.-created fiasco in Iraq and the surrounding region will be with us for hundreds of years to come.

If you wonder why so many U.S. military and intelligence personnel such as Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba have come out against these practices and why U.S. officials will fight for years to avoid being tried for Geneva Convention violations and other human rights crimes, here are a few videos that help illustrate the concern, followed by a disclaimer from former CIA chief George Tenet:

And finally, this message from CIA-director George Tenet

The CIA, Torture, and George Tenet’s Body Language

——————————-

Spokane Police connection to this story:

(excerpt)

On Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 4:30 PM , a group of citizens — taxpayers, voters, war veterans, dissidents, and workers — gathered at the American Legion Building in downtown Spokane. The purpose of the event was to publicize and protest the presence of Spokane-based psychologists working with the CIA and the US Department of Defense to develop ever harsher techniques for torturing other human beings in the many-fronted U.S. wars of aggression, occupation, and subversion around the world.

An hour or so before that protest began, Spokane Police warned union picketers at a construction site a block away in front of the nearby U.S. Bank Building that violence was expected at the American Legion site and therefore suggested people stay away…

Of course, the PJALS-organized event went off without incident and certainly without violence. So what were Spokane Police doing issuing a warning to union picketers to be prepared for violence if they attended the anti-torture protest a block away?

If the Spokane Police acted on alleged “information” in issuing this warning to union picketers, did the information come from their own intelligence operations or was it passed to them by the FBI or other law enforcement intel units? Or was it classic law enforcement “cointelpro” tactics at work?

In either case, it was in the end bogus information.

(end excerpt)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Mitchell and Jessen, Photographic Evidence, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Quarantining Dissent — Fascism on our Doorsteps

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2007

On January 4, 2004, James Bovard of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article entitled, “Quarantining Dissent” regarding FBI surveillance and harassment of anti-war activists. Bovard refers to a U.S. Senate report which concludes that FBI harassment of citizens is carried out due to the FBI’s “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of acts which might be criminal”. In an internal newsletter the FBI urged agents to harass citizens to provoke paranoia.

Spokane activists continue to demonstrate their intent and capacity to dog the Bush administration — and its war — until its dying day. Barring impeachment, Bush’s last day will be 01/20/2009 — the day the new U.S. president will be sworn in.

In the face of such tenacious opposition to the criminal, militarist Bush regime, the FBI and the Spokane Police Department have resorted to an assortment of tactics including 1) harassment of young Spokane activists by FBI agents, including FBI terrorism agent Jason Oakley, 2) the use of “designated protest zones” by the Spokane Police, including undercover Spokane Police officer Tramell “Mel” Taylor, and 3) the feeding of false information to sew distrust among activist groups.

Such acts are a clear sign of desperation by a federal law enforcement establishment marked by its own leadership incompetence and tarnished by internal spy scandals. The once vaunted FBI failed to detect the 9/11 conspiracy and watched impotently as the World Trade Towers tumbled to the ground. One supposes that they must now be awarding notches on their sunglasses to those agents who manage to harass a citizen activist.

The close collaboration of the Spokane Police Department with the FBI is not at all surprising. Among the links between the two agencies are former SPD Chief Terry Mangan who left the SPD for the FBI and a high ranking SPD official, Major Gil Moberly, is a former FBI agent. In addition, current Spokane Police Chief Ann Kirkpatrick has been a frequent lecturer at the FBI Academy.

Quarantining Dissent — How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech

by James Bovard, San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 4, 2004)

(Excerpt) On May 30, 2002, then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft effectively abolished restrictions on FBI surveillance of Americans’ everyday lives first imposed in 1976. One FBI internal newsletter encouraged FBI agents to conduct more interviews with antiwar activists “for plenty of reasons, chief of which it will enhance the paranoia endemic in such circles and will further service to get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.” The FBI took a shotgun approach toward protesters partly because of the FBI’s “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of act which might be criminal,” according to a Senate report.

On Nov. 23, 2003 news broke that the FBI is actively conducting surveillance of antiwar demonstrators, supposedly to “blunt potential violence by extremist elements,” according to a Reuters interview with a federal law enforcement official.

Given the FBI’s expansive definition of “potential violence” in the past, this is a net that could catch almost any group or individual who falls into official disfavor. (End excerpt)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Mitchell and Jessen, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Police Surveillance, Intimidation and Suppression of Spokane Dissidents

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 31, 2007

At 4:30 PM on Thursday, August 16, 2007, a group of citizens — taxpayers, voters, war veterans, dissidents, and workers — gathered at the American Legion Building in downtown Spokane. The purpose of the event was to publicize and protest the presence of Spokane-based psychologists working with the CIA and the US Department of Defense to develop ever harsher techniques for torturing other human beings in the many-fronted U.S. wars of aggression, occupation, and subversion around the world.

An hour or so before that protest began, Spokane Police warned union picketers at a construction site a block away in front of the nearby U.S. Bank Building that violence was expected at the American Legion site and therefore suggested people stay away.

A Spokane Police car with officer aboard sat at the corner of Washington and Riverside throughout the protest at the American Legion Building. Later that evening, several hours after the event ended, an unmarked Spokane Police car remained parked in the parking spot of Spokane Coin Exchange behind the American Legion Building.

Of course, the PJALS-organized event went off without incident and certainly without violence. So what were Spokane Police doing issuing a warning to union picketers to be prepared for violence if they attended the anti-torture protest a block away?

If the Spokane Police acted on alleged “information” in issuing this warning to union picketers, did the information come from their own intelligence operations or was it passed to them by the FBI or other law enforcement intel units? Or was it classic law enforcement “cointelpro” tactics at work?

In either case, it was in the end bogus information.

It goes without saying that this protest on August 16, 2007 would draw the attention of agencies beyond just the Spokane Police Department. For one, the SERE/JPRA program is a highly secret U.S. government program which is now the subject of widespread media and congressional scrutiny and will be the subject of international legal actions in the future. For another, the severe and illegal torture techniques reverse engineered by Spokane’s Mitchell Jessen and Associates from SERE resistance training for use in the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism” are the subject of extreme controversy and near universal condemnation. In addition, they have cost the U.S. immeasurably in terms of global credibility.

It is known from the legal work of the ACLU and the reporting of the Spokesman-Review that Spokane organizations such as PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League) have been victims of FBI infiltration and spying. The Spokane Police Department’s warning to union picketers on August 16, 2007 provides further evidence that the surveillance, intimidation and repression of Spokane activists and dissidents goes well beyond just dislike of their politics. (See the very limited portion of surveillance files on PJALS released on April 30, 2007 by the FBI to the ACLU under a freedom of information request).

Law enforcement — local, state and federal — is interested in and more than prepared to monitor, intimidate, infiltrate, provoke, and actively suppress local activists and dissidents. Over the last few years and at an accelerating rate, there have been police actions in Spokane against people involved in protesting and advocating changed policies in regard to several issues: 1) the war in Iraq, 2) disgraced and now-resigned U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, 3) military recruitment, and 4) SERE/JPRA and CIA torture training, as well as those 5) advocating bicycle use and those 6) upholding the tradition of free speech this country loves to flaunt. These groups include PJALS, ASAP, MoveOn.org, and Critical Mass. Individuals not affiliated with organizations have also been the subject of FBI and SPD surveillance and actions.

A wide-ranging conversation about police surveillance of non-violent citizens engaged in legal protest and constitutionally protected free-speech and free-assembly activities is long over due in Spokane and must be part of any future police oversight process.

Not long ago, the only daily publication in the area — The Spokesman-Review — reportedly decided not to publish a photo of an undercover Spokane Police officer at the request of that police officer. The photo reportedly captured an interaction between said undercover police officer and a participant in the July 4, 2007 picnic and protest in Spokane’s Riverfront Park. That event was brutally brought to an end when Spokane Police and Park Security guards attacked participants, arresting 17. (On July 6, 2007, S-R editor Steve Smith wrote on the S-R blog News is a Conversation that the S-R employee who initially reported the officer’s request was mistaken and that no such request occurred and that no such photo existed).

It is always in the hands of the people to push the envelop of protest and freedom. The mainstream media, non-governmental organizations, and the churches are almost always followers.

Likewise, given that it is the people themselves who are on the frontlines, it is always in the hands of the people themselves to assure their own collective self-defense.

And protecting oneself requires knowledge not only of one’s rights and duties as a citizen but also of the history of repressive state action in the United States and the techniques used by the FBI and other police organizations in surveilling, harassing, repressing, and neutralizing individuals and organizations.

Reference: Domestic Surveillance Programs cast wide net (ACLU info on LInX, JTTP, CIFA, TALON, and NCTC)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Mitchell and Jessen, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

More unanswered questions for Spokane reporters, activists & citizens (Part 2)

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 26, 2007

What is the relationship between Spokane-based CIA-contracted torturer designers and sleep deprivation experts Mitchell Jessen Associates and the researchers at Washington State University’s Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC) at the joint WSU/EWU campus in downtown Spokane?

What is the relationship of the Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC) in Spokane with the CIA, Fairchild AFB’s SERE/JPRA program, and Mitchell Jessen Associates reverse engineering of SERE/JPRA programs to develop torture and illegal interrogation techniques and procedures?

Among numerous other DOD and US government grants, SPRC researchers Gregory Belenky, M.D., and Hans Van Dongen, Ph.D, received a $725,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense in June 2006. According to the June 1, 2006 publication of the Spokane Economic Development Council, “This grant will allow the research center to acquire the very latest equipment, placing it at the forefront of sleep and performance research labs worldwide”. http://www.spokaneedc.org/developments-view.php?n=78

In addition, “Belenky and Van Dongen will use the grant to acquire an integrated measurement and data management system to conduct long-term residential lab studies into sleep and performance.” In its July 14, 2005 edition, the Spokane Journal of Business reference WSU vice provost of research Jim Petersen in reporting, “Belenky, said to be one of the nation’s leading researchers in the study of sleep, is currently doing studies involving city of Spokane police officers, workers at Hollister-Stier Laboratories here, and pilots at Fairchild Air Force Base”. July 14, 2005 Spokane Journal of Business

Dr. Belenky is a retired US Army Colonel who formerly served as Director of the Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research before becoming the Research Professor and Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University/Spokane. He has published studies on sleep and performance and on combat stress. During the 1990-91 Gulf War he was regimental psychiatrist for the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment. Belenky brought US Army and Air Force contracts with him to WSU and other U.S. government military contracts have been in the works. http://stinet.dtic.mil/

Dr. Hans P.A. Van Dongen came to the WSU Sleep and Performance Center from the Department Of Psychiatry at the the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has a particular interest in sleep deprivation, including “why some individuals can resist the effects of sleep deprivation so much better than others.” In 2004 he was a participant in the Department of Defense Human Factors Engineering Technical Advisory Group. http://humanities.sas.upenn.edu/vandongen.htm

http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=5897
http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=5502
http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/current/2004/092304/cover.html
http://hfetag.dtic.mil/docs-meet/program_meet_52.pdf

Posted in Mitchell and Jessen, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

THE ROLE OF SPOKANE, FAIRCHILD, AND THE SERE/JPRA PROGRAMS IN U.S. TORTURE AND GENEVA CONVENTION VIOLATIONS

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 25, 2007

After attending and reflecting on tonight’s meeting of the Spokane Human Rights Commission, I decided to post this information here. As it turns out, Spokane is a front in some of the ugliest aspects of the U.S. war on the world.

It is time that Spokanites no longer be allowed to claim ignorance of events occurring in our community which are part and parcel of the brutalizing and torturing of the people of this globe. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Spokane’s Fairchild Air Force Base played a crucial role in the aerial genocide of the Vietnamese people. As a legacy of that period, Fairchild still houses 85 nuclear weapons as part of the U.S. strategic reserve, making Fairchild home to more nuclear weapons than Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. With KC-135 aerial refuelers flying out of Fairchild from the start of the Clinton air war on Iraq until now, Spokane and Fairchild play a central role in another barbaric and illegal US war. And beyond the “clean, surgical killing” carried out with the aid of Spokane-based aircraft, we now know that Spokane has played a central part in years of physical torture and psychological abuse being carried out in U.S. military and CIA-run facilities in Guantanamo (Cuba), Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, and elsewhere.

About three years ago, I began to raise 3 questions in e-mails to the media, legislators, and activists:

1) If the U.S. trains its world-class pilots in interrogation and torturer resistance training at the U.S. Air Force Survival School (SERE/JPRA) at Fairchild, isn’t it logical that the U.S. also brings world class interrogators and torturers to Spokane to pit against these pilots and train to “better” conduct real torture?

2) Why has the 12th Special Forces Group–which supposedly hasn’t existed for more than a decade–been listed for years in the DEX phone directory listing (click on thumbnail below for page 25 of the 2005 Spokane Qwest Dex phone entry and look at bottom of left column) for the U.S. Army Mann Hall Army Reserve Center in Spokane, Washington? The specific listing is for Detachment B4 and B5 Co B 3rd BN 12th Special Forces Group. What is the non-existent 12th Special Forces Group and its personnel actually doing in Spokane? (Hint: Think SERE, think torture, think human rights abuses).

Qwest DEX Listing for 12th Special Force Group

3) Why is Ciber, Inc. at the same Mann Hall Army Reserve Center in Spokane the Army Reserve Center in Spokane, Washington? Ciber, you may know, is the same folks involved in, among many other things, in the electronic vote fraud scandal.

Among the items you will find in this post are two videos of waterboarding–one an MSNBC reporter describing his experience being waterboarded and another which will make it clear why we are hated around the world.

At the bottom of this very long post, you will find additional Unanswered questions for Spokane reporters, broadcasters, activists & citizens. I ask you to do your own research and share it here and elsewhere. There is a war to stop, and administration to impeach, and a world to reconstruct.

(Update from original version posted 6/27/07–from original & source materials)

(All blue underlined words and phrases are links to websites, documents, maps, etc).

Fairchild AFB is home to a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Program. SERE Programs train soldiers, seaman, airmen, CIA operatives, and others–including foreign nationals–in resistance techniques. However, they also provide military and other government torturers, trainers, foreign nationals, contractors (aka US government mercenaries employed by corporations such as Blackwater, CACI International, Titan Corp, and SAIC) and psychologists, among others, the opportunity to develop, refine, practice and polish their torture techniques.

In their must-read June 29, 2007 Spokesman-Review article, reporters Karen Dorn Steele and Bill Morlin reveal that “the SERE program is used by the Army at Fort Bragg, where Green Berets train, and at the U.S. Air Force Survival School near Spokane, where thousands of other trainees are instructed annually.” Using first-hand reporting and research as well as reporting from sources such as the New Yorker and Salon.com, Dorn Steele and Morlin reveal the role of Spokane area psychologists and businesses in the U.S. government’s reverse-engineering of torture resistance training.

These techniques of torture–witnessed at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other U.S. facilities around the world–have been employed by the U.S. government, military, intelligence agencies, contractors and foreign agents with the express purpose of breaking human beings as part of the global U.S. “war on terror”. That so-called “war on terror” has produced worldwide denunciations of U.S. preemptive attacks, massacres of civilians, torture, disappearances, use of “depleted” uranium, and other actions which are illegal under international standards and laws.

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Fairchild’s SERE Program — The premiere Air Force SERE program

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In fact, not only is Fairchild home to a SERE program, it is home to an even more exclusive and secret program, SERE/JPRA (Joint Personnel Recovery Agency). This unclassified Department of Defense (DOD) memo shows that the SERE/JPRA site at the PRA White Bluff Site at 11604 W. NEWKIRK ROAD, SPOKANE, WA 99224 was the host in May 2007 of the DOD SERE Conference and the DOD SERE Psychology Conference.

As the memo shows, foreign government representatives from the U.S. government’s Iraq “coalition” partners participated in the two conferences as did three representatives from each of the FBI, DEA, and CIA. In point of fact, the facility has all the markings of a CIA facility such as those at Warrenton, VA and other locations in the U.S. (compare the similarity between the facility maps by clicking the respective links above).

On September 16, 2002, a prior SERE Psychologist Conference was hosted by the Army Special Operations Command and the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency at Fort Bragg for JTF-170 (the military component responsible for interrogations at Guantanamo) interrogation personnel. The Army’s Behavioral Science Consultation Team from Guantanamo Bay also attended the conference. Joint Personnel Recovery Agency personnel briefed JTF-170 representatives on the exploitation and methods used in resistance (to interrogation) training at SERE schools. The purpose was the reverse engineering of interrogation resistance to design more “effective” torture techniques. (See “Shrinks and the SERE Techniques at Guantanamo“)

Wording in the declassified memo indicates that topics dealt with at the SERE Psychology Conference include such topics as how to conduct psychological and other forms of torture in a way that is psychologically and morally palatable to the torturer as well as how to justify those actions under the law and in a way that can be argued to be “ethical” and “legal”. The memo states, “The first two days will focus on sere/code of conduct issues and reintegration. The remaining three days involve discussion and training on ethic, research, and SERE Orientation training”. (See conference agenda here).

 

* * *

Torture, the Geneva Conventions and the School of the Americas

By Ann Wright, US Army Reserve Colonel

(quote) Do Special Operations Forces of the Army, Navy Marines and Air Force practice on detainees the interrogation techniques they are subjected to during their Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training at Ft. Bragg, NC, Fairchild, Air Force Base, WA and Naval Air Stations in Brunswick, ME and North Island, San Diego, CA? What are the limits of abusive interrogation techniques taught to CIA and CIA contract interrogators in the various CIA training areas around the Washington, DC and other locations in the US? (end quote)

* * *

Report of the Department of Defense Inspector General, August 25, 2006

DOD Interrogation TechniquesThe Office of the DoD Inspector General produced a Review of DoD-Directed Investigations of Detainee Abuse (Report No. 06-INTEL-10) on August 25, 2006.


(excerpt) The report made three findings. One of them was
that SERE, a course designed to prepare selected American forces to withstand interrogations that did not abide by the Geneva Conventions, was turned into a program for harsh, coercive interrogation. In this way, a course of training to resist cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment was transformed into a program to counter this very resistance. This program was carried out in the interrogation of Guantánamo prisoners before it “migrated” to Iraq. Officially, Guantánamo prisoners were not entitled to the protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions; Iraqi prisoners were. The finding in question is entitled “DoD Interrogation Techniques …”

* * *

Physicians for Human Rights letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates regarding SERE

(excerpt) The OIG additionally found that the SERE methods later became the standard operating procedure for interrogations conducted in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and had migrated from Guantanamo due, in part, to training and support from JPRA, BSCT, and Special Operations psychologists and others. (end excerpt)

* * *

“Improving the Fighting Position”: A Practitioner’s Guide to Operational Law Support to the Interrogation Process (From the July 2005 edition of The Army Lawyer )

(quote) This balance between legitimate manipulation and inhumane treatment in the form of physical or mental abuse orcoercion is articulated as a key principle of interrogation operations in FM 34-52:

The GWS, GPW, GC, and US policy expressly prohibit acts of violence or intimidation, including physical or mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to inhumane treatment as a means of or aid to interrogation.

Experience indicates that the use of prohibited techniques is not necessary to gain the cooperation
of interrogation sources. Use of torture and other illegal methods is a poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear. (end quote)

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Spokane Journal — June 2007– It’s No Game at Base’s Survival School

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The Torture Question Frontline Special Watch it online Public Affairs - KYRS Programmers Collective

Abu Ghraib photos

The Abu Ghraib files by Joan Walsh — A 10-part evidentiary series from inside Abu Ghraib prison accompanied by 279 photographs and 19 videos based on the U.S. Army’s own investigation of the three month period from October 17-December 30, 2003. Nine essays follow the photos and videos.

Iraqi woman detainee in U.S. custody.

* * *

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/50191/
(excerpt) In fact, there are likely people being “tortured” in this manner as we speak at Fairchild Air Force base Washington as a part of their “Land Survival” program (the POW resistance training). The only difference is that those at Fairchild have in the back of their minds the fact that their “torture” is only going to last 2 days. Many different career fields go through that training. Most field intelligence, anyone who flies (pilots and aircrew), SERE naturally, special forces and a few others.

* * *

http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?14+Duke+J.+Gender+L.+&+Pol’y+815
(Excerpt from Trip Report Summary of Commissioner Elaine Donnelly). During her two-day trip to Fairchild AFB, Washington, August 9-11, 1992, Donnelly talked to instructors about their realistic “rape scenario,” in which male trainees are taught to manage more intense feelings when a female colleague is threatened with sexual assault or worse, so that enemy captors cannot exploit those emotions. Donnelly described parts of the SERE training that she saw at Fairchild Air Force Base during her visit:

Without knowing what to expect, I found myself locked in a cramped black box that was both physically and psychologically uncomfortable. I also participated in and witnessed interrogation exercises designed to suggest but not duplicate the physical and emotional stress of being a POW. As the night wore on, a sense of cultural dissonance began to overcome the camp’s logic of equality in the simulation of brutality.

A woman I watched being interrogated was very capable, but she was totally in the power of a man much stronger than she. What I saw was an unmistakable element of inequality that-in the opinion of many Commission witnesses-cannot be overcome by peacetime training programs or psychological techniques. As the interrogation continued, it was easy to visualize the possibility of sexual abuse as well as physical harm at the hands of a menacing enemy. For reasons of survival, the SERE training for aircrew members makes sense. . . . However, the politically-correct unisex nature of the resistance training is very seductive; it is easy to become “desensitized,” meaning accustomed, to the idea that men and women are interchangeable equals in a world of torture and abuse. The SERE trainers asserted that the entire nation must prepare itself for this very real possibility if women are assigned to combat positions.

* * *

http://www.womanhonorthyself.com/?m=200605
(excerpt) An interview with trainers at the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training center at Fairchild Air Force Base uncovered a logical but disturbing consequence of assigning women to combat: “If a policy change is made, and women are allowed into combat positions, there must be a concerted effort to educate the American public on the increased likelihood that women will be raped, will come home in bodybags, and will be exploited..” (end excerpt)

 

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http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/06/1428250

http://www.neverinournames.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1551

 

* * *

Robert Johnson, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
This Doctor of Clinical Preventative Medicine and Family Medicine proudly lists on his resume USAF Survival, Escape, Evasion and Resistance (SERE) Training, Fairchild AFB, WA, Sep-Oct 1990

* * *

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usaf/66trs.htm
Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Training Instructor Course. The 66th Training Squadron based at Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington, conducts the survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) training instructor course in select areas of Washington and Oregon. The course is a physically demanding six-month program designed to teach future SERE instructors how to teach aircrew members to survive in any environment. The course includes instruction in basic survival, medical, land navigation, evasion, arctic survival, teaching techniques, rough-land evacuation, coastal survival, tropics/river survival, and desert survival.

* * *

http://www.thismodernworld.com/weblog/mtarchives/week_2005_07_03.html
(quote) The SERE program also uses waterboarding, continual bombardment by loud noise, and sexual humiliation. Several sources told Mayer that psychologists trained in SERE techniques had advised interrogators at Guantánamo and elsewhere. One of the most disturbing things about the article is its suggestion that what started out as a stupid means of getting information evolved into pure sadism. As a retired colonel who attended a SERE school as part of his Special Forces training said, “If you did too much of that stuff, you could really get to like it. You can manipulate people. And most people like power.” (end quote)

* * *

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=10496

Senate probe focuses on Spokane men

Karen Dorn Steele and Bill Morlin
Spokesman-Review Staff writers
June 29, 2007

Two Spokane psychologists are the focus of a congressional inquiry into the use of harsh techniques to interrogate terrorist suspects in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan and other secret military and CIA detention centers.

In an article published last week, the online magazine Salon.com identified psychologists James E. Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen as key developers of the interrogation program — which the magazine said was linked to the CIA and likely violated the Geneva Conventions against the torture and mistreatment of prisoners.

The interrogation methods, according to a recently declassified Pentagon report reviewed by The Spokesman-Review, are “reverse engineering” of techniques taught in the military’s SERE program, set up to train U.S. special forces and flight crews in the principles of Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape.

The SERE program is used by the Army at Fort Bragg, where Green Berets train, and at the U.S. Air Force Survival School near Spokane, where thousands of other trainees are instructed annually.
(cont’d at http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=10496 )

* * *

SERE SOLUTIONS, INC — SERE Solutions, Inc., is owned by Spokane-based contractor Michael Lyons. In 2006 Lyons received a $47 million US Air Force grant with the 336th SERE Training Group at Fairchild AFB after 2 years of extensive assistance from the Washington State College of Business Small Business Development Center. Lyons operation employs at least 37 people in various locations.

SERE Solutions, Inc, lists an address of 6603 S. Shelby Ridge Rd., Spokane, WA. Interestingly, that same address was the site of the Democratic Party Sixth Legislative District Precinct No. 6151 meeting in 2004.

SERE SOLUTIONS INC (6603 S SHELBY RIDGE RD; small business): $2,161,904 in 2 contracts in 2006 $2,146,904 with Air Force for Training/Curriculum Development. Signed on 2006-03-20. Completion date: 2006-09-30. $15,000, same as above. Signed on 2006-06-28. Completion date: 2006-09-30.

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For more information, cut and paste the following lists of words into an internet search engine:

USAF Survival Escape Evasion and Resistance Training Fairchild AFB
SERE Fairchild torture
SERE JPRA Spokane
SERE Spokane

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http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2006_11_12.php
http://boards.billmaher.com/showthread.php?t=49981&page=17
Torture Teachers — Salon article
Open Letter to President of American Psychological Association
More Waterboarding (video) — not quite as sanitary as this military training video
Free Soul Jah–The CIA, Torture & George Tenet’s Body Language (Video of a CIA director in action)
(See the Cryptome Eyeball Series at http://eyeball-series.org/ )

* * *

For more on Blackwater:
Iraq for Sale (video excerpt)
Blackwater: America’s Private Army (video)
Blackwater @ www.sourcewatch.org

* * *

Unanswered questions for Spokane reporters, broadcasters, activists & citizens:

Have “high-value detainees” been flown into Fairchild, Felts Field, Spokane International Airport, the helicopter landing pad at Spokane’s SERE/JPRA site at 11604 Newkirk Road or other Spokane locations to be subject to interrogation and torture?

What involvement exists between the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sherriff’s Department with the SERE/JPRA program? How many SPD and SCSD personnel are graduates of SERE/JPRA and other government or private coercive interrogation training programs?

What is the level of collaboration in surveillance of U.S. citizens, Spokane area activists, members of the media, and others by government agencies in the Spokane area–FBI, DEA, ATF, USCIS (formerly INS), Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sherriff’s and others–as well as involvement of contracted companies and organizations such as SERE Solutions, Inc.

Why has the 12th Special Forces Group–which supposedly hasn’t existed for more than a decade–been listed for years in the DEX phone directory listing (click on thumbnail below for page 25 of the 2005 Spokane Qwest Dex phone entry and look at bottom of left column) for the U.S. Army Mann Hall Army Reserve Center in Spokane, Washington? The specific listing is for Detachment B4 and B5 Co B 3rd BN 12th Special Forces Group. What is the non-existent 12th Special Forces Group and its personnel actually doing in Spokane? (Hint: Think SERE, think torture, think human rights abuses).

Qwest DEX Listing for 12th Special Force Group

Why is Ciber, Inc. at the same Mann Hall Army Reserve Center in Spokane? Ciber, you may know, is the same folks involved in, among many other things, the electronic vote fraud scandals of 2000 and 2004. Why when one calls the Mann Hall Army Reserve Center at 489-6441 does one get a message for Ray at Ciber, Inc.?

How many Spokane Police Officers are former U.S. military, what sort of training do they have, and how much of that training may help explain their attacks on protesters, killings of citizens, and other lawless behavior? (As an example, see the bio of 27 year Spokane Police Department officer Skip Pahvlischak, an instructor for this Team One Network tactics and weapons training). http://www.teamonenetwork.com/TeamOneCatalog2007.pdf

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Mitchell and Jessen, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Training Spokane Law Enforcement in Intelligence, Military Weapons, Crowd Control, and more

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 18, 2007

Every year Spokane Police and other area law enforcement agencies receive ever more extensive, sophisticated, and deadly training.

This year local law enforcement will have training in AR-15 and M-16 assault weapons, chemical weapons, tasers, crowd control techniques, intelligence gathering and infiltration, psychological manipulation, and other topics.

Among those companies training Spokane law enforcement this year are Defense Technology Corporation of America, Armiger Police Training Institute,Force Science Research Center, FBI-LEEDA, FLETC, Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, and John E. Reid & Associates.

http://www.spokanesheriff.org/include/PDF/ClassSchedule.pdf

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Mitchell and Jessen, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

 
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