Let’s not forget…

why we are here in the first place

One could argue, of course, that the decision to look the other way represents a clear moral failing – and a conscious decision to undermine US’ own stated goal of nation-building. The US has spent tens of millions of dollars to develop prisons, courts, and the “rule of law” in Iraq. But the leaked documents show that Iraq’s security forces routinely violated the most basic rights of detainees in their custody, assaulting them, threatening their families, occasionally even raping or murdering them.

More importantly, many of the detainee abuse reports suggest that the US knowingly violated the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

The convention – which the United States ratified in 1994 – forbids signatories from transferring a detainee to other countries “where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture”.


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2 thoughts on “Let’s not forget…

  1. Great choice Mirjana! We also feature this video, and to me, it is the most damning of all Wikileaks-related video that we have… this is a gross abuse of humans, full stop, and it is exact the kind of thing which the United Nations was supposed to end too!

    Here is my review of the video, its contents, and its subject matter>

    At the beginning of this report, one of the very 1st video reports issued by Al-Jazeera as part of the Iraqi War Logs release, we are told that the invasion of Iraq was supposed to end Saddam’s torture chambers, but that a healthy dose of ‘shock and awe’ really only produced new/different torturers. But, as this Al-Jazeera special report points out, Wikileaks’ Iraqi War Logs have uncovered directives, from the United States Government and Military, which actually banned US personnel from stopping human rights abuses of Iraqi prisoners and detainees, by members of the newly-formed Iraqi Military and Police. US directive FRAGO 242 states that if abuse is committed by an Iraqi, on an Iraqi, “only an initial report will be made … No further investigation will be required unless directed by HQ” – no need to analyse that, it’s pretty clear, they do not want anybody to intervene, otherwise it would be stated in the directive, and it aint! FRAGO 039, a similar order which came out subsequently, does a pretty similar thing, and both of these orders appear to originate from an initial 2004 order by Commander of US ground troops in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez (who stated in 2008 that Bush had “led America into a strategic blunder of historic proportions”). During this video, Al-Jazeera add to these claims by showing a November 2005 clip of a press conference with Donald Rumsfeld clarifying Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace’s remarks about the need for widespread reporting of Iraqi on Iraqi abuses, by US personnel, but Pace’s response, which is not included on the video, is also very telling – the highest ranking US Military officer may indeed have had a conscience, where Rumsfeld’s failed him.


    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld & Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace @ Pentagon briefing, November.29.2005. The shocking dialogue (includes unfeatured lines), from the Washington Post:

    When UPI’s Pam Hess asked about torture by Iraqi authorities, Rumsfeld replied that “obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility” other than to voice disapproval. But Pace had a different view. “It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it,” the general said. Rumsfeld interjected: “I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it’s to report it”. But Pace meant what he said. “If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it”, he said, firmly.


    Interesting quote from the memoirs of Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the Commander of US ground troops in Iraq, and the man who appears to have initiated FRAGO 242 & FRAGO 039. From the Huffington Post:

    During a videoconference with his national security team and generals, Sanchez writes, Bush launched into what he described as a “confused” pep talk: “Kick ass!”, he quotes the president as saying. “If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!”.

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