U.S. court documents reveal immigrant children tortured — tied down, hooded, drugged, stripped, beaten, isolated, abused — starting with Obama administration

Obama’s Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson declared that the jailing of Central American refugees seeking asylum, and the separation of parents and children, would have a positive effect in reducing the sudden influx of refugees in 2014. It was Terry McAuliffe, the longtime crony of Hillary Clinton, who presided over the torture of immigrant teenagers at Shenandoah from 2014 to 2017.

Global Research, June 24, 2018

Court documents made public in Virginia and Texas give a glimpse of the systematic brutality being meted out to immigrant children in both public and private jails. Children are strapped down, hooded and beaten, or drugged by force, as part of the everyday procedure in what can only be called the American Gulag.

An Associated Press report published Thursday gave details of the abuses committed last year against young Latino migrants at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia. Lawyers for the teenage victims sued the prison—a state facility run by a consortium of seven towns and cities in the Shenandoah Valley—and a court hearing is set for July.

According to a half-dozen sworn statements, given by the victims in Spanish and then translated for filing with the federal court for the Western District of Virginia, children as young as 14 were beaten while handcuffed, tied down to chairs while stripped naked and hooded, and held for long periods in solitary confinement, sometimes naked and cold.

All these are forms of torture practiced at Guantanamo Bay and at CIA torture prisons around the world. These techniques have been transferred back into the United States and unleashed on immigrant children, who have been demonized by the Trump administration.

The lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs declares that young Latino immigrants held at Shenandoah “are subjected to unconstitutional conditions that shock the conscience, including violence by staff, abusive and excessive use of seclusion and restraints, and the denial of necessary mental health care.” As a result of “malicious and sadistic applications of force,” the youth have “sustained significant injuries, both physical and psychological.”

A Honduran youth sent to Shenandoah when he was 15 said in his statement,

“Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me… [They] strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn’t really move… They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”

A 15-year-old from Mexico who spent nine months at Shenandoah described similar treatment.

“They handcuffed me and put a white bag of some kind over my head,” he said, according to his sworn statement. “They took off all of my clothes and put me into a restraint chair, where they attached my hands and feet to the chair. They also put a strap across my chest. They left me naked and attached to that chair for two and a half days, including at night.”

A 14-year-old Guatemalan youth reported frequent imprisonment in his tiny cell for up to 23 hours a day, as well as long periods of physical restraint.

“When they couldn’t get one of the kids to calm down, the guards would put us in a chair—a safety chair, I don’t know what they call it—but they would just put us in there all day,” he said in his sworn statement. “This happened to me, and I saw it happen to others, too. It was excessive.”

A 17-year-old who fled Mexico to escape an abusive father and drug cartel violence was arrested at the US border and passed through several detention centers before arriving at Shenandoah, one of three facilities in the United States with contracts from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide “secure facilities” for young immigrants. The boy was frequently shackled, usually with cloth bindings, and reported at least one violent strip search and several beatings. He was driven to attempt suicide several times.

Other allegations include that the Latino youth received worse food and facilities than local juvenile prisoners, mostly white, and that meals were frequently cold and inadequate, leaving the children hungry.

The AP interviewed an unnamed child development specialist who had worked with teens at Shenandoah.

“The majority of the kids we worked with when we went to visit them were emotionally and verbally abused. I had a kid whose foot was broken by a guard,” she said. “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking up a pencil when a guard had said not to move. Some of them started hearing voices that were telling them to hurt people or hurt themselves, and I knew when they had gotten to Shenandoah they were not having any violent thoughts.”

Because the children held at Shenandoah were unaccompanied minors, rather than separated from their families, there were some suggestions in the media that they had gang connections that somehow justified the brutal treatment. But according to the AP report, a program director at the facility said the youth had been screened for gang connections and were actually suffering from mental health issues resulting from trauma in their home countries.

The acts of torture involved multiple guards at the facility, which was run by a regional board but under the ultimate control of the state government, headed throughout this period by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. The new governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, who took office January 1, ordered a state investigation into the claims of abuse, but only after the AP report became public Thursday.

Even younger children were targeted for abuse at a Texas facility operated under contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, according to a report published by the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Texas Tribune Tuesday. The allegations were further detailed in a court suit filed by the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law.

The lawsuit charges that the Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas administered psychotropic drugs to immigrant children, who in some cases were separated from their parents at the border. Neither the children, some as young as nine years old, nor the parents gave consent to the treatment, and in some cases, children were forcibly drugged as they fought and screamed.

One report reads:

“Some children held at Shiloh reported being given up to nine different pills in the morning and six in the evening, including antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, Parkinson’s disease medication and seizure medications. They were told they would remain detained if they refused drugs, the lawsuit said. Children also said that after taking the drugs, they experienced side effects that rendered them fatigued and incapable of walking.”

The lawsuit charges:

“ORR routinely administers children psychotropic drugs without lawful authorization… When youth object to taking such medications, ORR compels them. ORR neither requires nor asks for a parent’s consent before medicating a child, nor does it seek lawful authority to consent in parents’ stead. Instead, ORR or facility staff sign ‘consent’ forms anointing themselves with ‘authority’ to administer psychotropic drugs to confined children.”

The seven pills named in the court filings—clonazepam, duloxetine, guanfacine, Geodon, olanzapine, Latuda and divalproex—are medications used to control depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, schizophrenia and seizures. This treatment amounted to applying “chemical straitjackets” to subdue the children, rather than meeting medical needs, the lawsuit charges.

According to the investigative reporting, the ORR paid $3.4 billion to private organizations to hold immigrant children, and nearly half of this, $1.5 billion, went to 13 companies that had been accused of hundreds of serious violations of their responsibility to provide care. These included failure to obtain medical treatment for accidents or illness, “inappropriate contact” between children and staff (apparently of a sexual nature), and neglect.

These reports of horrific treatment of innocent children do not just expose the savagery and sadism of individual guards, administrators and other officials, or the greed of corporate bosses seeking to join in the orgy of profiteering from federal contracts for the detention and abuse of immigrants. What is revealed above all is the criminal character of the American political elite, both Democrats and Republicans, who have deliberately encouraged an atmosphere of brutality and terror as their preferred method of “deterring” immigrants from crossing the US-Mexico border. The responsibility, moreover, rests not just with the sociopathic bully in the White House today, but also with his Democratic predecessor, responsible for more deportations than any previous president.

Obama’s Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson declared that the jailing of Central American refugees seeking asylum, and the separation of parents and children, would have a positive effect in reducing the sudden influx of refugees in 2014. It was Terry McAuliffe, the longtime crony of Hillary Clinton, who presided over the torture of immigrant teenagers at Shenandoah from 2014 to 2017.

The shift from Obama to Trump has not fundamentally changed the policy of the US ruling class towards immigrants, which has always been of an anti-democratic and brutal character. But in the hands of Trump and his fascistic aide Stephen Miller, the brutality has become more systematic, and it is accompanied by a campaign aimed at whipping up anti-immigrant racism and hysteria over the purported danger that the United States will be “overrun,” as Trump claimed in his speech Wednesday night to a rally in Minnesota.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, the Trump administration awarded multiple contracts involving tens of millions of dollars earlier this year to build detention facilities for children. This confirms that the mass separation of children from their parents, which followed the announcement of the “zero tolerance” policy by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was not an unexpected byproduct of the new policy, but was planned and deliberate. It is a premeditated crime, the state kidnapping of more than 2,400 children, for which Trump, Sessions, Stephen Miller, Kirstjen Nielsen and other top officials should be prosecuted and jailed.

Far from abandoning this policy—as media reports on the executive order issued by Trump Wednesday suggested—the White House is preparing to accelerate the mass detention of immigrants, including children. A Pentagon spokesman said Thursday that military bases in Texas and Arkansas had been reviewed as possible locations for housing as many as 20,000 immigrant children, double the number currently in custody.

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Featured image is from Countercurrents.

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U.S. State Department ‘deeply troubled’ over Syrian operations in…Syria! Against ISIS and Al Qaeda!

Global Research, June 22, 2018

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement today warning the Syrian government to cease and desist from its final military push against ISIS and al-Qaeda groups in southwest Syria. The United States is “deeply troubled by reports of increasing Syrian regime operations in southwest Syria” because such operations are within the “de-escalation zone negotiated between the United States, Jordan, and the Russian Federation last year and reaffirmed between Presidents Trump and Putin in Da Nang, Vietnam in November,” the statement says.

What a strange warning. The United States, which illegally occupies territory of a country nearly 6,000 miles away, is warning Syria, the country it partly occupies, not to conduct military operations against terrorist organizations within its own borders!

Aside from the absurdity of Nauert’s press release, there is the important matter that the whole statement is a lie.

First, the “deconfliction zone” to which she refers has been unilaterally declared by the United States. Syria never agreed to cease military operations within its own borders. Suggesting that Damascus is violating some agreement when it was never party to the agreement is shockingly dishonest.

Second, even the “de-escalation zones” agreed between Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Astana, Kazakhstan, in May, 2017, exempted UN-recognized terrorist groups from the deal. So even if Syria was a party to the US-claimed “de-escalation” agreement, its current advance on ISIS and al-Qaeda controlled territory would not be a violation.

Third, the State Department’s claims on the “Da Nang” agreement between Presidents Putin and Trump are purposely misleading. The very first sentence of the “Da Nang” statement affirms the two leaders’ “determination to defeat ISIS in Syria,” demonstrating the high priority placed on fighting ongoing terrorist occupation of parts of Syria.

So why now, seven months later, is the US warning Syria against completing the very task that Trump and Putin made a top priority?

Also, the “Da Nang statement” discusses the “de-confliction” areas explicitly in the context of the fight against ISIS:

The Presidents agreed to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both US and Russian forces and de-confliction of partnered forces engaged in the fight against ISIS. They confirmed these efforts will be continued until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved.

So, again, why is the US objecting to the Syrian government’s actions to achieve a goal — defeat of ISIS — reiterated by the US government?

The “Da Nang” statement also made it clear that when it comes to Syrian territory, that country’s sovereignty must be respected:

The Presidents affirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence, territorial integrity, and non-sectarian character…

How can the US be committed to Syria’s sovereignty when it violates that sovereignty by occupying Syrian territory and warning the Syrian government against attacking al-Qaeda and ISIS-dominated areas of Syria?

The United States — which maintains hundreds of US troops illegally in Syria — warns Syria about conducting military operations within its own borders against internationally-recognized terrorist groups, citing the “Da Nang” agreement, which:

…reinforces the success of the ceasefire initiative, to include the reduction, and ultimate elimination, of foreign forces and foreign fighters from the area…

But those “foreign fighters” they agreed to eliminate by definition must include the US military itself! So actually it is the US that is violating the agreement by remaining in Syria, not the Syrian government by fighting al-Qaeda!

As an astute colleague wrote today,

have also been rumors in Washington that the Administration is preparing for something ‘big’ in Syria, possibly related to warnings from the Pentagon that Syrian forces have been threatening the unilaterally declared “de-escalation zone” in the country’s southeast.”

Nauert’s release may be one big lie, but the US threat against Syria is looking to be deadly serious.

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Featured image is from the author.

What’s brewing? British, American, Canadian advisers arrive in Donbass

From Fort Russ

February 4 , 2018 – FRN –

RT Russian – translated by Inessa Sinchougova

 

Citing intelligence sources, the representative of Donetsk, Eduard Basurin, has stated that British instructors have arrived in the Donbass, at the locations of the Ukrainian Forces.
“In the area of 93rd separate mechanized brigade in the vicinity of the city of Volnovaha, a group of foreign instructors has arrived – led by a representative of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, for the purpose of training of Ukrainian servicemen on how to carry out sabotage and subversive activities,” said Basurin.
“In addition to the British, from February 5th to the 9th, a delegation of the US military will join the Brits. They will assess the expenditure of funds that Washington has allocated to the army.”
The DPR stressed that rotation of the Ukrainian military has been completed in the Mariupol district. The marines which came to replace the infantry brigade have participated in the NATO exercises in Georgia in September 2017.
“It is possible that the commander of the 36th Marine Brigade will give an order in the near future to carry out provocative actions and practice the skills gained” said Basurin.
Experts admit that the arrival of foreign instructors directly to the region may indicate possible plans for the escalation of the situation. The director of the Center for Strategic Studies, Ivan Konovalov stated that “the essence of what is happening is that the training of servicemen of the Armed Forces and soldiers of the National Guard was so far, carried out in zones away from the so-called ATO. And now they decided to change the format and conduct training in conditions that are close to combat. We can assume that they will conduct local combat operations of a sabotage character, to check the preparedness of their men. ” said Konovalov.
The same opinion is held by the vice-president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Vladimir Anokhin, who believes that Kiev is planning a major offensive operation in the region.
“There are a number of factors that can be used to judge that Ukraine is preparing for large-scale hostilities – possibly late February or early March. This may well be related to the elections in Russia, ” the expert said.
Note that the UK launched a training program for the Ukrainian military under the name “Orbital” in February 2015. Then it sent 75 military doctors to the country, who provide medical help on the ground. In July 2017 Orbital was extended until 2018. During this time, about 6 thousand Ukrainian soldiers were trained in its framework.
In addition to Britain, Canadian specialists who come to the country within the framework of NATO’s Unifer mission are also training Ukrainian soldiers. In March last year it was reported that 200 instructors had arrived from Canada. The US has recently spent $ 22 million to equip a military training center near Lviv, to accommodate the new training programme.
Overall, there are currently an estimated 900 foreign instructors and foreign mercenaries in the Ukraine.
“We know of about 129 instructors from the United States, Canada, Turkey, Algeria, Lithuania, Latvia, Britain, who coordinate the actions of the Ukrainian units,” said Basurin.
In addition to the above, about 500 people are part of the Georgian National Legion and the Hungarian Battalion Magyar. He also noted that there are about 200 people belonging to international private military companies.

U.S. burns Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claims “smokescreens” (PHOTO, VIDEO)

From Rusvesna.su

June 10, 2017

US Air Force and the allied countries have been using prohibited phosphorus munition in Iraq and Syria recently. Supporting evidence have been circulating on the Internet for several weeks already. 

Ground operation on Mosul and Raqqa has led to great number of victims  among American allies: we talk about several thousands.

Being discouraged to win by traditional warfare the Americans gave green light to amunition banned by international conventions.

US-led international coalition finally admited on Friday that they used phosphorus bombs in Syria but it somehow correlates with international regulations. Besides they claim to protect civilians.

«According to its policy the coalition does not discuss dislocation, equipment (of its forces) with certain types of munition and the usage of them. Nevertheless according to the rules of engagement white phosphorus munition are being used to make up smokescreens, disguise and marking,» — says official pres-release of US-led anti-terror coalition.

This cynical claim was spread in response to Syrian state news agency SANA message which had reported about prohibited phosphorus munition being used deuring Thursday air-raids over Raqqa. That was reported to journalists by the local residents. The underlined that there were many victims after the bombardment.

The shots below demonstrate real targets of phosphorus use by US coalition forces. It is safe to say that there isn’t «making up of the smokescreens, disguise and marking». The video shows incendiary munitions use.

Using phosphorus munition as a weapon is prohibited by international conventions.

«The coalition takes all reasonable precautions to minimize the risk of incidental injury to non-combatants and damage to civilian structures. But ISIS shows disrespect to the innocent killing civilians who try to leave combat zone and teh coalition will not saty aside and let people die if we can protect them,» — says international coalition’s report.

To recap the USA have been taking on a mission in Syrian Arab Republic since 2014 without any consent of the legal authorities.

READ ALSO: Western propaganda epic fail: family of the boy appointed to be «Syrian war symbol» supported Assad (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Horrendous footage: US burn Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claim «smokescreens» (PHOTO, VIDEO) | Русская весна

Horrendous footage: US burn Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claim «smokescreens» (PHOTO, VIDEO) | Русская весна

Horrendous footage: US burn Raqqa and Mosul with phosphorus, claim «smokescreens» (PHOTO, VIDEO) | Русская весна

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/YwJExDWyVPs&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

Источник: http://rusvesna.su/news/1497140769

http://rusvesna.su/news/1497140769

Iranian Foreign Minister responds to the amassing of U.S. and British troops at the Syrian-Jordanian border

May 9th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Al Mayadeen – – translated by Samer Hussein –
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to the news about amassing of the British, American and Jordanian troops at the Syrian-Jordanian border, noting that any military act of aggression against Syria, will result in an absolute failure.
“Any of such actions, now or in the future, are doomed to fail”, Zarif was heard saying.
Yesterday, reports came about the huge gathering of the British, American and Jordanian troops at the Syrian-Jordanian border, suggesting the approaching zero hour of confrontation.
According to the reports, hundreds of American, British and Jordanian troops are being gathered in the area at the Syrian-Jordania border and parallel with Khirbet Awad, located in the southern Syrian province of As Suwayda, Tell Shihab in Syria’s Daraa province and the Ramtha border crossing. Dozens of troops, British tanks of the Challenger brand and a number of Cobra and Black Hawk helicopters were spotted, in addition to about 2300 jihadists whom the US and UK forces trained in Jordan. 
About 4000 more jihadists are reportedly being trained in Al Tanf area at the Syrian-Jordanian border.
It is also being rumoured that the British and US forces are allegedly trying to take control over the southern Syrian-Iraqi border so that the two countries would no longer be able to coordinate each other directly in their fight against terrorism.

U.S. radars cover almost all Russian territory – Russian MoD

From Rusvesna.su

March 28, 2017

US Radars Cover Almost All Russian Territory - Russian MoD | Русская весна

“The stationary radar systems of the US missile and nuclear warning system cover all possible trajectories of Russian ballistic missiles in the direction of the United States,” Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, first deputy chief of the General Staff’s Main Operational Department, said.

According to him, the zone of control pof the US stations covers almost entire Russia.

The global missile defense system being created by the United States is posing a strategic threat to both Russia and China, he emphasized.

“The US missile defense system already has a potential to intercept Chinese and Russian ballistic missiles and poses a threat to strategic nuclear forces of Russia and China, and these capabilities will only grow.”

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the US missile defense capabilities threaten almost all low orbit space stations.

According to Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, US missile defense systems also threaten space exploration activities by other countries, including Russia and China.

“Almost all low orbit stations located in the area of missile defense systems’ damage volume are under the threat of destruction. Given the global nature of the antimissile missile ships, space activities of any state, including Russia and China, are under threat,” he said.

The free use of the outer space by any country is endangered by the growing global missile defense system of the United States, the Russian military official added.

The firepower of the United States’ missile defense system threatens Russia’s deterrence posture, he said.

“Such a number of missile defense assets poses a serious threat to the Russian deterrence potential, especially taking into account the ongoing work on the modernization of missile defense systems,” Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir said.

Poznikhir estimated at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva that the number of US missile defense interceptors is expected to exceed 1,000 by 2022, potentially exceeding the number of warheads deployed on Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles in the future.

Russia constantly informs the US of its concerns over the deployment an anti-ballistic missile systems, but does not receive an answer, Poznikhir said.

“Russian representatives have repeatedly drew the attention of the American side at various levels to the danger posed by the global missile defense system for the strategic balance of forces in the world. Arguments are not perceived, obvious facts are ignored.”

The US missile defense system is disproportionate to the threats from North Korea and Iran, he added.

“Under the pretext of countering the North Korean and Iranian missile threats, the US is deploying a strategic system designed to destroy Russian and Chinese ballistic missiles, which violates the balance of deterrence forces.”

He said that Russia is forces to take adequate measures in response to the US missile defense systems’ deployment. Russia is forced to take adequate response measures aimed at preventing violations of the existing balance of forces in the field of strategic weapons and minimizing the possible damage to the security of the state as a result of the further buildup of US missile defenses. But the world will not be safer from this.”

http://rusvesna.su/english/1490697384

Syrian President al-Assad: “Foreign troops coming to Syria without permission are invaders” — in-depth interview

Global Research, March 11, 2017
SANA 11 March 2017

Damascus, SANA-President Bashar al-Assad said that the solution to the crisis in Syria should be through two parallel ways: the first one is to fight the terrorists, and this is our duty as government, to defend the Syrians and use any means in order to destroy the terrorists who’ve been killing and destroying in Syria, and the second one is to make dialogue.

The president added in an interview given to Chinese PHOENIX TV that any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one.

Flowing is the full text of the interview:

Question 1:  Thank you Mr. President for having us here in Dimashq, the capital of Syria. I think this is the first interview you have with Chinese media after the national ceasefire and after so many fresh rounds of talks, both in Astana and in Geneva, and of course after US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and these days, as we have seen, your troops are making steady progress in battlefields, but peace talks do not seem just as productive. So, as far as the Geneva talks is concerned, your chief negotiator, Mr. Jaafari, was trying hard to find out who should be sitting on the other side of the negotiation table. So, according to your idea, who should be sitting there?

President Assad: This is a very crucial question. If you want those negotiations to be fruitful, we have to ask “who is going to be sitting there?” I mean, there could be a lot of good people with good intentions, but the question is: who do they represent? That’s the question. In this situation, you have different groups, you have people who are, let’s say, patriotic, but they don’t represent anyone, they represent themselves. You have others who represent the terrorists, and you have terrorists on the table, and you have others who represent the agenda of foreign countries like Saudi Arabia, like Turkey, like France, UK and maybe the United States. So, it’s not a homogeneous meeting. If you want it to be fruitful, going back to the first point that I mentioned, it should be a real Syrian-Syrian negotiations. In spite of that, we went to that meeting because we think any kind of dialogue could be a good step toward the solution, because even those people who are terrorists or belonging to the terrorists or to other countries, they may change their mind and go back to their normality by going back to being real Syrians, detach themselves from being terrorists or agents to other groups. That’s why I say we didn’t expect Geneva to produce anything, but it’s a step, and it’s going to be a long way, and you may have other rounds, whether in Geneva or in Astana.

Question 2: But anyway, it is an intra-Syrian talks, right? But the matter of fact is, it is proxy dialogue. I mean, main parties do not meet and have dialogue directly.

President Assad: Exactly.

Journalist: Are you personally satisfied with the current negotiation format or mechanism?

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