Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, June 25, 2005


More outrage! Frank Rich's NYT column today:Rove pal Kenneth Tomlinson & co. ready to turn PBS & NPR into Bu$h propaganda outlets...

The Armstrong Williams NewsHourBy FRANK RICH
Published: June 26, 2005

snip~But this time the game is far more insidious and ingenious. The intent is not to kill off PBS and NPR but to castrate them by quietly annexing their news and public affairs operations to the larger state propaganda machine that the Bush White House has been steadily constructing at taxpayers' expense. If you liked the fake government news videos that ended up on local stations - or thrilled to the "journalism" of Armstrong Williams and other columnists who were covertly paid to promote administration policies - you'll love the brave new world this crowd envisions for public TV and radio.snip~Mr. Dorgan said it wasn't merely Mr. Moyers's show that was monitored but also the programs of Tavis Smiley and NPR's Diane Rehm.

Their guests were rated either L for liberal or C for conservative, and "anti-administration" was affixed to any segment raising questions about the Bush presidency. Thus was the conservative Republican Senator Chuck Hagel given the same L as Bill Clinton simply because he expressed doubts about Iraq in a discussion mainly devoted to praising Ronald Reagan. Three of The Washington Post's star beat reporters (none of whom covers the White House or politics or writes opinion pieces) were similarly singled out simply for doing their job as journalists by asking questions about administration policies.

"It's pretty scary stuff to judge media, particularly public media, by whether it's pro or anti the president," Senator Dorgan said. "It's unbelievable." snip~Then, on Thursday, a Rove dream came true: Patricia Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, ascended to the CPB presidency. In her last job, as an assistant secretary of state, Ms. Harrison publicly praised the department's production of faux-news segments - she called them "good news" segments - promoting American success in Afghanistan and Iraq. As The Times reported in March, one of those fake news videos ended up being broadcast as real news on the Fox affiliate in Memphis.snip~Mr. Tomlinson's real, not-so-hidden agenda is to enforce a conservative bias or, more specifically, a Bush bias.


Art For Girls.


WTF happened to the side bar..?

Remember Now..?
Iraq: The carve-up begins
Tom Burgis 23 June 2005

As the costs of the Iraq occupation spiral, British and American oil companies meet in secret next week to carve up the country's oil reserves for themselves. Tom Burgis reports
In the driving seat: with so much clear profit at stake, the question of who owns Iraq's biggest natural resource is hotly contended / GettyThe Iraq war has so far cost America and Britain £105billion. But the financial clawback is gathering pace as British and American oil giants work out how to get their hands on the estimated £3trillion worth of oil.

Executives from BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old firm, are expected to congregate at the Paddington Hilton for a two-day chinwag with top-level officials from Iraq's oil ministry. The gathering, sponsored by the British Government, is being described as the "premier event" for those with designs on Iraqi oil, and will go ahead despite opposition from Iraqi oil workers, who fear their livelihoods are being flogged to foreigners. The Met will be on hand to secure the venue ahead of the conference.

"This is a networking opportunity for UK businesses involved in Iraqi oil," explained Dr Hussain Rabia, managing director of the consultancy Entrac Petroleum Ltd. "We have the moral support of the UK government. They're bringing the guys over from Iraq, offering them visas. We expect all the big oil companies to be there," he said.

Delegate numbers are described as "confidential". Shell spokesman Simon Buerk would not confirm that a representative of the company would be attending, but said he "wouldn't be at all surprised if they were".

"We aspire to establish a long-term presence in Iraq," he said. "We have been helping the [Iraqi] Ministry of Oil and engineers with training."

Those who have purchased their £1,200 tickets can expect access to executives from Iraq's oil ministry, including Salem Razoky, the director general of exploration.

But Iraqi oil workers are furious about the conference. "The second phase of the war will be started by this conference carving up the industry," said an outraged Hasan Juma'a, head of the Iraqi General Union of Oil Employees. "It is about giving shares of Iraq to the countries who invaded it - they get a piece of the action as a reward. The British government will back this action in order to pay its debt in Iraq."


Hola from Mama

I want to thank the academy for....oh hell! that's not right.
I have accepted the invitation to contribute and I look forward to
hearing all comments. I warn everyone up front that I hate this
administration and all they stand for. I didn't teach my children
that lying was wrong just to have them accept the lies that these
people (excuse the expression) want to pass off as policy. But
levity also has it's place and I like a good laugh so prepare for
battle. Those of us who are about to blog salute you........film at 11


Sorry guys, I am so sorry that this has happened to your youngsters, I think you all know my thoughts on your president and his administration, you all know me well enough by now to know my reaction to what is happening, but this is not justified in any way. Please accept my Apologies only mine, for my Home State, because I cannot speak for anyone else. Im sorry.

God how I wish we would have won the election on November 2, not that I believe we did not win it, there is just the same illiterate moron living in the White House as president and Leader of the Free Word, who has resided there for the last four years much to my horror.

Kangaroo Brisbane Australia
Christy I worked at the St Lucia University for 10 yrs that housed American Girls, and My daughter lives next to the Griffith University, so this is very close to home for me. How has it all come to this.

Students quit over anti-US slurs
By Ainsley PaveyJune 26, 2005

AMERICAN students are quitting Queensland universities in the face of hate attacks by Australians angry at US President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.One university has launched an investigation into claims an American student returned to the US after suffering six months of abuse at a residential college in Brisbane.

American students have told The Sunday Mail the verbal attacks are unbearable and threatening to escalate into physical violence.

Griffith University student Ian Wanner, 19, from Oregon, said abusive Australian students had repeatedly called him a "sepo" – short for septic tank. "It is so disrespectful. It's not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere here," he said.

The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission has described the abuse as "horrible" and says it could be classed as racial vilification.

The abuse problem is so prevalent that US students are being given formal briefings before leaving home on how to cope with abusive Australians.

Mr Wanner said even female Australian students were verbally abusive. He warned the problem could "escalate into a very large brawl".

"There has already been confrontations between people," he said.

A female American student from Griffith, who wished to remain unnamed, said she had met some "exceptional" people in Australia – but was leaving this month in shock over her treatment.

She said she was desperate to go home after the slurs, which also spilled over at pubs in central Brisbane.

"They basically picked on me," she said. "At first, I thought it was a joke. Then I just had it out with them and told them I came here to be treated respectfully.

"I have had a few incidents in bars. I had a guy and he heard my accent and he said: 'I hate your president. I hate your country.' "

Another Griffith student has already returned to the US after enduring six months of abuse at the university's residential college in Brisbane.

All the students received counselling before arriving and were warned of the backlash against the US.

They said they were advised not to carry any items that would identify their nationality.
A postgraduate American student at the University of Queensland's St Lucia campus, in Brisbane's west, has also complained to the Australian-American Association of being "persecuted" and subjected to "name-calling" by Australian students.

Another American studying at UQ said attitudes towards him were "scary".

"It's unbelievable," he said. "It's been war. People are scared. It is hard to be an American in Australia at the moment, it is really hard. It varies with different people, but you have to be quiet and try not to draw attention to yourself."

Australian-American Association state president Marylou Badeaux said anti-American sentiment had reached a climax over the war in Iraq.

She said attacks from the general public were mostly sedate – but had grown into open hostility at several Queensland universities. In some cases, US students and academics were being "persecuted" for merely having an American accent.

"They are taking it out on people who may or may not agree but just because they have an American accent, they are being persecuted," she said.

Ms Badeaux said long-time US residents in Australia noticed attitudes towards them fluctuated with US Government policy. "It all depends on what the policies of the US government are at the time," she said.

Queensland Anti-Discrimination deputy commissioner Neroli Holmes said the alleged labelling of students as "sepos" could be classed as racial vilification under anti-discrimination laws.
Racial vilification included public comment which incited hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule of a person or group based on race or nationality. "It sounds quite horrible," Ms Holmes said.

Griffith University spokeswoman Nicola Collier-Jackson said an investigation had been launched into the American abuse claims.

She said the university had a zero-tolerance policy to harassment.

"We don't accept it at all. We will investigate it. We need to get to the bottom of it," she said.
The Colorado-based Australearn organisation – which teaches "cultural adjustment" to US students before they come to Australia – started warning in January of attitudes towards Americans over Iraq.

Australearn's Australian director, Shelia Houston, said the briefings aimed to give American students "coping strategies" in the face of an attack.

She said some students suffered culture shock because of the belief that everyone loved Americans. "We are giving them the heads up that it is a bit more heated because of the war in Iraq," Ms Houston said.




IS THIS MURDER Posted by Hello

Mark Kraft (http://insomnia.livejournal.com) writes:

Awhile back, a U.S. citizen working in Iraq sent me several photographs he obtained from a soldier in Iraq. Apparently, they had been passed along between several sources before reaching me. I felt that the pictures were particularly controversial and newsworthy, in that they appear to show U.S. soldiers planting weapons on Iraqi teenagers. As a result, I passed them on to Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker, who mentioned them in an interview on May 11, 2005.

After I did Abu Ghraib, I got a bunch of digital pictures emailed me, and -- was a lot of work on it, and I decided, well, we can talk about it later. You never know why you do things. You have some general rules, but in this case, a bunch of kids were going along in three vehicles. One of them got blown up. The other two units -- soldiers ran out, saw some people running, opened up fire. It was a bunch of boys playing soccer. And in the digital videos you see everybody standing around, they pull the bodies together. This is last summer. They pull the bodies together. You see the body parts, the legs and boots of the Americans pulling bodies together. Young kids, I don't know how old, 13, 15, I guess. And then you see soldiers dropping R.P.G.'s, which are rocket-launched grenades around them. And then they're called in as an insurgent kill.
Unfortunately, Mr. Hersh has no plans to go forward with the story at this time, citing the inconclusive nature of what happened, and the risk it could have to his sources. I, however, have no such ethical problem with releasing the pictures as is, as I think there is an overwhelming public interest that they be released. It should be up to the media and the general public to determine for themselves what occurred that day. (It's not for me to speculate too much upon Mr. Hersh's reasons for not going forward with the pictures. He has his reasons, which I assume are valid.)

They indicate that a group of U.S. soldiers planted weapons -- the same weapon, in fact -- in front of killed, wounded, and captured Iraqi kids. I cannot authenticate whether Mr. Hersh is correct and that the teens in question were innocent or not, but clearly, something significant is amiss. At the very least, it indicates how uncertain the situation is over there. Our soldiers literally do not know who the enemy is, and apparently are willing to manipulate the evidence in order to justify their actions.

The pictures were taken with a digital camera in Buhriz, Iraq on Oct. 22nd, 2004, and their file names are numbered, apparently from the digital camera in question. They show the basics for you: no weapons in the first photos, then weapons inserted into the pictures later. They also show pretty clearly that I didn't stage these pictures.

It appears to me that these teenagers are not insurgents, in that they showed no signs of having either weapons or wearing khafiyas, or headscarves, which are typically used as a kind of uniform by insurgents, as displayed in the Associated Press photos below. To me, the whole situation is indicative of the terrible uncertainty of the conflict, where everyone is a potential insurgent, and where that fear and uncertainty leads to a situation where U.S. soldiers try to manipulate the reality of the situation.

It's also worth noting that medical treatment was apparently not offered until shown in the later pictures, leading me to wonder whether the assistance, in itself, was part of the "staged" element of these photos.

Here is what I know happened with the incident in question:

A US patrol led by 1st Lt. Terry "T.J." Grider's platoon -- 1st Infantry Division troops based out of FOB Gabe -- were on a "movement to contact" mission -- basically trying to draw fire. At approximately 7:20 am, they were reportedly fired upon by small arms and RPGs while driving near Buhriz. A Captain Bill Coppernoll from the 1st Infantry Division told AFP that nine insurgents were killed and three wounded that day. A hospital from Ba'aquba reported that it received three dead and eight wounded from the fighting.

The dead appear to have been turned over within 48 hours to some other party -- I suspect one of the hospitals at Ba'aquba. Al Jazeera apparently had a reporter/photographer on the scene who took pictures of these teens prior to their funerals. Some of their clothes have been changed, possibly in preparation for their funerals. Figuring out from Al Jazeera what their reporter saw and what the locals told him would probably be very revealing as to what happened that day.

See the following links for details:
At least one of these Iraqi kids was "framed and arrested," so I think it's important that some kind of investigation be done to determine whether or not he is guilty of anything. He could still be rotting away in Abu Ghraib for all I know.

I've attached all the pictures I have available, named Buhriz 2004 22OCT 074-091. (#083 and #087 are missing for some reason, probably because the soldier who took the pictures didn't want to pass them on.) Please display them in that order.

Also, I attached photos "aljazeerabahraz1-4," which I found in a Google search at the time I originally researched this issue. The site that hosts these pictures is down now, but archive.org still has a mirror of them. It shows what is obviously several of the same teens. These should be shown after the other pictures, with their separate source explained.

(Cryptome added two Associated Press photos of the same time period. Cryptome notes under photos.)


Female Troops Face Hostile Fire in Iraq

Female Troops Face Hostile Fire in Iraq
Lethal Ambush in Fallujah Underscores Hardships of Keeping Women Away From Front Lines Combat

By FRANK GRIFFITHS Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq Jun 25, 2005 — The lethal ambush of a convoy carrying female U.S. troops in Fallujah underscored the difficulties of keeping women away from the front lines in a war where such boundaries are far from clear-cut. The suicide car bomb and ensuing small-arms fire killed at least two Marines and four others were missing and presumed dead. At least one woman was killed and 11 of 13 wounded were female.

The ambush late Thursday also suggested Iraqi insurgents may have regained a foothold in Fallujah, which has been occupied by U.S. and Iraqi forces since they regained control of the restive city from insurgents seven months ago.

The women were part of a team of Marines assigned to various checkpoints around Fallujah. The Marines use females at the checkpoints to search Muslim women "in order to be respectful of Iraqi cultural sensitivities," a military statement said. It is considered insulting for men to search female Muslims. >>>continued

The Most Cowardly War in History
By Arundhati Roy
World Tribunal on Iraq
Friday 24 June 2005

Opening Statement of Arundhati Roy on behalf of the jury of conscience of the world tribunal of Iraq.

Istanbul, Turkey - This is the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq. It is of particular significance that it is being held here in Turkey where the United States used Turkish air bases to launch numerous bombing missions to degrade Iraqs defenses before the March 2003 invasion and has sought and continues to seek political support from the Turkish government, which it regards as an ally. All this was done in the face of enormous popular opposition by the Turkish people. As a spokesperson for the jury of conscience, it would make me uneasy if I did not mention that the government of India is also, like the government of Turkey, positioning itself as a ally of the United States in its economic policies and the so-called War on Terror.

The testimonies at the previous sessions of the World Tribunal on Iraq in Brussels and New York have demonstrated that even those of us who have tried to follow the war in Iraq closely are not aware of a fraction of the horrors that have been unleashed in Iraq. >>>continued


Is America finally waking up from there
deep slumber Posted by Hello
World Tribunal for Iraq, Culminating Session Testimony

Istanbul, Turkey
25 June 2005

Thank you very much for inviting me to the Culminating Session of the
World Tribunal on Iraq. I first went to Iraq in November of 2003 as an
American citizen both frustrated and horrified by what my unelected
government was doing. I went to report on the situation because I was
deeply troubled by the “journalism” being provided by the corporate
media. At the time, as a frustrated mountain climber from Alaska working
as a journalist in Iraq, I never would have believed I would be
providing testimony to the World Tribunal on Iraq. I want to thank the
organizers for this opportunity. I am honored to be here in solidarity
with the Iraqi people.

In May of 2004 I interviewed a man who had just been released from Abu
Ghraib. Like so many I interviewed from various US military detention
facilities who’d been tortured horrifically, he still managed to
maintain his sense of humor.

He began laughing when telling me how CIA agents made him beat other
prisoners. He laughed, he said, because he had been beaten himself prior
to this, and was so tired that all he could do to beat other detained
Iraqis was lift his arm and let it drop on the other men.

Later, he laughed again as he told me what else had been done to him,
when he said, “The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they
brought it to my house.”

But this testimony is not about the indomitable spirit of the Iraqi
people. About the dignity and strength of Iraqis, we need no testimony.
This testimony is about ongoing violations of international law being
committed by the occupiers of Iraq on a daily basis in regards to
rampant torture, the neglect and obstruction of the health care sector
and the ongoing failure to allow Iraqis to reconstruct their infrastructure.

To discuss torture, there are many stories I could use here, but I’ll
use two examples indicative of scores of others I documented while in Iraq.

Ali Abbas lives in the Al-Amiriyah district of Baghdad and worked in
civil administration. So many of his neighbors were detained that
friends urged him to go to the nearby US base to try and get answers for
why so many innocent people were being detained. He went three times.

On the fourth he was detained himself. Within two days he was
transferred from the military base to Abu Ghraib, where he was held over
three months without charges before being released.

“The minute I got there, the suffering began,” said Abbas about his
interrogator, “I asked him for water, and he said after the
investigation I would get some. He accused me of so many things and
asked me so many questions. Among them he said I hated Christians.”

He was forced to strip naked shortly after arriving, and remained that
way for most of his stay in the prison. “They made us lay on top of each
other naked as if it was sex, and beat us with a broom,” he said. In
addition to being beaten on their genitals, detainees were also denied
water and food for extended periods of time, then were forced to watch
as their food was thrown in the trash.

Treatment also included having a loaded gun held to his head to prevent
him from crying out in pain as his hand-ties were tightened.

“My hands were enlarged because there was no blood because they cuffed
them so tight,” he told me, “My head was covered with the sack, and they
fastened my right hand to a pole with handcuffs. They made me stand on
my toes to clip me to it.”

Abbas said soldiers doused him in cold water while holding him under a
fan, and oftentimes, “They put on a loudspeaker, put the speakers on my
ears and said, “Shut Up, Fuck Fuck Fuck!” In this manner Abbas’s
interrogators routinely deprived him of sleep.

Abbas said that at one point, “Two men came, one a foreigner and one a
translator. He asked me who I was. I said I’m a human being. They told
me, ‘We are going to cut your head off and send you to hell. We will
take you to Guantanamo.’”

A female soldier told him, “Our aim is to put you in hell so you will
tell the truth. These are the orders we have from our superiors, to turn
your lives into hell.”

Abbas added, “They shit on us, used dogs against us, used electricity
and starved us.”

He told me, “Saddam Hussein used to have people like those who tortured
us. Why do they put Saddam into trial, but they do not put the Americans
to trial?”

But unlike Saddam Hussein, the US interrogators also desecrated Islam as
part of their humiliation.

Abbas was made to fast during the first day of Eid, the breaking of the
fast of Ramadan, which is haram (forbidden).

Sometimes at night when he would read his Koran, Abbas had to hold it in
the hallway for light. “Soldiers would walk by and kick the Holy Koran,
and sometimes they would try to piss on it or wipe shit on it,” he said.

Abbas did not feel this was the work of a few individual soldiers. “This
was organized, it wasn’t just individuals, and every one of the troops
in Abu Ghraib was responsible for it.”

Accounts by human rights groups support this. According to an April 2005
Human Rights Watch report, “Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg,
it’s now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over—from
Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where
the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a few other
places we don’t even know about.”

The report adds, “Harsh and coercive interrogation techniques such as
subjecting detainees to painful stress positions and extended sleep
deprivation have been routinely used in detention centers throughout
Iraq. An ICRC report concluded that in military intelligence sections of
Abu Ghraib, ‘methods of physical and psychological coercion used by the
interrogators appeared to be part of the standard operating procedures
by military intelligence personnel to obtain confessions and extract

Amnesty International has also released similar findings.

Other human rights groups report that US military doctors, nurses, and
medics have been complicit in torture and other illegal procedures such
as those administered to Sadiq Zoman.

55 year-old Zoman, detained from his home in Kirkuk in a raid by US
soldiers that produced no weapons, was taken to a police office in
Kirkuk, to the Kirkuk Airport Detention Center, the Tikrit Airport
Detention Center and finally to the 28th Combat Support Hospital, where
he was treated by Dr. Michael Hodges, a Lt. Col.

Lt. Col. Hodges’ medical report listed Zoman’s primary condition as
hypoxic brain injury (brain damage caused by lack of oxygen) “with
persistent vegetative state,” myocardial infarction (heart attack), and
heat stroke.”

After one month in custody, Zoman was dropped off in a coma at the
General Hospital in Tikrit by US soldiers. Zoman’s last name was listed
as his first name on the report, despite the fact that all of his
identification papers were taken during the raid on his home. Because of
this, it took his desperate family weeks to locate him in the hospital.

Hodges’s medical report did not mention the fact that the back of
Zomans’ head was bashed in, nor that he had electrical burn marks on the
bottoms of his feet and genitals, or why he had lash marks across his
back and chest.

Today he lies in bed still in a coma, and there has been no compensation
provided to his now impoverished family for what was done to Sadiq Zoman.

Another aspect I shall discuss is the catastrophic situation of the
health system in Iraq. I’ve recently released a report on the condition
of Iraq’s hospitals under occupation.

Although the Iraq Ministry of Health has supposedly gained its
sovereignty and received promises of over $1 Billion of US funding,
hospitals in Iraq continue to face ongoing medicine, equipment, and
staffing shortages under the US-led occupation.

During the 1990’s, medical supplies and equipment were constantly in
short supply because of the sanctions against Iraq. The war and
occupation brought promises of relief from effects of the sanctions, yet
hospitals have had little chance to recover and re-supply: instead, the
occupation has closely resembled a low-grade war since its inception. In
addition, allocation of resources by occupation authorities has been
dismal. Thus, throughout Baghdad there are ongoing shortages of
functional equipment and medicines of even the most basic items such as
analgesics, antibiotics, anesthetics and insulin. Surgical items and
even basic supplies like rubber gloves, gauze and medical tape are
running out.

In April 2004, an ICRC report stated that hospitals in Iraq are
overwhelmed with new patients, short of medicine and supplies and lack
both adequate electricity and water, with ongoing bloodshed stretching
the hospitals’ already meager resources to the limit.

Ample testimony from medical practitioners confirms this crisis. A
general practitioner at the prosthetics workshop at Al-Kena Hospital in
Baghdad, Dr. Thamiz Aziz Abul Rahman, said, “Eleven months ago we
submitted an emergency order for prosthetic materials to the Ministry of
Health, and still we have nothing.” After a pause he added, “This is
worse than even during the sanctions.”

Dr. Qasim al-Nuwesri, the chief manager at Chuwader General Hospital,
one of the two hospitals in the sprawling slum area of Sadr City,
Baghdad and home to 3 million people, added that they, too, faced a
shortage of most supplies and, most critically, of ambulances. But for
his hospital, the lack of potable water was the major problem. “Of
course we have typhoid, cholera, kidney stones…but we now even have the
very rare Hepatitis Type-E…and it has become common in our area,” said
al-Nuwesri, adding that they never faced these problems prior to the
invasion of 2003.

Chuwader hospital needs at least 2000 liters of water per day to
function with basic sterilization practices. According to Dr.
al-Nuwesri, they received 15% of this amount. “The rest of the water is
contaminated and causing problems, as are the electricity cuts,” added
al-Nuwesri, “Without electricity our instruments in the operating room
cannot work and we have no pumps to bring us water.”

At Fallujah General Hospital, Dr. Ahmed, who asked that only his first
name be used because he feared US military reprisals said of the April
2004 siege that “the Americans shot out the lights in the front of our
hospital. They prevented doctors from reaching the emergency unit at the
hospital, and we quickly began to run out of supplies and much needed
medications.” He also said that Marines kept the physicians in the
residence building several times, intentionally prohibiting them from
entering the hospital in order to treat patients.

In November, shortly after leveling Nazzal Emergency Hospital, US forces
entered Fallujah General Hospital, the city’s only healthcare facility
for trauma victims, detaining employees and patients alike. According to
medics on the scene, water and electricity were “cut off,” ambulances
targeted or confiscated by the US military, and surgeons, without
exception, kept out of the besieged city.

Hospital raids by US military and US-backed Iraqi forces now appear to
be standard operating procedure. On the 18th of this month, doctors at
the main hospital in Baquba went on strike, saying they are fed up with
constant abuse at the hands of aggressive Iraqi police and soldiers.

Dr. Mohammed Hazim in Baquba, pleaded for his governor to protect he and
his colleagues from “organized terrorism of the police and army.”

When wounded Iraqi security forces showed up demanding treatment, Dr.
Hussein told one of them he would require an x-ray. The doctor was told
to go to hell by the policeman he was treating and was then beaten. The
same policeman then ordered another police officer to put a bag over the
doctor’s head and take him away.

“Our security guards tried to stop them, telling them I was a doctor,
but they didn't listen and beat the security guards too,” he said, “Then
one of them put a gun to my head and threatened me.”

Similar behavior has been reported during the recent US-Iraqi military
operations in Haditha and Al-Qa’im. Doctors also recently went on strike
at the large Yarmouk Hospital in Baghdad in a very similar incident.

Many doctors in Iraq believe that the lack of assistance, if not
outright hostility, by the US military, coupled with the lack of
rebuilding and reconstruction by foreign contractors has compounded the
problems they are facing.

The former ambassador of Iraq Paul Bremer admitted that US led coalition
spending on the Iraqi Health system was inadequate when he said, “It’s
not nearly enough to cover the needs in the healthcare field.”

When asked if his hospital had received assistance from the US military
or reconstruction contractors, Dr. Sarmad Raheem, the administrator of
chief doctors at Al-Kerkh Hospital in Baghdad said, “Never ever. Some
soldiers came here five months ago and asked what we needed. We told
them and they never brought us one single needle…We heard that some
people from the CPA came here, but they never did anything for us.”

At Fallujah General Hospital, Dr. Mohammed said there has been virtually
no assistance from foreign contractors, and of the US military he
commented, “They send only bombs, not medicine.”

International aid has been stymied by the horrendous security situation
in Iraq. After the UN headquarters was bombed in Baghdad in August 2003,
killing 20 people, aid agencies and NGOs either reduced their staffing
or pulled out entirely.

With senior Iraqi doctors fleeing Iraq en masse for fear of being
kidnapped, interns and younger doctors are left to deal with the
catastrophic situation. The World Health Organization last year warned
of a health emergency in Baghdad, as well as throughout Iraq if current
conditions persist. But despite claims from the Ministry of Health of
more drugs, better equipment, and generalized improvement, doctors on
the ground still see “no such improvement.”

In conclusion, a quick summary of the overall situation on the ground in
Iraq is in order. Over two years into the illegal occupation, while Iraq
sits upon a sea of oil, ongoing gasoline shortages plague Iraqis who
sometimes wait 2 days to fill their cars. In a country where a long gas
line once meant a one-car wait, Iraqis who are lucky enough to afford it
now purchase black market petrol and hope that it is not watered down.

Electricity remains in short supply. Most of Iraq, including the
northern region, receives on average 3 hours of electricity per day
amidst the nearly non-existent reconstruction efforts. Even the better
areas of Baghdad receive only 6-8 hours per day, forcing those who can
afford them to use small generators to run fans and refrigerators in
their homes. Of course, this is only for those who’ve been able to
obtain the now rarefied gasoline.

The security situation is, needless to say, horrendous. With over
100,000 Iraqis killed thus far and the number of US soldiers killed
approaching 2,000, the violence only continues to escalate.

Since the new Iraqi so-called government was sworn in two months ago,
well over 1,000 Iraqis and over 165 US soldiers have died in the
violence. These numbers will only continue to escalate as the failed
occupation grinds on. As the heavy handed tactics of the US military
persist, the Iraqi resistance continues to grow in its number and lethality.

As I mentioned before, potable water remains in short supply. Cholera,
typhoid and other water-borne diseases are rampant even in parts of the
capital city as lack of reconstruction continues to plague Iraq’s
infrastructure. Raw sewage is common across not just Baghdad, but other
cities throughout Iraq.

With 70% unemployment, a growing resistance and an infrastructure in
shambles, the future for Iraq remains bleak as long as the failed
occupation persists. While the Bush Administration continues to
disregard calls for a timetable for withdrawal, Iraqis continue to
suffer and die with little hope for their future. With each passing day,
the catastrophe in Iraq resembles the US debacle in Vietnam more and more.

Dr. Wamid Omar Nadhmi, a senior political scientist at Baghdad
University who was invited to this tribunal, told me last winter, “It
will take Iraqis something like a quarter of a century to rebuild their
country, to heal their wounds, to reform their society, to bring about
some sort of national reconciliation, democracy and tolerance of each
other. But that process will not begin until the US occupation of Iraq

And it is now exceedingly clear that the only way the Bush
Administration will withdraw the US military from Iraq in order for
Iraqis to have true sovereignty is if they are forced to do so.

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** http://dahrjamailiraq.com **

When will it end, in the next 10 years? Posted by Hello
Check this one out Christy:

Tired of Shouting Into the Wind? Try Whispering.

Winter Patriot has launched a brilliant new DIY activist effort: The Whispering Campaign. It's very simple. WP has set up a website with a selection of short, succinct, printer-friendly articles detailing some nugget of unexplored or underplayed truth about our times; all you have to do is print them out -- and leave them in some public place for passers-by to find and read. As WP puts it: "Ideal locations include book stores, copy shops, libraries, train stations, buses, taxis, laundromats, grocery stores, hair salons, barber shops, rest rooms, gas stations, coffee shops, truck stops... use your imagination!"

It's real grass-roots stuff -- in fact, it reaches all the way down to the individual blade, a personal form of activism either to supplement collective action or to let each person carve a particular path. It's also a good way of reaching people outside the seething blogosphere or the media/political world in general -- the vast majority of the population, in other words.

So scoot on over to the Whispering Campaign and check it out. Start moving that mountain one grain at a time.

posted by Chris Floyd
Distant Mirror: Their Gulag -- and Ours

If anyone questions the designation of Bush's "terror war" prisons as a "gulag," show them this: Excerpts from Aleksander Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago," describing the primary interrogation methods used by the KGB torturers. Anyone with even a slight knowledge of the horror stories spilling from Gitmo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib and the others will instantly recognize the striking similarities between the old gulag and the new. No, the scale is not as great -- yet (although the global reach is in fact greater); but the sickening cruelty, the chilling moral nullity -- and most of the methods -- are exactly the same.

(From Remote Post, via Buzzflash)
posted by Chris Floyd

Code Green: The Permanent Occupation
Riverbend sends news from the front line of the occupation: the languishing civilian population of Iraq. And also these indications of a truth that, once again, everyone knows but is pretending not to know (until later, when the memos come out, and they say, hey, it's old news, we knew it all the time)


The price of building materials has gone up unbelievably, in spite of the fact that major reconstruction has not yet begun. I assumed it was because so much of the concrete and other building materials was going to reinforce the restricted areas. A friend who recently got involved working with an Iraqi subcontractor who takes projects inside of the Green Zone explained that it was more than that. The Green Zone, he told us, is a city in itself. He came back awed, and more than a little bit upset. He talked of designs and plans being made for everything from the future US Embassy and the housing complex that will surround it, to restaurants, shops, fitness centers, gasoline stations, constant electricity and water- a virtual country inside of a country with its own rules, regulations and government. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Republic of the Green Zone, also known as the Green Republic.

“The Americans won’t be out in less than ten years.” Is how the argument often begins with the friend who has entered the Green Republic. “How can you say that?” Is usually my answer- and I begin to throw around numbers- 2007, 2008 maximum… Could they possibly want to be here longer? Can they afford to be here longer? At this, T. shakes his head- if you could see the bases they are planning to build- if you could see what already has been built- you’d know that they are going to be here for quite a while.

The Green Zone is a source of consternation and aggravation for the typical Iraqi. It makes us anxious because it symbolises the heart of the occupation and if fortifications and barricades are any indicator- the occupation is going to be here for a long time. It is a provocation because no matter how anyone tries to explain or justify it, it is like a slap in the face. It tells us that while we are citizens in our own country, our comings and goings are restricted because portions of the country no longer belong to its people. They belong to the people living in the Green Republic.

posted by Chris Floyd

DOG TAGS, BODY BAGS Insurgents Hmmmmm
The pictures attached in this compressed file are off footage taken in the province of Ramadi -Iraq at a site that belongs to the Iraqi ministry of agriculture and was used until the end of January 2004 by the U.S. occupation forces as a military base. Due to the continuous attacks by the Iraqi Resistance, the enemy troops were forced to leave. on the 20th of February a scouting group visited the site and it's surrounding area to confirm the lack of enemy activity in this area. During the mission the personnel noticed a lot of dogs & wolfs in this desolate area digging & sniffing the grounds. After a closer look, tracks & markings of heavy vehicles were discovered along with trenches and digging area that were left unattended. Further exploration of the site revealed the infamous black body bags that we in Iraq have heard so many rumors about. In these bags we found the dead bodies or leftovers of dead soldiers who died as a result of direct hits to the head and chest areas by bullets or shrapnel. These bodies have been buried for a few months only, & are definitely soldiers who belong to the occupying forces. They are soldiers who have been striped of all their clothes & IDs. in order to avoid their identification if discovered. A large number of bodies have been discovered & have been removed from the sites where they were found & relocated in places only known to our active personnel. These bodies have been relocated for the sole purpose of uncovering the mass deception & lies that the U.S. administration & the British government have carried out since the beginning of this conflict. These bodies will be handed over to the Red Cross at the suitable time in order to be returned to their families for proper burial. The above statement is being released by the Iraqi Islamic Army, one of the active factions that are resisting the occupying forces led by the United States & Britain. Further information will be released at the appropriate time.
The Iraqi Islamic Army.
Baghdad - Iraq on the 7th of March 2004
Posted by Hello

The Detection of Sixteen Dead Bodies in A mass Grave in Falluja
probably belong to American soldiers who were buried in a ditch in the North West sector of the city.
Posted by Hello

A nother mass Grave in Ramadi

The Detection of Sixteen Dead Bodies in A mass Grave in Fallujaprobably belong to American soldiers who were buried in a ditch in the North West sector of the city.

Eye witnesses in Falluja have claimed this morning (Wednesday, September 22) that some civilians have detected a mass grave in the north western sector of the city containing the bodies of sixteen people of foreign appearance.

The witnesses have informed the correspondent of the German News Agency that the inhabitants of that area have detected a grave this morning at 11 a.m. local time which contained the dead bodies of 16 foreigners who have recently been killed and probably belong to American soldiers who were buried in a ditch in the North West sector of the city.

The witnesses have clarified that the identity of the dead bodies which were hitherto remained unidentified, were found to be dressed in addresses similar to those worn by local Fallujians. The style of their haircut indicated that the dead were military personnel and the colour of the hair and the face appearances suggested that they were foreigners.

The way by which these people were killed is so far unclear. An eye witness has said that the grave was detected when the local people have smelled a bad odour in the surrounding which urged them to dig up the place in order to reveal the source of the unpleasant smells.

The witnesses have also added that the local police have arrived to the scene and have prevented the civilians and journalist from approaching the grave and photographing the dead bodies.


These babies deserve an inquiry Posted by Hello

Why no inquiry Posted by Hello
background informationstories of the deadpdf versions of the placards to downloadpress release
19 September 2003

This event was held from 6.30-8pm, Parliament Square, opposite the Houses of Parliament. It was an event to mark six months since the invasion of Iraq, to remember all those killed as a result - Iraqi civilians and soldiers, British and American soldiers, journalists and civilian/NGO staff - and to tell the stories of a tiny fraction of these individuals. It called for the US/UK to be held responsible for their criminal invasion and demand an end to the US/UK military occupation.


Mazen Dana

Mazen Dana (43) was a cameraman for Reuters. For seven years he covered one of the most dangerous beats in the world: his hometown Hebron in the Occupied West Bank and in 2001 was awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Dana was shot dead by US soldiers outside Abu Ghraib prison on August 17th. Stephan Breitner, of France 2 television, told the Guardian: "We were all there for at least half an hour. They knew we were journalists. After they shot Mazen, they aimed their guns at us. I don't think it was an accident. They are very tense. They are crazy."
Mazen Dana is survived by his wife, Suzana and four children.
Posted by Hello

What They Are Hiding

26 August 2003


A REUTERS cameraman was deliberately killed by US troops after he filmed them digging a mass grave, his brother claims.

Mazen Dana, 43, was shot dead by a US tank as he filmed outside an American-run Baghdad prison.

The US army has insisted that in a "terrible tragedy" his camera was mistaken for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

But Nazmi Dana said: "The US troops killed my brother in cold blood.

"Mazen told me by phone a few days before his death that he discovered a mass grave dug by US troops to conceal the bodies of their fellow comrades killed in Iraqi resistance attacks.

"US forces knowingly killed him to prevent him from airing his finding."

Friday, June 24, 2005

http://www.morethananumber.org/ Please sign the guest book Posted by Hello


Posted: 12:08 AEST
Three female US soldiers killed in Iraq attack
Three females are among the six US marines killed in a suicide attack in Iraq.

Posted: 02:11 AEST
Six US troops presumed dead in Iraq attack: official
Two United States Marines have been killed and three other Marines and a US sailor were also presumed killed in a powerful suicide car bomb attack on a US convoy, a US military official said.

Posted: 00:00 AEST
Bush says 'don't worry' about Iraq timetable
US President George W Bush has told Iraq's prime minister he will set no timetables for withdrawing troops from Iraq and acknowledged that the road ahead will not be easy.

Posted: 13:35 AEST
Iraq insurgency 'as strong as ever'
The top US military commander in the Middle East says the insurgency in Iraq has not grown weaker, despite a recent assessment by US Vice President Dick Cheney that the insurgency was in its last throes.

Posted: 06:31 AEST
Rumsfeld rules out deadline for troop withdrawal
US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld has refused to give a Senate committee a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.




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Please click here for Press Release
Date: June 23rd, 2005, Time: 11.00 a.m.,
Place: Darphane-i Amire (Topkapi Palace)
Speakers: Richard Falk, Prof. International Law; Müge G.
Sökmen, WTI Istanbul Coordination; Hilal Küey, İzmir Bar Association; Hülya Üçpınar, İzmir Bar Association; Kazım Kolcuoğlu,
İstanbul Bar Association

Culminating Session in Istanbul, 23-27 June

The Tribunal will consist of three days of hearings investigating various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media, as well as the destruction of the cultural sites and the environment. The session in Istanbul is the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence about the invasion and the occupation.

Click here for the names of the jury of conscience

Programme of HearingsPlace: Darphane-i AmirePlease click on names to read speaker profiles and click on presentation titles to read the abstracts. Full speeches will be uploaded after they are presented.

DAY ONE, 24 JUNE 2005 >>>>>continued


This is our Democracy; Hellooooo Posted by Hello
We sure as hell liberated these Kids didn't we, take note America Australia and Great Britian

Iraqi students say arrested for wearing jeans
By Khaled Farhan
Fri Jun 24,12:52 PM ET

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - Students in the Shi'ite Muslim religious Iraqi city of Najaf said that police recently arrested and beat several of them for wearing jeans and having long hair

They arrested us because of our hair and because we were wearing jeans," said student Mohammed Jasim, adding that the arrests took place two weeks ago in the city, the spiritual heart of Iraq name newly dominant Shi'ite majority.

"They beat us in front of the people. Then they took us to their headquarters, beat us again, shaved our heads and tore our clothes.

"When we asked what we had done, they said that we had no honor," he told Reuters this week.
Police in Najaf, a conservative city that some residents say has grown more so since
Saddam Hussein' was overthrown two years ago and religious Shi'ites gained greater power in Iraq, disputed the students' version of events.

"We didn't oppress any freedoms. We detained them for a while and after we knew that they were students, we released them after they pledged they wouldn't do it again," Colonel Najah Yasir told Reuters.

Yasir commands the Tho Alfakar Brigade, a unit whose name refers to Imam Ali, son-in-law of Islam's Prophet Mohammad, whose shrine is the centerpiece of Najaf.

Yasir said the brigade had received complaints from locals in the old part of Najaf that young men were gathering in the streets and acting "improperly."

He declined to elaborate on their "improper acts."

Earlier this week, Najaf's Youth Association delivered a statement to political parties denouncing the arrests and calling them a violation of rights.

Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, is holy to Shi'ites and home to many religious scholars, some of whom have a growing political role as spiritual leaders of the community that was oppressed under Saddam.

Throughout the Shi'ite south of Iraq over the past two years, alcohol salesmen and others deemed to trade in goods that violate Islam have been harassed by militants.

But it is not only in Shi'ite areas that religion plays an increasingly influential role in society.

In Falluja, a Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad that was until recently a stronghold of insurgents, there were efforts last year to instill a strict religious code similar to that enforced by the Taliban in Afganistan.

Several residents said they were beaten for violating it.

John Kerry

Just hours after learning about an outrageous speech delivered by Karl Rove, President Bush's most senior advisor, I went to the Senate floor -- and I spoke from my heart. I want to share those words with you -- not as a Democrat or Republican, not as a liberal or conservative -- but as an American.

I've attached part of my speech to the end of this email. But, before you read what I said, look again at what Karl Rove said:

(P)erhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.

I hope you will join me right now in signing an open letter to the President urging him to thoroughly reject Karl Rove's purposeful attack on the patriotism of those who dare ask the tough questions that best protect American troops. Sign our open letter to President Bush now:


This isn't the first time that Karl Rove and other White House officials have sought to divide America in ways that make it harder to keep our country safe and our democracy strong. But, it should be the last. That's why I ended my speech with a call on President Bush to fire Karl Rove.

It is the only way the President can make it clear that he rejects Rove's effort to distort one of the most unified and patriotic moments in American history into a cheap, divisive, political applause line.

That, of course, is what is most outrageous about Karl Rove's claim that President Bush's political opponents offered "therapy and understanding for our attackers." It isn't true.

In the days after 9/11, there were no Democrats, no Republicans. We were all Americans, standing together. President Bush acknowledged that unity in a clear and compelling way at the time.

Now, Karl Rove is purposely twisting those days of unity in order to divide us for political gain. I hope you will act right now to join a growing chorus of Americans calling on the President to fire Karl Rove.

Please act right now. Sign our open letter to the President and pass it on to others. All Americans have to speak with one powerful voice in response to this outrage. I will continue speaking out and I know I can count on you to stand with me.

John Kerry

Make America Safe, Not Divided Excerpts of remarks by Senator John Kerry on the Senate floor on Thursday, June 23.

"None of us here will ever forget the hours after September 11... and the remarkable response of the American people as we came together as one to answer the attack on our homeland.... [I]t brought out the best of all of us in America.

That spirit of our country should never be reduced to a cheap, divisive political applause line from anyone who speaks for the President of the United States.

I am proud, as my colleagues on this side are, that after September 11, all of the people of this country rallied to President Bush's call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats, there were no Republicans, there were only Americans. That is why it is really hard to believe that last night in New York... the most senior adviser to the President of the United States [was] purposely twisting those days of unity in order to divide us for political gain.

Rather than focusing attention on Osama bin Laden and finding him or rather than focusing attention on just smashing al-Qaida and uniting our effort, as we have been, he is, instead, challenging the patriotism of every American who is every bit as committed to fighting terror as is he.

Just days after 9/11, the Senate voted 98 to nothing, and the House voted 420 to 1, to authorize President Bush to use all necessary and appropriate force against terror. And after the bipartisan vote, President Bush said: "I'm gratified that the Congress has united so powerfully by taking this action. It sends a clear message. Our people are together and we will prevail."
That is not the message that was sent by Karl Rove in New York City last night. Last night, he said: "No more needs to be said about" their "motives."

I think a lot more needs to be said about Karl Rove's motives because they are not the people's motives... They are not the motives of a nation that found unity in that critical moment--Democrat and Republican alike, all of us as Americans.

If the President really believes his own words, if those words have meaning, he should at the very least expect a public apology from Karl Rove. And frankly, he ought to fire him. If the President of the United States knows the meaning of those words, then he ought to listen to the plea of Kristen Breitweiser, who lost her husband when the Twin Towers came crashing down. She said: "If you are going to use 9/11, use it to make this nation safer than it was on 9/11."
Karl Rove doesn't owe me an apology and he doesn't owe Democrats an apology. He owes the country an apology. He owes Kristen Breitweiser and a lot of people like her, those families, an apology. He owes an apology to every one of those families who paid the ultimate price on 9/11 and expect their government to be doing all possible to keep the unity of their country and to fight an effective war on terror.

The fact is, millions of Americans...are asking Washington for honesty, for results, and for leadership--not for political division. Before Karl Rove delivers another political assault, he ought to stop and think about those families and the unity of 9/11.
Shame on you Sen Dick Durbin to apologise to this scum

White House 'Puzzled' Over Rove Flap

WASHINGTON — A White House official said Friday the administration finds it "somewhat puzzling" that Democrats are demanding presidential adviser Karl Rove's (search) apology or resignation for implying that liberals are soft on terrorism.

"I think Karl was very specific, very accurate, in who he was pointing out," communications director Dan Bartlett (search) said. "It's touched a chord with these Democrats. I'm not sure why."

Congressional Republicans earlier joined the White House in standing solidly behind Rove, saying he shouldn't apologize and that he was outlining a philosophical divide between a president who sought to win the war on terrorism by taking the fight to the enemy and Democrats who questioned that approach.

The controversy, fought out in hearings, floor speeches and news conferences Thursday on Capitol Hill (search), was the latest of several highly contentious battles that have soured the already highly partisan atmosphere.

Earlier this week Sen. Dick Durbin (search), D-Ill., apologized after being hit with a chorus of attacks from Republicans about comments in which he compared detainee treatment at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay (search), Cuba, to the actions of Nazis and other repressive regimes.


Australian Outback Posted by Hello
49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War
44% Say Hussein

June 23, 2005--Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that President Bush is more responsible for starting the War with Iraq than Saddam Hussein. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 44% take the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the responsibility.
In late 2002, months before the fighting began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the War. Just one-in-four thought the President was doing the provoking at that time.

The biggest change in perceptions has come among Democrats.

In 2002, the party of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi was divided on this point. By a 49% to 34% margin, liberal Democrats at the time said Bush bore most of the responsibility. Conservative Democrats placed the blame on Hussein by a 54% to 30% margin.

Now, however, 78% of all Democrats say that Bush is more responsible for starting the War than Hussein. Just 18% take the opposite view.

Republicans, by a 76% to 17% margin, say that Hussein is responsible.

Among those not affiliated with either major party, 52% name Bush and 34% Hussein.
Demographic details available for Premium Members.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Our publications provide real-time information on consumer confidence, investor confidence, employment data, the political situation, and other topics of value and interest.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

Italy Judge Orders Arrest of 13 CIA Agents
By AIDAN LEWIS Associated Press Writer

ROME (AP) -- An Italian judge on Friday ordered the arrests of 13 CIA officers for secretly transporting a Muslim preacher from Italy to Egypt as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts - a rare public objection to the practice by a close American ally.

The Egyptian was spirited away in 2003, purportedly as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program in which terror suspects are transferred to third countries without court approval, subjecting them to possible torture.

The arrest warrants were announced Friday by the Milan prosecutor's office, which has called the disappearance a kidnapping and a blow to a terrorism investigation in Italy. The office said the imam was believed to belong to an Islamic terrorist group.

The 13 are accused of seizing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, on a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003, and sending him to Egypt, where he reportedly was tortured, Milan prosecutor Manlio Claudio Minale said in a statement

The U.S. Embassy in Rome and the CIA in Washington declined to comment.

The prosecutor's statement did not name the suspects, give their nationalities or mention the CIA by name. But an Italian official familiar with the investigation confirmed newspaper reports Friday that the suspects worked for the CIA.

The official also said there was no evidence Italians were involved or knew about the operation. He asked that his name not be used because official comment was limited to the prosecutor's statement

AFX News Limited US acknowledges torture at Guantanamo; in Iraq, Afghanistan - UN

06.24.2005, 11:37 AM GENEVA (AFX) - Washington has, for the first time, acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.

The acknowledgement was made in a report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, said a member of the ten-person panel, speaking on on condition of anonymity.

'They are no longer trying to duck this and have respected their obligation to inform the UN,' the Committee member said.

'They they will have to explain themselves (to the Committee). Nothing should be kept in the dark,' he said.

UN sources said this is the first time the world body has received such a frank statement on torture from US authorities.

The Committee, which monitors respect for the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, is gathering information from the US ahead of hearings in May 2006.

Signatories of the convention are expected to submit to scrutiny of their implementation of the 1984 convention and to provide information to the Committee.

The document from Washington will not be formally made public until the hearings.


Larisa Alexandrovna - Raw Story Staff

Senator Kerry (D - MA) sends letter to Senate Intelligence Committee pressing for answers on the Downing Street Memo and other Downing documents. The letter leaked to Raw Story, is also signed by Senators Johnson, Corzine, Reed, Lautenberg, Boxer, Kennedy, Harkin, Bingaman, and Durbin. The text of the letter is below.

The Honorable Pat Roberts, Chairman
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller,
IV, Vice Chairman United States Senate Select Committee on IntelligenceSH-211 Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Roberts and Senator Rockefeller:

We write concerning your committee's vital examination of pre-war Iraq intelligence failures. In particular, we urge you to accelerate to completion the work of the so-called "Phase II" effort to assess how policy makers used the intelligence they received.

Last year your committee completed the first phase of a two-phased effort to review the pre-war intelligence on Iraq. Phase I-begun in the summer of 2003 and completed in the summer of 2004-examined the performance of the American intelligence community in the collection and analysis of intelligence prior to the war, including an examination of the quantity and quality of U.S. intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the intelligence on ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and terrorist groups. At the conclusion of Phase I, your committee issued an unclassified report that made an important contribution to the American public's understanding of the issues involved.

In February 2004-well over a year ago-the committee agreed to expand the scope of inquiry to include a second phase which would examine the use of intelligence by policy makers, the comparison of pre-war assessments and post-war findings, the activities of the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) and the Office of Special Plans in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and the use of information provided by the Iraqi National Congress.>>>continued


6 Americans killed in Iraq car bombing
At least three were women, worst single-day toll for servicewomen

Posted by Hello
6 Americans killed in Iraq car bombing
At least three were women, worst single-day toll for servicewomen
U.S. troops check the site of a suspected roadside bomb in Baghdad on Friday.
NBC News and news services
Updated: 1:55 p.m. ET June 24, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber slammed into a 7-ton U.S. military vehicle in Fallujah, killing five Marines and a Navy sailor, Marine Corps sources told NBC News, adding that at least three of the dead were female Marines and that 13 others were wounded.

A review of casualty records indicates the attack is the single deadliest toll for female servicemembers in Iraq. Since the war started, 44 servicewomen have died in attacks or in accidents while in Iraq.

The vehicle, which had 19 people on board, was ferrying members of a U.S. military civil affairs team headed to perform checkpoint searches of female Iraqi civilians when it was attacked Thursday night, the sources said.

The official Marine Corps statement said at least two Marines were killed, and indicated that four more had died as well.

"Three Marines and a sailor believed to be in the vehicle are currently listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown pending a positive identification" of the bodies, the statement said.
Victims based at Camp LeJeuneThe team was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force, which is based at Camp LeJeune, N.C.

No further information was immediately available. >>>continued


What a Bitch.

The Outer Of DSM Explains What HE Sees

The Real News in the Downing Street Memos

By Michael Smith, Michael Smith writes on defense issues for the Sunday Times of London.

It is now nine months since I obtained the first of the "Downing Street memos," thrust into my hand by someone who asked me to meet him in a quiet watering hole in London for what I imagined would just be a friendly drink.

At the time, I was defense correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph, and a staunch supporter of the decision to oust Saddam Hussein. The source was a friend. He'd given me a few stories before but nothing nearly as interesting as this.

The six leaked documents I took away with me that night were to change completely my opinion of the decision to go to war and the honesty of Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush.

They focused on the period leading up to the Crawford, Texas, summit between Blair and Bush in early April 2002, and were most striking for the way in which British officials warned the prime minister, with remarkable prescience, what a mess post-war Iraq would become. Even by the cynical standards of realpolitik, the decision to overrule this expert advice seemed to be criminal.

The second batch of leaks arrived in the middle of this year's British general election, by which time I was writing for a different newspaper, the Sunday Times. These documents, which came from a different source, related to a crucial meeting of Blair's war Cabinet on July 23, 2002. The timing of the leak was significant, with Blair clearly in electoral difficulties because of an unpopular war.

I did not then regard the now-infamous memo — the one that includes the minutes of the July 23 meeting — as the most important. My main article focused on the separate briefing paper for those taking part, prepared beforehand by Cabinet Office experts.

It said that Blair agreed at Crawford that "the UK would support military action to bring about regime change." Because this was illegal, the officials noted, it was "necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action."

But Downing Street had a "clever" plan that it hoped would trap Hussein into giving the allies the excuse they needed to go to war. It would persuade the U.N. Security Council to give the Iraqi leader an ultimatum to let in the weapons inspectors.

Although Blair and Bush still insist the decision to go to the U.N. was about averting war, one memo states that it was, in fact, about "wrong-footing" Hussein into giving them a legal justification for war.

British officials hoped the ultimatum could be framed in words that would be so unacceptable to Hussein that he would reject it outright. But they were far from certain this would work, so there was also a Plan B.

American media coverage of the Downing Street memo has largely focused on the assertion by Sir Richard Dearlove, head of British foreign intelligence, that war was seen as inevitable in Washington, where "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

But another part of the memo is arguably more important. It quotes British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon as saying that "the U.S. had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime." This we now realize was Plan B.

Put simply, U.S. aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone were dropping a lot more bombs in the hope of provoking a reaction that would give the allies an excuse to carry out a full-scale bombing campaign, an air war, the first stage of the conflict.

British government figures for the number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq in 2002 show that although virtually none were used in March and April, an average of 10 tons a month were dropped between May and August.

But these initial "spikes of activity" didn't have the desired effect. The Iraqis didn't retaliate. They didn't provide the excuse Bush and Blair needed. So at the end of August, the allies dramatically intensified the bombing into what was effectively the initial air war.

The number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq by allied aircraft shot up to 54.6 tons in September alone, with the increased rates continuing into 2003.

In other words, Bush and Blair began their war not in March 2003, as everyone believed, but at the end of August 2002, six weeks before Congress approved military action against Iraq.

The way in which the intelligence was "fixed" to justify war is old news.

The real news is the shady April 2002 deal to go to war, the cynical use of the U.N. to provide an excuse, and the secret, illegal air war without the backing of Congress.

Art For Boys.

Americans Fault Bush

49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War
44% Say Hussein

June 23, 2005--Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say that President Bush is more responsible for starting the War with Iraq than Saddam Hussein. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 44% take the opposite view and believe Hussein shoulders most of the responsibility.

In late 2002, months before the fighting began, most Americans thought that Hussein was the one provoking the War. Just one-in-four thought the President was doing the provoking at that time.

The biggest change in perceptions has come among Democrats.
In 2002, the party of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi was divided on this point. By a 49% to 34% margin, liberal Democrats at the time said Bush bore most of the responsibility. Conservative Democrats placed the blame on Hussein by a 54% to 30% margin.

Now, however, 78% of all Democrats say that Bush is more responsible for starting the War than Hussein. Just 18% take the opposite view.

Republicans, by a 76% to 17% margin, say that Hussein is responsible.

Among those not affiliated with either major party, 52% name Bush and 34% Hussein.

Demographic details available for Premium Members.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Our publications provide real-time information on consumer confidence, investor confidence, employment data, the political situation, and other topics of value and interest.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

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