Doctors aid torture at US military prisons

Doctors and nurses working under US military orders have been complicit in the abuse of terrorism suspects, a new independent US report says.

The study says medical professionals helped design, enable and participated in “torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” of detainees.

The report was compiled by an independent panel of military, health, ethics and legal experts.

Both the CIA and the Pentagon have rejected the report’s findings…

That last sentence ain’t exactly a surprise. I doubt if they care one way or the other.

The report says the collusion began at US prisons in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and at CIA secret detention sites after the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

Co-author Leonard Rubenstein told the BBC’s Newsday programme that the report revealed “the legacy of torture and detainee abuse at Guantanamo and elsewhere on the medical community”.

“What we found was that the department of defence and the CIA actually changed core ethical standards to facilitate participation by health professionals in the abuse of detainees. And those distortions still exist,” he said…

The report calls on the US Senate Intelligence Committee to fully investigate medical practices at the detention sites.

Pentagon spokesman Todd Breasseale said that none of the critics of prisoner care had access to the detainees, their medical records, or the procedures at Guantanamo.

He described the doctors and nurses working at Guantanamo as “consummate professionals“.

And Mussolini got the trains in Italy to run on time.

As for access to prisoners? That’s a function of the isolation imposed by the screws in charge of US prisons holding detainees illegally to begin with. What meager judicial processes the prisoners have been allowed violate all core international treaties on war crimes. And even though a significant number of prisoners have been judged free of crime they haven’t been allowed repatriation.

Nope. The whole process stinks on ice – just like Obama’s so-called legalising of Bush’s crimes. Same shit, different day is all. The doctors who worked for Himmler and Hitler in Nazi death camps were consummate professionals, too.

You can download the full report [.pdf] over here – hosted by the Institute for Medicine as a Profession.

US Navy contracts bought with hookers, Lady Gaga concert tickets


Oil change and filters adds up – for a couple of these

Nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” the gregarious Malaysian businessman is well known by U.S. Navy commanders in the Pacific, where his company has serviced warships for 25 years.

But prosecutors in court papers say Leonard Francis worked his connections to obtain military secrets by lining up prostitutes, Lady Gaga tickets and other bribes for a U.S. commander, in a scandal reverberating across the Navy…

Navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz passed confidential information on ship routes to Francis’ Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, according to the court documents.

Misiewicz and Francis moved Navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where Francis could inflate costs, according to the criminal complaint. The firm overcharged the Navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, the prosecution alleges…

So far, authorities have arrested Misiewicz; Francis; his company’s general manager of global government contracts, Alex Wisidagama; and a senior Navy investigator, John Beliveau II. Beliveau is accused of keeping Francis abreast of the probe and advising him on how to respond in exchange for such things as luxury trips and prostitution services. All have pleaded not guilty…

Navy spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby said Navy Criminal Investigative Service agents initiated their probe in 2010, but declined to comment further…

That same year, Misiewicz caught the world’s attention when he made an emotional return as a U.S. Naval commander to his native Cambodia, where he had been rescued as a child from the violence of the Khmer Rouge and adopted by an American woman. His homecoming was widely covered by international media.

Meanwhile, Francis was recruiting him for his scheme, according to court documents.

[Obviously, the relationship grew – ] Misiewicz would refer to Francis as “Big Brother” or “Big Bro” in emails from a personal account, while Francis would call him “Little Brother” or “Little Bro,” according to the complaint.

The company bilked the Navy out of $10 million in just one year in Thailand alone, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said…

The federal government has suspended its contracts with Francis…The defendants face up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery.

RTFA for all the gory details. Corruption and bribery has never disappeared from the heart of capitalism. They’re still referred to euphemistically as “sales aids”. All that changes over time, from company to corporation is a matter of degree.

If you believe that everyone has his price, the truth doesn’t matter. You just need to find the corruptible person who is willing to be bought. The exception that proves the rule.

Global Food Traceability Center offers a system-wide resource

This fish
Click to enlarge

Food traceability is a growing concern for both businesses and consumers who want to know exactly where their food is coming from, but the path of the global food supply is a winding one and the increasing complexity of the world’s food system can make it difficult to trace products back to their source.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world but there are still about 48 million cases of foodborne illness each year according to government estimates. The FDA says the illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

Behind the scenes, the Global Food Traceability Center, based in Washington, officially launched in July by the Institute of Food Technologists, is working to establish itself as a clearinghouse for efforts to protect and improve the global food supply.

Brian Sterling, operations director for the GFTC says the intent of the center is to “increase the capability of industry and government to respond to those inevitable situations where things go sideways, when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to go…”

The goal is to create systems that can actually talk to one another, that help producers and regulators get to the source of the problem before people get sick.

“Beyond that, consumers are really looking for more information,” Sterling told UPI. “Is it organic? Is it halal? Is it local? Is it environmentally friendly? Is it sustainable?…”

The challenge, he said, is getting access to that information in a timely way

“What we want to do is get the food system collaborating,” said Sterling, who offered the example of the Canadian grocery store chain Sobeys, which has partnered with Ecotrust Canada’s Thisfish traceability program. Customers are able to use the program to trace a variety of fresh and frozen seafood products right back to the fisherman.

Fishermen tag their catches with a unique code uploaded to Thisfish.info. The information is updated as the fish travels through the supply chain.

Great idea. Overdue in the United States outside of localized food chains, sources close enough to the end user that simple and simplified systems offer this kind of information. But, I look forward to continental and global implementation.

I’m one of those consumers that should be a market chain’s friend. The few stores we stick with treat our suggestions, response, criticisms as worthwhile. And the more we know about where our food comes from the better we’ll be at offering suggestions to the folks hoping to make a living from our consumption.

Want to see how good it can get? Go to the ThisFish website and try it out.

For the disenfranchised idjit vote, 20-pound carp runs for office

The carp’s most important endorsement

Despite a slippery record, a 20-pound carp is running for office in Ann Arbor, Mich., as a write in candidate, the “candidate’s” campaign publicity indicates.

Although its publicist is a mystery, Mlive.com reported Sunday lawn signs and Internet publicity indicate voters in the city have a new option when they go to the polls Tuesday, to write in their vote for a “20-pound carp,” even though the fish has destruction of public property on its record.

The fish, Mlive.com reported, was removed from a pond in West Park in November 2012, because it was destroying the pond’s vegetation. It was then released into the Huron River, where it apparently developed a taste for politics.

Mlive.com reported the fish describes itself as a bottom feeder who is adept at using social media to get out its talking points.

I will aggressively return Ann Arbor to its Golden Age, viz. 1837…”

The carp says it is focusing its campaign on the city’s fourth district, where Jack Eaton, a Democrat, is running unopposed.

“I’m amused. I have a sense of humor and I think it’s funny. I consider a 20-pound carp to be a substantial opponent and I wish him the best,” Eaton said.

Given the competition, we can assume the carp to be a Republican. The remaining question then – is the carp a conservative, libertarian or Tea Party neo-Confederate?