The New York Times reported that, “in the 67 years since the CIA was founded, few presidents have had as close a bond with their intelligence chiefs as Mr. Obama forged with Mr. [John] Brennan,” an architect of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program and former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia.
Obama’s worldview meshed so closely with this “unsentimental intel warrior” and “terrorist hunter” that Obama “found himself finishing Brennan’s sentences.”
An anonymous Cabinet member explained that “presidents tend to be smitten with the instruments of the intelligence community [but] Obama was more smitten than most—this has been an intelligence presidency in a way we haven’t seen maybe since Eisenhower.”
The consequences could be seen in Obama’s boosting funding for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which promotes regime change in countries defiant of the New World Order, and his drastic expansion of the use of drones—for both surveillance and targeted killings.
The Obama administration further; a) backed coups in Ukraine and Honduras; b) pivoted the U.S. military to Asia, ramped up arms sales to Saudi Arabia and expanded military bases in Africa; c) helped suppress evidence about CIA torture, d) refused to pursue a criminal case against the CIA’s money laundering bank, HSBC, e) eavesdropped on U.S. allies and a U.S. congressman (Dennis Kucinich) who opposed his administration’s illegal invasion of Libya that devastated that country, f) stepped up surveillance and efforts to destroy Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and g) presided over the prosecution of a record number of whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Social media was ablaze yesterday over a CIA recruiting video which you should definitely watch if you haven’t seen it already, because it has to be seen to be believed.
The video features a Latina CIA officer proudly describing her ascent to her position in one of the most depraved institutions that has ever existed using a jaw-dropping fountain of social justice buzzwords and appeals to Latin American culture while wearing a t-shirt featuring a girl power symbol and the caption “Mija, you are worth it.”
“I am a woman of color, I am a mom, I am a cisgender millennial who’s been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder,” she says. “I am intersectional, but my existence is not a box-checking exercise. I am a walking declaration. A woman whose inflection does not rise at the end of her sentences suggesting that a question has been asked.”
“I did not sneak into the CIA,” says the officer over inspirational-sounding music, adding, “At 36, I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.”
“Know your worth, command your space. Mija, you are worth it,” the video concludes.
“People in other parts of the world who make even modest efforts to ‘command their space’ often end up murdered by the CIA or its proxies,” someone commented under the video.
Paris Hilton made a surprise appearance at the Utah State Legislature on Monday to testify in favor of a new bill that regulates so-called “troubled teen” facilities. Her testimony was nothing short of horrifying as it detailed rampant torture and sexual abuse of children in these facilities — of which she was a part.
“My name is Paris Hilton. I’m an institutional abuse survivor,” she said.
Utah is considering a new piece of legislation that would attempt to prevent such horrifying abuses from happening in the future and Hilton was there in support of it. Senate Bill 127 would put these facilities that deal with youth who are facing addiction, behavioral and other issues under more oversight, including regular reports to the state on how they utilize restraints.
Currently, these centers are not subject to any spot inspections and do not have to report when they restrain a child, use a chemical restraint, or otherwise abuse the children. Under the current law in Utah, this lack of oversight allows abuses like the ones faced by Hilton to go unchecked.
In her emotional testimony, Hilton described her abuse, starting with her being abducted in the middle of the night from her home. She was essentially kidnapped and then flown to Utah and placed in multiple “troubled teen” facilities at which the abuse occurred. In some of these places she was kept in solitary confinement for days on end.
“That small room covered in scratch marks and smeared blood with no bathroom is one of the most vivid and traumatizing memories I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” she said. “Children were restrained, hit, thrown into walls, strangled and sexually abused regularly at Provo.”
Forty-five years ago, under a cloak of secrecy, Operation Condor was officially launched: a global campaign of violent repression against the Latin American left by the region’s quasi-fascist military dictatorships. The US government not only knew about the program — it helped to engineer it.
President-elect Joe Biden is being warned not to bring torture apologists who served under President Barack Obama into his administration.
The Daily Beast reported this week that Biden was considering Michael Morell as a potential CIA director, but Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) had objections. Wyden publicly warned that Morell, who served as deputy director of the CIA under Obama, shouldn’t be considered due to his past ties in obscuring CIA torture. CNN subsequently interviewed Wyden:
“No torture apologist can be confirmed as CIA director. It’s a nonstarter,” Wyden told CNN, referring to Morell’s previous suggestions that the agency’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” of terrorists was both effective and moral—claims that go further than those made by other officials who have faced scrutiny over the agency’s handling of detainees at black sites, including former Director John Brennan and current Director Gina Haspel.
Wyden isn’t the only person trying to raise alarms about Morell. Over at Just Security, Scott Roehm, along with Daniel Jones (who investigated the CIA torture and wrote the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on it),also warned against Morell. They note Morell’s role in essentially absolving CIA staff (including current CIA Director Gina Haspel) of responsibility for destroying tapes of CIA torture of suspected terrorists during the Iraq War. He was also responsible for the CIA’s response to the Senate’s torture report, insistingthat the CIA’s methods had resulted in actionable intelligence.