Archive for April, 2012

U.S. troops posed with body parts of Afghan bombers

April 18, 2012

An American soldier says he released the photos to the Los Angeles Times to draw attention to the safety risk of a breakdown in leadership and discipline. The Army has started a criminal investigation.

 A soldier from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division with the body of an Afghan insurgent killed while trying to plant a roadside bomb. The photo is one of 18 provided to The Times of U.S. soldiers posing with corpses.
By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times Staff Writer,
April 18, 2012

The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification.

The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan’s Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse’s severed legs.

A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.

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The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret

April 17, 2012

An inside look at how killing by remote control has changed the way  Americans  fight.

An MQ-1 Predator drone goes through post-flight maintenance in Iraq.
U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Griffin

One day in late November, an unmanned aerial vehicle lifted off from Shindand Air Base in western Afghanistan, heading 75 miles toward the border with Iran. The drone’s mission: to spy on Tehran’s nuclear program, as well as any insurgent activities the Iranians might be supporting in Afghanistan. With an estimated price tag of $6 million, the drone was the product of more than 15 years of research and development, starting with a shadowy project called DarkStar overseen by Lockheed Martin. The first test flight for DarkStar took place in 1996, but after a crash and other mishaps, Lockheed announced that the program had been canceled. According to military experts, that was just a convenient excuse for “going dark,” meaning that DarkStar’s further development would take place under a veil of secrecy.

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Saudi Arabia: Dancing to Israel’s Tunes

April 15, 2012

By Kourosh Ziabari, Veterans Today, April 14, 2012

 The fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has joined the vicious triangle of the United States, Israel and Britain to destabilize the Islamic Republic of Iran and put pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program is not a secret anymore. The Saudi officials have openly stated their opposition to Iran’s access to peaceful nuclear energy and even have boastfully promised to make up for the amount of crude oil which the EU member states will be losing after imposing a multilateral oil embargo against Iran which is seen as an effort to force Iran into giving up its nuclear rights.

The Saudis are officially considered to be among the Muslim states which don’t recognize the Israeli regime; however, they haven’t hesitated to publicize their ties with the Israeli officials during the recent years, especially when it comes to their cooperation with Tel Aviv against Iran.

Allying with the Zionist regime and betraying a Muslim friend with which it had long maintained sound and reasonable ties can be considered as a manifestation of Saudis’ miscalculations and their erroneous analyses about the position of Iran in the international community; a position which has been bolstered with the unexpectedly massive participation of Iranians in the recent parliamentary elections in early March, showing people’s solidarity and steadfastness in the face of harsh economic sanctions and paralyzing political pressures.

Recent WikiLeaks reports suggest that Saudi officials have been working closely with Mossad to step up pressure against Iran and gathering intelligence about the country’s nuclear program.

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US Refuses Plea to End Drone Attacks in Pakistan

April 14, 2012

After Pakistan Bid to Curb Civilian Deaths, Washington Denies Deal

– Common Dreams staff,, April 13, 2012

Yesterday, the Pakistani government presented the US with a list of immediate demands, including a total end to CIA drone bombing and that “no overt or covert operations inside Pakistan shall be permitted”. The demand would have been in exchange for a reopening of NATO supply lines through the country.

Unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

The same parliamentary resolution also demanded that the Obama administration apologize for the US airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

However, today US officials denied these requests, stating that Washington has no intentions to end CIA drone strikes against militant targets on Pakistani soil.

This is the second time the US has refused pleas from Pakistan to end such attacks, the first being in 2008.

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The Chosen

April 14, 2012


The Chosen

by Badri Raina


Those whom Jehova chose,

those for whom Moses mocked

the Pharoah’s puissant nose,

those whose path was cut

right through the yielding heart

of the all-engulfing sea,

what comparison may be drawn

between suchlike and the ordinary.


Just as they had first right

to terrorist gangs—

Stern and Irgun were full of fangs—

the bombs they have may be

clandestine, with no sanction

in law or treaty

from Council or Assembly,

it remains God’s will that promised land

be secured by them through means

fair, foul, underhand,

appointing Sam watchman, ordained

to see never their prowess is drained.


The Persians are another ball game,

rudely, rationally, desiring the same;

as though the grand principles of liberty

can ever so universal be.

There are those privileged to make war,

and those others condemned to look

and wonder from afar;

and those destined to disappear

so the marauders may keep

raising the bar of freedom and democracy,

to the accompaniment of oil

wherever it be.


Children of Chanakya nod

in ancient approbation,

saying give us more Mossad,

make us a great nation.


April 2012


Paul Craig Roberts: Washington Leads World Into Lawlessness

April 13, 2012

By , OpEdNews, April 12, 2012


This article cross-posted from Paul Craig Roberts

The US government pretends to live under the rule of law, to respect human rights, and to provide freedom and democracy to citizens. Washington’s pretense and the stark reality are diametrically opposed.

US government officials routinely criticize other governments for being undemocratic and for violating human rights. Yet, no other country except Israel sends bombs, missiles, and drones into sovereign countries to murder civilian populations. The torture prisons of Abu Gahraib, Guantanamo, and CIA secret rendition sites are the contributions of the Bush/Obama regimes to human rights.

Washington violates the human rights of its own citizens. Washington has suspended the civil liberties guaranteed in the US Constitution and declared its intention to detain US citizens indefinitely without due process of law. President Obama has announced that he, at his discretion, can murder US citizens whom he regards as a threat to the US.

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The Guantanamo war crimes tribunal is worse than a Bush-era horror show: it reminds me of Chinese ‘justice’

April 13, 2012

By , The Telegraph,  April 12th, 2012


Guantanamo detainees (Photo: Getty)

This from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where I’m watching the war crimes tribunals going through pre-trial motions for Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, the man accused of the bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen in 2000.

His case is effectively a dry run for the “trial of the century” involving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others accused of plotting the September 11 attacks. In all the cases, the US government is seeking the death penalty. The question that hangs heavy over these war crimes tribunals – or Military Commissions as they are properly known – is whether they can ever really by construed as free and fair. Is it really credible that a man who was kept in black CIA prisons for nearly four years and repeatedly subjected to inhumane and degrading punishments – as the US government admits Al Nashiri was – can get a fair hearing from a trial jury comprised of hand-picked US army officers?

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US Training Manual Used As Basis for Bush’s Torture Program Is Released by Pentagon

April 12, 2012

Andy Worthington, April 11, 2012

Over the last few years, my friends and colleagues Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye have been doing some excellent work for Truthout exposing the Bush administration’s torture program, and human experimentation at Guantánamo, and last week they produced another excellent article for Truthout, examining the significance of a recently released US military training manual for the development of George W. Bush’s torture program.

The development of Bush’s torture program was triggered by the capture of the alleged “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in March 2002, and formalized when John Yoo, a lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, wrote two memos — the “torture memos” — signed by his boss, Jay Bybee, on August 1, 2002, which purported to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, and approved the use of ten torture techniques on Abu Zubaydah, including waterboarding, an ancient torture technique and a form of controlled drowning.

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Kashmir: Estranged by their khakis

April 12, 2012

What is it like to be a policeman in Kashmir today?

Wasim Khalid Srinagar, HARDNEWS, April 2012

He is at the forefront of confrontations in the volatile state of Kashmir. Be it a public protest demanding civic amenities, stone-hurling youth raising their voice for ‘freedom’, or militants engaging them in a gunfight, the policeman has to bear the brunt of it all. Dressed in khaki, automatic rifle slung from his shoulder, today the cop can also be seen carrying a cane and a shield, more often than earlier – thanks to a surge in unarmed mass protests.

Even as images of Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel beating people, chasing protestors or firing tear gas canisters abound in the media and the public psyche, what the conflict has done to the everyday lives of Kashmiri policemen remains the least-talked-about aspect of the Kashmir tangle.

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Stop the warmongers! Defend Günter Grass!

April 11, 2012
Wolfgang Weber,, 11 April 2012

The political poem by the 84-year-old writer Günter Grass warning against Israel’s war policy, published simultaneously by a number of European and international newspapers last week, has unleashed an unprecedented witch-hunt by the media and leading political figures.

The campaign of defamation against one of the world’s best known writers, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature and many other awards, makes clear that the German ruling class and its counterparts in Washington and Tel Aviv are intent on intimidating and silencing anyone who dares to criticise the preparations for war against Iran.

Josef Joffe, co-editor of Die Zeit, described Grass as an anti-Semite who acquired his hatred for Jews during his membership in the Nazi SS as a 16-year-old.

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