Monday, June 05, 2006

How the U.S. Military deliberately lied about Haditha and tried to cover it up

The official military cover story goes like this:
[Fifteen Iraqis] "...were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha. Immediately after the bombing, gunmen attacked the convoy with small arms fire. Iraqi army soldiers and Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another."

—Marine spokesman, Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, Iraq,

It's hard not to conclude that the lie is deliberate.

Here's one of the best summaries of what really happened to be found on the internet:
On the morning of 19 November 2005, U.S. Marines were on their way to Haditha, in northwest Iraq. When they were attacked and later failed to find their attackers, they deliberately and indiscriminately massacred 24 Iraqi civilians in the Subhani district of Haditha. The victims ”range from little babies to adult males and females." Initially, the U.S. Marines alleged that 15 “insurgents” and civilians were killed in “cross fire." As usual, the U.S. Marines lied about the massacre and tried to cover it up. It was the video of an Iraqi journalism student from Haditha which prompted Time magazine to investigate the massacre.

—Ghali Hassan, Online Journal

What is known about the massacre at Haditha? We know that a responding unit found the bodies of 24 Iraqi civilians —babies, women, children shot in the head. The body of an old man was found still in his wheelchair, shot nine times. One wonders if the man in the wheelchair is the one referred to by 9 year old Eman Waleed, who survived by faking her own death.
Eman Waleed, a 9-year-old girl who survived the massacre told the told Time: “First, they went into my father’s room, where he was reading the Koran, and we heard shots. Then, the soldiers came back into the living room. I couldn’t see their faces very well -- only their guns sticking into the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny."

Online Journal

Girls —ages 1 to 14 —lay dead.

Clearly —none of them had been killed by a bomb as the U.S. military would have had you believe. Rather —all 24 dead had been killed by U.S. military gunfire. The source for that information are the death certificates themselves.

The U.S. military deliberately ignored accounts by eyewitnesses, letting stand a U.S. cover story for a period of six months. The truth about the case is still hidden under the cover of an "on-going" investigation. It is doubtful that any meaningful investigation has ever been conducted into the "...countless My Lai massacres" in Iraq.
"Two Afghan prisoners who died in American custody in Afghanistan in December 2002 were chained to the ceiling, kicked and beaten by American soldiers in sustained assaults that caused their deaths, according to Army criminal investigative reports.

At least 26 prisoners have died in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002 in what Army and Navy investigators have concluded or suspect were acts of criminal homicide, according to military officials

In Fallujah, 40% of the buildings were completely destroyed, 20% had major damage, and 40% had significant damage. That is 100% of the buildings in that city."

—Mike Ferner, Lew Rockwell

Among the "...countless My Lai massacres" that have been referred to in recent days, three incidents are under current investigation: Ishaqi, Haditha and Hamandiya.

Given the utter collapse of credibility in the U.S. military and Rumsfeld Pentagon specifically, there is no reason not to believe that many other incidents are still covered up and will remain forever un-investigated. Rumsfeld's Pentagon no longer has the benefit of the doubt. The latest revelations must not be considered in isolation and higher ups —to include Donald Rumsfeld himself —must not be left off the hook.

The only way to get at the truth now is to convene a Federal Grand Jury and a Special Prosecutor with sweeping subpoena powers. Just as Sy Hersh connected the Abu Ghraib abuses to Donald Rumsfeld and even George W. Bush himself, a real investigation must not stop before it implicates the higher ups. The pattern of heinous and insane atrocities that characterize the Bush administration's illegal and treasonous occupation of Iraq can be found in various "snapshots" available from time to time. One of the most vivid is from Abu Ghraib:
In her video diary, a prison guard said that prisoners were shot for minor misbehavior, and claimed to have had venomous snakes bite prisoners, sometimes resulting in their deaths. By her own admission, that guard was "in trouble" for having thrown rocks at the detainees.[11] Hashem Muhsen, one of the naked men in the human pyramid photo, said they were also made to crawl around the floor naked and that U.S. soldiers rode them like donkeys. After being released in January 2004, Muhsen became an Iraqi police officer.
More pieces of this evil mosaic can be found in the following links courtesy Cindy Sheehan writing for Buzzflash:
The invasion of Iraq is a preventive war of aggression against a country that was no threat to the USA or the world and was expressly prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.
Additional resources: It's time the American people demanded an end to the Bush pattern of cover up, white wash, and lies. This illegitimate administration must be ended, and, if it is not, America is finished.

An update on the American cover up of "...countless My Lai massacres":

Press Accounts Suggest Military 'Cover-up' in Ishagi Killings

By Greg MitchellPublished: June 03, 2006 1:40 PM ET

NEW YORK The U.S military said Saturday it had found no wrongdoing in the March 15 raid on a home in Ishaqi that left nine Iraqi civilians dead. But, as with the apparent massacre in Haditha, will a military "coverup" in this case come undone? E&P coverage from back in March, and other evidence, suggest that the official story may soon unravel.

The Iraqi police charge that American forces executed the civilians, including a 75-year-old woman and a 6-month-old baby. The BBC has been airing video of the dead civilians, mainly children, who appeared to be shot, possibly at close range. Photographs taken just after the raid for the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, and reports at the time by Reuters and Knight Ridder, also appear to back up the charge of an atrocity. ...

The Existentialist Cowboy


Vierotchka said...

I wonder if there is a direct correlation between the behaviour of troops and their perception and awareness of the moral values (or absence thereof) of their mission. I reckon that if one did a study of the comparative behaviour of troops fighting a war of aggression, those fighting a war of defense, and those fighting a "just" war (as in the allies during WWII, for example), one would find that those troops fighting an unjustified war of aggression will rape, loot, pillage, murder, torture, and generally commit abuses far more than those fighting a defensive or just war. The degree of such abuses is probably a measure of the degree of morality or immorality of any given war, if you see what I mean.

Fuzzflash said...

len,come November we'll be able to qualify "America is finished". If gay bashing is the best that Rove can come up with as Iraq festers, then I reckon Bushco has the colly-wobbles. Much grassroots work needs to be done but the success of Lamont in being a genuine contender against Rape Gurney Joe, in pause for hope.

That's a curly one ,rurikid. In the cool light of reflective reason there seems to be an argument for a sort of sliding scale morality. But in close quarters combat, the beast gets released, bursting from from the chests of grunts like a demented Alien, and alumni of any Full Metal Jacket Academy are primed and capable of murder most foul.

benmerc said...

And morality is in the eye of the beholder. I have an antique pocket Bible that was issued to American service men prior to debarkation over seas for our short stint during WWI. The preface of the Bible is a fiery speech by Gen. Pershing, insisting their duty is to God and country, depicting the Germans as evil Huns and tools of Beelzebub who will be stopped by nothing less then the sacrifice of brave decent Christian fighting men of America. These are exact words used by Pershing in this diatribe rant to the troops.

All this from a man who ordered the slaughter of every one beyond the age of 10 years old during the battle for, and the ensuing insurgency of the Philippine Island invasion.
That was a little over one hundred years ago, during the Spanish American War. Yet it represents another empire building, expansionist immoral war that was created under false pretense, and riddled with atrocities. Oddly enough as with 9/11 and the Iraqi invasion, or the Bay of Tonkin incident and the commencement of the Vietnam era … we also have the “Remember the Maine” incident, the general catalyst for the Spanish American war. All three of these “incidents” are questioned by hard evidence that the “ incidents” may have been contrived wholly or partly for the purpose of expediting the political will of the people to react in context of self defense.

So I agree rurikid, some wars may have a bit more “moral “ high ground, certainly in their effort, but I think atrocities occur during those type of conflicts also, and as you state probably to a lesser degree. Bottom line though, I believe all wars are immoral. Beyond total self defense, no man has the right to take away something that he has absolutely no power to replace, that being someone’s life.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

On the immorality bit... this "war" (occupation) ranks lower than Vietnam as far as moral standing... The assessment of get out now is spot on... The only thing our continued presense in Iraq will do is increase the violence throughout the world. Shame on us... Bush must... I said MUST be removed along with his cohorts...

Unknown said...

As to be expected, all of you've have made pointed and poignant comments. I am inclined to accept the proposition that "atrocities" are statistically higher in "immoral wars" even if you factor out the obvious: that the war itself is immoral and illegal. That is certainly the case with Bush's ill-concived aggression against the people of Iraq. Some 6,000 Iraqi civilians have paid for Bush's folly with their lives since the first of the year.

It's hard to see how anyone can call this "winning". Any study along these lines will, of course, have to define the terms "atrocity" and "aggressive war" and, in both cases, the starting points are Geneva and Nuremberg.

Welcome poetryman. Feel free to jump in any time. You'll find a set a intelligent and articulate regulars here eager to share ideas with you. This blog is most certainly not an echo chamger —but the disagreements are alway civil and lead to interesting dialogues.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

It would be an honor, len, to join your merry band of articulates... :>)

Ingrid said...

Good thing though that the Iraqis are going to investigate and continue this unspeakable shamefulness... Perhaps that can be the one common denominator amongst the sectarian strife (sunni, shia and kurds); going after US war crimes..

Ingrid said...

I meant to say..."continue hopefully to investigate more of this unspeakable shamefulness..."
sorry guys, I am doing my 'nightly rounds' and it's been a full day with two kids, going places and 2hrs at the pool...I'm tuckered (tomorrow 98F)..but, life could be worse..I could be in Iraq with no way out..

Unknown said...

I could be in Iraq with no way out..

The only thing worse would be waking up as a coackroach. Sorry...I have to give Kafka equal time.

No apologies necessary. I'm just glad that my glaring typos above were either unoticed or politely ignored. Thanks : ) I understand rough days.

Now...I think I'll just kick back with a little Roy Orbison and Patsy Kline.

And poetryman, I like the phrase "merry band of articulates". Very cool. Too bad we can't serve up some strong coffee to go with the equally stimulating repartee.

Fuzzflash said...

Antsy cockroach to spouse who is gleefully rumaging through detritus;

"You know,Frank, for a cockroach,you're pretty disgusting"

(from cartoonist Patrick Cook)

Question Girl said...

I have to wonder how many cover ups there actually are. We found out about this many have we not found out about???

Love your blog Len!

Sebastien Parmentier said...

You know that perhaps a good 10% of "strategic bombings" over villages are surely made to cover traces of "overzealousries" and other abusive behavior by US soldiers, straight out of Dick Cheney's manuel for quail hunting...

Anonymous said...

There's a discussion by Soto on the issue of a possible summertime attack against Iran (with great comments) and an excellent Iran historical background by Tom O'Donnell that some may find useful.

Anonymous said...

New grounds for Bush impeachment