Sunday 14th of July 2024

war criminals .....

war criminals .....

In an interview with The New Yorker magazine, Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who led the Pentagon's investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib, revealed that he believed high-level military officials, including then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, knew about the abuses at the Iraqi prison. But Taguba had been unable to write about it because his inquiry was narrowly focused on the 800th Military Police brigade stationed at the prison.

"I suspected that somebody was giving them guidance, but I could not print that," Taguba told reporter Seymour Hersh. Taguba, who is just now making his first public comments about his investigation, also revealed that the Pentagon forced him to retire early because of his aggressive pursuit of the issue & that he had been threatened over the report by the then commander of Central Command, Gen. John Abizaid, who told him that "you & your report will be investigated." Taguba said the comment made him feel like he was in the Mafia rather than the Army. "I'd been in the Army thirty-two years by then & it was the first time that I thought I was in the Mafia," he said.

Though there have been a dozen government investigations & multiple reports by international human rights groups, responsibility for the grisly abuse at the military prison has yet to reach beyond the soldiers stationed at the prison. Despite reports like Taguba's, which described the abuse as "systemic," true accountability up the chain of command has yet to occur.

"From what I knew, troops just don't take it upon themselves to initiate what they did without any form of knowledge of the higher-ups," Taguba told Hersh. In his discussion with Hersh, Taguba has become the first general to assert that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the army commander in Iraq at the time of the Abu Ghraib abuses, "knew exactly what was going on" at the prison.

According to Taguba, "in the fall of 2003 - when much of the abuse took place - Sanchez routinely visited the prison & witnessed at least one interrogation." In June 2004, the Washington Post reported that Sanchez had "approved letting senior officials at" Abu Ghraib "use military dogs, temperature extremes, reversed sleep patterns, sensory deprivation, and diets of bread and water on detainees whenever they wished."

In an FBI memo obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, similar techniques were also authorized by an Executive Order from President Bush, with the explicit direction that "certain techniques can only be used if very high-level authority is granted." Taguba also asserts that Rumsfeld's testimony to the Senate & the House Armed Services Committees on May 7, in which he claimed to have had no idea of the extensive abuse until right before his testimony, "was simply not true."

According to a senior intelligence official who spoke to Hersh, "there were some in the Pentagon and the White House who 'didn't think the photographs were that bad'" because they focused on enlisted soldiers rather than intelligence officers. "A Pentagon consultant on the war on terror also said that the "basic strategy was 'prosecute the kids in the photograph but protect the big picture.''

Hersh found at least one incident of the Pentagon protecting a higher-up involved in the detainee policy at Abu Ghraib. In 2003, the Pentagon transferred Maj. Gen. Geoffery Miller from Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib, where he was tasked "to survey the prison system there & find ways to improve the flow of intelligence. One of Miller's key recommendations was that the military police should be utilized in "setting the conditions for successful exploitation of the internees."

After the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib surfaced in 2004, the Pentagon opened an inquiry into complaints about similar abuse at Guantanamo. The officer in charge of the investigation, Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt, concluded that Miller "was responsible for the conduct of interrogations that I found to be abusive & degrading." Schmidt formally recommended that Miller be "held accountable" & "admonished" for his role in the abuse, but that recommendation was rejected by Lt. Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, a senior aide to Rumsfeld, who "absolved Miller of any responsibility for the mistreatment of the prisoners." Despite his apparent role in the implementation of abusive interrogation techniques in both Guantanamo Bay & Baghdad, Miller was the officer chosen to restore order at Abu Ghraib a month after Taguba's report was filed.

Taguba believes that the policies put forth by Rumsfeld & his aides have hurt America in the world. "The whole idea that Rumsfeld projects - 'We're here to protect the nation from terrorism' - is an oxymoron," says Taguba. "He and his aides have abused their offices and have no idea of the values and high standards that are expected of them. And they've dragged a lot of officers with them." Indeed, the abuses uncovered at Abu Ghraib have gone a long way towards harming America's credibility & moral authority in the world.

We're winning the wor on terra

According to my statistics, we're winning the war on terrow...

Sometimes in the depth of my insomniatic nights, I count sheep but they soon become numbers in the race to prove that no matter what we do, we're winning or losing something. I've got a screw loose on the left side of my brain... nothing new.

On average, 43,000 people die each year in road accidents in the US. (nearly 120 per day).
Just for the amusement park record, about 265,000 vehicles catch on fire, annually.
Let's not even mention the numbers of people injured.
Guns account for about 29,000 death in the US every year, of which a bit more than half are counted as suicides. Non-fatal injuries by gunshots is a measly 200,000 per year in the US...
The number of children killed by gunfire in the US is nearly three times the average of the next country on the world list and about four times the average for the rest of the world even if we include these tinpots countries in Africa where rebels steal kids to turn them into fodder warriors... of those in the US, about a third are children's suicide... and these figures do not account for other means of topping oneself.

Including Paris Hilton, 30 per cent of the US population has been in jail at least once...

Baghdad sounds like a peaceful harmonious place.
Therefore we must be winning the wur on terrum overthere.

"Baghdad truck bomb kills scores

The Khillani mosque was partially destroyed by the massive explosion [AFP]

A suicide bomber has killed 78 people when he rammed a truck into a Shia mosque in Baghdad just hours after 10,000 US troops began an offensive north of the capital.

The wall surrounding the Khilani mosque was knocked down by the blast and part of the main structure was destroyed. Several cars also caught on fire.

The explosion, which occurred around 2pm (11:00 GMT), sent smoke billowing over buildings and rattled windows across the centre of the city.

Gunfire also erupted moments after the blast in the commercial area of Sinak.

The attacks follows a relatively quiet period in the capital after a curfew was imposed for four days last week in the wake of an attack on al-Askariya mosque in Samarra, north of Baghdad."

Imagine for a second, a nerdy statistician in the belly of the Pentagon crunching numbers away with the biggest supercomputer at his finger tips. Statistically speaking, one would have to remove at least one million troops from US roads — those troops serving in the 750 overseas bases — thus the fatalities on the road should these troops be on the US highways would be boosted by a pretty 550 extra per year... So from a number crunching point of view, considering the troops killed in Iraq, the real number would be 450 really killed, since 1000 approx die per year from being shot at, but 550 would be killed anyway on the roads in the US had they not joined the army...

On top of that, had the kids not joined the army, a number of them would have committed suicide and the stats can show that about 600 kids would have killed themselves out of the number of troops had they not become the pridum fodder of US arms forces. Thus we are in surplus by about 50. Conclusion: joining the army, and being shot at, saves US lives.

Meanwhile, as terrorists kill themselves in useless suicide bombings, their number dwindle. Simple maths: one (or more) less every time. irrefutable...

The supercomputer nerd can relay — with a 50/50 precision margin — to his superiors that the more US Arm Forces are trooping around the world and the more suicide bombers blow themselves up, the more we are winning the wir on mirror. When the magic stats hit the prezident's desk, they've been analysed by CIA experts, dissected by press-secretaries-spin-doctors and digested with a twist of lemon by the vice prezident.

In a pressed circumference, the Prez with his mouth pucked like a chook bum in sorrow by the gravitas of ceremonial condoleances as coffins are flown back with flags atop, then democratically smirking with the necessity of the freedom of oil for the SUV of his congregation can announce with aplomb in front of more flags quilted by the old widows:
"we're winning the mission accomplished that has been surged in the ooar onn torro... democrapcy shall previul..."

Most American, from the dumbest to the neo-con wiz will understand what he means and salute energetically, by the side of their gas guzzling hummers, humming the first few bars of sturs and stropes.

In his own heart, the Vice President can be certain these stats are one more step towards the benefit of bombing Iran. Who cares about people as long as fine-tuned stats are right?

I would commit myself to a mental hospital if I could find one. But then the streets seem to be oozing with mad-men, mostly friendly, while the nasty ones have reached the summit of power. They are sitting pretty and smoking statistics like some former president used cigars, in the orival office...

Then I wake up... in this unreal world.