AS HIS POLL NUMBERS CONTINUE TO DROP, KILLER BARRY O CAN'T STOP PLAYING GLORY HOG. LAST NIGHT, HE HAD DINNER AT THE WHITE HOUSE WITH REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS AND INSISTED UPON STATING THAT THE WHITE HOUSE FOOTED THE BILL FOR THE MEAL; HOWEVER, DINERS SAID THAT WASN'T THE CASE.
THESE REPORTERS HAVE NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO THIRD SOURCE THE CLAIM THAT ALL DINERS WERE PRESENTED WITH BILLS AND THAT KILLER BARRY O EXPLODED WHEN HE FOUND OUT THE REFILLS OF SODA WEREN'T FREE. "MICHELLE," HE ALLEGEDLY SNARLED, "WHAT ARE YOU A CAMEL? AND YOU COULDN'T DRINK WATER?" AN ANGRY FIRST LADY IS SAID TO HAVE THROWN A BUCK-FIFTY AT HIM IN COINS AND STORMED AWAY FROM THE TABLE.
MEANWHILE WAR CRIMINAL AND ASPIRING PEDOPHILE (HE HAS ARGUED FOR CRUSHING LITTLE BOY'S TESTICLES) JOHN YOO SAYS BARRY O SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO USE HIS DRONES HOWEVER HE WANTS. IN WHICH CASE, THE WHITE HOUSE SHOULD AIM THEM ALL AT YOO.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
The Guardian report being noted above is the one written by Mona Mahmood, Maggie O'Kane, Chavala Madlena and Teresa Smith and here's an excerpt
The allegations made by US and Iraqi witnesses in the Guardian/BBC documentary, implicate US advisers for the first time in the human rights abuses committed by the commandos. It is also the first time that Petraeus – who last November was forced to resign as director of the CIA after a sex scandal – has been linked through an adviser to this abuse.
Coffman reported to Petraeus and described himself in an interview with the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes as Petraeus's "eyes and ears out on the ground" in Iraq.
The report is getting plenty of coverage around the world. For example, The Voice of Russia notes, "General David Petraeus, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and other high-ranking US colonels were linked to sectarian police commando units in Iraq that operated secret detention and torture centers to get information from insurgents, according a new 15-month investigation published by the Guardian and BBC Arabic." Iran's Press TV notes this morning, "Sectarian commando units, operating under direct supervision of American Special Forces veterans, who were involved in the so-called US counter-insurgency efforts against opponents of some of the most brutal Washington-backed dictatorships in Central America, 'conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country’s descent into full-scale civil war,' The Guardian reports Thursday." Gulf News explains, "One of the American figures implemented is Colonel James Steele, who was taked with organising Iraqi paramilitaries in an attempt to quell Sunni insurgency. Membership was drawn from Shiite militias like the Badr brigades, the former military arm of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, which was tied to the clerical Al Hakim family. A second official implicated in the investigation was Colonel James H Coffman, who worked alongside Steele in detention centres that were set up with millions of dollars of US funding." Prensa Latina emphasizes, "Al Samari recalled a specific case in which a 14-year-old child was tied to one of the columns of a book store, with his head between the legs. His body was completely blue, due to the bruises out of the beating he was given, Samari said." India's leading newspaper, The Hindu, runs a syndicated version of the Guardian article. Turkey's Hurriyet covers it here. We could go on and on.
The story has the attention of the world's media . . . except in the United States. As noted this morning, broadcast network TV watchers in the US weren't informed of the story by what passes for news programs in the country -- not on CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, not on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, not on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and not on PBS' The NewsHour.
But let's not pretend that it's just broadcast networks. At The Nation's website, six articles are given heavy play at the top with and 22 more ones are played out on the site's 'front page.' 28 articles and not one is about the revelations of the Guardian's report. The Progressive can't find time or space for it either.
A US blackout on the article appears to exist leaving many Americans unaware of what happened. For instance, Richard Norton-Taylor (Guardian) offers today:
If there were any lingering doubts about whether the former US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, should be indicted before a criminal court, evidence that he asked a veteran of American dirty wars in central America to help set up vicious sectarian militias in Iraq should end them once and for all.
A Guardian investigation reports that Colonel James Steele, a special forces veteran, was nominated by Rumsfeld to help organise paramilitaries to quell a growing Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Steele reported directly to Rumsfeld. The paramilitary groups were drawn from Shia militia and set up detention centres where Iraqis were tortured.
If most Americans hear that there was a call to hold Rumsfeld accountable, they wouldn't know what this was over. B-b-but surely Last Journalist Standing Amy Goodman devoted significant time to the issue, right?
Here is Goody's coverage in full:
The Guardian of London has revealed new details on the Bush administration’s support for sectarian militias in its bid to defeat the Iraqi resistance after the 2003 invasion. The Guardian reports a key U.S. Army colonel behind the effort, James Steele, had firsthand knowledge of brutal torture carried out by Iraqi surrogates but did nothing to stop it. Speaking to The Guardian, an Iraqi general said Steele was unfazed when the torture of a young prisoner interrupted his lunch.
Munthader al-Samari: "One of the detainees was screaming. By chance, James Steele was there outside washing his hands. He opened the door and saw the detainee. He was hanging by his legs upside down. James Steele didn’t react at all when he saw this man. It was just normal. He closed the door and came back to his seat in the advisers room."Steele served as then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s liaison with Iraq’s Special Police Commandos. His stint in Iraq came 20 years after overseeing the U.S. special operations forces that trained government death squads in El Salvador.
That's the tenth out of twelve headlines. Democracy Now! is an hour long and that's all Goody could spare, There was a film to promote and other things passed off as 'news' on Goody's government-backed 'report.'
But remember, Goody cares about Bradley Manning --she says. But she won't cover these revelations -- that Bradley's responsible for. Deutsche Presse-Agentur points out:
The report said Steele was previously involved in El Salvador as head of a U.S. team of special military advisers that trained units of the Central American country's security forces in counterinsurgency.
The impact of the U.S. backing of the paramilitary forces was that it unleashed a sectarian militia that terrorized the Sunni community and helped stoke a civil war that claimed tens of thousands of lives.
The Guardian/BBC Arabic investigation was sparked by the release of classified U.S. military logs on the website WikiLeaks. Those documents, released by Private Bradley Manning, detailed hundreds of incidents where U.S. soldiers came across tortured detainees in a network of detention centers run by the police commandos across Iraq.
Bradley's court-martial is supposed to start in June. Victoria A. Bronworth (The Advocate) weighs in noting:
What many legal scholars have questioned as Manning approaches the end of his third year in detention is why he was charged under the Espionage Act at all—a rarity in American jurisprudence. President Obama has revived the Espionage Act and has prosecuted more people under it than every other president combined since the 1917 law was enacted. Among those prosecuted by Obama was John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent who exposed water-boarding and other "enhanced interrogation" techniques.
President Obama, who pledged as a candidate to protect whistle blowers because they were both courageous and patriotic, has cracked down hard on whistle blowers. Manning in particular has suffered under Obama’s enforcement; he has been treated more like the enemy combatants in Guantanamo than an American citizen and soldier.
Manning has been denied many elements of due process throughout his detention and preparation for trial. During the period of solitary confinement even Red Cross International, which petitioned to check on his well-being, was denied access to him, as were several Democratic members of Congress who asked to see him. The documents related to his trial have been kept secret, even though they should be a matter of public record. Manning has been described as depressed and for a significant period of time was on suicide watch.
Except for the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Manning seems to be a forgotten American hero.
The Washington Blade notes, "Pink News reported a group of Icelandic parliamentarians, the Pirates of the EU, members of the Swedish Pirate Party and a former Tunisian government minister nominated Bradley Manning."
As Betty pointed out last night, Barack could call off the hounds at any time and she also offered, "I really think if he got the Nobel Peace Prize this year it would put a lot of pressure on Barack to pardon him or drop the case altogether." Brandon Muncy (Daily Athenaeum) explains what's going on this way:
Imagine spending more than 1,000 days and nights imprisoned, mostly in solitary confinement.
Imagine that most of the human contact you had was with the individuals who stripped you naked at night and did not return your clothes until the next morning.
Imagine you had not even been convicted of a crime, yet these were the conditions you faced every day and night for nearly three years while you awaited trial.
Imagine that the so-called "crimes" you committed were for simply telling people the truth about their government.
This has been the reality for Bradley Manning, the man who recently pleaded guilty to 10-22 criminal counts levied against him in the investigation of the WikiLeaks scandal, as he awaits his day in court, tentatively scheduled for June 2013.
Here's another imagine: Imagine you were the one who discovered the way the Iraqis were being treated -- after Saddam Hussein had been driven from power. Imagine these were your words:
I felt we were risking so much for people who seemed unwilling to cooperate with us, leading to frustration and hatred on both sides. I began to become depressed at the situation we found ourselves mired in year after year. In attempting counterinsurgency operations, we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists. I wanted the public to know that not everyone living in Iraq were targets to be neutralized.
Would you have stayed silent? Or would you have leaked?
Those were Bradley's words last Thursday to the military court. He wanted the public to know. At what time is appreciation for that shown by supporters who will actually take the time to address the very offenses which took place in Iraq and so shocked Bradley that he would risk himself to get the word out on what had been done and was being done?
Mona Mahmood, Maggie O'Kane, Chavala Madlena, Teresa Smith, Ben Ferguson, Patrick Farrelly, Guy Grandjean, Josh Strauss, Roisin Glynn, Irene Basque, Marcus Morgan, Jake Zervudachi and Joshua Boswell (Guardian) note:
The investigation was sparked over a year ago by millions of classified US military documents dumped onto the internet and their mysterious references to US soldiers ordered to ignore torture. Private Bradley Manning, 25, is facing a 20-year sentence, accused of leaking military secrets.Steele's contribution was pivotal. He was the covert US figure behind the intelligence gathering of the new commando units. The aim: to halt a nascent Sunni insurgency in its tracks by extracting information from detainees.
It was a role made for Steele. The veteran had made his name in El Salvador almost 20 years earlier as head of a US group of special forces advisers who were training and funding the Salvadoran military to fight the FNLM guerrilla insurgency. These government units developed a fearsome international reputation for their death squad activities. Steele's own biography describes his work there as the "training of the best counterinsurgency force" in El Salvador.
Of his El Salvador experience in 1986, Steele told Dr Max Manwaring, the author of El Salvador at War: An Oral History: "When I arrived here there was a tendency to focus on technical indicators … but in an insurgency the focus has to be on human aspects. That means getting people to talk to you."
But the arming of one side of the conflict by the US hastened the country's descent into a civil war in which 75,000 people died and 1 million out of a population of 6 million became refugees.
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