The Need for Justice – WikiLeaks: Speaking Truth to Power

The Obama administration would like you to believe that the truth tellers and the whistle blowers are the ones with blood on their hands, but without illegal wars of aggression being conducted by the imperialistic powers and the resultant destruction and mayhem, there would be nothing for WikiLeaks to report. It is Bush and the members of his administration and now Obama and his administration who are the ones who must be held accountable for mass murder and their obscene crimes against humanity. It is under their watch and under their orders that these acts have been committed. In the past they have condemned other dictators for torture and genocide. Why shouldn’t they be held to to the same standard?

The Iraq War Logs only cover from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2009. We do not have a record of the number of dead or the other atrocities committed from the March 2003 “Shock and Awe” attack destroying the city of Baghdad and through the following nine months. And remember this is the U.S. military’s logs. The worst atrocities may not have been recorded and we do not have records from the other countries in the ”coalition”.

Democracy Now interview: WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs Expose US-Backed Iraqi Torture, 15000 More … - The online whistle blower 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. Hundreds of cases of killings, torture and rape at the hands of the Iraqi troops were ignored. To help analyze the documents, we hold a round table discussion with three guests, including David Leigh, the investigations editor at The Guardian newspaper of London, and investigative journalists Pratap Chatterjee and Nir Rosen. [includes rush transcript]

Watch Democracy Now interview with Daniel Ellsberg and see the War Logs:

Iraq war logs: secret files show how US ignored torture | World news | The Guardian

WikiLeaks Press Conference on Release of Military Documents

It is not just the importance of the documents that have been and are still being released by the organization WikiLeaks. It is the discourse and/or silence surrounding them that tells the story of the depths to which we have fallen as a society. UN Calls for US Torture Probe Following WikiLeaks Revelations is many years overdue, but at least it is finally happening. Again, long overdue, the response in Britain is to call for inquiries and accountability MoD releases Afghan attack papers , MoD pressed for Iraq abuse evidence , Tony Blair called back to Iraq inquiry. Denmark’s military announced Sunday it would carefully study the leaked documents to see if they revealed any wrongdoing by Danish soldiers. And in Poland, Terror suspect gets victim status in Polish probe.

Meanwhile, here in America, not only is there mostly silence in the corporate/government controlled media, but the Obama administration wants to…ah, what’s the expression? Oh, yes, ”shoot the messenger”. An outstanding MUST SEE interview with retired CIA officer Ray McGovern WikiLeaks: “Shooting the messenger, Julian. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks is that messenger. An alleged whistle blower, Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, who was named during the release of the earlier Afghan War Logs (Full coverage of the Afghan war logs ) is locked away in jail. That’s how this administration that campaigned on open government treats those who bravely try to expose the dangerous lies.

This administration and their compliant media minions are doing everything they can to disparage Assange so that the brain-dead American sheep focus on him rather than on the crimes committed by their government  WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange on Iraq War Logs, “Tabloid Journalism” and Why WikiLeaks Is “Under Siege” on Democracy Now – (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. While the Obama administration is defending the US military’s record in Iraq, the allegations in the documents have sparked worldwide condemnation. Assange also confirmed that threats by the Pentagon would not stop WikiLeaks from releasing additional military documents related to the war in Afghanistan. [includes rush transcript]) and Part II: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange on Iraq War Logs, “Tabloid Journalism” and Why WikiLeaks is “Under Siege” 

See also: WikiLeaks says funding has been blocked after governmentblacklisting …

Except for this brief semi in-depth interview with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill on MSNBC’ s Keith Olbermann Countdown: Inside the Wikileak documents even the so-called “left” media is almost completely ignoring what is possibly the most important story of our time which should be garnering their 24/7 news cycle attention. Is that because the current government’s complicity in the crimes might be brought into question?

There was a video I was going to share with you to show how the American press is using tabloid type attacks instead of covering the actual news about the documents themselves. It was a video of Assange walking out on a CNN “reporter” who refused to discuss anything about the documents and who repeatedly asked him very pointed and disparaging questions about his personal life. He finally had enough, took his microphone off and walked out. This video has been removed from the internet by CNN! In a later interview with Larry King which starts out reasonably (first video in link below) and then goes downhill when Larry asks Julian why he walked off in the earlier CNN interview (second video at the link) you will get a good idea of what actually happened Julian Assange To Larry King: ‘You Should Be Ashamed’ For Bringing Up My Personal Life (VIDEO) .

And the latest Has WikiLeaks landed in cyberattack crosshairs?Forget China or Al Qaeda. In a twist that would have been inconceivable even a few months ago, the Web site is being proposed as the first public target for a U.S. government cyberattack.

While the New York Times, in keeping up the facade that they are a free press, did print the latest WikiLeaks documents. However, at the same time they showed their true colors. On the front page next to the headline “The War Logs” was a big box that said “WikiLeaks Founder Is on the Run, Trailed by His Notoriety.” This is a piece of tabloid journalism by Iraq War cheerleader John Burns, who did the same dirty job Judith Miller did in disseminating the Bush administration’s lies during the run-up to the Iraq war. Do not miss Glenn Greenwald’s excellent articles about the dangers of our co-opted media The Nixonian henchmen of today: at the NYT and  More on the media’s Pentagon-subservient WikiLeaks coverage (the updates are also very informative).The government has gone so far as to use their puppet Fox News to make abject threats against WikiLeaks and Assange including suggesting the use of “extra-judicial action” which in my understanding means presidential-directed targeted assassination WikiLeaks is enemy, says Fox News contributor .

And this from Glenn Greenwald: The wretched mind of the American authoritarian

The Obama administration is doing all they can to spin whatever information is seeping out by saying this is all historical data that was already known (by the military, not by the general population) and they keep focusing on the information in the documents that torture was committed by mostly the Iraqis themselves which is patently untrue. As I was about to look back through my files which are filled with articles about the torture we committed and are committing in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan, I came across this stunning comment, Thousands of Iraqi abuse complaints have been raised against U.S. and allied forces — but they were ultimately tossed out because those forces were given war-zone immunity from lawsuits.” from  Who’s to blame for torture? Lawyers probe logs.This caught my attention because I had just been reading about the upcoming trial of a young man who has been held in Guantanamo since he was 15 years old for allegedly killing an American soldier Gitmo Guilty Plea Is A Sad Day for US Rule of Law . Why is it okay for Americans to kill whomever they want during wartime but not acceptable for anyone else? Also from the above article “Who’s to blame for torture? Lawyers probe logs”  were these very interesting comments: “Mazin Younis, an adviser to the U.K.-based Iraqi League, an expatriate support group, said the occupation-era laws make it impossible for Iraqis to sue U.S. or British officials in a local court. Asked whether it was possible to sue Iraqi authorities for mistreatment, Younis laughed, describing a judicial system ridden with cronyism, corruption and abuse. Very much you are asking the perpetrators to try themselves, he said. Lawsuits are more likely in Europe, which is bound by the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court. The United States is bound by neither. The Alien Tort Claims Act, however, allows U.S. courts to hear human rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct by U.S. agents committed outside the United States.”

Understand that the mass killing, torture and rendition did not end when the Bush Crime Family left the White House. For two years the same policies and crimes have continued unabated under the Obama administration. Secret Prisons and Torture to Continue under Obama. From Steve Lendman’s excellent summary of the dire state of life in Iraq: SteveLendmanBlog: Lawless Arrests, Detentions and Torture in Iraq “Saddam’s Iraq was paradise by comparison. Most Iraqis would agree, given their lack of freedom, mass impoverishment, and human misery with no hope for change under occupation. It’s how America planned it.” “Iraq is a living hell under occupation.”

Isn’t it wonderful how we “liberated” them? WikiLeaks Iraq files allege torture

Also, Obama outright lied when he said combat operations have ended in Iraq. Not only do we still have 50,000 troops there (including combat battalions that are still being sent over) but we have between 100,000 and 150,000 private contractors (mercenaries) in Iraq. We have many permanent bases and a city-sized almost billion dollar embassy (for what purpose?) where there is hardly a soul who even speaks Arabic. From Tomgram: Nick Turse, America’s Shadowy Base World | TomDispatch –  “It was planned for a staff of 1,000 “diplomats” with all the accoutrements of the good life and plenty of hired help.  (Even now, despite much discussion about “ending” the American role in Iraq, further plans are reportedly being made for the embassy’s staff to double.)”  Do you really think Obama has plans to ever remove all our troops? As Iraq veteran Ethan McCord has discussed in interviews, the fighting and death and destruction is still going on. All that is different is that, just like what was done by Bush, Obama has changed the name of the operation to fool easily manipulated Americans.

The importance of the WikiLeaks records cannot be disputed. However, we have known about many of the crimes for years.We knew they were lying and we knew they were torturing. And if we little peasants knew, so did our Congress, yet they did nothing to stop any of it. Rather, they kept (and still are) voting to fund the atrocities, lawless imprisonment and brutal occupations. Except for the few that can be counted on one hand, they should all be removed from office and tried for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.

The following is from  Frago 242: U.S. Complicity and Cover-Up of Iraq Torture Exposed:

“There was already sufficient evidence before Friday’s release that American military personnel and outsourced “private security contractors” (armed mercenaries) had committed war crimes that warranted criminal investigations.Even after 2004 revelations by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker sparked the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, the files show that the systematic abuse and execution of prisoners, along with other serious war crimes, were standard operating procedure by the United States and their Iraqi “coalition” partners.

When Hersh’s investigation first landed on the doorstep of the Bush White House, we were told that detainee abuse was the work of a “few bad apples” on the “night shift” at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

While enlisted personnel were charged, tried, convicted and imprisoned for their crimes, senior Pentagon officials including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and their top aides were exonerated by the White House and their accomplices in the corporate media.

“The truth is” Robert Fisk writes, “U.S. generals … are furious not because secrecy has been breached, or because blood may be spilt, but because they have been caught out telling the lies we always knew they told.”

About two-thirds of the way through this video, we hear the important words of activist Dr.Dahlia Wasfi: The Video the US Military doesn’t want you to see! The real face of war is unknown to people, because the media is not showing the real facts. The war is nothing but a business, where young men are sent to die, for some to get richer and richer. These are the horrors of the war.

Iraq Veterans Against the War speak out: Statement on the Iraq War Logs – A Call for Accountability …

Iraq veteran Ethan McCord, a true hero who saved children from a van our military had just strafed, said “The one thing I couldn’t live without in Iraq was my own humanity.” GRITtv with Laura Flanders: GRITtv: Ethan McCord: Maintaining …

Even though Obama promised accountability during his campaign, he has bent over backwards to protect every member of the Bush Crime Family. Bush and Cheney have even publicly admitted okaying torture. I assume Obama is taking precautions because he knows he is just as culpable. I often wonder how he, how any of them, can kiss their children good night while they are killing other people’s children. Dave Lindorff: No Amnesty for Torturers

There was a particular article that I remember sending out more than once because I found it so disturbing. It seems that it has been removed from the original site at Raw Story but I was able to find part of it here Top Bush Administration officials pressured underlings to use  torture tactics at Guantanamo  Apr 2, 2008

“Torture at Guantánamo was sanctioned by the most senior advisers to the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense, according to the international lawyer and professor of law at University College London Philippe Sands, who has conducted a forensic examination of the chain of command leading from the top of the administration to the camp at Guantánamo,” Vanity Fair will report on news stands today.

This part of the article is what made my skin crawl:

Of Guantanamo interrogators: “You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas.”

We know that the criminals will never investigate and prosecute themselves so it is up to the international community and the world courts to take action. The numbers might be smaller (and even that is in dispute if one considers the living conditions forced on our war-ravaged occupied lands and the results of shortages of food, water, electricity and other conditions of poverty, disease and poisoning, i.e., depleted uranium), but the crimes are no different than what was the basis for the Nuremberg trials, and it is legally and morally imperative that justice be done. Without this accountability the sociopaths are free to continue the atrocities and expand their realms of empire, in the process destroying more and more of our world. All this has been done in our name. Is having all that blood on your hands acceptable to you? Will you continue to sit by silently?

The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the waging of aggressive war “essentially an evil thing…to initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

I want to “crush those bastards” too, Julian!

2 Responses to “The Need for Justice – WikiLeaks: Speaking Truth to Power”

gk thomas comments:

I have a sense that justice, like the concept of Heaven, is a gross abstraction invented to mollify the yearnings of the masses. Disingenuously,Obama replied that ‘we’ must look forward–not back–when asks if he intended to investigate the crimes of George Bush. Of course, he wants to look forward, for the next president will have to absolve him of all his crimes,too.

Has there ever been a time in the history of the world when there wasn’t a tiered justice system? One that abdicated punishment for the egregious crimes of the rich and powerful while crucifying the disadvantaged for crimes that are minuscule in comparison?

Today a handful of wealthy psychopaths [aka corporatists] control the world’s economy. They are glutted with the aphrodisiac of power, and in the end they will sell the promise of mankind for a handful of beads.

Dorothy Reilly comments:

Wow beautifully stated GK.

Here is an interview with investigative journalists Jeremy Scahill (exposed Blackwater)and Rick Rowley from last Friday’s Democracy Now – they just returned from an UNembedded visit and it is quite a stunning interview
Killing Reconciliation: Military Raids, Backing of Corrupt Government Undermining Stated US Goals in Afghanistan

Here is a poster that can be printed out of Julian Assange – we should be plastering it everywhere

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.