From Private Eye No 1107:
CONCERN over American forces' use of torture will not be news to US vice-president Dick Cheney. He was warned about the practice as long ago as 1992 when he was defence secretary under George Bush Sen.
In 1988 US senators investigated claims that American-backed "counter insurgency" operations in Central and South America, particularly Honduras, had included abusive interrogations. The senators were shocked to discover that two CIA manuals used to train interrogators recommended torture. They included techniques similar to those that have been used more recently at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
After the senate investigation the CIA added a new preface to the manuals, stating: "The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation is prohibited by law, both international and domestic; it is neither authorized nor condoned." However, the National Security Archive, a historical project at George Washington University, uncovered a 1992 memo to Cheney warning that, even after the 1988 investigation the US government was still circulating Spanish language guidebooks with the torture instructions.
It warned Cheney that the "offensive and objectionable material in the manuals... undermines US credibility and could result in significant embarrassment.”
The memo was stamped "SECDEF HAS SEEN', and Cheney scribbled on it “I concur" referring to the recommendations that the manuals be withdrawn and the human rights component of military training be re-emphasised.
The senate investigations that led to the 1992 memo to Cheney were spurred by revelations of torture by US-backed forces in Honduras. The US ambassador to Honduras, who was implicated in the scandal, was one John Negroponte. Mr Negroponte is now the US ambassador to... Iraq.
Little Green Footballs
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
From Private Eye No 1107:
Posted by X at 13:50
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Portland lawyer Brendan Mayfield has been released after the FBI admitted mismatching his fingerprints to those found on items connected to the Madrid train bombings. See here (Thanks to Nate Dogg for the tip)
Now let us remind ourselves ourselves of some of the things Charles's minions said about Mayfield at the time of his release (all http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=11093):
"He's a Muslim,therefore he is bound by his "religion" to lie to us.Never trust him for a moment." (mbruce)
"Why would they arrest him if they didn't have his finger prints? He's guilty. He should fry." (Modern Crusader)
"We are sorry he converted to the most vile cult known to man. We are sorry his friends are terrorists.We are sorry his wife is the poster girl for the burka. Sorry. He was released...so was OJ." (Karly)
Wondering whether Mr Mayfield will get a personal apology from Charles for insinuating that he was a terrorist accomplice...
Posted by X at 22:38
Monday, May 24, 2004
Charles J is flagging up a story about how pop singer 'Madonna' has pulled out of a concert in Israel because of death threats against her and her children from "an unnamed Palestinian group" (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=11135_Madonna_Threatened). Apparently the threats were believable because they contained "intimate details" about the children.
Now let's get this straight: "an unnamed Palestinian group" thinks Madonna is a threat to the future of Palestine? "An unnamed Palestinian group" thinks that killing Madonna or her kids is going to help the Palestinian cause? "An unnamed Palestinian group" spends its time scouting around for "intimate information" about her kids in order to make its death-threat letter more belieavable? Not fucking likely, as Vinnie Jones would say.
Charlie's source is, of course, the ever-reliable Sun newspaper. But even the Sun prints the following denial from Madonna's management (plus inevitable unattributed counter-denial), which the Lizard Overlord conveniently fails to reproduce:
"Madonna’s people last night insisted the Israel leg of her Re-Invention tour has been cancelled because the singer wants to concentrate on Europe. But insiders say nothing except this security alert would have stopped her travelling to Tel Aviv."
Posted by X at 16:14
"RAMADI, Iraq (AP) - A videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck."
Posted by X at 10:29
Thursday, May 20, 2004
While Israeli gunships fired at demonstrators in Gaza, the US is alleged to have bombarded a wedding party in Iraq, killing 40.
Neither of these stories appear to have been deemed post-worthy by Charles Johnson.
Posted by X at 14:55
The Denver Post reports that a number of Iraq prisoners were tortured to death in US captivity:
"The deaths include the killing in November of a high-level Iraqi general who was shoved into a sleeping bag and suffocated, according to the Pentagon report. The documents contradict an earlier Defense Department statement that said the general died "of natural causes" during an interrogation. Pentagon officials declined to comment on the new disclosure. Another Iraqi military officer, records show, was asphyxiated after being gagged, his hands tied to the top of his cell door. Another detainee died "while undergoing stress technique interrogation," involving smothering and "chest compressions," according to the documents."(Hat Tip: Empire Notes)
Meanwhile, InformationClearingHouse has pictures of US soldiers posing for pictures over the body of a dead Iraqi:
Posted by X at 14:50
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
From the BBC News website: "The Israeli army has opened fire on a crowd of Palestinian demonstrators in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza.
"At least 10 people were killed, though some reports put the number of casualties higher.
"Several children were among the dead, and more than 50 people were injured, many seriously, Palestinian medical workers said."
Posted by X at 15:38
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
"It does not have a big "showdown" moment, like Moore's encounter with Charlton Heston, although the director shouts out questions to the president he derisively calls Governor Bush and is rewarded by him with a snarling suggestion that he should get a real job, which takes some effrontery coming from the slacker fratboy head of state who makes Ronald Reagan's workload look Stakhanovite."
From a Peter Bradshaw review in the Guardian
Posted by X at 14:37
Since Monday night Israeli helicopters have been firing at Palestinians in Rafah, a Gaza Strip refugee camp. IDF soldiers have been conducting door-to-door searches for Palestinian gunmen, and homes are being torn down by Israeli bulldozers.
So far, thirteen people have been killed. The BBC describes one attack:
"The raid began at dawn with a missile from a helicopter fired at a group of gunmen outside a mosque in Tel Sultan, killing three of them.
"Two more missiles were fired, killing three more people who rushed to help and leaving the mosque in flames.
"In a later air strike, four Palestinians were killed, all civilians, according to hospital officials quoted by Associated Press.
"Six Palestinians, at least one of them a gunman, were also reportedly killed in street fighting.
"Witnesses said tanks and bulldozers dug a trench to separate Tel Sultan from the rest of the camp and demolished at least four houses.
"About 20 people were wounded in the air attacks, and Palestinian security sources told AP that two ambulances had come under fire from Israeli snipers, one of which was hit by three bullets.
"Trapped residents were reported to be huddling in the most protective rooms of their homes as bullets rained outside. Others tried to flee the area."
Meanwhile, the only thing Charles Johnson has to say about the killings is "Count the grammatical problems and win a prize" - a reference to a Reuters report that he apparently doesn't think is well written (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=11076). Charles, what's more pressing: the killing of people in refugee camps or your sense of grammatical correctness?
UPDATE: for more on the way Israel is terrorising the Palestinians, see Chris McGreal's report from Rafah.
Posted by X at 14:11
Monday, May 17, 2004
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Asad Abdul Kareem Abdul Jaleel died on 9 January 2004 in a US military prison in Iraq. According to his captors, Jaleel "died in his sleep". But a fellow inmate told the German weekly Der Spiegel that Jaleel had been sadistically tortured for five days prior to his death.
Posted by X at 12:35
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Serious allegations are being raised against the right-wing website 'Free Republic', after it emerged that it had named the family firm of beheaded American Nick Berg on a list of 'enemies' of the Iraq occupation. According to 'Break For News', this "could explain [Berg's] arrest by Iraqi police --a detention which fatally delayed his planned return from Iraq and may have led directly to his death." Read more
Posted by X at 11:02
Monday, May 10, 2004
Riaz Hassan reports in YaleGlobal on the political reasons behind suicide bombings: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=3749
Posted by X at 15:42
Friday, May 07, 2004
One story that illustrates the way in which Little Green Footballs posters jump to premature conclusions, thanks to their pathological prejudices, is that of the ten men arrested on suspicion of plotting terrorist acts in Manchester, UK, in mid April. At the time, the story was reported under the heading 'Got 10 in Manchester' by Charles Johnson (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10727). Although Charles wisely refrained from commenting beyond the headline (implying as it does 'their' guilt and that 'they' belong to 'those terrorists'), his minions didn't hold back:
"so anyone wanna guess the religion of these thugs?" (bull)
"If they are Kurds, then it means Ansar al-Islam, an AQ affiliate. Oh Joy." (FH)
"Good job on this catch though. Can't wait for the BBC and Guardian to begin screeching about how deplorable it is these men are being detained and questioned." (Model4)
"Now convict and hang the terrorist savages ASAP." (Just the Facts)
"theses muzzies ought to be tried convicted and marched into the man u stadium at halftime in a match with arsenal so some brit ubber testoterone could go to work on them--i'm thinking of shaving my head and wearing my dr. martin's in anticipation" (HULUGU)
"The jihadis would do well to leave Britain tonight, when this hits the newstands tommorow things will get bloody for the al muhariroun vermin." (OverWatch)
Now that the ten men have all been released without charge we are unlikely to hear any more about the story on LGF. One of the men is demanding a police apology. His religion, in case you were still wondering, is: none.
Posted by X at 16:07
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Hehe, seems like the Dirty Green Footballs have gone and put their foot in it again. Noticing that the comment function on LGFWatch wasn't working for a few hours, they jumped to the conclusion that "COMMENTS HAVE BEEN BANNED".
" lgfwatch has banned comments, which were entirely reasonable and coexistant, so I couldn't if I wanted."and
"So LGF Watch has turned off comments? No surprise there. As usual, they can dish it out but they can't take it. Shouldn't we be screaming about our free speech rights being violated?" (both http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10775)Sadly, Dom and Zulubaby, comments weren't "turned off". The entire haloscan comment system went down. Haloscan is back up now and we're proud to be taking all the usual flak again from the loony lizards, while they continue to jump to premature conclusions without hesitation. Sound familiar?
Posted by X at 16:49
To quote Charles Johnson: "As despicable as the acts were that these MPs are accused of, those acts were not torture." (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10937_Thoughts_on_Torture)
Posted by X at 11:15
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Charles Johnson: 'killing Muslims is good, criticising Israel is bad'
In a thread about CAIR efforts to censure Boston radio show host Jay Severin, Charles Johnson comes out heavily on the side of 'free speech', even if that means radio show hosts and Charles's own minions advocating the murder of all Muslims (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10892_CAIRs_Jihad_against_Talk_Radio). How pernicious of those CAIR people to demand an apology from Jay Severin for saying what he thinks! How evil of CAIR to want to gag the right to free expression!
Could this be the same Charles F Johnson who wholeheartedly supports a certain Daniel Pipes in his efforts to denounce academics who express views critical of Israeli and American policy (see below)? Free speech for some, gagging order for others, it seems.
Why I ... urge academics to support Israeli academics' right to free expression
Published: THES 30 April 2004
According to reports in last week's Haaretz newspaper, Israel's academic freedom is in danger of being trampled on by politicians. These were sparked in part by the decision by Limor Livnat, the minister of education, not to attend the annual meeting of the board of governors of Ben Gurion University next month because she objected to the views expressed by a member of faculty in an article that was published in Belgium and in which he used the term "symbolic Holocaust" to describe Israel's policies of targeting and assasinating Hamas leaders.
At the same time as Livnat's views became public, Neve Gordon, a lecturer known for his leftwing views and critique of the policies of the present Israeli government, brought a libel action against Stephen Plaut, a lecturer at Haifa University, after Plaut refused to retract statements accusing him of being a "fanatic anti-Semite", a "Judenrat wannabe" and a "groupie of the world's leading Holocaust denier".
These are not isolated incidents, they are part of a much bigger campaign that has been growing alarmingly over the past three years. Leftwing academics have become the target of neo-conservative attacks - in Israel and the US. Many of these attacks have appeared as letters addressed to university supporters or the general public, or in articles that have been published indiscriminately on websites, many of which have affiliations to extreme rightwing organisations.
Academics have been accused of being anti-Israeli and, in many cases, of feeding anti-Semitism. Letters have been sent to US supporters of Israeli universities urging them to withdraw financial support from institutions that employ "treasonous" faculty, as well as to university presidents and rectors in Israel, urging them to intervene in the promotion process of these individuals. So far universities have defended academic freedom.
Much of this campaign has grown out of the McCarthyist Campus Watch organisation set up by Daniel Pipes, which asks students to sit in on lectures at US campuses and "report" all forms of critique that are considered unacceptable by the self-appointed guardians of neo-conservative post-9/11 political correctness. This has spread to Israeli campuses, with rightwing views escaping the political scrutiny and attack directed at leftwing opinions.
This McCarthyism is not divorced from the structural reforms that are taking place in Israeli higher education, which the government is forcing on university senates. Their implementation will make higher education in Israel far less democratic, transferring decision-making powers from faculty (we elect our own heads of departments, faculty deans and even rectors and vice-chancellors) to appointed committees made up of part faculty and part public and political figures.
Non-academic personnel would then be allowed to intervene in the hiring and promotion processes of individual staff (today, the promotion committees are made up of academic faculty alone and are autonomous) if they believed that the expressed political views of individuals were not to their liking or were causing international support of, and financial donations to, the institution to fall away.
Instead of pouring its energies into a futile academic boycott of Israel - a boycott opposed by the large majority of both left and rightwing Israeli academics - the international academic community should be expressing concern about these blatant attempts by the neo-conservatives and self-appointed "super patriots" to intervene in the academic process.
Intellectuals should take active steps to support the right of all academics to free expression, to defend themselves against libel, and to engage in their normal activities without fear that the stating of their political positions will jeopardise their professional future.
Professor of political geography
Department of politics and government
Ben Gurion University in Israel
and editor of Geopolitics journal
Posted by X at 14:32
Monday, May 03, 2004
Daily Kos goes Lizard-hunting
Daily Kos user 'Marshall' has taken a closer look at some of the comments on this LGF thread and found that, actually, LGFers are all perfectly reasonable, articulate, peaceful people. Not.
Take this comment for example:
"I would have destroyed Fallujah block by block, pausing after each rubblized block to demand unconditional surrender.And I would film it and put it on the 24 hour news stations in real time. Getting these jihadis on tape begging for mercy would do the world good. We have to 'reach' the fanatic soldiers. Once we break through to the brainwashed foot soldiers, it will be game over for all the other brainwashed soldiers. Just look at the effect of seeing Yassin in a wheel barrow of body parts with his head blown off, and a hacked up dead Rantissi layed out on a slab has done for the palestinian jihadis. This is all they understand. They exist in a realm barely imaginable."
Posted by X at 18:58