Following the publication of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s investigation into the last round of fighting in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority plans on filing documents with the International Criminal Court on Thursday concerning what they term Israel’s violations in three areas.
According to a senior Palestinian official, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Amliki will present the documents concerning the results of the fighting in Gaza along with data on the damage caused by the war, and the damage to the civilian population. He will additionially provide information on settlement construction over the past year, as well as the issue of the Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, with an emphasis on administrative detention.
Since the signing of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court and Palestine’s joining the ICC in April, the Palestinian National Council has prepared materials on a number of matters with the goal of presenting them to the ICC, said the senior Palestinian official.
Last month, Fatah central committee member Mohammed Ashtayya told Haaretz that the Palestinian reports were comprehensive and detailed accounts of Israel’s contravention of international law and were intended to provide the court with a sufficient basis on which to decide whether to launch investigations.
The reports were compiled by a special committee established at the beginning of the year to collate all the material destined for the court. The committee was assisted by international jurists and advisers.
The Palestinian position has received renewed support as a result of the release of the Gaza report this week; and PA officials have said they are being aided by lawyers who specialize in international law, in order to prepare the documents for the ICC in expectation that this will speed up the court’s decision to open an investigation against Israel.
A delegation from the prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court at The Hague is due to arrive in Israel on June 27 as part of the prosecution’s preliminary examination into whether war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to senior Palestinian sources.
[Jim Dean] “Some will say these lawsuits are hopeless and herefore, a waste of time. Resistance against evil is never a waste of time, as those who keep the spark of resistance alive are buying time for a new generation to emerge with less laziness and cowardice in their DNA.
“On the practical side, these lawsuits create an important public evidentiary record, which blows the bad guys’ cover that all will be forgotten after a few years… We need to pour our thank yous in to Mr. Clark, to see how many will step forward to do that. And for those who think that would be a waste of time, they do not matter. What does matter is what gratitude Mr. Clark and his staff feel…
The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.
Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.
CIA director George Tenet approved abusive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, designed by CIA contractor psychologists. He further instructed the agency’s health personnel to oversee the brutal interrogations – the beginning of years of controversy, still ongoing, about US torture as a violation of medical ethics.
But the revelation of the guidelines has prompted critics of CIA torture to question how the agency could have ever implemented what it calls “enhanced interrogation techniques” – despite apparently having rules against “research on human subjects” without their informed consent.
Indeed, despite the lurid name, doctors, human-rights workers and intelligence experts consulted by the Guardian said the agency’s human-experimentation rules were consistent with responsible medical practices. The CIA, however, redacted one of the four subsections on human experimentation.
“The more words you have, the more you can twist them, but it’s not a bad definition,” said Scott Allen, an internist and medical adviser to Physicians for Human Rights.
The agency confirmed to the Guardian that the document was still in effect during the lifespan of the controversial rendition, detention and interrogation program.
After reviewing the document, one watchdog said the timeline suggested the CIA manipulated basic definitions of human experimentation to ensure the torture program proceeded.
“Crime one was torture. The second crime was research without consent in order to say it wasn’t torture,” said Nathaniel Raymond, a former war-crimes investigator with Physicians for Human Rights and now a researcher with Harvard University’s Humanitarian Initiative.
Informed consent, the director and his ‘human subject research’ panel
The document containing the guidelines, dated 1987 but updated over the years and still in effect at the CIA, was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the ACLU and shared with the Guardian, which is publishing it for the first time.
The relevant section of the CIA document, “Law and Policy Governing the Conduct of Intelligence Agencies”, instructs that the agency “shall not sponsor, contract for, or conduct research on human subjects” outside of instructions on responsible and humane medical practices set for the entire US government by its Department of Health and Human Services.
A keystone of those instructions, the document notes, is the “subject’s informed consent”.
That language echoes the public, if obscure, language of Executive Order 12333 – the seminal, Reagan-era document spelling out the powers and limitations of the intelligence agencies, including rules governing surveillance by the National Security Agency. But the discretion given to the CIA director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research” has not previously been public.
The entire 41-page CIA document exists to instruct the agency on what Executive Order 12333 permits and prohibits, after legislative action in the 1970s curbed intelligence powers in response to perceived abuses – including the CIA’s old practice of experimenting on human beings through programs like the infamous MK-Ultra project, which, among other things, dosed unwitting participants with LSD as an experiment.
The previously unknown section of the guidelines empower the CIA director and an advisory board on “human subject research” to “evaluate all documentation and certifications pertaining to human research sponsored by, contracted for, or conducted by the CIA”.
CIA doctors, waterboarding and blurred lines of policy
Experts assessing the document for the Guardian said the human-experimentation guidelines were critical to understanding the CIA’s baseline view of the limits of its medical research – limits they said the agency and its medical personnel violated during its interrogations, detentions and renditions program after 9/11.
The presence of medical personnel during brutal interrogations of men like Abu Zubaydah, they said, was difficult to reconcile with both the CIA’s internal requirement of “informed consent” on human experimentation subjects and responsible medical practices.
The OMS doctors were heavily involved in the torture of detainees in CIA custody. They advised interrogators on the physical and psychological administration of what the agency called “enhanced interrogation techniques”. After observation, the doctors offered perspectives on calibrating them to specific detainees’ resilience.
OMS staff assigned to the agency’s black sites wrote emails with subject lines like: “Re: acceptable lower ambient temperatures”.
The CIA, which does not formally concede that it tortured people, insists that the presence of medical personnel ensured its torture techniques were conducted according to medical rigor. Several instances in the Senate torture report, partially declassified six months ago, record unease among OMS staff with their role in interrogations.
” There is a disconnect between the requirement of this regulation and the conduct of the interrogation program – Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists ”
But other physicians and human rights experts who have long criticized the role of medical staff in torture said the extensive notes from CIA doctors on the interrogations – as they unfolded – brought OMS into the realm of human experimentation, particularly as they helped blur the lines between providing medical aid to detainees and keeping them capable of enduring further abusive interrogations.
Doctors take oaths to guarantee they inflict no harm on their patients.
Zubaydah “seems very resistant to the water board”, an OMS official emailed in August 2002. “No useful information so far … He did vomit a couple of times during the water board with some beans and rice. It’s been 10 hours since he ate so this is surprising and disturbing. We plan to only feed Ensure for a while now. I’m head[ing] back for another water board session.”
Doctors and intelligence experts said they could imagine legitimate, non-abusive CIA uses for human experimentation.
Steven Aftergood, a scholar of the intelligence agencies with the Federation of American Scientists, suggested that the agency might need to study polygraph effects on its agents; evaluate their performance under conditions of stress; or study physiological indicators of deception.
But all said that such examples of human experimentation would require something that the CIA never had during the interrogation program: the informed consent of its subjects.
“There is a disconnect between the requirement of this regulation and the conduct of the interrogation program,” said Aftergood. “They do not represent consistent policy.”
A director’s decision, oversight and an evolving rulebook
Months after Zubaydah’s interrogation, Tenet issued formal guidance approving brutal interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. Tenet explicitly ordered medical staff to be present – a decision carrying the effect of having them extensively document and evaluate the torture sessions.
“[A]ppropriate medical or psychological personnel must be on site during all detainee interrogations employing Enhanced Techniques,” Tenet wrote in January 2003. “In each case, the medical and psychological staff shall suspend the interrogation if they determine that significant and prolonged physical or mental injury, pain or suffering is likely to result if the interrogation is not suspended.”
In response to the Guardian’s questions about the newly disclosed document and its implications for the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, CIA spokesperson Ryan Trapani provided the following statement:
“CIA has had internal guidelines interpreting Executive Order 1233 in place continuously from 1987 to present. While some provisions in these guidelines have been amended since September 11, 2001, none of those amendments changed provisions governing human experimentation or were made in response to the detention and interrogation program.”
Ironically, the only part of the CIA’s torture program in which agency officials claimed they were hamstrung by prohibitions on human experimentation is when they were asked by Senate investigators if torture was effective.
Their response to an issue first raised by the agency’s own inspector general a decade earlier was framed as an example of the agency respecting its own prohibition on human experimentation. As political pressure on the agency intensified last year, the CIA used it as a cudgel against the Senate report’s extensive conclusions that the torture was ultimately worthless.
“[S]ystematic study over time of the effectiveness of the techniques would have been encumbered by a number of factors,” the agency CIA told the Senate intelligence committee in June 2013. Among them: “Federal policy on the protection of human subjects.”
Harvard’s Raymond, using the agency’s acronym for its “enhanced interrogation technique” euphemism, said the CIA must have known its guidelines on human experimentation ruled out its psychologist-designed brutal interrogations.
“If they were abiding by this policy when EIT came up, they wouldn’t have been allowed to do it,” Raymond said. “Anyone in good faith would have known that was human subject research.”
This article was amended on 16 June 2015 to reflect a CIA response to the Senate intelligence committee, which had been misattributed as a CIA response to its inspector general.
This document, updated over the years and still in effect at the Central Intelligence Agency, was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the ACLU and shared with the Guardian, which is publishing it for the first time. The guidelines for ‘human experimentation’ – beginning on page 18 – were still in effect during the lifespan of the agency’s controversial interrogation program
Jade Helm Is Preparing to Unleash False Flag Attacks? by Dave Hodges, http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/ Colleague and friend, Paul Martin, contacted me yesterday and told me that Jade Helm is becoming operational 30 days earlier. This means that Jade Helm will “officially” begin on June 15 instead of July 15. I reminded Paul that we have the pictures and the video of the Jade Helm extraction of political dissidents from March 27, 2015. However, Paul’s point is not lost on me. – Something or someone is forcing Jade Helm to “officially” spring into full operation much earlier than originally planned. An hour after Paul and I hung up the phone, I received a confirmation of what Paul had just told me. By the way, if you work in the Walmart in Livingston, TX., you might want to get your resume in order. Your store will soon be taken over by the…
I’m prefacing my thoughts with this provocative title for a reason. What is being perpetrated on the American people is virtually a complete dissembling of everything they supposedly hold dear and will only lead to their ultimate destruction. A nationwide massacre of their infrastructure, personal rights and protection, and even livelihoods and food security is not only at stake, but now in progress.
Let me number my points.
1. Jade Helm is a military exercise endorsed by the American government and perpetrated on its own people in complete violation of not just the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 but is a total affront on every civil liberty the US Constitution and Bill of Rights is supposed to espouse and maintain.
2. Occupying sovereign territory with a nation’s own armies indicates the very people for which a government was established to help provide for and protect are their declared enemy.
3. The fabricated external threat of terrorism has been deftly translated into meaning that anyone challenging the status quo, be it political, economic or psycho-spiritual, is the enemy. Not external enemies but domestic, as has always been the case, but openly declared since the first so-called Patriot Act. Dissent has become illegal and they’ve virtually declared any thinking American an enemy of the State with a litany of laws, rules and regulations at their disposal while mechanisms set in place long ago to protect personal rights have been eviscerated.
4. The very massive size of this operation and the vast amounts of military hardware pouring into distribution locations around the country indicates this is not just an exercise, but a stealth occupation, at the very least designed to intimidate and acclimatize the American mindset to living in virtual martial law conditions, while they step up their preparations for worse social conditions to come.
5. As wars rage on against supposed terrorists abroad, targeting a nation’s own citizens in such Draconian measures makes absolutely zero sense when hardly a non-government induced “terror” incident has transpired. Many more have died from medical and pharmaceutical abuse, police killings and even strikes by lightning, along with a host of other causes. Where’s the big brave justice league on the real problems?
6. The inherent doctrines of personal freedom and individual sovereignty are being violated with abject impunity, a repugnant affront on human dignity.
7. The question haunts: who’s even noticing? Besides those that fall for the supposed need for such a massive operation, how many are totally ignorant that it is even happening?
And the Potential Outcome of Such a Maneuver?
1. Anything could trigger this operation to go “live” as has happened repeatedly with such staged government sponsored operations.
2. One resisting individual, real, or more plausibly planted, could cause a chain reaction of events that would be devastating.
3. A typical false flag attack on these infiltrating government deployed forces would easily justify a strong armed response, be the incident a lone personal reaction, staged sniper fire, a planted bomb on a military vehicle, or something or things much worse. Such triggers within a staged drill or exercise have proven to work time and again.
4. Problem-reaction-solution. Since they’ve created the problem of imposing military control and its intrusions on personal freedoms, so-called practiced or otherwise, the reaction would no doubt be begged. Once the reaction appears from whatever quarter, real or simply reported to have happened, the justification for full on mobilization against the American people, designed from the outset, goes into play. Confiscation of guns and all potential weapons is clearly on the agenda as they’ve been practicing for years following natural and unnatural disasters. Precious metals, large amounts of cash, and even stockpiled food could easily be on the list as well.
This Jade Helm 15 operation is no simple exercise. At the very least it is conditioning Americans for more control, even less personal freedom in the metastasizing surveillance state, and something worse in the near future. The bare fact remains that too many will fall for it and continue to stand back in fear and obedience to false, illegitimately imposed fascist controls backed by brute force.
The time is now to withdraw your consent and participation in such fear and obeisance mongering.
See what is happening for what it is. And sound the alarm. Our full awareness of the nature of these staged operations and broadcasting it far and wide has pushed them back before, and we can do it again. Let your awareness, indignation and refusal to accept this be known far and wide.
And be prepared. They’re up to no good and it’s all completely staged for specific reasons. Don’t give them the response they want.
Stay lit with truth.
Spread the word, disengage from their systems, and keep your peace.