Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Art For Everyone. Posted by Hello

A way to take action on the Downing Street Revelations...

Ways to take action now.

--Please take 5 minutes to correct the course of our beloved nation.
I am not asking you. I am BEGGING you, ...PLEASE.--

Despite the memo’s disturbing and explosive revelations, there has been a virtual media blackout with some newspapers deliberately turning a blind eye to the Downing Street memo. Contact the media and ask them to do their job in reporting and investigating the information in the memo. Write a letter to the editor, call into radio shows. It's time for the media to address real news.

MediaBlaster (Democratic Underground)
MediaGuide (Townhall.com)

Do you believe that Americans deserve to know the truth? This is an issue beyond partisan politics—no President should ever mislead our Nation into a war. Sign the petition to ask President Bush and his administration to address the Downing Street Memo.

Contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to join the 88 members who already have called on the President to explain the memo.

You can email your Representatives in the House here.
You can contact your Senators here.

Eighty-eight members of Congress asked President Bush to address the Downing Street Memo on May 6, 2005. The White House has yet to respond. Contact the President and urge him to address the explosive allegations in the memo. As Americans, we deserve to know the truth.

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Contact the White House at:
Comments: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461
Email: president@whitehouse.gov
You may also use the White House Web Contact form.

Images to download here
(opens new window)


---In advance, Thank You.---

A Time to Step Up, As Patriots...

What Is the Downing St. Memo ?

Nobody wants to go war. We trust our leaders to shed blood in our name only when absolutely necessary. Two years after the start of the Iraq War, Americans are just learning that our government was dead set on taking our nation to war.

The Downing Street Memo, recently leaked, reveals that President George W. Bush decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the summer 2002 and—determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policies—"fixed" the intelligence and facts.

What has come to be known as the Downing Street "Memo" is actually a document containing meeting minutes transcribed during the British Prime Minister's meeting on July 23, 2002. The Times of London printed the text of this document on Sunday, May 1, 2005.

The contents of the memo are shocking. The minutes detail how our government did not believe Iraq was a greater threat than other nations; how intelligence was manipulated to sell the case for war to the American public; and how all the talk of "war as a last resort" was mere hollow pretense.

Regardless of politics, every American should ask themselves: Was I misled? Did President Bush tell me the truth when he said he would not take us to war unless absolutely necessary?

Please join us in demanding that we get to the bottom of this issue. For if we do not demand the truth from our government here, where the Downing Street Memo is so damning, then we may as well forever cease holding our government accountable.


---STAND UP FOR YOUR NATION!...Tell them..NO MORE!!!---

NEVER again.

When cheney gets protested in LOUISIANA...you KNOW something is up ! HELL YES LOUISIANA!! Posted by Hello

Items recovered Posted by Hello

female statue from Hatra (head chopped off by looters)
The destruction and loss of Iraqi Art to the world. compliments of Mr Bush and his Administration.
Posted by Hello

Art for Everyone Posted by Hello
Nine U.S. troops,100 rebels killed in Iraq assault
Sat May 14, 2005 5:49 AM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Nine American troops have been killed in an offensive against insurgents and militants in Iraq's most rebellious province, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

Four of those were killed on Wednesday when their assault amphibian vehicle hit an explosive device, the military said.

Backed by aircraft, U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers launched Operation Matador one week ago in a bid to root out insurgents and militants from the western Anbar province.

The U.S. military estimated about 100 guerrillas were killed in the assault.

Based mostly in Anbar, insurgents have stepped up suicide bombings and other attacks since Iraq announced its new government on April 28, killing more than 400 people.

The Anbar offensive is focused on an area near the Euphrates north and west of the town of Qaim, close to the Syrian border, which Iraqi officials say is used by insurgents to cross over into Iraq and carry out attacks.

Damascus denies Iraqi accusations that it allows guerrillas to enter Iraq from its border.

Marines launched several air strikes on targets on Friday, including a "terrorist" safe house, the military said. A second air raid targeted insurgents manning a vehicle checkpoint.

The U.S. military said Marines in Qaim witnessed clashes between rival guerrilla groups. That could not be independently confirmed. But officials in Anbar say militant followers of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have been clashing with tribal groups.




--- This is TOTAL BULLSHIT. It is an insult to anyone who can add. The Exit Polls are based on MATHMATIC SCIENCE... Ask the bookies in Vegas who had Kerry at 2 to 1 odds.(they ain't there to lose money.) I understand there is an aversion to science in this country but come on people! Basic Math...? TWO PLUS TWO STILL EQUALS FOUR.

In case you've been watching CNN.... The Election of 2004 was STOLEN. It is a mathmatical FACT.


The Exit Polls Were Correct. It was the ACTUAL VOTES THAT WERE HIGHJACKED. It can be mathmaticaly proven.

And to explain the unexplainable they will debunk thier own science. Science that has NEVER BEFORE been outside thier own margins of error.

Never until now. Bush WAS NOT ELECTED in 2000. Bush was NOT LAWFULLY ELECTED in 2004.

ANYTHING EXCEPT..Damn, he cheated.


Better Interviews Said Key to Exit Polls

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Better training of interviewers to get a proper sample of voters after they cast ballots will be key to improving the performance of exit polls, one pollster who handled the 2004 election surveys said Saturday.

Exit polls on Election Day 2004 overstated support for Democrat John Kerry overall and in many key states, which led to widespread confusion that day about the election eventually won by President Bush. more...


---Wide spread confusion...YEAH..OK thats one way to put it.---
It was just a joke: Abu Ghraib accused
ReutersMay 14, 2005

FORT HOOD, Texas: A US Army reservist accused of attaching wires to a hooded Iraqi prisoner, depicted in a picture that became notorious around the world, pleaded not guilty yesterday in the second Abu Ghraib case to go to military trial.Specialist Sabrina Harman faces five counts of prisoner maltreatment stemming from the photograph of the inmate, known as "Gilligan", who was allegedly forced to stand on a box with wires in his hands and told he would be electrocuted if he fell.

"He was trembling, shaking," prosecutor Captain Chuck Neill said during opening statements at the court martial at an army base at Fort Hood, Texas.

Defence attorney Frank Spinner told the jury of four army officers and four senior enlisted soldiers he would present evidence that "it was a joking type of thing, and that Gilligan was in on the joke and that this was simply a matter of sleep deprivation".

Harman, a one-time pizza restaurant manager, could face up to 6 1/2 years in jail if convicted of conspiracy to maltreat detainees, five counts of maltreating detainees and dereliction of duty.

She is the second service member to go on trial on charges that she took part in mistreating detainees. The first, Private Charles Graner, who was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, was expected to be a witness.

In another notorious photo, Harman poses with Graner behind a group of naked detainees stacked in a pyramid.

Lynndie England, the woman photographed holding a leash attached to the neck of a naked prisoner, pleaded guilty last week. But the judge in the Abu Ghraib cases, James Pohl, declared a mistrial after defence lawyers presented information suggesting she was innocent and was following orders.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common story_page/0,5744,15281343%5E2703,00.html


Flashback: A Rare Broadcast of John Kerry's 1971 Speech Against the Vietnam War Before the Senate


"Give me liberty or give me death."

In Iraq's insurgency, no rules, just death
By Ehsan Ahrari

In the very initial phase of evolution, Iraq's insurgents decided that Iraq would not be governed by the American-appointed government. After the elections of January 30, they also determined that a government elected under the American-written constitution would not govern it. But how are they are going to impose their will? Their decision all along seems to be that one side has to be either eradicated or defeated.

The American side cannot be eradicated, but the insurgents seem to have decided that they will not be defeated, as long as they are willing to die for their cause. One US Marine recently described the battle with insurgents in Ubaidi, 15 miles east of the Syrian border, by observing, "They came here to die. They were willing to stay in place and die with no hope. All they wanted was to take us with them." How do you develop an effective strategy to fight those who follow no rules, except their willingness to die for their cause? No one on the American side seems to have an answer.

The insurgents in Iraq comprise a variety of groups. First and foremost are the Ba'athists and pan-Arabists, including persons of civilian bureaucracy and armed forces under Saddam Hussein. They had careers and retirement plans. They had guaranteed sources of income to support their families. Even in the uncertain political environment of Iraq under a dictator, they did not harbor grave doubts about having a secure means of earning a living, as long as they did not antagonize the wicked regime. Today, almost 90% of them have no job, no income and no future. Thus, they form a majority of the Iraqi insurgency. A large number of army personnel are reportedly well trained in urban warfare. They are eager to destroy the current evolving system, which, from their point of view, is highly illegitimate because it is created by the United States.

Then there are the Sunni Islamists who wish to see their country ruled under the banner of Sunni Islam. There is also the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda, whose goals of having an Islamist Iraq may not be too much different than that of the Sunni Islamists, like Ansar al-Islam, and its offshoot, Ansar al-Sunnah. They are driven by the jihadi frame of mind. The "super-Infidel" is occupying the land of Islam, according to this perspective, and should be driven out, no matter the cost. In this frame of reference, there is no compromise, just death, either for them, or for their enemy, or for both. Consequently, Iraq has gone beyond a point where it could be described as "hell".

To fight the enemy, America cannot have any strategy other than its willingness to fulfill the desire of the insurgents. One has to paraphrase 18th century US statesman Patrick Henry's famous statement: "Give me liberty or give me death." In this instance, the Iraqi insurgents are not interested in living under what the Americans call a system based on liberty. They have chosen death as a price of destroying that system. In the process of dying, they are also willing to take a whole lot of Iraqis and Americans with them. This is not a reality that America wanted to create in Iraq.

Still, the Bush administration is poised to stabilize Iraq through increased reliance on the indigenous security forces, while keeping a high operational tempo that is aimed at catching the insurgents off guard and capturing or killing their top leaders. It is hoped that the capture or eradication of the top leadership of the insurgency will eventually lead to the defeat of that movement. The American thinking is sound; however, the tactics used might produce contrary results.

continues ad nuseum...

---Stop this. Bring Our Troops Home.---

To hell with cheneys' oil. And to those who roll your eyes when I say oil... tell me again...WHY are we in IRAQ...?

Oh yeah, Saddams a bad guy, yeahyeahyeah.... Who just so happened to have no WMD; but, a SHITLOAD of oil. Go figure.

I got 4 words for you





Let us see if the Bush administration gets the results they want , from the people in the elections to be held shortly  Posted by Hello
Hamas success in Fatah heartland
By Matthew Price BBC News, Qalqilya

Palestinians have started registering to vote in their parliamentary election, due to be held in July, when significant gains are predicted for the political wing of the Islamic militant group Hamas.

In local elections last week Hamas took over one third of the municipal councils, wresting control of them from the biggest force in Palestinian politics, the secular Fatah party.

When you drive into Qalqilya the first thing you notice are the pro-Hamas slogans - bright red graffiti painted on white walls. One reads: "Strength, honesty, credibility."

The residents of Qalqilya clearly took notice when they voted in the recent Palestinian local elections

They elected a town council run entirely by Islamic parties, and dominated by Hamas.
On a nearby street corner, sat on plastic chairs, is a group of friends deep in a finger-jabbing political discussion.

Some voted Hamas, others for the secular Fatah party which has dominated Palestinian politics for decades.

One man, Omar who voted Hamas, says he wanted change.

Another, Yousef, tells me he expects support for the Islamic parties will grow because people are losing faith in Fatah.

'Clean alternative'

Across the road is Hasham's pharmacy. Behind the counter is the new mayor of Qalqilya. Hasham al-Masri - neatly turned out in a brown suit, with his white medical cloak over the top.
Mr Masri is delighted with Hamas's showing in the local elections.

"The people elected us for several reasons. They liked our programme. An Islamic programme."


Maher Arar. The Syrian-born Canadian is the world's most famous victim of "rendition",
 Posted by Hello
The true purpose of torture Guantánamo is there to terrorise - both inmates and the wider world
Naomi Klein
Saturday May 14, 2005

The Guardian I recently caught a glimpse of the effects of torture in action at an event honouring Maher Arar. The Syrian-born Canadian is the world's most famous victim of "rendition", the process by which US officials outsource torture to foreign countries. Arar was switching planes in New York when US interrogators detained him and "rendered" him to Syria, where he was held for 10 months in a cell slightly larger than a grave and taken out periodically for beatings.

Arar was being honoured for his courage by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, a mainstream advocacy organisation. The audience gave him a heartfelt standing ovation, but there was fear mixed in with the celebration. Many of the prominent community leaders kept their distance from Arar, responding to him only tentatively. Some speakers were unable even to mention the honoured guest by name, as if he had something they could catch. And perhaps they were right: the tenuous "evidence" - later discredited - that landed Arar in a rat-infested cell was guilt by association. And if that could happen to Arar, a successful software engineer and family man, who is safe?

In a rare public speech, Arar addressed this fear directly. He told the audience that an independent commissioner has been trying to gather evidence of law-enforcement officials breaking the rules when investigating Muslim Canadians. The commissioner has heard dozens of stories of threats, harassment and inappropriate home visits. But, Arar said, "not a single person made a public complaint. Fear prevented them from doing so." Fear of being the next Maher Arar.

The fear is even thicker among Muslims in the United States, where the Patriot Act gives police the power to seize the records of any mosque, school, library or community group on mere suspicion of terrorist links. When this intense surveillance is paired with the ever-present threat of torture, the message is clear: you are being watched, your neighbour may be a spy, the government can find out anything about you. If you misstep, you could disappear on to a plane bound for Syria, or into "the deep dark hole that is Guantánamo Bay", to borrow a phrase from Michael Ratner, president of the Centre for Constitutional Rights.

But this fear has to be finely calibrated. The people being intimidated need to know enough to be afraid but not so much that they demand justice. This helps explain why the defence department will release certain kinds of seemingly incriminating information about Guantánamo - pictures of men in cages, for instance - at the same time that it acts to suppress photographs on a par with what escaped from Abu Ghraib. And it might also explain why the Pentagon approved a new book by a former military translator, including the passages about prisoners being sexually humiliated, but prevented him from writing about the widespread use of attack dogs. This strategic leaking of information, combined with official denials, induces a state of mind that Argentinians describe as "knowing/not knowing", a vestige of their "dirty war".

'Obviously, intelligence agents have an incentive to hide the use of unlawful methods," says Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "On the other hand, when they use rendition and torture as a threat, it's undeniable that they benefit, in some sense, from the fact that people know that intelligence agents are willing to act unlawfully. They benefit from the fact that people understand the threat and believe it to be credible."

And the threats have been received. In an affidavit filed with an ACLU court challenge to section 215 of the Patriot Act, Nazih Hassan, president of the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor in Michigan, describes this new climate. Membership and attendance are down, donations are way down, board members have resigned - Hassan says his members avoid doing anything that could get their names on lists. One member testified anonymously that he has "stopped speaking out on political and social issues" because he doesn't want to draw attention to himself.

This is torture's true purpose: to terrorise - not only the people in Guantánamo's cages and Syria's isolation cells but also, and more importantly, the broader community that hears about these abuses. Torture is a machine designed to break the will to resist - the individual prisoner's will and the collective will.

This is not a controversial claim. In 2001 the US NGO Physicians for Human Rights published a manual on treating torture survivors that noted: "Perpetrators often attempt to justify their acts of torture and ill-treatment by the need to gather information. Such conceptualisations obscure the purpose of torture ... The aim of torture is to dehumanise the victim, break his/her will, and at the same time set horrific examples for those who come in contact with the victim. In this way, torture can break or damage the will and coherence of entire communities."

Yet despite this body of knowledge, torture continues to be debated in the United States as if it were merely a morally questionable way to extract information, not an instrument of state terror. But there's a problem: no one claims that torture is an effective interrogation tool -least of all the people who practise it. Torture "doesn't work. There are better ways to deal with captives," CIA director Porter Goss told the Senate intelligence committee on February 16. And a recently declassified memo written by an FBI official in Guantánamo states that extreme coercion produced "nothing more than what FBI got using simple investigative techniques". The army's own interrogation field manual states that force "can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear".

And yet the abuses keep on coming - Uzbekistan as the new hotspot for renditions; the "El Salvador model" imported to Iraq. And the only sensible explanation for torture's persistent popularity comes from a most unlikely source. Lynndie England, the fall girl for Abu Ghraib, was asked during her botched trial why she and her colleagues had forced naked prisoners into a human pyramid. "As a way to control them," she replied.

Exactly. As an interrogation tool, torture is a bust. But when it comes to social control, nothing works quite like torture.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment story/0,3604,1483801,00.html

Art For Everyone. Posted by Hello

To those who may have missed it.(Like Tech Guy.)

51 House members call on Gonzales to appoint special counsel on alleged U.S. 'war crimes'

Congressman John Conyers will be issuing a letter cosigned by roughly 50 House members calling for a special prosecutor to investigate claims that the U.S. has violated the War Crimes Act at secret detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, RAW STORY has learned.
The following letter will be issued shortly.

Transcript and Congressional Signatories follows...
Link in headliner.

The Attorney General is being asked to appoint a Special Prosecutor, because, HE HIMSELF is IMPLICATED IN TORTURE !!!

The joy of life in a sandbox. Posted for Amy, welcome to ReBelle Nation to all my fellow Louisianians !!! Posted by Hello

Art From Americas Past. Thomas Paine c.1806/07 Posted by Hello

A heros words, from long ago.

"If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

A Revolutionist. An American hero.

Art For Boys. Posted by Hello

Gunmen Assassinate Top Iraqi Official

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen assassinated a top Iraqi Foreign Ministry official Saturday evening in a drive-by shooting while he stood outside his Baghdad home, police said.
Jassim Mohammed Ghani, the ministry's director-general, was killed at about 9 p.m. in western Baghdad's al-Kharijiyah district, Capt. Talib Thamer said.

Officials at the Foreign Ministry were not immediately available for comment.

Insurgents have routinely targeted Iraqi government officials in a relentless campaign to derail the country's postwar reconstruction efforts.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military pronounced its weeklong offensive near the Syrian border over Saturday, saying it had successfully "neutralized" an insurgent sanctuary and killed more than 125 militants.

Many more suspected insurgents were wounded and 39 with "intelligence value" were detained, the military said in a statement.

Nine U.S. Marines were killed and 40 injured during the campaign known as Operation Matador, the military said in a statement.

HAHAHA!!! Posted by Hello

It's coming fast and furious now...

Letters to Woodward.
Breaking Through The News Blackout in the US
Grace Reid

May 13, 2005
Bob Woodward
Washington Post
- woodwardb@washpost.com

Dear Mr. Woodward,

The Washington Post received about 200 letters yesterday and it's all my fault. I wrote a piece that I'm including in a file, about how the ombudsman Michael Getler refused to address the lack of coverage the WaPo has given to this most important story. That wasn't like him. Finally, after three days of our campaign, there was a story today but it cautiously avoided the truth.

I have been giving it a lot of thought. Why does the US media have so much trouble reporting this story? First, because the proof - the Downing Street minutes, and the Goldsmith March 7, 2003 legal finding have been authenticated and released by Tony Blair. Second, because of the language.

One way to minimize the import of these documents is to call the two documents a memo. The US media calls it `a memo,' referring to the minutes of a meeting, and Goldsmith's opinion or finding – these cannot be minimized by calling them `memo.' A ‘memo’ gives the public the impression that these are casual notes. Minutes of a meeting, and the legal finding of the Attorney General cannot be so minimized – documents of this type carry a legal weight.

The US media and public are using this word because for almost a year now we have been reading memos from the likes of John Yoo, Bybee, Haynes and Gonzales. The language in Yoo and Bybee are nearly the very same as the language in the Goldsmith March 23, 2003 opinion, as far as liablility before the International Criminal Court, and trying to get around the Geneva Conventions.

It would make one have to ask – who actually wrote the Goldsmith March 7, 2003 opinion? With Gonzales and Ashcroft working Goldsmith over – what kind of force did the US apply to the UK to comply with and be complicit in criminality? We know that Gonzales convened a meeting on acceptable levels of torture, that included “water-boarding.” Did they use that on Goldsmith to make him recant his opinion that the invasion of Iraq was illegal?

The reason no one can properly write about these documents and their impact is there are no words allowed to tell the story with. This country has lost it's language to tell the truth with.

When you are at war and you take prisoners, they are called prisoners of war, or POWs. When you invade a country illegally and decimate their cities after you've been bombing them rotten for ten years, and they fight back, they're called resistance fighters. But we're getting cute out here, too. We know whenever we hear the words "regime change" it means violation of international law.

When you have documents released from the British Prime Minister consisting of minutes of a meeting of intelligence and defence department ministers, and the legal finding of the Attorney General submitted to the Prime Minister on the illegality of the war in Iraq – these documents cannot be dismissed by calling them “a memo.”

I'm well aware of how we lost our language, and who is to blame. The way to avoid criminal prosecution is to be the one who changes the meaning of words so the law is not the law any more. And I have to credit him for the word un-sign.

But I don't think the practice of writing should go extinct just because one's leadership doesn't know what words mean or how to use them.

So that's what I think is causing this news blackout. (As in pass out during a drunk and not remember where you were or what you did when you wake up.) The thing is the release of these materials have brought about the demise of Tony Blair. Ten members of Bereaved Families have brought charges against Tony Blair for war crimes before the International Criminal Court. And that bodes ill for Bush. (Source: Military Families Against the War; http://www.mfaw.org.uk/ )

I'll not take up any more of your time. I can only hope that you are writing this story, and I hope you enjoyed all the letters that were sent to you.

Sincerely yours,

Grace Reid

Source: (Letters to Woodward; http://www.dailykos.com)

Courtesy of Grace Reid

---Have you ever wondered what the term 'ring of truth ' actually, literally, means...? ANY cop, or investigator of any kind, will tell you there IS a difference in words that contain truth, they literally 'ring' in such a way as logic is satisfied. If you use words that subtly confuse the logic, even if some of it is true,(all lies are based on some truth) then you will be able to confuse the issue. I, too, have often reffered to those DOCUMENTS as a 'memo'. It never SEEMED right, but I did not really examine why. But as this article points out VERY well, it is NOT a small thing. The Downing St. Documents will bring both countries to thier knees. And as the TRUTH tears through us, the 'ring' of it will not leave ANY of us untouched.---

Amen. Nailed it!

A personal thought from the people at www.whatreallyhappened.com


"One of the arguments put forward by those who protect conspiracies is that too many people would have to take part for such a conspiracy to work.

That claim has forever been silenced by the current events in Iraq. The conspiracy to lie to the people of America about Iraq's mythical weapons of mass destruction did involve a huge number of people, the Neocons, the mainstream media, and almost all of Congress.

It is absolutely impossible that the mainstream media, with budgets in the millions and staffing in the thousands, missed the clues to the lie that bloggers operating on spare change all discovered. It is equally impossible that members of Congress,
with even large budgets, and access to information that even the mainstream media could not see, were equally blind to the obvious indications of fraud daily uncovered and examined by the online citizen investigators.

Therefore, everyone who supported the now-exposed lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction did so willingly, including the mainstream media., and including the United States Congress.

So, just as the US Mainstream media cannot examine the lies about Iraq without implicating themselves, so too the Congress cannot delve too deeply into the fraud that started a war without advertising their own complicity. Nobody is going to believe that Congress was honestly fooled by the obviously fraudulent evidence, no more than they believe that the mainstream media was fooled by the obviously fraudulent evidence.

It is a conspiracy of mendacity; all are bound together by the shared lie. All protect each other for that is the only way they can protect themselves. Doubters are challenged with the question,"Do you really think all these people would agree to lie"?

To which I answer, "Tell us again about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

---EXACTLY! And Amen!---

What a mess.

Anti-American Protests Spread through Islamic World
By Carlotta Gall
The New York Times

Saturday 14 May 2005

Kabul, Afghanistan - Thousands of Muslims, from Gaza to Pakistan to Indonesia, emerged from prayer services on Friday to join Afghans in rapidly spreading protests over the reported desecration of a Koran by American interrogators at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

In Afghanistan, at least 8 people were killed and more than 40 injured in clashes, bringing the death toll over four days of anti-American rioting to at least 16, with more than 100 injured. For the first time a policeman was killed in the violence.

Three protesters were killed and 23 people wounded as the police grappled with a crowd of more than 1,500 in Baharak, in far northeastern Badakhstan, the police chief of the province, Gen. Shah Jehan Nuri, said in a telephone interview. Ten police officers and members of the border police, who are based in the town, were among the injured, he said.

In three Pakistan cities, Peshawar, Quetta and Multan, hundreds of protesters led largely by religious parties burned American flags and chanted anti-American slogans after Friday Prayer. The protests were peaceful, though, thanks in large part to the large numbers of police officers deployed outside mosques and official buildings.

Hundreds of people gathered peacefully outside a mosque in Jakarta on Friday while a statement was read condemning the United States for the reported abuses. In Gaza, about 1,500 members of the radical Islamic group Hamas marched through the Jabaliya refugee camp as outrage spread over the reports, including a brief item in Newsweek, that interrogators at Guantánamo Bay had flushed a Koran down the toilet in an effort to upset detainees.

Protesters carrying the green banners of Islam and Hamas shouted, "Protect our holy book!" Some burned American and Israeli flags. Anti-American protests are rare among militant Palestinians, who decry American support for Israel but emphasize that their struggle is with Israel, not the United States.

The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said Friday that officials at the Department of Defense were investigating reports of the desecration, and that "they take such allegations very seriously," but he did not indicate when the investigation would be completed, Reuters reported. "We will not tolerate any disrespect for the holy Koran," he added.



---Ummm Scotty, its too damn late. Even if the act NEVER occurred you WILL NOT be able to contain this. Unless ofcourse, you announce our abrupt WITHDRAWL.... To hell with bush and to hell with bushs oil. GET OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS OUT OF THERE NOW.!!!---

Art For Girls. Posted by Hello

Downing St. Memo Causes a Rude Awakening in U.S.

'Downing Street' War Memo Gains Traction in U.S. Press

By Greg Mitchell

Published: May 14, 2005 10:45 AM ET

NEW YORK For more than 10 days, the media in the U.S. nearly ignored it, but finally the so-called “Downing Street Memo” is finally gaining traction in the U.S. press. The Los Angeles Times featured a lengthy report on Thursday and Walter Pincus of the Washington Post followed on Friday.

The memo, obtained by the Sunday London Times and published on May 1, became a major issue in the closing days of the British elections but received little attention in the U.S. until a Knight Ridder report on May 6, which E&P carried. A Knight Ridder editor later told E&P that it received surprisingly little pickup. The New York Times has given it little notice.

The Washington Post ignored the memo until Pincus’s article, which appeared Friday on page A18. It arrived five days after Post ombudsman Michael Getler revealed that readers had complained about the lack of coverage.

Pincus opened his piece with a helpful summary: “Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was ‘being fixed around the policy,’ according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.

“'Military action was now seen as inevitable,' said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, ‘Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.’

"’The case was thin,’ summarized the notes taken by a British national security aide at the meeting. ‘Saddam was not threatening his neighbours and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.’"

Continues...Link in headliner.

YeeHaw! Posted by Hello

Art From Americas Past. Posted by Hello

The Things you Learn When Russian is Translated for You.

Ever wonder what the Russians REALLY think of us...?
From Pravda...

George W. Bush: An insult to our collective intelligence

05/09/2005 11:51

President of the USA is provocative and aggressive instead of conciliatory and diplomatic

Let us compare for one instant the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States of America. On one side, we have a President whose policy is directed towards improving relations with the international community in a climate of friendship and peace (principles which guided the foreign policy of the USSR) and in tandem with the norms of international law as stipulated by the UNO. On the other, a roving cowboy, taming the wilderness with his gun and his Bible, with an absence of tact and diplomacy.

Diplomacy, debate, dialogue and discussion are the basic precepts of democracy, a word much referred to by the USA but unfortunately not practised in principle and diplomacy, debate, dialogue and discussion are for sure the four words which summarise Moscow's foreign policy, while Washington's continues to be dominated by bullying, blackmail, belligerence and bullishness.

On the eve of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the victory over Fascism in Europe, instead of being conciliatory to Russia, George Bush waltzes into Latvia, a country with a deplorable human rights record, complete with concentration camps during the Fascist occupation and with a revisionist tendency to glorify its Fascist part in the country's history and declares that the Soviet presence in Eastern Europe was one of the "greatest wrongs of history."

So, what was the Soviet Union supposed to do, after 25 million of its citizens had been killed in the most vicious fighting in the war, after a quarter of a million of its citizens had lost their lives killing between 75 and 85% of the Nazi troops in the Second World War? Allow the USA to occupy its resources and install disgusting fast food restaurants before colonizing the country with pornography, filth and depravity?

The Soviet Union liberated eleven countries from the yolk of evil, just as the Americans and their allies liberated nations in the west. But for George Bush, this liberation, coupled with a commitment of the Union's resources to develop the three Baltic states and bring them into the front line of development in the areas of education, security, health care, social benefits, to name just a few, was no more than "a long vigil of suffering and hope."

If "suffering" is having an excellent and free healthcare and education system, security of the state, cities in which one could walk without the fear of crime, a guaranteed job, pension, housing, cheap or free public services and the chance to constantly improve one"s position in society through endeavour, then perhaps George Bush would prefer to live in a country like Iraq, where foreign troops have murdered tens of thousands of innocent people and where week by week tens or hundreds of people die violent deaths because his country has destabilized the entire region.



'Thousands' flee fighting in Iraq

Thousands of Iraqis have fled fighting between US troops and insurgents in the west of the country, aid workers say.
The head of the Iraqi Red Crescent in the country told the BBC that about 1,000 families had been displaced from the border town of Qaim.

Four hundred families had moved into schools and mosques in the town of Mashari, and there was a need for tents and water, Said Ismail Haqqi said.

US forces say they have killed about 100 rebels in the military operation.

The US launched Operation Matador last Saturday in response to a sharp rise in insurgent attacks throughout Iraq in recent weeks.

More than 400 people have died in attacks since Iraq's new government was announced on 28 April.

'Roaming gunmen'

New Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari extended a six-month-old state of emergency on Friday, allowing Iraqi authorities to continue imposing curfews and issuing arrest warrants in an effort to track down insurgents.

In other violence in Iraq:

Three Iraqis, two of them soldiers, are killed in a car bomb attack in the central town of Baquba
One policeman is reportedly killed when gunmen open fire on a patrol in western Baghdad
Mortars kill three Iraqi soldiers at an army checkpoint in the southern town of Hilla, AP reports
Gunmen ambush an interior ministry official in western Baghdad, killing a guard, AP reports
A roadside bomb hits a US convoy on the road leading to the Baghdad airport.


An Associated Press correspondent in the town of Qaim said heavily-armed fighters still controlled the streets.

"We are trying to protect our city's entrances, and we will prevent the US forces from entering the city," one insurgent was reported as saying.



Iraq...In Art. Posted by Hello

I Like Ike.

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are...Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954

---Now thats just damn interesting...and YES it is a REAL quote.---

Dear Kim....

About that Wal-Mart conversation we had.
I hate to break your heart doll, but Wal-mart is a predatory vulture.
Check this out.


A 2002 internal memo from the Georgia Department of Community Health that focused on the state's Children's Health Insurance program PeachCare showed that the children of Wal-Mart employees accounted for 10,261 of the 166,000 children enrolled, about 14 times that of the second-highest employer, the supermarket chain Publix, which had 734. Wal-Mart, with 42,000 workers in the state in 2002, had about one child in the health care program for every four employees; the ratio for Publix was one child in PeachCare for every 22 employees [The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/27/04 (registration required)].

The state of Connecticut discovered in January 2005 that it pays an estimated $43 million annually to cover health costs for workers at the state's 25 largest employers; Wal-Mart was at the top of the list with 824 employees or employees' adult dependents on state public assistance programs. Beyond Connecticut, Wal-Mart had the most employees on Medicaid in a total of 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to examinations in those states [Employee Benefit News, 5/01/05].


---They pay slave wages and let the tax payer foot the bill for the benefits they won't provide. Oh and with some bought off legislation thier employees are not allowed to form unions nor are they required to pay overtime.---

The translation... Our Children are homeless and our children need food. Posted by Hello

Amen. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 13, 2005


How will democracy end?

May 13th, 2005 : Filed by ~A!

This is not a piece about Bush. I want to square that away right up front, and this isn’t even meant to be a partisan political piece. This is a question I have a lot of interest in, and I think it behooves us all to answer it, or at least consider the idea that it might be answerable at all.

In my life, I’ve always been someone who saw the glass as half empty, never really been much of a half-full kind of guy when it comes to the bigger picture. When I was younger and started a new relationship, I always wondered how it would end, what would the breakup be like, would she get my favorite T-shirt when she left, all that.

Same thing when I started a new job. How will this one end? When will I find something better and tire of the present situation, or when will they get tired of my obviously charming company and turn me out on the street?

So, when I think about the way things are going in the world, I can’t help but wonder how democratic governments across the planet will end. Try to stay with me, I’m not talking about having elections, I’m talking about the people actually having a say in their governments.

In the US, it ended to thunderous applause. When it ended is an issue, of course. Some would say in the early twentieth century, when the banks took over the fed. Some would say it was the Wal-Mart era that killed democracy, when the corporations became too powerful to be stopped, and stopped allowing the people to have a voice, because they own our politicians.

Of course, someone like me says it ended the day two big-ass planes slammed into the twin towers and killed thousands of our brothers and sisters. It ended when the government took the power to arrest and detain citizens of this country without a trial or due process. It ended when we lost our ability to hold free elections in any kind of coherent manner.

And the whole time, we hear a minority screaming. But we heard the majority reacting with laughter and standing ovations, even when they knew something was amiss. So caught up in the near-religious fervor created by fear, the American people applauded their way into dictatorship.



This Is NOT A Joke.

51 House members call on Gonzales to appoint special counsel on alleged U.S. 'war crimes'

Congressman John Conyers will be issuing a letter cosigned by roughly 50 House members calling for a special prosecutor to investigate claims that the U.S. has violated the War Crimes Act at secret detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, RAW STORY has learned.

The following letter will be issued shortly.
Continues with transcript...

Live link ALSO in headliner.

---They are calling for a Special Prosecutor because the Attorney General of the United States of America is ALSO IMPLICATED in TORTURE.---

Art For Boys. Posted by Hello

Cuba prepping its troops for possible US Invasion.

Live Link Above.

Military Training of Large Scale Held in Cuba

Havana. There were military trainings of a large scale in Cuba. During them the beating off of a possible attack on the part of the USA has been worked off, RIA Novosti informed. Raul Castro, the Minister of the Armed Forces of Cuba, has been the one to lead the trainings.

Rebuffing Bush, 132 Mayors Embrace Kyoto Rules

SEATTLE, May 13 - Unsettled by a series of dry winters in this normally wet city, Mayor Greg Nickels has begun a nationwide effort to do something the Bush administration will not: carry out the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

Mr. Nickels, a Democrat, says 131 other likeminded mayors have joined a bipartisan coalition to fight global warming on the local level, in an implicit rejection of the administration's policy.

The mayors, from cities as liberal as Los Angeles and as conservative as Hurst, Tex., represent nearly 29 million citizens in 35 states, according to Mayor Nickels's office. They are pledging to have their cities meet what would have been a binding requirement for the nation had the Bush administration not rejected the Kyoto Protocol: a reduction in heat-trapping gas emissions to levels 7 percent below those of 1990, by 2012.

On Thursday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg brought New York City into the coalition, the latest Republican mayor to join.


In this little place called France, there was once a king. This king was sitting at his deask one day when his man rushed in and told him thousands of peasants were on the way there, with PITCHFORKS...

The king looked at his man and said, "Tis Rebellion...?'

The kings man shook his head and said,'Nay Majesty. Tis REVOLUTION!'

The story says, the king was actually surprised.


You have heard of the Crisis in the Sudan...BUT, Have you SEEN it ? Posted by Hello

Italy Media Busts the Silvio Berlusconi Administration

Live Link Above.

Italy sent troops to Iraq to secure oil deal: report

13 May 2005

ROME - Italian troops were sent to Iraq to secure oil deals worth 300 billion dollars, and not just for post-war humanitarian purposes, an Italian television report by RAI claimed on Friday.

The 20-minute report, broadcast by RAI News 24, the all-news channel of the Italian state-owned network, is based on interviews and official government documents.

In it, the Silvio Berlusconi administration is accused of picking the Nasiriyah area to safeguard a 1997 deal signed by Italy’s largest energy producer, ENI, and former dictator Saddam Hussein.

A government report compiled months before the war broke out recommends that Italy, in case of conflict, should secure the region of Nasiriyah and the nearby area of Halfaya, south of Baghdad, so as to secure “a deal worth 300 billion dollars”.

Both areas are known for its vast oil fields.

According to Benito Livigni, a former manager of ENI and the United States’ Gulf Oil Company, Iraqi’s oil reserves are estimated at 400 billion barrels, far more than the known figure of 116 billion.

If true, this would make Iraq the largest oil producer in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia, the report says.

Images shown on the report by Sigfrido Ranucci and called “In the name of oil”, show previously unreleased footage of Italian soldiers busy protecting a refinery and a local pipeline in Nasiriyah.

The Italian government has always insisted that it chose to send 3,000 troops to Iraq for purely humanitarian reasons.

A total of 19 Italians, most of them soldiers, died in November 2003 in a suicide bombing against Italy’s base in Nasiriyah.

---This wars lies are coming undressed quicker than a three dollar hooker. THIS IS NOT THE DAYS OF NIXON...These men ALL underestimated The Information Revolution.---

Navy Judge Finds War Protest Reasonable
By Marjorie Cohn t r u t h o u t Report
Friday 13 May 2005

"I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal." -- Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant, presiding at Pablo Paredes' court-martial

In a stunning blow to the Bush administration, a Navy judge gave Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes no jail time for refusing orders to board the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard before it left San Diego with 3,000 sailors and Marines bound for the Persian Gulf on December 6th. Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant found Pablo guilty of missing his ship's movement by design, but dismissed the charge of unauthorized absence. Although Pablo faced one year in the brig, the judge sentenced him to two months' restriction and three months of hard labor, and reduced his rank to seaman recruit.

"This is a huge victory," said Jeremy Warren, Pablo's lawyer. "A sailor can show up on a Navy base, refuse in good conscience to board a ship bound for Iraq, and receive no time in jail," Warren added. Although Pablo is delighted he will not to go jail, he still regrets that he was convicted of a crime. He told the judge at sentencing: "I am guilty of believing this war is illegal.

I am guilty of believing war in all forms is immoral and useless, and I am guilty of believing that as a service member I have a duty to refuse to participate in this War because it is illegal."

Pablo maintained that transporting Marines to fight in an illegal war, and possibly to commit war crimes, would make him complicit in those crimes. He told the judge, "I believe as a member of the armed forces, beyond having a duty to my chain of command and my President, I have a higher duty to my conscience and to the supreme law of the land. Both of these higher duties dictate that I must not participate in any way, hands-on or indirect, in the current aggression that has been unleashed on Iraq."

Pablo said he formed his views about the illegality of the war by reading truthout.org, listening to Democracy Now!, and reading articles by Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Naomi Klein, Stephen Zunes, and Marjorie Cohn, as well as Kofi Annan's statements that the war is illegal under the UN Charter, and material on the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals.

I testified at Pablo's court-martial as a defense expert on the legality of the war in Iraq, and the commission of war crimes by US forces. My testimony corroborated the reasonableness of Pablo's beliefs. I told the judge that the war violates the United Nations Charter, which forbids the use of force, unless carried out in self-defense or with the approval of the Security Council, neither of which obtained before Bush invaded Iraq. I also said that torture and inhuman treatment, which have been documented in Iraqi prisons, constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and are considered war crimes under the US War Crimes Statute. The United States has ratified both the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions, making them part of the supreme law of the land under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

I noted that the Uniform Code of Military Justice requires that all military personnel obey lawful orders. Article 92 of the UCMJ says, "A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the laws of the United States...." Both the Nuremberg Principles and the Army Field Manual create a duty to disobey unlawful orders. Article 509 of Field Manual 27-10, codifying another Nuremberg Principle, specifies that "following superior orders" is not a defense to the commission of war crimes, unless the accused "did not know and could not reasonably have been expected to know that the act ordered was unlawful."

I concluded that the Iraq war is illegal. US troops who participate in the war are put in a position to commit war crimes. By boarding that ship and delivering Marines to Iraq - to fight in an illegal war, and possibly to commit war crimes - Pablo would have been complicit in those crimes. Therefore, orders to board that ship were illegal, and Pablo had a duty to disobey them.

On cross-examination, Navy prosecutor Lt. Jonathan Freeman elicited testimony from me that the US wars in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan also violated the UN Charter, as neither was conducted in self-defense or with the blessing of the Security Council. Upon the conclusion of my testimony, the judge said, "I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal."

The Navy prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Pablo to nine months in the brig, forfeiture of pay and benefits, and a bad conduct discharge. Lt. Brandon Hale argued that Pablo's conduct was "egregious," that Pablo could have "slinked away with his privately-held beliefs quietly."

The public nature of Pablo's protest made it more serious, according to the chief prosecuting officer.

But Pablo's lawyer urged the judge not to punish Pablo more harshly for exercising his right of free speech. Pablo refused to board the ship not, as many others, for selfish reasons, but rather as an act of conscience, Warren said.

"Pablo's victory is an incredible boon to the anti-war movement," according to Warren. Since December 6th, Pablo has had a strong support network. Camilo Mejia, a former Army infantryman who spent nine months in the brig at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for refusing to return to Iraq after a military leave, was present throughout Pablo's court-martial.

Tim Goodrich, co-founder of Iraq Veterans against the War, also attended the court-martial.

"We have all been to Iraq, and we support anyone who stands in nonviolent opposition," he said. Fernando Suárez del Solar and Cindy Sheehan, both of whom lost sons in Iraq, came to defend Pablo.

The night before his sentencing, many spoke at a program in support of Pablo. Mejia thanked Pablo for bringing back the humanity and doubts about the war into people's hearts. Sheehan, whose son, K.C., died two weeks after he arrived in Iraq, said, "I was told my son was killed in the war on terror. He was killed by George Bush's war of terror on the world."

Aidan Delgado, who received conscientious objector status after spending nine months in Iraq, worked in the battalion headquarters at the Abu Ghraib prison. Confirming the Red Cross's conclusion that 70 to 90 percent of the prisoners were there by mistake, Delgado said that most were suspected only of petty theft, public drunkenness, forging documents and impersonating officials. "At Abu Ghraib, we shot prisoners for protesting their conditions; four were killed," Delgado maintained. He has photographs of troops "scooping their brains out."

Pablo's application for conscientious objector status is pending. He has one year of Navy service left. If his C.O. application is granted, he could be released. Or he could receive an administrative discharge. Worst case scenario, he could be sent back to Iraq. But it is unlikely the Navy will choose to go through this again.

Hell Yeah whats new

The Selective War on Terror

Luis Posada Carriles, is, apparently, a very elusive character—at least to those who don't actually want to find him. The Cuban-born Venezuelan is the prime suspect in the 1979 bombing of a Cuban passenger plane. Venezuela is currently seeking his extradition. But Carriles doesn't have time to stand trial; he's too busy applying for asylum here in the U.S. And even though Carriles' lawyer has verified that he is here in America, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega remarked, "I don't even know that he is in the United States."

Why would the U.S. not want to pursue this suspected terrorist? Well, first off, he hates Castro. Which means Miami Cubans love him. Which likely means the President loves him too. And secondly, Carriles used to work for the CIA. Yup. Not only do declassified CIA and FBI documents reveal that Carriles worked for the U.S., they also reveal that an FBI informer "all but admitted" that Carriles was one of the two people who engineered the Cuban plane attack. In 1998, Carriles also had an interview with the New York Times in which he took responsibility for a series of hotel bombings in Havana. Judging from the dates in the documents, Carriles was no longer "working" for the U.S. government when he blew up the passenger flight or bombed hotels.

So the American government is going to send him to Venezuela stand trial, right? Well, not exactly. Apparently, they're still trying to find out whether or not Carriles is in the country, and after that, whether or not he should be granted asylum. According to the BBC, "U.S. officials say they have no evidence that Mr. Posada is in the country, and add that they would deal with an asylum application from him as they would any other." Any other? Any other terrorist who formerly worked for the CIA? But the government sure seems like it's stalling on the issue. Although if these officials are telling the truth and actually have no idea where Carriles is, that would be a disturbing comment on our ability to monitor terrorists at home. Terrorists who used to work for us, no less. You’d think we’d keep tabs on these guys.

And at the same, Congress is now ushering in ridiculous new rules that will make it that much harder for legitimate asylum seekers to enter the United States. It also seems intolerably ironic that Carriles is probably relaxing and drinking café cubano in Miami while this country is supposedly conducting a "war on terror." Last I heard, blowing up hotels and civilian aircrafts is still terrorism.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives 2005/05/the_selective_w.html

New recruiting posters and adverts may be appearing soon
Posted by Hello
US woos soldiers with early exit

Faced with a drastic shortage of recruits, the US Army has widened a scheme to offer would-be soldiers the option to sign up for just 15 months.

The minimum period a recruit can usually enlist for is four years.

But in an attempt to help recruiters meet their quotas, the army has announced the 15-month active service programme will be launched nationwide.

The recruiters have been struggling to meet targets as the Iraq war continues with ever-rising US casualties.

Targets missed

Chief of army recruiting Maj Gen Michael Rochelle admitted the military was encountering the "toughest recruiting climate we've ever faced in the all-volunteer army".

The army managed only 68% of its target in March and 73% in February, and provisional figures for April also showed a shortfall, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The last time a monthly quota was missed was in May 2000.>>>> continued


You know it Posted by Hello

Art for Everyone Posted by Hello
Saudi ire at Koran 'desecration'

Saudi Arabia has voiced "deep indignation" at reports that a copy of the Koran was desecrated at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Riyadh called for a quick investigation into the alleged incident and for the perpetrators to be punished.

It is the first Arab state to comment officially on the reports. Reaction in the Arab world has been muted.

On Thursday the US secretary of state promised prompt action if allegations of desecration prove true.

At least seven people have died in Afghanistan in anti-American protests sparked by the reports.

But Condoleezza Rice appealed to Muslims to resist calls for violence.

The US authorities say they are investigating the allegations.

But head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, told a Pentagon press conference that investigations so far had not turned up any evidence to back the claims.

Close US ally

"The government of Saudi Arabia is closely following, with indignation, media reports of desecration of the holy Koran at Guantanamo," a statement carried by the official news agency said.

Saudi Arabia "appeals to the concerned American authorities to carry out a quick investigation in the matter".

Riyadh "stresses that in case the reports were true, deterrent measures should be taken against those perpetrators to prevent its recurrence and to protect the sentiments of Muslims all over the world

Saudi Arabia is a close US ally. It is also home of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina in western Saudi Arabia, and sees itself as a leader of Muslims around the world.

Ms Rice said desecration was abhorrent and disrespect for the Koran would not be tolerated.
She urged Muslims in America and throughout the world to stop the violence.

"I am asking that all our friends around the world reject incitement to violence by those who would mischaracterise our intentions," she said.

"Disrespect for the holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States," she said.

Newsweek magazine first reported that interrogators at the US Guantanamo Bay prison had flushed at least one copy of the Koran down a toilet.

The US is holding about 520 inmates at Guantanamo Bay, many of them al-Qaeda and Taleban suspects captured in Pakistan and Afghanistan following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US and subsequent US-led invasion of Afghanistan.



War Crimes Investigation of Bush Sought by Congress

Do you know how long I have waited to type those words...?

Ranking Judiciary Democrat in House, along with others, call for special counsel on alleged U.S. 'war crimes'

Congressman John Conyers will be issuing a letter cosigned by roughly 50 House members calling for a special prosecutor to investigate claims that the U.S. has violated the War Crimes Act at secret detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, RAW STORY has learned.

The following letter will be issued shortly, as will the signatories.



May 12, 2005

The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

We are writing to request that you appoint a special counsel to investigate whether high-ranking officials within the Bush Administration violated the War Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. 2441, or the Anti-Torture Act, 18 U.S.C. 2340 by allowing the use of torture techniques banned by domestic and international law at recognized and secret detention sites in Iraq, Afghanistan Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

One year and 10 investigations after we first learned about the atrocities committed at Abu Ghraib, there has yet to be a comprehensive, neutral and objective investigation with prosecutorial authority of who is ultimately responsible for the abuses there and elsewhere. While more than 130 low-ranking officers and enlisted soldiers have been disciplined or face courts-martial for the abuses that occurred, there have been no criminal charges against high-ranking officials. Yet the pattern of abuse across several countries did not result from the acts of individual soldiers who broke the rules. It resulted from decisions made by senior U.S. officials to bend, ignore, or cast rules aside. If the United States is to wipe away the stain of Abu Ghraib, it needs to investigate those at the top who ordered or condoned torture. As a result, it is in our interest to finally show the world that we are taking these matters seriously and resolving them free of political taint.

Some of us previously asked Attorney General Ashcroft to appoint a special counsel to investigate these abuses on May 20, 2004. Unfortunately, we received no answer to our request. The need for a special counsel is now more important than ever as the Administration and military have repeatedly exonerated high-ranking officials, or declined to even investigate their actions, even as other official investigations linked the policy decisions by these officials to the crimes that occurred at Abu Ghraib. The Administration's haphazard and disjointed approach to these investigations appears to have insulated those in command and prevented a full account of the actions and abuses from being determined.

As you know, under Department of Justice regulations, the Attorney General must appoint a special counsel when (1) a "criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted," (2) the investigation "by a United States Attorney Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department," and (3) "it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter."1 In the present case, all three requirements have been met.

First, federal criminal laws are clearly implicated. The Anti-Torture Act criminalizes acts of torture - including attempts to commit torture and conspiracy to commit an act of torture - occurring outside the United States' territorial jurisdiction regardless of the citizenship of the perpetrator or victim.2 The Geneva Conventions generally prohibit "violence to life and persons," "outrages upon personal dignity," and "humiliating and degrading treatment."3 Violations of the Geneva Conventions also constitute a violation of U.S. federal criminal law under the War Crimes Act.4 The Administration has acknowledged on several occasions that the United States is bound by the Geneva Conventions with respect to Iraqi5 and Taliban prisoners,6 and that a violation of the Conventions would invite prosecution under the War Crimes Act.7 Numerous investigations have uncovered such violations. The Taguba report found instances of "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" of prisoners.8 The Army's Inspector General's report found 94 incidents of detainee abuse at detention sites in Afghanistan and Iraq.9 And, the Schlesinger report confirmed five instances in which detainees died as a result of abuse by U.S. personnel during interrogations.10 The repudiation of the August 2002 memorandum you wrote as White House Counsel in December of 2004 suggests even the Administration realizes its policies contributed to actions which violated federal criminal law.11

Therefore, given the Administration's concession that the Geneva Conventions apply to Iraqi and Taliban prisoners, given its concession in the Gonzalez memo that a violation of the Conventions would also constitute a violation of federal criminal law, and given the flagrant violations of the Conventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay which have been confirmed by official investigations, it is clear that a prima facie violation of federal criminal law exists. It is also evident that high-ranking Administration officials, including the Defense Secretary, as well as high-ranking military officials, may have authorized these actions and are potentially subject to criminal prosecution as well.

Second, there is an obvious conflict of interest. A special counsel is necessary not only because high-ranking Administration officials, including Cabinet members, are implicated, but also because you personally, and the Department of Justice generally, may have participated in this conspiracy to violate the War Crimes Act. It has been confirmed that the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, and you yourself as White House Counsel, encouraged the president to withhold Geneva Convention protections from Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay detainees. If the conflict of interest provisions in your regulations mean anything, it is that when the Attorney General may have contributed to the abuses that were committed, the Department of Justice has no business conducting the investigation and should instead turn to a special counsel.

Finally, there can be no doubt that the public interest will be served by a broad and independent investigation into both the allegations of abuse at U.S. detention sites as well as the role of high-ranking officials in authorizing and allowing these abuses. To date, a number of investigations into allegations of abuse at United States detention sites have been conducted, including ten official investigations. These investigations concluded that the leadership failure of officers such as Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, formerly the senior commander in Iraq, contributed to the prisoner abuse.

For example, the Army Inspector General and former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger found in separate reports that the policies issued by Lt. Gen. Sanchez and his subsequent actions once the abuses at Abu Ghraib were known contributed to the perpetration of these abuses. The Schlesinger investigation also found that other top military officials were responsible, concluding, "There is both institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels."12 Similarly, the Kern-Fay-Jones report concluded that the actions of Sanchez and his most senior deputies, such as Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, "did indirectly contribute" to some abuses.13 However, these inquiries were not empowered to impose punishments on those it found culpable, and they were not empowered to examine the role of high-ranking officials, including members of the Administration, in the perpetuation of these abuses.14 And, in spite of these findings, many of the reports refused to hold these high-ranking officials culpable. In fact,

The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales

Page Four

May 12, 2005

we recently learned the Army absolved four top officers, including Lt. Gen. Sanchez, of wrongdoing. To date, only one high-ranking military officer has been punished as a result of these inquiries, and many view her punishment as a mere slap on the wrist. As a result, it is not yet clear to the world that the United States is taking these abuses seriously.

The public interest demands we determine who is ultimately responsible for these abuses. While Private Lynndie England and other low-ranking officers have pled guilty, those who ordered and authorized their actions appear to have been protected by the military and this Administration. Because so many high level officials, including you, have been implicated in these events, the only way to ensure impartiality is through the appointment of a Special Counsel. Indeed, our nation's integrity is at stake. We must reassure the world that we will fairly and independently pursue legal violations wherever they occur.

We await your response on this important matter. At no point during this Administration has a Special Counsel been appointed.15 Please contact us through Perry Apelbaum or Ted Kalo of the Judiciary Staff at 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 if you have any questions about this request.


1. Rep. Tammy Baldwin
2. Rep. Sanford Bishop
3. Rep. Earl Blumenauer
4. Rep. Corrine Brown
5. Rep. Julia Carson
6. Rep. John Conyers
7. Rep. Elijah Cummings
8. Rep. A. Davis
9. Rep. S. Davis
10. Rep. Diana DeGette
11. Rep. Anna Eshoo
12. Rep. Barney Frank
13. Rep. Raul Grijalva
14. Rep. Luis Guitierrez
15. Rep. Maurice Hinchey
16. Rep. Michael Honda
17. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
18. Rep. Ron Kind
19. Rep. Dennis Kucinich
20. Rep. Barbara Lee
21. Rep. Zoe Lofgren
22. Rep. Carolyn Maloney
23. Rep. Betty McCollum
24. Rep. Jim McDermott
25. Rep. James McGovern
26. Rep. Gregory Meeks
27. Rep. James Moran
28. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
29. Rep. James Oberstar
30. Rep. John Olver
31. Rep. Frank Pallone
32. Rep. Donald Payne
33. Rep. Tom Price
34. Rep. Martin Sabo
35. Rep. Linda Sanchez
36. Rep. Bernard Sanders
37. Rep. Janice Schakowsky
38. Rep. Bobby Scott
39. Rep. Jose Serrano
40. Rep. Louise Slaughter
41. Rep. Hilda Solis
42. Rep. Fortney Stark
43. Rep. Ellen Tauscher
44. Rep. Mark Udall
45. Rep. Chris VanHollen
46. Rep. Maxine Waters
47. Rep. Diane Watson
48. Rep. Melvin Watt
49. Rep. Robert Wexler
50. Rep. Lynn Woolsey
51. Rep. David Wu

Art from the Past Posted by Hello

Art from the Past: posted for Christy Posted by Hello
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