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Iraq War Crimes

Legendary Scientist Stephen Hawking Says Iraq Invasion Was a War Crime
02-Nov-04
Iraq War Crimes

AP: "Britain's most famous scientist, Stephen Hawking, condemned the U.S. led invasion of Iraq as a "war crime." The physicist spoke at an anti-war demonstration in London's Trafalgar Square timed to coincide with the U.S. election. Protesters read out the names of thousands of Iraqis and coalition troops killed since the March 2003 invasion. "The war was based on two lies," said Hawking. "The first was we were in danger of weapons of mass destruction and the second was that Iraq was somehow to blame for Sept. 11. It has been a tragedy for all the families that have lost members. As many as 100,000 people have died, half of them women and children. If that is not a war crime, what is

Journalist Says US Troops Tortured 12-Year-Old Girl in Front of Her Brother
21-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

ITV: "Suhaib al-Baz, a journalist for the al-Jazeera television network, claims to have been tortured at [Abu Ghraib while held there for 54 days. He said: 'They brought a 12-year-old girl into our cellblock late at night. Her brother was a prisoner in the other cells. She was naked and screaming and calling out to him as they beat her. Her brother was helpless and could only hear her cries. This affected all of us because she was just a child.' He also claims that a father and his 15-year-old son were tortured in front of his cell. He said: 'They brought a man who was wearing a hood. They pulled it off. The son was shocked to see it was his father and collapsed.' When he recovered, he now saw his father dressed in women's underwear and the Americans laughing at him. Mr al-Baz claims the guards at the prison were keen to take photographs of the abuse and turned it into a competition."

Why Tommy Franks has Being Laying Low until Now: He's Wanted for War Crimes
19-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

Common Dreams, from April, 2003: "Iraqi civilians are preparing a complaint to present in court in Belgium accusing allied commander Gen. Tommy Franks and other U.S. military officials of war crimes in Iraq... The complaint will state that coalition forces are responsible for the indiscriminate killing of Iraqi civilians, the bombing of a marketplace in Baghdad, the shooting of an ambulance, and failure to prevent the mass looting of hospitals, said Jan Fermon, a Brussels-based lawyer. He is representing about 10 Iraqis who say they were victims of or eyewitnesses to atrocities committed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mr. Fermon said the complaint will ask an investigative magistrate to look into whether indictments should be issued against Gen. Franks. If an indictment is filed against the general and other U.S. officials, they could be convicted and sentenced by a Belgian court. "

War Criminal Tommy Franks Criticizes Kerry
19-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

NZ News: "The former commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan on Tuesday disputed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's charge that the Bush administration let Osama bin Laden escape Afghanistan in 2001. 'I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora, and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality,' retired Army General Tommy Franks wrote in a commentary published by The New York Times. The Kerry campaign took issue with the retired general's comments. 'Franks is a patriot. But in his attempt to campaign for President (George W) Bush, he's letting political spin get in the way of the facts,' said campaign spokeswoman Brooke Anderson." The Kerry folks were kind - Franks is a wanted war criminal who only avoided escaping trial because of pressure on the Brussels-based war crimes court by the Bush administration. See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/STO305A.html

Two Iraqi Journalists Gunned Down in Targeted Assassinations
16-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

"Reporters Without Borders today condemned the fatal shootings of two Iraqi journalists yesterday in Iraq. TV journalist Dina Mohammed Hassan was shot dead outside her home in Baghdad as she was leaving for work. Photographer Karam Hussein was gunned down outside his home in the northern city of Mosul. 'We are extremely disturbed by the circumstances of these killings, which have the hallmarks of targeted murders,' the organisation said. Hassan worked for Al-Hurriya, a TV station run by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) which is headed by a Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani. Talabani has recently been more critical of US policy. Hussein, 22, had been working for the past three months for the Frankfurt-based European Pressphoto Agency. EPA says the last two photos taken by Hussein were of a US helicopter gunship hovering above an Iraqi crowd in Mossul - the incident in which several civilians, including another photographyer, were gunned down."

Entire Platoon Arrested for Refusing to Drive Death Trap Vehicles on Suicide Mission
15-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

Clarion-Ledger: "A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson [Miss] and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a 'suicide mission' to deliver fuel. [They] refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq - north of Baghdad - because their vehicles were considered 'deadlined' or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook ... wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook. [He] and the 16 other members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company ... were read their rights and moved from the military barracks into tents, Patricia McCook said her husband told her during a panicked phone call.... The platoon could be charged with the willful disobeying of orders, punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and up to five years confinement, said military law expert Mark Stevens.... 'Bush takes the position that the troops are well-armed, but if this situation is true, it calls into question how honest he has been with the country,' [U.S. Rep. Bennie] Thompson said."

Officer Reports War Crime in Iraq
12-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

Seymour Hersh reported on a call from a 1st Lt. in Iraq. "They [US Soldiers and Iraqi guards] were a couple weeks together, they knew each other. So orders came down from the generals in Baghdad, we want to clear the village, like in Samarra. And as he told the story, another platoon from his company came and executed all the guards, as his people were screaming, stop. And he said they just shot them one by one. He went nuts, and his soldiers went nuts. And he's hysterical. He's totally hysterical. And he went to the captain. He was a lieutenant, he went to the company captain. And the company captain said, 'No, you don't understand. That's a kill. We got thirty-six insurgents.' You read those stories where the Americans, we take a city, we had a combat, a hundred and fifteen insurgents are killed. You read those stories. It's shades of Vietnam again, folks, body counts..." Hey Sinclair - broadcast THAT!

Iraqi Clerics Condemn Bush's Plan as a 'Scorched Earth' Policy
08-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

IOL: "Sunni Muslim clerics in their Friday sermons condemned the United States military's latest air strike against the rebel city of Fallujah as part of its "scorched earth" policy in Iraq. "Fallujah is being hit every day under the guise of striking Zarqawi, and residents take out a two-year-old child from under the rubble, is this Zarqawi?" said Sheikh Abdul Ghafur al-Samarrai in a fiery sermon at Baghdad's Umm al-Qura mosque. "The Americans are using (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon's scorched earth and collective punishment policy." Twelve people were killed 16 wounded, including a bride at a wedding party, when US warplanes hit early Friday what the military said was a suspected meeting place in Fallujah of operatives of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq."

US Bombs Baghdad's Poorest Neighborhood, Offers Cash to Justify Carnage
05-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

ABCNews reports that "U.S. warplanes pounded the vast Baghdad slum of Sadr City overnight after an American patrol came under gunfire, the military said Tuesday." For every "precision bomb" dropped, deadly shrapnel is spewed over a 3,000-meter (about a half mile) diameter area. Want to see what shrapnel does? See http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-nurses/wounds.htm. Now the Pentagon is trying to buy its victims off in true corporate style: U.S. "Marines have distributed $367,300 in condolence and damage repair payments in the holy city of Najaf since three weeks of fighting ended there in late August....In the second round of payments, more than $200,300 were distributed Monday to residents who were caught in the crossfire." Not only is somehow justifying death and destruction - it is making continued violence "pay off."

Grieving Iraqi Parents Say US Military Used Slain Children as Human Shields
02-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

AP: "Families of the 35 children who died in a string of bombings in Baghdad blamed American troops for the tragedy, accusing them of attracting insurgents to a ceremony where the attacks occurred. In the carnage, several explosions ripped into a crowd gathered to celebrate the inauguration of a new, much needed sewage plant. Residents said that before the start of the celebration, U.S. soldiers called upon the children through loudspeakers to join the crowd, promising them sweets. 'I blame the Americans for this tragedy. They wanted to make human shields out of our children. They should have kept the children away from danger,' said Abdel-Hadi al-Badri, a cleric a the al-Mubashroun al-Ashra mosque, breaking down in tears during Friday prayers."

US Military Cuts off Electricity and Water to Samarra, Stops Reporting Civilian Deaths
02-Oct-04
Iraq War Crimes

BBC: "The US military has stopped giving out precise figures of the number of Iraqis it believes it has killed [in attacks on Iraqi cities], but says it has detained more than 80 people. Before it adopted this policy, it reported that more than 100 insurgents had been killed in the operation, but doctors said the dead and injured included women and children. Water and electricity supplies in Samarra are reported to have been cut off, and the main hospital says it is short of bandages and oxygen. In Fallujah, the US conducted a 'precision air strike' against insurgents. Although the US claims there were no innocent civilians there at the time, reports from the city say that at least two homes were destroyed, and that once again women and children were among the casualties." Btw - a typical "precision bomb" creates a THREE THOUSAND FOOT DIAMETER shrapnel zone.

Widespread, Ongoing Torture of Iraqi Prisoners Feared as New Reports Emerge from Mosul
21-Sep-04
Iraq War Crimes

Democracy Now: "Allegations have emerged from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that American troops are routinely torturing Iraqi detainees there. Months after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal shocked the world, allegations have emerged from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that American troops are routinely torturing Iraqi detainees there. British attorney Phil Shiner says he has statements from two Iraqis who said they were hooded, stripped naked, beaten unconscious and doused with cold water. One was threatened with sexual assault. The U.S. government has maintained abuse of prisoners in Iraq was mainly confined to a few rogue soldiers at Abu Ghraib. Abuse by US soldiers in Baghdad and Basra has been well-documented, but these new claims from the north of the country are renewing fears that torture in US prisons in Iraq has been systematic and widespread."

Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Scandal Widens as Systematic Torture in Third Prison Is Detailed
14-Sep-04
Iraq War Crimes

Guardian: "Allegations that American soldiers routinely tortured and maltreated detainees have emerged from a third Iraqi city, renewing fears that abuse similar to that inflicted in Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad has been systematic and widespread. American soldiers in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul beat and stripped detainees, threatened sexual abuse and forced them to listen to loud western music, according to statements seen by the Guardian. Lawyers investigating the claims have sent details to the Pentagon and the British Ministry of Defence and have demanded an inquiry. Though the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail and in Basra has been well-documented, this is the first time claims of abuse have been made from the north of the country. Two statements have been taken from Iraqis detained in Mosul and more are expected. "

Reporter's Terrifying Eyewitness Account of US Slaughter of Civilians in Baghdad
14-Sep-04
Iraq War Crimes

Guardian: "On Sunday, 13 Iraqis were killed and dozens injured in Baghdad when US helicopters fired on a crowd of unarmed civilians. G2 columnist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who was injured in the attack, describes the scene of carnage - and reveals just how lucky he was to walk away 'A dozen men formed a circle around five injured people, all of whom were screaming and wailing. One guy looked at one of the injured men and beat his head and chest: 'Is that you, my brother? Is that you?' He didn't try to reach for him, he just stood there looking at the bloodied face of his brother. A man sat alone covered with blood and looked around, amazed at the scene. His T-shirt was torn and blood ran from his back. Two men were dragging away an unconscious boy who had lost the lower half of one leg... I reached a building entrance when someone grabbed my arm and took me inside. 'There's an injured man. Take pictures - show the world the American democracy,' he said."

Bush Administration Knew of Abuse of Gitmo Prisoners in 2002 But Did Nothing
13-Sep-04
Iraq War Crimes

Guardian: "Evidence of prisoner abuse and possible war crimes at Guantanamo Bay reached the highest levels of the Bush administration as early as autumn 2002, but Donald Rumsfeld chose to do nothing about it, according to a new investigation by the veteran journalist Seymour Hersh... One former marine at the camp recalls sessions in which guards would 'f*ck with [detainees] as much as we could' by inflicting pain on them'... One Pentagon adviser [recalls that] 'some prisoners, they consisted of being left in straitjackets in intense sunlight with hoods over their heads'. Hersh provides details of how Bush signed off on the establishment of a secret unit that was given advance approval to kill or capture and interrogate 'high-value' suspects - considered by many to be in defiance of international law - an officially 'unacknowledged' programme that was eventually transferred wholesale from Guantanamo to the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq."

Iraqi Religious Leader Accuses US Military of Genocide as Civilian Bombing Deaths Climb
11-Sep-04
Iraq War Crimes

Dawn: "A top religious leader on Friday accused the US-led occupation forces of waging genocide in Iraq, after air and ground assaults on suspected militant bases in Tall Afar and Fallujah killed 57 people. As operations to rid the northern Tall Afar of 'terrorists' continued, Sheikh Abdel Ghaffur al Samarrai told worshippers at Friday prayers the assault on the small mainly Shia Turkmen town qualified as genocide. 'What have residents of Fallujah and Tall Afar done to deserve these atrocities? The occupation forces are committing genocide,' he said. 'They came to Iraq to kill, destroy and strip its resources. Where is the UN Security Council?' Sheikh Ghaffur asked. Calm returned to Tall Afar in the evening after a 13-hour air and ground assault the previous day that left 57 people dead. 'These savage bombardments make no distinction between unarmed civilians and those equipped with weapons.' "

US Generals Reveal that the CIA Kept up to 100 'Ghost Prisoners' Hidden at Abu Ghraib
10-Sep-04
Iraq War Crimes

Guardian: "A US senate committee has been told that up to 100 'ghost detainees' could have been held at the notorious Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq because the CIA did not register all prisoners.' Under the Geneva conventions, the temporary failure to disclose the identities of prisoners to the Red Cross is permitted under an exemption for military necessity. However, the generals said they were certain the practice used by the CIA in Iraq went far beyond that. 'The situation with [the] CIA and ghost soldiers is beginning to look like a bad movie,' the Republican Senator John McCain, of Arizona, said."

Retired Generals and Admirals Demand a Real Investigation into Abuse at Abu Ghraib
08-Sep-04
Iraq War Crimes

US Newswire: "In a letter to Bush, eight retired generals and admirals called for a comprehensive, independent commission to investigate U.S. detention and interrogation practices at Abu Ghraib and other U.S.-operated detention facilities. 'Given the range of individuals and locations involved in these reports, it is simply no longer possible to view these allegations as a few instances of an isolated problem,' said the letter, signed by retired military leaders from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. 'The investigations to date have failed to address senior military and civilian command responsibility and in doing so separate culpability from responsibility. This is antithetical to the way the military operates...If we are to get to the truth, of what happened - and to make sure this treatment is never repeated - we need a comprehensive investigation commissioned and conducted by those whose actions are not at issue."

US Soldier Says Torture Was Encouraged but Many Guilty Weren't Charged
29-Aug-04
Iraq War Crimes

Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick said the abuses at Abu Ghraib were encouraged by military intelligence services. "The battalion wanted one thing from you, the company wanted something else and the secret service had their own ideas. It was just chaos," he said. "On the one hand I was full of rage that this prisoner had injured a soldier. And they'd told me 'humiliate them'. On the other hand, no one explained in detail, how we should do it." Frederick said he had received no special training in treating military prisoners and was encouraged by intelligence officers to break prisoners down for interrogation, by any means. "The secret service set no limits at all. It was about concrete results and they weren't interested how they were achieved," he said, adding that many more people should be called to account for the abuses in Abu Ghraib. "There are definitely more people responsible for what occurred in Abu Ghraib, and many of them have not been charged."

Abu Ghraib Report: More Lies and Whitewashing
15-Aug-04
Iraq War Crimes

London Telegraph: "Critics are arguing that [the Abu Ghraib Report's] final conclusions, some of which were leaked last week to the Baltimore Sun, amount to a deliberate cover-up to protect senior military and civilian figures in the Pentagon.The report will call for disciplinary procedures to be launched against up to two dozen military intelligence officers." Rumsfeld has slithered off the hook, even though' there is direct evidence he authorized the use of "dogs, food deprivation and sleep deprivation". "This is a whitewash - a carefully orchestrated one," said one lawyer. "People in the Pentagon have been coming to me in a fury because of the way this has been handled. By naming military intelligence officials as well as the seven military police who have been charged, it will look like action has been taken. But basically it's still the same storyline of just a few bad apples, way down the food chain." Typical Bush - let the little guys pay for your sins.

US Destroys 40 Iraqi Homes and Kills Several Women and Children to 'Give Freedom of Movement'
14-Aug-04
Iraq War Crimes

It's no wonder so many of our soldiers in Iraq are now victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's not the war itself - it's the insane, brutal orders their Bush-picked officers are forcing them to carry out! Like this one: dropping half-ton bombs on a residential area of a city, flattening 40 homes and several municipal buildings and killing at least 13 innocent civilians, at least 5 of them women and children, all under the bizarre pretext, re: Capt. Bill Coppernoll [must be a dutiful Bushie], " to assist in the freedom of movement for Iraqi citizens and deny the enemy sanctuary in the surrounding area " Unfortunately for our soldiers, the people who give these stupid orders - which serve only to fan the flames of Iraqi rage more - are sitting hundreds of miles from the front, sipping cocktails in cushy air conditioned offices, calling in orders between rounds of golf with the "old boys."

Oregon Guard Unit Exposes Case of Mass Prisoner Abuse: GRAPHIC PHOTOS
08-Aug-04
Iraq War Crimes

Oregon Army National Guardsmen responded to reports of what appeared to be prisoner abuse June 29 at the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The soldiers disarmed the Iraqi policemen and gave first aid to the detainees. The guardsmen were later ordered to stand down, handing the prisoners back over to the Iraqi officials. The prisoners, many whom appeared to be non-Arab immigrants, displayed the injuries they sustained at the hands of their Iraqi captors in a photo by U.S. military soldiers.

Lynndie England's Lawyers Ask to Call Dick Cheney to Testify
08-Aug-04
Iraq War Crimes

CNN: "The fifth day of military hearings for Pfc. Lynndie England on charges connected to the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad included a defense request for Vice President Dick Cheney to appear as a witness. Cheney was among a long wish-list of potential witnesses, which included many of the generals involved with the prison. Defense lawyers did not explain in open court Saturday why they want Cheney's testimony. The hearing officer, Col. Denise Arn, said she will study the request but gave no indication when or how she might rule." Guess it depends on how much pressure she gets from "above."

Bush administration Throws GI to Media Wolves to Divert Attention from Shocking New Torture Evidence
28-Jul-04
Iraq War Crimes

Right now, Bush and his minions are suppressing mounting evidence of widespread, systematic, cold-blooded torture of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan - including explicit video footage of young boys being sodomized. As a smokescreen, a story about a GI charged with murder is being smeared by the Bushie media everywhere. Unlike the murders of prisoners in Iraq and AFghanistan, this "murder" occurred in the heat of a combat situation - hardly the same class of crime as the "state-sanctioned" torturing to death of helpless prisoners. But going thru today's news search engines, we found dozens of versions of this story, and ZERO stories on the torture cases. See ttp://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072004A.shtml for info about the suppressed torture stories.

Four U.S. Soldiers Charged in Iraq Prisoner Drowning
04-Jul-04
Iraq War Crimes

Reuters: "The U.S. Army has charged four soldiers, three of them with manslaughter, after the drowning of an Iraqi prisoner who was pushed off a bridge... The soldiers, on patrol near the city of Samarra 60 miles north of Baghdad on Jan. 3, pushed two Iraqis off a bridge at nighttime into the Tigris River after picking up the men on a curfew violation, officials said. One Iraqi drowned, while the other got out of the river... First Lt. Jack Saville, 24, and Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins, 33, were charged on June 7 with involuntary manslaughter, assault, conspiracy, making false statements and obstruction of justice. Saville faces up to 26 years in prison and Perkins up to 26 1/2 years if convicted. Two others were charged on Monday. Sgt. Reggie Martinez, 24, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and making a false official statement. Martinez faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Spec. Terry Bowman, 21, was charged with assault and making a false official statement."

US Military Says that Bombing Weddings is a Legitimate Military Action
30-Jun-04
Iraq War Crimes

AP: "The U.S. military said Wednesday an initial investigation of an air attack near the Syrian border last month hit a legitimate military target, despite claims by Iraqi survivors and police who said it was a wedding party. 'Post-strike intelligence still leads us to conclude that that was a location that was a way station for a number of foreign fighters coming into the country,' a senior U.S military official said on condition of anonymity. 'We still believe that it was a significant intelligence target.' Family members provided AP with video showing a bride in a Western-style wedding dress and people celebrating in a tent. The video did not show the actual attack. However, a musician seen playing a keyboard was shown dead in another video made when the survivors brought bodies back to Ramadi for burial."

Facing Humiliating Defeat by UN Vote, Bush Tries to Save Face by Withdrawing Immunity Request
24-Jun-04
Iraq War Crimes

Common Dreams: "Faced with the prospect of a humiliating defeat, the United States abandoned its proposal to seek Security Council exemption for U.S. soldiers from possible war crime charges in future U.N. peacekeeping operations overseas. Unable to muster the necessary nine votes in the 15-member Security Council, Washington jettisoned the draft resolution Wednesday following widespread opposition from an overwhelming majority of member states. "We were told that 11 out of 15 countries had threatened to abstain on the vote," Bill Pace, convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), told IPS. The only two nations supporting the US immunity bid were Russia and also Britain - both of which have recently been accused of war crimes themselves.

Lawyer in Abu Ghraib Abuse Case Demands that Bush Take the Stand
21-Jun-04
Iraq War Crimes

"A Lawyer defending a US soldier charged with abusing prisoners in Iraq says he will seek to put Bush and Rumsfeld on the witness stand. Bush and Rumsfeld sidestepped the Geneva Convention in their 'war on terror' civilian defense counsel Paul Bergrin said on Monday. His client, Seargent Javal Daivs, was instructed on a daily basis to soften up Iraqi prisoners to obtain intelligence, Begrin said. Bush gave a speech declaring his war on terror and said the Geneva Convention no longer applied,' he told reporters after an impassioned address in the court room. He accused Rumsfeld and other top U.S. officials of trying to redefine the definitions of abuse and torture in a campaign aimed at influencing lawyers at the Department of Justice."

Kofi Annan Says the US Must Be Held Accountable, Just Like Any Other Nation
19-Jun-04
Iraq War Crimes

CanWest: "Kofi Annan is leading a campaign to make US military forces answerable to the UN war crimes court. Mr. Annan urged the [UN] ambassadors to vote against the US when Washington makes its request for exemption official. In an unusual move, he also handed them a letter saying he had 'serious doubts about the legal basis' of extending the U.S. immunity. 'I think it would be unfortunate for one to press for such an exemption, given the prisoner abuse in Iraq.' The US opposed the International Criminal Court long before it opened its doors July 1, 2002, saying countries that disliked U.S. foreign policy would use it to launch spurious prosecutions of U.S. personnel. But as the war on terrorism intensifies, the [Bush Administration] says it fears more than ever the court will become a forum for political witch hunts." How ironic, seeing as how the GOP practically invented of the modern political 'spurious witch hunt'- an art being perfected by Bushcroft.

Bush Pressuring UN to Pass US War Crimes Immunity Resolution as World View of US Deteriorates
11-Jun-04
Iraq War Crimes

While many US allies have, in the past, voted to grant the US immunity from prosecution in the International Court, the evidence of widespread, systematic, administration-sanctioned torture by US troops and intelligence personnel has changed the world's mood. Mark Turner at the UN reports: "According to analysts, as many as seven of the 15 Security Council members have indicated they might abstain, including France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Chile, Benin and Romania. But some are reluctant to be cast as the spoiler that makes the resolution fail, and China's position will be crucial. The US is believed to be applying bilateral pressure to persuade countries to change their votes."

Top UN Official Calls for International Group to Oversee US Behavior in Iraq and Identify War Crimes
04-Jun-04
Iraq War Crimes

Reuters: "The top U.N. human rights official said Friday U.S.-led occupation forces had mistreated many ordinary Iraqis and called for appointment of an international ombudsman to monitor their behavior. Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharand also suggested in a new report that U.S. soldiers accused of gross abuses at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison could be guilty of war crimes. His report, for the U.N. Human Rights Commission, cited Iraqis interviewed by a team from his Geneva office as speaking of 'arbitrary arrests and detention as an ongoing phenomenon' since U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in March 2003. In a clear reference to the Abu Ghraib incidents, Ramcharan said 'willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment' of detainees was a grave breach of international law. Several U.S. soldiers have been detained over the incident. Such acts, he added, 'might be designated as war crimes by a competent tribunal.' "

Foreign Ministers from 58 Nations Condemn US Abuses in Iraq and Bush Failure to Cooperate with UN
28-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Knight-Kidder: "A meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico of diplomats from Latin America and Europe became another opportunity Thursday for the international condemnation of the U.S. presence in Iraq and the prison-abuse scandal there. Foreign ministers from 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as 25 European nations, meeting here this week, denounced the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and delivered a veiled criticism of the United States for its refusal to cooperate with the United Nations.In a declaration to be issued today, officials attending the Third Summit of Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union condemned unilateral actions that go against international law and outlined "our horror at the recent evidence of mistreatment of the prisoners in Iraqi prisons."

Abuse of Prisoners is more Lethal and Widespread than Pentagon Admits and Has been going on since 2002
26-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

According to a new army report just obtained by the NY Times, the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was a widespread problem and resulted in prisoner deaths in more cases than, most likely, will ever be verified. Cases in Iraq date back to April 15 2003, while one involves the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan in December 2002.One case involves the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan in December 2002.."The report said that in one of nine suspected illegal killings a prisoner detained by navy commandos died from "blunt force trauma to the torso and positional asphyxia." The report indicates that more military units were involved in mistreatment of detainees than was previously thought. The report said abuse was also carried out by army interrogators from a National Guard unit attached to the Third Infantry Division."

Gen. Geoffrey Miller Personally Urged Use of Dogs to Terrorize Prisoners
26-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Reuters: "The US Army General sent by the Pentagon to bolster the collection of intelligence from prisoners at Abu Ghraib is said to have urged the use of guard dogs to frighten Iraqis detainees, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing sworn testimony by the top US intelligence officer at the prison. Col Thomas Pappas testified that the idea came from Maj Gen Geoffrey Miller, then commander of the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was implemented under a policy approved by Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the top US military officer in Iraq, the newspaper reported." Miller, as you may recall, was selected by Bush to go "fix things" at Abu Ghraib - and is now in charge of all the prisons in Iraq.

US Soldiers Forced Iraqi Prisoners to Jump into the Tigris River
25-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

AP: " Four U.S. soldiers have been reprimanded for forcing Iraqi prisoners to jump into the Tigris River last year, a military spokesman said Tuesday. Lt. Col. Thomas Budzyna said that members of another Fort Carson unit, the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, are being questioned about the deaths of two Iraqi prisoners: Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, 57, who was captured by the regiment in October, and Abdul Jaleel, 46. The military has said Mowhoush died during interrogation Nov. 26 from asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression. The CIA said one of its agents may have been involved and referred the case to the Justice Department. Jaleel died Jan. 9 at a post near Al Asad, Iraq, of blunt force injuries and asphyxia, the Army said last week. The facility was the base camp of the 3rd Armored Cavalry."

Theft of Money and Family Heirlooms from Iraqis by US Soldiers is Rampant
25-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Over the past 14 months of occupation, US forces have carried thousands of raids on homes across Iraq, routinely seizing money, jewellery and other property from Iraqis suspected of resistance activities. Iraqis say the raids often target the wrong people, are carried out in an aggressive, even destructive manner and lifetime savings, precious jewellery and family heirlooms are regularly stolen in the process. Stewart Vriesinga, a coordinator for Christian Peacemaker Teams, a non-profit group that documents abuses in Iraq, said: "Confiscation and theft during raids is rampant." "Soldiers don't seem to understand the Iraqi custom of not using banks - a lot of people keep fairly substantial sums of money at home. "We don't know how many Iraqis have died in this war, we don't know how many are in prison and we sure don't know how much money has been taken from them ... but it's enough to have serious socio-economic consequences."

White House 'Suspends' Karpinksi and Replaces Sanchez But Refuses to Hold Higher-Ups Accountable
25-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

While throwing the book at the lowest-ranking officers involved in the prison torture scandal in Iraq, the White House and its unquestioning supporters have failed to demand that every link in the chain of command be purged. Today, it was announced that Gen. Karpinski would be suspended but NOT relieved of her command, while Gen. Sanchez, against whom a growing body of evidence is accumulating, will likely be replaced and allowed to fade, scott-free, into the mists like Tommy Franks. But this is simply business as usual for Bush and his "party faithful." After all, Ken Lay has yet to even be indicted for his crimes. If you're useful to Bush, you can get away with murder.

Avoiding the 'T-word': America Can't Treat Abu Ghraib as 'Torture Lite'
25-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Donald Rumsfeld can't bring himself to use the word "torture." "While he was comfortable with the word "abuse," he hesitated to use torture to describe what happened in Abu Ghraib," reports IHT. " Instead he substituted another T-word: "terrible." Rumsfeld is not alone; no one else in America seems able to say "torture," either. The media have picked up Rumsfeld's cue that while this is terrible, it isn't that bad - and further emphasize that it is neither as extensive nor horrific as that perpetrated by Saddam Hussein's regime. The truth is that we Americans simply don't get to make ourselves feel better by refusing to call what happened at Abu Ghraib torture or by characterizing it as "torture lite."

Gale Norton is Complicit in Iraq 'Torture Laundering' Scheme
24-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

What on Earth does Gale "I Love my Guns and Hate Nature" Norton have to do with war crimes in Iraq? Well, turns out that the "private contractors" responsible for some of the "interrogation" abuses in Iraq were working under contract from the Depart of the Interior, which, of course, is now run by Norton. Baltimore Sun reports: "The unexpected role of the Dept of the Interior... grew out of a government plan to cut costs. But in practice, it may have increased costs and reduced scrutiny, said Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution. "You're placing a military interrogation task under Smokey the Bear," Singer said. "You can't have good oversight." What's more, legal experts say, contractors for nonmilitary agencies such as the Department of the Interior may be able to escape prosecution for crimes they commit overseas because of an apparent loophole in the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act." In short, it's a "torture laundering" operation.

Video of Wedding Party Proves that the Pentagon is Lying about Slaughter of Civilians
24-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

AP reports that a video that captured the entire ill-fated wedding party, from the arrival of the bride through several hours of dancing, singing, and reveling, has been found. A poignant excerpt from the full-length report: "Prominently displayed on the videotape was a stocky man with close-cropped hair playing an electric organ. Another tape, filmed a day later in Ramadi and obtained by APTN, showed the musician lying dead in a burial shroud - his face clearly visible and wearing the same tan shirt as he wore when he performed." Most of the US editors, on White House orders no doubt, are running just a short excerpt of the story sans details, giving the Pentagon a chance to present its most pathetic, insulting lies yet: "Brig.-Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Saturday. "There may have been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations, too." Sickening...EVIL, in fact.

'Spray and slay': are American troops out of control in Iraq?
23-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Independent (UK):Fresh allegations of American abuse of prisoners continue to appal the world. But now 'The Independent on Sunday' has uncovered proof of US troops deliberately and indiscriminately shooting civilians. Here we examine new evidence that suggests the lawlessness in the American military was never confined to the prison camps and torture rooms but extended to the streets and homes of Iraq

Double Standards?
23-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

In a crucial memo written four months after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Justice Department lawyers advised that President George W. Bush and the U.S. military did not have to comply with any international laws in the handling of detainees in the war on terrorism. It was that conclusion, say some critics, that laid the groundwork for aggressive interrogation techniques that led to the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq...The draft memo argued that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to any Taliban or Al Qaeda because Afghanistan was a failed state?..But the Jan. 9, 2002 memo, written by Justice lawyers John Yoo and Robert J. Delahunty, went far beyond that conclusion, explicitly arguing that no international laws including the normally observed laws of war applied to the United States at all because they did not have any status under federal law.

Videos Amplify Picture of Violence
21-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

The Washington Post has obtained but not released additional photos and video of the abuse of prisoners. This article describes in some detail the abuses.

New Details of Prison Abuse Emerge
21-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Abu Ghraib detainees' statements describe sexual humiliation and savage beatings.

Victims of US Attack on Wedding Party Saw Children Decapitated, Villagers Systematically Slaughtered
20-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Guardian: " 'The bombing started at 3am,' she said yesterday from her bed in the emergency ward at Ramadi general hospital, 60 miles west of Baghdad. 'We went out of the house and the American soldiers started to shoot us. They were shooting low on the ground and targeting us one by one.' She ran with her youngest child in her arms and her two young boys, Ali and Hamza, close behind. As she crossed the fields a shell exploded close to her, fracturing her legs and knocking her to the ground. She lay there and a second round hit her on the right arm. By then her two boys lay dead. One, she saw, had been decapitated by a shell. 'I fell into the mud and an American soldier came and kicked me. I pretended to be dead so he wouldn't kill me. My youngest child was alive next to me.' Mrs Shibab's description, backed by other witnesses, of an attack on a sleeping village is at odds with the American claim that they came under fire while targeting a suspected foreign fighter safe house."

Slaughter of 42 People in Wedding Party: Accident?
19-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

BBC: "A US military helicopter has opened fire on a wedding party in western Iraq killing over 40 people, reports say. The US military could not confirm the reports, but said an investigation had been launched. A police official in the desert town of Ramadi told AP news agency between 42 and 45 people were killed by US fire in the incident near the Syrian border. The incident apparently happened after wedding guests started firing in the air in celebration." Accident? An identical incident occurred in Afghanistan in summer 2002 when a US helicopter opened fire on a wedding party. The military covered with the same excuse (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2079565.stm).

Lt. Gen. William Boykin May Have Promoted Abuse against Iraqi 'Heathens'
18-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Susan Taylor Martin writes: "He said terrorists are trying to destroy the United States because, 'We're a Christian nation.' He told a Muslim warlord, 'My God was a real God, and his was an idol.' In speeches and comments, Lt. Gen. William Boykin has shown a clear disdain for the Islamic faith. Now Boykin, a top intelligence official in the DOD, has been linked to controversial recommendations for prying more information out of Muslim detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison." It has been revealed that Boykin briefed his boss on a report that said military police should help set conditions for the "successful exploitation" of detainees. Some senators and others say the report could have fostered a climate that encouraged subsequent acts of physical and sexual abuse." Note how Boykin's name has been kept out of the mainstream (White House mouthpiece) media.

Violence Begets Violence: Some US Soldiers Tortured Prisoners as 'Vigilante Justice'
11-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

The media is now pointing to the beheading of a US contractor, a crime committed in retaliation against US abuses of prisoners, as "bestial," "horrific" proof that the "enemy" in Iraq is truly evil. But now many US soldiers are claiming that they tortured prisoners as "vigilante" justice for crimes they believed Iraqis committed - including false allegations made by the press (Iraq's alleged links to 9/11, Al Qaeda, etc.). So where will the bloody buck stop?

UK Troops Accused of Killing Innocent Civilians without Provocation, Including an 8-Year-old Girl
11-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

"UK troops have killed Iraqi civilians including an eight-year-old girl when they were under no apparent threat, Amnesty International has claimed. The human rights group claims in 'many' cases the deaths of civilians caused by UK troops had not been investigated. Inquiries were 'secretive' and handled by Military Police, its report says. But Amnesty's UK director Kate Allen said there were 37 cases of Iraqi civilians being killed, but only 18 had been investigated." Of course, just like Bush & Co., Blair & Co. are claiming that the reports are 1. exaggerated and 2 (when 1 fails) that the cases are already under investigation. Yeah, right - they are investigating ways to spin the abuses away.

Red Cross Reveals a Nightmarish Scenario Stunningly Similar to Nazi Germany circa 1930s
10-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

AP: "Arresting authorities entered houses usually after dark, breaking down doors, waking up residents roughly, yelling orders, forcing family members into one room under military guard while searching the rest of the house and further breaking doors, cabinets and other property," the report said. "Sometimes they arrested all adult males present in a house, including elderly, handicapped or sick people...Treatment often included pushing people around, insulting, taking aim with rifles, punching and kicking and striking with rifles." Some intelligence reports estimate that 70-90% of detainees were arrested by mistake. Red Cross delegates witnessed last October how detainees at Abu Ghraib were kept "completely naked in totally empty concrete cells and in total darkness." When the ICRC requested an explanation from the authorities, "The military intelligence officer in charge of the interrogation explained that this practice was 'part of the process."

Family Members of Iraqi 'Suspects' Were Rounded Up and Tortured by US Troops
09-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

Reuters: "Issam al-Hammad said the Americans came to his village near al-Qaim on the Syrian border looking for his father, Abid Hammad al-Mahoosh, a major general in the disbanded Iraqi army. He wasn't there, so they took Issam and his three brothers, the youngest of them age 16. 'We spent five and a half months in four detention centers,' Issam al-Hammad said. Al-Hammad said they were beaten and given electrical shocks. 'I was naked apart from my underpants and they poured water on my back and then electrified me with an electrical stick,' he said. Several times American officers pointed a pistol at one of the brothers to force the others to talk, he said. 'They told me if you don't talk we will bring your mothers and sisters here,' al-Hammad said. The al-Hammad brothers showed a photograph of a body marked extensively with bruises and burns, which they said was their father, who surrendered to U.S. forces after his sons were detained."

'Torture is as American as Apple Pie'
09-May-04
Iraq War Crimes

"For more than two-and-a-half years, since 'everything changed' on September 11, 2001, the US political establishment has fostered a public debate over the ethics of torture. Reams of articles have been published on the topic, and polls have been taken on whether terrorist suspects should be tortured. ABC's Ted Koppel devoted a televised 'town hall' meeting to the subject, while Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz conducted a media tour to urge that torture be legally sanctioned, with courts issuing warrants to allow a practice banned by international law. This campaign to inure the American public to government torture unfolded as the Bush administration set up a network of US-run concentration camps from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to the Baghram air base in Afghanistan, as well as in numerous 'undisclosed locations.' Individuals detained by the US military and the CIA have been confined in these overseas prisons precisely to evade any legal restrictions and judicial oversight."

Bush and His NeoCons Should Be Tried for War Crimes along with Saddam
24-Apr-04
Iraq War Crimes

George Galloway writes: "If there were a genuine accounting for the many crimes committed in Iraq, it would be a trial not seen since Nuremberg. It would involve those who sold Saddam the gas he used at Halabja; those who encouraged him to invade Iran when its revolution threatened to sweep away the corrupt kings and puppet presidents of Arabia propped up and profited from by the west; those, like Donald Rumsfeld, who twice visited Saddam during that war to help him target the terrible weapons the west had sold him; and those whose hands are covered with the blood of all those buried in the biggest of all the mass graves in Iraq - slaughtered by sanctions. We who saw and cried out about this slaughter were traduced as fabricators; and later, when it could no longer be denied, as 'mouthpieces', 'apologists' or even 'paid agents' of Saddam."

Report Calling for Investigation of US & UK for War Crimes Filed with the ICC
26-Jan-04
Iraq War Crimes

US Newswire: "A new report by legal scholars on possible criminal liability of Coalition Forces for their conduct of the Iraq War urges the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate them for war crimes as defined under Article 8 of the ICC Statutes. The report will be referred to the ICC Prosecutor at the Hague with a recommendation to investigate possible joint criminal enterprise or complicity between the members of the Coalition. Although the United States did not ratify the Rome Statute and does not participate in the ICC, if complicity or joint criminal enterprise is found, it might nonetheless trigger an effective ICC investigation of the US, if the Prosecutor decides he has jurisdiction. Under legal principles of responsibility those liable for any war crimes committed by the coalition forces would include the highest echelons of government." For more on the Public Interest Law Group see http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/press.htm

 


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