Wednesday, May 26, 2004

 

James Bond, Agent in Charge

As referenced on TPM today, there is a story in yesterday's NYTimes about the way both abusers and abused have been kept "off the books" in Abu Ghraib.
Accounts from intelligence officials seem to indicate that the practice of keeping detainees off official prison rosters was widespread.

In one of several cases in which an Iraqi prisoner died at Abu Ghraib in connection with interrogations, a hooded man identified only by his last name, Jamadi, slumped over dead on Nov. 20 as he was being questioned by a C.I.A. officer and translator, intelligence officials said. The incident is being investigated by the C.I.A.'s inspector general, and military officials have said that the man, whose body was later packed in ice and photographed at Abu Ghraib, had never been assigned a prisoner number, an indication that he had never been included on any official roster at the prison.

The memorandum criticizing the practice of keeping prisoners off the roster was signed by Col. Thomas M. Pappas, commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, and a James Bond, who is identified as "SOS, Agent in Charge." Military and intelligence officials said that they did not know of a Mr. Bond who had been assigned to Abu Ghraib, and that it was possible that the name was an alias.
So now we not only have contractors who are free of responsibility by being outside of the military (not that the military seems to be offering too much responsibility in this case) but now we have Iraqi prisoners who are "off the books" and who just happen to slump over and die. I find it very hard to stomach that people are still putting forward the "few bad apples" excuse.

Speaking of which, Robert Fisk writes forcefully (as he always does) in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of following the torture trail at Abu Ghraib (forwarded to me by my dear uncle). Among the many disturbing revelations are:
The actual interrogators accused of encouraging U.S. troops to abuse Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail were working for at least one company with extensive military and commercial contacts with Israel. The head of an American company whose personnel are implicated in the Iraqi tortures, it now turns out, attended an "anti-terror" training camp in Israel and, earlier this year, was presented with an award by Shaul Mofaz, the right-wing Israeli defense minister.

According to J.P. London's company, CACI International, the visit of London -- sponsored by an Israeli lobby group and including U.S. congressmen and other defense contractors -- was "to promote opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint ventures between U.S. and Israeli defense and homeland security agencies."
Also:
One of Staphanovic's co-workers, Joe Ryan -- who was not named in the Taguba report -- now says he underwent an "Israeli interrogation course" before going to Iraq.

We know the Pentagon asked Israel for its "rules of engagement" in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israeli officers have briefed their U.S. opposite numbers and, according to The Associated Press, "in January and February of 2003, Israeli and American troops trained together in southern Israel's Negev desert ... Israel has also hosted senior law enforcement officials from the United States for a seminar on counter-terrorism."
Now certainly this does not shift blame or responsibility away from the US military and US contractors who were involved in prison abuse. But please let's stop holding Israel up as the shining beacon of model behavior in fighting the "war on terror." As reported on the Vested Owl and the Arab American Institute website, John Kerry recently fawned over Israel in a recent appearance on Hannity & Colmes on the FOXnews channel.
I also think, when you look at what Israel has done for years, where they've faced terror for far longer than we have, that they don't engage in that type of activity [violations of the Geneva Conventions]. And they specifically decided not to, because they want to keep the moral high ground.
Please please please just stop it. It seems to me that the US has borrowed too much from the Israelis. John Kerry probably thinks we just haven't learned enough - how about a few more seminars, eh?

Comments:
Veteran's Day is November 11th and I hope that EVERY American will be flying the flag in honor of our troops fighting in Iraq and around the world to preserve our freedoms!

I can even tell you where to get one for free! Visit AmericanFlags.com right now and they'll send you a FREE American Flag. These flags were $19.99, but now they are FREE. You pay just for shipping/handling and they'll ship one to your door. (Actually - I've ordered more than 20 from them to give to my neighbors, as gifts, etc!)

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Semper Fi!

Bill Adams
 
You know, you can find San Francisco criminal attorney here
 
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