Eternal Peace Vigil Against Iraq War
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Submitted by tnjp on October 25, 2010 - 12:42pm.
Full coverage of the Iraq war logs - Guardian UK
The Iraq War Logs
The Iraq Archive: The Strands of a War - WikiLeaks Documents... More below the fold
Submitted by tnjp on October 24, 2010 - 11:00pm.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Link Between PTSD and 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
Submitted by tnjp on October 19, 2010 - 10:10pm.
Phony Marine, 'Airport Spitter' Victim "Darling" of Right Wing Groups
“COLONEL” MIKE HAMILTON CHARGED WITH BENEFITS FRAUD AND MORE, MUCH MORE…
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.
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.
Here are the best estimates that have been hidden from the public:
Submitted by tnjp on October 17, 2010 - 8:46pm.
After Service, Veteran Deaths Surge
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
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...
Activism | Afghanistan | Drones | Iraq | Militarism | National Protests | Peace & Justice | Politics
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
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,
Submitted by tnjp on October 9, 2010 - 11:51am.
• Pakistani diplomat launches scathing attack on White House
Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor
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.
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.
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