Militarism

Submitted by tnjp on October 24, 2010 - 11:00pm.



US turned blind eye to torture
Leaked documents on Iraq war contain thousands of allegations of abuse, but a Pentagon order told troops to ignore them.
Gregg Carlstrom Last Modified: 24 Oct 2010 15:31 GMT
An alleged militant identified only as "DAT 326" was detained by the Iraqi army on July 7, 2006 at a checkpoint in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. When US forces interrogated him later that night, he described hours of brutal abuse at the hands of the Iraqi soldiers, an allegation apparently backed by the findings of a medical exam.

DAT 326 states he was told to lay down on his stomach with his hands behind his back, which is when the Iraqi soldiers allegedly stepped, jumped, urinated and spit on him.

[…] DAT 326 was evaluated and treated for his injuries at Cobra Clinic. Injuries include blurred vision, diminished hearing in left ear, bleeding in ears, bruising on forehead, neck, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, and thighs, cuts over the left eye and on the upper and lower lips, hemorrhaging eyes, blood in nasal cavities, and swollen hands/wrists.


Since the alleged torture was committed by Iraqi forces, the US quickly dropped the case: "Due to no allegation or evidence of US involvement, a US investigation is not being initiated," the report said.

A review of the leaked documents reveals more than 1,000 allegations of abuse committed by Iraqi security forces. Not all of them are credible, as some detainees showed no physical evidence of abuse, while others changed their stories during multiple interrogations.

But hundreds of them – like "DAT 326" – are supported by medical evidence and other corroboration. Those reports demonstrate a clear pattern of abuse and torture in Iraqi jails, one that a high-level Pentagon directive barred US forces from investigating.

"Only an initial report will be made"

The instruction not to investigate was handed down in fragmentary order (FRAGO) 242, first mentioned in a report filed on May 16, 2005...

Submitted by tnjp on October 24, 2010 - 12:23pm.

Watch the hour long Al Jazeera English's special report - The Secret Iraq Files
After the biggest leak of military secrets ever this special programme reveals the truth about the war in Iraq.

It is the biggest leak of military secrets ever. Al Jazeera has obtained access to almost 400,000 classified American documents. Torture, claims of murder at the checkpoint - revelations that make a mockery of the rules of combat...

Submitted by tnjp on October 22, 2010 - 8:39pm.



IN VIDEO: the biggest document leak in history exposes real war
October 21st, 2010 by Rachel Oldroyd

Twelve weeks ago the Bureau of Investigative Journalism was given access to the biggest leak of military documents in history.

These documents formed a database of nearly 400,000 military logs recorded over six years of the Iraq war and covering the years 2004 to 2009.

There are over 37 million words used to recount military significant actions that took place across the entire country. This material provides an unrivalled portrait of one of the most controversial wars of the modern age.

For the first time the files reveal just how much the American military detailed the escalating violence in Iraq, and how this contrasts markedly to what the politicians said in public. This is the story behind the pronouncements – the uncensored detail Washington did not want us to know...

Submitted by tnjp on October 22, 2010 - 7:51pm.

Watch Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow discuss the latest WikiLeaks release of 400,000 Iraq War logs with Daniel Ellsberg... EXCLUSIVE: WikiLeaks Prepares Largest Intel Leak in US History with Release of 400,000 Iraq War Docs

The whistleblowing group WikiLeaks is preparing to release up to 400,000 US intelligence reports on the Iraq War. The disclosure would comprise the biggest leak in US history, far more than the 91,000 Afghanistan war logs WikiLeaks released this summer. We speak to the nation’s most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971, just before he heads to London to participate in the WikiLeak press conference...

Submitted by tnjp on October 21, 2010 - 8:24pm.


from IVAW as part of their ongoing Operation Recovery -

The Link Between PTSD and Suicide
Every 36 hours, a military member commits suicide

The occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan are continuing by the use of exhausted troops who are sent to war over and over again on multiple deployments. Common sense as well as the Pentagon's own study tells us that increased exposure to traumatic events increases the likelihood of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A dangerous symptom of PTSD is suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Last week, in an effort to de-stigmatize the issue of mental health within the military, the American Psychiatric Association initiated a call to reverse the policy of the President not sending condolence letters to families who have lost a service member due to suicide. This is one step in addressing an overall military culture that stigmatizes those who seek help for mental or emotional distress, but there is a lot more work to do.

Veteran death rate is 300% higher than rate of those killed in combat
A recent study of veteran deaths in California reveals startling figures - between 2005 and 2008, three times more veterans died at home than died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan during the same period. The results of the study, described in a recent NY Times article by Aaron Glantz, counted the deaths of veterans by suicide, drug overdoses, motorcycle accidents, and other risky behaviors linked to PTSD...

Submitted by tnjp on October 19, 2010 - 10:10pm.

Phony Marine, 'Airport Spitter' Victim "Darling" of Right Wing Groups
October 11, 2010 posted by Gordon Duff

“COLONEL” MIKE HAMILTON CHARGED WITH BENEFITS FRAUD AND MORE, MUCH MORE…
“How many stories were there of returning veterans killing “hippies” in Airports? “None” you say? This means, of course, that Vietnam veterans were all cowards, “candyass” whiners who, when confronted, ran and cried. That’s not how I remember it, though I do remember Sylvester Stallone telling it that way in a movie. I can see poor “John Rambo” crying his little pink eyes out. Worse than that, for 40 years I have heard dozens of “veterans” telling me about having to flee airports, gangs of hippies chasing them, saliva flowing everywhere.

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Mike Hamilton of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was convicted recently of violating the “Stolen Valor Act.” Hamilton’s Marine uniform sported 2 Navy Crosses, 4 Silver stars along with 74 other medals and ribbons. When the Supreme Court overturned the “Stolen Valor Act” as unconstitutional, a violation of “freedom of speech,” Hamilton’s conviction was overturned. He currently faces charges for other violations, perhaps even more curious ones, but Hamilton himself isn’t the problem. There are some serious questions as to whether “Colonel” Hamilton is competent to stand trial. Today, veterans groups are swooping around Mike Hamilton like vultures, looking for a meal. A few short months ago, he was the darling of the “rubber chicken” circuit, spouting the myths they wanted to hear, waving the flag and cheering on the horse manure of that is so popular to the American “right.”

We don’t know much about Hamilton. He claims to be a former judge and police officer. We are told those things aren’t true. He claims to be a Vietnam veteran and former Marine. Though he is accused of, perhaps the most grandiose “resume enhancement” in history, we really don’t know his military record. It is assumed he never served. Frankly, we aren’t sure, nobody ever checked...

Submitted by tnjp on October 19, 2010 - 12:50pm.

Tom Hayden
The Peace Exchange Bulletin

The Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan

The White House and Pentagon worry about the political costs if the American people learn the true costs of Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of casualties and taxpayer dollars.

These costs are the main factors driving 58 percent of the American public, including over 70 percent of Democrats and a majority of independent voters, to question whether these wars are justified.

It seems unbelievable, and certainly unconscionable, to keep these facts smothered in fog, when they need to be communicated in every blog, every leaflet, every speech given by anti-war activists.

The Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan.pdf

Here are the best estimates that have been hidden from the public:

Submitted by tnjp on October 17, 2010 - 8:46pm.

DemocracyNow trancript/audio/video

After Service, Veteran Deaths Surge
October 16, 2010
By AARON GLANTZ

In the six years after Reuben Paul Santos returned to Daly City from a combat tour in Iraq, he battled depression with poetry, violent video games and, finally, psychiatric treatment. His struggle ended last October, when he hung himself from a stairwell. He was 27.

The high suicide rate among veterans has already emerged as a major issue for the military and the families and loved ones of military personnel. But Mr. Santos’s death is part of a larger trend that has remained hidden: a surge in the number of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who have died not just as a result of suicide, but also because of vehicle accidents, motorcycle crashes, drug overdoses or other causes after being discharged from the military.

An analysis of official death certificates on file at the State Department of Public Health reveals that more than 1,000 California veterans under 35 died between 2005 and 2008. That figure is three times higher than the number of California service members who were killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts over the same period...

Submitted by tnjp on October 16, 2010 - 1:29pm.

October 15, 2010 at 10:10:16
Pentagon Hides Iraq War Deaths Tally
By Rory O'Connor

In July, the United States military issued its largest release of raw data ever on deaths during the Iraq war. The Pentagon's tally of the number of Iraqis killed in that country between January 2004 and August 2008 amounts to almost 77,000 people both civilians and security forces who died in the carnage.

As the Associated Press reported, the information went unnoticed for months after being "quietly posted on the Web site of the United States Central Command without explanation." It was only recently discovered by the AP "during a routine check" for civilian and military casualty numbers," which the news agency had first requested in 2005 through the Freedom of Information Act. As AP noted , "The military has repeatedly resisted sharing its numbers, which it uses to determine security trends." (One exception: U.S. military officials in Baghdad released their July 2010 Iraqi casualty tally in order to refute the Iraqi government's much higher monthly figures, a decision made just weeks before U.S. forces withdrew all but 50,000 troops from Iraq "in an attempt to wind down the war and tout the nation's improved security.")

According to the AP, "a spokesman at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., could not answer basic questions about the information." Iraqi Health Ministry officials were equally reticent and refused to discuss the American figures, which fall thousands of deaths short of those the Iraqis have compiled using actual death certificates...

Submitted by tnjp on October 15, 2010 - 8:41pm.

Antiwar Activism Marks 10th Year of War - UFPJ report

Antiwar activists across the US marked the war anniversary with protests last week. Mock drone attacks dramatized the human cost of war in Madison, WI [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRuNVp8Vrvs ] and Boston [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovCbTqHC2lE ], and in Washington, DC [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLqJ3eDX6Xk ] at the Capitol, Union Station, and Dupont Circle (video). There was a die-in in Springfield, Oregon, and check out the great op-ed by Dan Goldrich in the Register Guard. On Long Island, Veterans for Peace and other peace activists demonstrated for an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiXIVL7L-9E ] (video). And in San Francisco, Daniel Ellsberg joined a panel on "Anti-War Perspectives from the Left and Right", which brought together antiwar voices from a range of political perspectives...

Submitted by tnjp on October 12, 2010 - 8:54pm.

Despite Army Efforts, Soldier Suicides Continue
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
US | October 11, 2010

Nearly 20 months after the Army began strengthening its suicide prevention program, the suicide rate among active service members shows little sign of improvement.

FORT HOOD, Tex. - At 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday in August, Specialist Armando G. Aguilar Jr. found himself at the end of his short life. He was standing, drunk and weepy, in the parking lot of a Valero station outside Waco, Tex.

He had jumped out of his moving pickup. There was a police officer talking to him in frantic tones.

Specialist Aguilar held a pistol pointed at his head. This moment had been a long time coming, his family said. He had twice tried to commit suicide with pills since returning from a tough tour in Iraq a year earlier, where his job was to drive an armored vehicle to search for bombs.

Army doctors had put him on medications for depression, insomnia, nightmares and panic attacks. Specialist Aguilar was seeing an Army therapist every week.

But he had been getting worse in the days before his death, his parents said, seeing shadowy figures that were not there, hallucinating that he heard loud noises outside his trailer home. "He wanted help - he was out there asking for help," said his father, Armando Aguilar Sr. "He just snapped. He couldn't control what he was doing no more." Specialist Aguilar was one of 20 soldiers connected to Fort Hood who are believed to have committed suicide this year...

Submitted by tnjp on October 10, 2010 - 8:32pm.

The Box by Lascelles Abercrombie - postlude by Rafe Pilgrim

Once upon a time, in the land of Hush-A-Bye,
Around about the wondrous days of yore,
They came across a kind of box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labeled "Kindly do not touch; it's war."
.
A decree was issued round about, and all with a flourish and a shout
And a gaily colored mascot tripping lightly on before.
Don't fiddle with this deadly box,
Or break the chains, or pick the locks.
And please don't ever play about with war.
.
The children understood. Children happen to be good
And they were just as good around the time of yore.
They didn't try to pick the locks
Or break into that deadly box.
They never tried to play about with war...

Submitted by tnjp on October 9, 2010 - 11:51am.

Barack Obama accused of exaggerating terror threat for political gain

• Pakistani diplomat launches scathing attack on White House
• European intelligence claims raised terror alerts 'nonsensical'

Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 7 October 2010
A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian.

The non-specific US warning, which despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their overseas terror alert levels, was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have "set the country on fire", said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the high commissioner to Britain.

Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan's president, suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat before next month's midterm congressional elections, in which the Republicans are expected to make big gains.

He also claimed President Obama was reacting to pressure to demonstrate that his Afghan war strategy and this year's troop surge, which are unpopular with the American public, were necessary...

Submitted by tnjp on October 8, 2010 - 10:26pm.

From CodePink...
*Tell Hillary Clinton: Stop Doing Business with Blackwater!*
October 6, 2010

As we mark the 9th year of this bloody war in Afghanistan, please join us in calling on Secretary Clinton to stop giving our taxdollars to the mercenary firm Blackwater. We'll never end the war in Afghanistan as long as companies like Blackwater can make a killing out of killing. *Tell Hillary Clinton: Stop Doing Business with Blackwater!*

**As part of our Cut Blackwater Loose campaign, CODEPINK's *Medea Benjamin teamed up with DC's premier hiphop artist Head-Roc *to create a rap video "Blackwater Makes a Killing."Check it out.


**Also check out this WIRED report on all the shady things private security firms can do and still walk away with a wheelbarror full of your tax dollars, including killing civilians, lying to investigators, retaliating against whistle-blowers, stealing guns, running guns, and buying drugs...

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