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War Crimes Times Fall issue

War Crimes Times Fall issue

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Published by Kim Carlyle
A free publication dedicated to raising awareness of war crimes, war criminals, and the need to prosecute war criminals.
A free publication dedicated to raising awareness of war crimes, war criminals, and the need to prosecute war criminals.

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Published by: Kim Carlyle on Oct 10, 2009
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The War Crimes Times
WarCrimesTimes.org
“News a PressThat’s FreeWould Print”Fall Edition
There isno statute of limitationson war crimes.
 AFGHANISTAN ESCALATES
Vol. I No. 4 Fall 2009 Free (as the press should be)
50 Top U.S.War Criminals
by David Swanson
Compiled below, in hopes thatit may be of some assistance toEric Holder, John Conyers,Patrick Leahy, active citizens,foreign courts, the Interna-tional Criminal Court, lawfirms preparing civil suits, andlocal or state prosecutors withdecency and nerve is a list of 50 top living U.S. war crimi-nals. These are men andwomen who helped to launchwars of aggression or whohave been complicit in lesser war crimes. These are not thelowest-ranking employees or troops who managed to strayfrom official criminal policies.These are the makers of those policies.The occupations of Iraqand Afghanistan have seenthe United States target civil-ians, journalists, hospitals, and
(See TOP 50 on page 6)
War CriminalsWatched!
by Sharon Pavlovich
 News Flash: Attorney General  Eric Holder appoints a Special  Prosecutor to investigate whether  Bush and major figures in hisadministration should be prosecuted for war crimes un-der U.S. and international laws.
Unfortunately, this was not themessage crawling beneath thewell-groomed heads of main-stream media communicators.Holder did appoint a federal prosecutor to examine about adozen prisoner abuse cases inwhich detainees were held bythe Central Intelligence Agency.This is clearly a limited task andfar from full exposure of theissue of war crimes: it avoids prosecution of the formulatorsof an illegal aggressive war in Iraq and it does not followthe path of torture of detaineesto the top of the chain of 
(See CRIMINAL WATCH on page 6)
Girl killed byNATO missile
by Saboor Mangal
KHOST CITY, Sept. 2, 2009(Pajhwok Afghan News): Amissile fired by NATO troopshit on a house, killing one girland injuring another in therestive southeastern Khost province, bordering Pakistan.The incident happened in Narizi village of Tani districtTuesday night, resident Mir Hakim told Pajhwok Afghan News on Wednesday. The vic-tims were sisters.One of the girls was killedon the spot and another shiftedto a nearby hospital. No infor-mation about her health condi-tion was immediately available. NATO's media office inKhost City verified the inci-dent and voiced deep regretsover it. It said they were in a bid to contact the affectedfamily and to help it.
McChrystal triesto calm Afghansafter air strike
by Mohammad Hamed
YAQOUBI, Afghanistan, Sept. 5,2009 (Reuters): The commander of U.S. and NATO forces inAfghanistan flew on Saturdayto the scene of a deadly air strike by his forces, trying tocool anger that threatens hisstrategy of winning hearts andminds.Afghan officials say scoresof people were killed, many of them civilians, when a U.S. F-15fighter jet called in by Germantroops struck two hijacked fueltrucks before dawn on Friday.The incident was the firstin which Western forces areaccused of killing large num- bers of civilians since U.S.Army General StanleyMcChrystal took command inJune, announcing that protect-ing Afghans was the centre- piece of a new strategy.In an unprecedented televisedaddress to the Afghan people,the general said his forces hadlaunched the air strike againstwhat they thought was a Tali- ban target. He promised tomake the outcome of an inves-tigation public."As Commander of theInternational Security Assis-tance Force, nothing is moreimportant than the safety and protection of the Afghan peo- ple," he said in the taped ad-dress, released in versionsdubbed into the two officiallanguages, Dari and Pashtu."I take this possible loss of life or injury to innocent Af-ghans very seriously."He later made a brief per-sonal tour of the site in Kun-duz, a once-safe northern province where fighters havestepped up attacks and seizedcontrol of remote areas, part of 
 
Inside
War crimes past and present:
USS Liberty
(Joel Kovel),Vietnam (Deborah Nelson), Afghanistan (Francis A. Boyle, JayJanson); Torture (Dave Lindorff); Army Experience Center (PatElder); Readers and veterans speak out; poetry;
and more.
Civilian Casualties Mount
Outrage as USForces Attack  Afghan Hospital
No Explanation Givenas Troops Force TheirWay in, Tie Up Staff
by Jason Ditz
Sept. 6, 2009(Antiwar.com):The charity group Swedish Com-mittee for Afghanistan expressedoutrage today in reporting aU.S. attack on a remote hospital being operated by the group.The troops burst in to the hos- pital without explanation andconducted a full and rather violent search of the facility.The troops reportedly tiedup several employees and thefamily of some of the patients,ordered the bed-ridden patientsout of their rooms andsmashed down several doors,including the door to the mal-nutrition ward. They did notarrest anybody, but upon leav-ing ordered the staff to reportanybody coming to the hospi-tal to seek treatment before thetreatment was provided. NATO spokesmen con-firmed the raid, but said theyhad no information about whyit was done and refused tospeculate. The United Nationscautioned that the raid was a potential violation of the Ge-neva Conventions, which in-sist that military personnelavoid operating inside medicalfacilities.The charity says that thesame hospital was involved inan incident in July, when pri-vate contractors escorting asupply convoy forced their way in and used the hospital tohide from insurgents. A U.S.helicopter also attacked asmall medical clinic in PaktikaProvince last week on the ba-sis of a report that a woundedinsurgent might be inside.an insurgency that is now atits fiercest stage in the 8-year-old war. NATO says its targets inthe raid were Taliban fighterswho had hijacked the fueltrucks, but has acknowledgedthat some of the victims beingtreated in hospital are civil-ians.In the village of Yaqoubi,a scattering of mud-brick homes near the blast site, resi-dents wept and prayed besidedozens of graves of victims onSaturday, while Taliban fight-ers with rifles looked on. Themilitants' presence was proof of their increasing dominationof an area recently under gov-ernment control."We will take revenge. Alot of innocent people werekilled here," one of the Tali- ban fighters, only his eyes leftuncovered by a thick scarf,said at the funeral.
Citizen Groups Continue toCall for Prosecution , Action
 
 
War Crimes Times ● WarCrimesTimes.org
NEWS & VIEWS
 
Fall 2009 2
 prisoners by the hundreds, afact that the entire Israeli armyleadership knew about andcondoned, according to thearmy’s own historian.” Inother words, one war crimewas used to conceal another.Why did the United Stateslet Israel get away with this?In the narrow, immediatesense, there is no mystery.According to an admiralquoted by Bamford, “PresidentLyndon Johnson came on witha comment that he didn’t careif the ship sunk, he would notembarrass his allies.” That’show it had to happen: a com-mand from the top overrulingeven the views of the Secre-tary of State, and explicitlyforbidding acknowledgementand investigation; even thesurviving sailors were threat-ened with court-martial if theyspoke out.We may safely infer twolevels of motivation. First,LBJ and the U.S. High Com-mand had already decided thatIsrael was to be a prime“strategic asset” in the pursuitof imperial aims, in the MiddleEast and elsewhere. And sec-ond, it is impossible to overes-timate the political threat posed by the Israel Lobby towhoever challenges the Zioniststate. Mere massacre of American seamen, mere hu-miliation of the Superpower:none of this can stand in the balance against the power of Israel in the United States.The impunity given to Is-rael for its destruction of theLiberty is scarcely an isolatedevent. It may be the grossestepisode to have affectedAmerica directly, but it is onlyone in an unending series of human rights violations ex-tending from the founding of the Jewish State right up to thelatest atrocity in Gaza. Every-where we look in this line of criminality we see it enabled by impunity conferred by theUnited States and anchored atmultiple places in our society,from the Congress to academiaand the media. But the attack on the Liberty and its cover-upwere exceptionally outrageous,even within the grim litany of human rights violations. Itsexposure, therefore, can play avital role in breaking the chainof impunity and bringingabout justice in the MiddleEast. We need to force Con-gress to begin the investigationthat has been postponed for 42years. This is a story that can-not be allowed to fade away.
The
War Crimes Times
reports on war crimes, war criminals, and on the need to prosecute war criminals.
The
 WCT 
is published by Veterans For Peace Chapter 099 (Western North Carolina) and
distributed free of charge acrossthe country. Our funding comes from our distributors (VFP chapters and like-minded groups) who pay onlyfor printing and postage costs. A number of copies are distributed completely gratis. We welcome donations.Send a check (with memo "WCT") to:
Death by Ally: 1967 Attack on U.S.by Israel
Contact: editor@WarCrimesTimes.org
 
WCT Editorial Team: Kim Carlyle, Susan Carlyle, Mike Ferner,Clare Hanrahan, Stack Kenny, and Tarak Kauff Veterans For Peace Chapter 099PO Box 356Mars Hill, NC 28754
launched their missiles. It wasfortunate that only one torpedostruck its target, tearing anenormous hole in the hull, elsethe ship would have sunk ut-terly, all lives lost, as was ob-viously the Israeli intention.But even so, 34 sailors andtechnicians died while 174were wounded and the shipwas for all intents destroyed. Itwas the worst disaster to besuffered by the United States Navy since the World War II and itwas the work of our greatest ally,America’s “strategic asset.”Most remarkable and distress-ing, the dreadful end of theLiberty has become, officiallyspeaking, a non-event, virtu-ally unrecorded in our newsmedia of record and basicallyignored by our government.I was keenly attentive to theSix Day War as it unfolded, andthough I recall seeing newsstories about the destruction of the Liberty, the notion that themayhem might have been de-liberate barely entered mymind. It was just too “cognitivelydissonant.” Instead, I found thestrenuous Israeli insistencethat a “tragic accident” hadoccurred persuasive by de-fault. This had nothing to dowith its merits, everything todo with the fact that neither acompelling alternative expla-nation nor any criticism of Israel’s behavior was ever  publicly advanced by the U.S.Israel’s version filled the vac-uum, and our pro-Zionist me-dia, as usual, accommodated it.How were we to know thatthe Israeli investigations of theevent were inadequate, andindeed, bogus? Or that a furi-ous debate was raging at thehighest levels of the UnitedStates government. This wasnot about whether Israel haddeliberately attacked the ship, but whether tolet them getaway with it or not. On one sidewere officialslike Secretaryof State Rusk and high mili-
by Joel Kovel
 Not all crimes of war arecommitted against helplesscivilian populations.The rising sun of June 8,1967 shone upon an unusualship in international waters off the corner of the Mediterra-nean defined by Gaza to theEast and the Nile Delta to theSouth. It was the USS Liberty,the largest and best equippedof the seven-vessel fleetlaunched by the National Se-curity Agency, the top surveil-lance faculty of the UnitedStates. Loaded with state-of-the-art equipment, the Libertyhad arrived to monitor the SixDay war of 1967 between Is-rael and the adjacent Arabstates, at this moment enteringits fifth day. The Liberty feltsafe. After all, Israel was thegreat friend and client of theUnited States; and so when theIsraeli jets appeared in the skyat dawn to circle the communi-cations ship, the seamen andtechnicians may have musedabout the fact that the fighter- bombers were made in Amer-ica, indeed, were gifts fromUnited States, and that theIsraelis had sovereignty of thesky thanks to daring strikesthat had destroyed the Egyp-tian air force on June 4. Butsurely, on this cloudless day,the planes would see the largeAmerican flags prominently placed on the Liberty. Noth-ing, therefore, to worry about.But then, around noon, the planes returned and began bombing and strafing the de-fenseless Liberty, killing USsailors sunning themselves onthe deck and opening holes inthe hulls. They did this againand again—and then the tor- pedo boats appeared andtary officials; on the other De-fense Secretary McNamara andPresident Johnson, who werewilling to let bygones be by-gones to preserve the SpecialRelationship. And the relation-ship, once again, prevailed.There is no Statute of Limitations for war crimes. Now, forty-two years later,thanks to an unrelenting effort by survivors and their families,along with permanently out-raged military and intelligencecadre and a small but fiercelydedicated band of sleuths andactivists,* the truth is comingcloser and closer to the sur-face, and we can begin devel-oping the answers to somevery pressing questions:Was the attack on the Lib-erty, as Israel has claimed, a“tragic” case of mistaken iden-tity? The answer, flatly, is NO.We have the records of Israeli pilots telling their base insome anguish that the targetwas a United States ship and being ordered to take it out.Oliver Kirby, Deputy Director of the NSA, has stated: "I cantell you for an absolute cer-tainty [from intercepted com-munications] that the Israelisknew they were attacking anAmerican ship." Or DeanRusk: "I was never satisfiedwith the Israeli explana-tion....Through diplomaticchannels we refused to accepttheir explanations. I didn't be-lieve them then, and I don't believe them to this day. Theattack was outrageous."Why would Israel havedone such a thing? It stands toreason that the Israelis musthave thought it necessary todestroy the Liberty to preventdisclosure of something theyfelt had to be kept hidden.Here a degree of speculation isnecessary. James Bamford,definitive historian of the NSA, is probably closest to themark when he wrote that asthe Liberty was setting up itswork on June 8, “a scant dozenor so miles away, Israeli sol-diers were butchering[Egyptian] civilians and bound
USS Liberty before attack (above) and after (below).
 
 
War Crimes Times ● WarCrimesTimes.org
NEWS & VIEWS
 
Fall 2009 3
by Dave Lindorff
 
When you hear about thesick, twisted thingsthat America's torturers have been doing, courtesy of Presi-dent George W. Bush andVice President Darth Cheney,you have to remember thatthe U.S. military and the CIAwere not really all that reliablewhen it came to picking up thereal terrorists. In fact, their  batting average was prettylousy.According to even the Pen-tagon's own reckoning, for example, probably 85 per centof the captives being heldat Guantanamo over the pasteight years were notterrorists at all, and afair number—probablythe majority—weren'teven fighting anyonewhen they were cap-tured. I'm sure that theaverages at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, or at the secret prisonin Iraq are no better.The military was offering bounties in Iraq and Afghani-stan for alleged terrorists, yousee, and probably still is, butin both of those lawless, tribalcountries, many people haveused the offer to settle oldfeuds, turning in people theywanted to punish or disposeof, and many others just turnedin random people to get thereward money.Remember this when youhear about torture tactics thatwe are learning were used byour side—things thatmake waterboarding soundlike a walk in the park. We'renow getting confirmation of things that we journalists werehearing rumors of earlier:faked executions using blanks,faked executions in neighbor-ing rooms, followed by threatsof the same to a person whohad just heard the screams anda shot in the cell next to him,threats with an electric drill,and now perhaps the worstyet—the threat to kill a cap-tive's children. And of coursethere is the already disclosedcase of a captive who had hisgenitals cut with a razor, andgenerous use of tasers in places on the body designed tocause maximum pain. That,and of course there are a lotraped captives (includingyoung boys), and a lot of bod-ies yet to be dug up of captiveswho were simply killed duringtorture.We've got a litany of horror and abuse here that sounds likethe worst kind of stories thatused to come out of SaddamHussein's Iraq, or the ArgentineJunta or Idi Amin's Uganda.About the only thing missingis word that the military andCIA torturers were eating their victims, or feeding them their own genitals, but who knows?Maybe we'll get there yet. It'shard at this point torule anything out.What has becomeof the U.S.? Westarted out thevictims of an at-tack in 2001, withthe whole worldrallying to our side, and within amatter of weeks,our government,acting in our name, had secretlyembarked on awholly unneces-sary and totallycriminal descentinto barbarism.And now? Thenew administra-tion has claimed tohave put a stop tothe atrocities, but it remainsadamant that it is not going toroot out the evil that was al-ready done to hundreds, per-haps thousands of people.President Barack Obama sayshe does not want to look back at any crimes that were com-mitted. He wants to go"forward." This is not thevoice of justice, though. Thisis the voice of political gut-lessness and of big power exceptionalism. Thesame America that demandsthe prosecution of war crimi-nals in little countrieslike Cambodia or Serbia or Sudan, considers itself exemptfrom criminal liability for itsown crimes.Attorney General EricHolder is appointing a special prosecutor, John Durham, toinvestigate cases where CIA or  private contract torturers"overstepped" the rules set bythe White House and JusticeDepartment, but he has said hewill not allow the investigationto go beyond that to pursue the people who enabled those actsof torture—people like Secre-tary of Defense Don-ald Rumsfeld who personallyinstructed torturers in Afghani-stan to "take the gloves off" inone case, or Assistant AttorneyGenerals John Yoo andJay Baybee (now afederal judge), whoruled that any-thing short of thedestruction of bodilyorgans or of a painlevel equivalent todeath was okay. Nor will he allowany investigationto look at acts of torture that wereauthorized, likewaterboarding, if they had the sanc-tion of the Bush/Cheney WhiteHouse.This positiontaken by the newadministrationshould sicken usall. Worse, itshould be broadly condemned, because if the descent into bar- barity which occurred with thehighest White House sanction isnot investigated thoroughly,and punished fully, there is noway we can say it will not hap- pen again. In fact, it's safe tosay that it will hap- pen again, the next time another charlatan gets into office anduses fear to blind the American people to all that is right anddecent, and to the importance of maintaining the rule of law.I know there are terriblethings happening right nowwhich demand our attention andaction—an escalating, endlesswar in Afghanistan that increasinglyresembles Vietnam in 1966 or 1967,a presidential cave-on on healthcare reform, but this particular crime—the crime of failing toact to punish violations of theGeneva Conventions on treat-ment of prisoners of war, whichis being committed today bythe Obama administration—isso obscene, so directly in our faces, and is such a stain on thewhole nation, that it demandsaction.We will probably never know how many innocentlives have been destroyed byAmerica's eight years of offi-cially sanctioned torture, butwe can at least see to it that the people who sanctioned it, andnot just those who engaged init (and that goes right upthrough the chain of commandto the Commander in Chief and to the real power behindthe throne, Dick Cheney), are put in the dock like the crimi-nals at Nuremberg, to face thecharge of war crimesand crimes against humanity.As the citizens of what wecall a democracy, we can de-mand nothing less.
 Dave Lindorff, a journalist for 36 years, has written for 
CounterPunch, Salon, Busi-nessWeek, The Nation, RollingStone, Mother Jones, VillageVoice, Forbes, The London Ob-server 
and the
Australian Na-tional Times.
 His website isthiscantbehappening.net.
Getting Away With Torture
Obama says he does not want to look back— This is the voice of political gutlessness andof big power exceptionalism.
A September CNN/OpinionResearch Corp. survey showed that 58 percent of Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan.
Collateral Damage
Smart bombssurgical strike pinpoint precision.Whoops!Orphaned bleeding blinded permanently disfiguredstarvinglimblessshoelesshomelesshalf-nakedrefugees.Stuff happens.
 —Mack Reilly
ACTION: Show the powerful, 48-minutefilm,
 Rethink Afghanistan
; inviteyour congressperson for the discus-sion. Info at
rethinkafghanistan.com.
 
Think Again!

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