"The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War: After 14 years of costly war based on lies, it’s time for truth and accountability. The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War is meant to unify the global anti-war/peace movements with other justice movements by uplifting testimonies of the costs of this war—and war itself. The Tribunal brings the lies that created the war on Iraq into public awareness, while demanding Obama act on them. It builds and inspires the anti-war movement that we will need after the inauguration of the next administration in 2017. It will be a tool that all groups can use to build, inspire, and enliven their organizations and communities."
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War #IRAQTRIBUNAL:
"To date, no one has been held accountable for the disastrous war in Iraq where at least half a million Iraqi civilians were killed and nearly 5,000 US troops died. It's not hard to see that the lead-up to the war, basically a campaign of disinformation and the manipulation of intelligence, as anything short of intentional. And, in an effort to ascribe responsibility for what happened in Iraq and the lead up to the invasion, there will be a people's tribunal on the war and it will be held this weekend, December 1st and 2nd at the University of the District of Columbia, sponsored in part by Code Pink, and we will be live-streaming it right here on The Real News Network."
+ People's Tribunal on the Iraq War Set to Open (2016):
"Now after 14 years standing in everyway we could imagine we decided to build something that would be valuable after the elections to stand again in the way of more war. Something that could heal and build the movement. We need to stand in the way of more lies, wars and costs depleting the needs of our cities. I have been blessed to work along side some of the most caring, generous, passionate fighters for peace and justice. They are internationalist. they understand it is all connected. They risk and give their lives for peace, real peace. There are millions, we know that between 12 and 15 million of us were in the streets saying no to war just days before Shock and Awe hit Baghdad. I was in Baghdad when Colin Powell lied to the world about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I had been with the weapons inspectors that day at an earlier press conference assuring us there were none.
But the next morning we learned that Bush had followed that lie with the Game Is Over, now we launch Shock and Awe. An Iraqi women came into our room that morning looked to the sky and asked what was she going to do to protect her children, as I went down to the streets people were taping the windows and building generators for electricity. I watched them be terrorized just by the idea of shock and awe. But as we hear the stories from Iraq now, NO ONE could have imagined, even in all our fear and warnings how utterly devastating the situation is for everyone, including those in the US. Since 9/11 it is estimated the cost of our response will be 5 Trillion dollars. Instead billionaires have been made and the bottom of the world has gotten poorer. The US invested in destruction instead of peace. This tribunal speaks to the lies and costs of the Iraq War. But the lies about war go back to the Korean War and follows from there. The costs of war are born by those who are not on the front pages of papers or even in the history books."
+ People's Tribunal on the Iraq War Unifies Peace Movements (2016):
"We launched a People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War as a tool to bring the anti-war movement together and build what is needed for 2017. We aim to lay the lies and costs at the feet of President Barack Obama and call for a commission on Truth and Accountability. There are years’ worth of testimony in reports, lawsuits, books and articles. We have read the facts about the lies and costs over the years. But the totality has never been been pulled together to show the breadth of all effected. According to a report released last year by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the U.S. invasion and occupation killed at least one million Iraqi people. That would be more 10 million people in the United States if we compared it in terms of percentage of the population. Imagine the effect of 10 million people dying."
+ Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the “War on Terror” (2015):
"There are over 100,000 casualties on the side of the U.S. and the coalition of the willing, with a small percentage of those dead. The rest are living with permanent physical and psychological wounds, some so bad that U.S. military veterans are committing suicide at a rate of 20 a day. In 2012, suicides surpassed war as a the leading cause of death in the U.S. military. Since 2001, U.S. wars have cost taxpayers nearly $5 trillion, according to a new report from Brown University’s Watson Institute. But few can understand what that number actually means. Nor does this amount count the cost to people in Iraq or other members of the coalition of the willing. I have heard these reports at various tribunals over the years. But numbers and facts don’t change hearts and minds. This tribunal will be different. It will be a people’s tribunal, to be witnessed by the public, which will be presented with a large body of evidence."
+ Now More Than Ever, We Must Tell the Truth About the Iraq War (2016):
+ Casualties in Iraq (2016):
"Activists from the antiwar group CodePink attempted to perform a citizen’s arrest on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger when he testified on global security challenges at a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting on Thursday. Kissinger served as secretary of state and national security adviser during the Vietnam War under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain lashed out at the protesters and called on the Capitol Hill Police to remove them."
CODEPINK PROTESTERS: Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes! Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes!
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: The committee will stand in recess until the Capitol police will restore order.
CODEPINK PROTESTERS: Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes! Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes!
MEDEA BENJAMIN: In the name of the people of Chile, in the name of the people of Vietnam, in the name of the people of East Timor, in the name of people of Cambodia, in the name of the people of Laos...
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place about—you know, you’re going to have to shut up, or I’m going to have you arrested. … Get out of here, you low-life scum.
HENRY KISSINGER: Yet if we look around the world, we encounter upheaval and conflict and chaos.
ALLI McCRACKEN: CodePink calls for the arrest of Henry Kissinger for war crimes. Vietnam: From 1969 to 1973, Kissinger, working for Richard Nixon, oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which led to the deaths of millions—millions of people. Many thousands more died from the effects of massive doses of Agent Orange or from unexploded bombs that cover the countryside.
ANNA KAMINSKI: Chile: Henry Kissinger was one of the principal architects of the coup in Chile on September 11th, 1973, a coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.
UNIDENTIFIED: Mr. Chairman, I salute Henry Kissinger for his many—
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: Thank you, Herr Doctor. Thank you, Mein Führer.
+ CodePink Attempts to "Arrest" Henry Kissinger for War Crimes in Vietnam, Laos, Chile and East Timor (2015):
"The Trial of Henry Kissinger is a 2001 book by Christopher Hitchens examining the alleged war crimes of Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor and later United States Secretary of State for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Acting in the role of the prosecution, Hitchens presents Kissinger's involvement in a series of alleged war crimes in Indochina, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus and East Timor."
+ The Trial of Henry Kissinger (2001):
'In a 1996, William Kristol and Robert Kagan resurrected the "Defense Planning Guidance" paradigm in an article they wrote:
“America should pursue a vision of benevolent global hegemony as bold as Reagan's in the 1970s and wield its authority unabashedly. The defense budget should be increased dramatically, citizens should be educated to appreciate the military's vital work abroad, and moral clarity should direct a foreign policy that puts the heat on dictators and authoritarian regimes.”
+ “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy,” by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, writing in Foreign Affairs, July/August 1996:
'Eminent jurists, professional legal organizations, and human rights monitors in this country and around the world have declared that President George W. Bush may be prosecuted as a war criminal when he leaves office for his overt and systematic violations of such international law as the Geneva and Hague Conventions and such US law as the War Crimes Act, the Anti-Torture Act, and federal assault laws. George W. Bush, War Criminal? identifies and documents 269 specific war crimes under US and international law for which President Bush, senior officials and staff in his administration, and military officers under his command are liable to be prosecuted. Haas divides the 269 war crimes of the Bush administration into four classes: 6 war crimes committed in launching a war of aggression; 36 war crimes committed in the conduct of war; 175 war crimes committed in the treatment of prisoners; and 52 war crimes committed in postwar occupations. For each of the 269 war crimes of the Bush administration, Professor Haas gives chapter and verse in precise but non-technical language, including the specific acts deemed to be war crimes, the names of the officials deemed to be war criminals, and the exact language of the international or domestic laws violated by those officials. The author proceeds to consider the various US, international, and foreign tribunals in which the war crimes of Bush administration defendants may be tried under applicable bodies of law. He evaluates the real-world practicability of bringing cases against Bush and Bush officials in each of the possible venues. Finally, he weighs the legal, political, and humanitarian pros and cons of actually bringing Bush and Bush officials to trial for war crimes.'
+ George W. Bush, War Criminal?: The Bush Administration's Liability for 269 War Crimes (2008):
The authors felt compelled to define their term:
“...a hegemon is nothing more or less than a leader with preponderant influence and authority over all others in its domain.”
The spirit of the Defense Planning Guidance was taking form once more: world dominion, by force of arms if necessary. In 1997 Mr. Kristol and Mr. Kagan created an organizational home for the group of disenchanted neoconservatives. The organization was named the Project for the New American Century. Among the founding members were:
1. Richard Cheney, Vice President
2. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Mr. Cheney’s Chief of Staff
3. Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
4. Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
5. Steven Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense
6. Peter Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense
7. Dov Zakheim, Controller, Department of Defense
8. Abram Shulksy, Chairman, Office of Special Plans, DOD
9. Richard Perle, Chairman, Defense Policy Board
10. James Woolsey, member, Defense Policy Board
11. Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State
12. Paula Dobriansky, Undersecretary of State
13. John Bolton, Undersecretary of State
14. Zalmay Khalilzad, President’s Special Envoy
15. Elliott Abrams, National Security Council
16. Robert Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative
+ Yes, It Was Blood for Oil (2016):
From the PNAC Statement of Principles, dated June 3, 1997:
“American foreign and defense policy is adrift.....We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership... [We need] a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and a national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities. We need...to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values.”
+ Context of 'June 3, 1997: PNAC Think Tank Issues Statement of Principles':
The new organization wasted no time pursuing its mission. On January 26, 1998, it sent a letter to President Clinton:
“We urge you...to enunciate a new strategy...that should aim above all at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power....We believe the U.S. has the authority under U.N. Resolutions... [but] in any case American policy cannot be crippled by a misguided...UN Security Council.”
The letter was alarming, making a truly radical proposal. Invading a sovereign nation unprovoked is a direct violation of the charter of the United Nations. It is an international crime.'
+ The Fraudulent War (2008):
Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal - Article 6:
"Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes [crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity] are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan."
'The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) is an international peoples’ initiative aimed at seeking the truth about the War and Occupation in Iraq. It is comprised of various sessions around the world, culminating in Istanbul, Turkey on March 20, 2005.'
"The case for war against Iraq was made by the governments of the so-called Coalition, led by the United States and the United Kingdom, under various guises. Against the overwhelming opposition of the membership of the United Nations, and the unprecedented uprising of peoples’ anti-war movements globally, it was asserted that what was being undertaken was a noble violence for the common good, and more particularly for the good of the Iraqi peoples. The same message of good against evil was repeated throughout the subsequent Occupation of Iraq, and is still being repeated now as the process of political transition stumbles along. At stake are the ‘authority’ and the ‘legitimacy’ of military-political action – of War, Occupation, and ‘Assistance’."
"Increasingly, there are revelations about the lies, falsifications, disinformation, misrepresentations and silences, upon which was based the call to war against Iraq, accompanied the brutality of occupation, and directed the politics of ‘transition’. It is commonplace now to hear of outrage regarding the truths of War and Occupation that are belatedly being acknowledged. Much of the ‘mainstream’, corporate-controlled Media stands implicated, for these truths were not previously unknown. To some extent, it seems, the Media are willing to admit their ineptitudes - the New York Times, for example, has ‘apologised’ to its readers for its admitted inadequacies of investigation and truth-telling in the run-up to war in Iraq. However, although this is welcome, it is not sufficient."
"More than a simple recognition of professional failings is required. The World Tribunal on Iraq calls for a people’s judgement. Towards this end, the WTI resolves to convene a session to examine the role of the Media in war, to clarify issues of accountability and to judge possible media wrongs against truth and humanity."
+ World Tribunal on Iraq - Session on Media Wrongs Against Truth and Humanity Exposing the Politics of Disinformation (2005):
'"War Made Easy" reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations. The film brings to the screen Norman Solomon's insightful analysis of the strategies used by administrations, both Democratic and Republican, to promote their agendas for war from Vietnam to Iraq. By familiarizing viewers with the techniques of war propaganda, "War Made Easy" encourages us to think critically about the messages put out by today's spin doctors - messages which are designed to promote and prolong a policy of militarism under the guise of the "war on terror."'
+ War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death (2007):
+ TRANSCRIPT: "War Made Easy" - Norman Solomon (2007):
'The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) is remarkable for two principal reasons: WTI bears witness to the depth and persistence of the popular mobilization of people throughout the world in opposition to the Iraq War. Such a mobilization against a particular war has never occurred before on such a scale. It started with the massive street demonstrations before the war on Feb. 15, 2003 in which some 11 million people took part in 80 countries and more than 600 urban communities. The WTI gives a continuing legal, moral, and political expression to this anti-war opposition which itself has entered a new phase: an insurgent war of liberation being waged in resistance to the illegal occupation of the country by the greatest military power in the history of the world. In this struggle, the Iraqi people are being denied their fundamental rights of self-determination, first by aggression and then by a cruel and criminal dynamic occupation.
The second reason for claiming historical significance on behalf of WTI relates to this initiative of, by, and for citizens to hold leaders accountable for severe violations of international law, especially in relation to matters of war and peace. It is not that this is an entirely new idea. The first such effort was inspired by the eminent British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, who convened such a tribunal back in 1967 to assess the legal responsibility of the United States and its leaders for the Vietnam War. It gathered testimony and documented the massive abuses of Vietnamese sovereignty by a devastating war that took millions of innocent Vietnamese lives. Above all, this citizens’ tribunal was a cry of anguish intended to break the wall of silence behind which the crimes associated with the Vietnam War were daily committed. The Russell Tribunal in turn led to the formation of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal, located in Rome, operating since 1976 to reinforce the claims of international law by filling in the gaps where governments and even the United Nations are unable and unwilling to act, or even to speak. The WTI continues and extends this tradition of refusing to be silent or to be silenced. It accepts as a responsibility of democracy the obligation of citizens to insist on the relevance and applicability of international law to every use of force. This insistence includes a demand for criminal accountability, whenever a government disavows its commitment to respect international law. It is primarily to honor this commitment to uphold international law that this tribunal has been organized, and its mission is to confirm the truth of the allegation directed at the United States and the United Kingdom, while also extending to all governments that support directly or indirectly the Iraq War.
We should be aware that such a commitment by the WTI is part of a longer journey of international law that has evolved by stages that can be identified. The initial stage was to create in some authoritative way the norms of law, morality, and politics associated with the prohibition of wars of aggression. The legal culmination of this process occurred in 1928 when leading states, including the United States and the UK, ratified without qualification the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War as an instrument of National Policy, also known as the Kellogg-Brand Pact; This was followed by a second stage that attached criminal consequences to the violation of this norm prohibiting aggressive war through establishing accountability. The criminal trial of German and Japanese leaders after World War II, the Nuremberg Judgment issued in 1945 was a milestone in this process. The Judgment declared: “To initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole,” and although Nuremberg was flawed by being an example of “victors’ justice,” the American prosecutor, Justice Robert Jackson, made what has been described as the Nuremberg Promise in his closing statement: “If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us” This promise has been broken, but such behavior is not acceptable, and we are gathered in part to insist even now that the promise that every state will pay the consequences if it wages a war of aggression.
This treaty pledge to renounce aggressive war informed the United Nations Charter. The Charter imposes a core obligation on Members to refrain from the use of force in international relations except in circumstances of self-defense strictly defined and under the authority of the Security Council. It also, in a spirit relevant to the WTI, confirmed in its opening words that it is the peoples of the world and not the governments or even the UN that have been entrusted with the ultimate responsibility for upholding this renunciation of war: “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” that set forth the duties of states in the UN Charter. This tribunal is dedicated to precisely this undertaking as a matter of law, as an imperative of morality and human rights, and as an engagement with the politics of global justice.
Of course, this tribunal does not pretend to be a normal court of law with powers of enforcement. At the same time, it is acting on behalf of the peoples of the world to uphold respect for international law. When governments and the UN are silent, and fail to protect victims of aggression, tribunals of concerned citizens possess a law-making authority. Their unique contribution is to tell the truth as powerfully and fully as possible, and by such truthfulness to activate the conscience of humanity to resist. The US Government told a pack of lies in its feeble attempt to find a legal justification for the invasion of Iraq. The WTI will expose these lies by presenting evidence and testimony. The task of exposing lies and confirming truth has become easier as a result of the release of the Downing Street memos. These official documents show that British and American officials understood fully that the Iraq War was unlawful, and not only did they go ahead, but they fabricated evidence to build a completely dishonest legal case. Neither governments, nor the UN, nor most of the media will tell this story of deception, destruction, and criminality. It is the mission of the WTI, building on the efforts of the 20 or so earlier citizens’ tribunals, to tell this story and to appeal to the peoples of the world to join with the people of Iraq in opposing aggression against Iraq. The tribunal is formed on the basis of a Panel of Advocates and a Jury of Conscience. The Panel will present the evidence and the Jury will draw legal, moral, and political conclusions and offer recommendations. The pledge of advocates and jurors is to act in an honest, non-partisan, independent, and objective spirit to follow the evidence wherever it leads...
We need to realize that the Iraq war is the eye of a larger global storm. The storm expresses the fury of this American project to dominate the world by force of arms, to exploit the peoples of the world through the medium of economic globalization, and to administer its idea of security from its Washington headquarters. This project of World Empire hides its true colors beneath the banner of anti-terrorism. It justifies every abuse by pointing to the September 11 attacks. These attacks, even if they are what is claimed, do not justify aggression against states or the torture of individuals. We should remember that the imperial brain trust said before September 11 that only “a new Pearl Harbor” would produce the political climate needed to achieve global hegemony. And they got a new Pearl Harbor, or did they? Read David Griffin’s The New Pearl Harbor and you will never be able to take 9/11 at face value in the future. The convenors of the WTI are mindful of this wider context of the Iraq War...
A special concern of the WTI is to take sharp issue with American claims of exception whether based on an alleged freedom to wage war anywhere on the planet as a result of the 9/11 attacks or securing an exemption for itself in relation to the basic obligation to uphold international law. The pernicious American exceptionalism contradicts completely the role played by the United States in seeking to promote the Rule of Law, the Nuremberg approach, and the UN Charter after 1945. The claim of exception moves in two directions: it operates, first of all, as an explicit effort to exempt Anerican leaders from individual accountability for violating international law, specifically in relation to the recently established International Criminal Court; and secondly, in relation to the lawless barbarism of the detention of alleged terrorist and insurgency suspects being held in such notorious outposts of torture and official evil as Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq and Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo. This tribunal stands against such outrageous claims of exception, and operates beneath the jurisprudential principle that no government or leader is above the law and that every government and leader is criminally accountable for failures to uphold international law. If governments and the UN are unwilling to pass judgment, it is up to initiatives by citizens of the world to perform this scared duty. The WTI has been formed against the background of these essential beliefs.
It should also be understood that the WTI views the Iraq War as part of this wider assault by the United States, and the UK, against wider prospects for a just world order. These prospects depend upon respecting the sovereign rights of all states, of working to achieve human rights, including economic, social, and cultural rights for all peoples, and to struggle on behalf of a humane world order, including a far more equitable world economy that is indispensable for achieving a sustainable world peace.'
+ Opening Speech at the World Tribunal on Iraq - Richard Falk (2005):
"Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre is a documentary film by Sigfrido Ranucci and Maurizio Torrealta which first aired on Italy's RAI state television network on November 8, 2005. The film documents the use of weapons that the documentary asserts are chemical weapons, particularly the use of incendiary bombs, and alleges indiscriminate use of violence against civilians and children by military forces of the United States of America in the city of Fallujah in Iraq during the Fallujah Offensive of November 2004. The film's primary themes are:
- Establishing a case for war crimes against civilians committed by the United States.
- Documenting evidence for the use of chemical devices by the US military.
- Documenting other human rights abuses by American forces and their Iraqi counterparts.
The primary theme of the film is its assertion of a case for war crimes committed by the United States in its military offensive against Fallujah in Iraq. The film documents the use of weapons based on white phosphorus and other substances similar to napalm, such as Mark-77, by American forces. The film states that the use of napalm and similar agents was banned by the United Nations in 1980 for use against civilians and also for use against military targets in proximity to civilians.
The use of white phosphorus, as a marker, smokescreen layer or as a weapon, is not banned by Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. What is prohibited is the use of incendiary weapons against targets in close proximity to civilians or civilian property. The protocol specifically excludes weapons whose incendiary effect is secondary, such as smoke and tracer rounds. The United States is among the nations that are parties to the convention but have not signed Protocol III.
Graphic visual footage of what are claimed to be WP weapons being fired from helicopters into urban areas is displayed, as well as detailed footage of the remains of those allegedly killed by these weapons, including children and women. Following pressure from former Labour MP Alice Mahon, the British Ministry of Defence confirmed the use of MK77 by US forces during the initial invasion of Iraq."
+ Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre (2005):
'After assessing today's dwindling oil reserves and skyrocketing use of oil for fuels, plastics and chemicals, "The Oil Factor" questions the motives for the U.S. wars in the Middle-East and Central Asia where 3/4 of the world's oil and natural gas is located. With exclusive footage shot on location in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the film documents the spiraling violence now engulfing both Iraq and Afghanistan, a country conspicuously absent from the commercial media's news segments. Interviews gathered throughout the Middle-East, Europe and the United States, including a Bechtel executive in Baghdad, also expose who is cashing in on the tens of billions of dollars requested from congress by the current administration of G. W. Bush. With detailed maps and graphics, The Oil Factor features many experts and personalities such as former Defense Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, M.I.T. professor Noam Chomsky, the Project for the New American Century Executive Director Gary Schmitt, Coalition Provisional Authority Chairman Paul Bremer, former Pentagon analyst Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, current Iraqi government official Abdel Aziz Al-Hakim and authors Ahmed Rashid and Michael C. Ruppert.'
+ The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror (2004):
"The testimonies at the previous sessions of the World Tribunal on Iraq in Brussels and New York have demonstrated that even those of us who have tried to follow the war in Iraq closely are not aware of a fraction of the horrors that have been unleashed in Iraq.
The Jury of Conscience at this tribunal is not here to deliver a simple verdict of guilty or not guilty against the United States and its allies. We are here to examine a vast spectrum of evidence about the motivations and consequences of the U.S. invasion and occupation, evidence that has been deliberately marginalized or suppressed. Every aspect of the war will be examined - its legality, the role of international institutions and major corporations in the occupation, the role of the media, the impact of weapons such as depleted uranium munitions, napalm, and cluster bombs, the use of and legitimation of torture, the ecological impacts of the war, the responsibility of Arab governments, the impact of Iraq’s occupation on Palestine, and the history of U.S. and British military interventions in Iraq. This tribunal is an attempt to correct the record. To document the history of the war not from the point of view of the victors but of the temporarily - and I repeat the word temporarily - vanquished...
The evidence collated in this tribunal should, for instance, be used by the International Criminal Court (whose jurisdiction the United States does not recognize) to try as war criminals George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, Silvio Berlusconi, and all those government officials, army generals, and corporate CEOs who participated in this war and now profit from it. The assault on Iraq is an assault on all of us: on our dignity, our intelligence, and our future. We recognize that the judgment of the World Tribunal on Iraq is not binding in international law. However, our ambitions far surpass that. The World Tribunal on Iraq places its faith in the consciences of millions of people across the world who do not wish to stand by and watch while the people of Iraq are being slaughtered, subjugated, and humiliated."
+ World Tribunal On Iraq: Opening Speech - Arundhati Roy (2005):
'Since the U.S.-led invasion four years ago, the fifth estate has covered Iraq and the war on terror from virtually every angle--the military, media, intelligence, politics--revealing aspects of the story that you didn't find anywhere else. Now, as the White House warns about the latest threat in the region, this time from Iran, it's worthwhile looking back to examine the deception, suspect intelligence, even lies, that convinced the world of the rightness of targeting Saddam Hussein. The political decisions behind the invasion "The Lies That Led To War" is drawn from these stories: In 2003's "The Forgotten People", the fifth estate examined the human rights arguments used to make a case for war. We looked at the sale of technology by the US to Iraq during the 1980's despite the fact that this equipment could be, and was used eventually, in military operations by Saddam Hussein against Kurdish civilians. After the gassing of the Kurds in 1988, American business with Iraq actually increased. In the widely acclaimed "Conspiracy Theories" and the "Unauthorized Biography of Dick Cheney", which aired in 2003 and 2004 respectively, we looked at intelligence failures leading up to 9/11, Dick Cheney's power within the White House and his Halliburton connections, as well as the links between the Bush family, the Saudi Royal family and the Bin Ladens. Selling the war in Iraq In 2005's "Sticks and Stones", we turned our attention to the American media and how they covered the ongoing war in Iraq, public dissent, as well as the increasingly hostile tone between left and right in American discourse. Now, "The Lies That Led To War" provides context to the events of the previous six years, showing how political, diplomatic, media spin - which sometimes crossed the line into outright lies - have been used by the those in power to further their own agendas.'
+ CBC | The Fifth Estate | The Lies That Led To War (2007):
'War is a fundamental collapse of human reason and failure of imagination, and should always be an absolute last resort undertaken only in strict adherence with the charter of the United Nations. The current war and occupation of Iraq were undertaken in disregard of the most fundamental principles of international law and with obvious contempt for truth, posterity, and the morality which should guide all human actions. The result has been the occupation and colonization of Iraq and the destruction of its economy and increased violence and insecurity for the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi population. The world cannot sit by passively and watch the continued deterioration of the future of our planet.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) provides an opportunity for the expansion and enhancement of the international rule of law. Unfortunately, the current administration in Washington has not only chosen to separate itself from the evolving international consensus on respect for the rule of law, but has also chosen to undermine the rule of law through its actions against the International Criminal Court and other legal regimes. It must be noted that the majority of professional legal associations in the United States have expressed support for the ICC even while the administration works against it...
In the name of a preventive strike on Iraq, the US government fabricated a web of lies. We were told that the war on Iraq was waged because there were weapons of mass destruction, and that there were linkages between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qua'ida. We were told that the US authorities were deeply concerned for Iraqi people and their suffering under Saddam Hussein and they longed for their freedom and democracy. If all this were true, then why have no weapons of mass destruction been found? Why instead of finding Al-Qua'ida, have they invited Al-Qua'ida? Instead of caring for Iraqi people, they have killed, starved, maimed, tortured thousands of Iraqi people, destroying their infrastructure, including their water and health facilities. In the name of democracy they have created a corporate tyranny which has essentially stolen Iraq out from under the Iraqi people. They have committed war crimes against Iraqi people in prisons and have made freedom of movement and speech almost impossible. This was done by the US government. The people of the US are responsible and must hold their government accountable.
We the jury of conscience therefore affirm the following conclusions and recommendations:
- That the US and its coalition partners immediately cease all violations of the civil, political and human rights of the people of Iraq;
- That the military occupation of Iraq be immediately ended;
- That all parties guilty of war crimes against the Iraqi people be brought to justice under international law;
- That reparations be paid by all responsible parties to the people of Iraq for the damages caused by both the war and the occupation;
- That we work to strengthen the mobilization of the global antiwar movement;
- That the occupation of Palestine, Afghanistan and all other colonized areas is illegal and should be brought to an end immediately'
+ New York Session of the World Tribunal on Iraq (2004):
The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War - Day 1 Testifiers:
+ Testimonies on the lies that were used to invade Iraq.
1. Jodie Evans:
'Welcome to the People's Tribunal on the Iraq War... My name is Jodie Evans. I'm one of the co-founders of Code Pink. Code Pink started in September of 2002. We were responding to Bush's terrorizing messages of Code Red, Code Orange, and Code Yellow. The beginning of the lies. We called 'Code Pink' for peace. Fourteen years later, we are watching ourselves move into another era. Where not only do we have the Iraq War, but we have wars waging in probably six countries that we are participating in and more. We wanted at the end of this presidential year to look back at the last 14 years and review the lies and the costs of our response - the U.S. response - to 9/11. We wanted to heal and build the anti-war movement that we're gonna need for 2017.
The war has not only had costs abroad but it's also had costs to our communities, our cities, and the moral fabric of the United States of America. I have been blessed to work alongside some of the most caring, generous, passionate fighters for peace and justice. They are internationalists. They understand we are all connected. They give and risk their lives for peace - real peace. There are millions. We know between 12 and 15 million of us were in the streets saying no to war just before "shock and awe" hit Baghdad. I was in Baghdad when Colin Powell lied to the world about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I had been with the weapons inspectors that day at an earlier press conference assuring us there were none. But the next morning we learned that Bush had followed that lie with "Game is over - now we launch 'shock and awe.'"
An Iraqi woman came into our room that morning, looked up to the sky, and said: "How will I protect my children?" We went outside to Iraqis taping their windows and building generators for electricity. I watched them be terrorized just at the idea of "shock and awe." But as we hear the stories from Iraq now... no one, no one... could have understood what has been created from our invasion and bombing of Iraq. We have literally destroyed a country and a people and a culture.
We - I remember having the fears and I remember going back after and seeing what we had already done with the bombing - but the deterioration continues. Since 9/11, it is estimated that the cost of our response will be $5 trillion dollars. Instead of building, we have created billionaires and the bottom percentage of the world has gotten poorer. The U.S. invested in destruction instead of peace. This Tribunal speaks to the lies and costs of the Iraq War. But the lies about war go way back. I was in North Korea last year. I learned of many lies there and they continued to Vietnam.
The costs of war are borne by those who are not on the front pages of papers or even in the history books. We wanted to create a place where people could come, see and hear 4 or 5 minutes from someone with experience related to the Iraq war, and follow their testimonies deeper into the many years of testimony, and the volumes of testimonies that have come from all of them. From articles, testimonies to Congress, books, movies, marches, and non-stop offerings of truth in the face of lies. Often to personal costs, and too often, to time in jail.
Today is just the beginning. This Tribunal will live online and continue to grow. It will be a tool for study, for research, and for history. What we care most is that it serves as a warning that war comes from lies, and there are innumerable costs, and violence begets violence...
We hope you will stay engaged. We'll share your stories and your concerns. We hope this begins a conversation about how we cannot normalize violence. Please join us... From Iraq to Standing Rock, we must continue to resist the lies and refuse to pay the costs and instead create cultures of peace together. Thank you for joining us.'
'The U.S. and its allies launched a massive aerial assault against Iraq on Friday. At 12:15 p.m. EST, anti-aircraft fire could be seen rising in the skies above Baghdad. Within an hour, tremendous explosions began rocking the Iraqi capital, as the Pentagon announced "A-Day" was underway. The campaign was intended to instill "shock and awe" among Iraq's leaders, and it was directed at hundreds of targets in Iraq, officials said. Plumes of fire could be seen rising above targets in Baghdad at 1:05 p.m. EST. CNN Correspondent Wolf Blitzer reported that in his 30 years of experience, he had never seen anything on the scale of Friday's attack on the Iraqi capital. The attack was not limited to Baghdad. Targets were struck in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, which lies in the north of the country. And anti-aircraft fire lit up the sky over the southern city of Kirkuk as well. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a news conference at about 1:40 p.m. EST. He announced that the air war had begun, and he listed some of the coalition objectives in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Those objectives included defending Americans against Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, ridding the Gulf country of such illegal weapons, liberating the Iraqi people, and ending the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.'
+ 'Shock and awe' campaign underway in Iraq (2003):
'Shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance) is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy's perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight. The doctrine was written by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade in 1996 and is a product of the National Defense University of the United States. Introducing the doctrine in a report to the United States' National Defense University in 1996, Ullman and Wade describe it as an attempt to develop a post-Cold War military doctrine for the United States. Rapid dominance and shock and awe, they write, may become a "revolutionary change" as the United States military is reduced in size and information technology is increasingly integrated into warfare. Ullman and Wade identify four vital characteristics of rapid dominance:
- near total or absolute knowledge and understanding of self, adversary, and environment;
- rapidity and timeliness in application;
- operational brilliance in execution; and
- (near) total control and signature management of the entire operational environment.
The term "shock and awe" is most consistently used by Ullman and Wade as the effect that rapid dominance seeks to impose upon an adversary. It is the desired state of helplessness and lack of will. It can be induced, they write, by direct force applied to command and control centers, selective denial of information and dissemination of disinformation, overwhelming combat force, and rapidity of action. The doctrine of rapid dominance has evolved from the concept of "decisive force".'
+ Shock and Awe:
"Smoke covers Saddam Hussein's presidential palace compound during a massive US-led air raid on Baghdad, Iraq on March 21, 2003. Allied forces unleashed a devastating blitz on Baghdad, triggering giant fireballs and deafening explosions and sending huge mushroom clouds above the city center. Missiles slammed into the main palace complex of President Saddam Hussein on the bank of the Tigris River, and key government buildings."
+ Iraq War's 10th Anniversary: The Invasion (2003):
"So that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes," says Ullman.
+ Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage (2003):
'The goal of Rapid Dominance will be to destroy or so confound the will to resist that an adversary will have no alternative except to accept our strategic aims and military objectives. To achieve this outcome, Rapid Dominance must control the operational environment and through that dominance, control what the adversary perceives, understands, and knows, as well as control or regulate what is not perceived, understood, or known. In Rapid Dominance, it is an absolutely necessary and vital condition to be able to defeat, disarm, or neutralize an adversary’s military power. We still must maintain the capacity for the physical and forceful occupation of territory should there prove to be no alternative to deploying sufficient numbers of personnel and equipment on the ground to accomplish that objective. Should this goal of applying our resources to controlling, affecting, and breaking the will of an adversary to resist remain elusive, we believe that Rapid Dominance can still provide a variety of options and choices for dealing with the operational demands of war and conflict. To affect the will of the adversary, Rapid Dominance will apply a variety of approaches and techniques to achieve the necessary level of Shock and Awe at the appropriate strategic and military leverage points. This means that psychological and intangible, as well as physical and concrete effects beyond the destruction of enemy forces and supporting military infrastructure, will have to be achieved. It is in this broader and deeper strategic application that Rapid Dominance perhaps most fundamentally differentiates itself from current doctrine and offers revolutionary application. Flowing from the primary concentration on affecting the adversary’s will to resist through imposing a regime of Shock and Awe to achieve strategic aims and military objectives, four characteristics emerge that will define the Rapid Dominance military force. These are noted and discussed in later chapters. The four characteristics are near total or absolute knowledge and understanding of self, adversary, and environment; rapidity and timeliness in application; operational brilliance in execution; and (near) total control and signature management of the entire operational environment.'
+ Shock and Awe - Achieving Rapid Dominance (1996):
2. Luis Roberto Zamora Bolaños:
'I have been invited to refer to the United States government decision to form a coalition to illegally invade Iraq on the base of the case I took against the Costa Rican government for supporting the coalition. As a result of this case, the Supreme Court of Costa Rica declared the support void, for the reasons I will expose, and ordered the Costa Rican government to withdraw from the "coalition of the willing" and ordered the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs to withdraw any support to this illegal war.
Now... even though the case relates to the participation of Costa Rica within the "coalition of the willing," it is also true that the legal grounds for the court to reach their decision were based on instruments of international law. This means that if these international instruments of law apply both to the United States and to Costa Rica, the conclusion should be exactly the same, as we are not referring here to domestic legislation, but to international law. Not to say that I will not make a brief comment on the domestic situation in the United States. And.. I think I will start from there...
It is not news for those of you here in the room and those watching this tribunal online that the United States has a conflict with understanding the concept of "the rest of the world". This has been shown by the United States Supreme Court in a grueling ruling where the Supreme Justices of this country decided that international instruments are not binding to every single state of the union but they are binding to the Federal government. Which is, to be honest, the dumbest thing I have heard in my life. And these are supposed to be very good justices with high degrees of education and Ivy League Universities, and it seems they learned nothing.
If you are part of the union, you are part of the union and you accept the delegated functions that have been given to the Federal government. Now, if you do not like the rules of what the Federal government is doing, then you can just secede... or support California becoming an independent nation. But as long as you are a state that is part of the union, you are subject to the decisions of the Federal government.
So, having said this and having stated that the Federal government is bound by international law and the invasion on Iraq was promoted by the Federal government and not by every single state. We need to understand and I can state clearly that the decision of the Federal government to invade Iraq is subject to international legal control. Even at a domestic scale, as it happened in Costa Rica.
Now, why do I say this? Well, because as I mentioned earlier, it was international law arguments which beefed up the body of the ruling in the Costa Rica Supreme Court. There were basically three reasons why the Supreme Court declared the support to the "coalition of the willing" unconstitutional.
The first one, that doesn't apply to the United States, is that Costa Rica is a neutral country. And, if you are neutral, you cannot support any of the parties in the conflict, that's very clear. So that reason doesn't apply here, because it is evident that the United States is not a neutral country.
Now, the next two reasons are the ones that really, really concern the United States. And we can go further and deeper than the Costa Rican Court went at the moment. Because we need to understand that the case that I brought to the Supreme Court has no precedent. I mean... never. There was nowhere to get a judicial resolution. There was no case law on this topic. It was the first resolution on the topic - ever. So... it is not a surprise that some of the elements that it should have studied were not fully developed or unfolded.
The first one of these situations is that the invasion happened against the United Nations rules and proceedings. And... the United States is a founding member of the United Nations. It's bound by the UN Charter and it's bound by the obligations and duties of the UN Charter.
The UN Charter is an instrument created with the intention of bringing international peace and stability. So there is a duty of peace in every State to contribute to the aims and goals of the United Nations. It is not a task that the States "can" fulfill - it is a duty. It is an obligation for the States to achieve peace, as it is one of the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter.
Now... part of the United Nations Charter has the regulations on the preservation of security and peace... through the mechanisms established in the Security Council. Now, Resolution 1441 of the UN Security Council never authorized the invasion of Iraq. It only authorized...it actually requested the team headed by Hans Blix requested 6 more months to keep investigating because the Iraqi government had actually opened the facilities. So... by not having the approval of the Security Council, the United States went against the UN charter and this makes the action illegal, suitable for the compensation of every Iraqi affected by this war.
The second thing that is very important... is that one of the most important rules in international law is the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties, which is the "mother of all laws" in international law. And... believe it or not - the principle of good faith is a legal principle with binding character. And... it is enshrined in Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties of 1969. Why do I bring this? Because when Colin Powell comes with a straight face to the Security Council to lie to the world, with a straight face, like lies and lies and more lies... then he, afterwards recognize... I don't know your standards, but as it comes to me, there is no good faith in lying with a straight face to the UN Security Council, and to the world, in order to legitimize a war that was not authorized, that was not legal, and that in any case, it concerned to the UN Security Council and not by individual States to attack.
The last thing I want to say... is that besides the violation of the proceedings and the request of resolution 1441... Besides the lies provided by Colin Powell in violation of the principle of good faith... probably the final thing I wanted to say is that: the United States violated the UN Charter, the United States violated the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties, and the United States violated the most basic principles of international law based on lies that became true.
Having said this and having stated this without any, any doubt that this invasion was absolutely illegal, people who have been affected for it should be able to claim for compensation here in the United States, for the actions taken by the government.'
+ Luis Roberto Zamora Bolaños:
'The cemetery is located near the shrine of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Sunni Caliph and the first Shia Imam. Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, ruling over the Islamic caliphate from 656 to 661. Ali was the first young male who accepted Islam. After migrating to Medina, he married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah. Muslims regard Ali as a major authority on Islam. Ali himself gives this testimony:
"Not a single verse of the Quran descended upon (was revealed to) the Messenger of God which he did not proceed to dictate to me and make me recite. I would write it with my own hand, and he would instruct me as to its tafsir (the literal explanation) and the ta'wil (the spiritual exegesis), the nasikh (the verse which abrogates) and the mansukh (the abrogated verse), the muhkam and the mutashabih (the fixed and the ambiguous), the particular and the general..."
According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Ali is credited with having established Islamic theology and his quotations contain the first rational proofs among Muslims of the Unity of God.'
+ Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: علي بن أبي طالب) [ 601–661 A.D. ]:
+ Wadi Al-Salaam (Arabic وادي السلام; "The Valley of Peace"):
UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHT TO PEACE:
Everyone has the right to enjoy peace such that all human rights are promoted and protected and development is fully realized.
States should respect, implement and promote equality and non-discrimination, justice and the rule of law and guarantee freedom from fear and want as a means to build peace within and between societies.
States, the United Nations and specialized agencies should take appropriate sustainable measures to implement the present Declaration, in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. International, regional, national and local organizations and civil society are encouraged to support and assist in the implementation of the present Declaration.
International and national institutions of education for peace shall be promoted in order to strengthen among all human beings the spirit of tolerance, dialogue, cooperation and solidarity. To this end, the University for Peace should contribute to the great universal task of educating for peace by engaging in teaching, research, post-graduate training and dissemination of knowledge.
Nothing in the present Declaration shall be construed as being contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. The provisions included in the present Declaration are to be understood in line with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and relevant international and regional instruments ratified by States.
"Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial he said could contain anthrax as he presents evidence of Iraq's alleged weapons programs to the United Nations Security Council in this February 5, 2003 photo."
+ Iraq War's 10th Anniversary: The Invasion (2003):
'Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei presented several reports to the UN detailing Iraq's level of compliance with Resolution 1441. On 27 January 2003 Chief UN Weapons Inspector Blix addressed the UN Security Council and stated:
"Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance–not even today–of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace."
Blix went on to state that the Iraqi regime had allegedly misplaced "1,000 tonnes" of VX nerve agent—one of the most toxic ever developed. By mid-February the issues of anthrax, the nerve agent VX and long-range missiles remained unresolved. Blix's 7 March report stated:
"Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programmes. Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been handed over since we began inspections."
At this point, the US Administration asserted that Iraq remained in material breach of the UN Resolutions, and that, under 1441, this meant the Security Council had to convene immediately "in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security".
Before the meeting took place, French president Jacques Chirac declared on 10 March that France would veto any resolution which would automatically lead to war. This caused open displays of dismay by the U.S. and British governments. The drive by Britain for unanimity and a "second resolution" was effectively abandoned at that point. In the leadup to the meeting, it became apparent that a majority of UNSC members would oppose any resolution leading to war. As a result, no such resolution was put to the Council.
At the Azores conference of 16 March, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Spanish prime minister José María Aznar as well as Portuguese prime minister José Manuel Barroso who hosted the meeting, announced the imminent deadline of 17 March for complete Iraqi compliance, with statements such as "Tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world". On the 17th, speeches by Bush and UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw explicitly declared the period of diplomacy to be over, as declared by Resolution 1441's prohibition on giving Iraq new opportunities for compliance, and that no further authorization from the UN would be sought before an invasion of Iraq.
The USA and Britain, while admitting that such a resolution was diplomatically desirable, insisted that Iraq had now been given enough time (noting also the time since the first disarmament resolutions of 1991) to disarm or provide evidence thereof, and that war was legitimized by 1441 and previous UN resolutions. Non-permanent Security Council member Spain declared itself with the USA and Britain. Nevertheless, this position taken by the Bush administration and its supporters, has been and still is being disputed by numerous legal experts. According to most members of the Security Council, it is up to the council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced.'
+ United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441:
"The Wadi al-Salam (Arabic وادي السلام; Valley of Peace) cemetery is believed to be either the largest or the second largest cemetery in the world. It is the holiest and most highly sought-after burial place among Shiites. There are acres of graves and myriads of domes of various colours and at various stages of disrepair to the North and East of the town... During the Iraq war in 2003, heavily-armed fighters of the Iraqi militia frequently used the cemetery to hide and ambush approaching enemy units. The Americans cannot get into the area, because it's full of winding lanes and underground mausoleums. The local gunmen who knew their way around would hit and then run and hide inside the many tombs. When the rebels took refuge in the narrow spaces among the crowded tombs the Iraqi army ruthlessly bulldozed its way through the graves of its fellow soldiers. To this day, piles of wrecked cages from the graves remain stacked on the roadsides."
+ Wadi al-Salam Cemetery (Arabic وادي السلام; "The Valley of Peace"):
+ Wadi Al-Salaam: The Largest Cemetery in The World (2013):
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
- to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
- to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
- to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
AND FOR THESE ENDS
- to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
- to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
- to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
- to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,
The Imām 'Alī Holy Shrine (Arabic: حرم الإمام علي), also known as Masjid Ali or the Mosque of 'Alī, located in Najaf, Iraq, is the Holy site for Shia Muslims . 'Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the cousin of Muhammad, the first Imam (according to Shia belief) and fourth caliph (according to Sunni belief) is buried here. According to Shi'a belief, buried next to Ali within this mosque are the remains of Adam and Noah."
+ Imam Ali Mosque:
"In the middle of the city there is the Shrine of the Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib [cousin of the Prophet] with its resplendent golden dome and minarets. Great quantities of priceless objects, gifts of potentates and sultans, are treasured in the mosque. Historians say the tomb of Ali at Najaf was very likely built by Azoud ad Dowleh in 977; that it was burnt later and rebuilt by the Seljuk Malik Shah in 1086; and rebuilt yet again by Ismail Shah, the Safawid, in about 1500. No doubt numerous other hands have tinkered with it since. The tomb has the same style as those of Kerbela, Samarra and Kadhimain.
The first four successors to the Prophet Muhammad as head of the Muslim community were known collectively as the "Orthodox" or the "Rightly-Guided" or "Patriarchal" caliphs (al-khulafa' al-rashidun). They served as temporal leaders of the emerging Muslim community from 632, following the death of the Prophet Muhammad to 661 AD. They were four of the Prophet Muhammad's Companions, closely related to him either through blood or through marriage, and assumed the title of Khalifah or Caliph (literally, "he who follows" or "successor").
Ali is considered the leader of the Shia. He was the cousin and the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed. And after the Prophet Mohammed died, Shiites thought that he should be the successor after the Prophet's death because he was married to the Prophet's daughter, and he was assigned by the prophet to be the carrier of the message after Mohammed's death... On 24 May 2004 apparent mortar fire hit the Imam Ali shrine, damaging gates which lead to the tomb of Imam Ali... Fighting around the Shrine of Imam Ali was intense during early August 2004, and the guerrillas used the nearby cemetery as their main staging point. US troops attacked the position from the ground and the air, and there have been reports that the holy site has been damaged in the fighting."
+ Imam Ali Mosque:
+ The Holy Shrine of Imam Ali(a.s) In Najaf:
'Renowned American academic Noam Chomsky says the United States would be recognized as a leading terrorist state if international law is applied. This documentary conducts an in-depth interview with Noam Chomsky in which the double standards of the Western states with regard to the issue of nuclear weapons are dealt with in detail. "I took the official definitions of terrorism, which were very good, I took the definition that is given in US and British law, which is a fine definition but has a flaw; If you apply it, it turns out the United States is one of the leading terrorist states in the world." The academic added that he had predicted the ongoing so-called war on terror by the US when Ronald Reagan was president in the 1980s. He called into question the legality of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, saying, "The US and Britain tried to provide a kind of a thin legal cover for the invasion. The legal cover was, as you know, that Saddam had not ended his programs of weapons of mass destruction."'
+ USA: Top Terrorist State (2013):
CHAPTER I: PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES
The Purposes of the United Nations are:
1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
'The First Battle of Fallujah, also known as Operation Vigilant Resolve, was an operation to root out extremist elements of Fallujah as well as an attempt to apprehend the perpetrators of the killing of four U.S. contractors in April 2004. The chief catalyst for the operation was the highly publicized killing and mutilation of four Blackwater USA private military contractors, and the killings of five American soldiers in Habbaniyah a few days earlier. By the morning of 5 April 2004, headed by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, American units had surrounded the city with an aim towards retaking it. American troops blockaded roads leading into the city with Humvees and concertina wire. They also took over a local radio station and handed out leaflets urging residents to remain inside their homes and help American forces identify insurgents and any Fallujans who were involved in the Blackwater deaths.
It was estimated that there were 12–24 separate "hardcore" groups of insurgents, armed with RPGs, machine guns, mortars and anti-aircraft weapons, some of it supplied by the Iraqi Police. By 6 April 2004, U.S. military sources said that "Marines may not attempt to control the center of the town". In the opening days, it was reported that up to a third of the civilian population had fled the city. The siege forced the closing of Fallujah's two main hospitals, Fallujah General Hospital and the Jordanian Hospital, which were re-opened during the ceasefire on 9 April 2004. The resulting engagements set off widespread fighting throughout Central Iraq and along the Lower Euphrates, with various elements of the Iraqi insurgency taking advantage of the situation and commencing simultaneous operations against the Coalition forces. This period marked the emergence of the Mahdi Army, the militia of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, as a major armed faction which, at that time, actively participated in anti-Coalition operations. The happenings were also punctuated by a surge of a Sunni rebellion in the city of Ramadi.
During this period, a number of foreigners were captured by insurgent groups. Some were killed outright, whilst others were held as hostages in an attempt to barter for political or military concessions. Some elements of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps also turned on the Coalition forces or simply abandoned their posts. The rebels in Fallujah held on as the Americans attempted to tighten their hold on the city. Air bombardments rained on insurgent positions throughout the city, Lockheed AC-130 gunships attacked targets with their Gatling guns and howitzers a number of times. Scout Snipers became a core element of the Marines' strategy, averaging 31 kills apiece in the battle, while PSYOP Tactical Psychological Operations Teams from Tactical Psychological Operations Detachment 910 tried to lure Iraqis out into the open for the Scout Snipers by reading scripts that were aimed at angering insurgent fighters and by blaring AC/DC along with Metallica and other rock music over their loud speakers.
After three days of fighting, it was estimated that the United States had gained control over 25% of the city, although it was suggested that insurgents had lost a number of key defensive positions. Due to the fact that American attacks were taking a toll on civilians as well as Iraqi insurgents, coalition forces faced growing criticism from within the Iraqi Governing Council, where Adnan Pachachi said, "these operations by the Americans are unacceptable and illegal."'
+ First Battle of Fallujah (2004):
'This hour long documentary follows the award-winning reporter-sleuth Greg Palast on the trail of the Bush family, from Florida election finagling to the Saudi connection, to the Bush team's spiking the FBI investigation of the bin Laden family and the secret State Department plans for post-war Iraq. These are the hard-hitting reports that have been seen in films like Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, broadcast internationally on BBC Newsnight television, and are found in Palast's international bestselling book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.'
+ Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (2004):
CHAPTER VII: ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THREATS TO THE PEACE, BREACHES OF THE PEACE, AND ACTS OF AGGRESSION
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.
In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures.
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.
+ Charter of the United Nations (1945):
'The Second Battle of Fallujah—code-named Operation Al-Fajr (Arabic: الفجر "the dawn") and Operation Phantom Fury—was a joint American, Iraqi, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War. It was led by the U.S. Marine Corps against the Iraqi insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah and was authorized by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Interim Government. The U.S. military called it "some of the heaviest urban combat U.S. Marines have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968." The 1st Marine Division fired a total of 5,685 high-explosive 155mm artillery rounds during the battle. The 3rd Marine Air Wing (aviation assets only) expended 318 precision bombs, 391 rockets and missiles, and 93,000 machine gun and cannon rounds. Fallujah suffered extensive damage to residences, mosques, city services, and businesses. The city, once referred to as the "City of Mosques", had over 200 pre-battle mosques of which 60 or so were destroyed in the fighting. Many of these mosques had been used as arms caches and weapon strongpoints by Islamist forces. Of the roughly 50,000 buildings in Fallujah, between 7,000 and 10,000 were estimated to have been destroyed in the offensive and from half to two-thirds of the remaining buildings had notable damage. While pre-offensive inhabitant figures are unreliable, the nominal population was assumed to have been 200,000–350,000. One report states that both offensives, Operation Vigilant Resolve and Operation Phantom Fury, created 200,000 internally displaced persons who are still living elsewhere in Iraq. While damage to mosques was heavy, coalition forces reported that 66 out of the city's 133 mosques had been found to be holding significant amounts of insurgent weaponry.'
+ Second Battle of Fallujah (2004):
"In an era of unprecedented military strength, leaders of the United States, the global hyperpower, have increasingly embraced imperial ambitions. The American Empire Project is a response to the changes that have occurred in America’s strategic thinking as well as in its military and economic posture. Empire, long considered an offense against America’s democratic heritage, now threatens to define the relationship between our country and the rest of the world. The American Empire Project publishes books that question this development, examine the origins of U.S. imperial aspirations, analyze their ramifications at home and abroad, and discuss alternatives to this dangerous trend. The project was conceived by Tom Engelhardt and Steve Fraser, editors who are themselves historians and writers. Published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, its titles include 'Hegemony or Survival' and 'Failed States' by Noam Chomsky, 'The Limits of Power' and 'Washington Rules' by Andrew J. Bacevich, 'Blood and Oil' by Michael T. Klare, 'Kill Anything That Moves' by Nick Turse, 'A People’s History of American Empire' by Howard Zinn, and 'Empire’s Workshop' by Greg Grandin."
+ The American Empire Project (2015):
"This film is astonishing, it goes in detail through the untold history of The Project for the New American Century with tons of archival footage and connects it right into the present. This film exposes how every major war in US history was based on a complete fraud with video of insiders themselves admitting it. This film shows how the first film theaters in the US were used over a hundred years ago to broadcast propaganda to rile the American people into the Spanish-American War. This film shows the white papers of the oil company Unocal which called for the creation of a pipeline through Afghanistan and how their exact needs were fulfilled through the US invasion of Afghanistan. This film shows how Halliburton under their "cost plus" exclusive contract with the US Government went on a mad dash spending spree akin to something out of the movie [REDACTED], yet instead of blowing [REDACTED] they blew through BILLIONS by literally burning millions of dollars worth of hundred thousand dollar cars and trucks if they had so much as a flat tire."
+ The New American Century (2007):
'For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review. Now, as the White House appears ready to ignore subpoenas in the investigations over wiretapping and U.S. attorney firings, FRONTLINE examines the battle over the power of the presidency and Cheney's way of looking at the Constitution.
"The vice president believes that Congress has very few powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch," former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells FRONTLINE. "He believes the president should have the final word -- indeed the only word -- on all matters within the executive branch."
After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to implement their vision -- in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an ally in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department's extraordinarily powerful Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority.
"Through interviews with key administration figures, Cheney's Law documents the bruising bureaucratic battles between a group of conservative Justice Department lawyers and the Office of the Vice President over the legal foundation for the most closely guarded programs in the war on terror," says FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk. This is Kirk's 10th documentary about the Bush administration's policies since 9/11.
In his most extensive television interview since leaving the Justice Department, former Assistant Attorney General Jack L. Goldsmith describes his initial days at the OLC in the fall of 2003 as he learned about the government's most secret and controversial covert operations. Goldsmith was shocked by the administration's secret assertion of unlimited power.
"There were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand," Goldsmith says. "I had a whole flurry of emotions. My first one was disbelief that programs of this importance could be supported by legal opinions that were this flawed. My second was the realization that I would have a very, very hard time standing by these opinions if pressed. My third was the sinking feeling, what was I going to do if I was pressed about reaffirming these opinions?"
As Goldsmith began to question his colleagues' claims that the administration could ignore domestic laws and international treaties, he began to clash with Cheney's office. According to Goldsmith, Addington warned him, "If you rule that way, the blood of the 100,000 people who die in the next attack will be on your hands."
Goldsmith's battles with Cheney culminated in a now-famous hospital-room confrontation at Attorney General John Ashcroft's bedside. Goldsmith watched as White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card pleaded with Ashcroft to overrule the department's finding that a domestic surveillance program was illegal. Ashcroft rebuffed the White House, and as many as 30 department lawyers threatened to resign. The president relented.
But Goldsmith's victory was temporary, and Cheney's Law continues the story after the hospital-room standoff. At the Justice Department, White House Counsel Gonzales was named attorney general and tasked with reasserting White House control. On Capitol Hill, Cheney lobbied Congress for broad authorizations for the eavesdropping program and for approval of the administration's system for trying suspected terrorists by military tribunals.
As the White House and Congress continue to face off over executive privilege, the terrorist surveillance program, and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE tells the story of what's formed the views of the man behind what some view as the most ambitious project to reshape the power of the president in American history.'
+ PBS | Frontline | Cheney's Law (2007):
'The film starts with the events of March 2004 in Fallujah, where four Blackwater contractors were ambushed, set afire, their burned corpses dragged through the streets and then finally displayed hanging from a bridge. In interviews, two of the contractors’ families contend that Blackwater, in search of higher profit, neglected to provide proper support and protection to their employees, including maps, decent translators, an armored vehicle, and sufficient security personnel (their convoy was short a machine gunner). The families contend that with such support, their loved ones might be alive today. Iraq for Sale then takes contractors Titan and CACI to task for providing “interrogation support” for the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. These civilian contractors were outside the chain of military command, and were never held accountable for the amply documented, unsupervised torture they initiated.
According to interviews with survivors, Halliburton subsidiary KBR is was responsible for the “Good Friday Massacre” deaths of six drivers who the corporation irresponsibly put into dangerous zones - zones which were supposed to be off limits to civilians. Also, in interviews, Halliburton’s former employees charge that while the company had a sole contract to provide purified water for US troops, they actually distributed contaminated drinking water. Greenwald and Brave New Films document that at the time of production, the corporations in question had made more than tens of billions of dollars from their contracts in Iraq. In part this was because the companies were working under “cost-plus” contracts, which reimbursed whatever they spent in expenses, plus extra, for profit. This means that they actually made more money when they destroyed expensive equipment and machinery, rather than repairing it. The film features footage of a burning $80,000 truck (whose only problem was a blown tire) that Halliburton had set afire on the side of the road rather than replacing the tire.
Some of the other allegations brought up in the film include:
- The contracting companies enjoyed close relationships with important figures in Washington DC, including then-President George W Bush and other high-ranking Republicans.
- Congress often awarded “no-bid” contracts to these private companies.
- These contracts, instead of saving money for US taxpayers, actually resulted in billions of dollars of unnecessary waste.
- Contractors cut corners on the safety and training of their personnel, often with lethal results.'
+ Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006):
PART III. OBSERVANCE, APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION OF TREATIES
SECTION i. OBSERVANCE OF TREATIES
Article 26. "PACTA SUNT SERVANDA"
Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.
Article 27. INTERNAL LAW AND OBSERVANCE OF TREATIES
A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. This rule is without prejudice to article 46.
SECTION 2. APPLICATION OF TREATIES
Article 28. NON-RETROACTIVITY OF TREATIES
Unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, its provisions do not bind a party in relation to any act or fact which took place or any situation which ceased to exist before the date of the entry into force of the treaty with respect to that party.
Article 29. TERRITORIAL SCOPE OF TREATIES
Unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, a treaty is binding upon each party in respect of its entire territory.
+ Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969):
'In February 2004, control of Fallujah and the surrounding area in the Al-Anbar province was transferred from the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division to the 1st Marine Division. Shortly afterward, on 31 March 2004, four American private military contractors from Blackwater USA were ambushed and killed in the city. Images of their mutilated bodies were broadcast around the world. U.S. Marine Corps forces launched Operation Vigilant Resolve (4 April 2004) to take back control of the city from insurgent forces. On 28 April 2004, Operation Vigilant Resolve ended with an agreement where the local population was ordered to keep the insurgents out of the city. Operation Phantom Fury — was a joint American, Iraqi, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War. It was led by the U.S. Marine Corps against the Iraqi insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah and was authorized by the U.S.'
+ Second Battle of Fallujah (2004):
"The North African Campaign of the Second World War took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts (Western Desert Campaign, also known as the Desert War) and in Morocco and Algeria (Operation Torch) and Tunisia (Tunisia Campaign). The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had colonial interests in Africa dating from the late 19th century. The Allied war effort was dominated by the British Commonwealth and exiles from German-occupied Europe. The United States entered the war in December 1941 and began direct military assistance in North Africa on 11 May 1942. Operation Torch in November 1942 was a compromise operation that met the British objective of securing victory in North Africa while allowing American armed forces the opportunity to engage in the fight against Nazi Germany on a limited scale."
+ Erwin Rommel (Afrika Corps) - "The Desert Fox":
"During the war in Iraq that began in March 2003, personnel of the United States Army and the Central Intelligence Agency committed a series of human rights violations against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. These violations included physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy, and murder. The abuses came to widespread public attention with the publication of photographs of the abuse by CBS News in April 2004. The incidents received widespread condemnation both within the United States and abroad, although the soldiers received support from some conservative media within the United States.
The administration of George W. Bush attempted to portray the abuses as isolated incidents, not indicative of general U.S. policy. This was contradicted by humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. After multiple investigations, these organizations stated that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were not isolated incidents, but were part of a wider pattern of torture and brutal treatment at American overseas detention centers, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. Several scholars stated that the abuses constituted state-sanctioned crimes. There was evidence that authorization for the torture had come from high up in the military hierarchy, with allegations being made that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had authorized some of the actions.
The United States Department of Defense removed seventeen soldiers and officers from duty, and eleven soldiers were charged with dereliction of duty, maltreatment, aggravated assault and battery. Between May 2004 and March 2006, these soldiers were convicted in courts-martial, sentenced to military prison, and dishonorably discharged from service. Two soldiers, Specialist Charles Graner and PFC Lynndie England, were sentenced to ten and three years in prison, respectively. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the commanding officer of all detention facilities in Iraq, was reprimanded and demoted to the rank of colonel. Several more military personnel who were accused of perpetrating or authorizing the measures, including many of higher rank, were not prosecuted.
Documents popularly known as the Torture Memos came to light a few years later. These documents, prepared shortly before the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States Department of Justice, authorized certain enhanced interrogation techniques, generally held to involve torture of foreign detainees. The memoranda also argued that international humanitarian laws, such as the Geneva Conventions, did not apply to American interrogators overseas. Several subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), have overturned Bush administration policy, and ruled that Geneva Conventions apply."
+ Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse (2003):
'The Torture Memos is a term originally applying to a set of legal memoranda drafted by John Yoo as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States and signed in August 2002 by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee, head of the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice. They advised the Central Intelligence Agency, the United States Department of Defense, and the president on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques: mental and physical torment and coercion such as prolonged sleep deprivation, binding in stress positions, and waterboarding, and stated that such acts, widely regarded as torture, might be legally permissible under an expansive interpretation of presidential authority during the "War on Terror".
In May 2005 the CIA requested new legal opinions about the interrogation techniques it was using. The OLC issued three memos that month, signed by Steven G. Bradbury, ruling on the legality of the authorized techniques if agents followed certain constraints. In addition to these memos issued by the OLC to executive agencies, internal memos were written related to the use of torture in interrogation of detainees; for instance, in 2002 and 2003, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, signed several memos authorizing "Special Interrogation Plans" for specific detainees held at Guantanamo Bay in an attempt to gain more information from them.
Jay Bybee, then Assistant U.S. Attorney General and head of the OLC, addressed a memorandum to Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to the President, dated August 1, 2002, titled "Standards for Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. 2340-2340A". He was responding to the president's reported request for a legal opinion on the U.N. Convention Against Torture and 18 U.S.C. section 2340 and the interrogation of al Qaeda operatives. This is the primary "torture memo", which defines the Department of Justice's (DOJ) interpretation of torture. It is relied upon heavily by the subsequent "torture memos". It discusses the language of the torture statute (18 U.S.C. sections 2340-2340A) in detail in order to derive its definition of torture, states that "cruel, inhuman, or degrading" treatment is not torture according to that statute; and examines "possible defenses that would negate any claim that certain interrogation methods violate the statute". It concludes that torture is only: extreme acts according to the Convention Against Torture; that severe pain (a requisite for this definition of torture) is "serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death"; that prolonged mental harm is harm that must last for "months or even years"; that "prosecution under Section 2340A may be barred because enforcement of the statute would represent an unconstitutional infringement of the President's authority to conduct war"; and that "under the current circumstances, necessity or self-defense may justify interrogation methods that might violate Section 2340A."
The memo discusses the Convention Against Torture (which the memo calls the "Torture Convention") and concludes that the convention makes a distinction between torture and "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment", and that therefore torture is "only the most extreme acts", which the memo concludes, together with the ratifying reservations of the United States, confirms the interpretation of torture found in part one. It concludes that torture does not include "other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" because such language is found in a different article than the definition of torture, and because it appears that the convention does not intend to criminalize such action, but instead discourage it. The memo examines the ratification history, and cites U.S. case law stating that the executive branch's interpretation of the treaty "is to be accorded the greatest weight in ascertaining a treaty's intent and meaning"... John Dean, the former Nixon White House Counsel involved in the Watergate scandal, concluded in 2005 that the memo was tantamount to evidence of a war crime.'
+ The Torture Memos (2002-4):
3. Ray McGovern:
'This controversial and arresting film takes you behind the walls of government, as CIA, Pentagon and foreign service experts speak out, many for the first time, detailing the lies, misstatements and exaggerations that served as the reasons to fight a "pre-emptive" war that wasn't necessary. This documentary offers an in-depth look at the unsettling distortion of intelligence and the "spin and hype" presented to the American people, the Congress and the press. Fighting wars to bring about regime change is in breach of international law. Yet, throughout the fall of 2002, and into the weeks preceding the war in Iraq, the Bush administration systematically distorted intelligence evidence and misled the public in order to turn opinion favor of "regime change" in Iraq. The film will present interviews with more than 20 experts, all of whom have informed opinions about the reasons we were given for war and the evidence presented to support those reasons. Some supported the war itself but are deeply concerned about the way information was misused. All believe it is their duty to speak up. Among those interviewed are former Ambassador Joe Wilson, weapons inspectors Scott Ritter and David Albright, anti-terrorism expert Rand Beers, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, former CIA operative Robert Baer and Washington editor of The Nation, David Corn.'
+ Uncovered: The War on Iraq (2004):
4. Raed Jarrar:
5. David Swanson:
6. Barbara Lee:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Barbara Lee (2016):
'Mr. Speaker, Members, I rise today really with a very heavy heart, one that is filled with sorrow for the families and the loved ones who were killed and injured this week. Only the most foolish and the most callous would not understand the grief that has really gripped our people and millions across the world. This unspeakable act on the United States has really -- really forced me, however, to rely on my moral compass, my conscience, and my God for direction.
September 11th changed the world. Our deepest fears now haunt us. Yet, I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. This is a very complex and complicated matter. Now this resolution will pass, although we all know that the President can wage a war even without it. However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint. Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say, let's step back for a moment. Let's just pause, just for a minute and think through the implications of our actions today, so that this does not spiral out of control.
Now I have agonized over this vote. But I came to grips with it today, and I came to grips with opposing this resolution during the very painful, yet very beautiful memorial service. As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, "As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore."'
+ Barbara Lee - Statement in Opposition to H.J. Res. 64 (2001):
7. Dennis Kucinich (read by Martha Neuman):
8. Kathy Kelly:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Kathy Kelly (2016):
'I remember the night that the bombing began... the planes flew over with such regularity and we thought that if each of these planes had a payload that it was firing at the cities beyond where we were, maybe there would be nothing left of the places like Baghdad. But we were very caught up, and we lived in an isolated place. Every dog in the region started to bark and the dogs barked themselves hoarse.
I remained in Iraq for most of the war. We were evacuated out of Baghdad and on the roadway out, we could see mangled house and overturned vehicles and we saw smoking and a charred ambulance. And we knew that was the only way out for refugees and the only way in for humanitarian supplies.
And those economic sanctions were the most comprehensive sanctions ever imposed in modern history.
And because of the economic sanctions, people in Iraq, ordinary, average civilians couldn't get the kinds of equipment that would be needed to repair electrical facilities. To repair sewage and sanitation systems often dependent on the electricity and then that in itself occasioned widespread diseases, afflictions, such as the afflictions of gastroenteritis, or when people can't get adequate water, the afflictions of dehydration.
Iraqis also couldn't any longer trade their oil for other things they needed, even items such as food. And so that occasioned - hunger. And pretty soon, it was a perfect storm.
Children... children under age five were directly affected by economic sanctions which punished those children to death. If a child caught a common cold, and then also add the very unfortunate affliction gastroenteritis... the combination of a respiratory infection, hunger, gastroenteritis, lack of water, lack of x-rays, lack of antibiotics, for a child's unique surgery, lack of even an anesthetic for the surgery... these children were brutally punished. Lethally punished. And the United Nations began to say:
"Look, it's beginning to seem as though the numbers make it clear that 500,000 children under age five have already died because of these economic sanctions."
Never did the doctors have the equipment at that point that they would need to treat people in such a hideous and terrible emergency. These are wars of choice that the United States has initiated. A tremedous cost to the United States and certainly to the people in Iraq who have meant us no harm.
I close by recalling a young mother in the Baghdad pediatrics ward... She had just learned that her baby could not survive. Although... Her baby had a respiratory infection that had combined with hunger and gastroenteritis. And her baby was having a very difficult time breathing. The doctor gave the baby mouth to mouth resuscitation and the baby started to breathe again and the mother's hopes raised. And then the doctor said:
"I am sorry. Your child she can not live. We have not the oxygen. We have not the tube."
The tubing they lacked was tubing the size of a child's nostril. They had a piece of tubing that was the size about of a pencil, but it was irrelevant to this little child's nostril.
So for want of a piece of plastic, this child would not survive at that moment.
And when the mother realized that, she began to cry and cry. My shoulder was wet from her tears. And then she said to me:
"Believe me, Miss Kathy... I pray. I pray that this never happens to a mother she is from your country. Believe me, I pray. I pray that this never happens to a mother from your country."
I think the United States bears the responsibility for a tremendous chaos, and upheaval, and cruelty. But I do not believe that it is the responsibility now of the United States to decide who gets the upper hand in these terrible civil wars. I believe we should pay reparations. Always accompanied with a deep felt admission of our soul - we're sorry. We're so very sorry... for the suffering we've caused, for the death, the bloodshed, the trauma.'
"On August 2nd 1990 the Iraqi army invaded its southern neighbour, Kuwait. Four days later the United Nations responded by imposing a complete trade embargo on Iraq. Though this was started under George H.W. Bush, it was continued for the entire Clinton administration. In the ten years since Iraq has continued to be the subject of sanctions that affect almost every aspect of life for the average woman, man and child. With imports of food and medicine severely restricted, malnutrition and disease is now endemic in what was once one of the healthiest countries in the world. A 1999 Unicef report calculated that more than half a million children had died as a direct result of sanctions. On average 200 hundred Iraqi children are dying every day. In September 1998, Denis Halliday head of the UN humanitarian programme in Iraq resigned claiming he could no longer administer 'an immoral and illegal' policy. His successor, Hans von Sponeck also later resigned, along with the head of the World Food Program. Meanwhile U.S. and UK politicians insist that the sanctions regime is necessary to contain the threat of Saddam Hussein. When asked on U.S. television whether the death of 500,000 Iraqi children as a result of sanctions was justified Madelaine Albright replied "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it." Pilger has brought back disturbing evidence that the "holds" on humanitarian supplies have paralyzed the country and devastated millions of people, many dying from curable diseases because life saving drugs are only available intermittently. He also finds that the breakdown of the clean water system and health facilities are having a tragic effect on young children, contributing to an alarming rise in their mortality rate. Pilger also exposes the suffering caused to the civilian population by the illegal bombing campaign being conducted by U.S. and Britain in the "no-fly zones" in northern and southern Iraq."
+ Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq (2000):
9. Terry Rockefeller:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Terry Rockefeller (2016):
10. Vijay Prashad:
'The sanctions against Iraq were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the Iraqi Republic. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 2003 (after Saddam Hussein's being forced from power), and persisted in part, including reparations to Kuwait, through the present. The original stated purposes of the sanctions were to compel Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, to pay reparations, and to disclose and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction. Initially the UN Security Council imposed stringent economic sanctions on Iraq by adopting and enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 661. After the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, those sanctions were extended and elaborated on, including linkage to removal of weapons of mass destruction, by Resolution 687. The sanctions banned all trade and financial resources except for medicine and "in humanitarian circumstances" foodstuffs, the import of which into Iraq was tightly regulated.
Denis Halliday was appointed United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq as of 1 September 1997, at the Assistant Secretary-General level. In October 1998 he resigned after a 34-year career with the UN in order to have the freedom to criticise the sanctions regime, saying "I don't want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide." Halliday's successor, Hans von Sponeck, subsequently also resigned in protest, calling the effects of the sanctions a "true human tragedy". Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Program in Iraq, followed them. Estimates of excess deaths during the sanctions vary widely, use different methodologies and cover different time-frames. Mohamed M. Ali, John Blacker, and Gareth Jones estimate between 400,000 and 500,000 excess under-5 deaths. UNICEF: 500,000 children (including sanctions, collateral effects of war). Former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Denis Halliday: "Two hundred thirty-nine thousand children 5 years old and under" as of 1998.'
+ Sanctions against Iraq (1990-2003):
'The Highway of Death refers to a road between Kuwait and Basra on which retreating units of the Iraqi army as well as Iraqi civilians were attacked and destroyed by American aircraft and ground forces during the United Nations Coalition offensive in the Gulf War, on the night of February 26-February 27, 1991, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of vehicles and the deaths of an unknown and disputed number of Iraqi soldiers and civilians. The scenes of carnage on the road are some of the most recognizable images of the war. According to Elaine Sciolino of the New York Times, the images suggested a turkey shoot and contributed to the war's resolution soon afterwards. American attacks were conducted on two different roads: some 1,400-2,000 vehicles hit on the main Highway 80 north of Al Jahra (the "actual" Highway of Death) and, few days later, another 400-700 or so on the much-less known coastal road to Basra. On the main highway, aircraft bombed the front and rear of the massive vehicle column of Iraqi Regular Army, trapping the convoy, and leaving sitting targets for later airstrikes. When visited by journalists the main highway had been reduced to a long uninterrupted line of destroyed, damaged, and abandoned vehicles, sometimes called the Mile of Death. The wreckage predominantly consisted of stolen civilian vehicles (such as cars, trucks, and buses) which were manned by Iraqi conscripts and the Palestinian fighters, accompanied by their family members fleeing the advancing Coalition forces.'
'Incinerated body of an Iraqi soldier on the "Highway of Death," a name the press has given to the road from Mutlaa, Kuwait, to Basra, Iraq. U.S. planes immobilized the convoy by disabling vehicles at its front and rear, then bombing and straffing the resulting traffic jam for hours. More than 2,000 vehicles and tens of thousands of charred and dismembered bodies littered the sixty miles of highway. The clear rapid incineration of the human being suggests the use of napalm, phosphorus, or other incindiary bombs. These are anti-personnel weapons outlawed under the 1977 Geneva Protocols. This massive attack occurred after Saddam Hussein announced a complete troop withdrawl from Kuwait in compliance with UN Resolution 660. Such a massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Convention of 1949, common article 3, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who "are out of combat." There are, in addition, strong indications that many of those killed were Palestinian and Kuwaiti civilians trying to escape the impending seige of Kuwait City and the return of Kuwaiti armed forces. No attempt was made by U.S. military command to distinguish between military personnel and civilians on the "highway of death." The whole intent of international law with regard to war is to prevent just this sort of indescriminate and excessive use of force.'
"It has never happened in history that a nation that has won a war has been held accountable for atrocities committed in preparing for and waging that war. We intend to make this one different. What took place was the use of technological material to destroy a defenseless country. From 125,000 to 300,000 people were killed... We recognize our role in history is to bring the transgressors to justice." - Ramsey Clark
'At the May 11, 1991 hearing in New York, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark outlined the 19-point indictment of the U.S. government's conduct in the Gulf War that served as the basis of the Commission's work. For seven hours eyewitnesses who had traveled to Iraq during and following the war presented evidence on the extensive and deliberate destruction of Iraq's infrastructure. Compelling video testimony was shown. Images of destroyed neighborhoods, shrapnel and burn victims, dehydrated and undernourished children in hospitals lacking electricity and necessary drugs were diplayed in the photo exhibit. Some of these photos are also included in this book. The Commission of Inquiry for an International War Crimes Tribunal was initiated by Ramsey Clark and the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Middle East following Mr. Clark's February trip to Iraq. Accompanied by a video filmmaker and a photgrapher, Mr. Clark traveled 2,000 miles through Iraq during a time when the U.S. was running up to 3,000 bombing sorties a day. He first documented the systematic destruction of the civilian infrastructure, a view later confirmed by a number of other delegations and even by the United Nation's own team of investigators. The Commission of Inquiry was established to gather testimony and evidence on an international basis and to present the testimony in a series of public hearings. Evidence gathered at all these hearings is to be presented to an International Tribunal of Judges on February 27, 2, and 29, 1992 in New York--the one-year anniversary of the war.'
+ WAR CRIMES: A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal (1991):
'The indiscriminate bombing of tens of thousands of Iraqi troops and civilians retreating from Kuwait is one of the most heinous war crimes in history. I want to give testimony on what are called the “highways of death.” These are the two Kuwaiti roadways, littered with remains of 2,000 mangled Iraqi military vehicles, and the charred and dismembered bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, who were withdrawing from Kuwait on February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with UN resolutions. US planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in the front, and at the rear, and then pounded the resulting traffic jams for hours. “It was like shooting fish in a barrel,” said one US pilot. The horror is still there to see.
On the inland highway to Basra is mile after mile of burned, smashed, shattered vehicles of every description – tanks, armored cars, trucks, autos, fire trucks, according to the March 18, 1991, Time magazine. On the sixty miles of coastal highway, Iraqi military units sit in gruesome repose, scorched skeletons of vehicles and men alike, black and awful under the sun, says the Los Angeles Times of March 11, 1991. While 450 people survived the inland road bombing to surrender, this was not the case with the 60 miles of the coastal road. There for 60 miles every vehicle was strafed or bombed, every windshield is shattered, every tank is burned, every truck is riddled with shell fragments. No survivors are known or likely. The cabs of trucks were bombed so much that they were pushed into the ground, and it’s impossible to see if they contain drivers or not. Windshields were melted away, and huge tanks were reduced to shrapnel.
“Even in Vietnam I didn’t see anything like this. It’s pathetic,” said Major Bob Nugent, an Army intelligence officer. This one-sided carnage, this racist mass murder of Arab people, occurred while White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater promised that the US and its coalition partners would not attack Iraqi forces leaving Kuwait. This is surely one of the most heinous war crimes in contemporary history.'
+ Twenty-five Years Ago: The 1991 Iraq Gulf War, America Bombs the “Highway of Death”(1991):
"When you see the battlefield littered with dead bodies as far as you can see and there’s smoke swirling around, and the smell of the dead bodies, the ammunition, the fuel, the explosions; it’s very overpowering,” said Paul Sullivan, a combat veteran from Operation Desert Storm who went on to create the National Gulf War Resource Center. Sullivan later described the so-called “Highway of Death” as “miles and miles and miles of charred trucks, tanks, blown up buildings, pieces of arms, pieces of legs every which way. Many of those massacred fleeing Kuwait were not Iraqi soldiers at all,” adds U.S. Attorney General-turned-peace activist, Ramsey Clark, “but Palestinians, Sudanese, Egyptians, and other foreign workers.”
+ Highway of Death: 22 Years Later (What We’re Up Against) (1991):
'The US armed forces bombed one end of the main highway from Kuwait city to Basra, sealing it off. They bombed the other end of the highway and sealed it off. They positioned mechanized artillery units on the hills overlooking it. And then, from the air and from the land they simply massacred every living thing on the road. Fighter bombers, helicopter gunships, and armored battalions poured merciless firepower on traffic jams backed up for as much as twenty miles. When the traffic became grid locked, the B-52s were sent in for carpet bombing." Our forces did not wait for the fleeing people to surrender, they did not surround them and force them to surrender, they just exterminated them. Americans never heard about the "Highway of Death," they just paid for it, a slaughter that, in Barnes' words "ranks among the great atrocities of modern warfare.'
'Since 2001, medical personnel at the Basra hospital in southern Iraq have reported a sharp increase in the incidence of child leukemia and genetic malformation among babies born in the decade following the Gulf War. Iraqi doctors attributed these malformations to possible long-term effects of DU, an opinion that was echoed by several newspapers. In 2004, Iraq had the highest mortality rate due to leukemia of any country. In 2003, the Royal Society called for Western militaries to disclose where and how much DU they had used in Iraq so that rigorous, and hopefully conclusive, studies could be undertaken out in affected areas. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) likewise urged that an epidemiological study be made in the Basra region, as asked for by Iraqi doctors, but no peer-reviewed study has yet been undertaken in Basra.
A medical survey, "Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009" published in July 2010, states that the "…increases in cancer and birth defects…are alarmingly high" and that infant mortality 2009/2010 has reached 13.6%. The group compares the dramatic increase, five years after wartime exposure in 2004, with the lymphoma that Italian peacekeepers developed after the Balkan wars and the increased cancer risk in certain parts of Sweden due to the Chernobyl fallout. The origin and time of introduction of the carcinogenic agent causing the genetic stress the group will address in a separate report. The report mentions depleted uranium as one "potentially relevant exposure" but makes no conclusions on the source. Four studies in the second half of 2012—one of which described the people of Fallujah as having "the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied"—renewed calls for the US and UK to investigate the possible links between their military assault on the city in 2004 and the explosion in deformities, cancers, and other serious health problems. Despite the known use of depleted uranium by allied forces, no depleted uranium has been found in soil samples taken from Fallujah, likely in part due to the fact of such particles being hard to detect as well as a lack of peer-reviewed research on the matter of irradiated soil content...
A number of academics specializing in international humanitarian law have questioned the legality of the continued use of depleted uranium weapons, highlighting that the effects may breach the principle of distinction (between civilians and military personnel). Some states and the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, a coalition of more than 155 non-governmental organizations, have asked for a ban on the production and military use of depleted uranium weapons. The European Parliament has repeatedly passed resolutions requesting an immediate moratorium on the further use of depleted uranium ammunition, but France and Britain – the only EU states that are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – have consistently rejected calls for a ban, maintaining that its use continues to be legal, and that the health risks are unsubstantiated.'
'This film by Martin Meissonnier documents the use of nuclear waste in U.S. weaponry and uses studies conducted by many experts to prove the point. During the Persian Gulf war, in Kuwait and Iraq, the U.S. used 320 tons of Depleted Uranium. Also, shells used in the 1999 Kosovo conflict were tainted with trace amounts of plutonium, neptunium and americium-byproducts of nuclear reactors that are much more radioactive than depleted uranium. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which controls DU considers its use to be "utilization of waste materials." After the Gulf War, Americans celebrated their victory over Iraq believing less than 200 U.S. soldiers had been killed in combat with almost a quarter of them, caused by "friendly fire." In fact the casualty is significantly higher. Of the 696,778 U.S. veterans that served in the Gulf War, over 251,000 (36%) have filed medical claims for illness related to the war. Over 8,000 of them have died. The isotope U236 has been found in the organs and fluids of these former soldiers. Damacio Lopez, director of the International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST), calls the figure the "largest friendly fire death toll in history." He, like the doctors and scientists and sick U.S. vets and Iraqis you will meet in the enclosed video, believe the cause of their sickness and deaths to be the use of plutonium enriched DU weaponry by the U.S. during the Gulf War.'
+ Invisible War - Depleted Uranium and the politics of radiation (2000):
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Vijay Prasad (2016):
11. Medea Benjamin:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day One: Medea Benjamin (2016):
Medea Benjamin: "Let’s start out recalling the key moment in Costa Rica’s pacifist history."
Roberto Zamora: "That was 1948, when Costa Rican President Jose Figueras declared that the nation’s military would be abolished, a move that was ratified the following year by the Constituent Assembly. Figueras even took a sledgehammer and smashed one of the walls of the military headquarters, announcing that it would be turned into a national museum and that the military budget would be redirected toward healthcare and education. Since then, Costa Rica has become renowned for its peaceful and unarmed neutrality in foreign affairs."
12. John Cavanaugh:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day One: John Cavanaugh (2016):
13. John Kiriakou:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day One: John Kiriakou (2016):
14. Philip Giraldi:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day One: Philip Giraldi (2016):
15. Elizabeth Murray (read by Paula Kahn):
16. Dr. Ayça Çubukçu:
17. Sara Browning:
'In the winter and spring of 2003, as our government was rushing to war in Iraq, millions of Americans called and wrote their elected representatives in passionate resistance. Anti-war Washingtonians had no one to write to: we live at the center of power, yet have no voting representatives in Congress. When our government ignored the voice of the people and waged war, DC residents felt this breakdown of democracy with an especially painful intensity. Washington, DC poets responded with protest and, of course, with poetry. Along with their comrades worldwide, they wrote poems of outrage and opposition, poems embracing discussion and affirming dissent, poems valuing life in all its complexity and difficulty, poems celebrating themselves and their neighbors up the block and around the world. At that moment came a call to arms. The Washington State poet Sam Hamill called on poets around the country to make February 12, 2003, a day of poetry protesting the Bush administration’s planned attack on Iraq. Hamill had been invited by Laura Bush to a symposium celebrating the poetry of Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickinson. Refusing to visit a White House whose policies of war and aggression he so firmly repudiated, however, he sent out an email to a handful of poet friends, asking for anti-war poems and offering to have them delivered to the First Lady on February 12. Within days, Hamill received thousands of poems, from all over the world.'
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Leilah Nadir (2016):
'One went the way of water,
one crumpled under stone;
one climbed the air but plunged through fire,
one fought the fear alone.
Remember us, though we are gone.
A star flares on an epaulet,
a ball rolls in harm’s way;
the glowing line onscreen goes flat,
an anonymous bullet strays–
Remember us! Do not forget!
One lay slathered in garlands,
one left only a smear;
one cracked a joke, smiled, then shrugged
to show he didn’t care.
Do not forget that we were here.
Do those who failed still miss the wind,
that sweet breath from the sky?
Do they still covet rock and moss
or the swift, hard blink of the lizard’s eye?
We walk on water, we are written on air.
Let us honor the lost, the snatched, the relinquished,
those vanquished by glory, muted by shame.
Stand up in the silence they’ve left and listen:
those absent ones, unknown and unnamed–
their whispers fill the arena.'
+ "Umoja: Each One of Us Counts," - Rita Dove (2002):
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Karen Malpede (2016):
'Voices in Wartime began in 2004 as a feature-length documentary that sharply etches the experience of war through powerful images and the words of poets – unknown and world-famous. Soldiers, journalists, historians and experts on combat interviewed in Voices in Wartime add diverse perspectives on war’s effects on soldiers, civilians and society. In Voices in Wartime, poets around the world, from the United States and Colombia to Britain and Nigeria to Iraq and India, share their views and experiences of war that extend beyond national borders and into the depth of the human soul. The film and its curricula are now a project of the Charter for Compassion.'
18. Dirk Adriaensens:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Dirk Adriaensens (2016):
19. Janet Gerson:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day One: Janet Gerson (2016):
20. Joshua Weiner:
'Hundreds of Iraqi prisoners were held in Abu Ghraib prison for prolonged periods despite a lack of evidence that they posed a security threat to American forces, according to an Army report completed last fall. The unpublished report, by Maj. Gen. Donald J. Ryder, reflects what other senior Army officers have described as a deep concern among some American officers and officials in Iraq over the refusal of top American commanders in Baghdad to authorize the release of so-called security prisoners. Some of those prisoners were held for interrogation at Abu Ghraib in the cellblock that became the site of the worst abuses at the prison. General Ryder, the Army's provost marshal, reported that some Iraqis had been held for several months for nothing more than expressing ''displeasure or ill will'' toward the American occupying forces. The Nov. 5 report said the process for deciding which arrested Iraqis posed security risks justifying imprisonment, and for deciding when to release them, violated the Pentagon's own policies. It also said the conditions in which they were held sometimes violated the Geneva Conventions.'
+ THE REACH OF WAR: ABU GHRAIB; Scant Evidence Cited in Long Detention of Iraqis (2004):
21. Dan Ellsberg:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Daniel Ellsberg (2016):
"Since ISIS won’t be stopped with military actions alone — not ours or those of groups that join us, including Iraqis and Syrians — and are in fact counter-productive, we should have learned that if there’s ever to be an answer, it has to be largely diplomatic. In particular, this could mean changing our close relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Mideast allies whose citizens and regimes have long been financing and supplying ISIS and other radical groups at the same time they provide pilots whose attacks also help strengthen ISIS. If we ceased tolerating that ideological and financial support for extremists, this would be a major step to containing and eroding ISIS. But I doubt this will happen. Serious diplomacy would also mean changing our relationship with Russia and Iran, exploring through direct negotiations the positive contributions they could make to stabilize the region, rather than, as at present, demonizing them. This, too, isn’t likely. But if we don’t face what we need to do to escape the madness we suffered and inflicted in Vietnam and Iraq, we will be mired in war in the Middle East for decades."
+ Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on the similarities between Vietnam and the war against ISIS (2014):
'As sites like WikiLeaks and figures such as Edward Snowden continue to reveal uncomfortable truths about America’s endless wars for power and oil, one important figure stands apart as an inspiration to the whistleblowers of today: Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who leaked the “Pentagon Papers,” over 7,000 pages of top secret documents, in 1971. A military veteran, Ellsberg began his career as a strategic analyst for the RAND Corporation, a massive U.S.-backed nonprofit, and worked directly for the government helping to craft policies around the potential use of nuclear weapons. In in the 1960s, he faced a crisis of conscience while working for the Department of Defense as an assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs John T. McNaughton, where his primary duty was to find a pretext to escalate the war in Vietnam. Inspired by the example of anti-war activists and great thinkers like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., he realized he was willing to risk arrest in order to prevent more war. Lacking the technology of today’s whistleblowers, who can carry gigabytes of data in their pockets, he painstakingly photocopied some 7,000 pages of top secret documents which became the “Pentagon Papers,” first excerpted by The New York Times in June 1971. Ellsberg’s leaks exposed the corruption behind the war in Vietnam and had widespread ramifications for American foreign policy. Henry Kissinger, secretary of state at the time, famously referred to Ellsberg as “the most dangerous man in America.”'
+ Lied To Death: Conservations with Daniel Ellsberg Chapter 9 (2015):
22. Ann Wright:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Colonel Ann Wright (2016):
23. Raed Jarrar:
'Speaking at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in 2008, Chuck Hagel, the former United States Secretary of Defense, defended Greenspan's comments: "People say we're not fighting for oil. Of course we are." General John Abizaid, CENTCOM commander from 2003 until 2007, said of the Iraq war during a round table discussion at Stanford University in 2008, "Of course it's about oil, we can't really deny that." Many critics have focused upon administration officials' past relationship with energy sector corporations. Both the President and Vice President were formerly CEOs of oil and oil-related companies such as Arbusto, Harken Energy, Spectrum 7, and Halliburton. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq and even before the War on Terror, the administration had prompted anxiety over whether the private sector ties of cabinet members (including National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, former director of Chevron, and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, former head of Tom Brown Inc.) would affect their judgment on energy policy. News outlets in mid-2000-2002 carried articles about Saddam's efforts to sell oil on markets exclusively in Euros. This may have been viewed as a push to influence other OPEC states to challenge the reserve currency status in oil trading of the USD. This may have been an unacceptable outcome in the global economy with respect to the flow of petrodollars throughout the region.'
+ Rationale for the Iraq War (2016):
'Jon Snow questions whether the Images of Iraq which dominate our TV news bulletins are sugar-coating the bloody reality of war and the sectarian violence under the US-led occupation. Have we ever seen the real Iraq? This film will help you to see that images of Iraq beamed into American homes are sanitized; they don't reflect the horrors of the war or of the reality of the Green Zone, which sequesters American soldiers and leaders, Iraqi leaders, the world's journalists from the "real Iraq."'
+ Iraq: The Hidden Story (2006):
24. Omar Ziada:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Omar Ziada (2016):
25. Faruq Ziada:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Faruk Ziada (2016):
26. Maha Al-Nuaimy:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Maha Al-Nuaimy (2016):
27. Chris Hedges:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Chris Hedges (2016):
28. Danny Glover:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
29. Liz Holtzman:
30. Rebecca Gordon:
'Scholar-activist Rebecca Gordon has published a bold new book that takes on this current age of injustice. In American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, she proposes a formal tribunal to prosecute members of the Bush team for the invasion of Iraq as an illegal war and for erecting a sordid global torture program. Gordon names as potential defendants ex-president Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, military leaders, and a handful of conniving Department of Justice (DoJ) attorneys and executive branch staffers. The bodies of law these government officials potentially violated range from the Geneva Conventions and the 1996 War Crimes Act to the Convention Against Torture. Parsing the language of relevant statutes, and presenting initial evidence of their breech, Gordon makes a persuasive case that any such tribunal might well convict the defendants. Her claim is nothing less than that our government, at its highest levels, committed war crimes akin to leading Nazi figures and countless other murderous statesmen.
The charge is serious. But Gordon makes it with steady conviction and legal and ethical rigor. The stakes go way beyond attitudes toward a controversial presidency and its widely reviled executors, such as Dick Cheney. They speak to the heart of what the United States is, or chooses to be. Gordon’s invocation of Nuremberg seems intended to shock the nation out of complacency about the systematic violation of its laws and values. At the same time, she remains realistic, conceding that it is “extremely unlikely” such a tribunal would ever come to pass with government consent. It would therefore serve the “people’s justice,” akin to the famous “Russell War Crimes Tribunal” aimed at US conduct in the Vietnam War. Its overarching purpose would be to further burnish the public record with accounts of US crimes so as to prevent their repetition, while delivering to their victims some measure of symbolic justice. Gordon explains:
"US crimes in the war on terror matter […] because hundreds of thousands have died, millions have been made homeless, an unknown number have been kidnapped, tortured, and disappeared — and because the nation responsible for all this is the most powerful the world has ever known. These crimes matter because impunity is a dangerous thing, both for the souls of the people of this still nominally democratic country, and for the rest of the world..."
Gordon’s terrific 2014 book Mainstreaming Torture put her on the map as a compelling human rights advocate. The book dissects the role of political rhetoric, media discourse, popular culture, and even academic treatise in making torture (by whatever name) acceptable. It stands as an instant classic among accounts of 9/11 and its aftermath, joining the path-breaking research of Alfred McCoy, Jane Mayer, Andy Worthington, and Karen Greenberg.'
+ Getting Away with War and Torture (2016):
'No subject is more hotly debated than the extreme measures that our government has taken after 9/11 in the name of national security. Torture, extraordinary rendition, drone assassinations, secret detention centers (or “black sites”), massive surveillance of citizens. But while the press occasionally exposes the dark side of the war on terror and congressional investigators sometimes raise alarms about the abuses committed by U.S. intelligence agencies and armed forces, no high U.S. official has been prosecuted for these violations – which many legal observers around the world consider war crimes. The United States helped establish the international principles guiding the prosecution of war crimes – starting with the Nuremberg tribunal following World War II, when Nazi officials were held accountable for their crimes against humanity. But the American government and legal system have consistently refused to apply these same principles to our own officials. Now Rebecca Gordon takes on the explosive task of “indicting” the officials who – in a just society – should be put on trial for war crimes. Some might dismiss this as a symbolic exercise. But what is at stake here is the very soul of the nation.'
+ American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes (2016):
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Rebecca Gordon (2016):
'The first 20 prisoners arrived on January 11, 2002. Even as the manacled prisoners, in blacked-out goggles and orange jumpsuits, were led to their outdoor cells, senior officials in Washington debated whether any laws or treaties covered the men. President Bush settled the question for the Executive Branch in a February 7 order declaring that Geneva applied only between States parties, and therefore al-Qaeda prisoners, agents of a stateless terror network, were excluded. Moreover, while Afghanistan was a State party, the order concluded that forces of the country’s de facto government, the Taliban, had failed to meet the treaty’s criteria for lawful fighting and therefore were categorically excluded from its protection.
The 3rd Geneva Convention provides for case-by-case determinations “should any doubt arise”over a prisoner’s status. Under U.S. Army regulations implementing the treaty, a three-officer board is empowered to quickly classify prisoners on the battlefield. Officials told me that providing prisoners even this near-perfunctory process would needlessly dignify the enemy. Nevertheless, Bush declared, “as a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces”—which do not include civilian entities such as the Central Intelligence Agency—”shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.” By the end of February, 300 men were held at Guantanamo. As many as 600 prisoners would be held there at any particular time.
Because of the secrecy surrounding Guantanamo’s operations, it has been impossible to assess independently the intelligence produced there. Journalists and dignitaries brought on escorted tours of the prison are not permitted to speak with prisoners, but as evidence of their humane treatment are shown a well-stocked infirmary, copies of the Koran and “comfort items” such as rubber sandals that are provided for detainees, along with fenced yards where they can kick around a ball. The U.S. permits prisoner visits by delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross, which in general does not speak publicly about its observations. Prisoners have found ways to demonstrate their own views, however, occasionally attacking guards, attempting suicide and launching periodic hunger strikes, which U.S. jailers have frustrated by force-feeding.
Litigation, aggressive journalism, statements of released prisoners and selected disclosures by government officials have revealed other elements of the Guantanamo operation. At various times prisoners have been awkwardly shackled to the floor, deprived of light, subjected to blaring music and sexually humiliated. Officials have continuously wrestled over the degree of force and intimidation that lawfully could be used against defiant prisoners, sometimes out of concern that specific methods potentially could expose interrogators and their superiors to criminal liability. Within weeks of Guantanamo’s designation as a prison site, activist lawyers filed suits alleging that the detentions there were illegal. Those suits initially faltered before judges hesitant to second-guess the president after 9/11, but in June 2004 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal habeas jurisdiction did extend to Guantanamo. The court did not say explicitly what would constitute a lawful detention, however, leaving lower courts to sort the details out.
While continuing to deny the application of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. government responded to the Supreme Court ruling by convening panels called Combatant Status Review Tribunals, three-officer boards similar to those described in the Army’s regulations, to confirm that prisoners belonged there. Prisoners could not see classified evidence on which their detentions were based and essentially could only insist that they were held by mistake; 38 of the 558 prisoners who appeared before the tribunals were released, the Pentagon said. Similar panels, called Administrative Review Boards, were established to hold annual hearings on whether a prisoner had so declined in dangerousness to merit release. Prisoner advocates, however, contended these procedures were inadequate and pursued their lawsuits in federal court.'
+ GUANTANAMO - Crimes of War (2011):
List of Torture Techniques:
1. Sexual Assault/Humiliation Techniques
"Detainees in US custody in Abu Ghraib, Kandahar and Bagram (where many were taken to before Guantanamo) have reported being sodomised with broomsticks, a ‘chemical light’ or rifles. Other forms of sexual humiliation reported have been; parading men naked in front of female soldiers, forcing them to wear women’s underwear and dance with other men, forcing them to undress in front of female interrogators and guards, touching their genitals or provoking them in a ‘humiliating’ way and forcing them to watch pornography. Most detainees in U.S. custody have alleged that they were either raped, threatened with rape, or anally probed. Sexual violence is a war crime. Sexual humiliation is used to induce feelings of humiliation and fear."
2. Sleep Deprivation
"Sleep deprivation is used by torturers because it makes a person more suggestible, reduces psychological resistance and it reduces the body’s capacity to resist pain. Sleep deprivation is a very effective torture technique. The Committee against Torture (CAT) has noted that sleep deprivation used for prolonged periods constitutes a breach of the CAT, and is primarily used to break down the will of the detainee. Sleep deprivation can cause impaired memory and cognitive functioning, decreased short term memory, speech impairment, hallucinations, psychosis, lowered immunity, headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stress, anxiety and depression... Sleep deprivation was authorised under the 2002 Department of Defense Memo in the form of 20 hour interrogations. The U.S. military authorised sleep deprivation for its prisoners for up to seventy two hours."
3. Sensory Deprivation
"Sensory deprivation is used to instil a sense of fear, disorientation and cause dependency on their captor. In the 1950s the CIA funded a study into human behaviour and mind control in response to the Cold War. Dr Hebb of McGill University conducted studies on people to induce a state akin to psychosis by placing students in air-conditioned cubicles with earmuffs, gloves and goggles. Within 24 hours they began to experience hallucinations, and by 48 hours complete breakdown and disintegration of personality. Sensory deprivation has also been attributed to increased pain sensitivity and increased psychological stress. According to the Kubark manual, sensory deprivation makes the detainee more susceptible to the interrogator."
4. Solitary Confinement/Isolation
"Solitary confinement is strictly prohibited under international law. It is a cruel practice which causes permanent psychological damage. The impacts can range from hallucinations, emotional damage, delusions and impaired cognitive functioning to anxiety and depression. Solitary confinement is outlawed under the Convention Against Torture, ICCPR and the Geneva Conventions. Camp 5, 6, and Echo are also considered solitary under international law; in other words, David spent the majority of his time in solitary confinement."
5. Mock Executions
"It is contrary to international law to allow a prisoner to think that he is going to be executed. The ICRC complained to the military officials saying that ‘The detainees think they are being taken to be shot’. Apparently military officials debated whether to tell the detainees the truth, but decided to wait until after the first round of interrogations."
6. Forced Medication
"Medical experimentation was outlawed under international law since its use in Nazi concentration camps. The history of U.S. medical experimentation, for interrogation purposes, began with the MKULTRA program which was enacted by the CIA in response to the Cold War. A number of biological agents and drugs were tested on people, including prisoners and prostitutes, to find substances that led to mind control and behaviour modification. Recently the US military has confirmed that they used high doses of Larium that caused neuropsychiatric effects- including suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and psyhcosis."
7. The Use of Dogs to Scare Detainees
"The use of dogs to threaten and intimidate detainees can be traced back to the France, Belgium and the concentration camps during Nazi Germany (See, Darius Rejali, Torture and Democracy). In a 2002 memo, Defense Department lawyer, Jim Haynes wrote a memo authorising the use of sleep deprivation, stress positions, nudity and dogs. An investigation into FBI allegations of detainee abuse (The Schmidt Report) found that ‘military interrogators improperly used military working dogs during interrogation sessions to threaten detainees…’. The use of dogs to intimidate at Guantanamo was such an effective technique it was transported to Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Iraq in an approved plan to ‘scare-up’ prisoners."
8. Temperature Extremes
"Using temperature extremes as a form of torture has been used for many years by many different countries. It was the Brazilian’s who switched from heat to cold cells in 1966. The ‘cold cell’, which was used in Guantanamo was authorised in 2005 as part of the CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, however, they were using it before long before. The Haynes 2002 memo, signed off by Donald Rumsfeld, authorised this technique."
9. Sensory Bombardment (Noise)
"Noise has been used by torturers to either mask sounds of others being tortured, such as when children’s music was played by the Gestapo when beating Walter Bauer, or when they are trying to disrupt sleep, terrorise or create emotions within the prisoners. In 2004, a U.S. military official admitted that ‘uncooperative prisoners strip to their underwear, having them sit in a chair with shackled hand and foot to a bolt in the floor, and forcing them to endure strobe lights and screaming loud rock and rap music played through two close loudspeakers, while the air conditioning was turned up to maximum levels.’"
10. Watching Others Being Tortured
"Witnessing torture and violence can have the same psychological effects of actually experiencing the violence. Scientists have found that psychological manipulation techniques, such as deprivation, humiliation and forced stress positions cause as much mental stress as physical pain."
11. Psychological Techniques
"Psychologically abusive techniques were used to disrupt sleep and disorient detainees. The CIA’s KUBARK manual suggests that interrogations aided by the use of temperature extremes, noise bombardment and sleep deprivation are able to induce ‘regression, psychic disintegration, and feelings of helplessness that lower prisoners’ defences.’ This of course, leads to signed confessions and more malleable prisoners. During interrogations, intelligence branches and BSCT teams (psychologists and psychiatrists) sat behind double sided glass to watch detainees being interrogated. Their job was to provide information on the detainee’s mental health, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The Kiley Report confirms that medical personnel were utilised during interrogations. The ICRC called this ‘a flagrant violation of medical ethics.’ Seemingly menial techniques were also employed, such as forcing detainees to read children’s books. News organisations reported that an interrogator read a Harry Potter book to a detainee for hours in order to ‘wear down the detainee’. Keeping detainees in a ‘childlike’ state was considered advantageous to the interrogators because they were more suggestible and malleable."
+ Torture Techniques used in Guantanamo (2016):
'The abuses committed in the CIA’s "enhanced interrogation" program during the George W. Bush Administration were war crimes in the eyes of international law, Former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay Colonel Morris Davis told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
“These are also crimes in the international community, and we can’t, and we have no authority outside our borders to excuse this conduct so these are war crimes, are violations of the Convention against Torture.”
The U.S. Senate has for the first time laid bare the shocking wrongdoings carried out in the CIA’s network of black site detention centers between 2002 and 2008, following the September 11th attacks. Colonel Davis said he “wasn’t shocked by the particulars and the techniques that were employed.”
“We’ve all heard about waterboarding and some of the other things that were done to the detainees as part of the program. I think what was breathtaking to the public looking at this is the quantity, the scope and the extent and the pervasiveness of this program that we’ve used for a period of time on a number of individuals. I think another thing that will be shocking to people is how much we contracted out to private industry, and how people became millionaires off of this torture program.”
The damning report, which was five years in the making, also accuses the CIA of deceit at the highest level, cover-ups and obstruction of Congress, and says the program was far less effective than claimed by the agency. When Amanpour asked Davis if this was “a rogue CIA operation,” Davis replied “I think that’s an accurate description...So it really is a sad chapter in our nation’s history.”'
+ CIA torture methods ‘are war crimes,’ says former Guantanamo chief prosecutor (2014):
'All the detainees were imprisoned because the U.S. suspected they were involved with Al Qaeda or the Taliban, but after seven years, only some have actually been charged with specific crimes. It is difficult to piece together a comprehensive portrait of the detainees at Guantanamo because much of the information about them is classified, including the evidence collected about their alleged crimes. One way to figure out what sort of crimes detainees may have committed is to read through the testimony from the military tribunals tasked with determining whether the prisoners qualify as dangerous “enemy combatants.” Of the 534 detainees who went through these tribunals
- 59 claimed membership in Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
- 13 said they were part of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, but against their will.
- 64 denied affiliation with Al Qaeda or the Taliban, but admitted facts that the army panel thought qualified them as some sort of armed enemy.
- 62 denied they were part of Al Qaeda or the Taliban but admitted they at some point stayed in a safe house or training camp for the groups.
The other 336 prisoners either denied all the allegations against them or refused to make any statement at all. Legal scholar Benjamin Wittes, who analyzed all the testimony from the tribunals, writes that about seven percent of the detainees (that’s 42 people) were accused of being top-level Al Qaeda or Taliban leaders. That includes infamous detainees like Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh. In February 2008, after four years of detention, the U.S. Department of Defense charged Mohammed and Binalsibh with helping orchestrate September 11th, to which the two confessed along with a list of other major terrorist actions.
On the other end of the spectrum, the first military tribunals found that 11 percent of the prisoners were “no longer enemy combatants” (meaning, essentially, innocent) and could be let go. Since then, dozens of detainees have been released without ever being charged with a crime. Many of these men were never involved with terrorist activities but were instead chicken farmers, businessmen and doctors caught up in post-9/11 roundups. Many of these men suspect someone fabricated charges against them to collect one of large cash bounties the U.S. distributed for capturing Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders. Some of these innocent men, like journalist Sami al Haj, who was held without charge for six years, are now engaged in social justice activism.'
THE CASE OF ABU ZUBAYDAH - CIA TORTURE & GUANTANAMO BAY:
- 'Donald Rumsfeld said he was “if not the number two, very close to the number two person” in Al Qaeda.
- The Central Intelligence Agency informed Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee that he “served as Usama Bin Laden’s senior lieutenant. In that capacity, he has managed a network of training camps…. He also acted as al-Qaeda’s coordinator of external contacts and foreign communications.”
- CIA Director Michael Hayden would tell the press in 2008 that 25 percent of all the information his agency had gathered about Al Qaeda from human sources “originated” with one other detainee and him.
- George W. Bush would use his case to justify the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation program,” claiming that “he had run a terrorist camp in Afghanistan where some of the 9/11 hijackers trained” and that “he helped smuggle al-Qaeda leaders out of Afghanistan” so they would not be captured by US military forces.'
'None of it was true... A Saudi national, in the 1980s Zubaydah helped run the Khaldan camp, a mujahedeen training facility set up in Afghanistan with CIA help during the Soviet occupation of that country. In other words, Zubaydah was then an American ally in the fight against the Soviets, one of President Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.” (But then again, so in effect was Osama bin Laden.) Zubaydah’s later fate in the hands of the CIA was of a far grimmer nature. He had the dubious luck to be the subject of a number of CIA “firsts”: the first post–9/11 prisoner to be waterboarded; the first to be experimented on by psychologists working as CIA contractors; one of the first of the Agency’s “ghost prisoners” (detainees hidden from the world, including the International Committee of the Red Cross which, under the Geneva Conventions, must be allowed access to every prisoner of war); and one of the first prisoners to be cited in a memo written by Jay Bybee for the Bush administration on what the CIA could “legally” do to a detainee without supposedly violating US federal laws against torture.
In August 2002, a group of FBI agents, CIA agents, and Pakistani forces captured Zubaydah (along with about 50 other men) in Faisalabad, Pakistan. In the process, he was severely injured—shot in the thigh, testicle, and stomach. He might well have died, had the CIA not flown in an American surgeon to patch him up. The Agency’s interest in his health was, however, anything but humanitarian. Its officials wanted to interrogate him and, even after he had recovered sufficiently to be questioned, his captors occasionally withheld pain medication as a means of torture. When he “lost” his left eye under mysterious circumstances while in CIA custody, the agency’s concern again was not for his health. The December 2014 torture report produced by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (despite CIA opposition that included hacking into the committee’s computers) described the situation this way: with his left eye gone, “[i]n October 2002, DETENTION SITE GREEN [now known to be Thailand] recommended that the vision in his right eye be tested, noting that ‘[w]e have a lot riding upon his ability to see, read, and write.’ DETENTION SITE GREEN stressed that ‘this request is driven by our intelligence needs [not] humanitarian concern for AZ.’” The CIA then set to work interrogating Zubaydah with the help of two contractors, the psychologists Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell. Zubaydah would be the first human subject on whom those two, who were former instructors at the Air Force’s SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) training center, could test their theories about using torture to induce what they called “learned helplessness,” meant to reduce a suspect’s resistance to interrogation. Their price? Only $81 million.
CIA records show that, using a plan drawn up by Jessen and Mitchell, Abu Zubaydah’s interrogators would waterboard him an almost unimaginable 83 times in the course of a single month; that is, they would strap him to a wooden board, place a cloth over his entire face, and gradually pour water through the cloth until he began to drown. At one point during this endlessly repeated ordeal, the Senate committee reported that Zubaydah became “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.” Each of those 83 uses of what was called “the watering cycle” consisted of four steps:
“1) demands for information interspersed with the application of the water just short of blocking his airway 2) escalation of the amount of water applied until it blocked his airway and he started to have involuntary spasms 3) raising the water-board to clear subject’s airway 4) lowering of the water-board and return to demands for information.”
The CIA videotaped Zubaydah undergoing each of these “cycles,” only to destroy those tapes in 2005 when news of their existence surfaced and the embarrassment (and possible future culpability) of the Agency seemed increasingly to be at stake. CIA Director Michael Hayden would later assure CNN that the tapes had been destroyed only because “they no longer had ‘intelligence value’ and they posed a security risk.” Whose “security” was at risk if the tapes became public? Most likely, that of the Agency’s operatives and contractors who were breaking multiple national and international laws against torture, along with the high CIA and Bush administration officials who had directly approved their actions.
In addition to the waterboarding, the Senate torture report indicates that Zubaydah endured excruciating stress positions (which cause terrible pain without leaving a mark); sleep deprivation (for up to 180 hours, which generally induces hallucinations or psychosis); unrelenting exposure to loud noises (another psychosis-inducer); “walling” (the Agency’s term for repeatedly slamming the shoulder blades into a “flexible, false wall,” though Zubaydah told the International Committee of the Red Cross that when this was first done to him, “he was slammed directly against a hard concrete wall”); and confinement for hours in a box so cramped that he could not stand up inside it. All of these methods of torture had been given explicit approval in a memo written to the CIA’s head lawyer, John Rizzo, by Jay Bybee, who was then serving in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. In thatmemo Bybee approved the use of 10 different “techniques” on Zubaydah.
It seems likely that, while the CIA was torturing Zubaydah at Jessen’s and Mitchell’s direction for whatever information he might have, it was also using him to test the “effectiveness” of waterboarding as a torture technique. If so, the agency and its contractors violated not only international law, but the US War Crimes Act, which expressly forbids experimenting on prisoners...It was with Zubaydah that the CIA also began its post–9/11 practice of hiding detainees from the International Committee of the Red Cross by transferring them to its “black sites,” the secret prisons it was setting up in countries with complacent or complicit regimes around the world. Such unacknowledged detainees came to be known as “ghost prisoners,” because they had no official existence. As the Senate torture report noted, “In part to avoid declaring Abu Zubaydah to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which would be required if he were detained at a US military base, the CIA decided to seek authorization to clandestinely detain Abu Zubaydah at a facility in Country _______ [now known to have been Thailand]...”
Not only was Zubaydah not a senior Al Qaeda lieutenant, he had, according to the report, been turned down for membership in Al Qaeda as early as 1993 and the CIA knew it by at least 2006, if not far sooner. Nevertheless, the month after it privately clarified the nature of the Khaldan camp and Zubaydah’s lack of Al Qaeda connections, President Bush used the story of Zubaydah’s capture and interrogation in a speech to the nation justifying the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program. He then claimed that Zubaydah had “helped smuggle Al Qaida leaders out of Afghanistan.” In the same speech, Bush told the nation, “Our intelligence community believes [Zubaydah] had run a terrorist camp in Afghanistan where some of the 9/11 hijackers trained” (a reference presumably to Khaldan). Perhaps the CIA should have been looking instead at some of the people who actually trained the hijackers—the operators of flight schools in the United States, where, according to a September 23, 2001 Washington Post story, the FBI already knew “terrorists” were learning to fly 747s. In June 2007, the Bush administration doubled down on its claim that Zubaydah was involved with 9/11. At a hearing before the congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger, discussing why the Guantánamo prison needed to remain open, explained that it “serves a very important purpose, to hold and detain individuals who are extremely dangerous…[like] Abu Zubaydah, people who have been planners of 9/11...”
The government’s lawyers went on to claim, bizarrely enough, that the Bush administration had never “contended that [Zubaydah] had any personal involvement in planning or executing…the attacks of September 11, 2001.” They added that “the Government also has not contended in this proceeding that, at the time of his capture, [Zubaydah] had knowledge of any specific impending terrorist operations”—an especially curious claim, since the prevention of such future attacks was how the CIA justified its torture of Zubaydah in the first place. Far from believing that he was “if not the number two, very close to the number two person in” Al Qaeda, as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had once claimed, “the Government has not contended in this proceeding that [Zubaydah] was a member of al-Qaida or otherwise formally identified with al-Qaida.” And so, the case against the man who was waterboarded 83 times and contributed supposedly crucial information to the CIA on Al Qaeda plotting was oh-so-quietly withdrawn without either fuss or media attention. Exhibit one was now exhibit none.'
+ The CIA Waterboarded the Wrong Man 83 Times in 1 Month (2016):
'From 2002 to 2006 he was spirited from one black site to another. Journalists and investigators traced his movements through Thailand, Poland, Morocco and Lithuania, to Afghanistan. Since 2006 he has been in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, where, under a stringent regime of presumptive classification, he is unable to communicate in any way with the outside world. In the interim, the U.S. government’s position on Zubaydah's case has changed, as court filings demonstrate:
"The Government has not contended that (Abu Zubaydah) had any personal involvement in planning or executing either the 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania, or the attacks of September 11, 2001 … The Government also has not contended in the proceeding that at the time of his capture, (he) had knowledge of any specific impending terrorist operations other than his own thwarted plans … The government has not contended in the proceeding that (he) was a member of al-Qaida or otherwise formally identified with al-Qaida."
After Zubaydah has spent more than seven years in Guantanamo, the U.S. government still has not charged him with any crime."
+ Abu Zubaydah’s case continues to languish in legal black hole (2013):
'The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 reopened what many people in the United States had long assumed was a settled ethical question: Is torture ever morally permissible? Within days, some began to suggest that, in these new circumstances, the new answer was “yes.” Mainstreaming Torture argues that September 11 did not, as some have said, “change everything.” Institutionalized state torture remains as wrong today as it was on the day before those terrible attacks. Furthermore, U.S. practices during the “war on terror” are rooted in a history that began long before September 11, a history that includes both support for torture regimes abroad and the use of torture in American jails and prisons.'
+ Mainstreaming Torture (2014):
THE CASE OF MAJID KHAN - CIA TORTURE & GUANTANAMO BAY:
'Khan told his lawyers that some of the worst torture occurred in a May 2003 interrogation session, when guards stripped him naked, hung him from a wooden beam for three days and provided him with water but no food. The only time he was removed from the beam was on the afternoon of the first day, when interrogators shackled him, placed a hood over his head and lowered him into a tub of ice water. An interrogator then forced Khan's head underwater until he feared he would drown. The questioner pulled Khan's head out of the water, demanded answers to questions and again dunked his head underwater, the detainee said. Guards also poured water and ice from a bucket onto Khan's mouth and nose. Khan was again hung on the pole hooded and naked. Every two to three hours, interrogators hurled ice water on his body and set up a fan to blow air on him, depriving him of sleep, he said... In a July 2003 session, Khan said, CIA guards hooded and hung him from a metal pole for several days and repeatedly poured ice water on his mouth, nose and genitals. At one point, he said, they forced him to sit naked on a wooden box during a 15-minute videotaped interrogation. After that, Khan said, he was shackled to a wall, which prevented him from sleeping. When a doctor arrived to check his condition, Khan begged for help, he said. Instead, Khan said, the doctor instructed the guards to again hang him from the metal bar. After hanging from the pole for 24 hours, Khan was forced to write a "confession" while being videotaped naked. Khan's account also includes previously undisclosed forms of alleged CIA abuse, according to experts. Khan said his feet and lower legs were placed in tall boot-like metal cuffs that dug into his flesh and immobilized his legs. He said he felt that his legs would break if he fell forward while restrained by the cuffs.
Khan is not one of the three people whom current and former CIA officials say interrogators were authorized to “waterboard,” whereby water is poured over a cloth covering a detainee's face to create the sensation of drowning. Nor is he the fourth detainee whose waterboarding was documented by Human Rights Watch in 2012. His descriptions, however, match those of other detainees who have alleged that they were subjected to unauthorized interrogation techniques using water. Human-rights groups say the use of ice water in dousing and forced submersions is torture. Khan's account also includes details that match those of lower-level detainees who have described their own interrogations. Like other prisoners, Khan said he was held in complete darkness and isolated from other prisoners for long periods. To deprive him of sleep, his captors kept the lights on in his cell and blared loud music from KISS and other American rock and rap groups. He said that he was given unclean food and water that gave him diarrhea and that he was held in an outdoor cell and in cells with biting insects. Other prisoners later told him they were held in coffin-shaped boxes. Conditions improved significantly in 2005, after the U.S. Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act. That measure includes anti-torture provisions sponsored by Senator John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner in Vietnam.'
+ Exclusive: Detainee alleges CIA sexual abuse, torture beyond Senate findings (2015):
'By 2004, critics alleged that torture was used against subjects with the knowledge or acquiescence of the United States (a transfer of anyone to anywhere for the purpose of torture is a violation of US law). In addition, some former detainees claimed to have been transferred to other countries for interrogation under torture, such as the Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib. In December 2005 Condoleezza Rice (then the United States Secretary of State) stated that:
"The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. Where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that transferred persons will not be tortured."
From 2001 to 2005 CIA officers captured an estimated 150 people and transported them around the world. Under the Bush administration, rendered persons were reported to have undergone torture by the receiving countries. Journalists, civil and constitutional rights groups, and former detainees have alleged that this occurred with the knowledge or cooperation of the administrations of the United States and the United Kingdom. The revelations about the US program prompted several official investigations in Europe into alleged secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers involving Council of Europe member states. A June 2006 report from the Council of Europe estimated 100 people had been kidnapped by the CIA on EU territory (with the cooperation of Council of Europe members), and rendered to other countries, often after having transited through secret detention centers ("black sites") used by the CIA, some located in Europe. According to the separate European Parliament report of February 2007, the CIA has conducted 1,245 flights, many of them to destinations where suspects could face torture, in violation of article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.'
+ Extraordinary Rendition:
31. Inder Comar:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Inder Comar (2016):
32. Jeremy Corbyn:
'The Iraq Inquiry (also referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot) is a British public inquiry into the nation's role in the Iraq War. The document stated that Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with unwarranted certainty, that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was "far from satisfactory", and that a war in 2003 was unnecessary...
After the report was issued, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition and leader of the Labour Party - who had voted against military action - gave a speech in Westminster stating: "I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq in March 2003" which he called an "act of military aggression launched on a false pretext" something that has "long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of international opinion". Corbyn specifically apologised to "the people of Iraq"; to the families of British soldiers who died in Iraq or returned injured; and to "the millions of British citizens who feel our democracy was traduced and undermined by the way in which the decision to go to war was taken on".
In a statement by Alex Salmond released after the inquiry's report was issued, the Scottish National Party said: "After such carnage, people will ask inevitable questions of was conflict inevitable and worthwhile? The answer from Chilcot is undoubtedly no. And who is responsible? The answer is undoubtedly Tony Blair. There must now be a consideration of what political or legal consequences are appropriate for those responsible". Following the publication of the report, John Prescott, who was the Deputy Prime Minister at the time of the Iraq War, said that the war was illegal.'
+ Iraq Inquiry - The Chilcot Report (2016):
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day Two: British MP Jeremy Corbyn (2016):
'I'd like to start today by remembering and honouring the 179 British servicemen and women killed and the thousands wounded during the Iraq war and their families as well as the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq launched by the US and British governments 13 years ago. I have just had a private meeting with some of the families of the British dead as well as with war veterans and Iraqis who have lost family members as a result of the war as I have continued to do over the past dozen years. It is always a humbling experience to witness the resolve and resilience of those families and their unwavering commitment to seek truth and justice for those they've lost in Iraq.
They've waited seven years for Sir John Chilcot's report. It was right that the inquiry heard evidence from such a wide range of people and that the origins, conduct and aftermath of the war should have been examined in such detail. But the extraordinary length of time it has taken to see the light of day is clearly a matter for deep regret and has weakened its capacity to hold those responsible to account. There is no doubt that the decision to invade and occupy Iraq in March 2003 was the most significant foreign policy decision taken by a British government in modern times. It divided parliament and set the government of the day against a majority of the British people as well as against the weight of global opinion.
The war was not in any way, as Sir John Chilcot says , a "last resort". It was an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext as the inquiry accepts and has long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion. It led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and the displacement of millions of refugees. It devastated Iraq's infrastructure and society.
The US-British occupation led to a lethal sectarianism that turned into a civil war . Instead of protecting security at home or abroad, the war fuelled and spread terrorism across the region including in the countries that launched it. Sunday's suicide bomb attack in Baghdad which killed over 250 people, the deadliest so far, was carried out by a group whose origins lie in the aftermath of the invasion. By any measure, the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a catastrophe.
The decision to invade in 2003 on the basis of what the Chilcot report calls "flawed intelligence" about weapons of mass destruction has had a far-reaching impact on us all. It's also led to a fundamental breakdown in trust in politics and our institutions of government. The tragedy is that while the governing class got it so horrifically wrong, the majority of our people called it right. On February 15, 2003 along with 1.5 million people spanning the entire political spectrum of Britain and tens of millions of others across the world, many of us marched against the impending war in the biggest-ever demonstration in the history of this country.
It wasn't, absolutely wasn't, that we underestimated the brutality or crimes of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship. Many of us had campaigned against the Iraqi regime during its most bloody period when the British government and the US administration were busy supporting and arming it as the 1996 Scott Inquiry demonstrated. We were not not apologists for Saddam Hussein in any way whatsoever. We could see that this state broken by sanctions and war posed no military threat, that the WMD evidence was flimsy and confected, that going to war without UN authorisation was profoundly dangerous, that foreign invasion and occupation would be resisted by force and that it could set off a series of uncontrollable and destructive events.
If only the majority of our members of parliament had listened to the wisdom of our own people when they voted on March 18 2003 against waiting for the United Nations authorisation through a second resolution the course of events might have been very, very different. There are a large number of members in parliament today including dozens of my Labour colleagues who voted to stop the Iraq war. But none of us will take any satisfaction from this report. Instead, all of us will feel saddened at what has been revealed and what we must now reflect on.
The report has dug deep into the many... the litany of failures of planning for the occupation the calamitous decisions to stand down the Iraqi army and to dissolve the entire Iraqi state. But the reality is it was the original decision to follow the United States president into an unprovoked war in the most volatile region of the world and impose a colonial-style occupation that led to every further disaster. The government's September 2002 dossier with its false claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed in 45 minutes was only the most notorious of the deceptions. Major General Michael Laurie told the inquiry, and I quote: "We knew at the time that the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war rather than setting out the available intelligence."
It goes without saying that never again should intelligence be fixed around policy - instead of fixing policy around intelligence and legality. Military action in Iraq not only turned a humanitarian crisis into a humanitarian disaster it also convulsed the entire Middle East region and beyond just as military intervention for regime change in Libya in 2011 left the country in the grip of warring militias and terror groups. And the Iraq war increased the threat of terrorism to our own country. Baroness Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, made this very clear to the inquiry. I invite people to read her evidence.
There are many lessons that need to be drawn from the Iraq war and the investigation carried out by Sir John Chilcot for our country, government and parliament as well as for my own party, the Labour Party. They include the need for a more open and independent relationship with the United States, particularly as we face the prospects of a new and potentially much more hawkish presidency and for a foreign policy based on upholding international law and the authority of the United Nations which seeks peaceful solutions to all international disputes. We also need much stronger oversight of the security and intelligence services, full restoration of proper cabinet government and to give parliament the decisive say over any future decision to go to war based on objective information, not through government discretion, but through a War Powers Act which I hope will be passed rapidly in the British parliament.
Finally, we need Britain to join the 30 countries, including Germany and Spain, that already support giving the International Criminal Court the power to prosecute those responsible for the crime of military aggression. There are no more important decisions a Member of Parliament ever gets asked to make than those relating to war and peace. The very least that MPs and the country should be able to expect is rigorous and objective evidence on which to base their decisions.
We now know that parliament was misled in the run-up to war and MPs should now decide how it should deal with that 13 years later just as all those who took the decision laid bare in the Chilcot Report must face up to the consequences, whatever they may be. As I said earlier, I have just been meeting a group of families, military servicemen and women who lost their loved ones, Iraq war veterans and Iraqi citizens who lost relatives as a result of that war, that the US and British governments launched. I apologised to them for the decisions taken by our then government that led the country into a disastrous war. It was a disaster that occurred when we were in government, 140 of my then colleagues opposed it at the time, as did many, many, many members of my party, of trade unions and of many other organisations in this country.
Many more have since said that they regret their vote. My fellow MPs who voted for the war in 2003 did so on the basis of loyalty to the government and information and intelligence which the Chilcot Report has been confirmed to have been false. They were misled by a small number of leading figures who were committed to joining the United States invasion come what may and were none too scrupulous about how they made the case for war. Politicians and political parties can only grow stronger by acknowledging when they get it wrong and by facing up to their mistakes.
So I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq.
The apology is owed first of all to the people of Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and the country is still living with the devastating consequences of the war and the forces it unleashed. They have paid the greatest price for the most serious foreign policy calamity of the last 60 years. The apology is also owed to the families of those soldiers who died in Iraq or who have returned home injured and incapacitated. They did their duty, but it was in a conflict they should never have been sent to.
Finally, it is an apology to the millions of British citizens who feel our democracy was traduced and undermined by the way in which the decision to go to war was taken on the basis of secret 'I will be with you, whatever' understandings given to the US president that have been now publicly exposed by Sir John Chilcot's report published this morning.
Our society has also suffered consequences. Community relations have been compromised and damaged, civil liberties have been undermined and the menace of terrorism has grown as a result. Our party has learned the lessons. One of the three main pillars of my election as leader of the party last year was for a different kind of foreign policy, to uphold international law, to seek peaceful solutions to international disputes, to respect the role and the authority of the United Nations and always to treat war as absolutely the last resort. The decision to go to war in Iraq has been a stain on our party and our country but we now have the chance to work together to build more constructive and mutually balanced relationships with the rest of the world based on co-operation, peace and international justice. Thank you very much.'
+ Jeremy Corbyn's Chilcot Report speech and apology for Iraq War: Full transcript (2016):
'The head of an official British investigation into alleged abuses during the Iraq War says that U.K. soldiers may face prosecution for crimes including murder. Mark Warwick said the inquiry, called the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), is probing "lots of significant cases", and officials will discuss whether they meet the war crimes threshold. Warwick was quoted by The Independent newspaper as saying that he believed there would be sufficient evidence to justify criminal charges. "There are serious allegations that we are investigating across the whole range of IHAT investigations, which incorporates homicide, where I feel there is significant evidence to be obtained to put a strong case before the Service Prosecuting Authority to prosecute and charge," he said. IHAT was set up by the British Ministry of Defence in 2010 and is independent of the military for its investigations. Its mandate is to investigate Iraqi civilians' allegations of abuse at the hands of British armed forces between 2003 and 2009. British forces withdrew from Iraq in 2009. Lawyers are still referring cases to the British government-established criminal probe into murder, abuse and torture claims linked to the six-year military mission. The inquiry has considered at least 1,515 possible victims, including 280 who were allegedly unlawfully killed. The probe is not due to finish its work until the end of 2019.'
+ U.K. soldiers who fought in Iraq may face prosecution for war crimes (2016):
'Jeremy Corbyn is preparing to call for Tony Blair to be investigated for war crimes in the wake of a damning Chilcot report into Britain's involvement in the Iraq War, the Telegraph understands... It is understood that Mr Corbyn will not row back from calls he made last year for Mr Blair to stand trial for war crimes if he is found to have broken the law over the 2003 conflict... The report will deliver an "absolutely brutal" verdict on the former Labour prime minister, ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw and the former MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove, according to a former government minister quoted in the Sunday Times. Asked last year, as a contender for the Labour leadership, if Mr Blair should be charged for war crimes, Mr Corbyn said:
"If he's committed a war crime, yes. Everyone who's committed a war crime should be. I think it was an illegal war, I'm confident about that, indeed [former UN secretary general] Kofi Annan confirmed it was an illegal war, and therefore he has to explain to that."
+ Jeremy Corbyn preparing to call for Tony Blair to be investigated for war crimes (2016):
"A Stop the War Coalition protestor, wearing a mask depicting Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, shows bloodied hands near Parliament on January 29, 2015 in London, England."
+ Tony Blair should be ‘dragged to court in shackles and tried as a war criminal’ (2015):
'Dr Mark Ellis, executive director of the London-based International Bar Association highlighted on the day of the Chilcot reports release that:
“The overwhelming evidence is that neither of… [the exceptions allowing the use of force in international relations were present] and, consequently, the invasion of Iraq violated international law. Yet, international law has not progressed to a stage where those who breached these legal principles will be brought to justice. To date, the International Criminal Court does not have jurisdiction over ‘acts of aggression’. The only body able to initiate sanctions against states that trigger these acts is the UN Security Council. However, both the United States and Great Britain, as permanent members of the council, would never consent to such sanctions.”
Yet, while there is a wide consensus that the invasion and occupation of Iraq were illegal, it does not follow that Blair can be prosecuted for it. What Salmond and Corbyn are describing isn’t a war crime. It’s the crime of aggression — a crime that the International Criminal Court does not (yet) have jurisdiction over. The Court may be able to prosecute the crime of aggressive war in 2017, at the earliest, when it has been defined by its own working group. But even when that transpires, the invasion of Iraq will be excluded from its remit because of when it took place. But doesn’t the Nuremberg Judgement of 1946 exist to fill this gap? Going to war to change another country’s regime is prohibited by international law, while the Nuremburg judgment of 1946 laid down that “to initiate a war of aggression”, as Blair and Bush clearly did against Iraq, “is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”. Further, the ICC also has very limited jurisdiction over those countries who are non-signatories to the Rome Statute, including the primary aggressor in the invasion of Iraq, the United States of America. As the ICC’s founding father, former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz, lamented in 2011:
“You don’t have to be a criminologist to realize that if you want to deter a crime, you must persuade potential criminals that, if they commit crimes, they will be hauled into court and be held accountable. It is the policy of the United States to do just the opposite as far as the crime of aggression is concerned. Our government has gone to great pains to be sure that no American will be tried by any international criminal court for the supreme crime of illegal war-making.”
The U.S. has not only refused to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC over its own citizens. It has gone further, pressuring other countries to sign Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIA), in which they renounce the right to refer U.S. citizens to the ICC for war crimes committed on their territory. The U.S. has also threatened to cut off U.S. aid to countries that refuse to sign them. The BIAs violate those countries’ own commitments under the ICC statute, and the U.S. pressure to sign them has been rightly condemned as an outrageous effort to ensure impunity for U.S. war crimes. To the credit of our international neighbors, this U.S. strategy has met with substantial resistance. The European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating that BIAs are incompatible with E.U. membership, and urged E.U.- member states and countries seeking E.U. membership not to sign them. Fifty-four countries have publicly refused to sign BIAs, and 24 have accepted cut-offs of U.S. aid as a consequence of their refusal. Of 102 countries that have signed a BIA, only 48 are members of the ICC in any case, and only 15 of those countries are on record as having ratified the BIAs in their own parliaments.
Thirty-two other ICC members have apparently allowed BIAs to take effect without parliamentary ratification, but this has been challenged by their own country’s legal experts in many cases. The U.S. campaign to undermine the ICC is part of a much broader effort by the U.S. government to evade all forms of accountability under the laws that are supposed to govern international behavior in the modern world, even as it continues to masquerade as a global champion of the rule of law. The treaties that U.S. policy systematically violates today were crafted by American statesmen and diplomats, working with their foreign colleagues, to build a world where all people would enjoy some basic protections from the worst atrocities, instead of being subject only to the law of the jungle or “might makes right.”'
+ Can the ICC prosecute Tony Blair and others who can still evade prosecution today? (2016):
"But no American should be allowed to forget that the nation of Iraq, the society of Iraq, have been destroyed, ruined, a failed state. The Americans, beginning 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, killed wantonly, tortured … the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up … an army of young Islamic men went to Iraq to fight the American invaders; they left the country more militant, hardened by war, to spread across the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia … a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again."
+ The Anti-Empire Report #85 - William Blum (2010):
'The Battle of Basra lasted from March 21, 2003 to April 6, 2003 and was one of the first battles of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The British 7 Armoured Brigade fought their way into Iraq's second-largest city, Basra, on 6 April coming under constant attack by the Iraqi Army 51st Division and Fedayeen. While elements of the Parachute Regiment cleared the 'old quarter' of the city that was inaccessible to vehicles. Entering Basra had only been achieved after two weeks of conflict, which included the biggest tank battle of the war by British forces when the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards destroyed 14 Iraqi tanks on 27 March. Water and electricity became scarce after most of Basra's electrical infrastructure was destroyed on 21 March. On 24 March, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced that 60% of Basra's population had been cut off from clean water, and warned of a coming “humanitarian crisis”. Al Jazeera reported on 27 March that US and UK forces had blocked the city's supply of drinking water, and were preventing the Red Cross from restoring access. The Center for Economic and Social Rights reported that the “Anglo-American deprived one million residents of access to safe drinking water for almost two weeks”. The CESR described this action as an attack on a civilian population: a war crime under the Geneva Convention and Hague Convention.'
+ The Battle of Basra (2003):
"The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 20 March to 1 May 2003 and signaled the start of the Iraq War, which was dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States (prior to 19 March, the mission in Iraq was called Operation Enduring Freedom, a carryover from the War in Afghanistan).The invasion consisted of 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion phase consisted primarily of a conventionally fought war which concluded with the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by American forces."
+ U.S. MARINES IN IRAQ. REAL COMBAT - HEAVY CLASHES | WAR IN IRAQ (2003):
'In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger writes about the "paramount war crime" defined by the Nuremberg judges in 1946 and its relevance to the case of Tony Blair, whose shared responsibility for the Iraq invasion resulted in the deaths of more than a million people. New developments in international and domestic political attitudes towards war crimes mean that Blair is now 'Britain's Kissinger'.
Tony Blair must be prosecuted, not indulged like his mentor Peter Mandelson. Both have produced self-serving memoirs for which they have been paid fortunes. Blair’s will appear next month and earn him £4.6 million. Now consider Britain’s Proceeds of Crime Act. Blair conspired in and executed an unprovoked war of aggression against a defenceless country, which the Nuremberg judges in 1946 described as the “paramount war crime”. This has caused, according to scholarly studies, the deaths of more than a million people, a figure that exceeds the Fordham University estimate of deaths in the Rwandan genocide. In addition, four million Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes and a majority of children have descended into malnutrition and trauma. Cancer rates near the cities of Fallujah, Najaf and Basra (the latter “liberated” by the British) are now revealed as higher than those at Hiroshima. “UK forces used about 1.9 metric tons of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,” the Defence Secretary Liam Fox told parliament on 22 July. A range of toxic “anti-personnel” weapons, such as cluster bombs, was employed by British and American forces. Such carnage was justified with lies that have been repeatedly exposed... Documents released by the High Court show that Blair allowed British citizens to be abducted and tortured. The then foreign secretary, Jack Straw, decided in January 2002 that Guantanamo was the “best way” to ensure UK nationals were “securely held”.
Instead of remorse, Blair has demonstrated a voracious and secretive greed... His collaborators are numerous... Is it wishful thinking that Blair will be collared? Just as the Cameron government understands the “threat” of a law that makes Britain a risky stopover for Israeli war criminals, a similar risk awaits Blair in a number of countries and jurisdictions, at least of being apprehended and questioned. He is now Britain’s Kissinger, who has long planned his travel outside the United States with the care of a fugitive. Two recent events add weight to this. On 15 June, the International Criminal Court made the landmark decision of adding aggression to its list of war crimes to be prosecuted. This is defined as a “crime committed by a political or military leader which by its character, gravity and scale constituted a manifest violation of the [United Nations] Charter”. International lawyers described this as a “giant leap”. Britain is a signatory to the Rome statute that created the court and is bound by its decisions. On 21 July, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, standing at the Commons despatch box, declared the invasion of Iraq illegal. For all the later “clarification” that he was speaking personally, he had made “a statement that the international court would be interested in”, said Philippe Sands, professor of international law at University College London.'
+ Tony Blair Must Be Prosecuted (2010):
33. Vincent Warren:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Vince Warren (2016):
34. Birgitta Jónsdóttir:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Birgitta Jonsdottir (2016):
35. Collateral Murder:
'5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff. Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded. The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured. After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own "Rules of Engagement". Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.
WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions. WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident. WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work.'
+ Collateral Murder (2007):
36. Anthony Arnove:
37. Janine Jackson:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Janine Jackson (2016):
38. Sonali Kolhatkar:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Sonali Kolhatkar (2016):
39. Robert Greenwald:
40. Jeff Cohen:
'September 11th made 2001 a defining year in our country's history. But 2002 may have been the strangest. It began with all eyes on Osama bin Laden and ended with Osama bin Forgotten - as the White House turned its attention to Iraq. Bush's January 2003 State of the Union speech mentioned Saddam Hussein 17 times, but bin Laden not once. Everything about my nine-month stint at cable news channel MSNBC occurred in the context of the ever-intensifying war drums over Iraq. The drums grew louder as D-Day approached, until the din became so deafening that rational journalistic thinking could not occur... In October 2002, my debate segments were terminated. There was no room for me after MSNBC launched Countdown: Iraq - a daily show that seemed more keen on glamorizing a potential war than scrutinizing or debating it. The show featured retired colonels and generals resembling boys with war toys as they used props, maps and glitzy graphics to spin invasion scenarios. They reminded me of pumped-up ex-football players doing pregame analysis.
It was excruciating to be silenced while myth and misinformation went unchallenged. Military analysts typically appeared unopposed; they were presented as experts, not advocates. But their closeness to the Pentagon often obstructed independent, skeptical analysis. When Hans Blix led UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq in November 2002 after a four-year absence, Countdown: Iraq's host asked an MSNBC military analyst, "What's the buzz from the Pentagon about Hans Blix?" The retired colonel declared that Blix was considered "something like the Inspector Clousseau of the weapons of mass destruction inspection program ... who will only remember the last thing he was told - and that he's very malleable." Retired General Barry McCaffrey was the star military analyst on NBC and MSNBC - a hawk who pushed for an invasion every chance he got. (After the war started, McCaffrey crowed, "Thank God for the Abrams tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle." Unknown to viewers, McCaffrey sat on the board of a military contractor that pocketed millions on the Abrams and Bradley...)
Besides military analysts, each news network featured "weapons experts" - usually without opposition or balance - to discuss the main justification for war: weapons of mass destruction. The problem for US media was that there was wide disagreement among WMD experts, with many skeptical about an Iraqi threat. The problem only worsened when UN inspectors returned and could not confirm any of the US claims. How did MSNBC and other networks solve the problem? Management favored experts who backed the Bush view - and hired several of them as paid analysts. Networks that normally cherished shouting matches were opting for discussions of harmonious unanimity. This made for dull, predictable TV. It also helped lead our nation to war, based on false premises.
CNN and other outlets featured David Albright, a former UN inspector who repeatedly asserted before the war that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons. Asked later about his assertions, Albright pointed his finger at the White House: "I certainly accepted the administration claims on chemical and biological weapons. I figured they were telling the truth." Another CNN expert was former CIA analyst Ken Pollack, who fervently pushed for war. He warned Oprah viewers that Saddam could use WMDs against the US homeland and was "building new capabilities as fast as he can." Later, he blamed his errant remarks about Iraq's WMDs on a "consensus" in the intelligence community: "That was not me making that claim; that was me parroting the claims of so-called experts."
Not every weapons expert had been wrong. Take ex-Marine and former UN inspector Scott Ritter. In the last months of 2002, he told any audience or journalist who would hear him that Iraqi WMDs represented no threat to our country. "Send in the inspectors," urged Ritter. "Don't send in the Marines." It's telling that in the run-up to the war, no American TV network hired any on-air analysts from among the experts who questioned White House WMD claims. None would hire Ritter... As war neared, MSNBC Suits turned the screws even tighter on "Donahue." They decreed that if we booked one guest who was anti-war on Iraq, we needed two who were pro-war.'
+ Inside TV News: We Were Silenced by the Drums of War (2006):
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Jeff Cohen (2016):
41. Andrew Bacevich:
'It was the birth of the truly privatised modern war. In the Second World War, there was one contractor deployed for every seven soldiers. During the 2003 invasion, that number had increased to two in five. By 2006, contractors in Iraq were outnumbering the soldiers. Private security firms were first in the queue for work and British firms won some of the biggest contracts. Aegis, then run by ex-Scots Guards officer Lt Col Tim Spicer, won a £250million deal to oversee all private security operations. He founded Sandline along with mercenary Simon Mann, later jailed for plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea. Another British firm, Global Strategies Group, won a contract to provide security to diplomats in the southern city of Basra, in a deal worth up to £265million over five years. A third London-based firm, Erinys, landed a £90million contract to secure the country’s oil fields, training 20,000 Iraqi guards to protect pipelines from sabotage. The most controversial private security firm to profit from Iraq was Blackwater USA. In 2004, four of its security guards were ambushed and burned to death in Fallujah. Blackwater was accused of failing to protect the men. Three years later, it was in the spotlight again when guards shot dead 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. A US judge later threw out charges against five Blackwater guards. Last year the firm, now called Academi, agreed to pay £4.8million to settle US arms trafficking charges.
Opponents of the war have claimed the real reason for the invasion was for the West to get its hands on Iraq’s massive oil reserves. Suspicions were heightened when oilfield specialists Halliburton, which used to be run by ex-US Vice President Dick Cheney, profited from the war he helped to launch. Between 2003 and 2010, Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR earned £20billion in US Government contracts in Iraq. KBR was accused of overcharging and investigators found that £365million in payments should be held back. British firm Amec won a joint £600million contract to rebuild Iraq’s water supply, while a group of companies led by BP is set to earn £1.3billion per year to develop Iraq’s Rumaila oil field. Iraq’s oil wealth has the potential to transform the country but it still has regular power cuts and many of its people rely on untreated water. Tony Blair, who has urged British firms to invest in Iraq, is thought to earn £20million a year, including £2.5million from his role as an adviser to US investment bank JPMorgan.'
+ Who really won the Iraq war? Oil barons, big business and mercenaries (2013):
42. Noam Chomsky (read by Anthony Arnove):
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day Two: Noam Chomsky (2016):
'Take, say, a word like ‘terrorism,’ for example. Like most terms of political discourse it has two meanings: there’s a literal meaning and if you want to know what that is you can look up the official U.S. code or army manuals, they’ll tell you what terrorism is. And it’s what you would think, terrorism is “the calculated use of violence against civilians to intimidate, induce fear, often to kill, for some political, religious, or other end.” That’s terrorism, according to its official definition.
But that definition can’t be used. Because if that definition is used, you get all the wrong consequences. For one thing, that definition turns out to be almost the same as the definition of official U.S. policy. Except, when it’s U.S. policy, it’s called ‘counter-insurgency’ or ‘low-intensity conflict’ or some other name. But, in fact, if you look at the definition, it’s essentially terrorism. In fact, almost a paraphrase. Furthermore, if you apply the literal definition, you conclude that the U.S. is a leading terrorist state because it engages in these practices all the time. It’s the only state, in fact, which has been condemned by the World Court and the Security Council for terrorism, in this sense. And the same is true of its allies. So, right now, they’re putting together what they call a ‘coalition against terror’, for the ‘war on terror’, and if you run down the list, every one of them is a leading terrorist state. So obviously you can’t use that definition.
So therefore, there’s a propagandistic definition which is the one actually used and in that definition terrorism is “terrorism which is directed against the United States or its allies and carried out by enemies.” Well, that’s the propagandistic use and, if you read the newspapers and the scholarly literature, they’re always using that use. And that’s not just the U.S. Every country does that, even the worst killers, the worst mass murderers do it. Take the Nazis, they were combating an occupied Europe. They combated what they called terrorism, namely partisan resistance, which often was, in fact, terrorism in the technical sense. Resistance usually is.'
+ The Fifth Freedom - Noam Chomsky (2001):
43. Viggo Mortensenn:
44. Juan Cole (read by Anthony Arnove/Jodie):
'Although completely suppressed in the U.S. media, the answer to the Iraq enigma is simple yet shocking. The upcoming war in Iraq war is mostly about how the ruling class at Langley and the Bush oligarchy view hydrocarbons at the geo-strategic level, and the overarching macroeconomic threats to the U.S. dollar from the euro. The Real Reason for this upcoming war is this administration's goal of preventing further OPEC momentum towards the euro as an oil transaction currency standard. However, in order to pre-empt OPEC, they need to gain geo-strategic control of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves...
The most likely end to US hegemony may come about through a combination of high oil prices (brought about by US foreign policies toward the Middle East) and deeper devaluation of the US dollar (expected by many economists). Some elements of this scenario:
1) US global over-reach in the "war on terrorism" already leading to deficits as far as the eye can see -- combined with historically-high US trade deficits - lead to a further run on the dollar. This and the stock market doldrums make the US less attractive to the world's capital.
2) More developing countries follow the lead of Venezuela and China in diversifying their currency reserves away from dollars and balanced with euros. Such a shift in dollar-euro holdings in Latin America and Asia could keep the dollar and euro close to parity.
3) OPEC could act on some of its internal discussions and decide (after concerted buying of euros in the open market) to announce at a future meeting in Vienna that OPEC's oil will be re-denominated in euros, or even a new oil-backed currency of their own. A US attack on Iraq sends oil to €40 per barrel.
4) The Bush Administration's efforts to control the domestic political agenda backfires. Damage over the intelligence failures prior to 9/11 and warnings of imminent new terrorist attacks precipitate a further stock market slide.
5) All efforts by Democrats and the 57% of the US public to shift energy policy toward renewables, efficiency, standards, higher gas taxes, etc. are blocked by the Bush Administration and its fossil fuel industry supporters. Thus, the USA remains vulnerable to energy supply and price shocks.
6) The EU recognizes its own economic and political power as the euro rises further and becomes the world's other reserve currency. The G-8 pegs the euro and dollar into a trading band -- removing these two powerful currencies from speculators trading screens (a "win-win" for everyone!). Tony Blair persuades Brits of this larger reason for the UK to join the euro.
7) Developing countries lacking dollars or "hard" currencies follow Venezuela's lead and begin bartering their undervalued commodities directly with each other in computerized swaps and counter trade deals. President Chavez has inked 13 such country barter deals on its oil, e.g., with Cuba in exchange for Cuban health paramedics who are setting up clinics in rural Venezuelan villages.
"The result of this scenario? The USA could no longer run its huge current account trade deficits or continue to wage open-ended global war on terrorism or evil. The USA ceases pursuing unilateralist policies. A new US administration begins to return to its multilateralist tradition, ceases its obstruction and rejoins the UN and pursues more realistic international cooperation.'
+ The Real But Unspoken Reasons For The Iraq War (2003):
45. Medea Benjamin:
46. Leslie Cagan:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Lies by Leslie Cagan (2016):
47. Matthew De Vlieger:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Matt DeVlieger (2016):
48. Ed Begley Jr.:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Ed Begley (2016):
49. We are Many Trailer:
'We Are Many tells for the first time the remarkable story of the biggest protest in history, and how it changed the world. Eight years in the making, filmed in seven countries, and including interviews with John Le Carre, Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Danny Glover, Mark Rylance, Richard Branson, Hans Blix and Ken Loach amongst others, it charts the birth and rise of the people power movements that are now sweeping the world, all through the prism of one extraordinary day. On February 15th 2003, over 15 million people marched through the streets of 800 cities on every continent to voice their opposition to the proposed war in Iraq. This unprecedented global march was organised, against all odds, by a patchwork of peace campaigners in many countries, who reveal how they pulled of the historic demonstration, and whose legacy is only now unfolding.'
+ WE ARE MANY - OFFICIAL TRAILER (2014):
50. Lindsey German:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Lindsey German (2016):
51. Amir Amirani:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Amir Amirani (2016):
52. Mairead Maguire:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day Two: Mairead Maguire (2016):
53. Joe Moore:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Joe Moore (2016):
54. Philip Weiss:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Phil Weiss (2016):
55. Andy Shallal:
56. Ben Cohen:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Lies by Ben Cohen (2016):
57. Charles Eisenstein:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Lies by Charles Eisenstein (2016):
THE PEOPLE'S TRIBUNAL ON THE IRAQ WAR - DAY 2:
[NOTE: The video does work, just click the button to play.]
The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War - Day 2 Testifiers:
+ Testimonies on the costs of the Iraq invasion and occupation.
58. Nadje Al-Ali:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Nadje Al-Ali (2016):
59. Abigail Ruane:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Abigail Ruane (2016):
60. Maria Santelli:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Maria Santelli (2016):
61. Ciara Taylor:
62. Ann Wright:
63. Camilo Mejia:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Camilo Mejia (2016):
64. Matthew Hoh:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Matthew Hoh (2016):
65. Julio Torres:
66. IVAW Winter Soldier:
'Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan was an event at which more than 200 U.S. military veterans and active duty soldiers, as well as Iraqi and Afghan civilians, provided accounts of their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. The event was inspired by the Winter Soldier Investigation of 1971. It was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, and held from March 13 to March 16, 2008, timed for the fifth anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland. Aside from alternative media, coverage outside the United States was much greater than within the United States. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting criticized the U.S. media, particularly the New York Times, for its lack of coverage, writing that, "given the common media rhetoric of 'supporting the troops'...to ignore these same troops when they speak out about the horrors of the war is unconscionable".'
+ Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan (2004):
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Patricia Foulkrod (2016):
67. Barbara Wein:
68. Stacy Bannerman:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day Two: Stacy Bannerman (2016):
'The film addresses the issues many soldiers face upon their return from the War in Iraq, including problems with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and an inability to meld back into "normal" society. The film includes footage of soldiers in Iraq and personal interviews with about two dozen people directly affected by the war (either veterans or family members/friends of veterans). The veterans, both men and women, speak of their experiences before, during, and after the war. The veterans speak about recruitment and training, combat, their returns home, facing their families, and their difficulties in making the necessary changes needed to fit back into society.'
+ The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends (2006):
69. Kevin & Joyce Lucey:
70. Gilda Carbonaro:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Gilda Carbonaro (2016):
71. Dr. Helen Caldicott:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Dr. Helen Caldicott (2016):
72. Miriam Pemberton:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Miriam Pemberton (2016):
73. Dana Visalli:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Dana Visalli (2016):
74. Barbara Koeppel:
75. Bill McKibben:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Bill McKibben (2016):
76. Paula Graciela Kahn:
77. Kevin Zeese:
78. Nicholas Davies:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Nicholas Davies (2016):
79. Peter Van Buren:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Peter VanBuren (2016):
80. Karen Dolan:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Karen Dolan (2016):
81. Pratap Chatterjee:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Pratap Chatterjee (2016):
82. Phyllis Bennis:
83. Thomas Fasy:
84. Jonathan Hutto:
85. Noor Al-Samarrai:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Noor Al-Samarrai (2016):
'The invasion of Iraq heralded promises of freedom from tyranny and equal rights for the women of Iraq. But three years on, the reality of everyday life for women inside Iraq is a different story. To make this film, two Iraqi women risk their lives to spend three months travelling all over the country with a camera to record the lives and experiences of women they meet. Dispatches: Iraq: The Women's Story provides a compelling account of a life inside Iraq that is rarely seen on news bulletins: stories of ordinary women whose struggle to survive has only worsened since the war.'
+ Channel 4 | Dispatches | Iraq: The Woman's Story (2006):
86. Darakshan Raja:
87. Rama Kudaimi:
88. Paula Kahn:
89. Rachel Gilmer:
90. Reece Chenault:
91. Esther Iverem:
92. Hans Von Sponeck:
93. Joe Jondreau:
94. Jonathan Hutto:
95. Sam Koplinka-Loehr:
96. Glen Ford:
97. Eddie Glaude:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Dr. Eddie Glaude (2016):
98. Michael Sampson:
99. Sammy Almashat:
'Iraq is one of seven countries that have been designated by the Secretary of State as state sponsors of international terrorism. UNSCR 687 prohibits Saddam Hussein from committing or supporting terrorism, or allowing terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq. Saddam continues to violate these UNSCR provisions.
- In 1993, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) directed and pursued an attempt to assassinate, through the use of a powerful car bomb, former U.S. President George Bush and the Emir of Kuwait. Kuwaiti authorities thwarted the terrorist plot and arrested 16 suspects, led by two Iraqi nationals.
- Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians.
- Iraq shelters several prominent Palestinian terrorist organizations in Baghdad, including the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), which is known for aerial attacks against Israel and is headed by Abu Abbas, who carried out the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer.
- Iraq shelters the Abu Nidal Organization, an international terrorist organization that has carried out terrorist attacks in twenty countries, killing or injuring almost 900 people. Targets have included the United States and several other Western nations. Each of these groups have offices in Baghdad and receive training, logistical assistance, and financial aid from the government of Iraq.
- In April 2002, Saddam Hussein increased from $10,000 to $25,000 the money offered to families of Palestinian suicide/homicide bombers. The rules for rewarding suicide/homicide bombers are strict and insist that only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. Payments are made on a strict scale, with different amounts for wounds, disablement, death as a "martyr" and $25,000 for a suicide bomber. Mahmoud Besharat, a representative on the West Bank who is handing out to families the money from Saddam, said, "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."
- Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations.'
+ Saddam Hussein's Support for International Terrorism (2003):
'The British and American coalition which had overthrown Saddam Hussein was given a very special responsibility by the United Nations. It was given trusteeship of more than 20 billion dollars that belonged to the people of Iraq. Over the next 40 months, it spent almost all of it. Yet, no one can account for where it all went. Literally billion of dollars have gone missing. In this revealing documentary, Dr. Ali Fadhil, a young Iraqi doctor, sets out to learn what has led to the catastrophic results when money was put into the care of the U.S. led coalition. What emerges is a disturbing tale of corruption and fraud. As word spread of the kind of money that could be made in Iraq, foreign contractors negotiated deals fast and furiously. There was no oversight of projects. "As trustees, we did a very poor job," admits Frank Willis, a senior member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). "We should have spent the money on the Iraqi people, rather than putting it in the pockets of foreign business." According to the United States' own figures, Iraq's essential services are worse than before the war, with the country producing less electricity, oil or clean water.'
+ Iraq's Missing Billions (2006):
100. Thea Paneth:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Iraq War Tribunal: Testimony on the Costs by Thea Paneth (2016):
101. Sarms Jabra:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Sarms Jabra (2016):
102. Darakshan Raja:
103. Eve Ensler:
104. Angela Peoples:
105. Jaya Priya Reinhalter:
106. Reverend Lennox Yearwood:
IRAQ WAR TRIBUNAL - TESTIMONY:
+ Testimony on the Costs by Rev Lennox Yearwood (2016):
107. Ciara Taylor:
108. Chase Iron Eyes (delivered by Jodie Evans):
'This is just the beginning. Thank you for watching, sharing, and caring. Use these stories to grow your local peace economies, to recognize the costs of war to your communities, so that you can build peace. You can find this in the archives of the Real News and you can also find it at iraqtribunal.org.
We will just begin building the tribunal and continue to build a repository of the lies and costs.
But now go to iraqtribunal.org and call on Obama to create a Commission on Truth & Accountability.
I just got off the phone with Chase Iron Eyes. He is in the middle of Standing Rock and he wanted to close us with this message:
"People need to realize that we are the Ghost Dancers of the days gone. People from all origins and traditions that have been separated and exploited are now coming together with a vision for a more just society.
The institutions that are the local media, the law enforcement, the legislators, the National Guard, the private mercenaries, those bodies who collude to paint this as a struggle of unlawful Native Americans who just want to protect clean water...
This is a struggle about every American life to be valued over corporate profits.
Our constitution, civil and human rights are on the line."
You can move from this to following us at a live feed at lastrealindians and check out 'I stand with Standing Rock' to learn more. People from this tribunal are leaving here to go to Standing Rock. We encourage you to go, and if you can't join us at the inaugural where we are going to rise, love, and resist. And may you do it every day as you grow your local peace economy.'