Sunday, November 27, 2005



Thanks to DAILY KOS for pointing out this incredible and horrific story in the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (London).

Last July I ran a little piece about Hessians, paid military mercenaries, and how central to Rumsfeld's vision of the American military they are and how detrimental they have been to a- that same military and b- the U.S. efforts in Iraq. Today's TELEGRAPH piece goes way further in reporting how dangerously out of control this whole mess is spiraling.

The gist of the story is that a "trophy video" has turned up on a web site related to one of Rumsfeld's mercenary company's web sites (Aegis Defense Services)-- set to Elvis' "Mystery Train"-- showing private security "contractors" (ie- mercenaries) randomly shooting innocent Iraqi civilians, perhaps for sport. Rumsfeld's mercenaries are subject to virtually no laws in Iraq and virtually no oversight in the U.S. or Britain. (Rumsfeld pays these guys close to half a billion dollars... to... shoot up Iraqi civilians apparently. Oh and they also helped collect ballots in the recent so-called "elections" over there. (See and you thought there was nothing worse than Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell when it came to screwing around with elections, didn't you?)

The videos showed up on and, of course, once they were reported in the press, were immediately taken down. Instead this is a warning from one of the comapny's managers: "I am concerned about media interest in this site and I remind everyone of their contractual obligation not to speak to or assist the media without clearing it with the project management or Aegis London. Refrain from posting anything which is detrimental to the company since this could result in the loss or curtailment of our contract with resultant loss for everybody." (The guy who wrote that, a former mercenary/war criminal active in Sierra Leone, is also in charge of the investigation.)

The Iraqi authorities are none too pleased for some reason. According to the TELEGRAPH "Capt Adnan Tawfiq of the Iraqi Interior Ministry which deals with compensation issues, has told the Sunday Telegraph that he has received numerous claims from families who allege that their relatives have been shot by private security contractors travelling in road convoys. He said: 'When the security companies kill people they just drive away and nothing is done. Sometimes we ring the companies concerned and they deny everything. The families don't get any money or compensation. I would say we have had about 50-60 incidents of this kind.'"

OK, does this mean Bush and Cheney get turned over to a War Crimes Tribunal? Or just Rumsfeld? Oh, and speaking of Rumsfeld and Iraq...

For years I only bought American cars but last year I had had it with the always-breaking-down, expensive-to-repair Cadillac and I bought a classic Mercedes from my friend Dan's mom. It runs great. I wish I could quote more American newspapers but I find myself about to embark on yet another piece predicated on a foreign paper. (Actually when I woke up at 4 or 5 this morning, but before I had my eyes open, I heard someone on CNN mention this and then I searched around for it til I came up with an article in THE GUARDIAN. Basically all CNN reported was that former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi (once an obedient Rumsfeld puppet) is now claiming that the U.S. occupation in his country has become worse than even the detested Saddam Hussein's deprecations!

"The Observer" reports that "Allawi told them that "People are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse. It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things."

Allawi talks at some length about Iraq's escalating human rights catastrophe and accuses fellow Shias in the government of responsibility for death squads and secret torture centres. Sounds like somebody's been taking Dick Cheney a lot more seriously than John McCain does (at least on torture issues). I know senators and congressloons have a dozen reasons why we should stick it out and stay the course and all that crap, but I'm as certain that we should leave Iraq immediately as I was that we should never have gone in. EVERY SINGLE DAY THINGS GET WORSE AND WORSE AND WORSE THERE. And it is ALL Bush's fault, everything.


At 1:58 PM, Blogger Helen said...

I LOVE your last line in this piece that places the buck stops here blame on Bush. In the end, he is the one rsponsible for this whole mess in Iraq. He chose his advisors; he chose not to consult historians or experts in the Middle East; he chose not to read anything beyond what was placed directly in front of him. He set it up the way it is. BushCo's current efforts to blame others is pathetic and is not working.


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