Truth WikiLeaking Out

Obama Administration

WikiLeaks struck again and released almost 400,000 secret US army field reports from Iraq. It’s grim stuff. Marc Ambinder has a synopsis

The big reveal from the hundreds of thousands of documents posted on Wikileaks today is probably going to be the incredibly awful reports ofOr systematized detainee abuse by Iraqi soldiers and security forces right under the noses of the American-led coalition, which appears to have had virtually no incentive to put a stop to them.

Don’t blame the troops for this. Orders from somewhere — Washington, I suspect — were that only allegations of detainee abuse by coalition forces were to be investigated. Allegations against Iraqi police and secrity forces were to be noted, and no more.

So they were noted — detainees were beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered. U.S. troops knew this was going on but were not allowed to act.

The logs also note that 66,000 civilians died because of the war. Note that these are all deaths, not deaths directly from U.S. military action. Most of these civilians were victims of roadside bombs or sectarian violence.

Ambinder also says “The documents suggest that the U.S. spent an inordinate amount of time fighting Hezbollah and Iranian proxies and got distracted from fighting Shiite militias and Al Qaeda before the Surge.”

Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush thinks the biggest failure of his administration was not privatizing Social Security. Unreal.

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16 Comments

  1. Swami  •  Oct 22, 2010 @10:08 pm

    Seems Bush’s mission was to screw this country up beyond repair, so seeing how he didn’t get to destroy Social Security…I guess he views not privatizing Social Security as a failure… But American’s should consider it a blessing.

  2. PurpleGirl  •  Oct 23, 2010 @4:30 am

    The Republican Party has wanted to destroy Social Security since it was started. One of my earliest political memories comes from the Kennedy-Nixon Presidential race in 1960. It was the first summer my parents went to a resort for a vacation trip (July 1960). I was watching the Democratic convention on the TV in the main lounge. An old lady came through the lounge and when she saw and heard the TV she began to rail against Social Security and how it was theft of her money and how it should be stopped. That was 40+ years ago. So, yeah, that Bush didn’t manage to end Social Security is a failure to him. I agree with Swami that his political purpose was to screw the country up.

  3. erinyes  •  Oct 23, 2010 @5:08 am

    Actually Swami, I think Bush is a man of very limited intellect who had his ego pumped up by Karl Rove so massively, that he began to believe he was inspired and guided by the “hand of God”.

    As I’ve written before, I don’t understand how his administration has escaped trial and punishment for what they did, and although I doubt they will yet pay,I at least have a glimmer of hope.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 23, 2010 @7:44 am

    Swami,
    BINGO!!!
    I’m hardpressed to find anything else that “Little Boots” didn’t completely screw-up 9 ways to Sunday in his mis-administration from Hell.
    His supporters, however, would tell you that George “The Great” had success in every facet of his glorious administration, except the privatization of Social Security.
    And of course, Conservatives will tell you that anything perceived as a failure, is a failure of Bush, and not of Conservativism – which can never fail, only BE failed…

    As for the WikiLeaks onfo released, is anyone at all surprised? At least not under “Little Boots.” You might have hoped that Obama would have done something, but you’ve got to wonder how much he’s actually told by those with vested interests in the military industrial complex. And yes, I’m looking for a reason to not hold his feet to the fire since he is accountable. And that’s not easy to do, and getting harder every day.
    As we all screamed about at the time about these invasions, occupations and the torturing of people overseas, and the complete disregard for privacy at home, all for the sake of “Das Homeland Security,” once you start to swim in those waters, it’s very hard not to find yourself drowning.
    Glub… Glub… Glub…

  5. Jennifer  •  Oct 23, 2010 @10:01 am

    Because I have nothing better to do on a rainy, Saturday morning I will play with myself language in front of you.

    “Das Homeland Security” – Since security (Sicherheit) is feminine in German it is better as “Die Homeland Security” (pronounced like the letter “D”). If you take it further, then you might say “Die Heimatssicherheit,” which Germans would promptly shorten to something like “Hasi,” which is a cute word for rabbit or something you might call your lover. This gives off a sense of well being and being safe to the masses.

    Of course, a different term with the same meaning is “Staatssicherheit,” or State Security, which was famously shortened to Stasi, the internal police of the former GDR.

    Thinking about it, Stasi is a good nickname for Homeland Security.

  6. buckyblue  •  Oct 23, 2010 @10:19 am

    I think the biggest thing Bushie screwed up was the overall belief that the gov’t could be competent in anything. I believe it was at least in part, intentional. It fits right into the meme that since the gov’t can’t do anything right, we should have as little of it as possible. But the incompetence, nepotism, cronyism made my skin crawl. His pet project of privatization was so unpopular that when he took it on the road, they had to bus in supporters for it. It was the beginning of the end of his presidency, and his second term had just started.

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 23, 2010 @10:22 am

    Danke, Jennifer.
    Ich vershehe und spreche auf Deutch ein bischen. Ich habe vier jahre Deutch genommen in Hoch Schule, aber Ich habe alles vergessen!
    You’re right about it being feminine, but the reason I chose ‘Das” over “Die” is to make it sound Germanic, otherwise someone may have thought I was advocating the death (‘die!’) of ‘Homeland Security,” which, as a department, I actually don’t think would be a bad thing at all.
    I’ll think about “Stasi” over “Homeland Security.” It sounds too cute, though. Like, “I’m dating that cute girl from math class, you know, Stasi.”
    I suppose I should just be thankful it never became ‘The Fatherland Security Department,’ instead of “Homeland.”

  8. Jennifer  •  Oct 23, 2010 @1:03 pm

    cundgulag – I meant no disrespect. Just playing with words. I’m sorry that I came across so harsh.

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Oct 23, 2010 @1:18 pm

    Jennifer,
    You didn’t at all! No disrespect taken!!! 🙂
    Sorry if I came across as harsh in my response!

  10. biggerbox  •  Oct 23, 2010 @1:21 pm

    War is hell. It’s hard to avoid atrocities even in a “just” war, which is why some of us were jumping up and down and screaming to keep us from going to a very unjust war in Iraq in the first place.

    It’s not like it was hard to predict that a war prosecuted by the Bushistas in a country as complex and confusing as Iraq, based on lies and unspoken motives, would lead to a cascade of heinous blunders, vile policy decisions and intentional misdeeds. The Wikileaks merely serve as documentation of what some of us were predicting years ago. Not revelations, merely details.

  11. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Oct 23, 2010 @8:53 pm

    Don’t blame the troops for this. Orders from somewhere — Washington, I suspect — were that only allegations of detainee abuse by coalition forces were to be investigated. Allegations against Iraqi police and secrity forces were to be noted, and no more.

    Herm. I’d like to not blame them, but as I understand it, the UCMJ states that if a service member is aware of abuse, if it occurs “within sight or hearing”, it is a positive duty to put a stop to it.

    Now, assuming that I’m correct – and I may not be – there may be no way to not-blame-the-soldiers here. They may have let this happen. And, while I have some understanding of the pressures they were under, the fact of the matter is, what we do now sets the precedent for the next war.

    Do we want the soldiers fighting the next war to think “so, if it goes on long enough, with enough popular support, and with too little political will, it’s okay if you’re part of a massive cover-up”?

    This is why it’s not good enough to “look forward, not backward”.

    Mind you, I’m not saying we should start soldier-bashing. There’s probably plenty of soldiers who did the right thing, as best as they could. Those soldiers need to be identified and praised for their courage. But every soldier who let the wrong thing happen, because it was easier, needs to know that that lack of action disgraced the uniform they wear.

  12. maha  •  Oct 23, 2010 @9:09 pm

    Herm. I’d like to not blame them, but as I understand it, the UCMJ states that if a service member is aware of abuse, if it occurs “within sight or hearing”, it is a positive duty to put a stop to it.

    But if they’ve been given direct orders to not look, what are they supposed to do? Ultimately, we are the ones responsible, even if those of us who opposed the war from the get-go. It was our civilian elected leadership who sent them to Iraq with conflicting orders and no clear vision of what they were supposed to be doing there, beyond getting Saddam Hussein for insulting Dubya’s daddy. Oh, and providing lots of lucrative defense for Dick the Dick’s buddies in the defense industry. Gotta keep our priorities straight.

    So if we’re going to start bashing soldiers, we’d better be prepared to bash ourselves as well.

  13. Z  •  Oct 24, 2010 @4:31 am

    Ultimately, we are the ones responsible, even if those of us who opposed the war from the get-go.

    Since there’s no way in law to hold this all-encompassing “we” accountable, you are in practice saying that no-one at all should be held accountable, correct?

  14. maha  •  Oct 24, 2010 @7:29 am

    Z — I’m speaking of responsibility in a moral and ethical sense, not a legal sense. But the ones who should be held accountable under the law are those who issued the orders to not interfere with the abuse.

  15. Felicity  •  Oct 24, 2010 @1:19 pm

    Remember that we had a sociopath for a vice-president – “sometimes you have to work the hard stuff:” “we don’t have to abide by international law:” “torture results in viable information” (wrong, according to counter-intelligent agents.)

    And we had a president who ‘got off’ on branding pledges to his college fraternity with a red-hot metal coat hanger applied to their bare asses and when it was suggested that “George, that’s a bit much,” replied, “it’s no worse than a cigarette burn.”

    Not only did these men not care about torture, they condoned it.

  16. dyedinthewoolliberal  •  Oct 25, 2010 @10:32 am

    Felicity, I think we are very close to being able to say ‘they ordered’ it instead of condoned it. AND Rumfield stood in front of a press conference and said, a soldier is obligated to report abuse, not stop it!!!!! He corrected his general in public on this point. Of course if everyone reports it up the chain of command, you know where it lands eventually. And land it did, then vanished like fog. THis is heart breaking to say the very least.

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