Mick Hume on the fake photo scandal at the UK’s Mirror tabloid:
Does it matter whether or not the photographs are fakes or staged, if we believe that British troops have been abusing Iraqi detainees? That is the question now being asked by the UK Daily Mirror’s defenders and the anti-war movement. To which the resounding answer must be yes, it bloody well does matter. …
Since the controversy over the alleged Iraq torture pictures blew up, and increasingly loud doubts have been raised over the veracity of the photos published in the Mirror, a line of defence has emerged which suggests that this is somehow a diversion. ‘Torture is the real issue, not these photos’ declared the headline on Roy Greenslade’s media column in the Guardian on 4 May. …
The irony is that the Blair government has taken a similar line in seeking to justify its wretched war in Iraq. All right, the New Labour spokesman will admit, it seems that our dossiers on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction might have got the odd detail wrong. But we honestly felt it was true, and anyway these details don’t really matter, because the greater truth is that Saddam was a wicked tyrant and those dodgy dossiers helped us launch a war to stop him.
Read the whole thing.
Note: this stupid hoax distracted almost all attention from a real torture story.
We can take it, warbots. Come on, tell us what you think about the raid on Chalabi’s home. Don’t hold back. We’re waiting. Surely this isn’t the best bit of spin you’ve got. Yo, Hitch, what up? Hey, Andrew, I’m fixing for my Daily Dish! Lileks, my man, what am I to make of this?
Why the hush, fellas?
(Click to enlarge photos)
These pictures are even being aired on American television. This is the Iraqi featured in this news article:
When CIA officers brought the Iraqi detainee to Abu Ghraib prison, his head was covered with an empty sandbag and Army guards were ordered to take him directly to a shower room that served as a makeshift interrogation center at the overcrowded, shell-damaged facility outside Baghdad.
An hour later, in the midst of intensive questioning by military intelligence officials, the prisoner collapsed and died. Only then did interrogators remove the hood to reveal severe head wounds that had never been treated.
The dead prisoner, whose identity has not been made public, would become famous around the world in the photograph of the body wrapped in plastic sheeting and packed in ice – among the grisliest images yet made public in the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.
An account of his final hours – and of the failure to provide medical attention to a severely wounded prisoner – is contained in sworn testimony statements provided to Army investigators by military police guards at Abu Ghraib.
Even after the prisoner died, the documents say, officials continued to pursue their own agendas: They haggled over who was responsible for the body. Eventually, the body deteriorated to where it had to be disposed.
The horrific way this man died makes the idiotically happy smiles on Graner and Harman’s faces even more shocking and repulsive.
These pictures have been added to AntiWar.com’s archive of Iraqi prison torture photos.
Mark at Rafah Kid Rambles on today’s IDF attack on Palestinian peaceful demonstrators in Rafah:
IDF: “We Didn’t Mean To”
Bloody Hell. The IDF have taken a while to come up with a story to explain the massacre of civilians today (See Mohammed’s post).
This, quoted in Haaretz, is what they came up with:
“Military sources said that troops had spotted the approaching demonstrators, among them armed men, and asked a helicopter to fire a warning missile at an open field. But when the crowd continued to march, a tank fired three shells at the nearby abandoned building to ward the protesters off.
An open field? Near Sea Street? Are you joking you morons? The closest there is to a field near Sea street is the wasteland next to the border, and that is streets away. The excuse is not even transparent, it is a blatant lie. I wonder if they have video evidence of the ‘armed men’ – No I don’t expect so either.
The IDF said in a statement that it had not targeted the crowd; military sources one of the tank shells either passed through a nearby abandoned building or went off course and hit the demonstrators [and that] the troops did not fire deliberately at the protesters.”
Abandoned building? In Sea Street? A tank shell went off course? You evil miserable lying sh*t-for-brains scum.
“The claim that this was a case of deliberate fire [at the crowd] is false and I reject it completely,” chief military spokeswoman Brigadier Ruth Yaron told Army Radio on Wednesday.
I don’t know what to say. Could anyone possibly believe this? Would you accept the word of them over the thousands that were in the street, including Anees, who called and told us exactly what happened. For those of us who have been in Rafah, and anywhere else in the OT’s, we know, we have witnessed the constant flood of lies that streams from the mouths of the IDF. But will the public buy this? We didn’t mean to?
Rafah Kid Rambles is the best way to keep up with what is happening in Rafah. Go look at the pictures Mohammed blogged from the hospital.
Apparently the Israelis finally startled Bush into speaking by firing four tank shells and a missile from an attack helicopter into a peaceful demonstration in Gaza, killing at least 10 people, many of them children.
“I continue to urge restraint. It is essential that people respect innocent life in order for us to achieve peace,” said the perpetrator of the Fallujah massacre.
UPDATE: How ironic: Over 40 Civilians Killed in U.S. Iraq Bombing
At least 41 civilians were killed Wednesday in a U.S. air raid on an Iraqi village near the Syrian border, Al Arabiya television reported.
The television, quoting eyewitnesses in the border town of al-Qaim, said U.S. planes had bombarded the village of Makr al-Deeb while families were attending a wedding party. Arabiya had earlier said at least 20 people were killed in the bombing.