Prisoners inside the U.S. military’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay were forcibly given “mind altering drugs,” including being injected with a powerful anti-psychotic sedative used in psychiatric hospitals. Prisoners were often not told what medications they received, and were tricked into believing routine flu shots were truth serums. It’s a serious violation of medical ethics, made worse by the fact that the military continued to interrogate prisoners while they were doped on psychoactive chemicals.
That’s according to a recently declassified report (.pdf) from the Pentagon’s inspector general, obtained by Truthout‘s Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold after a Freedom of Information Act Request. In it, the inspector general concludes that “certain detainees, diagnosed as having serious mental health conditions being treated with psychoactive medications on a continuing basis, were interrogated.” The report does not conclude, though, that anti-psychotic drugs were used specifically for interrogation purposes.
The only drug explicitly named in the report was Haldol, first marketed in the 1960s and still used today as a relatively cheap — and hard-boiled — anti-psychotic sedative in psychiatric hospitals (more commonly in emergency rooms). Haldol has declined since the widespread introduction of newer anti-psychiatric drugs in the 1990s.
Its side effects are not great. A full list would be too long to reproduce here, but they include depression, muscle contractions and suicidal behavior. A patient on Haldol can develop long-term movement disorders and life-threatening neurological disorders. There’s a possibility (though not common) of heart problems that can lead to sudden death.
Haldol’s main effect, though, is that it makes you really groggy. Now combine that with sleep deprivation and intense, fearful questioning. Brent Mickum, an attorney for detainee Abu Zubaydah, said Zubaydah was “routinely overdosed” with the drug, Truthout notes. (Zubaydah was also waterboarded 83 times in one month.)
The inspector general report also notes that one prisoner, listed in the report only as “IG-02,” was never given Haldol shots during interrogations, but was forced to take monthly injections as he was diagnosed as “schizophrenic and psychotic with borderline personality disorder.” Truthout identified the prisoner as Adel al-Nusairi, a former Guantanamo prisoner and former Saudi policeman who — after his release — claimed to have been forcibly “drugged and coerced into making confessions,” Kaye and Leopold write.
An unnamed detainee told the inspector general he was given unidentified red and blue pills while traveling to Guantanamo from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2002. ”At the time they said it was some candy,” he said. After eating the “candy,” the prisoner said he felt like in a “state of delusion” for several days.
At least one detainee, so-called “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla was tricked into believing he was injected with a “truth serum” during an interrogation, possibly a form of LSD or PCP. In reality, it was a flu shot. Still, it’s a “serious breach of medical ethics,” Georgetown University law professor and health policy specialist Gregg Bloche told Truthout. “It undermines trust in military physicians and it’s an unfair insult to the integrity of the vast majority of military doctors, who quite rightly believe that this sort of thing is contrary to their professional obligation,” Bloche said.
The military’s response has been muted. A Pentagon spokesman refused to comment to Truthout as “doing so might not only compromise security,” but added that the military’s operating procedures “are ‘living’ documents, subject to regular change and updating.” The inspector general report noted comments from Guantanamo’s former medical commander that drugs were giving “to help control serious mental illnesses,” and that the practice was approved by an ethics committee.
But did they consent? (No.) Did the medics consult the prisoners’ medical background before administering drugs? Were prisoners still under the effect of the drugs during interrogation? The report concludes: very likely.
And what kind of confessions were interrogators receiving? They may not have been the most reliable, or truthful. Worse, men with serious mental disorders were given heavy sedatives, while interrogations continued. Not many medical professionals would call that treatment.
For almost 2 years the parents of James Earl Rivera Jr. have been asking why 2 Stockton Police officers and 1 county sheriff opened fire with semi-automatic weapons including an AR-15 assault rifle on their unarmed 16 year old son. To this day James’ family has not received a police report or even a coroner’s report, let alone a simple apology for James’ untimely death.
Without an official report or investigation, James’ mother, Dionne Smith-Downs has had to piece together an understanding of what happened to her son through a series of eyewitness accounts, none of which indicate that the police had any justification for opening fire on James.
On the morning of July 22, 2010 James was seen driving a blue van near his neighborhood in Stockton while being tailed by an unmarked vehicle. James was followed until his van was cutoff and then rammed by multiple police cars forcing James to lose control and crash through two metal mailboxes and then through the walls of two adjacent single car garages. The van remained lodged in the side of the garage until it was removed by a tow truck with police supervision later that night.
With James’ van lodged into the side of a garage and James presumably injured from the impact, 2 Stockton Police officers, Gregory Dunn and Eric Azarvand, and John Nesbitt of the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department surrounded James’ van and opened fire with 48 rounds, 19 of which pierced James’ body. James was already dead and his body mutilated by the time the officers removed him from the van.
James was unarmed and posed no threat to himself, his community, or the officers who took his life.
This is gross. Just another example of Trayvon Martin.
DISCRIMINATION: Wells Fargo to pay $175 million over lending practices against Latinos and African Americans.
Reminder that Wells Fargo employees bragged about how they gave “ghetto loans” to “mud people.”
A paid advertisement displayed at the Chappaqua Metro-North train station, New York, July 10, 2012. The signs, which cost $25,000 to run at up to 10 Metro-North stations for 30 days, were paid for by an 84-year-old ex-Wall Street financier.
“If the facts are inflammatory then they are inflammatory,” said Henry Clifford, the chairman of a 10-member group called the Committee for Peace in Israel/Palestine. “All of the Middle East is infected with the virus of the Arab-Israeli conflict. People need to know the truth of the matter.”
The posters have been strategically placed as he was targeting “high IQ readers”. They have been seen in Westchester, Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, Scarsdale, Tarrytown and White Plains.
“My audience is people who have the intellectual curiosity to have an open mind, whether they agree with it or disagree with it,” said Clifford.
Photo credit: Seth Harrison
- NY ads depicting Palestinian dispossession are termed anti-Semitic by ‘Jewish community’
- Backer of NY ads exposing Palestinian land-loss says response has been ‘astounding’ and news ‘coverage is pouring in’
“I have received nothing but positive responses with two exceptions [by email],” said Clifford, whose email address firstname.lastname@example.org, is on the ads. “This has produced an overwhelming response.”
Over the years Clifford and his group Committee for Peace and Palestine have run ads and written countless letters to newspapers with nothing like this impact, he said. It never got covered. Last year he put up billboards in New Haven and Old Saybrook, CT, asking Americans about the $30 billion in aid pledged to Israel over ten years, “Can we afford this?”
“The response was really pitiful,” he said.
The commuter platform ads seem to have struck a nerve, he said, because they are in the heart of New York’s media zone, viewed by movers and shakers, the affluent and the educated.
There have already been threats to take the ads down, he said. A Brooklyn religious Jewish group went to the MTA to demand that the ads be pulled. “To their everlasting credit, they said, These ads were brought to us by CBS Outdoor, a reputable company. They screened them, they approved them. It is not our job to censor them.”
But CBS Outdoor folded on less-provocative billboards put up around Los Angeles a month back, and tore them down. What’s to stop these ads from being ripped down?
“They can’t. I have a contract. The ads are there and have been paid for. I can take legal action if they fail to abide by the contract.”
I said the success of the ads indicates a shift in public opinion. Clifford said he wasn’t sure about that. “I really don’t see that the American people are any better informed than they were a year ago about this matter. There is a great amount of lack of knowledge, misinformation and even lack of interest. They think, ‘Oh it’s a mess over there,’ and then they yawn. We are trying to spread the word.”
Clifford’s Committee for Peace and Palestine has tried to stir a change in US policy for over ten years.
I asked him about the charge that the ads are anti-Semitic.
“My response is that maps are historically and geographically the truth. You cannot make a map anti-Semitic. Either it’s accurate or inaccurate. Those who disapprove of these ads, if they want to show they’re inaccurate, they should bring that proof forward.”
Some 200 people have been killed in an attack on the Syrian village of Tremseh, opposition activists say.
If confirmed, it would be the bloodiest single event in the Syrian conflict.
Residents said the village, in Hama province, was attacked with helicopter gunships and tanks, and later by the pro-government Shabiha militia, who carried out execution-style killings.
State media blamed “terrorist groups” who were trying to raise tension ahead of a key UN Security Council meeting.
The mandate for the UN’s observer mission to Syria expires on 20 July.
UN observers are now trying to get to Tremseh to investigate the killings.
UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan said he was “shocked and appalled” by the news from Tremseh, adding that it was “desperately urgent that this violence and brutality stops”.
Some 16,000 people are thought to have been killed since the uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime began in March 2011.
Individual reports of casualties often cannot be independently verified, as Syria severely restricts journalists’ freedom of movement.
Just be aware that anything can/ does have subtext.
If you come in contact with the NYPD, the first thing you should do is begin recording the encounter.
Before you answer any questions, ask the officer “Am I free to go?“ Police are required to let you go if they have no reasonable suspicion. Repeat the phrase as needed.
Since it is unlikely that they will let you go without questioning, it is essential that you know your rights, especially if you’re a person of color. Police have arrests quotas to meet, Do Not Assume that just because you did nothing wrong, you won’t be arrested.
The NYPD often use certain tactics to make a person incriminate them self. You are required by law to; show them your government-issued I.D. if asked, tell them your D.O.B., address and name. Unless you are telling the police one of the three or asking if you are free to go, DO NOT SPEAK TO THEM.
Some police will be intimidated if they recognize that you know your rights and will let you free at this point, especially if you are recording them.
Marijuana Related Encounters
I am including this because a majority of stop and frisk arrests are for marijuana-related offenses.
NYC is the marijuana arrest capital in the world, even though possession under 25 grams is decriminalized in the city (New York Penal Law Section 221.05).
Unlawful possession of marijuana is classified by our legislature as a violation. A violation is the legal equivalent of a traffic ticket.
The reason why hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers (mainly POC) are arrested for marijuana possession is because police convince them to take the marijuana out in public and arresting the person with “public possession”. This is why they ask you to empty your pockets (which you do not have to do).
Police cannot search your pockets, unless you are being detained. If an officer asks if they can search your belongings or pockets, tell them “I do not consent to a search”. The NYPD can frisk you ONLY if they have reasonable suspicion.
Police may frisk you without reasonable doubt, do not resist (you can be charged with resisting). If they find marijuana on you, you cannot be legally arrested for public possession. You may be charged with possession of marijuana and given a ticket (but I honestly never heard of this). Police may try to falsify a report and say you took the marijuana out in public view and arrest you. This is why you should video/audio record your encounter. If you have proof of misconduct you can sue the police department.
For all you hardcore anarchists out there to know your rights.
George Zimmerman News of the Day: Evidence made public today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman includes graphic, tearful testimony (heads up — audio link is a tough listen) from a woman who says Zimmerman sexually abused her for a decade, starting when they were children.
The woman, identified as Witness 9, says Zimmerman “always was just, you know, very charming and personable with everyone … and just would laugh and entertain everybody… But he was different behind closed doors with me”:
It started when I was 6, he’s almost about two years older than I am. He would put his hands under my pants, under my underwear.
He would put his hands down my shirt and just rub and grab my chest.
We would all lay in front of the TV and he would reach under the blankets and try to do things. … I would try to push him off, but he was bigger and stronger and older.
Witness 9 spoke with Sanford, FL, police in March. She said she only came forward after the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin because ”this is the first time in my life that I’m not afraid of him.”
Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s attorney, had tried to keep the interview from being released. He argues, naturally, that it “is not relevant” to the case, and will “serve to reignite and potentially enhance the widespread public hostility toward Mr. Zimmerman.”
I agree that this is not relevant, but I also think that Zimmerman was not brought to justice.
Cleaners at the Olympic Park are being housed ten to a room at a huge temporary compound.
The campsite in East London, hidden from public view, has 25 people sharing each toilet and 75 to each shower.
They sleep in portable cabins, some of which have been leaking in the rain.
On arrival, some were horrified to be told there was no work for two weeks. But despite this, they were made to pay the cleaning company £18 a day in ‘rent’ to sleep in the overcrowded metal cabins, which works out at more than £550 a month.
Others who had come to the UK desperate for the jobs turned back, describing the camp as ‘horrible’, with showers and toilets ‘filthy’ from over-use.
it’s almost funny how shitty this is especially after the conditions exposed outside the last olympics.
Students are suing the state of Michigan and their Detroit-area school district for violating their “right to read.”
The class-action lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind, and potentially signals a new wave of civil rights litigation in the United States to enforce laws intended to boost academic achievement, education law experts say.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed what it has dubbed the “right to read” lawsuit on behalf of the nearly 1,000 students in the impoverished district.
Two-thirds of 4th-graders and three-quarters of 7th-graders in the Highland Park school district are not proficient on state reading tests; 90 percent of 12th-graders fail the reading portion of the final state test administered in high school, according to the complaint. Nearly 100 percent of the district’s students are African-American.
“A child who cannot read will be disenfranchised in our society and economy for a lifetime,” said ACLU of Michigan executive director Kary Moss in a written statement explaining the case. The lawsuit follows a “careful process of investigation that has made clear that none of those [education officials] charged with the care of these children … have done their jobs.”
One of the plaintiffs is a student referred to as S.D. An 8th-grader who has been in the district since 1st grade, his reading proficiency level is at a 3rd-grade level at best, the complaint alleges. Yet he “has never received any individualized reading intervention or remedial instruction from an adult” in the district.
According to state law, students who do not score satisfactorily on state reading tests in 4th or 7th grade “shall be provided special assistance” to bring skills to grade level within 12 months.
Yeah, this is great and all, but suing a poor school district isn’t going to do any good. What will improve school districts? MONEY. TAXES. PEOPLE NOT BEING ASSES AND REFUSING TO PAY FOR THE EDUCATION OF OTHERS. This is an issue that needs to be tackled by society, not placed upon an already failing school system.
^This. How is suing kids’ schools going to improve said schools? Spoiler alert: IT WON’T
They are sueing the state of Michigan and the Detroit school district, not the schools. Did you even bother to read the very first sentence of the article?
Suing brings wider attention to their cause. Attention and awareness promotes change.
Police in Florida fatally shot an innocent man over the weekend after they mistook him for an attempted murder suspect.
Lake County sheriff’s deputies were searching for a man named Jonathan Brown when they arrived at the Blueberry Hills Apartment complex in Leesburg early Sunday morning.
When the police banged on the wrong door, Andrew Lee Scott — who did not expect visitors — answered armed and ready, only to be fired at by the surprised officers.
“When we knocked on the door, the door opened and the occupant of that apartment was pointing a gun at deputies and that’s when we opened fire and killed him,” said Lt. John Herrell, according to WESH.
Officers admit they never identified themselves to Scott, a 26-year-old pizza deliveryman. Still, Herrell holds the victim at least partially responsible.
Residents said the unannounced knock at the door at 1:30 a.m. may be the reason why the tragedy happened.
“It’s just a bizarre set of circumstances,” he said. “The bottom line is, you point a gun at a deputy sheriff or police office, you’re going to get shot,” Herrell said.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, responded to the incident in his blog.
“This is technically not a ‘no knock’ search,” Turley wrote. “In such searches, there is no knock but the officers are supposed to announce their identities in going into the property… Indeed, I have criticized the increasing use of ‘no knock’ warrants.”
Police later arrested Brown and another suspect at a second apartment building. The two are currently at the Lake County Jail, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident and police authorities placed the officer who shot Scott on administrative leave.
but we can wonder why Scott answered the door with a gun. we don’t know that he would be dead had he left it behind.
Five years after he started “crime suppression” sweeps that terrorized Latino neighborhoods across Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is finally having to explain himself. Not to TV crews in Phoenix or to fawning hosts on Fox News, but before a federal judge.
Now, the Internet is getting a cat signal in defense of an open Internet — and its launch, both virtual and IRL, is planned for the same night as next week’s midnight showings of The Dark Knight Rises.
The cat signal is the brainchild of the Internet Defense League, “a network of people and sites who use their massive combined reach to defend the open internet and make it better”:
So on Thursday night, as Hollywood’s latest superhero movie opens in theaters for a midnight showing, IDL members in select cities can celebrate the launch around powerful spotlights rented for the occasion. The spotlights will beam the IDL’s “cat-signal” into the stratosphere, across obliging clouds, or onto neighboring buildings.
Parties like this are being planned in San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, London and Ulaar Bataar, Mongolia (!) and a few more we haven’t decided on yet.
Join the launch and/or help fund it here.
This doesn’t suggest much to do besides donate. But this is an excellent statement and I hope it’ll make a difference.
This is Moscow, Russia on February 4th, 2012. That date is today.
These are the people protesting the clearly rigged election, resulting in the victory of Vladimir Putin.
This is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. Can’t wait to see it here
They faced temperatures well below freezing and massed anyway.
Not even the elements will chill humanity’s hearth.