Bulletin 211


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8 November 2005
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

The Machiavellian nature of the ends and means of the Bush-II administration in Iraq is being illustrated every day with new revelations of barbarity and criminal indifference, despite efforts by the U.S. government to prevent the publication of accurate war reports.

We at CEIMSA share with our readers the following information, which we believe is necessary to know, if we are to make humane and democratic judgments on the conditions of military hegemony by the United States of America at this time, and to evaluate the charges of War Crimes currently being lodged against its government.

The brutal images captured on the video clips which are included in this message, and the graphic descriptions of torture by CIA-supported technicians are an inescapable part of the information necessary in order to make a balanced judgment on this episode of U.S. imperialist aggression.
We sadly share with our readers in Europe and America these disturbing images of the "post-modern prince" in his hopeless quest for power over humanity.

A. is an Italian documentation of the use of chemical weapons in Iraq. Tom Feeley of Information Clearing House sent us "Fallujah. La strage nascosta" [Fallujah, The Concealed Massacre] a documentary that will be shown tonight on RAI News in Rome. This video RAI report described in Item A. is already available online at the ICH internet site :  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10907.htm.

B. is the repeat of a video message we received last December, providing important documentation on the use of nuclear weapons in Iraq. Professor Richard Du Boff shared with us this report on the "first nuclear war".

C. is a written report by British Ambassador Craig Murray, ambassador to Uzbekistan 2002-2004, who declares :
"I will tell you what torture means". . . .

Item D. is an article from Associated Press sent to us by Information Clearing House, detailing Vice-President Cheney's personal lobby efforts in the U.S. Senate, asking Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody.

And finally, Item
E. is an article by Professor Majorie Cohn, U.S. Representative to the Executive Committee of the American Association of Jurists, on "The Torturers'
Puppetmasters," in which the author compels us to "connect the dots" and finally see the picture, which "is not a pretty one". . . .

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal-Grenoble III

from "RAI News 24"
Rome, Italy
11 November 2005

U.S. Used Chemical Weapons In Iraq
White phosphorous used on the civilian populace:
This is how the US "took" Fallujah. New napalm formula also used.

Shocking revelation RAI News 24 : Veteran admits that "bodies melted away before us."

11/07/05 " La Repubblica" -- -- ROME.
In soldier slang they call it Willy Pete. The technical name is white phosphorus. In theory its purpose is to illumine enemy positions in the dark. In practice, it was used as a chemical weapon in the rebel stronghold of Fallujah. And it was used not only against enemy combatants and guerrillas, but again innocent civilians. The Americans are responsible for a massacre using unconventional weapons, the identical charge for which Saddam Hussein stands accused. An investigation by RAI News 24, the all-news Italian satellite television channel, has pulled the veil from one of the most carefully concealed mysteries from the front in the entire US military campaign in Iraq.

A US veteran of the Iraq war told RAI New correspondent Sigfrido Ranucci this: I received the order use caution because we had used white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military slag it is called 'Willy Pete'. Phosphorus burns the human body on contact--it even melts it right down to the bone.

RAI News 24's investigative story, Fallujah, The Concealed Massacre, will be broadcast tomorrow on RAI-3 and will contain not only eye-witness accounts by US military personnel but those from Fallujah residents. A rain of fire descended on the city. People who were exposed to those multicolored substance began to burn. We found people with bizarre wounds-their bodies burned but their clothes intact, relates Mohamad Tareq al-Deraji, a biologist and Fallujah resident.

I gathered accounts of the use of phosphorus and napalm from a few Fallujah refugees whom I met before being kidnapped, says Manifesto reporter Giuliana Sgrena, who was kidnapped in Fallujah last February, in a recorded interview. I wanted to get the story out, but my kidnappers would not permit it.

RAI News 24 will broadcast video and photographs taken in the Iraqi city during and after the November 2004 bombardment which prove that the US military, contrary to statements in a December 9 communiqurom the US Department of State, did not use phosphorus to illuminate enemy positions (which would have been legitimate) but instend dropped white phosphorus indiscriminately and in massive quantities on the city's neighborhoods.

In the investigative story, produced by Maurizio Torrealta, dramatic footage is shown revealing the effects of the bombardment on civilians, women and children, some of whom were surprised in their sleep.

The investigation will also broadcast documentary proof of the use in Iraq of a new napalm formula called MK77. The use of the incendiary substance on civilians is forbidden by a 1980 UN treaty. The use of chemical weapons is forbidden by a treaty which the US signed in 1997

Fallujah. La strage nascosta [Fallujah, The Concealed Massacre] will be shown on RAI News tomorrow November 8th at 07:35 (via HOT BIRDTM statellite, Sky Channel 506 and RAI-3), and rebroadcast by HOT BIRDTM satellite and Sky Channel 506 at 17:00 [5 pm] and over the next two days.

from Professor Richard Du Boff :
1 December 2004


A short video (slightly less than three minutes) with sound and graphic, disturbing images.

from Craig Murray :
The Independent
27 October 2005

 The reality of Britain's reliance on torture
by Craig Murray*

*(British ambassador to Uzbekistan 2002-2004)

"I will tell you what torture means: Torture means the woman who was raped with a broken bottle, and died after 10 days of agony."

10/27/05 " The Independent"
-- -- The Government has been arguing before the House of Lords for the right to act on intelligence obtained by torture abroad. It wants to be able to use such material to detain people without trial in the UK, and as evidence in the courts. Key to its case is a statement to the Law Lords by the head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller. In effect she argues that torture works. It foiled the famous ricin plot.

She omits to mention that no more ricin was found than is the naturally occurring base level in your house or mine - or indeed that no poison of any kind was found. But let us leave that for now. She argues, in effect, that we need to get intelligence from foreign security services, to fight terrorism. And if they torture, so what? Her chief falsehood is our pretence that we don't know what happens in their dungeons. We do. And it is a dreadful story. Manningham-Buller is so fastidious she even avoids using the word "torture" in her evidence. Let alone the reality to which she turns such a carefully blind eye.

Manningham Buller also fails to mention that a large number of people have been tortured abroad to provide us with intelligence - because we sent them there to be tortured. The CIA's "extraordinary rendition" programme has become notorious. Under it, detainees have been sent around the world to key torture destinations. There is evidence of British complicity - not only do these CIA flights regularly operate from UK airbases, but detainees have spoken of British intelligence personnel working with their tormentors.

So the UK receives this intelligence material not occasionally, not fortuitously, but in connection with a regular programme of torture with which we are intimately associated. Uzbekistan is one of those security services from whose "friendly liaison" services we obtained information. And I will tell you what torture means.

It means the woman who was raped with a broken bottle in both vagina and anus, and who died after ten days of agony. It means the old man suspended by wrist shackles from the ceiling while his children were beaten to a pulp before his eyes. It means the man whose fingernails were pulled before his face was beaten and he was immersed to his armpits in boiling liquid.

It means the 18-year-old whose knees and elbows were smashed, his hand immersed in boiling liquid until the skin came away and the flesh started to peel from the bone, before the back of his skull was stove in.

These are all real cases from the Uzbek security services which we viewed as friendly liaison, and from which we obtained regular intelligence, in the Uzbek case via the CIA.

A month ago, that liaison relationship was stopped - not by us, but by the Uzbeks. But as Manningham-Buller sets out, we continue to maintain our position as customer to torturers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and many other places. The key point is that none of the these Uzbek victims were terrorists at all.

The great majority of those who suffer torture at the hands of these regimes are not terrorists, but political opponents. And the scale of this torture is vast. In Uzbekistan alone thousands, not hundreds, of innocent men, women and children suffer torture every year.

Across Manningham-Buller's web of friendly intelligence agencies, the number may reach tens of thousands. Can our security really be based on such widespread inhumanity, or is that not part of the grievance that feeds terrorism?

These other governments know that our security services lap up information from their torture chambers. This practical condoning more than cancels out any weasel words on human rights which the Foreign Office may issue. In fact, the case for the efficacy of torture intelligence is not nearly as clear-cut as Manningham-Buller makes out. Much dross comes out of the torture chambers. History should tell us that under torture people would choke out an admission that they had joined their neighbours in flying on broomsticks with cats.

We do not receive torture intelligence from foreign liaison security services sometimes, or by chance. We receive it on a regular basis, through established channels. That plainly makes us complicit. It is worth considering, in this regard, Article 4 of the UN Convention Against Torture, which requires signatories to make complicity with torture a criminal offence.

When I protested about these practices within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I was told bluntly that Jack Straw and the head of MI6 had considered my objections, but had come to the conclusion that torture intelligence was important to the War on Terror, and the practice should continue. One day, the law must bring them to account.

A final thought. Manningham-Buller is arguing about the efficiency of torture in preventing a terrorist plot. If that argument is accepted, then in logic there is no reason to rely on foreign intermediaries. Why don't we do our own torturing at home? James VI and I abolished torture - New Labour is making the first attempt in English courts to justify government use of torture information. Why stop there? Why can't the agencies work over terrorist suspects?

The Security Services want us to be able to use information from torture. That should come as no surprise. From Sir Thomas Walsingham on, the profession attracts people not squeamish about the smell of seared flesh from the branding iron. That is why we have a judiciary to protect us. I pray the Law Lords do.

2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.
from Information Clearing House :
Associated Press
5 November 2005

Cheney asks that the CIA be allowed to continue torture

11/05/05 " AP" -- -- WASHINGTON Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.

Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.

The vice president made his comments at a regular weekly private meeting of Senate Republican senators, according to several lawmakers who attended. Cheney often attends the meetings, a chance for the rank-and-file to discuss legislative strategy, but he rarely speaks.

In this case, the room was cleared of aides before the vice president began his remarks, said by one senator to include a reference to classified material. The officials who disclosed the events spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the confidential nature of the discussion.

"The vice president's office doesn't have any comment on a private meeting with members of the Senate," Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for Cheney, said on Friday.

The vice president drew support from at least one lawmaker, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, while Arizona Sen. John McCain dissented, officials said.

McCain, who was tortured while held as a prisoner during the Vietnam War, is the chief Senate sponsor of an anti-torture provision that has twice cleared the Senate and triggered veto threats from the White House.

Cheney's decision to speak at the meeting underscored both his role as White House point man on the contentious issue and the importance the administration attaches to it.

The vice president made his appeal at a time Congress is struggling with the torture issue in light of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and allegations of mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The United States houses about 500 detainees at the naval base there, many of them captured in Afghanistan.

Additionally, human rights organizations contend the United States turns detainees over to other countries that it knows will use torture to try and extract intelligence information.

Cheney's appeal came two days before a former senior State Department official claimed in an interview with National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" that he had traced memos back to Cheney's office that he believes led to U.S. troops abusing prisoners in Iraq.

Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff in the first Bush administration and a former colonel, said Thursday that the view of Cheney's office was put in "carefully couched" terms in memos but that to a soldier in the field it meant sometimes using interrogation techniques that "were not in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva Conventions and the law of war" to extract better intelligence.

The Senate recently approved a provision banning the "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. The vote was 90-9, and an identical provision was added to a second measure on a voice vote on Friday.

Comparable House legislation does not include a similar provision, and it is not clear whether anti-torture language will be included in either of two large defense measures Congress hopes to send to Bush's desk later this year.

The White House initially tried to kill the anti-torture provision while it was pending in the Senate, then switched course to lobby for an exemption in cases of "clandestine counterterrorism operations conducted abroad, with respect to terrorists who are not citizens of the United States." The president would have to approve the exemption, and Defense Department personnel could not be involved. In addition, any activity would have to be consistent with the Constitution, federal law and U.S. treaty obligations, according to draft changes in the exemption the White House is seeking.

Cheney also has met several times with McCain, including one session that CIA Director Porter Goss attended in a secure room in the Capitol.

2005 Times Argus

Marjorie Cohn
7 November 2005
Marjorie Cohn | Continuing in His Defiance of the Law

    The President and His Vice: Torturers' Puppetmasters

    By Marjorie Cohn(*)

    (*)Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, President-elect of the National Lawyers Guild, and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. She writes a weekly column for t r u t h o u t.

    The dots have finally been connected and the picture is not a pretty one. It is the face of the president of vice, Dick Cheney. The policies on the treatment of prisoners emanating from Cheney's office triggered the abuse and torture, according to Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff.

    "It was clear to me that there was a visible audit trail from the Vice President's office through the Secretary of Defense down to the commanders in the field," Wilkerson, a former colonel, said on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." The interrogation techniques sanctioned by Cheney "were not in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva Conventions and the law of war," Wilkerson declared.

    Not coincidentally, Cheney has been lobbying Congress to prevent it from outlawing torture (which is already against the law, by the way). After Republican Senator John McCain secured 90 votes in the Senate to codify the prohibition against cruel, unusual, or degrading treatment or punishment, Cheney began to sweat. With CIA Director Porter Goss in tow, Cheney paid a visit to McCain and tried to convince the senator to allow an exemption for the CIA. McCain refused to legalize the CIA's ongoing illegal torture of prisoners.

    Last week, Dana Priest wrote in the Washington Post that the CIA has been surreptitiously interrogating prisoners in a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe. Human Rights Watch identified Romania and Poland, two supporters of Bush's wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, as locations for these secret prisons.

    Only Bush and a few of his top officials, undoubtedly including Cheney, have known about the existence and situs of these "black sites," as they are called in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and Congressional documents, according to Priest.

    The secret prisons were established pursuant to a presidential "finding" signed by Bush six days after the September 11 attacks. That finding gives the CIA permission to kill, capture and detain members of al Qaeda anywhere in the world. Assassination, or summary execution, violates US and international law.

    More than 100 suspected terrorists have been taken to these "black sites." Many are held underground and subjected to torture out of view of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    CIA interrogators use "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques," which violate US law. They include "waterboarding" (mock drowning) and mock suffocation. Another enhancement is a "stress position," in which a prisoner in suspended from the ceiling or wall by his wrists, which are handcuffed behind his back. Iraqi Manadel Jamadi was subjected to this treatment before he died in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib in November 2003. Tony Diaz, an MP who witnessed his torture, said that blood gushed from Jamadi's mouth like "a faucet had turned on" after he was lowered to the ground.

    Several current and former intelligence officials are nervous about these "black sites," which were set up in a knee-jerk response to 9/11, Priest reported.

    About the same time the "black sites" were established, Cheney undertook a campaign to introduce torture as a standard interrogation technique, according to the Washington Monthly. One of his test cases was Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda prisoner captured shortly after 9/11. An ex-FBI official reported that "they duct-taped his mouth, cinched him up and sent him to Cairo" for some torturous Egyptian interrogations, in violation of US law prohibiting extraordinary renditions.

    A newly declassified memo reveals that al-Libi provided us with false information that suggested Iraq had trained al-Qaeda to use weapons of mass destruction. Even though US intelligence thought the information was false as early as 2002 because it was obtained under torture, al-Libi's information provided the centerpiece of Colin Powell's now thoroughly discredited February 2003 claim before the United Nations that Iraq had developed WMD programs.

    Dick Cheney not only ordered the torture; he was willing to use false information obtained through torture to support Bush's pre-determined decision to make war on Iraq.

    Now that Cheney has been fingered as complicit in the torture, it is just a matter of time before the official torture dots connect to the President himself. In December 2004, the American Civil Liberties Union released an internal FBI email that the ALCU received pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. The email, dated May 22, 2004, describes an Executive Order that authorized sleep deprivation, placing hoods over prisoners' heads, the use of loud music for sensory overload, stripping detainees naked, the use of "stress positions," and the use of dogs. The White House, Pentagon and FBI officials denied that Bush had issued such an Executive Order, saying that it was really a Defense Department directive instead.

    It is undisputed that Bush determined in a February 7, 2002, order that he had the authority to suspend the Geneva Conventions, a position never before taken by an American president and a clear violation of US law.

    Bush wrote in that order, "As a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva." (Emphasis added.)

    In essence, Bush declared, incorrectly, that as commander in chief, he had the power to override the law with his policy. Where did he get that idea? From a January 25, 2002, memo sent by Alberto Gonzales to the President, which described the Geneva Conventions as "obsolete" and "quaint." That memo was inspired by David Addington, just named by Cheney to replace the indicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby as the Vice President's chief of staff.

    Addington was assistant general counsel to the CIA when Reagan was funding the death squads in El Salvador and the illegal Nicaraguan contras. Cheney's new chief of staff helped draft the infamous August 2002 memo that illegally narrowed the definition of torture, and justified torture in some cases. Now, Addington is trying to prevent the Pentagon from adopting the language of Geneva in its revised rules for handling prisoners. The circle of torture remains unbroken.

    Libby is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI about the outing of a CIA agent. As in the Watergate scandal, a White House official is being prosecuted for the cover-up. There is plenty of evidence that officials in the Bush administration have been trying to cover up their torture since the inception of Bush's "war on terror."

    The earliest example of the official cover-up was when John Walker Lindh, captured in Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001, was given a plea bargain that required him to keep mum about the mistreatment he suffered while in US custody. Col. Janis Karpinski told me in an August 3, 2005, interview for  t r u t h o u t  (Abu Ghraib General Lambastes Bush Administration) that after she first learned of the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez took systematic steps to hush it up. Soldiers reported to Human Rights Watch that US soldiers, called "Murderous Maniacs," broke prisoners' bones every other week at FOB Mercury; then, "those responsible would state that the detainee was injured during the process of capture and the physician assistant would sign off on this."

    Most recently, in an effort to smooth over the torture of the hunger strikers by US officials at Guantᮡmo prison, Donald Rumsfeld said, "There are a number of people who go on a diet where they don't eat for a period and then go off of it at some point. And then they rotate and other people do that." Rumsfeld refuses to allow UN human rights investigators to meet with the prisoners there.

    What is Rumsfeld trying to hide at Guantᮡmo? About 200 prisoners, many of whom have been there nearly four years without criminal charges, have been on a hunger strike for several weeks. Several of them are being force-fed through large tubes inserted into their noses and down into their stomachs, with no sedatives or anesthesia. One prisoner explained to his lawyer, "Now, after four years in captivity, life and death are the same."

    The Washington Post reported today that Cheney has waged an intense, largely unpublicized campaign over the past year to prevent Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department from restricting interrogations of terrorist suspects.

    Dick Cheney is right in the center of the Bush administration's government of dirty tricks. By replacing Libby with Addington, Cheney has signaled his determination to continue Bush's torturous policies. In a recent editorial, the Washington Post called Dick Cheney "Vice President for Torture." The President and his Vice continue to pull the torturers' puppet strings. Will Bush be deemed complicit in the torture? Or will his deputies cover up for him the way Ronald Reagan's men insulated him from liability in the Iran-Contra scandal?

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal-Grenoble III
Grenoble, France