Tag Archives: Washington Post

DOJ Targeted FOX News Reporter For Espionage

This is ludicrous! These people are crazy. It is time to stand up. I don’t care for Alex Jones‘ style but if the facts are true, and from my research they are, then what he is saying is well worth listening to. At the very least for the information. (E)

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“Toning Down The Rhetoric” Means Obeying Big Government

Establishment exploits actions of deranged lunatic to stifle freedom of speech

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Despite the fact that Jared Lee Loughner was a psychotic loner with “left-wing” beliefs according to those who knew him, the establishment has hastily exploited yesterday’s tragic shooting in Tucson to demonize conservatives, libertarians and gun owners while ordering Americans to “tone down the rhetoric,” which is nothing more than a euphemism for stifling dissent and coercing people to roll over on Obamacare, bailouts and whatever big government is preparing to unleash next.

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“The nation’s caustic political climate has become a suspect of sorts in the rampage that left six dead and a lawmaker critically injured in Arizona. Already, appeals are being heard to tone down the rhetoric,” reports the Associated Press, in doing so framing the debate and profiting from the actions of a deranged lunatic to launch a fresh assault on freedom of speech.

Make no bones about it – “tone down the rhetoric” means stifling dissent, it can have no other possible meaning. Because a lunatic decided to kill others in a bid to give his worthless life some meaning, Americans are being ordered to shut their mouths about Obamacare, endless bailouts, and the fact that their political representatives in Washington (with some notable exceptions) have ceased to represent their interests.

Arizona Sheriff Dupnik wasted no time in blaming the deaths on conservative talk radio and television presenters, despite the fact that Loughner was a “left-winger” who listed amongst his favorite books The Communist Manifesto.

“The vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business … This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in, he said.”

Dupnik then took a swipe at people opposing the growth of big government, wasting no time in blaming them for the tragedy.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” he said. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Even before the identity of the gunman was known, the Associated Press was busy tying the massacre to Sarah Palin and second amendment organizations. We’re no fans of Palin, but the fact that the AP cited one of her campaign images that centered around targeting certain states as political battlegrounds to imply that Palin was partly responsible for the carnage, while ignoring almost identical “crosshair” images against Giffords put out by liberal groups, underscores how eager the establishment was to seize upon the tragedy for crass political points scoring.

While blaming tea partiers and conservatives without a shred of connecting evidence, the likes of Associated Press, the Washington Post, and a slew of statist Obama worshipping liberal websites, conveniently failed to mention a savage hit piece against Giffords that had appeared just days before on the Daily Kos website (since pulled) which bizarrely invoked the word “dead” several times.

Indeed, as statists rushed to finger tea partiers as being responsible, they conveniently ignored the fact that Giffords was a pro-border control, pro-second amendment blue dog Democrat. In addition, the federal judge that was killed, John Roll, was a strong opponent of the Brady gun control bill. Giffords and Roll would make strange targets for anti-government extremists, since both of them have voting records that put them in alliance with most conservatives.

Despite this, the AP tried to use the shooting to attack second amendment rights by alluding to Giffords’ Republican challenger Jesse Kelly last year inviting supporters to join him at a pro-gun event.

“I don’t see the connection,” between the fundraisers featuring weapons and Saturday’s shooting, said John Ellinwood, Kelly’s spokesman. “I don’t know this person, we cannot find any records that he was associated with the campaign in any way. I just don’t see the connection.

“Arizona is a state where people are firearms owners — this was just a deranged individual.”

In addition, there was little mention of the fact that it was a responsible firearm owner who used his second amendment rights to help stop the carnage. It was reported that one member of the crowd interrupted Loughner’s rampage by shooting at him with his own concealed carry gun.

While the establishment continues to characterize the gunman as an anti-government extremist in a transparent ploy to chill dissent against big government, Loughner’s favorite You Tube video was a clip of someone burning an American flag. Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but I don’t recall seeing too many tea partiers burning American flags at political rallies.

When it turned out that Discovery Channel building gunman James Jay Lee was a statist zealot and a global warming alarmist, there was little call for anyone to “tone down rhetoric” about doomsday climate change scenarios. Isn’t it interesting that the establishment only demands we “tone down the rhetoric” when that rhetoric manifests itself as criticism of the state?

“Toning down the rhetoric,” or becoming afraid to speak out against the government, will do nothing whatsoever to stop mentally ill people with no political affiliations committing crimes.

By exploiting tragedies to coerce Americans into “toning down the rhetoric,” the establishment hopes to suffocate criticism of the state, opposition to Obamacare (next week’s hearings on a repeal have already been cancelled), and allow the march of big government to continue unimpeded.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show. Watson has been interviewed by many publications and radio shows, including Vanity Fair and Coast to Coast AM, America’s most listened to late night talk show.

 

 


Obscene And Threatening Remarks From Your Department of Homeland Security

Obscene, threatening comments posted at anti-TSA website traced to Homeland Security servers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seem to now be going on the offensive against those who oppose its new invasive and unconstitutional airport security protocols being carried out by agents of the U.S. TransportationSecurity Administration(TSA). According to George Donnelly, owner of WeWontFly.com, government workers appear to be posting hateful messages on his anti-TSA blog under the guise of anonymity.

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One such comment, which has since been deleted, said, “F**k you, f**k all you c**ksuckers, you wont change anything.” Another stated, “Ride the bus,TSAis here to stay there [sic] doing a great job keeping americia [sic] safe.”
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Donnelly says that upon tracing the origin of the comments, he discovered that they came from the servers of dhs.gov, the official website of the U.S. Department ofHomeland Security. Nineteen comments in total were all posted from the same server, including the two previously mentioned. And while all were worded in different tones and voices, they all expressed hostility to those opposingthe TSA.

“Some questions come to mind,” wrote Donnelly on his blog in response to his findings. “Is this an official statement? If not, is it an accurate representation of the DHS position? Was this person on the public dime when he or she posted this? Who posted this and what is their position with DHS?”

“This is not the first time we have been trolled by individuals connected to the TSA. Someone posted a personal attack on me from an IP belonging to mitre,org, a corporation whose core competency is securing federalgovernmentcontracts, including DHS and TSA ones. Any effective TSA resistance threatens not only the TSA itself but also the bureaucrats who got us to this point and the corporations who are getting paid for the technology.”

WeWontFly.com is working towards abolishing the new TSA protocols by pushingairlines totake a stand. And according to aWashington Postpiece from November, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group, has filed a lawsuit against the TSA citing the unconstitutionality of its current actions.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy…

Articles Related to This Article:

Homeland Security can now search your laptop computer: Man gets 25 years for deleted image files

U.S. to require passports for all by 2008

Please monitor suspicious activity at your local Wal-Mart and report to the Department of Homeland Security (satire)

Homeland Security secretly assigns “terrorist scores” to all international travelers entering U.S.

Gulf Coast now a BP police state as law enforcement conspires with BP to intimidate journalists

Poll: Many Americans think government’s terrorism investigations are violating privacy rights

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Mobile Surveillance / Guard Towers coming to a town near you! (notalemming.wordpress.com)


We Own You!

Red Light Cameras: Safety Devices or One More Step Toward a Surveillance State?

by John W. Whitehead

Recently by John W. Whitehead: Attention, Walmart Shoppers: Big Sis Wants You to Spy on One Another

Before Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, unleashed full body imaging scanners and “enhanced” pat downs on American airline passengers, she subjected Arizona drivers to red light cameras. In August 2008, Napolitano, then-governor of Arizona, instituted a statewide system of 200 fixed and mobile speed and red light cameras, which were projected to bring in more than $120 million in annual revenue for the state. She was aided in this endeavor by the Australian corporation Redflex Traffic Systems.

Two years later, after widespread complaints that the cameras intrude on privacy and are primarily a money-making enterprise for the state (income actually fell short of the projections because people refused to pay their fines), Arizona put the brakes on the program. And while other states – including Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Wisconsin – have since followed suit, many more municipalities, suffering from budget crises, have succumbed to the promise of easy revenue and installed the cameras. As the Washington Post notes:

A handful of cities used them a decade ago. Now they’re in more than 400, spread across two dozen states. Montgomery County started out with 18 cameras in 2007. Now it has 119. Maryland just took the program statewide last month, and Prince George’s is putting up 50. The District started out with a few red light cameras in 1999; now they send out as many automated tickets each year as they have residents, about 580,000.

In most cases, state and local governments arrange to lease the cameras from the Redflex Corporation, with Redflex taking its cut of ticket revenue first, and the excess going to the states and municipalities.

The cameras, which are triggered by sensors buried in the road, work by taking photos of drivers who enter intersections after a traffic light turns red. What few realize, however, is that you don’t actually have to run a red light to get “caught.” Many drivers have triggered the cameras simply by making a right turn on red or crossing the sensor but not advancing into the intersection.

Each municipality has its own protocol for what happens next, but generally, the photos are reviewed by Redflex, which then issues tickets to the drivers. And this is where your right to a fair and full hearing largely goes out the window. Indeed, while there is a system for challenging a ticket, it is often convoluted and onerous, with the burden of proof resting upon the driver. Even the courts have a tendency to view the cameras as infallible. According to the Washington Post, Montgomery County, “in screening the tickets to mail out, has had to kick out 23,266 ‘violations’ from May 2007 to June 2009 because ‘No violation occurred/operator error.’ And 10,813 were tossed for reasons including ‘power interruption’ and ‘equipment malfunction.’” Once in court, however, the drivers were invariably found guilty 99.7 percent of the time.

Some opponents advocate ignoring the ticket altogether on the pretext that there are few real penalties to not paying. In Los Angeles, about 56,000 people have opted not to pay their red light camera tickets, resulting in roughly 45 percent of all tickets issued since 2006 going unresolved with no punishment.

Still, supporters contend that the ends justify the means because the cameras increase traffic safety. Yet research suggests otherwise. In fact, multiple studies indicate that red light cameras actually increase the number of crashes. For example, in Greensboro, N.C., the Urban Transit Institute at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University analyzed 57 months of data and concluded that the red light cameras were associated with a 40% increase in crashes. In Ontario, Canada, Synectics Transportation Consultants found a 16% increase in accidents at intersections with cameras, as opposed to an 8% increase at comparison intersections with no police enforcement or cameras. It also found a 2% increase in injury/fatal crashes at camera intersections as opposed to a 10% decrease with police enforcement.

Studies conducted in Virginia also show that the cameras result in an increased number of rear-end collisions. The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration funded a study of seven years of crash data by the Virginia Transportation Research Council. The study associated red light cameras with a 27% increase in rear-end crashes and a 42% decrease in red-light-running crashes across six Virginia jurisdictions (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church and Vienna). Overall, however, crashes increased because there are generally more rear-end crashes than red light running crashes. Thus, the study concluded that the results “cannot be used to justify the widespread installation of cameras because they are not universally effective.”

There are, in fact, far superior alternatives to red light cameras. For instance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersection safety would be increased by simply lengthening the yellow light time or adding an all-red light interval. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that increasing the length of yellow lights by one second decreased the chance of accidents by 40%. Similarly, another case study revealed that a mere 30% increase in yellow light time produced substantial safety benefits. And when the Virginia Department of Transportation increased the yellow light duration from 4.0 seconds to 5.5 seconds at an Arlington intersection in 2000, the problem of red light running practically disappeared.

Rather than trading one type of crash for another, which is what red light cameras do, increasing the duration of the yellow light has proven to be effective in actually enhancing intersection safety. So why aren’t more communities extending the yellow lights?

Regrettably, a close examination of the history of traffic monitoring devices reveals that, on a larger scale, the profit motive figures prominently into the increased use of red light cameras. In fact, despite the fact that lengthening the yellow light duration has been shown to increase intersection safety, national guidelines have actually lowered the recommended yellow light duration at problem intersections, apparently in an effort to spawn the implementation of red light cameras across the nation.

Moreover, a 2001 report released by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey found that in 1985, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) began to change the way signal times were calculated so as to provide at least three methods resulting in a reduction of yellow light time. The report ultimately concluded:

Transportation officials and engineers know that the yellow signal timing is essential to safety. The data showing this to be the case are found in their studies. Nonetheless, some have systematically and intentionally ignored the inescapable engineering fact that longer yellows would solve the so-called crises caused by shortened yellows. Red light cameras present a perverse disincentive for local jurisdictions to fix intersections with excessive red light entries. It’s hard to fix a “problem” that brings in millions in revenue. In other words, red light cameras aren’t fixing a safety problem, they’re creating one.

Virginia is a perfect example of what happens when politicians sacrifice safety to generate revenue. In March 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell (R) approved legislation that allows private corporations operating the red light camera systems, such as Redflex, to directly access motorists’ confidential information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. What this means is that not only will government agents have one more means of monitoring a person’s whereabouts, but a remote, privately-owned corporation will now have access to drivers’ confidential information.

Another provision signed into law by McDonnell also shortened the amount of time given to alleged traffic law violators to respond to citations resulting from red light camera violations. While prior law allotted 60 days for the response, the amendment cut that time in half to 30 days. This gives the driver scant time to receive and review the information, determine what action is required, inspect the evidence, consider appealing the citation and respond appropriately. In this way, by shortening the appeal time, more drivers are forced to pay the fine or face added penalties.

The bottom line is this: red light cameras are not safety devices – they’re revenue-raising devices for corporations, states and municipalities, which is bad enough when it comes at taxpayer expense. But when coupled with the entire arsenal of technological tools being aimed at the American people, from license-plate readers, mobile scanners and iris scanners to full-body scanners in airports, biometric ID cards, etc., they become yet another layer in our surveillance society. Ultimately, surveillance is about one thing – total control of the citizenry.

December 21, 2010

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead [send him mail] is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He is the author of The Change Manifesto (Sourcebooks).

Copyright © 2010 The Rutherford Institute

The Best of John W. Whitehead

 

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Bilderberg Mourns: Nationalism Gaining

I can’t say I am happy about the whole nationalism thing but anything that is worrisome to the NWO has got to be good for the rest of the world including us. (E)

James P. Tucker Jr.
The American Free Press
September 16, 2020

A leading Bilderberg spokesman mourned that “right-wing populism is on the upswing” and is likely to destroy hopes of a world government because of increasing “hard-edged nationalism.”

Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, wrote his lamentations Aug. 29 in the Bilderberg-controlled Washington Post. The CFR is the public relations arm of Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission. It produces “white papers” advocating the positions taken by Bilderberg and its brother group, the Trilateral Commission, at their secret meetings each spring.

Kupchan reflected the mood at the Bilderberg and Trilateral meetings last spring, where the global elite grieved over their numerous setbacks in recent years. “From London to Berlin to Warsaw, Europe is experiencing a renationalization of political life, with countries clawing back the sovereignty they once willingly sacrificed in pursuit of a collective ideal,” Kupchan wrote in the Post. “For many Europeans, that greater good no longer seems to matter.”

These trends “could compromise one of the most significant and unlikely accomplishments of the 20th century: an integrated Europe,” Kupchan said. “The result could be individual nations. . . . Germany’s pursuit of its national interest is crowding out its enthusiasm for the EU (European Union). . . . Even Germany’s courts are putting the brakes on the EU, last year issuing a ruling that strengthened the national parliament’s sway over European legislation.”

This “renationalization of politics has been occurring across the EU,” he said. “In Britain, May elections brought to power a coalition dominated by the Conservative Party, which is well known for its Europhobia,” he added. “Right-wing populism” is a “backlash against immigration,” he said. This “nationalism aims not only at minorities, but also at the loss of autonomy that accompanies political union.”

He agonized that some European countries object to having their culture distorted by hordes of Third World immigrants.


Human Experiments by US Revealed Again

National Institutes of Health

Image via Wikipedia

Brought to You by the folks over at
the US NIH working for your health.

HA!

People have often looked at the 3rd Reich as an anomaly. This shows that using “lesser races” as human guinea pigs is not limited to those we might consider evil. This is another example of the fact that government is always evil and will use whatever means at it’s disposal to control, manipulate and use the masses for it’s own purposes. (E)

Guatemalan STD medical experiments were just one crime in a long history of medical-government collusion to use humans as guinea pigs

Saturday, October 02, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) It has now been widely revealed that the United States conducted medical experiments on prisoners and mental health patients in Guatemala in the 1940’s. Carried out by a government-employed doctor working in a psychiatric hospital, these experiments involved intentionally infecting Guatemalans with syphilis (and other STDs) without their knowledge in order to determine the effectiveness of penicillin. They were sponsored in part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and they’ve now been widely reported by ABC News, the Washington

The outrage against this inhumane medical science experiment is reflected in mainstream news headlines across the globe, and the Guatemalan government now characterizes this sad chapter in U.S. history as a “crime against humanity.” News reporters are shocked in reporting the story, and U.S. government officials seem to be almost beside themselves in discovering that this ever took place in America.

But what you’re about to reveal here will shock you even more. The U.S. medical experiments on Guatemalan citizens, you see, barely scratch the surface of the criminal experiments the U.S. government and the medical industry has carried out on innocent victims over the last century.

Post and many other mainstream papers (who have suddenly taken an interest in a subject they normally wouldn’t touch).

The U.S. pretends to be surprised

The discovery of this medical experiment generated a series of official U.S. responses that can only be called political theater given how contrived they are. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went on the record saying, “Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health… We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the discovery “reprehensible,” and President Obama

You know what all these actions have in common? An implied message that this experiment from the 1940’s was somehow an aberrant mistake that never happens in America. They want you to believe this is just some lone researcher who went off his rocker and committed some atrocious crime in the name of medicine. But the reality is that Big Pharma and the U.S. government use innocent people in medical experiments every single day. This wasn’t some bizarre, rare event. It was a reflection of the way the U.S. government has consistently conspired with the medical industry to test drugs on innocent victims and find out what happens.

even picked up the phone to call Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom and offer a verbal apology.

U.S. government and Big Pharma continue to commit crimes against humanity

This pattern extends to the modern day, of course. Remember the Gulf War veterans who were diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome shortly after returning from serving in Iraq? It is widely believed that this syndrome is the side effect of experimental vaccines and drugs forced upon these soldiers by the U.S. government. In the timeline of medical experiments shown below, you’ll notice a disturbing pattern of governments exploiting soldiers for their experiments.

More recently, last year’s swine flu vaccine was essentially one grand medical experiment involving hundreds of millions of people around the world. The vaccine was entirely untested and had never been scientifically tested and then approved as safe by any health authority, yet it was aggressively pushed by government authorities in the hopes that people would take the shots so they could find out what happens. (It’s a lot like Nancy Pelosi trying to pass the health care reform bill so that we can all find out what’s in it…)

The timeline of medical experiments on innocent victims

What’s really interesting about this story is how the discovery of this 1940’s medical experiment suddenly came to light. It was “discovered” by Susan M. Reverby, a professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, who said, “I almost fell out of my chair when I started reading this… Can you imagine? I couldn’t believe it.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy…)

Well maybe she should have been reading NaturalNews. We’ve been publishing the truth about medical experimentation on innocent humans for years. If Susan Reverby knew anything about how the medical industry really operates, she wouldn’t have been surprised at all. The history of medical experiments conducted in the name of the pharmaceutical industry is chock full of accounts of prisoners, blacks, women and other groups being exploited as human lab rats (see the timeline link below to read it for yourself).

Upon discovering this medical experiment, Susan Reverby was so outraged that she went public with her findings. ABC News picked up on the story and then it spread like wildfire throughout the mainstream media. That’s the curious thing about this: The mainstream media so rarely prints the truth about the history of medicine that when something truthful appears, it’s “amazing” news.

But here on NaturalNews.com, we print these kind of stories every single day. To discover that yet another group of victims was abused and exploited by a government-paid doctor working for the drug industry is routine. The abuses of human life committed by the pharmaceutical industry goes far beyond 1500 Guatemalans and actually extends to tens of millions of Americans who are being treated like guinea pigs every single day.

Psychiatry – An Industry of Death

If you really want to be freaked out by the true, documented history of how people have been tortured, abused, injected, maimed and otherwise had their lives destroyed by the medical industry, check out the Psychiatry An Industry of Death Museum created by CCHR (www.CCHR.org).

Watch the video here: http://www.cchr.org/museum.html%23/…

You can actually walk through this museum yourself. It’s in Los Angeles, and it’s one of the most disturbing things you’ll ever see about the true history of medicine. The STD experiments in Guatemala, by the way, were carried out in a psychiatric hospital. (No surprise.) I walked through this museum and practically found myself in tears before it was over. The things that psychiatrists and doctors will do to other human beings in the name of “medicine” will rock you to the core.

The psychiatric industry has done unspeakable things to women, children, prisoners, senior citizens, African Americans and racial minorities — all in the name of “science” and “medicine.” In fact, these experiments continue to this day in the form of the psychiatric drugging of children who are diagnosed with fictitious health conditions such as “ADHD.” See my disease mongering engine to invent your own psychiatric disorders, if you want a bit of satire on this subject: http://www.naturalnews.com/disease-…

Nobody has documented the real history of medicine’s criminal abuse of human beings as well as CCHR – the Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights. Check out their amazing, shocking and eye-opening videos such as The Marketing of Madness (http://www.cchr.org/videos/marketin…) and Making A Killing (http://www.cchr.org/videos/making-a…).

Here, you’ll begin to scratch the surface of the true story of criminal abuse by the pharmaceutical industry — often in collusion with government. Normally, these stories are all covered up and we never hear about them. After all, to discover that the U.S. government conspired with the pharmaceutical industry to infect Guatemalans with a sexually-transmitted disease doesn’t exactly reflect the kind of image Obama wishes for people to believe about America.

A timeline of medical experiments on humans

Below, I’ve reprinted a timeline of human medical experiments that we first put together here on NaturalNews several years ago. This is just a partial list, by the way: There are more experiments that were conducted in secret and were never documented.

As you’ll see here, the experiment on Guatemalans just barely begins to paint the full picture of just how many human beings have been killed, poisoned, maimed or otherwise had their lives destroyed by criminal medical experiments carried out in the name of “medical science.”

Many of these experiments involve organizations whose names you would instantly recognize: Merck, the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the Sloan-Kettering Institute, the National Institutes of Health, Massachusetts General Hospital and many more. This is like a Who’s Who of the pharmaceutical industry, and they were all involved in using human beings as guinea pigs to conduct medical experiments.

And as you’ll see below, the Guatemalan experiment isn’t even the most grotesque or disturbing.

Note: Below is only a partial list of human medical experiments we’ve documented here on NaturalNews. See the full list here: http://www.naturalnews.com/022383_r…

(1845 – 1849)

J. Marion Sims, later hailed as the “father of gynecology,” performs medical experiments on enslaved African women without anesthesia. These women would usually die of infection soon after surgery. Based on his belief that the movement of newborns’ skull bones during protracted births causes trismus, he also uses a shoemaker’s awl, a pointed tool shoemakers use to make holes in leather, to practice moving the skull bones of babies born to enslaved mothers (Brinker).

(1895)

New York pediatrician Henry Heiman infects a 4-year-old boy whom he calls “an idiot with chronic epilepsy” with gonorrhea as part of a medical experiment (“Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After”).

(1896)

Dr. Arthur Wentworth turns 29 children at Boston’s Children’s Hospital into human guinea pigsSharav).

when he performs spinal taps on them, just to test whether the procedure is harmful (

(1906)

Harvard professor Dr. Richard Strong infects prisoners in the Philippines with cholera to study the disease; 13 of them die. He compensates survivors with cigars and cigarettes. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors cite this study to justify their own medical experiments (Greger, Sharav).

(1911)

Dr. Hideyo Noguchi of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research publishes data on injecting an inactive syphilis preparation into the skin of 146 hospital patients and normal children in an attempt to develop a skin test for syphilis. Later, in 1913, several of these children’s parents sue Dr. Noguchi for allegedly infecting their children with syphilis (“Reviews and Notes: History of Medicine: Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America before the Second World War”).

(1913)

Medical experimenters “test” 15 children at the children’s home St. Vincent’s House in Philadelphia with tuberculin, resulting in permanent blindness in some of the children. Though the Pennsylvania House of Representatives records the incident, the researchers are not punished for the experiments (“Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After”).

(1915)

Dr. Joseph Goldberger, under order of the U.S. Public Health Office, produces Pellagra, a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system, in 12 Mississippi inmates to try to find a cure for the disease. One test subject later says that he had been through “a thousand hells.” In 1935, after millions die from the disease, the director of the U.S Public Health Office would finally admit that officials had known that it was caused by a niacin deficiency for some time, but did nothing about it because it mostly affected poor African-Americans. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors used this study to try to justify their medical experiments on concentration camp inmates (Greger; Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

(1932)

(1932-1972) The U.S. Public Health Service in Tuskegee, Ala. diagnoses 400 poor, black sharecroppers with syphilis but never tells them of their illness nor treats them; instead researchers use the men as human guinea pigs to follow the symptoms and progression of the disease. They all eventually die from syphilis and their families are never told that they could have been treated (Goliszek, University of Virginia Health System Health Sciences Library).

(1939)

In order to test his theory on the roots of stuttering, prominent speech pathologist Dr. Wendell Johnson performs his famous “Monster Experiment” on 22 children at the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in Davenport. Dr. Johnson and his graduate students put the children under intense psychological pressure, causing them to switch from speaking normally to stuttering heavily. At the time, some of the students reportedly warn Dr. Johnson that, “in the aftermath of World War II, observers might draw comparisons to Nazi experiments on human subjects, which could destroy his career” (Alliance for Human Research Protection).

(1941)

Dr. William C. Black infects a 12-month-old baby with herpes as part of a medical experiment. At the time, the editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Francis Payton Rous, calls it “an abuse of power, an infringement of the rights of an individual, and not excusable because the illness which followed had implications for science” (Sharav).

An article in a 1941 issue of Archives of Pediatrics describes medical studies of the severe gum disease Vincent’s angina in which doctors transmit the disease from sick children to healthy children with oral swabs (Goliszek).

Researchers give 800 poverty-stricken pregnant women at a Vanderbilt University prenatal clinic “cocktails” including radioactive iron in order to determine the iron requirements of pregnant women (Pacchioli).

(1942)

The Chemical Warfare Service begins mustard gas and lewisite experiments on 4,000 members of the U.S. military. Some test subjects don’t realize they are volunteering for chemical exposure experiments, like 17-year-old Nathan Schnurman, who in 1944 thinks he is only volunteering to test “U.S. Navy summer clothes” (Goliszek).

Merck Pharmaceuticals President George Merck is named director of the War Research Service (WRS), an agency designed to oversee the establishment of a biological warfare program (Goliszek).

(1944 – 1946) A captain in the medical corps addresses an April 1944 memo to Col. Stanford Warren, head of the Manhattan Project’s Medical Section, expressing his concerns about atom bomb component fluoride’s central nervous system (CNS) effects and asking for animal research to be done to determine the extent of these effects: “Clinical evidence suggests that uranium hexafluoride may have a rather marked central nervous system effect … It seems most likely that the F

component rather than the T

is the causative factor … Since work with these compounds is essential, it will be necessary to know in advance what mental effects may occur after exposure.” The following year, the Manhattan Project would begin human-based studies on fluoride’s effects (Griffiths and Bryson).

The Manhattan Project medical team, led by the now infamous University of Rochester radiologist Col. Safford Warren, injects plutonium into patients at the University’s teaching hospital, Strong Memorial (Burton Report).

(1945)

Continuing the Manhattan Project, researchers inject plutonium into three patients at the University of Chicago’s Billings Hospital (Sharav).

The U.S. State Department, Army intelligence and the CIA begin Operation Paperclip, offering Nazi scientists immunity and secret identities in exchange for work on top-secret government projects on aerodynamics and chemical warfare medicine in the United States (“Project Paperclip”).

(1945 – 1955) In Newburgh, N.Y., researchers linked to the Manhattan Project begin the most extensive American study ever done on the health effects of fluoridating public drinking water (Griffiths and Bryson).

(1946)

Continuing the Newburg study of 1945, the Manhattan Project commissions the University of Rochester to study fluoride’s effects on animals and humans in a project codenamed “Program F.” With the help of the New York State Health Department, Program F researchers secretly collect and analyze blood and tissue samples from Newburg residents. The studies are sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission and take place at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Strong Memorial Hospital (Griffiths and Bryson).

(1946 – 1947) University of Rochester researchers inject four male and two female human test subjects with uranium-234 and uranium-235 in dosages ranging from 6.4 to 70.7 micrograms per one kilogram of body weight in order to study how much uranium they could tolerate before their kidneys become damaged (Goliszek).

Six male employees of a Chicago metallurgical laboratory are given water contaminated with plutonium-239 to drink so that researchers can learn how plutonium is absorbed into the digestive tract (Goliszek).

Researchers begin using patients in VA hospitals as test subjects for human medical experiments, cleverly worded as “investigations” or “observations” in medical study reports to avoid negative connotations and bad publicity (Sharav).

The American public finally learns of the biowarfare experiments being done at Fort Detrick from a report released by the War Department (Goliszek).

(1947)

Col. E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) issues a top-secret document (707075) dated Jan. 8. In it, he writes that “certain radioactive substances are being prepared for intravenous administration to human subjects as a part of the work of the contract” (Goliszek).

A secret AEC document dated April 17 reads, “It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans that might have an adverse reaction on public opinion or result in legal suits,” revealing that the U.S. government was aware of the health risks its nuclear tests

The CIA begins studying LSD’s potential as a weapon by using military and civilian test subjects for experiments without their consent or even knowledge. Eventually, these LSD studies will evolve into the MKULTRA program in 1953 (Sharav).

(1947 – 1953) The U.S. Navy begins Project Chatter to identify and test so-called “truth serums,” such as those used by the Soviet Union to interrogate spies. Mescaline and the central nervous system depressant scopolamine are among the many drugs tested on human subjects (Goliszek).

posed to military personnel conducting the tests or nearby civilians (Goliszek).

(1948)

Based on the secret studies performed on Newburgh, N.Y. residents beginning in 1945, Project F researchers publish a report in the August 1948 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association, detailing fluoride’s health dangers. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) quickly censors it for “national security” reasons (Griffiths and Bryson).

(1950)

(1950 – 1953) The U.S. Army releases chemical clouds over six American and Canadian cities. Residents in Winnipeg, Canada, where a highly toxic chemical called cadmium is dropped, subsequently experience high rates of respiratory illnesses (Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

In order to determine how susceptible an American city could be to biological attack, the U.S. Navy sprays a cloud of Bacillus globigii bacteria from ships over the San Francisco shoreline. According to monitoring devices situated throughout the city to test the extent of infection, the eight thousand residents of San Francisco inhale five thousand or more bacteria particles, many becoming sick with pneumonia-like symptoms (Goliszek).

Dr. Joseph Strokes of the University of Pennsylvania infects 200 female prisoners with viral hepatitis to study the disease (Sharav).

Doctors at the Cleveland City Hospital study changes in cerebral blood flow by injecting test subjects with spinal anesthesia, inserting needles in their jugular veins and brachial arteries, tilting their heads down and, after massive blood loss causes paralysis and fainting, measuring their blood pressure. They often perform this experiment multiple times on the same subject (Goliszek).

Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, later of MKULTRA infamy due to his 1957 to1964 experiments on Canadians, publishes an article in the British Journal of Physical Medicine, in which he describes experiments that entail forcing schizophrenic patients at Manitoba’s Brandon Mental Hospital to lie naked under 15- to 200-watt red lamps for up to eight hours per day. His other experiments include placing mental patients in an electric cage that overheats their internal body temperatures to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and inducing comas by giving patients large injections of insulin (Goliszek).

(1951)

The U.S. Army secretly contaminates the Norfolk Naval Supply Center in Virginia and Washington, D.C.’s National Airport with a strain of bacteria chosen because African-Americans were believed to be more susceptible to it than Caucasians. The experiment causes food poisoning, respiratory problems and blood poisoning (Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

(1951 – 1956) Under contract with the Air Force’s School of Aviation Medicine (SAM), the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston begins studying the effects of radiation on cancer patients — many of them members of minority groups or indigents, according to sources — in order to determine both radiation’s ability to treat cancer and the possible long-term radiation effects of pilots flying nuclear-powered planes. The study lasts until 1956, involving 263 cancer patients. Beginning in 1953, the subjects are required to sign a waiver form, but it still does not meet the informed consent guidelines established by the Wilson memo released that year. The TBI studies themselves would continue at four different institutions — Baylor University College of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine — until 1971 (U.S. Department of Energy, Goliszek).

American, Canadian and British military and intelligence officials gather a small group of eminent psychologists to a secret meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montreal about Communist “thought-control techniques.” They proposed a top-secret research program on behavior modification — involving testing drugs, hypnosis, electroshock and lobotomies on humans (Barker).

(1952)

At the famous Sloan-Kettering Institute, Chester M. Southam injects live cancer cells into prisoners at the Ohio State Prison to study the progression of the disease. Half of the prisoners in this National Institutes of Health-sponsored (NIH) study are black, awakening racial suspicions stemming from Tuskegee, which was also an NIH-sponsored study (Merritte, et al.).

(1953 – 1974) The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) sponsors iodine studies at the University of Iowa. In the first study, researchers give pregnant women 100 to 200 microcuries of iodine-131 and then study the women’s aborted embryos in order to learn at what stage and to what extent radioactive iodine crosses the placental barrier. In the second study, researchers give 12 male and 13 female newborns under 36 hours old and weighing between 5.5 and 8.5 pounds iodine-131 either orally or via intramuscular injection, later measuring the concentration of iodine in the newborns’ thyroid glands (Goliszek).

As part of an AEC study, researchers feed 28 healthy infants at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine iodine-131 through a gastric tube and then test concentration of iodine in the infants’ thyroid glands 24 hours later (Goliszek).

(1953 – 1957) Eleven patients at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are injected with uranium as part of the Manhattan Project (Sharav).

In an AEC-sponsored study at the University of Tennessee, researchers inject healthy two- to three-day-old newborns with approximately 60 rads of iodine-131 (Goliszek).

Newborn Daniel Burton becomes blind when physicians at Brooklyn Doctors Hospital perform an experimental high oxygen treatment for Retrolental Fibroplasia, a retinal disorder affecting premature infants, on him and other premature babies. The physicians perform the experimental treatment despite earlier studies showing that high oxygen levels cause blindness. Testimony in Burton v. Brooklyn Doctors Hospital (452 N.Y.S.2d875) later reveals that researchers continued to give Burton and other infants excess oxygen even after their eyes had swelled to dangerous levels (Goliszek, Sharav).

A 1953 article in Clinical Science describes a medical experiment in which researchers purposely blister the abdomens of 41 children, ranging in age from eight to 14, with cantharide in order to study how severely the substance irritates the skin (Goliszek).

The AEC performs a series of field tests known as “Green Run,” dropping radiodine 131 and xenon 133 over the Hanford, Wash. site — 500,000 acres encompassing three small towns (Hanford, White Bluffs and Richland) along the Columbia River (Sharav).

In an AEC-sponsored study to learn whether radioactive iodine affects premature babies differently from full-term babies, researchers at Harper Hospital in Detroit give oral doses of iodine-131 to 65 premature and full-term infants weighing between 2.1 and 5.5 pounds (Goliszek).

(1955 – 1957) In order to learn how cold weather affects human physiology, researchers give a total of 200 doses of iodine-131, a radioactive tracer that concentrates almost immediately in the thyroid gland, to 85 healthy Eskimos and 17 Athapascan Indians living in Alaska. They study the tracer within the body by blood, thyroid tissue, urine and saliva samples from the test subjects. Due to the language barrier, no one tells the test subjects what is being done to them, so there is no informed consent (Goliszek).

(1956 – 1957) U.S. Army covert biological weapons researchers release mosquitoes infected with yellow fever and dengue fever over Savannah, Ga., and Avon Park, Fla., to test the insects’ ability to carry disease. After each test, Army agents pose as public health officials to test victims for effects and take pictures of the unwitting test subjects. These experiments result in a high incidence of fevers, respiratory distress, stillbirths, encephalitis and typhoid among the two cities’ residents, as well as several deaths (Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

(1957)

The U.S. military conducts Operation Plumbbob at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Operation Pumbbob consists of 29 nuclear detonations, eventually creating radiation expected to result in a total 32,000 cases of thyroid cancer among civilians in the area. Around 18,000 members of the U.S. military participate in Operation Pumbbob’s Desert Rock VII and VIII, which are designed to see how the average foot soldier physiologically and mentally responds to a nuclear battlefield (“Operation Plumbbob”, Goliszek).

(1957 – 1964) As part of MKULTRA, the CIA pays McGill University Department of Psychiatry founder Dr. D. Ewen Cameron $69,000 to perform LSD studies and potentially lethal experiments on Canadians being treated for minor disorders like post-partum depression and anxiety at the Allan Memorial Institute, which houses the Psychiatry Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. The CIA encourages Dr. Cameron to fully explore his “psychic driving” concept of correcting madness through completely erasing one’s memory and rewriting the psyche. These “driving” experiments involve putting human test subjects into drug-, electroshock- and sensory deprivation-induced vegetative states for up to three months, and then playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements for weeks or months in order to “rewrite” the “erased” psyche. Dr. Cameron also gives human test subjects paralytic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy 30 to 40 times, as part of his experiments. Most of Dr. Cameron’s test subjects suffer permanent damage as a result of his work (Goliszek, “Donald Ewan Cameron”).

In order to study how blood flows through children’s brains, researchers at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia perform the following experiment on healthy children, ranging in age from three to 11: They insert needles into each child’s femoral artery (thigh) and jugular vein (neck), bringing the blood down from the brain. Then, they force each child to inhale a special gas through a facemask. In their subsequent Journal of Clinical Investigation article on this study, the researchers note that, in order to perform the experiment, they had to restrain some of the child test subjects by bandaging them to boards (Goliszek).

(1958)

The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) drops radioactive materials over Point Hope, Alaska, home to the Inupiats, in a field test known under the codename “Project Chariot” (Sharav).

(1961)

In response to the Nuremberg Trials, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram begins his famous Obedience to Authority Study in order to answer his question “Could it be that (Adolf) Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?” Male test subjects, ranging in age from 20 to 40 and coming from all education backgrounds, are told to give “learners” electric shocks for every wrong answer the learners give in response to word pair questions. In reality, the learners are actors and are not receiving electric shocks, but what matters is that the test subjects do not know that. Astoundingly, they keep on following orders and continue to administer increasingly high levels of “shocks,” even after the actor learners show obvious physical pain (“Milgram Experiment”).

(1962)

Researchers at the Laurel Children’s Center in Maryland test experimental acne antibiotics on children and continue their tests even after half of the young test subjects develop severe liver damage because of the experimental medication (Goliszek).

The FDA begins requiring that a new pharmaceutical undergo three human clinical trials before it will approve it. From 1962 to 1980, pharmaceutical companies satisfy this requirement by running Phase I trials, which determine a drug’s toxicity, on prison inmates, giving them small amounts of cash for compensation (Sharav).

(1963)

Chester M. Southam, who injected Ohio State Prison inmates with live cancer cells in 1952, performs the same procedure on 22 senile, African-American female patients at the Brooklyn Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in order to watch their immunological response. Southam tells the patients that they are receiving “some cells,” but leaves out the fact that they are cancer cells. He claims he doesn’t obtain informed consent from the patients because he does not want to frighten them by telling them what he is doing, but he nevertheless temporarily loses his medical license because of it. Ironically, he eventually becomes president of the American Cancer Society (Greger, Merritte, et al.).

Researchers at the University of Washington directly irradiate the testes of 232 prison inmates in order to determine radiation’s effects on testicular function. When these inmates later leave prison and have children, at least four have babies born with birth defects. The exact number is unknown because researchers never follow up on the men to see the long-term effects of their experiment (Goliszek).

(1963 – 1966) New York University researcher Saul Krugman promises parents with mentally disabled children definite enrollment into the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, N.Y., a resident mental institution for mentally retarded children, in exchange for their signatures on a consent form for procedures presented as “vaccinations.” In reality, the procedures involve deliberately infecting children with viral hepatitis by feeding them an extract made from the feces of infected patients, so that Krugman can study the course of viral hepatitis as well the effectiveness of a hepatitis vaccine (Hammer Breslow).

(1963 – 1971) Leading endocrinologist Dr. Carl Heller gives 67 prison inmates at Oregon State Prison in Salem $5 per month and $25 per testicular tissue biopsy in compensation for allowing him to perform irradiation experiments on their testes. If they receive vasectomies at the end of the study, the prisoners are given an extra $100 (Sharav, Goliszek).

Researchers inject a genetic compound called radioactive thymidine into the testicles of more than 100 Oregon State Penitentiary inmates to learn whether sperm production is affected by exposure to steroid hormones (Greger).

In a study published in Pediatrics, researchers at the University of California’s Department of Pediatrics use 113 newborns ranging in age from one hour to three days old in a series of experiments used to study changes in blood pressure and blood flow. In one study, doctors insert a catheter through the newborns’ umbilical arteries and into their aortas and then immerse the newborns’ feet in ice water while recording aortic pressure. In another experiment, doctors strap 50 newborns to a circumcision board, tilt the table so that all the blood rushes to their heads and then measure their blood pressure (Goliszek).

(1964 – 1967) The Dow Chemical Company pays Professor Kligman $10,000 to learn how dioxin — a highly toxic, carcinogenic component of Agent Orange — and other herbicides affect human skin because workers at the chemical plant have been developing an acne-like condition called Chloracne and the company would like to know whether the chemicals they are handling are to blame. As part of the study, Professor Kligman applies roughly the amount of dioxin Dow employees are exposed to on the skin 60 prisoners, and is disappointed when the prisoners show no symptoms of Chloracne. In 1980 and 1981, the human guinea pigs used in this study would begin suing Professor Kligman for complications including lupus and psychological damage (Kaye).

See the rest of the list at http://www.naturalnews.com/022383_r…


The American War and Afghanistan’s Civilians

By Nick Turse

With the arrival of General David Petraeus as Afghan War commander, there has been ever more talk about the meaning of “success” in Afghanistan.  At the end of July, USA Today ran an article titled, “In Afghanistan, Success Measured a Step at a Time.” Days later, Stephen Biddle, a Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, held a conference call with the media to speak about “Defining Success in Afghanistan.”  A mid-August editorial in the Washington Post was titled: “Making the Case for Success in Afghanistan.”  And earlier this month, an Associated Press article appeared under the headline, “Petraeus Talks Up Success in Afghan War.”

Unlike victory, success turns out to be a slippery term.  As the United States approaches the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, pundits have been chewing over just what “success” in Afghanistan might mean for Washington.  What success might mean for ordinary Afghans hasn’t, however, been a major topic of conversation, even though U.S. officials have regularly promised them far better lives and trumpeted American efforts to reconstruct that war-torn land.

Between 2001 and 2009, according to the Afghan government, the country has received $36 billion in grants and loans from donor nations, with the United States disbursing some $23 billion of it.  U.S. taxpayers have anted up another $338 billion to fund the war and occupation.  Yet from poverty indexes to risk-of-rape assessments, from childhood mortality figures to drug-use stats, just about every available measure of Afghan well-being paints a grim picture of a country in a persistent state of humanitarian crisis, often involving reconstruction and military failures on an epic scale.  Pick a measurement affecting ordinary Afghans and the record since November 2001 when Kabul fell to Allied forces is likely to show stagnation or setbacks and, almost invariably, suffering.

Almost a decade after the U.S. invasion, life for Afghan civilians is not a subject Americans care much about and so, not surprisingly, it plays little role in Washington’s discussions of “success.”  Have a significant number of Afghans found the years of occupation and war “successful”?  Has there been a payoff in everyday life for the indignities of the American years – the cars stopped or sometimes shot up at road checkpoints, the American patrols trooping through fields and searching homes, the terrifying night raids, the imprisonments without trial, or the way so many Afghans continue to be treated like foreigners, if not criminal suspects, in their own country?

For years, American leaders have hailed the way Afghans are supposedly benefiting from the U.S. role in their country.  But are they?

The promises began early. In April 2002, for instance, speaking at the Virginia Military Institute, President George W. Bush proclaimed that in Afghanistan “peace will be achieved through an education system for boys and girls which works.”  He added, “We’re working hard in Afghanistan: We’re clearing mine fields. We’re rebuilding roads. We’re improving medical care. And we will work to help Afghanistan to develop an economy that can feed its people without feeding the world’s demand for drugs.”

When, on May 1, 2003, President Bush strode across the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to deliver his “mission accomplished” speech, declaring an end to “major combat operations in Iraq,” he also spoke of triumph in the other war and once again offered a rosy picture of Afghan developments.  “We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals, and educate all of their children,” he said.  Five years later, he was still touting American aid to Afghans, noting that the U.S. was “working to ensure that our military progress is accompanied by the political and economic gains that are critical to the success of a free Afghanistan.”

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama seemed to suggest that efforts to promote Afghan well-being had indeed been a success: “There is no denying the progress that the Afghan people have made in recent years – in education, in health care and economic development, as I saw in the lights across Kabul when I landed – lights that would not have been visible just a few years earlier.”

So, almost 10 years on, just what are the lives of ordinary Afghans like?  Has childhood mortality markedly improved?  Are women, if not equal in terms of civil rights, at least secure in the knowledge that men are not able to rape them with impunity?  Have all Afghan children – or even most – started on the road to a decent education?

Or how about a more basic question?  After almost a decade of war and tens of billions in international aid, do Afghans have enough to eat?  I recently posed that question to Challiss McDonough of the United Nation’s World Food Program in Afghanistan.

Food Insecurity

In October 2001, the BBC reported that more than seven million people were “at risk of malnutrition or food shortages across Afghanistan.”  In an email, McDonough updated that estimate:  “The most recent data on food insecurity comes from the last National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA), which was conducted in 2007/2008 and released in late October 2009.  It found that about 7.4 million people are food-insecure, roughly 31 percent of the estimated population.  Another 37 percent are considered to be on the borderline of food insecurity, and could be pushed over the edge by shocks such as floods, drought, or conflict-related displacement.”

Food insecurity indicators, McDonough pointed out, are heading in the wrong direction.  “The NRVA of 2007/08 showed that the food security had deteriorated in 25 out of the 34 provinces compared to the 2005 NRVA.  This was the result of a combination of factors, including high food prices, rising insecurity and recurring natural disasters.”  As she also pointed out, “About 36 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and cannot afford basic necessities.  Staple food prices remain higher than they are in neighboring countries, and higher than they were before the global high-food-price crisis began in 2007.”

Recently, the international risk management firm Maplecroft put together a food security index – using 12 criteria developed with the United Nations’ World Food Program – to evaluate the threat to supplies of basic food staples in 163 countries.  Afghanistan ranked dead last and was the only non-African nation among the 10 most food-insecure countries on the planet.

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons

During the Soviet occupation of the 1980s and the grim years of Taliban rule in the later 1990s, millions of Afghans fled their country.  While many returned after 2001, large numbers have continued to live abroad.  More than one million registered Afghans reportedly live in Iran.  Another 1.5 million or more undocumented, unregistered Afghan refugees may also reside in that country.  Some 1.7 million or more Afghan refugees currently live in Pakistan – 1.5 million of them in recently flood-ravaged provinces, according to Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the U.N.’s refugee agency.

Many Afghans who still remain in their country cannot return home either.  According to a 2008 report by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 235,833 internally displaced persons nationwide.  As of the middle of this year, the numbers had reportedly increased to more than 328,000.

Children’s Well-Being

In 2000, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), mortality for children under five years of age stood at 257 per 1,000.  In 2008, the last year for which data was available, that number had not budged.  It had, in fact, only slightly improved since 1990, when after almost a decade of Soviet occupation and brutal warfare, the numbers stood at 260 per 1,000.  The figures were similar for infant mortality – 168 per 1,000 in 1990, 165 per 1,000 in 2008.

In 2002, according to the U.N., about 50% of Afghan children were chronically malnourished.  The most recent comprehensive national survey, done two years into the U.S. occupation, found (according to the World Food Program’s McDonough) about 60% of children under five chronically malnourished.

Childhood education is a rare area of genuine improvement.  Afghan government statistics show steady growth – from 3,083,434 children in primary school in 2002 to 4,788,366 enrolled in 2008.  Still, there are more young children outside than in the classroom, according to 2010 UNICEF numbers, which indicate that approximately five million Afghan children do not attend school – most of them girls.

Many youngsters find themselves on the streets.  Reuters recently reported that there are no fewer than 600,000 street children in Afghanistan.  Shafiqa Zaher, a social worker with Aschiana, a children’s aid group receiving U.S. funds, told reporter Andrew Hammond that most have a home, even if only a crumbling shell of a building, but their caregivers are often disabled and unemployed.  Many are, therefore, forced into child labor.  “Poverty is getting worse in Afghanistan and children are forced to find work,” said Zaher.

In 2002, the U.N. reported that there were more than one million children in Afghanistan who had lost one or both parents.  Not much appears to have changed in the intervening years.I have seen estimates that there are over one million Afghan children whose father or mother is deceased,” Mike Whipple, the Chairman and CEO of International Orphan Care, a U.S.-based humanitarian organization that operates schools and medical clinics in Afghanistan, told me by email recently.

Increasingly, even Afghan youngsters with families are desperate enough to abandon their homeland and attempt a treacherous overland journey to Europe and possible asylum.  This year, UNHCR reported that ever more Afghan children are fleeing their country alone.  Almost 6,000 of them, mostly boys, sought asylum in European countries in 2009, compared to about 3,400 a year earlier.

Women’s Rights

In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush told Congress: “The last time we met in this chamber, the mothers and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden from working or going to school. Today women are free and are part of Afghanistan’s new government.”  Last year, when asked about a new Afghan law sanctioning the oppression of women, President Obama asserted that there were “certain basic principles that all nations should uphold, and respect for women and respect for their freedom and integrity is an important principle.”

Recently, the plight of women in Afghanistan again made U.S. headlines thanks to a shocking TIME magazine cover image of Bibi Aisha, an Afghan whose ears and nose were sliced off after she ran away from her husband’s house.  “What Happens When We Leave Afghanistan” was TIME‘s headline, but reporter Ann Jones, who has worked closely with women in Afghanistan and talked to Bibi Aisha, took issue with the TIME cover in the Nation magazine, pointing out that it was evidently not the Taliban who mutilated Aisha and that the brutal assault took place eight years into the U.S. occupation.  Life for women in Afghanistan has not been the bed of roses promised by Bush nor typified by the basic rights proffered by Obama, as Jones noted:

“Consider the creeping Talibanization of Afghan life under the Karzai government. Restrictions on women’s freedom of movement, access to work and rights within the family have steadily tightened as the result of a confluence of factors, including the neglect of legal and judicial reform and the obligations of international human rights conventions; legislation typified by the infamous Shia Personal Status Law (SPSL), gazetted in 2009 by President Karzai himself despite women’s protests and international furor; intimidation; and violence.”

Her observations are echoed in a recent report by Medica Mondiale, a German non-governmental organization that advocates for the rights of women and girls in war and crisis zones around the world.  As its blunt briefing began, “Nine years after 11 September and the start of the operation ‘Enduring Freedom,’ which justified its commitment not only with the hunt for terrorists, but also with the fight for women’s rights, the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan still is catastrophic.”  Medica Mondiale reported that 80% of all Afghan marriages are still “concluded under compulsion.”

The basic safety of women in Afghanistan in, and well beyond, Taliban-controlled areas has in recent years proven a dismal subject even though the Americans haven’t left.  According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), for instance, 87% of women are subject to domestic abuse.  A 2009 report by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) found that rape “is an everyday occurrence in all parts of the country” and called it a “human rights problem of profound proportions.”  That report continued:

“Women and girls are at risk of rape in their homes and in their communities, in detention facilities and as a result of traditional harmful practices to resolve feuds within the family or community… In the northern region for example, 39 percent of the cases analyzed by UNAMA Human Rights, found that perpetrators were directly linked to power brokers who are, effectively, above the law and enjoy immunity from arrest as well as immunity from social condemnation.”

Afghan women are reportedly turning to suicide as their only solution.

A June report by Sudabah Afzali of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting noted that, according to officials in Herat Province, “cases of suicide amongst women… have increased by 50 per cent over the last year.”  Sayed Naim Alemi, the director of the regional hospital in Herat, noted that 85 cases of attempted suicide recorded in the previous six months had involved women setting themselves on fire or ingesting poison.  In 57 of the cases, the women had died.

A study conducted by former Afghan Deputy Health Minister Faizullah Kakar and released in August gave a sense of the breadth of the problem.  Using Afghan Health Ministry records and hospital reports, Kakar found that an estimated 2,300 women or girls were attempting suicide each year.  Domestic violence, bitter hardships, and mental illness were the leading factors in their decisions. “This is a several-fold increase on three decades ago,” said Kakar.  In addition, he found that about 1.8 million Afghan women and girls between the ages of 15 and 40 are suffering from “severe depression.”

Drug Use

Rampant depression, among both men and women, has led to self-medication.  While opium-poppy cultivation on an almost unimaginable scale in the planet’s leading narco-state has garnered headlines since 2001, little attention has been paid to drug use by ordinary Afghans, even though it has been on a steep upward trajectory.

In 2003, according to Afghanistan’s Public Health Minister Amin Fatimie, there were approximately 7,000 heroin addicts in the capital city, Kabul.  In 2007, that number was estimated to have doubled.  By 2009, UNAMA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) estimated that the city was home to up to 20,000 heroin users and another 20,000 to 25,000 opium users.

Unfortunately, Kabul has no monopoly on the problem.  “Three decades of war-related trauma, unlimited availability of cheap narcotics, and limited access to treatment have created a major, and growing, addiction problem in Afghanistan,” says Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of UNDOC.  Since 2005, the number of Afghan opium users nationwide has jumped by 53%, while heroin users have skyrocketed by 140%.  According to UNODC’s survey, Drug Use in Afghanistan, approximately one million Afghans between the ages of 15 and 64 are addicted to drugs.  That adds up to about 8% of the population and twice the global average.

AIDs and Sex Work

Since the U.S. occupation began, AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes the disease, have reportedly also been on the rise.  In 2002, only eight people tested positive for HIV.  In 2007, Public Health Minister Fatimie reported 61 confirmed cases of AIDS and 2,000 more suspected cases.

Fatamie blamed intravenous drug use for half the cases and the NGO Médecins du Monde, which works with intravenous drug users in Kabul, found that HIV prevalence among such users in the cities of Kabul, Herat, and Mazar had risen from 3% to 7% between 2006 and 2009.  A 2010 report by the Public Health Ministry revealed that knowledge about HIV among intravenous drug users was astonishingly low, that few had ever been tested for the virus, and that of those who admitted to purchasing sex within the previous six months, most confessed to not having used a condom.

This last fact is hardly surprising, given the findings from a recent study by Catherine Todd and colleagues of 520 female sex workers, almost all mothers, in the Afghan cities of Jalalabad, Kabul, and Mazar-i-Sharif.  Only about 30% of the women surveyed reported clients had ever used a condom with them and about 50% had received treatment for a sexually transmitted infection in the three months prior to being interviewed.

The same study also sheds light on the intersection between high-risk behaviors, socio-economic conditions, and the freedom and opportunities promised to Afghan women by Presidents Bush and Obama.  The most common reasons Afghan women engaged in sex work, Todd and colleagues found, were the need to support themselves (50%) or their families (32.4%).  Almost 9% reported being forced into sex work by their families.  Just over 5% turned to prostitution after being widowed, and 1.5% were forced into the profession after they were sexually assaulted and, consequently, found themselves unable to marry.

A Decade of Progress?

In the near-decade since Kabul fell in November 2001, a sizeable majority of Afghans have continued to live in poverty and privation.  Measuring such misery may be impossible, but the United Nations has tried to find a comprehensive way to do so nonetheless.  Using a Human Poverty Index which “focuses on the proportion of people below certain threshold[s] in regard to a long and healthy life, having access to education, and a decent standard of living,” the U.N. found that, comparatively speaking, it doesn’t get worse than life in Afghanistan.  The nation ranks dead last in its listing, number 135 out of 135 countries.  This is what “success” means today in Afghanistan.

The United Nations also ranks countries via a Human Development Index which includes such indicators of well-being as life expectancy, educational attainment, and income.  In 2004, the U.N. and the Afghan government issued the first National Human Development Report.  In its foreword, the publication cautioned:

“As was expected, the report has painted a gloomy picture of the status of human development in the country after two decades of war and destruction. The Human Development Index (HDI) value calculated nationally puts Afghanistan at the dismal ranking of 173 out of 178 countries worldwide. Yet the HDI also presents us with a benchmark against which progress can be measured in the future.”

The only place to go, it seemed, was up.  And yet, in 2009, when the U.N. issued a new Human Development Report, Afghanistan was in even worse shape, ranking number 181 of 182 nations, higher only than Niger.

Almost 10 years of U.S. and allied occupation, development, mentoring, reconstruction aid, and assistance has taken the country from unbearably dismal to something markedly poorer.  And yet even worse is still possible for the long-suffering men, women, and children of Afghanistan.  As the U.S. war and occupation drags on without serious debate about withdrawal on the Washington agenda, questions need to be asked about the fate of Afghan civilians.  Chief among them: How many more years of “progress” can they endure, and if the U.S. stays, how much more “success” can they stand?

September 14, 2010

Copyright © 2010 Nick Turse


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