www.albasrah.net

 

GI Special:

thomasfbarton@earthlink.net

5.7.05

Print it out (color best).  Pass it on.

 

GI SPECIAL 3B22:

 

 

Army Medical Examiner:

“At last, a perfect soldier.”

July 1916: The Masses Magazine

 

 

George W Bush Belongs In Prison

 

 

Bush Faked Data To Back Iraq War

 

Miami Herald, May 6, 2005

 

A high classified British memo indicates that President Bush decided to oust Saddam Hussein by the summer of 2002 and was determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policy.

 

MORE:

 

06 May 2005 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

 

We need two exit strategies: one to get our forces out of that country as soon as humanly possible, and the other to get George W. Bush out of the White House and into a cellblock in The Hague.  Save a bunk for Mr. Blair, too.  Criminals belong in prison.

 

The document almost reads like satire. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam," reads the leaked secret British intelligence memo dated 23 July 2002, "through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.  But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

 

The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy? You don't say.

 

In other words, they fixed the intelligence and facts around the policy. The policy, of course, was invasion.

 

Some other tasty tidbits from the memo:

 

1. "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided.  But the case was thin.  Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

 

Despite the fact that Hussein was considered less of a threat than Iran, North Korea and even Libya, Bush had made up his mind to invade. Wrapping this around the flatly-declared statement that the intelligence and facts were being framed around the 'policy,' i.e. the invasion, is damning.

 

2. "The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action.  There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation.  The first and second could not be the base in this case.  Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult.  The situation might of course change."

 

The British Attorney General made it clear that the war plan as constituted was illegal. Therefore, other justifications for war were required. "The situation might of course change," reads the text.  It did.  They fabricated WMD evidence to justify self-defense.

 

3. "The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors.  Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD.  There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran.  If the political context were right, people would support regime change.  The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work."

 

In many ways, this is the worst of the three.

 

Hans Blix and his inspectors went into Iraq and found no weapons of mass destruction in their searches.  Ergo, there was no self-defense justification and no legal basis for war.

 

Yet in order to create the legal and political justification of self-defense, as stated in the memo, Hussein had to be seen as blocking those inspections.

 

He didn't.

 

In fact, it was the Bush administration that thwarted Blix while stacking hundreds of thousands of troops on the border.

 

At one point, Bush even went so far as to declare that Hussein had actually not allowed the inspectors in, even as Blix and his people were shaking the Iraqi dust off their boots.

 

Ray McGovern, a 27-year veteran CIA analyst, nails it to the door.

 

"It has been a hard learning - that folks tend to believe what they want to believe," wrote McGovern in an essay regarding this leaked memo.

 

"As long as our evidence, however abundant and persuasive, remained circumstantial, it could not compel belief. It simply is much easier on the psyche to assent to the White House spin machine blaming the Iraq fiasco on bad intelligence than to entertain the notion that we were sold a bill of goods.  Well, you can forget circumstantial."

 

The butcher's bill to date: 1,594 American soldiers dead, times ten grievously wounded; over 100,000 Iraqi citizens dead, uncounted more wounded, with a recent upsurge of violence claiming more than 200 lives in the last week alone; a nine-figure pricetag that spirals ever-upwards by the day, mortgaging our children's future for the profits of the few; no weapons of mass destruction anywhere in Iraq.

 

We need two exit strategies: one to get our forces out of that country as soon as humanly possible, and the other to get George W. Bush out of the White House and into a cellblock in The Hague.  [Fuck “The Hague” bullshit.  Let him be tried and punished by troops who have served in Iraq, and the families of the KIA.]

 

Save a bunk for Mr. Blair, too.  Criminals belong in prison. 

 

 

A 5-Year-Old In Handcuffs:

Bush A Free Man:

 “Zero Tolerance” For A Kid:

The White House For A Snake

 

May 5 2005 Black Commentator

 

To make a long story short, a kindergartener in St. Petersburg, Florida had a meltdown, a temper tantrum from hell.  Children will do that.  The adults who educate them are supposed to know how to handle such situations without calling the cops.  The five year old in this case is black in a country that is on a binge of criminalizing as many people as possible, with blacks heading the list.

 

Everyone knew that the LAPD loved to beat the crap out of black people, but King’s beating was caught on tape.  Ja’eisha’s tantrum and handcuffing by three adult cops also took place when cameras were rolling, making what has become common place a subject for debate.

 

Another five year-old was handcuffed in St. Louis, a ten year-old was expelled from school for carrying scissors, and a nine and ten year-old were led from school in cuffs because of a drawing.

 

Zero tolerance drug policies have caused suspensions and expulsions as punishment for taking legal, over the counter medications.

 

LIAR

TRAITOR

TERRORIST

SOLDIER-KILLER

UNFIT FOR COMMAND:

THE ENEMY DOMESTIC

(Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

 

 

 

IRAQ WAR REPORTS

 

 

Mortar Attack Targets US-Iraqi Military Checkpoint In Fallujah

 

May 6 (Xinhuanet)

 

A mortar attack hit a checkpoint jointly manned by US and Iraqi forces in southern Fallujah, causing casualties, witnesses said on Friday.

 

US and Iraqi soldiers opened fire randomly while responding to the attack which took place Thursday night and killed a civilian and wounded three others, witnesses at the scene said.

 

 

Third Bulgarian Soldier Revealed Injured In Deadly Car Crash

 

6 May 2005 Novinite Ltd

 

Four days after the road accident which killed two Bulgarian troops in Iraq it emerged that there has been a third casualty who survived.

 

General Stoyan Tonev, Chief of Military Medical Academy of Bulgaria, denied to disclose the survivor's name, but told private bTV channel that there was no chance for survival of the heavily injured Junior Sergeant Valentin Donev, 34.

 

The injured soldier was returned on board of the AN-26 flight, which brought back to homeland the remains of the two soldiers.

 

 

 

TROOP NEWS

 

 

IS THE MILITARY FUCKING WITH YOUR WEB SITE ACCESS?

MILITARY LAW TASK FORCE WANTS TO STOP THE BULLSHIT!

 

From: Marti Hiken

To: GI Special

Sent: May 06, 2005

Subject: Request

 

I have an important request of you since you have many direct contacts with GIs overseas.

 

The NLG Military Law Task Force is still getting complaints about GIs not being able to access websites.

 

We have received many reports of inappropriate blocking of web pages by Internet blocking software, also known as filtering software.

 

Unfortunately, many of the incident reports we receive do not provide enough information to be useful in pursuing a case of inappropriate blocking to an appropriate conclusion.

 

Could you find at least five GIs (three in Iraq, one in Afghanistan and one in Kuwait) who, for two weeks one time a day at least, if possible, could monitor the following websites to see if they can get through to them:

 

www.nlg.org/mltf

www.girights.org

www.objector.org

www.bthn.org

www.mfso.org

 

[TROOPS WHO WANT TO HELP END THIS BULLSHIT; EMAIL MARTI AT THE ADDRESS BELOW FOR THE REPORTING FORM.  THESE PEOPLE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, PROVIDE NON-PROFIT LEGAL SERVICES TO GI WAR RESISTERS.  T]

 

National Lawyers Guild

Military Law Task Force

Marti Hiken

mlhiken@pacbell.net

 

Do you have a friend or relative in the service?  Forward this E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.  Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed services.  Send requests to address up top.

 

 

Benefit Aids Wounded Vet

 

May. 6, 2005 azcentral

 

A benefit dinner and dance will help the family of Erik Castillo, a 21-year-old from Rio Rico who was severely wounded in Iraq.

 

The event will begin at 6 p.m. May 14 at American Legion Post 41, 715 S. 2nd Ave., Phoenix. Dancing will begin at 8.

 

Castillo is at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he is undergoing a series of surgeries to reconstruct 65 percent of his skull. He also will need surgeries on his ears and an eye.

 

Castillo's mother is a single parent who has lost work to be with her son and to care for her two other children.

 

Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or by calling Maria at (602) 279-9777 or Andy at (602) 269-5877.  Tickets cover a barbecue meal, and a DJ will provide the music.  A special fund for the Castillo family has been established at Wells Fargo Bank. Make contributions to the Erik Castillo Benefit Fund, Account No. 8938018739.

 

 

Keep Schools On Post:

“It Is A Shame That We Are Discussing This Issue While Our Children’s Parents Are Deployed”

 

Letters To The Editor

Army Times

May 02, 2005

 

I am writing in regard to the article, “Who should run post schools?” April 4.

 

About 18 months ago, we had a town-hall meeting at Fort Benning, Ga., concerning this. The outcry was very evident among the community.

 

My first concern was the quality of education our children would receive.  Georgia’s education system is ranked among the lowest in the nation.  The county to which the schools are being transferred serves a small population, and it is difficult to see how this county would be able to support all the students attending the schools.

 

My spouse and I now live at Fort Stewart, Ga., and the same concerns still stand.  How will the district deal with the increase of the student population and still provide quality education?

 

Another concern is that we have no control as to where we live, but at least we have some control over the schools our son attends.

 

If the schools were transferred to local districts, we would have no say with the school board.  We would not be able to vote for school board members and on important issues because we are not residents of that county.

 

Finally, with the frequent deployments our families have to go through, the schools on post provide support and understanding from staff who are trained specifically for this.

 

I think it is a shame that we are discussing this issue while our children’s parents are deployed, and now we have to worry about our children’s future along with our spouses.

 

If this is for budget reasons, replace all civilian employees who were hired to fill military positions with military personnel, as it should be.

 

Our children’s education should not be decided upon for budget reasons.  They deserve a quality and safe education while their parents serve this country.

 

Melissa Robbins

Fort Stewart, Ga.

 

NEED SOME TRUTH?  CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER

Telling the truth - about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington - is the first reason for Traveling Soldier.  But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.  Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces.  If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers.  http://www.traveling-soldier.org/  And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)

 

 

Cranky Bostonians Prefer Navy Not Kill Them

 

Boston Globe, May 6, 2005

 

Boston officials want assurances from the Navy that no live fire or ammunition will be used in proposed war games on the South Boston Waterfront next month before they give an okay.

 

 

REALLY BAD PLACE TO BE:

BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!

U.S. soldiers at the scene of a car bomb in Baghdad, April 30, 2005.  Reuters Photo by Thaier.

 

 

 

IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP

 

 

Thirteen Occupation Cops Killed In Tikrit & Mosul

 

May 6, 2005 (Reuters) & (Xinhuanet)

 

In Tikrit, a car bomber blew up his vehicle beside a minibus carrying policemen, killing at least nine and wounding several, local police said.

 

The blast struck the minibus close to a checkpoint set up by Iraqi security forces.

 

The vehicle was left a smoldering wreck.  Ambulances ferried away the wounded and the charred bodies of the dead.

 

A car bomb Friday targeted a police patrol in the northern city of Mosul, killing four police commandos and five others, police said.

 

Iraqi security forces immediately cordoned off the scene and searched the area, as ambulances evacuated the victims to a nearby hospital.

 

 

Senior Collaborator General Killed

 

05.06.2005 (AFX)

 

A senior Iraqi army officer and his brother were killed on Friday.

 

Brigadier general Mirza Hamza, head of the civil defence force in Mahmudiyah was killed in a drive-by shooting at about 2 pm.

 

 

Six U.S. Military Workers Captured

 

07 May 2005 AFP

 

DUBAI : An armed group has kidnapped six Jordanian contractors for the US military in Iraq, the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera said Friday, showing video footage of the hostages.

 

The six men each held up their passport to the camera as they were paraded seated before a large black banner bearing the group's name -- the Al-Bara bin Malek Jihad Brigades.

 

One of the six, who worked for Jordanian firm Abu Jaafar al-Mansur, read out a statement warning the kingdom's companies to end their operations in Iraq.

 

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE

END THE OCCUPATION

 

 

An Attack In Baghdad

 

06 May 2005 By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent UK

 

Burnt wreckage on the road marks the place in south Baghdad where insurgents poured fuel over a bullet-riddled police car with the driver dead or badly wounded still at the wheel and set it on fire.

 

The attack took place yesterday at about 6am in the al-Shebab district of the capital as police in their blue-and-white patrol cars were setting up a checkpoint.  By the time the shooting had ended, a further nine policemen had been killed, adding to the total of 616 killed so far this year.  Another two policemen were wounded.

 

The battle is typical of the fighting between insurgents and Iraqi security forces raging across Iraq every day but it is sparsely reported even when many are killed.

 

Local people, none of whom wanted to be named, said the police often set up checkpoints close to the al-Darwish roundabout.  Al-Shebab is a lower middle-class neighbourhood where many people have clerical jobs working for the government.  It is not known for political militancy and has a mixed Shia and Sunni population but it is easy to reach from hardcore insurgent towns such as Mahmoudiya and Latafiyah on the southern outskirts of Baghdad.

 

The lightly-armed police do not seem to have had much of a chance.  A few hours later, there were bloodstains and a few copper cartridge cases from a Kalashnikov on the concrete pavement in front of a shop dealing in real estate.  The owner was stoically sweeping up broken glass.  He pointed to a dozen holes where bullets punctured the metal door of his shop, dug chunks out of a wall and ripped through the green sofa on which his clients normally sat.

 

"We were all very frightened when we heard the shooting," said a neighbour in a long brown robe who witnessed the attack.  "I came out as soon as it was over and found one policeman dead in the street.  There was another one hit in the side who was crawling along and I tried to help him."

 

On the other side of the highway, he saw gunmen pour fuel over a police car with a man inside it.

 

By one account, the insurgents had a heavy machine gun mounted on a truck - much more powerful than anything used by the police.  Others fired from cars.  The ambush site is just by an open space used for parking buses and lorries that would have provided cover

 

[Is this how Cockburn would have reported on the death of French cops helping the Nazi occupation in France round up and exterminate French resistance fighters?  Three guesses.  Is this how Cockburn would have reported on the death of German SS troops in Poland rounding up and exterminating Polish Jews?  Three guesses.]

 

OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

 

 

FORWARD OBSERVATIONS

 

 

“Never Before In American Political History!”

 

May 6, 2005 Andrew Greeley, The Chicago Sun-Times

 

It is also asserted that the election settled the matters of the war and the torture of prisoners. These are dead issues that no longer need be addressed.

 

But the president received only 51 percent of the vote and carried only one more state than the last time (picking up New Mexico and Iowa and losing New Hampshire).  This is a validation of the war and of prisoner abuse?

 

This is a mandate to do whatever he wants to do and whatever the leadership of the evangelical denominations want?  A percentage point and a single state are a mandate for more war?

 

Never before in American political history!

 

What do you think?  Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome.  Send to contact@militaryproject.org.  Name, I.D., withheld on request.  Replies confidential.

 

 

Famous Last Words:

“The Insurgency Would Never Last”

 

At the beginning of the Muslim uprising, the insurgents were demeaned as terrorists and thugs.  The insurgency would never last.  The people of Algiers loved their French masters. The people of France, though never directly consulted, supported the continued occupation.

 

May 5, 2005 Jack Random, Dissident Voice

 

Iraq may not approach the mind-numbing destruction of Vietnam but it is more resembling Algiers with every passing day.

 

For those who require historical review, Algiers was the last stop for French ambitions of a new Napoleonic era.

 

At the beginning of the Muslim uprising, the insurgents were demeaned as terrorists and thugs.  The insurgency would never last.  The people of Algiers loved their French masters. The people of France, though never directly consulted, supported the continued occupation.

 

The Battle of Algiers raged on for six years.

 

At every turn, the French proclaimed imminent victory.  At every turn, they were wrong.

 

Indiscriminate killings, mass imprisonment, torture, bombs carried in baskets by women and children, assassinations, strikes, and the insurgency refused to die.

 

It would calm until the occupiers grew complacent and then it would erupt again.

 

After six years of costly failure, the endgame was clear (in fact, it was always clear) and the verdict in French public opinion finally sealed its fate.  Though they left a nation torn and tattered, impoverished and divided, the occupation of Algiers failed.

 

 

 

OCCUPATION REPORT

 

 

Welcome To Bush’s Liberated Iraq:

Protesting Is “Not Authorized”

Shooting Protestors Is Authorized

 

2005-05-06 Middle East Online

 

KUFA, Iraq - Five supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr were wounded Friday in a demonstration following the reading of a sermon written by their leader, hospital sources said.

 

"If you leave us in peace, we will leave you in peace.  You should be aware of the fact that the Mehdi Army is still alive and has its finger on the trigger," Sheikh Aws al-Khafaji said, reading a sermon by Sadr in the Kufa mosque in central Iraq.

 

He was referring to the Sadr movement's militia.

 

"The government we have been expecting for so long should take concrete action in favour of the prisoners from the Mehdi Army and the followers of the Sadr movement.  If you don't free our prisoners, I am ready to die as a martyr," he added.

 

Stirred up by the young cleric's sermon, hundreds of worshippers gathered after prayers and demonstrated to demand the release of the prisoners.

 

Clashes broke out with the police, who opened fire, an AFP correspondent reported.

 

The province's deputy governor Hassan Attam told AFP "The protest was not authorized.”

 

Doctor Samir al-Zabhawi, from Kufa hospital, said he had received a total of five wounded.

 

 

“Bureaucratic Murder”

 

May 1, 2005 By PETER MAASS. The New York Times Magazine

 

A scathing report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, still in draft form but posted on the center's Web site, blames senior American officials for these failures of Iraqi will.

 

''The police and the bulk of the security forces were given grossly inadequate training, equipment, facilities, transport and protection,'' states the report, written by Anthony Cordesman, a military expert and former Pentagon official.

 

''These problems were then compounded by recruiting U.S. police advisers -- some more for U.S. domestic political reasons than out of any competence for the job -- with no area expertise and little or no real knowledge of the mission that the Iraqi security and police forces actually had to perform.''

 

The report seems to be referring to, among others, Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, who was the first police adviser to L Paul Bremer III, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.  Kerik left after three and a half months.

 

Although the report notes some progress in recent months, it concludes: ''Unprepared Iraqis were sent out to die. . . . The fact that some died as a result of U.S. incompetence and neglect was the equivalent of bureaucratic murder.''

 

 

What’s The Iraq War Really About?

Money, Of Course!

As Troops Die, Occupation Suits Steal Millions And Go Home Rich:

Nearly $100 Million Unaccounted For

 

The total included more than $7 million that was simply gone, according to the report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

 

May 05, 2005 By Matt Kelley, Associated Press & By T. Christian Miller The Los Angeles Times & Aljazeera & 5.6.05 By Richard A. Oppel Jr., The New York Times

 

Iraq became awash in billions of dollars in cash after the U.S. invasion two years ago, often with few or no controls over how that money was spent and accounted for.

 

The latest indication of that came Wednesday when investigators released a report saying $96.6 million in cash could not be properly accounted for.

 

The total included more than $7 million that was simply gone, according to the report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

 

It said $89.4 million in cash payments in south-central Iraq were made without the necessary supporting documentation, the investigation found.  Indications of fraud and other wrongdoing are the subject of separate, continuing probes.

 

Wednesday’s report accused civilian contract managers of “simply washing accounts” to try to make the books balance.

 

Examples of possible misspending in Iraq revealed in recent months include:

 

• Projected totals of nearly $20 million in missing or unaccounted-for equipment in Baghdad and Kuwait.

 

A lack of proper rules governing some $600 million in cash handed out by U.S. authorities.

 

The money at issue in the latest report is from proceeds from Iraqi oil sales and seizures from the regime of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.  Distribution of the money was handled first by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-run occupation government in Iraq from 2003 to June 28, 2004.

 

After that, the money was overseen by the Joint Area Support Group-Central, which is managed from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

 

Managers gave the cash to “division level agents” responsible for distributing the money for reconstruction programs in a certain area.  Those agents were supposed to keep detailed, signed receipts and other documentation for the money they spent, but usually did not, the report said.

 

Controls over the cash were so lax that two of the agents hired to distribute the money were allowed to leave Iraq before they had accounted for all of it, the report said.  Between them, those two had been given more than $1.4 million in cash which remains unaccounted for, the report said.

 

A different agent failed to provide proper documentation for more than $12.4 million in spending but had his accounts cleared by his supervisors, the report said.

 

For contracts funded with Iraqi money, contract officers could not show that services had been delivered in more than half of 300 contracts valued at $332.9 million.

 

For contracts funded with $18.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds, officers could not even find about a quarter of 48 contracts that had been selected for review. Other contracts were found stuffed in drawers or misfiled.

 

Other examples of incompetence included 645 transfers of more than $23 million in cash using the wrong form; one contractor was paid twice for the same work and 10 payments amounting to $324,500 were submitted for canceled contracts. Six cash handouts for $407,420 were submitted without contractor signatures.

 

The new report said that a division agent got $58.8 million in cash from the American office in Baghdad that dispensed Iraqi funds in January 2004, but that later documents said he had gotten $1 million less, a discrepancy that has not been explained.

 

MORE:

 

The Hillah Ali-Babas Came From The USA:

They Took The Iraqi Oil Money And Ran

 

[Thanks to NB, who sent this in.]

 

The money at issue in the latest report is from proceeds from Iraqi oil sales and seizures from the regime of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.  [From story above.]

 

5.5.05 By T. Christian Miller The Los Angeles Times

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has opened a criminal inquiry into suspected embezzlement by officials who failed to account for almost $100 million they disbursed for Iraqi reconstruction projects, federal investigators said Wednesday.

 

Auditors have been unable to fully document how the money was allocated to Iraqi workers by a small group of officials working from a U.S. outpost in Hillah, according to an audit report released Wednesday by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

 

The auditors found "significant" problems in the Hillah office, including one case in which an official fired for mishandling funds was allowed to continue disbursing money nearly a month after his termination.

 

The case is the first time U.S. government officials have been investigated for a suspected major corruption scheme involving the Iraq reconstruction.  In the cases now under investigation, the report notes questionable accounting practices by several officers involving millions of dollars over a 16-month period ending in October.

 

Auditors were struck by a series of apparent accounting errors in the Rapid Regional Response Program, an obscure rebuilding effort operated from the Hillah office.   The program was designed to jump-start reconstruction in south-central Iraq by allowing U.S. officials to quickly issue contracts worth up to $200,000 each.

 

To pay for contract work in Iraq's cash-based economy, the U.S. appointed military personnel and civilians to physically hand out money to Iraqis.  The U.S. officials were then supposed to reconcile those payments with receipts.

 

But the auditors found that such receipts were lacking or incomplete for $96.6 million of $119.9 million in payments.

 

In one case, two U.S. officials left Iraq after completing their tours of duty without accounting for a total of $1.5 million. 

 

The manager of the cash funds zeroed out the balance on a spreadsheet — an apparent attempt "to remove outstanding balances by simply washing accounts," the audit report says.  The officials, like all others in the audit, were not named.

 

In another case, the U.S. on May 30 ordered the removal of the official in charge of the overall cash program, but he remained in the job until June 20. 

 

When told he had failed to account for $1,878,870, the official returned exactly that sum three days later — leading to suspicions that he had "a reserve of cash and turned in only the amount" needed to complete the clearance process, the report says.

 

In another case, one payment official had three errors in his accounting books.

 

In one example, he told superiors that he had given $311,100 to another U.S. official when he had actually handed over $1,210,000, leaving it unclear where the remaining $898,900 was, the report says.

 

Army Col. Thomas Stefanko, who now oversees the Hillah office, said he was forming a "special action team" to investigate the discrepancies and collect any missing money.

 

 

[TWO YEARS AGO:]

U.S. Troops Kill More Fallujah Protesters As Shit-Mouth Rumsfeld Tells Stupid Lie

Fallujah 2003. (AP Photo Ali Haider)

 

Operating out of a palace once used by Saddam, Rumsfeld told Iraqis the United States is eager to return the country to their control.

 

"Iraq belongs to you," he said in a message taped for radio and television broadcast.  "The coalition has no intention of owning or running Iraq."

 

April 30, 2003 By NIKO PRICE, Associated Press Writer, BAGHDAD, Iraq

 

For the second time this week, U.S. soldiers fired on anti-American protesters Wednesday in the city of Fallujah; the mayor said two people were killed and 14 wounded.

 

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld became the first top Bush administration official to visit Iraq (news - web sites) since Saddam Hussein's ouster.

 

Operating out of a palace once used by Saddam, Rumsfeld told Iraqis the United States is eager to return the country to their control.

 

"Iraq belongs to you," he said in a message taped for radio and television broadcast. "The coalition has no intention of owning or running Iraq."

 

The shooting in Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, occurred less than 48 hours after gunfire during a demonstration Monday night that hospital officials said killed 13 Iraqis.

 

About 1,000 people marched down the city's main street Wednesday to protest the earlier incident, stopping in front of a battalion headquarters of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division — a former office of Saddam's Baath Party.

 

American officers said U.S. soldiers in the compound and in a passing convoy opened fire after some protesters started throwing rocks and some shots were fired at the troops.

 

"The evildoers are deliberately placing at risk the good civilians," said Lt. Col. Tobin Green of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. "These are deliberate actions by the enemy to use the population as cover."  [Remember when idiots like this used this “evildoer” bullshit?  Seems like a million years ago.]

 

Fallujah's mayor, Taha Bedaiwi al-Alwani, said two people were killed and 14 wounded, and he asked for an investigation and compensation for the victims.  He added that U.S. soldiers have been asked to stay away from mosques, residential areas and other sensitive places; the Americans agreed to study the request.

 

Many people believe these are occupying forces.  And many of them are still cautious until they see their intentions," said al-Alwani, a former Iraqi exile and opponent of Saddam's regime.

 

Local officials in Fallujah — a conservative Sunni Muslim city and Baath Party stronghold — said they saw or heard no shooting from among the protesters.

 

The incident, coupled with the deaths Monday outside a school in Fallujah, are increasing tension as American forces try to keep the peace in Iraq and win the trust of its people.  [Right.  By killing them.  Didn’t work, did it?]

 

U.S. officers met with Fallujah's mayor and local Muslims clerics in hopes of averting further violence.  Several dozen demonstrators clustered angrily outside the town hall where the talks took place; "Get out, get out," some chanted.

 

Emerging from the meeting, the imam of the Grand Fallujah Mosque, Jamal Shaqir Mahmood, said the Americans insisted the U.S. troops were needed to provide security, "but the people of Fallujah told them we already have security."

 

In the incident Monday night, U.S. Central Command said paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne were shot at by about 25 armed civilians mixed within an estimated 200 protesters outside a compound troops were occupying.

 

Demonstrators said no gunfire came from their ranks.

 

"A number of human beings have been liberated and they are out from under the heel of a vicious, brutal regime," Rumsfeld said.  [Liberated as in dead, and out from under his vicious, brutal heel, for sure.]

 

MORE:

 

Elation Turning To Rage As U.S. Troops Won’t Leave Iraq

 

Nadim Ladki, April 30, 2003, Reuters

 

The elation that greeted the ousting of Saddam has quickly been replaced in many communities by increasingly angry demands for U.S. troops to go home and leave Iraqis to rule themselves.

 

The bloodiest protests so far have been in Falluja.  In the latest shooting, a hospital official in the town said he had seen two young men who died of head wounds inflicted by U.S. troops on Wednesday.

 

The hospital was treating eight wounded and other casualties were taken to a different clinic.

 

Residents of Falluja complained to reporters that U.S. troops in the town were making intrusive patrols and surveillance.

 

"They are wandering inside and in between houses and in front of schools, like cowboys," said Talib al-Janabi, head of a hospital.

 

 

 

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

 

 

6 Die As Cops Fight Troops In Herat;

Mine Blast Kills Three Policemen In Kunar

 

May 03, 2005, Daily Times, KABUL

 

Six people were killed when a dispute between Afghan soldiers and police degenerated into a battle in Herat, a military official and hospital staff said on Saturday.

 

The shooting erupted after a soldier shot dead a woman he suspected of carrying bombs during a crowded ceremony late Friday to mark the anniversary of the toppling of former president Najibullah's communist government in 1992.  

 

Afterwards 500 people took to the streets to demonstrate against the army and police.

 

"We have received the bodies of three military and three civilians who were killed in the clash," said a doctor at Herat's main hospital.

 

Police arrested the soldier who shot the woman but soldiers seeking their comrade's release then clashed with police, said army officer Abdul Manan.  The two sides fought with rifles and hand grenades for more than an hour, witnesses said.  Twelve people, most of them civilians, were wounded, they said.

 

In Kunar province, a landmine blast killed three Afghan counter narcotics police and wounded two others on Saturday as they were examining poppy crops in the region, police said.  The anti drugs team was on its way back from Manogay district in eastern Kunar province after an initial assessment of the poppy fields in the district.

 

"Three police were martyred and two were wounded as their vehicle ran over a land mine planted for them on their way back to provincial capital," said Major General Sayed Kamal Sadat, director of the anti drugs police. Agencies

 

 

Collaborator Cops Help Criminals Plunder The Poor;

"They Are Ears Belonging To The Same Horse."

 

One of the drivers, Raz Mahammad, claimed that police beat him when he told them he had no money and that conditions were worse now than in the early Nineties.

 

May 03 (SANA) MAZAR-E-SHARIF

 

While the Afghan police say thousands of bandits have been disarmed in recent years, many in the provinces insist their lives are still ruled by armed men.  The trouble now, these people say, is telling the bandits from the police.

 

Most complaints come from herders and farmers whose crops and flocks are “taxed" by local gunmen.

 

Local residents say these gunmen use threats, beatings or torture and operate under the protection the local police.

 

“Armed men still rule in some areas, and the police don’t want to sever their relations with their old friends,” said Qayoum Babak, a political analyst in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

 

About 450 kilometres to the southeast, in Kunar province near the Pakistan border, herdsmen fought a three-day skirmish in March against the forces of local commander Haji Sardar.  Fed up with his tithe of every twentieth goat and every tenth sheep, they burned his compound and ran him out of their village, Mazar Dara.

 

"There were no casualties, but their centre was set on fire, and the commander escaped along with his friends," village elder Malik Gulan told IWPR.

 

Kunar governor Asadullah Wafa said he didn't mind that the herders had taken the law into their own hands.  He said his priority was getting rid of armed gangs, whether they enjoyed local police protection or not.

 

"The communities must help us take them out," he said.

 

IWPR has turned up similar complaints in the eastern provinces of Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan and Nangarhar, as well as Faryab and Sar-e-Pul in the north.

 

“Our only hope was the police, but now we see that the local police are largely supporting the local commanders,” said Mohammed Asef, who helped form a committee in Faryab province to submit a complaint to the interior ministry.

 

Asef complained that police recently arrested but then quickly released a well-known outlaw named Samad, who had been accused of attacking local shepherds and stealing 40 sheep.  Now, Asef said, Samad has become more brazen than ever, but the local authorities insist there’s nothing they can do.

 

"We still haven't received any documents or evidence against commander Samad," Colonel Sayed Hassan Ziarati, the Faryab provincial police chief, told IWPR.

 

Authorities in neighbouring Sar-e-Pul province likewise said they had received complaints against a gang leader named Manan, but not enough evidence to arrest him. But Sayed Mohammad Saami, head of the Human Rights Commission in northern Afghanistan, said his organisation had received 20 complaints about Manan alleging theft, looting and torture.

 

"The police were formed out of the local ex-militia group," said a resident of Tabar village in Sar-e-Pul, who asked his name not be given for fear of retaliation.  "They've just put on the uniforms.  They still can't disobey their ex-commander's orders."

 

In March, more than 50 lorry drivers alleged that they were beaten and robbed by police at a checkpoint on the highway between Mazar-e-Sharif and Jowzjan.

 

One of the drivers, Raz Mahammad, claimed that police beat him when he told them he had no money and that conditions were worse now than in the early Nineties.

 

"In those days, if you told the gunmen that you didn't have any money, they would release you," he said.  "They wouldn't beat you like today's police."

 

On March 29, about 2,000 people demonstrated in Balkh for the arrest of a local leader, Baba Sayeed, whom they accused of collecting illicit taxes and looting.

 

The demonstrators were asked to put their complaints in writing, said General Khalilullah Ziayee, Balkh province’s security chief.

 

Abdul Ghafoor, a farmer and herdsman in the Barg-e-Metal district of the eastern Nuristan province, said some commanders were taking one-tenth of all crops in his area.

 

"We give them wheat, corn, cheese and opium," he said.  "If we don’t, we will be beaten."

 

Gang leaders have financial arrangements with some village elders and maliks, the local administrative chiefs, he alleged.

 

 "We are poor and helpless people. We can't say anything, and the commanders are paying shares to the elders and maliks," said Ghafoor. "That’s why they keep their mouths shut."

 

In Laghman province, nomadic herder Akhtar Mohammad said his local commander's take was one out of every 15 newborn lambs.

 

The shepherd also sees little point complaining to the authorities, since he sees no difference between them and the extortionists, "They are ears belonging to the same horse."

 

 

 

Received:

 

“After The Next Revolution”

 

From: T

To: GI Special

Sent: May 06, 2005 7:34 AM

 

I have suffered the shame of the Iraq war every since it began.  For so long there was no one I could find who wanted to hear the truth about the war.  Then I came across GI Special, and found everything I wanted to hear.

 

It's the first thing I read each day when I turn on the computer.

 

I'm an English teacher working in Nanjing, China.  Keep up the extremely good work you're doing.

 

Best,

T

 

PS: If the Patriot Act people intercept this and cancel my passport, it's ok with me.  I don't plan to return to Republican America until after the next revolution, when its name will be restored: the America we used to love.

 

REPLY:  Please reconsider.  We could use some help here getting that work done.  T

 

 

Received:

 

Karl: What do you say, Fred, will we have to live on forever, or what?

 

Friedrich: Nah, as soon as humankind struggles free of the capitalist muck we can retire.

 

Karl: I'll smoke and drink to that!

 

[Thanks to Z who sent this in.]

 

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