Blackout

Remember those videotapes we learned that the CIA destroyed early last week? On Friday, as part of our lawsuit seeking information about the interrogation of prisoners held in U.S. custody abroad, we received new details about the content of those videotapes.

A redacted description of one of the tapes. Click to view enlarged version (PDF)

Well, kind of…

An inventory of the tapes (PDF) provided Friday evening was nearly entirely redacted (though we did learn that 12 of the tapes depicted so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques"). And the government announced it would produce a complete list of summaries, transcripts and/or memoranda concerning the tapes by March 20.

In September 2004, a federal district court ordered the CIA to produce or identify all records responsive to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents relating to the treatment of prisoners held in U.S. custody abroad. The CIA violated that order by destroying the interrogation videotapes. In December 2007, the ACLU filed a contempt motion against the CIA for its flagrant disregard of the court's order. That motion is still pending.

Shockingly, the tapes were also withheld from the 9/11 Commission, appointed by former President Bush and Congress, which had requested that the agency hand over records from interrogation of CIA prisoners.

In a press release we issued on Friday, ACLU staff attorney Amrit Singh stated:

The government is needlessly withholding information about these tapes from the public, despite the fact that the CIA's use of torture — including waterboarding — is no secret. This new information only underscores the need for full and immediate disclosure of the CIA's illegal interrogation methods. The time has come for the CIA to be held accountable for flouting the rule of law.

While the issue is no laughing matter, cartoonist Matt Bors' comic this week takes on destruction of the videotapes.

The tapes aren't the only visual evidence of abusive interrogations. We are also trying to unearth photographs depicting abuse at military facilities through the same lawsuit. And all the unanswered questions about who developed the torture policies, why they were developed and how they were implemented underscore how much we still don't know.

To that end, we've been urging the Office of Legal Counsel to release still-secret memos that provided the legal basis for many of the Bush administration's worst practices — including the treatment of detainees (check out the transcript of a chat hosted by Firedoglake earlier today with ACLU National Security Project director Jameel Jaffer).

Stay tuned for updates.

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Vic Livingston

COMMUNITY GANG STALKING AND MICROWAVE TORTURE NOW UNDER TEAM OBAMA SCRUTINY?

• A hoped-for end to officially-enabled torture and harassment of "targeted but innocent" citizens

• "Targeting" of TV/print journalist sparks blowback

Gang stalking, menacing with a motor vehicle, surreptitious home entries, vandalism of property and personal effects, and covert assault with hi-tech microwave radiation weapons have been unconstitutionally decriminalized throughout the nation under the convenient banner of the "war on terror"...

...as demonstrated by the Bush Justice Department "torture memos," which have been described as a blueprint for a police state.

Bush administration officials renounced the memos just days before the end of their term -- but fact is, the programs and policies that these memos deigned to justify continue under President Obama.

The Bush torture memos, some still secret, appear to have laid the groundwork for a repressive "extrajudicial punishment network" -- in effect, turning local police into secret agents acting on suspicions derived from "intelligence" that may have been supplied with ideological baggage attached.

Many innocent people have been "put on a list" by those who don't like their politics, their social activism, or their ethnic background. Persons slandered as "troublemakers, " "deviates," "mental defectives" or disloyal "dissidents" have been subject to years of persecution at the hands of their neighbors -- just as occurred in Nazi Germany in the years leading up to World War II and Hitler's "Final Solution."

(A former NSA analyst has revealed that journalists nationwide have been subject to 24/7 surveillance, a claim to which this reporter can attest).

A nationwide GPS satellite tracking network has been made available to "community gang stalkers" who hide behind federal- and county-funded volunteer organizations and public safety agencies such as fire departments and police auxiliaries.

These organizations provide taxpayer-funded vehicles and gasoline to a squad of hundreds of vigilante volunteers, who seem to delight in "swarming the target" when signal from a secreted GPS device planted in their vehicles shows up in the so-called "crown of evil" GPS video screen of the stalkers.

Some stalkers cause auto accidents and attempt to provoke confrontations that will draw police attention. The apparent motive: to portray the persecuted as mentally unbalanced.

This vehicle stalking causes a public safety hazard as vigilante squads violate the civil and human rights of their prey -- many, if not most, of whom are upstanding citizens who were wrongly or maliciously targeted.

Victims say the gang stalkers also make surreptitious entry into their homes to vandalize property and personal effects, and to leave tell-tale signs that the privacy of their targets has been violated -- a form of psychological harassment known as "gaslighting" (after the classic Ingrid Bergman movie "Gaslight," in which an evil husband manipulates his wife's environment to make her think she is going crazy).

Every law enforcement agency in the nation is likely to know about the GPS-enabled stalking system and the community gang stalking -- what some insiders call "the torture matrix." The Bush torture memos specifically cited anti-stalking laws as being exempt from enforcement when "terrorism" was suspected.

Portraying the "targets" as mentally unsound also appears to be the goal of what amounts to an American "slow-kill" genocide: The covert assault of these "targeted individuals" with classified, hi-tech microwave radiation weapons and devices referred to by officialdom as supposedly non-lethal "directed energy weapons."

The benign nomenclature notwithstanding, these powerful microwave weapons can stun, injure, induce illness, and, depending on exposure levels, kill. Victims say the weapons are being used on the "targets" to induce symptoms of mental illness and cognitive impairment -- in a campaign to have them declared mentally ill and thus "neutralized."

These are crimes against humanity, enabled by federal programs and policies that have co-opted and corrupted local law enforcement, which is dependent upon federal funding from the agencies that devised these "programs of personal destruction."

It is time for local authorities to reclaim their autonomy, and their respect for Constitutional rights. There is a new administration in Washington, one that has pledged to uphold the Constitution.

Federal and local officials and law enforcement officers who renounce community gang stalking and prosecute those who have persecuted their neighbors will be praised as upholders of the Constitution and defenders of the rule of law.

Those who continue to enable the violation of civil and human rights may find themselves under scrutiny as the new team in Washington makes good on its pledge to restore American values and respect for the rights granted to all citizens under the Constitution of the United States.

-- Vic Livingston
Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, PA

Columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener; former host, Sports Business Report on Madison Square Garden Network; former reporter, Phila. Fox 29 News; New York Daily News; Philadelphia Bulletin; Phila. Channel 6 Action News; former editor, TV/Radio Age, CableVision magazines

For more of Vic Livingston's articles about The American Gestapo:

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Alvin McCuistion

Can't it be made illegal to redact, deface, mutilate, etc. any federal document? This is criminal. Some may say it's a matter of national security or such; don't we acutally know it's to cover guilt or a path to persons who are behaving inappropriately?

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