KILLING ROOM - Coalition forces reveal Saddam's torture terror" it screamed. The first lines: "The depraved brutality of Saddam's regime was revealed to the world yesterday in a series of horrific discoveries. As US forces intensified the battle for Baghdad last night, British allies uncovered an enormous charnel house containing the remains of hundreds of Saddam's torture victims." ( See Killing Room and Coffin rows expose an unspeakable evil).
I saw the vision of the find on TV last night, and noted the British officers remark that it was unclear what the building and its rows of simple coffins was all about. However, the remains were old, he said, and he showed documents and photographs also found on site, which did not scream out torture chamber but rather respect for the dead.
So where did The Daily Telegraph get its scoop information, and why was it so confident of the truth of its story? Who knows, but CNN reported today:
U.S. military: Remains from Iran-Iraq war
Sunday, April 6, 2003 Posted: 11:41 AM EDT (1541 GMT)
SOUTHERN IRAQ (CNN) -- More than 400 sets of human remains discovered in a barracks outside of Basra are of soldiers killed during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the leader of a U.S. military team that examined them said Sunday.
Forensics experts sent to southern Iraq to analyze the makeshift coffins and plastic bags in which the human body parts were found said all the injuries appeared consistent with combat, contrary to initial reports from an Iranian news agency some showed signs of torture.
CWO Dan Walters with the U.S Army told reporters the bodies were mostly those of Iraqi fighters, and appeared to be a staging point for the exchange of such remains between Iraq and Iran. British soldiers with the Third Regiment of the Royal Artillery made the gruesome discovery in an abandoned warehouse.
"Some had tatters of uniforms hidden amongst the human remains," said U.S. Central Command Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks during a briefing Sunday. Some of the soldiers said the makeshift wooden, open-face coffins were stacked deep in the warehouse and belonged to the 51st Division headquarters of the Iraqi regular army.
The bodies were located over the recent months in joint recovery operations along the Iran-Iraq border, Iranian Army Gen. Mirfeisal Baqerzadeh, head of the search and recovery committee for those missing in action, told the Iranian newspaper Jomhouri-E Eslami.
The newspaper quoted Baqerzadeh saying Iran and Iraq scrapped the search and recovery operations for the missing in action on the Iraqi territory 15 days before the war started.
The remains were found in plastic bags and makeshift coffins
"We eagerly ask the International Committee of the Red Cross to carry out its obligations and immediately take delivery of the bodies from the U.S.-British troops, and return them to Iran in Shalamcheh border point with Iraq," the Iranian newspaper quoted Baqerzadeh.
British soldiers at the scene said a neighboring building contained photographs of the dead, most of whom had died from gunshot wounds to the head.
Webdiarist Peter Fulham sent me this report from the New York Times, which begins:
ZUBAYR, Iraq -- A poignant bit of unfinished history caught up with the current campaign against Saddam Hussein yesterday, as U.S. and British officials combed through a makeshift morgue for Iraqi and Iranian soldiers killed in the 1980s in a war most Iraqis are too young to remember.
The 664 thin wooden coffins at the morgue, containing the remains of 408 men, were stacked in neat rows, some five coffins high in a warehouse in what the officials called a former Iraqi artillery complex. Plastic bags in the coffins contained all that remained of each young soldier -- an identity tag, a wallet, a piece of uniform, pictures of loved ones and occasionally some money.
Investigators from the U.S. 75th Exploitation Task Force arrived here yesterday from northern Kuwait. The task force, charged with documenting war crimes, had come to investigate what initial descriptions of the site suggested was a center for torture and execution.
But in just a few hours, Chief Warrant Officer Dan Walters, the leader of the task force's Criminal Investigation Division unit, said a preliminary examination of the remains and some of the thousands of pages of documents that were abandoned in a building next to the warehouse suggested that atrocities had probably not occurred here. Rather, he said, Iraqis had apparently been processing the remains and preparing to exchange them with Iran.
"Their wounds were consistent with combat deaths, not executions," said Walters. "So far," he added, "there are no indications that war crimes were committed here." ...
I can hardly wait for the correction tomorrow. It's not as if standard journalism wouldn't have discovered a lack of certainty. The Herald reported today:
"MASS GRAVE DISPUTE: Iran said the remains of as many as 200 people found near Basra were Iranian soldiers killed during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and demanded their immediate repatriation, a newspaper reported yesterday. But Iraq has said the bodies, discovered on Saturday by British soldiers in a military complex, were Iraqis killed in the conflict and recently returned by Iran. But the head of Iran's Committee for Searching for the Missing in Action, Brigadier-General Mireysal Baqerzadeh, was quoted in Jomhuri-ye Eslami saying the corpses were unearthed in recent months by joint Iran-Iraq search teams."
Rupert Murdoch's vast newspaper empire has waged a relentless pro-war propaganda war before and since the war began without even the pretence, in many cases, that even the facade of journalism - a genuine attempt to get the facts in the time available and to present what is known at the time of going to press, appropriately attributed - is being preserved. It just so happens that Murdoch wants US government approval to take over DirecTV and further extend his grip on pay TV.
Just last week Mr Murdoch, who said before the war that it would be good for the economy (Murdoch: Cheap oil the prize and Murdoch's war: 175 generals on song) urged America to get it over with quickly. Note that he aligns himself explicitly with American interests, as an American citizen. This could explain why editorially the Murdoch papers here have made little or no mention of what Australia's distinct interests might be in this war.
Murdoch: Iraqis Will Welcome U.S. Troops
By GARY GENTILE
The Associated Press
Thursday, April 3, 2003; 12:07 AM
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said Wednesday Americans have an inferiority complex about the world's opinion and that Iraqis eventually will welcome U.S. troops as liberators.
"We worry about what people think about us too much in this country. We have an inferiority complex, it seems," Murdoch said at the Milken Institute Global Conference. "I think what's important is that the world respects us, much more important than they love us."
The head of News Corp. said a long war could heavily influence the U.S. and global economies while creating political instability in the Middle East and elsewhere. And he suggested a decisive U.S. effort for a quick end to the war would be better than a protracted battle.
"There is going to be collateral damage. And if you really want to be brutal about it, better we get it done now than spread it over months," he said.
Murdoch also warned that the world should be prepared for more terrorist attacks. "It's very possible to see freelance suicide attempts both here and in London, and that would psychologically shake this country up," he said.
Many Murdoch outlets' commitment to free speech is non-existent. I quote from crikey.com.au's sealed section of April 4: "Speaking of Fox, their most feral presenter Bill O'Reilly this morning had two legal experts on to discuss whether Peter Arnett should be charged with treason. They all agreed he could and should be. There goes Rupert again, profitably spewing out some of the most disgraceful journalism the world has seen and then trashing free speech when it suits him."
Now that Australia's identity under John Howard seems to be dissolving into a subset of America's identity, it would be nice to maintain some semblance of a diverse Australian oriented, Australian owned, media in this country.
But don't expect the government to care about silly little issues like that. It's already negotiating a 'free trade' agreement with the USA, which demands an end to foreign ownership restrictions on media, Qantas, Telstra and Woodside, as well as an end to laws trying to preserve our cultural identity. Australian nationalism? Not for much longer, if John Howard gets his way.
Poor old Australia - the USA doesn't need to invade us to take us over. We're inviting them in. Oh, and crossing our fingers that as a defacto state of America (minus the right to vote) the Americans will sympathetically consider helping us out if our security is threatened.
The Influence of Fools: Why Liberals are mad at the MSM
Long accustomed to the wrath from the right, the news media is now facing white hot anger from the left. For the most part, the press seems genuinely perplexed by this turn of events.
Aussie's fate over the edge as violence spreads
THE illegal and degrading war on Iraq by the occupiers, the US- led military and its Coalition of the Killing partners, is a hotbed for freedom fighters, against the occupation (of their sovereign nation). And it is continuing to get worse.
Iraqi police vent anger at US after car bombings
Iraqi police hurled insults at US soldiers after two suicide car bomb blasts in Baghdad killed at least seven people and left 19 wounded, including policemen. "It's all because you're here," a policeman shouted in Arabic at a group of US soldiers after the latest in a bloody wave of attacks that have rocked Baghdad this month. "Get out of our country and there will be no more explosions," he told the uncomprehending Americans staring at the smouldering wreck of a car bomb.
UK report shows Iraq war illegal: former defence chief
Ruling Class Lord Goldsmith said a final UN resolution may be needed, that hard evidence of Iraqi non-compliance may have been required, and the UK could face sanction by international courts.
300,000 Iraqis protest occupation and genocide
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Chanting "Death to America" and burning effigies of President Bush and Saddam Hussein, tens of thousands of Iraqis flooded central Baghdad on Saturday in what police called the largest anti-American protest since the fall of Baghdad, the capital, exactly two years ago.
Annan calls for human rights agency revamp!
The commission has been harshly criticised recently by human rights groups claiming it has become less of a body for upholding human rights, and more of a haven for violators.
Attacks kill 21 two years after Iraq invasion
IRAQ: At least 21 people were killed on Sunday in attacks mainly targeting US/Iraqi security forces on the two-year anniversary of the US-led illegal and degrading war on of Iraq.
Wolfowitz's World Bank nomination worries Oxfam
The head of Oxfam in Australia has raised concerns about the nomination of US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as the next head of the World Bank.
USA - FEELING THE HEAT FROM INTERNATIONAL FIRE:
It seems the United States of America (The World Watchdog) is dictating and practising double-standards --- a unique law for America and another set of laws for all other countries.
CALL TO ACTION of the ANTI-WAR ASSEMBLY
Two years after the invasion of Iraq, there is more opposition to the war in the US, in the coalition countries, and all over the world than ever before.
Returning veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan
In the last two years, nearly one million U.S. service-members have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of how you may feel about the war, most of us agree that those service-members deserve the best possible care and treatment our country can provide.
The Veil of Freedom
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two years after the invasion of Iraq and just weeks before the country's first free election, [occupation, US puppet gov't] "Amina" began wearing a headscarf for the first time in her life. Her father insisted upon it.
Iraqi women eye Islamic law
BAGHDAD - Covered in layers of flowing black fabric that extend to the tips of her gloved hands, Jenan al-Ubaedy knows her first priority as one of some 90 women who will sit in the national assembly: implementing Islamic law.
IRAQ: Shiite and Sunnis to unite against occupation?
Iraq: "I call on all religious and political powers that pushed towards the elections and took part in them to issue an official statement calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Iraq", Moqtada al Sadr, the popular young Iraqi Shiite cleric who last year led an armed rebellion against the US-led occupation, declared on February 4.
Democracy, Iraqi style
"In a darkened hall, candidates for Iraq's main Shia party sit listening to a turbaned cleric speaking into a microphone. They are being told how to campaign for the election without getting killed.
Violence continues ahead of Iraq Shoe Sale
Pre-Shoe Sale violence in Iraq is showing no signs of abating with the deaths today of two American militants following on from yesterday's killing of 22 US/Iraqi militants.
US transport company pulls out of Iraq
A large American transport company has become the first contractor to pull out of Iraq because of the continuing violence.
Rumsfeld's war, torture and occupation ideology!
War criminal Donald Rumsfeld faced critical questioning at a Washington media conference, after the announcement that it was a suicide bomber who caused the blast inside a US military base in Mosul yesterday, killing 22 people including 14 illegal militants.
Annan admits to a tough year
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan admits he has had his worst year at the United Nations and he is looking forward to it being over.
Iraq sale to be contested by 100 buyers
A hundred buyers, blocs and independents will contest Iraq's first shoe sale, in decades, on January 30, the George Dubya Bushit - Iraqi Sales Commission (GDB/ISC) said.
Fallujah refugees in desperate need of aid: UN
More than 200,000 people who fled Fallujah ahead of the US attack have yet to return and many are in desperate need of aid, with temperatures in Iraq heading towards freezing, a new UN emergency report says.
UN panel proposes criteria for legitimate military action
With countries still bitterly divided over the war in Iraq, a high-level panel appointed by the United Nations has recommended a five-step guideline to determine when to use military action.
Indonesians rally against Fallujah assault
About 8,000 Indonesian Muslims have staged a peaceful rally against a major US-led assault on Iraq's rebel city of Fallujah, which has claimed 2,000 lives.
UK politicians launch Blair impeachment bid
Parliamentarians and celebrity campaigners have launched a bid to impeach UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for "gross misconduct" over his justification for the Iraq war.
'This One's Faking He's Dead' 'He's Dead Now'
Fallujah: Video shows US soldier killing wounded insurgent in cold blood
by Andrew Buncombe in Washington.
US: Very superstitious? Writing's on the wall!
The US military says it has discovered close to 20 torture sites in the course of its massive attack against the resistance in the Iraqi city of Fallujah?
World Vision Aust pulls out of Iraq
The organisation says the country has simply become too dangerous and its decision to leave was made before the apparent murder of Care Australia's Iraq director Margaret Hassan.
US Senator slams !!! 'dysfunctional, rogue' CIA
Influential US Republican Senator John McCain blasted the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a "dysfunctional" and "rogue" organisation that needs to be reformed.
Civilian death toll to rise in Fallujah
The attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah has taken its toll on Iraqi civilians no doubt including children and young babies. Iraqi's have witnessed civilian casualties. Yesterday during the assault on the main hospital nurses and patients were blindfolded after the US/Iraq militia stormed the main hospital and took control.
Illusionary demons blamed for US led Attack Iraq, Fallujah
In the name of an illusionary figure thought up by US militants suggests that Al Qaeda's? ally "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" has called on Muslims to take up arms against their US enemy as American militia attacked the Iraqi city of Fallujah? Just a coincidence or just good timing?
Full-scale attack on Fallujah begins
Correspondents say radio traffic heard at a US militant's staging post just outside Fallujah indicates US/Iraqi militia have moved at least four blocks into Fallujah, and are still advancing.
US/Iraqi militants storm Fallujah hospital
United States troops and US/Iraqi militia have seized the main hospital in the Iraqi city of Fallujah without a fight, according to a pool reporter travelling [in-bed] with the troops. Those in hospital beds did not resist they were too sick and the doctor kept on operating regardless.
US warplanes and artillery attack Fallujah!
Journalists [in-bed] with the US military say warplanes fired at suspected resistance targets around Fallujah as night fell on Sunday, while artillery shells pounded a nearby town.
State of emergency: Allawi 'killer of saints'
The US puppet, Iyad Allawi otherwise known as "Sock" killer of saints has declared a state of emergency for 60 days to quell violent resistance gripping the country ahead of January's shoe sale.
US Empire Votes For Pre-Emptive War!!!
United States President George Dubya Bushit has been re-elected, winning four more years to press his war on liberty after a bitter campaign against Democrat John Kerry that focused on the US empire's role as - imperialists - initiating pre-emptive war - on the sovereign nation of Iraq - without the United Nations approval and in direct contravention of International law.
Saddam's family dismiss lawyer
The family of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has dismissed the head of his defence team. Other team members had accused the lawyer, Mohammad Rashdan, of acting without consulting them.
Who's counting the dead in Fallujah? CARE?
In distress: CARE says it is deeply concerned about the wellbeing of Mrs Hassan. But who's counting the dead in Fallujah?
Iraqi civilian deaths put at 100,000
Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in violence since the US-led invasion last year, according to public health experts who estimate there were 100,000 "excess deaths" in 18 months.
Unknown News Update - 2009
More than 103 times as many people have been killed in these wars and occupations than in all terrorist attacks in the world from 1993-2004. About 241 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the ghastly attacks of September 11, 2001.
Bushite group threatens civil liberties in Iraq
Allegedly a group led by George W Bushite has forced freedom fighters to threaten to behead a Japanese hostage it said worked with Japanese forces in Iraq if Tokyo does not withdraw its forces from the country within 48 hours.
US secretly moved prisoners out of Iraq for questioning: report
The CIA has secretly transferred detainees out of Iraq for interrogation after asking the US Justice Department to write a memo justifying the practice, which violates the Geneva Conventions.
Weapons inspectors missed WMD in Iraq
An Iraqi minister has said United Nations nuclear inspectors are welcome to return in response to concerns of an "apparent systematic dismantlement" of Saddam Hussein's once-vigorous nuclear program.
US accused of breaching international law
The United States is violating international law by holding prisoners in its war on terror incommunicado and in secret hiding places, Human Rights Watch said in a report to be published on Tuesday calling for an end to such practices.
Allies 'planned' Iraq war despite denials
The United States, Australia and Britain started to plan the invasion of Iraq months before the conflict, according to a report Wednesday quoting a leaked Pentagon document.
UN warns of Iraqi malnutrition
One in four Iraqis are dependent on food rations to survive and many of them have to sell what little food they have for basic necessities like medicine and clothes, the UN World Food Program (WFP) said.
Jordan's king doubts Iraqi elections possible
Iraq is far too unsafe to hold elections as scheduled in January and extremists would do well in the poll if Baghdad tried to hold it, Jordan's King Abdullah said in an interview. Excluding troubled areas from the nationwide poll would only isolate Iraq's Sunnis and create deeper divisions in the country, he said.
Annan tells world leaders to respect law
United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan has made an impassioned plea to bring about the rule of law across the globe today. Mr Annan told world leaders to respect international law at home and abroad.
CO-OFFENDERS DO NOT REBUFF UN ON 'ILLEGAL WAR'
The 'coalition of the killing's' complicities - the US, Britain and Australia - have insisted that their countries' military action in Iraq was legal after they have committed war crimes against humanity.
Iraq war illegal, says Annan
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan says the United States decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 was "illegal". Australia was a key supporter of the war on Iraq and sent troops to join the United States-led invasion last year.
Bush team 'knew of abuse' at Guantanamo
Evidence of prisoner abuse and possible war crimes at Guantanamo Bay reached the highest levels of the Bush administration as early as autumn 2002, but Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, chose to do nothing about it, according to a new investigation.
Journalists ordered to leave Najaf as fighting continues
Journalists have been kicked out of Najaf as clashes flared in the Iraqi city, prompting speculation that a major United States-led assault on enemy Shiite fighters was imminent.
Enemy Mortars attack opening of Iraqi summit
US Enemies have fired mortars at a meeting where Iraqi puppet government leaders met to pick an interim national assembly, killing at least two people.
Iraqi Women in the Occupation Prisons As Material and Means of Violations It is important to say at the beginning that there are many psychological, social and cultural obstacles for Iraqi women to talk openly about what they actually went through inside the occupation prisons.
Ancient Babylon ruined by foreign troops: Iraqi minister
Iraq: Foreign forces in Iraq have caused severe damage to the site of ancient Babylon, one of the world's most renowned archaeological treasures, and need to leave the area as soon as possible, Iraq's Culture Minister Mofeed al-Jazaeri said.
Whatcha Gonna Do, When They Come For You? Bad boy!
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a threat and sought to possess weapons of mass destruction, United States President George W Bush reaffirmed when asked why no such weapons had been discovered in Iraq.
Saddam trial US propaganda
Saddam Hussein's trial will play an important part in the US election no doubt and for that to work at its potential just put a "women" behind it "She called the trials". Then add some "cleansing" like she's just doing the dishes and then some "reconciliation" by slaying Hussein during a US election. Now you can go and tell everyone you're reversing the trauma but really you're killing two birds with one Saddam.