Thursday, March 05, 2009

War Crimes and Double Standards

By Robert Parry
March 5, 2009

New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof – like many of his American colleagues – is applauding the International Criminal Court’s arrest order against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his role in the Darfur conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

Insightful piece on how risk-averse "group think" festers in the Washington press corps, and it's a good reminder why Consortium News journalism is so needed.
My check is in the mail.
Correction requested: I scoured Dana Milbank's Washington Post article on efforts to form a truth commission, but found nothing even remotely "clever."

Anonymous said...

I know these clever journlists think they are helping Bush with his defence. But my thoughts are they are just weaking our country and the world with there snide hypocrisy.............

"U.S. journalists are cheering war crimes charges against Sudan President Bashir"

sanda said...

The good news is that Americans don't agree with Kristof or Milbank (neither of whom I'd read; that's Robert Parry's "job"/choice). I do prefer the summary. And Kristof's names list did make me laugh.

As a woman, I think Dennis Kucinich's English-born wife is beautiful, tall and smart. How smart of Kucinich to marry her.

On the serious side, Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, guest on today's "DemocracyNow" summed it up very well: the "truth commission" Leahy suggests, would be a diversion, possibly wreck prosecutions in the future by granting immunity and Sen. Leahy is not all that far from where the Republicans would like to be on the issue. I support a special prosecutor and investigative commission (as does Ratner, but clear said), working in tandem, NOT a "truth commission...then move on". The Sept. 11th, 2001 Commission is the best reason for not having another commission (they never asked all the question, nor followed the money). This is a different problem: US laws broken by persons in the US government. If the US judicial system doesn't do the investigation/prosecutions, then other countries will do it. for video,transcipt of show(s) I hope Robert Parry will again be a guest on the show, soon.

Anonymous said...

One thing for sure is that america will never become anywhere what she used to be.That is consolation to most of the worlds people that she has murdered,plundered,destroyed throught her brief tenure,so leave all the war criminals that became american presidents. T american are paying dearly for it.

knowbuddhau said...

Philip freakin' Zelikow?! He who jacked the 9/11 commission, who hid his report's reliance on evidence manufactured to order by torture behind the infamous text box of page 146? Charter member of PNAC? OK, Kristol, WTF? Who's he think he's kidding? Do we ask murderers to investigate their own crimes? How could he possibly suggest the perps should investigate their crimes?

Here a few of the myriads of examples of Zelikow trying, vainly, to jack our shared narrative. He appeared on Democracy Now! just over a year ago.

A new analysis by NBC News reveals that more than a quarter of all footnotes in the 9/11 Commission Report refer to controversial interrogation techniques. Yet, Commission staffers did not question the CIA about its techniques. They even ordered a second round of interrogations in early 2004 to get more information from the detainees.
The Mysterious Dr.Z: What do you mean, my farts stink? I have reports from CIA that say they don't, and now CIA is under criminal investigation, so even if I do stink, which of course I suspected, why didn't CIA tell me?

DN!: Did you ask them?

Philip Zelikow: "Um, I did not, but that wasn't uh, I wasn't the person who was pushing the issue directly with Tenet. That was more the job of my bosses on the commission, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton and other commissioners. Um, it was...." he continues, looking away.

He's XO of the BushCo damage control team, so what's he do about being stonewalled by CIA? He complains vociferously in writing, but not a peep in person?

No, he says, that was the duty of his bosses, Kain&Hamilton, the two-headed bipartisan hydra. Look, he asked CIA lots of questions. In writing. Now the Bush Justice Department is investigating CIA, presumably for being such poor correspondents.

Zelikow said, one "can only assume that they had something they wished to UH something they didn't want the commission to know."

How could poor Zelikow know that his shit stinks? You don't seriously expect him to trust his own senses, do you? That would be madness!

Does he have McCain Syndrome: A willful ignorance of one's own Shadow? Absolute faith in authorities is so unbecoming of a "scholar."

He hasn't just been "read into the program," he wrote it! (Project for a New American Century's infamous National Security Strategy for the United States, 2002, implemented in toto by BushCo because they produced it.)


Zelikow's Figleaf for Torture (The Infamous Textbox of Page 146)

Detainee Interrogation Reports

Chapters 5 and 7 rely heavily on information obtained from captured al Qaeda members. A number of these "detainees" have firsthand knowledge of the 9/11 plot.

Assessing the truth of statements by these witnesses--sworn enemies of the United States--is challenging. Our access to them has been limited to the review of intelligence reports based on communications received from the locations where the actual interrogations take place. We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting. We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process.

We have nonetheless decided to include information from captured 9/11 conspirators and al Qaeda members in our report. We have evaluated their statements carefully and have attempted to corroborate them with documents statements of others. In this report, we indicate where such statements provide the foundation for our narrative. We have been authorized to identify by name only ten detainees whose custody has been confirmed officially by the U.S. governement.*

*Those detainees are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Riduan Isamuddin (also known as Hambali), Abd Rahim al Nashiri, Tawfiq bin Attash (also known as Khallad), Ramzi Binalshibh, Mohamed al Kahtani, Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani, Ali Abd al Rahman al Faqasi (also known as Abu Bakr al Azdi), and Hassan Ghul.

Clearly, given the opportunity to write the report on PNAC's long-awaited "Pearl Harbor" that would galvanize popular support for war, Zelikow didn't miss his chance to pervert our shared narrative by basing the 9/11 report on evidence obtained from waterboarding and other forms of cruelty and torture.

So, Mr. Kristol actually thinks we should give Zelikow another chance to pull the wool over our eyes? Mr. Parry sadly correct: Mr. Kristol is a case study of what is wrong with American journalism. His suggestions reek to high heaven of domestic propaganda.

It reminds me of the sort of crap we got from Pentagon (and other) Message Force Multipliers.

Here's my favorite moment from the interview. Center for Constitutiojnal Rights President Michael
Ratner expresses his surprise to hear Zelikow say we can't assume evidence from the interrogations was torture.

Ratner: "Can I say it 100% ? No."

He goes on to utterly demolish Zelikow's story, demonstrating that anyone who can do 1st grade math can add this up.

2 (Report Relies on Interrogations of KSM et al.)]
+ 2 (Hayden says, yes, we tortured those very people by waterboarding.)]
| 4!

Ratner: "You get 4."
Zelikow: "[Ratner] doesn't know that, we don't know that, NO 1 knows that."

Who's he think he is, the Buddha all a'sudden?

NO 1 knows that, eh? In that case, I am NO 1. We all are, since we all now know the report relied on waterboarding KSM, among other war crimes.

knowbuddhau said...

Somehow, I mistyped Mr. KristoF's name in my previous post. Maybe I do need glasses. . . .