Lawsuit-free since 9/14/05

Friday, October 08, 2004

Bogus war, real crimes

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." --Dick Cheney, August 2002

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more." --Colin Powell, February 2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." --George W. Bush, State of the Union address, March 2003

"We know where [the WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." --Donald Rumsfeld, March 2003

"But make no mistake--as I said earlier--we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about." --Ari Fleischer, April 2003

U.S. soldiers were sent to into harm's way in Iraq because, we were told, Iraq possessed "weapons of mass destruction," including biological and chemical weapons, mobile bioweapons manufacturing facilities, and a fleet of unmanned arial vehicles to deliver these weapons to their targets. To date, the "official" number of U.S. troop fatalities stands at 1,068. Yesterday the final report of Cheif Weapons Inspector Charles Duelfer was made public. The 1,000+ page report, what the Bush administration claimed would be its final vindication, merely confirms the findings of each past Chief Weapons Inspector: Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, before or after the war began.

One day prior to this, the Pentagon announced that it was investigating cockpit footage from American pilots that shows them firing on, and killing, a group of unarmed Iraqi civilians. Russ Kick reports,

The 30-second clip shows the pilot targeting the group of people in a street in the city of Fallujah and asking his mission controllers whether he should "take them out". He is told to do so and, shortly afterwards, the footage shows a huge explosion where the people were. A second voice can be heard on the clip saying: "Oh, dude."

The existence of the video, taken last April inside the cockpit of a US F-16 fighter has been known for some time, though last night's broadcast by Channel 4 News is believed to be the first time a mainstream broadcaster has shown the footage.

The video from the cockpit itself can be viewed here and here.

This footage is the latest in a series of mounting evidentiary findings proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that war crimes are being committed by Coalition Forces in Iraq, and are in fact widespread. Several US soldiers are already being brought up on charges of murder, some have already been convicted of murder for forcing Iraqis to jump to their deaths in rivers, and perhaps most notable among proof of war crimes are the Abu Ghraib photographs and video footage. However, it is unlikely that these crimes will ever be tried at the International Criminal Court, as the Bush administration does not recognize its authority.

In fact, the United States has a long history of ignoring not only international law, but the international courts charged with upholding and enforcing these laws, ever since the US, under president Ronald Reagan, was convicted of international terrorism against Nicaragua in the International Court of Justice. The United States was ordered to pay reparations to the country for mining its harbors, bombing its schools, and waging an illegal contra war against a democratically elected government and a sovereign nation. The Reagan administration refused to pay the ordered reparations.

With these recent reports, it seems that the jury is finally in. The war that has claimed the lives of over one thousand U.S. troops, an estimated 30,000 Iraqi civilians, and disabled over 9,000 US soldiers, was launched on the basis of bogus, cherry-picked intelligence mixed with numerous and outrageous administrative lies. In the meantime, a pattern of abuse and war crimes are contstantly emerging regarding some US and British troops.

All of this begs the question: If Clinton was impeached for lying about his sex life, what happens to an entire administration that lies a nation into war that steals the lives of over one thousand of America's sons and daughters who put their trust in them?


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