Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Sleep deprivation

 Start work at 10am (unless you’re in your 50s)?

 Lots of us know we are sleep-deprived, but imagine if we could fix it with a fairly simple solution: getting up later.
(To encourage people to party every night? and forget that the idea is to prevent sleep deprivation? )
Najat Rizk shared a link.
Why you should start work at 10am (unless you’re in your 50s)
We shouldn’t make everyone come in at 9am just because it suits the boss’s sleeping patterns.
It’s time to stagger starting times and let 30-somethings come…|By Emine Saner

In a speech this week at the British science festival, Dr Paul Kelley, clinical research associate at the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at Oxford University, called for schools to stagger their starting times to work with the natural biological rhythms of their students.

(I have always wondered why schools force children to wake up before 6 am, as if living in the Gulag, and not a freer country. Why anyone must leave home before the air has warmed up and the sun had risen?)

It would improve cognitive performance, exam results and students’ health (sleep deprivation has been linked with diabetes, depression, obesity and an impaired immune system).

It follows a paper, published last year, in which he noted that when children are around 10 their biological wake-up time is about 6.30am. (Because they go to bed earlier than their parents?)

At 16 this rises to 8am; and at 18, someone you may think of as a lazy teenager actually has a natural waking hour of 9am.  (Is that irrespective of at what time they fall asleep?)

The conventional school starting time works for 10-year-olds, but not 16- and 18-year-olds.

For the older teenagers, it might be more sensible to start the school day at 11am or even later.

“A 7am alarm call for older adolescents,” Kelley and his colleagues pointed out in the paper, “is the equivalent of a 4.30am start for a teacher in their 50s.”

He says it’s not as simple as persuading teenagers to go to bed earlier. “The body’s natural rhythm is controlled by a particular kind of light,” says Kelley.

“The eye doesn’t just contain rods and cones: it contains cells that then report to the SCN [suprachiasmatic nuclei], in the hypothalamus.” This part of the brain controls our circadian rhythms over a 24-hour cycle. “It’s the light that controls it. It’s like saying: ‘Why can’t you control your heartbeat?’”

(What light has to do here if your eyes are closed when sleeping?)

This might be why, he adds, the traditional nine to five is so ingrained; it is maintained by bosses, many of them in their mid-50s and upwards, because “it is best for them”.

So should workplaces have staggered starting times, too?

Should those in their 50s and above come in at 8am, while those in their 30s start at 10am, and the teenage intern or apprentice be encouraged to turn up at 11am?

Kelley says that synchronised hours could have “many positive consequences. The positive side of this is people’s performance, mood and health will improve. It’s very uplifting in a way, because it’s a solution that will make people less ill, and happier and better at what they do.”

There would probably be fewer accidents as drivers would be more alert, he says.

It could spell the end of rush hour as people staggered their work and school-run times. (To some extent. When people realize that the way is clear, they will make sure to drive at this particular hour)

A later start to the day for many, says Kelley, “is something that would benefit all people, particularly families; parents who go and try to wake up teenagers who are waking up three hours too early. It creates tensions for everybody.”

So what time does Kelley start work?

“I am 67 so that means I’m back to [being] 10 years old, and I get up just after six. I wake naturally.” And yes, he says he finds the start of his working day much easier now than he did when he was younger.

(My natural waking hour is 9 am. And I’m 66 years old. Obviously, I go to bed way after 1 am because the night is ‘my free time’)



Why do we sleep? Funny question for my favourite pastime

Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber Or “Sleep is for wimps”?

What I’d like to do today is talk about one of my favorite subjects, and that is the neuroscience of sleep.

Russell Foster speech at TEDGlobal

There is a sound — (Alarm clock) Ah, it worked.

A sound that is desperately familiar to most of us, and of course it’s the sound of the alarm clock. And what that truly ghastly, awful sound does is stop the single most important behavioral experience that we have, and that’s sleep.

If you’re an average sort of person, 36% of your life will be spent asleep, which means that if you live to 90, then 32 years will have been spent entirely asleep.  (Not counting siesta napping?)

What that 32 years is telling us is that sleep at some level is important.

And yet, for most of us, we don’t give sleep a second thought. We throw it away. We really just don’t think about sleep. And so what I’d like to do today is change your views, change your ideas and your thoughts about sleep. And the journey that I want to take you on, we need to start by going back in time.

 “Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber.” Any ideas who said that? Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Yes, let me give you a few more quotes. “O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee?” Shakespeare again, from — I won’t say it — the Scottish play.

From the same time: Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Extremely prophetic, by Thomas Dekker, another Elizabethan dramatist.

2:03 But if we jump forward 400 years, the tone about sleep changes somewhat.

This is from Thomas Edison, from the beginning of the 20th century. Sleep is a criminal waste of time and a heritage from our cave days.” Bang. (Laughter) And if we also jump into the 1980s, some of you may remember that Margaret Thatcher was reported to have said, “Sleep is for wimps.” And of course the infamous — what was his name? — the infamous Gordon Gekko from “Wall Street” said, Money never sleeps.”

What do we do in the 20th century about sleep?

Well, of course, we use Thomas Edison’s light bulb to invade the night, and we occupied the dark, and in the process of this occupation, we’ve treated sleep as an illness, almost. We’ve treated it as an enemy. At most now, I suppose, we tolerate the need for sleep, and at worst perhaps many of us think of sleep as an illness that needs some sort of a cure. And our ignorance about sleep is really quite profound. Why is it?

3:10 Why do we abandon sleep in our thoughts?

Well, it’s because you don’t do anything much while you’re asleep, it seems. You don’t eat. You don’t drink. And you don’t have sex. Well, most of us anyway. And so, therefore it’s — Sorry. It’s a complete waste of time, right? Wrong.

Actually, sleep is an incredibly important part of our biology, and neuroscientists are beginning to explain why it’s so very important. So let’s move to the brain.

Now, here we have a brain. This is donated by a social scientist, and they said they didn’t know what it was, or indeed how to use it. So I borrowed it. I don’t think they noticed. Okay.

4:05 The point I’m trying to make is that when you’re asleep, this thing doesn’t shut down. In fact, some areas of the brain are actually more active during the sleep state than during the wake state. The other thing that’s really important about sleep is that it doesn’t arise from a single structure within the brain, but is to some extent a network property. If we flip the brain on its back — I love this little bit of spinal cord here — this bit here is the hypothalamus, and right under there is a whole raft of interesting structures, not least the biological clock.

The biological clock tells us when it’s good to be up, when it’s good to be asleep, and what that structure does is interact with a whole raft of other areas within the hypothalamus, the lateral hypothalamus, the ventro-lateral preoptic nuclei.

All of those combine, and they send projections down to the brain stem here. The brain stem then projects forward and bathes the cortex, this wonderfully wrinkly bit over here, with neurotransmitters that keep us awake and essentially provide us with our consciousness. So sleep arises from a whole raft of different interactions within the brain, and essentially, sleep is turned on and off as a result of a range of interactions in here.

So where have we got to? We’ve said that sleep is complicated and it takes 32 years of our life.

But what I haven’t explained is what sleep is about. So why do we sleep? And it won’t surprise any of you that, of course, the scientists, we don’t have a consensus. There are dozens of different ideas about why we sleep, and I’m going to outline three of those.

The first is sort of the restoration idea, and it’s somewhat intuitive. Essentially, all the stuff we’ve burned up during the day, we restore, we replace, we rebuild during the night. And indeed, as an explanation, it goes back to Aristotle, so that’s, what, 2,300 years ago. It’s gone in and out of fashion.

It’s fashionable at the moment because what’s been shown is that within the brain, a whole raft of genes have been shown to be turned on only during sleep, and those genes are associated with restoration and metabolic pathways. So there’s good evidence for the whole restoration hypothesis.

6:17 What about energy conservation? Again, perhaps intuitive. You essentially sleep to save calories. Now, when you do the sums, though, it doesn’t really pan out. If you compare an individual who has slept at night, or stayed awake and hasn’t moved very much, the energy saving of sleeping is about 110 calories a night.

Now, that’s the equivalent of a hot dog bun. Now, I would say that a hot dog bun is kind of a meager return for such a complicated and demanding behavior as sleep. So I’m less convinced by the energy conservation idea.

But the third idea I’m quite attracted to, which is brain processing and memory consolidation. What we know is that, if after you’ve tried to learn a task, and you sleep-deprive individuals, the ability to learn that task is smashed. It’s really hugely attenuated. So sleep and memory consolidation is also very important.

However, it’s not just the laying down of memory and recalling it. What’s turned out to be really exciting is that our ability to come up with novel solutions to complex problems is hugely enhanced by a night of sleep. In fact, it’s been estimated to give us a threefold advantage.

Sleeping at night enhances our creativity. And what seems to be going on is that, in the brain, those neural connections that are important, those synaptic connections that are important, are linked and strengthened, while those that are less important tend to fade away and be less important.

 So we’ve had three explanations for why we might sleep, and I think the important thing to realize is that the details will vary, and it’s probable we sleep for multiple different reasons. But sleep is not an indulgence. It’s not some sort of thing that we can take on board rather casually.

I think that sleep was once likened to an upgrade from economy to business class, you know, the equivalent of. It’s not even an upgrade from economy to first class.

The critical thing to realize is that if you don’t sleep, you don’t fly. Essentially, you never get there, and what’s extraordinary about much of our society these days is that we are desperately sleep-deprived.

8:35 So let’s now look at sleep deprivation. Huge sectors of society are sleep-deprived, and let’s look at our sleep-o-meter. So in the 1950s, good data suggests that most of us were getting around about eight hours of sleep a night. Nowadays, we sleep one and a half to two hours less every night, so we’re in the six-and-a-half-hours every-night league. For teenagers, it’s worse, much worse.

They need nine hours for full brain performance, and many of them, on a school night, are only getting five hours of sleep. It’s simply not enough.

If we think about other sectors of society, the aged, if you are aged, then your ability to sleep in a single block is somewhat disrupted, and many sleep, again, less than five hours a night. Shift work.

Shift work is extraordinary, perhaps 20% of the working population, and the body clock does not shift to the demands of working at night. It’s locked onto the same light-dark cycle as the rest of us. So when the poor old shift worker is going home to try and sleep during the day, desperately tired, the body clock is saying, “Wake up. This is the time to be awake.”

So the quality of sleep that you get as a night shift worker is usually very poor, again in that sort of five-hour region. And then, of course, tens of millions of people suffer from jet lag. So who here has jet lag? Well, my goodness gracious. Well, thank you very much indeed for not falling asleep, because that’s what your brain is craving.

10:02 One of the things that the brain does is indulge in micro-sleeps, this involuntary falling asleep, and you have essentially no control over it. Now, micro-sleeps can be sort of somewhat embarrassing, but they can also be deadly. It’s been estimated that 31% of drivers will fall asleep at the wheel at least once in their life, and in the U.S., the statistics are pretty good: 100,000 accidents on the freeway have been associated with tiredness, loss of vigilance, and falling asleep.

A hundred thousand a year. It’s extraordinary. At another level of terror, we dip into the tragic accidents at Chernobyl and indeed the space shuttle Challenger, which was so tragically lost. And in the investigations that followed those disasters, poor judgment as a result of extended shift work and loss of vigilance and tiredness was attributed to a big chunk of those disasters.

When you’re tired, and you lack sleep, you have poor memory, you have poor creativity, you have increased impulsiveness, and you have overall poor judgment. But my friends, it’s so much worse than that.

If you are a tired brain, the brain is craving things to wake it up. So drugs, stimulants. Caffeine represents the stimulant of choice across much of the Western world. Much of the day is fueled by caffeine, and if you’re a really naughty tired brain, nicotine.

Of course, you’re fueling the waking state with these stimulants, and then of course it gets to 11 o’clock at night, and the brain says to itself, “Actually, I need to be asleep fairly shortly. What do we do about that when I’m feeling completely wired?” Well, of course, you then resort to alcohol.

Now alcohol, short-term, you know, once or twice, to use to mildly sedate you, can be very useful. It can actually ease the sleep transition. But what you must be so aware of is that alcohol doesn’t provide sleep, a biological mimic for sleep. It sedates you.

So it actually harms some of the neural processing that’s going on during memory consolidation and memory recall. So it’s a short-term acute measure, but for goodness sake, don’t become addicted to alcohol as a way of getting to sleep every night.

Another connection between loss of sleep is weight gain.

If you sleep around about five hours or less every night, then you have a 50% likelihood of being obese. What’s the connection here?

Well, sleep loss seems to give rise to the release of the hormone ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Ghrelin is released. It gets to the brain. The brain says, “I need carbohydrates,” and what it does is seek out carbohydrates and particularly sugars. So there’s a link between tiredness and the metabolic predisposition for weight gain.

 Stress. Tired people are massively stressed.

And one of the things of stress, of course, is loss of memory, which is what I sort of just then had a little lapse of. But stress is so much more. So if you’re acutely stressed, not a great problem, but it’s sustained stress associated with sleep loss that’s the problem.

So sustained stress leads to suppressed immunity, and so tired people tend to have higher rates of overall infection, and there’s some very good studies showing that shift workers, for example, have higher rates of cancer. Increased levels of stress throw glucose into the circulation.

Glucose becomes a dominant part of the vasculature and essentially you become glucose intolerant. Therefore, diabetes 2.

Stress increases cardiovascular disease as a result of raising blood pressure. So there’s a whole raft of things associated with sleep loss that are more than just a mildly impaired brain, which is where I think most people think that sleep loss resides.

13:56 So at this point in the talk, this is a nice time to think, “Well, do you think on the whole I’m getting enough sleep?” So a quick show of hands.

Who feels that they’re getting enough sleep here? Oh. Well, that’s pretty impressive. Good. We’ll talk more about that later, about what are your tips.

14:13 So most of us, of course, ask the question, How do I know whether I’m getting enough sleep?” Well, it’s not rocket science. If you need an alarm clock to get you out of bed in the morning, if you are taking a long time to get up, if you need lots of stimulants, if you’re grumpy, if you’re irritable, if you’re told by your work colleagues that you’re looking tired and irritable, chances are you are sleep-deprived. Listen to them. Listen to yourself.

 What do you do? Well — and this is slightly offensive — sleep for dummies. (Laughter)

Make your bedroom a haven for sleep.

The first critical thing is make it as dark as you possibly can, and also make it slightly cool. Very important.

Actually, reduce your amount of light exposure at least half an hour before you go to bed. Light increases levels of alertness and will delay sleep. What’s the last thing that most of us do before we go to bed?

We stand in a massively lit bathroom looking into the mirror cleaning our teeth. It’s the worst thing we can possibly do before we went to sleep. Turn off those mobile phones. Turn off those computers. Turn off all of those things that are also going to excite the brain.

Try not to drink caffeine too late in the day, ideally not after lunch. Now, we’ve set about reducing light exposure before you go to bed, but light exposure in the morning is very good at setting the biological clock to the light-dark cycle. So seek out morning light.

Basically, listen to yourself. Wind down. Do those sorts of things that you know are going to ease you off into the honey-heavy dew of slumber. Okay.

That’s some facts. What about some myths?

15:48 Teenagers are lazy.

15:50 No. Poor things. They have a biological predisposition to go to bed late and get up late, so give them a break.

We need eight hours of sleep a night. That’s an average. Some people need more. Some people need less. And what you need to do is listen to your body. Do you need that much or do you need more? Simple as that.

Old people need less sleep.

16:12 Not true. The sleep demands of the aged do not go down. Essentially, sleep fragments and becomes less robust, but sleep requirements do not go down.

And the fourth myth is, early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Well that’s wrong at so many different levels. (Except for rice growers)

 There is no evidence that getting up early and going to bed early gives you more wealth at all. There’s no difference in socioeconomic status. In my experience, the only difference between morning people and evening people is that those people that get up in the morning early are just horribly smug.

 So for the last part, the last few minutes, what I want to do is change gears and talk about some really new, breaking areas of neuroscience, which is the association between mental health, mental illness and sleep disruption.

We’ve known for 130 years that in severe mental illness, there is always, always sleep disruption, but it’s been largely ignored.

In the 1970s, when people started to think about this again, they said, “Yes, well, of course you have sleep disruption in schizophrenia because they’re on anti-psychotics. It’s the anti-psychotics causing the sleep problems,” ignoring the fact that for a hundred years previously, sleep disruption had been reported before anti-psychotics.

17:36 So what’s going on? Several groups are studying conditions like depression, schizophrenia and bipolar, and what’s going on in terms of sleep disruption.

We have a big study which we published last year on schizophrenia, and the data were quite extraordinary. In those individuals with schizophrenia, much of the time, they were awake during the night phase and then they were asleep during the day.

Other groups showed no 24-hour patterns whatsoever. Their sleep was absolutely smashed. And some had no ability to regulate their sleep by the light-dark cycle. They were getting up later and later and later each night. It was smashed.

So what’s going on? And the really exciting news is that mental illness and sleep are not simply associated but they are physically linked within the brain.

The neural networks that predispose you to normal sleep, give you normal sleep, and those that give you normal mental health, are overlapping. And what’s the evidence for that?

Well, genes that have been shown to be very important in the generation of normal sleep, when mutated, when changed, also predispose individuals to mental health problems. And last year, we published a study which showed that a gene that’s been linked to schizophrenia, when mutated, also smashes the sleep. So we have evidence of a genuine mechanistic overlap between these two important systems.

19:04 Other work flowed from these studies.

The first was that sleep disruption actually precedes certain types of mental illness, and we’ve shown that in those young individuals who are at high risk of developing bipolar disorder, they already have a sleep abnormality prior to any clinical diagnosis of bipolar.

The other bit of data was that sleep disruption may actually exacerbate, make worse the mental illness state. My colleague Dan Freeman has used a range of agents which have stabilized sleep and reduced levels of paranoia in those individuals by 50 percent.

 So what have we got? We’ve got, in these connections, some really exciting things. In terms of the neuroscience, by understanding these two systems, we’re really beginning to understand how both sleep and mental illness are generated and regulated within the brain.

The second area is that if we can use sleep and sleep disruption as an early warning signal, then we have the chance of going in. If we know that these individuals are vulnerable, early intervention then becomes possible.

And the third, which I think is the most exciting, is that we can think of the sleep centers within the brain as a new therapeutic target. Stabilize sleep in those individuals who are vulnerable, we can certainly make them healthier, but also alleviate some of the appalling symptoms of mental illness.

What I started by saying is take sleep seriously. Our attitudes toward sleep are so very different from a pre-industrial age, when we were almost wrapped in a duvet.

We used to understand intuitively the importance of sleep. And this isn’t some sort of crystal-waving nonsense. This is a pragmatic response to good health.

If you have good sleep, it increases your concentration, attention, decision-making, creativity, social skills, health.

If you get sleep, it reduces your mood changes, your stress, your levels of anger, your impulsivity, and your tendency to drink and take drugs. And we finished by saying that an understanding of the neuroscience of sleep is really informing the way we think about some of the causes of mental illness, and indeed is providing us new ways to treat these incredibly debilitating conditions.

Jim Butcher, the fantasy writer, said, Sleep is God. Go worship.” And I can only recommend that you do the same.

List of Tortures Approved and used by CIA: 30 kinds of torture techniques

Posted this Feb. 10, 2014 in (How to) Revolution for DummiesArrest the PresidentCorrupt Congress and Corrupt SenateCorrupt Military and Corrupt Military CommandersCorrupt NSA and the Surveillance StateCorrupt Police StateCorrupt Prison SystemCorrupt Supreme CourtCorrupt U.S. PresidentsCorrupt White HouseFellow manKnow Your RightsLiberty and FreedomNorth AmericaOne Corrupt Party or the OtherSexually AbusedTaxesThe Mafia C.I.A. and F.B.I.Torture American Style

Bush administration’s program of kidnapping “suspects,” a covert operation also known as “rendition,” continues under the Obama administration according to Reprieve Founding Director, Attorney Clive Stafford Smith.

The following is a partial list of C.I.A. forms of torture:

1. Sexual abuse and sexual torture.                  z_torture014

2. Confinement in boxes, cages, coffins, etc, or burial (often with an opening or air-tube for oxygen).                  

3. Restraint; with ropes, chains, cuffs, etc. ”We use electricity or hang them upside down, pull out their nails, and beat them on sensitive parts.” said Colonel James Steele             

4. Near-drowning. (waterboarding)          

5. Extremes of heat and cold, including submersion in ice water, and burning chemicals.                   
6. Skinning (only top layers of the skin are removed in victims intended to survive).   


7. Spinning.                  

8. Blinding light.                  

9. Electric shock.                  


10. Forced ingestion of offensive body fluids and matter, such as blood, urine, feces, flesh, etc.      

11. Hung in painful positions or upside down.                  


12. Hunger and thirst.                  

13. Sleep deprivation.                  

14 Compression with weights and devices.                  

15. Sensory deprivation.                   

16. Drugs to create illusion, confusion, and amnesia, often given by injection or intravenously.                  

17. Ingestion or intravenous toxic chemicals to create pain or illness, including chemotherapy agents.                  

18. Limbs pulled or dislocated.                   z_torture020
19. Application of dogs, ants, snakes, spiders, maggots, rats, and other animals to induce fear and disgust.                  z_torture_iraq000

20. Near-death experiences; commonly asphyxiation by choking or drowning, with immediate resuscitation.                  

22. Forced to perform or witness abuse, torture of family.                   
23. Forced to wear women’s clothes, forced participation in pornography.        z_torture011           
24. Raped.                                     
25. Spiritual abuse to cause victim to feel possessed, harassed, and controlled internally by spirits or demons.                  

26. Desecration of Muslim/religious beliefs.                  z_torture_iraq003

27. Abuse and illusion to convince victims that God is evil.                   

28. Surgery to torture, experiment, or implant RFID devices.                 40

29. Harm or threats of harm to family, friends, loved ones, pets, and other victims, to force compliance.                   
30. Psyops: Kept awake for four days by loud music.

Bush Administration memos released by the White House provide new insight into claims that American agents used insects to torture young children.

In the memos, the Bush Administration White House Office of Legal Counsel offered its endorsement of CIA torture methods that involved placing an insect in a cramped, confined box with detainees. Jay S. Bybee, then-director of the OLC, wrote that insects could be used to capitalize on detainees’ fears.

The memo was dated Aug. 1, 2002. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s children were captured and held in Pakistan the following month, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

Ali Khan, the father of detainee Majid Khan, “The Pakistani guards told my son that the boys were kept in a separate area upstairs and were denied food and water by other guards,” the statement read. “They were also mentally tortured by having ants or other creatures put on their legs to scare them and get them to say where their father was hiding.” (A pdf transcript is available here)

Khan’s statement is second-hand. But the picture he paints of his son’s interrogation at the hands of American interrogators is strikingly similar to the accounts given by numerous other detainees to the International Red Cross. The timing of the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s son — then aged seven and nine — also meshes with a report by Human Rights Watch, which says that the children were captured in September 2002 and held for four months at the hands of American guards.

“What I can tell you is that Majid was kidnapped from my son Mohammed’s [not related Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] house in Karachi, along with Mohammed, his wife, and my infant granddaughter,” Khan said in his military tribunal statement. “They were captured by Pakistani police and soldiers and taken to a detention center fifteen minutes from Mohammed’s house. The center had walls that seemed to be eighty feet high. My sons were hooded, handcuffed, and interrogated. After eight days of interrogation by US and Pakistani agents, including FBI agents, Mohammed was allowed to see Majid.

“Majhid looked terrible and very, very tired,” Khan continued. “According to Mohammed, Majid said that the Americans tortured him for eight hours at a time, tying him tightly in stressful positions in a small chair until his hands, feet and mind went numb. They re-tied him in the chair every hour, tightening the bonds on his hands and feet each time so that it was more painful.

He was often hooded and had difficulty breathing. They also beat him repeatedly, slapping him in the face, and deprived him of sleep. When he was not being interrogated, the Americans put Majid in a small cell that was totally dark and too small for him to lie down in or sit in with his legs stretched out. He had to crouch. The room was also infested with mosquitoes. The torture only stopped when Majid agreed to sign a statement that he was not even allowed to read.”

“The Americans also once stripped and beat two Arab boys, ages fourteen and sixteen, who were turned over by the Pakistani guards at the detention center,” he said. “These guards told my son that they were very upset at this and said the boys were thrown like garbage onto a plane to Guantanamo.

Women prisoners were also held there, apart from their husbands, and some were pregnant and forced to give birth in their cells. According to Mohammed, one woman also died in her cell because the guards could not get her to a hospital quickly enough. This was most upsetting to the Pakistani guards.”

“When KSM was being held at a secret CIA facility in Thailand, apparently the revamped Vietnam War-era base at Udorn, according to Suskind, a message was passed to interrogators: ‘do whatever’s necessary,’” Kevin Fenton writes at History Commons. “The interrogators then told KSM ‘his children would be hurt if he didn’t cooperate. However, his response was, ’so, fine, they’ll join Allah in a better place.’”

Bush administration’s program of kidnapping “suspects,” a covert operation also known as “rendition,” continues under the Obama administration according to Reprieve Founding Director, Attorney Clive Stafford Smith.

Most people kidnapped and tortured are people of color, innocent of terrorism. They are used for non-consensual human experimentation according to recent reports. (See AFP, Doctors had central role in CIA abuse: rights group, Spet. 1, 2009 and CIA doctors face human experimentation claims, Sept. 3, 2009)

Human experimentation without consent has been prohibited in any setting since 1947, when the Nuremberg Code resultant of Nazi doctor prosecution.

“Every day, the U.S. picks up 40 – 60 people considered ‘suspects’ from around the world and imprisons them,” stated Smith.

Non-consensual human experimentation conducted on Middle Eastern detainees has consisted of applying torture including “physical threats, mock executions, choking to the point where detainees lost consciousness and even using a stiff brush to scrub a detainees skin raw” while health officials and psychologists monitored reactions. (AFP)


The U.S.-based group, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) medical advisor Scott Allen states on the PHR website that “medical doctors and psychologists colluded with the CIA to keep observational records about waterboarding, which approaches unethical and unlawful human experimentation.” (Press release: PHR Analysis: CIA Health Professionals’ Role in Torture Worse Than Previously Known, August 31, 2009)

In 2013, Smith estimated that 60,000 people went through the American “system.” This system is now internationally known to be a U.S. sponsored kidnap-torture-experiment program.

Shortly after coming into office President Obama ordered the closing of the CIA’s “black” detention sites. At these secret sites the CIA aggressively interrogated people while also denying them access to legal representation. However, despite ordering the closing of these sites, what the Obama administration has been doing instead since 2011 leaves much to be desired.

Instead of having foreigners interrogated in foreign prisons the Obama administration has taken to questioning suspected terrorists aboard U.S. Navy ships. As the Associated Press explains, this allows Obama to not use the CIA’s secret prisons while also allowing for suspects to be interrogated indefinitely under the laws of war. (It is worth remembering that in 2009 the Obama administration said that it would continue the Bush policy of sending terrorist suspects abroad to be interrogated, but with more oversight).

The most recent example of this tactic was reported, when U.S. Delta Force and Libyan authorities captured Abu Anas al-Libi, who is accused of masterminding the attacks on American embassies in Africa in 1998. Al-Libi is currently being interrogated aboard the USS San Antonio. The Associated Press reports that al-Libi has not been read his Miranda rights.

Questioning suspected terrorists aboard U.S. warships in international waters is President Barack Obama’s answer to the Bush administration detention policies that candidate Obama promised to end.

Clive Stafford Smith dedicated humanitarian spent 25 years working on behalf of defendants facing U.S. death penalty. As Reprieve Director, Smith oversees Reprieve’s Casework Programme plus the direct representation of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay and on death row as a Louisiana licensed attorney-at-law.

Sources: CIA, Reprieve, ACLU, Colonel James Steele, AP, van der Kolk, B.A., McFarlane, A.C., & Weisaeth, L. (Eds.) (1996). Traumatic stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. New York: Guilford.

We can no longer in good conscience trust the criminals to police themselves. Link to this article from forums and blogs. Mention it with links in your comments on blogs. PROMOTE IT.




June 2023

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