Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for January 30th, 2013

Who Is Going To Federal Prison For The CIA’s Torture Program?

Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2013


… Torture and conspiracy to commit torture is a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in a federal penitentiary, or by the death penalty if it results in the victim’s death. So who is going to prison now that the CIA torture program has been thoroughly investigated?
1. Someone who conducted “enhanced interrogation” torture sessions.
2. Someone who destroyed evidence of torture.
3. Someone who wrote a legal memo justifying the use of torture.
4. Someone high up in the Bush administration who authorized torture.
5. Someone who opposed torture within the CIA and later blew the whistle on the terrible crimes committed in our name.

If you guessed #5, you’re correct.

Last Friday, ex-CIA officer John C. Kiriakou became the first person to be sentenced to prison for issues related to CIA torture. Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for revealing the name of a former operative involved the Bush era’s brutal interrogation of detainees at Guantanamo to a reporter.

Kiriakou worked as a CIA operative for more than two decades and led a March 2002 raid that captured high-ranking Al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah. He was also a vocal torture opponent who revealed his knowledge of U.S. enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, in an ABC interview in 2007.

UPDATE: From Roots Action: Free John Kiriakou

On June 18, 2009, President Obama declared that no one in the CIA would be prosecuted for torture. But now a CIA officer is finally going to prison in connection with torture. However, this CIA officer didn’t torture anyone — he blew the whistle on torture.

In 2007, John Kiriakou was the first person to publicly acknowledge that the CIA was waterboarding people. The retribution for that act of whistleblowing began immediately.

The CIA began filing crime reports with the Department of Justice against Kiriakou. The IRS audited him in 2007 and has done so every year since. His wife was forced out of her job at the CIA. In 2010 an FBI agent pretending to be a foreign spy tried to entrap Kiriakou, who reported the incidents to the FBI. The same FBI follows him everywhere, including into his children’s school.

The DOJ tried unsuccessfully to prosecute Kiriakou under the Espionage Act as a supposed enemy of the state. He became unemployable and racked up a million dollars in lawyers’ bills.

Now Kiriakou is finally going to prison for 30 months for the act of telling an author the name of someone to interview, even though the name was already known and Kiriakou’s prosecution has made it better known….


Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, “eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA”.

Note: more than 100 detainees were reported to have died in custody, many after being tortured. Only two cases were investigated by the Obama DOJ. …
via www.oneutah.org

You know something is wrong with your country when it becomes a crime to report a crime.

Posted in Crime, Politics, War | 1 Comment »

NYPD looking to deploy naked body scanners on street corners as part of gun control roll-out

Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2013

SENDER: "DCPI" Now the city of New York, with its gun-grabbing mayor, is set to deploy revealing new x-ray scanners that will violate residents’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy to ensure they’re not taking advantage of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

According to local media reports, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said his force is currently testing the new technology, which is designed to hone in on guns without using the department’s well-established “stop-and-frisk” procedure. Now, not only will suspected criminals be targeted, but so will the vast majority of law-abiding New Yorkers who, once again, are going to be presumed guilty until proven innocent.

The New York Daily News said the department recently took delivery of a machine that reads terahertz, the “natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects,” which “allows police to view conceal weapons from a distance.”

“If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object,” Kelly told reporters. …

Civil libertarians have plenty to be upset about. So do ordinary New Yorkers.

A video image that was shown at a Police Foundation breakfast in early January showed a police officer, who was dressed in a New York Jets NFL jersey and blue jeans, with the shape of a gun outlined clearly beneath his clothing, when he was observed through the device.

Kelly says street testing of the device is underway. He said the device is small enough to be put in a police cruiser or set up on a street corner “where gunplay has occurred in the past,” the Daily News said.

Plans to use the revealing device were in play before the state’s latest round of radical new gun control legislation was passed, apparently. The police chief said his department has been working with London Metropolitan Police officials and a contractor “to develop a tool that meets our requirements.”

Apparently, a constitutional lawyer isn’t on the advisory team.

“We took delivery of it last week,” Kelly said Jan. 25 at the gathering at the Waldorf Astoria. “One of our requirements was that the technology must be portable.”

He added: “We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology. We’re also talking to our legal staff about this. But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”

So far, the city and the department has blown off concerns about potential privacy violations made by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which has expressed diffidence over the “virtual pat downs” that will no doubt occur.

Others, including some security experts, say the device will unquestionably lead to false positives and, in turn, stop-and-frisks that are not justified.

All of this comes on top of new gun control measures that were passed and signed into law so quickly by the state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the process was a violation of the state Constitution’s three-day waiting period before laws are voted on. …GUNTECH24N_2_WEB

via NYPD looking to deploy naked body scanners on street corners as part of gun control roll-out.

The article says, “The department just received a machine that reads terahertz — the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects — and allows police to view concealed weapons from a distance.” yes it reads terahertz, but does it also emit radiation to increase its ability to read? If so, my view is that irradiating  people with potentially harmful devices without consent is a physical attack. I believe the public has a right to self defense which would include disabling any attacker.

Great things are expected of terahertz waves, the radiation that fills the slot in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and the infrared. Terahertz waves pass through non-conducting materials such as clothes , paper, wood and brick and so cameras sensitive to them can peer inside envelopes, into living rooms and “frisk” people at distance.

The way terahertz waves are absorbed and emitted can also be used to determine the chemical composition of a material. And even though they don’t travel far inside the body, there is great hope that the waves can be used to spot tumours near the surface of the skin.

With all that potential, it’s no wonder that research on terahertz waves has exploded in the last ten years or so.

But what of the health effects of terahertz waves? At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging. Terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionise atoms or molecules, the chief reasons why higher energy photons such as x-rays and UV rays are so bad for us. But could there be another mechanism at work?

The evidence that terahertz radiation damages biological systems is mixed. “Some studies reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, showed none,” say Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a few buddies. Now these guys think they know why.

Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they’ve found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That’s a jaw dropping conclusion.

And it also explains why the evidence has been so hard to garner. Ordinary resonant effects are not powerful enough to do do this kind of damage but nonlinear resonances can. These nonlinear instabilities are much less likely to form which explains why the character of THz genotoxic
effects are probabilistic rather than deterministic, say the team.

This should set the cat among the pigeons. Of course, terahertz waves are a natural part of environment, just like visible and infrared light. But a new generation of cameras are set to appear that not only record terahertz waves but also bombard us with them. And if our exposure is set to increase, the question that urgently needs answering is what level of terahertz exposure is safe… 

via http://www.technologyreview.com/view/416066/how-terahertz-waves-tear-apart-dna/


Posted in Crime, human rights, Politics, Technology | 2 Comments »

Unusual weapons at gun buyback

Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2013


Seattle Police Department Sgt. Paul Gracy (L) seizes a missile launcher from Mason Vranish which Vranish had purchased outside a gun buyback program in Seattle, Washington January 26, 2013. Police said they would determine if the weapon can be legally owned by the public, in which case the weapon would be returned. If possession of the launcher is illegal, police said, Vranish will receive a gun buyback voucher. REUTERS/Nick Adams

via Unusual weapons at gun buyback | Reuters.com.

Posted in Strange | 1 Comment »

Not Only Does 9/11 Trial Have a Censor, But No One Can Know Who It Is

Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2013


A military commission judge’s attempt to explain this morning why the 9/11 pre-trial hearing being held at Guantanamo Bay was briefly blacked out from observers yesterday has only caused more confusion.

Beginning the hearing of the five alleged September 11 co-conspirators this morning, Judge James Pohl said a “security officer” is in charge of cutting off the feed when he believes something classified is being discussed. The judge didn’t say who or where this security officer is or on what basis he makes his decision that the matter is classified. He didn’t even clarify whether there is just one security officer in the courtroom, or others receiving the real-time audio feed elsewhere with the ability to press the censor button.

In the situation yesterday, Judge Pohl explained, whoever it was should not have cut off the feed because Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s attorney, David Nevin, was merely talking about his motion to obtain evidence of secret CIA detention facilities, commonly known as “black sites,” which has been filed in court and posted on the public docket. Obviously a reference to it can’t now be considered classified.

Ultimately, Pohl said, he’s the one in charge of deciding when to “close the courtroom” — that is, when to cut off the audio feed that lets observers hear the proceedings. Still, he acknowledged that there are several audio feeds going to several different places, including one real-time feed that goes straight to the court reporter. And Judge Pohl said he’s not sure who hears that feed.

The judge was candid about his own confusion: “We’re relying on what we think the technology is, not knowing what it is.”

That’s not making the defense lawyers feel any better about it. Defense attorney David Nevin stood up to say that it’s important that he be able to turn off his microphone so no one — whether the court reporter or some unnamed government security officer somewhere — so he can have confidential conversations with his client. As KSM’s attorney, he’s ethically required to maintain his client’s confidentiality.

Defense lawyer Cheryl Bormann echoed those concerns. Is the audio feed to the court reporter recording her conversations with her client, Walid bin Attash? If so, it’s a violation of court rules as well as her ethical obligations.

Pohl, who’s presiding over the 9/11 case but didn’t invent the elaborate censorship technology created to limit the public’s access to it, agreed with the defense lawyers’ concerns. He just didn’t know how to answer any of their questions.

He promised to allow the lawyers to call witnesses later to explain to the court how the courtroom technology works. …

via Daphne Eviatar: Not Only Does 9/11 Trial Have a Censor, But No One Can Know Who It Is.

Where’s Dick Cheney these days?  Since I won’t believe this fake trial any more than the fake killing of the already dead Bin Laden, here is some (satire I expect, but who knows…) that I found on the Internet:

“It was a terrible, terrible thing to do,” said Cheney, speaking in the lobby of Bethesda Cardiac Unit in Maryland, the nation’s most prestigious heart center. Reporters, his transplant team and members of his family crowded around Cheney, who served for eight years under President George W. Bush.

“Looking back, I can’t believe Karl and I actually did that,” he added, referring to former White House staff member and Republican strategist Karl Rove.

“There are a lot of ways to start wars. I don’t know why we had to kill so many Jewish people,” he explained. As reporters shouted their questions, Cheney raised his hand and said, “I am sorry, this is very difficult. I don’t have that much more to say. I just needed to get this off my chest.”

Cheney said that he planned the attacks so that the United States could get a permanent military presence in the Middle East, and have access to Iraq’s largely untapped oil reserves, the third largest in the world. “I can’t believe people didn’t put this together,” he said, “especially since we outlined the plan publicly in 1998. Even if people trusted me, I take responsibility for lying. It just wasn’t right.”

He said that it was Rove who came up with the date of Sept. 11, which translates to 9-11, “so that people would reminded of it as long as they lived, every time they see an ambulance or police car. It was very clever marketing. Karl is good that way,” Cheney said chuckling. “But it’s not funny. Sorry,” he added. …

He criticized the demolition of WTC 7, the third building to fall that day, as “sloppy work,” which he said was the result of “the CIA’s arrogance. They said nobody would notice, and by golly, they were almost right about that.”

He briefly mentioned how the Pentagon was really hit by a AGM-86B cruise missile, launched from an NSA destroyer on Chesapeake Bay. “It was not an airplane. It was supposed to be, but we had problems. We went to the backup plan, and visually it worked pretty well.” He made no further comment about the Pentagon.

Cheney then summed up the ways in which the government’s involvement was covered up. “But that’s not really an accurate description. The whole thing was a coverup.”

Attempts to contact former Pres. Bush at his home in Texas were not successful. Bush’s father, former Pres. George H.W. Bush, released a statement that said, “I never did like that guy.”

Truthout.org managed to reach Bill Clinton doing relief work in Namibia. “You would be real surprised how common this kind of thing is,” he said, while supervising a Habitat for Humanity house construction site. “I’m so glad to be out of the game.”

News of Cheney’s announcement spread around the Internet rapidly on Saturday, trending at record levels on Twitter as hashtag #yesireallydidit. Major news outlets, including The Washington Post and The New York Times, refused to carry coverage of the revelation. “We think that the vice president is suffering from medical complications or the influence of drugs,” the Times said in a statement. “We will not carry this story.”Josh Finkelstein, The Post’s longtime managing editor, was confronted by reporters at Washington’s famous Intelligentsia restaurant on D Street. He said, “This is absurd. This cannot be true.”

The White House immediately went on the defensive. Pres. Obama appeared at a hastily convened press briefing Saturday afternoon, flanked by the White House physician, Dr. Omar Kalibri, and Dr. Wilbur Smith, a medical psychiatrist from George Washington University.

“This is a medical issue, so I will let the appropriate professionals speak,” he said, turning the podium over to Dr. Kalibri.

“Sometimes when a major organ is transplanted, the patient takes on some of the psychological properties of the donor,” he said. “That seems to be what happened in this situation.”

The Associated Press reported several hours ago that Cheney’s new heart came from Richard Falcone, who was influential in the 9-11 Truth Movement in San Francisco. He disappeared mysteriously on Friday, March 23. The information was leaked to AP by an anonymous source at the Organ Clearinghouse Database (OCD) in Toledo, Ohio, which matches donors and recipients for the whole country.

via PlanetWaves.net


Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Swallowable Camera Takes Pictures Through a Pill

Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2013

You can get an X-ray to see your bones, an MRI to see your brain, and a CT scan to see virtually everything else. But getting a glimpse of the gastrointestinal tract (the esophagus, stomach, and intestines) is a little more invasive. Endoscopes have been able to provide doctors with a picture of their patients’ insides, but they have their limitations: For instance, the person performing the endoscopy needs extensive training on guiding the camera down the patient’s throat. It’s also a time-intensive procedure that requires the patient to be sedated.

A group of doctors and engineers working at both Ninepoint Medical and Massachusetts General Hospital developed a new endoscope that gets around these hurdles by thinking small. As reported in a recent study in Nature Medicine, they miniaturized the endoscope to fit the imaging equipment into a clear capsule patients can swallow. One end of the capsule is attached by a 1-mm-wide cable tethered to a console near the patient. When it reaches the stomach, the doctor can reel it back in and take snapshots of the GI tract on its return trip. Michalina Gora, lead author of the study and a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that one of her biggest concerns was how patients coped with a long string dangling in their throat. “Sometimes, the procedure triggered a gag reflex in the patient,” she says. “This can be taken care of just by breathing steadily, in and out. It opens up the GI tract’s sphincters and allows the endoscope to pass through.” Overall, patients prefer the swallowable endoscope to the standard version because the scan takes less time (about 5 minutes) and doesn’t require sedation.

Instead of a standard camera to take pictures, the endoscope uses a laser to scan its surroundings. Then its imaging equipment tracks the reflectance of the laser beam as it scans not only the surface of the GI tract, but also cell layers beneath it, producing 3D imagery. “It’s kind of like ultrasound imaging,” says Brett Bouma, a co-author of the study and a professor at Harvard Medical School. “You measure the time it takes for the laser to bounce back, and determine the distance.” Bouma and his colleagues have been able to use their endoscope to identify people with Barrett’s esophagus, a disorder where the lining of the esophagus changes shape because of stomach acid seeping through.

In addition to packing a camera into a capsule, the team also needed to find a way to handle the 100 gigabytes of data their endoscope generates. As new data is collected, old data is simultaneously piped through a hard-drive array and converted into a viewable image. Bouma says that the endoscope’s CPU can generate a real-time display at 20 frames per second, which he describes as “pretty adequate for comfortable viewing.” Eric Seibel, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington, who is not associated with this project, says the new imaging technology is promising but might encounter some stumbling blocks if it were brought into the clinic. The new endoscope’s pictures can be difficult to interpret because they aren’t the type of pictures doctors are accustomed to; instead, they look more like samples under a microscope. “Clinicians and pathologists have to look at the body in a different way than they’re used to,” he says.

Despite this stumbling block, he has high hopes for the potential of pill-size endoscopes. “Sedation accounts for one-third of the procedure’s cost,” he says. Because the new procedure is cheaper, it can be incorporated into routine physical exams. “You can look for diseases in the very early stages before any symptoms come up.”

via Swallowable Camera Takes Pictures Through a Pill – Popular Mechanics.

Posted in Health, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Kim Jong Un Disappoints U.S. With North Korea Nuclear Tests, Hopes Of Change In Relations Dashed

Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2013

North Korea’s missile tests and menacing rhetoric have disappointed U.S expectations that young leader Kim Jong-un would be different than his father but Washington still hopes to persuade Pyongyang to change course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.

“With a new young leader we all expected something different,” Clinton said in a town hall-style session put together by the State Department and broadcast worldwide. “We expected him to focus on improving the lives of the North Korea people, not just the elite, but everyone.

“Instead he has engaged in very provocative rhetoric and behavior,” she said of Kim, who took over his impoverished, isolated Northeast Asian nation when his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December 2011.

Last week the North declared a boycott of all dialogue aimed at ending its nuclear program and vowed to conduct more rocket and nuclear tests with its “sworn enemy” the United States as the target.

The serial diatribes in North Korea’s state media, which also threatened U.S. ally South Korea with war, came after the U.N. Security Council censured it for a long-range missile launch in December and added to longstanding sanctions.

Many analysts say North Korea is preparing for what would be its third nuclear weapons test, with Kim Jong-un following his father’s pattern of drawing international opprobrium with a missile test and then responding to world criticism with another missile or nuclear test.

Clinton, in one of her final interviews before leaving office, said the United States, its allies Japan and South Korea and regional powers China and now “have to work closely together to try to change the behavior of the North Korean regime.”

“We still hope there is a way to convince the North Korean regime not to pursue this path,” she said. …

via Kim Jong Un Disappoints U.S. With North Korea Nuclear Tests, Hopes Of Change In Relations Dashed.

Posted in Politics, War | 1 Comment »


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