Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged wikileaks

A Guardian and BBC Arabic exposé reveals that the United States armed and trained Iraqi death squads who then ran torture centers. The United States is largely ignoring this story.

AMY GOODMAN: What most surprised you by this investigation, Maggie, by what you found?

MAGGIE O’KANE: I think the most surprising thing was the scale and the organization of the—of the torture, that it was sort of so well organized, that there were these platforms, that there were hundreds of people being lifted all of the time.

And the other thing that surprised me about it is that somehow in the kind of fog of war, that we never, as journalists, never really seem to reach the—to report it in a way that people could really understand what was happening there. There were reports. It was called “The Way of the Commandos.” There were reports that torture was going on, but somehow it never penetrated, or it was never sort of acknowledged that that’s the way the war was being conducted.

And I think one of the things, the great things, that I have learned from this is that we’re very—we’re very easy with words like “human intelligence,” “counterinsurgency,” and that we don’t really understand that this is about systematic and brutal torture that has repercussions among the civilian population.

And also that there was one man whose history goes back through so many of America’s wars. And I think it’s indicative of a very dysfunctional, brutal time, that I hope this film will be a legacy that actually says, if you want to go to war, this is what war means. It means 14-year-old boys being hung up and tortured. It means men being turned on spits. And that’s called “counterinsurgency.” So I just feel it’s important that this information comes out, and I’m shocked, in a way, that we want to forget it.

AMY GOODMAN: And as we wrap up, I wanted to turn to Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private who has admitted to leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. I want to ask about the chilling effect his case has had among soldiers who may otherwise speak out against abuses. Let’s go to just an excerpt of a leaked audio recording of Bradley Manning, first time we hear him speaking in his own words in custody. This is from his hearing last month. Listen very carefully.

BRADLEY MANNING: I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables, this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general, as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Everyone should remember that it wasn’t just personal communications that Manning exposed. That is what the media in the United States latched on to. Within these documents were documents of torture and how they’d be denied as well as CISPA/SOPA in the UK, where government officials admitted that they were going to abuse it, ruin innovation, and eliminate competition.

MAGGIE O’KANE: … Really, this would not be coming out, if it hadn’t been for Bradley Manning. This information, the basic information, has been very key.

And I’ll tell you something else that’s very, very chilling. We spent maybe six months trying to track down young American soldiers who served in Samarra. Many of them knew what was going on there. In the end, we found one guy, called Neil Smith, in Detroit, who was 21 when he was there, who spoke out.

He spoke out because, he said, “I’m a born-again—I’m born-again Christian.” But many were too frightened because of what happened to Bradley Manning.

This is clearly the intention of the United States government. They want people to be too frightened to report the abuses that the United States are routinely performing. Manning and Julian Assange are being labeled as traitors instead of looking at what the Wikileaks documents say and actually going after the torturers that are supported by the United States. The government doesn’t like being caught lying. Manning and Assange exposed that and, under the current system, those are the people that are considered guilty, not those whose crimes were exposed.

Is it any wonder why the United States is hated throughout the Middle East?

You can watch James Steele: America’s mystery man in Iraq below, at the Guardian’s webite or on YouTube.

James Steele: America’s mystery man in Iraq – Full Documentary from W911, also on Twitter on Vimeo.

James Steele: America’s mystery man in Iraq – Full Documentary
Published [on YouTube] on Mar 8, 2013 by The Guardian

Source The Guardian, Wednesday 6 March 2013

See also CounterPunch: How Bush Used PR to Conceal Massive Ethnic Cleansing in Baghdad – The Myth of the Surge.

Another additional source with lots of information and research:
The Guardian’s Death Squad Documentary May Shock and Disturb, But the Truth is Far Worse:

It’s worth noting that the article in the Guardian has been universally ignored in the US media presumably because its revelations suggest that the civilian leadership (Bush, Rumsfeld and Co.) may be guilty of war crimes.

From El Salvador to Iraq: Washington’s man behind brutal police squads

In 2004, with the war in Iraq going from bad to worse, the US drafted in a veteran of Central America’s dirty wars to help set up a new force to fight the insurgency. The result: secret detention centres, torture and a spiral into sectarian carnage.

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Private First Class Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified and confidential military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, took the stand in a military court today to make his first public statements since his arrest in 2010.

Manning appeared confident and animated at a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland as he described the mental breakdowns and extreme depression he suffered during his first year in detention, from cells in Iraq and Kuwait to the Marine base at Quantico in Virginia. Within weeks of his arrest, Manning said, he became convinced he was going to die in custody.

“I was just a mess. I was really starting to fall apart,” the 24-year-old former Army intelligence analyst said. Manning said he didn’t remember an incident while in Kuwait where he bashed his head into a wall or another where he fashioned a noose out of a bed sheet as his civilian attorney, David Coombs, said he had, but Manning did say he felt he was “going to die… [in] an animal cage.”*

Bradley Manning, the solider accused of ‘wikileaking’ classified documents finally spoke publicly about his treatment while being detained. Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola (Host, TYT University), and Mark Thompson (TV Host) discuss the demeaning, maddening, and depressing treatment Manning says he received.

*Read more from Luis Martinez/ABC News.

You can read the details of Manning’s “crazy” behavior at The Guardian.

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Apple’s co-founder fears that freedom of information is under attack, with the internet controlled and regulated in unnecessary and harmful ways. RT talked to Steve Wozniak on a range of topics, from Wikileaks to Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.

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Uruguayan journalist Jorge Gestoso interviews Julian Assange from within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Originally aired on GamaTV, August 30, 2012 .

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Documentary Broadcast Monday 23rd July 2012. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

When Julian Assange arrived in Sweden in August 2010 he was greeted like a conquering hero. But within weeks there was a warrant out for his arrest and he was being investigated for rape and sexual molestation. Today he is taking sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, arguing he won’t receive justice if he’s taken to Sweden and that US authorities are building a case for his extradition.

Next, Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler examines in detail what happened in those crucial weeks while Julian Assange was in Sweden. What was the nature of his relationship with the two women who claim he assaulted them? And what did they tell police that led the authorities to seek his arrest?

“I will not tell any media how I am going to represent the women in court.” Lawyer for Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén

Both Assange and his supporters believe the attempt by authorities to force his return to Sweden is simply the first step in a plan to see him extradited to the United States.

“Sweden has frankly always been the United States’ lapdog and it’s not a matter we’re particularly proud of.” Assange supporter

“The US has nothing to do with the issue here, it’s simply a matter between the UK and Sweden.” Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia

Four Corners looks at claims the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of “conspiracy to commit espionage” being made against Assange – which in turn would be used in his extradition from Sweden. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange’s supporters across the globe – including his Australian lawyer – and the FBI’s attempts to convince some to give evidence against him.

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