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Brit Torture Inquiry: "Authoritative" inquiry

Torture inquiry head to be scrutinised after Omagh

7 July 2010 David Cameron says there will be an "authoritative" inquiry, led by a judge, to settle once and for all whether MI5 and MI6 were complicit in the torture of terror suspects.

The inquiry is intended to resolve this vexed question, which, the prime minister said, had "overshadowed" the reputation of the security services for the past few years.

I can think of really only two occasions in the past 30 years when the authorities have allowed the failings and misdemeanours of the British intelligence services to be held up to the public light - warts and all.


In the year before the Iraq war, he concluded that two thirds of MI6's intelligence in Iraq had been coming from just two main sources. Continued

Trust is hard to come by in Afghanistan

Rachel Maddow does her show live from Afghanistan, she traveled there last week and the first show was aired last night, 6 July 2010.


We came to Afghanistan because we wanted to understand whether the American war strategy makes sense, whether the continuing and growing presence of U.S. troops is helping us reach our goals there. President Obama's "uplift" strategy for winning in Kandahar is in full swing -- only it's not about blowing things up but rather opening police stations and trying to create a civil society.

As Brigadier General Ben Hodges told us on a drive through Kandahar City this week, that's a tough bar to reach. Kandahar has run on corruption since the days of ancient traders on the Silk Road paying for safe passage. Hodges said coalition forces need to establish trust between local people and the government, at the level of policemen and district officials.

This is the first cut from last nights airing.

Brit Iraq War Inquiry: British Families 'let down'

Families of British soldiers killed in Iraq 'let down'


6 July 2010 The government "let down" the families of British troops killed in Iraq over the support given to them, ex-Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth has said.


Britain's dirty torture secrets

Britain's dirty torture secrets to be laid bare: Huge payouts for victims as PM orders inquiry into security services

7th July 2010

* Tony Blair and David Miliband could face public grilling

* Inquiry could strain relationship with U.S. to 'breaking point'

* Probe will focus on detention of UK nationals at Guantanamo Bay

Britain faces paying out millions to detainees who claim they were tortured with the complicity of the security services.

Compensation settlements may be made with up to a dozen former terror suspects ahead of an independent inquiry announced yesterday by David Cameron to help ‘restore Britain’s moral leadership in the world’.

Iraq 'mistreatment' inquiry

British High Court challenge for Iraq 'mistreatment' inquiry

July 06, 2010 A British High Court battle was launched today for a wide-ranging public inquiry into the alleged mistreatment of more than 100 Iraqis detained by British troops.

Judges heard accusations that the detainees were the victims of "systemic" inhuman and degrading treatment in British-controlled detention facilities in Iraq in the aftermath of the war to topple Saddam Hussein.


The QC said other investigations have already been set up. They include an ongoing inquiry into how Baha Mousa met his death at the hands of British troops in Basra.

A second looked at allegations that British forces murdered and tortured a number of Iraqis at Majar-al-Kabir in May 2004.

Children and PTSD

Slowly, but much much faster then over the previous four decades, the country has woken up to PTS in the civilian society especially in abused and traumatized children!!

Children's hospital screening for PTSD

July 6, 2010 Badly injured kids who have disorder are being offered treatment, free of charge.

Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin is now screening the most severely injured children those who come through the hospital's trauma center for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Visualizing Memory, War

Visualizing Memory, Photographing War Stories

Listen to the Story

July 4, 2010 How do you photograph memory? It's a question that fine-art photographer Jennifer Karady is exploring. Her latest project visualizes not just any memory, but memories of war brought home by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. An exhibition of photos from her ongoing project, "Soldiers' Stories of Iraq and Afghanistan," is currently on display at SF CameraWork in San Francisco.

Brit Torture Claims Inquiry

UK names judge to lead inquiry into torture claims

6 July 2010 Britain will hold a judge-led inquiry into allegations that its spies were complicit in the torture of terror suspects held by the U.S. and other allies.

The government also announced Tuesday it will pay compensation to detainees found to have been mistreated in the global pursuit of terrorists after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The probe, by a three-member panel headed by retired judge Peter Gibson, could complicate intelligence-sharing with Washington.

It follows civil cases brought against the government by 12 ex-detainees who claim British intelligence agents colluded in their mistreatment in Pakistan, Morocco and elsewhere. Continued

A Soldier's Eye on War

Local veteran's suicide reflects troubling trend


July 5, 2010 Orrin Gorman McClellan is among the war casualties that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has just begun to track — young men and women who served in the post-9/11 military, and killed themselves after struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and other war wounds.

DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES Perry McClellan and Judith Gorman put a flagpole in front of their home to commemorate their son's life and service. A talented artist, he helped his parents create a new veterans center on Whidbey Island before taking his life in May.

Unfit for War Duty, Occupations Military Toll

The wars {occupations} physical and mental tolls!

Thousands of Soldiers Unfit for War Duty

6 July 2010 More than 13,000 active-duty Army soldiers -- the equivalent of four combat brigades -- are sidelined as unfit for war because of injury, illness, or mental stress.
In an unmistakable sign that the Army is struggling with exhaustion after nine years of fighting, combat commanders whose units are headed to Afghanistan increasingly choose to leave behind soldiers who can no longer perform, putting additional strain on those who still can.

Iraq War Inquiry: 'Muddled up', Iraq War Planning

Iraq war planning happened too late, says ex-minister

5 July 2010 The Blair government should have "sorted out" its plans to rebuild Iraq after the war much sooner, an ex-minister has said.

Ms Keeble wrote to Tony Blair shortly after leaving office

Sally Keeble said the Department for International Development's role was still under debate "close to the action" starting in 2003.

There was also a "problem" with the UK's military and aid roles not being focused enough on one area of Iraq.

Ms Keeble told the Iraq inquiry "real issues" had arisen over money.

The investigation is looking at the UK's role in the lead-up to, conduct of and aftermath of the war, which began in March 2003.

Iraq War Inquiry: 'hampered by Clare Short'

Iraq humanitarian effort 'hampered by Clare Short'

5 July 2010 Chilcot inquiry hears that Sally Keeble, deputy to international development secretary, claimed her decisions were disastrous

Former international development secretary Clare Short. Photograph: PA

The extent to which Britain's role in helping Iraqis after the invasion was sabotaged by upheaval within the Blair government was exposed today as it emerged that decisions by Clare Short, the international development secretary, had been described at the time as "disastrous" by her deputy.

Obama warns corruption erodes faith in government: Hillary Clinton Blasts Steel Vise of Government Crushing Dissent

By Dave Lindorff

Finally, a politician has stood up and boldly denounced the creeping fascism that is gradually crushing democracy and political activism.

Not mincing her words, or trying to justify the jackboot, Secretary of State and 2008 presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton roundly condemned government actions that she said are “closing in the walls” on unions, rights advocates and organizations that press for social change or that shine a light on government shortcomings.

“Democracies don’t fear their own people,” she declared in ringing tones. “They recognize that citizens must be free to come together to advocate and agitate.”

Clinton even got the normally taciturn President Obama to join her, releasing a statement in which he said he was concerned about “the spread of restrictions on civil society, the growing use of law to curb rather than enhance freedom, and wide-spread corruption that is undermining the faith of citizens in their government.”

Making Sure One Always Has An 'Enemy'!

Thus much easier to control your own, and prosper from in power, stature and wealth!

Thousands missing out on education in Gaza

Photo: Suhair Karam/IRIN Nuha Abed Rabbo, 9, on her way to an UNRWA elementary school in eastern Gaza

GAZA CITY, 5 July 2010 (IRIN) - Thousands of Palestinian refugee children in the Gaza Strip are unable to receive adequate education, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

About 39,000 child refugees in Gaza will not attend UNRWA schools this year, since the agency is unable to build or re-build schools due to the Israeli blockade, damage sustained during the 23-day Israeli offensive (27 December 2008 - 18 January 2009) and population growth, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said in Jerusalem.

Iraq: Not Just 'wrong' but Criminal!

Did Blair know it was wrong to invade Iraq?

4th July, 2010 EIGHTY years ago, just after the First World War and with the world rapidly sliding towards the next, the French philosopher Julien Benda wrote a book called "The Treason of the Clerks" "clerks" in the medieval sense, educated men, intellectuals, who despite their high calling chose to serve the State rather than Truth.

They were the ones who provided the justification for the wars and made them possible.

Curiously, nobody has ever written a book called "The Treason of the Lawyers." Nobody has ever accused Lord Goldsmith of being an intellectual, either. But while the Law is not exactly the same as the Truth, it is certainly possible to betray it in the service of the State. That is what Goldsmith did, and it ended in a war.

July 5, 1989: Oliver North

One of the many parts of the start to the countries present day situations on many fronts!

From United States v. Oliver L. North, Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC) Papers, National Archives & Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.Former National Security Council aide Oliver North received a $150,000 fine and a suspended prison term for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal. The scandal was a secret arrangement directed from the Reagan White House that provided funds to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels (despite specific congressional prohibition) from profits gained by selling arms to Iran (at war with Iraq at the time) in hopes of their releasing hostages, despite Pres. Reagan’s claim that he would never negotiate with hostage-takers.

Iran Remembers Victims Of Airliner Shot Down By US

Iran remembers victims of airliner shot down by US
By Ali Akbar Dareini (AP) | Google News | Submitted by Michael Munk |

A statement from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was read out at the ceremony, saying the "disaster was not an understandable accident, but a declaration of war against humanity" and claiming it was carried out "with the covert planning of White House leaders."

Iranian helicopters scattered flowers into the Persian Gulf waters on Saturday as family members and relatives remembered the 290 passengers killed when a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian airliner 22 years ago.

About 250 relatives of victims and officials sailed from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas to the spot where the Iran Air A300 Airbus was downed on July 3, 1988 — just a month before the end of the Iraq-Iran war.

The USS Vincennes shot down the airliner shortly after it took off from Bandar Abbas for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Washington said the Vincennes mistook the airliner for a hostile Iranian fighter jet. Iran maintains it was a deliberate attack. Read more.

Iraqi War Refugees: Post-Traumatic Stress

This is unprecedented news and much needed research study. Except for many veterans, mostly of the brothers and sisters of our conflict in Vietnam, and some of the civilian professionals and advocates through these past decades, it is rare, if at all, that not only this country but any other takes into consideration those invaded and occupied especially the mental stress of living within or being forced into a refugee status for years or forever!

$2.6 million US-backed study at Wayne State targets trauma among Iraqi war refugees

July 4, 2010 The U.S. is funding a $2.6 million study of post-traumatic stress among Iraqi war refugees in the Detroit area.

Supporting Our Military Families

First Lady Michelle Obama


July 04, 2010 This Independence Day, First Lady Michelle Obama has a special message for all Americans about supporting our military families: Continued


HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan - June 2010

Iraq, Rapidly becoming the Forgotten War!!
There have been 4,729 coalition deaths -- 4,410 Americans, 2 Australians, 1 Azerbaijani, 179 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, 1 Czech, 7 Danes, 2 Dutch, 2 Estonians, 1 Fijian, 5 Georgians, 1 Hungarian, 33 Italians, 1 Kazakh, 1 South Korean, 3 Latvian, 22 Poles, 3 Romanians, 5 Salvadoran, 4 Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, 2 Thai and 18 Ukrainians -- in the war in Iraq as of May 5 2010, according to a CNN count. { Graphical breakdown of casualties }. The list also includes 13 U.S. Defense Department civilian employees. At least 31,860 {31,839 last month} U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. View casualties in the war in Afghanistan

Conspiracy Theories?

Grist to the conspiracy mill

4 Jul 2010 Many of Blair’s former intimates would rather it were not any sort of deal. Each of the men bidding to become Labour’s next leader has discovered – just in time – that the Iraq war was a bit of a mistake and yet, somehow, nothing to do with them. David Miliband, for one, has urged that we all “move on”.

This is the same Miliband who, as Foreign Secretary, rose in the Commons to state categorically (and indignantly) that MI5 had not, and would never, involve itself in the torture of prisoners. He had better hope that the forthcoming Government inquiry into the issue is also happy to “move on”.

Study by Minneapolis VA

Adjustment is rough for returning combat vets

July 2, 2010 A study from the Minneapolis VA, finds anger, substance abuse, social difficulty, shows the need to treat behaviors as much as symptoms.

A study by Minneapolis VA researchers finds that as many as 56 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans report readjustment problems ranging from dangerous driving to increased alcohol, drug use and anger problems.

The national study of 754 veterans, most of whom have been discharged for at least three years, is one of the first to look at how combat veterans fare once they return home, resume civilian work and attempt to reenter society. The lead researcher of the study says the results show a need for more community-and family-based programming to address the adjustment issues.

Brit Labour Leadership Turning Into Doves Now?

Seems many involved, or heavily connected by political ideology, in all the death and destruction of others, as well as their own {ours}, these past years, are starting to sing like birds of peace and not squawk like birds of prey, on both sides of the pond.

David Miliband: we did not need to fight Iraq war


03 Jul 2010 The Labour leadership candidate takes time off the campaign trail to tell Mary Riddell what he thinks about WMD, the Gordon Brown years ... and his brother Ed.

Labour leadership hopeful David Miliband Photo: PA

Baha Mousa: Torture Inquiry

This may be Britain's Abu Ghraib

3 July 2010 The allegations of torture by British soldiers in Iraq bear chilling comparison with America's worst excesses

The inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa is due to report by the end of the year. It will detail how Mousa died in Iraq in September 2003, allegedly brutalised by British soldiers in a "free for all"; and how it was that he and nine other men in the same incident were allegedly hooded, forced into painful stress positions, and deprived of sleep, food and water.

The Karaoke Played On

By Missy Comley Beattie

My mother has an opera-quality voice. No training. Two of my siblings can sing. I can’t. At all.

I positioned the karaoke machine near the television set and plugged the auxiliary cables into the back of the TV for a wider word screen. I rarely watch television, except when “researching” the inadequacies of “mainstream” mediocrity for an article. Every now and then, when I read something important on the Internet, I turn on the tube to see if anyone is addressing the issue. Usually, the answer is either an “Update” sentence beneath the blathering blahblah blahers or a no.

So, largely, the TV monitor will be an accessory for the karaoke machine that is my scream therapy. “Sing, sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong.”

Brit War Inquiry: "the cojones summit"

The Powell doctrine perverted

1 July 2010 The Goldsmith documents released by Chilcot reveal dubious assurances made by Blair's team in the runup to the Iraq war

Former US general Colin Powell argued that war should only be considered after all 'political, economic, and diplomatic means' had been exhausted. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images


But Bush was determined to extract a quid pro quo, as he made clear when speaking to David Aaronovitch for the BBC2 programme Blair at War in 2007:

Tillman: McChrystal and the bush Administration

This will remind more about the workings of the bush administration, and should, but as the article below points out Gen McChrystal won't feel comfortable about it nor should many in the Army leadership as well as the Pentagon at the time. This shouldn't only remind people of just the Tillman tragic incident and fabrication of what took place, but the others already known about as well, in Iraq and Afghanistan, all the cover ups, fabrications and lies! DeJa-Vu of us older vets time!

The Tillman Story


Toxic Exposure - The Environmental Reality of Wars

Toxic Exposure - The Environmental Reality of Wars
By Tracy Emblem

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have created toxic environments. This past April, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs reported in an environmental hazards training directive: “Exposure to open burn pits has created significant concern among Veterans and their families.”

“Burn pits” are open air burns used to dispose of waste products such as plastic, rubber, Styrofoam, paints, solvents, medical and human waste, petroleum and lubricant products, munitions and other unexploded ordnance.

Veterans and their families should be concerned. Recently, the American Lung Association called for a military ban of open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. ALA Chairman H. James Gooden testified on Capitol Hill. He told the Senate Defense Subcommittee hearing members: “Emissions from burning waste contain fine particulate matter, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs.”

In Iraq, Little To Show

In Iraq, Little To Show For Lost Lives, Billions Spent



July 1, 2010 Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq's cities. Amid the continuing drawdown, only 50,000 U.S. troops will be left in Iraq by the end of the summer.

The country is at a crossroads. While violence is down from the levels of 2006 and 2007, many Iraqis say the country the U.S. is slowly leaving behind is hardly a success story.

Every day, massive convoys roll out of Iraq carrying the machinery of war. This is one of the largest and most complicated drawdowns in U.S. history — as well as one of the speediest.

""America Speaks to BP"" This Afternoon

Live streaming Q&A this afternoon

July 1, 2010

Ask BP Exec Bob Dudley Your Questions for a Live Interview Thursday


On July 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET, senior correspondent Ray Suarez will moderate a live Q&A session between BP's Bob Dudley, the executive now in charge of the company's oil leak response, and you.


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