Sunday, January 14, 2007

Appropriating Fiction for Reality: The George W. Bush Story—The Movie Plot

LEADERSHIP AND PROMOTION OF MIND AND BEHAVIORAL CONTROL

By Kevin Stoda

I was reading through George Monbiot’s article “Routine and Systematic Torture is at the Heart of America's War on Terror” in the Guardian a few days ago and was reminded of my long-proposed Hollywood movie plot.

The author’s (Monbiot’s) main theme is that in “the fight against cruelty, barbarism and extremism, America has embraced the very evils it claims to confront”. Therefore, on these next pages, I am going to purposefully use long quotes or excerpts from Mr. Monbiot’s recent writing on terror and torture. By both: (1) appropriating texts from Monbiot’s writing and (2) adding caveats of information from my past and my nation’s past describing the 20th Century American adventure—along with a new perspective of our “hero” or “victim” George W. Bush who can best be understood through docu-fiction.

Perhaps by reading through this montage or film script you can understand the context in which George W. Bush found himself--and placed his nation into—during the 21st Century. I am creating this narration in the manner that a director might clip and splice together scenes of a documentary film with scenes of other actual footage using dramatic actors in creating a great film sequence—like in Oliver Stone’s movie, JFK.
A story like this certainly needs to be told because it shares profoundly North American experiences which affects adversely the world we live in so greatly today.

Scene 1 (Using Mobiot’s text)

Monbiot narrates as follows:
“After thousands of years of practice, you might have imagined that every possible means of inflicting pain had already been devised. But you should never underestimate the human capacity for invention. United States interrogators, we now discover, have found a new way of destroying a human being.”

"Last week, defense lawyers acting for José Padilla, a US citizen detained as an "enemy combatant", released a video showing a mission fraught with deadly risk - taking him to the prison dentist. A group of masked guards in riot gear shackled his legs and hands, blindfolded him with black-out goggles and shut off his hearing with headphones, then marched him down the prison corridor. "

"Is Padilla really that dangerous? Far from it: his warders describe him as so docile and inactive that he could be mistaken for "a piece of furniture". The purpose of these measures appeared to be to sustain the regime under which he had lived for more than three years: total sensory deprivation. He had been kept in a blacked-out cell, unable to see or hear anything beyond it. Most importantly, he had had no human contact, except for being bounced off the walls from time to time by his interrogators. As a result, he appears to have lost his mind. I don't mean this metaphorically. I mean that his mind is no longer there.”

"The forensic psychiatrist who examined him says that he "does not appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him, is unable to render assistance to counsel, and has impairments in reasoning as the result of a mental illness, i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated by the neuropsychiatric effects of prolonged isolation". José Padilla appears to have been lobotomized: not medically, but socially.

Scene 2 (Flashback to North America of the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s)

Amazed at the way Stalin had carried out so many big Show Trials in the 1930s and how the Hitler-Goebble’s team had manipulated so many Germans throughout that same decade [& through the end of WWII in 1945], the precursors of the modern U.S. intelligence network, including the CIA and NSC, decided in the 1950s and 1960s to invest in developing the means of quickly transforming people’s minds.

That is, the CIA and other government agencies paid for research and experiments on human subjects to identify what causative and manipulative elements of behavioral control used by fascists and communists to benefit them in the past could help the USA in its great struggle against its enemies around world during the Cold War.This secret project of the CIA was called the “MK Ultra” program.

During the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, unsuspecting victims of MK Ultra both on America’s home front and in neighboring Canada were used and abused to develop profiles for those objects (real people) or subjects who could be readily manipulated and changed. Specifically, controlled situations were created and methods were developed for erasing and changing a person’s concept of self or ones self-perceptions in their own family ands social relationships were undertaken.Victims of these experiments were both knowingly and unknowingly manipulated by dru hallucinogenics used by the CIA and FBI.

Several North American’s were led to suicide, in one case simply to prove that it could be done through combined manipulations by handlers using drugs.

The History Channel in the 1990s presented several documentaries outlining what had been undertaken through these CIA sponsored activities during the Cold War. All of these obscene murders and manipulations were done in the name of creating a scientific method for brainwashing and disorientation of subjects. Such practices were, indeed, discovered and developed so that an agent or group of handlers could or torturer control what a person felt like saying or thinking—if anything at all. (Some patients and prisoners have appeared to be in zombie-like states when released from such torturous treatment.)

Officially, in the wake of the Watergate scandal as of the mid-1970s, the U.S. Congress had officially ordered the CIA to end the program, called “MK Ultra”. This occurred only after a national scandal had broken out in Canada over the misuse, abuse, and transformation of numerous Canadian citizens in those CIA-sponsored experiments. Even though, the CIA and military intelligence personnel, and other intelligence agencies were told to stop and desist from funding such operations, research, and training, it is clear now that this did not actually happen.

Worse still, no high level person was ever punished for these crimes against humanity.

Note: For a good summary of this horrible Cold War era program, review this article:
http://www.angelfire.com/or/mctrl/gall.html
Mind Control and MK Ultra


Scene 3 (Using Mobiot’s text published in 2007)

Recently, another person, labeled an “enemy combatant” in the U.S.A., was Ali al-Marri. Similar to conditions in holding centers in the U.S.A. during the MK Ultra experiments, Mobiot writes that Marri “claims to have been subject to the same total isolation and sensory deprivation, in the same naval prison in South Carolina.”

The only difference between the 21st Century treatment of prisoners and the mistreatment of Canadian citizens in the MK Ultra sponsored projects of the 1960s and 1970s was that electrical shock therapy and medication had also been the handler’s means of manipulation in the Canadian experiments.Concerning prisoners disappearing or being sent abroad, Mobiot adds, “God knows what is being done to people who have disappeared into the CIA's foreign oubliettes.”

Mobiot also notes, “That the US tortures, routinely and systematically, while prosecuting its ‘war on terror’ can no longer be seriously disputed. The Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project (DAA), a coalition of academics and human-rights groups, has documented the abuse or killing of 460 inmates of US military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantánamo Bay. This, it says, is necessarily a conservative figure: many cases will remain unrecorded. The prisoners were beaten, raped, forced to abuse themselves, forced to maintain ‘stress positions’, and subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation and mock executions.”

“The New York Times reports that prisoners held by the US military at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan were made to stand for up to 13 days with their hands chained to the ceiling, naked, hooded and unable to sleep. The Washington Post alleges that prisoners at the same airbase were "commonly blindfolded and thrown into walls, bound in painful positions, subjected to loud noises and deprived of sleep" while kept, like Padilla and the arrivals at Guantánamo, ‘in black hoods or spray-painted goggles’.”

“Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, argues that the photographs released from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq reflect standard CIA torture techniques: "stress positions, sensory deprivation, and sexual humiliation". The famous picture of the hooded man standing on a box, with wires attached to his fingers, shows two of these techniques being used at once. Unable to see, he has no idea how much time has passed or what might be coming next. He stands in a classic stress position - maintained for several hours, it causes excruciating pain. He appears to have been told that if he drops his arms he will be electrocuted. What went wrong at Abu Ghraib is that someone took photos. Everything else was done by the book.”

“Neither the military nor the civilian authorities have broken much sweat in investigating these crimes. A few very small fish have been imprisoned; a few others have been fined or reduced in rank; in most cases the authorities have either failed to investigate or failed to prosecute. The DAA points out that no officer has yet been held to account for torture practiced by his subordinates. US torturers appear to enjoy impunity, until they are stupid enough to take pictures of each other.”

Scene 4 (Flashback to Canadian Mental Hospital in the 1960s)

In this scene, a Canadian family is sharing the tale of what happened to the mother of the house. The woman, then in her early thirties, had been taken to a famous psychiatric in clinic in Toronto on recommendation of her trusted doctor after anti-depressants had proven to be failing her.

This mother was subsequently totally separated from her family for roughly 45 days. At the end of that time, the women’s husband explained sadly, “I could hardly recognize her. She was like a little child or a baby. She was now a happy new-born, but she had to be re-taught everything.”

“She didn’t even recognize us—me or her own kids. Occasionally, she even drooled uncontrollably and just stayed motionless except for gazing happily into space. Her mind was just not there!”

The husband and children had to teach her everything again—how to use knives and forks, how to wash, how to brush her teeth, how to cook etc. This poor women’s own mother was asked to move back into the house and help “raise her”.

It took many years for this poor female victim to regain competence in many things that had once been routine for her. Worse still was the fact that this mother had forgotten many positive memories in her earlier life, i.e. what had occurred to her before she went under the fake, illegitimate, and manipulative treatment at the Canadian clinic—all paid for by CIA and American dollars.

It wasn’t until the early 1970s, when news of the full-blown scandal of CIA sponsored “treatments” in the Canadian clinic had hit all the tabloids, press and media in both Canada and in the United States that this project was even officially questioned in Washington.The famous Church Commission and other congressional watchdog groups demanded closure of such projects.

The new CIA leadership, under George Herbert Walker Bush, claimed to have done this.
Note: For more on this women’s sad tale, see this 2007 articlehttp://www.vivelecanada.ca/article.php/20070108101503142
It is entitled “Canada handed over patients for CIA experiments”.

Scene 5 (from Mobiot’s text)

Mobiot writes, “But Padilla's treatment also reflects another glorious American tradition: solitary confinement. Some 25,000 US prisoners are currently held in isolation - a punishment only rarely used in other democracies. In some places, like the federal prison in Florence, Colorado, they are kept in sound-proofed cells and might scarcely see another human being for years on end. They may touch or be touched by no one. Some people have been kept in solitary confinement in the US for more than 20 years.”

"At Pelican Bay in California, where 1,200 people are held in the isolation wing, inmates are confined to tiny cells for 22 and a half hours a day, then released into an 'exercise yard' for 'recreation'. The yard consists of a concrete well about 3.5 metres in length with walls 6 metres high and a metal grille across the sky. The recreation consists of pacing back and forth, alone.

The results are much as you would expect. As National Public Radio reveals, more than 10% of the isolation prisoners at Pelican Bay are now in the psychiatric ward, and there's a waiting list."


Scene 6 (Flashback to a College Town near a North Texas Prison in the late 1990s)

It is 1998, George W. Bush is the governor of the state of Texas and he is running for his second term in office. In August, newspaper around the state print a story about a funny and disturbing incident relating to the governor and to a foreign-born inmate at a private prison facility near Wichita Falls’.

The newspaper’s story concerns a native Indian who has been serving a multi-year sentence in various incarceration centers in the state of Texas. The Indian national had sent Governor Bush a request for a pardon earlier that year.

To the media’s howling ridicule, instead of recieving a reply to this request, the young prisoner was sent by someone working with the governor’s reelection campaign a surprising response.In a letter he received in the mail, that young imprisoned Indian national simply received a request from the governor’s political staff asking him to donate to the Republican reelection campaign. Dismayed and frustrated, the young Indian prisoner passed his story onto the state press via a local priest who had visited him at the northern Texas correctional facility.

This story of a prisoner-seeking-a-pardon receiving a request for money for the governor’s reelection campaign ran as the political joke of the month around Austin and Dallas that August 1998. However, the story quietly disappeared as subsequent weeks passed.

Meanwhile, on the local university campus, the regular monthly meeting of the student chapter of Amnesty International takes place. Unusual at this meeting is the attendance of an employee from the university. This was the director of the foreign student affairs office on campus. He asked the chapter to find a way to help the young Indian national in the local prison, i.e. the one whom had been referred to in the newspapers all over Texas that prior August.

The Indian national had sent another letter or plea through the chaplain at the prison. The letter from the young man is read to all in the AI audience that night.

In the plea, the young prisoner first explained that he is now in solitary confinement most of the time, including 23-hour a day lock down. He also shared his story of how he had ended up in a Texas prison facility in the first place for breaking and entering the home of his former girl-friend (in order to retrieve his own property). This Indian had already served many years in Texas prisons for this and a related crime. He had also not gotten along well at any of the prisons he had been in.

In the intervening years, he had been moved to a variety of prisons around the state—and some time had been added to his sentence due to his fighting in prison, etc. This Indian prisoner admitted to not getting along with other inmates, and he had subsequently become more and more isolated in the Texas prison system.

Now, the young Indian national wrote that since August his prison warden had placed him under a 23- to 24-hour a day lock-down alone in a cell. This was possibly done out of retribution for the fact that he had illegally given a letter to the former chaplain to pass on to the Texas news media.The foreign-born man stated clearly that he felt he had already been going absolutely insane.

In fact, the Indian national explained that this was the very reason why he had written the governor of Texas for help in the first place.The Indian stated that he had stated in his letter to the governor of Texas that he would be happy to serve the rest of his long sentence in his homeland’s prisons. That is, in the much poorer Indian jail system. He asked the governor of Texas in writing to either pardon him (with time served) or to exile him home— still to continue to be incarcerated.

Disappointedly for the local chapter of AI, this disturbed and isolated foreigner was transferred as an inmate to still another prison in Texas before national or international AI investigators could even be invited into the community to investigate the claims by the Indian national that he was unfairly placed under nearly total solitary confinement for simply using his rights to free expression.

No one in the local university Amnesty chapter ever found out where the young man had been sent. But losing prisoners in the system is not an unknown event in the large U.S. prison system.

In November 1998, George W. Bush is reelected as governor of Texas.



Scene 7 (from Mobiot’s text)

“Prisoners in solitary confinement, according to Dr Henry Weinstein, a psychiatrist who studies them, suffer from ‘memory loss to severe anxiety to hallucinations to delusions ... under the severest cases of sensory deprivation, people go crazy.’ People who went in bad and dangerous come out mad as well. The only two studies conducted so far - in Texas and Washington state - both show that the recidivism rates for prisoners held in solitary confinement are worse than for those who were allowed to mix with other prisoners. If we were to judge the US by its penal policies, we would perceive a strange beast: a Christian society that believes in neither forgiveness nor redemption.”

“From this delightful experiment, US interrogators appear to have extracted a useful lesson: if you want to erase a man's mind, deprive him of contact with the rest of the world. This has nothing to do with obtaining information: torture of all kinds - physical or mental - produces the result that people will say anything to make it end. It is about power, and the thrilling discovery that in the right conditions one man's power over another is unlimited. It is an indulgence which turns its perpetrators into everything they claim to be confronting.”

Scene 8 (Flashback to another location in Texas in the early 1970s)

It is 1972, the young national guard volunteer had gone AWOL for the second time within a year. His well-connected daddy had had enough!

The boy needed treatment; the boy just couldn’t seem to control his impulses.

The father, who had even greater political ambitions than most, had been contacted by one of his old chums in the government. Then, the AWOL national guardsman was found, captured and whisked away from an Austin bar late one night. Soon, a psychiatric consultant working with the U.S. government was brought on board to talk with both the father and the young man.

Later, the young man’s father showed up at a correctional institutional on the base and talked to the boy. The young pilot was persuaded to sign himself over for treatment and training to a special government agency under the program name of MK Ultra.

The young man, who goes by his initial “W”, nodded to his parent and agreed to do what would best help his papa out.After, “W” signed himself over for treatment in a secret government facility, his behavior was modified and his mind was altered.

In his father’s words, the boy became "a man"—maybe not the man his papa had thought he’d become. Nonetheless, he was able to slowly project himself as a more responsible and decisive individual. (The young man even loved to call himself “the Decider”. Whatever he decided--he stuck to this thought through thick and thin!).

Decades after his time in isolation and treatment “W” would eventually become the president of the United States.

Meanwhile, one might ask, "Who are his real handlers?"



See this article for more on Bush’s past:
http://www.bushwatch.com/awol.htm
including the fact that for 300 days Lt. Bush missed of active duty in 1972.

Scene 9 (combining current film footage and Mobiot’s text)

It is now 2007, and the President of the U.S.—and his handlers—are now running the country called the United States of America.

They continually mistake meanness for strength and mistake lack of ruthlessness for weakness. This is the way they were all moulded. (But, who did the moulding?)

“How did we come to this?”--you might ask.

Here is one answer from George Monbiot :“President Bush maintains that he is fighting a war against threats to the ‘values of civilized nations’: terror, cruelty, barbarism and extremism. He asked his nation's interrogators to discover where these evils are hidden. They should congratulate themselves. They appear to have succeeded.”

In short, if mind control and behavioral manipulation worked for George W. himself, why shouldn’t it work for a whole nation?

This is a scary thought. It is also fiction, but it certainly verges on fact.

Please connect the dots for yourself—before its too late!

For more on George W. Bush’s praise for behavioral and mind control leadership, see this article and check out the related website on mind control and freedom: http://www.freedomofmind.com/stevehassan/presskit/articles/parry.htm


THE END

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