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OCCUPATION CRIMES IN IRAQ March 8, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Iraq Policy, Terrorism Issues.
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Bradley Manning faces a long term of imprisonment, possibly life without parole. Others comp licitly and directly involved in criminal wrong doing go free.

These others, according to a report by The Guardian and BBC Arabic, include David Petraeus and his political masters, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

The Guardian reports:

The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the “dirty wars” in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country’s descent into full-scale civil war.

Colonel James Steele was a 58-year-old retired special forces veteran when he was nominated by Donald Rumsfeld to help organise the paramilitaries in an attempt to quell a Sunni insurgency, an investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic shows.

After the Pentagon lifted a ban on Shia militias joining the security forces, the special police commando (SPC) membership was increasingly drawn from violent Shia groups such as the Badr brigades.

A second special adviser, retired Colonel James H Coffman, worked alongside Steele in detention centres that were set up with millions of dollars of US funding.

Coffman reported directly to General David Petraeus, sent to Iraq in June 2004 to organise and train the new Iraqi security forces. Steele, who was in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, and returned to the country in 2006, reported directly to Rumsfeld.

The allegations, made by US and Iraqi witnesses in the Guardian/BBC documentary, implicate US advisers for the first time in the human rights abuses committed by the commandos. It is also the first time that Petraeus – who last November was forced to resign as director of the CIA after a sex scandal – has been linked through an adviser to this abuse.

Coffman reported to Petraeus and described himself in an interview with the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes as Petraeus’s “eyes and ears out on the ground” in Iraq.

The United States has demonstrated that nation states can flout International Law that governs war crimes with impunity, and as The Guardian acknowledges it is only the action of Bradley Manning and Wikileaks in releasing the information that made the investigation possible, albeit years after the events took place. Soldiers and journalists knew what was happening, but previously the information has not been published, or if it was, it attracted little notice.

Cenk Uygur summarizes the findings from the investigation:

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