Perspectives on the historical origins of the systematic torture of Iraqis at US hands.
Conduct Unbecoming of the Commander-In-Chief
“It’s enough to put my head in a guillotine.”
Bob Dylan, It’s Alright Ma (I’m only Bleeding)
“These Photos Are Very Disturbing” reads the discretion warning in Dahr Jamail’s recent dispatch reporting the new set of torture images to come out of Iraq. On February 16, 2006, the Australian public broadcaster SBS released the carnal photographs and videos of inhumane treatment inflicted upon Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2003-04.
After viewing the nearly homo-erotic “pornographic” like photos and video clips, one could put an “E” rating—for morally evil– on this sequel to the 2004 prison abuse scandal. There are many versions as to how this troubling incident happened in an Iraqi chicken coop, guarded by U.S. military foxes, but the origin is the most telling and indisputable.
Seymour M. Hersh wrote in “The Gray Zone,” “The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie are not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved by… Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.”1 Called by U.S. black ops in code names (i.e., “Copper Green” in Afghanistan), interrogation of prisoners in Iraq is based on research presented by the late cultural anthropologist Raphael Patai in his 1973 “The Arab Mind.”2
The book, which defined the psychological make-up of Arab peoples, became the bible for how to break them down psychologically and morally. Patai claims Arabs only understand force, and an Arab’s weakness is shame and humiliation. Thus, techniques for coerced sexually explicit humiliation were openly enforced in the prisons, and photographed to the delight of the U.S. MP guards.
Abu Ghraib – The Tipping Point
By the summer of 2004, after the American corporate media was forced to show the truth of what occurred in Abu Ghraib, public support for President Bush’s Operation Iraqi Freedom started showing dramatic disapproval, registering as high as sixty percent. John Mueller, Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University and an expert on wartime public opinion, has argued that eroding support for Iraq matches patterns for wars in Korea and Vietnam.
“The most striking thing about the comparison among the three wars is how much more quickly support has eroded in the case of Iraq,” he writes in Foreign Affairs.3 By the start of last year with just 1,500 American troops dead, public opinion on Iraq dropped to depths only reached in the seven-year Vietnam War after the Tet Offensive, when some 20,000 Americans had been killed.
When U.S. forces arrived in Iraq in March 2003, they found most of Iraq’s institutional prisons in unsuitable condition to hold prisoners, since Saddam Hussein had shut the majority of them down, in his release of (primarily political) prisoners.
Consequently, U.S. Military Police battalions set up “tent camps” in the hot, dusty desert to contain the growing number of “suspected” anti-coalition Iraqis. Of these, Camp Bucca, near Um-Qasr next to the Kuwait border, and Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad airport, were the most notable. Ironically, the camps provided no better accommodations than the decaying institutional edifices could have, becoming fly infested cesspools of diseased hell on earth.
These “tent camps” could be considered a seed of the Iraqi resistance movement. Here, Iraqi males were sequestered with no adherence to their Muslim customs, without latrines, no appropriate medical care, no adequate food or water, no adequate protection from the harsh desert climate, and no processing classification system for proper interrogations.
Camp Bucca, named after Ronald Bucca, a soldier with the 800th Military Police Brigade and New York City Fire Marshall who died in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, was significantly over-extended in capacity (7,000 inmates) and undermanned within the first two months of the U.S. military occupation.
Similarly, by mid summer 2003, over 7,000 inmates, a mix of criminals with civilians left to fend for themselves, were crammed into Camp Cropper. By this time, there were hundreds of “tent camps” throughout Iraq, suffering similar problems, and abandoned by high-ranking Nietzsche military command oversight. Perhaps the absent commanders were blinded by their own Spartan standards of a foot soldier’s survival projected upon the “POWs” they considered deserving of subhuman management in retaliation for 9/11. A feral dog in Iraq got better treatment.
Left with no recourse for alleviation from inhumane conditions, inmates threw themselves upon the perimeter coil razor wire, lacerating themselves so that they could throw their blood at a patrolling U.S. Military Police (MP) guard. They also dug their hands into the piles of rotting human feces piled about the camp, tossing it at the military personnel in protest. When it rained, they formed baseball-sized clumps of clay from the dirt, which, when dry, became projectile weapons of defense. On searing hot days, the “tent camps” broke out in riots.
When MP officers became desperate about their own safety from rebellious inmates and complained through the chain of command, they were brushed off. Abu Ghraib, being refurbished, was soon to open.
Abu Ghraib reopened in August 2003, renamed the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF) or Baghdad Central Correctional Facility. It is affectionately called the “hard site” by occupying U.S. military forces to distinguish it from tent prisons.
Under the orders of Major General Geoffrey D. Miller, commander at Guantanamo Bay, the 800th Military Police Brigade Brig. General Janis L. Karpinski, consolidated the functions of the MP’s and intelligence officers to set “conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation” of the prisoners. The import of this experimental innovation of Miller’s from Guantanamo Bay, Camp Delta, would ultimately backfire in Iraq.
Karpinski, a corporate management consultant before being called back to active duty, rarely visited Abu Ghraib. She was based in Baghdad and the frequency of insurgent attacks prohibited her from making routine visits, compromising her ability to adequately oversee the proper operation and treatment of the prisoner cellblocks.
By the end of 2003, the guard-to-prisoner ratio was about one to 15, or one battalion guarding 7,000 at Abu Ghraib. Army doctrine calls for one battalion per 4,000 enemy soldiers. In U.S. prisons, one guard per three inmates is considered the norm. Consequently, oversight and accountability was severely marginalized, compromising the Military Police standard operating procedures of prisons.
Accountability to military codes of conduct became virtually nonexistent. Prisoner abuse could easily be covered up by the haphazard methods of managing the inmate population. Worse yet, a segment of the 320th Battalion, the 372nd MP Company, never trained and inexperienced in the guarding of prisons, was given the most sensitive mission: control of the 203 cells on Tier 1A and 1B, the “high priority detainees held for interrogation by civilian and military intelligence officers.”4
In the fall of 2003, Sergeant Blas Hidalgo, while standing guard in an Abu Ghraib prison tower, heard stories of MP’s torturing prisoners. He dismissed them as sounding too crazy. At the same time, Major General Donald J. Ryder, the provost marshal in charge of Army Military Police, was conducting a “comprehensive review of the entire detainee and corrections system in Iraq.”
Though Ryder’s report underscored flawed operating procedures, lack of training, and inadequate prisoner classification systems, Ryder concluded, “…there were no military police units purposely applying inappropriate confinement practices.”
Ryder excluded mention of “Other Government Agencies,” a common expression for the CIA, bringing Iraqis to Abu Ghraib, keeping the MP’s in the dark about their identities and reasons for capture. These secret prisoners were classified as, “ghost detainees.”
At no time were the Geneva Conventions posted in Abu Ghraib, although required by law. Neither were the MP’s informed of the violations of international law committed by holding “ghost detainees,” although they were ordered to hide “ghost detainees” from visiting International Red Cross inspectors. This disregard for international humanitarian law is in keeping with the approval of Secretary of Defense Ronald H. Rumsfeld during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, that U.S. forces, during their “cordon and knock” house-to-house night searches, “Grab whom you must. Do what you want.”
Because it was standard procedure for military intelligence personnel to order the MP’s to “loosen this guy up” and “make sure he has a bad night,” the methods escalated to the perverse, as outlined by the U.S. black ops interrogation bible, Patai’s 1973, “The Arab Mind,” and Rumsfeld’s disregard to the Geneva Convention.
First evidence of the photographic images of the sexual abuse of prisoners were stamp dated October 17, 2003, apparently a month before military intelligence took command of the prison, according to the investigative Taguba Report5. The report claimed the abuses were only conducted between 0200-0400 hrs for just a few days in late October and early November. What was not mentioned, as already pointed out, was the indisputable, systematic torture style indicative of CIA black ops methods of sexual humiliation and abuse of Arabs already used on Afghanistan prisoners.
On January 13, 2004, Sergeant Joseph Darby, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, had had enough. He slipped a compact disc of the digital images with an anonymous note describing the serious criminal abuses, under the door of an Army criminal investigator. Sergeant Darby was exercising Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 138 – The Soldier’s Right to Complain; the most powerful right, but one of the least known and least used by military personnel.6
Three days later, after an Army Criminal Investigation Division reviewed the incidents, and the military made mention of the investigation in a one-paragraph press release.
At the same time, Dahr Jamail, just arrived in Iraq, was already chasing down the blunt truth of illegal arrests and imprisonments by U.S. forces that bled over into the Abu Ghraib scandal. In his December 15, 2003 dispatch “Home Pillaged, More Illegal Detentions” Dahr reported about U.S. troops raiding a home of 43 year-old college professor, Taharoh Muhammad Munahi in the Al Ewadiyah neighborhood of Baghdad and taking Leith, a family member.
Returning the next day to apologize that they had been given wrong information by an informant, the U.S. soldiers asked Taharoh about the whereabouts of Iftihar, a brother-in-law, who was at the time at the Rasafah US base asking about the whereabouts of Leith. Unable to arrest Iftihar, they arrested Taharoh, giving no reasons. This was more the norm than an isolated incident.
In Dahr’s dispatch titled, “Jubilation, grief, and sadness in occupied Baghdad” he wrote, “The stories of peoples homes being stormed and searched for resistance fighters continue to pour in… just this morning I interviewed a woman who had her brother and sister taken to prison after a fruitless raid by Americans who had stormed her home at 10pm one night… The home was devastated, and two family members [were] taken to prison for no reason.” These actions are in direct violation of Crimes Against Humanity.7
On December 16, 2003, Dahr reflected, “This is another reason, along with the catastrophic state of daily life for most Iraqis, that unless the US changes its policy here immediately, we are only seeing the beginning of a resistance against the [US] occupation.”
A month later, on January 20, 2004, CNN reported: “…new details from the Army’s criminal investigation into reports of abuse of Iraqi detainees… U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners… the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division has focused on these pictures, which may depict male and female soldiers. … there are ‘credible reports’ that there may be photographs of alleged abuse.”
President Bush, doing damage control from the CNN report, made a sugarcoated statement of apology from the White House Rose Garden to the American people. The following day, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld apologized disavowing the evidence before Congress, hoping to sweep the incident under the Pentagon covert black ops veil of secrecy.
When 26- year-old, by-the-book West Point graduate, devout Christian and recipient of two Bronze Stars for valor in the war on terror, Captain Ian Fishback heard Rumsfeld try to cover up what he had seen first hand8 as a direct violation of “the letter of the Geneva Convention”, Captain Fishback tried through the military chain of command to make those superiors come clean. After seventeen months of stonewalling by his superiors – a violation of Article 138 – The Soldier’s Right to Complain — Captain Fishback broke rank and went to Human Rights Watch.
“That’s basic officership, that’s what you learn at West Point. It blows my mind,” said Captain Fishback while giving testimony to the human-rights watchdog group. In an open letter to Senator John McCain, Captain Fishback, accusing the top brass of contributing to murder by refusing to set clear guidelines wrote, “If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession.”
It was reported that an infuriated Rumsfeld order subordinates to go after Captain Fishback, “…either break him or destroy him, and do it quickly.”9
Abu Ghraib became a big international story when CBS’ 60 Minutes broadcasted some of the inhumane images of prisoner abuse in April 2004. For someone flicking the television channels with a remote, the horrific images could very well have been mistaken for an American prime-time episode of reality-show ultraviolence, “must-bleed” killer instinct – murder – rape – mutilation bumper crop programming.
Bloodthirsty networks and basic-cable competition have used so much violence in a feeding frenzy for viewer ratings, that American viewers have become numb to any real life atrocities committed by their government. Of American’s top television entertainment programming genres, grisly forensic sexual assault porn and ludicrously lurid child molestation rank the highest.
All this time, Dahr had been reporting not only the illegal arrests of Iraqi men, but the protests outside of Abu Ghraib by family members, who were being stonewalled by U.S. forces. Protesting Iraqi families were refused any information about reasons for incarcerating their relatives or any indication of their whereabouts. Dahr’s reportage went largely ignored by corporate mainstream media, though his dispatches bore the truth well before American media even touched on the matter with watered down fluff pieces claiming it was just a few bad apples in the ranks.
The most striking thing about the whole Abu Ghraib situation is it reeks of Saddam Hussein’s Secret Police methodology, similar to Soviet Russia’s KGB, where an Iraqi civilian could be suddenly taken off the street, hauled off to prison, tortured and interrogated, and then held up to nine months or executed. At that time, you just knew when someone didn’t come home, they had been “taken,” and hopefully, God willing, they would be released in a few months. Most of all, you went quietly about your business, not wanting to draw any attention that might reflect badly on your loved one being held in custody, which often brought them back alive.
The Department of Defense and the Pentagon’s tactical handling of Iraqi prisoners had become indistinguishable with Saddam Hussein’s Secret Police. Sixty percent of the Iraqi detainees did not meet the criteria of being a member or in support of anti-coalition forces, the Taguba Report found. American diplomacy in liberating Iraq from tyranny had turned as obscene, criminal and brutally clumsy as the tyranny itself.
Only seven lower ranking military personnel were court-martialed for the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photographs.
Dahr continued to report testimonies of abuse from Abu Ghraib inmates during the Spring of 2004 such as: “The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house.” Dahr wrote, “promises to bring justice… to these heinous acts… have fallen on the distraught ears of family members who wait outside the gates of the prison to see their loved ones inside. ”10
Dahr’s dispatches continued to be ignored by the American embedded corporate media pack mentality that was intentionally slow to jump on widespread allegations of deliberate abuse by U.S. military personnel and CIA intelligence operatives in Iraq’s prisons. Perhaps these “journalists” were afraid of alienating themselves with the Pentagon and the White House. Dahr watched first-hand from Baghdad as President Bush appeared on Arab television condemning the prisoner abuse, but never openly apologizing to the Iraqi people.
Prior to the 2004 media report of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photographs, there were 150 attacks on U.S. military troops a week. Immediately afterwards, this figure escalated to 700 a week continuing through 2005.
This newest set of “Very Disturbing” photos released in Australia will most likely be the last of any photographs and videos of Iraqi prisoner abuse publicly released, though the violations of humanitarian rights continue. Since Rumsfeld said, “Hey, the guys aren’t allowed to have cameras anymore,” the only evidence of an inconvenient contradiction of the Bush administration’s presumption of democracy in Iraq will have to come from “afteraction” journalism from Green Zone embeds, copying verbatim DoD press releases. If not for the independent journalists covering the U.S. occupation, Americans would have been kept well in the dark about the unconscionable suffering of the Iraq civilians at the hands of the Bush-Cheney regime.
The violence and degradation continues for Iraqi detainees
To date, the steady influx of Iraqi detainees has increased 20 percent from 2004, causing the U.S. Military Police to continue to operate at surge capacity, in violation of Army doctrine. Estimated total inmates stands at 17,000, although records and classifications remain mismanaged, making it extremely difficult to compile accurate records of the widespread incarceration of the Iraqi male population in a country of 25 million people.
The average age of the inmate population of an estimated 38 Iraqi compounds11 is between the ages of 20 and 40, less than 60 percent have a high school education.
Meanwhile, projected expansion of private contract construction costs are estimated at $55 million.
According to journalist Herman Grech, the “US is aware of torture taking place in Iraqi prisons.”
Grech recently had a frank interview with retired, Dr. John Pace, U.N. Human Rights Chief, who served in Iraq for two years. Dr. Pace admitted, “Yes, torture is happening now, mainly in illegal detention places. Such centers are mostly being run by militia that have been absorbed by the police force.”
Dr. Pace estimates that over 23,000 Iraqis are being held in detention centers of which 80 to 90 percent are innocent. In July 2005 alone, Dr. Pace claims that the Baghdad morgue received 1,100 bodies, 900 of which bore evidence of torture or summary execution. In December 2005, he counted 780 bodies, 400 of which died of gunshot wounds or injuries from electric drills. Dahr also documented such brutality in the Baghdad morgues, and recorded photographic evidence of execution-style deaths.
NGO Prisoner’s Association for Justice (PAJ) was established to assist prison detainees who have suffered human rights abuses. Spokesman Khalid Rabia’a reported that their organization alone has received 125 reports of prisoner abuse inside Iraqi prisons.
The United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) quoted one former detainee in their February 22, 2006 report. “I was tortured by the Iraqi army and they used horrible ways to get information out of me,” said Fahed Ahmed, who was received beatings with cables and was sodomized twice. “But after three months, they released me without proof I was helping the insurgency.”
Conduct Unbecoming of the Commander-In-Chief
As mentioned earlier in the case of Captain Fishback breaking ranks to testify about prisoner abuse, a U.S. soldier takes an oath to defend America’s constitutional democracy and its way of life. They are prepared to give their life in defense and conviction of this “call to duty” cause.
In light of the Abu Ghraib scandal, the tipping point of American support for President Bush’s illegal, pre-emptive strike of Iraq, we are not assured that under this current Commander in Chief, our soldiers are being allowed to uphold military codes of conduct in accordance with their oath to protect and defend American democracy.
Some soldiers claim that Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (Conduct Unbecoming), is being used to silence from leaking information about military atrocities. The commanding superiors argument is that it’s meant to suppress dissent in the ranks, but the forced silence of military personnel should not be taken as an endorsement that soldiers aren’t in disagreement with the Bush administration. According to a recent Zogby poll, 72% of U.S. soldiers in Iraq want to leave12. If more soldiers read the UCMJ, they would be alarmed to find out what Captain Fishback knew as a “by-the-book” soldier, and could, as matters stand, make an assault on their chain of command that would shine light on the illegality of their “call of duty” in Iraq.
Moreover, Article 133, under section (3), states; “committing, or attempting to commit crimes involving moral turpitude,” could be argued that sodomizing Iraqi prisoners, forcing them to masturbate, and raping female Iraqi prisoners meets this criterion of prosecution under military law.
And Article 134 (Assault-indecent) makes it punishable to bring discredit upon the armed forces. This falls under acts of violation of civil and foreign law which brings disrepute or which tends to lower the U.S. armed forces in public esteem.
Military members who willfully disobey the lawful orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. Thus, “I was only following orders” is commonly used as a legal defense.
An order requiring the performance of a military duty or act may be inferred to be lawful and it is disobeyed at the peril of the subordinate. This inference must not, however, apply to a patently illegal order, such as one that directs the commission of a crime. Thus, the “I was only following orders” argument can be an unsuccessful defense, most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following WWII.
Military courts hold military members accountable for their actions even while following orders – if the order is illegal.
Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that treaty obligations of the United States are the “supreme law of the land,” and the U.S. Supreme Court has held that international law, to include custom, are part of the U.S. law. This means that treaties and agreements the United States enters into enjoy equal status as laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. Therefore, all persons subject to U.S. law must observe the United States’ Law of Armed Conflict obligations. In particular, military personnel must consider LOAC to plan and execute operations and must obey LOAC in combat. Those who violate LOAC may be held criminally liable for war crimes and court-martialed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Under the Rules of War13 “The Law of Armed Conflict aims to protect civilians, prisoners of war, the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. DoDD 5100.77 requires each military department to design a program that ensures LOAC observance, prevents LOAC violations, ensures prompt reporting of alleged LOAC violations, appropriately trains all forces in LOAC, and completes legal review of new weapons. LOAC training is the treaty obligation of the United States under provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions”
The Bush-Cheney administration has carried out the destruction of Iraq violating the UN Charter, the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Charter, the Law of Armed Conflict and patently commissioning through the chain of command violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Laying the Foundation: The Gulf War Crimes
None of this is particularly shocking if we look at the many signals of the Bush dynasty’s thirst for global domination. Take for example Ramsey Clark’s indictment of 1991 Gulf War Crimes14 “The United States intentionally bombed and destroyed civilian life, commercial and business districts, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, historical sites, private vehicles and civilian government offices.”
“General Thomas Kelly commented on February 23, 1991, that by the time the ground war begins “there won’t be many of them left.” General Norman Schwarzkopf placed Iraqi military casualties at over 100,000.” The ratio of U.S. soldier’s K.I.A. (148) to Iraqi combined military and civilian deaths was well over 1 to 20.
By the time the U.S. military was finished with Desert Storm, seven times the explosive force of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima (100,000 killed) had been expended upon Iraq, returning their economic infrastructure to a pre-industrial age.
“The purpose of the attacks,” writes Clark, “was to destroy life, property and terrorize the civilian population. On the highways, civilian vehicles including public buses taxicabs and passenger cars were bombed and strafed at random to frighten civilians from flight, from seeking food or medical care, finding relatives or other uses of highways…”
General Colin Powell’s response to the extraordinary number of noncombatant deaths was, “It’s really not a number I’m terribly interested in.”15
During the ten years of U.S. enforced sanctions in Iraq after Desert Storm, 525,000 men, women and children died from starvation, untreated disease, depleted uranium radiation exposure, and malnutrition.
The intention of the Bush- Quayle administration was to destroy all military facilities and equipment and permanently impoverish Iraq and threaten its people with famine and epidemics. Now, with the Bush II- Cheney administration, we see the widespread incarceration of Iraqi males. Operation Iraqi Freedom is set upon decimating the military age male population (15 to 40) so Iraq could not raise a substantial force for half a generation.16 That is why the Pentagon has yet to raise a substantial Iraqi Army.
The Fifth Columnists – Disloyal Americans
The genesis of Operation Iraqi Freedom came, in part, from the infamous Paul Wolfowitz Report17, a velociraptor of “strike first” principles that commits crimes against peace18 and introduces a new version of human commoditization, abolishing selfhood, and stirring one’s memory of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
Moreover, George H.W. Bush’s New World Order, revised as Newt Gingrich’s “Contract For America,” which evolved into Bush II’s post 9/11 “War on Terror,” and has now become the DoD’s “Long War19,” mandates that Congressional U.S. policy “turn back the clock” to the pre-WWII era of unchallenged colonial domination in the Middle East. This, in partnership with the United Arab Emirates, a feudal system of government that ignores democratic human rights.
Such is the evidence of financial collusion unearthed by Ramsey Clark over ten years ago: “An extensive investment portfolio that includes, Chase Manhattan Bank, Saudi Industrial Development Fund of the Saudi Monetary Authority, Citicorp, who handles Emir of Kuwait’s $120 billion investment portfolio.” This mere handful of total beneficiaries has put at the disposal of the Bush family over one trillion dollars to become the dread of the world’s 195 countries.20
The Bush-UAE-Carlyle Group-Halliburton-Exxon cabal has amassed trillions since then in war profiteering military contracts, an incestuous racketeering firm, which masquerades as leaders for protecting American democracy. One must understand that there is no allegiance to the U.S. constitution by these thugs, who to date, have tossed our world into a swirling current of social destruction. Such was the case in Europe, seventy-years ago.
Doing business with the enemy is nothing new in the Bush pedagogy. Exploiting cheap labor from enslaved minorities in Europe made the founder of the Bush political dynasty, the late Senator Prescott Bush, millions prior to and during WWII as a financial architect for the Third Reich treasury during the 1930’s. He was caught and fined for breaking the Trading With The Enemy Act of 1941 that ordered seizure of all German banking interests, including the Union Banking Corporation, in which Bush held one stock.
Moreover, Prescott Bush’s investments in the Consolidated Silesian-American Steel Corporation and the IG Farben Corporation, who produced the cyanide that killed the Jews in the concentration camp gas chambers, made him complicit with the Nazi’s using slave labor from Oswiecim that later became the Auschwitz concentration camp.21
Just as George W. Bush’s grandfather fraternized with Nazi business investments at the expense of civilians lives, so has his father continued the war profiteering habit with the Bin Laden family relationship, maintaining a triad investment portfolio that literally controls pharmaceuticals, banking, and oil corporations, and is exclusively entwined with the UAE. But bearing in mind, just as the Nazi’s had to find cheap labor to keep their war machine going, so does the Bush-Cheney administration face a similar dilemma.
In 2002, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft disclosed a plan to allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights. He proposed to build “enemy combatant” camps on U.S. soil to contain them, most likely modeled after the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Senator Lindsey Graham has since suggested to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a new populace to fill those U.S. camps: Fifth Columnists.22 Within this plan, it has been disclosed that these inmates can be used for labor under the control of the Army Corp of Engineers.
The Army Corps of Engineers have awarded a $385 million dollar contract to Kellogg Brown and Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, to build detention centers for the Homeland Security Department on U.S. soil. Even though the Pentagon claims that construction hasn’t started, Jamie Zuieback, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the centers would only be used in times of emergency, “like the one when thousands of Cuban floated on rafts to the United States.” Or, if there is another terrorist attack on American soil, shadowy U.S. citizens termed, “Fifth Columnists” will need to be sequestered, just as American-Japanese were in WWII.
Criminal punishment for resistance against the Bush-Cheney regime here at home is nearing the same standards inflicted upon the inmates of concentration camps, gulags, offshore “black cell” interrogation prisons, and those prior political prisoners of Abu Ghraib under Saddam Hussein’s regime, towards the killing-off an open and free society.
Once our president convinces Americans that ordinary countries are just colonial peoples, as the Nazi’s called them untermenschen, subhuman, “We the People” will have destroyed the basis of all civilized codes of conduct. And just in case there is going to be any citizen rebellion to the Bush-Cheney doctrine, most likely, these anti-Bushists will become America’s new labor force of feudal servitude.
It is considered a fundamental fact that in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, “as history tells, foreign military powers cannot long prevail over the territory of a people, in this case the Sunnis of central Iraq, who are prepared to fight to the death,”23 But this time around, President Bush has the UAE as his cash cow, aside from the federal government’s taxpayer’s $2 trillion dollar cash flow, to establish an invincible nuclear military power complex to enforce global submission.
Adjuration For Bush To Be Court-Martial
The Associated Press reported on February 18, 2006 that representatives of 34 US members of the World Council of Churches issued a statement of dissent to the Bush administration: “We lament with special anguish the war in Iraq, launched in deception and violating global norms of justice and human rights.” The World Council of Churches includes more than 350 mainstream Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox churches; however, the Roman Catholic Church is not a member.
The U.S. National Council of Churches issued a statement citing that reports of U.S. prisoner torture violated “the fundamental Christian belief in the dignity of the human person.” In this regard, “…nations have been demonized and God has been enlisted in national agendas that are nothing short of idolatrous.”
The announcement encompasses what any sensible person would feel, but its timing looks like a dog running with its tail between its legs, just as American’s learned of the holocaust after Germany’s surrender in the pages of Look Magazine. Where were the WCC three years ago as a self-sustaining institution of human rights that holds a preponderance of religious power more or less over an open society? Yet, the WCC’s call for human justice stands as a demand, a Christian indictment against the Bush-Cheney regime, which shows what a holy mess they’re stuck in.
The Constitution empowers the President to serve as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, as well as various state militias. In this capacity, he has the duty to see that the laws of this country are faithfully served.
“This includes International Laws which the US is party to. The Law of Armed Conflict is the branch of international law that prescribes the rights and obligations of combatants, noncombatants, belligerents and prisoners. It consists of those principles and usages that, in time of war, define the status and relations not only of enemies, but also of person’s subject to military control.”24
President George W. Bush has clearly enacted unitary executive power, abolishing the cohesiveness of a judicial, legislative and executive government by subjugating the Jus ad Bellum (Just War Ethics)25 in attacking Iraq and threatening the world with his “either you’re with us, or you’re against us” rhetoric.
President George W. Bush, being subject to military jurisdiction as Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, is ultimately liable for war crimes. He can be court-martialed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice provisions for enforcing patently illegal orders through the military chain of command in the commission of crimes that wantonly violated the LOAC and signed treaties of international law, specifically for relief of the Iraqi people.
As evidenced by the Abu Ghraib photographs and the continuing preponderance of evidence of tens of thousands of Iraqi noncombatant deaths (which are in direct violation of the LOAC principles of military necessity, distinction, and proportionality26) as exhibited on Dahr Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches website, President Bush has violated his oath of office, forfeiting his executive immunity, for no longer executing his policies and duties — under oath — within the boundaries of a constitutional democracy.
Ostensibly, President Bush is found to be in collusion with the UAE free-trade accord27, given the recent Dubai Port Deal28, as a means to privatize American government by abolishing its Constitution and Bill of Rights, and scheming to manipulate world commerce and economic scales of economy for his own profit, by willfully impoverishing the welfare of the commons.
Consequently, any U.S. soldier sworn to follow the president’s orders when the president is in accordance with his oath of office, is not obligated to follow such orders by a negligent president in violation of his executive office. If they do so, they put themselves in direct violation of Article 91 and 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and are liable to be court-martial before a military tribunal that recognizes the providence of the oath of a commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces which unwaveringly upholds the constitution, the democratic lifestyle of the American people, and which each soldier vows to give his life to defend.
Chronology of Abu Ghraib: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/daily/graphics/abughraib_050904.htm
1 Hersh, Seymour H., The Gray Zone, How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib, The New Yorker, May 24, 2004 ( http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040524fa_fact )
5 US Government investigation conducted by Major General Antonio M. Taguba, Lieutenant General Anthony R. Jones, Major General George R. Ray and former defense secretary James R. Schlesinger
6 Under Article 138 of the UCMJ, “any member of the armed forces who believes himself (or herself) wronged by his (or her) commanding officer” may request redress. If such redress is refused, a complaint may be made and a superior officer must “examine into the complaint.”
7 Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, 1950; No. 82, Principle VI (c): Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
8 “Fucking a PUC” – a “person under control” – in which Army cooks wielding Louisville Slugger baseball bats were encouraged to let off steam by savagely beating detainees.
9 Capt. Ian Fishback, Rolling Stone, December 29, 2005 – January 12, 2006, p. 75
10 “Bringing Electricity To Their Asses” (May 24, 2004) retrieved from http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-jamail240504.htm
11 List of Military Detention Centers in Iraq 2004
15 Patrick E. Tyler, “Powell Says U.S. Will Stay In Iraq,” New York Times, March 23, 1991: Al + .
18 Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, 1950; No. 82, Principle VI (a) i. Planning, preparation, initiation or waging war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; ii. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
23 Galbraith, James K., Withdrawal Symptoms, Mother Jones, March + April 2006 p. 30-31