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U.S. bank lending drops in February despite bailouts: report
Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:26am EDT

(Reuters) – Banks that received the most U.S. government aid made or refinanced 23 percent less in new loans in February, than in October 2008, when the U.S. Treasury launched its Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Wall Street Journal said, citing its own analysis of Treasury Department data.

In three of the four months that the U.S. government reported this data, the total dollar amount of new loans declined, according to the paper.

Some 16 of the 19 largest TARP recipients with comparable data originated fewer loans in February than they did at the time they received federal infusions, the paper said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE53J0U020090420

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My note –

Of course they’re not lending money – they are a black hole that sucks money in. The same banks are engaging in practices that undermine the financial health and opportunities of American consumers that hold credit cards with them and generally, taking every advantage in the situation while taking taxpayers money to the tune of billions of dollars. What would happen if we didn’t have them? Wouldn’t other more competitive and fair sources of loans and provisions through social lending and investors / venture capitalists move into the gap? Banks are using depositors’ money to do all their finagling in the first place – they obviously don’t lend out $7 for every $1 the taxpayers are putting into their businesses.

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And I thought this one was interesting, since this is more of what most of the rest of us can expect to live –

13-year-old’s school strip-search case heads to Supreme Court

updated 3 hours, 12 minutes ago

(CNN) — The case of a 13-year-old Arizona girl strip-searched by school officials looking for ibuprofen pain-reliever will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

The case is centered around Savana Redding, now 19, who in 2003 was an eighth-grade honors student at Safford Middle School, about 127 miles from Tucson, Arizona. Redding was strip-searched by school officials after a fellow student accused her of providing prescription-strength ibuprofen pills.

Redding was pulled from class by a male vice principal, escorted to an office, where she denied the accusations.

A search of Redding’s backpack found nothing. Then, although she never had prior disciplinary problems, a strip search was conducted with the help of a school nurse and Wilson’s assistant, both females. According to court records, she was ordered to strip to her underwear and her bra was pulled out. Again, no drugs were found.

In an affidavit, Redding said, “The strip search was the most humiliating experience I have ever had. I held my head down so that they could not see that I was about to cry.”

At issue is whether school administrators are constitutionally barred from conducting searches of students investigated for possessing or dealing drugs that are banned on campus.

A federal appeals court found the search “traumatizing” and illegal.

While a federal magistrate and a three-panel appeals court found the search was reasonable, the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Redding last year.

“Common sense informs us,” wrote the court, “that directing a 13-year-old girl to remove her clothes, partially revealing her breasts and pelvic area, for allegedly possessing ibuprofen … was excessively intrusive.”

The court said the school went too far in its effort to create a drug- and crime-free classroom. “The overzealousness of school administrators in efforts to protect students has the tragic impact of traumatizing those they claim to serve. And all this to find prescription-strength ibuprofen.”
The case is Safford United School District No. 1 v. Redding (08-479).

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/19/scotus.strip.search/index.html

***

My note –

So, instead of this honors student being involved and focused on the normal activities of growing up and going to college, dating and friendships – she has spent the last six years involved in this view of the US court system. There was no reasonable occasion for the search in the first place. Humiliating and shaming a thirteen year old girl in this way yields nothing of value.

Anyone who actually was selling drugs at that school continued to do so, the accuser who falsely accused her did not have any consequences from the unfounded accusation and the school authorities who would have been put in jail had they done this in any other country are continuing to enjoy their jobs.

There is no excuse for this. Schools are not prisons camps and we do not live in a communist dictatorship, but the way that local authorities have applied our laws have made it look that way in practice.

The school officials involved in this situation should not be working around children of any age. And, how did they do this without notifying the girl’s parents. Schools don’t own the children that are in their care for the purpose of teaching them while they are there. We need a zero-tolerance policy against abuse of power toward school officials and local authorities that are engaged in it.

***

***
Sept. 11 planner waterboarded 183 times: report
Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:36pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – CIA interrogators used the waterboarding technique on Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the admitted planner of the September 11 attacks, 183 times and 83 times on another al Qaeda suspect, The New York Times said on Sunday.

The Times said a 2005 Justice Department memorandum showed that Abu Zubaydah, the first prisoner questioned in the CIA’s overseas detention program in August 2002, was waterboarded 83 times, although a former CIA officer had told news media he had been subjected to only 35 seconds underwater before talking.

The Justice Department memo said the simulated drowning technique was used on Mohammed 183 times in March 2003. The Times said some copies of the memos appeared to have the number of waterboardings redacted while others did not.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating the CIA interrogation program, which under President George W. Bush also included slamming prisoners into walls, shackling them in uncomfortable positions and depriving them of sleep.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53H0DG20090420

***

My note –

in one of the news clips over the weekend, President Bush was shown at the time of his responses to the whether the US tortures prisoners or not – and in this clip, he says something about how our “troops” have undergone these techniques and they are not torture.

They damn well better not have subjected our soldiers to these techniques and I think somebody better find out because I bet they did. There is no good sense to raising our children, teaching them, praying over them, hoping for them, working to provide for them, and then watch our government take them into the military and subject them to the procedures that have been described that were used in CIA interrogations. I don’t care what anybody says – that is evil. There is no other word for it. Those that engaged in it are evil and every person that supported doing it to our soldiers is also evil – (in order to prove what?) –

I don’t want people who don’t know any better than that working in our CIA, NSA or in our military and certainly not working in our government with any position where a decision has to be made. That would be stupid.

When the “good guys” aren’t acting any different than Satan himself – then something is wrong with the judgment that they are the “good guys”. It takes a really sick, twisted mind to have come up with some of this stuff but it takes an even sicker, more twisted personality to have authorized it.

On CNN, in a report about the US torture program – there was a mention that over 100 prisoners had died in US custody also. As if it isn’t bad enough that the United States has treated their disabled populations and citizens to much the same insane abuses of authority and forcibly administered tortures, it looks like the same denial of culpability, especially in the event of deaths, occurs in both cases. There is an inherent evil in handling people’s lives in these ways. It belies a deeply rooted lack of respect for human life, dignity, freedom, and human rights. It is pure evil which means they are not the good.

***

[from 2006 article]

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_jeanyne__060519_psychiatric_stigma__.htm

Some 200 legal actions have been filed against Eli Lilly, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturers of Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil, respectively, to recover for suicides or homicides – some completed, some only attempted—by patients in the first few days or weeks after they were prescribed one of these drugs. – ClassActionAmerican.com

Why is it that one never hears from a psychiatrist about such workable solutions as nutrition, tutoring, legitimate medical examinations, and change of environment? Why do nearly all their solutions come in a bottle with an FDA black box warning label? Moreover, dozens of genuine, verifiable medical illnesses cause some of the exact symptoms listed by psychiatry as “mental”. Once a psychiatric label is applied, without requirement of any objective, medical tests, no one performs the medical testing to find these physical illnesses.

The powerful, mind-altering drugs will alter the feelings and behaviors. This is certain. However, even psychiatrists admit that they do not know why the drugs work as they do and no long-term testing is ever done, especially with the drugs used on young Children. “Ritalin (prescribed to millions of kids) and amphetamine (speed) have almost identical adverse effects on the brain, mind and behavior, including the production of drug-induced behavioral disorders, psychosis, mania, drug abuse, and addiction,” says Billy J. Sahley, PhD, author of Is Ritalin Necessary?

Could it be that labeling an individual with a “disorder” from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the only way that psychiatrists can make a living? The belief of the existence of these “disorders” is the basis for receiving money from insurance companies, research grants, charitable foundations, etc.

Backing up that viewpoint are recent articles in USA Today, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and countless other major newspapers which revealed the hidden financial connection between big Pharmaceutical Companies and the authors of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual. The DSM manual is the self-proclaimed bible of psychiatry and it is the very foundation that psychiatrists use to label people with over 370+ various mental “disorders”. Not only were the majority of psychiatric panel members that created the DSM receiving funding from drug companies in one way or another but for some specific disorders, the entire panel of “experts” had direct connections to pharmaceutical monies.

It is a given that Public Relations is a very powerful and persuasive tool. It can be used for good or bad purposes. The strength of PR relies in large part on some part of its message being true. When one holds up a truth that is self-evident one generally gets agreement.
The Psychiatric PR Machine has learned that they can associate some lies, half-truths and misrepresentations with a little bit of the truth and the public will generally accept the deceptions as true. “Mental illness should be de-stigmatized” is true. “People should be able to get help for their difficulties and have workable solutions available to them,” is also true. “Psychiatry offers workable solutions for the mentally ill masses,” is a lie. It is a lie positioned with truth and it therefore seems, in the eyes of many, to be true.

We know that currently in this country there are over 8 million children on prescription psychiatric medications and the psychiatric community is working hard to convince us that many more are in need of their services, even babies.

Psychiatry, and their willing cohorts in the pharmaceutical business, created the stigma. Then they run a public campaign of “We must remove the stigma from mental illness” in order to find more who will accept the label and accept the profitable treatment.

But what solutions do they offer? After your child is “screened” and evaluated and most likely found to be possessed of one or more “mental illnesses” out of the DSM what then? “Treatment” is just a prescription away and your child could be headed down the path of other children like Kip Kinkle, Chris Pittman, Sam Manzie, Patrick Purdy and countless others who have taken their own lives or the lives of others while on psychiatric medication purported to ‘help” them.

Why are there so many people labeled mentally ill?

The more you look, the more obvious it should become that no amount of political correctness or de-stigmatizing of mental illness will make wrong solutions right! Fictitious labels and murderous drugging for profit are not humanitarian activities no matter how you look at it.

According to internal documents obtained by Mother Jones, 18 drug firms gave NAMI a total of $11.72 million between 1996 and mid-1999. These include Janssen ($2.08 million), Novartis ($1.87 million), Pfizer ($1.3 million), Abbott Laboratories ($1.24 million), Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals ($658,000), and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($613,505).

. . . the psychiatric/pharmaceutical front group, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Purportedly an independent organization of brain injury and mental illness advocates, they are working hard to convince us that unless we subscribe to their views and their solutions to “mental illness we are all just insensitive and callous individuals bent on marginalizing the mentally ill.

Ten families from across the United States have joined forces to bring wrongful death and personal injury suits against the drug giant Wyeth alleging that their respective family members committed impulsive acts of violence – mostly suicides-or attempted them-shortly after taking Wyeth’s best-selling drug, Effexor. – Justice Seekers.com

“There are no tests available for assessing the chemical status of a living person’s brain.” No “biochemical, anatomical, or functional signs have been found that reliably distinguish the brains of mental patients. The theories are held on to not only because there is nothing else to take their place, but also because they are useful in promoting drug treatment.” — Elliot Valenstein, Ph.D., author of Blaming the Brain

By pushing their ceaseless PR line, psychiatry stigmatizes mankind himself, with abuse degradation and death. And in arrogant assignment of all of mans frailties and idiosyncrasies to the category of “disorders,” psychiatry impugns his character and his resolve and takes from him his God-given right to meet life’s challenges on his own terms.

Yes, men and women, even children, do sometimes need help. Certainly there are enough people who suffer from unwanted feelings and behaviors, whatever the cause, to prove this point. But the answers lie elsewhere than in the pages of the DSM or the bottles of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and stimulants now touted as the “cure” for being human.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/3/opedne_jeanyne__060519_psychiatric_stigma__.htm

Psychiatric Stigma – Legitimizing Abuse, Degradation and Death

May 18, 2006 at 23:30:15

***

***Investigation After Woman’s Death Finds Pattern of Violence, Sexual Abuse at New York Hospital

Friday, February 06, 2009

NEW YORK —  Federal investigators have found conditions at a Brooklyn hospital where a woman died on a waiting room floor  disturbing,   highly dangerous  and requiring  immediate attention.

The yearlong investigation by the Department of Justice documented a pattern of  inadequate care,  violence and sexual abuse at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn.

City Health and Hospitals Corporation President Alan D. Aviles says the unit  too often failed  its patients.

The 58-page DOJ report was released on Thursday as the city announced a new $153 million psychiatric center, increased mental health staffing and updated protocols for staff at the Brooklyn hospital.

Forty-nine-year-old Esmin Green had been in a waiting room at the hospital for nearly 24 hours when she collapsed and died on June 19, 2008.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,489011,00.html

***

The Justice Department’s report said conditions at the psychiatric unit were “highly dangerous and require immediate attention.” It added: “Substantial harm occurs regularly due to K.C.H.C.’s failure to properly assess, diagnose, supervise, monitor and treat its mental health patients.”

The report said that many patients were admitted with “catch-all” diagnoses and that the staff used “boilerplate forms and checklists” rather than writing “individualized narratives.”

The report said that patients were often left in restraints for the two-hour limit even though they had changed their behavior, suggesting that the confinement was punishment rather than therapy. And investigators found it was common to administer injections of more than one antipsychotic medication simultaneously, despite the risk of side effects and overdosing.

In one case, a patient’s treatment plan did not address his obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, until he had a stroke, according to the report.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/nyregion/06kings.html?hp

**

Inventor of restraint chair comments on Iowa Ombudsman’s report
Emma Struve
02/24/2009

He was consulted about these recommendations by the State of Iowa Ombudsman’s Office during the office’s investigation into allegations of improper or abusive use of restraint devices in jails including those of Appanoose, Wapello, Jefferson, Polk and Woodbury Counties.

The State employs an Ombudsman to investigate the administrative actions of local and state governments when complaints arise that these bodies acted in ways contrary to law or that were unfair or oppressive.

Following an investigation, the Ombudsman may release recommendation to the entities involved that include suggested changes although the office does not directly impact the rules or laws these agencies must follow.

The investigation into county jails was initiated after five former jail inmates contacted the Ombudsman and reported being restrained for periods of time exceeding 12 hours, being threatened with physical harm while in restraints, being physically assaulted while restrained, and receiving inadequate medical or psychiatric care before, during, and after being restrained by devices that included chairs with arm, leg and upper body restraints and boards with up to ten point restraints that held the detainee in a prone position.

Restraint devices have been found to have adverse physical and mental health affects and in at least two notable cases, cited by the Ombudsman’s report, resulted in the death of the inmate and monetary judgments against the facility using the restraint device.

The death of inmate Michael Oliver Lewis in a Colorado county jail in 1998 resulted from a combination of heart disease, medication, and the use of a restraint board. He was restrained for three hours. The coroner could not determine which factor had a dominant role in causing Lewis’s death. Michael Valent died in a Utah state prison in 1997 from a pulmonary embolism after spending 16 hours in a restraint chair. Blood clots, caused by prolonged immobilization, traveled through his lungs.

http://www.dbrnews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20268467&BRD=2703&PAG=461&dept_id=555123&rfi=6

**

And a 2005 guide for sales representatives written by Christine Ney, whose title was  Scientific Alignment Manager  for Seroquel, instructs them to  neutralize customer (doctor) objections to Seroquel’s weight and diabetes profile,  partly by stressing that  to date the available data has not established a causal link between diabetes and Seroquel.

Yet the document cites reports of patients taking Seroquel and similar drugs suffering high blood sugar,  in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma or death.

Thousands of Seroquel lawsuits filed in federal courts have been consolidated under one judge in Orlando, Fla. Others are filed in state courts in New York, New Jersey and Delaware, where AstraZeneca has its U.S. headquarters.
Documents on Seroquel show drugmaker knew of risks

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jfRRf7WMQphBtRjeaenvN5u8KEBQD96K7AI81

***

My note –

seroquel also causes heart abnormalities, heart failure and death. In fact, most of the psychiatric drugs create a nightmarish existence including the inability to take a shit or urinate, nausea and vertigo, double vision, shaking hands, involuntary shakes, jerking and muscle tics, – many of them are toxic in sunshine which can lead to seizures, sun poisoning, sun stroke, coma and death with very little time in the sunshine – most of these drugs cause the inability to be a functioning individual with the increased risks of heart failure, many cause liver failure and are permanently destructive to the liver and other internal organs.

They are commonly prescribed to those who cannot defend themselves including children, elderly, disabled, developmentally disabled populations, brain injured individuals, those who have suffered traumatic events already and don’t deserve to be further victimized. The drugs cause sleeplessness at the same time causing people given them to sleep 15 – 18 hours a day, and if that isn’t weird enough, nearly all of the drugs cause hallucinations, delusions and ringing in the ears, double vision, shaking, nausea, nervousness, dizziness, sun toxicity, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, blood sugar levels increase, and strip the minerals and electrolytes out of the body including salt which can cause the worst death of all.

These drugs are called “cooperation cocktails” by the CIA when originally studied by them and most of the psychiatrists are prescribing not one or two but 14 or more simultaneously for the same person. In some mental hospitals, many patients are typically being given 28 different psychotropic medications each day in full doses of each one. The human body cannot process these levels and the common belief among prescribing doctors which comes from the pharmaceutical companies is that if it isn’t working correctly or is causing side effects – then double the dosage of the same drug. That is insane.

People are dying from these drugs and children’s lives and opportunities for emotional and intellectual growth are being forever altered and destroyed by these drugs purely for the purpose of profits to pharmaceutical companies and the mental health industries. These drugs cause violence, suicide, physical damage, death, and even cause depression that they are given to solve, permanently alter the sexuality and physical characteristics of people subjected to them and cause a living hell to be forced on the people made to take them. It is a fact – this is an unnecessary evil, it is torture, it is wrong, and it is being perpetrated against those least able to fend it off or protect themselves.

– cricketdiane, 04-20-09

***

Chad Thompson, who worked in the admissions office at Sierra Vista when PSI took over, has a different view. He felt the chain put intense pressure on him to keep every bed full, with less emphasis on assuring that each patient got high-quality care.

It’s a pattern of behavior driven totally by the almighty dollar,  said Thompson, now the director of a nonprofit that provides therapy to the uninsured and chairman of Sacramento County’s Mental Health Board, which advises the county Board of Supervisors.

It’s not a client-centered approach. It’s a money-centered approach.
PSI stepped into the gap. The company, headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., has grown from five facilities in early 2003 to 95 today, running about one in five free-standing psychiatric facilities in the United States. With more beds than any other chain, PSI treats about 8,800 patients on any given day.

About half of PSI’s beds are for adults and children in crisis who stay an average of 10 days in acute-care settings. They come from all walks of life, admitted either voluntarily or through commitments. The other beds are for youths — many in the foster care system — who stay in residential treatment for six months or more.

Roughly two-thirds of the care is paid for by taxpayers. PSI collected about $900 million through state and federal programs in 2007, the company’s SEC filing suggests.

PSI has thrived in a business in which many thought big profits were beyond reach.

The five PSI hospitals in California had a profit margin of more than 25% in 2007, according to data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. The average for the state’s other for-profit psychiatric hospitals was about 6%.

The data also shed some light on how PSI has achieved these results.

PSI’s California hospitals proportionally have fewer registered nurses than other private psychiatric facilities: about one for every four beds, compared with one for every two beds, according to the state data. Overall, the PSI hospitals have about one-third fewer staffers per bed.

But in the aftermath of the deaths of Knapp and Burton, regulators found fault with Sierra Vista’s staffing levels and worker training.

When Knapp began yelling and running the hospital’s halls one night in December 2005, a single technician was supervising the 14-patient unit, according to a federal inspection report.

Knapp, who worked at a social service center for the homeless mentally ill, had bipolar disorder and had tapered off her medication to prepare for gastric-bypass surgery.

The technician urged her to stop shouting.

No, I don’t have to. You’re going to kill me,  Knapp shouted back, according to the report.

A worker in another unit rushed to Knapp’s room as she began to crawl and kick. The worker held down Knapp’s upper body, pinning her facedown on the floor, while the technician held her feet.

About five minutes passed as the worker lay on Knapp’s back, waiting for a doctor to order sedatives.

When staffers lifted Knapp onto her bed, they discovered that she had stopped breathing. Knapp died the next day.

Sacramento County’s chief pathologist ruled that the death was caused, in part, by restraint asphyxia, which results from being held in a position that obstructs breathing.

The hospital submitted a lengthy plan for improvements after Knapp’s death. Yet Sierra Vista was cited again for understaffing and poor training after Burton’s death just over two years later.

After Burton collapsed in distress at 4:25 a.m., a nurse gave him anti-anxiety medication and posted a staffer outside his door. But workers failed to take further action when the doctor on call did not respond to pages, according to inspection records.

The Sacramento County coroner’s office ruled that Burton died as a result of built-up toxicity from his blood pressure medications, a finding that led a local newspaper to conclude the hospital had been  cleared  of responsibility in the death.

But the state upheld a $25,000 fine against Sierra Vista for failing to ensure Burton’s safety and provide him with timely care.

Regulators noted that some Sierra Vista staffers couldn’t find the facility’s defibrillator though it was just feet from where they stood.

It doesn’t matter what he died from,  Vickie Burton said.  It matters that they didn’t get him help.

When patients are injured or errors are made at psychiatric facilities, administrators are required to alert authorities.

PSI has a standard of reporting all incidents fully as required by the states in which we operate and / or other regulatory authorities,  the company said in its written responses to questions from ProPublica.

Records show that the company has not always met that standard.

At Whisper Ridge Behavioral Health, a PSI facility for juveniles in Charlottesville, Va., licensing officials received only a brief report in January 2006: A teen provoked a fight, his peers hit him and staffers brought him to the nursing station.

The facility did not mention that by the time staff intervened, the teen had been so brutally beaten that he briefly stopped breathing and suffered a seizure and concussion, according to Virginia’s mental health department. When police responded, Whisper Ridge employees initially tried to keep officers out of the facility, a police report said.

Nurses had sought to call an ambulance, but facility managers resisted at first, for fear  that the state might find out,  a state mental health department report said.

The department’s 2006 investigation found that the assault was just one of many incidents that Whisper Ridge managers had mishandled or not reported.

Staff was telling us they organized interviews about what to say to us, and gave residents treats so they wouldn’t talk about what was happening,  said Leslie Anderson, director of licensing for Virginia’s mental health department.  It was probably the worst case of that kind of deceit that we had seen.

Overriding a doctor

In one instance, a doctor ordered workers to send a patient who had a 13-minute seizure to the emergency room, but the facility’s chief operating officer told the director of nursing to  sit on it and reevaluate later,  mental health department documents show.
Dr. James Jarrell, the doctor involved, said he did not realize his orders had been overridden until regulators uncovered it.

That’s disturbing,  said Jarrell, who left the facility in 2007.

Authorities fined Whisper Ridge $30,000 as a condition of keeping its license. Medicaid ordered the facility to return more than $750,000 in payments for rendering inadequate care.

Officials moved to impose the harshest sanction at their disposal: termination from the Medicare program. Cypress Creek became only the sixth psychiatric hospital in the nation since 2000 to face the sanction.

We said, ‘These people really are not getting it,’   Molly Crawshaw, a regional administrator with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified at a federal court hearing.

Cypress Creek was denied Medicare money for more than four months, costing the facility at least $1.5 million, based on an affidavit filed in the court proceeding.

Cypress Creek reapplied successfully to the Medicare program.

In the first inspection after the hospital’s reinstatement, however, regulators cited it for inadequate staffing.

To some mental health advocates, PSI’s problems reflect the inherent pressures for-profit companies face in trying to deliver both quality care and robust profits.

Since the billing scandals of a decade ago,government and insurers have sharply limited the types of inpatient psychiatric treatment they cover. Now, the primary way to achieve big margins is by cutting costs, experts say.

The incentive is to give less and less service, and [business leaders] are applauded for that in our upside-down world,  said New Jersey psychiatrist Gary Glass, an industry expert who has been hired to testify in a lawsuit against a PSI hospital.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-psi23-2008nov23,1,4477201,full.story

***

***

“Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture. … We have further found that if a defendant acts with the good faith belief that his actions will not cause such suffering, he has not acted with specific intent,” Bybee wrote, said an August 2002 memo from then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee to John Rizzo, who was acting general counsel for the CIA.

Other memos allowed the use of such tactics as keeping a detainee naked and in some cases in a diaper, and putting detainees on a liquid diet.

On waterboarding, in which a person gets the sensation of drowning, the memo said, “although the waterboard constitutes a threat of imminent death, prolonged mental harm must nonetheless result” to violate the law.

Authorities also were allowed to slap a detainee’s face “to induce shock, surprise or humiliation” and strike his abdomen with the back of the hand in order to disabuse a detainee’s notion that he will not be touched, the memos said.

Another memo to Rizzo, from Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven G. Bradbury on May 10, 2005, noted that nudity could be used as an interrogation technique.

“Detainees subject to sleep deprivation who are also subject to nudity as a separate interrogation technique will at times be nude and wearing a diaper,” it said, noting that the diaper is “for sanitary and health purposes of the detainee; it is not used for the purpose of humiliating the detainee and it is not considered to be an interrogation technique.”

“The detainee’s skin condition is monitored, and diapers are changed as needed so that the detainee does not remain in a soiled diaper,” the memo said.

Another Bradbury memo laid out techniques and when they should be used in a “prototypical interrogation.”

“Several of the techniques used by the CIA may involve a degree of physical pain, as we have previously noted, including facial and abdominal slaps, walling, stress positions and water dousing,” it said. “Nevertheless, none of these techniques would cause anything approaching severe physical pain.”

All of the CIA techniques were adapted from military “survival evasion resistance escape” training, according to a May 30, 2005, memo from Bradbury to Rizzo.

“Although there are obvious differences between training exercises and actual interrogations, the fact that the United States uses similar techniques on its own troops for training purposes strongly suggests that these techniques are not categorically beyond the pale,” the memo said.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/16/us.torture.documents/index.html?iref=newssearch

***

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.preamble.html

Bill of Rights - from wikipedia entry

Bill of Rights - from wikipedia entry

The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise therof, forbids infringement of the right to keep and bear arms, by Congress or citizens in a federal territory [3] and prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

(among other things)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights

***

My note –

How dare they do these things to us? How dare they do these things in our name and using the power of the United States of America to do them?

No amount of profit is an excuse to be as evil as this. No amount of power is a safe harbor for the evil they’ve done with it.

There is no way that anyone excused other tyranny because they were operating in fear.

And there is no way that the United States leadership can honestly stand there on the world stage and claim they want civil and human rights abuses to stop in other countries when they are allowing those abuses in the United States to go unchallenged and unstopped, while promoting those abuses and harboring those that have engaged in them with protections and failure to prosecute them appropriate to their extraordinary crimes against humanity.

***

One seminal document repudiated by the government was an August 2002 memo by the Justice Department. It concluded that interrogators could use extreme techniques on detainees in the effort to prevent terrorism.

The memo suggested that the president could authorize a wide array of coercive interrogation methods in the campaign against terrorism without violating international treaties or the federal torture law. It did not specify any particular procedures but suggested that there were few limits short of causing the death of a prisoner.

Among the reviews, intelligence officials say, are an examination of what a military investigation described as eight “ghost” detainees who were incarcerated at Abu Ghraib, but who were kept off the prison’s roster at the C.I.A.’s request. In one of those cases, in November 2003, a detainee brought to the prison by C.I.A. employees but never formally registered with military guards died at the site, and his body was removed after being wrapped in plastic and packed in ice.

The man had been detained by Navy Seals, who had hit him in the head with a rifle butt during his arrest, and the military investigation said that blow apparently led to his death. But the investigation suggested that the detainee might have survived if he had been screened by doctors, as would have been required had he been properly registered with the military.

Source: New York Times
Date: 29 August 2004

C.I.A. Expands Its Inquiry
Into Interrogation Tactics

By DOUGLAS JEHL and DAVID JOHNSTON

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My note –

Intention does not determine the extent to which torture or any other wrongful subjection of the individual to evil – is a crime. Intention starts the moment that a perpetrator makes the choice to impact anything other than themselves.

I had always hoped that the Bush presidencies were the result of a host of really, really bad advisors in their cabinet that had been left over from the Nixon and Reagan days. Some of which were and many of which were really, really bad people – they are evil. The fact is, that by virtue of the actions and policies they forced upon the American people – and on our future and on our children and their futures – those people advising and policy-making in the Bush / Republican Party administrations are evil. They were doing evil when they did it and they are evil now because they did do it. There is no excuse given for Hitler and there is no excuse that should be given to them.

The Democrats better get out of the way and stop protecting these perpetrators of cruel and inhumane human rights abuses because there is an entire world where the United States has forced the issues of human rights and civil rights, freedom and democracy on countries, regions and dictatorships. These have been totally ignored in the United States at home both among her people and in the torture of prisoners. Our police are the same vile, violent and psychotic brutalizing danger to every citizen in the United States for the same reason that police in any country which brutalize their citizens are wrong, – bad wrong. They deny everything that the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights stands for and everything we have fought for and that our families’ blood has been spilled to protect.

Our leaders ignore the very basis and foundation of their power – they are governing by the consent of the governed. Without that consent, they don’t have any money to work with and they have no possibility of troops going anywhere to fight any battle for them. Their offices and staffs are because we pay for them and their opportunities exist because we underwrite them. Without that – let’s think, where would they be? Without individual rights and freedoms assured in America – which apparently they are not – who the hell is going to take us seriously when we are running around the world spouting off about their human rights violations? The United States has become a cesspool of human rights violations every single day across America on a massive scale. Fix that and then maybe the United States will be something again.

– cricketdiane, 04-20-09

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