Tag Archives: War crimes

The US Cries About War Crimes While Imprisoning A Journalist For Exposing Its War Crimes, by Caitlin Johnstone

The hypocrisy is staggering. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

In what his lawyers have described as a “brief but significant moment in the case,” a British magistrates’ court has signed off on Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, bringing the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a US trial under the Espionage Act which threatens press freedoms worldwide.

The extradition case now goes to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval, which will likely be forthcoming as Patel is a reliably loyal empire manager. After that point, Assange’s legal team will be able to launch an appeal.

This is happening at the same time the United States and the United Kingdom are loudly demanding accountability for alleged war crimes by the Russian military in Ukraine, which is interesting because attempting to bring accountability for war crimes is precisely why Julian Assange is in prison.

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Russia, Ukraine and the Law of War: War Crimes, by Scott Ritter

If a country shields its weaponry behind civilians and civilian structures and the enemy attacks those civilians and structures, who has committed the war crime? From Scott Ritter at consortiumnews.com:

Scott Ritter, in the second and final part of this series, lays out what the law says about war crimes and how it applies to the conflict in Ukraine.

Biden’s speech in Warsaw. (Office of the President)

Part One

During his recent four-day European tour, U.S. President Joe Biden made headlines when, during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, he described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “a man who I quite frankly think is a war criminal,” adding “I think it will meet the legal definition of that as well.”

Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, condemned Biden’s comment as “unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”

Biden made his remarks following a statement issued by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which Blinken announced that the State Department had made a formal assessment that the Russian military had committed war crimes in Ukraine. “Based on information currently available,” Blinken said, “the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. “Our assessment,” Blinken added, “is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources.”

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Fear and Loathing in Washington, by Philip Giraldi

The Biden administration continues the U.S. government’s long string of war crimes. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

The Biden Administration’s Crimes Against Humanity

One can frequently disagree with government policies without necessarily regarding them with disgust, but the Joe Biden Administration has turned that corner, first with its senseless promotion of a new Cold War that could turn hot with Russia and, more recently, with its actions undertaken to undermine and punish Afghanistan. The fact that the White House wraps itself in the sanctimonious, self-righteous twaddle that is so much the hallmark of the political left is bad enough, but when the government goes out of its way to harm and even kill people around the world in pursuit of an elusive global dominance it is time for the American people to rise up and say “Stop!”

As a former CIA operations officer, I departed government service in 2002 in part due to the impending invasion of Iraq, which I knew was completely unjustified by the web of largely fabricated information that was flowing out of the Pentagon to justify the attack. In the years since I have been appalled by the Obama era attacks on Syria and Libya as well as by the assassinations and cruise missile strikes carried out under Donald Trump. But all of that was a Sunday in the park compared to the hideous nonsense being pursued by Biden and his crew of reprobates. Trifling with the use of force as part of negotiations intended to go nowhere over Ukraine could well by misstep, false flag or even design escalate into nuclear war ending much of the life on this planet as we know it, and we are now also witnessing the cold, calculated slaughter of possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians just because we have the tools at hand and believe that we can get away with it. What we are seeing unfold right in front of us goes beyond appalling and it is time to demand a change of course on the part of a runaway federal government that is drunk on its own self-assumed unbridled right to exercise total executive authority over vital issues of war and peace.

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The US Bombed A Vital Dam In Syria, Lied About It, & Called Anyone Who Reported The Truth “Crazy”

How fake news works. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Many years too late, it appears The New York Times has suddenly discovered that the United States has been committing war crimes in Syria, coming long after it was clear Washington was pursuing regime change in Damascus. With Assad still in control of most of the country, US efforts have turned to far-reach sanctions of late, which have greatly increased the sufferings of common Syrians. Like with Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq before, the Times was the foremost cheerleader for that war, laundering Pentagon and admin propaganda, and only many years later admitting the truth that it was all based on lies… so now it seems to be going with Syria.

In its latest reporting, the NY Times has “uncovered” that an elite US military unit intentionally targeted and destroyed a large dam which was vital to the daily life and survival of tens of thousands of people near a vital Euphrates River reservoir. When the 2017 bombing of the Tabqa Dam (or al-Thawra Dam as it’s also called) was first reported, a top American general labeled those accusing the US of being behind it as “crazy”. Like much mainstream media reporting on Syria, those who had it right in real time – many from independent and alternative media – were dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” and loons, but now this…

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The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them, by Philip Giraldi

Are those who push for and implement disastrous wars that kill thousands or millions ever called to account? Do they ever bear consequences, or do they just end up on the board of directors of some defense contractor? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

How about some accountability for Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen?

If you want to know how the United States wound up with “government by stupid” one need only look no farther than some of the recent propaganda put out by members of Congress, senior military officers and a certain former president. President George W. Bush, who started the whole sequence of events that have culminated in the disaster that is Afghanistan, is not yet in prison, but one can always hope.

Regarding the current crisis, former FBI special agent and 9/11 whistleblower Coleen Rowley cited Richard W. Behan who mused over “How perverse we have become. We chastise President Biden for a messy ending of the war in Afghanistan and fail to indict George Bush for its illegal beginning.” She then observed, in her own words on Facebook, “So Rehabilitated War Criminal Bush can maintain his legacy as stalwart statesman as he cutely dances with Ellen DeGeneris and Michelle Obama on television screens. Washington is just a big fact-free political show where the blame game winners are the best manipulators.”

I would add to that the hubris of the “Mission Accomplished” banner on the tower of an aircraft carrier as Bush, wearing a flight suit, inaccurately announced victory and an end of combat in Afghanistan, presumably so he could focus on his new war in Iraq. As the Taliban had not attacked or threatened America, had no means of doing so, and were even willing to turn over “their guest” Osama bin Laden to US justice after the bombing of the USS Cole in late 2000, they were hardly a formidable foe. The Bush Administration refused the offer to surrender bin Laden on four occasions before 9/11 and once more five days after the attack because it wanted a war. Given all of that backstory, what Bush and his posse of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Tenet, Feith, Powell and Libby did was indisputably a war crime. And they followed up with fake intelligence to justify a second war against Saddam Hussein, who had also sought to avoid war by offering to go into voluntary exile. The Nuremberg tribunals considered aggressive war against an unthreatening nation to be the ultimate war crime. That would make it an ultimate war crime times two, not to mention the killing of civilians and torture that went along with it. And President Barack Obama added to that toll by subsequently destroying an unthreatening Libya. Unfortunately, many of those war criminals from the Bush and Obama cliques who are still alive are sitting fat and pretty in retirement or in lucrative private sector positions while the only ones who have been punished are the whistleblowers who tried to stop the madness.

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Australian War Crimes Report Means Get The Fuck Out Of Afghanistan, by Caitlin Johnstone

Americans should be asking the same question as Australians: is Afghanistan really worth the price of our souls? From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The much-anticipated report on potential war crimes by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Afghanistan has been released, recommending 19 current or former soldiers be investigated for up to 39 murders.

Not combat kills. Not accidental kills. Not non-combatants killed by disputable decisions made in the heat of battle. Not civilians killed due to recklessness or carelessness on the part of Australian forces. Murders. Of non-combatants who died for no other reason than happening to live in a region the US power alliance has seen geostrategic value in keeping militarily occupied for 19 years.

The information about atrocities perpetrated by Australian forces in Afghanistan has taken many years to emerge, was fought tooth and claw with attacks on whistleblowers and journalists, and surely only touches on a tiny fraction of the war crimes which have been perpetrated and covered up with the investigation finding that “the criminal behaviour of a few was commenced, committed, continued and concealed at the patrol commander level”.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, ADF Chief Angus Campbell describes a “self-centred warrior culture” in Australia’s Special Air Service which “was embraced and amplified by some experienced, charismatic and influential non-commissioned officers and their proteges, who sought to fuse military excellence with ego, elitism and entitlement,” leading to acts of horrific brutality.

“In this context it is alleged that some patrols took the law into their own hands: rules were broken, stories concocted, lies told and prisoners killed,” says Campbell.

“The Brereton report also found evidence that junior soldiers were required by their patrol commanders to shoot a prisoner to achieve their first kill, in a practice known as ‘blooding’,” SMH reports.

Troops “carried ‘throwdowns’ – foreign weapons and equipment such as pistols, small hand-held radios and grenades to be placed with the bodies of enemies killed in action for the purpose of taking photos,” reports SMH. “This practice eventually was used for the purpose of concealing deliberate unlawful killings.”

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Those Who Destroyed Yemen Must Be Prosecuted for War Crimes, by Doug Bandow

Helping one of the most corrupt governments on the planet wage a war on one of the poorest countries on the planet is a war crime for which US officials must be called to account. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:

That includes prominent American officials. Punishing the perpetrators is the only way to restore our credibility.

Workers search through debris at a warehouse, after it was reportedly hit in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition, in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on July, 2, 2020. (Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently announced that it was providing $204 million in aid for the impoverished and war-ravaged country of Yemen. That sounds generous, but it’s the Saudi royals themselves who are responsible for most of the death, destruction, starvation, and disease in Yemen, in which 80 percent of the population, some 24 million, need outside assistance.

Riyadh has spent more than five years conducting a brutal air campaign intended to restore a pliant regime to power. The claim that the Kingdom is generously helping the needy is a bit like a man murdering his parents only to throw himself on the court’s mercy since he is an orphan. If Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wanted to help the Yemeni people, he would simply end the war.

But he won’t, at least in part because the Trump administration is underwriting the Saudi government’s murderous campaign. Why is the president forcing Americans to assist the Saudi royals, who respect no political or religious liberty and kidnap, imprison, and murder their critics? President Donald Trump appears to be almost bewitched by the licentious and corrupt Saudis.

Washington sold Saudi Arabia planes and munitions used to kill thousands of Yemeni civilians. American personnel serviced and refueled the same planes, as well as providing intelligence to assist in targeting Saudi strikes. That makes U.S. officials complicit in war crimes committed day in and day out for more than five years.

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War Crimes and War Criminals: Who Will Be Held Accountable? by Philip Giraldi

Let’s see, if the US invades your country, perhaps to change the regime, and you fight the invading force, you’re a terrorist. It makes perfect sense. From Philip Giraldi at strategicculture.com:

There is something unique about how the United States manipulates the “terrorism” label to avoid being accused of carrying out war crimes. When an indigenous militia or an armed insurgency like the Taliban in a country like Iraq or Afghanistan attacks American soldiers subsequent to a U.S. invasion which overthrew the country’s government, it is considered by Washington to be an act of “terrorism.” Terror attacks de facto permit a carte blanche response, allowing virtually anything as retaliation against the parties involved or countries that support them, including the assassination of foreign government officials. But for the attacker, whose perspective is quite different, the incident often could reasonably be described as legitimate resistance to a foreign occupier and much of the world might agree with that assessment.

So, it all comes down to definitions. The United States covers its version of reality through liberal use of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which more-or-less gives a blanket approval to attack and kill “terrorists” anywhere at any time. And how does one become a terrorist? By being included on the U.S. government’s heavily politicized annual list of terrorist groups and material supporters of terrorism. That was the argument that was used by the United States when it killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January, that his organization, the Qods Force, was on the “terrorist” lists maintained by State and the Treasury Department and he was therefore held to be guilty of any and all attacks on U.S. military carried out by Qods or by presumed Iranian surrogate militias.

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America Will Never Live Down Trump’s War Crime Pardons, by Danny Sjursen

A substantial portion of the American public, including the president, believes that anything goes when it comes to war. They shouldn’t be surprised at the blowback, notably terrorism. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

Donald Trump loves him some bluster, worships machismo, and always has. Spectacle over substance has long been the name of his game. Decades before his successful presidential run, back when he was still a cartoon billionaire playboy, Trump took out a full-page newspaper advertisement that argued that New York state should bring back the death penalty for five adolescents arrested in 1989 for allegedly beating and raping a jogger – even though the boys hadn’t yet been convicted. Turns out that the infamous Central Park Five were later exonerated by DNA evidence. To this day, Trump refuses to apologize, even though his suggestion would have resulted in the execution of five innocent kids. But regret isn’t part of The Donald’s playbook.

Neither is adherence to facts, or recognition of history. Trump illustrated this point on the 2016 campaign trail, when he repeated a demonstrably false story about how then-Capt. John J. Pershing (future commanding general for all U.S. forces in World War I) – “a rough, rough guy” – had, during the brutal American counterinsurgency in the Philippines (1899-1913), once captured 50 Muslim “terrorists,” dipped 50 bullets in pig’s blood, shot 49, and set the sole survivor loose to spread the tale to his rebel comrades. The outcome, or moral of the story, according to Trump, was that “for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem, OK?” Well, no, actually, the Philippine insurgency dragged on for another decade, and a Muslim-separatist rebellion continues in the islands to this day.

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Putting the Warriors on Terror on Trial, by Danny Sjursen

Soldiers in the US are seldom prosecuted for war crimes, and when they are, they are seldom convicted. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

It is natural for mankind to set a higher value on courage then timidity, on activity than prudence, on strength than counsel.” ~ Montesquieu, “The Spirit of the Laws”

They are undoubtedly America’s favorite, most lauded shock troops. More, even, than the Marines or the Army’s Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALs have captured America’s (and, certainly, Hollywood’s) attention. Despite their small ranks, they are nothing less than the face of the post-9/11 U.S. “war on terror.” It was the Seals, after all, who killed Osama bin Laden, prompting spontaneous, nationwide chants of “USA! USA!” Sure, the Army and Marines do most of the fighting and dying, but there is something romantic in the collective American mind about those Seals

Yet currently, in the wake of a couple of major scandals and seemingly credible allegations of serious war crimes, it’s as though the entire organization is on trial. Maybe that’s for the best.

What unfolded in the increasingly absurd and always disturbing trial of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher was nothing less than a war for the soul of the whole special operations community. Still, the minutiae and singularity of the individual case masked the larger questions and conclusions worth drawing from the entire spectacle: Why is the US fighting abroad? Who, exactly, is doing that fighting? What happens when aggressive, highly trained commandos are repeatedly shipped abroad and given immense leeway and power over foreign lives and deaths?

These, to name only a few, are key queries to consider regarding the Gallagher case and a separate scandal in which another SEAL recently pleaded guilty to a 2017 hazing attack in Mali that resulted in the strangulation death of an Army Green Beret. In the second case, why were these special operators in remote West Africa in the first place? The answer is relevant to the tragic incident itself.

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