Albion Monitor Issue 122 MAY 2004

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U.S. soldiers return home Torture of Iraq prisoner

As of the end of April, 732 U.S. soldiers have died in the Iraq occupation, 594 of them since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. But until now, the public had no chance to see the flag-draped aluminum coffins -- the "transfer tubes" in Pentagon-speak -- of the casualties return home. How did Schwarzkopf's 1991 refusal to count enemy dead turn into today's fetish about controlling photographs of U.S. coffins returning from Iraq -- photos that demonstrate the dignity and respect with which the remains are treated? As powerful as those photographs were, their impact was eclipsed just a few days later when CBS and The New Yorker released shocking pictures of American soldiers torturing and humiliating Iraqi captives, images that have inflamed anger throughout the Arab and Muslim world. The footage shows nude Iraqi prisoners forced to simulate sex acts by Army reservists in violation of the Geneva Conventions. With these pictures, America has forever lost the chance of claiming a higher and moral ground for the invasion


 + Taguba Report On Abuses May Be Tipping Point In Iraq War
 + The U.S. Has Lost Battle Of The Photographs FREE!

 + "Coffingate" A Scandal Of The Pentagon's Making

 + Abuse Of Iraqi Prisoners May Be Widespread

 + UN Calls For Probe Of Iraq Prisoner Abuse
 + Bloody Hands, Bloody Minds FREE!

Top Pentagon Official Acknowledges Violation Of Geneva Conventions FREE!
Senator presses Wolfowitz, General Pace during on Iraq prisoner mistreatment
War On Iraq Allowed Al-Qaeda To Regroup, Study Says FREE!
An effective "middle management" in place around the globe

Analysis: Bush "Clear Strategy" Speech Offers Same Old Fuzzy VisionFREE!
Once again, rewriting history to match fantasy

Colin Powell called Feith's Pentagon operation the "Gestapo Office"
Prison Abuse Another Scandal Leading To Neo-Con Feith
His Pentagon office housed the future undersecretary for intelligence, Stephen Cambone

History Predicts Iraq's Endgame May Be Bloody Affair
Bush will likely launch a massive terror attack in Iraq before June 30

Abu Ghraib Appears To Be Tip Of Iceberg
Widespread and systemic violations of the Geneva Conventions
U.S. Contractors In Iraq Not Subject To American Or Iraqi Law FREE!
Rights groups alarmed that employees of private firms are interrogating prisoners

Amnesty Says British Have Killed "Many" Iraq Civilians
Including deliberate murder of 8 year-old

Iraq Prison Abuse Scandal Making Europe Uneasy Over Ties With U.S.
Much of Europe beginning to distance itself further from U.S.
Zarqawi's Role In Beheading Is Ominous Turn FREE!
Ruthless Jordanian determined to start Jihad with West

Berg Execution Escalates Iraq Media War
Unlike prison photos, beheading was intentional media event aimed at both Iraqi and U.S. audiences

CIA Has Taught Use Of Torture Photos For 30 Years
Even making videos of beheadings was taught by the CIA in the 1980s

Calls For Rumsfeld To Quit Over Prisoner Scandal
Both sides of Congress blame Defense Secretary for sitting on news until TV broadcast
Red Cross Says Leak Of Iraq Prison Abuse Report Threatens Its Mission FREE!
Bush White House first to break Red Cross confidentiality in 145 years

Afghanistan Chaos Starting To Mirror Iraq
Warnings that Sept. elections could spark civil war
Iraq Prison Abuse Mirrors Problems In Afghanistan Lockups FREE!
Rights groups have complained about mistreatment there since 2001

Women Shocked By Female Role In Iraq Torture Scandal
Five women, from Private to Major General, under intense scrutiny

Oklahoma Stops Execution Of Mexican National At Nearly Last Minute
State was under intense international pressure

White House Distances Itself From Neo-Con Policies After Iraq's Bloody April
Thousands of blacklisted ex-Ba'athists now being hired in droves

Fallujah Claims Victory, Mourns Dead
"For 25 days they used everything they had...They couldn't enter this heroic city"

The Lesson Of Fallujah: We Don't Understand Iraq
America has ignored Iraqi pride at its peril

Fallujah Is Rallying Cry For An Iraq United Against U.S.
"They were counting on a Sunni-Shiite split in Iraq, but we are one hand"

GIs Killed Shiite Leaders In Cold Blood, Witnesses Say
At meeting of human rights group that Wolfowitz had recently praised

As U.S. Targets Al-Sadr, Cleric Gains Followers
Children throw stones at soldiers tearing down pictures of Shiite leader

Many Hired Guns In Iraq Have War Crime Backgrounds
"At what point do we start scraping the barrel? Where are these guys coming from?"

Serb Mercenaries Strike It Rich In Iraq
500-1000 believed to be working in Iraq as bodyguards
Washington Facing 'Hatred Like Never Before' In Arab World FREE!
Rooting for Iraqi insurgents against U.S. as they cheer Hamas against Israel

Soldiers Returning From Iraq With Radiation Poisoning
Exposure to depleted uranium assumed

Al-Sadr Influence Spreading Through S Iraq Via Local Elections
Building Shiite power base by organizing elections, threats of violence

The neo-cons' chosen Iraqi leader can't even get calls returned
It was just last January that Ahmad Chalabi occupied the coveted balcony seat next to First Lady Laura Bush and gazed out at Washington's glittering elite who had gathered to hear President George W. Bush deliver his State of the Union Address from the Capitol's imposing rostrum. So how is it that exactly five months later Chalabi was rudely interrupted when U.S. agents and soldiers burst into his bedroom as part of a series of coordinated raids at his residence and offices?

 + Chalabi: From White House To Dog House In Five Short Months
 + The Long Knives Come Out For Chalabi FREE!
 + The CIA Is Trying To Discredit Me, Chalabi Says FREE!

Chalabi at State of Union
Laura Bush applauds her special guest, Dr. Adnan Pachachi, President of the Iraqi Governing Council, during the State of the Union Address, Jan. 20, 2004. Ahmad Chalabi was seated directly behind the President's wife

UN Posts List Of Top Ten Neglected News Stories
Media obsessed with Iraq

Media Shunned Largest March In Human History
The three major networks aired a combined total of six stories
Sarin Discovered In Iraq Was A Relic, Not A Weapon FREE!
Probably a dud shell fired in the desert over 15 years ago, but Pentagon has not released details of discovery

Business Giants Hold Summit On Iraq's Future
"The conference is a carve-up of Iraq's assets, minerals and wealth"

Pakistan Clamps Down On Its Sham Democracy
Quick 3-minute meeting turns government into "permanent martial law"

Likud Vote A Slap To Sharon And Bush
Bush "Road Map," Israel pullout from Gaza now up in the air

Ariel Sharon's Gaza Plan A Roadblock To Peace
Complete withdrawl from Gaza was never proposed

Israelis Resurrecting Old Deeds To Seize Palestinian Property
Reclaiming Jewish property owned a hundred years ago

Israel Attack On Rafah Was War Crime, Amnesty Says
Wholesale attacks on civilian neighborhoods

Israel Attacks Protesters, Killing Ten
2,000 were marching against military actions in city of Rafah

In China, Old Fears Return About 'Quality Of Race'
Prevention of "inferior births" a cornerstone of the state's eugenics policy

Homeless From Iraq War, Refugees Face Tent City Future
Homes destroyed by bombing of Fallujah just the beginning
U.S. Must Act Fast Or Afghanistan To Become "Narco-State"FREE!
Warlords and drug trade control most of the country as elections approach

60 Former Diplomats Condemn Bush For Total Support Of Sharon
Followed similar protest against Blair from 52 former British ambassadors
Schwarzenegger Refuses To Identify Who Helped Draft State Energy Plan FREE!
Arnold pulls a Cheney on the public

Monsanto Shelves Plans For GMO Wheat In U.S. And Canada
Almost 90% of Canadian farmers refused to buy Roundup-ready grain
Monsanto Shelves Plans For GMO Canola In Australia FREE!
Had invested millions of dollars in research project

Mystery Lingers Over Damascus Bombing
Many believe Syrian authorities could have staged the attack

Islamic Fundamentalist Violence Spreading To New Countries
Syria, Jordan face attacks for first time

As the United Nations prepares to help organize elections and try to create a new interim government in Iraq starting in July, skepticism is growing about the wisdom of risking UN lives in a country swirling in violence and chaos. The UN mission in Iraq is bound to fail, predict many Middle East analysts and UN staffers, because the world body is being increasingly viewed "not as an independent broker but as a glorified sub-contractor to the United States." The 5,500-strong UN Staff Union, which has just adopted a unanimous resolution urging the world body to take immediate additional steps to address "the serious flaws in the security management system," warns "keep off Iraq"

 + UN Staffers Don't Want To Go To Iraq 'Death Trap'

 + As Iraq Falls Apart, UN Weighs What Role - If Any - It Wants

 + UN Poised To Ignore Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Scandal

Iraq UN

General Charged With Atrocities A Leading Candidate For Indonesia President
Held responsible for over 1400 civilian deaths in E Timor five years ago
Bush Nuclear Weapons Program Squandering BillionsFREE!
Spending twice as much as we did 10 years ago

"Honor Killing" Of Women Returns To Middle East
Result of Israel tying hands of Palestinian police

Jamaica Welcomes Hundreds Of Haitian Refugees
By contrast, U.S. illegally intercepting boats at sea

Violence Against Journalists At 10-Year High
At least 250 have been threatened or attacked so far this year

Bush Tightens Cuba Embargo To Cheers Of Florida Voting Bloc
"It's a farce, pure political theatre"

Even Anti-Castro Cubans Knock Bush 'Hasten Democracy' Plans
Crackdown on money transfers from U.S. mainly hurts families

Boycott Of Coca Cola Over Colombia Spreads
Accused of torture, kidnapping and killing of union members

India's Election Results Confound Pollsters
A quiet victory for the average citizen

European Workers Fight Shredding Of Safety Net
Huge April protest marches in Berlin and Rome

Child Mothers Put Over One Million Infants At Risk
Underlines huge gaps between wealthiest and poorest nations
Anxieties Grow For Olympics As Bomb Blasts Shake Athens FREE!
The risk level at these games is considered the highest ever

Iraqis, Americans Begin To Agree: Both Want U.S. Out
3 out of 4 Iraqis afraid to leave home after dark, see Americans as occupying force

Bush Calls For New Generation Of Nuclear Weapons -- For U.S.
Nukes are seen as a usable, necessary tool in the anti-terror arsenal

Bin Laden Tower
Artist's impression of Burj Dubai, which will be the world's tallest building when the Bin Laden family construction firm is expected to complete work in 2008

Bin Laden's Stature To Rise With World's Tallest Building
Will the buildings serve as a reminder that Dubai banks helped funnel money to Al Qaeda?

Venezuela's Chavez Says Invasion Plans Uncovered
Capture of 86 alleged Colombian paramilitary forces in country

Bush Signs Tobacco Control Treaty, But Many Expect No Serious Action
Fought treaty every step of the way while publicly claiminh to support it

White House Makes Super-Size Effort To Gut Obesity Report
Grocery lobby pressured Bush administration to act on its behalf
Flame Retardant Chemicals Common In Household Dust FREE!
Found in every home tested
Top Air Polluters Cozy With Bush Administration FREE!
$6.6 million to Bush campaigns and the RNC since 1999
Half Of Americans Breathe Unhealthy Air FREE!
Annual Lung Association's report now includes particle pollution

Politics As Usual
Liberal Hawks' Role In Build Up To Iraq War Overlooked FREE!
Joined neo-cons in thinking democracy could be imposed on Middle East

Rumsfeld Losing Support Of Military Brass
Army Times editorial even called for both Rumsfeld and Myers, to step down

Iraq A Certified Case of 'Chickenhawk Groupthink'
Study of how very smart people can collectively make very stupid decisions

Kerry Has To Step Up and Fight Patriot Act
Kerry quickly dropped his strong opposition after winning the primaries
The George W. Bitter-Enders FREE!
If end-times are just around the corner, why quibble over little details, such as an illegal war?
Bush Running The Ship Of State Aground FREE!
The time is over to stop playing "Let's Pretend" About Iraq

Senators Give Negroponte A Pass On "Death Squad" Past
Activist interrupts hearings to ask that someone on panel quiz him on support of killings

Moral high ground lost as torture by U.S. forces revealed

The photos from Abu Ghraib are so shocking because America always sees itself as a "redeemer nation" that would build "a city on a hill" for all the world to follow. This is the foundation of the Bush Administration Policy: In the view of U.S. "exceptionalists," that Washington retains its freedom of action and not be accountable to multilateral organizations, like the United Nations, or even international law. Moral exceptionalism dictates unilateral actions if deemed necessary. What will happen at upcoming courts-martial when the military defendants attempt to defend themselves by asserting they received encouragement from military intelligence operatives to "soften up" Iraqi prisoners in the appalling manner that photos show they did -- encouragement that the soldiers interpreted as orders? The answer to that question has not changed since My Lai, or since the Nuremberg trials of 1945
 + Outsourcing Torture and the Problems of "Quality Control" FREE!

 + A Duty To Disobey: The Forgotten Lessons Of My Lai
 + Abuse Scandals Ends The Myth Of U.S. "Exceptionalism" FREE!

Greenpeace protest
Greenpeace supporters form an image of Pablo Picasso's "Endangered Freedoms" on Miami Beach January 17   (Photo: Robert Visser / Greenpeace USA)
Court Throws Out U.S. Charges Agains Greenpeace FREE!
Justice Dept. effort to punish activists generated 100,000+ protest letters

Is Revered Indonesian Cleric A Terrorist Leader Or "Village Preacher?"
U.S. insists elderly Indonesian Muslim a high-ranking terrorist

NIKE Accused Of Breaking Promise To UN
Signed pledge in 2000 to uphold labor, environmental and human rights principles

Neo-Nazi Threats Cause Concern Among Jews And Gays In Chile
Plans to run national socialist candidates in Oct elections

Mysterious Disappearance Of Colombia Top Paramilitary Chief
Has admitted to plotting a large number of assassinations and mass killings

Native Americans To Demand Compensation
Appeal to UN does not ask for payment to individuals

A Million Face Hunger As Sudan Fighting Continues
Refugee camps in neighboring Chad becoming enormous

Thailand Urged To Attack Islamic Militants
Public still reeling from violence outbreak by mostly teenage Muslims

Thailand Fears Its Own 9/11 In Attack On Bangkok
"We are all waiting for a bomb to go off in Bangkok. If that happens, all bets are off"

World Bank, IMF Can't Take Credit For World Poverty Drop
Poverty actually when many countries followed IMF and World Bank lending plans
U.S. Gives Public Lands Away for Pennies FREE!
Investigation reveals "taxpayer rip-off of epic proportions"

Latino Kids Face Unexpected Lead Poison Risks
Mexican candy, homemade treats account for 75% of new cases
Many Americans Carry Toxic Pesticide Cocktail in Their Blood FREE!
Average child has 4x acceptable level for one pesticide

After 20 Years In Court, Bhopal Survivors Ask UN For Help
Dow says it has no moral or legal obligation for the incident that still kills one victim daily

Film About "Accidental Mullah" Draws Boffo Crowds In Tehran
Film of thief who poses as holy leader pointedly mocks the Shiite clergy

California's Juvenile Prison System Needs Reform From Ground Up
Judge says current system making situation worse

Photos Don't Tell Lies
Not the first time an administration at war has faced the power of the photographic image

50 Years After School Integration, A Major Step Backwards
A perfectly legal, dramatic re-segregation of American schools

Marching With A Million Women As A Pro-Choice Man
It felt like one of those "stand and be counted" moments in life

Outsourcing Torture and the Problems of "Quality Control" FREE!
Hiring contractors, foreign governments to play "bad cop" for us

NY Times' Mea Culpa Doesn't Cut It
Only the tip of an iceberg of bad coverage on Iraq

MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + The Ten Mistakes In Iraq
 + The Rot Of Abu Ghraib Began At The Top
 + How Dumb Do We Think Iraqis Are?
 + What Chalabi Wrought
 + This Misbegotten Occupation

 + Chalabi's Long, Costly Charade
 + Same-Sex Honeymoons In Boston, Sadistic Hatred In Baghdad
 + Thread of Abuse Runs to the Oval Office
 + When We're the Evildoers in Iraq

 } Robert Scheer

 + Trust Us, We're The "Liberal" Media
 + About That Invitation to Join the Bush-Cheney '04 Team...
 + The Coming Backlash Against Outrage
 + U.S. Media Ignores The Racism In Abu Ghraib Prison Photos

 } Norman Solomon

 + Waiting For Kerry To Step Up To The Plate
 + The Empire, Seen From Oceanside
 + Greenlights For Torture
 + Torture As American As Apple Pie

 } Alexander Cockburn

Albion Monitor graphic
Karl Rove said that he believes that it will take a generation for the U.S. to live this scandal down in the Arab world, according to the NY Times

The backlash will be horrendous. Out of a people who already dislike and distrust Americans, we have created a passionate hatred that will last for generations. We have bequeathed endless war to our grandchildren and to their grandchildren, created an enmity that will last forever in the hearts and minds of a people who think that holding a grudge for a millennium is the natural way of things

Albion Monitor
Issue 122

Editor: Jeff Elliott (
Publisher: Darryl Trujillo (

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