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Ground Branch is an impressive true tactical first/third person shooter in which the devs are aiming to achieve every possible realistic action from studying real life special operators - from how they handle their guns, to their movements, and tactical strategies.

Based on the real life subsection of the Special Activities Division of the CIA, the Special Activities Division carries our deniable ops and is usually on the scene before any other military special forces.  Ground Breach is very much on the simulation end of the FPS spectrum, with deliberate, cerebral and gritty gameplay.

The devs plan to re-introduce the meaning of death into the FPS genre (something which games like CoD have desensitised us to), with real impact to your actions.  Also, multiplayer firefights won’t feature any form of artificial balancing - good teamwork, careful choices and real skill are the only ways to win in Ground Branch.

It’s been a while since we had a truly great tactical shooter, but Ground Branch is looking very promising indeed.  It’s still very early in development, but it already impresses with it’s excellent visuals and authentic approach to warfare.

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Media blackout on CIA drug trafficking accusation in Chile 

According to the information given by Ulloa Castillo, the funds collected from the selling of drugs would have been used in order to finance international undercover operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the United States, bypassing the need for an authorization from the U.S. Congress. Prominent among those operations would have been the destabilization of the democratic governments of Ecuador and Venezuela. In spite of receiving the respective information on these actions, Hinzpeter Kirberg took no measures regarding the involved. At the same time, the case was blatantly ignored by the Chilean press.   

As a conclusion of a lengthy investigative work in the area, Mery Bell concluded that “Chile is the strategic and military base of the CIA for Latin America”, ever since the former socialist president Salvador Allende (1970-1973) was overthrown, and that the South American nation, in which there is “a genuine information blockade” which makes it possible to manipulate its public opinion, “carries out a treason” against the region due to the political espionage it is engaged in.

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Hind Heist: Mount Hope III - 1987 CIA/Air Force Mission to “Acquire” an Abandoned Libyan Mi-24D Hind Helicopter in Chad

The 160th Special Operations Group, the “Night Stalkers,” used CH-47 Chinooks to recover a Mil Mi-24D Hind helicopter left behind by Libyan forces at a base within Chad during the border war between the two nations. The recovery team kept clear of nearby Libyan forces and endured a sandstorm to sweep in and recover the helicopter for intelligence purposes.

Story at TacAirNet

Rectal feeding and rehydration

The torture report contains new information on the CIA’s use of rectal feeding and rehydration. At least five detainees were subjected to the process, the report states. The report details how accused USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was placed “in a forward facing position (Trendelenburg) with head lower than torso”, whilst undergoing rectal feeding.

Another detainee, Majid Khan, a legal resident of the United States and accused confident of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was also subjected to rectal feeding. According to a CIA cable released in the report, his “‘lunch tray’ consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was ‘pureed and rectally infused’”.

Mohammed was also subjected to rectal rehydration “without a determination of medical need”. Mohammed’s chief interrogator described use of the process as emblematic of their “total control over the detainee”.

Confinement in a box

Placing the subject inside a confined box to restrict their movement was approved by the Bush administration in the case of Abu Zubaydah.

Zubaydah says he was placed in a number of different confinement boxes in an intense period of interrogation in Afghanistan in 2002. He told the ICRC that the boxes made it difficult to breathe and reopened wounds in his legs. He could not recall how long he spent in each confinement box, and believes he may have passed out inside.

The use of insects inside the box was also approved, to exploit a phobia Abu Zubaydah had. This element was not ultimately used, according to memos.

The use of cold water

A number of those interviewed by the ICRC said they were often subjected to dousings in cold water during interrogation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad’s co-defendant Walid bin Attash said that for the first two weeks of his detention in Afghanistan his naked body was wrapped in plastic after being doused, and kept inside the cold envelope of water for several minutes.

In November 2002, a suspected Afghan militant, Gul Rahman, died of hypothermia inside a CIA black site north of Kabul known as the Salt Pit. Rahman had been left in a cold cell, stripped from the waist down and had been doused in water, according to reports from the Associated Press.

The torture report contains more details on Rahman’s death, including details of the CIA’s interrogation methodology used. This included “48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation a cold shower and rough treatment”. The CIA Headquarters did not approve these methods in advance, the report says. But the day before Rahman’s death, one CIA officer ordered that Rahman be shackled to the wall of his cell and sat on the cold floor whilst naked from the waist down. CIA headquarters had approved the use of “enhanced measures” at this point.

The CIA officer who sent these instructions received no reprimand. Instead, four months later, he was given a $2,500 cash reward for his “consistently superior work”.

Waterboarding

The process of suffocation by water involves strapping the individual to a tilted board, with legs above their head, placing a cloth over their face, covering their nose and mouth. Water is then poured continuously over the cloth to prevent breathing, simulate drowning and induce panic.

The process is carried out for about 40 seconds and is known to have been repeated a number of times during interrogation.

The process was carried out on three detainees, Bush administration officialshave said. But the number could be higher, according to a 2012 report from Human Rights Watch.

One of those, Abu Zubaydah, a suspected senior Bin Laden lieutenant, told the ICRC: “I struggled without success to breathe. I thought I was going to die. I lost control of my urine.” He underwent the process 83 times, while another of the CIA’s highest-value detainees, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said to be the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks, was subjected to waterboarding 183 times.

Beatings and threats

Many detainees have reported being beaten by interrogators, and the CIA memo mentions a number of approved methods of physical contact, including “facial holds”, “insult slaps” and “attention grasps”.

Most of those interviewed by the ICRC alleged that these beatings often occurred in the immediate aftermath of their capture, often multiple times in the day.

One detainee said: “I was punched and slapped in the face and on the back, to the extent that I was bleeding. While having a rope round my neck and being tied to a pillar, my head was banged against the pillar repeatedly.”

Six of the detainees said they were slammed into walls after having a collar placed around their necks. The CIA called it “walling”: a fake, flexible wall is constructed and a detainee is thrown against it, creating a loud noise. The noise is designed to make the detainee believe they are injured.

Detainees also reported threats of severe violence and sexual assault made against them and their families. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the ICRC he was threatened with being brought to the “verge of death and back again”.

The torture report notes that at least three detainees were threatened with harm to their families. Interrogators implied to Nashiri that his mother would be brought in front of him and sexually abused. The report also notes one detainee was told his mother’s throat would be cut. It is not clear which detainee this references.

The torture report confirms that Nashiri was threatened with a pistol placed near his head and a cordless drill that was operated near his body. Nashiri was blindfolded at the time.

“Al-Nashiri did not provide any additional threat information during, or after, these interrogations,” the report concludes.

Stress positions

A variety of stress positions were used by the CIA. Ten terror suspects alleged to the ICRC that these included beingtold to stand upright and shackled to the ceiling for up to three days, and in some cases at intervals for over three months. Other stress positions included being shackled to the floor with arms stretched over the head.

Three detainees interviewed by the ICRC said they were forced to urinate and defecate on themselves in these positions, and were left standing in their own excrement.

The use of stress positions was designed to cause muscle fatigue, physical discomfort and exhaustion.

Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation was employed routinely and was seen as a key tool in enhanced interrogations. Many of these techniques overlap with other interrogation procedures – the use of stress positions, and in particular shackling a standing detainee with his hands in front of his body.

Among the most infamous was the use of loud music and white noise, sometimes played for 24 hours a day on short loops. Cells were also reportedly kept deliberately cold to prevent detainees falling asleep. The agency was authorized to keep a detainee awake for up to 180 hours – about a week – but told the Justice Department it only kept three detainees awake for 96 hours maximum.

Eleven of the 14 detainees interviewed by the ICRC said they had been subjected to sleep deprivation. One said: “If I started to fall asleep a guard would come and spray water in my face.”

The torture report reveals that four detainees, each with “medical complications in their lower extremities”, including two with broken feet, were placed in shackled standing positions for “extended periods of time” to induce sleep deprivation.
The men with broken feet, Abu Hazim and Abd al-Karim who sustained the injuries whilst trying to escape capture, were also subjected to walling, stress positions and cramped confinement, despite recommendations that their injuries prevented this form of interrogation.

Forced nudity and restricted diets

The CIA viewed certain techniques as “conditioning” measures, designed to get detainees used to their helplessness rather than yielding any intelligence value on their own. Sleep deprivation was in this category. So was stripping a detainee naked, which a 2005 memo from the Justice Department to the CIA said carried the benefit of “reward[ing] detainees instantly with clothing for cooperation.” (While keeping a detainee naked “might cause embarrassment,” a Justice Department lawyer wrote, it did not itself constitute “sexual abuse” or the threat of sexual abuse.)

Another “conditioning” technique involved feeding a detainee “a bland, commercial liquid meal” instead of normal food. The CIA set caloric intake guidelines – a recommended minimum was 1,500 calories daily – and relied on medical personnel, who are sworn to do no harm to their patients, to ensure detainees did not lose more than 10% of their body weight. A Justice Department memo understood the dietary manipulation could “increase the effectiveness of other techniques, such as sleep deprivation.”

A Summary of Hyrule Warriors

Ganon: You think, just because you are the Hero of Hyrule and have the Triforce of Courage, you can kill me and all my peeps, while getting all of the ladies?!?!

Link:

Ganon: 

*proceeds to kill Ganon, all of his peeps and gets his main chick and side chicks, while avoiding the lust of the evil chick because she expired* 

THE END

Did the American Psychological Association Help Legitimize CIA Torture?

A new report by rogue psychologists and mental health experts alleges that the American Psychological Association (APA) helped justify the Bush administration's torture of detainees in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

As the New York Times reported Thursday, dissident members of the professional mental health community allege that a government researcher contributed language to a 2005 APA policy regarding interrogations. And despite tons of communication back and forth, the authors of the report found “there is no evidence that any APA official expressed concern over mounting reports of psychologist involvement in detainee abuse during four years of direct email communications with senior members of the US intelligence community.”

The report, called “All the President’s Psychologists,” is based in large part on the emails of a behavioral researcher named Scott Gerwehr, who died in a motorcycle crash in 2008. On Thursday morning, it was published in full by New York Times reporter James Risen, who had previously referenced some of the correspondences in his 2014 book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War.

Continued

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How Far Would You Go To Interrogate a Suspected Terrorist?  Dirty Hands puts you in the role of a CIA interrogator who must discover the location of a terrorist bomb at all costs.

You have a variety of interrogation methods available to to you as you decide how to tackle your suspects.  You can use their personal information to find clues and possible avenues of questioning, and if that fails you also have a ‘toolbox’ of items that may help loosen their tongues.

It’s a tense and gritty game, in which each suspect is a puzzle that has to be cracked by any means necessary.  You may play ‘good cop’ for a while, but as that timer counts down you may have to get your hands dirty….

Play The Beta, Free

May 19, 2015 - On Monday, May 18, the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch published a selection of formerly classified documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department through a federal lawsuit. While initial mainstream media reporting is focused on the White House’s handling of the Benghazi consulate attack, a much “bigger picture” admission and confirmation is contained in one of the Defense Intelligence Agency documents circulated in 2012: that an ‘Islamic State’ is desired in Eastern Syria to effect the West’s policies in the region. Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for “THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION. THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME.”. The DIA report, formerly classified “SECRET//NOFORN” and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others. The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset. While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of Western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that Western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The document matter-of-factly states just that scenario. Forensic evidence, video evidence, as well as recent admissions of high-level officials involved (see former Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford’s admissions here and here), have since proven the State Department and CIA’s material support of ISIS terrorists on the Syrian battlefield going back to at least 2012 and 2013 (for a clear example of “forensic evidence”: see UK-based Conflict Armament Research’s report which traced the origins of Croatian anti-tank rockets recovered from ISIS fighters back to a Saudi/CIA joint program via identifiable serial numbers). The newly released DIA report makes the following summary points concerning “ISI” (in 2012 “Islamic State in Iraq,”) and the soon to emerge ISIS:

  • Al-Qaeda drives the opposition in Syria;
  • The West identifies with the opposition;
  • The establishment of a nascent Islamic State became a reality only with the rise of the Syrian insurgency (there is no mention of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits; see section 4.D. below);
  • The establishment of a “Salafist Principality” in Eastern Syria is “exactly” what the external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as “the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey”) in order to weaken the Assad government;
  • Safe havens” are suggested in areas conquered by Islamic insurgents along the lines of the Libyan model (which translates to so-called no-fly zones as a first act of ‘humanitarian war’; see 7.B.);
  • Iraq is identified with “Shia expansion” (8.C);
  • A Sunni “Islamic State” could be devastating to “unifying Iraq” and could lead to “the renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” (see last non-redacted line in full PDF view.).

The following is excerpted from the seven page DIA declassified report (bold-facing is my own):

R 050839Z AUG 12

THE GENERAL SITUATION:

A. INTERNALLY, EVENTS ARE TAKING A CLEAR SECTARIAN DIRECTION.

B. THE SALAFIST [sic], THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

3. C. Al QAEDA - IRAQ (AQI): B. AQI SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA.

4.D. THERE WAS A REGRESSION OF AQI IN THE WESTERN PROVINCES OF IRAQ DURING THE YEARS OF 2009 AND 2010; HOWEVER, AFTER THE RISE OF THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA, THE RELIGIOUS AND TRIBAL POWERS IN THE REGIONS BEGAN TO SYMPATHIZE WITH THE SECTARIAN UPRISING. THIS (SYMPATHY) APPEARED IN FRIDAY PRAYER SERMONS, WHICH CALLED FOR VOLUNTEERS TO SUPPORT THE SUNNI’S [sic] IN SYRIA.

7. C. THE FUTURE ASSUMPTIONS OF THE CRISIS:

A. THE REGIME WILL SURVIVE AND HAVE CONTROL OVER SYRIAN TERRITORY.

B. DEVELOPMENT OF THE CURRENT EVENTS INTO PROXY WAR: OPPOSITION FORCES ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THE EASTERN AREAS (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), ADJACENT TO THE WESTERN IRAQI PROVINCES (MOSUL AND ANBAR), IN ADDITION TO NEIGHBORING TURKISH BORDERS. WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS. THIS HYPOTHESIS IS MOST LIKELY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DATA FROM RECENT EVENTS, WHICH WILL HELP PREPARE SAFE HAVENS UNDER INTERNATIONAL SHELTERING, SIMILAR TO WHAT TRANSPIRED IN LIBYA WHEN BENGHAZI WAS CHOSEN AS THE COMMAND CENTER OF THE TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT.

8. C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN)

8.D.1. ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY.

[Levant Report]