Corrected: Gina Haspel Did Not Torture Zubaydah, Apparently

Not only did the new CIA Director personally oversee the torture of Abu Zubaydah, she did so in order to lie you and your mom into supporting the aggressive war against Iraq.

From David Rose’s report “Tortured Reasoning“:

Some of what he did say was leaked by the administration: for example, the claim that bin Laden and his ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [Zarqawi was not an ally of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden -editor] were working directly with Saddam Hussein to destabilize the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. There was much more, says the analyst who worked at the Pentagon: “I first saw the reports soon after Abu Zubaydah’s capture. There was a lot of stuff about the nuts and bolts of al-Qaeda’s supposed relationship with the Iraqi Intelligence Service. The intelligence community was lapping this up, and so was the administration, obviously. Abu Zubaydah was saying Iraq and al-Qaeda had an operational relationship. It was everything the administration hoped it would be.”

Within the administration, Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation was “an important chapter,” the second analyst says: overall, his interrogation “product” was deemed to be more significant than the claims made by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, another al-Qaeda captive, who in early 2002 was tortured in Egypt at the C.I.A.’s behest. After all, Abu Zubaydah was being interviewed by Americans. Like the former Pentagon official, this official had no idea that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured.

“As soon as I learned that the reports had come from torture, once my anger had subsided I understood the damage it had done,” the Pentagon analyst says. “I was so angry, knowing that the higher-ups in the administration knew he was tortured, and that the information he was giving up was tainted by the torture, and that it became one reason to attack Iraq.”

Says here Zubaydah wasn’t moved to the black site in Poland until late 2002. Not that I know she wasn’t there too, but “soon after Zubaydah’s capture” means on Haspel’s watch in Thailand it seems fair to conclude.

By the way, Zubaydah was not even a member of al Qaeda at all, much less their “Number 3 Lieutenant.”

Update: Pro Publica has completely retracted their story claiming that Gina Haspel was in charge of the torture dungeon in Thailand at the time Abu Zubaydah was held there.

He was still tortured into lying us into war with Iraq, but not by her, apparently.

Playing Nuclear Chicken – or is it Russian Roulette?

“It was not immediately clear how close the U.S. military recon jet was flying near Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between NATO allies Poland and Lithuania. This fall, Russia moved nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, putting some European capitals in strike range.” Armed Russian jet comes within 5 feet of US recon jet

“At the end, we lucked out. It was luck that prevented nuclear war. We came that close to nuclear war at the end. Rational individuals — Kennedy was rational, Castro was rational, Khrushchev was rational — came that close to total destruction of their societies. And that danger exists today. The major lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis is this: The indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will destroy nations.” –U.S. Vietnam “War” Defense Sec. Robert McNamara, The Fog of War

So, is it just “Nuclear Chicken” – or is it Russian Roulette?  Or maybe both?

And will M.A.D. still work after all these years?

Iran Frees Americans as Sanctions Are Lifted, Frustrating Warmongers Around the World

Iran has freed four dual-nationality prisoners, including an American/Iranian pastor and an American/Iranian Washington Post reporter who had been accused of working for the U.S. to foment regime change in Iran. The release was part of a prisoner swap, in which seven Iranians imprisoned in the U.S. over sanction violations were also freed. A fifthAmerican was freed by Iran outside of the swap.

Within hours of the release, devastating international sanctions on Iran were lifted after international inspectors verified its compliance with the terms of last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers.

Taken together, the prisoner swap, Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-deal commitments, and the sanction relief mark what may be a historic thaw in relations between the U.S. and Iran. This, however, should not be exaggerated, as the U.S. continues many belligerent policies directed at Iran, especially in the realm of proxy warfare (see below).

The developments at least mark a short term political triumph for the chief negotiators of the nuclear deal: the administrations of U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani was elected on the basis of his campaign promise to negotiate detente with the U.S. and to accomplish economic relief from sanctions for the Iranian people. Parliamentary elections in Iran will be held late next month, making the lifting of the sanctions exceedingly well-timed for Rouhani’s political party.

Conversely, the thaw is a supreme setback to Rouhani’s political rivals, the hardliners in Iran who have strenuously opposed the nuclear deal.

The hardliners in the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia are certainly furious as well.

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