Tuesday, October 11, 2011

#OWS War Crimes ? What War Crimes ? From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan US Military Covers up War Crimes With Successive White House Blessing

Update: 5:14 ,October 11, 2011

War Crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan covered up as they were during and after the Vietnam War
US government more concerned about punishing Whistleblowers ie Bradley Manning than punishing those who committed or gave tacit approval to commit War Crimes and atrocities
John Kerry was one of those whistleblowers during the Vietnam War and yet when running for the presidency in 2004 he was for whistleblowing and accused of lying by the notorious "Swift Boaters"

"Guilty as Lt. Calley might have been of the actual act of murder, the verdict does not single out the real criminal. Those of us who have served in America know that the real guilty party is the United States of America."
Excerpt from Vietnam Veteran John Kerry's  testimony in 1971 on war crimes committed during the Vietnam war by US personnel. Kerry and other Vietnam Veterans decided to tell the American people the truth about US war crimes in Vietnam for this they have been mocked , and treated as traitors .

# Occupy Wall Street protests and occupation continues.

Interfaith service on Sunday October 9, 2011.

#OWS The Golden Idol of Wall Street-Interfaith march Sunday October 9, 2011.

As we have seen over the years a large portion of the American people and not just Wall Street investors are unable to see the hypocrisy of the Gospel of Prosperity and unfettered Capitalism while claiming to be the "Real Christians". Jesus' message they claim is Blessed are the Rich and the self-serving and those who put their nation first before the teachings of Jesus.

 Above photo from My Lai massacre according to official records this was not an isolated incident rather it was part of US government's policy of measuring the success of the war by body count.
 Deborah Nelson's book exposing how US atrocities & War Crimes were common place in the Vietnam War and how the military and government covered up these crimes.
Above photo Vietcong being tortured by US soldier
Villagers, acting as human minesweepers, walked ahead of troops in dangerous areas to keep Americans from being blown up. Prisoners were subjected to a variation on waterboarding and jolted with electricity. Teenage boys fishing on a lake, as well as children tending flocks of ducks, were killed. “There are hundreds of such reports in the war-crime archive, each one dutifully recorded, sometimes with no more than a passing sentence or two, as if the killing were as routine as the activity it interrupted,” Deborah Nelson writes in “The War Behind Me.” Quote from: Many My Lais By TARA MCKELVEY at New York Times book review December 12, 2008

US soldiers dragging Vietcong prisoner

Photos from http://www.warchat.org/history/history-asia/vietnam-war-facts.html

To speak the truth in America is considered a treasonous act especially if it undermines the American Myth of America's superiority to all other nations not just military superiority but also morally and ethically and religiously as " The Shining City On The Hill ".

No matter how much substantive quality evidence is provided to the American people they refuse to accept it and prefer the disingenuous myth or narrative promulgated by US officials that these crimes were isolated incidences and had no bearing on the perception of the Vietnamese people had of the US intervention and occupation of Vietnam.

The (erroneous)Narrative which even the US Mainstream Media promotes now is that Jane Fonda and people such as John Kerry and other traitors ( in their view)undermined the US government and military efforts in Vietnam.

Deborah Nelson addresses Veterans For Peace Convention

Veterans against the war -speak out about the courage of the Whistleblower Bradley Manning
The whistleblower Bradley Manning has become a symbol of what is now wrong with the Obama presidency and his betrayal of most of his supporters.
Obama's response and treatment of Bradley Manning alone is enough for many to not vote for Obama next year and to either vote for someone else or just not bothering to vote since both parties are pro-the status quo .

The so called plan was pacification which meant either evacuation or extermination of towns and villages.
They used Sherman's scorched earth policy that is Napalming and high altitude bombing combined with deadly defoliation chemicals such as agent orange.
The other trick Americans used in Vietnam was designating an area a Free Fire Zone which meant anything that moved human or beast was a legitimate target. Most of the people mainly peasants on the ground either didn't understand the implications or were unable to leave due to their poverty or because they felt tied to their land. What would you do if someone comes to your neighborhood and tells everyone you have 48 hours to move out and when you do troops enter and burn your houses poison the very earth so nothing will grow or poison your water supply to encourage you and your neighbors to leave and never come back.
 In Iraq things are simpler as most of the country is flat and desert or desert like so US helicopter gun ships such as Apaches can pick out a target up to 5 kilometers 0r approx 3.5 miles away. That would be okay if then once they identified a target they would have ground troops go in to check the situation out instead the helicopter attacks and destroys the target based upon a few vague assumptions. It rarely occurs to US soldiers that people might just be trying to do their daily chores or routines and are trying to ignore the US choppers buzzing around.

Clip of US military scorched earth  & Free Fire Zones policies in Vietnam. Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousand innocent civilians wantonly murdered by US forces in Vietnam.
The US has never atoned for these war crimes and meanwhile is committing fresh war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan with impunity. The US argues that no nation or international body has the right to judge America's actions or policies .

And now a video set to the Rolling Stones Paint it Black for a taste of the horror visited upon the peoples of Vietnam.

Investigative journalist Deborah Nelson author of The War Behind Me is interviewed
The military compiled list of thousands of allegations of war crimes committed by US personnel but most of it was covered up kept from the media and the American people. The orders for the coverup came from the Nixon White House and the top brass at the Pentagon.

rape, murder, torture , beatings wanton destruction of villages corpse mutilation and taking body parts as souvenirs ears, fingers, scalps etc.

One of the reasons this is still relevant is that one the US military or government did nothing about such crimes when in fact under international law they were obligated to do substantive fair investigation into these allegations.

These cases are also relevant because US veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have for years now been reporing that such crimes are commonplace in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That is torture, murder, rape, sodomy etc.

When I use the word " torture"  I am using the word "torture" the way most people around the globe use it and how it has been used for centuries and  not how the American CIA, Pentagon and the White House and their Public Relations people and spin doctors  have re-defined it in such a way that it barely has any tangible meaning  thereby supposedly making  a number of " torture techniques"  more acceptable such as Sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, sensory overload the use of severe cold or heat, humiliation such as nakedness  or using various psychological techniques  . They claim it is only torture if it does sever damage to bodily organs or causes death.
And of course these sociopaths see nothing wrong with murder or what have you in the defense of National security.

Those of us outside the United States can only hope that some international human rights organization or the United Nations or the International Criminal court will find the courage and the support to take on America's torture state. And their sovereignty be damned as they have had little to no respect for the sovereignty of other nation states.They believe that no nation or group of nations or international bodies or whatever legal instruments which has been created or will be created  have no jurisdiction or right to judge the US government or its military or CIA or its multinational corporations because America is not just stronger but is morally superior to all other nations and answers only therefore to God.

The question of whether or not US soldiers under the direction of the pentagon and the White House committed war crimes became part of the political debate in 2004 when John Kerry was running for president.
The notorious "Swift Boaters" accused Kerry of lying to congress in 1972 about War Crimes in Vietnam and that the medal for bravery he won was also based on lies. They claimed Kerry shot himself to get taken off of the battlefield.
Kerry lost the election in part because of the GOPs attack on his character.
But the facts are that Kerry didn't lie about the atrocities committed by US personnel and that there was a coverup of these crimes by the Pentagon, the CIA and the Nixon administration.
Government archival records from that period that have been made public vindicate Kerry's testimony and that of other Vietnam Vets who testified about how common place War Crimes were in Vietnam.
But according to many Americans the GOP and democrats believe even if these crimes took place it is an act of treason to report these or to release sich information to the American public.
We see the same sort of Mind-set during  George Bush's eight years in power and President Obama has also been more concerned about the leaking of such information than about the crimes themselves.

at the JTF TheJewish Task Force they are still attacking John Kerry.
But they are wrong John Kerry was telling the truth but no wonder so many conservative Uber patriots despised Kerry that he would dare tell the media or the American public the truth the narrative by uberconservatives and Neocons and the Uberconservative Christian Nationalists believe this is all just propaganda or if true these acts were committed in the fog of war. This is an expression that makes one's blood boil. These soldiers are supposed trained to withstand the so called fog of war except in the worst case scenarios.

http://www.jtf.org/"JEWISH TASK FORCE Fighting to save America and Israel
from Islamic terrorism!

As for Kerry's viciously anti-American and anti-Israel past, the Bush officials conceded that much of the material which Chaim provided to them was information they had never seen before.

For instance, Kerry spoke at a rally sponsored by the pro-Viet Cong, anti-American Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in April 1971 in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

Throughout 1970 and 1971, Kerry had repeatedly condemned U.S. soldiers as "war criminals" while defending America's murderous Communist enemies in Southeast Asia.

During the April 1971 VVAW rally in New York, Kerry commented on the revelations that Lieutenant William Calley had committed atrocities in Vietnam. Ignoring the fact that such U.S. atrocities were extremely rare, Kerry smeared and defamed the entire United States of America:

John Kerry lies before Congress about "American atrocities" in Vietnam (1971) - John Kerry, wearing his military uniform and medals, got a standing ovation from his left-wing supporters after lying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about what he claimed were widespread and systematic American atrocities in Vietnam, "committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command"

"Guilty as Lt. Calley might have been of the actual act of murder, the verdict does not single out the real criminal. Those of us who have served in America know that the real guilty party is the United States of America."

Thus, Kerry indicted and convicted America as a "criminal" nation.

War Crimes what War crimes

John Kerry has now been vindicated and the evidence shows that it is the Swift Boaters who are liars. The Swift Boaters outrageously claimed John Kerry was not a war hero but shot himself to get out of combat.

They further accuse Kerry of lying about the fact that atrocities were a daily fact of life for the USmilitary in Vietnam.

But Kerry was right about widespread criminal acts and war crimes and murders, rape, torture etc. being just another part of day to day activities in Vietnam.

And now it appears over the past decade the US military, the pentagon, the CIA and the White House have spent time and effort covering up the same mindset and disdain for human life in Iraq and afghanistan as they had in Vietnam.

Vietnam was a disaster on every possible level for America.
The problem was that fighting an insurgency needs different strategies than how one fights against a traditional army.

The US failed to do so in Vietnman which is bad enough but it appears the US military , the Pentagon, the CIA and the White Hose have learned nothing from the Vietnam fiasco and are now repeating the same deadly and self-defeating mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For every innocent person killed or even humiliated by US troops a whole extended Iraqi or Afghan family or in many cases a whole tribe becomes motivated to take action against the American troops or any or all Westerners .

Many My Lais By TARA MCKELVEY at New York Times book review December 12, 2008

Villagers, acting as human minesweepers, walked ahead of troops in dangerous areas to keep Americans from being blown up. Prisoners were subjected to a variation on waterboarding and jolted with electricity. Teenage boys fishing on a lake, as well as children tending flocks of ducks, were killed. “There are hundreds of such reports in the war-crime archive, each one dutifully recorded, sometimes with no more than a passing sentence or two, as if the killing were as routine as the activity it interrupted,” Deborah Nelson writes in “The War Behind Me.”

The archive in question, a set of Army documents at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Md., reveals widespread killing and abuse by American troops in Vietnam. Most of these actions are not known to the public, even though the military investigated them. The crimes are similar to those committed at My Lai in 1968. Yet, as Nelson contends, most Ameri­cans still think the violence was the work of “a few rogue units,” when in fact “every major division that served in Vietnam was represented.” Precisely how many soldiers were involved, and to what extent, is not known, but she shows that the abuse was far more common than is generally believed. Her book helps explain how this misunderstanding came about.

After the My Lai story broke, officials acted quickly. They looked into other crimes — for example, studying anonymous letters sent to superiors by “Concerned Sgt.,” which described the deaths of hundreds of civilians, or “a My Lai each month for over a year.” Serious offenses were indeed investigated, and 23 men were found guilty, though most got off easy. The harshest sentence was 20 years’ hard labor, for the rape of a 13-year-old girl by an interrogator in a prisoner-of-war compound. The rapist served seven months and 16 days.

“Get the Army off the front page,” President Richard Nixon reportedly said. Investigations were a good way to do that. A cover-up attracts attention; a crime that is being looked into does not. The military investigations, Nelson argues, were designed not to hold rapists and murderers accountable, but to deflect publicity. When reporters heard about a war crime, they’d call the Army to see if it would provide information. If they suspected a cover-up, they’d pursue the story. If a military spokesman said an investigation was under way, the story was usually dropped.

also see: " The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth about US War Crimes in Vietnam" by Deborah Nelson at Crimes of War

The facts in The War Behind Me were drawn from a declassified Army Staff archive of reports on U.S. atrocities, and from interviews with the Pentagon officials who compiled the records and combat veterans named in them. The picture that emerged contrasted sharply with the military’s official version of the facts. The Army then and since maintained that My Lai was an aberration and that, while other atrocities occurred, they were “isolated incidents” not indicative of a systemic problem.

Claims to the contrary were disparaged as enemy propaganda The existence of an alternate reality in the Army’s own files remained a closely held secret long after the war ended. Finally declassified around 1990, the files lingered in obscurity on the storeroom shelves of the National Archives and Records Administration for another decade, until a handful of scholars and journalists took notice. I learned about the collection in 2005 from Nick Turse, who had analyzed the documents for his dissertation at Columbia University. Over the next year and a half, we entered data from the files into spreadsheets, conducted scores of interviews, visited Vietnam and published a two-part series in the Los Angeles Times.

Our research found that Army investigators had secretly confirmed cases involving 300 or more incidents, including massacres, murders, torture, mutilation of corpses, indiscriminate fire in civilian areas, wanton destruction of property and cover-ups. Yet the public was not told of the findings.

Among the cases was an atrocity that took place on February 8, 1968, a month before the My Lai massacre. A company from the 35th Infantry Regiment entered a tiny rural hamlet in Quang Nam province, gathered 19 civilians – babies, children, women and an elderly man – and executed them.

also see LA Times articles on Vietnam War Crimes

Vietnam - The War Crimes Files LA Times 2006

August 20, 2006
A Tortured Past
In early 1973, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams received some bad news from the service's chief of criminal investigations.
August 20, 2006
Lasting Pain, Minimal Punishment
BINH DINH PROVINCE, Vietnam — On the morning of Feb. 25, 1969, Platoon Sgt. Roy E. Bumgarner Jr. led a five-man team on a reconnaissance patrol that took them into a rolling landscape of rice fields.
August 6, 2006
Civilian Killings Went Unpunished
The men of B Company were in a dangerous state of mind. They had lost five men in a firefight the day before. The morning of Feb. 8, 1968, brought unwelcome orders to resume their sweep of the countryside, a green patchwork of rice paddies along Vietnam's central coast.
August 6, 2006
Verified Civilian Slayings
Decades-old Pentagon records show that Army criminal investigators substantiated seven massacres of Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians by U.S. soldiers — in addition to the notorious 1968 My Lai massacre.
August 20, 2006
About this report
Deborah Nelson, who wrote these articles, is a former staff writer and Washington investigative editor for The Times. Nick Turse is a freelance journalist living in New Jersey.
and so it goes, GORD.

No comments: