May, 2004

NOTE: Information regarding the WMD lies and other matters directly related to the prior stage of the war is available at Iraq Antiwar Resources. Also there are antiwar songs, poetry, video, statements of famous people, and much more.
My comments written in response to the Nic Berg murder is available on Retribution or Reflection (ZNet) and Information Clearinghouse [The ZNet version contains a few additional edits.]. My commentary on the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison puts it in the context of the dynamics of occupation. I believe it make important points that aren't being made elsewhere. It has been posted on ZNet: Abuse at Abu Ghraib, the Psychodynamics of Occupation, and the Responsibility of Us All. See also my prior piece: Security, Terror, and the Psychodynamics of Empire.

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Dahr Jamail reports that life in Iraq gets worse by the day: Disintegration.

A man has been selected by the IGC as the president whom every single Iraqi I know thinks is an absolute bastard.

Fighting over who will head the largely powerless "sovereign" government: Council defies US over top job choice.

Mark Danner has a two-part series in the New York Review of Books analyzing the reaction to the Abu Ghraib scandal: Torture and Truth and The Logic of Torture.

Warning! Cover-Up in Progress! Newsweek uses the "C word": Cover-Up: The Abu Ghraib Scandal Cover-Up?: Bush insists that 'a few American troops' dishonored the country. But prisoner abuse was more widespread, and some insiders believe that much remains hidden. They point out the absurdity of having the Pentagon and the administration investigate themselves. These investigations serve the primary function of protecting the top officials:

Maj. Gen. George Fay, the No. 2 in Army Military Intelligence, is in charge of the probe into whether his own intel officers directed the MPs to abuse prisoners. But so far Fay has questioned no one above the rank of colonel, military and other sources say....
et no officer above General Fay's rank is likely to have to worry about the conclusions of his investigation. Under military doctrine, Fay, as a two-star general, "can only hold a one-star accountable," says an Army general familiar with such investigations....
"It would be difficult for Fay even to question Sanchez," says Silliman. In fact, none of the five investigations the military itself is now conducting is aimed higher up the chain of command than Sanchez.

Warning! Cover-Up in Progress! Military Completed Death Certificates for 20 Prisoners Only After Months Passed.

The officials acknowledge they are not even sure how many deaths have occurred in American custody.

"New" Iraqi government will be the same old same old: Politicians Taking Top Interim Roles in Iraq: U.N. Envoy Had Sought Technocrats (Washington Post) and A Worn Road for U.N. Aide {New York Times}.

Every child needs his toys! Makes him feel like a grown-up! Bush has Saddam gun as souvenir.

back to the future: Iraq's new leader to recruit some of Saddam's soldiers.

Time magazine has gotten a memo indicating that Halliburton's contract in Iraq was "coordinated with the Vice President's office." This appears to put the lie to Cheney's claims he was totally uninvolved. Special prosecutor anyone? The Paper Trail: Did Cheney Okay a Deal?

Must Read! The New York Times' Public Editor, Daniel Okrent, has written the piece on the Times failed pre-war reporting that the Times' own mea culpa on Thursaday was not. It is beautiful, detailed, and names names! Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction?

Readers were never told that Chalabi's niece was hired in January 2003 to work in The Times's Kuwait bureau. She remained there until May of that year....
In some instances, reporters who raised substantive questions about certain stories were not heeded. Worse, some with substantial knowledge of the subject at hand seem not to have been given the chance to express reservations....
The editors' note to readers will have served its apparent function only if it launches a new round of examination and investigation. I don't mean further acts of contrition or garment-rending, but a series of aggressively reported stories detailing the misinformation, disinformation and suspect analysis that led virtually the entire world to believe Hussein had W.M.D. at his disposal....
The aggressive journalism that I long for, and that the paper owes both its readers and its own self-respect, would reveal not just the tactics of those who promoted the W.M.D. stories, but how The Times itself was used to further their cunning campaign.

The New York Times reports what other sources have long reported, that most "security detainees" were innocent of anything other than disliking Americans: Scant Evidence Cited in Long Detention of Iraqis. Question: Who controls the detainees after the June 30th "return of sovereignty?"

General Ryder, the Army's provost marshal, reported that some Iraqis had been held for several months for nothing more than expressing "displeasure or ill will" toward the American occupying forces. The Nov. 5 report said the process for deciding which arrested Iraqis posed security risks justifying imprisonment, and for deciding when to release them, violated the Pentagon's own policies....
[Liar, liar, you're pants are on fire:] "We don't put them in Abu Ghraib to detain them for a period of time or to detain them until proven innocent," said the spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt. "They are deemed to be a security threat by a judge through multiple sources of evidence. It's that simple. "If they were innocent, they wouldn't be at Abu Ghraib," he said. [Surely, its long past time for this serial liar to be fired. And for the press to stop reporting anything he says without explaining that he is a proven serial liar.]
In interviews, senior Army officers have described senior officers on General Sanchez's staff as having been the major obstacle to releasing prisoners from Abu Ghraib. The officers have said in particular that Brig. Gen. Barbara Fast, the top Army intelligence officer in Iraq, often ruled last fall against the release of prisoners, even against the recommendation of a military police commander and military intelligence officers at the prison.

Daniel K. Sokol [medical ethicist] and Ronald P. Sokol [attorney] argue that the guilty at Abu Ghraib include the physicians who said nothing to protest: The silence of the healers at Abu Ghraib.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan issues a threat: Press release by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on US, UK and UN plans for Iraq.

More released from clutches of the torturers: To Frenzied Scenes, Abu Ghraib Frees 624 Prisoners.

The emotional and at times chaotic scene at the prison was testament to the extent that Iraqis have banded together in their outrage over the abuses there. At one of the largest Baghdad mosques, Um al-Qura, attendance at Friday Prayer was lower than usual because many Iraqis went to Abu Ghraib. Across the street from the prison, Iraqi demonstrators, prisoners' families and political parties set up protest tents, demanding compensation for those who had been abused, trials for the perpetrators, the release of detainees held without evidence, and unhindered access by Iraqi officials....
Another man simply said to a reporter as he walked to a waiting car, "America stinks."

New Puppet Minister Selection of Iyad Allawi as Prime Minister by the Interim Governing Council portends a bleak future for Iraq. The Boston Globe reports that he is seen as being "ruthless" enough to crush the insurgency. This, combined with his complete absence of any support among ordinary Iraqis, who view him as one of the US-installed exiles who have no credibility within the country, is not a good sign. It looks as if the decision is to base the future on ruthless violence, not building a government that can win popular support. Look for an expanded insurgency and brutal efforts to suppress it: Interim Iraq leader is chosen: Ex-dissident emerges as pick of UN, council. See also the Washington Post article on Allawi: Former Exile Is Selected As Interim Iraqi Leader. One result of Allawi's selection will most likely be the further discrediting of the United Nations. This is the nail-in-the-coffin for those, lie John Kerry, who view the UN as an alternative to the US in Iraq.

[Interim Iraq leader:] ''It boils down to who's willing to be ruthless, frankly. That's what this country needs, it needs a strong leader who's willing to take action and make difficult decisions to bring this country under control," said Musab Alkateeb, an adviser to defense minister Ali Allawi, a relative of Iyad Allawi.
Dr. Sadoun Dulame, a pollster and director of the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies, said Allawi's approval ratings, like those of most politicians, have never risen above the single digits. He noted that Allawi holds British citizenship and is a clear favorite of the United States. ''We want to know what does Iraqi citizenship mean?" Dulame said. At the same time, he said, he sees Allawi as preferable to two of the top alternatives -- the leaders of Iraq's two largest Shi'ite religious parties, which want to see a greater role for Islam in government. ''As we say in Arabic, one eye is better than blind."
''Any new government, even if it is nominated by Brahimi, will not have any credibility, because people have lost faith in everybody, starting with the Americans and ending with the Governing Council," said Sa'ad Jawad Abu Yassin, a political scientist at Baghdad University.
But given that the United States would only accept as prime minister a former exile leader with close ties to the West, [this is "sovereignty?]] he said, Allawi was the most acceptable to Iraqis because ''he has kept a low profile" and earned a reputation of being both honest and moderate
[Former Exile:] Ahmed Shyaa Barak, another Shiite member, acknowledged that Allawi lacked wide public support, but he said other skills made him the right person for the job. "Dr. Allawi has good connections with the British and American governments, and that will be important for us," Barak said.

Of course, despite all the thousands of words in the US press on Iyad Allawi, one has to go to Patrick Cockburn in the British paper the Independent to find out that Allawi was involved in one of the most infamous WMD lies: Exiled Allawi was responsible for 45-minute WMD claim. Further, he seems most comfortable with intelligence services, having had connections with Saddam's intelligence, the British MI6, and the CIA. What a model "democratic politician"! And the BBC: Profile: Iyad Allawi sums up his credentials very well: "[H]e has the advantage... of being equally mistrusted by everyone."

[Exiled Allawi:] Dr Allawi, aged 59, who trained as a neurologist, is a Shia Muslim who was a member of Saddam Hussein's Baath party in Iraq and in Britain, where he was a student leader with links to Iraqi intelligence....
There were few signs that they [Allawi's Iraqi National Accord: INA] had any popular support. During an uprising in the town of Baiji, north of Baghdad, last year, crowds immediately set fire to the INA office.
[Profile:] Religious leaders think he is too secular, the US-led coalition now sees him as a critic, for the anti-Saddam opposition he is an ex-Baathist, while ordinary Iraqis say he is a CIA man.
Mr Allawi is well-connected politically in Washington and London, has extensive business dealings and has close relations with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. [Connections with everyone but Iraqis!]

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! Guards reports that torture was widespread and ordered by military intelligence (MI) specialists in four prisons, other than Abu Ghraib. This included MI specialists from several military branches. Intelligence Agents Accused in Abuse -- AP Exclusive: U.S. Guards Accuse Military Intelligence Operatives of Encouraging Abuse in 4 Iraq Prisons.

The Marine Corps judge hearing the Camp Whitehorse case [Col. William V. Gallo] wrote that ... such actions "could easily form the basis of a law of war violation if committed by an enemy combatant."

Massive, systematic looting removes whole buildings: Looters drive off with office buildings.

More on Iyad Allawi, the new Iraqi Prime Minister-to-be. He's been spending plenty to curry US favor: Iraq Council Member Spends To Win Influence In Washington [from January, 2004].

1,000 Shia in Baghdad march in support of Sistani, in opposition to US limited sovereignty: Shiites march in support of Sistani.

Will someone with CIA connections win Iraqi support? Governing Body, U.S. Pick CIA Link Allawi as Iraqi PM.

Dahr Jamail reports, one Iraqi policeman in one station says he has on his desk 150-200 files of innocent Iraqis killed by US troops, "Not that these ever make it into Western media." How many is the total number nation-wide? 'There Are So Many People the Americans Have Shot'.

The US just might lose their exemption from international law: Opposition Growing to U.S. Exemption on Global Court.

It appears that the IGC and US are attempting to pull a coup, imposing their man on UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi: Governing Council nominates new Iraqi PM: Unclear whether U.N. envoy has endorsed Shiite physician.

John Kerry's aids join neocons at taking swipes at UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi: U.N. envoy under fire in effort to rebuild Iraq: Brahimi being criticized by U.S. hawks and doves.

US again discovers that many hundreds being held in "torture jail", Aby Ghraib, can be released after all. Amazing what a few pictures can do! For a year, all attempts to even find out who was detained were routinely ignored. Then, shots reportedly fired at US troops "escorting" the prisoners about to be released as US troops point weapons at released detainees family members: Gun battle chaos as prisoners leave abuse scandal jail.

Oh my God! It really was the Coalition of the Torturers! U.S. allies accused of Iraqi prison abuse.

Colin Powell says sovereignty be damned! "The President never, never relinquishes command of American troops." U.S. Will Retain Command of Its Forces in Iraq, Powell Says. [Then get them out!]

US-AID contractor Haider Hamoudi takes a jog through the Green Zone: Jogging in the twilight zone.

I hide my Iraqiness by refraining from Arabic, muttering something in English and flashing my US badge, and keep running. In Hong Kong, where I am from, this sort of thing never bothered me, but there is something fundamentally wrong with receiving better treatment when you can show you are not a citizen of the country.

Must Read! Cover-Up in Action! The lead army investigator of Iraqi prison abuse is a reservist with little experience. He has one qualification, however, he's a Republican contributor. It seems likely he was appointed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, himself accused of participation in torture: Prison Investigator's Army Experience Questioned.

Senator Trent Lott openly defends torture. After all, that's how he'd treat the Democrats if he had the chance: Sen. Lott Sounds Off On Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Photos.

According to NBC news: New photos show Abu Ghraib tactics: Naked Iraqis interrogated aggressively in images. These photos show Military Intelligence officers abusing prisoners, not just the "few bad apples" among the MPs.

Australia also caught lying about prisoner abuse: Soldier contradicts Australia's claim of ignorance over Iraq abuse.

Newsday reports on the prevalence of US hostage-taking: U.S. using some Iraqis as bargaining chips: Iraqi woman says U.S. imprisoned her husband - and said he'd go free when her father surrenders.

Stan Goff, a retired Special Forces master sergeant, puts the Iraqi wedding massacre at Makr al-Deeb in the context of a US policy of viewing all Military Age Males as potential enemies to be exterminated. He reminds us that Colin Powel has a history of engaging in, and covering up, civilian massacres, including his role in covering up the My Lai massacre. He points out that the US press reports US claims of "evidence" [such as finding such military items as binoculars] supporting their claims that there was no wedding. Open Season in Iraq: MAMs (Military-Age Males) Are Back.

"Amount you owe for the war in Iraq: $4,000. Make check payable to Uncle Sam's Iraq Quagmire Fund. If you dispute any portion of this bill call 1-800-IMPEACH-THIS." This is Your Bill for the Wa.

Military officials claim that "military necessity" allows them to contravene the Geneva Conventions, in other words, to commit war crimes. Where is the Hague when we need it? Col. Dan Smith comments on the lies and excuses: The Geneva Conventions & Moral Authority: A Question of Human Dignity.

Must Read! Scam in Progress! The proposed UN resolution is a brazen attempt to allow occupation indefinitely, perhaps even forever. While the presence of US troops would be subject to "review" in a year, this "review" would be by the Security Council. They could be forced out only is the Security Council adopted a new resolution demanding they withdraw. But the US has a veto! So they could stay as long as the US wanted: The New Draft U.N. Resolution Allows for Perpetual Occupation. Not surprisingly, the resolution is getting criticized. But no country cares enough about Iraqi "sovereignty" to have a confrontation with the US: China Joins Criticism on U.S.-Led Force in Iraq.

Resat Kasaba tells how to get out. We might as well do it sooner rather than later, thus killing fewer: We Should Exit Iraq Now, and Here's How We Do It.

Ex-marine, Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey, who served 12 years, talks to Democracy Now! about killing civilians in Iraq: Ex-U.S. Marine: I Killed Civilians in Iraq.

Robert Fisk raises the possibility of Israeli involvement in Abu Ghraib torture: Follow torture trail at Abu Ghraib: The re-writing of Iraqi history is now going on at supersonic speed.

"Torture General" Miller, moved from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib, is accused of suggesting the use of dogs to terrorize prisoners, like they do at Guantanamo. According to this article, experts agree that this use violates the Geneva Conventions, and is thus a war crime: General Is Said To Have Urged Use of Dogs.

Jockeying goes on: Iraq's Shahristani Reluctant on PM Role.

Some sources are starting to reveal the sexual abuse, and possible rape, of numerous Iraqi women imprisoned solely to pressure male members of their family. Rape at Abu Ghraib: 'We have daughters, husbands. For god's sake don't tell anyone' and Abu Ghraib’s Women Prisoners. Imprisonment of these women is, in itself, a war crime under the Geneva Conventions: See Juan Cole's comment: Abuse of Women Detainees.

Errors often have meaning: Abu boo-boo: President tortures the name of shame

al-Sadr's brother-in-law is being held by the US: Iraqi Shia cleric's aide 'held'.

In its summary of how the prison torture developed, Newsweek documents that President Bush signed orders allowing the CIA to set up secret "detention centers" and to use "harsh methods", a.k.a. "torture" there. Surely, if international law has any meaning, Bush should be tried for war crimes. If Milosovic is responsible for crimes in Bosnia and Kosovo, surely Bush is responsible for crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely an independent, international investigation is required. The Roots of Torture: The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war. A NEWSWEEK investigation.

The Boston Globe point out the obvious, demonstrated now in three polls of Iraqis: they want they country involved in torturing so many of their citizens to leave, now: Abuse seen shaking faith in US handoff.

If it happens everywhere, who is responsible? Abuse of Captives More Widespread, Says Army Survey.

Thalif Deen analyzes the sovereignty fraud: US Dodges Iraqi Sovereignty with UN Resolution.

Where does Tony Blair get this stuff? Obviously not from his masters in Washington: U.S., Britain Signal Apparent Differences on Iraq.

Ah, Chalabi. More on his abrupt change from friend to foe. The Guardian outlines the case that George W. Bush was doing Iran's bidding: US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq war: · Inquiry into Tehran's role in starting conflict · Top Pentagon ally Chalabi accused. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter says Chalabi boasted of his connections to Iranian intelligence seven years ago, in 1997: Chalabi 'boasted of Iranian spy link'. Andrew Cockburn examines the case: The trail to Tehran. Husain Haqqani in the International Herald Tribune places Chalabi in the context of some of the other unsavory characters supported by the US in its relentless pursuit of "freedom and democracy": Exit Chalabi: The diplomatic art of dumping friends. And Harry Jaffe in Washington Magazine details the role of the Washington Post and the New York Times in making Chalabi: Did the Washington Post Create Ahmed Chalabi?

Sergeant Samuel Provance, who spoke out on the Abu Ghraib nightmare, is disciplined for not keeping quiet. Anyone believe the military will conduct a full, honest, investigation? Iraq abuse insider disciplined

Can the US be the only country not subject to international law forever? Opposition grows against U.S. demand for war crimes prosecutions exemption.

Breaking News! The Washington Post reports: Shiite Scientist Likely to Be New Iraqi Prime Minister.

The US helped create an Islamic ministate: Fallujah Emerging As Islamic Mini-State.

Will it make any difference? Pentagon to Replace Top U.S. Commander in Iraq.

Iraqis say US troops steal their savings: Iraqis Accuse U.S. Troops of Theft in House Raids.

The US held a New Zealand citizen for three months and lied to the New Zealand government about having him in custody: Government wants US to explain silence.

The "Torture General" Geoffrey Miller [lead torturer at Guantanamo] has been accused of lying by the lead Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Perhaps the committee will start having a little intelligence: 'Gaps and Discrepancies' In a letter obtained by NEWSWEEK, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence committee questions the 'candor and accuracy' of Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller's testimony about Iraqi prisoner abuse.

It only took the worlds' greatest power 13 months and a devastating scandal, but the CPA has finally released a list of the 10,000+ prisoners they admit holding, with name , date-of-birth, address, etc. Download Prisoner List Here [Excel spreadsheet].

Senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaresi criticizes US "stubbornness" in rejecting deals to resolve the fighting with al-Sadr: Senior Shiite cleric says violence in Iraq's south is making enemies for the United States.

Scapegoating and cover-up, round 18: U.S. Army Suspends General in Iraq Jail-Abuse Probe.

Evidence the US may have deliberately sought out prison officials with histories of abuse to send to Iraq: Uncle Sam Wants You Anyway

US continues the big lie: U.S. Says Iraq Attack Site Wasn 't Wedding.

Smoking Gun on Wedding Massacre! The Associated Press Television News (APTN) has obtained the wedding video from the wedding party massacred on Thursday. It is several hours long. Many of the corpses can be seen dancing. The bride and groom are clearly visible, with the bride in her wedding dress. Many children are observed sitting on their fathers laps. There are no weapons. Will Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, who has absolutely insisted there was no evidence of a wedding, no children, and only a small number of women now be indicted for conspiracy to cover up murder? [If you can read this article without crying you are not human.] AP: Video Shows Iraq Wedding Celebration. A quick examination Monday morning indicates that, as usual, this story will not be covered in the US press. I see no story in the NYT, the Boston Globe, or As usual, Americans will not be told that their government has been proven to tell a massive lie. Threfeore, the Generals will continue to claim it was not a wedding party, as the domestic audience is the only one they care about. The rest of the world will know for sure the US officials are lying. Surely, there ought to be a way to indict our "free press" for willful misleading of the public. How can democracy survive?

However, an AP reporter obtained names of at least 10 children who relatives said had died. Bodies of five of them were filmed by APTN when the survivors took them to Ramadi for burial Wednesday. Iraqi officials said at least 13 children were killed....
n all, 27 members of Rikad Nayef's extended family died — most of them children and women.

Newsday reports, reality is starting to set in: Failure now may be an option.

Rashid Khalidy, who heads the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, also says the United States has failed at its original goals, though he defines them differently. [Note the honesty with which he explains the war goals.] "I'm actually afraid that failure in terms of the objectives that were initially is absolutely an inevitability," he said. "I don't think the U.S. can keep bases in Iraq. I don't think we're going to have a pliable Iraqi government that will do what we want and I don't think we're going to have a privileged position vis-a-vis Iraqi oil."

The Tagupa report on prisoner abuse provided to congress may be missing 2,000 pages: Pages Said Missing in Prison Abuse Report.

The AP finds at least 5,500 deaths from violence in the first year of occupation, in Baghdad and just three provinces: More Than 5,500 Iraqis Killed Since Occupation Began.

Must Read! Rumsfeld finally acts to ensure that the abuse scandal will never happen again, by banning digital cameras that could record it! Rumsfeld bans camera phones in Iraq - report.

"Digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds in Iraq," it said, adding that a "total ban throughout the US military" is in the works.

Another murder in detention, one not on the list of those being investigated. How many others are there? 'I will always hate you people': Baghdad Family's fury at mystery death .

Outside Abu Ghraib, Iraqis still wait by the hundreds, trying to get some word on their imprisoned relatives, as they have all year. The torture allegations have not changed the way they are ignored by American soldiers and officials, reports Dahr Jamail: The More Things Change…

US didn't conduct autopsies after prisoners were murdered, the Denver Post reported: Skipped autopsies in Iraq revealed.

The New York Times reported Saturday that the US lied when it claimed that the Geneva Conventions was "fully applicable" in Iraq. There is a letter signed Dec. 24, 2003 asserting that certain prisoners of high security value were not entitled to the full protections of the Geneva Convention [in other words, could legitimately be tortured]. Rule of thumb: Assume that anything asserted confidently by US officials is a lie: U.S. Disputed Protected Status of Iraq Inmates. The same letter tried to cover up US torture by refusing to allow the Red Cross to make unannounced inspections in the Abu Ghraib torture center.

In Congressional testimony last week, Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, the deputy commander of American forces in the Middle East, asserted that the Dec. 24 response demonstrated that the military had fully addressed the Red Cross complaints. But the three-page response did not address many of the specific concerns cited by the Red Cross, whose main recommendations included improving the treatment of prisoners held for interrogation.

Smoking Gun? The Washington Post reports that testimony is being offered by a Captain [Capt. Donald J. Reese,] at Abu Ghraib that the top General in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez was present during torture sessions at the prison! Look forward to charges being pressed against Capt. Reese to shut him up. A sergeant at the prison is prepared to testify that intelligence officers told him that the abuse [a.k.a., torture] was the right thing to do: Prison visits by General reported in hearing: Alleged presence of Sanchez cited by lawyer. Is there anybody on earth who really thinks the military will fairly investigate charges that one of its top generals was a witness to torture? Remember, if Gen. Sanchez is charges, he might implicate Gen. Meyers, Rumsfeld, and/or Cambone.

"It has come to my knowledge that Lt. Gen. Sanchez was even present at the prison during some of these interrogations and/or allegations of the prisoner abuse by those duty [non-commissioned officers]...."
"He [Gen. Sanchez] has divisions all over Iraq, and he has time to visit Abu Ghraib three times in a month?" Karpinski [the Reserve General nominally in charge of the prison] asked yesterday. "Why was he going out there so often? Did he know that something was going on?"

UN Security Council decides Iraqis have no rights. After all that has happened, they agree to give US and UK troops total immunity for any war crimes they commit. With this act the The UN indicates it has no more moral credibility than the Coalition of the Torturers: Iraqis lose right to sue troops over war crimes: Military win immunity pledge in deal on UN vote.

The the New York Times has nothing but scorn for the idea that the military will honestly investigate itself, as the editorial indicates. Unfortunately, their proposed alternative of an independent investigation by Congress doesn't allow for the possibility of trying the top generals, or Cambone, Rumsfeld, or Bush for war crimes: An Abu Ghraib Investigation.

The Independent reports evidence that abuse by British troops is no more the work of "a few bad apples" than is the abuse by the Americans: New allegations of systematic abuse of Iraqis by British troops.

reports from MPs claim that the worst abuse was for: Punishment and Amusement: Documents Indicate 3 Photos Were Not Staged for Interrogation. [Of course, accounts taken by US investigators engaged in promulgating the claim that abuse was due to few rotten apples, or from MPs facing serious charges, can not be taken on face value.] ABC News reports that interrogators sought to use "harsher methods" [a.k.a., "torture"] at the Guantanamo concentration camp: Harsher Methods Were Sought at Guantanamo: In 2002, U.S. Interrogators at Guantanamo Bay Asked Permission to Use Harsher Methods. And the New York Times reports that these efforts were aided by lawyers building a legal foundation for the US to ignore international law in the form of the Geneva Conventions: U.S. officials sought ways to avoid POW laws.

Marines secretly convicted of torture using electricity. But who ordered it? And who else did it? Marines admit abuse at second prison.

Must Read! Newsday reports that the Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress has been used by Iranian intelligence to manipulate the US into getting rid of Saddam Hussein and to get US secrets. Of course, like all such claims, it is extremely difficult to evaluate. One might think that, if it was true, the US would want to arrest or otherwise "eliminate" Chalabi: Agency: Chalabi group was front for Iran.

The Spoils! The Scum! Twelve current and former Halliburton truck drivers say they were made to drive empty trucks on incredibly dangerous routes, risking their lives so Halliburton could bill for hauling what they call sailboat fuel! Trucks made to drive without cargo in dangerous areas of Iraq. Are any Halliburton officials going to face criminal charges for the hundreds of millions of dollars they've stole? don't hold your breath.

Despite a massive increase in contracts for the war and occupation of Iraq, the Army hasn't increased the number of officials who oversee those contractors. Only 180 Army officials monitor defense contracts and only a little more than a handful of them are in Iraq, Singer said.

The big lie. the US still maintains they didn't hit a wedding party, killing over 40 celebrants, despite overwhelming evidence. Perhaps liar-in-chief Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt can't imagine that heathen Iraqis would get married, just as it didn't seem to occur to them that torturing Iraqis was wrong: Iraq Desert Bombing Video Shows Carnage. View the Poster: This Is The Enemy.

Nothing stops these guys! Continuing the Cover-Up? Military Takes Action Against Key Witness in Abu Ghraib Abuse Scandal. We can't let these guys investigate themselves! Only an independent, international investigation will have the slightest value.

US protects, hires "merchant of death" in Iraq: Arms Dealer Wanted in Africa, Needed in Iraq: Coalition forces find new uses in Iraq for an arms dealer they had branded a villain in Africa.

Shiites protest across the Mideast: Shiites Rally Across Mideast Against U.S. The Shia majority in Bahrain may be rumbling: Anti-US demonstrations shake Bahrain. See Juan Cole's comments: Shiite Demonstrations in Bahrain.

Reconstruction? What reconstruction? Top adviser says U.S. failed to rebuild Iraqi universities.

Pentagon admits secret prison, but denies claims it's a torture center. Meanwhile, under the glare of bad publicity, the US has suddenly "discovered" that hundreds upon hundreds of those they have in detention are likely innocent: U.S. admits to secret interrogation site in Baghdad" Hundreds of detainees released from Abu Ghraib prison

More murders? U.S. Probes 8 More Iraq, Afghan Prisoner Homicides.

The Washington Post has also obtained videos of the abuse: Videos Amplify Picture of Violence [article] click here to view video.

The Washington Post has horrible new details on the treatment administered at Abu Ghraib. The military has had these account since January! New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge: Abu Ghraib Detainees' Statements Describe Sexual Humiliation And Savage Beatings. The Washington Post also published new pictures available by clicking in the box to the right of the article. The Washington Post also reports a classified memo signed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez giving interrogators control of virtually all aspects of detainees lives and calling for them to manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses." Memo Gave Intelligence Bigger Role: Increased Pressure Sought on Prisoners. Just a few days ago Pentagon officials, including Stephen Cambone denied to Congressional committees that military intelligence was in charge. Will he be tried for lying to Congress?

[New Details:] Previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq describe in raw detail abuse that goes well beyond what has been made public, adding allegations of prisoners being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets....
"Do you believe in anything?" he said the soldier asked. "I said to him, 'I believe in Allah.' So he said, "But I believe in torture and I will torture you.' "

Editor & Publisher has a detailed account of the arrest of three Reuters employees, their claims of abuse while in US detention, the purported "investigation" that failed to even interview them and yet cleared the army of all wrongdoing, and the army's threats against the Reuters staff should they continue to claim abuse. This example constitutes yet another of many demonstrating that military investigations of abuse have no other purpose than to protect the military. In the first year of the occupation, not one instance of "wrongdoing" was found in any investigation and most such "investigation" were never even conducted, just announced. Now that they've been caught with the photos, they are willing to throw the book at a few MPS. There is no possibility of a full and fair investigation of the military by itself. Reuters Stands by Iraq Abuse Reports, Releases Timeline on Incident.

Eyewitness testimony from survivors of the wedding massacre yesterday: 'US soldiers started to shoot us, one by one': Survivors describe wedding massacre as generals refuse to apologise.

[Some of the "fighters" the Americans claim were the only ones killed or injured:] As Mrs Shihab spoke she gestured with hands still daubed red-brown with the henna the women had used to decorate themselves for the wedding. Alongside her in the ward yesterday were three badly injured girls from the Rakat family: Khalood Mohammed, aged just a year and struggling for breath, Moaza Rakat, 12, and Iqbal Rakat, 15, whose right foot doctors had already amputated.... Dr Alusi said 11 of the dead were women and 14 were children.... saw something that nobody ever saw in this world," said Mr Nawaf. "There were children's bodies cut into pieces, women cut into pieces, men cut into pieces."

According to this report, torture of prisoners was much worse at the Baghdad Airport prison than at Abu Ghraib. How many were murdered there? Pentagon 'in fresh abuse claims'

"According to two top US government sources, it is the scene of the most egregious violations of the Geneva Conventions in all of Iraq's prisons."

This analysis by Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI suggests that the US Ahmad Chalabi may backfire and undo his image as an American stooge: Commentary: Chalabi's betrayal. Meanwhile, there are claims that: Chalabi Passed U.S. Intelligence to Iran -CBS. The neocons sure have good judgment in their stooges!

Murders during interrogation at four different facilities are being investigated, the Denver Post reports, making it clear that torture is systemic: Brutal interrogation in Iraq: Five detainees' deaths probed

They can't get their lies ("stories") straight: Conflicting testimony adds to problems of prisoner abuse.

Like everything else that has gone wrong with the US effort in Iraq, Douglas Feith is at the center of the prisoner abuse scandal, claims Jim Lobe: Pentagon's Feith Again at Center of Disaster.

Andrew Cockburn provides background on why the US moved against Ahmed Chalabi today. Cockburn claims Chalabi was setting himself up as a sectarian Shia leader, to undermine the post-June 30th US/UN-installed government: The Truth About Ahmed Chalabi: Why the US Turned Against Their Former Golden Boy -- He was Preparing a Coup! What He Did as a Catspaw for Tehran: How He Nearly Bankrupted Jordan; the Billions He Stands to Make Out of the New Iraq.

Many British officials are furious at the US bombing of an Iraqi wedding party: Carelessness 'defies belief' in US attack on Iraqi wedding.

A poll of Iraqis shows 88% view Americans as occupiers, not liberators, and most want US troops out. al-Sadr is supported by 2/3 of the population. I believe this is the same poll that was originally reported in a story last week, but am not sure. some details match, but others do not: Iraq's rebel cleric gains surge in popularity.

Is Ahmed Chalabi really on the outs? Or is the US trying to build up his credentials as an anti-American leader? US forces, Iraqi police raid Chalabi's Baghdad office. And, in his story, we learn that Chalabi complains of having a gun put to his head by US troops. I don't recall his complaining of their doing it to tens of thousands of his compatriots. Usually, we complained the US wasn't tough enough.

The US is sticking with its story that they hit an "insurgent safe house", not a wedding party: U.S. Army Disputes 'Wedding' Deaths in Iraq. So why was a famous wedding singer from Baghdad killed there? Mourners Say Musicians Among Dead at Iraqi Wedding.

Gen. Ricardo Sanche is evidently afraid of being made the fall guy. he's telling lie after lie to congress. For example, despite numerous reports to the contrary, he "said he put the prison under the command of a military intelligence brigade in November to improve the facility's defenses," not to improve its intelligence-gathering capacity. Military intelligence as the experts on defense against mortars? Obviously, he assumes Congress and the American people are looking for any story, no matter how implausible. Another whopper: "He denied a published report that he approved the use of sleep deprivation, excessive noise and intimidation in one case, saying, 'I never approved the use of any of those measures ... in the 12 and a half months that I've been in Iraq.'": Shocking prison pictures emerge. However: Report: Harsh interrogation OK'd for 1 inmate. But, of course: Pervasive Abuse Alleged by Freed Detainees, Red Cross. Would you trust these liars to investigate your bother's death? Some, at least, are asking; How High Does It Go? The more we find out about what happened at Abu Ghraib, the less it looks like a case of renegade soldiers.

In his May 19th column: Rumsfeld's Secret Army: The gang behind the Abu Ghraib prison house of horrors, Justin Raimondo, shows that the Pentagon's apparent denials of the Seymour Hersh story about the abuse being the result of a program of illegal abuse approved by Rumsfeld, are in fact admissions, when understood that they are not uttered in English, but in Washington-speak.

New photos from Abu Ghraib show MPs grinning and giving the thumbs-up next to a dead Iraqi "detainee": More Photos Surface.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is still concerned about ongoing abuse at Abu Ghraib: ICRC still concerned on Iraq jail.

Accident? Butchery? This is what happens when you occupy a foreign country and shoot at anything that moves: U.S. Reportedly Kills 40 Iraqis at Party. As usual, the US says these young children were "insurgents". No one else would be stupid enough to get married in occupied Iraq: Pentagon says it attacked fighters -- not wedding: Witnesses say Iraqi wedding attacked near Syria.

Former intelligence staffer at Abu Ghraib defies direct orders and speaks out. Says there is: ‘Definitely a Cover-Up’: Former Abu Ghraib Intel Staffer Says Army Concealed Involvement in Abuse Scandal. The number of these accounts makes it clear, as if it wasn't clear already, that any investigation conducted by the military, or the US administration, is completely worthless. It will focus on covering-up the involvement of higher-ups, not finding out the truth.

"One interrogator told me about how commonly the detainees were stripped naked, and in some occasions, wearing women's underwear," Provance said. "If it's your job to strip people naked, yell at them, scream at them, humiliate them, it's not going to be too hard to move from that to another level...."
Maj. Gen. George Fay, the Army's deputy chief of staff for intelligence, was assigned by the Pentagon to investigate the role of military intelligence in the abuse at the Iraq prison. Fay started his probe on April 23, but Provance said when Fay interviewed him, the general seemed interested only in the military police, not the interrogators, and seemed to discourage him from testifying. [In other words: cover-up!]

Soldier pleads guilty to minor charges in Abu Ghraib scandal. He apparently gets off easy in return for supporting the cover-up claim that the abuse was not a result of orders, a claim that is completely unsustainable by anyone paying attention. But will the American public pay attention? Iraq abuse: soldier guilty.

Yet further evidence the military was deliberately covering up torture, NOT seeking to expose, investigate, or stop it: Officer Says Army Tried to Curb Red Cross Visits to Prison in Iraq.

Italy, Poland, and the Ukraine may enter the Coalition of the UNwilling! Allies step up calls for full handover.

Must Read! As if anyone seriously believes that only "guilty" "terrorists" were abused, we are reminded that three Reuters staff and an NBC staff member were tortured when they were arrested in January. Their abuse was in a camp, Forward Operating Base Volturno, near Falluja, not in Abu Ghraib, showing, yet again, that these types of abuse were systemic and a result of policy, not the work of a few sick MPs. Of course, the US "conducted an investigation" denied it when they reported the abuse upon their release. After all, everyone knows, the US wouldn't do things like that! Why in the world would anyone trust them to investigate the abuse at Abu Ghraib? Reuters, NBC Staff Abused by U.S. Troops in Iraq. [NOTE: When US soldiers are investigated for claims of torture, they are not subjected to sleep deprivation, hooding, forced "stress positions' for hours on end, etc. Why not, if these techniques are considered appropriate interrogation techniques? Obviously, no one in the US would stand for it! This fact alone demonstrates the racist nature of the "approved" "legal" techniques.]

The U.S. military, in a report issued before the Abu Ghraib abuse became public, said there was no evidence the Reuters staff had been tortured or abused. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of [prisoner torture and] ground forces in Iraq, said in a letter received by Reuters Monday but dated March 5 that he was confident the investigation had been "thorough and objective" and its findings were sound.
The Pentagon has yet to respond to a request by Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger to review the military's findings about the incident in light of the scandal over the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib....
"When I saw the Abu Ghraib photographs, I wept," Ureibi said Tuesday. "I saw they had suffered like we had." Ureibi, who understands English better than the other two detainees, said soldiers told him they wanted to have sex with him, and he was afraid he would be raped.
[The US had a very effective way of investigating the abuse claims:] [The] soldiers responsible for the detainees were interviewed under oath and "none admit or report knowledge of physical abuse or torture." [Evidently they were not subjected to the sleep deprivation, "stress position", and threats of rape routinely applied to Iraqis.]

The puppet council wants control, especially of the oil money. Then they can buy control of the country, as Chalabi has been doing all along: Iraqi Leaders Demand More Powers from Washington. [remember, these guys don't "lead" anything but the Iraqi mafia.]

A fascinating analysis from Martin Sieff of UPI: Army, CIA want torture truths exposed.

Must Read! This interview with an ex-Marine, from the Sacramento Bee illustrates how war inevitably leads to atrocities. These are not the abuse in the prisons, but a reminder of the civilian butchery that occurred during the main phase of the war: firing on civilians in unarmed cars, on young people demonstrating, on anything that moved: Atrocities in Iraq: 'I killed innocent people for our government'.

There are reports that the British command is furious with the American penchant to "kill, kill and kill again": British Fury at US 'Kill and Kill Again' Policy - Report.

Among the civilian workers [not the mercenaries] in Iraq, it's largely poor American workers trying to survive who are lured by the high pay. Of course Halliburton and Bechtel make the real profit from their risky labor: War dangers don't deter U.S. workers: High pay lures thousands to Iraq.

Abuses so numerous they can't be remembered. We know of one death, because of the pictures. How many others died, without pictures? Testimony Details Last Hours of Iraqi Prisoner's Life.

The White House was warned by its counsel two years ago that officials could be prosecuted for war crimes and were instructed to take steps to reduce the risk. These steps did not include protecting prisoners: Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings: Could Bush administration officials be prosecuted for 'war crimes' as a result of new measures used in the war on terror? The White House's top lawyer thought so.

Dahr Jamail reports that Ramadi, unlike Falluja, has been reltively calm. Nonetheless, there were celebrations when word spread of the killing of the head of the "Governing Council": Ramadi-A Delicate Lid

Paul Bremer interfering with examination of corruption in the UN's Oil-for-Food program: Bremer office 'hampering oil-for-food corruption inquiry. Why? What's he covering up?

If you don't like the message, attack the messenger: Pentagon: Hersh report 'journalist malpractice': Official denies existence of secret interrogation squad

Ashcroft hired American prison abusers to design the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. After, all, if you are designing a torture system, you hire experienced torturers. Obviously, Ashcroft should be forced to resign along with Rumsfeld and Cambone: Prison Abuse Investigators Question Hiring of Former Utah Prison Boss.

A British paper reports claims that Coalition troops freely exchange DVDs of Americans killing Iraqis: Iraq Latest: Soldiers Swap Sick DVDs of Iraqi Killings. Once war starts, the enemy get's defined as subhuman, amusing to kill.

The mainstream press finally reports on the huge network of detention and torture facilities the US maintains around the world: U.S. holds huge network of secret terror prisons: Suspects hidden from public, courts

All told, more than 9,000 people are held overseas by U.S. authorities with the vast majority under military control.

Jason Vest in the Nation provides more information on Stephen Cambone, the Pentagon's Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. If the US respected international treaties, Cambone would certainly be a top candidate for trial for war crimes: Implausible Denial.

Congress couldn't be bothered! No cameras were rolling: Congress members told of abuse months before photos seen.

Troops from Korea to Iraq. When will they redeploy the White House Guard: US to shift 4,000 troops to Iraq.

Ahmad Chalabi plays the Iraqi sovereignty card, bites the hand that feeds him: Council member: Iraqis must control own security. He wants control of the US-funded development fund: Imagine how much he and his family could steal!

In his typically brilliant column, Tom Engelhardt detains the unfolding of major press reporting of the US' world-wide system of torture camps. He shows how the information was publicly available, just not picked up by the US press: Chaos in Washington.

Pentagon appears terrified of yesterday' s Seymour Hersh piece detailing how torture at Abu Ghraib was part of a top secret program authorized by Runsfeld and organized by Cambone [For those who missed it: The Gray Zone: How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib] The Pentagon attack dogs are out in full force. Soon they'll be "leaking" dirt about Hersh to Robert Novak: Pentagon seeks to quash Rumsfeld report.

Must Read! Newsweek gets in on the act with its account of the origins of the torture at Abu Ghraib. Surprise, it wasn't in the sick minds of a few MPs. They demonstrate that there is a world-wide string of torture centers and even a "private" CIA airline to ferry victims around the world from one torture center to another. [Remember, this is Newsweek, not an alternative publication!] The Roots of Torture: The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war. Notice, they also unabashedly use the "t" word ["torture"].

Indeed, the single most iconic image to come out of the abuse scandal—that of a hooded man standing naked on a box, arms outspread, with wires dangling from his fingers, toes and penis—may do a lot to undercut the administration's case that this was the work of a few criminal MPs. That's because the practice shown in that photo is an arcane torture method known only to veterans of the interrogation trade. "Was that something that [an MP] dreamed up by herself? Think again," says Darius Rejali, an expert on the use of torture by democracies. "That's a standard torture. It's called 'the Vietnam.' But it's not common knowledge. Ordinary American soldiers did this, but someone taught them."

Iraqi clans say "No" to blood money for torture. Sorry Bremer, some things are priceless: Iraqi Clans Spurn U.S. Bucks For Abused Prisoners.

Dahr Jamail reports that, for the fourth time, the US has raided the Sunni Abu Hanifa Mosque in Baghdad, winning more hearts and minds: U.S. Military Raids Baghdad Mosque, Enraging Sunni Muslims. Jamail also provides background on Iraqi hearts and minds: Iraqi Outrage Grows…

Under pressure, Bush revives old discredited lies: Bush Says Zarqawi Killed Berg, Cites Saddam 'Ties'.

Absolutely Must Read! The leftie Wall Street Journal reports that the US is quietly rigging the system in Iraq to maintain control of all important aspects for years to come. Wave "sovereignty" goodbye, even after elections: Behind the Scenes, U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq's Future: Hand-Picked Proxies, Advisers Will Be Given Key Roles In Interim Government. Of course, this in a country where polls show 82% of the population wants the US totally out!

Paul Bremer and other officials are quietly building institutions that will give the U.S. powerful levers for influencing nearly every important decision the interim government will make....
In a series of edicts issued earlier this spring, Mr. Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority created new commissions that effectively take away virtually all of the powers once held by several ministries. The CPA also established an important new security-adviser position, which will be in charge of training and organizing Iraq's new army and paramilitary forces, and put in place a pair of watchdog institutions that will serve as checks on individual ministries and allow for continued U.S. oversight. Meanwhile, the CPA reiterated that coalition advisers will remain in virtually all remaining ministries after the handover.
In many cases, these U.S. and Iraqi proxies will serve multiyear terms and have significant authority to run criminal investigations, award contracts, direct troops and subpoena citizens. The new Iraqi government will have little control over its armed forces, lack the ability to make or change laws and be unable to make major decisions within specific ministries without tacit U.S. approval, say U.S. officials and others familiar with the plan....
In March, for instance, Mr. Bremer issued a lengthy edict consolidating control of all Iraqi troops and security forces under the Ministry of Defense and its head, Ali Allawi. But buried in the document is a one-paragraph "emergency" decree ceding "operational control" of all Iraqi forces to senior U.S. military commanders in Iraq.... [Iraqi government officials] can't actually order their forces into, or out of, combat -- that power will rest solely with U.S. commanders.

Must Read! In his latest installment, the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh reports that Rumsfeld directly approved the torture techniques adopted in Iraq, based on Us experience with torture in Afghanistan. He also points out that the attention given to the sexual abuse at Abu Ghraib is a distraction from systemic abuse and torture throughout US prisons in Iraq: The Gray Zone: How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib. See also the Reuters story on this Hersh report: Rumsfeld reportedly approved interrogation plan. Meanwhile Alfred W. McCoy revealed: Torture at Abu Ghraib followed CIA's manual.

Though the Washington Post is behind the Seymour Hersh article [above] that clearly demonstrates that the Abu Ghraib torture was based on a plan developed at the top, by Rumsfeld and Cambone, it does fill in some gaps in how these abuses were organized and planned, undercutting the coverup underway: Knowledge of Abusive Tactics May Go Higher.

The pictures of prisoner abuse has led the Christian Peacemaker Teams to decide to take the risk of returning to Iraq. They had pulled out in April, after the wave of kidnappings: Abuse photos spur Christian peace teams' return to Iraq: Activists say they're willing to die for cause.

The US-appointed Iraqi Puppets to maintain control after June 30: Political Players to Figure Greatly in Interim Iraqi Regime: The U.S. envoy's plans for a government of technocrats is scrapped, improving the odds of Governing Council members staying put.

Mysteries, mysteries, mysteries... The Unanswered Questions of Nick Berg's Murder.

Released detainee, Tarek Dergoul, tells of his torture at Guantanamo: 'They tied me up like a beast and began kicking me': As America struggles to come to terms with military abuse in Iraq, similar stories are emerging from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Tarek Dergoul, a Briton released from the camp in March, talks here for the first time about his two-year ordeal Obviously any change that does not shut down the Guantanamo concentration camp is not in the slightest serious.

Jo Wilding reports on one of the demonstrations against: Neo-Baathism: Demonstration in response to the announcement that former members of the Baath Party are to get their old jobs back.

Soldiers across Iraq report being taught torture techniques that were then used routinely US forces were taught torture techniques" Soldiers' accounts reveal widespread use of sleep deprivation and mock executions.

Douglas Feith said that 'the Geneva Accords' on the treatment of prisoners are laws 'in the service of terrorists.'" No wonder they have been systematically violated: No Wonder We Have Such Little Feith .

Riverbend reacts to the Nic Berg murder and all the other horrors occurring in her country: Last Few Days....

That video of Nick Berg is beyond horrible. I haven't been able to watch it whole. It makes me sick to my stomach and I can hardly believe it happened. His family must be devastated and I can't even imagine what they must have felt....
The air feels stale and stagnant in Baghdad lately. There's disappointment and exhaustion and a certain resignation to the anger and fear that seem to have taken over during recent weeks.

Action Alert! Iraq! In the brilliant: Open letter to the people of Iraq American Mark Yannone suggests that Iraqis tell the world in pictures that they want the US out: Paint the word GO everywhere! We should spread this idea widely and see if there is any Iraqi resonance. Perhaps those of us in the US should paint Come Hom! rest of the world Get Out!

Paint the word GO in big letters on your buildings, on your roads, and on your vehicles so that every news media image of Iraq shows the world that you want to be left alone.

Rumsfeld organizes coverup: Rumsfeld plans focus on courts-martial.

Rumsfeld is trying to focus the public spotlight on the upcoming courts-martial of lower-level soldiers implicated in the abuse, even as lawmakers ask if anyone up the chain of command is culpable.

Another accused MP at Abu Ghraib says he was following orders of intelligence officers: Following Orders? Accused Soldier Claims Intelligence Officers Gave Orders to Rough Up Prisoners. Meanwhile, under pressure of scandal, the US suddenly discovered it didn't "need" to detain another 300 innocent Iraqis, who told of the abuse they suffered at US hands: Freed detainees tell of torture in Abu Ghraib.

The German Spiegel TV claims to have documentation that an Iraqi was tortured to death in American custody: Iraqi In Custody Tortured To Death.

According to the research of Spiegel TV, the case of the family father Jaleel in occupied Iraq is not a rarity. Employees of the Forensic Pathology Institute in Baghdad confirm that among the bodies that the International Red Cross has handed over to them on behalf of the Americans there are always victims of torture. However, the Iraqi pathologists are forbidden to do their own investigation as long as there is an American death certificate - even if the information about the cause of death is obviously false.
About five bodies with US Armed Forces death certificates are handed over every week in Baghdad alone, according to the employees of the Institute. The established practice of the Americans is to declare bodies that come from the prison at Abu Ghuraib as victims of grenade attacks on the camp.

Another US claim dubious: Electricity Production in Iraq Remains Below Pre-War Levels.

Us torturers immune to international law: US Pushes World Court Immunity Amid Iraq Scandal.

Colin Powell expresses total disdain for the opinions of Iraqis. after all, papa knows best: Powell says Iraqis could like occupation.

US allies want "sovereignty" to mean at least partial sovereignty: Allies press U.S. to give Iraqis real power.

Two former soldiers who trained to be interrogators at an Arizona base claim taught how to abuse prisoners while "technically" obeying the Geneva Conventions: Ex-trainees: We learned abuse tactics at Huachuca.

The editor of the British paper the Daily Mirror was fired for publishing apparently fake photos of abuse by British troops: Mirror editor fired over Iraqi abuse photos.

Britons released from Guantanamo claim they were subjected to Abu Ghraib-like abuse. They want release of photos and videos they claim were taken there: Britons seek Gitmo 'torture' videos.

Action Alert! The horrors at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq indicate that no individual and no country should be above the law. Thus, the US should sign onto the International Criminal Court. There is a petition for the ICC to investigate crimes committed in Iraq: Sign the petition here.

One guard cuts a deal, give an account of abuse consistent with the Army view that it was the initiative of a few bad guards. The other guards dispute this. Of course, whatever the truth in the case of this wing of Abu Ghraib, widespread abuse has been documented by numerous sources: Abu Ghraib Guard Paints Harrowing Portrait of Abuse. Conflicting with the version of a few bad apples is this testimony from yet another prisoner giving a detailed account: Iraqi Tells of U.S. Abuse, From Ridicule to Rape Threat.

[Iraqi Tells:] "I think this was carried out under orders," he said. He offered as evidence that the man named Steven appeared to be the one directing the soldiers and that several higher-up officers regularly visited the cellblock — at times, he claimed, during actual mistreatment. He said he asked one of the interrogators, " `Why do you torture us?' " and that the man replied, " `It's not in our control.' " He also said that the soldiers themselves, as a group, seemed conflicted about what they were doing. While some seemed to enjoy it, he said, one soldier unchained him for several hours, only to rush back and chain him again when his superiors were coming....
"He told me his famous sentence, which has always stayed in my ears," said Mr. Aboud, who understands some English and speaks it a little. "He said, `If you do not confess, I will have my soldiers rape you....' "
The man named Steven, in his 30's with a goatee, stood silent. The soldiers, he said, deferred to Steven. "Steven was responsible for everything," he said. "He was the one who told them what to do. He did not do any torturing himself." [General Tagupa's report indicates that there was a "civilian contractor" named Steven conducting interrogations/]

More evidence Iraqis don't want the Americans around: 80% in Iraq Distrust Occupation Authority: Results of Poll, Taken Before Prison Scandal Came to Light, Worry U.S. Officials

Pentagon officials deny that rules for torture at Abu Ghraib violate Geneva Convention, but Rumsfeld has a good argument they don't: "There haven't been any convictions." Pentagon Officials: Interrogation Techniques Unlawful. Meanwhile, it becomes increasingly clear that the US violates the Geneva Convention at its concentration camps in afghanistan and Guantanamo: Iraqi prison abuse scandal leads to wider concerns about U.S. war rules. Meanwhile, an American citizen who was imprisoned in Camp Bucca said torture was rampant there: Former prisoner calls U.S. center a ‘torture camp’.

[Iraqi prison abuse scanda:] Two top Pentagon (news - web sites) officials agreed that interrogation tactics approved for use at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad violated the convention's rules against physical and mental torture of detainees.... The procedures required special authorization by Lt.-Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. commander in Iraq....
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said Thursday that prisoners in U.S. custody in Afghanistan have been suffering "systemic" mistreatment since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. Prisoners there have complained of beatings, sleep deprivation and exposure to extreme cold.
[Former prisoner:] Shaltout said he saw soldiers tie groups of naked prisoners together. He said they hogtied his hands and legs and placed scorpions on his body. "American soldiers love scorpions," Shaltout said.

Under repeated congressional questioning, a top State Department official said that US troops would leave Iraq if a new government demanded, only to have Lieutenant General Walter Sharp "correct" this to "no!": Lawmakers explore meaning of Iraqi sovereignty.

Bush wants more dough for Iraq, a lot more, and no controls on how they spend it: Wolfowitz: Iraq, Afghan costs could top $50B: Pentagon had said $ 25B request would come after elections

The mystery surrounding the death of Nic Berg deepens. US officials deny having him in custody, while both his family and now a friend, insist he told them the Iraqi police handed him over to US troops: Friend: Berg said he was in U.S. custody. The family also received several e-mails from US officials confirming he was in US custody. What are they trying to hide? Text of e-mails from U.S. consular officer in Baghdad to Berg family.

An excellent example of cognitive dissonance. Marines who, only a few weeks ago, killed hundreds of civilians and were firing on ambulances, are outraged at the harm done by the Abu Ghraib pictures: Shock at beheading of American, dismay at prisoner abuse scandal permeate Marine ranks. This makes it clear that war is horrible, not because it's fought by bad people, but because it leads good people to commit terrible acts.

"We are here to win hearts and minds, and the army is messing it up for us, making our job harder," said Lance Cpl. Michael Arnot, 21, of Los Lunas, N.M. "But I understand the Arab world, if someone occupied our country and behaved with our prisoners like this, I'd feel mad, too."

Must Read! As the talking heads line up to say "why don't Muslims denounce the brutal execution of Nic Berg?" Muslim leaders across Iraq denounced the brutal execution of Nic Berg. Look for the US headlines: Muslim Authorities Condemn Berg Killing.

The CIA hires private "interrogators", who are not bound by any rules. Ain't capitalism dandy? CIA Sought Contractors for Interrogators: CIA, Lacking Pool of Interrogators, Turned to Contractors As Detainee Numbers Surged.

Redressing an imbalance in American spin, the Washington Post points out that: Mistreatment Of Detainees Went Beyond Guards' Abuse: Ex-Prisoners, Red Cross Cite Flawed Arrests, Denial of Rights. Abu Ghraib was just the tip of the iceberg.

Problems in the U.S.-run detention system in Iraq extended beyond physical mistreatment in prison cellblocks, involving thousands of arrests without evidence of wrongdoing and abuse of suspects starting from the moment of detention, according to former prisoners, Iraqi lawyers, human rights advocates and the International Committee for the Red Cross....
"This is just like the days of Saddam," said Khalid Saadi Awad, who wanted to enter the building to see whether his cousin was on trial. "The Americans have established a secret court."

An Australian contractor in Iraq says the reality of abuse by Americans is far, far worse than the photographs show: Iraq prisoner abuse photos 'tame', Qld contractor says.

"I've seen a man who claimed he was a fisherman on the river, US military opened fire on them because they thought they were insurgents, they got one guy onto the beach, I was there on the side of the river, they shot him in the legs so he wouldn't run away," he said.

Rumsfeld mentions possibility of "failure" in Iraq. They know they've lost. We must get out before more die in their attempt to save face: Rumsfeld signals uncertainty on the outcome in Iraq.

The Guardian published what is one of the most detailed accounts by a victim of the torture at Abu Ghraib: 'They abused me and stole my dignity': Iraqi was bound, beaten and forced to spend 18 days naked in cell. [WARNING: It makes disturbing reading.]

A New York Times editorial condemns the Bush Administration spin on prisoner torture: The Abu Ghraib Spin.

The administration and its Republican allies appear to have settled on a way to deflect attention from the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib: accuse Democrats and the news media of overreacting, then pile all of the remaining responsibility onto officers in the battlefield, far away from President Bush and his political team. That cynical approach was on display yesterday morning in the second Abu Ghraib hearing in the Senate.

Congress views more pictures. Says they're "significantly worse" than what we've seen. Remember, just 13 days ago, Rumsfeld, who knew what was in them, refused to use the word "torture". One wonders what would qualify as torture? Giving an Iraqi giving a flu shot to an American soldier? Lawmakers Say New Abuse Photos Disturbing: Lawmakers Say New Iraq Prison Abuse Photos Include Disturbing Images of Torture. Note: There are 1,800 pictures! The Washington Post has over 1,000. What other one's are out there?

Anti-Islamic bigot Lt. Gen. William Boykin may have recommended torture techniques used in Iraq. Evidently, for some, at least, it really is crusade war against Islam: General Who Made Anti-Islam Remark Tied to POW Case.

Rumsfeld defends US torture techniques, the same techniques the US has condemned for years when engaged in by others. After all, the US only tortures "humanely." The Geneva Conventions only apply to the others: Rumsfeld Backs Iraq Interrogation Methods.

The former Iraqi "Interior Minister" claims that the "Governing Council" tried to look into abuse claims, but the US covered them over every time. If true, it means there had to be awareness at a fairly high level. That's called "policy": Former Iraq Minister: U.S. Forces Covered Up Abuses.

"Every time they had pressure on them and there was a visit, they arranged things in advance. They cleaned up the prison and fixed the situation of the prisoners," Badran said.

Reuters reports most Iraqis are disgusted by the murder of Nick Berg: Iraqis Shocked by Beheading, Despair Over Violence.

The Washington Post has 1,000 pictures from Abu Ghraib, but only published a few: 'Washington Post' Publishes Only a Few of Its Many Iraq-Prison Photos.

UNICEF weighs in: UNICEF 'disturbed' over child abuse claim.

The Senate hearing yesterday revealed that Brigadier General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the Commanding General in Iraq, has personally approved a list of acceptable torture techniques. It was further revealed that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld personally approves especially brutal torture at Guantanamo: Gen. Sanchez’ Command OK’d Use of Dogs on Prisoners.

"The interrogation officer in charge will submit memoranda for the record requesting harsh approaches for the commanding general's approval prior to employment: sleep management, sensory deprivation, isolation longer than 30 days and dogs."

The father of executed hostage Nick Berg blames the US for his son's death: Father blames US govt for beheading.

"I think a lot of people are fed up with the lack of civil rights this thing has caused," he said. "I don't think this administration is committed to democracy."

It wasn't only the men who were abused and humiliated: Focus shifts to jail abuse of women. Meanwhile, 60 Minute II is scheduled to show a female soldier's video diary in which she shows her lack of concern about deaths of prisoners: CBS to Air U.S. Soldier's Video Diary of Iraq Abuse.

[Focus Shifts:] A secret report by General Antonio Taguba into the scandal confirms that US guards videotaped and photographed naked female prisoners and that "a male MP [military police] guard" is shown "having sex with a female detainee". Yesterday Prof Shaker, who began researching the subject this year for Amnesty International, said she believed the woman involved had been killed. "The girl was called Noor. When I went to her house in Baghdad earlier this year she had disappeared. The neighbours said that she and her family had moved away."

As if the Arab world wasn't angry enough at the US, Bush waves a red flag: U.S. imposes sanctions on Syria.

Former Baathists don't want to join an army designed to fight other Iraqis: Ba'athists leery of role in new military.

Treatment of Prisoners. Afghanistan Cover-up! US refuses to allow the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission access to the Afghan and foreign prisoners they hold. The group wants to know if they are being treated like Iraqi prisoners. I guess it wouldn't be convenient to have more torture be revealed right now. After all, only a few bad apples are involved: U.S. Rejects Rights Group Access to Afghan Prisoners.

Senators and Pentagon brass spar over who'll take the blame for Abu Ghraib. [Hint: No one proposed bush or Cheney.] Officials Clash on Blame for Iraq Abuse. Here are the Transcripts of the Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Hearings. But, as argues, they all play a role in facilitating these atrocities: Just Trust Us...

Republican Senator says photos were designed to pressure detainees to talk: Abuse Photos Aimed At Pushing Prisoners To Talk?.

Horrors multiply! An American, Nick Berg, was beheaded, with the video posted on the web: Qaeda Leader Beheads U.S. Civilian in Iraq -Web Site. He had been kept from leaving the country by the US military: Pa. Man's Kin Learns of Beheading Video. But there are numerous questions about why: Why Was Nick Berg Held By The American Military?. Why wasn't the US more helpful>

[Pa. Man's Kin:] Suzanne Berg said that the family had been trying for weeks to learn where their son was, but that federal officials had not been helpful. "I went through this with them for weeks," she said. "I basically ended up doing most of the investigating myself."

Human Rights Watch points out that the US State department has routinely criticized treatment of prisoners in other countries that falls within the officially approved torture techniques for Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib: U.S. State Department Criticism of "Stress and Duress" Interrogation Around the World. For example, regarding Iraq: "Iraqi security services regularly use food and water deprivation as a form of torture, according to the country reports."

Speculation that Israeli agents may be working in Abu Ghraib interrogations, applying the techniques they've practiced for decades on Palestinians: The Israeli Torture Template: Rape, Feces and Urine-Dipped Cloth Sacks.

Here is the confidential: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Report on Treatment of Iraqi Detainees (pdf). The ICRC is receiving criticism for keeping the abuse confidential for over a year: Red Cross Faces Pressure in Abuse Scandal. Meanwhile, US Senator James Inhofe attacks those outraged by torture: Senator 'Outraged by Outrage' at Prison Abuse.

Lynndie England's lawyer says she was ordered to pose with naked men to humiliate them: Lawyers: Female reservist ordered to pose with naked men to humiliate them. Jeremy C. Sivits also claims: 'He did what he was told'.

Education? Health care? Unemployment insurance? Gone to pay for the torture of Iraqis: War tab swamps Bush’s estimate: Spending projection: $150 billion by 2005.

Amnesty International says British troops shot many civilians when not under threat: U.K. soldiers killed Iraqi child, others: Amnesty.

Woman in Abu Ghraib for months. Crime: They can't capture her husband.

Pentagon told military NOT to read the Taguba Report on prisoner torture and abuse. So much for learning from mistakes. They were more concerned to catch the leaker [and send him/her to Abu Ghraib?] Military Personnel: Don't Read This! How a Pentagon email sought to contain the prison abuse scandal.

Brutality everywhere: Soldier: Foul photos of inmates were prized.

Pictures of abuse and humiliation of Iraqis, taken with digital cameras, were burned onto CDs that circulated widely among prison personnel, said Sindar, 25. Peeks could be had in the chow hall. "It was like a commodity," Sindar explained. "Whatever pictures you had, whoever had the most foul picture out there, everyone wanted to see what it was."
Brutality was also in the air. Sindar recalled a 14-year-old Iraqi with a broken arm being hurled to the ground and then mocked by U.S. soldiers as the boy wept and wet himself in the prison intake center....
Strong, 50, said he found himself hitting Iraqi prisoners and recognized in himself how anger could turn into brutality. "You get a burning in your stomach, a rush, a feeling of hot lead running through your veins, and you get a sense of power," Strong said. "Imagine wearing point-blank body armor, an M-16 and all the power in the world, and the authority of God. That power is very addictive. "That's what happened (in the scandal). They lost their sense of compassion, their sense that all these guys are not bad. Then they started degrading human beings."

The Army Times [Editorial: A failure of leadership at the highest levels] says drop the bum, but Bush praises Rumsfeld to the hilt! He sure doesn't intend to clean house: Bush Shown Iraq Abuse Photos, Again Backs Rumsfeld.

Appearing before the cameras with Rumsfeld, Bush said, "Thank you for your leadership. You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror." "You're doing a superb job. You're a strong secretary of defense and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude," he added.

Claims that former regime officials were singled out for brutality amid admission that most detainees are innocent and that most arrests are extraordinarily brutal:

It said some coalition military intelligence officers estimated that "between 70 percent and 90 percent of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake. They also attributed the brutality of some arrests to the lack of proper supervision of battle group units...."
The agency said arrests allegedly tended to follow a pattern. "Arresting authorities entered houses usually after dark, breaking down doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said. "Sometimes they arrested all adult males present in a house, including elderly, handicapped or sick people," it said. "Treatment often included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with rifles, punching and kicking and striking with rifles...."
U.S. President George W. Bush said the mistreatment "was the wrongdoing of a few," but the Red Cross report backs up with detail the neutral agency's contention that the abuse was broad and part of a system, "not individual acts...."
It said it found evidence supporting prisoners' allegations of other forms of abuse during arrest, initial detention and interrogation. Among the evidence were burns, bruises and other injuries consistent with the abuse prisoners alleged, it said.

Human rights groups are demanding that all US prisons and concentration camps used in the "War on Terror" be opened to international inspection. To be effective, the inspections must be done in public, that is, with the right to make results public. After all, the ICRC knew all about the torture at Abu Ghraib, but was prevented by agreements from making that knowledge public: Rights Groups Demand That U.S. Open All Detention Facilities.

"Comments this week by Major General Geoffrey Miller, in charge of detainee operations in Iraq, that sleep deprivation and stress positions could be used against detainees show that the U.S. administration still has not learnt that ill-treatment and abuse are a slippery slope to torture and should be totally prohibited," Amnesty said....
"The U.S. administration has shown a consistent disregard for the Geneva Conventions and basic principles of law, human rights and decency," said Irene Khan, Amnesty's secretary general. "This has created a climate in which U.S. soldiers feel they can dehumanize and degrade prisoners with impunity. What we now see in Iraq is the logical consequence of the relentless pursuit of the 'war on terror' regardless of the costs to human rights and the rules of war."
"If the administration has nothing to hide, it should immediately end incommunicado detention and grant access to independent human rights monitors, including Amnesty International and the United Nations, to all detention facilities," she added.

Is it a coincidence that this story appears two days after the pictures of dogs being used to attack Iraqi prisoners surfaced? Military Dogs Get Bulletproof Vests. "Keeping the dogs safe is important." Keeping Iraqi prisoners safe is clearly not.

raining a dog costs about $50,000, Zaleski said which is one reason why protecting them is critical.

More details on the extent to which the Red Cross protested the Iraqi prison torture. They were told ""it's part of the process": Red Cross told Iraq abuse 'part of the process'.

The press are finally taking on the abuses in our name. Newsweek reports: Abu Ghraib and Beyond: The Bush administration says the U.S. atrocities at Saddam's old jail were the work of a few. But prisoner abuse is more widespread, and lots of people are passing the buck. While the Washington Post reports: As Insurgency Grew, So Did Prison Abuse: Needing Intelligence, U.S. Pressed Detainees.

A new poll of Iraqis, conducted mid-April, found a majority want the US to leave immediately! It also found that al-Sadr is the second most popular person, across the social spectrum. This was before the prison torture scandal broke. If the US really had the slightest belief in democracy, the troops would be headed for the ships right now: Iraqis' doubts of U.S. deepen: New poll says majority wants Americans gone.

Further details on the [resigned] Iraqi Human Rights Minister's attempts to get Bremer to do something about the torture, revealing yet more US lies: Bremer knew, minister claims. [Remember, virtually nothing the Americans have said regarding this war or occupation has turned out to be true.]

He informed Mr Bremer last November and again in December of the rampant abuse in US military prisons. "He listened very well. But that was all he did," he added....
In December, a month before the US military set up its own secret inquiry into Abu Ghraib, he telephoned Mr Bremer to complain about the treatment of female detainees. "They had been denied medical treatment. They had no proper toilet. They had only been given one blanket, even though it was winter," he said.
Dan Senor, Paul Bremer's spokesman, told the Guardian that Mr Bremer only found out about the "humiliation" of prisoners in January.

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! The cover-up proceeds apace. By courts martialling the lower down fall guys quickly, the military can shut them up. If they really wanted to know who was behind the abuse, they would be trying to cut deals to get them to speak about the higher ups who gave the orders: U.S. Sets Public Baghdad Court Martial in Abuse Case.

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! Human rights groups held a press conference in Iraq, with former detainees describing their torture. They wanted to get across that torture and abuse are widespread and systematic, NOT the "actions of a few" as President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and the others in charge claim: Iraqi Detainees Allege Torture in U.S.-Run Jails.

Issam al-Hammad said the Americans came to his village near al-Qaim on the Syrian border looking for his father, Abid Hammad al-Mahoosh, a major general in the disbanded Iraqi army. He wasn't there, so they took Issam and his three brothers, the youngest of them age 16. "We spent five and a half months in four detention centers," Issam al-Hammad said. Al-Hammad, who is in his late 20s, said they were beaten and given electrical shocks. "I was naked apart from my underpants and they poured water on my back and then electrified me with an electrical stick," he said. Several times American officers pointed a pistol at one of the brothers to force the others to talk, he said. "They told me if you don't talk we will bring your mothers and sisters here," al-Hammad said.
The al-Hammad brothers showed a photograph of a body marked extensively with bruises and burns, which they said was their father, who surrendered to U.S. forces after his sons were detained. "Our father handed himself to the Americans three days after we were arrested. For two months he was tortured, and when he died because of the torture they dropped his body at the front gate of a hospital and left him there," Issam al-Hammad said....
Najim Abdul-Majid, 45, a Baghdad shop owner detained with his 17-year-old son last August, said during interrogation his captors would chain him to the ceiling for three hours. "Beating and humiliation was the norm," he said. "Once they took me to watch my son being tortured with electricity. He was tied to a pole while two wires were dangled on his back," he said.

Seymour Hersh, in this week's New Yorker, now reports on the investigations of the torture at Abu Ghraib: Chain of Command: How the Department of Defense mishandled the disaster at Abu Ghraib.

The Pentagon official told me that many senior generals believe that, along with the civilians in Rumsfeld’s office, General Sanchez and General John Abizaid, who is in charge of the Central Command, in Tampa, Florida, had done their best to keep the issue quiet in the first months of the year....
Military-intelligence personnel assigned to Abu Ghraib repeatedly wore “sterile,” or unmarked, uniforms or civilian clothes while on duty. “You couldn’t tell them apart,” the source familiar with the investigation said. The blurring of identities and organizations meant that it was impossible for the prisoners, or, significantly, the military policemen on duty, to know who was doing what to whom, and who had the authority to give orders. Civilian employees at the prison were not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but they were bound by civilian law—though it is unclear whether American or Iraqi law would apply....
Lindh was later stripped naked, bound to a stretcher with duct tape, and placed in a windowless shipping container. Once again, the affidavit said, “military personnel photographed Mr. Lindh as he lay on the stretcher.” On July 15, 2002, Lindh agreed to plead guilty to carrying a gun while serving in the Taliban and received a twenty-year jail term. During that process, Brosnahan told me, “the Department of Defense insisted that we state that there was ‘no deliberate’ mistreatment of John.” His client agreed to do so, but, the attorney noted, “Against that, you have that photograph of a naked John on that stretcher.”
The photographing of prisoners, both in Afghanistan and in Iraq, seems to have been not random but, rather, part of the dehumanizing interrogation process. The Times published an interview last week with Hayder Sabbar Abd, who claimed, convincingly, to be one of the mistreated Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib photographs. Abd told Ian Fisher, the Times reporter, that his ordeal had been recorded, almost constantly, by cameras, which added to his humiliation. He remembered how the camera flashed repeatedly as soldiers told to him to masturbate and beat him when he refused.

Another Abu Ghraib torture victim speaks out: 'I will never forget what they did to me'.

US wants UN to put discredited exile politicians in charge after "sovereignty". The last thing they want is to have people in charge who don't owe their position to the US: U.S. Presses U.N. on Role in Iraq for Politicians.

"Torture General", formerly in charge of Guantanamo concentration camp, now in charge of Abu Ghraib tries to claim that he did not exactly recommend torture, only "torture lite" when he visited Abu Ghraib last October: New Head Of Prisons Defends Advice: Guards Were to Be 'Actively Engaged'. He should be in the Hague, not in charge!

Must Read! Human Rights Watch has compiled a list of warnings of abuse and torture of Iraqi and Afghani prisoners and of the American (non)responses. It goes on for pages: Timeline of Detainee Abuse Allegations and Responses.

The US press is now documenting that the US was "warned" over and over about its torture of prisoners, but did no action. This was policy, not the work of "a few". Thousands of detainees across the country were abused. Anyone, like President Bush, John Kerry, and Donald Rumsfeld are simply lying. Here is the San Francisco Chronicle: Early alarm bells sounded, ignored: Abuse reports began almost at war's start. Here is a New York Times piece detailing the history of the particular MP unit involved at Abu Ghraib. It both shows that no one cared that Iraqis were abused, and contributes to the myth that the problem was confined to this unit. It ignores that abuse was totally routine: In Abuse, a Portrayal of Ill-Prepared, Overwhelmed G.I.'s. The piece does make clear that the cover-up started as soon as the investigation.

General Karpinski has complained that the initial investigation ordered by General Sanchez was limited to the conduct of her military police brigade and did not examine in any detail the role played by military intelligence and private contractors. Not until General Sanchez received a preliminary briefing on General Taguba's findings on March 12, which identified the intelligence officers and contractors as having possibly been primarily to blame, did he order a similar review of any wrongdoing by military intelligence officers at the prison. For reasons that remain unclear, that inquiry did not begin until April 23.

But for US business, all's right with the world: War and Abuse Do Little to Harm U.S. Brands.

Abuse tantamount to torture at Guantanamo officially approved in April 2003. They even had official lists of approved techniques. Why should we believe they'll stop it in Iraq? Pentagon Approved Tougher Interrogations.

The United States has stated publicly that it does not engage in torture or cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners.
But Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said the tactics outlined in the U.S. document amount to cruel and inhumane treatment. "The courts have ruled most of these techniques illegal," he said. "If it's illegal here under the U.S. Constitution, it's illegal abroad. . . . This isn't even close."

Everywhere they go, the US contractors act like abusers: For Iraqi editor, US doesn't live up to ideal of press freedom.

Rumsfeld gets support from one of our moral leaders: Cheney Defends Rumsfeld, Says 'Get Off His Case'.

Must Read! If You Read Anything, Read This! Riverbend tries to somehow convey how Iraqis feel about the US. Of course, faced with the undescribeable, she ultimately fails. But she does as well as anyone ever will: Just Go...

People are so angry. There’s no way to explain the reactions- even pro-occupation Iraqis find themselves silenced by this latest horror. I can’t explain how people feel- or even how I personally feel. Somehow, pictures of dead Iraqis are easier to bear than this grotesque show of American military technique. People would rather be dead than sexually abused and degraded by the animals running Abu Ghraib prison....
And through all this, Bush gives his repulsive speeches. He makes an appearance on Arabic tv channels looking sheepish and attempting to look sincere, babbling on about how this 'incident' wasn't representative of the American people or even the army, regardless of the fact that it's been going on for so long. He asks Iraqis to not let these pictures reflect on their attitude towards the American people… and yet when the bodies were dragged through the streets of Falloojeh, the American troops took it upon themselves to punish the whole city....
I don't understand the 'shock' Americans claim to feel at the lurid pictures. You've seen the troops break down doors and terrify women and children… curse, scream, push, pull and throw people to the ground with a boot over their head. You've seen troops shoot civilians in cold blood. You've seen them bomb cities and towns. You've seen them burn cars and humans using tanks and helicopters. Is this latest debacle so very shocking or appalling?
The number of killings in the south has also risen. The Americans and British are saying that they are 'insurgents' and people who are a part of Al-Sadir's militia, but people from Najaf are claiming that innocent civilians are being killed on a daily basis. Today the troops entered Najaf and there was fighting in the streets.... The current situation in the south makes one wonder who, now, is going to implement a no-fly zone over areas like Falloojeh and Najaf to 'protect' the people this time around?
I sometimes get emails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today's lesson: don't rape, don't torture, don't kill and get out while you can- while it still looks like you have a choice... Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? We’ll take our chances- just take your Puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go.

How big is this issue in Iraq? The view from Iraq: 'Tip of the iceberg? This iceberg is so big there's no water left to float it', reports Justin Huggler in the Independent. Or, as Peter Beaumont and Paul Harris describe in the Guardian: Catastrophe: The White House faced its biggest crisis over Iraq last week, but its origins lie in practices that may have been routine. We reveal how the abuse of prisoners began long before the sickening images which have outraged the world appeared.

[The view from Iraq:] Even if Iraqis were not surprised that the abuses were going on, however, that has not diminished the impact of the photographs themselves. The sight of female soldiers posing and grinning next to naked and humiliated Iraqi men has engendered raw fury. Reports that the pictures have lost the US support among Iraqis are wide of the mark: there was no support left after the débâcle of their heavy-handed onslaught on Fallujah. But these pictures have heaped fuel on the fire.
[Catastrophe:] The techniques employed at Abu Ghraib were not simply for the cruel entertainment of military policemen and private contractors running the prison, but an even crueller application of abusive interrogation techniques taught to both US and British special forces....
That it has been a catastrophe for US foreign policy is asserted by usually robust senior Pentagon officials who claim privately that Iraq policy is now '97 per cent disaster' and the war is no longer being planned but crisis-managed from day-to-day....
According to other Red Cross officials, concern had been mounting throughout the year over persistent allegations of abuse. 'Between 31 March and 24 October we made 29 separate visits,' says Doumani. These culminated in a visit to Abu Ghraib in October [2003], during which the most egregious abuses were uncovered.
'Right after that visit we gave a findings presentation to the director of the prison, [Brigadier-General] Janis Karpinski.' said Doumani. That critical presentation was followed by the production of a working paper for discussion, also to Karpinski. At the same time, Red Cross officials were also concerned about allegations of alleged beatings meted out to Iraqis by British soldiers in their sector which was also raised with senior British officers at around the same time - in October and November....
From Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay to Iraq and to friendly third-party countries with poor human rights records which were willing to open up their facilities to the US, a picture was emerging of routine and arbitrary ill treatment. Of men picked up, sometimes on the smallest pretext, disappearing into a chilling closed world....
Among US soldiers the prison was even dubbed 'Abu Grope'.

Treatment of Prisoners, British Lies. On both sides of the Atlantic, officials never tell the truth if they think there is any chance a lie won't be detected: When did British ministers know of prison torture? It also comes out that British interrogators were plying their trade at Abu Ghraib. Of course, they knew nothing about what was going on there! After all, nobody who didn't wind up in a photograph knew a thing: British quizzed Iraqis at torture jail: Tories demand Hoon explains when he was told about prisoner abuse. Whitehall alarmed over report that detainees were hidden from Red Cross.

[When did British ministers know:] Last week, the Armed Forces minister, Adam Ingram, emphatically denied in the Commons that he had received any reports about conditions in British jails from any outside organisation. But since then, the Red Cross has broken its traditional silence to reveal that it has been holding private meetings with coalition leaders for months to plead with them to end the ill treatment meted out to Iraqi detainees. During these talks, the Red Cross raised "concerns" about British-run prisons ­ though not on the scale of the allegations about abuses by US troops.
[British quizzed Iraqis:] The Red Cross disclosed to The Observer that its president, Jakob Kellenberger, had personally warned three of George W. Bush's most senior officials - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz - of widespread abuse tantamount to torture....
Whitehall sources expressed concern last night that the US was transporting prisoners from Afghanistan to Abu Ghraib for interrogation to avoid being overseen by the Red Cross. [Maybe they can put the whole world in Guantanamo and be done with it! Oops] British officials believe Abu Ghraib became a secret substitute for the controversial US prison facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, which was attracting hostile international attention.

Treatment of Prisoners, British Style. Another account making it clear that at least some British troops were pretty good at the humiliation and murder game: Revealed: how an army raid for guns led to death and a growing scandal. Confronted by the ICRC, the British admit they were given a report on abuse in February: Iraqi abuse 'known in February'.

[As the british military carefully investigate all claims of abuse] When death certificate number 2CIVM1169 was later issued to Baha's father, it gave the cause of death as "cardiorespiratory arrest: asphyxia". Written in the box set aside to explain the source of the injury were the words: "Unknown - refer to coroner."

Treatment of Prisoners. The Lies Continue! Could this possibly be the result of a few bad apples? U.S. says no plans yet to close Abu Ghraib: Rumsfeld warns that worse images of prison abuse still to come.

U.S. military officials told NBC News that the unreleased images showed U.S. soldiers severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi female prisoner and “acting inappropriately with a dead body.” The officials said there was also a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys....
[But all's ok. He got the heat off Bush.] Bush, who was widely reported this week to have scolded Rumsfeld for not alerting him to the photographs, telephoned Rumsfeld as he was traveling in Iowa and Wisconsin to tell him he “did a really good job” in his testimony....
[The lies continue.] Myers testified that an investigation of four prisons under the command of the unit in charge of Abu Ghraib had not turned up other problems. But the Army’s own probe, an executive summary of which was obtained by NBC News, detailed numerous instances of abuse at Camp Bucca, the U.S. detention center in Umm Qasr in southern Iraq....
The Defense Department said the photos were taken by a small number of soldiers for their own pleasure. But military officials told NBC News that nude photos were often used as an interrogation technique, saying interrogators would threaten to release the photos of prisoners unless they cooperated.

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! A Few of the Latest Developments. We ain't seen nothin' yet: Senator says Iraq abuse scandal could become murder and rape inquiry. But, those involved are justifying killings: Soldier who killed 2 in Iraq jail defends actions. They were following orders: Soldier: Unit's Role Was to Break Down Prisoners: Reservist Tells of Orders From Intelligence Officers

[Senator:] “We’re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We’re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.”
[Soldier who killed 2:] towe also blamed the military and politicians in Washington for turning a blind eye to realities in Iraq. "The military chain of command is so uptight with politics, they don't want to know the real deal. Our people are put under so much stress ... they don't know where to turn."
[Soldier's Unit's Role:] "The Geneva Convention was never posted, and none of us remember taking a class to review it," Harman said. "The first time reading it was two months after being charged. I read the entire thing highlighting everything the prison is in violation of. There's a lot."
Shortly after Harman got to Abu Ghraib in October, her mother said, she began to take and collect pictures as evidence of the improper conditions. Robin Harman said when her daughter told her what she was doing, she ordered her to stop. "We got into an argument about it at 4 a.m.," Robin Harman said. "Sabrina said she had to prove this. I told her to bring the pictures home, hide them and stay out of it."

To those who told of US torture and were ignored, add the Associated Press that reported US torture of Iraqi detainees last October, long before many of the fall-guys were even there: Early Iraq Abuse Accounts Met With Silence.

Where the US goes to find a commander to clean up torture, an idyllic: Torturer's paradise . And a reminder, in January, Rumsfeld heaped scorn on those who questioned the wonderful treatment administered in the US concentration camp at Guantanamo: Rumsfeld defends treatment of detainees: He rejects claims that fighters from Afghanistan face poor conditions. Here's how one of the few released described: My Hell In Camp X-ray. All the sudden, he's shocked, shocked, at detainee's treatment in Iraq. What a difference a few photographs make. No "reforms" that do not include Afghanistan and Guantanamo are worth a hill of beans!

[Torturer's:] Maj Gen Geoffrey Miller, formerly of Guantánamo and now overseeing Iraq's US-run prisons, promises to open up Abu Ghraib and to reform its regime. But Gen Miller is also reported as still defending the use of sleep deprivation to break down prisoners: a clear infringement of the UN convention against torture and the Geneva conventions.

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! Abuse occurred at all 10 US detention facilities and is still continuing, former Iraqi Human Rights Minister asserts: Former Iraqi Rights Minister Says Abuses Continue.

Iraq's former human rights minister Abdul Basset Turki said abuses of Iraqi prisoners had been going on at all U.S. bases since the occupation began, with some taking place as recently as last week.

17 members of Congress were notified about abuse at Abu Ghraib, but did nothing. Then Sixty Minutes II was notified: Hackworth exposed abuse scandal: Decorated soldier, commentator said Pentagon hoped it would go away.

Sculpture anticipates photos: Iraqi Artwork Foretells Prisoner Abuse Pictures.

Treatment of Prisoners. New details. Those terrible insurgent 12 year old girls and 15 year old boys got the good old softening up: 'US soldiers abused young girl at Iraqi prison'

[US soldiers abused:] He said: "They brought a 12-year-old girl into our cellblock late at night. Her brother was a prisoner in the other cells. "She was naked and screaming and calling out to him as they beat her. Her brother was helpless and could only hear her cries. This affected all of us because she was just a child....
[But no one would know, because all involved kept it totally secret] Mr al-Baz claims the guards at the prison were keen to take photographs of the abuse and turned it into a competition. "They were enjoying taking photographs of the torture. There was a daily competition to see who could take the most gruesome picture. "The winner's photo would be stuck on a wall and also put on their laptop computers as a screensaver.

Must Read! Juan Cole explains why Rumsfeld should "resign": The Mideastization of the US, or: Rumsfeld Must Resign

The Bush administration keeps talking about bringing democracy to the Middle East, but a key element in democracy is always the accountability of public officials to the public.... The Bush administration has from its inception stood against accountability....
When the Bush administration revealed her [valerie Plame] name to the public, it compromised all her contacts in all the countries she had ever worked, and set back the fight against proliferation. This action was high treason. Bush could demand that the individual responsible come forward. He has not done so.
When no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, no Bush administration official was asked to resign....
It is clear where the buck stops with regard to torture by the US military. It stops with the Secretary of Defense (and with the President, but he in any case is facing accountability in November). Moreover, Rumsfeld is not an innocent bystander in all this. His policies have consistently aimed at creating spaces for prisoners to be outside any judicial jurisdiction, so that anything can be done to them with impunity. I remember seeing a news conference where a British journalist complained about the US practice of hooding prisoners as a form of torture. Rumsfeld absolutely ridiculed her. "Hooding?" He asked sarcastically. The torture of POWs at Abu Ghuraib was not carried out by a handful of rogue MPs. It was the result of ordinary practices of US military intelligence, practices that just haven't usually been photographed....
You really wonder whether the Bush plan to Americanize the Middle East isn't being turned on its head. We now have an unaccountable government not elected in accordance with the will of the majority of Americans, which victimizes critics like Joe Wilson and engages in torture. Bush and Co. are emulating the worst aspects of the military governments of Egypt and Yemen....
Bush says he is annoyed with Rumsfeld for not informing him about those photographs of tortured Iraqi prisoners. I personally find it difficult to believe that Rumsfeld did not brief him on them at a time when Gen. Richard Myers was discussing the timing of their release with Dan Rathers! But if this is true, it demonstrates that Bush is not really president. He has allowed Cheney, Rumsfeld and others to usurp his presidency, hide key information from him, manipulate him, and tell him what to do.

Treatment of Prisoners. Cover-up in Progress! One of the MPs charged with prisoner abuse insists: Prisoners abused 'under orders'. And, remember, the general now put in charge of Abu Ghraib to clean up the mess is the same general who recommended that MP guards be ordered to abuse and torture ["soften up"] prisoners prior to interrogation. He belongs in the dock, NOT in charge: General told MPs to 'soften up' prisoners. See also: New General, Old Methods at Iraq Prisons. Further evidence that administration actions are a cover-up. Not only is the "torture General" in charge, but other torturers are still at work, free to ply their trade: Bush sickened, but suspects still at work. And Amnesty International reminds us that the "abuse" was known for a year and that it is only being made public by the press not the administration. They call for a full investigation of these "war crimes". [But how can one possibly expect the administration directly responsible for the abuse to investigate it? we need an independent, international investigation!] Amnesty demands US 'war crimes' inquiry. Further, no investigation is serious that does not include US concentration camps in afghanistan and Guantanamo.

Treatment of Prisoners, British Style. The Independent speaks to an Iraqi victim of torture at british hands: I was beaten for three days by British soldiers. In defense of the authenticity of its pictures, the Daily Mirror publishes picture of British soldier photographing abused Iraqis: Pic That Proves QLR Took Photo Of Beaten Iraqis. Last week, two soldiers told of abuse claims. Now another has come forward: Third Brit Soldier Tells Us: I Saw POW Beatings. And a fourth: Daily Mirror publishes picture of British soldier photographing abused Iraqis: Pic That Proves QLR Took Photo Of Beaten Iraqis.

[Pic:] "If you had pictures you could show them. While we were out there we were told to get rid of all of them. But if they'd done a proper search they'd have found CDs and all sorts of things. "There was one CD going round our room with about 500 shots on it. Some were before and after pictures of beatings."

Must Read! The Guardian reports that sexual humiliation and other torture techniques were taught by the British Special Forces, supposedly to prepare them for what they might experience if captured: UK forces taught torture methods.

"There is a reservoir of knowledge about these interrogation techniques which is retained by former special forces soldiers who are being rehired as private contractors in Iraq. Contractors are bringing in their old friends". Using sexual jibes and degradation, along with stripping naked, is one of the methods taught on both sides of the Atlantic under the slogan "prolong the shock of capture", he said. Female guards were used to taunt male prisoners sexually and at British training sessions when female candidates were undergoing resistance training they would be subject to lesbian jibes.
The British former officer said the dissemination of R2I techniques inside Iraq was all the more dangerous because of the general mood among American troops. "The feeling among US soldiers I've spoken to in the last week is also that 'the gloves are off'. Many of them still think they are dealing with people responsible for 9/11".

Former interrogators says many innocent people locked up for months on end, while the private contractors hired just about anybody: 'Cooks and Drivers Were Working as Interrogators': Witness: private contractor lifts the lid on systematic failures at Abu Ghraib jail. His account validates everything that Iraqis have been saying for the past year. Clearly, any country whose occupying army behaves like this needs to leave. If you are part of the problem, you are not part of the solution.

He alleged that those companies were so anxious to meet the demand for their services that they sent "cooks and truck drivers" to work as interrogators...
He claimed that "many of the detainees at the prison are actually innocent of any acts against the coalition and are being held until the bureaucracy there can go through their cases and verify their need to be released." "One case in point is a detainee whom I recommended for release and months later was still sitting in the same tent with no change in his status...."
Mr Nelson said that the same systemic problems were also responsible for large numbers of Afghans being mistakenly swept into Guantánamo Bay. He estimated that "30-40%" of the inmates at the controversial prison camp had no connection to terrorism. "There are people who should never have been sent over there. I was involved in the process of reviewing people for possible release and I can say definitely that they should have been released and released a lot sooner," he said....
"A unit goes out on a raid and they have a target and the target is not available; they just grab anybody because that was their job," Mr Nelson said, referring to counter-insurgency operations in Iraq. "The troops are under a lot of stress and they don't know one guy from the next. They're not cultural experts. All they want is to count down the days and hopefully go home. They take it out on the nearest person they can't understand." "I've read reports from capturing units where the capturing unit wrote, "the target was not at home. The neighbor came out to see what was going on and we grabbed him," he said.
According to Mr Nelson's account, the victims' very innocence made them more likely to be abused, because interrogators refused to believe they could have been picked up on such arbitrary grounds. "Now, whether the detainees are put into the general intelligence holding area, where they rot for a few months until final release, or if they are placed in solitary confinement because their story seems unbelievable is completely in the hands of the interrogator's opinion," he said. "It is in solitary that the abuses can be committed. So, in theory it is in fact very possible that purely innocent Iraqis could be placed in an environment where they could be brutalized, abused, "softened up" or even killed."

Reminder, Bush began war by attacking International Criminal Court in front of troops. Lawlessness starta at the top: It Starts at the Top. Hooah. The following text is taken from remarks by President Bush

Secretary Rumsfeld testifies to congress: Rumsfeld: 'Deepest Apology' for Iraq Prison Abuse. And another take on his testimony: Rumsfeld insists ‘everyone knew’ about charges Secretary strongly denies abuse probe kept secret. Here is his Opening Remarks. And here is a Dissection of Donald Rumsfeld testimonies facts and fictions.

Do they really think anyone will buy this? U.S. to Worldwide Firms: Iraq Safer Than You Think.

Reporters are finally allowed into Abu Ghraib, revealing the rage among prisoners. But the reporters re not allowed to talk with them. Also, note that, all the sudden, the US is making "reforms", releasing a large fraction of the prisoners [why weren't they released months ago, when it was realized they posed no danger?] and allowing family visits, after a year of not allowing any. There are even rumors the US will release a list of the detainees, to let family members know. We should all cry shame! Rage Is on Display During Prison Tour: General Touts Reforms, New Facilities

Belated "apology" falls flat: Mid-East press spurns Bush apology.

Must Read! Note the exact wording whereby President Bush criticizes Rumsfeld: "He [President Bush] said he told him that "I should have known about the pictures and the report" done by the Pentagon before they turned up in news reports." Note that he is not expressing upset about the torture or that nothing was done about it. He is clearly only expressing upset that he wasn't warned about the potential bad publicity! No wonder bush isn't interested in Rumsfeld's resignation. Next time he'll warn that bad publicity is coming. Source: Bush Backs Rumsfeld In Abuse Case.

They didn't know a thing? It has already been reported that Amnesty International told them as early as last June, almost a year ago. As reported yesterday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told them. Now it turns out their own weapons inspector, David Kay also knew and warned them: Inspector says he warned U.S. officials of Iraqi prisoner abuse. So why didn't anyone listen? Now it turns out that the ICRC not only warned them but concluded that abuse "tantamount torture" was US policy: Red Cross: U.S. May Have Tolerated Iraq Abuse -WSJ. While soldiers returned from Iraq say abuse was everywhere: Soldiers Back in U.S. Tell of More Iraqi Abuses.

[Red Cross:] Information gathered by the Red Cross "suggested the use of ill-treatment against persons deprived of their liberty went beyond exceptional cases and might be considered a practice tolerated by" coalition forces.
[Soldiers:] "It is a common thing to abuse prisoners," said Sgt. Mike Sindar, 25, a National Guardsman with the 870th Military Police Company based in the San Francisco Bay area. "I saw beatings all the time. "A lot of people had so much pent-up anger, so much aggression...."
Ramone Leal, 25, said one female soldier in his unit fired off a slingshot into a crowd of prisoners, injuring one. Another group of soldiers knocked a 14-year-old boy to the ground as he arrived at the prison and then twisted his arm. "The soldiers were laughing at him," said Leal, who like the others interviewed for this article has since returned to California. "I saw the other soldiers that would take out their frustrations on the prisoners...."
They said they saw hooded prisoners with racial taunts written on the hoods such as "camel jockey' or slogans such as "I tried to kill an American but now I'm in jail...."
When military investigators were looking into abuses several months ago, they gave U.S. guards a week's notice before inspecting their possessions, several soldiers said. "That shows you how lax they are about discipline. 'We are going to look for contraband in here, so hint, hint, get rid of the stuff,' that's the way things work in the Guard," Leal said.

Must Read! Note the exact wording whereby President Bush criticizes Rumsfeld: "He [President Bush] said he told him that "I should have known about the pictures and the report" done by the Pentagon before they turned up in news reports." Note that he is not expressing upset about the torture or that nothing was done about it. He is clearly only expressing upset that he wasn't warned about the potential bad publicity! Source: Bush Backs Rumsfeld In Abuse Case.

New allegations of beatings by British troops: British Troops Hit by New Iraq Abuse Claim.

Two more reporters die, evidently when their car was attacked: Polish, Algerian Reporters Shot Dead in Iraq.

Former US officer at Abu Ghraib describes violent atmosphere (on both sides) throughout the prison: U.S. officer tells of violence at Iraq prison.

Slave Labor? One of the former Indian "slave laborers" at a US military camp speaks out. He make it clear that his abuse was from US troops, not just "private contractors." Since they're aren't pictures, I presume the US press won't run with this one: 'I was tortured for days by American soldiers'

Growing tension. Which side are you on? In Iraq, Shias turning against Kurds.

Treatment of Prisoners. Once the press smells blood, you'd almost think we didn't have a controlled press. I can't keep up with all the revelations and analyses! It was no accident, according to this article: Torture by the book: The pattern of abuse of Iraqi prisoners follows established CIA interrogation techniques . And the Washington Post received 1,000 photos, some ordinary tourist photos, others of abuse and torture: New Photos Reveal More About Iraqi Prisoner Abuse. Further, a US civilian accused of killing an Iraqi prisoner is still at work there: Civilian accused of killing ‘doing fine job’. And Rush Limbaug says the guard were "just blowing off steam:" Limbaugh on torture of Iraqis: U.S. guards were "having a good time," "blow[ing] some steam off.

[New photos:] "It is clear that the intelligence community dictated that these photographs be taken," said Guy L. Womack, a Houston lawyer representing Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr., 35, one of the soldiers charged in the case....
Other photos show wounded men and dead bodies. In one, a dead man is laying in the back of a truck, his shirt, face and left arm covered in blood. His right arm is missing. Another photograph shows a dead body, gray and decomposing. A young soldier is leaning over the corpse, smiling broadly and giving the "thumbs-up" sign.
[Limbaugh:] "his is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?"
LIMBAUGH: And these American prisoners of war -- have you people noticed who the torturers are? Women! The babes! The babes are meting out the torture.
LIMBAUGH: You know, if you look at -- if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I'm -- yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City -- the movie. I mean, I don't -- it's just me.

The US is also investigating claims that Indian citizens were used as forced labor (aka slaves) in US military camps in Iraq: Probe into Iraq trafficking claims.

As the debate on US private "contractors running the Iraqi Torturers-R-US concession, Louis Nevaer reports that among those working for the Us are true war criminals from conflicts past. At least the US is getting some professional assistance in the torture department: Hired Guns with War Crimes Past.

The Arab press pitches Bush softballs: Text of President Bush’s interview with Al-Arabiya and Text of President Bush’s interview with Al-Hurra. For reaction, see: Arab world scorns Bush's TV 'apology': Pressure mounts in US over Iraq torture scandal . See also the Guardian Leader: Inhuman and degrading. Bush, however, has a human reaction: Bush Annoyed with Rumsfeld Over Iraq Abuse, Aides Say. so they're setting it for Rumsfeld to take the fall. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

More prison deaths under investigation: 14 Prison Deaths May Be Tied to U.S. Number of Prison Deaths Tied to Americans Rises to As Many As 14; Rumsfeld Goes Before Congress.

The more things change... A reader wrote to Juan Cole and pointed out that Major General Geoffrey Miller, the man recently appointed to clean up the mess at Abu Ghraib is actually the same one who advised creating it! He advised that the MP guards be involved in preparing the detainees for interrogation; in other words, torturing them. What better symbol could Bush/Rumsfeld give that they have no interest in changing a thing there. Only keeping the press away, as Miller has done so well at Guantanamo: Taguba Report Online; Bush tries Damage Control on Arab Satellite TV.

More money needed to keep Iraqis in line: Bush seeking $25 billion for Iraq war costs. I'm sure, after the election they'll ask for a lot more.

It seemed likely that the $25 billion proposal would be only the first portion of funds that will be needed for next year.

Treatment of Prisoners. Read how a 70 year old woman was treated. Imagine what they did to men and younger women: Troops 'put harness' on 70yo woman. but if some of the attitudes represented in this article are common, there is a large faction of Americans who will justify ANY brutality: Many Americans Disgusted by Iraqi Prisoner Abuse. [Despite the title, the article quotes more people justifying the brutality than disgusted by it.]

[Troops put harness:] US soldiers who detained an elderly Iraqi woman last year placed a harness on her, made her crawl on all fours and rode her like a donkey, Prime Minister Tony Blair's personal human rights envoy to Iraq said today.
[Many Americans:] Engineer Mike Wallace of Santa Clara, California, does not condone the abuse but said, "We don't know the full story of what they did. These people could be murderers, scoundrels...." [Clearly that would justify such treatment.]
Oscar Torres, 21, countered, "I think they deserved it. Those people are crazy over there. I'm voting for Bush. He's doing right...."
Barbara McNagny, 70, a registered nurse from Rogersville, Missouri, said bluntly, "These people would tie us up by our fingernails if they could. I'm afraid if we don't scare them to death, they won't get in line...."
"If the humiliation of these prisoners results in the saving of one American military life, go to it," Derrel Norris of Wills Point, Texas, said in a letter published on Tuesday.

Treatment of Prisoners. President Bush speaks on arab t.v. network. says platitudes, no apology, takes no responsibility: Bush: Iraqi Prisoner Abuse 'Abhorrent' -- Bush Expresses Dismay at U.S. Treatment of Iraqi Prisoners in Interviews With Arab TV. Note the headline in Al bawaba: Bush not apologizing for Iraqi prisoners abuse. From the content, I would say that this "interview" was really for domestic US consumption, not Arab. Meanwhile: UN human rights body calls on US, UK to grant Iraqi detainees legal rights. It shouldn't take the UN to demand this!

[UN:] “The Working Group's Chairperson-Rapporteur is seriously disturbed by the fact that these persons have not been granted access to a court to be able to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, as required by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 9),” Rapporteur Leïla Zerrougui, said in a statement....
According to information received by the Working Group, the majority of detainees have been arrested during public demonstrations, at check points and in house raids, and are considered "security detainees" or "suspected of anti-Coalition activities."

Treatment of Prisoners. Some progress in oversight at Abu Ghraib, as Red Cross and Iraqi ministers are allowed access. It's not clear if they will be allowed everywhere in the facility. There is even a rumor that the US will release names of the detained! It is an unspeakable abuse that this has not been done in over a year, an abuse the responsibility for which goes right to the top. Bremer has been confronted about it innumerable times, and it has been reported, even in the US press, so no official, from President on down, could possible be ignorant of it. Yet, no action was taken till scandal destroyed US credibility. Obviously, the rights of Iraqis wasn't even on anyone's radar screen, much less at the top of their priority list. US apology for abuse of inmates.

Treatment of Prisoners. One of the detainees pictured in the humiliating photos from Abu Ghraib speaks out: Embarrassed Iraqi recalls abuse: Ex-prisoner recognizes himself in famous photos. His account supports the position that most guards were not involved in these abuses, though the doctors and others who treated his injuries must have closed their eyes to what happened.

He said that he was never interrogated and never charged with a crime.... "The truth is we were not terrorists," he said. "We were not insurgents. We were just ordinary people. And American intelligence knew this...."
"It was humiliating," Abd said in Arabic through an interpreter. "We did not think that we would survive. All of us believed we would be killed and not get out alive...."
But Abd's account differed in one crucial way from the substance of a report, written by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba and first reported last week by The New Yorker magazine and "60 Minutes II." While the report says that military police inside the prison often mistreated prisoners in order to help military intelligence officers gain information during interrogations, Abd said that his case appeared to be punishment for bad behavior, in this case a jailyard fight....
He was arrested in June at a military checkpoint, when he tried to leave the taxi he was riding in.

"New" Iraqi general in charge of Falluja, paints an optimistic picture: Former Iraq General Paints Rosy Picture of Falluja.

"The best strategy is to get what you want without firing a single bullet," said Gen. Muhammad Latif.

The arrogance continues. [We psychoanalysts call this character. It's hard to change.] Rumsfeld Stops Short of Direct Apology Over Abuses

Treatment of Prisoners. Bay area MPs who served in Abu Ghraib describe the prison from the inside: Notorious Iraq prison, from inside. They make it clear that there was virtually no oversight, but, also, that the place was terrible place fore everyone to be, prisoners and guards alike.

Men and women with the Pittsburg-based 870th Military Police Unit said they were "shocked," "sickened" or "weirded out" by what apparently happened inside a cell block area of the compound they called the Hard Site.... Few of the Bay Area MPs ever set foot there. It was a place where lots of rumors but little hard information ever came out. Rumors of the now famous pictures surfaced in early February. Then came stories about a mattress surrounded by chairs and a movie camera, and repeated stories about anal sex....
He and other MPs said many got swept up in raids. Some were as young as 13, he said. Sgt. Martin remembered asking one U.S. Marine why a prisoner was being brought in. "Interfering with coalition forces," he was told. When he asked for elaboration, the Marine said he "didn't get out of the way quick enough."

Democracy in Action! Iraqi's demonstrate: Iraqis rally over prisoner abuse.

Families of 14 Iraqi families allegedly killed by British troops are pressing for a judicial review in Britain: 'Torture' picture soldiers face Iraq death charges.

Democracy? Photo: US soldiers interrogate Iraqis for possessing Sadr poster.

Yet more horrors: French TV screens images 'of US helicopter crew killing Iraqis'.

A French lawyer and member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Patrick Baudouin, told AFP that knowingly killing an enemy who is wounded constitutes a war crime under international law.

Treatment of Prisoners. Here is the: Complete text of Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. Another source [] for the Complete text, which may be easier to print from. It's even more disturbing than the excerpts had led me to believe. Meanwhile, Bush will conduct interviews with two arab news networks, but not Al-Jazeera: Bush to interview with two Arab networks.

Treatment of Prisoners. the story gets more bizarre by the hour. Now the Guardian reveals that there was a whole class of "ghost detainees" never registered in official databases and move around from facility to facility, so that the Red Cross could not find them. One only wonders what was being done to these people: Jailed Iraqis hidden from Red Cross, says US army. At the cost of sounding like a broken record, this is yet another reason why there must be a full, independent investigation. The US government has already shown that it has no trouble violating the Geneva Convention [see below], so how can anyone possibly trust them to investigate?

"The joint interrogation and debriefing centre (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib called these detainees 'ghost detainees'. On at least one occasion, the 320th MP Battalion at Abu Ghraib held a handful of 'ghost detainees' for OGAs that they moved around within the facility to hide them from a visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey team. This manoeuvre was deceptive, contrary to army doctrine, and in violation of international law." Amanda Williamson, an ICRC spokeswoman, said its prison inspectors were not aware that prisoners had been hidden from them, but if such practices occurred they would represent a violation of the Geneva Conventions. The conventions stipulate that the Red Cross should have unlimited access to all prisoners, "except for reasons of imperative military necessity and then only as a exceptional and temporary measure".

Action Alert! has launched a petition campaign: "To restore our good name, America must support an immediate, independent, impartial and public investigation into all allegations of torture in Iraq. The investigation must include representatives from Arab nations." Sign on! Responding to Torture.

Must Read! Even after all that has come out, the US finds new ways to harass, terrorize, humiliate, and abuse prisoners from Abu Ghraib even as they release them. It makes clear that reform is certainly not in the wind. Have these people no shame? Prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison dropped off north of Baghdad.

Treatment of Prisoners. Reporter Dahr Jamail tells the story of Sadiq Zoman who was apparently tortured into a coma while in US detention last summer. Also notable is its documentation of the extent to which US officials systematically lied when asked about the the treatment of Zoman. Now, of course, we know the lies for what they are. Why should we trust the military to conduct an honest investigation when they've lied for a year about the abuses going on? Telltale Signs of Torture Lead Family to Demand Answers: Wife, Daughters Tell of Iraqi Man Discharged from U.S. Custody in Coma.

Falluja. a UN human rights investigator says: U.S. accused of human rights violations in Fallujah. And, the situation there transforms from tragedy to farce: Falluja farce as Iraqi officer is removed

The Indian government has asked for information from the US about claims, reported here yesterday, that Indian workers are being kept in a state of virtual slavery, overworked, underpaid, beaten, and held against their will. Is their no human rights abuse the US isn't condoning in Iraq? India Asks U.S. for Workers' Information.

Treatment of Prisoners. It only gets worse: 25 Prisoners Died While Held by U.S. Forces. These are the one's they're admitting. This Washington Post article raises the issue at to whether Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the US commander in Iraq, is ultimately responsible. That's why an independent investigation is critical. Of course, they are also trying to blame "inexperience", not policy: U.S. Sent Specialists To Train Prison Units: Allegations of Abuse Highlight Inexperience. After a year of the horrors of hooding everybody in sight, the US finally decides it's not a good idea. However, they replace the hoods with "a blindfold or with goggles taped over with duct tape," which do exactly the same thing, deprive the detainee of vision in order to induce terror. In other words, they have no concern for needlessly terrorizing tens of thousands of people, only with images, when photographed! U.S. troops, guards stop using hoods to blindfold Iraqi prisoners. They call this remedying the problem! Will they also stop using the hoods in Afghanistan? The new prison commander says that abusing prisoners will now "require a commander's approval." Wonderful: Prison population at Abu Ghraib will be cut in half to around 2,000. Of course, as Roger Cohen, a supporter of the invasion, argues in the International Herald Tribune: Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison should be closed now.

Iraqi & Arab Press Notes A correspondent, whom I shall call "A.", in the Middle East has offered to send us occasional summaries from the Iraqi and Arab press. We will post these, minimally edited, so that ORR readers can get a sense of what is being reported there. for obvious reasons, A. desires to remain anonymous. Here is the first: Iraqi & Arab Press Note: May 4, 2004

Treatment of Prisoners. The scandal continues to unfold as more claims of abuse come out: More Iraqis Allege Abuse by U.S. Military and As Scandal at Abu Ghraib Prison Unfolds, Another Iraq Prison Cited in Lawsuit. These claims make it clear that abuse and torture was widespread, pervasive, and systemic. Intelligence experts say much of the abuse is just fine: Psychological thumbscrewing OK: army. Further, attention is being focussed on the US system of privatizing torture: Iraq Prison Abuse Puts Spotlight on Contractors. After over a year of his wanton disregard for the rights of Iraqis and the multitude of reported abuses they have suffered, Bush continues to shed crocodile tears and blame others: Bush Tells Rumsfeld to Step Up Iraq Prison Probe. When Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, and/or Gen. Myers gets indicted, we'll start to know they're serious. In the meantime, US officials, the same people who have ignored over a year of abuse claims, insist they can be trusted to investigate and no outside investigation is needed! Iron law may have to bend.

[More Iraqis Allege Abuse:] Some Iraqis say Abu Ghraib is something of a sanctuary compared with what happens in other U.S.-run prisons around the country. Abdullah al-Dulaimi, who was standing outside Abu Ghraib trying to get information about two brothers detained there, said he had been held in a detention center near the border with Syria for a month in January. He says he was once put in something called the "coffin," a wooden box too short to stand up in, for two days. He says he was also frequently beaten and had electrical wires attached to his penis.... "If you ever talked to the prisoner next to you, you would have to do push-ups with a soldier standing on your back. They made us stand naked and then a soldier would come beat us with a stick and sometimes sodomize us with the stick," he said.
Talking of his brothers inside Abu Ghraib, he added: "It's good they are detained here, this palace is the prison of mercy compared to the place I was detained in."
[Bush Tells Rumsfeld:] And while the Pentagon said the military has opened five investigations on the abuse it acknowledged that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld still has not read a general's detailed report on the matter. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also came under fire from Democratic lawmakers for saying he had not yet read an Army report said to document "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" of Iraqi prisoners, including beatings and sodomy. [What better indication could there be for our leaders' wanton disregard for the rights of Iraqis? Has the President read the report, or does he rely on what these advisers tell him?]
[Iron law:] These were supposedly high value prisoners and were under repeated interrogation by senior CIA and military intelligence operatives. Did senior CIA and Defence Intelligence Officers not notice when prisoners were bashed, raped and left in their cells hooded and naked? One military guard facing charges says that at least one prisoner died under interrogation by intelligence officers.
The former head of the jail system in Iraq, Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski, gave a disturbing insight into the system last week. She told The Washington Post the abuse began only after military intelligence officers from Guantanamo Bay visited Abu Ghraib last year. Yet General Myers is now saying that the military commander of Guantanamo Bay, Major-General Geoffrey Miller, is going to Iraq to take over running the detention centres there to clean things up. Like Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib jail insisted on keeping dangerous prisoners from any contact with the outside world. But one of the stunning revelations in the internal army report on the prison is that nearly 60 per cent of the civilian inmates were considered no threat to the US.

The Pentagon claims to have investigated the Iraqi "detention centers" last fall. They won't release the findings, but, whatever they were, they did nothing. Only independent review and on-site monitoring has a prayer of avoiding future abuse: Pentagon Examined Detention Centers.

Treatment of Prisoners, British Style. There is growing controversy over whether the British photos are real: Army claims there is more evidence photos were fake. As posted earlier, the daily Mirror stands by the authenticity of the photos. See the: Actual British Photos.

The US is losing the hearts and minds of the next generation: Iraqi school boys: Now we hate the US

"These children loved the USA soldiers," says the school headmaster, Abbas Fadel al Hakim. "But they've seen things in the streets like the American soldiers stepping on people's heads in the streets. This has changed their attitudes...." A random poll of one classroom of boys showed that 28 boys said the resistance fighters were their heroes, while only four boys sided with the US soldiers. They all conceded that one year earlier, all 32 would have voted for the US soldiers....
At the school, English teacher Hamid Abdul Kareem says he tries to defend the US military against the students' most common complaint: that the US military hurts innocent people. "I tell them, 'You have to understand that they are young men, and they are also scared of terrorists.' " But Mr. Kareem is also divided between supporting the US military and the resistance movement. "A US convoy passed me the other day on the road. I pulled to the side, and the US soldier leaned down and cursed at me. Why do they do that? They are rude," he says angrily.

The LA Times has published: Excerpts of the Army's investigative report on alleged abuses at U.S. military prisons in Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca, Iraq. Some of what is reported there, in this official report, is more horrible than the press is reporting.

Must Read! For once, the US press comes through, or part of it! Here's an excellent' piece from Newsweek, shredding all the government excuses for what happened at Abu Ghraib. Further, it even makes the links to Afghanistan and Guantanomo: Rough Justice in Iraq: As alarming details surface in a growing prisoner-abuse scandal, the U.S. general who was in charge talks about what went wrong. And the International Herald Tribune reports: Anger grows over Iraqi prisoners: U.S. review faults commanders; Muslim outrage growing. This piece reports that the "Governing Council" has demanded that Iraqi inspectors be allowed into the US-run detention centers and that Iraqi judges take part in interrogations. And William Marina places these abuses in the context of Torture and Civilian Deaths in Three Counterinsurgencies.

They're publishing nasty things about the Pentagon's chosen future ruler for Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi. They really must be getting ready to drop him. Will they now extradite him to Jordan to serve his sentence for fraud? Intelligence: A Double Game Has Chalabi given 'sensitive' information on U.S. interests to Iran? He denies it, but the White House is wary.

Treatment of Prisoners. More confirmation of the lack of training and direction for the GIs assigned to guard the Iraqi prisons. Further, there was woeful understaffing. Surely, those responsible for having 2 guards for 500 prisoners deserve major blame, and those people are in Washington. If you create conditions that predictably will lead to abuse, you share legal and moral responsibility for the abuse: Discharged soldiers: POW guards get poor training, oversight.

Censorship? Editor of US-funded Iraqi paper quits, saying it's the end of a "nightmare": Editor of U.S.-funded Iraqi newspaper quits.

Zayer said almost the entire staff left the paper along with him and that they were launching a new paper called Al-Sabah Al-Jedid (The New Morning), which would begin publishing Tuesday.... "We had a project to create a free media in Iraq," Zayer said of the founding of Al-Sabah. "They are trying to control us. We are being suffocated

Treatment of Prisoners. More details come out. The former Iraqi Human Rights Minister Abdel Basset Turki told Paul Bremer in November about abuse of detainees, but Bremer said nothing, did nothing, and refused to allow the minister access to the prison. Surely, nothing less than an independent criminal investigation of Bremer is called for. Tuki then spoke to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who inspect the prison, but the ICRC refused to give him any information on conditions there. The ICRC does valuable work, but this incident makes clear that ICRC inspections are not an adequate safeguard. We must demand independent observers on site at all times, with the right to go anywhere in the prison at any time. Nothing less will prevent recurrence: Bremer 'knew of abuse in November'. In addition to the military saying not to worry, it's just a few rogue elements involved, we are supposed to feel reassured that the CIA says their people weren't involved. I guess that's why they hire "private" torturers, er, "contractors". That way they can maintain plausible deniability: Official: CIA Not Involved in Abu Ghraib Abuses. As further reassurance: US General Announces Multiple Investigations Underway Into Reported Abuse Of Iraqis Prisoners. Note that none of these investigations are independent! Given multiple indicators that abuse was systemic and part of policy, this is outrageous.

Treatment of Prisoners. The tension between acknowledgment and cover-up continues. The Washington Post has another brief account of torture at Abu Ghraib from a victim: Angry ex-detainees tell of abuse: Iraqis say they endured physical, psychological hardship in U.S. custody. And the US tries to contain the damage while sustaining the cover-up. The reprimand 7 soldiers (in addition to the 6 facing criminal charges), but don't try and cut deals to find out what higher-ups ordered, knew, or turned their heads away. And I have heard no explanation of why they ignored Amnesty International and others who warned of this last summer? Why aren't the press demanding to know? Source: 7 U.S. Service Members Reprimanded. Also in there, Senator McCain weights in on the "few bad apples" side. So much for his moral authority. It seems a "broader" investigation is underway, but it sounds more like a classic cover-up. The military is looking at a confused "chain of command" which allowed interrogators to be in charge: Abuse in Iraq tied to wider failure: Documents reveal a broader pattern of collapse in the command structure than U.S. officials acknowledged. But this is the way its been for a long time. This system allows the military to maintain "plausible deniability", as here.

Treatment of Prisoners, British Style. In Britain, controversy continues about the authenticity of the published photos, but the government finally admits (a faction of) their troops have been committing atrocities for a long time, as arrests are prepared. Of course, as the article points out, rumors about this have circulated since last summer. Will an independent investigation be undertaken as to why nothing was done till now?: Six British soldiers held over Iraqi torture photos. The paper that first published the photos, the Daily Mirror, stands by them, and has more abuse claims: SQUADDIE ABUSE WITNESSES: WE TOLD THE TRUTH. See also the Reuters article: Daily Mirror Stands by Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Photos.

Treatment of Prisoners. In response to my article: Abuse at Abu Ghraib, the Psychodynamics of Occupation, and the Responsibility of Us All, I have received the following comment from an Iraqi correspondent. Of course, I can't vouch for the details, but these accounts of treatment at US hands circulate widely in Iraq:

Thank you for e-mailing your article on the recent revelations on US troops'abuse of iraqi POW's. Its really a comprehensive one. I sent it to several friends and Iraqi web sites. Iraqis,however were not surprised at those horrible photos and data. A few months ago an Iraqi newspaper published a letter from an Iraqi woman POW at abu-ghraib prison. Disclosing that she and many of her fellow women POW's were raped, she appealed to Iraqi resistance to "bomb the prison so as to wipe out the disgrace to your honour which is now growing in our wombs." We hear a lot of stories about vicious and immoral ways of torture and degradation ranging from pouring sweet and sticky oil on POW's naked bodies and leaving them overnight in rural out-door areas to attract insects of various kinds to forcing newly jailed POW"s to stand naked for thirty-six hours and to hear very loud noisy music to raping male and female POW's and killing others in torture.

Treatment of Prisoners. As the cover-up proceeds apace, the Guardian reminds us of what everyone who has paid any attention to what is going on in Iraq knows from the dozens and dozens of accounts -- torture and abuse are omnipresent in US detention facilities [and outside as well]: Torture commonplace, say inmates' families: Luke Harding at Abu Ghraib prison, near Baghdad, where stories of US guards routinely abusing prisoners come as no surprise to Iraqis. More details on the abuse from this victim, now fighting the US: Iraqi Prisoner Details U.S. Abuse. In Britain, soldiers say the abuse revealed there is just the tip of the iceberg, as the paper that published the revelations defends the pictures' authenticity: UK troops 'swapped abuse photos'. And the inveterate Juan Cole has a: Rant on US News Coverage.

(Mis)Treatment of Foreign Workers. Indians (from Kerala) lured to Iraq under false pretenses to work kitchen help in a US military camp. Once there, they were treated as virtual slaves, not allowed to leave, and beaten if they refused to work. In addition, the camp was under attack nightly, and they weren't paid their promised salaries. I know the Americans don;t trust Iraqis they "liberated" to make their food, but do they have to treat their help this way? [the article is vague, but I assume it was the civilian "contractors" who lured them there, beat and robbed them, etc. The military just paid the bill and turned their eyes away. As Abu Ghraib prison shows, they're good at that.] Keralites back home from Iraq after ordeal in U.S. camp.

Faisal said that several Indians are being cheated and taken by force to Iraq, especially from Kuwait. The promised salaries are not being paid. He said that he had to warn all Indians that ``whatever may be the attraction, never go to Iraq till the U.S. Army leaves that country.''

Treatment of Prisoners. Cover-up in Progress! The army is spinning. Despite the hundreds and hundreds of accounts of abuse and torture by US troops, including assertions by Amnesty International that there is a serious problem needing independent investigation, the army claims its investigation shows theirs no serious problem: Army probe shows no widespread abuse in Iraq. Meanwhile, one of the torture victims says: US abuse worse than Saddam's. Juan Cole provides interpretation of what it means that: The U.S. Has Lost the Battle of the Photographs.

In for a penny, in for a pound! UK to deploy 4000 extra troops.

Jo Wilding's latest dispatches from Iraq, giving the human side of life there. The first, an account of the mood toward the US in Sadr City: Thawra: Anger at the occupation is growing in Thawra - Sadr City - where many residents once welcomed the Americans, after several civilian deaths. Second: Where Have All the Women Gone? Dancing and Friday prayers. Going Home: Following US withdrawal from Falluja, some of the thousands of people who fled are going home.

Treatment of Prisoners, Additional Reaction. Robert Fisk considers the abuse unsurprising, given the pervasive racism in our societies: Robert Fisk: The 'good guys' who can do no wrong. Here is a summary of arab media reaction: Media fury at abuse of Iraqis.

[Media fury:] "What the US forces did and are doing in Iraq confirms to us what we had always warned of, namely, that the aim of this invasion and occupation was primarily to humiliate the Arabs and Muslims and was never for changing a dictatorship or establishing a model of democracy, justice and human rights."
[Robert Fisk:]Indeed, we now depict Arabs in our films as the Nazis once depicted Jews. But Arabs are fair game. Potential terrorists to a man - and a woman - they must be softened up, "prepared", humiliated, beaten, tortured....
Back in September last year, General Karpinski was with a small group of journalists in Abu Ghraib - the same ghastly prison in which thousands were put to death by Saddam, the same jail in which Frederick and England and their American buddies were standing their hooded Iraqi prisoner on a box with supposed electrodes on his hands - and General Karpinski took some delight in escorting us to the old Saddam execution chamber. She led the way into the concrete room with its raised dais and gallows, and - in front of us all - triumphantly pulled the gallows lever so that the trap door clanged down....
A few weeks ago, I was chatting to a young American soldier off Saadoun Street in the centre of Baghdad. He was giving sweets to street kids and mimicking the Arabic for "thank you": sukran. Did he know Arabic, I innocently asked. He grinned at me. "I know how to shout at them," he said....
We used to call Saddam the Hitler of Iraq. But wasn't Hitler one of "us", a Westerner, a citizen of "our" culture? If he could kill six million Jews, which he did, why should we be surprised that "we" can treat Iraqis like animals? Last week came the photographs to prove we can.

After three weeks, US hostage Tommy Hamill has apparently escaped: U.S. Hostage Tommy Hamill Escapes in Iraq. On the other hand, the bodies of four missing contractors may have been found: Bodies 'of US Iraq workers' found.

Treatment of Prisoners. Hidden in this article, the General in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison claims that it was military intelligence officers from Guantanamo who may have encouraged, or even trained, the MPs in their torture techniques. This is especially important because the Director of the Guantanamo concentration camp is taking over control of Iraqi prisons! Is he taking over control to teach how to end abuse, or how to conduct torture and abuse in total secrecy? Prisoner Abuse Probe Widened: Military Intelligence at Center of Investigation. Further, the article contains the claims of a commissioned officer that knowledge and responsibility for the abuse went "much higher" and the military is engaging in a cover-up. remember, Colin Powell helped his rise to the top by "investigating" the My Lai massacre and concluding that no massacre had occurred! Remember further,that many of the abuses reported at Abu Ghraib has also been reported at other Iraqi detention facilities, in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay! These are by no means "isolated cases!"

A month before the alleged abuses occurred, she said, a team of military intelligence officers from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, came to Abu Ghraib last year. "Their main and specific mission was to get the interrogators -- give them new techniques to get more information from detainees," she said....
The officer added: "I am extremely disappointed in the way the Army has handled the entire situation and feel the leadership has been made the scapegoat for a few individuals. I think the leadership problems go much higher than the brigade commander...."
According to a source familiar with the March findings of an administrative review conducted by the Army, the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, which helped oversee the questioning of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, pressed members of the military police unit, 372nd Military Police Company, to use rough tactics to prepare prisoners for questioning.... [Where did they learn these techniques?]
Human rights workers in Iraq said the military has allowed only one group, the International Committee of the Red Cross, to enter Abu Ghraib to interview prisoners and inspect conditions. [The ICRC never makes public reports of their findings. Further, they make occasional visits. They are not permanently stationed there, with unfettered access to the entire prison. Nothing less will prevent future torture.]

Treatment of Prisoners, British Style. The BBC reports that doubt has been cast upon the authenticity of the photos of British troops abusing detainees. Not enough information is available for independent people to evaluate these claims: Doubt cast on Iraq torture photos. The British government insists it is seriously investigating the abuse alleged in the photos. Meanwhile, a active-duty British officer who served in Iraq has reported on British television that abuse and beating of prisoners was known and tolerated by senior officers: UK troops 'beating Iraqi prisoners'. And the Scotsman, using different sources, reports: Abuse by UK soldiers in Iraq 'common'.

Treatment of Prisoners. More reaction. The Arab League: Iraqi Prison Photos 'Beyond Disgust' - Arab League. Riverbend shares her reaction, undoubtedly duplicated 20 million times across Iraq: Those Pictures.... And Margo Kingston interviewed Jumpei Yasuda, one of the recently freed Japanese hostages gives her reaction: An empire in moral crisis: Yep, time to get out of Iraq. I'm sure Colin Powell will get on the talk shows and blame Al-Jazeera.

[Arab League:] "It is beyond the words of despicable acts and disgust that we feel at watching such photographs," Zaki told Reuters. "The irony of it is that Saddam Hussein never really held a banner of spreading freedom...He was an autocratic ruler, a dictator, a repressive ruler, whatever you want to call him. It was expected to witness such atrocities under his rule," he said. "But to have the American soldiers supposedly bringing freedom and democracy and the American way of life to this part of the world, spreading this kind of shameful misconduct, that is an irony that to my taste is very sickening," he said....
An Arab League mission visited Iraq in December and produced a report that said violations of human rights and international law by the U.S.-led forces in Iraq had embittered the populace. Zaki said the mission had heard similar accounts of abuse in Iraqi prisons. [Notice the plural: prisons. This abuse is systemic, not the work of rogue elements at Abu Ghraib.]

Treatment of Iraqis, British Style. Britain is swept by the controversy over the pictures apparently depicting abuse of an Iraqi by british troops. There has been some doubt cast on the authenticity: Are these pictures a hoax or proof that we tortured Iraqis? But there is a pattern of abuse by British troops being ignored. At least seven Iraqis have died at British hands in suspicious circumstances, but no prosecutions: Seven Iraqis die in British custody. How many soldiers are charged? None.

Treatment of Prisoners. The New York Times reports that the General who was i charge of Abu Ghraib prison says the torture may have been encouraged or even ordered by the intelligence unit who really ran that section of the prison. Further, she accuses the military of scapegoating her and a few of the military police, all reservists, in order to protect the active duty soldiers involved: General Suggests Abuses at Iraq Jail Were Encouraged. This piece from the Guardian points out that accusations of abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere have circulated at least since last summer and were systematically ignored: Warnings of abuse in Iraq's prisons that were ignored: Photographs of American and British troops humiliating prisoners could change the public mood across the world. But the coalition has brushed aside similar complaints for six months. Meanwhile, international reaction continues to build. Even members of the puppet "Governing Council" called for an Iraqi (as opposed to American) investigation, with one member saying they should be prosecuted as a "war crime": Iraqi official demands prison abuse investigation. And the European Union takes time off from celebrating the triumph of 10 new county's joining to weigh in with condemnation: EU tells coalition to respect Geneva convention in Iraq. These pictures will undoubtedly weaken the ability of the US to get a new UN resolution endorsing their retaining control of Iraqi "security", as well as to get a nominally "sovereign" Iraqi government to sign a status-of-forces agreement giving US troops total immunity from Iraqi law. Presumably, any government that signed such an agreement now would experience massive opposition.

David Lindorff points out the obvious: Coverup in progress! Bush's Torturous Logic: Shocked, Shocked, Shocked

Treatment of Prisoners: More details emerge. A military report on conditions at Abu Ghraib prison completed in February, concludes that detainees were subject to "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses". See the brief summary: Military report details abuse at Army prison in Iraq, magazine says, as well as Seymour Hersh's. detailed account from the New Yorker: Torture at Abu Ghraib -- American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go?. The New Yorker also has the First Clear Copies of the Photos ["View Images" on "Related Links"].

Treatment of Prisoners: Rection. Reaction across the Arab world to the pictures of Iraqi prisoners being humiliated and tortured by US soldiers has been predictably fierce, with the obvious comparisons to Saddam's torture being made: Arabs outraged by photos of U.S. troops humiliating Iraqi prisoners. US diplomats are afraid of the reaction: Diplomats fear fallout after abuse reports: Treatment of Iraqi men plays on ‘most sensitive things for Arabs,’ one says. Human Rights Watch condemns the treatment of prisoners as a war crime and insists there must be a wide investigation. Unfortunately they didn't demand an independent investigation: Iraq: U.S. Prisoner Abuse Sparks Concerns Over War Crimes -- Investigation Should Probe Role of Superiors, Private Contractors. Juan Cole's reflections on the Arab reaction to the prison torture photos come to the conclusion [which I share] that their release is the end for any hope of a "successful" US occupation in Iraq. After that, its only a question of how many people, Iraqis and Americans, die before the US withdraws. The US has lost legitimacy forever there: Arab Reaction to Photos of Prisoner Abuse.

A great idea! Appoint the the head of one concentration camp notorious around the world for torture and abuse as the director of a prison in Iraq that has [again] become infamous for torture and abuse. Presumably, like the "new" Iraq flag, they'll change this in the morn: Camp X-ray chief takes over Bagdad prison. And the Arab News Editorial on the Abu Gharib revelations: Sheer Depravity.

[Sheer Depravity:] What is no less shocking about the degrading photos from Abu Gharib prison is that not a single US newspaper yesterday led its front page with news of them.

More details on the alleged torture by British soldiers: Iraqi 'suffered hours of British abuse'.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

There are reports that another member of the "Iraqi Governing Council", Mohsen Abdel Hamid of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), was killed Monday: Iraqi Leader Killed in Baghdad.

Two US troops die in Kufa fighting. [I thought the deal was that US troops would pull out of these cities. But they seem to be being attacked when they move in.] Two U.S. Soldiers Die in Clashes in Iraq.

Car bomb reportedly kills three, wounds 20 in Baghdad: Baghdad bomb blast kills three.

Fighting continues in Najaf: Fighting flares in key Iraqi city. Here is the Text of Iraq al-Sadr's truce offer.

GIs killed, in Iraq and Afghanistan: Service Members Killed in Afghanistan, Iraq.

Ward Reilly of aton Rouge, La., is a member of Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War, writes of what so many soldiers thought they were dying to prevent the United States from becoming: Free Speech Zones In the USA?

In-fighting between Shia factions increases in vitriol: Feud among Iraq's Shiites comes out into open.

Fighting continued in Kufa Saturday: US, militia fighting erupts in Iraq city of Kufa.

Senior Kurdish politician killed: Gunmen kill Kurd politician and family.

School doesn't allow students to hear why signing up for military is a danger to their health: Anti-war activists ordered away from school.

The killing goes on. In the south: Five Killed in Clashes with U.S. Forces in Najaf. And in Baghdad: Two Japanese reporters 'killed' in Iraqi ambush.

Clashes continue near Najaf, despite truce. Also al-Sadr fails to show up for weekly sermon, inspiring rumors that the Americans seized him despite the truce: U.S. troops clash after Iraq truce.

The New York Times reports that the big loser in the Karbala fight was the US, which ended up being seen as the cause of the destruction by most Shia. It also confirms that Shia leaders gave the US an implicit green light to attack the al-Sadr forces: Two Shrines Intact, but U.S Reputation Still Marred After Clashes With Rebels.

The Win Without War coalition, together with other peace groups, has called for withdrawal from Iraq and a weekend of demonstrations June 26-27: Win Without War Calls for End of U.S. Occupation, Setting of Date for Withdrawal of Troops from Iraq: Fire Rumsfeld and Others, Let People of Iraq Govern Selves, Says Nation’s Largest Anti-War Coalition.

The al-Sadr-US standoff in Najaf is apparently ending Najaf siege ends in truce. And Claude Salhani of UPI analyses the strategic blunder of the US taking on al-Sadr: Analysis: Picking on the wrong guy in Iraq.

In the south, Reuters reports: Iraqis say US to hold Najaf truce while Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports US officials as saying US confident of Najaf deal. Meanwhile, Reuters reports the Shia are losing faith in Sistani for his silence: Iraqi Shi'ites Bitter at Top Cleric's Silence.

Three US troops killed in Anbar province: Three Marines Killed in Western Iraq.

Another possible deal. Will US go along? Blow to radical Shiite militia. This after a bloody day of US killing: Coalition estimates 50 killed in Iraqi cleric's militia.

[Listen to the gloating:] "Al-Sadr certainly has less forces than he did yesterday," [General] Kimmitt said.

The US butchery of the al-Sadr militia continued for another day. The US seems to be exacting its revenge on them for the US loss in Falluja: 'Large Number' of Rebels Slain; Cleric's Aide Seized, U.S. Says.

Two Russian workers killed, five wounded. Firm, involved in rebuilding the oil industry, to evacuate all workers. 2 Russians killed in Baghdad.

Dahr Jamail reports that Iraqis are fleeing to join the Mehdi Army of al-Sadr: Mehdi Army Grows as Tempers Rage Over ‘Wedding Massacre’.

One of the most holy Shia shrines, the Imam Ali shrine, was injured in fighting in Najaf. At least 13 Iraqis killed, "some of them civilians", as the Americans continue their "Iraqi shoot". Hospital officials in Najaf and Kufa say most of the dead are civilians: U.S. Forces Fight Militiamen in Najaf.

According to this account, Shia are flocking to the Sadr forces, while most support his goals: 'I killed two and felt very proud. Now I just want to kill more'.

[7:30 AM EDT] US massacres spread to Sadr city, where either 18 [hospitals] or 26 [US] Iraqis were reported killed so far Monday: At least 18 Iraqis killed in Sadr City clashes: hospitals

Blast near Green Zone kills four "foreigners": Baghdad blast kills 4, police say: Explosions also reported in Mosul.

The rift among the Shia widens as the Marji'iyah (senior Shia clerics) of the Najaf Hawza made a public statement criticizing al-Sadr's movement: Senior clerics of Najaf respond to Hassan Nasrallah: Muqtada's followers intimidate civilians and their movement is illegal. Perhaps it was this statement that game the US courage to massacre the Sadrists in the Kufa mosque today.

[2 PM EDT] Butchery in Najaf, as well as Kufa: U.S. troops and militia in bloody clashes.

According to this review by William Kowinski, James Hillman, in his new book: A Terrible Love of War argues that war is part of us, and that only accepting this fact can aid us i reducing its horrors: Inhumanity is human nature: Provocative, timely examination of our apparent need for strife.

The butchery continues in Kufa: U.S. kills 16 insurgents in Kufa (CNN0. The AP reports "at least 32 insurgents and three civilians were killed": Fighting Continues in Kufa; Karbala Quiet. It must be fun to kill Iraqis by the dozens, almost as fun as torturing them in Abu Ghraib and Camp Cropper.

Sadr forces may have pulled back after all in Karbala: Karbala calm as militia pull back.

[4 PM EDT] A late report denies any US-Sadr deal. If true, the fighting, destruction, and dying will go on: Reports Of Karbala Deal Quashed.

Berkeley law students protest professor who helped justify torture: Berkeley law students denounce professor for POW memo.

Poor Shia flock to Sadr's militia to fight Americans: 'I have not killed but, God willing, I soon will': Julius Strauss meets the Mahdi army as it takes on American forces in and around the Shia holy city of Najaf.

[12:30 PM EDT] It appears that both sides are withdrawing from Karbala. It isn't clear if there is a more far-reaching agreement to end the US-Sadr fighting: Coalition, Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen withdraw from Karbala

All that was left was a scene of utter devastation where the heaviest fighting had taken place. The area around the Mokhayam mosque, next to the shrine of Imam Hussein, one of the world's holiest spots for Shi'ite Muslims, was a skeleton of its past. Advertisement Advertisement Buildings were gutted, walls blown off and businesses reduced to towering piles of rubble, as twisted wires spewed out of the wreckage.

Lull in Karbal fighting: Kerbala Street Life Revives as U.S. Troops Withdraw.

Car bomb at Interior Ministry official's home: Five killed in Iraqi car bomb attack.

[7:30 AM EDT] There was heavy fighting in Karbala and Najaf last night. The US military claims 18 "insurgents" were killed: Heavy fighting in Iraqi city of Karbala. But AFP reports that 10 "civilians" were killed: Iraqis killed in militia, US clashes. One of the dead was yet another brave Al-Jazeera reporter, killed by a US tank: Al-Jazeera: U.S. tank kills worker. Meanwhile, the US arrested pro-Sadr staff members in an office in Kirkuk. So much for encouraging Sadr to become a purely political movement. If they don't have guns, they'll be arrested. Presumably they'll send them to the tender mercies of General Miller the torture-General in charge at Abu Ghraib: US Arrests Rebel Cleric's Supporters in North Iraq.

Juan Cole's latest on the Sadr insurgency: Sistani and al-Sadr: Demonstrations and Counter-Demonstrations and Poll: Muqtada Second Most Popular Politician in Iraq.

Sadr forces continue dying: U.S. Troops Kill 8 Militiamen in Iraq.

Two US soldiers were reported killed yesterday: Two U.S. Soldiers Killed in Western Iraqi Province, AFP Reports.

Juan Cole on the latest on the situation in the south: Italians Retake Base: Nasiriyah Library in Flames and Sistani vs. Muqtada vs. US in Najaf. This latter contains an account of the Americans sealing off the only public hospital, as they did in Falluja. It appears that the US uses deliberate death through absence of medical care as a strategy to cow insurgents and civilians into submission.

More on the situation in the south. a Washington Post piece on the intra-Shia conflict: Sistani Demands Exit of Najaf Combatants: Top Shiite Cleric Rebuffs Rival's Call to Arms. Dasr as legendary hero for the poor: Sadr, a defiant ‘Robin Hood’: Iraqi Shiite cleric turns into cult hero for anti-US stance, helping the poor. And an analysis by Rami El-Amine: The Shia Rise Up.

The Union of the Unemployed of Iraq (UUI) claims to be one of the major organizations of the Iraqi working class, with 300,000 members, but is considered illegal by the CPA/IGC and is equidistant from the occupation, the Islamic groups, and the armed resistance. Here is their take on current events: Interview: Iraq’s Union of the Unemployed

The Italian peace movement is experiencing a revival. Here is an interview elucidating what is going on: The new phase of the Italian peace movement.

Several private "contractors" killed: 2 Civilian Foreigners Said Killed in Iraq and Ex-Marine shot dead in Iraq.

Fighting goes on in Najaf and Karbala: Najaf, Karbala fighting continues. Sistani tells both sides to leave the holy cities: Iraq's Sistani urges forces to leave holy cities. Juan Cole, in his analysis, says that Sistani's home was sprayed with machine gun fire: 50 Sadrists Killed by Americans in Karbala and Nasiriyah: Sistani's House Sprayed by Machine Gun Fire. And: Iraqi leaders fear intra-Shiite conflict tensions rise over Najaf: Standoff between Sadr, American troops could divide religious community.

Iraqis die in droves: U.S.-led forces say kill 51 insurgents in Iraq.

Breaking News! Bomb kills head of Iraq governing council.

Juan Cole again has incisive comments on the fighting in the south: Italians, Pushed out of Nasiriyah, Tell Bush to Back Off: 10 Italian Troops Wounded, 20 Iraqis wounded, 2 Killed and Continued Clashes in Karbala Lead to Closure of Shrines.

Another day of fighting across southern Iraq: US battles fighters in Iraqi city.

Former Iraqi General now in charge of Falluja advises support of the US troops [what deal has been cut?]: Iraqi General Urges Support of U.S. Troops. but a Newsweek visit with Falluja insurgents suggests the General's advice is not likely to be adopted by everyone: Fallujah: In The Hands Of Insurgents -- One of the gunmen wears a suicide belt. Over tea and kebabs, they explain why they're waging their jihad.

One US soldier died in fighting across the south of Iraq Sunday: U.S. Soldier Killed by Iraq Roadside Bomb.

Reuters on the fighting in the south on Sunday: Clashes in Kerbala; Powell Says U.S. Troops to Stay.

Juan Cole on the Sadr fighting Friday and Saturday: Heavy Fighting in Karbala, Amara, Nasiriyah, Samawah: 5 Americans Dead; British Kill 20 Near Amara. See also his: The Implication of Shiite Divisions.

Attacks continued on Iraqis working for the occupation: Iraqi Women Working for Coalition Killed. There are also reports that: 20 injured in Iraq market blast.

[9:30 PM EDT] Fighting rages across Shia areas: Fighting flares across Shia towns.

Juan Cole reports that a major US ally has denounced Paul Bremer [and hence George Bush] as an extremist for rejecting all offers to resolve the standoff with al-Sadr: Al-Muhammadawi Slams Bremer

US forces continue killing Iraqis by the dozens, day after day, in unequal battles. They call this butchery "honor": U.S. Forces Kill 21 Iraqis in Baghdad Clashes.

Friday was a bloody day for Americans: Five U.S. soldiers die in Iraq Friday. And for potential Iraqi Army recruits: Iraq army recruits killed in attack. Of course, as reported yesterday, many other Iraqis, including many of Sadr's militia also died.

[5 AM EDT] Fighting continued in Karbala Saturday morning: Fighting Continues in Karbala; Najaf Quiet.

Juan Cole's latest comments on the fighting in he South. He thinks the damage to the Shrine of Ali and the Shia cemetery are a big deal to Shiites: Shrine of Ali Damaged; Uprisings in some southern Cities

Dahr Jamail reports on the emerging Sunni-Shia alliance: Sunnis and Shias Uniting Against U.S.

According to British sources, attacks on a British convoy leaves 16 Iraqis dead: UK troops kill 16 after ambush.

[3 PM EDT] fighting near center of Najaf. Bullets hit major shrine. Sistani aid calls for both sides to leave: U.S. Tanks Thrust Into Cemetery in Iraq Holy City. And: Sacred Shiite Shrine Suffers Minor Damage. See Juan Cole's commentary from this morning: 6 US Soldiers Wounded, 22 Iraqis Killed in Holy City Fighting and Kurdish Dimension of Muqtada al-Sadr Crisis .

[Cole:] My own view is that Muqtada has now won politically and morally.... The Americans will be left with a handful of ambitious collaborators at the top, but the masses won't be with them. And in Iraq, unlike the US, the masses matter.

Najaf fight goes on: Fierce fighting erupts in Najaf.

[7 PM EDT] Fierce fighting in Karbala and Najaf: U.S. Troops Battle Militiamen in Karbala: U.S. Soldiers Battle Fighters Loyal to Radical Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr in Holy City of Karbala.

[8 AM EDT] Paul Bremer rejected a carefully crafted peace deal for Najaf. He prefers "victory". I think the neocons want something to throw to the gung ho faction in the US: Deal to end standoff in Iraq fails. The US assault on Sadr forces goes on, peace deals be damned! U.S. soldiers battle al-Sadr supporters in holy city of Karbala. And: Street clashes continue in Najaf: Bursts of gunfire reported in holy city as leadership circulates peace proposal. See comments on the stupidity of this action by Juan Cole: Negotiations Collapse amid Fierce Fighting in Karbala. See also the comment by Hayder Gallaghan: Where is Sistani?. If the US persists, Sadr will "lose", but a new Iraqi nationalist myth will be born.

[Street clashes:] The unequal toll in Karbala reflects the one-sided nature of the fighting since U.S. forces first engaged al-Sadr's militia last month. Scores of ill-trained militiamen have been killed, while U.S. forces have suffered relatively light casualties. The young Shiite fighters - many recruited from the ranks of the urban unemployed - are armed largely with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. U.S. forces confront them with tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

[8 PM EDT] Confusion as to the state of an agreement in Najaf: Shia groups see end to Najaf siege

[5 PM EDT] Fighting going on in Najaf: Possible U-S move into Najaf.

87 AM EDT] The US has escalated its attacks on the Sadr militia, attacking a mosque in Karbala, after an agreement to end the confrontation was arrived at by the new US-appointed Governor in Najaf. Are they deliberately trying to sabotage the agreement? U.S. Military Strikes Mosque Held by Iraqi Cleric's Militia. Further information about the extent of the damage in Karbala: 25 Iraqis die in battle for Karbala.

[U.S. Military:] The American military attacked a mosque in this holy city on Tuesday in its largest assault yet against the forces of the rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, even as the first signs emerged of a peaceful resolution to the five-week-long standoff with him....
In three hours of fighting, as many as 20 buildings were raided or destroyed, and pillars of thick smoke curled through the air above rows of palm trees....
Planning the assault was done in the utmost secrecy and was approved at the highest levels of the military here. Special Forces soldiers here did reconnaissance of the area and brought back photos for the planners. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of American ground forces in Iraq, was scheduled to fly down from Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon to oversee the final planning, but canceled at the last minute.
[25 Iraqis:] Half of the Mukhaiyam mosque, which had served as a base for al-Sadr followers, was destroyed and seven hotels were on fire after tanks opened fire and jets bombed the area. Most of the shops in Tal al-Zeinabiya, a central market, and three ambulances were also destroyed....
A witness counted the bodies of 14 Iraqis lying in al-Jumhouriya street, a main road in Karbala, and said US snipers were targeting anyone who moved in the mostly empty streets.

First Dutch soldier dies: First Dutch soldier killed in Iraq.

[5 PM EDT] There is a reported deal in Najaf, though it's not clear if the US will agree: Iraqi Militia Offers to Quit Holy City of Najaf. Meanwhile, fighting, and dying, continued around Kufa: Five dead in fighting around Shiite town.

Breaking News! [12 PM EDT] Cleric Sadr offers peace deal. And the new US-appointed Najaf Governor [from Detroit] proposes a deal. It's not clear the US would go along as they have sabotaged all previous deals to resolve this stand-off: New Iraqi Governor Proposes Deal To End US, Shi'ite Militia Standoff.

From Dahr Jamail: Pictures of Falluja fighters celebrating departure of Americans.

Must Read! Juan Cole provides fascinating and terrifying background to the Spanish hasty retreat from Iraq. It seems, in the beginning of April Bush ordered them to get Sadr dead or alive. Considering these orders to be potential war crimes, and stupid beyond measurement, they refused. Hence, they decided they had better get their troops out quick, before they were dragged into the Us-Sadr conflict: US Ordered Spanish to Bring in Muqtada 'Dead or Alive': Spanish Command predicted "Large-Scale Military Response". Cole also reports on the ridiculousness of attempting to crush the Sdar insurgency militarily: Sadrists Launch Wider Insurgency in South.

Hundreds call on Sadr militia to leave Najaf.

[7 AM EDT] Convoy attacked in west Iraq: Gunmen Attack U.S. Convoy in Iraq. A bomb blast in the Kurdish district of Kirk: Bomb blast in northern Iraq kills 4, injures 23. And Russian killed and two others kidnapped: One Russian working for an energy company killed, 2 taken hostage in Iraq.

Marines entered Falluja for the first time in weeks, accompanied by the new Falluja army. Residents cheered in victory as they departed: Fallujah Rebels, Residents, Police Celebrate Victory over U.S. Marines.

A blast has disrupted southern Iraq oil exports: Blast damages Iraqi oil pipeline.

Three people, including two foreign contractors, killed by bomb in Kirkuk: Three dead in Iraq drive-by attack.

[9:30 AM EDT] In response to the uprising in Sadr City [see next link] the US has reacted with overwhelming force from the air: U.S. Bombs Rebel Cleric's Baghdad HQ. In response, Sadr has ordered a broad offensive: Iraq Cleric to Widen War After U.S. Bombs Baghdad HQ.

In response to US attacks, Sadr City is now in control of Sadr forces: Shiite Cleric's Militia Seizes Control of Baghdad Slum. On Sunday: U.S. troops kill 19 insurgents in Baghdad fighting. See Jan Cole's comments on the US-Sadr struggle: East Baghdad Rebels against US Rule and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim Makes his move.

[Cole -- East Baghdad:] Many conservative commentators are crowing that the other Shiite groups are helping the US deal with the Sadrists. What is really happening is that the other major Shiite leaders all along have cut the Sadrists out of the process, and the US has consistently been manipulated by them in this regard. Now they are trying to use US troops to finish off Muqtada's militia while they try to find a way to convince Muqtada to surrender himself. The danger here is in alienating and excluding a very large number of Shiites, while including and favoring Shiite political leaders who have much smaller followings than Muqtada does.

US troops continue their attacks on Sadr forces in Kufa and Baghdad, killing at least 34: U.S. Forces Battle Militiamen in Baghdad.

Another bomb in a Baghdad hotel frequented by foreign "contractors": Baghdad hotel hit by bomb blast. And a police official was killed in Baquba: Gunmen Assassinate Iraqi Police Official.

The Iraqis continue to die: Seven Iraqis Killed in Baghdad Market Blast. And british soldiers bombed in Basra: Bomb Wounds Three British Soldiers in Basra.

Civil war or Iraqi unity? Sadr followers pray in Sunni mosques in Baghdad and Falluja, as signs of anti-occupation unity: Iraq Sunnis Host Sadr Followers in Show of Support.

Anti-occupation groups have major conference in Baghdad. This is a very important development! I hope to have a more detailed report soon: Iraqi scholars plan US opposition.

Five-hundred Iraqis from across the political spectrum have been taking part in a Baghdad conference to discuss opposition to the US-led occupation. The organisers, calling themselves the United Iraqi Scholars Group, say the aim of their five-hour meeting was to work out a common platform on how to end the occupation.... The conference set up a 16-member panel, pledged to boycott any US-sponsored political group, including the Iraqi Governing Council, to re-establish the national army and to restore sovereignty under the auspices of the United Nations.

[5:30 AM EDT] Fighting in the south. In an apparent attempt at a takeover: UK troops clash with Basra gunmen. Increased pressure from other Shia to leave the leave: Cleric urges Sadr to leave Najaf. Comments by Juna Cole: Ongoing crisis around Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Americans seem to be back to firing indiscriminately: Four Pakistanis killed in Najaf.

Fighting and dying go on. In the south: 23 Die As U.S., Shiites Clash in Iraq. In the north: Roadside bomb kills four Iraqi police in Mosul.

[23 Die:] However, six members of a family, including children aged 2, 4 and 5, were killed and three others were wounded when their home was hit, apparently by American fire, during the midnight mortar clash.

Sadr not bowed by recent US attacks: Iraq's Rebel Cleric Defies U.S. at Najaf Prayer, while fighting continues in Sadr City: 10 insurgents killed, US soldier wounded in operations in Baghdad.

More bombs in Baghdad kill 3 US soldiers and a number of Iraqis: Car bomb blast kills 6 in Baghdad.

Must Read! Ira Chernus analyzes how everyone is "shocked, shocked" about Abu Ghraib. This is a well-watched movie he suggests, that only serves to hide the reality of US imperial adventures. The movie is based on a set of standard jokes. One of the few truly original contributions to this discussion: Abuse at Abu Ghraib: Now Showing at a Theater Near You.

In Diwaniya: Three U.S. Soldiers Die in Clash with Sadr Militia. It seems another: American soldier, 15 Iraqis killed in clashes between Shiite militia and troops.

Senior Shia: Clerics urge Muqtada Sadr to abandon holy Shiite cities. But fighting goes on. It looks like the CPA may be pushing the Sadr forces back: One coalition soldier killed in fighting with Shiite militants.

The standoff in Najaf continues, with reports that the negotiations betwen Sadr and the Americans have broken down: Army of the Mahdi attacks US Base near Najaf.

A visit to Falluja makes clear the overwhelming support there for the insurgents: Visiting a changed Fallujah: New graves, damaged mosques, rage at U.S. .

Four US soldiers die in "accident", due to their speeding Humvee turning over. These aren't counted as combat deaths, though they occur because the vehicles speed to avoid attack: 4 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq Accident.

Falluja residents celebrate "victory" by burying dead: Falluja buries dead after U.S. pullback.

Can't these guys get anything right? After three days, they change the general in charge of the Iraqis in Falluja, while keeping the other guy in charge. Confused? U.S. in Falluja Turns to General Who Defied Saddam. Meanwhile, fighting continues in Najaf: U.S. troops in Najaf come under mortar fire.

The US military appears to be spinning their defeat in Falluja. Are they working overtime to convince Iraqis that Americans can never be trusted? Saddam-Era General Not in Charge: Myers. The article also reports that Senator McCain is among those decrying the absence of blood flowing freely in Falluja.

Gen. Richard Myers said news media were "very, very inaccurate" in their reporting about Maj. Gen. Jassim Mohammed Saleh, who was said to have had a major role in organizing the "Fallujah Brigade" and the lifting of the siege....
"The perception right now is that we are not acting in a decisive fashion and there's no greater mistake you can make in the conduct of warfare," he [McCain] told ABC's "This Week."

Mortar Attack Kills Six U.S. Servicemen in Iraq. In separate incidents: 4 U.S. Soldiers Killed In 2 Iraq Attacks: British, Iraqis Also Suffer Casualties.

[10:30 AM EDT] Tough talk from US on Falluja again. I guess "it ain't over till it's over": Falluja's general questions U.S. thinking. And Iraq's "Defense Minister" complains about the lack of bloodshed: New defense chief voices concerns over insurgency.

[Falluja's general:] U.S. commanders stressed that if Saleh's Falluja Brigade of up to 1,200 men failed in a few days to ensure the handover of heavy weapons in the city and the death or capture of foreign militants, then the Marines were poised to go in and do it. "If this collapses we are absolutely prepared to do this by force of arms," one senior U.S. officer said.
[New defense chief:] "My main fear is not that there will be a lot of violence or excessive force used," Ali Allawi said of the US Marines' approach to the resistance stronghold. "My main fear is that with the imperative of reducing civilian casualties that seems to govern the military doctrine . . . of the Marines, that opportunity is given for these people to slip away, and the core of the fighters will get out and reassemble elsewhere and create mayhem at a later date," Allawi said.

[7 AM EDT] Falluja celebrates its victory over the superpower: 'We Won': Fallujah Rejoices in Withdrawal. Meanwhile, the former Iraqi general now in charge in Falluja insists: No foreign fighters found in Falluja. In the south: Al-Sadr Forces Attack U.S. Convoy in Iraq, while the US denies that it is negotiating with Iraqi mediators over a five-point plan to resolve the crisis. On the other hand: Iraqi cleric's aide 'dies in raid'. And death continued, with: Four U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq Attacks.

Is a deal in the works for Najaf? Iraqi mediators to meet with U.S. on Najaf standoff.

Al-Jazeera reports the Sadr forces are digging in at Najaf: Al-Sadr consolidates forces in Najaf.

4 PM EDT] A fight beteeen the Sadr forces and the British military inn Basra leave several dead and wounded: Five killed in Iraq gun battle.

Just what the new Iraqi Falluja force will do is unclear. Here are two US claims: Iraqi force to provide security for first convoy to Fallujah and General: Brigade will hunt insurgents

Despite the change in Us tone in recent days, GIs still die: 2 U.S. Sailors, 1 Soldier Killed in Iraq.

Falluja The Pentagon tries to distance itself from Falluja deal. who do the Iraqis listen to? US guarded about Fallujah force. Al-Jazeera provides an interesting perspective on the US troop reaction to the fighting in villages near Falluja: Falluja fighters dent US morale. And: Iraqis Hail Falluja 'Victory' as U.S. Changes Tack.

[Iraqis Hail:] Cries of "victory over the Americans" echoed from minarets and gunmen celebrated in the streets under the green banner of Islam and Saddam-era Iraqi flags.... God has given this town victory over the Americans," wailed a message from a mosque in the town center. "This victory came by the acts of the brave Mujahideen of Falluja who vanquished the American troops."

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Justin Raimondo of argues that a main purpose of the war is to set the conditions for the next war, and that it is about to succeed. He argues withdrawal now is critical in order to avoid the catastrophe of future wars: Iraq, R.I.P.: Get out while the going is good

Bob Herbert point out that Abu Ghraib-like treatment is common and routine in the cesspools the US calls "prisons". The cause is the same, prisoners like Iraqis, are viewed as less than human: America's Abu Ghraibs.

The treatment of the detainees in Iraq was far from an aberration. They, too, were treated like animals, which was simply a logical extension of the way we treat prisoners here at home.

Frank Rich analyzes Abu Ghraib in the context of the culture wars: It Was the Porn That Made Them Do It/

Why don't I feel reassured? Kerry Says Security Comes First: Less Emphasis on Democracy Abroad

Several establishment figures are breaking from the consensus that any criticism of Israel's actions is antisemitic. John Kerry joins the attack on them: Jewish Congresswoman says Bush's Policies a Danger to Jews.

Two Israeli settlers caught trying to enter a Georgia Naval submarine base with explosives: Good save: Dogs alerted to explosives at gate; two detained by INS .

Freedom? San Francisco gallery owner becomes target after showcasing painting of Iraqi prisoner abuse.

Arab Press Notes Transfer of sovereignty only cosmetic. Why Alawi? Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 29, 2004.

Rumsfeld declares we're at the beginning of a long-term war on "global insurgency": Rumsfeld Says 'War on Terror' Just Beginning.

Vote for this guy? So we can have a larger military on more missions? I'm not so sure: Kerry Calls for More Troops to Bolster U.S. Military.

Arab Press Notes CIA-linked man chosen as Prime Minister. Fighting continues in Najaf. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 28, 2004.

Arab Press Notes Sovereignty?, What sovereignty? Doubts about the power transfer. Chalabi ally still getting US contract. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 27, 2004.

Dilip Hiro analyzes the failure and disaster of the US occupation: As the June 30 Handover Deadline Nears, Worries Grow About What Will Be Left Behind in Iraq.

Gee, if he'd spoken like this four years ago, he might have won. Al Gore attacks Bush and his war: Remarks by Al Gore May 26, 2004

According to a new poll, while a majority of Americans oppose torture, many, including a majority of men, of war supporters, and Republicans, find it acceptable in some instances: Poll: Torture Methods Opposed

Amnesty International says the US "War on Terrorism" is eroding human rights around the world: Human rights climate 'worst in 50 years' [Guardian]. See the full report: Amnesty International Report 2004

Arab Press Notes Al-Sadr has offered to leave Najaf. Will the US agree? Reports the resistance is planning a "Grand Battle" for Baghdad. Claims that Chalabi was behind museum looting. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 26, 2004.

Ghali Hassan argues that the international peace movement should support “In Our Name” in Solidarity with the Iraqi People.

Greg Mitchell from Editor & Publisher analyzes the inadequacy of the New York Times mea culpa, starting with the fact that they buried it on p. 10! The New York Times Mea Culpa.

Jumping Ship!Richard Perle, criticizes the US occupation: US War Policy 'Grave Error'": Ex-Rumsfeld Aide Admits Occupation of Iraq a Failure -- Britain, U.S. at odds over interim government's role

US Human Rights report opposes press freedom for AlJazeera: Washington Urges Media Freedom - But Not for AlJazeera.

Robert Chesshyre, in the Independent, relates abuse of prisoners in Iraq to the moral qualities of a society that so easily locks up millions of its citizens in hell-holes called prisons, in a vain pursuit of "security": America's brutal culture of unseen oppression: Rotten apples only thrive when the barrel is rancid. Prison guards take their tone from the top.

Disinformation campaign targeting local papers, as this letter to the Spectrum demonstrates: Information about good things in Iraq is false.

At last! The New York Times admits error. Of course, it's in the context of all their wonderful reporting they're so proud of! To their credit, they do give several examples where their stories feel apart, or were at least subject to serious doubt, and these facts were either never reported, or buried deep in long articles, long after official US positions were expounded at length. Unfortunately, they do not criticize Judith Miller directly, and even, without naming her, make excuses for her execrable conduct.
They do have a sample of their coverage, along with a critique: The Times and Iraq: A Sample of the Coverage. See, in regard to the NYT coverage, Michael Massing's: Now They Tell Us from the Feb. 26, 2004 New York Review of Books, along with letters and a reply: 'Iraq: Now They Tell Us': An Exchange. [I had to search all over their web site for the NYT correction. It's not on their front-page or in the "op-ed" section. Only under "Corrections", where only someone seeking would see it. I haven't seen where it is in the print edition yet.] The Times and Iraq.

Better LATE than never! This report claims that the vaunted New York Times is about to "reevaluate" its prewar coverage, including the serial nonsense of Judith Miller's so-called "reporting". We'll see.... Judy's Turn To Cry: The New York Times prepares an "Editors' Note" about its prewar WMD reporting.

Arab Press Notes Shrine attacked, mosque destroyed, and negative reactions to Bush's speech. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 25, 2004.

Stephen Zunes analyzes: President Bush’s May 24 Speech on Iraq: A Critique.

Andy Borowitz has discovered new shocking photos: Photos Show a Hooded Bush Planning War: Senators demand an explanation.

Derek Gregory, an Australian geographer, has an excellent analysis of the meaning of Abu Ghraib as an editorial in the geography journal Environment and Planning D: Society & Space: The angel of Iraq: Paradise and progress.

Susan Sontag's essay on the meaning of the Abu Ghraib photographs of torture, from the New York Times Magazine: Regarding the Torture of Others. The Guardian published waht looks like a shortened version of the same essay which I posted two days ago: What have we done? The horrific images from Abu Ghraib have come to define the ill-starred occupation of Iraq, but what do they really tell us about America? Are they simply the work of a few rogue soldiers, or the result of the new foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration, which find ready approval in an increasingly brutalised society?

No More Troops! says British public: Two out of three voters say no to more UK troops

Arab Press Notes Relatives stage sit-in across from Abu Ghraib. Arab tv shows video of wedding party decimated by US bombing. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 24, 2004.

Nic Berg's father Michael Berg speaks out: Let Those Who Love Nick Berg Demand an End to War, Violence

Andy Rooney isn't being silly any more: Our Darkest Days Are Here.

Too many Americans don't understand what we have here, or how to keep it. I worry for my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren. I want them to have what I've had, and I sense it slipping away.

Carl Bernstein proposes a: History Lesson: GOP Must Stop Bush.

Australians turning against the war, and the party that sponsored it: Iraq backlash negates Budget bounce: poll.

New polls suggest Bush and his Iraq policy in trouble. A CBS poll has Bush's approval at record low -- 41%, with 61% ddisapproving of the way the Iraq war is going and 65% saying the country is on the wrong track: Poll: Bush Ratings Continue Slide. A CNN/USA Today poll finds Bush doing slightly better: Bush approval stays near record low in poll. While a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds: Bush Losing Support on Iraq, Poll Finds: President's Approval Ratings Hits Lowest Point. Kerry is still only neck-and-neck with Bush.

The Saudi ambassador to Britain and Ireland says the invasion of Iraq was a colonial war fought to control Iraqi oil: Saudi Envoy: Iraq War Was 'Colonial' and About Oil.

Susan Sontag : What have we done? The horrific images from Abu Ghraib have come to define the ill-starred occupation of Iraq, but what do they really tell us about America? Are they simply the work of a few rogue soldiers, or the result of the new foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration, which find ready approval in an increasingly brutalised society?

[Not directly on Iraq, but interesting.] In the US, the anti-Bush coalition has been joined by strip clubs registering patrons to vote: Strip clubs' naked ambition to oust Bush.

Arab Press Notes Massacre claims in Kufa. Draconian restrictions on press freedom. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 23, 2004.

Arab Press Notes Renewed fighting near Falluja. New claims of abuse of Iraqi women. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 22, 2004.

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has won the top award at Cannes, making it harder to censor: Anti-Bush film tops Cannes awards.

Arab Press Notes More on US turn against Chalabi and on courts martial of abusers. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 21, 2004.

Commentator Philip Smucker has heard talk like that occurring on right-wing talk radio: US Talk Show Rhetoric Sounds a Rwandan Echo.

In his May 11 and May 12 radio show Savage Nation, Michael Savage called Arabs "non-humans" and "racist, fascist bigots." The Clear Channel syndicated radio host later asserted that Americans should "drop a nuclear weapon" on a random Arab capital, and that "these people" in the Middle East "need to be forcibly converted to Christianity" in order to "turn them into human beings...."
Savage on May 14 downplays Iraqi prisoner abuses at the hands of American military personnel: "I think it's a very good policy, and the more I learn about it I think that it made good sense. . . . Use little women in particular. Little, ugly women. And let 'em take big strapping Iraqis and put 'em on leashes naked. . . Get police dogs to bark at naked Iraqis, until they crack . . . "
"These radio hosts should take note of something that happened six months ago in a courtroom in Tanazania," says British journalist Jake Lynch, co-director of the peace journalism think-tank Reporting the World. "For the first time, radio broadcasts were legally deemed to be war crimes."

It can't happen here? Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical.

The diplomat who quit over Nixon's invasion of Cambodia asks Americans on the front lines of foreign service to resign from the "worst regime by far in the history of the republic." A call to conscience by Roger Morris.

Arab Press Notes US turns on Chalabi. Courts Martial just PR. Wedding party massacre. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 20, 2004.

The Daily Mirror lists: 10 Reasons Bush Wants to Ban Moore's Film.

Bad news for Bush. Good news for the world: US soldiers could go from pawns to kingmakers: Support for bush slips among some in military

Arab Press Notes Reaction to US abuse trial. Reports that the US killed 41 when they attacked a wedding party with missiles. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 19, 2004.

Red Rall says: Fire The War Pimps: Zero Tolerance for Iraq War Pundits.

The Chairman and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services, David F. D'Alessandro, writes an Open Letter to the president, asking why his daughter isn't fighting to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq: To the president from a father: Shame on us.

The BBC refers to the long tradition of artists and musicians demonstrating their patriotism by criticizing the US government: Which side are you on?.

Arab Press Notes Iraqi sociologist says resistance necessary. Continued reaction to killing of IGC President. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 18, 2004.

Paul Krugman wonders when the country's leaders will stop bailing out: The Wastrel Son.

Arab Press Notes Car attack underlines occupation deepening crisis. Syrian scholar comments on US occupation. Notes on these stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 17, 2004.

Ruth Rosen says get out before many more die. She expresses fear, which I share, that Kerry, should he win, will be afraid of "loosing" Iraq and might send more troops to continue the occupation: End the Occupation.

Bush won't like it: Director Moore Launches Anti-Bush Tirade at Cannes.

Reader Steven Greffenius has contributed his extended argument: Ugly War: Why America Should Leave Iraq.

My [Stephen Soldz] comments written in response to the Nic Berg murder is available on Information Clearinghouse: Retribution or Reflection.

Reflection requires us to look within ourselves, to ground our thoughts in an awareness of the potential for rage and violence that lurks within each of us. If the human race learned anything in the 20th century, it was that violence and “evil” are not characteristics only of those among us who perform loathsome acts, but that most, if not all, of us are capable, given the right circumstances, of committing acts of which we would be ashamed.

Arab Press Notes A delegation from Falluja brings a message of support to the resistance in Najaf. Families of Iraqis killed by British troops dispute British account of how they died. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 16, 2004.

USA Today founder Al Neuharth says Support out troops. Bring them Home! Should cowboy Bush ride into the sunset?

In a Washington Post op-ed piece, Senators McCain and Lieberman call for more troops and the Iron Boot [more "sharply increase the number of troops, including Marines and Special Operations forces, to conduct offensive operations"]. Rumor has it that McCain is on John Kerry's short list for VP. I, for one, will not vote for McCain under any circumstances: What Must Come Next.

Our retreat from Fallujah has emboldened the insurgents and convinced some Iraqis that America lacks the will or the means to enforce its demands.

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson talks to Democracy Now! Joseph Wilson: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity.

Yet another poll, by Newsweek, finds major drops in support for Bush's war, and for Bush: Newsweek Poll: Bad Days for Bush -- With news from Iraq becoming ever bleaker, the president’s numbers are way down. Still, he hasn’t lost ground to John Kerry.

Arab Press Notes Arab comments on the hubris of the occupation. More notes on today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 15, 2004.

Australian commentator Margo Kingston reminds us that it's all about oil: Oils ain't just oils, they're to die for.

Action Alert! Japan! A Japanese peace group has started a petition to prosecute US War Crimes in Iraq: Don’t Turn Away from the US Air strikes in Iraq: Let’s Join the US Citizens in prosecuting these War Crimes! They have obtained 800 signatures in 2 days.

Support for Bush and for the war drop again in new CNN/Time poll: Poll: Support for Bush, Iraq war dropping -- Kerry leads Bush in matchups.

Fifty percent think there was a cover-up of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, although 63 percent said they believe it is limited to a "few individual soldiers." Those participating in the poll want to see the soldiers court-martialed, but more -- 68 percent -- want to see their supervisors face the same procedure. And the sides are nearly even -- 45 percent saying yes and 44 percent saying no -- on whether the generals in charge of Iraq should face court-martial.

And, Eyal Press argues, doubts about Bush among conservatives are building: Even Conservatives Are Wondering: Is Bush One of Us?.

As more veterans return from Iraq, scarred by their contact with death and with their own ability to kill, it's important to remember those from earlier generations who went for the glory of war and came back scarred. This book review by recovered war correspondent Chris Hedges reminds us: Evidence of Things Not Seen.

I too went to war, not as a soldier, but as a war correspondent. I too battle the demons that defeated my uncle. Perhaps it is hopeless to expect anyone to listen. This book is hard to look at, just as war is hard to see. The myth has a powerful, intoxicating draw. It permits us to make real the darkest undercurrents of our fantasy life. It permits us to destroy, not only things but other human beings. And in that power of wholesale destruction we feel the power of the divine, the power to revoke another person's charter to live on this earth. What we do not understand until it is over is that by unleashing this destructive impulse we destroy not only others but ourselves. War reverberates for years afterward, spinning lives into a dark oblivion of pain and suffering.

Peter Oborne expresses the disgust of many in Britain in observing the sycophantic behavior of their Prime Minister: Blair’s willingness to follow Bush into any torture chamber shames Britain.

Arab Press Notes Notes on fighting in the south of Iraq and continued reaction to the prison abuse. More notes on today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 14, 2004

Arab Press Notes An interview with Sheikh Dr.Jawad alKhalisi Secretary General of the newly formed Iraqi Constituent Congress to resist Occupation. Rection to prison torture and Nic Berg's beheading. More of today's notes from Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 13, 2004

Over a third of the Vermont House have signed a letter highly critical of the Iraq occupation and calling for its abandonment: Lawmakers sign letter opposed to Iraq war.

Newsweek interviews political psychologist, author of The Politics of Denial, about American's reactions to the Iraq horrors: See No Evil: A political psychologist explains the roles denial, emotion and childhood punishment play in politics.

Juan Cole, in Le Monde Diplomatique argues that "US failure helps revive the old Pan-Islam project": Iraq: all together against the occupation.

A commentary expressing the horror and the destructiveness to Iraqis, of the Nic Berg killing: "Zarqawi be damned".

Arab Press Notes The first Dutch soldier dies in Iraq. Fighting between alSadr's forces and US troops continued, while fighting also occurred elsewhere in Iraq. More of today's notes from Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 12, 2004

Mark Morford doesn't mince words: Genital Torture For Dummies: Hey, it's a war -- what did you expect, flowers and bunnies and hopscotch in the Baghdad streets?

The former Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out: Iraq Prisoners Torture Condemns West.

"It is deeply shameful and it indicts us all in the West. It is cruel, it is horrible, it is degrading," Lord Carey told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "I don't know how we can pull out of this. Apologies are not enough."

The National Council of Churches, the United Methodist Church Council of Bishops and several other religious organizations made a connection between the foreign policy that led to the Iraq war and the abuse of prisoners. However the head of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention blamed the prisoner abuse on moral relativism infecting society. I assume he was referring to his relativism in excusing Runsfeld's behavior? Group: Bush's Foreign Policy 'Dangerous': Religious Group Calls Bush's Foreign Policy 'Dangerous,' Urges Iraq Role for U.N.

Norman Solomon says, prepare for: The Coming Backlash Against Outrage.

Major American news organizations will increasingly come under attack as the next rounds of visual documentation emerge from U.S. prison facilities in Iraq. Messengers will be charged with relishing the awful graphic evidence. When the bad news gets bad enough, appreciable political energy will go into fueling an anti-media backlash....
Many politicians and pundits are saying the worst aspect of this crisis is that it presents a colossal PR problem for the United States. That kind of verbiage tells us a lot. Such an extreme self-focus represents the promotion of national megalomania over genuine decency.

The Vatican Foreign Minister says: Prison Abuse Bigger Blow to U.S. Than 9-11.

"The torture? A more serious blow to the United States than Sept. 11. Except that the blow was not inflicted by terrorists but by Americans against themselves,"

Arab Press Notes US convoy attacked, other clashes, and continued Arab reaction to the prison abuse scandal. Today's notes from Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 11, 2004

Philip Kennicott in the Washington Post states the obvious, that the Abu Ghraib photos are the world's image of the occupation. They are us. They are typical pictures of colonial occupation: A Wretched New Picture Of America: Photos From Iraq Prison Show We Are Our Own Worst Enemy.

These photos show us what we may become, as occupation continues, anger and resentment grows and costs spiral. There's nothing surprising in this. These pictures are pictures of colonial behavior, the demeaning of occupied people, the insult to local tradition, the humiliation of the vanquished. They are unexceptional. In different forms, they could be pictures of the Dutch brutalizing the Indonesians; the French brutalizing the Algerians; the Belgians brutalizing the people of the Congo....
Not quite 50 years ago, Aime Cesaire, a poet and writer from Martinique, wrote in his "Discourse on Colonialism": "First we must study how colonization works to decivilize the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awaken him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism." Are we decivilized yet? Are we brutes yet? Of course not, say our leaders.

Jim Lobe points out, it may be payback time as the military gun for Rumsfeld: Bush Circles Wagons, But Cavalry Has Joined the Indians.

In the latest TomGram, Tom Engelhardt makes the My Lai and Abu Ghraib analogy, includingColin Powell's role in covering-up and minimizing both. Then Mark LeVine discusses whether the occupation itself isn't a warcrime: LeVine, On thinking about war crimes.

Juan Cole comments on Bush's defense of Rumsfeld and other stupid things he said Monday: yesterday: More Arguments with Bush.

Haifa Zangana makes clear the horror to most Iraqis of having Saddam's torture chamber with an American one: I, too, was tortured in Abu Ghraib: Iraqis did not struggle for decades to replace one oppressor with another .

The Guardian says if Bush really wants to give a sign of contrition for the horrors, he should close Guantanamo: Outside the law.

Arab Press Notes: Corrected Additional reports of prisoner abuse. More fighting between Sadr forces and US. More notes from Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 10, 2004

Arab Press Notes: Corrected Resigning Iraqi Minister of human rights says POW abuse of detainees continuing. Clashes in Baghdad, Basrah and Immara. More notes from Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 9, 2004

Another poll finds most people buy the nonsense that the prisoner abuse is due to a few bad apples: Poll: 73 percent say Iraqi abuse unjustified: Few directly blame Bush, Rumsfeld for incidents in prison.

New poll finds Bush down, but so is Kerry. Bush approval hits new lows in poll: Support for war in Iraq also lowest ever .

Fifty-four percent said last year's invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and only 41 percent of adults said they believed Bush was doing a good job handling the war.

It must be an election year: Senate Passes Resolution on Iraqi Abuses.

An interesting perspective by Linda Milazzo on why Rumsfeld isn't made the fall-guy: Would Rumsfeld Really Sing?.

Remember, prisoner abuse is as American as cherry pie: An Ugly Prison Record: Given the Way it Treats its own Inmates, America Shouldn't be Shocked at the Abuse of Iraqis. And Bush makes a habit of it: From Texas to Abu Ghraib: The Bush Legacy of Prisoner Abuse.

Tom Engelhardt has his usual insightful analysis of the meaning of the prison abuse "scandal": Postcards from the edge: "We saw the pictures".

Arab Press Notes Resigning Iraqi Minister of human rights says POW abuse of detainees continuing. Clashes in Baghdad, Basrah and Immara. More notes from Arab sources as follows: Arab Press Note: May 9, 2004

Brits want out! Poll shows majority want UK troops to pull out.

Should British troops pull out of Iraq by 30th June?
55 per cent: YES
28 per cent: NO
17 per cent: DON'T KNOW
The poll comes at a turbulent time for the Government, rocked by allegations over the mistreatment of Iraqi captives. Yesterday, in a further embarrassment for Britain and America, it emerged that their ambassadors to Switzerland had been summoned by the Swiss government to demand respect for international law in the treatment of prisoners in Iraq. Acting as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of warfare, the Swiss Foreign Minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, said she felt "abhorrence and rage" over the disclosures of prisoner abuse. She told the SonntagsBlick weekly: "It violates international humanitarian law. I am very concerned. These are occurrences that we cannot keep silent about."

We should remember that the US was complicit in the brutal murder of hundreds of Taliban prisoners, who were executed by the US-supported Northern Alliance, some sealed into airtight containers metal at Kunduz and left to die. Where's the congressional and media outrage? Where are the war crimes trials? What About the Hundreds Who Were Suffocated at Kunduz? America's Srebrenica.

When the containers were opened, and ordered the destruction of the ghastly evidence inside. "When the containers were finally opened, a mess of urine, blood, faeces, vomit and rotting flesh was all that remained ... As the containers were lined up outside the prison, a [U.S.] soldier accompanying the convoy was present when the prison commanders received orders to dispose of the evidence quickly." He cites witness testimony to the effect that "In each container maybe 150-160 [prisoners] had been killed. ... The Americans told the Shebarghan people to get them outside the city before they were filmed by satellite...."
Newsweek's detailed investigation into the Afghan atrocities ("The Death Convoy of Afghanistan," 26 August 2002) stated straightforwardly that "American forces were working intimately with 'allies' who committed what could well qualify as war crimes...."
Witnesses to the grim events also alleged that "600 Taliban PoWs who survived the containers' shipment to the Shebarghan prison ... were taken to a spot in the desert and executed in the presence of about 30 to 40 U.S. special forces soldiers" (The Globe and Mail, 19 December 2002). Other U.S. soldiers are said to have involved themselves directly and enthusiastically in the "dirty work" of prisoner torture and the disposal of corpses. "The Americans did whatever they wanted," stated one Afghan witness. "We had no power to stop them. Everything was under the control of the American commander...."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who in the waning days of the Afghan invasion appeared to be cheerleading for the slaughter of prisoners. Rumsfeld originally announced that the U.S. was "not inclined to negotiate surrenders...."
Now that U.S. abuses and atrocities against Iraqi prisoners -- up to and including murder -- have captured world headlines, there is no excuse for not investigating alleged crimes that, although they are receding into history, may have been incomparably worse.

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair remind us that torture is a long established American practice, at home and abroad: Torture as Normalcy: As American as Apple Pie.

New pressure for Tony Blair to quit, as British public turns against war, again: Britain's Blair Faces Call for Resignation.

A reader, Sandy Lambrecht of Menomonie, WI, wrote the following comments on the Iraq war from the perspective of her childhood under the Nazi shadow. It is posted her with her permission. The title is mine: Abu Ghraib and American Culture in the Light of Nazi Germany.

More money for rape and torture around the world! Senate Panel Clears $422.2 Billion Defense Bill.

Robert Fisk: If we see our enemies as inhuman, then we ourselves end up as savages.

Normon Solomon discusses the elephant in the room: This War and Racism -- Media Denial in Overdrive. Of course, American prisons, with their rampant racism and brutality, provide the perfect training ground.

Arab Press Notes A correspondent, whom I shall call "A.", in the Middle East has offered to send us occasional summaries from the Iraqi and Arab press. We will post these, minimally edited, so that ORR readers can get a sense of what is being reported there. We do not vouch for the accuracy of the news, only that it is indeed being reported. For obvious reasons, A. desires to remain anonymous. Here is the latest: Arab Press Note: May 8, 2004

As the world contemplates the abuse at Abu Ghraib and other "detention facilities" [aka "concentration camps"] around the world, people have increasingly drawn parallels between what occurred there and the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by Philip G. Zimbardo in 1971, see, e.g., Simulated Prison in '71 Showed a Fine Line Between `Normal' and `Monster'. On May 4 NPR interviewed Dr. Zimbardo regarding the connections: Prison Psychology and the Stanford Prison Experiment [connection to listen]. [See also, Stanford Prison Experiment related links.] Dr. Zimbardo has also sent an e-mail to colleagues with Notes on the Social Psychology of Iraqi Prison Abuse.

Arab Press Notes A correspondent, whom I shall call "A.", in the Middle East has offered to send us occasional summaries from the Iraqi and Arab press. We will post these, minimally edited, so that ORR readers can get a sense of what is being reported there. We do not vouch for the accuracy of the news, only that it is indeed being reported. For obvious reasons, A. desires to remain anonymous. Here is the latest: Arab Press Note: May 7, 2004

How do we understand the abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib? This ABC News article reminds us that war sucks, not because there are a few bad apples, but because we are all capable of behaving abominably: The Face of War: Psychological Experts Say Under Stress of Battle, Potential for Abuse Could Surface in Anyone. And Joanna Bourke discusses the sexual aspect of the torture, something virtually ignored in most discussions: Torture as pornography: The pictures of American soldiers humiliating Iraqi detainees are reminiscent of sadomasochistic porn, says military historian Joanna Bourke. And we should not be surprised.

Lying gets you ahead! What a great profession spying is: Iraq arms dossier’s author is new chief of U.K. spy agency.

GIs widow speaks out: Soldier's widow voices opinion on war.

"I'm very proud of my husband, but I'm not proud of the reason he was there, and neither was he"
he moved to the United States from Romania four years ago. She says freedom of speech was a novelty for her, but now finds many people don't exercise this right when it's most important. She states, "Unless people raise their voices, a lot more people are going to die."

More poll evidence Bush declining. Now, if we only had an opposition candidate... New poll reveals across-the-board problems for Bush.

Juan Cole takes seriously that Israel has a hand in training the US in torture techniques in Iraq: Israeli Connection with Abu Ghuraib Torture?

A reader has sent these very interesting: Comments on Gender and Iraqi Prison Abuse.

Arab Press Notes A correspondent, whom I shall call "A.", in the Middle East has offered to send us occasional summaries from the Iraqi and Arab press. We will post these, minimally edited, so that ORR readers can get a sense of what is being reported there. for obvious reasons, A. desires to remain anonymous. Here is the latest: Arab Press Note: May 6, 2004

Bush falling, but Kerry stuck. Presumably, people want to vote for something: Approval rating lowest for Bush. and, finally, as he looks toward rejoining the private sector next year, Colin Powell attempts to rehabilitate his declining reputation by attacking his Bush admin. colleagues: Powell aides go public on rift with Bush: Chief of staff says secretary of state is fed up with apologising for the administration and is disdainful of 'ideological' hawk.

[Powell aide Wilkerson:] "He has spent as much time doing damage control and, shall we say, apologising around the world for some less-than-graceful actions as he has anything else...."
"I make no bones about it. I have some reservations about people who have never been in the face of battle, so to speak, who are making cavalier decisions about sending men and women out to die."

Reader Peter Hollings forwarded this letter he sent to Amnesty International. The idea of using the current outrage to support US joining the ICC is wonderful!

With the current public attention to reports of widespread abuse and torture of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanastan and at Guantanamo, I think it is timely to lobby for US participation in the International Criminal Court. While I believe that this participation is critically important in curbing the US and that the non-participation is shameful, I also believe that the key to change is worldwide public opinion. By this means I hope that basing rights for the US military, participation in armed coalitions such as in Iraq, even trade, can all be conditioned on US participation in the Court. Faced with such opposition, the US would have no option but to relent and participate. The time is ripe to begin such a movement and I hope that Amnesty International will give support to this important cause.

Arab Press Notes A correspondent, whom I shall call "A.", in the Middle East has offered to send us occasional summaries from the Iraqi and Arab press. We will post these, minimally edited, so that ORR readers can get a sense of what is being reported there. for obvious reasons, A. desires to remain anonymous. Here is the second: Iraqi & Arab Press Note: May 5, 2004

A very powerful: Statement of Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D., N.Y.) on the Torture of Iraqi Detainees.

But, once again I ask, who are the few? Does it include those (whoever they are) who told the military police at Abu Ghraib, most of whom are reservists, to 'soften up' the detainees for interrogation? And, why with these particular acts? I cannot accept -- especially when we hear that military intelligence and private contractors ordered the actions -- that these military police officers just happened to choose acts that are offensive in any culture, but are especially humiliating to males in Arab and Islamic cultures. Logic leads me to believe the psychological implications were well understood and the acts imposed on the detainees were deliberately selected.
"It's fair to ask, what else may be going on? Shouldn't a deeper look be taken at claims of abuse in Afghanistan, at Guantanamo, and elsewhere in Iraq, including the rape and sexual abuse of women and children? Has there been such heavy reliance on private military contractors precisely to evade criminal liability? Haven't Iraqis been given new reason to view the U.S. war on terrorism as a war of terrorism against them, their religion, and their culture?

Must Read! As we contemplate the horrors of Abu Ghraib, this BBC analysis asks: Is it in anyone to abuse a captive? We should remember that the information here has been well known for 30 years, at least. The US clearly did not consider it a priority to take steps to avoid abuse happening. In fact, all indications are that they viewed abuse as a useful tool to "break" and punish the "enemy", as well as a potential aid in obtaining information. If the President refers to others as the "evil doers', etc., it encourages this type of behavior.

"If you give a person power over someone who is powerless, someone who has been demonised or made to seem less human, then that absolute power corrupts absolutely...." [According to "Professor David Wilson a criminologist, who once governed some of the UK's challenging prisons."]
"By hooding the prisoners, by hiding their faces, they were denying them individuality. This makes abusive treatment more likely. Just as very violent offenders often mask the faces of their victims before carrying out attacks...."
He argues that it is more subtle signals from very senior figures which can have the most profound effect on the behaviour of the lowly soldiers on the ground, setting the scene for abuse without explicitly ordering it.
"In the War on Terror, the US has set limits on the Geneva Convention to minimise the protections it offers, think of Guantanamo. These things filter down from the very top." Mr Browning says that by casting military captives not as prisoners of war, but as continuing threats and sources of information "it was predictable that these abuses would occur".

As this BBC analysis points out, the experts are now talking about the "W" word: withdrawal: Analysis: Withdrawal on the cards?

Only In America! Censorship? Disney attempts to censor new Michael Moore film critical of Bush to preserve tax breaks from Jeb Bush in Florida: Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush.

According to this piece, the two "security" firms that employed the Abu Ghraib interrogators were big GOP contributors. This fact increases the importance of an independent investigation: Private Security Contractors Implicated In Prisoner Abuse Scandal Are Big GOP Campaign Contributors.

Paul Krugman draws the links between recent revelations and the desire to privatize core government functions: Privatization in Iraq is out of control.

A reader, Peter Hollings, has made the following interesting comment on the Abu Ghraib prison abuses and our strategy as we attempt to avoid future abuses of this kind:

I especially enjoyed reading your essay on torture at Abu Ghraib. I appreciate the idea of trying to use the reporting of these incidents as a means to influence public opinion and change. May I suggest that the most valuable goal for such an effort might be US participation in the International Criminal Court. Clearly, the US has demonstrated by its conduct that it should not be above a law which widely applies to other countries. Moreover, other nations seeing what we repeatedly have done may rightfully fear a US that is free to violate common humanitarian standards, international laws and treaties with impunity. The fact that George Bush "unsigned" a treaty leading to participation in the ICC shows some premeditation about prospective violations. It's also true that a law was passed (during the Clinton administration) authorizing the forcible removal of US personnel from the Hague should they ever come to trial before the Court. These facts are potentially embarrassing if they were widely known, as they might well become if the Iraqi tortures became linked to the ICC. With public opinion overseas calling for ICC participation by the US as a condition for continuing UN authorizations for US actions, participation in the coalition, etc., t he US might be forced to accede. If the US then became subject to the ICC, I think this would have a decisive, long term effect by moderating US adventurism overseas.

Reader Bob Price has sent me this poetic meditation on the origins of our present predicament: Paving the Road to Fallujah

Eric Margolis compares the US in Iraq to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, for which we know the ending: Deja vu all over again.

Derek Gregory, a geographer in British Columbia, discusses the "imaginative geographies" [using Edward Said's concept) that allow for dehumanization of the other, Afghans and Iraqis: Who's Responsible? Dangerous Geography

Richard Sale of UPI joins the chorus of those who think: U.S. faces gloomy future in Iraq (Part 2)

Stephen R. Shalom has an excellent discussion of: Where Do We Go From Here? The Anti-War Movement and the Occupation of Iraq .

Patrick Cockburn joins the growing ranks of those who believe the US has decisively lost the battle for Iraq: A year on from 'Mission Accomplished', an army in disgrace, a policy in tatters and the real prospect of defeat: Against the odds, America has earned the hatred of ordinary Iraqis.

The tide is going out for the US in Iraq.... They can no longer win. It may be one of the most extraordinary defeats in history.

Newsweek interviews Democracy Now's! Amy Goodman: ‘Access of Evil’: A controversial liberal radio reporter argues that the mainstream U.S. media are becoming corrupted because journalists are too close to those in power

A Former US General and head of the National Security Agency, William E. Odom said this week that the US has already lost in Iraq and the only choices were to get out now or get out later, with many more deaths and an even more alienated middle east: Former US General says US troops should get out of Iraq.

We have failed. The issue is how high the price we are going to pay. Less, by getting out sooner, or more, by getting out later...
The longer US troops stay in Iraq, Odom reasoned, the more isolated America will become. That in turn will place increasing strain on international economic and security institutions, he said. I don’t know if the UN, the IMF, the World Bank or NATO can survive this, he commented.

following the lead of their british colleagues former American diplomats have prepared a letter criticizing Bush's foreign policy and are collecting signatures: Former US diplomats send protest letter to Bush. Here is the actual: Letter to President Bush from Former U.S. Diplomats. Unfortunately, it only criticizes US policy toward Israel, not Iraq.

In Naomi Klein's view, mutiny isn't just something that a few members of the "new Iraqi army" did, but a mass movement sweeping Iraq and the Coalition of the [Un]Willing: Mutiny in Iraq.

In this day of shame, a story from Macedonia elucidates the worldwide horrors occurring under the rubric of "war on terrorism." Seven immigrants were lured into a staged murder as supposed terrorists to obtain US support: Shooting of seven 'terrorists' staged for US, says Macedonia.

The Center for American Progress has created a very useful database of conservative quotes compared with the fact. Organized by issue and speaker: Claims vs. Facts Database.

Previous Month Archive: April, 2004
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