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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:17 PM
Original message
A 'clear ... system failure'
World > Terrorism & Security
posted May 10, 2004, updated 11:00 a.m.

A 'clear ... system failure'

New photos, videos, and Red Cross report show Iraqi prisoner abuse was widespread.

by Tom Regan |

The United States military has told Congress it will see other graphic photos and videos of violent abuse of Iraqi prisoners this week, as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal spreads into its third week of constant media coverage. And a previously confidential Red Cross report published by the Wall Street Journal Monday shows that the abuse in the prison system spread far beyond six individuals and cites abuses -- "tantamount to torture" including brutality, hooding, humiliation and threats of "imminent execution."
Also an investigation by Newsweek shows how widespread that abuse is across the US military prison system and not just in Iraq and that many in the US military are trying to pass the buck when it comes to who was responsible for the abuse.

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said Sunday that the US is "right on the edge" in Iraq.
"What is our policy? What are we doing? What is the possibility of us winning? That's all still in question," said Mr. Hagel, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "I think it's still in question whether Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and, quite frankly, General Myers, can command the respect and the trust and the confidence of the military of the American people to lead this country."

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lovedems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. I had to turn off the chimp during his little speech.
Did he continue the bullshit argument that it is only a handful of "wrongdoers" or was that talking point absent?

I just couldn't stomach a stage full of war criminals and had to turn my television off.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yep he did
the WaPo started calling them an open rebellion

Seems the kid does not read papers, hence has missed it... the press is no longer fully in his back pocket
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lovedems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. They seem to live in a parallel universe.
They have totally lost touch with reality.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Bush Says U.S. Owes Rumsfeld 'Debt of Gratitude'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush strongly backed Donald Rumsfeld on Monday and said the nation owed him a debt of gratitude, countering calls by some Democrats for the defense secretary to resign over his handling of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.
After a meeting with Rumsfeld, military leaders and other top administration officials at the Pentagon, Bush told Rumsfeld, "Thank you for your leadership. You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror."

"You're doing a superb job. You're a strong secretary of defense and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude," Bush said.

The independent Army Times newspaper, read widely in the U.S. military, on May 10, 2004 suggested Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon civilian and military leaders should be removed over the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal. "This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential -- even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war," the private weekly newspaper said in an editorial. Rumsfeld is seen during Capitol Hill testimony on May 7. Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Rummy must have the memo
from the desk of Bush* ordering torture.

I bet Cheney sent it, but it's in Bush's name.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Bush's Terrorist: John Negroponte Sent to Iraq
Edited on Mon May-10-04 12:33 PM by seemslikeadream
I think the memo was stuck to this

Iraqi ambassador pick grilled on hand-over

By Steven Weisman
The New York Times

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's nominee for ambassador to Iraq on Tuesday defended the limits that would be placed on Iraqi self-rule, particularly those on control over security forces, asserting that after June 30 Iraqis will have "a lot more sovereignty than they have right now."
Facing skeptical questions about the new constraints emerging in the long-planned transfer of power before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the nominee, John Negroponte, said he saw his major challenge as trying to avert conflicts if the new Iraqi government objected to U.S. military actions. "These are the kinds of questions that I think our diplomacy is going to have to deal with," said Negroponte, who is now ambassador to the United Nations.
The toughest questions came from Democrats, but all the senators said they would support Negroponte's confirmation, which the committee could approve on Thursday. Senate aides said Negroponte could be confirmed by the full Senate as early as next week.
Negroponte said that any decisions on whether to attack rebel strongholds, as the United States is threatening now in Fallujah and Najaf, would require "great political sensitivity" even though American s will nominally be in charge of such decisions.

Bush's Terrorist: John Negroponte Sent to Iraq

Dems Ignore Negroponte's Death Squad Past, Look to Confirm Iraq Appointmen

As Negroponte, responded to Hagel, he was interrupted by an activist, Andres Conteris of Non-violence International.

Andres Conteris, is program director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the human rights group Non-violence International. He disrupted yesterday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on John Negroponte's appointment as US ambassador to Iraq.

As ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte played a key role in coordinating US covert aid to the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and shoring up a CIA-backed death squad in Honduras. During his term as ambassador there, diplomats alleged that the embassy's annual human rights reports made Honduras sound more like Norway than Argentina. In a 1995 series, the Baltimore Sun detailed the activities of a secret CIA-trained Honduran army unit, Battalion 3-16, that used "shock and suffocation devices in interrogations. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves." In 1994, Honduras's National Commission for the Protection of Human Rights reported that it was officially admitted that 179 civilians were still missing.

A former official who served under Negroponte says he was ordered to remove all mention of torture and executions from the draft of his 1982 report on the human rights situation in Honduras. During Negroponte's tenure, US military aid to Honduras skyrocketed from $3.9 million to over $77 million. Much of this went to ensure the Honduran army's loyalty in the battle against popular movements throughout Central America.

Bush's Terrorist: John Negroponte Sent to Iraq

Negroponte's "embassy" in Baghdad will, according to press reports, constitute the largest US "embassy staff" in the world with some 3000 employees, including up to 1,000 Americans.

Yet according to a four-part series in the Baltimore Sun in 1995, in 1982 alone the Honduran press ran 318 stories of murders and kidnappings by the Honduran military.

Opponents of Negroponte are demanding that all Senators read the full report before voting on his nomination.
In a cruel irony, the Bush administration has appointed a bona fide "terrorist" to wage its "war on terrorism" in Iraq.

It should come as no surprise that "on the day he was appointed to Iraq, Honduras decided to bring its troops in Iraq home." (Financial Times, April 21, 2004)

Face-off: Bush's Foreign Policy Warriors

On August 27, 1997, CIA Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz released a 211-page classified report entitled "Selected Issues Relating to CIA Activities in Honduras in the 1980's." This report was partly declassified on Oct. 22, 1998, in response to demands by the Honduran human rights ombudsman. Opponents of Negroponte are demanding that all Senators read the full report before voting on his nomination.

Reich, unlike Negroponte, is primarily a lobbyist and anti-Castro activist rather than a diplomat. He is director of the Washington-based Center for a Free Cuba and works for some of America's favorite industries: liquor (Bacardi), tobacco (British-American Tobacco), and weapons (Lockheed Martin). He also serves as vice-chairman of the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Program, or WRAP, an apparel industry-backed group characterized by union activists as an artifice for clothing importers to avoid serious scrutiny of their factories in developing countries.

In the 1980s, he headed a propaganda department in the State Department called the Office of Public Diplomacy. This unit, staffed with CIA and Pentagon psychological warfare specialists, reported to Oliver North. The function of the operation was to win support for administration policy in Central America. They wrote op-eds under the name of Nicaraguan rebel leaders and attacked those who differed with Reagan's policies. The Congressional investigation of the Iran-contra scandal identified numerous illegalities which led to the closure of the Office of Public Diplomacy.

Reich followed up these activities by serving as ambassador to Venezuela from 1986-89, at the height of the Iran-contra scandal. The Venezuelan government tried unsuccessfully to block his nomination.

While working for Bacardi, he successfully lobbied to slip Section 211 into the 1998 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, thus stripping Cuba of trademark protection. Ironically, he will be overseeing the Helms-Burton Act, which he helped to draft, which the administration has just decided not to carry into effect.

NEGROPONTE - Sleeping Ambassador or Death Squad Diplomat?

The widespread use of American aerial surveillance to direct the Contra murderers to villages where only women and children were present to be killed, the routine use of torture, the encouragement of drug-smuggling into the U.S. to provide funding for the U.S.-backed forces all were revealed only after Negroponte had left his post as U.S. Ambassador to the Honduras. And who could forget the Honduran Anti-communist Liberation Army's ever popular practice of dropping victims from helicopters while they were in flight?

Make no mistake about it -- both Iraqi rebels and Al Qaeda terrorists see Negroponte's appointment as the first stage in implementing a policy of covert violence against their right to sovereignty and will effectively use it to recruit and incite radicals to commit more acts of violence against us. It's no coincidence that our Office of Homeland Security issued a heightened security alert just as Bush announced his plans for Negroponte.

US Martyrs Pose Questions for Negroponte
October 28, 2003

US nuns murdered in El Salvador 4

In 1981, a couple of decades before Rachel Corrie was murdered, the bodies of four women were found in a shallow grave in a rural district not far from San Salvador, El Salvador's capital. They had been raped and shot dead by members of the Salvadoran army on the orders of senior officers. In the context of the time, the atrocity would hardly have merited reporting. But the women were United States citizens. Two were religious sisters of the New York based Maryknoll order, Ita Ford and Maureen Clarke. One was an Ursuline Sister, Dorothy Kazel, the fourth a lay missioner, Jean Donovan. By virtue of their nationality, the story did make the news, just--the back page of the New York Times, to that paper's eternal shame.

Those four women had helped defend Salvadorans from the terror unleashed against their own people by the Salvadoran government with support from the United States administrations of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. They gave their lives working alongside vulnerable people and communities in El Salvador. The murders followed the assassination in 1980 of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. The women's deaths were manipulated by the US government and its ever-pliant news media. The full facts took years to emerge. US ambassador to the UN, Jean Kirkpatrick, falsely accused the women of having supported the Salvadoran armed opposition, the FMLN. In fact, the four women were passionate advocates of non-violence, accompanying the rural villagers they served while caught up in a violent civil war.

Ambassador Kirkpatrick's statements on the case of the four women were to be expected from an unrepentant supporter of the bloodthirsty Argentinian military dictatorship. Her successor at the UN was Vernon Walters, former deputy director of the CIA, co-organiser of the continent wide terrorist blueprint Plan Condor and promoter of Ronald Reagan's terrorist war against Nicaragua. In 1986 Vernon Walters threw in the face of the UN his government's rejection of the International Court of Justice verdict convicting the US of terrorism against Nicaragua.

Kirkpatrick's and Walters' apologetics for mass murder helped John Negroponte, then US ambassador to Honduras, cover up his support for the systematic forced disappearances used to destroy Honduran civilian opposition to the presence of Contra bases in their country. Thomas Pickering, US ambassador to El Salvador at the time, also gave misleading information on local army and paramilitary murders, probably an essential qualification for his subsequent posting in 1989 as US ambassador to the UN, taking over from Vernon Walters.

Jean Kirkpatrick, Vernon Walters, Thomas Pickering, John Negroponte and other US government representatives sent clear signals that the local military in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala were to be allowed a free hand by the United States government to murder tens of thousands of civilians and anyone who spoke out against the slaughter. Perhaps the defining climax to the sickening murder campaign came in 1989 when the Salvadoran army killed six Jesuit academics and two of their domestic staff at the University of Central America in San Salvador. These crimes were made possible because the United States government consistently tried to conceal its institutional role in funding, training and supporting the military and paramilitary perpetrators. The Iran-Contra scandal was the culmination of that sustained program of regional deceit.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. "even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war"

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Permission to pass the buck, Sir
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Zogby says Kerry wins this fall... bush is just digging himself a bigger

Released: May 9, 2004

The Election Is Kerry's To Lose

By John Zogby

I have made a career of taking bungee jumps in my election calls. Sometimes I haven't had a helmet and I have gotten a little scratched. But here is my jump for 2004: John Kerry will win the election.

Have you recovered from the shock? Is this guy nuts? Kerry's performance of late has hardly been inspiring and polls show that most Americans have no sense of where he really stands on the key issues that matter most to them. Regardless, I still think that he will win. And if he doesn't, it will be because he blew it. There are four major reasons for my assertion:

First, my most recent poll (April 12-15) shows bad re-election numbers for an incumbent President. Senator Kerry is leading 47% to 44% in a two-way race, and the candidates are tied at 45% in the three-way race with Ralph Nader. Significantly, only 44% feel that the country is headed in the right direction and only 43% believe that President Bush deserves to be re-elected - compared with 51% who say it is time for someone new.

In that same poll, Kerry leads by 17 points in the Blue States that voted for Al Gore in 2000, while Bush leads by only 10 points in the Red States that he won four years ago.

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lovedems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Well, Rummy is is a pickle. I swear I thought I heard him say something
to the effect that if he could no longer be effective, he would resign. It sounds as if he has lost the support of the military along with his credibility and they seem to think he is one of the 6 morons who lost the war.

Hmm...Do you think he will be a man of his word? It sure doesn't seem he can be an effective leader without the support of those he is suppose to be leading.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. NO...NO...NO....say NO to bush* POW sex-torture snuff operation (pic)
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Ahem, the neocons are indebted to this nation,...
,...for misappropriating the blood and public wealth and funneling it towards self-serving purposes.

They are traitors and criminals in the first degree.
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. I am at a loss
to understand why * thinks Rummy is showing courage. It takes courage to order other people to do the dirty work? It takes courage to lie? I also can't bring myself to feel that I owe a debt of gratitude to an evil bastand who is pushing this country into ruin. My only gratitude will be paid to whoever can bring this corrupt bunch to federal prison, and have them guarded by the same people they tortured.
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readmylips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. I can't listen to that arrogant bastard....
If anything, small man bush's statement today will place our soldiers at a higher risk. The higher level can cover their asses which they did immediately months ago, but foot soldiers, not only must take bullits from the Iraq defenders, but also from the bush criminal junta. After all, that's what we sent our soldiers there die for bush and his rich corporate criminals. And who cares what we think.
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Purrfessor Donating Member (463 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. So Bush says only six people were involved! Yeah, right!
Those six people must have put in a lot of overtime considering all the abuse and torture that went on. Can you imagine all the frequent flyer miles they earned what with having to travel between Cuba, Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention all the other, yet undisclosed places where we tortured enemy combatants?

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readmylips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
14. bush said only 6 people: 1. bush. 2, cheney, 3, rumbutt...
4. rove. 5. myers, 6 miller

So bush is right; only 6 are involved.
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. "People"? meaning human beings?
You're a few short of 6 there. (Karpinsky might qualify.)
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