Monday, May 10, 2004

War News for May 10, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Two killed, three wounded in attempted assassination of Iraqi governor near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: South African, New Zealand contractors and one Iraqi killed in Kirkuk. Bring ‘em on: Eight wounded in bombing at Baghdad hotel. Bring ‘em on: Nineteen Iraqis killed in fighting in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Insurgents assassinate Iraqi police colonel near Baquba. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqi policemen killed in Baghdad gun and bomb attacks. Bring ‘em on: Shi’ite militia take control of Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: US aircraft bomb al-Sadr’s offices in Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed, ten wounded as US tanks enter Kufa. Bring ‘em on: Oil pipeline in flames near Basra. Bring ‘em on: Bulgarian troops under grenade attack near Karbala. US Marines begin joint patrols in Fallujah. “Marines in Humvees and armored vehicles entered the Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad in a convoy with Iraqi security forces in pickup trucks. The first Iraqi pickup truck flew the red, white and black Iraqi flag, which the Iraqi Governing Council has proposed changing to the outrage of many Iraqis.” ICRC report: The report by the International Committee of the Red Cross supports its allegations that abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers was broad and ‘not individual acts’ -- contrary to President Bush's contention that the mistreatment ‘was the wrongdoing of a few.’” Interrogation policy. “Although the specific abuses at Abu Ghraib occurred far down the chain of command from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, it was a chain closely supervised from the top. Indeed, in cases of high-level detainees, rules imposed by Rumsfeld dictated that Pentagon officials up to and including the Defense secretary be involved in approving the use of coercive interrogation methods… The policy stemmed from the urgent need to extract information from terrorist and insurgent suspects about possible impending attacks. In Iraq, the priority was on finding out about plans to strike U.S. forces. In effect, it gave the Pentagon veto power over the use of coercive techniques against subjects when, for political or other reasons, senior Defense officials believed such methods would be counterproductive.” It appears that Rumsfeld’s OSD authorized a blanket policy of coercive interrogation methods but reserved the right to restrict coercive interrogation in individual cases. General Boykin, Rummy’s Deputy Undersecretary for Intelligence. “It did not take a heap of naked bodies and other photographs to expose who Boykin is and always was. Arab-Americans and American Muslims have long complained about Boykin. The photographs are a confirmation of what the man was suspected to be as the man in charge of hunting down intelligence and tasked with, among other duties, catching Osama bin Laden.” Nobody should be surprised if the policy that changed interrogation methods originated in Boykin’s office. Putting an individual with his views in charge of interrogation policy was a disaster waiting to happen. Court-martial. “A 24-year-old military policeman from Pennsylvania will be court-martialed here on May 19, becoming the first U.S. soldier to face trial in the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, military officials said yesterday. In an extraordinary gesture to address outrage over the abuse scandal, the trial will be conducted openly and members of the Arab news media will be invited to attend.” Military working dogs receive flak vests. Officers sound off. “A senior general at the Pentagon tells the Washington Post he believes the United States is on the path to defeat – and Rumsfeld and his advisers are to blame. The Post reports great anger is building at Rumsfeld and his top advisers among career Army officers. ‘The current OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] refused to listen or adhere to military advice,’ the general said on the condition his name not be used, in part out of fear of punishment. ‘It is doubtful we can go on much longer like this,’ he added. ‘The American people may not stand for it - and they should not.’” British war graves desecrated in Gaza over prisoner abuse in Iraq. “Some 33 graves were desecrated or destroyed in the cemetery for troops from the two world wars. Photographs of US and British soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners were hung from some of the tombstones.” Commentary Opinion: “…In the past few years it has become fashionable in the U.S. to think that failed states could be reformed by the imposition from the outside of order and the trappings of democracy, as if Americans could pick up the mantle of empire laid down by European powers. The dream of the neo-imperialists was idealistic; they imagined that after U.S. soldiers had secured Iraq, the invisible infrastructure of the modern state—such as independent judges, honest civil servants and an efficient tax collection—would gradually take shape under a benign American tutelage until, one day, a beacon of democracy in the Middle East was lit.” Editorial: “President Bush, who could not be bothered to get the facts before going to war in Iraq, now cannot be bothered to get the facts about the war. As a result, his attempt to explain away the horrific reports of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers has only made matters worse.” Casualty Reports Local story: South Carolina contractor killed in Iraq. Local story: Pennsylvania contractor missing in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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