Days and weeks before the launch of the new book by anthropologist Akbar Ahmed called Journey into America: the Challenge of Islam, it was already reviewed in major Pakistani newspapers. “Usually it is Western anthropologists who study Muslim societies. It is encouraging to see a Muslim scholar returning the compliment by studying American society”, Maleeha Lodhi writes in The News.
In connection with our last report, “Physicians for Human Rights to File Federal Complaint: On CIA-led Human Experimentation and Research to Design Torture Techniques Used against Detainees,” please consider signing a petition effort mounted by Physicians for Human Rights, “Office of Human Research Protections Complaint: Join Us in Demanding an Investigation into Evidence of Illegal CIA Experimentation on Detainees“–this is open to everyone, worldwide.
Human Terrain System Managers, Contractors Inflating Costs: HTS Referred to as Shit, Active Duty Soldiers Maligned
“The soldiers are too much trouble for this civilian program [HTS]. The people who run this shit do not care about the training or the candidates. This is about contractors and others making money and that is the bottom line. HTS is a money making scam run by a shit load of retired officers and contractors”
“What he told us over a few beers is downright disgusting. Human Terrain Team member’s double dipping their per diem meals and claiming false time worked…”
Observers say that the figure $500,000 was written on a whiteboard in a training room at one of the HTS training facilities. A contractor was said to have looked at that figure and remarked, “It is inflated by a half again.” Sources say one of the Human Terrain System (HTS) contractors is being “black balled” to create what they refer to as “The Mike Edwards Exercise Division.” Evidently, Edwards—a member of the HTS Training Directorate–wants his division to be staffed with personnel up to the 150 mark.
A Major Report of a Minor Exception, or a Minor Report of a Major Problem? The American Anthropological Association’s CEAUSSIC vis-à-vis the Human Terrain System–Part 2
…CONTINUED FROM PART 1
We continue the discussion of the American Anthropological Association’s Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the U.S. Security and Intelligence Communities (CEAUSSIC) which released its “Final Report on the Army’s Human Terrain System Proof of Concept Program,” in early December of 2009. Though not a comprehensive summary, nor thorough analysis of what is at the very least a very large report, select themes of especial importance to Zero Anthropology are the focus of this two-part commentary. We continue by taking up the subject of “intelligence,” then look at ethics and politics, and end with some concluding observations.
A Major Report of a Minor Exception, or a Minor Report of a Major Problem? The American Anthropological Association’s CEAUSSIC vis-à-vis the Human Terrain System–Part 1
from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte
[This is a paper that was originally published under the title of "Anthropology and the Representation of Recent Migrations from Afghanistan," as it appeared in Rethinking Refuge and Displacement: Selected Papers on Refugees and Immigrants, Volume VIII, 2000. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association. Eds. E. M. Godziak and D. J. Shandy. Pp. 291-321. Given the intense interest in Afghanistan today, this article is made available on this site in the interest of wider accessibility. Copyright remains with the author.]
Physicians for Human Rights to File Federal Complaint: On CIA-led Human Experimentation and Research to Design Torture Techniques Used against Detainees
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) this week released a shocking and damning report (Experiments in Torture) that implicates psychologists and medical practitioners in human experimentation, under CIA leadership, to calibrate and design torture techniques applied to detainees held by the U.S. as part of its so-called “war on terror.” This is illegal activity that violates the Nuremberg Code, the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. government’s own “Common Rule,” and a number of other international and domestic prohibitions against illegal human subject research and experimentation.
In terms of American mainstream media propaganda at the service of U.S. wars of occupation, and particularly favourable to the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System, my vote for the most generous treatments, in descending order, are first the piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, second this prize in The Atlantic, third this recommendation to Obama in Wired, and fourth this Hollywood-styled production by National Geographic (shown above). National Geographic producing imperial imagery is nothing surprising to anthropologists. Here National Geographic embeds itself with the military, uses a Hollywood actor as a narrator (to lend greater credibility?), and touts the insights of counterinsurgency gurus such as Gen. David Petraeus and John Nagl (Center for a New American Security), who are almost the only other voices ever heard “explaining” to viewers the importance of what is shown. Petraeus shares his great wisdom with us: “I get asked by people all the time if I’m an optimist or a pessimist. I say I’m a realist.” John Nagl explains how civilians are stuck between two opposing forces. To be sure, they are not both equally alien and unwanted, or the U.S. would have won this one already–no matter, such commentary is absent from the piece.