Who's next? The US got its man. Now it must target the real threat in Iraq

Independent Online Edition > Middle East:

It is not clear how far American or Iraqi government statements about how they located Zarqawi should be believed. It appears unlikely that he was meeting his lieutenants, as was first suggested, given that only two other men died with him.

There are already signs that in propaganda terms, the US military - as well as the media - is missing Zarqawi as a single demonic figure who could be presented as the leader of the resistance. The myth of Zarqawi was attractive to Washington because it showed that anti-occupation resistance was foreign-inspired and linked to al-Qa'ida.

In reality the insurgency was almost entirely home grown, reliant on near-total support from the five million-strong Sunni community. Its military effectiveness was far more dependent on former officers of the Iraqi army and security forces than on al-Qa'ida. They may also have helped to boost Zarqawi's fame, because it was convenient for them to blame their worst atrocities on him.

Witness Says U.S. Troops Beat Al-Zarqawi After Bombing

nbc4i.com - Local News - Witness Says U.S. Troops Beat Al-Zarqawi After Bombing:

An Iraqi man who was one of the first people on the scene after an airstrike that led to the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi told Associated Press Television News that he saw American troops beating a man who had a beard like the al-Qaida leader.

The witness said he saw the man lying on the ground, badly wounded but still alive. He said U.S. troops arriving on the scene wrapped the man's head in an Arab robe and began beating him.


'He is not dead, he is alive with God This is a wedding, not a funeral'

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | 'He is not dead, he is alive with God This is a wedding, not a funeral':

After prayers, they gathered in their hundreds in the funeral tent near the house in the Jordanian town of Zarqa where he had lived. Among them were senior commanders of his organisation in Jordan. They listened to a sermon and pledged alliance to the new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

The men, most of them with long bushy beards and dressed in the Afghan salwar kamees, a dress code of jihadis, came from all over Jordan. Some raised mobile phones to record the sermon.

'If a mujahid dies, hundreds of others will replace him,' cried Sheikh Jarah al-Qadah an old comrade of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. 'We will continue the jihad against the infidels everywhere, in Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine ... see my brothers our victories in Somalia now, blessed we are and blessed to give sacrifices like the life of our hero Abu Musab.'

At the entrance to the tent, made of bedouin carpets, the banner read: 'The wedding of the hero Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.' Inside were four rows of plastic chairs arranged on the sandy ground. A dozen or so were occupied. Ants crawled between people's feet.

A new low -- the Senate seeks to "pardon" the President for past lawbreaking

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: A new low -- the Senate seeks to "pardon" the President for past lawbreaking:

Observing and commenting on the behavior of Arlen Specter is one of the most unpleasant obligations a person can have, but for anyone following the NSA eavesdropping scandal specifically, and the Bush administration's abuses of executive power generally, it is a necessary evil. The principal reason that the Bush administration has been able to impose its radical theories of lawbreaking on the country is because Congress, with an unseemly eagerness, has permitted itself to be humiliated over and over by an administration which does not hide its contempt for the notion that Congress has any role to play in limiting and checking the executive branch. And few people have more vividly illustrated that institutional debasement than Arlen Specter, who, along with Pat Roberts, has done more than anyone else to ensure that Congress completely relinquishes its constitutional powers to the President.

Congressional abdication is so uniquely damaging because the Founders assumed that Congress would naturally and instinctively resist encroachments by the executive, and the resulting institutional tension -- the inevitable struggle for power between the branches -- is what would preserve governmental balance and prevent true abuses of power. But for the last five years, Congress has done the opposite of what the Founders envisioned. They have meekly submitted to the almost total elimination of their role in our Government and have quietly accepted consolidation of their powers in the President.


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: Dead Again

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: Dead Again:

Fuck Bush still contends that he never existed...See archives. Also, follow the links in the article excerpted below:
The reported death—and past deaths—are simply another dimension of a rather transparent psychological operations campaign run out of the Pentagon. In April, we learned that al-Zarqawi is little more than hype, a neocon propaganda program. “The US military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald. “The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush Administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks,” or rather supposedly responsible, as no credible evidence has surfaced to date to pin blame on “al-Qaeda” (in fact, it is difficult to prove “al-Qaeda” itself actually exists). “The military’s propaganda program has largely been aimed at Iraqis, but seems to have spilled over into the US media. One “selective leak” about Zarqawi was made to Dexter Filkins, a New York Times reporter based in Baghdad. Filkins’s resulting article, about a letter supposedly written by Zarqawi and boasting of suicide attacks in Iraq, ran on the Times front page in February, 2004.”

I’d have to say this is backwards. In fact, the “propaganda program” was aimed primarily at Americans, who need a scary Freddy Kruger Muslim to convince them the occupation of Iraq is necessary. More scary demons will be required soon for a shock and awe attack unleashed against Iran.

Of course, it is only natural to kill off al-Zarqawi once again. Earlier this year, the Pentagon released a video, allegedly discovered “by US forces in a hideout in the Al-Yusufiyah neighborhood of southern Baghdad,” showing al-Zarqawi (or a person we are told is al-Zarqawi), wearing New Balance tennis shoes and fumbling with a U.S. M-249 squad automatic weapon. It appears the purpose of this video is to make al-Zarqawi out to be a bumbling idiot. “Is the recently released video, which consists in ridiculing rather than villainizing ‘Enemy Number One’, part of the Zarqawi PSYOP program?” muses Michel Chossudovsky.

Father of beheaded man blames Bush, not Zarqawi

Father of beheaded man blames Bush, not Zarqawi:

Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, said on Thursday he felt no sense of relief at the killing of the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and blamed President Bush for his son's death.

Asked what would give him satisfaction, Berg, an anti-war activist and candidate for U.S. Congress, said, 'The end of the war and getting rid of George Bush.'

The United States said its aircraft killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the insurgent leader who masterminded the death of hundreds in suicide bombings and was blamed for the videotaped beheading of Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor, and other captives.

'I don't think that Zarqawi is himself responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq,' Berg said in a combative television interview with the U.S. Fox News network. 'I think George Bush is.

'George Bush is the one that invaded this country, George Bush is the one that destabilized it so that Zarqawi could get in, so that Zarqawi had a need to get in, to defend his region of the country from American invaders.'

Berg said Bush was to blame for the torture of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

'Yeah, like George Bush didn't OK the torture and death and rape of people in the Abu Ghraib prison for which my son was killed in retaliation?' he told his Fox interviewers.

In a telephone interview with Reuters from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the father said: 'I have no sense of relief, just sadness that another human being had to die.'


Washington fury over UN attack on Bush 'hypocrites'

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Washington fury over UN attack on Bush 'hypocrites':

Mr Malloch Brown also used his speech to defend 18 peacekeeping missions around the world and to criticise continuing efforts by the US to use its leverage - as by far the UN's largest funding source - to press for more rapid reforms.

The UN needed to be overhauled, he acknowledged, but 'in recent years the enormously divisive issue of Iraq and the big stick of financial withholding have come to define an unhappy marriage', he said. Other nations had the perception that the US adopted 'maximalist positions' in diplomatic negotiations, he added, rather than seeking compromise.

A UN official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian the speech was intended to be 'a warning call' about a broader crisis. On many issues, including UN reform, 'what the US is doing is absolutely right from our point of view', the official said. 'It's just that almost nobody else, in the current environment, believes them.' The state of public discourse about the UN in America meant that 'the rest of the world thinks that the US has a hidden agenda, or is trying to use the process to manipulate the UN'.


Documents show post-war CIA covered up Nazi war crimes

Documents show post-war CIA covered up Nazi war crimes - Haaretz - Israel News:

According to the declassified documents, a German intelligence officer reported to the CIA in March 1958 that Germany had known since 1952 that Eichmann lived in Argentina under the pseudonym 'Clemens.' The information was not entirely accurate, as the name Eichmann used at the time was 'Clement.'

However, the CIA chose not to make use of the information.

Israeli intelligence officers who have published their memoirs have written that Israel knew that Eichmann lived in Argentina by 1957, but lacked any information regarding his pseudonym.

According to Naftali, the Israeli agents gave up their search for a while, because without a name, it was difficult to locate him in Argentina.

The documents also reveal that the CIA, in response to a West German request, asked Life Magazine, which planned to publish Eichmann's memoirs in 1960, to delete any mention of Globke from them.

Eichmann had been arrested by Mossad agents earlier that year, and his family sold his memoirs to the magazine to pay for his legal defense.

Allen Dulles, then head of the CIA, wrote in September 1960 to his counterpart in West Germany assuring him that a 'minor' mention of Globke in the memoirs would be deleted, pursuant to the CIA's request.

Killing of Iraqi may have been 'premeditated' - Jun 6, 2006

CNN.com - Source: Killing of Iraqi may have been 'premeditated' - Jun 6, 2006:

'They went after someone, not necessarily this person, but they set out to get someone,' the officer told CNN, referring to the Marines now under investigation.

The officer spoke to CNN under the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Knight Ridder News Service reports seeing a one-page, handwritten report shown by the victim's family. The report cited a U.S. Marine sergeant who said the man was killed because he was seen 'digging on the side of the road from our ambush site. I made the call and engaged. He was pronounced dead at the scene with only a shovel and AK-47.'

Knight Ridder identified the man as Hashim Ibrahim Awad.

Investigators have concluded U.S. Marines dragged the man from his house and shot him before placing the shovel and AK-47 next to his body, implicating him as an insurgent, the official told CNN.

Seven Marines and a Navy medical corpsman are being held in the brig at California's Camp Pendleton, as commanders weigh possible charges against them in connection with the April 26 killing.

Four other Marines have been confined to base in connection with the probe, a Camp Pendleton spokesman said last week.

'The individuals were placed in pretrial confinement because of the commander's evaluation of the ongoing investigation. All of the individuals in pretrial confinement have been afforded the opportunity of a magistrate's hearing,' said Lt. Lawton King, a spokesman for the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.


Padilla says FBI evidence against him illegally obtained

Padilla says FBI evidence against him illegally obtained:
A lawyer for terror suspect Jose Padilla has filed a motion to suppress evidence he claims the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained illegally from two sources, one which alleges torture after US rendition to Morocco and another who may have been heavily medicated during interrogation. According to the motion filed last week, Padilla requests that the court toss several pieces of evidence, including a cellular phone allegedly given to Padilla by an al Qaeda member, an address book with the names of al Qaeda members, and $10,000 in cash, because the allegations of torture and possible impairment of the sources taints the statements on which the FBI based its warrant.

Degrading America's Image

Degrading America's Image - New York Times:

For more than seven decades, civilized nations have adhered to minimum standards of decent behavior toward prisoners of war — agreed to in the Geneva Conventions. They were respected by 12 presidents and generations of military leaders because they reflected this nation's principles and gave Americans some protection if they were captured in wartime.

It took the Bush administration to make the world doubt Washington's fidelity to the rules. And The Los Angeles Times, reporting yesterday on a dispute over updating the Army rulebook known as the Field Manual, reminded us that there is good reason to worry.

At issue is Directive 2310 on the treatment and questioning of prisoners, an annex to the Field Manual. It has long contained a reference to Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which covers all prisoners, whether they meet the common definition of prisoners of war or are the sort of prisoners the administration classifies as 'unlawful enemy combatants,' like suspected members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Article 3 prohibits the use of torture and other overt acts of violence. But Mr. Bush's civilian lawyers removed it from the military rulebook over the objections of diplomats and military lawyers. Mr. Bush has said he does not condone torture, but he has also said he would decide for himself when to follow the ban on torture imposed by Congress last year. Removing the Geneva Conventions from Army regulations gives the world more cause for doubt.

Article 3 also prohibits 'outrages on personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.' (Remember the hooded man, the pyramids of naked prisoners?) The Pentagon says the new rules require humane treatment, but that is not much comfort, since the Bush team has shown that it does not define humane treatment the way most people do.

There are other aspects of Article 3 that this administration probably finds inconvenient, like its requirement that governments holding prisoners subject them to actual courts 'affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.' The hearings at Guantanamo Bay hardly meet that description.

It defies belief that this administration is still clinging to its benighted policies on prisoners after the horrors of Abu Ghraib, the killings at American camps in Afghanistan and the world's fresh outrage over what appears to have been the massacre of Iraqi men, women and children in the village of Haditha.

Khamenei: No Nuclear Weapon Program, No First Strike : A Transcript of what he REALLY said; not US-edited propaganda

Khamenei: No Nuclear Weapon Program, No First Strike : SF Bay Area Indymedia

Iranian TV: Ayatollah Khamene'i Speaks on Khomeyni's Death Anniversary (2)
Islamic Republic of Iran News Network Television (IRINN)

Sunday, June 4, 2006 T20:31:17Z

Tehran Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1 in Persian at 0645 GMT on 4 June carries a live broadcast of a speech by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Kahmene'i on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeyni's death. The speech is given at Ayatollah Khomeyni's mausoleum.

TV shows a large gathering of people at the mausoleum supporting the supreme leader by their slogans.

The following is the part of Khamene'i's speech relating to international relations and the nuclear issue.

(Khamene'i) "Science cannot be begged from others. Science should be inspired from within. A nation should use its talent to become truly knowledgeable. At the same time, it would only be through national unity and nationwide peace that faith, justice and science could flourish. At the absence of peace and calm, the country cannot benefit from science or faith, and it will not be possible to establish justice for the people. The enemy is therefore willing to grant its biggest prize to those who can shake the pillars of peace in Iran and to fight against the people's faith in God, themselves, the (revolution's) path and success . . .

"Those who want to distance universities and research centres from science and research are working for the enemy, and the enemy is ready to give them its biggest prize. . .

"The person who pursues this nation's honour and this nation's scientific progress is an insider. The strangers (Persian: gharibeh) are those who are enthusiastic for America's hegemony. They are the ones who work at home for the enemy that's lying in wait and act in its favour. These are the strangers . . .

"Let me say a few sentences about enemies' propaganda. The propaganda commotions against the Iranian nation and the system of the Islamic republic are mainly set in train in the world by the Americans, Zionist media and the news empire affiliated to Zionism. . .

(They make) Several points about Iran:

First, that there is an international consensus against Iran.

Second, that Iran is a threat to the world.

Third, that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb and nuclear weapons.

Fourth, that Iran is a violator of human rights.

These are the few sentences which the enemy's entire propaganda activities harp on. And they keep repeating these in different ways in the world, using a variety of ploys. Of course, the truth is clear to our nation. It is also clear to many intelligent people in the world. But I'll briefly say something (in this respect).

"There is no consensus against Iran. This is a lie by the Americans and a few people who are America's allies in the world. (Crowd chants in support)

"Some 116 non-aligned countries supported Iran in its bold move to acquire nuclear technology. The Organization of the Islamic Conference has voiced support for Iran. Independent governments all support Iran. All those people who have acted as middlemen to repeat America's words to us, under the American pressure and out of courtesy, have told us in secrete that they have been asked by the Americans to say so and that they do not think the same way.

"The world and the countries that want to secure their future are all against the monopoly of nuclear technology by a few countries. To say that no country has the right to have access to nuclear technology means that in 20 years' time, all of the countries of the world will have to beg certain Western or European countries to meet their energy demands. They will have to beg for energy in order to run their lives. Which country, nation, or honest official is ready to take that? Today, our nation has taken a step forward in this road. It has become the pioneer and stands courageously by this end. Other nations have no problem with this (move), let alone having a consensus against it. The consensus is among a number of political monopolist countries. This consensus is worthless . . .

"The American and Zionist propagandists say Iran is a threat to the world. This is the second issue. Iran is not a threat to any country and everyone knows this fact about Iran. We have not threatened neighbouring countries. We have friendly and brotherly ties with all the countries of the region. Our government has healthy and good relations with European countries. These relations with Europe will be even better in the future, when gas plays a more important role as a source of energy. They need our gas. We have friendly and good ties with the Arab world. The most important issue in Arab society is the Palestinian cause. On this issue, we speak openly about whatever they (Arabs) have in their hearts. We have a very clear and transparent position on the Palestinian cause and Arab nations like this position whole-heartedly. They feel proud when we voice that position. The Arab officials too want the same in their hearts, although they cannot speak about it as openly as we do due to certain issues.

"We have friendly ties with different countries in the region, in Asia and other parts of the world. They all recognize and appreciate Iran's rights, its role and its influence. We also have good ties with Russia. The Russians know very well what would happen to them if a pro-American government was in power in Tehran. We (Iran and Russia) have common interests in central Asia, the Middle East and this region.

"We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world and the world knows it. The Americans, with their shameless propagandas, want to influence world public opinion. However, they haven't yet managed to do so and will not be able to do so in the future either.

"Their other issue is [their assertion] that Iran seeks [a] nuclear bomb. It is an irrelevant and wrong statement, it is a sheer lie. We do not need a nuclear bomb. We do not have any objectives or aspirations for which we will need to use a nuclear bomb. We consider using nuclear weapons against Islamic rules. We have announced this openly. We think imposing the costs of building and maintaining nuclear weapons on our nation is unnecessary. Building such weapons and their maintenance are costly. By no means we deem it right to impose these costs on the people. We do not need those weapons. Unlike the Americans who want to rule the world with force, we do not claim to control the world and therefore do not need a nuclear bomb. Our nuclear bomb and our explosive powers are our faith, our youth and our people who have been present on the most difficult scenes with utmost power and faith and will continue to do so. (Chants of slogan, God is great).

"The American political institutions and propaganda machines are behind all these false ballyhoos. The Zionists also help, along with them and side-by-side them. They are the cause of everything.

"I would like to address a few sentences to the American officials and the team which is running America today and claims to lead the world too. I hope they listen to it, think about it and understand it. I want to ask them to compare themselves with our government. Compare your (American) president with ours. Your government is the most hated government in history of the United States today. They (Americans) announced it to the world in their own opinion polls. The government currently in power in America is the most hated government in history of the United States according to its people. Compare this with our own government. Our government is one of the most favourite governments since the Constitutional Revolution (1906). (Chants of slogan, God is Great, Khamene'i is our leader, death to America, death to Britain).

"Wherever your president, Mr Bush, visits he is faced with the people's protest demonstrations and abhorrence. This is the case in Europe, Asia and Africa. In Latin America, governments come to power by using anti-US slogans. Today in Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and many other Latin America countries as soon as presidential candidates use anti-US slogans the people vote for them. Can someone be hated more than this?

"The American government doesn't allow its people to hold a normal telephone conversation safely. This means that they can't trust their people and can't allow them to hold a telephone conversation freely. They have passed a law allowing them to control the telephones. This is your situation.

"Well, compare this with the situation in our country. Compare it to visits by our country's officials.

"See what enthusiasm the people showed towards Iranian presidents during the (Iranian) president's visit to Indonesia and our former presidents' visits to Lebanon, Sudan, Pakistan and other places. Why don't you understand this? Why don't you confess such things?

"You have confessed to spending 300b dollars in Iraq so that you could bring to power a government which was your puppet and took orders from you. But you failed. They have confessed to spending 300b dollars, but they've probably spent more than this so that they could bring a government to power which took orders from America. But they failed because the Iraqi nation was obstinate.

"In Palestine you did your utmost to stop the Hamas government from coming to power. But you failed. And contrary to your wish, the Palestinian nation voted for the Hamas government. You exerted pressure from various sides on the Palestinian government. However, this strengthened the Palestinian people's solidarity with this government. In Lebanon, senior agents from the American State Department went to Beirut and stayed there for a few months to see whether they could hold Lebanon in their clutches, undermine the resistance in that country and create a Lebanon which follows Israel. But you failed because the Lebanese people held a grudge against you. It's the same everywhere else.

"Why doesn't Mr Bush confess that, by his conduct, he's made America, the American nation and America as a country, despised in the world? Why don't you confess that you've been weakened? Why don't you confess that your blade has gone blunt in the world? (But) You still make threats.

"Compare our president's message to the American president to the Americans' impolite and feeble message, which was disseminated in the world a few days ago. Out of keeping with diplomatic convention. Brimming with dim-witted arrogance. Full of threats. Hollow words. If you were capable of harming the Islamic republic, you wouldn't have wasted a minute during these 27 years.

"The former American secretary of state openly said: I have to tear out the Iranian nation by its roots. He (or she; Persian is gender neutral) is finished and gone; the Iranian nation has grown daily. (Crowd chants in support)

"You speak about human rights. You speak about being against terrorism. How the hell can an administration that has Guantanamo Prison and Abu-Ghurayb Prison and crimes like the Haditha crime and the recent crime in Kabul and dozens and hundreds of other such things on its record dare to speak about human rights? (Crowd chants in support)

"In order to threaten Iran, you (America) say that you can secure energy flow in the region. You are wrong. Beware that if you make the slightest mistake about Iran, the energy flow through this region will be seriously in danger. (Chants of slogan, God is great, Khamene'i is our leader, death to America).

"You will never be capable of providing energy security in this region. You are not capable and you should know this. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any government. We have a high aspiration and we will use all our energy to reach it. That aspiration is to build an Iran which provides this nation with moral and material prosperity. We want an Iran that can be a role-model for all other nations. Other nations know (it) well and endeavour (to reach this end) themselves.

"We want to properly use this big country and its huge natural and human resources - the resources which have been given to this nation and its officials. We want to relieve this nation of the burden of hundreds of years of humiliation. This nation feels proud and powerful and it has every right to feel so. This nation is proud and powerful, but it has been kept behind. Both corrupt dictator systems and their foreign ill-willed supporters (have kept Iran behind). . .

"Peace and blessings of God be upon you." . . .

(Description of Source: Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran News Network Television (IRINN) in Persian -- State-run 24-hour news channel in Persian, Arabic and English; presenting up to the minute domestic and international news. It offers exclusive interviews on a variety of topics, as well as information on universities, labor, and economic developments from the capital and the provinces '

Somali Islamists claim victory over US-backed War-lords

Somali Islamists claim victory:

Somali Islamists on Monday declared victory over a United States-backed warlord alliance in Mogadishu after four months of bloody fighting, and prepared to take over the lawless capital.

Having captured nearly all of Mogadishu and a key warlord supply line on its northern outskirts at the weekend, the Islamists were set to formalise their seizure in a surrender and handover meeting with remnants of the alliance.

The chairperson of the city's Joint Islamic Courts, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, said Mogadishu was now in their control and that the clashes were now over.

He said: 'The Joint Islamic Courts are not interested in a continuation of hostilities and will fully implement peace and security after the change has been made by the victory of the people and the support of Allah.

'The JIC will take care of the safety of the people and freedom of individuals and will eradicate any sort of hostilities brought by inter-clan fighting.'


AP Visits Haditha: Victim's Child Says She Wants Soldiers Executed

AP Visits Haditha: Victim's Child Says She Wants Soldiers Executed:
In interviews taped Friday by an AP Television News cameraman, 9-year-old survivor Iman Walid Abdul-Hameed demanded that those responsible be executed.

'Because they hurt us, we want the Americans to be executed,' Iman said, wearing a violet-colored striped shirt, matching pants and headband while sitting on a couch at a relative's home. She was reluctant to speak at first, but was eventually persuaded by her relatives.

The girl lost her parents, a brother, grandparents and two uncles in the incident. Another brother, Abdul-Rahman, who was 6 at the time, and a sister, Asia, who was 5 months old, survived. Iman and Abdul-Rahman were slightly injured.

'We did not do anything to them,' Iman said of the Marines who allegedly killed unarmed civilians after becoming enraged when a comrade died in a roadside bombing.

Teaching Remedial Decency

MAUREEN DOWD: Teaching Remedial Decency:

It is admirable that the Marine commanders want to morally sensitize the troops while they are in such a hostile environment, but it also seems a bit absurd, sending them to summer school in 'core values.'

There's no way to teach someone not to shoot an unarmed woman or child. If somebody doesn't already know why they shouldn't murder a baby, it's not clear that a refresher course will help.

The problem with brushing up on core values is that if you don't know them by a certain point you can't learn them. You can't teach remedial decency, any more than you can teach remedial ethics to White House officials who vindictively leak information about critics of the war after vowing not to leak.

As Norman Schwarzkopf said, in a quote that is part of the military's slide show on core warrior values: 'The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.'

From Reverend Dimmesdale to Bill Bennett to President Bush, people who righteously preach values and aspire to be moral exemplars often get bitten in the end.

The world is now looking askance at American values, even though W. ran on a platform of restoring values to the Oval Office and was propelled to victory by 'values voters.'

Press Accounts Suggest Possible Military 'Cover-up' in Ishagi Killings

Press Accounts Suggest Possible Military 'Cover-up' in Ishagi Killings:

'We were talking with the police officer who was first on the scene earlier today. He explained the scene of arriving. He said they waited until U.S. troops had left the area and it was safe to go in. When they arrived at the house, it was in rubble. I don't know if you've seen the photos of the remains of the house, but there was very little standing.

'He said they expected to find bodies under the rubble. Instead, what they found was in one room of the house, in one corner of one room, there was a single man who had been shot in the head. Directly across the room from him against the other wall were ten people, ranging from his 75-year-old mother-in-law to a six-month-old child, also several three-year-olds -- a couple three-year-olds, a couple five-year-olds, and four other -- three other women.

'Lined up, they were covered, and they had all been shot. According to the doctor we talked to today, they had all been shot in the head, in the chest. A number of -- you know, generally, some of them were shot several times. The doctor said it's very difficult to determine exactly what kind of caliber gun they were shot with. He said the entry wounds were generally small and round, the exit wounds were generally very large. But they were lined up along one wall.

'There was a blanket over the top of them, and they were under the rubble, so when the police arrived, and residents came to help them start digging in, they came across the blankets. They picked the blankets up. They say, at that point, that the hands were handcuffed in front of the Iraqis. They had been handcuffed and shot. And the Iraqi assumption is that they were shot in front of the man across the room. They came to be facing each other.