Friday, 20 April 2012



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"Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer, and then itself marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills?"  - Khalil Gibran

"If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged"Noam Chomsky

"The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home" James Madison: US fourth president" 1751-1836

"The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment." - Robert M. Hutchins

"When people ask me, 'Why can't labor organize the way it did in the thirties?' the answer is simple: everything we did then is now illegal."Thomas Geoghegan
April 19/20, 2012
Click Here For Op-Ed Articles
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 Op-Ed Articles
Petraeus and the Signature of U.S. Terror

By Jefferson Morley

The CIA is seeking authority to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen by launching strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed, U.S. officials said.

The Way of the Drone:
Emblem for an Empire of Cowards

By Chris Floyd

"Bugs" being "splattered." This is what Barack Obama, and all of his brave button pushers and joystick riders think of the defenseless human beings they are killing (including 174 children by last count).

How We're Footing the Bill for Violent Crackdowns in the Middle East It's odd to see an Israeli flag flying in rural Pennsylvania.

By Anna Lekas Miller

Instead of financing affordable healthcare, housing and education, our government is using our money to finesse an international reputation as the power that violently crushes resistance to repression.

Israel Rides the Rollercoaster of Mass Hysteria

By Ilan Pappe Report post

Spending a week in Israel these days is like being trapped within a scene from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

'One-State' Idea Gains Support Of Some Palestinians

By Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

"What we are talking about is a state which represents all of its citizens, where there isn't preferential treatment given in laws or in policies to one's religion,"

Report on Iran's Nuclear Fatwa Distorts Its History

By Gareth Porter

Senior Obama administration officials have decided to cite the fatwa as an Iranian claim to be tested in negotiations, posing a new challenge to the news media to report accurately on the background to the issue.

Demonizing Iran
Iran vs. Israel - No Fear


Is Fukushima's Doomsday Machine About to Blow?

By Mike Whitney

Mounting troubles at Japan's hobbled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant now pose a real threat to human survival.

No Real Justice in Guantanamo

By Reed Brody

Nashiri's trial before the Guantanamo military commission raises problems that go far beyond the fact that he was tortured.

How Obama Became a Civil Libertarian's Nightmare

By Steven Rosenfeld

"We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national security state,"

US Chief Swims in Millions as Unemployed Sink Deeper

By Brian McGrory

Mr Kelly had an annual compensation package of $US50 million for the past four years. - That's just shy of a million dollars a week, $192,000 per working day, $24,000 an hour. To run an insurance company.

What If the Greedy Rich Paid Their Share?
8 Things to Know About Wealth and Poverty in the US

By Les Leopold

America is loaded. We are not a struggling nation ready to go under. We are not facing an enormous debt crisis despite what the politicians and pundits proclaim. We are not the next Greece.

Dublin Home Eviction-
Shocking Footage - Elderly Couple Evicted From Home By Anglo Irish Bank


Man Strips off Clothes to Protest TSA


It's not the first time, but it's still attracting lots of attention: a man stripped off all his clothes in the Portland airport and stood in the nude to protest the TSA, leading to security lanes being closed and, um, passengers averting their eyes.

Hard News  

At least 36 killed in series of blasts in Iraq:  More than 20 bombs hit cities and towns across Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 36 and wounding almost 150, police and hospital sources said, raising fears of sectarian strife in a country whose authorities are keen to show they can now maintain security. 

Exxon dropped from Iraq rights bidders: oil ministry:
"We are looking forward to welcoming all participating companies in Baghdad." 

Afghan Police Raids Kill 25 Insurgents:
At least 25 insurgents have been killed in joint Afghan and Nato troops operations in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours in the country, the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs said Thursday. 

Photos of US troops with body parts disgusting, says Hamid Karzai:  "The president underlines that the only way to put an end to such painful experiences is through an accelerated and full transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces," the statement said 

No resolution in earlier Marine corpse abuse case:  While the military grapples with another corpse abuse scandal in Afghanistan, officials still haven't offered any resolution to the case uncovered earlier this year of Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. 

U.S., Pakistan talk about $2.6 billion reimbursement:  U.S. and Pakistani officials are discussing billions of dollars in reimbursements to Pakistan for its role in the U.S.-led war on militants. 

CIA seeks new authority to expand Yemen drone campaign:  Securing permission to use these "signature strikes" would allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior, such as imagery showing militants gathering at known al-Qaeda compounds or unloading explosives. 

Syria and UN sign monitoring mission agreement:  The Syrian government have agreed to the protocol on the deployment of more observers. 

Syrian rebels, army trade blows at Qusayr in cease-fire breach:  The fighting began in this city near the Lebanese border in the early afternoon after a group from the Free Syrian Army, the name claimed by most of the rebels who've taken up arms against the government of President Bashar Assad, attacked a military convoy near the city. 

Syrian opposition trying to disrupt Annan's peace plan:  The Syrian opposition is attempting to disrupt Kofi Anna's peace plan and trigger violence. Reportedly, militants of the Free Syrian Army are using refugee camps in Turkey to make preparations for launching attacks on checkpoints. 

"Regime change": Leon Panetta: US military planning for greater role in Syria conflict:  US military officials are crafting possible new strategies to 'protect the Syrian people' from the Assad regime, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday on Capitol Hill. NATO's Libya intervention may be a model. 

Fact or fiction:
15,000 elite Iranian special-ops 'head' to Syria:  The regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria is expecting up to 15,000 Iranian troops to help maintain order in the country's provinces, a Chinese newspaper reports. Iran has yet to confirm or deny the news. 

Iran will not tolerate fall of Assad, establishes joint 'war room' with Syria, Hezbollah:
According to the Fars News Agency, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a warning recently during his recent meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "The Islamic Republic will defend Syria," 

Iran: Fatwa against nuclear weapons political milestone:
Fatwa is a religious decree issued by a Muslim leader against a specific issue and it is incumbent upon all Muslims to abide by it. However, in this particular case, the issuance of the fatwa has not only religious but political force as well as the leader in the Islamic Republic is the prime decision-maker. 

India missile test has few critics, unlike NKorea:  India's successful test of a powerful new missile that can carry nuclear weapons to Beijing caused barely a ripple - even in China - just days after North Korea was globally vilified for a failed rocket launch. 

Russia, China seek info on US drone held by Iran;  Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency says Russia and China have asked Tehran to provide them with information on a U.S. drone captured by the Islamic Republic in December. 

Tawargha man in Libya tortured to death : Amnesty International:  The body of 44-year-old father-of-two, Barnous Bous'a, was delivered to his family on 16 April. It was covered with bruises and cuts, including an open wound to the back of his head 

War criminal:
Tony Blair could be sued over Libya torture claims:  Tony Blair could be next to face a legal claim for damages from the Libyan man who alleges MI6 sent him to be tortured by Gaddafi's regime, after he announced he was suing Jack Straw. 

Sudan's Bashir vows to take fight to South:  President says fight with South Sudan will end with "either us in Juba or them in Khartoum", amid border region clashes. 

West waging economic war against Sudan, official says:  A senior Sudanese official has accused Western countries of waging an economic war against his country and aiding neighbouring South Sudan in its alleged support of Sudanese rebels. 

Russia concerned over instability spreading from Libya:  Instability in Libya has been spreading to neighboring countries, specifically in Mali, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday. 

Egypt confirms ban on candidates:  EGYPT'S electoral commission has upheld a ruling banning nearly half of the presidential candidates from running, including three of the front-runners. 

Assange lawyer grounded by authorities?:  Human rights activist and WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson was stopped at a London airport on the basis that she is on an "inhibited fly list." 

No Justice for Muslims:  "The president of the United States, the attorney general and the FBI director are all complicit in establishing a system of separate and unequal justice for Muslims in this country." 

EU agrees to share airline passenger data with U.S: -  European lawmakers agreed on Thursday to provide U.S. authorities with data on passengers flying from Europe to the United States, backing down after years of resisting a move the United States says is critical to its national security. 

CIA Claims Release of its History of the Bay of Pigs Debacle Would "Confuse the Public.":  Fifty-one years after the failed attempt to invade Cuba, the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Justice continue to claim that releasing the final volume of a CIA history of the debacle would "confuse the public" and should therefore remain withheld. 

Why Are Prisoners Committing Suicide in Pennsylvania? :  it's a bizarre symptom of solitary confinement. Instead of getting treatment-which is what they need-they're punished further and accused of faking an illness or a symptom." 

In case you missed it:
Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons:  Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq? 

Visualize Your Tax Dollar:  Where did the federal government spend all the money you paid in income taxes during fiscal 2011? Here's how to find out. 

Report estimates 8 million children hurt by foreclosures:
One in 10 U.S. children has been or will be affected by the nation's surge in foreclosures, a new report says. 

Military Training Exercises : Live Goats' Legs Cut Off With Tree Trimmers: Leaked Video:
Each year, more than 10,000 live animals are shot, stabbed, mutilated, and killed in horrific military training exercises that are supposed to simulate injuries on the battlefield. 

Gulf of Mexico oil disaster: How much is a dolphin worth?:  The dolphins are preserved in giant freezers in marine labs across America. Tagged, catalogued, carefully guarded - and suspended in liquid nitrogen for the moment when they will determine BP's final bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, which started two years ago this Friday. 

 "Let us be peace and joy"

Tom Feeley

Cost Of War
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,455,590"

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq:  4,801

Number Of  International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 2,963
Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan
Total Cost of Wars Since 2001


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Are We Sliding Toward a Police State?

By Steven Greenhut

April 22, 2012 "
Information Clearing House" ---
A Sacramento, California area family is mourning the death of their mentally disabled son, who was shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy after the family had called the sheriff’s department for help in restraining him. Newspaper accounts suggest the deputy ordered the young man—a severe germophobe—onto the ground, which sparked intense struggling. After a tussle, the deputy shot the man in front of his family.
As is typical, the sheriff defended the officer and said that he was well within his rights to use deadly force, which is no doubt true given that current law gives officers wide latitude to restrain and even kill people.
Comb through newspapers across the country and one will find many incidents of officer-involved shootings and aggressive behavior by the authorities, who, as an aside, increasingly look like paramilitary rather than community officers. Police say society has become more dangerous, but crime rates are falling even during tough economic times. The number of officers killed on duty is at record lows.
In my view, the reason for the incidents is the nature of policing has changed. Following the 9/11 attacks, officers have convinced themselves that every member of the public is a potential threat. Every local police department is awash in grants from “Homeland Security” to buy the latest toys and weaponry. Attitudes have changed and the local police aren’t your friends any more.
From a practical standpoint, these incidents remind us to think carefully before calling for police help. From a policy perspective, it’s time for a wide-ranging debate about use-of-force issues that’s not dominated by police unions and their political courtiers.
This is from the Los Angeles Daily News this week: “Abdul Arian, the 19-year-old Winnetka man killed in a hail of police bullets on April 11, was buried Tuesday at the Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood. … [M]any attendees who knew Arian expressed anger about the way he died, following a car chase through the San Fernando Valley that ended on the 101 Freeway ... .”
I’ve written about such shootings at the hands of deputies and police officers. Sometimes they are justified, but often the killings leave me wondering whether those officers would have reacted as they did had it been their child driving the car or their mentally ill son squirming on the ground.
Many people have been outraged at the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida and liberal critics have blamed those “stand your ground” laws that allow the use of deadly force by ordinary citizens when they are under attack rather than forcing them to retreat before defending themselves. 
Such laws might embolden people, but I wish these critics—who insist on putting a racial tilt on a matter that has far broader implications—would also look closely at government-sanctioned use of force. If “stand your ground” laws embolden armed citizens, what happens when armed officials are given the broadest legal latitude to kill and also are protected by their departments and their unions?
Police officers sometimes have to use deadly force. We all understand that. It’s an oftentimes tough job. But we keep seeing the fruits of America’s slide down that slippery slope toward a police state: 6-year-olds searched at airports, armed police patrolling the halls of junior high schools, drones deployed over U.S. skies to crack down on crime, SWAT teams arresting the sellers of unlicensed raw milk, armed agents shutting down peaceful medical marijuana clinics, code officers and other regulatory agents granted the powers and weaponry of peace officers, trigger-happy police who seem to reach for their weapons before trying other, less-deadly alternatives.
We’ve become a society of checkpoints and searches and increased surveillance wherever we go. We have federal officials who monitor bank accounts and gain added powers to snoop on us, broad anti-terrorism laws that allow the authorities to detain citizens indefinitely without due process. Many conservatives applaud these expansions of power because of their concern about terrorist threats and street crime. Liberals applaud them also, given how eager they are to use government to “improve” our society. The more laws and regulations one passes, the more authorities one needs to enforce them.
Whatever happened to civil libertarians, who must be in hiding somewhere? Why aren’t Christians—who are more than willing to flex their political muscle on gay marriage and other issues—talking about the impact of these policies on the least among us, or thinking seriously about those in jails and prisons?
We’re creating a brutal and inhumane society. This is from a recent Los Angeles Times article: “A Los Angeles County commission investigating jail abuse heard tearful testimony … from clergy and civilian monitors who worked in the lockups and said they witnessed deputies assaulting inmates and bullying witnesses to keep quiet. One jail monitor broke down as she recounted being intimidated by a deputy whom she said saw beat an unconscious inmate. A weeping jail chaplain described deputies calling him a rat after he reported another beating.”
When officials misbehave so egregiously, it undermines our society and our form of government in deep and disturbing ways.
Ultimately, it is up to we, the people, to push the pendulum back in a more sensible direction. Since 9/11, Americans have placed their security over their freedom, but I’m sensing an understanding of the problem among serious people from all political perspectives.
When Americans think about public employee issues these days, they think about the pension crisis. But as serious a problem as that is, the biggest public-employee issue relates more directly to who we are as a people and what kind of society we want to live in. We need to demand that the authorities behave more like members of our community and less like an invading army.
Steven Greenhut is vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
This article was first published at Reason Magazine.


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Lauren Booth Reports from Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal

Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Day 1

When authority entrusted to further truth and justice betrays that trust, two options remain: one is to throw up your hands in despair and resignation; the other is to reclaim that power and to hold authority accountable.
This is the statement of intent from the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War on the first day of its proceedings against former US President George Bush and 11 members of his regime. Over the next five days, the Tribunal will hear from victims of US torture in both Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
On ‘trial’ in their absence are former U.S. President George W. Bush and his associates. Namely Richard (Dick) Cheney, former U.S. Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, former Defence Secretary, Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to President Bush, David Addington, then General Counsel to the Vice-President, William Haynes II, then General Counsel to Secretary of Defense, Jay Bybee, then Assistant Attorney General, and John Choon Yoo, former Deputy Assistant Attorney-General. The charge reads as follows:
The Accused persons had committed the Crime of Torture and War Crimes, in that: The Accused persons had wilfully participated in the formulation of executive orders and directives to exclude the applicability of all international conventions and laws, namely the Convention against Torture 1984, Geneva Convention III 1949, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter in relation to the war launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan (in 2001) and in Iraq (in March 2003); Additionally, and/or on the basis and in furtherance thereof, the Accused persons authorised, or connived in, the commission of acts of torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment against victims in violation of international law, treaties and conventions including the Convention against Torture 1984 and the Geneva Conventions, including Geneva Convention III 1949.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) is following the due process of the law in bringing these charges against the accused. In 2009, the Commission, having received complaints from torture victims from Guantanamo and Iraq and having conducted a painstaking and an in-depth investigation for close to two years. Thus, two charges on war crimes were drawn and filed against the both the Bush and the Blair regimes.
This War Crimes Tribunal heard the first charge in November 2011 against the two main accused; former U.S. President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Anthony L. Blair. After a 4-day trial Anthony L. Blair was found guilty of Crimes Against Peace. Both former heads of state were found to have violated the United Nations Charter and international law when they planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state Iraq on 19 March 2003 using false and misleading ‘intelligence’ as justification for the ensuing, long term, massacre.
An avalanche of information, emerging after the launch of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, are providing evidence of the ways in which almost every facet of international law is being disregarded with impunity. Including the way in which the wars were launched and conducted of the wars – and the politically endorsed torture of civilians. The perpetrators of such barbarism are not being made to account for their acts. Indeed there is no legally constituted forum to address the grievances of the world community offended by these crimes against humanity.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is constituted of eminent persons with legal qualifications. Please visit the website of the Tribunal for more details.

The judges of the Tribunal, headed by retired Malaysian Federal Court judge Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus, details of the judges panel can be found at the Tribunals website.
In the event the tribunal convicts any of the accused, the only sanction is that the name of the guilty person will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide. However it is worth noting that since the tribunal found Blair guilty last year, Bush junior has cancelled several international trips for fear of legal reprisals and attempts to take such cases further.

The tribunal is a tribunal of conscience and a peoples’ initiative.

What follows is my partial transcription of the proceedings plus some conversations and personal observations. It is longer than pieces you usually read perhaps. It is much longer thank is usual for a news website. But the 1.4 million dead and tortured in Iraq deserve our attention. Soundbites and summaries no longer cut it. Read what you can, digest what you can cope with. Above all share these proceedings with your university or journalistic contacts and all those of conscience. Do what you like. But please don’t stay silent or turn away from your brothers and sister in humanity under such abject suffering. Those who demand justice and freedom from the aggressor of our age; The United States of America and Israel.
Yours in peace and in prayer to the One God of us all.
Lauren Booth
Kuala Lumpur
May 2012


Morning Break
I take coffee with three Iraqui university students. They want to know why Palestine ‘whose dead number in the thousands’ is the cause of such global outrage as opposed to Iraq ‘where millions are dead and millions displaced.’ Their genocide is being ignored there is no doubt. The man with the beard shakes with emotion, as he talks of the murder of thousands of scholars nationwide in Iraq. The other tells me that children for decades have struggled to even have pencils in schools because of the blockade and the subsequent occupation.
The Tribunal’s first witness is Abbas Abid. The defence council seeks permission for the witness to appear covered in court and for his image not appear. We are told this is because he fears the risk of further reprisals and danger back in Iraq. He appears with a Palestinian kaffiyeh wrapped about his face revealing only his eyes.
Witness is 48 year old man, married from Fallujah with five children born before his arrest. He was head of science and engineering in Iraq at the time.
First detained August 28 2005. He was removed violently from his house and after transferred to nearby base where he was detained for four weeks in the then secret prison known as, Jadrya bunker or shelter.
In Baghdad there were five shelters against nuclear attack. One of these were changed into a secret prison named above.  The Iraqui National Guard and US troops launched a raid on his uncle’s home with 4 American Humvees and 12 trucks of Iraqi soldiers. More than 15 Iraqi soldiers stormed the house in a ‘terrifying manner’. Smashing down doors and using sound bombs. They would scream and terrorise those inside the home ie his brothers family. His nephews came to his families home crying for help. His brother was absent at the time so he was called to help them. He said he was ready to answer any questions and was entirely co operative.  They said ‘why so many Holy books – there are too many holy books!’ I told them – everyone in the family has their own Quran. The soldiers examined some articles from the internet on the situation in Iraq. He was told to follow them for questioning. He was taken to Al Munhtanna Brigade Headquarters for questioning. They beat him up demanding to know the names of ‘terrorists’ in his neighbourhood.
‘They even electrocuted me’ he says. He was cuffed with hands behind him. A cord with a positive and negative charge attached to his hands and then attached to a power supply.
He stands up to show us his hands behind him.
The wire cable had current in it immediately and he felt the shocks straight away. The place he was in was’ new’ and not a’ professional place for torturing’ so they had amateur tools which they used at this time.
What was the effect of the electrocution he is asked?
I would turn into a dancer” he says to nervous laughter around the court. “You cannot react and your senses stop and you just shake, dancing’.
This was done more than three times and he was then threatened with being shot. The US soldiers, would use an AK47 and re load it with his eyes covered, then shoot near his ears saying the next shot would be to his head if he didn’t co-operate. He knew it was an AK47 as it is a popular gun in Iraq.
He saw Americans in uniform. The eye cover had a small space at the bottom and he could tell from the lower attire of the US military uniform. Plus their voices and accents were American. After the torture was finished he would see the soldiers involved were indeed American.
They tortured some of his cousins to get testimony against him. With 7 detainees he was moved to Al Jadrya-  he was again tortured using a wide range of methods
  • Electric shocks to his body especially the penis
  • Hitting with tools, pipes
  • Forced to drink water mixed with diaretics then having his penis tied to prevent urination
  • Hung to wall with weights hanging from his penis
  • Threatens of sexual assault and abuse to  sexual organs.
  • Shooting live rounds around his body
During the investigation period he was not given food and only drink with diaretics as above.
They pulled out his finger nails – the audience gasps using pliers – more gasps.
He was hung with his hands behind his back until his shoulders dislocated. Detainees were forced to have sex with each other. Solid objects were forced into the rectum of detainees. Forced standing for hours.
He was beaten on every part of his body – his genitals were assaulted.  Detainees were used as ‘ash trays’ by the torturers.
In a room 6×6 he was with thirty detainees for three days.  This room was a temporary room after torture, where detainees were brought in unconscious. Piles of bodies would lay there. He was wake from time to time and would then faint again.
A bag was put over his head for two months and only removed when food was given. Some detainees would have a bag on their head for more than five months. All the time in the prison detainees had bags on their heads from the minute they arrived to the moment they left.
The room he was kept in was so overcrowded no one could sleep lying down and all had injuries. Everyone had to urinate in plastic bottles by the door. Visits to the toilet were permitted only once every four days. This was timed at one minute per person. At all other times we had to discharge our waste into plastic bags by the door. These would be trodden on or tip over and spill waste all over the floor. The bags were only emptied every four days.
No medical care was available at all and men died from their injuries. He lists the names of almost a dozen men who died from their injuries in the 8 weeks he was there.
Water was withheld. A litre per detainee every three days was the ration. Sometimes thirst would become so bad that detainees would drink from the urine bottles. He confirms that US troops not only knew about the torture facilities but that they visited them all the time.
On release he was charged ten thousand  USD by the authorities. He was released with 3 other detainees. On release two cars followed him – one a BMW  with darkened windows. He evaded them. He later found out that the other two released at the same time were killed and their families forced to pay huge amounts of money in order to reclaim the bodies.
He stayed just one hour in his house with his family before moving to another house and then leaving his country. He is now back in Fallujah.
He says ‘my suffering was a test from Allah which I endured with patience. I am now unable to have children. I have nightmares all the time…Terrible dreams of someone coming to catch me, torture me or hurt my family. My family have similar nightmares of soldiers coming to torture me’.
When he married he wished to have 15 children. And according to plan he and his wife would conceive every two years until the time he was detained. He was happy to be released and he was overwhelmed by the joy of his loved ones but, the worst thing, that happened- the thing that took all his joy since,  is the fact he left his wife pregnant at the time of his capture. But as a result of the trauma of this capture – she miscarried twins. After going back to his life he realised his dream of a large family was shattered. He cannot have further children due to his injuries. He is giving this testimony to the world that those who act cruelly must be brought to justice.
The court defence lawyer examines Abid Abbas, who was born in Abu Ghraib district. He says that as the man has five children he is fortunate. Intimating that his long standing damage from his torture has not such serious effects. “Each man has his own dreams” replies Abid to accepting laughter around the court.
He is asked are you from Sunni or Shia?
You see this question regarding being a Muslim Sunni or Shia only started to be asked here and in other parts of the world after the war.’
A judge makes a call of order asking for the ‘point’ to  be reached. Clearly defining the parameters of the court as different from those of the US soldiers and their agenda.
The defence lawyer for Bush and his cohorts questions the ages of Mr Abbas children, how much they actually saw, how he spoke to the soldiers. He is asked many times –
‘Were you scared, you were scared weren’t you? You were scared for your brother’s children.’
‘No’ replies Abbas ‘not scared’,
When asked if he lost his position in Saddam’s government he says
Is that relevant to the case?
He is asked then how he supported the large family during the occupation as a man who had lost his position.
‘As a Muslim I believe that my wealth is managed by Allah and I still had a job until the detention in 2005’.
He is pushed on the question of whether the Saddam government had torturers and prisons.
‘Is this a trial of the previous government?’
The prosecution attorney Francis Boyle intervenes. Calling for questions of the ‘victim’s credibility to be dismissed and avoided’ as well as questions about the Saddam government which is not on trial in this court or this case.
The Bush defence asks if the witness had owned a gun and how he recognised the AK47 sound as mentioned. Witness clarifies that serving in the army was compulsory for at least two years.
‘Its very easy to differentiate between the Iraqi army and US forces by their uniforms, accents, voices and language.’
The defence looks very weak. Interestingly all the mechanics of its questioning have been played out in the mainstream press many times. They can be read in papers from the Telegraph to  Ynetnews in Israel and Fox in the US. The tired strategies of the oppressive regimes; first attempt to destroy the credibility of those with a message, a truth, you do not wish to hear or see shared. If that fails. compare the crime committed by yourself (your ally/paymaster) to  alleged crimes of the regime the victim lived under – or if not relevant then to any other oppressive regime,  not your own.
Finally try to make the victim into the aggressor via his views or his knowledge. Thus;
1.     Were you angry with the occupation
2.     Did you own a gun or serve in the military?
3.     Do you hold a grudge against the US?
Overall the Bush/Cheney defence team are doing a good job at being as obnoxious and intellectually limited as a US team – if that team were lead by Fox newsreaders rather than attorneys…
Did the Americans intervene at any time to stop the torture on you?
No. On the contrary in the first three weeks they would collaborate with the guards and beat him up.

Testimony from Mozzam Begg. Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, director of human rights organisation Cage Prisoner. British citizen of 41 years old.

Moazzam Begg wants to put on record his torture in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
In 2001 he went to build a school for girls in Afghanistan. When the region became dangerous due to the American invasion, he was evacuated, with his family, to Islamabad, Pakistan. On 31 January 2002, he was  arrested in this house in Islamabad. He was questioned about his presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was held for three weeks then handed over to the Americans. The minute he was handed over he was shackled and thrown to the ground. He was reverse shackled and carried into a plane. Punched and kicked throughout. A knife was put to his throat. Photos were taken of him in his hood.
On arrival he was punched and kicked. Cold steel ripped off his clothes. Photos were taken of him without clothes. Dogs were brought in and he was racially and religiously mocked and abused.
He was flown to Kadahar in Afghanistan where he asked when was the last time he saw Mullah Omar or Osama Bin Laden. He was taken to a tent. On the way to interrogations barking dogs were brought to ‘bark in my face.’
Once I was asked to write my entire life story and then the entire thing was torn up.
He was moved to Bagram. No one held there was allowed to walk, talk or move.
He used to see the taxi driver ‘Dilawar’ from his cell. The man was shackled to the sides of his cell. He saw him slumped at one time and instead of the soldiers administering medical aid they came in and kicked and punched him. He later found out that the man had died. The award winning documentary ‘Taxi to the dark side’ focuses on this murder of an Afghani civilian detainee held by the US troops.
Moazzem was threatened with being sent to Egypt on several occasions. In Egypt he learnt later a man was waterboarded who then gave testimony that he worked with Saddam Hussein – Ibn Sheikh Halibi. And more testimony about WMD’s. This testimony was then used to make the case for war by Colin Powell and others.
An American soldier who told him he could be sent to Egypt or ‘Syria’. This says Begg proves ‘an intelligence link between the US and Syrian leaderships.’

Did British intelligence play a part?

Yes – an immense role. I was intensely interrogated for a month in solitary confinement by the CIA, FBI, US military intelligence and also by British intelligence.  For the first time the British police are examining the British government for complicity in torture…enquiries have been ordered by the British PM into cases of torture.
During his incarceration Moazzem Begg wrote letters via the Red Cross to his wife and never got replies. At one point photos were brought in of his wife and children. A woman was heard screaming terribly nearby and profanities were being yelled at her. He believed his wife was being tortured as a result of this.  It was a ruse.

Conditions in Bagram

No tea no fruits no fresh food. Each cell was communal with ten prisoners with a bucket for a toilet. The stench was disgusting. Showers were communal and humiliating. Women prisoners were present during the showers and ‘trophy’ photos were taken. He was shackled in ‘3 piece shackles’ connecting arms and legs to neck and waist
Ear muffs over his ears and goggles on his eyes which were so tight as to be agony. He begged for a sedative and was given one. He arrived in Guantanamo Bay groggy as a result.
He spent 20 months in Guantanamo Bay. He was designated a ‘high risk detainee’. A document; a confession was produced for him to sign. Moazzem Begg was warned that failure to sign could lead to execution. Or he would spend decades in in Gitmo. He was in a state of constant anxiety. He continues; ‘The  female psychiatrist ( I was sent to)  told me a way to commit suicide using my trousers’. Drugs were given to aid sleep after which her would suffer hallucinations.
I never knew what my crime was to this day. The absence of due process became worse than the actual detention’.
He adds.
I never imagined the United States to be a country that would behave in this manner’.
When he heard US accents after being held by the Pakistanis at first he felt relief – ‘at last the good guys are here. That quickly changed.’
His testimony continues.
Nine people have died in Guantanamo.
Children are in Gauntanamo who have grown into adults there.
The US, Bush and his cohorts have not accepted responsibility for anything…it was said of us we were the ‘worst of the worst’ if so then why have some 600 of us been released?
There is no rule of law in the US. We still carry the stigma of being a Guantanamo Bay inmates to this day…until someone is charged and prosecuted for this it is very hard to remove this from over our heads.
The court is told that ‘Guantanamo is the tip of the iceberg. You go through secret prisons that makes Guantanamo look relatively tame’.
Under examination Mozzem Begg describes having some conversations and relationships with US soldiers at Gitmo..
Would he visit the US now?
He was invited recently. He was asked to visit the family of a 14 year old boy who is now 24 and remains in Gitmo. When the boy arrived at Gitmo he had a bullet wound. When Moazzem Begg arrived in Canada to meet the boys family, he was taken off the plane by police for being a ‘former Guantanamo Bay inmate.’
The defence asks  – are you a member of Al Quaeda?
Moazzem answers he has never been a member nor never will be and that the fact the British government has made an out of court settlement with him should be enough proof of this.
What of the school that Moazzem had gone to Afghanistan to help build?
It was ‘also hit by a cruise missile -  it was lucky no child was killed.’.
Defence asks about Moazzam’s book stall in the UK in the years before his detention. Was it a religious book stall?
In 2001 there was a raid on this shop and items were taken away under the uk terrorism act. The items were returned. He believes this was the process that was begun by Uk intelliegence and allowed us to keep him imprisoned.
Moazzem says
I have never been to America but America has been to me…I have never hurt an American but America has hurt me.’
He didn’t meet his son until he was three years old. There are says MB ‘ways of asking, processes’ what you can’t or shouldn’t’ do is take them to a place where the law doesn’t apply like GBay. Even iguanas are protected on the base but no one in orange jumpsuits has any rights there.
He is asked if he was raped in Guantanamo Bay.
Uncomfortably MB says ‘things were placed where they shouldn’t be.’
Asked if the thought the conditions had ‘improved over time. Moazzem Begg quotes Malcom X;
‘You don’t take a knife and put it in a man’s back nine inches deep – withdraw it two inches and say things are better.’
The US propaganda – outlined so well in James Yee’s book – that ‘some prisoners put on weight’ in Gitmo was brought up. As was the laughable sop that religious freedoms were respected. In Gitmo Begg did not know when Ramadan was, when Eid was, when the prayer times were at first.

Books and TV?

‘No TV there were some books usually English classics – Charles Dickens.’
Under examination, Moazzem Begg admits to reading Harry Potter in Guantanamo Bay – which? – the first five. To laughter and with a slight smile, he says;
‘These are some of the worst admissions I have had to make’.
‘Am I angry? If anyone wasn’t angry there would be something wrong with them’.
Recently he met with part of the Task force for detainee rights. He used his time to talk to them. He has invited Americans who served at Gitmo to his home.
‘These Americans some of whom kept me from my children are now in my home playing with them. My thoughts are that I am ready to forgive any American who asks for forgiveness. I am not at liberty to forgive for anyone else who is still suffering at their hands’.
He is asked if he can ‘understand’ the thought process that could have brought someone to close an eye to torture. The fear?
‘I have met many people I would consider torturers in my life. One was called the King of Torture and the Monster. He was responsible for the interrogation of many prisoners. One of whom (prisoners) said he (the torturer) tried to rape him’.
In Abu Ghraib he was present at abuse of females.
‘ In 2008 or 7 I received a call from my lawyers on whether I would be a character witness to him in the case regarding female prisoners’.
Begg said that Damien Corsetti, the US soldier called the Monster, said to him
“please forgive me -what I had become in Guantanamo Bay was as a result of the propaganda I had been fed by my country and my leaders.”
Corsetti realised what he had done and suffered a series of nervous breakdowns as a result.
Day 2

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