So this is what freedom and liberty tastes like…

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, January 25th, 2005
9:22 am and is filed
under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.

My, my… what a jolly day. Would anyone mind if I just posted a string of articles and then just held my heads in my hands and wept…?

ACLU – Newly Released Investigative Files Provide Further Evidence Soldiers Not Held Accountable for Abuse Investigative files released today by the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that the Army failed to aggressively investigate allegations of detainee abuse. Some of the investigations concern serious allegations of torture including electric shocks, forced sodomy and severe physical beatings. “Government investigations into allegations of torture and abuse have been woefully inadequate,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Some of the investigations have basically whitewashed the torture and abuse. The documents that the ACLU has obtained tell a damning story of widespread torture reaching well beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib.”

Independent – US and UK ‘ignore torture by Iraqi police’: Iraqi security forces have been committing widespread torture and other human rights abuses while US and British authorities turn a blind eye, according to a report. The accusation that police and soldiers, trained by the occupying powers, are routinely mistreating detainees, including children, is made by the pressure group Human Rights Watch. In a report called The New Iraq – Torture and Ill-treatment of Detainees in Iraqi Custody, it has catalogued malpractice by security forces ranging from arbitrary arrest and severe beatings to extortion. It says the interim government of Iyad Allawi had flouted the principles for which the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was justified.

And here’s the report:
The New Iraq? Torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Iraqi custody

Meanwhile, in the land of liberty and freedom…

HRW – Human Rights Watch Opposes Gonzales Nomination: Human Rights Watch opposes the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to serve as Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Gonzales played a key role in providing legal justification for policies that led to torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody… Human Rights Watch has never before opposed the nomination of a cabinet official in the United States.

BBC – Guantanamo four flying back to UK: The last four British men held as terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay are expected back in the UK on Tuesday, after almost three years in US custody… Five other British detainees were freed from Guantanamo last year and were released without charge after questioning by police in the UK… Some later said they had been hooded, shackled to the floor in painful stress positions and witnessed beatings and other abuse during their time at Guantanamo.

BBC – Mass Guantanamo suicide protest: Twenty-three prisoners tried to hang or strangle themselves during a mass protest at Guantanamo Bay in 2003, the US military has revealed. A spokesman said the incidents were “gestures” aimed at getting attention, and only two of the prisoners were considered suicidal. Officials would not say why they had not previously reported the incident.

Like somebody needs to ask. The answer is security! And security requires secrecy…

Washington Post – Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld’s Domain: The Pentagon, expanding into the CIA’s historic bailiwick, has created a new espionage arm and is reinterpreting U.S. law to give Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld broad authority over clandestine operations abroad…

BBC – Secret Pentagon spies confirmed: Senior officials in the US Defense Department have confirmed reports that the Pentagon ran a secret unit to help gather human intelligence.

Oh, and money. Security requires money. Lots and lots of money that’s being invested ever-so-wisely. – Bush wants $80 billion more for Iraq, Afghan wars as new deficit forecast is released: President Bush is getting ready to ask Congress for an additional $80 billion for conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as budget analysts prepare new estimates of the federal deficits that would have loomed even without the wars. An $80 billion request would push the total provided to the Defense Department so far for those wars and for U.S. efforts against terrorism elsewhere in the world to more than $280 billion.

AP – Bush to Seek $80B for Iraq, Afghan Wars: Aides said about three-fourths of the $80 billion was expected to be for the Army, which is bearing the brunt of the fighting in Iraq. It also was expected to include money for building a U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which has been estimated to cost $1.5 billion.

But things are looking up. Freedom is on the march in Iraq…

BBC – Iraq election at-a-glance
Independent – Allawi fights to mobilise a terrified electorate

(At this point I feel I need to remind you that this is the same Allawi charged with torturing his own people and personally executing insurgents.)

And – just as they promised before bullshitting their way into Iraq – the US and the UK are promising to find a diplomatic situation for Iran…

Guardian – Straw emollient on Iran rift after US talks
Telegraph – Straw says no rift between US and UK on Iran – Straw: US committed to diplomacy on Iran


The final word goes to Chicken Yoghurt.

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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