Keeping Track of the Empire's Crimes

by William Blum  

 (This is an excerpt from an article on William Blum’s website
If you catch the CIA with its hand in the cookie jar and the Agency admits the obvious — what your eyes can plainly see — that its hand is indeed in the cookie jar, it means one of two things: a) the CIA's hand is in several other cookie jars at the same time which you don't know about and they hope that by confessing to the one instance they can keep the others covered up; or b) its hand is not really in the cookie jar — it's an illusion to throw you off the right scent — but they want you to believe it.


Torturing Children: Bush's Legacy, Obama’s Silence

by: Henry A. Giroux 

This is an excerpt from Henry A. Giroux's forthcoming book, "Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror," to be published by Paradigm Publishers.
Nowhere is there a more disturbing, if not horrifying, example of the relationship between a culture of cruelty and the politics of irresponsibility than in the resounding silence that surrounds the torture of children under the presidency of George W. Bush - and the equal moral and political failure of the Obama administration to address and rectify the conditions that made it possible.
But if we are to draw out the dark and hidden parameters of such crimes, they must be made visible so men and women can once again refuse to orphan the law, justice, and morality. How we deal with the issue of state terrorism and its complicity with the torture of children will determine not merely the conditions under which we are willing to live, but whether we will live in a society in which moral responsibility disappears altogether and whether we will come to find ourselves living under a democratic or authoritarian social order. This is not merely a political and ethical matter, but also a matter of how we take seriously the task of educating ourselves more critically in the future.


Afghanistan's US-Backed Child-Raping Police

 By Gareth Porter

The strategy of the major U.S. and British military offensive in Afghanistan's Helmand province aimed at wresting it from the Taliban is based on bringing back Afghan army and police to maintain permanent control of the population, so the foreign forces can move on to another insurgent stronghold.
But that strategy poses an acute problem: The police in the province, who are linked to the local warlord, have committed systematic abuses against the population, including the abduction and rape of pre-teen boys, according to village elders who met with British officers.


Operation Enduring Occupation: U.S. “Withdrawal” from Iraq

By Dahr Jamail 

 "If the Iraqi forces require further training and further support, we shall examine this then at that time, based on the needs of Iraq," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently informed President Barak Obama in Washington. While Iraqi and US government officials continue to insist the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is currently on schedule, only a few thousand US troops have left Iraq since Obama took office, and few, if any, are expected to be withdrawn through the beginning of 2010. From his recent statement, Maliki appears to be willing to accept a long-term stay.     
The timeline in the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) says that US "combat troops" were to withdraw from Iraqi cities and villages no later than June 30, 2009, and all troops are to be out by December 31, 2011.
Yet on November 17, 2008, in the wake of Iraq's cabinet approving the SOFA, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking member of the US military, immediately began inferring loopholes and possible grey areas, saying the deadline for withdrawal by 2011 should depend on conditions on the ground.
"I do think it is important that this be conditions-based," Mullen told reporters at the time, "And so three years is a long time. Conditions could change in that period of time."


Obama Administration Cooks Up New Legal Argument for Detaining Guantanamo Prisoner


by Jason Leopold 
Faced with impending defeat in a US District Court habeas corpus case, the Obama administration devised a new strategy for continuing the detention of Mohammed Jawad, an Afghani who may have been as young as 12 in 2002 when he allegedly wounded two US soldiers with a grenade.
Justice Department lawyers announced Friday that they would transform Jawad's indefinite detention as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay into a criminal case, thus negating the habeas corpus hearing in Washington, DC, where Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle had accused the government of "dragging [the case] out for no good reason."
Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the ACLU's National Security Project and one of Jawad's lawyers, blasted the Obama administration for its "pathetic attempt to prolong an outrageous case and to manipulate the court system.


Pentagon ‘Reconsidering’ Promise to Make Afghanistan Civilian Killings Probe Public

by Jason Ditz, June 15, 2009
In early May, a series of US air strikes in multiple villages in the Farah Province of Afghanistan killed 140 civilians, by far the single deadliest incident since the 2001 invasion. The official story of the US military changed several times.
Initially, they went with the claim that the entire incident was made up by the Taliban, who had kidnapped hundreds of civilians, killed them with hand grenade, then left them in empty houses which they tricked the US into bombing. After acknowledging that was “thinly sourced,” they claimed the toll was “extremely over-exaggerated” by Afghan civilians looking to make money.
By the end of the month, General Petraeus insisted the military had video evidence that proved the strikes were aimed at Taliban, and promised to release it soon. Now, it seems that video may never see the light of day, as the military struggles to explain the massive toll.


Thousand of Afghanis Protest U.S. Atrocities

by Patrick Cockburn

Shouting "Death to America" and "Death to the Government", thousands of Afghan villagers hurled stones at police yesterday as they vented their fury at American air strikes that local officials claim killed 147 civilians.

The riot started when people from three villages struck by US bombers in the early hours of Tuesday, brought 15 newly-discovered bodies in a truck to the house of the provincial governor. As the crowd pressed forward in Farah, police opened fire, wounding four protesters. Traders in the rest of Farah city, the capital of the province of the same name where the bombing took place, closed their shops, vowing they would not reopen them until there is an investigation.
A local official Abdul Basir Khan said yesterday that he had collected the names of 147 people who had died, making it the worst such incident since the US intervened in Afghanistan started in 2001. A phone call from the governor of Farah province, Rohul Amin, in which he said that 130 people had died, was played over the loudspeaker in the Afghan parliament in Kabul, sparking demands for more control over US operations.
The protest in Farah City is the latest sign of a strong Afghan reaction against US air attacks in which explosions inflict massive damage on mud-brick houses that provide little protection against bomb blasts. A claim by American officials, which was repeated by the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates yesterday in Kabul, that the Taliban might have killed people with grenades because they did not pay an opium tax is not supported by any eyewitnesses and is disproved by pictures of deep bomb craters, one of which is filled with water. Mr Gates expressed regret for the incident but did not go so far as to accept blame.


Call it a Massacre

by Yifat Susskind

 On May 6, as many as 150 people were killed by US warplanes while they were huddled in their houses in Farah, Afghanistan.
A day later, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets with President Obama, US officials in Afghanistan headed to the site of the latest US massacre.
That's not a word we often use to describe the mass killing of civilians by US forces. Instead, reports of Afghan civilian casualties are followed by a now-routine pattern of official denials, self-investigations and apologies.
The killings of May 6 are now in the self-investigation phase, in case you're wondering. The denial phase was short because villagers who survived the attack trucked about 30 mangled corpses of children, women and other non-combatants to their local governor's office in order to prove that civilians had been killed.


Obama ’s Trip to Iraq - Continuing War and Occupation

 By Kenneth J. Theisen

On Tuesday, April 7th President Barack Obama made an unannounced four-hour trip to Baghdad to promote the continuing war there, while pretending to end it. (This is reminiscent of the surprise trips taken there by his predecessor, George W. Bush.) Obama’s Iraq trip was actually confined to Camp Victory, the largest U.S. military base in Iraq. It was more of a photo-op than a trip that involved any real substance. During his short stay, Obama met with top U.S. Iraq commander, General Ray Odierno; and a few Iraqi puppet leaders, such as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Maliki told reporters, "We assured the president that all the progress that has been made in the security area will continue."
Of course security was not good enough to allow Obama to travel through Baghdad streets or beyond the confines of the military base. An AFP report indicated that Obama’s touch down in Baghdad occurred when “a spate of recent attacks have killed dozens and wounded hundreds more.” The report continued that “A string of car bombings in mainly Shiite districts of Baghdad on Monday killed at least 34 people in what the US military said appeared to be coordinated attacks by Al-Qaeda. A further eight died in another attack in the capital before Obama's arrival on Tuesday.”


Blackwater Massacres in Iraq Result in Civil Law Suits

By Kenneth J. Theisen

In civil lawsuits filed last week, injured civilians and families of Iraqis killed in two massacres in Baghdad by Blackwater mercenaries sued the company and founder Erik Prince. The lawsuits were brought in federal courts located in California. The lawsuits claim that several Blackwater defendants (now operating as Xe and other companies under the control of Prince) demonstrated “a pattern and practice of recklessness in the use of deadly force.”
The first case was brought by the family of Iraqi teacher Sa’ad Raheem Jarallah who was killed by Blackwater personnel near Al Watahba Square while in Baghdad on school business on Sept. 9, 2007. The lawsuit contends that Blackwater “shooters” fired, “without justification, on a crowd of innocent Iraqi persons in and around Al Watahba Square resulting in multiple deaths and injuries.” The complaint continues, “This senseless slaughter … was only one in a series of recent incidents in Blackwater’s lengthy pattern of egregious misconduct in Iraq resulting in the deaths of innocent Iraqis.”



World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.