Wednesday, March 7, 2012

War Crimes Newsletter #3

OMNI WAR CRIMES NEWSLETTER #3,   March 7, 2012.     Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.  (#1 Oct. 8, 2011;  #2 Nov. 25, 2011). 

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:

See: International Justice Day/ICC Newsletter, War on Terror, Victims, individual wars, and other newsletters.

Contents of #1
War Is Not a Game Documentary Film
Blood on Our Hands: US Lawlessness in Iraq
Killing Civilians in Afghanistan
Obama Afraid to Prosecute Bush Officials
Obama Bans All War Criminals But Our Own
Code Pink: Arrest the War Criminals
War Crimes in Sudan
High Officials Accountable
War Lords

Contents of #2 Nov. 25, 2011
Bush and Blair at 2011 Malaysian Tribunal
Bush Should Have Been Impeached
No Statute of Limitations
Nader:   President Obama
Iraq War: Blood on Our Hands
“Kill Anything”:  Vietnam War
Hunt for Nazi War Criminals
ICC Warrant for Ntaganda

Contents of #3
Agent Orange
Hedges and Al Arian, Collateral Damage
Tirman, The Deaths of Others
Haditha Massacre Unpunished
National, Official, Individual Memory of Atrocities
Film:  Al Doura Atrocities
Greenwald: Why High US Officials Are Not Prosecuted
Dixson, US  History of Military Atrocities
Samuel Totten and Rafiki Ubaldo, eds.   We Cannot Forget: Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.  Rutgers UP, 2011.

Legislation HR# 2634- Agent Orange Victims Relief Act of 2011

The legislation to help Agent Orange affected Vietnamese, children of US veterans, and Vietnamese-Americans has just been introduced into the House by Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA)! This is a great and important step in the fight to get the US to take responsibility for the damage it inflicted on Vietnam with its herbicide program.

This is the most comprehensive bill on Agent Orange since the Agent Orange Act of 1991 bill that provided medical benefits and compensation to US Veterans. It provides for clean up of herbicide residues in Vietnam , help for the three million Vietnamese victims, creation of regional medical centers for the thousands of affected children of US Veterans, and assistance to the unknown number of affected Vietnamese-Americans in this country.

The Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign, a national project of Veterans for Peace has been working on this legislation since 2007, and thanks to the support of Bob Filner, ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, it has now been introduced. We now need to work hard to quickly get as many sponsors as we can.

A copy of the bill is attached to this email or at the following link:

Paul Cox

1.                             Veterans For Peace :: ABOUT VFP
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Results 1 - 15 of 124 – We found 124 pages based on your search ( Agent Orange ). ... Support Of Agent Orange Victims, Justice for Vietnamā€™s Agent Orange ... OF AGENT ORANGE RELIEF ACT OF 2011, HR 2634, SUPPORT FOR 2011 US . ... by Paul Cox Originally ... of the lawsuit by the Vietnam Association for Victims ...
2.                              [PDF]
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File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
VICTIMS OF AGENT ORANGE RELIEF ACT OF . 2011, HR 2634, SUPPORT FOR – 2011. (Paul Cox, VFP Chapter 69) ...
3.                             News- Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign ... - Similar
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H.R. 2634, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011 .... Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange 1. ... Heading the delegation is Paul Cox (Read Paul Cox's statement » and Claire Tran's statement ».
4.                             Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign - Similar
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Sign the Postcard to Congress in support of the Victims of Agent Orange Act of ... The Agent Orange Legislation: Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011, July ...
5.                             Legislation HR# 2634- Agent Orange Victims Relief Act of 2011 ...
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Jul 27, 2011 – The legislation to help Agent Orange affected Vietnamese, children of US ... Legislation HR# 2634- Agent Orange Victims Relief Act of 2011 ...
6.                             The Legacy of Agent Orange is a Continuing Focus of VVAW
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VVAW has a long history of fighting for justice for victims of Agent Orange ... efforts to achieve recognition and for relief from the massive damage AO/dioxin has done ... coordinators of VAORRC, as are VVAW members Barry Romo and Paul Cox. ... congress members and senators have expressed firm support for such a bill.
7.                              [PDF]
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File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick ViewFeb 1, 2012 – after all previous wars, and to help correct the past and to protect future ..... The invocation was given by Rich Cox,. National ... Paul Carro and Gus Dante opposed. ... HR 2634. Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011.
8.                             Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign - KeyWiki ...Cached
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50+ items – In support of justice for Vietnamese Agent Orange victims, ...

Elliott Adams (former President, Veterans for Peace, MO)
Steve Ault (Gay & lesbian activist, NY)

2.                             HEDGES AND AL ARIAN, COLLATERAL DAMAGE
3.                             Tomgram: Chris Hedges, War and Occupation, American-style ...   chris_hedges_collateral_damageCached
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Jun 3, 2008 – Collateral Damage What It Really Means When America Goes to War By Chris Hedges. Troops, when they battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, ...
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Apr 24, 2011 - 65 min - Uploaded by pdxjustice
Independent journalist and author,
Chris Hedges, talks about his latest book, co- authored with Laila Al-Arian ...
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Jun 10, 2008
In their new book, journalists
Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian bring us the voices of fifty American combat ...
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Jul 1, 2008 - 10 min - Uploaded by pdxjustice
Hedges -
Collateral Damage: America's War on Iraqi Civilians ... Program Description: Independent ...

4.                              More videos for Chris Hedges Collateral Damage »
Thursday, June 9th, 2011 at 5:04 pm 
On Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian’s Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians:
Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians, by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian, depicts the horrors and death that naturally go along with occupation. In vivid detail, this small expose reveals what is so often hidden from public view—murder, brutality, torture and terror. Through interviews with veterans, Collateral Damage explains how the war has gone horribly wrong and unleashed a campaign that has irreparably ruined innumerable lives. The book is divided into five chapters, the first four of which discuss different sources of deadly conflict between U.S. soldiers and ordinary Iraqis: convoys, checkpoints, raids and detention.
The convoys are “ubiquitous in Iraq. They usually consist of 20-30 trucks and military escort vehicles that can extend for as long as a mile.” They are “the arteries that sustain the occupation. They ferry water, mail, maintenance parts, sewage, fuel and food to bases across Iraq.” Soldiers must protect these convoys, which are susceptible to IED’s and ambushes. As such they travel at a rapid pace and never stop, not even if children get in their way. It’s a matter of survival. If any Iraqi drivers get close, as often occurs, the troops fire at them with impunity. Read the rest of this entry

John Tirman, The Deaths of Others
Americans are greatly concerned about the number of our troops killed in battle--100,000 dead in World War I; 300,000 in World War II; 33,000 in the Korean War; 58,000 in Vietnam; 4,500 in Iraq; over 1,000 in Afghanistan--and rightly so. But why are we so indifferent, often oblivious, to the far greater number of casualties suffered by those we fight and those we fight for?

This is the compelling, largely unasked question John Tirman answers in The Deaths of Others. Between six and seven million people died in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq alone, the majority of them civilians. And yet Americans devote little attention to these deaths. Other countries, however, do pay attention, and Tirman argues that if we want to understand why there is so much anti-Americanism around the world, the first place to look is how we conduct war. We understandably strive to protect our own troops, but our rules of engagement with the enemy are another matter. From atomic weapons and carpet bombing in World War II to napalm and daisy cutters in Vietnam and beyond, we have used our weapons intentionally to kill large numbers of civilians and terrorize our adversaries into surrender. Americans, however, are mostly ignorant of these facts, believing that American wars are essentially just, necessary, and "good." Tirman investigates the history of casualties caused by American forces in order to explain why America remains so unpopular and why US armed forces operate the way they do.

Trenchant and passionate, The Deaths of Others forces readers to consider the tragic consequences of American military action not just for Americans, but especially for those we fight.
*                  Passionate and sweeping account of the impact of U.S. wars on America's opponents
*                  Tirman's critical account of the American way of war will be very controversial
*                  Highly readable narrative history that covers all of America's modern wars
"This sad and gripping record of crimes we dare not face, and the probing analysis of the roots of indifference and denial, tell us all too much about ourselves. It should be read, and pondered." -Noam Chomsky
"John Tirman has not only written a profoundly important, revelatory work about something that most people in this country ignore; he has looked deep into our history and the American mind to see why we ignore it. I wish I could give this highly readable book to everyone, from general to private to the civilian bureaucrats who send them off to kill, who shares the illusion that war mainly involves soldiers." -Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars
"The Deaths of Others is an incredibly important venture. I know of no other book that so comprehensively catalogues the victims of U.S. wars . . . Tirman has given us the definitive study of an extremely important but neglected subject. It a must-read for anyone concerned with the lethal impact of U.S. policy on people in all corners of the world." --The Progressive
"Stunning . . . Tirman lays out his strenuously argued case with considerable cogency . . . Tirman renders us great service by providing a fuller picture of the consequences of war and challenging us not to reject data simply because it is not congruent with our favored worldview . . . If Americans today marshal the resolve to enact workable normas ensuring that our use of drones will always discriminate between civilians and legimate enemy targets, then we will at last be facing up to the crucial moral questions raised in this book." --America
About the Author(s)
John Tirman is Principal Research Scientist and Executive Director of the Center for International Studies, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include Terror, Insurgency, and the State: Ending Protracted Conflicts and 100 Ways America Is Screwing Up the World.

From Veterans for Peace.
“ Haditha Massacre--No Jail time”
Posted by: "Roland James"
Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:59 am (PST)
Democracy Now! Daily News DigestJanuary 26, 2012  Iraqis Voice Outrage as Haditha Massacre Trial Ends in No Jail Time for Accused U.S. Marines.   The last of the U.S. marines charged in the 2005 Haditha massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, received no jail time after he pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty and avoiding charges of involuntary manslaughter.   Under his sentencing, Wuterich now faces a maximum penalty of a demotion to the rank of private. The victims, including women and children, were killed when the marines burst into their homes and shot them dead in their nightclothes. Wuterich allegedly led the Haditha massacre and was the last defendant to face charges.  Six other marines have had their charges dropped or dismissed, while another soldier was acquitted.  We speak with Tim McGirk, the Time magazine reporter who broke the story on the Haditha massacre. Watch/Listen/Read

Savelsberg, Joachim and Ryan King.   American Memories: Atrocities and the Law.  Russell Sage Foundation, 2011.   How the US remembers its own and others’ atrocities and how institutional responses shape memories and impede future violence.

“On The Dark Side in Al Doura - A Soldier in the Shadows”
Cindy Piester Writer, Director and Producer,

Video "On the Dark Side in Al Doura, A Soldier in the Shadows"
Addresses Soldier's War Crimes Allegations & Iraq Atrocity Photos

(VENTURA, CA.) - December 29, 2011. A newly released film, "On the Dark Side in Al Doura - A Soldier in the Shadows" focuses on U.S. Army Ranger John Needham's experience in Iraq where he witnessed grim atrocities. It includes shocking uncirculated photographic evidence of what appear to be war crimes. The story is presented within the framework of decisions by the Bush Administration to step away from the rule of law and of V.P. Cheney's call to go to the dark side. Click on  to see this film.

A former surfer, artist, and musician, Pvt. Needham was awarded multiple medals for heroism, as well as two purple hearts. He survived 14 IED explosions that left him with traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and shrapnel through out his body.

Despite his heroism, John came to be ostracized by others in his unit when he failed to condone or participate in the criminal conduct he witnessed carried on by his own command and fellow soldiers. Unbeknownst to his family, he was sent on a secret mission that would have cost him his life had another unit not answered the help calls his own unit ignored. Then, in contradiction to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, John was beaten and confined in primitive circumstances, without adequate nutrition, following a suicide attempt.

Sympathetic soldiers from his unit notified his father, Michael Needham, who then began an unrelenting effort to ensure John's safety. Finally, Michael had some success and got John into a safe setting in the U.S. where he had his first opportunity to divulge his experiences. In December of 2007, John wrote an official letter calling the attention of military authorities to the atrocities.

CBS reported that they were able to obtain an Army document from the Criminal Investigation Command which came to the conclusion that the "offense of War Crimes did not occur." However, CBS also stated that the report was "redacted and incomplete; 111 pages were withheld." The report reported that when soldiers were asked about a specific photo showing an individual with his brains pulled out atop a military vehicle that they were told, "We didn't have any body bags that day so we had to put him on the hood of the vehicle" for transport.

John Needham's life took many tragic and unexpected turns. The worst of these resulted in John's arrest for the murder of girlfriend, Jacque Villagomez, in 2008. Pvt. Needham, suffering from serious Traumatic Brain Damage and PTSD, said he had no recall of the incident. He was one of a number of soldiers out of Fort Carson to commit grave acts of violence on return to civilian life. John's family eventually raised $1,000,000. in bail and John was released. He died, unexpectedly, February 19, 2010 while receiving out patient care from the V.A.

The facts of this story are based on the accounts of John's father, Michael Needham, in accord with what John told him, documents and photos provided by the father, and articles published by Michael De Yoanna and Mark Benjamin in as well as a CBS show televised on 48 hours entitled, The Private War of John Needham, in which another soldier, anonymously, verifies important aspects of the this story.

WEDNESDAY, FEB 11, 2009 11:46 PM PST
"You're a pussy and a scared little kid" BY MICHAEL DE YOANNA AND MARK BENJAMIN

SATURDAY, NOV 12, 2011 9:00 AM PST
“When war kills at home BY MICHAEL DE YOANNA

NOVEMBER 12, 2011 7:45 PM PST
CBS “Private Needham's War on 48 Hours;;contentBody;videoMetaInfo

Please, also, see attached photos of war atrocities and the letter written by Pvt. Needham to military authorities in 2007 on his return to the states.

The film received 20,000 plays and 100,000 hits from 150 countries in the first five days after coming to public attention. TruthOut. the Huffington Post, and Project Censored have, at this point, all been immensely helpful in getting word out on this story and on the film.

Cindy Piester
On The Dark Side in Al Doura - A Soldier in the Shadows
Writer, Director and Producer
MAVERICK MEDIA & Pulse TV, host and producer,

With Liberty and Justice for Some

How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful   Glenn Greenwald
Metropolitan Books, October 2011
Watch: Glenn Greenwald Interviewed on The Rachel Maddow Show

From "the most important voice to have entered the political discourse in years" (Bill Moyers), a scathing critique of the two-tiered system of justice that has emerged in America

[Dick:  Greenwald’s book explains the system of power and injustice in the US that explains why high ranking military officers and government executives are not prosecuted for their WAR and other crimes.]
From the nation's beginnings, the law was to be the great equalizer in American life, the guarantor of a common set of rules for all. But over the past four decades, the principle of equality before the law has been effectively abolished. Instead, a two-tiered system of justice ensures that the country's political and financial class is virtually immune from prosecution, licensed to act without restraint, while the politically powerless are imprisoned with greater ease and in greater numbers than in any other country in the world.
Starting with Watergate, continuing on through the Iran-Contra scandal, and culminating with Obama's shielding of Bush-era officials from prosecution, Glenn Greenwald lays bare the mechanisms that have come to shield the elite from accountability. He shows how the media, both political parties, and the courts have abetted a process that has produced torture, war crimes, domestic spying, and financial fraud.
Cogent, sharp, and urgent, this is a no-holds-barred indictment of a profoundly un-American system that sanctions immunity at the top and mercilessness for everyone else.

The US Military: A Global Force, But Not For Good
Wed, 01/25/2012 - 02:04 — Bruce A. Dixon
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
In official folklore, the US armed forces are the virtuous repositories of honor, probity and moral virtue. But the real history and culture of the US military, from invading Spanish Florida to prevent its being a refuge for escaped slaves, to Wounded Knee, to massacres in Haiti and Central America, to Fallujah and marines pissing on Afghan corpses, are something else altogether.
 “On November 19, 2005 a squad of US Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians including 9 children...”
No State of the Union address is complete without multiple standing-ovation references to the steadfast courage, self-sacrifice and honor of the men and women serving in the uniform of these United States. But while some or all of these characteristics can doubtless be found among active duty members of the US military, they are notably absent among its military and civilian leaders, and consistently contradicted by the military's own longstanding traditions.
On November 19, 2005 a squad of US Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians including 9 children, in cold blood, not with shrapnel or random crossfire, but mostly with well-aimed rifle shots to the head and chest indoors and at close range. Three officers received written reprimands for actions after the incident, and charges were filed, then dropped against seven of eight marines. On January 24 staff sergeant Frank Wuteridge, the only remaining marine charged in the case accepted a plea deal that lets him off with a reduction in rank to private.
At the same time that killers are released with perfunctory wrist slaps, US army private Bradley Manning, a genuine hero, endures persecution and solitary confinement for releasing documentary evidence of of numerous diplomatic and military atrocities, including actual film of a US helicopter gunship mowing down unarmed Iraqi civilians including two Reuters cameramen and the children of a man who stopped his family car to help the people he saw bleeding in the street.
“That's what he gets,” oinks a self-righteous American military voice on the tape, “for bringing his kids...” to a firefight.
“The navy currently runs an ad campaign branding itself “a global force for good.” Few claims could be more deceitful”
Lying, justifying and covering up, not honor and self-sacrifice, seem to be guiding principles of US military and political leadership, the sure and certain paths to a successful career. When up-and-coming army major Colin Powell was detailed to look into reports of atrocities committed by the Americal Division, he knew what was expected of him. Powell minimized and dismissed the reports, overlooking among other things the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians at a place called My Lai. Twenty years later, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the US invasion of Panama, Powell ordered the bombing from the air of an undefended, largely black civilian neighborhood of Panama City in which hundreds were killed, in order to prevent them from coming into the streets to support Panamanian president Noriega.
Since Wounded Knee, since the slave and Indian-hunting expeditions of Andrew Jackson, these have been the real traditions of the US military. The navy currently runs an ad campaign branding itself “a global force for good.” Few claims could be more deceitful. The military has plenty of doctors, engineers and even chaplains. But its main jobs aren't building things, healing people or telling the truth. The core job descriptions of the US military and their civilian leaders are breaking things, killing people, and lying about it. They are indeed a global force. But not an honorable one. And not for good.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and lives and works in Marietta GA, where he's on the state committee of the Georgia Green Party.


Samuel Totten and Rafiki Ubaldo, eds.   We Cannot Forget: Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.  Rutgers UP, 2011.
During a one-hundred-day period in 1994, Hutu extremists murdered between half a million and a million Tutsi in Rwanda. The numbers are staggering; the methods of killing were unspeakable. Utilizing personal interviews with survivors living in Rwandan cities, towns, and villages, We Cannot Forget relates what happened during this period and what the victims' lives were like both prior to and following the genocide.
Through powerful stories that are at once memorable, disturbing, and informative, readers gain a critical sense of the tensions and violence that preceded the genocide, how it erupted and was carried out, and what these people faced in the first sixteen years following the genocide.

About the Author:
SAMUEL TOTTEN is a scholar of genocide studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 2008 at the National University of Rwanda during which he created the Master's Degree in Genocide Studies. His most recent publication is The Oral and Documentary History of the Darfur Genocide. RAFIKI UBALDO is a journalist and independent scholar of genocide studies. A survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, he has served as an advisor for the implementation of the Master of Art's Degree in Genocide Studies at the National University of Rwanda.

See International Justice Day/ICC Newsletter

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