« | »

Media Matters Cites Soros Stooge On Torture

From the Clinton/Soros taxpayer-supported “charity” Media Matters:

Fox News correspondent on his on-air “waterboarding”: “a pretty efficient mechanism to get someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within minutes”

Summary: Fox News’ Steve Harrigan underwent what he described as three “phase[s]” of the controversial interrogation technique known as “waterboarding,” on camera, concluding that the technique is “a pretty efficient mechanism to get someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within minutes.”

Psychologists have asserted that “such forms of near-asphyxiation” can lead to long-term psychological damage.

This last sentence is touted by Media Matters (and now other media outlets) as somehow a debunking of the accuracy of Mr. Harrigan’s experience.

But leaving aside that Mr. Harrigan can probably judge whether he has suffered long-term psychological damage, let’s look at the authority Media Matters is citing for their quote.

For while Media Matter twice claims that “psychologists have asserted” this technique can cause long term damage, Dr. Allen S. Keller is the only psychologist they cite.

As Media Matters goes on to report, the relevant quote is from a nearly three year old article from the New Yorker:

Outsourcing Torture

The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.
by Jane Mayer February 14, 2005

According to the Times, a secret memo issued by Administration lawyers authorized the C.I.A. to use novel interrogation methods—including “water-boarding,” in which a suspect is bound and immersed in water until he nearly drowns.

Dr. Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture, told me that he had treated a number of people who had been subjected to such forms of near-asphyxiation, and he argued that it was indeed torture. Some victims were still traumatized years later, he said. One patient couldn’t take showers, and panicked when it rained. “The fear of being killed is a terrifying experience,” he said.

Media Matters again cited Dr. Keller in an earlier (and very similar) article about waterboarding only a couple of days ago:

On CNN, West asserted waterboarding is “not torture,” claimed, “[Y]ou wake up feeling fine the next day”

Fri, Nov 2, 2007 4:57pm ET

Summary: On CNN, Washington Times columnist Diana West said: “What I would like to see is people really start thinking about what is torture. If putting people into human-size shredders, as Saddam Hussein did, is torture, then waterboarding, which my senior military sources tell me you wake up feeling fine the next day — it is not torture.”

However, in congressional testimony, Allen S. Keller, M.D., director of the Bellevue Hospital Center/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, stated, “To think that abusive methods, including the enhanced interrogation techniques [in which Keller included waterboarding], are harmless psychological ploys is contradictory to well established medical knowledge and clinical experience.” Keller stated of waterboarding specifically, “Long term effects include panic attacks, depression and PTSD,” and said it poses a “real risk of death.”

Wait, there’s more.

For Media Matters has also cited the good doctor Dr. Keller as an authority on the dangers and long-term effects of water-boarding here and here and here and here.

Which is to say Media Matters has recently cited Dr. Keller as an expert in no less than six articles in the past few weeks.

But one has to ask exactly how many of Dr. Keller’s patients have actually been waterboarded?

According to Wikipedia, besides the US in the war on terror, the Khmer Rouge would appear to be the last practitioners of this arcane art, circa 1974-1979. (Dr. Keller by his own admission only began to practice 15 years ago.)

And, lest we forget, we have now been authoritatively told by the self-same reporters who first exposed this odious practice (in a report that MM quotes) that only three Al Qaeda detainees have been waterboarded by the US during the war on terror.

And one of these three was no less a personage than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And it is probably a safe assumption that the other two are also still in US custody.

So who else is waterboarding people in this day and age? And how does Dr. Keller know that these miscreants used the CIA’s technique?

In fact, note that the New Yorker article misrepresents “water-boarding”  as a practice “in which a suspect is bound and immersed in water until he nearly drowns.” How come the expert Dr. Keller did not correct the reporter’s misconceptions?

Moreover, has Dr. Keller made these torturers publicly known? Has he reported his tortured victims to Amnesty International or any other human rights organizations for redress?

If so, where are the records? Let’s see them. If not, why not? The doctor himself seems to be very shy about producing them.

For oddly enough the doctor did not produce any water-boarding victims or even their histories when he testified before the US Senate back in September. (His opening statement can be found in this pdf file.)

Here what Dr. Keller said about water-boarding:

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing on U.S. Interrogation Policy and Executive Order 13440

September 25, 2007


Water-boarding or mock drowning, where a prisoner is bound to an inclined board and water is poured over their face, inducing a terrifying fear of drowning clearly can result in immediate and long-term health consequences. As the prisoner gags and chokes, the terror of imminent death is pervasive, with all of the physiologic and psychological responses expected, including an intense stress response, manifested by tachycardia, rapid heart beat and gasping for breath.

There is a real risk of death from actually drowning or suffering a heart attack or damage to the lungs from inhalation of water. Long term effects include panic attacks, depression and PTSD. I remind you of the patient I described earlier who would panic and gasp for breath whenever it rained even years after his abuse.

Here is how he described that patient four pages earlier:

One patient of mine, for example, who was repeatedly submerged in a vat of water while being interrogated, years later still felt as if he was gasping for air whenever he showered or went out in the rain.

So when testifying before Congress the only example of long-term psychological damage from water-boarding Dr. Keller could cite was a man who is bothered when he showers or goes out in the rain?

And please note, it’s a man who was not even water-boarded according to Dr. Keller’s own definition of the term.

Finally, we come to the question of exactly who is this Dr. Keller anyway? Well, it turns out that Dr. Keller just happens to be a “Soros Advocacy Fellow.”

We will let the Soros flagship, the Open Society Institute, explain exactly what that entails:

Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians

Between 1999 and 2004, OSI operated the Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians to support a cadre of physician advocates with expertise in achieving system or policy social change at the local, state, and national level.

The program was designed both to advance advocacy as a core professional value for physicians and to enable doctors to develop or enhance skills that they could use in advocating for their patients and communities.

Thirty-two fellows in thirteen states received fellowships to implement projects in partnership with advocacy organizations addressing issues such as Medicaid coverage and enrollment, health care access, pediatric oral health, environmental hazards, and high quality educational opportunities for young children.

And an advocate Dr. Keller most certainly is. Indeed, this is not the first time he has held forth boldly on the subject of torture.

In fact, Dr. Keller was conveniently on-hand for the New York Times when they were addressing their favorite subject, the “tortures” at Abu Ghraib.

Again, from the archives of the Soros flagship, the Open Society Institute:

Soros Advocacy Fellow Allen Keller Quoted in New York Times Article “Once Tortured, Now Tormented by Photos”

May 15, 2004

Dr. Allen Keller, an alumni of the Soros Advocacy Fellowship, was quoted in a May 15, 2004 New York Times article that discussed the impact of the pictures from Abu Ghraib on survivors of torture in the United States.

The torture survivors profiled in the article spoke of how the pictures from Iraq vividly transported them back to their own experiences of abuse. Many of the survivors are also grappling with the United States government’s justification for the techniques used to extract information at Abu Ghraib.

Notice that here Dr. Keller even claims to sees long-term psychological damage on people who just saw photographs from Abu Ghraib.

This is a theme Dr. Keller espoused early and often, including in the Autumn 2006 issue of Perspectives In Biology And Medicine:

Torture in Abu Ghraib

Keller AS.

Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA. allen.keller@med.nyu.edu

Iraqi detainees subjected to torture and mistreatment at Abu Ghraib prison may continue to suffer from significant physical and psychological consequences of their abuse.

This article reports two cases of Iraqi individuals allegedly tortured at Abu Ghraib. Detailed forensic evaluations were conducted approximately one year after their abuse in accordance with international guidelines. The findings of these evaluations substantiate their allegations of torture and confirm the profound health consequences of torture.

Furthermore, these cases support assertions that abuse of prisoners was not limited to being perpetrated by guards, but also occurred systematically in the context of interrogations. These cases also raise concerns about inadequate medical care for Iraqi detainees.

“Allegedly” is probably the operative word here.

Professional victim and liar, Ali Shalal Qaissi.

Remember, even the New York Times was caught promoting someone who pretended to have been tortured at Abu Ghraib. Someone The Times had given front-page coverage to for many days.

But no matter what, Mr. Soros can’t say he hasn’t gotten his money’s worth of advocacy from Dr. Keller.

And in case anyone was wondering, here is the official George Soros position on the confirmation of Mr. Murkasey as US Attorney General, via his Open Society Institute:

Major Human Rights Organizations Urge Senate to Reject Mukasey

November 1, 2007

Four major human rights organizations today called on the Senate to reject the nomination of Judge Michael B. Mukasey to serve as Attorney General. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, Human Rights First and the Open Society Policy Center said that “a nominee who cannot say simply and without hesitation that waterboarding is a form of torture does not deserve to be Attorney General.”

You’ll note that each of the groups listed are Soros fronts. (Dr. Keller is also a member of the Physicians For Human Rights.)

But how odd that Media Matters, a group also funded by George Soros, neglected to mention Dr. Keller’s similar connections to Mr. Soros and his (and their) obvious conflict of interest.

After all, the minions at Media Matters hold themselves out to be the fact-checkers of the right-wing media’s “echo-chamber”:

Media Matters – Our Mission – Who We Are

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation — news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda — every day, in real time.

Using the website www.mediamatters.org as the principal vehicle for disseminating research and information, Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytic reports documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media. Additionally, Media Matters works daily to notify activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation, providing them with the resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media institutions.

Of course Media Matters is nothing more than a modern day ministry of propaganda. And quite a shabby one at that.

Worse still, they seek to silence anyone who dares to challenge their doctrines — or their masters.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 6th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “Media Matters Cites Soros Stooge On Torture”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »