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Signs of the Times for Sat, 18 Feb 2006

Signs Editorial:

Signs of the Times
February 18, 2006

Two days ago, online magazine announced that they had obtained files and other electronic documents from an internal Army investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal.

The files, from the Army's Criminal Investigation Command contained a total of 1,325 new images of suspected detainee abuse, 93 video files of suspected detainee abuse, 660 images of adult pornography, 546 images of suspected dead Iraqi detainees, 29 images of soldiers in simulated sexual acts, 20 images of a soldier with a Swastika drawn between his eyes, 37 images of Military Working dogs being used in abuse of detainees and 125 images of questionable acts. Based on time signatures of the digital cameras used, all the photographs and videos were taken between Oct. 18, 2003, and Dec. 30, 2003. Some of the images can be seen here.

Over a period of about 10 weeks in 2003 then, the US military and members of the CIA, acting on the orders of the Pentagon and undoubtedly with the knowledge of members of the US government, tortured 546 Iraqi prisoners to death in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

That 'higher ups' were well aware of, and indeed were deliberately orchestrating these acts is evidenced by the many testimonies by 'lowly' U.S. soldiers who were forced to carry the can for the depravity of their superiors. One notable example is that of Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Chip Frederick who was interviewed by 60 Minutes in April 2004:

“We had no support, no training whatsoever. And I kept asking my chain of command for certain rules and regulations,” says Frederick. “And it just wasn't happening."

Six months before he faced a court martial, Frederick sent home a video diary of his trip across the country. Frederick, a reservist, said he was proud to serve in Iraq. He seemed particularly well-suited for the job at Abu Ghraib. He’s a corrections officer at a Virginia prison, whose warden described Frederick to us as “one of the best.”

Frederick says Americans came into the prison: "We had military intelligence, we had all kinds of other government agencies, FBI, CIA ... All those that I didn't even know or recognize."

Frederick's letters and email messages home also offer clues to problems at the prison. He wrote that he was helping the interrogators:

"Military intelligence has encouraged and told us 'Great job.'"

"They usually don't allow others to watch them interrogate. But since they like the way I run the prison, they have made an exception."

"We help getting them to talk with the way we handle them. ... We've had a very high rate with our style of getting them to break. They usually end up breaking within hours."

No doubt, how long would it take you to "break" if you were being sodomised with a florescent light tube?

Attorney Gary Myers and a judge advocate in Iraq are defending Frederick. They say he should never have been charged, because of the failure of his commanders to provide proper training and standards.

"The elixir of power, the elixir of believing that you're helping the CIA, for God's sake, when you're from a small town in Virginia, that's intoxicating,” says Myers. “And so, good guys sometimes do things believing that they are being of assistance and helping a just cause. ... And helping people they view as important."

Unfortunately, and contrary to government spin that "torture in U.S. prisons is not widespread", there is no reason to believe that Oct. 18th 2003 was the beginning of these acts of torture and murder, nor can we have any hope that they ended on Dec. 30, 2003. If we take the figure of 546 murdered Iraqi detainees during this 10 week period as an average, we are left with a figure of approximately 7,500 Iraqi detainees that have probably been murdered by US military personnel and members of the CIA (and Mossad) since the beginning of the Iraq invasion. Of course, this figure is likely to be on the low side since there is little doubt that the full extent of these atrocities have been revealed, or will ever be revealed, to the general public.

Given the indiscriminate way in which the US military's goes about arresting Iraqi insurgent suspects, it is very likely that many of the murdered Iraqis were in no way connected with armed resistance to the US military presence in Iraq. The International Red Cross has stated that between 75 and 90% of Iraqis arrested are in fact innocent of any crime. Not that being a member of the Iraqi resistance or defending one's life and family against a ruthless invader can ever be construed as a crime, at least not under any just interpretation of man-made law.

In the face of this evidence, and the observable facts from the past five years, who can disagree that the US government is a brutal regime bent on the destruction of the Middle East and its inhabitants? Who can disagree that the American NeoCons are doing the bidding of the Israeli government and their Zionists taskmasters? The day after the September 11th attacks, former (and soon to be again) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote an article for the New York Post entitled: "Today We are All Americans", where he stated:

"What is at stake today is nothing less than the survival of civilization... I have absolute confidence that if we, the citizens of the free world, led by President Bush, will marshal the enormous reserves of power at our disposal, harness the steely resolve of a free people and mobilize our collective will to eradicate this evil from the face of the earth.... The international terrorist network is thus based on regimes - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Taleban Afghanistan, Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and several other Arab regimes such as the Sudan. For the bin Ladens of the world, Israel is merely a sideshow. America is the target"

Does anyone think it is mere coincidence that Netanyahu was able to name the very same countries that have been, or are soon to be, attacked by the US military since that day? The day after the 9/11 attacks, we were told that no one even knew who had carried out the attacks, much less the countries that supported the attackers.

But Netanyahu knew.

Are we to assume that he possesses powers of divination? Or is it that the entire concept of "world-wide Islamic terrorism", the 9/11 attacks and the resulting invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq and now Iran and Syria, are all a part of one giant conspiracy to reshape the world in the likeness of the Pathocrat?

The facts speak for themselves.

See today's stories on torture for more on this topic.

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