Lieberman fundraiser ran the Abu Ghraib of rehab
Have you heard about the Beyerstein-Lieberman-GOP-Beyerstein connection?
Republican big shot Mel Sembler threw a fund-raiser for Joe Lieberman this week. In addition to being a close personal friend of Dick Cheney and the chair of Scooter Libby's legal defense fund, Sembler is a major figure in the War on Drugs. He founded a chain of treatment centers called Straight, Inc. Before that, he helped run a "tough love" treatment program called "The Seed." In 1974, a congressional investigation found that The Seed was getting government money to practice experimental mind-control similar to that inflicted by the North Koreans during the Cold War. Perhaps disturbingly, experimental mind control wasn't illegal, per se. But it would have required a ton of extra paperwork for The Seed to carry on. So, Sembler founded Straight, Incorporated in 1976. Straight continued to abuse teenagers under the guise of treatment until 1993. The organization has been sued dozens of times and staff members have faced criminal charges.
My father, Barry Beyerstein, investigated Straight in the early nineties and wrote a report on the psychological abuse that was taking place under the guise of treatment.
The opening chapter of Maia Szalavitz's Help At Any Cost describes how Mel Sembler was intimately involved in the "extraordinary renditions" that some reluctant inmates endured.
I didn't realize that Holy Joe's new fundraising friend was the head of Straight until my friend Evan emailed me yesterday. He happened to find my dad's report on the internet while he was researching Sembler.
See my post at Firedoglake for more details, including Sembler's embarrassing penis pump problem.
General JC Christian is all over this thing, in a manly heterosexual way.