Ship of Fools – A Modern Parable

TitanicOnce upon a time, the captain and the mates of a ship grew so vain of their seamanship, so full of hubris and so impressed with themselves, that they went mad. They turned the ship north and sailed until they met with icebergs and dangerous floes, and they kept sailing north into more and more perilous waters, solely in order to give themselves opportunities to perform ever-more-brilliant feats of seamanship.

As the ship reached higher and higher latitudes, the passengers and crew became increasingly uncomfortable. They began quarreling among themselves and complaining of the conditions under which they lived.
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Granada: Rescued from Rape and Slavery – A CIA Comic Book

In 1984 the CIA produced a comic book that told the story they would like to become history. They airdropped these comics by the thousands. This was a ploy by the US to have the people of Granada see the United States as liberators as opposed to invaders.

grenada-00cover

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The Zen of Fight Club

boxer

In a 1996 Chuck Palahniuk published a novel. The book follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor’s exasperated remark that sleeplessness is not suffering, he finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups. An encounter with a fellow “tourist”, Marla, drives him back into insomnia until he meets a mysterious liberator named Tyler Durden and establishes an underground fighting club as a form of radical psychotherapy.

In 1999, director David Fincher adapted the novel into a film of the same name, which received positive critical response and generated  a cult following, despite lower than expected box-office results.

Fight Club, while fictional, contained several tidbits of wisdom.  Most of the “liberation dialog” was spoken by the imaginary character of Tyler Durden.  While many saw the value of the novel and the movie as entertainment,  some of us relished its revolutionary vision.

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CIA Sabotage Manual

In the early 1980s, the right-wing Reagan U.S. Government was determined to undermine or overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua.


As part of this campaign, the Central Intelligence Agency produced a small illustrated booklet in both Spanish and English designed to destabilise the Nicaraguan Government and economic system.
It instructed dissaffected individuals on acts of sabotage they could carry out to this end.

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MK ULTRA – US Government Mind Control Expiriments

jim_jonesProject MK-ULTRA was the code name for a covert CIA mind-control and chemical interrogation research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence. This official U.S. government program began in the early 1950s, building on the Nazi mind control programs and continuing at least through the late 1960s, that used United States citizens as its test subjects. The published evidence indicates that Project MK-ULTRA involved the surreptitious use of many types of drugs, as well as other methods, to manipulate individual mental states and to alter brain function.

Project MK-ULTRA was first brought to wide public attention in 1975 by the U.S. Congress, through investigations by the Church Committee, and by a presidential commission known as the Rockefeller Commission. Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MK-ULTRA files destroyed in 1973. The Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms’ destruction order.

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US Government Torture Manuals

waterboarding

The first manual is the “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation,” dated July 1963. This is the oldest and most abusive manual and  is the source of much of the material in the second manual. (KUBARK was a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency cryptonym for the CIA itself.)

The second manual, “Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983,” was used in at least seven U.S. training courses conducted in Latin American countries, including Honduras, between 1982 and 1987. According to a declassified 1989 report prepared for the Senate intelligence committee, the 1983 manual was developed from notes of a CIA interrogation course in Honduras.

Both manuals deal exclusively with interrogation.  Both manuals have an entire chapter devoted to “coercive techniques.” These manuals recommend arresting suspects early in the morning by surprise, blindfolding them, and stripping them naked. Suspects should be held incommunicado and should be deprived of any kind of normal routine in eating and sleeping. Interrogation rooms should be windowless, soundproof, dark and without toilets.

The manuals advise that torture techniques can backfire and that the threat of pain is often more effective than pain itself. The manuals describe coercive techniques to be used “to induce psychological regression in the subject by bringing a superior outside force to bear on his will to resist.” These techniques include prolonged constraint, prolonged exertion, extremes of heat, cold, or moisture, deprivation of food or sleep, disrupting routines, solitary confinement, threats of pain, deprivation of sensory stimuli, hypnosis, and use of drugs or placebos.

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Italian Court Convicts 23 Americans in CIA Rendition Case