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September 11th marks not only the devastating attack on The World Trade Center and Pentagon, but also the brutal 1973 CIA-instigated Coup in the country of Chile. In the many days of street fighting, the Socialist government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by the Fascist Augusto Pinochet. This dictatorship, which catered to the whims of American corporations bent on resource extraction, began rounding up and killing thousands of protestors and dissidents. 40 to 50,000 people were rounded up, interrogated and many were tortured and killed.

Some of them ended up in the Nazi enclave known as “Colonia Dignidad”.

Colonia Dignidad was established in 1961 by former Nazi medic Paul Shaefer. Shaefer, who sported a glass eye due to a self-inflicted “fork wound”, attracted a group of followers to his small religious cult as he wandered Germany in lederhosen playing a guitar. The group gradually expanded until Shaefer was accused of molesting boys and fled Germany where he joined other Nazi criminals in South America, in this case Chile.

The remote estate he purchased was flanked by tall mountains and a swift river. The land was perfect for farming, and the cult set to work building a small expatriate German empire, estimated to be some 70,000 acres.

Shaefer’s Group practiced an austere form of Christianity (allegedly meshed with Teutonic Paganism) and wore 1940’s-era German clothing. The men and women were kept in separate residences, and the children were removed from the parents to be raised by “aunties”. Dicipline was severe, and the members of the cult worked long hours building a self-sufficient and industrious community. They offered medical services and adopted children from the nearby villages.

With the 1973 Fascist takeover of Chile, Shaefer found a friend in Augusto Pinochet. In fact, the feared Chilean secret police, the “DINA”, used Colonia Dignidad as one of their torture centers. According to multiple sources, both escaped Nazis Martin Bormann and Josepf Mengele sought refuge in the German colony. Bormann, who faked his death in Germany led the reconstruction of “The Underground Reich”. Bormann’s management laundered an untold amount of stolen Nazi loot into foreign firms for it’s use in today’s world. Mengele is best known for the horrible experiments he conducted on prisoners, some of which continued at Colonia Dignidad.

In his excellent article in “The American Scholar”, Bruce Falconer describes the paranoia in the colony:

“The outer perimeter of Colonia Dignidad was marked by eight-foot fences topped with barbed wire, which armed groups of men patrolled day and night with German shepherd and doberman attack dogs. Guards in observation posts equipped with shortwave radios, telephones, binoculars, night vision equipment, and telephoto cameras scanned the landscape for intruders. These were, of course, imaginary. But if invaders were to succeed in getting through the perimeter, they would come upon a second tier of inner defenses: strands of copper wire hidden around the village, which, if stepped on, triggered a silent alarm. Doors and windows in most buildings were equipped with armored shades that could be drawn shut in the event of an invasion. Dormitories were outfitted with alarms and surveillance cameras, and the entire village sat atop an extensive network of tunnels and underground bunkers. When the alarm sounded, as it frequently did during practice drills, men belonging to the security force grabbed their rifles and waited on their doorsteps for instructions.

With no genuine external enemies to fight, Schaefer and his most trusted lieutenants turned their energies inward. The practice of confession provided them with plenty of people to punish. The guilty were starved, threatened with dogs, or beaten—sometimes by Schaefer himself, more often by others acting on his orders. The harshest treatment was reserved for those who, for one reason or another, Schaefer simply did not like. He called them “the rebels.” They could be identified by their clothing: the men wore red shirts and white trousers, the women potato sacks over their long dresses. The other colonos despised them, usually without knowing why.”

“All challengers to Schaefer’s authority—real or imagined—were rooted out and destroyed. No one inspired greater love and admiration among the children of the Colonia than Santa Claus. It is said that in the days shortly before Christmas one year in the mid-1970s, Schaefer gathered the Colonia’s children, loaded them onto a bus, and drove them out to a nearby river, where, he told them, Santa was coming to visit. The boys and girls stood excitedly along the riverbank, while an older colono in a fake beard and a red and white suit floated towards them on a raft. Schaefer pulled a pistol from his belt and fired, seeming to wound Santa, who tumbled into the water, where he thrashed about before disappearing below the surface. It was a charade, but Schaefer turned to the children assembled before him and said that Santa was dead. From that day forward, Schaefer’s birthday was the only holiday celebrated inside Colonia Dignidad.”

“Colonia Dignidad, according to a former DINA agent assigned there in the mid-1970s, maintained powerful radio equipment, facilitating communication between DINA commanders in Chile and their agent saboteurs and assassins stationed abroad. In 2005, Michael Townley, an American expatriate and former DINA officer implicated in several high-profile assassinations and bombings, testified to a Chilean judge that the Colonia had also housed a secret laboratory, where government scientists developed chemical weapons. Schaefer’s primary contribution to Pinochet’s operations, however, came in the instruction of DINA agents in the science of torture. Soon after the coup, arrested political dissidents began to disappear into Colonia Dignidad.”

Shaefer, who had returned to his practice of molesting children, was adept at torture and served the Chilean Secret Police well. According to this source, the U.N. and Amnesty International both investigated:

“Colonia Dignidad’s role as a center of political terror in Chile began to emerge only three years after Allende’s overthrow. One of the few victims to leave alive said one tormentor had told them, “The work of the Reich continues here.” [44].

The first to expose the truth was the United Nations. A human rights commission report released in October 1976 stated:

…in Colonia Dignidad there is a specially equipped underground torture center with small soundproofed cells, hermetically sealed. The detainees’ heads are covered with leather hoods, which are stuck to their faces with chemical adhesives. In these cells, interrogations are carried out through electronic equipment, including loudspeakers and microphones, while detainees are tied naked to metal frames to receive electric shocks.” [45].

The UN’s report also documented dogs trained to attack and destroy the sexual organs of both sexes, experiments testing torture tolerance limits, and the use of special psychoactive drugs on subjects [46]. The UN commission found that the DINA-sponsored torture chambers of Colonia Dignidad were being used as “research center” to continue Mengele’s work of refining the art of torture.

…prisoners have allegedly been subjected to different ‘experiments’ without any interrogation… Prisoners charge that torture is ‘personalized’ through an initial interrogation which establishes the personal traits of the individual… This data is then used to program the torture sessions so that the result is a totally debilitated person who wil comply with any demand [47].

In 1977, another former prisoner came forward. Juan Rene Munoz Alarcon was a Socialist Party member turned DINA collaborator. Munoz was later imprisoned by Pinochet for trying to protect an old leftist friend. In a taped deposition to the Catholic Church’s human rights group in Santiago, Munoz indentified Colonia Dignidad as one of several places where disappeared political prisoners were taken by security forces. Shortly after giving his deposition to the Church group, Juan Munoz was found stabbed to death by parties unknown [48].

Later that same year, Amnesty International issued a report further documenting Colonia Dignidad’s secret torture and detention centers. Portions of the report were even reprinted in the German news magazine, Stern.

Including testimony from both former prisoners and agents who worked there, the Amnesty report confirmed the hermetically sealed underground torture chambers. It confirmed prisoners were tied naked to electrified frames with leather hoods glued to their faces. There were more brutal accounts of “interrorgations over a closed-circuit radio system.” [49].

In the report, ex-DINA agent Samuel Fuenzalida testified that he delivered prisoners to the colony. Fuenzalida was received by a man called “the professor”, whom he identified from photographs as being Colonia patriarch, Paul Schaefer [50]. A number of surviving prisoners have also identified Schaefer as being personally involved in their confinement and torture. His glass eye and heavy German accent make him easily indentifiable [51].

Schaefer and the colony sued both Stern and Amnesty for libel, a battle which went on for some 20 years until the court finally ruled against him.”

After repeated reports of torture and abuse, more recent Chilean officials began to investigate Colonia Dignidad. Paul Shaefer was forced to flee into underground bunkers to evade several police raids. He was eventually captured in Argentina, returned to Chile and was imprisoned. Shafer died in prison at the age of 88.

Forensic experts exumed many, many bodies and vehicles used by the dissidents that disappeared into Colonia Dignidad. A few live to testify about the abuse and torture.

In January of 2013, victims of Colonia Dignidad filed a $120 million-dollar lawsuit against the Governments of Chile and Germany for compensation. It doesn’t seem like nearly enough.

SOURCE: Torture Town: Chile’s Colonia Dignidad, Northwest Research & Covert Book Report

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Many of the most shocking scenes recounted in the Senate’s torture report all take place at a location known as ‘Cobalt,’ the ‘Dark Prison,’ the ‘Salt Pit,’ and a ‘dungeon.’

At the CIA’s detention site Cobalt, the lights were never turned on.

The site was blacked out at all times, with curtains and painted exterior windows. It was this location where some of CIA’s the most gruesome detainee abuse occurred, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s review of the CIA’s interrogation programs released Tuesday. Ultimately Cobalt housed, at one point or another, nearly half of the 119 detainees identified by the report.

The CIA detainment and interrogation program can be, in many ways, told through the story of the hellhole the Cobalt site became: brutal techniques, little oversight, and unchecked abuse in the early years after 9/11, in the name of national security.

One of the lead interrogators at Cobalt once said that it was an effective place for interrogations because it is the closest he has seen to a “dungeon.” Detainees who had been through the site, apparently in Afghanistan, called it the ‘Dark Prison,’ while the agency referred to it as the ‘Salt Pit.’

The CIA was alerted of allegations that anal exams at Cobalt were conducted with “excessive force.” An attorney was asked to follow up, but no records indicate what happened next. Agency records said that one of the detainees housed at Cobalt, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse.

Nude prisoners were kept in a central area, and walked around as a form of humiliation. Detainees were hosed down while shackled naked, and placed in rooms with temperatures as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Loud music was played constantly.

In one case a detainee was dragged naked along the dirt floor. Detainee Gul Rahman’s clothes were cut off, and CIA interrogators put a hood on Rahman’s head. They slapped and punched him, and when he fell, dragged him through the dirt. Rahman was later found dead, with hypothermia the suspected cause.

One senior interrogator said that detainees “could go for days or weeks without anyone looking at him,” and that his team found a detainee who had been chained in a standing position for 17 days, “as far as we could determine.”

Some of the detainees at Cobalt “literally looked like a dog that had been kenneled,” the interrogator said, cowering when doors to their cells were opened.

One senior interrogator said that detainees “could go for days or weeks without anyone looking at him,” and that his team found a detainee who had been chained in a standing position for 17 days, “as far as we could determine.”

A senior CIA debriefer told the agency’s Inspector General that she heard stories of detainees at Cobalt hung on days for end with their toes barely touching the ground, choked, being deprived of food, and made the subject of a mock assassination.

Detainees there were subject to sleep deprivation, shackled to bars with their hands above their heads. In fact, four of 20 cells at Cobalt were found to have bars across the cell to allow this.

The mismanagement and abuse at detention site Cobalt can be traced at least in part to a CIA officer identified in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report as ‘CIA Officer 1.’ This officer had no experience in handling prisoners or conducting interrogations, and other CIA officers had questioned whether the officer’s access to classified information should continue due to a “lack of honesty, judgment and maturity.” He continued as a manager of Cobalt until July 2003.

In 2002, CIA Officer 1 ordered that Gul Rahman’s clothing be removed and shackled to the wall such that he could only rest on the concrete floor. The next day, Rahman’s dead body was found, and the resuscitation efforts of a CIA employee proved unfruitful.

The medical officer who conducted the autopsy said the clinical impression for the cause of death was hypothermia, although the report itself said Rahman’s death was undetermined. In March 2003, just four months after Gul Rahman was found dead, a CIA station recommended that CIA Officer 1 receive a $2,500 cash award.

Self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was also kept at Cobalt after his March 2003 in Pakistan. After just a “few minutes” of questioning at Cobalt, he was subject to enhanced interrogation techniques. He was slapped, grabbed in the face, placed in stress positions, placed in standing sleep deprivation, and doused with water.

As a means of obtaining “total control over the detainee,” the then-chief of interrogations said, KSM was subject to rectal rehydration multiple times, without a determination of medical need.

But the enhanced interrogations were not effective with KSM, who appeared in the eyes of the interrogation team to “clam up” after they were used. Adopting a “softer Mr. Rogers’ persona” made KSM more cooperative, according to the team.

A senior CIA official later said that later waterboarding of KSM elsewhere appeared counterproductive, that the CIA had “lost ground” with KSM since this progress at Cobalt, and that the use of waterboarding “may poison the well.”

The public may never receive a full accounting of detainee treatment at Cobalt. Multiple uses of sleep deprivation, prolonged standing, nudity and “rough treatment” were never reported. During the earliest days of Cobalt’s existence, in 2002, there were almost no detailed records of the detentions and interrogations there.

In Dec. 2002, a CIA Renditions Group visited Cobalt asked asked for a review of the interrogation process and conditions, as well as a legal review, which CIA headquarters appears not to have done.

And throughout interviews conducted in 2003 with the Office of Inspector General, top CIA leadership and attorneys acknowledged they had little knowledge of Cobalt operations. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said he was “not very familiar” with the detention site, while CIA General Counsel Scott Muller said he was “not very familiar.” In Aug. 2003, Muller said he believed Cobalt was merely a holding facility.

The 2003 CIA Inspector General review also found there were no guidelines for enhanced interrogation techniques at Cobalt and that some interrogators were “left to their own devices” with prisoners.

By late Jan. 2003, Tenet had signed the first formal guidelines for interrogation and confinement. Detention facilities would not necessarily have to keep up with U.S. prison standards.

These guidelines meant that Cobalt met the standard—even though prisoners were kept in total darkness and isolation, with only a bucket for human waste and without sufficient heat in winter months. Indeed, a review conducted of operations at Cobalt between Jan. and April of 2003 concluded that the detention site satisfied Tenet’s 2003 guidelines.

Federal Bureau of Prisons staff said they were “wow’ed” by the facility because of the level of sensory deprivation and the starkness of the cells. “‘There is nothing like this in the Federal Bureau of Prisons,’” a CIA officer said, describing the officials’ reaction. “It was their collective assessment that in spite of all this sensory deprivation, the detainees were not being treated in humanely [sic].”

The CIA authorized more than $200,000 for the construction of Cobalt in June 2002, and the site began housing detainees in Sept. 2002. Although there were initially plans for a foreign country—likely the Afghan government—to operate the site, it was overseen by the CIA from the start.

Ridha al-Najjar was the first to be held at detention site Cobalt. He had been left hanging, by handcuffs and not allowed to lower his arms for 22 hours each day for two consecutive days. He was kept in total darkness, kept cold, had music blasted at him and was shackled and hooded. The CIA inspector general would later say that al-Najjar “became the model” for treatment of CIA detainees at Cobalt.

Cobalt also played a role in the detention of Arsala Khan, a detainee who the CIA concluded did not appear to be involved in plans or activities against the United States. The agency concluded that he should be released with a cash payment, but was instead transferred to U.S. military custody and held for an additional four years.

While Cobalt was one central location for American detainee abuse, it was hardly the sole place to feature what lawmakers and the president have called torture. Detainees were described, in graphic detail, being rectally fed against their will. One detainee was bent over for a rectal feeding that involved Ensure, the protein shake. And in perhaps the most graphic detail of the report, a detainee had his lunch—consisting of hummus, pasta, nuts and raisins – pureed and rectally infused.

SOURCE: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/09/inside-a-cia-dungeon.html