Abu Ghraib photos & “the freedom cowboys”

    Shocking pictures have come to light revealing the extent of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib – and it’s much worse than anyone imaged.

Ref: journeymanpictures

Photos Show Rape of Iraqi Women + US soldiers stories

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“Let´s call things by their real name – killers r killers and liers r liers”

U.S.A soldier tells how he Raped A muslim girl in Abu Ghraib

Today, new photographs were sent to La Voz de Aztlan from confidential sources depicting the shocking rapes of two Iraqi women by what are purported to be US Military Intelligence personnel and private US mercenaries in military fatigues. It is now known that hundreds of these photographs had been in circulation among the troops in Iraq. The graphic photos were being swapped between the soldiers like baseball cards.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one Mexican-American soldier told La Voz de Aztlan, “Maybe the officers didn’t know what was going on, but everybody else did. I have seen literally hundreds of these types of pictures.” Many of the pictures were destroyed last September when the luggage of soldiers was searched as they left Iraq, he said

An investigation, led by Army Major General Antonio M. Taguba, identified two military intelligence officers and two civilian contractors for the Army as key figures in the abuse cases at the Abu Ghraib prison. In an internal report on his findings, Major General Taguba said he suspected that the four were “either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib and strongly recommended disciplinary action.”

The Taguba report states that “military intelligence interrogators and other U.S. Government Agency interrogators actively requested that Military Police guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses.” The report noted that one civilian interrogator, a contractor from a company called CACI International and attached to the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, “clearly knew his instructions” to the Military Police equated to physical and sexual abuse. It is not known whether these instructions included, or led to, the raping of Iraqi women detainees as well.

Ref: Aztlan

Also read about: US Military Facilities in Iraq

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The Iraq War: Legal or Illegal?
In Haditha Killings, Details Came Slowly

Norman Finkelstein & Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami Debate: Complete Transcript

LISTEN TO MP3 AUDIO of this discussion!!!

We turn now to one of the longest running and most bitter conflicts in modern history: Israel and the Palestinians. Well over a decade has passed since the historic Oslo Accords that brought hopes for a lasting peace. Today, relations between the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority are virtually nonexistent. Israel and the P.A. have not held final status peace talks in over five years. With the recent election of Hamas, Israel says it will cut off all ties to any Palestinian government that includes the group. After the election Israel withheld tax funds it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. It finally transferred the funds but says any Hamas-led Palestinian government will get, quote, “not even one shekel.” That’s, well, a dime in the United States.

The Palestinian Authority is on the brink of financial disaster. This week, the P.A. announced it will be unable to issue paychecks to its more than 130,000 employees. It’s the largest employer in the Occupied Territories. Hamas’s victory is seen as, in part, as a reaction to what many Palestinians see as the corruption of the old guard. An internal Palestinian inquiry has found at least $700 million has been stolen from Palestinian public funds due to corruption in the last few years. The total figure could be billions more.

Meanwhile, the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank continue to expand. The Israeli group Peace Now reported 12,000 new residents moved into West Bank settlements in 2005, 3,000 more than the total number removed as part of Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip, and construction continues in settlements located both inside and outside the route of Israel’s separation barrier.

Today, we bring you a discussion with two of the world’s leading experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both of them have new books on the subject. We’re joined by Shlomo Ben-Ami, both an insider and a scholar. As Foreign Minister under Ehud Barak, he was a key participant in years of Israel-Palestinian peace talks, including the Camp David and Taba talks in 2000 and 2001. An Oxford-trained historian, he is currently Vice President of the Toledo Peace Centre in Madrid. His new book is called Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy. President Bill Clinton says, quote, “Shlomo Ben-Ami worked tirelessly and courageously for peace. His account of what he did and failed to do and where we go from here should be read by everyone who wants a just and lasting resolution.

We’re also joined by Norman Finkelstein. He’s a professor of political science at DePaul University. His books include A Nation on Trial, which he coauthored with Ruth Bettina Birn, named as a New York Times notable book for 1998. He’s also the author of Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict and The Holocaust Industry. His latest book is Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. His website is NormanFinkelstein.com. Avi Shlaim of Oxford University calls Beyond Chutzpah “Brilliantly illuminating… On display are all the sterling qualities for which Finkelstein has become famous: erudition, originality, spark, meticulous attention to detail, intellectual integrity, courage, and formidable forensic skills.”

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! It’s very good to have you with us. Well, I want to start going back to the establishment of the state of Israel, and I’d like to begin with Israel’s former Foreign Minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami. Can you talk about how it began? I think you have a very interesting discussion in this book that is rarely seen in this country of how the state of Israel was established. Can you describe the circumstances?

Ref: Democracy Now!

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Scars Of War, Wounds Of Peace : The Israeli-Arab Tragedy

Scars Of War, Wounds Of Peace : The Israeli-Arab Tragedy