A Low, Dishonest Decade: New Details for the Iraq War Crime Mosaic

Via: Empire Burlesque

Written by Chris Floyd
Thursday, 07 March 2013 00:36

The truth-telling of the imprisoned Bradley Manning continues to bear rich fruit, even as he faces a lifetime in prison for acting on principle to save innocent lives and prevent his country from staining itself further with war crimes. This week, the Guardian released a special investigation into the hideous regime of torture that the United States imposed and empowered during its years-long rape of Iraq.

The Guardian report draws on the trove of documents that Manning gave to Wikileaks (and the now diplomatically “sequestered” Julian Assange) to provide new details on the direct links of America’s highest officials — including the bipartisanly adored and now much mourned retired apparatchik David Petraeus — to the torture of tens of thousands of Iraqis.

In many ways, of course, it’s hardly a revelation that American forces were deeply involved in torture during the “extraordinary achievement” (B. Obama) in Iraq. Some cranks have been writing about it since the earliest days of the invasion — as in this piece, from August 2003:

Here’s a headline you don’t see every day: “War Criminals Hire War Criminals to Hunt Down War Criminals.”

Perhaps that’s not the precise wording used by the Washington Post this week, but it is the absolute essence of its story about the Bush Regime’s new campaign to put Saddam’s murderous security forces on America’s payroll.

Yes, the sahibs in Bush’s Iraqi Raj are now doling out American tax dollars to hire the murderers of the infamous Mukhabarat and other agents of the Baathist Gestapo – perhaps hundreds of them. The logic, if that’s the word, seems to be that these bloodstained “insiders” will lead their new imperial masters to other bloodstained “insiders” responsible for bombing the UN headquarters in Baghdad – and killing another dozen American soldiers while Little George was playing with his putts during his month-long Texas siesta.

Naturally, the Iraqi people – even the Bush-appointed leaders of the Potemkin “Governing Council” – aren’t exactly overjoyed at seeing Saddam’s goons return, flush with American money and firepower. And they’re certainly not reassured by the fact that the Bushists have also re-opened Saddam’s most notorious prison, the dread Abu Ghraib, and are now, Mukhabarat-like, filling it with Iraqis – men, women and children as young as 11 – seized from their homes or plucked off the street to be held incommunicado, indefinitely, without due process, just like the old days. As The Times reports, weeping relatives who dare approach the gleaming American razor-wire in search of their “disappeared” loved ones are referred to a crude, hand-written sign pinned to a spike: “No visits are allowed, no information will be given and you must leave.” Perhaps an Iraqi Akhmatova will do justice to these scenes one day.

There were many, many more where that came from, from many sources, as the mosaic of horror built up, fragment by fragment. Unfortunately, America’s multifarious war crime in Iraq is news that stays news — because awareness of the depth of evil we wrought there has scarcely penetrated the American public consciousness. And of course, the Wikileaks documents give more form and substance to the piecemeal parceling of earlier truth fragments.

The Guardian pieces focus on the long lineage of the American way of torture, as represented by the figure of James Steele, a Special Forces offer who made his bones in the torture racket during the murderous American-backed, American-trained, American-funded “counterinsurgency” campaigns in Latin America during the 1980s. Steele has a little pal back in those days by the name of Davy Petraeus; later, the two worked cheek-by-jowl in Iraq to foment a hell on earth of sectarian violence and state terror.

Read more: here

But they deserved it cuz they caused 911!  That’s what my pwezident tode me….


Ken Braun: A Gun Control Proposal That Everyone Should Support

Via: MLive

By Ken Braun March 16, 2013

The Legislature should reconsider a bill that would make police accountable for raids they conduct.

Thomas Torres, age 54, was the target of a Connecticut State Police SWAT raid shortly before Christmas two years ago. The Spanish-speaking, subsidized housing resident of New Haven was living in a building infested with drug dealers and prostitutes. He kept his door closed unless given a damn good reason to do otherwise.

He didn’t have the drugs the police were looking for and told them so, repeatedly, despite the language barrier, after the raiding party knocked down his door. What followed was the trashing of his apartment and a physical altercation between the unarmed middle-aged man on disability and several officers that somehow managed to leave Torres with a badly bruised face and broken arm. No drugs were found. Torres wasn’t charged with any offense – not even assaulting an officer or attempting to flee – but the cops did helpfully get an ambulance for him.

By one estimate, cited by the Cato Institute, American citizens have their homes and private property invaded 40,000 times per year by their government’s use of para-military police raids. There are obviously cases where SWAT teams are sent after clearly dangerous and violent criminals that need to spend many years in a cage.

But these home invasions are too often used against non-violent drug offenders, sometimes in situations – such as the Torres matter – where there isn’t even a clear crime being committed. Most alarmingly, they can also happen when bad information and mistakes send cops to the wrong doors.

When there’s 109 military assaults on Americans each day, mistakes happen. An elderly couple in Brooklyn recently suffered through 50 visits from police when a computer glitch in the NYPD’s database repeatedly dispatched cops to their home looking for various evildoers.

Read more: here

It wouldn’t be a police state if they were accountable…

That’s No Train! Air Force Eyes Subway for Nuclear Missiles

Via: Wired

By Robert Beckhusen 03.14.13

The Air Force wants to upgrade its aging nuclear missiles and the hundreds of underground silos that hold them. One idea it’s exploring: the construction of a sprawling network of underground subway tunnels to shuttle the missiles around like a mobile doomsday train. As one does.

As first reported by Inside Defense, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center will award several study contracts next month worth up to $3 million each to research the idea. A broad agency announcement from the Air Force describes the hair-raising concept, intended to keep the weapons secure through 2075, as a system of tunnels where nuclear missiles are shuttled around on rails or some undefined “trackless” system.

The advantage of the world’s deadliest subway: During an atomic holocaust, mobile missiles are harder for an adversary to target than a static silo. Missiles could be positioned at launch holes placed at “regular intervals” along the length of the tunnels.

“The tunnel concept mode operates similar to a subway system but with only a single transporter/launcher and missile dedicated to a given tunnel,” stated the notice. “The tunnel is long enough to improve survivability but leaving enough room to permit adequate ‘rattle space’ in the event of an enemy attack.”

The Air Force hasn’t given specifics on where the tunnels could be built, or how long they’d need to be. But they’ll probably have to be jumbo-sized to “minimize impact from attack during all phases of missions/operations,” the notice stated. The Air Force requires that all research proposals address ways to “minimize likelihood” that unauthorized persons could sneak in, while keeping the system working safely and not sacrificing the doomsday train’s ability to “conduct world-wide operations.”

Read more: here

Again…WTF!?…How can this madness be stopped? Is there something in the water? Maybe it is from playing with trains as a youth…