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APF Reveals Little Information

By Nick Lough & Katie Ussin

Story Published: Sep 28, 2009 at 7:53 PM MDT

Story Updated: Sep 29, 2009 at 10:00 AM MDT
Multimedia

BILLINGS – Confusion and secrecy about American Police Force has grown during the last few weeks.

“APF has been here for 10 months but it has never been stealth,” said APF spokesperson Becky Shay at a press conference on Saturday morning. The group announced its plans to fill the $27 million dollar detention facility and build a police training center next to the jail. While they gave details for the site, other questions went unanswered.

Where will the prisoners come from? What experience does APF have in prisoners and training police officers? Why was Two Rivers Authority Executive Director Greg Smith placed on administrative leave?

During the press conference APF also refused to release any information on its funding or organization “The decision is the name of the parent company will not be released,” said Shay.

When questioned about the decision to show up in Hardin last week in vehicles with “Hardin Police” templates, members were brief in their explanation. “They are to show are intentions are good,” said APF leader Captain Michael Hilton. “Why not put an APF logo on it,” said Shay. “You know we’re getting there.” All of the decals were removed from the vehicles two days later.

APF has consistently stated the community has nothing to fear and says its plans will help stimulate the Hardin economy. “This corporation’s intention is to buy local and stay local and do local business as much as we can,” said Shay.

Residents appear split in their feelings over the company. Some want more information, but others believe it will be a tremendous boost to the area. The company plans to hold a job fair in Hardin the third week of October.

Another development this weekend was the naming of Shay as APF’s new public relations director. Shay was a reporter with the Billings Gazette who had covered the detention facility story for last few years. She announced on Friday she was leaving the paper and hosted the APF press conference Saturday morning.

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AP ENTERPRISE: Montana jail deal raises questions

The Associated Press

Matthew Brown – ‎Sep 12, 2009‎

BILLINGS, Mont. — The Two Rivers Detention Center was promoted as the largest economic development project in decades in the small town of Hardin when the jail was built two years ago. But it has been vacant ever since.

KULR 8 video

Did I hear correctly? The spokesman for American Police Force said that they were interested in using the facility as a training center? Makes sense I guess, considering the possibility of ties to Darth Chainey and the shadow government.

City officials have searched from Vermont to Alaska for inmate contracts to fill the jail, only to be turned down at every turn and see the bonds that financed its construction fall into default. They even floated the idea of housing prisoners from Guantanamo Bay at the jail.

So when Hardin officials announced this week that they had signed a deal with a California company to fill the empty jail, it was naturally a cause for celebration. Town officials talked about throwing a party to mark the occasion, their dreams of economic salvation a step closer to being realized.

But questions are emerging over the legitimacy of the company, American Police Force.

Government contract databases show no record of the company. Security industry representatives and federal officials said they had never heard of it. On its Web site, the company lists as its headquarters a building in Washington near the White House that holds “virtual offices.” A spokeswoman for the building said American Police Force never completed its application to use the address.

And it’s unclear where the company will get the inmates for the jail. Montana says it’s not sending inmates to the jail, and neither are federal officials in the state.

An attorney for American Police Force, Maziar Mafi, describes the Santa Ana, Calif., company as a fledgling spin-off of a major security firm founded in 1984. But Mafi declined to name the parent firm or provide details on how the company will finance its jail operations.

“It will gradually be more clear as things go along,” said Mafi, a personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer in Santa Ana who was only hired by American Police Force a month ago. “The nature of this entity is private security and for security purposes, as well as for the interest of their clientele, that’s why they prefer not to be upfront.”

On its elaborate Web site and in interviews with company representatives, American Police Force claims to sell assault rifles and other weapons in Afghanistan on behalf of the U.S. military while providing security, investigative work and other services to clients “in all 50 states and most countries.”

The company also boasts to have “rapid response units awaiting our orders worldwide” and that it can field a battalion-sized team of special forces soldiers “within 72 hours.”

Representatives of American Police Force said the company presently employs at least 16 and as many as 28 people in the United States and 1,600 contractors worldwide.

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'Sensitive information': The treatment of Binyam Mohamed is at the centre of a security row

'Sensitive information': The treatment of Binyam Mohamed is at the centre of a security row

David Rose | UK Daily Mail | Sunday, July 26, 2009

The CIA has been secretly pressuring the British Government to help it cover up its use of torture, documents filed in the High Court have revealed.

The documents, to be discussed at a hearing this week, suggest that the UK authorities did everything they could to accede to the CIA’s wishes while at the same time trying to conceal the fact they were talking to the agency.

It is the latest twist in the saga of Binyam Mohamed, 30, the Ethiopian UK resident released from Guantanamo Bay in February after seven years in US captivity.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday earlier this year, he told how he was captured in Pakistan, interrogated by the CIA, tortured, then sent to Morocco for further ‘medieval’ torture on a CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ flight.

After 18 months there, he was tortured again in the CIA’s ‘dark prison’ in Afghanistan. He alleged that UK officials from MI5 were ‘complicit’ in his ordeal.

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Suspected Sept. 11 organizer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told U.S. military officials he gave false information to the CIA even after undergoing…

By Julian E. Barnes and Greg Miller |  The Seattle Times, June 16, 2009

Tribune Washington Bureau

Sept. 11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Sept. 11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

WASHINGTON — Suspected Sept. 11 organizer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told U.S. military officials he gave false information to the CIA even after undergoing punishing bouts of interrogation, according to documents made public Monday, a claim likely to intensify the debate over the Bush administration’s use of harsh techniques to gain information from terrorism suspects.

Mohammed made the assertion during hearings held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where the militant leader was transferred in 2006 after being held at secret CIA sites since his capture in 2003.

“I make up stories,” Mohammed said, describing in broken English an interrogation likely administered by the CIA concerning the location of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

“Where is he? I don’t know. Then, he torture me,” Mohammed said. “Then I said, ‘Yes, he is in this area.’ ”

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Held Seven Years, Former Aid Worker Tells ABC News He Was Tortured

By JAKE TAPPER, KAREN TRAVERS, and STEPHANIE Z. SMITH | ABC News | June 8, 2009

For 7½ years, Lakhdar Boumediene was known simply by a number: “10005.”

These were the digits assigned to him when he arrived at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, swept up in a post-Sept. 11 dragnet and accused of plotting to blow up the U.S. and British Embassies in Sarajevo.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Boumediene said the interrogators at Gitmo never once asked him about this alleged plot, which he denied playing any part it.

“I’m a normal man,” said Boumediene, who at the time of his arrest worked for the Red Crescent, providing help to orphans and others in need. “I’m not a terrorist.”

The 43-year-old Algerian is now back with his wife and two daughters, a free man in France after a Republican judge found the evidence against Boumediene lacking. He is best known from the landmark Supreme Court case last year, Boumediene v. Bush, which said detainees have the right to challenge their detention in court.

That decision was a stunning rebuke of the Bush administration’s policies on terror suspects. It set up a ruling by District Court Judge Richard Leon, a former counsel to Republicans in Congress appointed to the bench by Bush, that there was no credible evidence to keep Boumediene detained.

After what Boumediene described as a 7½ year nightmare, he is now a free man. Boumediene: “I don’t think. I’m sure” about torture.

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‘Get a good lawyer,’ lawyer tells former Bush official

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Monday March 30, 2009

After a former Bush official responded to a lawyer who’s suing him for alleged torture at Guantanamo Bay, the lawyer has fired back in kind.

Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense under President George W. Bush, is accused by Spanish human rights lawyers of providing legal cover to Bush policies under which detainees were tortured. The lawyers want to try a number of Bush officials — among them former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales — in Spanish court.

Feith fired back in an interview Sunday, saying, “the charges as related to me make no sense.”

“They criticize me for promoting a controversial position that I never advocated,” Feith added.

In response, Gonzalo Boye, one of the lawyers filing the complaint, advised Feith to get a “very good lawyer.”

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Pinochet judge weighs criminal probe of Bush ‘torture lawyers’

Raw Story- Stephen C. Webster
Published: Saturday March 28, 2009

Spanish official says arrest warrants ‘highly probable’

Six Bush-era officials responsible for crafting the legal justifications permitting the military prison at Guantanamo Bay are the subject of a potential Spanish criminal probe which could place the men under serious risk of arrest if they travel outside the United States.

[Spanish newspaper] Público identifies the targets as University of California law professor John Yoo, former Department of Defense general counsel William J. Haynes II (now a lawyer working for Chevron), former vice presidential chief-of-staff David Addington, former attorney general and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, now a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith,” noted Scott Horton at Harper’s.

He called them Bush’s “torture lawyers.”

On March 17, Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, published an editorial in the Washington Note which accused Bush officials of knowingly holding innocent men in Guantanamo Bay for years.

“The case was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who indicted the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet,” reported the New York Times. “The official said that it was ‘highly probable’ that the case would go forward and could lead to arrest warrants.”

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BBC | Friday 13 March 2009

A UK resident freed from Guantanamo Bay has said he would not have faced torture or extraordinary rendition but for British involvement in his case.

binyam-mohamed-released-f-001

US interrogators told him, “This is the British file and this is the American file,” Binyam Mohamed, 30, told the BBC in his first broadcast interview.

He said he wanted to see ex-President George Bush put on trial and, if there were evidence, former UK PM Tony Blair.

The UK says it does not condone torture, but will examine any claims.

The US has dropped all charges against Mr Mohamed.

BBC News reporter Jon Manel, who conducted the interview at a secret location, said that Mr Mohamed looked “very thin” and claimed to be suffering from health problems.

Mr Mohamed, who spoke to the media against the advice of his psychiatrist because he wanted people to know what happened to him, described his return to the UK last month.

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Unredacted documents reveal prisoners tortured to death

RAW STORY
Published: Thursday February 12, 200

The American Civil Liberties Union has released previously classified excerpts of a government report on harsh interrogation techniques used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. These previously unreported pages detail repeated use of “abusive” behavior, even to the point of prisoner deaths.

The documents, obtained by the ACLU under a Freedom of Information Act request, contain a report by Vice Admiral Albert T. Church, who was tapped to conduct a comprehensive review of Defense Department interrogation operations. Church specifically calls out interrogations at Bagram Air base in Afghanistan as “clearly abusive, and clearly not in keeping with any approved interrogation policy or guidance.”

The two unredacted pages from the Church report may be found here.

“In both cases, for example, [prisoners] were handcuffed to fixed objects above their heads in order to keep them awake,” reads the document. “Additionally, interrogations in both incidents involved the use of physical violence, including kicking, beating, and the use of “compliance blows” which involved striking the [prisoners] legs with the [interrogators] knees. In both cases, blunt force trauma to the legs was implicated in the deaths. In one case, a pulmonary embolism developed as a consequence of the blunt force trauma, and in the other case pre-existing coronary artery disease was complicated by the blunt force trauma.”

In a press release, the ACLU summarized the documents as detailing, “[An] investigation of two deaths at Bagram. Both detainees were determined to have been killed by pulmonary embolism caused as a result of standing chained in place, sleep depravation and dozens of beatings by guards and possibly interrogators. (Also reveals the use of torture at Gitmo and American-Afghani prisons in Kabul).

“[An] investigation into the homicide or involuntary manslaughter of detainee Dilar Dababa by U.S. forces in 2003 in Iraq.

“[An] investigation launched after allegations that an Iraqi prisoner was subjected to torture and abuse at ‘The Disco’ (located in the Special Operations Force Compound in Mosul Airfield, Mosul, Iraq). The abuse consisted of filling his jumpsuit with ice, then hosing him down and making him stand for long periods of time, sometimes in front of an air conditioner; forcing him to lay down and drink water until he gagged, vomited or choked, having his head banged against a hot steel plate while hooded and interrogated; being forced to do leg lifts with bags of ice placed on his ankles, and being kicked when he could not do more.

“[An] investigation of allegations of torture and abuse that took place in 2003 at Abu Ghraib.

“[And an] investigation that established probable cause to believe that U.S. forces committed homicide in 2003 when they participated in the binding of detainee Abed Mowhoush in a sleeping bag during an interrogation, causing him to die of asphyxiation.”

“A large portion of the torture, maiming, and murder of detainees occurred under authority issued under secret rules of engagement in the Pentagon,” wrote Scott Horton, a contributing editor with Harper’s magazine. “Much of this flowed through Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, a figure who has so far evaded scrutiny in the torture scandal and now serves as vice president for strategy of QinetiQ North America, a subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based defense contractor QinetiQ. Even the Senate Armed Services Committee review fails to get to the bottom of Dr. Cambone, his interrogations ROEs for special operations units he controlled, and the death, disfigurement and torture of prisoners they handled. This is one of many reasons why a comprehensive investigation with subpoena power is urgently needed. But full airing of the internal investigations already conducted by the Department of Defense is an essential next step.”

The ACLU’s catalog of documents relating to torture under the Bush administration may be found here.

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Official: UN may prosecute Bush administration, regardless of US action

Raw Story- David Edwards
Published: Thursday January 22, 2009

The UN’s special torture rapporteur called on the US Tuesday to pursue former president George W. Bush and defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld for torture and bad treatment of Guantanamo prisoners.

“Judicially speaking, the United States has a clear obligation” to bring proceedings against Bush and Rumsfeld, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak said, in remarks to be broadcast on Germany’s ZDF television Tuesday evening.

He noted Washington had ratified the UN convention on torture which required “all means, particularly penal law” to be used to bring proceedings against those violating it.

“We have all these documents that are now publicly available that prove that these methods of interrogation were intentionally ordered by Rumsfeld,” against detainees at the US prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Nowak said.

“But obviously the highest authorities in the United States were aware of this,” added Nowak, who authored a UN investigation report on the Guantanamo prison.

Bush stepped down from power Tuesday, with Barack Obama becoming the 44th president of the United States.

Asked about chances to bring legal action against Bush and Rumsfeld, Nowak said: “In principle yes. I think the evidence is on the table.”

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