as read on Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox blog
5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.
Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.
After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.
Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.
WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions.
WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.
WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work.
President Obama called his $3.8-trillion budget a big step in restoring America’s economic health. Last year he promoted TARP, the Troubled Assets Relief Program to bail out the financial sector at a mere $700 billion. Anyone – even billionaire bankers — can make mistakes that wreak ruin on the rest of us!
Obama also declared as “untouchable” the Pentagon budget of $1.5 trillion (including hidden costs in other government branches), which dwarfs the rescue package for the financial oligarchs. Both payouts, however, used the same logic: Congress taking from the have-nots and giving it to the have-mores. Indeed, the economic, political and military potentates depend on the federal budget to transfer taxpayer resources to them.
This evolving military-industrial complex, a partnership of interlocking government and corporate networks, has used public wealth to enrich itself. The manufacturing part of this complex rarely produces anything people live in, wear, or eat.
The stated goal of the US-led War in Afghanistan, according to the Obama Administration, is to defeat the Taliban and establish a stable democratic government over the entire country. Critical to that goal is establishing a professional Afghan army and police force that is not corrupt, and that has the respect of the Afghan people.
But reports out of Canada suggest that far from creating such a military and police force, the so-called International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) is turning a blind eye to the thuggish criminality of those organizations, both to avoid growing opposition in ISAF member countries, and to avoid offending those organizations in Afghanistan.
The issue in question is routine rape and sodomy of children by Afghan soldiers and police operating on Canadian-run bases in the Kandahar region.
As reported last fall in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, Canadian military chaplins and some soldiers have been complaining as far back as 2006 that Afghan security forces have been sodomizing young boys on their base. These military whistle-blowers charge that the military brass has been ignoring or burying their complaints, fearing the bad publicity they could generate.
The paper reports that Canadian military police have also complained, as reported by Brig.-Gen. J.C. Collin, commander of Land Force Central Area, that they were being told “not to interfere in incidents in which Afghan forces were having sex with children.”
According to the paper, the Canadian military command has argued that, even though sex with children is against the law in Afghanistan, the practice is culturally accepted and that the Canadian forces “should not get involved in what should be seen as a “cultural’ issue.”
The yearly need of Iran for life-saving medical isotopes is less than one gram and costs Iran $75,000 to refine the fuel. Iran has stated they would prefer to buy the isotopes rather than produce them. The US could resolve the threat of war with Iran if President Obama made a speech today saying the US will allow Iran to produce it themselves under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a legal right guaranteed by treaty among nations including the US and Iran, or by the US selling Iran the isotopes.
The war drums are being pounded anew and the world may be headed for a catastrophe far worse than those in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is a pretty thorough account of the massive military build-up started under Bush and being accelerated now under Obama all around Russia. We, along with our NATO allies, are now on a war-footing like no other time in history.