8.7.06

Ally Told Bush Project Secrecy Might Be Illegal

Ally Told Bush Project Secrecy Might Be Illegal - New York Times:

Recently, after the harsh criticism from Mr. Hoekstra, intelligence officials have appeared at two closed committee briefings to answer questions from the chairman and other members. The briefings appear to have eased but not erased the concerns of Mr. Hoekstra and other lawmakers about whether the administration is sharing information on all of its intelligence operations.

A copy of the four-page letter dated May 18, which has not been previously disclosed, was obtained by The New York Times.

'I have learned of some alleged intelligence community activities about which our committee has not been briefed,' Mr. Hoesktra wrote. 'If these allegations are true, they may represent a breach of responsibility by the administration, a violation of the law, and, just as importantly, a direct affront to me and the members of this committee who have so ardently supported efforts to collect information on our enemies.'

He added: 'The U.S. Congress simply should not have to play Twenty Questions to get the information that it deserves under our Constitution.'

7.7.06

Bush Crime Family destroys any hope of justice for detainees in Guantanamo

Signs of Detainees' Planning Alleged:

The alleged discoveries have led military commanders to suspend allowing detainees to have paper provided by defense lawyers. Government lawyers have also asked a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to allow them to assemble 'filter teams' to scour more than 1,100 pounds of documents seized by investigators, some of which are protected by lawyer-client privilege and would usually be off-limits to authorities.

Military in Shambles

The Notion:

The world's greatest military is no longer what it once was.

Soldiers in Iraq are being charged with rape, premeditated murder and cold-blooded massacres. Troops with severe mental illness are being sent back into battle. And the Army keeps lowering recruiting standards, roping in high-school drop-outs and now, skinheads and neo-Nazis.

According to a shocking new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, neo-Nazis and skinheads are infiltrating the military, perhaps in the thousands, as a result of lax recruiting enforcement.

'Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don't remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members,' says Defense Department investigator Scott Barfield.

Barfield presented the military with evidence of 320 extremists in the past year, but only two have been discharged.

'We've got Aryan Nation graffiti in Baghdad.'

Is that what the Bush Administration means by spreading freedom and democracy?

Jannati condemns Zionists' atrocities

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE:

Tehran's Friday Prayers Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati on Friday described the Zionist regime's atrocities as one of the most important problems facing the World of Islam, adding,' by destroying the Palestinian infrastructure and kidnapping elected officials, the Zionist regime committed the worst kind of atrocities against the Palestinisn nation.'

Referring to the aggressors' crimes in Iraq and rape of an Iraqi girl by an American soldier who also murdered her family, Jannati said the Islamic Ummah will no longer tolerate these kind of crimes, adding that the Islamic countries especially their scholars must defend the oppressed nations of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan in the face of the alien aggressors.

America backing Zionist war-crimes

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE:

Hojjatoleslam Sayed Ahmad Khatami, a leading Iranian figure, thanked the Iranian people for their massive rallies Friday in support of the Palestinian people.

Khatami called America the main supporter of the Zionist regime and urged Muslim countries to support Palestine.

'No doubt, the series of crimes in Palestine are all led by America and Israel could not embark on such killings of young and old people without receiving green light from America,' member of the Experts Assembly, which is assigned by the Iranian Constitution to choose leader, told a huge crowd of people after massive rallies in Tehran in support of Palestine.

We consider Europe as the America's accomplice n these crimes,' he added.

'What was the philosophy of establishing the human rights body? Today, human rights are blatantly violated and the international bodies are only watching,' Khatami lamented.

Evidence of U.S. war crimes in Ramadi

Evidence of U.S. war crimes in Ramadi:

The U.S. occupation forces, joined by Iraqi troops, intensified over the past weeks raids in the Western Iraqi city of Ramadi, part of an operation said to be aimed at destroying the “insurgency” there.

On Wednesday, hundreds of Iraqi Marines stormed a Ramadi hospital, one of the largest in Western Iraq, claiming it’s being used as a base for Al Qaeda members in Iraq.

The early morning raid Wednesday on Saddam Hospital, a seven-story building with some 250 beds, is just an example of the bleak wartime conditions that have endangered the wounded, sick and elderly in this city of 400,000 people.

Clan chiefs want U.S. rape suspect of "Mahmoudeya virgin" handed over

Diwaniya-Rape :: Aswat al Iraq :: Aswat al Iraq:

Notables and clan chiefs in the Iraqi city of Diwaniya demanded that the U.S. soldier charged with raping an Iraqi girl and killing her along with her family be handed over and threatened action if their demand was not met.

One clan head said failure to hand over the soldier to stand trial in Iraq could lead to armed resistance. A statement issued following a meeting on Wednesday called on the Iraqi government to take firm stand against violations by U.S. forces in Mahmoudeya and Saqlawiya, threatening to 'resurrect the glory of forefathers.'

The chiefs met at the house of Hamad al-Hammoud, head of the Khazael clans to mark a 1920 revolt against British occupation. '(The clans) will take a stand that resurrects the history of forefathers if the U.S. government does not hand over this criminal and his comrades who were involved in the crime of raping 'the virgin of Mahmoudeya', said the statement obtained by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

It said the heads of clans were waiting for 'the government's response to the crime that has shocked all Iraqis as soon as possible.' They threatened to start 'the spark of resistance from the south… like the 1920 revolt if this soldier and those involved with him are not handed over.' They urged the United Nations and its tribunals to pressure the United States to hand the soldier over immediately.

...

'Failure to hand over Green to the Iraqi judiciary will escalate the crisis, maybe in the form of armed resistance,' the head of Jabbour clans, Takleef Abed Ali al-Danah, told VOI.

6.7.06

Algerian Tells of Dark Odyssey in U.S. Hands

Algerian Tells of Dark Odyssey in U.S. Hands - New York Times:
In a recent interview, Mr. Saidi, 43, said that after he was expelled he was handed over to American agents and flown to Afghanistan, where he was held for 16 months before being delivered to Algeria and freed without ever being charged or told why he had been imprisoned. He acknowledged that he was carrying a fake passport when he was detained, but he said he had no connection to terrorism.

Wearing a white robe and a white skullcap in his lawyer's office here, he held up two white shoes he said his captors gave him before setting him free in August 2004. The only other physical evidence he offered of his imprisonment were fading scars on his wrists that he said were from having been chained to the ceiling of a cell for five days.

'Sometimes I cry and shake when I think about this,' he said in his first interview about his imprisonment. 'I didn't think I would see my family again.'

...

A Shadowy Program

Mr. Saidi is one of a handful of men to publicly claim they were seized in the rendition program and then mistreated or tortured, before being released without charge or explanation. Like prisoners released from the American military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, they represent not only a mounting political problem, but a potential legal problem for the United States and its allies that have participated in the extrajudicial abductions.

International fallout from renditions continued Wednesday when prosecutors in Milan arrested two Italian intelligence officers on allegations that they aided the C.I.A. in the 2003 kidnapping of a radical Egyptian cleric in Italy. The cleric was then sent to Egypt, where he has been imprisoned. Mr. Saidi was seized as the United States and Saudi Arabia were cracking down on Al Haramain, which the United States subsequently declared had provided "financial and other operational support" for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. But it is not known what, if any, specific suspicions the authorities had about Mr. Saidi.

Hussein lawyers ask International Criminal Court to investigate violations

JURIST - Paper Chase: Hussein lawyers ask International Criminal Court to investigate violations:

Lawyers for Saddam Hussein turned to the International Criminal Court Thursday, asking it to investigate alleged violations of law regarding his treatment and that of defense witnesses by US personnel. A copy of the application obtained by AFP argued that the Iraqi trial of Saddam was illegal and that Saddam was 'a prisoner of war within the meaning of the Geneva Convention and thus came under ICC jurisdiction as applied to cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression.' French Hussein lawyer Emmanuel Ludot said that the 'breaches and aberrations,' including photos of the former Iraqi leader taken while he was undressed, violated parts of the Third Geneva Convention [text] and could be 'considered war crimes.' Another member of the defense team, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, has said that US forces must offer Hussein's lawyers more protection to ensure a fair trial.

UN speaks out on Israeli action

Aljazeera.Net - UN speaks out on Israeli action:
A UN body has condemned Israeli action in Gaza and called for the release of Palestinians captured during the offensive.

The recently created Human Rights Council voted on Thursday to condemn the offensive launched last week, which Israel said was to recover a soldier captured by Palestinian militants on 25 June.

The 47-member council adopted a resolution demanding a halt to Israel's military operation and decided to 'dispatch an urgent fact-finding mission by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory'.

The special session on Wednesday and Thursday was called by the Arab Group in the UN and supported by about a dozen other member states, including China, India, Russia and South Africa.

Talbani on the US-style "Most Wanted List"

Talbani on the List:

Iraqi President Jalal al-Talbani expressed reservations over a list of 41 most wanted people connected with the ex-regime and the insurgency against the government, including former president Saddam Hussein’s wife and daughter.

“I did not prefer putting the names of Sajeda (Saddam’s wife) and Raghad (his daughter) on the list as they are women,” Talbani told a news conference on Wednesday.

“I think there are a number of criminals on this list but I object to the way of demanding extraditing them. I would have preferred to do through the courts that issue arrest warrants,” a statement issued by the presidency on Thursday quoted Talbani as saying

The Court Hands Congress an Opportunity

The Court Hands Congress an Opportunity:

For anyone who was worried that the United States was in danger of losing its precious freedoms as it mobilized to combat the threat of Islamic terrorism, the Stevens opinion was the best possible Independence Day gift. The Supreme Court that helped install President Bush in the presidency when it cut off the recounting of Florida votes sent him a clear message that he must operate in ways that Congress and the Constitution permit.

I am delighted that Republican congressional leaders say they hope to turn the ruling to their advantage by engaging the Democrats in a lively debate about the president's counterterrorism strategy. That debate is long overdue. In the first reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress gave Bush broadly worded authority to protect the country and strike back at the terrorists. After that it paid little attention for the next four years to the way that authority was being used -- and how the administration assumed additional powers.

US House committee awaits Abu Ghraib documents after Pentagon subpoena

JURIST - Paper Chase: US House committee awaits Abu Ghraib documents after Pentagon subpoena:

The US House Committee on Government Reform is waiting for the US Defense Department and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to comply with a subpoena seeking to compel the Pentagon to turn over several documents, including all drafts of a key report in the Abu Ghraib [ abuse investigation. In March, the Pentagon failed to respond to an initial request to turn over the documents, most importantly all drafts of the August 2004 Fay reportand all communications relating to information provided by Army Spc. Samuel Provance. Provance testified before a subcommittee of the Government Reform Committee in February, claiming that top military officials were aware of the abuse taking place at Abu Ghraib, but that investigators ignored his information and later retaliated against him for providing unclassified information to the media.

In the hearing, Provance alleged that Maj. Gen. George Fay purposefully questioned him about the role of military police and avoided questioning him on intelligence units. Provance also claimed that US troops had captured and imprisoned the teenage son of a detained Iraqi general to coerce the general to cooperate with interrogators. Provance served at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 with the 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion and was one of the first intelligence specialists to alert the media to the abuse scandal. The rare legislative subpoena against the Defense Department issued late last week gives the Pentagon until July 14 to deliver the unredacted statement that Provance gave to Fay, along with other requested materials.

"Reckless" US soldiers should stay home - Iraqi PM

"Reckless" US soldiers should stay home - Iraqi PM:

Iraq's prime minister urged the U.S. military on Thursday to keep 'reckless' troops from serving in Iraq in order to prevent abuses like the alleged rape and murder of a teenager and her family by U.S. soldiers in March.

Expanding on calls for an independent inquiry and a review of foreign troops' immunity from Iraqi law, Nuri al-Maliki said commanders should do a better job in preparing their soldiers.

'There needs to be a plan to educate and train soldiers, and those who are brought to serve in Iraq shouldn't bear prejudices nor be reckless towards people's honour,' Maliki said.

5.7.06

Blood on Our Hands

Blood on Our Hands:

In case you are just back from a long weekend without your laptop: The central morgue in Baghdad said Tuesday that it had received 1,595 bodies last month, 16% more than in May and nearly double the total of the same period last year. The New York Times reports Wednesday that Baghdad 'has slowly descended into a low-grade civil war in some neighborhoods, with Sunni and Shiite militias carrying out systematic sectarian killings that clear whole city blocks.' Even upper-class areas are now getting hit.

On Tuesday, gunmen dressed in army and police uniforms seized a top government minister and 19 of his bodyguards in Talbiya, in northern Baghdad. The Times added: 'After Mr. Zarqawi was killed on June 7 in an American airstrike, a security plan was put into effect, with thousands of troops operating new checkpoints throughout the city, but it has had little effect....

'The morgue stank of bodies. Visitors burned paper and wood in the parking lot to mask the smell. The reception area was full with 40 Iraqis, mostly women, standing and sitting on the ground, waiting to look at bodies and photographs of bodies.'

So how did President Bush respond to all this on July 4? By posing with fighting men, enjoying the rockets' red glare, and promising not to pull out of Iraq. But as Leonard Cohen once observed: 'A scheme is not vision.'

Italians Order Arrest of 4 Americans in CIA Case

Italians Order Arrest of 4 Americans in CIA Case - Los Angeles Times:

Italian authorities ordered the arrests of a former CIA station chief, an Air Force commander and two other Americans and took a top Italian spymaster into custody Wednesday as they broadened their investigation into the CIA's alleged abduction of a radical Muslim imam.

The new warrants issued by prosecutors in Milan bring to 26 the number of Americans, most of them alleged CIA operatives, being sought in connection with the February 2003 abduction of Hassan Osama Nasr. None of the Americans named in the warrants is still in Italy or has been arrested.

Iraqi PM demands rape probe, slams US immunity

Reuters AlertNet - Iraqi PM demands rape probe, slams US immunity:

Iraq's prime minister called on Wednesday for an independent inquiry into the alleged rape and murder of a teenager and killing of her family by U.S. soldiers and a review of foreign troops' immunity from Iraqi law.

Five months before the expiry of the U.S.-led occupation force's United Nations mandate, Nuri al-Maliki said he was not calling for the early departure of the troops, who he said would remain for as long as Iraqi forces required assistance.

'Yes we will demand an independent Iraqi inquiry, or a joint investigation with Multinational Forces,' Nuri al-Maliki told reporters during a visit to Kuwait, in his first public comments since the case came to light five days ago.

'We do not accept the violation of Iraqi people's honour as happened in this case. We believe that the immunity granted to international forces has emboldened them to commit such crimes and ... there must be a review of this immunity,' he said.

4.7.06

Iraq's Top Newspaper Warns U.S. on Atrocities

Iraq's Top Newspaper Warns U.S. on Atrocities:

BAGHDAD Iraq's largest newspaper has issued a stinging denunciation of the latest in a string of alleged atrocities by U.S. troops in that country.

A former U.S. soldier was arrested yesterday and charged with raping, killing and burning a young Iraqi woman, and killing three others in her family. Others may yet be charged.

The Mahmoudiya attack was among the worst in a series of cases of U.S. troops accused of killing and abusing Iraqi civilians. Iraq's largest newspaper, Azzaman, said in an editorial Tuesday the rape 'summarizes what has been going in Iraq for the past years not only by the American occupation army, but also by some Iraqi groups.'

The Azzaman newspaper expressed skepticism the soldiers would be severely punished.

'The U.S. Army will conduct an investigation and the result at best is already known. One or two U.S. soldiers will receive a 'touristic punishment' and the whole crime will be forgotten as it happened with Abu Ghraib criminals,' the newspaper said, referring to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. guards at a prison in west Baghdad.

Iraq's justice minister demanded Tuesday that the U.N. Security Council ensure a group of U.S. troops are punished in the alleged rape and murder calling the attack 'monstrous and inhuman.'

Iraq urged to probe US rape and murder charges

The Daily Telegraph | Iraq urged to probe US murder charges:

A FEMALE Iraqi politician called for a probe by local authorities in the alleged rape and murder of a woman and three members of her family by US soldiers.

Safiya al-Sehel, from former pro-Western premier Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National List, demanded an investigation into the incident that occurred on March 12 near the town of Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.

'We call upon the prime minister and the interior minister to launch a probe by Iraqi authorities into this crime and punish those responsible as this is an issue of Iraqi honour,' Ms Sehel told reporters.

2.7.06

RAPED: Shocking Eyewitness Testimony Of US Rape, Murder In Iraq

JUS One News - RAPED: Shocking Eyewitness Testimony Of US Rape, Murder In Iraq:

On an afternoon in March 2006, a force of 10 to 15 American troops raided the home of Qasim Hamzah Rashid al-Janabi, who was born in 1970 and who worked as a guard at a state-owned potato storehouse. Al-Janabi lived with his wife, Fakhriyah Taha Muhsin, and their four children – ‘Abir (born 1991), Hadil (born 1999), Muhammad (1998), and Ahmad (1996).

The Americans took Qasim, his wife, and their daughter Hadil and put them in one room of their house. The boys Ahmad and Muhammad were at school at the time the Americans invaded the home about 2pm. The Americans shot Qasim, his wife, and their daughter in that room. They pumped four bullets into Qasim’s head and five bullets in to Fakhriyah’s abdomen and lower abdomen. Hadil was shot in the head and shoulder.

After that, the Americans took ‘Abir into the next room and surrounded her in one corner of the house. There they stripped her, and then the 10 Americans took turns raping her. They then struck her on the head with a sharp instrument, according to the forensic medical report, knocking her unconscious and smothered her with a cushion until she was dead. Then they set fire to her body.

It's the Occupation, Stupid!!!

Aljazeera.Net - Iraqi armed groups reject Maliki plan:

Ibrahim al-Shammari, spokesman for the al-Jaish al-Islami (Islamic Army), said that the proposal by Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister, is far from being an 'initiative for national reconciliation'.

'If the proposal excludes those who fought the Americans, then who is supposed to be meant by this proposal?' al-Shammari said. 'We do not recognise this government. ... We do not mind a technocrat government that carries out the day-to-day interests of Iraqi people.'

In an effort to leave the the door open for future dialogue, al-Shammari said talks would have to be with the Americans. 'How can they ask us to disarm and to attend negotiations with a government appointed by the occupation?

'If the Americans are serious, we are ready to have negotiations with them as counterparts and on the basis of equality. Moreover, it is not possible to sit with their agents,' he said.

Muhammad Hasan al-Gailani, spokesman for Thwrat al-Ishreen Brigades (Brigades of 1920 revolution) said that the current Iraqi politicians are not the right party to launch a reconciliation initiative.

'The problem is not between the Iraqi resistance and al-Maliki's people, our problem is with the US occupation forces. Why should we deal with al-Maliki's proposals?' al-Gailani said.

'The resistance has a strict stance to resist the occupation and all squads of resistance have rejected the initiative because this initiative didn't talk about the occupation. We have never heard of those names of resistance groups that are said to have agreed on the plan,' he said.