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Obama Interrogation Official Linked to U.S. Mind Control Research
#1

Obama Interrogation Official Linked to U.S. Mind Control Research

July 5th, 2014


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By Jeffrey KayeThe Public Record, May 25th, 2010

A new article at Truthout I co-wrote with author and investigative journalist H.P. Albarelli describes how the CIA's Artichoke Project* was the contemporaneous and operational side of the MK-ULTRA mind control research program. It was not superceded by MK-ULTRA in the 1950s, as often supposed.

Even more, Artichoke-derived methods of using drugs, hypnosis, sensory deprivation and overload, behavioral modification techniques and other methods of mind control have resurfaced as a primary component of U.S. interrogation practice.
The Truthout article includes some amazing revelations, including the largest description to date of the roles of then-Ford administration officials Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in working hand-in-glove with the CIA to suppress information on Artichoke from surfacing.
The article also references the November 2006 release of an "Instruction" from the Secretary of the Navy (3900.39D) regarding its "Human Research Protection Program." While this memo specifically prohibits the use of research upon prisoners, including so-called "unlawful enemy combatants," waivers of informed consent for research, or suspension of the protections enumerated in the memo can be made by the Secretary of the Navy under conditions of "operational contingency or during times of national emergency." It is likely the latter rests upon the legislative language within the September 18, 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, where terrorist acts are said to "continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."
The waivers allowed for normal human research testing gains further piquancy when one considers the kinds of research referenced in the Secretary of the Navy's memo. Section 7(a)(2)(a) describes the Undersecretary of the Navy as the "approval authority" for research done upon prisoners, as well as "Severe or unusual intrusions, either physical or psychological, on human subjects (such as consciousness-altering drugs or mind-control techniques)" [emphasis added].
This referencing of "mind-control techniques" in a document specifically discussing human subjects protections by then Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, is not an anomaly, but a rare instance in which the actual activities of the government in this area are openly revealed. Some of these activities can be documented via publicly available materials. This article describes how some of the individuals involved in U.S. government mind control and torture activities can be tracked and identified.
APA, CIA: "How might we overload the system or overwhelm the senses…?"
Another instance in which the curtain was pulled back on mind control research by the U.S. government involved the online description by the American Psychological Association (APA) of a CIA and Rand Corporation workshop which it co-sponsored in July 2003 at Rand's Arlington, Virginia headquarters. The event was attended by approximately 40 research psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, as well as "representatives from the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense with interests in intelligence operations."
One of these workshops, ostensibly on detection of deception, specifically described how participants should consider "sensory overloads on the maintenance of deceptive behaviors," including the use of "pharmacological agents. "How might we," the workshop asked, "overload the system or overwhelm the senses and see how it affects deceptive behaviors?"
The man in charge of "recruiting the operational expertise" for the workshop was Kirk Hubbard, Chief of the Research & Analysis Branch, Operational Assessment Division of the CIA. It appears likely that Hubbard was responsible for the presence at the workshop of SERE psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who were instrumental in the construction of the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation" torture program. Hubbard was also reported (by Scott Shane of the New York Times) to have brought James Mitchell to an informal meeting "of professors and law enforcement and intelligence officers … to brainstorm about Muslim extremism" at the home of former APA president Martin Seligman in November 2001.
Sometime in the past six months, the APA eliminated all references to the webpage described above, even going so far as to eliminate linked references to it on other webpages on its site. While the webpage that described the workshops has been scrubbed, mirrored images of the site remain available at well-known web archive sites, as I described in a recent article on this attempt to rewrite or hide APA's offensive history. In one sense, this attempt to hide its history is not surprising, because the kind of activities discussed in these workshops are exactly like those that involved CIA and military mind control torture programs going back fifty years or more, and evidently still operational today.

The Role of Government Psychologist Susan Brandon

[Image: S_Brandon.jpg]Susan E. Brandon, the Obama administration's Chief for Research in the DCHC's Behavioral Science Program.
In a recent article, Scott Horton at Harper's picked up on the unique link between the APA/CIA workshop and the recent revelations about torture at a hitherto unknown black site prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. That link was an individual, Susan Brandon.
Referenced by Horton as working for the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA), Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC), a recent publication identified Brandon more fully as Chief for Research in the DCHC's Behavioral Science Program. As Horton notes, a recent column by Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic described the DCHC as providing "intelligence operatives and interrogators….. [performing] interrogations for a sub-unit of Task Force 714, an elite counter-terrorism brigade." Interrogations at the Afghan black site reportedly have included use of sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, brutality, isolation, relying on the guidelines of the Army Field Manual, including its Appendix M. Many human rights groups have criticized Appendix M as including techniques tantamount to torture and/or cruel, inhumane and degrading and illegal by domestic and international law.
Back in 2003, according to an APA news article, Brandon "jointly conceived" the APA/CIA workshops with Rand Associate Policy Analyst, Scott Gerwehr. (Mr. Gerwehr reportedly died a few years ago.) At the time, psychologist Susan Brandon was the Program Officer for Affect and Biobehavioral Regulation at the National Institute of Mental Health, and worked on the APA/CIA program while also serving as "Senior Scientist" at the APA.
In the early 2000s, Dr. Brandon served as Behavioral and Social Science Principal at the Mitre Corporation, a company highly linked to U.S. Air Defense. Subsequent to her stint as APA's Senior Scientist, she went on to work in for the Bush administration as Assistant Director of Social, Behavioral, and Educational Sciences for the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. In addition, she became an instrumental member of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBES) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Committees on Science and Homeland and National Security.
Subsequently, as described in an important article by Stephen Soldz that extends many of the points in this essay, Brandon joined the Defense Department's Counterintelligence Field Activity group (CIFA), which was later disbanded and reformed as part of the DCHC. Soldz also reminds us that Brandon was "one of the silent observers at the [APA] PENS [Psychological Ethics and National Security] taskforce described by dissident taskforce member Jean Maria Arrigo as exerting pressure on members to adopt a likely pre-approved policy in favor of participation in Guantánamo, CIA, and other interrogations. According to a 2005 article by Geoff Mumford, APA's Director of Science Policy, Dr. Branford "helped steer much of the association's scientific outreach relevant to counter-terrorism after 9/11."
One example of such outreach would include the June 11, 2002 meeting between Branford, and other top APA officials with "two senior staff members in the National Security Council's (NSC's) Office of Combating Terrorism" (OCT). Since Vice Admiral William McRaven was head of OCT at that time, perhaps Brandon's acquaintance with the world of Special Operations dates to that time, as McRaven was to become Commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
JSOC is the other Defense Department component, besides DIA, that has been linked currently with the management of the black site prisons run by the Obama administration, subsequent to President Obama's apparent closure of the CIA black sites. One reputable source has informed me that there are eight such black site prisons in Afghanistan alone. A recent report by the BBC corroborated earlier reports by the New York Times and the Washington Post. The article by Ambinder further elaborated upon this story.
Why is the Obama Administration Still Involved in Torture?
It is not known if Dr. Brandon has been involved in any of the reported abuses of prisoners coming out of Bagram's Tor prison, or elsewhere. Yet one would think the Obama administration and the Pentagon has a lot to explain in utilizing as their behavioral chief of research for an agency involved in intelligence operations, including interrogation. But then, why is the Obama administration involved in torture or operating secret prisons at all? President Obama has manifestly broken his promise to the American people to end torture and close all secret prisons. Nor has Congress done their due diligence in investigating these matters. Only when the American people fully understand the extent to which these activities have occupied the government and their various collaborators, like the APA, will society be able to take the necessary steps to end these abuses, and hold those accountable for what amount to crimes against humanity.
As for psychologists, Dr. Soldz rightly notes, "Psychology as a profession is at a crossroads." The same holds true for other professions involved with this abusive and criminal history, including the activities of anthropologists in the military's Human Terrain System teams in Afghanistan, researchers in numerous academic departments across the country, and the many reports of doctors and other medical personnel involved in the monitoring of torture activities for the CIA and Defense Department. The use of torture has suborned U.S. civil society as a whole in activities that are dark and evil, and the society as a whole must make a tremendous effort if it is to extirpate such evil from its midst.
*For an early document referring to Artichoke's history, see CIA, Memorandum for the Record, Subject: Project ARTICHOKE, January 31, 1975. While this MOR downplays Artichoke's history, it represents the degree to which the CIA was willing to reveal such operations. The Truthout article discusses Operation Dormouse, where then Ford administration officials Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld worked with the CIA to limit revelations about Artichoke and other CIA torture and assassination operations.
Jeffrey Kaye is a psychologist living in Northern California who writes regularly on torture and other subjects for The Public Record, Truthout and Firedoglake. He also maintains a personal blog, Invictus. His email address is sfpsych at gmail dot com
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#2

Facebook Mind Control Experiments Linked to DoD Research on Civil Unrest

July 5th, 2014


[Image: facebook-1.jpg?w=307&h=200&crop=1]





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PanArmenian, July 3, 2014 12:10

PanARMENIAN.Net - Facebooks experiment on over half-a-million unsuspecting users has taken a new twist with the revelation that a researcher connected to a Department of Defense-funded program to use the military to quell civil unrest also participated in the study, RT reported.

Social media sites exploded over the weekend after it was revealed that Facebook, no stranger to controversy of late, secretly manipulated posts being seen by nearly 700,000 users in 2012 in order to allow researchers to study how emotional states are transmitted over the platform.
Results of the week-long study conducted by researchers at Facebook, Cornell University, and the University of California appeared in the June edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists' (PNAS) under the rather insidious title, Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks'.
Facebook altered the content that showed up on certain users' news feeds to control the number of posts that contained words with positively or negatively charged emotions.
The team concluded its federally funded study by saying that "emotions spread via contagion through a network."
When word hit the internet that Facebook was essentially conducting Orwellian thought policing, an electronic outpouring of condemnation greeted the company that Mark Zuckerberg built. One of the study's authors, Adam Kramer, took to his own Facebook account to offer more of an explanation than an apology for the secret study.
"We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out," Kramer said. "At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends' negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook. We didn't clearly state our motivations in the paper."
The attack on Facebook looks set to worsen as it was discovered that one of the authors of the platform's mind study, Jeffrey T. Hancock of Cornell University, also received funding from the Pentagon's so-called Minerva Research Initiative to conduct a similar study entitled Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes'.
The Pentagon-funded Minerva program provides cash awards to everyone from "single investigators to large multi-university consortia," according to its website and includes "researchers from 32 academic institutions, including six non-US universities and four industry or non-profit organizations."
The program will disperse around six million dollars in 2014 and $17 million over the next three years.
Hancock's description page at Cornell University cites "psychological and interpersonal dynamics of social media, deception, and language" as his research and academic interests.
Hancock's study appeared in 2009, one year before the US Army War College's Strategic Institute warned in a different study, and in the wake of the global financial meltdown, that the United States could experience massive civil unrest from a series of crises it termed "strategic shock."
The report, which carried the Rumsfeldian title, Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development', suggested that the military may have to be called in to restore domestic order in the event of a massive social breakdown.
"Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security," the report, authored by [Ret.] Lt. Col. Nathan Freir, states.
Meanwhile, Cornell University participated in another study under the Minerva Research Initiative (and supervised by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research) that looks to predict "the dynamics of social movement mobilization and contagions."
The project hopes to foresee "the critical mass [tipping point]" of social unrest and upheaval by studying their "digital traces" from a number of recent events, including the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey.
At the same time, Twitter feeds and conversations will be examined "to identify individuals mobilized in a social contagion and when they become mobilized."
Coming so soon after the Snowden leaks, the idea of a researcher closely affiliated with a Pentagon study now secretly examining the behavior of Facebook users under controlled conditions' is certainly cause for alarm.
This latest scandal also speaks volumes about the disturbing frequency of US educational facilities cooperating so directly with military programs that do not appear to have the best interests of the civil society at the core of their actions.
http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/180459
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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