Thursday, March 30, 2006


Fabricating Terrorism: British Complicity in Renditions and Torture - serving the caged prisoners in Guantanamo Bay - serving the caged prisoners in Guantanamo Bay/Official Report on Fabricating Terror/Torture


Untitled Document/ British Report on Fabricating Terrorism/Torture

Bush and Blair and co-conspirators the neo-cons concoct an "excuse" to go to war.



The U.S. send medical teams, including psychiatrists/psychologists to help break prisoners in interrogations, called Behavorial Science Consultation Teams, BSCTs or "Biscuits"

Biscuits, Anyone?

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Who can blame them? With Iraq as an example, would you want that type of democracy?

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And just how many will stand against "King" George and his vicious policies?

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Over 25,000 Iraqis flee to neighboring nations, becoming homeless refugees, to avoid sectarian violence in Iraq, instigated by U.S.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006



For once, Bush actually (accidentally) tells the truth!

All the "Good News" From Iraq

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Iraqi woman's Baghdad blog in the running for �30,000 book prize,,1740416,00.html

Granny has posted on Riverbend's blog in the past. Her blog is a fascinating view of the Iraq situation from an Iraqi citizen's standpoint. The honor she is receiving by the nomination proves the eloquence of her writing.

Monday, March 27, 2006



Personal Message:
Eyes on Iraq: Second Impressions

Eyes on Iraq: Second Impressions

� 2004 The Washington Post Company



photo gallery by Ron Haviv-VII

Ron Haviv - VII

� 2004 The Washington Post Company


A gallery link

Personal Message:
photo gallery David Gilkey

David Gilkey - Detroit Free Press

� 2004 The Washington Post Company



Personal Message:
photo gallery by Andrew Cutraro

Andrew Cutraro - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

� 2004 The Washington Post Company



gallery of photos

Eyes on Iraq: Second Impressions

� 2004 The Washington Post Company




The US Has Lost the War in Iraq

We may remain as an occupying force and face continuous guerrilla warfare, but we have lost the war, the gratitude and respect of the Iraqi people, and the good will of the rest of the world.



Iraqi Doctor Says He Killed Patients

By John Ward Anderson

BAGHDAD, March 26 -- A doctor has admitted killing at least 35 Iraqi police officers and army soldiers by giving them lethal injections, reopening their wounds or engaging in other deadly acts while they were being treated at a hospital in the northern city of Kirkuk, according to Kurdish security...

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� 2004 The Washington Post Company


America at War: Iraq, Afghanistan, the War on Terror and More (

Click on title of articles of interest.



Personal Message: My Dear Professor Bob; I have sent this to several people and to 2 of my blogs.
Observe the backgrounds, especially the little shops along the sidewalks. Don't they remind you of Algeria? How many times did we buy from shops exactly like these? Makes you homesick for the good days past. But now? Too dangerous and unsettled for us to be there. This is one of the more positive reports coming out of Iraq. I wish there were more like it; unfortunately, there are more bad reports than good.

Patrolling Iraq, One Step at a Time

Politics -

� 2004 The Washington Post Company



Personal Message:
More lies from Bushco; no Iranians in Iraq

Top U.S. Military Official: No Evidence of Iran Involvement in Iraq

By Bill Brubaker

Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, said today he has no evidence the Iranian government has been sending military equipment and personnel into neighboring Iraq.

To view the entire article, go to

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Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive
c/o E-mail Customer Care
1515 N. Courthouse Road
Arlington, VA 22201

� 2004 The Washington Post Company


U.S. May Be Holding Pakistani Journalist

Pakistani journalist kidnapped last year, may be in US custody; In the case of journalists in this war, the truth will not set you free; it will get you murdered, kidnapped and tortured, or "disappeared."

U.S. May Be Holding Pakistani Journalist

Hayatullah Khan, abducted last year, could be being interrogated, his family says.

By Zulfiqar Ali and Mubashir Zaidi
Special to The Times

March 24 2006

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The family of a Pakistani journalist kidnapped in December said Thursday that they believe he could be in U.S. custody.

The complete article can be viewed at:,1,7569156.story?coll=la-headlines-world%20

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Bush's Requests for Iraqi Base Funding Make Some Wary of Extended Stay

Some question Bush's plan for more bases in Iraq, extended stay

Bush's Requests for Iraqi Base Funding Make Some Wary of Extended Stay

By Peter Spiegel
Times Staff Writer

March 24 2006

WASHINGTON — Even as military planners look to withdraw significant numbers of American troops from Iraq in the coming year, the Bush administration continues to request hundreds of millions of dollars for large bases there, raising concerns over whether they are intended as permanent sites for U.S. forces.

The complete article can be viewed at:,1,6914932.story

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US Blasted For Creating Terrorism Quagmire On Anniversary Of Iraq War

Sunday, March 26, 2006




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Saturday, March 25, 2006



Friday, March 24, 2006



Independent rights groups list one number of civilian dead; "official" lists far lower number. Accurate counts are difficult because many people just bury their dead and no report is made.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006


Iraqis say it is worse than American media report/video

A Project of the Institute for America's Future

Iraqis Say Situation Worse Than Seen On American TV

Click here to see NBC Baghdad bureau chief Richard Engel stand up to myths and lies about media coverage in Iraq.

© 2004 ( Project of The Institute for America's Future )

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Top Ten Catastrophes of Third Year of Iraq



Click on highlighted phrases in text. Click on small photos for enlargement.

Images From The War in Iraq :: Al-Qa'im: US Operation "Steel Curtain" destruction of medical infrastructure and civilian homes.

click on small photos to enlarge


Salon exclusive: The Abu Ghraib files

article at
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Salon exclusive: The Abu Ghraib files
By Mark Benjamin

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 22 00:27:53 2006

Images From The War in Iraq :: Lawless Iraq :: 27

More Iraq victims.

Click on small photos for enlargements.

Hard News: Iraq: Permanent US Colony

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Alternet: On the Third Anniversary

On the 3rd Anniversary

On the Third Anniversary

It is time to declare that the horrors we have visited upon Iraq are not being done in our names, with our consent or our approval.


Alternet: Misery Everywhere

Misery Everywhere

Misery Everywhere

An 8-year-old Iraqi boy who came to America for medical treatment recalls how he lost his eyesight and one of his arms in the war.


Chaos Accomplished

"Progress?" Mission Accomplished?

Chaos Accomplished

Three years after the U.S. invasion, a snapshot of Iraq reveals a country that is miles from anything resembling a 'road to progress.'


Alternet: Welcome to Liberated Iraq

Welcome to Liberated Iraq. Rising infant mortality, critical shortages of medicines, terrorized doctors, return of diseases once controlled, destroyed infrastracture, little electricity, many without water.

Welcome to Liberated Iraq

From a physician's viewpoint, what liberation means.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Invasion Iraq: 3 Years Later - Special

Url may not be valid long. Numerous sites and links for articles, photos, videos of various aspects of invasion. Truths emerge from previous lies. Article: Do you remember?/ short vids of early invasion

Url may not be valid long. 3 years into war.

Do you remember?

Sunday, March 19, 2006


** Check It Out ** / More US war crimes/Human Rights Violations

Check out this article:

(See human Rights)

Please visit The Center For Constitutional Rights


Afghanistan | 'One huge US jail',1284,1440836,00.html

a terrible, criminal indictment of the US, and a display of a McCarthyistic mindset and psychological practises.


Video of Murders of Innocent Iraqis by Death Squads

Five year old child witnesses murder of his male family members.

Text article follows.

Saturday, March 18, 2006



Body count rises from murders by death squads. Slaughter of innocent civilians will rise from the air strikes; cities infrastructure and homes, businesses destroyed. More reasons for them to hate us.

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More destruction, ruination, and slaughter of innocent civilians.

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Friday, March 17, 2006



Pt. 1: Video of security contractors (mercenaries) randomly shooting innocent Iraqis. Why? Every time there is an atrocity, some feeble "plausible" excuse is offered.

Several private "security" firms were employed by the US to work in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Blackwater. Remember, the 2 security guards that were killed, mutilated and hung from a bridge at Fallujah were Blackwater, not supposed to be in hot combat zone.

Pt.2: Murder to get rid of a "troublemaker" or suicide??

Was his fear and stress due to emotional instability, or fear of being silenced (murdered) by government or mercenary contractor forces?

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Thursday, March 16, 2006


The Cost of Incompetence

A Project of the Institute for America's Future

Bush appointed incompetents in the public sector; military leaders also incompetent, costing American and Allied lives, money, and prolonging the war.

© 2004 ( Project of The Institute for America's Future )


Iraq: Thousands Killed By Government Death Squads :: from :: news from occupied Iraq - ch

Don't be alarmed by the foreign headings. This is an Italian site, who are members of the Coalition and publish in several languages.

Did the US initiate the Iraqi death squads among their puppet government? Read the article. Did the US initiate the "sectarian war"?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


"Standard operating procedure"

Australian site that leaked the second batch of Abu Ghraib photos.

The following 9 posts are part of a series. The series do not publish the entire list of photos. Just a few photos representative of the offenses are published here.

Chapter 1 Standard Operating Procedure
- - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 19:15:29 2006


Second in series: Chapter 2 Dehumanization
- - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 19:10:48 2006

Not included are the many photos of nude prisoners forced into degrading acts, which is certainly dehumanizing.

Forcing prisoners into masturbating is certainly dehumanizing, as well as forcing prisoners to perform fellatio.

"Sexual exploitation"

Third in series: Chapter 3 Sexual Exploitation

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 19:02:05 2006
They did not see fit to reveal the many reports of the rapes of both male and female prisoners and other types of sexual abuse.
The "official" reports made about the two young women pictured here reflect ONLY the version made by the guards and interrogators. They can claim any tale they wish to concoct but may not be true, and in many instances is NOT true.

Reports of male prisoners raping female prisoners raise questions also. Why were young female
prisoners left unguarded and accessible to male prisoners? Were male prisoners allowed to roam
freely about the prison? Considering the ratio of guards to prisoners wherein the guards were vastly outnumbered, it seems very unlikely. The possibility of prisoners overpowering the guards is too dangerous to allow. Prisoners of both sexes have said they were raped by GUARDS. This crime has occurred in American jails and prisons, as well in institutions in other countries, so it is not improbable an occurrance in Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities. It has been reported in Afghanistan also.

This reminds one of the photos of a huge pool of blood and bloody drag marks described in reports as that of a prisoner who had been shot in the leg after obtaining a weapon and firing on the guards. I ask how did a prisoner confined to a cell, surrounded by guards, allowed no visitors obtain a weapon? That tale or excuse seems very suspect to me.

"Electrical wires"

4th in series: Chapter 4 Electrical Wires

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 18:56:45 2006

Note the blood on prisoner's arms. In previous posting of Abu Ghraib phots many prisoners are bloody.

"Other government agencies"

5th in series: Chapter5 Other Government Agencies Dead Detainees: died during interrogation- - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 18:48:25 2006

Note callousness, even amusement, of guards regarding this dead Iraqi!!! The smiling female guard sang a different tune when she was charged with her crimes.

"Dog pile"

6th in series: Chapter6 Dog Pile

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 18:44:13 2006

Incomplete list of nude prisoners forced to dogpile.


7th in series : Chapter7 Lacerations - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 18:40:48 2006

In the complete list of photos, almost every prisoner exhibits blood of injuries suffered.

"Working dogs"

8th in series : Chapter 8 Working Dogs- - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 18:38:37 2006

Orders claimed dogs were to be muzzled. Photos in more complete list show that in most instances dogs were NOT muzzled. In one report when 2 guards were observed terrorizing 2 screaming teen aged prisoners, the guards laughingly explained that they had scared the teens so badly that they had urinated on themselves, so they were terrorizing them even more to see if they could make them defecate on themselves. This apparently was not an interrogation but merely sadistic amusement on the part of the guards -- America's own military!!

"Mentally deranged"

9th in series : Chapter 9 Mentally Deranged
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- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 18:36:09 2006

I repeat: official reports made by guards and interrogators reflect ONLY what they wish to say, whatever tale they concoct, and does not necessarily reveal the truth.

The video posted earlier of a prisoner bashing his head against a steel door MAY have been the result of psychological breakdown of a human being pushed beyond the limits of his endurance...
or of being coerced into doing it.

The same questions arise regarding the prisoner covered with a brown substance described as feces and whom the guards nicknamed "Shit Boy". Did the prisoner indeed smear feces on himself voluntarily, or was he coerced?

And again, in several photos taken from different angles (not all published here) of a prisoner anally abusing him self with an object, was he deranged as the guards claimed, or was he coerced or forced into doing it? It seems unlikely that he would volutarily perform such an act of self abuse while being filmed and with the guards as an audience.
Forcing prisoners into performing degrading, humiliating acts designed to destroy their self esteem is an accepted practise of torturers.

Video from Abu Ghraib

10th in series: Video excerpts of Abu Ghraib
- - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - Wed Mar 15 18:33:02 2006


Both the American taxpayers (who fund payments to contractors) and the Iraqis have been shamelessly robbed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006




I stand ashamed.

Reuters AlertNet - Pictures page: Iraqi Victims of Violence

click on small photo for enlargement. click on numeral to change pages

Monday, March 13, 2006

A blogger's take on Abu Ghraib torture photos

A article from:

Personal Message:
Amazing! An officer is implicated!!

General Asserts Right On Self-Incrimination In Iraq Abuse Cases

By Josh White

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, a central figure in the U.S. detainee-abuse scandal, this week invoked his right not to incriminate himself in court-martial proceedings against two soldiers accused of using dogs to intimidate captives at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to lawyers involved in...

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The Washington Post Company Sworn Statements by Abu Ghraib Detainees

pdp download for each statement

A article from:

Personal Message:
It always happens like this: the enlisted men are charged; the ONES IN wASHINGTON WHO OREDERED IT GO FREE.

Former Abu Ghraib Guard Calls Top Brass Culpable for Abuse

By Josh White

Stepping into the Abu Ghraib prison for the first time, Megan Ambuhl was stunned. There were naked men in dusty cells, male prisoners wearing women's underwear, others hooded and shackled in contorted positions to metal railings.

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The Washington Post Company



Chronology of Abu Ghraib

The Washington Post Company



Personal Message:
Why show these again? We cannot allow this horror to be eased from our conscience; remember, protest, never forget. These are not actions from Nazi Germany, Russian Communists, Pol Pot, Idi Amin --these are Americans doing this!

Abuse Photos



Painted in Blood, an Abstract Expression of Horror

By Philip Kennicott

From the beginning of the Abu Ghraib scandal, when the first images of torture and humiliation from the Iraqi prison appeared, we knew there were more. And now, two years later, they've begun to emerge. An Australian television network has put yet more scenes of blood and savagery into circulation,...

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� 2004 The Washington Post Company



Personal Message:
So after torturing and tormenting and abusing this man for 10 months, they "let him go"?? Was he released or "disappeared"? If he was released, that means he was not found to possess worthwhile information. But after his treatment, if he wasn't bitterly anti-U.S. you can bet he is now. And if he wasn't a terrorist before, it is very likely he is now. Wouldn't you be?

Detainee in Photo With Dog Was 'High-Value' Suspect

By Josh White

When Army Sgt. Michael J. Smith faces a court-martial today on charges that he used his military working dog to harass and threaten detainees, one of the prime examples of that alleged misconduct will be a photograph of Smith holding the dog just inches from the face of a detainee. It is one of the...

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� 2004 The Washington Post Company

Saturday, March 11, 2006


US military expects violent Afghan spring-admiral



Article Title: US military expects violent Afghan spring-admiral

U.S. forces in Afghanistan expect violent clashes with al Qaeda-linked insurgents in coming months before security improves later in the year, a senior military officer said on Thursday

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. forces in Afghanistan expect violent clashes with al Qaeda-linked insurgents in coming months before security improves later in the year, a senior military officer said on Thursday.

Navy Rear Admiral Robert Moeller, U.S. Central Command director for plans and policy, told a congressional hearing an upsurge in violence could stem from U.S. and NATO forces extending their reach into parts of Afghanistan where the insurgent presence is greater. "We anticipate that we are going to see a fairly violent spring and summer and then an improvement in overall conditions," he told the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia.
The 26-member NATO alliance is preparing to expand its International Security Assistance Force mission -- already in the north, west and the capital Kabul -- to the more volatile south and ultimately the east, raising its troop numbers to 16,000 from 9,000.

Some 23,000 U.S. troops in the country are targeting Taliban and al Qaeda forces. U.S.-led forces in 2001 overthrew Taliban rulers who had harbored the al Qaeda network responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, but failed to extinguish the radical Islamic movement and its al Qaeda allies.

An insurgency that has killed more than 1,500 people since the start of last year has intensified in recent months with a wave of suicide bombings.

Moeller played down the strategic threat posed by al Qaeda, the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
"The overall trend line, though, is positive despite the fact that the data is what the data is with regard to U.S. forces who have been killed in the recent past compared to the first couple years," he told the subcommittee.

Moeller described al Qaeda, its allied Taliban remnants and two other groups as "patient, hidden and dangerous" opponents of the U.S.-led coalition troops and the 26,000-strong Afghan army.
The Taliban "appeared tactically stronger on the battlefield this year and they demonstrate an increased willingness to use suicide bomber and IED (improvised explosive device) tactics," he said.
"The Taliban do not have capability to exercise control over large areas of Afghanistan, but they are disruptive to reconstruction and reconciliation efforts," said the admiral.

Another foe, the Taliban-linked Haqqani Tribal Network, was the "most tactically proficient" insurgent group but its goal was limited to gaining autonomy in eastern Afghanistan and among tribesmen in Pakistan, Moeller said.

A third al Qaeda affiliate, the Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin was heavily involved in narcotics smuggling and "more of a mafia-like organization than an insurgent movement with national goals," he said.

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Cheap Watches Trouble for Gitmo Prisoners


Message: Cheap watches "proof" of terrorist ties?

Article Title: Cheap Watches Trouble for Gitmo Prisoners

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Are they bomb timers, or just time pieces? Common Casio watches, some worth less than $30, have become part of the often ambiguous web of evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Are they bomb timers, or just time pieces? Common Casio watches, some worth less than $30, have become part of the often ambiguous web of evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The U.S. military cites the digital watches worn by prisoners when they were captured as possible evidence of terrorist ties. Casios have been used repeatedly in bombs, after all, including one used by the architect of the 1993 World Trade Center attack; the explosive device was set off on a Philippine Airlines flight, killing a passenger.

Wearing a Casio is cited among the unclassified evidence against at least eight of the detainees whose transcripts were released by the Pentagon after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Associated Press.

The prisoners, who stand accused of links to al-Qaida or to the Taliban in Afghanistan, say they have been shocked that wearing a cheap watch sold worldwide could be used against them.

"Millions and millions of people have these types of Casio watches," Mazin Salih Musaid, a Saudi detainee, told his military tribunal.

Even guards at Guantanamo wear Casios, noted Usama Hassan Ahmend Abu Kabir, a Jordanian accused of belonging to a group linked to al-Qaida, the terror organization that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

"I have a Casio watch due to the fact that they are inexpensive and they last a long time," the 34-year-old detainee told a tribunal. "I like my watch because it is durable. It had a calculator and was waterproof, and before prayers we have to wash up all the way to my elbows."

Like owning an automatic weapon or wearing olive drab clothing -- both common in Afghanistan -- the Casios have become further pieces of evidence that the U.S. tribunals are weighing in these "enemy combatant" hearings. The sessions are held partly to determine whether those held at the U.S. military prison on Cuba pose a threat to the United States.

"The problem for military intelligence in a war like this is determining who is the enemy," said Mark Ensalaco, an international terrorism expert at the University of Dayton, in Ohio.

But for detainees, citing ownership of a Casio watch as evidence amounts to profiling, a mistake that sweeps up the innocent.

"This watch is not from al-Qaida, it's not used for a bomb," protested Abdul Matin, a prisoner from Afghanistan. "This is just a regular watch. All older, younger men and women use this watch everywhere."

Authorities have, however, documented the use of the watches in several terrorist acts.

* In the 1996 trial of Ramzi Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the first attack on the World Trade Center, a prosecutor described how a Casio attached to a timing device using 9-volt batteries became the "calling card" of Yousef's Philippines-based terror cell.

Yousef, a nephew of detained terror mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, tested the method with a bomb under a seat on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, killing one passenger. The attack was allegedly a dry run for a plot to blow up 11 jumbo jets. Authorities foiled the plot after the bomb-makers inadvertently set their apartment on fire.

* Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian convicted in 2001 of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport around the millennium, bought two model 1663 Casio watches at a Canadian electronics store to use as timers, according to court records.

* The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised airport screeners and law enforcement in January 2005 to be aware that some altimeter-equipped Casios, whose model numbers were not disclosed, could be used in explosives, as could another unspecified brand of watch that doubled as a butane lighter.

The advisory singled out Casio because it's inexpensive, widely used and easy to find, Homeland Security spokeswoman Michelle Petrovich said.

But that's precisely the problem with citing particular models of Casios as evidence, some bomb experts say -- there's nothing unique about their use in time bombs. In fact, many household items with timing functions, including such devices as microwave oven timers, can be modified to set off bombs, said David Williams, a retired FBI agent who worked on the first World Trade Center bombing investigation.

Yousef's terror cell used Casios that were easy to buy and reconfigure into bomb parts, Williams said. The terrorists found it easy to remove the plastic buttons and frame, and relatively simple to reconfigure the circuitry into a timer. The cell also prized the watches for their accuracy and long-lasting batteries, he said.

"You can have a time delay for up to three years that's accurate to the second, as long as the battery lasts in the watch," said Williams, who now runs a counterterrorism consulting business.

The most widely cited model of Casio in the Guantanamo transcripts is the F91W, which was introduced in 1996 and "has no exclusive technology," Casio says. It's a model popular throughout the world simply because it has a stopwatch and alarm, is water resistant and inexpensive, the company added in a statement.

At least one Internet site offers the watch for $28, and less advanced models are sold for less than half that price.

The watch maker, a division of Casio Computer Co., Ltd. of Japan, declined interview requests, but said in the statement that it is aware of the concerns. "Casio continues to work closely with all government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security to help limit any potential threats and deal with security concerns," the statement said.

Even if Casios were pulled off the market worldwide, terrorists could easily switch to other commonly available products to make timers for bombs, Williams said. "You give me a half-hour in a supermarket and I can blow up your garage."

Please visit Veterans for Common Sense at

Alternet: International Woman's Day rally brutally suppressed in Iran

International Woman's Day rally brutally suppressed in Iran

Demonstrators assaulted by Iranian security forces


Iraqi women without headscarves threatened, attacked, and killed

Yet Bush announced that since he had freed Iraq from Saddam's repressive regime, Iraqi women now had the freedom to write their own history. HAH!!

Iraqi women without headscarves threatened, attacked, and killed
03/07/06 03:52 PM

According to the Women's Rights Association, a Baghdad NGO, since 2003, the number of women in Iraq attacked because they were not wearing headscarves has more than tripled. Between 1999 and March of 2003, there were 22 attacks and one death; since then, there have been 80 attacks and 4 deaths, with no figures are available yet for 2006.

The decision to not wear a headscarf is concentrated in the area around Baghdad because that is where Iraq's modern society has grown. According to a WRA spokeswoman, there are now significantly fewer women and girls around Baghdad wearing headscarves, but many have been threatened by relatives or have been imprisoned inside their homes.

A year ago, insurgents took an Iraqi woman in Western dress out of a local pharmacy and executed her. She was found with two bullet holes in her head, and she had been covered with a traditional abaya veil with a message pinned to it that said "She was a collaborator against Islam." She was not the first woman to have a "collaborator" label pinned to her clothing.

"Honor killings" are still permitted in Iraq. One woman was strangled by her father because she went to visit him without her veil, which her husband had asked her to remove after their marriage. Her husband says there has never been an investigation of his wife's death. A police spokesman said that there is little the Iraqi police can do in these cases because "We're in a Muslim country... if you interfere in family cases concerning veils, you're considered a betrayer of Islam. We cannot touch such cases."

Human Rights Watch points out that--though the new Iraqi constitution permits women the right to transfer citizenship to their children, it fails to give women equal rights within the family. HRW also confirms that Iraqi women are being attacked for dancing, socializing with men, and not wearing headscarves.

An International Women's Day news release from the White House, dated today, states "No longer denied basic rights and brutalized by tyrants, Mr. Bush says those women are now making their own history."

- Diane E. Dees

Read the MoJo Blog online for more:

@2006 The Foundation for National Progress


Civilian Deaths Rise in Iraq

Iraqi deaths mount - innocent civilians slaughtered

Civilian Deaths Rise in Iraq
03/09/06 11:35 AM

Today Iraq Body Count released a new report noting that the number of civilian deaths in Iraq has increased each year of the occupation. The figures, which start in May of 2003, rose from an estimated 6,331 civilians killed in the first year to a total of 12,617 killed in the third year (Mar. 2005-Mar. 2006), and are based on data from the morgue in Baghdad.

Even more staggering, the statistics for the third year don't include the majority of civilian deaths that resulted from sectarian violence after the bombing of the Askariya shrine in Samarra�a figure estimated at around a thousand deaths�and exclude January and February data from the Baghdad morgue.

"The initial act that sparked this cycle of violence is the illegal US-led invasion of March and April 2003 which resulted in 7,312 civilian deaths and 17,298 injured in a mere 42 days," IBC co-founder John Sloboda said. "The insurgency will remain strong so long as the US military remains in Iraq, and ordinary Iraqi people will have more death and destruction to look forward to." Following its initial 2003 evaluation, the organization concluded that, by the numbers, the American military was incapable of protecting the civilian population in Iraq from attacks. "And if the US military can�t ensure the safety of Iraqi civilians and itself poses a danger to them, what is its role in that country?"

- Juliana Bunim

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@2006 The Foundation for National Progress


Turkey Shoot (of inmates) at Abu Ghraib

Video and text of interview



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260 Doctors Call for End to Force-Feeding at Guantanamo

10 March 2006

More than 260 doctors from around the world have called on the U.S. military to stop force-feeding detainees at the Guantanamo detention center who are on a hunger strike. The doctors signed a letter published Friday in the respected British medical journal "Lancet." But at the Pentagon, a spokesman says there is no plan to review what he calls the "involuntary" feeding, which he says is done only when "appropriate or medically necessary."

The doctors' letter says force-feeding is a violation of declarations by the World Medical Association, documents it says the American Medical Association has signed.

The American Medical Association is the largest association of physicians in the United States, and it is generally recognized as the arbiter of medical ethics issues for American doctors. The association's own ethical guidelines say doctors should respect a person's decision to refuse to eat, as long as that person is mentally competent and understands the consequences of the decision.

"The law is that prisoners have a right to refuse any treatment, and physicians have to respect that informed decision that those individuals have consented to," said Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet journal. "So anything that breaches that informed decision is not defensible in law."

The letter in Lancet calls on the U.S. government to end force-feeding and allow independent physicians to assess the condition of the Guantanamo detainees. Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman says there is no plan to review the policy.

"The policy of the department is unchanged," he said. "And it is to support the preservation of life by appropriate clinical means, and to do that in a humane manner."

Sign at entrance of Camp Delta
Sign at entrance of Camp Delta Guantanamo Bay
Lawyers for detainees say the few remaining on hunger strike have been subjected to inhumane treatment. The lawyers say their clients have been strapped to chairs and had feeding tubes forced through their noses and down their throats. The lawyers claim that the doctors at Guantanamo changed their approach earlier this year, removing and re-inserting the tubes for each feeding, making the process much more painful for the detainees, and causing many of them to abandon the hunger strike. A senior U.S. general acknowledged last month that chairs are used to restrain detainees who resist the tube feeding.

According to the U.S. military, the hunger strike began last August and reached a high of 84 detainees in December. Detainees were demanding freedom, or at least some indication of when and under what circumstances they might be released. Officials say there is a review process for that, but lawyers for the detainees say it is not a legal process.

By January, officials said the number of detainees on hunger strike was down to 15. Spokesman Bryan Whitman says there are now six men on hunger strike, and three of them are being fed against their will. Officials say only those whose health deteriorates significantly are force fed.

Still, Whitman acknowledges the issue of force-feeding is a difficult one.

"I think it's fair to say that these are difficult issues," he said. "They're difficult moral, ethical, legal issues. And one would not expect that everyone would come to a consensus on this. The department has not come by this policy without a lot of deliberate consideration, deliberation and has determined that this is the appropriate way forward at this time."

But the Lancet editor, Richard Horton, says if the U.S. government ignores calls to end the force-feeding, it is violating international law.

"They have an international legal obligation to take notice of this," he said. "If they choose not to, they're breaking international law."

The letter in Lancet says the appropriate medical governing bodies should discipline U.S. doctors who participate in force-feeding. U.S. military doctors at Guantanamo say they provide "compassionate and consistent" care to the detainees, and that resistance to the tube feeding has eased as a result.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006


Alternet: Torture as National Policy

Torture as National Policy

From Guantánamo to Iraq, the vicious abuse of prisoners by the U.S. military is business as usual.





SUMMARY of ENLISTEES ACCOUNTS by HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH.ORG click on arrow to read acounts


Telltale Signs of Torture Lead Family to Demand Answers

The following feature article was published by The NewStandard, an independent, nonprofit news project that is in need of your support.

US troops captured an Iraqi family man on July 21, 2003 only to drop him off at a civilian hospital more than a month later, beaten and in a vegetative state. We try to piece the story together and find out just what happened to Sadiq Zoman. [HTML version]

Note:The story of one man who was tortured and remains in a coma

Feature ArticleFeature Article

Telltale Signs of Torture Lead Family to Demand Answers

Wife, Daughters Tell of Iraqi Man Discharged from U.S. Custody in Coma

by Dahr Jamail (bio)
Brian Dominick (bio) contributed to this item.

Editor's Note: Part of the following feature story was first reported by Baghdad correspondent Dahr Jamail back in January, when almost no one was paying attention to stories of the horrifying treatment dealt to Iraqi prisoners by their Western captors. Now that the world has deemed the topic newsworthy, Jamail has returned to the story for more thorough coverage. As part of our mission to The NewStandard will continue to pursue this and other stories like it in the near future. As any Iraq correspondent who speaks with Iraqis can attest, there is no shortage of them.

Baghdad , May 4 - Not all evidence of military personnel mistreating Iraqis held in US custody come from leaks within the American- and British-run detention facilities. In many cases, such as that of Sadiq Zoman, 57, who last year entered US custody healthy but left in a vegetative state, the story originates with family members desperate to share their loved one’s story with anyone willing to listen.

American soldiers detained Zoman at his residence in Kirkuk on July 21, 2003 when they raided the Zoman family home in search of weapons and, apparently, to arrest Zoman himself.

More than a month later, on August 23, US soldiers dropped Zoman off, already comatose, at a hospital in Tikrit. Although he was unable to recount his story, his body bore telltale signs of torture: what appear to be point burns on his skin, bludgeon marks on the back of his head, a badly broken thumb, electrical burns on the soles of his feet. Additionally, family members say they found whip marks across his back and more electrical burns on his genitalia.


The NewStandard has obtained photographs taken by staff at the Salahadeen Hospital in Tikrit, footage shot by an Al Jazeera camera crew shortly after Zoman’s arrival there, as well as documents tracing some of the Iraqi man’s journey through his captivity and then through the civilian medical establishment.

According to the Army paperwork, the only identifying information provided to Iraqi medical personnel upon Zoman’s transfer from US military to Iraqi civilian care was an incorrect name.A transfer form signed by Colonel Donald M. Campbell, Jr., 4th Infantry Division (4th ID) chief of staff.states that Zoman, considered a "security detainee," was to be transferred to a Combat Support Hospital, and then be returned to 4th ID custody "if he recovers."

The form provided no information as to where he had been picked up, no address and no other personally identifying information. His family claimed that when Zoman was initially detained, American soldiers had taken all of his personal papers and identification.

US Army documentation and interviews obtained so far also lack details of what happened to Zoman while in US Army custody for interrogation.


The Zoman family has been able to reconstruct a rough story of Sadiq’s incarceration from eyewitness accounts related by neighbors who were detained at the same time. They say Zoman was first held at the Kirkuk Airport Detention Center, then transferred still healthy to Al-Ka’ad, a school the Army had converted into a detention facility. On August 6, witnesses said, he was moved to a base in Tikrit where they say he was beaten.

Major Josslyn Aberle, Public Affairs Officer at the 4th Infantry Division, said that Zoman’s injuries were not inflicted by soldiers from the 4th ID or other Army units involved in capturing and holding Zoman. While not immediately able to trace Zoman’s full history while in US custody, she said the types of injuries described by Zoman’s family, doctors and photographs "just absolutely would not be tolerated" by the military.

Aberle continued, "Throughout our task force, the few incidents of detainee mistreatment were investigated immediately and those soldiers involved were punished underneath the uniform code of military justice. In one case that [led to] a soldier being court martialed. When we found out about any types of mistreatment of detainees or Iraqi citizens, any allegations were treated seriously and investigated immediately because that type of behavior was not tolerated." Aberle said none of those cases of detainee mistreatment was related to the Zoman case, nor did they involve beatings.


According to further US military documentation, on August 11, Mr. Zoman was transferred to the 28th Combat Support Hospital, where he was treated by Lieutentant Colonel Michael C. Hodges, M.D.

Lt. Col. Hodges’ medical report listed the primary diagnoses of Zoman’s condition as hypoxic brain injury (brain damage caused by lack of oxygen) "with persistent vegetative state," myocardial infarction (heart attack), and heat stroke. The same medical report did not mention any bruises, lash marks, head injury, burn marks or other signs Iraqi doctors said they found on Zoman's body upon his arrival at Tikrit hospital nearly two weeks later.

The report said previous care providers had verbally stated, upon transferring Zoman to the Combat Support Hospital, that Zoman had been conscious enough to complain of "chest pain that radiated into his arm" earlier that day. At that point, the report says, Zoman was treated with a nitroglycerine tablet and intravenous fluids before being "returned to the prison population," only to be brought back to medics later, "shaking and unresponsive."

Asked to comment on the treatment described in the medical report, physician Jules Marsh of Takoma, WA pointed out numerous concerns with the treatment Zoman received in military custody. "The fact that they administered nitroglycerine indicates that they were at least suspicious his chest pain was of cardiac origin," Dr. Marsh said. "The fact that it responded to the nitroglycerine certainly raises that suspicion. With the possible exception that the patient has a history of stable angina, which isn't indicated in the report, this should have prompted a further workup on an emergency basis."

Regarding medical treatment afforded Iraqi detainees in custody, Major Aberle said, "There’s no difference in the care that a detainee receives than the care a US soldier receives."

The medical report of Lt. Col. Hodges concluded with a statement that was later upheld by Iraqi doctors in Baghdad: "This patient will need extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy but he, unfortunately, has less than 1% chance of any meaningful neurological recovery at this time."

According to documentation, on August 23, after two weeks of care at the Combat Support Hospital, the Army transferred Zoman from the Combat Support Hospital to the civilian Salahadeen Hospital in Tikrit.

The Zoman family found Sadiq there on September 4, 2003, only because the Red Crescent of Tikrit had posted photos of him on buses around Tikrit in hopes someone would recognize him. Remarkably, a friend saw one of the pictures and contacted the family.

'Zoman has nine daughters; the oldest is 32 and the youngest 15. He was the assistant manager of a hospital in Kirkuk. Zoman appears to have been a member of the Ba’ath party. Under the Saddam Hussein regime, government administration jobs were only available to people who joined the Ba’ath party.

Rheem Zoman, the 19 year-old daughter of Sadiq, spoke frankly about her father and his condition. "I was horrified," she said of his bittersweet return to his worried family. "He had whip marks all across his back and electrical burn marks all over his body."

The alleged mistreatment of Sadiq Zoman while in US custody came as no surprise to his friends and neighbors. Some of them had returned after having been abducted by US forces with their own stories of terrifying and heartbreaking ordeals.

And after a year of occupation, stories like Zoman’s may come as no surprise to the American public, now that evidence of torture presently receives mainstream attention in the wake of revelations by CBS, The Mirror and The New Yorker of widespread abuses taking place inside US- and British-run Iraqi prisons.

But with untold thousands of prisoners held at least temporarily at military bases throughout Iraq, cases like that of Sadiq Zoman suggest the problem may extend beyond the major holding facilities to more remote stations. There unit commanders and military counter-intelligence personnel hold and interrogate Iraqis even before many of the detainees reach prison facilities like the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison.

Zoman’s family said he was in perfect health before US soldiers took him away. They further insist no firearms, bombs, or other incriminating evidence was ever found by the search that accompanied Zoman’s capture by US troops. They said that when US soldiers entered their home to detain Zoman the front door was smashed in, furniture broken and torn apart, and money, gold and jewelry looted by the troops.

The Army has so far offered no explanation of why the Zoman home was raided or the reason for Zoman’s capture.

Sadiq Zoman remains completely unresponsive. His family cares for him in a stark home nearly devoid of furnishings, situated in the Al-Dora neighborhood of Baghdad. The family moved there from Kirkuk last fall in order to facilitate better care and conditions for Zoman. The family has sold nearly everything that remained after the Army raid to purchase food and medical supplies. Entire rooms in their new Baghdad home are completely empty since nearly all their furnishings have been sold off.

None of the Zoman daughters has work, owing to the skyrocketed post-war unemployment situation. Sadiq Zoman himself has no pension, since he was a government employee.

Hashimi Zoman, Sadiq’s wife, standing over her comatose husband with a paper fan to cool him, remarked, "We make his food with a blender because it must be liquid. But with no electricity there is no blender, so no food for him at times." The family keeps electrical fans over Sadiq’s bed, but when the power cuts, they switch to laborious manual cooling to fend off the mid-day heat.

Daughter Rheem said, "You see our situation. We often don’t have electricity, only six hours per day, so we take turns fanning him to keep him cool."

The family of Sadiq Zoman says they have received no explanation, nor any compensation for his situation from either the US military or the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority.

Major Aberle said the 4th Infantry Division, now back at Fort Hood, Texas, maintained that Iraqi detainees are treated well because of the need to establish credibility among the Iraqi people. "Building the trust, building the relationships between the Iraqis and coalition forces -- that is so critical. When you have an instance of a detainee being allegedly abused or treated improperly, that makes us no different than the former regime."


Daughter Rheem stated, "My father is a good man who helped so many people in our community. Why have they done this to him? Can you tell me? Everyone who knows him can say that he did so many good things to help people."

With tears in her eyes, Hashima Zoman added, "Is it fair for any man's family to be made to suffer like this? Is it right that his daughters must see him like this? Our lives will never be the same again, no matter what happens."

© 2004-05-04 00:00:00.0 The NewStandard. See our reprint policy.


Iraq Dispatches: Tortured Souls




Is this part of the GRAND PLAN for eventual imperial world domination by the US, so that we may step in to establish stability - Pax Americana.

Or is it an unforeseen consequence of the Iraqi invasion that our domination planners failed to consider - in spite of the fact that they were warned? Their arrogant sense of superiority may have tripped them up and indeed opened a "Pandora's Box".

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Torture of Prisoners Still Seen in Iraq

Human Rights O4rganization decries torture.


In the Middle East, those who are about to die believe profoundly in the afterlife - Robert Fisk: 12 March 2005

We Westerners, we Christians are always so puzzled by the Muslim suicide bombers. We cannot fully comprehend why they do this. We understand sacrificing one's life to a noble cause, but we cannot see as noble blowing up a wedding party at a hotel or the bloody massacre of innocents.

Christians believe in the afterlife. In times of mourning we derive comfort by the promise of being reunited with our loved ones when we pass on. We comfort ourselves by saying, "He's in a better place," or "He's with God, now, safe in the arms of Jesus."
Yet most of us, except in extreme conditions, do not willingly and eagerly embrace death. Our loved ones are reluctant to release us from this life, to be robbed of our presence, to face the grief and loss suffered when a beloved one passes.

So we are mystified by the actions of suicide bombers. We are mystified and appalled by the joyous celebrations of the friends and familes of a suicide bomber. Some of us regard them as callous, unfeeling, having no love for the dead one. Nothing could be further from the truth. Muslims love as deeply as we do, they care as intensely as we do, and they mourn their dead as grievously as we do. If any of you have seen the Iraqi war photos you will have seen their profound expressions of grief as they mourn their dead. The comparisons are incomprehensible to Westerners.

I can but offer an example from my own family.Most are devout Christians; some are conservative and some are Charismatic members. When my 93 years old father died, our funeral service would have puzzled people unfamiliar with the religious concepts the family at large embraced. In most conventional funerals the seating music before services begin is quiet organ music. The family opted for joyous, fast beat songs of praise and worship, all celebrating the glorious entrance of the deceased into heaven. Some of the mourners in the pews often clapped their hands in time to the music and some actively joined in the song. Some raised their hands in praise. Services were upbeat, praising the rewards of heaven for my father. Only in private did the family express their personal crushing grief over the loss of our family Patriarch. Joy for his liberation from the suffering in this world was combined with the grief of personal loss.

This may help explain why families of suicide bombers celebrate. But the question remains, "Why Do They Suicide?" Robert Fisk's article explains that, and a major difference between Christian and Muslims view of the afterlife.

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How Arabic text of WMD dossier was massaged by Downing Street - Robert Fisk: 24 April 2005 How Blair and the Bush Administration lied to the British, the Americans and to the whole world to create a justification for invading Iraq


America' shame, two years on from 'Mission Accomplished' - Robert Fisk: 08 May 2005

The sadistic, perverted and degenerate practises of torturers that Guantamano and Abu Ghraib reports scarcely scratch the surface


Saddam handed blame for Iraq's eight-year war with Iran - Robert Fisk: 21 May 2005

The US backed Iraqi/Irani war, that lasted 8 years and slaughtered over a million Iranis to further US policies and plans for Iran. Biochemical weapons were supplied to Saddam by US companies and allies abroad. Both nations were devasted by that war while the US and other guilty nations sat back with clean hands.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Article from Tom Dispatch

You can read many more dispatches and join our mailing list so they come directly to your e-mail inbox daily by visiting, your antidote to the mainstream media.

I suppose there was no torture at Abu Ghraib either.

posted March 4, 2006 at 5:36 pm

Tomgram: Dahr Jamail Follows the Trail of Torture

The other day on Jerry Agar's radio show, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld responded to accusations about American atrocities at our prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He accused the detainees there of manipulating public opinion by lying about their treatment. He said, in part:

"They're taught to lie, they're taught to allege that they have been tortured, and that's part of the [terrorist] training that they received. We know that torture is not occurring there. We know that for a fact� The reality is that the terrorists have media committees. They are getting very clever at manipulating the media in the United States and in the capitals of the world. They know for a fact they can't win a single battle on the battlefields in the Middle East. They know the only place they can win a battle is in the capitol in Washington, D.C. by having the United States lose its will, so they consciously manipulate the media here to achieve their ends, and they're very good at it."

Statements like this have been commonplaces from an administration whose President repeatedly insists it doesn't do "torture," while its assembled lawyers do their best to redefine torture out of existence. Here's how, for instance, our Vice President has described the lives of detainees at Guantanamo Bay: "They're living in the tropics� They're well fed. They've got everything they could possibly want. There isn't any other nation in the world that would treat people who were determined to kill Americans the way we're treating these people."

As a matter of fact, the record of detainee abuse, humiliation, and torture at Guantanamo and elsewhere is by now overwhelming -- and it's been laid out by a remarkably wide-ranging set of sources. In June 2005, for example, Time Magazine released excerpts from official interrogation logs on just one Guantanamo prisoner, Mohammad al-Qahtani, reputedly the 20th September 11th hijacker who never made it into the U.S. This stunning record of mistreatment over time so threatened the detainee's health that it should certainly have qualified as torture under this administration's definition ("must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death") in its famed "torture memo" of 2! 002.

Or let's remember how two years' worth of blistering memos and e-mails by disgusted FBI agents stationed at Guantanamo Bay (obtained and released by the American Civil Liberties Union) laid out styles of detainee mistreatment that should have staggered someone's imagination:

"'On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water,' the FBI agent wrote on Aug. 2, 2004. �Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18 to 24 hours or more.' In one case, the agent continued, �the detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night.'"

Just in the last week, the administration that doesn't do torture found itself in court fighting hard for a torture exemption from the McCain anti-torture amendment, thanks to extreme force-feeding methods being used on a prisoner on a Guantanamo hunger strike. According to Josh White and Carol D. Leonnig of the Washington Post, "Bush administration lawyers, fighting a claim of torture by a Guantanamo Bay detainee, yesterday argued that the new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at the military prison. In federal court yesterday and in legal filings, Justice Department lawyers contended that a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, cannot use legislation drafted by Sen. John McCain... to challenge treatment that the detainee's lawyers described as �systematic torture.'"

In the meantime, U.S. military officers, "breaking with domestic and international legal precedent," refused to rule out the admission of evidence obtained by torture at the military trials the Pentagon is now running at Guantanamo.

The week before, Jane Mayer wrote a thoroughly depressing New Yorker piece, "Annals of the Pentagon," about former U.S. Navy General Counsel Alberto J. Mora, a conservative military man who just happened to believe in the law. Hers was a gripping tale of Mora's losing battle to stop Donald Rumsfeld and his followers from circumventing the Geneva Conventions and instituting a "gloves-off" policy of torture and abuse at Guantanamo. Tim Golden and Eric Schmitt of the New York Times produced a front-page story that same week (Growing Afghan Prison Rivals Bleak Guantanamo), pointing out something well covered by the British Guardian almost a year ago: We now have a second Guantanamo on our hands, a prison at Bagram Air For! ce Base in Afghanistan that may indeed make Guantanamo look like the "tropics." There, 500 or so detainees, beyond all law or oversight, have been kept under barbaric conditions, in some cases for two to three years.

The week before that, the latest Abu Ghraib photos were released, even grimmer than the previous batch -- a huge story around the world -- to largely "been there, done that" coverage in the United States. Each day, it seems, more and worse pours out, largely to no obvious effect here. It is in this context that Dahr Jamail, who began hearing of American torture practices while covering the war in Iraq in 2003 as an independent journalist, looks back on the last several years and considers the nature of our torture regime. Tom

Tracing the Trail of Torture

Embedding Torture as Policy from Guantanamo to Iraq
By Dahr Jamail

They told him, "We are going to cut your head off and send you to hell."

Ali Abbas, a former detainee from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, was filling me in on the horrors he endured at the hands of American soldiers, contractors, and CIA operatives while inside the infamous prison.

It was May of 2004 when I documented his testimony in my hotel in Baghdad. "We will take you to Guantanamo," he said one female soldier told him after he was detained by U.S. forces on September 13, 2003. "Our aim is to put you in hell so you'll tell the truth. These are our orders -- to turn your life into hell." And they did. He was tortured in Abu Ghraib less than half a year after the occupation of Iraq began.

While the publication of the first Abu Ghraib photos in April 2004 opened the floodgates for former Iraqi detainees to speak out about their treatment at the hands of occupation forces, this wasn't the first I'd heard of torture in Iraq. A case I'd documented even before then was that of 57 year-old Sadiq Zoman. He was held for one month by U.S. forces before being dropped off in a coma at the general hospital in Tikrit. The medical report that came with his comatose body, written by U.S. Army medic Lt. Col. Michael Hodges, listed the reasons for Zoman's state as heat stroke and heart attack. That medical report, however, failed to mention anything about the physical trauma evident on Zomans' body --- the electrical point burns on the soles of his feet and on his genitals, the fact that the back of his head had been bashed in with a blunt instrument, or the lash marks up and down his body.

Such tales -- and they were rife in Baghdad before the news of Abu Ghraib reached the world -- were just the tip of the iceberg; and stories of torture similar to those I heard from Iraqi detainees during my very first trip to Iraq, back in November 2003, are still being told, because such treatment is ongoing.

Institutionalizing Torture: Abu Ghraib

While President Bush has regularly claimed -- as with reporters in Panama last November -- that "we do not torture," Janis Karpinski, the U.S. Brigadier General whose 800th Military Police Brigade was in charge of 17 prison facilities in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib back in 2003, begs to differ. She knows that we do torture and she believes that the President himself is most likely implicated in the decision to embed torture in basic war-on-terror policy.

While testifying this January 21 in New York City at the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration, Karpinski told us: "General [Ricardo] Sanchez [commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq] himself signed the eight-page memorandum authorizing literally a laundry list of harsher techniques in interrogations to include specific use of dogs and muzzled dogs with his specific permission."

All this, as she reminded us, came after Major General Geoffrey Miller, who had been "specifically selected by the Secretary of Defense to go to Guantanamo Bay and run the interrogations operation," was dispatched to Iraq by the Bush administration to "work with the military intelligence personnel to teach them new and improved interrogation techniques."

Karpinski met Miller on his tour of American prison facilities in Iraq in the fall of 2003. Miller, as she related in her testimony, told her, "It is my opinion that you are treating the prisoners too well. At Guantanamo Bay, the prisoners know that we are in charge and they know that from the very beginning. You have to treat the prisoners like dogs. And if they think or feel any differently you have effectively lost control of the interrogation."

Miller went on to tell Karpinksi in reference to Abu Ghraib, "We're going to Gitmo-ize the operation."

When she later asked for an explanation, Karpinski was told that the military police guarding the prisons were following the orders in a memorandum approving "harsher interrogation techniques," and, according to Karpinski, "signed by the Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld."

That one-page memorandum "authorized sleep deprivation, stress positions, meal disruption --serving their meals late, not serving a meal. Leaving the lights on all night while playing loud music, issuing insults or criticism of their religion, their culture, their beliefs." In the left-hand margin, alongside the list of interrogation techniques to be applied, Rumsfeld had personally written, "Make sure this happens!!" Karpinski emphasized the fact that Rumsfeld had used two exclamation points.

When asked how far up the chain of command responsibility for the torture orders for Abu Ghraib went, Karpinski said, "The Secretary of Defense would not have authorized without the approval of the Vice President."

Karpinski does not believe that the many investigations into Abu Ghraib have gotten to the truth about who is responsible for the torture and abuse because "they have all been directed and kept under the control of the Department of Defense. Secretary Rumsfeld was directing the course of each one of those separate investigations. There was no impartiality whatsoever."

Does she believe the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib has stopped?

"I have no reason to believe that it has. I believe that cameras are no longer allowed anywhere near a cellblock. But why should I believe it's stopped? We still have the captain from the 82nd airborne division [who] returned and had a diary, a log of when he was instructed, what he was instructed, where he was instructed, and who instructed him. To go out and treat the prisoners harshly, to set them up for effective interrogation, and that was recently as May of 2005."

Karpinski was referring to Captain Ian Fishback, one of three American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Forward Operating Base Mercury near Fallujah who personally witnessed the torture of Iraqi prisoners and came forward to give testimony to human rights organizations about the crimes committed.

Karpinski, who was made the scapegoat for the atrocities which occurred at Abu Ghraib, went public as a whistle-blower, and retired with a demotion in rank after serving a quarter of a century in the Army. General Sanchez, on the other hand, was transferred to Germany where he is continuing his tenure as commander of the V Corps. However, he was reportedly relieved of his role and not promoted to a fourth star due to the fact that the Abu Ghraib scandal first broke during his watch.

But Abu Ghraib was -- and remains -- only a symptom of a much deeper problem.

The Guantanamo Treatment

"Since the start of the war on terror, the intelligence community, led by the CIA, has revived the use of torture, making it Washington's weapon of choice," writes Alfred McCoy in his new book, A Question of Torture.

When the infamous Abu Ghraib photo of the prisoner on a box draped in black, head covered with a sack, arms outstretched with electrical wires attached to his fingers, was made public, it had a deeper resonance for McCoy than simply documenting a war crime of the present moment.

"In that photograph you can see the entire 50-year history of CIA torture," McCoy told Amy Goodman in a Democracy Now! interview. "It's very simple. He's hooded for sensory disorientation, and his arms are extended for self-inflicted pain. And those are the two very simple fundamental techniques" that, as his book makes vividly clear, the CIA pioneered in breakthrough research on torture, funded to the tune of billions of dollars in the 1950s. In his book, he adds: "The photographs from Iraq illustrate standard interrogation practice inside the global gulag of secret CIA prisons that have operated, on executive authority, since the start of the war on terror."

Rather than placing blame merely on the handful of guards in Abu Ghraib who were reprimanded (and in a few cases jailed) for their crimes against humanity, McCoy believes that they -- and the interrogators there -- were simply "following orders" and, like Karpinski, considers that "responsibility for their actions lies higher, much higher, up the chain of command."

When I interviewed Ali Abbas in Iraq, his descriptions from Abu Ghraib bore a remarkable similarity to those given by detainees released from the American prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and from the little noticed American mini-gulag in Afghanistan.

"They shit on us, used dogs against us, used electricity and starved us," he told me. "They cut my hair into strips like an Indian. They shaved my mustache, put a plate in my hand, and made me go beg from the prisoners, as if I was a beggar."

Lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York in a statement on the detention experiences of three men they represent who were held in both Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay reveal, for example, similarly over-the-top treatment. And such treatment long preceded anything recorded at Abu Ghraib. Starvation rations were common and, in Sherbegan Prison in Afghanistan in December, 2001, one of the detainees, Shafiq Rasul, described the situation as follows: "We all had body and hair lice. We got dysentery and the toilets were disgusting. It was just a hole in the ground with shit everywhere. The whole prison stank of shit and unwashed bodies."

He would not be allowed to wash for at least six weeks. He would be transferred to a U.S. base in Kandahar and endure a "forced cavity search" while he was hooded, then go on to suffer countless beatings. When he was later transferred to Guantanamo Bay, he would witness the "Guantanamo haircut" where men would either have their heads shaved completely or have a cross shaved into their head in order to insult their faith. Denial of medical care and long stays in solitary confinement, along with sleep deprivation tactics, were the norm.

Other forms of treatment included:

* Gratuitous violence: Prisoners would be punched, kicked, and slammed to the ground.

* Exposure to the elements: Prisoners were locked in cage-like structures located in hangers with no heating.

* Denial of nourishment.

* Denial of religious rights including purposeful desecration of the Quran.

* The use of dogs to threaten prisoners.

And keep in mind, this was the norm. The extreme we know from the recorded deaths of at least 98 prisoners in American hands in these years.

Outsourcing Torture

Extraordinary renditions -- the kidnapping of terror suspects and their transport to countries willing to torture them for the Bush administration -- have been the rage (for the CIA) in Europe in recent years and have enraged European publics. But far less is often known about what happens to those kidnappees on the other end of the process. Craig Murray, however, knows more than most of us. He was the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004, a time when that country's strong man, Islam Karimov, was described by Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Donald Rumsfeld as an "important ally" of George Bush in his war on terror. Murray was dismissed by the British government in October 2004 when he made public his findings on extraordinary renditions to Uzbekistan and the torture by Uzbek security personnel of those rendered into their hands by the CIA.

Murray describes Karimov as having longstanding ties with Bush. These seem to have begun in 1997 when Bush was still governor of Texas. He then met with Uzbek Ambassador Sadyk Safaev, a meeting (for which there is documented evidence) organized by Ken Lay, CEO of Enron, in order to enlist the governor in brokering a two billion-dollar gas deal between the corporation and that oil-rich country. Karimov, says Murray, "was a guest in the White House in 2002. It's very easy to find photos of George Bush shaking Karimov's hand." Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was, he added, "particularly chummy with Karimov" back then and, at the time, the administration was making use of the Karshi-Khanabad air base, also known as K2, in that country.

Murray is not alone in considering Karimov one of the most vicious dictators on the planet, a man personally responsible for the death of thousands. The ambassador helped uncover evidence of one detainee who "had had his fingernails extracted, he had been severely beaten, particularly about the face, and he died of immersion in boiling liquid. And it was immersion, rather than splashing, because there is a clear tide mark around the upper torso and arms, which gives you some idea of the level of brutality of this regime."

While not certain that detainees who had been rendered were boiled alive, about extraordinary rendition Murray said, "There is no doubt that George Bush and Condoleezza Rice have been lying through their teeth about extraordinary rendition for some time." As he put it, "The United States, as a matter of policy, is willing to accept intelligence got by torture by foreign agencies. I can give direct firsthand evidence of that and back it up with documents."

When asked why he decided to go public with his information, Murray replied, "I think it's just what any decent person would do. I mean, when you come across people being boiled and their fingernails pulled out or having their children raped in front of them, you just can't go along with it and sleep at night."

The U.S. vacated the K2 base as the result of political fallout from the massacre of over 600 demonstrators by Karimov's security forces in May 2005. Karimov has since moved back under Russian protection.

Nevertheless, Murray is convinced that the U.S. continues to rendition people to other grim and willing regimes around the globe to be tortured.

In addition to the degradation and inhumanity involved in torture, which afflicts those meting it out as well as those on the receiving end, both intelligence officials and law enforcement personnel believe that information obtained by torture is almost invariably useless. In addition, torture policies, seldom kept secret for long, invariably produce outrage and opposition on a large scale.

Here, for instance, is a typical response a rebel in Fallujah offered a colleague of mine in Iraq in January 2005:

"We are fighting in Fallujah first because we are defending our religion. Because they desecrate our Holy Quran. They put the Quran in the sewage. They rape our women. They rape them in Abu Ghraib. The raiding, the burning, the detentions, the evictions, the killing it is continuous, everyday and night. These are the reasons we resist the Americans."

"George Bush is the law"

Testimony from Afghan prisons and Guantanamo, the photos and video from Abu Ghraib, evidence of extraordinary renditions to the far corners of the planet -- all of this doesn't even encompass the full reach of Bush administration torture policies or the degree to which they have been set in motion at the highest levels of the American government. But what simply can't be clearer is this: horrific methods of torture have been used regularly against detainees in U.S. custody in countries around the globe, while an American President, Vice President and Secretary of Defense, among others, openly advocated policies that, until recently, would have been considered torture in any democratic ! country. In the meantime, the Bush Administration has twisted the law just enough to allow authorities to potentially pick up more or less anyone they desire at any time they want to be held wherever the government decides for as long as its officials desire with no access to lawyer or trial -- and now, for the first time, the possibility has arisen, at least in the military trials in Guantanamo, that testimony obtained by torture will be admissible.

All of this can also be seen as part of a desperate attempt by a failing superpower to ratchet up the use of force in the service of subjugation, as has happened time and time again in the past.

In A Question of Torture, McCoy quotes one CIA analyst, whose expertise was in the now long-departed Soviet Empire, this way: "When feelings of insecurity develop within those holding power, they become increasingly suspicious and put great pressures upon the secret police to obtain arrests and confessions. At such times police officials are inclined to condone anything which produces a speedy �confession,' and brutality may become widespread."

Testifying at the same commission of inquiry as Karpinski, Michael Ratner, once head of the National Lawyers' Guild, now president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and an expert on international human rights law, caught the essence of our present situation:

"Let there be no doubt this administration is engaged in massive violations of the law. Torture is an international crime. What [George Bush] has done is basically lay the plan for what has to be called a coup-d'�tat in America. [His Presidential Signing Statement attached to the McCain anti-torture amendment] makes three points� First, speaking as the President, my authority as commander in chief allows me to do whatever I think is necessary in the war on terror including use torture. Second, the Commander in Chief cannot be checked by Congress. Third, the Commander in Chief cannot be checked by the courts. In other words� George Bush is the law."

Torture is usually defined as "infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion," or as "excruciating physical or mental pain, agony." No civilized society can accept laws which justify the use of torture. So it's not surprising that Ali Abbas was astonished to discover Americans willing to inflict such humiliating and inhumane treatment on him while he was in their custody in Abu Ghraib. "They cannot be human beings and do these things," was the way he put it. He concluded: "This, what happened to me, could happen to anybody in Iraq."

Unfortunately, what happened to him can now conceivably happen to anyone, anywhere in the world, according to George Bush.

One of the last things Abbas said as our interview ended was: "Saddam Hussein was a cruel enemy to us. Once I made it to Abu Ghraib though, I wished I had been killed by him rather than being alive with the Americans. Even now, after this journey of torture and suffering, what else can I think?"

Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who spent over 8 months reporting from occupied Iraq. He presented evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq at the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York City this January. He writes regularly for Inter Press Service,, Asia Times, TomDispatch, and maintains his own website

Copyright 2006 Dahr Jamail

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