Loz Kaye

CIA Torture report

If the history of this century has been about anything so far, then it is the bargain of national security. A constant state of war carried out on a need-to-know basis.

Our governments of various political hues, the NSA, CIA, GCHQ, have constantly asked for, even demanded, our trust. We're keeping you safer, trust us. We're acting within the law, trust us. We need the powers we ask for (and many more you don't know about), trust us. 

Sunday, 14 December, 2014 - 15:45

Footnote 32

Article by Loz Kaye on The Lanchester about the CIA Torture Report.

If the history of this century has been about anything so far, then it is the bargain of national security. A constant state of war carried out on a need-to-know basis.

Our governments of various political hues, the NSA, CIA, GCHQ, have constantly asked for, even demanded, our trust. We're keeping you safer, trust us. We're acting within the law, trust us. We need the powers we ask for (and many more you don't know about), trust us.

The shocking report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on CIA torture activities has revealed one tiny corner of the truth, one tiny corner of the misery the US - and by collusion its allies - has unleashed on the world.

News outlets have shied away from describing the atrocities contained in it for what they actually are. I can't. It's rape, kidnap, mental cruelty, thuggery, torture and murder.

Once and for all, this report shows how flawed that bargain of national security has become. The trust we have been asked to have in the war on terror and the rush to mass surveillance has been dangerously misplaced.

The report is full of instances where the public and their elected representatives have been lied to.

The CIA claimed that these “enhanced techniques” led to useful information, preventing terrorist attacks. The committee found that in no case examined was this true. Not one.

CIA Deputy Director of Operations James Pavitt told the Senate Intelligence committee in 2001 they would be informed of each individual who entered CIA custody. Didn't happen.

Pavitt denied torture, and in 2002 denied existence of a detention facility. Lies.

The CIA lied about the number of people detained. They lied about videotaping of interrogations. They lied about using starvation. They lied about using sleep deprivation to medically damaging extent.

The idea that we should take the security services' word at face value after this is not just laughable, it's obscene.

In lots of places, coverage of the report has been rather warped by the CIA's point of view.

It was presented that the failure had mainly been that the torture was ineffective. In other words, that if it had been effective, then it might have been worth persevering with the anal rehydration and simulated drownings.

To my mind that is obviously monstrous.

What this has done, though, has been to dispel the Jack Bauer, 24 fantasy that for our spooks the ends justify the means and can be made to do so within a very strict timeframe with space for adverts.

The constant claim has been that lives have been saved, and therefore complaining about collateral damage was naive or dangerous.

We now know that those claims have been made falsely in the past and there is no need to take them as true without question in the future.

Equally, the notion that this was done by a few “bad apples” has also been stripped away.

Far from being a few rogue agents, this torture programme was devised by contractor psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.

They formed a company worth $180m, and received $81m in payouts over seven years. This shows that abuse was planned, systemic and well-funded.

In all the detail of the report, as journalist Trevor Timm pointed out, there is one case that seems to sum up that whole miserable saga.

Gul Rahman was tortured at the CIA black site known as the Salt Pit, he was chained to the floor and froze to death.

Footnote 32 explains curtly, “Gul Rahman, another case of mistaken identity.” A human life, someone who lived, loved and was loved, ended up as a footnote by mistake.

The favourite go to phrase for the mass surveillance lobby is that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.

Clearly, Gul Ruhman had everything to fear, freezing to death as a footnote in history. In the globalised war on terror, we can all fear becoming another fatal footnote.

Of course, some of us more than others. Currently, Muslims and people of Middle Eastern origin.

But until the government and mainstream parties truly face up to what they have done, until we have a proper inquiry in the UK, and until the release of the Chilcot Report, then the powers that be deserve our fear, not our trust.

Sunday, 14 December, 2014 - 12:00

‘We must turf out MPs who can’t protect our rights’ – Pirate Party UK leader on snooping

Interview by RT with Loz Kaye on Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruling that the UK's program of dragnet data collection does not violate human rights.

Friday, 5 December, 2014 - 22:00

Plans for Ardwick park are 'attack on working class' turning city into 'Greychester'

MM got in touch with Loz Kaye, the leader of the Pirate Party UK, after he took to Twitter to express his views with the post: “Manchester green space destruction alert. Please stop the ruining of Gartside Gardens.”

Mr Kaye told MM: “The plans are a direct attack on a working class district of the city. Far from benefitting the wider population, the so-called ‘knowledge corridor’ of Oxford Road is being carved out at our expense.”

Thursday, 4 December, 2014 - 14:45

Greater Manchester: a right Mayoral stitch up

Article by Loz Kaye about the three main parties signing up to a deal for more devolved powers for the metropolitan borough with the condition of an elected mayor.

Wednesday, 12 November, 2014 - 15:30

Local Debates not Leaders' Debates

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Anyone would think we are going to elect a president next year. Politicos, the media and the Twittersphere have been obsessing about the format of the Leaders' debates in the run up to the General Election.

What this has really been about is the largest forces in UK politics, from the Tories to the Greens promoting their own self interest rather than really doing what would reinvigorate creaking British democracy.

Scotland – The Real Choice

Loz Kaye's picture

Voters in Scotland are about to take one of the most significant democratic choices in recent years. It's fair to say that Pirate Party members have taken a range of views on #indyref. Unlike others, we're not afraid of shades of opinion in our party. But the last few days have convinced me of what my view is on the issue. The Scots probably don't want yet another Party Leader from south of Gretna banging on about the referendum, but here's what has led me to the belief that a Yes vote is the only way forward for people who care about real democratic choice.

So much of the  referendum campaign has focused on issues which aren't actually the heart of the question. It's not about whether you like Cameron and Boris or not. It's not about the SNP's voting record. It's not about whether Salmond says dumb stuff. It's not about license plates, stamps,  royal babies, how “foreign” you feel, haggis, teacakes, or spinsters cycling to evensong.

The Fappening e quello che possiamo (dobbiamo) imparare

Article at adversus.it quoting Loz Kaye. Article in Italian, original quote follows:

STATEMENT ON PRIVACY BREACHES

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:

"Recent leaks of nude photos are obviously a major and callous breach of privacy. They also serve as a wake up call to tech firms that they have a responsibility to protect their customers' data.

But at the end of the day the real responsibility is on individuals not to be douchebags and violate people's personal lives. That takes active moral choice for which there is no quick technological or legislative solution.

What is clear is that we live in a society that increasingly accepts attacks on privacy, by individuals, the press and the state. After all, less famous men and women have their private lives exposed all too frequently.. Equally the mass surveillance state has gone as far as to intercept often sexually explicit images via webcams through the 'Optic Nerve' operation.

It's time to turn that tendency around. The key is consent, and building a society that values consent."

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Optic Nerve operation background:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-yahoo

Thursday, 4 September, 2014 (All day)

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