How U.S. bio-weapons led to torture … and North Korean nukes

Global Research, April 28, 2017
Moon of Alabama 27 April 2017

In Why North Korea Needs Nukes – And How To End That we pointed to the utter destruction the U.S. and its allies waged in the war on Korea on all parts of the country. That North Korea seeks “weapons of mass destruction” is quite understandable when one takes into account the hundreds of thousands tons of napalm used against it. But even Napalm and the criminal destruction of North Korean dams were not the worst depravation the U.S. applied. Biological warfare agents, primarily anthrax, were dropped over North Korea and China and killed civilians. The U.S./UN command denied such use and covered it up. One consequence of that cover up was the development of torture methods in the U.S. SERE pilot training programs and their later proliferation into criminal abuses in Guantanamo, Abu Graibh and elsewhere. An important piece of evidence of this trail was recently and for the first time re-published on the web.

In the 1950s war on Korea heavy air to air fights were waged near the Chinese border which led to significant losses of airplane on both sides especially along the MiG Alley:

USAF pilots nicknamed April 12, 1951 “Black Thursday”, after 30 MiG-15s attacked three squadrons of B-29 bombers (36 planes) escorted by approximately 100 F-80s and F-84s. The MiGs were fast enough to engage the B-29s and extend away from their escorts. Three B-29s were shot down and seven more were damaged, with no casualties on the communist side.

On “Black Thursday” and other occasions U.S. bomber pilots were captured. Some of them admitted to have dropped biological weapons over China and northern Korea. Their confessions were published in writing and publicized on Korean, Chinese and Russian radio.

The U.S. (UN) command under U.S. General MacArthur denied any use of biological warfare agents. It claimed that the downed pilots were tortured to give false confessions.

Since World War II the U.S. Airforce and Navy had established training courses in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) for pilots that might be captured by enemies. During these courses “controlled” torture was used to provide realistic training. Decades later, during the war of terror and on Iraq, the CIA hired two psychologists as “behavioral science consultants” from the SERE training staff to teach its agents how to use torture on prisoners. The absolutely inhuman and dangerous methods those SERE “experts” devised proliferated to the U.S. military which, together with the CIA, used them on alleged enemy combatants in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other places.

According to the Senate Armed Services Committee Report (pdf) on U.S. torturing of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and CIA black sites, SERE techniques originated in Chinese Communist methods in the Korean War employed to extract false confessions from captured U.S. personal.

(During the 1960s the CIA itself developed additional “scientific” torture methods and published them in the KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation and Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual. U.S. personal as well as several south American militia were trained in and used these abusive and illegal methods.)

The torture training at the SERE schools and the abuse was all based on a big lie.

The U.S. had used biological weapons in the Korea war. It also used chemical weapons and suppressed investigations into it. Its pilots dropped bombs with biological warfare agents over China and Korea. Theirs were not false confessions extracted by Chinese Communist methods. The captured U.S. pilots were telling the truth.

The SERE torture resistance training and its abuse are based on the bigger lie about the non-use biological agents in the war on Korea.

(The Geneva Protocol of 1925 generally prohibited the use of biological agents but the specific Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was only developed and signed in 1972.)

The U.S. and UK developed extensive biological warfare programs during World War II but those weapons were not put to use in the European theater. The Japanese used biological weapons, with mixed success, in China and elsewhere. At the end of World War II the Japanese biological warfare Unit 731 was taken over by the U.S. military:

[General] MacArthur struck a deal with Japanese informants—he secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731, including their leader, in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation. American occupation authorities monitored the activities of former unit members, including reading and censoring their mail. The U.S. believed that the research data was valuable.

During and after the war on Korea the Chinese government alleged the use of biological weapons on Korean and Chinese civilians by the U.S. The U.S. denied. A commission was called upon to investigate:

To convince the world of the truth of their claims, the North Koreans and Chinese, sponsored a purported independent commission, using the auspices of the World Peace Council, gathering together a number of leftist scientists from around the world. Most surprisingly, this commission, which came to be known as the International Scientific Commission, or ISC, was headed by one of the foremost British scientists of his time, Sir Joseph Needham. The ISC travelled to China and North Korea in the summer of 1952 and by the end of the year produced a report that corroborated the Chinese and North Korean claims that the U.S. had used biological weapons in an experimental fashion on civilian populations.

For a long time the commission’s report and its appendices with the witness statements were suppressed and not available online. Jefferey Kay, a psychologist and author living in northern California, dug them up and recently published them (recommended) on the web for the first time. You can read them here:

Sir Joseph Needham was blacklisted by the U.S. during the McCarthy anti-communist campaign.

Needham’s investigations have since been confirmed by other scholars investigating the general case:

It is the purpose of this article to consider the validity of these [U.S. military denials] in light of the research which we conducted in preparing our recent book, The United States and Biological Warfare: secrets of the Early Cold War and Korea. In that book we conclude that the United States engaged in large-scale field tests of biological weapons against the Asian countries and with some additional evidence we continue to believe that is the case.

Image result for mcarthurGeneral MacArthur, one of the foremost war criminals ever, covered up the war crimes of the Japanese and especially of Unit 731. He took care to integrate the Japanese biological weapon experience into the U.S. military resources. Under his command biological agents were then used against Korean and and Chinese civilians and military units. When his pilots confessed, he denied all such reports and alleged “brainwashing” through  torture by the Chinese. This again led to torture “simulations” in U.S. SERE training from which recent U.S. torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere derived.

U.S. media and the public have a general amnesia whenever it comes to U.S. war crimes – no matter how recent. The Senate report on CIA torture in Iraq and elsewhere is still suppressed. But U.S. war crimes do not end. Whenever “threatened” with compromise, the U.S. tends to seeks the belligerent way. As Noam Chomsky reiterates in relation to the current campaign for another war on Korea:

[V]ery strikingly [..] there’s one lesson that you discover when you carefully look at the historical record. What I just described about North Korea is pretty typical. Over and over again, there are possibilities of diplomacy and negotiation, which might not succeed—you can’t be sure if you don’t try them—but which look pretty promising, which are abandoned, dismissed, literally without comment, in favor of increased force and violence.

For an example see this influential sitting U.S. Senator who argues for “preemptive” strikes against North Korea’s missile program without any regard for the people who’s life would be destroyed by them:

“It would be bad for the Korean Peninsula. It would be bad for China. It would be bad for Japan, be bad for South Korea. It would be the end of North Korea. But what it would not do is hit America and the only way it could ever come to America is with a missile.”

Considering the historical record of the United States of committing and covering up warcrimes as well as its general belligerence, North Korea and other nations are probably well advised to stick to their nuclear and missile programs.

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ALEPPO: Open Letter to French President Hollande ~ from Pierre Le Corf

I use the term « terrorist » because there are no rebels in Aleppo, at least nothing that could allow us to consider them as such. It is irresponsible to continue qualifying them as rebels in Syria while we list them as terrorist organizations in France.

On the White Helmets which actor George Clooney supports:

The « White Helmets » the French government financed among others like UK and that we received at the Élysée are, for most of them, first aid workers by day and terrorists by night, or vice versa. They pledge allegiance to Jabhat al-Nosra (Al-Qaeda), as shown by documents found after their departure and as civilians testify. The majority of their teams rescued fighters first, and civilians every once in a while.

A noteworthy feature is that each team had a cameraman, and the team of rescuers helped only while the camera was filming. A lot of civilians have told me that others had stayed under the rubbles because the rescuers refused to go there. Others told me the rescuers even staged fake attacks, fake bombings, fake wounds and interventions.

January 27, 2017


by Pierre Le Corf

Mr President,

Today, I question all the values I have been raised with, the values of a country I love, my country: France. I am writing to you as a French citizen who arrived without any preconceived ideas in Syrian territory and lives in what was previously known as Western Aleppo, now Aleppo. I am a politically neutral humanitarian, and I have been here for a year.

The situation I am in is tough. First of all, because I am the only French citizen living here, which makes me an easy target because of the testimony I offer that often goes against the official line. Second of all, because what we witness here everyday is outraging and hard to talk about. I have been the witness of a massacre and humanitarian crisis in which we, as a nation, are actors and even backers by supporting terrorism. I address this message to you, and to all the others who could have the decision making power to make peace and make all civilian populations a priority.

Every single day, I had to face death as everyone else in this city. The mission I gave myself led me to visit families living close to the ones we have been labeling as « opponents » since the beginning of the conflict. However the only elements I witnessed were black flags – and I have pictures – on all of the front-lines. These signs are the symbols used by the groups that France has been fighting against for years.

Today, the Syrian people stands united to fight not against the government but against terrorist groups, no matter what we call them to hold them accountable for their actions or the reason they have to exist. These terrorist groups are named Al-jaïch al-hour (Free Syrian Army), Jabhat al-Nosra (or Fatah al-Cham, branch of Al-Qaïda), Jaïch al-Islam, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, Brigade Sultan Mourad, etc. An anti governmental opposition exists, as for every government. This opposition is more or less peaceful, but represents a minority of the population. Since the beginning of the conflict and until now, almost all the forces on the ground that have kept bombarding Aleppo are armed fighters belonging to terrorist groups.

I use the term « terrorist » because there are no rebels in Aleppo, at least nothing that could allow us to consider them as such. It is irresponsible to continue qualifying them as rebels in Syria while we list them as terrorist organizations in France. The terrorists have been forced out with their weapons following agreements with the government and « all » went to Idlib, an area now almost entirely occupied by fighters and their families. However, many of the terrorists left Idlib to come back to Aleppo to resume bombings and suicide attacks, here as everywhere else in Syria.

I have evidence for everything I am writing. For months I have been gathering the testimonies of civilians on video and on paper, independently of their religion or political opinion and without any member of the military or government around. I publish these testimonies and occasionally give them to a UN Commission of Inquiry in charge of studying terrorist attacks and crimes, while putting the commission in contact with witnesses.

We have directed the attention of the public opinion and the bombing of zones in which were a minority of opponents but a majority of terrorists. Civilians were dying every day in these zones, without us saying that the majority of civilians in Eastern Aleppo could not run away because they were held back by the terrorists. It is by trying to run away by using the humanitarian corridors organized by the Russian and Syrian governments that many civilians were targeted and killed by armed forces (corridors indicated one to two days earlier, with precisions on the time of opening by a text message directed to all mobile phone owners using the syrian networks MTN and Syriatel, including me). Thankfully, thousands of civilians were able to make it out alive by using alternative routes, sometimes even passing through mined zones.

Few are the media which stated that these civilians were used as human shields, which the testimonies corroborate. Medias have preferred describing them as caught in the crossfire of a fight opposing revolutionary armed forces to their government, while this government was protecting its people against terrorists who are primarily foreign mercenaries. They came to Syria heavily armed and are fanatics for whom human lives hardly matter. To talk only about Aleppo, these mercenaries invaded the surroundings and the center of the city, shelling the population of Western Aleppo every day and allowing themselves to murder civilians in the eastern part of the city for no reason.

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Russian servicemen kidnapped in Crimea by Ukrainian operatives

From Sputnik

November 21, 2016

Ukrainian security operatives have abducted two Russian servicemen in Crimea, and are attempting to press criminal charges against them, the Russian military is reporting.

Moscow says they are considering the kidnapping a “flagrant provocation,” and is demanding the immediate release and return of Maksim Odintsov and Aleksander Baranov to Russia.

“We consider such actions by the Ukrainian security bodies against Russian citizens as another flagrant provocation and demand their immediate return to Russia,” a statement by the ministry’s press service said.

The ministry said on Monday that the two soldiers were kidnapped on November 20, and taken across the border to the Nikolayev region of Ukraine with an apparent goal of pressing charges against them. They also expressed concern that authorities may use psychological and physical torture to coerce the two men into falsely confessing to crimes against Ukraine.

Russia’s historical southern region of Crimea rejoined the country after a 2014 referendum. Nearly 97 percent of the region’s population voted for reunification in a referendum.

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201611211047686492-ukranian-operatives-abduct-russian-service-members/

Australian First Nation children are tortured and abused at Don Dale Detention Centre, Australia’s Abu Ghraib

By Ken Canning
Asia-Pacific Research, July 26, 2016
Green Left Weekly 26 July 2016

The following article from Australia is a sharp rebuke of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm B. Turnbull by an Aborigine candidate of the Australian Senate that rightly criticizes his government for doing nothing to stop the torture and widespread abuse of children and juveniles at the Don Dale Detention Centre that was exposed by investigative journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna on Australian national television on July 25, 2016. The indigenous or Aborigine Australian community repeatedly demanded that the Australian government take legal action. Reports about Aborigine or First Nation children and juveniles, which are the bulk of the detention wards in the Northern Territory, being brutalized were frequently made without meaningful consequences.

Leaks from Don Dale Detention Centre show children being forcefully stripped naked, hog tied like cattle, carried by the neck, knocked down, and thrown by facility staff. Prison guards systematically de-humanized and humiliated children and juveniles with insults, beatings, and gassing in what amounts to nothing short of unjust abuse of authority and criminal acts. Prior to the leaked footage aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program that explicitly shows children and juveniles being abused and tortured by guards, current and past Australian governments were well aware of what was happening at the youth detention centre for approximately two  to five years. These governments, however, refused to take any action. Only when the broader general public became aware of the horrific crimes at Don Dale Dentention Centre did the Australian government feign outrage and pledge to take action by saying that it would establish a royal commission of inquiry. This is utter hypocrisy and dishonesty on the part of the federal government of Australia, which has been motivated by the self-interest of saving face.

Along with the long history of the Australian state to abuse vulnerable peoples, the racist attitudes that serve to justify the marginalization of the Aborigine of Australia are deeply entrenched in Australian society and have enabled what has happened in Don Dale Detention Centre. The victims were not seen or respected as being equals. Instead the victims were viewed as lesser people by virtue of their socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. Essentially they were treated as non-people that could be abused with impunity. This is why Don Dale Detention Centre should be viewed as nothing short of being Australia’s own Abu Ghraib. The Iraqis that were tortured by the US military in Abu Ghraib were also viewed as non-people by the US personnel stationed there, which for the US perpetrators excused the violation of the rights of their Iraqi victims. Moreover, the comparison between Abu Ghraib and Don Dale is especially fitting since many of the wards at Don Dale are children and juveniles from Australian indigenous communities, which are a dispossessed people that have been driven off their ancestral lands by the colonial process that established Australia.

 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Asia-Pacific Research Editor, 26 July 2016.

Dylan Voller, a thirteen-year old boy, being strangled at  Don Dale Detention Centre.

Dylan, age seventeen, is seen above and below being tied to a chair in adult prison.

Malcolm Turnbull has called for a Royal Commission after seeing on ABC’s Four Corners the brutality that has been happening under both his government and the previous Labor government.

He said this evidence had not been brought forth at previous inquiries. Not good enough Turnbull!

People have been screaming for the past five years about the Don Dale detention centre and your government and the Labor government have chosen to ignore this pure evil. You not only ignored it, you let it fester.

You either knew and thus are complicit, or you did not know and are simply not fit to govern. You cannot get out of this one with a slippery smile, Turnbull.

A Royal Commission? What a joke! You have all the evidence you need; it shocked a whole nation. Predominantly First Nations children are being brutalised by a system you let continue in your pretence of ignorance.

The evidence is there. Sack everyone in Corrective Services in the Northern Territory. Those who did not actually do anything would have known of these practices and allowed it to happen.

Sack the NT government and while you are at it, sweep the federal parliament of the rubbish currently holding seats of power who sat by and watched while our kids were being tortured.

This is an international disgrace and this country should be dragged before the United Nations and stripped of its powers. The Australian government had its racist intervention into the NT so maybe its time for an international intervention into Australia?

Put simply the Coalition and Labor have lost the ability to govern.

Ken Canning is a First Nations activist who was a Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance in the July 2 elections.

To read a past report about abuse at Don Dale Detention Centre please click here

The original source of this article is Green Left Weekly

Copyright © Ken Canning, Green Left Weekly, 2016

http://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/australias-abu-ghraib-australian-government-complicit-in-torture-of-children-at-don-dale-detention-centre/5538149

 

Shocking UN report lists crimes by the Ukrainian authorities

From Strategic Culture Foundation

By Arina Tsukanova
June 11, 2016
Shocking UN Report Lists Crimes by the Ukrainian Authorities

The 13th report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine between 16 November 2015 and 15 February 2016, when the Minsk Agreements were in force, has come as a shock to Kiev.

According to the UN, more than three million people live in the areas directly affected by the conflict. The exact number of people who have left Ukraine-controlled territory is still unknown, although rough estimates range from 800,000 to 1,000,000 people. The Ukrainian government has estimated that more than a million people have left southeast Ukraine for Russia, Belarus and Europe. This figure does not match that of the Russian federal migration service, however: in 2015, around four million Ukrainians crossed the border, with nearly 2.6 million settling in Russia. More than a million people have arrived from southeast Ukraine. Residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are permitted to live freely in Russia.

The discrepancy in the figures clearly shows that Ukraine is not interested in keeping track of its citizens, whether within the country or abroad. This means that one of the aims of the military campaign launched in the east of the country is to displace the population from the area of conflict, predominantly to Russia. Given that refugees from the republics to Ukraine are facing discrimination in access to public services, according to the UN report, the authorities in Kiev do not seem to want the residents of Donbass either.

The UN also states that those living close to the contact line (nearly 800,000 people) are particularly suffering, and the lives of these people are constantly at risk. The UN mission believes that the assistance being given to the residents of Donbass is insufficient, even given Russia’s humanitarian convoys, although the fact that it was Ukraine that shut down all the social programmes and introduced the ‘blockade’ unfortunately remained beyond the scope of the report.

The UN believes that the permit regime introduced by Ukraine and the disorder at checkpoints are negatively reinforcing the isolation of those living in the DPR and LPR. Queues of up to 300-400 cars waiting on either side of the checkpoints are observed on a regular basis and this recently ended in tragedy. Due to the fact that the Ukrainian checkpoint is not open at night, civilians who had been queuing in their cars overnight were fired at by the Ukrainian side using illegal-calibre weapons (122 mm), resulting in the deaths of five people, including a pregnant woman.

During the period covered in the report, the Ukrainian armed forces have advanced even further into populated areas and the numerous attacks on the residential areas of Horlivka, Shakhtarsk and Debaltseve are also mentioned in the report.

Since the Minsk ceasefire agreements entered into force (i.e. since 15 February 2015), there have been 843 civilian casualties – 235 killed (216 adults and 19 children) and 608 injured (554 adults and 44 children). At the same time, the UN mission notes that it is unable to attribute some of the victims to either side of the conflict. It also emphasises that the real number of those killed and injured could be higher than that given in the report.

The number of people missing is particularly shocking. The Ukrainian side has reported 741 persons missing, while the DPR has registered 420 missing persons. In addition, the UN mission has ascertained that approximately 1,000 bodies held in morgues in government-controlled territory have still not been identified.

And once again the numbers are crying out that the Ukrainian government does not believe people to be important. The number of persons that Kiev has declared missing is a third less than the number of unidentified bodies! And the numbers also ignore the mortal remains in areas where hostilies took place – search operations are virtually non-existent. As the UN report states, there is not even a dedicated mechanism in place to gather statements from the relatives of missing persons.

The UN mission has also not taken into account the number of unmarked graves in cemeteries. The overwhelming majority of missing persons should not be looked for in the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, but among the thousands of bodies that have already been quietly buried or are still lying in morgues. It is possible that the official number of those who will never return has been hugely underestimated.

The efforts of the Ukrainian side aimed at searching for and identifying those killed and those missing are referred to in the UN report using the word «inaction».

Kiev cannot admit that to avoid responsibility, it is secretly carrying out a policy of ‘unidentified bodies’. It is also being suggested to relatives that missing persons are being held captive by DPR and LPR ‘separatists’.

The report concedes that some people recorded as missing may be alive, but are being held in secret places of detention either in the republics or in Ukrainian-controlled territory.

The UN mission has finally figured out that the secret prisons and torture in Ukraine are an established system that has become part of the state and its policies. Of the 1,925 criminal investigations launched into allegations of torture in 2015, 1,450 were closed.

The report has also provided yet more evidence that it is not a civil war. It is a war between those who seized power by means of a military coup and the people of Ukraine, a war that is hypocritically being referred to as an ‘anti-terrorist operation’.

As noted in the report,

throughout the country, OHCHR continued to receive allegations of enforced disappearances, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, and torture and ill-treatment of people accused by the Ukrainian authorities of ‘trespassing territorial integrity’, ‘terrorism’ or related offenses, or of individuals suspected of being members of, or affiliated with, the armed groups.

People are not just being tortured, but are also being executed without trial. In Sloviansk, for example, the basement of the local college is being used for this purpose. A basement used for torture and summary executions was also discovered by UN inspectors in Izium, Kharkiv district. In addition, «a network of unofficial places of detention, often located in the basement of regional SBU buildings, have been identified». The SBU also has such basements in Odessa and Kharkiv. In February 2016, between 20 to 30 people were detained in the basement of the Kharkiv regional SBU building, and the vast majority of prisoners were not arrested in accordance with legal procedures and were not charged.

The report also notes that the SBU obtains confessions of terrorism using torture, and those who sign the confessions are told that should they complain, then their families, including their children, will also be made to suffer. The Security Service of Ukraine refers to such methods as the use of «proportional» and «justified» force.

The 13th report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine appeared on 3 March 2016, but it is only now that the information bomb has exploded following an article in The Times, in which Ivan Simonovic, UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, talks about the report and also about five secret SBU prisons that a delegation of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture was not allowed access to, resulting in the delegation cutting short its visit to Ukraine…

The 13th report also completely destroys the myth that there are thousands of prisoners in the DPR and LPR. There is no trace of the thousands – in February 2016, the SBU gave the UN mission a list of 136 people who are allegedly being detained in custody in the republics, but nothing is known about this for sure. The list provided by the DPR authorities, however, looks completely different. «Some 1,110 persons were detained by the Government of Ukraine, including 363 members of the armed groups. This includes 577 people arrested for ‘their political views’ and 170 civilians ‘who have nothing to do with the conflict’», says the UN report. The SBU has gone overboard by essentially creating a system of concentration camps. The UN report likens the actions of the SBU to the seizure of hostages.

It has been impossible to keep the scandal hushed up, but while this regime exists in Ukraine, investigations into its criminal activities will be carried out along the same lines as the investigations into the people burned alive in Odessa on 2 May 2014. Namely that the executioners will remain free or under house arrest while the victims are imprisoned. For years.


http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/06/11/shocking-un-report-lists-crimes-ukrainian-authorities.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/shocking-un-report-lists-crimes-by-the-ukrainian-authorities/5530494

US ordered Russian pilot severely beaten and tortured after kidnapping in Liberia

Earlier article detailing his medical condition, treatment, and torture.

From Sputnik (formerly Voice of Russia)

Russian pilot subjected to ‘unspeakable acts of cruelty’ on US orders

March 20, 2014

The US-based lawyer of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot abducted in the West African country Liberia, was severely beaten and tortured for three days on the orders of US agents to extort information about certain people in power. The jailed 46-year-old, who is serving a 20-year prison term in Fort Dix (NJ), has been denied proper medical treatment of his heart condition and a genitals surgery to repair the damage he suffered while in Liberian detention. His attorney Alexei Tarasov told VOR his defendant’s case has been largely politicized, even more so after the Ukrainian crisis broke out. Meanwhile, Yaroshenko says he’s being treated like air by the prison authority that is still seeking to get confessions out of him.

Mr. Tarasov, could you please update us on the case of Mr. Yaroshenko?

At this time since the last month there hasn’t been a whole lot of legal action but what there has been is serious efforts by the defense as well as by the Russian diplomatic establishment in the US. They helped to provide for Konstantin Yaroshenko’s medical treatment in the Fort Dix correctional institution. Mr. Yaroshenko first experienced a heart problem, fortunately after the involvement of high level diplomats and clearly in this case the Russian Foreign Minister who has American counterparts about Mr. Yaroshenko’s case as a result of all of those efforts there was medical treatment provided to Yaroshenko. Perhaps it was not the best but he now got his heart condition stabilized. As for some of the other developments, I have discussed over the last few days with Konstantin Yaroshenko as well as with the Russian officials the fact that the prison authorities have now denied Yaroshenko’s request for a surgery. This is a surgery that would have to deal with Yaroshenko’s medical problems in the area of his genitals in Liberia as he was apprehended and subjected to torture by the drug enforcement agents. Yaroshenko was repeatedly beaten by objects such as baseball bat and those were targeting in his genitals to make it more hurtful. As a result Yaroshenko has very serious issues that cause him tremendous pain and that have been ignore for an extended period of time. We know now that the prison is unwilling to perform the operation even while a private physician at a hospital in Trenton, New Jersey had earlier issued recommendation that the surgery would be desirable.

Mr. Tarasov, you said that he was tortured by the authorities. Did you mean the US authorities?

Well, the allegations that were in Yaroshenko’s original motion to dismiss indicated that Yaroshenko was apprehended on the order of American authorities, in other words the US agents were the ones who told their Liberian counterparts to go and arrest Yaroshenko. Yaroshenko was then brought to the headquarters of NSA in Monrovia, Liberia where he met with the US agents so the US agents were there on the scene at this institution. Yaroshenko was then led within the same building to a torture chamber where he remained for the next three days subjected to unspeakable acts of cruelty. Yaroshenko was asked for the torture began a series of questions that were divined to elicit from some information that he knew about high level individuals in positions of power. He declined to provide the information and was then told that he would be subjected to very rough treatment.

Mr. Tarasov, what is he saying about the conditions right now? How is he being treated right now by the prison authorities?

Yaroshenko said that ‘people look at him as walls’. So he of course has caused terror with the high level contacts and the attention that he has received both in press as well as from Russian officials. There seems to have been pressure exerted on the local administrators at the Fort Dix facility and Yaroshenko feels as though he is watched all the time and what happens to him and people are purposefully make things known to him, things that they would not tell other regular inmates. He does feel that he is special there in Fort Dix, but unfortunately not in a good way. I can give you one example, there was a package sent to Konstantin Yaroshenko from Russian publishing house known as Komsomolskaya Pravda. The package contained Russian books, mostly literature as well as the collection of Soviet era films. Once the package arrived from Moscow to Fort Dix, New Jersey the prison actually turned it down, they said Yaroshenko is not registered to receive packages with content such as this. So package was ultimately delivered to my office in Houston, Texas and we don’t know as to how to provide these materials to Konstantin Yaroshenko because there is only limited opportunities for what he can do while there at Fort Dix. He doesn’t speak English well and there is only a handful of Russian books in the prison library which he read a long time twice if not three times each. He would have a need for some activities to do at the prison other than just sit there on his bed the entire day.

You mentioned that they sent him Russian movies, Soviet era movies. Does he have a TV set?

No, there is no TV in the prison cell. Inmates have privileges to watch television for a few hours a week in the common areas and there are of course films there that are the property on the institution. I do not know quite frankly whether individual inmates can have films of their own, it would be somewhat unusual if they do. There are no Russian movies. The movies in the package don’t have any content that might be obscene or that might be proscribed by prison regulations. I think that the facility should allow this package and these films to go to the prison because after all Yaroshenko is not the first and not the last of Russian inmates at the Fort Dix correctional facility.

Mr. Tarasov, you said that he was recommended a surgery by the private physician. Was this an American physician?

Yes, it was a physician at the Saint Francis Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey to which Yaroshenko was taken more than a year ago. While there he underwent several medical tests on his genitals area and the physician after several ultrasound exams issued the document that tells that Yaroshenko basically needs the surgery.

Did the issue any sort of an explanation why they denied the surgery?

From the knowledge I have and this is gain based on conversations with Yaroshenko whose language is not as good, it is because his medical conditions, prison claims while it is bad it is not getting worse. So because it is not getting worse the surgery is not necessary. They say it is bad, it could be better but because it is not progressing the disease is not becoming more difficult and harder to treat, so he is denied any surgery now.

How is he feeling right now? What is he saying?

He feels sick, that is what he told me. He feels sick, a little better on the heart condition now, he was given some rudimentary medicine. Yaroshenko by the way also talked with some relatives in Russia over the phone as to what to do when one is experiencing the disease he has. His wife’s sister to my knowledge is a medical doctor in Russia and they were able to provide him some advice and he believes that his adherence to these recommendations actually alleviated these problems just as much as the very basic medications that he was provided.

He was provided with some sort of medication. Is he still taking any medication?

I don’t know the exact name of the drug, Yaroshenko tried to phonetically tell me what the pills were. Unfortunately I was not able to ascertain exactly the kind of medication. If it has favorable results it must be at least somewhat effective.

Was there any official reaction?

They have been denying surgery on several occasions now. Back a year ago or maybe even a last summer the Russian diplomat in New York at the Russian Consulate – they contacted the prison and they were given the response that the prison doesn’t think it is necessary to have the surgery done. But again we heard that Yaroshenko would not be administered this procedure last week. That is when we learnt that Fort Dix is not going to do this surgery.

Mr. Tarasov, what is being done right now to help him to get this surgery done?

I’m hopeful that some contacts are going to continue on the diplomatic front. Of course it might be a little bit more complicated now with the situation over Ukraine. I’m hopeful that that by the way will not impact Konstantin Yaroshenko’s case because they are objectively two separate issues and I’m hopeful that the justice Department and the bureau of prison and the American force for that matter will not have any negative consequences for Konstantin Yaroshenko’s case over what happened in the last two weeks.

As of now, did you feel any implications already caused by the situation in Ukraine?

I don’t know how to exactly interpret some of the steps that the prison administration have taken. For example, I have been promised that they would send me his medical records and then instead about two weeks ago I got back in the mail instead of the answer from the Fort Dix institution, I got all my correspondence back saying that they wouldn’t provide anything to me and instead telling me that I might send my request to the Justice Department. But again whether it is just bureaucratic wrangling or whether it does have to do with the difficulties that now exist on international ground I cannot tell you. What I can tell you is that Yaroshenko’s case has been politicized. Yaroshenko was the first Russian national to have been kidnapped by the US government in the third country. Russia has been vociferous in its demand to have Yaroshenko returned.

Mr. Tarasov, when are you going to see him next time?

I’m hopeful that within the next two weeks I would be in New Jersey to meet Yaroshenko and maybe go over some legal suggestions that we would have for his defense. Again we have a window until August of this year to file a motion in his case, a motion to essentially have a new trial granted based on additional evidence.

Mr. Tarasov, thank you very much.

Not a problem.

Liudmila Chernova

http://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/2014_03_20/Russian-pilot-subjected-to-unspeakable-acts-of-cruelty-on-US-orders-1952/

Guatemalan authorities arrest officers trained at U.S. School of the Americas/WHINSEC for massacres, disappearances

Also, see SOA Watch  www.soaw.org

In a daring and historic move just one week before a new president takes office, Guatemalan authorities arrested 18 former high-ranking military men Jan. 6 for massacres and forced disappearances during the bloodiest years of the dirty war that particularly targeted indigenous populations.

Most of the arrests resulted from an investigation that exhumed the remains of 558 people — 90 of them children — buried in clandestine mass graves on a military base in Cobán, formerly known as Military Zone 21. DNA testing identified victims who were killed or disappeared by the military in the 1980s. Many of the bodies were blindfolded, bound or dismembered.

Guatemala Attorney General Thelma Aldana called it “one of the biggest cases of forced disappearance in Latin America.”

Records show that 12 of the 18 arrested were trained at the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA), highlighting the sordid U.S.-support for the war, which spanned from 1960 to 1996 and claimed the lives of some 250,000, many of them women and children.

The most prominent of those arrested are Gens. Benedicto Lucas García, and Gen. Manuel Antonio Callejas y Callejas, both graduates of SOA, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

In the early 1980s, during the peak of the government’s repression, Lucas Garcia was the army’s Chief of Staff while Callejas y Callejas was the Director of Intelligence.

The arrests came just a week before incoming president Jimmy Morales takes office on Jan. 14. Morales, a former television comedian, ran as the candidate of the National Convergence Front (FCN), a party he co-founded that’s dominated by military officers.

Prosecutors are seeking to arrest Morales’ top aid, Edgar Justino Ovalle Maldonado, on similar charges of crimes against humanity and forced disappearances. Ovalle Maldonado, also an SOA graduate and a FCN co-founder who helped Morales get the FCN’s nomination, currently has immunity as a legislator. But Aldana has appealed to the Supreme Court to revoke his immunity.

Ovalle Maldonado was an Operations Officer at the Cobán military base in 1983, and later the commander of the base, according to Amnesty International. He is reported to have claimed that the mass graves merely served as cemeteries for two towns near the base.

Morales will be succeeding former President Otto Pérez Molina, another SOA graduate, who resigned last September as the result of a popular uprising over government corruption and is now facing bribery charges.

Further heightening the drama is the retrial of former military dictator Gen. Efrain Ríos Montt on charges of genocide. The proceedings begin today (Jan.11) for the SOA graduate, who was convicted of the same charge in 2013, but saw the verdict overturned on a technicality.

Another SOA graduate arrested in the Jan. 6 sweep was Col. Francisco Luis Gordillo Martínez, who helped Ríos Montt overthrow the government in 1982. He, Rios Montt and another SOA graduate formed a junta that created secret tribunals, repealed the constitution, abolished the legislature, and escalated a “scorched earth” policy to wipe out entire villages.

Records show that Gordillo Martinez was a three-time graduate of SOA, graduating from its infantry Weapons and Infantry Tactics programs in the 1960s and from its Command and General Staff College in 1974.

Another SOA graduate — Col. Ricardo Mendez Ruiz — commanded the Cobán military base where the bodies were found from 1980 to 1982, the year he became the Minister of Interior under Rios Montt. Mendez Ruiz died Jan. 1, five days before the arrests began.

Details on the current charges against the 18 officers are sketchy, and limited to the mass graves at the Cobán base and the case of a Guatemala City teenager disappeared in 1981 by the military. But human rights investigators have long documented the human rights records of those arrested.

The Guatemalan Catholic church’s human rights office estimated the number of dead from counterinsurgency operations in 1981 alone to be 11,000, most of whom were indigenous peasants living in the Highlands.

Lucas García took command of the counterinsurgency campaign in the Highlands in October 1981, according to anthropologist Shelton Davis*, writing in Harvest of Violence: The Maya Indians and the Guatemalan Crisis. The campaign, Davis said, was marked by massacres, targeted killings of community leaders, and the burning of houses and fields to terrorize the Indian population into not joining the guerillas.

Callejas y Callejas was arrested in connection with the 1981 disappearance of a Guatemala City teenager, but his tenure as chief of intelligence coincides with the slaughter of thousands of Mayan Indians, the murders of 27 professors, more than 80 union leaders and four priests, including American Fr. Stanley Rother and the failed 1980 attempt to murder Quiche Bishop Juan Gerardi.

As it turned out, Gerardi was assassinated 18 years later, just two days after releasing a four-volume study showing that the military forces were responsible for 90 percent of the atrocities in the war.

Both Lucas García and Callejas y Callejas graduated twice from the SOA. Lucas García was trained in 1965 in combat intelligence while Callejas y Callejas was trained in 1962 in communications. Both men later graduated in 1970 from the school’s elite Command and General Staff College.

Callejas y Callejas rose to become the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, and despite his horrific human rights record, the U.S. State Department approved his induction in 1988 into the School of the America’s Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame induction underscored U.S. complicity, says Roy Bourgeois, a former Maryknoll priest who founded the SOA Watch after learning that the school had trained the killers of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador 1989.

In 1990, Bourgeois was arrested after throwing blood on the Hall’s gallery where the portrait of Callejas y Callejas hung alongside that of several Latin American dictators.

The U.S. intervention, he said, was extensive. “Several U.S. administrations trained, advised, funded and armed the Guatemalan military. Many of its military and intelligence officers were on the CIA payroll.”

Bourgeois and other human rights activists have hailed the Guatemalan arrests.

Grahame Russell, co-director of Rights Action, a Canadian NGO engaged in human rights work throughout Central America, called it “an extraordinarily positive step forward” in a country where military impunity has been the rule.

In an interview with the Venezulean-based TeleSUR television network, Russell praised the Guatemalan attorney general for filing a “series of war crimes charges” stemming from “the worst years of the U.S.-backed repression and genocide.”

The filing was especially significant, he said, coming “just as another military-backed president is about to assume the presidency, in this as yet very undemocratic country.” With Morales strong links to the military, Russell believes that the country will likely continue to be “dominated by the same economic elites — national and international — that were in power during the worst years” of the 1970s and 1980s.”

Still, Bourgeois draws hope from the fact, that against all odds, Guatemalans themselves — from the prosecutors to the “courageous survivors and relatives of the disappeared” — have risked their lives to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“They want the truth, and they want it to come out. And they are willing to die for it,” he said. “They’ve waited some 35 years. The strategy of the military has been to keep stalling until those responsible have died off. But there will never be any justice or reconciliation until there is accountability and the perpetrators start going to prison.”

*An earlier version of this story attributed the wrong author for Harvest of Violence.

[Linda Cooper and James Hodge are the authors of Disturbing the Peace: The Story of Father Roy Bourgeois and the Movement to Close the School of the Americas.]

http://ncronline.org/news/global/guatemalan-authorities-arrest-soa-trained-officers-massacres-disappearances

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