The Constitution Project’s independent, bipartisan, blue-ribbon Task Force examined the federal government’s policies and actions related to the capture, detention and prosecution of suspected terrorists in U.S. custody during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
The report of the blue ribbon Task Force on Detainee Treatment is the most comprehensive, bipartisan investigation into the detention and treatment of suspected terrorists yet published. The product of more than two years of research, analysis and deliberation by the Task Force members and staff, it provides the American people with a broad understanding of what is known -- and what may still be unknown -- about the past and current treatment of suspected terrorists detained by the U.S. government during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, and across multiple geographic theatres, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo and the so-called "black sites." Read the Report
The United States bombed, invaded and occupied an innocent nation, Iraq, killing over a million innocent people - men, women and children. Anyone who resisted the occupation of their own country was labeled an "enemy combatant" and a "hostile." Men were taken from their homes by the occupying Americans, by force, then imprisoned and tortured by the tens of thousands. Innocent people were savagely gunned down on the streets. The U. S. military film footage shown above provides stark evidence of the insanity and inhumanity of warfare. These are crimes against humanity. The people responsible for initiating this war would only be brought to justice if the United States were a nation of truth and justice. Instead, those responsible, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Carl Rove, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and others are enjoying lives of wealth and prosperity, largely at the expense of U. S. Taxpayers.
Published on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by Common Dreams We Are at War
by Johnny Barber
“We are at War. Somebody is Going to Pay.” —George W. Bush, Sept 11th, 2001.
Eleven years later, we are still at war. Bullets, mortars and drones are still extracting payment. Thousands, tens of thousands, millions have paid in full. Children and even those yet to be born will continue to pay for decades to come.American soldiers during an operation in Zabul Province in 2006. (Photo: Tyler Hicks/NYT)
On a single day in Iraq last week there were 29 bombing attacks in 19 cities, killing 111 civilians and wounding another 235. On September 9th, reports indicate 88 people were killed and another 270 injured in 30 attacks all across the country. Iraq continues in a seemingly endless death spiral into chaos. In his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for President, Obama claimed he ended the war in Iraq. Well… not quite.
The city of Fallujah remains under siege. Not from U.S. troops, but from a deluge of birth defects that have plagued families since the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus by U.S. forces in 2004. No government studies have provided a direct link to the use of these weapons because no government studies have been undertaken, and none are contemplated.
Dr. Samira Alani, a pediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, told Al Jazeera,
"We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine. There are not even medical terms to describe some of these conditions because we've never seen them until now."
The photographs are available online if you can bear to look at what we have wrought. George W. Bush will loudly proclaim his “Pro-life” bona fides, and he’ll tell you he believes “that every child, born and unborn, ought to be protected in law and welcomed into life.” Apparently, “every child” doesn’t apply to the children of Fallujah, and the “law” doesn’t apply to George W. Bush.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Thursday that no one would be prosecuted for the deaths of a prisoner in Afghanistan in 2002 and another in Iraq in 2003, eliminating the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the C.I.A.Read More...
New York Times, December 14, 2011; BAGHDAD — One by one, the Marines sat down, swore to tell the truth and began to give secret interviews discussing one of the most horrific episodes of America’s time in Iraq: the 2005 massacre by Marines of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha. Read more...
LONDON — A major inquiry into the most notorious case of detainee abuse by British soldiers in Iraq described “a very great stain on the reputation of the army” in its report issued Thursday, detailing a series of gruesome abuses by servicemen in a regiment with a 300-year history of battle honors abroad. It concluded that one Iraqi, a 26-year-old hotel worker in Basra, died from “an appalling episode of serious gratuitous violence. Read more...
Cable Implicates Americans in Deaths of Iraqi Civilians
A recently disclosed diplomatic cable shows that a top United Nations human rights officia, Philip Alston, warned the US government five years ago that he had received information indicating that Iraqi reports of US troops executing a family were true. Five of the victims were children 5 years old or younger, and four were women.
The March 15, 2006, attack in Ishaqi, Iraq, was one of the most disputed episodes of the war. Iraqi police officials said that the family had been lined up and executed. A video later surfaced that showed graphic images of five dead children and three dead adults killed by bullets or other flying projectiles that punctured their head, abdomen or chest.
Three months after the killings, and after the United Nations official’s warning, the American military announced that its own investigation had determined the allegations of an execution were “absolutely false.” The military admitted, however, that the raid and subsequent air strike resulted in as many as nine “collateral deaths,” a euphemism for civilian fatalities.
Mr. Alston reported that information he had received indicated the episode unfolded this way: Someone in the home fired on the Americans, then a 25-minute gunfight ensued, and then troops “entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them.” After that, an American air raid destroyed the house, which Iraqis had viewed as an attempt to cover up the killings. Read more...
Sixth Soldier Charged in Afghan Killings
New York Times, William Yardley, May 17, 2011
A sixth soldier was charged in connection with what Army prosecutors have described as the sport killings of three Afghan civilians. The soldier, Staff Sgt. David D. Bram, was charged with solicitation to commit premeditated murder, engaging in murder scenario conversations with subordinates, aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, planting evidence near the body of an Afghan national and failing to report crimes including murder. The Army did not release more details. In January, Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock described Sergeant Bram as giving him clearance to commit the first of the three murders, in January 2010. Specialist Morlock was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in all three killings. More...
12-Year-Old Girl Killed in NATO Raid on Wrong Afghan Home
May 12, 2011 as reported in the New York TImes
KABUL, Afghanistan — A raid by NATO troops singled out a wrong house and killed a 12-year-old girl along with her uncle, the target of the raid because he was incorrectly believed to be a local Taliban leader. It was the third time in the past year and a half that raids killed innocent people in the Surkhrod District.
“It was around 12 o’clock midnight, and we heard someone knocking at the door,” said Neik Mohammed, whose home was raided. “We thought it was thieves or criminals. A short time after the knocking we heard a loud explosion; the explosion was from a grenade thrown into our yard. My daughter, who was sleeping with us in the courtyard, was hit by the bomb’s shrapnel in her head, and she died on the spot.”
NATO issued a statement that said, “An individual ran out the back of the compound toward the outer security perimeter and was killed when the security force mistakenly identified what they suspected was a weapon on the individual,” it said. “Later, the force discovered the individual was an unarmed Afghan female adolescent.”
The uncle who was murdered was a policeman, age 25 with a wife and two daughters. He was shot twice: once in the head and once in the chest. His pistol magazine was full. No round had been fired from it. NATO said Mr. Shukrullah was shot because he was armed and had threatened the foreign military personnel who were invading the house. Rear Adm. Harold Pittman, NATO’s deputy chief of staff for communications, apologized for the deaths. “They killed my 12 year-old innocent daughter and my brother-in-law and then told me, ‘We are sorry,’ ” Mr. Mohammed said. “What does it mean? What pain can be cured by this word ‘sorry’?”
The Bush administration predicted that it would cost $50 billion to $60 billion to oust Saddam Hussein. Eight years later, the Pentagon estimates the cost of the war at roughly $700 billion and counting. The long-term cost is estimated at more than $4 trillion. Click here to learn more.
US MILITARY spends more on war than all 50 state budgets combined! Sherwood Ross | The Intelligence Daily | 12.26.2009 - Pentagon now spending more for war than all 50 States combined spend to run the country. The U.S. spends more for war annually than all state governments combined spend for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 308 million Americans.Read more...
Former IAEA Chief: Iraq War Killed “A Million Innocent Civilians”
By Patrick Martin
April 03, 2010 "WSWS" -- The former head of the UN’s chief nuclear agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, said in an interview with the British newspaper Guardian Wednesday that those who launched the war in Iraq were responsible for killing a million innocent people and could be held accountable under international law. He was clearly referring to US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and their top military and security aides.
It was his first interview with an international publication since ElBaradei returned to his native Egypt, after a decade heading the International Atomic Energy Agency, where he won the Nobel Peace Prize, in large measure because of his opposition to the efforts by the Bush administration to use concocted charges about “weapons of mass destruction” as an all-purpose pretext for military intervention throughout the Middle East.
“I would hope that the lessons of Iraq, both in London and in the US have started to sink in,” he told the Guardian. “Sure, there are dictators, but are you ready every time you want to get rid of a dictator to sacrifice a million innocent civilians? All the indications coming out of [the Chilcot inquiry in Britain] are that Iraq was not really about weapons of mass destruction but rather about regime change, and I keep asking the same question―where do you find this regime change in international law? And if it is a violation of international law, who is accountable for that?”
This suggestion that Bush and Blair were guilty of war crimes, coming from a high-ranking former UN official, would ordinarily be considered major news. The Guardian interview was reported by the main British and French news agencies, Reuters and AFP, but the entire American corporate media gave it zero coverage. Not a single major American newspaper or television network mentioned it. Read More...
BAGHDAD, Oct. 10, 2006 — A
team of American and Iraqi public health researchers has estimated
civilians have died in violence
across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion, the highest estimate
ever for the toll of the war here. Researchers acknowledge a margin
of error that ranged from 426,369 to 793,663 deaths.
September 30, 2006 - Congress authorized
an additional $70 billion in emergency funds to pay for the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan through early next year. The new funding brings
to $507 billion the total amount authorized
by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for extra
security for military bases and embassies, since the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks. Senate and House conferees also agreed on $463 billion
in overall military spending for fiscal 2007, a 3.6 percent increase
The New York Times' David Rohde writes about the seven months he was held hostage by a group of extremist Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and conveys this observation about what motivates them:
My captors harbored many delusions about Westerners. But I also saw how some of the consequences of Washington’s antiterrorism policies had galvanized the Taliban. Commanders fixated on the deaths of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian civilians in military airstrikes, as well as the American detention of Muslim prisoners who had been held for years without being charged.
Apparently, when we drop bombs on Muslim countries -- or when Israel attacks Palestinians -- that fuels anti-American hatred and militarism among Muslims. The same outcomes occur when we imprison Muslims without charges in places like Guantanamo and Bagram. Imagine that. Recall, according to Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower, what prompted 9/11 "ringleader" Mohammed Atta to devote himself to a suicide mission, as recounted by Juan Cole during the Israel/Gaza war:
In 1996, Israeli jets bombed a UN building where civilians had taken refuge at Cana/ Qana in south Lebanon, killing 102 persons; in the place where Jesus is said to have made water into wine, Israeli bombs wrought a different sort of transformation. In the distant, picturesque port of Hamburg, a young graduate student studying traditional architecture of Aleppo saw footage like this on the news [graphic]. He was consumed with anguish and the desire for revenge. As soon as operation Grapes of Wrath had begun the week before, he had written out a martyrdom will, indicating his willingness to die avenging the victims, killed in that operation--with airplanes and bombs that were a free gift from the United States. His name was Muhammad Atta. Five years later he piloted American Airlines 11 into the World Trade Center. (Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower, p. 307: "On April 11, 1996, when Atta was twenty-seven years old, he signed a standardized will he got from the al-Quds mosque. It was the day Israel attacked Lebanon in Operation grapes of Wrath. According to one of his friends, Atta was enraged, and by filling out his last testament during the attack he was offering his life in response").
On Tuesday, the Israeli military shelled a United Nations school to which terrified Gazans had fled for refuge, killing at least 42 persons and wounding 55, virtually all of them civilians, and many of them children. The Palestinian death toll rose to 660.
You wonder if someone somewhere is writing out a will today. More...
BAGHDAD, Sept. 20, 2006 — A
United Nations report says that 5,106 people in Baghdad died violent
deaths during July and August, 2006, a number far higher than reports
that have relied on figures from the city’s morgue.
The report also describes evidence of torture on many
of the bodies found in Baghdad, including gouged-out eyeballs and wounds
from nails, power drills and acid. Torture remains widespread, not
only by death squads but also in official detention centers, according
to United Nations officials. Torture in Iraq is reportedly worse now
than it was under deposed president Saddam Hussein, the United Nations'
chief anti-torture expert said.
Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of
Data on Iraq - Intelligence 'Misused' to Justify War, He Says - By Walter
Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, February 10, 2006: The
former CIA official who
coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year
has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence
on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war,
and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into
violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
1/8/2006 Experts Say Iraq War Will Cost $1 Trillion: A
new study by a Nobel Prize-winning economist and a budget expert
puts the total cost of the Iraq War at $1 trillion to $2 trillion.
The study includes the cost of disability payments and health care
for the over 16,000 injured military personnel -- one-fifth of whom
have serious brain or spinal injuries. Stiglitz and Bilmes also analyzed
the costs to the economy, including the economic value of lives lost
and higher oil prices.
August 26, 2002: Vice President Dick Cheney appeared
before a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and asserted that "simply
stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass
destruction [and] there is no doubt that he is amassing them to use
against our friends, against our allies, and against us."
12, 2005 BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi humanitarian organization is
reporting that 128,000 Iraqis have been killed since the U.S. invasion
began in March 2003, adding that 55 percent of those killed have been women and children
aged 12 and under.
Bush = Kim Jong II in World's Eyes - Chicago
Tribune, 11-17-03: A poll of 7,500 Europeans, done by EOS Gallup
Europe for the European Commission, showed that they ranked Bush
second -- in a tie with North Korea's Kim Jong Il -- among leaders
who pose the greatest threat to world peace. Israel Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon ranked first.
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