Tag Archives: Iraq

No Jail Time for Haditha Murderer

open quoteIt was the massacre which left 24 unarmed Iraqis dead and cast fresh shame on the American military, already reeling from Abu-Ghraib.

But a military judge yesterday ruled that the final U.S. soldier to face charges over the notorious assault on Haditha will not be jailed.

Instead, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who led the attack, faces no more than three months in confinement after admitting the least serious of three charges – negligent dereliction of duty.

He had initially been implicated in 19 of the deaths. Among the victims were seven children and a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair.close quote (Read more)

Panetta makes 9/11 gaffe in Iraq

open quoteNewly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman.

“The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda,” Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base.

“We’ve been fighting as a result of that,” he said.

The administration of former US President George W. Bush had hastily linked Saddam Hussein, the ousted Iraqi dictator, to the 9/11 attacks.

That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed.close quote (Read more from news.yahoo.com)

I’m not surprised when they say stupid things. I’m surprised on the rare occasions when they don’t.

Missing Iraq cash ‘as high as $18bn’

open quoteOsama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn – three times more than the reported $6.6bn.

Just before departing for a visit to the US, al-Nujaifi said that he has received a report this week based on information from US and Iraqi auditors that the amount of money withdrawn from a fund from Iraqi oil proceeds, but unaccounted for, is much more than the $6.6bn reported missing last week.

“There is a lot of money missing during the first American administration of Iraqi money in the first year of occupation.

“Iraq’s development fund has lost around $18bn of Iraqi money in these operations – their location is unknown. Also missing are the documents of expenditure.

“I think it will be discussed soon. There should be an answer to where has Iraqi money gone.”

The Bush administration flew in a total of $20bn in cash into the country in 2004. This was money that had come from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets.

Officials in Iraq were supposed to give out the money to Iraqi ministries and US contractors, intended for the reconstruction of the country.

‘No trace’

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Iraqi officials argue that the US government was supposed to safeguard the stash under a 2004 legal agreement it signed with Iraq, hence making Washington responsible for the cash that has disappeared.close quote (Read more from english.aljazeera.net)

STEPHEN WALT: MAINSTREAMING WAR WITH IRAN

Important article from a few months ago:

open quoteIf you are worried that the United States might be foolish enough to attack Iran, then you might take comfort from Jeffrey Goldberg’s lengthy and alarmist Atlantic article on the subject. Based on a flock of mostly anonymous interviews, Goldberg has concluded that odds are better than 50-50 that Israel will attack Iran sometime next spring. Given his track record as a Middle East analyst — particularly when it comes to the wisdom of using force — you might be justified in viewing that prediction as a sign that war was in fact quite unlikely.

I’ve said plenty already about the reasons why Iran is not a grave threat that justifies preemptive war, and why neither the United States nor Israel should be thinking about a military strike, so I don’t feel compelled to dismantle Goldberg’s restating of the hawks’ case yet again. And I don’t have to, because others have already done so quite ably.

Instead, I’d just like to highlight what’s really going on here.close quote (Read more from veteranstoday.com)

Wikileaks — Iraq Revelations

WikiLeaks: At Least 109,000 Killed During Iraq War
open quote“The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 ‘civilians’; 23,984 ‘enemy’ (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 ‘host nation’ (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 ‘friendly’ (coalition forces),” WikiLeaks said in a statement regarding the documents’ release. “The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60 percent) of these are civilian deaths. That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six-year period.”

The new documents covered 2004 through 2009, WikiLeaks said, with the exception of May 2004 and March 2009. close quote (Read more from abcnews.go.com)

WikiLeaks Iraq files reveal torture
open quoteAl Jazeera’s access to leaked documents reveals secret US military order not to investigate Iraqi torture.close quote (Read more from english.aljazeera.net)