Thursday, May 18, 2006

[political-researchp] So, Don Rumsfeld admits ...

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"We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true. But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube. You eat like the tube. You even think like the tube. In God's name, you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion." Howard Beale

Just War

by digby

So, Don Rumsfeld admits that the pentagon is still weighing whether they need to treat "unlawful combatants" humanely or whether our military can be depraved barbarians and make them walk around on all fours and bark like dogs after sitting in their own vomit, excrement and feces for hours on end. It appears to be quite a dilemma for some people. Evidently, the idea of universal human rights, much less the idea that some "combatants" don't deserve fewer human rights just because they don't wear a uniform, are much too limiting.

And now this:

Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,” she said, “and shot him.”

On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.

Military officials told NBC News that the Marine Corps' own evidence appears to show Murtha is right.

A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.

The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.

On Nov. 20, U.S. Marines spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Pool issued a statement saying that on the previous day a roadside bomb had killed 15 civilians and a Marine. In a later gunbattle, U.S. and Iraqi troops killed eight insurgents, he said.

U.S. military officials later confirmed that the version of events was wrong.

Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources within the military have told him that an internal investigation will show that "there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Military officials say Marine Corp photos taken immediately after the incident show many of the victims were shot at close range, in the head and chest, execution-style. One photo shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer, shot dead, said the officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn't been completed.

One military official says it appears the civilians were deliberately killed by the Marines, who were outraged at the death of their fellow Marine.

“This one is ugly," one official told NBC News.

Three Marine officers — commanders in Haditha — have been relieved of duty, and at least 12 Marines in all are under investigation for what would be the worst single incident involving the deliberate killing of civilians by U.S. military in Iraq.

This war was waged for inexplicable reasons and in the course of waging it, the administration has presented a split version of reality that troops have to try to sort out. Liberating the "Iraqi people" and fighting "the terrorists" all of whom look alike to these marines. I don't excuse them for one minute for emptying guns into three year olds out of anger at their mate being killed. There is no excuse. But when you have the civilian leadership of the military publicly pondering the relative humanity of various enemies, you can see where the troops might just get a little bit addled.

What a mess. What a horrible, horrible mess. This stuff is sickening and wrong when it happens in a war of self-defense. When it happens in a war for Karl Rove's majority or a war for Halliburton or a war for whatever the hell they started this one for, then it is a moral failure of epic proportions.




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