Submitted by tnjp on October 27, 2010 - 9:47pm.

from www.IndictBushNow.org -
UN calls on Obama to Investigate and Prosecute U.S. Torture Charges
Wikileaks Documents Prove Torture, Abuse and Criminal Acts Were Systematic


In the wake of the release of 400,000 documents by Wikileaks, the United Nations has called on U.S. President Barack Obama to order a full investigation of crimes committed against the Iraqi people following the invasion and occupation that was directed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

UN special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak declared that the Obama administration had a legal and moral obligation to fully investigate credible claims of US forces' complicity in torture. Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister in the UK has, in the wake of the recent revelations, also called for an investigation into the reports of mass torture disclosed in the newly released documents...

Submitted by tnjp on October 26, 2010 - 6:10pm.

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange on Iraq War Logs, "Tabloid Journalism" and Why WikiLeaks Is "Under Siege"

In an extended interview, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange discusses the release of nearly 400,000 classified US military records on the war in Iraq, the biggest intelligence leak in US history. The disclosure provides a trove of new evidence on the number of civilian casualties, violence, torture and suffering that has befallen Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion...

Submitted by tnjp on October 26, 2010 - 12:03am.

WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs Expose US-Backed Iraqi Torture, 15,000 More Civilian Deaths, and Contractors Run Amok

Iraq War-logs
The online whistleblower WikiLeaks has released some 390,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war—the largest intelligence leak in US history and the greatest internal account of any war on public record. The disclosure provides a trove of new evidence on the violence, torture and suffering that has befallen Iraq since the 2003 US invasion. Despite US government claims to the contrary, the war logs show the Pentagon kept tallies of civilian deaths in Iraq. The group Iraq Body Count says the files contain evidence of an additional 15,000 previously unknown Iraqi civilian casualties. The number is likely far higher as the war logs omit many instances where US forces killed Iraqi civilians, including the US assault on Fallujah in 2004. The war logs also show the US imposed a formal policy to ignore human rights abuses committed by the Iraqi military. Under an order known as "Frago 242" issued in June 2004, coalition troops were barred from investigating any violations committed by Iraqi troops against other Iraqis...

Submitted by tnjp on October 25, 2010 - 2:01pm.

The Loaded Chamber: Secret Money (VIDEO)
Friday 22 October 2010
by: Harry Hanbury | GRITtv | Video Report
"The chamber’s increasingly aggressive role — including record spending in the midterm elections that supports Republicans more than 90 percent of the time — has made it a target of critics, including a few local chamber affiliates who fear it has become too partisan and hard-nosed in its fund-raising."

So reports a headline story in the New York Times Thursday about the Chamber of Commerce's increasingly secretive and partisan fundraising and lobbying efforts. The Chamber, once an institution that supported small and family businesses, increasingly does the bidding of a few large corporations, and in the first part of our GRITtv Digs investigation, Harry Hanbury starts to open up the Chamber's secrets for you....

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 - 7:54pm.

from CodePink -
Christine O’Donnell might not be a witch, but Thomas J. Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is a vampire. Under his leadership, the Chamber is sucking the life out of our electoral system. With Halloween coming up, give Mr. Donohue a call and tell him stop playing tricks by treating right-wing candidates to millions of dollars of vicious and misleading attack ads.

Call 202-659-6000 today and tell the US Chamber of Commerce to get their fangs out of our electoral throat!

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post and Glenn Greenwald at Salon both have incisive looks at the secret money funding the onslaught of attack ads mounted by Donohue’s Chamber and other groups, such as American Crossroads founded by his fellow bloodsucker, Karl Rove. We can practically hear Donohue and Rove cackling maniacally over the misinformation and falsehoods in the ads they’ve spawned—distortions that could help the Republicans (with the Tea Party) regain control of Congress. Bwaahahhaahhaa!....

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 20, 2010 - 2:18pm.

October 18, 2010
Officials Push to Bolster Law on Wiretapping
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say.

The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that caused technical problems for surveillance. They want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps.

An Obama administration task force that includes officials from the Justice and Commerce Departments, the F.B.I. and other agencies recently began working on draft legislation to strengthen and expand the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, a 1994 law that says telephone and broadband companies must design their services so that they can begin conducting surveillance of a target immediately after being presented with a court order...

Submitted by tnjp on October 20, 2010 - 1:42pm.

The Wall Comes Tumbling Down

Greg Kaufmann | October 18, 2010 It was an unlikely place to hear Abraham Joshua Heschel quoted, and the rabbi’s words came from an unlikely messenger.

At a news conference on a farm outside of Immokalee in southwest Florida, Jon Esformes, operating partner of the fourth-generation [1], family-owned Pacific Tomato Growers—one of the five largest growers in the nation with more than 14,000 acres in the US and Mexico—declared, “In a free society, few are guilty, but all are responsible.”

And with that he announced an agreement with the 4000-member Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to implement a penny per pound pay raise — which stands to increase workers’ annual earnings from about $10,000 to as much as $17,000 — and establish a code of conduct that includes an external complaint resolution system, shade and protective equipment in the fields, and a worker-to-worker education process on their rights under the new agreement....

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...