Bush Officials Charged with War Crimes

Well, well, well. As Donald Rumsfeld once said, “…there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know” and coming from one as clearly clueless as he, today’s post is dedicated to his spirit of bewildering cluelessness.

I venture to guess that the majority of what is in this post never aired in primetime or made its way to the print media (ok, perhaps a snippet on the bottom of page 42 way below the fold). Today we delve into war crimes, nukes, lies and information the Corporate Media (CM) won’t tell you. Let’s start with some questions.

Has the Bush Administration really been charged with war crimes? Do you know what your government does in your name? What’s Depleted Uranium got to do with it?

If you answered No, Maybe, or Huh? to any of the above questions, read on and learn what has been roundly excluded from the Corporate Media.

BTW, this is a quite long post…so, grab a beer and keep reading!

Let’s start by discussing whether the Bush Administration SHOULD be indicted and tried for war crimes. Just what is a war crime? I will use information from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Crimes within the Court’s Jurisdiction:

  1. The crime of genocide
  2. Crimes against humanity
  3. The crime of aggression
  4. Crimes against United Nations and associated personnel
  5. War crimes
  6. Other categories of crimes

This is a summary of what the ICC defines as War Crimes:

The draft statute enumerates four different categories of war crimes. The first two categories apply to international armed conflicts and are largely based on well-established principles of international law. There is broad support for their inclusion:
A. Grave breaches of the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949

I’ll come back to the rest of the Crimes in a moment, but first, let’s take a look at the applicable Geneva Conventions. You can read the full text of the Geneva Conventions here.

If you read the entire Geneva Conventions document, pay special attention to the following Articles:

Article 3
In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities…shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

Article 17
No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

Article 87
Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishments, imprisonment in premises without daylight and, in general, any form of torture or cruelty, are forbidden.

Article 130
Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, compelling a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of the hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a prisoner of war of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in this Convention.

Back to the ICC Crimes:

B. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts (largely derived from the Hague law, limiting the methods of waging war).
The third and fourth categories of war crimes apply to armed conflicts not of an international character. These categories are drawn from Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Second Additional Protocol to the four Geneva Conventions, respectively. The inclusion of these two provisions is still being debated.

C. In case of an armed conflict not of an international character, serious violations of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (which bars specified acts committed against persons taking no active part in the hostilities)

D. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law (based largely on the Second Additional Protocol to the four Geneva Conventions).

As the above is a summary of the ICC Crimes, if you want detailed information, here.

So, what are these crimes defined by the ICC and how do they relate to the Geneva conventions?

Regarding the crime of Genocide, depending on where you look, there are a lot of dead Iraqis:

One has to wonder how many dead people a genocide makes. In Bosnia, the ethnic cleansing was estimated at around 200,000. Milosevic stood trial at The Hague for that.

Ok, crimes of genocide. Check.

What about the crime of Aggression? Marjorie Cohn says:

Bush’s new doctrine of “preemptive war” is a license to prosecute wars of aggression. It runs directly counter to the United Nations Charter’s prohibition on the use of armed force except in self-defense or when authorized by the Security Council. A preemptive war is a war of aggression. “Operation Iraqi Freedom” falls squarely into this category.

Kofi Annan also challenged the US doctrine of preemptive war saying that it “posed a fundamental challenge to the United Nations and could lead to a global free-for-all.”

So, crimes of aggression. Check.

And then there’s war crimes. Since there are many areas of this, let’s take them one at a time. First up, grave breaches of the four Geneva Conventions.

The Washington Post reports here and here:

In August 2002, the Justice Department advised the White House that torturing al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad “may be justified,” and that international laws against torture “may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations” conducted in President Bush’s war on terrorism, according to a newly obtained memo.

The legal reasoning in the 2002 memo, which covered treatment of al Qaeda detainees in CIA custody, was later used in a March 2003 report by Pentagon lawyers assessing interrogation rules governing the Defense Department’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At that time, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had asked the lawyers to examine the logistical, policy and legal issues associated with interrogation techniques.

In the Justice Department’s view — contained in a 50-page document signed by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee and obtained by The Washington Post — inflicting moderate or fleeting pain does not necessarily constitute torture. Torture, the memo says, “must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”

By contrast, the Army’s Field Manual 34-52, titled “Intelligence Interrogations,” sets more restrictive rules. For example, the Army prohibits pain induced by chemicals or bondage; forcing an individual to stand, sit or kneel in abnormal positions for prolonged periods of time; and food deprivation. Under mental torture, the Army prohibits mock executions, sleep deprivation and chemically induced psychosis.

The Office of Legal Counsel is the federal government’s ultimate legal adviser. The most significant and sensitive topics that the federal government considers are often given to the OLC for review. In this case, the memorandum was signed by Jay S. Bybee, the head of the office at the time. Bybee’s signature gives the document additional authority, making it akin to a binding legal opinion on government policy on interrogations. Bybee has since become a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Perhaps, I should let you decide. To refresh the following is prohibited at any time and at any place whatsoever:

  • Murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture
  • Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment
  • No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion to secure information of any kind
  • Collective punishment
  • Great suffering or serious injury to body or health

Let’s look at what has been done in your name; in the name of the United States of America?

Photos from the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and Salon (some taken from The Raw Story)

And then there are these drawings based on Al Jazeera cameraman’s experiences at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The pictures were created by political cartoonist Lewis Peake (Illustration Art by Lewis Peake: Illustration and Website Design), and came about after Mr. al-Haj’s original drawings were censored by the Pentagon. Mr. al-Haj had shown the drawings to his lawyer, Cori Crider, during a visit last month. Fearing that they would be censored, Ms. Crider asked Mr. al-Haj to provide detailed descriptions of the drawings, which he duly did.

When the drawings were subsequently censored, as anticipated, Reprieve approached Lewis Peake and asked him to create original works based on Mr. al-Haj’s descriptions. The following drawings came from here and here.

Sami al-Haj who was held in captivity, by the United States, for five and a half years. He was sent to Gitmo in 2001 and never saw an attorney until 2004. He was ultimately released without charges being filed against him. Let me repeat; he spent five and a half years in “prison” and no charges were ever filed against him.

Does anyone remember the Maus cartoons from a prisoner’s time at a concentration camp in WWII? Stunningly familiar.

And just today it was reported that another detainee had all charges dropped against him. This man, Mohammed al-Qahtani, was held at Guantanamo since 2002, supposedly as the 20th hijacker on 9/11.

In 2006, Qahtani recanted a confession he said he made after he was tortured. In fact, “Qahtani never made a single statement that was not extracted through torture or the threat of torture,” CCR notes.

Records of the interrogations of Qahtani, however, were “mysteriously lost.” Cameras that “run 24 hours a day at the prison were set to automatically record over their contents,” the Guardian reported last month.

Imagine that. Records disappearing – again. Damn, that is one hungry dog they have there eating all records, emails and everything else.

And the Administration’s take on it? Ooops. My bad. So sorry we tortured you.

And how about Section B, Other serious violations which include targeting civilians, rape, and intentional starvation.

Apparently, the bombs dropped on Iraq, as well as bullets used (in both the first Gulf war and now), are made with depleted uranium (DU). Depleted uranium is the byproduct of enriching uranium (enriched uranium is used to make nuclear weapons, the shit left over is depleted uranium) and, while less potent than enriched uranium, depleted uranium has a half-life of 4.5 BILLION YEARS (yes, that would be Billion with a B). Let’s think about that as we cavalierly discuss strategic nuclear attacks on ANY country (how about it Senators “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” McCain and “obliterate Iran” Clinton?).

While DU is less toxic than enriched uranium, there is no data concerning long-term health effects.

While any radiation exposure has risks, no conclusive epidemiological data have correlated DU exposure to specific human health effects such as cancer. However, the UK government has attributed birth defect claims from a 1991. Gulf War combat veteran to DU poisoning, and studies using cultured cells and laboratory rodents continue to suggest the possibility of leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive, and neurological effects from chronic exposure

Let’s see how this worked out during the first Gulf war. I warn you, these videos are very graphic and not for the faint of heart.

Iraqi Birth Defects

Effects on US Service Men and Women

Iraqi cancers and birth defects have been blamed on US depleted uranium. And it looks like we’re stocking more uranium-rich bombs. Wonderful.

So, would you consider this a war crime? Major Douglas Rokke, a military veteran specializing in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, who was one of the Pentagon’s foremost experts, and now an outspoken critic does.

Rokke labels the use of DU weapons as a war crime and a crime against humanity.
Internal documents show that the US Department of Defense (DoD) has known about the harmful environmental and health consequences of radioactive weapons since 1943. Despite this, the DoD has denied medical care to people exposed to DU, refused to clean up the environmental mess left behind by the weapons and has continued to lie about the adverse health effects for people exposed to depleted uranium.

The harmful effects of DU exposure include respiratory and neurological problems, rashes, cancers, kidney and lung damage, joint and muscle pain, fibromyalgia, cataracts, memory loss, changes in the RNA in DNA, causing genetic birth defects, and a host of other conditions associated with exposure to heavy metal toxicity and radiation.

Potentially, hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and other places are already sick or will become sick due to exposure to DU contamination.

Rokke was tasked to head a team to clean up the contamination left behind by depleted uranium during the 1991 Gulf War. What he found was a toxicological and radiological mess beyond comprehension. He discovered that doctors and nurses didn’t know how to handle the medical cases they were seeing, and there simply was no way to treat all the victims or to clean up the mess left behind.

Of the 700,000 US troops who were in the Gulf during 1991 war, more than 200,000 are disabled from effects of Gulf War Syndrome, a condition believed to be caused by exposure to DU radiation, as well as factors including exposure to chemical agents, biological agents, pesticides, immunisations against anthrax and other diseases, and exposure to pollutants from oil-well fires.

The US does not want to lose DU munitions from their arsenal, Rokke states. A 1991 internal US Army memorandum recognised how effective these weapons were against Iraqi armour, but warned that if the health and environmental impact of these weapons become widely known, their use may become politically unacceptable and they could be removed from the arsenal. Therefore, the memo concluded that this “sensitive issue should be kept in mind when after action reports [on DU] are written”. Rokke’s interpretation of this is that the Pentagon is directing its staff to lie.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has categorised DU weapons, alongside nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, napalm and cluster bombs, as a “weapon of indiscriminate effect”. Iraqis are already suffering a host of health problems due to DU, and these will only increase over the coming decade.

Being an outspoken critic, Rokke, as with everyone who has spoken out against this administration, is now being discredited – and has been the recipient of threats and intimidation.

Is Rokke alone? No.

In addition, Lawyers Against the War state that:

[T]he estimate of the tons of DU the US used in Iraq: 1000-2000 tons – more than three times the amount used in the first Gulf War…only this time it was primarily spread in Iraq’s cities, not on the battlefield.

The uranium and its radioactive decay products will remain toxic for over 4 billion years…and will slowly destroy the genetic future of the Iraqi people.

But the death and destruction will not be contained within the borders of Iraq. Winds will spread it throughout the Middle East and beyond. The US has carried out its omnicidal plan now on Afghanistan and Iraq…what country is next?

Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Kuwait, the Gulf States, and Iran will breathe the invisible war too… and they will share the fate of the Iraqi people, the caretakers of the cradle of civilization.

Lawyers Against the War also reports that ALL soldiers from the UK, upon their return from the Gulf are being checked for uranium cancer. (The Guardian Weekly 20-3-0501, page 4). And the US? In a word, no.

I suppose it doesn’t help Bush that there is corroboration of US backed Afghan allies committing atrocities.

Ok, what do you think? Are these war crimes?

Many lawyer groups, citizens, and countries around the world have chimed in, not just against the Bush Administration, but towards Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of England. Mr. Blair is in a much more precarious position because, unlike George Bush, Blair did not pull out of the ICC, so he can be more readily held to its standards.

Alright, we now know what the whole ICC Crimes and Geneva Conventions are about. Does the Bush Administration fall into any of these categories? Apparently, many think they do.

Based on a book written by two American Civil Liberties Union attorneys:

“[T]he documents show unambiguously that the administration has adopted some of the methods of the most tyrannical regimes,” write Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh. “Documents from Guantanamo describe prisoners shackled in excruciating ‘stress positions,’ held in freezing-cold cells, forcibly stripped, hooded, terrorized with military dogs, and deprived of human contact for months.”

And Jonathan Turley, an attorney who has argued case law in front of the Supreme Court and Professor of Constitutional Law at George Washington University says:

“It is really amazing because Congress — including the Democrats — have avoided any type of investigation into torture because they do not want to deal with the fact that the president ordered war crimes,” Turley told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann Thursday night. “But evidence keeps on coming out…. What you get from this is this was a premeditated and carefully orchestrated torture program. Not torture, but a torture program.”

The president and his aides were very, very careful to go to the lawyers first so they could make a claim they were acting under some assumption of actual authority,” he said. “There really is none.”

Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, recognized as one of San Diego’s top attorneys in academics, who lectures on international human rights and US foreign policy says:

Non-governmental organizations and individuals from sixty-six different countries have filed 499 “communications” – or complaints – with the International Criminal Court (ICC), between July 2002 and July 2003. Many of them urge the ICC to investigate the United States conduct in the war on Iraq. The primary charge is that the U.S. committed an act of aggression against Iraq. The ICC has jurisdiction to punish the crime of aggression.

Bush’s new doctrine of “preemptive war” is a license to prosecute wars of aggression. It runs directly counter to the United Nations Charter’s prohibition on the use of armed force except in self-defense or when authorized by the Security Council. A preemptive war is a war of aggression. “Operation Iraqi Freedom” falls squarely into this category.

More than 50 years ago, Associate United States Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg Tribunal, wrote: “No political or economic situation can justify” the crime of aggression. He added: “If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.” An impartial international criminal tribunal is necessary to prevent “victor’s justice,” where only the vanquished are subject to prosecution.

Under the treaty, the ICC can take jurisdiction over a national of even a non-party state if he or she commits a crime in a state party’s territory. The U.S. vehemently objects to this. But it’s nothing new. Under well-established principles of international law, the core crimes prosecuted in the ICC – genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression – are crimes of universal jurisdiction.

That means that an alleged perpetrator can – and always could – be arrested anywhere.

And then there is a group of Canadian lawyers who have charged Bush with torture.

Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code.

The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial.

You can download their PDF here.

Of course, the Japanese attorneys also want in to this party. Japanese lawyers have also filed a war crimes ‘indictment’ against Bush.

President Bush is being “indicted” for war crimes allegedly committed against the Afghan people since the U.S.-led coalition began its antiterrorism campaign in October 2001, a group of Japanese lawyers announced.

“We believe that attacks on Afghanistan led by the U.S. forces, such as aerial bombings and killings, were a violation of international law,” said Haruhisa Takase, secretary general of the Tokyo-based International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan.

The lawyers are a nongovernmental private group and have neither official status nor authority, according to Takase.

The “indictment” was a device meant to signify the lawyers’ condemnation of U.S. actions in Afghanistan, he said.

Takase contends Bush also may be liable for bombing private facilities and slaying war prisoners.

And the citizens in Japan feel the same way.

A citizens’ tribunal Saturday in Tokyo found U.S. President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms during the U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in Afghanistan in 2001.

The tribunal also issued recommendations for banning depleted uranium shells and other weapons that could indiscriminately harm people, compensating the victims in Afghanistan and reforming the United Nations in light of its failure to stop the U.S.-led operation there.

The tribunal participants spent two years examining Bush’s role as the top commander in the war, making eight field trips to Afghanistan and holding nearly 20 public hearings.

“Bush said that military presence in Afghanistan is self-defense,” said Robert Akroyd, a British lawyer who served as one of the five judges.

“But under international law,” he said, “a defendant must pay great care to discriminate (between) legitimate objects and civilians” in claiming that one’s act is self-defense, said Akroyd, former head of legal studies at Aston University in Britain.

Bush failed to do so with the U.S. military’s use of “indiscriminate weapons such as the Daisy Cutter (a huge conventional bomb), cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells,” he said.

In addition, a Tokyo War Crimes indictment was handed down against George W. Bush for his actions in

But let’s not leave our own attorneys out in the cold. Here is an open letter from the National Lawyers Guild to Senator Congressman John Conyers to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate war crimes:

We write to ask that you take the lead in efforts to appoint special counsel to investigate the top officials of the current US Government executive branch and their leading co-conspirators. The targets of this proposed investigation include, but are not limited to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Stephen Cambone, Douglas Feith, Lewis Libbey, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, Newt Gingrich, and John Ashcroft.

And students and the Civil Rights Defense Committee also joined the party announcing indictments for torture, illegal detention and murder as have many Citizen’s Tribunals around the world.

But the most riveting indictment is this, which was drafted by a panel of jurists including law professors, physicians, and a US diplomat and retired US Army Colonel (which is not the full indictment. Go to the link to download the full indictment.):

The Commission will inquire into the following charges:

Count 1: The Bush administration authorized the use of torture and abuse in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and domestic constitutional and statutory law.
Count 2: The Bush administration authorized the transfer (“rendition”) of persons held in U.S. custody to foreign countries where torture is known to be practiced.
Illegal Detention:

Count 3: The Bush administration authorized the indefinite detention of persons seized in foreign combat zones and in other countries far from any combat zone and denied them the protections of the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war and the protections of the U.S. Constitution.

Count 4: The Bush administration authorized the round-up and detention in the United States of tens of thousands of immigrants on pretextual grounds and held them without charge or trial in violation of international human rights law and domestic constitutional and civil rights law.

Count 5: The Bush administration used military forces to seize and detain indefinitely without charges U.S. citizens, denying them the right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts.

Count 6: The Bush administration committed murder by authorizing the CIA to kill those that the president designates, either US citizens or non-citizens, anywhere in the world.

Attacks on Global Public Health
The Commission will inquire into the following charges:

Count 1: Imposition of Abstinence-Only HIV Prevention Programs–

The Bush administration is using its political influence, aid, and funding in the sphere of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment to advance policies and programs that worsen the AIDS pandemic. Guided by a Christian fundamentalist ideological agenda, the administration is promoting and forcing deadly abstinence-only HIV prevention and sex education programs instead of proven comprehensive programs that comprise consistent and correct use of condoms.

Count 2: Imposition of “Gag-Rule”–
The Bush administration has re-instated the “gag-rule” policy which restricts foreign organizations that receive US funds from using their own, non-U.S., funds to provide legal abortion services or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion. This policy has led to the closing of reproductive health clinics dependent on international funding in very poor parts of the world. In many areas, these clinics have also been the only source of HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs, including the supply of much-needed and life-saving condoms.

Count 3: Distortion of Science–
The Bush administration and its political operatives have distorted sound science and attempted to suppress medical research studies in HIV prevention when it conflicts with the ideology of the Christian Right.

Count 4: Restriction of Generics–
The Bush administration has used its political and economic power to coerce other countries into agreements that severely restrict the manufacture and supply of generic drugs, the only affordable option for most HIV positive people in the Third World.

Which brings us to the meat of this post, the thing you are probably most curious about. Was George W. Bush and people in his administration charged with war crimes? Yes…and no. Several people in the Bush administration have received indictments for war crimes, including George Bush – but, there is a but. Keep reading.

First, let’s start with the only major publication in the United States, The New York Times, that I could find that reported this story on June 20, 2003.

Belgium said it had received lawsuits against President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain under a controversial war crimes law. But it said it had transferred the cases to the United States and Britain, reducing their chances of reaching a court. The Justice Ministry declined to say by whom the lawsuits were filed, but the law allows anyone to bring war crimes charges in Belgian courts. It was recently amended to allow the government to dismiss politically motivated cases by transferring them to the defendants’ home country, as was also done with a recent lawsuit brought by a group of Iraqis against Gen. Tommy R. Franks, commander of allied forces in Iraq. The United States has said it wants Belgium to strike the law altogether.

ONE LOUSY PARAGRAPH?!? The President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have been charged with war crimes against humanity – and basically blown off by giving the countries involved jurisdiction – and we get one lousy paragraph? Give me a break! HELLO, Corporate Media…do your jobs!

CommonDreams had more information (originally reported by Reuters, but no longer available online):

Belgium’s justice ministry said legal authorities had received lawsuits against Bush, Blair and a host of senior U.S. officials for crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ministry was able to send the lawsuits to Britain and the United States on Thursday under the recent change to the genocide law, ministry spokesman Joannes Thuy told Reuters.

“The renewed law makes its possible to send a lawsuit to a country if it has a legal system which can deal with this kind of complaint,” he said.

One lawsuit accused Bush, Blair, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. General Tommy Franks of crimes against humanity in the recent Iraq war, a ministry statement said.

A second lawsuit was against Powell, also regarding the Iraq war.

A third was against Bush, Rumsfeld, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz for crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Well, that’s just dandy. Send the lawsuits back here. I am sure the Justice Department will get some US Attorney right on that.

And then there is this formal complaint sent to the ICC by Health Now also leveling war crime charges against the US and UK.

And what of Donald Rumsfeld, he of known knowns, known unknowns, unknown unknowns or simply not knowing what the hell he’s talking about, the Secretary of Defense at the time?

Criminal charges were sought in 2004 by Wolfgang Kaleck as well as Michael Ratner and Peter Weiss of the U.S.-based Center for Constitutional Rights in German courts against Donald Rumsfeld for war crimes. They were rejected by German Federal Public Prosecutor Kay Nehm with the explanation that criminal prosecution in the nations of the accused and the victims should be given priority.

And on a more current note, on October 27, 2007, Donald Rumsfeld fled France for fear of being arrested:

Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of “ordering and authorizing” torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” for six years.

According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld shouting “murderer” and “war criminal” at the breakfast meeting venue, US embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary’s whereabouts citing “security reasons”.

“Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when US forces were hunting him down,” activist Tanguy Richard said. “He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn’t pay.”

And then, there is this:

When General Tommy Franks, who coordinated the recent U.S.-led military attack on Iraq, was asked about civilian casualties, he shot back: ”We don’t do body counts.”

Last week, a Belgian lawyer filed a lawsuit in Brussels charging Franks with war crimes. The action was submitted on behalf of 19 Iraqis, allegedly victims of cluster bombs and U.S. bombings of civilians, under a law that permits Belgian courts to try foreigners for war crimes.

First, U.S.-led forces targeted and killed many civilians during massive bombing of facilities unrelated to military objectives, such as government ministries serving civilian needs, as well as hospitals, schools and homes.

Secondly, he told IPS, the military used disproportionate force with its so-called ”covering fire” technique, which means indiscriminate shooting at shops, homes and mosques, killing many civilian non-combatants, including women and children.

The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Amnesty International have both called for the establishment of a commission of experts to examine past and recent international war crimes and genocide committed in Iraq.

Listen to an interview with the attorney, Mr. Fermon, who filed the lawsuit here:

And let’s not forget the American attacks on varied news media personnel and offices; media outlets which were not friendly towards our “cause.”

This week, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) challenged a U.S. military accounting of the bombing last April of a hotel in Baghdad in which two journalists were killed.

After an investigation the CPJ concluded there is no evidence that U.S. forces were fired on from the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, where nearly 100 journalists were holed up before the building was shelled by U.S. forces.

The family of a Spanish journalist killed in that attack has already filed a lawsuit against three U.S. soldiers for war crimes and murder. The suit, based on a provision of the Rome Statute (of the International Criminal Court or ICC), could be expanded to include other people, ”independent of their rank or nationality”, said Pilar Hermoso, the attorney for Jose Couso’s family.

But the high court’s chief prosecutor, Eduardo Fungairiño, said this week he opposes the complaint, meaning a delay of 15 days before it is decided if the case will proceed.

”It is very clear that war crimes were committed in Iraq,” says James Jennings, president of Conscience International.

More on that here, here, and here.

So, were they charged or indicted? This is where that Yeah…But comes in. See, it’s like this:

U.S. Threatened with Iraq War Crimes Trial

Ten Iraqi civilians are planning to press war crimes charges against U.S. General Tommy Franks, the commander of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, the American newspaper the Washington Times reported. Iraqis say the U.S. military committed war crimes, including the bombing of a Baghdad market.

The Iraqis, allegedly eyewitnesses and victims of U.S. atrocities, hold coalition forces responsible for numerous crimes, including failing to prevent looting, firing on an ambulance, shooting and injuring Iraqi civilians, causing the deaths of scores of people by bombing a Baghdad marketplace and killing at least ten passengers driving in a civilian bus near the town of Hillah.

“U.S. military officials had the authority but did nothing to stop these war crimes from occurring,” Fermon told the newspaper. “A military commander is responsible for war crimes even if he did not commit or order them, but also if he fails to take all the necessary steps to prevent the atrocities from happening.”

Belgium’s 1993 law of universal jurisdiction allows its courts to prosecute people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes regardless of where the crime occurred or whether the suspects or victims were Belgian.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell recently warned that Belgium was putting its international reputation at stake because of the law. Powell in March was named in a lawsuit filed by the families of Iraqi victims of a U.S. attack on a shelter that killed 400 people during the 1991 Gulf War.

Former U.S. President George Bush senior, and other members of his administration, including then defense secretary and now Vice President Dick Cheney, were also held responsible in the suit.

Really. And then what happened?

War crimes going ahead

A Belgian lawyer is planning to press ahead with a war crimes lawsuit against US General Tommy Franks, despite American anger.

The suit, brought by 19 Iraqis, accuses General Franks of war crimes during the Iraq conflict.
Lawyer Jan Fermon, who is acting on behalf of the Iraqis, described the plaintiffs as victims of cluster bombs and of US attacks on ambulances and civilians.

“We have a very specific case, with specific evidence,” Mr Fermon said. “I do not see how they can reject it.”

Mr Fermon said there were 17 “specific incidents” in which US soldiers and commanders had violated the law.

The BBC’s Justin Webb in Washington says Bush administration officials are making it plain they would regard a prosecution of General Franks as a major diplomatic incident – an example of political harassment.

A senior administration official warned that even the issuing of indictments would result in what he called “diplomatic consequences” for Belgium.

But Mr Fermon hit back at Washington.

“I think either the US State Department has nothing to hide, in which case it’s very important for them to have an independent inquiry – and why can’t it be a Belgian magistrate – or they have something to hide and that’s why they are threatening Belgium,” the lawyer said.

But it’s not just Belgium which risks the wrath of the Bush Administration:

US threatens German relations

The Pentagon made thinly veiled threats on Monday, suggesting US-German relations could be at risk if a criminal complaint filed in German courts over Abu Ghraib proceeds.

The Pentagon expressed concern Monday over a criminal complaint filed in Germany against US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other officials over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, warning that “frivolous lawsuits” could affect the broader US-German relationship. The complaint was filed in Berlin on Nov. 30 by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Berlin’s Republican Lawyers’ Association on behalf of four Iraqis who were alleged to have been mistreated by US soldiers.

Besides Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Steven Cambone, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski and five other military officers who served in Iraq were named in the complaint, which seeks an investigation into their role in the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Indicating the US planned to play a similar game of hardball with Germany, Rumsfeld has informed the German government via the US embassy that he will not take part in the annual Munich security conference in February should the investigation proceed.

Also reported here and more here.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what happened?

Bush (et al) has a typical hissy fit, hold their collective breaths until they turn blue, stomp their feet, and threates whomever they damned well choose:

US anger at war crimes threat

The Bush administration has reacted angrily to suggestions that General Tommy Franks, the commander of the US-led war in Iraq, might be charged with war crimes.

If this prosecution goes ahead, Bush administration officials are making it plain they will regard it as a major diplomatic incident – an example of political harassment.

A senior administration official warned that even the issuing of indictments would result in what he called “diplomatic consequences” for Belgium.

What kind of threat, you ask?

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld threatened to block funding for a new NATO headquarters in Belgium over the law, and said the United States was considering whether it would continue to send officials to meetings in Brussels as long as the law was in place.

Let’s see if I have this straight. We threaten Belgium and Germany over war crimes which were demonstrated to have taken place. What does Belgium do? Well, Belgium dropped the war crimes cases (See this and this.)

Yes, there was controversy surrounding the law, which I will cover in just a moment. The US pressured Belgium to repeal the War Crimes Law and at first, they resisted. Eventually, they caved. While they didn’t repeal the law, they changed it significantly.

Oh, and by the by…Bush Sr. and Ariel Sharon were also to have appeared for war crimes in Belgium under this same law.

So, what’s the deal with this law? The law dates back to 1993 and is controversial because it gives anyone, anywhere in the world, the ability to file war crime charges against foreign leaders, anywhere in the world.

It’s contentious in that politicians say the law can be abused and politicized (and coming from our government, that is definitely something they know quite a lot about). The law flooded Belgium with many lawsuits.

When the law was changed, cases were dismissed against Ariel Sharon, (former President) Bush and Israeli Gen. Amos Yaron on grounds that Belgium courts did not have the jurisdiction to bring them to trial because none of the accused were citizens of Belgium at the time the alleged atrocities were committed. (Take note that this was not dropped due to lack of evidence, but due to jurisdiction.)

The decision to drop these cases high-profile cases will likely make our administration happy as string of lawsuits being brought by independent parties against current President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and the U.S. commander of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Gen. Tommy Franks can now go away quietly. For now.

What’s the saddest part about this?

The Belgian government appeared relieved at the court’s decision. “As long as complaints based on the universal jurisdiction law were not thrown out, we cannot resume (high level) official contacts with the United States,” Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said Wednesday.
“We are satisfied with the decision,” Israeli embassy spokesman Laurent Reichman told AP. “Now, both Belgium and Israel are going to work hard again to have the same friendly relations we had before.”

Swell, we get great friendly relations and governments getting away with murder – literally. What’s wrong with this picture?

Someone remind me what the point of government is again, please. For it is certainly not to protect anyone – well, anyone not in power. Their role? Oh right, they take our tax dollars and give them to people they know. I forgot, sorry.

Let’s recap this, shall we

The following are a compilation of the best bits (excerpts) from the last three links:

Belgium’s government reacted angrily today to mounting American pressure to rescind controversial war crimes legislation, arguing that the country had already addressed Washington’s concerns.

Belgian government officials said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had only made the issue more difficult to deal with by threatening Thursday to find another venue for NATO meetings if Brussels failed to act on United States demands.

”I’d like to once again repeat to Mr. Rumsfeld that Belgium has amended the genocide law,” the country’s foreign minister, Louis Michel, told the country’s state radio on Friday. ”We have changed it precisely to meet the fears of our American friends.”

The law, which allows anyone to bring war crimes charges in Belgian courts, regardless of where the crimes are said to have taken place, was recently amended to allow the government to dismiss politically motivated cases by transferring them to the defendants’ home country. This was done with a recent lawsuit brought by a group of Iraqis against Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the commander of allied forces in Iraq.

But the United States has said it is not satisfied with case-by-case resolutions and wants Belgium to strike the law altogether.

During a meeting of NATO defense ministers here on Thursday, Mr. Rumsfeld said that the United States would have to ”seriously consider” whether it would continue to allow senior American officials to visit Brussels and added that the United States would withhold financing for a new $350 million NATO headquarters in Belgium as long as the law remained on the books. The United States is expected to finance about a quarter of that project.

”This isn’t the way to get them to rescind the law,” one NATO diplomat said late Thursday, referring to Mr. Rumsfeld’s approach. ”People will turn this into plucky little Belgium standing up to the bully, America, disguising the issue that this is a bad law that best be disposed of.”

About 30 such cases have been filed so far, including cases against former President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf for their roles in an incident during the 1991 Persian lf war in which civilians were killed in an attack on a bunker.

So, just what does this new law, which the US so forcefully demanded be changed, say?

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said the latest change would make it harder for foreigners to initiate proceedings under the legislation, which permits Belgian courts to try war and human rights crimes no matter where they were committed.

Reform to the 1993 law would oblige the defendant or victim to have Belgian residency if not citizenship, he said.

Under intense international pressure, Belgian legislators drastically amended it last month. The changes stipulated that human-rights complaints can be filed only if the victim or suspect was a Belgian citizen or long-term resident at the time of the alleged crime. In addition, the Belgian parliament also guaranteed diplomatic immunity for world leaders and other high-level officials visiting the country.

If you’d like to learn more, click here or here. (The last link is a great reference for more information.)

If this administration can intimidate and threaten Brussels (and Germany) in to caving on war crimes, how do the Dems in congress stand a chance?

By the way, Tony Blair, and several others in his administration, Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon, are also in deep doo-doo for being Bush’s poodle. War crimes cases were launched against them. (Details here and here.)

Blair also faces a war crimes suit from Greece.

What happens to Mr. Blair and his cohorts will be interesting to follow because they are subject to the ICC – so, while we may not see Bush or Cheney’s ugly mugs at The Hague in the immediate future, it is likely we will see Mr. Blair and his buddies…and one must wonder, when push comes to shove, what he’ll have to say about the entire matter at that time.

On a positive note, we must remember that all of the people tried for war crimes thus far have been charged and tried after they left office. There remains hope that justice will be served.

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  1. libra said,

    May 13, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Impressive amount of research, MsJ and a good job of tying various — unrelated at first glance – elements together (but I ain’t gonna touch them buttons above; no tellin’ what they might do when pressed)

    I was surprised though, that you hadn’t given a more prominent spotlight to the fact that US has pulled itself out from under ICC’s jurisdiction. The only reference I found (but I might have missed some others; it *was* a long article) was a “sideways” one, towards the end: “What happens to Mr. Blair and his cohorts will be interesting to follow because they are subject to the ICC […]”

    Perhaps one has to have grown up in a system where it was taken for granted that your govt lied to you 24/7 to be cynical enough… I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to US politics at the time, having settled into my “Wanderer” mode (that had passed, and this shall pass also) in 2000 but Bush’s pull out from ICC — in May of 2002; happy 6th anniversary to us! — rang all sorts of loud alarm bells. I didn’t believe, for a second, the official rationale that it was to protect US citizens from frivolous and politically motivated lawsuits; after all, ICC does not accept *every* case brought to it and could easily refuse to consider the frivolous ones.

    No; since there had been no recent crime reported, Bush had to have been cooking some really poisonous stew, and was trying to cover his butt ahead of time. I had no idea what that stew might be, but I was dead-certain there was *something*. Turned out to be the invasion of I-wreck and all the attendant crimes — *intended*, but, as yet, uncommitted.

    It’s amusing that, despite pulling US from under the ICC’s jurisdiction, Bush continued to carp about the details of the laws obtaining — but no longer applying to him, as far as he was concerned — in that court. Perhaps, Yoo’s memos to the contrary, he wasn’t quite certain that his ass wouldn’t end up in a sling one day… It’s dispiriting — though not entirely surprising — that Belgium caved in to him on that score.

    PS One little nitpick… about, midway through your article, just after the mention of the Japanese responses:

    “But let’s not leave our own attorneys out in the cold. Here is an open letter from the National Lawyers Guild to Senator John Conyers to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate war crimes:”

    John Conyers is NOT a Senator; he’s a Representative

  2. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Libra, wonderfully thoughtful comment. Thank you!

    I didn’t go on and on about Bush pulling out of the ICC because I covered it in my Orders, Acts and Lies. Oh My! post.


    Bush pulled out of the ICC before going to war, before the first person was tortured, before almost anything. To say that he wasn;t expecting this would be proposterous. And, the reaction is such that it was expected.

    As said, I eagerly await these criminals going away so that they can then be tried as the war criminals they are. I have my trip all planned for Den Hague – I hope for front row seats and I am bringing pom poms.

  3. May 14, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Good post, but you ruin it by getting all alarmist about DU. The /longer/ the half-life, the /less/ dangerous it generally is because it’s throwing out /fewer/ particles over a period of time. Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 have a half-life which is less than half that of a human adult’s; they are far more dangerous. Furthermore, DU releases primarily alpha particles which are much slower than beta particles and gamma rays and can be stopped by a piece of notebook paper. They can’t even penetrate wet skin.

    DU is normally only dangerous if it’s breathed in, allowing the material to lodge in the lungs and emit for a prolonged period inside the body. DU usually becomes inhalable dust when it pierces metal and when this occurs, the first general concerns have little to do with long-term cancer risk but rather immediate and short-term survivability chances.

  4. Ripley said,

    May 14, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Another solid post. Thanks!

  5. chunque said,

    May 14, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I think this is an adequate analysis of the culture that prproduced Gitmo and Abu Graib:


    Specifically the entry on Juntas:


  6. Sue Ann Edwards said,

    May 14, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I really don’t doubt any of it. I simply consider the issue that needs be addressed, is the Gullibility of the American Public. We’re extremely DENSE for the most part.

  7. roughmagic said,

    May 14, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    You are such a moron that it only took me until the “Genocide” section post to confirm my suspicion that you are a fraud. You are apparently don’t even know the meaning of the word genocide, so what is point in reading further.

    The repeated inference by you and people like you, that President Bush is like Hitler, only weakens your argument and insults the people who truly were victims of real genocide.

    And as far as “torture” goes, can you honestly state that if your children or other family members were in mortal danger and you had access to someone who could give you information that would prevent harm form coming to your loved ones that you wouldn’t do ANYTHING necessary to get that information. if you say “Yes”, you are either a coward or a liar.

    Sue Ann’s post about the gullibility of the American public is correct, unfortunately, she proves that she is among the most credulous by stating that doesn’t doubt any of the nonsense you write.

  8. robscott2007 said,

    May 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Holy cow, that’s an incredible amount of info on an incredible subject. I have to admit I skimmed much of this to return later when I’ve got a bit more time – just thought I’d let you know its a great piece.

  9. SS said,

    May 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Ok. Did a quick skim and stopped as soon as I go to genocide. Why? You are obviously hyping a personal agenda and, though you attempt to present a learned position through fact, you erroneously come to the conclusion of genocide. Have you ever looked at the definition of said word? I doubt it, so I took the liberty of finding it for you:

    gen·o·cide (jěn’ə-sīd’) Pronunciation Key
    n. The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.

    Notice the two words “systemic” and “planned”. Unless you are prepared to prove that the US has systemically planned to remove all Iraqis from the facce of the earth, I fear you have drawn your conclusion in error. War involves death. This war happens to be in Iraq. Guess who dies? Iraquis. To accuse genocide because of a simple fact of war is assinine at best. To present it in the way you have is disengenuous and purposefully misleading. With all of the research you put into this piece, why not be sure of something as simple to find as a definition of one of your core arguments? Failure at it’s best.

    If we are to take your definition of genocide as fact, we’d be guilty of committing genocide against ourselves. Do you know how many died in the Civil War? Was that a genocidal act? Or was it possibly because the war was fought here, where we live. People die in wars. That’s what wars do – kill. To classify war related deaths as a genocidal campaign is simply incorrect.

  10. Dada said,

    May 14, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Nicely done.

    What’s stunning is that if you, in just your spare time, can do all this research and find this info, why the holy hell can’t the media? Or even the folks at the Hague?

    While I’ll stop short of the genocide claim (not sure it really applies, to be honest), can’t really argue with the rest. The dudes need to be doin’ some rottin’ in the Netherlands. And the sooner the better.

  11. FRN said,

    May 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Looks like an interesting post (will have to come back later to finish reading), but there is a problem with your facile conclusion that the Bush administration should be tried for genocide.

    As defined in international law, specifically the Genocide Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

    It isn’t a simple a matter of a bunch of people winding up dead. As the definition makes clear, one can commit genocide (not to mention the related crimes of conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide) without killing a single person. Likewise, one might murder a great multitude of people and yet not commit genocide, because the requisite intent to destroy a particular kind of group as such is lacking.

    No doubt, a case can be made that the Bush administration is guilty of genocide, but you haven’t made it merely by pointing out a large number of dead Iraqis.

  12. Real Doozy said,

    May 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Before anyone else confuses what Genocide is, I suggest they read what Wikipedia has to say about the subject:

    “Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

    While precise definition varies among genocide scholars, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Article 2, of this convention defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
    The posters who disagree with you about the use of this term will undoubtedly be shocked to discover that it is the rest of the world who controls this argument and its eventual outcome. A very tough education for some.
    I took exception at the poster who used the strawman argument that you were either a coward or a liar for not preventing harm from your loved ones. Clearly someone who doesn’t understand that neither themselves or their loved ones will ever be touched by “terrorism”
    I enjoyed your article along with the many useful links, and didn’t hesitate to refer it to some select friends. I wish you great success.

  13. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Why should we not torture? Because torture DOES. NOT. WORK.

    SEN. JOHN McCAIN: First, subjecting prisoners to abuse leads to bad intelligence because under torture a detainee will tell his interrogator anything to make the pain stop.

    Second, mistreatment of our prisoners endangers U.S. troops, who might be captured by the enemy, if not in this war then in the next.

    If you need more references that torture does not work, please go here, here, here, here, here, here or here (subscription required on that last one).

    I am not going to address genocide. I believe the desire to wipe out a group of icky Muslims (for the resources they happen to live on) is sufficient to meet the legal standards. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. I wrote it and I stand by it.

    There’s a reason I take the time to put links in my work. I don’t do it because it takes freaking forever…I do it to support what I wrote. This is not just my opinion, it is the opinion of many around the world.

    Do I have an agenda? My only agenda is to disseminate information, information which you can use or not. That is up to anyone who reads this blog. I think we all need to know what is done in our name.

    As for the depleted uranium, for the poster who said it’s an okie dokie thing, I ask…would you want it in your backyard for 4.5 billion years? I wouldn’t. Proven or not, the massive levels of birth defects (as shown) and the fact that so many soldiers returning from war were affected, that was enough proof for me that it’s an unacceptable way for us to get rid of the crap we are making to completely destroy not just whole populations but whole areas of this planet.

  14. May 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    I just skimmed the post but it looks like you did your research and will need to read the whole article and also the links later.

    I agree with the others on the genocide matter and will be looking for your response in regards to that.

    roughmagic said…

    “And as far as “torture” goes, can you honestly state that if your children or other family members were in mortal danger and you had access to someone who could give you information that would prevent harm form coming to your loved ones that you wouldn’t do ANYTHING necessary to get that information. if you say “Yes”, you are either a coward or a liar.”

    You are a moron for repeating the same old idiotic argument like a good conservative parrot. When the United States government is holding a suspected terrorist the officials in charge are not acting as a family member of someone(s) who may or not be in danger. They are representing a nation ruled by laws set forth by our Constitution and international law which they bound to follow.

    Please name a case where we had a terrorist who if had been tortured would have resulted in stopping a terrorist act? A real one and not one that happened on the show “24”. Every story in the news that I can recall where a possible terrorist act was prevented was by the use of good old investigative work and/or someone involved that snitched.

    Should we get into the other problematic issues in regards to using torture? First, the fact that torture really does not work well. Also, how does one decide that a individual really does have said needed information? Hell, we have already had a number of cases were someone was tortured as a suspected terrorists with information and it turned out they had the wrong person! I can’t believe you are OK with just use torture as an answer.

  15. May 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm


    You beat me in stating that torture simply does not work in my previous comment. 🙂

    I still don’t agree on the genocide thing and not sure just saying it’s your opinion instead of explaining your reasoning is the best way to go. Overall still a great post…

  16. roughmagic said,

    May 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    RealDoozy is indeed true to his or her moniker. Since when is Wikipedia the ultimate source of knowledge? Even assuming that Wikipedia is correct, RealDoozy should have read the entry which clearly states that genocide is, “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group…”. If you consider Al-Qaeda a religious group or terrorists national group, maybe you are right. Excepting either of those positions, you are in error. Where is the proof of “intent to destroy” any group other than the two I mention? Nowhere. I thought I’d answer for you as I am certain you have no answer.

    Your claim that neither I nor any of my loved ones will ever be touched by terrorism would offer more comfort had your psychic abilities been irrefutably proven before you made that prediction. Do you have a toll-free number so that I might find out who will win this year’s best actor award at the Oscars? Seriously, how on earth do you have any idea of what will or will not happen. Unless you’re basing your prognostication on some twisted definition of the word “terrorism”, I can’t imagine why you’d make such an absolutely ridiculous claim. Do tell.

    Finally, that wasn’t a Straw Man. I did not create a non-existent argument against which I could argue, I chose a very specific idea underlying the writer’s post; that torture is wrong under any and all conditions. He or she evidently doesn’t feel the urgency that many others do. I merely placed the argument in a hypothetical situation in which the writer could more acutely understand.

    And I stand by my statement. Anyone who wouldn’t do whatever they had to protect their family, s a coward. Anyone who WOULD, yet says they wouldn’t, is a liar.

  17. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Rough, if you feel urgency, then torture is not the way to go. Apparently, you are under the assumption that torture produces results. It doesn’t. It produces people saying anything to stop the torture. So, if you want expediency, you’re not going to get good information torturing people. Did you click on ANY of the links I provided above? Torture does not work! It does not produce results.

    As for my reasoning for genocide, I did say why I feel that way. This is the ICC definition of genocide:

    For the purpose of this Statute, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;

    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    This supposed War on Terrorism is (again, supposedly) a war against Muslim fundamentalists. I believe that falls under A, B, and C above. Further, if you consider the results of DU being used, that could fall under D.

    I have said my peace and will leave it at that.

    Again, I stand by my original post.

  18. roughmagic said,

    May 14, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Um, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. You said one, do want more? So, yes, torture DOES work, sorry.

    I agree that torture is a terrible thing and should only be used as a last resort, but at least I am being honest. If the only way I could prevent a horrible event occurring was to torture someone who I believed had information that could stop it, I’d say, “Hand me the electrodes”.

    You state that the officials representing us aren’t family members, thereby implying that my argument is invalid. You are dodging the question. If I would do it, it’s okay with me if the officials do it. After all, they represent me. If you honestly would NOT do it, then I understand your objection. I just don’t believe anyone who says they wouldn’t given the circumstances I proposed.

    For the record, I’m a vegetarian; I don’t even kill bugs and I have an Obama sticker on my car. I’m not some crazed, gun totin’, redneck. I just honest.

    It would be great if we could all just give up our weapons and have the whole world get along. To hope for it is one thing, but to believe that it we could actually do it is a naive and dangerous. Do you really believe that if we just “Shut-u and mind our own business” that everything will be fine. I refer you to Osama Bin Laden’s “Letter to the American People”.


    They are not going to stop until America becomes a Muslim nation and I don’t look good in a beard.

    • Liam Neberieza said,

      March 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      LOL. @ torture works using K.S.M. as an example. I still find it very telling that if you say torture works, why did K.M.S. forget to mention the three most lethal attacks (Madrid, London, and Glasgow) during the 183 times we used Chinese water torture on him? I’m not going to use the euphemism of water boarding when in fact I just told you what it really is.

  19. roughmagic said,

    May 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Dear Ms Joanne,

    Hopefully I won’t get fired before I can finish this post!

    So, by your definition, attempts by city governments to rid their cities of street gangs would be genocide? I’m a Presbyterian. If I and some of my fellow church members decide we want to take-over City Hall and we are killed in the process, are we victims of genocide? No, we’d just be a bunch of crazy idiots who belong to the same religion. I respectfully wish to say, “Aw, c’mon girl!”

    If I have misunderstood your point, please set me straight.

  20. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    This is not MY definition. This is the definition by the International Criminal Court. The ICC is the group which hold tribunals at The Hague. I provided a link above.

    I am not going to debate this with you. We do not torture prisoners if they are imprisoned for gang activities (well, not that I know of). You’re using a strawman argument and I think it’s pointless to continue trying to discuss it with you.

  21. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    BTW, thanks for stopping by, DaddyO! It’s GREAT to see your pixels here!

  22. roughmagic said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I know what the ICC is and I have actually been to The Hague, thank you very much.

    My last post dealt specifically with your genocide claims and had nothing to do with torture, so it is you who are employing the Straw Man. I am not over-simplifying you point, I’m applying it to real world situations.

    The fact that it all sounds silly is more the fault of your argument than my response to it.

    You say we are killing some terrorists because they are Muslim. I say we are killing some Muslims because they are terrorists.

  23. Sue Ann Edwards said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I can recognize the clarion call of a sniveling neurotic when I hear one. All Hail the Chief, who’s been quite honest in saying “security” is an issue. But quite ignorant in not claiming it as a PSYCHOLOGICAL state of mind….his. That’s called being “neurotic” . As per the behavior of all neurotics, control freaks abound, paying no head nor mind to concepts such as Principals, Integrity nor Honor, all in favor of feeding the emotional needs of developmental incompetents.

  24. mikeinportc said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    MsJoanne , impressive work . ( I don’t have time to read it all now, but will)
    A couple more things to add . Article 49 violations . It’s against the Geneva Conventions to transport prisoners captured in an occupied territory , out of said territory . So, every non-Cuban prisoner in Guantanamo (~700 now?) , and any others that have been moved , represent a crime .
    Today’s Washington Post article (Day 4) on immigration detainees contains more crimes . Apparently ICE has been routinely drugging people being deported , during the whole process, in violation of several ( many?) international laws . More counts, and names for the indictments . 😉

    The National Lawyers Guild has developed an indictment here :

    Click to access Impeachment%20resolution.pdf

    I found this because of your comment on TPM . I meant to send you a message about a contact’s anti-torture blog ( I have some limited involvement), but alas no contact info . (Good ol’ WordPress ) .

    Humanity Against Crimes

    Cageprisoners Ltd is a site about and for the prisoners .


    My email ( if needed) is mikeinportc@yahoo.com .

    – Mike

  25. Kevin Simms said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    MsJoanne, roughmagic is obviously a moron. There is no point in debating morons.

  26. roughmagic said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm


    Obviously you have no valid argument or you’d have offered one. An ad hominem attack is always a predictable move when the other party realizes they are beaten.

    Those of you, like Kevin, who lack the wit to present a reasoned argument or those of you not wishing to be taken to task when you make a poorly reasoned one should just continue to babble quietly to yourselves and not display your shortcomings on the internet for all the world to see.


  27. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Roughmagic, unfortunately, it is you who is showing your shortcomings of comprehension and ability to make cohesive arguments.

    You have your beliefs. Fine. But you also use faulty and flawed logic to make your beliefs statement of fact.

  28. roughmagic said,

    May 14, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Take your time and show me my faults and flaws. When I think someone is wrong, I point out specific elements of their post that back-up my point. I respond with answers. Asked to name a case where torture worked, I say “Khaled Sheikh Mohammed”. Argument/Rebuttal. What’s not cohesive about that?

    I responded to your post about genocide with a scenario reducing your point, admittedly, to it’s most ridiculous, yet logical conclusion and I got a reply that says nothing about genocide, but instead tries to throw the focus on torture.

    Of course, you at least have the guts to argue,unlike Kevin who seems happy just to call me a moron. Maybe I AM a moron, but I’m not hiding under my desk, afraid to actually put something out there.

    Last, I haven’t tried to prove anything a fact. I merely said that I believe torture is sometimes necessary and that it DOES work. That’s it, so please don’t get your knickers in a twist.

  29. Real Doozy said,

    May 14, 2008 at 7:04 pm


    Torture is not acceptable for a number of reasons. In my mind among the strongest reasons are it reduces the United States to the moral levels of what Nazi Germany and the Soviet Gulags subjected their citizens and captured soldiers to. Further, it doesn’t work.

    According to former CIA boss, Bob Baer: CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda’s toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

    “The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law,” said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

    The techniques are controversial among experienced intelligence agency and military interrogators. Many feel that a confession obtained this way is an unreliable tool. Two experienced officers have told ABC that there is little to be gained by these techniques that could not be more effectively gained by a methodical, careful, psychologically based interrogation. According to a classified report prepared by the CIA Inspector General John Helgerwon and issued in 2004, the techniques “appeared to constitute cruel, and degrading treatment under the (Geneva) convention,” the New York Times reported on Nov. 9, 2005.

    It is “bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture’s bad enough,”

    The full article can be found here : http://tinyurl.com/5lacrt

    Finally you lay the groundwork for the enemy to adopt the same techniques. If torture of your kid, or your neighbors kid is ok with you, perhaps they can end up running for president like John McCain who may or may not have neurological damage. We simply don’t know, since he won’t release his medication list. Nor do we know whether or not that the five and a half years of Soviet brain perversion techniques worked or not. Nor do we know if the governments of Cuba, Vietnam or Russia have a file somewhere which could be used to blackmail a possible future American president.

    Seems to me that torture would be better if left off of the table.

  30. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 7:23 pm


    I apologize to those whose comments went into the Spam folder. Links do that and I just realized that they were there.

    I value everyone’s comments absolutely (whether I agree with them or not).

    Thank you all for taking the time to read my words and even more so for adding your own voice.

  31. Noonien said,

    May 14, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    So, just out of curiosity, how would you have run the country?

  32. MsJoanne said,

    May 14, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    How would I have run the country? Let’s see:

    – Read the PDR’s to see about that whole Osama intent on attacking the US thing which may have stopped 9/11 from happening.

    – Not citing Executive Privilege for anything and everything.

    – Not signed secret executive orders, signing statements, and house directives which are not public.

    – Not cooked up “intelligence” about weapons of mass destruction to go into a war of choice.

    – Not call people unpatriotic for speaking out against the government.

    – Not using fear, threats or intimidation (think “impending mushroom cloud” ) to scare people on a daily basis.

    – Not outted a covert CIA agent whose job was to stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East because her husband dared to speak out against the government – ruining more than 20 years of building up those intelligence gathering capabilities.

    – Not outsourced the military to private companies who rake in billions in taxpayer dollars so they can pay mercenaries 5x the amount they pay our patriotic soldiers, marines, and airmen and women.

    – Not allowed said mercenary companies to let their employees rape Americans and bury it in arbitration.

    – Taken the billions we are wasting in Iraq and hired American workers to rebuild our deteriorating infrastructure so maybe we won’t have any more bridges collapse as one did in MN.

    – Stopped outsourcing key functions within the government where security is an issue (think Obama and Clinton and passports).

    – Not had the energy companies dictating our energy policy as they did with Cheney’s Energy Task Force.

    – Looked into the mass gouging of Americans while oil companies are making record profits quarter after quarter after quarter.

    – Not give tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of the population.

    – Not veto S/CHIP.

    – Not lie about anything and everything.

    That’s off the top of my head. Give me time and I will solve some others, too.

    BTW, what kind of moronic question was that, anyway? Just asking.

  33. mikeinportc said,

    May 14, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    —————– COMMENT DELETED ——————

    Mike, your original post, with the links intact, are above at comment 24. I am deleting this for space sake.

    Thank you for your very thoughtful post. I hope you get around to reading mine in full at some point.


  34. Alex said,

    May 14, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Excellent stuff. After the horrible lasting effects of land mines, I can’t believe people are using depleted uranium in so-called “conventional” weapons.

    One thing you may not know about, since it’s not mentioned in the article, is white phosphorous. They’ve been using this stuff and trying to cover it up. On contact, this substance burns through the flesh until it is completely consumed, and a very small amount will reach the bone before donig so.

    They’ve referred to scattering this substance amid explosive as the “shake and bake” combination, but have since denied its use except to create smoke for target identifying and cover.


  35. May 15, 2008 at 8:45 am


    “Take your time and show me my faults and flaws. When I think someone is wrong, I point out specific elements of their post that back-up my point. I respond with answers. Asked to name a case where torture worked, I say “Khaled Sheikh Mohammed”. Argument/Rebuttal. What’s not cohesive about that?”

    I had asked for a case where torture resulted in stopping a terrorist attack. All you gave was a name… Khaled Sheikh Mohammed was tortured and he confessed to many things including I am sure how many times he masturbated as a kid. Please give a link that provides information on what terrorist act was prevented becuase he was tortured. You call this a rebuttal?

    From Wikipedia… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_Shaikh_Mohammed

    “One CIA official cautioned that “many of Mohammed’s claims during interrogation were ‘white noise’ designed to send the U.S. on wild goose chases or to get him through the day’s interrogation session.” For example according to Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent and the top Republican on the terrorism panel of the House Intelligence Committee, he has admitted responsibility for the Bali nightclub bombing, but his involvement “could have been as small as arranging a safe house for travel. It could have been arranging finance.” Mohammed also made the admission that he was “responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center Operation”, which killed six and injured more than 1,000 when a bomb was detonated in an underground garage, Mohammed did not plan the attack, but he may have supported it. Dr. Michael Welner noted that by offering legitimate information to interrogators, Mohammed had secured the leverage to provide disinformation as well.”

  36. roughmagic said,

    May 15, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    You are correct, I should have given you links, but I thought since everyone seems to be fairly knowledgeable regarding the subject that you would already be familiar with the facts. Here are two links, but your own link to Wikipedia offers some of the same information.



    I’m afraid I won’t be able to spend the day posting things today, so let me just reply in advance to some of the statements I expect to see after I post this.

    Yes, the articles cited above say that torture doesn’t ALWAYS work. I never said it did.

    Yes, one of the sources is an interview by the evil Bill O’Reilly, but that doesn’t automatically make it worthless.

    I imagine a great cheer will rise-up, but I don’t expect to be back reading this blog in the near future. I initially thought it was a serious, if somewhat misguided endeavor, but I now see that I was wrong.

    Ms Joanne’s continued repetition of the tired old “Bush Lied” nonsense in her “How would I have run the country?” post just shows me how willing she is to ignore facts in favor of factoids. I don’t even like President Bush, but I’m really sick of the fact that both political parties can’t seem to make a point without lying about the other side. No good can come from arguing from a platform built on falsehood. If you can’t make your point with truth, you don’t have a point worth making.

    Here are just two of the real whoppers.

    “- Not cooked up “intelligence” about weapons of mass destruction to go into a war of choice.”

    This is my favorite canard used by Bush/Republican haters. Here’s a SHORT list of Democrats who also thought there were WMDs.

    “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.” Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

    “We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.” Madeline Albright, Secretary of State, Feb 1, 1998 |

    “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.” Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” Letter to President Clinton from Democrat senators Carl Levin,
    Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

    “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Dec. 16, 1998

    “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his
    continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…” Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA, Jan. 23. 2003

    “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them.” Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sept. 19, 2002

    “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

    “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sept. 27, 2002

    “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…” Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), Oct. 3, 2002

    “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Oct 10, 2002

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to
    increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.” Sen. Hillary Clinton (D- NY), Oct 10, 2002

    Now, maybe you think President Bush knew the information was wrong. Well, if he’s an idiot, as many of you think he is, how come he was smart enough to figure it out when all the “smart” people couldn’t?

    “- Not outted a covert CIA agent”

    Plume was Classified, not covert. It’s hard to be covert when you’re showing up at Langley on a regular basis. You can say she was covert ’til Jesus walks down Wilshire, but it just isn’t so.


    Well, that’s it for me. I hope some of you wake up and decide that it’s better to be truthful than it is to just back a particular party, right or wrong.

  37. Real Doozy said,

    May 15, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    The Democrat short list you posted were merely misled by the same government and its operatives that the rest of us were.

    From: Bart (
    Subject: recently-retired head of CIA in Europe on how Bush cooked intelligence to go to war against Iraq
    Date: February 1, 2007 at 4:44 am PST

    DER SPIEGEL ONLINE – January 29, 2007, 12:50 PM
    URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,462782,00.html

    “We Probably Gave Powell the Wrong Speech”

    The former chief of the CIA’s Europe division, Tyler Drumheller, discusses the United States foreign intelligence service’s cooperation with Germany, the covert kidnapping of suspected terrorists and a Bush adminstration that ignored CIA advice and used whatever information it could find to justify an invasion of Iraq.

    SPIEGEL: Mr. Drumheller, do you still dare to travel to Europe?

    Drumheller: Yes, absolutely. I was a great friend of the Europeans. I grew up in Wiesbaden. I love Germany very much.

    SPIEGEL: Arrest warrants have been issued in Europe for a number of your former colleagues. They are suspected of involvement in the illegal kidnappings of suspected terrorists as part of the so-called “renditions” program. Doesn’t this worry you?

    Drumheller: No. I’m not worried, but I am not allowed to discuss the issue.

    SPIEGEL: One of the cases is the now famous kidnapping of Khalid el-Masri, a German-Lebanese who was taken into custody at the end of 2003 in Macedonia and later flown to Afghanistan. How could the CIA allow an innocent person to be arrested?

    Drumheller: I’m not allowed by the agency to comment on any of those cases or the so-called “secret prisons.” I would love to, but I can’t. We have a life-long secrecy agreement and they are very, very strict about what you can say.

    SPIEGEL: The renditions program saw the kidnapping of suspected Islamist extremists to third countries. Were you involved in the program?

    Drumheller: I would be lying if I said no. I have very complicated feelings about the whole issue. I do see the purpose of renditions, if they are carried out properly. Guys sitting around talking about carrying out attacks as they smoke their pipes in the comfort of a European capital tend to get put off the idea if they learn that a like-minded individual has been plucked out of safety and sent elsewhere to pay for his crimes.

    SPIEGEL: We disagree. At the very least, you need to be certain that the targets of those renditions aren’t innocent people.

    Drumheller: It was Vice President Dick Cheney who talked about the “dark side” we have to turn on. When he spoke those words, he was articulating a policy that amounted to “go out and get them.” His remarks were evidence of the underlying approach of the administration, which was basically to turn the military and the agency loose and let them pay for the consequences of any unfortunate — or illegal — occurences.

    SPIEGEL: So there was no clear guidance of what is allowed in the so called “war on terrorism”?

    Martin H. Simon
    Tyler Drumheller, 54, had a 25- year career working for the CIA. In 2001, he was promoted to become the American intelligence agency’s chief of European operations. The spectacular kidnappings of suspected al- Qaida terrorists — including the German- Syrian Mohammed Haydar Zammar and the German- Syrian Khaled el- Masri — by CIA commandos happened under his watch. Drumheller, who retired in 2005, recently published his memoir, “On the Brink,” in the United States.

    Drumheller: Every responsible chief in the CIA knows that the more covert the action, the greater the need for a clear policy and a defined target. I once had to brief Condoleezza Rice on a rendition operation, and her chief concern was not whether it was the right thing to do, but what the president would think about it. I would have expected a big meeting, a debate about whether to proceed with the plan, a couple of hours of consideration of the pros and cons. We should have been talking about the value of the target, whether the threat he presented warranted such a potentially controversial intervention. This is no way to run a covert policy. If the White House wants to take extraordinary measures to win, it can’t just let things go through without any discussion about their value and morality.

    SPIEGEL: Perhaps the White House wanted to gloss over its own responsibility.

    Drumheller: Let me give you a general thought: From the perspective of the White House, it was smart to blur the lines about what was acceptable and what was not in the war on terrorism. It meant that whenever someone was overzealous in some dark interrogation cell, President (George W.) Bush and his entourage could blame someone else. The rendition teams are drawn from paramilitary officers who are brave and colorful. They are the men who went into Baghdad before the bombs and into Afghanistan before the army. If they didn’t do paramilitary actions for a living, they would probably be robbing banks. Perhaps the Bush Administration deliberately created a gray area on renditions.

    SPIEGEL: Investigations in the European Parliament and the German parliament, the Bundestag, are trying to ascertain the extent to which European governments cooperated with the CIA after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. How close is the relationship?

    Drumheller: On terrorist issues very closely — we did some very good things with the Europeans. Two weeks after Sept. 11, August Hanning (the head of the German foreign intelligence service, the BND) came with a delegation to discuss how we can make cooperation better. Elements of the Bush administration developed the view that European personal privacy laws were somehow to blame, that the Europeans are too slow. We can be very frustrating to work with. I always said, ‘Stop preaching to them.’ The Europeans have been dealing with terrorism for years, we can learn from their successes and failures. Its not a good spy story, but it’s actually how you do this.

    SPIEGEL: How important is Europe to the CIA?

    Drumheller: The only way we will ever be able to protect ourselves properly is if we can get a handle on the threat in Europe, since that is the continent where fanatics can best learn their most crucial lesson: How to disappear in a Western crowd. Europe has become the first line of defense for the United States. It has become a training ground for terrorists, especially since the war in Iraq has heralded an underground railroad for militants to go and fight there. It is being used for young fanatics in Europe to be smuggled into Iraq to fight Americans and, assuming they survive, to return home, where they present a more potent threat than they did before they left. Since the odds against penetrating the top of al-Qaida are phenomenally high, we must pursue the foot soldiers.

    SPIEGEL: But given the uproar in Germany and all over Europe, it looks highly unlikely that they will cooperate fully with the CIA.

    Drumheller: The guys who attacked the World Trade Center didn’t fly from Kabul to New York. They came from Hamburg. So the value in befriending the local intelligence services in Europe instead of alienating them is clear: We need to ensure that they are telling us everything they know.

    SPIEGEL: But it was your agency that was coming up with all the wrong information concerning Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. To what degree is the intelligence community responsible for the disaster?

    Drumheller: The agency is not blameless and no president on my watch has had a spotless record when it comes to the CIA. But never before have I seen the manipulation of intelligence that has played out since Bush took office. As chief of Europe I had a front-row seat from which to observe the unprecedented drive for intelligence justifying the Iraq war.

    SPIEGEL: One of the crucial bits of information the Bush administration used to justify the invasion was the supposed existence of mobile biological weapons laboratories. That came from a German BND source who was given the code- name “Curveball.” An offical investigation in the United States concluded that of all of the false statements that were made, this was the most damaging of all.

    Drumheller: I think it is, it was a centerpiece. Curveball was an Iraqi who claimed to be an engineer working on the biological weapons program. When he became an asylum-seeker in Germany, the BND questioned him and produced a large number of reports that were passed here through the Defense Intelligence Agency. Curveball was a sort of clever fellow who carried on about his story and kept everybody pretty well convinced for a long time.

    SPIEGEL: There are more than a few critics in Washington who claim that the Germans, because of Curveball, bear a large part of the repsonsibility for the intelligence mess.

    Drumheller: There was no effort by the Germans to influence anybody from the beginning. Very senior officials in the BND expressed their doubts, that there may be problems with this guy. They were very professional. I know that there are people at the CIA who think the Germans could have set stronger caveats. But nobody says: “Here’s a great intel report, but we don’t believe it.” There were also questions inside the CIA’s analytical section, but as it went forward, this information was seized without caveats. The administration wanted to make the case for war with Iraq. They needed a tangible thing, they needed the German stuff. They couldn’t go to war based just on the fact that they wanted to change the Middle East. They needed to have something threatening to which they were reacting.

    SPIEGEL: The German government was convinced that “Curveball” would not be used in the now famous presentation that then US Secretary of State Colin Powell gave in 2003 before the United Nations Security Council.

    Drumheller: I had assured my German friends that it wouldn’t be in the speech. I really thought that I had put it to bed. I had warned the CIA deputy John McLaughlin that this case could be fabricated. The night before the speech, then CIA director George Tenet called me at home. I said: “Hey Boss, be careful with that German report. It’s supposed to be taken out. There are a lot of problems with that.” He said: “Yeah, yeah. Right. Dont worry about that.”

    SPIEGEL: But it turned out to be the centerpiece in Powell’s presentation — and nobody had told him about the doubts.

    Drumheller: I turned on the TV in my office, and there it was. So the first thing I thought, having worked in the government all my life, was that we probably gave Powell the wrong speech. We checked our files and found out that they had just ignored it.

    SPIEGEL: So the White House just ignored the fact that the whole story might have been untrue?

    Drumheller: The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy. Right before the war, I said to a very senior CIA officer: “You guys must have something else,” because you always think it’s the CIA. “There is some secret thing I don`t know.” He said: “No. But when we get to Baghdad, we are going to find warehouses full of stuff. Nobody is going to remember all of this.”

    SPIEGEL: After the war, the CIA was finally able to talk to “Curveball” — something the BND had never allowed before. What was the result?

    Drumheller: In March 2004, a fluent German-speaking officer, one of my best guys, who had a scientific background went to Germany and worked for about two weeks. Finally, at the end of it, Curveball just sort of sat back and said: “I don’t have anything more to say.” But he never admitted. People here always ask, was he polygraphed? Well, lie detector tests aren’t used very much in Germany.

    SPIEGEL: Do you think it would have make a difference if the Germans had allowed you to question Curveball earlier?

    Drumheller: If they had allowed us to question him the way we did in March of 2004, it would have. Maybe the whole story would have turned out in a different way.

    SPIEGEL: In your book, you mention a very high-ranking source who told the CIA before the war that Iraq had no large active WMD program. It has been reported that the source was Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Naji Sabri.

    Drumheller: I’m not allowed to say who that was. In the beginning, the administration was very excited that we had a high-level penetration, and the president was informed. I don’t think anybody else had a source in Saddam’s cabinet. He told us that Iraq had no biological weapons, just the research. Everything else had been destroyed after the first Gulf War. But after a while we didn’t get any questions back. Finally the administration came and said that they were really not interested in what he had to say. They were interested in getting him to defect. In the end we did get permission to get back to the source, and that came from Tenet. I think without checking with the White House, he just said: “Okay. Go ahead and see what you can do.”

    SPIEGEL: So what happened?

    Drumheller: There were a lot of ironies throughout this whole story. We went on a sort of worldwide chase after this fellow, and in the end, he was in one place, and our officer was in another country asking for permission to travel. I called up people who were controlling operations, and they said: “Don’t worry about it. It’s too late now. The war is on. The next time you see this guy, it will be at a war crimes tribunal.”

    SPIEGEL: Should you have pressed harder?

    Drumheller: We made mistakes. And it may suit the White House to have people believe in a black and white version of reality — that it could have avoided the Iraq war if the CIA had only given it a true picture of Saddam’s armaments. But the truth is that the White House believed what it wanted to believe. I have done very little in my life except go to school and work for the CIA. Intellectually I think I did everything I could. Emotionally you always think you should have something more.

    Interview conducted by Georg Mascolo and Holger Stark.

    In regard to Valerie Plame’s covert status the definitive answer is here:

    According to this Newsweek article titled “The CIA Leak: Plame Was Still
    Covert” by Michael Isikoff and dated Feb. 13, 2006, special prosecutor
    Patrick Fitzgerald made a determination on this matter.

    “But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed
    done ‘covert work overseas’ on counterproliferation matters in the past
    five years, and the CIA ‘was making specific efforts to conceal’ her
    identity, according to newly released portions of a judge’s opinion.”

    US Code (USC) TITLE 50, CHAPTER 15, SUBCHAPTER IV, § 426, (4) covers one
    definition of being a covert agent.

    “The term ‘covert agent’ means—
    (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or
    a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an
    intelligence agency—
    (i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified
    information, and
    (ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five
    years served outside the United States; …”

    Under the above definition and the assertion by Patrick Fitzgerald, Valerie
    Plame, also know as Valerie Wilson, was considered a CIA covert agent when
    Robert Novak’s July 14, 2003 column was published in the Washington Post.

    “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency
    operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials
    told me that Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the
    Italian report. The CIA says its counterproliferation officials selected
    Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.”

    After Alberto Gonzales gave the White House 24 hours to clear their records before he seized it, I knew there would not be a principal conviction of those truly responsible for this great treason. I would have been eminently satisfied if they locked up Novak for life. Too bad.

    There is probably no one on the face of this planet who, after reading your posts on this blog, would consider you a non-partisan truth seeker.

    The only reason you choose to continue to post elsewhere is simply because you can’t handle the truth, and probably find greater solace from the right wing retarded blogs you uniquely identify with.

  38. Sue Ann Edwards said,

    May 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Gently smiling…those of us who resort to the use of force and coersion, are always weak emotionally, serving License rather then Liberty, for Liberty is the freedom of choice while claiming responsibility for the costs & consequences of those choices, while License is insisting on freedom of choice while denying the costs and consequences of those choices.

    I am in charge of the peptide production of my hypothalamus, as we all our, each and every single one of us. And in case we’re not aware of it, when these peptides flood our physical systems, we call it “emotion”.

    And for those of us who do NOT claim our feelings as exactly that, ours, I illuminate the choice of being irresponsible and unaccountable for the use of volitional will, in NOT being Self governing when it comes to ideas in our heads AND the way those ideas are associated together.

    It’s what is known as discipline and it is what separates our responses from the instinctual levels of beasts.

  39. Richard said,

    May 15, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Oh, my God!! The Bush Crimes Commission! I’m sure he’s shaking in his cowboy-boots. Who the f–k cares what a 4th rate commission formed for strictly political purposes thinks about ANYTHING?

    And “citizens tribunals”?? I’m laughing! Hey, my associate and I just formed the ACOMTC, The Attorneys Commission On Meaningless Tribunals and Commissions and we find you guilty of hebetudinous thought and intent to commit nincompoopery.

    “Abandon New Orleans”? Read the Constitution, it’s not the Federal Government’s job to push aside State Government. Read the facts! As if you’d recognize one. Bush is the President. He won fair and square; get over it and do something constructive with your life.

    Oh, and where was your outrage when Clinton pressured NATO into bombing Yugoslavia. Wait, he’s a Democrat, so it’s ok. Or when Clinton turned his back on Rwanda? Dang! That Democrat thing again.

    You’re a two-faced, self-serving nitwit, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Please stop lying to yourself and to others; you are doing more harm than good.

  40. MsJoanne said,

    May 15, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    I am not going to waste my time answering all the crap. First, a reference to the National Review Online (a site which includes Liberal Fascism as a topic-why don’t you use Newsmax, too? Just as much right wing bullshit, period).

    Valerie Plame was a covert agent. Here is an unclassified document from the Scooter Libby trial.


    As for lying us into war? Give me a break.

    Let’s look at the ever-changing reasons we have been given for going to war:

    WMD – none
    Link to 9/11 – none
    Hussein is evil – ok, so were and are many others
    Freedom for Iraqis – I am sure they love their freedom; from water, electricity, food. and often life
    Safety of the world – which is now less safe, as is America
    Bringing democracy – yeah, our puppets which we instilled

    And I love that the right wingers are jumping in. Hitting a nerve, am I?


  41. roughmagic said,

    May 15, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Your blog is like driving past an accident; you want to look away, but can’t. And so, I find myself here again. Gosh, you DO like labels don’t you?

    I thought maybe you’d at least TRY to refute some of what I wrote, but I see that you are not up to the challenge. All you able to do was dismiss my source and toss out one of YOUR sources. A source which one might well claim was all LEFT-wing bullshit. A point for me.

    Then, you totally side-step THE FACTS again by failing to say anything about the huge list of Democrats who also thought there were WMDs and are now changing your argument slightly by shifting focus to the various reasons for our being in Iraq. Another excellent high school debate tactic. Another point for me.

    Yes, you’ve hit a nerve. Not with a stunning grasp of the truth or with any well reasoned argument, but with your dogged determination ignore the facts because they are like Kryptonite to your “logic”. A mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste as your mushy and gap-riddled arguments have shown. Your faux pleasure at “right-wingers” is cute, but transparent. Much like Hillary’s phony laughter when she is asked a difficult question. I can tell that you are truly upset that a few people with opposing views and the brain power to express them cogently and concisely have left you virtually speechless and unable to respond with anything better than, “I am not going to waste my time answering all the crap.”

    As you seem comfortable playing fast and loose with the facts and with the integrity of the debate process, I see no point in further attempts to set you straight. I promise I’ll TRY to stay away, but please stop making it so tempting for me. BTW, your agenda is showing.

  42. MsJoanne said,

    May 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    No, your FACTS are a joke. Nothing worth responding to.

  43. roughmagic said,

    May 15, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for proving my point about your inability to respond with anything even approaching a logical argument; you’ve just done it again. I rest my case.

    Ciao bella

  44. MsJoanne said,

    May 15, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Ciao, doll…watch the door on your way out and all.

  45. Real Doozy said,

    May 15, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Regarding Plame:

    According to this Newsweek article titled “The CIA Leak: Plame Was Still
    Covert” by Michael Isikoff and dated Feb. 13, 2006, special prosecutor
    Patrick Fitzgerald made a determination on this matter.

    “But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed
    done ‘covert work overseas’ on counterproliferation matters in the past
    five years, and the CIA ‘was making specific efforts to conceal’ her
    identity, according to newly released portions of a judge’s opinion.”

    US Code (USC) TITLE 50, CHAPTER 15, SUBCHAPTER IV, § 426, (4) covers one
    definition of being a covert agent.

    “The term ‘covert agent’ means—
    (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or
    a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an
    intelligence agency—
    (i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified
    information, and
    (ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five
    years served outside the United States; …”

    Under the above definition and the assertion by Patrick Fitzgerald, Valerie
    Plame, also know as Valerie Wilson, was considered a CIA covert agent when
    Robert Novak’s July 14, 2003 column was published in the Washington Post.

    “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency
    operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials
    told me that Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the
    Italian report. The CIA says its counterproliferation officials selected
    Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.”

    Treason is a pretty ugly thing to have hanging around your neck. I can understand the right wing’s desperate need to keep revising the truth to avoid the charge. Unfortunately, history has them nailed to the wall.

    I must make the case that longiloquent priggism is now and has apparently been a mainstay of poster Richard’s prevarications. To start, Richard is interpersonally exploitative. That is, a yes-man who nourishes rapacious, obstinate ideologies.

    It’s one thing to substitute rumor and gossip for bona fide evidence, but wanting to foist the most poisonously false and destructive myths imaginable upon us is indubitably going too far. Raising the volume, increasing the stridency, or stressing the emotionalism of an argument does not improve its validity.

    Get over yourself Richard, you need to stop living in a fools paradise.

  46. Real Doozy said,

    May 15, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Regarding Plame:

    According to this Newsweek article titled “The CIA Leak: Plame Was Still
    Covert” by Michael Isikoff and dated Feb. 13, 2006, special prosecutor
    Patrick Fitzgerald made a determination on this matter.

    “But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed
    done ‘covert work overseas’ on counterproliferation matters in the past
    five years, and the CIA ‘was making specific efforts to conceal’ her
    identity, according to newly released portions of a judge’s opinion.”

    US Code (USC) TITLE 50, CHAPTER 15, SUBCHAPTER IV, § 426, (4) covers one
    definition of being a covert agent.

    “The term ‘covert agent’ means—
    (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or
    a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an
    intelligence agency—
    (i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified
    information, and
    (ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five
    years served outside the United States; …”

    Under the above definition and the assertion by Patrick Fitzgerald, Valerie
    Plame, also know as Valerie Wilson, was considered a CIA covert agent when
    Robert Novak’s July 14, 2003 column was published in the Washington Post.

    “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency
    operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials
    told me that Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the
    Italian report. The CIA says its counterproliferation officials selected
    Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.”

    Treason is a mighty ugly thing to have hung around your neck.That’s why you see the right wing revision machine handily typing out refutations 24/7. Unfortunately for them, history already has their asses nailed to the wall.

  47. Sue Ann Edwards said,

    May 15, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    If you weren’t so emotionally needy roughmagic, promoting conflict wouldn’t be so important to you. As it is, you’re so insecure as a person, that the only way you can feel like less of a loser, is to pick a fight you hope you can win.

    I admire you {{MsJoanne}} for having the Patience with the emotional tick that you have displayed.

  48. May 15, 2008 at 11:12 pm


    Thanks for the useless links that you provided for us. Do you understand my question was if torture has helped prevent a terrorist act that would have really happened and not if it is able to get confessions. First a quote from your first link…

    “Would the agency have eventually worn KSM down? Would the confessions have poured forth about Daniel Pearl’s beheading, about his role in the 1995 plot by his nephew, master bomber Ramzi Yousef, to assassinate Pope John Paul II during a visit to Manila, and detailed information about his role as mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks?

    In the case of 9/11, U.S. intelligence officials were in the dark as to how exactly it was plotted because at the time KSM brought the idea to Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda terrorist leader had just stopped using mobile telephones after media reports raised suspicions they were monitored by U.S. intelligence.

    “If one water-board session got him to talk, you could have gotten him to talk (without it), given time and patience,” said Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant and former FBI agent. Garrett has 30 years of experience interrogating terrorists such as Yousef, the Pakistani man who killed two CIA employees at the gates to the agency’s Langley, Va. headquarters in 1994 and hundreds of violent criminals.

    “If in fact it’s true that they water-boarded him once and then he started talking and provided reliable information, then he falls under the category of the small minority of people on whom it works. But torture seldom works. Most people start talking…to get the pain to stop,” Garrett said.

    But in many cases, the harsh intelligence techniques led to questionable confessions and downright lies, say officers with firsthand knowledge of the program. That included statements that al Qaeda was building dirty bombs.

    “It is true that the person who was saying the nuke stuff said it under pressure. The analysts believed it was not true; it did not conform to other information,” one former intelligence officer told ABC News.”

    Seems like all they really got were confessions. Odd how the police can get confessions to solve crimes all the time without using torture. Not sure why gave the first link but to prove mine and others points that have been given here.

    Now, on to the Bill O’Reilly interview with ABC reporter Brian Ross. Right off the bat this not even an interview with a government official who was involved in the interrogation so not even sure why it is relevant. Let’s take a look at it anyway…

    “O’REILLY: OK, this is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Zubata, all of these guys? All 14 were coerced. And the worst thing that they did to them, according to your report, was water boarding.

    ROSS: Right, that is the most harshest of the treatments. And that’s where a man is put upside-down. They put a cellophane or a cloth over his mouth. They pour water. It gives the impression that the person is drowning.

    Now some people liken it to a mock execution. It is very tough to withstand. When the CIA officers who are trained in these interrogations go through it themselves, some of them couldn’t last more than 35 to 40 seconds.”

    You know that before policemen are allowed to carry a taser they must have one used on them to help them understand the effects before they are faced with the decision to use one on someone else. Maybe torture interrogators should be espoused to water boarding before they are allowed to employ that techinquie.

    “ROSS: That has happened in some cases where the material that’s been given has not been accurate, has been essentially to stop the torture.

    In the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the information was very valuable, particularly names and addresses of people who were involved with al Qaeda in this country and in Europe.

    And in one particular plot, which would involve an airline attack on the tallest building in Los Angeles, known as the Library Tower.

    O’REILLY: Well, in fact, you say in your report that more than a dozen plots, a dozen al Qaeda plots to kill people were stopped because of the information they got from coerced interrogation?

    ROSS: That’s what we were told by sources.

    O’REILLY: Do you believe that?

    ROSS: I do believe that.”

    O’REILLY: Has it saved American lives?

    ROSS: That’s what the administration would say. Certainly if you interrupted a tower – a plot to bomb a tower in Los Angeles, you’ve saved lives.

    So there there you have it, we have the opinion of a reporter. Where are the details and hard facts to it back up? Unnamed sources and the administration thinks it has helped break up plots is all you have? Com on now, if you can’t give us a link with real information why bother?

    “Thank you for proving my point about your inability to respond with anything even approaching a logical argument…”

    When are you going to start making a logical argument? Please stop making statements about the use of torture when you are not knowledgeable on the subject. MsJoanne has provided a number good links to back up her arguments and you should check them out.

    Why are you going on about certain Democrats who felt that Iraq did have WMD? They were just as wrong as Bush. Millions of people including me who did the research and didn’t just accept the mainstream media reports at the time but utilized alternative and international media sources were questioning the official line. George exploited 9/11 and the Democrats were weak and made a political decision not to oppose him. This war came about because of one person and only one person.

    This is maybe the main reason why people have flocked to Obama over Hillary. The people want someone who will not lie to them and use fear to exploit them.

  49. roughmagic said,

    May 16, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Oh, God. Another one. I’d like to go to sleep, but if I have to stay up to educate you then, so be it. If you would simply read my posts, visit the links and read what other people have written, I could be comfortably resting in the arms of Morpheus now. No such luck, however.

    KSM gave up information that prevented the attack on the Library Tower in Los Angeles. It’s right there in the very section you posted from my link. Is that simple enough for you to understand? I have named an instance in which torture has yielded information that helped prevent a terrorist attack. Now, you attempt to pull a switcheroo and complain that Brian Ross isn’t a government official. Wha… Whaa… What?

    You get YOUR “facts” from the news, why can’t I? In your post of May 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm, you say, “Every story in the news that I can recall where a possible terrorist act was prevented was by the use of good old investigative work and/or someone involved that snitched.” So, it’s okay to use the news as a source when it supports your point, but not when it supports mine? Just tell me the rules and I’ll play by them, but don’t keep changing them as you go.

    Next, and you’d know this if you could follow the thread through this miasma of a blog, I was “going on about certain Democarts” because MS Joanne was still trying to sell the idea that Mr. Bush lied about WMD. It wasn’t a question of being right or wrong. Her statement was that he lied and I produced evidence that he did not. Clear enough? If you are going to go down the “He cherry-picked information” road, then you probably believe that Humans are responsible for Global Warming and are therefore beyond my power to heal.

    “This war came about because of one person and only one person.” Wow! That shows an unusual power of persuasion and an awful lot of influence over “smart people” for a stupid, language impaired, Daddy’s boy.

    Okay, time for bed. Class is over.

  50. MsJoanne said,

    May 16, 2008 at 6:39 am

    MJ, great breakdown of the ridiculous comments made previously.

    I wouldn’t take the time you did, so thank you. In return, you will now receive a comment saying you didn’t address what s/he was saying, a new tangent supported by right wing sources (who are never credible and quite each other in circular fashion; Joe, who is no one says it, Frank quotes Joe as fact, Chris quotes Frank as fact, and Joe quotes both Frank and Chris. It’s mind boggling!)

    All I kept wanting to say was Asked and Answered, but I knew it was about as fruitful as pissing in the wind.

    Bravo to you!

    And Sue Ann, it’s not as much restraint on my part, it’s simply being bored by the intellectually challenged and the people who insist on carrying the water for this ultra corrupt and criminal administration.

    My only agenda is truth. As Mark Kleiman says, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

  51. MsJoanne said,

    May 16, 2008 at 9:33 am

    To anyone just joining the party, here is a fantastic read, one which I highly recommend.


    This post details the Bush family relationship with the real Nazi’s.

  52. MsJoanne said,

    May 16, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Another bit I found this morning as I was floating about the internets.

    In a previous comment, I wrote about the reasons given for invading Iraq. How about the real reason

    Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you’ve forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher’s original announcement, three years ago, launching of what he called,




    O.I.L. How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House change it to “OIF” — Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn’t sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq’s OIF.

    “It’s about oil,” Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA’s top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam’s former oil minister to finalize the plans for “liberating” Iraq’s oil industry. In London, Bush’s emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing Iraq’s crude.


    Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq’s oil production — limiting Iraq’s oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.

    There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil — not to get more of Iraq’s oil, but to prevent Iraq producing too much of it.

    You must keep in mind who paid for George’s ranch and Dick’s bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil — and their buck-buddies, the Saudis — don’t make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping less of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price.

    It’s Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an “oligopoly” — a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there’s less oil, not more of it. So, every time the “insurgents” blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just love it.

    Ask yourself if this makes sense next time you fill up to the tune of $50, $60, or $100.

  53. Real Doozy said,

    May 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I highly recommend this different take on why the Bush Administration needs Iraqi oil so badly.


  54. MsJoanne said,

    May 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    GREAT article, Doozy. Thank you for posting it!

  55. Renegade Eye said,

    May 16, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Who is going to charge the responsible? Certainly not the complicit Democratic Party.

    Only a revolutionary movement could indict the guilty.

    A few years ago, some had the illusion that Democrats would impeach Bush and Cheney. My local representitive took money from that movement, and then voted against impeachment.

  56. americangoy said,

    May 16, 2008 at 11:59 pm


    Nothing irks me more than calling these people clueless and dumb.
    Bush, the big “W”, IS clueless and dumb. But he is just a figurehead.

    The people who pulled Iraq, and now now try to embroil USA in a war vs Iran, are NOT dumb.

    The people who took our civil liberties away are NOT dumb.

    Feith is NOT the dumbest mother fu**er out there, regardless of what some uniform says.

    They had a PLAN.

    The PLAN was written in a policy paper for Benjamin Netanyahu called “Clean Break” (google it, it pops up on front page), and PNAC was created to put the “Clean Break” recommendations into practice.

  57. MsJoanne said,

    May 17, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Renegade, I agree with you. There are few dems who are worthy of keeping. Nancy Pelosi, our first woman SOTH, sucks. Taking impeachment off the table gave these criminals the go ahead to do whatever they want…and they have continued to do so.

    Goy, they are anything but stupid (except for W, who has to be the dimmest bulb out there – alas, too representative of what America is now, but don’t get me started on the education system and its consequences). This was a well thought out plan which has been more than 20 years in the making.

    I read the Clean Break document and one might say some of it was reasonable considering Israel is a nation struggling to exist surrounded by enemy states. But the implementation is the problem and that we are an arm of that implementation is, well I suppose, American. For how many decades have we interfered with how many countries, always to the detriment of that country and its’ people? That many in our government hold dual passports only indicates that we are no longer the USA but a military arm for Israel. I have a problem with that; with officials holding dual passports while serving as elected or appointed officials.

    The time is coming where we will no longer have the ability to protect ourselves let alone another nation. The criminals from PNAC, who now are our government have tried to implement their grand plan and it is a grand failure. And American lives have been lost and destroyed for this abject failure.

    But is it a failure? I still struggle to see what the grand outcome is. Of course, I look at things from the view of reason and common sense. Neither of which I see in what is and has been happening for almost eight years.

    So, in your opinion…what is next?

  58. May 17, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    roughmagic seems convinced that KSM gave up “valuable information”. The latest reports are beginning to contradict this. Apparently he “confessed” to being in two or three places at the same time, was the number one planner for everything from the toilet paper fiasco to bombing building X in Los Angeles (a threat so serious that the Mayor of Los Angeles was not informed), among others.

    And while you can argue whether or not waterboarding is torture (it IS), the fact that the CIA is also holding KSM’s two young children in an undisclosed location (Amnesty International and the International Red Cross have been trying for three years to determine their whereabouts with no success) and there are rumors also that the children either have been tortured or at least KSM was led to believe that they either were being tortured or would be tortured if he did not confess – I suspect that roughmagic’s idiotic “24” scenario is more real that we’d all like to believe at this point – only it’s not that our families are in danger – KSM’s two children are.

    SO….whaddayathink? KSM telling the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Or saying anything and taking credit for stuff he couldn’t have possibly been a part of just to try (helplessly) to protect his children? While his confessions may have some parts of truth to them (they must have – in order to protect his children) I submit that on the whole – his confession is just like any other obtained by coercion and force – completely and totally invalid and unreliable.

    By the way, roughmagic, any ideas on where those kids are? And just what kind of a country are we if we think can justify holding children hostage and using them as weapons in interrogations?

    I know what my answer is.

  59. Zooey said,

    May 19, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Nice one, MizzJ. Finally got to read it.

    Thank goodness we had “roughmagic” to educate us. 🙄

  60. May 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Good job.

    Great site.

    You skipped some more crimes that are being covered up.

    COINTELPRO has benn outsourced.

    Political murders of alot of people tied to me, and my DOJ OIG/FBI OPR complaint.

    TORTURE of US Citizens with DOD’s DARPA weapon called DEW.

    Lots of hospitalizations of my known associates while DUMSFIELD WAS SECRETLY RUNNING DOD’S CIFA UNIT funded with 30, 000, 000$ that used contractors to “defend military bases, protect SIGINT, and some other ‘known unknown’ “.

    How about the facts in my SOUTH DAKOTA BOARD OF MED AND OSTEO EXAMINERS COMPLAINT being obstructed by SD ASS ATTY GEN DON SRSTKA with “Bolten and Miers” subpoenaed…but…don’t want to show up to answer questions about?

    Who obstructed my complaints…..and how did SD HW PATROL CAPTAIN JEFF TALBOT’S MURDER INVESTIGATION INTO DEFENBAUGH AND KABIESEMAN’S staged vehicle accidents………..get obstructed?

    Talbot was friends with Defenbaugh.

    I talked to both on my wiretaped phone.

    Talbot resigned from a very high position in SD law enforcement…..after NATIONAL SECURITY was asserted by SD ATTY GEN LARRY LONG?


    SECRET SERVICE can corroborate “Cheney’s convo with Austin lawyer WHITTINGTON” at the Texas quail hunt: “Arguing about some woman” (Secret Service).

    That woman was….CHRISTINA MOORE murdered on 9/23/03 in Round Rock, Texas.

    You got some work…before you have covered all crimes by this evil cabal.

    Great website…..nonetheless.

  61. Kurt Gustafson said,

    May 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Rich, well documented, revealing (unlike media)! Nice job!!!

    I knew you’d get flak for using the term genocide. Perhaps the words “massive man slaughter” or “mass murder” or “careless massacre” would suffice since George and friends just look at it all as accidental and misunderstood because the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t really people, right? ;-(

    I have been talking with my state “representatives” since before the invasion of Afghanistan to stop and later impeach the Bush regime. They are all complicit with the guilty so nothing was done.

    I’ve got a blog you might get some ideas from…


    Keep stirin’ it up!


  62. MsJoanne said,

    May 25, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Interesting blogs to both of my last posters. I will be visiting yours often, I think.

    I am sure there are many crimes which will only be brought to the surface by whistle blowers who feel safe…something I think will only happen in time. I hope that their crimes do some to the public eye before I die. That’s all I can say.

    I, too, have called my elected officials, sometimes on a daily and weekly basis only to get, exactly, nowhere. It is frustrating and angering and that I have no way of influencing anything makes me feel like giving up. But I think that’s the point; that is what they want.

    But I do what we all do…keep on keeping on and keep hoping for more, for better, for justice.

  63. delphinium said,

    May 30, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Delphinium says : I absolutely agree with this !

  64. ondelette said,

    May 30, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Nice post, MsJoanne! BTW, we were working on a plea to the prosecutor from the ICC to investigate and bring charges. It now looks like we will be working through a foreign government or something. I have a first choice, although it isn’t likely: Afghanistan finished ratifying the Rome Statute on Feb 10th, so technically, if the U.S. continues to pretend it is holding people on charges in Afghani law, they could be prosecuted there.

    As for the comments roughmagic is making, I have been through everything I can find that has made it into the public record through FOIA, and have never come across any production of intelligence from all the torture. There are multiple instances of confession, though. As for KSM, he confessed to crimes that were done by other groups – for instance, killing Daniel Pearl (can you say Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, roughmagic?). He confessed to all sorts of things. Intel? nope. Truth? doubtful. Shame upon the good name of the United States? definitely. Totally destroyed the rock solid right of the people of the United States to see this man tried and convicted in an impartial court of law, and given a verdict and sentence beyond reproach and honored by all 195 countries that signed Geneva. Something for which I will never forgive outlaw sympathizers like roughmagic.

  65. Zubata said,

    June 1, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    All the anti Bush and anti USA hoopla just serves to make our enemies stronger. For so many who appear intelligent because of their ability to coherently connect words, I’m afraid common sense is nonexistent.

    Our enemies cut off the heads of their captives and we’re villified both here and internationally for what in many instances amounts to nothing more than the equivalent of fraternity pledge antics. Pathetic!!!!

  66. JNagarya said,

    June 2, 2008 at 11:28 am

    “Zubata said,
    June 1, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    “All the anti Bush and anti USA hoopla just serves to make our enemies stronger.”

    We should surrender our freedom to dissent against an illegitimate gov’t — the Bushit criminal enterprise — illegally invading and illegally occupying a backwater third-world soverign nation which was barely a threat to its neighbors?

    Is that how we remain free? by surrndering our freedoms simply because the Bush criminal enterprise told us to?

    “For so many who appear intelligent because of their ability to coherently connect words, I’m afraid common sense is nonexistent.”

    “Common sense is much too common.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    “Our enemies cut off the heads of their captives and we’re villified both here and internationally for what in many instances amounts to nothing more than the equivalent of fraternity pledge antics. Pathetic!!!!”

    Depleted uraniam is a fraternity prank? Then you’re willing to breathe it in and roll around in it to show us how “common sensical” and patriotic you are? Why not just put your courage where your mouth is: enlist and demand to be sent to Iraq so you can show us all how to win it singlehandedly?

  67. marqueterie said,

    June 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Marqueterie says : I absolutely agree with this !

  68. Curt said,

    June 2, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    MsJoanne- Thanks for the enlightened post. and for your patience when fanatical, republican jihadists try to kick sand in our eyes. Your comment at #52 is right on. I have long believed that the REAL reason Dick Cheney attacked Iraq was to drive UP oil prices. Mission Accomplished!

  69. MsJoanne said,

    June 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    There is nothing MORE patriotic than questioning your government! What is anti American is allowing criminals to overtake our government, steal blindly from the Treasury (OUR money!), continuously scare people (TERROR! JIHADISTS! ISLAMOFASCISTS! DIE, BURN, KILL, KILL, KILL) and do whatever they damned well feel like.

    Why did 9/11 happen on Bush’s watch? He slept through the PDR’s! Why not since? Because THEY SLEPT THROUGH THE FIRST ATTACK and knew they had to wake up.

    What we are doing and what is being done in our name is not only anti American but WRONG.

    Zubata, sorry but your sentiment is about as anti-American as it gets.

  70. redsaunas said,

    June 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Some deluded people can make arguments justifying the invasion itself, but for me the ‘slam dunk’ (where have I heard that before?) is the fact that under the Geneva Conventions (can’t remember which article etc) an occupying power is obliged to ensure the security and amenity of the occupied population.

    The Bush gang quite deliberately failed to comply with this requirement.

    Breaching it is a war crime.

    Read ’em their rights and let’s get on with it!

  71. MsJoanne said,

    June 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Amenity? Like virtually no electric power? Shit literally flowing through the streets? Unhealthy water (even the US troops are dealing with that one!)?

    Duly added to the list. Thank you for your comment!

  72. Zubata said,

    June 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    To my poor poor misguided friends:

    It just so happens that I have spent six years in the US Army and 8 years as a street cop, so I feel as though my partriotism speaks for itself. To be attacked by keyboard commandos like Jnagary is humorous , indeed. One whose curriculum vitae probably includes six years of being spoon fed liberal gibberish at some third rate institution of “higher” learning, and 8 years of advanced Nintendo playing, with a major in jacking off. Why does my obvious partiotism infurate you so?

    And MsJoanne, you are the model citizen, I’m sure. You dorks should get on your knees and thank God that better people than you are protecting the citizens of this great Country of ours.

  73. MsJoanne said,

    June 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Zupata, your I AM BETTER THAN THEE schtick is a joke, just like you are. One of the 28%ers who will support Bush til the end.

    Good for you. I will support him, too…right to his cell at The Hague.

    Read the Constitution. THAT is what we support. NOT a president, and I don’t care who that president is. And if you served in the military, the oath you took as to uphold the Constitution. Oh wait, you are probably not a commissioned officer. This is what THEY swear to:

    “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).


    Country. Not party. Not president.

  74. Zubata said,

    June 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Keep patting yourself on the back and thinking what a great American you are Joanne as you continually berate our Country, it’s Commander-in-Chief, and it’s military. You are a fine specimen, indeed.

  75. MsJoanne said,

    June 2, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    I am not in the least berating our military. And I am by far more patriotic than you!

    Am I berating YOU, yes.

    Bush, yes.

    And it is deserved.

  76. Zubata said,

    June 2, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Geez and your opinion is so important to me.

  77. MsJoanne said,

    June 2, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    And your opinions are offensive to me. You continue to protect a war criminal, someone who has tarnished our good name throughout the world!

    Feel free to go away anytime.

  78. Zubata said,

    June 2, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I find comfort knowing that what I’ve done was in the name of God and Country, and therefore righteous, so I have no problem sleeping at night. Nothing I’ve said or done in any way shape or form served to undermine our Country or our valiant warriors. I can only wonder about people like you and how you manage to sleep. No conscience perhaps. Farewell, for you aren’t worth the time or energy of any further posts. May you receive all that you deserve.

  79. MsJoanne said,

    June 2, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    For God and your country.

    Maybe you did this for god and your country? http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1807523,00.html?xid=feed-cnn-topics

    Or maybe this? http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080530/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrestusreligion

    Constitution: Separation of Church and State.

    This isn’t a crusade. People are dying, both American soldiers and Iraqis. This is an abomination. Period.

  80. June 12, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    […] of Aggression = War Crime Bush Officials Charged with War Crimes: Crimes within the Court’s […]

  81. Peter G said,

    September 12, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Hey MsJoanne . Just dropped by to check out your blog. Very nice topical selection. Is the caption contest a regular thing? I love those. It’s a creative challenge.

  82. MsJoanne said,

    September 12, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Peter, damned good to see ya!! Glad you like it here. It’s pretty sparse as I mostly blog at TheZoo, but I put things here that I want to remain visible as we do so much work daily over there things roll off quickly.

    I do caption contests when I find a great pic. Check in. I will keep my eyes out for something.

    Cheers, darlin’! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  83. Noonien said,

    September 26, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Always nice to be called a moron. Great way to foster intellectual discourse…

    All sarcasm aside, my point was that it’s easy to play armchair politician, but when you were asked how you might have done things differently, you listed a lot of things you would “not” do. I didn’t see anything you WOULD do.

    From my admittedly limited point of view, it seems like taking the easy way out to sit back and snipe at the obvious targets, rather than really thinking issues through and proposing viable solutions to problems.

    But what do I know? I’m just some moron that stopped by your blog and hoped to find an intelligent person to talk to. How foolish of me!

  84. MsJoanne said,

    September 27, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Your question was stupid, sorry. I am not a politician making policy. I don’t have any idea what you were asking (still don’t). How would I do what differently?

    Perhaps if you asked something that wasn’t as broad as this planet, you might get a more reasoned answer.

  85. Noonien said,

    October 7, 2008 at 11:08 am

    “Perhaps if you asked something that wasn’t as broad as this planet, you might get a more reasoned answer.”

    Fair enough. Here’s my new, more concise question:

    Given the intelligence information available at the time, how would you have acted, as President of the United States of America, in the wake of the September 11, 2001 airline hijackings and terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon?

    More specifically, would you have taken any military action against Iraq, if your intelligence information led you to believe that there was a possibility of WMDs there (remember, WMDs can be biological, chemical, etc., not necessarily nuclear weapons).

    Also, would you have sent our military to Afghanistan? Would you have taken any military action at all against al Qaida?

    I’m just curious about what you might have done differently, at this time in our nation’s history. I see a lot of people bashing the current administration, accusing our nation’s leaders of “war crimes,” and being generally negative about every single post-9/11 action our government has taken. I see all of that, and I accept that people are entitled to their opinions, of course, but I’m also given to wonder what they think they might have done differently.

    Going forward, we should have a policy that is solution-oriented. We should know how best to handle situations like the one we were in right after 9/11. Talking about the best way to deal with such situations, rather than playing the blame game and the participating finger-pointing, partisan, vitriolic, divisive activity that is the hallmark of Leftist politics in America, today (and, admittedly, a much smaller far-right political machine, as well) seems the best way to go about things, in my humble opinion.

    With respect to that view, I was asking how you would have done things differently. How would you have run the country? That may be a broad question, but the topic you’re discussing is broad, so I don’t feel it was inappropriate.

    I hope this response was sufficiently concise. I didn’t mean to write so much, but I felt I owed it to you to be clear.

  86. MsJoanne said,

    October 7, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Given the intelligence information available at the time, how would you have acted, as President of the United States of America, in the wake of the September 11, 2001 airline hijackings and terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon?

    The intelligence was cooked. It was not reliable. They knew it. Durbin, who is on the FIC said he knew it was cooked but by law could not say what he knew from his committee hearings. He voted against AUMF and told people as much as he could that it was all bullshit. It has since come out that it was bullshit. It has since come out that they knew it was bullshit. You don’t read the news, do you?

    Also, would you have sent our military to Afghanistan? Would you have taken any military action at all against al Qaida?

    Yes. And we did. And we pulled out when we almost had bin Laden. We invaded a country that had nothing to do with our being attacked and pulled troops out of a country which was harboring people who did attack us.

    I’m just curious about what you might have done differently, at this time in our nation’s history. I see a lot of people bashing the current administration, accusing our nation’s leaders of “war crimes,” and being generally negative about every single post-9/11 action our government has taken. I see all of that, and I accept that people are entitled to their opinions, of course, but I’m also given to wonder what they think they might have done differently.

    I would have done the job in Afghanistan and never set foot into the quagmire that is Iraq. Invading and occupying Iraq, killing so many of its population, for no good reason, for cooked intelligence that they knew was bad intelligence, should have led to impeachment and nowhere else. Paying generals to promote propaganda should have led to impeachment. Lying to the American people to garner support for a war that never should have happened should have led to impeachment.

    • Bill said,

      May 4, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      I just finsihed a paper on this subject and have to present it this Monday 4/7/12. President Bush and his cabinet spun a lot of yarn, lied to the American people and the United Nations, This wasn’t about Iraq, this war was about Oil, we invaded a solvent nation. If the ICC wanted to charge Saddem Husen with crimes againt his people that was what the ICC was set to do. Bush and his Cabinet should really be charged with war crimes, they drug our country into the gutter with all the other criminals for a hidden agenda.

  87. anonymous said,

    December 26, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    “THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AND INCARCERATION” against the Bush Administration, written by Luis Y. Quijano, Chief Justice of the United States District Courts of Appeal and Oversight Courts and Federal Courts is available in a book, December 2008 or January 2009 through “Authorhouse.” (888) 728-8467 Luis Y. Quijano is the Protectorate of the United States, the Supreme Commanding General, “The Eagle.”
    The wars were illegal wars.

  88. Negrodamus said,

    January 15, 2009 at 9:28 am

    [Deleted. You are a racist and an asshole. MsJoanne]

  89. Ancienthero said,

    February 10, 2009 at 4:01 am

    First off I love my country, but it’s time other realized the truth. The more we fight amongst ourselves the longer it will take our people to evolve. Only when the entire planet is united and working together do we stand a chance against real threats to our world. Such as asteroids, possible advanced alien life that is most likely monitoring our primitive world. Because honestly if you were watching a small island somewhere in the Ocean from the sky and could clearly see the people whom lived on the island not only killed everything around them, but also killed themselves and others of their kind. Would you really send a small group of people to the island with the intent to extend an olive branch? Most likely if we are not alone, we are considered a large threat not only to anyone whom could come to our world, but to ourselves. We most likely are quartined from the rest of the galaxy, so our biggest concerns at moment are resolving our problems within our lifetime so that our childrens children do not suffer the mistakes we made in the very short time we’ve lived on this world.

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  97. July 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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    let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its
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    • MsJoanne said,

      July 1, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      This is likely because the images I linked to don’t exist any longer. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll look into it!

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