It is amazing Mitt Romney, a man whose family has cowered from military service for generations, is for enhanced torture. Romney also claims strong moral values, supports tortures which includes extreme sexual humiliation, rape, including children raped in front to their parents, and explicit sexual contortions. On second thought, somehow it doesn’t seem too shocking Romney supports the sexual abuse of children and the tormenting parents by mocking the sexual abuse of their children. Not shocking at all.
McCain on enhanced tortures -
Romney recently stated:
“I am convinced this is the time to tell Americans the truth,” said Romney. “We have to be honest and people will do the right thing. The silent majority is less and less silent.” Mitt is right; it is time for truth - even if it is the truth Romney doesn’t want told -
Mitt Romney’s support of enhanced torture is not a difficult stretch. Judge Bybee, Tom Flanagan, Mitchell, Jessen, DeLand, McCotter, were involved in the creation of the enhanced torture program. All are fellow Mormon Church members and Temple recommend holders, the same as Mitt,
Cofer Black, one of Romney’s advisers during his last presidential race, hand was in the selection Mitchell and Jessen’s development of enhanced tortures. Romney welcomed Black to his staff with his announcement:
"I am pleased to welcome Cofer Black to our campaign. He has a long and impressive career dedicated to making America safer and more secure in the world," said Governor Romney. "Our country faces a new generation of challenges and Black's experience at the forefront of our nation's counter-terrorism efforts will be a tremendous asset."
In order to begin to untangle the web which created the torture programs the background on the key players is necessary - and their background is where things get really interesting
Mitchell and Jessen had no experience with intelligence interrogations, they worked in the SERE program, which is a survival program for military personal that may be taken captive.
“And sources within JPRA knew a lot about Mitchell and Jessen. They said they were self-promoters, they were cowboys. They disapproved of the kind of techniques and their cozying up to the CIA. But they told us that they live here because it’s a nice place to live. And even though their mailing address is Langley, Virginia…”- Katherine Eban from Democracy Now interview.
According to Jeffrey Kaye’s article on Fireddoglake “…..another insider, who says he has some knowledge of the individuals involved, has indicated that it was Roger Aldrich, Mitchell and Jessen’s superior officer, the man who indeed hired them in the 1990s, who was responsible for the idea of reverse-engineering SERE techniques and contracting out services to the government.”
“Aldrich was an officer in the Air Force Reserve, who was also civilian chief of the Air Force’s Special Survival Training Program (SSTP), which was later folded into the JPRA agency. From this position, the source says, he hired "many people into lucrative civil service jobs at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, paying from $75K to $150K per year plus fantastic benefits." Aldrich used his influence and position to dole out patronage, and gained a loyal, devoted following.
"He took Mitchell and Jessen and promoted them. After 9/11, he hatched a scheme with the two men to offer interrogation and training services to the military and CIA for a great deal of money.”
Their contact at the CIA was Cofer Black.
“By the start of 2002, Dr. Mitchell was consulting with the C3 Center, whose director, Cofer Black, and chief operating officer, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., were impressed by his combination of visceral toughness and psychological jargon. One person who heard some discussions said Dr. Mitchell gave the C.I.A. officials what they wanted to hear. In this person’s words, Dr. Mitchell suggested that interrogations required “a comparable level of fear and brutality to flying planes into buildings.”
The enhanced torture program was implemented to the dismay of many experience intelligence interrogators who felt Mitchell and Jessen could wind up with charges pressed against them, which earned them the name of "The Poster Boys".The feeling was Mitchell and Jessen would wind up on the FBI's "Most Wanted List".
Mitchell and Jessen were given the nickname of the “Mormon Mafia” by peers at the CIA, due to the power they had within the agency. CIA and FBI interrogators who disagreed with Mitchell and Jessen torture program, found themselves countered with the stern message “you have lost your spine”, from the Mormon Mafia poster boys.
After the story of the abuses broke:
“Panetta fired all the C.I.A.'s contract interrogators, including the former military psychologists who appear to have designed the most brutal interrogation techniques.
DeLand and McCotter were tapped to set up Abu Ghraib
Gary DeLand was recommended by Lance McCotter to assist in setting up Abu Ghraib.
DeLand and McCotter relationship goes back to the Utah Department of Corrections and working for Management & Training Corporation, where both are executives. Management & Training Corporation is a private correction corporation started in Utah in the 1980’s by Utah State graduate Scott Marquardt and Lyle Parry.
Gary DeLand, served as the head of the Utah Department of Corrections from 1985 to 1992. Deland had been named in numerous law suits involving abuse of prisoner in the correction facilities he was over. “Deland was the named defendant in Littlefield v. Deland, where, according to the Court, a young mentally ill man was kept naked for 56 days in a "strip cell" with no windows, no interior lights, no bunk, no floor covering, and no toilet except for a hole in the concrete floor.”
Lane McCotter, served in the Utah Corrections system from 1992 until he was forced to resign in 1997. McCotter had worked prior to Utah for prison systems in Texas, and New Mexico, which resulted also in numerous abuse claims while under his watch.
The “Department of Justice's own Civil Rights Division released a 36-page report documenting inhumane and unsafe conditions at a jail run by a private prison company, Management & Training Corporation, where McCotter is a senior executive.”
“Texas, where McCotter served as director of the Department of Corrections for two years, he faced allegations in 1985 of erasing the parts of a video that showed the beating of a prisoner by a guard.”
In Utah, a SWAT team led to the death of an inmate after they burst into a mentally ill patient’s cell. (Remember the SWAT team for later in the post)
“A statement provided by Schumer's office reviews McCotter's employment history, including his resignation as Utah prison director in 1997 after a mentally ill inmate died after spending 16 hours strapped to a chair. Schumer's news release also calls attention to the Justice report criticizing MTC's management of the Santa Fe County jail, and notes that the New Mexico Corrections Department also raised concerns about the jail."
"While McCotter's company was under state and Department of Justice investigation, Attorney General Ashcroft selected him to serve as one of four civilian advisers to oversee the reconstitution of Iraqi prisons," Schumer noted. "Why Attorney General Ashcroft would send someone with such a checkered record to rebuild Iraq's corrections system is beyond me," Schumer said.
Then, on May 20, in a case of unfathomable irony, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that McCotter, along with three other corrections experts, had gone to Iraq. The very same day, Justice Department lawyers began their first negotiations with Santa Fe County officials over the extensive changes needed at the jail to avoid legal action.”
“The New York Times reported that McCotter "directed the reopening of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last year," and McCotter himself admitted he worked closely with American military police officers at the prison complex.”
“While Lance McCotter worked establishing Abu Ghraib, he reportedly walked around handing out wads of cash, three million dollars worth, to people rebuilding Abu Ghraib prison.”
He also worked with according to “The Nation, Deland and McCotter "worked along with Brig. Gen. Karpinski and MPs from various battalions" at Abu Ghraib.” Brig. Gen Karpinski later became the scapegoat for the prison abuse. DeLand and McCotter left Abu Ghraib prior to the abuse story breaking.
Janis Leigh Karpinski is a central figure in the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal.
Another destroyed video tape?
Outside of Mitchell and Jessen firing from the CIA, a few low level prison guard charged after taking photographs, and Karpinski made scapegoat, there was been no accountability for the creators of the enhanced torture programs has happened.
Harry Reid, also a member of the Mormon Church, discouraged investigation into the tortures and probing of the memo’s which approved the program. “After the release of these memos why then is Harry Reid not in line with almost every Democratic Politician?”
“A serious setback, however: Harry Reid, whose Senate would rule on an impeachment in the House, doesn't seem to like the idea:”
"Judge Bybee has a good professional reputation in Nevada," Reid spokesman Jon Summers said in an e-mail "While the memos that have been released are disturbing to Sen. Reid, at this point in time, he doesn't think we should be making a rush to judgment.”
Back in Utah, the legacy of DeLand and McCotter prison system is tragic. Tragic not to the prison inmates, but with children of Mormon Church wards. News papers in Utah ran the abuse stories:
“PROVO — A former corrections officer and SWAT team member at the Utah State Prison was charged Friday with nine felony sex offenses involving a child. Davis was hired by the Utah Department of Corrections in December 1998 and was most recently working for Adult Probation and Parole Region 4, which is Utah County, said Jack Ford, Utah Department of Corrections spokesman”
“WEST VALLEY CITY -- A former LDS bishop and administrator with the Utah Department of Corrections was accused Tuesday of molesting several teenage boys over an extended period of time.
David James Gomez, 57, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Monday for investigation of 50 counts of forcible sodomy, 15 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, 10 counts of sodomy on a child, all first-degree felonies, and 50 counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies. He was being held Tuesday without bail."
"Gomez is accused of raping, sodomizing and fondling several boys 10 to 13 years ago, according to police. He came in contact with the boys while serving as bishop (Mormon Bishop) of the Hunter 10th Ward.”
DeLand and McCotter were sent to Iraq to set up a prison system similar to the prisons in the United States, they appear to have succeeded, as well as succeeding in tarnishing the name of the people of America.
Romney’s stand on enhanced tortures, as well as his selection of Cofer Black on his 2008 presidential staff, will lead some to ask if in voting for Romney in 2012, would return the United States back to the torture programs which brought disgrace on American people?
(The reference are too numerous to list on the post page, and are listed on the comments section. One can link to all sources used in the post)