Britain's Ministry of Defense has launched an investigation into new claims that soldiers sexually abused Iraqi detainees and subjected them to mock executions, hooding, and used dogs to incite fear--interrogation methods that were also used by US soldiers and personally approved by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The charges come on the heels of Britian's complete withdrawal from Iraq last summer.
Doctors in Iraq's war-ravaged enclave of Falluja are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting. The extraordinary rise in birth defects has crystallised over recent months as specialists working in Falluja's over-stretched health system have started compiling detailed clinical records of all babies born.
Peter W. Galbraith, an influential former American ambassador, is a powerful voice on Iraq who helped shape the views of policy makers like Joseph R. Biden Jr. and John Kerry. In the summer of 2005, he was also an adviser to the Kurdish regional government as Iraq wrote its Constitution — tough and sensitive talks not least because of issues like how Iraq would divide its vast oil wealth. Now Mr. Galbraith, 58, son of the renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith, stands to earn perhaps a hundred million or more dollars as a result of his closeness to the Kurds, his relations with a Norwegian oil company and constitutional provisions he helped the Kurds extract.
This video is mandatory viewing to all supporters of the war(s). Narration used in the video is DAHLIA WASFI. Her website is http://www.liberatethis.com/
Where our top opinion-makers stand on the Afghanistan question.
Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials. The Guardian: The Blackwater plot deepens: For all the scandal, the mercenary firm has escaped any severe legal sanction. That could now change.
The report posted on the Palestinian Maannews website said that the system would transmit information to the Iraqi air force and some of its radar would be connected to the control tower at the Baghdad International Airport. According to the sources, the radar is a preparatory measure aimed at providing the United States and its allies advanced control capabilities in event of a US military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
We've just posted a short excerpt from our footage with the pilots who fly unmanned Predator and Reaper planes over Iraq and Afghanistan. The planes are in the war zones; the pilots are at an Air Force base in the desert north of Las Vegas. FFF: Drone Assassinations Are Only Making Things Worse. AntiWar: At Least 80 Killed as US Drones Attack South Waziristan Funeral Procession. The Guardian: US now trains more "drone operators" (assassins) than pilots.
Texas oil man T. Boone Pickets typifies what is dead wrong about America and what passes for 'foreign policy'. Pickens claims the US is 'entitled' to Iraqi oil. How convenient for the oil barons who conspired with Dick Cheney to carve up the oil fields of Iraq before 911 would give Bush the pretext he would need to attack and invade Iraq, a nation that had nothing whatsoever to do with 911. Reuters: Pickens says U.S. firms 'entitled' to Iraqi oil.
Bryan Whitman, the current deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations, was an active senior participant in a Bush administration covert Pentagon program that used retired military analysts to generate positive wartime news coverage. A months-long review of documents and interviews with Pentagon personnel has revealed that the Bush Administration's military analyst program -- aimed at selling the Iraq war to the American people -- operated through a secretive collaboration between the Defense Department's press and community relations offices.
The horrors of the US Agent Orange defoliation campaign in Vietnam, about which I wrote on Oct. 15, could ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors caused by the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War (300 tons), and which it has used much more extensively--and in more urban, populated areas--in the Iraq War and the now intensifying Afghanistan War + Pakistan + Iran .
Insurgents detonated a truck loaded with five tons of explosives Saturday on a bridge here that links western Iraq to Jordan and Syria, pulverizing part of the overpass and paralyzing traffic for hours. Another, smaller bridge was also destroyed in Fallujah, where a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi military patrol on the highway, killing four soldiers and wounding 14 others, said Sulaiman al-Dulaimi, a spokesman for the Fallujah General Hospital.
In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.
New disturbing charges have emerged against XE, the infamous private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, whose operations came under spotlight after its 2007 carnage in Baghdad. According to a report by MSNBC and based on alleged sworn declarations by two Blackwater employees in federal court, the firm used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. The declarations added Iraqi minors got involve in sexual acts with Blackwater members in exchange for one dollar and Erik Prince, the firm's owner, "failed to stop the ongoing use of prostitutes, including child prostitutes, by his men."
Britain has forcibly sent 39 Iraqi asylum seekers back to Baghdad, a refugee group has said. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (Ifir) has raised concern over the welfare of the asylum seekers once they arrive in Iraq, which has seen a continuation of deadly suicide bombings in recent months. The Ifir said 39 people had been deported on a specially chartered Air Italy flight that left London's Stansted airport early on Thursday. Speaking to Al Jazeera from London, Richard Whittel, from the Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq, said: "People were woken up at the dead of night last night and put on coaches from detention centres and then taken to Stansted airport. "We think they've been put on a plane operated by Air Italy and thought to have been taken to Baghdad. "We're used to the macabre immigration policies of the UK government, and indeed other European governments, but this is an especially malicious step sending people to Baghdad."
Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch lost 155 men in combat. 122 might have lived, if only the U.S. had sent a bigger, badder, better-capable robot army in Iraq. “80 percent of those soldiers didn’t have to die,” he told a recent trade conference. 4,667 1,339,771 ().
Angry families of British servicemen killed in Iraq told members of the official inquiry into the conflict that Tony Blair must be held accountable for taking the nation to war. Many  blamed the former prime minister for the deaths of their loved ones in an "illegal" conflict, and some even called for him to be prosecuted for war crimes.
Tortured Law, a new 10-minute documentary by Alliance for Justice, examines the role U.S. lawyers played in authorizing torture. Join those calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to release the report of the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility, and hold accountable those who ordered, designed, and justified torture. You can join the call by signing Alliance for Justice's petition: http://ga1.org/campaign/release_torture_memos
According to official figures for 2009 alone (and God only knows what the unofficial figures are) 270 Iraqi kids reported missing. Missing because they have been KIDNAPPED FOR RANSOMS and parents can't afford to pay. Missing because SOLD. Missing because TRAFFICKED to unknown destinations. Missing because found DEAD, after their ORGANS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THEIR BODIES. IRAQ NEVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE 2003.
Former prime minister Tony Blair was publicly snubbed by a bereaved father yesterday who accused him of having "blood on his hands" for sending troops to fight in Iraq. Mr Blair, who has repeatedly defended his decision to lead Britain into the conflict, was rebuked by Peter Brierley, whose son, Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley, 28, was killed in 2003. The clash came at a reception for guests who had attended a commemoration service marking the end of Operation Telic – the Iraq campaign – and honouring the 179 British personnel who died during the six-year conflict. Mr Brierley refused to shake Mr Blair's outstretched hand at the event staged at the Guildhall in London and told the politician: "I'm not shaking your hand, you've got blood on it."
He's already served the time, but lawyers Thursday argued to clear his name as onetime U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Smith appeals a conviction for the torture of detainees once held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
MADRID: Today the Spanish Senate, acting to confirm a decision already taken under pressure from powerful governments accused of grave crimes, will limit Spain’s laws of universal jurisdiction. Yesterday, ahead of the change of law, a legal case was filed at the Audiencia Nacional against four United States presidents and four United Kingdom prime ministers for commissioning, condoning and/or perpetuating multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Iraq.
Two subsidiaries of KBR Inc. are being sued by 30 members of the West Virginia National Guard who claim they were exposed to a toxic chemical while guarding a water plant in Iraq.
British troops have violated international law in Iraqi prisons on numerous occasions through the "banned interrogation methods," a public inquiry reveals. The yearlong inquiry into the 2003 death of Baha Mousa states that the 26-year-old hotel receptionist died in UK military custody in Basra, southern Iraq in September 2003 after being subjected to humiliating abuse. Baha Mousa's night shift on the reception desk was coming to an end on September 14, 2003 and his father had just arrived to drive him home. Then, soldiers from the former Queen's Lancashire Regiment raided Basra's Ibn al-Haytham hotel and took Mousa along with six other hotel employees to Battle Group Main camp, known as BG Main. Four days later Baha was dead. He was said to have been subjected to "conditioning techniques", including being forced to maintain painful "stress positions", hooding and deprivation of sleep and food. When his father, Daoud Mousa, a stout colonel in the Basra police force, arrived at the British military morgue to identify his son's body he was confronted with a bruised, bloody and badly beaten corpse.
Congressional pressure is increasing on the Department of Defense to investigate the apparent electrocution death of Adam Hermanson, a 25 year old DoD contractor who died September 1 in a shower at Camp Olympia inside the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. Hermanson is an Air Force veteran who did three tours in Iraq before joining Triple Canopy, the firm the Obama administration has chosen to take over much of Blackwater’s major “security” work in Iraq.
According to a new book, Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire in 2004 and hailed as an all-American hero by the former president, was disillusioned by Mr Bush and his administration's "illegal and unjust" drive to war.
To public fury, the country is handing over control of its oilfields to foreign companies. Furious protests threaten to undermine the Iraqi government's controversial plan to give international oil companies a stake in its giant oilfields in a desperate effort to raise declining oil production and revenues. In less than two weeks, on 29 and 30 June, the Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussain Shahristani, will award service contracts to the world's largest oil companies to develop six of Iraq's largest oil-producing fields over 20 to 25 years.
Uruknet: I have been watching Riz Khan interviewing Bremer's puppet Iyad Allawi, who lost big time in the 2005 elections. I suggest you watch this video in two parts. Part I and part II, for many reasons. First, some good pertinent questions were asked by Riz Khan and some good comments by callers. And secondly, the responses by Iyad Allawi, who held the gangster Bremer in the highest esteem, will show the reader, the extent of how much Iraq has become a FAILED state.
The Iraqi television reporter jailed for throwing his shoes at George W Bush was finally freed today and said that he had been subjected to electric shocks and even waterboarding while in custody. Muntazer al-Zaidi had been behind bars ever since he shouted "it is the farewell kiss, you dog" and threw his size 10 shoes at Mr Bush during his final Baghdad press conference last December. Both are considered grave insults in the Arab world. Although Mr Bush ducked the flying footwear and was quick to laugh the matter off, the protest was acutely embarrassing to the government of Nouri al-Maliki.
'My flower to the occupier': Freed journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi says his action was retribution for US atrocities. The Iraqi shoe-thrower: a national hero Link to this video The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush has marked his release from jail by angrily defending his actions as a revenge against was he described as actions of a "war criminal".
Prison doctors repeatedly injected “unknown substances” into the reporter who threw his shoes at the former US President George Bush, his family claimed yesterday. The Iraqi was also allegedly tortured with cigarettes and had his nose and ribs broken.
The CIA shared with George W. Bush’s Justice Department the details of how an interrogation strategy – with an emphasis on forced nudity and physical abuse – could train prisoners in “learned helplessness” and demonstrate “the complete control of Americans.” The 19-page document, entitled “Background Paper on CIA’s Combined Use of Interrogation Techniques” and dated Dec. 30, 2004, contains repeated references to keeping suspected al-Qaeda captives – called “high-value detainees” or HVDs – naked as part of the strategy for breaking down their resistance.
A U.S. soldier who lost two of his men questions a suspected insurgent about the attack. Afterward, a slain, naked Iraqi -- and the truth about what befell him -- are left behind in a dark culvert. In the open desert outside Baiji, Iraq, a naked man with a thick black beard crouched in the dust of a railroad culvert at twilight. Hours before, he had been mumbling and praying in Arabic. Now he spoke few words. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna stood over him in the grainy darkness, his Glock pistol racked and pointed down at him.
A giant US military base has come under mortar attack as the war-ravaged country is being rocked by a string of deadly bombings. At least five mortar shells were fired at Camp Anaconda - a giant US base north of the capital Baghdad - on September 11, Xinhua quoted an Iraqi security official as saying. There were no immediate reports of damage to the remote US base, which is being used for air and logistical support for US troops in Iraq.
With hardly any debate, a powerful Senate committee Thursday approved President Barack Obama's $128 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the budget year beginning in October. The move came as anxiety is increasing on Capitol Hill over the chances for success in Afghanistan and as Obama weighs whether to send more forces to the country. The war funding was approved as the Appropriations Committee voted unanimously for a $636 billion spending measure funding next year's Pentagon budget. The war funding would implement Obama's order earlier this year to add 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan, which would bring the total number of U.S. forces there to 68,000 by the end of 2009. There's ample skepticism in Congress that Obama's Iraq and Afghanistan funding request will be sufficient.
Saddam Hussein might be remembered as a brutal international criminal by the rest of the world; but to retired U.S. Army Nurse Robert Ellis, who spent more time with the dictator than any other American, he was a patient with a humane side. Ellis worked as the senior American medical advisor at Baghdad’s Camp Cropper, where Hussein was held for eight months until his execution in December 2006, Fox News reports. During this period, Hussein who went by the code name “Victor” grew close to his caregiver, who was known to him by the code name “Alice.” The report quoted Ellis as saying that when he told Hussein that he had to return to St. Louis to see his dying brother, Hussein hugged him and said: “I will be your brother.”
The Iraqi journalist jailed for hurling his shoes at former US President George W Bush is to be freed on Monday - to an uncertain future.
The Pentagon has proposed transferring U.S. military equipment from Iraq to Pakistani security forces to help Islamabad step up its offensive against the Taliban, according to officials and government documents. The Pentagon request for the authority to "transfer articles no longer needed in Iraq" to the army of Pakistan received a cool reception in the U.S. Congress, where some questioned what safeguards would ensure the arms would not end up being diverted to Pakistan's border with India, a nuclear-armed power like Pakistan. Raw Story: US actually increasing personnel in Iraq: More contractors, fewer troops.
Mr al-Maliki, who is facing a tough election battle, has dismissed three high-profile members of the Ministry of Interior, which oversees the fight against insurgent groups. He has also forced the resignation of the head of the intelligence service and replaced several police and army commanders in the last few weeks. The moves provoked outrage among political opponents, who worry about the rise of a new police state and accuse the Prime Minister of using the aftermath of last month’s massive bomb attack in Baghdad to make a power grab. The sacked officials are expected to be replaced by al-Maliki loyalists.
Did Blackwater mercenaries murder Iraqis to satiate their thirst for 9/11 revenge? According to Department of Justice files, at least one did, noted Mother Jones associate editor Daniel Schulman on Tuesday morning. The revelation was torn from documents relative to the prosecution of Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in a 2007 Baghdad massacre that left 17 dead.
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