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TortureSeen * OilSlick * WoodyCaseHeard?

01 May 2004

"Now those who seek absolute power,
even though they seek it to do what they regard as good,
are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version
of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones
who always create the most hellish tyranny."

– Barry Goldwater

1) US military in Iraq torture scandal
- - Court-marshal in Iraq - Ill-Treatment of POW's
- - World outraged by U.S. torture of Iraqi prisoners
- - Writings of accused soldier who helped run Baghdad prison
- - Torture photos 'the end' for US in Iraq
- - US military in torture scandal
- - Amnesty International on Iraq 'Torture'
2) What's Happening in Iraq?
- - A Look at April 2004
- - Fallujah accord leaves US policy in disarray
- - Laptop Report From Fullujah, Iraq Battlefield
- - Bush League Diplomacy
- - Oil-Slick Jim Baker Moves In
3) Dangerous Time for Justice in "Woody" Police-Shooting Case

Editor's Notes:

Now that there are graphic photos to depict and describe the gruesome nature of this preemptive employment for war, there is a chance it can be ended. And if neither Kerry nor Bush remove the corporate immoral siege in Iraq, and let go entirely, it would be time to endorse a unifier for those non-represented; it would be the time for a Kucinich green party candidacy.. For now the mantra is not only in defeating Bush, but to get the hell out of Iraq, and pay for some of compensation for damages, for the damage is beyond total compensation, but we must try..

Please note the Greg Palast article, "Oil-Slick Jim Moves In" in item 2. This article connects many dots since the theft of the US election in 2000.

Item 3 is on a court hearing this Thursday in Brattleboro Vermont, where a Judge will rule on if the case of the police shooting of Robert Woodward will be heard as a family civil suit against the town and two police officers. This is on a case of a friend of mine, who was shot fatally seven times while seeking political sanctuary in a Church. More information is linked from and

"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth...
For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth;
to know the worst; and to provide for it."

– Patrick Henry

1) US military in Iraq torture scandal
- - Court-marshal in Iraq - Ill-Treatment of POW's
- - World outraged by U.S. torture of Iraqi prisoners
- - Writings of accused soldier who helped run Baghdad prison
- - Torture photos 'the end' for US in Iraq
- - US military in torture scandal
- - Amnesty International on Iraq 'Torture'

Graphic photographs showing the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners in a US-run prison outside Baghdad emerged yesterday from a military inquiry which has left six soldiers facing a possible court martial and a general under investigation. The scandal has also brought to light the growing and largely unregulated role of private contractors in the interrogation of detainees. US military investigators discovered the photographs, which include images of a hooded prisoner with wires fixed to his body, and nude inmates piled in a human pyramid.

For the article published in The Guardian [UK], 30 April 2004, see:,2763,1206725,00.html

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- - Court-marshal in Iraq - Ill-Treatment of POW's

60 minutes ll – Court-marshal in Iraq

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- - World outraged by U.S. torture of Iraqi prisoners

Video and pictures

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- - Excerpts from writings of accused soldier who helped run Baghdad prison

``Chip'' Frederick wrote an account of how the prison he helped run treated inmates. The writings were given to The Associated Press on Thursday by the soldier's uncle

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- - Torture photos 'the end' for US in Iraq

Chilling pictures of Iraqi prisoners being tortured by US soldiers will damage Britain and signal the "end of the story" for America in Iraq, it was claimed today.

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- - US military in torture scandal

According to lawyers for some of the soldiers, they claimed to be acting in part under the instruction of mercenary interrogators hired by the Pentagon.,2763,1206725,00.html

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- - Amnesty International on Iraq 'Torture'

"Our extensive research in Iraq suggests that this is not an isolated incident. It is not enough for the USA to react only once images have hit the television screens."

Information House Archives

War Crimes: The Evidence File

Take No Prisoners : Another proud moment in U.S. Military History

US soldiers are seen as 'uncaring, dangerous and lacking in respect.':
An overwhelming majority of Iraqis, 71 percent (and that figure rises to 81 percent if the Kurdish areas in the north are excluded), see the US-led coalition as an occupying force and not as liberators.

2) What's Happening in Iraq?
- - A Look at April 2004
- - Fallujah accord leaves US policy in disarray
- - Laptop Report From Fullujah, Iraq Battlefield
- - Bush League Diplomacy
- - Oil-Slick Jim Baker Moves In

What's Happening in Iraq? - A Look at April 2004

Fallujah - More than 720 U.S. military people and an estimated 10,000 Iraqis have been killed since the war began, 1,200 Iraqis in April alone. The current siege and destruction of Fallujah began a year ago when U.S. forces fired into an unarmed crowd and killed 13 Iraqis who were demonstrating against U.S. military occupation of a local school. Iraqi citizens retaliated, and for the next year the cycle of violence escalated with the U.S. using increasing force, including the use of F-15 and F-16 fighter jets and the detention of hundreds of people. The situation deteriorated further on March 26, 2004 when U.S. soldiers killed 16 more people, including an Iraqi cameraman. In response, Sunni resistance fighters killed and mutilated the bodies of 4 mercenaries employed by the U.S. private security company, Blackwater. Several days later, the U.S. launched a major offensive against the city. By April 12, the civilian death toll had reached 600 with over 1,000 injured; 60,000 women and children were forced to flee the city. Journalist Pratap Chatterjee of, who has been traveling with U.S. troops during the past week has characterized the continued U.S. siege as "a massacre, a Holocaust…" Plans for U.S. troops to pull out are being counter-balanced by plans to install a surrogate U.S. trained Iraqi force.

Roots of the current Shiite rebellion in central/southern Iraq
As the situation in Fallujah deteriorated, U.S. envoy to Iraq Paul Bremer shut down the Shiite cleric Moqtada al Sadr's newspaper because, Bremer claimed, the paper was inciting violence against U.S. troops. (The paper had accused Bremer of ruling the country and mistreating the Shiite population "like Saddam.") Bremer's blatant disregard for Iraqi freedom of the press, combined with ongoing Iraqi displeasure about U.S. failure to restore basic services, security, and self-determination, resulted in the armed uprising of al-Sadr's Madhi Army in several major Iraqi cities including Basra, Najaf and Baghdad. The uprising-the most serious confrontation between the occupation forces and members of Iraq's Shiite majority signaled the beginning of a second phase of the war in Iraq, in which the U.S. is fighting on two fronts against both Sunni radicals in the center-north and Shiite militias in the south. The U.S. issued an arrest warrant for al-Sadr for the murder of a rival cleric a year earlier; al-Sadr responded by saying, "It is those that attacked civilians in Fallujah and innocent protesters that must be put on trial. I address the agents of the West...they say that we are delaying the handover of power and the formation of government, but I tell them that we have delayed selling Iraq and creating a government of agents." Shiites say that they want peace, not war; democracy and elections in short, for the right to determine their own future.

Does the U.S. government care about our troops?

Depleted Uranium: U.S. soldiers are coming home sick from contamination with depleted uranium. A New York Daily News special investigation of April 2004 found the first confirmed cases of inhaled DU exposure. The Daily News paid for the testing because the U.S. military has balked at screening returning soldiers for DU contamination. (DU is made from radioactive waste; the word "depleted" is misleading -- DU is radioactive. DU is used in artillery shells; on impact these shells disintegrate and the DU is reduced to microscopic, inhalable particles.)

Suicides: U.S. military officials acknowledge the suicides of 24 U.S. service people, but the military isn't counting soldiers who take their lives after returning home. The huge scale of mental health problems is becoming apparent: 10% of military casualties have been evacuated with mental health problems. Many are seeking their own help. Wayne Smith, an adviser to Vietnam Veterans of America, says as many as 4,500 soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have sought counseling from veterans' centers rather than through regular military channels.

Total Casualties as of April 30, 2004: 722 U.S. Soldiers Dead, 11,700 wounded. These statistics don't reflect the economic and emotional costs that have affected the families of dead or wounded soldiers.

U.S. Cost of Iraq War: $125 billion has been spent for the war, occupation and reconstruction in Iraq to date. Unlike the first Gulf War, the U.S. unilaterally and pre-emptively invaded Iraq in 2003, therefore the U.S. is paying for approximately 90% of the cost of this war.

Sources: The Independent, Common Dreams, Democracy Now!, BBC, United Press International, National Priorities Project, The Guardian

[FN Received this info via email.]

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- - Fallujah accord leaves US policy in disarray

The United States' policy on Iraq is in disarray, following the Pentagon's admission that it is unaware of a breakthrough agreement to end the siege of Fallujah announced by its troops on the ground. While a new poll showed a majority of Iraqis want US and British troops to leave in the next few months, an American marine commander revealed that his troops were preparing to withdraw from the outskirts of Fallujah, a major U-turn in US policy. It was a deal few of his superiors seemed aware of.

The Scotsman [UK], 30 April 2004 click for article

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- - Laptop Report From Fullujah, Iraq Battlefield

IRAQ--April 29, 2004--Tom following battlefield report was just made available to us. It is introduced by the individual who received it; however, we have redacted certain portions of the email to protect the identity of the Marine who made the information available.

Click on Full Story to read the laptop email.

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- - Bush League Diplomacy
How the Neoconservatives Are Putting the World at Risk
Thursday, April 29th, 2004


AMY GOODMAN: John Negroponte. He looks like he's about to be confirmed, now US ambassador to the United Nations, more importantly, before that, ambassador to Honduras. We have done a lot on this with people have appealed to him 20 year ago, as Honduras was the staging ground for the illegal Contra War, to deal with the victims in Honduras of a CIA-trained battalion 316. What do you know about this?

MEL GOODMAN: The very simple thing about John Negroponte, that has to be known, is that he was part of the cover-up of the human rights disasters and murders and civil rights abuses that took [place] in Honduras during the time that he was ambassador. Part of this was part of the Contra War, but the cover-up is something that never should have been tolerated. So, if you look around the administration and you say Elliot Abrams in the White House who is supposed to be in control of Middle East policy, even though he has no knowledge whatsoever of the Middle East, and if he had not been pardoned, he would have been in jail. Negroponte was involved in a cover-up. John Poindexter, who is no longer in the administration, also had to be pardoned, or he would have been in jail. The abuses of this administration and the politicization of every department and agency of this government is on another scale. That's why I strongly believe that no president has reduced America's international stature the way this president has.

Listen, watch, read show at Democracy Now!

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- - Oil-Slick Jim Baker Moves In

"Oil-Slick Jim Moves In"
by Greg Palast
April 26, 2004

Editor's Note: This piece is excerpted from the new edition of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" (Plume), by Greg Palast.


..So where is Secretary Baker today? On the lam, hiding in deserved shame? Doing penance by nursing the victims of Gulf War Syndrome? No, Mr. Baker is a successful lawyer, founder of Baker Botts of Houston, Riyadh, Kazakhstan. Among his glittering client roster is Exxon-Mobil oil and the defense minister of Saudi Arabia. Baker's firm is protecting the Saudi royal from a lawsuit by the families of the victims of September 11 over evidence suggesting that Saudi money ended up in the pockets of the terrorists.

And Baker has just opened a new office ... at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This is a White House first: the first time a lobbyist for the oil industry will have a desk right next to the President's. Baker's job, to "restructure" Iraq's debt. How lucky for his clients in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom claims $30.7 billion due from Iraq.

If you remember, Henry Kissinger ran away from appointment to the September 11 Commission with his consulting firm tucked between his legs after the U.S. Senate demanded he reveal his client list. In the case of Jim Baker, our elected Congress had no chance to ask him who is paying his firm nor even require him to get off conflicting payrolls.

To get around the wee issue of conflicts galore, the White House crafted a neat little subterfuge. The official press release says the President has not appointed Mr. Baker. Rather Mr. Bush is "responding to a request from the Iraqi Governing Council." That is, Bush is acting on the authority of the puppet government he imposed on Iraqis at gunpoint.

Why is our President so concerned with the wishes of Mr. Baker's clientele? What does Bush owe Baker?

It was Baker, as consigliore to the Bush family, who came up with the strategy of maneuvering the 2000 Florida vote count into a Supreme Court packed with politicos.

Over the years, Jim Baker has taken responsibility for putting bread on the Bush family table. As Senior Counsel to Carlyle, the arms-dealing investment group, Baker arranged for the firm to hire both President Bush 41 after he was booted from the White House and President Bush 43 while his daddy was still in office.

We know why Jim Baker is in the White House. But what was Private Dervishi doing in harm's way in Iraq? Saddam was already in the slammer and Iraq "liberated" nearly a year.

The answer came to me in a confidential document that oozed out of Foggy Bottom, 100 pages from the State Department's secret "Iraq Strategy." It's all about the "post-conflict" economy of Iraq written well before Americans were told we would have a conflict there.

There's nothing in the Iraq Strategy about democracy or voting. But there's plenty of detail about creating a free-market Disneyland in Mesopotamia, with "all" state assets -- and that's just about everything in that nation -- to be sold off to corporate powers. The Bush team secret program ordered: "... asset sales, concessions, leases and management contracts, especially those in the oil and supporting industries."

The Strategy lays out a detailed 270-day schedule for the asset grab. And that's why PFC Dervishi was kept there: to prevent or forestall elections. Because no democratically elected government of Iraq could ever sell off its oil. Democracy would have to wait, at the point of a gun, for the "assets sales, concessions, leases" to Bush's corporate buck-buddies.

There you have it. The secret Strategy tells us that, if Bush didn't go into Iraq for the oil, he sure as hell ain't leaving without it.

For this complete article, see:

For more information on the journalism and film of Greg Palast, visit

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For a resource, see this Palast article - BAKER TAKES THE LOAF
Monday Dec 8, 2003

This week came the payoff when President Bush appointed James Baker III to "restructure" the debts of the nation of Iraq.

3) Dangerous Time for Justice in "Woody" Police-Shooting Case

Brattleboro Reformer

Shooting suit before judge Woodward's family claims officers used excessive force

Reformer Staff

Tuesday, April 27, 2004 -

BRATTLEBORO -- A judge will decide next week if a civil suit against the town and two police officers in the aftermath of a 2001 police shooting of a man in a church will go to trial.

Attorneys for the town hope to have the case brought by the family of Robert Woodward thrown out, while the plaintiffs hope that Judge J. Garvan Murtha sends the case to a jury trial.

A hearing on the town's motion for a summary judgment in the case has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 6, at the U.S. District Court in Brattleboro.

Lawyers for the town and the two officers maintain that the police training received by officers with the Brattleboro Police Department is sufficient and that the two officers have governmental immunity and are exempt from liability.

"There is no basis to conclude that the training offered by the town ... demonstrated a 'deliberate indifference' to a citizen's constitutional rights," reads a Feb. 19 court filing by the town's attorney, Nancy Goss Sheahan of the law office McNeil, Leddy & Sheahan of Burlington.

Calls to Sheahan were not returned Monday.

Attorneys for Woodward's family contend that the officers used excessive force in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights and that the rules for governmental immunity in the shooting were not met.

Woodward, 37, was shot seven times by two Brattleboro Police officers in All Soul's Unitarian Church on Dec. 2, 2001. He had entered the church sometime around 10 a.m., claiming he was seeking sanctuary from government authorities. He was in possession of a small knife and threatening suicide.

Woodward later died and the Vermont Attorney General's Office declared the shooting tragic, but justified. A group that formed soon after the shooting -- Justice for Woody -- has released two reports suggesting inconsistencies and misinformation contained in Attorney General William Sorrell's report.

Less than a month after the shooting, Woodward's parents and sister filed a civil suit against the town and the two officers -- Marshall Holbrook and Terrance Parker -- seeking a jury trial and damages. Holbrook has since left the department.

The suit alleges that the officers used unreasonable force and were not trained properly in dealing with emotionally disturbed subjects along with four other alleged violations of Woodward's Constitutional rights.

The attorneys for the Woodward family fought the motion for summary judgment, arguing that the testimony from the witnesses in the church following the shooting do not match with the witness testimony taken later.

None of the nearly two dozen witnesses to the shooting reported that Woodward made any threatening movement toward the police officers, according to a Feb. 2 filing by Woodward's attorneys.

"The only witnesses who claimed a threat were the shooters themselves," the document states. "Since disputed issues of fact exist as to the course of events ... this court must deny the defendants' motions for summary judgment."

In subsequent interviews, witnesses began stating that Woodward made threatening moves, explained Joel Faxon, an attorney with Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, a firm from Bridgeport, Conn. Faxon said the more credible statements are the ones made the day of the shooting.

"You look at the statements made to the state police, and you'll see that everyone said Woodward made no threatening gestures or movements toward the police," said Faxon. "Every single person said that."

The town's attorney contends in a Feb. 19 filing that the argument against summary judgment is based on "allegations and arguments that are immaterial to the legal grounds" and that Woodward's attorneys "editorialize and speculate without supporting evidence and they attempt to pawn off legal theories as facts."

"This is insufficient to create a genuine dispute regarding any material fact that might impede the granting of summary judgment," the Feb. 19 court document states.

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=====News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era====>

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