Tag Archives | Iraq

US Military ‘Trying to Retrieve’ Iraq Killings Video

From BBC News:
The US military says it is trying to retrieve the original video tapes of a controversial helicopter attack on a group of people in Iraq in 2007. Footage of the attack was published on the internet by the website WikiLeaks. Two of those killed were Reuters news agency employees whose cameras were mistaken for weapons, the US says. The Pentagon has not questioned the video's authenticity but says it cannot make a complete verification until the original tapes have been located. "We're attempting to retrieve the video from the unit who did the investigation," US Central Command spokesman Capt Jack Hanzlik was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
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Iraq War Vet: “We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us”

From Truthout:

On Monday, April 5, Wikileaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a US military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency: photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh.

The US military confirmed the authenticity of the video.

The footage clearly shows an unprovoked slaughter, and is shocking to watch whilst listening to the casual conversation of the soldiers in the background.

As disturbing as the video is, this type of behavior by US soldiers in Iraq is not uncommon.

Truthout has spoken with several soldiers who shared equally horrific stories of the slaughtering of innocent Iraqis by US occupation forces.”I remember one woman walking by,” said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the US Marines who served three tours in Iraq. He told the audience at the Winter Soldier hearings that took place March 13-16, 2008, in Silver Spring, Maryland, “She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries.

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Wikileaks Unearths Classified Video Of U.S. Military Massacre In An Iraqi Suburb

Wikileaks has set up a website titled Collateral Murder concerning a classified U.S. military video they uncovered:
WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
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Mainstream Media Collectively Forgets Anniversary of the Start of the Iraq War

Glynnis MacNicol writes on Mediaite:
Things I have gleaned from my Twitter feed [on March 20th]: It is the second anniversary of the death of Arthur C. Clarke. Things that are noticeably absent: Any mention that today is the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. But let’s forget Twitter for a second — though it’s a great measure of where the hive mind is focused — and turn to some more “reliable” news sources. There’s not a single op-ed in the New York Times today to mark the anniversary, or pontificate on where it all went wrong (update: there is a photo slideshow from this weekend’s Magazine). Nor the Wall St. Journal to tell us what went right. Nothing in the Washington Post either. Nor the LA Times. I can’t even find a single link on Drudge. Perhaps even more shocking is that I can’t find anything on Andrew Sullivan. It’s almost as though where the media is concerned the Iraq War didn’t happen.
Well, Robert Greenwald did not forget: Iraq: Thousands Dead, $747.3 Billion Spent And Not Any Safer
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Tony Blair’s Secret Oil Money

Tony BlairWhile everyone knew that Dick Cheney and George W. Bush wanted Iraq for its oil and the cash that would gush their way via Halliburton and other companies they had interests in, few suspected that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had a similar motivation. The Daily Mail reveals otherwise:

Tony Blair waged an extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq.

The former Prime Minister tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation.

Mr Blair – who has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007 – also went to great efforts to keep hidden a £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq’s neighbour Kuwait.

In an unprecedented move, he persuaded the committee which vets the jobs of former ministers to keep details of both deals from the public for 20 months, claiming it was commercially sensitive.

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Birth Defects on the Rise in Fallujah

Via the Daily Mail:

Fallujah

A Fallujah mother holds her little girl, who was born without a left forearm and hand.

A high number of children are being born with birth defects in an Iraqi city where U.S. forces may have used chemical weapons during a fierce battle in 2004.

Children in Fallujah are being born with limb, head, heart and nervous system defects.

There is even a claim that a baby was born with three heads. The number of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than the rate in Europe.

The city, 40 miles west of Baghdad, was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq war in late 2004. U.S. Marines led Operation Phantom Fury to recapture it from insurgents.

British troops were involved in manning checkpoints on the outskirts of the city as the Americans went in. The U.S.

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Iraq Opens Up to Foreign Oil Majors

From Business Week:

Western producers like BP, Exxon Mobil, and Shell are enjoying their best access to Iraq’s southern oil fields since 1972, but a weaker government could be on the way.

BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. took the best deal they could get in Iraq last year when they won the largest oil contracts since addam Hussein was toppled in 2003. Oil companies may wait a long time to get a better one.Parliamentary elections may produce a weak or unstable government incapable of tendering new oil contracts, said Samuel Ciszuk, a London-based analyst at IHS Global Insight. He said he does expect the 10 technical-services contracts won by Exxon, BP and 20 other companies to be honored.

“One thing that’s fairly certain is there won’t be a strong coalition, so it may take time for the next government to get its act together,” Ciszuk said in a telephone interview.

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The Picture

By David Glenn Cox at Salon:

Photo by  Eugene Richards

Photo by Eugene Richards

I want you to look very closely at this picture and try and keep it in your minds eye. This was a perfectly healthy twenty two-year-old young man who in the service of his country got half of his head blown off. I think that’s important, I think that’s newsworthy. Let me tell you how newsworthy I think it is. I think that it’s more important than chocolate cake recipes and far more important than comic book reviews. It is more important than who fell and whose swell at the winter Olympic games.

It is far more important than any self-serving load of crap banged out by Pseudo doctor Amy. It is more important than American Idol or Lost or any other mindless goat droppings the public chooses to chew on. This is some American mother’s son, her little boy, he may be gay or straight or transgender but his life is fucked forever.

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U.S. Returns 1,000 Historical Artifacts Stolen From Iraq

From Middle East Online:

US officials have returned more than 1,000 archaeological and historical items stolen from Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq’s ambassador here said Thursday.

Six pieces ranging from an ancient Sumerian stone tablet to an AK-47 rifle bearing Saddam’s image were handed over to Iraq at an embassy ceremony on Thursday.

“As Iraqis, we remain steadfast in our effort to return each and every one of these cultural treasures to their rightful home,” Ambassador Samir Sumaida’ie said at the ceremony.

Baghdad’s envoy said that the Iraqi National Museum lost some 15,000 items due to looting after the collapse of law and order due to the US-led invasion. Half of the items have since been found and returned “due to the diligence of our allies,” Sumaida’ie said.

Items returned included an Iraqi coin from circa 250 AD, during the Roman occupation, abandoned at a Houston museum by a man who said he was a US contractor in Iraq.

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