18.11.06

UN slams Bush's Israel over Beit Hanun massacre, approves inquiry panel

UN slams Israel over Beit Hanun shelling, approves inquiry panel - Haaretz - Israel News:

The UN General Assembly on Friday night overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the errant shelling of a Beit Hanun house which killed some 20 Palestinians.

Representatives of 156 countries voted in favor of the resolution, seven objected and six abstained.

Voting 'no' were the United States, Israel, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. Abstaining were Canada, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Europe's envoys cast their votes unanimously in favor of the resolution.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman walked out of the session in protest, saying his words were falling on deaf ears and that he was better off holding a nearby press conference.

17.11.06

War Crimes Report Shows US Violations of International Law

War Crimes Report Shows US Violations of International Law:

The violence of the Iraq War, the chaos that has come to Iraq, can be traced directly to the illegality of the invasion and occupation of that country and the illegality of the tactics and weapons being used to maintain the occupation. U.S. War Crimes in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability documents these violations and calls on us all to demand investigation and prosecution of violations of international law by military and civilian leaders.

A link to the full report is here.

Bush Terrorist gets ninety year sentence for rape and murder

Iraq rape soldier given life sentence | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited:

A US soldier has been sentenced to 90 years in prison for conspiring to rape a 14-year-old Iraqi and kill her and her family.

Specialist James Barker was yesterday told he must serve 20 years before he could be considered for parole.

The 23-year-old - one of four US soldiers accused over the rape and killings - pleaded guilty and agreed to give evidence against the others to avoid the death penalty.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Anderson, the military judge presiding over the case at a military court in Kentucky, told Barker: 'This court sentences you to be confined for the length of your natural life, with the eligibility of parole.'

The rape of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and the killings happened in Mahmoudiya, a village around 20 miles south of Baghdad. They are among the worst in a series of alleged attacks on civilians and other abuses by military personnel in Iraq.

Dutch, following the Bush Crime Family's lead, tortured Iraqi prisoners

RNW: Dutch torture allegations shock The Hague:


The Dutch cabinet has decided to set up in independent commission to look into the claimed that Dutch troops based in al-Mutanna in Iraq in 2003 mistreated or even tortured Iraqi prisoners. The investigation will look into whether the actions of the troops constitute criminal offences.

At the time the Dutch troops were operating under British command and the information and prisoners themselves were handed over to the British - the newspaper says. The Ministry of Defence admits that the rules were broken but says what happened doesn't amount to torture.

Left wing opposition parties said they were shocked by the revelations and immediately demanded a parliamentary inquiry.

The opposition Labour Party leader Wouter Bos said: 'It's shocking and against all the rules and against human decency and what is also extremely bad is that this is beginning to smell like a cover-up. This apparently happened in 2003 and we're just hearing about it now.'

'We have to get to the bottom of this quickly. We all know from the examples of what the Americans did in Iraq how the reputation of a country can be damaged if you are associated with this sort of outrage.'

Dodd to fight the terrorists in the White House on hapeas corpus

Senate Dems plan overhaul of military tribunals bill:

Gearing up for a major clash with the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress, several key Senate Democrats are planning to overhaul the newly minted legislation governing military tribunals of detainees.

Even before it was signed into the law last month, Democrats were criticizing the military commission bill as unconstitutional and a magnet or endless legal challenges.

Defense lawyers working on behalf of military detainees at Guantanamo Bay quickly filed suits with the U.S. District Court challenging the constitutionality of the tribunal bill because it suspends the writ of habeas corpus, a court order that would allow detainees to have the legality of their detention reviewed in court to determine whether they should be released from custody.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who is running for president and who, come January, will be the second ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee, introduced legislation today that would amend the existing law.

Dodd said he’s expecting the legislation to be taken up early next year.

'The bill goes back and undoes what was done,' Dodd told The Hill. Dodd was one of the top critics of the military tribunal bill the GOP hashed out with the White House and was signed into law last month.

16.11.06

Missing presumed tortured by Bush black-shirts

New Statesman - Missing presumed tortured:

More than 7,000 prisoners have been captured in America's war on terror. Just 700 ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Between extraordinary rendition to foreign jails and disappearance into the CIA's "black sites", what happened to the rest?

On 6 September [2005], President George W Bush finally confirmed the existence of secret CIA jails such as the one that held Bashmilah. He added something chilling - a declaration that there were now 'no terrorists in the CIA programme', that the many prisoners held with Bashmilah were all gone. It was a statement that hinted at something very dark - that the United States has 'disappeared' hundreds of prisoners to an uncertain fate.

Let's examine the arithmetic of this systematic disappearance. In the first years after the attacks of 11 September, thousands of Taliban or suspected terrorist suspects were captured. Just in Afghanistan, the US admitted processing more than 6,000 prisoners. Pakistan has said it handed over around 500 captives to the US; Iran said it sent 1,000 across the border to Afghanistan. Of all these, some were released and just over 700 ended up in Guantanamo, Cuba. But the simple act of subtraction shows that thousands are missing. More than five years after 9/11, where are they all? We know that many were rendered to foreign jails, both by the CIA and directly by the US military. But how many precisely? The answer is still classified. No audit of the fate of all these souls has ever been published.

Bush's Puppet in Iraq Seeks to Arrest Sunni Cleric on Terror Charges

Iraq Seeks to Arrest Sunni Cleric on Terror Charges - New York Times:

A warrant was issued late Thursday for the arrest of Sheik Harith al-Dari, one of Iraq’s most prominent Sunni Arab clerics, on charges of inciting terrorism and violence, government officials said.

Mr. Dari, head of the influential Muslim Scholars Association, is an outspoken critic of the foreign military presence in Iraq and of the Shiite-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The warrant, coming against a man beloved by hard-line and disaffected Sunnis, had the potential to widen the sectarian divide in Iraq and inflame the Sunni Arab-led insurgency.

They hate us for our freedom? | War-criminal to serve a mere 18 months for murdering crippled father of 11


Al Jazeera English - Middle East:

Prosecutors said Jodka was one of eight US servicemen, seven marines and a navy medic, who forced Awad from his home in Hamdania outside Baghdad on April 26, shot him and staged a cover-up.

The case is one of a string of incidents that have tarnished the reputation of US forces in Iraq.

John Baker, prosecutor, said Jodka had played a part in the killing of 'a crippled man, a forgiving, simple man' leaving 11 children without a father.

He said Jodka had an opportunity to 'stop the madness' but failed to do so.

15.11.06

CIA Finally Acknowledges Existence of Presidential Order on Detention Facilities Abroad

American Civil Liberties Union : CIA Finally Acknowledges Existence of Presidential Order on Detention Facilities Abroad:

In response to an ongoing lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the CIA has acknowledged the existence of two documents authorizing it to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects overseas. For more than two years, the CIA had refused to either deny or confirm the existence of the documents and had argued in court that doing so could jeopardize national security.

'The CIA’s sudden reversal on these secret directives is yet more evidence that the Bush administration is misusing claims of national security to avoid public scrutiny,' said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. 'Confusion about whether such a presidential order existed certainly led to the torture and abuse scandal that embarrassed America. With a new Congress and renewed subpoena power, we now need to look up the chain of command.'

The two documents in question are a directive signed by President Bush granting the CIA the authority to set up detention facilities outside the United States and outlining interrogation methods that may be used against detainees, and a Justice Department legal analysis specifying interrogation methods that the CIA may use against top Al-Qaeda members.

Bush war-criminal pleads guilty to rape-murder of Iraqi teenager, killing three members of her family


U.S.soldier pleads guilty to rape-murder of Iraqi teenager, killing three members of her family. - iht,america,US Iraq Rape Slaying - Americas - International Herald Tribune:

One of four U.S. soldiers accused of raping an Iraqi girl last spring and killing her and her family pleaded guilty Wednesday and will testify against the others.

Spc. James P. Barker agreed to the plea deal to avoid the death penalty, said his civilian attorney, David Sheldon. He said Barker agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

The killings on March 12 in Mahmoudiya, a village about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Baghdad, were among the worst in a series of alleged attacks on civilians and other abuses by military personnel in Iraq.

14.11.06

Rumsfeld and other Bush Terrorists have charges filed against them in Germany

The Center for Constitutional Rights:

The November 14, 2006, criminal complaint is a request for the German Federal Prosecutor to open an investigation and, ultimately, a criminal prosecution that will look into the responsibility of high-ranking U.S. officials for authorizing war crimes in the context of the so-called “War on Terror.” The complaint is brought on behalf of 12 torture victims – 11 Iraqi citizens who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and one Guantanamo detainee – and is being filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Republican Attorneys' Association (RAV) and others, all represented by Berlin Attorney Wolfgang Kaleck. The complaint is related to a 2004 complaint that was dismissed, but the new complaint is filed with much new evidence, new defendants and plaintiffs, a new German Federal Prosecutor and, most important, under new circumstances that include the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense and the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the U.S. granting officials retroactive immunity from prosecution for war crimes.

13.11.06

Ideology Has Consequences

Ideology Has Consequences:

Buckley has said that Bush has been “engulfed” by Iraq and that if he had been a European prime minister he would have resigned by now. Other commentators known as conservatives have agreed: Andrew Sullivan, George Will, Francis Fukuyama. It is worth considering a statement by Richard Cheney:
Once you get to Baghdad, it’s not clear what you do with it. It’s not clear what kind of government you put in place of the one that’s currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime, a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that going to have if it’s set up by the American military there? How long does the United States military have to stay there to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens once we leave?

Smart man, that Cheney. The only problem is that he said that back in 1991 during the first Gulf War when he was secretary of defense in the administration of George H.W. Bush. At that time, Brent Scowcroft was national security adviser and James Baker was secretary of state. Recently, Scowcroft has said that though he has been friends with Cheney for more than 30 years, he no longer really knows him. What has happened to Cheney is anybody’s guess.

It can’t be 9/11. We know from many sources that Bush had decided to invade Iraq long before 9/11. In The Right Man, David Frum recounts being interviewed for a position by Michael Gerson, head Bush speechwriter and also policy adviser, not long after Bush became president. Gerson told Frum that Bush would topple Saddam. At that time nothing was being said about weapons of mass destruction.

...

Speaking in Whitehall later in 2003, Bush was at it again, claiming, “The establishment of a free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global expansion of democracy ... as the alternative to instability and hatred and terror.” Sure, “global expansion of democracy.” Andrew Bacevich of Boston University, a strategic thinker, wrote of Bush’s
fusion of breathtaking utopianism with barely disguised machtpolitik. It reads as if it were the product not of sober, ostensibly conservative Republicans but of an unlikely collaboration of Woodrow Wilson and the elder Field Marshal von Moltke.
On April 24, Bush repeated his fantastic theory in a speech in Irvine, California:
I based a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things I think are true. One, I believe that there’s an Almighty, and secondly, I believe one of the great gifts of the Almighty is the desire in everybody’s soul, regardless of what you look like or where you live, to be free. I believe liberty is universal. I believe people want to be free. And I know that democracies do not war with each other. And I know that the best way to defeat the enemy, the best way to defeat their ability to exploit hopelessness and despair is to give people a chance to live in a free society
Well, it is certainly taking a long time for what the Almighty wants to make its appearance in the actual world. Most of the world today is far from democratic. Over the long span of human history, democracy is almost invisible. In the real world, many people want a society in which the rules laid down in the Koran govern all activities and take absolute precedence over liberty. In Iraq, the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has no interest in freedom, and al-Sadr is the power behind the present Prime Minister Maliki. What planet is Bush living on? He makes the “metaphysical dogma” of the radical philosophes seem sober by comparison.

Before long, students may be allowed to take entire history courses in the expanding library of books analyzing Bush’s Iraq calamity and other failures of his administration, which also derive from his tendency to privilege ideology over realism. Supply-side ideology led to large tax cuts and mountainous deficits. Privatization ideology led to an incomprehensible and unnecessarily expensive prescription-drug plan. No previous administration has produced such an outpouring.